Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two Years of Complete Bliss

This sweet thing turned two this past Thursday! She is an absolute joy to have in our family. I cannot imagine our lives without her. She is our third and youngest child (and last, I might add). When we found out we were adding a third child to our family of four, we were happy and a bit nervous. Hubs and I would be officially outnumbered. (yikes!) However, we have completely enjoyed it. It is much easier than I had imagined, and we are busier than I thought I could possibly be. But I love every minute of it.

These are some of the things I LOVE about my sweet little girl...
  • Her blonde hair. It really stands out next to the brown hair of everyone else in the family.
  • Her dimple. I love this dimple. She's our only girl with a dimple and it makes my heart melt to see it when she smiles.
  • She loves her sisters. Even when they drive her crazy. She loves to see them when she wakes up in the morning. (After naptime is a different story!)

  • She loves her daddy and likes for him to put her to bed at night.
  • She loves her sleep. When it's time for bed, she is happy to go. She sleeps with her bunny and a piggy and blankie and paci. Two pacifiers, actually. One in her mouth and one in her hand. And she's very partial to the 'pink' one. They are both pink, but one is light and the other is dark pink. Only she calls the light one 'pink'. She has no idea that we're getting ready to say good-bye to the paci. Poor girl.

  • She is constantly on the go. She loves to play. Loves being outside. And even loves a good movie. She laughs in all the right places and that makes us laugh. Her favorite movie is 'Cars'. Go figure - in a house of all girls, she loves what her sisters call 'a boy movie'.

  • She is very animated and has recently become territorial. It is quite funny to watch her. Yesterday, I had her window open while we were playing in her room and the breeze was blowing the curtain. She was not happy about the curtain touching her arm so she looked at the curtain and said, "Don't!". This is just par for the course for this 2 year old.
Guarding the tricycle!
We love our sweet girl and are so thankful God gave her to our family!






Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At a loss for words...

Yeah, I know. It's hard to believe, isn't it? Just last night, I was at dinner with a friend and afterward had fellowship with several other sisters in Christ and I talked my head off. That is the normal 'me'. Later last night, during the night and still this morning I don't even have words to express the state my heart is in. Have you ever witnessed or experienced pain to the point of it being not only visible, but audible? I'm not talking about temporary pain or pain that can be subdued by medicine. This type of pain is untouched with the strongest medicine and leaves one desperate for help. There is nothing anyone else can do to help. I've birthed three big babies and I know pain. (Yes, I do.) But I don't know uncontrollable pain. My daughter just this morning had 4 teeth pulled and she's experiencing pain right now, but popsicles help that pain. My dad had a liver embolization done yesterday and although it was a very necessary thing for him, recovery has been extremely painful and discouraging for him. I talked to my mom around 9 last night and to say that my dad was in agony is a gross understatement. It is never easy to witness a loved one experience pain and suffering to a much higher degree than I can even imagine, but to know my dad (who I love immensely and who is a pillar of strength in our family) is desperate for help is a terrible thing to experience. My mom is helpless. Medicine wasn't working. People who are qualified to help, couldn't help. Only the Great Physician has the power to help and yet through His sovereignty, He allowed (is allowing) my dad to suffer. I don't question His love for my dad or His will. I know from personal experience and from the surety of God's Word that His love is greater than any love I could ever have for anyone here on Earth. I also know that my parents are not questioning God's love for them. They know His will for them is perfect and He makes no mistakes. And as I was weighed down with sadness for my parents last night, I prayed. I didn't even know what to pray around 3:30 when I woke up again, but I was reminded that it didn't matter what I said. God already knows my heart and the Holy Spirit (also named The Comforter) goes to God for me when I am at a loss for words and expresses to God what my heart is feeling and God acts...immediately. Whether he comforts, heals, gives peace....He answers in the way that is best for us at that time. It didn't matter that it was 3:30am, God was still up....Psalm 121:3-4 (He does not sleep, nor slumber.) I was worried and He gave me peace of mind. I was sad and He comforted me. I cried out to Him and He heard my cry. I really hate not being with my parents at times like these. The distance is hard. But I know that my God who is with me, is also with them at the very same time, doing the very same thing for them in the way that only He can. That is AWESOME! I am praising the Lord for Who He is today.

I'm also praising Him for His protection. Around 4:30pm yesterday, a man came to the hospital where my parents are and shot three people and then, himself. One woman died and she happened to be the floor manager on the floor that my parents are on. The other two women are going to be okay. My mom was outside walking a few minutes before the shooting happened and we thank God that she is safe. Mom told me this morning that she saw the floor manager just minutes before she was shot. Things weren't going so great with my dad and she noticed (as she was walking down the hall to go outside to walk) the office of the floor manager and thought to herself that she was glad to know where that office was in case she needed to speak to her. The lady was telling someone good-bye. Little did she know that was her last good-bye. Today, everyone working around my parents is very sad. Please pray for them. What a tragedy. Pray that my parents will be able to minister to those who are hurting as they try to help my dad feel better.

If you don't know my Comforter. Let me introduce you. Your life will never be the same.

