The Miracle of Life-Our Photo Journey

Daddy still in his scrubs.

Our perfect brand new dolly with the hand crocheted cap the hospital used during her stay.

The special new parents hospital meal. I had stuffed flounder, baked potato, peas and carrtos, and chocolate cake. Conrad had Delmonico steak, rice pilaf, peas and carrots, and strawberry topped cheesecake.

Nurse giving baby dear a bath. Baby was NOT impressed.

Bless my dear husband’s heart! He brought a “picnic” to my bedside…flowers included! I felt extra loved!

Headed home to real life. No top-notch nursing staff at my every beck and call.

Little lad likes to try out baby’s new equipment.

My gorgeous daughters!

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How to Successfully Waste $1.25

I know how to successfully waste $1.25. Let me explain. The other day I went to the mall to go to Bath and Body Works. I figured while I was there I would stop in at Boscov’s because I needed some summer tablecloths. For a wedding gift, my parents had given us this beautiful handcrafted solid cherry table with matching chairs. I treasure this gift and with the arrival of children it began to receive marks and scratches so I’ve begun to use tablecloths at mealtime. Well, my tablecloths were beginning to look like they should be cut up for rags so I figured I’d check things out while I was there. Sure enough! Boscov’s had nice tablecloths for 50% off. I picked out two and then so  happened to walk by the “clearance”. Now when I see a “clearance” sign, I instinctively MUST stop and check it out. Here on clearance was some beautiful indoor/outdoor tablecloths for $8.74 originally $34.00. How delighted I was! I could save myself $1.25 per tablecloth. So I conscientiously put the other two back and I paid for two indoor/outdoor tablecloths I liked. I got home and was going to excitedly show my husband my “bargains”. I like telling him how much I saved. Much to my dismay, the one was made for an oblong umbrella table and the other one was oval! What I needed was just a normal tablecloth for an oblong table! I was disappointed! In my zealous desire to save money, I’d wasted $2.50! I think I’m discovering the need to CAREFULLY read the packages and that maybe it would be smarter to shell out $1.25 more for what I truly need.

So this post is to show how you can waste $1.25 too! Actually, I’m just kidding! Saving money is a important and necessary. Why? God has poured a bunch of wealth in the “room” of North America so that He could be glorified when we seek to help those in other “rooms” like Africa and their starving; like Asia and the innocent and exploited children, like North Korea and the persecuted Christians who are dying for the cause of Christ. Why do you save money? Are they selfish reasons? Are they God-reasons?

How do you; my readers, save money? Why do you save money? I’d love to hear tips from you!

Testimony Tuesday~ A Mom

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk ‘s office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. ‘What I mean is, ‘ explained the recorder, ‘do you have a job or are you just a …?’ .. ”Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman. ”I’m a Mom.”

”We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself In the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like, ”Official Interrogator” or ”Town Registrar.”  ”What is your occupation?’ she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. ”I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and Looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, In bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

”Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, ”Just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, ”I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) And already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) And I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers And the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than ”just another Mom.”

Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there’s a title on the door. Does this make grandmothers ”Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations”? And great grandmothers ”Executive Senior Research Associates?” think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts ”Associate Research Assistants”.

May your troubles be less, Your blessing be more, And nothing but happiness come through your door! Happy Mother’s Day………Every day!!!

I’m not sure where this story originates but I think it has a good point. May you be blessed today!

Roadside Monuments

This evening as we went for our typical Sunday walk and ride, I heard a voice. “Mom, I need to go potty!” We were not even to our half way point and being great with child there was NO way I was turning around. I said to the erring one, “Didn’t I tell you to go before we left and you said you did? Did you or didn’t you?” To which we unearthed the truth; no potty episode had occurred. I was pretty upset. With Daddy’s assistance, we continued our walk. Out of the clear blue, the erring one got off the bicycle. “Daddy, can we stop right here and ask God to help me not tell lies?” Right then and there we stopped walking and the clover and weeds became a holy spot as Daddy and little one prayed asking for the Father’s help. It truly was a precious sight-the innocence of the child and the protection of Daddy.

