Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An Honest Prayer


Lately Drew has been enjoying praying aloud. Tonight his sweet prayer went like this,
"Thank you Jesus
For my Mommy & Daddy
And Gabe and Mrs. Bethany.
And for this day.
Thank you for Mickey's Townhouse,
Because Mommy let me watch it today.
Thank you for Daddy,
He played Lego's with me today.
Help me to obey my Mommy & Daddy.
Amen!



"The Honest Prayer Of a Righteous Man Can Accomplish Much"

10 Month Comparison

Gabe on Left Drew on Right

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quick Note


My best friend Bethany is here visiting! We've been to Fort Hood to visit some friends and then to Waco for more visiting. We saw our old youth pastor and his sweet family for a few hours. Its been a great visit with facials and Goodwill shopping! Drew is loving having "Mrs. Bethany" and Kayla to play with.

The kids are off their sleep schedules so its been very interesting around here the past few day. Drew even "sleep played" ... I think? I went in his room around 11:00 pm when I was going to bed and he was sitting on the floor, all his toys were on the bed, even some books? When I asked him what he was doing he said "playing." I took down the toys from his bed, tucked him in bed and he rolled over asleep? It was the oddest thing?

I posted a few pictures from our week.





~Melissa~

Drew's Funny Quotes

:: Drew to Nana (on the 4th of July), "Look Nana, there are spiderwebs in the sky!"

:: Drew after waking up with a messy pull-up, "Oh no, mommy. my poop woke up before me." After sitting on the potty Drew exclaimed, " Mommy, my poop must have gone back to sleep, it won't come out."
:: "Look Mommy, my fingers are praying!" As I look into the backseat, Drew has his tiny fingers laced together -- smiling with glee.

:: Mommy to Drew, "Drew, we don't run around the house naked, take the underwear off your head and put them on your bottom!"

:: Drew pulling the Q-tip out of his ear, "Yuck mommy, there is pee in my ear!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

To Stand Up or Not To Stand Up?

When Drew reached the ripe old age of 3 we finally decided to tackle the whole potty training issue. I taught Drew that little boys sit down to go potty - he never knew there was an alternative until a few months ago. A few months back I heard bellowing from the bathroom, "Mommy, come watch me!" I walked into our very small 1/2 bath and found Drew standing on top of a chair, peeing into the toilet - he was so proud of himself. When I asked him why he was standing up he replied, "Mommy, boys don't sit, they stand!"

Drew didn't inherit any "tall or even medium height genes" so he is presently the size of an 18 month child - too small to actually stand up and make it into the toilet. For the past three months I've been in denial - I kept thinking that the pee on the floor was an "infrequent accident." Unfortunately for Drew three "infrequent accidents" in 1 day have sent mommy out of denial. So, tonight after cleaning each bathroom I've officially had it! There will be no more standing in our house (except for John - I can't control his peeing habits)!

Friday, September 19, 2008

10 Months Old


Gabe is 10 Months old! He weighs in at 22.7 pounds. Such a chunk! He is standing unassisted and crawling all over the place. Gabe loves to laugh, especially when your tickle his chest. Most days he still takes 2, two hour naps and sleeps from 7:00 pm - 7:00 am. I love it that my children sleep! I'd be one grouchy mama if they woke early! We're so blessed to have Gabe in our family. So far, Gabe has two bottom front teeth and enjoys eating anything you put in his mouth. He eats table food and loves yogurt. He take a bottle 3-4 times a day and is so wiggly that you can't hold him while he drinks the bottle. Gabe;s tantrums went away when the teeth arrived so I'm hoping his personality stays sweet and relaxed! Gabe is such a joy and loves life's daily adventures!

