Monday, August 30, 2010

Vote for LCA

This school is very important to our family and we would appreciate, if you have a facebook account, your votes (you can vote 5 times for one school)!

Just click on the "Dream Big. Act Now." Button to the left.

Only 4 days remain to vote!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

What Mothers Do

In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to share a few thoughts on mothers I have had/heard in recent weeks:

I have been working my way through Beth Moore's Bible Study, "Esther", for over a year now. Thankfully, after months of trying to do it solo, I have joined a "group" and the accountability has spurred me on toward completion.

In the first week Beth focused a portion her teaching on Esther as an orphan. A child without a mother. And this precipitated a story about Beth's daughter and grandson that I have not been able to stop thinking about. I wish you could just hear it straight from her, because no one can tell a story like Beth. But I will do my best to summarize:

Amanda, Beth's daughter, told her a story about Jackson, who is 19 months old. He had learned to sit and eat goldfish in his chair and he was happily doing it in the next room, while chattering to himself. It got very quiet, and as any mother would do, Amanda peeked in to check on him.

There was Jackson, feeding goldfish to their Golden Retriever, sticking his fist practically down his throat in the process. Once he had given a goldfish to the dog, he would eat one. This continued back and forth and Jackson was so proud of himself for sharing with his "buddy". When he saw his mother walk in to the room, he grinned from ear to ear, held up a goldfish, and said, "Mama!"

At that point, Amanda had a decision to make, eat the goldfish covered with dog slobber and make her little boy's day or reject it and break his heart. And so . . . she ate it.

Beth finished up by asking, "Who else is going to do that but your mother!?!"
And I thought, THAT is what Moms do . . . they tolerate slobber, spit up, sweat, tears and worse. They go without to give to their children. They love and they love without expecting anything in return.

Another thought came to me on a camp out a few weeks ago at about 4:30 a.m.:

I had the privilege of going with M3 on her first Girl Scout camp out and honestly I was as excited as she was. There were 6 moms and 11 girls staying in 5 tents. M3 had surprised me by telling the leader she wanted to stay in a tent with 3 other girls (no moms) because I had assumed she would want to stay with me.

Now, being that I AM her mother and all, I do know her pretty well. So, in the back of my mind, I was prepared that she might end up sleeping with me over the course of the night.

When we all "turned in" we were keeping watch on my smart phone (despite the fact we had no running water and cooked all our meals over a fire, we did manage to have cellular access) at the giant storm that was headed our direction. It was due to hit some time in the middle of the night, and we were prepared for the worst.

I felt a sense of responsibility, being that I had access to the radar map, to keep checking on it through the night. And about every 15 minutes my sense of responsibility would wake me up to update the map. Amazingly, the storm dissipated and all we got was a lovely cool front and some light rain out of the whole thing.

But about the time the rain stopped, I felt a hand on my leg, and heard a familiar, "Mom?" There, in my tent was my sweet M3.

At first I was angry, because she is not supposed to be out by herself. But before I could react, she explained that she needed some insect repellent for her and her "buddy" who was standing outside the tent waiting for her.

My anger gave way to admiration, because I recognized that it took a great deal of courage to come across the campground and find me in the middle of the night, even with a buddy.

And then she finally broke down and said she wanted to go home. The wind was loud and she couldn't sleep (and I could tell she was scared).

I am sure she was thinking, "Mom's tent is full, there is no where for me to sleep in there. I will never make it through the night without her."

God had already prepared me for this moment, because I simply said, "Would you like to sleep in my cot with me?"

That was all she needed to hear.

We went back, got her blankets and the two of us settled down in my little cot for the rest of the night.

She held my hand to her chest and I could feel her heart still pounding from fear.

In just a few minutes, though, it slowed and I realized she was asleep.

In a matter of minutes she went from tears to peaceful slumber, safe in her mother's arms.

And again I thought, "That's what moms do."

That's what ONLY moms can do.

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to do what only moms can do.

Thank you, my Mother-in-law, friends, and family, for being encouragers and examples.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can you believe . . .

this is my SON?!?

After the last game of his Junior High Basketball career. 25 wins and 2 losses. What an exciting season!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

M4 asked this morning what the Groundhog Day Cupcakes

were all about. So we did a little searching

and found the youtube video to "educate" him on the great American tradition . . .

With all the acorns around here, I think (the squirrels at least)could survive a LOT more than six weeks of winter . . .

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

Our traditional sparkling white grape juice toast on New Year's Eve

In 2009:

I started the year without any hair.

I drove daily (M-F) to radiation every week in January.

