Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Last Week of 2010

Christmas this year was very nice. I know I must have blocked out some rough moments, but it was so relaxing and pretty much stress-free. Christmas Eve was at Greg's sister's house. Christmas Day my mom and dad came over in the morning and we just relaxed the morning away. Later in the afternoon, we went to my parent's friend's house for dinner. Then the day after Christmas was spent with my family at my mom and dad's house. Monday was the movies - took the kiddos to see Yogi Bear. Super funny and cute movie, and I loved listening to my kids laugh out loud. Tuesday was craft day at the library. Today was Girl Scout bowling, a sledding playdate, sledding at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and finished up with family movie night at the library - Toy Story 3. Lots of fun! Tomorrow is dentist appointments in the morning, rollerskating in the afternoon and date night for Greg and I - kids get to sleepover at G & G's house. New Year's Eve is going to be at home (for the first time in a long time) - Home Alone movie marathon, pizza, cocktail wienies and punch. I love my family. I am so blessed to get to spend the time I do with each of them.

Some highlights from today:

While at the bowling alley, we were waiting to get shoes and Jacob took out the quarters he had brought. Jacob has been collecting quarters because he wants to be able to buy "squishies" whenever he sees them. So he took out his baggie-o-quarters and started putting them into one of those cardboard things that have slots to put quarters in. It was to collect money for a girl named Nina who has cancer. He said "I am going to help find a cure for cancer." It took every ounce of strength I had not to break down right there. I was a very proud momma - still am. And I tell him (and everyone else who will listen) about it every chance I get. It is so awesome to see such great character traits in your kids. Such an amazing reward for all the times I feel like nothing is getting through to them. So proud of you, Jacob!

Later, while at G & G's house, Grace and Jadyn were playing a game where Jadyn was the rich lady and Grace was her maid. Jadyn wanted Grace to come out to the porch and meet her husband and her boyfriend. I heard them talking and I said "You can't have a husband AND a boyfriend." Grace said to me, "It's OK, Mom. She's rich. She can afford it." Awesome. Not exactly what I am trying to teach here, but close. OK, not really, but super funny. I wonder what goes through their minds. I love those kids!

Grant is on Day 2 of wearing big boy underwear. He is doing awesome with pee. No wet pants. But yesterday, he was able to sneak off to the laundry room and poop in his new underwear. Dang it. Oh well, we can't have it all. But, boy oh boy, am I ready.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Truth for Today

Reading from Proverbs 23:16 (speaking from a parent to a son [or daughter]):

my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.

As I read this, I was thinking about some of the things I have seen my kids do recently. A couple of days ago, as Grace was getting in trouble, Jacob brought money to me to "buy" her freedom. While this practice does not work, I rejoiced at the compassion he felt for his sister (with whom he fights constantly) and the lengths he would go to for her. This morning I had Jadyn and Grant in my lap and they each looked at the other and said seriously, "I love you". Now that is lips speaking what is right. And I love that it was the two of them (my babies) and that they did it without any prompting from me. The Scripture is TRUTH. A parent (especially this one) rejoices when their children speak what is right. Praise be to our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the heels of my last post......

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” – Micah 5:2

Commentary: We find a pattern with the Scriptures: Abraham was called out of his established place in his father’s household to become a nomad. Once he was outside known territory, God could use him. Moses was required to live in the desert for 40 years before he could lead the Jewish people out of Egypt. It seems that God loves to take mighty things and make them smaller in order to confound the world and it’s wisdom. Bethlehem was a border town with the Gentiles. It was considered unclean and totally out of touch with the rest of the Jewish realm. Yet it was Bethlehem that God chose to birth the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. Do you feel that God is whittling you down? Rejoice, he’s getting ready to use you in a great way! Do you see yourself on the margins and insignificant? Congratulations! You’re positioned to do great things for God. He has a record of taking weak and foolish things to confound the strong and wise. [bolding emphasis is mine]

Over the past year or so, I do feel that God has been whittling me down. And I have complained about it a lot. I never really thought He was "whittling" me down to do something great with me. Maybe He is. I guess we will have to wait and see. But I do absolutely love that He gave me this verse and these words today - just to show me that He is working all things together for His purpose and glory. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a part of whatever it is You are doing. I love You!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Holy cow!

So much going on. Just heard tonight that our old (not in age, but as in past) pastor is moving to TX. Keep thinking about an old acquaintance who is getting divorced. Thinking we are not in the right church. Trying to keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas. Wallowing in some self-pity, trying to claw my way out. Wow. That's about all I can say. Wow.

