Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

scarecrows and screaming

We made two scarecrows this year- what fun!

Lorraine asked “mommy whose clothes are these?” as we filled up the large pair of overalls. “Mr. Hercamp gave us these clothes to make a scarecrow, isn't that nice?” “Yes but...” (Silence...) “did he leave with no clothes on?”

Agnes once could say “Cinderella” without any problem, but her teasing daddy put “Cinder-lella” in her mind and now she can't seem to get it out again. If she concentrates REALLY hard she can get closer.. CinderrrrrrLELLA!

Seth is quite sensitive lately about people laughing at him. Because of that he generally refrains from dancing with the other kids, especially if someone is watching. I absolutely love those rare moments when he forgets to be self-conscious. He watches the other kids and starts to smile despite himself... then, almost against his will his body moves with the beat, he joins his siblings in their party. I must remember not to draw attention to it by saying something like “See Seth, dancing really IS fun!” If I do, he will be SHOCKED to find himself actually dancing, and immediately remember his former standards of decorum, and hide his red face while he vows to himself that he will never, never forget himself like that again.

Marcus's new favorite phrase is an indignant “Mommy says!”

Daddy says, “Marcus no, you can't get up on the couch right now.” Marcus insists, “Mommy says!”

If Lorraine says, “Marcus no I don't want to wrestle right now!” Marcus climbs on her back and yells, “Mommy says!”

No other explanation needed- the mere mention of Mommy ought to win the argument in his mind!

Eldon is working on his fourth tooth already. He is also developing his one hundred and fifty-second opinion. I don't think I have ever had a baby with such horribly strong opinions at this age before. (Marcus and Aggie had some of this but not nearly as dramatic- OH NO!) He absolutely must sleep on his side sucking two fingers. He likes yogurt but HATES potatoes. He loves swinging but HATES the stroller. He loves chewing on a sippy cup but SCREAMS at the very sight of a bottle. And in some of his moods, he must be touching his mommy at all times- if he is out of arm's reach he SCREAMS BLOODY MURDER. So he works in the kitchen with me, where I found yet another opinion: if he's not in arms reach AND at eye level he SCREAMS BLOODY MURDER. No, he most certainly will not play on the floor by my feet!

By now I am pretty good at doing most things one handed, but every now and then I do have to set him down. So, on these lovely moody days of teething, every time I go to the bathroom, he SCREAMS. Every time I bring food to the table for a meal, he SCREAMS. Every time I change Marcus's diaper, he SCREAMS. Every time I button Seth's shirt or tie a shoe, he SCREAMS. As soon as I pick him up, he's happy again. He has developed quite the grip on my left arm- I probably could walk around not even holding him and just let him hang there like a koala.

He is trying to get around already, which I have finally started to encourage in hopes he will spend more time making messes in the house and less time SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER!

Who, me?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

easily entertained

It all started with a good idea... "Hey kids, why don't you go run around in the field for awhile?"

Eldon and I sat on a sheet and enjoyed the warm sun while we watched the kids "explore." (How much exploring can a person do in a field?)Lorraine found some deer prints!
"Look mommy, it's a mommy one and a baby one!"

Then, the most FUN and AWESOME thing EVER! A DITCH!!!

Aggie is belly laughing as they all jump across and back,
barely making it every time.
Marcus decides that "making it" is over-rated!"

Good idea little brother!
But it is a little squishy down here...
(That's when I holler, "you're fine, keep trying!"
Amazingly, they did get out of the mud. It's not quick sand after all!)
"You guys got your shoes muddy, you can clean them off."
Seth stands in the background reminding me and everyone that HE didn't get muddy AT ALL.

Praise to God who made sunny October days!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If God were here

(I wrote this for the newsletter awhile back but never posted it here. Yet these thoughts come back again as our church grieves the loss of a dear member. In times like this we are glad when God's word reminds us that it is not always going to be this way.)

One beautiful evening this spring the girls and I took a walk down our country road. We talked excitedly of the new baby that was soon to come- in a couple weeks or so, I told them. Lorraine, ever fascinated with babies, asked me “Mommy, why do the doctors not know what day that baby will come? Why do they just have to guess?”

“Well, honey, there are still lots of things even doctors don't know about our bodies and how God made us. We still get sick... there are still some things doctors don't know how to fix.”

“Mommy!” she said excitedly, as though stumbling on a terrific original thought, “If God were here, nobody would ever get sick again!”

I opened my mouth to take advantage of this teaching opportunity, to say something about God doing good things for us even in sickness, about the cross, or the good things that can come out of bad days...but as I took a breath, the grief that I had been carrying all day about Aggie came rushing up my throat. Images filled my head- the six seizures so far that day, the one on the top of the slide at the playground that could have been disastrous, the weepy eyes and confusion caused by her newest medicine that doesn't seem to be working.... It took all my energy to get my breath back. I turned my eyes to the woods and used all of my strength to hold back my tears. In true toddler fashion Lorraine immediately forgot what we were talking about and moved on to something else. Now it is night, and she sleeps peacefully. I am awake, her comment still haunting me.

Marcus has a high fever and an awful cough tonight.
If God were here.....

I just woke Aggie to check her for a rash or another side effect from her new medicine. I could hardly wake her... is it because it is midnight, because she just had another seizure, or because this new medicine is hurting her sweet body already?
If God where here...

We don't like to say this out loud, but sometimes we do feel abandoned in our pain. We face suffering beyond explanation, and pain that does go beyond what we can handle, pious platitudes aside. We sigh and ache and grieve, we shiver under the shadow of death, and we are sure things would be much better if only God were here.

