Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Rat is a rat is a rat!

David's little cute panda hamster is in the dog house.Thankful for him though, we do have a personal animal rights advocate living in our home. She is not yet two years of age, but already has a great compassion for the little rodent. Each morning as I get breakfast ready, or in the evening cleaning up after supper, she walks into the kitchen and plops down on the floor to check and see how he is fairing. (The rodent is placed on the floor in his cage pushed up against the wall because he is a genius...everywhere else we put him, he opens the door and gets out on his own.) So there sits our animal lover...right in front of his cage. I've seen her many times, open the door to the cage...mumble something in hamster language...then she just sits and smiles. Of course the hamster understands this is his key to freedom, this little person mumbling to him. Most of the time, I catch this little routine, scoop up the runaway and place him back in his prison...but sometimes I don't see it happen.

Thus was the case last week. He had been gone for two days. No one could find him anywhere. Before when this had happened, I had found him hiding under the cushions of the couch...in the framework...exploring. This time I could find him nowhere. The next morning, as I was getting dressed...I opened my bottom drawer.

In complete confusion I saw shreds of my maternity clothes. "What in the world???" I began pulling several pieces of clothing out, holding them up and seeing little holes all over them. As I moved the clothes around, I also saw back in the corner...a small pile of moldy candy. It was then that I knew I had found the escapee. Within moments his little head peeked out from the back of the drawer...and I am almost sure I saw him smile at me, thanking me for his little rendevous. I was not happy though. "NAUGHTY LITTLE RAT!!" I scolded. Then back to his cage he went...forever. He is grounded from his hamster ball. No more animal rights advocate. No more late nights out on the town either,or in my drawer for that matter.

I shouldn't be surprised though, after all, a rat is a rat is a rat.

Friday, May 22, 2009


The last few days have been beautiful. Warm sunshine, a gentle breeze and blue skies...what more could a person ask for?! I was lying down, staring at a tree and in the background I could see the bright blue sky, in the forefront, the spring green of new leaves. My mind recalled how I had read in Psalms 148 before about the trees praising God. I often have wondered about that. Do trees have a voice inaudible to us? How do TREES praise God?

As I thought this over once again, while staring at this tree, it all made sense. We've all heard the saying, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree". Each and every branch on that tree was growing somewhere different than all the other branches. Each branch was bent slightly different. Some had knots on them, some had yet smaller branches coming off of them...none of them were the same. "Hmmmm" I thought. "How like our lives?" We all come from different situations, backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. The branches make us who we are. Some branches are stronger...some have knots. All had leaves. I watched the leaves for a good 3 minutes at least. Just watching them reflect the bright sunlight, and be blown about by the wind. I noticed then that some of the leaves were flitting all over...others closer to the middle hardly moved at all. Some had a lot of sun reflecting on them...others, were growing in the shadows of the other leaves...and again I thought, "Hmmmm, how similar this is to people." There are those who are stronger, who can be tossed about by stormy winds, and still hold fast. While others need to stay close to the source of their strength...the Trunk of the tree, to keep from being destroyed. Some may not be able to withstand the high winds. Some leaves bathe in the glow of the sun, while others may never see the direct light of sun, but stay tucked away in the shadows...yet still growing. People. Created by God...why do we expect everyone to be alike? Each one of us has our purpose, and it doesn't need to be the same as everyone around us. Should the leaf near the middle of the tree be ashamed, because it is weak, and cannot withstand strong winds? Nor should the leaf, fed by the brightness of the sun all day.

I just want to be a leaf that the Lord can use freely, and move about at His bidding. I want to reflect the goodness of my Maker. I also want to remember, the beauty of the tree is not in my leaf alone, but all of them...bound together by one Trunk...many branches and all different. Now I see just how a tree can praise the Lord.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baking with toddlers

Tonight I decided to make some cinnamon rolls to raise overnight. Nathan and Ellie were VERY interested in helping me! Nathan kept licking the flour off of his hands, then trying to smash the dough again...

I really enjoyed playing in the dough with my little ones. They would just swish the flour back and forth all over the table....Ellie's jumper was covered with flour, and I loved it.

I showed her how to just pat the dough. She'd smack it, smash it, throw it in the pan, then do it all over again.

I've always cooked with my children. Usually just one at a time to help with pancakes, eggs, spaghetti sauce, cinnamon rolls, iced tea...

I love watching them enjoy life...enjoy learning...touching a new texture...tasting flour. They truly are a joy to my soul. I love them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Comfort from the Lord

It seems this week has been a very trying week for us. Each day has brought unusual challenges and unexpected tears. It is times like these when the Lord seems closer than usual, and although I cannot feel his arms ever near me, I do sense His presence and comfort. I have learned in my life, that in most situations, it is better to keep your mouth closed, until your thoughts are in order with the word of God. Until that point, anything you say is tainted with the flesh. Sad to say, this practice has not been perfected in me, though I strive for it. It is always nice to have someone to talk things over with when you are hurting. Someone who will not judge or interrupt. A listener.

