Friday, January 30, 2009

The Ultimate Party Bus

Okay, so it was a van.....

Last night I had a thrilling dream. I awoke to the sound of a blaring horn, not the trumpets that I've heard about in the Bible. I went out the door to meet Jesus in a fifteen passenger van! We drove around collecting people for our trek to heaven. Somehow the van kept expanding to accommodate the many people who had such a privilege. So much for meeting my Jesus in the sky :) It seemed so real and wonderful last night and wonderfully hilarious this morning. Although, I must say that if the plan should be revised, and Jesus wants to retrieve me in a van, I will have no complaints!

My Bible suffered some sacrilege this afternoon. I left it out with the Bible Study I am currently working on, and Adeline found it with a pen. I found additions to scripture in Deuteronomy, Numbers, and 1st Samuel, oh, and bit in Exodus as well. She turns pages with one hand and scribbles with the other, thus allowing the damage to be widespread. I love my Bible; I am used to how it feels in my hands, the pages don't stick together anymore, and I have meaningful scriptures underlined. Perhaps one day I will cherish Adeline's "blasphemous" scribbles, but for now, I am a little disappointed at the damage my Bible received--yet laughing a bit about it. I can still read through the scribbles, and given the shear number of pages in the Bible, she only scribbled in a small percentage. My Bible will be quite unique to pass on to future generations, I'm sure. We have only just begun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Do I know?

We had a great, yet hectic Christmas. We were busier during the two weeks surrounding Christmas than in our "normal" lives. As much fun as I had, I was also disappointed. I had visions of relaxing with David--he had a full 16 days off from work, and we didn't spend a single one just together. We had to get back to real life to find any time.

The chaos sort of spun me around and spit me out dizzy. I wasn't sure where to pick up and move on. I kept praying--pleading for direction because the things that had seemed so right in late November seemed all wrong in the beginning of January. I am still a little dizzy, but I am improving as I try to be obedient. I am teaching the women's Purpose class at church and David is co-teaching the mens' class with Todd--that started on Monday. We are still helping with ARISE on Wednesdays, small group twice a month on Friday, and Norah has started a tumbling class that will last a few weeks on Saturday mornings. We went to Kansas City over the weekend for my cousin's (Paul and Haley) little boy's (Ian) birthday, and we have decided to go to Winter Camp in Colorado with the youth in February. The list SPINS ME AROUND! But I am amazed by my Jesus who walks beside me. He has shown me that this is a busy season, but it is one that He is in with me. I have had confirmed in my quiet times that I am not running ahead or lagging behind, but I need to stay faithful and draw my strength from Him. I really have had a new peace come over me concerning these commitments. On top of it all, though, my dad's health is not good right now. He had to go to the hospital on New Year's Eve and was there for four days. He hasn't felt well since, but he tries to keep going. He had to be squeezed in for a visit with his specialist on Friday and they made some medicine changes. I try to keep lifting him up in prayer, but I have to admit that I sometimes feel very discouraged concerning the whole thing. And there are other things going on in the lives of those close to me that sometimes cause me to feel overwhelmed.

The mix of trusting the Lord to carry me through this crazy season and yet feeling discouraged for others is so hard to figure out. I believe so much in the Almighty God and do trust Him, but it is hard to keep my desires to see fast action at bay, and to remove myself from wanting to dive in myself to fix it all.

The song, "What Do I Know of Holy?" is on my mind a lot these days. I feel like the closer I draw to the Lord, the less I realize I know. " I think I made you too small....." I have been doing a study on John--not the book, the disciple--as a person. He loved Jesus so much and knew Jesus in the flesh. We strive to learn how to be that close to our living Savior, and yet sometimes when that is our focus, we forget to realize that He is also a REALLY BIG GOD. Wow! Personal, yet bigger than I can fathom. The balance can be mind boggling--and that is where I am. I am trying to quit analyzing and just to be still so that God can show me the parts about Him that He wants me to understand right now--I can't get the whole picture at once. Hard to accept--school came easy for me and when there was a piece that I didn't understand, I got upset. I used to leave my high school Calculus class in tears. God is not a concept to be fully understood--I can learn a lot and continue to grow more and more, but I can't expect to arrive at a complete understanding with an "A" on my paper. I have heard that and even spoken that time and time again. Now I have to remember it, and put it into practice again.

