Thursday, January 31, 2008

Puny Kid Update

One kid is back at school.
One kid now has fever.
Company arrives tomorrow.
The birthday party is in 3 days.
Yikes!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life Through Her Eyes

Well, here you go… Allie is done answering questions.  I’d like to say a great big THANK YOU!!! to her for playing along.  Allie is a lot like me in that she is very guarded with her inner thoughts.  She is very cautious with whom she shares and feels very vulnerable if she ever does.  So, although this was a low-key thing to do, I am thankful for her willingness to give this glimpse into who she is.  Thank you to all of you who played along.

And now, what you've all been waiting for...  


1. What embarrasses you?           

Speeches in front of my class

2. What makes you happy?                                                                                

Listening to music and shopping with my mommy J

3. What is your greatest fear?

Huge rollercoasters!! I am sooo scared of the Titan!!

4. What do you hope to be one day?

A photographer or an interior designer

5. What is the thing you LOVE doing the most?

Hanging out and having sleepovers with my friends

6. If you could hang out with 2 people not related to you for one evening who would it be?

Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale

7. If you won 19 million dollars in the lottery, how would you spend it?

I would save it.

8. What's your favorite hobby?

One of my favorite hobbies is basketball.

9. What's the thing you love the most about your Mom?

I love that she helps me with things and gives me great advice.

10. What do you love most about your Dad?

I love how he takes time out of his busy work schedule to hang out with us.

11. What's your favorite subject?                                                                                         

My favorite subject is history.

12.What's your favorite memory on vacation?

Going to Galveston beach with my mom’s side of the family

13.Where would you like to go one day - that you've never been to before?

I would want to go to the Bahamas.

14.What's your favorite thing about Jack?

My favorite thing about Jack is laughing with him.

15.What's your favorite thing about Cooper?

My favorite thing about Cooper is playing with him and taking care of him.

16. If you could vote for the next president who would you vote for?

I don’t really know anything about president stuff.  J 

17. If you could have the perfect day what would you do?

Go shopping in New York with my friends!!

18. What frustrates you the most?

Doing Math homework

19. What makes you laugh the hardest?

Funny movies and friends

20.  What is your most favorite thing to do with your friends?

Having sleepovers with them

 21. What exotic land would love to explore more than any other?

I would like to explore Italy one day.

22. Who's your favorite Gibbie? :0)

And of course the answer would be Gibbie.J

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A "Mommy First"

Today I experienced something for the first time.  Allie had a big presentation at school that the parents were invited to attend, and I had to miss it because of my obligations to my little ones at home.  When she came in the door after school and said, "You were the only mom that was not there." my heart sunk.  I just don't do that.  I don't miss things.  I am sad, and I am surprised at how much that it has affected me. 


We are the crazy parents that document each first day of school as if it is the first time we've ever had one... every year.  We are the crazy family that brought our one week old baby to basketball camp awards and have since drug him to every basketball and baseball and football game that his siblings have played in.  We are the crazy family whose dad tries to take every family member's birthday off work each year, so we can all spend that special day together.  We are the crazy family that bundled our 10 month old baby up in  a snowsuit and took him to all of my dad's football team's play off games all over Texas in November and December one year.  We are the crazy couple that postponed a birthday-weekend-hotel-getaway until later on a Saturday because our kids had games that morning.  I am  the crazy lady that missed a dear friend's 40th birthday party because my sister was graduating from college on the same day.  I am the crazy mom that wore my 10 month old baby in a Snugli all day when the big kids had Field Day at school.  We don't always make to all of every event, but we juggle things, and we always make it to part of them or at least one of us is in attendance.  

We just don't miss things.  

And we like it that way.

So, today I was so sad to have no choice but to miss something for one child... so as to not miss something with another.  It was a "mommy first".  

The Journey To Jack

Each year around the kids' birthdays I get super-nostalgic about when they were born, how fast they are growing, the things that I love about them, the things that I have learned from them, etc.  Last night that happened to me around 3:30am... so I went ahead and started an entry that I intended to post on Jack's upcoming birthday.  Well, today my little buddy is home from school with a terrible stomach virus.  It is only noon, and he has thrown up 10 times since 7am.  It breaks my heart to watch him have to endure this illness.  I just want to take it from him and go through it for him.  Needless to say, he feels terrible, but in true Jack-style, he has been so sweet and thoughtful and appreciative of all that I have done to try to help him.  What did I do to deserve a kid like this?  Nothing.  I am just blessed.  So, through our time spent on the pallet that we have shared on the bathroom floor and the back rubs and the prayers, my love for him and my thankfulness to God for him has grown even deeper, and I am inspired to go ahead and share the birthday post that I began in the wee hours this morning....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In March of 1998, Corey and  I "decided" to have baby #2.  With baby #1, we had "decided" and a month or two later, *poof*, there was a little blinking heartbeat on a sonogram machine which was followed by 9 months of an almost perfect pregnancy and a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  Okay, maybe not that easy... but you get my point. 

As far as I knew, fertility had never been a problem in our families... I come from a family with 4 kids, Corey comes from a family with 5.  I even have a great-grandmother that had something like 15 pregnancies that resulted in 12 kids.  I remember being so baffled each and every month when we were trying to get pregnant, and I would discover that I was, again, not pregnant.  It was a roller coaster ride, to say the least.  I can't believe it now, but I think that I was actually naive enough to think that once you "decide" to get pregnant... you actually do.  And was in case of our families... sometimes, you didn't even have to "decide". It just happens.    

14 months later, I finally thought that maybe I was pregnant.  I was going to my friend Kim's house that day and just happened to have a pregnancy test with me.  I guess that that is part of the journey to fertility... always having a test handy.  :)   She convinced me to take a test while I was at her house, and lo and behold... I was pregnant!  I was so excited and couldn't wait to share the news with Corey.  He was at work, so I had some time to kill while I waited for him to get home.  I went to the party store to get pink and blue balloons, decorated the house, dressed Allie in an "I'm A Big Sister" shirt, and waited for him to arrive.  When he finally did, I handed him a congratulations card, and we were so overjoyed to share the news that we were going to have a baby... finally.

