Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Think We're Doing Something Right...

...because the devil has been after us for a few weeks now.

Ever since we made the decision to visit other churches, it's like the devil has been on our case. He doesn't want us to move onward and upward, he wants us to stick with the old status quo. It's been my experience that the devil moves in icky ways when God's people are taking steps of faith.

First, our washing machine started leaking. Praise the Lord, we were able to pay cash for both a brand new washing machine and dishwasher. We got a military discount, plus an Energy Star rebate. All in all, we got each appliance for about 50% off. (Take that, old devil...you're not going to steal my joy...I got nice new appliances.)

Then, our van had squeaky brakes. (Ack, how much do brakes for a van cost?) My Honey took it to a mechanic, who looked it over really well and said there's nothing wrong with them. But he noticed our oil pan had a leak. (Ugh...) He suggested we take it to the dealer to see if a repair might be covered under our warranty. Praise the Lord, it was covered! And since we were there, the dealer fixed a door latch problem we didn't even know we had. All for free! (In your face, devil...the Lord Almighty supplies all our needs, and even blesses us beyond what we deserve.)

Yesterday afternoon my Honey had a heart-to-heart discussion with our pastor and explained to him why we were looking at other churches. The pastor understood completely, and hopes that our going elsewhere will spur on some changes that need to be made in the church. We are leaving on great terms, praise the Lord!

The devil didn't like that though. He wanted us to be mean, nasty, and vindictive. We refused to play his wicked game. So this morning, wouldn't ya know it...he got on our backs again. Our 22 month old snatched a cup of hot coffee and spilled it all over himself and his little brother! Oh, it scared me so bad! I yanked their clothes off and put cold wet rags on them. The 22 month old was fine, just frightened. The baby got a burn on his thigh, though. But once he got settled down, I could tell he's going to be okay. (But it looks painful!)

So if you are a Christian and you start to grow your faith in the Lord, beware. That old devil will be trying to mess up your circumstances. Things will break down, your daily routine will get messed up, he'll try to steal your joy and your testimony to others. Don't be afraid of him, though! The Holy Spirit in you is mightier than he will ever be. (PS. I've read the Bible--God Almighty wins in the end!)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I was very pleased with myself. I didn't cook too much food this year! Normally I cook WAY WAY too much food, and we get sick of leftovers. This time I didn't cook as much, although I bought a gi-normous turkey that I'll have to cube and freeze. (I think I'll make some of it into baby food for later.)

We had turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, acorn squash (which no one liked), pumpkin pie, and sparkling apple cider.

I made a deep-dish turkey pot pie for last night's dinner. It was really yummy. We've snacked on turkey, made turkey sandwiches, and turkey salad, but we still haven't made a dent in that huge bird. Freezer, here I come!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful:
For the wife
Who says it's hot dogs tonight
Because she is home with me
And not out with someone else.
For the husband
Who is on the sofa
Being a couch potato
Because he is home with me
And not out at the bars.
For the teenager
Who is complaining about doing dishes
Because it means she is at home,
Not on the streets.
For the taxes I pay
Because it means
I am employed.
For the mess to clean after a party
Because it means I have
Been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug
Because it means
I have enough to eat.
For my shadow that watches me work
Because it means
I am out in the sunshine.
For a lawn that needs mowing,
Windows that need cleaning,
And gutters that need fixing
Because it means I have a home.
For all the complaining
I hear about the government
Because it means
We have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot
I find at the far end of the parking lot
Because it means
I am capable of walking,
And I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill
Because it means
I am warm.
For the lady behind me in church
Who sings off key
Because it means I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing
Because it means
I have clothes to wear.
For weariness and aching muscles
At the end of the day
Because it means I have been
Capable of working.
For the alarm that goes off
In the early morning hours
Because it means
I am alive.
And finally, for too much e-mail
Because it means
I have friend who is thinking of me.
Happy Thanksgiving !

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Gonna be a LOOOONG Night...

My baby's congestion is starting to break up, but he gags on all that nasty phlegm and can't catch his breath. I put him to bed about an hour ago, and he woke up gasping and gagging like he couldn't breathe. Wow, that was scary because there was nothing I could do for him. I just picked him up and reassured him until he got control of himself. Then he started to cry so pitifully!

Man, this breaks my heart!! I've never had a baby this sick before, and it's heartwrenching.

Not the Croup, Praise the Lord!

My 5-month old caught the nasty respiratory virus that my 22-month old got. It sounded scary bad! Over one afternoon he ran a fever, lost his voice, and had a nasty barking cough that sounded like a circus seal. I took him to the doctor yesterday, thinking it was croup. It came on so quick!

