Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This is my version of Christmas. My three sweet, little loves. What a gift each of them is to me. And each in different ways. Thank you God for these children.

We had a very fun Christmas. Since then, Ella has been cooking in her new kitchen, with the occasional guest chef in Miles. Elijah has been trying to learn how to keep Mario alive. Miles has been enjoying his firehouse and firetruck and was wearing his John Deere work gloves everywhere until he lost them as punishment for some heinous act of disobedience. What was that again? Oh, I don't know. He can have them back when we find them in this very disorderly house. I need to work on that. The house, that is. Tomorrow. I'll work on that tomorrow. New year. New cleaning philosophy. Maybe? Check back on that one...

Anyway, our Christmas was wonderful - we are so blessed with our families, our children, our church, our home - but most blessed with our Jesus. He has so been tugging at my heart, along with the Father. My Father. I've felt this for a few months and I figured it out talking to my brother recently. After all these months without my dad here with me, I have gotten to a place with God where he is my dad. Holy, yes. Sovereign, yes. Righteous. Just. Merciful. Loving. Forgiving. Patient. Waiting. Hopeful. Father in Heaven. And he's my dad. It's what I've been told time and time and time again, but I didn't understand it. Until now. I'm not saying I've made it somewhere, as I think it is just a beginning, or accomplished this myself because it's God working here, not me. This is one of the ways he has turned my sadness into joy and given me reason to rejoice. I have two dads cheering me on. Two dads giving me hope. Two dads waiting for me - one I will see again and one I will see for the first time. Two dads.

Ella has been talking about Poppa so much lately. Today I had her in the drs office (sinus infection) and out of the blue she said "Poppa!" while looking in front of us. Then she said "Oh Poppa where go?" I don't know what to make of it, but something or nothing I am loving it.

And if this post isn't syrupy enough, let me share what Elijah told me last week:

"Momma, sometimes I just stop and look at you because you are so pretty. You are the prettiest woman I've ever seen."
Never mind that when I asked him when he stops to look at me he said, "I haven't yet." Hey, at least he plans to stop and look at me, right?

Happy New Year

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between Himself and us, and He has given us the work of making peace between Himself and others."
-1 Corinthians 5:15-18

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have yourself...

a merry little Christmas!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.
Romans 15:13

Ho! Ho! Ho!

My friend Allison and I met at the mall yesterday morning with our 6 children. The night before Jonathan said, with a confused expression, "two women and six children at the mall?" I explained that actually two women and six children is better and easier than one woman and three children. Two to six means you've got at least one person on your side.

We saw Santa, rode the train, had lunch and Allison got a tiny bit of shopping done. We planned for the little girls to match in their "e" shirts I made for them. What was a little weird is that Allison and I just happened to match each other as well. It was cute on the little ones, not so much for us big girls.

Christmas Fun

We had a very busy last week of school before Christmas. Both boys had parties. Miles had a pageant and Elijah had his first field trip. They happened to be on the same morning, so I witnessed the very sweet preschool pageant while Jonathan accompanied Elijah and his class to see Despereaux.

We played pin-the-ornament-on-the-tree!
And decorated cookies!

I found a sweet little dalmatian at the manger.Elijah's class had a Polar Express day and party

everyone looked so cute and cuddly in their jammies!

Mom's birthday

December 14th was Mom's birthday. Her and Dad's wedding anniversary is on the 16th, which is a pretty tough day for her now. Since her birthday fell on a Sunday this year, we decided to spend the day together. Just us. No kids. Very nice. We had lunch and then went to see Twilight.
We left the movie pretty smitten with a certain vegetarian vampire. We then did a bit of Christmas shopping and ended our day at Chili's for some molten chocolate cake. Yum! Happy birthday, again, Mom! I love you bunches.

Elijah's party

We had Elijah's party a few weeks ago at church so we could have a movie party. He chose to watch Veggie Tales' The Toy that saved Christmas. The kids seemed to have a great time, except for Elijah who started running a fever during his party. Impeccable timing I'd say. Oh, well. Here's the cake - hopefully you can recognize it as a box of popcorn. I wasn't super thrilled with the way it came out.

