Monday, December 19, 2011

Family photos and chipped teeth

I love my family.

Do I say that enough?  It is Christmas break around here.   I spent the first day of Christmas Break getting Isaac's tooth fixed.  He is the only 6 year old around with full on adult front teeth...and Saturday he chipped one of them.  I don't know how it happened.  We were on our way to the Dollar Tree (impressive, yes)  and he just fell off the front steps face first into the concrete.  Ughh...Our dentist is the best though, he got us in early this afternoon and had it fixed up within 45 minutes.  Good as new.

I played ALOT of games today.  My dad & step mom bought the kids some games for Christmas, so we had to try them all out.  I like to play games with the kids, I think it's fun.  Josh played games with them when he got home from work.  They like that, it's not too often daddy has time to sit down and play games.  I am looking forward to next week when Josh will have the whole week off.

We got our picture taken for the church directory (as you can see above)  I think it turned out nicely, unfortunately, Jeremiah was the only one not smiling.  He really is one of the most jovial people around...he smiles and laughs all of the time.  He just would NOT smile for these pictures.  I think the lights were confusing him.  Who knows...cute anyway. 

Tomorrow I will have the day with just Abigail & Jeremiah.  (my dad is taking the older boys to do 'boy' stuff)  Abigail and I will do some girlie stuff when Jeremiah takes a nap.  Our girlie stuff sometimes involves things that little babies should not be a part decorating cookies, sewing, making  Who knows, but what I do know is Jeremiah will be napping when our girlie stuff is taking place! 

I am glad to have some time just to relax with my kids.  Again, the Lord has blessed me beyond measure. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Count your blessings

"Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God has done
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
Count your many blessings see what God has done"

I like to sing this little song sometimes when the kids are complaining about things in their lives...or when I find myself complaining about the things in my life (which I rarely do) *ahem*  Rather, I wish I could learn how to not complain. 

I just filled up my van today with gas.  It cost close to $60.00.  I usually fill it up at least once per week, sometimes It's every 6 days, I am blessed.  Sometimes I pull up to the gas station to find that the person before me put $3.00 of gas into their vehicle.  Where will they go on that, I wonder?  Could be a teenager scrounging for change...or it could have been a mother, just trying to make it to the store to buy a little food for her family.

I keep my thermostat @72-73 degrees, usually all the time.  I get cold easily, and I don't like to be cold.  Sometimes the electric bill comes and I think "WHOA...did they raise the prices?"  No, it's my fault.  I like to be comfortable, live it up in my cozy little home.  My husband writes the check out to IPL...never a concern that we're not going to be able to buy food because I like to keep it warm inside. 

I met a little boy once at Garfield Park.  I was swinging Isaac and he was digging through the dirt. He was a friendly boy, and seemed pretty smart.  It was a warm day in February, but there were still many more cold days ahead of us.  He found a rusty, dirty hotwheel buried in the dirt.  He was overjoyed.  I wondered why.  I struck up a conversation with him, asked him where he went to school, etc..(He was around 9 years old and it was a school day)  He pointed to a beat up old car in the distance.  He said he lives in that car.  "I don't go to school, we travel too much.  My whole family sleeps in it."  I offered him the lunch I had packed for the kids.  He was embarrassed and ran off.  I wondered if I had done the right thing.  It got very cold the next night.  I thought of him in his car, trying to sleep, and probably very cold.  I turned up my thermostat.  I wonder how he's doing now?

Count my own blessings...that is all I can do.  I am not big enough to solve the worlds problems of homelessness, hunger, drug abuse, and depravity.  It's sad, it's depressing.  God allows it.  He has allowed a lot throughout time.  Why has he blessed me so?  I am not bragging, please don't take this the wrong way.  But I am a very blessed woman.

My kids all have coats, shoes, a hot family meal every night. 
We go to the doctor when we're sick, and don't worry about how the bill is going to get paid. 
My husband has a steady job. 
We are all in relatively good health. 
I can buy Christmas gifts for my children.
We go on family vacations.
We have running water that is clean.
The list could go on and on...

I thank the Lord for showering His blessing upon me, more abundantly than I deserve.  In an instant, it could all be taken away.  Would I be able to find blessings amidst the muck and mire...I sure hope so. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Handy Husband

I am so blessed to have a handy husband.  A few years back, he finished (about 90%) our basement.  He would have finished it completely, but we get water in the basement sometimes, so he was concerned if he put any type of flooring down, it would just get ruined.  We had to do something about the basement, because we were OUT OF ROOM upstairs.  We have a 3 bedroom ranch.  It was when I brought Christian home from the hospital that Josh realized something REALLY needed to be done about this, and fast!  We had my mom in one room.  Elijah was in the top bunk, Abigail was in the bottom, Isaac was in the crib, and Christian would be sleeping in the crib in our room.

