Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Speaking of routine, I homeschooled the two older boys yesterday. It went really well and we got everything done that I had planned. Besides our usual math, reading, phonics and spelling, I read a kid's history book to them and we learned all about Thomas Jefferson. We learned that he is the one that invented our money system. Of course, being the money-minded kid he is, Marcus perked right up after hearing that!
We got to spend some time with Margaret and her two children. She left Liam and Riley here while she played tennis. It was a good distraction for my kids. They watched a movie and then played outside. Everything was going good until they started throwing snowballs. I'm still not sure what happened but the boys ended up getting mad at each other and feelings were hurt. Margaret and I tried to leave it on a good note, but it wasn't very pleasant. I think they will forgive and forget and do better next time. Snow ball fights usually end up in a disaster anyway and someone always ends up getting hurt. I know it was that way with my cousins!
Steve went to Portland yesterday for his IV meds. He came back home around 3:30 and I told him I needed to go to the store. I had no idea how crazy it was! There were so many people at Safeway, so it took me a lot longer then I expected. I desperately needed some fruits and veggies.
Came home and Steve had finished dinner up. Michael dropped off Jackie and the kids. Jackie is in so much pain. She pulled something in her back and can hardly move. It really stinks, because now we can't play our favorite card game (Nerts). Today's plans are to make a nice breakfast (French toast, fruit and bacon) and then watch "Prince Caspian" sometime between my dentist appointment and her massage appointment with John. I think I might make chicken fajitas tonight.
This morning was so wonderful. God woke me up at 4:45 a.m. so that I could spend some time with Him alone and uninterrupted. I got my cup of coffee and I snuggled up on the couch with my Bible study. I was even able to journal many of my thoughts. I am studying Psalm 131 right now. It is short, but packed with meaning.
Here is a thought that I wanted to share with you..."We don't know what will show up on us until God turns on the heat. His Spirit reveals feelings and long-held beliefs. The essence of wholeness is God winning us wholly with His affection, His truth, and His healing Word."-Beth Moore
Another thought was this..."God's goal is not children scared into silence but those who trust their parent even when questions go unanswered...I know I can trust God's heart, come what may."-Beth Moore
I looked up a bunch of verses on how God is like a parent. I've read all these verses many times, but I was struck again at how wonderful He is. Beth asked me to write Psalm 131 in my own words. Here is my take on it...
"My heart is not proud, I do not want to look down on others. I am a simple woman. I do not try to understand things that are lofty and intellectual. I just want to be like my Jacob, who wakes up and snuggles into me with his blankie. I want to feel Your presence, knowing You love me, but knowing that You will be there the rest of this day as I toddle off to face it. I want to know You are hovering over me, waiting in the wings in case I start to slip and fall. I want to know and rest in the fact that You are keeping me away from danger. For I have put my hope in You, God. Nothing else will do."
So here I go toddling away...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Marcus made me a card and put a dollar in it. Wasn't that sweet?
Jacob loved his little airplane.
Andrew got a grader and another construction vehicle.
Dad and Diana got Andrew this cute little John Deer hat and shirt. The tractor is actually Jacob's, but Andrew plays with it just as much. I love these ones of him "plowing" the sidewalk. Isn't he cute? He's in heaven!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The kids and I cleaned the house some more. I caught up on laundry (finally)! You can't imagine how many extra stinky, wet socks there are around here now that the snow has come!
I did my Bible study. I studied Psalm 127 today. It was wonderful and such a great reminder to pray for Israel. I read the news today about them launching a counter-attack on the Hamas. It is such a scary place over there. I just pray that God will rise up and defend His people and that the Israelies will not lean on their own strength, but His.
I made a dish with tortellini, chicken, onion and mushrooms with a marinara sauce over it. I sprinkled it with mozzarella. The kids seemed to like it. Then I made lemon bars for dessert for our lunch tomorrow at the Ranch.
