As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Look what we've got!!!

A JOB!!!
This handsome guy below is the newest employee of Chick-Fil-A in McDonough. He had his first interview on Tuesday, and within thirty minutes of being home, they called him back for a second interview. He will go to orientation next week and then start after spring break!
If you look really really really close, and you tilt your computer screen, you can see a little tuft of hair sticking up. I can't wait to get some bows on that girl!
OK, so I am not so excited about this one, but had to keep the theme, you know. We're having an Easter program tomorrow at church and this afternoon was dress rehearsal. Me in front of lots of people...not my favorite thing to do. Me in front of lots of people calling attention to myself in an ill fitting sack cloth...even more not my thing. Especially with fog machines. (Don't ask) But it is a great message, and I have vowed to concentrate on that. After all, it isn't all about me. I need to cross stitch that on something and hang it somewhere in my house, I think.

Doesn't he look handsome?
Me and my girls. I look so tired..because I was. I am. TMI ahead, but PMS and the upcoming full moon have rendered me sleepless for the last few nights.
And last, but certainly not least....
Know what else we've got here?????
A post with every single one of the kids in it! That doesn't happen often, and soon, it will happen less and less. Sigh.
Off to watch the Blind Side!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jodeco Lock and Key

Must give a big shout out and some free advertising to Roger Hinton and Jodeco Lock and Key for saving my sweet Charlotte from one of my finer mom moments this afternoon.

I left work on time. Alone. Went to sainted chiropractor for an adjustment, and left (not in pain this time...yay!) looking forward to some time with my little girls. Josh didn't have a soccer game this afternoon, so he could pick up the big girls from tumbling, and I had a nice afternoon in mind. A little Spongebob, a little playing on the floor, some singing, some dancing, sweet baby kisses and Hannah hugs. I was even looking forward to the non-stop chatter that I knew would ensue once I picked them up.

I got to Kay's house, and thought to myself, "I always forget my keys in Kay's house and have to run back in and get them. Since I don't have pockets, I'll just leave them in the car." I just about skip to the car with Charlotte, because for the first time in over 3 weeks I can carry her in her seat without writhing in pain. I put her in the car, shut the door, and walk around the car to put Hannah in, and what do you know? All the doors are locked.

For the next half hour, I watched my sweet baby girl look at me helplessly and scream. And cried. And tried to entertain her through the glass. And cried. And tried to keep up a steady stream of conversation with Hannah. And cried. Did I mention that I cried? Did I also mention that Kay came out to check on us every five minutes and LAUGHED???

But Roger from Jodeco Lock and As I talked to him the first time (yeah, blush, I called him twice) he told me he was walking out the door and had the adress in the GPS. After 10 minutes, I called again, and he assured me he was doing the best he could to get there amidst the traffic, but to hold on. Next thing I know, there is his van, screeching around the corner, and he jumped out and had her out in less than 30 seconds. She was fine. Back in her happy place. No worse for wear.

Me...? Burned dinner--not unusual. Overcooking is my signature style. But this time, I did it with a baby on my hip. Keeping her close. I never want to see that expression on her face again. That's what I get for trying to be proactive and efficient and together. The 25 foot walk back to the house would have been well worth it. Tomorrow? The keys go in!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15 NIV

I have heard this verse over and over. In Bible study, in Sunday school, in the message from the pastor, in Christian self help books. I understand it. It's not hard to do so. However, I always thought of it as sinning, despite the fact that your greatest desire was to please God, just because of your sin nature. Everyone knows that God hates sin. Everyone wants to please God. No one desires to displease God with sin, but we do. Every day.

Today that verse hit home just a little bit more. Because, yes, today was one of those days. I woke up with resolve. Today I would have more patience with the children in my class. Today I would be productive and not waste my time. Today I would make good food choices. Today I would be a shining light in word and deed.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

It started with coming back to my classroom after prayer meeting (after prayer meeting, people--how pathetic is that?) and instead of greeting my waiting kiddos with smiles and sweetness, I fussed at them for acting up in the hallway. In front of a parent. Who already isn't my biggest fan. I felt bad about that all day, replaying it in my mind over and over; berating myself for it, wishing I would have started our day differently. The rest of the day pretty much followed suit--lots of time wasted because I just had no motivation. And the food choices? Ugh. Enough said.

I have discovered this--that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. That will always be within me. The answer? Jesus. My saving grace. This is where it needs to start. Every morning, before I start my day. And can I tell you that the idea of getting up before 5:45 does not appeal to me in the least.

