Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Come on in

We've just returned from a energy packed time in the gym. "We" consisted of Brandon, Jonathon, James, Jeff, and me. When we got there we shared the time with Dan, Ruth, Timothy, and Peter. For those of you who don't know these people, the first two are parents, and the later two are toddlers- 3 and 1. There were balls flying all over the place and it was a good time for just getting some energy out. Now the three of them are content to sit on the couch and listen to a story on CD. There are blocks on the floor and baby toys spread out in a corner. The room is fairly orderly since Brandon cleaned up while I was making dinner. We've turned off the overhead light and switched on three lamps and that gives the room a nice warm glow without making things too bright.
So...the boys...each of them is staring off into space. Jonathon is staring at different parts of the ceiling with his mouth half open and is tugging at his shirt. Normally he would be sucking his thumb as well, but he's too concentrated to remember to put it in his mouth. James is on the other end of the couch, sucking on the first two fingers of his righ hand. I think he's staring at my socks across the room and blinking hard as if the time in the gym was enough to put him back to sleep. He's been whiny since he awoke from his nap this afternoon and it's a relief to see him happy and quiet. Jeff is sitting in the middle of the other two boys and there is a blue fleece banket across all three sort of giving me hope that they will be more buddies and less enemies someday. Anyway, Jeff is feasting on the two middle fingers of his left hand and has a stack of Mega Blocks in his right hand. He goes back and forth from sucking to playing with the blocks.

At the very end of the couch is the fourth boy- or Brandon. He's not quite into the CD of "Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes" so he is reading an exciting book called "The Power of Tithing"- something he's suppose to talk about soon. He's been reading all sorts of books lately, the last one being a textbook on Negotiating Skills. This was fun because when I asked for something he would sometimes grin and say something like, "I don't know about that, you don't have very much leverage in this situation." Anyway, all four are on the couch and relatively quiet. The best part is that they all go to bed (not Brandon) in less than a half and hour!

In case you were wondering where the girl is in the picture. Rachel is up in her playpen asleep. She's due to eat soon, but for now she's quiet. I'm sitting in the recliner in my cozy clothes right down to soft socks with my feet propped up and of course the laptop in my lap.

It's times like this that I think, "I can do this." Earlier when I was trying to cook dinner and it took me 20 minutes just to get the can opener out of the drawer (not because it was lost, I just got interupted that much) I was thinking that I was ready to hide under a log in a dense forest, behind a waterfall and on the otherside of a large mountain. It's good that God gives us the calm in the midst of the storm to help us regain perspective. Afterall, it's not about the moment. It's about raising an army for Jesus and that takes more that just a couple of minutes with the kids!

Hope your evening is enjoyable. I'm determined mine is going to be so.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving a little belated!

Thanksgiving and all that goes with it has truly been great this year for us. Though we didn't go and visit family, we had a good time together and plenty of food and fun! Diane and her parents were here due to the snow on the roads and we had our Thanksgiving feast in the dining room beside a very toasty fire in the fireplace. I'm sure some people would have gaped in horror at our table, for we had reheated, leftover turkey, NO STUFFING (YES!), and nixed the cranberry sauce as well. We did have cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, lots of gravy, and four pies, but no apple pie! I guess we're just odd, but it was fun.

And...in honor of the holiday I'd like to mention a bunch of things I'm thankful for this year:

1 Awesome husband- who's willing to pitch in around the house at a moment's notice.
3 Rambunctious boys- who are a handful, but I wouldn't trade for anything
1 Precious little girl- who just cut two teeth today!!!
All of our needs met- food everyday, housing, clothing, and much more.
Financial needs met- everything paid for, no debt!
The joy of being a Christian- it's real and it makes a difference in my life (Smile)
Learning to depend on God emotionally.
Immediate answers from Him- just today I prayed, "God, I need help. I'm not even sure what help I need, but I need some." Seconds later, the phone rang: Mary, it's Diane. I was wondering if I could take the kids for a while. Me:Uh....YEAH! Praise the Lord!
Blogging- It's been a great outlet and a comfort to know I'm keeping in touch with people a little.
A Godly family- I have all immediate family that loves Jesus! My parents sibilings, and all my inlaws. Support on every side!
New Appliances in the house this year- bathtub, bathroom flooring, a fan in the bath, stove/oven, refrigerator, kitchen faucet, blinds, curtains for James' room, hand mixer, and many small items.
Help from Sisters- for almost 2 months Jane and Diane slaved away for me while I was busy trying to figure out how to be the mother of 4.
Help from God with Fairwood work- many times it seems that I've bitten off more than I could chew, but time and time again, God finds a way to make things work.
Holy Spirit's work in my life- I'm learning not to yell, and be respectful more often, and realize that everyone comes from a different frame of reference and that just because they don't see things my way doesn't mean they are stupid...they're just ignorant...haha, just kidding...most of the time it just means we've had different experiences and come to the table with opposites on "I'll never let that happen again".
Vacation to Maine for a week with the kids and Diane- what an awesome getaway!
Fun times with the children- the zoo, a couple of children's museums, the park with the train, going to the library, slip n' slide in my parent's back yard, picnics, visiting old friends, and rough housing in the living room.
Going to Georgia for a grand total of 9 weeks this year!!! Wooohooo!
Grandparents keeping the kids for 2 weeks and 2 weekends total!- Quality time with Brandon!
Care over the vehicle and all our travel.
Good health.
Many friends and family willing to encourage and love me over and over!

