Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bees and Babies

Somehow a conversation with BuhBuh about bees turned into this.....

BuhBuh: What does 'Mating' mean?

Me: It means to make babies

BuhBuh: Can two boys mate?

Me: No it has to be a boy and a girl

BuhBuh: What about two girls

Me: Nope because it takes a boy and a girl to make a baby

BuhBuh: What if one of the girls looks like a boy

Me: No, because you still need boy parts and girl parts to make a baby

BuhBuh: But two boys or two girls could adopt a baby, right??

Me: Yes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dinner Time Prayers

Daddy: We need to say Grace. Go ahead, Little Dude.

Little Dude: Danks for MomMom, Danks for DaDa, Danks for BuhBuh, Danks for.......THE BOYS NOT HERE!!!!! We wait!

Daddy: The Boy won't be here tonight for dinner. Go ahead.

Little Dude: Danks for da food. AMEN!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I want to be a Sheep

I have been in this weird place recently. One of those places full of self doubt. I've been doubting the person I am, doubting whether or not I'm doing life right, doubting if I am really the disciple God wants me to be, the wife my husband deserves and the mother my children need. I've been doubting my role in God's Kingdom as a Servant Leader, doubting this path of candidacy, doubting my Church and the effectiveness it has in this world. I've been feeling like I"m simply "going through the motions" of life. Feeling like I'm living from one deadline to the next. The anxiety really started to take over.

So Thursday and Friday I ran away from the responsibilities of house work and church and parish work. Ran away from the To Do List that haunts me because despite the progress I make on the list at the end of the day I am left to feel like I just didn't do enough.

Two days of playing with my kids, enjoying a break from the To Do list, and reconnecting with my husband was just what I needed to get back on track.

Going to bed Friday night I knew that I had to be at the Church to meet my Youth to participate in a yard clean-up service project. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to wake up that early on a Saturday to go do yard work. When I woke up Saturday morning I was hoping to see a downpour out my window. It was cloudy and looked like it could rain at any moment but at the time it wasn't. I told My Sweetie that I must not have prayed hard enough. He told me that there was something else obviously that I needed to do so no rain may in fact have been the answer to my prayer.

He was right. Apparently taking a break to play with my family wasn't all I needed.

As I worked with my group of youth, I was reminded why I love youth ministry. As we pulled weeds and raked yards for people who were unable to do those chores for themselves I was reminded why I love mission work. As we gathered in the evening to assemble the fundraiser letter for our youth mission trip I was reminded of why I love being part of the body of Christ. As I sat in Church today and around the table with my fellow council members, I was reminded of why I love being a United Methodist.

As I reflected on the rest of the weekend I had the same peaceful, refreshing feeling that I had experienced the two days prior when I took a break from everything to spend time with my family.

Our pastor preached Sunday from the gospel of John.

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ 25Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. John 10:24-27

(A paraphrase from my sermon notes)

The Jews had a specific expectation of WHO the Messiah was to be. When Jesus didn't "fit" into their ideals of what they wanted, they asked him to "prove" that he truly was the Messiah. Despite all that Jesus had already done, they still didn't believe because he failed to meet their expectations. Jesus basically told them that it wasn't up to him to meet their expectations but rather it was up to THEM to fulfill his expectations because HE. WAS. GOD. Their Messiah was right in front of them but they did not recognize him so they were the ones missing out on the freedom they were hoping the Messiah would bring to their lives. Jesus said that if they truly wanted the freedom that they were seeking then they needed to follow his lead, they needed to meet his expectations, they needed to do the works of mercy and then they would find true freedom.

This really hit me in between the eyes today. I was looking for reprieve these past few weeks. I was tired. The To Do list was not getting any shorter. The only way for me to get the break I was craving was to take it!!! No one was going to give it to me!

The only way for me to find my way out of the self-doubt of where God is leading me was to get my hands dirty (literally) and share some conversation with my "kids".

The only way to get out of the pattern of living "deadline to deadline" is to be Jesus' sheep. If I just sit and do nothing, the doubt creeps up and overwhelms me. But if I get up and do what I know God is calling me to do, I am free from the doubt, free from the negative thoughts, free from the fear of the unknown. I am (slowly!!!) learning the importance of being an active Disciple rather than just a passive Christian.

If you are someone who struggles with their faith and is waiting for Jesus to fulfill the expectations you have for him, just like it didn't happen for the Jews all those thousand of years ago, it's not going to happen for you either.

You can't just sit there.

