Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Encouragement of the Word and a swell sister-in-law

My niece, Makinley, is close to celebrating her first birthday. For her baby shower, before she was born, I was asked to share a little devotion on motherhood. At the time, I had a two and four year-old and was still in the thick of it. Any mother who has hit those ages with their kids knows what I mean. Even for the most patient of mothers, those ages are hard. You've been at it a while now, you've been exhausted for four straight years and can probably count on one hand the number of times you've slept through the night. I even have excellent sleepers, but almost every night there was some reason to wake me up - someone was sick, was sad, had peed, was scared, the list can go on and on... So, my devotion was focused on God's mercies. How faithful He is to forgive us, strengthen us, and enable us to be godly mothers! I brought a special coffee mug with me that day which I bought for myself a while ago with Lamentations 3:22-23 on it. It was my regular coffee mug I used every morning and it never failed to remind me that I have His faithfulness and compassion on my side as I start another day training and loving my children. I told Jana (in front of all the ladies) that I couldn't part with it, but I'd look for one to get for her. However, a month or so later, I headed out to visit her. She was having a pretty hard morning, since I'm sure the baby had arrived by then, and I tucked it in my purse and presented it to her. I felt it was time to pass it on. Yesterday, I went to visit Jana in the hospital as she was caring for Makinley, who had been very ill and had been admitted overnight due to severe dehydration. She, being the thoughtful person she is, had made sure to bring a gift she had been waiting to give me, in hopes of seeing me while she was in town (she lives 30 min. away). Wouldn't you know it, she found another mug with the same verse on it?!?I have to tell you, this verse never gets old! His compassions are truly new every morning! What an awesome promise to (literally) wake up to every morning! If you are trying to fill your life with anything but God's living Word in hopes of finding contentment, friend, you will always be disappointed. Thank you, Jana, for such a thoughtful gift (and for searching for a year for it)! As for an update on Makinley, she is spending another night in the hospital and is still pretty puny, but she should mend soon. Thank you, Lord, for your Word, your faithfulness, and your healing hand!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Family Beach Trip

My parents treated the family to a couple nights at a house in Lincoln City, which is right on the Oregon coast. The house was big enough for our growing family. With four original kids, three spouses, and three-week-old Jeffery Scott making five grandchildren, we needed lots of space. It was perfect weather for a weekend at the beach!

This is Avery and Nana flying a kite.

Poor Nana was abandoned and stuck with two kites!
Josh flew is fancy kite - one kite, two strings.

I just liked this picture of Richie.

Allie looks so innocent here... Looks can be deceiving! The house we stayed at was separated by three levels, which made it a little hard to keep an eye on the busy three year-olds. Allie reenacted the classic story of "Adam and Eve" with Roderick. Roderick sat by and watched her scribble with a ball point pen on the flat screen TV and then was handed the pen by Allie while she said, "Now it's your turn." He didn't bite, though. Way to be strong, Roderick! Thank the Lord Rich was able to repair the TV with his glasses cleaning wipes and an hour of patient rubbing.

There's the two rascals!

My big kindergartener with her name written in the sand!

What a beautiful mommy/daughter pair Jana and Makinley make!

Nana and 4 of her 5 grandkids. It was just about a perfect night on the beach!

Papa is passing on to another generation the art of roasting "the perfect marshmallow".

Daddy and Avery enjoying the fire.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for such a wonderful weekend! My camera died before I got any pictures of Jo, Ryan, Jeffery, or Megan, but we had fun with all of you guys! What a blessing to have had such a great time together!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kindergarten is Finally Here!

Well, like every young parent, it's hard to imagine them growing up. You know you'll eventually get to the "school-age era" of family life, Lord willing, but you can't quite picture it actually happening. So today we got up with lots of aspirations of plans such as: no TV until you're dressed; breakfast must be begun to be eaten by 8:00; and to be out the door by 8:30. The first two happened, but we still weren't out the door on time! Of course Avery decided to take her shoes off right before we left and had no idea where she had acted out that genius idea. Then we dropped Allie off at preschool, even though normally Avery will be first to be dropped, since I wanted to be able to go in with her and help her get settled. So, we were tardy for our first day of real school!

Avery is looking down and pouting a little because she didn't want us going in with her!
This pose is reenacted! She kept telling us to move back and didn't want us to go in with her! I reminded Rich of how worried he used to be that she'd be dependent and shy forever. She had quite a struggle for a long time at church, not wanting to go into her class. Even the last two years of preschool usually consisted of her hiding behind the door or holding onto me, not wanting to go in - never mind how much she loved her teacher and friends there. This is one more bit of proof that maturity happens, even with the most stubborn of children! I'm so proud of her, that I didn't mind her pushing me away a little. And that is proof of my maturity as a mom! The fateful day came and I survived with only a few tears as I prayed for her safety and discernment.
She seemed to have had a great day. Again, she was pouting a little when I picked her up and I was a little worried something upsetting had happened. Nope! It was just the disappointment of not getting to ride the kindergarten bus the first day of school. I think we're going to have a good year!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Psalm 4:7-8

I've been reading in Hebrews the last few days and maybe I'm the only one, but that book is hard for me to follow! I needed to supplement a little, so I decided to start the Psalms again. I stumbled upon a nugget that I've been going back to the last couple of days.

Psalm 4:7-8 says, "You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

Did you catch that part right in the middle? God promises that the gladness He gives us is better than what the world can offer us - "more than in the season that their grain and wine increased." We can make more money, prosper here on earth, and "feel" safe in the security of a good job or steady income, but it is HE alone that can "make me dwell in safety."

