Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Baptismal Service

Today, Kevin received permission to baptize in the pool at the hotel where the church services are held. We had no idea how many people would come today. We were packed out! I had 20 children in the nursery...the size of a small dorm room! Kevin had children sitting on the floor up stairs, ran out of chairs. The room was packed. After preaching, everyone headed to the pool, and 3 people were baptized. It was exciting! We had a total of 86 in attendance today, many first time visitors...4 of which were adult men that another man in the church had invited. I don't know if it is more exciting to have new visitors, or more exciting to see other members bringing people! God certainly is good!

Christmas in Jamaica

well, this was our first year outside of America for Christmas. Initially, I thought I would really save stress and time and ordering gifts, having them shipped to family, and then shipped here. The toys here are just outrageous! I spent a total of $230 just in shipping costs. Then I did not receive the boxes until the Tuesday before Christmas Eve! I did save money though. We got Derek a K'nex ferris wheel...I paid 14.99 for it on Amazon...I saw one here in the store for $60 USD. That was only one gift. Ellie got a baby doll that cries, it came with a little bed, pillow, and bottles. I paid 14 dollars for the doll plain doll with nothing is $26 USD. Leggo's are really expensive too.

All in all we had a very relaxing day. The boys got some blow up toys for the pool. One was a pirate ship...5 feet long! They also got a log jousting set, where they sit on these blow up logs and take these bopper things and try to knock each other off. It was hilarious!! None of us could even stay on the logs, not even Kevin, we all kept rolling off!

We had a great day...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Clause

This may very well be the year we tell our children, there is no Santa. We've always presented him as a story...but never really said "HE is NOT REAL!" I, like others, love the excitement about the whole story.

Tonite David, (5) said, "Mom, if I was Santa, I would take toys to all the poor kids. I would go to their house, knock on the door, and let them sit on my lap. Then I'd give them presents. That's what I'd do if I was Santa." Then he just walked away. We were not discussing anything. I was cooking, and in he walked, said what he had to say and left.

No where in the story of Santa Clause is there an explanation why poor children do not get toys.


Kevin went out tonight, to go counsel a couple, take money to a single mom for food, and medicine to another single mom. He and Joey stopped and bought the largest family size value chicken (like a KFC bucket) with all the sides. Chris and Pamela have been coming with their daughters now for several weeks. Chris just got a job last week with a construction crew. He rides his bike everyday back and forth to work. It takes Kevin 20-30 minutes to drive from where he lives, to where he works and this man rides his bike. He cannot afford to take the bus. When Kevin got to the area where Chris lives, a 20 yr old man named Peirce, (who also has been coming for several weeks and just loves being saved) he tells Kevin he ran all the way down to see him. Kevin told him he had to go see Chris and Pamela...Peirce says, "alright, I'll go with ya!" (He loves being with Kevin) Kevin stashes all the chicken into a backpack, because a lot of kids have gathered around...and he bought this food for Chris. He gets to the house, and Chris is working late, not home yet. So Kevin pulls out all of the food. Pamela starts crying. She tells Kevin, "See, now I was telling God tonight how some things are just not right, and here you come with all of this food!" The Lord had used Kevin...he told me he felt really strong like he should take them dinner.
Remember Peirce is there too. Kevin says, "well Peirce, I'm sure we have enough, why don't you fix yourself a plate?" Pamela says, "Get me one of those plates..." She put 4-5 peices of chicken on it, about a third of each of the sides, 3 corn on the cobbs, and says to Peirce, "Here Peirce, take this to your family, I know they could use some too." Then she takes another plate loads it up with food, and calls for her nephew, who lives in another room in the same house..."Take this to your momma..." THEN she goes and wakes up her 2 little girls, who were asleep...but never had anything to eat. This just kills me!!! Here is this woman, who was crying out to God how this is just not right!! No food to feed her babies! She puts them to bed hungry, and here comes Kevin with all this food. The girls were already asleep when Kevin got there. (this part just grabs my heart and makes me cry) Then she gives over half of it AWAY!!! Before she wakes up her own kids to feed. If she had no food tonight, she'll probably have no food tomorrow either, yet instead of keeping it for leftovers, she gave it. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE SEEN CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION LIKE THIS...sad to say not even in my own life.

