Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Sweatpant Week


Have you ever had a sweatpants day? You know, when you have no desire to leave the house. Well this week has been a sweatpants week! The big kids both had running noses and the 3 boxes of tissue we had were gone in 2 days. They did not want to do anything including school work which made it hard for all of us. Only after the fact, do I realize, that their little heads and bodies were hurting too. Clay tells me often that he does not want to do school so when he told me a couple of days this week, I just assumed it was as usual. When someone is not feeling well, it seems to make all of us grumpy--a sweatpants week!

This morning I awoke with a sore throat and runny nose. I wish I had gotten sick first to know what those little darlings felt like and would have had more sympathy for them and the tears and tissues that were used this week. The kids, thankfully, are feeling much better. We did not start school off first thing this morning for obvious reasons. I decided to wait until after lunch while our little lady was napping.

I told the big kids to pull the dirty linens off of their bunk beds. They went to work creating a great mound of pillows, sheets, and blankets for jumping and Blake joined in as well. I brought clean linens into the room and helped them make the beds. Clay was working on the top bunk and I on the bottom. Clay asked me if he had Jesus in his heart. I answered, " I do not know, did you ask Jesus to be in your heart?" I told him that is something only he can do. We had talked baptism and the A B Cs (admit, believe, and confess) many time before. He had learned lots of scripture on the topic-I myself have wondered when it would all click and at one time was anxious for it. Clay then popped his head around the side of the bed and said,"Well He is there now, 'cause I just asked Him to come into my heart!" I was speechless-numb actually. I knew that he knew and when I thought about how this little guy is wired-it is indeed the way Clay works. Any other time, I sat down with a child and the Bible and answered questions and looked up scripture to lead them.

In my numbness, I went to the phone to call Mark. Clay did not know that is what I was doing and he beat me there saying, "I got to call dad!" We left a message and then Clay called him back later and got him. Mark believed without a doubt!

I talked with a friend on the phone later that day and he asked if I told her. I told him it was his good news to tell and he said, "I want you to tell everyone."

Mark had a long day and I told Clay that dad and I would like to sit, talk and pray with him tonight. Clay suggested we put the girls to bed and let him stay up longer and maybe even play a video game-nice try on the video game.

Mark took the big kids to get ice cream and cones (a bonus) at the store to celebrate Clay's spiritual birthday. We did our bedtime routine and then the 3 of us nestled on the couch. We talked about his decision and Clay shared some scripture with us: 1John 4:14 and John 3:16. He had memorized them but looked them up in my Bible to show us. Both verses tells of our need for a Saviour. I so needed to hear that from him! He was able to tell us that he needed to be saved from his sins and defined what a sin. Mark talked to him about his need for a Lord as well. Clay was able to relate that to Jesus being the Shepherd and our being the sheep. Clay loved that time with both of us and to discuss the WORD! We prayed, hugged him another million times and sent the soul for whom the angels were rejoicing to bed. All the time, I was wearing my sweatpants and now they just don't seem so YUCK anymore.

Dear God, thank you for answering this 8 year prayer that Mark and I began with the news of this tiny person growing in my womb. You are faithful God, to the unfaithful. Thank you for blessing me, as I feel I am holding that new born baby in my arms all over again! I pray that he will live each day according to this moment! Thank you God for being Father.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cheerleaders and Underwires


I don't know how I missed this story but I LOVE IT!!! In reading through Exodus with my favorite people, we read Ch. 17 vs. 8-15. I was so excited to share this story with my scholarly husband who said, "you have never heard that?" Well, guess I was sick that week in Sunday School.
So Moses, Aaron, and new to the scene, Joshua, are still wandering the desert with the Israelites. They are attacked by the Amalekites. Moses sends Joshua to get some men and go and fight. Moses goes to the top of the mountain with Hur, who is a him, and Aaron. As long as Moses holds his staff in his hands in the air, Joshua and his army are winning. But when Moses's arms are tired and begin to lower the staff, the Israelites are losing. Hur and Aaron them position themselves to hold up Moses's arms for him.
In my life, I have Aarons and Hurs. They hold me up when they see I feel defeated or things are tough or not enough hours in the day or not enough hands or not enough sleep...you know those moments, days, and sometimes weeks. In those days God is molding and making me but without the Hurs and the Aarons, I could easily accept defeat. For years I have called these folks my underwires...the hold me up and support me! But not only that, they cheer me on! Thank you for being my cheerleaders on those days when my arms were dropping. It is your kind words of encouragement, comments on my post, writing on my "wall", hugs, emails, and hanging in the trenches with me that love on me more than you will ever know. What an honor to be your friend! Thank you!
I love you so that I would only depict you as national champion UK cheerleaders.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Showing Me More

When looking at our spending, I am constantly asking myself and God how we can do better?

