Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm convinced...

I'm convinced that I married the most spectacular man in history.
I'm convinced that I have three of the best kids in the world!
I'm convinced that I am loved by so many people, close friends & family.
I'm convinced that I am at my best when I am on my knees crying out to a holy God.
I'm convinced that I am who I am because of my holy God.
I'm convinced that living a life that points to ONLY Him is all that really matters.
I'm convinced that trusting Him & obeying Him is the only way to do that.


This morning was our last Sunday at our church.

Larry wasn't fired. He didn't have an affair or steal money from the church. He didn't get into a fist fight with the senior pastor. We weren't asked to leave. (figured I better get all of that out of the way before someone asked!) We made the choice to leave. Well....God made that choice, rather. We're just being obediant and doing what we've been asked to do.

Somehow no matter how much a decision is bathed in prayer & no matter how much peace HE has given, it's still hard to go through a change in life, isn't it? Especially when it's a big one like this! Not only will we be changing jobs, we're changing churches. Usually when we've been through a "big thing" in life, it's our church body that holds us up & prays us through. With this "big thing", we do have our church praying for us but it will be from afar.

This morning, our pastor waited until the very last thing before he announced to the church that we were going to be leaving. He spoke very sweet, heart-felt words and left most of the crowd with tear-filled eyes (myself included). He prayed for us & then asked the ushers to come forward & collect a love offering. While the offering was passed, we returned to our seats & looked up to see a crowd moving toward us. It was so sweet because these people were getting up from their pews, disregarding the fact that church was still going on & coming to hug us and tell us how much they love us...and how much we'll be missed. As we hugged necks, the line grew. Before we knew it, there were at least 50-60 people in line waiting to show us that they love us. Church ended somewhere during that time & the line remained....and grew. Church lets out at about 12:00. It was 12:45 before we left the sanctuary. Wow. It was so very humbling to see how many people cared, but it was hard to see so many tears from people who are heartbroken that we're leaving. It was a complete shock & surprise to the majority of the congregation (only the elders & other guys on staff knew before today), so most of them were coming to us with wide eyes & shocked expressions on their faces. All I can say is "wow". It does my heart good to know how much we're loved.

We wrote the following letter to our church members so that they can read all the details for themself. I'm including it here because it seems like the easiest way to convey all that has happened & where we're going now. Thanks in advance for your prayers. We appreciate & covet every one of them!

Dear Rose Heights friends,

This is a letter we're sharing with all our friends from Rose Heights Church of God as the emails & phone calls & texts come pouring in. Please forgive us for sharing it like this, in such a mass email sort of way...but it's so much easier than typing & re-typing it a hundred times.

January 1, 2005-- Larry officially came on staff at RH as Singles Pastor. For all of 2005 & 2006, we adored spending time with the singles & single parents. Not only did Larry serve in the pastor role, but Liz grew attached to so many of the group. Lots of sweet relationships were formed. DivorceCare was first launched, our first 2 Thanksgiving dinners for the Salvation Army residents were served, and the Hurricane Rita shelter came & went. During these 2 years, Larry taught the SALT (older singles) Sunday school class and One Life (younger singles) Wednesday night Bible study class. We also did lots of other projects and fellowships together.

January 1, 2007-- Larry was renamed the Outreach Pastor. For all of 2007 & 2008, he served in this capacity & we loved it. We missed the relationships and time spent with singles, but we were content with this new season God had moved us into. Every month there was a new way to serve others, reach out & touch the community and share Jesus with the lost. GriefShare, DivorceCare for Kids, Bean Fest at the King's Storehouse, PATH collections, and so many other great things began during this time. During these 2 years, Larry taught several Sunday school classes including The Blend, New Believers and Young Married. Larry spent lots of time at hospitals, funeral homes and hospice facilities. He also took care of all visitor & altar follow-up. Serving as Outreach Pastor was right up Larry's alley.

January 1, 2009-- Larry's job changed again, this time to Church Ministries & Outreach Pastor. Many new things fell into Larry's job description. Because this position is still so new to him, it's hard to say a lot about it at this time, but suffice it to say, Larry continued to enjoy serving the RH family.

For about the last year, Larry & I realized that our season at RH was coming to an end. We have struggled with feeling like our time here was coming to a close for quite some time now but when God shut the door & said "you're done", it was undeniable and we knew it was time to move on and allow someone else to step in. We did not immediately seek out another job in ministry because it would mean relocating our family. We highly desire to keep our kids in the same school for all of their K-12 years if possible. Larry and I both spent our school years in the same school. Providing this for our kids is very important to us.

