Friday, December 9, 2011

And Baby Makes Three

Today I turn 35. How is that possible? I have been thinking about how blessed my life has been for all those 35 years and I want to say that those blessings began with my parents making the hard choice to become parents at a really young age. I scanned all the photos that exist of my mom and dad when my mom was pregnant with me. All two.  I am so blessed when I look at those photos and so glad that someone took them. I see a young lady on the brink of motherhood but still a kid herself. I see the anticipation of what is to come. I see someone who has no real idea what it is going to take to be a mother and a wife. (As if anyone can really know what to expect!)  But most of all, I see a young woman who stood by her convictions that life is precious and to be treasured even when it comes at an inopportune time.

I see a young man who was honorable in his responsibility and had no idea what blessings would come from doing the right thing by my mom and me. He had no idea how hard marriage and parenthood would be. He had no idea how the future would turn out or the pressure he would feel to provide for a family. But he loved my mom. And he loved me. And he chose to love us forever. There wasn't any question of what he would do in the situation. They got married in July. 

My dad was the quarterback for his high school football team that took state that year. My mom stayed home from the game and listened to it on the radio because she was very pregnant by that time. I was born in December and the high school basketball team for which my dad played, came to visit us in the hospital on the way home from a game. Weird, right? But somehow, I love that part of the story. The way my parents were still kids but also parents. I have always wondered what those guys stood there and thought as they looked at me as a tiny baby and saw my parents for the first time as parents.

The point of all this is to acknowledge that my blessings for these last 35 years began with the faith and the good choices of my parents. It is God who made it possible for them to stay together and love each other even through the hard times. It has been my honor to grow up with a legacy of truthfulness about the beginnings of our family and the knowledge that my parents chose the hard road and it paid off. They didn't have any guarantees, but they had their relationships with God, each other and their stubborn wills to stick it out. They are a testimony to the fact that God can redeem our mistakes and make our lives beautiful if we choose to follow Him. And I just want to say to them...

Thank you, Mom and Dad. You have blessed me and covered me in prayers from the very beginning. You have loved me fiercely and taught me to love God and to love others in the same way. I could never ask for better parents, grandparents to my children and friends. I am so blessed and I thank God for you!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Short and Sweet

There is good news on my laptop that has been acting very naughty is getting fixed. That means I will soon have all my photo programs and stuff back!!! Yay! I can't wait! Back to blogging!!

I added a few new blogs to my sidebar! Check them out!

Also, raise your hand if you are addicted to pinterest. *hand raised*

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recent Motherhood Moments

Moment 1:
Bub:"Mom, you need to homeschool me next year...or at least before 3rd grade."
Me:"Umm, why do you say that?"
Bub: "From 3rd grade up, you have to wear a belt with your uniform."
Me:"So you would give up all your time with your school friends because you have to wear a belt?"
Bub: "Yes. You know I hate wearing belts, Mom!"
(I do not have any idea where his relatively new aversion to belts came from. I've never even made him wear one before. Perhaps fear of the unknown?)

Moment 2:
(Taking the two littles into Bub's school to bring clothes for him to wear besides his uniform because I forgot it was picture day...duh.)
Me:(running my fingers through the tangle in Ladybug's hair)
LB: "Mom, I got a MOLE."
Me: "You have a mole?"
LB: "Yeah...right in my hair."
Me: "OOOhhhh, you mean you have a rat in your hair?"
LB: "Yeah, a rat."

Moment 3:
Lou, SG and LB went with me to Target. SG and LB tried to talk me into bubble bath which turned out to be body wash. I told them no and to put it back on the shelf which, in turn, caused a HUGE melt down in LB's world. She was WAILING and walking in front of me and Lou when all of the sudden she wailed: "BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY WASH TO WASH MY BOOOOOOODDDDDDYYYYYY!!!!"

That's right Target shoppers...I am a crazy mother who does not allow my child to buy soap to wash her stanky body and by the way, you might as well know, she also has a mole in her hair.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Thoughts

1. My "baby" is now 3 and is doing all sorts of big girl stuff! She started taking a dance class and I've never seen her happier than when she is with Ms. Elizabeth doing twirls, spins and leaps across the dance floor. She is also potty trained and I have officially ended my NINE AND A HALF years straight of changing diapers. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Except now I don't have any babies, which is kind of weird.

2. When I met Birdie, her oldest daughter, Mermaid, was Lou's age now. Mermaid is now driving, going to college, and working. She is having her graduation reception this weekend. I'm wondering how that is possible and thinking that I will turn around and Lou will be a full grown, beautiful WOMAN just like Mermaid. Congratulation to you, Mermaid. I'm so proud of you!

