Tuesday, August 25, 2009

live like it is Sunday

So this morning I was snitching a piece of Dove chocolate from the freezer, and when i opened the wrapper, it had a saying printed in it. This one was "Live Life like it is Sunday." I smiled as i read it, and thought, "that was cute..." and as i crumpled up the foil to toss it in the garbage, i started thinking.... what if i did?

I think the author of the statement intended for it to mean, relax, slow down and enjoy life like you do on a Sunday. I was thinking more about what I do on a Sunday, and what would happen if i lived every day that way? Sunday's in our home are set aside as a day to Worship and Serve the Lord.... I get up early, I choose my clothes more carefully, because i want to look my best, I look forward to my day in anticipation of what new things i will learn when i go to church, my chosen place of worship.

What would happen if i looked forward to spending time with and learning about the Lord everyday? I try to have a quiet time with Him everyday, but it falls off the list more often than not..... What if i purposed to do it, like i purpose to set aside Sunday's?

What would happen in your life if you did too?

Monday, August 24, 2009

August Update on Dad

This last month has been full of things to do. Early in the month Mom, Dad and Amy went up to visit Auntie Rene (mom's sister ) outside of Lake Tahoe. (they thought that he would rest and sleep for most of the trip up there.... but he would have none of it... he was wide awake and enjoying the car ride there...) Irene was house sitting and dog sitting for some friends that live there. The house that they were in was built with ramps instead of stairs, and it was perfect to get dad in between floors in his wheelchair. The ramps in the house are carpeted, and the remainder of the floor in the home is concrete. Amy had a humorous moment when she was going at a good pace to get over the transition that is in place to hold down the carpet.... she hit it at such a speed that it almost dumped dad out of the wheel chair. I got a kick out of the story, because it reminded me of the time mom almost slid him out of the chair going down the ramp at Kaiser in San Mateo.... both times he almost fell out of the chair, dad just looked at his driver as if to say "Hey lady! Watch it.!! " Another humorous moment was when Amy was backing dad down the ramp, and mom was in front of her ( they were walking rear to rear...) and she was keeping Amy from sliding down the ramp.... I know that the two of them, and Auntie Rene had to be cracking up while it was happening.... I am sure if we were all there it would have been one of those laugh till you cry moments.

After the successful trip to Tahoe, they left and swung down to Oakdale and spent some time at a 1st birthday party for Jamie (Hazelwood) Cortez's third little girl, Addison. After the party they went over to Janet's house and Dad took a nap. They ate dinner, visited with Janet for a while, and then rode home.

Dad was also able to attend the Sunday Night Hymn Sing at Redwood on the 16th .... Mom said that he really enjoyed it, and was boppin' along to the music, and was even so moved he was crying a few times. It never ceases to amaze me how our Lord meets us and ministers to us exactly where we are. God knows exactly what is going on in Dad's mind and heart, even though he can't express himself to us very well. God met him right where he is.... and ministered to his soul that night. So I send a hearty thank you out to the folks at Redwood Chapel that organized the event, and to those that participated. You all were ministers of the Gospel that night. Thank you for your service to the Lord. Dad also enjoyed seeing the people that were from out of town, even though he probably didn't remember anyone 's name, he always lights up when you introduce him to people he has known for years.

Even though it seems like dad is doing better because we have taken him on some trips and he was able to get out of the house for some events. His ability to care for himself continues to decline. These outings do take quite a bit of effort for mom and Amy but have also been worth the effort. We do not want to give anyone a false sense of hope, that because he is out and about, he is doing better and on the mend. Those areas of his brain ( the fluffy ones that we mentioned in the last update) continue to detrimentally affect him. He is continuing to have more difficulty moving around. He has begun to have incontinence issues as well. Please pray with us about decisions we need to make about getting a ramp for the house and other things that he needs. Some of these things that we need to do for him, have been hard for Mom to accept, so please pray with us that as her children, we can encourage her to make these hard decisions, and attempt to understand how this whole thing affects her as well.

There have been moments (mostly before summer began) where Dad has had total clarity of what is happening to him. One night he was laying in bed with Amy and they had been having some laughs. Later she looked at him and asked, "Dad, do you know whats happening to you?" He answered, "yeah, I am dying." She paused started to tear up and then said, "we'll yeah dad, we're are all dying." He paused for a moment, as if to absorb what she was saying and said, "well...... That sucks." very matter of fact. And they both laughed. Dad has given all of us a wonderful gift in his sense of humor, and his ability to not take life to seriously. Even in the quiet moments, he can still make us laugh, and that laughter is a balm to our hearts as we watch things become more and more difficult for him to do.

