Thursday, September 24, 2009

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Just finished my first Jodi Picoult book. So I thought I'd give a review (as requested by Natalie Fournet).

Good read, yet hard on the emotions at times. It took me a little bit to get into it most likely due to the short increments of time I had to read (5 min. here, 5 minutes there). But shortly I began to get involved in the characters, and towards the end, I was having a hard time putting it down.

The characters are very interesting and well developed. The overall theme I kept coming across was the following: what you believe about yourself will dictate your actions. This I believe to be true. And putting it into a Biblical perspective (this is not what was done in the book): if we see ourselves the way God sees us, our actions will convey His view. We will be humbled and become loving, forgiving, and full of grace to others and ourselves. If we see our failures in the light of our culture and world view, we will believe them and stay trapped in that way of thinking, and therefore, perpetuate our weaknesses rather than grow stronger in God's strength.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me whne you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."
(Jeremiah 29:11-14a; NIV; emphasis mine)

Just began "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier for book club. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Plano Balloon Fest

This past weekend we went to the Plano Balloon Festival with the Parkers.
The sky divers coming down from an airplane were Cobb's favorite part.

Charly enjoyed collecting rocks, running up to our neighbors Angie & Troy, and eating.

Ridge's favorite part was the dragon balloon from "Dragon Tales.

He took a really long time to blow up so Ridge tried to encourage him. Here's a video of his attempt to "wake up" the dragon:

Finally the dragon "woke up." We went down to get a closer look. Ridge said, "Hey dragon! You hungry? You gonna eat dose birds dragon? Hey dragon! You eating da birds?????"

Then on Sunday we were in for a real surprise treat! We saw the balloons flying as we were driving home from Lake Highlands. Cobb & Ridge were in my car with me. Ridge saw the dragon in the sky. "FOLLOW IT MOMMY!!! DERE IT GOES! FOLLOW IT!" So we did.

Here it is about to land:

Of course we parked and ran to see it! Here's Cobb & Ridge next to the giant foot!

And walking on the dragon. . .

Here's Ridge rolling with other kids on the dragon to get the air out. . .

And here's Cobb and Ridge. . .

And it's all rolled up!

And here's the basket. . .

Cobb told me that he wants to go up in a balloon someday. Someday, maybe. . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brother/Sister Love

Since Cobb has entered Kn, Charly & Ridge have spent a lot of time together. They like to play Mommy & Baby, Brother & Sister, Daddy & Mommy, Cars, Babies, Superheros, etc. . . They are so cute together when they are getting along. Here's a little picture of her hugging him and him stroking her hair. . .

I know, I know, it does look as if she is strangling him and he is pulling her hair. . . BUT if I'm remembering correctly, I'm pretty sure they were loving gestures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

King of the Week

Well, Cobb got King of the Week this week in his Kindergarten class. He has been VERY excited about it. He gets to be the classroom helper and wear a crown all day, all week long. I had the privilege of subbing in his classroom on Monday for Mrs. Bush (she had a PTA meeting from 8-9). I enjoyed getting to put faces with names of all the kids Cobb talks about at home. Mrs. Bush has a great little class of kids.

At the beginning of class, Mrs. Bush had me play the first three songs on the CD. Thankfully, I was familiar with them(Good Morning song, Months of the year, Days of the Week), but I didn't know the motions. Cobb kindly and authoritatively said, "uh mom, just watch me." Apparently, I was doing the motions all wrong. Cobb was totally in his element, and it was so fun to watch. He was cute wearing his crown and telling his friends about his poster that we had made. I forgot to take a picture before we turned it in, but it had all sorts of pictures of Cobb, his family, friends, cousins, hobbies, etc... He was a very proud King of the Week. Hopefully, we won't go into withdrawal next week when he's back to being just a normal class citizen. :) Here's a picture of the King and his teacher:

God shows himself in a Toddler

A friend said this to me, and I continue to see the truth in this statement.

I decided to let Charly & Ridge watch a show so I could spend some time reading & praying. I found myself a little nook in our house, put a blanket over me, set my warm coffee next to me, and picked up my Bible. Soon enough, Ridge enters the scene. . .

Ridge: bringing me a snack his sister gave him Will you open this mommy?
Me: Sure
Ridge: What's this mommy? points to my spiral notecards
Me: It's my Bible verses that I'm memorizing
Ridge: Oh, are you still sad?
Me: Yes, but God is comforting me.
Ridge: He's covering you?
Me: Yes, that's right. He's covering me.

