Monthly Archives: August 2007

2 toddlers for 5 hours in Riley Children’s Hospital yesterday, seeing 3 specialists.  It will be a miracle if they don’t get sick.  If not from playing with all the toys on the floor, from the Wendy’s we went to for ice cream afterwards–it was disgusting.  I’m always so humbled when we spend time in hospitals.  It’s hard to not have tears when I look around the waiting room.  I’m blessed with 2 healthy (in comparison), full of life, sweet children.  It’s also so humbling to think of all the help we have at our fingertips.  If Miles had been born in another country, would he have survived?  He was born with a cleft palate, so he had no ability suction, couldn’t nurse, and had to be specially fed (KCH didn’t even  know how to feed him, we had to get him help at Riley).  God is so gracious, and he’s gotten so much care and is growing in understanding and personality. 

It was so sweet that our kids didn’t care what we were doing.  They just wanted us all to be together.  The last few weeks have been more about other people than them, so driving home, Jack said “I like to go on family outings.”  So, we spent 5 hrs. at a cleft palate clinic, but he didn’t care–he got McDonalds for lunch, some stickers, and got to play with new toys, so it was special for him.  What a sweetheart!  Miles’ favorite part was the hearing exam–he told the guy “I’m a good listener!”  I’m so proud of them.  They’re not perfect kids and will have their tantrums, but my job is to train and to love.  I’m still processing the goals/desires things that I’ve had off for a long time, but it’s so freeing! 

Ok, so I’m working on the difference between goals and
desires. I wasn’t a counseling major, so I never really
reasoned this through until now.  But I
was challenged by this during our HS leader training time this wknd.
Goals are within your control, something you work toward in
order to accomplish.
Desires are out of your control, and something you work
toward but may not accomplish.
So, here’s an example. 
I want my kids to obey and respect me.  I used to think that was a goal.  But I really have no control over it.  I will model respect to them and teach them
to obey (now, that is my goal), but if my goal is to control their behavior, it is
out of my hands and will lead only to frustration and anxiety.  We all have goals and desires in our
relationships.  But sometimes the great disappointment
with people comes in mixing the two around. 
I want Andy to love me and me alone. 
But that’s a desire, not a goal. 
I can’t make him love me.  I have
as the goal to show him love, but if my goal is simply to manipulate him into
remaining faithful to me, it still remains out of my control and will exhaust
me.  I don’t know if I lost
everyone.  But this is so freeing to me!  Especially in the role of parenting.  I think I’ve gotten too focused on
controlling my kids’ behavior, feeling the burden of turning them into polite,
grateful, respectful, obedient children. 
And Lord knows I never reach my goal!!! Many nights I’ve gone to bed exhausted,
weary of trying to mold my kids.  IT’S
NOT MY JOB!!!  I plead with God that He
will mold them into civilized gentlemen with humble, kind hearts.  And my goal is to love them unconditionally
and consistently train them in this.  But
with a simple refocus, I don’t have to feel like a failure all the time when
they walk right into the church and hit a baby. 
I’ve disciplined for that, and did again this morning.  But it’s their will, and I pray God breaks
it.  But it’s up to Him!!!  Thank you ancient counselors who came up with
this simple, yet redefining idea for me. 
And thank you faithful readers for excusing another extroverted post to
process all this.

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Yes, that is Miles being Buzz Lightyear and Jack holding an english muffin on a fork, in case you weren’t sure.

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This week has also been a lot of letting go for me.  Miles went back to preschool (He did
fine.  I cried.)  And we’re taking a different direction in
ministry this year.  Andy is the Director
of Student Ministries (well, he’s always been the director, but is now
functioning as one).  SO what this means
for us is letting go of a lot.  It’s
good, and he’s so excited to do what he loves—train people for ministry and
teach.  But it was hard tonight
when the cardboard boat races went on without us.  We’re so blessed to have such a great group
of young adults working with our youth (and now leading them).  But it’s hard to realize I can’t do
it all…and to give up some things I really love in order to spend the time I
have more strategically.

