Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Craziness

Love them. . .


This has been such an interesting week. It began with JCT developing a strange rash all over his body - neck down. I attributed this to the fact that I recently switched from a fragrance free detergent to a naturally scented detergent. I didn't think much of the rash ~ figuring it was simply eczema, but my doctor husband took one look at it and said it looked like "strep." So, the next morning we took the little one to Daddy's office to be tested. Before he left JCT asked me, "Now, this isn't going to hurt, is it?" I cringed.

He added, "I mean, like, he isn't going to cut my heart out or anything, right? I mean, like, he is just going to stick a little stick down my throat, right?"

Relieved, I said, "Yes, you are right. Just a little stick down the throat. Daddy doesn't cut hearts out. That isn't in his job description."

So, he left with Daddy, and I came to the office to pick him up 30 minutes later. And, our darling son with no fever, no symptoms ~ other than the rash, was strep positive. Go figure?? He hasn't acted sick, not one moment ~ except when he woke me up last night to tell me his ear hurt. I gave him Motrin and sent him back to bed, and he slept like a baby the rest of the night!!!

Joshua caught me off guard earlier this week. We were discussing these funny little bracelets that are all the rage at the elementary school right now. They are sort of like rubber bands except they are shaped like animals and a variety of other things. All the kids are wearing them, and Joshua has been given a good number of them at church. He wore 6 or 7 of them to school and came home without any. We were discussing his bracelets when out of the clear blue sky, or so it seemed to me, he said, "I gave my heart to Jesus."

Now, he did this several years ago, so it surprised me to hear him say it. So, I questioned him, "Today? You gave your heart to Jesus today?"

"Yes," he didn't hesitate, "at recess."

"You gave your heart to Jesus at recess??" I was so confused??

And, then it hit him! And, he said, "No, Mom! I did that a long time ago!!! I gave my heart to Jesus (but this time he pronounced it the Spanish way). I gave my heart bracelet to Jesus!! And, I gave my cross bracelet to Macy and my t-rex to John Daniel. . ."
:-) Funny!

It was one of those things that I laughed about off and on for a while!!

In other news we have had a couple of glimpses of spring here lately!! But, it is cold today, and I heard a rumor that we may get snow this weekend??? Craziness!!
And, speaking of craziness, my son, who has been feeding himself applesauce for a while now, decided to get a little crazy last night. Instead of washing dishes, I was washing my sweet son in the kitchen sink after dinner!!! What a cute little mess he was!!! :-)


Maybe I should keep a closer eye on him??

The big boys alternate between football, basketball, and baseball these days. This afternoon they were playing basketball ~ the Hornets (Joshua) versus the Cavs (JCT). They kept score by using tally marks drawn with sidewalk chalk. Very fun! After a particularly nice move made by JCT (I think he stole the ball, but, honestly, I don't remember what he did that he was so proud of!! :-), he put his hands on his hips, looked me in the eyes, and said, "They don't call me Lebron for nothing!!!!" The kid cracks me up!! Oh, yeah, did I mention that he has strep throat?? And, he was playing basketball in the 40 degree weather!! You should have seen the way he looked at me when I told him that he couldn't go to choir tonight because he was sick.

Funny!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Few Good Men, a.k.a. When the Saints Go Marching in. . .

The afternoon before the Superbowl I sat in front of this same computer and listened to Drew Brees give his testimony to a lady interviewing him, and it moved me. He told the story of the night that he received Christ. He said that he remembers his pastor preached a sermon on how God wants "a few good men." He said something inside him clicked, and he thought to himself, "That's me. I want to be one of God's few good men." Joshua and I have discussed this deeply. We have discussed that God is looking the earth over for men who will love Him, serve Him, lay down their lives, and be faithful to Him.

