Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rachel is ONE!!!


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Grandma J loves her Rachel.
Pop loves these kids!




Okay - scroll down for my message - I can't move the pics around for some reason -





Below is the picture Lilly painted for Rachel!














This is the picture Daniel painted for her.
















To the left is a pic of the girls in their new PJ's from Grandma.













Grandma and her special girl!






















Ella Cate painted this for Rachel.















Rachel loved the bows!!! Lilly found them!





































Rachel absolutely loved all the attention.



She is sleeping with her Seahorse now. Lilly wanted it so badly. She had a Glow-worm that Uncle Brad gave her when she was little.

























Me and Rachel with the pic of me and my dad.













This is what happens when you allow your SIL to hold the camera -


















The kids and the frog cake - not sure what they are doing - I am cleaning Rachel up!

















Ella Cate just shoves it in.












MONSTER BABY!!

It took her a long time to get into the cake. She just beat it like a drum. Uncle Ned tried to help.








Aunt Melanie and Lilly with the rolls Lilly made - the frog cake I struggled with. This is the worst looking cake I ever made. I was sure it was going to fall apart.













My baby just turned one. Yes, there is a bit of bittersweetness in that. I am sad that I do not plan to have any more children. Four seems like such as small number when I look around and realize, I have no more babies. No one will be so needy for mommy. No one will wrap their little fingers around my and feel completely safe. And yet, there is a freedom in it. I was excited to put her in my dress, because it felt like a good way to end it. While I won't need to buy just a number one candle ever again, I will have kids old enough to help out and have fun. Soon I will not need to carry anyone around, my hands will be free. Sadly, I think they will get lonely.







All of that aside, we had such fun. I had so much to do today and Lilly really helped out. She helped with decorations and cooking. She was amasing, wanting everything to be just right for the party.







We made paper chain decorations, the kids each picked a gift for Rachel from their own toy stash to pass down. Lilly chose a ballerina suit and a book. Ella Cate selected a book and a stuffed turtle she made at VBS. Daniel chose to give her his stuffed puppy - not sure that gift will stick.




They also wrapped up the pictures they painted and framed. I made a roast and Lilly made homemade rolls. I helped in the areas I needed to but she really did a lot of work. It was delicious. We had a frog cake and Rachel had a small cake for herself. Her brother and sisters decorated it. She sat in the floor an picked at it and played, surrounded by family. It was nice and quaint. She watched her gifts be opened by Lilly, EC and Daniel. The blue dress she is wearing is what I wore for my First Birthday.




She laughed and smiled. She scooted around. It was simply wonderful.







I took a little time this morning to look back at Rachel's baby book and think back. While the delivery was and is a bad memory, I sat and thought about the first night held her, the next night when Aunt Laura was in charge. I think Aunt Laura stayed awake all night checking on Rachel. I haven't had much time to sit back and really take in how much Rachel has changed.







So that is what I plan to do - sit back and think...look at pictures....realize how wonderfully blessed I am. PRASIE GOD!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is here!!

So I am sure that many will ask how it went today during our first day of Home school this year. (I have been working with Lilly for three years now and Ella Cate for 2.5) My answer will be that it went perfect and without a hitch. However, only those of you who dare to delve into the deep recesses of my mind will be privy to the truth. The truth is that it went better than expected but not as well as I had hoped.

Ella Cate did wonderful. She grasps new concepts so easily and she finished her work promptly. She anxiously awaits the next assignment and a hug from mommy for her accomplishments. Today when school was over I gave her extra hugs while Lilly was brushing her teeth so that she would know I appreciate the hard work she does.

Now, Daniel did interrupt a few times but you all would be astonished to know that he babysat Rachel in the living room.....alone!! He would come and let me know if she was stinky or wet. He would come and let me know if she was pulling him or pinching him or being bad in some other way. He brought her toys and got out Lilly's guitar and played a song for her and even serenaded her. How precious!! He came in a few times to irritate the girls which got no good attention from mommy so he left. He even came a few times to sit and see what they were doing and participate. He worked so hard that he was asleep within minutes of me laying him down.

As for Lilly, we still have so far to go. I look at her through my 'mommy' eyes and see the potential but no effort. She completed almost everything, but it took twice as long. She cried off and on but nothing too bad until the end. She got upset about a few things and eventually kept murmuring over and over that she is bad. I never told her that. I told her she was being disrespectful. She only heard bad. I get frustrated with her. At the end, she had to draw a family tree and just fell off the school wagon. She cried and yelled until her voice was gone and her face was swollen and splotchy. I went over and held her crayon box and she finished within three minutes. All I did was hold the box. I didn't really say anything. I didn't force anything, I just held the box. I noticed during reading that she doesn't listen to the first letters or syllables in words. The letter was 'a' and she kept saying that the short /a/ sound and the beginning of the word 'pencil' sounded the same. Was she joking? She never would change her story. She just laughed. So the 'mommy' eyes close and the 'teacher' eyes open. I wonder, is there a deep rooted problem that I don't know about? Does she maybe have some sort of learning problem that will prohibit her from learning? My 'teacher' eyes are well-trained, they do not compare the two girls, they see the students as individuals. Ella Cate is accelerating. Lilly is being left behind. Why? What is the issue with Lilly? Math was easier for her, as always. What do I do?
'Mommy' mode sets back in.....I think back to those stupid tests we had to take in college which registered me with Dyslexia and recommended I be tested...HA HA - I have always been an A student. Yes, I have to study hard and yes, I have to check and re-check and find things slightly wrong and number backwards but that is just me. I can't help but feel that our society has made it all to easy for a person to be labeled. Do I want to label her? I refused being tested further. I don't want to do her a dis-service if she has problems but I certainly do not want to incorrectly label her with a test that isn't truly valuable.
'Teacher' mode again.....Calm down - it is only day one. Don't stress out. She will be fine.

In conclusion - she will be fine. I know it. We will continue to plunge forward and see what awaits us. I know that I had several people praying for me today and it worked. I had unimaginable patience today. Please continue to lift us up. I need it so much.
Thank you to all who are praying for us on this crazy road. SC
(pictures will be added later after our celebration dinner tonight)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Amazing Love...

Check out the link below and the blog listed to the side entitled the Journey. Think you had a rough day? Ever feel as if you give and give and never get? Ever get the sense that others your age woudln't be caught dead doing the job you have? Check out what this girl does and how much she gave up in order to give so much. Amazing love....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Polically Incorrect Correctness

Another day, another week...and what have I to show? I did go buy the rest of the new dishes that I found on clearance at Kohls. I am so excited. So if anyone needs a bunch of Corelle MY GARDEN dishware and accesories, let me know. I want to sell mine. I might try Ebay. I had a great babysitter on Monday who allowed me to get stuff done for our first day of school(Sept.1).
The house was clean at points. The kitchen was clean one day, the living room another. I had a sick Ella Cate on Wednesday so I missed church. Can't take a sweetie who is vomiting....too many people at church who can't get sick right now. Continued the battle of the thumbs. Trying to stop Daniel from sucking his thumb has been a loosing battle but we haven't retreated as of yet.

And just when the mundane-ness(I have a Master's degree- it is a word) seems to be winning, my kids throw in a curve ball. Tonight, Daniel stayed up front with Layne for his breathing treatments. The girls had to go on to bed; I just needed to know that I had some control somewhere. So I read to them about Elijah and Elisha, which led to the inevitable questions about Heaven. Lilly wasn't really in the conversation. At this point, she is content with her knowledge of Heaven and isn't really interested in knowing more, she is just anxious to be there. She continually tells me that she can't wait to get there to see Jesus and to play music with Landon for Jesus. Plus, she still says that Ella Cate might not be able to play becuase there are no plugs in Heaven(in their pretend band - Lilly is the guitarist and Ella Cate is the keyboard player-thus the need for an outlet). So Lilly just lied down in her bed and listened.

