Monthly Archives: May 2007

the Lord is my shepherd.

Miles is in bed across the hall, falling asleep.  I’m trying to get some things done before Jack goes to bed so Andy and I can enjoy some hours of peace and quiet together tonight.  But over and over Miles is saying “the Lord is MY shepherd.  the Lord is MY shepherd.  the Lord is MY shepherd.”  He just added a “Yeah!  Very good job Miles!” in there, so I’m thinking it’s something they’re working on at church.  Sometimes I stop and marvel in the amazement that a 4 yr. old could remind me of such a simple, and yet so profound truth I need to hear at the moment.  The Lord is MY Shepherd.  Thank God.

I have pics and fun stories of the last day of preschool party today, but we’re leaving in 10 days 🙂  That means I need to get some things done! 


it’s no fun without pictures.

Our camera’s being used for a wedding, so sorry no pics.  But I’m SO SUPER EXCITED right now!!  I’ve been looking into renting a condo or lakehouse for some vacation time either tacked onto our time in Missouri or when we’re out for a wedding on the east coast this summer.  I’ve had no success, as it’s very last minute and everything’s booked…or too expensive.  I’ve really wanted to take a vacation, but had no idea how our budget was going to afford one this year.  Last year, we had a sweet hook-up in West Palm Beach as we home-sat for some friends.  It was such a refreshing time we still look back on so fondly.  WELL!!!  Completely out of the blue this a.m., someone offered their lake cottage to us for the time we’re in Missouri.  It’s right on Lake of the Ozarks and they have a boat and it’s in a sweet little cove and absolutely gorgeous.  I got chills when they were telling us about it.  What a huge blessing!  I can’t believe it.  And it’s in 2 WEEKS!!! 

So, here’s my Sunday a.m. adventure of the week.  We were at some grad. parties last night, and I was hunting chapstick in my purse.  I guess I never cleaned it out since Ohio and it was quite comical.  I had a half eaten banana, lots of receipts and coupons, Buzz Lightyear, fruit snacks, change of undies (for the boys), used kleenexes (from all of us), keys we thought we’d lost, Thomas the Train sunglasses, kids’ book from chick-fil-A happy meal…and my chapstick.  So, I decided to cleaned it out before church this a.m.  But when I opened the closet door where my purse is hanging, I saw something large and 8-legged shuffle to the corner.  After some deep breaths and prayers, I started throwing shoes at it with some groans and mumbles as I had little success.  The boys were drawn from their movie to see what all the commotion was.  It’s not that I don’t like spiders as much as I can’t stand how they squish.  If it weren’t for that, I think I’d be fine having to smoosh them, but I couldn’t this a.m.  So I grabbed a cup, trapped him and let Andy deal with our huge intruder when he got home.  Of course, growing up in Brazil, no spider here is huge to him.  When he was Jack’s age, he yelled to his mom that there was a spider in his room.  Thinking it was nothing, she told him to kill it and go back to bed.  She heard in the next room “thud. thud. thud.”  When she got him up in the a.m., there were shoes scattered all over the floor and the biggest tarantula she’s ever seen dead in the corner.  So yeah, that tops my story. 

Well, off to another grad party…but I need to clean out my purse first


Where do I begin?  Friday we got back at midnight after 4 days of treatment, 1000 miles of driving, and opened up our garage sale Saturday a.m. to sell off the rest of our stuff.  Things don’t bother me like they used to, but I still am very observant that our house needs major cleaning.  But Saturday afternoon, we were craving to go on a bike ride, so we packed up the kids and hit the trails.  They’ve been working on the trails in town and it’s so beautiful!  We kept saying it doesn’t seem like this is Indiana!  It was very refreshing.

Then Sunday we got to hang out with friends we haven’t seen in 8 mos., and that
was so cool to catch up before they begin their bike trek cross-country to Seattle.  It makes me more tired just thinking about it, but also excited to see people use their pre-kid freedom to the hilt!

