A Mother’s Love

Educated or so I thought
Asked a million questions
Questions I haven’t sought
Need I answer them?
Again and Again?
To a future man who doesn’t know
the complexities of why businesses come or go.
When this pupil becomes distraught
I the momma must enter a battle that’s already fought.
Silently my heart cries out
His words so strong
Inwardly I ask, “God what’s gone wrong?”
Rest in me, I hear so clear.
Rest in me, my dear.
Slowing down I pull into a parking spot.
Out I step.
Out my eldest boy does too.
Kneeling down to his height.
I ask why I am seeing such a sight.
He pleads for no consequence.
God’s love in my heart I give grace instead.
Sadly, I know his heart is a wreck.
Silent prayers he never hears.
While I hold back motherly tears.
The Lord’s love for us might be like this.
While we whirl out of control.
He’s quiet, heart heavy.
He knows what we need before we think we’re ready.
Rest in Him, I know I must.
In God’s sovereign love I can trust.
I trust you Jesus to always keep this treasure in your care.
Because I know that you were there.
Please grow him to be strong in faith and write on in his heart what you speak.
May he be a man of character, gentle, humble and meek.
I pray he leads many.
I pray he leads well even when there aren’t any.
Please strengthen my heavy heart to know
You are trustworthy.
So endure these heart breaking moments I must.
Knowing one day the fruit will bear.
Knowing you, Lord, will be there.

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Saved By God’s Provision – Our Experience With Broadside Collision

Just before Valentine’s day this year we had our usual weekly church small group meeting.  This time it was a dark and rainy Wednesday evening. Bart arrived home from work especially tired.  He decided to stay home with our younger boy, Gideon, while Hank and I went to group.

We celebrated Valentine’s day a little early at our small group with a white elephant gift exchange.  I brought an unopened bag of whole-bean coffee and we received a starter kit and a cute little blue betta fish.

After group, Hank and I loaded our things into our new 2009 VW Jetta.  Hank climbed into his car seat which was positioned behind my drivers’ side seat and I secured his seatbelts.  Then I placed our new betta fish (who was in a small plastic cup at the time) into the center console cup holder.  Away we went heading home around 9:40pm.  All seemed fine except for being a particularly dreary evening.  Having been a few weeks into a great workout routine I felt alert and well.  Hank sat quietly in his seat and we drove home.  The radio was off, my phone was stowed away safely in my purse.  It was calm and I was driving very cautiously.  (I have a very low platelet count, so I am ALWAYS cautious driving because if I get in an accident I could bleed to death.)  I came to the intersection where we usually turn to go home.  I stopped in the turn lane, signalled and when the road appeared clear proceeded to turn left.  Once fully into the intersection something very unexpected and bizarre happened…

I heard a loud sound like metal bending and immediately we began spinning in circles.  By the time the car stopped we had flown off the side of the road (God is so good) and safely up a berm.  I was horrified and immediately put the car in park and turned off the engine.  I called 911 and looked in front of me to read the license plate off the other car to the officer on the other line.  I remember so clearly that my headlights illuminated their car but there was no light shining back at me.

They didn’t have their headlights on!

I never saw them coming.  I never heard a thing until the hit.  No skidding.  No horn.

Nothing then WHAM!

As soon as I got off the phone with 911 I realized Hank was in the back seat crying hysterically.  My heart sunk, I was horrified.  My precious baby boy.  I turned around and saw he was safely surrounded by his car seat and didn’t even have a scratch.  I started consoling him then realized I was completely soaked in betta fish water.  Our new pet had flew out of the car and his cup shattered around me.  Then I saw the passenger side of our car smashed in, the side curtain airbags deployed and glass all over.

Adrenaline pumping and in horror of what had just happened I called Bart to come get us.  We wound up being there for an hour while the police took their reports.  Praise God, Hank seemed ok and was able to go home and go to bed.  While my mother-in-law stayed home with our boys, Bart drove me to the emergency room.  There I learned I had a concussion and severe whiplash.  I couldn’t control my head.  That is a very strange feeling!

I received a shot of morphine to ease the already severe pain and was discharged with instructions to follow-up with my doctor.

I don’t know what your experience has been with serious car accidents but up until February 12, 2014 I had none.  At the time of impact the other driver was going at least 45 miles per hour!

Here’s our Jetta after the accident before it went to the junk yard.

