Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Elijah's Baby


Today Elijah has been taking care of one of Madelyn's baby dolls that looks like a real baby. It was actually the gift my mom gave Madelyn when Elijah was born. It was her "big sister gift." So, we've always just referred to him as Elijah's twin because it would creep us out to see it lying on the floor when we had real baby Elijah sleeping in his bassinette.

So, for whatever reason, this morning Elijah has been carrying him around, feeding him, hugging him, etc. He was being so quiet and gentle with him and we were heading downstairs to get breakfast when UH-OH the baby tumbled down the stairs. It rolled the whole way down the stairs. It was so funny. The kids and I cracked up and then Elijah picks the baby up and says, "He's okay!"

Then the baby had breakfast with Elijah. He was feeding him cereal and giving him milk. It turns out he named him Judah. Judah is the name of a little boy who sometimes comes with his mom to Bible Study.

Elijah then brings Judah over to me and says, "He won't stop picking his nose!" He had Judah's finger up the doll's nose. I said, "Well, I don't know what to tell you because I keep telling my son to stop picking his nose and it hasn't worked yet!" Elijah didn't get the message in that.

So, to be funny I took the doll's finger and put it up Elijah's nose. Well, he thought that was the best and then stuck the doll's finger in his ear. Thankfully, after a few times of telling him to stop Judah would stop.

It was so cute seeing Elijah with this baby doll. Besides the one time I saw him hitting the baby's face with a spoon over and over, oh and dropping him down the stairs, he was really sweet with him.

It's funny too that he took an interest in the baby the day before his birthday since it was a gift to Madelyn for his birth day.

Which brings me again to the fact that my baby is turning 4 again. I seriously keep hyperventilating. I kept kissing him tonight while he lay sleeping because it's the last time I'll be able to kiss him as a 3 year old. I think I need some therapy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tidbits

Yesterday I was running late for church so I did my makeup in the car. I requested the windows up so my hair wasn't flying all around while I tried to put on makeup. Elijah then said, "Oh Mommy, you are going to be SO beautiful with your makeup on." He is such a charmer. Oh how I pray for that child.

So, we get to church and Elijah asks me if I have my makeup on and he wants to see me. Sure enough he then says, "Mommy, you look so beautiful." Ah, it cracked me up. He says a lot of things are beautiful, like my mom's camera for instance.

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So, my girl is sick. I hate when my babes are sick, but she just has a low fever and her belly is upset. I will take these kinds of sicknesses over the hacking coughing any day. I hope she feels better soon, but I also love having her home. She's so snuggly and sweet, and I think she's thrilled to be plopped in front of the tv watching pbs kids.

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My boy turns 4 this week on Wednesday and I'm already hyperventilating.

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Happiness Factor:

Warm weather makes me feel like a new person. I love it.

I have a fabulous family who loves me and supports me.

I am extremely blessed with many great friends. I love each and every one of them and don't know what I would do without them.

God's word never ceases to amaze me.

John the Baptist said that all that we have came from heaven, or we would have nothing if it didn't come from heaven (I'm paraphrasing). I think of this often and it has made me look heavenward with a heart of thanksgiving that much more. What a great guy John was, always focused on Christ with a humble heart.

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A friend at church yesterday told me I look like a chocolate bar. I was wearing a brown swirly top with black bottoms. It made me laugh so hard. I don't think I have ever been told that before.

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I found a stool on Elijah's bed this morning and when I asked him why it was there he said because he was trying to turn the light (his ceiling fan light) on. The ceiling fan was on and the stool was very near the edge of his bed. Boys.

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My Mom-mom just turned 86 on Saturday. I hope I look as good as her and am as healthy as she is if I live that long. Love that lady.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stronger after Battle

Dan and I have been through a lot in the last 4 years ... a lot. We seem to be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel at this point though. And, while I am always a bit hesitant to say that because we never know what tomorrow may bring, I am happy to say I feel stronger.

I feel as though we have been through battle. Boy oh boy does it feel like we are emerging from battle. So, while feeling somewhat wounded, I definitely feel stronger.

