Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Before Christmas

I am so proud! Tonight was "Sparks Store" at Awana, where the kids get to spend the "Awana Bucks" they have been working so hard to earn by memorizing Scripture. Jacob had somewhere over $60 and Grace had near $50. Prior to my kids coming in to shop, I was telling someone that I thought Grace would do OK and think of her siblings, but I was not too sure about Jacob - he may need some guidance. When they came in I decided to mind my own business. I mean, it was THEIR money. Jacob went first and he blew my mind away!!!! He thought of me first, huh??? Then he thought about his sisters, then his dad, then his brother and then himself. Oh my gosh, he so proved me wrong and I could not be prouder to say that I was wrong!!!! YAY Jacob! When Grace got her turn to shop there was less stuff to pick from (because she went last and because Jacob had so much money that he was able to buy almost everything for himself). The funny thing was she bought for me first - well it ended up being for Greg and me because there were no more "man" gifts. Guess what she got us? An angel water fountain. Can't wait to plug it in. It is hilarious. But in addition to them choosing the gifts for each other, they got to have them wrapped. So we were in the car on the way home and I so wish I had a video camera to tape what they were saying. "You are going to LOVE what I got you." "I got you 2 things from the $5 table." "Did you get me make-up? Well, I can't say yes and I can't say no." They told me that they wanted to open the gifts when we got home. I suggested that they wait for Christmas. They said, "We bought them with our own money and we want to give them to each other tonight." Can I argue with that logic? I mean they earned the money, they spent their money on gifts for each other and they wanted to give them to each other when they wanted. What's wrong with that? So we opened the presents tonight. They were so excited to GIVE the gifts to each other - more excited than to receive their own gifts. Oh my goodness, how my heart swells again to think about it. I am so very proud of my children and I am giving every bit of the glory to God!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Growing Pains

Growing hurts. I am going through a time of growth and I am in agony. First I was trying to "force" something that I wanted and claim it as something God wanted. To be sure, God may want it, but if He does, He wants it on his terms, not mine. I was trying to force my children into Christian school. Everyone knows I hate the school they are in and they don't care for it much either, so I thought if I could get them somewhere where God was the focus, EVERYTHING would be fine. So I tried, but I tried my way. Oh I prayed, but it was mostly complaining to God about what I didn't have instead of focusing on what I do have. I just figured that since it was a Christian school I was looking at it HAD to be God's idea. Satan was even getting his dirty little hands in the mix by making me think secretly in the back of my mind doubting thoughts about how God would work. It was disgusting! I am reading in Galatians and I, like Abraham, was trying to make something come about by forcing it, as in the case of Hagar, where they tried to force God's promise with a child born by man's power, instead of trusting God and His infinite power, like the promised child born by God's power, Isaac. Instead of waiting for my "Isaac", I was forcing an "Ishmael". Oh Lord forgive my arrogance, impatience, selfishness, unfaithfulness and lack of trust. You Lord God reign supreme over EVERYTHING and that includes all of me. As I was complaining about how awful and terrible my life is (basically everything changed and for someone who hates change, it is terrible) and was standing at my kitchen sink bawling, with my sweet 3 year old perched on a bar stool wiping my tears with a towel (what an extension of God's hand she is) and crying out to God saying "I cannot do this anymore. I have no one to talk to." He clearly told me, "Yes Michelle, you do. You have me." How that makes me weep right now. Yes, Lord I do have you and right now I am giving all of my crumbled, broken self to you. I looked down on the counter and saw the index cards of the verse I have just memorized, and it was so clear.

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.....I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 12-13

This is how I can do it. Though HIM who gives me strength. I do not have enough strength to do it on my own, but He can and will give me all I need. Oh, I may not be in the situation I WANT, but He will definitely supply all I need. What an awesome God! That He loves me in my ignorance and gently shepherds me to where He wants me to be. Praise the Lord for making me memorize Scripture and for what an incredible impact it is having on my life. I was thinking I could memorize Scripture to help others in their time of need. Again in my was me who needed the Scripture I had memorized. Ahhhh God again lovingly showing me, being so patient and kind.

