Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday...what am I thankful for this week. I am thankful for...

1. my children...coughing, loud talking, and all.

2. my husband and 11 years of marriage. Thank you, honey, for a fun night out! Shall we plan another date night for next year? ;-)

3. my parents and a great trip seeing them this weekend. Congrats on the "retirement" mom. Thank you for being a wonderful Godly example of compassion, caring, loving woman of God. Thank you God for restoring my father's health. Slowly but surely he is healing and regaining his strength. God, please continue to grant them both patience with the healing process.

4. safety...we traveled there and back safely! What a blessing.

5. for volunteers who are starting to come forward to help out in our VBS this summer. What a blessing to have people who want to share Jesus and His love with children!

6. amoxicillin...Please God, use this medication to help Andrew and Bethany finally kick this cough that has all but taken over our lives. Please grant them a peaceful night of rest, free of the coughing.

7. my bed. Nothing like a few nights in a "strange," small bed to make you appreciate your big ol' king size! Hopefully tonight I'll actually get to sleep there, and not in the recliner holding a coughing 3 year old! :-)

8. summer fun! Softball, t-ball, library, and swimming (I am CONFIDENT it will one day be warm enough for swimming!) to spend time as a family.

9. diet Pepsi...need I say more?

10. grapes, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, apples, oranges, coffee, chocolate...yummy food! (and most of those were even healthy!)

11. love...from my husband, children, parents, brother, nieces, aunts, cousins, grandparents, friends, but most of all God. Thank you God for loving me and providing me with all I need. Please help me to continue to be thankful and appreciate what you have given me. No, I may not have all I 'want' but I have so much more than I need or deserve. THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

11 Years ago...

Eleven years ago wonderful hubby and I became husband and wife! We had a beautiful "private island" wedding. No...we didn't go to Hawaii. We went to Minnesota! We met at a beautiful summer camp where we both served as counselors. This camp is on a small island in the middle of one of Minnesota's beautiful lakes. We were able to hold our wedding on the island. We decided not to hold our wedding in the chapel, we walked out of the chapel, and down the hill onto the beautiful lawn. The weather was BEAUTIFUL...just a tad windy. During the wedding, we could look through the trees to see the water. There was a fisherman in his boat just off shore. My mom said she prayed the whole service that he wouldn't "gun" his engine and make a lot of noise...he stayed put until the service was over (how nice of him!!).

Warren, thank you for loving me. Thank you for being patient with me these past 11 years. Thank you for thinking I'm beautiful. Thank you for the fun, laughter, and good times. Thank you for being there in the tough times, for holding me and letting me cry on your shoulder. Thank you for being such a great dad to our little blessings. Thank you for being a man of God that I can look up to, respect, and be proud of. I love you! I thank God for you, every single day. You are the most wonderful blessing that God has given me, and I cherish you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fun Foto Friday (FFF)

Don't you just LOVE the first corn on the cob of the summer!

During summer, we have "quiet time." The little one can nap, and the older ones can read books, or nap...or play with stickers apparently!
After our supper, we went to the park. The kids had fun running down the hill. Abbigail is a monkey. Don't you just LOVE their smiles?? :-) I know I do!
I have decided on one "routine" to make the summer easier. I don't know about all kids, but mine would be perfectly happy if I let them play on the computer, Wii, and watch TV all day. I printed out "TV tickets" and "Computer/Wii" tickets on the computer this morning. Each ticket is worth 30 minutes. Each child gets one ticket of each per day. That means they can each choose one 30 minute program or video. If they want to watch a full-length movie, they must combine their tickets to equal the movie length. I am also planning on finding some home-schooling curriculum to use this summer for all of the children, especially Abbigail. I don't want her to backslide during the summer. Andrew knows his letters, numbers, and would be wonderful if he entered K being able to read small words! My goal for Bethany is to know her colors and shapes(she already knows most), able to write her name, numbers, and some of her letters. This is going to be so fun! These are just some ideas to keep ourselves busy, so we don't get bored! Then there is always softball, T-Ball, swimming lessons....oh, I think we'll keep busy!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Remember what it's all about...those who gave all. This has special meaning for me this year. My brother-in-law is in the army. He has been stationed in Hawaii for about 18 months (sounds rough, I know!), but we think he will be sent to Iraq soon. We pray for his safety daily! Thank you all who have served our country, in the past or keep us safe and give us the freedoms we so enjoy and sometimes take for granted. THANK YOU!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thankful Thursday

What am I thankful for today? Here is a brief list...of course there is so much to be thankful for!