Ella Cate however became very anxious over the fact that she couldn't have Chewey in Heaven. She got very frustrated that her room wouldn't be there and other things of that nature. I explained to her that there would be no need for Chewey in Heaven because she would have Jesus to hug and would never be scared and need a stuffed lovie for comfort. Not much help. I even excitedly told her all about the fact that Jesus is preparing a place for us there so we won't need our house. She simply rolled up into a ball and cried. I backed away. What had I done? My baby was scared of Heaven and I was making it worse. What sort of mother was I? This week was a flop. Nothing had really been accomplished the way I wanted it to be.

A few minutes later, Ella Cate came sniffling into the living room where I ws sitting. She came up to me and whipsered, "Mommy, in Heaven, will we have to listend to Barack Obama?" I laughed and told her most likely no, in fact I felt pretty sure that the answer would be absolutely not. She smiled and scampered back to bed. Funny, perhaps her fears were politically founded. Perhaps she was worried that the health care reform was going to follow her to her grave. Just knowing that she could now sleep peacefully made me feel as if I had done my part as mommy. I had provided my little girl with a happy thought to help her drift to sleep. I gave myself a mental high-five and was on 'cloud nine'. Have I finally arrived as Mother-of-the-Year material...I think so.
Then Lilly came walking in and I thought, all right, I can help her feel better about life also and I will really be the best!!!! "Mommy, do we have to listen to Barack Obama on earth?" RATS!!! "Yes, baby, he is the President of the United States, we do have to listen to him." The sad look on her face as she slowly sulked back to her room said it all. No, not Mother-of-the-year yet. Not even close. Maybe next time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Burden of debt


I have issues with debt. It bothers me. I do not like to owe anyone money. Now, this post is not a pleading for money and it no way should be conveyed that Layne and I are being sent to the poor house and are financially unstable. That is not true. We are doing just fine right now. But we have debt. Debt makes my stomach turn flips.

My devotion this morning hit home. It asked me to look into what I am asking God for and why I am asking it. Then, if I am not receiving it, look for a reason in my walk. I am receiving what I need, but I have been asking God for a little more so that I could buy things that I just can't live without. That need hasn't been filled. Mainly because it isn't a need; it is a want. God can give us our wants, so why hasn't He given me this? Simple - I want the extra money so that I can buy things that are not needed while I owe money to various entities.

Matthew 7:7 - "Ask and it shall be given you...." - Now I understand how to ask for this specific item. Ask GOd to bless us with a little extra each month to put towards our debt. Once we are DEBT FREE, then I can begin buying thngs, with cash that is.

Now, don't walk away thinking we are moving to the poor house - just look at the above picture and you will see that we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. We have four healthy and happy kids and a church family to support us and a pastor who is involved and invested in us spiritually. Plus, we have a Savior who deemed us worthy of His calling. PRAISE GOD!!

Soccer season is here!!

Well, Soccer is here again! This year, Lilly and Ella Cate will be playing at a local church(not ours). I was fearful that I might have to coach but thankfully, God saw that it was looking like I would and so He interevened and placed it on the heart of someone else to do it. Don't get me wrong, I would love to coach, if I knew the first thing about soccer. I wanted to play soccer this year but the local club I wanted to join decided to have games on Sunday nights so that is out of the question. I guess I will need to find another way to get in shape. Which I need to do ever so desperately. On the pains of being a mom and out of shape. If only I had worked harder between babies instead of feeling overwhlemed and as if the baby factory would never close so what was the point of exercise. Now I see it. it is easy to get rid of one baby's worth of pounds but four???? How do mom's of multiples survive?? HELP!

Old Ramblings from my other web page

I am going to put my old ramblings up because I like to read them myself and don't want to loose them. Sorry if they bore you - I love them.
Why Jesus is my Precious Saviour:
I feel as if I have always known Jesus as my Savior. I can't remember a time when I didn't know Him. My mother has been a strong part of my life and her walk with Christ is steadfast. My dad worked odd shifts and rarely was able to go to church with us. Maybe he would have if his job had been more lenient. Both of my grandmothers were strong warriors for the LORD yet their walks were so different. One was outspoken and vivacious, the other mild and meek. I really was never in danger of not knowing Him as my Father and Creator. My dad passed away from here in 1987, one month before I was to turn 10 and he, 37. We had the same birth day. That was a troubling time. I can remember praying, while he was in the hospital, "Please Jesus, take me. Leave my dad to be with momma and Billy, they need him and they won't miss me as much." I can't tell you how angry I was when He didn't answer that prayer the way I wanted. I remember once, and only once, my mother broke down and was unsure of how we would survive but my grandaddy quickly told her it would be okay and my uncles told her God would provide. Would He? Yes. From that moment on, my mother was the strongest Christian I have ever met. She depended on Him as if her very life depended on it, because it did. She sought Him constantly and I heard her prayers and remember feeling that she was so strong, feeling blessed to have her. She raised us to understand that God was our Father, we must depend on Him. Praise God! She taught us that things like this happen to everyone. We are not alone. I felt we needed to find the positive side to our tragedy. We need a reason to be thankful for the trials. My Father's death brought about many wonderful things. It took years to see them. I was able to minister to a good friend in high school which led to one of the strongest friendships I had ever had. Even though she and I are no longer close, we can pick up our relationship at anytime and feel as if we never parted ways. I was able to leave my home church and find one more suited to my needs. If my family had gone to church together, my mother may have never let me leave but since it was just the three of us, she let me choose. There, I have made lasting friendships, met the man of my dreams and now have a wonderful family. Praise God for the trials and tribulations that are simply preparing a place for us in heaven. I look in every trial for that silver-lining. Sometimes, when I am coasting, I do pray for a trial, just so I can glimpse heaven once more.
At one point I had become so involved in my life, I had forgotten to find the Godly silver-lining. God showed me once more. I was hiking up the Rainbow Trail or somewhere near there, in the high country of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Colorado. My Father had been so generous that summer to show Himself to me so many times. As I was hiking, I remember getting frustrated because the pack was heavy, Dean(our leader) made me lead because I was the slowest, and I was tired. It was one hill after another. I was so upset. I prayed that God would just let the uphills end. I wanted a downhill walk all the way to camp. "God, you are God, make it happen. And do it now!!" And then a small, quiet voice said " My Child, if the uphills were not so strenuous, the downhills wouldn't be so wonderful." What???? What are you saying God?? And then it sunk in. If those uphill climbs were not so hard and so exhausting, the downhill coasting wouldn't mean as much. I would get tired of that also. I would be praying for a level path with no rocks. In order for those downhills to feel so great, I needed the uphill right before it. Praise God!! Blessed be His Name!! He knows exactly what we need. AMEN!! Thank you for the trials in our life. I need them to remind me to search for you and to show me that my faith is real. Thank you Father, for being just that, my Father, Abba. And for being everything else that I need. Amen.
5-22-08
I have been driving myself crazy lately getting ready for day camps and VBS. For weeks I have been consumed by the summer and making sure everything is planned for. Mind you I say planned for, not perfect. In fact, my kids have had to bare the brunt of my overwhelming frustrations lately. They have been able to misbehave a bit more and it has come to a head. Yesterday the girls were so naughty they weren't allowed to go to their class at church. It was a tough call to make but as their mom and someone who has a vested interest in their spiritual and social well-being. I made the decision. Rude eye-rolls from others and mean, hurtful words whispered under their breath only made me feel as if they didn't trust my judgment as a mom. I didn't just make them miss class, I taught them a lesson from the Bible. We sat down while thier friends were next door singing and playing with playdough and we learned about the "Honor your father and mother" command. They had to translate it into their own words. We discussed why it was in the Bible and why it is important that they obey the Lord's commands. Then they colored a poster with the commandment on it and when I point to it and ask them about it, they can tell me all about it now. And so far, when they disobey, all I have had to do is ask about the poster and they remember to listen. So, I felt good about that. I came home from church feeling victorious through my Savior and began the monotony of work again. I was so excited to get my camp brochures printed only to find I had swapped the costs of 2 camps. Bummer. I went to bed.
I woke up early this morning to sweet screams of Ella Cate who wanted to be up. She fell right back asleep within 5 minutes but Layne and I were wide awake. It was 6 anyway, time for him to be up. Within minutes, Daniel was up, then Lilly. Ella Cate woke up long enough to eat a granola bar and fall asleep on the couch.
So, Daniel and I were on the computer. He in my lap and me typing away at day camp stuff. He turned to nestle in and I took a moment to sit back and enjoy him.The light from the glorious morning sun rushed through our window only to brush his head. His hair was so sweet and so beautiful. I fall in love with his little blonde streaks each time I see them. I thought to myself that I was lucky to have three children with such beautiful blonde hair and then I realized the girls have red tinted hair, not blonde....so I then knew I needed coffee to make it today. But I remained in that seat with Daniel for what seemed like eternity. Wondering about his future. What would he be like? What will he sound like? Will he have the same hair color? Will he still find comfort and safety in my arms? Oh it was so wonderful to just be. Just being there with Daniel and God. What a joyous and precious moment. That eternity lasted about 3 minutes(those of you with 2 yr olds understand that anything over 2.5 minutes is an eternity) and then the aroma of pink lemonade filled the air. Odd I thought. The Koolaide pitcher is across the room. I must have made a great batch and my whole house will soon smell of happy times and lemonade, I thought. Then I realized Daniel was just busy burping. Burping and checking to see if I was paying attention. He then got up and with in seconds had spilled his popcorn(breakfast of champions) and fallen down creating an invisible boo-boo. His screams brought me back to the grind of today. But a grind I know am looking forward to...as soon as I get some coffee.

