Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

At our house,

we have lots

to be thankful for

this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughts on Pumpkin, New House Rules, a Cute Baby, and Lessons from God

I'll break my baby-imposed blogging hiatus with a few observations.

1. Getting dressed and putting on makeup everyday is WAY overrated, I've decided.

2. Emergency rooms are very useful in the event of an emergency, but I'd rather not have to send my children there so frequently.

3. It's a good thing my Bible study small group is not actually dependent on my presence to
study God's Word.
4. Clearly, I should have added "Don't hold your brother on the ground and shove a poopy diaper in his face" as one of the house rules. How silly of me to think that was one of those unstated and understood rules.

5. Ditto #4 on the rule, "Don't ever put the battery-operated toy mixer in the tub with you and mix the bath water with it."

Now that that is out of the way, on to bigger and better things, like pondering the question "Can I count pumpkin muffins made from a can of pumpkin and a cake mix as a serving of fruit or vegetables?" and "Is pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?" I'm thinking the answer to both questions is "Yes."

For any of you who know me, I can throw a pity party with the best of them. I'm not much of a partier (said the only girl to ever attend the University of Alabama yet NEVER attend a party there), but a pity party is right up my alley. Usually, the moment one of my kids gets sick (which happens approximately every 2.4 days), my thoughts go to what I'm going to be missing out on as I stay home to play nurse. No one ever accused me of trying to hide my sins. I'm just laying it all out there. It should be obvious to me by now that God has some purpose in allowing my children to get sick on a continuously rotating basis, and it's probably not to make sure our doctor doesn't go bankrupt. (Though that could be seen as an additional benefit.) As with most trials in life, both big and small, God tends to have a spiritual purpose. Who woulda thought?

I have struggled to see the point of this neverending trial in my life. What good does it do for me to be continually stuck at home being a subpar nurse to snotty-nosed kids? Why would he purposefully cause it to happen the night before Bible study every week? I mean, it's not like I'm wanting to go play blackjack in Tunica or spend an evening at the local strip club. Finally, this morning, as I struggled to NOT indulge in a pity party for missing Bible study again, He answered me. "It's because you need to spend a little less time studying my Word and a little more time applying it in your life." Ouch.

I've been in Bible study for 12 years, in church for 33 (which is strange, since I'm only 27 years old), and in an accountability group for 3. In our accountability group, we read wonderfully toe-stomping books like Crazy Love and Radical. And those books always leave me wondering how I'm supposed to apply books about living radically for Christ when I spend most of my time in the four walls of my house...and in Publix. Now, I realize it probably wouldn't be a bad idea for me to share the gospel with people everytime I go to the grocery store, but I'm just going to be honest and say that I'm terribly lukewarm and disobedient in that area of my life. So, it looks like I need to take the words we read this past Tuesday to heart:

If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. I John 2:4-6

Um, is it just me or did God state His expectations pretty clearly? How about here:

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:22-25

So, I'm facing this day trying to live like Jesus did...a life of obedience to the Father. When I asked Him what specific commands apply to me today, the first one He brought to mind was:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Then, on the heels of that one, He added:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So, I'm trying to spend my day doing math by counting my trials all joy, which can only be done by praying without ceasing. And then maybe He'll help me with the whole multiplication thing, too - you know, by sharing the gospel thing. No wonder I liked math so much in school! (Okay, I'll stop being a cheesy dork now.)

This really shouldn't be that hard, seeing as I get to spend my day with this guy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turkey Trouble

Ya'll, I never thought I'd see the day when I would witness a grown man and a five-year-old fighting about dressing a paper turkey. Now, I'm all about turkey and dressing as a Thanksgiving feast, but if we ever decide to homeschool, I will have the perfect answer to the inevitable question: "So, why did you decide to homeschool?" "Oh, we're homeschooling so we'll never again have to dress up a paper turkey with scraps of fabric and sequins." I cannot fathom why we would be asked to dress a turkey like something besides a turkey as a school project unless someone is doing a twisted experiment to see how many families can survive such a task. I mean, there is obviously going to be friction in a home when the child wants to dress the turkey like a clown, the dad tries to dress the turkey like a clown, but the turkey ends up looking exactly like a disco king with a mullet. How do you solve that problem? Well, WE solve that problem by writing "Dancing with the Turkeys" on the turkey's back and telling the kid to "be quiet and take this turkey to school tomorrow. Now get in the tub. It's time for bed." Problem solved.

