Friday, February 25, 2011

Go Texan Day 2011 - the tradition continues

Go Texan Day is here again.  This was one of my most favorite days every year as a kid.  Each February, as Go Texan Day arrives, announcing the arrival of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo...all children (and some adults...not to name names) turn into cowboys and cowgirls.  The boots, hats, denim, and belt buckles make an appearance, and girls and boys go to school transformed into barrel racers and bull riders.


Go Texan or Go Home!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

wednesdays with beth

i am in a women's bible study that meets at a lovely lady's house on wednesday evenings, after the sun has gone down and the babes are on their way down.  this is generally the only time i leave the loves with their father in the evenings in order to go feed my soul.  although i love this does my soul, i still hate saying goodnight to them, all snug in their jammies, knowing that i am missing stories and smooches, and that they will be long asleep by the time i come home.  however, i think that it is good for everyone that chad take over these mundane, yet magnificent activities for an evening.  after seeing my mug all afternoon (for the 3 oldest) and all day (for the littlest)...they are always ready to welcome the scruffy bearded mug of their daddy.  it's a win-win.

back to my bible study.  i hesitate to even call it a bible study.  that just don't know...common.  at least, common in the world of church people.  the term "bible study" has potentially lost it's punch, as often, people don't actually study the bible at all.  more, they are studying self helpy kinds of books or some packet of information designed to increase awareness on a certain topic.  all this is fine, and all.  truly.  it is.  don't get your tinsel in a tangle.  we all learn a lot and it's great.  i digress.  all of that to say, that i am very refreshed to be in a bible study that is cracking open the actual bible.  i don't know if you have heard of beth moore, but i 100 percent recommend any of her bible studies.  right now, we are watching a dvd called, wednesdays with beth.  we have only watched 2, and both were very meaty and basically spoon fed me the word of God, which i was actually very, very hungry for.  when you don't eat, you stop feeling hungry after a while.  often, it is not until you smell or taste the food that you realize that you are, indeed, starving to death.  isn't that just like the enemy? 

take aways: (in my own words)

week 1

- if being a Jesus follower is the narrow road, then being a relevant christian is walking a tight rope.  you fall to one side, and you fall into carnality.  who hasn't done this?  the world gets all over you.  it's ugly.  trust me...i know.  you fall to the other, and you fall into hyperchristianity.  both have the same result.  you lose any chance of influencing people to chose to follow Jesus.
- life is hard anyway.  i might as well chose to effectively walk the tight rope.  make hard matter.  make it count.  make it have purpose.
- God has carefully thought out his plan and purpose for our lives.  the enemy is carefully thinking out his plan to destroy us.
- God's purpose always exceeds the pain.  (in terms of trials)

week 2 (studying the story of leah/rachel and jacob)

- both of these women wanted what the other had.  isn't that so relevant for us today?  we want what we do not have.
- what is it that i feel like i lack?  rachel says to jacob, "if you don't give me children, i will die."  isn't that just like us?  we look to other people to give us what we want.  what is it that i am desperate for?  what or who am i making responsible for my happiness?  because that is where the war is.  make no mistake that the enemy is watching very carefully over our chief desires. 
- desire eventually turns into desperation.  desperation does not make good decisions.
- ask God to fill up every broken and empty space in my life with himself before making decisions.
- many woman report feeling that their worth goes up when they are carrying a child.  people treat them more importantly because they are carrying another life.  they offer them their seats, they offer them a hand when going down stairs, etc.  WE ARE HOUSING THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST!!!  AND WE WONDER WHERE OUR SIGNIFICANCE IS????
- fill in the blank:  surely______________will love me now.  (leah has 3 sons...thinking that she will win jacob's love that way.)  who's love am i desperate for?  what can i do to make that person love me?  this leads to oppression/trap/stronghold.
- every woman turns into a leah.  there is aways someone prettier, funnier, smarter than rachel.
- God's approval is a whole lot easier to get than man's.
- scars don't still hurt.  if something touches you in a place and it still hurts-then it is still a wound.  let God heal you.  don't let it get infected.
- we do STUPID stuff in our time of desperation and rejection.  (um...AMEN!!)  God can heal those wounds.  God gives us our dignity back. (Praise Him.)
- Often we move on to think...if i can't get them to love me, then i will get them to need me.  GOD SAYS I HAVE MORE VALUE THAN THAT!!!!!  geeeeesh.
- do not make decisions based on rejection!!
- specifically regarding loveless marriages, etc...God can create love out of nothing. (this is in no reference to you, case you are reading this.)  :) 
- desperation can turn into obsession. and vise-versa.
- obsession=stronghold
2 cor 10:5  (anything that turns into obsessive thinking is a stronghold. praise god he can heal our hearts and minds.)
- when obsession turns into desperation, you start feeling like you are the one person on earth that God can't help/heal.  sound familiar?
- be desperate for Jesus to make you healthy and complete in him.