4-28-08 Reflections
Not sure why today seems to have become a day of reflection. Perhaps it is the rain. What a beautiful sound the rain is. So soft, so calming, even in a storm. It always reminds me to look into my walk with God. One day, I plan to walk with my Father in the rain. To listen to the drops hit each blade of grass and hear Jesus just breathe and relax in the rain. I used to love to run out and dance in the rain. There was just something so wonderful about the water hitting my skin. It made me feel as if forgiveness was granted and everything was wiped clean. And it was.
But today, the reflections keep popping up. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would be planning Day Camps and VBS, I would have laughed in your face. The college ministry was my number one ministry. Those kids meant the world to me. Their prayers and needs were on my heart at all times. I spent hours deciding what to teach them and making silly maps that they laughed at. So today, my heart hurts a little because I miss them. However, even though I am not a hugger, some of the kids that run up to me these days and hug me break my heart. And their unconditional love is amazing. I often have to scold these kids for doing something that they know is wrong, and three days later, they run up with hugs and questions. They don’t hold grudges or try to run the show. So different than the college group. It has made me come to a better realization of having faith as a child. Not to say bad things about the college group, because it isn’t just them. The problem is that they became adults and adults are cynical; we hold grudges, we view ourselves as better than someone else for unknown reasons but the kids aren’t like that. Of course, I see these qualities coming out in the older ones and while before I thought they were just growing up, now I think otherwise. They seem to be growing wrong. Following in the footsteps we have left for them. The footsteps are on the right path I think but maybe just not straight on. They see us hold grudges, get revenge, let anger take control, and they do the same. So, I see what my next motive for teaching them must be. I need to teach them to be not like me, not like most of us, but to be like Jesus. And that is a philosophy I have always held but I need to really focus on it. To remind them that their parents might be able to learn from them for now on. I hope to learn from mine. To love unconditionally. To trust Jesus at all cost.
Also, today has brought back lots of memories. My first doctor appointment will be tomorrow. I should be happy to be finally going but now, there is a fear developing. What if I go in and there is no heartbeat again? How do I get up from that and dance? How do I move on this time? Well, prayer for one. And having the trust and love for Jesus that I see in the kids in children’s church. That is how. I will get up and cry out to Him. And He will comfort me, He always has. I will find a purpose and a need to love Him deeper and then and only then will I be able to dance for Him again. So, for today, my sinful heart will beat me up, forcing me to think of the worst. The devil will tempt me with things but God will carry me through. He will love me because I am His. He knocked on the door of my heart years ago and I made the decision to go to Him and let Him in. And I will not walk away from Him. I know that I will walk with Him one day, as the rain pours down in a giant meadow(preferably in the High Country of Colorado) and then, as if it were something I do everyday(because I do) I will continue to walk with Him until we reach our destination – the place He has prepared for me.
~God, give me today the provision I need to make it. Pour out the blessing you have prepared that will guide me through today and keep me close by You, walking in Your Shadow.~
4-10-08 - Overwhelmed. A feeling I get a lot these days. I feel overwhelmed that I have 3 kids that I barely control. I feel overwhelmed at work b/c I don't feel like I am doing it right. I am overwhelmed at the amount of laundry and dishes and dust and dirt that consumes my house. Do I honestly just stink at everything I do? Why do I rarely feel that feeling of 'complete'? What is the problem? Am I trying to do it alone again? Why can't I seem to remember God? I subscribe to caring bridge site journals for a couple of local kids with cancer. I read one mother's admission she finally heard words worse than, "your child has cancer." Those words are "your child needs a double lung transplant." I read another mother's anger as the doctors and nurses have the nerve to wake her and ask her to stop touching their equipment. And this lady never sleeps b/c her child is dying in that room. These mothers are dealing with their children's lives ending and I can't handle the fact that mine won't clean up. These moms would trade places with me in a minute for their only troubles to be dirty clothes and shoes on the floor. And these moms are able to thank God for what they have. But do I? Not regularly. I get fed-up with how selfish I am. I am tired of my attitude and my actions. But it is hard to get away from yourself. Almost impossible. I wonder if everyone else gets these feelings of disliking themselves or am I just so bad that it is only me?
I believe in freewill. I believe God gives us choices. So, my choice is to try harder and not be so full of myself. After all, I am supposed to be full of Christ....right?
Funny side note: As I sit here, silently crying my eyes out in the dark, I am reminded of those old Doogie Howser, MD shows where he would type up a life changing, thought provoking tid-bit at the end. So, what is my big lesson today? What tid-bit do I have to offer? Sorry, I have nothing. Only that at this moment, I dislike who I have become a little more than I did an hour ago. I wasn't going to even say I would do better but now that God has changed my point of view with a Doogie flashback, I can see that change is possible. Funny, I never thought that Doogie would have had any impact on me until right now.

