Saturday, December 31, 2011

And a Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

I always like to go through my pictures and look at the year passing. What an awesome year we had! A lot of smiles and good times.

I kid you not...I did not take one picture last January and Febuary. Could have been the crazy snow storm...Could have been the fact that I couldn't find my camera...Could have been that I was napping my two least favorite months away. Anyhow...The rest of 2011.


Grandma turned 89! Apparently this at least was important enough to get out my camera! We had an awesome time getting together with my huge Yackuboskey family.


Easter Egg hunts! And I can't believe it was warm enough for no winter coats and there is no snow!


wedding season begins.


Tony Graduates!! We get a trip to Hershey! Awesome!


Da' Beach




School starts


Soccer Days!


Boy scouts


It has been a good year!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A break to remember

"Life is what happens to you when you are busy making plans"
John Lennon

Tuesday night I was planning out my week. Laundry, cleaning, and picking through  up from Christmas. Scott brought William home early from wrestling practice because he was not feeling well. He crawled up into bed with me and had his hand on his side. I asked where it hurt and he pointed to his right side. I looked at Scott and asked if we should take him to the hospital. With a shrug from him and not wanting to look like a crazy mother *again*, I did what any Mother of the Year would do. I gave him some Tylenol PM for children to help the pain and help him sleep.

At 3 am when he was now crying in his sleep and gasping for help, I believed we may have a serious problem.  Finally he fell asleep. I crumpled into bed after 4:30. Will woke up at 8 o'clock screaming again. Guess it is time for the dr.

When we went in to see the dr, I thought that he was seriously constipated. And of course gave my professional mothering opinion to the dr. To which he replied, "I am almost positive *big dramatic pause* that he has appendicitis." Where I then jumped out the chair I was sitting in and screamed "What? What do we do?" He told us to go directly to the emergency room. As I gathered our stuff I asked if I need paperwork. "No," he told us, "just go."

So we did. William, prone to worry in the first place asked what was going on. I told him his belly was sick and they will have to make it better. After hospital number 1 inspection we were told we needed transfered to hospital #2. After I asked if we needed a CAT scan the dr replied " I don't want to take that time." To say I was a wreak by the time Scott, Will, and I hit the room at hospital #2 would be quite the understatment. No crying in front of Will I just kept repeating to myself. Surgeon came in and said he would be taking him right up. He could feel it quivering under the skin and his white count was going crazy.

I dressed my son in an adult hospital gown and held his hand until it was time to be wheeled into the operating room. And when I waved and so did he we went to wait....for the longest 50 mintues ever. I know it is a simple procedure, Will is young and healthy, and chances are that everything will be great. But on December 28th, I never like to look at my chances of anything.

When the dr came out, I caught my hand quivering. He said he had done a great job. He was resting and we could go see him. When I went into see my baby he had oxygen on his face and so very pale. But the nurse assured me that he was comfortable.

The two days that followed were long and blurred. Thank God for my family that kept my three youngest. Truly this is a feat. All three of them from Wednesday until Friday? That is two nights for those counting. While I know they were in wonderful hands, I helped William reach for his cup, tip toe in the hallway, and give him apple juice in a straw. My heart broke when he cried from pain and I barely slept for two days. Probably a combination of sleeping in a recliner chair and waiting to hear him whisper mommy are you up? becasue he couldn't talk without it pulling. STILL having all day pregnancy sickness and my nervous stomach/IBS a mess.

Not that I am complaining. All I could think was thank you God that I am sleeeping in a reclinder next to my healthy breathing child. Thank-you God that I have this opportunity to miss lunch because I don't want to leave him alone.Things can always turn out differently. 

 I have heard the saying that having a child is like having your heart walking around the outside of your body. As I laid in the dark, begging God to take away his pain, I thought about what a high cost having kids really is. And I am not talking Christmas and College. Without question I would give my life for my kids. I would take their pain in an instant. I just wish I could build a bubble around them. Protect them from sickness, pain, and disappointment. Then my prayer went to mothers and fathers of children who are so very very ill. Some who would leave the hospital without their baby. How unfair life can be. When I think of all I have, I am so blessed.

Thank-God I took Will when I did. Thank-God things had not progressed. Thank-God for hospitals that get the job done. Thank-God for family who help in times of crisis. Thank-God for healing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Demi Home

I took about 500 pictures this Christmas season. Every single one of them was adorable, awe inspiring, and priceless. Especially since they all include the people I love. BUT we only have so much time. But really if you are that interested, be my facebook friend. Here are a couple of highlights....
Aren't we pretty...Isn't it funny that my OLDEST will never look at the camera and smile. So...

I choked him. At Christmas Eve Service, in front of everyone. Yes, because the kid has been rasied to smile on command.

 Christmas Morning. My Lucas relieved to find himself on the right side of the lists. It was touch and go there for awhile. I swear every Christmas, I think Santa should just stop at the stockings since they are so excited. I always have to REMIND them to look at the tree.  
I guess this is understandable since Santa brings awesome pink goo in your stocking that makes awesome farting sounds. Rachel's new favorite game. Pull my finger.

