Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Addiction

Hello, my name is Lisa. (everyone responds - Hi Lisa!!) I have been addicted to my computer for quite some time now. It is like drinking coffee, kissing my kids or doing my morning devotions - Seriously, I am going through withdrawl -- HELP!!!!!!!!

It is true - last week, while I was away, my computer took its last breath. My husband called to tell me - it is like an emergency you know. Of course, I cried (well, not really, but I wanted to vomit)! It is very difficult to get on without a computer! CAN I GET A WITNESS!?!

So, needless to say I will not be blogging until the Lord provides a way for me to have a computer in my own home. Going to a friend's house or our public library gets old pretty quick. The last thing I want to do is be on my friend's computer while I'm visiting, and have you ever tried to use the computers in the library while having 3 young children running amuck in the children's section. OH MY!

Please pray that the Lord is not trying to teach me something about my addiction and it is just that my computer was 6 years old and we live in the land of power outages so it was time to go! I will return, I've got lots of news stored up in my head and in my camera too! Keep checking in! Blessings to ya!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Granny Han & I

I love Granny Han! We met this week, and I have found a "sister of the heart" in Granny (Pauline) Han! If you have not met her, you must go to your library right away or click here and buy the book "Granny Han's Breakfast". Seriously, it is only 25 pages long but Brendan and I both agree that it was one of the best true stories we have ever read. It is about a Christian ambassador living in Taiwan. She lives day to day trusting in the Lord for her every need and the Lord comes through for every single need down to the smallest of details.

In light of what my family is living right now with husband being unemployed since January, I can totally relate to Granny Han's miracles. She even mentions the 5 loaves 2 fish miracle that I feel like we have been living as well. God has been so good to my family in provide for our every need, and the greatest thing is that it is not only increasing my faith, but my children's faith as well. Thank you Lord for good Godly examples of saints who went before us and thank you for being the same yesterday, today and forever! ~ Lisa

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stones of Rememberence

I don't have actual stones piled up to remind me of the things God has brought me through (like they did in the Old Testament), but I do have journals, and now blogs. Yesterday was one of those days I needed to pull out this article that I wrote over a year ago click here to read it. I needed to be reminded of what is really important.

Yesterday, Brendan received his first trophy. He was the only one to receive it, it was the Zippity Zoink Champ Trophy. What? You ask. Each Monday during AWANAS (Bible Club much like Royal Rangers, but with more emphasis on scripture memory) Brendan came prepared for club with several verses memorized. I think we added them up and there were about 63 verses total that he memorized this past year. Anyway, each Monday if you are prepared before club begins you get a Zippity Zoink. Brendan got the most Zippity Zoinks last year. I was so proud, he was so honored. His face was just beaming. Kyle and Shane and I were sitting in the seats as we watched him get his award. I looked over at Kyle and saw the tears. My heart just sank. Let me just preface this by saying while we were still at church Kyle did tell Brendan "I can't say Congrats word, so I'll say Good Job Brendan!" and they did hug. Kyle has the hardest time with understanding that everyone gets different things for different reasons. Just like he gets treasure box stuff from school that Shane and Brendan don't get, they get will sometimes get things that he doesn't get. It is painful, but it is fair.

So yesterday, he sat and compared himself again to his twin brother. (This is a relatively new thing for Kyle, he never used to see the differences and now he does). "I don't have a best friend, I don't have a ribbon, I don't have an award, I don't have any dates with friends cuz I don't have any friends, I'm not smart like Brendan....." I reminded him that he chose to stay home from AWANAS because he was tired and he got to play games with Dad and Mom and brothers didn't get a chance to do that. It was true, he tried AWANAS, but Kyle has to be on the bus at 6:54am and he really needs his sleep, so activities that require a lot of memorization and are at night are not his forte. He really struggles. He had fun at home on Monday nights. (OH and before I forget, Kyle did get a goodie bag with candy and a certificate in it!)

This just breaks my heart because he really doesn't understand. Those of you with multiples understand that it is a hard balance. I was told when they were first born, "OH you don't need two swings, or two exersaucers, just have them take turns" yea hello, step into my world for just a moment please". Well, it doesn't get much easier when they get older, the only saving grace was that Kyle didn't get it! Until recently. He has been in kindergarten for 2 years, the boy has never been invited to a birthday party from school. Shane, is in pre-K, he had about 7 invites in a two week period. Kids come to the house and ask to play with Shane "the little guy", Brendan does have a best buddy or two. Kyle is the sweetest little boy, but he is immature in many ways and that is hard when you are a kid. He is a 6 year old in someways, and he is like a 3-4 year old in others. I always thought it just broke my heart, but now it is breaking his and I am in tears.

