About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kid Funnies

Our normal ride to and from church is a constant listening to Patch the Pirate. While I enjoy the values being taught by the music, sometimes I wonder if we are missing out on conversation opportunities by constantly having the music on. Yesterday Natalie requested no music. I am glad. We had some excellent conversation, but some funnies too.

Natalie was singing Zacheus. In case you have never heard the song, here are the words:

Zacheus was a wee little man
and a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
for the Lord he wanted to see
And as the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree
and He said, Zacheus, you come down
For I'm goin' to your house today.
For I'm goin' to your house today.

After singing the entire song several times and telling us the entire story, Natalie said, "But mommy, why is it a sycamore tree? Because the tree isn't sick, and it can't hold more people?"

A few seconds later, Megan pointed out the window.

"Ball, ball, ball."

We looked, and there, towering above the sky was a beautiful full (or nearly so) moon. Yes baby, a great, big, beautiful ball in the sky.
(The picture is from the Easter Egg Hunt we went to on Saturday.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Things on My Mind

I have a friend from college and also Kansas City who is currently going through a trial that I cannot fathom living through. For a little background, the family took on a foster child at two days old. They sat with the baby through withdrawals and all sorts of things. The child is Megan's age, and just recently she had to be returned to her biological family. It is heartbreaking. I have spent hours in prayer for this family, and it has felt to me that God is not listening. Others have been in prayer for hours for this family, yet the circumstances have not changed. I have questioned God, even though it's not my family. Why would God not answer the prayers of hundreds upon hundreds of people?

I have not come to full conclusions yet, but I wanted to share this link.

Is it crazy that I have been learning through watching someone else's journey? This has caused me to have the desire to really study prayer. Can we realistically change God's mind? God has our plan mapped out, which would imply that he has already determined what will happen in this (and other) situations. So why do we pray? What is the ultimate purpose? These are questions I wish to seek the answer to. Even Jesus Christ himself prayed contrary to God's will in the Garden of Gethsemane ("Let this cup pass from me.") So is the purpose of prayer more for us, or for God, or to conform us to God?

If and when I have the time to study this out and draw some conclusions, I may share them here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Beginning of Understanding

My kids are under the weather, but in spite of their coughs we needed groceries, so yesterday we packed up and headed to the grocery store. Across the street from the grocery store is a small cemetery that has sparked many questions from my new four-year-old. Here was yesterday's conversation:

N: Mommy, are people under those? (Pointing to the headstones)

Mommy: Well, their bodies are under those, but their spirit, which is the part of you that makes you feel happy, sad, and makes you be able to think and talk, is not in the body any more.

N: The bodies stay here and the spirit goes up up up.

Mommy: Yes, if you are a Christian your spirit goes up to Heaven. If you are not, then you go to hell. (upon saying this I regretted it, because I think I need to spend more time in prayer before introducing the subject of hell. Salvation needs to come as a result of understanding sinfulness and Christ's role as redeemer, not because we want to avoid the negative of hell. Thankfully, there was no question about it.)

N: Am I a Christian?

Mommy: The way you become a Christian is by asking Jesus to be your savior. Have you done that?

N: No.

(Long pause)

N: But I'm not a teenager yet.

And that was that. Her logic is quite interesting. Hopefully at some point we can discuss that you don't have to be a teenager to be saved from your sinfulness.
It struck me this morning that I was four-ish when I realized my sin, that I needed a savior, and accepted God's gift of salvation. Now that we are out of the baby stage, it is time for some more focused training for my darling daughter. Her understanding to the gospel gets a little more clear every day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feed Me Books Friday: Megan's Picks

Since my 19-month-old is just starting to get into books (She's very much a go-er, not a reader), I thought I would post two of her favorites for a change. Honestly, I don't like these books as much as others, but reading with your kids is not about what you like but what they like and are attracted to. I prefer books with stories, and these have none, but we read them all of the time.

They are both Priddy books. Megan received them from a good friend for her birthday when she turned one. The first is Big Board Books Colors, ABC, Numbers (Bright Baby)

This book has a theme on each page. The first is ABCs, then there is everyday objects, opposites, things we do each day, places we go, counting, shapes and colors. Like all Priddy books, these have simple photographs set in brigthly colored solid backgrounds, with each image in its own square on the page. She is a slow talker (Natalie was too) and I think she likes this book particularly because a few of the words she does say are in it, and she enjoys pointing and saying "ball" and "woof woof."

The second is Organic Baby Animals (they do not carry it on Amazon)This is a similar theme but all about animals. It cracks me up that she always shuts the book when we get to the last page, which is "insects and bugs." She apparently already doesn't like the creepy crawlies!

One thing I will say about these books is that they are HUGE and HEAVY. If you have a baby with a strong sense of large motor movements, like my Megan, you will get bruised when they throw them (literally) at your head. That said, I love that these books have sparked at least an interest, if not a love, in reading for my youngest. Hopefully if I read them (over and over and over and over) she will eventually become a reader. I just have to get her to slow down long enough!

I am participating in Feed Me Books Friday over at the Adventure of Motherhood. To see other great books, click on the link in this button:

Feed Me Books Friday

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Natalie Joy!

Four years ago today, I became a mother. This tiny bundle has led me on the most amazing journey. I won’t say my “greatest” adventure, as marriage to my husband has been quite a ride, but she has changed me, grown me, and molded me into the woman God wants me to be.
Natalie: One Year Old

When I look at Natalie, I can’t believe she is four. She is ready to go to preschool, and will be starting “real” school soon. She is inquisitive, loving, sensitive, and her own individual person. I can’t believe I am the mom of a four year old. Four sounds so old.