thank you God for making me hungry again.  and thank you for feeding me.  help me to not let the enemy convince me that i don't need or want food.  protect my heart, mind, soul.  (and stomach, while you're at it.)  i love you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

after all...everyone has a last name, of course

Chase:  "I know what God's last name is."

Chad:  "You do?"

Chase:  "Yep.  I do."

Chad:  "What is it?"

Chase:  "Almighty.  I know it.  I heard it in that song.  You know?  Holy, Holy, Holy...Lord God I know that's his last name.  God Almighty."

Friday, February 18, 2011

imagination makes me happy

he bounded through the backdoor...clearly hiding something in his coat.  the problem is, his "attempting-to-not-smile" smile (complete with dimples), gives him away every time.  i asked him how scouts was and he happily replied, "good." 

 due to the fact that chad has been in los angeles, california for 2 brother (UK) took chase to cub scouts this past thursday night.  this was very exciting for chase.  not that he doesn't love his daddy and usual scout partner.  he does certainly.  but UK is always that "he-doesn't-have-kids-yet" way...thus providing all the sugar and shenanigans that we old, tired out parents can not tolerate.  so, naturally, after the scout meeting...they needed to go to mcdonald's (a place i would not take them unless it was the last feasible place on earth to find nourishment.  and i would still struggle with it) to get chocolate shakes.  this is where some random guy sold them the frog sun catcher (that's another story) that chase was hiding in his coat.

so, after telling me that scouts was "good," i asked him what he has hiding in his coat.  i'm thinking, "surely they would not send some live animal home with them."  he pulled out the sun catcher and excitedly announced that after scouts, they went to mcdonald's and then to mexico.  he obviously got the sun catcher in mexico.

i questioned, "MEXICO?"  chase responds with, "yeah...mexico."  i asked, "what did you do in mexico.  i mean, besides getting the sun catcher?"  without hesitating he answers, "we saw a war."  i thought, "wow...that was pretty high level thinking for an 8 year old" and instantly felt puffed up with pride at his intellectual response to my question.

then he casually added, "and a leprechaun."

i said, "hmmmmm...a war and a leprechaun, huh?"

"yep," he validated.

then i smiled and thought, "there's my chase."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A letter to a Friend

* this post is to be read as if penned in my best hand-writing; on my finest stationary, while sitting at my antique desk, lit only by lamp; with a steaming cup of tea and the warmest regards in my heart for this dear, dear soul.