I am humbled, I am moved to tears, and I want to give everything I own to this woman. To give food to others....I just am amazed.

Groceries to Bay Shore

Kevin and I were up all night thinking of Pamela...and her amazing Christ-like spirit. This morning, we were talking, and decided to take up groceries. We spent $75 USD. Bought a lot of staples, rice, flour, sugar, butter. 12 packs of ramen noodles. A couple of whole Chickens, mackerel, salt fish (they love it here), spice packets for the meat...some cookies for the kids, oatmeal and some other odds and ends.

Kevin said since there were 2 houses right in a row, (Peirce is one of them) We should divide out some for his family.

We carried it all up the mountain, (Joey and David carried it on their heads like the Jamaicans do) We took it into her house...a single room with 2 beds...a two burner stove in the corner, a dresser...and a small standing area. Kevin read to her Luke chapter 6, and explained to her how Christ-like her spirit is. He told her, that was why we brought the groceries. She rambled for a while (I couldn't understand much of what she said.) She had tears in her eyes, and she smiled a lot. I hugged her when we left.

When we went to Peirce's house...his mom was also in tears. She talked about how difficult the government makes it on the poor. They create no jobs, then they put a large fee to be paid for the schooling of the children...and then the food is so expensive! She said it has been "ummm about 2 years since I've had a chicken" her exact words. She works , her husband works, and Peirce works, when they can find work...I buy a chicken like EVERY SINGLE WEEK!! SOMETIMES TWO!! It just blows my mind away, that anyone can be so destitute they cannot afford a CHICKEN!!!

It is good to be used, to provide such basic needs to others. My husband is so amazing to me...He really loves people...He had to leave the line at the grocery store, he was in tears thinking about those little girls not having food to eat..."why is it that my children always have food to eat...and these children are put to bed hungry with no food?" was his question...

It's because of Christians in America who give to missions. That is THE ONLY REASON WHY! The only reason why we have food to eat, AND HAVE MONEY to fill another child's bellly. Thank you, for all of you who give.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dating my boys

Today was my date with David. We drove down to a Hagen Daas, and had ice cream and coffee. I took his reading books with me, and we did some schoolwork too. It was fun. Then we walked over to the drugstore, looked at neat things, puzzles, books, Christmas decorations, then toys. As always on a date with one of the boys, they get a little gift, and a peice of candy. I got David a puzzle about David and Goliath, and a cell phone with gum in it. On the way home, I told him about all the things I love so much about him.

Before too many years pass by, I don't think they will enjoy their time with me quite so much. I really want to seize the time now while they are young, and do everything I can with them. We cook together, clean together, go out together, sing together...I guess these are the "Together Years". I never want to get too busy to enjoy these simple, but busy days when they are small.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Presents for Jesus

Today for our family day, we sat down and discussed our plans for this year's "Happy Birthday to Jesus" present. Each year our family adopts a family, (one year it was an orphanage in Mexico) and we do Christmas for them. Since we are on a very poor field this Christmas, we really couldn't pick just one family. So we decided to do Christmas for all the children who come to our church.

We guessed an average of 40 children come regularly. And off we went shopping. The boys did so well today. Helping pick out toys, bringing me things to see if we could get it...a lot of times it was just PERFECT, I just hadn't seen it yet!

As we were checking out at one store, a man came to the register (he worked at the store), and asked if we were toy shopping. Since we had all of our children with us, he asked who we were shopping for. Kevin explained what we were doing. The man said, "That's really odd, because just last night I was thinking I needed to do something for some children this Christmas!"

Come to find out, he is related to the owner of the store, and I think he was the store manager! He got our name, number, and address, so hopefully we will be hearing from him soon!