Actually, he began the project during my pregnancy.  I think it was early spring before he was due...but very cold.  I heard digging outside my bedroom window.  And a lot of scraping.  But it was pitch black outside.  What in the world was going on?  I looked out the window to see Josh smiling up at me (in a crazy way) with a shovel.  He was digging out the window wells so he could put in egress windows.  You can't legally have a bedroom in a basement unless there is a window large enough for a person to get out of.  What a feat.  But he did it.  The earth was still frozen, and he dug for about 2 days to make enough room for two very large windows.

Three days after I brought Christian home from the hospital my dad came over with some sort of concrete saw-thingy (I'm so technical) and possibly a jackhammer.  They made a lot of noise ALL day busting up concrete for bathroom.  Welcome home, baby.  Maybe that is why Christian is so LOUD!

Eventually, he built a bathroom, 2 bedrooms with closets, an office space, enclosed laundry and storage, and a nice living space.  He is a perfectionist.  He put a lot of sweat into finishing this basement...the only problem was always with the floor.  We decided to paint it, and put some area rugs down.  But it just never really looked the best.  The paint always chips, and it's very cold. 

So, because my husband loves me so much, he decided to put some flooring down for me.  With the stipulation that there will be no flooring in any are where we have had water in the past. (He has been monitoring this for years in his mind, I guarantee it)  No flooring in the office space,  or bathroom.  (I really haven't complained about it...I've just made a few comments :)  We decided on inexpensive stuff for now, so if it gets all wet and moldy, we're not out a ton of money. 

He also recently put in a new garbage disposal and dishwasher in preparation for remodeling the kitchen.  Then on to the living room...It's not like 'things' mean the world to me.  I could live in a dirt hut and be content.  But it's nice to have a husband who cares about his family so much that he is willing to give up his time to work so hard for us. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas concerts, growing up, and the like...

Elijah had his first band concert tonight.  He has ALWAYS loved music.  This morning, as I was getting ready for the day, I heard Chopin (famous pianist) coming up through the vents.  Not from my moms room, but from Elijah's room.  He loves classical music.  Some might call him weird, but I guess oddness just runs in the family.  I think it's great. 

We sing out of a psalter at church (psalms put to melody)  The psalter is much like a hymnal, in that it is set up in 4 part harmony.  When we sing together as a family (yes, we do this almost nightly...look back to the oddness part I mentioned above, which I think is great)  He always tries to sing the alto part, even though it is difficult if one is not trained.  The melody is in the soprano part, so that's where most people tend to go...unless they just decide to sing off key.  But Elijah doesn't sing off key, he really is reading that music.  It amazes me.  Anyway, where was I going with this...

Oh yes, the trumpet.  When Elijah first got his trumpet his was DEVASTATED.  He has a violin that was handed down to him.  He had no trouble picking out a few melodies, etc...He has played the piano since he was 5 and is quite good.  He plays things many adults couldn't play (no offense)  He can pick up a hymnal or psalter and just start playing.  (after a bit of picking through it) Music is one of his gifts.

So he got his trumpet and expected to be able to play it...immediately.  Right, why not? 

A totally different ball game.  His first few tries were a disaster in his mind.  He couldn't figure out how to blow through the mouthpiece...mouthpiece, what is this???  But he is diligent. (keyword)  He was determined to learn to play that trumpet.  His uncle Ian played well...he should be able to learn!   And he did.  I think he might become the next Mel Torme...only Ian will know who I'm talking about; if he reads this.  (Ian: remember one of our trips out west?  It was good 'ol Mel the WHOLE TIME!) 

I loved watching Elijah play in the band tonight at his school.  To be a part of a group, working together, trying to make something happen. That is a hard thing to accomplish.  They were great, no kidding.  I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom.  The band director is dedicated, and it appears that the kids were dedicated as well.  I am proud of him;  he has come so far.  When he first started the year he wanted to give up the trumpet and go for something easier, like the cymbals. (not sure if they are easier because I didn't play them)  but I encouraged him to stick it out, because I knew he could do it...and he did.  He is really growing up.  I am looking forward to seeing what kind of man he becomes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


For some STRANGE reason, Blogger is telling me I'm not authorized to leave a comment on my own blog.  I've adjusted my settings to the best of my ability... don't know how to fix this problem.  I suppose nobody will be able to comment on this issue, but if for some strange reason you the reader are able to leave a comment, please leave me one and tell me how to fix this issue :)  Thanks! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oops, did I just say that?

