Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Finally Declaring Success

Sometimes I have philosophical or deeply spiritual things I am working over in my mind but today I have something a little more pedestrian. My child has mastered potty training. Now I hesitate to declare the battle won but I can't help but think that we've got it figured out. She announces she when she needs to go potty. She doesn't have accidents, she even takes herself to the potty when she has to go and doesn't always involve us when we're at home with her own potty. She is dry at nap time and knows about BMs. She was holding them in for days ( I worried about that) and then when she couldn't hold it anymore she would either make it to the bathroom or poop her pants. One day it was both. (On the bathroom floor. I found it. It wasn't one of our better days). Then Friday at naptime I found her in the bathroom doing her business. I was excited because she did it herself. Then before getting up from nap she had a BM in her pullup. One step forward.... Saturday she had another BM in the potty. Sunday again. Three days in a row was progress on the digestive scale. So far this week also good progress. No accidents and no pullups at nap either. The last two nights she has even been dry overnight. This is big for me because I didn't really expect that yet. Jessa still wears a pullup at night and we have to be careful not to make that a big deal for her. She sleeps like the dead and has always done so. I had to use overnight extra absorbent diapers for her overnight but never for Josi. The neatest thing though is how supportive Jessa has been of Josi's milestones. I was telling Daddy about Josi's dry diaper and didn't know Jessa was there. Jessa went to Josi and gave her a hug and told her how great that was and what a big girl she was being. I almost cried. I don't want Jessa to be upset that she isn't dry at night, it isn't a big deal to me. I knew someone who wet the bed until middle grade school and since pullups weren't invented yet it was a huge embarrassment to her. I want Jessa to be okay with it. I tell her about that person and her cousin R who still wears pullups in 1st grade. She will figure it out eventually. She's only four. If Josi figures it out now I think its great. One less set of pullups or diapers to buy.
Next time I'll try for more thoughtful discourse but hey this is what I've learned today.

Monday, March 27, 2006


My new freezer came with just one basket for it. This is a problem only because I am vertically challenged and I have to upend myself to reach the stuff on the bottom of the freezer. I called Sears and found I could order replacement baskets at 60 dollars a piece, including shipping. I don't need them that badly. So on Saturday as I was going into the Y for swimming lessons I had a thought. There is a little flea market there by the Y and seeing it reminded me that Boyles wasn't that far away and since I was already in the area it wouldn't be too far to go to see if they had any. Boyles is a big flea market and my mother had suggested that I look there. I told the girls we would go and to describe it I called it the garage sale store. When I got there I searched all over the store, inside and out. Just as I was walking out of the gate to the car I spotted two freezer baskets just inside the exit. I pulled the tape measure out of my purse and checked them out. They were the right length. I thought they would work. I had to wait several minutes to find out a price and when they said $2 a piece I said sold. Four dollars was just my speed even if they didn't work though I thought they would. I brought them home and one fit perfectly and the other was slightly bent so it was a tighter fit but it will do. I have to attribute these things to the providence of God. I pray for wisdom but sometimes I don't notice His provision. He gave me the idea to go to Boyles on the way home to check and He kept me searching after a first search was unsuccessful. I almost left before checking the outside piles. So I give Him the thanks for the find and the savings. I might have bought a basket since they are so handy, this way I don't have to. PTL. I think I need to be more observant of the good and remember that every good thing comes from Him not me or anything I do only what He gives me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Fell off the Edge of the World

That is the only excuse I can offer for my failure to write recently. Actually I set an ambitious goal for spring break. With Shan home for a week I could get a lot done. I had cleaned out my closet and drawers filling a garbage bag with offerings for Goodwill. I talked my husband into doing the same and he delivered the truckload. I cleaned underbeds and picked up all over the house. I have such a hard time getting motivated to do something I know my kids undo as soon as I move to the next room. With two adults the odds are better that something will be accomplished and stay accomplished for some length of time. We also helped my grandmother move more of her things to my mother's house where she will now be living. She's been there for about a month moving stuff slowly. Shan and my brother-in-law went up to Winchester to get some of the bigger stuff for my cousins and others while I took the girls to Bible study Wed. I got two calls during study and thankfully the phone was on vibrate. Normally I leave it in the car so don't ask me why I had it with me. Neither call interrupted actual study time so I could take them and find out that my Grandma's freezer was half again as big as ours and did we want to trade. I have been fighting to have enough room in the freezer for the last year so that was a no brainer. It did however add a project to Spring Break. We moved in the new one, (I say we but what I really mean is my husband and a couple of his wrestlers) and cleaned out the old one, listed it in the paper and sold it all in three days. Now my freezer is huge and my little one is in someone else's house and out of my basement. Yea!!!!! I will save the basket story for another day but suffice it to say God is good.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Girls are Easier

