Monday, February 22, 2010


Our foster son (my cousin Seth) eats supper with us most evenings (he's not taking classes this semester so no meal plan...we took pity the second we heard his plan for eating was PB&J and EasyMac!!!). He loves to play with the kids and he loves to razz Anna. Reminds me SO MUCH of my dad--always teasing and pestering. And Anna, JUST LIKE me, always takes the bait and hollers! :) But, Anna loves him anyway.
Yesterday afternoon, Seth was playing with the kids in their bedroom. Anna was hootin' and hollerin' about who-knows-what, running in and out of the bedroom. She kept telling Seth she was going to take a nap and Seth kept telling her that she wasn't. Just to show him, she went and got her little satin sleep mask. Next thing I know, she runs from the bathroom to her bedroom door with that mask in her hands like a sling-shot and yells (while in a battle stance):
THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we all roared with laughter. This girl...I just love her!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ear Cleaning Time

My kids have always hated having their ears cleaned. Jacob hates having his ears even TOUCHED. So this is how I get them to be still and let me clean their ears...

It works! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lessons Learned

I have other things (lots of them!) I should be doing, but I wanted to get down my thoughts on the marriage retreat before I forget (not that I'll forget them, just that I'll forget to write about it!!).

I really feel like it's so important to get away now and then, just the two of us. Away from the house, the kids, the responsibilities that get in the way of seeing your spouse, and just focus on your relationship. Not that you can't do that every day, but it's certainly a lot easier to do so when all those other things aren't in the way. And you certainly don't have to have a marriage in crisis to go to a marriage conference/retreat! There's always something you can learn (or re-learn!).

Aaron took off work early and we arrived almost 2 hours before supper. Should have taken a nap but MAN Law & Order (the original with Jerry Orbach) was on!!! That's what happens when you don't have cable at home! ha
After a delicious prime rib buffet, we hit session #1. He was nice...this time around! Not so for the next day:) He talked about the 5 Purposes of Marriage. We have to make the decision to either drift in our marriage or the align with God's design for marriage. Will we do what comes easiest (avoid rifts and stuff feelings)? It certainly isn't the easiest thing--having a good marriage the way God intended it to work! He said something very interesting (the first purpose of marriage is Partnership)--self-centered autonomy has been the besetting sin since the beginning of time...we work against God's plan when we're selfish! Why did Eve eat the forbidden fruit? Because she was being selfish! Why did Sarah give her maid to Abraham? She was being selfish! Why did Jonah run away from Ninevah? He was being selfish! Why did Peter deny Jesus? He was being selfish! You get the point. A partnership implies more than one person. I can't have a working partnership if it's all about ME.
The second purpose of marriage is Protection. The speaker used I Corinthians 7:1-8; 23-28 (an interesting passage!). Anyway his point here was that the husband is to protect the wife's holiness & honor as a wife is to protect the husband's.
The next two points didn't require many notes--Procreation and Pleasure ;)
The 5th point was Problems, Pressures & Pain. Each one of us arrives in marriage & walks down the isle with a suitcase--baggage. It's pride versus humility; the world versus Christ. The unity candle is so symbolic, but I think that gets lost in translation. I became one with Aaron in every way that day almost 8 years ago. I guess I should say I should have become one with Aaron in every way that day. I should have left my selfishness at the altar with that unity candle. I should have left my pride. He left us with this question: What annoys me the easiest in my marriage? What does that say about ME? I get too busy pointing out all the selfishness and annoying traits in Aaron and forget about all the selfishness and annoying traits (what?? not me!) I possess !! The whole "speck in your brother's eye and plank in your eye" concept.

Day 2, he hit us HARD! He gave a great message to the husbands about being leaders. Then he gave a painful message to the wives about submitting. Submission has become a dirty word today. Thanks to the feminist movement, Biblical submission has been maligned and misinterpreted. Biblical submission (like that referenced in Ephesians 5) is an earthly demonstration of the beauty of God's agape love to the church (which is, after all, the model for marriage--Christ & the Church). Agape love loves no matter how unlovely, undesirable--love shown to the loveless so that they become lovely (that's a loose quote from someone he said...can't remember who!). Submission isn't a dumb decision, it isn't a menial, demeaning position--it's an intelligent choice, a God-honoring position! In verse 24 of Ephesians 5, the key phrase is as unto the LORD. I don't submit to Aaron because I want to get something in return. I don't submit to him because he's the perfect person and is always loving to me. He doesn't "beat" me into submission. I submit to Aaron because 1)God tells me to do so; 2)it's a way to submit to Christ, through Aaron; 3)it honors God and my husband. I've found that it's very hard to explain this whole concept to a non-believer. You have to see submission through the eyes of Christ and His love for us. One thing the speaker said was to stop listing what Aaron hasn't done for me and start listing what Christ has done for me! A very interesting point he made was that Satan can't touch Christ, so he tries to get at the earthly replication of that Trinity relationship--Satan is completely invested in destroying the church. What better way to destroy the church than to go after marriages--the very replication of Christ's relationship with the Church! When I refuse to submit to Aaron (in big AND little things), I'm giving Satan a foothold in my marriage! How scary is that?!?