3-31-08 I can't believe it has been almost a year since I was on here updating this page. Time has flown by. It gets harder and harder to find time for the computer. I love my new job. I am glad that I can do most work from home and don't have to go in everyday. Although, sometimes, I think getting away would be a blessing. I got tickled as I read my last entry. Complaining about Ella Cate. I still haven't re-painted those walls. However, I now have to replace their carpet also, thanks to Ella Cate. There are multiple areas of chocolate stains. This is from Ella Cate and Lilly sneaking into the pantry during nap time and stealing packs of chocolate morsels and pudding mix. Believe me, those items were not meant for the bedroom. The girls had chocolate everywhere. On the walls, their beds, their toys, their faces and necks and of course, ground into the carpet. A few days ago, Ella Cate decided to 'help' me clean by pouring her shampoo all over the carpet. Then adding water to help clean up. And just this past weekend, we lost 6 bananas to a horrible accident. Of course, there are still remnants of banana all over the carpet but I have decided that instead of cleaning it too well, we will just replace the carpet and get the hardwood refinished. No more carpet for them.
So what does this disobediant, repetitive behavior tell me about me? Well, there are certain sins in my life that I just fall back on. Nothing drastic but deadly sin none-the-less. I like to think that I am special. I like to day-dream about having more. I pretend to be buying a house and watch that weird channel with houses for sale on it. I want to have more money, a bigger house, no financial cares whatsoever. I justify this by ever so seldomly mentioning that if we had money we could fly to Africa and wittness or build a camp similar to Uplift but closer to home. But in reality, I want the finer things in life for me. Just to make me feel better than I truly am.
I tell the kids in Children's Church all the time that we deserve nothing. That when we get that attitude of "I deserve better" we need to step back and check our walk. So let me tell you, it is hard to take your own medicine and this gulp just won't go down. So as I continue on my journey, I will attempt to look at what I have and be happy. I have 2 feet, 2 arms, 2 eyes and ears, 2 kidneys, all the essentials. So why am I so determined to have more? It is my deceptive heart. My heart keeps convincing me I am worthy of it all. That I live a good life and I deserve more. That I try to do what is right and so I should demand the best. What a joke!! My faith tells me the truth. I deserve death and hell. I deserve ridicule and punishment. I deserve nothing. But Christ died on the cross for my sins and He will return again one day and take me to heaven and there, I will have more that I ever dreamed of, more that I ever deserved. So I have to put my focus there, on what is in store in heaven. Not what is here. - So I fix my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. 2 corinthians 4:18
5-22-07 - Children are wonderful. However, lately it has become a struggle to keep up with Ella Cate. She is so energetic and she doesn't like to be told what to do. Just last week, I had to get on to her for an incident involving a sharpie marker, her bedroom walls, toys, furniture, herself and her sleeping sister. Everything was tainted with the black marks of Ella Cate's rampage. I exploded. I was outraged. How dare she? She knows not to use those markers and perhaps I was a bit too abrasive with her.
Again yesterday, she and Lilly got into one of those giant size bottles of hand sanitizer I purchased for the Carbon Copy camp-out. It was everywhere. They fixed each others hair with it. They sanitized every inch of Daniel's room. I am not joking. I had to air his room out for hours. So again, I got upset. My anger flared. The girls spent most of their day in time-out because I was just so caught up in it.
My anger has been at the forefront of my attention lately. Ever since the miscarriage, I can't seem to control it. I have even enlisted a family member to pray and keep me in check. It has become a source of grief and hardship for me. It has also caused me to see that in public my anger rears its ugly head. I have fallen and seem to be stuck.
Well, today I was returning some emails and letting the girls play. I had my MySpace up in the background so that my song could play. The house got eerily quiet. I realized the girls were no longer eating their cereal. I eventually found them in Daniel's room, which I had forbade them from entering just 15 minutes prior to this. They had a bowl of cereal(no milk) which they had crushed up. Then they had poured their juice into the cereal bowl and emptied an entire large bottle of baby powder into it. Then decorated the room with this mixture. My anger began to rise. I quickly tried to think of positive outcomes.......the room smelled like baby powder and fruit instead of stinky diapers. Okay, I could handle that. I walked out to get some rags and to cool off. I heard my MySpace song and walked into the kitchen just as Tree63 sang, 'every blessing you pour out, I'll turn back to praise.' So I stopped and laughed and praised God for my girls and their adventurous spirit. I cleaned up the room and Daniel(who apparently ate the new concoction). Then I told the girls to wash their hands and meet me in the living room while I got Daniel's breakfast.
Well, a few mintues later I realized they weren't in the living room yet. I ran to the bathroom only to find that they had plugged the sink, filled it almost to the top with water and were splashing and cleaning everything!!! AGHHH!!! I popped their hineys and sent them to their room for a time-out. Now, this is where it gets interesting. See, I told them that they were in punishment. They were not to play with any toys. They were to be quiet and think about how disrespectful they had been. A while later, I went in to check on them. Of course, my anger just rushed over me. They had stripped down Lilly's bed, pushed the matress to the floor and were ripping up the plastic protective sheet I had on it. My blood was boiling. I gave them each 6 spankings. As I made up the bed, I heard one of them say, "But mommy, we didn't play with our toys." My heart broke in half right there. They had gotten spankings for doing what they thought was okay b/c I had only restricted them from their toys, not the matress. They are so innocent and precious. I keep forgetting that.
All of this caused me to think of my relationship with God. I am not innocent. When I look up at my Father and say "I thought I was doing right" I know even before I say those words that I am lying. Most times, I do things because I will benefit, not because my Lord asked me to. I am always thinking of me, me, me. I often say things to other people or get into their business and try to find a way to help me. I use the Lord to get what I want. Honestly, if I had to choose a person in the Bible that I am most like, it could only be Judas Iscariot. He used Christ to get what he thought he wanted, only to find later that he had missed the one thing he truly wanted. I pray that I will fix my faults before it is too late. Before I go too far and can't get back. Please God, help me to be innocent like my children. Praise God for my kids, they have put me in my place once again. Children are wonderful....don't you think.
4-30-07 - Why is it that saddness comes so eagerly during a time of joy? I can remember for years that my birthday was not a 'happy' day for me because it caused me to think of my dad. We shared the same birthday. I was blessed to share that with him. It made for many great conversations with him that I still cherish. However, it amazes me how quickly saddness can ruin what should otherwise be a day of celebration and happiness. Days that should envoke a spirit of joy are overshadowed by memories of loved ones long gone or dreams broken and shattered.
Daniel's first birthday is tomorrow. Yesterday we had a large group of our friends comeover for lunch. It is something we do every other week now and this week it was our turn to host. I was so excited. I love a good challenge and cooking for almost 20 people is just that. I decided last minute to have everyone sing happy birthday to Daniel because we are not having a formal party for him. Later that night, the saddness broke through.
As I sat with my family eating dinner, I was reminded that there should be a baby in my tummy. I should be almost five months along. In three weeks, I should have been standing my ground on my decision to not find out if it was a boy or girl. I should be contemplating where the baby would sleep. Deciding if I should buy new clothes or repaint anything. However, I am not. I am simply trying to put the fact that my baby is gone far back in my heart.
Perhaps that is why I am so excited over the new babies added to our family of friends. Sadie and Sophie will help to heal my broken heart. My friends Jason and Michele just found out they are expecting in December. I have been overjoyed. I can't stop telling people. Perhaps it is because I want someone to have a baby. I want someone to feel the way I feel when that baby's kicks are first felt. But the saddness won't go away. I was still sad today. I am unsure how long the saddness lasts. I don't want it to change me or the way I live. But I dont' want it to be in vain. I want to learn form it and grow.
So, if you have read this, please pray for me. Pray that I can find a way to get over the saddness and be joyful for what I have. I am so joyful for my friend Michele. She is going to be such an awesome mother. I hope she won't mind when I steal her baby away for brief moments. To talk to him or her and to love him or her. To simply hold the baby and maybe then, I will be okay with the fact that my baby is gone. To know that there will be a newborn baby to love at Christmas, that might just do it. So, I will shift my focus from missing my baby to making sure her baby is fully loved this Christmas. Praise God for the way He works. I will forever be in His debt for giving them a baby. Their baby will help me get over my loss and at the same time, when their baby poops or cries, I can give him back to Michele. Praise God.
03-20-07 - What happened? Just last week I was ready to get on this site and write about the wonderful news that we had just told everyone. I had known for a while. I could tell. Of course I could. After knowing for a while I finally told Layne. I enjoyed it being my little secret. I first told Daniel because I knew I could trust him not to tell anyone else. I later told Ella Cate because I seem to be the only one who can understand her. But this was my time to bond. I was ecstatic. I was finally enjoying being pregnant. Part of me wanted it I guess. I talked to God about the baby all the time. He was the only one I felt okay discussing it all with. It was nice once Layne knew because then I could share it with someone else here. I knew something was wrong when I went to the doctor and the baby was not as far along as she should have been, but I kept my major concerns to myself (for the most part). Then it all started to fall apart.
