Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I'm sure you remember my blog posts about Todd & Angie Smith's baby daughter that recently was born & passed away. Before her birth, one of the other singers in Selah worked with them & wrote a song that they used at baby Audrey's memorial service. They posted it with this slide show of pictures today on their family's blogsite. It is both beautiful & an incredible tear-jerker. I boo-hoo'd my way through it because the words to the song are so powerful.
This morning was our Pinewood Derby race at church. The girls did great! Both of them had minimally designed/decorated cars, but their little blocks of wood didn't do half bad! Here is Savannah's car, called "Spots". It won 2nd place in the open division (family members of the Royal Rangers & Missionettes could enter this category, so she was racing against adults & siblings). Way to go, Spots!
This is Sarah's car, called "The Pink Flash". She only lost 2 races all day, but apparently there were other cars who won all their races or just lost once with better times than her, because she didn't place, but she did get a participation ribbon & certificate. She was a little bummed about that, but she still had fun.
And to illustrate the JOY that was Savannah today....
Sorry for the blurred pic. She was up late last night & got a little sunburned (see her cheeks & nose?) so she was a real thrill to hang out with today. This pic was AFTER they got their awards...even that didn't make her smile. She said it made her face hurt to smile, so she didn't all day. :::sigh:::
Friday, April 25, 2008
For the past week at work, my class has been learning about Texas. We've made bluebonnets from blue-dyed popcorn, colored the Texas flag, made "fancy" cowboy hats and boots, tasted Pecans (the state tree) and lots of other fun things. Thursday and today, the whole school celebrated our "Texas" week by having Chuckwagon days. For this event, a local ranch/farm brings all sorts of animals to the school. There are horses to paint, ducks & chickens to look at, a giant turkey that the kids enjoy teasing to make it gobble loudly, a sweet little baby calf, a pony to ride, goats & baby goats, bunnies, a black sheep...you name it, it's there. We also had games set up---Texas sized bubbles to blow, horseshoe toss, stick horse races and a "cow" to milk. The kids also get to have a picnic outside with hotdogs & treats. The school goes all out on this & the kids love it! While I can't post pics of the kids in my class, I can post pictures where there might be a random kid walking through the picture....or pics of my class from the back. I would not want to endanger the safety of my kids by having their faces showing, so I'm going to share selectively. These are a few of the pics I took yesterday & today.
Here are the animals.
And some of the games....here, the kids were panning for gold:
And milking the "cow":
Today, Savannah's 6th grade band group went to their very first competition. They went to a place in the Dallas area called Sandy Lake. It's an amusement park. After the competition, they were allowed to spend the day riding the rides & having fun. Larry went as a chaperone, as did my brother in law (remember, my niece is the same age as Savannah--they're only 23 days apart in age!). The 4 of them had a ball. And to make the day even better--they got a First Division rating for their performance! Way to go, Holloway Band!!!!!!!!
Tonight, Samuel went to a birthday party. The little boy had a carnival in his backyard. They did a really good job of making all the booths & games ---no giant expenses! He had a blast & came home with a "face painting" that some how went all the way down both arms & on his neck....as well as his face. Goober!
While he was at the party & Savannah and Larry were on the band trip, Sarah & I had a mom and me date. It was fun to have some one on one time with her. We went to Target & had a very fancy dinner in the little cafe there. I think I spent $4.33 on our meal. :) Then we moved into the store where we printed out a baby registry for a lady at church & selected her gift. Afterward, Sarah wanted to spend some of her money she's saved. She found a cute little toy laptop computer. She actually picked out this very toy on the Walmart website not too long ago, but then changed her mind. It's really too "young" for her, but she has played with it ever since we left the store. This is it: http://www.amazon.com/VTech-Tote-Go-Laptop-Plus/dp/B000E1PY6U. When we left, we pulled through the Braum's drive through & picked up a couple of cones. Yeah...we live life on the edge. :)
Tomorrow morning, Larry & Samuel will leave on their first Cub Scout campout and the girls and I will go to the church for the Pinewood Derby race. Why, you ask? Because they're racing their very own pink & purple cars. Girl Power!!!!! :)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Last summer, our church decided to have our Sunday night services in the gym. It was real informal. The services were short & we spent some time each week in prayer as a group for different topics. One week, a lady brought her daughter to the front for prayer. The daughter was in her early 20s & was recently out of the drug/alcohol/trouble lifestyle. She was visiting her mom from out of town. The daughter was about 10-11 weeks pregnant at the time & had just found out a few days prior that the baby was dead. The doctor suggested that if she did not pass the baby naturally, they would have to do a D&C. The mom brought her forward to be prayed for---that her body would do this on its own and that she would not need the procedure. The church prayed for her. Many prayed for the natural miscarriage, some prayed for peace & comfort for the lady and her mother. The very next day the girl went to the hospital here in Tyler while still visiting her mother because she was having cramps and (seemingly) beginning to naturally miscarry the baby. However, what they found at the hospital was the big surprise....the baby was ALIVE!
