Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can it get any better than this?

I without a doubt, am crazy about my husband and kids. They bring such joy (and sillyness and crazyness) to my life. I love how Noah loves Jesus...and the discussions we have about prayer and God saving him (like Daniel) from the lions the night of his fever. I love the conversations that we have with him now. He is an actual person and not my little baby anymore. I love Callie's tenacity for life, her cheeky smile, and her ability to hold her own while still being a diva. I love her cuddles and silly faces. I can't imagine life without either of them. And last, but first...I love Dave's ability to love me at all times...even when I'm acting unloveable. I love that he has integrity...a deep integrity and a love for Jesus. He's a wise I often turn to for advice. He is a good and trustworthy man. He's so selfless. He always gives the best to his family. Forsaking the motorcycle for the mini-van. Missing graduations, reunions, and other important events in his life because his family needed him. Driving the older car, so that we are in the safer vehicle (he has ALWAYS done this, long before we ever had kids)...and a million others. I love my husband.

How do you measure a man's worth? If you ask me...I'd say I'm pretty rich.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Battle of the wills

So, I think I'm over the emotional toll that yesterday took on me. I was pretty messed up for the rest of the day. Thankfully, Dave didn't have to go back to work. He was allowed to stay home with me and the kids.

I just wanted to say thanks for the comments and the emails I have received. It's nice to feel the love and understanding from friends. In the light of today, I still can't believe that he was in the couch. It feels a bit silly not looking there...but I'm OK with feeling a bit silly or embarrassed. I can handle that. I can't handle the other. Again, I'm so thankful that that was all it was.

Today was back to normal. I had a 4 hour battle of the wills with Callie. That little girl...whew. Stubborn! She has quite a few signs and words, but she doesn't always choose to use them. Whining and saying, "uh" are her favorite back-up plans. Well, today, when she was done with breakfast, I asked her if she was "all done". She started throwing a fit and pulling at her straps. I knew what she was trying to say, but I also knew what she was capable of doing. I asked her to tell me "all-done" and then she could get out. She immediately stuck her hands to the side of her in rebellion. So, she sat in her highchair all morning. Every few minutes I would ask her if she was "all-done". She ran the gamut of responses: hands to the side, crying, or just shaking her head no serenely. What a stinker. Finally, after lunch, and 4 hours after it all began, she randomly, but happily signed, "all-done". I was so happy, I swooped her out of her chair and cheered. Gosh darnet kid. It didn't have to be that hard.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Worst Fears Realized

Today, one of my absolute worst fears as a parent, was realized. We had just come home from the gym. I asked Noah to play nicely with Callie while I took a quick shower. I could hear Noah slamming doors while I was in there, so I called out for him to stop whatever he was doing and be nice to his sister.

Shortly thereafter, I got out of the shower, and only found Callie. No Noah...anywhere. I looked all over the house, calling his name. I walked outside, calling his name...getting a little more frantic each time. I search the house again, under beds, in closets...nothing. He wasn't on the sidewalks that I could see. I checked with a few neighbors...and they hadn't seen him. That feeling of utter panic started to set in when he was not showing up.

After looking all over again, I finally called Dave at work. He didn't answer his cell, and I never call the actual clinic unless it's something serious. I felt that this qualified. When the receptionist answered, I was already crying. Dave immediately left work to come home and help. I hung up with him, and called the inevitable. I have never in my life called 911, until today. The woman who answered was helpful, trying to keep me calm, instructing me to search obscure-never-thought-of places, and to keep calling out for him. The neighbors all got involved (I had started there first) They were fanning out around the area, down to the park. Neighbors I had never even met had joined the search. My greatest fear was that he had somehow been snatched. It seemed so unlikely on our quiet street, but anything is possible. I NEVER really allow my mind to venture into what it would be like if I never saw my children again...for any reason...but today I was forced there. My prayers were desperate and simple, "Jesus, please no!"

At one point, while on the phone, I thought I had heard a noise...I kept calling and calling for Noah, hoping that he would respond, when he didn't, I decided it must have been the dog.

The first officer showed up within 5 minutes of my call. I walked him inside to get a picture of Noah. As we walked in, I heard the sound again, but it was more directional. I walked over to the couch, and sure enough buried deep in the cushions and covered with pillows was a sweaty Noah. His shirt and shorts matched the couch and so therefore I didn't see him. I have no idea if he fell asleep or why he didn't answer my dozens of cries of his name, but for whatever reason he didn't. He came out smiling though. To this moment, I have no idea why I walked by the couch 15 times without shifting the pillows.

My relief was so incredible. I kept thinking the whole time...anything God, but the pond or him being snatched. Let it all be a mistake. The officer called Dave quickly to let him know and then we started letting the neighbors know. I just kept crying with utter relief. I have never been so scared in my entire life. The whole ordeal had lasted somewhere between 20-30 minutes (it certainly felt longer though).

