Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, It Was Me!

Today was one of those days. I will not tell a lie. I am GLAD it is over. It started at 6:45 am. Tyler was up and at 'em and ready for PBS kids. As I have confessed before, I routinely let my kids watch PBS in the morning so that I can snooze a few more minutes (or hours). This morning was a little different though.

6:45 -Tyler, "Mom can I watch Mia and Miguel?"
Me, "Sure"
6:47 - Tyler "Mom it's not on yet."
Me, "I know it will be on in half and hour."

6:55 - Tyler, "Yeah, 7:30 right?"
Me, "Yes, Ty"

7:05 - Tyler, " Mom, how much longer and can you turn up the heat."
Me, "Tyler, do not wake me up again. Get in bed with me and be quiet so you don't wake up your sisters."

7:15 - Tyler, "Mom, it's 7:30!!!!"
Me, "No, Tyler, Daddy just sets his clock fast."

7:30 - Hope, "A bada, bada, baba, ba." (Translation, someone come get me outta baby jail and feed me breakfast!)

And so my day began. It wasn't all bad. I have written about my oldest sister, but not yet about my middle sis. She and I are close in age and have children very close in age. She was in town today and stopped by for a visit. It was great to see her. Great to have some time to have girl talk. I miss the days when we lived just a twenty minute drive from each other. She and her husband have a beautiful old farm house they are renovating (and doing an amazing job at, I might add.) I'm so happy that they have their home and some land, but still miss having them around. So does Doug. My middle sister and I married best friends so that makes the get togethers all the more fun. One day, when we have our home in the country....

I got an invitation fromAmanda at I Am Mommy to participate in a new blog carnival. At first I dismissed the idea ('cause I'm the kind of person who boycotts my own birthday parties. Sad, but true.), but I just couldn't get the thought out of my head. So without further ado, here's my Yes, it was me moment for the week.

This week, I celebrated victories with my kids everyday. With Tyler, we celebrated many school victories. With Becca, we celebrated her listening and accepting instruction. With Hope, we celebrated her learning to play Peek-a-boo, complete with the words. So, today, I celebrate those moments!

So, what did you do that was worth celebrating this week. Hop over to Amanda's blog or leave it in the comments section. Let's enjoy the moments we have been given.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ruby Slippers and Mudpies

What I want to write about is really kind of weak without pictures, but I'm going to try anyway. Today, Hope walked...with shoes on. That's right, my newest baby girl is wearing shoes. Hang on, it gets better...

My newest baby girl has a shoe fetish!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here. Think sixty degree weather, sunny, warm breezes. Ahhhh, it was close to heaven except I don't think there will be quite so much mud there.

Seeing as it was gorgeous the thing to do seemed to be take the kids and the old dog for a walk. So I bundled up Hope (the big kids were already playing outside) and realized she's not going to want to be carried the whole way. *sigh* My mommy heart isn't quite ready for it yet, but looking on the bright side of things I remembered that I had recently set out Becca's tennis shoes from her first spring. So onto Hope's feet they went. Hope looked at them, touched them. I pulled her to her feet and she bent to touch them again. (I think she was worried that her feet had become lost at this point.) I encouraged her to take a step. Which she did then sat down and tapped her little shoed feet together and grinned the biggest grin I have seen out of her. This grin is even bigger than the one she flashes when she sticks her finger up her nose!

So it has begun.

Honey, watch out! There's three of us now!

Other notes from our walk...

Tyler wanted so badly to hold Maverick's leash. So after a little 'coaching' I let him. That boy got the dog to heel! I have never been able to make him heel like he did for Ty. Maybe I ought to see how he does with raising his sisters. Um, no. That's a way scarier thought.

Becca was very disappointed that she didn't get to roll down the hill to the creek we walked to. That is until I pointed out all the duck poo along the way. Princess quickly appeared and was quite satisfied not to pursue that route down to the ducks. She was very pleased with herself for finding several different kinds of seed pods to bring home to her collection. (Which she promptly dropped once we got back in the yard and the swing set/sandbox began calling.)

I have decided to no longer try to take all three kids and a dog on a walk without some sort of conveyance for Hope. Trying to juggle her, seed pods, a dog leash, and watch for cars driving the wrong way on a one way street was a little much!

I'm so thankful for these beautiful days that promise spring is near! I get to plant all my little garden seed this coming week. I'm so excited to get my fingers back into some dirt and start dreaming of ways to turn my muddy, yucky back yard into a thing of beauty soon. Do you think if I click my heals three times and say, "There's no season like spring" it might come a little faster?


Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Aahhh, It's Monday. A new week beginning. Freezing temps outside. Birds are no longer singing. But that okay, Not Me! Monday is here! Yes, it's my favorite blog carnival of all. Created by MckMama, Not me Monday give us all the chance to bare our souls and tell the world what we did *not* do this past week. So if you're brave enough hop on over to her blog, link up, and join the group therapy session - umm, I mean fun!

This past week has not been such a blur of craziness that I can remember almost nothing worth writing about. I am a woman who knows my own mind, keeps a consistent schedule, and doesn't get rattled, so of course I have several stellar examples of my perfection!

This past week I did *not* graciously handle being insulted by both my living grandmothers. The first instance most certainly did not involve her telling me that I got "so huge it looked like you would pop." while pregnant with Hope. The second did *not* involve my dear mamaw telling me that "you can't rely on your grandkids." Furthermore, even if that had happened I would not need to call my sweet sister and yell about it into the phone. I have much more grace than that. I have no shortcomings or weight issues so the above mentioned situations could never apply to me. (Thank God!)

This past weekend we finally got to celebrate Becca's birthday with family. The first party was not delayed by a six day 102 degree fever of her baby sister. On Saturday I did *not* get her cake all decorated, set up the party table, leave the room to get my shower 45 minutes before anyone was to arrive and have the following scenario take place. After getting in the shower, my husband did *not* poke his head in to tell me some family was coming early. I did not hurriedly try to finish only to hear a dog yelping in pain. I did not then grab a towel to wrap in and run out to see what had happened while yelling "Is she okay?" I did not hear my husband say "I just hit her. Look at the cake!" I did not see a half eaten cake sitting there. I did not see my daughter's eyes fill with tears. I did not look behind her through the wide open drapes (remember I was NOT wearing only a towel) and see my grandparents-in-law get out of their car right in front of the house. Nope. Not Me!

The best Not me of my week however isn't really mine at all. This week I most certainly did not receive a call from my oldest sister telling me that her husbands cancer is shrinking in a way they did not believe possible. I did not cry, laugh, yell, or wake my husband to tell him. I did not share the good news with everyone who may or may not know my sister. And I'm not still so excited about what God had done that I'm sharing it with even more people that I may or may not know. Nope, Not ME!

Have a perfect week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Incredible Journey

I have been thinking about getting what I want. Bearing in mind that I already have all of my needs met. I literally cannot think of one thing I need. But it's not the needs that consume me, it my wants. It's part of the American dream, right? (Please note the sarcasm.) However, what has been on my mind isn't new wants. But wants fulfilled.

Would you rewind with me a minute? The new setting is around this time of year, 2005.

Becca was nearing two years old, I knew in my heart our family was not complete. Doug and I began praying and asking God to direct our paths and asking that that path would include another child.

A year passed. No child. Then another. Still no baby.

I sat in Sunday school class every week with a couple that had prayed for a child for years. I had two beautiful (I know I'm biased) children. Did I need more? Was I right in asking God for more? Why were we not being blessed with another child. I prayed. I tried to not care. I tried to find the good in where we were.

We enjoyed Ty and Becca, but my heart still ached for another little one. I wanted to feel those butterfly movements. I wanted to pick a name. I wanted to have the joy of seeing a new soul born into this world. I wanted to watch the firsts - rolling over, sitting up, smiles, rice cereal, mama, dada, baths. My heart was aching. I wanted my child that was not even conceived.

One April day, we found Hope was coming!

The pregnancy was wonderfully terrible. I was elated to have a child growing within me. I was sick for all but eight weeks. She was very vegetarian and I loved the smaller weight gain. I had a midwife who was hard to connect with. She kicked and moved and stretched and had a little personality early. The list could go on...

In the midst of this happy time, something happened that forever has changed me. Because the details do not belong to me, I will not share them here. What started my journey was loss. Loss of innocent life. Loss that to this day I cannot understand. Loss that changed my heart. Loss that made me question God.

In the stillness of the night a baby was born into the arms of Jesus. While I wept, God said to me, "I lost My little Boy too. I loved Him and I gave Him up." It was not the first time I thought of God's sacrifice, or His heart breaking. But it was the first time I could comprehend some portion of his pain.

I got what I wanted. I got my wish, my dream. I got my Hope. I wouldn't trade her for the world, but seeing loss like that for the first time changed me. That change is not yet complete.

