Thursday, December 3, 2009

Praying for Miracles

So I've been in a funk for a few months and I pretty much knew why, but I wasn't all that willing to get out out of it. I had a quick chat with a friend this morning and she pretty much gave me the kick in the pants I needed. Here's the thing...

I was really struggling with being joyful for others. Every where I turned it seemed like people were receiving miracles, specifically healing from different afflictions and diagnoses for their children. Meanwhile, I was in self-pity-mode because I don't have a diagnosis for my children and I won't ever have "normal" kids who go off to college and give me grandbabies. Boo-hoo poor me, wah, wah, wah...

The Bible clearly tells us to celebrate with those who celebrate and mourn with those who mourn. I was all about the mourning; I just couldn't be truly joyful. And I hated it. But I wasn't willing to stop being a booger.

So this morning I was particularly weary and I ran into Jen at work. She asked innocently, "How are you?" And I said, "Well, ya know, I'm weary." She immediately understood and then I said, "I have no reason to complain... here you just finished battling the biggest thing ever - cancer - and I'm whining." She was gracious and said, "Each of us has a big thing and if we keep saying ours isn't important, we would never take it to God."

We continued in the conversation and she talked about how she was afraid to say that she is cured of the cancer. She clearly heard God tell her she was cured, but was afraid to say anything because she didn't want to upset people who didn't have the same outcome. She said she was praying for a miracle - if it was God's will. But then she realized that adding that clause "God's will" is like an automatic out to not really believe you will have the miracle. So she started praying for the miracle and believing the miracle would happen. She fully recognized that no matter what God chose to do in her life, it would be ok with her - but she wanted that miracle. She compared it to a child at Christmas. When they ask for something, they don't say, "I want this doll, if it's your will Dad." They simply say, "I really really want this doll." And as the parent, you do everything you can to do what's best for your child. Our faith is to be "child-like" and that means - asking for the miracle. The people healed in the Bible believed full well they would be healed and they acted upon it. [I'm sure you people who are much more well versed in the Bible than I am might see some flaws in my paragraph, but it's MY blog.]

Anyway, so I'm choosing to pray for the miracle - like a child - and not add the "God's will clause." I know that the miracle will either be the miracle or the change in my attitude. Either way, it's a miracle.

So here's what I'm praying for:
1st: Clear speech for Zachary and Ryan.
2nd: Zachary and Ryan will be able to read and be functionally literate.
3rd: A diagnosis of what's causing my children's funk. I want to fit into a box and have people to relate to.

[I am going to put a caveat on the clear speech - speech about a variety of topics, not just having friends over to watch movies. Those of you who know Zach will appreciate my caveat.]

Because I am no actively expecting the miracle, I can finally feel happy for those who got their miracle. Because, duh, they prayed for and expected their miracles!

Won't you pray with me? Please, please, pretty please?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Ya know how today is Thanksgiving... Well, I thought it might be a good idea to list what I'm thankful for. I don't think I can list them all here, but I'm gonna start. I am going to throw some pictures in here for visual interest. They probably don't have anything to do with the list...
* An amazing Father in Heaven who loves me even though He knows me through and through.
* My husband who loves me despite my best attempts to be a world-class brat.
* My children who don't know any better than to love me!
* A job that I love 85% of the time, but enables me to support my family.
* My husband's job that he loves 99.9% of the time and he gets to work for God.
* Two amazing parents that sacrificed a lot so that I could be the kid I am.
* Two parents that showed me what hard work looks like and that the only way to get what you need is through hardwork.
* A really cool brother who demonstrated what it looks like to overcome obstacles.
* My brother's wife who is amazing and understands what it's like to raise "funky" kids. I wish I lived closer so we could spend more time together. Plus, their kids would make really great babysitters...
* My husband's family that taught him hardwork and how to not let the bummer things in life define you.
* Friends who rock and are there through the thick and thin. I'm a lucky girl.
* A very nice roof over my head. Ok, so it's not glamorous, big or wonderfully decorated. But it's safe, clean-ish, and is our home.
* A little five year old who has chosen to sleep in today.
* An 8 year old who is happily playing.
* Ryan's seizures are more or less under control.
* Zach's ADHD medicine works.