Amy was in a wedding Saturday for Brenda Monk... i would tell you her new last name if i could remember it right now... Dad and Mom and Kelly were all there. Amy was telling me last night that Mom was very sad at the wedding and crying a lot. She was trying to describe how she was beginning to feel the loss of life... with dad. Not so much that she was coming to a realization that he is dying, but she was really missing the things that they used to do together. She described to Amy that they used to hold hands at weddings, and reminisce to their own wedding and when they said their vows. This is the first wedding that they have attended together where they haven't done that. Mom said that she was struck by the realization that they (Jeremy and Brenda) were standing their beginning their lives together as a couple and here she was with dad, coming to the end of their time as a couple. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to sit there in the midst of all those feelings.... sigh.....

I am going to try to make it down in September for a bit to visit, and I will try to keep you all updated while I am there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The new school year begins

We have officially started the school year.... Evan and Tayler will get a nice slow ease in to the year, as they are going to be traveling to their dad's next week for 3 weeks, and they will have a considerably light schedule for the time that they are there.

We are using Ambleside Online as a curriculum base.... it is a literature based curriculum and we will see how this interactive and new curriculum will work for our family. It will bring us together for learning times, far more than any other curriculum that we have used in the past and it will have us at the library often! (you can go here to see more about the curriculum we are using.)

This year we are also going to learn some Godly Character Qualities that I found on the internet. Anyone watch those Duggar's on TV? Well, i went to their site one day to see what they used for homeschooling, because i admire their children, and the way that they seem to be able to get things done around the house...
While i was there i stumbled on to this PDF file that they have with Definitions for Character qualities that they teach their chilren. Each Quality has a bible verse attached to it.... i am not sure how long we will spend on each quality, but we are going to seek to build these traits into our lives, and not just expect that they will get there on their own somehow.

The Quality that we will be working on now is... Orderliness vs. Disorganization. the verse is 1 Corinthians 14:40. and it is defined as : Preparing myself and my surroundings so that i will achieve the greatest efficiency.

If you could see my kitchen right now... you would know why we chose to use this trait first!....
currently the kitchen table is being used as a bookself, the center island as a drop zone, and it generally looks as tho the bomb from Hiroshema was tested in our kitchen....
So we will be using ( yes using!... a novel concept indeed ) the tools we already have in place for keeping our space organized.

We will keep you updated as the year moves on!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


a word not often used in our society.... in fact I would go so far as to say it is the antithesis of our society today.

This morning was the monthly meeting of the hens, at church... commonly known as Ladies Fellowship Breakfast.
The topic of the devotion was.... you guessed it... Contentment.

I know this is something that we all struggle with... If it wasn't... we all wouldn't be imagining our next car, or new furniture, or what it would be like if our kids actually listened.... planning our next great vacation, walking through model homes and drooling.... Yes all of these activities are societal norms, and all of them are rooted someway in a bit of discontent.

Satan is quite crafty in the ways he steals our joy. He gets us to thinking we deserve it... or wouldn't it be nice to have the house remodeled? Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all walk around in rags... or that we should go live in a cardboard box.... What I am talking about is when you visit an old friend, and you see their house, hang with their family, and then when you leave... you are in a bad mood because somehow, your life, lived in your house, suddenly isn't as nice as it was before your vacation, and your just wish your life could be easy like your friends was.....

Psalm 84:11 Says : " The LORD God is a sun and shield, He will give grace and glory, and no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."

It reminds us that God is all we need...He is our sun... our light and our warmth, He is our shield, and protects us from the enemy, He gives us grace to carry on when we need it, and the grace that saves us when we didn't know we were so lost, He will finish out His promise with glory ... for us in heaven. He wants to bless us.... but we are responsible to walk uprightly, or according to His will, to receive those blessings..... and remember even some of the "bad" things we go through are a "good" thing. Don't forget that we do not understand all of how things work in God's economy..... ALL things are for HIS glory and our growth.

So the next time you are in the midst of a fit of envy.... or your kids see the next big hot toy on TV and start to whine.... or your husband wishes he made more money so he could get that cool truck.... Think about Psalm 84:11 and remember the Lord is what you need the most.... and the more you ( or they ) focus on HIM.... the less they will need to keep up with "the Jones' "

Thanks Mrs. Piper for your timely and gentle reminder that we are called to be content.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

another one of those days

After two days of dealing with a toddler who was having mysterious stomach cramps... we realized he had swollowed a Mancala game piece.... and this was likely the cause of all his troubles.
We went to the store and bought Apple Juice.... ( this works like Draino for him and flushes out the pipes )

This morning..... he was up... and downstairs waking up his sister before 7 am... i should have taken this as a sign......

around 8:45 we found him finger painting with a bucket of Honey..... so i put him in the tub to get clean....
as i was cleaning up the honey mess in the kitchen he was happily playing... or so i thought...

