Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Blogaversary!

The little archive box to the left tells me I have been blogging since June 2004. June 28, 2004 to be exact. Over 500 posts. For three years I have been sharing parts of my life with blog world. Three years! I started blogging because of Mike Cope's blog (as it seems so many did!) He really is the blogfather!

I had no idea the community that would develop here. I long for a time when I actually meet the members of this blog church face to face. But with life as it is, that might not happen any time soon. For now I'm grateful to have you all just a click away.

I don't blog as I once did. I can't seem to focus. I'm more hesitant to share spiritual struggles. I'm more aware of the vastness of blog world and somedays I can't get past the creepy factor. Lately I erase half the post I write, or they sit in my box as drafts for so long that I never finish them. Not sure why. Going back three years I realize my posts have changed in nature. Have I stopped thinking deeper thoughts, or do I just lack the time an energy to type and post them? I dunno.

But, I still enjoy recording little glimpses of our lives here for the future and for the world to see and comment on. The comments have slowed lately. I think we all have so many blogs to check that we can't comment on everyone's anymore. But the site meter tells me you still check in, and rightly so or not, that makes me feel loved! :)

I don't know how much longer I will blog, or how much longer anyone will. I read an article that said MySpace might bring an end to blogs. But no matter how long it lasts, it's been a great avenue for me for the last three years. I love being able to click down my list and catch up with all of you in blog world. I love the laughs, lessons, and encouragement I receive from others bloggers. I love being able to connect with so many so easily. I wish more of my high school, college, and Fort Worth friends blogged so I could keep up with everyone better.

Much has changed in my world since I started blogging. Rob and I have gone through much physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially in the last three years. Just thinking about all the changes overwhelms me! We have gone from a young starter family who had recently moved to a family with "big kids" who have been around a while. My then kindergartner is about to be a 4th grader. My then almost 3 year old is about to turn 6 and... There is a new kid on our block! You guys were there from the beginning with Ella Kate. Next week she will become a 1 year old. Can you believe it? I have been horrible at having her picture made and scrap booking as I planned... But she has a lot of her first year's history recorded here on this blog. Her brother and sister can't say that. I have lots of memories on this blog. Times not just recorded, but shared and enhanced by those who read this.

I have shared so much with my "blog family". Together we have witnessed deaths, births, tragedies, triumphs, struggles and accomplishments. We have shared paint projects, gardening tips, parent frustrations, recipes, pictures, videos, book reviews and music. You have encouraged me countless times and even called me to the carpet a descreet time or two. Thanks so much for continuing to check in on me even in my blog dry spells. Thanks to those who so graciously share your faith and life's journey on your blogs. I have come to really love and appreciate you guys!

Do you think we will still be blogging in another 3 years? Just wondering...

Thursday, June 28, 2007


It's been raining here. Which is usually a great thing. But it has been raining allot. For a month. And now it's flooding. And scary. And my new summer "must-have" leather sandals are getting hard and warped from all this water.

ANYWAY, the other day my two older kids and I went into a store with the sun shining. An hour and a half later we came out to find there had been a downpour while we were inside. We knew this because of the "mini lake" size puddles that covered the parking lot. Our van was parked in the midst of a mini Lake Superior. The driver's side was surrounded by ankle deep murky parking lot water.

"UUUGGGHHH" I thought as I trudged through the puddles towards the car. I told the kids we would all have to get in on Rhett's side.

"You can get in my door Mommy. You never do that. It's like a game!" said Rhett.

A smirk of a smile took over my face. I'm not sure if it was caused by Rhett's enthusiasm, or the mental picture I had of me climbing over the seats to get behind the steering wheel! But it was a short lived smile, as I walked up to passenger side of the van and discovered the lake was there too. But thankfully, not as deep.

"Oh yuck! There's a big oil slick!" I thought. I began to mentally debate how disgusting that oily water would feel in my shoe when my train of thought was thrown off track by Kolby's exclamation...

"Look Rhett! A rainbow!" Kolby said pointing at the oil slick.

"OH COOL, a melted rainbow!" chimed in Rhett.

"And look how it changes shape and color when you put your foot in it," Kolby happily added as her flip flop skimmed the surface.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

May all your oil slicks be melted rainbows!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What are we doing?

