Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Mother Report

Thank you so very much to each one who prayed for my dear mother. The surgery on Monday morning went really well. However, in preparing her for surgery (which included being intubated) they were required to put her very arthritic neck in positions known to cause her intense headaches. Following surgery, she struggled so very much with an awful headache that, despite the wealth of narcotics available, would not relent. It is NEVER fun nor easy to watch someone you love so much struggle with pain like that. Thankfully, the headache has fallen to a more manageable level now and she is home! My wonderful, wonderful, wonderful husband (have I mentioned how WONDERFUL my husband is?) is tending the home front so that I can be with my mom, serving and tending to her as she has to me so very many times. I would never wish ill for my mom but it's such a gift to get to return just a drop in the bucket of love and care that she has poured out on me.

Craig sent a text message to me yesterday that simply stated: "We are playing Cinderella. I'm the stepmother...". See, he really is wonderful!!!!!!!

Thank you again for your prayers. Such a blessing they are!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Mother

My sweet mother is going in for surgery tomorrow morning to repair a herniated disc in her back. I would covet your prayers! She especially is anxious about any nausea associated with the anesthetics (and the repercussions of that!) as well as the typical worries that go along with any sort of surgery. Please pray for this lovely momma of mine. Thank you so very much!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wrinkled Faith

Spiders, snakes, roller coasters, the dark, needles, heights, enclosed places, the dentist, and the list goes on. These are just a few things that people fear. Things that make the adrenal system kick in to gear. Things that nightmares are made of. I've been thinking about one of my fears lately. DEATH. I am afraid of death. I can remember being afraid of death even as a small child, just being terrified that the Lord would take my momma home. Then I grew up. And the Lord allowed me to keep my momma, as well as a my dad. But He added to my stash of potential losses: a man, two sons, and two daughters. More fear. And then He took my Grandma home to her mansion in Heaven. The reality of death stung. It's permanence was as hot as a branding iron and left its mark, too. Oh, I know she went to Heaven, and I know I will be with her, and all other believers, in Gloryland someday. But it still stung. Other people's death-stings made their way to me: husbands losing wives, wives losing husbands, little children losing mommas, mommas losing their babies. And fear's grip gets tighter. When will my shoe drop? When will death sting me, paralyze me, take my breath away? Normally an optimistic personality (Craig and my mother nicknamed me Pollyanna, for Pete's sake!), this fear is a bump in the road that I struggle to get over. I know in my head that God will take care of me, that He will not allow me to walk a road I am unable to walk, that no valley can swallow me from His loving care, that I am not to worry about tomorrow, that all things work together for good. I know that I would breath again. Still, death scares the ever livin' tar out of me!

One of the many wrinkles in my faith. A deficiency in my knowledge of Christ's sufficiency. He presses His mighty thumb on this pressure point. My pulse honestly quickens. I ask Him to help me have faith for that road without having to walk it. I hope He will oblige. For how do you hold losely those very ones who hold your heart?

He promises to finish the good work He has started in me and that's good because this fear is proof that I remain under construction.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


As I was preparing the girls for bedtime tonight, I heard Hannah softly singing, "Joy to the World". I began to sing along with her, the words to the beautiful carol blending in with her sweet mispronuciations. Those words were like well-prescribed medicine to my busy-ness infected soul.
"Let every heart
Prepare Him room..."
When His mother and father sought a place for His birth, there were no rooms to be found. But God had prepared His birth place long before Bethlehem even made it on the map. And so He longs to do in my heart. He longs to prepare a place for Jesus' LIFE.
May our hearts have room for the King.

Merry, merry Christmas...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Born First

Nine years ago right now, I was snuggled in bed, having just birthed the one born first. He opened my womb, this 10 lb son, and I became both teacher and student.
God chose this one to be born first. God knew just what He was doing. Tender heart, strong will, inquisitive mind. God's classroom wrapped up in blonde hair and blue eyes.A baby boy...for just a moment. Just a breath and he's running, talking, wondering...His strengths, his weaknesses, his bents, his passions, his victories, his failures....they mold me as I mold him. This one, born first. Born before brother and sisters. God's choice, God's order.