The kids enjoyed popcorn during the show.Ella and her cousins enjoyed the cake!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's true

My favorite singing girl, Sara Groves, has blown me away yet again with her new Christmas album. My favorite song is called It's True. I love it for several reasons, one being that it features the sweet voice of her son. I also love that Elijah loves it. He can never listen to it just once. Here are the lyrics:

In your heart you hope it’s true
Though you hold no expectation
In the deepest part of you
There’s an open hesitation

But it’s true
Kingdoms and crowns
The God who came down
To find you

It’s true
Angels on high
Sing through the night

You’ve heard it told
You think it’s odd
The whole thing fraught with complication
The play begins with baby God
And all his blessed implications

In your heart you hope it’s true
In the deepest part of you
It’s true
It’s true

After we listened to it two or three times yesterday I told Elijah that some people don't think that Jesus' story is real or true. He thought I was kidding at first. When he realized I was serious, I asked him if he thinks it's true. He said, "I KNOW it's true!" God must smile and angels must sing when a little one is so full of faith.

I know we are all about to get really, really busy with the holidays. I am loving how this song, among others, brings me back to the point. All of this celebration is because of the birth of my Savior. And the celebration is fine, wonderful, and called for; but I do want to take time to ponder the Truth during this time. The truth of a God who came down to find me. And you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Middle Place

I remember asking my sweet friend Melissa soon after my dad died just when I would stop feeling like the sadness was going to suffocate me. At the time her mom had been gone for 11 years. The answer to my question? Tears filled her eyes. What I didn't know then is that while the pain, and your reaction to it, changes with time, it is always there. Always. There is a hole left behind that only my dad could fill. And right now it's empty. And every now and then I feel once again like I might suffocate.

Recently Betsy handed me a book that made her think of me. It was wonderful. First of all, the author, Kelly Corrigan, is an excellent writer. Her words make you feel a part of her story. It is the story of her own fight with cancer that just happened to coincide with her father's fight with it as well. The book is called The Middle Place and I recommend it to anyone who is at once a child and a parent. That is what she calls the middle place. This is what her website says about the book: "THE MIDDLE PLACE is about being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet."

It took my dad's illness and death for me to realize that I can be, and am, both mother and daughter. I thought as a grown up kind of woman that I was fully independent, self-sufficient (with my husband, of course) and yes, a daughter but more importantly, a mother. A grown up. And then Dad became sick. Wait. I'm not ready. Not yet. Not this. Not now. My boys are too little. I am too young. You are too young. What will we do? I am still your daughter. And yes, in fact I do still need you as I've come to know. What is that they say about hindsight? If I had only known, right? As it turns out, Dad and I both learned a lot about each other, about love, in his last months.

So now I relish my position as both someone's daughter and some people's mother. It can be a strange place at times, like recently when I had a double ear infection and we just happened to be staying at Mom's due to our plumbing problems. I laid in my mom's bed crying because my ears hurt so badly and I just wanted her to come home from her errands and take care of me. And she did.

I now so cling to my mother that she probably feels like I'm suffocating her. I can't help it. She's the last link to my being a daughter, a child. Along with my dad went part of my backbone, and mom makes up a big part of what's left of it. So I worry about her and like to keep tabs on where she is and how she is, because when she goes, I'll be an orphan. I know, I know, I am a daughter of the King, and how I love, love, love that place. But on earth, I'll be an orphan. Let's move on...or I'll get all upset.

As Elijah was approaching his birthday last week I realized that he has now lived half of his life without my dad in it. Now, we talk lots about Poppa. Elijah misses him and likes to remember things about him. Miles, and now even Ella, talk about him because I do. I truly believe that Dad keeps tabs on us. Knows what we're up to. Watches his grandchildren. Loves them. But I can't see him see them. This part of The Middle Place speaks to that feeling. It is about her friend's reaction after her mother's death to people saying "she's in a better place" type things:
But what about you? What about your peace? Your comfort? Who's gonna remember what you were for Halloween that year or the name of your fifth grade teacher? Who's gonna loan you money to buy your first house or cry when your baby is born? Who's gonna sit in the front row of your play?

Look, Mom! This is the scene where we get engaged! Oh! You're gonna love this part! Look at me in my white dress Dad! How about this one - Edward and Dad play golf together! And in this next scene, we get pregnant! Hey, look, Dad! Edward reads Sports Illustrated cover to cover JUSTLIKEYOU! Isn't this a good play? Don't you love it? Wait! There's more! Edward gets promoted in the third act! Don't go yet! Georgia is going to kindergarten next year! Wait 'til you see her first swim meet! Her tiger goggles! Please stay. We bought Claire tap shoes! This part is coming up-! Claire plays the harmonica! She's applying to Yale! Don't LEAVE- it gets so good!
Even though I think Dad is seeing our "play" and he's trying to get the hosts of heaven to watch with him, probably, I can't be with him as he sees. I can't see the emotion in his eyes. Or see those cheeks puff up with a smile. Or hear that strange way he would laugh/spit when something was really funny (like Elijah calling nipples "nebos").

