Saturday, March 31, 2012

Anything like me

I remember sayin' I don't care either way
as long as he or she is healthy, I'm okay

And then the doctor pointed to the corner of the screen
And said, "You see that thing right there? Well, you know what that means"
I started wondering who he was going to be
And I thought heaven help us if he's anything like me

He'll probably climb a tree too tall and ride his bike too fast
End up every summer wearin' something in a cast
He's gonna throw a ball and break some glass
In a window down the street
He's gonna get in trouble, oh, he's gonna get in fights

I'm gonna lose my temper and some sleep
It's safe to say that I'm gonna get my payback
If he's anything like me

William- The joke around my house is that Will is Scott Jr. I will never know why we didn't name him that. He and his father remind me of the old Patty Duke theme song. They laugh alike, they walk alike,

At times they even talk alike, you can lose your mind. They love the same things and have the same sayings. But he also has his dad's heart. All the good stuff. They love someone totally and with no strings attached. This is how I know my son will grow up to be a good man. Just like his dad.

Rachel- ....a little me. I listen to her talk. Of course she is better than me. She is the best things about me exaggerated. She is so smart. Very determined and fiercely loyal. She is her own girl too. Dressing up in the fanciest gown to go grocery shopping. Changing her nail color three times a day and using glitter like it is going out of style. My girl.

Luke- I hear tell that he is the picture of Scott when he was a kid. He certainly looks like Scott's mini me when Scott shaves. Sometimes I look at Luke and can't believe that he looks nothing like me. A boy who would melt your heart. "Every girl is beautiful and every boy is handsome." He tells me he loves me at least 20 times a day. Runs into the room just to let me know and then runs out. He is always on the go. Definitely more curious and daring than the rest. He climbs, jumps, rips apart, and likes to see how far he can push it. Ok, maybe he got that from me....

Bella- Such a combination of them all. She has Will's sense of humor, Rachel's sass, and Luke dare devil attitude. But her own flare. She is the baby and she knows it. My girl who loves her dog and her unicorn pillow. She has hair that matches her temper and her bright blue eyes are always telling stories. How did I get so lucky to have you dropped into our laps?

My sweet summer baby boy- Who will you be? Who will you look like and be like? I know this much. It will be a spark we never knew was missing until you are here!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When the rain comes down

The summer after we first got married Scott and I went family camping. We used to rent a couple of sites and our family would all set up tents, cook on the fire, and make a big mess. That year there was a flood. Well, maybe not a flood, but let's just say a trench had to be dug. Plastic cups were made into boats. After awhile, what is a little rainwater in your spaghetti? One evening we were sitting at the picnic table, under the plastic tarp and I looked over at our tent. "Umm...Scott?" "Yeah." "Our tent is floating away." He jumped up and ran to catch our place to sleep. The water must have worked up the spikes and softened the ground. The rain had come down so hard that there was literally a lake where our tent had been. The tent was lifted and carried away by the water. Scott did catch our tent. But I think that night we slept in a van. We were wet and cold. And pretty done with camping. The next day, we moved the tent. Scott picked out a place that wasn't in a dip, and he fastened the pegs differently. Our tent held for the remainder of our "vacation."

A dear friend gave me a book to borrow. It is called What a husband needs from his wife by Melanie Chitwood. After one chapter I am impressed. And excited to hear what this excellent source has to say. What brought me to the above story was one of the scriptures Melanie starts out with-
 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” - Matt 7: 24-27

Building our house. Of course Jesus tells a story using a visual to get his point across. A lot of times our houses (tents) seem placed well enough. Well, on a sunny, bright wedding day with cute decorations and fun family dances, anything can look pretty good. But what about WHEN the rain comes down. Does your house stand? Or will it fall with a great crash?

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing our girls a disservice by telling them "and they all lived happily everafter.." Prince finds girl, prince beats bad guy, prince marries girl in big white dress...and they live forever and happy in their castle in the sky. This is not real life. Not even close. But somehow when the winds blow and the rain comes down, we are not ready. Rain? Who said anything about rain? I hear clear skies and not a rumble in the sky for the next 50 plus years!

But, alas, this is not to be. Every life has a foundation. Every life. Your foundation could be money, prestige, career. It could be wonderful things like family or service. But when push comes to shove, rain and wind howl, it goes down. Maybe not after the first rain storm. But a life build on a shifting foundation can only stand so long.

