Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ellaboo's first year

I wanted to share some pictures from Ella's first year. She'll be one in two days. It has flown.

These are the lyrics to Plumb's My Child. I first heard this a few days ago and I think it's so appropriate for how I am feeling as her first birthday approaches.

  • Peacefully you are sleeping
  • Silently you dream
  • And I cannot help but feeling blessed
  • While watching you
  • Your eyes
  • My eyes
  • Your smile
  • My smile
  • Your love
  • My gain
  • Your hurt
  • My pain
  • Your laugh
  • My joy
  • Every time, it's mine
  • You are my child
  • I will always protect you
  • Oh and I will even let you go
  • I'll spend the sweetest time holding you
  • And will let you grow
  • Chorus
  • Don't ever be afraid
  • Don't ever be afraid
  • Cause I am here
  • And if you start to fear
  • Just close your eyes
  • And hear me say
  • Chorus

I just miss Poppa

On the way home from church tonight, in a dark and very quiet van, a little voice piped up all of a sudden and said, "I just miss Poppa." It was Miles. He was 9 months old when my dad died. Oh, sweet Miles, I so needed to hear that from you. I take this to mean two things. First, that the Holy Spirit prompts even 2 year olds with words of comfort for others. And that I'm doing right by my dad in this way - talking about him often and having his pictures around the house. When I was seeing a counselor in the year after Dad died she told me that if I talked about him enough, especially about certain events or pictures that the kids were in or stories that involved them and Dad, that they would actually create memories from what I say. Memories that seem real. So even if Eli doesn't actually remember the time my big dad got inside his little tent, he at least thinks he remembers it. So I talk about Dad a lot. It helps them and me. Oh, and Miles, I just miss Poppa, too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

a sweet little momma

I was folding laundry earlier this evening and Ella was playing on the floor. Luckily I stopped to watch her for a second as she picked up her baby, then crawled over to get the baby's juice bottle and gave her a little drink. I just sat there and stared at her as she very sweetly took care of her baby. She did have some difficulty actually getting the bottle to baby's mouth at first, and for a few seconds sort of beat her in the head instead. Then she managed to find baby's mouth, give her a drink, then give her a hug - it was too cute. It's amazing that a year ago (last night exactly) our family looked like this...

and now we get to watch a sweet little girl grow along with her great big brothers, feed (and occasionally beat on the head) her baby doll and (her favorite activity) pushing anything with wheels and making her car sound. We are blessed for sure and look forward to celebrating Ella's turning One! on Saturday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Woman in a Purple Coat

In preparing to share my own story about the color purple I found this during a google search:

When I was a small child, my favorite color was purple. It didn’t require any deliberation for me to make that choice; purple was self-evidently the most attractive color in a box of crayons—anyone could see that. In fact, I remember being perplexed at people whose favorite color was something other than purple, and downright shocked when someone claimed not to like purple at all. But the early days of childhood were ones in which we were too young to make serious value judgments. Everyone had a different favorite color, shape, animal, or song, and all choices were equally good. -Joe Kissel

This pretty accurately describes my childhood opinion on the greatest color ever - purple. Miles got a really cute book for Christmas called Miles Crocodile Sings the Colors of Jazz. It's a very cute book and it came with an audio CD with songs sung by Miles Crocodile. One of them goes like this..."what is my favorite color? purple! purple! the one I love so much? purple! purple!" The boys love to sing along in the car. Anyway, it reminds me of when my dad bought me a purple coat. He found it at a great deal (like $10), and he was not one to pass up "a great deal." He was so happy to give it to me and proud of his perfect gift. I was 22 years old. "Oh, Dad, it's purple..." I said in a not so happy voice. Remember, I was 22 years old. My dad had just given me a purple, puffy coat. He replied, "yeah, I know purple is your favorite color!" How sweet it is to remember this. Sure purple had been my favorite color for many years, but not necessarily by the age of 22. I teased him. My sister-in-law also was the lucky recipient of a puffy coat that day - a hot pink one! We both teased him, but we did wear them. Once. In my parents front yard. At the time I couldn't believe Dad had bought me a purple puffy coat, but I love thinking about this now. I may just have to buy Ella a purple coat one day. Before she is 22! Maybe next year. I donated that purple coat not long after he gave it to me. Now I wish that I had kept it. Would I wear it? No, no, no. I'd just have it. Something sweet given by my dad. Just to look at. And remember.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weird and Random facts about me...