Aaron & I talked about submission after the first session Friday night (before it was addressed). We both said that the greatest examples of submission we both saw growing up were our grandmothers. Not that our mothers weren't submissive to our fathers, but the generational difference had a big impact on how that played out. And I also think every generation can say the same thing--our grandparents probably saw more of it in their grandparents' relationship than their parents, etc. Our parents grew up in the 60s and 70s--big feminist movement. Where as our grandparents were young married's in the 40s and 50s--the "Leave it to Beaver" era. I don't recall Grandma Mary ever disagreeing/arguing with Grandpa in front of us. And on the other side of things, I saw Grandpa do things all the time to help Grandma out--clearing off the table, helping put away food/dishes, fixing things around the house, building things for her. She was the epitome of a servant leader and he was a great example of Christ's love. (obviously they aren't perfect, but I saw some great examples of a Godly marriage in them and my parents. Praise God for that!)
knew I was going to get hit over the head with submission this weekend. I struggle with it! I mean, S T R U G G L E!!! And what really hits me is when I see the same behaviors mirrored in my 4 year old. *breaks my heart* I want Anna to see her daddy as a man strong enough and brave enough and smart enough to conquer anything! Which he IS! Nothing like seeing our ugly, sinful ways slap us in the face when our children mimic them! If Aaron is supposed to be the leader of our family, he can only do so if I submit to him and allow him to lead! He can't lead if I question every decision he makes or if I don't even give him the chance to lead. He can't learn to be our spiritual leader if I don't allow him to do so. He can't learn to be our financial leader if I don't allow him to do so. Etc. etc. etc! Servant leadership isn't popular with the world. Saying that I want to rearrange MY schedule with Aaron's needs forefront in my mind is looked at as so backward. But seriously? That's the only way we're both going to be happy because that's the way GOD designed it!!
I'll leave with this: Love is the state of will we have naturally for ourselves, but learn supernaturally to have for others.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Catching Up

We're still alive, just busy. With what...I'm not sure! Life with little ones, I guess. And so, while said little ones empty the toy box and lick the Ranch bottle, I'll catch up on blogging! ha

Valentine's weekend found my love and I at a marriage retreat. It was great...great learning, great fellowship, great night away from life! Grace Bible Church puts this on every year and invites our church. This is the second time we've gone. There were quite a few couples from our church this year. We had a prime rib buffet again Friday night. I was lucky enough to be next in line when they brought another roast out, so I got a well done piece! It was so delicious. I never know if it's the food that makes it so good, or the fact that I actually get to eat a hot meal...not a cold one after I've gotten up to get something for the kids 29 times! :) I have lots to share from the weekend, but that will have to wait...better move on before the kids decide to empty something else!

Speaking of the kids...
Good grief. That's all I've got to say about this picture!!

While we were at the retreat, Papa & Binga came down Friday to keep the kids (THANK YOU!!!!). They even kept Hudson, too...on his first night away from Mommy! He did great. Jamie & Cassie came Saturday & spent the night, too.

Hudson & Jacob "blowing" bubbles. I think they probably ended up with more in their mouths than not...

Poor kid...his feet are flat as pancakes just like his Mama's.

Jacob & Hudson would stand at the curtain and one of us would say "On your marks, get set...GO!" and off they would run. Every time, into my bedroom to the closet mirror doors. And then back out they would gallop, grinning.

I gave him another haircut the other night. He hated it this time. I just buzzed it mostly. He didn't like it to begin with, then he started rubbing his face with his arm (covered in hair because he refuses to leave a cape or towel on). Which meant he got hair in his mouth. But he wouldn't quit doing it! So it's not a perfect haircut, but it'll last a while! :)

Hudson giving us a show:)

Papa started it! Jacob loves being thrown up in the air!!

When Hudson wanted a turn, I told Papa "be careful you don't throw him through the ceiling!" Hudson is probably at least 10 pounds lighter than Jacob.

I think Anna & Jacob weigh pretty much the same, but Anna is so much longer--that makes it hard to throw her up very high!

