Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vacation Time


It is vacation time! The kids and I are leaving tomorrow to go visit my family for a few days. Aaron can't go with us this time. Pray for me as I travel with all 4 kids by myself for this trip - all 8 1/2 hrs. I am hoping to be able to stop halfway in Birmingham and spend the night with some of my family there. It all depends on what time I leave here.
Obviously, I won't be posting for a little while, but I will have lots of things to post when we get back.
Cades Cove and Dollywood, HERE WE COME!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our Memorial Day

We had a great day of honoring and remembering America's soldiers yesterday. We took some flowers and some Thank You cards made by the kids to a POW from the Korean War that attends our church. We were going to go to the USS Alabama Memorial Park, but the rain just didn't let up enough until late in the day.

We made an unexpected trip to the doctor's office with Justus. His body was covered from head to toe with a rash. He has had a little bit of a rash around his mouth and on the tops of his legs for several weeks, but this came all of the sudden and everywhere. He has two different rashes. The one around his mouth and on his upper legs is a type of eczema that could be on going for a long time. The one that came so quickly is a viral rash easily treated with some benadryll.

We rented a couple of movies and watched them during all of the rain. Then when the rain finally stopped, we went swimming for a while and grilled some steaks.

Our New Pool

We finally just had to say goodbye to our other pool. I never could get it fixed. Emily sent us a new one. YEAH!! So.... here is
OUR NEW POOL!I want to recommend this pool to anyone and everyone considering buying one but can't afford an expensive above ground pool. It is a million times better than the other blue bubble looking pool that we had. The kids really enjoyed the other one, and Aaron and I enjoyed it just to get in and cool off a little. This is one that Aaron and I too will be able to swim in. They are both made by the same company Intex. However, this is a little more expensive, but definitely worth it. This is a 15x48 round pool. It is available at several different big chain stores. It also comes with the ground cloth, the filter, the pool cover, a cleaning net and pole, the skimmer basket to catch leaves, and a pool vaccuum all for $299 at Wal-Mart. Really, if you are thinking about the other cheaper above ground pools....DON'T do it. Aaron and I bought two of those ourselves. We should have saved our money and just bought this one in the first place. It is going to last much longer. You will be much happier with the choice.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POOL


Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Haircuts, Glasses, and a Praise

Today was the day of loooooong overdue haircuts.



Justus always does so well. Today the barber let him play with the brush.

Asher did not get a haircut. He looked through the newspaper.


Abbie was glad to get her haircut.


Chloe did not want a haircut.
But.... She liked it afterwards and looks sooooo much better.


On Thursday Chloe had an eye appointment, and we found out that she needs glasses. We picked them up today.

PRAISE

I told ya'll a few posts ago about my teaching part time at the kids' school next year. I have another praise concerning that. At first, I was being offered a teaching position in the Kindergarten classes. As most of you know, that is NOT my age group. I have my degrees in secondary ed. English and School Administration. All of my teaching experience, other than Sunday School, has been with junior high and high school- most of it being in English classes. I was willing to teach the Kindergarten if that was where I was needed, but I was really wanting and hoping for something different. Anyway, after seeing my resume, they have hired me to teach all of the high school English next year!!!! I am so excited! I am so thankful to the Lord!! They currently have an English teacher, but they want me for next year. The administrator said that he will be talking to her soon. Don't worry, she is not being fired. She is just being moved. I will also be teaching a geometry class. I am a little nervous about that class, because it will be a new one for me. It is one of those subjects that you have to use in order not to lose. I will be doing some extra math studying this summer. I haven't taught any math classes in several years. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I am so thrilled! God once again has provided for our needs and our wants!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dessert With Justus

Lick the plate...
Smile and see what is so funny.....

Can't figure it out. Lick the plate some more.....
That was sooo good. Can I have some more, Mommy?

Thank You, Grandmama!

Thank you, Grandmama for the toys and the candy (We miss your candy drawer).






