Sunday, January 30, 2011

levi's dedication

levi was dedicated at church today. it's always a sombering thought knowing that levi will learn of the Lord first through his mother's love, then as his father & mother teach him together. we are responsible for who he is. i know that some people might think that actually raising the children doesnt come into my consideration when i want to have another child, but that couldnt be farther from the truth. that weighs heavily on me - constantly. it is not a responsibility i take lightly. i realize raising my children is a high calling & a privilege & it is one i absolutely i love.
i am uploading video to my youtube account & hopefully will be able to attach it to this post later.
but for is some pictures of levi in his bumbo, in the bath & a group shot of the dedication. sadly i didnt even get a single picture of levi by himself in his beautiful white sweater outfit. next time he wears it i will.

look at those kissable lips! he is such a doll. he was actually looking & watching intently his sisters who were standing over the tub watching him.

and yes his little ears are a bit elfish, but he's one of the cutest elves ever right?!

we are all up there...all 8 of us. the families to the right of us were dedicating their kids also. we tend to take care of the dedications rather quickly. i cant handle letting it go for too long.

pastor craig said he wanted to hold one of the "babies" being dedicated & levi was actually the only real baby up there so of course pastor grabbed him up. and levi was perfect for him. it is always humbling to think about God's great love for us that He came in the form of a vulnerable little baby to save us from an eternity separated from Him.

"for God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Saturday, January 29, 2011

we are not as strong as we think we are

well it's 2:24AM here. i'm up with esther. she started crying out about 2 hours ago & vomited after i got her out of her crib - all over me..all over herself. i dont know what to do with a child this young...vomiting. she's my first ever under 2 vomiting. she's handling it well. i think she's over it for the moment. now my stomach is queasy. but i have to get her settled so i can try to get some sleep because levi should be awake to eat shortly. i love my babies...i'm just extraordinarily tired these days. clay's up too but i cant for the life of me understand why. esther refused to let him touch her....only wants me. he seems a bit dazed & confused. and it gets on my nerves. i know he wants to be helpful, but that's not happening. he put her vomity clothes on the little bench in our hallway. why? i have no clue. he just stood there. yea, go back to bed. if that's moral support - no thank you. i just dont dig it. but thanks anyway.

anyway, i've been listening to one of my favorites - rich mullins. great song. words are below.

Well, it took the hand of God Almighty
To part the waters of the sea
But it only took one little lie
To separate you and me
Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are

And they say that one day Joshua
Made the sun stand still in the sky
But I can't even keep these thoughts
Of you from passing by
Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are

We are frail
We are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are

And the Master said their faith was
Gonna make them mountains move
But me, I tremble like a hill on a fault line
Just at the thought of how I lost you
Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are

We are frail
We are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are

And if you make me laugh well I know
I could make you like me
Cause when I laugh I can be a lot of fun
But we can't do that I know that it is frightening
What I don't know is why we can't hold on
We can't hold on

We are frail
We are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are

When you love you walk on the water
Just don't stumble on the waves
We all want to go there somethin' awful
But to stand there it takes some grace
'Cause oh, we are not as strong
As we think we are

Friday, January 28, 2011

surrender don't come natural to me

this is a "hold me Jesus" kind of day.

Hold Me Jesus by Rich Mullins
(if you look down at the music player attached to my blog you can hear this song.)

Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees
And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

25 years ago

do you remember? what were you doing at the moment these beloved people met their eternal destiny? i was home sick that day from school with a bad bout of asthma. i was 15 years old. i remember gasping in disbelief and calling my mother at work. Lord bless their families today.

Francis R. Scobee (center front), Michael J. Smith (left front), Judith A. Resnik (far right, back row),
Ellison S. Onizuka (far left, back row), Ronald E. McNair (right front), Gregory B. Jarvis (3rd from left, back row), S. Christa Corrigan Mcauliffe (2nd from left, back row) 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

