Thursday, March 28, 2013

Remembering Grace

Titus sleeps. 

Right now, in his little yellow chair, in the darkness of the bathroom he sleeps. 

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I breath a sigh of relief. 

Maybe you would too if you realized how little sleep he (and his parents) got last night.

He has a nasty cold, his second in only a few weeks. He has been sneezing and dripping snot like you wouldn't believe and his cough…. oh the cough. It's the raspy bark-sounding kind. The kind the doctors warned us about. 

I'm trying not to worry. 

It's just a cold. 


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I stood next to him sleeping for probably 10 minutes, just listening to his chest rattle. Watching him strain to breath in and out, hearing the gurgle of his lungs.

I worry.

I know I shouldn't, I thought I was getting better. At the worrying, I mean. By number 4 you would think a mom would learn to be a little more laid back. And I was, I really was with Audrey (number 3).

But then the NICU happened.  

And I got HELLP, and then I got bronchitis. And the road to recovery is tough. 


We're moving on. We know how blessed we are, truly we do. 

I've learned to be grateful for the NICU, for being sick, and for the tough road of recovery. 

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But then he gets sick…. twice…. and I'm tired.

I'm tired. 

And when I'm tired I struggle to remember.

To remember that He is in control, and I am not. 

That He is all-knowing, and I am not. 

That He loves me and He loves him and He does what is "good" for us.

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This Thursday I am reminded.

Reminded of His last week. Of the meal He ate, this day, with His closest friends, and His betrayer. 

Reminded of the King, who washed the feet of those He came to serve. 

Reminded of the night He spent in the garden with the sleepy disciples. They failed to keep watch. They got tired, too


My Savior, crushed, wounded, despised, rejected, oppressed, afflicted and all for me. 

He struggled to breathe too. Drowned by His own blood.

All for grace. 


I remember, and even in my sleepiness I know that I will worry less. 

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Audrey's 3rd Birthday

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Time is flying by. I can't believe how fast it goes, truly. I've heard people say that my entire life, but when it's happening to you personally it's surreal, really. 

Audrey turned 3 on March 11th. 

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Thanks to her Dad, her day was very special. I'll out myself a bit and say that while I did do all the birthday shopping and present wrapping, her birthday snuck up on me.  The night before, I was exhausted from a church event we had and really didn't want to decorate - Tim stuck it out though and decorated and even put her "big present" together staying up until well into the night. 

I'm so grateful for his selfless actions because it proved well worth it - this is the first year Audrey seemed to actually "get it". She was very proud of herself for turning 3! :) 

When she woke up and saw the decorations her eyes lit up and she literally jumped for joy - I can still see her reaction in my minds eye, and I treasure it. 

We made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and while they baked we had her open her presents. 

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She got a few educational games, a bike helmet, a jewelry box, a soft bat and ball and doll house people. 

That's right, just the people - the dollhouse came later. 

After breakfast. 

We researched doll houses for about a month before I finally decided on the one we got. It was a tough decision, but in the end I wanted one that could grow with her, and that I didn't have to keep adding to (I never do well with those types of toys). This one was large, so all the kids could play with it together, it came with all the room furnishings and could fit all different size dolls. It's a rather large dollhouse, and coincidentally we recently separated the girls, putting Alexa in the nursery with Titus, which gave use plenty of room to put it in Audrey's room. IMG 6637

The kids (all of them) loved it. And Audrey did to, which is what really mattered. 

After Audrey opened her gifts Daddy went to work. 

We spent the day playing with toys :) IMG 6629

That evening Treyton had piano, we went as a family. Afterwards we took her to the local Japanese restaurant for hibachi (we do this for every birthday our family has ---- we can't get enough and it's always a good time!!) 

It was a great day, celebrating her birth! 

I love that it was the first year she actually understood that today we were celebrating her and the gift that she was to us from God. She sang herself happy birthday several times and spent most of the day singing or jumping --- for me, I think that means a happy birthday. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kid's Questionares March 2013

I had each of the kids answer a questionnaire that I used a couple of years ago with them. 

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Treyton at 7.5 years old answers:  

What is your name: Um, Treyton,

When is your birthday: August 26th

How old are you: 7 and 1/2

Who is your Mom: Amber 

What does your Mom do: She home schools me. 

