Friday, September 28, 2007

Sitting in the Fast Lane

I needed to go to pick up some more laundry detergent at Target so that I could finish the week's laundry, so I volunteered to deposit the paycheck on my way. The credit union that we patronize is a block away from Target, so theoretically the trip should be relatively short. Theoretically. Ha! Our credit union is evidently very busy on Friday afternoons. All three of the drive-thru lanes were open. The lane with the fewest cars was the third one (farthest away from the building). Now, you would think that all the lanes would move along at a similar pace. But, no, it appears that the last drive-thru lane is the one that gets shafted during busy times. At least at this credit union, on this particular afternoon. I wait behind the car in front of me for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile the car who had been behind me when I turned into the credit union, but had chosen a different lane, is getting his receipt and pulling out of the parking lot. Finally, the car in front of me cranks up and leaves. I try to encourage myself by thinking, "Well, he probably took a long time because he was trying to do a difficult transaction that he should have gone inside for." I roll down my window and quickly put the check and deposit slip in the thingy and shoot it off through the tube. A voice crackles, "Hi, how are you?" I try to sound chipper and in a hurry, "I'm fine. How are you?" And then I sit. And change CD's. And surf radio stations. I watch the people taking turns at the ATM. I watch car after car in lanes 1 & 2 complete their business. I lean forward to try to peek through the credit union window to see if anyone is looking back at me. Maybe I could remind them I'm sitting here using all my gas up. I hope the car behind me doesn't think I am trying to do a difficult transaction that I should have gone inside for. I contemplate how much weight the thingy could hold and still whoosh through the tube into the credit union. I check to see if my fingernails are clean. I start feeling irritable and impatient. And then I remember one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. And I start to calm down. And think about how busy the credit union ladies are. And how they are probably swamped with transactions. And if someone is going to have to be kept waiting, it might as well be someone who has the Spirit working patience in her life. Because then I can pray for the credit union ladies and not make nasty comments and hope that the day slows down for them. And in view of eternity, 10 extra minutes sitting in the credit union drive-thru isn't a whole lot of time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Worms

Something that Chris and I used to do when we were first married was read a book together right before we went to bed. We've read different kinds of books, the last being a book on baby names when we were expecting our first. As babies started coming on the scene, our bedtime ritual was "out the window". Now, we grabbed every spare minute for sleep - and if we even tried to read a page or two, we'd fall asleep before we could finish. So now, 7 years after the last book, we are going to try to revive the book reading before bedtime tradition. (Chris just peaked over my shoulder and said that a couple of years ago we did read a book together; I don't remember.) So the book we are going to start is Captured by Grace by David Jeremiah. I have always enjoyed listening to his radio show, but have never read one of his books until now. If you would also like to read this book, Chris is giving one away on his blog. Just go to A18Mission and sign up. He's doing the drawing the middle of next week. I'd love it if a reader from my blog wins this book!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sonly Mothering

I have had a cold for about a week now. This afternoon, while I was teaching Jacob math, I muttered, "My nose hurts." That instantly caught Jake's attention. "Does it hurt from picking?" NO, Jacob, I don't pick my nose. "Maybe it's bleeding because you bumped it on the wall." No, I didn't bump it and it's not bleeding. It hurts because I have a cold. "Ohhh, well breathe with your mouth then." Maybe he is listening...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brain Blurbs

My shower time is when I think. Of course, I think other times, as well, but shower time is when my thoughts meander at will. And this morning, my thoughts thought these thinks.
"Yesterday I think I saw a headline somewhere about a political candidate saying that Americans are fatter and dumber than they used to be. Obviously as a nation, we are fatter because of all the obesity studies. (And do we really need these studies to tell us this?) So I wonder if we are dumber... I remember when we could buy used cars, now we buy pre-owned cars. Who are we fooling? And we used to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken; now we eat at KFC because if we don't say the word 'fried' then it won't have negative health effects. And when I was in grade school, I used to want to be a secretary when I grew up. Now I would have to be an administrative assistant, because somehow the word 'secretary' is degrading and relegated to the female class. Despite the fact that 200 years ago, all secretaries were either men or a piece of furniture. And if I need to hoe the weeds in my garden, supposing I had a garden, I would not be able to call my hoe a hoe. I have to rely on studies that tell me that if I get less than 6 hours of sleep then I am not as productive as I could be, instead of realizing on my own that I am tired and need 8 hours of sleep to be well-rested. I have been brainwashed into thinking that certain brands are better than others, just because of the brand name, not because I have actually tried all the options to see for myself which one is better. We make sure that our math students have calculators because if they didn't have them they would have to actually figure out the math problem in their own brain. And hopefully I have spell check on my computer, or else I would have to learn to look words up in a dictionary (and probably remember how to spell them). At a meeting I recently attended, an overview of different education philosophies was presented. And whatever your thought of the actual philosophy is, one name struck me as funny - "unschooling". Isn't that an oxymoron? Homeschooling by unschooling? In the produce department at the grocery store, vegetables are proud of the fact that they are 100% fat free. And if I drink a Diet Coke, then I've canceled out the calories and fat grams from the Whopper I just ate. We get our daily exercise by spending lots of money on exercise equipment; at least the wallet got thinner. It would be healthier and cheaper to get fresh air by taking a walk. And speaking of 'cheap', it would be nicer to call something 'less expensive' rather than 'cheap' because 'less expensive' somehow gives the impression that quality has not been lost. Personally, I think 'less expensive' means 'it's still expensive, but not compared to that other product'. Thieves sue the stores they robbed because in their escape they were hurt by a security device in the store - and they win their lawsuits. We would rather believe that everything came from nothing rather than from an Intelligent Designer. Are we dumber than we used to be? Just a little..."
The book of Proverbs in the Bible is full of practical knowledge. In fact, it says, "The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings...These proverbs will make the simpleminded clever. They will give knowledge and purpose to young people...Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:2-7)." I hope I'm not getting dumber. Instead, I read Proverbs on a regular basis to help me think.
So if you can think of anything else to add to my thoughts, leave a comment...