Boyhood, stand still! Please! Slow your pace, don't rush, don't usher him away. Let him linger here, in this place, but just for a moment longer. This mother's heart wishes for just a moment more.

He's 9. Today he is 9. Born first.

Wintertime Birds

The birds may not know that it's Christmas
But YOU do- and that's a good thing.
So be very nice to wintertime birds,
And on Christmas they'll bless you and sing!
~Holly Hobbie

Snow Day Joy

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Memory Lane called Christmas Tree

The ornaments on our Christmas tree are like a walk down memory lane. When both Craig and I were growing up, our mothers each gave us an ornament every Christmas from babyhood on up. When we began having children, they both continued the tradition for Noah, Kaleb, Hannah and Sarah. I invite you to join me for a short jaunt down my memory lane!
For Hannah, who loved horses in 2007
For Kaleb's first Christmas in 2002

A four year old Cubbie Bear

For Noah, who has loved turtles since he was three

One of Craig's treasures from childhood:)

A new ornament this year, engineered by Kaleb

Given to Craig by his mom and dad in 1976

I don't know when I received this ornament but I can't remember ever NOT having it on our Christmas tree

Given to Craig on the Christmas after Hannah was born

Like his father, my husband is an aircraft mechanic. This plane was from his childhood

There are SO many more! A pregnant momma, a princess crown, a rocking horse with the year "1978" on it, a boat engine, a pair of skis, a blown chicken egg from Mrs. Chicken with "1984" painted on it, a few Noah's Arks, a Snoopy dog, a corn husk mouse with a red checkered dress that I have had since I was little tiny, and the list goes on and on! Can you imagine how fun it is to decorate the tree every year, not just for me, but now also for my children as they remember receiving the different ornaments and why?

Friday, December 12, 2008


Sweet Baby Asleep
Sweet Baby Awake
(but just barely)

Want to Win an Ergo?!?!?

I don't usually pass along contests. Afterall, if I pass it along to you and you enter, it reduces my chances of winning, you know!!!! But because I am such a HUGE fan of The Ergo, I'll pass this one along! Go to this link for your chance to win!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Reflection of the Heart

The other day, while shopping with the Fabulous Four, I received one of the nicest compliments I've ever been given. An older lady stopped me at my car as I was loading groceries and little ones and asked if I was 'the lady with all the children' (I really don't think four children qualifies for 'all the children' statements, but alas, I digress) that just came out of Fred Meyer. I admitted to coming out of the store with my children and she said, "I was watching you with your gang and you just have the most peaceful countenance". I tried to deflect the compliment (why do we do that? Why can't we just say, "Thank you") and she responded by saying, "I don't know. You just look like you LOVE your children!" By then, I was about in tears, not just because of her nice, encouraging words to me, but also because I was terribly humbled. You see, just that morning, one of my children was behaving in a far less virtuous manner than how said child had been raised to behave. I do believe in my dealings with this particular child, I looked more like this:
and less like the mother with the peaceful countenance that just "looked like she loved her children". Now I don't expect to be smiling every second of every day, especially when behaviours and misbehaviours must be dealt with. But such a compliment encouraged me to consider who I set my best foot forward for. I'm glad that nice lady could tell that I love my children. But do you know who I want that to be REALLY apparent to? My children and my husband and the Lord who gifted them to me! Her compliment, as nice as it was, presented a challenge to me, one I notice the Lord refreshing quite often. I know our countenance reflects our heart. What do my children see reflected there? Just something to think about!
As a bit of a side note, usually when we are in the grocery store, I will have Sarah in the Ergo, Hannah in the seat of the cart and both boys at my sides. I'm sure we look like an entourage. The comment I get most often is "Boy, you sure have your hands full". It is usually said in passing and thus I rarely have time to let the commenter know that I am so thankful for full hands, that the fillers of my hands are some of the greatest blessings I have ever had bestowed on me!!! Instead, I have begun to say, "Yes, it keeps me from those soap operas and bon-bons"! Hee hee:)

Oh, Christmas Tree...

