Being the Grown-up Stinks

IMG_3363Remember the commercial jingle: “I don’t wanna grown up I’m a ToysRUs kid. .. “

I have been reconstructing the lines all morning. Things like, “I don’t wanna be a grown-up, ignorance is bliss” and “It’s yucky being grown-up; I wish I was still six.” Yep. Today I believe that being a grown-up stinks. I think it would be nice to have my biggest problem be whether or not to join “The Club of Awesomeness at second recess or Kenzie’s club for everybody at first recess. ” (actual problem my seven-year old discussed with me yesterday – I told her to join the Club of Awesomeness because the name was better and then to tell Kenzie that “everyone is awesome” – and I sang it like a Lego Emmett. I am so cool.) Instead, I have decisions about heavy things – 77 lb. things.

Yep, I have decisions about a ten-year old who has occasional seizures and I can’t completely trust her communication.

Little had another seizure last night. It seems petty to even write about it since my sister has a dear friend whose one daughter has constant seizures and another daughter has started having them sporadically. In my world, where seizures are not daily occurrences and I don’t have a doctor I trust, I feel the weight of what happened last night and the uncertainty of what to do next. It’s heavy.

What happened? Little had been feeling bad before going to bed so I was half expecting to be up with her at some point. Honey always takes Little to the bathroom and gives her medication before we go to bed and so last night he got her up and left her on the potty to go get a clean pull-up. He barely made it out of the bathroom and heard her fall off the toilet against the wall, and then she threw up. When he got to her she was rigid and unresponsive (typical of the three other seizures she has had). By the time I got downstairs she was “awake” and shivering and very willing to snuggle (the only up-side to a seizure). She didn’t remember anything, of course.

She slept well through the night and later into the day than she normally does. To demonstrate how odd this is I’ll tell you that I always worry she is dead if she sleeps past six. Seriously. I spent my time in the shower thinking through how I would ever make the call and tell my mom Little was gone – silly, I know – and as soon as I got out I asked Honey if he had checked on her. He knows I struggle with this and so, of course, he had been in her room and made sure she was breathing. It sounds so neurotic as I type it. Still, it’s a window for you into the stress of our life. The abnormal is so normal here . . . your kids probably all sleep past six . . .

So, Little seems fine now. She keeps talking about food but her coloring is still weird. I mean, she KEEPS talking about food. Sheesh.

I’m very aware that her other three seizures have been 2-3 years apart and this one is the second in 2014. Little was supposed to have an MRI in January but we found ourselves without a job and so we put it off. I think it’s time to pick that back up but I have dropped the ball on lining up doctors up to this point. I find myself remarkably motivated now.

If you read this, I covet your prayers. My daddy’s prayers seem overwhelming absent in a moment like this and my prayers seem so small compared to his. When I feel this way I have to choose to remember that it wasn’t the man who prayed . . . it was the God He spoke to that moved and worked. That’s the same God I serve. He is able. He holds Little in His righteous right hand. Who better to trust as I make these decisions.

Maybe being a grown-up wouldn’t stink so much if I could remember He wants us to come to Him like a child. “I don’t have to grow up. God wants me as His kid. . .”?


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The Things We Do

We do some crazy things for our kids, right? This week Bubba’s school had a fundraiser at the local music store . . . this started out as a fundraiser at the Barnes and Noble but ended up being a fundraiser at Boomer Music. I am not going to touch the list of reasons that this was a bad idea.

Maybe I will touch it. . . how many violins, guitars, or saxophones does a family need to buy? Everybody could do with another book to read but who’s dropping the cash for an extra drum set? SERIOUSLY.

Still, we had signed Bubba up to play . . . honestly I thought his entire class was going to be singing. No, a small group of kids were signed up to PLAY THEIR RECORDERS. So, school ended and we drove home so he could get dressed in “festive wear” and headed down the road to the small music store with a smaller parking lot.

We arrived as the kids were lining up and listened to Bubba do an excellent job. Now you listen:

There was another song but it started so quickly I was still clapping for the first one (supportive mom that I am) and couldn’t get it recorded. I’m okay with that.

After he finished playing I ran to find Little and shut the door to the MEN’S  bathroom where she was already . . . busy. I stood guard there while KB picked the guitar she wants for Christmas and Bubba checked out the sheet music. Then we went home.

It was a chaotic and low impact 30 min. all for my little man.
The things we do.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Have you read the book in the title? If you haven’t then remedy that ASAP. It looks like this:The-Best-Christmas-Pageant-Ever

This is the second year that we have read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever out loud and I just love it. I love that I can hardly read a page without laughing and I love that every few pages Bubba is sent into giggles as well. I love that it is written from the perspective of a very honest child. I love the Herdmans – everything about the Herdmans.