1. I'm thankful for forgiveness...forgiveness from God, and from my family when I fail at something. I'm also thankful for God's example of forgiveness that we can pass on to our children.

2. I am thankful for the wonderful teachers my children have had this year. I know I said it last week, but I am so very thankful they have wonderful women who love them and care more about their personalities and character than their grades (not that that part isn't important as well!) Abbigail was crying getting ready for school this morning because she is going to miss her teacher...just precious.

3. I am thankful for my husband. He is so wonderful and loving. He thinks I am beautiful, even when I don't. Thanks for loving me, honey!

4. I am thankful that we are all doing much better, health wise. I actually packed up the nebulizer, we haven't used it all week!! Yippee!

5. I am thankful for summer vacation...starts tomorrow! Swimming, softball, t-ball, sleeping in, trips to see family, time at the lake with our little family. I love the slower pace, not always rushing here and there!

6. I am thankful for my friend Jacque. She's always there when I need a shoulder to cry on, or vent to...she is a wonderful encourager. She is a true blessing to me!

7. I am thankful for my parents. My mom is "retiring" this weekend. She has worked for her church for since I was 4 years old! They are throwing her a big shin-dig on Monday. Thank you, Mom, for setting a wonderful example for me!

8. I am thankful for my microwave! I'm not a real gourmet cook, I do a lot of my cooking in the micro...what a blessing!

9. I'm thankful for auto-save! I had 1-8 written, and internet explorer crashed on me...but Blogger had auto-saved my file just before this...yea, I didn't loose my post!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Good Day! Forgiveness!

Thank you all for your prayers. Andrew and I have had a MUCH better day today. He thought about loosing his temper a few times, but when he would look at me, I would just cock my eyebrow at him and he would settle down. Thank You God!
Andrew graduated from preschool this morning. I have never been to a preschool graduation before, it was ADORABLE!!! The kids all wore their Sunday best, and had cardboard graduation hats. They walked in to "Pomp and Circumstance" and received their diplomas with a handshake. Then of course they all used them for spy scopes! It was PRECIOUS! After the ceremony they recessed to a song, and then waited for us in their classroom. They were all playing "Star Wars" and their diplomas were their light sabers! Cute. I took pictures of Andrew and his teachers. He has thoroughly loved preschool this year. While he's looking forward to kindergarten next year, he wants to take his teachers with him.

After the graduation, we went to the football field where Abbigail and the rest of the first and second graders were having their field day. Hula-hooping, sack races, tag, parachute play, obstacle course...lots of fun! Unfortunately we missed half of it. I had a chance to talk to Abbigail's teacher for a bit. She has been such a blessing to Abbigail this year (and thus, to our entire family!). Abbie is a great reader, at the end of her first grade year, she is already reading at almost a 5th grade level. Her teacher is suggesting that next year she be given some extra help in the gifted program, so we'll see what happens with that. Abbie is so interested, in EVERYTHING! I'm going to have my hands full keeping her busy this summer. I plan on having her read, A LOT! We picked out some great books to get her started this evening.

After school, we went to the library so Andrew could apologize to the librarians for his behavior yesterday. He found the story time teacher and told her he was sorry for his temper tantrum, and that he was sorry for yelling and screaming and disturbing story time for everyone else. She said "That's OK, Andrew." Andrew didn't know what to do...he's not used to being told that it's OK to be naughty. Now, I know this is a normal response by most of the people I know, but it is not the response that we give at our house. How he acted was not OK. Apologizing for it won't make it OK, but he can be forgiven. At our home when you apologize, you say "I'm sorry for...(hitting you, saying a bad word, fighting...whatever the offense happens to be)" and the response is not "That's OK." Instead, the response is "I forgive you." Anyway, he apologized, and he knows how he acted was inappropriate and unacceptable, but also forgiven. Now, on to other things! :-)
Abbigail started softball practice today. So adorable! She's about 6 inches shorter than anyone else on her team. However, she tries to make up for her size by giving it her all! She tries SOOO hard! I'll try to get some pictures next week.
We are finally getting some rain in our part of the state, so we are all thankful! I'm sure the farmers are thankful, and all of us "town-folk" are thankful we won't have to run the sprinklers tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I love my children, I love my children

