Monday, August 31, 2009
The cool weather, the nice breeze, and the beautiful surroundings were all very serene ~ not to mention the fact that my sweet husband brought me a Venti Chai Latte (a.k.a. Peace in a cup). It was sitting in my cup holder beckoning me to drink of it. And, every so often as we drove to JCT's school, I would take a warm, soothing sip. It was all very nice. . .
Until we parked.
in front of the school.
And, JCT refused to get out of his car seat.
He held his hands over his straps refusing to let me unbuckle him.
So, Erik tried.
He got JCT unbuckled, but JCT refused to get out of the back of the van.
He sat down in the floor of the third row of our van.
Erik had to pry him out of the van, kicking and screaming, while all the nice little kids with all their nice little parents gently walked by trying not to stare at us and attempting to steer their children away from us fearing the impact our son's behavior might have on their child.
It was not pretty, I assure you.
This is Erik attempting to talk JCT into going into his classroom. . .
But, it didn't work. When they left the courtyard, JCT was once again kicking and screaming. I chose to stay in the car with the babies. I couldn't do it.
About 15 minutes later, Erik came out with beads of sweat dripping from his brow. Let's just say that he wasn't happy. He said JCT fought tooth and nail the entire time.
We drove the short drive to Erik's office discussing what we would do if this behavior continued beyond today. I dropped him off at work ~ patients waiting in rooms, already starting his day 15 minutes behind schedule.
But, before I got out of the parking lot, I got a call from a friend of ours who works at the preschool. And, she said, JCT was. . .
Chuckling, she said that as soon as Erik left the building, he quit crying and started playing playdoh.
Why, I ask you?
I mean, seriously, why?
So, when he got home from school, I asked him how he liked it. His answer. . .
"I loved it."
So, I asked, "What are you going to do tomorrow when Daddy drops you off at school?"
"I don't know?" He answered, thoughtfully, "I was just thinkin' bout that. I just don't know if I'm gonna cry or not. I'm not sure yet?"
"Well, since you know you like school, since you know it is fun, don't you think you could choose to be happy and walk into class like a big boy tomorrow?"
"Yeah. I just don't know yet. I'm still thinking about it."
We are eagerly awaiting his decision.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
We don't really do anything the "normal" way around here, but, man, it makes things interesting. . .
"You can choose to try and keep your boys away from guns. You can choose to not buy them or to not bring them into your home. But, if you do they will make them. . . out of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if they have to, but they will make them."
That quote is the first thing I thought of when a few days ago I saw this. . .
I guess the man knows what he is talking about. . . :-)
sitting in Pop's lap and enjoying his love!!!???!!!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I love to see things through the simple eyes of my children. At the memorial service in Florida, one of the speakers told the story of a conversation my two older boys had with their Pop. I did not know the story, so it was very fun for me to hear it!
Imagine Pop walking flanked on each side by cute little red-headed, freckle faced boys. JCT looks up at Pop and asks, "Pop can you fall out of heaven?" Pop hesitates for a second. And, before he could come up with an answer, Joshua says,
"Well, if you did, Jesus would catch you."
Simple as that.
I love it. You are safe. Jesus is there, so you are safe. No matter if you fall, no matter if you fly, you are safe. Jesus will catch you.
If only we could all truly believe that deep into the inner-most parts of our hearts. If only we could believe that we were truly safe ~ that falling is okay, that failing is okay, because He is there ready to catch us.
Oh, don't let me get deep! We are talking about simple faith ~ like the faith of a child.
It rained a good bit yesterday, and for a couple hours I was alone at home with Joshua. We were working on school work. I left the room for a moment, and when I came back over to check his work, he said excitedly, "I have an idea!"
"What is it?" I asked.
"Well, we could write a note to Grandma on a piece of paper. Then, we could attatch the paper to a balloon, and we could go outside and let it go! And, it would float up to heaven!!!!!"
Now what do you say to that? I am perfectly aware that heaven is not a place located just above the clouds. But, right or wrong, I didn't have the heart to tell him that. And, if he wanted to send a note to his Grandma, I wasn't about to tell him that he couldn't do it. I simply could not burst his sweet little bubble!