And today is Andy’s day off.  Miles is at preschool and he took Jack to the park to give me a little break.  This week has been alot of going from here to there, trying to be emotionless about everything because when I really think things through I can’t be strong for my kid then.  (excuse the run-on…)  We are so excited to see the worse cross over into the
better.  So many people asked yesterday how things went, so I’ve told this over and over, but can’t tire of saying I’m
so grateful for people’s prayers.  I talked with a lady the other day who doesn’t know the Lord, and she was like “I don’t know if the healing is from treatments or if God is involved, but I just try whatever.”  I believe with every ounce God is healing our son!  He directed us to this dr. through people I’ve never met and those people talked with her about us and she’s giving us a very generous discount on these treatments and other people have given to cover the costs of what we’ve already done and we’re seeing them help our son.  Don’t ever hear me say anything is healing Miles other than our Great Physician.  God is good, and He was
good even when we didn’t know which way is up.  But it’s so awesome to get
our son some relief.  We are getting ANSWERS and HELP!  Miles finished his allergy treatments, 15
total.  And the past 3 nights he has slept so soundly.  He used to have
such a hard time breathing, even had a surgery to help this, but it brings
tears to my eyes to kneel by his bed and watch him sleep so peacefully
now.  What an answer to prayer.  He has made connections that seem
new to us.  I would imagine if some of the fog is gone from having to
fight allergies all the time, he can then process and communicate more
clearly.  Today when I left him at Sunday School, he turned and said
“Don’t worry about me!”  There’s still a process to keep detoxing
his body from damage from surgeries, meds, antibiotics, immuniazations, but I’m
so excited to see this work and to know what’s next!  I could go on about this, but really it’s to give those out there hope.  A year ago we got what some parents view as a death sentence, an autism diagnosis.  But it is not the end, and my goal is not for Miles to be “normal” because what does normal look like these days anyhow?  But I don’t want him to live in pain, and I’m so grateful we’re finally learning how to lessen it.  I could go on and on…but I won’t today.

Is anyone else ready for a vacation?  I look at those weeks on the calendar like they’re my lifeline.  We’re not going anywhere extravagant.  But Andy’s doing the youth part of a New Tribes Mission conference in Missouri in June, and we’re going to tack on some good ole family days to that.  It’s right by the Lake of the Ozarks, so I ordered a huge packet in the mail of things to do around there.  I’m SO ready for some lazy days! 

So, I’m sure you’re wondering when I’ll get to cleaning…I’m wondering that too.  For now, I’m thankful people understand we have 2 boys still correcting their aim and that there’s more to enjoy than a floor that stays clean until someone comes in from outside.  It’s not a health hazard or anything, just a step for a mom who’s a recovering perfectionist 🙂 
These are the only pics I took this week.  Dave and Tip, I think Andy’s getting our kids ready for a moto ride in Cambodia 🙂  We went to the Cleveland Zoo twice between treatments, it was right by the dr.  I’m used to the Ft. Wayne Zoo and couldn’t believe in 2 days we still didn’t see all the zoo!  And last random thing, the other day on our bike ride, Jack saw a horse and carriage and says “Look!  A horse and combine!”  That boy loves his combine 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!
I had an absolutely perfect day…well except erasing a post as I was trying to upload some pics…and now it’s late, I’m tired, and I can’t remember what I wrote before…all I can think of writing about is my farmer’s tan.  I’m sure you are super interested in that.  Now that I’m 29, I was thinking it’s time to be more mom and less teenage baby-sitter, so I’ve switched to shirts rather than incessant tanktops…and now I’m rethinking the decision as I look here at my white shoulders. 

We leave super early Tues. a.m. to finish out Miles’ treatments.  He has 2 a day Tues. – Fri.  We have pans of distilled water/alcohol sitting around our house (inside and outside).  This week’s treatments are mostly to eliminate reactions to his environment.  Crazy, I know, but giving shots every week seems much crazier…if this has a better success rate.   We were outside all day today and he had a blast, but he’s sleeping so poorly tonight, coughing and so stuffy…even with his allergy meds…So we’re praying it helps our little guy.

We got rid of a lot at our garage sale…stuff we’ve needed to sort through since we’ve been married.  Although, there is still a certain tanktop I can’t bear to part with, and I realized I’ve had it for 12 years…and it looks like it.  I got it at Banana Republic on Rodeo Drive in CA my jr. year of HS, and can only wear it now as a night shirt.  The straps are hanging on by a thread, but it’s still a weekly wear.  It made me think, am I just super-sentimental or do other people have articles of clothing this old in their closet? 

