Sunday, June 29, 2008

Please pray

Update: Emery is doing well and will hopefully be taken off of her ventilator today. Please keep praying for her recovery to go smoothly!

Will you please join me in praying for Emery? She is the baby I wrote about on Friday. Some of you know her parents, Geoff and Lisa. They are precious and so is she.

She is only 4 days old and she is having surgery tomorrow (Monday) morning to repair her tiny heart.

I know I can count on so many of you to surround them in prayer. We are believing that God will do more than we can even imagine for sweet Emery.

Her daddy gave the go-ahead to let everyone know about her caringbridge page if you would like to know more.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Powerful words

Wednesday afternoon my sweet friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Let me tell you, she is yum-my. I could nuzzle her for days. But what was supposed to be a fun and joyous time has turned into a scary situation with one bit of disheartening news after another.

Today another friend of mine had the idea to take cards with Bible verses to the hospital to put around her bed. She wanted to surround her with the word of God and give her parents truth to read and meditate on. A couple of us searched online and through the Bible until we found verses that we thought would bring hope and peace in this time of unrest.

We took the scripture cards to the hospital and I showed them to the precious baby’s father. As he read them, the tears began to flow . He was overwhelmed by God's words. Oh, do those words have power. They have power to comfort. They have power to guide. They have power to heal. They have power to let us know we are not alone. They are everything. Everything.

My friend and I plastered our cards all over this sweet baby’s NICU bed. As I handed each card to her and she taped them on, one by one, the whole feel of the sterile bed began to change. It felt warmer. It felt more hopeful.

It felt powerful.

His word is real. It is sovereign and it is truth. It is all we need. And we are claiming His promises.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

On parenting

I am in a season of my life when I have no confusion about my calling . It is to be the best wife and mom that I can be. It seems simple enough, but it really is quite complicated, isn’t it? I want desperately to do the right thing with my kids and to give them what they need, but I am forever messing up. Thankfully I have a God and a family that showers me with grace.

And that makes me want to keep on trying.

I am reading a book right now about how different children have different needs and I read something that knocked me upside the head. It is about how well-meaning parents sometimes try to raise kids according to what has worked for themselves. You know, inadvertently trying to make a mini-me.

Along the same lines, we often try to discourage behaviors in our children that we don’t like in ourselves. And while we are trying to encourage and discourage we might possibly be leading these little personalities away from the traits that God has instilled in them.

Does that make sense? Like, maybe you have a very argumentative kid, and you continually try to squelch that, when God actually made this child that way because it is a trait he or she will need to fulfill his/her calling at some point. It may just need some refining.

After thinking about it I realized I may be really guilty of this. We certainly train our kids to do what we feel is right, but right for who? So now in my head there is this incredibly fine line between allowing my children to be bent in a certain God-given direction, and training them to be respectful, responsible human beings.

This is hard! And they are all different? Seriously? Did God really read my resume before He gave me this job?

I am quite certain that when God was trying to decide how to get us to deepen our relationships and prayer life with him, he thought “Hey! How about I put them in charge of a bunch of really different, complex small people that they are responsible for until adulthood?"

Hmmmm... well thought-out plan.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When David gets home tonight

he will be greeted by this. Won't that be fun?

I got it at Kohls for 5 bucks. 5 bucks!

Suckers, I so woulda paid six.

Riley is very excited about this. She is quite enamored by him. And the feeling is mutual. Which is why he will do things like climb tall, shaky ladders and do a balancing act while he plants flowers in her window every year cause she looooooooves flowers.

She was taking pictures of him from her window while he was doing this a couple of nights ago and I was a little concerned that flash-induced disorientation was going to result in me needing to remember the number for 911.

Here is a picture of Riley with her flowers when she was just two years old. What in the world, that seems like yesterday! Are you aware of how fast time is going by? How is that happening?

Alright, off to hide Garrett's electric guitar just in case David gets over-inspired by the shirt. Just kidding of course. Well... maybe the amplifier.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Omelet in a bag

Or shall I say fun-deliciousness-in-a-bag? This is one of our favorite "fun" meals. I've done some research on the scare of cooking in plastic and couldn't find anything credible enough to make me stop doing this. Especially considering that we only do it occasionally.