The pregnancy was going normally... a little sickness, a lot of  back pain, a ton of exhaustion, but the baby was doing well.  One day in November, my neighbor that was also expecting heard about a place where we could go and have a new, upcoming type of sonogram... a 3-D sonogram.  We were so excited.  We went to the training facility, filled out some forms, she went in one room, and I went into another.  During my scan, the technician seemed confused and got her supervisor to come look at what she was seeing.  The supervisor also seemed confused and concerned, and when I asked what was going on, they said that they could not tell me.  I would have to wait for them to send a report to my doctor, and he would have to explain to me what they had seen.  It was a Friday, of course, so I was going to have to wait until Monday - at least - for him to get the report and let me know what was going on.  I was everything but at peace that whole night, and by the next morning, I was far beyond the state of worried.  I don't think I had ever been so scared.  I ended up calling my doctor, and in a move that I will always appreciate, he went to his office on his day off to read my report.  He called me back a few hours later to inform me that the scan that I had had shown that my baby had "dilated ventricles" in his brain.  I didn't know anything about ventricles or brains, but this sounded serious.  Fear was overtaking me.  My doctor said that I would need to see a perinatologist right way, and in a matter of days, I was in a fancy doctor's office at a hospital.  This perinatologist was straight-forward, matter-of-fact, and had little bedside manner.  After he scanned me, he gave me a list of 20-something things that could potentially be wrong with my baby including deafness, down syndrome, and many more.  Of the 20-something things on that list, the very last one was "normal variant".  It was our little piece of hope.  Maybe this baby was "normal".  Maybe.  When I got home with my list, I began searching the Internet about the first thing on my list that might be wrong... then the second... then the third.  My thinking was that if something were wrong, I wanted to be prepared and educated when it came time to make decisions.  Well, no "educating" was going on during that search... only waves and waves of fear.  Quickly, I could tell that the information was only going to overwhelm me and scare me, so I stopped researching.  I remember walking over to my couch, lying down, and after much begging and pleading, I surrendered my little one to the Lord.  Everything about his little brain and his little life was totally out of my hands anyway, but right then and there I released him into the Lord's.  I cannot explain it or understand it, but in that moment I actually was overcome with peace.  Over the next few months, I would fight fear like I never had before, but I was actively working out this process of surrender, and because of God's grace,  I was actually able to live in a place of peace much of the time.  

For the months that followed, we continued to see the perinatologist regularly and there was not much change on the size of the baby's ventricles.  We eventually had a hearing test on the baby that ruled out deafness.  We also had a scan that showed that the he probably did not have a cleft pallet or any heart problems - which ruled out many things.  That was good news but did not rule all of those 20-something things out.  We continued to pray and prepare for our little one that we had waited so long for, and on February 4, 2000 - after almost 2 years from the time that we "decided" to have a baby and 16 1/2 hours of labor followed by an emergency c-section  - Jackson Selke P. was born.  He was beautiful.

A few hours after his birth, he had a CAT scan on his brain that showed that everything looked perfect.  Praise God!  I will never know if he was in that category of "normal variant" or if he was miraculously touched by the hand of God, but I will always be beyond thankful for his health.  And at this time each year I am reminded of what a miracle he is and what a loving God I have to have to have given him to me.    

Monday, January 28, 2008

"He's my 'fravorite' guy."

Corey is still working on his big project, and he is gone late again tonight.  The kids and I called him a bit ago to say goodnight, and when we got off of the phone Cooper said, "I want Daddy to come home.  He's my 'fravorite' guy."

Missing Him

This has been a good weekend... long and tiring and full, but good.  Corey was lost in the land of computer servers all weekend (and still is), so in addition to the regular feeding, clothing, bathing, etc. of my little ones, I have been:

- helping Allie complete a presentation for school
- planning & purchasing everything for a birthday party for Jack which has led me on a wild goose chase around the metroplex for items from the "dollar spot" at Target (I now have an official love/ hate relationship with the "dollar spot" at Target.)
- keeping Cooper from whacking his siblings (and me, for that matter) in the head (while in line at Target) because he is mad that he dropped a piece of his candy on the floor and/or because he had to share his candy with his siblings 
- trying to maintain my composure in Target while every soul in the store is looking at me and my crying - make that, screaming - baby
- dealing with Cooper's fit in each and every store because he didn't get candy at the checkout
- trying to teach Cooper that we are nice because it is nice to be nice... not just to get candy
- trying to resist the feeling that I need to explain to all of the strangers that are staring at us why I am at Target in the first place, why I don't just buy the screaming baby the candy, why I am not up for dealing with the "Do you need cash back?" button then the "Is this the right total?" button then the "Are you sure?" button on the little credit card machine (I really think that they need an "I am a mom in a hurry." button on those dang machines!)
- getting us all to and from ballgames and church and errands
- doing homework with both big kids
- hearing the play-by-play details of Jack's games and Lego projects (This really takes concentration!)
- spending some one-on-one time with Allie
- making a couple of huge, life-changing decisions that have to be made this week
- trying to squeeze in a bath for myself (I failed at that.)
- and much, much more
... all the while, trying to keep my house from becoming the black-hole. (I failed at that too.)

Needless to say, right now I am so tired, but all I can do is miss him.  My man is working.  He may not be home tonight at all.  And while there are many, many nights that I can't sleep but don't know why, tonight it is because I miss him.

Hurry home, love.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

She Agreed

Allie has been working on answering the "questions for a pre-teen" that have been sent her way over the last few days.  (If there are any more that you want her to try to squeeze in... except for you, Allan :)... send them her way.  She has almost answered all of the ones that she has so far, and I think that tomorrow we will all get a peek into her mind.  An honor for me.  Truly.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What I Do At Stop Lights


Remember those tri-fold make up mirrors with the lights that ran down the sides that were all the rage in junior high?  Do people even use those any more?  Well, not me.  I put my makeup on in the car almost every day.  (And Allie actually captured it last week.)  I keep all of the cosmetics that I use in my makeup bag, and basically my little bag never leaves the floor of my van... except when it is in my lap as I apply my make up.  This ritual saves me about 6 1/2 minutes in my getting-out-the-door-routine each day.  They don't call us moms "multi-taskers" for nothing.