What a Wonderful Man

John is such a servant, he just called to tell me he would be late because he stopped to help change the flat tire of an elderly couple. I am a fortunate woman to be married to a man like that!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Exposure

Well, I thought I'd update you on my quest for arising with the clock instead of the children! All week my alarm has gone off (that's the good news), the bad is that Gabe's clock is about 5 minutes earlier than mine! All week I've looked over at clock to realize that the loud voice wasn't my alarm but my sweet son who somehow knew this week I was aspiring to get up early. Oh, I also re-read my last post and realized that I spelled "bare," "bear.!" Very nice! So the reality this week was that I woke early, the bad was my time with the Lord was still in the evening while I was tired and uninspired!

I did manage to play with the boys today, ignoring laundry and floors, I played "Hide & Seek" the only problem was the dog kept finding me instead of Drew. We also "buried" Gabe in the sandbox and danced around the living room while Gabe laughed hysterically (really he fell over from laughing so hard!)!

Now, I'm off to laundry duty and preparations for tomorrow!

Boys

(1 Year Ago!)
John told me this story tonight and I had to share. Lets just say its a good idea I wasn't there. When your the mother of boys life isn't ordinary!

Yesterday, John took Drew to his favorite store - Home Depot! While John was collecting the wood he needed for his latest project, Drew scurried over to the bays and asked if he could play. John replied, "Yes, just stay in the bay, no crawling under the bays and scaring the customers on the other side." Now, with that response, can you tell that Drew's done this before?


John then grabbed an associate to help him with his large purchase, Drew played contently in the bays pretending to be a monkey. Now, 10 seconds later (John's exact words), the associate all of a sudden look up and points, "Is that your son?" John turns around to find Drew 15 feet in the air on the top rack of the shelving! Drew seeing that he had an audience, exclaimed, " Look Daddy, I'm a little monkey and I stayed in the bay, just like you told me to!" I believe there were sound effects involved too!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Lifestyle of Thankfulness




“When it comes to life,
the critical thing is
whether you take things for granted or
take them with gratitude.”

~ Chesterton


411. Discipline that was accepted graciously and a sweet prayer of heart change.

412. John’s men’s conference, John really enjoyed all the worship!

413. Routine date nights, John even calls and arranges the sitter!

414. So grateful for Gabe’s front teeth.... finally!

415. Power, we’re so blessed to have hurricane Ike miss our area, there was little rain and only slight wind.

416. I’ve been frustrated with the slow speed Drew has been memorizing the catechism’s and took a week off from working on them. Today we started working on them again and Drew new the first 10 without help or guessing!

417. Drew talking to Gabe while playing in the bath tub, “Gabe, focus...focus Gabe on playing with me!” So cute!

418. New bookshelves and storage for our new “library/school room,” I'm thankful for handy husband who can build anything!

419. Drew’s new teacher, she is wonderful and a huge blessing and answer to prayer. Drew adores her and loves his classmates. The other class/teacher didn’t click with him, he cried and said he didn’t like school. We’re so blessed God worked it all out!


420. My Mom2mom class started on Thursday! I love getting together with other moms, the benefit of older/wiser women is invaluable!

421. Blueberry pancake Sunday!

422. Watching my sweet boys play happily together!

423. A fun Saturday spent with Nicole & Ethan!

424. Drew’s first unassisted prayer spoken in a whisper, “Jesus, God, help me to obey my mommy and daddy, watch over me while I sleep, I love you. Amen”

425. Generosity, a generous spirit being passed on to Drew, I love watching his empathy for others!

426. An early screen door birthday present just in time for Autumn bouquets & gentle breezes

427. First soup of the fall season - peaceful home enjoying the smell while caring for sick little one.

428. A surprise for sweet husband – a hunting trip to Oregon with his family - a dream he thought of often, but didn’t expect to become a reality!

429. Cooler weather, the impending breeze of fall, the changing of the seasons!

430. Drew’s face when he got caught red handed “sawing down the neighbor’s tree with daddy’s hand saw.”

Real Truth


“In these pages I tell secrets about…myself because I believe that it is not only more honest but vastly more interesting than to pretend that I have no such secrets to tell. I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are your secrets.”