As i walked in to check on him.... i found a lake.......... all over the bathroom floor.... as a bonus there were two small brown trout floating in this lake of a bathroom............

as if this wasn't enough of a morning......
The apple juice worked about 2 pm..... he announced that he had given out some "gas" as it were...... and i didn't know better until the rush to the potty ( remember we are potty training ) and i saw it traveling down apendages......

there is still 5 hours to go until bed time....
i am scared to think of what could possibly happen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Weekend in the life...........

Sometimes things go just as you plan. Other times, ....................not so much.

This last weekend the boys and I were able to go up to Spokane with Jody for the weekend. He had to drill ( his reserve service weekend ), and this weekend was set aside as a Pre-deployment Family weekend. These are setup for us to become more familiar with the services that are out there when our Reservist is mobilized. Half of you that just read that, your hearts just stopped. Yes, that means Jody may be deployed again soon. We don't know when yet or for sure where, but we do know that it is coming.

So Friday night after work we pack our three boys, and the one I babysit, up into a truck and drive north. ( tay stayed behind because she had a church commitment on Sunday a.m.) There were six seats in this truck, and we had three car seats and one teenager whose legs are beginning to get too long for his own good. I drove, Jody slept ( or tried to rather) Hunter sat in the middle front because his legs were short enough not to interfere with the manual transmission.... in the "back" ( a term used loosely.... it was plenty wide enough back there just no leg room ) was Hayden behind Jody, Evan in the middle with his knees somewhere up around his ears, and Jeremiah behind me. Before driving away, everyone has used the bathroom............... yes..... this is an important fact to note.

We are 20 miles out of town, and from behind me.... I hear........ "I'm a need a go to da potty mommy" This is Jeremiah telling me something of great importance. To him I reply .... "are you SERIOUS?" ( with a tone that is quite incredulous ) This is a rhetorical question I know, because i do not seriously expect him to answer me with a .... " hey mom, nope... i was just joking...haha" We are in the middle of potty training, and he is in "big boy pants" and we are 20 miles from home and even farther from anything that resembles a bathroom. He should have been fine and not needed a bathroom for at least the 2 hours that it would have taken to reach our destination... but NOOOO.... my boy decides to get a happy bladder. It is decision time.... pull over and risk our lives so he can pee........... or let him pee his pants. For the sake of furthering the greater good of never having to change another diaper........ I pull over. In the process i forget that i am driving a stick shift and kill it as we pull off the road......... great trip so far.

Jody climbs out ( he is muttering something under his breath about how he should have taken his chances and driven himself in his own car...) and i dive out the driver door, inbetween semi trucks, and go to the "safer" side of the truck to take out Jeremiah. After being passed out of his chair over his brother and over Hayden.... he is in my arms........ If you have potty trained a boy, you are now snickering at my predicament.... if you haven't.... let me explain. Potty training boys SIT on a toilet. They do so, so their mothers bathrooms do not smell like a truck stop. They are too short yet to reach, and they lack a certain amount of "control" ... shall i say.... and that part of the anatomy can be MORE than an untamed fire hose, if not carefully directed in the right way by sitting them down..... So now i am holding him, and trying to figure out what to do without getting him bit by something or wetting the whole of his outfit and my feet. I will spare you the details.... but i will say we looked something like a TV ad for Twister. Ok... that done... back over Hayden, over Evan and put him back in.... he decides he needs to go again. Out he comes.... again over Evan, over Hayden.......back to Twister pose.... done, back in the chair.

Don't let anyone kid you. Girls are not the only sex that like to travel to the potty and pee together. This syndrome happens to boys too, when they are given the chance to pee in the great outdoors. They will flock in droves to be able to pee on a tire!.... So out comes Hayden, who is also potty training.... i put him in the full Twister position... he get shy... nothing happens. Ok... child two back in seat.... then HUNTER! he decides he feels the need.... so out he comes... and then back in.... all the while we are being buffet-ted by semi trucks rushing past at 65 mph, and Jody is standing at the back of the truck facing traffic ( and blocking any "view" ... muttering under his breath about what he is going to tell some yahoo cop, should he choose this moment to pull over and check on us...)

20 minutes later ( it felt like an hour) we are all back in our seats and ready to merge back onto the highway. At this point I receive a text from my husband that says... " good times eh?" A text??!!??.... he is sitting close enough to TOUCH..... it is going to be a long weekend....... i can tell.

we make it there without any other potty stops and get a chance to relax a bit.

The next day we headed out on foot to Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. There is a mini amusement park, an antique carousel, gondola... lots to do.We rode on the carousel, and walked around and ate lunch. It was early enough to not be too hot, and the kids slid down the Radio Flyer wagon, and chased the geese back into the water. Jeremiah stepped into a puddle full of goose poop and slime... but hey... he is a wash and wear kind of kid.