Now...onto something (or should I say some people) that really DO appeal to some pictures that make me smile...
Josh, on his 18th birthday, in his special birthday hat (yes, he did wear it at school, and yes, I do realize that I have yet to post the pictures of his birthday!)

Pretty pretty Sarah, in her model pose

My sweet and sassy Maddy, posing for the camera

Hannah, who decided she wasn't getting enough attention at Josh's birthday celebration so planted herself between the camera and Josh

And my sweet little Char Char, in what I know will be the first of many dress up clothes...posing as Cat in the Hat in a bumbo seat!

And last, but certainly not least...something that made me extremely happy today, jubilant even.
I wore sandals today to school!!!!
And even though it's going to be cold and rainy tomorrow, I'm gonna wear them again tomorrow. There's no going back is spring!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Perfect Weekend

What an amazing weekend it was. Nothing exciting. We didn't even go anywhere except to church and the grocery store. And probably, most likely, almost certainly, my big girls would not agree. But to me, it was just about perfect. So good that I found myself humming at times. Singing even. And I was sitting in the sun--the glorious, warm sun--on Saturday, I even composed a little ditty. Just imagine yourself Julie Andrews in Sound of Music (I won't admit how many times I have done this myself, minus the nun habit of course)

Polish on toenails
A face without make up
Grandma has paid the girls
Well, just to pick up
Oh, but the joy only flip flops can bring...
These are a few of my favorite things.

Chair in the sun, open book
And a beverage
Prefer diet coke but with water I'll manage
Sun on my face and the birds as they sing
These are a few of my favorite things.

Sweet baby toes and
Lunch time at Nanny's
My place on the couch
On my big ol' fat fanny
Char on my lap
Hannah dressed like a queen
These are a few of my faovorite things.

When the dogs fight,
When the kids whine,
When laundry drives me mad
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad!

(Me thinks I made a good decision to not abandoned my teaching job for a song writing career--but you can see why I excelled at writing sorority rush songs, huh?)

I am so thankful for this weekend. I got to rest. I got to relax. My girls, sweet sweet girls, cleaned the entire house, thanks to my sweet sweet mama, offered to pay them as she would a maid. I got good time with my little girls, as I didn't have to worry about the housework or the laundry or being a chauffer, for the most part. I got a bit of a tan, took a nap, and got to read.
Maybe this weekend will make for more patience tomorrow as we start standardized testing. I'm not real optimistic, as we only made it through the first 9 questions before we had our first meltdown.

Good news is...2 weeks left til Spring Break

Friday, March 19, 2010

Because I said I would...

Some Charlotte cuteness...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random thoughts...

on chiropractic care...
I admit it. I was a skeptic. What could a chiropractor do that a "real" doctor couldn't? And all that stuff about your overall health being related to your spinal alignment and subsequent nervous system functioning...well, I thought that was a bunch of phooey. Until now.

Last Monday--eleven days ago--I hurt my back when Daryl so galliantly tried to stop me from falling on the floor when I passed out after a bout with the stomach flu. As I crawled toward the stairs to go to bed, I felt stabbing pain in my lower back, and he said, "Oh, your back is probably going to hurt. Sorry about that." More worried about the whole passing out thing, I thought nothing of it. Figured it would go away in a few days and I would be fine. Whipped out the heating pad and kept it on my back for about 24 hours straight.

Since then, I have been in incredible pain. Standing, sitting, laying down...but standing is the worst. I continued to sit on the heating pad for hours at a time and took a pillow with me everywhere I went and had to sit. I knew the doctor would feel my back, maybe do an x-ray or two and then give me medicine and send me to physical therapy. (neither of which I wanted to do) In short, I'd wait two hours to be seen by a doctor I may or may not have seen before, only to get a prescription for a drrug I would not take. But when the four ibuprofen every six hours alternated with three tylenol every four hours were not even taking the edge off, I decided to take the plunge and see a chiropractor.

I've been twice in two days, and I can not tell you how much better I feel already. Yes, it still hurts to stand, but it's bearable. And he got the x-rays back and it turns out I have every reason to be in pain. Seems I have a compression fracture of one of my vertebrae and some deterioration in the discs in my lower back. And it turns out that heat is the worst thing for this, making the inflammation last longer. Well, who knew that?

So in short...they should make a monument of my chiropractor (who the girls say looks like Chris Allen). I'm a convert now. I don't care if it's phooey or not. IT WORKS!