I tortured my children and made them watch Handel's "Messiah". It is beautiful, but quite boring for them. I tried to explain the different parts of an orchestra and choir. They didn't know it, but it was a homeschool lesson in classical music. Josh was NOT pleased. Oh well! I watch plenty of movies that don't interest me for their sake. I didn't think it was going to kill them to watch one of mine! So there!!!
I read books to the little ones. I love it when they ask me to read to them. Andrew keeps picking up Bible stories, so it's cool that he's "getting" God more. He is really enjoying "Hermie" by Max Lucado.
I can't wait to get out and go to church tomorrow. I'm getting tired of being cooped up. I miss everyone at Calvary and I know the kids have missed their friends.
I'm looking forward to having the snow melt so that we can put the trampoline up for the kids. They are talking about how much they are looking forward to it.
I'm now going to go read and go to bed. I will leave you with an entry from my journal. The Lord just struck my heart with a gardening theme. So here it is...
"Lord, I pray that the soil of my heart is rich and ready to receive any seeds you would like to plant in me. I want you to be my "Master Gardner". The One who prunes, trims, ploughs and fertilizes the ground. Let not one seed that has been planted go to waste! May the results be beautiful! A garden in my life that will point to the "Master Gardener", that would be a glory to You."
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I have been trying to get my laundry and dishes caught up before tomorrow. I also went on a cooking spree. Here's what I made:
Bacon Chestnut wraps and Cranberry Bread Pudding for tomorrow's breakfast (I have it all made up, just have to throw them in the oven in the morning).
For the Christmas Eve meal at the fire station, I made Grandma Mary's famous Potato's Romanoff and I made up an artichoke dip that has tiny bits of mushroom, water chestnuts and green onions in it. YUMMY! I thought it would be a nice appetizer.
I also made the mashed potatoes up ahead of time for tomorrow's meal.
I made a loaf of fresh bread, as well. Whew! I think I'm done cooking today. Now I need to get off of here and do all the dishes. I think I'll enlist a few children's help around here.
Mom and Larry are in Leavenworth, Washington for Christmas with Larry's family. Larry's mom always wanted to go on a sleigh ride, so for Christmas Mom and Larry arranged it for them. Isn't that cool? Another dream fulfilled. I just hope they can get their safe. They said the lights are incredible downtown.
It has been snowing all day and the kids have been going in and out while I've been baking.
I put Jacob down and took a much needed nap. Now the plan is to clean up the house and get ready for when Steve calls and tells us we can come down to the station. I have no idea what time, but know I'm supposed to cook everything ahead of time. Now the timing of all that could be tricky!
I've enjoyed catching up on every one's blogs today. It is so great to hear of other people's Christmas traditions and holidays.
Dad and Diana will be here tomorrow morning. I think I'll let the kids open their stockings in the morning before Steve gets home, then we'll have breakfast and clean up. By the time that's all done, we will finish our Advent tree and read the Christmas story when the folks get here. I'm so excited to have them here this year. This is a real treat. I hope it will be a fun time for everyone.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As soon as we got home, I went straight to bed and slept two more hours. I woke up and tried to eat a bit of lunch. I started feeling sick again around 2:00 and just went back to bed. I slept another two and a half hours. I then tried to lay on the couch and play UNO with Jess, then I played Monopoly for an hour with Marcus. I had had it. I went back to bed around seven. Now I'm up and I'm going to try to eat a little chicken noodle soup and see if that settles my tummy at all.
Steve is supposed to work tomorrow. I'm sure hope I start feeling better or it's going to be an interesting day. The only thing I got done today was two loads of dishes and two loads of laundry. I'm falling behind and I am expecting company for Christmas. Not good...
Please pray that this will pass soon. I so don't want to be sick for Christmas.