What happened? I still don't know. I thought things would be fine but that didn't last. Then, last Friday, I lost the baby. I was ready though. That morning, before I left the bed, I actually remembered to ask God for my provisions that day. I asked Him to give me the blessings I needed to make it through whatever would come my way. And He did. I was not as upset as I thought I would be. I was reminded of what Lilly told me, of how Jesus would take care of our baby. I know for a fact that He will do a better job than I could have. I have a feeling of relief and joy that my sweet baby will be fine and we will meet one day when I see her walking with Christ.
However, that doesn't mean that I don't feel a lose, a saddness, a void. I do. But I can handle it. If I couldn't handle it, God wouldn't have allowed this to happen. How blessed I feel to know that God views me as strong enough in my faith to walk this path. I am part of group of women who may not see a blessing from their lose but I do. God knew I would ask for my provisions that day and He had them ready. I wonder if the angels were standing around, awaiting my prayer? Were they up there just holding a bowl of blessings above me saying 'Please dear one, just ask."? Perhaps so. Why do I not do that everyday? There is no good answer to that. I should. You should too. The manna came to the Israelites each morning to remind them of God's glory. They didn't have to ask for it but it was a reminder to go to God each morning and ask for the day's provisions. Try it for a while and see if your load seems lighter, no matter what happens.
I am still sad. I still have to get up each morning and know that only those maternity clothes that I refuse to wear now will fit me. I have to answer everyone's "How are you doing?" question with a better answer than fine. I have run into a few who didn't hear about the loss who congratulated me before I could tell them. The looks on their faces make me want to hold them tight. To go back to the moment when they congratulated me and just hold on to that moment and pretend. But I can't. I have a higher calling. It isn't just about me. I have to find a way to witness to others about Christ through this. I just don't know how. Not yet. But I will figure it out by asking God to reveal it to me.
I miss my baby. I miss the plans that Layne and I had made. I miss the excitement on the girls' faces at the mention of a baby. I miss the ideas that I had concerning what we would do about sleeping arrangements. I miss laying down and holding the baby in my stomach. I miss being glad to be pregnant and not have morning sickness. I miss feeling as if God was happy with my role as mother and wanted me to take care of another one for Him. I miss never being alone. I miss rethinking the choice to drink that second cup of coffee because it might be too much for the baby. But I will survive. I will go on. Maybe one day in the future Layne and I will have more. But for now, I am content with being the mother of three children here on earth and being someone special to a soul awaiting the Second Coming, and our first introduction.
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01-02-07 - I have come to a shocking realization. Sandy Chastain is no longer. As I mentioned on the home page, I feel as if I am not my own person anymore. I have morphed into something else. I can remember in high school joking around about never having children because I wanted to be a big time career type. However, God had better things in mind. The ideals that I set in motion as a teacher have been put on the back burner. I guess I will not rise to the top of my profession and become the youngest Superintendent in the state of Georgia. So what am I going to be when I grow up?
I will be a mother. So far I have three wonderful children. The Lord has really blessed me and allowed me to open up and love children. I don't mean that I want to become a teacher and teach young kids. I do not. I do not enjoy snot and urine. I hate to button up pants, zip up jackets and tie shoes. My heart doesn't want to look into a child's eyes and try to figure out where those bruises came from. I do not want to pretend to teach children the basics of education while I secretly fill out forms as to why they need special help. I do not want to close my classroom door in order to not be overheard as I teach my students the truth about Jesus Christ. At this point in my life, I do not want to teach kids.
I have enjoyed teaching the CC: group at church. They are great. I love teaching adults. Well... not old adults, you know, my age and older. I enjoy the college age group. I may not do a great job but I will continue to teach them until they ask me to stop. At that point, I will stop. A good teacher knows that when the class outgrows you or becomes bored, you must step aside and let someone new step in. A true teacher will do whatever needs to be done in order for the class to learn.
Tonight, Ella Cate awoke screaming. I rushed to her side with one of her beloved 'Chewey's' in hand. She was talking in her sleep. I watched her as she tossed and turned, attempting to drift further into dreamland. She was in such an angelic state. She is beautiful. On my way out of their room I stopped to look at Lilly. For a second, I truly think I saw a glimpse of her as a teenager. She is only three but she is almost four. I know that just by typing that, you might not understand how I said it in my mind. See, she is only three. She is still a baby, with needs that only I can meet. However, she is almost four. She is almost a big girl, ready for preschool. I stood there and thought about what I had done with this precious gift over the past three years. Not much came to mind. I want to be a good mother like all of my friends are but I feel as if I have failed. There is so much out there for her to learn. Where do I start? How much time have I wasted? It has only been three years but then again, it has been almost four. On one hand I think, hey, she hasn't been here that long. I haven't had a chance to teach her much. However, on the other hand, I can't help but think that I have wasted so much time. Time that I can't get back.
Oh, when I was a teacher I had so much spare time and I was not nearly as stretched out as I am now. Yet, this job seems to have the bigger reward plan. Will I ever return to the classroom? Of course, I am a teacher. However, it will not be until I see that my family no longer needs me here. My babies are all so precious to me. I can't imagine not being with them each day.
How does God do it? How was He able to just let Christ die? In a Bible Study I am currently teaching, we were asked to imagine what heaven was like when Christ was in the garden praying. The idea was that as Christ asked God to allow that cup to pass, all of heaven grew silent. The angels all stood ready, not even breathing. No sound was heard except Christ's words. The angels may have waited in anticipation. They were all very anxious. Who would be chosen to rush down and bring Him home? Which angelic beings would God choose to be the ones to save His only Son? They waited to hear their names. But then they heard the words that even they might never have expected. "No Son, not this time." How could He do it? Well, that answer is as simple as anything. God was able to let that happen because He wanted me too. God knew that I would stray too far; that I would need a Savior. I would need the ultimate sacrifice. He sent Jesus to take my place. And yours. Whether you have accepted Him or not. He didn't just die for me. He died for you also. It wouldn't make sense for Him to die for just me. We get the next step. We must accept Him. I believe that Christ calls us all. Some will hear Him and obey, some will hear Him and ignore. Praise God that I wanted to obey. Some people believe that there is no such thing as free-will. That God made some of us to go to heaven and some to go to hell. I do not agree. If that is the case, I do not understand why Jesus had to die. Yes, God knows all and He can make us do anything. But my God wants us to want Him. He wants a relationship, not a dictatorship. Some people will corner you into an argument and twist and turn verses to prove their point. I know the Bible. I read the Bible, but I also have a relationship with Jesus and I know Him. Do you?
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12/19/06 - Yesterday found my heart unprepared for the day. It felt as if it had melted away that morning. I did not understand why. I just couldn't handle the problems that the day brought. Everything was just too much. I went to my Lord and asked for my portion that day. Shouldn't that do it? If I ask Him to give me what I need to make it through the day, He will.....won't He?
I do not know how many times I cried that morning. Nothing seemed to go as planned. A wonderful couple from church had volunteered their time to come and watch my kids while I had a day off. I had looked forward to it so much. However, now my heart just wasn't in it. I didn't feel that I deserved a day off. What would I do? How dare I even think that my life is so hectic that I need a day off!
The babysitter arrived and I fled, before I began crying again. I didn't want her to think I was insane. I met my wonderful hubby for lunch. My heart was not there. My mind was racing. I had convinced myself that I had made all the wrong choices in life. I couldn't think of one single choice I had made that was a good one. After lunch, I headed to the store to buy groceries. Earlier I had passed by a house with a large gate at the end of the driveway. I mentioned outloud as I was complaining to my Lord that I wondered how the gate worked. I told Him it would be neat to see the people who lived in such a grande home and what type of car they drove. Sure enough, as I passed by again, the gate was open, the owner and his car had stopped to get the mail. I couldn't help but smile. Had God heard that simple wondering in the midst of my petitions that day? Of course He had. I felt a burden lift away. I knew that if my Jesus had heard me talk of a silly gated home, He had also heard my needs and yearnings. If He responded so graciously to the curiosity of my mind, how much more so would He respond to the needs of my heart?
Yet while in the store, my heart began to deceive me again. My depression ran deep. I couldn't make myself put anything into the buggy. All I could think about was all the mistakes I had made in my whole life and how truly stupid I was. I had to leave quickly before the tears came. I made it to the car, locked the door and broke down. What was wrong with me? Again, I had asked for my provisions so why wasn't it enough?
I drove down the road yelling at God. "You want to know my feelings? I'll tell you how I feel. I hate this feeling!!! I don't want to feel this way. I need to know now if I am to get a job or stay home. No more of these small miraculous signs with underlying meanings. I need a straight, plan-as-day answer and I want it now. Is it your will for me to get a job or stay home? If I do not get an answer, I will get a job. " The ramblings went on and on. Still, no answer. How dare He? Wasn't I His child? His treasured possession? Shouldn't He be sending some angels to reveal the hidden truths of my life?