I think my kids like reading the book too. I would finish reading three chapters and Bubba would say, “Keep reading!” while KB chimed in with, “That wasn’t very much!” Little has a hard time keeping up with us but she stays in the room and every now and then interrupts to say things like, “Did she punch that shepherd in the eye?” (So, I know she is listening.)

The only thing I know they don’t like about reading this book is that it makes me cry. I cried last year and I cried this year. I warned them. I knew it was coming. I just couldn’t stop myself.

I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t read the book. I’ll try to keep it vague. The bottom line is that this little family hears about Jesus for the first time and their response is so honest and raw that it would move even the toughest bloke to tears. This story we spout off year after year . .  . the Herdmans cause the reader to pause and see it through fresh eyes and it is nothing short of beautiful.

71ITlP4NDtL._SL1500_Josh Wilson accomplishes a similar feat in his song, “Jesus is Alive”. I am pretty sure I wrote about it last year but I can’t help but write again this year. I love this song. I love that it makes me want to lift my hands and worship. I love that I can’t finish a line without my heart going, “huh”. It makes me cry. It made me cry last year and it makes me cry now. It takes the story of Jesus’ birth and uses words that are honest, fresh, and nothing short of beautiful. Words like. . .

“When you turned a stable into Holy ground.”

“So go, and tell, the world that death has died. ‘Cause Jesus is Alive!”

“This Savior in a manger changes everything.”

“This baby boy is making all sad things untrue.”

I’m crying again. So powerful to consider looking in the manger at that wee baby boy and knowing the Truth that He is the answer to all life’s woes. Death’s sting will be no more. It is powerful, right? He’s the Savior in a manger and nothing will ever be the same. I can hardly stand it.

So go to your computer and order a copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Josh Wilson’s Christmas cd, “Noel”, and a box of Kleenex. Then get ready to see Jesus in a new way and to WORSHIP.

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You’re Gonna Cry

I used to love roller coasters. Back in the days of Jr. High and High School I loved going to six flags and riding the Mind Bender over and over. I remember the trip that I first got super motion sick and had to stop and watch my friends take the next ride without me.  The sickness lasted the rest of the day at the park and I knew in my heart it was the end of an era. It’s just gotten worse since then. Then I had kids and I can barely twirl around one time without feeling my stomach wretch.

Life with Little is a roller coaster. Funny enough, I would say it is a Mind Bender too!! Just a week or so ago I was writing of this horrible development at school and wringing my hands as my Lord asked me, once again, to trust Him with the life of my oldest child. My heart was broken. My doubts were mounting. There were tears.

Well, last night was astronomy night at Little’s school. I was dreading going because I was expecting it to be another reminder of her limitations; imagine my joy when she came home from school telling me her tummy hurt and maybe we should stay home. Turns out she was just hungry and we headed out to Olander at 6:30 PM.

Astronomy night is a fourth grade event and an opportunity for the students to report on the planet they have been studying. There were telescopes of different sizes and strengths all over the back lot and we were able to see a star cluster of between 10,000-1 million stars, a galaxy, a nebula, the moon’s surface, a double star, and the star cluster Subaru. IT WAS AMAZING. Bubba was beside himself.

We made our way inside as the students finished the inner planets and got ready to hear reports on the outer planets. Little joined her friends, she put on her white lab coat, and I braced myself. When the Jupiter kids finished fielding questions, Little and two of her classmates walked to the front and introduced themselves. The next 10 minutes were such a sweet gift from our Father. Each time it was Little’s turn to speak, the little girl beside her would smile and point to the place on her index card to help her know where to start. She would whisper, “read loud” and Little would.

They sat down during the Powerpoint presentation. There were pictures upon pictures of Saturn and each girl’s voice filled the room in turn, spewing facts. Little did such an amazing job and her little sing-song lilt made everyone in the room smile. It was beautiful to watch. It was so overwhelming I got a bit tickled. I mean, seriously, how can one little voice have that kind of effect on a room. Amazing.

After the presentation, the girls stood back up to answer questions. A daddy asked about the many colors of Saturn and his daughter gave a quick response. The next thing I knew, Little’s teacher stepped forward and asked the daddy to repeat the question and to ask Little to answer.  “She has more information she can give you, ” said Mrs. Haskett. Watch the video below to see what happened next:

Yep. That’s my girl. I sat there listening to her and my heart was soaring. My joy was mounting. There were tears.