Oh, BTW, Marcus was coughing last night. He started swallowing it. When he woke up he puked all over the couch, just missing my Bible study. He told me later, "I tried to miss your Bible study". I was so thankful. I can clean it off the blanket on the couch a lot easier then my Bible study. Jess said she wasn't feeling great either and didn't eat her dinner. That leaves Jacob to be the only one who hasn't gotten anything this last week.
I need to post another older devotion. I think I'll do that next. Thanks for your prayers!
Steve ended up staying the night in Redmond on Sunday and didn't get back home until 2:00 p.m. on Monday. I had several appointments lined up for on Monday because I had this tiny window before he worked a 48 hour shift and then get off on Christmas morning. I prayed and asked God to show me who to call. He laid Vicki on my heart. I called her and she came right over and watched the kids so I could take Josh to the doctor's.
I went to start the car and it was deader then a doornail. Another glitch in my plans! I'm stranded with NO car now! Steve still had the Suburban at the station. I asked Vicki if I could borrow her all-wheel drive Subaru. she said sure, so off we went.
The doctor thinks that Josh has eczema (not sure how to spell that) or psoriasis. I'm pretty sad about that, but have to remind myself that I'd rather have that diagnosis then cancer. I just pray that it might not be as severe as each generation passes. I pray it won't be like Steve's where it is all over his whole body. They called in a steroid topical cream to the pharmacy, but I knew I needed to get back to relieve Vicki, so I didn't go pick it up.
I canceled my hair appointment because Steve didn't get there in time. It was a good thing because my daddy came to give me jump start and helped me get out of our driveway. Our drive way is a nightmare because you can't get a run at it. My poor dad was huffing and puffing pushing on that car all the way up the driveway! He worked so hard. It reminded me so much of the winter that I learned how to drive. I had a 74 Comet Mercury. It was horrible in the snow, and we had a long driveway to get up. My dad would be riding on the back bumper, jumping up and down, pushing, you name it to try to get me out of that driveway! It brought back many memories.
Diana watched the kids for me so I could go to Les Schwab and get the battery changed. They did it really quickly. I was surprised because they were so busy! By the time I got home I was almost falling asleep driving. Steve was finally home when I arrived and I asked if he could watch the kids while I laid down. The insomnia gets to me and I just have to rest in the afternoon.
At 3:15, I took off for my massage with John Combe. Ooooooh, it was wonderful and just what I needed. No offense to the other lady who is doing my "prenatal" massages for free to get her license, but she tickles me compared to John. I feel so different when I walk out of his office. Steve said I could get a massage once a month if he thought it would help my hips and back. I'm so thankful! He has always poo pooped massage, so this is a big breakthrough. I hope to get him in one of these days when his back goes out again.
OK, here is the real miracle. I thought Steve was going to work the 48, well, he has a pretty bad cough from a cold he has been fighting so he decided to call in. So he will be gone only the one shift, which is on Christmas Eve! He can watch the kids while I go to the pharmacy to get the medicine. Also, the kids have missed him terribly and vice versa, so they'll be able to spend more time with their daddy.
God takes care of the little things, doesn't He? I was very weepy on Monday and was starting to kind of feel sorry for myself. I tried to be honest with God as to how I was feeling, but was just feeling sad and a little depressed. God just kept showing his faithfulness yesterday and I love Him for it. They are simple things, but big to me. Thank you for letting me share them with you.
So today is a new day. No mistakes, fresh and white as the beautiful snow outside. I am determined to respect and love my husband, teach my children to be kind and loving towards each other, and to be faithful in my homeschooling. I want to be a flourishing vine in my house and stop wilting. I want to get in the Word and meditate on it's Truths. I want the Holy Spirit to fill every fiber of my being so that I CAN do these things.
May God bless you this day!
Monday, December 22, 2008
These are the Thai Rolls that Catherine taught Margaret and I how to make when we went to Idaho. I thought the kids would hate them, but they love them now!