My thoughts have centered on this lately. In fact, at times it is all I can think of. Several nights this week as I have gone into the boys room to kiss them before I go to bed, I have fallen on my face in the middle of their room and begged the Lord to be glorified through them. That is why they were created. They were not created to be good Christians. That term tickles me. "Good Christians" as opposed to being "bad Christians"??? Anyway, He created them so that He, Himself, could be glorified through their time on Earth. So, that they would recognize Him as Lord of All and because of that knowledge embedded deep within their souls that their lives would make the Lord of All recognizable to others who walk this mortal journey.

There is a song that I have been singing in my head all week this week. It is by Sara Groves, and it is called When the Saints. It is amazing. Perhaps I love it because it makes reference to the underground railroad and Jim Elliot ~ both of which I am huge fans!!! She tells the story of many lovers of God who lived their lives fully for God ~ doing things that most of us would be too afraid to do. And, then the chorus says, "When the Saints Go Marching in, I want to be one of them!!!!" Amen and amen!! I worship every time I hear it, and most times I fight tears as I listen. And, it is a happy song, but it's truth is just what God has been saying to me lately.

A few good men. . . and women. . .

That is what He wants. That is what we were created to be.

One line of the song talks about a prostitute huddled on the floor and a man full of passion (holy passion :-) knocking down the door (to rescue her).

Oh, my heart!!! Sweet boys, this is what it is all about!! I have been so challenged this week to use the 18 years that we have with these little men to the fullest! Every opportunity, every moment, fanning the flame ~ the flame that will never go out! God, help me to be faithful to be counted worthy of them, of this responsibility! Walk with us, guide our steps.

I'm going to end with the words of this amazing song. . .

When the Saints
by Sara Groves

"I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know. It's more than I can handle, but Your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones, and I can't let it go. . .

(Chorus)And, when I'm weary and overwrought with so many battles left unfought, I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard. I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars and when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them.

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind. It all can overwhelm me but when I think of all who've gone before and lived a faithful life. Their courage compels me. . .

I see the shepherd Moses in Pharaoh's court. I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord. . .

I see the long quiet walk along the underground railroad. I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul. . .

I see the young missionary and the angry spear. I see his family returning with no trace of fear. . .

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights. I see the sister standing by the dying man's side. . .

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor. I see the man with a passion come kicking down that door. . .

I see the Man of sorrows and His long troubled road. I see the world on His shoulders and my easy load. . ."
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. . . .
Hebrews 12:1

Friday, February 19, 2010

Time to Kick-off Joshua's Party!!!

After JCT's friends finished digging for fossils, it was time to begin transitioning to Joshua's football party!!! We asked all of Joshua's friends to come dressed in their favorite team's jersey, t-shirt, or cheerleading uniform! Here is the table. . .Friends enjoying a snack!! I love this picture because Joshua has his gloved hand on his best friend, Eli's, back. These boys are such good friends! I am so thankful for Eli and how he loves my little man!!
After some snacks, Joshua blew out the candles on his cake. . .Then, everybody headed out for a good old game of football!!! A precious friend of ours, (he's a coach, so he'd love to know that I described him as precious!!! :-), came over the night before the party and painted a very professional looking football field on our front yard!!!! Seriously the lines were perfect and measured, and the numbers looked like they had been stenciled on the grass!! So, so cool!! That alone made this birthday a birthday Joshua will never forget!!!! We spray painted Colts on one side and Saints on the other. (The party was the Saturday before the Superbowl.) Erik coached the Saints. A friend's Dad coached the Colts. And, I don't know if we should be superstitious, but the Saints won!!!
Joshua's cousin Caleb got to come from Florida with Erik's Dad, and that made the whole weekend even more special!!! Here he is kicking a field-goal!! You can't see it in this picture, but I bought a really cool miniature goal post!! It was the perfect size for young players!!

The Cheerleaders. . .



And, this is just too cute!!! Afton and JCT getting in on the big boy action. . .