* Zach is talking so much more. He even comes up with funny phrases.
* When Zach made a mess this morning, he chose the bathroom rather than the carpet in his bedroom.
* My husband makes coffee without complaining.
* We get to go to Colorado for Christmas.
* I have 3 friends that I run with in the mornings and it's like therapy.
* A "puppy" dog who will be with us a few more years. Better living through chemistry...
* A cell phone that gets Facebook and the Internet.
* Two cars that drive and get me where I need to go.
* My husband's airplane - even if it isn't all that impressive - we have an airplane.
* Zach and Ryan's teacher. They put up with soooo much and still love those boys.
* The ability to laugh at myself.
* Amazing co-workers who listen to me and give me ideas and balance.
* I am especially thankful for Em - she's like my work big sister.
* The love of reading that my mom gave me.
* Scrapbooking and digital cameras.
* Grass that doesn't have to be mowed too often in the winter.
* Tulips, fall leaves, and geraniums
* Salty, cheesy food.
* My accountability partner, Jen
* My favorite pair of jeans that are the perfect length
* Finding the running shoes that work for me.
* Selling things on eBay so I can afford Christmas
* Cream in coffee - even though I don't do this much
* My Frankenstein mug
* Rainy days

I have so much more to be thankful for, but it's getting a bit chaotic around here, so I'm gonna run along. What silly things are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Top Ten Thursday

I love Top 10 lists! Sara at Domestically Challenged and her friends have started this lovely blog carnival. So feel free to create your own lists!

Top 10 reasons I haven't blogged lately...
1. I haven't had anything very exciting to talk about. How interesting is it to talk about my crazy children or my own crazy-self?
2. I haven't taken the time. I mean, who has time to blog when there are fun games on Facebook? I personally prefer the one where you crunch Christmas ornaments.
3. I haven't done anything I need to deny for Not Me! Monday. Seriously...
4. I actually have work this year! Last year I had little pockets of time I would use to blog. This year, not so much. Just so you know... I really did work last year, I used blogging as a brain break - this year - no time!
5. I hate downloading pictures from my camera. My blogs are boring enough - I should at least add some pictures!
6. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and I'm worried that my blogs will just be a bunch of whining about how awful my life is. It's not awful, but I'm in a funk and so I get really good at exaggerating.
7. My feet stink. That's really not a reason, but these sandals are making my feet smelly and I thought you should know.
8. The boys hog the computer. Seriously. An 8 year old and a 5 year old constantly use the computer!
9. I am trying to be more responsible with my use of time. Ok, maybe not.
10. I am in a funk and I have nothing fun to talk about. See - I even had to repeat my top tens! I guess the funk is just a weariness about not doing enough to help my children and a frustration that we still don't know what is causing their funks. I know it's not life threatening, but I want a miracle. I want a "box" to fit in. People to identify with. I want to talk to people who have the same situation as me. Two kids with the "funk." An 8 year old who still poops his pants but isn't "autistic". I don't want to be around people who worry about their 5 year old coloring outside the lines. And I know there are people who listen to me whine about my situation and get mad at me because I have it better than they do. I get that. But this is my blog and I'm gonna whine.
There, I'm done... I bet you wished you weren't still reading!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Pumpkins

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to another edition of NOT ME! Monday. This is a blog carnival started by MckMama. So when you are done looking at my post - hop on over there and check out her blog. Her baby, Stellan, is in the hospital, so she might not have the blog carnival going - but certainly head over there and pray for her little guy!