 Yes, a good mother would have combed her daughters hair before pictures. But look! New jammies. Ignore the hair. Again...favorite Christmas gift. A goofy thing in her stocking. Matching hair!
Daddy stealing son's gift to show him how it works.

Finally successful from getting it from Daddy.

Spy glasses with his spy shirt. He wants to be a spy when he grows up. Or a cook. He can't decide.

And of course...Go Steelers. That totally fits.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. I hope that your holiday was filled with joy, laughter, excitment, and love. Certainly the kind of peace and goodness that only our Savior can bring.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

run, run fast as you can

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

-The Red Queen

I had my ears pierced  when I was 13. I remember that I was always worried I wouldn't turn them enough. So I began to twist them all the time. It is a nervous habit that stuck. Now I tend to tug at my ears when I am nervous. Which this time of a lot.
I,of course, love the idea behind Christmas. God giving his son so that we could be found worthy. Truly amazing. Oh holy night is one of my favorite songs and nothing is as beautiful as a manger scene.
What I am not a fan of? Lots of presents. And insane "to do" lists. I wish it could come without bangles, bobbles, or trinkets. Guess I do sound a little grinchy.
But truly, each year I set out to make it simpler. And each year I feel like I am getting run over. Repeatedly.
I think I need a good Christmas devotional. Anyone know of any? Or some ideas on keeping it simple? Any tips on online shopping cause that would be awesome too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lazy, busy, or electronically illiterate

I am not a fan of daylight savings time. Falling back...leaping forward....whatever. One problem is that some of my clocks automatically reset themselves. Some do not. So I spend the morning running around like a nut case trying to figure out the right flippin' time. Am I late? Early? Did I change that one? Did my husband? Can someone just tell me the real time.

And then it leads to this problem for a week....or so. Cause I don't change clocks. Kind of like I would let garbage fall on my floor cause that is not my job. Changing clocks is hubby's job. And certainly he never cares what time it is. He knows two times- time for work and time for the Steelers game.

This of course has to go with my little tech problem as well. You should have seen me pushing buttons and flipping out on my tech-no van. I seriously turned on my wipers, fog lights, and blared the juke box (who needs this in a VAN??) and still couldn't change the time. Although I figured out how to turn on the butt warmer in the van. Yes, I just said butt warmer.

I sit here staring at my clock on the wall. It is wrong. I know this cause my laptop DOES correct its self. I think about how I wish the wall clock was right and I would be that much closer to bedtime. I am annoyed that my clock is still off.  But do I just up and change it? Nope. Cause I don't do trash or clocks. Or change oil, tires, or build a fire.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

miracles and thankfulness

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

Last night my hip was asleep. Because a head was on it. When I lay with the three older ones to go to sleep, they have to take turns on who sleeps by mommy. And the one whose turn it isn't sleeps at my feet or with their head on my hip. We are a tangled mess of elbows, arms, heads, and blankets. I can't turn. Can't breathe barely. I think to myself, I have to get Scott to take a picture of this sometime. Years from now, we will look at it and laugh. We will remember how they would fight about whose turn it was. About whose turn it was to hug the top half or the bottom half. Years from now, I know I will tear up and remember. For today, I am thankful for a numb hip.

This is my 5th pregnancy. It isn't that I have not felt blessed each and everytime. It isn't that I have not realized that a baby is a miracle. But this time, when I looked down on the two lines, my eyes welled up with tears. Because I in no way deserve all of the goodness I have, I see, that I have touched.

I could go on forever. My husband who had flowers and Frooties (my fav candy!) when I came home from a work trip. My kids who always have me laughing. My family, my home, my life.

But most of all...for grace. Receiving God's favor even when I don't deserve it. Going to the cross to save me from a life I would choose and deserve. But He stood in the way. Laid down his life....for me.

It is overwhelming.

This little one I carry has reminded me of this. Of gifts and blessings given freely. Reminding myself to say thank-you, be thankful. To not taken a moment for granted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Staying in Motion

