Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Big Day.

Tomorrow (Thurs., April 30th) is the big day. Michael will be getting his cleft palate repaired and tubes in his ears. We leave at 6 a.m. to arrive at CHKD at 6:45. Surgery is scheduled for 8:30. Visitors are welcome, especially in the afternoon and on Friday. We would love the support and encouragement.

I can feel the nervous energy I have and feel like I can't sleep. Getting up after 5 a.m. to make sure we have everything and have the schedule for the kids done, etc....

Well, sleep is elusive right now. Thank God for coffee right????!!!!

Look forward to giving a good report!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MRI's and the lack thereof.

Michael was scheduled for an MRI yesterday. We spoke with the nurse at 6:30 in the morning and asked if we should continue to withhold feeding him as we were concerned about him being hydrated. We had turned off his feed at 11. We explained he was on a feeding tube and received formula by g-tube. She said to go ahead and turn on his feed until 9:30. I stopped the feed (it was only for 2 hours) at 9... just to be on the safe side.

Well, we got checked in, registered, etc. He was weighed. He had the hospital band on. The anasthesiologist asked questions about his cleft. Right before he got his IV they asked about feeding/drinking...

Well, the nurse told Mike WRONG. He's not supposed to have formula for 6 hours prior the MRI. She meant to say he could have Pedialyte until 9:30. So we had to cancel and reschedule. It was very frustrating. It's hard to secure child care for a lengthy appt. like this one and in addition to drive from here to CHKD... drop off kids, etc. I trust though that the Lord has His reasons. They offered to give him his MRI at 3 but I knew I was supposed to be almost done with the appt. by then so I could pick up the kids (it's a 4 hour appt. because of the sedation.)

To make a long story short...Michael's MRI has been re-scheduled for June.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Loving Jesus.


As I write this I'm aware that it's far too late and I'm far too tired to be completely coherent. So bear with me.

I've been thinking lately about Jesus. How sweet and precious He is to me. How radical a man. A servant of all. The King of Kings. God and human. A man who cared for the poor, the sick, the broken, for women and outcasts. Jesus was not afraid to tell it like it is. He was not afraid to destroy the religious people of His day.

It made me wonder... who am I? Am I more religious or am I more like Christ? I get caught up with how efficient and productive I am. I get caught up in thinking that my worth is based on what I've done (praying, reading Scripture, serving others, etc.) rather than what He has done. What He has finished. If only I could truly come to terms with the fact that He won't love me more or less because of what I have or haven't done. He truly loves me. That amazes me. How can someone completely know me... my heart, mind, soul, body-know my every flaw and imperfection and still love me?! Isn't it wonderful to be wholely accepted as we are? To not have to "change" for Him. He accepts us right where we are. He doesn't ask us to be fixed before we come to Him... He takes the broken pieces and fixes it... He takes the gaping wounds and brings healing.... He takes the dead, rotting corpse and brings it back to life.

My brother (in-law) David asked me a question I will never forget. He said, "Why did Jesus come?" Jesus Himself answers the question (John 10:10)... "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." ABUNDANT LIFE!!!

Who is this amazing liberator, healer? The One who has come to set captives free and break the bonds? The One who brings dead to life... the conqueror of death! His name is Jesus. Oh what sweet glorious news... I don't have to have it together. I don't have to try harder and do more. I don't have to be fixed or perfect... I can lay myself at His feet and surrender... and He loves me where I am. What joy!

I love Jesus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughts by the grave.



I went to my sister's grave today. I was finished with the IEP meeting and had a little time before the next and I went there. I didn't know I was going to go. It was a little impulsive. But I found myself driving on Cedar and I pulled in. The sky was blue and there were gorgeous clouds in the sky. There was warmth all around me and a slight breeze. I stood at her grave and just thought. I know she is not there. She's in Heaven. She's with Jesus.

But being where the remains of Libby's body was provoked some thoughts. I was glad that she was buried where there were horses close by. I could see them running and hear them whinnying. The sound of laughter was close. I could look up and see children playing at a nearby school.

