Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
The following pictures are Jerry giving his Commencement speech at the podium, and him conducting the Benediction of the VanderCook symphonic band and choir.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
1. Preparing for hubby's graduation party on Sunday.
2. Hosting hubby's niece while she's here from out of town.
4. Running errands.
6. Praying that it doesn't rain on Sunday.
7. Practicing music for a wedding we're singing for on Friday.
8. Cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking as much as possible! (Which ain't much!!!)
9. Trying to stay off the computer!
10. Spending time with my guys.
So, there you have it. I am signing off until Monday, so forgive me if I don't check in on your blogs or leave a comment. I'll catch up with you when the dust settles, and I'll have pictures and stories to tell. In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week. Be blessed.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The weekend started with my singing in a funeral on Friday morning. I sang two songs, including "Amazing Grace" and in truth, it was a great way to start the day. God's grace truly is AMAZING! I then caught my train into Chicago just in time and got to support Jerry on his last day of classess (YIPPEE!) as his Orff class ended and the groups put on a show of all they'd learned over the past two weeks and had a small "graduation" ceremony (this class offered certification, so they got their official certificates at that point). Jerry then took me to meet my friend Charity who I was rooming with on Friday night. She and I immediately headed out and hit Michigan Avenue to grab a bite to eat before heading to the conference.
The best part was when I walked into the huge arena where there were 5000 other women waiting to find their seats and I heard this voice call my name. I turned around, and it was my dear, special friend Debbie, from college! She was my roommate my freshman year and you may remember me speaking about her from time to time. She fought and won her battle with breast cancer last year and let me just say, it was a JOY to see her. We grabbed each other and embraced. Of all the times to run into her...in a place that huge with so many people, God planned it so we would both be at the same entrance at the same time.
The conference began with worship, Patsy Clairmont, and my girl, Nichole Nordeman. As always, she was phenomenal and brought all of the women sitting around me to tears. As tender as those moments were, there were also some really funny ones. At one point she told us that she has this "problem." While standing in line at the supermarket, she has this compulsion to buy tabloids. She knows it's wrong, she knows she shouldn't, but she just can't help herself. She said she even began to spiritualize it, trying to convince herself that if she doesn't know what's going on with Brad and Angelina, then how on earth can she pray for them??? That got a good laugh. She also made us all giggle when she recalled sitting in an airport looking at all the beautiful celebrities in People magazine and literally feeling her butt growing bigger in her seat as she sat there! Good stuff...
The next day was a whirlwind, and I can't began to recap it all, as I am still desperately trying to process it all, but I think the best part of it was spending lunch with my girlfriend, Debbie and crying over how good God had been to us both over the past year. Afterward, it was Sandi Patti's turn to sing, and oh. my. word. She brought down the house. And about brought me to my knees. If heaven is half as incredible as her voice, I won't be able to stand on my feet.
I highly recommend this conference to any of you out there. It was incredible and I left feeling so "filled" by the awesome worship, music, teaching, and fellowship with my sisters in Christ.
And to Charity, thank you for making this weekend so fun. I am glad we went through it together. And I'm equally as thankful for your friendship. You're a blessing.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I have the wonderful privilege of attending the Women of Faith Conference in Chicago this weekend. I am more than a little excited, as one of my new favorite authors, Carol Kent, will be speaking. My mom let me borrow her copy of "When I Lay My Isaac Down" and I must say it was a book that caused me to really look deeply into my faith and life and how I respond to adversity.
Nichole Nordeman will be leading worship and it truly doesn't get much better than that. I met her once when she did a concert at a local church. I was literally 9 months pregnant with Cody, and we have a picture of she, Jerry and I with her hand on my tummy! I absolutely love her music, her honesty and of course, that voice! I can't wait to worship with her!
So here's my story. We live in our van because we spend a great deal of time on the go. This usually means that we take snacks and drinks with us because, inevitably, even though we just ate lunch ten minutes ago, shrieks emerge from the backseat that resemble something like this: "MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! I'm HUUUUUUUNGRY!" We've all been there. Lately, Caden is happiest with his "ba-ba" full of watered down 100% juice laced with his probiotic(that had to be stated lest you find me an irresponsible juice-feeding mom) and it keeps him quite happy in the entire ten minutes he's guzzling it.
