Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And, Again, My Perspective is Changed

I just finished reading The Shack. It took me two days and I want to go back over most of it again. I had put off reading it for over a year because I pictured some intense, gut-retching experience that would just wring me out. And, to be honest, I didn't really like some of the things I heard about it. I'm not big on so-called Christian things that are "best sellers" and all hyped up. Many times it is more about the money and the power rather then a true act of worship to God. This book, however, is an eye opener. But, only if you want it to be.

I've been struggling whether to blog or not to blog about it. For those of you who may have not read it I would not want to put any preconceived ideas in your heads. Yet, this book just begs for a discussion. It is so profoundly unique and while I can't say it was life shattering, it certainly gave me some interesting things to ponder and pray about. It revealed some things in me that I need to change. Despite the controversy surrounding it, I was not offended by anything in this book. Uncomfortable, yes, but not offended.

So, I'm "polling my audience" and wanting to know if I started sharing a little more in detail about my thoughts of this book, would you be interested in commenting back your thoughts if you read it, too? Or, should I just leave it alone so as not to ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it, yet?

I'm anxious to hear from you......

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Soon Payback Time

I did a little post on my the results of my holiday overindulging....you can check it out by clicking HERE.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wii Are Blessed!

We are having a blast enjoying our new Wii. It has taken "family game night" to a whole new level! And, because it was a group gift from various family members it has greatly decreased the clutter we normally experience each Christmas trying to figure out how to make room for all the new "stuff"!

Overall, this Christmas season has been filled with thanksgiving, joy and a greater understanding that we are called to help those in this world who are less fortunate. It is so wonderful to be blessed with our Wii; however, there are so many people in this world who don't even know where the next meal will come from. I'm trying to keep the girls' perspectives and priorities in order without making them feel guilty for enjoying what we have...it is a delicate balance I must admit.

I do have to take this opportunity to acknowledge how amazing our Savior is....to thank Him for laying down His life and loving me at my worst. Life apart from Him really isn't life at all.

So, God bless you and I pray for His joy to be in you and for your faith in Him to multiply in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover - Gingerbread Edition

I challenged myself. I took over the annual tradition of making a gingerbread house with the girls. The Husband always does it because I'm a little "structurally challenged", but he was stuck out of town over the weekend when his truck broke down. We were running out of things to do and it was way too cold to go anywhere! I looked at the box and realized that this was a deluxe gingerbread house, that quite honestly, a monkey should be able to assemble. Except for a little roof "splittage"where a peppermint slipped down inside the house never to be seen again, I'd say I built a pretty stable structure!

We had fun and I must admit, as the girls grow older projects like this are a lot less stressful! I also noticed that I get a little more daring as the years go by at trying new things!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Can I Give a King?

* My cards are mailed (most of them).

* My gifts are bought. Many wrapped and all the out-of-town ones shipped today.

* The cookies, truffles, Yule Log and toffee are in their air tight containers waiting to be delivered to co-workers, coaches and teachers.

* Tomorrow I turn in my Angel Tree gifts and Saturday we bless a single mom and her kids with a slew of gifts some friends and I gathered in lieu of our own gift exchange (the highlight of our Christmas this year).

* My house is (reasonably) clean and decorated.

Yet, I sit here and know there is still something more I need to do. What gift will I give to Jesus this year?

What can I give Him? What do I offer up to the One who gave it ALL? Can I follow through with the desires of my heart to worship Him in all that I do, only to fall short and miss the mark?

Lately, I am so very much aware of my inequity and my NEED for a Savior. Grateful doesn't begin to cover how I feel. It is in that moment I decide what to give Jesus in celebration of His birth and in response to His extravagant love for us. I want to carry His fragrance with me. Like a refreshing perfume. I want to be an overflow of Him...a vessel....so, I can give Him away to others.

That's the gift that keeps on giving....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Was a Mess. But, in a Good Way.

It is difficult to put into words. How do you begin to define a spiritual encounter with our Living God? It isn't about being religious or following a man-made routine. I look back at the last fifteen years and try to pinpoint what I was doing when I sensed the mighty presence of God. Was I worshiping, had I just moved in obedience or was I simply expecting God to fill my hunger?

The truth is, there is no magic formula. Because out of the clear blue He rocked my world on Friday night. I do believe there is a measure of going after Him with no distraction, but to be perfectly honest with you it had been a long, sort of lonely time of pressing in and feeling an occasional touch. Then, me trying to figure out what I must be doing wrong to be missing out on His Presence. I even wondered a few times if maybe what I was calling "mighty encounters" was just emotional hype?

Sounds a little like a Melissa-made religion, huh?

Which is why He caught me off guard at our Youth Staff Retreat on Friday night. I thought I was going for fellowship time and instead a pastor/prophet in the area was there to minister to our team. Before he even stood up to speak I felt God's presence very strongly. Then, we began to worship and I knew that something was sort of changing inside of me. I had this picture of a faucet being turned on and water was just flowing freely. This pastor then began to teach an amazing lesson about the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He pointed out that Jesus performed the miracle, but He instructed the disciples to remove Lazarus's grave clothes that were binding him. I thought that was very cool that Jesus included His disciples in the miracle, just like He wants to include us. That could be a whole post in and of itself. It was powerful stuff! Then, we were each prayed over prophetically and I was a mess. Messed up for Jesus! Yeah, Baby!

I guess the point I'm trying to make was that God knew what I needed to hear and there is no formula needed to connect with Him. He knew that I was wanting to have an encounter with Him that was life changing. And, that's what happened. Since then God has opened a variety of doors to pray for people and He really gave me a clearer vision for youth ministry. I feel like I belong there and the prayers and desires of my heart to reach the youth of this region are not in vain.

I'm ready. And, I'm thrilled to see what God has in store!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chalk One Up for the Super Mommy

One retreat, two birthday parties, a soccer game, 120 frosted sugar cookies and three Christmas parties later, I sit here with my potato soup all packaged and ready for the teacher's luncheon tomorrow. It is truly the season for Christmas miracles! Thank you, Jesus that I survived the weekend and here I sit with a (tired) smile on my face reflecting on all the wonderful memories we made this weekend. Not a bit stressed out (except for The (evil) Dog having the stankiest, stinkiest diarrhea from eating two socks. This while I'm in the middle of having 17 children at my house for one of the three Christmas par-tays....and, let me mention that The Husband was 4-wheeling during the festivities and doggie excretions). I give you the highlight reel (minus The Dog's contribution):

I have more to share about the weekend; however, I can barely put two words together to form a thought right now so I'm going to bed!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Super Mommy or Idiot?

You be the judge.

I'm still here, peeps! I have approximately 1 minute, 37 seconds that I can devote to a post or I will never get my projects finished tonight.

Today was my day off from work and I shopped and took GAS to get her hair done. First thing this morning I trayed up snacks for the teachers at school for our Moms In Touch group because "don't worry ladies, I'm off work on Thursday so I can do it".

Except that #1 missed her bus. Yup. Not the best of days for that to happen, but her bus driver usually has a 10-minute window and apparently, she didn't hit her snooze button this morning.

