February 29, 2008

I am the Lord's Army?

Timothy is really into the song "I'm in the Lord's Army" right now. He's singing it all the time. I sang "Soar o'er the enemy" to which he corrected me, "Mom, it's ZOOM." Okay, so I'm old. Anyway, the funniest part of the song is that at the chorus he belts out, "I AM THE LORD'S ARMY. YES, SIR!" And all I can think of is how many times I've acted like I AM the Lord's army and not just in it! Oh, I love that boy of mine.

February 23, 2008

Here's a little something about me!

On the whole I'm not a very obsessive person. Dirty clothes, dishes, and toys really need to bother me more than they do. I do think better when everything is put in its place, my pantry is in order, and I don't have to think about what I'm going to wear the next day, so you think I would be better about it than I am. Having said that, there are some things that can drive me a little nutso. The most recent is my last post. For some reason the way it linked to the typing speedtest, it cuts off the very bottom of the numbers. Why does it do that!!! One of the reasons I picked blogger over xanga was that I feel like blogger is so much "cleaner" looking (plus no random ads that you don't agree to). It makes me not even want to come to my own blog!! I don't have anything to write about, so I wrote this entire post just so the speed test wouldn't be the first thing I see. I'll probably delete it altogether eventually, but this will work for now. Thanks for letting me share my insanity!

February 22, 2008

Speedtest

I found this on a Xandra's blog tonight, and I couldn't help but do it!!! I was wondering if those 2 years of high school typing paid off at all. I know there's no way I won't sound arrogant, so on top of my typing speed I'll add that I was 100% accurate. Even more arragoance: I did this on our laptop, which I think is harder than a regular keyboard. I'm surprised they don't build that into the score, but you'll see it at the results if you take the test yourself. And yes, please comment about how much you beat me!!!


73 words

Speedtest

February 21, 2008

Romans 7 Paraphrase?

Since I've gotten my new computer, Timothy is convinced the old computer (with an even older CRT monitor) was a new present to him. We also put this really bad mouse and keyboard with it that I think we'll change out eventually, but we're in no hurry. Anyway, Dan and I use that computer every once in a while, but enough that we need the mouse pad on there because we can barely get the mouse to work without a mouse pad. Timothy is not used to a mouse pad because we didn't need one before this cheapo mouse. For several days I noticed the mouse pad on the floor when I would pass, and I couldn't understand why. I thought maybe it was falling off (big mouse pad, little keyboard tray) until I saw Timothy THROW it on the ground when he started to play on the computer one day. I calmly explained that it was fine for him not to use the mouse pad (although Dan and I seriously don't know how he gets it to work), but instead of throwing it on the floor he should just gently put it up on the desk.

I think I may have seen him try this new behavior once (don't know if he did it other times). Then I walked in yesterday and he was playing at the computer with the mouse pad on the floor beside his chair. I calmly (which is a miracle, you know) said, "Timothy, the mouse pad is on the floor." First he said, "Oops. Sorry!" Then as he bent down to pick it up, he thought out loud, "I just keep wanting to throw that down, and I'm not SUPPOSED to throw it down!"

There are SO many things that I keep on doing that I am definitely not supposed to be doing-I really identified with my precious son. And through my internal laughter, all I could hear was the Apostle Paul saying, "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15

February 20, 2008

What is your dream in life?

I can swallow w/o pain, and I'm only wiping Sam's nose every hour, so I think we're on the mend.

Dan is reading a book about dreams/hearts' desires. Monday night he told me the part he was reading was saying that even though we have little dreams here and there, if we thought about it for a while there is probably one central dream that we have through our lives. These little dreams are probably outgrowths of the big dream. Then he asked me what my dream is. I knew immediately. What I want to do is encourage/teach/lead women on a regular basis, either as a small group, SS class, anything! So, then he asked me what obstacles were preventing me. That was painful to sort through, as some items are more "insecurity" than "obstacle". Probably the biggest obstacle in my mind is that I often have 1 sick child, which prevents me from committing to something on a weekly basis. Dan agreed this is a challenge (combined with the fact that he is gone almost every Mon-Fri), so we prayed about it. I went to bed asking God to show me creative ways to love on women that I can do whether my kids are sick or not!

