Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A scary situation

Right off the bat, please let me say that I'm not writing this post to knock public schools or families who send their children to public schools. I know that it might sound that way, but that's really not my intention. If you disagree with my over all statement and point, be nice!

Today marks the last day of co-op! As I thought back to our first day of co-op, and on our first year of homeschooling, I am amazed and thankful for where God has brought me as a mother and as a teacher. I have grown so much.... but I'll save this conversation for another post.

After co-op, the kids and I went to the park to enjoy a beautiful day and lunch with friends from co-op. As I pulled up, I realized that there were several buses and that the park was filled with children from a local public school on a field trip. Our little group of homeschoolers found a little spot to enjoy our lunch, the kids started playing, and shortly after, the teachers rounded up the school kids, loaded them on the buses and headed back to school. Our kids spread out onto the playground equipment, and Curtis headed back to work. As he was leaving I noticed that he had stopped to talk to a little girl I didn't recognize. I asked the other moms she was "one of ours", and we quickly realized she wasn't. She was with the group of public school kiddos and had been accidentally left.

In no time flat, three moms had out their phones, calling the non emergency police, and the school. We assured to police officer that the little girl was safe, and that we would stay with her till someone came to pick her up. We were told to call the school, asking for someone specific.

While all this was happening, we tried to love on and encourage the little girl. She was obviously scared. Elizabeth came over and invited her to play. Despite our best efforts, the little girl was still very uneasy.

Eventually, someone from the school arrived, picked the little girl up, and took her back to the school. My heart broke again for the little girl, who didn't know the woman that had been sent. It just added stress to what was already a scary situation fir that little girl.

And the thing that angered me was that no one at the school had even noticed the little girl was gone until the police called!!

Seeing that little girl's face, and thinking about how scared she was, made me so thankful that my children are not in that situation. I was thankful that I didn't have to release control and care of my child to someone else every day.

I know that there are ways to be very involved with your child, even if they are in a public school. I also know that there are parents who simply cannot be as involved with their public school kids. I was just so thankful I wasn't one of those parents.

There were literally hundreds of children at the park, all very young. The teachers seemed to be doing a fantastic job of engaging the children, playing with the children, and facilitating a fun time for those children. And I'm sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen that much. I'm not trying to put down public schools or the teachers that teach there by sharing this story. Nor am I trying to say that parents who chose to send their children to public school are making a foolish choice.

However, today I was reminded why I am so very thankful that it wasn't my kindergartner who was left. I was reminded what a blessing it is to be able to have the freedom to homeschool. I'm thankful that I didn't have to pass over control over my child's well being to another person. And after a rough first year of homeschooling, I needed that reminder.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to eat a donut

How to eat a donut, Benjamin style!

1. Lick off all the sprinkles.
2. Lick off as much icing as you can.
3. Eat off the top of the donut, in case you couldn't lick all the icing.
4. Smile.
5. Move on to the next donut.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our life in a few pictures

Life has been going at a lovely pace this week. Not too busy, but not too boring. We are currently trying to get everyone in our family over pink eye. Last week we all stayed quarantined for most of the week. We also didn't venture out this past weekend. Just when I thought things were getting back to normal, Timothy came down with pink eye again, despite the drops. Four kids feels like A LOT when you're dealing with something like pink eye!

Here's a quick update on all those kiddos of mine:

Elizabeth lost another tooth! It was actually quite traumatic. Her other bottom tooth was loose, apparently more loose than we thought. She had a blanket in her mouth, and when she pulled it out, she also popped that loose tooth out. She flipped!! Screaming, blood, freaking out.... it wasn't pretty. She was worried that her tooth wasn't ready to come out, like the one that had been pulled, and that it would hurt. Once we assured her it was okay, she was quite excited about the event. Micah is turning into a very big boy! Adding a baby to our family hasn't effected his negatively. However, I feel like he falls through the cracks more than any of the other kids. When I have moments with just him, I realize how big, smart, funny and charming he's become. He is a joy!
Mr. Benjamin seems to be doing quite as the new big brother in the house. But apparently, it's pretty stressful. This is how I found him yesterday afternoon.

