Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Addiction, Cleaning, Job, Kids, Thankfulness, Vacation

1. Two posts in two days! Aren’t I impressive?!

2. My tale of woe for today: Today is the first day that all four kids are off. Ethan’s school district always starts late and ends late. So for a week on each end I’m dealing with wanting to stay up late and having to get up early. SO, today is the first real day of summer vacation. I could SLEEP IN PAST 6:00. No rushing to get anyone out the door. Jim would even put the dog out for me (which I always do since I’m the first one up). Ah, bliss. Only notsomuch. 3am. I wake up because someone went to the bathroom (side note, does deep sleeping ever come back once you are a mom?). 3:01am Laura comes in because she had a bad dream. She’s almost 11. My tolerance for this is getting lower. I rub her back for a few minutes and send her back to bed. Am awake for awhile, but eventually fall asleep. Wake up around 4:30am. Just because. Go back to sleep. Wake up around 5:??am because of the garbage trucks. Shut the window, go back to sleep. 7:20 or so KNOCK, KNOCK. Wake up out of a sound sleep. Laura wants to come in and lay down with me. Any other morning in creation I would have been fine. This morning? NO WAY. I admit to not being the kindest, lovingest mother in my response to Laura. She leaves. I lay there, wide awake, wondering if I should give up or try to fall back asleep. A few minutes later, the door opens and in comes Catie to snuggle. NO! I asked for one day! ONE DAY.

I got up. I told Jim what his daughters had done. He gave me an “awww!” I’m going to renegotiate for another morning.

3. Morale of the story: lock the door and sleep with earplugs. Or don’t even try. Low expectations never disappoint.

4. Changing gears, I have said I want 2012 to be a completely sober year. I’m halfway through and things are looking okay so far. There have certainly been twinges, there have been temptations, there have been moments where the goal was less important, but so far I have chosen obedience and sobriety. It’s been GOOD.

5. A friend of mine and I are doing a Home Reboot with SarahMae. With summer vacation the house generally nosedives. I really, REALLY don’t want that to happen this year. However, I know myself very well and if I don’t have someone to hold me accountable (and this friend is my addiction accountability as well!), I will definitely not follow through. So far I’ve tackled the upstairs bedrooms and am currently working my way though the laundry (changing seasons of linens on 5 beds makes for a lot of blankets!) and the dreaded office.¬†Today I’m determined to clean the stove and oven (which is a 4.5 hour cleaning cycle and makes the house smell) and continuing with the office.

6. Jim has been between contracts now since March. It’s been very challenging around here. Two expected contracts never came to fruition. Not that we are in any marital difficulties, because we aren’t, but I understand why money trouble is the #1 reason for divorce in America.

7. I listed Ethan’s pullups on Freecycle. Two different people came and picked them up. SO WEIRD, but SO AMAZING to not have a drawer full of them. To only keep a few “just in case”, which has not been the case since early May. He hasn’t even had an accident except for one day at school where he told the teacher he had to go, but they were outside on a cane lesson and couldn’t get to a bathroom in time. He’s had no accidents at home at all. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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Posted in God, Money, Thankfulness

Blessing

My calendar is the end-all-be-all for me. If it isn’t on the calendar, it doesn’t get remembered. Period. Apparently I’m not the only one!

Over Christmas we were supposed to have a playdate with “Aunt Judy” and her kids. They were completely sick, so it got rescheduled for today. Only, Judy didn’t write it down. I called yesterday to confirm (smart me!) and she was like Huh? She had too much schoolwork to do. Ok, no big deal, we’ll hang out at home instead. Except not.

Our church received a call from a woman who had lost her job back in December and they needed food. I called last night and got more information and promised–barring an actively vomiting child–that I could come today with food from the food bank. Her response? She cried.

This morning I grocery shopped for our family, got kids fed and showered and just did normal things. This afternoon, however, I got to experience the complete HIGH of being used by God. What a blessing!

1. Wawa for a gas gift card

2. Food pantry to fill up on non-perishables for mom, dad and 3 boys.

3. Community Outreach member’s house for some frozen meat.

4. Gap Family Center for information pamphlets on Lancaster County’s food bank and angel food ministry. She’s actually not served by our outreach, but we are authorized to give out food whenever necessary.

5. To her house, where the kids and I stayed for the better part of two hours.  We brought in the food, talked, hugged, visited, commiserated, etc.

You know how, sometimes when you meet someone, there is just an instant connection? She and I had it. She’s a few years younger than me, has a 9 year old boy, 8 year old boy and a 2 year old boy. My kids had so much fun playing!

When I gave her the gas card, she cried and hugged me again.