How cute are they???!!! Okay, now everyone, who knows Afton's Daddy, knows that he is usually up to something! So, after the Saints officially won the "Superbowl," Sean got the ice chest that the kids' Gatorade's were in and proceeded to dump the melted water and ice on Erik from behind when he least expected it!!! It was awesome!!!Classic Erik and Sean. . .Every man should have a friend like this. . .
I took the picture below about 15 minutes after Erik told the kids to jump one at a time. :-)



They took turns doing some drills. . .

A sweet picture of the cousins after the party died down. . .


Instead of bringing gifts, we asked that guests bring books to be donated to JCT's preschool, for JCT's party, and Joshua's elementary school library, for Joshua's party. The boys had so many good books to take to their schools the next week!! They loved getting to give them to the preschool director and the school librarian!! Here is a picture of Joshua's stack. . .


Later that afternoon after we had cleaned and straightened the house, I couldn't find Erik. He just disappeared. I walked out the front door to look for him, and there he was. . . . Jumping on the trampoline, grinning from ear to ear, with absolutely no idea anyone was watching him!! I think he has enjoyed the boys gift almost as much as they have!!! I ran in, got my camera, and snapped a pic of this big boy!!


Thank You, God for fun days, and thank You even more for sweet boys to celebrate and for good friends to celebrate with!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

JCT's Dino-mite Party!!

In the past Joshua and JCT have always shared a party, and originally that was my plan for this year. They both like football, and Joshua very confidently announced that he! wanted! a! football! party! So, I started planning one big football party for both of them. But, after several afternoons of playing dinosaurs, reading dinosaur books, and working out of dinosaur activity books with JCT, I felt a twinge of guilt. He loves dinosaurs. He has never had his own party. He has a little preschool class of friends. He deserves his own little celebration. So, I changed gears and began planning two parties, two cakes, two menus, two sets of activities, etc. Erik and I decided to have the parties on the same day ~ one right after the other. They have many mutual friends who would want to be at both parties, and having the parties one after the other would make it much easier for the parents of those friends.

The day was very cold and overcast, but we still had a great time!! JCT asked specifically for a blue and orange t-rex cake. The inspiration for his color choice was his love for the Florida Gators!! So, here it is. . . Just call him Timmy T-rex!!! :-)

Outside Pop and Deana B's Diddy were finishing up putting together the boys' birthday present!! Woo Hoo!! So fun!!!

Since JCT had never had a party by himself, I was a little concerned about how many children would come. I had not received many rsvps, and I so wanted his birthday party to be a blast for him. Well, I worried in vain!!! Check out how many of his sweet friends came to celebrate with him!!!!!Here he is blowing out his candles, the big 5 year old birthday boy. . .
And, here I am making a volcano erupt for the children. . .And, here are the kiddos digging for fossils. . .
JCT and I "made" the fossils a week or so before, and it was great fun. We used two different recipes, rolled out dough, and I let him put his dinosaurs' feet down in the dough to make footprints. Some of the smaller dinos we layed down in the dough and made impressions of their whole bodies. And, then some of the dough we rolled into ovals to make dino eggs, and some we shaped into small dino bone shapes. JCT and I had almost as much fun making the fossils as his friends did digging for them!!
Deana B., our official family photographer, took this picture of my new prayer partner, Nikki, and her husband and their youngest son, Timothy. We've been praying together since the beginning of the school year, and I love her to pieces!
I think the party was a success!! JCT was able to celebrate with his buddies all around him!! I think he had a really good time!!! Now, it is time to kick-off Joshua's party!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

White Snow, Bright Snow

Last night before I tucked my boys into their beds, I read these words. . .

"Softly, gently in the secret night, down from the North came the quiet white. Drifting, sifting, silent flight, softly gently in the secret night. White snow, bright snow, quiet as sleep. Down, down, without a sound; down, down, to the frozen ground. Covering roads and hiding fences, sifting in cracks and filling up trenches. Millions of snowflakes, tiny and light, softly, gently in the secret night..."