Natalie: Two Years Old

Here are some things about Natalie at the age she is that I want to remember:

She is my sensitive child. When her sister is hurt and crying, she will go into her room and find a stuffed animal to bring to Megan. A beloved plaything that is broken or torn will bring hours of sad tears. These are not fits, but they are genuine sadness. If our smaller dog is hiding under the bed because she wants some alone time, Natalie will run to me with true tears in her eyes and say, “Mommy, Cookie doesn’t like me any more!” I am not looking forward to the day one of our dogs dies. When grandma and grandpa left this week, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “It’s not fun to say goodbye to someone you love.”

Natalie: Three Years Old

She is my thinker. She will figure out a way to make what she wants to do work, even if the initial answer is “no.” Often, I have to rethink why I said no. Sometimes after she appeals I realize there is no good reason to say “no” and let her do her wish. Other times, I stick to the rule, just so she learns she can’t get out of whatever she wants by coming up with a creative solution.

She is a question-asker. The questions are getting harder, too. The other day she said, “Mommy, why do kids die?” As much as I wanted to reassure her that kids don’t die and she wont’ die any time soon, I will not make promises to my child that I cannot keep. We had to have a hard talk at that time about life and God and heaven.

Natalie: Four Years Old!

She’s an artist. Natalie loves to create. She will cut, glue, color, paint, and otherwise do art as much as I will let her.

Here are some of her favorites:

Favorite color: Usually pink, but sometimes whatever color the toy she is holding is or the dress she is wearing is.
Favorite food: Lollipops, chicken nuggets, strawberries
Favorite activity: Reading, playing games, doing puzzles
Favorite place to go: Church
Favorite movie: Usually the one she just finished watching, but otherwise “The Lion King,” which is a Disney sing-along video not the full-length movie.
Favorite book: I don’t think she has a favorite. She loves princess books.
Favorite toy: Again, whatever has caught her fancy at the moment. She probably spends the most time playing with her my little ponies.

Here are some accomplishments over the last year:

Getting over her fear of dressed up characters
Visiting Florida for the first time
Climbing to the top of the playground at the indoor play place
Swinging on a “big girl” swing
Learning to like some new foods, including nuts (a big deal for her)
Figuring out how to dress herself (still needs mommy for snaps, socks and some pairs of shoes)
Memorizing John 3:16
First sleepover (at our house with her cousin)
Learning to writer her name
Recognizing all of her letters (most of the time)
Learning to read a digital clock

Dear Natalie,

Four years ago today you made me a mother. It was the best gift you will ever give me. You arrived a little early, scaring us all quite a bit. For the first two weeks of your life I longed to take you home, but they wouldn’t let me. I had to visit you in the NICU with the sound of beeping monitors and other babies crying, but you were the most beautiful baby there. I vividly remember that Wednesday when they said I could take you home. I was elated. I called your daddy and then your grandma and grandpa sobbing. I got to take my baby girl home! Everything was right in the world again.

Being your mommy is such a joy. Sure, we have our fights and “moments,” but I love you with all of my heart. I love how when you really are hurt or sad or scared it’s me you want. I love reading you a book in the morning before we start our day. I love singing “Splish Splash I was taking a bath” in the tub each Saturday morning. I love how you absorb God’s word and are making godly friends. I love those moments when I see you being sweet and loving with your sister. Most of all, I love you. I love your bright eyes and smile, your imagination, and your zeal for life.

You are four now. The world is going to try to steal you way from me, one piece of your heart at a time. You are growing up. My prayer for you is that you will remain sweet, sensitive, and loving. Stay connected to your spiritual side. Come to know your Savior and the love he has for you.

I love you Natalie joy. Let’s have a great fourth year together.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

God Is Good - No Matter What

Sorry for my absence from the blogosphere (like any of you actually read this anyway). We’ve had a family emergency.

My father-in-law went to the hospital two weeks ago for a blood clot in his leg. Little did we know what was going to happen.

Monday afternoon Tim gets a call at work that his dad would be having a blood clot removed from his lungs. Things went crazy, and next thing we knew we were in the hospital hearing a doctor telling us that Duane was a very “lucky” man. He had a huge blockage in his pulmonary artery, which should have killed him. The surgery to remove the clot was a full open-heart procedure, with the need to open the chest cavity and all. As the days progressed we learned that the surgeon, who has been working for 28 years, only has had two patients survive this condition. God miraculously saved my father in law’s life.

For the next 10 days Duane was on life support. After the first 24 hours we felt confident he would survive, but it was slow going. However, today I am happy to report that he is off oxygen, walking (short distances) on his own, and completely mentally healthy. No signs of stroke or long-term damage.

Our family received a miracle. We keep saying how good God is (and he is). A very close friend mentioned the first night that this surgery/condition is what killed her father when she was a child. Duane should have died.

Yes, God is good, and we are thankful. However, I have been contemplating saying “God is good.” Is God good because he spared Duane’s life? Yes. But would He have been good had he taken Duane to heaven? It’s not so easy to say yes to that. I have another friend who is trying to adopt her foster child, and the courts are pushing for the child to go back to the birth mother. It is painful to watch. I am sure it is even more painful to experience. Yet, God is good.

Why do I believe that? God is not good because of the things He does. God is good because of who He is. Because of His character, His omniscience, His being. God is good simply because He is God.

But I am thankful for our miracle. We love Grandpa Harms!