Here are some pictures from our fun and crazy times:

Norah on Christmas Eve

Sisterly Love

Norah is ready for tea

Addie and Papa

When Norah saw her pigtails in the mirror, she declared that she looks like a "real gymnasticker" now.

Birthday Boy, Ian!

Leaving KC

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Seasons Change

We had a great time over Labor Day weekend. We got in some relaxing and some time with friends and family. It really does feel like the end of summer though. I always seem to think of the State Fair as the beginning of fall--and it comes only a week after Labor Day weekend. I don't know how I feel about summer coming to an end. I always love the fall--football, soup, open windows, bonfires, festivals, my birthday, the pumpkin patch, and this year my great friend, Trish, from Louisiana is coming....., but how did September get here? I really want to hit the pause button for a moment. What is my deal? Usually I am ready for a change of pace, but right now, I'm not.

I've alw
ays been a person who doesn't like my cheese to move very far. I think that having kids is showing me just how much changes, and how quickly. Last Labor Day is when I found out I was pregnant with Addie. This year, I have a smiling four month old. I feel like I have traveled through many seasons the past three or four years, and I don't just mean the time of year. I have grown and changed so much spiritually; I have had times of stepping forward and times of needing to fall back; I've been tied down to babies and experienced breaths of the carefree life; I've had times of strength and moments of weakness; times of loneliness and times of feeling surrounded by support. Several times when I mention changes, my friends tell me, "It's just a season, Rache." I am so thankful to have friends now that are with me no matter the season. More, I am thankful for an unchanging God in Heaven who has a plan for this changing life of mine.

As for summer turning to fall, the past few da
ys were crazy. We went from a warm day for a pool party to two days later, harvesting pumpkins and gourds at my parents house, with a hint of a chill in the air. Norah is delighted that there will be "more to pick soon." Here are some fun pics:

Jamie, Steph, and Rachel synchranized floating

Matt (left) and Dave (right) off the board.

My lil' punkin

After pickin' fun

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sometimes Memories Don't Seem To Be Enough...

...but they have to be. I thoroughly enjoyed my family reunion over the weekend. I wasn't sure how the road trip would be with the girls, but it worked out well. I am so thankful that I didn't pass up the opportunity to be with my family. I don't know if it is the time of year, the gathering, or just my reflections, but I am missing Grandma so much right now--I always do, but I have really been having a hard time the past couple of weeks. People say that memories last a lifetime--true--but I wish that I could actually see those memories again. I wish that as a kid I was a little photojournalist, capturing the common things that seem so special now. I would love to see me at the table in my nightgown with Grandma eating a bowl of Kix before bed, her packing snacks and a jar of ice water for Brennen and me to go hiking in the pasture, feeding scraps to the cats, passing me Trident in church...., ordinary things that seem so extraordinary now. I am so grateful to have those memories though, and rather than memories fading, I think I remember more as time passes.

The weekend reunion was a good time for more fun memories to be made. I tried to take plenty of pictures. The time went too fast!

Kent and Norah playing Tic Tac Toe.

Matt, me, and Brennen on the observation deck.

And Matt scaring the pants off of me, sitting on the ledge of the observation deck. He wouldn't get down until I took this picture.

Uncle Tim, Norah and Mom. I wanted a picture of them with the watermelon that Uncle Tim gave to Norah. As I was trying to take the posed photo, some sort of sibling conflict took place and this is what I got---my mom's true colors.

And the posed photo with Norah eating watermelon.

Breaking the law on the paddle boats. They weren't aware of the no bumping rule--there's a good reason for the rule. Your boats may get stuck together--as shown here. Not to mention that someone could potentially be knocked off the back of the boat. You can't see their faces well in this small photo, but they were cracking up at their misfortune :)

Photo Op. David, Matt, Brennen and Elizabeth.

