Sunday, April 29, 2012

terrible two's come early

levi has really started the terrible two's. i figured it out today. he threw a fit at church today. refused the nursery. screamed like he was being murdered in the parent's room. he just wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. and he still doesnt speak. not a word....unless he wants to shout out the other kids when they are calling "mama, mama". he will scream that LOUDLY. he also, the last 3 nights has started to scream at bedtime. he use to be just an angel at bedtime. give him a kiss, lay him down, cover him up with his special blankets and he would drift off to dream land. not so much the last 3 nights. he stands at the edge of the crib, straining to see around the corner of his crib to look out his door, screaming for all he is worth. wow! the boy who spent 2 hours in the NICU to get the fluid out of his lungs, the boy who had RSV at 3 months, the boy who has been on intermitten breathing treatments - really does have a good set of lungs!

even so, he's so darling. i'm in love.
this is his idea of cuteness. it's a joke with him. i tell him "no" and he will give me this scowl & the laugh like he is the funniest thing. and the reality is - he is pretty darn funny & way too cute. forgive the graininess of the picture. i am trying to figure out my new phone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Abigail's Birthday

Abigail turned 7 on 04/20/2012. She is such a blessing to us. She is kind, generous & very smart. She had a great day with many well wishes & great presents. We took her to Texas Roadhouse for her birthday supper. She was very concerned with them singing happy birthday to her. At the Roadhouse they dont sing, the bring out a saddle on a sawhorse, make the birthday patron get on the saddle, they stop the whole restaurant by shouting loudly that it's so & so's birthday & instead of singing they get the whole restaurant to shout "YEE HAW!!"
now we already make a spectical with our large family, but this was hilarious. Abigail was hesitant at first but she got up there & grinned, ear to ear.
Abigail is so special to me...she is fulfillment of a promise. The promise by a loving God to give us another child by my womb. 10 years after Rachel was born, Abigail was. She has been a blessing and a delight & I expect that not to change. Thank you Lord for our beautiful Abigail Grace.


Her main gift was an American Girl Doll. She is in love!!!

now on a separate note, Asher, on Sunday, told Clay that he wanted God to be in charge of his life. Out of the blue. What a blessing. Clay stopped what he was doing & prayed with Asher. I am so proud of him. It's hard for Asher to contain his wildness on most days. He is wild & rambunctious but he has a good heart and is extraordinarily sweet. I'm thankful he is slowly coming to the knowledge that he needs a Savior to guide him. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

bad swings

Rachel fell off our swing set yesterday afternoon. While that isn't unusually for a child or two to take a tumble off of our playground equipment every now & again, it was in Rachel's case. She is 17. It's not like she was being careless or wild. She was outside with all 4 little ones wAtching them & building her relationship with them. They were all swinging and talking and having a good time.
For whatever reason, Rachel lost her grip and fell back and landed on her skull. She never blacked out & she didn't start vomiting. She did however have a massive headache, complain of constant dizziness and nausea, and light and noise was making her head hurt worse. We waited 3 hours, had supper, baths & got the littles ready for bed....then I decided since she was still complaining of the problems she needed to be seen.
I did figure she had a concussion but I had no clue what to do for one.
Well I was right. After 4 hours in the ER, she was diagnosed with a concussion, given anti nausea meds & a anti inflammatory/pain killer med. She is also on bedrest until her head is better....which could take up to 2 weeks or more. Sheesh!
I am thankful she isn't hurt worse. I'm thankful for great medical care - regardless of the wait. I'm thankful for the means to provide medical care for my children.
I was sitting there last night in the ER annoyed with the adult cartoons the were playing over & over again. I came close to asking them to change the channel. Instead I decided to pray and thank God for my many blessings.
I, by no means, think God owes me any thing. I am the worst of sinners. But I know this...regardless of my sins, God loves me & my children. And then while I thought that I started to think, as much as God loves my family, He also loves the orphaned child over in Ethiopia waiting on a forever family.
He loves the 16 yr old in the American foster system who wonders why life has dumped on them.
He loves the woman who lives in regret of how her life has turned out & pushes everyone away because she can't get past her regret.
While all of these situations are different & in some, the main character is an innocent bystander to the unfairness of life's circumstances.
the bottom isn't fair & God loves. God loves. End of story.
Here is the culprit of last night's injury.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