Monuments are of great importance in our lives so that we remember what has happened in our lives. Repeatedly the Bible calls us to remember. Remember what we were called out from. Remember God’s Word. Remember what we are looking forward to. Memorials, monuments and altars can be small but take the time for them. I’m not sure what would have happened if we would have told the child that since we were on a walk we wouldn’t take the time. How does one create memorials or monuments? Some very practical ideas is scrapbooking pictures of answered prayer or of significant moments in one’s life, a shelf with mementoes that signify a certain time of life, jotting small things down on the calendar, jot down hopes and dreams, photographs, thankful journals, etc. Children especially connect with visual reminders and stories of God at work in their lives or the lives of people they know. Find what works for you. It will amaze you when you look back at where you were to where you are now.

Do you have monuments that remind you of God’s power and presence in your life? If so, I’d LOVE to hear from you!

Who Are You?

Are you orange juice?

Are you a doughnut?

Are you a hard-boiled egg?

I know these are interesting questions but it is what has been on my heart after a conversation with my husband the other day. Do you know that you fit into one of these three categories? Some people have other names for them such as a tough girl, party girl, and the people pleaser. These are my titles.

Are you the orange juice girl? The orange juice girl is one who is pleasing. Pleasing everyone that’s around her. She flows like juice does into every nook and cranny where her kindness is “perceived” to be needed. She is the one who will go the second and third mile to make sure she is accepted by those around her. Deep underneath all the kindness is this huge fear that if she says “no” or does not respond perfectly in a given situation, she will be rejected. If her pleasant taste isn’t experienced just maybe she will be poured away.

Maybe you are the doughnut girl? This girl is like a huge cream filled doughnut stuffed with sweet filling and then rolled in white doughnut powder. The doughnut girl is fun and fluff. She is the one you can hang out with on any given day. She is the one who will be available to party at 11:00 a.m. or 11:00 p.m. She knows how to make a joke out of pretty much anything. When you are with her, you can be sure laughter will be around as much as the powder on your doughnut shows on your face. The laughter and party conceals a heart that is afraid of being real, of vulnerability. The doughnut girl is used to coping with pain through laughter.

If you don’t see yourself in the top two examples, maybe you are the hard-boiled egg. The hard-boiled egg girl is the one who can be counted on. She is the one who can walk into a tough situation and not appear to be bothered. She knows what she thinks. She knows why she thinks what she does. She also knows her action plans to pull things off. She can be a faithful supporter. The hard-boiled egg girl is tough just like the shell of a hard-boiled egg she needs cracked open to see what’s inside. This hard-boiled egg girl has learned that life isn’t safe. She has been deeply wounded and betrayed and finds it very difficult to allow people to see the golden “yoke” that is her heart. If you get beyond the tough exterior, you will find a gold mine of resources.

Which girl are you? The orange juice girl, the doughnut girl, and the hard-boiled egg girl all have something important, something good. This something good is valuable until it becomes a coping mechanism to protect yourself from relationships that are deep and meaningful.

For myself, I find that often I try to be to people what I think they want. If you want an orange juice girl, I’ll try to be nice. If you want the doughnut girl, I’ll party for an evening or two or three. But normally I find that most often I am the hard-boiled egg  girl. I am the one who many times appears as the “rock”.  I came to realize  that I was coping with life through being tough. In some rocky situations, I’d shut my heart down; giving everyone around me the tough outer shell of a hard-boiled egg. There has been too much pain by being honest and open with people only to have them betray you. The risk of loving was too great and so I found myself shutting down. Do you do this type of thing in your styles of relating? Or am I the only one?  The Holy Spirit is gently working with me. Do I want to live my life being tough? Yes, God has given me a strong personality but He wants a soft golden heart along with the toughness. What does God want from you?

Today I bless each of you; my readers as you figure out what type of girl you are and what God wants from you! May He be glorified!