These are NOT pictures from 2005 and 2006. I do NOT have a million pictures on my camera to download and I am NOT too overwhelmed with the idea to actually download them. Plus, I am NOT missing the days when Zach and Ryan were a little bit smaller and Ryan wasn't crashing as often. I do NOT miss seeing his beautiful blonde hair all the time. (Because he falls all the time he has to wear a "goober hat".)

I am NOT too cheap to buy a new jumpdrive, so I am NOT deleting all these pictures just so I can have a jumpdrive for work. I am NOT slightly bummed that I can't access my picasa account from work so I can double check to make sure they are archived there!

Anyway... enjoy these old pictures...

I did NOT eat 90% of my children's Halloween candy. And I do NOT wish we had done more trick or treating so I could get even more candy! I did NOT take advantage of Zach finally agreeing to wear a costume.
Speaking of Zach, Mark and I did NOT rejoice when he ate a bratwurst and pasta! We have not added to his menu... We are almost up to a whole week's worth of different foods he will eat! Although, we did NOT tell Zach that the bratwurst was a hot dog. I still do NOT laugh that this 8 year old would rather eat green peppers, carrots, and cucumber than a cupcake!
Ryan has NOT started using crying as a way to manipulate us! He does NOT get in bed and start balling at night. So when we come and check him out, he does NOT smile sweetly. He did NOT do the same thing yesterday when I dropped him off at the nursery! For crying out loud (well, he was anyway) he is almost 5 years old!
Zach did NOT pee in an outside corner of a church the other day. He told me he had to pee and we were alone working the pumpkin patch... What was I to do??
I am sure I did whole lot worse stuff this week, but this is all I can think of at 6:58 in the morning!
What did you not do?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I probably shouldn't participate in MckMama's Not Me Monday because I'm awfully whiney today! But maybe by turning my complaints into Not Me's! I can laugh at myself? Maybe. So when you are done, check out the other people's blog who are participating in this lovely blog carnival.

I am NOT thoroughly enjoying this beautiful weather. I did NOT have the most wonderful five mile run this morning. The weather was NOT perfect! I barely even had any sweat! Loved it!

However, when I got to my classroom this morning (which is in a portable) I was NOT freezing my tail off. I did NOT have the air conditioner running and the temperature was NOT 52 degrees. I am NOT a whimpy Florida girl who was shivering - especially since I did NOT forget a jacket. I did NOT find everyone I could to figure out how to turn my heater on - only to find out that I did NOT have that ability. I did NOT walk outside and see a 3" thick layer of frost on my air conditioning unit. Later, a service man was NOT standing on a ladder trying to melt the ice with a hair dryer. I am NOT currently enjoying my comfy portable with a fixed heater!

I am NOT being super sensitive about my children's disabilities right now. I am NOT getting weepy because every preschooler in the world is learning their letters and my 8 year old calls every letter an "S". (I do NOT know that every preschooler is an exaggeration - it just goes to show my frame of mind.) I do NOT wish that I could teach Zach to read - I am a reading specialist for crying out loud! When will it be our turn?

I am NOT feeling further beaten down when I tried to get my 4 year old to ride a bike. I do NOT hate the fact that he doesn't know how to peddle and I have no clue how to get him to understand the concept!

I was NOT so excited that my 8 year old is figuring out wooden jigsaw puzzles, until I saw that they are for three year olds! I do NOT see the ridiculousness of comparing them to "normal" children, but at the same time, I can't NOT stop!

I do NOT want to kick my friends when they innocently get upset about their child taking 3 months to potty train when 5 years later, my 8 year old is still having more accidents than successes. I do NOT realize that I should be happy for them, but once again, I can't NOT stop!!

