Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Bed time story

My littlest man is having a hard time adjusting to his new bed so at night I've cuddled just a little longer to help him adjust.  Each night a small piece of blanket has been thrown over the top bunk side so I can share a treasure.  As the blanket came down I was asked to tell a story.  Being bored of the regular stories I went for a proverb.  I told about the ants that start work as soon as the sun comes up.  How they each have a job, some build tunnels while others collect food.  These little creatures may be small but work until the sun goes down.  I told my small men of how they work like this all summer long.  I also told them of another small critter that sleeps in the summer and plays music at night.  I told them all about the grasshopper and how very soon we would start hearing them when we went to sleep at night.  I told the littles that when the winter comes they don't have any food so we should be like the ants and work when we can so we'll be prepared for when we aren't able.  In my mind I saw this simple proverb being quickly rejected because of the excitement it lacked, but my big boy begged for me to tell him again about the ants and the grasshopper.  After the third retelling of this wise tale, I said good night and gave both boys a super kiss and a hug. 

Now that I'm a parent I am constantly reminded of this verse:

you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and wen you rise up.
~ Deuteronomy 6:7

310.  Friends to live life with.
311.  Garden hose on hot days.
312.  Squealing boys.
313.  Muddy boys.
314.  Rocks
315.  Frogs
316.  Sitting on front steps with coffee in hand and a friend to chat with.
317.  Childhood friends.
318.  Fixing a fence with my handy Mom.
319.  Tiny garden.
320.  Cute little yard.
321.  Completely enclosed yard.
322.  Clock ticking in the silence
323.  Sun burns.
324.  Sharing wisdom through bedtime stories.
325.  Empty sink drain.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A bunk bed brings a new season

My main goal for the yard sales this summer was to find a bunk bed.  A besty of mine found one for just $50.  It can even be split into two individual beds.  I called the lady selling it and picked it up the next day.  Then my little man of the woods and I went out shopping to find some fun new sheets and blanket for his baby brother.  We've been talking it up just like Christmas ever since.
The boys were pretty excited.  They used tools and did whatever Daddy did.  They were in heaven.
We had a few bumps along the way.  I lost half of the screws and little pieces that went with it so we had to run off to the hardware store a time or two.  Also we weren't able to tell from the pile of pieces when we bought the bed but the ladder and side rails don't go with our bed.  Oops.  My handy dandy Mom and I worked it out (The one who lives blocks away).
At one point we locked them out because they were being a little too helpful.
All was well until nap time came.  Then my son of laughter sobbed because his bed was all gone.  Even though the day before he was ready to move out of his crib.  Even though he wakes up in the night with his feet stuck in the bars of the crib.  Even though he was beside himself with excitement as we made the change.  He wasn't ready to grow up.  Lots of cuddles and lots of kisses finally put him to sleep.  But he woke up still convinced that he did not like that bed.  The rest of the afternoon when ever the new bed was talked about he'd put on his sad face and tell us he did not like the bed.  His brother loves his bed and would often add in that "Zacky likes his bed too"
When bedtime came as big brother was climbing up the ladder Zack got very excited and climbed into bed begging me to come cuddle with him.  As we went through our normal night time routine of prayers and singing Si stuck his hand down over the side of his bed so we could hold hands.  After a few minutes he let go so that he could send down some of his favorite blanket.  Every night at bed time he shares his special blanket with me.  It's just something we do.

There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good.  This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.  For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?
~ Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

278.  Strong man that puts beds together.
279.  Little boys that want to be just like Daddy.
280.  Neighbors that give the boys flowers to plant in our yard.
281.  Excitement over new bed.
282.  Growing pains-letting go of crib.
283.  Soothing insecure little boys to sleep.
284.  Receiving complete trust from two small men.
285.  Living in town-multiple trips to the hardware store.
286.  Husband who finishes what he starts even though he's late for work.
287.  Handy Mother that makes time.
288.  Bed time prayers.
289.  Singing songs of God's greatness with my boys.
290.  Holding hands with the little man on the top bunk.
291.  Rubbing the corner of a treasured blanket.
292.  Leaving two boys awake and content in new beds.
293.  Seeing my baby fully become a toddler today.
294.  Hubby brought me home my favorite snack food.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Re-establishment days

Today has been all about re-establishment.  As I sipped my steaming hot cup of coffee and slowly walked into the living room this is what my sleepy eyes were welcomed with.