No problem, with visions of cheddar and ring bologna dancing through my head, we dashed away, dashed away....ok, I'll stop that. To avenge the fact #1 missed the bus, I then felt it was necessary to verbally express all the things I needed to do today, this weekend, and basically until Christmas morning. #1's eyes rolled back in her head a few times, but at the end she simply said, "it's okay because you are Super Mommy".


awwww....my heart went pitter-pat. Super Mommy, huh? I like that.

My co-workers? No, they think I'm completely OUT OF MY MIND. But, I think they're just jealous. They wish they had an entire class of 3rd graders coming to their house to decorate several hundred cookies on Sunday, after being gone all weekend at retreats, and parties. Then, when the third graders go home they can make soup for the middle school Teacher Appreciation Lunch for delivery the next morning before work. Soup, not soda or paper products. No, the non-Super Mommies (you know, the ones with their brains still intact) signed up to bring those items.

Yup. They're jealous alright.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Days 2 and 3 of Endurance (Advent)

Last night our Day 3 challenge was to cooperate together and find someone to pray for. Again, I explained some things can be hard or feel strange, but God encourages us that many times the right thing to do isn't always an easy choice! The girls all decided on a lady that #2 had pictured on the way over. This was one of the first times they actually initiated it on their own without me along to do the talking. They were nervous and basically #1 did most of the talking and praying. But, they did it together and I was proud of them. It wasn't like goosebumps on the back of the neck or anything, but it was obedience to the Lord (I gave them the choice to do it, I didn't want them to feel pressure from me). Here they are at Giant talking and praying with her (and, yes there is actually a woman there and they are not talking to the trashcan!):

Tonight was Day 4 of our Advent adventure and they got to take their craft items they bought on Day 2 and turn them into a banner that we'll keep as a reminder of God helping us to "endure". It is really cool, but their real names are on it so I didn't want to post a picture close up. We talked about the scripture from Romans about challenges and difficulties making us stronger. Then, I read them a story about a chick breaking out of its shell and how hard it looks. But, if someone else breaks that shell open for it, that chick will end up being weak. I sort of let my girls know that there are times I am choosing not to "break open their shell" for them! Yet, I'm close by and praying for them to get through those tough times.

I wonder if that Mama Chicken ever wants to take control and just go over and start pecking to help those babies like I want to help mine sometimes! My children aren't the only ones being ministered to during this Advent season....their "Mama Chicken" is learning to endure, as well!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Endurance (Advent)

As most of you know, I like to celebrate Advent with a little creative lesson and devotion each night. We have done several themes in earlier years such as The Names of Jesus and praying/crafting for each extended family member. This year I decided to try something different since they are getting older.

My girls all really enjoy watching Endurance on Discovery Kids. It is a "Survivor" type of reality show and they are all really into it. I had been praying and asking the Lord to give me an idea for Advent and while a few came to mind, nothing really seemed to stick out. Then, I felt like He dropped a wonderful idea in my brain...take their favorite TV show and turn it into an Advent study on the fruits of the spirit, particularly "endurance".

The first night, I typed up James 1:2-4 (Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing). We then talked about how easy it is to have faith when everything is going well in life. But, it is so much harder to have faith and trust God when bad things happen. That is where endurance comes in. We then did our first Endurance Challenge. Each one randomly got to choose 2 jars/cans. I explained they had to hold the items they chose over their heads while standing up as long as they could. They laughed and said how easy that would be.

They stopped laughing about 3 minutes later. They started sweating about 7 minutes later. They hung on and and at the 10-minute mark I told them they could be done (I started picturing them with muscles so sore they couldn't get out of bed in the morning!). I was so proud that they hung on, even though it was obvious they were very uncomfortable. We, then prayed and asked God to help us in our own personal areas where we felt we lacked endurance. We ended by making ice cream sundaes as their "prize".

Tonight, their challenge was "teamwork" and they didn't do so good. Therefore, there was no reward. I gave them $5 and told them to go through Michael's and buy the materials they would need to create a banner with all 3 of their "team" colors (red, green and silver). Things got a little ugly, as I pointed out that each one of them are good leaders, but they must learn when to give in and cooperate. There were some tears, but by the time we got home, they had all apologized. We re-read our scripture and asked God to help us learn from the mistakes that were made tonight. It wasn't really what I had planned to happen, but the lesson was powerful and I didn't have to yell at them.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is really guiding us! Tonight was a lesson in endurance that I'm hoping will really impact how they treat one another in the future. It wasn't really "fun", but it was meaningful. I told them that some of the most important things we learn in life will not be "fun" and/or "entertaining". Like algebra. And, learning from the mistakes we make.

Next up...Joseph. Now, there's a guy who endured......

Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway!

Check this out if you are interested in some great ideas for gift giving...it's even better then Etsy (I promise). I'm personally hoping to win a pair of Joe's Jeans so I can be as cool and look as hott as Natalie does in her expensive jeans!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Like That...Reindeer With an Edge!

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hersheypark Happiness!

I posted a story over at Created and Called about our wonderful Thanksgiving Eve experience at Christmas Candylane Click here to head over and check it out with pictures! Here are some extra pics:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Faith is not passive

The holidays can be very hard. For me, it's memories of my Pop re-surfacing while I'm listening to Christmas music. Before I know it, my eyes are welling up as I can almost hear him singing along. It's been over six years since he went home to be with Jesus. I miss him so much.

I stopped trying to fix everything and manipulate things for my kids a long time ago. Suffering and grief are part of being human and living on this earth. I believe that at an early age our kids need to know that God can and wants to bring us comfort in our trials. There is eternal purpose to our lives. If we don't reach out to touch the hem of His garment (Matthew 9:20) we'll never have that personal encounter with Christ that is LIFE CHANGING. But, if you know the story you know that the woman who touched Jesus was in need of a healing for a loooong time. SHE went after Him. She put her faith into action despite her suffering. He healed her.

It's that comfort and those "touches" from Him that allow the suffering to build us, rather then destroy us. I think of all the loved ones that are missed during this time of year. For some, the loss has been recent and this will be the first holiday season without that very special person. But, I know this. If we reach out in faith and pursue Him with all of our heart, He'll turn our mourning into dancing. And, He'll heal us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Little Pre-Christmas Miracle

#3 went to school today....with no tears, no throwing up, no begging to stay home.

And, she even ate a Pop-tart for breakfast.

There was one small episode over the weekend where she admitted feeling bad, but other than that she said she likes school and she is "going to just get through it". She then went on to explain that everyone in first grade misses their mommies, so she'll just get used to it. I reassured her that I miss her, too, and that only makes our time together even more special.

I'm so proud of her and so thankful to God that I could cry, laugh and burst into song at any moment.

Breakthrough is a beautiful thing.....

A "Phony" Princess and the Dust Bunny

After an 8-hour day and a marathon week of practices, #1 and #3 finished The Princess and the Pea. By the end of the 2nd show, #3 looked as though she was falling asleep on stage as the director made her announcements (she had been to her bff's birthday sleepover the night before)! She is such a cutie I just wanted to squeeze her! She couldn't wait to get out of her costume though, because it gave her a "wedgie".