This is where my Scripture comes in. The only foundation that will hold and hold well is one built on the Rock. One that will not shift, run, or crack. But what dose this look like? How do I do that? Give me a step by step plan and I will follow. Isn't that my way? Good idea God. Now, step aside and let me handle this. And I screw it up. Every...single...time. Perhaps that is why He says apart from me you can do no good thing.

"Remember transformation is God's work not yours." - In order to see God, we have to let go. More specifically, I have to let go. Surrendering is not in our human nature. To give control to another is unnatural. We are wired to fight, to survive, and to go it alone is need be. And God says "Delight yourself in me with your whole heart and I will give you the desires of your heart."

So I am building a foundation. No. Rather I am going to abide (to remain stable or fixed in a state) in Christ and let Him build my foundation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The toothfairy

Here is the deal. My Luke is my hero. My sweet brown eyed boy. He also keeps me stepping. All...the...time. I love this little guy, but sometimes I want to lock him the closet (JUST KIDDING.....mostly) He is a ball full of energy and a very to the point little guy. Sometimes I wonder how is it that he is growing up too fast. He is four, mind you, but sometimes I wonder what is going on in that little head of his.
Hence our dinner conversation...

Rachel- "Ouch! My tooth. My tooth. It hurts."
Will- "Sounds like a loose tooth to me."
Rachel (wailing)- Noooooo. I don't want to loose any of my teeth!
Luke- But if you loose your teeth you get money.
Rachel- I still want to keep my teeth LU-CAS (she has a way of saying his name that impresses even me)

10 minutes later when Luke and I are alone together.
Luke- "Mommy, do you think the tooth fairy is real?"
Me- "What? Of course she is real!"
Luke- "well, I don't think she is real."
Me- "Oh yeah? Then who puts money under your pillow when you loose a tooth?"
Luke- "I think you do."
Me (after 5 seconds of stunned silence) "You are crazy. You don't know what you are talking about."
Luke (laughing and rolling around the floor) "Oh yeah? I think you are crazy."

I was going to ask him what that meant for Santa or the Easter Bunny, but I was afraid of his answer....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lead Me

A sweet friend of mine reminded me of this song this week. She mentioned it as we were talking and I couldn't stop thinking of it. I knew I heard it before, but I wanted to listen to it again. Of course, everytime I listen to it, I cry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life- priceless

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. I saw yesterday that a friend whose darling daughter has DS posted on it. Then another friend mentioned it today. It just so happens that a blog I read posted about this....

Jury awards couple 3 million dollars for "wrongful birth". Frankly, I became physically sick.
First I should say that I am beyond a shadow of a doubt pro-life. There are subjects that a lot of conservative Christians and I part ways on. But not this one. I am currently pregnant with my 5th miracle. HE kicks, hiccups, LIVES within me. No one can tell me that this little one does not have a purpose and a plan. No one can tell me that he is a mistake. He is my responsibility to care for until he is able to care for himself. But I feel this way about all of my children. This is not a "my body" issue. This is a child issue.

But this? Suing a doctor because had you known you would have aborted this child. This child who you now claim to love, but put your hand on a bible and then say but my life would be better off without you. Better off if we could have ended your life. It would have been cheaper. It would have caused less stress. BECAUSE you are worried "of the challenges of raising a special-needs child, including concerns about her health, her ability to communicate and whether she'll get the attention she needs once she starts public-school kindergarten in the fall."
Here is my question to you...and what is the alternative? oh yes. That is right. DEATH. You worry about all the struggles your daughter will face. So demand a doctor to pay you 3 million dollars because she was WRONGFULLY BORN.
I am sick. This is what we have come to. This is who we are. This is ok? Take an innocent child's life because they do not live up to the expectations you have placed before them? Terminate a life? When did it become ok for men to play God? We decided who gets to live and who has to die? Well, I guess I never fall on the wrong side of the curve. What if someday I outlive my welcome. What if I can no longer care for myself? Someone has to feed me, change me, and even help me function with meds? Should I be dead? Will they take me to a little room for me to end it all because my life is not seemed worthy enough for some?
I have spoken before about being a summer camp counselor for two summers. While I loved each week I spent there, my favorite and most life changing weeks were spent at Discovery Camp. I met Steve there. Discovery Camp is a camp for special needs adults. Steve was an adult living with Downs Syndrome. Man, did I love Steve. It could have been because the first time he met me he told me I reminded him of Princess Cleopatra and then called me that everytime I saw him. It could be because his hugs were the best I ever have received. He sang with his whole heart, loved with everything he had, and made me laugh all week long. One night I saw him holding the hand of another camper who was scared of being away from her family. I heard tell her how much God loved her but it was still ok to be scared. You know what I learned that week. That Steve was one of the best people to ever walk into my life. How dare someone, especially a set of parents, act as if his life is less worthy.
I can't express how much respect and honor I give to parents with these special little angels. All of the parents on the front lines loving these children with all of their special needs. I have been so touched by parents who see this little person, this little life as a gift. I have not walked in their shoes. But I know what life is. All life is valuable. All life is priceless. I pray that this little girl never knows why her parents bank account has swelled.

