Monday, December 21, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

There is absolutely NO WAY that I entered my MckLinky before writing this post so that I could be near the top of the list. Nope, I'm a rule follower and I would never cheat. Not Me!

And I am not going to post this "Not Me!" real quick and then come back and edit it so that you will see this post when you click MckLinky. Nope, not me!

This week I did not chuckle (to myself) at my choir director when he pulled his VERY large truck out of a parking spot and had to back, pull forward, back, pull forward several times before actually being able to drive away. No, I'm never judgmental about others' driving. Not me!

It was NOT mere seconds later that I backed my own VERY large truck out of my parking spot and crashed into a car parked behind me! There is no way that was me! I was not so thankful that my choir director was gone and that he did not see my little accident. Not me!

There is no way that I considered* driving away from the accident without doing anything about it. I always take care of my responsibilities, even in thought. I do not run away from confrontation. Not me!

*I did in fact leave a note.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Double Giveaway Full of Christmas Cheer.

MckMama of "My Charming Kids" and Grammie of "The Grammie Diaries" in a show of forgiveness and solidarity have chosen to give away a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, respectively.

To win just enter at MckMama's or Grammie's

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No More "Merry Christmas"!

So we all know that there's been a big swing towards being PC around the holidays. And many businesses as well as people have stopped saying, "Merry Christmas!" Instead they choose to use more ambiguous terms like, "Happy holidays.", "Season's Greetings." Things that won't offend people of other faiths or those with no faith at all. And the Christians are all up in arms.

While I agree somewhat with the sentiment that they are taking the Christ out of our Christmas, and it's absolutely ridiculous that the majority(Christians, in this case) have allowed the minority(those of other religious beliefs) to dictate away our faith, even in things as small as the phrase "Merry Christmas!"

But I began to wonder, what does "Merry Christmas!" really mean, and how does it really relate to anything substantial in my faith? I thought about the word merry, and what it means. Here's what the dictionary says:

1. full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit
2. laughingly happy; mirthful; festively joyous; hilarious
3. Archaic. causing happiness; pleasant; delightful.

While all these things are rightful to feel in view of what Christ has done in my heart and as a response to celebrating His birth. They are in fact a result of the work that Christ has done in me, not feelings that I can affect. As I pondered this I began to feel that saying a simple, "Merry Christmas!" falls very short of the goal of sharing the gospel to a lost and dying world. So, rather than wishing people gaiety and cheerfulness this season, I'd rather wish them Christ.

I propose:
"May the Christ of Christmas bring peace to your heart!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A MckMama Giveaway!!

One of my absolute favorite blogs is "My Charming Kids". MckMama is fun and has a great big heart! This month she is giving away an HP TouchSmart computer, so hop on over to here and leave a comment to enter. Tweet about it and get a second entry. Post and link about it in your own blog to get a third entry!

I hope you win. Actually, I hope I win! ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Green, Green Grass of Home.

Well, of Todd's hometown anyway.

One of the days that we were back in Iowa for Thanksgiving, my sweet, very patient husband took me out for a drive in the countryside. We had no firm plan other than to find some cool stuff to photograph. It was c-c-c-cold and somewhat rainy, so my sock monkey hat and mittens had their job cut out for them. We turned off the highway onto an unknown gravel road and picked our way along by whim and wisdom, and found enough cool stuff to shoot that I filled a whole 2GB card! Graveyards, barns, windmills are the stuff that makes up the Iowa countryside. Here are several of my favorite barns.

This is the first farm we noticed. There's something about red barns and windmills that is so picturesque. Maybe it's the contrast to the green grass, but it just seems so peaceful and homey.
At this little set up, I was greeted by a very friendly golden retriever, who gave up and left me alone when he found I had nothing of interest for him.
This cow, whom we affectionately named Trey (you know, for the 3 distictive spots), got photographed simply because we liked his spots. He lived down a "minimum maintainance" dirt mud road. I really wanted to test out the landyatchs 4-wheel drive, but Todd's experience on such roads won out and we turned back. It was probably a good thing because we nearly got stuck trying to turn around! I guess when the county posts a sign that reads, "Enter at your own risk" it really is a good indication that you should steer clear (pun intended!)!
I don't know about you, but this barn just makes me want to host a Ho-Down! It just looks like a warm inviting place to have fun.
As we got closer to home I caught these next 2 pictures on the fly. I just love how the firewood is stacked so neat and orderly. This place was clearly Amish.

Beautiful. This jewel is just around the corner...
...and has an Amish neighbor across the way.
And this set wouldn't be complete without a picture of the family homestead. The fondations of this house date back 200 years. Todd's aunt and uncle currently live here. I think the trees are as impressive as anything.

