Friday, December 29, 2006

9 years

9 years and 1 day ago, I married a young man. I had no clue what marriage was about, all I knew was that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. 9 years later, I don't know a whole lot more what marriage is about...but I have read a lot more about it from Paul and Peter....but I know that I still want to spend the rest of my life with him.

God, continue to help me find that respectful, gentle, quiet wife that you call me to be.

(visit the link for the bed and breakfast by clicking on the title. we stayed in the rose room.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Blessings

Hi all! Merry Christmas! I wish I could say that I had pictures, but unless someone emails me some THEY took, I can't share them with you...(our digital camera was stolen when my debit card number was taken...hmmm....) ANYWAY, it wasa good day today, and I needed a good day. My kids were THOROUGHLY convinced they saw Rudolph fly the other night, and they heard him stomp on the roof!! :) I LOVE IT!

Among my favorite gifts:
1. My new MP3 player....yes, I hadn't entered the 21st century yet. (We just got the computer in February, so what do you expect?) My husband got me a really nice one, and I'm really happy about it. It took me a while to figure things out but I think I'm on my way. I have lots of music on it already! Including some Israel (of course), Aerosmith, Little Big Town, Third Day, Avalon, Chicago, Air Supply, Journey, Guns and Roses, Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Harry Connick Jr (OF COURSE), MercyME, PCD (oh yes, Dan, relive the Hosanna van!), Roberta Flack (influenced by my mom's old vinyl I'm sure), Thomas Dolby (BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE), Jeremy Camp (Hoosier - born!!), SEVENGLORY, Van Halen, Kari Jobe & Lauryn Hill (because of Auds), Lakewood Church, Fernando Ortega, Dire Straits, AND MANY OTHERS...Quite ecclectic, if I do say so.

2. My new coat. Drew and Evan picked it out by themselves, and it is great! It fits really well and it is a pretty chocolate brown. Comfy and warm!!!

3. My new kitchen table and chairs. It seems odd to be so excited about something like a table that you instantly cry, but for those of you who know my house, you know it's TINY and that there are several things we have done without for a long time. One of them is kitchen chairs. My kids eat standing up, except one who gets a seat...they fight each meal over who sits, no matter what I tried...I hated it. I even bought little lap trays (as SANTA, of course) this year almost forgetting that Mom had mentioned that she might get chairs. The trays would allow them to eat where ever we allowed them and they had cup holders, for fewer spills. When I was told that the chairs and table (coming tomorrow) would be condusive for 6 of us (not the 4-seater we had) and it included 2 benches that could slide under the table when not in use (conserving space), I lost it. I was so excited I cried. My kids were confused, of course, but we tried to tell them I was crying happily. :) Of course, they looked at me as if I had green skin and had just walked off a spaceship marked with "URANUS" on the side. I was excited about the prospect of POSSIBLY getting chairs, but wasn't sure how it would work around the small table. It's so dumb, in some ways, but my inadequate table was something that nagged at me inside daily. I felt like somewhat of a failing mother who couldn't even let them sit down and eat. I know in the scheme of things, sitting or standing probably doesn't matter since they were AT LEAST eating, but at the same time, it made me feel like I couldn't teach them about table ettiquette, and that has taken it's course. Every Sunday when we go to my Dad's and Jenny's to eat we struggle with how they have to SIT to eat...they are so UN-accustomed to it that it is almost embarrassing. I can't really blame them when I haven't PROVIDED the means for them to sit...but I CAN now! It almost makes me excited to clean up the recently ignored kitchen and cook!!

4. Last night, as I started this entry (it got so late I went to bed without finishing), I felt a little tiny tap on my shoulder. Now I have mentioned on here before how sensitive and caring my oldest, Luke, is, but he floored me last night. I know deep down it was probably a diversion from having to go to sleep, that he probably had started to DRIFT back in to sleep when he realized he was about to miss those coveted night hours so he got himself up, that he had been a stinker all day at his grandma's house and didn't deserve NEAR the liberties he and his twin brothers received. Nonetheless, when I turned around, opened my mouth to say "Whoever this is had BETTER get back to bed!," and saw that twinkle in Luke's eyes as he tilted his head to the side and up, as he placed a half-smile on his groggy-sleepy looking face, as he put his hand on my hand and whispered, "Do you know how much I love you?" --- I couldn't scold him. I just choked up and said, "How much?" He started his hands out in front of his tummy, and slowly stretched them out and apart as far as they could go until he had to wrap them around behind his back in his awkward 6-year-old little way. I don't remember what I said, but I know I smiled at him, with a lump in my throat, and I hugged him until I thought he would burst or I would...then I sent him off to bed...a little more gently than I had intended to when I turned around.