We made the choice not to look at local churches (for a job) because we did not want to run the risk of having people from RH leave to follow us elsewhere. This has happened several times in the past decade at Rose Heights and it was not our intention to break away & start a new church as other pastors have done. The last thing Larry or I would ever do is to hurt RH. And so, Larry sought employment in his other "mission field" -- law enforcement. The pay is less and the hours are not as flexible, but it is the most suitable option for a local job change.

Larry has been hired to work by the state of Texas. He will work in Jacksonville and we hope that, at some point, a Tyler office position will come open and he can transfer here. In the meantime, Jacksonville is less than a 1/2 hour drive from our house in Whitehouse, so it's do-able.

We are still in touch with friends from our previous church home so we may go back there for now. We are unsure of what the future holds for us church-wise. We may visit our old church & discover that it's no longer "home", in which case we will seek out a home at one of the other million churches in Tyler.

As far as future ministry goes, we are going to wait on God's call for that. We are absolutely NOT ruling out the possibility of full time ministry for life, but for now God has asked us to pull back & take a break and just be fed. We will wait & watch as He directs our paths.

The kids will miss their friends & teachers at Rose Heights. We will miss all the of the wonderful people who have prayed for us, taken care of us (both figuratively & literally), loved on us and treated us like family these last 4+ years. We will always remember our time at RH fondly. Thank you for loving us and making us feel right at home from the get-go. Please keep in touch. You can find Larry or I on Facebook, our blogs, by email or phone.

Much love & loads of memories,
Liz Reeves

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Samuel!

I posted this last year & can't figure out a better way to share Samuel's birth story with you. Take a look & enjoy the day our sweet boy was born with me.

I can't imagine having only little girls in my house. Sure, I love the frilly ruffled tights of baby girls & the pink fingernail polish & teddy bears and all the things that go along with having little ladies. But what would my life be without trucks & cars & pocketknives & dirty little fingernails? A life without burps & fart noises & butt jokes? A life without constant noises & silly stories? Oh yes..... it would be pretty sad indeed.

I love it when you crawl into bed with me in the early morning & tell me that my breath smells like roses.....and when you snuggle into the crook of my arm at 4:30am to ask if you can go watch cartoons yet.....and when you tell me that I'm NOT fat or old or whatever other not-so-nice thing comes up that I'm thinking about myself. I love it when you tell me I make the very best PB&J ever.....and when you tell me jokes that make me roll my eyes or laugh hysterically.

You are such a sweet treasure. I love you!! Happy Birthday baby boy! I can't believe it's already been 9 years!

Love, Mom


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Such a sweet story!

I know there have been other similar stories, but please take 2 min to watch this one. It's so sweet!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what to post, what to post....

I've looked at my blog link (in my favorites) every night these last few days & I can't figure out what to write. It's not that I'm having writer's block...I'm just not sure what I can talk about because we've got a lot going on right now.

Suffice it to say, we could use your prayers. So without having all the details, please say a prayer for us when you read this. I would really appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beef & Barley Soup

Tonight's dinner was a hit, so I decided to share the recipe. Yum!!

1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat (I used 1 lb. of ground deer instead)
1 T. canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 c. chopped onion (I was out, so I used about 1/4 c. dried minced onion)
1 c. diced celery
1 c. sliced fresh carrots
1/2 c. chopped green pepper (I left this out b/c none of us like it)
4 c. beef broth
2 c. water
1 1/2 c. spaghetti sauce
2/3 c. medium pearl barley (I used some from a box of instant barley--I have no idea what 'medium pearl' means)
1 T. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil (I was out)
3/4 tsp. pepper

Brown the meat.
Mix everything together in a big pot & bring to a full rolling boil for about 5-10 min. Cover & remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
(Original recipe called for using the crockpot, but I didn't get the ingredients put together & ready to do it this morning, so I cooked it on the stove & it was great!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Following God's lead...

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus,
’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night
and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus,
’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t you be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

So hold me Jesus,
’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t you be my Prince of Peace(4x)

You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace?

(Scroll to the bottom & mute the music player.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Gorgeous Kids

If you're on Facebook, you've already seen these. I took them this afternoon & think they're such great pictures. Not to mention the stunning kids in them. :)

Savannah, 12yr 7mo

Samuel 9yr old in one week!

Sarah 8yr 1mo

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I learned from the best

In my family, there is the mechanic/jack of all trades guy (my dad). There is the homeschooling mom of 5 who is soon to become a grandma for the first time (my older sister). There is the layed back mom of 2 bio kids & 2 adopted babies who has a really cool background in social work (my other sister). And there is the garage sale queen--my mom!