"Not Me!" Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This past week was a whirlwind, what with laundry, packing and driving 13 hours to spend Thanksgiving with extended family. I'm certain that I did not do anything that I wouldn't want anyone to know about.

I did not mistakenly assume that my washing machine was going out when the sprinkler system drain hose got knocked out of the drain and made the laundry room floor all wet. Nope, I'm a logical person and always check things out. I was not completely disappointed when we learned that we did not need a new washer. Not me!

I so did not throw a little hissy fit at Thanksgiving dinner when the family started to sing the traditional prayer before I had my phone ready to video record it. I am really more mature than to roll my eyes, and slam my phone down on the table, in the middle of said prayer. That was SO not me!

Oh, and you know how when we were kids driving down the highway on a long trip we would pass semis and get them to honk by mimicking pulling the chain for the blow horn? Yeah, I so did not do that to the driver of a passenger van, who looked at me like I was completely insane! Nope, not me!

What didn't you do this week?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Falling at His Feet.

Luke 7:36-50

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Who am I?

As I studied this passage tonight, I wondered. Am I the type of Christian who would invite Jesus over to dinner and sit around the table and chat? Or am I the type of sinner who would seek Jesus out, if I knew He was in town, so that I could fall at his feet weeping so desparately that my tears would wash the road dust off his feet, so that I could dry them with my hair, kiss them and pour my most expensive perfume on them for the sheer love of the one whom I believe could forgive my sin?

Who am I?

That's really the wrong question, isn't it? Isn't the question whether or not I recognize the depth of my sinfulness? Was the Pharisee, Simon, any less a sinner than the woman? Nope, not according to scripture. Didn't Jesus point out in the parable that neither debtor was able to pay his debt? Does it really matter how much debt I owe if I can't pay any of it? Nope.

Uh-oh! Hold on this rollercoaster is going for the inverted loop.

If I recognize that I am a sinner, completely unable to pay my debt, and I receive forgiveness from Jesus, then shouldn't my love for my Savior reflect the depth of my sin? Well, the depth of the sin that I am willing to recognize, anyway. Would it be true that the more I see my own sinfulness the more deeply and passionately I love my Jesus?

So, it's not: Who am I?

It's: Am I falling at His feet?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping, washing?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping, washing, kissing?

Am I falling at the feet of Jesus, weeping, washing, kissing, pouring my best fragrance?

Or am I reclined at the table, wondering why Jesus doesn't send these sinners away, completely and utterly unaware that I desparately need him to cancel my debt?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bowling Partay!

Our twins were born on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year their actual birthday falls on that same day. When I was pregnant with them my (39 week) due date of Dec 31 was a concern. You know, no parent wants their kids born that close to Christmas, especially twins, who already share a birthday. We were actually relieved when they were born 6 weeks early, because we thought it meant their birthday wouldn't be superceeded by Christmas.

We were somewhat wrong.

Their birthday and Christmas don't coincide, but Thanksgiving poses a problem. It really is hard to have a birthday party the weekend of Thanksgiving. Those who are in town usually have family obligations. So, tonight we are hosting the birthday bash.

Can I just stop right here, right now and tell you that 11 year old boys are LOUD! We have two rowdy ones all the time, but WHOA! Nine of them together are nearly deafening! Todd went to bed a bit ago and honestly, I don't see how he can possibly be sleeping.

Anyway. We had a Wii bowling tournament. It was awesome! Did I mention that 11 year olds are loud? Todd made pizza. It was awesome!! And I, of course, made cake! It was WICKED COOL! (bet you thought I was going to say 'awesome' again, huh?) Oh my heavens! Eleven year olds are LOUD!I love you boys! I'll wish you a happy birthday next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

40 Reasons....

I turned 40 on the 11th. A significantly round age, I guess. My family and friends got a whole week of celebrating in, which was just fine by me! I love gooey, chocolatey desserts, free lunches and attention!

It's hard to surprise me, mostly because my dear husband doesn't have a sneaky bone in his body. He doesn't get when he says, "We're going to Maggiano's for dinner and other stuff." that it spoils the surprise element. I mean, I do interpret 'other stuff' as 'something else is going to happen that he's being intentionally vague about'.

This year however, my two best friends got me, and they got me GOOD! Oh, the lies! Oh, the deceit! Oh, the wonder of it all!

They got together, pooled their photos, stole some photos of mine from here on my blog and my Facebook page. And they created a book "40 Reasons Why We Love You." The book didn't arrive until after the surprise party, so we just had to do lunch.