To all of my friends and family who do hug, love, and treat these angels with the respect they deserve, I thank you. I thank-you for shining in the darkness. For being my hope in this sometimes dreary and sin filled world. You have all of my respect and admiration. And your little ones have my heart.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb" Psalm 139:19

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pennies and what matters most

My two year old daughter was a mess. Her little face was covered in dirt. Her clothes stained with orange Popsicle. Half her hair matted down with heaven only knows what while the other half stood straight up. So all in all she had a fabulous day. Now she was in the bathtub and she was not handing over what was tightly wrapped in her hand. My daughter had lots of "monies" and she was not giving them up to her mother.

Bella was clutching a fist worth of pennies. About 5 in her little dirt smudged hand. I promised to give them back as soon as bath was over. She pulled her balled up fist to her chest and shook her head back and forth. "no Mommy. My monies!" So I let her take her fortune with her into the bathtub. Only one minor snafu was when she dropped some of her gold treasure in the bubble tub and we had to go on an emergency search and rescue. After all, this was five pennies.

I took her to her bedroom and was getting her ready for night-night. Here is where I had to draw the line. No way was I letting her sleep with the monies. After a lot of convincing and a promise to give her another "money" in the morning, she finally agreed to open her hand and let me place her 5 treasured pennies on her dresser. She watched them the whole way into the bed and looked at them over her milk cup. I swear she had one eye on me and one eye on the pennies at all times. Just wanting to make sure that mom didn't take off with her fortune. First thing in the morning, Bella asked for her monies again. Putting them in her purse, on the table, in her tea party cup, or anywhere else she traveled. The pennies were worth a lot more than 5 cents to her!

The next day I received a message from a devotional group I belong to. And it looked like this....

And I loved it. And I thought about it. And it made me think of pennies.

You see I am a busy lady. I bet if you are reading this, you are pretty busy too. Lives are so very very full. We have places to be and things to do. Obligations that must be met and deadlines looming. Bills need taken care of and time just runs short. But what really matters in my life? What truly is LIFE and DEATH. I began remembering a scripture I memorized years ago-
Psalm 39:4-6 says:
“Lord, make me to know my end,
and what is the measure of my days,

That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, the number of my days is small like the size of a hand.
And my age is as nothing before You.
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.”

Haven't we all heard the saying that "life is short." Truly it is. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times strangers have approached me when I am out and about with my kids and they tell me to cherish every minute. One time when I was with my four crazy loud wonderful darlings, a much older woman smiled at me as I was trying to get all of them to settle as I put the groceries on the belt. Luke was trying to see how close he could her his finger to the moving belt that sucked in, Bella was screaming that she must have that snickers bar that was only slightly out of reach, and Will and Rachel argued over who got to put the grapes up to pay for them. I remember being tired. And frustrated. The older woman looked at me, with tears in her eyes, and said "this too shall pass. One thing is for certain, they don't stay little for long."

And they won't. I am given such a small window of time here and now. Whats matters to me? What in my life will truly outlive me? Will it be the love for my husband? The dedication and determination of raising Godly wonderful children? Will it be the hand I offer to a friend or a word of comfort to a stranger? At times when so many things seem pressing into me at all times, I must remember what really matters. What counts for me. So much of it are simply pennies. I clutch at them. Worried that if I open my hands, all of my "pennies" will fall out. Then when I look close....really close....I see how next to worthless so much of it is. Why worry over things that are here today and gone tomorrow? Should I invest my time, energy, love, and talent into things of eternal value?
And this Lord, is my prayer
Psalm 90:12
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What to remember when going through the flu..

1. A good husband is key! Always good to have one that gives you Tylenol at all hours, runs for puke bucket, takes care of all kids and dog, goes to store for meds and brings you back cabury eggs for when you are feeling better.

2. Trying not to breathe or move doesn't stop puke. Especially when pregnant. It just makes your hip numb.

3. You wish you were peeing every half an hour again. Then husband wouldn't be threatening with the hospital and shoving water bottles in your face although you told him that you would drink when you felt better.