3. My Bub is 8.5 days away from finishing his Kindergarten year. My how time flies. (See numbers 1 and 2).

4. On a totally different note, I am feeling a intense urge to create. To make things. Now this is unusual for me because most of my adult life I have been busy creating babies or taking care of recently created babies, so that kind of took the place of crafting. Sure, I've made some things here and there but mostly because I needed or wanted something that I couldn't find in a store like I pictured in my head.

5. My intense urge to create is being fueled daily by PINTEREST. A dangerous little website that can suck away hours at a time but is oh. so. awesome. If you hate buying magazines for one idea and pitching the rest, this is for you. LOVE IT!!!

6. Doc and I and my parents are going to see James Taylor in concert this weekend. I think he is pretty awesome. I'm pretty stoked!

7. I have the music taste of a 45 to 55 year old man. Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, The Eagles, James Taylor, Billy Joel, on and on I could go. I blame my Dad. He gladly takes the credit... especially since I asked him to go with me to see Willie a month or two ago.

Doc told me to buy tickets and go, if it would make me happy, but he had two stipulations...1. He wasn't going and 2. I couldn't buy a t-shirt. (To see his "lovely bride" in a Willie Nelson t-shirt would be more than he could take.)

Dad and I had a FABULOUS time. Willie is awesome.

8. I love Friday nights. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life Ain't No Fairytale

Once upon a time, there was a queen that lived in a castle with her husband the King and her beautiful children the little princesses and princes. They all adored the Queen. When the Queen cooked pot roast they all raved about how wonderful it tasted. When the Queen did the laundry they all happily put theirs away and thanked her profusely for washing the dirty clothes. When the Queen asked them to pick up their belongings, they immediately jumped up from their Nintendo DS or Wii games and made the room sparkle. The Queen worked very hard each day but she didn't mind because all the hard work was rewarded with gratitude. She loved seeing her family happy and well taken care of! And not only that, she had plenty of time after her work was done for blogging, jogging and all her various other interests and hobbies. She and the King made sure to have weekly date nights where they were always reminded how lucky they were to have each other as partners. Her life was blessed and happy and fulfilling.

Don't we all wish.

I think most of us have at some point in life have fantasized about how life would be or (more dangerously) should be. As any grown up can tell you, life ain't no fairytale. So let's talk about this...

I think most women are vulnerable to this sinking feeling that life ain't all it's cracked up to be. I've been reminded this week about how stinking hard life can be sometimes. We got news that a couple that we know are divorcing. I got a facebook message from a sweet, new Mommy friend asking if I had any advice because whenever she lays her baby down, the baby wakes up, leaving someone having to hold this precious bundle of joy constantly through the night. She and her hubby are exhausted.

Life is hard. (I love it when people state the obvious.)

I have struggled this week, too. Not with big stuff, but I think that we can become discontent in the little stuff. With six people in my family, if I don't do at least 2 loads of laundry a day, I get behind. It quickly piles up and it literally takes DAYS of constant laundry to get it all done. Oh and by the way, IT IS NEVER DONE. While you are finishing that "last" load, you and everyone else in your family are wearing clothes that will need to be washed. When it comes to dishes, it is the same story, second verse. Throw in all the other tasks that it takes to run a household and let's face is hard to do. Even harder to do JOYFULLY.

I don't know about you, but for me that is a recipe for disappointment with myself and my job. Now, add to that the pressure that many of us perceive from outside sources to look a certain way, to always be kind (even when you feel like popping a cork on that rude lady at the Y), to be a "good" Christian, to raise well rounded children, to participate in the PTA, to be a girl scout leader or coach soccer, etc., etc., etc. We all have our lists.

Where does that leave us? Wasn't this what we all dreamed of as little kids? Ummm. No.

I've been doing a Bible study called Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild, with a group of girls from church. This last week, we talked about guarding the door to our "thought closet." As I've been processing this stuff I'm learning, I've thought about this, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Which means when an idea knocks on the door of your thought closet, you need to decide whether that thought is of Christ or not. We are to judge those ideas by Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

If a thought or idea is not one of those things, we are to make it obedient to Christ. Get rid of it. Replace it with truth. Let me give you an example...