Who is your Daddy: Tim

What does your Daddy do: Works at S.I. Metals What does he do there? Works for steel Doing what? He gives people steel 

What is your favorite color: Blue

What is your favorite song: Boom-Ba

What do you want to do when you grow up: Play sports (smile) 

Where do you want to live when you grow up: Texas

What is your favorite food: (thinks for a while) I have to think…. corn on the cob 

What is your least favorite food: um, oh, tomatoes

What is your favorite animal: a horse 

What is your favorite thing to do: play sports 

What do Mama and Daddy do after you go to bed: watch tv, or talk together, or dad will go to the store 

What does Daddy say: these questions I always get stumped on, in the morning he says "hi, good morning" he says that like every morning. 

What does Mommy say: Ready for school? or Do your school and if you want to know something you say a lot you say "thing-a-majiger" 

Who does our family love the most: Jesus 

Where do we go to church: The Vine Christian Fellowship 

Why do we go to church: To praise God

What is your favorite book: Superhero collection 

What is your favorite movie: The Perfect Game 

What is your favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Oreo

Where do you like to eat: Culvers 

Who is your favorite person: You

Who is your best friend: Alexa and Audrey then Caleb 

Who is your brother: Titus

 Who is your sister: Alexa and Audrey

Where did your sister come from: From you, from my mom

Where did your brother come from: From my mom. 

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Prepare yourself for Alexa's (she's a talker :))

What is your name: Alexa A-L-E-X-A

When is your birthday: July 8th 

How old are you: 4, 4 and 1/2

Who is your Mom: That's a hard question, she's my parent 

What does your Mom do: she works and she helps me, another thing about my mom - she helps me and she loves me and she helps me listen, you know why? (Spankings help me listen) 

Who is your Daddy: My daddy is a worker and he doesn't steal stuff, he works for people and he works for his own people, he gets steel for his car and he um builds stuff, and he helps them build stuff, he helps them build new things, and he helps them create things. 

What does your Daddy do: He helps people and when it breaks, he helps people. Maybe he's too big to sit on it and he breaks the chair up. 

What is your favorite color: my favorite color is purple, and i love blue and I love pink, okay, get that down. and I love yellow, and red and black, get that all down. I love a lot of stuff, don't I? 

What is your favorite song: That one is a hard one, If I can't say all of them Amazing Grace oh actually, Amazing Grace and the ear one "do your ears hang low do they wobb to the top?" (she sings), and the chop-chop-chop to the hop-hop-hop

What do you want to do when you grow up: I want to be…. I don't want to be a homeschooler, if they do something wrong I'll have to yell, I don't want to preschool my kids, I would miss them, huh? I don't know…… I want to be a mom. I want to be a homeschooler. 

Where do you want to live when you grow up: I want to live…. Florida? No, I don't want to live in Florida. Tennessee. Why Tennessee? I don't know, do they have a downstairs? Because that's where our school is going to be ---- well duh, every place has a down stairs, duh. 

What is your favorite food: Pizza, the orange pizza with olives, not pepperoni, the sausage with the orange cheese on it. 

What is your least favorite food: I do not like… I forget sometimes, I do not like red salmon actually I change my mind, I do love that. I don't like tomatoes. 

What is your favorite animal: a cat and a sheep and a do

 What is your favorite thing to do: I love playing my d-d-s and my kindle and to talk to Titus, those are my 3 favorite things. And to eat with mom at olive garden - a girl night. For dad and Treyton and Audrey to stay here and for us to go to Olive Garden and have a meeting. 

What do Mama and Daddy do after you go to bed: They sleep 

What does Daddy say: He says "play toys" and "go out to the living room", some days He asks questions to me. He prays to me when he talks, and he says "yes, yes" a thousand times in my prayer. And he gives me kisses and says "I love you" - he cooks and talks to me and to you too.  

What does Mommy say: I don't know, what dad says, you say. 

Who does our family love the most: Jesus or I don't know, I think it's me. 

Where do we go to church: We go to the Vine 

Why do we go to church: To learn stuff to God and Jesus 

What is your favorite book: Princesses 

What is your favorite movie: Aurora, Sleeping Beauty? You can call her sleeping beauty or Aurora.

What is your favorite Ice Cream Flavor: ohhhh… mixed, I like chocolate mixed and granila. Vanilla? Yeah, Vanilla. 

Where do you like to eat: Sushi 

Who is your favorite person: Mom, and dad, and the person who cooks fast, he's the awesomest, Mommer and Toni and Amelya and Breigh and Mr. Shaun….. Treyton I love, o and Pastor Kevin, Natalie, Madaline, Oliver and Lewis, too, and Caleb and Jon. 

Yes, but who's your favorite person? The fast cooker. Wait a second! I actually love pastor kevin in the whole wide world. 

Who is your best friend: maybe papa, Amelya and Natalie, I have to agree on those, you can just write it down, those are hard ones. Treyton, too, and Audrey. 

