Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Okay God, what exactly am I supposed to learn from all this????

So, today I found out a friend of mine's husband died suddenly last night while working out at home. His 18 year old son found him collapsed, but he was not able to revive him. They also have a 14 year old daughter. I'm just so crushed. Not only does it make me miss Dave that much more, while he's in CA this week, but it also brings back all those feelings back of when we found out about Dave's brother Jeremy. Like one minute you're just living your life as normal, then the very next moment you're thrown into this out of control universe where you're standing still, yet everyone else around you is going on as normal. It's horrible and sucky and I wish no one ever had to experience it ever again. I miss my Dave and wish he was here for me to hug right now, and feel like everything will be just fine.

And in better, less sad news, my little girl had a Kindergarten awards ceremony today. She got awards from: reading, art, writing, music, physical education, a literacy award, and a junior achievement award. We are so proud of her. She's so bright, and we just are super proud!

We enjoyed some dinner out with Miss Sally, our dear friend who lost her husband a year ago now. We love her SO much, she is our adopted family. Then the kids and I stopped at the park to play for a while on the playground. Came home and took baths and now we're getting ready for bed. I'm fairly certain I won't sleep much today again, but there's always hope. :)

Tomorrow we have a few errands to run tomorrow, and after school, we'll hit the library at some point and head to my folk's house for spaghetti. mmmmmmmmm Been a long time since I've had spaghetti. Then it's only that much closer to Friday for us. Yeah! I can't wait til Friday! C'mon Friday!

So, I'm off for the evening. I'm exhausted and am praying for restful sleep.

Be well and hug your families.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And the Idol is.....

Jordan Sparks!
I think she is amazing and I am really happy for her.

I asked Dave what he thought it would feel like if we were the ones sitting there one day watching one of our kids on a huge stage like that. I felt that way a bit at Hannah's Kindergarten program, but I didn't get to sit up close, and could barely see her the whole time... so I can't imagine what her parent's must be feeling.

Today was a fun day. Spencer and I had the whole day to ourselves. We did visit with Tracy Burton and her little men, Joe and Charlie. Spencer really enjoys playing with Joe. They were born only three days apart... and they get along greatly. Then Spencer and I played a game, and had some lunch here at home. Finally it was time to go get sis from school.

After we got Hannah is when the real excitement of the day began. We headed from school to the grocery, and while waiting at a left turn light, we witnessed a car accident right behind us. Some hot dogging high schooler fish-tailed his stupid little pick-up truck around a corner at a high rate of speed, and basically lost control, hitting the Escalade behind me. A woman and her two children were in the SUV, and thankfully were fine. The kids and I were able to let them take shelter in our van while we awaited the police and the woman's husband. I am thankful that we had an opportunity to serve their family. It was a neat way to make a yucky situation better.

This evening the whole little family headed down to the Katy Trail. We walked for just a little while, and while we walked, we saw many things. Tons of teeny tiny froggies, a little bitty snake, a cave, a spider and it's web, a squirrel that ran across teh trail in front of Hannah on her scooter--giving her a fright... then driving back home we saw a coyote as well. It was a lovey evening. We came home and watched American Idol. It was a really decent night...not too much drama... always some, but not too much tonight.

Tomorrow is Hannah's field day. Should be fun! And tomorrow is also haircut day for me! woohoo!!!! I can't wait for the shape up! I love haircut day! It's one of my favorite things!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Last morning without kids for a while.

So today is the last day of Mom's Day Out for Spence. I think this year will be an adjustment for him not to see his little buddy from school on a regular basis. However, his mommy and I traded numbers, so hopefully we'll have some Alex time this summer. :-) Hannah's not done til June 1st, so there is still a little time left for her. And being in year round schools, means she has only a 6 week break for the summer.

So, today I'm hanging out at Panera bread. I've never just hung out and played on my computer somewhere other that my own house. It is kinda fun. Lots to look at, lots of distractions, but I am not working, so it's okay. It's right at noon now, so it's getting loud in here. :-)

Soon it will be time to head to the ob/gyn... fun fun! Ah well, it's only once a year. And on a better note, my eyes are getting better, so that's good.