Dave came home shortly after and he had called his mom and our pastors (who had jumped in the car and were on their way over to the house) to pray. He was able to let everyone know that all was well.

I sat down with Noah, crying, trying to let him know that he needs to always answer mommy and daddy when we call. We were so scared that something had happened to him and we didn't want him to be hurt. It finally got through to him the severity of what happened (mostly due to my uncontrollable tears and hugging). When Dave came home, and held him, he really started to cry. We all worked through it and eventually calmed down.

So, here are my thoughts at the end of all this: Thank you Jesus...that Noah was OK, that He answered my desperate cries for help. Thank you God for all the neighbors, law officers, and everyone else who supported us through searching and prayer. (Many of the neighbors admitted to praying hard as they searched as did Dave's mom who grabbed a few friends in the middle of a school institution and prayed until they heard something) There were a total of 5 cop cars that came through to assist us. It makes me very appreciative of our local law enforcement and it makes me feel more secure in our town. I felt the support of everyone so acutely.

I just want to hold my kids a little closer and hug them just a little tighter. They are so incredibly precious to me. I have always known that...but it becomes more realized in times like today. Those moments where you finally allow yourself to wonder about what if. Thank you Jesus that you had Noah in your hands the whole time. Thank you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The sickness plague

Well, I still have no idea what kind of bug my kids had, but it hit Noah hard last night. He was still in a fine mood when he went to bed. Not lethargic, but still running about a 101.5 degree fever. About 11, he came into my room scared and just wanted to stay with me. Here's the deal...when Dave's gone...I can be a little soft. Only because it happens ever so rarely. It ended up being a good thing that he was close by. At 2am...Callie woke up screaming bloody murder. I shot out of bed to see what was up with her. She was now running a fever (about 101). So, I gave her tylenol and rocked her for a little bit, then laid her back down.

As I was climbing back into bed, I decided to check Noah again...who at this point was BURNING up and sweating. His temp was 103.5. I actually decided to call Dave, who I figured was still up at work...just to let him know. I gave him Ibuprofen and started praying over him. It was awful. He was mumbling that a lion was outside and was trying to get him. He had the cover over his face to hide from it. There was nothing I could do to convince him to take the cover away. He wasn't making much sense except that he was convinced there was a lion and he was shaking a little bit. Oh my gosh, my heart broke for him. This was about 2:30-2:45. I laid in bed, but was hesitant to fall asleep with him doing so bad. So, I just kept laying my hand on his forehead and praying for him. Finally, I took his temp again and it registered 104.4. I called Dave again and we talked about maybe going to the ER. However, just like that, I took it again, and it was 100.1. It just kept going down right before my eyes. So, God was faithful and let it break within 20-30 minutes of us praying. Dave said that he was praying really hard right before I called him the second time.

After that, he slept peacefully...and is still sleeping now. In fact, it's 8:45 and now Dave is home and joined him to rest for a little bit. Oh, I think Noah's up now. I just heard the door open. (Pause). He seems to be doing well this morning, although his pajamas were still damp. We changed his clothes and he was telling me about the dinosaur and the lion that were coming to get him last night, and he had to hide, but they aren't here anymore. Poor kid.

Callie is still running a fever, but is acting OK. I don't know what's going on in their little bodies.

On another note: Noah is doing fantastic with behavior lately. He's had 3.5 sticker days in a row (listening to mommy and daddy without throwing a fit). He's even gone a few days without even a time-out. He get's rewarded every 3 stickers (so about a day and a half). I think he really likes earning a toy and so things are good. I think it's partially that, and partially God working in MY heart as I parent him that is making the difference. I feel more like a happy mommy than a stressed frustrated mommy and that seems to make a difference as well.

So, today, I just pray that God continues to heal my kids. We have nothing really planned, so we can take it easy this morning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Callie has been fussy all day. Yet, it's Noah whose been in good spirits that's running the 102 degree fever. Weird. We asked if he felt OK. He replied, "I'm fine. See, I'm smiling!" OK...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sara P for a visit

My old college roommate popped in this morning on her way to a roadtrip to Graceland. If you knew her, you'd understand. :-) It was great seeing her as she now lives in MN and we only see each other about once a year. The kids were super well-behaved this morning and it has actually turned out to be a really good day. Noah especially has been very good today. He's super creative today and is currently making a bed for his dog and a tent.

It was great to see Sara and her friend. It went by fast, but it was so nice to see her. It's as if we could just pick up where we left off. Like we lived 20 minutes apart instead of 12 hours.

In other news. I'm still waiting for the rain that they say is coming. So far, no dice. I love rainstorms...especially if it will hopefully cool off this heat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Tony is doing a sermon series on Parenting...and I am loving it, and learning a lot. By far, parenting is the most daunting and the hardest thing I have done in my life. Yet, the benefits far outweigh anything one could call "hardship". Watching my kids laugh, play, pray, learn, and grow are the most magnificent times in my life. There is nothing sweeter. However, it IS daunting. The thoughts that run through my mind at different times: How do I get through to them? How do I make them listen? What's appropriate discipline for EACH individual infraction? How do you get through to your kid at every stage of their life? How do you teach them about stranger danger and to be SO careful with everything (Internet especially)? How do I show them Jesus in a way that they can understand? How do you get them from the terrible three's ( or insert age here) into a child who respects authority?

