Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Refreshing Break. . .

We began renovating our home on September 25th - a mere three months ago. But, I assure you it feels more like a year or more. We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are moving home this weekend. The work is far from finished, but our home is now liveabe - so we are going there. And, I cannot wait.

The last three months have been crazy. I often wonder how I will remember these months. I think they will always be a bit of a blur to me. I am trying to mentally slow down, so that I do not miss today while looking so forward to tomorrow. . .

But, God gave me a bit of an oasis over Christmas. A refreshing little break! I got to spend several days at Erik's brother's home. This is the home of my sweet sister-in-love, Jen. One day I will tell the story of how we were nursing school buddies - virtually inseparable for two years and then, we married brothers. You know, so we didn't have to be apart. . . just kidding! We both really do love our husbands. The fact that they are brothers - making us officially sisters and our children blood related - is just icing on the cake.

As I look back over the last five years, between Jen and I, we have had a newborn every Christmas except one. And, we use nursing our babies as our little way of getting some "alone time" during the holidays. This year she had the newborn, and I followed her to a quiet room several times over the days we spent there so that I could chit chat with her as she nursed baby Abby. And, we always remark at how refreshing it is to be together. . . It is like our song says. . . Our song is a song by Watermark. And, one of the lines says, "Something about just being with you. When I leave I feel like I've been with God." Jen is calm, peaceful, slow and easy. She has a soothing effect on me. And, she loves me more than I understand. And, though I feel unworthy, I am so grateful.

And, now it is back to Real Life. We got back last night around 8:00 p.m., and Erik left for work at 8:00 a.m. this morning. I began the morning with 50 phone calls and a few errands - running back and forth from the rent house to our home 4 or 5 times. But, what keeps me going is the thought that one of these days, I will be in my new house with peaceful music playing in the background as little boys laugh and play. And, life will once again be calm and somewhat routine. Ahhhh. . . But, I am thankful for the little refreshing break God gave me over Christmas. My soul needed it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Love This Face!

I Will Never Fire You. . .

My mother. . . She is such a special lady. Her heart is for others. Selfless. For as long as I can remember she has lived outside herself, outside her comfort zone, outside our family, outside our social class. She has allowed no barriers in her work for God. Throughout my years growing up under her model, she has volunteered in too many ways to tell - everything from teaching a poor elderly man to read his first words to mentoring young girls in an inner-city elementary school. You see, her mother was the same way. My grandma in her 80's was still volunteering at the hospital, teaching a young hispanic girl English in an afterschool program, and hosting Bible studies in her home. And, I pray that I, too, will model this ministry of giving of myself to others, and that my sons will model it for their children. This is a legacy worth protecting.

This weekend my mother gave of herself by coming and watching my boys so that Erik and I could get away. I am so thankful for the time she gave us. She will never know how grateful I am! She works my home like a well-oiled machine. I came home to a house full of happy boys, new toys, and 4 loads of fresh clean laundry. She had taken them on a variety of fun outings. And, today they have been asking for Nana all day. I wonder why?

I called her mid-way through the weekend, and I asked what they were up to. . .

She said, "Well, I think we are going to go back to Wal-Mart."
So, I asked, "Why, you already went once?"
Mom said, "Well, Joshua needs something. . ."
I had to ask, "What?"
She answered, "Well, we got these engines (Thomas trains), and he needs some more. . ."
I quickly replied, "No, he doesn't. You are spoiling him. . ."
To which she asked, "If I spoil him, are you going to fire me?"

Joshua obviously overheard our conversation and pondered it for a while. Later at Wal-Mart Joshua and Nana had this conversation. . .

Out of the Blue, in the toy section of Wal-Mart, Joshua says: "Nana, don't just worry about Mommy firing you. . .Daughters can't fire mothers. . . Mommy won't fire you. . . She wouldn't do that. . ." My mom at this point thought he knew what being fired meant. . .

Then, he finished his thought. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego got fired. But, they disobeyed the king. . . Mommy isn't going to fire you. . . Don't just worry about it."

Thanks Mommy, for giving me a rare weekend alone with my love. And, don't just worry - I will never fire you!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A, B, C meme

I was tagged by Kim at (sorry, I still don't know how to link). So, here we go. . .

A - available/single - Very much married and unavailable, and I pray that my status doesn't change - ever.

B--Best Friend - My beloved Erik, of course.

C--Cake or Pie - Cake, no question, chocolate with a large glass of milk. I am partaking of that combo this very moment!

D--Drink of Choice - I love coffee, but I think my all-time favorite drink is a Chai Latte from Starbucks. The first sip is like heaven - peaceful, relaxing, ahhhh. . .

E--Essential item you use everyday - my coffee maker

F--Favorite color - Baby blue

G--Gummy bears or Worms - Worms, the sour ones! Makes my mouth water to think about them. . .

H--Hometown - I consider a small town in southeast Arkansas to be my home. We moved there when I was 9, and we moved away when I was in college. So all the memorable years of my growing up were in that little farming community.

I--Indulgence - an occasional manicure or massage. Oh, and I love to play at a make-up counter. I used to say that being a make-up artist was my dream job.

J--January or February - February, two of my favorite little men were born in that sweet month!

K--Kids - I have 2 little boys and one on the way!

L--Life is incomplete without... Good friends.

M--Marriage Date - April 17, 1999

N--Number of siblings - I have 2 - an older sister and an older brother.

O--oranges or apples - Oranges. I serve apples to my boys and myself for lunch everyday, but I would rather eat a really good orange.

P--Phobias/Fear - I fly on airplanes several times a year, but I still get nervous every single time. Oh, and tornados or any kind of severe thunderstorm - especially when I am driving.

Q--Favorite Quote - If you haven't found something worth dying for, you're not really living.

R--Reason to Smile - a kiss from a cute little red-headed boy!

S--Season - Fall - no competition here. Spring is second.

T--I tag Deidre (again I don't know how to link, sorry.)

U--Unknown fact about myself - I like my showers scalding hot. Our rent house has no respect for this need of mine. (3 more weeks and we get to move home!!)

V--Vegetable you don't like - English peas

W--Worst habit - Eating sweets.

X--x-ray - Only dental. I've never had a broken bone.

Y--Your favorite food - Chicken Quesadillas and Potato Soup - but not together. Oh, and I love my mama's pot roast.

Z--Zodiac - I think I am a Scorpio, but I am not sure.

And that is the A-Z on me!!

My Son, the Poster Child for Juice Plus

This picture says it all. . . Joshua is dipping one of his vegetable gummies (vitamins - but a juice plus rep would argue that they are much more than just vitamins - hence why I spend a fortune on them each month) in cheese dip. And, it is not just cheese dip. It is what we, at our house, call "white cheese dip." You know, the real thing, the good stuff, from our local Mexican restaraunt. My son has a theory - "Everything tastes better with cheese dip on it!" And, I would have to agree with him. . . most of the time.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Sweet Lesson, an Overflowing cup, and a Precious Baby. . .

Isn't it amazing the thought that God placed each of our children into our families. We do not choose; He does the choosing. We are the blessed recipients of His goodness. Biological or adopted each child is placed perfectly into the family in which God ordained for the child to be reared. He knows our needs and the needs of the little ones with whom He entrusts us. And, He divinely pairs us up. He doesn't ask for our help. He knows better. He knows best. To me that is precious, and I am so thankful for it.

God has chosen to, once again, bless our sweet family with a little boy! And, the moment that I saw his little profile on the ultrasound screen I knew. . . I knew that he was mine, given to me by my God. I marveled at his little arms, legs and hands - all so precious to me. I watched him moving constantly, putting his tiny arm over his face, and, I fell in love with him.

I must be completely honest and say that as we drove to the restraunt for our post-ultrasound date a selfish thought occured to me. . . the thought that I may never have a daughter. And, a strange saddness came over me, a feeling of loss. This thought has occured to me before, but I usually push it away knowing that it is wrong and ungrateful. I shared my feelings with my sweet husband. And, for a few minutes I contemplated it all. And, I heard my God sweetly saying, "Does the clay say to the Potter. . ." Erik looked me in the eyes and said, "God has chosen us to raise Godly men. This is our cup. Embrace your cup." (He actually said that - "embrace your cup" - it got to me - deeply.)

This is my unique cup chosen for me by my Father. How sweet is that. No matter what our cup holds, the contents have all been sifted through His sovereign fingers and poured gently there by hands of love. I cherish that. I trust that. Whatever we long for - be it a daughter, a child to call our own, health for a child we love , a husband to love and be loved by, whatever it is, He knows our longing. He knows, and He cares. And, with great love for us He gives us each our portion and our cup. But, the beauty is in the end of the verse. (Can you tell this is my life verse?) Our lot is secure. We are secure in Him no matter our cup, no matter our earthly assingment. We are His, we are loved, and we are secure.

So, tonight as we drove home from a long afternoon of shopping, our boys both fell asleep in the backseat. It was about 7:45 when we got home. We each took a child to put to bed. Erik took Joshua, and I took JCT. I walked around to the other side of the car, looked inside, and stared in amazement at this precious child. He was sound asleep, lips all puffed out sweetly. I just paused for a minute and watched him sleep. Then, I slowly took him out of his carseat, sliding one of my hands under each of his arms. And, I held his sweet little body to my chest, soft, sleepy breaths in my ear. I carried him inside, changed his clothes, and put him in his bed. Then, I went to kiss Joshua who was already asleep in his bed. Again, through the pale moonlight of his window, I marveled at God's handiwork. I kissed his soft wind-chapped cheek, and I was overwhelmed. I heard my Father speaking deeply into my heart. . . "Does the clay say to the Potter. . ." And, with a tear gently rolling down my cheek, I quietly replied, "No, Father, no." His faithfulness overwhelms me.

