Monday, December 29, 2008

Brotherly Love

So, just a few days after I posted about Luke's intensely "physical" love language...he proves me wrong. :) Brad's mom (NeeNee Linda to my boys) was here from Indiana visiting with us over Christmas. She showered the boys with gifts, washed the dishes after nearly every meal, and provided some one-on-one attention for each little boy. What a blessing! Brad and Sam took Linda home on Saturday, spending the night with her before returning home on Sunday. I don't like for us to be separated from one creates an uneasiness in me that I can't really explain. I am not fearful, fretful, or any other "fuls" - just feels strange and unnatural to me. Apparently, Luke feels the same way. :) The little boys had gone to bed right on time, and it was sweet to have only Luke to prepare for bed. We snuggled and drank chocolate milk together, read a few extra books, and prayed together. I tucked him in and he began to sob...saying sadly, "Sammy.....Sammy.....Sammy." He and Sam have shared a room for some time, and Luke has grown accustomed to Sam's presence at bedtime. Poor little guy was heartbroken without his big brother. I reassured him, whispered comforting words to him, prayed with him again....the sobs continued. I asked him if he'd like to talk to Sam on the telephone...tears stopped and a huge grin took over his tear-stained cheeks. Sam was so kind to Luke , saying..."It's okay, Luke. I am only here for a visit. I am coming home tomorrow. Don't be sad, Luke. I am coming home." So sweet to see my Sam comforting his little brother...and sweet to see the special relationship that these two share. God has knitted their hearts together - and I pray they remain friends for a lifetime.
Fast forward a few days to tonight (Monday)...Sam had fallen asleep on the couch after dinner. Luke was watching a little television with Brad and I (he was THRILLED to choose the dvd without Sam's input) when he noticed that Sam was snoozing. As he approached his big brother, I was fully prepared to reprimand him for trying to wake Sam. Imagine how I felt as I watched him carefully lean over and place a gentle kiss on Sam's head. AWWW! He did this several times before Sam stirred a little...and then Luke grinned and said, "Oh, Hi Sam!" What a blessing for this momma's heart! These sweet memories will come in handy tomorrow when they are arguing over a toy, having trouble keeping their hands to themselves, or saying hurtful words to one another. :) For tonight, I am just thanking God for giving them the gift of brotherly love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love Hurts

Couldn't think of a more fitting title for this post about my Luke's love. :) Luke is an incredibly physical little guy. He loves to jump, leap, skip, run, hop, wiggle, spin, and HUG. Brad and I often joke that after a "big hug" from Luke your spine is adjusted - no need to see your chiropractor! He squeezes your neck tightly, squints his eyes until they become little slits, and makes a sweet little sound of satisfaction. It is perhaps the purest, sweetest, love from a two-year-old boy.

I traveled to Indiana to attend a baby shower for a dear friend yesterday. What a joy to celebrate with my friend and the new little baby girl she is waiting to meet. I loved visiting with my girlfriends. Years of walking alongside one another through many seasons of life make these friends like a well-loved pair of slippers...a perfect fit and very comforting. :)

It was a long drive. I left my home before my boys were awake (my big boy, too), and returned home long after they had fallen asleep. I had missed them...and couldn't wait to see them this morning. Sam was up early - we chatted and snuggled in our bed this morning when he came to wake us. Caleb and Matthew were up next - eager to give some smiles and let me smooch them before breakfast. Luke slept in a little later than usual...and when he did wake, my mother-in-law went in to get him from his crib. When he saw me in the kitchen, he came running into my arms at full speed and gave me a hug "so big" that it hurt - in the most wonderful way. :) Luke's love hurts - and I am grateful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can This Be Happening?