Thanks to Betsy for sharing this wonderful book with me. I think The Middle Place is so worth reading. You may not be able to relate to all of it but, unfortunately, one day we all will send our parents home. And, hey, maybe reading it will help you learn some things about family and love and loss that I had to learn the hard way.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My birthday boy!

My first little love turns 6 today. Yesterday he repeatedly told me, "This is the last day I'll ever be 5!" I was ready to cry about it by the last time he said it. We started off the day with birthday pumpkin muffins, then Jonathan, Miles and I went to have lunch and take cupcakes at Elijah's school. The celebration will continue tonight with his favorite dinner - tacos - and then we'll have a party Saturday.
No one knows how it is that with one glance a boy can break through into a girl's heart.
Napoleon Bonaparte

This boy broke through into my heart six years ago. What a blessing he has been. My prayer with him this morning was one of thankfulness for his life and that he will love God every day of it.

Happy birthday, Elijah P.! I'll love you forever, bunches and bunches!

My heart

God has spoken to me this week about my heart. I had an angry encounter with someone I love very, very much. We were both ugly. We have both apologized. I feel guilty and he probably does, too. Then two days ago my Proverbs 31 daily email devotional was summed up by this prayer:

Dear Lord, It is easy to honor You with my carefully thought through actions but, sometimes much harder with my reactions. Even when I'm caught off guard, may Your love and patience be the spillover from my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This brought to mind what God says in Luke 6:45 " The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." Oh, wow, do I have an ugly heart.

Then, later the same night, Elijah chose the bible story based on James 1:19 for me to read to him:

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

God very often speaks to me through my little Elijah. I love that boy for so many reasons, this one included.

I need to pray these scriptures over my own heart. And I need to call my brother.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


at Miles' Thanksgiving Feast

Ella aimlessly ran behind the big boys playing football. She looks quite at ease with that Auburn football - War Eagle!
We are thankful for silly and fun cousins!
and for wonderful friends.

Stewart's Led Zeppelin and original music concert. He's our oldest nephew. I can't believe he'll be 13 on Sunday.
Miles loved being outside

Little Sister Katie
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Friday, November 21, 2008

So where have I been?

Is that what you are wondering? Well, we've finally got one complete bathroom in functioning order and thus have moved back home...yes, that's right...moved back home. We stayed with Mom for 3 or 4 weeks because we had not one, but both bathrooms in various states of disrepair. Now we are home and guess what? My internet connection isn't working. Oh, well. If it's not one thing, it's another. But on to much more important thoughts...

I'm surrounded by sadness it seems, and am sad myself because people close to me are hurting. My friend Stacy lost her mom due to complications from treating multiple myeloma. I am so sad for Stacy and her family. I know all too well the type of journey they are facing. God blesses you with a certain kind of shock in the very beginning when you lose someone. And then it hits. The permanence. Days go by. Weeks go by. Months. Then years. And you intellectually know all along that they are gone. But in your heart... oh, it hurts so bad. Still. I am praying.

One of my very best friends is hurting the same type of hurt again that she faced before. I just didn't expect it again. I am praying. She is so strong and faithful. You know who you are...I love you.

My mom's good friend and hair stylist (she did my hair for probably 15 years also) has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Can I just put out there how very, very sick I am of cancer. I hate it! And it seems to be everywhere all at once. I am praying.

It's the world. It's this fallen world where pain, sadness, hurt, illness and death seem to reign. There's an emptiness in all of us that will only be satisfied when we are with God. With God. At times I just can't wait...

In the meantime I remind myself..."I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:32-33

And that I will be thankful for.

I am so happy that next week Elijah will be all mine as he is out all week for Thanksgiving. I hope to have a Momma and Elijah day. If I don't get back here before the big day (as I'm blogging at Jonathan's office), I pray you all have a wonderful holiday. There is so much to praise God for, especially the hope that only he can provide.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Here we go

I'm sure it does not come as a surprise that I am so not excited about Obama winning the presidency. I know, I know - he's young, healthy, suave, and that he "sold himself" better than my guy. But he never said anything when he spoke. I just remember the words "change" and "distribute wealth" and laughter as he discounted Joe the Plumber.I'll never forget watching him say he didn't want his "daughters punished with a baby if they make a mistake." I can't respect a man who votes down a law to protect the lives of babies who survive partial birth abortion. According to an article I read about it, only the farthest left voted no on this one. A man who thinks these babies, while alive, should just be thrown out as medical waste will be our next president. I can't imagine why. I think people were blinded by his charisma. Did they seek to find his morals? Whether or not you want the government to legislate morality, you should understand the measure of a man can be found in his morals. And I would think that would be important in an election of this magnitude. But, what do I know evidently?