I know it is a silly and selfish thing for me to have thought, but in all honesty it was my thought. And, I wanted to share how God walked me through it. I love how He does that. He doesn't give up on us. No, He walks us through our situations, no matter how silly. I tend to make mountains out of mole-hills, but He faithfully walks with me, journeys alongside me. He knows I am a drama queen. He made me. Isn't it awesome to have your Creator as your best friend! The one Who knit us together in our mother's womb, loves us, and walks with us until we meet Him face to face!

Okay, now on a lighter note, I will tell you what my Joshua said when we told him that the baby was a boy. Let me preface this by saying that he has wanted a sister since JCT was born. He used to call JCT his sister - which we quickly put a stop to! Anyway, he has called this baby a girl from the beginning of the pregnancy. And, the whole way home from dinner I was dreading telling him the news. So, when we got home, we sat the boys down in front of the TV. We played the video of the ultrasound and pointed out the baby to the boys. JCT wasn't very interested, but Joshua was. At one point the baby spread his little legs, and Erik took the opportunity to tell Joshua. He said, "See there are his legs, and there is his poe poe. He has a poe poe like you, Joshua. Do you know what that means? That means that the baby is a brother. You are going to have another brother! What do you think about that!!!" Erik is all smiles. Joshua puts on a huge frowny face and growls like some sort of wild, hungry animal. I wait to see what he will say. . . And, then out of no where, Joshua quits growling and says, "Just throw that poe poe away!!!!!!!"

He, too, will learn to embrace his cup, for his lot is secure.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Will it be a Kelly or a Cecilia?

Tomorrow is our big day - the day of our ultrasound! We are hoping and praying that they will tell us that a healthy little baby is thriving in there! And, yes, we will find out whether it is a boy or a girl.

Unlike my other 2 pregnancies where I read and journaled faithfully about the baby's development, etc., writing prayer after prayer for the darling ones inside me, this time I have been a little busy. And, to be honest the last 4 months have been a blur. At times I feel a little guilty about that. Even my mom will say, "I keep forgetting that you are pregnant." To which I respond, "Don't feel bad. I keep forgetting, too." Until the little one kicks, and reminds me that he/she is very much residing there inside me.

So, I thought I'd take a minute to slow down and ponder this little one. Names are vitally important to Erik and I. Both our boys have names chocked full of meaning - first and middle names. James Christofer Truett even got 3 names!! And, this third child will be no different.

This baby was conceived, most likely, while we were vacationing with Erik's family in the mountains of Tennessee this summer. We were at Dollywood when my mom called to tell us to be praying because Cecilia had found a lump under her arm. A little over a week later we received another call from my mom letting us know that the lump was in fact breast cancer. She had fought breast cancer valiently at age 32, and now at age 36 she was faced with it again. Three days later we saw 2 pink lines on a little white stick. And, as soon as I found out that we were pregnant, I told Erik that this baby would be named Cecilia if it was a girl, and he agreed.

And, if this little one is a boy, there has been no question that this boy would be named after my brother, Kelly. The little guy will be either Elijah Kelly or Daniel Kelly. We are still praying and pondering that one. But, my brother Kelly is an amazing man/brother/husband/father. He is so tender-hearted and loving. He is the kind of guy who just yesterday took a dog home from a rescue shelter. . . an old dog with heartworms and abscessed teeth, a dog that will likely not live through the treatments needed to keep her alive. He named her Bella (calls her Big B) and took her home because he couldn't stand to think of them putting her to sleep. They say he pets her for hours at a time. He loves hard. And, I would be more than proud to have a son like him.

There is alot I don't know about this little one. Is the baby a boy or girl? Will he/she have red hair like the other 2? What will his/her personality be like? But, there is one thing that I am certain of. . . This child is loved, so much. This child is loved not only by mommy and daddy, but also by 2 big brothers. And, we welcome this little one with arms open wide.

Side-note for all you Texans: I had this conversation with Joshua after bathtime tonight. . .
Me: So, when the baby comes will JCT become a big boy?
J: Will JCT be with us when the baby comes?
Me: Well, yes, I hope so. Why wouldn't he be with us? Where else would he be?
J: I dunno. . . maybe. . . like. . .Texas. . .
So, if any of ya'll see a cute little red headed boy wandering around Texas this spring, will you ship him back to me? Thanks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Seed Planted in Concrete. . .

If I had to use one word to describe our neighbor/contractor, I would use the word jolly. Now, especially this time of year the word jolly makes one think of St. Nick and a large round belly. There is not much fat on Mr. Cole's body. He is strong and lean. He is jolly in that he always has a smile on his face, always. We have lived across the street from him for 5 years now. He walks his dogs - Bruno (an auburn haired laborador) and Belle (a Bassett Hound) twice a day - 6:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. And, he has a smile on his face whether he sees you or not. It is just who he is, and I admire that about him.

Now the interesting little twist is that he doesn't go to church with his wife. She goes, you know, like 3 times a week, but he stays home. In the summer Sunday mornings are his time for cutting the grass. And, he smiles sweetly and waves at us as we load up the boys and head off to church. I did a Bible study a year or so ago at his wife's church, and his salvation was on the Bible study prayer list. Erik and I have hypothosized that maybe church (in general) has in some way offended him, in some way hurt him, driving him away. We have prayed for him for a while.

Erik and I began praying as soon as we decided to do the renovation that God might use us in some way to draw Mr. Cole to Himself. We prayed about it quite often at first, but as time has gone on, our thoughts have drifted. . . To be quite honest I haven't prayed about it much at all lately. I only think about it every now and then when I feel like a spoiled girl asking him to change something. Then, I think, "What kind of witness is this?" I usually sugar-coat my request with a thousand apologies and even throw in a little, "Please don't hate me when I ask this, but if it wouldn't be too much trouble could we like move those light fixtures up 6 in. I know you have already put up sheet-rock and painted, etc., but would it be too much trouble? Because if it is, just tell me, and I'll get over it." To which he always assures me that it is no trouble at all which makes me feel like he is a better example of Christ than I am. So, much for being a witness. . . But, those are really the only times that I have thought about it since the beginning of the renovation.

Last Saturday night Erik and I went on a date with a purpose. We sat at our favorite restaurant, and made a list of verses for each room of our home. After dinner we went back to the house, and I wrote the verses on the floor while Erik walked around praying over the rooms. I didn't think much of it after we left that night - except that Flat and Gerald would probably be making jokes about the Song of Solomon verse we picked to put under the carpet where our bed will be (nothing explicit, I assure you).

Sunday morning before church Erik went over to check on the house and to talk to Mr. Cole. Erik came home beaming. He said, "It may have just been sawdust in his eye, but I think Mr. Cole was quite moved by our verses." Now, the thought that Mr. Cole might even notice the verses had not occured to me. Mr. Cole even went so far as to say that ours was a very "blessed home." Now, those are words that I would never have imagined hearing him say. I wish I could have been there! They went on to talk about God, his provisions, his protection, etc. Erik was given the opportunity to share what he believes with Mr. Cole. I was so stunned and grateful!

And, I smiled as I thought about the fact that our Amazing God could plant a seed in any soil - even concrete.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Please Forgive Me. . .

For all of you, who in reading my last post cringed at my misspelling of the word chagrin, I ask your forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness. What can I say? I think my husband fell out of his chair when he read it. But, he knows me and is so used to all my grammatical errors that now when he reads or hears them he just gets plum tickled.

I am quite famous for "malpops" as my husband calls them. We will be in a heated discussion about something very serious, and I will say something like this, "Ohhh! It just makes me so upset. I am afraid he is not being faithful to her. We are just waiting for the other foot to drop. . ." And, with tears pouring down my cheeks and emotions running wild inside me, I look over at my husband driving - one hand on the wheel and one hand, ever so slightly, covering the smile on his face. This angers me, so I say, "What, what did I say wrong this time?" And, he laughs under his breath a bit, and says, "It's waiting for the other shoe to drop, baby, not foot to drop."

I kid you not - I do this at least 3 times a week. In fact, to be totally honest, I had to call and ask him if the cliche was "waiting for the other foot (or shoe) to drop" before I wrote this. Sometimes I mix the words of the cliche up and sometimes I just use a cliche that makes no sense in the point I am trying to make. And, sometimes I do both. God help me. This is one of the biggest jokes of our marriage. And, I dare say if something happened to me - it would be one of the things he would miss most. Nobody can make him laugh like I can when I use a malprop. I used to always ask, "Did I say that right?" But, now I just say what I want and if I am correct he says, "I am so proud of you. You used that cliche correctly." And, if I use the cliche incorrectly or mess up the words, he gets a good laugh out of it. So, I am completely comfortable to say what I think all the time, and I love that!

That is what I am asking of you! Please laugh at my mistakes - you don't need to cringe. I am quite comfortable with the fact that I am not an "English" person. I am an ex-nurse, full time mom, who uses alot of malpropisms and many misspelled words! I just don't see myself ever using spell check faithfully. I am always in a hurry, writing quickly, just putting down thoughts and stories before I forget them. My goal here is to record this time in my life so that I can visit it later, and if my children would like to, they can visit and read about how loved and rejoiced over they were as babes. So, get tickled and correct me if you'd like. I love to learn from my mistakes!! Thanks for understanding!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lady and the Belch

I grew up in a family where the girls outnumbered the boys 3 to 2. I was brought up to be a "lady." My mother is very much a lady and her mother was the epitome of a lady in all her splendor! Grandma wore gloves in the evening, crossed her legs just so, folded her hands in her lap elegantly, and waved like the Queen of England. And, my daddy, well, he is very much a gentleman. All this to say, sounds such as burping and expelling gas were not heard in our household except on occasion and by accident.