Now, Penny was in charge of wrapping the gift. She was on a mission to confuse and befuddle me, and I must say, she did a great job! She wrapped it in tissue an put it in a wooden "Clue" game box with the little pieces to rattle around. I shook it. I felt it. I hefted it. Try as I might, I could not even imagine what they could possibly be giving me! You could say that even though I had a "Clue", I was completely clueless!

I was completely BLOWN AWAY! The book is beautiful! I cried as I read it. My friends shared memories & moments, thoughts & thanks, faith & fun, times & traditions that we have shared. It was so uplifting and quite encouraging to be shown so tangibly that my life has made an impact on the lives of others.
And to my 'besties', Penny & Heather, WOW! You know that I feel every bit the same about both of you! All 40 Reasons...!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quelle Nightmare!

We had gone to a friend's house and I found there was no parking in front of their house so I parked smack dab in the middle of the cul-de-sac. Matt was there on his motorcycle, also in the middle of the cul-de-sac, and we were talking through the window. Kevin had gotten out of the truck and was playing with Gabby and climbing on Matt, being his normally friendly self.

Matt decided to park the truck, so he hopped in as I slid over to the passengers side. I told Kevin to wait on the sidewalk. Matt backed the truck to get a better angle at parking, then pulled forward. Suddenly Kevin ran in front of the truck and I saw his face right before we hit him. Matt didn't even slow, but kept going thinking Kevin would be between the wheels not under them. As soon as he stopped I leapt over him and out the door to go to my baby.

I saw him immediately, laying in the street with a smile on his face, but his head in such an unnatural shape. I began screaming, "OH GOD NO! CALL 911!" I ran to him and dropped beside him on the ground, touching and calling to him, "Oh my baby. My Kevin." And I knew there was no life in him. I also knew that with such a brain injury there was no hope in calling 911. I just could not wrap my mind around it.

At that moment, my brain, unable to comprehend such a horror, forced itself out of the subconscious and into the realm of reality. I woke. Trembling. Sweating. Crying. Relieved. Relieved that the most horrific scene I could ever imagine was indeed just in my head. A dream. My worst nightmare.

I woke my husband. I cried out my dream to him, the horror. He understood. He held me. He listened as I whimpered over and over, "Not my Kevin. My baby Kevin." I couldn't close my eyes without seeing the last part of my dream over and over. So, I did what any distraught mother would do. I got out of bed, crept into his room, threw his blankie over my shoulder and lifted my boy into my trembling, hungry for life, motherly arms and carried him back to my room where I held him, looked at him, caressed his perfectly shaped head, looked into his precious blue eyes, gave him a thousand kisses and waited. I waited until reality seeped back into my mind, until when I closed my eyes I saw his living, smiling, finger-sucking face. I listened to him breathe and suck his fingers and the little swish-swish-swish of his fingers rubbing his blankie in rhythm to his sucking.

I must have given him and his baby brother a thousand more kisses today, just for the sheer joy of living. I must have thanked God a thousand times today that my kids are alive and well. And I must have asked God a thousand times to not let that nightmare ever become reality.

And tonight, there is no nightmare, only him!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week as I potty trained my last son, I did not even once leave pee in the potty because I was too exhausted to get up and empty it. I didn't take pictures of my son crying on the potty after he emptied the entire roll of toiletpaper onto the floor, and I didn't rewind every last square of the toilet paper back onto the roll. Nope, not me!

Today I did not mess around instead of getting my work done. I totally did not feel completely exhausted and wonder "Why?" only to find my full cup of cold, unfinished coffee sitting on the counter. I did not proceed to warm it up in the microwave and walk out the door to run errands, leaving sit in the beeping microwave until I got home. I'm much too alert for that. Totally not me!

I so did NOT turn 40 this past week! I'm only 22!

How was your week?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Carson Joshua Peacher

Amber and Brian had their 3rd baby boy today!

Carson Joshua Peacher was born at 11:16 am this morning, weighing in at a nice healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 18.5 inches long!

Carson is a much needed blessing to a family struggling with grief over baby Mason.

Welcome baby Carson!

Pictures to come as soon as I get some.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Not My Child!" Monday.

Trying somehing new this week with MckMama. Being brutally honest about what our children didn't do and livng to tell about it.

I'm ready to end my hiatis from blogging with a fun "Not My Child!" post about what my kids didn't do. Unfortunately, if my child didn't do something, it probably means that his/her mom may or may not have shared some of the responsibility of it. So this post may also be a "Not Me!" post entertwined with the other. Let me show you what I mean...