saturday night church

we attended saturday night church last night at our church - Upward Church . unfortunately Levi is not feeling well again...i think his ear infection is back with a vengence. he will be making a check up to the doctor tomorrow. sadly this time he is whiny. for the boy who is never whiny........he is now. he's miserable & making us miserable with him as nothing satisfies.
anyway, he & i stayed in the parent's room so he could play & i could listen to the sermon. the sermon was on forgiveness. i am sure i'm not presumptious to say i'm not the only one who has a hard time with forgiveness...whether giving it or accepting it. i deal with both issues but am focusing at the moment on the giving aspect.
Pastor Craig emphasized again a lesson i had been taught a long time ago while in college: forgiveness is an every day exercise. i will never forget my Resident Director at Emmanual College, Tim Harrison, telling me that same thing concerning some family issues that i was dealing with at the time. and it's true. and just like with sit ups..if you slack up, your muscles get weak. i will be the first one to say....i am weak,  my forgiveness muscle is weak...almost atrophied at this point. and just like with the flesh saying no to desiring exercise...our flesh & our emotions a lot of time dont want to forgive. it means giving up. and that giving up can mean a lot of different things: giving up on reconciliation of relationships, giving up on it mattering if you are right, giving up anger & hurt. giving up what makes us comfortable because we have held onto ...whatever...for so long.
another thing Pastor Craig said that really struck me was that it's ok to forgive and keep your distance...basically forgiveness from afar. the reality is forgiveness isnt for the other's for the individual exercising the forgiveness. so if truly forgiving means you have to give up relationships & not put yourself in the position to stir up old wounds....that's definitely not a bad thing. it's probably a wise thing while most likely still being a hard thing.

i'm thankful for good teaching that reiterates past teachings & calls me to restrengthen important spiritual muscles.

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." Matthew 6:14

on a separate note we have had to switch doctors with our child in therapy. we have some tests coming up that have the potential to hold devastating news on the surface - but not insurmountable in the long run. (we got the call yesterday from the new doctor of what was suspected). please pray as we navigate these test.

Friday, April 13, 2012

1 Peter 7

sadly we are most likely re-homing Readen this weekend. Clay & I are meeting with a really good prospect for her to be the only dog, with no children, in a family with a Mama & a Daddy that know cocker spaniels well. Through the course of this couple's marriage (starting in 1974) they have had 5 cocker spaniels. They are in their 50's and dont want to start with a puppy. i cant say i dont blame them. Readen is perfect for them. fixed, housebroken, beautiful, shots up to date, somewhat trained, friendly...she just needs to be the alpha or only dog. that's not happening in our house & it's causing a lot of unrest. hopefully there will be peace after this weekend. this is a hard decision. i'm crying now thinking about it. Abigail is going to be devastated. she still cries over missing Lily and Lily died. We are consciously making a decision for her to miss Readen. it stinks to have to be the adult. Rachel actually made the decision. a very adult, unselfish decision on her part. she's growing up - has grown up - way too fast.  pray for us this weekend.

A Living Hope, and a Sure Salvation
 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
And this is the word which was preached to you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

i am so excited to read this new book. i downloaded it to my nook tonight. Deitrich Bonhoeffer is a wonderful example of walking your Christian faith word & deed.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

"When Christ calls a man (or woman), he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Monday, April 9, 2012


whatever that is - swag - supposedly Rachel & Esther have it. Rachel is enjoying teaching Esther all kinds of fun words! And Esther is enjoying the fun she has with Rachel. i love their relationship.