I think I used to be a lot more spiritually mature when it came to the things that come out of my mouth. Lately I've been finding myself saying "I can't believe I just said that!" There is a reason we are instructed in the Bible to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. There are a lot of random thoughts floating around in our brains. WORDS, sometimes terrible ones, waiting for the opportune time to be strung into a sentence so they can EXPLODE from ones (my) mouth at probably, the most inopportune time.
(These people mean the world to me. I want to
bless them with my words and actions. And bless others as well.) James 1:19 tells us "So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." I know some people who carefully consider each word that comes from their mouth. You can see them, as they speak, considering the words they're about to say before they say them. I believe I used to be more of that person....but I have allowed myself to slip into a bad habit, a habit of just saying whatever comes to mind. Now usually the things I say aren't so bad...but sometimes I get myself into a mess! Oh, it's a terrible thing! I need to be more swift to hear; to listen to what someone is saying before I say anything at all. And not just listen, "yeah, yeah...I hear ya." But genuinely process peoples thoughts and ideas.
Proverbs 18:21 says that DEATH and LIFE are in the power of the tongue. Our words can be healing, like a balm...or they can bring pain and misery.
"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." Prov. 16:24
I like that verse. I say it a lot, (usually to the kids) but I don't think I put it into practice often enough.
Do you?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

part II

So you all know about the balloons, and the fact that I don't like them. Why would I allow young children to play with something filled with helium connected to a string? This morning, my loving husband cooked breakfast. Not uncommon in my house. Saturday morning, I sleep in, Josh cooks breakfast; it's great. There was one balloon left. I hid it in the closet the night before, because I had an irrational fear that it would somehow creep its way over to Jeremiah's crib, wrap it's string around his neck and know, hurt him in ways I wish not to express. I was sleeping, groggy. I said (in a half-sleep-state in the early morning hours...I called out to Josh, " there's a something with it..".) nobody heard me. I kept dreaming of the balloon, angrily floating through my home, but I couldn't break myself away from blissful sleep to do something about it. Where is Jeremiah? My subconscious called. Then I heard Elijah yell (he can be very dramatic) "OH MY GOSH!" OH NO...OH NO..." Dream state- .GONE. Why hadn't I gotten up sooner. I knew...I knew... that stupid BALLOON. Have I said how much I dislike them? It turns out that Christian had tied the balloon around his wrist so tight, his hand was turning purple. Not good, know. Could have been much worse. Thank you, Lord. Another lesson learned; danger is lurking behind every corner. I need to be more watchful. I'm so glad the Lord protected my baby. Had it not been Christians wrist? I proceeded to wake from my *slumber* a little bit of a different person.

Friday, December 2, 2011

lessons learned

Sometimes I learn deep, spiritual lessons. Sometimes I learn lessons that at first hurt, but in the end result in making me a better person. Sometimes I learn lessons so I can teach them to others. Today I learned you should never bring a nearly 2 year into a very crowded Christmas season Kohl's with a balloon from "Red Robin" tied to his wrist. The balloon went up...and up...and up (man those ceilings are high) Mommy couldn't reach it. Even though I tried to climb on the racks. just kidding. maybe. Jeremiah's yells went up...and up...and up. (boy he's got some healthy lungs) Jeremiah couldn't understand it. Even though he tired, maybe. It was a bad idea from the beginning. I knew they should have just left their balloons in the van. But they wanted to bring them in. I relented. So, no deep spiritual lesson here. Just bringing back to memory why I think balloons are a bad idea.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My kids are growing up. Too fast. In a flash- or so to speak. I can't even get a picture of them. Not a good one, at least. Too quick. Too quick for my slow picture taking hands. And I'm only 33, or is it 34. I forgot. I was born in '78, that's all I know. I was cleaning my basement storage area the other day and found a sweet picture of Elijah. He was 2. I can't believe used to be 2. He had curly hair, I had almost forgotten. But the picture reminded me. Thank God...all my boys look very similar. Glad I've marked the pictures with names. I got a postcard today from the piano tuner stating that it had been a year since my last tuning. Are you serious? A year. has a way of eluding you. What are you doing with your time?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So.... I started a new blog. I couldn't access my old one. who knows why. Lot's of pictures on that old one... I'll miss that...but oh well. such is life I'm living the good life As my Blog suggests. it's the place to be. I'm here. So here I am, blogging again, about, know. Nothing in particular.