choose life

illness & longings of my heart

well the lovely little vomiting bug going around finally reached us. abigail, asher & esther all got hit...abigail is still down a bit with it. but thank God it's only been 36 hours or so. not even a full 48 hours yet. i'm tired. yesterday was the worst of it. it was a long, long, long day. esther fought using a bowl and was extremely clingy to mother yesterday. i have got to get her on video of doing the "itsy, bitsy spider" song. abigail vomited on sheets and then lay in it so not to bother anyone (she did that through the night also). asher.....sweet asher.....would quietly walk to the bathroom, throw up, wipe his mouth & be done. i think the word "stoic" just comes to mind about him. and the way he talks...his accent...what a loverboy! i'm pretty much in love!
speaking of being in love......well levi has my heart too. we spend a lot of time together. especially in the darkness of night. he looks at me with such love & wonder when he wakes up and needs to eat. how can i sleep when he stares at me like i give him the very breathe he is breathing? i talk to him. sing to him. hold him. rub his feet & his little face. hold him close & snuggle. he's so precious.
now with all of that being said - and yes i know i'm completely out of my mind - i want to be pregnant again.
i had a conversation wth a dear friend today & they said "well why cant you be content with levi?" it has nothing to do with not being content with levi. i am madly in love with levi. i am happy with levi. i dont begrudge the lack of sleep. i dont begrudge my life being a sacrifice to him...or any of my children. i love my children. i just miss being pregnant. i miss the excitement, the anticipation of the new baby. i dont want to be done. i dont want this time in my life to be over.
the stark reality is i will most likely never be pregnant again and that makes me hurt.  my heart, beating in my chest, physically aches over that thought. tears automatically spring to my eyes (as they are doing as i type) when i have that thought.
am i crazy? probably. do i have major dsyfunction in this desire in my life? most likely. do i care that i might be dsyfunctional or crazy? nope, not at all. why? because the outcome is such a blessing. a baby does nothing but bring joy - overall.
anyway, that's on my mind.
but back to levi. he looks like a giant baby in the following pictures, but in reality he is 10 weeks old & only weighs 10lbs. i love him. he is so special. and he has a tint of RED hair. I LOVE IT!

Monday, January 24, 2011

already gone

"when you look up in the sky you can see the stars and still not see the light"

the above line is in the below song. "already gone" by the eagles. that's how i feel. that's how i feel about a particular person...a particular relationship. i'm so tired all the time from working in this relationship. i'm exhausted from making excuses. i'm exhausted from trying to make it work out right. i'm tired of having to be the protector of innocents when i should not have to be in this situation. i'm just so exhausted. i'm actually angry - bordering on ready to end this relationship...if it were possible. because as the song says....i am "already gone."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

i have a serious problem

ok so these are my sharpies. well these are actually just some of my sharpies. i love my sharpies. i love office supplies. i am addicted to office supplies but mainly pens and markers. and then when i get OCD kicks in big time. i dont allow anyone else to use them. and seriously, i can go my whole life and probably never use all of those sharpies. i am sick! i know it. but they are so pretty. look how nicely they are in kind of a color colors together. so now if i ever have a need to make a lot of posters...well i am set! (let's not even talk about the poster markers and regular markers, crayons, colored pencils......that i have stashed away....oh and the Ticonderoga pencils - best pencil in the whole world!)

so these are the cloth diapers that we use. no one else is allowed to wash them. well no one else really wants the privilege of that task anyway. but look how pretty! again i have a serious problem. notice how when i use my drying rack they are sorted by color and gender. blues, greens and whites on one side for Levi. goldenrod yellows, pinks, lavenders on the other side for Esther.
Rachel enjoys torturing me by trying to mix up the colors after i hang these up to dry. she tries to rearrange my sharpies. she tries to use my sharpies any chance she gets. i know it should not be a problem, but i can break out into a cold sweat thinking that the diapers are mixed up. or that my sharpies are not with their own kind or worse yet - drying out!! the horror!
if you think this is bad you should see my craft cabinets with the yarn, cross stitch supplies, embroidery thread, sewing machines - yes plural, sewing fabric, threads, appliques, patterns & oh and the deco art paint pens, the bedazzler supplies, the beads..... not to mention the 2 cricut machines i now own with the multitude of scrapbooking supplies (i.e. papers, pens - glorious pens - punches, stickers, scissors) along with the sixxix die cutting machine.....on second thought...maybe you shouldn't.
ok i am going to go take a deep breath, go touch my sharpies so i can breath again, and fold clothes while keeping the kids from fighting while they play the Wii.
have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the new karate kid!

so when this handsome fellow turned 4 on sunday the karate world gained a new student! he broke the board he is holding with his foot at his intro lesson.
he is super happy with karate.

check him out on youtube:

"winter of my discontent"

i feel like i'm swimming in quicksand.
i feel major depression settling in like the darkness of night.
i live in a world of my own making and i'm ready to abdicate the thrown.
i long for something that evades me like an enemy in a foreign land.
tiredness has seeped into my bones to the point of feeling as if i'm made of lead.
i am not enjoying this....this feeling of discontentment. not enjoying this feeling of unwillingness, almost, to it feels as if it's an unworthy endeavor.
feeling like i'm being suffocated..... like i am the biggest fraud on the no one truly knows surely no one knows what goes on in my head nor my heart....well almost no one.
i keep fighting these feelings of complete discontentment...of despising the way i look in my skin or rather in a mirror. i keep fighting to continue with the meager energy that i have. even with feeling like i'm drifting & ready to let go of the very loose grip i have on the raft keeping my head above water....i KNOW....i fully know...i have a life worth living. that i have enough that is worthy of sacrifice. where i have much....some have so little & would give their very souls to have a moment in my shoes. and use a phrase coined by john steinbeck...i am in the "winter of my discontent".
but with these does any of what i just wrote apply?