Aunt Cara came to visit Saturday and Jacob would NOT let her out of his sight! The second he saw her, he ran over and wanted up. When she went to put her jacket on to leave, Jacob ran right over and wanted up. I told him to tell Aunt Cara bye bye and he looked right at me and waved and said "Bye bye!" then started blowing every BUT Cara kisses! :) Then when Binga left and wouldn't take'd have thought the poor kid was an orphan the way he looked. So sad. So today there was no school and we're on a bit of company let-down!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jacob & Pingu

This boy has "Meet Pingu" MEMORIZED. Nevermind it's in SWEDISH! I think the reason we don't think this kid isn't talking is because he's speaking a different language! First it was Spanish with his Dora craze. Now it's Swedish with Pingu! ;)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Moving Video

A very moving tribute to soldiers by Oliver North. It's about 5 minutes long and worth every second of watching. Thank you seems an insufficient word to say to our soldiers...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beauty All Around Us

We got freezing fog again last night/this morning. A timely reminder from a friend yesterday about taking time to see God's beauty and having an attitude of prayer prompted me to grab my camera and drive to the lake. It was a bit chilly, so almost all of these were snapped from inside the van! :) What a glorious creation God has given us.
*there are tons of pictures because I couldn't narrow it down!*

Yeah, we still have geese and ducks! Every year, more and more stay behind. I guess they're adjusting to the cold temps.

Panoramic view of the beautiful lake.

This guy was just taking a little stroll down the street!

I've always liked this tree--how it grows out over the water.

"Snow" much fun!

Anna wrote this "story" all on her own! She did such a great job!!!

We got a lot of snow the end of last week. It was actually not freezing cold out Monday afternoon, so the kids had a blast playing. Well, Jacob had a blast eating! :)

MOM! Look at this hoooge snowball!!!

He found a little pan in the snow and decided it was perfect for eating snow!

I've fallen and I can't get up!!! :)

We Couldn't Avoid It Forever

Well, I'm impressed we made it to February with no one catching the stomach bug! But Monday night ended our reign :( I'd have been okay without that!
Poor Jacob was the victim. I felt a little off all day, but passed it off as nothing. After baths, I was putting clothes away in my room. Jacob hadn't really eaten all day--no lunch or supper, just crackers or fruit in between. He didn't have a fever or anything other "symptoms" so I just figured those snacks were too close to meal times. WRONG! He came into my room and kinda whined and held up his arms. So I picked him up and asked if he was ready for bed. He looked at me, coughed/gagged a tiny bit...there was that split second of time when a mother knows what's coming. I didn't react fast enough. I denied that instinct and thought he was just coughing a bit. Nope! Out came a tiny bit. Luckily we were right next to the bathroom (as if any room in this house is that far from the bathroom!). I ran in there with him and stood him over the toilet. This 2 1/2 year old was a champ at hitting the toilet! (not sure if that's something to be proud of???). Anna has always resisted leaning over anything (toilet or bowl) when she's sick. Which equals pretty big messes! He did it perfectly and anticipated the coming waves. (Which was a huge blessing seeing as how our washing machine is out of commission until Papa comes and fixes it!) Anna came in the bathroom and stood at the door. With an odd look on her face, she said "Jacob is sick! I don't want his germs..." I told her it was okay to leave. I did ask her to bring me a washrag, which she did very quickly! She is the sweetest thing. After I got us cleaned up (thankfully it was just us and not the carpet), I called Aaron to come home (naturally it was his call night!) so he could put Anna to bed. So Jacob & I got situated in the recliner with towels, rags, and a bowl and watched Dora. He got sick again :( After I cleaned that up (the bowl) he stayed awake for quite a while but finally drifted off. I laid him on the couch where he slept for a good hour. Then he woke up and threw up again. This time there was nothing there and he did not like that at all. I was so surprised with him the whole time. He would reach for the bowl before he threw up. Aaron brought home some Sprite for us. At 3am after the last time he threw up, he was thirsty. And I mean THIRSTY. This kid has always been a drinker. He goes through more juice in a day than Anna could in a week! He's just always seemed thirsty. So when I only let him have 2 sips, he was not a happy camper! How on earth do you explain to a 2 year old that he can't drink as much as he wants?? I fought him for 30 min. over it. I finally decided to forget it and let him drink. He actually kept it down for several hours. After this, we moved to my bedroom. I got everything all ready in there and turned on Dora. This kid. He's sicker than a dog and he lays there after I turned it off and does a perfect Swiper impression! "Ohhh man!" Too cute. He slept for another hour or two, then threw up all the Sprite. After that he slept until 7:30, when he woke up as if he hadn't been up half the night puking!! He didn't want breakfast but I did give him some Sprite. He drank that all morning and never got sick, so by lunch he was ready to eat. Chicken noodle soup stayed down! He took a really long nap (as in 4 hrs). I went to bed as soon as Aaron got home...there's a reason you go to college when you're young! Man!!! It's going to take me a week to recover from last night. Thankfully I don't feel icky any more, just bone tired. It took Jacob a bit to go to sleep tonight, but he is back to his normal self. I'm praying Anna doesn't catch it. Of the two kids, Jacob has turned out to be a champion sick kid (if there is such a thing!). Anna hates being sick and throwing up (Papa, you just had to hand that down to her, didn't you?!). The only time Jacob cried was when I wouldn't let him drink as much as he wanted (and then it was wailing and gnashing of teeth!) and when he was dry heaving. The other times, he never cried.
So, I need to get some sleep! This Mama can't take these all-nighters!! (it's why God gave me children who like to sleep!)