Thursday, August 28, 2008
Anyway, as you will soon find out I have to research everything to death. SO, my new friend over at Every Day Simple Abundance has kindly "tagged" me and it is my turn to state 6 "quirky" facts about me. I will do my best! I'm sure those of you who know me can think of 6 easily!
1. (Disclaimer, I am getting so much better now) Things have to match (not my clothing just random items needed to match) When my twin boys use to use "sippy" cups, I had a very very difficult time when the lid did not match the cup. Case in point: I moved to FL and met a new friend. She watched my boys one afternoon. She gave me my sippy cups and "carelessly" placed one of her lids on my cup and it didn't match. I could not sleep that entire night. I tossed and turned, knowing that the purple cup had a yellow lid! Insane, I know, but I think it comes with having multiples, things just matched and I feel better when things are "in order".
2. I'm a little naive. (or can I just say, I'm always learning new things). For example I was out with some girls tonight and they were talking about this thing called Dip that their husbands use. The first thought that came to my mind was French Dip, you know on French Bread and dipped in au jus! No not quite! After all the chuckling I found out it is some form of chewing tobacco. Don't laugh, I came home and asked my husband of 18 years what he thought Dip was and he said, "You mean French Dip, you know with the au jus?" Yea, two peas in a pod we are!!
3. I can't stand a messy face on my children. UGH! Since they were babies, I have been the "Wipey Queen"! Ask me why I still have Baby Wipes in my car - and no babies? To make sure faces are clean. Ironically enough, my Kyle only eats PBJs for lunch. All last year, the boy came home with jelly on his face - every day - it just killed me that he sat through the rest of his school day and had jelly on his face! I shudder just thinking about it!
4. I have bug phobia! True - I hate to admit that, but I do. My boys love bugs! Thank you Lord for that small gift! I really didn't want to pass on my fears. (Seriously, my son Kyle is the bug whisperer!)
5. I'm somewhat notorious (again getting better in my old age) for putting things away in the strangest places. ie. Deodorant in the refrigerator, Milk in the cabinet with the cereal...
6. I like to research things to death (I think this is directly or indirectly related to 2 on my list) or perhaps it comes from being a high school teacher for 9 years and not always knowing all of the answers to the questions my students had. I am dedicated to finding out the truth.
Ok so here is where I tag someone else (I think)! So I'm going to go ahead and choose from those who know me and hopefully won't ignore me. If you ignore this I'm still going to totally love you girls! I am only going to go with 3 because my predecessor did (Everyday Simple Abundance)!
Thus Far With God
Just Another Ordinary Miracle
The Reynolds Nation
(Here are the official rules:1. Link the person who tagged you.2. Mention the rules on your blog.3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged. )
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
That is a day in the life of a homeschooler. Here are a few pics of what we do during tropical storms:
This would be my husband with our children and our best buddies watching Tom & Jerry on TV!
Here are my children wanting oh so badly to get a job and drink coffee from a commuter mug - Just Like Dad!
This would be me and my humble attempt to get some of "Fay"!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
So, here are a few "first day of school pics" I thought I'd share.
Here is Kyle more than ready to conquer Day 1 of 1st grade! We couldn't be more proud (and quite frankly, he couldn't either!)
Brendan and Shane completing their morning "Critical Thinking" exercises. Shane is thrilled not to be sitting down. (Oh this child doesn't sit well at all!)
I purchased special pencils for Shane - $4.50 special - they are extra thick for little hands -- you know to help with writing his letters. Those would not do -- nope, you know why? They wouldn't fit behind his ears--that's why!! So we'll stick with the old cheap skinny pencils - cuz they look "cool"! UGH!
Ok, so the writing thing didn't go over so well on the first day of school. Writing in lines was just frustrating my kindergartner. So today we tried shaving cream. OH what a difference. So, I'm thinking of just printing this picture out for his portfolio.