Friday, January 25, 2008

I did it!

Ladies & Gentlemen... 

I hypertexted!  (see post below)
Thank you, Randi!  You are better than any "help tab".

Questions For a Tween

This is another "Corey's gone all weekend" weekend, so I am surfing while the kids are snowboarding.  (Me on the computer, them on the Wii.)  

There is a blog called Adventures of a Supermom that I have glanced at a time or two.  The gal that it belongs to is a friend of my sister-in-law's, and she has a 12 year old daughter.  Recently, she had her daughter guest-write on her blog. Here's what they did... The mom had the people that read her blog write in with questions for her daughter.  Then, she let her tweenager have the floor and answer the questions without any mom-interference.  After I read her entry, I jumped up and down and said, "I want to play!  I want to play!"  Okay, not really.  But I do happen to have a tweenager of my very own, and I think that it is a neat idea.  So, go ahead and comment on this entry with your questions for Allie... and we'll see if she'll play.  No promises... but here's hoping. 

For Sara's Sake

I have to admit something... I am reading a book.  Not just any book... an "outdoor survival biography".  Now, if I were a computer-savvy person like most of you, I would make a hypertext (is that what it is called?) link to a post that I wrote earlier this month about my sister Sara, her funny wish list, and her desire for "outdoor survival biographies" for Christmas. I made sufficient fun of her then... so I won't do it again.  :)

So, it all started yesterday when Corey & I stole away in the middle of the day to see a movie. (thanks to school and a super friend that offered to pick the big kids up and let Cooper nap at her house after school)  We went to see Into The Wild.  It is a movie that is based on a book that was based on a true story of one guy's adventure... into the wild.  (Clever, ey?)  It was a really good movie!  (I, like Sean Penn, am a bit miffed at its lack of Oscar nominations.  I think that it deserved far more than 2!)  Anyway... since we went to see it yesterday, I have not been able to get it off of my mind.  I have searched the web for information that I might not have learned about Christopher McCandless in the movie and now I am .... wait for it... reading the book.  It is really interesting, and now I can honestly say, "I'm sorry." to my little sis' for giving her such heck.
Chris McCandless poses for his camera in one of his last acts. The small sign he holds reads: "I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Love Downy!

I was blogging tonight while I was waiting for a load of laundry to finish washing.  I just put the wet clothes in the dryer, and I had to get this off of my chest...  I just adore the smell of Clean Breeze Downy.  Liquid.  Dryer sheets.  I double-do it.  Mmmmm!  


 I am off to bed now... Hopefully I'll sleep more tonight than the 3 hours that I slept last night.

Ta!  Ta!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Cares What You Think

Okay, maybe not in such a "nanny nanny boo boo" tone, but really...  


Yesterday I had an amazing conversation with a friend that is in the middle of giving up her life as she knows it to become a long term missionary.  She is single, and she is going alone.  To another country.  Alone, people!  At this point, there are still several things about her next couple of years that are up in the air for her, and I mentioned to her that I was impressed with her level of contentment (that word ring a bell?) and peace in the midst of all of the unknowns that she is facing right now.  I told her about my overwhelming desire for contentment at this point in my life and shared some of my thoughts on where I am in my journey.  After a minute, she said, "You know, the only way I ever got to this point is by totally surrendering my 'fear of man'... what people think about me."  Does it matter that she is a single woman going to a somewhat dangerous situation and at this point does not have "all of her ducks in a row"? How un-American of her!  Or does it matter that she has surrendered her heart and life to Someone that has a better master plan for her life than she could ever come up with?  Why would anyone care to make a judgement on that?  More importantly, why would she care that they were making that judgment?  That is the point.  She doesn't.  And in that, she is content and happy and peaceful.  Full of peace.  She is waiting but not floundering as she does. Amazing!  

So, after our conversation I was thinking... do I have a problem with this 'fear of man' thing?  At first thought, I instinctively said no.  I don't care if you think that I am less than you because of the car I drive or the house that I live in or the fact that I would rather live in my PJs with my hair in a pony tail.  My life is not about pleasing "you".  In theory.  But do I care if you think that I am kind enough, spiritual enough, have the right priorities, have well behaved children, am making the right decisions, etc., etc.???  Well, kind of.  Once I got to thinking about my friend's words, I started remembering all of the times that I have had these conversations in my head where I tried to justify what I am doing (or not doing). Things that are not black & white or right & wrong.  Times when I am not sure of the why & why nots but I am searching for the answers and trying to live in God's will...  Those are the times that I feel the most stressed and discontented and scared that I am being judged.  But here's the deal... if I am searching for God's will and doing my best to live in it, why would I worry about what this person or that has to say about it... or even think about it.  Who are they to judge?  God himself is the only one that knows my heart, and He is the only one that I have to answer to.  In the mean time, I am thankful for the people that I have in my life here on earth to spur me on, brainstorm with me, and pray with me.  But judge me?  No thanks! 

So here is the challenge of my week... live without fearing (or even wondering) what anyone except my Heavenly Father thinks about me.  And here is the excitement of my week... He spoke to me yesterday and told me that it is okay to live that way!  