 Not sure if you can see the smushed pretzels from yesterday's snack.

Here's an idea of how my "coffee time" went this morning:  "Zack no hammers in my coffee."  "Don't hit Mommy's coffee with your sword."  "Si guy, I can't play tackle with coffee in my hand."

Trying to rescue some forgotten bread dough.  First my bread machine went all haywire, shrieking without end about half way through the process.  Having to finish making the bread the old fashioned way, I forgot all about it and left it rising more hours then needed.  We shall see how it turns out.  At least the house smells divine!

Loads of laundry to do in every step of the process.  I've found three spiders along the way today. Yuck!

One very pushy cat.  I'm not quite sure what has gotten into him lately, but every quiet moment I have he's there begging to be petted.

This bulletin hangs above my kitchen table and underneath the shelf where the crackers are kept.  Here's what happens when little boys try to do things themselves...My sweet boys are pushing all the boundaries.  I am positive they are making sure my love for them is just as strong as it was before our week off. 

Re-establishment days are usually the days I see my job responsibilities the clearest.  These are also days that I have to fight myself from jumping on the "To Do List" band wagon and running over those delicate little relationships.  I will enjoy my messy house.  I will enjoy my active little boys.  I will find rest in today.

One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after the wind.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:6

253.  Learning boundaries
254.  Unexpected phone calls of encouragement from friends.
255.  Canceled plans-extra lunch hour with husband
256.  Forgotten bread dough.
257.  Washer & Dryer
258.  Waiting "to do lists"
259.  Unfinished coffee
260.  Two active little boys.
261.  Slanted bulletin board-renewed appetite.
262.  Out of control bread makes me smile.
263.  Chaotic day brings rest.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This three letter word is becoming my obsession.  In the NASB translation it shows up 182 times.  I'm reading books about it.  I wake up thinking of it.  I fall asleep looking for it.  Honestly as I struggle with this depression what better thing is there to obsess over?

Here are a few ways I've found joy this past week:

253.  Serenity of a burning candle in the midst of chaos and sickness.

211.  Sick baby of laughter cradled into my chest peacefully sleeping.
214.  Screaming child-lots of time to pray.
220.  Warm fuzzy pj's perfect for sick days.
226.  Vomiting baby for 5 days, slept completely through each night.
228.  Rubbing tiny toes, relaxing both of us.
229.  Sick boy insisting I watch him fall asleep.
230.  Big blue eyes intently staring into mine as long eyelashes slowly close.
231.  Rubbing silky soft cheeks.

224.  Prayed for by a three year old, "God, Mommy has yucky germs.  Help her to feel better."
225.  Songs of love from my man of the woods, "I lobe my Mommy.  She bery pecial to me!  I lobe my Daddy, he bery pecial to me!
235.  Mommy snuggled between two cuddly boys.

249.  Little boy enjoying food for the first time in days.
243.  Friends who bring orange juice.
242.  Homemade chicken soup.
236.  Husband that makes supper and lets me go to bed at 5:30.

251.  Little boy priorities-socks and nakedness.
250.  Mix matched socks.

248.  Independence-Can get in and out of bath tub all by himself, socks and all.

O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods.
~ Psalm 95:1-3

Saturday, May 14, 2011


As I write my youngest son is lying awake and very still in his bed.  This is the same son who doesn't know the meaning of fear and is always looking for his next meal.  He's the one that fishes in my toilet, drains my radiator pipes, climbs everything he sees, lets go of me in a five foot deep pool, and only realizes it was bad idea when he's already committed.  This guy also lives true to his name, laughter.  He loves to laugh, cuddle and live life to its fullest.  Yet now he's lying in bed still.  His nose is gushing clear thick snot.  Every diaper is poopy and accompanied with deep painful cries.  It looks like his bum spent the whole day on the beach without any sunscreen.  We spent last evening with a bowl beside us practicing what to do for the next time he vomited.  A few times today he's asked for the bowl.  I've changed my outfit twice today.

This is how he spent most of the day...

