Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tradition.




One of the coolest traditions my mom does is have an annuals "Sleep under the Tree" Party. She has had the same "little" girls over for the past, hmmm, I think 7 years. It's so sweet. The "girls" have grown so much and they're more like little women than children. I had the pleasure this past sleep-over to join them. Thanks for including me girls. It was such a blessing to get to know them better and to join in their laughter. I enjoyed seeing their kindness, their quickness to serve, smile, and laugh. It was a true pleasure. The only men around were my dad, Christopher, my brother, who entertained for hours with various games, and Ian. It was a fun time! Hope to be there next year... if I'm allowed :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Mess?







My Sweet Babes.






Creative Flow.

Samuel's play-doh creation.



Libby's creativity tends to be a little more neat, organized, etc. She loves to cut strips and stick to making "cookies" and "cakes".

Saturday, January 24, 2009

needy

The graham crackers are scattered, broken and half-nibbled all over the table. and underfoot in the cracks of my slippers. The dishes are piled in the sink. Samuel's last poopy diaper remains in too close of vicinity.

The only neat thing around here is the goldfish crackers in a bowl too precariosly close to my left elbow. Discarded milk cups litter the table, the kids room, and underneath random couches and beds.

The older two are fighting and arguing about whether or not the door to their room should be shut. I hear Ian crying in the distance. My husband is exhausted from probably getting no sleep as child after child woke up last night with need after need.

If I'm lucky I might be able to swallow some tea through my overly swollen throat.

And yet, in the midst of this madness God is near. The patience He gives me to hug a child and wipe the tears off their faces. and to go fix breakfast. and to change another diaper. and clean up, yet again. and to rest in the fact that He doesn't love me more or less based on what I do or don't do. It's already been done.

I need rescuing. And He has rescued. Jesus has come and saved me from myself. From all my broken humanness and sin. and he restores.

our phones arent working because we cant pay the bill- but i dont need a phone to call out to my heavenly father. abba, help me. i am weak,tired and dispirited-fill me afresh with your spirit. i am surrounded by little ones-your little ones. help me care for them. give me your word to bring life. help as little ones are on my lap and underfoot, constantly needy, just like me.
amen.

those goldfish are everywhere. ian knocked them over and is trying to shove them into his mouth...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doctors, Shots, and Southern food.

Run around. Run around. Run around. Stop.

I had to take the boys in for their 9 month check-up today at 8 in the morning. Of course they're both sick. Ian had a fever yesterday and still had some congestion today. And what???? Michael has managed to get another DOUBLE EAR INFECTION again. The boys had to get shots. Ian's iron levels were way too low so we had to go into the CHKD lab to get some blood tests done. So by the time the blood was drawn and the prescription for even stronger anti-biotics for Michael were ready it was already well past noon.

I came home and Mike went out to run errands. before I could crawl into bed Samuel was up from his nap. Fortunately for me Libby was playing at a friend's today. So I had him come upstairs with his fuzzy, a bowl of dry cereal and a cup of milk and watch a movie in bed with me while the twins napped.

I'm feeling much better than yesterday. I think the vitamin C and the sinus meds are doing their job. Still tired and run-down but really feel able to care for others a bit better :)

The Napiers brought us friend chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and baked apples- one of my absolute favorite meals. It was such great comfort food! Thank you guys! Some other friends came over and brought us groceries and much needed medicine- thank you so much!

And Libby got to go to Kangaroo Jack's with her friend Kaylin today. She had so much fun. When she came home she told me all about the big slides and the icecream she had on a cone... it was "banilla".

So, here we are another day. Another week-end to look forward to... I hope some rest is on the menu. We're all under the weather around here. Mike's run down and Libby is "snorting" as she calls it. At least we still have our sense of humor.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sinus Such & Horror-mones.




Sick. Sniffle. Wipe. Cough. Repeat.

I've got the sinus blues.

"I woke up this morning.
With a scratch in my throat.
My nose was stuffy.
And my cough made me choke...
I've got the yucky-mucky-stuffy, achy, breaky, make-me shaky sinus blues."

What do you think of my little song?

Michael is still coughing/congested/crying. Ian seems like he might have an ear infection. Samuel is a never-ceasing volcano of snot.

So there you have it.

Libby and Mike are well.

I'm in bed. Taking Vitamin C. Reading Better Home and Gardens Getting Organized magazine. And about to watch the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie. I have a cup of English Breakfast Tea and a box of tissues so yep, I'm set.

I'd like to pause and reflect on yesterday though. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and feeling like people just didn't care (yes, self-pity was at an all time high)...I had a friend over helping me organize the twins' room and was sharing with her how I was tempted to feel that my friends didn't care. Mike called up that I had a visitor...the Lord brought a friend to come over with a plate of home-made chocolate chip cookies and a note of encouragement reminding me that many cared and loved me. It was as though the Lord told her exactly what to write.