Here are the ingredients I used... Julienned cucumber, carrots; finely chopped purple cabbage; Chinese style noodles or thin rice noodles (cooked and then run under cold water immediately) and then I saute up some finely chopped chicken breasts with some garlic, ginger and some Thai peanut dipping sauce. The last thing you need is a large bowl full of hot water. You will soak the rice spring roll skins in the hot water for about 6 seconds or so.
Here are the kids and I with Mom in the living room in front of our dead Christmas tree. Yes, it died and I don't know why! We watered it, we trimmed the bottom off, and it's not too hot in our house.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We started the day with Steve getting ANOTHER 24 hour overtime shift. This beats his overtime record since he's been married to me. This is an unbelievable gift from God. We will be putting some money in savings finally! Let's just pray no rigs break down so we can keep it in there! Steve was able to buy a nice coat yesterday, which he desperately needed.
Larry watched the kids before lunch so Mom and I could go get some more Thai Roll ingredients. I did some last minute Christmas shopping at F.M. It was so nice to get out of the house again. Mom and I had a very nice time just being together. We ran into Pete (a firefighter) and his wife, Terry. They invited us to the fire station for Christmas Eve dinner. So I guess we'll be doing that if we don't get snowed in.
We played games all afternoon and Larry took the two older boys sledding up at Sorosis Park. They had a great time and I guess Josh even got to borrow some one's snowboard and did really good at it. Larry said he was a natural.
I taught Mom how to make Thai Rolls and took pictures so I can post step by step instructions. We toasted with sparkling pear cider. After dinner Mom got out the fireworks and we watched a nice show before they had to head home.
Andrew threw up all over while Larry was watching him. I'm so glad he did it on Larry's watch because I probably would have spewed too, just smelling it. I walked in and the smell of it about knocked me off my feet! Yucky! He seemed to be feeling better after that but didn't want any dinner.
I'm so tired, but it is a good tired. The day turned out to be very fun and full of activity. It helped take our minds off the snow, cold and the fact that Dad was not home again.
Steve had to travel to Bend tonight in the ambulance to take a dialysis patient to a special hospital. The roads were said to be hazardous. I'm trying not to worry. He said they might spend the night there and come back in the morning if it's really bad.
I hope he doesn't have to, because I have three appointments tomorrow. Josh goes to the doctor, I get my hair done and I am scheduled for a massage. I will be really disappointed if it doesn't happen, because everything will be shut down for the rest of the week before Christmas most likely.
I'm almost home free, the older kids are going to bed in ten minutes then it's my turn!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Made a roast beef quiche for breakfast, which wasn't very good. I don't know what I did different. Luckily, I had yogurt to offer, too. They chowed that down. Kids did their chores and Steve got up and took his four wheeler over to the church to plow the sidewalks and some of the parking lot where the staff park. He was gone until about 1:00 p.m.
The kids watched a "Rescue Heroes" while I did yoga and my Bible study. I made lunch (egg rolls and P and B bagels), then I played "Enchanted Forest" with Jessica and Marcus. After that it was a LONG game of Monopoly with Josh and Marcus after we put Jacob down for a nap.
We heard from Mom and Larry. They decided to come after all, so they left about four p.m. They still aren't here. The roads are very snowy and not a little bit scary.
While we are waiting, I took the kids one by one into the bedroom to wrap their siblings gift. Then I shooed them all out and wrapped all the rest. Not too many this year. I'm proud of myself.
I made Thai Rolls for dinner and we gobbled them up! Mom and Larry were lucky we saved them a few! They were yummy! I put more chicken and noodles in them this time and skipped the bean sprouts. I figured out, that I DON'T like them! Steve even tried to deep fry one and it turned out pretty good. Josh even ate two! Now that's amazing!
It is still snowing and freezing cold. We are expected to have a HUGE storm tonight and tomorrow. Maybe eight inches of snow overnight. So it will be interesting to wake up tomorrow and see what it looks like!