Sam just informed me that we need a "Chia Pet" in our family. He would like to have one for Christmas. I asked where he had seen one of these pets. He told me that he had seen a commercial advertising these lovely creatures while watching 3-2-1- Penquins last Saturday morning. MAN! I thought that possibly this one program on network television would not be a bad influence! My son just asked for a CHIA PET!! He shared all of the wonderful features and options - "They even have Scooby Doo and Garfield." - "Every family should have one, Mom." Oh. My. Goodness.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're Getting There...'s been a rough couple of weeks. The boys have been sick. Noses have been wiped, tears have been dried, babies have been rocked, nights have been sleepless, medications have been dispensed, the doctor has been called...and I think we're beginning to see signs of life in our home again!
A visit with our pediatrician confirmed my suspicions...Luke, Caleb, and Matthew all have one infected ear and a sinus infection. Ugh. Poor little guys. After the preparation and actual visit to the doc - I was exhausted too. I had no idea how much "cold weather" would affect my "preparing for departure" time. :) Packing the diaper bag with necessary supplies, shoes for 4, getting 4 coats/hats/mittens on, starting the van so it can be toasty when we get in, and then loading the 4 little men into the "momma mobile" - it takes a long time! The boys were wonderfully behaved - perfect little gentlemen. Sam shook the doc's hand and introduced himself and his little brothers. What a riot!
So, we are at home...recovering from our first illness in a looonnnggg time. Thank God we've been healthy for nearly a year. This is the twins first visit for an illness. We're blessed.
We're slowly but surely getting ready to celebrate Christmas. As the fog of illness lifts, we are doing more and more to welcome baby Jesus. Sam and I baked cookies today, I have done a little bit of shopping, food has been purchased for the feast, and the tree is finally up with lights - but, no ornaments yet. We're getting there...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Sweet Sam

It's been a day...actually, the past few days have been tough ones. We travelled to Indiana for Thanksgiving with our extended families - and returned home on Monday. We were all out of sorts, babies sleeping schedule was WAY off, Sam & Luke were tired, Brad was exhausted and facing the end of the semester stuff at school, and everyone was getting a cold. In addition to all of that, I have spent the last three days trying to unpack bags and wash the mountain of laundry. ugh.

I'll be honest and admit that I have not been in a "good" place emotionally or spiritually. I struggled to get my regular quiet time with God while we were away, didn't have access to my praise music to keep my eyes on Jesus, and it was stressful. Returning home to the "hectic" schedule that Brad has this time of year only made it worse. He is wrapping up the classes he teaches (grading papers, final exams, etc...), finishing up a major paper for one of the PhD classes he is taking, and then preparing for an intensive week-long class he will take next week. AGH!!! He has been leaving early, coming home for a few hours at dinner time, and then heading back to the library after the littlest boys are in bed at 7:00 pm. I miss him. Double ugh.

So, I have been struggling to find joy in my work these past few days and I have certainly not been "working as unto the Lord" - more like complaining and griping about every little chore I do. This is not typical of me - and my kids have noticed. Sam asked me why I was grumpy. Luke offered me one of his cookies. :) Such sweet jestures from my little men.

A few months ago, a sweet friend gave me a children's devotional book called, "Step Into The Bible" by Anne Graham. Sam, Luke, and I have been reading it together each night and loving it! It's a short, age-appropriate story from Scripture, a few discussion questions, and a new memory verse each seven days. Tonight, we read about Samuel. My sweet Sam listened intently as I read about Hannah's prayer for a son, God's faithfulness in giving her Samuel, Hannah keeping her promise and giving Samuel back to God, and then God calling Samuel. After we talked briefly about the questions, I prayed. After I finished, Sam covered his face with his hands and said, "God, I thank you Lord....and for praise to you. Help me put all that I learn down in my heart. Amen." Oh, how my weary heart was blessed beyond measure at the sincere prayer of my oldest son - so very wise at the tender age of five. He got a little emotional, which of course brought me to tears! I thanked him for sharing such a sweet prayer, told him that God loved him so much, and shared that his daddy and I were praying that he would someday answer God's calling just like the Samuel in the Bible. Oh, what a blessed day that will be!