I miss her. I miss the sound of her laughter and the way she would snort when she was tickled by something. The way she would crinkle her nose in amusement. I miss her advice and encouragement and wisdom. I miss her telling me what to do. Who says younger sisters aren't bossy didn't know my sister!

I miss her gasp of surprise. Her exasperated, "Jennnnnn...." with the accompanied rolling of the eyes. I also miss being able to reflect with her. I miss being able to talk to her about what's going on and what I'm struggling with. I miss her gentle prayers, her calm tears, and her sensitive spirit. Such a deep loss. I feel that loss with every passing day. The weight of it is with me today.

Thankfully this too shall pass. These days will be over. I will be on the other side of this. On the other side of death and will be with my sweet Saviour and with my sister again.

Weeping may last for a night but joy does indeed come...Psalm 30:5 says,

5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime. [1]
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.



On another note:

Samuel's IEP meeting went GREAT! I really like his teacher and am feeling confident about what we're doing. I think it's going to be really good for him. I have seen emerging with his language lately but I've also seen serious regression in language and behavior... he likes to act like a baby. I think he's wanting some attention. I don't blame him. I feel like it's been hard to get time one-on-one with him and also with Libby lately. She was asking me recently when we're going to go on a date. I hope to do that soon!

And so Samuel will start school next Wednesday! What a big boy!

I just spoke with the radiologist yesterday afternoon... she's going to get Michael in tomorrow (Friday) for an MRI. So wow- they bumped him up 5 weeks. I'm glad we'll be getting it done sooner rather than later. I just feel like there are all these new added "squeeze them in" kind of appointments going on. It's hard to play catch up! Michael's surgery is a week from today. It's coming up so fast. There is a part of me that feels a little uncertain about it. I don't know maybe it's just the dread of being in the hospital again. That gnawing wait that is in my pit of my stomach until I see my child come out of surgery. I'm dreading seeing Michael in pain. Dreading his little arms being in splints so he can't shove his hands in his mouths, which is his favorite source of comfort.

I think today is giving me enough burdens without me adding any more...

Isaiah 55:6 says, "6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;"

So I'm going to go do that. I need to seek the Lord and cry out to Him with all that is on my heart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nibble.



Nibble. Random title for a random post.

I'm sitting at my table just having finished my eggs and toast and assessing the day. I have finally come to terms with that I just need to do things that need to be done and not try to live up to some random ideal that I just pulled out of nowhere. For example, I make myself breakfast but I tend to think hmmm, I shouldn't eat breakfast until the table is clear or the dishes are done, etc. And then I find I don't eat breakfast, I get more tired than ever, and I have no energy to accomplish what needs to be done in the day. But today... I pushed aside the cheerios and the crayons and coloring books, the trucks, etc. and sat down with my meal.

I'm waiting for my tea to cool a bit so I can take a sip.

My e-mail is too busy right now. Literally, I tried to check my mail for the day and it said the server was processing too many requests. I laughed out loud. How ironic. If the computer is too busy.... what does that say for the rest of us...

I'm reading some good books right now... a lot of good books.

I'm reading Dr. Kevin Leman (who I'm a huge fan of) The Birth Order Book:Why You Are the Way You Are... it's fantastic. I highly recommend it. Especially if you need help figuring out yourself, or your parents or your siblings or your friends. I learned a little bit more about what makes me tick and about how others function differently from me (gasp!).

Another book I am enjoying is Mayo Clinic's Healthy Weight for Everybody. It's a GREAT book on health and eating and lifestyle. I'm really working on managing my health. I'm trying to focus on eating well and have made a commitment to myself that I literally read out loud to myself every day. No the book doesn't make you do that... it was my practical self-talk speech that I made up. I want a healthier body, mind, soul, and spirit so I can serve the Lord and my family better. By taking care of myself in practical ways I am better able to care for those I love. I want to show my children that it's okay for them to take care of themselves... and how can they learn that if I show them you can only care for others and it's wrong to care of yourself.