I do NOT hate that I'm in pity party mode! And I realize that this isn't going to end well if I keep going! But since it's my blog... I can vent if I want to - and I want to! Sorry you had to "listen"! Tune in next week for happier versions of this game!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Top Ten Thursday

I somehow stumbled across this blog last year and I love reading her posts! Sara at Domestically Challenged and her friends have started a blog carnival on Thursdays - called Top 10. I have wanted to participate, but never took the chance. You can simply post in top 10 style - it can be her subject or any other topic on your mind.
Because I'm not creative, I'm stealing her idea: the top 10 jobs I am thankful I don't have...
1. Bartender - I would hate to sit around and listen to a bunch of drunks cry over a shot of whiskey or a bunch of rowdy college students - (or even worse, 20-somethings that wish they were still in college!)
2. Septic System worker - gross.
3. Preschool teacher - I can barely handle my own kids, why would I want to spend ALL DAY with a bunch of tiny children that frighten me? (This said from a middle school teacher...)
4. Assistant Principal - Discipline. All day long dealing with discipline. No thank you! (Not to mention the cranky teachers)
5. Chef - I spent a summer as a baker. It's hard work and you are always working when others are playing. Plus - I would be gigantically huge from all the food.
6. Taxi driver - I hate driving around and I would be totally paranoid that I picked up the whacko.
7. Celebrity - I like flying under the radar, not have people recognize me everywhere I go. Plus, the pressure to look good all the time... no thank you!
8. Factory worker - doing the same thing every day, over and over would drive me nuts!
9. Cruise ship worker - I am glad they do these jobs... but making panini's 6.5 days a week, 9 hours a day, for six weeks would make me go insane. Plus... all those ungrateful people!
10. Artist - I would starve. Period. I am NOT artistic, creative, or anything like that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I am going to be super quick with my Not Me! Monday post... For rules and regulations (and a whole lot of funniness...) head over to

  • * I do NOT look at doing my monthly church-nursery duty as a prison sentence. I love spending time with a roomful of toddlers. I am NOT counting down the months until I no longer have a little child in the nursery.
  • * The longest run I have done since the marathon last April is NOT only five miles! I have NOT lost all conditioning.
  • * I did NOT find myself asking my children on Saturday, "Ok, who put poop in the bathroom sink?'' Because I did NOT find poop in my sink, so I would NOT have to ask such a question.
  • * I did NOT go to my children's baseball game on Saturday and completely NOT watch them play. I did NOT enjoy laughing with the other parents. In my defense (NOT that I need it), my boys play Challenger baseball and so it's basically a bunch of kids running around inside a fenced in baseball field. They each have a buddy to help. My guys usually don't play and end up in the dugout playing in the sand, or trying to climb the fence in the outfield.

So what have you NOT done this week?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Pumpkin Truck!

Every fall our church hosts a pumpkin patch to raise money for our missions committee. While the patch raises much needed funds, the chance for our church to come together and fellowship is a blessing! Many people volunteer to help on the day the truck arrives as well as a few hours to hang out at the patch. But perhaps the biggest blessing and benefit is the outreach to our community!

It is hard to get into the fall spirit when the temperatures are in the 90's but having the patch on the corner sure helps!

Imagine a semi-trailer truck filled to the edge with pumpkins! Yep, that's the pumpkin truck and it is our job to unload every single one of the pumpkins! Ryan was more than willing to climb into the truck and help out.

Zach also carried quite a few pumpkins around on the truck. He is pretty strong and was surprisingly helpful! This is at the very end! By this point, we were stinky, dirty, and a bit giddy. We were tossing the pumpkins to each other like they were fish in the Seattle market.

Here's the patch! All those pumpkins were unloaded by hand, through a "bucket brigade" concept. The volunteers formed a line and handed the pumpkins off to each other.The very last pumpkin! When all the straw is swept off the truck, we take turns jumping in... I guess it is our version of the pile of leaves! We can't exactly jump into a pile of palm fronds...

This kind volunteer hung out with my boys all morning. I have to stop feeling guilty when people enjoy playing with my children! I kept asking if she was ok and she was just beaming! Seeing people enjoy my children despite their "funk" is such a gigantic blessing to me!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not me! Monday

I'm baaaacccckkkk... I haven't done a not me post in a loooonnnnggg time! Here's what this, it's a chance to deny the happenings in your life. Not Me Monday is a blog carnival started by MckMama at

You would think I would have a ton of things to deny since I have not reported any since July. But since my life always runs so smoothly...