5. You know how every family has their "thing" before opening presents? Some families watch football. Some play games. Some yell and scream (yikes). Some sing. My dad wanted to be sure that my boys hadn't missed the MEANING of Christmas when we were at his house on Christmas Eve after church. After lunch, he gathered us in the living room. He said that before we opened presents, he wanted to talk to Luke, Drew, Evan, and Gabriel. He began to ask them questions and talk to them about Jesus and His birth. He asked if any of them knew why we opened presents on Christmas. Without too much hesitation, Luke said, "Because we were given the greatest gift of all when Jesus was born." WHAT A RELIEF! Not only was I more proud than I ever had been of him, I knew that SOMETHING I had said or a Sunday school teacher had said had HIT HOME. The conversation continued with Luke and Dad pretty much dominating the discussion. They went through the reason the Wisemen would have given him gifts. Luke's answer? "Because Jesus is the King." It all brought tears to my eyes....and a few of the others in the room as well. It was a touching moment I hope I never forget.

6. I'm thankful for the almost 9 years (on Thursday) that I will have spent with my husband. Of course things have not always been a bed of roses. Of course things have been stressful. Of course things have caused heartache. Of course. That's what marriage is about. We've been together for 11 years. And although I have not been the dewey-eyed blushing bride or the sickly sweet all-gooey-inside girl he married every single day of my life, I still love him more than anything. He still can make my heart leap by just looking at me with that grin. He still can make me laugh more than anyone else I know. We're not the same people we were 9 years ago. 4 kids and 9 years will do that to you alone, and I can say that besides those factors, I am definitely stronger than I once was with God and as an individual in other ways. Despite that, I am clinging to the hope of spending 90 more years with him. I hope he sees how much I love him. I hope he sees that I melt each time he tells me he loves me. I hope he sees that no matter how life alters my circumstances and my emotions because of those circumstances, I will always love him at the end of the day. 9 years ago if you would have told me tonight I would be sitting here while my 4 kids (including TWINS and NO GIRLS) dreamed of monkeys and dinosaurs, as they often do, and that I would be finding that I love working for my church, and that I was an ELEMENTARY music teacher instead of a high school music teacher, and that I was still madly in love with Chad...the ONLY thing I would have predicted was the part about loving my husband. I probably would have committed you to the loony bin for suggesting that I would live this lfe!!! I may not show it the way I should all the time, but my BIGGEST prayer and goal in my life is to be a good wife, a GODLY wife, and a nurturing, Christian mommy.

There are so many things I could thank You for, Father. There are so many things I am blessed by. Your loving kindness is better than life. Please help me to make it evident that ALL I do is about You, Lord. Show me the ways to be a loving, successful wife and mommy for the man and little men in my life. I want to be just like You, God: merciful, gracious, fair, loving, self-controlled, patient, peaceful and content, pure and blameless. Forgive me for the times I have failed Chad and for the times I have failed Luke, Drew, Evan, and Gabriel. Forgive me when I fail YOU. Lord, I am overwhelmed by your blessings. Thank You for a WONDERFUL Christmas. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of telling my kids WHY we had a Christmas. God, help me to be the wife and the mom You have called me to be.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I am tired. It's official.
Tired of wrapping presents, getting presents, trying to be cheerful, trying to fix things that I can't fix....
I'm ready for renewal....of so many things.
I have been broken down, broken down, broken down...and despite the 3gifts blog entry a few minutes ago, I don't feel very fortunate, I don't feel excited. I'm finding it hard to feel at this moment. That will change in about 2.5, though, 'cause I'm me...
Besides all of this, I'm just tired.

I can't find one of the Christmas presents I bought. My house ate it. I'm frustrated by that. And that is like the least of all my worries, yet, it's so huge and yet so little.

How long do you hold on to something that may have already drifted away? How long can you tread water before being swallowed up by it all? How long do you fight?