Another book I just picked up recently is Carolyn Catleberry's book It's About Time! 10 Smart Strategies to Avoid Time Traps and Invest Yourself Where It Matters. I think the book title speaks for itself. I'm enjoying learning how to manage my time better and to really focus on where my priorities are: my husband and children...
The best one I'm reading on marriage right now is called Just How Married Do You Want to Be? by Jim and Sarah Sumner. This is probably the most unique book I've read on marriage in a LONG time. It's different from everything else I've read. a lot of books are kind of repeats of other books. This one's not.... I HIGHLY recommend it!
10 Minute Clutter Control Room by Room: Hundreds of Easy Effective Tips for Every Room in the House by Skye Alexander. This is a fun one. It's the kind you keep next to the cammode to flip through and be inspired. It has great ideas and suggestions...
Another book I'm reading is called Absolutely Organized: A Mom's Guide to a No-Stress Schedule and Clutter-Free Home by Debbie Lillard. It's a great read. Now obviously I realize that my life isn't going to completely stress free and clutter free... but I want to move closer to honoring the Lord with my life.


I also recognize my limitations. There is no way that one human can do all the things I'm "Supposed" to be doing. It's not possible. But I do want to be sure that for the most part the main things are happening. The kids are getting their meds, to the specialists, being taken care of in general. That there is clean clothes to wear and food to eat. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake. My problem is I don't just long for the perfect "cake" but the perfect "party". I long for things to be all in order.... from the "streamers, banners, balloons, appetizers, music, etc." But let's be real... what does God want?

Micah 6:1-8
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with [1] thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, [2]
and to walk humbly with your God?

For Women's Group tonight we were to listen to a message by Terry Virgo on Grace. It was amazing. It was so encouraging. It was life-giving. It was such a perfect reminder. That the things I'm doing are not being or making me righteous. My righteousness comes from Christ. He is my righteousness. Nothing else. Not my quiet times. Not my faithfulness. Not my praying. Not my being a good steward of time, home, money, etc. These are all good things but they are NOT my righteousness... it is from Him!

I'm reading so many other books right now... but there's a little slice of my reading life.

Well, off to storm the castle...

Oh wait, important news! Pray for me as I have an IEP with Samuel's pre-school teacher tomorrow... and Michael went to the ENT and he WILL be having surgery to get tubes in at the same time as his cleft palate repair. So YAY! April 30th... two birds with one stone! We are so thankful for that.

Also, please be praying for Mike as he is trying to finish up his studies and is swamped with final exams, papers, etc. He is under so much stress and pressure and is still under the weather and is trying to work. We are still trying to figure out what to do about getting another car...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Libby's work.

"It's a lot of work to take care of your babies." - Libby Anne Hope



Libby & Michael

Time together.




update.

Okay, so I feel like there are a million things I can post on... Easter. Our friend's wedding. My Grandma in the hospital. My Aunt Jo getting sick again. Samuel and schooling... and the IEP coming up. Therapy stuff. Surgery Prep stuff. ENT for Michael tomorrow. The zoo this past week-end and the twins birthday (Friday) and party (Sunday)... okay, whew... so there is no time for all of that anytime soon...

So I will randomly at times post on what's going on and try to play catch-up. How does that sound?

Our van has passed inspection and is ready to be picked up. (miracle) Mike has substitute teaching tomorrow (which he loves, loves, loves) and I have Michael's ENT appointment in the afternoon!

I'm trying to take a little time to focus on my needs. Things like not skipping meals. Getting more exercise in. And just trying to take better care of myself in general.

Mike has been really sick with a head cold/sinus/headache/achey body thing. Poor babe. He's been miserable.

Libby has been singing, dancing, playing, coloring, card-making, and just creating in general. She's singing a song about butterflies and has made up lyrics about dancing like a butterfly... it's pretty cute.

Michael has been fussy and in pain lately. Makes me wonder if he has another double ear infection... which would not be surprising. He also has red eyes that have been leaking lately... so I think he also has allergies.