I love it when you can see God's guiding hand in everyday life. We could've been there earlier or later, and not even seen that man. God is so good to us

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Comfort Food

Whenever we give Ellie cheetohs at lunchtime, she falls asleep eating them. Kevin caught her on tape this time.

Family Day

Kevin has declared Monday's family day. So far, we usually go shopping and out to lunch somewhere. When we get home, the boys do school in the afternoon. Today, we decided to go "exploring" on the southern coast...east of Kingston. We took swimming clothes just in case we found a place to go swimming!

The roads down here are horrible! So we drove close to a couple of hours on winding roads, through several small towns right on the coast. Every now and then we'd get a glimpse of the ocean, (Caribbean sea). Each small town you drive through looks like....well the ghetto. Downtown ghetto. With lots of people walking all around. I was getting a little down at heart. Here we were driving, driving, driving, and all we were seeing was ghetto!!
Just as we were coming into an area known as St Thomas, we came around a curve, and there it was, the most beautiful bright green and blue waters. The sun was so bright it was reflecting off of the water, and there were sparkles dancing on the waves....BREATHTAKING FOR SURE!! It took a few minutes, but we found a turn off to the shore...the beach was trashed, garbage everywhere, but RIGHT NEXT TO THIS BEACH, was a fenced off beach, very clean!! There was only one lone person at either beach, just sitting there looking at the water, and they left when we pulled up. We all walked to the water, which also was the end of the fence, crossed over to the other beach, and settled in!
I'm not real fond of ocean swimming, and the Lord knows on this private beach, He had a roped off area with buoys floating on the water, so we would know where it was safe!! Sandy bottomed too...I walked to the end of the buoys and it was barely past my waist!!
We had a great time! The water was really like bathwater! The waves were hardly noticeable. Joey chased crabs around alot. Nathan and I looked for shells, we all went swimming...AND WE WERE ALL ALONE!!
We noticed at the end of the beach were these huge rocks...too tall to even climb. So we walked over, and saw that on the other side of these huge rocks was a small beach area, surrounded by the mountains. It was like a little cove, hidden from veiw until you went way over. So Kevin walks into the water, (waist deep) walks around the huge rocks, and gets to the other side where the cove was. Soon enough we all made it over. There my boys found a huge lizard crawling up the mountain, and lots of bamboo that had washed ashore. We pretended we were the Swiss family was so much fun! Derek carried the bamboo back to the other side later, and floated on it the rest of the day.
Serving God is Awesome! I was thinking today, it is amazing that we even have an opportunity to serve in this country. God has directed our path to this destination for the time being, and yet we still get to enjoy it as well.
Anyhow, sorry this is so long, We just had a great day!!

Nice Baby

On our way back from our swimming today, Kevin showed me an area where he has been visiting and soul-winning. I go with him to one area, but there are two others where he and the boys go. So as we drive through this neighborhood, Kevin stops at this thing....(It looked like a container on the back of a semi-truck, but much smaller.) He tells me, he knows the woman who runs the place, a little snack shop that sold juice, cookies, and snacks. I told him "I'm not going in there! I don't know those people!" He told me, he'd been in there several times, and the same woman was always in there, just go in there, get a drink and tell her Brother Kevin said Hi.

Out I go, to the entrance,(there was no door). I walk up the metal steps through a narrow doorway. Maybe 2 feet in front of me is a metal grate that goes the length of this shack, on the other side you can see the cookies, and chips hanging, and drinks on a little shelf about eye level. Lest you think this a small Wal-greens, or dairy mart....ummm no!! There may have been 4 different snacks TOTAL and 4 or 5 drinks THAT IS IT!! As my eyes adjust to my surroundings, and I'm trying to decide what to get, there is a man in front of me, and two men to my right, that smell strongly of gangha, (Jamaican for weed ladies!) I look calmly to my left for the nice lady....and I am greeted by a tall man holding a little girl. YAY ANOTHER FEMALE!! (****reminder:all these men are black!!)