So is He really here? How do we know? The enemy would have us do what comes naturally to us, and look to our circumstances to answer that question. If we are healthy and happy, it is easy to believe that there is a God, and that He loves us. If we are hurting and miserable, then it is easy to believe that everything we have been told about this loving God must be a lie, or that it does not apply to us. We are attacked with doubts, and doubt turns into fear, and our hearts sink with our burdens.

I can only imagine the disciples and friends of Jesus felt this way as they watched His crucifixion. Of all the dark days humanity has ever experienced, surely that was the darkest. As the innocent Son of God was crushed under the weight of sin and evil, even the sun withheld its rays, All life and hope seemed to disappear with the light.

Yet God was there! His love and grace were right there in that dark and terrible scene. We can see it now as we look back, now that we have learned from the resurrected Christ exactly what God was doing that day.

Because of that day and the resurrection that followed, we have good reason to believe Jesus' words: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He comes to us in our time of trial, He sees our doubtful, struggling hearts, and sends His children and His Word to give us new life. His Spirit reminds us of His faithfulness to us in days past, how time and again He rescued us, even when we were rebellious and stubborn. Like His children throughout all of history, we will face trials as we journey through this world, yet like those children, we will be carried safely through them all. God is with us.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

odds n ends

Does anybody local have either of the following:

An old pair of overall jeans (any size)
An empty oatmeal container

The overalls are for the making of a scarecrow(Lorraine has been begging me!) And the oatmeal container will be decorated fancy and used to hold Lorraine's ever growing collection of headbands!

Also, the "reactions" at the bottom of the post are new to this blog. Just something I noticed as I was doing something else. Yesterday I had "funny, interesting, cool" just because that was the default for Blogger- today it occurred to me that I could change them. I thought of adding a bunch more adjectives that would boost my self esteem and yet say nothing (wow, way to go, praise the Lord, fantastic, I agree, yeehaw, amen, whaddyaknow, nice job, thanks for sharing, and the like) but then I opted for these three- smiling, thinking, praying. I am usually hoping for one of these responses with my words! (If you have other things to say of course you can always comment or email me!)

So in that spirit, I will share one story.
" I want soooop" said Marcus insistently at the dinner table last night. What is he asking for? None of us could figure it out. "Markie you want what?" we asked, and the kids laughed and guessed the craziest things he could think of. (you want snow? you want soup? you want a show?) Of course he got frustrated but kept insisting "I want SOAP!" "Is he really saying soap?" I said "You want soap Markie?" He giggled "yes" and pointed to the honey for his bread. "Oh Markie, that's not soap it's honey! Trust me there is a big difference!"

No WONDER he was so eager to play with the hand soap in the kitchen earlier that day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Past

Click here to view pictures from past Halloween days!

Is there anything Walmart can't do?

Aggie is doing the same; a little quirky, but if her quirks are just quirks and not caused by a tumor, we are OK with that! We have been given the OK to wean the next medicine- It will take ten weeks, but we are hoping to see improvements with the quirks soon if this med is the culprit. After this one is gone (assuming no seizures) she will be weaned off the last one!

Meanwhile, she is flittering around enjoying her days as usual. She was my grocery shopping buddy on Monday and must have been pretty impressed with the wide selection at Walmart, because I overheard this conversation later that day:

She and Seth were climbing on the chairs the other day pretending there were crocodiles in the carpet, and I heard her yell, "OH NO! A crocodile ate both of my feet!" Not to worry though, she simply climbed to another chair and said, "Seth, I'll be right back, I have to go to the store to get some more feet!"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

a sigh of relief

Just now heard from the doctor- MRI looks clean.

I did not realize I was holding my breath all morning but I must have been- all of a sudden I realize how nice it feels to breathe again!

Her neuro is not in today- we will hear from him tomorrow whether he wants us to just hang in there with her goofy behavior as she heals a little more from surgery or if he will allow us to wean a little bit more.

I will be giving her an extra hug when she gets up from her nap today- at least one for me and a few more for those of you who were praying with me! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

what a day!

We attempted touch a truck this morning.... Seth was all kinds of excited about it before we left and for about half of the car ride- Marcus was excited all the way. then as we got closer Seth realized there would be other people there... then the mood started. Man that boy can be ornery! We lasted about a half hour, and after the 20th "mommy can we just go home?" I said OK lets do it. Marcus acts like Seth when Aggie is gone so he was a mess too- what is that about?! I have no pictures- nobody wants to remember those ornery faces!

But I definitely have had the easier day compared to Josh ... he called around 11 and said "What do I do?" Apparently Aggie got all nerved up about her test and threw up on herself in Josh's car.... so um, sorry hon, can't really help you from an hour away, but I guess you are going to have to go buy her some new clothes....

She had the MRI then threw up three more times on the way home. They used a different sedative which may have been the culprit those times. Of course she was not pleased about any of this, and neither was daddy!

But even after all that, when I ask her how her day was, she says "pretty good!" Then she gets a sheepish but amused smile and tells me how she "puked'ed one, no two, no three, no four times in daddy's car."

She's absolutely fine tonight. When she got home she took a bath of course and swam around singing "1, 2, Jesus loves you; 2, 3 Jesus loves me" over and OVER and OVER again!

Will post tomorrow if I hear something!

mri again

Please pray for Aggie and Josh today as they head up to Indy for an MRI.

Aggie's been showing some strange behavior lately- no seizures, but in some ways she is acting like she did when she was having seizures. (She's having trouble finding words, multitasking, processing information, and generally seems to be mentally slowed down.) This is likely the effects of the meds she is still on, and we may be seeing them get worse simply because as her brain heals she really doesn't need the meds and so they are affecting her in this way.

This is the theory we like the best of course, because as we wean these problems will go away. But it could be something else, hence the MRI. So we move ahead and hold our breath until we hear something- probably tomorrow.

In the meantime, the boys and I are off to "touch a truck!" Will post pics from that and Markie's birthday when I get a chance!