Who is your brother: Treyton and Titus 

Who is your sister: Audrey and my mom (giggles) she's a kid 

Where did your sister come from: belly (laugh) no actually your pooty, it was in her belly and came out your pooty, some people don't know that maybe. 

Where did your brother come from: your pooty (laugh) I know who came first - Treyton, he is older than me because he came out first, then I'm older than Audrey because I came out second, and she's third because she came out last, and then Titus came out he's the littlest tiniest baby in the world because he came out fourth. 

Wow…. you had a lot to type Cause you had a lot to say (laugh) I know I could go on-and-on. 

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Audrey had a hard time understanding the questions, but did the best she could :) 

What is your name: Au-ee

When is your birthday: day (I think she is saying today)

How old are you: tee (and she hold up three fingers) 

Who is your Mom: you

What does your Mom do: ---- look of confusion 

Who is your Daddy: went bye-bye 

What does your Daddy do: ugggghhhhh two 

What is your favorite color: (she went and found the colors) I help her pull them out and ask again, she points to pin

What is your favorite song: she sings me a song, but I'm not quiet sure, it might have been the ABC

What do you want to do when you grow up: go potty 

What is your favorite food: num-num-num (she pretends to eat) 

What is your favorite animal: she acts like a kitty cat and puppy dog when Treyton and Alexa mention these animals, but doesn't tell me her favorite. 

she is now distracted and not willing to listen to any more questions…. maybe we'll try this again in a few months :)

I am so glad I did this!! It shows the kids personalities in action - Treyton, straight the point, factual. Alexa lots of ideas and thoughts to share with the world. And Audrey, working to communicate the necessities and letting the rest go - easy going with few worries. 

Love it!! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Father's Bargain by John Flavel

I recently heard "The Father's Bargain" written by John Flavel (a 17th century presbyterian clergyman and theologian) in a sermon I was listening to. It touched my heart, particularly considering the Easter season which is upon us. I know it isn't the easiest language to read, but it is well worth the effort. 

O, that we could understand what the Son, Jesus, has done for us. 

Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you: 
Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus Christ returns. 
SonO my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt. 
Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee. 
Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8: 9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”) yet I am content to undertake it.Help us, Father!!  
Blush, ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Only 4 Kids

Today the cable guy cam to our house today to exchange our cable DVR box. While he was here, he was making small talk, the kids were in and out, and at one point he asked how old my kids were. 

I answered "7, 4, 3 and a baby" 

He looked at Treyton, then back at me and said "That's too many kids." 

Before I had time to respond (which must have been a God thing!!) Treyton said "What? It's ONLY 4 kids!" 

To which I added "Yeah, it's only 4 kids." 

Praise God for my 7 year olds wisdom which does not come from this world! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review & Giveaway JJ Heller LOVED!

I have been a fan of JJ Heller for a while now so when the opportunity came to review her newest CD Loved, I was all over it. 

About the CD: 

When JJ Heller and her husband/co-writer, Dave, began writing for their sixth studio album LOVED, life looked a few shades darker, more painful and confusing than it had during the work on their work of the recent past. Over the past few years, the duo steered much of their material toward the whimsical and simple joys of life, love and new parenthood. But, when confronted by illness, death and broken marriages within their community, the Hellers chose to stay true to the weight of their season of life when crafting lyrics this time around.

So let's start with the basic (non musical) aspects of the CD. First of all, I loved that the words are included - I know some do this, some don't - this is always a plus for me. When I first get a CD, the first thing I do after i put the CD in is check and see if I can read the words. I care about the theology and truths sang in my home as much as I do spoken word, so this is one way I can be sure of what messages are coming in to our car and home. 

The songs on the CD are of typical Heller quality, which is good. I love her style. It's inspirational, while being real. 

She has a very relaxing sound that I enjoy having on in the background or just sitting to listen to. 

While some of the songs I cannot tell whether or not she is talking about God or her husband, either way, they are family appropriate. And there are obviously others where she is clearly speaking on spiritual matters. 

The CD has 14 tracks on it. 

If you're interested in hearing a sample of her newest CD you can watch her official music video here for "Who You Are": 

I am happy to announce that I am able to give away one copy of this CD to one of my readers. There are a couple of ways to enter. I will be selecting a winner using in two weeks on March 26th at 12:00pm 

I am using a new giveaway entry form (see below) - the only requirement is that you subscribe to the blog either through email (see the side bar) or google reader/google friends connect (also on the side bar). If you already subscribe (or sign up new) all you need to do is put in your email address, this will be worth 3 entries! Next you are able to earn even more entries by posting about the giveaway.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.