I look to my right at one of the overly friendly faces I saw when I walked in, and asked, "Do you work here?"
he smiled (of course) "No baby, he does" and points to my left.
I look at the man with the baby, order some cookies, pay him, thank him, get my change, and turn to walk out.

The man by the door, looks at me and smiles as I go by and says, "Nice. Nice baby, nice" and just keeps smiling and staring at me!!
As I walked past him, I said, "ah, thanks? BYE!"
he keeps smiling and says"YAH BABY!"
I could see Kevin in the car the whole time. He thought I was having a nice conversation with the "lady". I got in the car, smacked him and thanked him for sending me into a place full of black men on dope! When I told him about the "nice baby nice nice" comment, I thought he was going to cry!! He was laughing so hard!!
Then he had the nerve to say, "she wasn't in there?"

Lord, may my eyes affect my heart.

Today our whole family went visiting in a mountain village called Stoney Hill. On our way to the village, we saw a sign for a children's home, drove through it, talked to an adult and found out it was an orphanage. Pray we might be able to hold some meetings there.

When we got to Stoney Hill, we parked the car and all got out. From the road, all you could see was a couple of shabby buildings, (the size of the bathroom in the lobby at HAC)....and a small trail going in between.
People were EVERYWHERE!! Walking on the road, standing all around, coming, going....EVERYWHERE!! We followed this dirt trail, and soon it shot up at an angle, with little steps. Dogs and cats were coming and going, and at one point Joey says, "HEY MOM LOOK!!" And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Not Santa, but a little goat, nibbling on a banana leaf?!?! As Kevin talked to some stoned looking men, me and the boys stood around talking to the children who ride the bus. Derek pointed up and said, "Spiders mom!" Sure enough, right above our heads were stretched 4 or 5 electric wires, and dozens of spiders perched on their webs, spread thick between the wires, with flies and bugs trapped and suspended....RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD!" I quickly stepped to the very edge of the trail, just as one of the boys (not mine) found a web, with a spider connected, and began to play with the spider!! AAAHHHHHHHHHH!

We continued up the trail, and were met by a group of 5 or 6 twenty somethings sitting around. Kevin greeted them, gave them tracts and invited them to church this week, and on we went. Soon there were tin fences of every size shape and color lining our little trail on both sides. Every now and then, there would be a gap in the tin, and there would be a little block shack. As far as you could see, there were trails and shacks, tin fences, and thick vegetation.

I was amazed that people could live here. We spoke to some people. I witnessed to two ladies (who had already come to the church and were already saved) and I thought to myself...."How many villages are there of this magnitude and size...around the world? How many people walk dirty little trails, littered with garbage, every single day of their life....around the world? How many children know the mountain trails like the back of their hand, but know nothing of Christ? And where are the Christians? Where are the ONLY people in the world, who can give them hope? Their only hope is of eternal could never "fix" their poverty, you could never "fix" all of their struggles and heartaches, you could only give them hope of a different life in Heaven... yet where are the Christians? How many villages around the world, sit hopeless without a single wittness?"

I will be going back every Friday with Kevin. My children will see poverty and want...and so will I. May my eyes affect my heart, and change me, that I may never be the same again.

Jamaican Snack

When the mission group was here, Pastor Kimmel took them to an island and they all went snorkeling. Me and the kids didn't go, but Kevin brought them back a cup full of 12 little hermit crabs. They boys have loved playing with them! I took some huge preschool leggos and made a maze out of them, then we put the crabs in the maze and watched them all run around trying to get out! Great fun!

A few days later, David was making a maze while I was cleaning. He told me he was going to get a couple of crabs, then came in with the crabs and a 3 inch dead flying cockroach. (Huge wings) Since it was dead I kinda ignored him...he thought the crabs would try to eat it. When the crabs were not interested, David took the roach out of the maze and laid it on the floor.

Fast forward a few minutes....

