Monday, August 31, 2009

Got Bangs?





Libby and I recently got haircuts. Hers is significantly cuter than mine. Need to show a pic soon... but in the meantime... I'm here with my stinky diaper boy. And I got some bangs, subtle yes, but I like 'em.

Kids are well. Libby has a lingering hacking cough. Done with fevers and throwing up.

Ian never threw up just Libby and Samuel. Michael (praise the Lord) got nothing!

Days have been dark and full of rain... a good day for some chai I think. I've read about 12 books in the past 3 weeks. Enjoying the last days of summer.

School starts for everyone on the 8th. Libby will be going to pre-school at my mom's church. Samuel will be going for speech delays. Mike will start teaching advanced English Lit. Enjoying the last moments before the busyness really kicks in.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kids have been throwing up since last night. Please pray. I need help. Mike's home today! Thank God.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Staying Alive.

I have some kind of tummy bug. Libby has a horrific headache and passed out on the couch after taking some Motrin. Samuel has a fever of 102 and Ian a fever of 104.

it's already been a hell of a week.

Michael's pump for the feeding tube wasn't operating properly for 24 hours and we didn't know it. I had a complete breakdown in a public place, the school administration building at Chesapeake. I was practically hyperventilating. It felt like the last straw on an already challenging day. They were saying something needed to be notarized that previously was said to not need to be notarized. Long story short after my break-down they pushed the paperwork through and Samuel is now and truly enrolled in school.

There's been a lot of bickering between my older two. Yelling. Screaming. Kicking. Fussing.

My brother told me something a couple weeks ago that blessed me.

Christopher: "Jennifer, you're a miracle."
Me: "No. Christopher, I'm not really much of anything."
Christopher: "Yes you are. You're alive!!!"


Yes, I guess that's a good point. It's pretty amazing I'm alive.

There has been grace poured out on me even in the midst of the trials. Had some girl time at a party on Monday. I got to be with my Grandma and she blessed me with groceries, lunch and coffee.

My cousin Emily helped me with the kids today and I got a 3 hour nap in. she cleaned my house and helped keep the kids entertained and helped with dishes and laundry and organizing, etc.

I had to call Mike repeatedly yesterday to have him pray for me. I was feeling crazy. Mike brought home flowers as well as my favorite adult beverage... and peanutbutter M&M's... and twizzlers. So sweet.

So there are times of absolute tearfulness... times where crazy things are happening... and honestly at times we look like a bad episode of a reality TV program- well, we sure bring laughs. Yet my Faithful God is here in the midst. So, Michael is crying now... and I need to check on Samuel's fever. This too shall pass.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cup, Kiss, Ask Jesus.


Samuel recently had this conversation with me as I was putting him down to bed.

Me: "Goodnight sweetheart. Have sweet dreams. I love you." I start to close the door.
Samuel: "Cup?" I walk back to him.
Me: "here's some water. I love you. goodnight." begin to exit again.
Samuel: "Kiss?"
I walk back and give him a huge hug and kiss.
Me: "Ni, night buddy".
Samuel: "Ask Jesus?"
I once again return to his bedside and we "ask Jesus". I love the way he desires prayer. He takes it seriously. It's important to him. So much so that we can pray 3 or 4 times DURING a meal.

I love his heart. He's so sweet. May He continue to desire to "ask Jesus!" all the days of his life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A star is born.




My little drama mama. Performer. Singer. Dancer. Libby loves to dress her self and comes up with amusing outfits on a daily basis. I love the artistic flair of this outfit.... all black with a pink ballet skirt. And boy does she love to pose for the camera.

1st haircut.






1st Haircut. Michael got his first haircut yesterday. I didn't have hair-cutting scissors but I was desperate for him to have a haircut. After he had a nice bath I just went for it. He didn't like it though. Afterward he enjoyed Libby combing his hair. He looks so cute... and looks like a he and not a she!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dentist and Duties

I just scrubbed my hands for the umpteenth time. While changing a dirty diaper my son kicked my hand right into the middle of his deposit. In addition he reached down and stuck his hands straight into the poop. After finishing that diaper Ian crawled up to me and laid down for me to change his diaper. another poopy diaper. sigh.

