Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lessons

Does it amaze anyone else how, what and whom God uses to teach us lessons?  Have you ever heard someone, perhaps someone who tends to frustrate you, speak a word directly from God to your heart?  Have you ever been called out in a sermon or simply a discussion with a group of friends?  I don't mean like some one used your name as an example of what not to do.  I mean the pastor is preaching a message on something and you are sure beyond sure that the pastor has your phone tapped?

Glad to know I'm the only one.  There are times that if I didn't know my pastor was such a busy man, I would be convinced he spent days crafting a message just for me.  Sometimes I feel guilty that others have to sit through messages that I know are intended just for me, surely no one else has this issue.

The truth is, God is incredibly creative about how he sends us these little lessons.  Sometimes it is the obvious message of a pastor.  Sometimes it's an encouraging text from your husband.  Sometimes it's a facebook post made by a friend.  And sometimes it is from your kids. 

Many, many, many times I have heard myself speaking to my children and have heard God echoing in my ear. 
"If you would have listened to me..."
"How many times do I have to tell you...."
"You didn't trust/believe me did you?"
"I don't enjoy punishing you, but you don't seem to learn when I tell you nicely."

I could go on, but really there is no need.  If God wants you to get a message, He can find a way, or several, to get it to you.  You just have to be willing to listen, watch, wait and pray.

I am often reminded of one of my favorite scenes in the movie "Bruce Almighty".  Bruce is driving down a highway begging God for a sign.  All along the road are huge signs, flashing signs, billboards saying "Stop" but all the while Bruce speeds on toward destruction begging for the signs he had already been given.

Do we live our life that way?  Do we speed along, going to fast to see the clues God has given us to guide our lives? 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Goodnight!

I'm sitting here thinking "I should go to bed."  The problem with that is that the process of going to bed isn't as simple as it once was.  Remember the days when you just went to bed?  Now it's a whole procedure.  As I write I have one darling baby sleeping, one adorable hubby "napping" in the chair and 5 kids quietly watching TV.  It's quiet.  Calm.  Relaxing.  As soon as I sound the "bedtime" bellow, I will surely be forced to endure the whining, crying, running, jumping and general noise making that goes with the news that it is, in fact, bedtime. 

But along with the chaos of the bedtime routine comes the blessing that goes with it.  My husband reads the bible to my kids each night.  They all, down to the 4 year old, want to have a bible open to follow along.  Recently my 10 and 11 year olds  have wanted to read aloud some of our bible.  As a homeschooling mom, it's a double pleasure to listen to your kids read the bible aloud.  First to hear the child reading the word of God and secondly knowing that you are largely responsible for that ability.  For one of my children, the ability and willingness to read aloud is very much a new trait.

It also very much blesses my heart to hear what each of them picks up from our reading.  My 5 year old hears "weeping and gnashing of teeth" each time that it is read.  It never gets by her!  She picks up the oddest things.  Last night she caught the word "human" and wanted to know what that means.  I'm very amazed by what my 4 year old hears and catches.  She is the one who you would really not think is ever listening, yet she never misses a thing nor does she ever forget a thing.  The kids are able to recall what they've heard at church or elsewhere that goes with what we are discussing that night.  They recall songs that are related to the reading for the night.  It definitely amazes me nightly.  I am blessed to have a husband who has made this a priority in our life, as I never would have.

After bible is prayer time.  Each kid gets a night to sit on Daddy's lap and choose the order as to who will pray when.  They enjoy creating new patterns and having the power to decide.  It often amazes me what they think of to pray each night.  Some get stuck in the same rut, but when encouraged, they can all think of new things to add.

Then come the hugs and kisses.  Two hugs from each kid, one on each side (as Grandpa taught them when they were little).  Never is life so good as when you have a line of children coming to give you hugs and kisses. 

We do a lot of things wrong.  There are a lot of things we want to do that we don't.  But really, it is not about doing it all perfectly, or doing what that "Other" family does.  It is about striving daily to bring your kids closer to God and closer to one another as a family.  It is about valuing these moments and cherishing these memories before you regret letting it just go by.