Have you ever had so much to say that you can't think of anything to say?

In the weeks since I have really blogged, Rhett got over the awful 7+day fever virus and four days later Kolby got it. It doesn't seem that Kolby's case is as bad as Rhett's was as her fever doesn't spike as high. But she is still miserable when her temperature is up and bored to tears and weak when the Tylenol takes it back down. I'm trying to keep the other two kids away from her, but not having much luck with that.

We were supposed to have had a Fort Worth friends reunion last weekend but for many reasons it was called off at the last minute. Rob and I then decided to take the kids to the coast for the weekend since they were so disappointed about the Fort Worth thing. I spent hours on the computer getting reservations and had the whole thing planned out. We were to leave Friday afternoon. The kids were thrilled. Friday morning I took the van (mini v) in for an oil change and had them look at a tire that was leaking.

They fixed the flat for free but ... $1000 dollars later, our little mini v is the owner of a new radiator and $700 dollars worth of various other parts. Needless to say we decided to skip the trip to the coast because the van was not going to be ready until today. We also hadn't budgeted for mini v to get so much work done this month. And in light of Kolby getting sick late Sunday night, I guess it all worked out. My kids were crushed for the second time. Promises that we will still go to the coast sometime this summer and ice cream seemed to help.

It is raining here again. I love rain. I love how it is keeping the temperatures so mild. The resulting humidity and bugs I could live without. It's also a bit scary to have flood warnings every other day. The rivers and lakes are way over their banks and shores. The water doesn't have anywhere to go. AND I still lack a coat of stain to finish that Fort in the back yard! It has to be dry for at least 24 hours after applying, and in the last two weeks I have not found that 24 hours! It has rained so much since I started the Fort re-do in May that I don't even feel too bad about not finishing it yet. I wonder what builders and roofers are doing to make money during this rainy summer?

I had the carpets cleaned today and I am so excited. I really thought our carpet was past cleaning, but the guy did a great job and was VERY reasonable! (If you live in the area call me for his number because he was a great, especially for the $$, did excellent work and is just a very nice guy) I'm trying to get a few things ready for Ella Kate's birthday next week. We're having a small family gathering so it will just be cousins. It's a Rubber Ducky party. It will be cute and fun, but pretty low key.

I think my over-the-top kid birthday party days are over. I'm just not into putting so much time and money into a party and party junk that no one really needs. I want my kids paties to be cute and fun, but not so cute and fun that it cost hundreds of dollars and takes tons of time in preparation. It's hard for me to tone it down sometimes because no one loves to put a party and a theme together and to decorate more than I do. I truly enjoy it. But no matter how much I enjoy it, I have to ask if a birthday party is worth all that thought, creativity and effort? And no, it's not.

This is a change in thinking for me. It's been coming on slowly for a long time now. But what really drove it home for me was a presentation by a young friend of mine at church last Sunday about her recent mission trip to Ghana . She visited and worked at the Village of Hope for part of the time. That is where Pam Cope and the children rescued from slavery by Touch a Life Ministries were when they were featured on Oprah.(Go to Mikes Copes blog if you want to learn more and follow the "Touch A Life" links) Jamie did a great job on her presentation. When she told how little it costs to rescue a child from slavery in Ghana...well it just made spending money on anything else seem ridiculous. I don't know what Rob and I are going to be able to do, but it is in my heart to do something.

Birthday parties and trips to the coast just don't seem all that important when you watch the footage of what those 6, 7, 8 & 9 year old kids have to live with and go though EVERY DAY. They are Rhett and Kolby's age doing work that Rob and I would find extremely hard if not impossible to do. How could anyone do that to a child? Many children in the world miss out on the privilege and right of having a childhood. They are forced into being adult and doing adult jobs way too soon. It sickens me.

But places like the Village of Hope and people like Pam Cope and Jamie give me hope. God called them from their ordinary lives to make a big difference and they answered the call. Many times I think I let God leave a message that I plan to get around to later...when the bills are paid off, the kids are older, the house is in better shape and after Rob is through with graduate school.. I have good intentions of taking that call someday. But those intentions do nothing for the little boy in Ghana who woke up before the sun this morning and will work all day in a strangers boat for little more that a piece of bread and a few pennies to be sent home to his family..the family who knowingly or not sold him into this horrible life. Waiting won't reflect to anyone today the love and grace Gad has given and continues to give me this and every other day. I think it's time to take that call. Just not sure what to do.