Benjamin's also in the process of sometimes dropping his nap, not using a pacy, and re-potty training after some regression after Timothy's birth. Big stuff going on for this little guy! He's also REALLY looking forward to his birthday next month.
And sweet Timothy! We are all in love with every inch of this sweet baby.

I could seriously kiss those amazing cheeks all day!
So that's the latest and greatest in our lives. We are enjoying life, and looking forward to making some wonderful family memories in the busy month of May!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An eventful evening

This evening, Elizabeth lost a tooth! It's not her first tooth. She had her first tooth pulled at the dentist. Turns out, she was quite stressed over losing this tooth because of having a tooth pulled. She was worried that it would hurt, that there would be lots of blood, that she wouldn't be able to eat. Here's the story in pictures.

She discovered that her loose tooth was REALLY loose. I attempted to do the dental floss trick, where you wrap dental floss around the base of the tooth and just pop it out. She was very nervous, kept jumping, and I eventually told her we weren't going to be able to keep doing that.
After a quick pop talk with Grand-Daddy, she decided she was ready for real. I told her I would try one more time, but she had to be still. And guess what happened.....

That little tooth came right out!
Such a brave girl.
Hopefully, losing the next tooth won't be as traumatic!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Long Day

You know it's been a long day when...... you start a Thursday thinking it's Wednesday and end the day thinking it's Friday.

After a long night where I was awake more than I was asleep, I've spent the day dealing with a sick kiddo, a dramatic kiddo, a kiddo who needs to eat every three hours and a coughing kiddo. Thankfully, we had no where to be so we took it easy, spent lots of time in our jammies watching TV.

Here's hoping for a better night tonight!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Mother

Originally posted two years ago.

"The terrible things that happen to us in this life never make any sense when we're in the middle of them, floundering, no end in sight. The is no rope to hang on to, it seems. Mothers can soothe children during those times, through their reassurance. No one worries about like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, thing that happen unwieldy. You cannon turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting, and who encouraged you to grow a good heart."

Adriana Tigiani from Big Stone Gap

Six years ago today, Curtis' Mom lost her fight with cancer and won her eternal reward when she left this earth and went to her true home. When she died, she left a body that had been struggling and fighting cancer for ten months. And we were so thankful that God had taken her to a place where she didn't have to struggle, and where she didn't have pain. But she also left her husband of 27 years, two sons, and a grandson. And me. At the time, I was her only daughter-in-law. We loved her so much, and miss her greatly. But we know her hope was secured, and that we will see her again!
Carol was an amazing mother! I'm sure any 18 year old would be nervous about meeting her new boyfriends mother, and technically, I already knew her. But I clearly remember the first time I went to the house to "hang out" after Curtis and I began dating. I was so nervous, and mostly because I was afraid that his mom wouldn't like me. Even though she gave me no reason to think otherwise, I was convinced that she didn't like me. But as Curtis and I grew closer, I grew closer to his mom. Even when Curtis wasn't home from school, I would sometimes go over and visit with her. As my wedding day grew nearer, those visits became even more special, a time to learn more about the man I would marry, and the family I would be marrying into. We would look at pictures, she would tell me stories, and we would share hopes for the future. One of her hopes was for more grandchildren (she was always quick to tell me that she was very happy waiting till Curtis and I were done with school!). And though she loved the four men/boys in her life, she wanted a granddaughter. Oh, how I wish that she had been able to meet her first granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her second granddaughter, Charleigh! And I wish she could be here to give me advice on how to raise my two sons to be two godly men, like her two boys.