Since that time, God has been changing me through a refining fire also known as postpartum depression. With Ty and Becca, I had been able to shove the lessons God was trying to teach me through the birth of our children to the back burner. I struggled with the 'blues' for a few weeks but used my own strength to fight it off. I relied on people instead of God. He had to do something major to get my attention. So in His ever loving way, He brought me back to Him.

The death of an innocent unborn babe made me face what I thought about a God who could allow something like that to happen. I had to decide who I was going to trust. I had to decide what I would chose to believe.

The journey wasn't that clear to me at the start, but that is the basic question it has come to. I had never allowed myself to question God too strongly. I didn't think it right of me to question who He is, what He does. Or any of the other myriad of issues I can't comprehend about God. But through this last year of struggle and joy all intermingled in chaos and confusion, I heard His voice, I felt his hand, I saw His handiwork, I marveled at His character.

I had one thing to decide. Do I trust who He says He is?


I have been through valleys broken by glimpses of sun this past year. I have had days where I did not feel a part of the living. I have had to face dark memories. I have had to forgive the unforgivable. I have had to ask for forgiveness. I have had to beg for help. This valley has not been short or easy or without grief. Nor has it been without purpose or joy or growth.

So I got what I wanted. Sort of. I thought having my third child would look more like more first two. Responsibility tempered with fun. Personal growth without much pain. Growing as a family. Changing as a person. I just thought getting what I wanted would feel better. In a strange way, I'm glad it didn't. I can't say I'd love to go back and do this past year over. But, I'm glad I have had it. I'm thankful for what it has taught me. I'm thankful that I'm not the same person. I'm thankful that I am learning that it is okay to take a hard look at who I am. I'm thankful that I'm learning to take a hard look at who God is. I'm thankful that God cares about my needs more than my comfort. I'm thankful that He gave me my needs and added my want as a bonus.

I know this journey is not over for me. I know there is much that God still needs to refine in my life. I have wrestled with Him for days over this post. I am writing this in obedience to Him. I trust Him. I pray that my feeble words will somehow help someone else as they face a valley. I pray that you too will know the joy and the comfort that comes from trusting the One who knows what you need. And the One who knows how to give the gift of what you want packaged with what you need.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Becca!

Today is Becca's fifth birthday. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time. It seems like no more than a year or two since I first met her. She was so good right from the start. She has a will of iron and a spirit that is soft and sweet. It's such a joy to have her as my daughter.

She challenges me continually. She makes me think, makes me depend on God more, makes me pray. She is always thinking and asking me to think along with her. She feels life so deeply that I pray daily for protection over her spirit. She loves to push her limits so daily I pray for her to live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

She makes me laugh. And she hates it when I laugh at her. She is so funny and doesn't know how to handle it. Becca can say something so straight faced that makes me laugh so hard I have to work to not fall of my chair and she doesn't even crack a smile! Oh, my sweet, funny girl.

She makes me realize again each day what a joy it is to be a true princess. Yes, she is a princess. God's and Daddy's. And she lives it to the fullest. Painted nails are a must. Brushed teeth are not.

She loves those close to her with a passion. She will do anything for her brother and sister. She cares for them so deeply.

Each day when Hope wakes from her nap, she points to Becca's bed. When I put her on it. She crawls to the stuffed animals and picks one out. We go ask Becca is she can have it and she never says no. She never holds it against Tyler when a toy gets broken. She never fails to forgive me when I'm short with her.

She loves to tell people she has a secret. "Jesus loves you!" She whispers into the lucky person's ear. She knows how to grab a heart and never let go.

When she prays, she prays for others. Uncle Jim, Aunt Megan and Marley top her daily list.
As needed she adds others. Right now she is getting worn out with her prayers. She prays for three or four people than sighs, musters her strength and prays on.

What a privilege I have to raise a daughter of the King. What a joy. What a tremendous responsibility. Thank you, Lord for this child.

Happy Birthday, Becca- Boo. Mommy loves you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Free therapy day! Come on over and join this fun blog carnival created by MckMama where we all share things we did *not* do this week. It's so fun to pretend to be perfect :)

Here we go...

This week I did not almost ruin our garbage disposal by trying to run an avocado pit through. Granted it was really on accident, but I certainly did *not* allow the disposal to run for 15 or more seconds while trying to figure out what the clunking was. I also did not just smile guiltily when my husband later remarked on the sounds coming from the disposal when he tried to run it!