     I have been sick. And I have done what all Mommies do when we are sick. Push on! Take dayquil! Do...not....stop...moving....least you stop altogether. You know the physics principle objects in motion stay in motion. UNTIL something acts upon a sinus infection from the depths of hell.
     I have a fairly packed schedule. As we all do. Last Wednesday I had an appointment with a chiropractor. They took some scans and such. The dr asked if I thought stress was an issue with my headache and digestive issues. Could be. He asked me to rate my stress. Does it go up and down or stay pretty steady. Steady, as I am tapping my foot. All I can think about it that my youngest son's soccer game is starting in an hour and a half. Must get out of here. The doctor must have realized my impatience. He set down the big binder that was on his lap onto the stand and gave me a long lecture about stress and its effects on the body. Okey-dokey.
     I had been dragging all week. Falling into bed and sleeping like I was dead. Fighting a headache that wouldn't quit. Finally, on Saturday I had to take the baby to the dr. She was up a lot the night before and I had a feeling it was an ear infection. Thankfully husband was off, so he took the three to soccer while the baby and I went to the dr. I thought about being "seen" myself. Then talked myself into believing that I was fine. Just tired. Baby had an ear infection.
     After soccer and lunch, we all headed out to shop. We had to get costumes, since the Halloween stuff is already being cleared away to make room for Santa's and lights. DON'T even get me started on that one. As we were leaving the store, William began to scream about his ear. Back to the Medwell we go. On the way there, I was curled up in my seat, moaning about how bright the sun was. When we pulled up, I finally decided to be seen. Well, Scott decided that I needed to be seen.
     The dr looked into my ears. "You have a lot of fluid in here. Are they bothering you?" I shrug. He looked into my throat. "Stuff is pouring back there. Is your throat bothering you?" "I guess." He then started to feel around my face. Apparently, I have quite the sinus infection. Which he gave me quite the antibiotic for. Wow...did I get sick with that one.
     Today I feel awful still. But thankful for medicine. Thankful I went in and had it looked at. Thankful that my wonderful sister Patty and boyfriend Don took the kids to the pumpkin patch.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My baby Bella

My Isabella Noel is 2......Did you hear the catch in my voice or see my chin tremble?

Dearest Isabella,

I told you last year how you are my sunshine. My sweet little angel. I know it is always said that time goes too quickly. And I couldn't agree more.

The night of your birthday I tucked you in. I kissed your cheeks and squeezed you for awhile longer. I smelled your hair and felt the weight of your head on my shoulder. It gets me when I think too much about it. You are getting bigger. You talk more and laugh more. Run to keep up with your brothers and sister. Fight for your turn or your piece. Truly, it seemed overnight you went from my baby to my little girl. I teared up, but took a deep breath.

Although I shouldn't say that. You will always be my baby. My soft haired, bright blue eyed baby. I kissed you goodnight. I pointed to my eye and said "I", crossed my arms and said "love", touched your nose and said "you."  You  laughed. I turned off your light and walked to the door and I hear your little voice say "mom?" I turned around. You pointed to your eye and said "I", crossed your arms and said "love", and then pointed to you nose and said "nose." And then you laughed, closed your eyes, pulled up your blankie, and wrapped your little arm around your new rainbow doggie. I laughed too.

What a gift you are. Maybe the first time you read this you might not get it. Only if you have your own sweet cheeked angel faced baby will you get it. How much you fill my heart. How grateful I am that I get to be your mommy. I love you doll baby. Happy Birthday Sunshine.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A tale of two shoes....

Good morning Monday! And yes I am aware that this is Tuesday, but this was what my feet looked like yesterday as I was dropping off the baby at my mom's. Yes, that is two separate shoes. But in my defense they are both black. The only reason I noticed was becasue I tripped on my heel. Only one shoe has a heel. The other is a wedge. I did have an extra pair in the van. I changed before I made a real fool of myself at school. Until I post it for the whole internet to see.

One of my bestest once said to me that as soon as we open our eyes, we hit the ground running. Especially now that school has started that couldn't be more true. I am not complaining. I truly love my job. Being a full time 5th grade teacher is something I wouldn't trade for the world. But there is no denying my world becomes (more) crazy!

I do as much as I can the night before. That means I have lunches packed, bookbags set, clothes laid out. Sometimes I even let the cereal bowls on the table! In the morning, I wake up first and get myself ready. Then I hit up the oldest child first and work my way to the baby. I wake them up and get them dressed, moving, and headed to the bathroom. We all move down to the kitchen where breakfast is eaten. We head to the front door where shoes go on and usually hair is done. Then into the van. Three stops later I am on my way to work. Apparently with matching shoes only some of the time.

With the start of school also comes dance, scouts, and soccer. I am still taking my ESL graduate course. It is over in November thank goodness. Choir starts in church.

Again, I certainly am not complaining. I love my life full, loud, and busy. My kids are amazing and they bring such color and joy to my world. I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I love my job. I truly feel like I make an impact in their world everyday. If only I could put on matching shoes I wold be set!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Freedom isn't Free

He is a big boy. Frankly, pushing 30. If he ever sees this, he will complain. But too bad.

He is my baby brother. My other brother. We are 17 month apart. We grew up together. Had the same friends and played the same games. I remember screaming and fighting over baseball games as kids, but I also remember the day he stood up for me on the school bus. I always wanted the nightlight on in our bedroom but he said he couldn't sleep with it on. He waited until I fell asleep and then would turn off my light. I remember seeing him all dressed up for a Prom in a tux, and I remember the first time I saw him in uniform.

He is serving in the Air Force. Serving the United States of America. And as of last Tuesday, he is a deployed Airman. That means my baby brother is not in our country. He is so far away. Too far. He would never, ever call himself a hero and would flip out if it was even stated. But again...too bad. He is a hero to me.