Dearest Mrs. A.N.,

     I received your lovely letter in the mail a few weeks ago.  It was such a welcomed surprise and I do appreciate you so.  Please excuse my tardiness in responding.  Oh, how you made me feel truly cared for, respected and unconditionally appreciated with your kind and encouraging words.  Please know that you have restored my waning faith in fellow sojourners and pure hearted prayer.  Thank you, dear one.  
     You told me of a brief meeting that we had years ago and I do appreciate your concerning yourself, appropriately with my wonderful life.  Please take heart that I will never consider you a "lurker" you say.  I only consider you a rare, dear soul...and now, a friend, whom I have the warmest regards for.  Thank you for making yourself known through the kindest of letters, which are all too rare in the world of social networking websites that convert personal sentiments into impersonal, abbreviated text that end up making this woman feel farther away from her sisters in Christ than connected.  After all...we are not needing to be networked, but personally connected.  You are a rare find. 
   Thank you for caring for me and my sweet family and know that I truly care for you as well.  I have hope that we will share more in the future, but until then, brave friend...take care of yourself.  You have built me up, in love and I do hope to do the same for you some day.

With Affection,


Saturday, February 12, 2011

3 down...2 to go

we are knee deep in germs over here.  on thursday morning...colton woke up not wanting to go to school.  he said he "was tired" and "had a headache."  i told him that he'd be fine once he started moving and he was not thrilled with my lack of concern.  around 11:30, i got a call from the school nurse that he was laying down in the nurses office and was complaining of a headache.  she said his temp was 99.8...which was not considered fever and that it was my call on whether she send him back to class or i come get him.  i said that i woulds come get him...because that's not like him at all. 

after we got home, i gave him advil and he layed on the couch the rest of the day.  at 6:00, he said he felt like the room was tilting and that his head hurt really bad.  i felt of him and he felt so hot that i literally ran for the thermometer.  it read 104.4.  i blinked, thinking i had read it wrong...but it read the same.  i got cool rags and grabbed the tylenol and began rubbing him down to get the fever down.  it came down to 102 after about 15 minutes, so he didn't have to get in a cool tub.  then i began profusely apologizing for making him go to school that morning.  the poor darlin must have felt terrible.  his teacher texted me that night to check on him and informed me that the actual flu was going around.  oh no.  BUT...he had the flu vaccine, i kept telling myself.

i set my alarm for it to go off during the night so that i could check him.  he didn't run above 100 all night.  i got the other kids ready for school, and started preparing the stuff for aiden's class' valentine's party.  around 9...colton said his head was hurting again, so i took his temp.  it was 105.  this time, i didn't mess around with the rags.  he went straight in a cool tub and we piggy backed his meds to get it down fast.  he was shivering and his skin was prickly and the water felt like ice on his hot body.  i shuddered for him as i called the doctor to make an appointment. 

i arranged for my mom to come and run aiden's party for me, so that i could stay with colton.  she was a room mom for she could handle this while blind folded and one hand tied behind her back!!    the fever came down to 102 after about 15 minutes in the tub...and the meds brought it down the rest of the way.  when the doctor examined him she said, "this is the flu."  i said, "but he had the flu vaccine."  to which she replied, "unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of flu even with the vaccine."  i said, "my concern is the baby.  she's only 1."  she followed that statement up with the best 16 words that i have heard in a long time..."i will give you meds for her to start now so that she won't get it."  i felt myself let out the breath that i had been holding since the night before when i first heard the word "flu" from colt's teacher.

then...she had him open his mouth.  i believe her exact words were..."WHOA!!!!  THOSE ARE SOME BIG TONSILS!!!!  with a lot of white puss on them.  well...we will swab him for both the flu and strep.  it's one or the other."  i had been praying that it was strep and not the flu.  i figured that would be the best diagnosis for everyone.  we would just have to wait and see.

after about 15 minutes, the doctor knocked on the door and walked in and said, "drum's strep."  i let out the second breath i had been holding and she said, "that's definitely the better of the two." 

we thanked the doctor, and then thanked God. 

i am just starting to get over a nasty cold that i've been in denial about for the last 4 or 5 days.  annslee woke up in the night with a cough and goopy nose.  she has my cold.  i'm waiting for chase and aiden to come down with either the cold or the strep.  i'll take a cold for 2, please.  this morning i told chad's mom, "3 down...2 to go."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

shopping cures everything

it's been busy round here.  chad's mom came in from iowa on thursday, and honey's 90th birthday party was saturday.  we had all kinds of family come in from places like ft. worth, austin, and wisconsin.  i had not seen a lot of them in forever and it was so refreshing to reunite with family.  it started me thinking of who i come from.  you know...instead of where i come from.  it made me wonder why we, so often, ask "where are you from" instead of "who are you from?"  the "who" is definitely more interesting.  saturday night, i went to bed thinking about my family...and their names and stories.  more on that later.