I dried up the tears and has drove home. My perfect day off ruined by a deceitful heart. I was able to enjoy a few mintues with my friends and the kids. Then, as I was driving to my dental appointment, I stopped to get the mail. Christmas cards always cheer me up. One of the cards was from a dear friend in Colorado. She too is a stay-at-home mom and I knew that I had to read it. And I did. I read her one page, front and back card as I drove. Her letter started out simply by greeting the reader and then gave great detail into her crazy life. I could relate. As I read the thought occured to me that I still have so many years to stay home with my kids. So many more days like this.....I didn't want to keep reading. I just wanted to pull over and deflate. I didn't want anymore days like this. And then her letter became the blessing I had been searching for all day. She wrote "Life is truly blessed, and though there are days when I find myself grumbling and complaining in my heart (shame on me!), stretched to the breaking point, or simply weary to the bone, I wouldn't change my vocation for all the world."
Suddenly if felt as if my heart were growing larger. I think it might have grown three sizes that day. I heard that ever-present voice say, "That is the attitude to have. You are to stay home. Trust Me." I immediately agreed and asked that I not feel this way again until the plans had changed. Then I began laughing. I thought about the events of the day, how low I was, the things I had done. All the troubles I was having and the answer was in my mailbox the entire time!!!! AGHHHH!!!! I looked up at God and said "Why didn't you just tell me earlier to check the mail?" I can almost promise I heard Him reply that I had a lesson to learn.
Now, why didn't I have the provisions I asked for? Because I asked with a wrong heart. I hadn't asked for them until I was having a bad day. Then suddenly I thought that if I asked for them, my day would go smoother. So I did. I asked for them. But I didn't truly want the provision, I wanted to find a way to make the day run better but still do what I wanted to do. It doesn't work that way. If you are going to give the Lord your day, you have to actually give it to Him. So today.....today is His. Whatever happens today, I can't take credit for it. I have given it to the Lord.
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I AM IN LOVE WITH JESUS!!!! I AM SAVED!! I AM GOING TO HEAVEN!!
11-24-06 I hadn't realized it but I haven't written anything new here in a month. However, the Lord has been working ever so hard on my heart and I believe that I have allowed some break-throughs. I know that He has been weeding out the bad things and the things that I never realized were there. It has been painful but worth it. I wrote once about a person whom God had prompted to share with us in a financial way. Well, there came some more moments of need and I would walk by our church mailbox, wishing for an envelope. Perhaps with a monetary gift, a card with a prayer in it, or a simple note saying someone cared. I would purposefully walk by our box and not look until the last moment, so that if there wasn't anything there, the dissappointment wouldn't show. Yet, if there was something there, I wanted it to be a surprise; a true gift. Last week, there it was. I thought it would be just a card but it was so much more. It had my name on it, it was addressed to me and the note was for me. My heart overflowed with tears. My Jesus knew I needed it and He made it happen. PRAISE HIM!! He is always listening. I do not walk around with my hand out; begging for help. I do pray and I do seek God's will with the trials that come up. I am thankful t0 the Lord for being so understanding and also for those out there who are listening and obeying. Praise God for their willing hearts and giving souls.
This week in the Cc: class I shared some personal things. The response has been tremendous, so I have felt led to share them here. I talked about my mother's salvation and how I knew she was a Christian. I know this not just because of her walk but because of her talk. My mother has told me that Jesus lives in her heart and that she will be going to heaven when the time comes. Praise God for Christian parents.
However, my father died when I was just nine years old. It was a sudden thing, not expected. There was no time to prepare and to discuss things. My father just died one day and our lives were never the same. I remember that right after I asked my mom in the car if he was dead and she affirmed those fears, I immediately wondered if he was a Christian. I knew even at that young an age, not to ask that question at that moment. It wasn't the approrpiate time. Later, I would ask family members and many would tell me that yes of course he was. He was a good man. He would be in heaven one day with us. Yet, no one ever told me a story of him accepting Christ in his heart; no baptism stories, no tear-jerking moments of repentence or redemption. Nothing. My mom would often tell me how he didn't want an autopsy or donate his organs because he was worried that if he didn't have all of his "innards" he couldn't get in to heaven. However, that worried me. Having your insides intact is not the key to heaven. The key to heaven is a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Did he know Jesus? Did he love Him? Did he seek His will and pray and read the Word? I still do not know for sure. I have often wanted to ask my mother point-blank, if he ever had a moment of salvation, a time when he most definately accepted Christ. Out of fear, I can not ask those questions. I can imagine how relieved I would feel if her answer was yes and she knew the time and day of his repentance. If she could tell me they often talked about Him and prayed together. If he led her as a Christian husband should lead a wife. But what if her answer isn't what I need? What if her answer doesn't clarify anything? What if her answer confirms a negative response? Do I really want to know that? No. I do not. I would rather not risk it. So I believe that it is important that everyone who reads this should tell the persons they love that they are saved. They have a relationship with Christ. That they have asked Him into their hearts; that they pray to Him and talk to Him and depend on Him for their everything. Tell someone today!! You are not promised tomorrow or the next minute. Do not remain silent and make your loved ones wonder. They can see the walk, but be sure and verbalize your faith. Just reaffirm to them that you will be in heaven for all eternity. I care for the people who read these blurbs. I want to know if you are saved. Tell me!!I love you!!! Believe me! Do not wait until it is to late. Think of the last five people you have spoken to in anyway today....do they know that you are a Christian? They should.
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10-24-06 It still amazes me how wonderful the Lord truly is. A few weeks ago, He led someone at church to place a gift offering in our mailbox. It may have seemed to them as a small gift or it could have set them back a bit. I have no idea because the gift was given anonymously. However, the most amazing part comes later. Layne and I wrestled with what to do with the gift and how to use it. Yet all we needed to do was wait and let God show us. That week the kids got very sick and I had to get medicines for everyone. When all of the prescriptions came in and I finally had to pay the bill, the amount was almost equal to the gift. The Holy Spirit knew what was around the corner for us. He knew we wouldn't be aware of it and we would be in trouble when it came. So He guided someone else to help provide for the burden. He placed it on someone's heart that they needed to give a certain amount and it was used. PRAISE GOD!!!! All of this comes after I have been wrestling with God over money. He has told me repeatedly to stay home and raise my children to love and glorify HIM. But, I keep thinking that if I just went and got a job for a few years, we could save some money and buy a nicer home with a bit of land to play on and use with the college group at church. I want so much to have a big room where my college kids can meet and play games in. I want land that we can play on and places to park their cars. It would just mean so much but it just isn't going to happen. God wants me here and it has been tough to do it. Financially it is difficult and I hear all the time about how people have prayed for their finances and God provides just what they need. I however, didn't think this would ever happen. It has in the past but I always felt it was just the fact that we were owed the money or we had it and had just found it. Never have we been blatantly given money like this. It wasn't a gift for a special occasion, it was a gift from GOD. It was a miracle. The person who gave it may not see it as such a miracle but they don't understand where we are right now. They don't understand the lessons that God is teaching Layne and I. Especially me. He has torn my pride apart. I worked so hard for my degrees. I only got my master's degree to be the first in my family to do so and to have the prestige of the degree. So selfish. So full of myself. Yeah, I have a Master's degree and I could look down my nose at others. But just 2 weeks ago, God put me in a shameful position where my pride was smashed into pieces and I was mopped up in it. Embarrassment overwhelmed me and if I hadn't realized what God was doing, I would have burst into tears in front of everyone. But, I quickly saw that God was teaching me a valuable lesson. One that would hurt beyond physical pain. One that wouldn't leave me. One that would scar me for life and sadden me yet at the same time fill me with joy. He was working. I could feel it. I still feel it. I know I am going in the right direction because I can feel Him at the reigns. Finally I have given over control. I just pray that I don't grab the wheel back and take over.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10-01-06 This weekend was a wonderful time for me. I was able to get away from the business of life and get back to basics of true life. The ladies retreat was a great place to be refreshed in my walk. I was able to explore nature and see my God. How awesome He is. I was able to feel His presence and watch Him work. He worked in our speaker who was very intimidated, but she spoke eloquently and with a passion that was unreal. He worked in our music, which was, indescribable. If music worship is like that in Heaven...I truly can't wait. It was as if the wedding feast had begun and we were there to entertain our Father. I know He was pleased because I could feel Him clapping to the beat in my heart. Everything was wonderful. The fellowship with other Christian women was so awesome. I never want to loose that about our church. There were many there who are not technically a part of our church but they are a part of our family and I think they felt that also. So many prayer request went up to Him and so many answers were found. Blessings poured down on us and it was impossible not to get one. They were all over.
During my quiet time, I was able to watch several women take a prayer walk and I was blessed to do the same. As I walked, the LORD led me to pick up a small, yellow leaf. He told me to use that leaf as a reminder of all the women who poured their hearts to Him and to pray for those who had stepped over that leaf. I did. I will. That leaf will be a reminder to me that their are so many in my own life who have needs and hurts that I will never understand. Praise God for that. Yet, even though I do not know their pain, I will pray for them daily, with the leaf in hand.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Blogger on board!!