There are times while praying, that my heart is so heavy, I really do not know what to say. I just want to be in the Lord's presence. And somehow, just bowing on my knees and closing my eyes...I receive comfort. There was a time in my life, when I thought if I had nothing to say, then why would I pray? I know that prayer is asking, but sometimes the soul needs comfort, and there are no words to relay the need...but God knows.

I have been longing for something, yet didn't know what it was. Yesterday, while watching my children play outside, little Nathan ran up to me. "Mom, you beautiful!" he shouted, hugged me, then ran away. Later, David, all covered in dirt, ran up to me to share some exciting adventure...I hugged him tightly while he chattered on and on, then he too ran off. I feel like I had been receiving comfort in my heart from the Lord, but I needed something with skin on, a person.

I teared up thinking how good God has been to me to give me these 5 wonderful children and a loving husband. Through difficult days, they are here for me. Each hug and "I love you" just comforted me, and warmed my heart. I know that they need me, but this week I needed them. God has loved me, through my children.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pedicures and Puddles

It was a nice day again today. The grass is such a beautiful green...I love all of the different shades of green in the spring. The boys were outside a lot this afternoon, while Ellie and I napped. After I got up, I was cleaning and getting dinner ready, so we still didn't make it outside. Then it started raining. It rained for about 30 minutes pretty hard and the wind was blowing all the rain sideways. I also love storms so I was hoping for a good one to watch. When the rain stopped, the sun quickly came out again, and the boys headed back out the door. Ellie by this point was standing at the door crying, she just wanted to go too!! Dinner was done, but I was still waiting for my brown rice to cook. (Why does it take SOOOO LONG?!?!)

We both headed out the door...Ellie in her bare feet. The boys were running through puddles, even dumping puddle water on each other! YIKES! I took Ellie to her first puddle, and she looked up at me and smiled as if she were thinking, "I can do this too?!!" Then she just went back and forth, back and forth, splashing and giggling at this new activity! It was such a joy to watch her. Then I noticed her little toenails. I had given her a pedicure on Sunday night, while we were at home (due to allergies and gunky eyes)...she sat still the whole time, I think enjoying all the attention. I even put a little white sparkly flower nail sticker on her big toe and sealed it in with a clear polish.

Every time I saw those little pink toes pop out of the mud puddle...along with the sparkly flowers, I just couldn't help smiling!! What a joy it is to have a girl!! A balanced girl that likes to have fun too!! Praise the Lord for His abundant blessings on my life...oh and for the puddles!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Invisible Mosquitos

They are my enemy today. I know many of you LOVE homeschooling, I am trying to get to that point. Right now I almost like it...almost.

Today it is a lovely day outside. I really wanted the boys to get done quickly so they could enjoy the sunshine, and I could go shopping before I am too exhausted to even want to go. Now it is well after lunch time, and Joey is still not even half way done. All because of the invisible mosquitoes.

It all started two hours ago with a math test. A very simple, 12 question math test. I looked it over, he knew all of the answers and concepts...it wasn't even a timed test. There he sat...counting by 5's. I looked over at his paper, and he was writing the numbers about 6 inches tall...just because he could. Then the mosquitos came. They were either invisible or microscopic and only liked to eat on Joey. There must have been a whole swarm of them...they encircled his entire body and began to bite him EVERYWHERE! He scratched furiously on his head, arms, inside of his shirt, (I have no idea how they got in THERE!) even on the tops of his earlobes. When I told him to stop it, he did, but then shook like a addict going through withdraws. I let him carry on so for a while. Then I told him if he couldn't stop he would be taking a shower and then finishing his test, before completing the rest of his work. It seemed to work for about 30 seconds.

It is always something. I've thought before about switching curriculum just for him...but I don't think it would keep the mosquitoes away. Maybe they just like math?

Friday, May 1, 2009

A decade gone

Today Derek is 10. The other day he made a picture with all the wonderful things he did while he was 9. It was pretty impressive and creative. Of course this fall and winter we spent 4 months serving in Jamaica... a great experience for all of us. He drew a picture on his poster of climbing a mountain from when he visited the villages with Kevin. Snorkeling in the ocean off of a deserted island...flying on an airlplane, reading books. He even wrote a book while we were in Jamaica, called "Derek's Daring Adventures" a book about an ogre. We typed it up, exactly as he wrote it. He played baseball on a team for the first time last summer. Many wonderful things happened while he was nine.

I cannot help but to think of these next 10 years of his life. Then he will be gone. What kind of example will our home be for him? Will he look forward to having a home just like "Mom and Dads" or will he be awaiting the day he can leave? Will I be a good example of a wife...a mother? Will he see God in our home, and know that He indeed is real and alive? Will these last few years show him there is no better life than that of service to the King of Kings? Where will his heart be after 10 more years?

Parenting is indeed a huge undertaking. Yeilding daily to the Lord, asking for wisdom and love for all these little ones that unknowingly test our patience. Striving to make God real in our home...real to them. We walk that fine line between showing them how to love God...and "making" them love God. In this next decade, he will decide. Where will his heart take him?

His time in our home is nearly gone. Lord help me...to do this job you have set before me the right way, with the right spirit.


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