That's my first born being dangled off the back of the boat by her grandma -- barefoot. Breaking another law, or two. The sign did say no bare feet. We didn't read the rules until after the ride though, and nobody said anything about it.

Aunt Kim and Addie.

Poor Addie learned to sleep on the go.

On the way home, Norah learned what you do when you are surrounded by country, with no potty for miles and miles. She did quite well :)

I have more great pictures--too many to go on and on with. I am so thankful to have fun new memories--and pictures. What treasures these times are. I can't say enough about that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Birthday and a Bumbo

Last weekend we had a family party for Dave's birthday (he'll be 28 on August 17). We will be headed out of town this weekend to see my mom's clan at a reunion in Nebraska, so we celebrated with family that won't be headed that way. We are so blessed to have so much family around us. I was realizing on Saturday that we are able to gather with four generations. Our grandparents, parents, and siblings enjoy each other on top of that. I always took that for granted growing up. I was used to big family gatherings and always looked forward to them. My family members were and still are some of my closest friends. I am really looking forward to my family reunion in Nebraska too--our family has fun when we gather. No boring picnics in the heat with people you don't know or remember, just people that have a blast together and love each other very much. I can't wait!

I finally accepted earlier this week that Addie should be a part of the Bumbo seat craze. I thought these crazy seats were for lazy parents who didn't want to teach their children to sit up on their own. I also thought that they had a ridiculous price tag for a molded piece of foam--thick as it may be. This was until I realized how much Addie likes to be held in a sitting position--I can't keep it up all day--but Bumbo can. She can sit when I want to do something else and be able to play with both hands. She bats at things when she is laying on the floor, but in her seat, she can really get a grip on her toys. And she LOVES it! Bumbo seats are a craze for a reason, and I intend to spread the word of their greatness.

got to enjoy some more pool time this week as well. We swam at Dave's party once and went again on Sunday night. Addie had her first pool experience, and Norah is getting slightly braver around the water. We enjoyed the extra time with Dave's parents too.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Dentists, Doctors, Appointments....OH MY!

Sometimes it is heartbreaking to be a mom. I know that I needed to take the girls to their respective appointments, but I hated waiting to hear medical professionals tell me my babies are doing all right. A couple of years ago, I would have thought that a ridiculous remark to make. What's the big deal about going to the doctor or dentist? That's what is best afterall. Luckily, I have been given two little champions that make these things so much easier.

Norah had to go to the dentist last Wednesday because I saw dark spots on the backs of her front teeth. I cringed as I waited to hear that the dentist would have to knock her out and cap her teeth. As it turns out, she grinds her teeth and has worn through the enamel but has no cavities. When I asked what I should do about that, I was relieved to hear "nothing". Apparently some kids grind their baby teeth to the gum line. If she does it to her permanent teeth, she'll wear a night guard, but for now we just keep brushing. Norah loved her appointment. That's her looking proud if slightly hesitant in the chair. She was thrilled to receive a ring and bracelet from the treasure drawer when she was done too.

Addie had to go back to the cardiologist for her two month follow up today. I was thrilled that she was so good. She didn't cry until the end of her ECHO when they had to pull off her "stickies". The doctor said that the heart defects are still there, but the hole (ASD) is slightly smaller and the other problems are very mild. As the ASD heals (I'm saying as, not if) the other things will heal or at least not have an effect on her. She is doing great, so we go back in 3 months to do it all over again. I am believing that God will continue to heal her and we will be seeing that healing continue to take place at her next visit. In this picture, she hadn't been to the ECHO yet, but she is red from a different batch of stickies that they had to put on her. The 2 hour appointments aren't fun, but it is fun to watch my baby charm the office personnel.

Over the weekend, the girls had some time with grandparents too. A little R&R....... We celebrated Papa Jeff's birthday--though it looks like Norah's since she took care of the candle blowing for him. We had such a relaxing and fun time. Happy Birthday Daddy!