He took a vow to defend us. To stand up and fight for those who won't or can't. For the kids who pledge allegiance to the flag every morning and for those who scream and curse at military funerals. For those men and woman who have greying hair now, but served so faithfully years ago and for rappers and songwriters who spew out garbage about a life they know nothing about. He defends the politicians who debate on the compensation he receives for serving and he serves those of us who wake up knowing that we can go where we want and say what we want without threat or violence. Our military who serves heroically, honorably, and faithfully. Without prejudice or pride.

To be honest, we are only as strong as those who are willing to fight for Justice. I have always stood on the side of respect and honor for the men and woman willing to serve. But it wasn't personal. Now my brother is overseas. I don't know where he is laying his head or what he eats for dinner. I don't know what he spends his days doing. I don't know if someone means him harm. Although he swears that he is fine.

Now I see. I see that he won't be home for the holidays. My mom can't pick up the phone and call him. We can't send him goofy pics of the kids. He won't send me a sarcastic text to this post. I am in no way complaining however. Some families have made an even more tragic sacrifice. Some people never got to plan the welcome home party I have stashed away in my head.

Freedom has never been free. Men and women have been standing on that line for you and for me since the beginning. As September 11th approaches, I look at all the heroes serving us that never hear a thank-you. And frankly, they don't even expect it. But today I say thank-you. To all of you serving in the military- My brother, my cousins, my friends. To those serving as policemen, firemen, and protectors of my freedom. I thank-you. I thank-you for everything.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bitter Sweet

Breathe in and out. One step in front of the other. After all, this wasn't my first time on the merry go round. I lay in bed for hours. Trying to sleep. Drifting off and on. I swear I am more nervous for this than they are. I hear my alarm go off. How can it be time for this already. And I am not talking about breakfast. How can it be time to put my princess on a bus? How did I miss it?

First days are so very bitter sweet. What an exciting time. It is so sweet to see your children develop into their own person. For you to look at this little person and see the uniqueness and the passion for life.  It is so bitter though that they start to step away from you as they find this world.

It is so sweet to hear wonderful praises about your child. To hear how kind and compassionate they are to others. How they are making the world better just by bringing joy into it with their presence. But so bitter that you weren't there to see or hear it.
It is so sweet to watch them take their first steps into the world. To stand at the sidelines and cheer for them. To shout for joy with their accomplishments and wrap your arms around them in their disappointments. But so bitter to stand at a distance sometimes as you watch those steps. Bitter to know that disappointments will come sooner or later.
It is so sweet to learn to let go and trust. Trust that my children are in the hands of Another. That He will hold them in the palm of His hand. It is so sweet to trust that my children will carry my love for them in their hearts all the days of their lives. It is bitter though to know that I can't always control everything.

One the first day of school, I watch them. He is in second grade. Eating his waffles with his hair sticking up in the back even though I have tried to tame it. She is eating her English muffin with butter and cinnamon. Kicking her shiny black shoes and occasionally smoothing down her skirt. She is singing a song and he hums his own little tune. Oblivious to the life changing thoughts running through Mommy's head. I look at my sweet little babies growing up one moment at a time.

"Time to go," I say trying to chock back some tears. They put on their giant book bags. Smiling and ready to tackle the world....or at least the elementary school. Pictures and pictures. Then we get into the van. I walk them into the school. I notice Will is holding his book bag straps and not my hand as we walk in. That is ok....I guess. We stop in front of Rachel's class and I kiss her good-bye. As I let go of her hand but she takes my heart. I blink back tears and smile and wave. I pray that the kids will love her as much as we do and her teacher will think she hung the moon like I do.

I walk my boy to second grade. He reaches for my hand. Nervous. I squeeze his hand and tell him to watch where we are going so he can find his room. "Why?" he asks. "Because I didn't think I would walk you down here everyday." "Why not?" he asked. "I guess I could if you want," I told him. He looks up at me, something I treasure while I still can, and he smiles and says "I want." We arrive at his bright yellow classroom. I see familiar faces of his friends. I see little desks all lined up in a row. I know one of the desks is his. I hug him tight. Hold on for a second longer. He walks into his classroom, throws up his hands, and says "hello everybody." I chuckle as I walk away. As I walk through the halls, I pray for them. First for my children. I pray that for their health and safely. I pray that a passion for education will be instilled in their hearts. I pray that they let their light shine for everyone to see. That someday they could perhaps share their faith and love those who need it.

I walked into the school with two and now I climb into the van as one. I sit and buckle the seat belt. Suddenly everything gets so fuzzy. The tear slid down my cheek and onto my lap. My throat tightens and I gasp. Finally I let myself have my first day cry. I cry because first days are so bitter sweet. Bitter because I now sit here alone. But so sweet knowing how blessed I am to have these amazing kids in my life. Sweet to know how these children will touch the world. So very sweet to know that they will come home and still crawl up on my lap and tell me about their new friends, what they played, and what they learned. So bitter sweet.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

We were campin'

Things I learned this camping trip....