Harvey

Tonight, in anticipation of Corey's weekend full of work  (eeek!), we had a family night.  After his long day at work, Corey brought home flowers, candy, & a Sonic drink for me  and candy for the kids (Could he be more great?), we ordered out from our favorite Italian restaurant, we had a fire in the fireplace, and we all watched a movie that we had not seen in several years.  Harvey.  I don't even know how we heard about that movie (It is almost twice as old as I am.), but we discovered it when Allie was little and watched it often then.  It had been several years since we broke out the old VHS tape, but tonight that was what Corey was in the mood for... and it was so good.  It took the kids a while to get used to the simple acting, horrible singing, and silly sayings... and Jack even asked Corey to "turn the color on", but after a while we all forgot that we were watching an "oldie" and just thought about that it was a "goodie". Our favorite line in the movie is when Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) says, "Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say: 'In this world, Elwood,' she always used to call me Elwood. 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you can quote me." And that is what he is... and what the movie is... Pleasant. To tell you the truth, I think that watching Corey watch it... and then talk about it for days... is my favorite part.  I think that he wishes that he were Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant. He loves those good ole boys.  I love them too. When I see them, I think about how my Pap must have been like them in some ways, and I long for times as simple as they seem to be in the movies that they made.  Anyway, I hope that by watching this simply pleasant movie that we will become just a little bit more simple and pleasant too.

Mush

I know that when it comes to my kids I can get pretty mushy... so here's fair warning.


Tonight I went into the gym to pick Jack up from basketball practice. Unusually, I was alone. No sidekick (aka, Cooper).  It is not very often that I get to watch the big kids play their sports with my full attention, and I realized as I was standing there that I was soaking it in.  Every little detail.  The way that Jack scooted in circles on the floor on his bottom as he looked for someone to pass the ball to after he fell made me laugh out loud and smile for a solid minute or two.  His  innocence in breaking the rules... with pure determination... was hilarious. The way that he ran down the court with his hands above his head like his team had just won the championship game after a teammate scored a basket in their scrimmage made me proud.  He is always so proud of the success of others.  The way that he ran to the huddle, listened to his coach, then put his hand in and screamed with all of his might at the end of practice made me cry... really!  Those little boys were so cute in that huddle... and little.  Sometimes I forget that they are so little.  The way that he enthusiastically said "bye" to his teammates that he didn't know before a few weeks ago but is sure that they will be friends for life made my heart twinge with pain.  Though he won't even mind, it is sad to me how little kid friendships come and go so quickly.

So tonight,  I am thankful for a moment that I was granted the clarity of thought and the chance to carpe diem as I watched my little boy just be a little boy.  Time is passing so quickly, and I often forget or simply don't have the quiet moments that I need to absorb all that is going on around me.  

Today I did.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Old People Music

Tonight Allie and I were discussing that I should start a list of songs that I want to put in my iTunes since I have 2 gift cards burning a hole in my pocket. We brainstormed and came up with a few songs then I mentioned that I should go to one of my little sister's friend's blogs and write down the music that she has on her playlist because any time I have visited her blog, I LOVE her music.  Allie thought about it for a minute then said, "I don't like old people music".


That little whippersnapper!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Speaking of Bargains...

...and who wasn't? I haven't blogged about my amazing Estate Sale experience this weekend...

I hardly ever go to Estate Sales. Since my bargain hunting usually has more to do with kid-related-items and not furniture, dishes, and the like, I am more of a garage sale, discount store, thrift store cheap-o. Well, this weekend, my friend Elizabeth and I stopped by an Estate Sale in my neighborhood. It was an hour before they closed on their final day, so everything that was left was 75% off or more. Elizabeth got a small table for a steal, and I got a few odds and ends for $4. I noticed, however, that they had boxes upon boxes of Legos for sale. When I got home, I mentioned them to Jack, my little Lego-engineer, and he wanted to go spend some of his own money on them. When we arrived back at the house (about 15 minutes to closing time) they had taken down the Estate Sale sign and were loading everything that was left into trash bags and were going to donate it all. I said, "How much will you take for all of the Legos?" And the lady said, "$5"... The original price that they had on the boxes of Legos equalled $50. We were so excited. I could tell that they were going to practically give stuff away at that point, so I made another trip through the house and came up with a few things that I could not live without. ;) I got a large wall mirror that they had marked $140 for $10 and some odds and ends that I paid $5 for like a botanical picture that was marked $20 and a pewter ladle that I had wanted the first time I was there.

Oooooh! I just love bargains!

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Because of Emily's tag, I am listing (in no particular order and probably leaving off some very important things) ten things that make me happy...

1. Watching stupid shows on TV with Corey that make him laugh
2. Cozy blankets
3. Sonic drinks
4. When people remember little things about me
5. When my kids get along
6. Seeing the mountains for the first time after a long time
7. Watching movies at the movie theatre
8. Bargains
9. Feeling the cold air on my face on a sunny winter day
10. Marble Slab ice cream (1/2 Coffee, 1/2 Chocolate with Snickers mixed in on a waffle cone)

oh... and laughing with my kids, and newborn babies, and beautiful photography, and sleeping late (or sleeping, at all), and massages, and things that are monogramed, and being with my sisters, and shopping with my daughter, and laughing until it hurts, and my favorite coffee creamer, and staying in nice hotels, and having my hair washed at the beauty shop, and my favorite radio show, and James Taylor, and flip flops, and long, deep conversations with friends, and People magazine, and Peppermint Twist body wash & lip gloss, and taking hot baths, and getting my car washed & vacuumed, and pajamas, and snow skiing, and having my maid come clean my house.... oh, wait... I was dreaming on that last one.

So, there you go. I could go on and on. Obviously!

Tag. You're it.

A Sad Day

I posted earlier this month that we had had our last appointment with our pediatrician of 7+ years. Well, today she opened her office up to her patients for a chance to come by and see her one last time before she officially shuts her doors and starts her journey toward being a missionary doctor in Africa. The kids made her a card, and we went and said our goodbyes. It was really, really sad. Really! There are just some things in life that I think are about as good as it gets... and Dr. Dutton was one of those. The best pediatrician out there. So, today we were a bit sad as we told our super-great doctor and friend goodbye.

