The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Cloudy with a Chance of Cheerios!

Posted under LOL, My Kids Make Me Smile, The Unexpected - Nov 7th, 08 - No Comments

When I was a mother of five children (age 7 and under), the days were sweet, but also chaotic at times. I had to come to grips with the fact that my house would not be (or even hope to stay clean) for more than an hour at a time. I was okay with that, but when the doorbell rang, fear rang out inside of me!

I will never forget the morning when my youngest (Benjamin) got a hold of the Cheerios box and shook it like a toy…back and forth, up and down…vigorously! Much to his surprise, Cheerios went flying everywhere (dining room and living room). One of the girls said, “Look, it’s raining Cheerios!” We all laughed—even me…I was the one that left the Cheerios box within his reach (Never underestimate what a baby can do…and in five seconds!).

Our laughter subsided when we heard the doorbell…Yikes! I’m still in my pajamas! This room is a mess. No, this house is a mess! As I looked out the window, relief swept over me (but I’m sure I wished it would have swept up my house too). The visitor was a friend: A mother with eight children. I knew she would understand the daily (sometimes messy) joys of life with little ones. She really encouraged me that day. She told me that it does get easier, and I have found her advice to be true.

Nonnie’s Poem

My mom is a great writer and I love to hear and read her stories, poems, and thoughts. She also writes beautiful music. Music that touches my heart. Here is a sweet and moving poem she recently finished about Paige going through cancer.

The Dancer

(for Paige)

Laughing, twirling gush of girl

dances with upturned face

at half-past eight.

No sign is seen – no warning noted.

She spins like ribbon unfurling,

giggles like tinkling chimes.

Without fair notice

renegades ascend the stage

to snatch, to seize, to grasp

with gasping pain.

All eyes fall on the dancer,

who sinks alone on darkest stage.

But then the Light – that single spot –

shines to document her freedom.

Great cheers erupt as she arises

at half-past ten to dance again –

Not in youth’s wild frolic,

but in grateful celebration

with deliberate joy –

still laughing, twirling gush of girl.

With love forever, Nonnie

Only a momma would…

Okay, yesterday I took my boys in for their immunizations. I guess Benjamin (along with the food in his stomach) got a little worked up (internally) about the shot. Externally, he didn’t appear worried at all. It’s also possible that he had an allergic reaction. As we were leaving the room (two minutes after shot) he said, “Momma, I’m tired”.

“Really?” I asked (in shock…he is boundless energy).

I was getting ready to checkout, but quickly decided to check out Benjamin before he “checked out”. I looked at him. He was pale. I was by the checkout desk—next to another lady. I quickly asked the receptionist, “Do you have a bag, I think he’s going to throw up?”

She shook her head no and told me the bathrooms were down the (long, far away) hallway. At that moment, I heard him start to throw up. So, to avoid throwing up on a.) the nicely-dressed woman next to us or b.) the receptionist with all her nice paperwork—I could only see one not-so-nice option in that hurried moment. As I noticed their floors had carpeting (nice crazy, huh?) I chose option c.) I cupped my hands and said, “Here son, throw up in my hands”…to which he did.

The pharmaceutical sales rep. next to us was totally grossed out (trust me…I was too). I think my strange comment and what followed might have sent her in shock. She didn’t look well either. (I can’t believe I did that! I wonder if that lady is telling someone about the weird mom at the doctor’s office yesterday.) We managed to walk over to the nearest trash can, and he threw up a little more. Poor guy…he didn’t look well at all.

A nurse led us to a room and sat him down to check his pulse with some kind of helpful new gadget she put on his finger. (In case you were wondering…I washed my hands at this point.) However, I didn’t wash my hands from the situation. After three failed attempts to get a reading on his pulse, I said, “Excuse me, but I can tell by looking at him, that his pulse is down. Look at his huge pupils, and pale face. I am going to lay my son down on this bed, and raise his feet while you try to take his pulse.” It was obvious to me that Benjamin was in shock. Two nurses were now trying to take his pulse. They both agreed that this helpful machine needed to be checked out (as it wasn’t working). (Technology is nice, but always have a back-up.) I mentioned taking his blood pressure. So, they took his blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff: It was 40/60. That’s low. He rested (for about 15 minutes) and had a Pedialite popsicle. Thankfully, his coloring was coming back, and he didn’t feel as dizzy. We made it through a shocking day involving heaving while we were leaving. Thank the LORD, Benjamin is doing much better. Praise the LORD, Benjamin gave me some warning before he might have fainted in the parking lot, or worse.