I'm not naive enough to think that after every child is rescued from slavery in Ghana that the job will be done. There will always be some form of slavery, poverty and cruelty in the world. These things may never be eradicated from the Earth. BUT that is no excuse. We have to try to help those in these situations becasue there are people hurting. Don't you think those kids hope and pray everyday that someone, somewhere will come resuce them? They know that what is being done to them is wrong. They are hurting, and scared and hungry. And even if we don't know these children, God knows them. I believe God wants us to help his children, all the children that we possibly can help. If sending a couple of hundred dollars over seas can help a 6 year old get out of slavery, I need to do it.

Jamie's presentation reminded me of, and maybe even rekindled feelings and thoughts I had when I was in Africa almost 15 years ago. Feelings and convictions I thought I would never forget. And really, I haven't forgotten them. But it's good to have a reminder.

So that is what I'm doing today... Sitting here with wet carpet, a sick child, a sleeping almost one year old, and a few boxes of rubber duckies, blogging about saving children from slavery in Ghana instead of cleaning the kitchen while rain hits the window panes. A day in the life. So, what are you doing?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The lies we live with...

Back published on 8-3-07 I started this post a few months ago. It started out as a comment on my preacher's blog but quickly became too long. I have come back to it several times. God has been using it to teach me something. I had decided not to publish it but have changed my mind. Few will never read this as I am going to back publish it. But if you are reading, let me warn you that this post is long and rough. It was more of an exercise to sort out my feelings than to tell my story. It's here for me as a reminder and a worksheet of sorts. Read on if you feel so moved.

When I was two years old I had surgery to repair a kidney/reflux problem. At age 12, I had a second surgery to repair a reflux problem with the other kidney. The surgery was in the summer after my 6th grade year. Sixth grade was worst year in my school career, my childhood and maybe even my life. It was bad.

Though I have loved and been inspired and encouraged by so many of my teachers, my 6th grade teacher was a mean woman. She should never have been allowed to work with children. Before my surgery, I had frequent kidney infections and bladder spasms. I had to go to the restroom allot. My teacher however only allowed us to go to the restroom twice a day. After I had an "accident" and went home in tears, my teacher got a note from my doctor saying I had to be allowed to go "at will" for medical reasons.

My teacher let me go "at will" from the on, but not with out punishment. No one was going to get around her rules with out facing the consequences, medical excuse or not. For the rest of the year I had to write my name on the front chalk board and put a mark by it every time I went to the restroom. For every mark past 2, I had to sit out 5 minutes of recess. I don't remember anything but sitting on the bench or being made to write sentences in the classroom during recess after that. There may have been days when I didn't, but I don't remember them.

My teacher would also hold me out of specials like PE and Music. She announced to my class from time to time that she thought I was faking my illness for attention and that she doubted anything was really wrong with my kidneys. She said I was one of those kids who made trouble and then tried use illness or excuses to get out it. Don't get me wrong. I was not a perfectly mannered angelic child, but I wasn't a devil either.

I didn't tell my parents about many of the things my teacher said and did until after the school year was over. I'm not sure why but I think it was because I was ashamed of always being in trouble at school. Not even staying home from school when sick helped me escape my teacher. When I went back she would make me do twice the work done in my absence as make-up work. I would work through recess, specials and for hours at home and still not finish. For the first time in my school career I made bad grades. I had always been in the highest reading and math groups but she moved me to the low. bgl group. I had never been in trouble at school before, (well except for talking too much from time to time) but was branded by her as a trouble maker. Though I was never once was sent to the principals office in 6th grade, I was forever being punished by my teacher for going to the bathroom too much, being absent, crying when she humiliated me, and for not finishing the mountain of extra work she gave me to do for my absences or time in the bathroom.

I hated school and anyone associated with it. I cried every morning and even threw-up once or twice while walking the long sidewalk to her classroom. I was scared all the time. When I did tell my Mom a few things she met with the school counselor. My teacher had the counselor snowed and told her I was just over sensitive and exaggerating. The counselor pulled me out of class a few times a week for "self esteem lessons. " I was always so happy to get away from that woman that I didn't complain further for fear I would not get to go to the counselor anymore.