When I married my dear husband, my eyes were opened slightly to the world of boys/men. You see, my husband was raised in a family where the boys outnumbered the girls 3 to 1. So, burping and expelling gas were sounds heard more frequently and with much less embarrasment in his home. As in most marriages, he gave a little and I gave a little. Compromise.

But, with children compromise is a bit more difficult especially when I am the one outnumbered. If you count my dog, (and you should because he burps and expels gas without discretion) I am outnumbered 4 (possibly 5 since the heartbeat in my belly is, according to my doctor, a "boy heartbeat") to 1.

The other night, after bathtime, I was sitting with my legs in a V-shape. Joshua was sitting on one of my thighs and JCT on the other. I was focused intently on the task at hand - trimming Joshua's fingernails. As I was trimming along, JCT burped loudly. Joshua, as usual, erupted into laughter. I shrugged, said, "Say Excuse me," and continued trimming. A few seconds later JCT burped again, followed by Joshua's laughter. JCT was enjoying the attention. A few seconds later out of my precious 22 month old baby came yet another loud belch followed by lots of laughter. At this point, much to my own shugrin, I couldn't help laughing. After the 6th burp, it dawned on me (I am slow and naive) that he had taught himself how to burp on command.

Okay, now I am 31 years old, and I still do not know how to make myself burp on command - mostly, this is by choice. But still, the fact that my 22 month old has already taught himself how to burp on command frightens me just a little. My future appears a little scary at present. No doubt, these little guys are changing me, loosening me up a bit. And, mostly this is a good thing. I am quite certain that you will never hear me belch loudly on purpose mid conversation - they will never change me that much! But, I am thankful for the color they add to my life. I was always more of a taupe and off-white kind of girl, and they have brought primary color to my somewhat subtle and bland life.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A happy renunion!!!

Rain and silky made it safely home from Nana and Poppy's today - thanks to UPS!!! It was a happy reuniting for my sweet boy and his two most prized possessions!! He immediately put his nose up to Rain and said, "He smells like Nana's house!" Then, he took his silky into his room and layed it on his pillow "just so" like he always does. This is when I took the opportunity to photograph his excitement! Nana has been so worried about him being sad. . . no more worries, Nana!! He is a happy boy now! It took Rain a little time, but I think he has successfully high-fived and kissed every other stuffed animal in our home (with a little help from Joshua)! Welcome home, little dog. We have missed you and silky, too.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A few memories and thoughts from our weekend

This is a good morning. . . there is nothing we have to leave the house for right away, Fernando Ortega is singing hymns to me, a hot cup of coffee is sitting beside me, and my sons are playing together (for the moment) in Joshua's room (which means I am alone in the kitchen - for the moment). So, here I sit with my heart pondering memories and thoughts of the past few days - happy and sad. If only Erik could be off for another week!! But, I take what I can get of him, and I am thankful for every moment!!

We spent Thanksgiving at my parent's home in Arkansas. Something about that flat farm land does something to me. You can see for miles on end. To most who pass through the state, it is quite boring, but to me it is rich with memories. Nothing is quite as beautiful as watching the sun set over one of those flat fields of grain. The longer I go between trips home, the more the landscape moves something deep inside me. Wide open spaces, God bless them!

I got to spend some time with my mom, who I love and admire so much that I would have to write 5,000 posts to give her due credit. I realized as I discussed our renovation plans with her that her opinion means more to me than probably anybody's - except maybe Erik's. And, though I did not get as much time with her as I would have liked, it was still rich and good time. And, my daddy, I always love to get to see him, too. And, as usual, my boys fought over who got to sit in Poppy's (my daddy) big brown chair with him.

My parents gave Kelly, Cecilia, Erik, and I a night out without children!! Very fun! Kelly's hair is beginning to grow back in, and Cecilia looked RADIANT. I can't emphasize that enough. She is so beautiful, and her face was glowing. She looked adorable, complete with bandana on head!

To me the very best part of the holiday season is getting to watch family interact. My brother always lays on the floor and plays with my boys, and they adore him for it. He had JCT laughing so hard, that it brought tears to my eyes! Peyton and Avery (Kelly and Cecilia's girls) stole my sons' hearts once again. My boys love them so much!! Yesterday over and over Joshua would say sadly, "I want my Peyton."

I'll never forget how hard Peyton and Avery laughed when my boys streaked through the kitchen after bathtime. Or, how hard I laughed when Joshua looked seriously at my mom, who normally wears contacts, and said, "Nana, you look kind of dangerous in your glasses."

And, for the most sad memory of the weekend. . . We left Joshua's favorite stuffed animal (a stuffed dog named Rain) and his silky (his blanket) at Nana and Poppy's house. You must realize that he has never (to his memory) slept a night without these two. So, there were some genuine tears at bedtime Saturday night, and that nearly broke his mama's heart. But, baby bear and a silky shirt of mine stepped in and attempted to fill silky and Rain's spot. No tears were shed last night, so I think we will make it until the mailman brings them safely home to us.

All in all, the little trip was a much needed vacation from our present state of craziness. Yesterday morning Erik and I slept in - well kind of. . . Our bed (here at the rent house) is a matress on the floor. So, we stayed in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, while the boys played all around us. . . and on us. . . but, it was rest all the same. And, I was able to lay there, basking in the morning sun, feeling the sweet one inside me toss and turn, listening to the laughter of my boys, and holding the hand of the one that my soul loves! I am so thankful for the break Thanksgiving gave to my family. I feel refreshed and ready to get back at it! Concrete floors, mantles, and columns - here I come!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

My thankful heart. . .

My heart is so full. I am going to give it a chance to overflow, if you don't mind. . . This year has brought us many blessings. Here is a short little list. . .

* I am thankful for the sweet life of my sister in love, Cecilia. I am thankful for the strength of spirit that God has graced her with. I am thankful that He allowed her to reach up and feel that knot hiding deep under her arm - a knot that even the nurses couldn't find until Cecilia raised her arm up just so and pointed it out to them. I know it was God who allowed Cecilia to find that lymphnode full of Cancer before it had a chance to spread to any other place in her body. I am thankful that even though chemo is rough and practically poisoning this friend I love so much, it is healing her. It is killing the cancer. And, she will walk away from this and grow old with my big brother who loves her so much - not to mention two beautiful little girls who need their sweet mama.

* I am thankful that home is not a physical building. Home is wherever Erik, me, and our children reside. We can be at home anywhere we are - even this little 2 bedroom rent house with ants, rolly pollies, and mold in the bathroom. Home is wherever God places us - as long as we are together, we are home.

* I am thankful for a precious husband who at this very moment has both our boys at a basketball game so that I can have the "night off." I am thankful that I am married to a man who is truly the most selfless human I have ever come across. I am thankful that he loves me so much more than I deserve. I am thankful that I have learned more about Christ's love through being married to him than I have any other way. He points me to Christ through his life every day, and for that I am eternally grateful.

* I am thankful for cute baby boys who grow into sweet little men. I am thankful for the two that God allows me to call my own. The fact that God chose to bless me with them is overwhelming, and I will never take it for granted. I am thankful for their joy which is contagious, for their hugs and kisses, and for the privilege it is to parent them.

* I am thankful for this amazing little life within me. I am thankful for the thought that God's own hand is at work in my womb knitting together a life.

* I am thankful for my little namesake born Nov. 4th in Orlando, FL. I haven't gotten to meet her yet, but I am so thankful that God has blessed our family with her. And, I am thankful for her sweet mama who I love dearly.

* I am thankful for my parents and Erik's parents. They are wonderful parents, always pointing us to Jesus. And, they are awesome grandparents!! I am thankful that my boys are so blessed to have 2 sets of grandparents who love them tremendously and pray for them daily.

* I am thankful for good, solid, loyal, sweet, trustworthy, and funny friends. I am thankful for the vast variety of types of friends that God has blessed me with over the years. They are a variety personalities, but they all show me Jesus - just in different lights. I love that.

* But, most of all I am thankful for another year to walk with Jesus. Another year on this journey. I am thankful that He is patient with me, never giving up on me. And, I am thankful that He loves me more than I can imagine.

* And, on a lighter note, I am thankful for coffee with Peppermint Mocha Creamer, Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Greeen Tea, and Popeye's Red Beans and Rice.

* Oh, and one more. . . I am thankful for the men who come to our house to work everyday. I am thankful for Mr. Cole and his smile that sets me at ease when I start to get frazzled (which happens almost daily). I am thankful for Homeboy or as Joshua calls him "Home-Boa." He is the best trimmer, excellent at finishing work, and is such a hardworker. I am even thankful for Flat and Gerald. Flat has a great smile, and today he showed up at work with a dead coyote in the back of his pick-up. He went hunting for deer, but returned with a coyote. I didn't ask. Gerald seems lonely, and I like to smile at him to see if I can get him to smile back. He, too, is a hard-worker. I am thankful for this little band of men that have become our friends through this endeavor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Missing the way things used to be. . .

Ahhhh, the good old days when we were in our home - simply living a "normal" life.