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life." ~Isadora James

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

He is Risen! Indeed!

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45

We had a great Easter here. The kids had a blast & all of them have the knowledge - down to even Esther - that Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of our Savior. I am actually proud of the fact that even Esther can articulate in words the meaning even if she expresses them as she opens up easter eggs & devours chocolate. I have been debating inside myself the scripture Ezekiel 44:23 "Moreover, they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean." (not to be out of context, it was speaking of the establishment of the Priesthood).
Should we really be mixing the holy with the profane? (i.e. Easter eggs, bunny, candy..with the holiness of Jesus' goes for Christmas also)

Anyway, I havent formulated my complete thoughts concerning it to change my convictions so we went with what we normally do....we went to church, had a great meal afterwards & enjoyed our afternoon. We actually - for the first time EVER had an Easter egg hung. I had filled 110 eggs with candy & Clay & I hid them & the kids had a ball finding them. They found all but 1.

also, the first picture is a picture of how we have been keeping track of Levi lately. Rachel thought it would be a good idea & actually when he  is out in the yard the balloon does help. (he got the balloon for Esther's birthday.)

our dyed eggs. we ended up using them for deviled eggs & potato salad.

and i am struck again at how much this kid looks like me. poor kid! but in spite of it all she is beautiful.

ok, i realize, i look tired & haggard (at least that's the thoughts that come to my mind. probably the flat hair & the slouching makes me think that!)

this is my favorite picture of the day. Rachel, the oldest at 17 years old, participating in the Easter egg hunt. running full out looking for eggs. i love it! all of the kids had a ball.

and on a different note: we have had the worst trouble with our dogs. in the pictures you can see flashy & liberty in the backgrounds but not much of calpurnia & readen. calpurnia & readen have taken to drawing each other's blood fighting. readen, who is younger than calpurnia wants to be the top dog...but calpurnia being older & having already established herself here in our home isnt about to give that spot up. the bad thing is calpurnia is way smaller than readen so she cant make readen comply. today readen, in her desire to not have to submit to any other dog actually, in a muzzle, challenged liberty. liberty, being a german shepherd, picked readen, a 25lb cocker spaniel, up & shook her like a rag doll. when she let go readen still barked at liberty. liberty lunged & readen then cowered in submission. so with that going on, we have a few leads for a new home for readen. while it hurts us to do so, we need peace in our house. we have a very good prospect of an older couple who has had nothing but cocker spaniels. Just a husband & wife who lost their 15 year old cocker spaniel a little while back. I'm calling them tomorrow. Please keep the kids in your prayers as it's going to be rough. but if it gives you any idea of what we are dealing is a picture from today...the 2 inside girl dogs fighting & flashy taking his shot at trying to gain dominance (which generally he does not care). clay took this lovely picture this afternoon waiting on the 2 big girls & myself to get home from serving in the nurseries. (we went to the 9:15 service as a family & worked the late service).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Esther Adlai turns 3!

Esther is a joy. She is fun. She is smart. She is sensitive. She is wild. She is tenacious. she has added so much to our lives. the last 3 years with her have been wonderful & i wouldnt trade them for anything.
I told her today about her delivery. when i told her that having her almost killed me - literally - she just laughed and said "yea, me almost kill you." i love how kids accept things and move on.

anyway, Esther had a full day. we picked up her cake, bought balloons, went to applebees - where they sang to her & she got a free ice cream sunday, then we came home, opened presents & had cake. then she & Abigail & Asher played with her gifts. all & all it was a good day for Esther. Her expressions are priceless. there are pictures of all of us thrown in here & there except for Rachel. she did most of the photo taking today & she caught some good ones too!
the following is picture heavy so beware.
also if you want to see her videos from today & one from a few weeks ago of her dancing to" Moves Like Jaggar" by Maroon 5 you can check out my YouTube channel - chickenwendy & look for them. especially the one of her opening her presents. she was hilarious and so very happy.