Frederick Beuchner


I read a post today by Ann @ Holy Experience. It tugged at my soul. She wrote a post called, "Of blogging, secrets, porn and truth." The post started me thinking about why I blog, why don't I just write my thoughts down in a journal unseen by the world? I use to, I wrote a lot about life, thoughts, and the real truth on a blog site unseen by anyone. It held my deepest desires, shame, fears, thoughts. Quiet different that most of the post I put up. My children may read them someday when I am gone, I wonder what they will think of me? Will they see a hypocrite? Will they be astonished at some of the things I wrote?


I started blogging the months before my first son was born. The last trimester was hard, isolating, quiet, fearful, and many people wanted to know the trials for the day. I blogged, but didn't publish. Then our son was born and it was fun to post pictures, anecdotes, life's change, and the growing of our family. The Christmas letters, the pictures, the posts, all show a story of our wonderful reality. Yet, they are only brief, important moments in our 24 hour day. The posts most of the time represent the good, the fun, the happy fore-thoughts. They don't often record, the bad, the sinful, the real 23 other hours in our day - the fights, the mis-spoken words, the selfish actions, the struggles and hardships of... life.


I have many secrets, I would love to say living the Christian life is easy and perfect, but that is so untrue. The quest to die daily to self and serve others is marred with dirt, drudgery, daily sacrifice, deep rooted shame of old, and depression. However, when I allow my mind to face the cross, the torturous cross of humiliation, humanness, & the horrifying reality that brought us hope - I realize that this life isn't about me, its about glorifying God. Ephesians chapter 1 reminds that, "Jesus is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins."


Hmm... so in an effort to be real, this week was hard, it marked another week of stressful accounting work that never seems to end, household chores that aren't finished until the wee hours of night, and an audit looming overhead. I'm not a morning person so I stay up late and awaken with my children, hardly time for a personal quiet, uninterrupted quiet time, I dream of early morning coffee with a prayer bench and intimate times with the Lord. Instead I settle on weary hours of night, quick and impersonal reads through the Psalms or 2 Samuel. All it would take is sacrifice, but I've yet to conquer my selfish sleepy flesh. I said goodbye to a coworker of 8 years and am anxious about what work-life will mean without him - he will be missed! One child is sick and waking in the night, another is going through a defiant stage. I struggle to daily point my children to the Lord, to play with them instead of them "playing" with me. My to do list only gets longer and the days seem shorter. I feel totally overwhelmed most days as I fall into bed!


However, my life is overflowing!


::I have electricity, unlike many of my Texas co-workers.

:: The Lord 9 1/2 years ago, unbeknown to me at the time, provided a job that would allow me to raise my children within the walls of our home while helping bare the burden of life's expenses. The Lord's plan for the last 5 years has been to mold our minds; teaching us character instead of providing the "way out" we were longing for.

:: I have money in the bank, unlike many Texans who can no longer stay in hotels and are camping out in gas station parking lots. I wish I could drive over and offer a room while they wait.

:: I have the Lord's spirit dwelling in me, daily forgiving my shortcomings and prompting me to "get up" and try all over again.

:: I have a husband who models unconditional love - modeling after Christ Himself.

:: I have an irresistible joy that is found in brief moments of time that spill over into seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, lifetimes, and beyond.

:: I'm not content with where I am and desire to change from the inside out, isn't that what holiness is all about - looking more like Jesus?