While I may panic here and there about money while Jim is out of work, I do know in the back of my mind that we have a 401k that we can access. Yes, there is 20% tax and a 10% penalty to do it, but it’s there. My parents are there if we need them. I don’t WANT to go that route, but it’s there.

On the way home, I called Judy to thank her for forgetting and being too busy to get together. God obviously had WAY more important plans for my day than hanging out!

Posted in Thankfulness

26 Blessings

26 Blessings of December (Thanks to Theresa for the idea!)

A: Autumn, when leaves turn, jackets appear and school starts again
B: Bennett our wonderful son, and Becky my terrific niece and Bethany my niece in law and Books, which make my life happier
C: Catherine our beautiful youngest daughter and Connor, whom I wait impatiently to see again in heaven
D: David our nephew and Daddy, who does such a great job
E: Ethan, our blessing of a son
F: Friendship, which sometimes is what gets me through
G: God, who has never given up on me.
H: Heaven, the place I look forward to seeing both my son and my Savior
I: Interests, which I’m figuring out only now in my 40’s!
J: Jim, the man I married 14 years ago, and Jesus, my Savior
K: Kelly Belly, my sweet niece
L: Laura, my feisty daughter
M: Being a MOM, one of my goals for my life.
N: Nancy, my mother, whom I love to talk with every morning
O: Operations, which have fixed a number of problems in me and my children over the years
P: Piano playing, one of my joys in life
Q: Quilt on my bed given by a friend, quilt under my bed made by my sister
R: Robin, my sister and one of my dearest friends
S: Snow falling (when there’s no school the next day), Showers in the morning, Spring–my favorite season, Spelling Bees where I can be proud of my daughter
T: Tom my nephew, who is 20 this month!
U: Uncle Russ, Uncle Mark and Uncle Lindsay, all of whom my children love. Uncle Russ holds a special place in my heart as the man who married my sister.
V: Violin recitals where I get to be proud of my son
W: Walter, my dad, who played catch with me by the hour
X: X-rays of my children’s feet and elbows that have shown no broken bones!
Y: You, my readers, who have stayed with me
Z: Zoe H., who passes down clothes to my girls

Posted in Thankfulness

Thankful Tuesday

No, I’m not starting a new category, but I wanted to be Thankful today and it happens to be Tuesday.

I’m thankful that I’m definitely getting better. I was able to clean the living room, do dishes and laundry and not die of exhaustion in the process yesterday.

I’m thankful that I’m able to have empathy for my daughter who has this thing. She’s on the couch all day and feeling awful, and I understand.

I’m thankful that Jim is able to stay home and help out when I have to do errands so I don’t have to drag a sick Laura along.

I’m thankful I’m sleeping like a rock and waking refreshed.

I’m thankful that our one box of tissues hasn’t run out even though I haven’t been to the store in over a week.

I’m thankful for the people who have stepped up and offered to drive my MIL around since I can’t go near her.

Posted in Thankfulness

The Internet’s Effect

I’m the first to admit that I’m addicted to the Internet. I can sit down at my computer and hours can literally go by without me noticing. I can watch videos on YouTube, catch up with my mothers of multiples or born in March boards, or my new parent-2-parent board. I often read blogs. Lots of blogs. And many times those blogs will put a link to another blog and I am hooked yet again into another story, another life.

Today one of those blogs was not a happy, funny, story. Melanie Miller, a precious, beautiful 13 year old Mennonite girl from Delaware, died from brain cancer. I found out about her from another blog of a 10 year old triplet boy in my mothers of multiples club who also has cancer. I started reading about Melanie and praying for her and her family. Today I prayed that God would introduce her to Connor.

I don’t pretend to understand why children die. Especially of cancer, which is a cruel, horrid, suffering-laden death. God created a perfect world. We chose sin instead of perfection. It seems the further we get away from that perfect–the more years away–the worse the suffering gets.

As I read another blog tonight, yet another link was offered and I followed it to a woman just returning from a trip to visit her Compassion International child in Uganda. We sponsor a boy in the Philippines. Anyways, her heartache spoke to me. She showed a music video by Sara Groves that made me cry and repent of my dissatisfaction with my STUFF. I struggle so much with being thankful and content with my home. I want bigger, better, nicely painted, a garage, cleaner, newer cabinets….the list goes on and on until God surely must want to throw up. “Rocks in my Dryer” talked about her CI child, who is an orphan living with sick relatives and whose home doesn’t have a fourth wall because it fell down after a lot of rain. And I’m griping about PAINT?!

Forgive me, Lord! And help me to hug my children tight in thankfulness for their continuing health instead of growing so impatient that I yell at them.