1. If you brush your teeth with hand sanitizer, it stays with you all day. No gum or breath mint can help.
2. Thunderstorms and camping with 4 children (and a dog) make for a very long day.
3. Don't assume "oh they can wear that more than once" or for a few hours...
4. Luke should have ice cream in a bowl not a cone.
5. Will likes hammocks...a lot.
6. Do not give Luke a rock...cousins get stitches
7. Rachel still wears a dress everywhere. Even in muddy, rainy campin' weather. And if you try to talk her out of it, she will glare
8. Bella will disappear if your gaze wonders even to the fire and back. Usually though if you find David you find her
9. My husband and BIL may start a scooter club. Sorta like bikers only they ride pink scooters and pick up old women.
10. I actually had fun...perhaps we will go again.

BFFs for life

Me and my baby boy Will

Andy and Faith saving the day by killing the bees.

Hanging on the hammock

The glow thingie Daddy gave her

The twins...Luke and David

Our crew

Jenn loving the book

Rain rain go away!

Yep...Andy built a zip line..oh another thing I learned. Don't invite host's daughter to campsite if you intend to climb high into trees and hang a nice, steep zip line.

Beautiful Angel

Daddy and his princess

Issac giving me his happy campin' face!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My miracle

I woke up with a gasp, sat straight up, and grabbed my quite swollen stomach. It was not the baby who had awoken me. It was a dream. A reoccurring nightmare of sorts. Scott jumped as well asking what it was. In a loud sob I exclaimed "They are going to kill him." And I prayed. "God please help. Help him. Save him. Do what ever you have to do in his life, but spare his life. Spare his life."

I was up then. The dream, if you want to call it a dream, always left me with a coldness that refused to leave. It was about him. He was in a room. A group of them were in a dark and cold room. Drugs and drug stuff scattered around them. The shadows drew my attention. The shadows seemed to move the hands. The faces of the people looked so lost. So dead. My heart burst open. I walked out into my living room. I wrapped a blanket around me and sobbed. I prayed and held down the vomit rising in my throat. I saw looking so lost and so void of hope. He was stuck. He was dying.

I loved him so much. But he wasn't the kid I grew up with. Sure, we had always had our differences. We were both stubborn as mules. We both stood our ground. He went one way and I another. I couldn't tell you the day or the time when we lost him. But I knew we had.

He carried death in his eyes. We saw it coming. I often would say to my husband "He is going to die. I see it." And then I would pray and beg for mercy. "Take anything from him you need to get his attention. But spare his life." He would come to my house. My eyes always went to his arms. Did the marks look new? Look to his eyes. How red were they? Listen to his voice. Was he going to be ok? I never liked the answer my heart gave.

I would prepare myself for bad news. I started refusing to answer the phone. I told my husband that he could be the one to break the news to me. That he was gone. Every time the phone would ring I would stop breathing. I would picture the funeral in my mind trying to prepare. What would I do to help my mom? What would I say. I knew death was so close. The fear would be paralyzing. A cold dark shadow that was squeezing out his life and tugging at everyone around his.

I got a phone call at work. From my husband. He had been taken by ambulance. He knew nothing other than that. Although he didn't seem good. I rushed home. I tried to get ahold of my mom and nothing. I went home and laid on the couch. Holding my stomach. Trying to calm myself at least for the baby's sake. I tried to tell myself it would be ok. It had to be ok. A knock at my door. I ran. My mom. How did I know, she asked. He was at the hospital. They brought him back. I put on my shoes and out the door.

When I saw him my heart broke. He was arguing that he was fine. He had hit his head and nothing more. The doctor knew. The police asked him if anyone had forced him to take anything. No was his answer. They left. And then us. Suddenly my relief was flooded with anger. I yelled "How could you keep doing this to us? What is wrong with you?" He looked at me with such anger. His reply. It is my life. It has nothing to do with you. Nothing....

I went home. Sobbing again. Praying again. Wanting for this to be over. And yet so badly not wanting it to be over. "Save him God. Where are you? Help him. Spare him."

Days, weeks, months came and went. Time passes even when you think it never will. Finally, I get a call so very early in the morning. Please bring money. If I didn't, he would be stuck there for a long time. I wanted so bad to help him. So bad to save him. "I can't. I am sorry." He said, "Okay, I guess it might be awhile before I see you again." I hung up the phone and cried. Cried so hard into my pillow. "God help."

My mom goes to see him. He has made a decision. He is going into treatment. If he didn't do something he knew that he would be dead. For the first time in years, I took a deep breath. "Please," was my only prayer. 

