Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Well, we do not have the swine flu - praise God and haller-luya! EK merely ran fever for a few hours, still is not 100%, lingering cough and some tender glands, but no flu. We'll keep praying that it stays away from our family, but odds are...
Jack wrote an apology note to the little boy he clocked. It is very sweet and he even attached an extra envelope with some loose change. That's my boy. If the letter doesn't work, try to buy his forgiveness! Oh dear. There's a "discussion" in the works about that one.
On another note, as a mom/wife/friend/fill-in-the-blank-role, there are some days where I am like, "yeah, I totally got this thing nailed down. Dinner is planned and prepped by 10am, clothes are washed, dried, & put up, house is clean." Then there those other days when I think, "Children services are coming. Today. To take my children away from this pit of devastation and filth. My husband will surely be leaving me today, because he has seen me in sweats and no makeup for the 3rd day in a row and I don't remember the last time I showered." There, I said it. Sometimes I honestly cannot remember when I last bathed. Gross, I know. But in my defense, sometimes I did manage a shower, I just can't recall it - I check to see if my towel is wet:) This mommy-brain is sometimes sharp as a tack, recalling facts and characters from novels I read eons ago in college. I can do the NY times crossword puzzle, in pen, up until Thurs (they publish them from easier to more difficult as the week goes on, so thurs. is when they get too hard to do in pen and I switch to pencil and usually don't finish it). I can read an article in the paper about the latest economic summit and truly get it. Then there are the days when I call my children by the wrong names, we eat PB&J for lunch and dinner because I haven't planned a thing, and the dogs get to eat hard-boiled eggs and goldfish because I again forgot to get them more dog food. What I really long for is a day somewhere in between those two. Mostly on track and planned, but with some wiggle room for a spontaneous lunch invitation, or to snuggle with Will and watch a movie at nap time. As with most of us, balance is elusive. God wants my heart to be at peace regardless of my circumstances and as our time with Ryan in the NICU showed us, we can be joyful in all circumstances, but peace seems even more challenging. Can I feel calm amidst the storms of parenting? Can I rest in His word, knowing that even when I play out the "worst-case-scenario game" He is who He says He is - now and forever? I'm trying! Those days when all feels balanced are glorious. But I think that what God is really teaching me is that even the off-kilter days are glory-filled too. I just have to look a little harder:)

Friday, October 23, 2009


So I had run all of my errands, put Will down for nap, was washing bottles so that Ryan had something clean to drink out of, and the phone rings. It was the principal of Jack and Ek's school. He was calling to inform me that Jack was in his office because he had punched a first grader. In the eye. A boy, I would later learn, whom he did not know. For no conceivable reason, Jack had hauled off and clocked this poor kid. A kid whose father, I would come to find out, is the minister of the Presbyterian church. Note: this is rich in irony because when I was 14 I "dated" the Presbyterian minister's son. Not the same one mind you. That would, well, be impossible, but anyway, you get the point. Or maybe not, since I'm not sure there is one. Anyhoo. When I went to school to pick him up and of course asked him what in the holy heck had happened, he starts out by telling me he doesn't know. We work past that load of you know what, and he then tells me that these two boys were sitting in front of him at the assembly, they started horsing around and then he joined in and accidentally-on-purpose punched this other kid. Problem #1 with this scenario is that these boys were not playing with Jack. #2, you don't punch someone no matter what (well at least not at school, since boys will be boys and punching will occur, but at least keep it off school grounds, please.) #3, Jack didn't tell any of this to the principal, so when we get home and he explains it to me, I'm all well then, let's call the principal and at least let him know that it wasn't completely unprovoked, still not ok though etc. #4, I call and am promptly informed that there was an Aide standing there (yes she is an adult which negates any chance of there being no credible witnesses) and according to her the 2 smaller boys were not horsing around. #5, my kid is a big fat liar???? I thought we had covered this sin before, remember when I payed out the wazoo for an eye exam that was completely unnecessary, because my kid insisted he couldn't see? I am dumbfounded by his blatant sin. Yet, as I have prayed and thought about this, I keep coming back to the question, "Why am I so surprised?" Sin is ugly, and it often has deep roots. We pull up these weeds of wrongdoing, confessing, crying, and praying to God for forgiveness, only to find in time that all we have done is break off the top of the weed, but have left the roots firmly in the ground. Did we not feel bad? Did we not desire forgiveness? Yes, but did we really rerpent? Well, if we return to that same sin, then no. In this sweet child's case, he is still learning. He has been given grace in the past, and will now have to face some serious consequences for his sin. That scout camping trip is off and there will be other disciplines in place. But it is still heartbreaking for a parent, and I understand, if only a bit, how God must feel when he watches us engage in sinful behavior - especially when we, as adults, know better. I will lavish my son with love, so he knows that my love for him is not dependent on his behavior. I will fall more in love with God, understanding how difficult it is to watch someone you adore make such foolish choices and yet know without a shadow of a doubt that that same person is more worthy of love now more than ever. Jeff and I will put our heads together and talk with Jack,again. And then we will pray, again.
We talked with Jack this morning and at the end of the day there doesn't seem to be anything that precipitated the punch. He just got worked up in the assembly, perhaps the boys were being annoying during the program, perhaps they were rough-housing and the Aide missed it; nevertheless, our boy was wrong, he knows it and will be doing some "time" for the crime:)
Prayers are needed - Ella-Kathryn developed a fever this afternoon. I new something was up because for the past 3 days she has become weepy in the afternoons and cried actual tears telling me how sad she was about GG and how much she misses her GG. So upset in fact that we ended up busting out the home movies just to "see" her. We are treating the symptoms for now and will take her in to the clinic tomorrow. Hope it's not the piggy flu, but all signs point to the oinker. Pray for Will and Ryan especially, to stay healthy in the midst of all this. The rotten part is that the kids and I were all hanging out on my bed this afternoon, watching home movies and for the better part of a half an hour, EK was all up in Ryan's face. Good grief!

