Monday, December 20, 2010

Shopping with the kids

Here's how I handle shopping at Walmart (or any other place) with my kids (3 1/2, 2, and 4 1/2 months pregnant!)- especially during the Holiday season. Both of my kids have a bit of their mother's Type A- they want to know what's going to happen, what is expected of them, and what they can expect of me. Very routine oriented.
A few months ago we memorized this Bible verse, "God has been very good to me." Genesis 33:11 It is printed on a cup that Eli uses. We randomly talk about how God has been good to us (always a good exercise).
Here is the talk we have before we enter the store:
"What's in a few days?" "Christmas!" "That's right, Christmas! And, the store has a lot of toys and fun things out on the shelves. We can look at them and talk about them, but we're not going to touch them or get cranky about wanting them, right? What's our Bible verse?" And, we recite it together. "That's right. When we see something we like and want to touch, let's remember that God has been very good to us and thank Him for the toys and food we have at our house." And, we proceed to go shop.
There were maybe 3 times we stopped and recited our verse together. It just helps deflect the tension from the item (like sliced cheese, yes, that was one of today's "must haves"). And, since it's an agreed to plan beforehand there is no issue with the kids. And, we all (including shoppers around us) enjoy our adventure in the stores.
May you and yours enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season- it was a busy time when our Savior was born too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sinus infections be gone!

This week has been very unique. Some moments funny. Some moments frustrating. Some moments of utter chaos. But, all very unique.
We had a very busy weekend. All of us have been battling colds and sinus issues. The tiredness added to the downfall of our immune systems. Abi had pink eye about a month ago- and with her sinus cold every 3 days her eyes would get red, swell, and be gooey. Great. Sunday she ran a low grade fever. Sunday night my throat hurt so bad and glands were swollen, and the sinus pressure was building. It was a lovely night. Abi didn't have a fever on Monday morning so I decided to not take her to the doctor- we just stayed in our jammies and played. Also, the washing machine decided to stop working- full of water and a ton of denim! Monday night I felt awful. Again, Abi woke up at 2am- nose full of junk, not able to breathe. I decided she in fact would visit the doctor on Tuesday- so I put her in bed with us hoping we would get a bit of rest.'s the run down on Tuesday:
-Woke up, showered, and got ready for the day (always a success, plus Eli had his program that afternoon)
-Emailed pediatricians office for Abi's appointment
-Woke Eli up, snuggled with him on the couch while he drank strawberry milk
-Eli rolled over and went back to sleep
-I hustled to get Eli's school stuff together and Abi's bag together
-Made coffee, oddly there was not a lid for my travel mug
-Got Chris out the door for work
-Pryed Eli awake, got him dressed
-Loaded the car
-Woke Abi up (why do kids insist on sleeping in when you need to go somewhere?)
-Backed out of driveway, some coffee spilled onto seat- but, with my smooth moves I was able to divert getting any on my pants!!! Very thankful b/c of my washing machine situation.
-Realized I wouldn't be able to get the kids McD's for breakfast and make it to school and doctor's on time- ran inside
-Gave Eli a Banana Moon Pie and Abi Fruit Snacks for breakfast (Mom of the year!)
-Due to construction on our normal route, I had to take a different road- bumpy, and yes, the WHOLE mug of coffee spewed on my jeans! No time to go back and change.
-Dropped Eli off at school (in which he cried hysterically)...did I mention I was freezing in my coffee drenched pants???
-Finally found the new clinic location (after going to another one), continued to feed Abi fruit snacks
-Praise the Lord for no ear infections or chest issues, got her an antibiotic and cough suppressant to help her sleep
-Went to WalMart to get her prescription- had a weak moment and bought sociables and squirt cheese, and chocolate cookies for Abs
-Picked up a hamburger and fries (Abi's request) for lunch
-Had a solid nap with Abi
-Went to Eli's school program- it was great! Especially when he picked his nose!
-Came home and started feeling worse and worse and worse
-Woke up at 3:45 with Abi...why?????????????? Had no voice.
-Woke up at 8am- no voice and terrible sinus infection.