Almost 2 years later, he was coming home. It used to physically hurt to look into his eyes. Before help came, his eyes were dark. Deep. Dead. Of you looked at him, it was like looking at a ghost. Someone who had nothing there. And now, as I looked at him, another sob caught in my throat. His eyes. It was almost unreal. The light. The newness. The life! The scars had closed over and healed. There was something about him. He was here. He was whole. And all he could say was "All Glory to God." He was lost but now he is found. He was blind but now he can see.

 "But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:32

Another year later and I thank God everyday. He is new and whole. He laughs and sings. Hold my kids close and offers help and encouragement. Reaching out to the lost and telling others of the good news he has found.

Do I believe in miracles? Of course. I have seen him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I am amazed by you....

This post is linked to Mommy of a monster and Twins  for her Down the Aisle link up...

This is my favorite wedding picture

I love this picture. My whole wedding day was like a dream. I remember waking up and thinking I never have to say goodbye again. As Scott and I were dating he would come and hang out with me at my mom and dad's house. It would be time for him to go. We wouldn't want to say goodbye. We would stand at teh door forever. Then when he left I would run to the window on our steps to watch his truck pull out. He would look up to the window and wave. He got in his truck, would honk three times (I love you), and off he would go. But after today, we would always be together.

I woke up and went to get my hair done, get dressed, have lunch, and head to the church. I smiled and laughed. At one point my rings were dropped or lost. "Chill out," I told everyone. Not a big deal. We found them. The cake fell over. "It is just a cake," I said. And trust me when I say this was not me. I am normally an anxiety ridden mess. No comments from the peanut gallery.

But not today. Today would be wonderful. Today would be the day I had waited for. I was marrying my best friend. I knew no one could ever love me like he did.

I remember worrying about that first dance. I normally hate it when people are looking at me. I was worried that I would be a mess during that dance when ...everyone is watching you. But not on this day.

We danced to "Amazed" by LoneStar. No one else was there. Just me. And him. And I never had to say goodbye again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will you catch me?

"You have got to be kidding me right?" Do you use quotation marks when talking to God? Cause that is who I was addressing. Sweat was pouring over my forehead and into my eyes. I pushed up at the helmet for the 3rd time. What am I doing wearing a helmet? I don't do anything that would require a helmet. I checked my harness (another thing I shouldn't be wearing), checked my shoes, took a deep breath, and started to climb the telephone pole.

This wasn't the first time God and I haven't seen things eye to eye. Let's back up. I became a Christian at summer camp. I had a very solid foundation up until then, but it was that day before my 16th birthday that it all came together. I will have to tell that story sometime. This story is between me and the big guy and wondering what He was thinking.

I decided that I wanted to be a camp counselor. I sent in the application. I went to the interview. I wrote down my three choices in order of preferences. 1. Westley Woods (this is where I became a Christian) 2. Camp Allegheny (the place we went on retreats) 3. Jumonville (which up until I filled this list out, I had no idea existed)  Finally, my letter arrived. I got the job!! At Jumonville??? What? So I had a conversation with Kathy, the head honcho. She told me that she prayed about it and really felt God wanted me at Jumonville. Really? "Ok God, Let's go."

I packed up my stuff and headed to training at a place I had never seen. Far away from my home (only 2 hours but still!), and where I knew not one other person. When I got dropped off I remember watching the vehicle drive away and tearing up. Then I felt my heart stir. I knew this is where God wanted me. I knew I was going to spend this summer working with kids and sharing my faith. I was going to be ok. Better than ok.

Then I went through training. Rock climbing. High ropes course. Rapids? Of course the Lord and I had another chat. I complained and He listened. By the end, I knew I was suppose to be there. BUT I got my assignments. I requested all nice easy camps. Like a crafting camp. Sampler camps. On my paper, adventure camps. Lots of them. And a camp called 4 R's- rustic, river, rocks, and ropes- (yes I know that is not in the right orders.  I have another story about that one.)  Again, I talked to Larry- Jumonville's head honcho. He said that he too prayed about it and thought this is where I was suppose to be. How? The very place I feel I am not suppose to be, so many think this is where I should be? Now, I was not happy.

Here I am at the bottom of a telephone pole. I was told that I was to climb the pole, stand on top of the pole, and then jump....and try to catch the bar. Seriously God? Seriously. This is not what I signed up for. I started to climb up the pole arguing the whole way. "I wanted to lead Bible Studies and prayer. I did not want to wiggle into a climbing harness. I didn't want to wear a helmet. I wanted to sing kum-by-ya.! Okay not really. I really don't like that song. How about my God is an awesome God." And there I was at the top....

Everyone below was cheering. The person holding my rope was now giving me directions. "Now, just put one foot on top. Get your balance and then push up and bring up your other foot. Then stand."

Then stand. WHAT?? I couldn't even breath. My chest was squeezing. My feet were glued to the step. Although my knees were shaking. "I don't want to do this," I whispered so quietly I know only God heard it. Cheering and directions continued down below. I was crying on top (although not quite at the TOP) of a telephone. Now I was really not happy.