My parents had no idea how bad it was for me until the summer of my surgery when parents of my friends told my parents that their children had come home with awful stories of how my teacher treated and talked about me. The saddest part is that after repeatedly hearing my teacher say that I was faking and over exaggerating my kidney symptoms to get around her rules, part of me started to believe her lies. I knew I didn't do anything on purpose, but for years I wondered if accidentally I really did over react to my kidney infections and cause myself to have an unnecessary and expensive surgery. I knew she was a mean old liar who hated life and really didn't like me, but for some irrational reason I was afraid she might have right about me in some way.

Just last week I was telling my Mom how I wondered if I over reacted and caused my second surgery. Her jaw almost hit the floor. She had no idea I had ever believed anything that teacher said to me. Mom explained that I had to have the surgery because of what my doctors saw on my x-rays, not because I complained about my frequent kidney infections. My left ureter had stopped growing. You can't fake an x-ray or will your ureters to stop growing. It wasn't my fault. Even though it has been 25 years since I was a 6th grader, learning the surgery was really not my fault still came as a relief.. I had lived with that mean teachers lie for 25 years.

Though I can't say that her lies ruined my life, it did hurt my belief in myself at a very fragile age. She was able to plant seeds of doubt with in me about my character and my abilities. She forever tainted my feelings towards school. I'm not sure I ever really trusted another teacher again. There were times when bad things happened or I messed up (as most kids do at some time or other) and I would hear her saying I was a bad kid, a trouble maker, a fake. Luckily I had lots of other voices that told me I was not any of these things. I have a family that loved me no matter what. I had a God who is not only my judge but who loves me. I grew up being taught that Jesus died because he knew that no human could be good enough to earn their own salvation, so he paid our price. That's such an important aspect of Christianity to ingrain in a kid like I was. I tended to beat myself up over my mistakes and felt I could never be good enough

When I look back at what I went through in 6th grade with adult eyes, I am proud I was able to bounce back. I left 6th grade and my elementary school and started fresh in Jr High the next year. I had a great 7th grade year. When I made all A's several six weeks in a row, I sent my 6th grade teacher a copy of my report card and told her she was wrong about me. After my Mom realized all that had happened, she talked to school officials about the teacher and years later refused to work on the same campus with her. But the teacher still taught for many years after I had her. I hadn't thought much about that mean old teacher in a long time.

Through adult eyes however, I feel sorry for the woman. How miserable her life must have been for her to be so mean to a 12 year old good student with kidney problems. To have abused her power as a teacher and to have been so controlling of her students every move, she must have felt very powerless and out of control in her own life. But what really saddens me is something my 6th grade teacher's own son told my mother years later. He said that his mother was the meanest woman to ever walk the earth. His own mother! Evidently I wasn't the only person to fall victim to her sharp tongue and cruel discipline.

Since Mom assured me my kidney surgery was legit, I have thought allot about my teacher. For the first time ever the thought struck me that this woman could not have had any type of positive relationship with God. Knowing God and loving Jesus does not make you mean. That realization surprised and convicted me.

God has really used the memory of this woman to speak to my heart. Even though I think I did the best I could at age 12 to handle this teacher, as I grew up I missed the opportunity to show her God's love. In thinking about it, I realize I may have missed many God given opportunities to show his love. How many times in my life have I written someone off after they hurt me? As a christian who has been given this incredible gift of love, sacrifice, grace and forgiveness from my Savior, have I reflected that to people who hurt me or rub me the wrong way? Do I really love people as I should? Before now I never once prayed for this teacher. I never once cared about her. All I have ever felt for her is anger and spite. I'm not 12 anymore, and haven't been for a long time.

This post started out being about my mean teacher's lie that I lived with for 25 years. It has become much more than that. It has made me examine my feelings and actions towards people who have hurt me in life. It has made me see them as not just as mean, but as lost and flawed and human. People JUST LIKE ME! God is showing me that I have also lived with the lie that it is OK to harbor ill will and maybe even hatred towards those who are unjust. Recently I have been drawn to scriptures that talk about forgiveness and praying for your enemies. I didn't know why. But I think I do now.