Speaking of hubby dear, I did not laugh until I had tears in my eyes when he took a huge bite of steaming hot soup and had to spit it back out. I am way more kindhearted than that. Poor guy. I would always make sure he was okay before I laughed. I also did not ask him if he couldn't see the steam coming up from the food. Definitely not me!

I did not decide on Friday to take our first snow day. I wouldn't even need a snow day since we are a homeschooling family. I would know better than to take one even if the public schools get to and don't have to count the first few out of the allotted days of teaching. I also would never take a snow day when there is no snow falling. Nope! Not me!

Furthermore this week, when the weather hit a balmy 48 degrees I did not bundle the children up and tell hubby we were headed to the park. I would know better since our baby's six day fever had only broken a few hours before. I so did not have cabin fever requiring me to get out of the house or really go crazy. We so did not stay there until dark. We so did not have a blast.
I was not pround of Becca's big sister skills!

Or Tyler's big brother skills!

Or Tyler's photography skills

This totally did not make me more madly in love with my husband!

Neither did this ; )

Did I mention Tyler is never a ham?

After Hope's fever had lasted three days, I was not tired from carrying her. I was not torn between needing to get some dishes clean and caring for her. So, I did not swaddle my 13 month old baby girl when she had a fever and chills. I did not ask Tyler to bring out his bean bag and place my daughter on it. I did not put on her favorite Baby Einstein. I did not let her lay there and watch the movie completely content for the first time in days. And I most certainly did not take pictures of it.
You also are not seeing those pictures posted here.

Just this morning, I did not make our son clean up the dog mess when he forgot to take the dogs out again. I would never just let him clean it up. Even if it was in his bedroom. I certainly would never let him work on it while he is gagging so hard I wonder if I will be cleaning up two messes soon. I wouldn't do that. Not even in the name of natural consequences. Nope. Not Me!

So what have you not been doing this week! Write your own, or leave a comment. I want to find some other *perfect* moms to hang out with.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Praying for Abby

A while back I mentioned a new magazine I found called Serious Life. I found them through a link on MckMama's blog that looked like this.

The Riggs family has seven children. Abby is one of their newest children adopted from Guatemala. She has leukemia and because of a genetic marker she has her survival chance is around 20%. Please pray for their family as she is now in the riskiest part of her treatment. The family's faith and openness during this extremely trying time has been a blessing to me. Although there is pain, there is hope. They have not given up. You can check out their blog by clicking on the picture above. Please remember them in your prayers as she is in a very intense phase right now and is really struggling.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Watching Paint Dry

That's about as exciting as it has been around this house. We had dinner with my father-in-law tonight. After he left to go see Grandma B. in the hospital, Doug and I were just tired. It's the end of a long week. Neither of us have had that much energy to do anything. We have had one wave of sickness after another, it's cold, and we're worn out. (Don't worry, I am going someplace with this.)

The kids on the other hand have cabin fever. They would gladly climb the walls if we would let them. They don't sit. They sit and bounce. They don't walk, they run with thumping feet that would wake the dead (or Hope up from her nap). So as you see, we have a predicament on our hands. Oh, what to do.

We have stopped watching TV for the most part. An occasional show here or there, but it is no longer our evening stand by. Besides, have you checked out regular programming on Friday. It's enough to bankrupt us in therapy bills for the kids. For years! Seriously! What kind of people think this stuff up? So again, what to do?

Luckily for me, I happen to be married to one of the world's most ingenious men. Especially when it comes to entertaining children. Are you ready for this. It's really good.

I have a picture that I stuck in the OUTSIDE of a picture frame because I have been to lazy to take it off the wall and open the frame and place the picture in appropriately. Yes, people, that is the sad truth. So there is the picture hanging out of the edge of the frame looking like it is going to drop any minute. The kids haven't noticed that it has been that way for TWO days. Daddy says, "Let's watch and see if that picture will fall out. Do you know how many other kids have never watched and seen something like that?"

Yes, my children bought it. For ten blessed minutes of bouncing silence, they sat (read bounced on their rears) and watched that picture hoping to see it fall. They thought up all sorts of scenarios. Tried to huff and puff and blow the picture down. All to no avail. Doug kept them interested by pointing out all the possible, fascinating things that might happen to the picture as it fell.

I sat on the couch shaking with laughter. I thought I would burst out, and bring on a meltdown from Becca. The best part to me was when they talked with Daddy and made a date to watch the grass grow next summer.