Such a silly little thing, right? But I have to tell you, it is “silly” stuff like that which allows this mommy to go another day. Just think! What if I had skipped Astronomy Night? We would have missed all the amazing stars in the night sky and that super amazing Little Star in the classroom.

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October Came and Went

I can’t believe that it is December and I never processed through our October. It was a good month – full of friends and fun. I loved almost every day of October.

KB and Bubba’s school had a fund-raiser called a Fall Festival.P1000625 Each class was responsible for a game with little prizes or activities for kids to participate in and each of these cost tickets (1-3 tickets each). If you pre-bought your tickets you got a cut on the price but the brilliance of the plan was that the tickets didn’t go far and there was someone at the door selling more!! You can see that we had a great time.
P1000624We had a visit from my dear friend, Debbie.P1000632Debbie’s husband is one of the coolest men I know and he is always kind about sending her out to see me. She stayed four days and it was wonderful. We sewed curtains, went grocery shopping, and TALKED ourselves to death. It was nice since we had been here just long enough for me to realize I didn’t know ANYONE.

Then my sweet friend Caroline flew (5)Caroline brought her newborn and stayed less than 48 hours AND IT WAS AWESOME. It was hard to tell if the kids were more excited about the baby or the photos she brought from (3)P1000640It was a busy month at school too.  Bubba had a special project due: a competition for Lego and Mo Willems. The competition required the student to either write a new ending to one of Mo Willems’ pigeon books or write a new pigeon story. Once the writing was complete the student needed to illustrate the story with Legos.  Bubba wrote a story called The Funky Pigeon and the title slide of the Powerpoint presentation looked like this:Funky PigeonAwesome, right? The pigeon and the goomba under a disco ball – seriously! The story got pretty silly, if I am honest, but I was proud of him for doing the work and finishing the project. This might be one of my favorite things he has done at school since we got here.

The other thing the kids do at school is a major part of the curriculum called Paragon. You can read about it here. If I understand it correctly, this is the social studies curriculum and I’m going to give you an eye full of what I think about it. The kids love it . . . the lessons are interspersed with singing, dancing, drama, art – what’s not to love. I just don’t believe the things they are learning are the right things.

Everyone in the school is learning in the same time period of history but focusing on different parts of the globe. This past month KB’s grade looked at ancient Greece and Bubba’s grade looked at China during the same years. A month is spent focusing on each time period and then there is a program in the evening where the kids do a presentation for the parents and demonstrate what they have learned. Below you see KB dressed for her play as an ancient Greek and Bubs is dressed in red for China.IMG_0015The first month KB learned about cavemen and Bubba learned about the early culture of India; this lead to so many crazy and amazing conversations about our world view – you wouldn’t believe it. I grieved the loss of our precious KDS and the Biblical Worldview my kids were receiving there, at the same time I was taking my kiddos to the scripture to read what we know to be true as it compares with what they were being told. It was challenging mentally and emotionally.

The second month KB learned about Hercules and the Greek gods. Yep.  In the play she presented she was Hercules earthly mother (for Pete’s Sake!!!!!). Bubba learned about the early years of China and the teachings of Confucius. Great. IMG_0011This month KB is learning about the middle ages. I have heard about The Plague and Robin Hood. Bubba is learning about the silk road/silk route.

So, our second full month in Colorado was a full one. KB’s birthday and Halloween took up the last week and added a lot more excitement.  I’ll write about them next, but for now I will let you catch your breath. I’ll leave you with this thought as I close. . .10435987_790704997628196_3966974419551894598_n




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Thanksgiving in Retrospect

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday – isn’t that horrible? Traditionally it is such a food holiday and, while I love turkey, I have a “take it or leave it” feeling about the rest. My kids don’t enjoy the parade, so we don’t typically watch. We haven’t been near family in so long, that aspect of the day is a bust. Except for the true emphasis of the day (giving thanks for God’s provisions) I am a party pooper. I am thankful Charles Dickens didn’t write a novel about it all or I would constantly be compared to Auntie Scrooge.

Our family has done our best to adapt and make the day work for us. In St. Louis we had found our precious diner and made that our traditional haunt. Last year we added a Disney film to the mix. It’s been nice but this year we have found ourselves in a new town and at a crossroads of sorts – a time to regroup and reconsider the direction our family Thanksgivings are going. We thought. We talked. We decided to spend another year doing the same stuff.

Finding a cute place to eat was a challenge.  Living in a small college town doesn’t afford for many options. The campus has cleared off and all the families in the small family town are breaking bread together in their small homes. We ended up making reservations at a place called C.B. & Potts – it ended up being high on the bar and short on the family dining area, but they put us down and away and it ended up being nice. Honey got a HUGE and typical Thanksgiving dinnerll

I had a turkey sandwich and the kids were able to have their nuggets/grilled cheese/mac-n-cheese.IMG_0168IMG_0166

Everybody shared three things they are thankful for and we tried to be a blessing to our precious waitress who was working on a holiday.