I don't know if this teacher is still alive. I ran a search on her through the archives of my hometown newspaper but found nothing. She is not listed in the directory. She would be pretty old by now I think. And if I find out she is alive, and I find her address, I'm not sure what I would do. Write a letter? What would I say? Is there something God would want me to tell her? Would my forgiving her make any difference in her life? I may never know the answers to these questions. Unless God wants me too. Then I know I will.

In the mean time, I have and do pray that over the years my teacher made peace with whatever turned her so mean. I hope she eventually came to know God's love and it changed her. I hope her son was able to move past what she did and reconnect with her. I am shocked to have feelings of both dread and hope for this woman who I have not liked most of my life. I can't believe I care and yet I can't believe I never cared until now. I can't even be mad at her. WOW! God is so good to be able to turn my feelings around that way! If he can change my heart towards this woman, his love can change ANYTHING! And I guess that is the truth I need to remember despite what ever lies life throws my way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For local yocals

I am looking to borrow, rent, or as a last resort, buy this cake pan. Anyone have one or know of someone who does?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer Bummer

Nothing kills the buzz of summer activities like a temperature of 105.1.

Rhett started running high fever last Wednesday night. Thursday the doctor said it wasn't strep throat but probably was the dreaded fever virus that all our friends and family had a week or two ago. The virus I thought we avoided. Bummer.

Ever since Rhett has had a steady fever. It goes up and down but never goes away. It spikes it's highest every night from 8 to 10pm and scares the bejeevies out of me. I slept in Rhett's room the first two nights in his "trungle" bed as he calls it. Rhett had to miss the last two days of VBS at his preschool church this week. He was totally bummed because his best little buddies were in class with him. However, he has felt so bad he hardly even mentioned VBS after the first day. Our Fathers Day plans have also changed. We are now planning a low-key day at home with my parents joining us for lunch after church. Really, that is just fine with me. Since I haven't slept much the past few nights and since we have had rain showers on and off since Thursday, I'm fine with a slow weekend at home. It's actually sorta nice...except that Rhett feels so bad.

The plus side of this untimely virus is that I have spent lots of one on one time with Rhett. That is something I have not done much of since Ella Kate was born. I love this little guy. He cracks me up, even when he is feeling lousy. I have been telling him lots of stories about my childhood adventures with my cousins Ashley and Robby. (He loves these stories as Ashley and Robby are parents to his bast buds Scarlett and Justin.) We have tried to make the best of it by mixing in back scratches, flashlight shadow figures on the ceiling, and several ice cream sundaes along with late night baths to bring his fever down and a regiment of Sprite and Tylenol. We have managed to have fun.

Since the tragic death of Conner Brown almost three weeks ago, I was already hugging my little boy tighter and more often. Since the accident I often find myself praying for protection and thanking God for times with my kids. Even the sick times. I think about the times LeAnn probably held Conner when he was sick. Those must be treasured memories now. Every hug, every smile, how he smelled, how his hands felt inside hers, how he said "MOM" from across the house when he was looking for something... All treasures. Conner's gift to me is the realization now that the little things about my kids and the little moments I spend with them are precious and are to be treasured and appreciated. That thinking makes dealing with a yucky summer fever virus a whole lot easier. I'm grateful for that.

Since I was spending so much time in Rhett's room, I decided to clean it out and rearrange some things. During that process Rhett informed me that he wants "to paint his room red with a blue ceiling and get new sheets, pillows and pictures." He has mentioned redoing his room a few times since we redid the guest room for Kolby and made her old room a nursery for Ella Kate last year. To pacify him, I added a few little things to his room then. Evidently he has bigger things in mind. I guess it would great to start Kindergarten off with a new room, so I am toying with the idea. No promises on the red walls though! It cracks me up to see this side of Rhett. He is so into sports, games,cars, bugs and all things "boy" that it catches me off guard when he wants to cook with me, put lotion on after baths and talk about room decor. That's my boy!