This week Satan (dressed in an outfit of empathy and understanding) came knocking on the door of my thought closet and said, "DW, Doc should know by now that you have a reason to do things the way that you do. He has questioned the way that you have done things several times this week. He must not trust that you are capable. He doesn't think you are trustworthy. He has no idea what you do for him and your family." Hmmm. I thought, as I considered opening the door to this idea, maybe that's right, let me hear more..."Well," said Satan, "you know all that you have done this week, all the balls you have juggled and kept in the air. All the things that you HAVE done well. He doesn't appreciate all those things....he just sees the one thing you didn't do well. That isn't very supportive. How would he like it if his boss came in everyday and picked out his failings and pointed them out to him. He wouldn't like it either. Why does he do that me?" (Notice that things change from "you" to "me" here. As I started opening the door and thinking of letting those things into my thought closet and keeping them as my own.) "Well", I said to the thought, "you sound reasonable to me. Hold on, let me see if you are my size. Let me ask you a few questions...
"Are you true?" I asked. "Don't I sound true?" said the thought.
"Are you noble?" I asked. "Well, noble? hmm. I don't know."
"Are you right?" I asked. "You seem to think so." replied the thought.
"Are you pure?" I asked. "Umm."
"Are you lovely?" I asked. "Well..."
I could see at this point that this idea, though appealing was not going to be able to pass the test.... it was not admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. It did not bring me closer to Christ or my husband. It was NOT truth, though I could have let it in and hung it up and kept it for my own. It was my job to take that thought captive and throw it out because it was not obedient to Christ.

All too often we accept these thoughts. You have them. I have them. They knock on the door of our thought closets and if we let them in, they become bitter roots embedded into our hearts. They grow into weeds of discontentment and dissatisfaction, unhappiness and bitterness. Think about that for a second. Have you ever gardened? Isn't it much easier to PREVENT the weeds than to pull out those deep roots of established plants?

This takes work, friends. Lots of purposeful thinking. But you know what? It is the good kind of work that yields benefits to you and those around you. And let's face it, we all think everyday. What are you going to think about? As Grammy used to always tell me when I was a kid, "Trash in, trash out." Meditate on truth, on things that fit with that list from Philippians 4:8. I promise you that it will become easier, the more you practice. And know that when a lie does make it through, when you hang it up in the closet and call it yours, that is not the end of the story. God is a god of redemption. Recognize those ugly, lying outfits. Take them to God and tell Him that you want to get rid of them. They don't fit and they don't make you look lovely. He will forgive you for ever hanging them up and he will work with you to replace them with outfits that ARE lovely...and a lot more becoming!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bacon. Lots of Bacon.

On a lazy weekend morning a while back, Doc and I were sitting on the couch, reading the paper, having a cup of coffee and enjoying not having anything that we HAD to do. Apparently I just THOUGHT I had nothing I HAD to do because Bub came and sat between his Dad and I and said this to me....

"We need breakfast. Immediately- that means right now. We want eggs, bacon, pancakes and toast. And bacon, LOTS of bacon. Can you do that? Can you do that by yourself, Mom?"

That kid...what am I going to do with him?
I guess the answer to that question is feed him. Then 10 minutes later, feed him again. And again. I'm going to be in trouble when he gets to be a teenager. Anyone know a chef that works for free? And specializes in bacon. LOTS of bacon?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stepping Back in Time

A few weekends ago, we went to my Grandparent's house out in Western Kansas. I love the little town they live in. I love driving over the hill and seeing the water tower, passing the beautiful tree lined road leading to the cemetery where Pop's parents and my great grandparents from both sides are buried, and on into town where, with the exception of a few things here and there, it is pretty much the same as it has been my whole life. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot and to return to a place where things remain much the same is always comforting.

My grandparents' house has changed a bit over the years but the smell is familiar, the feel of my grandma and grandpa's hugs are warm and loving, and it is the only place where I can still go with tangible memories tied to it from the time I was born. I love to lay in bed and look at the wallpaper that was there when I was a kid. I love to see the photo of my Grandma, when she was a little girl, that hangs on the wall. I love to walk by the collage that includes pictures of my Grandpa in his military uniform and family pictures from my mother's childhood. I love staying up late and visiting with my Grandma and seeing my kids sit on my Grandpa's lap and giggle at him.

It was special to take my kids there tell them stories about my childhood, like how we used to fly kites in the pasture or how Aunt Farmchick tried to rescue a baby bird under the evergreen trees and got caught on the barbed wire fence that ran next to the trees.

While we were visiting, Nana (my Grandma) told them about my uncle building a tree house in the tree at the bottom of the pasture. One day it was cold outside and he found an old stove and put it in his tree house. He built a fire in it and when it was dinner time, he left it unattended and the tree caught on fire while he was gone. The tree survived (and apparently my uncle survived his punishment, too). I asked them if they would like to go climb the same tree, just like I did when I was little!

So we walked down the pasture...

And they ran to the tree.

They found the bridge that runs under the tree that leads to the golf course...

and then they got down to business exploring...

and climbing!

I remember sitting right here and looking out, past the bridge, toward the 7th hole of the golf course just exactly like Bub is doing in this picture.

After they climbed the tree, they decided to head down the creek and see what they could find.

At one point, Bub was way up ahead of me and stopped to look at something. It appeared to be part of a dead deer. I was hollering at him to leave it alone when I saw him raise his foot to stomp on it. I yelled, "NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!" and took off running towards him only to discover that it was actually the hind leg of a deer TARGET that had somehow ended up in the creek bed. Imagine my relief, especially after picturing Bub's shoes covered in dead deer goo. EEeewww.