So, I'll write more later. Too hard to concentrate! :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

A letter from my hero. :-)

Today I received a thought provoking letter from my friend and aforementioned hero, Becky McCotter, and in it, she laid out many reasons to encourage me toward home schooling my two youngsters. I'll share it with you and it will also keep it handy for me to be able to read more easily.

Dear Heather (and Dave and children),
Greetings to you! Such a treat to be able to see you recently, and to get to meet your children. They are precious~and a beloved responsibility. As I considered your challenges as a mother~the questions/issues arising, I have taken it upon myself to write, at length, a rationale for homeschooling. I figure any other mode of child-training probably doesn't NEED much explaining--homeschooling is "the road less traveled," and therefore may need a "closer look" in the Marketplace of Ideas. So, if you'll permit me: Since I truly believe that our culture is NOT getting more and more godly (as we approach the end of the age), this mode of teaching our children may gain increasing attention. Homeschooling allows for exploration of God's world, supervised free experimentation, exposure to "real life" as disciples with a master model. They (the home educated children) get to experience "normal," home-based life rather that a room full of 30, 3rd graders and one harried teacher (maybe not harried, but at least 'divided'). The homeschooled child gets to see: What does is look like when Christian faces trials, hardships, sorrows~meals to others, bearing others' burdens, praying together--considering God in any and every pursuit. They can experience the joys of clean living, in simplicity. I've read that a homeschooler "plays longer and matures faster." We've found that creativity can proceed in an unstifled, unsullied, unashamedly encouraged manner; academics needn't be SO overwhelming (homework occasionally, perhaps but NOT every night/heavy), pick a few good things to study, there's plenty of time later for specialization and mastery. God provided opportunities for broader interests: expenses are minimal versus private education or even public (which is costly in OTHER ways!). Life skills can be learned naturally, and even interaction with Creation can be a part of study: integration of ages (not just age-mates), animals can be brought into the picture more completely, plants, gardening, etc. You can experience adventures TOGETHER~even reading aloud adventures together--living books, not revisionist history bled of anything VITAL or Christ-revealing/exalting, TRUE science is NOT foolishness! You can organize co-oping groups with friends to add some flavor or extend hospitality to others TOGETHER by inviting another family over for "tea" or lunch or "play day" or "art day" or field trip day. Determine your needs/requests (social skills)--then ask God for HIs provision for them. There's time to DO REAL THINGS (instead of rushing out the door to planned group activities). (Always GROUPS! when so much of life is in then reality one needs to know "who one is" ALONE, before the face of God. Solitary.

You can say "let's pray together about _______________________", a more realistic lifestyle for those dependant on Christ. You can take advantage of situations/teaching opportunities where one or two children involved isn't overwhelming to the staff (where a classroomful might NEVER be allowed to participate because logistically there are just too many little bodies being busy!) : Elizabee and Trevor volunteering (at different times) at Doctor's Hospital! They got to do all sorts of amazing things~each as "just one of them", instead of a big group of them--also Trevor, caddying at Boone Valley (while his compatriots were sitting in a classroom somewhere, or riding the bus:(). The childred and I volunteering at Daniel Boone Home was another shared adventure in understanding people/life/history. You might try volunteering at a Nursing home together--or a garden somewhere: hands on. Botany is so much more "catching" than book learning.

You might ask Dave what he would desire his children to learn. Get your direction from GOD, via Dave (maybe plan a date-night/lunch or breakfasst to plan and pray together and trust God together for His leading you!) Ask his (Dave's) advice frequently; he'll grow into it. he is, as the head of the home, being given a tangible opportunity to do what God will enable him to do. You won't be perfect at this--at least WE never have been, but it's definitely WORTH the doing.

Heather, there's plenty of advice out there, plenty of curriculum, plenty of guilt trips, even but you'll need to sift through it all wlith the Lord and determine what's doable for you guys. It CAN be done!

You are loved and prayed for regularly,

Keep me posted!