Ian's leaking yellow-green mucous from his nose. The kids asthma is flaring up again.

I took Libby and Samuel to the dentist today. Libby gets anxious about the dentist but did well this time. 6 months ago Samuel did well- this time not so much. He was overly tired and didn't want to take the x-rays... He'll get them next visit.... because he has 4 cavities we need to so see how deep they go.

I went to Verizon to get my phone checked. It took an hour and a half to be seen and then it took them 30 seconds to hand me back my phone and a brochure and said, "It's a moisture problem. you have insurance. You need to get a new phone." Great service. sigh.

So this could sound like a bad day. But it wasn't. The kids did amazingly well waiting at the dentist's office. They were patient and entertained. My friend Debi watched the kids for me and had made them cupcakes as a surprise. When we got home we frosted cupcakes. She also made me dinner for tonight... and some yummy popcorn. She also taught me some sewing this afternoon. I made a purse and two napkins. It was super fun! I also got to have Alaina's help today.

So it was a good day... it just had some rough edges. The kids have been organizing Dixie cups all over the floor. And I hear them now throwing crayons in the other room. Ian's starting to walk and he's getting into everything.

I just want to crawl into bed and throw the covers over my head. Instead, I will sit here and patiently braid Libby's doll's hair.

This too shall pass.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rad Grad Dad.

Waiting for Papa to Walk.
There he is!
Graduate Smile!
My love.
The 3 M's
Graduation is a serious thing!
me, Michael & Mike.
Mike's parents with Michael.

My amazing husband, Mike, graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary this past May.

Mike, Michael and I drove to PA for his graduation ceremony. Michael was in the hospital the week before Mike's graduation so we decided to take him with us so that we would have peace of mind while we were away from the other kids.

After some intense years of study, sweat, determination, tears, he did it! He finished what he set out to do.

So I've been a part of him finishing his Bachelor's and Master's degree... and probably will be helping him finish his Ph.D. Thankfully there's nothing that is demanding his absolute attention to study... so until then we will enjoy a "normal life", whatever that is... and just try to work on paying back loans...



WAY TO GO BABE!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Before the Judge


I sat nervously in my seat fidgeting with my skirt. There was a buzz of small talk around the room. I could feel my eyes widen with apprehension as I glanced to my left and my right. I was in a courtroom.

I had been pulled over for having not updated registration. And there I was 5 weeks later sitting in the courtroom with my registration updated, curling and uncurling the ticket in my hand.

I had driven to the courthouse with plenty of time to spare. I walked up the steps of the courthouse only to remember I couldn't bring in my cell phone. Drat. Walked back to the car. Walked back toward the courthouse... oh no- I had in my purse a mini video recorder I had forgotten about. Back to the car. By the time I had actually taken my seat in the wooden pew I could feel the sweat sticking to the back of my neck. Definitely lost my calm, cool, and collected look.

I uncrossed and re-crossed my legs about ten times and then HE walked in. The judge. We all rose. My stomach did a slight flip.

I watched this judge interact with each person- lawyers, prosecutors, defendant, etc. He was a serious man but very fair and a kind smile lurking behind severe eyebrows. I gulped. What would I say? I saw people sentenced to jail. I saw others released.

"Jennifer _________" I approached the bench. The officer who had pulled me over stood there. I passed the officer my updated registration and spoke to the judge. "Good Morning Your Honor." I felt like a child speaking to an adult. I think my eyes must have been bulging out of my head. He looked at me slightly amused by my very serious expression. The officer explained that I had done what was necessary to remedy the situation by completing my registration requirements. The judge looked at me and told me I was dismissed and free to go. He then stopped and looked at me "Mrs. _______, let's not let this happen again. Let's keep up to date with these things, okay?" "yes, sir." gulp.

I walked briskly out of the courtroom. Listening to my heels click against the hallway outside the room I felt like yelling in relief. Phew.

It occurred to me then that I was just freed of my punishment (paying a fine). I was released of my breaking the law. Maybe the better word is absolved. I know my brother-in-law would know all this technical jargon.