Today's ODB was entitled "Significant Surrender" and talked about the complete surrendering of her life that Mary did in submitting to God's will and plan for her life. The key verse was from 1 Peter 5:6, and said:

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

Despite that our circumstances could not be any more different, I could really identify with that key verse. I am (certainly in my own mind) being humbled - yet again. I want a house. I know that sounds selfish and childish, which is really why I am writing it here. All I have been thinking about for the last couple of weeks has been getting our own house. We started looking at houses, then realized that we were putting the cart before the horse. Why were we looking for a house that we were not even sure we could be financed for? So we set the wheels in motion for a pre-approval. As we waited, I was very impatient. I wanted a house! Now. So as I prayed I found myself making a deal with God. I will wait for the approval and while I wait I will not look at another house. If we can get approval than that will be my sign to move ahead, and if not, well.....we weren't really going to consider that option. Well, we got the phone call and they told us not for 3 years from the date of the sale of our house. 3 YEARS????? Are you kidding me? Greg wants to check with VA and smaller banks, but I suspect the answer will be the same. God is the One Who is in control - not the banks (despite what they may think). So, that leaves us with another 2 years as renters. [Let me interject something here. I have no "issue" with being a renter. In fact, in some ways it has made our life easier. I think I am caught up in the facade of the American Dream of owning your own home. The other thing I think about is what if the people who own the house don't want us here anymore? Then what? Well - then God. Just like how we found this place. God is so much more powerful than I give Him credit for. He knows what I need way before I need it. Psalm 37:25 says I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Really - what do I have to be concerned about?] 2 years is nothing, but 2 years is forever. Depends on how you look at it. My choice is this - Isaiah 40:31,

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait (as the song goes). I will wait on God's time because as mentioned in the verse at the top, God Himself will exalt me in due time, if AND ONLY if I am humbled under His mighty hand. BTW - by exalting me I do not mean what it sounds. I mean that I will be exalted to whatever His perfect plan for me is. I guess it goes back again to Proverbs 16:9,

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Five days earlier (and probably coinciding with the day of the above-mentioned prayer) in ODB the devotion was titled "A Submission Problem". Can you say Michelle? Here was the key verse, found in James 4:10.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Then it talked of submission meaning "an act of yielding to the authority or control of another". What is controlling me? What am I allowing myself to be controlled by? If the answer is anything other than God alone, then there is a problem. Well, I have been obsessing (probably too loose of a term) over having my own home. Therefore, God being the loving Father He is, has removed from my mind the object of my obsession. Oh, for sure, I still want my own house, but I know that obsessing is pointless (not only for the moment but forever). Notice that every time I have spoken of it I have called it a "house" and not a "home" - that is because I do know that I already have a home. Not only a heavenly home, but also an earthly home. I have been blessed way beyond what I could ever deserve (can you say grace?) and have more than I could ever need. My Father knows that my focus was on something of earthly value, instead of nurturing my "home". I think of the verse in Proverbs 14:1,

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

What am I focusing on? Where is all my attention? Am I (even unknowingly) tearing down my own "home" by focusing on an earthly "house"? Maybe. But I can't do that anymore - Praise God alone! When He moves me, I will move. Until then I will carry on, praising Him as I go. I am here for a reason. Here for a purpose. God alone knows what that is. But I will trust in Him, knowing He will see me through.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a Great Weekend!

We had a blast this weekend! Friday night, Greg and I took Jacob and Grace to see "The Christmas Carol", a play put on by the youth theater in town. Jadyn and Grant got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house, so you know they were in their glory. I was not entirely sure how Jacob and Grace would like a play, but they loved it! They were watching so intensely. At one point Grace was in Greg's lap and Jacob was in mine. This was when Jacob Marley came in....that guy was scary. I think Jacob liked intermission the best (well, maybe not) because he stuffed himself with cookies. After the play, we went to Big Boy for dessert. It was neat to sit there and just talk with them about the play. The especially liked it when some of the cast members and their families came into Big Boy too. After dessert, we went to Walmart because I needed an extension cord for the beautiful decoration on my mantle (and they are). While at Walmart, we decided to stroll down the toy aisle and see what we liked. Then we looked for other presents for other people and then we got a few groceries. By the time we left it was 10:30pm, and as we were getting ready to walk out a lady was locking the door. My kids got a bit nervous, thinking they were being locked in. We went home and Greg and I wanted to go to bed, we were exhausted. But Jacob wanted to play a game. How could we resist? He wanted to play and it was such a nice night of being able to spend focused attention on my bigger kids, who usually lose out on time with mom and dad. So the 4 of us played dominoes, then Yahtzee - mom won both games, of course! Then it was time for bed. The issue was that neither Jacob or Grace wanted to sleep alone, but neither of them wanted to sleep together either. What ended up happening was a huge slumber party in our bed! Why not? Like I said, it was just so cool to spend this uninterrupted time with them. Not that I mind being interrupted by Jadyn and Grant - I don't - I love having them around and spending time with them too, but we all know that when there are little kids around, they require more attention. So it was nice to have the shift and give to Jacob and Grace. I think they liked it too.