Mike and I also received encouragement through prayer and specific words of affirmation at caregroup last night. It was most refreshing.

So though my body is pretty yucky and under the weather I am so thankful for the tangible encouragement I have received lately. Isn't the Lord kind?!

P.S.~ Mike said the funniest thing today. I was reminding him in addition to everything not feeling well it's almost that blessed time of the month where I feel like I've been run over by a car. He was reminding me how my hormones came into play. He said that they should be called, "Horror-mones." It made me laugh my head off thinking about it just now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

hello. sunshine.

Sipping away at my hot lemon & honey concotion I've made. Holding Ian on my lap and a tissue in my hand. I think I have a sinus infection. Isn't that fun. You know the feeling where you feel throughout the night stuff dripping down the back of your throat, which you know is going to hurt your throat in the morning but you don't really care because you've been awaken like 30 times and you're just trying to sleep.

Ian is trying to help by typing... so this might take a little longer than I thought. Samuel has managed to drag the baby bath tub upstairs this morning. Libby wants me to make a sign that says "Samuel Can't Have Any Food" because apparently he got on her bed.


But you should have seen me yesterday as I whipped through the house doing over 5 loads of laundry, cleaning, washing, picking-up, straightening, nursing, feeding, wiping.

I made pot-roast, home-made bread, and the most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies. so you might think, "wow, pretty good". the problem with ignoring boundaries is that there is a price to pay... exhaustion. Overdoing it is not a good thing... but it wasn't until way too late i realized my mistake. hmmmm. does there seem to be a pattern?

so now off to put ian down for a nap and keep libby and samuel from tearing the house apart... and clean off the spit-up i was just showered with.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dastardly Days.


Dastardly: cowardly and malicious, base.

Okay, I'm not feeling malicious but I feel very cowardly. I get so fearful of the next crises. So tired of the other shoe dropping. Just when I thought I would work on my "urgency addiction" (First Things First- Stephen Covey) and not seek adrenaline rushes. It's as though I can just turn around and there's something there to get my heart elevated. I long for it to be over. The stress. Anxiety. And strain, tremendous strain. Good thing I've been exercising, huh?

Michael is home sleeping peacefully in his little chair and I can see him as I peek past the computer screen. His little cheeks are rosy pink. He's wrapped in a cream and blue snowflake blanket. His hair flling softly on his head. So tender and sweet. I know I should rejoice and I do...
but I also dread.

I dread the next hospitalization. I dread the next sickness. And I know I shouldn't think and assume the worse but the worst seems to happen. It's as though I can't escape it.

It's after 1 a.m. and I sit here awake. Exhausted and restless. I feel the need to climb a mountain or maybe wrestle with an angel like Jacob. I could probably spend the whole night cleaning the house and going out to the shed to do laundry (me and my flashlight in the dark) but that probably won't serve me. Or I could cry myself to sleep.

The deep pain in my heart is spilling over. The anger too. The questions rising up. The temptation to scream at God... "What are you doing?!!!!! When will this end? Why the pain and trials? Have we not learned enough? How do we keep holding on?"

I have been missing my sister so desperately lately. I wish she was here to talk to. I would call her right now. Middle of the night. And I would tell her what's going on. About Michael and my concern with his breathing/coughing/choking issues... and about Mike and his need for a job. And how I'm afraid the electricity will be turned off again. And how I wish she could just come over and make me laugh the way she always would when I was crying. Or we could sing at the top of our lungs while doing the dishes. Or go out for Slurpees at 7-11... or a large sweet iced tea at Chick-fil-A. And I wish I could tell it all to her- how our parents are and Christopher. And how hard it is to watch them all struggle. And how sad I am that I never got to hold her little boy. And how i wish I could have said good-bye or seen her one last time. And how I've learned to hold my breath when I cry so I don't wake Mike up.

There are times I want to go to the cemetary and just lay on her grave so I can be close to her. I know she's not there. But if feels like the closest I'll be to her until Heaven. And then I wonder if Sam was buried with her...

I've often heard people say how "strong" I am. I feel anything but. I'm so weak. So broken. I get so angry and have to bite back the words when I hear the things people say to me at times. And at these times I feel tempted to feel alone and friendless. Tempted to give into the lies of the Enemy. Tempted to despair and give up and give in. And you know what... I have failed. I've sinned. I've fallen short.

The Good News though is there is One who Hasn't. He's pleading on my behalf. He intercedes for me. He is my Redeemer and He lives. His name is Jesus. And He has born my sins and has taken my place. He has brought reconciliation with me and God... and now I am His child and can cry out Abba, Daddy, save me.