Passenger side of Car-1Passenger side of Car-2

All that damage and we walked away from it alive!

VW Jetta’s are Safe!

Dear Jesus, thank you for protecting us.  Thank you that Bart wasn’t driving and Gideon wasn’t in the car.  If that were the case (as it usually would be on a Wednesday night) Gideon and I would have been on the side of impact.  Jesus, I believe it is in your sovereignty that Gideon and I didn’t die that night.  Praise and honor and glory be to you, our mighty king.  Amen.

Hank’s 4th Birthday Festivities (pardon the delayed report)

Let me start with telling you I am so blessed.  On Saturday March 15th, we celebrated Hank’s 4th birthday.  I can hardly believe we were entrusted with such a precious gift and that we’ve had him for 4 years already! Where did time go?  I find myself getting sentimental thinking, “Now there’s only 14 years until he’s an adult!”  I am old enough now to realize that 14 years just isn’t very long.

Now that Hank is a big 4 year-old he has some new goodies to enjoy.  God has been so involved in blessing Hank!  My dear friend, Tiffany, sold us her son’s Lightning McQueen bike complete with training wheels.  It was so cool because Gideon and I were able to pick it up while Hank was at preschool leaving him none the wiser. 🙂  I managed to hold off until Friday night when I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Bart and I agreed to let Hank have his bike a day early.  We went to my in-law’s home so Hank could try out his new ride on their long smooth driveway.  He loves it and especially enjoys “talking shop” while standing next to it.  He reminds me of his Daddy talking about trucks.

momma and hank with his new bike

On the Big Day (Saturday) we went to Northwest Trek.  Hank and Gideon love it there almost as much as us adults do!  We spent the first half of the day there then headed home.  At home Hank opened a few more presents: sidewalk chalk, a dinosaur bubble gun from us and a bow and arrow set, talking Lightning McQueen car and giant bubble wands from my Mom.  Hank has been begging for a particular bow and arrow set from Fred Meyer for about six months.  When he opened it, he was on the moon!

hank and giddo momma and giddo

Life isn’t just about what we get but it sure is nice to see the gift that children are!  My birthday was March 19th and I feel like Hank is my precious and slightly early birthday gift!  I now feel like my birthday is nearly just another day but really enjoy seeing Hank’s excitement and enthusiasm on his special day. ❤

Dear Jesus, I pray Hank will grow big and strong.  I pray he will love you and lead his family well one day.  Please grant me the wisdom and strength to be the best momma I can be.  Amen.

Swim Lessons- Toddler Wetsuit

Hank started swim lessons last week at the local community center.  It is awesome there.  When you first walk in the childcare room is just around the corner.  We stop there to drop off Gideon and off to swimming we go.  From the childcare room we walk down the hall where we see a rock wall in the distance and through double doors, past family shower cabanas, through more doors and into a beautiful heated room where the pool is located.  The first lesson we discovered that only two children signed up for the morning lesson and the other girl hadn’t made it so Hank had a private lesson!  What’s more, his little swim buddy is also three and has a peanut allergy.  I have really enjoyed watching Hank from the bleachers and visiting with the mother of the other pupil.

Hank has probably 4% body fat if that so despite the heated pool he shivers and quivers and shakes.  We ordered a wet suit for him last Wednesday after just two classes with purple lips.  It came quickly but was tragically short in the torso leaving no room for his undersides.  He actually told me it hurt his bottom. 😦

Well, we sent that back to the manufacturer and ordered a different one.  It arrived today and we are so delighted!  I ordered a size 6 to be sure he would fit and it is a bit roomy but I think that is for the best as he will get more use this way.  In case you are wondering where to get one for your toddler, we got this wetsuit and it is very nice and thermal throughout.  Our boys are both very tall for their age necessitating the two size up order that an average size child would not need in my opinion.

He is really loving his swim class and following the teachers directions beautifully.  I am encouraged to see he willingly does what he is asked for someone, even if that someone is not me at this time.  He is hoping to assert his independence and has therefore been very contrary lately.

So far he has done torpedo’s off the wall with his arm forward in a point, head tucked between and legs pushing off the wall (assisted), back floats (assisted), practised crawl stroke arms, kicked his legs while holding the side of the pool, and blown bubbles by first practising blowing a rubber ducky across the pool.  He calls it a  “soccer ball duck” for some reason. 🙂

waiting for class to start first class out in water bubbles back float front float new wet suit

Dear Jesus, I pray that at Wednesday’s lesson he is warm enough.  Thank you for helping me to save so much money with coupons at the grocery last week that it offset the cost of the lessons. Amen.

