Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heart's Desire

This morning I prayed about something that has been bothering me for a couple of weeks. The Lord reminded me that I am not to lean on my own understanding (basically what I "think" I want), but to trust completely in his plan. He knows the outcome already. He also knows what is best. Sometimes we think we know what the best thing for us would be and if you look closely (at least in my case) as soon as you "get what you want", what you want changes. So, my plan from now is not to base my heart's desire on what I "feel" that I want, but instead to really base my heart's desire on what God's plan for me is. I also acknowledge that this is extremely hard to do while living in a fleshy, materialistic world, but I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. And He will. I want what He has for me because He knows what I really need.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday...or should I say Thursday???

This year we (Mom, Krystel, Sandy, Lisa, Kim and I) decided that instead of getting up at 3am to go shopping on Black Friday, we would go at 10pm on Thursday night. Were we serious? Well, we left at 10pm and got to Traverse City by 11, and got in line. Line....where we stayed for the next 6 hours (until 5am). Sheer madness. But we did get all we went for. So, all in all, it was successful, but I will state now for the record that I will not be doing that again next year. The deals on the internet were just as good, if not better. There was nothing in that shopping for me. I was happy to be with the girls, and glad to run and get things for them, but the shopping was no good for me. Next year, we sleep in and then just go right to the Omelette Shoppe, then back home and play Catch Phrase. Can anyone say...new tradition? I think the hunting boys would like that one better anyway.

Jacob's Broken Heart

For Thanksgiving we went north to Charlevoix, and stayed with Krystel and Steve. Jacob was so excited. Spencer is his BEST friend and he has missed him terribly. The more we talked about going up north, the more "Spencer-sick" Jacob got. So Jacob was allowed to go up a day early with Grandpa and Grandma. He surprised Spencer by hiding in the truck and having Grandpa send Spencer out to get something from the truck. Then they spent the next 6 days together. Last night we got home and Jacob was misbehaving, so he was sent to his room. A little while later he came down and his face was all red and he was wiping his nose, as if he had been crying. I asked him what was wrong and he broke down and said "I miss Spencer so much. I will give you all my money if I can go back to Charlevoix." Can you say breaking a mom's heart? I love that he loves his cousin, but it makes me so sad to see him so miserable. Later that night, as I was putting Jacob to bed, I was praying with him and thanking God that we were able to spend time up north with our family. As I was about to mention Spencer, Jacob rolled over and said "Just don't say his name." Wow. His heart is really broken. That makes mine hurt so bad. I wish I could pick Krystel and Steve (and Scott and Katie) up and move them all here, but I can't. So I have to be tough and remind Jacob of all the fun we do have when we are together - and for this we should be very thankful. What a Thanksgiving lesson.


She calls me "mother", which when pronounced sounds like "mudder". When I put her to bed, she clings to me like a koala bear baby. She tells me that she is NEVER going to let go of me because I am her "lovergirl". When she gets into bed, she asks me to lay right on top of her (she must not understand how MUCH I weigh). She is really like a baby bird, that wants, or rather needs, its mother to sit on top of it for warmth. Maybe that is why she keeps asking for a blue bird for Christmas (and that is a story that is still driving me nuts). At night, she sleeps as if she is stuck with superglue to her sister, with her arms wrapped around her sister's body. If her sister could get away, I'm sure she would. But this girl is like a heat seeking missile - always looking for the next warm body. Always snuggling and wanting to be snuggled. Gosh, I love her so much! I love how she needs to be loved and how she wants to show her own love. She makes me laugh, and smile, and cry, and get really frustrated. But I would not change one single thing. To me, she is PERFECT. She is my Jadyn. I love her so much!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Crucifixion of Jesus Explained