Brendan is my Mr. Education - the kid could read and do school all day long. In this picture he is working hard at developing the 4001st language in our world, "Brendooli". (We learned in history today, that there are over 4000 languages in our world today - so now for sure there are over 4001.) Ok - the kid just turned 7 years old - he is so his parents' child - Mike and I both did this (but I don't think it was this good) It is a very cool language with symbols for letters and of course a special pronunciation for each symbol.
This is Shane's new favorite activity. Really, I don't need to cover P.E. for this child! He has got it covered!
Here is sample of the "Brendooli Language" in action:
I promise this is the final video of my boy finally getting the letter "h" actually the sound of "Sh". That would be shaving cream....funny thing...we kept smelling Daddy all day (that shaving cream sticks with you!)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I homeschool two of my three children. I love all of my children equally and immensely. We pray about and for Kyle's schooling situation all the time. He went to a special Pre-K for kids with special needs. He really overcame so much in the two years he was with this teacher. Then two years ago he entered kindergarten. It was so adorable, Brendan was also in kindergarten and the cafeteria people would tell me that Brendan would cry a lot and Kyle always needed to give him a hug every time he saw his brother. It was special, seeing Kyle take care of Brendan. Then Kyle staying in Kindergarten another year, with the same teacher, by her request. We loved his kindergarten teacher. We felt like she really "got" Kyle, and the very fact that she wanted him another year, totally blessed my heart. She did care about him and he just loved her!! Kyle learned a lot in Kindergarten, however, he just missed the mark at the end of last year. He has been administratively assigned (a professional way of saying "pushed through") to first grade this year. We are excited, but nervous at the same time. As a side note, I am responsible for doing what is right by each of my children individually. I choose to keep Kyle where I know he is in a structured environment, which is what he thrives on right now in his development. (for any of you wanting to know why I don't homeschool him - also Kyle absolutely loves his school - the faculty and children seem to love him too!)
He still does not really read or write just yet, but he certainly has a lot more words and can express himself so much more confidently. Well, this summer Kyle was convinced he would have a certain teacher for 1st grade. He just assumed, because she was the only 1st grade teacher he knew, that in fact she would be his. Well, he absolutely loves this lady, let me tell you. She and her family are very dear to us, they are very special friends of our family, so Kyle knows this woman very well and she just makes him light up. Unfortunately, even though we (meaning the child study team, his Kindergarten teacher and we his parents) recommended her for his first grade experience, there was no guarantee she would be chosen by the powers that be.
We went to "meet the teacher" yesterday and Kyle found out that he did not have who he thought he would have in 1st grade. I was a nervous wreck. When I found out, I was mad, sad, scared, mad, oh I said that already didn't I?! I was more nervous for his reaction. Was he going to understand? Well, he didn't understand at the beginning. He told this nice new teacher, "It's nice to meet you, but I have "Mrs. SoandSo" for 1st grade". No Kyle, this is your teacher. This went on for hours. It was about 5:00pm that I was sitting at the table and mentioned that we are going to have to show this new teacher what a great student he is, he is going to have to do his homework. He looks at me and says, "after I am with this teacher, then I go to Mrs. SoandSo for 1st grade?" No honey, no, you do not have Mrs. SoandSo! Hours of this until finally the true test. Mrs. SoandSo called our home at about 5:30pm and I put her on the phone with Kyle to see if he really understood, and he did! Finally! He will be ok with this new teacher. He does surprise us all the time!
Then we found out that it is not listed in his new IEP that he gets a special bus. He has gotten a special bus every year since he was three. He does not know his address, or how to get home, if he is dropped off and for some reason I am late, he will be left alone on the street. (three streets away, I might add). This is not acceptable.
I was on the phone with the principal of the school, the head of the transportation department for our county and the school's transportation office, all afternoon! I will not put my child on a bus that is not picked up and dropped off in front of my home. The end! They tried to convince me to give this new bus a try, they spit my words back into my face "Well, you said yourself that Kyle is always surprising you", they explained how tedious it would be to change what needs to be changed in order for him to get a special bus. All I kept saying was "Ok, so what has to take place in order for us to reconvene and get this changed?" I must have said that 5 times to the same person yesterday because she was not wanting to hear what I was saying.