And how God is using Scripture, which is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the (woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped to do every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I cannot say enough about how the Precious Lord is working in my life. And I cannot say enough how I am glad to be awake to it, instead of sitting back on autopilot. Praise you, Jesus!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blue Monsters

Jacob is still sick. His fever peaked at 104.2 this afternoon. I think he may be on the downside - we will see how the night goes tonight. It is very hard to be in 2 places at once, but I HAVE to keep Jacob quarantined upstairs because I do not want anyone else getting this, as we are supposed to travel on Saturday (4 days from now). So while I was upstairs tending to Jacob, I had to leave Jadyn and Grant downstairs playing. This is normally a safe thing to do. However, when I came what I found.

He is saying cheese in this picture - can you tell?

Clearly, I needed to lock the cabinet with the markers in it. Even though I did not get a picture of it, Jadyn's mouth and hands were almost as bad. Both of their tongues were blue too. I guess this is what happens when the 3 year old and the 18 month old watch themselves.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Greg's Christmas Party

Tonight was Greg's work Christmas party. About 1 1/2 hours before we were to leave Jacob got a fever. I gave him some medicine and put him in bed to watch tv and rest for the night. I also gave him the phone and a paper with my cell phone number on it in case he got really sick, then he could call me and we would come home. Around 8:30 my cell phone rang and it was Jacob. I left the ballroom where the party was and asked Jacob if everything was ok. He said, "Mom, it is 8:31 and the girls are still up." I could not stop laughing. Thanks for the report, Jacob. Actually he was quite bothered by the fact that they were still up (we told the sitter they could stay up until 9) and he was in bed. Poor sick baby.

Also at the party both Greg and I sang karaoke. We both sang duets. The "boys" sang "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and the "girls" sang "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston (not my choice but I thought I rocked it out - Greg told me otherwise). Too bad, we were all competing for $50, put up by the owner of the company. Since we left before the party was over, I don't think we won. Bummer - I sure could have used that money. It was a good night though - Greg was lively, as always. Every party needs that person to get things going and more often than not Greg is that person.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jadyn's New Nap Habit

The last couple of days Jadyn has been doing some weird things at naptime. I mean, not really that weird, but more like "not what she is supposed to be doing while napping". When she wakes up and comes downstairs, she has on new "accessories". A couple of days ago she came down with tights and socks on, over her clothes. Another day she came down with short and a skirt over her pants. And today she came down with all the pony tail holders that have 2 "things" on them (you know the kind that you loop over each other?) on her wrists as bracelets. Now.....I am not about to let her give up her naptime - it is too precious (to me), but I think that she may be having a little more difficulty falling asleep. She really does sleep - eventually and she still needs some nap. Any advice? If you have some, you will have to email me because I still don;t know how to let people comment on this blog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Serve an AMAZING God!

This is what is happening. I have been unhappy with the school Jacob and Grace are in since we started here. Not really thinking I had any options, I sat here miserable every time I thought about it. I have recently become accountability partners with a wonderful gal named Lori. I admitted to Lori that I get jealous anytime someone talks about their kids in Christian school (Lori's kids also go to Christian school). She told me to pray about it and do some research and see what direction God is leading me. I took her advice. Hold on, back up. I have been complaining to God (and everyone else) about the current school. I have told God that I am jealous of others and don't want to be, whether or not my kids are in Christian school. I never actually asked God about what I should do or for that matter told him the desires of my heart. So today I made the call. A wonderful lady named April answered the phone and told me she could answer any questions I had. I really didn't know what to ask. So she said she could tell me about the school, which she did. As she talked, questions came to my mind and she answered all of them. The more I talked to her the more excited I got. What threw me over the edge was the fact the she was not the receptionist that normally answers the phone. She just happened to be walking by and picked up the phone - and she is the director (and one of the founding members of the school)! O Praise God, who has His mighty hand in EVERYTHING! In His perfect providence, He had her answer my call. He is so great! By the end of the conversation, I told her I had goosebumps and was almost in tears. We set up an appointment for me to come look around the school, meet her and fill out an application. I am so thrilled I cannot even explain it! The very thought of my sweet children leaving the school I hate and moving to a place where studying the Bible is part of the core curriculum has me walking on the clouds. All praise to my Lord and Savior!!! As much as I want this, I have to remind myself to remain in God's will. If this is not part of His plan, then it should not be part of mine. But, OH, how I pray it is!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Christmas Present (from Jacob - 2009)