I have a friend who is trying to raise money for their adoption by selling adorable dresses for young girls. The sewing is top-notch because this lady can sew like no one else. I am going to be repeatedly getting the word out so if you see this and get emails from me about it - check it out!! I can't wait to order my three little ladies each a dress, or two!! It will be worth the money to see Kenny and Julie come home with a new baby!! Go to flitterbugs.blogspot to check it out!! And someone tell me how to add a link to her!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Almost time!!


IT IS STILL SUMMER TIME PEOPLE!!!!


While all of our friends are getting up each morning and either taking their kids to school or getting ready for home lessons, we are still in summer mode. Just today we went shopping with a friend and then headed to my mom's house to relax and play.
The kids played and kept mom busy while I ordered home school supplies online. I did much better money wise this year. Instead of the $500.00 plus I spent last year, I spent a measley $105.00 this year.

We will be doing Explode the Code for reading, A Bekka for Science and Grammar, Ray's Arithmetic for Math and using various online and home-made supplies for Spelling, Social Studies and Writing. Our Bible content will come from the BIBLE. I know, I am really stretching here but I think I can read it and explain the facts to my kids.

We are going cheaper this year, it just seems to make more sense. I have really been stressing about their knowledge and whether or not they are going to be able to keep up with their peers. it has been a rough few weeks of thought. However, I recently talked with a good friend who spoke words of golden wisdom when she told me that I should take a look around me. Think about the families of Landon and Abby and then decide if stressing about whether or not Lilly can diagram a sentence is really that imporant. And no it isn't. She will catch up eventually. Right now, I am going to do what I can, and let her be a kid. Let her learn to love God above all else and make sure she understand her faith. Sound crazy??? Sure, will TLC Discovery Channel be calling me to join the other circus freak families they find to be on their channel ?- who knows!!
All I know is that now school begins in a few weeks and I am excited, no longer stressed out.

Stay tuned - I will be uploading pictures soon!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Making Monkey Bread



Go to thepioneerwoman.com to get this recipe or let me know you want it. It is a great one!!
It is so easy that Ella Cate did most of the work until the end.



She really enjoyed shaking it up!! It was so much fun watching her mix it all up.

Yes, this pic is side-ways but you get the idea.

Here is the mixture all together.

Baking in the oven - it made the house smell so good!!!! Yum!

I am not a professional photographer(or cook, or blogger) so my Monkey Bread looks a bit red but it is deep brown and DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

Playing in the mud




The other day my kids played outside after the rain. I knew they were getting dirty but I had no idea of the scale of dirtiness. Then I heard the 'plop! plop! plop!' on the window. I turned to see mud being flung. I ran out to find all of my kids hiding - Adam and Eve style. Of course the water hose was turned agianst them but they survived.


And check out Daniel helping mommy feed the baby....even though he was told not too.





Rolling in the dough?

Well, this weekend I was finally able to try out a wonderful new bread recipe from thepioneerwoman.com and it was so delicious!! It is called Dutch Oven bread




because it is made in a dutch oven. It was really easy because I didn't have to constantly move my dough or pound on it. I simply mixed all the ingrediants and let it sit out on the counter for 4 hours. Then I cooked it for about an hour. Easy!!





While I cooked Lilly made some breadsticks that turned out okay. She used her special cook book and the bread was good but not something I would make more than once for myself. it was


worth it though, for the look of enjoyment on her face and the pride she took in pasing out samples. Plus, it was great time together for me and her.


Why I am a homeschool mom----or why I shouldn't be

I do plan to get on my blog tonight and post a few things. I want to add the ending to how I 'landed' Layne and find some old pics to place on here. Also, Lilly and I did some bread making this past weekend that I need to put up and today we are making monkey bread. Also some home improvements.

However, I felt the need to immediately post the following conversation before I forgot it.
**Note- I do homeschool my kids b/c I feel that as a public school teacher(for 3 years) and a mommy with a Master's Degree in Education, I have the smarts to do it. Also, I want my kids to love Jesus more than 'know stuff'. The following conversation in no way makes me feel as if I am failing as a teacher and mom. It also in no way makes me realize that my child has no concept of reality. Neither did it make me want to bang my head against the wall, saying"why why why" over and over.

Lilly - Mommy, when I grow up I will be a vet-narian(spelling here is 'as sounds from Lilly-lips")
Mommy- Great sweetie.(rushing thru room to change over laundry)
Lilly - And guess where I will work?
Mommy - Where baby?(said with visions of grandeur; her answer will be a zoo, a foreign country where animals are starving, a small farm community where she will be a huge asset)
Lilly - J.C.Penney's
Mommy- (deflated and feeling as if my teaching skills are over-rated) Sweetie, they don't have animals at J.C.Penney's just store clerks
Lilly- They will when I am there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The kiss that wasn't....

There we were, on the dance floor, swaying from side to side...alone. Yes, the dance had ended in real time but in our world, the music played on. Our friends were all on the bleachers next to us taunting us. I was okay with their silly comments about love and stuff. I knew that most guys weren't into 'love' and I knew I wasn't so I felt safe. However, a friend then began chanting, "Kiss her". My mind went wild. What in the world was he thinking??? I wasn't prepared for a kiss. I barely knew this guy. Sure, I had kissed before but I was young and stupid then. I got a large lump in my throat. It seemed like hours had passed, while it was really only seconds. I looked up at Layne and saw his lips moving toward mine. My mind raced again. What to do?? Oh! What to do??? Do I duck and run? Do I turn and give him the cold cheek? Should I put my hand up and physically stop him? Would that embarrass him? I thought I might like him a little. I didn't want to make him think I wasn't interested....or that I was rejecting him. Should I give in and just kiss him? A tiny peck on the lips couldn't be that bad. No, I had decided to not kiss again until I felt it was God's leading. So many choices......God help me now!! And He did. I looked down. I am not sure why. The idea just popped into my head and I did it. I looked straight down. God is so good, especially in the small things that turn out to be huge things. Layne ended up kissing me on the forehead. His ego was saved, my lips were saved. Everyone would be happy. Our friends laughed and we had a good time. Only my heart was damaged.