#1 did a great job playing the part of a phony princess with a sinus problem! She did such a great job that The Husband thought she had a real runny nose and could not believe she was up on stage wiping her sleeve and hand across her nose in front of everyone! He finally figured it out after she "sneezed" and wiped her hand very obviously on her dress!

She looks more like a crazy gypsy in this picture, but I thought it was a nice close up to capture the stage make-up!

#2 handled her disappointment very well and even wanted to go to both shows. She was a very supportive and proud sister!

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is an "Easy Button"

Well, not really.

I would; however, like my first grader to not cry every morning before school begging me to home school her because I am "breaking her life". It is really pitiful and I'm realizing as the days go by that "on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand" really means something to me.

An emotional roller coaster doesn't describe #3's emotional state because that would require "ups". Her days range from quiet to grumpy with a good dose of sick to the stomach and weeping and gnashing of teeth thrown in. Even when she smiles, she seems so unsure of herself.

However, I am going to type this in faith that God HAS A PLAN FOR HER. And, in the suffering we are made stronger. So, that takes me back to the "solid rock". If I did not have an eternal perspective of life I would have surely had a nervous breakdown by now. Wouldn't a lot of us?

I must tell you that the meeting at school was very peaceful and supportive. There was no finger pointing and I sensed a genuine desire to work together as family and school to make #3 her happy-go-lucky self again. They assured me they thought the root of this problem is her missing me throughout her day. I know that it is a big part of it and everyone in the room assured me it was totally normal for first grade. We discussed some new ideas and incentives and I left feeling relieved that it went so well. The only downer being that when I came home from the meeting to drive her to school she ended up being late from throwing up and crying. It sort of put a damper on the little bit of encouragement I had gotten from the session.

But, I assured #3, the oH mY wORD fAMILY are not quitters. We will persevere and stay on track. God will open doors and He will close doors (such is the case at the Christian school we were pursuing....sadly, no room at the inn). There is a lesson in it all. Compassion wells up inside me along with a huge desire to impart a foundation to my children so that when these storms hit in life they are not left unprepared and helpless.

Yes, I dream about the "easy button". Just to wake up one morning and not spiritually and emotionally fight such a difficult battle. I'm ready for "normal". However, greater then the desire to just have life going smoothly is a desire to raise Godly women who don't back down to the enemy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Divas, Drama Queens and Dissapointment

Our family is into theater. Just a teeny, tiny bit.

Just kidding! We're REALLY into theater...acting, directing, watching (except The Husband, he only likes the acting part). So, I was so excited when I found out the Missoula Children's Theater was coming to a venue near us to audition for The Princess and the Pea. #3 even wanted to try out and I thought that would provide a lovely distraction from the school trauma.

Sadly, #2 had a wonderful audition, but did not get cast. #1 has a duel role which she is enjoying immensely. Did I say immensely? Is there a word stronger then "immensely"? You get the idea. And, #3 was the youngest member cast in the show as a "dust bunny". There are other familiar faces we recognized from the last show 2 years ago, as well as several church friends.

This theater company is like Extreme Makeover / Theater Edition. They audition on Monday and put on two shows by Saturday. Needless to say, #1 comes home from school, does some homework, eats something and packs a snack for later and then heads out to practice from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm each night this week. Our little dust bunny practices from 4:30-6:30 each night. So....it's been a very busy week for us and an emotional roller coaster as I am happy for 2 kids and sad for the other one. It is really hard being the only sister left out of the production. There were so many kids #2's age that were trying out and I was really surprised she did not get a part. I've told her there will be other plays and times for her to shine! And, I'm proud of her. She is really trying to be happy for her sisters, yet, she still tears up at times when they talk about it. Thank goodness it is not a long, drawn out process for the next few months. This time next week it will all be over!

It is funny to hear #1 running lines again. She has been given full reign to develop her character and she'll ask my opinion, which is nice. She is doing a great job and is very funny!

Speaking of drama, tomorrow morning is my meeting with the principal, teacher and counselor at #3's school....why do I suddenly feel like Daniel being thrown into the lions den?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome to the Quiet Before the Storm Hits

That line from a Toby Mac song keeps running through my head this morning.....

#3 is home from school today. She is miserable.

I requested an appointment with the school principle who in turn wants to have #3's teacher and the guidance counselor sit in on the meeting (Thursday). Hence....the quiet before the storm. I told The Husband he has to come with me so we can provide a united front against what I know will be a defensive teacher and protective principle. What I am hoping to tell them is that #3 will not be returning back to school after Thanksgiving because she will be attending a small Christian school whose teachers do not intimidate their students. ok....maybe I won't word it quite like that.

Or, maybe I will.

I'm waiting to hear back from the Christian school to see if they have room for her, as well as allow her to sit in on a class this week. She is praying that they have room for her. I am praying that we can afford it if they do! And, I am trying not to be bitter because of the downhill direction this year has gone. Sometimes it is hard to have such high expectations because you're bound to be let down. But, last year and #2's current year have been going so well, I just came to expect the best from the school...despite my own clashes on a PTO-level with some of the adults!

So, I'm anticipating my trip to the principle's office about as much as being sued and heading into the courtroom to try and defend my child. I am praying that I keep calm and look at this situation through the eyes of God. My goal is not to tear down and point fingers. I just hope the feeling is mutual.

I am called to be a light....I need to remember that. Now, I have to combine that thought along with the instincts of a mother bear protecting her cub and hope the result is effective!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Got Candy?

One of the most creative people I've ever met on the entire planet is giving away some card making / scrap booking "candy" here to celebrate her 10,000th hit. Click here to check it out and enter yourself in the drawing.

She is amazing and I could spend hours just looking at her blog with paper craft envy!

I've Come to the Conclusion...

After everything that #3 has been through, I'm convinced she is going to find a cure for cancer or evangelize a nation or something that is going to affect like 1.7 million people. It has been so difficult to watch her be tormented over the last several months. The scripture about our battles not being against "flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities" is being played out in my very home on a daily basis.

So, I think to myself, why is the devil trying so hard to shut her down? Because he's scared.

That just makes me pray harder and believe God for the testimony at the end of this ordeal. We have our good days and our bad days and our horrific days. I've had people ask me why I haven't pulled her out of school. I can only say to them that God isn't telling us to do that and that despite the anguish there is peace in my heart to stay on this path. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! She still throws up every day, but the school has agreed to let her skip the dreaded lap if she comes out to recess late. She actually woke up this morning and cheered because it was raining so she knew there would be no outside recess.

Sad, huh?

It could be if I stopped there. BUT, God is not finished with this story. He will have the final say and as a result, His kingdom will be glorified. She is not a pawn in some game that God is playing. He loves her more then I ever could (which I can't even begin to conceive). He is good and He is perfect and so are His plans for all of His children.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Temporary Set Back

Despite it being #3's birthday (I will post pictures and details later) she spent the entire weekend fretting about school. Something upset the delicate balance we've had over the last month after those horrific weeks of her having anxiety attacks.

