Monthly Archives: September 2007

fall camping.

Some pics from the weekend.  It’s been a few weeks, and there’s a ton
to catch up on.  But I’m enjoying the rest of the beautiful (warm!)
days while we can!  So here’s some pics for those who haven’t seen us
in awhile. 
t-ma and grandma
t-pa and jack

That smile says it all. 
I love this time of year.  I love this
stage in life.  It almost seems surreal, I’m loving it so much. 
other night, we were driving back after hanging out at a
friends’ house, the kids were singing a silly song in the back and
laughing their heads off, Andy was holding my hand as we sipped our cappuccinos.  And as we were coming around a bend, there was a semi
coming toward us.  I probably am too much of a fatalist, but in my
mind, I thought we have it so good, and it could change at any minute. 
For a split second, I almost braced myself for the semi to hit us.  We’re fine, and I’m thankful.  But I
guess we’ve been through some rough times over the past few years, and I know more will come.  There was a verse that was so meaningful to me when we were walking through some devastating times last year.  It’s in Romans 5.3-5:  We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.  I remember reading this and having a hard time.  I could barely accept our suffering, let alone rejoice!  And I’d think what’s so wrong with my character that we have such a hardship to face!  I don’t understand it all, but I do know God has poured out His love into my heart.  And I do rejoice for all that He has done.  It’s taken some time.  And it’s nothing I’ve done for sure.  But God caring enough to reveal more of Himself through our pain.  If I hadn’t come to the end of myself, I don’t know that I’d ever have known His great love for me.
And moments like these are all the more precious as Miles comes toward me with a flower saying “Here momma, this is for you, the most special mom in the whole world.” 
Okay, I was going to just post pics, but there were so many thoughts that came to mind.


Last night, after putting the kids to bed a wonderful couple came over and watched them while they slept.  (They’re newly married and said their first challenge is to survive sleeping kids…working their way up to caring for awake ones 🙂  Anyhow, we went to Club Soda, a place we love.  They had really good music last night.  We were pretty tired, so we ordered cappuccinos for an appetizer.   But as always, I enjoyed the time with my husband.  He’s a pretty cool guy.  I’m pretty glad I get to hang out with him.
            On a more embarrassing note…I had something really funny happen yesterday, but didn’t really realize it until the drive home.  It was B week at preschool, so Miles rode the Bus to Bixler park with his Bear.  He was a little anxious about it, so I went to the park for part of it.  We were all sitting on Blankets, and I was reading the kids on our Blanket a Book while they ate their snack of teddy graham Bears and Bananas.  WELL…some Bees decided to check out our snacks, and as I was reading, I was trying to keep an eye on the bees.  Well, the other adults (3 moms and 1 teacher on our blanket) were talking about swatting the bees away.   I’m still reading, but very distracted as they’re swarming Miles.  One bee lands, and I start stomping on it until it’s dead.  Continue reading.  Realize I killed the bee, but I stomped on Sidney’s snack in the process.  Still reading.  I set aside the 5 teddy grahams that didn’t get a footprint on them for her to finish…Keep reading.  (The banana was ruined.)  Finally I finish the book and am relieved no one is stung in the process.  But as I was driving home and thinking through the whole chaos, I thought how incredibly ridiculous it was to stomp on a little girl’s snack.  I never looked up at the other ladies, but I’m sure their mouths were open agape.  Oh well.  No bee stings.  No allergic reactions.
Funny line of the week:  Miles had found a quarter and was saying he found some money to take to Jesus.  Jack heard him talking about having money for Jesus, and comes up to me and asks “Could I have some money for candy?”  (Real spiritual, Jackson 🙂  Later I hear Miles saying “Here Jesus.  Here’s some money for you to go buy candy.”  Our kids’ theology is so screwed up.  But it makes for funny stories.
Well, I’m off to enjoy my Saturday.

a lesson in gratitude…gone all wrong.

I loved reading everyone’s thoughts in response to last post–I wrote responses to your responses in the comment section.  I’ve been reading “To Fly Again” by Gracia Burnham.  She’d given me a copy this summer, and I didn’t know how much I needed to read it!  It’s put so many things into perspective for me.  AND, AND, AND!!!  Gracia is coming to Winona Lake March 12-13th!!!  I’m planning a community-wide women’s lunch for her to be the guest speaker, then our college-age group, the Venture, is going to host her Thurs. evening.  In case you can’t tell, I’m super stoked!!!