I had just put some clothes away, and walked into the room, and saw Ellie chewing on something. At her age, she is always putting something into her mouth! So I swiped her mouth, and she screamed and cried, while I pulled out a leg....of the roach!! I kept swiping, she kept screaming, and I retrieved another leg, several peices of the wings, and I think part of the head!! After all the trauma, (for Ellie and me) I decided, this would be a treat for some people...ya know, like beef jerky for time,I'll just hand it to her, " Here's your roach Ellie, come and get it!!"


One of my favorite times of the day is after the kiddo's bedtime. The house is still. I can sit down without any interruptions. It is the brief moment in every day when I realize I am a person too! All day long I am doing for my family. Cooking, cleaning, dressing, changing, and on and on I could go. Mothers and wives forget themselves to serve their family, it's what we do. It's who we are really, except for a few moments when all is quiet and you're left alone with YOU! Most days I'm so tired, I just sit down and read something, or get on the computer and read on this site. After an hour or so, I prepare for bed, and turn off the lights, check the locks on the front and back doors. Then I turn on the bathroom light, for wandering boys at 2am. I go to the boys room, and I get down on my knees. I kiss my sleeping Nathan, and touch his soft brown hair, and I pray that he will talk soon, that God would give me wisdom to teach him how to form sounds with his mouth. I then cover all the boys up, I make sure no one is sleeping sideways, or a body appendage is not hanging off of the bed. When I slip into my bed, it is so peaceful, I rarely have any trouble falling asleep. Sweet sleep from serving all day long. The work is sometimes hard, sometimes long, always messy, and not much appreciated by toddlers and preschoolers, but such peace is felt in my soul, that I am a Mother; and I wouldn't want life any other way. This is contentment for me.

"You're Outta Here!!"

Two of my boys are in T-ball this year. It has been so much fun to watch them play this summer. Their little bodies cannot hardly contain the excitement of being able to play baseball...IN A UNIFORM!! I love to hear them first thing in the morning, "Do we have a game today?" Then 3 hours before practice, "Can I put on my uniform now?" When they get up to bat, they have the face of a rough tough burly ball player. I love watching their games.
Today, as always, they were very excited about their game. David is usually up to bat first, it took him a couple of innings to get on base, but he did hit the ball. (T-ball) The first inning, Joey was in the outfield, a ball was hit, and Joey faked like he tagged someone out. He didn't know you were not supposed to do that...he had never been told, but it is a rule. He got THROWN OUT OF THE GAME!! There he sat on the bench the rest of the game. The hardest part of the whole ordeal, was knowing how excited he had been FOR DAYS about the game, only to sit there the whole time. I decided when we signed the boys up, I would not get emotionally involved when the coaches coached my boys. If they got yelled at, I would not get upset. If their coach got on to them about something, I would be thankful they were learning to be men. This was a hard one today. When Joey said to me, "Mom, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that." I just told him, "well you know now for next time." I think some things have to be learned the hard way. Following rules, even rules you don't know, you must learn them. It isn't easy watching your children learn things, by being left out, or hurt in some way. I think though, that the lesson learned will never be forgotten. Joey will forever remember the day he got thrown out of his t-ball game. And so will I.

Profile of a Real Boy

Have you ever watched Charlie Brown? You know the character "pig pen"? He has a dirt cloud around him everywhere he goes...and his face is always dirty. I think I am raising a pig pen descendant in my home. This poor child. To look at him, you'd think he was an orphan. It doesn't matter how early we get him up, how long we spend getting him ready, how MANY TIMES we redo his hair or tuck in his shirt....he just falls to pieces from top to bottom in a nano-second. He's the one we find outside with his shirt all the way unbuttoned, running around like a Hispanic gang banger...all he needs is a giant medallion hanging around his neck. He can never find his shoes, because he left them outside in the rain. His favorite orange t-shirt he buried in the dirt to see what would happen to it. Well, it's in the trash. Some bug got a hold of it, and there were so many holes in it, it just wasn't worth saving. He filled the ice trays with soapy water, to see what would happen when it froze. I can tell you what happened, Daddy's sweet tea bubbled at dinner that night. He spills something at every meal. When he gets chicken nuggets at McDonalds, the dip pack explodes all over him. He doesn't own a tie without stains on it...and he usually doesn't eat in his dress clothes! (Figure that one out for me!) It's not like we are raising him different than the other boys. HE is just different.