Get some freezer Ziploc bags and let everyone put their name on one with a sharpie.

Crack two eggs into each bag and add 2 tablespoons of milk.

Set out all kinds of fillings in bowls. Bacon, ham, cheese, peppers, tomatoes, onions, olives, whatever.

If you want your soul to be at rest, make sure the bowls are clear glass of the same size and lined up like it is a Food Network show. But that’s only for those of you who care about a restful soul.

Have everyone put whatever ingredients they want into their bag. Zip 'em shut and squish them around until ingredients are combined. Make sure all of the air is out of the bag. Throw into a large boiling pot of water for 13 minutes (you can do up to 8 at a time). Remove from water and roll out onto plate. Every omelet is ready at the same time, and there is no clean-up.

See, what did I tell ya…fun-deliciousness-in-a-bag.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A few pictures from Corporate Challenge

We spent a lot of time this weekend at Corporate Challenge. David ran in a relay, but I didn’t have my camera with me on that night. Even if I would have, I wouldn’t have been able to photograph him, cause he was like lightning.
Lightning, I tell ya. For real.

The kids had a great time competing in the kid portion, but it was sweltering hot. Here is Garrett kicking some booty in the 400 yard run. He finished, and by the time the other kids were hitting the finish line, he was well on his way to the ol’ medical tent. Yeah, we thought he was going to pass out. Little heat trauma. And when your zero-drama kid says he's gonna pass out, you head for the big red tent. He laid in there for a while with ice on his neck and then jumped up and ran another race and did sit-ups and obstacle courses, and rock-wall climbing.

I have a personal rule that anytime I need to spend time in the medical tent, I’m done for the day. But, ya know, that’s just me. I’m funny that way.

Here is Cole doing his 60 second sit-up challenge. I know this is my child because of the uncanny resemblance. This is exactly what I look like when I think about doing sit-ups. I get all sweaty and distressed. By the way, he beat the Cole's World Record, despite the heat. Love those tiny abs of steel.
David and Cole enjoying some snacks in the Devon tent. Notice David’s choices. Nothing refuels the body like jalapeno chips and lemon bars. Oh, it‘s OK, his race was the night before. On race night he refueled with a hamburger, a hot dog, some chips, a big chocolate chip cookie, and a coke. But I know for a fact he had several powerades during that time, so it’s all good.

Physical competition is not really my strong suite, so I love that David encourages and inspires our family in this area. And if I hadn't been wearing a skirt and flip-flops today, I may have almost been inspired to exert myself physically.

May have. Almost.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A little comparison

I got my driver’s license renewed yesterday. I had accidentally let it expire, so I had to do some extra tricks to get it done. This involved waiting in line for 92 minutes (not that I was counting) with my 4 children.

Looking around the room at the kids getting their drivers permits and licenses, I couldn’t help but compare this time to the first time.

Remember when you got your first license? The excitement, oh the excitement. The whole day was special. You picked out your biggest Forenza shirt and your most acid washed jeans weeks before the big event. You got up early and spent hours on your pink eye shadow and sprayed the sides of your hair into wings that were as hard as plastic so you could rest easy that they would still be strong when the photo was snapped. It was glorious.

Fast forward 20ish years.

The task was squeezed into the busy day of kid stuff. I was not at all pleasantly surprised when we walked in the door and saw a line that looked like the cinnamon roll stand at the state fair. Except without cinnamon rolls.

I took a number. That is never a good sign.

It wasn’t long before Cole knocked over a big metal sign that crashed to the ground in the otherwise quiet room. It went virtually unnoticed, I’m sure. I spent the rest of the hour and a half and two minutes playing rock-paper-scissors, thumb wrestling small fingers, and trying to make Garrett understand that although I appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit, he could not sell our number to the defeated looking souls who were walking in and discovering the long line.

And unlike the first time, when it was finally time for my photo I panicked for a second and wondered if I even had make-up on. I did. Calm down.

The times are different, yes they are. Wow, are they different.

I like different.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My kids are so different and I think that is so much fun. It really amazes me that kids raised in the same house can be so different. It definitely helps me appreciate their unique personalities. I think one of the biggest differences I see in my kids is in self expression.