My sweet friend Allison pointed me to this scripture on Monday when we were talking about a prayer meeting for the election. I wasn't able to be at that meeting later that day, so she shared these encouraging words from Habakkuk:

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." 4:17-19

Habakkuk was asking God some tough questions: why do the evil continue to gain? Why do you tolerate wrong? Why do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? God explained that he had a plan that involved the very wicked Babylonians having control in Judah. And God said this: "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay."

Then I found this scripture at Pink Paper Peppermints.

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.

He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.

Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly." Psalm 37:25

I will pray for our nation and for our next president, as I think he'll definitely need it. And I will continue to seek God and put my faith, trust, and hope in him alone. With him I will find joy...

and to end with a little comic relief - ladies and gentlemen, our next vice president asking a paralyzed senator to stand up. Remarkable!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Elijah and Isabelle

Monday, November 3, 2008


please pray for my dear friend Stacy, whose mom passed away early Saturday morning, which was also her 53rd birthday. Her family is so very sad...

can you imagine spending your birthday face to face with God?

Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween!

I just love Halloween. Miles and Ella went to preschool today dressed as animals from the days of creation... on hand we had a lion and a butterfly.

Wednesday night after church we had trunk or treat, or as Elijah called it, pretend trick or treating. Real trick or treating is tonight in our neighborhood with his cousins...Anita and Lily, Ella and me - Ian and Lily were David and a sheep, Ella a cute little black cat, although Anita said she looked like an exotic dancer...

and here's Sheriff Woody, but unfortunately Buzz was too busy eating candy to pose for the camera...maybe tonight he can take a moment for me...
Happy Halloween, everyone!

Mom of Two's blog pimpin'

Erika at Mom of Two is one of my oldest friends. I remember well the first time I ever met her. I was going to be one of the new girls at our school in the 7th grade. I was under the delusion that I needed to try out for cheerleading. Yeah boy. Anyway, I had been looking at the faces of kids I knew I'd eventually be in school with in Kevin's yearbooks. I think I already knew them all by name. And Erika, for some reason, really intimidated me during cheer clinic that week. I can't say why. She was tall back then. (During 7th grade we all pretty much evened out.) By the ninth grade she had become one of my very best friends. I remember staying at her home and watching movies and doing egg white masks. She just always struck me as very kind and very logical, which is refreshing since I am not always logical. She gave the best hugs...

Check her out and find some new blogs to read, several of them also my great friends from high school.

wait on me

There was an incident this week, that I will not go into details about, that has made me stop to think. I am fine, but after a good number of tears I was left wondering... alright God, what do I do with this? Why did this happen? Are you trying to teach me something here, and if so, what? Could you just send me an email or call my cell next time? That would be much easier. Well, unfortunately, I've discovered that God doesn't email or call on the phone, although I sure wish he would. I did get from him though, that he wants me to step back. Once again, I've been trying to control every little detail, particularly of the lives of my children and the next 10 or so years of their lives. I want to decide, to know, to basically have my way. Well, as I found out this week, I can not always know, don't need to always decide, and that I need to continually give over my will to God's. This is one he's been working on me with for years. Within a years time, 3 years ago, I had a new baby, was planning a move to a different state, lost my dad quickly, decided we'd stay put here, became pregnant again. For about a year after that I lived differently, and better, fully realizing that I have very little to no control over this life. I even became o.k. with it. Then little by little my old self crept back in. When will I just get it? Every day of my life and of my children's lives are written in his book. He knows. He knows. I do not need to know all that he knows that is to come. I know some of it will be wonderful, and I'm sure there is some deep pain waiting out there. To know it all now would be too much and too distracting. So, my job is to love him, believe him, trust him, wait on him, pray to him and teach of him. Is that so difficult for me to do? Evidently. I'll give it all up and then I'll take it right back. Shheeesh, I am glad he has time to wait on me. I am quite the little project...