My sweet boy turns eight tomorrow. When each of my children have turned eight, I have felt a sharp nudge in my heart: A memory of Paige at eight years with cancer. Maybe this is why I said, and did what I did yesterday. As a mom, I have a high “vomit-tolerance” level. We had many experiences with vomiting from the chemotherapy, and we had good and not-so-good nurses. (Although, I never remember offering my hands as a bowl before.) I am again reminded to give thanks for each day, for each precious child, for the privilege of mothering, and most of all…for the loving hands of my Saviour and LORD…Jesus Christ.

Am I a Godly Mother?

The other day, I was reminded of a conversation I had overheard Michelle and Paige having when they were 7 and 6. Michelle said, “Paige, do we have a godly mother?”

My child-examined (and now self-examined) heart was crying out: “…Lord, help me…I am really trying here,

Then, Michelle continued, “You know…like Jake (our neighbor) has a godly mother.”

I remember trying hard not to compare myself to Jake’s mom. I told myself: “Maybe this is just a phase that children go through“.

Then I figured the mystery out. We went to a birthday party, a few days earlier, and we met Jake’s godmother; evidently, Michelle was unfamiliar with that term. Whew! I was off the hook (for now)! I remember we talked about what a godmother was, and we also talked about reality (how that I was fairly certain there are no fairy godmothers who can turn you into a godly mother…LOL).

Freefoto.com

But seriously, I have often tried to be godly. Please understand that I don’t want to be God…in the power sense. I want to reflect the beauty of Jesus Christ—the All Powerful One—who humbled Himself and saved us with His wounds. Is there some magic formula to follow? No, but there is a Godly and Sinless One (Jesus Christ-fully God and fully Man) to follow and to behold.

Recently, I heard a neat quote: “Our hope is not to be sinless in this life, but to sin…less and less.” I really liked that thought. Yes, there are times where we need to examine ourselves and ask, “Am I a godly mother?”, and there are times where we need to take our eyes off of ourselves and look at Jesus Christ. By looking at Him, we become more like Him.

By the way, I am very thankful to have a godly mother. My mom is the most selfless and nurturing person I know. She has always been a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Full of wisdom, she gently advises. Her prayers and hugs helped me through some tough times; and I’m not just talking about my growing up years. She is still there for me…for each one of her five children, for her husband, for her sisters and brothers, not to mention…her twelve grandchildren. Other children and adults feel loved by her too. She is capable of loving so many, yet giving each one importance (with her time and service)…and amazingly showing no favoritism. What a wonder and a wonderful woman of God. She is my fair and godly mother! I love you, mom!

Six Random Things I Have Learned Recently…

Well, I have been “tagged” by a fun blogger, Jena Webber. I really enjoy reading her blog. She has some great ideas, and she always makes me laugh.

I have never been tagged in a non-physical way. No, wait…maybe I have. I have been tagged as “crazy”, “fun-loving”, and “corny” by many. Apparently, this is one of those terms I’m not quite sure I understand. I think I need to answer the same question and then tag other people when I am done. Here I go..my tag is out!

Six Things I Have Learned Recently:

1.) I never knew thirty-two countries had compulsory voting. I just found that out, and as you might have noticed (if you clicked on these links), there is a discrepancy between these two sites. Now, I have learned it is just over twenty countries that have compulsory voting. So, I guess I have modeled the importance of learning to double check your facts! Not to sound compulsory, but GO VOTE! Bc and I went on Monday…only 30 minutes!

2.) I have recently experienced how wonderful it is to focus on the good qualities of my husband. He is not perfect, and he knows it. I am definitely not perfect, and I know it. By choosing to focus on the good, we are encouraging one another and hopefully building each other up (and strengthening our marriage), as opposed to tearing each other down. This same idea applies to our children too!

3.) Those “starter” camera SD cards do not hold a lot of memory (kind of like me), but you can buy some that will hold a lot of memory (like my kids…no, they are not for sale). Yes, I have personally verified that children definitely have more memory capacity than adults. My nine-year-old has just memorized all of the Presidents of the U.S.A….in order. Way to go Faith, and the others constantly ease their way through Bible and poetry memorization.