See, he had tried to kiss me. So, my heart shut him out. I decided that he wasn't the one for me. I wasn't interested. I mean, come on, this guy kissed my forehead - what a dork. It happened that quickly. I had forgotten my desperate plea to God to save me, I had pushed His wonderful plan aside and placed the title of goober on this wonderful guy. I went home that night with so many feelings swirling around. I remember getting ready for bed and then lying down and writing in my journal. I wrote that I had fun with Layne and that he was great and funny. I wrote that I wanted to find a guy like him, just like him in fact. But not him. Not this poor guy who had been duped into kissing me. Not this guy whom my friends were certain was 'the one'. Nope. I foolishly decided I was better than him and could hold out for the best. I wish that hadn't been so full of myself and so prideful. My decision had horrible outcomes.

For starters, I avoided going to church and refused to listen to my friends as they begged me to talk to Layne. As for Layne, well, in between that night and our next dating encounter, he met someone else. Someone he made mistakes with. Mistakes that made it hard for me to accept him. And why? All because I had asked God to help and then refused to see His hands at work. Layne ended up moving in with this other girl. For months, my friends would sit around and talk about how to get him away from her. Then they began to sadly realize that he might be gone from their lives. As I would make jokes and do silly things, they would remark about how 'Layne would laugh at that', or that 'Layne would have said that'. It became hard to hang out with them. I hated the way it felt. I wished Layne would either move back home or get married. I prayed for him. I prayed for them to either stop living in sin or get married. I tried to get my friend to go over and befriend her. Maybe that would open their eyes to this sin. I can't tell you how hard I prayed. I prayed so hard, that I felt closer to Layne. I felt that we were old friends because I spoke with my Father about him so much. Funny how that happened.

One day in church, Pastor Tim gave a sermon that made me think of Layne. It was about the prodigal son. Layne was now living on his own but still not in church. So I wrote him a letter. I had no feelings for him. Just a desire to see him at church; to see his friends and family happy. He went on another trip with our group. We talked but still, he just wasn't my type. Our priorities were different. He began to come around more often. However, we didn't hang out. We were a lot alike. That made it difficult for us to be close friends. I still prayed for him, but it is hard to have two jokers around and so I kept my distance. I was just glad to have my friends all back to normal.
In the fall of '96, 2 of my friends decided I needed to be dating. They 'forced' me to go on my first real date. I agreed but secretly had my ways. I refused to let this guy pick me up at home and made him meet me at work. We went bowling and nothing else. I refused to eat with him. I set my pager to go off at a certain time(about 20-30 minutes into the date) and pretended to be called into work. I never spoke with him again. My friends continued to pressure me. I decided to 'make a deal' with Jesus, as if that were even possible. But in my mind it was and I did. I told God that I would say "yes" to the next guy who asked me out, no matter what. My only stipulation was that it had to be a guy that God lead to ask and so I asked that no one would ask that God wouldn't approve of. I prayed often about this. I began to think about Layne more often. And then there was this other guy. He was friends with Layne and I both. He was cute. So, I had 2 interests on the horizon... but who would ask me first?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My wonderfully loving husband

It isn't that I like to talk about myself but I have no other subject worthy of my blog....not really, I just have nothing else to talk about. So, I decided to write a little ditty about Jack and Diane, who henceforth will be known as Layne and Sandy.

Way back in 1994, I was a Senior in high school, a cheerleader(by default), and had been sporadically trying out new churches. It was December and the cheering squad was having a dance. No biggie, I usually went to dances with friends, danced, and had a great time. However, it would not be so this time. One of the captain's of the squad decided(and too this day, I think she did it just to make me date) declared that all cheerleaders had to bring a date to the dance. Well, this put me in quite the pickle. See, I didn't date in high school. I had softball and classes. What else was there?? Certainly not the ups and downs of dating; the fights and the making up. I just wasn't interested in any of it. Yet I realized I was either going to have to forfeit that megaphone on my Letterman jacket that I just knew I would never take off( I think I wore it once after graduation), or get a date. Bummer.

This is where my friend Kim steps in. I had been visiting her church, mainly so she would stop asking me over and over. She and two other friends(T&C) got all excited about the prospects of me asking this guy Layne to the dance. "You guys are just right for each other" "You'll have fun" "He is the one" "He has nothing better to do, he might say yes" How could I resist?

Here is how: I said no. No way. But then there was that stinking megaphone emblem on my jacket that kept calling my name. So, I said yes but set my rules. I would not ask him out. I would meet him there. We would not be together in a car that night. We would not be alone together at any time. There would be no kiss and he would not come near my house. (Romantic, I know) So, Kim decided to set it all up.

She really stinks at the details. I get to church and there he is. Cute, but not my type. I can vividly remember standing outside the old sanctuary in the cold with the 2 of them. I can hear her still, telling him about the dance, explaining to him that I have to have a date and that I DO NOT date. I recall her telling him that she would really like for him to be the one...... And then he said yes, but he added that I would have to ask him. (She had mentioned to him that I wouldn't ask so obviously this relationship wouldn't go far) Well------ deals off. No way will I ask him out. Out of the question. Five minutes later, that horrible megaphone emblem won out and I asked him(with my teeth gritting together) to go to the dance with me. It was inaudible because I was so against asking him, but I knew I had too. I did. He agreed.

The night of the dance fast approached. My friends and I all met at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and Layne didn't show. Did I mind? NO!!! I thought I had my way out. I had a date but he blew me off. So how could I get in trouble? My worries were over. Then Kim informed me that he would meet me at the dance. Great!! Stink!!!

So, I get to the dance and since I am against this whole 'dating' thing, I do not wait for him outside. I did meet him at the door, but I was ready to let loose and have fun. He finally arrived. We danced and goofed off. He was fun. I had a good time. He danced a bit close for my taste but we had a great time. He was funny and nice. It was all going great. He kept asking the DJ to play stupid songs that no one could dance to and I thought he was a genius for that. But then 'it' happened. The 'it' that almost ended it all and would force me to skip church for weeks and months to come.......

Monday, May 11, 2009

Daniel's new hair!!!

Okay, well today I had dinner ready when Layne got home. This isn't something radical but when I say I had dinner ready, I mean it was being taken off the stove as he walked through the
door. I was syked!!! So we ate. Then we were all hanging out on the couch and Daniel mentioned he wanted a haircut. So it was destiny. We located the clippers and all went outside to say 'farewell' to Daniel's hair. And I mean 'FAREWELL'.

So Layne starts with a good guide on the clippers(no this isn't a "the guide fell off the clippers story") and Daniel's hair got shorter. But it really wasn't a dramatic new 'do. So, I insister we go shorter. And we did. Pretty short in fact. I believe that there isn't a guard to go shorter. And Daniel loved it. He didn't like the itching of the hair falling on him, but he trusted mommy and


daddy to take care of him. Layne did great. The haircut looks fantastic and his head will be so much cooler.



Nice Mowhawk!!





A little worried??

Once I got him inside to wash him off I realized he hadn't seen his hair. So I held him up to the mirror and he screamed with delight. He liked feeling his head, as do his sisters. He enjoyed the bath and feeling the water trickle off his back. He likes how it feels on his pillow. I think the only problem is that Rachel doesn't seem to recognize him but that will fix itself in time. Or if not, she will always wonder where her first brother went and why we replaced him with a bald kid.

A little armpit hair never hurt anyone!!