Saturday, March 31, 2012

A New Easter Tradition?

Jon and I were talking about our traditional Easter supper Tuesday night and debating about what to cook.  Each year we've made something different but we always try to keep it special.  And Wednesday morning, A Holy Experience's blog post popped up in my email entitled "The Best Easter Dinner".   What timing and what an interesting concept.  Ann Voskamp writes about starting a new tradition with a Messianic Seder.  With beautiful writing and beautiful pictures, I would love to bring this tradition into our home.  I'm not sure where I'll find leg of lamb here in our town but I would love to add even more special meaning to the Easter celebration.  I encourage you to check it out and maybe you'll begin a new tradition in your home as well!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Not a Stick

Not a Stick -- Story and Creative Activity was a very interesting blog post about incorporating books and imaginative activities.
I hope to find the book, "Not a Stick" by Antoinette Portis at our library soon.  Buddy is fascinated with sticks, like most boys, and this would be a great way to encourage his imagination.  I don't know how many times I've made him leave sticks outside and I know Buddy would love to have permission to bring one inside!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daddy/Son Adventures

For Buddy's birthday, we gave him child size golf clubs and this past weekend, Jon took Buddy to the driving range to golf.  Buddy was ecstatic! 
I love how Buddy enjoys spending one on one time with Jon.  Any time he and Jon go out anywhere together, it is called a Daddy/Son adventure.  Whether they refill our water bottles, go shopping at Walmart, eat breakfast at IHOP, or go to the driving range, Buddy always comes home so happy. 
We all know that the father and son relationship is key growing up and I am so blessed to have a husband who realizes and nurtures this bond. 
Through outings like this to the driving range, Buddy is learning how to be a man, husband, and father.  Jon and Buddy are building a trusting and loving relationship that will last his entire life and will provide opportunities for the tough discussions later on as Buddy grows.
Here is to many more Daddy/Son adventures!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Resurrection Eggs

Can you believe Easter is 12 days away!  I found this Resurrection Countdown on Pinterest back in February and was excited to do this with Buddy and Sweetpea.  Of course, with Ladybug, Easter almost snuck up on me but we have our egg carton ready to go.  (Confession, I'm still compiling the last few days of materials.)
What I like most is that the countdown teaches about Jesus and what He did.  I want Buddy and Sweetpea to enjoy the passages with Jesus as much as they enjoy David and Goliath and Daniel and the lions. 
As we open our eggs each day, I'm looking forward to teaching and learning about Jesus! 

If you are looking for a different Easter countdown, check out The Story of the Resurrection Eggs in Rhyme and Song.
The Story of the Resurrection Eggs in Rhyme and Song: Miss Patty Cake Opens Up the Wonder of the Easter Story

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Power of Prayer

When I posted Friday, March 2nd, I had no clue how much God was going to make me live that statement.  Sweetpea's stomach virus had been misdiagnosed and instead was actually a slight case of pneumonia.  Just what every mom wants to hear, their 2 year old has pneumonia and could pass it on to their 2 week old.  So when Ladybug began coughing Sunday night, we promptly rushed her to the doctor on Monday.  After lots of tests and chest x-rays, we learned that Ladybug had RSV. 
Because of Sweetpea's prematurity, I have read a lot about the seriousness of RSV, especially in infants, but since our doctor wanted to us to just watch her at home, I tried to relax.  Then Tuesday morning, I had three phone calls with the doctor's office and was instructed to take Ladybug as quickly as possible to the local ER to be admitted to a Children's Hospital in another town.  I called my parents as I began to pack a small overnight bag and had them begin praying and Jon let the office staff at church know and they were also praying.
At the ER, we learned that Ladybug's blood oxygen levels were low and they were concerned that she would stop breathing.  And then the shocker, the doctor who would be admitting us at the Children's hospital wanted Ladybug flown by helicopter to get her there quickly.  "A helicopter, for my 2 week old, because she is that sick!" was what went through my mind and then I realized that I would also be flying with her.  Which, to be honest, was actually quite a fun adventure had it not been for the reason we were flying.  (Talk about Mommy Guilt!  How do you admit you enjoyed the Medivac flight?)