I'm tired...tired of holding, treading, fighting, feeling, pretending.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Drew and Evan

Drew and Evan's Christmas program for their preschool was last night, and I could barely hear them, but they were CUTE CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATORS! (That was their part! :) ) Drew is in the maroon shirt and Evan is wearing the striped sweater.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

drugs are good...

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS that is. If it tells you anything, I don't remember Friday afternoon. The doctor hooked this busy mommy up! Unfortunately, it makes me pretty loopy any other time.....that's not good. MY piano playing for worship band was not the best today, but the communion music was pretty good. I played "I Wonder as I Wander." IT's one of my favorites. It has such great lyrics, and I think of my mom when I hear it. She must have sung it when I was young. The melody is so haunting. It's simple and effective for that use. I liked it.

Anyway, Luke, Drew, and Evan sang this morning at church. Since my digital camera was stolen a while back, I don't have pictures, but I took some with my Dad and Jenny's camera. When I get them, I will post them. I even took a video, and if I can figure out how to post it, I will. It was cute! They were adorable, of course.

I know it is hard to see them, but Evan is in green, Drew is in maroon, and Luke is in light blue. They are standing behind the two soloists.

Also, had the opportunity to get with Audrey last night! It's good to catch up. It was a fun night with home cooked food, OREO BALLS (Email me for that recipe!!!), and gifts! Thanks to Audrey for a fun evening!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And now back to our program already in progress

1. I have had a fever since Monday. I feel better but it lingers.

2. My washer flooded our kitchen AGAIN. The grand total is 6 times. I have been pushed around, ignored, lied to, overlooked by Best Buy. Shout it from the rooftops! Doesn't matter if you buy the repair policy....their service stinks. Maybe more on this later. Suffice it to say that I'm looking at a minimum of 2 weeks without using my brand new brand new $1000 machine.

3. I have missed either a partial or full day of school every day this week. I'm beginning to think I may not be welcomed back. I have missed all the parties that I planned on the Christmas committee. I will miss the gift giving when I was in charge of one very special gift, probably one that will bring tears. I'm bummed about it....but I'll live.

4. Christmas is coming and I have not gotten all of the people bought for, and the illness is setting me back.

5. I ache all over.

6. Gabriel had shots on Tuesday and has another round on Jan. 23. He screamed really loud for one really long burst, but that was about it. I think everyone within a block had to have heard it.

7. I'm ready to see my family members traveling in for Christmas in a HUMONGO way! I don't know if it is the fever talking or what, but sometimes you just miss your mom....and of course, I miss Todd and Micah! :) They won't believe how big my boys are getting.

8. Luke wrote me this note yesterday, all by himself, obviously:
Dear Mome (pronounced "Mommy"), I hpope (hope) you r felwlng (feeling) goud (good). Love, Luke. I LOVE IT. It was accompanied by 27 cents. He's getting so big.

9. I'm ready to go lay down now....I've been up a lot more than yesterday and I am exhausted.

10. Please pray that I can get back to the norm soon. Chad has been Mom and Dad the past few days, and I think everyone is ready to go back to routine. He's done a great job and hasn't complained once, and I appreciate it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ferie retribuite, part 2

Well, those of you who have expressed concern over my post (2 posts ago), most of everything is taken care of. The account has been credited all of the Italian expenses and all of the fees that happened as a result of the drained account. That's a definite load off my mind. The only residual effects lingering now is that we are debit card-less. Have you lived without one of those for a while? I didn't realize how dependent I was on it until it was gone. It will probably be 2 weeks before the new one arrives, so all the accounts that automatically get paid each mongh using those numbers will have to be updated and called to say "This is why you didn't get your money and the card denied payment..." Boy, is that fun! :)

I can't complain too much, though. God came through. I have a few extra things to do now around the already hectic Holiday season, but it could always be worse, I suppose.

Thanks for the prayers. Although I'm not out of the woods on ALL of it, at least that small part has been taken care of.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Alternative to Myspace

So, some of you may have seen or heard of or are a part of the Myspace frenzy. A friend of mine told me about the Christian alternative to Myspace called Ditty talk. It has a Bible search area, prayer requests, and pretty strict rules about your profile. I went ahead and checked it out. I hope it takes off like Myspace. What a statement it would be for the Christians of the world if those who claimed to be a Christian kept their websites as clean as God would....hmm....