Thank you Jesus for your bountiful care over me and those around me!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On a happier note: Here is Rachel performing her newest trick. She did this all by herself. She was laying on the bench here and then just decided to stand up and look out the window. She's 5 1/2 months now! Posted by Picasa

Say it Now, Believe it Later

It’s amazing how quickly one can go from feeling on top of the world to feeling like someone actually laid the gutter pipe on top of you in the ground. One minute everything is going smoothly. The children are happy, the home is tidy and pleasing to the eye. Bad habits are being held at bay. Relationships are at an all time high. Communications are caught up with. And for a moment I start to feel like I might not ever want to die because I might have to come “down” to experience Heaven. (For those of you who take me seriously- that last comment was not serious) Then, almost as fast as I can blink things are at the opposite end of the spectrum. The house is a wreck. The dishes are dirty. I have not the slightest idea for dinner. The kids are disobedient, restless, mischevious, and dirty. The husband is busy. I’ve finished several days in a row of unexpected events, unusual commitments, emotional efforts, and hidden insults. I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m having problems with my skin disease (which no one knows how to cure or even quite what it is but everyone has ideas on how to cover up the symptoms- none of which have worked) and I suddenly find myself contemplating how in the world I can get myself out of this mess! I mean, not just get back to normal, but drop the whole GREAT MOM thing and pick up the next train bound for Siberia and bury myself in a cave with nothing but a pile of good books, an unlimited supply of good coffee and a cozy pair of socks. I might add a pillow.

Sometimes these feelings come because I’ve changed my priorities and they are now out of balance. Sometimes this happens when the kids have just been cooped up inside too long because of bad weather. Occasionally we have the unexpected bout with an inoperable household appliance and that can throw everything off. Then, there is also the spiritual angle: The “I testified of God’s power in my life” and now it’s “Day after Testimony” time to live it out in a difficult circumstance. Today has all of the above!

The truth is…the break from it all, the emotional break down, and the irritability and anger usually don’t help. Sometimes it gets me a little help from someone else and sometimes it releases some pressure from inside like a kettle boiling and whistling out its tune of steam. Most of the time though, it just results in hurting some feelings of others, making my kids more unhappy, and leaving me less time to get back to where I need to be.

Just now I’m desperately trying to remember what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me recently about these times: They don’t last for long. Ask for help from Jesus and then DO something- even a little something to move it in the right direction.

So the children are about to get up from the naps they haven’t yet taken, it’s almost time for Brandon to eat, and I’m tired from the nap I tried to take but was unsuccessful, yet GOD IS FAITHFUL! And I can start with something- maybe 5 minutes to clean up in the living room…

Monday, November 14, 2005

short and butchered

As I write this, james has wet his pants, jonathon has been exerting big brother authority over his brothers, jeff’s air is stcking up due to over use of mayo for styling gel and rachel is eatting a little early because she was so tired she couldn’t wait 15 moe minutes. But things are ok…really. Actually we just got back from a nice weekend away and rachel is making fabulous strides in her physical abilities. Alas my brain goes much faster than I can type one handed. So I’m changingto bullet point style here:
-Rachel is crawling and actually climbed two steps today!
She’s five months old.
- Jonathon just succeeded in fighting the screen door to the death with a new sword and the sword one leaving the door with no less than 10 fatal stab wounds. Arg!
-James has succeeded in scrubbing out his stnky underwear in the toilet without my knowledge until later- twice – he did this voluntarily, lest you think I made him do it.
-Jef throws five star temper tantrums and does it so often, if you are interested in seeing one, feel free to stop by anytime, your chances are good that one will be in session.
-we went to the children’s museum in portsmouth and it was a great success aside from standing outside for 30 min cause they were full to capacity. The kids were very miserable and I even let them scream right at the feet of the lady telling people when to go in. she told us after about 30 seconds that maybe we could stand right inside until it was our turn. Oh??? Thanks!!!
-we had a bonfire sat. night and discovered jonathon loves them-especially the throwing wood into the fire part.