On standardized testing...
Next week is standardized testing week at school. The good part is, I don't have to write as many lesson plans. I can let them watch a movie. They can have extra recess. The bad part is that it is a week of standardized testing. With a class that has NEVER, not even once, gotten through a spelling test (which last maybe 10 minutes) without someone yelling out, falling out of a chair, dropping the contents of their pencil box onto the floor, or crying. so imagine 2+ hours. Yeah...that's what I'm saying.

On housework...
Oh. My. Goodness. It's been three weeks since I really cleaned (Lisa style). I had the stomach flu and then last weekend I couldn't move, much less scrub toilets, or floors or bend over to empty the dryer 126.5 times, as I do most weekends. vacuum broke. Plus, I haven't cared much where anyone ate as long as I didn't have to bend over and pick up their dishes, and so the coffee table is gross, the kitchen is gross, and in some cases, their dishes remain. There are piles of clothes everywhere. Every single room needs a good vacuum or sweep and mop. And truly, really, I miss it. OK...maybe I don't miss the actual housework, but I do miss the good feeling of sitting/sleeping/cooking/eating in a clean room.

On sleep...
Eight uniterrupted hours of sleep. That's all I want. I don't want to go to the bathroom, have a hot flash and wake up all sweaty, be in excruciating pain when trying to turn over, or be woken up by a three year old.

On picture taking...
I haven't taken pictures lately, and it's not because there hasn't been anything to take pictures of. Pain, lack of sleep, busyness...they have consumed me these last few weeks. I need to get back to enjoying my family, enjoying my home, enjoying my life.

So look for more pictures in posts to come (thanks to my sainted chiropractor!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Syringomyelia Sucks

I actually cringed when I typed that, because I don't like the use "ugly" words and that is one of a few words that, without being a curse word, just sounds so crude to me. I can't stand it when my children use it, can't stand to hear it on TV. And yet, when I needed a word to describe what this horrible disease has done to one of my very best friends, it seemed a bit appropriate.

Dana and I have been friends since Daryl and I got married in 2002. We were first thrown together for AWANA's, and then later when I took over Vacation Bible School, she was my right hand "man." She had boundless energy and a huge heart. I knew that I could always count on her, no matter what. I knew that I could tell her anything and not be judged or lectured to. I knew that whatever I told her, that it stayed between the two of us.

The most amazing thing about her, though, was her generosity. She and her husband didn't and still don't have much. Yet she would spend what she did have on others. She gave of her time willingly and generously. If anyone needed anything, Dana was there. And you knew she was there too. She was loud and boisterous and always happy.

And no, despite the fact that I have just written about her in the past tense, she isn't dead. but she isn't the same person she once was eight years ago, five years ago, even one year ago. Dana was diagnosed with syringomyelia with Chiari malformation fifteen years ago. And fifteen years ago she was told that within 5 years, she would be in a wheelchair. She beat the odds, and still walks, but deals with pain so severe that she wears a morphine patch and still has to take two other powerful prescription pain killers just to be able to function. She has always had an attitude of gratitude, thankful for each day that her feet hit the floor in the morning and she was able to walk.

In the last year, though, things have changed for my sweet friend. Unable to withstand the pain, she often stays in bed for days at a time. Because her disease affects her nervous system, and because of the extreme pain, she has developed such severe anxiety that she can not be around people for very long, even her own children. She has become a recluse in her own home, simultaneously crocheting and praying to get her through the days and nights.

I hadn't seen her, nor talked to her, in over three months...until Thursday. She had called me to let me know that she had made blankets for the kids--all five of them--and wanted to know if I could come by and pick them up. I jumped at the chance to go see her, and while I am so so so glad that I did, it left me with a sad, helpless feeling, hurting for her for the life that she has lost, sad for me, and wondering what life has in store for her. This disease has sucked the life out of her. It has stolen her joy. And yet, I know that according to Romans 8:28, all things work together for good for those who love Him. I know that God can take any situation, even those meant for evil, and use it for good. I know that God knows her pain, her heartbreak, her suffering, and that she is not alone. And I know without a doubt that she knows these things too.