Now, initially my response (and I'm sure that of soooo many others) was that maybe the original ultrasound was incorrect or maybe they misunderstood or whatever. I mean...dead babies don't just come back to life, right?
That little girl was born in January. Larry drove to Dallas to see her when she was born. This morning, her parents came to our church from Ft. Worth to dedicate the baby to the Lord.
Before they came on the stage, the pastor showed the whole church the ultrasound reports & had a nurse from the clinic where the lady was treated come up & interpret them to the congregation. The reports said the amniotic sac was not formed, that the cord was detached from the baby already, that there was no heartbeat...in full, fetal demise. That same nurse confirmed that this was NOT a 2nd pregnancy --this was not a 2nd baby that was born, but indeed the same baby...the dates from the original ultrasound (when the baby was declared dead) verify that this is the same child. The little girl was born full term within 10 days of the date on the first ultrasound given as the due date.
Praise the Lord! What an exciting baby dedication!!!
And yet, through all the joy of the morning, I wondered how many moms sat in the congregation, hands on their bellies, wondering why they too weren't given a miracle. How many ladies sat in silent tears watching the excitement in the eyes of this young couple on stage while mourning the fact that their baby was declared dead--and they miscarried or had a D&C? How many more are living a life after abortion, grieving the choice they made and the life that was lost so long ago? God is indeed sovereign & knows the joy of that family on stage and the heartache of those in the audience who lost a child. He knows the intensity of that pain and the intensity of the other family's happiness.
I challenge you to let down your guard....be transparent to all of those around you. Allow them to see the deepest part of your soul, the place where joy or grief resides. It is in those places and in those moments that we are the greatest ministers to one another. Have you experienced that pain & sorrow? Have you seen God's hands at work, handing you miracle after miracle in your life?
I think a man at church tonight summed it up best. Preachers want to do lengthy sermons on living from "victory to victory", but you must remember that living that way means also going through "battle after battle". You can't have a victory without a battle. Allow the soldiers of the Lord fight that battle with you, let them celebrate your victory with you when the war is over. And be ever mindful that the next battle is just around the corner. Don't get complacent about your relationship with the Lord.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Ok, first off...many of you have emailed me with questions/comments/suggestions about my morning nausea thing. Thanks for all the ideas!! I think I finally got it figured out! I tried the OJ (instead of milk) earlier this week & it didn't help. Nothing changed...I was still queasy every day after breakfast. It didn't hit me til later this week that I might be dealing with nausea from taking a handful of vitamins/supplements every morning. It struck me that when I was pregnant each time, the OB would always suggest taking the prenatal vitamin at nighttime if it made you queasy in the morning. Apparently that's a pretty common thing for many people--not just pregnant ladies. Anyway, I gave it a shot one day & it worked! No nausea! Every day since then, I've taken everything but the multi-vitamin in the morning & then I take it at night. Problem solved! Yahoo! I'm glad, too. I sure was getting sick of feeling nasty in the mornings, even if it was only for a few minutes.
Last Sunday was the last day for one of the guys on staff at our church. Mike & Angeline McMullin were hired on the same day that we were in mid-December 2004. The guys both 'officially' came on staff January 3, 2005. It was from that point forward that Larry & Mike and Angeline & I were fast friends. Larry & Mike hit it off right away, sharing plenty of office jokes and work lunches over the years. Angeline & I were in MOPS together and had a lot of fun getting to know each other. In January, they were both offered positions with Lee University (the denomination's seminary & university in Tennessee). While it was a complete surprise for both of them --neither were LOOKING for a job-- it was a blessing. These jobs would put them back at "home", near their families and in a place they've lived before. They accepted positions in TN and Angeline moved back in early February. Mike stayed here to work on selling the house & to be a part of the worship conference we had earlier this month. And so, last week, he preached his last sermon from our pulpit, packed up his office and made the move. We were sad to see them go! Sure will miss you guys....