Lord, I don't understand why life is the way it is. I don't understand the trials and experiences I've had. I know that all things work together for good for those who are called according to your purpose. I know that I'm not alone and that you will never leave or forsake me. I'm tired and tempted to give up. Please rescue me from myself. Please help me to hold onto you. You say that you are close to the brokenhearted. Please be near me. Please come and fill me with your Spirit. Give me the strength to carry on. Thanks for calling me your child. Thank you that my sister is with you in realms of glory and that I'll be going home to you someday and that Lib is just saving my spot. Help me Lord, I am so weak. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alls Well that Ends Well.

Mike and Michael are back home. Michael is taking a much needed nap and we're getting ready to make some hot cocoa and chill out for a while. All are tired, but all is well! Thank you Lord!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back in CHKD.

Just want to give you a report on Michael.

Mike brought him in this morning to get shots (along with Ian). Well, the doctor noticed his horrible cough that he's had and after some breathing treatments and monitoring in the office they felt he needed to be admitted into CHKD for observation. So our little man once again is going by ambulance to CHKD. Mike is bringing Ian back home and dashing off to the hospital.

Wanted you to know where we're at. Michael is stable and fine for right now. Will keep you posted. He's being admitted to a room upon arrival so no waiting around... that's nice.

Isn't life ironic?

a poem for Jesus.

Bleary eyed. tired cries. Babies Sleep. Mama sighs.
Cup of tea, cold again. Dribbling milk, down the chin.

Holding grace in a quilt, crying over life that spilt.
Broken, broken, toys and hearts. Quiet healing? soon to start.

If He's numbered every tear, if He knows my every hair...
Why do I worry, why do I care?
Why anxious heart? Why deep despair?

Sweet Savior Jesus holds fast to me. reminds me all I need is He.
In His arms I safely fall, He is my Hope, my Joy, my All.

-Jennifer Napier

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Profession of Faith.


There are moments in life that make me think, "I am so glad to be alive!" moments where I say, "God, thank you that I'm a parent." and moments where I say, "God thank you that YOU are at work in my child!" On January 10, 2009, it was one of those nights.

It all started with me overhearing the kids bed-time ritual with Mike. Mike had read to them a Bible story... complete with sound and lighting effects. And when it came time to pray I heard Libby asking Mike about great-grandma... and would she die in her sleep? Which led to questions about Heaven. My ears perked up. What a perfect opportunity to share the Gospel.

I slipped into the room and whispered my thoughts to Mike and we sat down with the kids and talked to them about the Gospel. About our sinfulness and a holy God and how we need to be redeemed and about Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection and how He restores us to God. The conversation continued about death, Heaven, and hell.

I was amazed at how Libby understood and the questions that followed. Mike finished by asking her if she wanted to pray and ask Jesus to save her from her sins. She said yes and Mike led her in a prayer, asking God to forgive her of her sins. Praying out loud what we believed and thanking God that He would always be with her.

I'm not claiming that I know when a heart is converted or even that she "became a Christian". I don't know that she understands everything... but I do know she understood most of what a 4 year old can understand and I am thankful to see her heart grow with a love for God and a desire for Him.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dinosaurs are all over the table. Play-doh is all over the floor, the table, and the bottom of my shoes. I'm listening to Mozart in the morning (where I found rice in the CD player) and am hearing the children screaming in their room as they jump off their beds. Babies are strewn about. Both the doll and real kind. Okay, their safe in bouncy seats and what-not but I just feel scattered and low.

I feel like such a BAD mom. Sigh.

Everyone is alive and fed and dressed- hey pajamas are clothes! Laundry is done. dishes are half done. And the kids have played with play-doh and colored today.

I've managed to eat half my breakfast a bowl of fruit, mixture of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I'm waiting for Michael's nurse to come and trying to figure out how I can get the kids energy out when it's raining outside... go to Chick-fil-A for the indoor play ground or the mall play area?

Ian's now eating baby food like a horse and it's so much to try to keep up with nursing and feeding him solid foods... and Samuel still doesn't feed himself :(

As I run up and down the stairs, for this and that, I've been reciting to myself, "If God is for me, than who can be against me?" And "What can separate me from the love of God?" I even recite in my head the little piece of Ephesians I've memorized.

Libby just told me she's going to put me out the window. Isn't that pleasant?

Well, I think these pictures say it all.





Monday, January 05, 2009

Protein Anyone?


Dear friends,

Turns as if I'm truly hypoglycemic...or in the words of a famous SNL skit, A "Hyper-hypo!" I'm finding that my sugar levels can get all out of whack and I can get to feeling light-headed and faintish. Thankfully I've seen my doctor and he's confirmed I am hypoglycemic (low sugar levels). I'm finding that I need a protein with a complex carb.

Some of my favorite helpful snacks have been apples with natural peanut butter. Cheese and whole grain crackers. Hummus with Kashi crackers. Protein drinks. Yogurt with home made granola. Dried fruit and nuts. Chicken with anything...brown rice, beans, etc. Eggs on a bagel or english muffin.

Do you have any other suggestions? I need protein. Please advise.