I'm not sure whether or not I should have posted this. Being a homeschool mom and all it does kind of reflect back on my teaching. I think I'll risk it. It's too funny to keep quiet.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One o'clock, Two o'clock, Three o'clock PUKE

Oh the joys of motherhood. The flu bug has hit our home again. It's times like these I wonder why I didn't stop at after one child. : )

Seriously though, I sometimes wonder what in the world is going on in our home. I think it's all the hospital visits lately. Within two days of taking the kids to see Grandma B. one of them ends up sick. Of course having sick kids is never fun, but this time it gets a little more complicated. Becca's birthday party is supposed to be this weekend. Do I cancel yet? Do I wait and see? Do I not tell anyone and just pray they won't get sick? (I am TOTALLY kidding.)

Times like these make me stop.

I have no choice. I have to stop and be still. Times like these give God a chance to work in my ever impatient heart. Showing me how to be still. How to rest in Him. How to not let my desire to do get in the way of His work. So for now, I sit and wait on Him.

I wish that were true of me everyday, but it just is not. So many days I plan my day and throw a quick prayer over my shoulder asking Him to bless it. Truth told, I don't always do that. I want to. But I so often do the thing I want not to do. I know I'm not alone. Paul spoke of it. Other examples in the Bible and heros of the faith speak of it. But, in times like these when I stop and see how often I leave God out of my day, I am sad. I know He has not left me, but the knowledge that I leave Him hurts. And the worst part for me, is knowing that I hurt Him.

While days like today, and the days we had just a few weeks ago are inconvenient, I am thankful for them. Thankful for the time to stop. To pause. To remember the One that loves me most and rest in the knowledge that He will always be there for me.


On a lighter note, baby girl is getting back on her feet after this last round of sickness. Literally on her feet. Doug said she walked all over the house while I was away at a meeting. (Mom's Night at Panera. Very close to Paradise for me!) I was a little sad to miss all those first steps, but glad Daddy got to see some of it. Ty and Becca are so excited to help. By help read, dangling toys just in front of her to make her walk until Hope screams and they finally relent and give them to her! As I said, I was very glad Daddy got to see some of it.

The changes in Tyler this past year are amazing to me. He has gone from little boy to just plain boy. On Sundays, he no longer wants us to take him to Sunday school. No, he can do it himself. "Just tell me if I'm going to 11:00 am service, Mom." He says it so casually, as though he has been doing this for months, not a few weeks. I'm so proud of him!

Becca is so excited about her birthday coming up. For two whole months she and Ty will only be 1 year apart. She wants the 'pink princess' from the Disney Princesses to be her party theme. I have no idea who this princess is. If you know, would you fill me in? Thanks. Her pink princess party is also to include Mexican food! YUM! She loves guacamole! Daddy love pico so Mexican it is. (Grandma I. tell Grandpa he's missing the black beans!) I'm praying she will have a great time. She's pretty sad Grandma B. won't be able to make it so I'm hoping that the weather will be good and all the other family can be here.

It is time for me to return to all the cleaning I'm avoiding. We do have a birthday party coming after all! I hope you all will find yourselves in a quiet place where you can wait on Him to come meet you this week. Hugs,


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I didn't join the fun of Not Me! Monday last week. It was just too busy, but I didn't want to miss the carnival created by MckMama this week. If you want to join the fun of letting the world know all about what you did *not* do last week hop on over here and play along. Without further ado...

I am totally not excited that I found this new great magazine called Serious Life. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. And I am definitly not excited that they listed my blog! The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics. You can click here to get your free subscription.

This week I most certainly did not feed my baby Life cereal every day for a week. Kids need varied food for nutrition. Even if that is all my daughter would eat I wouldn't feed it to her three times a day just to end a fit! Nope! Not Me!

I did not walk into the girl's room to talk to Ty and Becca and smell a horribly strong detergent smell. When I inquired, my dear sweet children did not pull multiple fabric softener sheets from their pockets and shirts and explain they just wanted to SMELL good! Not in my house!

It did not take me until my baby was 13 months old to leave her with a sitter to be put to bed. Not Me!

On the above mentioned night, my husband and I did not brave a snow storm that was in the process of dumping 12" to go out for a wonderfully fabulous date. I also did not eat steak and ribs on said night. I also did not complain again that I just can't seem to lose my baby weight!

Come join the fun! Tell us how *perfect* your week has been. And if you don't, pop on over to MckMama's and check out all the fabulous bloggers who were brave enough too!