Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Today he came home and said "B" had another tough time at lunch (and yes, only half his napkin was present and accounted for again). I saw his mom tonight at the Open House and she said he's having a tough time but seemed better after school today. Another answer to prayer...we've been praying for him! Now, we will pray that his mom joins our Moms in Touch group!
Warning: This next paragraph is very earthly and reveals my love of shopping and being one of the "ladies who lunch". Proceed with caution.
I spent my day with Caden and a friend (who has twin boys who just started kindergarten too)walking the outdoor mall and having lunch. It was a welcome distraction and we both enjoyed the time out. I spent too much money at the Children's Place and Gymboree even though everything I bought was on clearance AND I had a coupon! The shopping was, dare I say, therapeutic. C'mon girls. You KNOW what I'm talking about!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We walked to the bus stop just before 8 a.m. this morning, and Cody was so excited to ride the bus with his friends for the first time. He met a little girl there who lives in our neighborhood but we have (sadly) never met. She had Cody's teacher last year. He walked up to her and boldly stuck out his little hand and said, "Hello. I'm Cody. What's your name?" After they exchanged introductions, he said, "It's so nice to meet you!" and he then walked over to the grass, picked her a flower (weed) and handed it to her. If that wasn't enough to push me over the edge, he then picked another flower, walked over to me, and handed it to me with a hug. And then did it to everyone that was standing at that bus stop. My heart overfloweth. And so did my eyes.
With all that was in me, I held onto the tears until that bus was out of view (after he excitedly turned, waved, said "bye-bye mommy and I love you"), and I turned to my husband and sobbed. And I didn't care who saw me.
I need to interject here that as a family, in our devotion time, we have been studying Colossians 3, specifically verses 12-14 about clothing ourselves with compassion and kindness and putting on love. We've been praying that we, as a family, would demonstrate the love of Christ, and while there are days we fail miserably, it is still our constant prayer.
So when Cody got off that bus (I arrived fifteen minutes early even though it's a block from my house...I was just a wee bit excited to see my guy!), I got down on my knee with arms outstretched and grabbed that little boy and gave him a HUGE hug. He had so much to tell me on the walk home, and when I watched him devour his lunch, yes, lunch that he hadn't eaten today (I think he was too busy socializing, from what I can gather), he began to tell me more about his day. He has this buddy, we'll call him "B", and B was on Cody's t-ball team this summer. Apparently B had a really rough day today. The conversation went as follows:
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I have to share one thing. Okay two. Maybe three. It's been a big day for me. The first is that we met the superintendent today, and I suspect she's a Believer. She walked in, welcomed us, and first addressed the returning parents. She then began speaking to us new parents, the ones who were sending our children to school for the first time. She basically addressed everything that was and has been on my heart...the fact that our children are the most precious things to us and that she realized that they, as a school and staff, would need to earn our trust as we release our children into their care. I so appreciated her words (I can't remember them all as I was a bit overwhelmed today) and I immediately felt some relief and peace come over me. If this superintendent is any kind of a reflection of the rest of the staff, I think we are good to go!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
In just two days, my first-born will be starting full-day kindergarten. Many of you know that I have wrestled with this decision for about a year, and we came to the conclusion, as a family, that we would be sending him to public school. It has been an incredibly difficult decision, but one I still think is the right one for now.
I am prefacing what I'm about to say with these statements (thus freeing myself to emote and journal my thoughts hereafter): I know we made the right decision. I know he'll be great. I know this is going to be really good for him. And I realize I may sound irrational when I say the following things.
I am worried. Worried that he won't do well. Worried that he won't fit in. Worried that he won't be treated with love and compassion. Worried that his love for God will be hindered. Worried that nobody will respond to him when he needs something. And worried that he'll be negatively influenced by the kids in his class that don't share our values.
To only name a few.
And as I sit here in my home while he and daddy are at church (we have a feverish toddler today), I remember that God commands us NOT to worry. I could list at least ten verses that come to mind.
My favorite is this: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." --Isaiah 26:3
When Cody was a baby (and even through toddlerhood), I used to always rock him and sing him a song from my all-time favorite Twila Paris lullabye CD that repeated the above verse. It brought me such comfort as his mama, and those quiet moments while he had his little head on my chest are some of the most precious memories and ones I will cherish for as long as God allows me to live on this earth.