Apparently he didn't drink all of his juice, which is unusual for him, because what emerged weeks (though it could have been days, who knows in this heat?) later was the smell. That resembled wine. Only worse.
And having the sensitive sniffer that I do, I went on a scavenger hunt looking for the grosser than gross offender. When I finally found it, trapped under the seat with so many other lovely treasures we'd all forgotten about, it had turned into a lovely science experiment that would leave most of us green.
I decided not to save beloved "ba-ba" and into the trash it went, nastiness and all. I am sure I am not unique in this experience as most of you reading have children.
Unless of course, you don't give your children juice. : )
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Cody started feeling better this afternoon (before 4:00 rolled around, that is), and so I let his friends come in for a little visit with him. When he started to look like he was feeling bad again, I checked his temp and found that it was moving upward. I then sent his friends home. One hour later, they came back, wanting to know how Cody was feeling because, in their words, "We were feeling so worried about him and sad that he wasn't feeling well." I told them that was so sweet of them to care about him so much. About an hour later, all of them showed up at our door with three cards for Cody. They sat with him and read them to him, and before they left, each of them gave him a big hug and said "Oh Cody, we really hope you get feeling better so we can play with you again!"
HOW CUTE IS THAT????
Last night, while talking with her before we went to bed, I walked into the living room and found Jerry on his knees cradling Cody as he slept peacefully on his matress, praying over him. Daddy was calling the One who heals, comforts, and brings down fevers!
Today, Cody has had some water, jello, and lots of love from Caden. Little brother is also having lots of fun pouncing on brother's mattress and giving him lots of hugs and "pats." I think he enjoys having the mattress on the living room floor! (Scroll down to see Wordless Wednesday!)
Hope you all have a great day and thank you for praying for us.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." ~Psalm 28:7
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
We returned from the doctor a few hours ago where they did a strep culture (which came back negative). He then took a two hour nap and his fever is back in the 102 range (oh joy). They presume he has caught some sort of virus because his throat is red and sore and he's achy. This is unrelated to the vaccine because we had been in a week ago having his glands checked because they were a little swollen. Turns out he's been fighting whatever this is for quite some time and it finally "got" him. I am thankful it's not strep and so for now, we are pumping him up with tylenol, fluids, rest, and his all-natural PRObiotics. Please pray he's well soon and that Caden stays well...I hate when my little guys don't feel good! Thank you!
Last night, however, Cody spiked a fever of 102.4. No other symptoms, no complaints, just a fever. I immediately called the pharmacist (my new best friend) and he reassured me that this is normal and that it happens to 1 in 20 kids who get this particular vaccine. This morning the fever is down but it is still there.
Every mother knows what it's like (f they choose to vaccinate) when they take their little baby to the doctor's office to get those first shots. It's heart-breaking, but you truly feel you're doing the right, responsible thing...protecting your child from dangerous illnesses and diseases, vaccinating them so they don't have to fight the system once they enter school, and listening to the doctors who reassure you that what you're reading "out there" is untrue. It's hard to know what to believe sometimes, but you go with your gut and trust you're making the right decision for your kids. As our doctor says, the benefit far outweighs the risk.
But my little guy is feverish today and I feel guilty. I know I am making the right decision for our family. I just feel bad for him. And, perhaps the fever is something else entirely, something other than a side effect of the vaccine? Who knows. In any case, I'm going to shut down my computer and get some cuddle time on the couch with him while the baby naps. It's a rainy day and I can't think of anything else I'd rather do! Have a great day, everyone.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Remember that this is The Blogger Reflection Award. This award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who, when you reflect on them, give you a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them. This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick, carefully. This award should not be given to just anyone. If you're going to do the award don't just write a few words and slap it on your blog. Write real thoughts about these bloggers and what they've been to you, and if the bloggers you pick have already been given the award, don't be afraid to give to them again. They deserve it as many times as it's given.
Rules of participating:
1. Copy this post.
2. Replace [my bloggers with yours] & Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Go leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they've been given the award.
5. Put the award icon on your site. I must admit I am still a little "link" challenged, and I could not figure out how to do anything but copy the picture, however the link above will lead you to the originator of this award and there you can find the link to post it on your site.
