Friday, May 14, 2010

Show us Your Life Friday....Books!!!!

So, I've been MIA for awhile. I'm going to try to make blogging more of a routine around here, but we'll see how that gooes.

Today is "Show us Your Life Friday" over at Kelly's Korner. I've never participated before, but today's topic is BOOKS, and I love to read!! I think my children are going to inherit that trait from me. As a matter of fact, my five-year-old genius very smart son has taught himself a whole slew of sight words already, and can in fact already read the Dick and Jane books. His pre-K teacher described him as a "phenomenal" student, and said that he is pretty certain he will be reading with ease before Christmas break of kindergarten. I think he's a prodigy {but I am a little partial}. So, Ethan's favorite book right now is the Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane. He has read to page 96 all on his own!

Ethan and Addy love to sit on my lap before bedtime and read a book together. They have two favorite bedtime books and they are:

Fish Kisses and Gorilla Hugs

Llama Llama Red Pajama
Bethany (along with about every other pre-teen girl I know) loves the Twilight Saga. I must say that I quite enjoyed them as well, and I took full advantage of using her as my excuse to go see New Moon in the theater! I didn't feel quite as embarassed because I had three teenage girls with me.

I have read so many books I probably could never even count them all. Some of my favorite authors are Nicolas Sparks, James Patterson, Beth Moore, Anita Renfroe, and Anne Graham Lotz.
One of the books that has probably helped me more than anything in dealing with my sickness and just the everyday problems of life is Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. The pages in that book are written all over, highlighted, and pretty much look like they have been through a war. The main theme of the book is that every trial we go through is ordained by a Sovereign God, and how each of those trials is intended for our good and for His glory. My favorite line from the entire book is this: "God never wastes pain." Love it.

I have read Angie Smith's blog, Bring the Rain for a long time, and I seriously counted down the days until her book was released. My sister pre-ordered a copy for both of us that way we could get them before the release date. We live next door to each other, and I kept walking to her house looking to see if the Amazon box was on her porch!! I certainly did not have any intentions of ripping opening the box and stealing kindly taking my copy! Too bad she had them sent to her work! This book definitely did not disappoint; rather it was even better than I had anticipated. I think I started crying on page 5, and the tears didn't cease until after about two hours of finishing the book. I am a super fast reader, and I tried to tell myself that I was going to savor it and not devour it all in one sitting. However, when I sat down to read it, all three of my children were gone, and I couldn't resist the opportunity. I did make myself take a couple of breaks to switch out laundry. I read the entire book in three hours, and after my friends all finish with my copy, I plan on reading it again. And again. And again. And probably yet again. I love that woman and the way she writes. And, above all else, she is GEN-U-INE. Her love for the Lord, even through her pain, radiates from the pages of that book, and her hope and faith are so contagious.

Anywhoo, I LOVE to read, and I could probably go on and on for hours talking about my favorite books and authors. These are the ones who top the list.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

a little late...but what's new?

We had a wonderful Christmas around here. Hoping the same is true for you and yours!!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jaxon Ryan

On the evening of September 8, a beautiful baby boy named Jaxon Ryan was born into our family. He has been such a blessing, and I must say that he is kinda partial to his aunt Misty : )
I felt so priveleged that my brother and soon-to-be SIL asked me to stay in the room during the birth. It was a beautiful experience, and I will never forget it. It's hard to believe that our little guy is already three months old. It seems like just yesterday we were here....

Josh and Andrea goofing off....EARLY in the laboring process.

What a beautiful couple : )

I was so proud of my baby brother. He stuck right by her side, and was such a pillar of strength for her.

She was really feeling the pain by this point, but refused the epidural. She might just be the strongest woman I have ever met. An all-natural birth definitely isn't the "easy-way out." But, she was amazing.

The new mommy kissing her baby right after he was born.

Jaxon Ryan

Daddy holding Jaxon for the first time

This is my favorite picture : ) Hard to believe that my
baby brother is now a father.

What a handsome little fellow

Papaw (my dad) holding his new grandson for the first time. I must say that our
children have the greatest grandparents they could ever want.