I know that some day, and I hope that it is here in this world, I will see her smile again. That the Dana that I have always known will be the Dana I know again. That we will look back on this together and see how God used her, and this terrible disease, in a mighty way for His kingdom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maybe I should be concerned....

that Hannah frequently quotes this guy, but I'm not.
Tonight, while "fake playing" the Wii (which is, for those of you who do not have older and younger kids, giving the little one a dead controller and telling her she is playing, while you and your sister really play) I keep hearing what sounds like "Oh tartar sauce!" And guess what? It really was, "Oh tartar sauce!" (and I know this because she has said it about 10 more times since discovering we thought it was funny)
Hannah loves, loves, loves Spongebob Squarepants, and not only that, but so does her little sister. Yeah, I could probably be worried that my 6 month old can recognize Spongebob's voice and will turn her head immediately to the TV. Or that my three year old quotes a pink starfish with subnormal intelligence. But really, I am just so thankful for them.
Especially after getting on the computer for the first time since the great illness and reading this:
"Layla went to play with the angels early this morning. Rest in peace precious Layla. 11/26/2007 - 3/9/2010."
hug your kids. enjoy the simple things. if you pray, please do.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I am alive...really, I am...

Wow. I mentioned before that I hoped Hannah was the only one to get the dreaded stomach bug. No. such.luck. It started Sunday when Sarah said her stomach hurt at church. I had felt a little queasy while singing in the choir, but had chalked it up to not eating enough that morning and went off to find a leftover biscuit. I took her home where she proceeded to be the sickest I have ever seen her. She set up residence on the floor near the toilet, slept blisfully in the bathtub for 4 hours--getting up and out to throw up, and to myself I thought, "Please let her be the last one to get it." Again. No.such.luck.

I felt it coming on, and so in all of my wisdom and Afrin addicted frame of mind, I rushed out to the drug store. If I was going to throw up for hours on end, I was going to be able to breathe, dag nabbit! I rushed into the store, got my purchase, waited very impatiently as the person in front of me sent the stock boy to look up prices not once, not twice, but three times. Paid for my liquid nasal gold, and dashed for the parking lot where I promptly threw up next to my car. You know, no one ever tells you what you should do in such a situation. Clean it up? Tell someone? Leave quickly before anyone notices? Three guesses as to what I did.

I got home, and headed to my bed. Where Sarah, Maddy (who also had gotten it) and I watched a little TV and snuggled, barf bowl planted firmly among us. I was actually worried that I would not be able to take my blood pressure medicine and it would skyrocket and I would stroke out, leaving Daryl wifeless and child-full. (Yes, my mind does work this way, and often) Luckily, I thought, I kept it down and when I woke up on Monday morning, I felt a little better. Not great, but better. So I thought nothing of it when I went to get Charlotte when she was crying in her bed. What a great wife I am, I thought to myself, sick with the stomach bug, not going to work, but yet getting up to help my husband. My next thought was oh my goodness, I think I'm going to pass out. THen, why is Daryl talking to me like that, and why is Charlotte screaming?

Apparently, and I really do think they should tell you this kind of stuff, you do NOT need to take blood pressure medicine when you already are dehydrated and your blood pressure is already low. We took it in the three positions--emergency room pro, here, folks--and sure enough, I was dehydrated. Drank some water, thought all would be fine, until I got up to go to the bathroom. And passed out and fell off the toilet. And had to have my sweet Sarah pull up my underwear as I lay on the floor. Bless. her.heart. No child should have to see that while her mother still has her faculties about her.

Daryl, who is a ROCK STAR I tell you, came home from work, took care of me in between rushing back to teach the classes that they couldn't find coverage for, AND I find out later, having gall bladder pains. 3 of not going to work...feeling better and now just fighting, like usual, to get out of my head. You know that fear that it is all going to happen again, this time while you are driving down the road with your children in tow? (yes, this mind goes there often too, sigh) But aside from the horrendous back pain--Daryl, trying to catch me the second time I passed out in the kitchen, so lovingly stuck his knee into my back to catch me--I am feeling ok. Still not up for much food, but trying to get back in the swing of things.

Again...I will, in the future, be careful for what I wish for. A few days off of work and a break in the plateau was all I wanted. But not like this!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

She did it! and other Saturday success stories...

My, how kids have changed. When I turned 15, I was at the DMV as soon as I could persuade my mom to take me (which was immediately, because she was just like that). Both of my driving age kids, though, have seemingly not been in any hurry. So today, over 2 months after she turned 15, Sarah got her permit. She got up early on a Saturday--6:30, yikes!--to do it too. (I vaguely remember her kissing me good-bye, because I was blissfully still asleep!)
On the sickness front, I was encouraged when she first woke up, but when she shortly assumed this position after eating one cracker, I was concerned and convinced we had another pukey ahead.
She soon recovered, though, and we were off to the school for a soccer game! You really can't tell, but Josh is at the far right in the picture.