No special reason for this pic other than he's so stinkin' cute. He's wearing his new kicks from his grandparents - they're baby hi-tops. Too much! Love this boy:)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yeah for pounds!

Jack holding Ryan for me yesterday. Funny how he looks so much bigger in his big brother's arms than in mine or Jeff's.

Ryan had his weight check this morning and did great! He's up to 10'8" - and I mean, when else in your life are people going to cheer you on for GAINING weight? I so wish someone would do that for me - heck the way I'm holdin' on the these baby pounds I oughta have a whole cheering section!
I digress...shocker, I know. Anyway, Will and Ryan and I ran a slew of errands and then made it home in time for nap. I'm thinking of one my own self. We have community group tonight and our sweet babysitter, Miss T, will be coming to take care of the kiddos. She's wonderful and they love her - Will never makes a peep when we leave, a true testament to his fondness for her! I will be sharing my testimony tonight, ugliness and all, so pray for me. Jeff is giving his too, and I think this may be his first time. A testimony virgin if you will - pray for him especially. Not his cup-a-tea. Our CG leader is awesome though and gave his last week - totally transparent and I think set the stage for the rest of us to do the same.
OK, so I'm thinking that nap is a great idea - more later...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ryan, watching mommy make dinner.

Will walking around, sans pants as is all the rage with toddlers these days. He looks half scared/half like a mini-frankenstien. What's up with that?

Ella-Kathryn, still sporting her 80's pink eyeshadow from a bday party, listening to some tunes on her ipod whilst awaiting dinner. is it just me or does she look stoned?

Jack in full riding gear, going nowhere soon though because we've had rain 11 out of the past 14 days. UGH.