My eyes are half open now, as we hiked all over Potato Creek State Park today.  It was a fabulous time and we are pleased to see our kids be little outdoorsmen, hiking down the trail to the lake…over and over and over…and wanting to do so “all by myself”…we’re feeling a little itchy now though.  There was poison oak all over, so uh-oh.  Here’s some favorites from the day.
I can’t believe we didn’t get any of grandma becky today…bummer…
Here’s my favirote

no use crying over sold cars…

We’ve been trying to sell our jeep for months since doing
the minivan thing.  WELL…we decided to put our VW
convertible for sale and 3 days later a couple called and said they
were on their way with cash.  I was driving
home when Andy called and told me, and by the time I got in the door, I was in tears.  I wanted so badly to tell them it wasn’t for
sale anymore…but took it out for a final spin around the block, and I was
reminded of how 2 yrs. ago we were in a very difficult season in our life, in
many aspects.  We’d been doing the 1 car
thing for awhile, but found this for $1000 (which we’d made in profit from our
other car).  We have so many super-fun
memories in it.  (So many that our kids
were crying too when the couple drove away with it.  Miles was so mad they had our car, he said he
wanted to bite them…funny, well, sort of…) 
And as much as I could go on about how I love this car, it’s just a car,
and God again has been faithful in taking care of us.  We sold it for $3000, and were going to put
that toward Miles’ medical bills, but God has already provided the cost for
what we’ve already done, so now we can fix our other car!  And God continues to blow me away with
teaching me what it is to let go. 

I have a feeling a few yrs. from now, I’m going to look back
at these times and see the journey He has us on.  For so long there’s been a stirring in my
soul to live for more than what we see. 
While that always makes me think overseas (and we still have a few more
mos. until we begin talking again about what that looks like for us), it needs
to start with where we’re at.  We’ve
recently given up on Dish and are doing the no TV thing.  I didn’t know how hard this would be for
me.  I don’t watch TV during the day, but
after the kids are in bed, it was nice to have a break to not think or have to
talk to anyone.  It’s silly what a
challenge it was at first, but Andy put in this sweet hammock for me out back,
and a few nights of watching the clouds move across the sky, staring at the
moon and wondering why it can be so bright and not hurt my eyes, it occurred to me
how often I’m searching for rest or contentment…in the wrong places.  It’s never going to come if I don’t cling
to the Giver of it. 

The other day I picked up the book below off our shelf and
began reading it.  After the 1st
chapter, I saw how many idols have subtly come into my life.  They’re not blatant and sitting out on our
counters.  I don’t offer food to them
like we saw in Cambodia,
but they take a place in my heart that belongs to God alone.  When I’m looking to anything more than Him to
fill a void (like a car or TV, etc.), I’m missing the great promise He has to “Come
to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest!” 

I probably needed to write this more for myself.  Maybe it was a blessing to you.  There’s always risk in writing what God’s
teaching you because I don’t know how you receive it.  I’m not saying TV or convertibles are evil—I
hope someday we can have another convertible. 
But for now, I’m thankful for the lessons I’m in the process of learning.

On a lighter note…I told Miles to put away his shoes the other day, and he says “I did.  Just like you momma.”  Guess they do as I do, not as I say 🙂


Jack was playing a bit outside while I was making lunch.  I thought he was on the swingset, but of course, he  found a rain puddle to lay and splash in:)


Off to getting things ready for our garage sale!  Woo-Hoo! 

all partied out…

Miles wore this hat since Tuesday…even to bed 🙂  Jack’s been sneaking books into his bed, and falling asleep with the overhead light on–it’s been cute…
Birthday week is over.  And I’m ready to be done making cakes 🙂  After
making sunshine cupcakes for Miles’ preschool Tuesday, then a giant
chocolate chip in the shape of Mickey Mouse for some friends who came
over to play on Thursday, and a tiger cake like he’d wanted to have
with Grandpa and Grandma and some more friends tonight…I think I’ve
bought enough butter for the month!  Before I make the lion cake Jack
wants for his bday in June, I’m investing in some decorating
bags…this was the best I could do with cutting holes in plastic
baggies…and I made the mistake of waiting until after small group
last night to start, so it was way too late…but enough excuses–my
main goal was to make him look nice and not scary.
We are officially proud owners of zoo passes, so we spent the day
partying with some wild animals.  We tired everyone out, and our kids
are sleeping soundly despite the sugar high they’ve been on! 
Miles was telling me “This is amazing.  It’s incredible.” 🙂
Today was grad, and it was sad saying more good-byes.  This city is
cursed with good-byes, and I’m still not good at them.  I guess we’re
getting lots of practice.  But we said good-bye to a trusty
baby-sitter, a couple we were just starting to get to know, our junior
high leaders, and several quality college students.  I’m excited to see
where God will lead them, but we will miss them…

Yesterday a.m. I met a girl for coffee (and goodbyes).  Jack was upset
he couldn’t go along, and fussed for awhile after I left.  Andy said
he asked why he was crying.  Jack said “I need my big
old momma.”  I’m interpreting that to mean “big” as in sentiment rather
than size 🙂