I have felt that way quite a bit! I am the only voice my child has, I have to fight for my child's education and services, I am his best advocate. I did not get angry, I was just firm. Often times, I feel like my voice gets lost in the wind. No one wants to hear it! I felt like no one listened to our recommendation (after a 2 hour meeting with the team that is supposed to be Kyle's supporters and his kindergarten teacher who was wanting the best for Kyle too). UGH! After a night to sleep on all of this and some information that made things more clear, I realize this: I give my child to the Lord every single day. He is a gift to me (as are all of my boys). I do have a voice and it may not be heard on his behalf here on this planted earth, but it is heard every single day, several times a day in Heaven. My Heavenly Father is his very best advocate! He is mine too! When I cry out for my son, my Jesus hears me every single time and meets me where I am, reminding me that Kyle is special to him too! He's got it covered. It is all part of His divine plan. He has Kyle placed in the palm of His hand (just like I pray for)! I do have a voice and it is heard! Thank you Lord for taking such great care of "our" boy! Thank you Mrs. SoandSo, you know who you are, for keeping a physical eye on "our" boy too! I feel confident that Kyle is in a good place and will be well taken care of. There will be no bus however until it shows up at my front door. That is for sure!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Because here is what my boys are doing lately....
Below is Chase's little brother. Here is the problem, he sits there looking all adorable, but really, I believe he is just learning the ropes. Yup! He is watching the big boys do dangerous things, so that in a few years he'll be doing dangerous things and the cycle keeps going.
So, here again are my wild animals. Crazy boys, but I love them. I am thankful for their imagination. I know that there will be more "dangerous" things ahead. I mean if you haven't caught my friend's Michelle's website her boys blew up a car not too long ago (an old car just sitting on their property). These are the things I have to look forward to. My boys love going to Ms. Michelle's house because they are completely free (and encouraged I think) to release all that testosterone that might be sometimes quenched by my always saying "Can you just sit down and read for a little bit?" or "How about some play dough?" or how about this one.....I know you have said the same thing....."Ok, so who wants to play the silent game!?"
Seriously, I am so glad my boys play hard. They need to! So, Lord just keep that hedge of protection around my boys. I am sure the angels that the Lord has in charge over my boys are very capable at doing what they are called to do.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
So then there is the Getting Ready. You got it! School! For us it begins on August 18th and we couldn't be more excited. I have been over my lessons for the first week, about 15 times (I'm teaching a 2nd grader and a Kindergartner). Kyle meets his new teacher on Friday, we are a little nervous, but also a little excited. Sound familiar? I always felt this way the first day as a student (now I feel this way as a Mom for my boy).
But, we are still Having Fun. This is an afternoon storm. It was a deluge! Raining huge drops, fast and hard! We had a blast getting soaked. Kyle joined in after I went out - so he is not pictured here. There is nothing quite like jumping on the trampoline in the middle of a storm (no lighting don't worry)!
Yea, that was great fun! We will have to do that again. I have to say however, when we got back inside the house, it was as if we entered Antarctica. We got on our flannels and long sleeved sweatshirts and had some popcorn minus the hot cocoa. (If I had hot cocoa to make, I would have made it!) Fun times!
The reason why I was humming this familiar scripture was because as I was about to hang this chart on this door I noticed something around the rim of the frame of the door. Dust! Yes! This door just houses our air conditioner/heater unit. We never go in here but maybe twice a year to vacuum the dust when the guy comes to check on our unit once in the winter and once in the summer. (Well, we never had the guy come this summer).
Caution: What you are about to see may not be suitable for all audiences. ::wink-wink:: (I'm so embarrassed)
Do you see that dust? It is sad when you can actually see the color of the dust and it is not just this sprinkle that covers your furniture. We worked on that little vent (using approximately 48 Q-tips) for about an hour. Despite Shane's face in this picture, we had tons of fun.
