Monday, January 29, 2007

Good Things. . .

Today was, well, let's just say, not my finest day. I did not earn a nomination for mother of the year today. My children and I ate out for both lunch and dinner. I kinda lost my temper a little bit here and there. My darling JCT clawed my sweet Joshua's face, and then later hit my Joshua over the head 3 times in a row quite quickly. He then looked up and saw that I was watching and walked over to the corner by himself. What, I ask, am I to do with him? Midday, I looked up at heaven and asked God what He was thinking entrusting me with children. It was that kind of day.

So, I decided that I am going to write about good things that happened today. Because my first inclination is to focus on all the very trying things that took place, but in reality I know there are some good things that happened too. . . Now let me think. . .

Good Things by me. . .

The best thing that I can remember that happened today was when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw two sleeping angels in carseats behind me. No matter how they act when they are awake - they look like angels when they are asleep.

JCT grabbed my face with two hands and gave me a big wet kiss on the lips this evening.

When I put the boys to bed, Joshua and JCT both wanted to sit on my lap. They were trying to push eachother off - both wanting to be the only one on my lap. I said, "Just wait, in a few months Elijah will be here, and I will have to hold him, too." Joshua said smilinig, "Well, he'll just have to sit on your head!" The mental picture made me laugh out loud.

My husband, who over the past 3 days has proven himself once again to be the selfless member of our relationship, told me he loved me at least like 15 -20 times today. On days like today, it is so nice to know that I am loved deeply.

We took the boys to a basketball game tonight. An older lady from our church who recently lost her husband and has really been struggling was at the game. I was so glad to see that she was getting out and around again. JCT, who doesn't know her at all, walked right up to her seat and reached up for her with the biggest, sweetest grin on his face. And, then he climbed up in her lap and charmed her silly. . . And, that made my heart smile - Jesus loving on her through my son.

When Joshua saw the mascot of our local team at the game tonight, he leaned over and assured me, "Mommy, now don't just be scared of that tiger. He's a nice tiger. He has a smile, and he will give you five if you want him to. . ." Then, his little voice turned to a whisper, "And, Mommy, it's a man in there. It's just a man inside wearing that tiger. Don't just worry, Mommy. He's a nice tiger, I promise. He won't just eat you. I promise."

Oh, and another good thing. . . watching my two little guys sitting with their legs tucked behind them on the gym floor sharing a bag of popcorn. It was the only time they sat still the entire game! And, they looked super sweet sitting there together all red-headed and precious. . .

And, the perfect ending to the day. . . Chocolate cobbler, milk, and the best dog ever at my feet.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


(Okay so I have no idea why this picture is sideways! I have never had this happen, and I am helpless to change it. My computer won't let me??)

This is my JCT. I hope that I never forget. . . one hand in his mouth and one hand in his pants. Not that I approve of the hand in the pants thing - I don't. I feel certain that in the course of single day I say at least one million and two times, "JCT get your hands out of your mouth and your pants!" But, like some sort of innate drawing. . . the hands migrate back to their favorite places. . . This is my JCT, and I love him!

He is my messy boy! Joshua likes to be clean. He actually uses a napkin. But, not my little JCT. Messes don't really seem to affect him like they do Joshua and I. He rather likes them.

Example: We painted yesterday morning. . .

Notice his brother watching with a smile. . .
My little finger painting Picasso!

Just for the record: Joshua's hands, face, hair, shirt, and chair were all clean.

Monday, January 22, 2007

For Elijah. . .

I am thinking of you today, my little man, my very little man. I am praying for you. Praying that God will grow you strong and healthy within me. Praying that you will know your Creator even in the womb. That you will come to know Him personally at a very young age and follow hard after Him all your days. Praying that God will bless you with a wise and discerning heart, and that you will grow in wisdom and favor with God and man. That you will hate evil and cling to that which is good. I am praying that like your namesake, Elijah, you will take bold risks for God.

I love you so much already, sweet one. Just you wait, we are going to love you to pieces when you come to be with us in this fragile little world that we call home. Fresh from God you will come to us. His handprints all over your sweet naked body. Oh, I can't wait to see you. . . Jesus be with you and keep you safe until I can wrap my arms around you and kiss the sweetness of your newborn skin. Oh, little blessing, how I love you. . .