These are just the broader thoughts. Under each are a million questions that I ask on a daily basis. I'm sure the questions will change at each stage that I am in. The point is, there is a lot to think about as a parent...and a lot to consider.

Tony has talked the last two weeks about Saturating and Cultivating. I find it so interesting because as I am applying it to my life, I am noticing real changes in my own mindset (the behavior of my kids hasn't changed...much). The idea of Saturating is to fill your life up with Jesus. To love God with all your heart. As you do so, incorporate Him into all aspects of your life. Your kids will naturally see this and take interest. The second part is to cultivate a life in our children that honors Jesus. It was a good sermon and the past week or so has really been good for Noah and I. We are reading the bible more together, we are talking about Jesus more, and I'm beginning to use discipline as a learning time. All things that I've done in the past, but not with much consistency. I'm nowhere near perfect, and I still have a lot to learn...but the last week is teaching me a lot about what it means to incorporate Jesus into every aspect of our lives.

God continues to speak to me on the area of parenting...and I'm so glad. I am realizing how utterly dependent I am on Him to raise my kids well. I will screw them up. Of that I am sure. However, if we can keep the screw-ups to a minimum, that would be fantastic (and probably a miracle).

It seems everyone has opinions on parenting. Myself included (yes, I was pretty opinionated before having kids. I thought I knew it all). Here's the thing that I am learning through this. We all are doing the best we can. Learning from one another is good. Trying new things is good. Taking advice here and there is good. Living our lives for Jesus and seeking Him out for our source of strength as a best.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monkey business at a wedding we were recently at:

Living the Good life

Ok, so call me a liar, but I don't think I'm going to post pics of the second half of our vacation. Suffice it to say, we went to Great Wolf Lodge at Wisconsin Dells and had a blast. We were all water-logged every night, but had a great time during the day.

In other news, things here are going really well. Dave and I (along with some others) painted the front half of the Animal Emergency Clinic on Tuesday. So, if you have an animal who needs emergency assistance, at least you will feel as if you are walking into a warmer atmosphere than utilitarian white. It's looking really good and we are heading back on Friday to finish the job. It's hard work, but it's really going to look nice in the end.

Dave and I are doing great. In every marriage, there are ebbs and flows. I'm thankful that we are currently in a very nice flow. It's sweet and fun, and there's lots of laughter and joy.

Noah still has his moments. The chart is working to a certain extent. Perhaps what's working more is Tony's sermon series on parenting that he began this last week. It's changing MY heart, and I think that's the first (and biggest) step. We are still facing challenges (mostly a resistance to time-out), but we are all learning. In the interim times, he's really a sweet sweet boy...and lot's of fun.

So, in general, life is good.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Well, the summer cold finally hit me. It started last night and I still feel kind of out of it today. But, since I can't really piece together a coherent thought, I have a bunch of randoms:

1) Dave came home the other day with a beautiful bouquet of Gerbera daisies (my fav) AND a really sweet card. I have a great husband.

2) The positive reinforcement is going so-so. He did get a prize (finally), but it took awhile. Like every plan, we might need to revise a bit.

3) Noahisms: He calls walkie-talkies "talkie-talkies". He also likes to eat truckey sandwiches. :-)

4) As fun as the month of July was, it's nice to have a week of "normalcy". I got to hang out with a lot of ladies this last week, and that's always fun for me.

5) What's up with the stinkin hot weather? I'm ready for fall.

6) God continues to astound me, and my faith continues to grow as I watch Him do incredible things in people.

7) If you see Dave's mom tomorrow (Sunday), wish her a Happy Birthday.

That's all I got.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's coming. It's coming...

I realize that I need to post pics and notes from the second half of vacation...I'll get to it...eventually. I just got back yesterday from 2.5 days back in Illinois. Mom Y. watched my kiddos so that I could help out my dad (with his recent hip replacement). It was nice to be able to serve my dad in that way. I honestly enjoyed it. He's making decent progress, and was up and about with a walker many times while I was there. It was nice to be able to just sit and converse with him too. He was even able to articulate his needs without whining. :-)

We've started a new incentive program with Noah to improve some of his behavior stuff. The first day has gone remarkably well-no time outs at all today. The target goal is to listen to mommy and daddy without throwing a fit. He seems to respond well to good motivation (although, it's only day 1-so time will tell). He get's rewarded twice a day with a sticker (good morning/good evening). After 5 stickers, he can pick a new toy from the prize box (Thank you Dollar Tree). I'm getting so tired of reacting, and so now I am trying something pro-active instead.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy you might have to wait on the vacation update (part 2) a little longer.