Dr. Dutton had a reception of sorts with snacks... as evidenced by Jack's chipmunk-like cheeks full of apples in this picture.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Observations On My Day

Waking up to a baby's feet in the face hurts.
Going back to sleep snuggling that baby is sweet.
Waking up (again) to a whiney dog is bad.
The fact that it is a weekend makes it worse.
Chores stink.
Clean floors are nice.
A husband that cooks breakfast is a jewel.
Guacamole is one of my favorite things on earth.
Watching my kids play basketball is fun.
Friendship can be awkward sometimes.
Impromptu movies are great.
Chick Flicks are super-fun.
A movie theatre 5 minutes from my house is wonderful.
Free popcorn & coke coupons rock.
Mucinex commercials are gross.
Mucinex commercials that come on before movies - 4 times - are annoying.
Friends that I can laugh with are special.
Kids that are excited that I am home make my day.
Impromptu dinner at friends' house is nice.
Not having to go to the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner is a blessing.
Not having to make dinner is wonderful.
Not having to clean dinner up is amazing.
Sweet tea is yummy.
Warm brownies make me happy.
Gooey brownies are fabulous.
Stepping in dog poop stinks. (literally)
Checking blogs is fun.
New posts to read on my friends' blogs make me happy.
Saturdays are my favorite!

Snuggly Saturday

After a big breakfast and some chores, nothing is better than a snuggle before a busy afternoon full of basketball games.

Relationships - Cooper Style





Thursday morning we were getting ready to go play with some of Cooper's friends. As we always do before we go see people, we were going through the names of everyone that we would see later that day... I said, "We are going to see Luke & Lila." (twin brother and sister) Cooper said, "Yea! Luke and Lila!"... "Are they my brothers?"

Then, this morning at breakfast Cooper said, "I want to see Skyler." (his cousin) "She's my 'gril'." Could there be anything cuter?!? She is "HIS GIRL"!

Trying A New Sport...



Yesterday Jack & Allie started taking golf lessons, and they loved it.  (They even got sprinkled with snow during the lesson.)  We have always talked about how we wanted our kids to learn to golf... how we hope that it will make for some great family time and someday maybe a business connection or two.  I don't golf, but the one time that I went golfing (or riding along in the golf cart) with Corey I absolutely loved it.  It was so peaceful and beautiful and we had a great time talking... without any distractions.  I am excited that the kids are going to learn how to actually play the game.  Maybe I'll learn someday too... or maybe I'll just be the DGCD (Designated Golf Cart Driver). 

And a happy side-note... Allie and I were shopping for something totally different last weekend when we came across these $80 golf shoes ON SALE for $5.  Life is good! 

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's Nice To Be Loved

This morning Cooper was watching Toy Story on my bed while I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day.  Out of nowhere he said, "I wish Allie & Jack were here."  ("wish"... now there is a new concept for him to put into words)  I said, "Yes, but where did they have to go today?" He said sadly, "School.  But I want them to be at home."  

I think that I know how he feels.  Sometimes, it just seems weird when our little family-unit is strewn about. I am so thankful that Cooper loves his brother and sister... and that we all find comfort in being together.  Being a family.  What a gift!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hiccups

Tonight we were riding in the car and Cooper got the hiccups. I guess that that is an experience that he does not remember ever having before because he was very, very entertained by it. He just giggled harder and harder with each hiccup. He said, "What is that Mommy?" Hiccup. Giggle. I said, "That is called a hiccup." Hiccup. Giggle. (harder) "That's cool!" Hiccup. Giggle. (even harder) Hiccup. Giggle (full-blown laughter!) "I can't believe it!"

Allie & I were laughing our heads off at him.
That boy!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting Pushed Down The Waterslide

When I was a little girl there was a small amusement park in my town that had a waterslide. I loved that waterslide... and I was terrified of it... all at the same time. I don't remember the details clearly, but knowing me, I am sure that I WANTED to go down the waterslide by myself, but I was really really scared to. As long as my daddy took me down the slide with him, I was okay. I know that there were many times that I planned to go down alone... but I just couldn't do it. I remember walking back down the hill from the top of the slide in my swimsuit, with my mat, alone, defeated. The big, bad waterslide had won. I was not brave enough to brave it alone. But when I rode down it with my dad, I loved it. I knew that I was safe. It was fun. Every time that we were at the top, about to go down, I would hang on tightly to my dad to make sure that I didn't somehow go down the slide without him. I probably had the same conversation over and over and over with him... " I am scared. Don't let me go. Hold on to me. " So, he did. Until one day... We were at the top of the slide, I excitedly sat down on my mat, and I felt a gentle push on my back from my dad. There was no turning back. I was sliding. Alone. I was so mad at him! I am sure he was only trying to do the right thing for me. Show me that I could do it. Promote some sort of independence in me. But I didn't like it. It was uncomfortable. It was scary.

In retrospect, I am glad that I finally learned how to go down a waterslide, and ride a roller coaster, and dive off of the diving board, and go to the dentist, and roll into the delivery room of a hospital, and walk into my kids' principal's office... the list could go on and on.

I needed a push.

Today, I had to gently push one of my little ones down the waterslide of life, and I have been in turmoil about it all day long. It is so hard to protect your babies from the big bad world at the same time as preparing them for it. To make them feel loved and protected at the same time as teaching them to be independant. To teach them that they can do things successfully on their own... even when they don't think that they want to.

Making the decision to give that push and doing it alone is so scary. Second guessing yourself the whole time that you are gently pushing... that is the hardest part.

I hope that one day, when my little one is blogging or writing a book or talking to a therapist :), or raising my grandbabies, that my intention for everything that I have ever done for my children will be clear. I hope that someday, by God's grace, all of my kids will see that I am trying to give them a good life... and prepare them for a great life. That is my intention.

Playing With Cooper

Cooper's language is generally pretty easy to understand... at least for me. But lately he has been talking about "Mawdy". I would guess what he was saying... Monday? Muddy? Body?... and he would get frustrated. "No!!! Mawdy!" So, today, he said, "After this show, can I play Mawdy?" Not wanting to frustrate him, I just said, "Yes." When his show was over he enthusiastically said, "Yea! Let's play Mawdy!" By this time, I was convinced that he had an imaginary friend named Mawdy. Then, he brought me Jack's Gameboy and said, "Will you watch me play Mawdy?" Sure... I'd pretend along with him. Then, it dawned on me!!! MAWDY... MARIO! All of this time he has been talking about playing Super Mario on Jack's Gameboy!