Did you hear your older brother singing to you this morning? His little lips pressed to my belly singing as loud as he could just for you to hear. We put your crib together this weekend. And, your brothers and I made up your bed this morning. We are eargerly awaiting your arrival. Joshua asks about you all the time. He wants to know when you are coming. I tell him that when the leaves and the grass turn green again and the flowers start blooming - then it will be time. But, for now we have to wait.

Yesterday was Sanctity of Life Sunday at church. It was as if you had so much to say about this issue. You never stopped moving from the beginning of Sunday School all the way through the worship service. Tossing and turning. Erik and I sat with a couple of my favorite young girls during church, and they could see you kicking through my shirt. You were making them giggle. I just held my belly and enjoyed feeling so close to you. With each kick I envision your sweet legs and arms, fingers and toes. Perfect in every way. Unique.

My beautiful baby boy, a loving God has loaned you to us. He has trusted us to care for you day in and day out. And, we will do our very best to be faithful to this calling. Know that we will make a multitude of mistakes, but one thing is certain, you are and always will be loved, so much, so very much.

So, until that sweet day when we will finally meet face to face, know that I am dreaming of you, praying for you, and loving you. Grow, sweet one, grow. And, we will be waiting for you. Godspeed, precious little one. Godspeed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Very Own Little Safety Patrol Man

Growing up we referred to my Dad as "Safety Patrol Man." And, I am not just talking about within the family - even my closest friends knew him by this name. He was/is serious about safety. Don't ask me how or why, but once the company he worked for gave him a jacket with a patch on the sleeve that said "Safety Patrol." It was an award of sorts received by the executive who turned off the most lights after leaving the room, locked the most doors behind him, or something of that nature. Seriously, my father traded futures for the commodity market, so I am not sure how the whole safety award thing actually came about. But, his company had an award for safety, and, rightly, he received it.

He pushed safety big time in our home. I have so many memories of being scared half to pieces as he monthly checked our fire alarms. He checked the doors five or so times to make sure that they were locked before going to bed each night. The thermostat was strictly off limits. In the summer we were a bit on the warm side, and in the winter, we were a bit on the cold side - to save energy, of course. But, to touch the thermostat meant you might just lose a hand - or so we believed. And, as soon as the temperature dropped below 70, a coat was in order and a hat, too, of course. Everyone knows that "you lose a large perentage of heat from your head." And, when you are seventeen, you don't care one bit if you have hat hair when you get to school. You stayed warm and that is all that really matters to seventeen year old girls. Right? (Love you, Daddy!) And, the big joke was that the "Smith girls" could only drive in perfect weather. If it was too hot, the heat wasn't good for the car. If it was too cold, then, you better not drive because it just might start to sleet. And, you don't even want to think about driving in the rain because that is an accident waiting to happen, and you wouldn't want to have a head-on with a tornado.

Do you know how much I love this man? I think you can see how much he loved me! He did everything in his power to keep me safe.

After I married Erik, I became the safety patrol. Pulling out of the driveway - only to pull right back in - gotta double check to make sure that my curling iron is unplugged, or that the oven is off, or that all the lights are off, or all of the above. But, now I have my Joshua. And, he has usurped me of my safety patrol power. He has put me back in my place as the recipient of safety instruction. In his 3 year old mind, it is his job to take care of me and our home and our car, etc. Here are a few examples. You may think that I am exagerating or making this up, but I assure you that I am not. He is his Poppy's grandson. He gets it honest. Here goes. . .

* I tend to grip the steering wheel with one hand. I rest my right arm on my leg and steer from the bottom of the wheel. This bothers my sweet son who says to me, "Mommy, you need to put your hands on the steering wheel. The car will go off the road if you don't steer it. We don't want to have an axxident." I smile to myself, and reluctantly put both hands on the wheel, up high, so that he can see them and feel safe.

* When we park the car and begin walking into a store, he often says, "Mommy, you didn't lock the car." To which I assure him, "Yes, I did." Then, he responds, "Are you sure? I didn't hear it honk. Make it honk, Mommy, so that I know it is locked." Yes, he is 3, almost 4, but still much too young to worry about such.

* The other day I was on the cell phone when we came into the house from shopping. I had JCT, several bags, and a cell phone in my hand. I didn't shut the back door all the way when we came inside. So, for the next 15 minutes, as I tried to finish up my phone call, Joshua kept saying over and over, "You didn't shut the door, Mommy. Mommy, you didn't shut the door." Even after I carefully closed the back door, he kept on, "Mommy, you left the door open. Mommy, the door. You need to close it." I finally got off the phone, a bit exasperated, and inquired, "Joshua, the door is closed. I closed it. Why do you keep saying that?" He, very matter of factly, replied, "Not the house door, Mommy. You left the van door open, the door on my side. We need to shut it." I went outside, and he was right. There was the side door of the van - wide open, smiling at me.