Apparently, she and her group of 3 other girls did not finish a "center" at school and the teacher wanted to spend time with them and she didn't get a chance. So, they stayed in the next day for about 5 minutes of recess and #3 finished first to go do the dreaded lap required before recess can officially begin. by. herself. I went to pick her up from school that day only to discover that she was in the bathroom throwing up. She then burst into tears and began to tell me the story and I seriously thought she was going to hyperventilate. She begged and pleaded with me to home school her. Then, she threw up three more times that night and the next morning. I reassured her that day was parent-teacher conferences and that I would talk to her teacher about it and we would find a solution.

Needless to say, I could not get through to her teacher. She said that #3 acts totally normal during her school day. Her theory is that she acts this way to get my attention.


I calmly (through somewhat gritted teeth) told her my daughter does not have to VOMIT to get my attention...she gets PLENTY of attention. I explained that this is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by the stupid lap at recess that causes her to be afraid the boys playing kickball are going to yell mean things to her. I think I finally got through to her when I explained that #3 talks about not finishing her centers constantly and she had a theory that perhaps since she wore a skort to school that day instead of long pants that was why she had a bad day and missed me a lot and threw up.

So, I left a message for the school counselor today that under no circumstances is she to do the STUPID LAP if she has to go out to recess late. I offered to send a note in, get a note from our doctor and thank the Good Lord I know 2 of the recess aids very well (I'll be calling them tomorrow after I speak to the school counselor). Despite me telling her all this, #3 still is worried that something is going to go terribly wrong and she'll have to do the dreaded lap alone while the boys are playing kickball. I just keep praying and praying (and, so does she) and I actually am beginning to understand how helpless it feels to watch your child suffer from a torment that is out of your control. But, thankfully, it is not out of God's control. I have to remember that He is the God of breakthroughs and I will keep pressing in for this precious child and hope that she knows that sometimes doing the right thing isn't always the easy thing....but, she is always safe in the palm of His Mighty Hand.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Candy Bar Election

Sorry to those of you who already read this over at Created and Called. This is just one of those slightly bothersome things about blogging in 2 or more places! You can read about how #2's third grade class learned about the election process...peacefully. Just click HERE and look for the Candy Bar Election title.

By the way, Reece's has a slight lead over Hershey Bar and Butterfinger is bringing up the rear as of now, but online voting is still available until tomorrow! Anything can happen!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ok. Now, I'm Really Not Bitter.

It is time to move forward as a country. I am disappointed, yet, in the big picture of life I never really put my faith in a man or woman. I serve a BIG GOD and I know that He remains victorious. My faith is in the promises I have been given by a gracious and loving God.

While I was worshiping in our youth service tonight, I was reminded of Nehemiah and the work of re-building the wall around Jerusalem. "Re-building" means something was built and was torn down. It is time for a us to "re-build" the parts of society that have been torn down for decades...families need to stay together, people need to be healed of diseases and depression, and there is a world out there trying to satisfy itself with a lust for money, power and sex. We can only help to transform our society by asking Jesus to gives us the strength and the power to love unconditionally and obey Him without hesitation. And, just as God promised in Nehemiah's day, He will provide protection from the enemy and He will give us strength when we grow weary. We have nothing to fear! And, by the way, Obama is not the enemy I speak of.

Now seems to be as good a time as any to start re-building the walls with kind, compassionate words and actions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Not Bitter. Really.

My TV satellite isn't getting a signal. It has to be the Republican party's fault. And, gosh darn it....it's President Bush's fault that I can't seem to have kept off those extra 20 pounds over the last 8 years. And, who exactly is going to pay off my credit card debt? You don't expect ME to pay for all that by myself, do you? And, excuse me, but the SKY IS FALLING AND I'M WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO RESCUE ME FROM MYSELF......

Congratulations President-Elect Obama. Now, we get to see what you're really made of.

They Get an "A+" as Far I'm Concerned!

I just have to say that my kids have learned so much about politics, campaigns, Republicans, Democrats, elections and our government. We have had intelligent conversations and I am so proud of them for the interest they have taken. I am constantly hearing #3 asking her friends "Who are you cheering for...McCain or Obama?". I've had to explain that even though we don't agree with a certain person's policy we must still respect him as a person. Unfortunately, many adults need to be told that, as well.

We talked about money influencing a campaign and celebrity endorsements. And most of all, we have prayed. I explained to the girls that people will choose the leader that they want to represent them; however, God can still work in individual people's lives so that rather then rely on a government or a person, they rely on Him for their needs. And, we are representatives of Christ whether our candidate wins or not. We will do our part to pray for the new leaders. Whoever they end up to be.

I am so proud of my girls and can't help but wonder if I am raising any future politicians!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Be Careful What You Pray For!

One of the things #3 struggled with this year at school was a particular little boy in her class who was quite bossy and harsh. We would pray for him each night before bed. #3 would ask God to help him be nice.

Well....he's so nice that he told another little boy today to get off of his "girlfriend's" desk! I observed him making goo-goo eyes at her during craft time on Friday, but didn't think much of it. I was just thankful she didn't come home upset over his behavior and assumed all was well!

At least she really likes going to school again! She assured me that "we are just friends, but I am almost seven, Mom."!

oh my word.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Faith that Finds Cell Phones

The other night I let #1 go trick or treating with a girl on her soccer team and her family. At the beginning of soccer season I was not very fond of this young lady. She cursed and was bossy and actually punched #1 in the arm very rudely when #1 tried to stick up for someone she was bad mouthing. Strangely enough, over the last few weeks they have struck up a friendship. So, I figured it might not hurt for them to hang out for a few hours. I warned #1 that she should be the influence and not the other way around.

After dropping her off for awhile, I called #1 to tell her that I was going to pick her up and take her and her sisters over to our old neighborhood to visit friends during trick-or-treat, but she did not answer her phone. I must have called a dozen times in a 10-minute period and she didn't answer. I started to get those I'm-a-mother-and-I'm-praying-my-daughter-isn't-injured-or-in-trouble feelings and The Husband called to tell me that #1 lost her cell phone. To be accurate, her friend lost #1's phone. Her friend kept asking to play with her phone and then stuck it in her pocket (despite #1 asking for it back). At some point while they were walking around it fell out. In the dark. In neighborhoods filled with fallen leaves.

Let me break here to tell you that despite it being a needle in a haystack and the fact that someone could have stolen it or a car run over it, I knew that we would find the phone. Because in the backseat of my car were two little sisters praying their hearts out, almost tearfully, for the Lord to lead us to the phone and it would not be broken.

We searched and searched (#1 in tears) and we couldn't find it. Her friend felt bad, but told #1 to quit crying about it and made a few snide comments that weren't very comforting or encouraging to #1 (I wasn't there when she said anything or this post could have a whole different ending to it). I even went back the next morning before work to search for it, amazed at how many leaves actually grow and fall off the trees in this area. No phone. But, I just knew that God was going to answer all of our prayers and He would get the glory.

Sure enough, that evening, her friend called to say someone her parents knew and were talking to that night found the phone. It works fine and #1 (sort of shyly) told her friend that we prayed about it. The next day at soccer, her mom talked to me and shared a lot of personal things about their life that I never would have known. Later at church, I realized that God was setting up a divine connection with this family and I wanted to get to know them better. So, today, who do you think I ran into at the grocery store? Yes, the mom! I talked to her about coming over for dinner and she felt the need to warn me that their 9-year old son is autistic and been having a few "bad" weeks lately. I assured her that we still wanted them to come and we tentatively compared schedules.