And now, the award goes to:
1. Glass Half Full: Lori is my best buddy from high school and she is the one who first introduced me to the blogging world. Her blog is uplifting, encouraging, and fun. She has a sunny outlook on life and motherhood, and I always enjoy visiting her. Most of all, she loves the Lord and her blog serves Him well. Lori, thank you for your friendship and for welcoming me into the blogosphere!
2. Barbie: Barbie and I re-connected via another blog after attending the same church and bible study, thus reminding me once again that it truly is a small world! She is mama to four beautiful little girls, and I know her life must get chaotic and stressful sometimes. But her blog is always a sweet fragrance to me as she reflects upon the joys and challenges of motherhood. There is never a harsh word spoken there and she is a wife and mother that honors Christ.
3. Sheryl at Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats: She was already chosen for this award, but it was necessary for me to give it to her again. I wish I knew this Sister in "real life" but alas, she lives in sunny Florida, after a recent ministry opportunity led she and family there. However, the blogging world is a wonderful thing as we've been able to "follow" them! Sheryl is currently doing a 21-day challenge that has been AWESOME and she is truly a wife and mother who brings glory to God on her blog (and I'm sure in her home!). Her blog is altogether fun, serious, reflective, and real.
4. Julie. Julie is a dear friend and an amazing wife and mother who I first met about eight years ago at our church. She has three beautiful children, and she is currently keeping an online journal with Caring Bridge about her son, Joshua, who is battling cancer. I have tried to link her, but the link will only take you to the original site where you must log in to read her journal entries. From what I can tell, there's no way to directly link her site, but I must mention her here, as she has been an inspiration to me. Their family has been hit with more than I can even fathom over this past year, and yet Julie's eyes are continually lifted up to the One who sustains she and her precious family. Julie, if you're reading this, thank you for your heart for Jesus and for the example of faith you set before all of us who know you.
5. And finally, my dear friend Jamie: Jamie is a dear friend from college, now a wife and mother and recently expecting #2 (yay!!!!!). Jamie reflects her love for God and her beautiful family in her blog, and her posts are always so sweet as she documents the milestones along the way. She is committed to her family and to the Lord, and I enjoy reading about and keeping up with them via her blog.
Thank you again, Morning Song, for this award. I am honored!
Friday, July 13, 2007
And finally, this is our china cabinet. It doesn't have any lights in it, so I took white lights and arranged them in there so everything "shines." It does wonders for the crystal! This cabinet holds a collection of pieces from our wedding, from family, and yard sales, but it also holds other sentimental things, like pictures, momentos, and other things I've found or been given along the way. On top are two pictures of me with the boys and a figurine I got from my mom of a mother holding her child.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
Fast forward to today. We were driving by that corner where there is no longer a produce stand. We're not sure if they have stopped selling their wares on this particular corner or if they're just not at all...perhaps they'll set up later in the season. However, upon seeing their absence once again, Cody said, "Mama, where is the fresh produce stand? Why aren't they open yet?" I was driving and there was an accident up ahead, so I was slightly distracted and kind of shrugged his question off with a "Hmf, uh, not sure" kind of a reply.
There were several moments of silence, and my sensitive little one said, "Maybe it's because of me. Maybe they closed down the stand because of me."
I turned around to see these two sad little eyes and I literally stopped the car, turned around, grabbed his hand, and said, "Honey, no. No way. You didn't cause that stand to close. If anything, it closed because they weren't always as nice as they should have been to their customers. They should have been thrilled to have such an excited little boy looking at their vegetables! You did nothing wrong, and I don't want you to worry one more second about this! It was not your fault!"
Relief swept over his face and I could see him lighten a little. To think that he's been thinking that all this time.
I share this story for a couple reasons. First, I know most of the people who read this blog are parents of young children. Second, I know most of us do things in our vehicles while we're with our kids that don't always allow for much conversation (the Lord has really convicted me of this through my reading of Peanut Butter and Jelly Boat's recent posts... thank you Sheryl!). For instance, we may be talking on our cell phone, listening to music, or just only half listening to the chatter going on behind us. I had everything off in the van today because there was an accident up ahead and I wanted to concentrate on what was going on. This moment with Cody was significant because as we sat there, in slow traffic, in the silence, a door was opened and my little man shared something that had obviously been on his heart and in his mind for a while now. And I was able to make it better...to share a burden, to lighten his load. And I thought, I really need to turn everything off and be THERE. Yes, I'm always here. But I'm not always THERE. And today, I was reminded that I need to be in the moment. Ready for the next question. PRESENT. AVAILABLE. HERE.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Topping the Caden Times today:1. Caden has officially taken his first steps. He is still gaining his confidence, but he has put five or six consecutive steps together in the past week.