Hank The 3 Year Old Photographer

Hank loves photography!  Perhaps because he hears me make over my sister-in-law, Lacey’s, beautiful photos.  Or maybe he gets a kick out of using our camera but either way the following pictures give us insight into his world, literally from his perspective. 🙂

Daddy Drinking Coffee

Daddy Drinking Coffee

Daddy making coffee

Daddy making coffee

Gideon's hair

Gideon’s hair

another of Hank's "selfie's"

Hank taking a “selfie”

Hank's "selfie"

Hank’s “selfie”

Hank's left foot

Hank’s left foot

Me cutting fabric

Me cutting fabric

Momma doing her hair Momma doing her hair-2

sewing sewing sewing

sewing sewing sewing

This picture is awesome!

This picture is awesome!

Dear Jesus, thank  you for Hank’s budding interest in photography and for the fun look at the world from his vantage point.  Thank you also that he hasn’t broken our camera. Thank you for simpler days. 🙂  Amen.

Screen Time

These days there are a multitude of ways to get what we’ve come to know as “screen time”.  Television, Kindle, IPAD, PC, Smart phone, and the list goes on.  In our house, we are virtually a dead zone.  We do have a television but no cable.  We do have Netflix and the boys enjoy shows on there without an endless stream of media because it stops playing after each show.  We are fans of good old fashion play.  You know like it was in the days before the internet.  We make up a silly game using laundry baskets and belts to tow the boys around the house or we play chase.

Recently, I discovered a neat setting on my smart phone that allows me to have a seperate section just for the boys.  I downloaded a few games there for use when we’re waiting extra at the doctors.

Last night the boys got to playing it together here at home.  Now we have a second way to get “screen time”. 🙂

Boys Giddo watching Boys Giddo watching (2) Daddy with boys watching

Dear Jesus, thank you for time together and that the boys are starting to play together.  Amen.

Sick Days Mean Productive Days- Toddler Activities-Fine Motor Skills

If you read yesterday’s post then you know we’ve been home this week resting and healing up.  Regardless of Gideon’s Croup and Hank healing from the stomach flu, we need things to do to pass the time.

Earlier today, I enlisted Hank’s help “cutting” fabric for heat packs I am making to sell here.

Hank cutting fabricHere’s a finished one:

Open view of Owl and Green Snowflakes Snowflake side set Owl side set

We kept busy yesterday playing play-doh until I broke out the toothpicks and we practised some fine motor skills. 🙂

Poke The Holes:

Giddo with toothpicks Hank playdoh Hank with toothpicks and playdoh Proud Hank-with momma smile

I love that last one of Hank cheezing.  I used to smile just like that when I was little.

My good friend, Mary, gave me the idea for this next activity:

Threading Snakes!

I pulled the laces out of my hiking shoes and cut up plastic drinking straws like this:

supplies for snake threading

I threaded one and tied it so it couldn’t slip off then explained that they were going to thread the stripes onto their snakes.  They loved this one.

Giddo threading his snake Hank Threading his snake

Dear Jesus, thank you for good quality time with the boys.  They amaze me.  I am confident you are an awesome God when I look at the purposeful and imaginative things you make.  Amen.

The Washington State Fair 2013, Mix-It-Up Monday’s

My husband and I got brave yesterday.  Armed with our boys and tickets from my mother-in-law, we went to the Washington State Fair.  My boys are 2 and 3, that pretty much explains why we were brave to go.  But, add to that, the weather was finicky and oscillated between sun and torrential downpour.

We bought fair fries (my favorite!) that mound over two paper plates in a rectangular shape reminiscent of the deep fry basket they came from.  We bought ride tickets too.  $20 got us enough tickets for two rides, yes just two!  Hank and Bart rode the black widow, also known as the octopus.  Because of their weight differential, their car spun around with the most vigor.  My heart jumped and stopped simultaneously while watching from the ground.  I wondered if Hank was loving it or about to throw up.  Would he swear off rides?  This was his very first time going on a ride at the fair.  Praise be to God, he actually enjoyed it!