On days like today, this is a mantra I keep repeating to myself. Today's mantra is a bit more specific..."I love my son, I love my son." I may not like how he is acting at all, but I do love him. No matter how many times he says he hates me, or that he wants to call the police for a new mommy, I LOVE MY SON! (repeat, I love my son, I love my son).
Here's the story. He got a little scratch on his knee, no big deal. It wasn't even bleeding, so I wouldn't give him a band aid. He totally forgot about it for at least an hour or so. We went to the library for story time. He went into the classroom with his little sister (it's only her second week to go!) and came back out about 3 minutes later. "I need a band aid" I told him to go back in there, that he was fine. He started getting angry and yelling at me. I told him he either needed to calm down and go back to story time or we would go sit in the van and wait for his sister to finish story time. Now he got really angry! I was holding Houston in the sling, and had to DRAG Andrew out of the library, literally kicking and screaming. We got outside and he was doing the fists shaking, growling, so angry he couldn't talk thing. I told him he needed to settle down, or we were going to the van. Again, more yelling and screaming, kicking me! and trying o hit me. I grabbed his arm and told him I would not allow him to act like this, we were going to the van. I drug him to the van, kicking me and scratching/hitting me the whole way. I put him on the floor of the van and put Houston in his car seat. I told him that he needed to get in his car seat...NOW! At this point I was so angry, and embarrassed that I knew if I spanked him, it would not be a good spanking. (Now, I do believe in spanking, at the right time, NOT when I am angry!) More yelling and screaming. He thought about punching me. I saw the fist form and come towards me, but he did think better about it and stopped himself. As he got into his car seat, he yelled "I HATE YOU! I want to call the police to have them put you in jail!"
Of course at this point I want to dissolve on the sidewalk into a puddle of tears. My son hates me. He hates me. I know he doesn't really hate me, I know he's angry. I told him I was sorry he felt this way, that I love him, but I do NOT like the way he is acting. I told him that when he calms down I will talk to him.
Poor little Houston was just shocked by all that was going on around him! I got a book out of our bag (I didn't even get to return my books!) and read it to him. The entire time I was reading with Houston, Andrew was screaming "No!" and kicking the seat in front of him. I finally called my husband and asked him to come pick Bethany up. I didn't know how I was going to go into the library to get her. I certainly wasn't taking Andrew back in there, and I was afraid if I left him alone in the car for a minute, he'd run away. Thank God, Warren was able to leave and pick up Bethany. The ENTIRE way home, Andrew was screaming "NO NO NO NO" When we got home, I told him to go to his room, and put his nose on his wall. (If he just goes to his room, he plays...this is his time-out place...nothing painful!) Again, yelling, screaming, "I hate you", etc. But, he finally did it. I went to his room and told him that when he calmed down, I would come back and talk to him. It took him about 10-15 minutes to calm down enough to listen. I asked him if he remembered what he said to me. He had no clue. I told him...he just looked at me. I asked him how he thought t made me feel. At least he knew enough to say he was sorry. I told him that when he is angry, he needs to be especially careful about what he says and does. Just because he is angry, he does not get to do whatever he wants. I told him that I forgive him, but that does not mean that he is not going to be punished. I told him that his punishment is that he must stay in his room until it is time to pick up his big sister from school (about 3 1/2 hours...he would be napping for about 1 1/2 anyway!) I told him he can read some of the books he has in there, or he can clean it up, but he can not play. I told him I would bring him lunch in his room. That was about ten minutes ago...I just checked on him (he's too quiet!) and the turkey is asleep! I'm exhausted, too...can I take a nap?
I think after we pick up his sister from school, we will be going to the library so he can apologize to the women there for his behavior. I forgive him, but he needs to know there are consequences for his actions. Bethany had to be left at the library alone. Daddy had to leave work to pick her up. Mommy's feelings (not to mention my leg and my arm from the hitting and kicking) are a bit sore. There are consequences for his actions. He is forgiven and we love him, but that does not mean we act like it never happened.
When we sin, there are consequences. We can apologize, we can ask for forgiveness, but consequences happen. Adam and Eve committed the first sin, the consequence is death. Our death, and Jesus' death. Jesus died to pay for our sins, but that doesn't mean that we can pretend they don't happen. When we say something hurtful, someone is hurt, not matter how many times you say you are sorry...those words do not go away. When we lie, trust is broken. No matter how many times we say we are sorry, or promise not to do it again...we have to earn that trust back, and even then...can you ever COMPLETELY trust someone who has lied to you in the past? God forgives us, but Jesus still had to pay the price for our sins. He died on the cross to forgive us of our sins, so we can go to heaven. Jesus died to save me from my anger and frustration. He died to save Andrew from his hurtful words and actions.
I love Andrew (not just a mantra now!) I do...I love him. I want to be the best mother I can for him. I want to help him learn to control his temper and his tongue when he is angry. Anger is a part of life, but he needs to learn how to deal with it and acceptable ways to express his anger. I have told him before that it is OK to say "I'm angry at you mommy." But it is not OK to say he doesn't like me.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for my son. Please be with him, show him Your love. Show him Your forgiveness. Please help me to be the best mother I can. Please help me to help him learn to control his anger. Please help me to control my anger and be a Godly example to him. Thank you Jesus, for dying to forgive us for those times we don't follow you, when we aren't imitators of your love and forgiveness. Please help me to deal with Andrew and his temper, show me what to do. Thank you for loving me and promising to always be with me, even when I feel so alone.