We headed out to see Big Hero 6. In St. Louis we had to “fight” for a seat but yesterday we had a room to choose from.kk

I spent two hours on the phone with my mom and then we had creme brulee french toast for dinner. It was AWESOME. Seriously, I want to got make it again now. You should try it – 15 min. of prep before bed and into the oven when you wake.  It was pretty and yummy.

So, we had a good day. We took the traditional yearly photo, cleaned up all the fall decorations to make room for Christmas’ arrival today, and had a snuggle party before bedtime. That will be my favorite memory of the day; that and talking to my niece and nephew in their car.KB fest

P1000735I hope your day was all you hoped it would be. I hope it was full of people you love (whether in person, on the phone, or over Facetime), food you enjoy, and snuggles. Everybody needs snuggles.

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Thanksgiving 2014

I can say, without hesitation, that this has been the hardest year of my life. It’s been the kind of year that makes me wonder if I will even do a Christmas card; you know, “if you can’t say anything nice. . . “

Still, I hear my mother’s voice in my head saying that when you are hurting or struggling it is good to turn your eyes outward and soon you find yourself filled with joy and no time to sulk. (That is a very rough paraphrase – she is way more eloquent and sassy.) With this thought in mind, I am glad for Thanksgiving’s arrival and the forced opportunity to turn my eyes upward and be reminded of the things my God has done/provided this year.  I am recording them here for my own good but I won’t complain if  you are encouraged as well.

  1. I am thankful for a husband who loves me.
  2. I am thankful that Jeremy lost his job in January.
  3. I am thankful I had the privilege of working at The Kirk for 14 months.
  4. I am thankful my children got to attend KDS and Promise while we were in St. Louis.
  5. I am thankful the Lord worked in my heart to love St. Louis – now I know He can do that here as well.
  6. I am thankful that the Lord has always given me deep friendships – now I find it easier to trust Him to do that again here as well.
  7. I am thankful the Lord gave my husband a job he is excited about.
  8. I am thankful that our new home allows us to see my brother more often than before.
  9. I am thankful that Heaven is real.
  10. I am thankful for a daddy that loved me so well that I miss him this much.
  11. I am thankful for Bruce Stallings.
  12.  I am thankful for a home church that loves my mom so much that I don’t worry if she is cared for.
  13. I am thankful for how much I miss my sister.
  14. I am thankful that my 7 year old wants to snuggle with me.
  15. I am thankful my son understands repentance and takes his sin seriously.
  16. I am thankful that my son loves to play games.
  17. I am thankful that Little’s voice sounds the way it does and for the effect it has on people no matter their walk of life.
  18. I am thankful for Mr. Mo and his recovery.
  19.  I am thankful for Pastor Reeder and the stand he takes for Truth.
  20. I am thankful for Stephanie Hubach and Joel Wallace and the encouragement they provide for families with special ones.
  21. I am thankful for Variety The Children’s Charity of St. Louis and the blessing they were for years to our family.
  22. I am thankful I am still getting to create for the Kirk even though we have moved away.
  23. I am thankful for our blue hutch – it makes me so happy.
  24. I am thankful for our garage.
  25. I am thankful for Pinterest.
  26. I am thankful for Facebook.
  27. I am thankful for Cherry Limeade and Diet Dr. Pepper.
  28. I am thankful for a surprise gift card that came in the mail before we moved.
  29. I am thankful for a new church and the potential for a new family.
  30. I am thankful for the small group I am in at BSF here and the interactions had there.
  31. I am thankful for the sidewalks and bike lanes in Fort Collins.
  32. I am thankful for the view of the mountains I see each morning as I drop the kids off at school.
  33. I am thankful for friends and family who came to visit so quickly after we got here and the love it communicated in such a hard transition.
  34. I am thankful for two cars that run.

I am going to stop there. 20+14 = 34 so that should do it. I think I could go on a bit more but I keep tearing up and that is making my eyes tired.

I hope that you have a lovely Thanksgiving Day and that your heart is overcome by all the good things God has done for you. He died so you could live!! He paid the price for your sin . . . a price so high you could never pay it! If you are surrendered to Him you are FREE INDEED – what more could you ask for? Absolutely anything else is a . . . cherry limeade on the top and weak in comparison. So weak. . .

Thank YOU for taking a minute to read here. Would you be willing to leave  a comment with one thing you are thankful for this year?

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