And on a lighter note, most recent Jack sayings…
— Andy’s mom asks what do you want to be when you grow up?  Miles says “a doctor.”  Jack says “a cow.”
— Andy is leaving for work and Jack tells me “The mens go to work and the mommies go places.”
— Miles is crying.  Jack comes in and asks “Miles, are you happy or sad?  Do you have Jesus or Goliath in your heart?”
— Pulling into Wal-Mart, Jack informs me “Wal-Mart is for mommies.  Lowe’s is for daddies.”
— Miles is studying the back of my dad’s head in the car and says
“Don’t worry grandpa.  Some day you’ll have hair.  It’s starting to
come in.”

the dreaded week.

I just did it, and it stings.  I turned the page in our planner to this week, which says school starts, which means Miles goes back to preschool Wed., which floods me with a ton of emotions. 
Gratitude for how far he’s come, thinking back to last year and having no idea how he’d (or I’d 🙂 do with it all. 
Thankfulness for a great preschool and caring teacher. 
Love for him I can’t even express. 
Desire to want to be there for him, to pick him up when he falls or help him when he’s called on and may not know the answer.
Amazement at the beautiful creation God has made him to be–he blows me away with how tender-hearted he is.  (I’ve been working on pointing out what character qualities they’re showing when they do something, and it’s so sweet how they’re catching on.  Jack will do something, and Miles will beat me to say “and that’s kindness!”) 
I need to focus on these more often, but I also get waves of the other.
Fear of how he will handle everything…
Will the meltdowns come back from complete sensory overload?
How will he handle the allergies he has to the animals in his preschool room?
Will kids tease him and him not know what they mean?
Or will his feelings get hurt?
Did he digress over the summer and all the other kids get super-smart?
Will he feel an unhealthy sense of pressure that everyone is going at a faster pace than him?
Someone might think why in the world put yourself and him through all of this?  Each child is so different, and we made the decision we think is best for Miles.  We aren’t sending Jackson, as we feel that’s best for Jack.  But Miles learns so much from being around the other kids, and we will all be just fine.   These are just some of the initial things I think of as I turn the page in my daytimer. 
Oh yeah, and I just realized I don’t have a single school supply…don’t even have the supply list…and forgot all about the dr. checkup that needs done before the 1st day.  Major whoops. 
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Last week, Andy took some days off.  College students are getting back, so this is one of the busiest times for Andy, but we’re so thankful we did it.  My parents watched the kids for us, and we had 2 days, 1 night to ourselves.  I couldn’t believe how refreshing it was to have 0 responsibilities for 30 hours.  I feel like a different person!  We spent alot of time in prayer and reflection over the past and upcoming year.  But we also had some fun here, here, and here…and of course here, here, and here.  I love my husband and am so blessed to be his partner for life, ministry, parenting, and just bumming around like we don’t have a care in the world.
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Jack helping dad stack wood.  A boy after my dad’s heart.  I just heard Jack tell Andy “When I get to be a man like you, I’ll get to drink hot coffee and sleep in the big bed with you and momma.” 
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Can you tell what we’ve been doing?  Friday, we took our kids (and 30 others) camping.  I wasn’t sure how Miles and Jack would do with it all–I was fully prepared to drive home in the middle of the night, but I was pleasantly surprised!  They were in ultimate explorer-mode.  Our kids love being around the “big kids.”  I’m glad when we can involve our whole family in hanging out with the teens.  I got hit with a stomach bug Friday night (and was very thankful we’d chosen a campground over the rustic site we prefer–bathrooms were a blessing!)  And Miles’ allergies are really stirred up.  But, other than that, we have some fun memories. 
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Saturday, Andy took everyone on a 6 hr. canoe trip.  It
turned into much longer than that.  They were supposed to get back at 5 pm, and got in at 11 pm.  They all had a good time, and everyone was safe, so that’s the important thing.  I wanted to
go, but between me needing a bathroom and Miles’ allergies, it wasn’t a good
idea.  I brought the boys back here, and we all crashed. 

This week, we’re taking a much-needed break.  Andy and I are getting away for a day.  I‘m not ready to leave the kids
already, but our life just keeps passing from one thing to the next, and we just need to stop and make sure we’re on the same page.  The only thing we’re planning is some extended time in prayer–for us as parents, as a couple, in ministry, decisions
we need to make…things that we pray each day for, but not always together.  I’m really looking forward to it, and love researching options for our getaway!