i think i'm feeling a little better.  i went to the ENT on monday, and he ordered an MRI.  i told you that i'd been feeling randomly dizzy for about 4 weeks.  i've been on 2 antibiotics, 1 steroid pack, and 2 different antihistamines.  it has gotten better...but isn't totally gone.  however, neither is the sinus crap.  all that to say, the ENT ordered 2 different MRI and an ENG.  the ENG tests the inner ear and can show inflammation, etc.  the MRI is what they order for anyone who comes in complaining of anything.  seeing as it was going to cost us $921 to hear someone say..."it's sinus"...chad said, "i don't think so."  so i didn't do it.  of course...chad will be to blame if that was the wrong call.  :)

the ENG is scheduled for the 15th...and i have no idea how much that will cost.  i'm thinking...because i am having so much sinus junk, that it is not a coincidence and the natural thing to do is have some chicken soup, drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest, and save the thousands of dollars to have someone tell me, "you have sinus." 

well...truthfully, i'm tired of thinking about it.  so naturally, chad's mom and i are gonna take the baby and hit the mall.  shopping cures everything.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

out of nowhere

The conversation came out of nowhere...and I wasn't prepared.  A little girl from Chase's class (who lives a few doors down) was here.  She and Chase were doing their homework together in the dining room, turned school room.  Aiden was sitting at the table as well...pretending that she was doing homework too.  I was in the kitchen, making dinner and answering the occasional question about their assignment.  I heard the following conversation.

Chase:  "My grandpa died."

Friend:  "The one I know?"

Aiden:  "The one from the nursing home."

Chase:  "Yeah...he died."

Friend:  "When?"

Chase:  "A few days ago."

Aiden:  "No.  It was, like...Christmas.  He fell in the bathroom."

Chase:  "He was my great mom's grandpa.  And he played lots of songs.  Right Aiden?  My favorite song that he played was Tennessee Flat Top Box."

Aiden:  "Yeah.  That was my favorite too."

I listened intently to them telling their friend about him.  I thought I would cry, but I didn't.  I smiled instead.

It's funny what happens...the things that trigger some sort of emotional response.  And you never know what that response will be.  Like the other day, I met my mom and dad for lunch.  We were talking like normal when I saw my dad's face recognize someone.  He got up and went over to a woman who was waiting for her food and began talking to her.  I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I saw his face and could tell that he was fighting back tears when the woman asked how he was doing.  He brought the woman to our table, and introduced her to mom and I.  He said, "This was dad's doctor.  She signed the death certificate."  He told us, in front of her, that he appreciated everything she had done for him.  She said that she was sorry for our loss.  I don't remember what we were talking about before we saw the doctor, but I do know that the rest of our conversation was centered around grandpa.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor.  Again.  I am still feeling dizzy...which is getting beyond irritating.  I had finished a z-pack for a sinus infection and "bulging" ears, and it wasn't any better.  I still felt sinus pressure above my eyes, was having headaches, and was I decided to go see the doctor that my dad and Chad see, instead of going back to the rediclinic.  That meant that I had to answer a ton of new patient questions.  I was sitting on the table and the nurse was asking me everything from when my last period was to if I wear my seat belt.  "Does anyone in your family have heart disease?  Cancer?  Thyroid problems?  Stroke?  High cholesterol?  High blood pressure?"  etc. etc.  etc.  Then, out of nowhere...she says, "How many living grandparents do you have?"

My eyes got hot and wet, and I pretended it was due to the sinus pressure.  I think she thought it was due to all the damn questions.  Again...out of nowhere.  It's strange how that works.