Saturday morning Jadyn and Grant went out to breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa, and watched a 60 car police parade. Jacob and Greg went to Jacob's basketball evaluation clinic and Grace and I went to Kroger's for Grace's Brownies Ring and Sing, where we sang Christmas carols around the Salvation Army Red Bucket. It was cold, but it was fun. After that we went to get Jadyn and Grant. Later Grace had a birthday party to go to. It was a sleepover at a hotel. We were not going to let Grace spend the night, but then the mom asked me if I would stay too, so we did. It was the other mom, me and 12 girls aged 6-11. Yikes! Actually, it was a ton of fun. But I am getting ahead of myself. We dropped Grace off at 4, then we had to go to Greg's sister's house for a late Thanksgiving/birthday party. Greg was VERY nervous about leaving Grace, so he have her his cell phone and showed her how to call me, if there was an emergency. So we were at Colleen's house, getting ready for dinner, and my cell phone rang. Greg jumped up and ran over to me. It was Grace! She was calling me to tell me how much fun she was having. They had already eaten dinner and had just had a pillow fight. "I am having such a blast, mom. I just wanted to tell you." If that kid isn't her father's daughter, I don't know what she is. About 30 minutes later my phone rang again. This time she was telling me that in the other room (there were 2 suites) there were bowls of chips, 2 TVs and lots of candy. She was so excited! Another hour or so passed and my phone rang again. Guess who? Yep, this time she wanted to tell me that she had moved our stuff into the other room and that was where we were sleeping. And, by the way, "when are you going to get here, mom? We are having so much fun!" So we left. I got there about 8pm. When I got there almost all of the girls had finished swimming and were showering and blow drying their hair. It was funny to see these "babies" acting so grown up. Grace and one of her friends, Soleil, were still swimming. They ran to great me, then ran back to swim again. As soon as they got to the pool, someone told them they wouldn't want to swim because a kid just threw up his macaroni and cheese in the pool. So everybody cleared out of the pool. I heard someone say something about it, but thought I heard them say someone pooped in the pool and I made the girls jump in the showere immediately. Just the thought of poop in the pool is disgusting. I guess throw up isn't much better though. Since the pool was out of the equation now, the girls needed something to do. I had packed my nail care kit, which has all my nail polish in it. So I pulled it out and painted 120 nails. The girls loved it. Then they decided to put on make-up and have a fashion show in their pjs. Our suites were right off the pool area, so they had their fashion show by walking around the pool. Well, sometimes they walked, but mostly they ran. Then they moved up the stairs and ran. There was one kid, who did not do this. Can you guess who? I am so proud of this girl. She came up to me and said " I don't want to go up there. I don't think we should be up there." And well, they shouldn't have...and they ended up getting a talking to from the hotel manager. But, I was the proudest momma. My girl stood up for what she believe was right and did not go with the crowd. I don't even have the words to say how proud I was, and still am! By the time I got the girls in my room settled and quiet, it was around 1am. After sleeping between one girl who was a bed hog and another girl who I feared would fall off the bed at any minute, I didn't really get much sleep.

So, Sunday afternoon consisted of a nice little nap with Grant. I woke up just in time to help my dad, Greg and Tom put up the "walls and windows" to make a room out of my parent's front porch.

All in all, a great weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Kids - they make me laugh, smile, think, wonder


We were reading yesterday in James, and it was talking about not committing murder or adultery, and if you don't commit one but commit the other, you are still a lawbreaker. Jacob piped up and asked if the guys in the military were guilty of committing murder when they kill people in war. I was amazed. Mostly, because I really didn't think he was even paying attention, but then also because I wasn't sure how to answer it. I think what I said was along the lines of there has always been war and the people fighting the war are protecting their nations and I think that kind of "killing" is different from plain murder. That sounds like a terrible sentence, doesn't it? This post was because I was so proud of Jacob's listening and asking the tough questions.


Grant (and Jadyn) spent some time with Grandpa today. Yesterday, Grant got a new pair of snow boots and wore them over to Grandma and Grandpa's house. After I picked the kids up, we went to school to get Jacob and Grace. As we were walking in, Grant told me that he wanted to "walk like a duck, like Grandpa". Apparently, Grandpa was teaching him how to walk in snow boots on ice. Nice.


Jadyn had speech a couple of days ago. For whatever reason, she had her lesson with another boy. After they were done, the teacher came out and told me that Jadyn "promptly told Ross [the other boy] that she already had a boyfriend". Are you kidding me? I do not know where this kid gets this stuff from. Amazing.


I get the privilege of administering spelling test in Grace's class. I usually go on Tuesdays, but today was Thursday and I had to go. So, this time....I got to quiz Grace. That girl. She tried to get me to help her cheat. Well, not really cheat, but she asked me to "help" her. Ummmm? No. She did awesome though.

My kids make me so proud. They are each so different and unique and so very special to me. I am a very blessed mother.