Me holding my beautiful was love at first sight.
And, yes, I am definitely his favorite aunt. Just ask him.

Addalyn holding her new cousin. Her face just screams excitement!

Ethan and Jaxon

Bethany and Jaxon

I love this picture

Utter perfection....

Addalyn and Jaxon
We love you, Jaxon, and are so blessed to have your presence in our lives. You are the embodiment of joy, and you always have a precious smile on your face. I can't wait for the many years of spoiling you rotten. Aunt Misty loves you!!

Out of the mouths of babes

Kids say the funniest things, and sometimes they just happen to be hurtful. For some reason, my kids happen to be the most BRUTALLY honest kids I have ever met. They seem to lack a filter regarding what comes out of their mouths.

For about a week straight after I got out of the hospital, baby sister wouldn't let me out of her sight, even during the wee hours of the night. My usual twelve-hour sleep loving princess thought it best to just stay up all night to make sure Momma didn't disappear. I didn't have the strength, energy, or heart to fight with her, so I would just get up and take her to the living room, turn cartoons on (I'm bad....I know!), and lay down in the recliner with her sitting right on top of me.

On one particular night, I kept dozing off while she watched cartoons and tried to carry a conversation on with me. I awoke to her squeezing my face, saying, "Mommy, Mommy. Does God have wings?" No, honey, God doesn't have wings, now go to sleep. Just a few moments later, "Mommy, Mommy. Can God fly?" Sweetheart, I don't know if God can fly. I don't think he has the need to. And then, "Mommy, Mommy." I am waiting for another silly question about God's magical attributes, but instead I hear, in the most angelic voice possible........"How did you get so fat?" Gee, thanks, princess. Mommy loves you too.

And, so, out of the mouths of babes comes many things: funny questions about lofty things, heartfelt sentiments of love, and more often than not, brutally honest statements that literally make you laugh out loud.

Love is....

Laughing at one another until your sides ache.
Forgiving without reservation.
Doing something you don't want to, just to make the other happy.
Eating bland meal after meal while your wife learns how to cook.
Enjoying the monotony of everyday life.
Watching reruns of favorite shows together.
Going grocery shopping on date night and being content with that.
Holding hands in the car, even after nine years of marriage.
Not seeing the extra pounds the other has accumulated over the years.
Shaving your wif'e's head and then telling her she is beautiful.
Saying til death do us part....and meaning it.

I realize it has been awhile, and alot has definitely gone on in the past few months. What, you ask? Well, I will tell you.

For one, God has been doing a major work in mine and my husband's marriage. Toward the end of August, we came to what looked like the end of the road for us. Our problems seemed insurmountable, and the "world" was telling us to give up...there was no hope for such a broken relationship. However, we didn't listen to the world, we listened to God and valued the sacred promise we had made to each other before Him. With the help of an amazing Christian counselor, we have worked through our problems. Through God's grace, I can truly say that our marriage is stronger today than it has ever been, and I have a new found love for my husband and for my Savior. God took two selfish, cold-hearted, angry individuals, and molded us into one loving, compassionate, and forgiving couple. Praise His Name!! I am not saying that our marriage is perfect or that we will never encounter another problem or argument, but what I am saying is that we have learned what a biblical marriage should consist of, and we both conspire on a daily basis to fulfill God's purpose in our marriage. And what is the purpose of our marriage? To glorify Him. And, we are learning how to every single day.