Yesterday I had another day where little got accomplished. My day started as usual and I was reading the paper when a friend in the Co-Op called and needed to go to the chiropractor and so could I watch the three boys for a couple hours that morning? Sure no problem. Her sons are 6, 4, and 14 months. Add that to the girls and I had five children age 6 and under. I already had committed to watching the boys that evening for a parent-teacher conference at the 6 year olds school. I set a goal to clean out my closet because Shan has complained that I am taking over his. He doesn't use it all so why shouldn't I? I got pretty far on this project, there is a huge garbage bag waiting to go to Goodwill despite numerous interruptions. Mrs. K can I watch a movie? Mrs. K my brother hit me. Mama J and N won't play with me. etc. For some reason my girls love the 6 year old. Whenever they go to his house they are soooo disappointed if he is at school or if he doesn't come with is brothers to our house. I survived the morning with no major problems although the house looked like a tornado blew through. My mother called to have the girls come down to play with a little girl visiting her so then the early afternoon was gone. I tutored and got home in time to eat supper with the five children since they returned at 5:30 and send Shan off to a deacon meeting at church. My nap starved children had thermonuclear baby meltdown just after the boys left at 7:30 and I threw them in bed only to have them meltdown some more because Mama forgot devotions. That covered I collapsed in a chair to reflect on the difference between boys and girls. At least at the stage I am experiencing I don't know how to do boys. They are rambunctious and have very boy ways of doing things. I decided not for the first time that God knew what He was doing when He gave me girls. You know He only gives us the challenges we can handle with His help and I am not sure I could handle boys. Girls are easier. I know I was. Of course I never had brothers so what do I know? My sister's mother-in-law says that when girls hit thirteen boys are easier. I taught middle school she may have a point but I will stick with my original hypothesis: Girls are Easier.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


This week in Bible Study we've been studying the Last Supper and Crucifixition of Christ. Satan is given permission to sift Peter during this time. Today we had a demonstration of sifting wheat at our study and I got to thinking that the sifting of wheat takes away the chaff and other extra things that aren't good for us. What is left is a wheatberry that can be turned into something we need in our diets for health and nourishment of our physical body. That led me to the thought that when our spiritual selves are sifted we are refined and the waste is taken away leaving us a more nourishing person for the Body of believers. We are more spiritually healthy and we can provide edification for our fellow believers. This sifting process can benefit me but as I am sifted I can share that insight and experience with others. I can empathize with their situations as well as provide a new perspective in Sabbath School classes, Bible study groups or other places where discussions occur. While I don't look forward to periods of sifting, I can see that these periods may be neccessary to refine me into a better likeness of my Savior.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Grandma, No is a complete sentence.

I've learned that Grandmas do not have to be responsible for a child's character development. This past weekend my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew came for a visit. Since it is calving season Pacca and Uncle S. couldn't come. Grandma brought several toys for the girls and candy. Nothing huge just several. While she was here she took them to Chuck E. Cheese and bought both girls more toys. By Monday the girls had learned that stores meant presents. Since their small town isn't exactly a shopping Mecca my sister-in-law always has a lot of shopping to do when she visits. We will have to remember that if Grandma is around the kids have to stay home. I don't want to raise beggers. I cringe whenever I hear children soliciting for treats, candy, toys, etc. my niece and nephew know how to ask and Grandma is a willing accomplice. My own children have learned well. My sister-in-law saw the plaque I used to have in my classroom at school. "Attention Teenagers, No is a Complete Sentence!" She thought we needed one for Grandma and maybe my niece. Jessa and Josi already know that when Mama says no she means it but kids are smart. They know what rules apply where ever and whoever is involved. I know Grandma doesn't see the kids often so she likes to shower them when she does and I would like to think she would buy less if she saw them more but since she lives in the same town as my niece and nephew and they beg all the time I wonder. Oh well, Shannon and I will answer for the job we have done as parents to the girls. We are accountable not Grandma.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

God Answers Before We Ask

I've learned that God knows our needs even before we are aware of them. Sometimes I have cause for praise and thanksgiving because He provided for me without me asking or being aware of a need until it was filled. Last year I made friends with a woman in Bible Study. At the same time our daughters were becoming good friends in the nursery while we studied. Each week I would hear about K. and her mother would hear about Jessa. We didn't put it together until several weeks into the study. It turns out that this friend had started a babysitting co-op. She doesn't have family in town and with three children sometimes she needs someone to watch them while she has appointments and errands. There aren't a plethora of daytime babysitters availible since a lot of people work and the high school kids are in school. She invited us to join and it has been the answer to a prayer I hadn't known to pray. All of the families in our co-op live in our general area and are Christian families. The kids all get along really well and it makes it nice to have several options for childcare. This morning was our monthly meeting and we spent so much time visiting and getting aquainted with a new family, we barely had time to set up babysitting times for the next few weeks. The babysitting has been a huge benefit. I trade services with other moms and then give my wallet a break and my mom. Plus sometimes my mom is busy and this way I don't have to worry, I can always find someone to cover me. The surprising benefit has been in the relationships I've formed with the other women. I had an emotional crisis last summer and I called T and immediately she prayed with me and listened as I shared my pain. What a huge blessing to have this "extended family" of believers to call on. God provided an answer before I knew enough to ask. Our God is an Awesome God!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sudoku Something