(If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please leave me a comment! Thanks)

Monday, May 21, 2007

I was reading another blog about adoption. This husband and wife have adopted a sibling group of 5 from the Ukraine, and are going back for the youngest sibling who just became available for adoption. The woman posted about Mother's Day. She wrote how painful Mother's Day is for women who want to be mothers, but aren't...can be. Oh, how I can relate! Those years we struggled with infertility were so hard...especially Mother's Day! Here is part of my comment to her, it tells the story of a very painful time, and some of the blessings God has shown me through my struggle (besides my 3 biggest blessings!)

... I thank you for your post about Mother's Day. My husband and I struggled with infertility for 3 years...the three first years of his seminary training. During his vicarage I wanted to stay home that Sunday. I didn't want to go and listen to a sermon about the virtues of motherhood when I felt God was withholding this blessing from me. I can also remember a sermon about Elizabeth and Zachariah. How their being barren and how it was a very important part of their lives. The pastor went on and on about how important it was for people in Bible times to have children and how painful it must have been for them. I was in the choir and sitting in the middle of the second row (no escape!). I cried my way through the service, there was no way I could get up and walk out. It was so painful. The second service, the pastor just mentioned their infertility, and moved on. I don't know how he came up with a totally different sermon while leading Bible study, but I thank him for not putting me through it again. Now, my husband is a pastor, and he is careful to make Mother's day as painless as possible for those struggling with infertility. He does thank God for the gift of mothers, but he also prays for those who want to be mothers, and those who have lost their mothers. He is very sensitive about it. I also think that God led us through this very difficult time so we can minister to others. I am very open about our difficulties and blessings of infertility and later parenthood. Because I do not hide the fact that we struggled, I have had many women approach me and share their struggles and pain. I really think God used this pain in my life so I can relate to women in the same situation.Again, thank you for sharing your story. I pray God continues to bless you and your family...especially in your wait for Kola.
If you would like to read more about this family, their blog can be found .

What a blessing children are...even though the wait for them can be long and painful, they are always worth the wait!

Weekend pictures

Well, since blogger won't let me add anymore pics to the last post, I thought I'd just do a new one.
Recap...we went to the zoo on Saturday, here are some pics. (to see the picture bigger, just click on it! :-))

Sunday, after church, Warren made his famous French toast. YUMMY! And the best part...I didn't have to cook! Yippee! We all took a nap (yes...all 5 of us!) then we went to the lake for the rest of the afternoon/evening. The kids went swimming for a while, it was too COLD for me! Warren fished (didn't catch a thing!) and then we ate hamburgers/hot dogs. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures! It was a good time, though!
Today, Abbigail's class is going to the zoo (didn't she just go there?? :-)) and Andrew's class is going to Wendy's for a "thank you" for their food drive.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Busy Days

The end of school is in sight. Lots of "parties" and special things going on at the end of the year.