I also had my brain surgery to insert the VP shunt on October 29th. I can honestly say that I had never felt God's peace and presence in my life as much as I did on that day. The burden and fear was just too much to carry myself, so I gladly gave it all to Him. Chad prayed over me before they wheeled me out of the room, and I have never seen him look so scared. While they were wheeling me back to the OR, I had a sudden realization. In that moment, I couldn't rely on my parents, my friends, my children, or even my husband...God was all I had, and He was definitely all I needed. Though I would have liked to, I couldn't take my hubby back to that OR with me. My loving Savior was the only One who could accompany me every step of the way, and I wouldn't want it any other way. The surgery went as well as expected, and it was obvious to my neurosurgeon after encountering so much spinal fluid inside my brain that this shunt was definitely necessary. I cannot describe the pain that I felt for the first few days after, and to be honest, alot of the time in the hospital was a blur. I somehow got an infection in my neck where they had threaded the shunt tubing through, and the infection kept getting worse. Dr McG came in one Sunday afternoon and gave me the awful news that if the infection didn't go away by the next morning that they would have to take the shunt out and redo the entire surgery. I was devastated, and called Chad (who was out to lunch with some of our friends who live close to the hospital) to let him know. I think he texted everyone he knew requesting their prayers, and our church had special prayer for me as well. God answered those prayers, and when I woke up the next morning, the swelling had decreased tremendously and the doctors said the infection was rapidly healing. I was in the hospital for five days, and Chad took such good care of me the entire time. He never once complained about anything he had to do for me, and he so lovingly and willingly met my every need. It has been a long recovery process, but God has been with me (and He will continue to be with me) every step of the way. I am still having severe headaches, and the doctors are not sure that the shunt is working as it should be, so I will be going to see Dr McG on Friday, and he will be sending me for some tests afterwards. Please pray that they can figure out what is going on with this crazy shunt so that I can start feeling good and get back to my old self. Chad is still doing most everything around here, and as strange as it sounds, I can't wait to get back to my cooking, cleaning, laundering, errand-running, shopping, loafing, and kid chauffering!! I will post some pics later of my awesome scar and shaved head.

I have so much to thank God for. This was truly a Thanksgiving full of thanksgiving. I do not deserve all of the blessings He gives me, but I will gladly take them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not My Child! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I will preface this by saying that the majority of what NEVER happens to me is typically not caused by my 5-year-old little man. He was born a preemie, and he just came out fighting. Needless to say, the fight has never left him.

This past week, I certainly did not have one of the worst weeks of my life. My son was not singlehandedly responsible for one of those extremely horrific days. While watching tv with the kiddos one day, I did not find myself dozing off, as they were sitting ever so calmly... one by my side and the other on my back. I was not awakened to little man in my face saying, "Look what I did to my hair, Mommy." My eyes began to focus and this is what I did NOT see: My son's beautiful, long blonde hair chopped off on the skin...with kitchen scissors. I did not proceed to shriek and then turn around to realize that he had not also given his sister a nice little hair cut as well. Her long, beautiful, dark brown curls were not gone, and she was not also nearly scalped in some places. What kind of a mother would fall asleep while watching tv with her kids? Not me. I get a full night's rest every single night, and I am NEVER worn out or exhausted by my children's antics or their sometimes crazy schedules. I am the picture of readiness and alertness. Or something like that.

My children are always so well-behaved. They would never throw fits, especially in public. I mean, seriously. They would not even think about it. This week was not a particularly stressful one, and you can not see that written all over their faces. Thus, at Sunday dinner yesterday with 15 members of our family (at Texas fav!), both little ones did not cry and cling to me, begging to be carried. They are way more mature than that. They did not refuse to be carried by any other member of my family, and when I chose one to carry, the other did not scream and cry all of the way to the table. I did not quickly feed little man the free rolls, rush order mac-n-cheese for baby sister, feed them as quickly as possible, and leave my favorite restaurant without even eating. My children would never stress me out that much. NEVER.

Little man also does not start pre-kindergarten on Thursday. Not my tiny little baby who fit in the palm of my hand when we brought him home from the hospital. He could NOT be starting school already! Where has the time gone??? At registration, he was most definitely not the clingy, crying, fit-throwing, mama-hugging child that every parent glares at. NOT my son. He is totally not babified or spoiled like that. That same boy did not surprise me at orientation when he did wonderfully! On the other hand he also did not embarass both his parents when he went to visit his teacher this morning while taking big sister to school. He spoke to the teacher and did not proceed to teach him the basics of pre-kindergarten farting, er, I mean gas expulsion. Not my child!!! And through all of the frustrations, crises, and stressful times I experience with my kiddos, I most certainly do not love them more than life itself. Not me.