There was some potential for me to just write this girl off, along with her family many months ago. But, I really tried to seek after the Lord on this and I believe He wants us to do more then just talk about loving people who are hard to love. He wants us to put that kind of love into action. It may not look the way I think it will, but I'm looking forward to where this all leads!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Okay...technically this won't be "wordless" because I must explain why going to the McCain / Palin rally was extra entertaining.

When Sarah Marince was warming up the crowd today, she sang "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" and #3 leaned over and asked me why she "felt like a walnut"!

Next, the same Sarah said John McCain is a good man and sang a song about finding a good man. In the middle of the song she yelled out to the crowd, "What ladies out there are looking for a good man?" and #3 shot her hand up in the air, much to the embarrassment of her sisters.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

It's My Blog and I'll Write What I Want To

I've been hesitant to dedicate an entire post to the election; however, I just can't and won't contain myself anymore.

If any of you are undecided or have decided to vote for Obama, but have some reservations please consider a few things:

1. The world will not be a safer place if Obama is president. People have got to know this deep down inside!! There are dangerous people in other countries that require a firm hand and not a bunch of rhetoric.

2. Unborn, partially born and aborted babies who live through the abortion procedure will be murdered. And, teenage girls who are not even allowed to take an aspirin in school without their parent's permission will be allowed to get an abortion without a parent's consent.

3. Obama has relationships with organizations and individuals that are dangerous. See point #1.

4. Obama lies. He said he would not fund his campaign privately and he did it anyway.

While I am not trying to gloss over the problems in our country I just cannot go along with the fact that we are not in as desperate of times as people say we are. We are a blessed country. A bigger government is not going to fix our economy. Personal responsibility and people being rewarded for hard, honest work is what is going to solve this problem. Cut up the credit cards and learn to save again, America. But, too many people are going after a candidate who promises a "quick fix" and they are ignoring the obvious. Barack Obama is not qualified to run our country. I strongly encourage you to look past the smoke and mirrors and research his true agendas.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

He is an Ever Present Help in Time of Need

Sometimes the most difficult storms we face come with no warning or no real tragedy attached to them. I have been trying to kick a habit or two lately and the more I try, the worse it seems to be going.

I believe my root problem deals with a lack of self-control. The 2 places I feel stuck right now involve yelling at my kids and my weight. And, I keep blowing it. Day after day.

I have issues with yelling to make things happen at our house. I hate it. I always feel bad immediately after. I have no problem asking my family to forgive me, but then I dwell on it (instant replay over and over). I ask God to forgive me and I know He does. His mercies are new everyday. Why do I continue to dwell on it? Because I've come to the conclusion I am struggling to believe that I can actually do it. And, God told me I can't do it. On my own.

I have got to daily give it over (did I say daily? I meant hourly) to Christ. I need to recognize the signs of frustration before it comes gushing out and I feel my vocal chords straining. I need to let true forgiveness sink down deep inside my heart, so I can let my mistakes go and thank the Lord He came to make ALL things new. He said that He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. I really can't begin to comprehend that.

As far as the weight issue, I've struggled for about 14 years with losing weight and keeping it off. I feel as if I've pretty much given up. The only reason I even try anymore is when my clothes start to get too tight I lose a few pounds simply because I can't afford to buy anything new. I can't stand having my picture taken unless someone is blocking me from the neck down. I want to be healthy and set a good example for my kids, so this has really been difficult and I have reached a crossroad. I'm either going to say forget it or I'm going to press in and really do something about it. Again, I feel guilty that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit and I can barely zip my jeans.

I am not sharing this as a pity party, I am merely sharing this to tell you that it is during these valleys that we go through that God can really work on us because we are yielded to Him. I've reached a point in these areas where I am 100% certain I cannot change on my own. I need a Savior. A loving Counselor who can lead me down the right paths. And, even though it is an end result I'm seeking, I know He'll teach me something wonderful in the journey. Just like He's done before.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thank You, Jesus

My alarm usually goes off at 6:10 am, but for some reason this morning it went off at 4:10 am. As soon as I heard it I felt like I should pray for The Husband to be safe and protected since he had already left for work. I reset the alarm and fell back to sleep. At 6:25 am The Husband called to say "Hi" and I mentioned that I had prayed for him. He told me at 4:10 as he was driving down the road to work he thought to himself a deer is going to run out in the road. He no sooner thought that when a large buck walked out in front of his SUV. The Husband locked up his breaks and skidded to a stop, barely missing it. He said the deer never ran away, it just kept walking.

God has been teaching me lately to pray without ceasing. The normal nagging "self talk" has been replaced with a grateful heart, that more often than not, is asking Him for direction or meditating on scripture. It has caused me to have more peace consistently and a much better outlook on life! And, I think it is normal to "talk" to God throughout our days (and, nights). I'm so glad He woke me this morning to intercede for my husband (and the deer!).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It Was a Family Affair

We decided to tackle a half bushel of apples. #1 made her first apple dumpling, and we made a lot of apple sauce. It was fun; however, they all abandoned me to clean up the kitchen all by myself!! And, The Husband strategically placed himself at the look-through window to watch the football game while he peeled!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Walk Down Memory Lane with Me

My life has been so packed that when I sit down to the computer I can barely put a sentence together and forget about good grammar and spelling! So, I've searched my archives and put together a little highlight reel, especially for some of my newer visitors (all 2.7 of you).

I'm convinced that she'd eat me to get me out of the way: The Other Woman

Some of you may recall my disdain for all things "Etsy", so I wrote this post for Natalie: Coming Soon to Etsy

This is just one of the many examples of how #3 cracks (get it? cracks?) me up on a daily basis: There is More Than One Way to Scramble an Egg!

And, I couldn't leave out every one's favorite horrifying little story that they can all relate to: A Little Poop Story of My Own

Monday, October 13, 2008

Restroom Ministry

There is a new craze hitting....it's the flush and prayer ministry!

Okay...let me explain. Pastor "PSU" at our church has shared his testimony recently of feeling like he was supposed to pray for a man that he ran into a second time in a mall restroom. It was a great story of our pastor being obedient to God and taking a risk. Had he not so recently shared this (I heard the story twice in fact) I may not have done what I did tonight. In the restroom.

Tonight we had a dinner scheduled as a fundraiser for our PTO at Hoss's where they donate 20% of the sales from our group to our PTO. We weren't going to go, but I figured since I'm co-president and it was my idea, we better make a trip over. After gorging myself, #3 had to go to use the restroom so she and I went together. I could tell from the sounds inside her stall we were going to be awhile (she will most definitely hurt me one day when she's older for telling that part of the story!). While I was leaning on the wall outside her stall I noticed a lady with a cane at the sink. Just as I started to come out of my semi-comatose state I realized I was supposed to pray for her. But, then she disappeared into a stall. I figured #3 had to be coming out soon....c'mon #3......what in the world is taking so long.....can I get you a newspaper? Magazine?....so, I started to pray like crazy for the lady to come out so I could talk to her. Then, I got nervous because #1 - we were in a bathroom....awk-ward. #2 - I just ate onion rings and #3 - well, #3 could come flying outta her stall in the middle of it all and distract me to the point of babbling.