Thursday Andrew and Bethany decided to be artsy and wanted to paint. They did beautiful paintings! I'll try to take pictures of them and post them tomorrow. Andrew's picture has a beautiful sun in the corner, and I asked him what was in the other corner. He said it was Jesus when he came out of the tomb...just melts my heart! I'm so thankful and excited when I hear my children talking about God and their faith...just AWESOME! (Bethany's picture is the top one, then Andrew's, then Abbigail's...she saw their paintings when she got home from school and wanted to do one as well.)
Friday, Andrew's class had a picnic at the park. It was fun, but VERY windy (what do you IS Kansas!) That evening, Abbigail had a lock-in with her Girl Scout troop. I was, of course, the worried momma. She's never spent the night away from me, except with my mom a time or two. My baby...with a bunch of other girls...ALL NIGHT! I figured she'd be passed out on the gym floor by 10. NOPE! Her leader said that she was still going at 2:00 am when they made the girls lay down. Then she was up bright and early! CRAZY! SO I figured she would be very cranky today, no, she did pretty well! They finished the lock-in with a pancake and scrambled egg breakfast for the families. All the girls were presented with their awards and patches for the year. Abbigail is so excited, she received 14 patches. Guess I'd better figure out how to attach them to her sash!

After the breakfast, we dropped daddy off at a meeting and I took the kids to the zoo. The otters and the playground were the favorites again. This afternoon was the high school graduation, so we went to a few cooking today! Now, that's my kind of day!!!! :-) All the kiddos are sleeping, and I think I'm going to go join them! Good night! :-)

Ok...I have a lot of pictures to share of the past few days, but after I got this one on, blogger won't keeps freezing up on me. I'll try to add them tomorrow. Sorry. UPDATE...Blogger let me add 3 more pics, then froze up again...try again later! :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm sad

I'm sad tonight. Actually I've been sad since yesterday. Oh, good things have been happening, no one in my family is hurt. I'm just sad.
A few months ago Focus on the Family and Family Life Today (two of my favorite radio programs...I don't get to listen very often, but listen when I can) did a special program about orphans. I was already very interested in adoption. I began reading more about adoptions. I read a lot in that week. Harrah's (an adoption agency) gave the password to their "Waiting Child" list. For those who don't know, a waiting child list is a list of children waiting for adoption. These children are usually older or have a special need. While looking at Harrah's list, I found a little boy in China with the name of Zhang. Zhang's story grabbed my heart. Zhang was born in January 2002...just a few months after my own son was born (I think, I'm having memeory difficulties right now!) This little boy was abandoned when he was 18 months old. Zhang is deaf. I can't help but think that his birth parents realized that something was not right and thought they could not give him the extra help he would need. I can just imagine them dreaming of the chances he would get if he was adopted.
I prayed for Zhang. I prayed that God would find a family for Zhang. I prayed that Zhang would learn and grow. That he would be loved and learn about Jesus. I prayed for Zhang a lot. Then one day when I went to check on his file, it said that his mommy and daddy were waiting for approval. HE HAD A FAMILY!!! Hooray! I was thrilled. I continued to pray, but did not visit the site for a while. About two months later, I checked again...Zhang was back on the list. Apparently something fell through with his family. Zhang needed a new family. I began praying for that family again. I continued checking, and no family came forward to claim Zhang as their own. Then, Zhang's file had a grant. A grant to help cover adoption expences. Yippee, now someone will come forward. Nope. Then, yesterday I checked, and he's gone. Gone. I emailed Harrah's to find out if he had a family. Unfortunately, they had to send his file back to China because they had his file as long as China would allow. I am still praying for little Zhang. I am just heartbroken.
I know that there are millions of orphans around the world that never get forever families to call their own, but my heart has already loved Zhang for a long time. I know my husband isn't ready for adoption at this point in our lives...I don't know if he will ever be. I'm not pushing him. I know that if God wants us to adopt, He will put the desire in Warren's heart, no amount of nagging on my part will do that! Warren knows where my heart is, but he is the leader of our home, I respect and love him.
Please join me in praying for Zhang. Pray that he is safe, loved, and healthy. Pray that God will send someone into his life that can tell him about the love of Jesus. Pray that God will send a mommy and a daddy who will love Zhang with all their hearts.

Poopy Day...YUCK!

Ok, I know I just posted a few hours ago that Bethany has done awesome this week with the potty training thing. Well...she's had 4 accidents on one hour this morning...what's up with that!?? She was sitting at the table painting, and kept saying "I potty mommy." Like it was no big deal. I would say "Do you need to go potty?" And her reply was always "I potty in my pants. I SOOO sorry." But how sorry is she really? Just one of those days. Plus, Houston (the little guy I watch) has also had 4 poopy diapers this morning! What's up with that??? Who knows. Oh well...on to the next one! :-)

Thankful Thursday...A day to remind myself of all the blessings I have been given, and what I am particularly thankful for this week.