I am blessed, as a Christian I'm not sheltered from life's difficult circumstances, but I am blessed because in spite of life's difficulties the Lord chooses to teach, mold, change character, challenge, & maybe inspire others that the Christian life is all there is between heaven and hell. One path leads to isolation, the other changes the DNA of who you are and allows you to see this life through the eyes of another... our Father who, "was and is and is to come" who is the "first and last" who created the "heavens and the earth!" “ The God who knew our sins were stronger than we are, but who blotted them out (Psalms 65:3), so we could be real and naked and honest and find Agape, Unconditional love in Him.
See, if the Lord sheltered Christian's from the world - if He took away all trials, temptations, and terrors - then Christian's would be weak and God wouldn't have an army of strong leaders eager to model Himself to this lost world. We also wouldn't know the joy that is found in having Faith. There are no words to express what its like to trust solely in the One who created life -- what a day it will be when I can see my Father face to face and thank Him for the trials and lessons learned. I'm thankful that He hasn't taken the hard and rough things away - for those trials are like silver being refined in the furnace - they are purifying: molding and shaping me into a better wife and mother and sister and daughter and friend.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rain Filled Weekend



This weekend has been wet, thanks to Hurricane Ike! The perfect weekend to start decorating for Fall! Drew had a lot of fun helping me get the box out of the attic and look through all our long lost treasures. The only treasures that didn't make it were the pumpkins from last year. Evidently they were real! I thought the tiny little decorating pumpkins were fake so I boxed them up. Well, they spent the hot summer molding and smelling up all my beautiful fall decorations. It was very funny watching Drew pull out the dry, molded, green pumpkins and exclaim, "What is it mommy?"


John spent his Saturday at a Men's conference in Fort Worth, one of the singers was Steven Curtis Chapman - our favorite artist! Our friends the Tyson's made our day extra special. Nicole and Ethan visited with us while Zac went with John to the conference. Nicole and I had fun working our grocery list for Albertson's (73% savings) and then enduring the Cabella sale so the Tyson's could get their new tent - it matches ours! The day was great, the only downer was running in a monsoon to the car at Cabella's.


Drew's imagination has been running wild, he jumped out of bed the other night while I was trying to tuck him in. Drew landed head first on the ottoman. When I asked him what possible possessed him to jump so expectantly, he cried, " I thought I was a bird, but I have no wings. I need some glue mommy, glue my wings back on so I can fly!" What does a mother say to her tearful child after than? Possible a lecture on natural laws vs. moral relativism?

Friday's Movie & Pizza night was awesome! John didn't fall asleep this time and we all enjoyed Nim's Island (except Gabe who had to go to sleep!). Drew loved the storm and the volcano that smoked. The bearded dragon's were very cute too! Drew was sad at bedtime because we forgot to get the white chocolate popcorn that we made out of the freezer.... oops!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tooth #2

Gabe's 2nd tooth broke through today! Now he has his two front bottom teeth! John so sweetly dressed the boys today, there were dressed in white t-shirts and jeans!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tooth


Gabriel's first tooth finally arrived today! It is his bottom front right tooth. Finally progress! The tooth next to it looks promising too! Maybe he will have two teeth by his 10 month birthday?

Drew and I took Kitty for some pond swimming yesterday and some men were there fishing. They were catching fish right and left! Drew was fascinated! He ran over, ignoring the whole "don't speak to strangers" rule and asked if he could try. They were so sweet, for about 20 minutes they would catch fish and let Drew reel them in. Kitty enjoyed the process too, after chewing up her tennis ball she decided to chase some fish around the pond! Drew had such a great time! Now, he wants to become a fishermen!

On Monday I headed out for more bargains. Lets just say that people are getting hygiene products in their stockings this year! I think I ended up with 192.00 worth of products and I spent out of pocket 38.00, but I'll receive 45.00 back in rebates, so I really made 7.00 on 192.00 of Walgreens/CVS deals. The best was making 7.00 on 3 bottles of Robitussin! If any of you come to visit, don't bother bring toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, razors, etc - we already have a stockpile! Actually, we're putting together Christmas care boxes with some of the excess.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday's


I really love Friday's! Friday is our Pizza night, we also just added movie night to the equation. Drew and I wandered into Family video while our Papa Murphy's pizza was being made and discovered that they have Free movie rentals - yes I said free! We studied the "Arctic" over the summer and they had a documentary on "Antarctica" so we claimed that movie as well as "Green Eggs & Ham." They had a ton of other free movies that Drew drooled over. We rented the "Bee" movie for a whole 1.50 and watched that for family night. It was fun, except John fell asleep before the movie started.