He's covering me with His love. "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." (Psalm 68:19). "And when my spirit grows faint within me, it is you (Lord) who knows my way." (Psalm 142:3a). I'm so thankful for the joy you give me Lord, even in the midst of tears. You are my portion, and I will wait for you. (Lam 3:24)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quotes from Kids I Know & Love

Kids have the truest, most honest, and most humorous reactions to the tragedy we have experienced. I don't want to forget these responses so I am writing them down. So sweet, so sad, and yet they make me laugh too.

KF: "Oh! Now Haley can ride the wave runner!" (you can't ride when you're pregnant.)

AF: She wrote us a note all on her own. Her parents found it next to her bed. "Hy Tomsis I am sore thet yol aur feling sad. I am sad to. love Abby." Such a sweet little heart.

LR: After stumping her mom with several 'why' questions she said, "It's going to be a long time til I meet the baby in Heaven. But Nana will meet the baby soon!"

My sweet friend brought flowers and cookies to our door to express her sympathy. She brought her children with her.
AC: "We brought these flowers because your baby died."
PC: "Why'd your baby die again? Can we have a cookie?"
I'm sure this was awkward for my friend, but I was touched by the kids' desire to be involved in their mom's sweet gift.

CT: "Ok, so... Can I watch batman now?"

ChT: "I'm excited! I'll get to meet the baby in Heaven." She doesn't quite understand how long that really will be.

ChT: To a nail salon lady. "I'm going to Target to get mommy a present because she's sad. The baby in her tummy died." (lady's response: "ookay").

RT: "Are you still sad mommy? ooooh no!" He took my hand in his chubby little one & held on.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of Preschool!

Today was Ridge's first day of preschool and Charly's first day back to preschool. Ridge woke up at 5:30 so excited and asking for his backpack. We started off with eggs & toast. Ridge just decided to lick all the jelly off the bread:

After breakfast and getting dressed, we tried to take a "1st day of school picture" with all three:

As you can see, Charly started a tantrum, and it got more fierce. . .

The reason you ask? She decided all of a sudden that she didn't want to wear her new tennis shoes. Yes, this was a full out, blow out, angry tantrum. The boys didn't know quite what to think. But after a time out, she changed her attitude so she could have a "good first day of school" picture.

Here's little Ridge walking into school. He's still as excited as he can be. . .

Here he is in his new classroom:

And here's Charly in her's:

My Little Comforter

Ridge was with me at the doctor's office this past Tuesday. He watched my face as I watched the doctor's. When we searched for the heartbeat, Ridge said, "Don't worry Mommy. Be brave!" And when we started the sonogram & it was becoming apparent that the baby was gone, my tears began to fall. I hear my sweet Ridge say, "Mommy, it's okay Mommy. Don't cry mommy. Be brave mommy." When the result was conclusive, Ridge & I went to the doctor's office to wait for daddy to arrive. Of course, I was trying to be brave, but the tears kept falling. This was our little conversation:

Ridge: Mommy, did that doctor hurt you?
Me: No Ridge. He didn't hurt me.
Ridge: Well, then why you crying?
Me: God decided it was best to take our baby to be with Jesus.
Ridge: Oh. Don't worry mommy. I'll just ask God to give it back!
Me: Thank you Ridge, but I don't think we can have it back. We won't get to meet our baby until Heaven
Ridge: ok. Are you sad mommy?
Me: Yes, I'm so so sad.

He then gave me a huge two year old hug, told me I was a princess, then asked if he could have a lollipop. Sweet, Sweet Ridge. I am so thankful that he was with me. The Lord provided a way for me to see the blessing in the midst of heartache. He has given me three precious kids who are such a joy. Their presence doesn't take away the pain of losing our precious baby, but it puts a bandaid on it every once in a while.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Goodbye for Now Sweet Baby

Even at 15 weeks, I was hesitant to announce you for fear of losing you. But I have lost you anyway. I loved you fully already, amazed at your little life. I imagined who you would be and your relationships with your sister, brothers, and cousins of the same age. I saw your fingers today and your sweet little head. The doctor said it looked like you were a boy. I think you would have been a joy in our family, and we are so very sad to not meet you here with us. Now you are whole in heaven with our savior. You are full and rich and blessed. I feel comfort in knowing where you are, and that I will meet you some day. Some day, I will see you and know you. Until then, we'll miss you and celebrate the little life you had in the womb.

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when I'm found
in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll
turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun's
shining down on me
When the world's "all as it should be"
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road
marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your Name
Written by Beth Redman & Matt Redman

Friday, September 04, 2009

Week in Review

Daddy walked with us to school on Monday, and that was a real treat. It was good for me too because we had to drop Cobb off at the door. What a big boy! sigh. . .