We are preparing for a trip that was given to us. As we prepare for this once in a lifetime opportunity, we are on a spending freeze. I have learned how little I need and just when I think I know it all, God shows me more.
Today, my precious husband had quite a day. He afforded me the luxuary of scrapbooking at a friend's house while he stayed home with the kids. After I was there for some time, he called to ask how much soap to use in the washer. My friend conveyed it to him and then told me that he said, stay as long as you like. I knew he meant it so, I stayed another hour or so.

When I got home, he was cleaning up from feeding the children dinner. He asked if I ate and threw a plate in the microwave to warm my dinner. I sat with our son going through the pictures of his first year of life and talking. Mark walked by and told me he wanted to talk with me later about what happened that day. When we were alone I asked. He very calming told me he took the dirty laundry basket downstairs. He turned the basket upside down to empty it and much to his surprise a paint can comes out of the basket and opens on the clothes he had just got because of his weight lose. I had put the paint in there to be taken back downstairs not thinking of what might happen. I apologized for what I had done. He was okay with it and said he believes he got it all cleaned up. He then tells me that he had preheated the oven to fix a frozen pizza for dinner. When he went to the basement to retrieve it, he opened our freezer to find thawed food. It was broken and half filled with spoiled food. Poor man! What a day!

I have asked where we need to cut back and God is showing me what we WANT versus what we NEED. We like that freezer and loading it up. We can sure use it but do we REALLY need it?
I am reminded, "And my God will meet all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19.
"Consider the ravens : They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are then birds!" Luke 12:24.

We will not be rushing out this week to purchase a new freezer-neither new or used. But we will continue to see how God meets our every need and thank Him for it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Dinner Napkin


When Mark and I were engaged, one of my mother-in-laws used only cloth napkins. She mentioned how easy they were to launder and how much cheaper they must be as well. I decided to try it! I even remember someone laughing at my bridal shower when they heard we were going to use cloth napkins. Well, almost 13 years later--we are still using them!! They are so easy, I just throw them in with the towels to wash and the kids help fold them. I can not even imagine maple syrup without a cloth napkin!

Napkins are usually sold in bundles of 2 or 4. Since there are 3 of us here all the time using napkins, we end up with a mismatched table at times. When this began, we allowed the person with the odd napkin the honor of saying the blessing. Now even when there is a set, the kids grab an odd napkin to bless someone. They love to give this privilege to one another and sometimes even Dad and I get the napkin. You are allowed to choose someone else to say the blessing in your place if you said the blessing at lunch or breakfast already. I have also noticed the kids will come to the dinner table a little faster at times to sit at the seat with the odd napkin.

One evening our son commented on how cool it was that everyone wanted to say the prayer. Indeed it is and just to think it all happened because of a cloth dinner napkin.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our Valentine Week

One thing I neglected to point out in the Valentine post is that I am frugal when it comes to our household! Our family is blessed beyond measure and we do not need for anything! Just thought I would share how this week really turned out and how little effort and cost it was not to mention an added bonus!

Monday- I always have the kids with me so it is difficult to purchase surprises for them not to mention that the store closes at 10pm here. So right after dinner, I shot out the door to do my shopping. I had mentioned to precious man that I needed to go to get stuff before baths. He heard baths. I rushed in with the bubble bath to find 2 sweet girls already soaking but still glad to see that bubbles would be there for her next bath! Man cub was playing cards with dad so I was able to sneak his shower gel back. He was thrown off by the gift and accepted that I just wanted to show him love this week (even though shower gel was not speaking his language today!) Cost for Monday about $3.75

Tuesday- Great Snakes class was held at the library for brother, sister played on computer, girlfriend watched baby as I ran out to the van to place a pack of gum in each booster seat with a note that said, "I will always 'CHEWS' you! Love mom and dad" When we left the library man cub questioned why sister had something in her seat, who put it there? what was it? I just stared at his seat until he turned and looked. He said, "This is the kind I like!" Followed by, "can we have a piece?" Cost of Tuesday less than $2-I haven't a clue how much gum cost! Well worth the smiles and surprises. Lydia made a Valentine at the library and hid it in daddy's drawer-love is contagious!