Seriously, the woman can find ANYTHING at garage sales. If you need a 1972 avocado green blender w/ a broken pulse button, just let her know & next week, you'll have one. Need some size 10 jeans for your child? Done. Need some white dress shoes in an 8 wide? Check! We joke about her "duds" that she finds once in a while, but for the most part, you can give her an "assignment" to find something in particular & she usually can! For years now, she's brought me bags of clothes for the kids on a monthly basis, mostly bargains she found at garage sales. Sometimes they're not quite right, but hey, for 50 cents you can have a few 'not quite rights' along the way.

This morning, the girls & I got to go along with the garage sale queen for a day of treasure hunting & boy did I find some treasures! Let me show you what all I found & then I'll tell you how much I spent. :)

I found a cute striped shirt for Samuel & a swingy black skirt for Savannah.

I got Sarah a new pair of rollerblades which she wore almost non-stop for the remainder of the day!

I got a new egg poacher & a cool foot massager.

I got 2 books for Samuel & 1 for myself and a James Taylor CD.

I got 2 shirts for Larry.

I got a really cool picnic basket (I've always wanted one!). I got a BRAND NEW "I love the 80s" game for Larry & I to play and Outburst Junior for the kids to play. (although I suspect that we'll be playing it w/ them!)
So, how much do you think I spent?
Let's add up a few things. Those 2 games would cost about $10-15 a piece in the store. Nice picnic baskets go for $10-30, depending on what's in them. The 2 shirts for Larry would run $10-20 a piece in the store. The CD is an older one so I probably could've found it in the $5 bargain bin of CDs at Walmart. The 2 books for Samuel would run about $3/each and the book I bought (it's brand new) would've been $6.97 in the store (the price is on it). The egg poacher I have now was about $5 when I bought it, so I'm guessing that the new one (it's brand new!) would've been slightly more b/c it cooks 3 eggs at a time. The little massager thing would've probably been in the $5-10 range. Rollerblades are about $20-40 in the store, depending on the type/brand/size/style. The shirt & the skirt would've been $8-15 a piece in the store.
Those prices add up to quite a bit, doesn't they?
I spent $14.50 for the whole batch of stuff!!! WOO HOO!

Yes, I learned from the master. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Clearly we have toothbrush issues over here.

Last week, we all went to the dentist & had our teeth cleaned. The dentist gave everyone a new toothbrush. When we got home, we realized that we ALL had gotten the same size/type of toothbrush. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. The toothbrushes were FREE after all, but it's just odd (to me) that a couple of 8 year olds would get the same size toothbrush as an adult. I suppose they all do the same job, but I wanted something a little more sizable myself. Oh well, I thought. I'll just use it. No big deal.

Ok, so a week goes by & I'm still unhappy with my new (free!) toothbrush. Last night when I went to the grocery store, I planned to buy myself a new one. On my way out, Larry asked me to get him one, too. He too, was not entirely pleased with the little kid-size brush he'd received.

I went to the store & bought a 2 pack of toothbrushes in a more adult-sized variety. They were 2 different colors, so I figured it would be easy to tell them apart. When I got home, I told Larry:

"ok, there are 2 toothbrushes. One is YELLOW & one is GREEN. I'm going to use the YELLOW one. If you can't remember, just think of me...your sunshine, your light, the yellow-bellied, pansy wife of yours."

Fast forward an hour. I went to brush my teeth before bed & found the YELLOW toothbrush was wet. Hmm...apparently hubby didn't understand my word association game that I'd instructed him in. Ok, so I'll use the GREEN one then! I made a mental note that I no longer "owned" the YELLOW one & was officially switching to the GREEN. I used the green toothbrush & went to bed. Larry was already snoring, so I couldn't tell him about the error he'd made.

This morning, we took the kids to school & then I came back to finish getting ready before work. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. You know what? The GREEN toothbrush was wet & laying next to the sink (obviously used by my sweetie this morning). When I quit feeling frustrated (about 20 seconds later), I had a good laugh and thought to myself "ok, I've gotta nail him down on which one he wants to use!". I ended up using the YELLOW toothbrush & got out the door to work.

Tonight, Larry went into the bathroom to take a shower & brush his teeth. He came to the door & said "Liz? Which one of these toothbrushes did you say was mine?"


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brian is home.

About a month ago, I introduced you to Angie O'Niell's blog "Keep Believing".
A few days ago I asked you to pray for her & her family again.