Larry's been in a smaller office at the church since he was hired & has always hoped to eventually move to a larger one. While hehated to have Mike move away, his office was larger, so this week, we made the move. On Monday, after Mike had a chance to pack up all his goodies, Larry moved in. The kids & I went up Monday evening & helped him hang pictures & diplomas. This is his old office, looking in from the doorway.
To the right of the doorway, he had allllll these books:
That's just a tiny portion of the shelves...they wouldn't all fit into the picture. Anyway, you can see why he's so tickled to have ALL THESE SHELVES now! (That's Sarah sitting at the desk playing on the computer while this was still technically Mike's office---those are his diplomas on the wall! Don't worry Mike...we didn't move anything in until after you had emptied it all out.)
Early Tuesday morning, Larry slipped away to Martin's Lake State Park (or something like that...Martin's Creek, maybe?) outside Longview, TX. About once a year, he sneaks away for a little private retreat...just him & God. No one goes with him, he turns off his cell phone and tries to just spend a lot of time in the presence of the Lord. Being in ministry is absolutely his heart's desire & the job he was created for...but it can be very draining, so once in a while he takes a break & spends time getting "refueled" by God. He loved the place he stayed & came home feeling refreshed & relaxed. This is where he went: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/martin_creek/
He came home late Wednesday afternoon & since he was still "off" work, we decided to spend the evening as a family instead of the kids and I going to church as we would usually do. We made a picnic & headed for the park. We ate supper and then had fun (all of us) on the see-saws & slides & swings and such. While we were there, Samuel went down the fireman pole a million times. One time, he got about 2/3 of the way down when he lost his grip & fell the rest of the way. He landed on his feet with 1 of his ankles slightly turned in and while he didn't cry or scream, he got up & limped to us, obviously injured. My first instinct was that his ankle was hurt, so I yanked off his shoe & sock to see if it was OK. There was no bruise, no swelling, no bones poking out. He said his knee on that leg hurt, but since he had on jeans, I couldn't see it there at the park. It was time to head home anyway, so we just left. He could walk on it, but that night & all day Thursday, he continued to complain that his knee hurt. It didn't seem swollen or anything either, so we gave him Ibuprofen & iced it until his already scheduled well visit w/ the pediatrician Friday morning. The doc looked at it & even did some Xrays. The doc thought his patella (kneecap) was broken, but when the radiologists and orthopedists at the hospital looked at the Xrays, they decided it was not. Whew! Turns out, he had some fluid built up in there, but that was it. Thankfully he seems to be totally recovered now.
As to that well visit---Samuel & Sarah both had a check up that morning. They're both totally healthy & doing fine. Samuel (8 yr old) weighed 46.4 lbs & is 44.25" tall. Sarah (7 yr old) was 59 lbs & is 46.5" tall. Both of them are right where they should be according to the growth curve chart thing the doc does.
Today was a busy day for us. Lots to be done! We got up about 8:30 and Larry headed outside to mow & weedeat. Samuel decided to join him....and ended up doing the mowing. While his job was not exactly stellar, he did a pretty decent job....even though the lawn mower is quite a bit taller than him!
While I did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen & began the laundry, Savannah did a little vacuuming.
I think Samuel smelled the cookies baking & so he came inside to check out their progress. He set up his Spy Gear alarm system around the cooling cookies & even made a sign that said "don't touch". ha ha! Silly kid!
Afterward, he & Sarah helped with the laundry. Of course, he can't reach into the washing machine to give her the wet stuff without climbing on top.
After the morning chores were done, we took a break to eat lunch & then it was time to give King a bath. He needed it! He was sooo good about it though. He never tried to run off or jump around. He just stood there & let us hose him down, soap him up & rinse him off. After that, he really enjoyed the towel drying & brushing he got!
We stopped for a mid-day rest time/nap & then got up and got everyone bathed, dressed & fed and went to a wedding. Congratulations Bryan & Natalie! The wedding was beautiful.