To make matters worse, he is now wanting to inflict pain upon himself and saying things like, "I just want to die and go up in Heaven", "I just want to punch myself in the throat and choke and die and be in Heaven now." (Where does he get this stuff?) He only really says this when he is really really upset (like last night), but this is very disturbing for those of us who love him. Brendan was in tears in the van last night! I want Brendan to feel good about his accomplishments, he should be proud of himself! I want Kyle to feel good about his accomplishments and be proud of himself too, without having to compare himself to his brother. I have an appointment with Kyle's Psychologist for next month, and I am continuing to stay on my face in prayer.

Brendan asked me last night "Why doesn't God just make Kyle's brain all better?" I reminded him (and myself) that sometimes the greater miracle isn't in the healing, it is in the living every day with the challenges that you have. We do not understand the mind of God, but we must trust that He is on His throne and He is still in control. Kyle is a beautiful boy with a great capacity to love and enjoy life! If you get a chance, read "EngleLand" it gives you a glimpse into our little section of the world! Thank you Lord, for the love between my boys. Thank you that they are "Best Friends"! Thank you that they are each so individual and that you are Lord of their lives. Thanks for hearing my heart this morning! ~Lisa

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Here is a little glimpse into Mother's Day Week with the Engel family.

On Thursday, Shane had a special Mother's Day Tea at his school. We danced, we heard a great story and we had tea and cookies. Then, Shane took me out to eat. He told the waitress, "This is my special date with Mommy, so I'm paying OK!" She was obviously very green with envy as she handed the check to Shane and said "You know I'm available for dates too!" Shane went and paid the bill and we went shopping. It was a wonderful, memorable time!

Brendan went to "Fire It Up" with some homeschool friends and made me a beautiful coffee mug! I totally love it!! He knows me so well!

Kyle planted seeds and made me a very cute flower pot with actual flowers growing up "Look Mom it's growing up just like me!" - Thanks for the flowers and the tears Kyle! Love it!Today Kyle and Shane made cute wind chimes in Sunday School (sorry no picture)!
As is our tradition, we invite Mike's Mom to have Mother's Day dinner with us. It gives us all time to spend with her, after all, we are thankful for "Meme" if it wasn't for her we wouldn't have Daddy! If we didn't have Daddy, we wouldn't have 3 amazing boys! Mike made us Mahi Mahi with Mango salsa and some kind of little black beans and jasmine rice! OH MY GOSH! He is the best cook EVER!!!
I had a wonderful, relaxing day with my family and I couldn't be more thankful. If you'd like to see my other blog about Mother's Day feel free and click here. It will be up tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Don't Say Good-bye!

I have really lost it! This was my first year homeschooling and it has been one of the most rewarding times of my life. Not only have I learned so much, I have met so many wonderful homeschooling Moms and Brendan and I have had just an amazing time bonding and building our relationship. It has been incredible!

Today I read the last page of a book we have read all year long. A book entitled "The Llama Who Had No Pajama" it is a book of poems. Every week we read about 3 poems from this book and today's poem had me in tears. No, it wasn't sad, but the moment was sad. We are 2 weeks away from finishing our school year. We have used a very rich literature based curriculum and have read so many wonderful books that we are just sad to see it end. (My order for next year comes on Friday so I'll get my fix of new books soon). Next year I will be homeschooling, Brendan and Shane and then who knows Kyle may be next. For those of you reading this, I'm not neglecting Kyle, I'm just concentrating on his needs right now and how they will best be addressed. Right now, he needs absolute structure and he loves school! I'm pretty sure he is going to have an amazing teacher next year too! So we are not worried about 1st grade for Kyle.

In many ways, I feel like Brendan attended University this year. I used to teach high school, so this teaching 1st grade thing took some getting used to! Fortunately, Brendan is like a college student in many ways, so he was very patient with my learning curve! It is going to be a blast with Shane home next year, because he will bring a whole other dynamic to the mix. It will have to be more "fun" for Shane. Plus, its kindergarten. So, Brendan and I have already talked about what we might do differently next year to include Shane and we are so excited! I'm sure I will be posting more about the end of the school year stuff later, but for now as I bid my books good-bye for a season, now allow me the opportunity to give you a glimpse into our adventure:

Books I Read to Brendan:
The Apple & The Arrow, The Boxcar Children, Capyboppy, Dolphin Adventure, Dolphin Treasure, The Llama Who Had No Pajama, The Family Under The Bridge, Five True Dog Stories, A Grain of Rice, The House at Pooh Corner, The Hundred Dresses, In Grandma's Attic, James Herriot's Treasury for Children, Johnny Appleseed, The Light at Turn Rock, Mary On Horseback, My Father's Dragon, Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book, The Story about Ping, The Story of Doctor Doolittle, Twenty and Ten, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Books Brendan Read to Me:
The Beginner's Bible (twice), Surprises, Pompeii...Buried Alive, Owl at Home, Frog and Toad Are Friends, Mouse Tales, Greg's Microscope, Hill of Fire, Frog and Toad All Year, Daniel's Duck, Amelia Bedelia, Nate The Great, Frog and Toad Together, The Big Balloon Race, The Fire Cat, The Sword and the Tree (he kept me thirsting for more every day), Wagon Wheels, The Titanic: Lost...And Found

Plus some amazing History Books like: Granny Han's Breakfast, Hero Tales, Living Long Ago and Wild Places.