So, I said, "Joshua, that is a great idea! We can do that tomorrow if you'd like?"
I went out and bought helium filled balloons for he and JCT. And, they wrote their own little notes. . .
Then, we headed outside to let the balloons fly free. . .
The release. . .
The boys ran around the yard watching the balloons go higher and higher. . .
It was very fun and very sweet. And, throughout the evening, I heard Joshua talking aloud to God, praying, "God, please let our messages get to Grandma. Please let her get our messages."
She will not be forgotten. She will be missed ~ by many, but for certain by two cute little red-headed, freckle-faced little boys!
Monday, August 24, 2009
**Updated to add. . . I took you to your 12 month check up today, and you were a hit with the doctor, nurse, and lab lady!!! Dr. I said you officially made his sweet boy hall of fame!! You were so good and playful while he assessed you! And, when the nurse came in to give you shots you reached for her, and she took you to the nurse's station. When you got to the nurse's station, you wanted Dr. I. He took you and held you for a little bit while he worked on charts! They had to draw blood from your sweet little finger to check for anemia. You didn't even flinch! You just watched intently as the lab lady milked your sweet finger for blood!! I think you were trying to figure out how she was getting red stuff to come out of your finger! :-) Cute! You are such a joy! I'm thankful for you! You weighed in at 24 pounds and 4 ounces and 32 inches. I'll have to check my records, but I think you may just be my biggest one year old yet!!!! I'm just glad you're mine!!**
I can't believe that my baby is ONE!!! You are so wonderful, peaceful, and sweet, and we thank God for surprising us with the gift of your life!!!
I still can't believe that it has been a year since we met you for the very first time! Now you are busy and active, eating baby food, yogurt, and cheerios, and standing up - balancing all by yourself!! You'll be walking/running soon!!!!! You went from calm sweet baby to wiggly squirmy little man practically overnight!!! And, you are talking loudly and a good bit these days!! Mostly you just say "Mama" and "Dada," but I have heard you make grand attempts at other words! I thank my God for your little life!!! You are blessing us big time!!!
Yesterday we took you to church in your little crown, but you wouldn't keep it on for very long!!! You looked cute as a button while it was on!!! Thanks for all the joy you bring us!!! We all love you to pieces!
Pic #1. . .
Pic #2. . .And, pic #3. . .
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Joshua and JCT sit in the third row of our van ~ just the two of them. And, if I could always hear their little conversations, I feel quite certain that my blog would become a transcript of their interactions.
This particular evening Joshua was announcing that he would see Grandma again because he was going to heaven one day because he had asked Jesus into his heart. He then felt it necessary to point out that Daddy had asked Jesus into his heart, and Mommy had asked Jesus into her heart. But, he couldn't leave it at that. He, also, felt it necessary to point out that "JCT has not asked Jesus into his heart yet, and Elijah has not asked Jesus into his heart yet, so they are going to go to h*el*l unless they do it!!!!" Then, he looked JCT directly in the eyes and said, "You better ask Jesus into your heart right now, or you're going to go to h*el*l when you die! Do you want to go to h*el*l??"
JCT very quickly and quietly agreed with Joshua that h*el*l was not where he wanted to go when he died. And, in the blink of an eye, Joshua led JCT to invite Jesus into his heart. Or, rather Joshua forced salvation upon him using the h*el*l/fear tactic. I'm not really sure what my sweet Lord, full of grace and love, thought as he looked down upon this backseat conversation. But, I think it made him laugh. :-) Yes, I am quite certain He laughed. He loves my Joshua, and He knows his heart. And, don't worry, I had a little talk with the two of them about salvation, forgiveness, grace, love, and h*el*l.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
My sweet husband was three hours from the hospital when he received the call that Jesus had called his precious mother home.
Thanks so much to those who prayed.
But, you know what I know without a doubt?
I know that she knows.
She knows her big boy loves her because he told her over and over and over and over while she was with him. He loved her well, and I have been blessed to have witnessed that love in action as he cared for her each weekend over the past few months.