At first I thought all of this pain and hardship for my little man was because he had a few drops of milk.  He was showing all the symptoms of the allergy minus the rash.  Shortly after lunch his temperature started rising.  I also noticed that his lymph nodes are swollen.  Whenever I ask where it hurts it's his mouth not his stomach that he points to.  Allergies do not cause fevers, he's got some kind of bug.  One of the two boys, usually both have been sick for 12 out of the last 15 months. 

...even when I was on the floor playing with Si.

Around month three I became bitter towards both God and my job as a mother.  Any "homemaker" knows that it's hard work keeping the house clean, training your kids, cooking, having a smile on your face when your husband walks through the door exhausted.  Not only was this my job but the first four months of our sickness it was pure sickness.  I spent weeks cleaning and scrubbing and sanitizing every room day after day.  At one point my pediatrician warned me that my baby would probably end up in the hospital because he was so young (praise the Lord that didn't happen).  I also foolishly took on potty training during this time.  It only took seconds for me to realize that bitterness towards God wasn't helpful, but the bitterness towards mothering took a little longer to let go of.  About a year ago I started asking myself what I could learn from this rather then looking at it as one more day of sickness.  I've come to be thankful for these sick days.  Just like in my own life sickness forces me to stop.  It has shown me what my most important "job" in this season of fully mother is.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
~ Deuteronomy 6:7

196.  Understanding big brother who let me cuddle with sick little brother.
197.  Husband who doesn't get upset after looking all over the house for my journal only for me to realize it's right beside me.
198.  Date with my young man of the woods
199.  Sickness - time to simply be with my boys.
200.  1 1/2 year old who atempts to use the puck bucket.
201.  Sickness - helping me sort out my priorities.
202.  Inexpensive sandwiches from the corner store.
203.  Pretty flowers in the window box.
204.  Sickness - teaching me to pray out loud my sentance prayers.
205.  Sickness - learning to praise God in the grime of life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What if

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unexpected Visiters

Boys, while you napped today I sat with my Bible opened, sipping a cup of warm chamomile tea enjoying the quiet.  I looked through the rain just in time to watch two men dressed in black climb wet steps to our front door.  I got up as the doorbell rang praying you would continue to sleep.  You had played hard with friends this morning, being Si's birthday.  I always get defensive when these visitors come.  As I opened the door I asked for guidance and love.  We shook hands and I politely listened as they introduced both themselves and there mission.  They used words like ours but were speaking a different language.  They spoke of a prophet and a gospel, of spending eternity together as a family, of the Bible.  All things we speak of every day.  But they spoke of more, of another book as well.  These men asked if I wanted this.  I told them I didn't need the extras they gave, but that I had enough.  The Bible is enough.  Jesus is enough.  One Gospel is enough.  I didn't need any more words, just His Words.  They thanked me for listening and then left.

Sons, remember.  It is enough.  Never add to it or take from it.  God's words are enough for you, for me, for all of man kind.  His Words are perfect and will strengthen you in a way that nothing else can.  They bring everlasting life to all who listen and follow.  His Words tell stories of creation, of hurt, of Real Love, of marriage, of war, of all you can imagine and much more.  As you read His Words look for the plot.  Look Deep.  It is enough.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23

152.  Sharing with strangers that His Word is enough.
153.  Scriptures running through my mind as I talked with these messangers.
154.  Ability to see clearly.
155.  To know the Truth.


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void, and the darkness was over the surface of the deep, and Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

For the celebration of the Si's birthday, I decided to create.  Unlike God I was not able to create out of nothing in fact I had to use ingredients and even a recipe to get my creative juices flowing today.

God called the light day, and the darkness night.  And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Ever heard of cupcake cakes?  I love 'em.  They are so much fun to use and reuse in different patterns.  Can you tell what this will be?

God called the expanse heaven.  And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 

Si has been going back and forth as to what his cake should look like for weeks. 

Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place and let the dry land appear; and it was so.  God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.  Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so...There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

From start to finish it took me about 4 1/2 hours to make and decorate this cake.  It's an applesauce cake.

God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.  God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.  There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

I locked the boys out of the kitchen so I could guarantee the Cake would make it until tomorrow.

God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good...There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

This is the part that was a lot of fun for me.  It was nice to sit with worship music in the back ground and play.  I forgot how fun creativity can be.

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind:  cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so. 