I enjoyed watching M1 play basketball, M1 & M2 play baseball and soccer, M3 play softball and swim and M4 play his first season of soccer.

I was declared "cancer-free".

My husband took me on a wonderful, week-long vacation to Hawaii.

M1 has grown gracefully into a teenager.

M2 has singlehandedly taught M3 and M4 to ride their bikes (in one week's time!)

M3 has returned to full-time homeschool and we both LOVE it!

M4 has learned his alphabet and to count to "infinity".

I lost my car keys - about four months ago - and still haven't found them.

Got to spend a week with my family at Disneyworld.

Celebrated my parents 45th anniversary.

Bid farewell, temporarily, to two dear friends. Robbie, and family, to Australia and Marie, and family, to Canada.

Said goodbye, until heaven, to friend, Carol, and "Papa Doc", my SIL's father.

Enjoyed watching M3 sing, with friend, Hannah, and M1 and M2 perform the swordfight scene as Inigo Montoya and "The Man in Black" from the movie, "The Princess Bride" in the school talent show.

Made it through two rounds of preventative treatments. (TWO TO GO!!)

Learned that you don't go to the urgent care clinic when you are having chest pain (no matter what adjective you use to describe it . . .)

After cleaning my house for a full week (having nothing else to do during that time), and being very pleased with myself, am coming to grips with the fact that, though it will not stay that way, "Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest." Proverbs 14:4. And despite the mess they make, I am VERY thankful for my many oxen (I mean, children).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beyond the Door

Have you ever heard the song "Heaven in the Face" by Stephen Curtis Chapman? He wrote the song after his five-year-old daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident.

The first time I heard it I actually thought I might have a wreck it was so emotional for me. And every time since, it takes me back to that place of longing, of missing Michael to my very core, just for a moment.

I completely understand where he is coming from, losing a child. Despite the fact that I never knew Michael in this world, except for inside of me, his loss drained me completely. For a very long time.

So why do I bring this up today? I heard the song again on the radio.

I don't often hear it alone, so I don't usually get to listen and contemplate the words.

I've always understood, in listening to the song, that, to Chapman, heaven is all the special and wonderful things that he remembers of Maria while she was alive. And all of the sudden, I HEARD what he was saying. These are the words of the chorus:

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for.
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.

When Michael died, I was consumed with the thought of him in heaven. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to be here on earth, too. I would find myself talking to God and saying stuff like, "God, I know you are the greatest thing in heaven, but when I get there, I just want to see Michael."

I am sure it is that way with any loss: child, friend, parent, sibling. You miss them so much you just can't wait to see them again. And they will be the ones "meeting you at the door". And you want to see them so desperately that nothing else about heaven matters, but just getting to the door.

Over time, God gently reminded me to "miss" Michael and "worship" Jesus. Because it is only because I know Jesus that I could ever hope to see Michael again. To long for heaven because Jesus has prepared a place for me there.

And someday Michael will meet me at the door and take me by the hand and lead me to Him.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blast from the past

We have been doing some MAJOR cleaning (as in "cleaning out") and I came across the oddest thing. It was a box, marked "Master Bathroom" that has been sitting in our linen closet next to the laundry basket SINCE WE MOVED IN TO THIS HOUSE.

The funny thing is, I thought it had cleaning supplies/tools in it. Like caustic chemicals and "As seen on TV" type cleaning tools that never worked for me.

But I opened it up, to "clean it out" and this is what I found:

Just for fun, see if you can figure out what this box was for - I'll give you some clues.

This box made the move with us to this house in December of 2000.

I had packed this particular "box" actually in DECEMBER 1999.

It had a hand can opener, napkins, paper towels, trash bags, baggies, flash lights (with batteries dated 1999 in them), a can of lysol, matches, paper cups and plastic utensils.

It was stored in our previous home in the crawl space under our stairs with about 20 gallons of water.

Can you guess what it was for?





Talk about a blast from the past. This time ten years ago, the civilized world was breathing a sigh of relief that the world as we knew it then did not come screeching to a halt as it hit midnight of 12/31/99.

It caused me to go back in time to what our lives were like in 1999.

Ten years ago, we had two small children aged four and almost two. Neither had played an organized sport, yet. I had just turned 30. We had three dogs. We lived in a different city. We didn't know that terrorists could fly airplanes into skyscrapers. We didn't know what it was like to be in a major car accident, lose a child, have cancer. We didn't quite understand how MUCH God loves us and how GOOD He really is.

I miss a lot about ten years ago. But I am so grateful for the lessons of life and love that we have been allowed to learn in the past decade!

I think I'll keep my Y2K box. It can be my "Hurricane Preparedness" box (now that I know what is in it :) )