Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too Much to be Thankful For?

This time of year gets everyone in the mood to list their blessings, naming them one by one. I find myself in that place, too. Sure, I have my share of struggles, heartaches, and frustrations...just like everyone else. However, I am living a very blessed life. God has given Brad and I four little boys who are healthy, happy (mostly), growing, loving, and very busy. Our home is full of laughter, tears, chasing, hide-n-seek, tickling until you get that deep belly laugh, hugs that warm your heart, and a faith that is growing. We are blessed to be in a home that is more than adequate - elaborate by global standards. Our neighborhood is safe, our friends are caring, our family is supportive, we have access to great medical care, running water, vehicles that are safe and reliable (although aging and high mileage), educational opportunities abound, our shelves are bursting with books to help us grow in knowledge and understanding of God, we have several copies of The Bible, our closets and drawers burst with clothes to keep us warm, the refrigerator is never empty, and our bellies are always full. Sometimes I find myself wondering if we have too much to be thankful...you know, truly thankful.

Don't misunderstand, I think we are all appreciative. My kids know that not everyone has a room full of toys and a nice warm bed to cozy up in each night - and they sometimes appreciate their belongings and one another. Brad and I fully recognize that we are blessed to be living this life - while it's often stressful, we have it easy! Somewhere, there is a mother who is uncertain if her young children will have food or clean water...and she is thankful when it comes. Somewhere, there is an elderly man who waits for a friendly visitor to come sit and talk for a while...he is so thankful for friendship when someone makes time to listen to him. Somewhere there is a family who loves one another deeply, but will be split up because they don't have a home that is safe...these folks are thankful for an opportunity to be together for a holiday or any day, for that matter. Somewhere, there is a little girl who waits in an orphanage or foster home praying that her "forever" family will come soon...she is thankful for a mommy and daddy when they arrive.

So, this year I am going to try to remind myself and teach my children to be really thankful for all that we have and what we don't have - and more importantly, to be generous enough to share the blessings. We are living a good life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Several weeks ago, I was "tagged" by my sweet friend, Sarah, over at http://www.arewethereyetla5.blogspot.com/. I have been putting it off for too long...mostly because while my life is very busy - it's not too exciting! :) The "tag" asks you to list seven random/odd things about yourself.

1. I have a "thing" about toilet paper. It must be put on the dispenser with the tissue coming over the top. The tissue hanging from the bottom annoys me.

2. Sometimes I watch "The Biggest Loser" while eating a bowl of ice cream. Does this make me the biggest LOSER? :)

3. Although I feel like our family is complete with four children, I am so drawn to adoption. I feel like God has been growing my heart and stirring something up in me for many years (since I was a child) regarding orphans. I am praying and I am anxious to see what God will do.

4. I do not like for my "hot" food and "cold" foods to touch. This makes my husband crazy. He simply doesn't understand.

5. I get a little perturbed when strangers say things like, " They are all boys? Oh, bless your heart." They always twist their face up when they say it, as if to show how painful it must be to have all boys. It bothers me that my boys hear people speak about them as if they are wild beasts and less than desireable. ugh.

6. I secretly want to be a photographer.

7. I can NEVER seem to locate my keys. It has always been a bit of an issue with me, but it has certainly gotten worse since the diaper bag has entered my life. When I don't have the kids along, I put my keys in my purse and when I do have the boys along, I put my keys in the diaper bag. You can see why I have a difficult time keeping track of them. Thank God Brad is a patient man. HE has had to bail me out more than once. :)

So, there you have it. Seven not-so-exciting-but-random things about myself. I am supposed to "tag" seven people - but, I am just not up for tagging people I don't personally know. :) I guess that could be considered another random fact about myself.. {grin}.




Thursday, November 13, 2008

Works of Art

I guess it's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Just this afternoon, I overheard Sam telling Luke, "I am sorry. You can't play with my C3PO. It's not a toy, Luke, it's a work of art."

Luke lined up all of the alphabet magnets on the refrigerator while I was cooking dinner tonight. He paid careful attention to his work, lining them up very straight and evenly spaced. After he completed his masterpiece, he threw his arms up in the air and shouted, "TA DA!"

I love that God created parents to be madly in love with their children. I love that Brad and I are the most loyal fans and enthusiastic cheerleaders that our boys will have. I pray that our love gives them a glimpse of the Father's love for them...and trust that they come to His amazing love for themselves.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

Sweet little Matthew at 6 months old. I love the glimpse of his little baby fat rolls.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pastor Jamie comes calling...