What have the other kids done with Rhett sick and taking center stage? Kolby has tried to go with friends and stay away for the most part, but there is no where to send Ella Kate. I am trying my best to keep them apart, use lots of Lysol, wash my hands and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that no one else gets this yucky fever virus. Did I mention it is rumored to last 5 to 7 days? Almost any other week this summer that might not be so bad. BUT next weekend we are meeting a few families at a hotel in the metroplex for a Fort Worth friends reunion. We are so excited to see everyone, kick back,visit and play for three days! It takes allot to get these families together. We have already lost one family to scheduling problems this year so our family can't be sick! I think I better run out and get some more Airborne!

Time to give my little man his next dose of melt-away grape flavored fever reducer!
Hope you are WELL and having a happy Saturday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More summer

Like a lot of you, I just can't seem to find much to blog about these days. I guess it is a summer thing.
So what are we doing this summer? Well... My older two kids have become professional VBS visitors. Last week they went to VBS at night at one of their cousins grandparents church. This week they are going in the mornings to VBS at the church where Rhett went to pre-school. Monday and Thursday afternoons Rob and Rhett have T-ball. Tuesdays the older two also go to Summer Fun Days/MDO at our church from 9 :30 till 2:30. Tuesday nights Rob has softball. Add in Wednesday night church and that's basically our week! Still a little busy but life has been going at a little slower and more relaxed pace.

Our sweet neighbors often let us use their pool. We have been using it a lot lately. Here are some shots from after dinner dip in the pool last night.
EKG loves to swim especially when the sun is down. She really likes her new lobster float too!
Kolby has become a fish! She would swim all the time if she could.
Rhett finished his first swim lessons last week and is swimming without his floaty suit for the first time. He is still a dare devil! His swim teacher had him in a beginner class and decided he was not a beginner. Rhett can dive to get toys off the bottom of the pool and can swim great under water. He will need a few more lessons to get the strokes and breathing down right though.
EK was cracking us up with her new "hand on the side of my face pose" We couldn't decide if she was sleepy, pretending to be on the phone, or just hanging out and being cute and funny.

Hope you are having a happy SUMMER!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

11 Months Old

My baby girl is 11 months old today.
How is that possible?
Ella Kate is such a joy! She has been, and continues to be, a ray of sunshine in our daily lives. Her expressions, laughter and enthusiasm make Rob and I laugh and keep a smile on our face. I miss her when I'm away from her for more than a few hours. She delights us, as well as her brother and sister, with each new phase she enters. Ella Kate has all of us wrapped around her cute chunky little finger!

Short video of EK Walking

Ella Kate has changed more to me in the last month than any other month I can remember. My sweet little laid-back baby found her temper. She is still laid back in many ways, but it seems she's decided that she wants what she wants. Those who dare to come between her and her desires better watch out! She wants to feed herself only food that she can pick up. She will hardly tolerate being spoon fed baby food. She still likes her ba-ba, though she is down to three or four a day as compared to six or seven a day just a month or so ago.

Longer video of EK walking.
EK suddenly doesn't like to have her diaper or clothes changed. She is too busy for that. It's like trying to wrestle a twister to the ground to get her to be still long enough to get the old diaper off and new diaper on! Often she escapes mid way through the process. Squeals of glee are all I am left with as her naked bottom crawls away at lightening speed. Changing her clothes is even worse. I am having wrist problems right now and am convinced it is partially from the strain of trying to hold a 20 pound tiger still long enough to change her. (Sanding an entire play fort also had something to do with the wrist issue) I truly hope this phase does not last long.

Ella Kate has also decided that she needs the telephone or the TV remote at all times. There have been days we couldn't find the phone because we had hidden it so well from EK. But we have to hide it because if she sees it, she will do anything she can to get it...climb, claw, kick, scream. She has even been known to fake laugh to distract us long enough to go in for the kill and grab it from our unsuspecting hands! It is funny, but I am afraid we will have a call to Istanbul or Africa on our next bill. I am waiting for the day she accidentally summons the police with a 911 call and I have to go to the door in my PJs to explain that the baby was playing with the phone! She is a mess!

But the biggest change in Ella Kate came about two or three weeks ago when she started taking little steps on her own. She isn't very steady yet and has the bruises to prove it, but EK wants to walk all the time. She is walking and toddling all over the house! She can still speed crawl, but she likes walking. So does this officially make her a toddler? For crying out loud, she's not even a year old!!!! She just wants to be big and keep up with her siblings.