Lets see, John took me out on a date Thursday, we went out to eat and then to Home Depot where he purchased my Birthday gift a little early. We are working on snazzing up the downstairs and since John works for an interior decorator she came over and gave us some great tips. For starters, John fixed my under counter lighting, added a light under the sink (where my new storage shelves are located), installed encased blinds on our back door, and is presently installing a screen door/pull out screen. I love it! We're going to repaint the red wall and do a few other little things. John bartered with the seamstress and he is exchanging work for venetian blinds all downstairs. The dining room is turning into our playroom/library/school room. I'm excited to take the money I earned selling some furniture and buy book shelves and a comfy rug. We'll see how it turns out.

Drew's first week of school went well, but we're moving him to the Tuesday/Thursday class - the 3 day a week class was a little too much for me to handle - I love Drew being home with me, plus my mom's group meets Thursday's so he would have been at school 4 out of 5 week days. Now, he will only be gone 2. Gabe is still teething - his diaper rash is back so that means the teeth are actually moving up a little. I can't wait to him to be done teething for a while.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Life With A Disability

I wrote this piece for the Interactive Bible Reading; I love what John said so I thought I'd post for those who aren't participating in Northwood's walk through the Old Testament.

2 Samuel 9, Psalms 63

I had only seen this boy less than a dozen times my entire 4 years of High School. I remember our first encounter vividly because he had a bright smile on his face, which detracted from his awkward walking tempo. He would drag his crooked right foot behind his body and both knees never fully locked into place. I learned later that this boy was a Christian, which explained his bright smile and cheerful demeanor. This boy, who I came to know three months before graduation as John, had endured six surgeries since birth to help minimize the effects of his muscular disease - Cerebral Palsy. John's most invasive, yet beneficial surgery, included the removal of three vertebrates from his lower spine.

Tonight I asked my husband to share openly about how people with disabilities are viewed in society and what Christian’s can do to love them more like Christ. John responded by saying that,


“...we’re all people longing to be accepted for who we are. In our lives, the first thing people notice is the disability and it turns people off from knowing who we are inside – what are our hopes, dreams, fears, etc. My disability does not define who I am, it may limit certain dreams, but God can overcome my disability. When I was a little boy and on into my teens, I dreamed about having a wife and children, but did not have the faith to believe that God could fulfill my longing. Now, I am blessed to share my life with not only a wife of 5 years, but I am a father of two wonderful little boys. My disability was used by God to shape who I have become. Much like Paul, my constant pain keeps me from becoming prideful and reminds me where my true strength belongs. I daily ask God to free me from the pain - some days the answer is a temporary "yes", other days the answer is "no".


If I had not been born with C.P. I would not have needed the Lord’s strength to sustain me through the trials of this life. It is also through the pain that I am reminded that this world is not my home -- thank goodness! Soon I will be in a place void of spastic pain and disease. I’m looking forward to running and jumping with a perfect body – much like the bodies of my kids! I will say, I am grateful to those around me who got past my disability and accept me for who I am. I don’t think people with disabilities are the only people struggling to be accepted, in our society that values perfection, we all fall short, and have a deep God given need to be accepted and loved. This acceptance is available to all – it was fulfilled in the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus overcame so we can overcome.”


David’s acceptance of Mephibosheth’s disability showed Israel that God values life – even the life of the disabled. I love how David did not just provide for Mephibosheth’s physical need; the Bible says that he met his aloneness need as well. Mephibosheth was invited to dine nightly at David’s table; he was treated with dignity and equality (vs. 7). In a society where we value “perfection”, it is import to remember that God is the creator of life and that all people are “disabled” in one way or another – it’s just that some disability’s are easier to hide.