Yesterday I got an email from the leader of the MOPS I go to. Little background: I LOVE my MOPS group. I only have had 1 other experience, and I think the fact that it only met once a month made it not super successful. This group meets weekly, has great speakers, and has a military moms table. This was such a blessing because I never seem to meet Christiam military wives. Until I went to this MOPS, I had 1 friend who was both a military spouse and a believer. I met her from church, so it's just coincidental that her husband is Navy. So even though I have met several people at MOPS who aren't military, it really helps to sit around and discuss what we all know we go through, with the added perspective of eternity.

This semester we've had this huge explosion in military moms. We were already the largest table with about 10, and I think we've almost doubled! We had to combine 2 round tables last time, and that was awkward! So Kelley called me because of this new dilemma. The leadership feels the need for 2 military tables, and she wanted me to pray about being table leader. How cool is that-just the morning after the night Dan & I had this conversation.

I told her I didn't need to wait because I had already asked God for the opportunity. I shared with her my whole conversation with Dan, and even my concern about my sickies. She wasn't worried about that at all and was on the look out for a Mentor Mom for our table anyway who could fill in when I'm not there. What's great about this too is it's so easy-I just lead the discussion questions that have already been printed and yet I'll get to more directly talk to each lady. Thank you, Lord! And I'm going to keep praying for more opportunities!

If you have a dream, please comment about it. What is it? What are your obstacles? Were you able to accomplish it more easily when you weren't a mom? If you have more than one dream, please share!! You can even post "anonymous" if you don't want to give your identity or write me privately. I would love to hear about!

February 17, 2008

And the sickness continues and morphs!

Dan is officially sick with the same throat thing I have-he's about 2 days behind me. Last night I crawled into bed fevery and miserable. I took TheraFlu caplets which I think really helped me because I woke up with less congestion than I've had, but they haven't seemed to do anything today. I also woke up with another infection, so I've been drinking cranberry juice all day. This is only the 2nd one I've ever had my whole life (and since I was 6 for the first one, I don't remember what it feels like!) Thankfully, my medical clinic has walk-in testing on Sundays. I already have some antibiotics, and a throat culture tested negative.

February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day




I know you're thinking, "how many valentine's posts can you write?" One more, and I'll be all done! I have often associated holidays with food, and I'm slowly changing that mind set. I did make a valentine's cake last Sun (I had guests to help eat it), but when it came to gifts for the kids I stuck to non-food. They each got their own take along Doodle-Pro (which I had been planning for quite a while as they are both really into drawing all the sudden), and they each got a book that talks about love. I got them both on clearance at my grocery store, but they're cute. Timothy's book is entitled I Love You, Too and is all about the animal "child" giving a gift to his animal "momma". Samantha's is All the Ways I love You. It's a pop up book with phrases like, "Baby Giraffe asks Mama, 'Do you love me a lot?' And his mama answers, 'I love your every last spot!'"

I had wrapped these gifts (Doodle-Pro & book in same wrap) & Dan's on Tues and set them up on the bookcase for the kids to see. Timothy, of course, was thrilled and said, "A present for ME?" Yes, he is the center of the universe. He was told very explicitly that we would open presents Thursday night when Daddy got home from work. Timothy made my day Thurs morning when he was analyzing the gifts again and came to a startling discovery. "Mom, there's no present for you. What are we going to do?" I told him Daddy had my present at work and he would bring it home. He breathlessly said, "Okay".

So Dan came home with roses and my long awaited present. It is truly the most thoughtful thing he could have ever come up with. For those of you who have known me for a long time, I have worn a ring on my right ring finger for many years. I wore it on my left hand when I was single. It is my grandmother's wedding band. Sometime a while back (I can't even remember how long now), the band broke in two. It meant so much to me that I kept wearing it even though it pinched me over and over. Last June we took it to a jeweler to find out how much it would cost to basically "weld" the pieces together, and the price was crazy! In Nov or Dec I scratched Samantha with it and knew I wouldn't be able to wear it until it was fixed. Without my knowing, Dan stole it and had it fixed. He even had a couple of the tiny diamonds (it has 7 little diamonds across the top) replaced. They had fallen out, but we couldn't even tell! This ring already had so much signficance to me, but with everything my grandmother has been through this year it is especially awesome that this was Dan's gift to me. Forgive me, but I tried and tried to get a decent picture of the ring, and it just won't come out.

Dan also handed Timothy 2 roses to "give" to Samantha. He was quite the gentleman about it, while Sam proceeded to crash them into eachother. Then she tried to put them together like a puzzle, as the picture shows.