It isn't the croup, but the doctor is still concerned, and wants to see him again this afternoon to make sure he isn't going into respiratory distress. The doctor gave him a decongestant, which I was advised is frowned-upon by the FDA so I should be very careful to only give him the correct dose (DUH!!), and some Tylenol for his fever.

I gave him a long hot bath last night to help clear out the gunk in his nasal cavities and lungs, then he slept with the humidifier on. He spiked another fever at 1:00 this morning, but he seems to be feeling a little better this morning. He still can't cry, but he enjoys listening to his hoarse voice. He's singing right now, which sounds hilarious. His cough still sounds like a bark, but today it seems a bit more productive. His nose is still stopped up, and he's breathing through his mouth. Poor little guy can't nurse without having to take a breath every few seconds. It's heartbreaking!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ahhhh...Sweet Peace

Both the boys have been asleep so far for almost two hours this afternoon. This doesn't happen very often, and I don't know how soon they'll wake up. They're both sick again, and it's a little infuriating to know that EVERY TIME they go to our church nursery they get sick again. We've discussed this with our pastor for a year now, and not much has changed. We've decided that enough is enough. (My Honey and I are going to start visiting new churches next week. It's sad, but it's time to move on to a church that has a decently well-behaved youth group where our daughter can grow in the Lord, a place that has a college ministry for when she's graduated high school, and a nursery program that has stricter hygiene standards. Oh yeah, and a music program that doesn't think all Christian music that's not "southern gospel" is sinful...)

I could have taken a nap for myself, seeing that I've gotten a total of 9 hours of sleep over the last three nights. I feel like a walking zombie! But I decided to stay awake and soak up the peace and quiet. I put my Honey's next semester's school schedule into my day planner, got caught up on some Dollar Stretcher threads, and took out the ingredients to thaw for a hash brown casserole tonight. It's supposed to be a Cracker Barrel copycat recipe, but I'm going to make it a little healthier and lower in fat. (I'm sure it won't taste as good that way, but I would like to live long enough, without heart disease, to see my grandkids grow up!) I'll let you know if the recipe is good, and what changes I made to make it easier on the arteries!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Misc Photos

Something tickled his funny bone.

He's already trying to pull up to a crawling position.

Gotta love that one dimple!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Misc Photos

He'll be sitting up on his own any day now. He can do it if he knows someone is behind him to catch him when he falls. He's too scared to sit up without someone behind him, though.

Matching Jammies. Older brother thinks he's too cool to be photographed! ;P

You're never too young for a good book!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daughter's ASVAB score

First off, there's NO WAY EVER our daughter will be allowed to join any branch of the military. I was pretty upset that she took the ASVAB in the first place. It turns out that every 11th grader in her school has to take the test. I don't think that's right, but it's too late now.

Anyway, our daughter's AFQT is 90. My honey, who spent three years as a military recruiter, said he never ever saw a score that high.

So now I'm dreading the never-ending recruiters' calls. GACK!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Suddenly My Life is Pretty Great Again...

I feel so very selfish and whiny after my last post.

A sweet lady in our church, Cheryl, died early this morning after a LONG battle with cancer. She beat breast cancer about eight years ago, then got liver cancer. She got that under control, but then it came back. It moved to her lungs, spine, and brain. It must have been terribly painful.

Throughout it all, she was lovely, dignified, and gracious. Whenever anyone would ask how she was feeling, she'd always talk about how wonderful the Lord was to her, how He took care of her, and how He had shown Himself to her daily. She'd always turn the conversation around to ask how YOU were doing. And she genuinely wanted to know how you were doing.

A few years ago, when she was going through her first bout of liver cancer, she came to a Ladies' Group meeting. I could tell she wasn't feeling well. When it came time for us to share prayer requests, she said, "I'm not feeling well today. But I decided to come here anyway for the fellowship, because I decided I could be sick at home alone, or sick here with my friends. If I'm going to be sick, I want to have a good time doing it." That's just the way she was--she always made other people feel special.

I think that God lets Christians go through trials not only to refine their own faith, but as a testimony for others as well. I really believe that Cheryl's battle with cancer was for my benefit. She was a living example of grace under pressure. She taught me so much about sweetness, thankfulness, and praising the Lord in the midst of life's storms. She made other people see how blessed their lives were, and she didn't have to utter a single word to do so.