Here's an example. I am a crier. It does not take much for me to cry. I watch people say good-bye at the airport and I cry. If I see someone crying, I cry. I think about Madelyn going away to college and I cry. It just doesn't take much for me to cry. It never has.

But lately I've noticed I don't cry as easily. I am stronger.

Recently, Dan and I were watching, of all things, American Idol. This is funny because we don't even watch American Idol. We barely watch tv. We had exercised together though and while cooling down he turned the channel to AI. I know enough about AI because I have friends who watch it so I knew about Danny and how his wife died.

So, I said to Dan, "Isn't that sad? He is on AI now and he can't even share that with his wife? What would we do if we didn't have each other to come home to and share things about our lives with?"

Then I looked over at him and he had tears in his eyes! My dear sweet husband. I love him so much. He had tears! I said, "Are you crying??"

I loved it. We were laughing because he said, "Yes!" and something about being super sensitive now. I said, "And I think I am stronger!" He said, "It's a good thing because your husband is a big baby (or something to that effect)."

It was so sweet and funny and we laughed and hugged and all that good stuff.

All that to say, God has taught me a whole bunch, and though we were deep in the trenches at times I have somehow emerged stronger.

On the way home from church today Dan and I were discussing what we have been through and how we should write down our accounts of all that has taken place. Life just keeps going and I want to always remember what God has done in our lives during this time and all that He brought us through. Plus, I think it will be interesting to read Dan's perspective on things compared to mine.

So, this will probably be my forum for writing these accounts. It will just be easy for me this way I think. It's already emotional for me to think back even to those earlier days when it was all just beginning. (I said I was stronger. I didn't say I was no longer a crier.) But, I think it will be good, therapeutic even.

So, stayed tuned. Hopefully, it will be somewhat interesting for my 3 readers to read. I certainly hope it won't chase away my few readers. That would be tragic.

Madelyn Loves Jesus

I think I mentioned in my last post that I believe Madelyn loves Jesus, and I truly believe she does.

We are reading through the Chronicles of Narnia with her ... again, and we are finishing up The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe. Well, we were reading about Aslan being killed, and I stopped to ask her if she knew about Aslan being a symbol of Jesus, and she said yes. So, I assumed that she and Dan had covered that at some point.

I was wrong.

She goes on to say that she read her children's version of the book (thanks again Kim!) and while she was reading that she thought, "Hey, that's like Jesus!" She then went on and basically shared the gospel story with me about Jesus dying on the cross and taking our place.

I was almost speechless. We then went on to talk about the reason for offerings in the OT and she mentioned Cain and Abel and why did Cain kill Abel, etc. It was so great! Her little mind is amazing to me. She retains so much information. I love it.

And, she's so great about telling stories and reading to Elijah. So, the one day she was telling him all about the Easter story. She is everything to him these days so he loves it. She can do no wrong in his eyes.

Having children is an amazing thing. It is so fun getting to know them and to share God's wonders with them.

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow ...

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Little Reader


Madelyn has ALWAYS LOVED reading. We read to her even as a tiny baby. She is not a sleeper so to help her settle at night we would leave books in her crib for her to look at instead of screaming at us (not kidding, she would scream, and the books didn't always help). We started with cloth books because they were safe. Then on to board books until finally she could flip through regular books without ripping the pages out of boredom.

This has been the routine since I can remember. There were nights she would still be up flipping through books when we were ready to go to bed. We'd have to cut her off.

Even now I have to tell her to lie down while she reads her books or else she is up half the night.

My girl loves to read. That's all there is to it. It's in her blood. The blood from her father that is. I don't mind reading, but I don't read to fill an addiction as those two seem to do.

So, no surprise really when Madelyn one night told us she was going to read to us instead of us reading to her. Um, okay. And, she did. That's my girl. When she sets her mind on wanting to do something she is going to do it.

That was the summer of 2007. She was 4 and was reading fluently with expression, the whole deal by the end of that summer.