Anyhow, Chris has been caring for me all day. Very blessed. He made breakfast (I did bathe the kids!), did dishes, called the doctor's office to get me a prescription called in, and took the wet clothes out of our washing machine. AND IT WORKED! Yes, I had over loaded it! We have a long running joke about me and clothes (or, Chris jokes about it!) and now he has proof! But, he's been keeping up with the laundry all day. When he picked up my medicine he also got a Nedi Pot (saline rinse), Orange Crush, and pizza bites. Love.
My symptoms have ranged from stuffy nose, incredible green drainage, sinus pressure, pain in my facial bones- but, hey, at least my throat hasn't been raw today!
And, my mom came over tonight and made chicken noodle soup- fantastic! And, she brought me some ice cream. The good stuff.
So, everything has been very random and unique. I'm hoping the z pack knocks this infection out! And, maybe my voice will return tomorrow??? I have a meeting at 9:30 and it would be awkward to have no voice at it! Oh well, I'm sure they've seen odder things!
Time to get some rest...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To Certain

I love Christmas! Everything, and how everything ultimately draws back to Jesus. So precious! Regardless of what the culture would have us believe,! Also at this time of year we (I'll assume you're like this too) reflect on the past year and begin to look ahead at the new one. Annually we play a game with some family about the "Best of and Worst of" the year. Everything from movie, restaurant, game, life lesson, song, coffee, to sushi, etc. I've been in that mindset for the past few weeks. There has been so many times that the Lord has revealed himself in tangible, personal ways. It would seem silly to others, but to me there is not doubt it was God making himself known to me- at my exact moment of need. I saw this happen with finances, with groceries, with a kind word from a friend, with Scripture literally jumping off of a page at me!
Last week I attended a Christmas dinner with my Dad. The church's praise team was leading us in some carols, including The First Noel. I became overwhelmed with emotion on the second line: "The First Noel, The Angels did say, Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay." It hit me like a ton of bricks! These shepherds were going about their mundane tasks and they received a direct word from God! To certain them! Mr. Webster defines certain as: having no doubts, free from suspicions, determined, resolved, actually existing, sure to happen, and unfailing. Woah!
My 2010 has been full of doubts and unclear direction. But, every time- every time- the Lord's presence has overwhelmed me to certain me. To free my mind of doubts, suspicions, and to give me the resolve to continue- trusting that His word is true, sure, and unfailing!
So, like any 4+ month pregnant woman, I cried. And, cried. And, tried to do so quietly, privately, and ladylike (did I mention I was in a room of pastors...and my Dad?). But, there is no denying how awesome it is that the Lord would choose to reveal himself in a personal way to me- to certain me when I was anything but. How can I not brag on him? How can I not go crazy celebrating his birth? How can I not let him radically change my life? How can I not share him? Oh, the hope and peace He gives. It's like the sweetest tasting thing you could ever imagine. Literally, divine.

2 verses that speak Truth:
"You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound." Psalms 4:7
"I love you, O Lord, my strength." Psalms 18:1 (Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.)

Thank you, Jesus, for certaining me. I love you, O Lord, my strength.

Back at it

Well, I've missed blogging. Don't worry- I've stalked many blogs over the past several months so I'm not completely out of the loop! But, I have missed the creative outlet of blogging. As a blogger wrote a while back, when life gets really hard many things come to either a halt or to a whisper. That's been this past year. Often thoughts and experiences are so deep that there are no words for them, and they are often so personal that to pen them would seem to make light of them. Another blogger also wrote that this has been the hardest year, but also the best year. I feel the exact same. Our home has experienced some wonderful highs, and walked through some very deep lows. But, I can say with certainty that it has been a good year. Early in the year the Lord and I wrestled with some big stuff. And, while excruciating, I'm glad we did. Because I have needed those lessons to walk through the last part of the year.
One of my main draws back to blogging was to offer hope to others. While I am an avid blog stalker, it is something I do have to regulate! I can easily get wrapped up in the lives of other women - going on lunch dates, girls night outs, trips, shopping, doing wonderful crafty things, being creative with their kids, and all the bliss that exists in blog world - and at the end of the day I compare myself to them. It's just the way it is. And, while it is wonderful to experience all those great things, I would often feel less because my life (social, as a mom, as a wife) did not look like any of theirs! Silly, but true.
And, I would dare say that there are many women that have been there too. And, that are having very tough struggles- many that they don't share, that are deeply personal. I am here to blog about the hope Jesus has given me. About the tough times, the lessons learned (and learning), and the glimpses of God's grace/mercy/presence that he bestows on me.
Am I perfect? No. Do I have a lot to learn? Every day. Am I the perfect wife/mom/friend? No. Have I done some things well? I'd like to think so.
Here are just a snippet of verses that could sum up 2010:
"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1
"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." Proverbs 19:2
"Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred." Proverbs 15:17
"Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy." Proverbs 14:10
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord." Proverbs 8:34-35
"In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free." Psalms 118:5
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalms 86:11
"My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But as for me, it is good to be near God." Psalms 73:26,28
And a host more, but you're probably not reading anymore anyways!
At the end of the day it still remains true- the Lord has been very good and gracious to me! And, I am forever grateful that He pursues me and loves me deeply!