No seriously! We had fun. You know why? Because after the first swiping of the Q-tip, it was very rewarding. "Ooh Mom check it out?!" All of this dust just poured right out of little vent and then we moved down to the next little dent in the vent and more rewards just poured right out. To see the pile of Q-tips and dust was just the best feeling ever. (well maybe not ever) I am sure the whole family may even feel the benefits from this clean vent.
I thought about how it feels when our hearts are cleaned out. When we have all of this crud (dust) in our hearts and then we go to the Lord and ask him to cleanse us, it feels like a fresh clean start. With forgiveness from sin, the reward is instant because if we repent, He forgives us and that is it. Sometimes we have things in our lives that we are holding onto for whatever reason, and it weighs us down. When we go to our Father in Heaven and ask him to remove the junk from our lives, it is some times a process that may actually cause us to sweat or even hurt. Our flesh does not want to give up those things that tickle it. Removing the dross from our lives is a work of the Lord, but oh if we can stand it, the reward is amazing. You feel lighter, cleaner, and stronger.
So I say, "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me." Do your work in my life Father, "refine me like silver and test me like gold. when I call on your name, you will answer me; You will say, 'she is my daughter,' and I will say, 'The Lord is my God.' Zechariah 13:9"
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The first book I found on a sale rack in our Christian Book store in New Jersey. It was Deadline. For the first time I got a real glimpse of what Heaven and Hell just might be like. Randy Alcorn's ministry is called Eternal Perspectives Ministry and if you read any of his books, you will begin to think as you should - eternally! Many years ago, I would say probably 10 or 11 years ago, as was my tradition, I purchased a Randy Alcorn Book to go on vacation with me to Vermont. This time it was Dominion the second in a series of three using the same core character. As many of you know my husband and I had to fight the fertility battle for many years. We tried to get pregnant and lost so many babies along the way. I had a condition, that made it very difficult to produce healthy eggs. So, until I had sought the help of a fertility specialist and had surgery on my ovaries, I was unable to hold a pregnancy longer than 3 months. In the middle of those 10 years of trying to get pregnant, was when I picked up this book. At first glance I would never had thought it would minister to me the way it did, other than getting my mind off of trying to get pregnant.
I sat pool side looking at the amazing beauty of Vermont's mountains as I read the words of a character in this book who is seeing Jesus for the first time face to face. She is noticing the hands of her Savior, marred and disfigured, hands of a Carpenter and Creator. This character had suffered a wound that scarred her on earth. A wound that came from violence that literally and emotionally scarred her. The following is the quote that brought new understand to a me, a woman who was scarred by infertility and feeling all alone.
" She wept again, dropping to his mangled feet and caressing them with her hands. He put his fingers under her chin and turned her eyes up toward his. "For you," he said to her, "I would do it all again." She could not stop weeping. She was surprised she could cry here, one of the first surprises in an eternity that would bring endless ones. If some tears would never be cried again, she thought, then tears of love and joy and fulfillment were among heaven's pleasures.
She searched the Carpenter's face as one searches a face she has yearned for, which she has seen in her dreams as long as she can remember. On the right side of his throat, she saw another scar, a mark of discoloration, not prominent, only an inch long. The scar looked remarkably like....She reached suddenly to the side of her neck to feel the scar from the broken beer bottle. She couldn't feel it. Gone. He smiled at her, rubbing his finger on his scar, which used to be hers, just as she had so often done on earth. That quickly the scar on his neck disappeared. But the scars on his hands and feet remained. She knew they always would."
For the first time, I got it! I had been saved and serving my Savior for many years, and I understood healing and I understood that He has already taken our wounds to the cross. I knew that He understood my pain. However, I didn't really believe that the Lord could bear the scar of infertility. I don't know why I didn't believe that, after all He is my Creator. But I was a woman and I didn't think even the son of God could truly understand. I know that sounds limiting and shallow of me, but it is not that I thought that out loud. I didn't really say those words, they weren't even conscious to me at that stage in my juncture. However, I totally identified at that moment, to that character, as I sat poolside weeping. Weeping and thanking Jesus for truly understanding my pain. I knew then and there that He understood the pain and anguish of infertility and the loss of so many babies, so many dreams. I felt loved all over again. I remember it clearly, as if it were yesterday, sitting there with my towel wiping the tears, and almost feeling my sweet heavenly father holding me as he revealed yet another truth to me, his daughter.