This morning, Brian is in Heaven. He fought the good fight & ran the race.

Post #2

SAMUEL PASSED THE TAKS TEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Post #1--March 16, 2009

In some ways, time has flown by. Today marks 2 years since A&K left.

In some ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. In other ways, it was just yesterday. Their fingerprints will forever be on my heart.

In playing Clue the other night, Sarah got all giddy about one particular move she made and her response looked & sounded JUST LIKE Kourtney. I pointed it out to Larry & he saw it too. Once in a while, Samuel makes a face that looks JUST LIKE Andrew. I see their likenesses and personalities in my kids. I see toys & books and things they gave to my kids before they left. I have a box of keepsakes in my closet. I try not to look at them too often because I just sob & cry when I do. I get little glimpses now & then of what life was like when they were here that make me smile with sweet memories....and others that make me tear up without a moment's notice.

I know we did everything we could to 'fix things' for them. I absolutely positively know that we made the right choices in bringing them into our home & then taking them out. I know that God honors what we did, the investment we made in their lives. I know He is sovereign & will be with them, in their hearts & in the back of their minds forever. I know all that. Really, sincerely I do.

But this mama-heart of mine still breaks. I miss them. I miss snuggling with Andrew at night and listening to his stories of the projects he was working on with his dad. I miss bedtime hugs & kisses with Kourtney and all her wonderfulness. I miss hugs & kisses & wiping away tears. I don't miss the struggles & the fear & the life lived on the edge of my seat and the nervousness of who might *snap* and hurt someone. But man do I miss them.

I went back in the blog to see what I posted just before/after they left. This is what I found, and what I will leave you with tonight.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I guess I can tell ya now....
I don't really want to go into details on the website, so forgive me for this being somewhat vague.
This weekend, we realized that we must find a new home for Andrew. We have ended up making the choice to move Andrew & Kourtney together as it is always best to keep siblings united.
This has been the most painful horrific few days since the decision was made. Their uncle (on their mom's side of the family) will be coming to get them Friday. We have a very limited time left with them and the sadness of the situation is nearly unbearable. I'll explain more later, or you can call/email me for more info.
Please continue to pray for us.

Sunday, March 18, 2007
I'm's hard, but I'm clinging to this:
From Psalm 139:
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Sunday, March 18, 2007
...and to this....
Psalm 23 (The Message)
1-3 God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. 6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

Friday, March 23, 2007
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

I read this & kept having to re-read it this morning. I can only think of two things here. When I rejoice over my kids with singing, it's usually something like the potty dance...when we were potty training one of them & when they were successful we all danced & cheered & sang the "potty song"--you know, the impromptu Hooray for you type of things we do as parents.......or the times when they make a good grade on a test they've reallyyyy had to study hard for & we shout & cheer and jump around & sing. Ya know? And it also reminds me of how I sing & rejoice to God when I feel blessed. And so... somehow I'm supposed to grasp that GOD rejoices over me with SINGING?! HE sings about me? HE is rejoicing over me? Sure, it's may not be the potty song & dance (ha ha!!!) but He is rejoicing over me! Wow. How does that work? Let me see if I can get this straight.

He was sitting up in Heaven one day a bazillion years ago & decided to create the earth & human beings. He tossed around some ideas & SPOKE them into being. He made the sun & moon, put them into orbit, fashioned some stars & fixed them to the sky. He pulls the water in & out from the shore line and tells the animals what sounds to make and where to sleep at night. He decided to create some people, so he took a little dust & made a man. He intricately developed our nerves & cells & blood vessels & set our hearts to beating in a rhythm that keeps us alive. He gave us eyes to see the wonder of all He had done, and gave us free will to spit in His face if that's what we so choose. He allowed all His creations to torment & ultimately kill His only Son---who only showed up on the scene to HELP us. He formed me, made me who I am, watches me & knows every thought that runs through my mind (shudder!) and understands my pains & joys.

And somehow He rejoices over ME?!
Wow. You ARE GOOD, Lord.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Prayer Request

A few days ago on Angie Smith's blog (see sidebar--her blog is Bring the Rain), she mentioned the Tipping family. They are a young couple, about 20 weeks pregnant with sextuplets. Their blog is here:

Angie asked for prayers for them because Baby A's sac had broken. The baby was born & did not make it.

A couple of days later, baby B looked like he would be born as well, but he was thankfully turned sideways in the womb & hung in there a few more days before he was also born & passed away.