Lord, Your Word is always enough for me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Allie's First Day

At first, we wondered if we'd send Allie to preschool this year. After all, it's really not necessary and she might be my last baby, so I should keep her home, right? Then I said to myself, "it's only 5 hours a week!" We spend every other minute of every day together, minus our precious nap time. Plus, if Allie's in preschool twice a week, I'll have the perfect opportunity to volunteer in Avery's kindergarten room once a week. So, we decided to let Allie go and she's been so excited! She has been going with me every time I drop Avery off at preschool for the last 2 years, and today was her turn. I asked her what she thought she'd get to do at preschool and she said, "play with the toys!" Poor kid has stared at and touched those toys every morning we're in there, only to get dragged away by Mommy and never allowed to explore all the wonderful "school toys". They really are much better than the toys at home!
Seriously, so cute!!!

Well, Avery doesn't get to start kindergarten until next week. She can hardly stand it. Everyone else we know has started and all the big kids started yesterday, but kindergarten begins a week later. So we had a special mommy/daughter breakfast date while Allie enjoyed her first day. I took her to one special coffee shop (which I will not disclose the name here) and ended up leaving! There wasn't anything that looked good for breakfast and the only thing Avery wanted was a bunny cookie. When I asked how much it was, the barista said three dollars! I'm sorry, I can't pay three dollars for a normal-sized, ordinary sugar cookie. Avery was quite upset, but I wouldn't budge. We went to good old Starbucks instead and had a great time. She got her own hot chocolate and loved it! I thought she looked so cute sitting with me drinking from her own Starbucks cup! My big girl!!!

You know, when you're a mom, you've got to take advantage of mornings like this. Yes, there was plenty to do around my house, but there's only a few times like these. I'm well aware that this time with my girls is short - five and half years has flown by and I'm facing saying goodbye to my first daughter every day and leaving her in the hands of virtual strangers (not really, of course she is TOTALLY in God's hands - how else could I handle it?). My kids drive me absolutely crazy at times and I relish quiet moments alone, but Lord, thank you for my daughters!!!!!!!!!
*Oh - and update on Allie's morning: she went on a search for the gingerbread man, ate gingerbread cookies, and chewed through her backpack zipper - I know, she's weird!!! That's my quirky girl for ya!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I thought I'd inform those of you who don't know: my three year-old, Allie, is CRAZY! On top of that, she's fun, energetic, always trying to get a laugh out of you, extremely messy, daring, and incredibly sweet! She doesn't pronounce her "r's" or "l's" yet, so when I hear her little, somewhat raspy (because she's always on the verge of losing her voice, due to her frequently loud volume) voice saying, "Mommy, I wilwy, wilwy wuv you!" I just melt every time! Her regular nighttime prayer usually goes something like this: "Dear God, help us to be good...help Avery to be nice...help Allie to be nice..help God to be nice...help us to not be mush (she made Avery laugh once when she said that, so she keeps trying), Amen."

We've had to call poison control twice for her so far. The first time was a fairly typical consumption: she had decided to eat toothpaste. She was fine. The next time was when Daddy called Mommy in a panic while she was out with a friend and said that Allie had eaten dog medicine. We had no idea how much. First she said she had eaten 7 pills, then 2, then we surmised that she may have not eaten any of them. We'll never know - but she never got sick. Last night I thought I might have to call again. I was in the room with her and watched her pick up the empty container of Clorox wipes, take off the top, and lift it to her mouth to chug down the remaining liquid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most of it spilled down her clothes, because, as I've stated, she's also extremely messy! Plus, I figure she didn't enjoy the first little taste she got. What can I say? She's a nut!
I can't imagine life without Allie. She keeps me on my toes every second and I have so much fun with her. She has a certain "naked dance" that gets me every time! I do believe that she's just like me! This kid is going to be well-loved by her teachers, but definitely not the teacher's pet - that'll be Avery. Allie will be a bit of a class clown, always making her friends smile and willing to do just about anything to cheer people up. I love her to pieces!

Friday, September 4, 2009

News from Dreamland

Growing up in the South, I became fascinated with the Underground Railroad and one of my favorite historical characters, Harriet Tubman. I also became interested in a physical condition she had called narcolepsy. Hers was caused by a severe blow to her head when she was ten years old. Evidently, I share a common condition with this amazing woman of the Civil War era (without having suffered the blow to the head). I met with my neurologist yesterday and he has determined that I most likely have narcolepsy. He felt confident with that diagnosis, according to my last sleep study. This was exactly what I had prayed for: a clear indication from the study, rather than just my explanation of certain symptoms and struggles. He assured me that I'm abnormal - yay for me! You all are thinking, "I could have told her that a long time ago!"

I'm struggling with just grasping this reality of having narcolepsy. I admit that I feel so relieved and validated, since it answers many questions I've had for so many years about feeling so sleepy - even as a child. This definitely has not just come on since having kids, however it greatly magnified the issue. Narcolepsy is fairly rare, with only 1 in 100,000 people having it. Strange that it's me...

I'll be taking medicine that will hopefully help me feel more alert during the day and not feel the overwhelming need to take a nap. Did you get that - ERIN WON'T NEED A NAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You mean people actually do things in the middle of the day other than crash on the bed??? I hear that there's all sorts of things one can do from 1-3. Can't wait to find out!