(Janae Dean)

So now you think you're ready
I know you've made your plans
I see you getting restless
Letting go of my hand
You're such a hurry
You say you have a song
Time has not yet come
With hope just carry on

Wait on me
Be still and know that I am God
Put your faith in me for I am here just
Wait on me
Its time to grow, now you can rest
I will show you when to wait on me

It seems like nothings moving
I know you wondering when
Be strong in faith, wait patiently
And know that I'm your friend
I know the things that you've been through
You call upon my name
I was there when you were hurting
And I won't forget your pain

I will renew your strength
And you will fly with wings of an eagle
So tell the world of my love
And I will bless your song again

Sung by Wayburn Dean. I can't find it on youtube. He came to church and sang this song back when Dad was sick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

toilet troubles, asthma returns, my mom is leaving...

tomorrow to help my brother and his family move. And now you know why I have not been around here in the last several days. It's not enough that bathroom no. 1 is now without a shower, thus without a wall, and is pretty much unusable (as are the washer and dryer sitting in my kitchen due to the aforementioned trouble). No, let us see what else can go wrong. Enter bathroom no. 2. Leaky toilet. Quick fix!? No! Old house. They don't attach toilets to houses like this anymore. Waiting. At Mom's. The plumber has been alerted.

Next reenter Elijah's good old buddy - mild asthma. About 18 months ago, Dr. T declared Elijah's asthma "outgrown" (at least I thought that's what he said). Well, it's back. When you run a block and then cough wildly for 10 to 15 minutes or better yet, you vomit because you are coughing so severely, then I'd say you have a problem. So, two trips to the pediatrician, one weekend of Albuterol, a new Flovent prescription, 3 days of oral steroid, and an appointment for the flu shot (now, that will be fun!) later - a rediagnosis with mild asthma.

Sometimes I feel like saying (like Joey the kangaroo in a scholastic video we have) - "I have runned away!" But I won't. Don't worry. I'll stay put. I may feel crazy, old, tired, used up, and like I want to cry. But I'm not going anywhere. I did ask Jonathan for a vacation for an upcoming occasion, but then remembered I'd be getting my toilet reinstalled instead...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This particular political season has me a bit concerned. I, as a rule, do not watch the news. I don't like it. I don't have time for it. I'd just like the facts and no opinions (thank you very much), but I can't find that. So, I used to ask my dad and my husband political questions. Sometimes their answers were the same, and sometimes not, but I could find my place in the mix. I'd really like to beep my dad to talk this over. This election has become so heated, so ugly. I made my decision a long time ago, which has been cemented by what I have seen of a particular candidate, and by what he evidently (according to his own words) would have his daughters do if they "made a mistake" and became pregnant. Oops! Did I just give myself away? I value life. That's just the way I roll. Also, my discerning meter sounds off an alarm whenever I see that one guy...

So, what to do? Stress out? Fret? Add to my already anxious nature? My husband has been so encouraging in this. You who know him know that he is (usually) quite the level-headed one. He remains calm until given a very good reason not to. He is smart and he looks for unbiased information, and no I don't mean Fox News. So when I have become upset over this he has had the calm answers I needed. And he has been telling me what I know - God is in control. You just don't come to power without God allowing it.

Last Sunday we had a very dynamic guest speaker, Dr. Jerry Taylor from Abilene Christian. He was fabulous and Jonathan downloaded a sermon he gave last year sometime. After listening to it a few times himself, he sat me down last night and had me listen. It was just what I needed. I tried to write notes as I listened, so all of the following may not be exact. He's speaking to how Jesus is The Authority and Ruler and is based on Micah 6:6-8:

He came from the shores of up early one Sunday morning, declaring "all power in heaven and on earth is in My hands." Jesus has got the power! [So] we walk humbly with our God knowing that he had enough sense to start his work in us, and that he's got enough wisdom to bring it to completion. We do not look to Capitol Hill to fight our battles. We look to the One who sits high and looks low and who is still the Head of the church and we say Lord, come quickly! Lord, reclaim ownership of your church that we may be your people - be open for you to live in us and work through us to Your honor and Your glory. Let us follow Him all the days of our that place of love, of mercy, of justice. We will keep marching until we sit in that place where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess His holy name... Keep walking!
So, in this I found wisdom. It doesn't matter who wins this election. Them or us. Donkeys or elephants. Pro-life or pro-choice. White or black. Young or old. Finish the war or give up on the war. Taxes or no taxes. Female or male. My leader is Jesus Christ. He will finish all of this one day. And I'm more than sure there won't be any political parties in that place. Meanwhile, my calling in the middle of all this is:
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:6-8

Friday, October 17, 2008

power cord woes...

have kept me away from blogging in a while. I really missed having computer capabilities and several blog-worthy things have taken place in the meantime. We went to the fair and invited Milesy along for his first time. He fell in love with the experience and keeps asking when we can go back. Unfortunately it was a little rainy that night, so we only had our camera phones. We just joined the rank of the rest of the world (being the people who already had camera phones), so when we figure out how to email fair photos to ourselves I'll share them. The boys had a blast together.