This morning we were reading in Mark 15, about the Crucifixion of Jesus. I was explaining to the kids what Jesus went through so that we could be forgiven. What He endured simply because He loved and obeyed God and God loved us. He was flogged (skin ripped and bleeding), He was mocked, His head was pierced with a crown of thorns, He was beaten on the head with a stick, He was spit on, and then He had spikes pounded through His flesh, muscles and bones and was crucified. All so that we (who are all sinners and could NEVER earn it) could be forgiven and given eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Simply because God loved us. So, I was going over this with the kids and by the time I was finished listing all Jesus endured, I was crying. As I looked up to see if my kids were even paying attention, I noticed that Grace had tears rolling down her face. Then I looked at Jacob, who was stone-faced, but with a quivering lip. As soon as I looked at him, he tried to change the subject. Clearly, this was a lot for them to take in but the fact of the matter is that this is the TRUTH and they need to know. I love more than anything, that it moved them. I love that they seemed to realize (even if a small amount) what Jesus did for them. I pray that this morning's Bible reading will never leave their minds. That they will take it with them forever. I know I will.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cautious Grace

This morning, when I was taking the kids to school, I forgot my purse in the garage. I mentioned it as I was driving. Immediately, Grace was very concerned. She really wanted me to go back for it, but, well.....it was a school morning which means we were down to a very few extra minutes. I said I would just drive the speed limit (which I do anyway, right?) and we would be fine. All the way to Jadyn's school, Grace read EACH speed limit sign to me - making sure that I was not speeding in the least. After dropping Jadyn off, I got back in the car and started to go to Jacob and Grace's school. As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, Grace quickly announced that the speed limit was 25. I thought that she may have forgotten. Not my Grace. She wanted to make sure she got to school WITH her mom in the car, and not in the back seat of a police squad car. That girl makes me smile.

Abby's Visit

Abby came to visit this weekend - YAY!!!! She came around 11:30 pm on Friday night and stayed until 2:30pm Sunday afternoon. Friday night we were up until 3am gabbing, in our respective places on the couch. Saturday morning (late) we went shopping and to lunch, always fun. When we came home, I worked on the computer while Abby was "mom" with my girls and made cherry cobbler and brownies with them. Those desserts, coupled with the birthday cake I made for Abby, led to a few extra pounds (I'm sure, but have not dared step on the scale). Then it was nearing time for Tom to arrive and dinner to start. Needless to say, the dinner experience was and experience. It was excessively noisier than usual (maybe because Greg was in the kitchen with us and Tom was throwing kids in the air). As we were getting ready to sit down and eat, Greg's sister showed up. We were watching her kids so her and Jeremy could go out for their anniversary. So...add 2 more to the table. They left, I was just about to take a bite and the phone rang. It was my cousin and they were getting ready to drive by and wanted to know if we wanted company. Of course we do - we ALWAYS do!!!! So, I inhaled dinner (it was not very good anyway and I was still stuffed from the salad and ENTIRE bowl of tortilla chips I had eaten at lunch). Doug and Edy and their 2 girls showed up and had birthday celebration with us. I loved it! It was like everyone was showing up to honor Abby. Yay God! Now we were up to 8 kids and 6 adults. Doug and Edy stayed until about 8:30 and as they were driving out of our sub, they drove past my parents who showed up moments later. They did not stay long, just pooped in to say hi to Abby and rile the kids up. That was great - the door kept revolving - I really love it when that happens. As soon as they left, we got the kids ready for bed and then they laid on the floor and watched the "Muppets Christmas Carol". When Jeremy and Alicia came back, all the kids were laying on the floor, watching the movie, except for Reid who was fast asleep in my arms. It was an awesome night! Sunday morning we went to church and Abby got to experience Sun day dinner at mom and dad's. Then all to quickly the time came for her to leave. I did not like that - I never do. Maybe someday we can get her to work at Citizens - maybe.

I am so glad that God has blessed me with her friendship. It means so very much to me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lesson 3

Greg and I are to be a team. Picking up the slack for each other. Working together in harmony, not as independent, separate or competitive entities. And we are (as every parent knows is a very hard thing) to release our kids into God's care - knowing His perfect will is just that - PERFECT. We are to relish the joy and peace of knowing God is in control, instead of living in constant fear of the possible dangers that surround our kids. God loves them even more than we do, and He knows what is best.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Review

God knows what is best for my husband and children - way better than I do. Yes, I know them well, but He is their Creator.

I need to accept Greg for who he is, whether I think he needs to change or not. He is not perfect and neither am I (did you hear that, Michelle?)