Thank you for praying for my dad and my mom. And, please pray for my cousin, Krista, (and her family) who is going through Chemo/Radiation for the next several weeks in Florida.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Neighbors

When I was growing up, I loved to play with the kids in my neighborhood. It was just the way it was back then. It was no big deal to be outside all day long playing somewhere in the neighborhood with whoever was out playing at the time. It was fun. Some of my neighbors from the past I am still in contact with even though none of us live in the same state now (or country for that matter - right, Mandi?). For some reason, getting to know the neighbors now isn't quite as easy as it used to be. Maybe we've been inside too much? I don't think we're unfriendly, but who knows? When we first moved into this house we loved that there were no houses directly behind us - we can actually live in the backyard without someone's window peeking down over us and I love it. But our children were very young, too, so we saved up and as soon as #3 was born, we put in a fence in the backyard. Mostly to contain the little ones and help them to know their boundaries without us yelling all the time to 'get back over here'! We also did it because the neighbor children would cut through our backyard to get to another street, but they wouldn't just cut through the back of the yard - they would go out of their way to walk across the patio and pretty much right at the back door of the kitchen. Not exactly good manners. So, the fence turned out to be a great investment. (I forgot to mention it keeps the Great Dane, the pot bellied pig, two goats and some roosters out of our backyard, as well.) But now that the girls are getting older, they really want to play with 'friends' in the neighborhood and at this point, they are only allowed to play in our backyard because of a few factors. So, anytime they hear a kid outside they start peeking through the fence to see who's out. Normally, it's their friend, Allison, from 2 doors down. I don't think Allison is ever inside her house except to sleep. I've seen her all over this neighborhood. She knows everybody and everybody knows her. And now thanks to a rental house beside us, there are 2 more kids their age that come over often. But yesterday, I left my two oldest outside to play while #3 and I stepped inside for a moment to get a drink and I heard lots of voices. Through the window I saw numerous kids and all were trying to get inside the playhouse. We ended up having 10 kids before it was overwith and they were anywhere between the ages of 2 and 11. Because I didn't know them and because my baby has to be right in on all the action, I had to come out and supervise the situation. Only 2 flowerpots got knocked over in the process of all those kids trying to get inside the playhouse and I think that was a major accomplishment. I really enjoyed seeing my girls interact with these big kids. It was really good for them to be around strangers and experience real life interactions. (I say 'real life' because #1 goes to a Christian school and we are at church 3 times a week and she really doesn't have an opportunity to mix with kids who come from homes that aren't quite like ours.) Before they came, though, we had noticed some of them outside and I had told the girls that if the kids wanted to come play, they know where to find us. So, Firstborn prayed and asked God to please have her friends come over and just moments later 7 kids come walking through the gate. She was ecstatic! Immediately she told me that she had prayed and that God answered her prayer. I was so happy for her. A little later, she came in and got some of these tracts to give to her 'friends' and told them this would help them know how to go to Heaven when they die. One boy seemed very interested in it and took it home with him. (He's the one in the pic below.) Not too long after that, the kids started leaving. (They travel in a herd.) So, when the last one had left, I saw Firstborn sit down on the adirondack bench, hands folded, looking at the gate and she began praying, "Dear Jesus, Please let my friends come back! I want to play just a little longer." And before she could even say 'Amen', here they came.....one at a time, until all of them were back. Her eyes lit up and she jumped up and down and ran to me and said, "I just prayed and God answered my prayer!! It's a miracle!!" I nearly burst into tears over what she had just experienced. God hears her prayers and cares about her desires. That's something I've known for a long time, but she had to learn it for herself. We may have to make a few rules about how many kids can be in the playhouse at one time from now on, but we want to try to always be friendly to our neighbors. Nothing ever happens by chance. We live here in this house, in this neighborhood, for a reason that is bigger than anything I can imagine. And because of that, we need to be friendly to our neighbors and taking advantage of any opportunity we have to befriend, encourage, point them to Christ. Firstborn told Allison yesterday that she is trying to be a missionary where she lives. I am convicted that I need to do all that I can to enable her to do that and to make sure I'm not discouraging her from doing that whether it's with my attitude or my words. My backyard is a nice place to hang out, but really it's just a tool that God has allowed us to have where we can entertain friends and strangers alike with the hope that we will be able to have an eternal impact on their lives.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fab*u*lous