But, if you take a chance and open your bible, go to church, give up your life and become a sheep and are willing to fulfill the expectations that God has for you, you will be set free and God will exceed any and all expectations that you may have had. Your faith will be strengthened. Your heart will overflow. You will see more clearly the expectations that God has for you and they won't seem impossible. Because when we put our faith and trust in our Shepard, we will hear his voice and we will follow him.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Little Dude is 3

Little Dude had been looking forward to his birthday since Christmas. We had been talking about celebrating Jesus' birthday and he became very curious as to when we would be celebrating his. We explained to him that his birthday was after Daddy's birthday. He was so excited to celebrate daddy's birthday this year that you would have thought it was his birthday. But not quite. He'd still have one month and one day left to wait.

He would ask occasionally when his birthday was, but patiently waited until much anticipated day finally arrived.

It was so much fun to hear him running down the stairs bright and early on Saturday to discover the house transformed into a party!

"MY BIRTHDAY!!!!" He exclaimed in awe.

I giggled and smiled in my bed waiting for him to come and get me. Daddy did another outstanding job on his streamer art. He said it wasn't one of his best, but he still managed to put a train on our ceiling!

"Here my Thomas Train napkins," he shared for the camera.

We celebrated with our traditional morning gift opening

and cinnamon rolls.

He was so eager to blow out his candles that he didn't even wait for us to finish singing!

We went and met some of his cousins and a friend for a jumpy, slidely fun morning at Monkey Joe's.

In the evening we had some of the aunties, uncles, cousins, grandmas, and grandpas over for dinner. He was so excited to see the gifts because he knew, this time, they were ALL for him! He waited so patiently as we ate dinner and enjoyed the nice day outside until it was time to open gifts.

And then it was time for CAKE!!!! I really had thought that I could make a great train cake. But I knew better. So, ordered one. I wasn't stressed, it looked the way I wanted it to and he was THRILLED to have such a cool cake!

I think he liked it.

The whole day was so much fun. I don't know how much of it he'll remember, but I know that he was happy in that moment and it made all the work so worth it.

Car Talk and More

BuhBuh: "I can't wait until I'm older and I grow adult hair and get rid of 'dis baby hair"

Me: "Oh really??? Why???"

BuhBuh: "So when I'm up in a ferris wheel and it gets stuck I'll be warm."

Me: "Oh"


**Walking home from school**

Me: How was your day.

BuhBuh: FINE!!! Until the bus. They played Justin Beaver

Me: Justin who??

BuhBuh: Justin Beaver. Yeah, I said Beaver cause I don't like him.

Birthday Letter

Dear Little Dude,

On Saturday we celebrated your 3rd birthday!!! What a fun year it has been. You have grown and changed so much.

(April 2009)

Shortly after you turned two you had your first haircut. You officially lost those sweet, soft, baby curls and instantly turned into a big boy.

(May 2009)

You have had several this past year and you have no problem sitting up in the chair and letting Bob cut your hair. Just this past week you were a little confused though as you called him "Bob the Builder" when he's actually "Bob the Barber" hehehe....

(June 2009)

The biggest change over the past year is that your vocabulary has exploded!!! You can carry on a conversation, tell us what you want, and you are also a sponge to the things which are being said around you.

(July 2009)

It has been a joy watching you with your brothers. BuhBuh has become your friend and that is something I pray lasts. Yes, the two of you have your moments, but what siblings don't. The Boy has really become a good Big Big brother who I know will protect you and you have shown that you feel safe and comfortable with him if I am not around.

(August 2009)

You have quite the obsession (yes, I mean obsession) with trains. We live near two train tracks and as soon as you hear the whistle you want to go outside to see them. This is only an OK thing to do from our home. If you are at Gma and Paw Paw's house, where one of the train passes directly by, you prefer to go inside. Apparently it's just too loud down there.

(September 2009)

You also love monster trucks and all kinds of balls. I was amazed that you were able to identify as many different sports balls as you did one day. You also like to play outside, play games, wrestle with daddy and snuggle with mommy reading books.

(October 2009)

You are a tough kid. You are not afraid to stand up for yourself and you are not afraid to voice your opinion.

(November 2009)

We have worked really hard on helping you to be a better sleeper. You finally moved from our room up to share a room with BuhBuh. The transition was probably a little harder on mommy than you. But, it is nice to have my room back.

(December 2009)

You are not 100% potty trained, but you are doing so good!!! Day time is 99.9%, nighttime is getting better and better, and we are working on getting poops IN the potty!!!

(January 2010)

You are always eager and willing to help me with whatever it is I am doing. "I help you," you say.

This year mommy started going to a MOPS group. Twice a month while I am in my group you go into a "class" of your own. You have the opportunity to play with other kids, sing songs, make a craft and share a snack.