Valentine's Day School Party

Most of these pictures are from Timothy's school party. Out of 19 children, there are only 3 girls in his whole class! All 4 yr olds tend to be interested in babies (i.e. Samantha), but because of the ratio in this class, the picture below only shows the boys doing it this particular time. She usually screams bloody murder if 1 child even says hi, so I was amazed at how well she did at the party. I heard her even telling her name when asked. Huge improvement! In the last picture she is chowing down on watermelon. She has a new "sucking" technique to food that's quite funny.










Valentine's Day Weather

Our beautiful city of San Diego was a torrential downpour yesterday. And it was that bone-chilling kind of rain. It climbed over 50 for a little bit, but most of the day is was much colder and damp. I don't think I got a picture of Sam in her winter coat all winter (she did use it a couple of days), so yay I got it yesterday!!! And since most of you checking this blog live in places that have real winters, just understand that I count anything 45 or below freezing!

Thirsty for God

Psalm 42:1-2 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God?"

I'm sharing my own thoughts instead of my devotional's. This verse struck me from the very first phrase. I haven't been near any deer, but I've been around a dog when it's panting. They sound like they're going to die!!! You can hear the desperation for water. I hadn't ever thought of that before. Does my soul long like that? No. Oh, but I want it to. I want Him to be who I'm desperate for. And then I love that question in verse 2. "Where can I go and meet with God?" I find myself often asking, "where can I go to get away from my kids," but it's usually because I want to get away from them and not run TO my God. That's where I am-praying for a thirst.

The God who stays close

Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

I've always loved this verse! It came up in my devotional this week, and I've just been reminded how precious and close my Savior is.

Many people are convinced that when they are brokenhearted, when they grieve deeply over their losses, God is displeased. God is seen as a person who expects us to be happy even in the face of trauma and loss. He is someone who asks us to "snap out of it" and "cheer up." As a result, we anticipate rejection rather than compassion.

How surprising it is to hear that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted! He does not expect cheerfulness. He does not reject us. He is compassionate and responsive. He is close-not far away.

In some families, expressing difficult emotions may have been met with rejection. It is this kind of emotional distance that we now expect from God. It is not always easy to trust God to be close to us when we are brokenhearted. And it is not always easy to allow ourselves the vulnerability of such closeness. But God is eager to heal us, to restore us and to save us when our spirits are crushed.
How awesome!!!

Restoring our dignity

Psalm 31:1 "In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness."

Shame is one of the most malignant and controlling emotions we can experience. Shame can lead us to believe that what and who we are is wrong. Shame steals our dignity and our personhood. We never learn the difference between what we do and who we are. If what we do is all that is bad or wrong, we still have our personhood, and we can work to change our behavior. But if who we are is bad, we have little hope. Only God can restore our lost sense of dignity. The process begins when we can see that he truly wants to help us. The more aware we become of his desire to be close to us, the less shame we feel. Shame is healed as we continue to come to him, as we are, and experience his unconditional acceptance.

I'm sick AND sick of sickness!

I can't believe I haven't posted since Sunday. I have V-day pics to share, but there are several other little things I've wanted to post this week so I'll do that first. Samantha's nose is still running like a faucet, and it's really getting old and disgusting. Benadryl isn't working. I'll be trying some other things in the next few days. Then there's me...

Sunday morning I dropped a drinking glass upside down on my big toe and the one next to it (what's it called?) I might as well have dropped a small brick because it turned black and green and hurt like the dickens. It only took a few days to feel better. Monday night I came down with pink eye. Um, random. I don't know anyone who has it, so I think I got it from Sam's cold, and I just keep praying that the kids don't get it. Dan went to CVS Mon night and got some really good anti-itch drops for me, which at least has made me not feel the need to touch it or rub it. I've been on antibiotics for 2 days now. Then yesterday I started coming down with what I think is possibly a sinus infection/throat thing. Every member of my small family has been sick over the last 3 months (as well as all of San Diego), so the fact that I've avoided it for this long is amazing. But I wanted to avoid it altogether!!! Can you hear the temper tantrum? And this is nothing compared to what everyone else I know has had. I'm just sick, so I'm whining.

February 10, 2008

His name is Boz, spelled B-O-Z!