I love the word fabulous. It's an adjective. I always liked diagramming sentences in Grammar class in high school and the adjectives were my favorite words. But that's beside the point. Today my day was fabulous. It's my birthday!!! It started by hearing my children downstairs planning who was going to give me my card and who was going to give me my gift. They were unusally quiet, too (which was kinda nice at 7 am). So, when I came downstairs I pretended I had no idea what was going on. They immediately commenced singing "Happy Birthday to you, you live in a zoo (to which I whole-heartedly agree), you smell like a monkey (thanks a lot!) and you look like one, too."(Kids are so blunt.) Then, Firstborn gave me my card and Middle Girl gave me a hydrangea bush. I love hydrangeas, so it was perfect! My card yelled 'Hurray! Hurray!' at me and lit up with tiny lights all over the inside. The girls were so proud of it and I thought it was cute. Firstborn had to let me know that it was an expensive card. She's all about discerning what is cheap and what is expensive...cracks me up. Then, my great brother-in-law texted me Happy Birthday followed by my brother a little later. My daddy called me on his way to the church and that made my day. It was so good to talk to him first thing this morning. My mom called next and then my sister. So, by 10am I had spoken to my whole fam. It was a great start to the day. Moments later, my sweet, always-encouraging friend texted me that she was bringing lunch over and I was so excited! It was such a nice surprise and good to have fellowship with her. I wish I had taken her pic for this blog, but I forgot. (Sorry, Dayna. Guess you're off the hook this time.) Just minutes after she left, another very dear friend called me to tell me her baby had just been born....on my birthday!!! Tell me what friend would ever do that for you? She's awesome. A true friend....not just because she birthed her third child on my day...she's true everyday. She wanted to make sure my day was going well and wanted to talk about me when this day is really her BIG day! I was able to go visit her tonight and meet this tiny little bundle of absolute sweetness. I really wanted to bring her home with me. Here she is...
After talking with my friend, I baked my birthday cake with my Middle Girl. She helped. It is free of peanuts, milk and eggs because of MG's allergies, but it tastes delicious! MG had fun helping me and licking the beaters. YUM. Shortly after said cake was done, we left and went to pick up Firstborn from school and checked the mail on the way - there was a sweet birthday card from my grandmother and a gift for my baby whose 2nd birthday is next week. That was a nice surprise. We got home from picking up FB and decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood because God made this day absolutely gorgeous just for my birthday and we just HAD to go for a walk. It was lovely. Afterward, we played outside and the baby got filthy dirty so I had to bathe her before we could eat dinner (which was leftovers because it's church night and we didn't want to be late). Things went well all day for me. It was a FABULOUS day!!

Oh, and yesterday, I got this fabulous gift in the mail from my fabulous sister. Isn't if fabulous? I have worn it two days in a row now and might just wear it everyday for the rest of my life. That's how fabulous it is to me.

And now I am going to go have some fabulous sleep. Now that I'm older, I really need my sleep. Good night.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Loose Tooth

My firstborn has a loose tooth. A very loose tooth. But the pain it causes her when she wiggles it makes her scared for anyone to pull it. I am surprised it hasn't just fallen out all by itself - that's how loose it is. Tonight I was trying to explain to her that it will just hurt for a second and then the pain will be gone and it will all be overwith. But the fear of pain was more powerful than the excitement of the end result. As I was sitting there trying to comfort her (tears streaming down her face), I realized that I act the same way sometimes. A trial (or two, or three, or ten) comes and although I know God has promised to take care of me - to provide (Phil, 4:19), to be with me always (Heb 13:5), comfort me (John 14:16) and He has proved Himself faithful to me over and over and over again, I sometimes let the fear of what I'm going to face, the hurt or suffering that I may have to endure, overshadow the end result which ALWAYS turns out to be for my good. (Romans 8:28) Trials that I have faced in the past that caused me to fear, cry my eyes out, and worry myself to death seemed so minute compared to the joy that came when God allowed the trial to pass. The lessons learned of Who my God really is and what He means to me make trials seem so small when they are overwith. I'm so thankful for that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fun Giveaway!

Go HERE to read about and enter a very fun giveaway! My sister is having a neat giveaway on her blog today - think Mother's Day..........

Who doesn't love jewelry??

Monday, April 5, 2010

Adirondack Before & After

Have I told you lately that I love {RED}? My mom gave me a child's adirondack bench that has been sitting on her porch for years now. It was weathered and worn and some spiders had taken up residence in it so I brought it home - finally - and wiped off all the spider webs, sanded it and painted it my favorite color. It is now in its new home - my backyard - next to the girls' playhouse. They love it and all three of their skinny little hineys can fit on it comfortably - when they are in a sharing mood. So, take a look....

BEFORE:


AFTER:
Just don't look too close. {wink} I don't claim to be a professional painter, but it's good enough for the backyard!

I linked to:

Making


Sumo Sweet Stuff

Thursday, April 1, 2010

When He Was On the Cross...

I was on His mind. Tomorrow we remember the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. I was going to write some thoughts on it, but just read my brother's blog and couldn't have said it any better myself. You can read it here.
I'm humbled, indescribably thankful and even somewhat emotional as I think about the debt Christ paid for me on the Cross. He willingly gave His life for a wretch like me. No one took His life - He gave it willingly so that I might have life and have a more abundant life! Undeserving as I am, I cannot even fully process that. I just know that I love Him for it. And I have a renewed passion to tell everyone I know about His love for them.
Thinking of my Saviour's death on the Cross and the blame that was placed upon Him makes me imagine just how sad that day was for those who loved Him. But, the excitement and anticipation of what was to come on that 3rd day - what Mary experienced when she ran to the tomb and saw it was empty and she knew He was ALIVE - was undoubtedly the best day history ever recorded!
Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory? Hell has been defeated! The grave could not hold The King!