Today my sweet Lord reminded me that I must focus on a God who has my little boy in the palm of His hand, who will never leave or forsake him, and who will watch over and keep him in perfect peace. All of His promises are STILL true, regardless of our schooling choice. The year ahead will reveal whether or not we made the right decision.
The pastor of our previous church put it this way: "When your children are born, they are literally tied to you with a cord. That initial cord is cut, but as newborns, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, a new cord is tied between the two of you. That cord has very little slack at first, and you keep those little ones very close to you. As they get a little older, you begin to loosen the slack a bit and give them a little more space between the two of you. You give them opportunitites to learn about the world. You continue to teach them and raise them with Godly values, but you give them some space to make their own decisions. Your hope and prayer should be that as you continue loosening that slack, and that cord gets a little longer between you, your children will have learned how to remain in the world but not be OF it."
I think that picture of the cord between Cody and I lengthening is what makes this so hard. He's my first-born. I love him with a love I couldn't have imagined before I became a parent. We've had an awesome five years together and the thought of him being gone all day, five days a week, is so hard to imagine. People keep telling me it's going to be okay, that he's going to be wonderful and that he'll love school. They also remind me that this will free up precious time with Caden, to lay a good foundation for him, just like I was able to do for Cody. And they tell me that this is only kindergarten, and we can change our mind at anytime. I am sure they are right. But today, from this emotional heart, it's hard to choose trust over worry, joy over sadness, and confidence over apprehension. But I know that with God's help, I can.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I feel so ignorant. I've been hearing about the Chicago suburbs here and there in blurbs on the radio, but we've been without cable all day and I haven't heard the latest. I rarely have the news on because of the kids (it's so sad that we live in a society where the daily/nightly news is dangerous to our children's mental well-being and an attack on their innocence). Anyways...
I go out tonight for a walk and I see the river in my neighbors' yards. I can't believe this has been going on for a few days and I didn't even know. Yes, we've been gone, but I didn't even know until tonight how my own neighbors were being affected.
Everyone's been sand bagging and they've literally been on their knees at the smallest clap of thunder or bolt of lightning praying God's mercy upon their homes. I'm praying that it doesn't rain tonight like it's supposed to. Our poor little town needs a reprieve.
I know God promised He'd never flood the earth again, but I'm sure the people in my community are wishing they had an ark right about now.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As usual, laundry is piling up, the house needs a good cleaning, and I have several pressing things that need to be done before school starts next week, but all in all, things on our end are going just fine. Other than trying to wean the baby off the bottle and onto a sippy cup which he is fiercely fighting. Oh, and you might be interested to know that both boys had good check-ups at the dentist yesterday. Caden was mesmerized by Thomas choo-chooing on the DVD they had playing in his check-up room. What on earth did we do before pediatric dentists?
Jerry and I are planning a trip to Nebraska to see a Huskers football game in September and I am so psyched for that. I've been busy working out logistics. My grandfather would be so glad to know that the season tickets my mom purchased will not be going to waste. GO HUSKERS! I can't wait to make a big pot of football chili and veg out in front of the first televised game. School starting is not the beginning of fall for this girl. Oh no siree. The fall begins when the Huskers start their season.
I may post Wordless Wednesday tomorrow (I know, I'm such a rebel). And yes. You may see a couple more pics from the zoo. It seems the animals there have quite a sense of humor. Kinda reminds me of a little film entitled, Madagascar.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"Yo, do you mind? I need my space! It's crowded enough with out y'all laying all over me!"
"HEY BUDDY, last time I checked, mating season was over."
"What do these people think I am? A DOG? I'm so sick of doing this trick!"
"Well, I suppose if they're going to keep this monkey trapped in a glass box all day, I might as well do it in style and comfort!"
"DO YOU MIND????"
Thursday, August 16, 2007
To all of you, have a great weekend!
The game finally started at 8:35, and was finished at about 11:45 with the Cubs losing to the Cincinnati Reds 11-9. (By the way, I think the coolest job at the park has to be the guys who remove the tarp after the rain stops. These blue and khaki clad heroes are like rock stars when they come running onto the field! I've gotta do that sometime!) Needless to say, we left Wrigley field around ten and listened to the end of the game in the car on WGN radio.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Until Thomas the Tank Engine toys were recently recalled. We have a HUGE collection of these fun-loving trains...ones that have been "mouthed" many times by both my boys. I was horrified to learn that we owned almost ALL the items that had been recalled.