Today's post on their site reads:

“Where, O
death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Posted on
15th, 2009

“…But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus
There is no good way to say this. All 4
of the babies were born and
died this morning. Courtney and Allen are
hanging in there. I know all of you
want to do something to help. We simply
need your prayers. Prayers for peace.
Prayers that they will know God is
enough. Courtney just looked up to me and
said, “I hope God was glorified
somehow through this. I still love
Please pray for
Visitors are not allowed at this time. We will
let you know if that

I can't get THIS to unindent & don't know why all the above is forgive that....but please lift up Allen & Courtney Tipping tonight.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Good bye, Spring Break!

Our week of Spring Break is drawing to a close. We had great plans for relaxing & refreshing, but most of our plans got rained out. Monday was nice. Tuesday may've been ok, but honestly I don't recall much about the weather that day because I spent the whole day in & out of different doctors' offices. Sometime during the evening Tuesday, it began to rain and the temperature dropped. I don't think it stopped raining til late last night. Somehow, it just doesn't seem like Spring Break if it's in the 30s/40s & raining all week. Blech!

I took advantage of Monday (while Samuel was still gone to spend the night with a friend) to clean out his toy box & the area on top of it. It went from this (outside/inside)

to this:

I's still not perfect, but we got rid of a big garbage bag full of stuff & were able to clear a small path to walk. Trust me, that's progress.

We had hoped to meet a friend at the park on Tuesday, but ended up having to cancel due to Samuel's arm problem. (which, I might add, seems to be miraculously healed as of earlier today!!!)

Wednesday afternoon, we took my mom & dad supper. Mom had surgery on a bone spur on her foot Tuesday and is recovering well.

Thursday, all three kids & I had our teeth cleaned and then went to the store for Samuel to pick out a new pocket knife (purchased with his own money). I think that Walmart carries about 64 types. Trust me, we saw each one individually. Thank goodness the guy at the counter was bored & had nothing else to do and was so sweetly patient with my little Cub Scout. Thank you to the kind 25 year old Grizzly Adams-looking fellow working at the sporting goods counter!

Friday, we went to the store & picked out Easter dresses for the girls & a new shirt/tie for Samuel. In the pouring rain. We were stir crazy & had nothing better to do & I figured while I had them all home & had time to do it, we might as well. Before we left, I got all three kids an umbrella too. I really want a new golf umbrella--those big gigantic things that a small village can fit under but they were $12 & I couldn't justify buying that if all the kids had a smallish umbrella of their own now. As soon as my current umbrella gives up the ghost, I will get a new big one!
We had planned to go camping last night but again...the rain made that impossible (or at least unbearable--we cancelled the reservation earlier this week). Why bother driving out to a neat little cabin & be stuck sitting inside the thing? We can do that at home. For free.

Today we took our crew to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It was a really funny movie. The whole family liked it. There were a few words that could've been editted out, but thankfully the kids pretty much missed all that. The ones they did hear were not repeated when they began the after-movie playback of the entire movie's script. (ok, are my kids the only ones who do that? surely not!)
Here's a trailer I found in case you haven't heard of the movie.

My parents came over for a visit this afternoon. When they left, Larry pulled his truck into the backyard to change his oil. One snag. Remember all that rain I mentioned? Yeah, well....that makes for not-so-good conditions in our low-lying flat backyard. He sunk. Up to the hub caps. And there was no getting him out. His Xterra sits kind of high & our tiny little 8 yr old boy could walk up & touch the top of the passenger side window if that tells you anything. yuck! After a few phone calls to my brother in law who has a 4 wheel drive, he remembered a friend who lives one street over that owns a wench truck. Hallelujah! Jay to the rescue! He pulled him out of the mud & out of the yard!! Thank goodness!! After that whole mess, Larry was in no mood to change the oil & decided to put that off til tomorrow afternoon. I don't blame him.
Instead, he came inside & we had a hot dog supper followed by a family game of Clue. I had the best time teaching all of them (even Larry) how to play a game I learned to play as a kid. As it turns out, it was that crazy Colonel Mustard. You know you can't trust that guy in the library with a wrench. ha ha!
And so, our Spring Break ends and a new week begins.

I will miss sleeping til 9:00 (or later) every day, but summer is only 10 weeks away!

Prayers for Angie & Brian

Please pray for this family. They are on my heart & mind so often lately. Brian is slowing dying from a brain tumor & is reaching the end of his days. Angie is holding it together so well & updating the blog as often as she can with his condition so that everyone can pray for them. Please add them to your prayer list.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Update on Samuel's arm

This morning, we went to the pediatrician. The appointment was at 11:15, but it was after 12:00 before the doctor came in. After an exam, he sent us to radiology (in the same building) for Xrays of everything from his collar bone to his fingertips. He was concerned about all of it because Samuel was wincing anytime you touched ANY of that arm. When we were done, the Xray tech walked us back to the exam room in the pedi's office & went to visit w/ the doc. I heard him ask "so how does he look?" and heard her respond "well.....there's one thing...." before the exam room door closed.