My 8 year old did NOT squat on a bench and pee through his swimsuit while we were sitting by a brand-new-co-worker-friend! This was NOT the first time we had met Lance and I'm impressed that he did NOT handle it like a champ. He did NOT tell me about an incident with his daughters at McDonalds to make me feel better...

I did NOT carry my cell phone all around the gym like a lunatic because I was worried my pregnant friend would call me and need to me to watch her kids when she went into labor. I was NOT totally paranoid that I would miss the call and she would have her baby in the driveway because no one was there to watch the other kids. I do NOT worry about stuff like that. I worry about things I can control... global warming, national debt - you know... easy things.

I did NOT start reading the Love Dare with my accountability partner... My first task was be patient and my second task was to be kind. The very day I read about kindness, I did NOT text my husband pictures of the messes he left behind right after I cleaned the house. Nope, I did NOT do that... I cleaned up the messes patiently and kindly.

I did NOT want to be super cheap on my date with my husband this weekend. So I did NOT think it would be cheaper to grab soup and salad from Whole Foods. Our bill was NOT $38 for 2 salads, 2 soups, 2 drinks, and 1 piece of bread. Oh man...

I did NOT open the cupboard under my kitchen sink on Wednesday to find a dish basin filled with 8 inches of nasty water that leaked from the garbage disposal. I did NOT have any idea how long it had been leaking.

I have NOT been too tired lately to do anything. Teaching does NOT wear me out... I do NOT have great kids - who do NOT love to talk all the time! I do NOT wish that I were a bit meaner so my kids might not shout out so much. But then I do NOT realize that they do this in their regular classes too, I do NOT just happened to have the class where they are all here at once!

I am NOT missing some pretty funny things happening, I just am too brain dead to recall... I will NOT start keeping a list!

So what about you? What have you NOT done?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I know why they call it a dare...

Hmmm... The Love Dare. I get it - it's a dare because it's not easy.

Patience was first. I did ok with this early in the week. Wednesday I was perfect - Mark was out of town... The weekend... well, I failed miserably!

After patience is kindness. I was supposed to do something kind for Mark and well, I probably did the opposite. I know God gave me a variety of chances to do kind things and I was too wrapped up in myself to even want to be kind. I am not going to go into the gory details, but it involved Mark going to a cookout, goatee hair in a clean sink, and fried plantains mess in the kitchen... minutes after I cleaned both areas.

I would have to say that overall, I failed miserably this weekend - with patience and kindness.

I have about 3 hours left of the weekend, think I can make up for it? I don't either, but I'm gonna try.

I tell you what though... I'm lucky to have Mark. And this whole thing makes me think of my walk with God. I try and try to be good, but just mess up left and right. Thankfully, God loves me and forgives me! Even more than Mark does!! Amen to that...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Love Dare

Hmmm... going back to work has made me way too tired and brain dead to blog much! But I kicked everyone out today and was able to relax, clean, and think! Here's what's been on my mind...

I love Facebook! I love that I'm able to reconnect with "long lost" friends. I've moved around a few times and have left some good friends behind. Despite my best intentions, I am NOT good with keeping in touch. But with Facebook... it's easy-peasy!

Earlier this week a dear friend from college "friended" me. We were accountability partners for a brief time in college. So we decided we should become accountability partners again. Perfect timing - isn't God great how He does this stuff?

Anyway, so since she is my accountability partner, I shared with her some areas of my life that need work. I had never admitted my number one area to anyone before and it was really freeing to admit this. I am NOT the perfect wife. I am a horrible wife. I am not nice to my husband and I am not patient. Sure I might have my moments of kindness, but really, I wouldn't want to be married to me. There I said it. I'm just thankful that my husband wants to be married to me not sure why he wants to be married to me, though.