I just knew I was going to pray for her no matter what. No use being nervous and well, I hope she would be forgiving about the whole onion ring breath-thing. She came out before #3 (shocking) and as she finished washing her hands (I did allow her to keep things sanitary...you know...in the BATHROOM). I asked her if I could pray for her and she looked at me like I asked her something in Russian. So, I repeated myself, but added that I like to pray for people and the question "why do you need your cane?". She told me she had fallen and broken her leg in 3 places and crushed her pelvis. I asked her what her name was and I told her mine. I asked her if it would be alright for me to pray for her because I had the feeling she was in a lot of pain. She agreed that she was and so I knelt down and touched her leg (did, I mention we were in a bathroom?) and prayed for the pain to be gone and for Jesus to heal the broken, crushed places and for Him to give her peace and comfort. What took place when I stood back up and looked at her in the eyes was almost as astounding as any physical healing could ever be. I started to wonder if maybe her pelvis and leg weren't the only things crushed and broken inside of her. She had tears in her eyes and told me that was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for her and I was going to make her cry. Her entire countenance had changed and she smiled for the first time. I hugged her (in the bathroom , remember) and just as we walked to the door more people started to come in. I silently thanked God for those few minutes alone with her to be able to minister the love and healing power of Jesus Christ. I told her that I would remember to keep her in my prayers. She walked out of the restaurant in what seemed to be like a daze and I noticed she wasn't limping as badly. Meanwhile, #3 had already made her escape during the talking part and was at our table when I returned.

It was another reminder of a world hungry for Christians who really care and aren't just going to preach at them. Thank you, Pastor PSU, for starting a chain reaction!

Living the Dream

No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth!

I have been relishing the last 4 days off from school and work with my precious family! We've played in 4 soccer games, cheered a football game, hung out with friends, eaten several dinners outside by the fire, and a drum roll please..........

#3 rode her bike without training wheels for the first time on Friday!

Another milestone reached for the last (sniff) time by my youngest child. She took to it like a duck to water and in no less then 2 tries and 90 seconds she took off riding with no help whatsoever. I am not exaggerating! She's been riding since then every chance she gets (which has been quite often with this gorgeous weather we've been enjoying).

I'm finding that my window for blogging is open much less frequently due to working, laundry, cleaning, and quality family and God time. Even as I type this, I cleaned our play room and went through old clothes, but must still finish off the job with a good vacuum and "de-cat hairing" of the couch. However, we had to take a 2 hour break for lunch at the park with our neighbors and get some more bike riding in. Glorious, I tell you.

My co-workers tease me that "I'm living the dream" and they're right! Despite the mundaneness of c0oking, cleaning and laundry I love my life and I feel so blessed to share it with my wonderful family and friends!

Monday, October 6, 2008

And, Everybody Said "Amen"

I am happy, in fact, overwhelmed to report that #3 went to school this morning for the first time in 2 weeks without:

1. Crying

2. Throwing Up

3. Chest pains

In fact, she exhibited no signs of anxiety this morning and ate breakfast for the first time since this ordeal began. My girl is back and few things make my heart go pitter pat like watching her cheerfully walk into school these days. It is strange how much I used to take that for granted at drop off. Now, I'm praising God with a thankful heart as I pull away from the curb each morning!

Tomorrow she wants to ride the bus. I'm not wanting to "rock the boat" so we'll just have to see about that one! I'd like to get a few more days past all the trauma before we do anything that could set her back again.

I really believe her healing was a result of many prayers and I appreciate all of you who lifted her up! Now that the worst is behind us I am trying not to linger on the awful memories and guilt I was desperately suppressing each day when I sent her sobbing and sick into school. Again, I just keep praying that what was meant to destroy will be a tactical error on the enemy's part and now #3 will be an instrument of peace in God's kingdom. I'm not going to look back at the pain, but instead look ahead towards the prize.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Paging #2 and #3. Stat.

We visited GAS (who is recouperating from a hip replacement) today at her new temporary rehab center (nursing home) and it was a typical adventure oH- mY-wORD-fAMILY-style! As I unpacked GAS's clothing and personal items, #2 and #3 found the gloves in the bathroom and were filling them with water. Then, we were teaching GAS (who is deaf in one ear) how to use her new prepaid cell phone. Her roommate laughed like we were the funniest thing she has seen in a long while! After about 20 minutes of being the loudest room in the entire complex, I decided we'd better scoot out of there before we got ourselves thrown out! We did pray for her and her rommie so when we left it was peaceful!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just Sitting Here Watching the Debate

I kinda feel bad for Sarah Palin and the negative press she has been getting. She really is great. She seems more real to me then any politician I've ever seen. She's just so unknown. Joe Biden put a lump in my throat when he spoke of knowing what it feels like to raise a child on his own, referring to his wife and daughter being killed and him raising their 2 sons. That wasn't staged...he was being genuine.

I actually think this debate is going well for both sides.

I continue to be amazed that Barack Obama remains so popular. I recall reading a Newsweek article about him a few years ago. The article basically said that while he is a great speaker, charismatic person, he is just too extreme left for mainstream America. Newsweek basically wrote him off as a serious candidate in 2008.

So, here we sit a month away from the elections. Our economy is in shambles and everyone wants to blame someone else. It is not much of a surprise given our consumer mentality. It really would be amazing to get government leadership and policy in there where "less is more". Is it really possible to reform and overhaul this broken system? Or, have we gone too far to try to reign it all in now? And, on a whole different level, is God starting to remove His hand from our country because of how far we continue to fall away from Him as a nation?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I got tagged by Jenne over at Love Like a Hurricane!

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.


My 7 Things:

1. I know all the words to all the songs on The High School Musical 2 CD.

2. I am just as excited as my kids are to see High School Musical 3. In theaters on October 24th. I'm buying our tickets for the premiere this week.

3. I only like McDonald's french fries BURNING hot and dipped in honey.

4. I like (virgin) pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

5. I can't stand to hold chalk in my hands. It feels so awful I get weak in the knees.

6. I like the idea of a clean colon. I'm usually researching and/or doing some kind of "cleanse"; although, now that I'm working I am laying pretty low with that. No need to earn any embarrassing nicknames so early on....

7. I really like control top anything.

Tag! You're it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some More Random Randomness in My Life

For all of you awesome prayer warriors: I want to update you on #3. She spent the weekend (especially Saturday) having an upset stomach and crying about going to school on Monday. She even closed her eyes when we drove past the school to pick up a friend on Sunday. I would have laughed if I thought she was just being over dramatic, but we've endured one of the roughest weeks I can remember. This morning she threw up twice before school, would not eat or drink any breakfast and cried off and on with one particularly bad episode as I put on her shoes. I stayed calm and just prayed Scripture over her and she finally walked tearfully into school. I was bound and determined at that point that what the enemy (devil) is trying to destroy her with, God will use to add people to His Kingdom one day. I don't know how other then #3 is learning to be one tough cookie and we're teaching her to rely on Jesus for her strength. And, she talks to God throughout her day and says that He helps her. As for the rest of today, she skipped her snack at school and ate a cookie and 2 bites of sandwich from her lunch. She ate the rest of her lunch on the car ride home from school and has been fine since then. Very few tears and no upset tummy at bedtime. Hallelujah! That's progress!