Jacob got off the bus and was eager to talk to me. He had in his hands what looked like a ball of newspaper. Upon a closer look, I saw that the wad of newspaper was taped with masking tape. As he was attempting to unwrap it, he was telling me that this was MY Christmas gift and we (meaning he) had to unwrap it now. I asked if I could wait until Christmas and was immediately turned down. Then I asked if we could at least wait until we got in the house (as it was 10 degrees outside) and shouldn't I unwrap it, as it is my gift? He agreed. Once inside, all bags, coats, hats and gloves dropped onto the floor, we (meaning I) unwrapped my gift. And this is what I saw......

Not exactly what every mom dreams of for Christmas, but it was made for me with love by my sweet son. I know what it looks like, but it is really a guy sitting on a chair, playing XBOX 360. Jacob also said he could be reading a book, but he liked the XBOX 360 better. Look hard, you'll see it. (NO PUN INTENDED)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ahhh......Monday Mornings with Grace

Sounds like a novel, doesn't it? Well, it could be. This Monday morning started like any of the others. Grace climbed into bed with me and told me that her belly was hurting, due to the fact that it was Monday. She just HATES leaving me and having to go to school. She didn't even want to talk about what the tooth fairy left for her last night. So the morning progressed with the normal complaining and whining about the sick tummy. I even told her that she may actually end up giving herself an ulcer from all the worry. Then the conversation drifted (no pun intended) to the snow that had just fallen. I was telling the kids that they were going to have to wear their boots to school. Grace then fell into the drama of wearing boots. "I can't wear boots to school. What about my tennis shoes? Do I put them in my bag? Where do I put my boots at school? When do I take them off? What if the other kids at the bus stop are not wearing boots?" Heaven help me.....this sweet angel girl is going to drive me nuts!!! Seriously, where does all this worry come from? I mean, I know I am a worrier, but this is crazy. I was in blow drying my hair when Grace walked into the bathroom. I must have mentioned something about the snow because she started crying (again) and said, "Don't even say that word. Just hearing the word s-n-o-w makes me sick. Ohhhh, do I have to go to school?" I got down on my knees and prayed with and over her and she said to me, "Mom, I pray all the time. I don't think God is listening to me because my stomach always stays sick." I asked if she was truly trusting that God will take away her worry and sickness, because everytime I talk to her she is dwelling in her misery. So we prayed again that God would help her to trust that He is bigger than her worry. I do so hope that her day was better today. She was not crying at the bus stop and (thank goodness) another girl was wearing boots. I even told that girl thank you because she saved me from another round of you-know-what. But prior to the bus stop, I told Grace to eat her breakfast, to which she replied, "I cannot eat Mom. My stomach is already sick and thinking about food makes me even sicker." If you think I am making one word of this up - I AM NOT! I was thinking this morning that she may need counseling. I love that she loves me so much and wants to be around me but I hate that she is so miserable and I cannot control it. Please Lord, help my precious drama queen. She is such a special treasure and a wonderful blessing and I am terribly proud to be her momma. I have a lot I can learn from her, but she needs to learn some trust (from me?). Maybe she needs to see me trusting in the Lord more instead of relying on myself, so that she can know that God is reliable and trustworthy - so much more so than her flawed mother.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Cards 2009?