I realized-Wow- how much more serious it is that God is my JUDGE. Here I was in a courtroom watching a human judge make decisions about people's lives and futures and I was shaken up. I felt reverent, serious, pensive, somber. But to stand before an all knowing, all wise, all Mighty and Powerful, All Holy, all-seeing, Omnipresent God...

I look to my side and see Jesus is standing there. Jesus is standing by my side... He's looking to the Judge (His Father) and saying... I paid the price. I took all her faults, sins- every law she broke... I too it upon myself.

He took my punishment on Himself so I can be free. It made me realize the sweetness of that freedom.

I didn't deserve to walk out of that courthouse without paying a fine... but I did. It was grace. But then I did rectify the situation... But with God there is nothing I can to do to make things right. I'm completely hopeless. That's where grace comes in...and mercy.

I'm given grace- getting what I don't deserve, haven't earned.
I'm given mercy- NOT getting what I do deserve.

I deserve to receive the punishment of my sin... but Jesus Christ took my punishment. And not only that He doesn't just take my punishment... but He forgives me and reconciles me to the Father. He restores my relationship with God... so that I'm adopted into His family.



What an amazing, amazing truth. I have been set free.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Smiles from Myles.





I had so much fun when a friend surprised me a couple months ago. She brought her newest little addition that I had yet to meet. Baby Myles is such a chunky doll. I want to nibble on his cute cheeks. It was so fun to meet him and see my gorgeous friend LiAnn. I miss you LiAnn!!!

cervical what?



My husband was concerned I mis-typed when I used the word "cervical". Just to clarify... (because my husband made an excellent point). I don't think it was enough to say that they were doing an MRI and checking his cervical along with brain, spine, etc. What I should say is his cervical spine...

No our son does not have a cervix. Can you imagine the phone call, "I'm sorry Mrs. _______, your son does not appear to have a cervix." Well, good. Because he shouldn't :)

The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull. Seven vertebrae make up the cervical spine with eight pairs of cervical nerves.

All done.



MRI is done. Now we wait for the results.

My mom and I are giving Michael a "Michael Sandwich"... He's so loved.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

MRI Monday.


Well, it's almost the day. Monday we will be taking Michael to CHKD for his MRI. We have to leave the house at 5:45 so that I can drop the other kids off and get Michael down to his appt. on time. He will be getting his ear checked, cervical spine, brain, and spine. He has to be under so that he won't move and the test itself is supposed to take between 2 1/2- 3 hours. Please pray for us if you think of it. I'm a little nervous about him being under but I'm also concerned about what the results will be. But let's face it. Just because we're doing this test doesn't mean much. I mean it will tell us of where he's at and what's going on. But it doesn't "change anything" meaning that he already had this before the test. Okay, probably not making sense... I might be too tired. It's just that whatever he has today, he will have tomorrow... and taking a test is just revealing how he already is.

So enough of that confusion :)

Thursday we're meeting again with the Dysphagia clinic. They will do another reassessment and will probably tell us when he will be admitted. We are going to go through with the 4-6 week hospitalization. I still have a number of questions to get answered but hopefully I can give a better explanation and provide better answers after this meeting.

Will update when we find out the results.

A little bit of Magic...

This is before. You can see the nasty ring in my kitchen sink. Of course this picture doesn't do it true justice as to how gross it was. Whenever I used a normal sponge, soap, baking powder, etc... NOTHING...



But then...


There are some things in life that you can definitely live without... but you're so thankful that you don't have to. I love my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. They're like a miracle in a sponge. Literally I have prayed... "God, please help me figure a way to get this stain out." And this "Eraser" is that answer to prayer. Okay, I might be a little over the top but I wish you could see the results I get from these things.

This is after. Clean. Shiny. Spotless. Sigh. How nice.



What is your favorite cleaning/help with house chores, etc. product???

Friday, August 07, 2009

Samuel.



He's playing shy but he loves having his picture taken. Samuel is my dinosaur loving, snow-boot wearing, granola bar eating 3 year old. And I love him so!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pizzaz.



Rockin' it princess style.

Libby is all girl... and all princess.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Waiting out the storm.