(February 2010)

One day when I went in to get you a little earlier than usual to make an appointment, you looked up from your chair and said, "Snack" You weren't ready to leave yet, because you knew it wasn't time to go. It was time for snack!! Another day I asked about what songs you sing and you sang, "Jesus loves me" I seen you sitting and listening to stories and helping pick up the chairs so the teachers can vacuum. This experience this year has shown me that you are indeed ready for preschool in the fall.

(March 2010)

I love when you come and take my hand and ask me to play with you. It is easy for me to get caught up in the day to day things to do. When you come and get me it reminds me of what is really important right now.

(April 2010)

I love the way you laugh. I love how it takes you 5 minutes to say words like, M&M's and water bottle. I also love they way you say "yellow" so much I will purposely find something that color and ask you what color it is. I love your little hand in mine when take walks. I love our conversations while we grocery shop. I love when you put your head on my shoulder and softly pat my back. I love when you **occasionally** crawl into bed with me and have to be touching me just so you know I am there. I love that you insist, "sit with me two minutes" at bedtime. I love your response to the question, "Where is Jesus?" You say, with the innocents and honesty that I wished I had, "Jesus in my heart." I love that you are in my life.

I look forward to watching you grow, learn and love over this next year.

Happy Birthday Little Dude. Mommy loves you so much!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Perfect Journey

September 16, 2002
I sat in the Labor and Delivery room holding my new baby boy. My mom asked, "So, are you ready to have another one??" Unlike most who have just given birth, I answered her with an enthusiastic "YES!!!" As thrilled as I was to be holding baby number 2 I knew that we would have more children.

At an annual
OBGYN visit, my midwife told me, that it might take me a little longer than most to get pregnant again.

April 2004
BuhBuh was 19 months old and My Sweetie and I took off for a weekend get away. This would be the weekend we officially started trying for #3 knowing that it may take "a little longer" to actually get pregnant.

April 2005
Still trying. Began talking with midwife and NFP consultant

August 2005
Started Clomid and felt hopeful

August 2005-March 2006
Had several Dr appointments, did several rounds of provera and then clomid, took countless pregnancy tests, went through feelings of brokenness, hopelessness and heartache

One Sunday in Church
Our Pastor offered to anoint those and pray over anyone who felt lead to be prayed over. I went forward and kneeled before him, asking for guidance, direction and strength on this infertility journey and also for an accepting, joyful heart for the family that we did have.

April 2006
While on a Walk to Emmaus weekend sang the song "Because He Lives" and wept uncontrollably as we sang the line, "How sweet to hold, a newborn baby..." One of my amazing leaders took me in her arms and whispered, "God knows when, God knows how many"

While on this weekend I learned, for the first time, about God's grace, forgiveness and love for me. I came home, truly "a new creation" and accepted Christ a couple of weeks later.

Mid-April 2006
Another negative pregnancy test. But I for the first time, I was OK with this

May 2006
Doors began to open. I felt God working. The Dr. ordered some ultra sounds to watch how I progressed on the Clomid. They learned that my follies were not growing to a mature enough rate to release. The Dr. asked, "How badly do you really want a 3rd baby?" The words stung.

As we left the Dr's office a gentle mist was falling. I picked up my BuhBuh and carried him to the car crying. But this time I didn't cry for what I didn't have, but cried because I was so grateful for what I did have.

June 2006
Met with a Reproductive Endrocologist. My head was swimming with all the information and I had been reading and studying this stuff for 2 years. I was overwhelmed.

July 2006
A new plan. 5 days of Clomid, 6 days of Follistim shots in the tummy, early morning blood work and ultra sounds, Multiple Mature Follies, HCG trigger shot, 2 weeks waiting, nightmares of shots and needles, tears from fear, tears of frustration, One Amazing God who got me through

August 9th, 2006 a.m.
"Tomorrow I'll test", Scared to death of the disappointment, unsure if I can do this again, nightmares of disappearing lines on the pregnancy test, feelings of crampiness, pimples on my face, feelings that it just didn't work.

August 9th, 2006 p.m.
"Let's take a test NOW" My Sweetie suggested. "NO!!!!" I protested. Can't I just wait to be upset until tomorrow, PLEASE????

We take the test.

I cry.

I can't look.

I hand the test to him.

He smiles.

My tears change from tears of fear to tears of joy.

August 9th 2006-April 17th 2007

Decent pregnancy. A little achy, but no complaints. I'm finally pregnant!!!

I savor every second of it.

Monday April 16th, 2007

We hoped our baby would come this day. My Sweetie and BuhBuh were both born on the 16th and BuhBuh and The Boy were both born on Monday. It seemed like the perfect day for our baby to come.