I'll never forget watching him walk into her hospital room and take command. He'd open the blinds. Talk to her sweetly. Do his little physical therapy routine on her while I constantly assured her that he loved her so much and that is why he was working her so hard! He'd ask her 100s of questions to check her memory. Watching him look her over with a doctor's eye. Watching him spoon feed her and clean her up. Yes, he loved her well.
Her children arose and called her blessed. She couldn't have asked for more.
I think the thing that makes me the most sad is when I think about how little of her my sons will know. Joshua will remember the most, but even he has a mere 6 years worth of memories. It just makes me that much more determined to keep her memory alive.
Who was she, you ask?
Oh, do let me tell you a bit about her. . .
We are blessed to have walked with her. Her heart was pure and selfless. Her hands were those of a servant. I have met few like her on my journey thus far. A humble, beautiful soul.
She loved me for who I am. She never thought I, or anyone else for that matter, needed to be anything or anyone other than exactly who they are. She loved with every fiber of her being. She gave the most amazing love pats. She could pat legs like she could beat eggs ~ with amazing wrist power! She was something special. Brutally honest. Always saying exactly what she thought. She told my parents the first time ever she met them that "Jimmy and I are praying Erik marries your daughter." Erik and I had known each other only a few months, and my parents were flattered but a bit surprised! The best was when she told Brother (Sean) that he looked like George Castanza! She was a great lady. But, the most remarkable thing about her was the way she believed in those she loved. For instance. . .
She thought I could do no wrong ~ even though my inadequacies were ever present and unfortunately quite obvious.
She thought I was a wonderful mother ~ even when she witnessed me losing my temper with her beloved grandsons.
She thought I was a great cook ~ even when I made a complete mess of dinner.
She thought I was a precious wife ~ even when she watched her son carry most of the weight.
She thought I was a wonderful housekeeper ~ even when there were cobwebs in every corner of my house and crumbs all over my floors.
She thought I was tiny ~ even when I was 9 months pregnant with my fourth son.
She thought I was a great writer ~ even when I couldn't put two thoughts together to save my life.
She thought I was organized ~ even when my counter tops had clutter piled to ceilings.
She thought I was beautiful ~ even when I first got up in the morning with dark circles under my eyes and no make-up on my face.
She thought I was a wonderful hostess ~ even when I didn't have time to make sweet tea or change the sheets on the guest bed before she arrived.
She thought I could do ANYTHING that I wanted to do ~ even though I am extremely fearful and consumed with self-doubt.
She believed in me.
She always and only built me up. I could have asked for no more in a mother-in-love. Her faith was simple and sweet. I will miss her something fierce.
I talked to my husband a while ago, and he was in her room saying goodbye. His voice was pure peace, and I can't tell you how it soothed my soul to hear it. He said, "Well, Baby, she is pretty. She is pale, and she is pretty, but she is not here. She is lifeless. Her spirit is gone. She is in Jesus' arms now." Peace. That is the kind of peace that only comes from One Source and One Source alone.
Erik called around bedtime to tell the big boys. I had one on each side of me holding them in my arms. I put the phone on speaker, and Erik began to explain to the boys what happened to their sweet Grandma. The conversation went something like this, "Boys, you know how we are spirit, and we relate to God through our spirit. You know, how we talk about that we are Spiritual beings? Well, Grandma's Spirit went to be with Jesus today. And, now she is well. Jesus gave her a brand new body, and she can walk and talk and do all the things she used to be able to do. And, her new body is even better than her old one!"
Joshua was grinning from ear to ear. He even let out an "Awesome!" as he listened to his Dad talk about Grandma's new body. But, it wasn't until a little later in the conversation when JCT very astutely asked, "So, are you saying Grandma died?" When Erik said yes, Joshua picked up the front of his t-shirt and pulled it up over his face and my big boy's little dam broke. He finally understood that he wouldn't see his Grandma again on this earth.
But, praise God, he will see her again one day!
After the conversation with Erik, I sat on the couch and held my little man as he cried and cried. I couldn't help being so thankful. So thankful that he loved her so much. So thankful that he had such a precious Grandma to love for the first 6 years of his life. May he always remember what a precious and loving lady she was.
Please continue to pray for our family.