Watch the videos below. Pause the music on the sidebar in order to hear.



video video video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UPDATED Special Prayer Request

Dixie Herring is a friend of mine from college. Her dear nephew, Josiah, was diagnosed with a brain tumor about 2 months ago at only 4 years of age. My heart and prayers have fervently and tearfully gone out to them ever since that first day Dixie sent me the message. This has been dear to my heart also because, Josiah is the son of an independent Baptist pastor (Such saddening things are not suppose to happen to families like this. Right? Wrong. It could be ANY of us at any time.), and he is the same age as our dear Asher. Asher is so sweet and such a joy to my life daily. I have taken for granted the health that he has- that all my children have-- and the time that I have with them each day.

Little Josiah went on a Make A Wish Trip to Disney World with his family two weeks ago. On the last day of the trip, Josiah went into a deep coma. This family has had such great faith and dependence on God during this time--a time when so many would blame God and ask why. This Mom and Dad have been such a great testimony to me and so many others. I would like for you to read this last update from the father made after his son fell into a coma and pray for this dear family.

At 3:00 AM on Friday morning the team from Air Ambulance arrived to transport Josiah Lee from Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida to St. Lukes in Boise, Idaho. Suzie went along with Josiah because the airplane could only accomodate one family member. Little Jason and I followed along on a commercial flight that arrived in Boise only a couple of hours after Suzie and Josiah. Our time at Disney on Josiah's Make A Wish trip was wonderful, but it is good to be back at "the happiest place on earth" - home.

Suzie and I met with the doctors yesterday afternoon after they examined Josiah and ran another CT scan. The doctors told us that Josiah is in a deep coma, and there is no chance of him waking up again. There has been massive hemorraging in Josiah's thalamus. The bleeding within the tumor and around the tumor has doubled the size of the affected area in his brain. With both thalami severly damaged, the 'brain within his brain' has all but been destroyed.We have been encouraged by movement, response to touch, and a flicker of the eyelids during the last few days. However, this activity is because the lower part of Josiah's brainstem in unaffected. The upper part of his brainstem, wherein lies the "soul" or conscious part of man, is damaged beyond repair.

These rapidly growing tumors need a tremendous blood supply to in order to keep growing. But the rapid growth rate means that the blood vessels being formed to supply the tumor are very weak and susceptible to rupture. The oncologist compared it to a hastily constructed refugee camp versus a well-organized and structured city. If we had started radiation immediately after Josiah's diagnosis, this incident could have happened sooner because radiation can sometimes aggravate the tumor and make it even more angry. The doctors informed us that it is very unlikely that radiation could have prevented this from happening.

I do not believe God caused this tumor, but I do believe that with all the thousands of prayers and fastings God is certainly at this point in complete control of Josiah's situation. We felt a tremendous peace about following the doctors advice and going on our trip to Florida before treatment began. Is it a coincidence that Josiah lapsed into a coma on the last day of our trip and only a few days before treatment would begin? We asked believing in faith that God would give us a miracle and perhaps God in His infinite goodness has given us mercy.Unless there are any significant changes, I will not be posting anymore updates except for my reflections of the last month with Josiah. We want to preserve the dignity of our son and honor him in such a way that brings honor to our Saviour.

To the army of prayer warriors that have interceded on behalf our precious child, I am deeply humbled and grateful for the time spent in prayer for my son. Fifty-one days ago our world came to screeching halt while the world for everyone else continued to revolve. And yet so many thousands have allowed their world to come to a frequent stop that they might pray, fast, and weep for little Josiah Lee. This has meant more to me than I can ever express.I have not stopped praying for a miracle. Our compounded problems have not made it more difficult for God to heal Josiah. He can heal with as much ease today as He could have a month ago. But I must also recognize that this could be God's answer to our prayer. On Monday morning Josiah went into a deep sleep. In a tremendous way Josiah is already 'asleep in Jesus'. How my heart and soul longs for the day when we live together with Him!

"Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection." (Hebrews 11:35)

Standing atop Mount Moriah, I am still facing a sacrifice that I do not want to make. I look to the thicket, and it is empty.

Those last words are so heartbreaking. I can't imagine being faced with such. Not wanting to let your child go to God, but knowing that he is God's, knowing that you gave him back to God as soon as God gave him to you and now God is taking him home, understanding and trying to accept that this is God's will. How difficult!