Sitting in a Starbucks sipping slowly on a soy chai latte and laughing at the rain outside. This is the third time in a week that I've been caught in an absolute downpour... I mean I look as though someone's thrown a bucket of water on me. The lightning and thunder go on outside but I'm tucked in a corner- cozy couch, sitting barefoot Indian style and reflecting on life.

Some times I can get really hung up on doing the "right" thing. I don't mean morally right. I mean what I imagine to be the "best, most-efficient, most-responsible, best-appearing" thing to do. So instead of doing what I feel like the Spirit is directing me to do I think of all the things I "should-be" doing. I feel guilty when I take a break or a rest. I mean I could be doing another load of laundry or making another administrative call or wash the dishes again... but let's be honest... at least for my life, my "to-do's" won't end. They just won't. There's always plenty to-do. And even if I've cleaned out my purse, the diaper bag and the car it's not "enough".

Oh creature that I am. Have you forgotten that you are a mere creature? In need of rest, respite, refreshment.

I forget that.

I've been surrounded by an unnatural peace even in the midst of stress and change. I'm handling things better than I would have a year ago. Mike reminded me that I've grown. I think I need to be reminded of that because so often I see how far I need to come.

I feel like it's wrong to do things I like. But it's not true. I'm chewing on the quote from John Piper, "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in HIm." So true. When I'm satisfied in Him and realize my standing with Him. Realizing I am loved, chosen, accepted, forgiven, and redeemed... well, it changes how I live. And I'm okay with enjoying my parenting, enjoying quiet moments, reading a book, cooking dinner, and changing diapers.

so my circumstances aren't different but my perspective on myself, God and circumstances are different... and well, it changes everything.

The power has gone on and off. The storm rages on around me... but this cafe is like my heart right now: warm, toasty, peaceful and safe.

John 14:27- "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Thank you Jesus for your peace that surpasses all understanding.

quick fill-in.

Injured my wrist on Saturday night. Very embarassing. I put too much garlic in my garlic press and tried to press with just using one hand. I felt something roll (that's what it felt like) and there was instant pain along with heat. Very weird. Anyway.... nothing ice, a brace and ibuprofen can't fix.

Sunday afternoon and evening we had some dear friends from Northern VA over. Grilled chicken. Mashed potatoes. Corn on the cob. Big green salad. Southern Biscuits. Can I say yum? I love spending time with Bob and Suzy and their little girls, Lucie & Fable. They're precious. Great time of fellowship and friendship and laughter with intermittent yells from children and spills and chubby fists and little dimples. Followed up with home-made Dutch Apple pie and vanilla icecream. Okay, I think I'm hungry and that's why I keep talking about food :) Oh and Bob is an IT master so helped me download things onto my external hard drive.... which means I can download my pics! Super-duper.

On Monday I got to spend all morning and early afternoon with my dear, dear friend, Joy It was great to spend time with her and I found it very refreshing. I also got to give blood later that day. It was the first time in many years. They don't let you give if your pregnant or nursing and that's been my life for so long that I didn't have the opportunity to give. I was able to fill up the whole bag in 4 minutes. May it bless someone who needs it!

Yesterday (Tuesday) was an amazing day. Libby and Samuel spent the night at their grandparents so I just had the babies. I picked up Alaina and we had lunch. My Aunt Leigh sent me a TJMAXX gift card and so we went there next and I found a pair of shorts. I've been praying for shorts. I mean I only had one pair and so when they were dirty I had no shorts. So yay! And thank you Aunt Leigh!!!!

The door of my car was having issues closing (again) and I had to drive holding the door with my arm. We stopped at Target and I talked to Mike about how to fix it... and I did fix it. Sorry but I think that deserves a sticker on my chart or something.

Alaina and I worked on Libby and Samuel's room for 3 hours. We cleaned it out. Rearranged the furniture and the beds. Changed their sheets. Hung up all the pictures and knick-knacks. It looks great. The kids LOVE it. Libby has thanked me repeatedly for changing their room around.

Today was CHKD. All four kids and our friend Sarah went to take Michael to the g-tube clinic. We changed out his feeding tube and discussed re-instating a home health nurse. The kids did great. Answer to prayer! I also got a nap this afternoon. Naps are from Jesus.