Hank and Daddy just before his very first ride Hank and Daddy on the ride

Next we put the boys together in a little plastic canoe that travelled around in a big wiggly circle going under tipi’s every so often.  They loved it, Gideon cried and threw a fit when the ride was done.  The ride operator told the boys to keep their hands inside the canoe.  Hank was a model child sitting patiently while Gideon hung his hand in the water up to his sleeve.  When told to stop by the ride operator, Gideon just laughed and laughed.  Stinker. 😉

Hank and Giddo in a canoe 3 Hank and Giddo in a canoe 2 Hank and Giddo in a canoe

The rain started then and we all got pretty wet.  Low on tickets, we went to Pete’s Barbeque Pit for dinner.  Hank ate a half ear of corn to himself and even tried my pulled pork sandwich.  Bart, or superman, negotiated Gideon and his bowl of wandering coleslaw.

We managed to look at horses and chickens too.  Hank even got to see Horses walking by within reach.  One horse whinnied at Hank.  I was surprised by how loud they are close up.

We had just a few tickets left so we headed to play some fair games.  Hank had a particular toy in mind.  It was a weird alien looking dinosaur.  In his defense, I think he wanted it because of its dino characteristics.  The game was basically impossible, but, Bart gave it a solid effort.  While wearing Gideon in the Ergo carrier on his chest he swung a rubber hammer to hit a spring-loaded platform that sends a rubber frog flopping toward shallow baskets on a table.  I should add the table was jam-packed with these alien dino’s.  Well, no dice.  Leaving without the toy was confusing to Hank.  He is after all only three.  He didn’t understand that you can pay for something and not leave with the toy.

With our bellies full and our tickets spent we walked soppily back to our street parked car.  Yeah, we got free parking!  On our trek out, Hank wailed.  I’m sure he and Gideon were exhausted from all the stimulation and bedtime was fast approaching.  We overheard, over the loud cries, a man exclaim, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.”  My gut reaction was to turn around and say, “I heard that and I’m so glad you don’t have children too.”  But then reason gave way.  Getting into a fight with a man at the fair was not what my wet and exhausted children needed.  We held our heads high and went back to our car.

I am glad we went with the boys this year.  This time last year, I couldn’t even get out of my hospital bed.  God is so good it is absolutely unreal the miracles He has done and continues to do today.

I got to thinking though.  For folks who feel the need to say unkind things to families with crying children, this letter is for you. 🙂

Dear childless stranger at the Washington State Fair, I know you loudly exclaimed, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.” in response to hearing my child’s cries as you passed us. While he was very upset, I can’t help but feel sorry for you because you are missing out. There is SO much more to having children than their tears. They are the greatest gift after salvation. Now, more clearly than before children, I see a glimpse of God’s love for me as His child. Children admire you, emulate you and simply look to you for what it is to be an adult because one day they will be too. Please watch what you say around them.
sincerely,
Momma

Dear Jesus, thank you for this fun outing and the opportunity for Hank and Gideon to experience the chaos that is the Washington State Fair.  Amen.

It’s Raining Lets Hold A Baby Python, Toddler Fun

Well, back to school for older children, and for mine?  Well, we are enjoying life’s teachable moments and even having fun exploring.  Hank has been wanting to pet and hold a snake.  It’s raining outside today and we needed an outing (and a little break from the aforementioned “teachable moments”).  We decided to go to the pet store to look at all the animals.  The nice people at Petco allowed us to even hold some!

First we held this baby python, I even did!

baby python

Then we held this baby frill neck dragon:

baby frill neck dragon

Dear Jesus, thank you for the boys you have blessed us with.  Thank you that the teachable moments are when real ground is covered.  Please help me to know best how to encourage our boys.  Lord, I feel lately like everything is “No!” and “Don’t do that.”  I know they are both small toddlers and the sibling fighting was bound to happen sooner or later but, its tough.  Please bring me encouragement too.  Amen.

The Zoo With Cousins

We had the pleasure of going to the Point Defiance Zoo with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her boys.  We saw the sting rays, the tiger cub and some gibbons… well, uh, doing the deed.  That last part totally embarrassed me because they were so overt, maybe more so than Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA show.  Needless to say, I do not have pictures of that for you.

I did see a lot of Hank loving on his cousins and auntie Lacey though!

boys eating lunch Hank and Lacey Hank hugging Cooper Hank hugging Gage

Dear Jesus, thank you for fun times with family.  Thank you for fair weather.  Amen.