Levi - 9 weeks old

Esther - 21 months old

Asher - 4 years old

Abigail Grace - 5 years 9 mths

Elizabeth - 11 1/2 years old

Rachel - 16 years old in 20 days

Monday, January 17, 2011

i have a dream

while i surely love this speech, i'm not sure i agree with this day being a "national" holiday. i also have a few thoughts about a certain group of people hijacking Dr. King and his fight for their own sake when in reality they do not take what he said and actually live it or walk it out.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lincoln Memorial @ the National Mall in Washington, DC
August 28, 1963

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

little late in mentioning....

so Asher had a birthday on Sunday. he is all of 4 years old now but he keeps telling everyone he is just 3 years old. he also started karate. he is wild about that. before i am done i will try to link a video from youtube on here to see him in action!
i just cant believe how fast children grow up. over night it seems. Levi is actually 2 months old today. 2 MONTHS!!! where did 2 months go? but goodness where did the 9 months of pregnancy go? (well the 8 months in his case). when i was a child i longed to be older. i longed to be my own person in charge of my own self. i thought it would just be so wonderful. now dont get me wrong...i indeed do enjoy being in charge of my ownself but i did not realize how fleeting it all was. when i was a kid time crawled...took forever to move...but now...time zooms by at the speed of light..or something like that.
there is so much going on & so much on my mind. my sister christi is in the hospital. she is possibly having surgery tomorrow to repair her small intestines or her colon..i'm not sure which. or it could be her bowels. again, i'm not sure. she has been in the hospital since about midnight on Saturday/Sunday. my sister Renee told me when she called to wish Asher a happy birthday. i was shocked. it seems my sister Christi cant seem to get a break in regards to her physical well being these days. i am praying she doesnt need surgery.

i have been in the mood to write lately but i am usually too tired to actually apply myself to the task. i have 3 books sitting beside me right now that i want to read - i did start one. that doesnt include the other 10 - 15 books i have that i have read bits & pieces of and want to finish. i have knitting i want to finish. sewing i need to do (rachel has pants she has been waiting for me to hem forever). but i am exhausted all the time because i do try to keep busy - with the kids & their needs. i do try to keep the children on their schedules of school, karate, piano, co-op, church...etc.
i keep having people tell me that i "just had a baby" and i need to still take it easy. but i didnt. he is 2 months old. but everyone keeps telling me i am pushing myself or not cutting myself slack. i guess i'm afraid to cut myself slack. i am afraid to stop...i might lose my mind if i do. i can feel the depression creeping in on me. the busier i am & the more tired i am then i dont have to think.....

i like the line in the song "O How He Loves Us" by Kim Walker or David Crowder...whichever version you like best...but it goes something like "i dont have time to maintain these regrets when i think about how He loves us". i should say that i am NOT maintaining regrets..i am not....i am not a person to "regret" things. i live life..make choices..move on. but i will say this...i long for a difference. i long for different choices. i'm also thankful for God's love - regardless.

i'm sure i am not making sense. i realize that. it's late.

this was Asher at Christmas in 2008. 2 years ago roughly.

Asher this Christmas in 2010. still the cutest boy i know. i am still madly in love with this kid. i was just telling someone no woman will ever love him like i do. it breaks this mom's heart to know he will grow up to love another woman...but it also makes me proud as i want him to be a good man, husband, father...i hope i am helping him achieve those things down the road in his life. my special boy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

a blast from the past

this little gem was found tucked away in a box in Clay's & my closet. this picture is of my 3 sisters, my mother & me at my bridal shower - which was about 4-6 weeks before my wedding (if that). so this was around April 1993 (yes do the math.... i was all of 22 yrs old). from left to right is as follows:
Lisa - 25, Renee' - 23, & Christi (the blonde) - 20. I was sitting in front of Christi & that is my Mom to the right and she looks all of 30 yrs old if that.
my wise cracking 15 year old, rachel, saw the picture tonight & said "man mom, memeer (what my children call my mom) looks better than all the rest of y'all." i believe she is right! the hair kills me. look at christi's bangs! hilarious. i wish my hair was that long now. i'm trying to grow it out! but still what a hoot this picture is.