Rebecca tagged me.

The Rules: Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.
Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when your were 25 years old.

Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.

So, here you go. I don't think I'll have any trouble finding weird or random facts:
  1. I once "threw" a piece of cantelope at a waitress.
  2. My dad found out about this from our youth minister and they were both proud of me for my spunkiness. Are you confused about this? Long story for another time - some of you were there.
  3. My brother cut off part of my pinky finger when I was little. It was an accident with the back door to our house - it was hard to shut, so you had to slam it.
  4. Twenty years later, I broke my brother's finger by slamming it in a car door. Also an accident. He claims that it still hurts from time to time. Whatever. I have phantom pains where the rest of my finger should be.
  5. I have a tattoo - surprise to all my high school friends! It's a cross on my back. Sometimes I think about getting one more...
So, now that you know five things about me that you probably could've done without knowing, I tag Anita, Amanda, Betsy, Gina(what's the deal? - invite me to your blog please!) and Mama Mia.

For Mom

Jonathan gave me Beth Moore's book Things Pondered for Christmas. I have found in it a poem that gives the clearest, most beautiful explanation of God's purpose for marriage and it's relationship to us being the Bride of Christ. It also puts words to my thoughts on how my mom is surviving without my dad. Imagine your life without your husband in it...that is my mom's life. But God has given her strength, even when she doesn't ask him, even on the days she feels he is no where around. He is. I'm a witness to it.

Dear Bride to Be

  • Come to me, Dear Bride to be,
  • and kneel before My Throne
  • and I will share My heart with you
  • and make your house a home.
  • Listen well, lean closely
  • There are secrets at My feet-
  • The marriage you will soon begin
  • this Bridegroom will complete.
  • The man with whom you'll journey
  • is a wedding gift from me
  • to teach you things beyond this world...
  • a precious mystery.
  • Bearing all these things in mind
  • you'll never lack for wealth
  • for through your union I will choose
  • to teach you of Myself.
  • Let him hold you tightly
  • and keep you safe from harm
  • until one day I'll hold you
  • in My everlasting arms.
  • Let him wipe your tears away
  • and trust him with your pain
  • until I wipe them all away
  • and Heaven is your gain.
  • Pray to love his tender touch
  • and want his gentle kiss
  • I grant you both my blessing
  • and ask you not to miss
  • the reason why I've chosen
  • for two halves to become one-
  • that you might see the Bride of Christ,
  • Sweet Daughter and Dear Son.
  • So make his home a refuge
  • he's to love you as I do
  • until your mansion is complete...
  • a place prepared for you.
  • And if I should choose to leave you here
  • when I have called him home
  • trust I'll be your husband near...
  • you'll never be alone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love Lifted Me

I just left the boys' room. Jonathan had put them to bed earlier and I was later summoned in to their room by Miles, who needed a hug. I knew this also meant he wanted me to sing to him. His most requested song is "Lifted Love Me," and how can I resist when he insists on calling it that? Most nights I go in and sing one song for each of them after Jonathan has read and prayed with them while I am doing the same with Ella. Eli crashed pretty fast tonight so by the time I got in there it was just Miles and me. He sat in my lap while I rocked him and sang "rockabye" (which he also loves) and "Love Lifted Me" and part of a Sara Groves song that he calls "the song about God." I managed to get him laying down in the bed and he asked me to "sing lifted love me one more time." This time he sang with me - with halting words a bit behind mine, off key and really spoken more than sung - but he held my hands and sang with me and it was beautiful. Jonathan says all the time that Miles is just a beautiful little person. He really is when you get past the two-year-oldness and anger management issues that are part of his little (but big!) personality. He's the one who lifted me with love tonight.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I have an addiction...