And then I'm watching "Good Morning America" today and hear of yet another recall. And again, we own a few of these toys. I am so disturbed by the fact that we, as American people, trust these manufacturers to produce things that they know are going to be USED BY CHILDREN, and yet in some of these cases, paints with high levels of lead are being used to make them! I mean, how difficult is it to use child-friendly paint and materials for KIDS TOYS??????
And so, I now join the ranks of those who have decided to NOT buy products from China. And I encourage you to do the same.
Thank you for listening. For more information, go here.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
There are so many days I look at these two precious boys and wonder what on earth I did to merit such gifts from God. They are beautiful, loving, good-natured boys and I am so very grateful to the Lord for them.
Today, Jerry and I sang at another wedding, and when I came downstairs after getting dressed, my Cody said, "Oh mommy. You look SO pretty." Lord, please help him to continue to see the inner beauty in others, and bring him a godly wife that he can someday shower with love!
Caden spontaneously "kisses" us now, pooching his little lips out and coming up close to get smooches. He wraps his little arms around our necks and gives the best hugs. Lord, please help him to remain so loving and sweet, and help him to be an ambassador of God's love all his days.
Lord, remind us all to pray for our children every day. Give us wisdom, as their parents, as we teach, train, and set an example for them. Help our families to reflect you in all we do, say, and are. We can do no good thing apart from You, Lord Jesus, and we need You. Help us to be a beacon of light in our families, neighborhoods, jobs, and schools. We love You Lord and we thank You for entrusting these precious ones to us. We are so grateful. Amen.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
As we turned into the parking lot of the store, I said, "Are you hearing what I'm hearing?" I rolled down my windows and heard sirens blaring. Not the squad car or ambulance type. The other kind. We stopped the van, looked at each other and both said, "What should we do?" My mind quickly pondered our options. A.) Drive home to be with Cody, trying to outwit Mother Nature, B.) go into warehouse store with baby and husband where there are no walls or a basement, C.) stay in the van (uh, I think not), or D.) try to find a place with a basement to seek shelter. We turned on the radio and heard that a funnel cloud had been spotted not far from where we were, but according to forcasters, we learned that this particular area was not yet in the "danger zone." Funny, because the sirens seemed to beg to differ.
My mother's instinct kicked in, and upon learning the storm was heading in our home's direction, we decided to try to beat the clock and get back to Cody.
As we drove, we listened intently to the radio (and kept rolling down the windows in the rain listening for sirens...just in case), and praise God, we were protected and no tornados ever touched down in our area. But it was one scary half hour.
Let me tell you...I still do not know if we did the right thing. It was one of those moments you think you're prepared for but then when it happens, you really find yourself at a loss. The thought of being separated from Cody far outweighed the danger we might have found ourselves in with the weather, and both of us felt it was best to get back to him.
I still don't have my groceries, but I do have my family all together, in tact, and looking at sunny skies today. Praise Him!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Building castles in the sand...
Fun on the beach with Cody and his cousin "Cass"
Friday, August 03, 2007
2. My dear friend who has been through quite an ordeal with regard to her fertility over the last couple years is pregnant. For a while, things were very touch and go through this first trimester, but praise be to God the baby is doing great and the pregnancy is stable!
3. My friend Charity was in Minneapolis and missed the bridge collapsing by a mere one hour.
4. Our friends have a son who was initially called to the scene in Minneapolis and the Lord has been so faithful to protect he and his team. We continue to pray for the recovery of those still missing.
5. My friend Debbie who has fought and won her battle with breast cancer is still doing great and I get to see her, her hubby, and little boy this weekend!
6. Our dear neighbor and friend had open heart surgery about one month ago, and while the recovery has probably been slower than she'd prefer, the Lord has faithfully sustained her and will continue bringing her good health, I know!
7. My hubby has graduated and has the next couple weeks off to spend with us and just relax. Unless I find him a project or two to do around the house. Just kidding.
8. My boys are healthy, we have a roof over our head, fantastic neighbors, wonderful family and friends, a God that loves us, clothes to wear, food to eat, and so much more.
9. My step-brother has been a lost soul in an intense personal battle, and praise be to God he is getting well and beginning to open his heart to Christ. We continue to pray that he will ultimately give his life to Him and find full healing and restoration for his body AND his soul.
10. I could go on and on, but I want to hear from you. For what are you most grateful? Leave me a comment and I'll see you back here on Monday.