Lastly, I just want to remember this stage of craziness.  Miles has recently gotten into interior decorating.  He’ll move certain items from room to room.  (He was unplugging the lamp you got us, Dave and Tip, to take it to his room this afternoon.)  I don’t always smile, like when it involves art on the walls.  But, it really is cute to see what he thinks should be where.  
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This
is what my week has looked like.  Lots of time playing on the floor. 
Lots of conversations about tractors and combines.  Lots of thanks to
God for bringing us safely back to these boys.

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We left our
boys with my parents while we were in MS.  So I’m trying to make it up to them this week, hence nothing else getting done but hanging out.  As much as they
begged us to take them with us, and as hard and full of tears as it was to
leave them, it came down to what we thought was best for them.  Who knows? 
But as hard as it was, we thought they would have much more fun and be
happier at gramps and grams.  From past
mission trip experiences, they never understand why my attention is
divided.  And they had a blast in Ohio.  I cried everyday, missing them so much.  But it’s good to have a freshness about being
home with them all day long.  I had some
great time to get to know the HS girls, staying up late talking about
direction, stress, relationships with peers, boys, God, family.  I’m thankful for the chance to be there…but I’m
glad to be home with my boys!  And it’s
nice to stay in the same building as my husband—that was hard!  The boys have been super
sweet since we got back.  I thought
they’d just be mad.  They wouldn’t even
talk to us on the phone while we were gone. 
But they’ve been full of love and hugs. 
And so funny!

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I’ve
been snapping so many pics as they’re just cracking me up, but again,
it may be how much I missed them.  So, they probably look like same ole
Miles and Jack, but they just look so much older and cuter after a week
away! 

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Miles
had this bag on his head from before dinner to bedtime.  Jack fell
asleep on the floor again.  He guards the door to make sure I don’t
leave.  The other night, I had to sneak out the back door to go for a
walk so he wouldn’t see me leave.

— My new favorite word is granola bar.  Jack calls them “banilla bar” or “banola
bar.”  Miles
calls them “gorilla
bars.”  It’s also cute to hear Miles say genorosity.  It comes out
“sinorosity.”  And after a week at grams, they’re telling me how
there’s “japanese beetles on the woobarb.”

— They’re into this “Are you happy or sad?” stage, asking
it all the time to people.  While we were
gone, they’d ask my mom.  She said “I’m
happy because I have Jesus in my heart.” 
Miles said “I have Goliath in my heart.” 

— I’m beginning to think his favorite Bible character is
Goliath.  That’s scary.  I try to explain what a bad man he was, for he
mocked God.  But I think he just thinks it cool how tall
he is.


Every a.m., Jack asks me if my coffee is too hot or just right.  When I
say just right, he’s my little coffee thief.  This a.m., I thought I’d
try something different.  I told him it was too hot.  He said “No
momma, you need to make it just right!  Then I have your coffee.” 

— One of my biggest prayers while we were gone was that
Miles would be a nice big brother to Jack. 
He can tear Jack apart when he’s upset. 
It’s been so awesome to see this change. 
Jack will be mad about something and Miles will say “It’s ok, we can
still be friends” OR try to distract with “You could do this instead!”


Last night, Miles got to bed too late and was screaming for a glass of
water.  I wasn’t going to get him one because he needed sleep more than
anything.  But Jack hurries and gets a dirty cup from the dishwasher,
fills it up with water from the bathroom sink and brings it to him.  He
amazes me.

— I know I’ve said this before, but Jack is SO into
tractors and combines.  Tractors and
combines come into absolutely every conversation with everyone.  He’ll wake up and immediately talk about
combines.  It’s so funny.  My mom got him a combine last week, and his favorite phrase is “Will you play tractors with me?”


Andy took them to Lowe’s the other day.  He’s looking for something and
all of a sudden notices both boys have their pants down and are
standing, aimed at a display of toilets.  He stopped them before they
left their mark.  Of course, it was on the main aisle, so they had
plenty of spectators.


Both boys are dressed and have their hair brushed and it’s only
9.30…we’re off to a good start!  …Well, it’s my turn to get ready
now!  I just had to write this down before I forget how much I missed
these little guys.