Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Took Samuel to the doctors today. The amoxicillin didn't kick whatever he'd been fighting. He has bronchitis and so now he's on zithromax. Keeping him home again tomorrow to rest!

In the mean time I need to come up with a solution to a travel glitch. My phone ended up in the washing machine and is ruined. And I'm traveling across country. Yeesh. I know this matter will be resolved. Trusting God with all the big and little details of this trip. 

Already made spaghetti meat sauce and cooked up a batch of ground beef for Tacos. trying to leave things well attended on this end. Broke down and got lunchables for the kids for Friday, Monday and Tuesday. 

Ian complained of his ankle hurting. Hoping it's not serious. If so back to the doctors again in the morning!

California... here I come...

The joy of solitude is not something i often get to experience. My life is often Loud, Noisy, Abrupt, Interrupting, Chaotic, Messy, Sticky, Inconvenient, and full, full, full of needs.  I love my life. I really do. But it's kind of crazy sometimes. Sometimes I get worn out. I get tired. I am stretched and feel like it  can't fit anything more in.

But I'm about to have some time to myself. Real time. Not just a few hours or an afternoon. Not even a whole week-end or a long week-end. But a deliciously long time. It's the longest I've been apart from my family... pretty much that I can ever think of.

I leave Thursday afternoon and fly to L.A. I'm taking a trip with one of my dearest people in the world, Kelsey, and we are going to explore Northern California. I am so excited, tickled, ecstatic, giddy. This is such a gift. An unexpected, unplanned, unprepared for gift.

I fly back Tuesday via San Francisco. I won't get in til after midnight so technically Wed. a.m.

And I'm going to have time to be quiet. To reflect. To meditate. To savor the deliciousness of having my self to my self. Wow. What will I do?

My hopes: one long bath, hopefully at some point. some time to write, some time to pray, a chance to eat chocolate, time to listen to good sermons, a time to cry and let out some of  my pent-up emotions, a time to laugh, hopefully over a funny movie, or just great conversation, maybe a foot rub, an opportunity to just be.

And how fun to go places I've never been. Like Half Moon Bay & San Francisco & Redding.

God is amazingly kind to me. I am so thankful for this time to rest, recover, rejuvenate, and recreate.

Why I'm never bored...

Last week had been full of days of disaster. From broken glass (4 items broken in under a 24 hour period, including at porcelain penguin at Target) to spilled Kefir (an entire yogurt bottle) dumped all over the counter and the floor... and then sprinkled with a box of Rice Krispies.

Peter is coming into his own element.

Today I made up a new container of cinnamon sugar. this is a favorite for my kids and my Grandmother. They love cinnamon toatst and I also add it to their unsweetened applesauce. So I made up a new batch and was proud of myself.

I had a meeting at my dining room table with someone who helps oversee Michael's medical care and during that time Peter dumped out 2/3 of my cinnamon sugar bottle all over the kitchen floor and into the mat.

yes, this just keeps happening.

From candy littering the floor with tootsie pops opened, licked, and left on the floor everywhere to stickers, coloring all over items on toys and books, from pencils, crayons & markers . To chocolate smeared faces.

Peter has learned how to pull a chair over to the fridge and climb up and get the candy we had hidden away. We need to get a lockbox for candy.

If you think being a Mom is boring, think again!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

3 year olds, tantrum riots, citizen of the month, and what not to bring into school...

Today has been crazy.
It's Peter's 3rd birthday.
And my little world decided to implode on me.

I woke up horribly. I had a dream that I was shot in the chest and I could feel the life ebbing out of me. I was trying to tell my husband I was dying and that I love him. It was so intense. I felt I haven't been able to shake this dream off.

I woke up with a start and had overslept big time and had 15 minutes to get ready and get in the car and take the boys to Libby's citizen of the month award ceremony. We got there with time to spare but it was raining and the boys kept jumping in puddles and Peter kept running away from me.

I had planned to take the kids out after the ceremony for breakfast. Mike had work so I knew he wouldn't be there to help me. I was hoping my in-laws would but they aren't well so they weren't there. My Mom came but had to leave right after to help with my Grandmother (her Mom). So I had 4 kids solo and decided instead of breakfasting at a restaurant with the help of adults I would drive through and grab some sausage biscuits. And since it's Peter's birthday we stopped at the thrift store and let him get some toys.

We went in and the kids were having fun but a little wild when I had to try and get them in the bathroom and the boys wanted to go in the men's room, which I understand but don't like because I can't keep an eye on them. And Peter was fussing... as he had been all day and screaming and yelling. No fun.

They were done with the bathroom and in the toy section when my stomach caught me in a lurch. Oh no! Bad sausage biscuit. I had to go to the bathroom in an emergency type way. When I dealt with that I came out to find my kids calmly playing, thank God.

We picked which toys would become Peter's presents and checked out. Peter had run out the door outside before I finished my purchasing transaction. It was a crazy wild mess with the rain and my 3 year old running around in the parking lot which is completely dangerous and I felt like falling apart.