I was simply out of words. I didn't understand. Why was I here? Why am I doing this? What good is this going to do? But sometimes in a desperate hour God speaks. Not in such a loud "I am God" voice. But a quiet answer to my wondering heart. All of the sudden I felt like I can do this. I felt like I should be here. I remembered God's promise to always be with me. And when I am not enough, His Grace will be. He will always catch me. I can do this. With Him. So I did it. I put on foot on top of a telephone pole. And I took a deep breath. I double checked with God if He really wanted me to stand on a telephone pole. He did. I planted my right foot, pushed and brought up my left. I stood up.  I stood up

Now what?? Everyone was clapping and yelling. I was so shocked that I was standing here. Never, never did I ever think I could do it. And I was standing here. I guess the only thing to do was...jump. So I did. I jumped. I missed the bar! But I didn't die either. So I say win-win. 

Over the two summers I was on program staff and a couple others as a 4R's volunteer (I will tell you that another day) I learned that things are not often what they appear. My "pamper pole" as it is called really isn't just about a long climb with a jump at the end. For some people is about over coming fear. Or doing something they never thought they could. For this kid, it was about trust. Did I or did I not trust God to put me exactly where He wanted me. Did I really think it was better to put my 2 cents in or just let go and let God? To trust that He would never leave me, never forsake me, and would always be enough.

Those two summers plus some that I spent at Jumonville were some of the best of my life. I knew I was exactly where He wanted me to be. Each week. I did get to sing (Kum-by-ya at times), lead Bible Study, and lead campers in the prayer of salvation. I also rock climbed, biked up and kayaked back, camped under the stars, got bee stings and sun poisoning...and loved every minute of it. There is something so freeing and so right when you are standing in the will of God. If I never would have let go and never would have jumped, I would have missed it. Missed so much. I am glad I went. So glad that I jumped.

The Jumonville Cross

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cause they didn't have computers when I was in school**

Scott- "Will you listen to me?"
Me- Looking up from book  "You were talking?"
Scott- looking at me with the death stare "Look at these phones and pick one. You said buttons on your phone don't work and your contract was up last month."
Me- "Pick me whatever."
Scott- "You can't just pick whatever. It is your phone. You have to look at the specs. This one has blah...blah...blah.." blah blah blah were not his actual words, but honest to heavens I couldn't make out what he was saying  Are you listening to me."
Me- "I don't know what you are talking about? I just want to call from it and text."
Scott- "But this one has blah mega bites and you can check your email."
Me- "unnecessary."
Scott- "This one you can video chat from."
Me- "unnecessary"
Scott "You can multitask from this one."
Me- "Necessary in life...not from my phone.
Scott- "This one."
Me- "That is huge! I am going to look like an idiot with that up to my ear!"
Scott- laughing (better than death stare)- "You use a blue tooth."
Me- "A what?
Scott- "A piece you stick into your ear to hear."
Me- "Does it have a cord? Cause I would look less stupid holding it up. And why is it called a blue tooth if it isn't blue and you stick it in your ear not mouth."
Scott- back to death stare- "No there is no cord. This one is smaller but it doesn't have a camera."
Me- "Then no way. I have to have a camera."
Scott- "That was not in your original list of demands."
Me- "I assumed that was implied."
Scott- really frustrated now or maybe he is just grumpy ;)  "This one has everything you want. And it isn't big. And it will be free for you without a mail in even."
Me-"uummmm....I don't know if I like how that one looks...."

**That isn't exactly accurate, but we didn't have one in my house until college. I typed up all of my high school papers on a typewriter. I am not a fan of change and technology is always changing. Too much to keep up with. And Scott likes this stuff. Another reason why we work. :)
ps-  I still don't have a phone yet

Sunday, August 7, 2011

where can I go?

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say "surely the darkness will hide me and the light will become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark for you, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,"
Psalm 139: 7, 9-12, 23-24

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Always a trip with us

I spent a nice time on the phone with my sister in law as we talked about the kids and the insane curious things they do. Then I had to go cause we HAD to go to the dollar store. As I was getting the kids ready I knew before I even left that this would be a blog worthy trip. But aren't they all?

First the reason we HAD to go to the dollar store. The children were helping me "clean" today. They were told to pick up all toys on the tv room/computer room floor. They decided it would be a lot more productive (or fun if you are a child) to take wipe in the house and clean then floor. Around the toys mind you. The toys still never made it into the bins. Reason number 2. We had rice for dinner. When we have rice for dinner, a good bit always ends up on my floor. I went to get the broom. Only found the top. Either my children or my husband (as the kids claim) took apart my broom to put the long stick part in the middle of my treadmill to hold up the blankets for the fort. At least we are finding some use for the large piece of exercise equipment. But now the broom no longer goes back into one piece. We also needed bubble bath and disinfectant wipes. The important things in life.