When he came in, he told us that they were concerned about 1 area that looked like an indentation in the bone right at the point where the big knot/scrape is. However, you couldn't see the indentation on another Xray of the same area taken from a different angle. He wasn't sure if it was something to be concerned about because it looked like a buckle in the bone (a little break) OR if it was nothing since you couldn't see it on the 2nd Xray. He said that there was a chance it was just "hidden" because of the angle of the Xray.

He sent us to a pediatric orthopedist. They called to make an appointment w/ the doc for us & first came back to tell us that the doc was on vacation & they were going to try to get us in with a different doc. About 15 min later, they came back & said that the original doctor was there after all & that he said he could fit us in if we'd "come right over".

It was nearly 2:00 when we left his office. We were all starving at that point, but since he had said that the ortho doc was waiting for us, we went straight there. I was really hoping that if they were truely waiting for us that we'd get in & out fairly quick. I promised the kids that we'd get something to eat immediately after the ortho appointment.

There are 2 offices for this particular group of orthopedists in town & of course they sent us to the wrong office, which made me feel more rushed to have to run back to the car & drive like crazy to get to the other office. When we got there, the kids were cranky & picking at each other & driving me nuts. I apologized to the lady at the desk, telling her that we were way past lunch time & everyone was starving. She pulled out a basket of chips & crackers & pretzels & offered all of the kids something. I was so grateful! They were able to munch on those while I filled out new patient paperwork. We waited for probably 1/2 an hour before going back to the exam room where we sat for another hour.

All this time, I was trying to get Samuel to sit still b/c every time he bumped his arm, he'd scream & start crying. He was bored to tears (as were the girls) and he kept wanting to get down off the table & walk around or go back & forth from sitting to laying down -- anything to MOVE around. The girls read every book & magazine in the office & we had played every game we could come up with by this point. We'd been sitting (mostly waiting!) at various doctor offices for about 4 hours. Everyone was tired & bored & cranky. (Not to mention that I was reaching a point of starvation myself since I didn't get the crackers/chips earlier when the kids did.)

The doctor FINALLYYYYYY came in & spent all of 2 minutes in the room with us. He squeezed on Samuel's wrist, hand, shoulder, collar bone & upperarm. When he got to his elbow & forearm, he got the same response that we've been getting since last night---squealing & wincing in pain. He said "ok, let me go check that Xray". He came back in a couple minutes & said that he didn't think anything was broken but since he was in a lot of pain still, he wanted to put him in a sling & see him back in a couple weeks when we would re-evaluate & decide if we need to do new Xrays or if everything was better by then. He said it looked like he was just real bruised up & sore.

He sent the nurse in to medicate & bandage up the scraped part of his arm & then put him into a sling. She told him to wear the sling at least til the end of this week & then for Larry & I to decide if he still needs it. For now, he needs it because he can't straighten his arm out all the way & he's having to hold it up against his body so the sling will support it for a while. So for now, this is how my baby boy looks. He's still hurting quite a bit, so it looks like a TV/Motrin cocktail is in order for the next few days. :)

By the time we got home, it was 4pm. That's 5 1/2 hours since we'd left home this morning to start this crazy day. I am so proud of the kids that they didn't fall apart more than they did. Everyone was exhausted & ready to be home after it all, but it could've been so much worse!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The boy's arm

This afternoon, Samuel was outside playing with a friend. At one point, he came in to get a bandaid for a scrape on his arm but he went back outside after that, so I didn't think much of it. After all, he's a boy. He gets scrapes & scratches on a daily basis. We should own stock in the bandaid company. He's your typical almost-9-yr old boy.

We've discovered that he tends to be made of steel when friends are around but the minute they walk away, he falls apart & you see that he's really hurt himself. You know...that macho thing. Can't look like a weenie in front of your friend.