I had a bit of break down yesterday. Just a little one. I sat down in the middle of the living room floor (at the rent house) and cried. This was not a good idea because it made my 21 month old cry, too. All I could think was, "I just want to go home. I miss Rain (our weimeraner) and our old calm life." So, I had to pull myself together, gather juice, snacks, a good DVD, my keys, my cell phone, and put the boys in the car for a little ride to clear my head. I called Jen and vented a little. Then, I got drive-thru dinner for the family. We ate and went to church.

Before church I attempted venting to my ever-optimistic husband. "It is so hard meeting with carpet, tile, and cabinet men while trying to contain 2 little ones. Not to mention, picking out light fixtures, paint colors, molding, etc. I feel like I am failing as a mom, etc." and on and on I vented to him. And, he just looked at me with a blank expression that said, "Of course it is hard. We knew it would be, but it'll be worth it. Just keep going. One more month, you can make it. No biggie. . ."

Uggh. I know he's right, but still. . .

And, as this long day came to a close, I got a magazine and began doing my homework - looking at mantles and shutters. I was still missing home and feeling just a bit sorry for myself.

And, this is when it happened.

I felt it.

Just barely a little something in my lower tummy.

Could it be?

After all, I am almost 16 weeks pregnant. I think it was. That little tickle reminded me that there is something alive in there. And, as vital as this renovation seems at present, something much more vital resides within me. I said a little prayer of thanks for this little life. And, the reminder that it is of good - no great - things to come.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Brotherly Love. . .

at its very finest was displayed on my living room floor last night. Oh, me. . .

The little guy to the left may look sweet, but don't be fooled!! He is quite dangerous. . .

When I found out that JCT was a boy, I promised myself that our home would not be a typical "boy" home. My boys would be under control and kind to one another. We would not have fighting and wild indians running and jumping on furniture.

I had one thing going for me. . . My oldest, the leader of my children, is sweet, loving, and, for the most part, very gentle. When we brought JCT home from the hospital, Joshua adored him, kissed him, patted him, loved on him. The kind of sweetness that warms a mother's heart to the very core. Somewhere along the line, Joshua may have hit JCT. I don't remember the incident, but if it did happen, I am certain that I nipped it in the bud. And, Joshua is quite compliant, so if he hit JCT, it most likely happened only once.

Well. . .that was very nice while it lasted. There was a first in our household last night - our first fight. And, it wasn't at all what I expected. We had just come home from church. Joshua had a small part in the Operation Christmas Child children's musical at church. He did great up on stage, and his mama was so proud. Erik had a deacon's meeting, so I brought the boys home from church by myself. I let them play alone in the living room while I went to the bathroom to wash my face. This all seemed very routine - until I turned the water off and heard some commotion coming from the the other room. So, I followed the noise. And, what did I find. . .

My 21 month old was straddling my 3 year old hitting him over and over in the face, hard.

Shock. Horror. In one instant my home had changed. I had not seen this side of JCT. He was quite angry. In a cloud of disbelief, I crossed the living room to rescue my 3 year old. JCT was still sitting on Joshua's stomach, and as I got closer, he stopped hitting Joshua for a second. But, before I could get to him, JCT grabbed Joshua's nose between his thumb and his pointer finger and pinched it as hard as he could. Ouch.

When I finally got to them (all of this was happening in slow motion - at least it felt that way), I pryed JCT off his brother, spanked his "hitting and pinching" hand, and sent him to time-out. Then, I helped Joshua up off the floor - only to find that he was bleeding. JCT, with all his hits, had burst his big brother's lip! So, I took Joshua to the bathroom and sat him on the counter. I put a cool rag on his lip and had a little talk with him.

It seems that Joshua was trying to put the Little People farm on top of JCT, and JCT didn't like that idea. . . obviously. I explained to Joshua that if JCT ever did this again he should get up off the floor. "You are bigger than he is. You were right to not hit him back. Hitting is wrong. But, baby, get up off the floor. You don't have to lay there and let him hurt you." Now, truth be told, Joshua never cried. And, to be quite honest, I think he enjoyed the whole thing - even getting hit. He certainly enjoyed watching his little brother get in trouble.

I had a little talk with JCT. Apologies and hugs were given and received. And, once again my house was in order, peace and love restored. After both boys were in bed, Erik called to let me know that he was on his way home. I gave him a play by play of the evening's events. This may or may not surprise you. . . he loved it, savoring every detail, asking a multitude of questions. The pride was quite evident in his voice. I believe his exact words were, "That is AWESOME!!! I've GOT to call my brother." I hung up the phone stunned not only by my husband's response, but I was still feeling a little shell-shocked by the events of the evening. I am just glad that it was JCT hitting Joshua instead of some other child. Because had it been any other little boy straddling and hitting my son in the face, mama bear would have come out in full force with great vengence (scary). Thankfully, as I watched my youngest son release his anger on my eldest, I did not forget who he is. I remembered that he is the adorable little boy who runs at me from across the room to give me a huge bear hug. He is the little guy who smiles brightly in his highchair while eating his banana like the rest of the world eats corn on the cob. I love him so much that I didn't freak out and unleash my mama bear vengence on him!

Another lesson for me. . . a wake up call in raising boys. . . they will be boys no matter what I do. Their aggressiveness is innate, God-given, and, though it must be channeled, it is not necessarily wrong. And, so this girly girl's journey in raising little boys and learning something new from them each day continues. . .

Taking a picture of Joshua's lip was his father's idea. I would prefer to forget the entire episode, but Erik insisted that I write this post and have a picture to go with it.

The pictures of them hugging. . . now that was my idea.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Somebody tagged me!!

I received my first ever tag today!! Momrn2 from My Quiet Corner (I'm sorry I don't know how to link - I need to learn :-) tagged me to list 9 weird things about myself. I love visiting My Quiet Corner, so I was very excited to be tagged by her!! So, here goes. . .

#1 I love to drink milk, organic 2% milk (the kind with the cute cow on it), with 2 ice cubes in it. There have to be exactly 2 ice cubes in order to keep my milk the correct temperature as I drink it. One is too few, and any more than 2 is much too much. 2 is perfect - for me anyway.

#2 When I go into a creepy and empty bathroom at a gas station or park, I have to look in all the stalls before I will actually go in one and shut the door. I have this odd fear that some crazy man is hiding in one of the stalls. I don't really know where that fear came from. . . weird, I know.

#3 I have to eat something sweet after every meal. Even if it is simply a peppermint or a chai latte, I cannot walk away from a meal without a leaving a sweet taste in my mouth to linger. . .

#4 Now I never do this one in public, and I actually have not done it since I had kids. It wouldn't exactly set the best example. But, the desire is still there. . . When I eat pizza, I like to dissect it. I take all the toppings off and set them to the side. Then, I take the top layer of bread off the crust and eat it, then I eat the bottom layer of crust, and lastly the toppings. Yum! That is how I like to eat pizza. It works best with deep dish (pan) pizza hut pizza.

#5 I LOVE to drink - all day. I drink coffee, water, tea, dr. pepper, green tea, etc. I have a drink in my hand at all times. Now for the weird part. . . I never actually finish a drink. Somehow a Dr. Pepper, once 3/4 of it is gone, just doesn't taste good to me anymore. I even throw out the last little bit of every cup of coffee I drink. At any given time, there are at least 5 drinks half to 3/4 empty waiting for me in my refridgerator. But, I never finish them, never.

#6 When I find out that I am pregnant, I begin praying that God will give me multiples. This is my third pregnancy, and there is still only one sweet baby in there. When I go to my first ultrasound, I always hold my breath as she puts the dealie (for lack of a better word) on my tummy - hoping that there will be more than one in there! Even this pregnancy, I already have 2 children, but I still hoped for twins!

#7 I don't like to shop for clothes. . . or shoes, for that matter. Oh, dear, did someone faint. Seriously, I don't. I never have. No explantation.

#8 I love being pregnant. If I didn't have vein problems, I would honestly love to be 2nd trimester pregnant for the rest of my life. No kidding! When I was pregnant with my first, I found out at my 37 week visit that I was 3 cm dialated. My doctor told me it would only be a matter of days. I cried the whole way home from the appointment. I wasn't ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn't ready to not feel him kicking inside me. I love being pregnant. That whole big belly thing is so fun!!!

#9 Sensitive is an understatement when it comes to me. I am SENSITIVE. I don't cry at movies, take for example Facing the Giants, I sob, sob, sob. Going to a sad movie with me can be a bit embarrasing. Sometimes, I even cry for a good while after the movie is over. I always like to discuss the movie afterward, and the tears keep flowing. . . If someone so much as mentions an abused child, or a parent who lost a child, etc., I'll lose it right there.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Daddy hears. . .

I often feel that my children teach me more about God than any preacher, teacher, or theologian ever could. They are my tiny walking examples of myself, a child of God. And, as a parent I am allowed to feel to some degree what my Father feels. I get to walk in His shoes, if you will. . . In a very small way, I get to feel how much He loves His children, to know the lengths that He would go to for them, to understand that kind of sacrificial love as best I can as a human being. The story that follows is just another way that God has used an everyday occurence to teach me something about Himself.

James Christofer (21 months) is sick. Awful. He has a sore throat and ulcers in his little mouth and on his throat. He can't even take a sip of water or a bite of bread without crying out in pain. My heart breaks. . . The only thing that has been able to make him smile over the past few days is a post by Renovating my Heart. Calissa did a post that was a series of 3 mini movies. The first is a baby panda bear sneezing. This is JCT's favorite. Over and over he says, "I wanna see the bear again. Bear again." So, we sit down and watch that silly baby panda sneeze and scare his mama over and over and over and again. Thanks for making my little boy smile, Calissa.