Monday, September 17, 2007


Tonight was the first night of Cub Scouts. Jacob was so excited all day about going tonight! At suppertime, we held hands during family prayer. Jacob's hands were sweaty, he was so excited! As he and Chris were walking out the door on the way to scouts, I had a flashback vision to carrying him in the house as a baby - fresh from the hospital's delivery room. I said to Chris, "It seems like just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital. And now he's going to his first scout meeting. Wow..." Chris replied, "And it won't be long before he is taking his own children to scouts." I start feeling quite sentimental. Jacob sticks his head out from the van, sensing that we're talking about him. He says, "My kids? Oh, yeah, when I have kids, they're going to be rowdy!" What??!! In stereo, Chris and I say, "I hope so!"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Two Tempting

In less than a week, Elijah has immortalized his legacy as a 2 year old. It seems as though his body senses he is quickly approaching 3 year old status (his birthday is in November). He appears to be set on a course that will make the most of every piece of mischief that finds him!
Several days ago, Eli walked into his bedroom clenching a crayon in his fist. I was busy taking care of Seth, so I told Eli, "Go put that crayon back on the table. Crayons have to stay in the dining room." (Not a new rule - they all know that one). As he strutted back down the hallway towards the dining room, I heard a very suspicious sound. As soon as I could, I checked the hallway wall; there are big bright purple scribbles all over the white wall! Kind of reminds me of the children's book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Yesterday, the sugar bowl was overlooked when the table was cleared from breakfast. Shortly before lunchtime, Chris and I walk into the dining room. There is Elijah, body stretched across the table, spoon in hand, wet sugar all over his face. His lips look like rock candy. As I carry him off to the sink to wash him off, he protests, "But I wike to eat da yalt (the salt)!"
And then today, (where are my brains? clearly they were lost during childbirth), Jacob and Savannah had some gum after lunch. Elijah asked for some, and since he asked so nicely and has recently learned how to chew it, I gave him a very small piece. About 20 minutes ago, he came to me with gum smeared in his hair. I ask him what happened. He tells me, "I nidn't want chew it anymore yo I pud it in my hair." Uh huh. I rack my brain (which obviously has serious deficiencies) for all the ideas I've ever read in parenting magazines on how to remove gum from hair. I come up with two ideas. The first is to rub peanut butter into the gum. Since Elijah is allergic to peanuts, I choose option 2. Rub a piece of ice on the imbedded gum. This hardens the gum and allows you to pull the hair off. I try this for a while. It appears this would be a good option if it were longer hair and if it were not a 2 year old boy trying to stand still. I give up and cut the gum out. Since his hair is already short, I hope it's not as noticable where I cut.
"It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up I put away childish things...All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:11-13)."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Okay, what I want to know is this. How in the world can a little child wake up multiple times at night still get enough good sleep to be bright eyed and wide awake at 7 am?? That's one of the many amazing things about kids...and when their little eyes pop open in the morning, they are full of life and energy - ready to bounce out of bed and take on the day! Then there's me. I have gotten up multiple times during the night to give drinks, put kids back in bed (either because they fell out or tried to climb in bed with me), change leaky diapers, rub growing pained legs, and give comfort from the bad dreams. I wake up bleary-eyed at 7:30 am to the sounds of little voices who have already woken each other up and are busy playing with all the very noisy toys. One of them (namely Savannah) creeps into my room and tells me repeatedly and dramatically, "I'm hungry to death". Elijah comes in announcing, "I need a nighpah (diaper) nange (change)." While Seth adds his voice to the chorus by screeching from his crib. I stumble out of bed, slap my contacts in, and take a quick shower, hoping the hot water will wake me up. I emerge from the bedroom, bushy-tailed (not quite bright-eyed), in all my "mom" glory, ready to tackle the day...
P.S. I've never been a "morning" person, although having kids makes me be one. I've been attempting to get up earlier than they do so I can have personal quiet time and devotions before the day starts, but that depends on how many times I had to get up the night before (last night was 5 times - 3 for Seth, 2 for Eli).