We walked all over greater Spokane looking for an ATM that was at least one of our bank's... (just so i could pay cash to go on the carousel .) It was quite the adventure... we eventually found one... it was out of service...(sigh) we found another one in the Parkcade ( Spokane's Transit Authority Hub).... not quite the Greyhound Terminal in downtown S.F..... but a close second.

We posed for some arranged photo's....

It is hard to believe that Evan was about that size when Hunter was born!

During our travels we stopped at the mall for lunch. After eating and running around i decided to take both boys to the bathroom before we went out to continue exploring the park. They had this family bathroom.... and it was great.... two toilets... two little boys... perfect! Hayden on first.... as he gets started the auto flush went off.... scared the poor boy TO DEATH.... his head whipped around and stared at the wall looking to see what loud noise violated his tranquility. Needless to say.... all progress was scared to a stop. ( later that night i took him to the bathroom in the resturant.... and he sat, and slowly turned to see if there was the same evil noise maker as the last public potty... I reassured him that this one wouldn't do that. As soon as the words were out of my mouth... the automatic towel dispenser went off all by itself.... the poor boy is not ever going to want to enter a public restroom again with all the noises it does on it's own! )

And then after lunch decided to head home. Hunter had declared that he was too tired to walk, and cajoled Evan into "carrying" him all the way home, since he had walked 6000 miles, and couldn't take another step. ( never mind we all walked those 6000 miles with him..... )

I stopped and took this picture, because it is rare that they actually do this....

I am walking ahead of them, pushing the little boys in the stroller, and sweating way more than i care to..... and i hear.... " Evan, when i am bigger, and i have a facebook page.... you know, when i am like a teenager and stuff, I am going to take that picture that mom just did, and i am going to say..."ID just grew another head" " I was crackin up......... he wants to be big like his brother and sister so bad.... he is already thinking about his facebook page......... he is a hoot. His other memorable quote was that morning when he was watching Evan get ready... Evan was putting on his deodorant ( i know, thank goodness... hee hee ) and Hunter sighs.... and says.... " Man, when am i going to get to stink, so i can wear that stuff"..... Oh Hunter, don't grow up too fast, getting to wear deoderant... is more of a job, than a privilege....

So after we get back to the hotel, i decided that i better make good on the promise i made to go swimming. My sanity clearly had been warped by the heat.... but i figured i better go while the pool was fairly empty. So i swim diaper the little ones... make sure Evan takes out his contacts, peel Hunter off the ceiling because he was so excited..... and head to the pool, praying that Hayden doesn't drown on me while i am babysitting him.....

We march to the pool and both little boys decide that they want to jump off the side of the pool into the waiting arms of Evan and I. Catching these boys is about as different of an experience as they are as individuals. Jeremiah gets out of the water turns around and is ready to go... Hayden stands on the side and dances and waves his arms and sort of squawks like a chicken waiting till you tell him it is his turn, then he calms down and focuses on you and nods twice and jumps. Hayden jumps off nice and straight... Jeremiah comes at you like he is trying to belly flop and you sort of feel like you have been hit by a truck. So Evan, who wanted to do anything but play with little boys was gracious enough to help me catch.... We did this at least 500 times, until Jeremiah jumped out at me, and preceding him was a "burp" that flew out of his mouth and on to me, it was a mixture of pool water and the applesauce from lunch. Mommy was done in the pool for the day. As i was trying to get the little boys out, and air dried a bit, before the walk back to the room..... I was sitting with Hayden and Jeremiah decided that in protest for having to stop jumping.... he would put one of our two dry room towels.... COMPLETELY into the pool... Yes it was really nap time....

We will move along to Sunday, After a raging screaming fit from Jeremiah because i didn't buy HIM a coffee at Dutch Brothers..... we were arrive at the NOSC (military acronym for something.... but i don't remember what.... just translate it as where Jody goes to drill ) ... and attempt to keep two toddlers quiet through 3 hours of presentations on such terribly entertaining subjects as, TriCare Dental coverage, VA benefits, and Military One Source benefits.....

When Jeremiah started petting the arm hair of the gentleman next to him.... it was time to go for a walk.... We rounded out the day with a poopy swimsuit. (seriously... if you were two, and had an endless supply of water and water toys, would you come tell your mom that you had to poo? Yeah, i didn't think so....) At the NOSC.... and trust me, it is a military installation.... they don't believe in diaper changing stations in the bathrooms. I mean on the whole the place is staffed with men.... why would they need diaper changing stations???...... So i followed the Seabee motto "adapt and overcome" and washed out the swim trunks, put them back on him.... and sent him back out to play in the water for a few more hours.

The best part was the way home.... everyone was worn out.... and slept... and i was able to decompress and enjoy the silence on the way home. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

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