        So, it started a few days ago, as this has all been on my mind.  I want my kids to learn to be thankful for what they have.  Less than 1/4th world’s population sleeps on a bed!  25%!!!!  75% sleep in a hammock of some kind or a mat on the floor or on a floor with no mat or on the plain dirt.  (Gracia, “To Fly Again”)  That might be a stretch to teach them, but atleast, they can be thankful for the food they have to eat.  So, I decided one thing I’m focusing on is mealtime.  I walked by a lady the other day in Wal-Mart giving a schpeel about these Nutri-Pal bars.  She was advertising them as “If they don’t like what you made them, just give them this and you don’t have to worry about nutrition.”  I don’t know much about these bars, other than they’re chocolate bars, packed with vitamins and minerals.  If it works for that mom, more power to her.  (I can barely figure out my kids, let alone others’ 🙂  But I, personally, don’t want my kids to have that much of a say.  They can learn to eat what I’ve made…and be thankful for it!  I’m just going to have to do some hard-core training…So, Thurs. night, I make black bean soup.  They typically love it, but that night, threw riots.  Fri. lunch, I make the leftovers into rice and beans.  This is a favorite meal for them.  I do it Brazilian style, and we eat it a few times a week.  Neither would touch it.  So, I put it in the fridge and got it out for their snack.  (I’m not usually this hard-core, but I’m going to fight this ingratitude head on, right?)  Well…Miles wouldn’t touch it still.  Jack did, and then got raspberries.   Now, today I see why.  They’ve both had diarrhea and have tried to make it to the potty, but aren’t always successful, so I’ve been cleaning up black beans all morning…That’s what I get for trying to teach gratitude. Maybe there’s a children’s book I can get on the subject…
       On a much, much sweeter note.  Thursday at lunch, Miles said he had a special treat for me when I finished my plate.  After lunch, he got out his backpack and brought me his snack from preschool he’d saved for me.  Frosted animal crackers.  He was so excited to have a snack to give me.  It was so sweet, it was almost painful to eat.  Then Friday, the whole fam picked him up from preschool, and as soon as he got in the car, he was saying “Dad, I brought you a special snack!  Cheerios!  They’re your favorite!  I saved them for you.”  We look at each other, stunned once again by his selfless generosity.  Miles opens his backpack and gets out a baggie full of Apple Jacks.  He said “I only ate a few so you could have them.”  Right then, I thought of the verse “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Miles continues to teach us what this looks like.  And again, we painfully ate them, as tears welled up in my eyes thinking of my son saving his snack so he could have something to share with his family.

The devil doesn’t care how religious
we are as long as we live for ourselves, remain consciously wrapped up
in ourselves, try to feel good about ourselves, and cover up the
nakedness of empty, meaningless lives through a spiritual charade. 
–Don Matzat, “Christ Esteem”

Our kids have been into David and Goliath for awhile now.  So, I’m getting very familiar with the story.  The other day at the library, they found a video on it from “The Beginner’s Bible.”  I’m usually leery of Bible story videos, but this one was well done, and they’ve watched it many times.  Those Old Testament stories are fascinating to me.  I lose sight of the power and might of this God we serve…until I read those stories, and remember my God did that!  There were times in my life where I’d be the first one in line to face that giant because of what I’d seen what God could do.  Now, I find myself singing the song “My Savior, He can move the mountains.  My God is Mighty to save….”  And yet, like David’s brothers, cowering at the thought of God using me to do something great because it’s just much more comfortable in our little neighborhood. 
Suburbia.  A friend had used that term a few years ago, and I thought it was funny, thinking I so cannot relate.  Well, it’s now very much a reality.  It’s something we often talk about and pray against.  There’s something so subtle and deceiving about it all.  I’ve been proud that my kid is 1 of 2 (out of 16) who don’t have brand new gym shoes
for him to wear once a week for 20 minutes!  And I’ve grown content with these navy blue towels that we got for our wedding 6 1/2 yrs. ago when really beige would go better with our decor now.  But ask me to step out and face a giant!  That’s another story…
I’m not saying it’s bad to live in a nice house or neighborhood or have towels that match…or new gym shoes  It’s just that my
kids can cry if their pretzels are broken, and that bothers me.  There have been times this week I’ll say it’s
time for dinner, and they cry because they don’t want whatever I made.  And that bugs me.  I want my kids to learn gratitude, even when they
don’t have it all, because they have more than most people!  And maybe I don’t want them to have more than most people.  I don’t know. 
I don’t really know how to end this.  These are just some honest thoughts, not to look down on anyone at all.  Just to say I want to live by faith, not security.  And right now, I don’t know that I do.  I don’t know what that looks like, but I want to be so close to my God like David that a giant would be nothing to face.

Oops…can’t forgot pics.
Spikes the other night, our beach volley tournament for the college students.  The kids and I went for awhile, and they got to play at “the beach with no water.”
andy block
jack at spikesmiles at spikes
Miles and Jack have been little buddies these days.  Jack bit Miles the other day, but then Miles pleaded that Jack wouldn’t get a spanking, “only a time out.”  It’s been cool to see their friendship and loyalty grow.
jack and milesmiles and jack
–My favorite Jack quote of the week.  They were talking on fake phones.  I overhear Jack saying “Hello, stranger.  Could you give me some of your candy, please?” 
–Favorite Miles quote of the week:  Andy and I were talking about when I was pregnant and had no appetite for coffee.  Miles was listening in apparently, and a few hours later that afternoon, he brought me an apple.  I asked what’s this for?  Miles said “I brought you an apple so you can have your apple-tite back.”  Hahahaha 🙂