I have one that is a short answer kind of kid, a couple in between, and one that is a bit of an over-sharer. His excitement to relay thoughts is really pretty funny, although sometimes our eyes glass over before he finishes his very animated statements and thoughts. This morning when he woke up, he wanted to let me know that it was a rainy day. Here is how he conveyed to me that It's rainy.

Mommy! I woke up this morning and it was kinda dark in my room so I looked out my window and I saw that there were some drops of water dripping from the leaves on the tree so I looked down on the deck where they were dripping and I saw that the table was ALL WET and then I looked at the deck and I noticed that it was darker than normal because it was SO WET and so I knew for sure it had been raining!

No, we won’t be slipping any precipitation by him.

You should hear him when he wakes up to snow.

I keep a tranquilizer on hand for that.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Weekend to Remember

David and I celebrated our 16th anniversary on Friday. We just got home from the Family Life Weekend to Remember in Texas. It is a conference about building a stronger marriage. We think we might make it now. Oh, I'm kidding. We weren't trying to save the marriage, we're just always up for some enrichment.

It was a really relaxing and fun time in an amazing resort hotel. A lot of the conference topics were pretty basic and was stuff we have figured out through trial and error over 16 years, but much of it was very relevant and useful. It is for really strong marriages, really weak ones, new ones, old ones, it covers everyone. I truly believe attending this conference in the beginning of marriage could radically affect the success of a marriage and reduce a lot of the stress that comes with trying to get on the same page as your spouse in the beginning. We will be sending all of our children and their fiances to this conference.

Later I mean. None of them have fiances presently that I am aware of.

The biggest realization that we took away from this conference is that we are frequently guilty of having a “child-centered” home. Between four kids and their activities and family time and training ’em up and everyone needing to wrestle with Daddy and on and on and on, (which is all stuff we really love) we often fail to give each other more than our leftovers at the end of the evening. We committed to make some changes in this area. We know that if we send kids upstairs early once a week or so in order to focus on each other for more of the evening it will be wonderful for us, and it will teach them something that we want them to know with certainty, that our relationship is a top priority.

Have you been to a conference like this? What was the most useful thing you took away?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stunt girl

Riley purposely drove this
Off of this

and all she got was thisSimmer down, sister. You were the only person living in this house that I didn't have to daily worry about breaking a bone.

Aw, I'm kidding. The kids with casts are always having more fun. Just don't break anything too important.

Don't worry everyone, it's not a real 4-wheeler, it's just one of those 3-mile-an-hour battery operated ones. Here's how we came to own it.

About a day after we got home from the hospital after Garrett's serious real 4-wheeler accident my dear friend and neighbor (who incidentally, had been at the hospital with us, bringing my other kids gifts and snacks to keep them busy) called me and it went a little somethin' like this:

Her: Hi, ummm, I have something to give you that I feel a little awkward about...

Me: Ok...what is it?

Her: Wellllllllllllllll, it's not the best timing, but we are cleaning out our garage and the kids are ready to get rid of it and I thought yours might enjoy it.

Me: You know we love your free stuff. What is it?

Her: It's a... well, it's a... 4-wheeler.

Me: clunk (that was me hitting the floor)

I've come a long way since that day. I've even stopped wrapping my kids in bubble wrap when they ride it.

And when they run.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I think we can all recall times when God has rescued us from something. Probably too many times to even remember. Surely times when we weren’t even aware of it. And certainly when we didn’t deserve it. He is the ultimate rescuer.

But how about when He sends someone on this earth to rescue you? Someone flying in on a horse wearing armor and wielding swords to tear things up for you? Just for you.

Right now I feel like a rescued princess.

Right in the heat of a struggle that continually threatens to devour me like an angry fire-breathing dragon, David stepped in front of me with his dangerous arsenal and said enough is enough. Spiritual authority taken on my behalf. It is extremely powerful when coming from the head of a home. It feels safe. It feels secure. It feels empowering. It makes my dragon seem not so ominous.

Did you see that? I just rolled my eyes at my dragon.

Can someone please hand me my tiara?