A few weeks ago I was reading the local neighborhood newsletter and found a new feature, a sudoku puzzle with the website that created it. It looked interesting and I am a crossword puzzle fan so I tried it. It was a little difficult so I quickly abandoned it for other pursuits. Then it was in the USA Today in the Sunday paper that week. I tried again. When I figured it out I went back to the abandoned puzzle. I printed one off the net and found my husband also was doing the puzzles. I saw a book of puzzles at the grocery store so I brought it home. He claimed it for his own. I guess wrestling tournaments are long days. I make do with photocopies from the book. If you haven't found these puzzles you need to. They'll keep your brain busy for a while.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just When I Think

Last week when the girls fever's broke I thought "Hurray! The worst is over!" Then the cough settled in. She has suffered with it for several days. Yesterday in church she didn't want to color or play with her cousins so I knew she felt really bad. She loves to color. My mother nudged me and urged me to get her to the doctor. I planned to call first thing this morning at 8 a.m. At 4:30 a.m. Jessa began screaming because her ear hurt. We gave her some ibuprofen and snuggled her in between us with a cold pack and went to sleep. Shan got up at six and I counted the minutes until the doctor's office opened. Jessa woke up at 7:30 and her ear still hurt. She was crying and miserable. By this time Josi had joined us. She doesn't seem sick. The doctor had an opening at 9:15 and we got in to learn that Jessa has a pretty bad ear infection and RSV. Don't ask me what that is exactly but it is some kind of respiratory virus and the cough lasts about three weeks. Ugh!!! It can be especially dangerous for preemie's up to age two so I am real glad Josi is past that age. We have an antibiotic for the ear infection and we will hope Jessa feels better soon. It has been such beautiful weather and my kids haven't felt up to enjoying it. Bummer. Off to hang the sheets on the clothes line. I love that smell.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Always something new

No matter how often you read a book or study something in scripture God often shows you new insights. I find that whenever I study His word He repeated shows me whatever concept I (must) particularly need to learn. For instance, Romans is a great book to study and there is always something new there. I am finding that in preparing for this week's lesson I have recurring themes in the Bible study I am doing on Jesus the One and Only. As a side note, I love Beth Moore studies. I missed this week because the girls were sick and it truly bothered me. I love Bible study, in general, but the I've done several Beth Moore studies and they are exhilerating. She has an entertaining way of speaking and she cuts to the heart of the matter. She isn't shy about admitting to personal struggle and pain but at the same time is circumspect enough to keep the details private and that wisdom in doing so keeps us from dwelling on the details. God has gifted her amazingly. She has a heart for God and for women and for helping women study His word and find Him in it. Back to the point. God puts the concept I need in all kinds of places: Bible study lesson, devotions, Sabbath School lesson, the conversation I had with my friend or my sister, and the radio program I heard in the car on the way to church. Sometimes I wonder if I am obtuse that He presents it so many times. I am eterally glad that He is a merciful and forgiving God and that is demonstrated all thru the scriptures. Part of our overview of Romans touched on the history of Israel in Ch. 9-11. Having studied the Old Testament thru the Menninger program I marvel at God's abundant mercy and forgiveness. To have His patience. I get impatient with potty training a two year old in a few weeks let alone generations of faithlessness. My sister-in-law once told me she decided to stop praying for patience because all it got her was opportunities to practice patience and to grow her abilities in that area. I laughed but I think it's a little sad, I also agree with the sentiment to some extent. God answers our prayers every time we ask. The answer just may not be what we were expecting or the way we were expecting it. I have learned that is always better that my way.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Email Inspiration

You know you have those people who email you everyday with the various cute and silly quotes, pictures, jokes etc. I used to have someone email me the most inappropriate things and I had to ask her to quit forwarding them. Lately I have a friend who emails stuff but it is almost always worth the read. Today she emailed me a link to a news story that made me cry. I had to share.

The Worst Is Over

The fevers have broken and I see my children returning to normal. I, on the other hand, am having a longer recuperation. I love the weather but I long for a cold front, the warm weather made it hard to stay cool last night when trying to sleep. I still feel a little woozy. Yesterday I took a cold medicine that was supposed to be non-drowsy. These packages lie. I have yet to find one to that doesn't make me dizzy and sleepy. I must be really sensitive to their effects, psuedoeffedrine really makes me fuzzy. I am the reason those boxes say to avoid operating heavy machinery. Well I am off to go work on Sabbath school lesson. I am leading the overview of Romans this week to open our study of the book for the next two quarters.