Grace (the lady), Jacob (smiling? whoa), Jadyn (never looking) and Grant (whatever)

Grace's December 2009 Tooth Extravaganza

Grace has been on a tooth loosing frenzy. She was already missing a bottom right tooth when on December 3, 2009 she lost her bottom left tooth. (see below post for the tooth fairy story) Here is what she looked like:

Then on December 6, 2009, after MUCH hysterics, the top left tooth finally fell out. I was going to try and pull it out and when I finally got Grace to agree the darn thing just fell out into my hand. So here she is now:

I am wondering HOW she is going to eat. EVERYTHING feels weird, according to her. Ahhhhh, the drama. I am wondering if we make it to Christmas without the other top front tooth falling is wiggly.

Thanksgiving 2009

.....was spent in Charlevoix, MI. We stayed with Krystel and Steve, and ate at Wayne and Sandy's. It was wonderful. I hated to leave. Dinner was (as always) great. And all us girls (Sandy, Kim, Lisa, Kathi, Krystel and I) were up at 2 (some of them later) and we were on our way to Traverse City by 3 AM. We did TC in style and spent a lot of money, but still ended up at the Omelette Shoppe. The tradition continues. "Black Friday" is one of my favorite days.

Here are some pics....

Kids eating breakfast at Krystel's house

Grant at Wayne and Sandy's house

Bryce Thomas at Wayne and Sandy's

Kathi and Katie (Ella), Bryce, Krystel and Jack at Wayne and Sandy's house

Sandy, Lisa and Braiden at Wayne and Sandy's house

Grace and Madison working it for the camera

Braiden, Bryce and Grant (in age order)

Jadyn, Madison, Ava and Grace (not in age order)

What is that shiny thing sticking out from behind those girls? Oh, it's Craig - sneaking in for the shot.

Goofy girls

Jadyn playing hide-n-seek

Seth, Jacob and Spencer in their matching pjs from grandma

Jadyn and Ava

Jadyn and Ava

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Some random things that have been happening:

I asked Jacob if he had a girlfriend and he adamantly said "No!" Then he thought about it and said that his girlfriend was grandma. then he said "Wait. I have two. The other one is Jadyn." Interesting, but he has always shown preference for Jadyn over Grace - I think it is because Jadyn is still a baby to him and it is OK to like a baby sister, not a sister that is close in age to you. A few minutes later he said, under his breath, " I really have three. The other one is m-o-m (spelled out)." I guess he has all the ladies - at least in our family.

On any given morning there are bound to be screams of torture coming from my girls room. This is a special time we like to call "the brushing of the hair". I really do try to be careful and hold the hair tight above where I am brushing, so as not to pull it. I brushed my own hair the way I was brushing theirs and decided I did not like it, so I am now VERY careful when doing theirs. I was brushing Jadyn's hair and she was screaming. I think it had more to do with her not feeling well than it did me brushing her hair - but nevertheless, she was crying. Grant "kneed" (his new way of half walking, half crawling) his way over to her and wrapped his little arms around her and hugged her, all while saying "cry, cry". It was absolutely precious!!! He was showing empathy - I was impressed.

Last night we finally freed one of Grace's 2 wiggly teeth. We went through the process of carefully placing it under the pillow for the tooth fairy. This morning (at 5:30am) I was awoken by both girls showing me what the tooth fairy left. Then Jadyn said "The tooth fairy left US some gum and money." US? I mean the girls share a bed, but it was Grace's tooth. When I explained that to Jadyn, she left the room screaming, saying it was not fair. A few minutes later, she came back in and said "Mom, my tooth is wiggly, too. See?" Well, no, I could not see as it was 5:30am and given that you are only 3 years old, I am thinking that it is not wiggly yet. That is, unless you just went in your room and banged it on something. I would not put this past her - bless her heart.