And then I got a call that Samuel was sick. He was at school. He had a bad headache... again. So I went and took the twins to Kindergarten and Libby back to school and Peter and I and his little popper. You know those toys you push that has the hard plastic bubble at the one end and when you push it the balls inside pop up and make a loud abnoxious sound.... Yeah, he was pushing that and we went to get Samuel at the nurses station.

As soon as we got there Samuel told me he was going to be sick... so he threw up in the waste basket. So I left with a sick kid who is devastated because tomorrow is his field trip to the Living Museum and now he can't go and with a crazy tantrumed 3 year old pushing his little popper toy.

To make a long story short I needed to swing by Chick-fil-A because I had gotten a call and needed to talk to a manager about something and I had said I would be there earlier... and Peter had known we were going before Samuel got sick and was flipping out wanting nuggets. So I have Peter wailing in the car and yet Samuel manages to pass out from fatigue. I get to chick-fil-a and leave them in the car in a handicapped parking spot and run in to talk to the manager and get lunch and leave.

And Samuel wakes up. And Peter's howling because we're not going inside to play. And Samuel wants fries which he is eating and then throwing up. And it's all this crazy hullabaloo. Peter is kicking the back of my chair so hard as I'm driving that he hurts my back. And he's screaming at the top of his lungs in this horrifically piercing way. And I'm sitting there driving, praying for peace as Peter shrieks and Samuel throws up and my little world feels like it's imploding.

I get home and fix lunch (throwing nuggets and fries on a plate). I clean the kitchen for over an hour and it's not done and I decide to put Peter down for a nap and take a rest myself. I have less than an hour of a little bit of quiet but I will take it.

I try and explain to people what my normal days are like and 99.9% don't get it. It's always crazy. There is always something bizarre or weird going on and usually someone is sick and we go to the doctors office almost every day. Not pediatricians everyday but you know some kind of medical, dental, vision, hearing appointment, or speech therapy, etc. It's wild. And there are usually some tears shed and somebody gets hurt from tripping or falling or someone "accidentally" pushing or whacking someone with a plastic sword, bat, etc.

There's bloody noses. There's throw-up to clean up. There's meals to make and butts to wipe. There are tons of medicines to pass out. Inhalers for asthma and zyrtec for seasonal allergies and crazy amounts of vit. D, Omega 3s, probiotics, anitbiotics, etc. to  distribute.... every day. And someone has an ear infection. And someone has a stomach ache or their head hurts. And people accidentally knock into other people in the middle of the night and have double vision all day.

And then we play games. The kids played rounds of go-fish on the rug while I cleaned the kitchen yesterday. And books are read. And books get written in (one of the twins was very proud of writing their name and wrote all over Libby's school library book).

And it's noisy and loud around here. And it's raining. Or it's sunny and they must take out every bike, skateboard, tricycle, wagon, and outdoor toy they can find and litter the lawn and the parking area with their vehicles of choice.

This mixture of chaos and joy and shrieks and mess and love and hugs and kisses and snuggles and bruises and scrapes and stained shirts is my life. The piles of clean laundry that have yet to get folded and the mounds of dirty laundry yet to make it into the wash. This is my life.

It's CT scans and holding my breath and hoping and praying for good results. It's birthdays with candles and cakes and presents and toys and confetti. It's not having enough money for the the things you want but thankful when people help you get groceries when the cupboards get bare. It's long worked hours and Mike gone in the middle of the night working at times.

It's cars breaking down. It's hot coffee that lifts my soul with it's intoxicating smell of pumpkin spice. It's holding my friends as they cry and tell me heartbreaking stories. It's praying over the phone with friends when you can't be there in person. It's laughing your butt off over hilarious movies and tv shows on DVD.

It's hot cocoa made my by my husband and s'mores that he made me for me with a lighter. It's bonfires and outdoor leaves and the smell of smoke from a wood fire. It's mud and smears and cleaning out the car again.

It's restless nights unable to sleep because my stomach is knotted in worry or I'm too overtired to sleep or there are too many children in my bed and I end up downstairs on the couch.

It's nights of consistently getting 3 hours of sleep, sometimes 5.

It's waking up at 5:30 to help get kids ready for school and on the bus.

It's asking God questions about why life has been what it has been for us. It's singing hymns while my hands are in warm dishwater. It's picking up a hefty three year old and having him wrap his arms around me and pat my back in a hug.

It's being too tired to read another word on the page. It's full of hope and mystery and cinnamon and freshly baked pumpkin bars. It's rubbing little feet with tea tree oil because they got itchy. It's smiling into my daughter's upturned face and staring at each other nose to nose.

It's so many things. Good, bad, horrible and glorious. And God is in it all. He is there in the midst. He is with me. He knows I'm needy and broken and imperfect. He loves me and heals me and restores me. He strengthens me and refreshes me and encourages me and gives me the faith and the grace I need to face each day and to live and be in each moment.