4.) I feel like sometimes I can be discouraging to expectant mothers when they ask for advice. I recently disappointed myself by offering trivial advice at a baby shower last weekend. She asked us to write down our advice to her on the upcoming birth of her first son and baby number three. Generally, when I get together with my sisters (two were there), we always have fun; but, I sometimes act silly and give out silly advice. Here was my advice:

  1. Don’t let yourself get outnumbered…oops. I was kidding about that one.
  1. Germ gel may be helpful in the removal of stains, especially silly putty (Do I sound like the voice of experience, here?)
  2. Buy your son’s pants and jeans at Sears because they have a wonderful program where they will replace your child’s jeans if they tear or become worn out before the child outgrows them.
  3. As a general rule, always have your child ask your permission before they do anything.
  4. Love them because they will need it. WARNING: This one might be the most challenging of them all.

As I look back over the advice I gave, it isn’t very encouraging (more like discouraging). I’m pushing germ gel and Toughskin jeans. Where was my mention of praying for help to a loving Father who hears and cares and gently leads those who are with young?  I believe with all my heart that the LORD won’t give us more than He can’t handle! I believe children are treasures and gifts from God. I know I, personally, was encouraged by other moms when they would tell me that it does indeed get easier. I have to say that I was disappointed in myself for my somewhat alarming and immature advice. I plan on giving her a revised “advice card”

5.) I recently learned how to open the hood of our Suburban, and that “Fonzie” had the right idea about banging on something to make it work (I don’t suggest this method with everything).

6.) On Monday night, I was sent an email stating that our Relay For Life Committee Meeting was to be held at my house the following night. I thought they had secured a different meeting place. After I picked myself up off the floor, I discovered how fast we can really pick up when we all pitch in (It’s not as exhausting; however, it’s not as exhaustive…as in thorough) The cleaning time was cut in half, just by our combined efforts.

There it is ! So now I think it is a Guden Tag (Good day in German) for tagging Bc, Paige, Michelle, Grace.

My Favorite Poem…by a Favorite Person…on a Favorite Day

I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but I am getting ready to unveil the most beautiful poem from my love. This is my favorite poem. Bc gave this to me on our 12 year wedding anniversary–6 years ago. It came during a time when Paige was going through chemo., and it is very special to me. I actually carry a small, laminated copy of the poem with me–inside of my purse. When I need to know I am loved, I pull it out and read it (Bc continually assures me of his love with his words and actions; but on certain days of the month, I am more eager to be convinced). This beautiful poem, by this beautiful man, gives me reassurance of his beautiful love. It’s similar to how the Bible reassures me of the love of Jesus (I carry a small Bible in my purse, too). I guess I’m just one of those people who “needs to get it in writing”. Sometimes I don’t feel deserving of either man’s love, but I read the comforting words of love, and know I am blessed!

When I was 18, Bc gave me a promise ring to wear to signify that I was promised to him. Well, I wanted to return the favor, but didn’t quite know how. Brad loved t-shirts; so I had a blue (his favorite color) t-shirt made at the mall that read “I’m Taken”. I guess I just wanted the world (mostly the female population) to know he was mine (kind of selfish, huh?)! He actually wore it for me (what a guy!).  When I was going in for open-heart surgery in May of 2004, this poem was in my hand (and in my heart), and I jokingly told Brad if I didn’t make it…he could bury me in the “I’m Taken” shirt! LOL!

Today marks the 20th anniversary of our first date in which we had an inkling strong feeling that we just might be sharing more than a meal together—maybe we’d be sharing the rest of our lives together! In the past, this date (October 22) usually involved a card exchange over dinner at Chili’s (we really like writing to each other, in case you didn’t know). Twenty years ago, I don’t think I could have imagined that I would be posting a blog as my “card” on our anniversary date! We did this monthly (on the 22nd) for two years and two months. Before Bc gave me the promise ring, he had dog tags made for each of us. He had both of our names on there and our special date: October 22, 1988. We are wearing these today, and thinking of happy memories. We did not marry on this date, but it has always been an important date! Happy Anniversary of our first date, my love!

But a Few Days

You called me your own.

“I’m Taken”, was the inscription on that mall-made t-shirt.

And we laughed.

There was also the promise ring atop the brownie.

I thought you might eat that surprise.

Do you recall the pain of separation as the semester ended, and the journey home signaled a time away?

I remember.

Was it twelve years ago when we clasped hands and tread that path, as we gazed into what would come?

Could we have foreseen the joy, the pain, and the love that these years would knit?

Nor can we examine the onward journey.

Can we secure for ourselves tomorrow’s breath from on High?

Does that great Guarantor promise the cord, which holds us here, be not severed?

‘Tis true we know nothing of what is packaged in the next second.

But this I know- I will embrace you with the strength given.

I will love you, as I perceive Love.