All my attempts to keep Ella Kate a baby as long as possible are failing miserably. Of course I am thrilled that she is progressing and meeting all her developmental milestones. Having known the pain and heartache of friends whose children did not develop in this way, I do not take that blessing for granted for one second! It's just a little sad for me to realize that my last baby is not going to be a baby baby much longer.

Don't misunderstand. Infant-hood is so challenging. A baby's constant needs, feedings, diaper changes, the lack of sleep and the socially paralyzing schedule are very hard to adjust to and live with. But to me, there is nothing on earth that compares to the feeling of having your sweet little helpless baby curled up asleep against your chest. Nothing feels is as soft as the back of a babies head. Nothing is as cute as their tiny little fingers and toes, not to mention those adorably soft and cushy little baby butt cheeks! Babies are such miraculous little creatures. I had no idea that I could love so much or feel so many emotions at the same time until I had my babies. It's just a precious, blessed time. And it is over so very fast.

I know Ella Kate is our last. I am totally happy with my three kids. I do not want another baby. I just wish there was a way to freeze dry those precious baby days and savor them forever. I think of how Luke 2:19 says "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." I always assumed the Bible was talking about the miracles and the visits from the Shepard's, Kings and the Angel. But maybe not. Maybe it is just talking about the young Mary becoming a mother for the first time and savoring her infant. Maybe Mary was not so different from most Moms in that way. We mothers treasure and ponder these things in our hearts, it's just what we do.

As sad as it makes me to see Ella Kate leave the infant baby days behind, my heart soars at watching her take those little steps. I delight in each new thing she learns to do. Every day as Ella Kate develops and learns to do more and more I get a better glimpse of the unique person God is making her to be. It's like a receiving a gift that changes and finds new ways to delight you as it ages. The blessings change, but never end.

Being a parent is a joy. It is also the hardest thing I've ever done. It's the absolute scariest thing I have ever done. When I think long term, it is the most overwhelming task I have ever undertaken. However, I can't imagine not being a parent. There is nothing I would rather be than the co-parent of these three little people God gave Rob and I. That I get to do this with Rob, well that is the biggest blessing.

Am I rambling? Probably so. Just some things I'm thinking about as my baby turns 11 months old! Have a great day!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sunny days

Two days without rain and I am feeling almost giddy! Hot, sweaty from the humidity, but giddy none the less!

Today Kolby comes home from Camp! I am ready to see my little girl. I haven't talked to her since last Sunday which has to be a record. Actually I think this is the longest I have ever been separated from her. While breaks are probably good for both of us in many ways, I am ready to have her home!

Yesterday Rob and I had the privilege of attending the funeral of our good friends father/father-in-law. It was such a sweet tribute to this Christian, family man! It was one of those funerals that you leave feeling inspired to live, do and be better because of the life that person lived. While I weep for this family's loss, I can't help but gratefully rejoice that he was such a great husband, dad, grand-dad, friend, and Christian example! Time and again different people said how much this man cared about others. Even in his last painfull moments he was taking care of his family. And so many people cared about him. Some people live to be 100 and don't have a tenth the love that this man gave and received in his 58 years of life. Rob and I both said that when we die we hope our funerals are like this one. Uplifting, inspiring and real. It was a good day.

I also enjoyed getting to be with my husband for more than an hour, sans kids and home improvement projects. The funeral was out of town. We figured out we could take back roads and get there about the same time as taking the interstate. We drove down two lanes roads past farms and ranches only pausing to go through a town or two that was about a block long and to stop st a DQ for a drink. With all the rain we have had the country side is so green and lush. The wild flowers were beautiful! It was a really pleasant drive. The kind of drive I don't see often!

Funny how life gives little unexpected presents, like the gift a peaceful drive across lush country side with my best friend, when I least expect it. After days of sadness, it was just what I needed. I think God knew that and I am so grateful!

Still praying for the Brown and Bailey family as they experience some of the darkest days of their life. But yesterday reminded me that somehow, as horrible as their situation is (and I can scarcely think of of a worse scenario for a parent or sibling) that God will give them just what they need and in time it will get better. At least that is what I have to believe. Hope you join me in continuing to lift them up as we celebrate the lives God has blessed each of us with! Have great Weekend!