He is also our boldest wittness. He never meets a stranger. He is overly friendly to everyone, and never forgets a name. On deputation he is our "public relations" man, passing out prayer cards, "Hey did ya get one of these?" He invites most little people he meets to church, asking them, "are you a Christian?" In your face and to the point. He is the subject of most of my stories, good and bad. He is 110% all boy. The poster child for ADHD. I actually considered getting a sample of Ritallin to see if it would calm him down any. (I didn't, I have my own opinion on that stuff) He is my rough and tough boy. He's a joy and a terror. He also has a fierce sense of justice...loudly pointing out when his brothers are not being fair. Yet, he is also political...remaining very quiet when he is unfair to them. What would the world be, without real boys?

Thomas the Tank

Nathan began the day, wanting to go potty!! I was so excited! Praise begat praise and Nathan was grinning from ear to ear! Out came the Thomas the Tank big boy underwear. Just a few short minutes later, I saw him walking around and they were a little crooked... somehow? I then realized, he was SOOO excited that he kept going in the bathroom, taking them off, sitting down for a few seconds, flushing, putting Thomas back on, (inside out and crooked), and repeating the whole process several times! At one point Kevin was trying to fix little Nathan's crooked "Thomas the tank", and he was crying. After watching and trying to figure out what was upsetting him so much, (he does not talk yet) we realized he wanted to see "Thomas the tank" except the picture was on the back side of his underwear! Of course Kevin was trying to put them on the right way, and Nathan was not too happy about it! Finally we decided if it didn't bother him to have his underwear on backwards all day, then it wouldn't bother us either! Off he walked happy as a clam. Did I mention, he has a tendency to sneak outside when no one is looking? (I once found him in the van, with the keys in the ignition, the van running, windshield wipers on, pretending to drive.) So if you see a little boy with his underwear on backwards running through the neighborhood, he's mine!

The Righteous Navy

My boys love the Discovery Channel. Actually we all do. We like the explorer stuff. Alaska, the desert, the jungle, all the neat places we'll never go, it's great fun to see. One of the programs is done by a man named Bear. There are days when my Joey will dress up like Bear, who usually wears khaki's of some shade, and a baby blue or white shirt. I've come home from grocery shopping and found Joey running around in his one and only white dress shirt, and blue dress pants exploring the world through his imagination.

I decided that instead of stunting their imagination and not allowing them to play in dress clothes, I would go to the Salvation Army and get some old stuff for them to play in. I told them earlier in the evening where we would be going and why. They were all so excited! Right before we loaded up in the van, Joey asked me, "Mom, are we still going to the ummm...the Righteous Navy store?"

I actually had to think for a second, what was he talking about? Then I remembered Righteous-Salvation, Navy-Army...a little mixed up I guess. Same difference though right?


Have you ever smelled sunshine? To me sunshine is the smell of a toddlers hair, nuzzled up against my face, warm and sweet from playing outside after lunch. A big hug with every inch of a little boys arms wrapped around my neck, my cheek up against his cheek, smiling and laughing...the scent of his curly blonde hair, it's sunshine. Laying on an old quilt in the backyard, staring up at fluffy white clouds, seeing things together in the sky, you may smell it... sunshine. Or you may catch it's scent after a huge waterfight! When everyone is soaked and too tired to run, it's rays will wrap you in it's warmth and touch a baby's head with it's kiss...sunshine. A scent unlike any other. Have you taken the time to smell it? The scent will touch your soul with a warm joy to carry you through any day. Try it. Tousle your baby's hair out in the sun, and just breathe, I promise it will calm and refresh your spirit. Sunshine!