Today, little Josiah has gone home to be with the Lord. Please pray for the Herring family.

UPDATE: Here are the father's words this morning after the homegoing of his son.

12:22 AM on Wednesday morning, Josiah Lee was embraced by his best Friend. Ten days ago he fell asleep in Disney World and this morning he woke up in heaven. It doesn't get much better than that for a four-year-old kid. Fifty-five days ago Josiah's journey began. His short life recently touched thousands and some of us were privileged to bask in the warmth of his light for almost five years. Looking out from the balcony of our room in the Disney resort over the splendor of the Magic Kingdom, Suzie commented that the whole Disney trip seemed almost surreal. Last night as Suzie and I were reminiscing about little Josiah I realized our life has been surreal. Josiah lived a "Make A Wish" childhood. One day soon we'll get our wish trip when we're reunited with our little blonde haired, blue eyed boy - 'Siah, my Siah'. "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us... that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us." (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)



My trials and troubles are small.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Need Your Opinion

I saw these yesterday on Jennie Bender's My Spot blog. I gathered my stuff and started making them last night. I found this pattern on another crafty blog.
Then I used my scrapbooking scissors and paper to make these. I used gold and silver glitter glue and added the dots.

I holepunched a hole on two sides and strung a ribbon through. But... here is my problem... They are suppose to have a handle and hang kind of like a purse, but I can't hang them like that on the back of our metal chairs. So, I attached a magnet to the back of them. I am now trying to decide what to do with the handle. Here they are hanging on my fridge.
Leave it like this with a bow on the top.


Cut the ribbon and stream a pretty bead or two on the ribbon to add weight so the ribbon will hang nicely on each side. Obviously, I don't have a bead added here yet.



Just forget about the ribbon and go super simple.


What should I do? Or do you have any other ideas? I need some feedback.


Videos of the KIddos

Both of these are from tonight. I was trying to get Justus to say "night, night." Of course, he wouldn't. The other video is of Abbie and her friend singing at the church fish fry. Remember ot pause the music on the side, so you can hear.

video video

Church Fish Fry

We went to a church Fish Fry tonight for our Shining Stars (senior citizens/retired) group from church. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was gorgeous. We all had a lot of fun.

Justus was trying to hit a baseball. He just couldn't figure out the big bat.
The kids played a game of follow the leader.

Abbie and her new best friend Kirsten played horse shoes.

The kids hugging Mrs. Melba. She has really adopted our kids since we moved here.

Half of the group eating away.

The kids trying to eat and keep their plates from blowing away in the warm wind.


Justus loves the older men. He went from one to the other all night.

Abbie and Kirsten sang a special of "Jesus Loves Me" for everyone. I have a video of it. I will try to post it.


Chloe sang a solo of "1,2,3 Jesus Loves Me". My video didn't turn out.

Some of the group singing together in the living room.

Justus is soooo my son. We were loading up in the van, and he had to pick up every single toy before he came to the van.

Showers of Blessings

So, I never made it back to the computer yesterday to update this blog. I got caught up in some crafting stuff for my ladies' meeting. The meeting is not until June 16th, but I have a lot to create myself in order to keep the meeting inexpensive yet fabulous.

What's Up with us? Our days have been packed with the end of school events, church activities, and household stuff. Last week Aaron and I did squeeze in a half day at the beach with the boys while the girls were in school. We missed having the girls with us, but at the same time it was good to go without them. The kids are so young that we have to keep a very close eye on all four of them. There is a strong undertow on Dauphin Island. It was nice to each only have one child to hang on to. Aaron and I were able to relax a little more. We are going to try to go one more time this Thursday. Then school will be out, and we will gladly take all four of them.