Two years ago, my friend Christi told me about this lovable green bear. I would say he is the animated and Christian version of Barney. Samantha LOVES Boz. Yesterday, she even asked to watch Boz BEFORE she asked for food-and you don't get in the way of this girl and her food when she wakes up in the morning. I think she would watch Boz 20 times in a row if I let her. I've heard of kids having that one video that they watch over and over, but since Timothy didn't do that I never experienced it firsthand. I went to the Boz website to find a picture to place at the top of my post, and I discovered the "church and school resources" link. You can get dowloadable activities and lesson plans that go along with the dvds if you click HERE. Enjoy!

February 8, 2008

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF)

For those reading this who may not know, our daughter, Samantha, has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), which can be described as:

an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

1) clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
2) obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.


In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

The mission of the foundation is to "assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease." I had a cousin who died of CF as an infant, but because of amazing work forged by the foundation, Samantha's median life expectancy is 37, and we expect that to increase every year!

Samantha has been relatively healthy. We feel extremely fortunate, and I find myself at times forgetting she has the disease. I've spoken with other CF moms who have experienced the same thing. Our children look and sound healthy for long periods of time, but when the lungs start filling up, it brings us back to reality quickly. This is a serious disease, and every lung infection has lasting consequences on our loved one's long-term prognosis.

Dan and I have decided that because Samantha is healthy, we have a great opportunity to educate ourselves before future decisions about her treatment have to be made. When she was first diagnosed, we were suddenly told all these things we must do for her well-being, and we knew nothing but that our lives had just been turned upside down. Samantha's birthday is Dec 8th, so we have decided that the 8th of every month we are going to spend extra time learning about CF. At this same time each month, I will write about things the foundation is promoting, new treatments in CF, or how Sam is doing. We may be seeing some changes in Sam's daily routine in the next couple of months, and I'll keep you "posted" (no pun intended)!

February 7, 2008

Conversations with a 4-year old Sports Nut...

Timothy: Alright, I made a JUMP DUNK!
Mom: Way to make a slam dunk! (inserting "correct" word)
Timothy: No, no, no, it was a JUMP dunk.
Mom: Oh REALLY? Teach mommy the difference.
Timothy: A slam dunk is when you stand on the ground, but a JUMP dunk is when you are JUMP-ING.

If it weren't so inaccurate, it would sound logical!

February 5, 2008

Psalm 13

Last Friday I was telling some friends about unwanted thoughts that circle in my head. Isn't that annoying? I feel plagued sometimes. I thought outloud, "How long will this go on?" My devotional today was Psalm 13:2 and was precious to read this morning. Here's the entire Psalm. God is so good...

1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?


2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

February 4, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

I grew up in Dallas, which means I am a Cowboy fan. Their chaplain at the time was a member of my church, I graduated from high school in Texas Stadium, and I even attended a PTA meeting with Norv Turner (his kids and my brother went to the same elementary school). I am a Cowboy fan whether they are winning or losing. Then I married a guy from Kansas...

No, I didn't stop being a Cowboy fan, but I entered a new phase that I like to describe as becoming a true fan of football. I always liked the sport, but never really thought about studying the game with no concern about the outcome. It was kind of freeing! So since I was living in San Diego at the time (a team Dan was very familiar with as an arch rival of the Chiefs), it was easy for me to become a fan. Even now I am really only a "fan" of those 2 teams. If I'm ever lucky enough to see the Cowboys & Chargers in the Super Bowl (maybe Super Bowl XLIII?) then I would have to root for the Cowboys. They are my heart-team, despite Jerry Jones being the owner.

In the true spirit of "experiencing each moment", I would be remiss if I didn't blog what I was doing today: watching ESPN. I only watched about 30 minutes this morning, but as soon as Timothy went to school and Sam went down for nap, I've watched it all afternoon. To lessen my guilt, I folded 4 loads of laundry, but I would have watched even if the laundry wasn't there to do. I LOVE post-game coverage, and what a game this was!!!

I went into the game rooting for the Patriots. Hello, the Giants knocked the Cowboys out of contention. Then they went on to beat the Packers, and even though I grew up hating them, I have a great deal of respect for Favre. I love guys that have played in the league for years and years, which is why I love Jr. Seau who is formerly with the Chargers. I had hoped the Patriots would be his ticket to Super Bowl victory.