After the neighbor boy left & he was inside (about 5:45pm), he totally fell apart holding his arm saying that it hurt. It was then that I was looking at some pictures I took of them playing & realized that he was holding that arm funny in all the pictures, like he was sort of protecting it. We started inspecting his arm & realized that right where he got the scrape, there is a knot under it (possibly bone?). When you try to press on it at all, he winces & draws his arm back & squeals. When we asked how he scraped it, he explained that he had fallen across the castle rocks we have around our trees to create a planter box sort of thing. (I'm not sure of the official landscaping name for it. Here's a picture to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.)
Larry asked him to squeeze his hand, press against his hand, etc & he can't (or won't?) do any of that. He ate dinner tonight with his left hand (actually, Sarah fed him most of his supper!). He kept his right arm propped on an icepack. He took a bath afterward & then returned to the couch where we propped him up with a pillow & icepack. It is bruised & a little swollen looking, so we're wondering if he may've actually broken a bone.

Since Larry used to be a paramedic, he's our expert on things like this. He said that if there was a bone sticking out or his arm was bending in the middle or something real obvious like that, we'd definately make a trip to the ER tonight. However, since we're not 100% sure that it's broken, we are going to wait. If we did go to the ER & found out that it's broken, all they'd do is splint it & refer us to an orthopedist in a day or two. If we wait til morning, see the pediatrician for an Xray & it's broken, he'll splint it and refer us to an orthopedist in a day or two. (See a pattern there?) Considering that it costs us $100 for an ER visit & $30 for a pedi office visit, it's worth waiting til morning. Don't get me wrong...we're not being cruel, just realistic. If he was sobbing from the pain tonight, we wouldn't make him wait til morning, but right now he only winces & cries if you mess with it, so there's a chance that he just bruised it real bad.

I guess we'll see in the morning!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


If you follow my husband's blog or Facebook status updates, you may remember this. For about 6 weeks now, we've had some personal stuff that's been weighing heavily on our minds. Early on, Larry was sitting in the front yard one day & spotted 2 doves hanging around in the trees above our yard. Remember, we live in a neighborhood of a million trees, and the fact that these doves were in the trees by OUR yard was kind of interesting. I mean, they could've chosen the trees of a thousand other yards, but they were in ours. In the Bible, doves are often used symbolically to represent the Holy Spirit. Larry was comforted by seeing these doves. Especially when they continued to show up every day & linger around our yard all day. It's as if the presence of God is hovering over our home during a tough time.

For nearly 6 weeks now, we've seen the doves daily. Sometimes they come & walk around our front yard, just the two of them. It's been so nice to see them together, as a team like Larry & I. No matter the weather, they're here every day. They don't seem to hit the bird feeders like other birds that show up....they're just here. When we see them on the electrical wires, they're always facing our house, like they're watching us.

We were just in the yard talking about the 'stuff' that we've been talking through all this time and I happened to look up & spot a dove. I pointed it out to Larry & we looked around to see if we could find his partner. Sure enough, just a few yards away, there it was.

Thank you, Father, for your presence. We feel you. We can hear you. We smell your sweet scent. We trust you.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Living Room Furniture!

In 1997, Larry, Savannah & I were living in a teeny little apartment in Tyler, TX when we decided it was time for us to purchase our first new furniture together. We'd been married 3 years by that time, but everything we had was hand-me-down stuff from a relative or friend. Wait... his mom bought us our dining table/chairs for a wedding gift, so that we new, but everything else was second hand. We really wanted coordinating living room furniture because we had UGLY stuff that looked about a hundred years old. Off we went to Southside Furniture Co. where we browsed & purchased the cheapest couch & loveseat we could find. I think we paid about $700 for the set. It barely fit into our little apartment, but it's been moved umpteen times since then, lived through 5 kids & has served us well. For a couple years now, we've been eyeballing the ripping cushion seams & the stains and the beat up pillows thinking that it was time for something new. However, a lack of funds has been an issue. (Isn't that always how it goes?)

About a month ago, my parents started talking about getting a new couch & asked us if we'd like to take their couch & loveseat when they found something. We immediately said YES! Sure, it means going back to secondhand stuff, but ya know's FREE and it looks a lot newer & nicer than our stuff!!

Earlier this week, they bought a pretty new couch & let us know that it was 'time'. I listed our stuff on Freecycle & within 24 hours it was spoken for & picked up by the new owners. Today we got our new furniture. I'm so pleased!!!
This is our old living room set:

And the new stuff:

What do you think?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Our pet opossum

Ok, so maybe it's not a pet.

Or a possum!

This morning, Samuel went out to feed King & came back into the house saying there was a rat in the yard. Larry went to check it out & found this little creature, curled up into a ball (like a opossum does when it's trying to hide or play dead). Based on that behavior, he declared that it wasn't a rat, but a opossum. After all, a rat would run away if you were standing this close to it! And rats don't curl up into a ball to "hide" like this.

