Archive for December, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Things

Today I am beginning a series of posts.  A series of Favorites.  Today, I’ll start with a few of MY FAVORITES!  Just a list of random, yet very loved things in my life.  🙂

1.  My new red electric blanket!  I have no idea how I have made it nearly 40 years without one!  My sweet sister-in-law got it for me for Christmas.  I turn it on to warm up my spot before I get into bed.  It. is. heavenly.  I love it!

2.  Speaking of warmth, I also love my new Cuddle Duds!  They are long johns, only they’re silky smooth with just the tiniest bit of fleece inside!  Ahhhh!  Love them!  Paul bought me a white pair and a black pair before Christmas.  They are so nice!

3.  I also really like this cushion for my desk chair.  If I sit at the computer too long, I get a sharp pain in my upper left shoulder.  But using this lumbar cushion really helps me stay in a better position, and it helps my pain stay away for a little bit longer.  It also has a little vibrating massager inside for an added touch.  I don’t use the massager because I think it is odd for some reason.  This cushion does fall out of the chair a lot; that drives Paul nuts.  He secretly wishes I had never found this cushion at Wal-Mart, but I like it anyway!

4.  And speaking of the sharp pain in my upper left shoulder: I don’t have a photo of her, but I should list my chiropractor as one of my favorite things.  Dr. Castello fixes me and makes my pain go away.  I like her very much!

5.  Our baby tree in the back yard has to make my list of favorites.  I wish I had a better photo of him.  He’s precious.  He started out as a little stick with a painted stripe.  We got a dozen flowering “trees” in the mail a couple of years ago.  Paul planted each of the sticks in its own clay pot.  They all died except this one little tree.  It has been fun to watch it grow.  I’ve been so scared that my crazy kids are going to crash into it and smash it to pieces, but so far he still stands!  They have learned to look out for the baby tree and caution their friends to stay away from it.  The other day when it snowed on Christmas Eve, Zippy said, “Oh, no!  I guess the baby tree is going to die!”  But I feel confident that the baby tree will be strong and survive the snow storm.

6.  I love my bed!  Seems like a lame thing to list as a favorite, but I couldn’t NOT mention it as a favorite.  It is just about my favorite place on the planet.  I love to sleep!  And I especially love my bed now that my red electric blanket is there!

7.  I also must mention the Berry Blush wall in Chloe’s room.  I love that wall.  In fact, I wish she had 3 walls that color instead of only one.  It is an awesome color, and was such a brave thing for me to try.  I love it.  The photo does NOT do it justice.  You’ll have to take my word for it.  It’s quite nice.

8.  My black pants also make the list of my favorites.  My mom bought them for me.  They are from Talbots, and they have a zipper on the side.  With the zipper on the side, I don’t have that little poochy thing that a front zipper and snap make under an untucked shirt.  You do know what I mean, don’t you?  I really like these pants.  I just started a new part-time job, and I wear these black pants every time.  (And the good news is:  I think I need a smaller size!  I will like those even more than these!!  :))

9.  And I love, love, love to see the moon in the day.  Seeing the moon at night is really cool, but seeing the moon in the day makes me really happy.  I always say the little moon blessing when I spy the moon during the day:  “I see the moon.  The moon sees me.  God bless the moon, and God bless me!”  Zippy likes to say it with me, but Chloe yells at me to “STOP!” when I say the moon blessing.  (I say it anyway.)

Those are 9 of my favorite things.  I also love my van, my house, our neighborhood, eating out (especially Mexican food), sneezing in the shower, drinking chocolate milk, getting the hiccups, watering my lawn in the evening, and the smell of a just-blown-out candle.

Beauty Sleep — Not!

I think probably the “beauty factor” doesn’t kick in if your sleep is broken up into 20-minute intervals!  Ugh!

I used to have nights like last night all the time — literally 4 or 5 nights a week!  So when they happen now and then, I’m reminded that I should be very thankful for how far we’ve come.