* I tend to forget my sunglasses which are as vital an accessory to me as my wedding ring. After forgetting them several times and complaining about not having them, Joshua has decided he needs to step in and help me. So, when we get in the car, my little safety patrol man sweetly asks, "Mommy, did you remember your sunglasses? Just making sure. . ."

* I don't know why, but this one is my favorite. . . The other day as we were pulling out of the driveway, out of the blue and much to his mother's surprise, Joshua gasps and yells, "MOMMY! STOP THE CAR!!" I slammed on the brakes wondering if he saw an animal or a person that I was about to hit. I turned my head to face him, "What is it?" His response. . .

"I think you forgot to turn my sound machine off!!!!"

What, I ask, would I ever do without him?

* When I drive at night, I get to hear this common reminder from my sweet little man. . . "Mommy, do you have your front lights on? Because it is night, and at night you need your front lights on so that you can see."
* If I don't take the same roads as usual to certain places such as church, the library, Daddy's office, etc., I hear from my little backseat driver, "Mommy, this is not the way to Daddy's office. You need to just turn this car around and go back the other way."

* And, to the workers who tirelessly work on our home each day, Joshua says in a voice full of appreciation, "That is LOUD. You are being VERY LOUD. You are going to wake up James Crisper. You need to BE QUIET, please."
* Just today I overheard Joshua giving JCT this little lecture. . . "JCT, if you are not using the toy, you need to turn it off. That wastes badderies. You wouldn't want to waste the badderies, would you?"

Okay, already, I will quit. . . I could go on and on. . . Honestly, when Joshua makes one of these cautious little comments of his, I smile and remember the first man that I ever loved, my original safety patrol man, my Daddy. Thank You, God for sending these sweet men to take good care of me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Reunited. . . and it feels so good!

We got our beloved pet back this weekend after a 3 month separation. I knew that Angie (a friend of ours who keeps him for us) would be bringing him to us sometime Saturday afternoon/evening. And, all I could think was, "Ugh, here we go - more added to my plate." I must admit I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at our present state of chaos. I am a little OCD about order in my home, and this move is making me crazy!! But, what I did not realize was how much joy having Rain back home would bring my boys! Joshua couldn't keep his hands off Rain all evening. He kept saying, "I love you, Rain. I love you! Thanks for coming home, Rain."

I must say that it is nice to hear those long ears flap when he shakes his head. And, it is nice to see that soft grey body laying around the house once again. But, the best part of it all is that now Erik and I get to take our little evening strolls back and forth in front of the house with Rain after the boys go to bed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Little Things. . .

It is the little things that tug at my heart. My little boy's feet, their sweet little toes. It is hearing them cry for "Mama" when they get hurt. The softness of their silky red hair. The way JCT runs up to me and hugs my leg. Joshua asking me every night to sing his two special songs to him. JCT's baby voice singing "Good Morning to You!!!" each morning. The sound of their laughter. Watching them roll around on the ground wrestling and playing. Listening to their little backseat conversations. Bathtime play and bedtime routines. Watching JCT drift slowly off to sleep as I sing to him each night. The softness of Joshua's cheeks on my lips as I kiss him goodnight. The feel of Elijah kicking inside me. It is the little things that catch me off guard each day and move me to praise my God. Thank You, God, for the little things.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Comfort of an Old Friend

I have wonderful news! 2007 has brought a wonderful blend of old and new to our lives. Our home is newly renovated - a sweet combination of new and shiny as well as old and comfortable. But, there is another change that has taken place with the turn of the new year. My husband, who for the last five years has practiced in a clinic as the lone physician, will have a new partner, an old friend, his best friend. They call eachother "brother", and that is what they are. Though not by blood, their brotherhood lies in a friendship unique.

Friendships like this are rare especially among men. And, I thank God for the blessing of this and several other deep friendships that He has blessed my husband with. Sean is special. For the past 6 years many miles have separated them from eachother, but that has not affected their friendship in the least. Erik, for the past five years, has come home from work nearly everyday talking to Sean on his cell phone. I kid him that they are co-dependent. But, inside I love that about their friendship. Sean brings out a side in my husband that no one else can. He is good for Erik's health. He makes him laugh, heartily. And, that makes my heart swell.