Even church was canceled. So it should be a day of fun, feasting and games with Mom and Larry tomorrow as we celebrate an early Christmas.
That's all for now folks! They just got here so I need to scoot...
The final product! YUMMY!
My snow ball bush looks so pretty laden with snow.
This bench shows how deep it is. I also thought it looks kind of Christmasy.
Here is part of our view. You can't see the mountains for the snow. I just love snow. It makes me hole up in my home. The only thing annoying is the puddles of water that the kids track in the house when they go in and out a thousand times a day. I gave up and put a towel next to the door. It still doesn't get used!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I love the verses in Psalms that say over and over "Tell of the great deeds He has done!" How I want to share my testimony with everyone I meet! God has done miracles in my life that I know would encourage any Believer or Non-Believer. This blog is allowing me to do that.
But as you know, we ALL need encouragement, even this Ol' Gal. Many of you have left comments that have made me want to soar! God has used you over and over to encourage me in my duties as a wife and mother. Some of you have told me you are afraid to comment because you don't want to sign in, understandably so. To help you with this, I have made it easier on my blog to leave comments. You know longer have to sign in and you can also do so anonymously.
I have to say I am ashamed of the way I reacted a few weeks back when I got the doctor's bill. I should have known the Lord is faithful and would take care of it. I just talked with the sweetest lady that is in charge of a "rebate" program that helps people who cannot afford to take the IV medication that Steve is on. Steve qualified! So we will be getting $400 paid by this program towards the $600 we will owe at the first of the year! I was astounded and so thankful. So all in all about $36,000 of medical bills for just four injections will be only $400 to pay for (that is including the one we already have paid for). Wow! God totally took care of us once again. He has provide enough overtime to pay that bill next month when it comes in. He is so good!
I do need prayers in one area. I went to my OB doc and asked him about not sleeping. He said to stop taking the sleeping pill and just grin and bear it. I think the pill had stopped working anyway so I wasn't surprised. Last night was my first night off of it. I slept from 9:45 to 11:30 and then was up for several hours. God did give me an extra 2 hours of sleep during the wee hours of the morning and I woke up around 5:15 a.m. Four hours of sleep is not bad for an insomniac who has a baby moving around in her tummy all night. So I am praising God for the four hours, but asking that you pray for me as I go about this day. I would love to be able to take a nap sometime, but Steve is working today, so we'll see. I want to be patient and loving to my children. I also want to reduce my stress level even more, which requires wisdom on my part. So I thank you ahead of time for your prayers.
Blessings to you all as you go about your day. The snow is softly falling this morning and all is quiet as my sweet children sleep snuggled up in their beds.
Steve works today, so I need to get off of here and get my daily dose of encouragement from my Bible Study while it is still quiet.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
MCMC. She is from the Czech Republic and has taught me a lot about growing up in a Communistic country and also how a country is affected during Post-Communism. Beth Anderson is in the background. Her husband is deployed for over 400 days. He is a Chaplain. She is the homeschooling mother of 3 and will be adopting within six months a little African-American baby. She is one amazing woman! I can't imagine doing all that with my husband gone for over a year!
When you walk in to the complex, there is this amazing courtyard with a lap pool in the middle. That is the guest house on the right.
Nog cheesecake, sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses, coffee and orange juice. It was delicious! Ann even brought in a professional harpist to sing and play Christmas carols as we ate. It was over the top and we felt very spoiled.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We forgot Diana's Christmas list so we ran home to get it. I just couldn't help taking pictures of their little mini horses in the snow. They are such fur balls! Dough Boy is the lighter colored one and Bakerman is the closest. Bakerman is the one that the kids ride. The other pictures are of the ranch house and some outbuildings. Dad and Diana have done an incredible amount of work to this place! The last picture is of Dad at Casa El Mirador. He took us there after 3 hours of shopping. We LOVE the salsa and the steak burritos! I love our yearly date. I can't believe how grey his mustache is getting. It used to be flaming red!