Okay, so all this to say that the other night on our way to the Good Friday service at church Madelyn was a little chatter box. She told me how she got her dormer all set up with pillows and books and coloring books. I told her that was great because then she could really use that space for things she loves. Mostly we end up throwing pillows and stuffed animals up there.

Anyway, she then says, "Yeah, I don't know why, but I am really into reading lately." .... Um ... I had to just giggle silently to myself. The girl has been "into reading" since she was old enough to hold a book! I love it.

Although I have to say that lately she is flying through books like crazy. Of course, she's not getting as much sleep, but she just finished The Wizard of Oz, a chapter book with 11 chapters in 2 nights! Craziness.

Back to the Good Friday service, she wasn't really into the service so she asked me where the Easter story was in the Bible. I showed her to Mark and she sat and read the Bible through the service. She loves Jesus. She is always drawing crosses and writing little things about thanking Jesus for dying on the cross. So sweet.

That's my girl.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Elijahisms

Tonight we had Jess and the kids here for dinner. Elijah said boys are allergic to dairy. We told him not all boys were allergic to dairy so he said that only boys named Elijah were allergic to dairy. Too funny.

At one point Elijah said he was allergic to cow's milk to which Jess said, "Preston is too." Then Elijah said, "I'm 3!"

Love that kid. Of course, then he said his stomach was hurting, and laid his head down on the table. Dan picked him up and Elijah fell asleep and has been sleeping since :( I hope he's okay.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So sentimental these days ...

or just plain weepy. Call it what you will, but man oh man. I just want to cry over every little thing.

Okay, first of all I am so in love with my Lord right now. His word never ceases to amaze me. I am so grateful that He has given me understanding to read His word.

Second, I watched this documentary . Very moving, and beautiful in a way only Christ can make things beautiful. The grace that oozes from the wives is breathtaking. They are grieving the loss of their husbands to brutal deaths, yet they are proud for their husbands for dying for Christ as Christ died for them. And their children ... oh, the children, so sweet. I bought the video so that I could pass it around. Let me know if you want to watch it.

And, check out www.persecution.com. VOM is a great ministry and I believe it's important to know what is going on with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Persecution is very much alive and well. These believers need prayer, and their stories are powerful.

Third, I love studying God's word. As much as I hate to admit it I need accountability in studying it. I get lazy with it so easily so I am grateful for the ladies who study with me each week and provide the accountability I need. As much as I love it I am still so lazy with doing it, but I really do love it.

God is so real and so powerful and amazing and reveals Himself to me in ways like never before when I am in His word. And, studying the truths for myself allows me to hide them in my heart to draw on. I am so grateful for His grace in my life. I fear where I would be without Him.

Also, I have a new niece Daisy LouAnn. She is beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on her. She's in TN though. We need to plan when we can get down there. It's amazing how much you can love a little person when you haven't even met them yet.



I mean how could you not just fall in love with that little peanut? ... (sigh)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Riverside Walk

We had a beautiful day on Thursday. Dan, the kids and I went down to the path that runs along the river. The kids loved it. The weather was beautiful.

The kids played on this big red sculpture ...









What's that you say? You can't see the picture? ... Oh right. That's because when we pulled our camera out to take pictures of the kids and the cherry blossoms and the beautiful day by the river we didn't have a memory card in our camera.

The memories will live on in our brains ...

Monday, April 6, 2009

We aren't in Disney anymore ...

My last post mentioned what my friend Jess said about a Disney movie going on at our house recently, what with the bunnies, birds, and rainbows here. Well, today after school the kids noticed this ...
In case you can't tell what it is, it's a pile of feathers that looks as though the bird was plucked before being completely devoured except for a couple of wormy looking red pieces of innards that looked like earth worms ... blech ...

Also, look closely at the next picture. See the yellow things?



Okay, they are kind of hard to see, and they seem to be more orange-red. Those are the pieces of the beak. Poor little bird.

I don't think this happened in Snow White. Sure, a queen sends a man to kill her step-daughter (Snow White) in the woods with a knife. Of course, he has mercy on her, lets her go, is killed by the queen when she finds out he didn't kill Snow White. Then the queen goes and poisons Snow White herself.