Well, I am deep into my housewifery today. Just unloaded my 5th load of laundry - I suspect that the little people in this house are changing clothes several times during the course of the day because they don't think that I have anything to keep me busy:) Sweet them to think of me...
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who cannot think when there is clutter covering every flat surface of my home. The giant hairballs rolling across the living room like something out of a western, simply push me to the edge of distraction. Our poor Border Collie, who thinks he is a house dog and only now has the desire to heard small children around our small home, is molting. At least that's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for the amount of hair that he is shedding. I really must figure out a way to stuff pillows, sew wigs (black and white hair, perfect for the Halloween season, no?), perhaps weave a tapestry depicting our families triumphs for the year? Suggestions? It seems so dang wasteful to just vacuum it up and throw it away.
For those of you with children, those who know children, or those who have ever seen a child, you know that the hours of 3:00-bedtime is actually the "witching hour." This is the time when their blood sugar plummets, they become despondent and lose their ability to think rationally when told that dinner will be served in mere moments and thus they will not truly starve.to.death. It is also the time when homework must be completed, because in our house, you do what you've got to do, in order to do what you want to do. Period. We've tried it the other way around, allowing for some play time prior to homework, but trust me when called away from playing to begin homework, the Oscar will always go to Jack Simpson. Jack is super-creative, imaginative, funny, and so many other awesome things. But when it comes to schoolwork, oy. It seems that 9 times out of 10 we have to get to this horrible place where Jack is crying and I am praying non-stop for self-control. I actually told him to get out of my face the other day after 15 minutes of our back and forth. This is why we don't homeschool people! It's a vicious cycle and yet, when we get past this point of him not really trying, he usually gets it and is finished in a jiffy. Yes, we try all sorts of different ways to present the material, but most of it is so black and white and has to be done according to the teachers methods that he was already taught in school, so there's little to be done other than just gut through it. I hate it for him. I hate seeing him struggle so much. The good news is that he does care about it, even if he sometimes says he doesn't, and that he is a smart kid. So smart in fact that sometimes he simply blows us away. At the dinner table the other night, we were discussing forgiveness and I posed the question: When is it hard to forgive someone? Jack said, when I'm mad, sometimes I am so distracted by my anger that I don't think that they need my forgiveness or that I want to give it to them. WOW! So, enrollment in Jack Simpson's Seminary will begin next Monday...
To end, when talking about God and his "superpowers" we then turned to what we wish our superpowers could be. Jack - laser vision. My dear, sweet, precious, darling, daughter - a coat made out of guns. Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Well, Jack successfully rode the dirt bike on Sat, complete with 2 wrecks, but thankfully, no injuries. We have it all captured on tape. Unfortunately, when I say tape, i mean honest to goodness tape. We'll have none of that high fa-looten fancy digital stuff around here! No siree bob. We're hangin' on to the good old days when an image burned onto some sort of black tape looking stuff meant your image was captured forever, or at least until the tape broke. Oh, I digress. Can you tell I am so longing for a digital camcorder. I'm pretty sure we're the only family left in the free world who doesn't have one. Not to judge, but I have seen some pretty sad looking families out there with nicer electronic equipment than we have. Ok, so I did just judge. Darn you log/speck thing.
Anyway, he did great and despite my nausea and pleas to slow down (he was barely giving it any gas), I managed to sound super supportive:) Thank you very much. We'll see how well my ability to cheer on my son's death wish sport continues...
Ella-Kathryn came home today with a sore throat, no fever though, and after getting motrin and watching Bananas stand-up comedy, she was ready to go back! That's my girl - she didn't want to miss gym! Bless her:)
For more fun Ryan news, he was mis-weighed AGAIN. At his first Dr. checkup after discharge, he was mis-weighed and luckily I had been paying attention so they re-weighed him and even though he still needed to pack on some pounds, at least he hadn't lost. Then we go in Fri cause he's got himself his first cold and sounds like a little piglet at night, and the nurse says he weighs 10'14" - hot dog! Not so fast! Mon. was his official 2 month checkup and the nurse says, 9'6" and I'm all, no way, and she's all yes way. I complain, they re-weigh and sure enough, boo-boo on the other nurses part, he does not weigh 10'14". He's only in the 10th % so we're back to trying to force him to take more formula at each feeding. UGH. Then, not 15 minutes ago, I get a phone call asking if I've taken him in for this hearing test. Um, no, I was told it was done in the NICU a month ago. Well, they have no record of it. Okey dokey what do you want me to do about that? So, four phone calls later, some nice medical biller at the hospital is "looking for the record and will call me back." I know you can't see me, but as we speak I am blue for holding my breath for that phone call. You see, after dealing with Jack's hospital stuff and now Ryan's, I know better. These people are all in on some cruel joke. It's called: let's see how for we can push these poor lay people until they snap and go postal on us. Medical jargon, misc. billing, unanswered phone calls - I'm working myself into a frenzy even as I type! I should have just told the lady, "well he cries when the dogs bark really loud, does that count?" How's that for a redneck hearing test!!!!
Seriously, we had great care for both of our kiddos, but the insurance racket in this country is enough to drive me to the bottle. Well, who am I kidding, a paper cut is enough for a glass of wine, but they really do drive me nuts:)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wringing of hands

Jeff came home some time ago and mentioned that a guy from work had a dirt bike for sale - a dirt bike just the right size for Jack. Oh dear. Now, Jeff grew up riding these things and we always rode around on a four-wheeler (or maybe it was a 3 wheeler) back on the farm when we were there for Thanksgiving etc. But, my son? UM, I'm not so sure about this. I mean, do they make bubble suits for kids to wear while riding? Do they make bikes that only go 5 mph? If so, then sign me up. Otherwise, I will be that nervous Nelly on the sidelines (or side of the dirt track?) wringing her hands and wincing with every bump he hits. Nevermind when he actally gets good enough to want to JUMP things. Oh dear. Yet, this like every other aspect of parenting, is an exercise in prayer, trust, and wisdom. At every turn in my children's lives I will rely on God's strength and promises to see me through - from the BIG things, like Ryan's very life, to the smaller things, like Jack becoming successful at math:) Ok, so that last one is truly a big deal in our house, I'm just playin' it cool. Anyway, God seems to want me to live in this place. The address is #1 Faith Drive and the sign on the door says TRUST BEFORE ENTERING. It's a daily thing for me, but I'm glad He allows me to renew this walk every morning. I want to remain in his house forever and I know that with his abundant grace I can. Here on earth, I will choose to trust that he holds my children in his hands too. As for the wisdom of bringing said dirt bike home to begin with, well let's just say I trust my husband and we'll leave it at that! So, when you call and I interrupt by gasping air because I witnessed my son wipeout on the bike, just pray for me:)
PS - to those of you who know our financial situation, a note: Jeff's co-worker ended up giving us the bike, helmet, equipment etc. Jeff had told him about our hospital bills et al and how we wouldn't be able to buy it from him after all. He was just so desperate to get rid of the thing he told Jeff to come on and get it!