We are blessed to be part of a church family that truly values children as members of the Kingdom. The children's ministry is committed to helping us to grow our boys up in faith and love. Sam has several adult "friends" at church who really love him...and make him feel like he is so special. Just a wink from Mr. C.V. or a pat on the back from Miss Jean leaves Sam grinning from ear to ear. It's a given that Brad and I are NUTS about our boys - but, what a sweet thing it is to see someone else loving on your kiddos.
This afternoon, Sam was having his "quiet time" in our room while the little ones napped. He loves to look through books on our bed. :) Our pastor dropped by to give Sam a card. I thought this was sweet, but odd. Sam has never received a card from Pastor Jamie before, after all. :) Our Pastor and his wife were over for dinner last weekend. Apparently, Sam and Jamie had a conversation on the couch. Sam shared that he is concerned that he doesn't know everything about God. Pastor Jamie reassured Sam that he doesn't need to know everything. He told him that Jesus loves him and that is the most important thing to know. His card thanked Sam for sharing his heart with him and reminded him that Jesus loves him very much. I truly believe that our church loves children so dearly because our pastor does. Pastor Jamie models this love and it's contagious. Thank God for this church family!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I often feel like I have nothing to show for my work. You know, the kitchen is cleaned after breakfast only to be dirtied again at lunch time. The laundry is folded and put away, only to have another hamper full to wash again. The toys are picked up, only to have them scattered everywhere again. Some days, it feels like I am not productive at all - accomplishing nothing. So, I was "whining" to the Lord as I was mopping the kitchen this morning...suddenly, I began to think of all of the things I had done in just a few hours today. These numbers began to roll around in my head as God gently reminded me that I am getting things done:

4 little boys had breakfast
2 baby boys were bathed and dressed
3 diapers were changed
1 floor was swept and mopped
1 rug was vacuumed
4 loads of laundry were washed & dried
3 loads of laundry were put away
1 wrestling match with Sam and Luke
452 times I asked Sam to lower his voice while the babies were napping
1 telephone call from a friend
2 doors had sweet little fingerprints removed from them with the help of Windex
1 load of dishes unloaded from the dishwasher
1 yummy cup of coffee was enjoyed by the momma!
350 little boo-boo's were kissed as Caleb & Matthew pull-up on things and then fall down
8 pictures of my sweet boys were taken
1 game of chase and tickle was played with my big boys
7,420 fun stories were told by Sam

....and it's only 10:45 am. {{GRIN}}

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Madness Continues

By God's grace, we are mostly able to handle the day to day chaos that our life brings. I mean, really...four boys ages 5 and under can really stir up a ruckus! :) It's especially challenging now that Caleb and Matthew are crawling at the speed of light around our house. whew! You can always find toys on the floor, a stray sippy cup in the living room, some food crumbs on the table from lunch, and some laundry just begging to be put away - but, we manage. Balancing the busy life of raising boys, Brad working like mad to make his way through a PhD program with integrity, and one tired momma with a watchful eye on our home life(and our food supply) & homeschooling - it's a delicate balance to say the least. One unplanned event or unforeseen circumstance can cause us to cry, "UNCLE!" Read on for details... :)
Brad took the "big boys" (Sam, 5 and Luke, 2) to the park for some play time after dinner. I got busy cleaning the kitchen and readying the little guys (Caleb & Matthew, 9 months) for bedtime. Sam and Luke burst through the door with big stories of going down slides and learning to "pump" their legs on the swings. Brad shared a story of pushing Sam on the swing and not getting out of the way quickly enough while "faking Sam out" and standing in the path of his swing. Brad reached his hand out to stop the swing from hitting him and hurt his little finger on his left hand. He thought it was jammed. It looked awful - red and swollen -and hurt pretty badly. The next morning, he went to our local doc for an x-ray. He didn't see a break - but, wanted to send it on to a radiologist for a second look. In the meantime, Brad was to wear a splint on the injured finger. The babies thought it looked like a great teething toy! They were constantly trying to eat it. Fast forward nearly 3 weeks and the finger doesn't seem to be better. Brad was referred to an orthopaedist for an evaluation. This surgeon took one look at the x-ray and saw a break. ugh. Brad was to have surgery the following morning at 8:30 am.
We rustled up some babysitters for our kids. Thank God for our dear friends, Tricia and Mary, who each took two of our kiddos for the morning. Brad seems to be mending well and will follow up with the doc in two weeks to have the wires removed. OUCH. Poor guy. In the meantime, he is on the "disabled list" - no diaper changes, no lifting the boys, no washing dishes (as if {{grin}}), and no bathing the little ones, either. It's a challenge!
Thank goodness my parents were concerned enough for our well-being to come visit us over the weekend. :) What a blessing!