Becky McCotter


Last week Spencer had red, swollen, icky eyes, later in the week Hannah got them, this weekend, I got them. They aren't pink eye, according to two different doctors, but something is definitely going around. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and being unable to open your eyes. It's just not fun. And poor Dave seems to be getting it now too, and he's an avid contact he'll have to brace himself to wear glasses this week.

Anyhow, the worst part of it, and I am waiting on a call from the doctor, is that at the Walmart this morning, I had a terrible dizzy/nauseous spell. I got a little freaked, cuz my 4 year old was with me and I wondered what would happen if I really passed out. But thankfully, I didn't and was feeling good enough to drive home. Haven't had anymore of that all day, so hopefully it was a fluke. I just know I don't feel good at all, and am ready to.

Some good news is that my endocrinologist called me this morning and she said after two weeks off my meds, that my thyroid is still functioning normally, so that it good. So far, I don't think I'll have to have it nuked. So, there is some good news.

The other bright side of having sick eyes, is I'll have to go shopping for all new mascara! There's a bright side. Shopping for make up! :-)

Anyhow, hears hoping that the doc calls soon and tells us what to do to fix it, and then here's also hoping that I can go to stamp class tonight without having to worry about spreading anything!


Friday, May 18, 2007

Busy Day

Well, this day has been a running day since we got outta bed. It's 10:21p.m. and this may be the first I have sat down except for eating dinner. Whew. Tomorrow is when I am hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend Jamie. So, I DID start my day with a pedicure at the beauty school, and got my nails fixed up. But then it was a whip cracking kind of afternoon. I have mixed dips, cut and prepared fresh fruit, made miniature cheesecakes, and set up the serving area. I have spread mulch, grocery shopped, picked kids up from school. I have stamped 20 thank you notes. I have gone through papers from Kindergarten. It was a productive day, that is for sure.

Right now, I'm listening to a message by Beth Moore. Man, she's a little powerhouse. I'm trying to fill myself up with God stuff, so that maybe what gets squeezed out, is more God stuff and less YUCK! Part of her message today is how the enemy really can get to us when we start to isolate ourselves. I struggle with this at times, but I honestly don't feel like I am right now, the way other people think I may be. Certain people that will remain nameless... Cuz if they really knew are cared to know, they would know that I'm connected to people... just not them. :-) And God is doing stuff. He truly is. It's a S-L-O-W process. I believe He is trying to do stuff in our whole family. Trying to heal. Trying to connect. Trying to humble. Trying to shape. Yeah, it's painful, sometimes more than others.

Okay, I'm losing all concentration now, so I'm going to close. I'm hoping for a wonderfully uninterrupted night of sleep. No alarm clock for me tomorrow! woohoo! good night!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How much can one family take?

My friend Bethany just called this evening.. her husband was in a car accident not far from their home. He thinks he blacked out. He is diabetic, so it's quite possible. They are still at the ER waiting to see a doctor. Bottom line is that this family has faced a Job kind of time together. Loss of a lot of things. But thankfully all of their lives are in tact tonight because the circumstances could have been worse. I try to remember this verse during these kinds of times, but I find it hard to live it out.

James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Sounds so simple, but how does one go about practically living out this verse? Somehow, Bethany does. She rarely complains. This is a person who has endured much. And the "stuff" seems to keep coming down the chute, and I don't mean good stuff.

I have another friend who is enduring much... and just beginning a journey of physically enduring more. She is a wife, mother to 4 beautiful children, friend to many, and she is getting ready to fight a battle with cancer. She will be undergoing a mastectomy within a week or so at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I am scared. I don't know how to consider any of that pure joy. And yet, each time she updates her journal on Caringbridge... I thing the one who's most courageous is her. She makes me feel stronger and I'm not the one with cancer.

I long for that kind of assurance. I know it's mine to have, but I have to believe it. Beth Moore often uses the phrase, "I do believe, help my unbelief." It's actually a portion of scripture in Mark 9:24 when Jarius's daughter has died, but Jesus heals her. I am so glad someone took note of someone being in the touch, see, and feel presence of Jesus who still says, "I do believe you, but help me to REALLY believe you." Cuz that is how I feel so often.