God is the One who can direct me in what and how to pray for my kiddos. Sometimes as a parent we can feel lost in everything that surrounds our kids. God alone can direct us in what we need to pray about and for. The biggest issue is that we pray. No matter what - PRAY!

These are the things I have learned today. Now - I need to practice them.

I have started a "job" with my sister and her friend (and some other people I do not know). But I work, entering data, each night from 8:30 until 10-11-12. I am noticing that my fingers are VERY cold. I don't think it is because it is cold in here, rather that my fingers are loosing circulation from repetition. Krystel said her hands get that way too (and she works 10 hours a day). I kind of like this work.

Scott came down last night and so we (Jadyn, Grant and I) went to breakfast this morning with Dad, Mom and Scott. That was nice. Then we ran some errands and I had to get back home to start the chicken noodle soup for Greg's mom and dad. Greg's mom had her gall bladder removed today. Praise the Lord they were able to do it laproscopically, and didn't have to give her the 10 inch incision they were preparing her for. Hopefully she heals quickly and completely.

Tonight we went to the library and Grace read to a "Dog in Training". She ABSOLUTELY loved it! We had to sign up for the nest one. They had 5 dogs there and she was able to read to 2 of the - Ditto and Hope (both goldens). Grant poked at the dog and pulled its' ear. Jadyn stayed as far away from the dogs as she could, while being able to keep an eye on me. And Jacob...well he was off looking for comic books 9we were at the library). Greg was at the hospital, keeping his dad company while he waited for his mom to get out of recovery.

I think (because I have no more parts to enter) I am going to retire early tonight. Maybe go put my cold fingers on Greg's warm back. yeah, that's what I'll do. Night.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today Starts the POWER of my PRAYER

I have been *listening* to Krystel pray with me for a week or so, but my books have finally arrived and now (even if she does not call me) I can continue praying. Oh I know.....I don't need a book to pray for my husband and kids. BUT....I like that when I can't think of the right words to say what I am thinking, I can find them. And I know.....God already knows what is in my heart even if I cannot think of the words to say, BUT.....I want to say them. I want to pour myself out in prayer for my husband and kids. They are my responsibility.

Here's what I have come across today:
1. I cannot be the wife and mother I am supposed to be without God's help.
2. That I need to get rid of my selfish ways of thinking and doing things, and I need to become PATIENT, KIND, GOOD, FAITHFUL, GENTLE, SELF-CONTROLLED and I need to have my heart filled with LOVE, JOY and PEACE......all of this can ONLY come from God.
3. I need to be obedient to God's commands and do what is pleasing in HIS sight.

Read those over again. If I just do these alone, imagine the possibilities. With God's help, I can do anything (including lose the 20 lbs I want to lose - but that's a different story). I can make the changes necessary to be a godly wife and mother. I WANT to make the changes necessary to be a godly wife and mother. Screaming and yelling, losing my patience and temper, and wanting to drop-kick everybody who walks past me are not characteristics of a godly wife and mother. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but with God's help, I will not only be successful, but I will also be able to use what I have learned to help others.

Lord, I want to take this moment to thank you ahead of time for the changes you are starting in me. I know we have a long way to go, but you are all I need. You will provide for my success in this endeavor. I want to please You as I love my husband and kids. You have blessed me beyond words, with amazing treasures in Greg, Jacob, Grace, Jadyn and Grant. I want to honor You with my relationships with each one of them. Thank you for this opportunity. And, most of all, thank you for never giving up on me - EVER. I love you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Last night was conferences at the kid's school. Grace's was first and as expected, her teacher had nothing but great things to say about Grace and having her in the classroom. She is doing EVERYTHING exactly where she should be. And her teacher, who was also her kindergarten teacher, was amazed at how she had matured since kindergarten. All in all, a very good conference. Grace is a child that would make any parent proud!