Jack was really hoping to see a combine at the zoo.  It’s his
favorite thing right now…Bugs are a close second.  We were all
watching a leopard, and he was knelt on the ground studying an ant.  I
never pictured myself having boys, but they’re so much fun!  I love
wondering what they’re thinking.  And one
more funny Jack story:  The other day, I was telling Andy that, as Jack
was standing there.  You could tell his mind was really concentrating
on something, and then he started licking his lips and said “Mmm, Cake
is great.”  Well, we’ve dropped the rest of the cake off with neighbors, but I’m glad we went all out this week.  4 years have gone so fast, and there’s much to celebrate! 

working backwords…

Miles celebrated his birthday with his class
today.  He was SO EXCITED!  Andy gave his final at Grace this
a.m., so some friends watched Jack, and I was free to enjoy the
celebration!  One sweet girl kept telling Miles to come sit by her,
that she’d saved him a spot and he wouldn’t go.  He sat over by himself
for circle time.  I went and sat beside him but later, concerned that
he’d prefer being by himself, I said “Miles, it was so nice of Kendra
to save you a seat.  You should have sat by your friend.”  He looked at
me and said “But I wanted to sit by you, momma.”  Melted my heart…

Sunday a.m., the boys were ready for church, Andy
was already there, and I was getting ready.  From the shower, I hear
Miles telling me “There’s a man in the house with a red hat.”  I turn
off the water, thinking I must’ve heard him wrong.  “Is there a man
inside or outside?”  “Inside.  I let him in.  He was knocking, so I let
him in.  He has a red hat.”  Oh brother…  Sure enough, get ready as
fast as I can, and there’s a man in our entryway with a red hat.  We’d
set our dryer out that’d stopped working, hoping someone would take it
off our hands, and he was inquiring about it.  Our kids have let in
people they know before, and we even removed the lock knob so they
couldn’t, but somehow they figured it out.  We had a very long talk
about not letting strangers in…and we’re getting a very high deadbolt
lock.  Sundays are always full of adventures…

Saturday, we had such a fun time at teema and teepa’s house.  Here’s his grandpa, who just came whipping around
with a go cart (Andy in 40 years…)
The kids got lots of tractor rides with “grandpa dan dan dan dan”
Miles in the back giving a thumbs up and saying “Tudo bem? Joiha”
He is all boy. 

I don’t often take pics in the car, but they were so thrilled to see go, I had to capture their excitement.
And this little guy joined our family 4 years ago tomorrow.  I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already.  In some ways, we’ve been through enough for 40 years!  But then, I can’t imagine our lives without him.  It doesn’t seem we could only know each other for such a short time.  I have learned so much from him, about love, life and faith.
I know many of you have posted your birthing stories–I don’t know about reliving my 39 hour labor…so, here’s some special facts about our guy.
–Miles was supposed to be Liliane Grace (Lily).  The dr. was certain we were having a girl.  Yes, from an ultrasound.  I still thought it was a boy and kept the tags on everything.  When he came out, the dr. said what’s his name?  Not hearing right, I said “Lily.”  “For a boy?!?” the dr. exclaims.  Andy looks at me and says “Sara, Lily has a p—.”  Yep.  All decency left in the delivery room.  And so entered our Miles Andrew. 
–Miles is brazilian and american, dual citizenship, like his daddy.  He’s been to brazil twice, at 16 mos. and 3 yrs. 
–His favorite food is rice and beans.  In McD’s before, he’s insisted on ordering rice and beans. 
–His memory is incredible.  He knows every kids’ song I can think of…and he remembered the color of my mom’s hairdryer when he had only used it once 2 mos. ago!  (None of us knew it was purple until asking him!)
–Loves Rachael Ray.  I think this has to do with both his appreciation for women with dark hair and also his love for cooking. 
–Miles means “warrior.”  And he is.  But he has a tender compassion and
a trust that scares me at times.  I’ll never forget laying my 1 mo. old
on a cold operating room table and having to leave as they put him to
sleep for an emergency surgery.  I’d never been so scared to make a
decision in my life.  I still don’t feel ready to make some of the
decisions we have for him.  But it teaches me so much about my
faith–how he trusts us even when his lip may quiver and he may not
–And he’s just all around, a very cool kid to get to know.  So, we’re celebrating the 4 years we’ve had with our little guy.  We love you Miles and are so blessed to be your parents!

And thanks grandpa and grandma for the gifts–They both loved them!