A little while later, he brought me his pretend goggles that came with a toy weed-eater and asked me to put them on him. He was so proud of himself then growled in his "mean-guy" voice..."Where is my ocean?!?!"

And a while after that, this is how I found him...


He brings a smile to my face!

The Art Of War... or... Compromising With A Two Year Old


This morning I had to wake Cooper, so we could take the big kids to school. Some days he gets transported straight from his bed to his carseat, but today I wanted to dress him because we were going to go into the school. When I was getting ready to change his clothes before tossing him in the car with a cereal bar and sippy cup, he insisted that I wait... he didn't want to take his "Dat Man" (aka: Batman) PJs off. He loves those pajamas! When, he came down stairs and saw that Jack was going to school dressed like a soldier he was certain that he needed wear his Batman "costume" to school too. I conceded for the moment. When we got to the parking lot and it was time to go into the school, I convinced him that he needed to wear his "school clothes" if he wanted to "go to school" with Allie & Jack. (Going into the school building is a big treat for him!) He was reluctant, but he changed and walked proudly into the school... holding his Dat Man PJs the whole time.

My Soldier Boy


Today Jack had a presentation to do at school about the Roman Praetorian Guard, and he dressed the part. He was the cutest little soldier that I have ever seen!

(Yes, it is really that dark when we leave for school these days. Arrgh!)

... and I quote

You know when you are mulling something over and things that have to do with that one thing seem to jump out at you? That happened to me yesterday. We were at the chiropractor, and they had a Thomas Kincaid picture with this quote on it...

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world ~ Joseph Addison

Hmmm... So, I put that little quote in the contentment-file of my brain, and when I googled it and make sure that I had it right before I blogged it, I found a few other quotes that I liked too...

Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little, or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all there is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like its flavor, or because some one else has silver to one's own glass, is to lose the contents; and that is the penalty, if not the meaning of discontent. No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like, if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment,--to have the most and best in life, by making the most and best of what we have. ~ Maltbie Davenport Babcock

A contented heart is an even sea in the midst of all storms. ~ Anonymous

Ah, sweet Content, where doth thine harbour hold? ~ Barnabe Barnes, Parthenophil and Parthenophe

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sporty Saturday - Basketball Style

The big kids' basketball seasons are underway, so our Saturdays are currently filled with games. Allie & Jack play, Corey coaches, and Cooper & I cheer. I love basketball! Love it! As the kids get bigger and better I love it even more. Yesterday, we had extra spectators with us... a fan club of sorts. Sara & Asher and Mom & Dad were in town to watch my niece, Claire, for the weekend, so they all came to the kids' games to cheer them on. They both did well and both scored points for their teams. Way to go Allie & Jack!

Thankfully, we are able to have the kids on teams that have many friends on them. This is Allie & her friend-since-birth, Grace, taking a water break. ~

The Little Spectators ~


Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Can Only Imagine

Tonight Allie and I were in the car, and a song from a few years ago came on the radio - I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.  


I can only imagine 
What it will be like 
When I walk 
By your side 

I can only imagine 
What my eyes will see 
When your face 
Is before me 
I can only imagine 

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel 
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still 
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall 
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all 
I can only imagine 

I can only imagine 
When that day comes 
And I find myself 
Standing in the Son 

I can only imagine 
When all I will do 
Is forever 
Forever worship You 
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do 
Is forever, forever worship you


As we drove, I remembered a time years ago that I heard that song, and I have to record it...

In June 2004 I miscarried for the second time in 6 months.  Both times I went through the process at home as opposed to going to the hospital for a D&C.  The first time, I did not know exactly when I lost my baby.  For months afterwards, I was haunted by that. With the second miscarriage, I knew exactly when I lost my baby.  It was traumatic, and I was horrified to see that my pregnancy and my baby's life were infact over, but having experienced both ways - seeing it and not seeing it - I was honored that I got to see my baby the second time.  It looked perfect.  All-together perfect!  It was so tiny that I could cradle it in the cup of my hand.  When I called my doctor's office to let them know that I had lost my baby, they told me to come in to see my doctor in a couple of hours.  I held my little one non-stop for those hours.  As small and unviable as it was, it was mine.  Part of me.  I loved it with all of my heart.  I still do.  When, I went to my appointment, I immediately found my nurse and told her that I was holding my baby in hopes that I could go into an examining room right away.  Unfortunately, all of the rooms were full, so I sat, crying and holding my tiny baby, in a waiting room full of expectant mothers with their bulging bellies - they had no idea what was going on only a few chairs away. When I finally got to the examining  room, I talked to my doctor for a moment then my nurse came and asked me if I was ready to give her the baby.  I had no idea what they were going to do with it if I did... or what I would do with it if I didn't, but at that moment I was not ready.  I held it for a bit longer, but I knew that I could not hold it forever.  Now, I have always noticed music on in my doctor's office, but I have never - until that day or since that day - noticed Christian music.  I would have noticed.  But that day, they had a Christian radio station on and the song, I Can Only Imagine, was being played.  I could not believe it.  I still can't.  It was perfect. While I sat there and mustered up what it took to hand my baby over for what I thought would be forever,  I got the chance to sit and hold it while that song played and I imagined what it might be doing at that very moment.  I could only imagine.  I think that hearing that song in that moment is one of the sweetest gifts that God has given me in my life. It gave me what I needed to be able to hand over my baby... my dreams.  So now, each time that I hear that song I am transported to that heartbreaking moment where I was blown away with the pendulum of life, and I imagine what my baby might be doing in right now Heaven... For now, I can only imagine.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Beyond

Late tonight Allie and I were on my bed working on some things, and I was beyond tired.  I literally ran out of energy. Out.  Totally.  I thought that if I could just have a moment to regroup - maybe a power-nap or just a moment to shut my eyes - I would be fine, and we could get back to the task at hand.  I laid down, my little girl beside me, holding my hand as if to say, "It's okay Mommy.  Take a little break.  I'll wait for you." only to wake up several hours later, fully-clothed, on top of the covers, one earring on, the other floating around my bed somewhere, totally parched, and in a bit of a daze.  It took me a second to find my barrings then I saw that my little girl had stayed by my side. Fully-clothed, on top of the covers, still holding my hand.  I am moved to tears.  This little one that I have taken care of for over 11 years, was trying to take care of me.  This one that I am determined to meet the needs of, was trying to meet mine.  I truly am blown away with motherhood.  Everyday - but especially today.  It is excruciatingly hard sometimes.  Most days at some point I am almost sure that I cannot do it anymore... then I do.  And this, my little girl by my side, was my reward today.  I am beyond blessed.  