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

I saw this on another blog and thought it was funny. For someone who 4 months or so ago didn't really know what a blog was, I guess I've come a long way (and brushed off many other things to blog and read blogs). My heart sank the other night when I downloaded a new blogger template and when I saved it to my blog I lost all of my text - every last bit of it. Luckily I had saved my old template on my hard drive and was able to fix it. Rebecca, you'll have to let me know how you did a pyzam template and didn't lose your words. For now, I'll stick with what I've got. So, how addicted are the rest of you?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Mom and I had lunch together Friday. The boys were in school and we just had Ella with us, so we were able to go to a favorite nice place - a place we will no longer take the boys. As we were finding a table, an old man sitting alone caught my attention, but not before he caught Ella's eye. He saw her pacifier and shared a story about when he was alone with his young son.He lost his paci and cried for 2 hours while his dad looked for it. He said the next day he went out and bought a dozen. I told him we had plenty, too, and we went and found a table. As he was leaving a little while later, he came over and said, "Can I just tell you one more thing?" He then pointed at Ella and said, "Love her every day, because it will go so fast." I'm not sure, but I probably had tears in my eyes as he said this. It's already going too fast for me - not just Ella, but all three. We will be going through kindergarten testing with Eli soon. I just have to look ahead, determined to enjoy them daily (at least to give it my best shot!) and just soak them up. I also need to forgive myself of my failings as a mother. I once read a quote that said God can take the imperfect love of an imperfect mother and use it to shape his perfect will in the lives of her children. This is one of my many prayers over those little ones. I remember my sister-in-law talking about when her daughter started kindergarten she made a conscious decision that she was going to enjoy the next stage because, after all, there was no going back. I'm just not ready for Eli to be in someone else's care for so much time. But, I know I must let him go. And I must let Miles and Ella go in the ways they need it, too. This verse has meant much to me in the new year and in regards to this idea: "I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead." Philippians 3:13
Forgetting my shortcomings and looking forward, moving forward with faith, hope and love. Taking pleasure in so many happy memories and so many blessings and moving forward. That's what I need to do. Well, back to the old man at the restaurant, I truly believe God places people in our paths to give us messages. "Love her EVERY DAY." As he left he commented twice on Ella's beauty. I know I'd think she was beautiful even if she was so ugly. But, let's face it, she's beautiful. But I see much more than that when I look at her. I see grace, mercy, comfort, reassurance, and the love and attention of God given to me. Now that's beauty.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Conversation Over Breakfast

A conversation at the breakfast table this morning:

  • Eli: I love you, Miles. I'm sorry I've been ugly to you on a lot of days. I'm not going to be ugly to you anymore. You've been ugly to me a lot of days, too. But today is the first day that we love each other.
  • Miles: Yeah!

I smiled as I listened to this. So, how is this first day of Eli and Miles loving each other going? From the looks of it they've loved each other all along in spite of all the screams, hits, kicks and tears because that's what this "day of love" has included.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Be Strong and Courageous

Eli woke up twice last night due to having bad dreams. The second time he came to our room, to my side of the bed and asked me to come sing to him in his room. Bless him. I just don't like having to get up from sleeping. Ever. But especially not in the middle of the night. Once we got to his room he asked me to sing Be Strong and Courageous and then to pray with him. I felt so happy and proud - he's getting it! When we are in uncertain situations we should have ready in our hearts the Word of God to carry us through. I was so happy he had woken me to share this moment with him. I sang him the song and then prayed over him that he'd have no more bad dreams. When I got back in my bed I prayed thanking God for that moment. Then I prayed that he would also bring that verse to my heart when I am in the middle of fear or anxiety...

Joshua 1:9 (New Living Translation)

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My nephew is the other guy...

Remember my cute nephew walking home from the bus stop looking very A Christmas Story in his huge snowsuit? Well, he is still reminding me of that movie because look what my he did to my friend's son! While here for the holidays, we had our friends over for some pizza and our boys played too roughly. Before this incident, our friends also enjoyed the company of my brother and his family. It looks really bad, but it was just a wooden block thrown at precisely the right (or wrong) angle. Boys will be boys. And, I think all has been forgiven.

micah & me stationary

My sweet sister (in-law), Katie, has set up an Etsy website to bring her beautiful stationary to the world. Lotus is shown above and is my current personal favorite. It reminds me of fabrics by my favorite fabric gal, Amy Butler. Katie designed this lovely image without ever hearing the name Amy Butler. Katie is so talented. The store is just now up and running and she will be adding more to it soon. You can check it out here and I'll also be adding a permanent link on the blog soon.