Having all the boys and then the girl, I've often been told, "well, she'll be a tomboy that's for sure with all of those brothers." To be honest it annoyed me. I have enough boys!! I really want my girl, to be a girl and to like being a girl, and to like girlie kinda things!! I was then told by a friend, that she felt like it all depended on how she was raised. If she was raised being allowed to run around with all the boys, then she would probably be a tomboy, but if she was taught that ladies and girls are different in some of the things they do, then she should be fine.
Now with the boys, I've never ripped a doll out of their hands and screamed, "boys don't play with dolls son!" Usually if I found them with a doll in their hands, in the next minute or so, the doll would be strapped to the top of a remote control truck slamming into a tree. I've enjoyed watching how their interests naturally gravitate to masculine things.
With Ellie, I have noticed she likes baby dolls and teddy bears. I also have noticed she sure does like her brothers' rescue heroes and choo-choo trains.
Today as we were eating lunch, I looked at her and hanging out of her mouth was a plastic black widow spider about 6 inches across the middle!! That was not very feminine! However, the huge smile across her face (underneath the spider legs) was priceless. Maybe having a tomboy isn't so bad after all!!

The Stow-a-way

Having 5 children, it seems there is always something going on. Lately, we've been dealing with allergy issues in this area for our newest little one. As the fussiness got worse, I felt like she probably was fighting off an infection of some sort, so off to the Doctor I went.

It wasn't that I was really in a hurry. I was actually only running a couple of minutes behind. Does it really make a difference, when you have to sit in a waiting room forever anyways??

Halfway to the office, I hear something in the van. I turned around to see my 5 year old David, grinning from ear to ear. Ok, so maybe it would've been cute, adorable, flattering even that he wanted to be with me...EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT HE HAD dirty play clothes, dirt on his face, and no shoes. Charming? That was not the word I was thinking of.

I was slightly annoyed that I had a stow-a-way to deal with. And a barefoot stow-a-way at that. What was I going to do? I couldn't go back home. I couldn't leave him in the van? So I called my sister, who told me to just take him with me in the office, bare feet and all.

And that is just what I did. As the Doctor looked over Ellie he asked, "And who do we have here?" I then relayed my story, a little annoyed still. The grandfatherly doctor laughed, opened a drawer, looked at David with a smile on his face and said, "Hey ya want a sucker?" as he tossed it over, "how bout a sticker too?" Thanks a lot.

Lesson learned by the little guy: stow-a-ways get suckers and stickers.

The Early Bird

It seems so long ago, I rose at 5am to leave at 6am on Sunday mornings. College days, to prepare you for life. Who needs sleep, when bus kids are going hungry, without anyone to care for them. You did whatever it took, to help the bus kids.

Fast forward 10 years.

To bed at midnight. Why? The baby is teething, finally after Tylenol, Ora-gel, homeopathic teething tablets, singing, rocking, and nursing AGAIN, she is asleep. 1:30am, Nathan rolls off of his bed, up again. (Was I ever really asleep?) Back to bed, but wide awake's nearing 2am. Doze off for an hour or so...up to use the bathroom, check on kids blankets...back to bed at 3:30am. Up at 4:30 to nurse the baby. 5am, the baby is wide awake and slapping me in the face...the sun is up, she thinks it is play time. Baby drifts off to sleep around 6am. I feel like I have not even slept? Do I get up now while the house is quiet, to have my devotions, only to fall asleep? Or do I sleep for one more hour? I opt to sleep just one more hour, I can read my Bible when I wake up. Just a short while later, I feel someone patting my arm, "Momma, I peed the bed." Up again to run bath water and make coffee.

Am I supposed to function at this critical level of slumber deficiency? Barely. And what of my spirit and disposition? I'm a zombie on a caffeine high for at least 2 hours. How do I put up with my husbands jokes about my morning coffee? It's easy, I don't have the energy to clobber him.

They say the early bird gets the worm. As far as I'm concerned, he can have it, I don't even like worms!


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