I digress. . . So, last night JCT wakes up (he is in a pack and play in our closet at the rent house). He cries and cries. So, my sweet, lovely, wonderful husband gets out of bed to go hold him for a minute. Immediately the crying stops. I hear Erik singing sweetly over him. Then, Erik lays him down. . . silence. . . he closes the closet door. . .crying begins again. . . So, he comes back to bed and sits down. I roll over making eye contact with him. We just look at eachother and listen. He continues to cry softly. But, then he does it. . . In the sweetest little voice you could ever imagine, he says, "My Daddy, my Daddy, come my Daddy." And, over and over again he repeats it with intermitent wimpers and cries. "Come, my Daddy, my Daddy, come." And, I smile because I know my husband. He is a softy when it comes to his boys. I even giggled a bit because I knew he couldn't resist the call. But, before Erik got up, he looked at me and very profoundly said, "You know what is amazing? That is what God hears when we cry out to Him. This is how He feels when He hears us cry out to Him." My expression turned thoughtful and tears began to fill my eyes as I pondered his words.

Yes, God does love us. His love is real, it hurts, it feels, He is not above that, He is that. He is love, and love hurts for the ones it loves. No one knows that better than a parent. He longs to come near us, to sing over us, to comfort and hold us. Isn't that beautiful and wonderful. Warms me to my toes.

What a wonderful reminder that when we cry out to God in our helpless state, in our dark night He hears us. And, not only does He hear our cry, but to the very core of His heart, He feels our cry. It penetrates. Our cry does not bounce off the ceiling as it sometimes feels. No, it penetrates the heart of a loving God, and He is moved. Thank You, Lord.

And, as you well know, Erik got out of bed, scooped our little man up, and then layed back down in our bed with JCT on His chest. And, I couldn't help staring at them. The light from the window shone down on them. There was little JCT resting peacefully on His Daddy's chest, rising and falling with each of His Daddy's breaths. And, something in me was moved as I watched them laying there. So, much love was displayed in that few minutes, and yet it is a mere shadow of the Real thing. Amazing Love.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A very sweet reunion. . .

I had the very great privilege of reuniting with one of my very best friends who until this past Thursday, I had not seen in 7 years!! Sarah and I (and our children) got to hang out for most of the day on Thursday. Isn't she cute??!! You would never know that she had only gotten one hour of sleep the night before (traveling). She seemed fresh as a daisy to me!

Sarah is a doll, and being around her made me miss her all the more!! She is unique, one of kind, absolutely precious. Her voice is so sweet, and for me hearing it brings back a ton of memories. A few months ago I got to eat lunch with Boomama's friend, Emma Kate. (So much fun!!) But, one of the first questions EK asked me was, "So, what is Sarah like? Tell me about her." I had no idea what to say. Sarah is unique. I guess the best word to describe her would be "cute" or "precious." In college the 2 phrases I heard her use over and over to me in the most endearing tone were: "Hi, sweet little friend." and "I love you to pieces." Oh, and to hear her tell a story. . . She would always have me on the edge of my seat as she recounted to me the details of her day. She could somehow make her walk to history class sound both exciting and funny. She is quite entertaining and exceedingly abundantly eloquent. Her vocabulary is extraordinary and cute - if a vocabulary can be cute - hers is. I love her. She has taken residence in a special place in my heart, and she will live there forever. And, as long as we are miles apart, I will miss her, miss her, miss her.

Is this picture not sweet, ya'll? Both of my sons absolutely adored baby Addie. This looks a little like love to me. . . (I just wish I had gotten a picture of James Christofer kissing Addie over and over again when we were saying goodbye.) And, let's just say that as I was leaving, some sort of agreement pertaining to the future of our children was made between Sarah and I - - and it was sealed with a hug.

I want to add a little something about Addie. . . I can't tell you how amazing it was for me to hold this child who I have so fervently prayed for. I got to hold her, kiss her, touch her soft hair, and run my finger over her already fading scar from open heart surgery. She is a miracle. She is beautiful and sweet, but she is strong, very strong. You can see it in her sweet little determined eyes. May God bless her and her sweet family. She is truly amazing, and I feel so blessed to know her. I love you, sweet Addie.

I felt like I had just seen Sarah yesterday. The seven years since we saw eachother last vanished into thin air the second that we started talking. It was as if no time had gone by at all - except for the fact that there were some wild monkeys running around!! Very, very fun - I highly recommend reunions like this. So, if you have a great friend that you haven't seen in oh, say 7 years, pay her a visit. You won't be sorry!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mommy is out. . .

and Daddy is in! What is up with that?? Who I ask you. . . Who stays home with them all day - looking after their every need? Who carried them for 9 months, then gave birth to them - feeling every contraction, pushing them out with her own strength. Yes, Erik stood at the end of the bed cheering me on, and yes, he did actually deliver them with his hands - but still - my job was slightly more difficult. . .

But, after all this both my boys are choosing Daddy right now. I had to listen to Joshua cry for several blocks last night because he wanted Daddy to drive him - not Mommy. (Erik was following us in his vehicle.) Then, when we got to the rent house, I didn't dare get Joshua out of his carseat - I knew better. I let his Daddy get him out. I went to James Christofer, my baby, and offered my arms as an alternative to his very confining carseat. His response - "NO, Daddy get me! Daddy get me! NO, Mommy." So, I put my tail between my legs, grabbed the diaper bag, and walked the lonely walk from the mini-van to the back door. Every step, I grumbled beneath my breath all of the sacrifices I make each day for these two boys - only to be cast aside at 5:30 when Daddy comes home. True martyrdom, or so it felt at the time.

Ohhhhh, I jest, a little. . . I am truly glad that my boys have a father who turns his complete attention to them when he comes home. A father who loves to wrestle, play, and cuddle with them. . . And, I am assuming that this is all normal, well, and good considering that they are males and their father is a male, too. I think I recall Dr. Dobson saying that this is the natural progression of things. We should want our boys to be drawn to their daddys. And, mine are, so all is well. I do, however wish that someone ( For some odd reason, the name Sarah just came to mind. . .) would write a glorious book on the role of mothers in raising boys. I truly find this all quite humurous, and I am very thankful that my boys love their sweet Daddy. And, I am even more thankful that they have a Daddy who sets a wonderful example of a godly man for them to follow.

But, I must add this. . . At bedtime last night, they both cried because they both wanted Mommy to hold them during prayers and singing. So, maybe I haven't fallen too far from glory. . .

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I've got that feeling. . .

Today I have that "it just doesn't get any better than this" feeling. At present I am sitting at my computer with my feet up sipping coffee to the sound of rain on the roof. Does it get better than that? Days like this are a gift from God, and I am not one to take them for granted!! James Christofer is sleeping, and Joshua is playing quietly in his room (trains). So, here I sit soaking in the sound of Alli Rogers on my CD player mixed with the melody of the rain - pure peace for my soul.

Earlier today I took the boys for a walk at the park. I promised them if they let me walk 3 miles that I would let them play for a few minutes afterward - a win-win situation for all involved. As I walked the little path, I was overwhelmed. I love fall. No, I mean it, I really love fall. I love the leaves. There is nothing more beautiful to me. I have always loved fall. I remember (seriously, I do) walking down the street to my friend's house when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember listening to the leaves crunch under my feet as I walked, and I thought it was the most wonderful sound in the world. And, today I heard that sweet sound again. As we walked leaves fell like snow on our heads. How perfect is that! And, after our walk I watched my two boys chase eachother around the park. As I sat watching them, I was overwhelmed. Precious little guys playing in a fall wonderland. They tossed leaves on eachother - and me. :-) They made piles of leaves and pine-needles and jumped in them. It is times like this, moments like these, that I wish I could freeze time. I don't want to keep them from growing up, but I would like to be able to come back and visit these moments again one day. Okay, I am getting too sappy, sorry. There is just something about this day rain + fall foliage + coffee + sweet boys + (pregnancy hormones) = one sappy mommy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Worth rejoicing over. . .

It occured to me today how very much children need to be rejoiced over. A few weeks ago I began to notice some changes in my sweet 3 year old son's attitude. His words have been more negative, his actions more aggressive, and his temper more easily ignited. Being a very analytical girl, I began contemplating all of this. Why was he acting this way? And, then last night it hit me. . .

I think it was when he began dancing like a madman to a song on a Peanuts video. He was doing some very interesting dance moves - something resembling the Roger Rabbit mixed with a little Michael Jackson moonwalking, add a little Elvis hip movement - and then every now and then a little Madonna like pose that he would hold for a few seconds - Vogue. My husband and I were in stitches on the floor, laughing until the tears flowed. And, Joshua relished it. He loved it. And, that is when it hit me. . .

I have been so busy with the house renovation, with various phone calls and errands. I have been getting babysitters alot lately. And, in doing all this, I have not taken the time to stop and rejoice over this son of mine, and he needs it. He needs to know that he is the apple of my eye. He needs to be marveled over because he is the child God gave me. And, no matter how busy life gets, I cannot take that for granted. They (our children) are worth rejoicing over - over and over again. And, it is my theory that sometimes when they are acting the worst (and it is not easy to rejoice over them) - this is when they need to be rejoiced over the most. They need to know that we (who represent to them their heavenly Father) love them no matter how they act or how poor their attitude is. Now don't get me wrong. . . they must be corrected, but in their discipline they must know how great our love for them is. They need to know, to feel, how we rejoice over them - just because they are who they are - not for any other reason, nothing they have done. Simply put, I realized that I just need to follow the example that my Father set for me and all will fall into place.