The quote above rang very true for Curtis and I as we were reflecting on his mom yesterday. As we have struggled with life, especially recently with all we've been through with Benjamin, Curtis has often said, "I wish my Mom was still here." But it's not only the hard times when we miss her. It's the joyful times, the times of celebration... births, baptisms, birthday parties, holidays. Carol had a way of making the bad times easier (as only a mother can) and the good times even better!

This song, With Hope, by Steven Curtis Chapman, was played at the funeral. I still cry, every time I hear it on the radio.

"We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope'
Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again"

Saying good bye is never easy. Watching my husband of just over a year say good bye to his mother was one of the hardest things I have even been through. And I know the only way that Curtis, his brother, Dad, and nephew were able to say good bye to someone they all loved so dearly was through the grace God gives his people, and the hope and assurance of salvation. As you think of us through the day, please pray that our hearts and minds would be focused on this, not on the loss.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Answer

Many times when I run into a stranger and they either see how many children I have, or I tell them how many children I have, I got annoying responses. "Wow! You must have your hands full!" "Do you ever get any sleep?" "Are they all yours?" "You know what causes that, right?" Oh, I could go on!

This evening, just Timothy and I ran into Wal Mart. He was being a sweet baby, cooing at the big, bright lights. He was irresistible! While picking out strawberries, Timothy and I struck up a conversation with a woman who was also picking out berries. We chatted about how nice these strawberries were, especially for being on sale. She cooed back at Timothy. In the process of our conversation, it came up that Timothy was the youngest of four, and one of three boys.

"God bless you!" the Strawberry Lady told me.

I smiled, thinking I was about to hear one of the annoying sayings that I seem to attract.

But instead, the Strawberry Lady paused, smiled, looked at me and said, "Actually, HE already has blessed you."

I was so touch and encouraged. And I couldn't agree with her more. I am richly blessed.

Oh, and here's what Timothy and I bought at Wal Mart. Care to guess what I'm making tomorrow??

Friday, April 09, 2010

Easter picture

This year, we stayed home and spent Easter with our church family. I love our church, and the people in it. Though I miss being with our families, I'm thankful for our church family which has been like family to us.

Easter Sunday we got up, enjoyed a fairly quiet morning. After getting the kids dressed in their Easter outfits, we did Easter baskets. This year, the Easter bunny was a slacker and just bought what candy could be found at HEB. Thank goodness that's not what Easter's about!

We headed to church where we celebrated our Savior's victory over death and worshipped our risen Lord.

We joined the Findley and Haileys for lunch and an egg hunt. It was a really wonderful day that lasted into the evening.

The following song is one of my favorites, and perfect for the Easter holiday I hope your family had a blessed Easter!

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung Him on that judgment tree
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
My only Savior before the Holy Judge
The Lamb Who is my righteousness
The Lamb Who is my righteousness I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought, my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I’m satisfied in Him alone
I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm, held by His grace
My feet are firm, held by His grace
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagle's wings
He crowns my life with loving kindness
His triumph song I'll ever sing
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who waits for me at gates of gold
And when He calls me it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold


My, how 1 year can change things! Look at how different last year's pictures were.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Timothy's wonky lip Part 2

This morning, we had an appointment with the plastic surgeon. We are very thankful that Timothy is growing, and gaining weight. Because he's doing such a good job at that, we were able to schedule his cleft repair surgery for May 5th. The surgery will be about 2 hours long, and we've been told to plan on staying the night so that the doctor's can be sure Timothy is eating well and not getting dehydrated. Even though his cleft is incomplete, and not as major as some, the surgery to repair it is just as extensive. The doctor will complete the cleft, the repair it.

While as a mommy I'm no stranger to having my children go through surgery, both major and minor, I'm finding that I am very saddened by this upcoming surgery. Perhaps it's because I've never had a child this young face surgery. Maybe it's because it's "just cosmetic" and doesn't NEED to be done to keep Timothy healthy.