Our Sarah Grace has found the ornaments on the tree nearly irresistible, which has provided many... shall I say "Training Opportunities". Yesterday I was feeling pretty good about the progress I had made with her. She was doing a fine job of standing at the tree and gazing longingly, with her hands at her side rather than man-handling every single ornament! However, my feelings of pride didn't last long as I watched the wheels in her little mind begin to turn. Uh oh! She carefully and deliberately lifted one foot (which is hard to do when you're a mere 17 months old) and touched it gingerly to an ornament. It's true: where there's a will, there's a way!!!!
"Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree...
You provide some many Training Opportunities"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Caption, Anyone?

This picture is crying out for a caption!!! Any suggestions?

Birth Language

I have always marveled at the birth process. The births of my own four children, as well as the numerous births I have had the honor and privilege of attending, have been some of the most beautiful, joyous moments of my life thus far. My husband, on the other hand, loves to refer to birth with somewhat colorful terms. It is, then, his fault that my sweet, feminine daughter came to me last night, with a lump underneath her shirt in the shape of her doll, and said, in a gentle, quiet voice, "Mommy, I am pumping out a baby. See, here I go!"....silence, as she quietly works through what I presume to be her last and final contraction...."There, Mommy! I pumped out another baby!!!" Do you see me rolling my eyes in my husband's general direction?!?!?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Family Ecosystem

Have you ever noticed that your home life, your family and it's members, have their own unique ecosystem. Its like this fine balance, perhaps a bit of a pecking order. The last couple of days, Noah has been hunting with Craig, gone from o'dark thirty (as they describe it) until dinner's on the table. Noah's absence has made me keenly aware of our ecosystem. While he was gone, I noticed Kaleb proudly shouldering more responsibility. At one point, after bringing the garbage cans up from the street, he asked me, "Mom, when Dad's gone AND Noah's gone, am I the man of the house?" I looked down into a face of hopeful wonder, a 6 1/2 year old wanting very much to be crowned King for a moment. "Oh, you most definitely are! Mommas and sisters need a man of the house and when Daddy and Noah are gone, you're it, Buddy!" His chest puffed out a bit, I'm almost certain, and his gait gained a bit of a strut as he walked purposefully away. I also noticed that he and Hannah became inseparable, playing lots of imaginary games (something Noah has never been interested in!). Kaleb took Hannah right under his wing, welcoming any chance to assist her. Now that Noah is back, I do believe Hannah is going to miss the attention she received from her Kaleb! Of course, Hannah's companionship, though enjoyed by Kaleb, was missed by Sarah then. And the shift continued. It's all very interesting to me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A 'Huntin' We Will Go

Once upon a time, there was a hunter. He had not one...
Not two...
But three hunting assitants. (Actually, he had a fourth assistant strapped to the back of the hunter's lovely photographer, doing her best impression of an elk call)
Though his assitants, with their semi-quiet whispers and far from quiet rubber boots may not have assisted anything but the hunter's prey, they made a delightful group.

Uh oh! We've lost an assitant to the allure of a mudpuddle!

She has been caught and reprimended. Can't you tell?

"Do Not be Moved Away..."

I've been pondering the arising busy-ness that this time of year offers. Not only pondering it, but strategizing how to resist it as well. Longing to savor the gift of a Babe, the victory not just of the cross but of the manger, and the journey, MY journey, that began at Bethlehem. And then my eyes stumble across this verse by morning's light: "...and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven..." (Col. 1:23b). That's what busy-ness threatens to do! It threatens, tempts, beckons me to be 'moved away from the hope of the gospel', to be moved away from the awestruck wonder of a manger-birthed, vernix-coated Savior of the World. He came by His choosing and His birth was the world's greatest sermon, preached to every creature. Oh, how I long to savor the incredible mystery of it all, even in the midst of sparkling lights and evergreen trees and festive events.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adventures on a Horse Farm

We enjoyed a beautiful fall afternoon visiting some friends of my dear momma's. There were barns to explore and horses to ride, sunshine to stroll in and fresh air to breath. This all made for some very happy children as well a delighted mother and grandmother.