". . . He will rejoice over you with singing. . . " Zeph. 3:17

Friday, October 27, 2006


A few of you have asked about my sister-in-love. . . So, I thought I'd give a quick update. She had her second chemo treatment this past Tuesday. It has not been a breeze, but we knew it wouldn't. But, she is super resilient and has a wonderful, hopeful outlook. Cecilia has a way of taking lemons and making lemonade.

My brother shaved his head, too. So, for my birthday I received a card with a picture of the two of them - bald - with their tongues sticking out!! Joshua thinks this is the best picture in the world. He looks at it off and on all day. "Uncle Telly and Aunt Cece took their hair off, Mommy, how silly!" He loves it! Kelly and Cecilia are known for sending funny cards - this is by far not the first!

They continue to inspire and challenge me. I love them both so much. I thought this was a wonderful idea, so I thought I'd throw it out there. . . When Cecilia's hair began to fall out, she let her girls play hair-dresser on her. They took two pair of scissors, a few pictures, and made a memory and a large ice-cold pitcher of lemonade. . .

For My Mom. . .

who loves my hair shoulder length and lives far enough away that my hair will grow before she sees me. . . I promise, Mom, that it looks alot shorter in person than it does in this picture. It just touches my shoulders, really, it does just barely touch my shoulders. Anyway, this is how the story goes. . .

It was a very rainy, messy day so my hair was curly and frizzy and crazy as I drove to the salon. Ann straightened it with that wonderful Chi iron thingy. What a glorious invention! If only it had been around when I was in high school fighting with all my might to straighten my hair each morning before school. Only to walk outside and have that wonderful Southern humidity curl my hair right back up!

I digress. . . Ann made my hair Barbie doll straight with the Chi - making my hair look even longer. Then, she put my hair in 4 ponytails, measured them each, and gently cut each one above the rubber-band at the 10 inch mark (the 2 in the back were actually longer than 10 inches). We were both amazed at how long my hair still was after she cut the pony-tails. And, BOOM, in a matter of seconds, I went from the longest hair I have ever had in my life to shoulder length hair! So, Mom, here it is. The before and after shots. So, now after a year of pony-tails and braids, my hair has been down for 2 whole days !!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Maybe this one will be a girl. . ."

My boys like to get up early. So, unless I am willing to arise at 5:00, I am not going to get quiet time before they wake up. And, I can assure you that 5:00 a.m. is not going to happen for me - at least not in this stage of my life. So, I have devised a plan. I let them watch a 30 minute video shortly after their father leaves for work. I pour a cup of coffee, push play on the VCR, and pull up a chair for me and Jesus at the kitchen table. It is sweet time.

Well, this morning as I am enjoying my coffee, I look over at my darling children watching Barney. Side by side, they sit on their little couch about 2 inches from the TV screen. Joshua leans over and gives James Christofer a sweet hug, and then, looks back at me saying, "Did you see that, Mommy?" And, I smile and watch them for a few minutes overwhelmed by the love I feel for them. And, I whisper in my heart to God, "I'd take 50 little boys, Lord, if You wanted to give them to me." (A slight exageration on my part - 50 - might be a bit too many. . .) But, I love my boys. And, I don't know what God's plans for our family are, but I will gladly take whatever He gives, with my arms open wide. . .

"Maybe this one will be a girl. . ." is the phrase I have heard about 60 billion times over the past 2 months as I have announced my pregnancy. I have even had a good friend offer to come over and rub her little girls clothes all over me in hopes that something might rub off. Now that tickled me a little bit!! :-) But, I guess what I am trying to say is that if this darling child is a boy, he will be rejoiced over just as much as our first boy was rejoiced over. As I look over at their sweet strawberry blond heads, my heart wells up with joy. Maybe this one will be a girl or maybe this one will be a boy. But, one thing is for certain. . . This one is a gift from a loving God to our family, a blessing, a little life, for me to hold, protect, love, and train with all that God has given me. And, that is the blessing of it all.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Under Construction. . .

I had no idea how undeniably emotional renovating our home would be!! The workers showed up at our home on Monday, September 25th, at 7:00 a.m. By 7:30 there was a huge pile of rubble in our front yard, and the sounds of destruction could be heard all over our neighborhood (horrible sounds - ripping, tearing, hammering, sawing, etc.). The home I have grown to love like no other I have ever lived in was being ripped to shreads. I literally felt that my heart would break. I could not escape the feeling in the pit of my stomach even after I drove miles from my home. I took the boys on a long car-ride that morning. I got a chai latte and called my favorite sounding board - my mom. I think I wept on the phone with her, certain we had made a huge mistake when we decided to renovate. I'd be telling a story if I said that was the only time I have had second thoughts. . .

The picture above was taken at noon on Monday. Mr. Cole's crew is undoubtedly a group of hardworking men. The destruction continued that day and the next, and the hole grew to the top of the roof line. The picture left is of our living room. For a day and a half, we had a lovely sky light in there. This room has since been completely gutted. The wall to the right has been torn down to open the kitchen to the living room, and the french doors are gone. A fireplace will replace the french doors, and there will be new wooden doors with large windows flanking the fireplace.

Now I just had to get a picture of this! This is what it looked like as we walked up our stairs that Monday evening. A beautiful view of trees greeted us as we topped the stairs. Now remember that this is the home I love. . . I felt sick at my stomach for the first week or so. But, I know we will love the finished product, and that is what keeps us going. . .

This was Joshua's room. It will now be our guest room. We are adding on a bathroom and walk-in closet so our guests will have the privacy of their own bathroom and an extra place to put a pack 'n play if they would like to separate their children.

The most fun part for me has been getting to know the men who work for Mr. Cole. They are a cute little fraternity - a group of men I would never have had the opportunity to meet had they not come to work in my home. They have wonderful names. Names like Stumpy, Flat, Homeboy ("Home" for short), and good old Gerald. Gerald is in his 60s, reeks of cigarette smoke, but is very sweet and hardworking. "Home" is Erik and I's personal favorite. He is also a fireman, a Christian, and the loving father of a very lucky little girl. Flat has strawberry blond hair and a wife with severe kidney problems and no medical insurance. More than once, I have come to our home exhausted only to find that they have "destroyed" yet another room. (We are literally gutting the house so each room is slowing being dismantled.) My usual response to the workers is, "Would you please stop tearing my house to pieces?" To which they laugh and respond with words of reassurance like. . . "We promise one day you'll come in, and it'll look better. We just gotta do the tearin' out first."

This is a picture of the house taken Tuesday evening. By Wednesday at lunch they had put the ceiling on, and we were in "the dry." I need to take some more pics. We now have our new roof on and the deck has been torn out. The porch on the back is longer, etc. Things keep changing. . . This week they are hanging sheet-rock!!! Yippee!! I am hoping that this will be a turning point. Maybe from now on things will start looking better instead of worse. . .

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Make-Over. . .

I still remember the first time I saw her. We were worn out after spending the entire day looking at houses to no avail. She was our last stop. I was feeling pretty hopeless by this point. Every other house we looked at that day just wasn't home. You know how you just know? Several of the houses were very nice, but they didn't feel like home. I was begininng to feel disappointed. I had such high hopes of finding "the perfect home for us." After all, we would most likely start our family in this home. . . But, disappointment left me the instant I saw her. A simple, humble home that beckoned us to enter. Before I opened the car door, my heart knew. . . we were home. She was so warm and inviting. And, I loved her. It was spring and the azaleas were in full bloom. We were taken with her. As we looked at the interior, we were only affirmed in our thinking. Although the decor (which consisted mostly of dead animals) was not our taste (not to mention the odd layout of the house and the pokey things on the ceiling), we felt at home inside her. After a long hard day, we were finally home.

I'll never forget the first night we spent in her. Our furniture was to be delivered the next day, so we slept cuddled in blankets on the floor of our new master bedroom. My mind was alive that night with dreams of the life that would happen in this new home of ours. We were so thankful, so overwelmingly thankful for her.

And, now five years and two children later, we are still here. Birthday parties, play-dates, and too many firsts to name have taken place under the shelter of her roof. We have loved her. We have loved the carpet to shreds, loved paint off the doors and walls, loved many linoleum tiles off the floor, loved a few too many stains on her white formica countertops, and we have outloved our living space. So, after much discussion and debate, we have decided to add-on and renovate our beloved home. For the next 4-6 months we will live in a small duplex across town. But, we will come home every day to check on her progress and to let the boys play in the yard.

Many of our friends don't understand why we don't just buy land and build a house. But, how could we when this is home. I trained for my marathon on these country roads that surround her. We brought two boucing baby boys home to her. Joshua's Orchard (a row of fruit trees that Erik planted the spring after Joshua was born) sits just to the left of her. She is our home, and we aren't ready to leave her.

The man who built our home just happens to live across the street. Mr. Cole (or Mr. Tole as Joshua calls him) has agreed to renovate our home for us. Joshua is constantly asking us, "When is Mr. Tole going to break our house? When is he just going to tear down our walls?" And, now we have an answer for him - Monday. Yes, Monday, he will begin the process which will take what will seem like forever to accomplish. But, one day he will finish her, and on that glorious day, I will put before and after pics in a post. So, until that time, my blogging may be sporadic. We will see how it goes. . .

All in all, we are excited about the changes. I am thankful that we are able to add-on to her and make her even more ours. . . But, I am even more thanful that when we pack up and move out of her on Sunday, we can know that it isn't for long. We will be back for many more years and many more memories. I know it is silly, but she really is a part of us. And, I am excited for her. After all, what girl doesn't love a good make-over every now and then. . .