Here’s the play-by-play from last night:

First of all, you should know that I have been taking Trazodone for the last year or so to help me sleep at night.  My doctor prescribed it, explaining that “sometimes Mommies can’t make their minds stop running enough to sleep at night.”  Yep, that pretty much explains it.  The Trazodone is good stuff for the most part.  But when I take it and then am awakened with something that I need to take care of in the night, I often run into walls and stagger around in my grogginess.  Really!  But other than that, the stuff is good.  It helps me go to sleep and stay asleep.  Cutting the Trazodone to the right size for my dosage has been A PAIN!!  (Another story for another day!)  Anyway, when I picked up my prescription a couple of days before Christmas, my parents both tried to help me cut them (again, another story. . .), and my medicine got lost in all the Christmas stuff, and I haven’t taken it in a few days.  Thus, I lay awake ALL NIGHT!

So last night, I went to bed at 10:30.  I think I finally dozed sometime after 11.

Paul came in shortly before midnight — I woke up and was awake for a long time.

Paul turned off his reading light at around 1:00 — I woke up again and was awake for a long time.

2:00 —  Zippy came in saying he had a dream.  He got in bed with us.  I was awake for a long time.

3:00 — Zippy started coughing.  I got up, found his rescue inhaler, and used it two or three times.

Coughing continued.  Finally gave 2 nebulizer treatments at 3:45 which finally stopped his attack.

Laid back down a little after 4:00 and was awake for a long time.

Elliot came in at 4:30 saying he had a bad dream.  He wanted to sleep with us, but I talked him into going to the couch since I already had little feet sticking in my back.  I helped Elliot get some blankets for the couch and went back to bed and was awake for a long time.

I was awake for a long time at this point.

About the time I started dozing, Zippy woke up, asking if he could get up and go play the wii.  I told him no, bribed him asked him to stay still and quiet so that Elliot could stay sleeping.  I had hoped that maybe I could go back to sleep, too, but he needed me to rub his back and rub his face and rub his belly and hold him and answer questions etc.

Anyway, by this time the sun was coming up.  Elliot came in a little bit later, and I sent both boys away to go play the wii quietly together.

And that was my night.  My nearly sleepless night.  I’m glad those nights don’t happen much anymore.

Is it nap time yet??

The Weed

Here is a little story from several years ago.  It is a sweet story with an amazingly sweet message that has encouraged me from time to time over the years:

Elliot ran in from playing outside and presented me with flowers.  Tiny little delicate flowers on one rather thick and hairy-looking stem with a large root system attached.

“Ahhh!  They’re beautiful.  Thank you!” I said while I found the perfect bud vase to display my gift proudly on the kitchen counter.

“They’re weeds from the yard,” he explained as he turned to run back outside.

The pronouncement of “weeds” deflated my happiness a bit, but I still smiled, admiring the beauty of my gift.

Later when Paul saw the flowers he laughed.  “Did Elliot tell you about those flowers?”

“No.  He just said, ‘Here’s some pretty flowers I picked for you.'” I retold, choosing not to call them weeds.

Then Paul told me the story of what happened in the front yard.  The boys were playing in the front yard while Paul trimmed a bush in the flower bed.  Elliot spotted some beautiful flowers in the yard, dropped to his knees to inspect them more closely, and called out, “Daddy, come look at these pretty flowers in our yard!”

Paul glanced over, saw the weed that had invaded his yard, and announced that it was a weed.  “And this is what we do to yucky weeds,” Paul said as he triumphantly yanked it -flowers, stem, and roots from the ground.  Proudly, he held the defeated weed out to Elliot.

But Paul quickly noticed Elliot’s gaping mouth, unbelieving eyes, and sad heart.  Paul, Weed Hunter Destroyer, at once melted into Daddy, Counselor Comforter, who knew he had unknowingly, unintentionally smashed his six-year-old son’s joy and excitement.