After standing there for a while, he did finally uncurl & they could see its face. All this time, I was inside. I spotted them all peering at the ground out a window & opened it to ask what they were doing. Larry told me (after seeing its face) that it was a opossum. I was wow'd & came out w/ my camera. I scared it & it curled up into a ball again. (That's when I took the pics above.)

Anyway, when it uncurled its body, you could see it looked like this:

Ok, if you look at it from JUST THE RIGHT ANGLE, it does have that opossum face shape, but definately not the coloring (white face, etc). And again, no rat would let me get THIS CLOSE to it. I was like 2 feet away & it still just sat there, not a opossum does when it's "playing opossum". I left for work thinking "hmmm...maybe it's just a rat....".

When I got home w/ the kids this afternoon, they immediately wanted to go to the back yard to see if the "opossum" was still there. This thing has moved all of maybe 2 feet all day long.....which tells me that no matter WHAT it is, something's WRONG with it. I mean, it *has to be sick* or something. And the thing is, we've got bug poison around the perimeter of our yard. It doesn't bother a big dog, but for a little animal like this, I suspect it could very well kill it. We found him/her in between our chainlink fence & the neighbor's privacy fence. You can see the white powdery stuff (poison) on the ground. Seriously...a sick & dying animal often goes off to hide to I'm thinking that's what is going on here.

I waited an hour or so & went back to check on the "possum". He was gone. Not a trace of him. BUT, there are several gaps in the privacy fence behind where he was, so I think he may have gone under their fence & disappeared from our yard. (hallelujah!)

...and by the way, I definately think it's just a rat. Check out this picture of a rat....kinda looks like this thing's twin, huh?

Thurs March 5

This past week, my heart has been so very burdened for a good friend of mine. I have watched my friend walk through the darkest days of her life, make unbelievable decisions, go through horrible circumstances. And I've been blessed with a herd of faithful prayer warriors who have lifted her up alongside me. For all of you who got the thousand emails this week, thank you. (not only for praying but also for not deleting the emails---I know there were tons as each new day brought new info)

There are times like this when I long for a way to help. While I can't possibly take away the grief she is going through, I can look for little things I can do to make her burden easier. Can I bring you dinner? Can I babysit your daughter? Can I water your plants, walk your dog, wash your car? I know those things don't even BEGIN to measure up to the horrible sadness you're going through, but maybe they will lighten your load. Give me a project & I'm on it. Even if that means getting up at 4am to help with something!

I remember all the things people did for us when Andrew & Kourtney moved out. I was amazed & touched by the way the body of Christ pulled together to help us. Meals, fun distractions for all of us, books, prayers, movie tickets ....the list is long. I remember the emails & phone calls & people who stopped by with special treats for the kids. I remember all the prayers & kind words. Those are the things that got us through the initial grief & pain. Of course, in time, it was God who got us through the big obstacles, but there at first, it was the awesome support system of friends & family.

Don't ever underestimate the power of a small gesture for a family going through a hard time. It doesn't matter if it's a tiny thing, it will be appreciated by a family who is focused on surviving the next 5 minutes...the next hour...

God bless!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


TAKS=Texas Assesment of Knowledge & Skills

In Texas, we have this crazy thing called the TAKS test. Every child from 3rd grade on up takes it annually. It's like the achievement tests we had every year when I was a kid, only tougher, trickier, and so very anxiety-producing. The kids spend almost the entire 3rd grade year gearing up for this big test, learning ways to really do well on the test. The teachers don't get to teach a whole lot of 'real' curriculum because they're teaching the kids to pass this test all year. At a parent meeting a few weeks ago, Larry & I got to see a sample of last year's test (they can't show us this year's test, obviously). It's a bit shocking. This thing is HUGE. Longgggg reading passages followed by a page of questions that are written to try & trick the kids. If you've got a Gifted kiddo, the test is no big deal. But for the average kid, this test is a big anxiety producer.

There are 2 parts to it for the 3rd graders (Samuel's age). Today is the reading portion of the test. The math portion is at the end of April.

The biggest issue for the 3rd graders is this. If you don't pass the reading test, you don't pass 3rd grade!

Today is the reading test. If they don't pass the test today, they will be given a 2nd chance the day after the Math test in April. If they still don't pass it, they have to attend summer school & attempt to pass it then. So there are 3 chances to pass.

We're praying that we never have to make it to the 2nd testing date!!

Editted to add:
When I picked the kids up after school, Samuel declared that he thinks he did "ok" on the test. And ya know what? I'll take "ok"! Now just to wait for the scores to come in!!