Though people were praying all over the country, our stay began to be longer and longer waiting on Ladybug's oxygen levels to come up without supplemental oxygen.  Then came Friday night.  Jon had left to go home with Buddy and Sweetpea after a long day of Ladybug on oxygen and low oxygen saturation levels.  About 10:00 pm, her levels dipped again and the nurses had to increase the oxygen again.  I sat on the very uncomfortable cot and cried .  Cried because we were told we'd be in the hospital two days and we were going on five, cried because Ladybug's levels were low, and cried from sheer exhaustion and worry.
That point is when I could feel people praying the most and God gently reminded me to trust Him.  Trust Him with how long the stay would be, trust Him with Ladybug's oxygen levels, and trust Him that Buddy and Sweetpea would be okay too.  At midnight, the nurse discovered that the oxygen regulator wasn't working and after changing the regulator, she was able to lower the amount of oxygen that Ladybug was receiving.  After staying at 100% oxygen saturation on Saturday night, Ladybug was able to come home on Sunday afternoon. 
So to everyone who prayed for Ladybug, I am forever grateful!  I don't know why we've had to deal with these types of situations with Sweetpea and Ladybug but these have been huge life lessons in living out trust in God and the amazing power of prayer!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painting with Water

We have had nice weather off and on so I've been trying to let Buddy and Sweetpea have outside time.  One activity that was a huge hit was to "paint" our driveway with water.  They loved it!  And all it took was a few old paintbrushes and cups of water.  Buddy and Sweetpea were entertained for over an hour painting various pictures on our driveway.  After a bit to change things up, I had them draw with sidewalk chalk and trace over their drawings.  Here are a few pictures of their artwork!
 Sweetpea with a huge grin!
 Buddy drew "Larryboy"

This will definitely be a repeat activity in our house!

Monday, March 12, 2012

1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers

Here are two beautiful versions of 1 Corinthians 13 rewritten for mothers.  I saw the first one this past week while sitting in the hospital with Ladybug and cried.  So I'll share the joy with all you moms out there!

I Corinthians 13 for Mothers (by Jim Fowler)
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.
If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counsellor when my children fail or are hurt.
Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.
All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.
Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.
© Jim Fowler, Christ in You Ministries. Reproduced with permission. Please refer to Christ in You website for more adaptations of 1 Corinthians 13 for parents, fathers, etc

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms
I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon
and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor...
but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.
I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail.
I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood
and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger...
but if I don't have love, I am nothing.
Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew.
Love is kind when my teen says, "I hate you!"
Love does not envy the neighbors' swimming pool or their brand-new mini van,
but trusts the Lord to provide every need.
Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities,
and love rejoices when other families succeed.
Love doesn't boast,
even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.
Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?"
Love does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children,
but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.
Love is not easily angered,
even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her.
Love does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous)
when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.
Love does not give up hope.
Love always protects our children's self-esteem and spirit,
even while doling out discipline.
Love always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot.
Love always perseveres,
through blue nail polish, burps and other bodily functions, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleepovers.
Love never fails.
But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labor, they will fade away.
Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease.
Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything,
there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best.
For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in therapy,
but when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear.
(Thank you, God!)
When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us.
Now that we're parents ourselves,
we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is LOVE!!
--Author Unknown

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my Buddy!  I can't believe you are four years old today!  It is a joy to be your mommy and experience life with you each day!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lessons in Trust

Just a quick thought today.  Parenting is a lesson in trusting God on a daily basis.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mommy Guilt

Currently, I have been wracked with a ton of Mommy guilt!  Since I am on lifting restrictions, I cannot pick up anything heavier than Ladybug.  Six weeks of recovery is a very long time and a very hard adjustment for Sweetpea.  To make matters worse, she came down with a stomach virus and wanted her Mommy to hold her and cuddle.  Sweetpea could sit next to me and rock but I could not put her to bed or hold her on my lap.  Even as my rational side argued, I was assuaged with guilt, tons and tons of Mommy guilt, for what I cannot do.
As the guilt threatens to overtake me and bring me way down, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9.  "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”"  This verse was one I would cling to the last few weeks of pregnancy when I felt like I could not go on any longer.  His Grace was sufficient to keep me humble when I would lose my patience with Buddy and Sweetpea.  And His Grace will be sufficient to allow me to work through this hard time in parenting and adjustment in our household. 
The weakness that I feel right now allows me to lean on His strength and trust that God has given me Buddy, Sweetpea, and Ladybug.  He knew that I would be parenting them and that I would be feeling this guilt.  His strength is given when mistakes are made, when tempers are lost, and when guilt threatens to drown out all reason.  There is grace in knowing that Sweetpea will not remember this time and grace in knowing that she will still love me as Mommy anyway.  Guilt cannot keep its hold on me when I repeat 2 Corinthians 12:9 to myself several times a day.  "My grace is sufficient for you."