Usually, after we take Cobb to school, we'll go home, pick up Mulligan, and go for a walk. Charly & Ridge have enjoyed exercising with me so they'll get out of the stroller every once in a while and run with Mulligan.

There's also a garden like area by one of the ponds that they like to stop and perform. Here they are singing at the top of their lungs. I was sad I didn't have Rob's fancier iphone b/c I couldn't video the cuteness.

Monday after school, we spent some time at Daddy's office then headed over to the Dishmans for a while. Carrie was sweet to feed us dinner! yum! She's a naturally good cook. Below is a pic of the girls in all their girlyness. . .

On Tuesday we played over at the Parkers for a bit. Charly was a big help. She dressed Ridge for me, and she fed Dayton her applesauce. She's such a nurturing little girl.

Later in the afternoon, we headed out to Charly's soccer practice. Cobb & Charly were on their bikes. Poor Cobb crashed big time right before we got there. He scratched & bruised his face, banged up his elbows & his knee. He hurt all over. I had a choice to make. Either turn around & walk all the way back to our house, get in the car & go, or press on. After big hugs & attempts at comfort, I scooped him up into the stroller next to Ridge, stuck the bike on the stroller handle bar & kept on towards soccer practice where we waited for Daddy to meet us. As soon as Daddy got there, we headed home to patch up miserable Cobb. Daddy got to stay & watch Charly practice, but called to check on the Cobb's progress.

Wednesday we played at the park with Bennett and one of Charly's friends Riley Rogers, and then got the afternoon treats of sonic drinks(Cobb survived his day at Kindergarten even after being banged up from his bike), playground with friends, and eventually McDonalds happy meals for dinner. I suddenly turned into the "best mom ever!" according to my kids. Really, the McDonalds was out of necessity in a rushed evening, and the need to get to church fast. But I'll take the credit!

Thursday was a fun day of playing with friends, and Cobb had his second soccer practice. The whole team has improved & it's fun to watch!

And today, we get to head to the Lake with the Fifers! YEAH FOR US!

Daddy Monster

One of my kids favorite things to do is to play with Daddy when he becomes the monster. I just found these random pictures from sometime this summer. Rob had dressed up as some sort of monster. . . not sure what?? Enjoy. . .

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Storm is Scary

I was putting the boys to bed and a storm is brewing outside. . .

Ridge: Mommy, the storm is scary
Me: I know it's loud. But Cobby is in here with you. He can protect you.
Cobb: Not after I fall asleep! I can't protect him while I'm asleep
Ridge: (Ridge puts on a scared face) It's scary mommy!
Me: The storm can't get into the house. We are safe in the house that God has given us.
Cobb: Lightening can break through a roof.
Ridge: But what about the lightening!
Me: You can talk to God if you are scared. He's our protector. And God made the lightening and the thunder and the rain. Rain helps the plants to grow
Ridge: Tell the storm not to scare me
Me: Do you want to tell it?
Ridge: Storm, don't scare me! (he said this in a very forceful voice)
Me: Is that better?
Ridge: yeah. It not scare me any more.
Me: Okay, well, I'll see you in the morning!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Are You Just So Cute?

Charly: You know what? My friend is only scared of big boys, but not scared of my little brother.
Ridge: Huh?
Charly: She's not scared of you Ridge. Just Cobb
Ridge: oh
Charly: How come everyone likes you?
Ridge: D'know?
Charly: Because you are just SO cute?
Ridge: Yeah, I'm cute.

Ridge is already attempting the "I'm cute so I can get away with it" method. Conversations like this are just going to encourage him to try harder!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ridge the Swimmer

I realize that I never posted about Ridge's swim lessons. He had one week of lessons with Mrs. Debra at the end of July. He was so terrified of the water, so my goal was that he would be comfortable being held by me in the deep end. Mrs. Debra not only helped him feel more comfortable in the water, but also taught him to kick to the side & get out when/if he falls in. He cried so much the first few days of lessons, that he was hoarse! But it was all worth it. I took pictures on the last day, the only day I was able to watch (his tears were too much for me).
Below she demonstrated to me how he can swim to the side. . .

Below, she has just dropped him into the deep end, and my big boy found his way to the ladder and crawled out.

And his favorite was riding on Mrs. Debra's back.

This made our life a ton easier in Florida! He loved the water, asked to swim to the side many times(when in the pool), and rode on Rob's or my back the majority of the time we swam. It's so cute when he is on the steps, and he says, "Are you ready mommy???" When I say yes, he gets a bubble in his mouth and ducks into the water towards me. Every once in a while I have to remind him to kick, but he does really well for the most part. THANKS Mrs. Debra!!!!