I asked Jen if she knew of any books that would help me be a much better wife and she suggested I read the Love Dare. I had the book; I just hadn't started the book because it's hard! But with Jen on my side, praying for me, helping me, and not judging me, I knew now is the time.

So I'm going to embark upon a challenge. I'm going to try really, really hard to love my husband the way God wants me to love him. I am going to fail at times, but I hope that I can get it right at times too. I wasn't going to tell Mark, but he reads the blog... (hi honey, thanks for putting up with me!)

I am supposed to do one dare a day, but I think it's going to take a little time to get this right. The first challenge? Patience!

God has such a good sense of humor... He is making me start with the one that is the hardest of all. Although I have a feeling each dare is going to be hard or it wouldn't be called a dare.

I am a little nervous about posting this on my blog, but I want to be transparent. I want to be real about who I am. So don't judge me! Pray for me!! Want to join me on these dares? I double dog dare you!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A poem I ran across

I found this poem in one of my files. A friend gave it to me and I changed a line in it to fit my family. Brings tears to my eyes everytime.

Here's the disclaimer: I wish I had the character traits spoken of in this poem. Well, I do have selfishness, but it's a whole lot more than described! I guess this poem reminds me that God chose me to raise my boys and He will equip me to be the mom I need to be. So I don't want to come across as some amazing mom because trust me, I'm not. I just like this poem and if any of you are encouraged by it, then I'm glad I shared. If you just think I'm a nutjob... well, you might be right!

How Moms Are Chosen

Did you ever wonder who the mothers of developmentally delayed babies are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagataion with great care and delight.

As He observes, He instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
"Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.
Marjorie Forrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.
Carrie Rutledge, twins, Patron Saint... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles.
"Give hera developmentally delayed baby." The angel is curious.
"Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a developmentally delayed baby to a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have the patience?" asks the ange.
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and neccessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy. She has the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted one spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "mama" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, and biases and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of everyday of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Not much to say... VERY BORING ENTRY!

I haven't been very diligent with updating my blog. Mostly because I don't have much to say!

Today has been a great Saturday! I slept in (until 6:30!!). I cleaned (no seriously, I like to clean). I went to the farmer's market for surprisingly affordable produce and took the kids to the fountain. Then a friend gave me three garbage bags full of clothes!! Wow!!!! I cooked (I like that too).

The school year is going well! I like being back in the classroom and I like having responsibilities of my old job too. So school is busy - but good. I'm not used to writing lesson plans, but I won't whine about that. I know in a few weeks I will feel like I'm not drowning in my "To do" list. I hope I will have my "sea legs" and figure out how to do less "homework".

The school year for the boys is a mixed-bag. Ryan is having trouble following directions and ends up in time-out quite a bit. I'm not surprised because he is doing the same thing at home. Zach is having a great year and I hope that it has to do with the Focalin.

Mark has been on quite the emotional rollercoaster with work these last few months and while things have taken a turn for the better, I still think he is going to have some ups and downs!

So... is this the most boring blog you've ever read? I think it just might be!! I told you so...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All sorts of grumbly things to say...

I prayed and prayed that this school year would be better than last year. Some pretty lousy things happened last year and I prayed that it was all behind us. Not so much. Apparently, some teacher at the school saw me get grumpy with my children at the splash fountain and said something to my son's teacher. Am I the only parent in the world that gets stern with her kids? Am I the only parent in the world that doesn't hover over her children every second of the day? Apparently I am. I could go on and on, but that won't help me leave this at the Lord's feet. Believe me, I have some things I would like to say to "Mrs. Perfect-Parent" but what good would it do? Although if I ever find out who it was, I will certainly ask her to walk a mile in my shoes and ask her for parenting tips.

So after venting with my two dear friends, I decided to go to the gym and run off this frustration. While in the locker room, I ran into someone I know - who I can really relate to and what her to become a friend - and I told her about it. I was just about in tears again.