While I decorated I realized the act of using my imagination for somebody else was a way to worship my Creator. 

God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him: make and female He created them.  God blessed them...God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God made me to be like Him.  He used his imagination to bring earth and all that we know into being.  What a joy He must get when I take the time to use my imagination.

It took me 4 1/2 hours to take some different foods and make this beautiful, imperfect cake.  It took God 7 days to take nothing and create all the glorious wonders we know.  What an amazing God!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This day

Three years ago the date was May 11th.  The sun was shining and had I been home the windows would have been open.  I was in the hospital.  Three years ago I was for the first time experiencing Mothers day as a mother. My first born son was hours old, born the previous evening weighing 8 lbs 14 oz.  It was amazing.  It was exhausting.  I had been in labor for 29 hours.  It was the hardest work of my life.  Yet still with all the change and sleeplessness I was in love with that small child. 

My man of the woods was a screamer.  He came out screaming and screamed for the first half of that next year.  My Momma instincts knew something was wrong with my baby, but it took us 6 months to figure out that he had a severe milk allergy.  As we learned how to help him we watched him heal and become the happy curious little boy he is now with great joy.

13 months ago He informed Charlie and I that Jesus was his friend.  In his almost two year old words he explained why Jesus was so special and wanted to friends with him.  At first we were skeptical and didn't think he really understood what he was saying, but over the next few months we realized that he truly did want to be friends with Jesus.  We saw this by the things he would do or say, and the questions he asked.  Now a year later the story of Jesus brings tears my little man's eyes and he remembers the pain Jesus went through so they could be friends.

Mothers Day is a beautiful day to remember all the blessings my sons bring into my life.  I'm even more blessed to be reminded each year of the receiving of my oldest baby as my first ever Mothers day gift.  One step further, that joy and bottomless love I feel for my sons isn't even close to the love my Creator has for me or any of us.  I am blessed!

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would out number the sand. 
~ Psalm 139:13-18a

 Some highlights of this past year for my three year old man.

Loving the mall rides.

Fishing trips with Daddy and the Grandpas.

Family time.

Brothers becoming friends.

The monster face!

Lending Daddy a helping hand.

Building towers that would only last seconds before being destroyed.

I love you Silas Boy!
What a gift to be called your Momma.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Surpise! It's a brand new day!"

This week mornings have been hard for me.  I wake up with that big ol' grey cloud hanging over me and I have to make myself move.  It's funny how your brain works, because these are the same days I wake up with this song buzzing around in my head:

Open your eyes to Gods surprise
Wake up get up
It's time to rise
He made a gift that is just your size
Surprise!  It's a brand new day!

Roll out, roll out of your bed
And put your covers in place
Wash the sleepiness away
From your sleepy face
Brush your hair, short or long
Straight or flowing with curls
Brush, brush, brush,
Brush you teeth,
Until they shine like pearls.

Open your eyes to Gods surprise
Wake up get up
It's time to rise
He made a gift that is just your size
Surprise!  It's a brand new day!

Peek out, take a look outside
Is there sunshine or rain?
Stretch your arms out to your side
Just like and airplane
Put on some happy clothes
To show your happy heart
Each day is a special gift
And this one's about to start

Open your eyes to Gods surprise
Wake up get up
It's time to rise
He made a gift that is just your size
Surprise!  It's a brand new day!*

Each day as I finish humming my song, this verse also comes to mind:

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice:  In the morning I
will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
~ Psalm 5:3

Tomorrow I will not use my boys as my alarm clock, but will actually wake up to a real alarm clock with a purpose.  The purpose of accepting God's gift of the brand new day, knowing that He hears me, even in my grogginess.

  93.  Brothers becoming friends.
  94.  Shooting the breeze with my Mom.
  95.  Seeing God's love manifested in others.
  96.  Heart talks with Dad, Shim.
  97.  Forgiveness
  98.  Pure Love
  99.  Brand new days
100.  Water dish turned over, curious little boy.
101.  The joy a little has when he can help clean up.
102.  Words of affirmation as to how I train my boys by an experienced Mother.
103.  A women further down the road from me coming and walking beside me for awhile.