God is so good to us!! As I have said before, we are so glad that school is almost out. We are excited to have found a good church school to enroll the kids in for the upcoming school years. We have been concerned for the cost and how we were going to afford it. It is more expensive here than it was in IN. We started looking around for a part time job for me. The thing is I didn't want to have to be away from the kids for the summer and especially not during the school year when they are away from us most of the day anyway. It is important to us that WE are the ones training them. God has brought the perfect job to me!!! I will be tutoring a boy in reading for the summer. I will be using an intense tutoring curriculum called Lindamood-Bell. I will be tutoring him each day at the church from 9-12. I will still be right there for the kids if they need me. Aaron will be the one taking care of them while he works. It is great that we have a gym, a play ground, a t.v., and lots of kids' videos at the church for them to stay entertained during that time. Then we will still have all three meals together and all afternoon and evening to enjoy our summer. Our financial needs will be met! I am being paid well. I will make in the 8 weeks what we need to get all three kids enrolled, buy their books, pay all of the other miscellaneous fees, and pay the first month's tuition!! I am so thankful!! God has provided for us in a way that is just perfect for our family! I am still so amazed each time at how He cares and provides for us in every way! Then on top of this great tutoring job, He has provided an opportunity for me to be able to teach part time at the kids' school next year. So, tuition will be payed each month, and I will still be with the kids! On the days that I am teaching, Justus will be with Aaron, and if it is needed we will have a lady in the church watch Justus.

Today I am busy crafting for the ladies' meeting and cleaning around the house and spending time with the boys. Tonight we are going to a fish fry with our church's senior citizens group. Wednesdays are always busy and with no time to spare-speech, piano, baths, dinner, King's Kids. Maybe, I'll get to post again on Thursday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

IT'S MONDAY!


I have lots to do today. I am hoping to grab some time later on this afternoon to let you know what has been and what is going on around here. I am tempted to do it right now, but I really need to get some housework done. I really don't need to get sucked into the blogging world right now. Check back later!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Week



Like I have already said, I am trying to get back in the habit of regularly posting on my blog again. So... today I am just checking in and telling you the plans for the day.




YEAH!!! We are starting the week off with everyone well. I am doing the regular Monday household chores inside that have to be done after our fun-filled and busy weekends---- a quick pick-up and organizing of each room, vaccuum, and mostly laundry because I don't usually do any laundry on the weekends. It is amazing how much laundry a family of six can dirty over the weekend. Asher has speech therapy at 12:30 at the school.




Aaron and I have a parent/teacher conference with Abbie's teacher at 1:15. We have a couple of concerns to discuss with her and Abbie (Nothing that is a complaint about the teacher, but some behavior problems we are having with Abbie and think are happening at school as well). The thing is when we asked for the conference, the teacher sent a note back saying she was glad. She wanted to meet with us too, because she has something to discuss with us. UH! OH! ---could be good---could be bad. Abbie has all A's, so it is not a school work problem. She has gotten all smiley faces on her daily behavior chart except for one day, but.....


This afternoon I have got to get some things rolling for my ladies' meeting coming up in a few weeks. I have also started a ladies' area in one of our foyers at church. I have a bulletin board and a table set up. I am using this area to keep all of the ladies updated on the times, themes, and needs of upcoming ladies' events and ladies' ministries. I need to get a few more things done for that today as well.




I hope to get some weeding done tonight. It is already too HOT to do it in the daytime now.




As for the rest of the week... it is busy. We plan to redeem the time and get a lot accomplished at home and at church. We are hoping to also get in a relaxing trip to the beach on Thursday.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day




Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Post Two Days In a Row!!

This is how Asher has spent too many of his days during this last month....

sick and asleep on the couch. This was taken yesterday in between all of the throwing up. We did end up having to cancel our dinner guests again. I hope that they don't start to think that we don't want them over. We are rescheduling it again.Justus plays a lot with Asher during the day while the girls are at school. Yesterday he found one of the girl's computers and played with it. He had no idea what to do, but he sure did try to figure it out.
We did make it to the birthday party today. The kids made cards and colored pictures for the birthday boy before we left.





When we got home I blew up the swimming pool tube again, so we could go swimming. It was very hot today. Aaron and I got in and tried to find where the hole was. We went over each part, but still could not find anything. However, as you can see by the deflated pool.... SOMETHING is wrong with this thing. This picture was taken about an hour after I filled it up. The tube won't stay full, therefore the water keeps getting out.


However, on the happier note....we can't believe that it is the first of May and we are swimming in the pool!! This would not be happening in Indiana. The water felt soooooo good. It was just right! So even though the pool was deflating as we were in it, it didn't stop us from having a good time while the water lasted.