Elijah wore candy corn socks for Silly Sock Day at school - they studied the letter S that week.
Unfortunately (for me), Miles just had to wear silly socks to the Y and to his school also.

Next, to make a long story short, the kids and I stayed at my mom's last weekend due to Jonathan discovering that what we thought was a washing machine problem was a leaky shower problem. We got out of his hair as he pulled down wet sheet rock and pulled out a shower stall. I guess now we'll be forced to do that bathroom renovation we'd been planning.

When it was time for dinner last Saturday at Mom's I called upstairs several times for the boys to come down. Finally I went up to get them. They had been smart enough to lock the bathroom door, but not to actually shut the door the whole way. I found Elijah watching and laughing as Miles was pouring (and evidently had been pouring for quite a while) bubble bath into the sink. They both got into trouble and I explained to Elijah that encouraging someone to do wrong is the same as doing wrong yourself. He apologized and promised that he and Miles would pray about it alone later. Whatever, I thought. So, when it was time I tucked them in and we said prayers. I had forgotten about his promise to pray with Miles, but when I walked out I heard something like this: "God I'm sorry that I was foolish, and foolish means... I'm sorry I told Miles to do the wrong thing and that we both disobeyed you." He didn't know I was standing in the hall listening. I couldn't hear his definition of foolish, although I'm sure it was dead on. I walked away feeling so grateful. It reminds me of a Sara Groves song that says "...He loves the boy and He'll love the man..." and I pray that Elijah will always surrender to the tug at his heart that is his Father.

The next night as the kids and I were headed home from life group, Miles asked me from out of the blue "is Jesus our healer?" and then "is Dad our healer, too?" When I explained that although daddy is strong, he can't heal and prays for Jesus to heal Miles said that his dad "needed a few more powers."

A few days ago Elijah's school held their annual Family Fall Fest. I had signed up to help with the set up and after finding out, Elijah talked me into coming to lunch with him. We had a sweet little visit and I loved being up at the school. I'm about to start helping Ms. Jackson with AR testing on Wednesday mornings in Elijah's class. Hopefully he can handle my presence there without getting crazy...

Elijah at Fall Fest. He first wanted a red elephant on his face. Now, he "goes for Auburn," but unfortunately, elephants are his favorite animal and red his favorite color. I breathed a quiet sigh of relief when he decided on an upper case E on one side and a lowercase one on the other.

After a recent and unfortunate blowing up of a latex glove like a balloon at preschool, Ella has become even more terrified of anything inflatable. Now, she has no problem with already inflated balloons, but the little inflatable Sponge Bob Elijah got at the fair gives her the creeps. So when Jonathan and my mom showed up at the Fall Fest, Ella turned into a frantically shrieking puddle as soon as she set eyes on the ten or so huge inflatables. The inflatables that she was no where near. I had held Elijah off from them while I worked his class booth, so he and Miles were ready to get at them. Mom and I were left to handle a mad little Ella. For about ten or fifteen minutes she cried and cried. She tried not to look in the direction of the inflated beasts, but every now and then she just couldn't help it, and she'd become more upset. Luckily, a little melting and messy orange and chocolate cookie we found at the bake sale made things pretty tolerable. Then she'd just point in the direction of the evil that is inflatables and mutter something indignantly. Pure and simple, she hates them, but for a cookie she decided she could be in their presence.

The boys had a great time and Ella ended up having fun on the play ground, all the while thinking she's every bit as big as all the others. Elijah had so much fun he didn't want to leave. Jonathan and the boys ran into Ms. Jackson over at the inflatables and Elijah said to her, "thank you for my green apple today" to which she replied "baby, I didn't give you that green apple, you earned it." I love her. She was a bit scary at first, but I knew I'd see God's plan in answering my "give him the teacher he needs" prayers. She is it, and the more I get to know her the more I believe it. I'm excited about being able to help out in the classroom soon.

I'll leave you with a picture of one of the inflatables from Fall Fest. Scary, huh? I hope you don't have nightmares. I'm glad Ella doesn't read my blog - I'm sure she'd leave a really hateful and ugly comment.