"Cracks Let The Light In"

Tonight I feel broken, but it kind of feels good.  I wish I was not broken and I wish that I was happy-go-lucky and never hurt and never disappointed and never disappointing and never scared and never overwhelmed... but I am me.  This is who I am.  Me.  So I will continue to be that.  Just that.  That is okay with me. Broken me.  Because thankfully, as I read tonight, "Cracks let the light in."

Just For Me

2:14am
Can't sleep.
These songs, 
Praise You In This Storm & You Are God Alone
Playing on her blog.
This stranger. 
I read words from her heart that mimic my own.
This friend.
Tonight, this was for me.
And this.
God's words.
Ancient and new.
For me.  
Tonight, this was for me.
I know it.

will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. 
Isaiah 42:16

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Still Searching

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7


Interestingly, in my search over the last few days regaurding contentment, I have not been able to find a whole heck of a lot in the Bible about being content. In some versions of the Bible, there are as many as 3 refrences to that word. In others, there are none. So, I am moving on to the next step in my journey toward this elusive thing without much to go on besides an internal need to find a place of peace... and that, to me, would involve being content.  All the while, I realize that as a human I will always have disconcerting times in my life. Always. As a Christian, I believe, I am called to a life of dying to myself... which I cannot imagine ever being content about.  That brings me to my point of contention.  I cannot figure out how to reconcile this desire to be content with my deep seeded beliefs that I have explored before on my blog...

I am reminded of some thoughts from a Bible study that I recently did...
*God did not save us to make us happy in the temporal sense - He saved us to "redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:14) To choose a pathway of holiness will sometimes require sacrificing our personal comfort and convienience. But any sacrifice that we make is temporary, and cannot be compared with the joy and fullfillment we will gain in eternity. Only through seeking to be holy can we ever expect true happiness.
*What matters most to Him is that every created being reflect His glory. His agenda is to do whatever is necessary to conform us to His image. Some of the problems that cause us to chafe the most are actually instruments He has designed to fulfill His ultimate purpose in our life. How foolish and shortsighted it is to reject or resist problems that may be the very means He has designed to mold us into the image of his Son.
*Suffering takes on a whole different perspective when we realize that it is an essential tool in the hand of God to conform us to the image of Jesus. The process of sanctification takes place as we embrace our suffering, rather than running from it or resenting it.
*All suffering is purposeful and intentional. Gos has a specific objective in mind for our suffering. He knows exactly the intensity and duration that are needed to fullfill His purposes. He will not allow our suffering to last any longer or to be any more severe than is necessary to accomplish His will.
*Once we agree with God that we exist for His pleasure and glory, we can accept whatever comes into our lives as part of His sovereign will and purpose. We will not resent the "hard things", but will embrace them as friends, sovereignly designed by God to make us like Jesus and to bring glory to Himself.

My lack of contentment is not about things or status... I have dealt with those issues in the past, and I am okay (most of the time) with being okay with the "things" that I have or do not have... and may never have. My lack of contentment has more to do with nontangable things that I do not have... that others around me have... and sometimes even take for granted. 

I know! I know! We all have something that we are dealing with at every given moment. Really, I know!  And I know that I am blessed in many, many ways.  Really, I do!  But at least for me, the fact that parts of my life are great do not nullify that some parts are not.  I also know that some people that are dealing with a turbulant life seem to live with much more peace and acceptance of it than I do. They are what I would call content.  That is what I long to be.

So, here I am... asking, searching, & knocking and praying that that miracle of peace and contentment would become a constant part of my life.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Contentment

Here's the deal - I have a big problem with contentment.  


Oddly enough, I don't think that I have trouble with being thankful.  In fact, I make a point of going over things in my head that I am thankful for, blogging about things that I am thankful for, thanking God for things that I am thankful for, talking to my kids about things that we should be thankful for, learning about other people's stories that make me truly thankful for mine. There is so much to be thankful for.  But there is also a ton that I find flat out unfair.  I have always thought that by having a thankful heart,  a person would also have contentment.  So far, that is not the case for me.  Or maybe I am not truly thankful or thankful enough... or something.

So, this is my "resolution"... I guess.  Become content.  Though there are so many others that I could have and probably should have... I am hoping that if by some miracle I can find contentment, I will be able to tackle some of my other hang-ups.

In my searching for how to find contentment, I discovered yet another blog entry by one of my bloggy friends that spoke to me...

I can think of nothing more destructive to contentment than comparison.  When we measure ourselves and our life experiences based on those of others, it breeds dissatisfaction.  It can lead to a longing and a striving that destroys the very fabric of what is beautiful—uniqueness, distinction, differences...


Monday, January 7, 2008

They're Back!


Jon & Kate Plus 8
{{Twins & Sextuplets!!!}}

I love this show!  Tonight was the first episode of the new season, and Allie & I are so excited that it is back on.  It is one of "our" shows... while the boys watch Monday night football, we usually take a Jon & Kate break, snuggle on my bed, and laugh at their life... our life, amplified x6.  

Getting To Know Your Friends 2008


You know the drill...  