Then it was Jacob's turn. I was not sure what to expect. Jacob is a keep to himself kind of guy. Trying to get any information from him is like pulling teeth. I was almost shocked when his teacher said that he was an absolute joy to have in class. I mean I would think that, but I am his mom....I am not really sure what I was expecting. His teacher said that he was an excellent participator and that he was kind to and thoughtful of his classmates. Wow! Really, it is like he is a totally different kid at school. Whatever - I am so proud!!! His teacher did say that although he does not create the class disturbances, he does like them. Of course, doesn't that go with being a boy? And the other thing she said was that he is more than capable of writing neatly, using correct punctuation and capital letters. The issue is that he is always in such a hurry to get his work done that he speeds through and writes messily. Overall, it was an awesome conference. Not only did I get to learn about Jacob in school, but what I did learn was all good stuff. Great job, son!

I am so proud of my kiddos!!! All of them. Jadyn and Grant are so amazing too! Jadyn has her very matter-of-fact way of telling us how things "should" be. I so love that! Out of the mouth of a 4 year old - true wisdom. What a doll she is! And Grant.....sweet and sour. Tonight all he really wanted to do was vacuum at Grandma's house. He kept asking for her to get him the "bacuum" because he "sees bugs". Ok then - vacuum it is. Love those kids!

This morning Jacob was looking over the book he bought from the book fair yesterday. That was when I told him that Greg and I were going to pay for part of the book and I gave him back $5. he was so excited to have some of his money back, he kept saying "Thank you mom! Thank you mom!" A few minutes later Grace came in ans asked why she did not get a book. Jacob informed her that she had to pay for her own book. She quickly reminded all of us that "mom" had taken all of her money (but that is a different story all together. Let's just call it a lesson in responsibility.) Jacob walked out of the kitchen and came back and handed the $5 I had just given him to Grace. I about fell on the floor. It took all I had not to cry because I was so proud. I know from past experience that he does not like it when I cry around him. But to watch him give from his own pot, to his sister who had none, really tore at this mother's heart strings.

See why I love them all so much? How could anyone not?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

Friday was our 11th anniversary. Greg bought me a dozen red roses. I had them sitting in a vase on the counter when the kids came home from school and Grace asked what they were for. I told her my boyfriend got them for me. She responded, "Tom got them for you?" I couldn't stop laughing. Now, Tom is not my boyfriend really, but we joke about him being my "Costco boyfriend" because we are carded together. Apparently, I need to be a bit more careful about how I am speaking. I do not want to mislead or misdirect my kiddos in any way. The more I think about it, I have to be more careful about ALL of the things that come out of my mouth. I am teaching, or at the very least making an example for, my kids with every single thing I say or do. I need to remember that they are fragile and easily marred. I know that inevitably (and sadly) they will learn unhealthy things, but I want to make sure that they are not learning them from me. I would rather that they not learn them at all. Lord, help me to be a godly example for my kids (and others). Help me to NOT lead them astray, but to be able to direct them back to You should they stray. Also, Lord, help me not be so arrogant as to think that I am not needing to be led back myself. Please Lord, put someone in my path to direct me back when I choose incorrectly. Yes, Holy Spirit, I am talking about you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jacob and the Miraculous Science Test

Last night Jacob pulled a study guide out of his backpack, and frantically said he needed to study for his test the next day. Really? At 7:30 you are going to START studying? So we started. And guess what? He did not know any of the information on the study guide. In fact, most of his answers on the guide were wrong. Woah. So I grilled him for over an hour and by that time he was crying. He said, "I am not getting this because I am not getting enough sleep." Ok - then you go to bed earlier tomorrow. So he says, "No I mean in the morning. I need to sleep longer in the morning." Somehow I don't think your wanting MORE sleep in the morning is going to help you on your test.

I was at the school later this afternoon and popped in to talk to his teacher about the test, attempting to explain why I thought he was going to do so poorly. She looked shocked as I was telling her. She told me she just got done grading his test and he got a 93%. YAY Jacob!!!! So I guess the cram session worked. Whether it did or not, I don't want to try it again.

Halloween 2010

Trick or Treating

Trick or Treating

Grace and Mrs. Reck

Jacob and Ms. Safford

Grace in school parade

Mrs. Reck in school parade

Jacob in school parade

Ms. Safford in school parade

Jadyn's class - she's checking on Kenton

Jadyn in school parade

Trunk or Treating

Trunk or Treating

Trunk or Treating

Trunk or Treating