Work is going well with me. I am enjoying it and apparently the last few people who held my position are making me look really good. I am told every day how happy they are to see that I keep coming back to work (the last person left after the first day) and today I found a homemade sign on my cubicle with my name on it and underneath Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire. I was feeling the love. But really, this is very much a mission field. It's called "Religion" and it is just as deceiving as every other false god out there. Enough on that for now. I do really like the people I work with and I am thrilled at where God is leading me!

GAS is recuperating well from her hip replacement. She is supposed to be in rehab for about 3-4 weeks so she isn't left unattended, but some doctor went in today and told her she could come home on Friday if she continues to do well. I burst her bubble and said NO WAY. I don't want her to fall and need help and I'm not here. I know that sounds mean, but she is as stubborn as little old German ladies come and I don't want to come home one afternoon to a disaster. My trauma limit has been surpassed by #3's ordeal. Nope. She's staying at rehab where I know she'll get all the attention she needs and she can flirt with the single, cute male therapists.

After a weekend of watching soccer and football in the rain (poor #2 had to actually play soccer and cheer with no umbrella or rain gear!) my van smells like wet possum. I had to take everything out that got even a little damp and the chairs need a hefty dose of Fabreeze. I was hoping I didn't walk into work this morning smelling like my stinky van.

I will continue to ask you to pray for #3....I am so appreciative. I know not everyone who reads my blog understands the "Christianese" I use, but it is a battle. A spiritual battle and the Bible says it is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. I believe we ticked off some of those powers and principalities (namely witchcraft in this area) and this anxiety in her (and even me) is an attempt to make us back down from going after everything God has called us to in this school and community. Well, I am reminded that the devil is not the opposite of God. He is a fallen angel who will be cast into the fiery lake for eternity by a nameless angel.

Who holds the power? That would be my God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

This trial we're in continues to reaffirm that we will not stop going after the plans and purposes of God. We will see a victory. I believe it whole heartily!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It Doesn't Matter Whether You Win or Lose, It's Whether You Get Ice Cream Afterwards That Matters

Celebrating our first "non loss" (we tied 3 to 3) with some of the cuties from the U-7 soccer team I coach. #3 scored 2 of the 3 goals on defense (she's got a good strong kick!).

You better believe I was one proud mama!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Down But Not Out

It has been a rough week here in the oH mY wORD house.

I'm emotionally drained. #3 has been so physically sick from the stress in her life I've actually considered medication.

And, I yelled at God.

I'm not sure I've ever yelled at God before.

What started as stress during school about the bullying has manifested into something so extreme I cried with her this morning. The boys have stopped the teasing, but she misses me so badly she throws up every time she thinks about going to school. And, this morning it lasted an hour. Sobbing, chest pains and throwing up until she was dry heaving in the trash can.

That was when I burst into tears, rebuked the devil and yelled at Jesus...where are you???!!!

She made it through the school day without tears, but already cried and got sick tonight thinking about having to go to school on Monday. I'm dreading it. More than I can put into words.

But, I will keep praying and keep encouraging her. My plan each day is to have one-on-one time where I plan to hep her memorize some scripture. She said talking to God at school helps her to get through her day.

It is definitely causing some tension around here as this situation monopolizes my time, attention and energy. I skipped a Women's Ministry event because I couldn't bear to leave her for a second time today. I just want her to have her peace back and I've tried everything reasonable that I can think of. Part of me wishes I felt the release to home school her, but while that would be a great temporary fix, in the long run I think it would not be the BEST for her. She is very social and would be home alone all day....no little brothers or sisters to entertain her when school work is done. She would want to zone out in front of the TV or computer. And, I'm terribly afraid to give into this anxiety because it could just rear its ugly head again later down the road with some other issue in her life. No, I just have to stay on course and believe that God's mighty hand is on her and she'll come through this stronger. We're going to love her through it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still Praying,,,,

#3 had another rough day yesterday not feeling well from anxiety. Her teacher called me and told me the most pitiful story about her stomach hurting as they lined up for recess and how she cried and wanted her mommy. Then, The Husband stopped in at lunch and she alternated between feeling sick and crying with laughing with him and her friends. She did tell me when she got home that the day was "mostly good, but Mrs. G would not let me go to the nurse".

#3 does not understand that her worry is causing the physical symptoms. I tried to explain to her that when she is thinking about what is going to happen at recess and lunch, those are the times she feels sick. We are now walking the delicate balance of her understanding that if her teacher thinks she is sick with an illness she will be allowed to go to the nurse, but this is different. And, her teacher told her that since I was at work I can't come get her. I had to clarify that one, too! I explained that if she was sick or something happened that she really needed me that I would leave work right away to be at school for her.

I know the teacher was only trying to help, but I do not want any of my kids to think a job is more important than them! Thank you for your prayers and I will keep you posted! I'm planning to go in for lunch today, which I usually do on Thursdays anyway.

And, one more request....GAS is going in for a hip replacement tomorrow and will be at the hospital and rehab for the next month. She just turned 87 last week so I'm sure you understand the medical risks involved. We're not ready for her to go Home, yet! The girls seem a little worried about her surgery and I do not want to add to the anxiety level around here!

On a side note, after I posted about this situation the other night I was so worked up I was shaking. I got into bed and just kept thinking about it...all of a sudden the shaking stopped and I felt peaceful. I realized that someone must have been praying for us right then and there! It encouraged me that if I felt better, of course, He will make #3 feel better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Please Pray...

...for our sweet #3. She has had some boys teasing her and her friends at school and it is beginning to take a toll on her. Today, I was called by the school nurse to come get her because this is the third day in a week she has come in with chest pain. The other day it was accompanied with dilated pupils and today she was sick to her stomach when she had the pain.

After taking her to the doctor today (who is concerned about her blood pressure and possibly passing out) and making an appointment to see a pediatric cardiologist, #3 told me that she starts to have chest pain at recess and especially at lunch (where she had burst into tears yesterday after listening to her friends being teased). Of course, I notified the principle and teacher, and the school counselor has talked to her and her friends to give them solutions on how to handle teasing and bullying. I believe the boys have been dealt with; however, I was told basically that it is none of my business to inquire about the consequences and that the school follows the "code of conduct" outlined in the student handbook. Blah, blah, blah. Apparently after a bus incident with a fifth grade boy harassing her along with all this, apologies are not part of the "code of conduct". Of course, I'm furious. But, right now #3 needs prayer to overcome this. It is very scary to her and she seems unable to get through recess and lunch without anxiety. Just the idea of it happening again is making her upset even though I have assured her that she can tell them to knock it off and get help from an adult if the problems persist. She has asked me to stay home from school or not have to go to recess and lunch! I'm really not looking to blow this out of proportion, but I am crying out to God for her mental peace and health. If you think of it please pray for her sometime from 11am-11:30 am (recess) and lunch (12:15-12:45). My heart is breaking for her and knowing she is suffering with this anxiety is testing everything inside me not to pull her out of school and keep her home. I don't know what to do and I don't know how I can send her there with the possibility she could get so sick that she passes out. We need a breakthrough....thanks for praying with us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Created and Called

In the event you want to hear what else may be going on in that pretty little head of mine (LOL!)....I have been posting with several other moms from CCC over at Created and Called. Add this site to your blog roll. It's got a lot of great stories, tips, recipes and anything else that we randomly come up with....plus, there is sure to be some kind of good vomit or poop story from time to time!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Drum Roll Please.....