Finally I make it to the treadmill, plug in my iPod and start running. The problem was, I forgot my ear buds and had to borrow these really cheap headphones. I could only hear drums and guitars. But on the third song, God had something to say. I heard the words to the following song, crystal clear...

I know this song is about something much more gigantic than my situation. I know there is a whole lot worse out there. But this song brings me comfort and since this is my blog, I can share it and relate to it!

Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant
I have traveled many moonless night
Cold and Weary, with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father, You have come
Chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of Heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of Heaven

Breath of Heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me, your holyness
For your holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one, should of had my place
But I offer-all I am
For the mercy-of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

Sometimes, ok, all the time, I do not feel equipped to be the mom of Zach and Ryan. But I know God chose me. And since He chose me, he will "Help me be strong". But I do wonder if He ever wishes he chose someone better; I know I sometimes wish He had.

So for the one person who might read this, please pray for my family and this school year. I just want a smooth one. I don't want to harbor these feelings towards my chidlrens' school.

On a positive note... my kids actual classroom teachers and aides are PHENOMENAL and they are the primary reason we still go to the school.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quote that keeps me going

It's no secret that I have been through the wringer with my boys (and what parent can't say that?). My journey has a purpose and I pray that it includes helping other moms.

I am doing the "Esther" Bible Study by Beth Moore and in the very first lesson, I'm already blown away by what I'm learning!
Beth describes the opening of the Book of Esther as a "once upon a time." This is used 5 times in the Bible and each time there has been a major catastrophe/drama!

So on page 14 she quotes (someone, I can't find the reference)..."The ending to each story is happy, but before that happy ending is realized, much grief occurs."

Ok, I can see that... but then she goes on to say (and this is the one that really speaks to me/keeps me going/makes the drama tolerable) "When we trust our lives to the hand and pen of an unseen but ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read. With a grand ending. And not just in spite of those catastrophes. Often because of them. Don't just wait and see. Live and see."

This reminds me that I have two "funky" kids for a reason! I need to make our lives count! Sign me up for the adventure, God! (But could it be one of those multiple-choice adventures?)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

El Mikarts aventura Mexicano 2009

Have you ever seen so many pictures on my blog? We just finished one of the best vacations... It was pretty hard to top our Jamiaca trip (even though Ryan spent 2 nights in a rural Jamaican hospital...) and our trips to Michigan have been pretty fun too. But, cruising... way fun!

We got to Ft. Lauderdale Sunday afternoon and stayed at the swanky Westin on the beach. It was a super great deal on Hotwire...
The boys loved playing on the beach - and the big waves of the Atlantic...
Mark and Zach, of course, enjoyed the pool. What is a swimming "session" without Mark tossing Zach into the water?

I almost got a perfect picture of the boys together. Almost....
Then on Monday, we got to our cruise ship in Miami. Tuesday morning was Key West, but since we've been there often, we just got off the boat to get Lactaid pills for Mark and crazy Hawaiian shirts. Ryan was pretty exhausted and just rode around on Mark's shoulders.

Wednesday afternoon was Cozumel. I was a little nervous about what we would do because I was too cheap to pay for an excursion... So we went to the market and then...
We rented a Jeep and drove around the island! Cozumel is GORGEOUS! ME GUSTA MUCHA!!

We went swimming at this little beach - Chen Rio Playa.
Drank coconut milk at a different beach.

Took millions of pictures of the coast.

And then got lost in Cozumel Cuidad. Fortunately, Mark speaks Spanish and we made it back to the boat!s
A whole lot of time was spent at the Water Play Area on our boat:
Zach loved the hot tub.

And they were obsessed with the bunk beds in our cabin.