When we got home, the kids thought it was great fun to chase each other around the house with Samuel's spy gear stuff (the same little alarm system he used to 'guard' the cookies earlier today).
It was pretty funny to watch them setting off the alarm on purpose so that it would shoot the darts out at a sibling. (Don't worry...the darts have rubber tips on them.)
By the night's end, the kids were climbing the walls......
.....so we put them to bed. It had been a very full day, so hopefully sleep did not allude them for long.
Monday, April 14, 2008
On Friday night, Savannah had my niece over to spend the night. They had a great time staying up late & talking, watching movies & hanging out. On Saturday, Larry decided to take them to Putt-Putt. I stayed home to work on purging the kids' closets of winter clothes. See, the truth is...about 2 weeks ago, we brought in the boxes of spring/summer clothes & got them all out to go into the kids' rooms. I spent an entire day with all the kids trying on clothes, seeing what fits & what doesn't. Tossing things that they don't like or things that aren't in style or whatever. And then the weather turned cool on us again, so the clothes just sat. In my bedroom floor. They don't have enough hangers or room in their closets for both fall/winter & spring/summer clothes, and if they got taken to their rooms they would just lay in the floor & get tromped on....and so they sat. I'm not sure what the brilliance was in my plan b/c they just sat on my floor getting stomped on. Oh well. Anyway, on Saturday, I finally bit the bullet & moved them to the kids' rooms. I went through their closets & pulled out all the "deep winter" stuff---turtlenecks, thick coats, big sweatshirts, that sort of thing. I left them a few long sleeved shirts & a couple little jackets, but took everything else out. And of course no sooner than I did that, it was cool again today. Ugh...Murphy's Law I guess. Oh well...they can wear short sleeves w/ a jacket.
After they got home from Putt-Putt yesterday, my niece went home, Samuel went to a friend's house for a swim party (yes, it's warm enough to swim yesterday and cool enough for a jacket today...this is Texas after all). The rest of us rested for a while & then took Sarah to a party at Jumpin' Jacks Party Shack after picking Samuel up. He got a little sunburned, poor kiddo...and was feeling kinda rough today from it, but all in all he had a good time.
Ok, now for my weird day today. Back in January, I started having this weird thing in the mornings...nausea almost daily. We joked about me being pregnant (which I might add is not funny at all-ha ha!), but when that little joke was determined false, I wondered why I was feeling queasy in the mornings. I had eaten oatmeal every day for a while (after a long time of NOT eating oatmeal) so I wondered if it was the oatmeal--of course I wasn't sure why that would bother me, but it was the only "new" thing I could think of. I quit eating oatmeal & it seemed to pass. Early in February, I had a morning where I got sick to my stomach after eating eggs for breakfast & I wondered if the eggs were bad. I never figured that one out and I was fine afterwards, so I blew it off again. In the past few weeks, though, it's happening again. Very often after breakfast I feel nauseated. A few weeks ago, I got a gallon of orange juice at the grocery store & it hit me by mid-week that on the days I drank orange juice (instead of my usual beloved milk with breakfast) I didn't feel queasy. Hmm.... when the OJ ran out, I didn't get more right away & the queasy mornings returned. This morning it struck again--after pancakes & milk, I had to go running to the bathroom to lose my breakfast (sorry...TMI). I was tired anyway, so I called Larry & told him that the kids and I were staying home from church. I crawled back into bed & slept til noon. By the time I woke up, I felt better and the kids had enjoyed a nice morning of movies & games. Somehow, my being sickly always brings out the best in them---sweet behavior, good manners, treating each other so kindly....Hmm, maybe I should get sick more often. (ha ha) Larry came home from church & we took our usual Sunday afternoon nap (another couple of hours). By the time I got up from that, I figured out that I'd slept roughly 6 hours today. I think I've got the morning nausea pinned down to drinking milk in the mornings, so tomorrow I'm going to have OJ again & see if that fixes the problem. I have no idea why milk would be the issue, but it seems to be the only constant in the mornings that I'm feeling queasy. One way or the other, I may be up late tonight (it's already nearly midnight) after sleeping so much today.