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Why Eli Has Allergies

I had to go through McDonald's drive-thru to get food for Eli before we met family at the restaurant. If you haven't figured out by now, Elijah has numerous allergies (dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, cats, dogs, dust mites, mildew, penicillin, etc.). We have to be very diligent to make sure he doesn't get a hold of anything that will make him sick. We carry benadryl and an epi-pin with us in his backpack everywhere he goes. And we try to make sure that he has "yummy" food to eat, too, when he can't have what everyone else is eating. Hence the reason for the happy meal - plain hamburger, apple dippers without the dip, no fries and a Hi-C. And hopefully nothing in the bag has come in contact with any cheese in McD.'s kitchen!
At the "real" restaurant, my brother (who recently found out he's allergic to shellfish) asked, "I can understand why I have my allergy because God told the Israelites not to eat shellfish in the Bible, but why would God make someone allergic to food that He says is good to eat?" An excellent question which I didn't get to answer. So here's what I think... Back at creation, God made Adam and Eve's bodies perfect. No sickness, no bad germs, no defections, no genetic weakness. But when Adam and Eve sinned - evil, corruption, and death entered the world. Life was not perfect anymore. Now people started getting sick. And dying. Different illnesses and diseases started to affect people. This still happens today. (A hundred years ago, AIDS didn't exist.) Our immune systems became weaker. Our immune systems started to attack "good" stuff (like milk and eggs), not recognizing what it is. And people developed allergies. It's a direct cause of "the fall". God is Sovereign. But He has allowed this to happen because humanity has chosen sin. Even the innocent babies are Elijah when we realized he had food allergies. Even though at that point, he personally had not chosen to sin yet, his genes come from a line of sinners. And he was born with an imperfect body. Just like all of us. And although God has allowed this to happen, I also believe that God has a special plan for Elijah's life - a plan that somehow involves Eli's allergies. I'm not God, I don't know His plan, but I trust God in all. And I know that one day, I will have a perfect body. And if Elijah puts his trust in Jesus, he will have a perfect body, too; and he will be able to eat anything he wants to from the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Happily Ever After

I took Seth and Elijah to a wedding. (What was I thinking - 1 & 2 yr. old boys and weddings do not mix!) On the 3 hour trip to the wedding, I am explaining to Eli where we are going. "Eli, we are going to meet Grandma and your Uncles and Aunt at a restaurant and eat lunch, and then we are going to go to a wedding and watch mommy's friend get married. Do you know what getting married is?" Elijah, with his superior knowledge of weddings and marriage because of his 4 yr. old sister who is forever playing princess and wedding, answers, "Yes. I want to see your friend get married, but I don't want to go to hers castle."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Military Thanks

At a meeting I recently attended, a lady had a stack of "Thank You, U.S. Service Member" postcards. She was urging us to take some and fill them out - I thought this would be a good school project for Jacob. I took 6 postcards for Jake to fill out; that's a lot of writing for a 6 year old boy. This morning, I explained the project to Jacob, and he was very excited about it. He loves anything camoflage and wants to join the military when he grows up. I wrote on the white board so he could copy onto the postcards, and then left him to his task. Halfway into the project, Jacob came running into the kitchen very upset. "But, Mommy, six postcards isn't enough for all the military men to get one!" I calmed him down by explaining, "Lots of people love our military men and want to thank them and tell them how proud we are of them. So lots of people are filling these out and sending them, too. And then there will be enough, hopefully." So...if you want to help there to be enough postcards for all of the military men and women, you can go to and get your own "Thank You, U.S. Service Member" postcards. They also have "Get Well, Service Member" postcards, as well as a "Thank You" DVD that would be great for care packages.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Square Eyes

I have a big headache right now so if I don't sound coherent that's why (no, Reta, it's not named Chris!). But I wanted to share this little story...
Jacob has been paying more attention to the TV. He thinks the Alltel commercial with the gerbil is hilarious! And yesterday he asked me, "Mommy, why do they call the news 'Fox'? Is it because foxes bite people and they put that on the news?" Ummm, go ask Daddy...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Turn Around

Last night, Chris set Seth on the floor in the hallway while he was putting Eli to bed. I was folding laundry in my room. Chris suggested that I call Seth and see if he could figure out where I was. So I started calling, "Seth, hey buddy, Seth, come 'ere, big man, Seth, Seth..." Seth's head perked up - then he started crawling. The more I called, the faster he crawled - in the wrong direction! His little head was bobbing all around looking for me. I kept calling, "Seth, I'm over here, turn around, little guy, Seth..." He made it all the way to the dining room. Funny, it was dark in there. He sat in the doorway looking confused. Where is Mommy? Finally I came out into the hallway where he could see me. I called to him with my arms stretched out wide to him. With a big grin and drool dripping off his chin, he crawled as fast as he could straight into my hug. Isn't that a picture of Jesus - calling for us to come to Him? Some of us hear His voice and go straight to Him; others of us hear His voice and go the opposite direction. He calls every person; I've answered Him. Have you? "We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, 'Be reconciled to God!' (2 Corinthians 5:20)"