But I think the main reason I'm saddened is because, for me, this is a very obvious and tangible reminder of the world we live in. We live in a fallen, sin marred world. A world where babies are born sick and with deformities. Though I have the ultimate hope of glorification in heaven, I still find myself saddened by the effects of sin.

Every day, I deal with my sin. As a mother, I also have the responsibility of helping my children as they deal with their sin. Though I know Timothy is a sinner, and corrupt in his whole being, I have yet to see those sinful tendencies. But here he is, with a birth defect that shows he is a sinner, born into a sinful, imperfect world. It just makes me sad.

Please keep us in your prayers as we deal with this. I'm thankful that I'm not scared of this surgery. I trust the doctors, the hospital and the staff that will be tending Timothy. Ultimately, I trust that God will use this entire situation for his glory and our good.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Almost a week ago, I posted asking any of my blog readers to ask me some questions so I had something to blog about. Well several of you came through!! If you've come up with a question, or blog topic, that you think would be interesting, let me know! I had fun, and would like to do it again.

Now, on to the answers!

Rachel B. asked: When you first met Curtis, did you think, "This man is the father of my future children," or not? If not, what did you think?

I actually don't remember the first time I met Curtis. I know it was the summer of '96 at Sunday school. I was 16, he was almost 18. Thankfully, God grew us both A LOT in the two years from when we met till the time we started our courtship. When we began our courtship, I knew he was someone I could see myself marrying so by default, the father of my children. So the short answer is, no I didn't think that Curtis would be the father of my children when we met. I thought he was a jerk. :-) But I'm thankful for grace, and for how God grew us and changed us.

Rachel B also asked: If you could tell the woman you were when you met him anything in the world, what would you say to yourself?

I actually did a blog awhile back about this. Check it out here.

My witty friend, Kristy, asked: Did you know that Sonic has the best drinks?

YES! I sure did!

A little background on that question. Kristy was my roommate in college, and we lived very close to a sonic. I don't even remember how it started, but we would randomly ask each other, "Did you know Sonic has the best drinks?" Good memories, Kristy, good memories.....

Jordan King, a sweet student in our co-op asked: What is the one of the sweetest things your children have done?

Hands down sweetest thing that my children have done is when I see that they are learning and growing in the Lord. The first time the say the Lord's Prayer on their own, singing the Doxology as loud as possible at church, acting out Bible stories, their sweet innocent prayers...... they melt my heart!

I love this question! Thanks for asking, Carissa: Looking at their personalities now, what occupations can you imagine your children having when they are grown?

Elizabeth: Singing, Dancing, Boss of the World.
Micah: A knight or an inventor
Benjamin: TV anchor or Politician
Timothy: Profession Eater/Momma's Boy

Sherry asked for a prediction:Which of your children will be the tallest and will they all be as tall as you and Curtis?

I think Micah will be our tallest. And yes, I think he will be taller than Curtis and I. I also think Elizabeth will be as tall as I am. I think Benjamin and Timothy will be tall, but not crazy tall.

My Da asked several questions, but I'll just tackle one for now: Why is it important to know how to ride a bike?

A life lesson can be learned behind the handle bars of the bike. Sometimes learning something hurts, but in the end, it really can be fun! I think it's important for kids to see in a tangible way that they can put forth the effort, even when it's hard and often painful, and get good results.

Momma asked: why are you so tall?

Because God loves me more than all the short people. :-) And good genes!

Even though she didn't leave a technical question, I wanted to give a big "HI!!!!" to Ms. Mary Ellen King! Ms. Mary Ellen is just about as sweet as they come! I love that she reads this blog. She said, "Love your blog!!!! How you have time I'll never know...." It's funny, because I get this comment a lot. And even though my life is a tad bit busy at the momment, I make time to blog because I love to blog! I really enjoy reading back over old blog, seeing pictures, reliving the good and the bad. It also helps me remember events for when I'm scrapbooking, which is my other hobby.

That was fun! Feel free to comment with more questions if you have any. It could be fun to do this again!