Sean is living with us right now, and he will probably live with us for another month or so. In a few weeks, hopefully, his wife and one year old daughter will join him living with us. And, they will remain in our home until their home is completed. Many people look at me with pity when they here that Sean is living with us - not because of Sean - but because we are in such a state of chaos at present. But, I quickly correct them. Sean is a blessing. He is sunshine in our home. He makes my children and my dog happy, crazy happy, sometimes too happy! And, he gives me a hard time constantly, about everything. And, I love this. He is truly like a brother to me, as he is to my husband. He is comfortable here, and we are comfortable with him here. This is not the first or even the second time that our families have shared a residence for an extended period of time. We are family.

Deana, his wife, is one of the most strong and loyal friends that I have ever had. If she loves you, she loves you. She will fight for you. The kind of friend you would run to in a bind, the kind of friend who will not fold. I love her, and I look forward to her presence in my daily life.

I could write a book about the memories the 4 of us made while Erik and Sean were in residency together, but I just don't have enough time. My fingers would certainly tire if I even tried. . . There have been so many laughs, trials, vacations, etc. We truly lived in community with them. We shared everything. We ate nearly every meal together. We were family. I remember the deep loss we felt moving away from them when Erik left for fellowship. Erik and I truly mourned. And, we have not replaced them. Recently Erik and I went away to a nearby city for a weekend getaway just the two of us. We ate dinner in one of those revolving restaraunts. We sat across from eachother quietly, staring at one another, remarking at how nice it was, etc. It was a candlelight dinner with soft music and a great view. But, we both agreed that there was one thing that could make the evening even better - if we could share it with Sean and Deana. They are like a part of us.

I prayed at the beginning of 2005 that God would bring a frienship like that to Erik and I here in this small town that we live in. I had no idea that God had in His plans to bring Sean and Deana to answer my prayer. What an amazing God! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought. . . But, I am so grateful! And, now every time I drive into my husbands office's parking lot, I stare at the sign out front. I can't help but stare. I never thought I'd see their names together on a sign like that. It stirs something inside me. And, I say a prayer of thanks.

Father, bless their practice. May they glorify You through the work of their hands. May they touch their patients with Your hands and see their patients through your eyes. Guide and direct them. Give them divine wisdom and insight, beyond their own capacity, so that they know it is from You alone. Touch lives through them. May their patients feel Your presence and Your peace in this clinic. May they be drawn to You and come to know You through these two men. Use them, Lord. Change lives through them. Use them to bring healing to their patients - not just physical healing, but most importantly spiritual healing. Bless the relationships that they build with their patients. May their patients feel Your love, acceptance, peace, and joy through them. May this clinic be set apart for You, to bring You glory.

Monday, January 08, 2007


That is all I have to say. This is where I am living at present. Well, this picture is of my garage, and I am not actually living in the garage, but still. . . Chaos reigns here. The garage is one of the two places we stored things for the three months that we were out of our home. The only problem is that now we have to actually go through everything in the garage. Things that we have lived without for three months, things that we have proven we really don't need.

I have always been an over-achiever. Erik and I have moved two other times in our marriage, and both times I had the house in order and decorated in record time. Tunnel vision. I would work feverishly until I had the house the way I wanted it.

Enter two children.

Now, I am unable to work feverishly. Tunnel vision is an impossibility, if you know what I mean. . . I have two little guys that need a mommy, and so I have resigned to the fact that this will take time.

Contentment in chaos is my prayer. Can those words exist in the same sentence? I am just praying that we will be in some sort of a stable state in April as we prepare for Elijah to join our family. Several friends and family members have asked me to post some before and after pics. I hesitate to do this because of two things. #1 My before pics are on a CD, and bless my heart, I can't figure out how to get my pics from the CD to my documents. #2 There is not a single room in our home that is in order or decorated or even completed as of today. So, maybe in a month or so, I will post some pics. Give me some time to settle in and make it home again. I will put a pic of our foyer in this post because this room is closest to done. Originally, we had a single door with windows on both sides. We took up the flooring that was there, and we stained and scored the concrete underneath. We went from wood to wrought iron on the stairway and added sconces and library paneling. So, here it is.

Is the concrete what you thought, mom?

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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