*My boys love Boz the Bear!  If you haven't heard of him and have preschool aged children I recommend checking him out at  "He's the big green bear next door" who happens to be friends with Jesus.  Every episode has biblical values woven into the story.  Boz loves to sing.  He was created by MOPS.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This season

As a good, white winter has just ended and spring is finally in the air.  I am just as full of excitement as my wee ones when each day we check to see that our seeds have grown, even if only by the slightest bit.  I find myself gazing out the window watching Jumpy the Squirrel bask in the spring sun.  I'm also dreaming of summer so that we can eat the produce of our plants, walk in the warm rain, enjoy the bugs (well some of them at least), and watch nature bloom with all it's glory.  Oh but then comes Autumn!  Long drives on old back roads just to see the rainbow of leaves!  Getting those last visits to the park before the snow arrives. We can't forget the corn mazes, apple cider, apple sauce and well apple anything making.  Celebrating the passing of another year.  Watching the old die and anticipating what is to come.    Then earth's cleansing begins over with pure, blemish free snow.  Each season has it's own purpose.  Each season is beautiful.

Life is like that, a continuous change of season.  I can look back over each year of my life and see how each season or piece of my puzzle was carefully put into place.  Each piece has it's own shape but was made to fit perfectly with the season that came before and the one coming next.  I have had many seasons since I moved back from Hungary.  The season of being a newly wed.  The awes and wonders of a new baby being formed inside my body.  Working.  Motherhood.  Bible quiz coach.  Seasons running into other seasons.  Once again I'm entering a new season of my life.  I am fully wife, and fully mother.  That is all that is expected of me.  Even better that is all that is needed of me.  I can rest in the simplicity of my purpose, rest in my season.  I can even rest in the not knowing how long this season will last.  Even if it is a few weeks, I'm going to rest in it.

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. 
~ Ecclesiastes 3:14

Monday, May 2, 2011

One Wormy Day!

What do you get when you are married to man who loves to fish and two little boys?  Worms!  With that fabulous sunshine, a worm hunting we went...

It took us five minutes to collect about 20 worms. 

We had over 40 by the time we were done.

Last summer we had a worm farm in the living room.  Si's super excited to have one again.  We compromised and the worms get to live in the basement this year.  We're also using the worms to catch us some trouty.
I did my best to keep them away from the garden...Char reasoned the worms under the log didn't count as garden worms.

My husband is still learning that he doesn't really come from the human species, but is of the giant kind.
Of course we had some other fun too!

Si's version of mini golf.

 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
~Philippians 4:8

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Our week revolves around "Churchday" otherwise known as Sunday.  It's how Silas can see time passing.  We count events by how many sleeps until or from Churchday.   As we arrive at church we usually see one of those amazingly gifted women that teach my son many godly values each week.  As soon as he sets eyes on them he's running at full speed, arms open ready to give a tackle hug.  He's overjoyed when he sees his "bestest" friends.  Often he begs to be apart of the worship time.  He sits on his Daddy's shoulders singing at the top of his lungs whatever songs he can think of that are about his friend Jesus.

For Char it's a work day.  One of the best work days of the week, but also the longest day.  He strategically plans his every move so that he can find that fine balance between worshiping the One he loves, and work; all the while still having time for his family. 

As for me, I adore this special day each week.  I am blessed to have people who want to spend time with my boys.  Not just spend time with them but reinforce the same values I'm working so hard to teach at home.  Knowing this allows me to focus on my Shepherd while resting my head on char's shoulder with pen and paper in hand.  I am pushed each week to know Jesus more.  From there I spend a few minutes talking with those I don't often see and learn how the Lord of the heavens and earth are changing there lives.  Just after this I sit in a class with people from all different season in life and we discuss how to better live our life for the kingdom...Glorious!  I can think of nothing better then to be in a fellowship that is focused on the most important aspect of life:  Loving Jesus!

25.  Simple words from a friend.
26.  Being helped along the path by those who have gone before.
27.  Elegant lunch put together by a 6th grade Sunday school class.
28.  Being a part of a Sunday school class that is full of passion for things that are not of this world.
29.  Watching four children in a circle enjoy each others company.
30.  A pastor and wife who lets us watch as they go through hard times.
31.  A pastor who pushes me to go deeper.

It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders
which the Most His God has done for me.
 ~ Daniel 4:2