I hate to admit it, but the Giants won me over in that opening drive. It's great to see Eli Manning playing tough football without the whiny face. Then the defensive line was just unstoppable. Back to back sacks on Brady? What in the world? How did they do it??? Oh, and then that pass to Tyree-both the pass and the catch!!! That's the kind of play that should be in a Super Bowl. That is the coolest play I've ever seen!!!!!!!!!!! So even though the Patriots are undoubtedly a better team than the Giants, they played an inferior game. And I always think a team that dominates a game should be the one to win it. I congratulate New York...

but hope Dallas destroys them next year!

Tiger Cruise on USS Antietam

Many ships have a "Tiger Cruise" on the way back from deployment. This is where family members get to travel on the ship. My father-in-law accompanied Dan on the last leg of his deployment from Hawaii to San Diego. They just found this article in a Michigan paper (I don't know how), and since there is an actual picture of Luther shooting a gun, I thought I would post it. The article is here.

February 2, 2008

Samantha and Gymventures (It's over-yay!)


Timothy & Teeball

FIRST, WE HAVE TO WARM UP...
YOU HAVE TO LOOK CLOSE, BUT HIS BALL IS STILL IN THE AIR

February 1, 2008

"This Thing Is From Me"

Both of these challenges ("no expectations" & "encouraging every day") have been extremely difficult. I'm thinking, "Seriously, do I really talk to Dan like that all the time?" I've caught myself on more than one occasion (I'm on day 4) being snippy. On top of that, I'm recognizing my expectations-not necessarily for V-day, but just daily things. A friend of mine emailed me the following devotional this morning, and it is AWESOME and speaks directly to this issue of expectations of any kind. You will not regret taking the time to read this:

Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert
Scripture Reference:
1 Kings 12:24-24
Title: This Thing is From Me

"This thing is from me" (1 Kings 12:24).
"Life's disappointments are veiled love's appointments." --Rev. C. A. Fox

My child, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the rough places upon which you may have to tread. It is short, only five words, but let them sink into your inmost soul; use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head. This thing is from Me.

Have you ever thought of it, that all that concerns you concerns Me too? For, "he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye" (Zech. 2:8). You are very precious in My sight. (Isa. 43:4) Therefore, it is My special delight to educate you.

I would have you learn when temptations assail you, and the "enemy comes in like a flood," that this thing is from Me, that your weakness needs My might, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who never consult your taste, who put you in the background? This thing is from Me. I am the God of circumstances. Thou camest not to thy place by accident, it is the very place God meant for thee.

Have you not asked to be made humble? See then, I have placed you in the very school where this lesson is taught; your surroundings and companions are only working out My will.

Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This thing is from Me, for I am your purse-bearer and would have you draw from and depend upon Me. My supplies are limitless (Phil.4:19). I would have you prove my promises. Let it not be said of you, "In this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God" (Deut. 1:32).

Are you passing through a night of sorrow? This thing is from Me. I am the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. I have let earthly comforters fail you, that by turning to Me you may obtain everlasting consolation (2 Thess. 2:16, 17). Have you longed to do some great work for Me and instead have been laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention in your busy days and I want to teach you some of my deepest lessons.

"They also serve who only stand and wait." Some of My greatest workers are those shut out from active service, that they may learn to wield the weapon of all--prayer.

This day I place in your hand this pot of holy oil. Make use of it free, my child. Let every circumstance that arises, every word that pains you, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your weakness be anointed with it. The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things. --Laura A. Barter Snow

"'This is from Me,' the Saviour said,
As bending low He kissed my brow,
'For One who loves you thus has led.
Just rest in Me, be patient now,
Your Father knows you have need of this,
Tho', why perchance you cannot see.
Grieve not for things you've seemed to miss.
The thing I send is best for thee.'

"Then, looking through my tears, I plead,
'Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know,
'Twill not be hard since Thou dost tread,
Each path before me here below.
And for my good this thing must be,
His grace sufficient for each test.
So still I'll sing, "Whatever be
God's way for me is always best."'"

Naming My Computer

Stephanie asked me if I had named my computer yet, and I'm thinking it would be fun to get everyone's ideas. When I was in college (actually the year I met Steph), I was an R.A. I put up a sign for people to write something that R.A. stood for before besides "Resident Assistant". I know I want my computer's name to start with the letter "B", and I guess gender will be decided by which names we all come up with. Please play along!

P.S. Someone from San Antonio already found my blog by googling this computer-specifics work!