Changing his tone, Paul acknowledged the pretty flowers and suggested presenting the bouquet to Mommy.

Later, looking at the flowers and remembering their story, I thought about how often similar things happen to us in our relationship with God.  We have something that we are proud of to present to Him, and someone — friend, foe, or the Enemy — steps in, calls it ugly, calls it a weed, labels it insufficient, and calls us unworthy.  Or maybe someone else presents something bigger or prettier or more delicate.  Then we receive those names and labels and are ashamed of our gift we have presented.  Ashamed of our offering and of our effort.  There’s no joy or happiness or fun in giving an ugly weed as a gift.

But God sees the beauty.  He sees the flowers, the delicate flowers.  And it seems He doesn’t even notice the big hairy stem or the ugly roots.  He’s thrilled with what I’ve given.  He sees the effort and is pleased.  He puts it proudly on display and periodically leans over to smell the delicate flowers.

Zip’s Theology Lesson

As Zippy was putting on his socks and shoes, he was chanting over and over, “God is everywhere.  God is everywhere.  God is everywhere.”

Then he stopped, looked at his sock and added, “He’s even in my sock!”

Christmas Photos

Ok, so we didn’t get the best of photos on Christmas day, but I do have a few to share.

It snowed and snowed and snowed on Christmas Eve.  NOT the usual Fort Worth Christmas weather!

But while the weather outside was frightful, our fire inside was so delightful!

Then, we all gathered at my mom’s for Christmas Eve.  We listened to the Christmas story from the book of Luke, and we sang every Christmas carol we could think of!

We even forced talked my nephew into playing “the drums” while we sang The Little Drummer Boy.

And Elliot drummed with force on Clint’s back.

On Christmas morning, Zippy quickly dumped out his stocking, disappointedly announced the lack of gummy worms in there, and then settled for a Tootsie Roll Pop.

And the opening craziness began . . .

Chloe got My Pal Scout.  He is a dog who sings and talks.  You connect him to the computer and download songs and info.  So the very first thing he said to Chloe:  “Hi, Chloe!”  Wow was she ever surprised!!

She watched him closely, wanting to be his friend, but still a little frightened. . .

You can’t be too careful about new friends.  You never know when they might suddenly dance or clap their paws or something . . .

Thankfully, Scout did neither so Chloe felt comfortable enough to move in for a closer look.

And even though we eventually talked her into opening some other presents, she never turned her back on that talking, singing dog who somehow knew her name.  (But she ended up loving Scout and has spent hours barking and singing and playing with him!

Elliot was happy with his Bakugan — the one thing he asked for.

After the presents were opened, Zach came and sat with me and pouted that he didn’t like the things he got and that he didn’t get what he wanted.  Oh, me!  The build-up of the emotion of Christmas hits us with disappointment sometimes.  He did eventually warm up to his gifts and had a great time playing with them.

We had a great Christmas!  And I think everyone would agree that we got what we wanted and more!!  (Except maybe gummy worms!)

8 Years Ago

8 years ago today, there was a blizzard in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

8 years ago today, there was a proud mama and daddy sitting in a hospital room in Grand Rapids.

8 years ago today, there was a precious baby girl born — just 5 hours after Christmas.

8 years ago today, there were 2 excited little boys coming to visit their new sister in the hospital.

8 years ago today, there was a baby girl with a tiny pink stocking cap on her head to keep her toasty warm!

8 years ago today, I was that proud Mama, and you, Chloe, were that little baby girl.

8 years ago today, I held a tiny miracle in my undeserving arms.

8 years ago today, I did not even fully know what a special blessing I held in my arms.

8 years ago today, we embarked on this thing — on your journey — together.

8 years ago today, I did not understand the challenges before us; instead, I was just thrilled to have you!

And today, 8 years later, I am more thrilled than ever to have you and to be journeying with you!

I love you, Baby Girl!