All day yesterday I checked the weather. The meteorologists were predicting snow. A winter weather advisory had been issued for our area. My anxious heart was filled with hope!! And, as I read the words of White Snow, Bright Snow to my boys, I worried for a few moments that maybe I was putting false hope into my little ones' hearts. Their eyes lit up as I read of the children playing in the snow. And, I told them that, maybe, just maybe, we would wake up to winter white one more time!!!

Weather.com said that the snow would begin to fall at 11 pm. Well, at 11 pm Erik and I were sitting in bed reading, when all of the sudden, we heard a noise outside our bedroom window. Erik jumped up to see what it was. He went to the front door, turned on the front lights, and looked outside! He came back to our room and happily announced that the sound we heard was the sweet North wind blowing snow against our window ~ except he didn't call the North wind sweet ~ I added that!! I ran to the front door to look, and, sure enough, weather.com was right on!!! Then, I tucked myself back in bed and smiled myself to sleep with visions of snow floating down from heaven and falling gently on my face!!!!!

I can honestly say that today has been a gift! I am sitting in front of my laptop at our kitchen table, little boys napping, big boys engrossed in a movie. I am sipping coffee and watching the snow fall. Only God and my husband, and possibly Deana B, know how much this day means to me! I love snow! I jokingly beg my husband at least once a week to move me a little further north, so I can see more snow!!! But, he won't go for it!! :-) I know this is likely the last snow of the winter, and so I am soaking it in ~ enjoying each moment!
When it snows our bird feeder gets some serious business!!! There are six birds there right now! One of which is a gorgeous red cardinal! How happy am I??!!!

Some of these pictures are from the surprise snow dusting we got last Monday! It wasn't much, but it was enough to keep the boys out of school!
Here are my sweet boys having popcorn and a movie on a quiet snowy afternoon!


But, I know that like all good things, this, too, has to end. I haven't looked at weather.com today. I fear what it will tell me!! Probably tomorrow will be sunny with temps in the high 40's, and that is not compatible with snow. So, most likely, tomorrow I will spend much of the morning listening to the sound of snow melting off our roof. And, each time I look out the window a little more snow will have disappeared from our lawn. :-( I keep reminding myself that spring is right around the corner, and I do love spring. It just doesn't feel like it on this snowy day!!! And, that brings me full circle to an excerpt from the end of the book White Snow, Bright Snow. . .
"The wind pushed light puffs of white from the branches, while the melting snow on roof-tops drip-drip-dripped into long shiny icicles. . .Big patches of soft muddy ground showed through snow in the fields. The sound of dripping, running water and the smell of wet brown earth filled the warm air. Now the branches were bare again. . . fence posts lost their dunce caps, the snowman's arms dropped off, and running water gurgled in gutters and rain pipes... and, the children watched for the first robin to tell them Spring had really come. . . "
Won't be long now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 4, 2010

What a sweet date it is to me ~ February 4th!!! My two big boys turned 5 and 7 on this day this year, and that was cause for great celebration!!! Erik woke the boys up by playing, very loudly ~ I might add, the song "You Say It's Your Birthday." Then, we gave them a little birthday happy. They each got a book. . .
Later that morning, I picked JCT up a little early from preschool, and then headed to Joshua's school to check him out for an hour. Then, the three of us headed to a new Mexican restaurant for a special birthday lunch date!!! It was all well and good until. . .


the waiters came over to the table to sing a Spanish version of Happy Birthday to the boys!!! Little did I know that they were going to put cream pies in the boys' faces!!!!! Yeah, that didn't go over real well. In fact, I fear they may never let me take them to this new restaurant again for fear they will get the same pie-in-the-face deal!!! JCT handled it better than Joshua, but neither one liked it!!


About a week before their birthday, I overheard JCT announcing to Joshua how many days were left until their birthday. And, I thought about what a sweet thing it is that God chose to give them the same birthday. JCT came three weeks early, and until my water broke unexpectedly, the thought of my oldest two children having the same birthday never even crossed my mind!!