From the looks of things, I think Jack has made peace with his turkey. And I can guarantee one thing...there will not be another turkey like his to make an appearance today. That was our goal all along...uniqueness. Goal accomplished.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Make Me Come Up With a Title. My Brain is Mush.

I guess I might as well blog since it's one of the few things I can do while holding a baby and bouncing him on my leg. Oh, good. Before I could finish typing that sentence with one hand, the paci came flying out and the crying has begun again.

Okay...fast forward a few days and I'm now on the fourth sentence of this exciting post. This is the fabulous day of the year when you gain an hour. And what have I decided to do with that hour? Sit in front of this computer and try to come up with something interesting to say. What should I be doing with this hour? Sleeping! I'm sure the moment I hit "Publish Post," provided I actually get that far, Sleepy Sam will become Wide-Awake Sam. (That would be so much better if I had an "s" word for Wide-Awake.)

It's amazing how many funny and inspiring posts I've come up with in my head over the past weeks. However, everytime I dose off to sleep while nursing Sweet Sam, I think the reset button in my brain gets pushed and every cognisant thought I've had in the last four hours gets erased. And I'm left with nothing. Seriously, my brain is mush. And who has time for blogging when you have a newborn and a very cranky two-year-old screaming at you simultaneously? Note to self: Add those big ear protector/headphone things that people on airport runways wear to your Christmas list.

Really, though, I had this really great life lesson that God showed me through the behavior of one of my children that I was planning on making into a totally fabulous post, and now I can't remember what that child did, or what the life application was, or even which child it was. Mush, I'm telling you. Did you know I was valedictorian? Oh, how far I've fallen.

So, a quick update on our family of six. (How in the world did we become a family of six? That's a rhetorical question, if you're wondering.) Chris is continuing his stint as champion bath-giver of the family. I don't want to infringe on his winning streak, so I've tried to stay clear of the bathroom.

Maddie made all A's on her first report card with real grades. She'll probably go on to be valedictorian like her mother, and then have a few kids and not be able to remember their names, much less how to do calculus.

Jack got to ride in an ambulance for the first time in his life...and hopefully the last. It was all quite dramatic. I've taken my kids to the doctor MANY times, but none of them has ever left in an ambulance. He was a little freaked out at first, but by the time he left the hospital that night, he declared the whole experience to be fun. What else could the verdict be after a day where you get to ride in a vehicle while also in a bed, watch tv all night without interruption, and flirt with all the nurses? And when you top it all off with a trip to Burger King, it's really the best day a kid could ask for. He's fine, by the way.

Luke is...well, he's two. I love him and do not want to say anything that might damage his reputation as a sweet cutie-pie, so I'll just leave it at that. I will add that he made an adorable Luke Skywalker at the Fall Festival. Too bad he got grounded from trick-or-treating the night before. Yes. I grounded my two-year-old from trick-or-treating. Either I'm the meanest mom ever or he was having a remarkably bad behavior day (which could have actually been a whole weekend or week or -hopefully not - month). I'll let you decide.

Sam is getting fat, and I couldn't be more excited. Unfortunately, with the weather cooling off (FINALLY!), he is covered in clothes much too often for me to get in all of my fat roll gazing time in. I think one day this week I'll have to crank the heat up and keep him in a onesie all day so I can pinch his legs anytime I feel like it.

And me? Well, I have more to be thankful for than any girl could ask for, but I have a hard time being thankful for it in the midst of sickness and crying and cooking and cleaning. I find myself longing for a vacation, but I know if I had one, I'd just miss my everyday life. I think. I have a faithful prayer partner who I know God sent me to get me through these long days and keep me focused on Him as much as possible. I pretty much feel like everything in my life is being done halfway, but I'm trying to tell myself it's just a season. Sam's snuggles are precious. Luke's words are hilarious. Jack's observations on life never cease to amaze me. Maddie's girliness is so fun. Chris's hard work is inspiring and appreciated. Life is good. Crazy, but good.

In approximately five and a half weeks, I will do a very cute post of my kids in their Fall Festival costumes. Right after I get my house clean. Don't hold your breath.

(I realize this post is probably full of grammatical errors. Please reference paragraph four.)