Justus was all pooped out after the birthday party and fell asleep, so he missed the swimming in the pool. He had a good time in the bathtub!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Life as Usual

I am trying to get back on top of posting every other day or so, but it just hasn't happened yet. That is probably a good thing though, because that means less time that I am spending at the computer each day. :)

We have had a wonderful week around here.

Monday was filled with laundry and rain outside, so we watched movies and stayed inside. One bad thing...we put up our pool last week. It is one of those ugly blue bubble looking pools that you see in lots of yards. The kids had so much fun playing in it. Anyway, something happened to it during the rain storm and the air tube part went flat. We filled it with air again, and it went flat again after several hours. I can't figure it out. I can't find any holes or cuts. It is a brand new pool. We had one last year and never had any problems with it. There has to be a hole somewhere that I can't find. Tuesday we brought a little more culture to our lives and went to an art showing. One of the ladies in our church is a painter, and she was a featured artist in the show. Every Wednesday is extremely busy but encouraging around here. Asher has speech at 12:30. The girls have piano at 3:15. Then it is home for quick baths and dinner before church. There is no time to sit down or play, so we can make it on time for King's Kids. Praise the Lord, I was able to lead a nine year old little boy to the Lord this Wednesday after King's Kids! Thursday was an easy going but productive day. IT CAN BE DONE! I got lots of laundry washed, folded, and hung up as well as several other household chores. Today my plans were to meet another mom from church at The Watermelon Patch, which is not really a field of watermelon vines and dirt as I thought. I am so glad that I looked it up online, so I would not be looking for a bunch of watermelons in the middle of town. It is actually like a mommy and me play place with classes and play areas. Well, these are no longer the plans. Asher started throwing up about 4:00 this morning and hasn't quit yet. He wants to go play though. However, I don't think that the other moms would appreciate me bringing my sick child to an area with lots of other kids. Yes, someone in this house is sick again. :( Everyone was good for four days, so I will take it. It is better than no days. I am just smiling and laughing at someone else being sick. No, I am not glad that he is sick, but this continuous merry- go -round of sickness is getting humorous. Maybe, I need to send everyone away for a couple of days and scrub and bleach this house. Tonight we have plans for our youth pastor, his wife, and their little boy to come over for dinner. I am hoping that Asher will not still be throwing up this afternoon. This is already our second time to schedule them over for dinner. We had to cancel last time when I was really sick. :) Tomorrow we are suppose to go to a 1st birthday party.

Overall, we have had a happy week. God is good to us.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ministry Involvement Fair and Youth Auction

Last night at church we had a ministry involvement fair in our gym. It is sort of like a job fair only it is for all of the different ministries of our church. We have ministry team leaders. They are to supervise and manage the area of ministry that they are given.We had a table set up and decorated for each ministry and the team leaders were at their tables. Each table also had sign up sheets. The members went around from table to table, looked at the displays, asked questions, gathered information, and volunteered for the areas that interested them. We had a table for everything from the nursery to maintenance to the kitchen to helping with baptisms. We also had tables of finger foods and chairs sat around in circles for the members to be able to leisurely walk around, eat, and mingle. This was our first time and our church's first time to do one of these. It was a huge success, and will become an annual event at our church. Aaron, of course, is over all of the team leaders. However, he did take the team leader role of the baptism ministry. The people who sign up for this ministry help lead people who are being baptised to the right areas to change, make sure we have towels, clean up the rooms afterwards, etc... This is really a behind the scenes ministry.
Aaron and I together are the team leaders for King's Kids, our Wednesday night kids Bible club.

I am the the team leader for the ladies ministries. This ministry includes everything from ladies' fellowship meetings to decorating the bulletin boards to secret sisters to meals for the sick to the food pantry.
After everyone had time to walk around the ministry involvement fair we had a youth auction in the fellowship hall. The junior high and high school kids were auctioned off to do work around the home of the highest bidder. The money raised goes towards their fees for camp. We won two boys. They will be weeding our flower beds, mowing, and trimming!

Chloe watching the auction with her friend Maggie.