Okay, bring on the herd, it's bedtime!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Too Much to Do

I have a lot to do today. My living room looks like the rest of my house exploded in it. The problem is, so does every other room in my house. I desperately need to clean. So I'm blogging instead. Today's topic: My new baby.

Many of you who read this are friends who have been following the details of my baby's growth (or lack thereof) so you probably don't need to read this. The rest of you, well, you probably don't need to read it either. I'm mostly blogging now before I forget the details so it is preserved for later, when I need to recall it, for scrapbooking and such.

I gave birth in March to a beautiful baby boy. 8 lbs 13 oz (and no, he's not even close to my biggest). He was 23 inches long with big chubby cheeks. Admittedly, they did give me IV fluids which increased his birthweight, so he would have been closer to an 8 pounder.

At birth this baby was gassy and refused to eat. He didn't eat much at all in the hospital. My milk came in while we were still in the hospital, but ornery little squirt wasn't interested. Finally the lactation consultant showed me how to express in a little medicine cup and cup feed my newborn. This helped and after a cup feeding he would nurse a little better. This went on for a couple weeks. At each weekly check in he lost more weight. My doctor was great. She just kept having him brought in, encouraged nursing, but still no dice. Finally at 3 weeks little man was still losing weight. He was down to 7lb 4oz. The doctor said I needed to start adding formula, 2 oz each feeding. I nearly cried.

Sounds silly to be so upset by this, but I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't gain. He was finally eating well. He should have been gaining. After 4 days on formula we were up 3 oz. The doctor sighed contentedly at his one month, sure we had it all going up. At his 2 month recheck, we all were in for a shock as he was now down, again. Poor baby was a whopping 7 lbs even.

Time to restart the formula (we had weened off feeling sure he was doing better). after a week on extra formula, down another ounce. He was down to a low of 6 lbs 15 oz. Panic starts to set in as we move to premie - calorie formula. After 4 days we were up 5 ounces. RELIEF. Ten days after that, up another 4 ounces. Now we are back to 10-14 day rechecks. My over 8 pound baby at birth is now 2 1/2 months and is all of 7 lbs 8oz.

Oh, yeah, and my little guy has one big hernia. Yup, nice big fat bulge in the diaper area, discovered at his 1 month check. The surgeon and the pediatrician are uncomfortable doing surgery on, what we term as "the incredible shrinking baby" (yes, it sounds mean, but it helps deal with the stress a little). So we are now waiting for 4 months in hopes that he will gain and be at least 9 pounds by then.

Until then, we are nursing, pumping, giving formula and as often as possible mixing formula with breast milk. And praying. We are praying a lot. We have a lot of friends praying. But I have faith. He will grow. God gave my husband this little boy's name, and the verse for him.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Holiday World 2011!

Holiday World 2011!

Baby # 6

Baby # 6
Welcome to the world and welcome to our crazy family!

Fort Benning

Fort Benning
We finally made it to Georgia!!!

Just a day at the park!

Just a day at the park!

My Hero!

My Hero!
I don't do dead things. Fortunately for me, God gave me boys!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!
Daddy and Grandma make Jammies every year for the kids, They love it!

Christmas in PJs

Christmas in PJs
Don't I just have the cutest kids?

2010 Jammies

2010 Jammies
Once again Daddy pulled it off. They look cute!

Round 2 birthday parties

Round 2 birthday parties
Cake number 1 of 3 done. I am so not an artist, but I think it came out pretty well!

My Girls

My Girls
Borrowed dance clothes, my girls sure look cute.

Couped up

Couped up
More images below showing the children feeling a bit "couped up" from the long winter!

Chickens: Take 2

Chickens: Take 2
Cute chicks!

The robot cake. I am glad my kids' standards aren't as high as mine!

Tree Climbers

Tree Climbers

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!
Hi Daddy! Hope you are having fun at work!

This one is so bad, I had to label the cake so you would know it's not a cow!

Dressed for Church!

Dressed for Church!
Come as your favorite Bible character night!

Too cute for words!

If the boy wasn't so tall, I could get a picture of his face!

Establishing the pecking order!

Babies!