When I read the list of books to Brendan that we had read, he just sat there and sighed at each one! Wonderful memories!

So to bid my books good-by here was our last poem:

"Good Morning When It's Morning"
Good morning when it's morning
Good night when it is night
Good evening when it's dark out
Good day when it is light
Good morning to the sunshine
Good evening to the sky
And when it's time to go away

Monday, May 5, 2008

Just Don't Blink

Growing up we are always told that life goes by so quickly! I never believed it when I was a child because as I sat in school, the year seemed to drag; and as I played all summer, sometimes it never seemed to end! Now as I'm a year shy of 40, I see what all of my elders were talking about! I feel like I just blinked my eyes and my children grew up! Below is a picture of my niece's First Holy Communion. I sat in that church and remembered being in that same seat for her Christening. Seriously, I just felt like it was a blink of an eye!
My mother-in-law has beautiful grandchildren huh?
About this picture below. Well, I have to say, when it comes to parties and cake, my children are professionals. We went to a birthday party the day after my niece's party and the Grandma of the boy called all the children in from the park. She gave the loudest whistle and said it was time for cake and my three children were the first in their seats and ready to partake! Yes, below is a picture of my son Shane showing his expertise in the art of eating cake.
(Picture taken at Holly's Communion party!)
This picture just reminds me of me when I was little! Always ready to smile for the camera! Brendan really looks a lot like his Mommy in this picture I think.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Giving God The Glory

I am infinitely aware that every good and perfect gift is from above! I am truly living a miracle today and I need to give God the glory. Mike has been without work since January yet we are living the 5 loaves and 2 fish miracle in this house! He has taken care of our every need plus added some amazing blessings beyond what we could hope or imagine.

When you really and truly lay your circumstance down on the altar (like Abraham laid his son Isaac on the altar) God takes control and supplies what you need to continue in obedience to His will. It is true.

Thank you Lord for being so close and speaking so clearly. Thank you that we can relax in the knowledge that the One who controls our lives is totally trustworthy. Thank you Lord that we can come to you with confident expectation! There is nothing we need that you cannot provide.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Oh, I Forgot I Had Twins

Warning!! I am going to ramble today! I started searching for blogs about parents with twins. Don't ask me why? My twins are going to be 7 years old this June and it dawned on me that I often "forget" that I have twins. Maybe it is because I have Shane, my 3rd son, and so since he was born I was no long a Mom of twins, but a Mom of 3. Plus the fact that all of my boys are very different.

With Kyle, my Baby "A", he is such an individual and with his "disability" or what we like to call "issues" he is just so much his own little man. In fact, Kyle and Shane often make us feel like we have two sets of twins. Kyle and Brendan (who share the same birthday) and Kyle and Shane who are much more alike developmentally. It is crazy!

Then there is Brendan, my Baby "B", he is way tall (up to my armpits tall) for a 6 year old. He will tell you that "people always think I'm 8 or 9 years old" and it is true! He reads on a 4-5th grade level and he is often times very serious. (not all of the time) :)
Then there is Shane, my Surprise Baby, he is so different from his brothers it is crazy. He is very physical and he is my "ham"!

Now that I wrote all of this I feel so much better! I have these three amazing boys, so unique, so different, but so much brothers!! They love each other (most of the time), they really are each other's best friends, and now that my kids are getting older (and I don't use my twin stroller), people see me with three boys and think they're triplets. I really don't ever feel like I have twins anymore. I have 3 boys. I remember feeling so special (and so tired) because having two babies at once was different than having one at a time. It was kind of a unique situation, with unique circumstances and unique challenges. (None of which phased me at all because that is all I ever knew, until I had Shane and then I had two 2 year olds and a newborn -- and that was my undoing).
Oh, I guess there is one time a year when I feel like I have twins (or triplets for that matter) and that is the week of June 12th. With all three birthday the same week, we have one birthday party for all three boys. That is a weird thing. Will they ever know what it is like to have their "own" birthday? Hmmmm.....I'll have to work on that.