1. I am thankful for our nebulizer...Andrew, Bethany, and I have been regulars at the nebulizer this week. That cold we all got last week is just hanging on. I am so thankful that Abbigail was able to kick it in just 2 days...but those of us with asthma just keep coughing. So I am thankful for this little noise maker that helps get that medicine into our lungs to make breathing a bit easier.
2. I'm thankful that Abbigail doesn't have asthma.

3. I'm thankful that the end of the school year is in sight...5 more school days and we're SUMMER-Bound!

4. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. I'm thankful for the time when the kids are finally all asleep for the night and we have time to talk. About...anything! I love you, honey!

5. I'm thankful for big 3 year old! She's done awesome with the potty-training this week...WOO HOO!!!!

6. I'm thankful for generous neighbors. Andrew's school is doing a food drive for the local food pantry, we walked about 2 blocks, and had to come home, the wagon was too heavy to pull! Thank you neighbors!

7. I'm thankful for wonderful teachers. My children have been blessed with great teachers this year. Andrew has even asked if his teacher can babysit him sometime (when...that would require that my hubby and I actually go out by ourselves sometime!) Wonderful Christian women who show my children love while teaching them...what a blessing!

8. I'm thankful for the moms that I provide childcare for. They are wonderful women who have become my friends...thanks Angie and Julie!

9. I'm thankful for beautiful weather! We've spent so much time outside, and in our patio this's so wonderful...thank you Lord!

10. I'm thankful for Grace. God has given me so many blessings that I don't deserve. The most important being forgiveness! Thank you God for loving me enough to die on the cross to forgive my sins. Thank you for always being with matter what! Thank you for EVERYTHING (even the things that don't seem like blessings at the time).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Naptime is great...especially when EVERYONE sleeps at the same time! I can catch up on a little housework, read a few blogs (gasp!!), or even catch up on a TV show I might have missed (gotta love the DVR!!). Here is what it looked like at my house today at 1:15.

During this little "break" I folded and put a way a ton of laundry, ate lunch (I sometimes don't even get a chance to eat and then wonder why I'm so hungry around 3 or 4!), read a few blogs, and enjoyed the quiet of the moment. Thank you God for naptime, and for quiet, and for time for me. Children are a gift, and I'm so very thankful for them. But I don't seem to accomplish much on my "list" when they don't nap...or nap at different times. Unfortunately I don't put reading books with my kids or playing with them on my list...I would get to check that off quite a bit...maybe I should start adding that!
By the way...the little strawberry blond in the last picture is Houston...the little guy I take care of while his mommy teaches Jr. High. He's a sweetie...and usually a good sleeper! Bethany's picture you can see her "family" of babies. They each have to be with her in bed...almost not enough room for her! :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Ok...I found this on a website called "5 Minutes for Mom." It's a way to get some credit and feel a sense of accomplishment for the housework that we all do...or in my case do very rarely! :-) I thought about saying that the reason my kitchen and dining table are such a mess is that we've all been sick and not feeling tops, but the truth is that my kitchen is never perfectly clean unless we are having company. Even then, I know some people who are much "tidier" than I who probably cringe at the sight of my kitchen! My husband and I joke that I could never surprise him with a surprise party because if he came home and the house was clean he would know something was up! :-) He came home today and looked around and said "WOW! It looks GREAT in here!" That made me feel good...and a bit bad since it doesn't look this nice very often! So, here are the before and after pictures. It took quite a while, but it looks great now!!! Now to keep it this way! :-)

Our Table

Our "Bar"

Ok, sorry for the "lining up" diffuculty...I can't fiture it out. Any suggestions?
Have a great week!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Bethany!!!

Three years ago today was one of the saddest and happiest days of my life. The day started at 4:00 in the morning. When your phone rings at that time of the night, you know it's not good. It was my brother-in-law. My husband's father had just died. My husband's family lives about 13 hours (by car) away from us. How were we going to be able to go to be with the family when I was ready to pop??? I was scheduled to be induced 4 days later. There was no way I could travel. My husband said that he was not going to leave me here alone. He would not be going to his father's funeral. He decided that since it was still the middle of the night, he was going back to bed to try to get some rest. I couldn't sleep...I finally got up around 5:30 and called the hospital I was to deliver at and asked their advice. They called my doctor and she called me right back. She said that she considered this a family emergency and that she would induce me as soon as I could get to the hospital so that my husband could still travel to be with his family. We called my parents (they live about 4 hours away) and my mom packed and was probably on her way to me before we were even out the door. Some wonderful friends came and got our two older children so that we could go have #3.