My Grandma is in the hospital. She started having some dizzy spells and seeing stars and was taken by ambulance late last week. She was supposed to go home on Saturday but has had to stay because they found clots in her lungs. She's on a strong anti-coagulant right now to thin out her blood. I wish I could see her more. I've only been able to go once...

I have an IEP meeting scheduled with Samuel's teacher for this Thursday. There are already some major stress factors going into this...

I am tired but have been choosing to eat well... big salads, lots of fruits and veggies... so I hope this good food will give me good energy.

Off to save the world... okay, or maybe just save my sanity...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Broken Down.

Mike's car is kaput. It has also broken down... but it's gone bye-bye. We are now looking for a small, reliable vehicle. We're not talking fancy or pretty even, just something that works and isn't a gas hog.

There are days where we all break down. Days where we try to give and there's nothing left. I feel like a car trying to run on empty. All that's left are remainders of gas fumes... but no substance. I can get so caught up in how I feel that I can start to believe that there is NO hope. But there is. This feeling too will pass. I will be encouraged and refreshed again. But for today I'm broken. I want to cry and curl up into a shell and not come out. I want to soak in the bath for an hour until my skin is more wrinkled than a pug. I want to cry until my salty tears burn my cheeks. And then sleep knowing that tomorrow is a new day with new grace... with new hope and new promises. This won't last. It's a feeling. But My God... My Big Eternal God is everlasting and ever faithful. He will not leave me despairing or forsaken.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

main entry- burned out.
function: adjective
Date:1816
1: worn-out ; also : exhausted
2: destroyed by fire

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I was looking through some "old" pictures (taken last month)... thought they'd be fun to post.

Rub-a-dub-dub. Two Bubs in the tub.



Sleeping Boy.



Baby Photo Book. Finally put pictures in it!



Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Play-Dough.



I love making things. It brings me much joy. I've made bunches of flower arrangements throughout the house. I just recently made my mom and mom-in-law's mother's day gifts- whew, I know I'm early but it feels good to get it done. I made cookies recently... and yesterday for the first time I made home made play dough....

which my kids won't touch.

Gotta laugh. The things I "invest" time and energy into they don't really seem to care for. Well, Libby and I at least had fun making it. I'm going to try seeing if they'll use it tomorrow... or maybe I'll slip it in a play-doh container and see if they notice the difference...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Do a little dance.























I don't know how it happened but it was just as I looked at my photos that I realized Libby didn't get a picture with her ballet teacher, Miss Jessica. Shame. Shame. Good thing Jessica and I are friends and we can make up the picture another time!

Thought it would be fun to give you a little "taste" of her ballet performance. She did a great job! It was so fun to watch all these little munchkins demonstrate their skills.

Thanks Jessica for teaching Libby! She loves ballet and even today has been twirling around the kitchen. You have managed to change her from a "princess" as she used to insist on, to now a ballerina or ballet girl which is now her new reference to self.

It was a great day.

Monday, April 06, 2009

What does a mom do?



Ashleigh- I hope you don't mind but I had to use this here. I saw it on your blog and it actually helped me so much!



I have some friends who do wonder what I do with my days and with my time. I thought this was a great insight... and a little validation for why I can feel overwhelmed being a "mom"... it's hard work and a huge responsibility. It's also a joy and a pleasure. Thought this might encourage some new moms with single friends who might not "get it".

Friday, April 03, 2009

Cookie time.





Well, we were supposed to make oatmeal raisin cookies. It was supposed to be a replacement for some delicious chocolate chip cookies a friend had brought (thanks Tambra) but the last of the batch were consumed by my dad or brother- after I already promised Libby cookies...

So in effort to redeem the situation we have decided to make cookies. Well, I'm going for a healthier version (using applesauce and less sugar)... but there were no raisins to be found. So we added craisins, dried cherries, pecans, and a few white chocolate chips.

.......Later that day....

Yummy, hearty cookies! Delish. Well, off to console a constipated baby (Michael)... feed a never satisfied baby (Ian) and tell Samuel and Libby to come inside!