Wednesday-Divided a box of Cosmic Brownies by Little Debbie-3 for each. Went to hide them in their unmade beds and much to my surprise Man Cub had made his bed!! Slipped his under his pillow and asked sister to go make her bed. Whispered in Man cub's ear to look under his pillow. Sister meanwhile, had decided to whine about having to make her bed. I just smiled knowing she had no clue of why I asked. Clay called for his sister. She returned up the hall with a big smile and I teased her about her whiny performance and she hugged my neck. She was allowed to eat a brownie and then commented that she was going to make her bed. I just love that kid's smile! We see it a lot around here! Cost of Wed. $1.25 of so. Clay loved being on the giving end of the fun.

Thursday-Checked out art supplies on Monday but we did not need anything and the cost was a little more than I wanted to spend. So before art class, I asked the kids to do their chores. Laundry day for Clay and putting away silverware for Lydia. Clay walked to the dryer to see a dollar bill clinging to the glass. Lydia opened the dishwasher to find her dollar in with silverware. She said, "someone washed a dollar!" I said, "I think someone just got a Valentine gift!" Again, the hug and that smile! They put the money away but big plans were building on how to spend it. Thursday cost $2, how easy can it get! Clay made a fancy valentine folding paper in art class for his family.

Friday-Best day by far! We have to go to a neighboring (and larger) community on Fridays for gymnastics class. I told the kids we were taking a pit stop at someplace they like to go but we never go as part of our Valentines week. They asked questions and I answered them. After gymnastics, I spelled P-E-T as the last clue. Clay guessed it right off-PetCo. We looked at cats, mice, rats, snakes, lizards, birds, and fish. Baby girl also enjoyed-esp. the rats! I picked up a light bulb for our small tank. We decided on a small goldfish and the employee caught the exact fish Clay was eyeing. We were about to walk away, since it was suggested only 2 fish in our small tank and we had one at home, but that beautiful smile so sweetly said, "I want one." I had not even thought she would be interested but I was more than glad. The employee asked which one she wanted but she did not care. He told her he would pick out a pretty one for her. Indeed it was. Cost for Friday- 27 cents total and I had the 2 happiest kids on the planet and the pacifier, car seat, and the 30 minute ride home was just what the other one needed. The kids held so proudly to their new pets. Daddy got home just in time for he and Lydia to clean the tank while Clay finished his schoolwork. Best 27 cents I have ever spent!

Bonus for mom-the kids once again fell into the routine of following directions the first time because they never knew if it would be the surprise waiting for them (they try the rules out occasionally to see if they still stand.) ALSO, they were thinking of others and made cards for grandparents and teachers at church and the library.

Saturday -Mark has hung the cards the kids gave us on our bedroom door so they can see that they did give us goodies and we will decorate their doors as soon as I get off the computer!

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope is it PRICELESS!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Led by a Child


Wednesday night means AWANA club! Although with the harsh weather conditions and half of our team not able to be there tonight, I hoped there would not be a lot of kids. I know! It is awful but it is the truth. To get the kids motivated, I challenged them with obtainable goals if they did the work. Man, did they work! But not until I was home with my kids in bed did I hear how much work was really done!

A mom called me to tell me a conversation that she and her 2nd grader, Naomi had. A girl from Naomi's class at school came to AWANA with another of their friends. The girls were so excited to have their friend there. I checked on the kids and saw that Taylor was doing well learning John 3:16. Close to the end of the evening, the girls were in group time together-all 3 of them. The teacher of this group was simply filling in for the usual teacher. She talked to the kids about the plan of salvation. She told them if any of them would like to talk about it, she would be available to talk with them. When Taylor heard this, she asked her friend Naomi about it because she needed to do that-ask Jesus into her heart. When Taylor asked, Naomi confidently answered. She prayed the prayer of salvation and had Taylor repeat after her. Naomi was so confident that she never told a teacher but rather told her mom when she got home tonight as a way to celebrate! A second grader led a child to Christ!!! How COOL is that!