So day by day, minute by minute... I have to try to remember that I'm only meant to strive to be like Christ. I will never have it all together, but He loves me thru my stumbling, and questioning. And as long as I love Him and seek Him, He will hold me up and get me thru...sometimes kicking and throwing a big ol tantrum, sometimes giving up the grip I have on something and going on my own. I'll get there. And I can only hope that as I journey there, I can learn to trust and look out for Jesus instead of always looking out for myself.

I did it!

I said no to someone. I had to, but I did it without feeling guilty. I have a busy weekend planned, or at least a busy Saturday and one of my sibs needed some babysitting. I said no. I'm hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend, Dave has a shooting tournament, and my youngest sister has offered to take my son for the day/night on Saturday too. So I'm not really interested in adding more kids when I'm loaning one out for the day. :-) And on Sunday, I'd like nothing more to do than NOTHING! I know, novel idea. I've just read a little chapter in the new book I'm reading called Taking Care of the Me in Mommy, by Lisa Welchel... and it really talked about how we've lost sight of the idea of a Sabbath. So, this weekend, I'm going to try to just enjoy the day. We're going to my parent's church to see my dad get baptised. Possibly a cheap lunch following, and then I'd like to come home and stamp or scrapbook, or read, or sit outside. Maybe Dave will want to take the kids fishing, and I can take a chair and a book. We'll see. Just relax. No duties for the day.

Anyway, my biggest news was that I said no, confidently without saying "lemme think about it"... just no. *pats self on back*
One practice down, keep trying it till it becomes a habit. :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

One of my heroes...

Today, I was fortunate enough to meet up again with one of my heroes. I didn't know this person was ever my hero, until I became a mother, and even more so recently with some parenting stuff that comes up. When I was growing up, this person went to my church. She was the mother of at least four, maybe five children at the time and in my eyes, well, she was just a little "different". She home schooled. which then was the exception to the rulel, she was always making up little songs to scripture (which I now wish I had valued more), and I don't know, she just different all around. Not in a bad way, but as a young teen, in a way that wasn't "cool". Ya know?

Fast forward to today, when I was able to see her and hug her, and with tears in my eyes, ask, "HOW EVER DID YOU DO THIS?" And her simple, and poignant reply, "I was on my knees, and sometimes on my face by the grace of God." Ah, simply put... she didn't know at times what she was doing either, but instead of grumbling and whining and shaking her fist and raising her voice like I tend to do, all to often I might add, she simply cried out to the Lord who hears all of our cries, even when we are too proud to utter them out loud. Thank you Becky McCotter, for your wisdom, your wonderful embrace today, and your prayers for my little family. I will treasure that moment this morning, when even for 5 minutes, I felt like someone understood exactly what I feel. And I will try much harder to follow your example to take my cares to my Father and let HIM comfort me through it.

I also had a good heart to heart with my friend Tracy. God is doing a cool thing with bringing us together in a new and exciting way. We grew up as neighbors, and didn't particularly get along all that well. Now, since I got married, we've gotten a little bit closer and closer, till this year, when we took a Bible study class together. Anyhow, we both have two kiddos and we both have just really begun to deepen our friendship through some similar church experiences and such. She and I are going to a Mom's Night Out this weekend to listen to Lisa Welchel (Blair Warner, from the Facts of Life). She is a Christian mom who seems to have lots of fun parenting ideas. We are planning to go out for a grown up dinner before hand just to enjoy a kid-free night. We both are just in a parenting rut lately. Trying to figure out what works for each kid and not lose our sanity at the same time. :-)

So, I am hoping that the rest of my single parenting weekend will go as smoothly as this afternoon has gone. Yesterday, not so much, but today was decently decent. And, though I am so glad Dave is having a good time at his shooting class, I really miss having a tag team weekend, where I am not the only parent around.

And, so, I'm off to switch some laundry, and continue tidy-ing up around my home. Trying to make life less hectic, by trying to keep my home less hectic as well. My how the messes can get out of hand! *sigh* My goal is to have a clean house to enjoy by Mother's day weekend, so I have NO work to do on Mother's day.