Some Children See Him

Wow!  How’s this for a multi-cultural look at Christmas morning??  I love it!  It is a poem titled “Some Children See Him,” and it’s so sweet!

Some children see Him lily white

the infant Jesus born this night

Some children see Him lily white

with tresses soft and fair

Some children see Him bronzed and brown

the Lord of heav’n to earth come down

Some children see Him bronzed and brown

with dark and heavy hair (with dark and heavy hair!)

Some children see Him almond-eyed

This Saviour whom we kneel beside

Some children see Him almond-eyed

With skin of yellow hue!

Some children see Him dark as they

Sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray

Some children see Him dark as they

And, ah! they love Him so!

The children in each different place

Will see the Baby Jesus’ face

Like theirs but bright with heav’nly grace

And filled with holy light!

O lay aside each earthly thing

and with thy heart as offering

Come worship now the infant King

’tis love that’s born tonight!

’tis love that’s born tonight!

Christmas Alphabet

A for the animals, out in the stable,

B for the Babe in the manger cradle,

C for the carolers, happy and gay,

D for December, the 25th day,

E for the Eve when we’re all so excited,

F for the fun when the Christmas tree’s lighted,

G for the goose, so round and so fat,

H for the holly and Santa’s red hat,

I for the ice on snow-covered hills,

where sledding is fun, in spite of the spills,

J is for Jesus, the Christ child so dear,

We honor His birth on Christmas each year,

K for the kitchen where Mom cooks the feast,

L for the light shining way in the East,

M for the mistletoe. Watch where it hangs!

N is the noel the angels first sang,

O for the ornaments trimming the tree,

P for the presents, for you and for me,

Q for the quaking of shepherds in fear,

when the bright angels brought them the words of good cheer,

R for the reindeer, leaping the roofs,

S for the stockings that Santa Claus stuffs,

T for the toys, the tinsel, the tree,

U is for us- the whole family,

V is for visitors, friends far and near,

W is for welcoming wreaths on the wall,

X is for Xmas, with pleasures for all,

Y is for Yule logs whose bright sparks fly high,

to give a warm welcome to friends passing by,

Z is for zeal we show at this time

in giving to others and loving mankind

Out of the Mouths of . . . Preteens

A 12-year-old neighbor girl who lives with her dad and grandparents celebrated Christmas with them this past weekend.  Today when I asked her what she got for Christmas, she excitedly replied that she had gotten a TV/DVD player for her room.

As she passed the football back to Elliot, she casually commented, “I used to always eat at the table.  But now I just take all my food to my room to eat.  Now there’s no reason for me to stay out there.”

“Now there’s no reason for me to stay out there.”

I collapsed into a heap in the front yard as I heard those words come from her mouth.  If I hadn’t been so paralyzed at the truth and tragedy of her comment, I would have dashed across the street and begged her grandparents to move that new TV into the living room!

This sweet, sweet girl who has already had quite a trying 12 years — her parents divorced when she was little bitty, her dad and step-mom divorced this past year, her father was away in Iraq for a couple of years — is now bound to spend her teen years in her bedroom by herself, isolated, instead of out at the table with her family.

Am I the only one who feels the need to scream, “NO!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs?

Is it possible that the simple act of letting a child have a TV in their room contributes to the deterioration of her relationship and her openness with her parents?  Are parents just handing over the nurturing and bonding opportunity with their children by sending them to their room with their own TV?  I think it is possible.  And I’m guessing most parents are doing it without even realizing the impact it has on their children.

I am a little sick to my stomach.

I hope I remember this moment when my boys ask for a TV in their room in the next couple of years.

Christmas Photo

Here’s a photo to make you laugh.  It is from 2 years ago.  Santa, again, looks pathetic!  He needs some glue or something to put his mustache in the right place.  Ugh.  But my kids are cute!

(I’ve been out of town while these last few days’ entries have posted!  I scheduled them before I left.  Cool, eh?  I’m on my way home now. . .)

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