We ate, we relaxed, we played, and we were merry! I can't wait until our next cruise. Anyone want to come with us?
Oh - and this was actually a cheap vacation! We came in under budget! Imagine that!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Today is Mark's birthday. He is the most incredible man I know and I am so thankful he is in my life - and puts up with me (what could be better than that?)
He loves God with his whole heart and wants nothing more than to serve Him.
He is an amazing husband and is super-duper patient with me, even when I don't deserve it.
And he is a great father. He spent all week with the boys while I was on a mission trip and he only complained once - and it was a legitimate complaint! He invents fun stuff for the boys to play and loves to take them flying.
So, happy birthday, Mark! I love you!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes from the mission trip

It's Top Ten Tuesday! And here are my 10 favorite quotes from the recent mission trip.

10. "How can I lay Him down, How can I lay Him down, He's so good to me..." [It's really supposed to be, "How can I let Him down..." but we didn't understand the vernacular]

9. "Where else am I going to meet her? At the library?" [Katie's dad making fun of Katie...]

8. "... Jesus told me to find drug dealers..." [Will during an "Ask the Lord" session]

7. "You guys are the Joshua generation and God is going to do some mighty things through you..." [This one is serious and stuck with me; it's from one of the pastors Sunday night.]

6. "Lord, I pray for sugar, for the families..." [Liz on our first Ask the Lord/Prayer drive]

5. "The sugar lords could drive around and hand out pixie sticks and get the kids addicted to sugar." [This isn't the exact quote, but close enough... It was from Mikey K when we were driving to the lake.]

4. "Katie! She's wearing a pink shirt!" [This is the culminating line to Katie's "nudging" that God will put a girl in a pink shirt in her path. Some people made fun of her, but she stood by her convictions and sure enough, the next day, she met the girl in the pink shirt and jeans!]

3. "Let's hold it up to the light and examine it... Is it scriptural? Can it be confirmed?" [This is another not-funny-but-serious-quote. We heard it frequently from Marty.]

2. "There they are! Turn around! Wait!!!! YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!" [As I drive down the wrong side of the road on a major highway...]

1. "Stop choking your friend, we're gonna pray." [Jeff saying this at the cook out in the most serious tone, EVER!]

Side note to #9: It has been confirmed by a Facebook quiz: Katie will meet the man of her dreams at a bookstore.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mission Trip people part 1

This is going to be one of many posts that I talk about the people we met in Belle Glades and on the mission trip.

We did this process called "Ask the Lord." Basically whenever we had some time to do extra ministry or the flexibility to change the schedule, we went to prayer to find out what God wanted us to do. This sounds really corny, I know. And I'm a skeptic. When Missy described this, I thought she was coo-coo-for-cocoa-puffs. But this was the coolest thing. EVER!
Yesterday, we had an ATL time in Naples. I didn't get a clear picture from God, so I drove Nathalie and Mikey K. Nathalie saw an old person in a blue flowered dress and Mikey saw nursing homes. So the three of us prayed what were to do with these promptings. I felt we needed to buy flowers and then take them to the nursing home.
Nathalie (above) and Mikey (below).
While at Publix buying flowers, Nathalie felt we should buy a "Happy Birthday" balloon. Mikey and I were like, "Ummm... No, that's stupid."

We drove around looking for the nursing home and didn't have much luck. So I prayed and there was the nursing home! In we went.

We walked in with a bunch of flowers and this nurse saw us. Our conversation went somthing like this: "I know this is going to sound crazy, but we are on a mission trip and are having some prayer time asking God what he wants us to do. He told us to come to the nursing home and find someone who needs some flowers. "

The nurse looked at us like we were freaks. But then, her face lit up and she said, "Burta does not get visitors and her birthday is on Sunday. Why don't you go see her. She is in room 404."

Guess we should have bought the birthday balloon, huh?

We knock, walk in and repeat our introduction.

Nathalie, though, is about to pee her pants. The woman was wearing blue flowered dress!!!!!

We chatted for a bit, prayed for her, and then left the extra flowers for the nurse who helped us out.

Coincidence? Nope. God prompted us. We obeyed. And we were blown away!

This type of stuff happened all week long. I will share more of these stories with you, but right now, I should probably go play with my boys!