I will nurture you as He leads me.

Just as that man of old served for her, I will serve for you…and it will

seem but a few days.

Bc

Here are some of my favorite verses about Love:

Gen 29:20  And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

Jer 31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Son 8:7  Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1Jn 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

Talking Trash

Today, I have spent a fair amount of time searching for something small…something that was seen yesterday…and something that is important. It’s a part to my Magic Mill (it grinds our wheat). Yesterday, we baked bread, pizza rolls, and cheese twists for dinner (baking is always such fun). Today, we finished the clean up (which never seems to be as much fun).

After describing the part that was missing, I enlisted the help of all the children for a search and rescue mission. I was pleased when one of my daughters was honest enough to tell me that she threw it away yesterday; she thought it was trash. I was pleased about her honesty and the fact that the trash had not yet been picked up, but I was not pleased about the thought of having to search through the nasty trash. So, I dug deep and went digging through the trash. Believe me, if you think I enjoyed this you are grossly mistaken. I am talking…spaghetti noodles-gross! At least I only had to feel through two bags before I found the missing piece.

Would it surprise you if I told you this wasn’t the first time I have had to hunt for my treasures in my trash? My first recollection of trash digging was when I was in eighth grade. I threw away my retainer in the lunch cafeteria (I had the hardest time retaining that thing). Well, I did not refuse to rummage through the refuse that embarrassing day.

A few years ago, we didn’t know why all of our forks were disappearing. Then, we discovered that Bradley was throwing away his fork with his paper plate. Then, our phone was thrown away. We found it by calling the phone finder. You know, I actually remember being quite happy when my young children learned to throw things away. They were good at it too, and would constantly ask me if they could throw away stuff. Looking back, I’m glad they asked!

Do you want to hear something really gross? One day, Benjamin’s toothbrush fell into the bathroom trash can. I saw him pick it up and put it on the counter. I quickly told my 4-year-old that I needed to know when that happens—so I can clean the germs off of his toothbrush or put on a new replacement head. Then he said, “Oh, Momma, your toothbrush fell in the trash can a few days ago.” Nice, huh?

In your life experiences, is there something that was worth the effort of rummaging through the trash? Please tell me I am not the only one who did not feel it was a waste of time to dig through a wastebasket. By the way, I washed my hands and I used the powerful germ gel today.

This trash can reminds me of another trash story involving a skunk. I’ll let Mom or my sisters comment on this one.

I am so thankful that God dug through the “trash” and found me. You know what they say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!”

Ecc 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
Ecc 3:6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

My dad…Vice President…Cool!

My mom and dad came for a visit this past weekend. We had a great time! I love it when we sit around and tell old stories. I sure laugh a lot! We try to solve the world’s problems…and that’s pretty funny too! One of the reasons I blog is to record these funny stories for my children to enjoy now and later on down the road.

Lately, we have been studying the presidents. We have seen that some people (even  Vice Presidents) may view the Vice Presidency as an unimportant job, but history reveals that 1 out of 5 of our Presidents have been replaced by the V.P (or should I say…V.I.P.).

I will never forget the day I received a call from my Dad, and he said he was the Vice President of his company. I got off the phone and Paige (age 7) had overheard my conversation. With big eyes, she excitedly said, “Hey y’all, ‘Uh-Oh,’…”(No mistake…this is what she named my sweet dad due to a song he would sing to her when she was 2; he has never seemed to mind it)”…he is the Vice President of the United States of America!” He held an obviously important title…even my 7 year old recognized that! The next time we saw him, I played a little bit of “Hail to the Chief” for this very special man.

He may not have been the Vice President of the U.S.A., but he is someone who has been more important to me than any President ever could…he is my daddy! One reason he has been so important is that he has a relationship with Jesus Christ, the most important Man in my life. Like the President, he has power, but doesn’t abuse it. With wisdom and love, he has used his veto. He cherishes his beautiful wife (the gracious and loving First Lady…commonly called “Honey Bun”), who also, at times, presides as the helpful and wise Vice President. He loves his five children, and all of the other “fruits” (J.K.) on our family tree. He is a man I have always looked up to (not just because he is 6 foot 4 inches), but because he has a kind heart that is willing to pardon, and he stands up for what he believes in!

He is my strong daddy, whom I will always think of when I hear the song “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do…” Mom and Dad sang that one with us all the time, and I loved singing with them. What sweet lessons on where our Strength comes from! I remember all the songs we would sing…serious and silly. Our lives were one big musical, and intermission happened when I married, but the musical began again…yet with a few new actors and actresses appearing on stage. I recently remember Dad and Mom saying that one of the things they missed the most, after we all married or left home, was the singing we would do together.