I yell for children to get dressed as I move laundry from one machine to the next. Luke comes down with shorts and two night shirts on. "Why do you have two nightshirts on?" "Cause I like them both." pause. "You can't wear them. Please go put on one shirt." Will come down with one shirt and no pants. "Will, you have no pants on."  He looks down. "oh." Goes back up stairs. Rachel comes down wearing just the bottoms to a bathing suit. Apparently she tells me that her bathing suit bottoms are "prettier" than her underwear. "And where are your clothes?" "I am finding a dress mom." Whatever. Will comes down wearing his dad's shorts. "Will, those are Dad's. Didn't you get the clue as the bottoms of them are brushing the tops of your feet?" "Oh." "Whatever. shoes and let's go."

We arrive at the dollar store. We walk through the parking lot and to the door (all 5 of us). I look at Rachel's feet. No shoes. "I forgot them in the van." Why did you take them off? I look at Will's feet. One blue flip flop. One black flip flop. Both for the LEFT foot. Back to the van to at least fix Rachel's foot problem.

We literally burst into the store. As I lift Bella into the cart the children are off and the toy aisle. I chase them down, and put Luke into the cart. Better to just start off right. We were the only ones in the store and it sounded like a circus had just entered the building. I won't give you the play by play but the highlights.

* We went into the school aisle and Rachel said she needed a new Diary. To which Luke began to yell at the top of his lungs "I want a diarrhea. I need new diarrhea. My oldest son thought this was the funniest thing ever. And if you have ever hear Will laugh, you know how that went.

*Bella was holding the box of Scooby Doo fruit snacks. I had to say please don't eat that box 5 times. When we went to check out, she had eaten the bar code off the box.

*William loves to sing. Loud. In random places. Not sure if he realizes the rest of us can hear him. He broke into song in the cleaning supply aisle at the same time Luke decide to start bellowing. Bella must have thought someone was hurt because she started to fuss. Rachel took this opportunity to fill the cart with cleaning supplies. Christmas in August for her.

*This conversation. Will- "We should buy Bella two things. Since this (a ball) is only a dollar. We should buy her this doll for 3 dollars. It would only cost you 4 dollars." Me- "For someone with no dollars, you like to talk about spending dollars a lot. Will- "Your dollars are my dollars."

*When we went to the check out, the ball Bella had been holding rang up and said it couldn't  be sold. She said it must be a recall or something. On a ball?? Try explaining to the not quite 2 year old that she can't have that now. Had to get her a princess balloon.

*Cashier asks the famous "Are all of these kids yours?" Ignore many responses that come to the front of my mind. Smile "Everyone of them."

* Will throws himself into the door for good measure as we leave.

Good times my friends. Good times.

Friday, August 5, 2011

VBS- Trinity style

I always loved VBS as a kid. LOVED it. I loved the songs, games, crafts, and lessons. I always wished it could be longer than a week. And then I got a couple more candles on the birthday cake and became a leader and realized how much WORK VBS is. Now, I love that my kids love VBS. I love the way they come home and speak their faith in such sweet and simple terms. The house is filled with the verses and songs sung there. I owe a debt of gratitude to the people making this possible for them. So...without further ado, the cast and characters.
This is Queen Jenn (It was a castle and armor of God theme). She is the VBS Goddess and my SIL. I kid you not. Jenn is the heart and soul of VBS. She wrote and directed this year's week long program. No one does VBS like this girl. I know cause I was her second in command for a time. A couple fabulous things about Jenn.... I always said that if you want something done, go to Jenn. She gets it done. Anything. She doesn't go half way either. VBS decorations? We aren't talking your average marker and glue set here people. This woman builds volcanos, palm trees, reconstructs cities. What makes it so wonderful is that she does this all for the kids. She wants this experience to be amazing. Not just a good time, but a life changing "remember that VBS" kind of time. She loves the kids. She loves what she does. She doesn't get half the credit she deserves. She fills the gaps when needed and supplies all of her time and energy for the cause of Christ. I am so proud of her. She rocks!!! And has a pretty cute brother too... (my husband of course!)

Two of my brother in laws here.

And yes they are single. And yes, they have a heart for God and for his children. They did skits and taught classes. A-MAZ-ING. The kids love them and what an example they are setting for the young boys (and frankly all of us!) I love it that my kids have these guys to look up to.

This is Micah...speaking of helpful, wonderful man of God! Again, there for the kids! That is my FIL, Pastor Paul also.

Andy, another BIL. Married to the VBS Goddess. Which means this man is on the front lines. Always ready to build a mountain, horse, signs, and whatever else. As you can see he also does skits and teaches as well!

I wish I could have gotten more pics of all the wonderful people who help. Like Cookie and Shylah who lead music. All of the young adults who helped with class and everything. The other adults who led classes. To be honest, I am not even sure who all was there since I wasn't this year. But each and every person who contributed to this week, I thank-you. As a parent, I commend you all for the time, energy, focus, prayer, and more that goes into VBS. You may not receive all of the thanks you deserve here on earth, but I know that all heaven was these little ones shared with us tonight all they learned as a direct result from all of your efforts. Great job!