Oh God, that I could be as bold as Naomi and as obedient as Taylor. I am so blessed by what You do despite me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages Click her to find the Love Languages Quiz!

Love Languages


Gary Chapman wrote the book The Five Love Languages. With Valentine's Day quickly approaching thought it might be something for you to look at for your valentine:

1. Words of Affirmation this includes all of those "thank you for doing this", "you are great at that", "you always do such a good job" kinda stuff. Give your valentine a note telling them all the reasons you love them or have the kids help write a book of why their parent is the greatest.

2. Gifts just that! Your valentine would like new jewlery, flowers, perfume-gifts!

3. Acts of Service is doing a chore or a yucky job for your spouse.

4. Quality Time your valentine likes to get away, just the 2 of you ,as well as conversations with you and no TV to compete with.

5. Physical Touch is holding hands, snuggling, kissing and intimacy.
I worked in a florist in high school and helped out at holidays during and after college. Valentine's Day was the hardest day of the year. It ranked in comparison of selling cheeseburgers in the infield of the KY Derby! Since this job, I do not appreciate the gift of flowers for Valentine's Day. My husband and I decided to love one another in our own love languages. I helped at the florist that Valentine's Day but came home later that night with wilted roses (like I said a hard day that last longer than one would expect) scattered throughout our home but this time they were indicators of chores my husband has done-dusting, disinfecting our son's changing table, vacuuming...the day to day stuff!

I had emailed family and close friends to help me with Mark's gift. I handed him a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves containing notes from people he loved. Each note mentioned a quality of Mark that they admired, a memorable story and basically their love for him. There were empty sleeves to add other notes to the binder. When parents or students wrote him notes, we added them to the binder.

This was one of our favorite Valentine Celebrations! Take the quiz at fivelovelanguages.com to learn your and your Valentine's Love Language.


Chapman also wrote The Five Love Languages of Children and another for Teens. With the 4 people in our home (since baby is still too young) we have 4 different Love Languages so we have to think outside of our own little boxes.

Hope this helps you to show your love to your Valentines!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Valentine Idea




WOW! Valentine's Day is almost here! Just wanted to let you know of something I will be doing for our big kids for the holiday, an idea I got from the book, God's Roap Map for Moms. Our kids love the little things so this will be right up there alley! Beginning on Monday before Valentine's Day I will leave little "love notes/gifts" for them. Our daugher's with have a purple heart on it and our son's will have a red heart so there is no confusion-nor do I expect there to be because the gifts are specific to them.


MONDAY: Before bathime, one child will find bubbles on the side of the bathtub and the other will find his own shower gel. Miss Blake may get a new bottle of lotion. I know it sounds simple but these are things they have mentioned.


TUESDAY: Their grandmother recently bought them each a pack of gum and they ate it up in no time. I will place a pack of gum under each of their pillows one morning while they are eating breakfast for them to be found when they make their beds. They have stuck surprises under one another's pillows before and love it.


WEDNESDAY: A treat will be waiting for them when they do their chores- a Little Debbie Snack in the dishwasher and another in the clothes dryer. Baby Blake will find a new treat tucked into the cabinet with a pink heart on it just for her. Those cakes are indeed a treat!


THURSDAY: The children will find a new art supply when they come up the stairs from school. Probably a sketch pad for Clay and something like glitter glue for Lydia will await them on the landing of the stairs. We will be in the art mood since they have art class that day.


FRIDAY: The kids will find a coupon for a trip to PetCo after gymnastics class and maybe a new fish.


Saturday: They will awake to their bedroom doors decorated to let them know how much we love them and how precious they are to us! Baby's door decorated too, just a little lower to the ground so she can rip it all off and drag it through the house! We did this several years ago and I think it is ready for another go around!
Hope you can love on your little ones too this year!






Sunday, February 1, 2009

333

When our Lydia was a baby I had a digital clock in her room. It helped me to decipher her cry and know what she needed. For several nights in a row the clock read 3:33 am. When I saw it, I recited Jeremiah 33:3 : "Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know." It was nice I know the scripture but I needed to DO the scripture. So as I fed my infant, I talked with my Savior. Whenever you see the numbers 333-PRAY. Have the kids watch for the numbers and pray with you. They can be on a clock, a house number, phone number....where ever Just go 333-its God's phone number!