Shortly after the "deer incident," they discovered a path up the creek bank and decided to follow it to see where it went.

It was a challenging climb for their little legs!

And imagine their surprise when they discovered that their great adventure brought them right back to Nana and Grandpa's pasture...just in time to run back to the house for lunch!

Good stuff for them and for me!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Word To The Other Mothers

A prime example of the part of parenting that makes me crazy. Really crazy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not A Post I Wanted To Write

Sometimes God asks us to be obedient for reasons we will possibly never understand and that is what this post is all about. I was laying in bed this morning, after Bub and SG woke me up earlier than needed, trying to go back to sleep. I was talking to God about my plans for the day and He laid it heavy on my heart to share something from my past. I said, "God (in my best whiney voice), I don't want to share that. It isn't pleasant to think about and I haven't even blogged in a long time and I have all the pictures for a cinnamon candy tutorial, now wouldn't that be nice, Lord, a nice cinnamon candy post instead???" The answer I got back was, "DW, you need to obey me in this. You will miss out on the blessing of obedience and someone needs to hear this today." So I got out of bed, made some coffee and here I sit...reluctant to share but obeying.

When Lou was 2, I got pregnant again. I was elated! I had a strong sense of mother's intuition telling me that the baby was a boy. I was very early in my pregnancy and Doc was always guarded in his excitement because of his job. He had walked through a lot of miscarriage situations with his patients. None the less, we were excited. We were going to make a trip to the big city to tell our parents our happy news on a Saturday. That morning, I got up with a sinking feeling that something was wrong. I felt a little crampy. I didn't say anything to Doc because there wasn't really anything to tell. We got around and right before we left, as Doc was outside getting things loaded in the car, I went to the bathroom and found I was spotting. I knew something was wrong. I went out to tell Doc. He asked if I wanted to stay home and I said "No, I'll just sit around and stew and if something is wrong, we would tell our parents anyway. So let's just go." We loaded up Lou and went to the big city. We told our parents that I was pregnant but we needed them to pray and not say anything because things didn't feel right. We came home on Sunday and on October 13th. I miscarried.

Now, I struggled with the loss, not only of our baby but of my confidence in God. After all, we had, had a pretty good deal in my mind and I had upheld my end of the bargain. My experience had shown me that there was consequences for bad choices so I had been careful all my adult life to make good choices. Since I was making good choices, God's end of the bargain was to insure that nothing bad would happen to me. So when it did, I was shocked. I know how stupid that sounds, now, and it wasn't really a verbal agreement that I had thought through. It was more of an agreement that I had made in my heart and soul.

What I found was even more shocking to me, God provides. (I know, again, shocking.) He provided everything I needed. He insured that someone who had walked through the experience before came to sit with me when I needed her. She shared scripture and truth with me that was comforting. He allowed my Mom to know that I would benefit from her comfort and she showed up at my door holding a perfect white rose (that somehow stayed perfect for 2 weeks). He showed me that though I was walking through a tragedy, He was there. And He showed me who He really is. Not the god of my bargain but the REAL God. The one who provided joy in my sorrow. Who provided comfort in my emptiness. Who provided TRUTH in my lies about Him.

See, my perception was that God's goodness towards me was dependent upon my goodness. WHAT A LIE!!! God is good, period. The scripture says, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever". Psalm 107:1 It doesn't say that he is good when you do what is right. This truth hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been tiptoeing around God for fear of upsetting the applecart of his goodness and I was thinking of myself more highly than I ought, as if God's actions depended on mine, because nothing too terrible had happened in my life! Wow.

This verse spoke volumes to me during that time...
Romans 12:2-4 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Boy, I wanted to renew my mind. I didn't want to have the responsibility of keeping God's foot from falling and squashing me if I made the wrong choice. And moreover, it wasn't my choices anyway, but God's grace that had carried me that far!

The next year, I was in labor with Bub on the anniversary of my miscarriage. And two years later SG was born on the day before that anniversary. How faithful and loving is God?!

My point is this, God used a really painful experience (note that I didn't say caused a really painful experience) and his faithfulness afterward to show me His goodness and to reveal to me the truth about who He is. My faith was renewed and we began a deeper relationship that is based on love (not based on me fulfilling my part of a dumb, imaginary bargain). And trust me, I was thankful for that new and firm relationship this summer when Bub was hospitalized in Colorado. I was able to stand firm in His love for me and my family when we were on the verge of losing our son. It makes me think of the hymn that says, "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."

So there you go. I don't know what God has intended for this story but I'm praying that it serves its purpose and brings hope and comfort to someone who needs to hear it.