Getting Rid of the Grumpy Grandmas

We’ve been having a case of the grumpy grandmas at our house. When one child doesn’t get his way, what displeasure and sour attitudes have come to the surface the last number of days. I can really connect to the picture, feeling as though I could pull out my hair with the selfishness, quarrelling, etc. Are we the only one’s that experience this at our house? I figured probably not because children will be children so I thought today I would share what I do. First of all though, I want to tell you how I came up with the “grumpy grandma” phrase. My son has been asking repeatedly to go to see grandma the last while. We live an hour away from Grandma’s house thus we can’t just pick up and go at anytime of the day and make it a worthwhile trip. Different times when I’ve told him that no we can’t go today to grandma’s house the pouting comes out. I then told him that we can’t take the grumpies to grandma because she’d chase them away.  Thus the phrase came to be.

What are tips of dealing with grumpy grandmas? For very young children, a change of scenery can make a world of difference such as going outside or into another room. Having them sit on your lap as you read a story. Playing a game with them such as “Patty Cake”. For older children (3+), some of the things are the same. I’ve found making them play outside for a while even if its cold can make a difference (make sure they are properly dressed for the weather). Giving the child a small job like emptying the dishwasher, picking up toys, or cleaning their room. For my daughter, sending her to her room just for quiet time until she can be cheerful can make a world of difference. Sometimes they need to have “time out” until they can look me in the eyes and sing a song. Interaction can also be very key to chasing away the grumpies as sometimes they are acting up simply to get my attention. I will leave the older children (10+) to moms who are/have been there. At this stage in life, I think probably interaction with the grumpy child would be huge also giving them keys for dealing with the grumpies on their own like journalling or creating picture collages of what they are feeling.

I’d like to hear from you! What do you to deal with the grumpy grandmas in your life or in your children? We are in this together to build a rising generation of mighty God-serving children that change the world!

Character Building Wednesday

Hi everyone! How did letter “G” go for you this past week? Our choice of words was gladness and gratitude. Being grateful has a way of changing how one looks at life. Sure enough there were bumps in our life in the past week and YES it was difficult to be thankful for them. Like knowing that I offended someone because I see things as black and white. When something is wrong and  I know its wrong then I am not afraid to stand for right. This at times causes offenses. How does one be grateful for negative reactions? On the other hand, I found so many things to be grateful for all week-long and really mean it. Things like hubby going yard sailing with me, walks on the old railroad bed as the children rode bike, for my parents, being able to celebrate Conrad’s Grandpa’s 85th birthday after which the family sang, and many other things.

Things that make me glad:

    Poppop buys watermelon for his one and only~Jordan. A delightful treat that the whole family benefits from! In April, watermelon tastes yummy!

 

Watermelon dribbles on the chins and table and my freshly washed kitchen floor.

 

 

 

Beautiful Sunday evenings for walks and bike rides.

Healthy minds

Healthy bodies

Healthy relationships

Bicycles in the ditch.

Strength to get them out .

 

 

 

Beautiful springtime flowers. These smelled awesome!

 

 

 

The list goes on. Like the freshly weeded garden, even though it’s not completed it’s getting there. The rolls and rolls of giggles of delight as Daddy blows under little lad’s arm. A working happy family, sure we have our quarrels and disagreements but it doesn’t stop there, we seek to work through them. Of course, God’s faithfulness and leading in our lives! He’s been SO very good to us!

Now for this week.

Health

What words will you choose? Here is some suggestions to get you thinking -hygiene, hope, happiness, healing choices, helping,  hearing

What is our game plan for the week? Making healthy choices specifically physical health but also emotional and spiritual health. Let’s start with physical health. This means getting to bed at a decent hour as it is not unusual for my little ones to be going strong at 10:00 p.m. Physical health means taking our vitamins, brushing teeth, and drinking enough water. And simple things like washing our hands properly. We will likely take a trip the library and pick up a book or two on health for the kids. Emotional health will be processing our emotions in a good way. This means talking through obstacles that arise. We will build healthy relationships by not getting so busy we don’t have quality time together. Spiritual health will mean enjoying time around God’s Word like acting out verses in the Proverbs such as the straight and the crooked paths. Spiritual health may also include listening to uplifting Christian music.

I hope you will join me on this fascinating journey! What word/words will you choose for “H”? What is your game plan? I’d be thrilled to hear from you! May God bless you!