But, no birds were being ripped apart. I mean sheesh! We all have limits to the violence we can handle!

And, to think this episode of violence went down in our back yard, our very own gazebo-thingamabob. I wonder if any of our other bird friends saw what happened and are afraid to come into our yard.

I should go sing a song to them ... (I really need to get myself a princess dress)

Happiness Factor

Happiness is ...

Lighting all the candles in the house on a dark rainy morning.

Knowing that a new baby is on the way in our family. (Baby Daisy's due date is today :).

Studying the Bible at my kitchen table with a fresh cup of coffee and a clean kitchen.

Being home with my boy.

The week of Easter, reflecting on the Lord's death and resurrection, all for the sake of our sins.

Knowing Madelyn and Dan have only 2 days of school this week.

Planning for Easter day, knowing how much Elijah LOVES Easter egg hunts. (We did another one for his b-day last year because he asked for it :) His b-day is on the 29th.)

Seeing bright rainbows in the sky.

Kid-isms


Dan took the kids to the Library the other day. The library is near the river so at one point the road dead ends with a yellow fence just after where you need to turn right to go to the library. One of the kids asked what would happen if they drove through the yellow fence. Dan said, "We'd end up in the river." To which Madelyn replied, "Yeah, and none of us can swim!" ha ha ... it's true. Dan can't swim either.

I do think though if they survived the crash over the bank into the river that Dan could stand at that part of the river, but either way I don't want my family crashing into the river by any means. Of course, we did have this conversation though. We also realized that at that point the river was quite high because we got a lot of rain the day before. Isn't it funny how a joke can turn into a real discussion of just what would happen if ...


................................


The kids and I were home the other day. Madelyn and I were in the living room and Elijah was upstairs. Next thing I hear Elijah yelling to someone out the window about coming over. Now, knowing my son and how social he is, I wouldn't be surprised if he saw the neighbor girl or even a stranger and invited them over.

So, I yell up to him and ask him who he is talking to. He said, "The robin! ... Hi robin! Are you coming to my house today?" It was so cute. Madelyn and I cracked up.

Later I heard him say, "Robin, did you go somewhere?" He couldn't see the robin anymore. This was the same day we saw the beautiful rainbow.

The weather had been so crazy that day. We had a ton of rain all morning where it was so dark you felt like it was evening. Then by the time I picked Madelyn up from school the sun was out again and it was quite warm out. They played outside for a bit and then more rain and wind. Then more sun! Then the beautiful rainbow which made it all worth it.

A friend of mine mentioned on FB that it was like a disney movie with the rainbow and the bunnies. It cracked me up. She asked if we broke out into song :) I told her if the birds and the bunnies let me pet them I would have because then I would have known that I really was snow white.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Home Sick

I hate missing church, especially over a dumb cold. I probably would have gone though if I didn't have stomach issues this morning. I had nursery duty though so it's probably best I didn't go with my dripping nose.

So, what did I do instead. Well, first I love Fox News Sunday so I watched that. Then Elijah and I watched a bunch of videos. He is obsessed with Larry Boy right now which is really fun because Larry Boy teaches good manners like controlling your anger, not fibbing, and not telling rumors.

That's not all I did though. While I was plopped on the couch reading one of my favorite blogs I took some pictures of my favorite dog ... Daisy.

I know. Try to control your excitement. Here is your chance to share in the moment.

First, this dog has the life. I'm the sick one, wanting to sleep, but if I did my favorite 3 year old boy would not have left me alone so it would not have been good sleep. So, while he and I shared the love seat, Daisy gets this ...


Tell me she is not spoiled, especially when Dan is not around :)

Next to me was this little cutie pie ...


Our basement is pretty dark, especially with one of the bulbs burned out so the flash was too bright for him. Oh, and see Larry Boy? He is with us pretty much wherever we go these days.
When my eyes were about to close from being so tired I finally made Daisy move. She was being so cute next to me on the couch though. I had to take pictures. It was almost as if she was posing for me.