Ok, that’s all for now hope this was slightly intelligible.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Resist the urge to say, "Yes, you may play with the packing peanuts"! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 04, 2005

Poochie Lips Anyone?

This week's highlight has been my two older boys singing the song, "The Poochie Lip Disease" almost nonstop. When they tire of that one, they switch to singing the ABC's. That's a new one here also. James has a solo in that song that he bellows out. While the rest of us sing, "H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P", he sings, "H-I-O an O an O an O an O an P" He puts a lot of effort into his part and as many of you know he can whisper sound like he's shouting in your ear.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Poochie Lip Disease, it's a song from Patch the Pirate Goes to the Jungle CD and the chorus goes like this:

The poochie lip will get you if you don't watch out.
The poochie lip will get you if you start to pout.
So take this little tip,
Please control your lower lip,
And chase away the poochie lip disease.

It also has two verses about King Ahab pouting over not having the vineyard, which both boys also know word for word. Anyway, they seem to want to sing this song morning, noon, and night. It's fun, but I've found myself humming it when I'm trying to sleep, when I'm in the shower and when I'm doing all sorts of housework. It might be getting to be a little much!

For the remainder of the time this week things have gone fairly well. I am intentionally leaving out today because I'm sick, I've felt miserable, things have been a bit hectic, and it seems to be trying to take over my happy feelings about the rest of the week- which I think actually has been marvelous.

It started after a refreshing weekend away from the boys, then I went to pick them up on Monday. That took most of the day, but I also managed to fit in a town trip that evening for groceries and other such things and took Jonathon with me. We had some good one on one time.

Tuesday we did a little school with the boys, we're on the letter "C" and I decided to take them to the library for books about things that started with "C", but when we got there, the cupboard was bare, and so the...oh wait, we were talking about the library. Um...it was closed. For some strange reason, our library is only open from 4pm-8pm Mon- Thurs. and Wed and Sat mornings. So, we came back home and went later that evening. Then I made flour bags for a Flour Bag War for Fellowship Mtg. with the students. (For those of you who are not familiar with this game, it's a variation of Capture the Flag with little bags of flour as weapons that you throw at the enemy) It went over pretty well except one girl got smacked in the eye with a bag and had a nasty black eye later that evening.

Wed. was productive with lots of housework done and a good meeting that night. We've been watching varioius DVDs about topics of today and I've enjoyed it so much I've made some extra efforts to attend. Normally I don't try to go on Wed. nights cause I either take the kids and spend my time just watching them, or I leave them in there beds and go, but have to check on them regularly because they are not always faithful about staying there. Lately, they've been behaving, so I've been going. We watched one about bacterial flaggellum (sp?) and how DNA and stuff can only be explained by intelligent design and NOT evolution. Next, we watched a DVD about the amazing things that God does to make a baby, all the little things down at the cellular level- WOW. Last Wed. we listened to a man give his testimony about standing for God even in the most difficult of situations. I was encouraged and impressed by his choices. Pretty amazing stuff and it's for ALL of US!

Thursday was um....I don't remember, but it was fine. Another day of school (we got three of those this week!) and work. I've spent lots of time with the children and oh, I went on the outreach trip with the students. That was interesting. I handed out cards with two other girls to various neighbors telling them about our church, our radio station, and asking them if they had any prayer requests we could take up. The people we spoke to were generally reserved, but willing to share a prayer request when we asked. Many people were not home. But I have to believe that it was a positive thing. Otherwise, I wasted my time and I refuse to admit I wasted my time doing such a thing!

The other thing that happened Thurs. was that T. Murray gave a talk that morning on overcoming the World. He referenced many verses that talked about how we, as sons and daughters in Christ HAVE overcome! One thing he mentioned that has been helpful was some comments he made on victory. There are so many places that talk about us being victorious now and overcoming sin and the world NOW! Many people see us as Christians being perfect and victorious in Heaven, but fewer see us as being victorious now, but I appreciated something he said, "The Bible, the Word of God trumps our experience!" AMEN!!!! And well it should! The Bible says that we are victorious now, so regardless of my experience, not matter that I think I may fail tomorrow, I AM A VICTOR over the World, because the Bible SAYS so. I believe the Bible and if I only believe it after what I experience and see, then how can I believe God is real and here? I HAVE TO BELIEVE THE BIBLE FIRST! And since I do, I can believe that I am successful for Jesus and that I HAVE overcome the flesh and the Devil by Jesus.

Ok, so Praise the Lord and that's all the sermon you have to endure for one day. I need to go pay attention to my children. Tata.