April 17th 2007

Bible Study in the a.m. I tell my friends that the baby has to come today or wait until Monday because I have plans this weekend!!! Appointment with midwife. She works her "magic" and says she thinks I can have this baby if I come in and they break my water.

But I have a 4th grade science project due tomorrow!!!!

I realize that we have 4 names but haven't decided on one. I realize this poor baby has no nursery to come home to. I laugh at the poor "third child"pattern this baby is already falling into.

Arrive and get checked into the hospital shortly after 5 p.m.

They break my water around 6 p.m.

Shortly after 8 p.m. My Sweetie delivers our 3rd baby boy.

"What should we name him?" My Sweetie asks.

I blurt out the one name that had been on my heart since before I was pregnant.

We arrive home from the hospital and in the mail was a congratulations card from our Pastor and his wife. Printed on the left hand side of the card, a scripture.

"For this child I prayed." 1 Samuel 1:27

Again I cry, knowing that he has been given the exact, most perfect name that God intended him to have.

God is so good.

Three years have passed. I can't wait to celebrate all that he has brought into our lives tomorrow and show him the love that we have in our hearts for him. He is indeed, our miracle, our gift from God, given to us at the most God-perfect time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The Boy: Mom.....I looovvve you......

Me: Aw....I love you too, buddy.

The Boy: It's 80 degrees out. Can we have a water fight???

Me: **sigh**

The Boy: Please.....

Me: I don't know, bud.

The Boy: What would Jesus do????

Me: Jesus would be obedient to his parents.

The Boy: Ok, I will be obedient and listen to whatever you say. But can you please say that it's ok for us to have a waterfight?

Me: **sigh**

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun for all ages....

I love moments like this....

When my boys are able to all play together and get along. Even if one of them needs to get down on his knees to be at the same level as his brothers.

It surely warms this mommy's heart.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Car Talk Part Four

Me: **singing** Go Cubs Goooo, Go Cubs Gooooo.....

Little Dude: No, No, No, No, No!!!!!! GOOOO HAWKEYES!!!!!

**pulling into the Target parking lot**

Little Dude: TARGET O!!!! TARGET O!!!! TARGET O!!!!

Easter Blessings

Easter is one of my most favorite holidays for many different reasons. But mostly because of what we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

We went to several services during Holy Week and I got teary at 3 out of the 4 we went to because they were all just that moving. It's hard not to get emotional when you really take a moment to think about the reality of what Jesus did for each and everyone of us.

We had such a great Easter weekend. Lots of family, lots of food, lots of fun which equated to lots of terrific pictures. I want to post them all but I'll try to limit myself to just 10 per child. (kidding!)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bedtime Battles

We have regressed a little (ahem!!! A LOT!!!!) in our sleeping habits.

Bedtime (AND Bath time!!!) lately with Little Dude has been awful.

I was a momma on the edge last night, that is for sure.

Without going into the long drawn out details of last nights events, this is where I found him when I woke up this morning....

Clearly, this is not his bedroom.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ahhhhh......Spring Break

I love Spring Break. It's a little taste of what summer will be like. No early mornings, sun and fun!

We had the most beautiful weather for our spring break last week. I could not have ordered a better forecast if I had tried.

The housework that I did was minimal last week. It was just too nice not to enjoy it with my boys.

The Boy spent the entire week, by choice, volunteering at an outreach lunch program that one of our churches does for the children who live in their neighborhoods surrounding the church. I was such a proud mommy that he chose to do this every day.

Most of the children they minister to during this program are on free and reduced lunch programs within their schools, live in low income housing and when there is no school, most of these children would go without lunch during the day if it wasn't for the program that the Church offers. BuhBuh, Little Dude and I joined him for two of the days this past week as well.

Since it was so nice out during the week we made sure to get outside when we could. We visited two different parks, took a walk in our neighborhood and had lunch outside, twice!

We even spent most of our Wednesday night at Church playing outside.

I had hopes of enlisting the boys into helping me spring clean our living/dining room area and had wanted to work on reading flash cards with BuhBuh. None of that happened.

Today they are back to school. A good, cloudy, rainy day will hopefully make it easier to return to their classrooms. I wonder how Little Dude will do without his big brothers here to entertain him. Hmmm....I wonder how I will do without having the big brothers home to help entertain him (she says as he climbs on her back as she types this telling her there is a monkey on her back!)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Like Father, Like Son???

My Sweetie: **Putting on the new suit he just picked up from the store yesterday and admiring himself in the mirro** Man! I'm gonna have to beat the ladies off with a stick today.

***10 minutes later***

Me: You're Handsome

BuhBuh: Huh, huh....I know