Isn't she pretty? There are more pictures (believe me ;), but I will just post this one. And, every time I said her name or talked to her she would wag her tail. She scooted closer to me. She's so cute ...



So, after about a million attempts to get her tail wagging in a picture I finally got enough sense to take a video of her. And, well, this is what happened ... (notice her eyes. she always cracks us up when she only moves her eyes to look at us :)




video

Saturday, April 4, 2009

This is what happens when ...

you send two little children upstairs to get ready for bed and to take the sheets off of one of their beds ...

First, you see this at the top of the stairs (oh my!) ... it seems to be every pillow out of Madelyn and Elijah's rooms ...


Then we see this ...

Here is the live version of it ...



video

Now Elijah asks me every day if he and Madelyn can take her mattress off and use it like a slide again. We knew they were having a good time upstairs, but we had no idea we would find what we found :)

Beautiful Rainbow

Madelyn was playing outside yesterday after the crazy rain we had here and next thing I know she yells, "There's a rainbow!" Elijah and I ran outside to see it and it was absolutely beautiful. I have never seen one so bright and next thing we know a second one shows up. I went on a bit of a photo spree, but here are just a few of the ones I took ...






As we marveled at God's beauty and Madelyn was saying how many signs of Spring were in our yard a little friend showed up ...



and another one ...



I love God. I love His creations, such beauty.

I just wish these cute little bunnies didn't nibble all of my flowers. It's a good thing they are so cute.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lazy Day

I am having a lazy day today.

Why? Um ... just because I can really. I don't have a good excuse. I am just being down right lazy. I'm still in my pjs, drinking coffee. I stopped short of snuggling back in my bed again. It is calling to me, but the idea of a coffee spill in my bed doesn't thrill me.

Instead I am nestled on my big comfy chair in the living room.

Elijah loves the computer (admittedly, so do I) so I am taking advantage of the time I have while he plays.

So, besides my feet being a little cold I am quite happy.

I am realizing more and more how much things have calmed down in my life and I am being careful to not take it for granted. All the while enjoying every second of it.

Last year around this time we were running to appts at least every two weeks, or more, depending on sudden vision loss.

Me oh my, those were hectic stressful days.

Dan was swollen and puffy from all the prednisone in his system. We have pictures from his last Birthday and you would hardly know it was him. It's nice to see his face slimming down a bit.

Prayerfully, things will stay calm on that front.

I have been reminded lately too of how much my anxiety got out of control during that time. It got to the point that even a simple doctor appointment for the kids sent me into panic mode. My stomach would be sick even at the doctor's office. I felt like I was going to throw up the one day while the doctor was talking to me. I almost had to tell him I needed to step out. My heart was racing and I just felt awful. I didn't realize why this was happening. I have always been a nervous person, but this was getting ridiculous.

When your life slowly gets crazy over concern for a loved ones health these types of things can creep up on you. I'm glad I know this now. I feel better prepared for myself and better equipped to minister to others who might be in similar situations.

So, back to my life being calmer these days. My baby is turning 4 this month. 4! How did that happen? He is the sweetest boy I know, so huggy and smiley and bright in the sense he lightens people's days. He is super friendly and puts smiles on people's faces wherever he goes. I especially love when elderly people talk to him in the store because he makes them smile and brightens their days.

With him being 4 he is becoming more and more independant so my days aren't filled with crying, feedings, diaper changing, etc. I mean sure he cries at times, and he definitely needs to be fed, but it's simple. And, he's going to go to K4 in the Fall (excuse me while I hyperventilate). It's for 3 hours in the morning for 4 days a week. I know he will love it which is why I am sending him, but I also know I can still change my mind at any time.

All this leads me to, "Now what?" I mean, free time on a regular basis? What does that even feel like, look like? For years now it's been all about babies, but now that I don't plan on having more it's just a weird feeling.

I am sure the "free time" will fly by on those days. I will definitely keep doing my Bible Studies which keep me busy. There is always plenty of laundry, housework, etc. I just feel things changing (in a good way I think), and it's weird.

I will say this though, during those hours of free time I will do my best to not turn every day into a lazy day like today ... I will try anyway ;)