The Lord took two little paragraphs of a non-fiction book to minister to me, his daughter, and to again reveal another facet of His love to me. I love the word of God. His word is truth. I am one to always find scripture to back up what I say to people when giving counsel or advice. I don't want to go outside the Word of God, because His word is true and the Truth will set you free!
Last night I went to the emergency room for cluster headache pain. It is so severe that even my hair hurts. Someone comment on my blog yesterday that shares my same love for this author and it prompted the memory of this book and the ministry of the truth in my life at that time. It couldn't have been more timely. I am blessed to know that my Jesus understand the pain I am in right now and I will rest in His loving care until He lifts my head (pain free) from my pillow.
Thank you Randy Alcorn for blessing me as you did then, and as you continue to do, through your pen. I am thankful for God inspired men and women who write for His pleasure and ours!
Gifts continued from previous posts....(thankful for...)
116. The words penned by many of my favorite authors.
117. The truth spoken, just they way I could understand it.
118. A Heavenly Father who longs to be that real and that close!
119. Being reminded today that he knows intimately all about the pain we suffer.
120. Eternal hope that I have in someday going home and seeing my "sweet Jesus" face to face!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I met Mike in September of 1989, we started dating in February 1990 and we were married that December of 1990. When you have a good thing, you just know it! About 9 or 10 years into our marriage I sent flowers to my mother-in-law on August 5th to thank her for her son. I consider myself one of the most fortunate women to be married to Michael.He is my very best friend on this earth. He knows me like no other, he loves me like no other, and he cares about me like no one else could. He watches over me, protects me, encourages me and makes it a priority to bless me. He honors me with his words and actions. He teaches our boys to love a wife the way the Lord has intented! I could not ask for more in a man. When we were getting married my pastor told him to "Treat her like the precious jewel that she is.." and that is what he has done for the past 18 years.
Before we had children, I knew Mike would be an amazing Dad. When we lost our first child, I realized I had no idea of the capacity of love in this man. After losing 14 babies, and then giving birth to our twins, I knew that God had given me an amazing undescribable gift in this husband of mine. He is a phenominal father to our three sons. His love and adoration for our boys goes beyond description of the written word. Here is a man who would choose his family over anything.
Since the time my twins were born and I was in and out of a coma, my husband was an absolute hands on Daddy! As a matter of fact, when I was finally home with my babies, my husband went back to work and it was I who called him with questions like "How do I do this thermometer thing? I put it where?!" yes indeed, he educated me at first.
Well we are in this parenting thing together and I have to say, I couldn't ask for a better partner to parent with. My boys are so blessed to have Michael as their hero!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
When we got home we laid out on our trampoline and just gazed. Then the best part happened....conversation! "I see Winnie-The-Pooh...can you see it?", "I see a race car...see the smoke!", "Oh I see a baby on his back...do you see him?", "What do you see Mom?" If you know my children, you might be able to guess who said what. That is what tickles me so much. Oh the conversations and the attempts to see what others were seeing was making us laugh. "Just look right where my finger is pointing....!" and this made me smile, "If you squint maybe you can see some of Heaven."
The interesting thing that I realized is that each of my children saw in the clouds what is special to them. Matthew 6:21 says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I know this doesn't exactly relate to what we see in clouds, but I thought about what my children could have seen and I am blessed that they are seeing beautiful things that bring them joy and comfort. Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said "One can get just as much exultation in losing oneself in a little thing as in a big thing. It is nice to think how one can be recklessly lost in a daisy!" I would just replace daisy with clouds and say Amen!
Gifts continued... from previous posts:
111. The beautiful sky full of wonder and imagination.
112. The creative mind of a child.
113. The comfort of memories.
114. The unconditional love and acceptance that my boys share! May it last forever!
115. The ability to find joy in the smallest things.