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cutting a Deal with a 3 Year Old

I had just about had it with all the "Yeah"s and "Nope"s, so I felt compelled to cut a deal. Right or wrong I cut a deal with my 3 year old son. Bribery, Lisa Whelchel said it is okay to use it. In fact, she highly recommends it! So, here was our deal. . . For every "Yes Ma'm" or "No Ma'm," Joshua receives one M&M. Sounds simple enough, and at first it worked like a charm. But, then, he got a little shifty with it!!! First, he came up to me and said, "Tell me you love me." So, I quickly responded, "I love you, little man." To which he immediately came back with, "Yes Ma'm, you do love me." And, at dinner we heard comments like, "Yes, Ma'm these potatoes sure are good," (without a prompting question from me or his father). So, we had to explain that he would only get M&M's for saying "Yes Ma'm" in response to a question, etc. I have heard enough "Yes Ma'm"s in the last 24 hours to last a lifetime. . .

Friday, September 15, 2006

A true friend. . .

Quick Update: My sweet Sister-in-love, Cecilia, has had the surgery to test more lymphnodes and to place her port for chemo. She will now take 2-3 weeks to heal from surgery, and then she will begin 6 months of aggressive chemotherapy.

Oh, I cannot tell you how much I am learning watching her go through this trial! She is amazingly resilient and has the best attitude. Many, myself included, would likely take the diagnosis she has been given and throw a nice little pity party, maybe even a temper tantrum. I have not heard an ounce of this in her voice. How God is that! We were talking the other day about her coming to visit me in the spring to see my newborn baby. She paused for a minute and said, "But, Erin, I won't have hair then, and I will have to be in pictures." Then, there was another small pause, and I reminded her, "But, my baby won't have hair either, and that will make a great picture!" And, we both laughed hysterically! And, that has been the amazing attitude that God has graced her with throughout this trial. There is something to be said about the character of a person who can laugh amidst trials.

I have thought alot about friends as I have watched Cecilia go through this trial. Who would I want to go with me to my treatments or to pick out wigs? Cecilia has been richly blessed by God through a friend named Kathy. Kathy, Cecilia, and my mom went to pick out wigs yesterday. And, they turned what could have been a sad day into a very funny day!! They laughed and played and tried on wigs. Kathy would no doubt let Cecilia cry on her shoulder, but I'm not sure that she would let her cry long before the two of them would laugh. She is the kind of friend who lends strength in times of weakness and not pity, hope and not sorrowful tears. And, that is the kind of friend that I would want with me in a trial. I don't think I will need a friend who feels sorry for me. I can do that by myself. I need a friend who will pull me out of that pit and make me laugh, hard, until I can't breathe, until I have forgotten, even if it is only for a second, the trial that I am in.

Kathy did something so neat for Cecilia this week. I cried when my mom told me. She put a sign in Cecilia and Kelly's front yard. The sign says, "Celebrate Cecilia 2007" And, under the words are pictures from brochures of places Cecilia and Kathy can go and things that they can do together when Cecilia's treatments are over. In other words, Kathy's message is this, "Cecilia, look at these plans that I have for us next year. Look at all the fun things we will do. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to walk with you through this dark tunnel, and at the end of the tunnel, I am going to dance with you in the bright sunshine!" And, that is a true friend. Not a friend who feels sorry for you, but a friend who says you can do this, keep your head up, this trial is only for a season. I love it! Thank You, Jesus for friends like Kathy, who love us through trials with hope, strength, and a good sense of humor!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September the 11th

Growing up I remember hearing adults over and over again discuss where they were when they heard that JFK had been shot. It was, indeed, a shock that changed the nation in just a matter of seconds. I believe that in the same way my generation will always desire to tell the story of where we were when the planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the sweet soil of Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. A powerful day for us as a nation and as individuals. So many lives lost so quickly. . . An evil I don't think my mind will ever be able to wrap itself around. . . I hope I never understand that kind of evil. It was a tragedy without comparison. . .

When I woke up on September the 11th 2001, my mind was on one thing. That date has always been significant in my family, and this year it was especially significant. My father was turning 60 that day. I'll never forget the phone call from my mother when she explained to me what was happening. I turned on the TV only to see the second tower be hit by a large plane. And, it was at that moment that the numbness began. I'm not sure when it wore off. . . I was numb with fear with shock and horror. I think I had always assumed somehow that we as a nation were invinsible. And, here we were as a nation - afraid. What was going to happen next? the White House? Were they going to take down Air Force One? I knew that life would never be the same. It was as if, for me anyway, a new kind of evil had entered our peaceful society. We had always known there was evil out there, those who didn't like America, but we had somehow managed to keep our lives separate, safe, and secure. But, that day everything changed in a matter of a few hours. . .

I remember walking my dog with my husband that night. The night seemed frighteningly silent. As we walked along, my eyes were drawn to the dark beautiful sky filled with twinkling stars but completely void of the flashing lights of aircrafts. It made me realize how much a part of a normal night sky those flashing airplane lights are. I hadn't really noticed them until they were gone, and the night sky seemed lonely without them. When we went to bed that night, it was the first time I ever remember going to bed afraid. I couldn't sleep. I saw images of the twin towers in my head. What would happen during the night? Was it over? It was a long night full of uncertainty.

But, thankfully, fear was not the only emotion that stirred our souls that day. Selflessness and heroism reigned on this tragic day. Obviously Todd Beamer and flight 93 is the first to come to mind. I have always found it interesting and so very like God to allow their plane to crash into an open field killing no one on the ground. They could have landed in a city or a small town, but instead it was that sweet Pennsylvania pastureland that accepted the sacrifice of those brave men. Beautiful, truly selfless and beautiful. And, then, of course there are the heroes of New York. The brave firefighters and policemen who in doing their duties sacrificed so much. . . their own fears, sleep, comfort, and many sacrificed their lives. So, in as a much as it was a horribly sad day, it was also a day full of acts of rare selflessness that we don't often have the opportunity of witnessing. And, that was a bright shining light on a very dark day.

So, today, five years later, I sat in front of the TV and took it all in again. I felt the emotions of that day all over again. I am so thankful to relive it. I don't want to forget. Ever. As I watched my boys playing this morning, I thought of the day when I will share with them where I was on September 11, 2001. I will probably tell them the same story every year on Sept. 11th. And, they may tire of hearing it, but they will know what happened that day and the impression it made on me and our country. I will make sure of that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Home to me. . .

I love this man with all my heart! I adore him, and that is a very good thing since I promised to live with him for as long as we both shall live! He is perfect - for me, anyway!! One minute he is cracking me up, and the next minute he is ready to sit down, look me straight in the eyes (this is very important to me :-), and have a very serious heart to heart talk about whatever I feel the urge to discuss. He listens to my ramblings. To be honest, I think he finds them rather amusing. And, even though I worry about virtually everything and he worries about absolutely nothing, he still, with great patience and love, listens to me and encourages me. (Huge run-on! Sorry, Sarah!) He is truly the most selfless person I have ever met. And, he takes care of me, good care of me, and I am so safe with him. My respect and adoration for him has only grown with each passing year. He still gives me butterflies. . .

I thought that I would share a poem I wrote for him for our 7th wedding anniversary. Sarah, again, have mercy on me. I am a nurse not a writer. . .

Home to Me
You are home to me,
My strong leader, my rock,
and my safe peaceful place,
where I love to be. . .
You are calm, steady, not easily shaken,
my true constant in this rocky world.
You are my passion, my laughter,
my joy, and my peace.
You are to me strength and gentleness,
confidence and humility.
Your eyes are soft with love,
Your voice tender with grace.
Your right hand is driven and hardworking,
Your left hand is generous and giving.
You are my close reflection of Christ,
Making Him real to me through the example of your life.
Your eyes are ever outside yourself,
always alert to the needs of those around you.
And, quick is your response to meet those needs.
You model selflessness and patience in everything you do.
And, when I am worried and full of fear,
it is with your whole heart you listen,
and with your embrace you comfort me.
You are all things good and true.
You are faithful and unchanging,
day after day and year after year.
How blessed am I to find my earthly refuge in your shadow.
You are my protection,
and in your arms I am treasured and secure.
My precious guide,
as we journey this life together,
it matters not where we live or what we do. . .
If you are beside me, then I am home.
You, my Love, are home to me,
My safe peaceful place,
I will never leave.
I love you, Erin

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sweet Baby James

Okay, so he's not really all that much of a baby anymore!! But, he is still my baby at least for the next 9 months, and really, he always will be. This is my little crowd pleaser! The word "shy" has never been used in the same sentence as the words "James Christofer." When we go places, he literally reaches for perfect strangers as if to say, "Please take me to a place far away and much more interesting than my mother's hip." He is all smiles and laughs. And, now that he has started singing - watch out!! He sings very loud, and well umm. . . a little off key!! But, he is adorable. . .

He is into everything!! EVERYTHING!! And, when we get on to him, he smiles and continues to do whatever he is doing!! He is quite a different little boy from his parent-pleasing brother! I am learning. And, that makes me all the more excited to see what his sweet new brother or sister will be like!! God is so amazingly creative.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Boy Mama

Hallalujah, Praise the Lord!! I got a picture to appear on my blog!!! As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I am NOT very computer savvy!! So, this is an amazing accomplishment for me!!

This picture is of my first born, my darling Joshua. I find myself calling him exactly that, "my Joshua." He is mine, and I adore him! This is the son who sang, "Applesauce, Applesauce where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away." (Baby praise post) And, yes, this is the son who felt sorry for me because I do not have a "poe poe."