The doctor came in and broke my water, and nothing. She started pitocin...LOTS of contractions, but the baby's heart rate kept dropping, so they would have to stop the pit. What a day!!! I was so scared. One nurse kept talking about having a c-section. That was NOT going to happen!! Warren and I had studied the Bradley Method of child-birth and both of our previous births had been completely natural. The pitocin was started on and off throughout the day, but each time, baby's heart rate would drop, and they would stop it. About 6:00 in the evening, the doctor said that we were just going to do this. So, the pit was turned on again, and this time they didn't turn it off. I was put on oxygen to help the heart rate, and it always came back up after the contractions. At 7:00, my doc said that the baby would be here before 8:00. She was right! Bethany came at 7:56. What a miracle. I was so happy, thankful, and sad at the same time. Bethany would never get to meet her wonderful Papa. The nurse wanted to take her and clean her up, but I just couldn't let go.

Our friends arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes after Bethany was born...with big brother and sister! They had no idea when the baby would be coming, they just thought they would check on us and let the kids tell us good night! My mom took our kids home and put them to bed. Warren stayed with us in the hospital until about 11:00, then we said goodbye. He went home to sleep a bit and left early the next morning to go to his family. Finally, all was quiet, and at about midnight, the nurse finally got to wash Bethany! I just couldn't let he take her away. I felt like I had lost part of myself that day, he was only my father-in-law, but he was such a wonderful man. I went with her to the nursery to "help" with the bath and the newborn tests that had to be done. Then we went back to our room to sleep (as much as you can at the hospital!).

One of the nurses told me that she had never seen a woman deliver on Pitocin without pain control. She also said that it had been a very long time since she had seen a couple work together that well during labor and delivery.

The next morning, the doctor came in to check on us and said that we could go home....WHAT!!! I thought I had to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days like I had with my other two. But this doctor said that with all that was going on with my family, and the stress of being apart, we would recover and be better off at home! He said we had to stay until that afternoon, but could go home about 3:00! My mom brought my two other children and they all picked us up when Bethany was less than 20 hours old. If we had known that we were going to be released that day, Warren would have stayed home, and we all would have traveled together. It would have been so hard, but at least we would have been together. I felt so bad that he had to drive all that way by himself, to attend his father's funeral, without his wife or children.

That Sunday, my mom and the kids and I went to church (Bethany was not even a full 2 days old at this point). One of the elders read the sermon that Warren had written for that Sunday. And as it turned out, all the songs for that Sunday seemed to have a "funeral feel" to them. I sat in the back row with my newborn babe, crying my eyes out. I has having my own little personal private goodbye time.

So, forever, Bethany's birthday is a wonderful day, with a bitter remembrance as well. I can't forget that this is the day that my husband lost his father, my mother-in-law lost her husband, and my children lost their Papa.

This year, Bethany is turning THREE!!! What a BIG girl she has become! She is nearly toilet-trained, and she really has a mind of her own! She loves all thing princess, and baby. Whenever she sees a baby, she says "Awww, cute little baby baby." She pretends to feed and tickle her own babies (which she is collecting quite a few!). She received another Cabbage Patch baby this morning, that makes 4! One blond-haired, green eyed, Katie. One brown, curly-haired, brown eyed, Lucy. One little Asian baby, Jojo. And today's addition, blond-haired, hazel eyed, Zoey. I'm on the lookout to get her a little African-American baby for Christmas! Quite the multi-cultural little family she has! I tried to get her the African one for her birthday, but we live in a very rural part of the state, not a lot of diversity in our population, so Wal-Mart doesn't carry a lot of diversity in their dolls!


Beautiful Weekend...Happy Mother's Day!

The weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful! The kids wanted to go "swimming" on Friday, so we filled up our little pool and they splashed and played for a long time. Saturday Abbigail and Andrew had their last soccer game. However, since Andrew has been having so many problems with his asthma, I didn't let him play. He cheered his team on. Poor kid can't even run across the room without starting to cough his head off. Abbigail has really enjoyed soccer this year, and I think Andrew is catching on. Abbie really gets in there and fights for the ball, she's not scared of anything!
After the game, they were so hot and sweaty, they put on their swimming suits and went straight back into the pool. They played in there for about an hour before I made them come in for a rest...then they were right back out there for most of the afternoon/evening! Boy were they tired Saturday night!!!! I am adding a few of my favorite pictures. Andrew and Abbie would take a little run and jump into the pool...Abbigail really looked like she was flying! I can't wait till the city pool opens up and we get to go in the "Big Pool!"

Yesterday was Mother's Day. When my alarm went off, Abbigail came running into my room...FULLY dressed and ready to leave for church! I have no idea how long she had been up! She made me two little rose buds in her Brownie group, so she was excited to give me her gift. At church, Warren and the kids gave me some adorable/sweet cards. Then after church we went out for lunch. Bethany and I got to choose together since her birthday is the next day. We chose Applebees! We did some shopping and then came home. All in all it was a nice day to spend with my family. Thank you God for the wonderful gift of my children. I was so impatient waiting for them. I thought my timing was perfect, but it wasn't! If God had given me the kids when I wanted them, I would have had to put Abbigail into childcare so that I could work full time in order for Warren to finish Seminary. Thank you God for knowing better, and looking at the bigger picture. God sent her to us at the PERFECT time! She was born 8 weeks after we moved to our first church...I was able to stay home and be a full time mom. Isn't God good??? :-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

What a week!

First of all I want to thank you for your prayers. Both Andrew and Dad are doing better. Dad's recovery will be a long process, but he's moving in the right direction.
One of our favorite family activities is going out to the lake. There is a state park about 10 miles from our town, small, but lovely. We like to take our little grill and do hot dogs, hamburgers, or brats. My husband and Abbie love to fish! (Just ask her who catches more fish...SHE does!!!) Yesterday the weather was beautiful, so we decided it was a good evening for fishing. While daddy and Abbigail are off trying to "feed" the fish, Bethany and Andrew play while I get supper ready. They were having so much fun just being kids. Andrew picked up a stick to practice his Jedi training (anyone else have Star War fans at their house??) and Bethany just ran around non-stop! Eventually she stuck her hand in the fire ring (we weren't using it...she didn't get burned!) to touch the ashes and coals left from someone else's fire. She didn't realize that she had black on her hands and she wiped it on her face...I guess she's exploring her Native American heritage! Another family we know from town came as we were finishing our dinner, so the kids all played together while I cleaned up. It is such a good time to just get away for a little bit. No TV, no computer, no cell phones (REALLY! There is no service out there!). Just quiet (for the most part!!) We always enjoy it a lot!
Today was a busy morning. Andrew's school had it's "Spring Program" at 10:00. They did a little play called "Upside down Frowns and Splashes of Joy." It was really cute. It was about how we can take simple everyday things and remind people that Jesus loves them...and that turns their frowns upside down! After the play, they recited all of their memory verses and their songs for the entire year. They learned a Bible verse and song to go along with each of the fruits of the Spirit. Boy do those little kids have a great memory! And to watch as 15 little kids try to stay together singing and reciting...PRECIOUS!
As soon as the program was over, daddy stayed with Andrew and Bethany for cookies and artwork, while I ran to Abbigail's school for the 1st Grade Mother's Day Lunch. I was a bit late and of course she was worrying...even though I told her that I would be late, but that I would be there! We went to the gym so they could show us a dance they had been practicing. Abbigail grabbed a boy's hand, and he looked mortified. Poor kid. She just kept dancing and was so funny. Someone needs to tell that girl that boys are supposed to lead. :-) Then we had lunch and I read her class a book while her teacher tried to find some of the kids. Apparently we took too long to eat (talked too much I guess!) The kids usually go outside for recess right after lunch, but by the time we were done, the 2nd grade was already out on the playground, so she told us to go back to the classroom, but some of the kids had already gone outside. So I got to play teacher with the ones in the classroom while she went to find the ones outside. Boy do I miss teaching!!! I don't want my kids to grow up too fast, but I can't wait to get back to the classroom myself. Thanks Abbigail for a wonderful lunch. Thank you Andrew for a great play. Thank you Bethany for the extra hugs. Thank you, all three of you, for loving me and making me smile!