Tomorrow, Monday April 14, my oldest nephew will turn 21. Sure I was only 11 when he was born, but really...21? I'm getting old. After all, I was just 21 myself yesterday, right? Happy Birthday Cory. I love you. You'll always be my "first baby". It's hard to believe that you're a grown man now. Don't blink. Before ya know it, you'll be old, too. (grin)
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
You know, I love having a son. One of the coolest things is being able to see things through the eyes of a little boy. The curiosity & excitement, inquisitiveness & energy. It's a special thing to have a little boy in your home. Larry loves it, too. It gives him someone to talk about body functions & noises with. Someone to build things with and laugh about "boy stuff" with. Someone who likes to watch boxing matches & fishing shows with. I love being the mom to a boy.
Tonight they had one of those nice father/son moments. Now I have to tell ya... my husband can do things at bedtime that I don't usually do. By bedtime, I'm pretty tired & you'll typically find me kissing & hugging and telling them goodnight, but if they need much more than that from me, I get irritated because I'm ready to go relax a while & pass out myself. I'm pretty much a "shut up & go to bed & get quiet" kind of girl. Larry on the other hand, will sit down & launch into silly stories using the stuffed animals on their bed as characters in the plot. The kids love it. Tonight's storytime with Samuel was particularly....unique.
I came into the room & stood at the doorway for a while, relishing in the sweet moment they were sharing. Neither of them knew I was there, so I just stood to listen. Larry was using the big stuffed mouse on Samuel's bed as a character tonight & the story went something like this:
"You see, Supermouse only became super when he ate the super cheese. He found the super cheese & it made him grow really big. So Supermouse was living in the house with these people & when he got big, he decided to take over the house. He chewed holes through walls (loud chewing noises), he jumped on their furniture & broke it (crashing sound effects). He climbed into their fridge & took all the food (munching sounds). The people moved out of the house because they were afraid of the Supermouse. Supermouse took over everything & lived there so long they started delivering mail to him. He was a giant mouse & all the other mice in the neighborhood liked coming to hang out at his house. And then one day, Supermouse realized he was so big because he hadn't pooped in 3 years. So he went to the potty & had a big Superpoop (loud body noise sound effects here) & after that, he went back to being a regular sized mouse. The end."
The hysterical laughter coming from Samuel's bed told me he delighted in the lovely, cultural, sweet storytelling abilities of his father, but I was a little grossed out. I asked Larry if this was the only story he'd told tonight. Samuel laughed & told me that it wasn't. Larry agreed & said that he'd told the story of 2 rabbits (stuffed ones on the bed) who converged in a wood. One took the wide path, but the other took the one less travelled & that made all the difference. (groan) And he also told Samuel the story of the dog (another stuffed animal) who didn't invest wisely in a 401K plan and suffered in mounds of debt until his death.
Ah, yes........I can always trust my children's bedtime stories to my husband. (can you hear me laughing from there?)
As Larry & I left the room giggling, Samuel hollered out to me "Hey mama....don't let the big bugs bike."
Umm....yes, dear. I'll watch out for the big bugs.
(& people wonder where Samuel gets his wacky sense of humor..........)
Monday, April 7, 2008
Mercy Me "Bring the Rain" lyrics:
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain
I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
I'm forever singing
[2nd Chorus 2x]
Holy holy holy
you are holy
you are holy
[2nd Chorus 2x]
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I keep hearing the kids talk about their "clubhouses" in the backyard. They're forever "building" a new fort/clubhouse, so it's funny to go out now and then & find their creations. Today I checked out Samuel's. This is what I found. It's behind the storage shed. From one end of the shed, this is what you can see:
See the chair back there?
And from the other end of the shed:
ha ha! He has the chair, a skateboard & helmet, 2 baseballs & a bat back there. And on the back of the shed, there is a sign he made that says "Forist Men clubhouse". I just love their imaginations!
I also got some pics of King while I was out in the yard. Who could resist this sweet face?
This is the same child who ran screaming from every dog 6 weeks ago. King has reallyyyyyyyy helped with her doggie fear. She's still not thrilled about little jumpy dogs (to tell ya the truth, I'm not a big fan of them myself) but she's doing sooo much better. She LOVES King & enjoys helping take care of him. (well...except when it's her turn to clean up after him, if ya know what I mean)
Isn't this beautiful?
See that pretty starburst shape from the sun coming through the branches? And some people don't believe in God. I'm not sure how....just look around at the beauty of His creation!