This week it was not my children who had a water fight in the house. Even if they had it would not have consisted of mainly toilet water that they used to spread their joy. That might just disgust me! Not my children!

Their non-existent water fight did not also include soaking the bathroom rugs, the decorative shower curtain, wash cloths, some kitchen towels and dish rags, and a toilet brush. Oh no! That was not my children!

During their toilet water battle (puking in my mouth a bit, you?), they did not leave the confines of the bathroom and drench the carpets in the hallway, their bedroom, the living room and stairs. And the certainly wouldn't have had time to waterlog the couch or the lower bunk bed. Nope! Certainly NOT my children!

As for me, I was NOT blissfully unaware of their shenaningans, because I would have been watching them very closely and NOT ignorantly playing a video game on my computer, downstairs. I would never leave a 2 year old and a 4 year old unattended long enough to wreak such havoc! I did not hear any amount of screams, running and door slamming while I was playing my game, and I certainly wouldn't have tried to ignore it. No sir, not me!

Upon finally coming out of my deep denial that anything bad might be happening upstairs, I so did NOT get instantly and furiously angry when I surveyed the damage. I was not so angry that I deamed it best to lock my children in their room, and lock myself in another room and call my husband home from work for diaster relief. Nope, I am a calm, easy going, self-controlled mom that would laugh this off. That was not me!

See now wasn't that fun? What was it your child didn't do this week? Feel free to leave me a comment if you post so I can visit your blog or leave your own "Not My Child!" in the comments and be sure to check out MckMama's blog to see what other people's children didn't do this week!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Time Flies.

It's only mid-summer, but my boys will start school this week and Letha will start next week. Unbelievable, isn't it? Where did the summer go?

Well, this post isn't really about the passage of time or the summer. :)

This post is a cute story about Kevin! In preparation for the new school year we went clothes shopping yesterday. At first I was helping Letha look for pants and jeans. (side note: my kids are skinny. Things that fit in the waist are rarely long enough in the leg, even if we buy slims. So finding things that fit both is a challenge that takes time!) I sent the big boys across the aisle to begin their search. After seeing Letha try on clothes a few times, Kevin came to me and asked, "Mommie, can I change clothes?" Not now Kevin. I helped Letha a while longer until she was on the right track. Then I headed across the aisle myself to assist the big boys.

"Mommie, can I change clothes?" Not right now, I have to help Tim and Tadd.

After sending Tim and Tadd into the dressing rooms with 4 sizes in each of 4 styles of jeans, and making sure they were all off the sale racks, we were closer to making some decisions.

"Mommie, is it my turn to change clothes?" Be patient Kevin.

Ok, Kevin it's your turn. We headed over to the toddler boys section to check sale racks there. Found some cute (if there is such a thing) boy clothes. More slims. And some cute "Rock n' Roll" t-shirts. Kevin was ecstatic! He's never tried on clothes in the store. Off the to dressing room we went. "Mom, do I take off my underwear?" Um, no! He tried on the first outfit and ran, yes RAN out of the dressing room calling everyone's name that was with us to show off that he got to change clothes!


Hahaha! I love this cutie! He is such a ham. And make no mistake, the second outfit he tried on was treated with the same enthusiasm!

After all that. I have a preliminary product rave. Sears, Kid Advantage program. When you sign up for this program, any children's clothes that you purchase (regular or sale price) if your children wear them out before out-growing them, they will replace them, free. All children's clothes and shoes. I don't know about you, but my boys can put holes in the knees of jeans in about a month without even trying! I'll let you know how it goes if/when I have to replace something.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Whooda Thunk?

We moved Izaak in with Kevin not quite 2 weeks ago. The transition went remarkably well, with the exception of the first night. Boy, was that first night rough! Both Todd and I have noticed an unexpected benefit. Kevin and Izaak actually seem to be getting closer, and developing a relationship.

Every morning when Izaak wakes up (and he usually wakes up first), he climbs the ladder, up, up, up into big brother's bed. They snuggle and play together on the top bunk, almost quietly, for about half an hour before Kevin calls me to let him out to go to the bathroom. I hear them giggling and talking from my room below, and it always brings a smile to my "I-hate-mornings" face!

While there is still a remnant of sibling rivalry (you know, biting, hitting, taking
toys, screaming and tattling) it does seem to be less than it was before the big change. It's not something you can really measure, but it's noticibly more peaceful during the course of the day, and they seem to actually play together a bit more. I thougth I was imagining things until Todd voiced the very same thoughts I was having.

There is a downside though. They are learning to get into trouble together. :)

If only I had known just how much rooming together would help them get along, I'd have made this move a long time ago!

Whooda thunk?