And may you find, whatever you face in your day, whether piles of laundry and dishes or an overwhelming work load, whether it's many children or just one or your barren, whether you are single, or married or divorced, whether your health is great, or you have a cold, or you have been diagnosed with cancer.... whatever you have been given, whatever you face, may you know God's love for you and His care for you. You are not alone. He has given us His Son, Jesus Christ. God became flesh in Jesus. The maker of the universe dwelt among us. He never sinned. He led a perfect life. He healed the sick and loved people. And he was killed, crucified like a common criminal. And he died. And three days later he rose again!!!! He came back from the dead and is alive. He conquered death! And He ascended on high and is now with the Father. And if our faith is in Him. In what He is done then we are God's children. We are holy and dearly loved. We are called into His purposes and will dwell with Him for eternity. And that is my hope my friends. And I pray it is your hope as well. This world will pass but He remains forever.

Jesus, you are my everything. And when my little world implodes remind me that you're all I need. And that it's okay. even if all falls away... even if my life is gone. I have you. And that's more than enough for me.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The View Behind...

One of my favorite parts of my day is taking the twins to the bus. They have a tradition on most days of getting out of the car and playing at the end of the driveway. I let them play behind the car so that they are not near the road. They think they're playing without me interfering. What they fail to notice is that I can see everything going on just by looking at my side mirror. Yes, I'm keeping tabs. They love the rocks and sticks and leaves and any other outdoor piece of nature they can get their hands on. Their poor teachers probably wonder why they're grubby every day. It's because I let them play before they go to school... which means sometimes they have dirt on their pants, shirts and faces!

Peter observing Ian & Michael gathering rocks.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Don't follow your Heart... VOTE.

I was trapped in the dentist chair. Fortunately there was a tv directly in front of me. Unfortunately, it was a bombardment of smear campaign ads. Each politician smearing their opponent, painting themselves to be the good guy and their opponent, the devil. I was overcome with disgust at the barrage of emotional plays that were being made. It wasn't facts. It was just angles portrayed in certain lights. Things taken out of context.

 But it works a lot of the time.

I find it interesting that there is still such a dominant message in this day of age that encourages us to follow our hearts. To listen to our hearts and go with whatever we FEEL. Ads like these are trying to make us feel a certain way and encourage us to act on those feelings, but, so often, our hearts can be deceived.

The idea of doing what feels good = doing the right thing is often a very wrong idea.

This can play out in many ways in our lives.
with justifying sin.
Well, it's okay, they really love each other, it doesn't matter if they're not married.
Indulging in overeating after a long, hard day.
Giving into temptation or into addictions.
Letting what feels good dictate your actions, instead of doing the thing you know to be right.

Sometimes the temptation is to "listen to our hearts" and be swayed by emotion when it comes to voting. We listen to the smear campaigns. We get fired up by what's being said and we go with those emotional impulses. OR worse...

We don't vote at all. We listen to our hearts that say, We just don't feel like it. We're too tired to vote. We have too many kids to contend with. Our job consumed our whole day and we didn't have a chance to vote. We just plumb forgot. We don't care or even, heaven forbid, take for granted the right to vote. And does it really even matter. Does my vote even make a difference? And if God's in control then it doesn't really matter whether I vote or not, right? I don't need to play a part.

And here's where I get really tempted when it's voting season. I don't like either or any of the candidates. So what's the point, right? I don't like either one, so who cares....

What does the Bible say though?

Romans 13: 1"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."

1 Peter 2:12-17 "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor."

1 Timothy 2:1-3 "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,"

Romans 13:7 "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."

Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

Here's an idea on preparing to vote.

1.) Pray. Ask God for discernment and wisdom as your research.

2.) Research. Figure out the facts behind each candidate and each issue that needs voting on.

3.) Pray again. Ask God to  show you what the real agendas are and who you're really voting for.

4.) Vote.

5.) Be at peace. Ultimately this is in the Lord's hands. You've done your part. Trust Him with the outcome regardless of whether or not you got your way or the candidate you wanted won or not.

6.) Be faithful to pray for the elected leaders. How quickly we vote and then dismiss whatever the outcome. Continue to pray for the leaders that are instituted. Ask God to direct them and give them wisdom. He is faithful.

I'm writing, not out of forcing or pushing a political agenda but with the hope that you will take action and vote and that you will think and pray and research before you do. It is my hope that we use what we've been given, our right to vote, to good effect. Happy Voting Tuesday, November 5th!

Out of this world Party

Libby had been planning for almost a year on the kind of party she wanted for her 9th birthday. She has a huge love of science, specifically that of the solar system. I took NO pics on the day. Too busy orchestrating and getting things done. We made fun little acorn crafts and "ghost" lollipops. And the house was decorated pretty "out of this world" with planets and stars and streamers abounding. Fortunately, I have some great friends who take pics for me. Thanks Keri!

Amazing cake and cupcakes created by my friend, Keri's Mom, Bobbi! Thanks Bobbi!

I love the expressions during the b-day song

Hands up

...and sway

and blow out the candles