 

1. What is your occupation?  Wife and Mom 

 

2. What color are your socks right now?  Brown with flowers

 

3. What was the last thing that you ate?   Mint Hershey's Kisses

  

4. Can you drive a stick shift?  Yes 

 

5. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?   Red - my favorite color

 

6. The last person spoke to on the phone?  Emily

 

7. Who is the person who sent this to you?  Emily

 

8.  Favorite drink?  Diet Cherry DP from Sonic

 

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?   Basketball & Football and anything that my kids are playing

 

10. Have you ever dyed your hair?  Yes, many times

 

11. Pets?  Milly the Old English Sheepdog

 

12. Favorite food?  Mexican or Italian, hard to choose!

 

13. What was the last movie you watched?   PS... I Love You & The Bee Movie - same day... one with kids and one without. 

 

14. What do you do to vent anger?  Talk - mostly to Corey... with a couple of friends and sisters mixed in - and Eat

 

15. What was your favorite toy as a child?  Not too many toy memories... maybe dolls, toy cash register, a metal dollhouse from my Granny 

 

16. What is your favorite season fall or spring?   Fall. I love when the weather turns cooler but the sun still shines. 

 

17. Cherries or Blueberries?  Cherries... in the form of cherry in my Diet Cherry DP

 

18. When was the last time you cried?   A few minutes ago... before that, last night

 

19. What did you do last night?  Watched Deal or No Deal with the big kids, did some work with Allie, watched part of American Gladiators with Jack, read my book in the bath, scavenged for food (I found a turkey hot dog!), then caught up on Amazing Race with Corey

 

20. Favorite smells?   Cookies baking, newborn babies

 

21. What inspires you?  Stories of people surviving hardship

 

22. What are you afraid of?  Living without my kids or husband

 

23. Favorite dog breed?  Right now... fake

 

24. Number of keys on your key ring?  4ish

 

25. Favorite day of the week?  Saturday or Sunday... whichever is less busy 

 

26. How many states have you lived in?  Only Texas

 

27. Favorite holiday?  Christmas.  Mother's Day is a close second.  

  

28. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery?  Don't think so

 

29. Ever left the country?   Canada & Mexico... both for short amounts of time

 

30. Favorite kind of music?  Earthy stuff  

 

31. Last book you read?  The Glass Castle... reading it right now

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Let Me Just Say...

One - Disassembling a pukey baby carseat is just about the grossest thing on the face of the earth!


Two - Wiping down every stinking thing that was in the backseat with him is a close second.

Three - My baby's got talent!  If there was a distance contest for puking, he would have won it today.  

Four - I am ready for my husband to come home!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Day That I've Been Dreading

This afternoon Cooper was down for his nap as he is most every afternoon. I had only had about 3 hours of sleep last night, so I had laid down as well. I could hear him on the monitor the whole time... in his crib... chatting away. I could tell that this was going to be a long "getting-to-sleep" day, and I was in desperate need of some shut eye as I am on single-parent duty and will continue to be for another 24+ hours. So, I turned the monitor off knowing that I would be able to hear him when he woke up and yelled for me. (If I actually slept that long.) A little while later, just as I was dozing off, I heard it... "Mama!" "Mama!" "Mama!" I roused from the light sleep that I was in and realized that that voice sounded a bit clearer and a bit closer than when his door is closed and his monitor is off. I jumped up and ran to the bottom of the stairs... and there he stood. Just outside of his door. There had been no thud and no cry, so I am fairly certain that he had easily scaled the side of the crib. He had opened the door, but I could tell that he was not sure what to do next.


Arrgh!
No!
I am not ready for this!

I gave him my best "mean-mama" look, told him that climbing out of his bed was a huge "no no", and promptly took him back into his room. After a snuggle in the rocking chair, I put him back in his bed... and so far so good. No thud. No crying. No little boy standing at the top of the stairs... or worse, at the bottom of the stairs.

With Cooper, I have been big on boundaries. Highchairs, Gates, Cribs, Pack & Plays. It is necessary for me with baby #3 + homeschooling + all of the dangers that baby #1 and #2 can create (Legos) + 4 sets of stairs that have railing that he can fir through. I am not typically a very big boundaries person, and I was not as structured in those areas with Allie & Jack, but I found this to be very helpful to the whole family this time around. It has given all of us a sense of security. We always know where the baby is and that he is okay. So, to see that sense of security slowly... make that quickly... fade away is scary. Not to mention that it is another one of those bridges to boyhood that I always talk about dragging my heels across.

So, here's hoping that Cooper will totally forget the freedom that he just tasted and go back to the baby that happily lays in his crib for 2 -3 hours every day while his mommy has the only (somewhat) mental break that she gets every day.

Thought Of The Day

"Lord, give me a quiet heart that does not ask to understand but confidently steps forward in the darkness guided by Thy hand." ~ Elizabeth Elliott


Note To Self...

Tonight Corey & Jack are gone on their last hunting trip of the season... I guess that is why I am sleepless. (despite the fact that I was ready to call it a night at 6:30) So, in my effort to get myself unwound enough to go to bed, I am blog-reading. Some people I know, some people I don't. On a blog of a person I don't, I just found the most inspirational quote that fits in perfectly with my inner-theme right now. A friend and I went to dinner last night and discussed many things... one of them being how suffering has changed and is changing us and the things that we have learned and are learning from the very real, very painful experiences in our lives. I think both of us have come up with the conclusion that we have found thankfulness in our suffering and can see how God has used those circumstances in our lives to transform us for His glory. I, personally, have so far to go, but I am thankful for the lessons that I am learning and the sense that I can sometimes make of this life of mine. So, with that in mind, here is what I "randomly" came across tonight...

Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional. It seems to be part and parcel of the human condition, but suffering can either embitter or ennoble. Our suffering can become a spirituality or transformation when we understand that we have a role in God's transfiguration of the world. And if we are able to be true partners with God, we must learn to see with the eyes of God--that is, to see with the eyes of the heart and not just the eyes of the head. The eyes of the heart are not concerned with appearances but with essences, and as we cultivate these eyes we are able to learn from our suffering and to see the world with more loving, forgiving, humble, generous eyes.
-Desmond Tutu, God Has a Dream

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