4. You know what I think about what when I am sick? People who struggling through Cancer treatments. Been praying non-stop for them. And heaven. Where their will be no more sickness and pain.

5. Must have both comfort and sheet handy. Again, husband is good for this. Since it hurts to move and even breathe, you must call each out to husband as you are freezing then sweating within five minutes of each other. Again, a patient husband is key.

6. It is good to work out a morse code signal you can do with your big toe to husband when sick. Cause when you really need him to turn off the scary movie cause you can hear it and you can't get his attention cause you can't more or you will die....He really need to realize to change the channel. You are NOT saying you need some water.

7. Also, work out morse code with children. When they come running in to pray with you and tell you how much they love you...this great. Unless it involves shaking bed and jumping on pain ridden body. Pray from a distance.

8. When trying to sleep do not get up if phone rings and no one is here. Who do you think it is? And 9 chances out of 10 it is someone annoying you with a free credit report.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My birthday boy

Happy Birthday to my first angel. I didn't believe in miracles until you came into my life. You fill my days with laughter and joy. I love you to the moon and back.
love always,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stop, Drop, and Roll

"Stop, drop, and roll!" my daughter yelled from the living room. True our house was full of smoke. True the smoke alarm was screaming its head off. But all is under control. I am just cooking dinner.

This morning I realized that tomorrow is my oldest's birthday. Now of course I am aware of the DAY I became a mom, but his birthday party is on Friday. So I kind of have been staring at that day for d-day. You know, the day I have to have a cake, presents, balloons...etc. This morning as we are all falling tripping walking out the door, I realized that Will probably wants a snack tomorrow at school. I asked him what he wants. "Cupcakes." "Ok..great." "But they have to be handmade." "WHAT? WHY?" "I just wish they could be homemade."  Insert guilt. "OK. White or chocolate." "How about both? That way they can choose." Sure

Fast forward through a crazy busy school day and I am picking Luke up at school. He dances out with a bucket attached to his book bag. Today is his day to fill the letter bucket. Super-duper. I pull into the house and have to get dinner on the move. Of course yesterday I didn't get around to my meal planning. So I walk from the freezer to the pantry about 5 times. I get out the pork to defrost. It did not look or smell good. So I get out the chicken. But what could I cook the chicken in?

It used to be a joke when Scott and I were first married on how much glass Tupperware we had. But over the last almost 9 years...things have happened. It has been lost or broken. The potatoes were already in the large one we have left. So what to do with the chicken? I am tired. Throw it on a baking sheet. Hence the splattering grease, smoke (but no fire), and my children stop, dropping, and rolling.

But no need to fear. I just hit the alarm button. I called my husband as I filled up round one of the cupcakes. "The house is filled with smoke." "Okay." Notice he doesn't ask. He says "You can open a window." "But then I will be cold." "Then the smoke will fill the house." "It is ok. The kids are already crawling on their knees. They are ok."

I would like to say that I wanted to get pizza. Really, I thought about it. But we are having pizza for Will's party and I am budgeting....SO I cooked. The smoke is dying down, as my super husband came home and covered it in foil to stop the splattering. Such a smart man I married. Round one of cupcakes are done and homework is completed. The bucket still needs filled. Round two of chocolate is still on the list. But the house is still standing. I say success!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Here we are

March 3rd? Wow! Time flies....well, it just always flies doesnt' it?
My little world updates...
1. I am 22 weeks pregnant. TWENTY-TWO weeks. Little guy/girl has been all over the place. I am still sick. At my appointment on March 9th we will FINALLY schedule my ultrasound.
2. For Valentine's Day my amazing husband got me a kindle fire. Which is amazing. I currently have 30 books on it. 3 of which I paid for. A-MAZ-ING
3. PSSA are in 4 school days. For those of you who might not know (meaning you don't teach public school) this is a big deal. A pretty big stinkin' big deal. But on the upside, after the big test (which takes place in four school days...did I mention that?) we have an ice cream sundae party. Everything feels better with ice cream.
4. We are tossing around the beach this summer. Remember-being 22 weeks pregnant- mean my little angel will arrive in the beginning of July. SO..I have began to think about maybe skipping the beach and making my backyard into paradise. Meaning pool, trampoline, new sand (classy like that), and not sure what else will fit. If I feel like I can't take a summer without the beach perhaps a long weekend?
5. We also bought a new bed. With a new mattress. And new sheets. You know what I love more than my new kindle? My new bed!