Our PTO Family Fun committee hosted an Ice cream Social tonight at school. Part of the festivities were to decorate a pumpkin at home and enter it in a contest.

It really was a group effort even though you only see The Husband with the glue gun (#3 had already burned herself with the glue gun at this point). We all really enjoyed working on it; although technically, #1's only contribution was an orphan sock for the hat. She sandpapered her new jeans while the rest of us crafted.

Our pumpkin snowman won "Most Original", complete with a real carrot nose and good dose of glitter spray as we headed out the door (the picture does not do it justice). His head accidentally broke off in the transportation faze; however, no one could tell as it sat on the table......until the lady who read the winners lifted it high in the air for all to see....and, shockingly, his head fell off.

And, there will be children having a hard time falling asleep tonight after witnessing that spectacle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

It is time to close up the pool for the year...sniff. Bye-bye summer!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, check out 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Thought You Might Like to Know....

...that I saw a sheep trot today. Whenever I usually drive by them they are standing still. Just like in the picture. Something got them moving and grooving today!

...that I have serious competitive soccer mom/coach streak in me that, at times, could seem scary to small children.

...that I missed the first MIA meeting today because even though I was off work, I had to copy 400 PTO newsletters before the AM kindergartners left for the day.

....that it looked like Old Country Buffet at my house tonight. It was Leftover Extravaganza. I heated about 6 different containers and threw it on the counter for a smorgasbord featuring beef stroganoff, hot dogs and sauerkraut, vegetable beef soup, glazed carrots, red skin potato salad, baked nachos with chili and cheese and rounding it out to make it oh. so. healthy. Raw carrots and dirty celery that #3 cut up and didn't wash off properly. Yes, indeed, we had variety.

....that The Husband is probably switching jobs. It's too long for one post. Let's just suffice it to say that it is only 8 miles, vs. 18 miles away, it pays better and he'll have off more weekends. Woo-hoo! I'm getting really good at parenting without health insurance. No trampoline or scooter riding until December, girls!

....that I had a dream about the Jonas Brothers. Bizarre. I tease my kids about it and here I am dreaming that I met them and we hung out. In case you're wondering though, I wasn't at all impressed with them in my dream.

....that I am addicted to facebook.

....that "stroganoff" does not come up on spell check.

I think that's it for now! Good night!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pressing In

Have you ever asked God to open your eyes and then He does and all of a sudden you're like ....


How did we drift so far away in this particular area?

That's what happened here last night as God totally moved in our house as we all worshiped Him together. TOGETHER.

As I watched #2 run to go get her worship flags I sadly realized it had been a very, very long time since our family turned on Rita Springer and poured ourselves out in worship to the One who loves us extravagantly. I couldn't help but feel the regret of many rushed nights of 2 minute devotions followed by dry, shallow prayers just to say we did it. That feels so Phariseeical (I just broke my Spellcheck function with that word). I mean...we thought our hearts were in it until I saw what true worship looked like last night.....

It was not rushed.

It was peaceful.

It was beautiful.

It was creative.

It was refreshing.

It was all for Him.

Afterwards I started to think of some of the things I had begun to compromise on in our walk as a family, certain TV shows, school activities that contradicted God's word, and even how I've viewed some of the kids giving my kids a rough time. Could this lack of worship as a family be contributing to any of those things? I began to press in and ask God for wisdom and an increase in compassion. I don't want to waste my time with Him on powerless prayers anymore....being in His presence just leaves me wanting more.

Got Silver?

My poor #2 had to miss cheering at last night's game because of a high fever, sore throat, headache and upset tummy. The poor thing laid on my couch moaning that she was dieing and begging me to help her. It was so sad! My aunt, who is a distributor for Nature's Sunshine, gave me a bottle of this and told me to put a teaspoon in a drink for her. I must admit I was skeptical (although, I use their products like vitamins and ALJ, which helps tremendously with #1's sinus problems). When it was time to get up for church, her fever was gone and she only had a bit of a sore throat. I slipped a little more in her breakfast juice and again at lunch. She was her normal self today dancing around and playing! Praise the Lord!

I decided after that I, too, would sign up to get these products for a discount! I got my own bottle of this for $21 instead of $32 and I plan on keeping it very close by! Of course, we prayed for her, too. So, whether God healed her supernaturally or through this bottle of silver doesn't really matter to me! It makes me so very sad to see my family suffer. I'm just so glad she is feeling better!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

You Know It's Been a Busy Week When....

....your kids have survived on school lunches, Pop Tarts and food that other people have cooked for them.

....you can't remember the last time you pooped.

....you rack up a $13 library fine because you have no time to return books.

....you consume coffee in dangerously high quantities to stay awake due to adding an hour long round trip work commute to your already packed chauffeur service for your kids.

....you come home to emails and voicemails in the double digits.

....you begin to wonder which would be quicker: to buy new clothes or do the laundry.

As you can see I'm still working out the kinks and adjusting to life as a part-time working mom. I think if I would have put in 40 hours this week I would have lost my mind. I must say though, I am really enjoying my new job!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To Cheer or Not to Cheer

I was a cheerleader. Back in the day when I was shallow, judgmental and God was merely someone to plead with on the several occasions I nearly got myself killed by poor choices I had made.

In the last 14 plus years of walking with the Lord and being a mom, cheerleading was a no-no. I decided that no daughter of mine was going to be a shallow, hip shaking, stuck up cheerleader. It is just so .....worldy.....and, honestly, does it have value in God's Kingdom? Then, one day God asked if I thought soccer had value in His kingdom....what about PTO? I'm not preaching to anyone at these activities so what puts them in the acceptable category and cheerleading in the taboo column?

The funny thing was that here is my precious daughter, a gift from God who can light up the room with her smile, and He gave her the gift to be a good, even great cheerleader and I was saying no way. Why? Because of my own experience and what other Christians have said about the topic.

Long story short (those of you that know me are like,"Yeah right!") I signed her up and even though it is her first year and she is the youngest girl, she made the older squad. Her coach said to me the other day that she can't believe she is only in third grade, that she is such a good cheerleader! Let me take this opportunity to explain the types of parents that are in cheerleading and help coach. They are not very friendly, they curse, many of them smoke and one pulled away the other day with a lovely bumper sticker joking about a male body part. Uh huh. God, what have I done? But, He reminded me that they need the love of Christ to be demonstrated and this is one of those times that we may just end up getting our hands dirty, but He has given #2 favor and abilities to draw them to her. We cannot look at them through judgmental eyes. And, really when they are with the kids they do a good job encouraging and keeping their 4-letter words to themselves!

It has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone, but #2 really enjoys it!