2. He is also cutting three molars and a couple of other teeth. Put frustration over trying to walk and pain over cutting molars and you have one cranky kid!
3. He has added more words to his ever-growing vocabulary. I was a little worried that he wasn't going to talk much, but it seems he's starting to blossom in this department over recent days. The starred words are all new within the past week:
- Ozzie (the dog)
- *Ba-ba (bottle)
- *yeah (he is starting to answer when you ask a question, i.e. "are you hungry?")
- Nanna (or nana, depending on what he's talking about ...the fruit or the grandma!)
- thank you
- various animal sounds, the newest being a quacking noise for a duck
4. And finally, last night when I was getting him out of the tub, I asked him to hand me one of the toys, and he actually did! Then he proceeded to help me put them away! I know, it's not like this is earth-shattering news, but following a simple command ranks high on my list of things I want him to accomplish early in his toddlerhood!
And I thank you for reading today's news. : )
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I come from dancin' family. Did I ever tell you that? My mom performed on Broadway, my sisters are both incredibly talented dancers, and actually, my grandparents could really cut a rug. I'd like to think it's in my blood and that my boys will be the recipients of good coordination and rhythm. Cody is already very promising in this department, and the baby spontaneosly begins to move his body and clap his hands when music is playing, so I think he's well on his way too. (And...Jerry's pretty coordinated, so it must be in their blood as well!) I used to do a lot of dancing....all kinds for that matter... but in high school I began to pursue music and my dancing shoes got put away. There are many times I really, really miss it and think I should go take a couple classes at a local studio, but the thing is, I'm really picky about where I'll go, and I'd need time to do my homework and find a good place to study.
But let's move on. That's a different post for a different day. Now where was I?
Oh yes. I got a hot pink ipod for Mother's Day. And I LOVE IT. But I quickly realized that it was senseless to listen to it with a couple of young children present, because I happen to be a little deaf as it is, and I REALLY can't hear what's going on in the house with those wonderful little earbuds in my ears. And I tend to, um...check out, so to speak. Anyhoo...we recently purchased a wonderful little doo-dad that plays the ipod through actual speakers, and it has become essential for all of us. We play music when we cook, when we clean, when we do dishes, or just 'cuz. And we dance (and of course, sing). We dance at the sink, at the stove, and with each other. I know, if you peered into our windows at any given moment, you may think us strange. That's alright. I'm really fine with that!
So back to the not-so-wordless-very-wordy-Wednesday picture. This is Caden and I, a snapshot taken by daddy while dancing to my newest fave, Mr. Michael Buble. Oh my, that man can sing.
I make it a habit of dancing with my boys...starting when they're really little by carrying them and then holding their hands and teaching them a step or two as they grow. Caden loves to be twirled and dipped, and he really seems to enjoy it. Maybe I do it in hopes that they'll make their future wives swoon someday with their groovin' moves. I mean, come on now. Who doesn't love a man that can dance?
So, here we are, dancing together. It looks like an embrace, but trust me, we were DANCIN'. Just look at that face!
Happy 4th, everyone!
It's been wonderful having Jerry home this week and last, and he's been such a help with the boys while I've been under the weather. I'm so thankful for a husband who takes such good care of us and makes an effort to spend time with us on his days/weeks off. He took the boys to an outdoor festival on Sunday so that I could get some much needed rest and brought dinner so I didn't have to cook. Yesterday he took them to one of Cody's appointments and while they were gone I actually mustered up the energy to prepare dinner....tacos! Well, wonders never cease. We enjoyed the beatiful weather and ate it on the patio. It had been a while since we'd been able to do that. Afterward, we went for a long walk and let the boys play at the park until just before dark. Besides Cody wiping out a few times on his bike (this seems to be a daily occurence!), it was a wonderful couple of hours, but I was dog-tired by the time we returned home.
I really love summer, especially when we can all spend time together. I hope you all have a great Fourth of July.