My sweet Hannah with her pig tails. (She didn't quite understand the expression, informing us all that she is not a pig, because she wears shoes and a shirt)

Sarah enjoyed spending time with her best friend, Rachel.

Charlotte, who had been in the middle of a nap when we had to leave, did not enjoy the game. Daryl and I spent most of the game taking turns walking her around. Those cheeks--love them!
One of the resons I love being at ELCA. The post game huddle and prayer with the opposing team--a public school.
My soccer handsome.
Such a busy Saturday, and I do believe, knock on wood, that Hannah is finally well.
Cross your fingers, toes, and everything else you can cross that she is the only one who gets it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

I so desperately wanted a day off today. It had been a hectic, busy week at home and at school and I wanted nothing more than to stay home today, clean my house, do my laundry, watch mindless TV, maybe go for a walk. But I knew I would never do it, since my parapro's mother just had open heart surgery, and I don't like to trust my class to anyone else. Still...I left my sub plans and everything ready...just in case.

At 8:30 last night, Hannah said, "My tummy hurts. Can I have some chocolate pudding?" Didn't think anything of it, really. At 9:00 we tucked her into bed and started watching our Thursday night tv. We had gotten through Survivor and were halfway through The Office when we heard great screams from the little girls' room. And there Daryl found Hannah, laying in bed, covered with vomit, saying, "I should have never eaten the chocolate pudding!"

Thus began a very long 24 hours. Throwing up, high fevers, numerous loads of laundry, lots of crying, and little sleep. We thought we had crossed he bridge to wellness when she hadn't thrown up in 8 hours and had actually kept down the motrin and her fever was down from 103.7 to 100. Well, we thought wrong, and I had a soggy lap to prove it. We still are hoping that we are putting this behind us and that we will have a restful night...all of us. Because really, she was just so pitiful.
Poor Charlotte got the short end of the stick today. She went to Kay's, as to hopfully dodge this bullet/illness. When Daryl got home with her, I had just gotten home from a marathon doctor visit and search for Feverall suppositories. (By the way, the latter is NOT fun with a sick three year old) Then I had to go to the grocery store for baby cereal, and then by the time I got home for good, it was time to feed her and she was ready for bed. I am hoping for some good snuggle time tomorrow!
Speaking of Miss Charlotte, look what she can do!
My sweet sweet baby girl is getting too big too fast!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It doesn't take much

Years ago, and it might have even been the first birthday that Daryl and I were married, Josh overheard me wish I had a product that I had seen on TV--the pasta pot. A major Kraft macaroni and cheese connoiseur, I had been draining the kids' nightly meal with a lid--though not a nifty one with holes--and often with the result of burning my hands or face with the steam. Over the years, this pot has gotten a lot of use. A lot. The top even more, as I have used it no matter what pot I cooked in, whenever something required draining.
I needed, though, a regular collander. It was just always one of those things that I never got around to buying for myself. I wouldn't think of it when I had money. And when I did think of it (over a pan of steaming pasta for which the lid was too small), I had something better or more necessary to spend my money on. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told her a collander, to which she responded, "I'm not going to get you a collander for Christmas!" I told my mother to tell my siblings, and yet the collander became that elusive Christmas wish. SAD, I know. Well today, the thought and the cash collided and I bought myself this:

And we even had spaghetti to celebrate.
It's the little things that make me happy.
And the little girl--the three year old one in particular tonight. She has a group of friends that she refers to quite often. In real life, she has only a few friends, as she is just with Charlotte at the sitter's and goes nowhere else but church. Tonight she was playing Wii Fit, and "running" --which really involves her running in place while someone else shakes the controller to make it look like she is making progress. Anyways, as usual, she keeps up a constant dialogue, much of which we tune out. Tonight, though, she caught my ear.
Hannah: Darn it. Darn it. (in her best Boston accent--Dawn it)
Sarah: Where did you hear that?
Hannah: Huh?
Sarah: Who taught you to say that?
Hannah: My friends. Sometimes they are not good. Sometimes they even call me bad names.
Sarah: Bad names? Like what?
Hannah (looking around like she is about to say a really bad word): bad duckling!!
love love love that girl...even if she is a bad duckling!