Friday, January 4, 2008

It Might Be Hope

Sara Groves is my very favorite musician. She and a few others (such as Switchfoot) have given me many songs of healing, understanding and hope. These are the lyrics to one of her newest songs and they are really carrying me right now in my efforts to strive ahead in hope...

It Might Be Hope by Sara Groves
You do your work the best that you can
you put one foot in front of the other
life comes in waves and makes it's demands
you hold on as well as your able

You've been here for a long long time

Hope has a way of turning it's face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope

It's hard to recall what blew out the flame
it's been dark since you can remember
you talk it all through to find it a name
as days go on by without number

You've been here for a long long time

Hope has a way of turning it's face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope
[It Might Be Hope Lyrics on ]

And, as always, if I really sit back and look at these sweet, sweet faces I will find that my hope has been there all the while - I just misplace it from time to time.


Lovely pictures

My brother and his family have been in town and today we went to Anita's to have pictures taken. While we had the chance, we just had to try and get a few of all 5 kiddos together. Through the magic of Anita we now have some lovely photos. Now, before you look at them you need to know why my brother's hair is so long. Dad used to say that when he retired he was going to grow his hair long. He never would've actually done it, but Kevin has done it in Dad's memory to donate to a locks of love type organization. He's very tired of it and will be donating it later this month. His hair his actually curlier and more coarse than mine and will make a gorgeous hair piece for someone. Now that you've been briefed, here are the pictures.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Striving Ahead

I'm a bit blue. It's not unusual for me to be a bit blue, since I suffer from depression. It's also not unusual for me to be a bit blue in the month of January. It's always a little sad for me when the holidays are over. Last year I spent January waiting for my sweet little girl to arrive. This January I will spend planning for her first birthday party. It is very bittersweet for me to plan this one - I love doing the invitations and planning the menu and decorations. I've had a great time thinking about a girly party. But it's a little sad to know my baby is about to be one. This year has passed far too quickly.

It's also really strange to enter yet another year that my dad will not physically be a part of. He lives on through what he shared with and taught us. These things are with us daily to help and guide us. On a spiritual level I know he's still around. I've even felt a few times like he's been right next to me. I truly believe Ella has seen him. But physically he was not part of 2007 and won't be part of 2008 and so on and so on. So, I'm blue. I'm trying to pull myself up with thoughts of endurance and of how Dad would want me to handle myself. Hebrews 12:1 speaks to this:

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

In his book The Real Heaven, Joe Beam discusses this verse and parts of Revelation 6 to show that those in heaven are aware of what their loved ones are doing here on earth and that they pray for us. What an amazing thought. Prayer on my behalf from my dad who stands face to face with my Father.

This Watermark song has really meant a lot to me in the past 18 months or so.


You repair all that we have torn apart and
You unveil a new beginning in our hearts and
We stand grateful for all that has been left behind and
All that goes before us

You've got all things suspended
All things connected
Nothing was forgotten
'Cause your love is perfect
You are our healer
And you know what's broken
And we're not a mystery to you
(to you, oh Lord, to you)

We will dance as you restore the wasted years and
You will sing over all our coming fears and
We'll stand grateful for all that has been left behind and all that goes before us


Lord, you mend the breech
And you break every fetter
You give us your best when what we thought was better
And you are to be praised
You are to be praised (4x)

(to you, oh Lord, mender of the broken)

I am grateful for what has been left behind. Grateful for all the good. Grateful for all the bad we made it through somehow. Grateful even for the bad. What an honor and privilege it was to help care for my dad in his last days. Hard? Yes. Very. Precious in it's own way? Yes. Absolutely. I learned so much about him and from him in those days. We received many letters from people across the country recounting ways Dad had touched their lives during his travels with work. I can be and am grateful for these things. Knowing that God sings over my coming fears gives me hope for the future. If I let myself I get bogged down in fear. But having been through what I've been through I know that there is strength and mercy that is poured out just when you need it. This gives me hope. God will repair all that we've messed up. This gives me hope. Hope is what I'll post about next time. I'm not one to make resolutions for the new year, but I suppose if I was to make on for 2008 it would be to try to strive ahead and run the race with hope because I already know how all this ends.