Doesn’t every little girl want to grow up and marry daddy? I am doubly blessed to have my dad around, and for the blessing BC is in my life and in the lives of our children. Thank you LORD for giving me these wonderful and strong men in my life.

Speaking of strong…today, I was reminded of my husband’s love and strength. I was trying to help another woman get her car jump-started. I am embarrassed to say that I couldn’t even open the hood of our Suburban. That’s sad. I was feeling like I needed to be jump-started! I did pull the release switch (just in case you were thinking, “This lady is a total loser!”), but it was still stuck. Somehow (totally unknown to me), her 10-year-old boy managed to open the hood (he wasn’t even sure how he did it).

When I arrived home, my conversation with hubby went like this:

I asked BC, “How in the world do you get our hood opened?”.

He said, “Actually it’s broken. You have to push the latch and hit the hood at the same time.”

“Like the ‘Fonz’?”, I asked.

To which he replied, “Yes”. (I should have asked him for the thumbs up sign, right? It’s been so long since I ‘ve seen “the Fonz”.)

Well, hey…happy days are here again, as I realized that my husband’s strength is so apparently cool. It’s also cool that he has taken good care of our vehicles. You know, my dad can snap like “the Fonz”, and my husband can fix things like “the Fonz”. I  have never seen these remarkable similarities between my dad, my husband, and “the Fonz”.  By the way, I am thankful these are the only similarities among them and “the Fonz”.

The Solution that was a Solution for the Accident that was an Accident!

Eureka! I have some unbelievably good news. The silly putty (click link to view previous post) was able to come out! I was seriously thinking about throwing the blanket away, when Kane (and Google) suggested I give germ gel a try. Well, it seemed believable because it had alcohol in it. However, the only thing that was unbelievable was the fact that I didn’t have any germ gel around my house! (Lately, germ gel has been getting a bad rap for the fact that it kills both the good and the bad germs. So, we have been trying to do more of the good-old-fashioned hand washing.) My sweet niece gave me some of her germ gel, and I began my experiment (somebody really ought to try this for a science-fair project).

As I put hand sanitizer on there, the stain seemed to melt like putty (wait…it is putty). I rubbed it with a damp rag to speed up the process. The stain had come out. Amazing. I was happy to find a solution (the germ gel) that actually was a solution (our answer) for the accident (putty-in-a blanket) that actually was an accident (Silly Putty was made by accident). (Sorry about that last sentence…I couldn’t resist!)  I never realized how powerful germ gel was. I am sure there is a place for germ gel, I am just not sure if that place is on my hands. This situation reminded me of the time we saw a can of soda eat away the corrosion on a battery, and it made me wonder why I drink sodas! Well, I still occasionally drink sodas and use germ gel, but I’m not exactly sure why. I told my friend (the one I gave the silly putty to) about the germ gel remedy, and she suggested that if I give any silly putty out, I make sure to have a small germ gel container with it!

As amazing as this stain remover was, the most amazing and powerful “stain remover” of all time is the blood of Jesus Christ.

(Here is a picture of the very same silly spot. I put the safety pin on there so I would know where the stain originally was.)

A Poem for Nana

Posted under How God Provides, Poetry - Oct 9th, 08 - 2 Comments

I wrote this poem for Nana:

(She turns 84 today! Happy B-day, Nana!)

A sweet husband and four precious children

Have been cared for by you—

Also four wonderful grandchildren, and

Ten great grandchildren too!

You have a joy and strength from our LORD to

Get you through the bad days…

The death of a husband, son, and close friends…

Trusting Jesus always!

You’re always so much fun to be around.

You love to laugh and smile.

You have been a great friend to many—One

Who goes the extra mile!

You absolutely just love to play games

With anyone you meet!

Cards and puzzles are some favorites, and…

You sure love to compete!

You give of your time; you give with your hands,

For both the young and old.

Crocheted Afghans and blankets knit with love,

To keep us warm not cold!

From plastic canvas Kleenex box covers

To sewing many things,

Making fabric-covered photo albums,

And puppets on a string!

Your hands often prepared our favorite foods:

Turkey and dressing too,

Cheese enchiladas, pecan pralines, pies,

Cookies—to name a few!

Now at 84, you’re still going strong…

That cannot be denied.

Even the good doctor was much inspired…

Seeing you slide down that slide!