But, God knew.

And, He gave these two a special little tie to unite them in a unique way. They are not twins, though I actually get asked that question from time to time, but they do share a special day. And, I love to imagine them as grown men calling and singing Happy Birthday to each other!



They are pretty fond of one another! I love the sweet bond that is developing in their hearts!



Sweet gifts!! Thank You, Lord!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reading in the Peace Chair

Okay, so I failed the "next Monday I am going to do. . ." thing. But, hey, there is always next week!! I am still attempting to get life in order after an insanely crazy weekend of birthday parties!!! We attended 3 birthday parties on Saturday ~ 2 of which were held at our home for our boys!! It was wild, and it will take me several posts to get caught back up with where we are in life!!! I hate being behind!

But, in honor of my desire for and love of all things peaceful, I thought I'd post this picture of little brothers listening to big brother read about Johnny Appleseed! I call this chair the "peace chair" because it is where I nurse my babies and cuddle up with my toddlers to read!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday

It is naptime on Monday afternoon, and I am enjoying a hot cup of creamy Bifferdoodle while I listen to SCC sing and JCT play with his Fisher Price Batcave. The house is peaceful and quiet, and I am soaking it in prepping for the craziness that is to come later this afternoon when the littles wake up and Joshua returns home ready! to! play!

Next Monday I am going to begin doing my weekly menu plans again, but this week is Joshua and JCT's birthday week, and it is crazy to say the least!!! Two cookies cakes must be made to take to the boys' classes, and then all the preps for their party on Saturday!! That combined with a week full of evening activities means that we will be eating quick easy meals like pizza, chicken nuggets, and loaded baked potatoes!!!

And, next Monday I plan on beginning another little habit ~ recording some of the things from my thankful list. . . I began a gratitude journal last October. I got the idea from Holy Experience's blog (I'm not sure of the address. I access her blog through bloglines). And, she has a Gratitude Monday idea where you list things you are thankful for each Monday. I like that idea! So, I am going to pick my favorites from the week prior and record them on my blog each Monday. Let's see if I can remain faithful???

A few things that are making me smile these days. . .

1.) The cold of true winter returned for the weekend. Oh, how I've missed those low temps!! Erik and I bundled up to take Rain out Friday night, and it. was. freezing. cold. And, I had the biggest grin on my frozen face because I love winter weather!!! My mom says it must be the two years we lived in North Dakota when I was a little girl that makes me love the cold and snow so!!! I get giddy when the national weather service issues a winter weather advisory! I watch the weather channel and access weather.com over and over just to see what is headed our way!!! The thought of getting snowed in thrills my soul!!! If only snow came without ice!!!
2.)

Enough said.

3.) JCT came home from school a couple weeks ago with this paper!! How sweet is this. . .

After I read his paper, I asked him, "What do I smell like, JCT?" And, he said, "You! Smell! Great!" And, my heart smiled so big!!!

4.) A sweet real little boy sort of friendship is blossoming between Joshua and JCT. And, I can't tell you how much my heart loves to sit back and watch. They love to play football outside together until they are frozen and it is so dark that they can't see well enough to play any longer.

They had done exactly that this particular evening. When they came in, I was cooking dinner, and they crashed on the couch to watch a movie together. . .

I love that they play hard outside. It is such an important part of being a little boy!!! I make them wear their "play clothes" when they play outside because they will destroy their "good clothes" if I don't! Check out JCT's knees after an afternoon of pure fun. . .I love it!!! They are the marks of little boy joy!!

5.) This next one made me laugh out loud! On Friday we got a great deal of freezing rain, and Joshua got out of school early which made for a fun afternoon for the boys. They couldn't play outside because of the weather, so JCT begged Joshua to play dinosaurs with him. Guess what big brother came up with to make everyone happy. . .

The stegosauruses versus the tyrannosauruses. . .

Dinosaur arena league football!!

Boys! Boys! Boys!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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