When I played house, as a little girl, I always had girl baby dolls. I guess I always assumed that I would one day have a house full of girls. I have always been a "girly girl." I have never played sports. I can run distance, but anything that requires an ounce of coordiantion is way out of my league. So, when we found out that our first born was going to be a boy, I had to wonder why God would choose to make me a "boy mama." I wouldn't know what to do with a boy!! After the ultrasound revealed that my baby had a "poe poe," I called my mom. I remember saying, "Mom, what will I do? There isn't a boy bone in my body." To which she quickly replied, "Yes there is. Actually there are around 200 boy bones in your body right now!!"

And, now a little over 3 years later, I wonder what I would do without this precious boy in my life!! I never imagined that I could love someone so deeply. He has changed the way I see myself. I now get dirty and sweaty nearly every afternoon. Without him I would never have known what it is like to dance in a mud puddle while the rain falls on my face. I would never have known how to tackle or shoot baskets, or play with tractors and trains!! We work very hard at our play!! And, I am learning so much about myself through this little boy! I am so thankful that God knows better than we do exactly what we need. Thank You, Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself. And, thank You for the blessing of my Joshua!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Country vs. Suburbia

When my husband and I moved 5 years ago, we left a large city and moved to a small town. We chose to live just outside that small town on about 7 acres of land. There are great advantages to living in a metropolis, but there are things I love about our simple country life, as well. So, here I go to discuss the pros and cons of country and city life. . . Hang with me, though, and don't go out and buy a country home before you read my second list - especially the part about animals. . . Okay here goes. . .

Reasons why I love my country life:
1.) Wide open spaces - Something about driving down the little road to our home brings songs like Wide open spaces (Dixie Chicks) and I want to live where the green grass grows (Tim McGraw) to mind. It is spacious and serene. You can breathe deeply of the fresh country air. And, my boys can run and yell and laugh as loud and as hard as they want at anytime day or night. And, that is a good thing, a great thing. I love to watch them run, hard, across the grass. It just feels good.
2.) The Animals - Now this will also be a negative. . . We have a neighbor (down the road, turn left, & up a big hill) with 7 horses or as JCT refers to them, "ney neys." We regularly see deer, turkey, and rabbits. Canadian Geese mate at our pond every spring. Which reminds me, our pond is stocked with brim and bass. On occasion we have seen beaver and foxes. And, animals are so fun for little boys!!
3.) The sounds & smells- Summer nights here are alive with noise. Frogs croaking, crickets chirping, etc. We were gone for a week once this summer, and as we unpacked our car upon our arrival home, the sounds of the country were pure music to my ears. And, there is a smell here, a good smell, that is home to me. I smell it as soon as I open the car door after a long road trip. It is pure heaven to me. And, I have to mention my favorite country smell. . . the overwhelming smell of the wild honeysuckle that grow in the woods around our house.
4.) The stars - I could teach an astronomy class for homeschoolers in my front yard on any clear night. I love it. We have only one street light - way down the street from us. So, night is a thick blanket of black sky, and it seems every star in the universe is visible. After Erik and I put the boys to bed, we take a walk around the yard. It is pure peace to my soul.
5.) Quiet - Our street is quiet, really quiet. No lie, if we are laying in bed at 10:30 and a car drives down our road, my husband jumps out of bed and looks out the window to see who it is!! No one on our street (besides us, on occasion) stays out past 10. Another thing that I love is that we know eachother. As a neighborhood, we know eachother well. We keep an eye on eachother's houses. As the boys play in the evening, our whole family stops and waves everytime a car drives by to welcome another neighbor home after a day at work. It really is a nice sort of place to live, our simple sweet country home.
Okay, so here is the rest of the story. . .

Reasons why I'd love to run to suburbia. . .
1.) Starbucks chai latte - I have to drive approximately 30 miles to indulge in one of these.
2.)Animals - Okay, here goes, if anything will scare you out of living in the country the next few sentences will do the trick. Shortly after we moved here, I encountered 3 scary animals in a mere 24 hours. I almost made Erik pack up and move me (but, I'm glad I didn't). Okay, it began one afternoon when I saw a snake in the backyard. Erik had said that if I saw a snake I should kill it with a hoe. So, I quoted 2 Tim. 1:7 and went to get the lethal hoe. (Did I mention that I was raised in city limits?) Okay, now my primary goal here was not really so much to kill the snake, but rather to be able to tell this story valiantly to my husband over dinner. "Oh, honey, I forgot to tell you what I did today. . ." So, I raised the hoe above my head, and with all my might, I hit that silly snake. The only problem is that I guess I wasn't strong enough to actually sever the snake, so I just made him mad, really mad, stabbed him in the back mad! As soon as the hoe hit his back, he sat up - like the cobras you see on animal planet, and he hissed. So, I dropped the hoe, said, "You win," and ran in the house as fast as I could!! A few hours later Erik and I had a run-in with a wounded bird caught in our breezeway. We thought it was a bat(remember the pitch black nights - we couldn't see), so I, of course was screaming at the top of my lungs while he fumbled around looking for the right key! If those 2 weren't bad enough, the story goes on. We went inside, discussed moving me to the city, and then went to bed. The next morning I got up to tinkle. All was well until I stood up. Through my sleepy eyes, I saw something in the toliet, but I couldn't make out what it was. So, I turned on the light, and I saw it, the last straw, he was going to have to move me to the city. . . It was a mouse, yes, a mouse, in my toliet, dead, floating, with his little ears, etc. I showed him to my husband. Erik said he came up through the septic system. I said I didn't want a septic system any more. I don't want animals in my toliets, especially disease-infested rodents. Oh, my. . . Thankfully, I can honestly say none of these things have happened since. I may have seen one other snake, but no wounded birds or rodents.
3.) Mega-churches with awesome pastors - All my city-friends have great churches with awesome praise & worship and teaching. I get fed mainly off the internet and through Bible studies. My country church does however have wonderful potluck dinners, and the organist can really rock!! :-)
4.) Easy access to workout facilities - My workout includes pushing my boys in a jog stroller up to see the "ney neys." And, if you have ever seen the hill I have to climb to get there, you'd know that this definitely qualifies as a workout!!
5.) Target, Pottery Barn, a wide variety of restaurants, zoos, etc. We have to drive a good distance for these things, and that at times can be quite disturbing.

But, all in all the simple life suits me. I'm quite content to stay here as long as God would have us to stay. "Bloom where you're planted" is a quote I try to live by, and in the sweet country earth, blooming has come naturally for me!!


Or is it 2+1+1+1=5?? Either way, a new member will added to our family next May!! We are tickled to death!! My two boys had due dates in February (Joshua the 17th and James Christofer the 25th), but both came on February 4th. Don't ask me how that happened - completely unplanned. We are praying that this baby will NOT be born on February 4th - that would be much too early!!! I am so excited about having a spring baby!!

There is something so unique and wonderful about being pregnant, about seeing two lines on that silly little stick!!! It is knowing that within you God is at work weaving, molding, creating a precious little life. What an honor that he allows us the privilege of participating in the creation process with Him. I love being pregnant. I really love being pregnant. And, I have awful varicose veins during pregnancy, but it is so worth it!! I can't wait to feel the flutters!! The magic of the moment is as awesome today as it was the day I found out that I was pregnant with Joshua. A new life - thank You, Lord!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hair Question - please help!!!

I have been growing my hair out for over a year now to donate to Locks of Love. All of the sudden in the shower this morning, I had a revelation!!!! I could give my hair to Cecilia!! I got so excited just at the thought!!!! Here is the problem/question: Does anyone know if this is possible?? And, if it is how do I go about starting the process? I don't have much time. She will start chemo in a month or so. . . Thanks so much!!

I am really enjoying you all and your comments!! What precious women you are!!

Baby Praise. . .

I don't think there is anything sweeter in a mother's ear than the first time her baby utters the most beautiful word in any language. . . Jesus. Ohhhh, what that does to my soul!! And, when they begin to sing praises to Jesus. . . It warms my heart to the very core, and I know it does His, as well. This to me is more meaningful than my baby's first word. I remember the first time I heard both of my boys utter my Savior's name. Music to a Mama's ears. . . After all that is what it's all about, this whole parenting thing, passing on the legacy of Christ. There is just something so precious about those baby voices singing to their Maker.

As I was cleaning up after lunch yesterday, I heard it. It was soft and somwhat broken but clear, nonetheless. James Christofer, my 18 month old, was singing these words: "Oooohhhhh, how I wuv Desus. . .Ooooohhhh, how I wuv Desus. . ." We sing it every single night to him, but this is the first time his lips have uttered praise of his own admission. I just stood there listening for a minute, imagining Jesus' smile, and then I got down on the floor to help him with the rest of the words! Beautiful day!

This brings me to a funny Joshua story. . . He was 2 when he said these things, but I will never forget them. He came up to me one day and said, "Mommy, sing the egg song." I tried so hard to think of a song with eggs in it, but I couldn't. So, I said, "I don't know what song you mean." To which he replied, "You know the EGG song." "Sing a little for me. . ." I requested. He began singing, "We egg-zalt Thee. We egg-zalt Thee." It is amazing what they hear. He thought that song was about eggs!! :-)

But, the story goes on. . . Another day around that same time, he was sitting in his high-chair eating applesauce while I was cleaning up the dishes. He started singing, "Applesauce, applesauce where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. . ." (At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light. . .) I nearly dropped the dishes and fell on the floor laughing!! And, the more I laughed the more he sang!! Aren't little ones the best!!!! This is another bedtime song of ours and so is the egg song!! Don't you know Jesus gets the biggest kicks out of our children!!

From the lips of children, He has ordained His praise. . .
My photo
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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