I can only hope that if God sees fit for me to go through a health crisis like Cheryl, I'd handle it with dignity and grace too. But after looking back at my complaining tone of yesterday's post, I still have a lot to learn. My life is pretty stinkin' good compared to so many others, yet I was still bitter and pouty. God forgive me...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thank you, Mel!

My friend Melanie wrote an awesome blog post recently. She just vented all her mommy frustrations out in the open, and I gotta say it was so refreshing to know I'm not the only mommy who feels that way once in a while.

So Mel, I'm going to follow your example and vent as well. Ready? Here goes...

This week has been rough--R-O-U-G-H. My teenager, who is usually very compliant and sweet, has treated her Daddy and me like we are nothing more than taxi drivers. Granted, she is busy doing worthwhile activities such as Exploring, Teen Advisors, church youth group, cross country team, etc. (That was just THIS WEEK's activities!) But lately she has expected us to be there to pick her up exactly when she wants us to be there. If we have to wait with the babies in the van while she dilly-dallys around, they'll start screaming. So we usually wait until we know she'll be ready to come home. That means she'll wait to wait a few minutes. She gets very upset if she has to wait. She doesn't understand that she is not the center of the universe, because she is a self-absorbed teenager.

Here's a specific example of what I mean. I had an eye doctor appointment this week. She called me from school to say she was ready to come home. I told her that she'd have to call her Dad, because I was at the doctor. She said okay, but then she called me right back.

"Daddy's not answering his phone!" she complained.

I replied, "Well, call again."

"I did, he's still not answering his phone!"

I advised her that he might be in another room and couldn't hear his phone, so keep calling until he answers.

She whined, "But I'm really cold!"

I said very firmly, "I cannot come to get you right now, I'm at the doctor. So keep calling him, or you'll just have to wait until 5:30 when he usually comes to pick you up anyway."

"But I'm freezing!" she complained. Now if you knew where I lived, you'd know it is not nearly close to freezing temperatures yet. She had just ran 5 miles for cross country practice, so her body temperature should have been plenty warm.

"You won't die from frostbite within the next 20 minutes. Just suck it up." I hung up the phone.

My 21-month old has been going through his terrible two's early. He's demanding any kind of attention, and if he doesn't get positive attention, he'll act up to get the negative attention. We've had to be very, very stern with that kid, because his temper tantrums will disrupt the whole family. I usually say, "Stop whining right now or you'll go night-night." He'll stop on a dime, so I know that he is not in physical pain or emotionally hurt. He's just whining to get the attention. Day after day, all day long--it gets on my nerves after a while!

My older two kids have been so intense lately, that my little 5-month old has been ignored. It seems like he just sits in his walker, waiting patiently for me to take care of all the other crises before I can get some one-on-one time with him. My Honey took our older boy to the park today so I could have some time alone with the baby. Oh, it was so quiet and lovely in our home for about 45 minutes!

I've given up on ever having a house clean enough for company. From now on, if you come over, you'll just have to step over toys, drink water from a plastic cup, and deal with the possibility that my house smells like dirty diapers. And I really hope you're not allergic to dust! If you want to watch TV, you'll have to look between the baby handprints on the screen. When you're ready to go back home, you'll have a bunch of dog hair stuck to your pants.

Why is it that people are so lazy around here? Why do dirty clothes end up on the floor RIGHT BESIDE the laundry hamper? Why is it torture for my daughter to clean her bathroom once in a while without me nagging her to do it? Why do groceries get put on the counter instead of in the cupboard? But if I don't do MY chores, people complain that there are no clean dishes, the toilet paper roll is empty, the laundry isn't done, dinner isn't made, the van is dirty, the dining room table is sticky, etc. Now I'll be the first to admit that my Honey is GREAT about helping around the house. But he only does some things. For instance, he's pretty good about washing dishes, but he won't put his shoes in the closet if his life depends on it!! They will be on the floor BESIDE the closet door. Hello--how hard is it to open the door and throw the shoes inside?! He'll make coffee every morning, but he doesn't pick up his empty coffee cup from the table, and yells at our boy if he gets a hold of it. Can we PLEASE put our coffee cups away where the baby can't get it, and avoid the morning drama that always plays out because your favorite coffee cup is broken??

Hello!! I'm not the maid!!

Okay, my rant is done. Wow, that felt great! Thanks Mel!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Forget to Vote!

I voted this afternoon. We live in our town's largest voting precinct, and I didn't have to wait at all. I went around 3:30 p,m., so maybe it was slow because everyone was at work. I really hope we have a great voter turnout for this election.

PLEASE go vote if you can. This is your chance to let Washington, your State, and your City Hall know your opinion in how they should govern.