Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diaperless at Last?

I hesitate to write this at the risk of counting my diaperless days before they transpire, BUT as of today, we have had two whole days of Isaiah initiating going to the potty on his own, every time. He has been out of pull-ups, even at night, for almost 2 months, but I always had to bribe, coerce, semi-force him to try to go to the bathroom (mini-marshmallows and mini Tootsie Rolls). If I didn't, he would go in his pants every time.

We've definitely turned a corner. I decided to stop the coercion about 2 weeks ago and just let him figure it out on his own. After wiping up about a hundred pee spots, doing a load of laundry every day, and picking up more poo than I care to remember, I think the boy might finally have it. He went to the bathroom, on his own, without a bribe or reward every time all day today and yesterday.

Can it be? Are our days of buying diapers drawing to a close? One can only hope.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You rock!

video
The boys were thoroughly entertained for an hour last Sunday, making up songs and "performing" them. The lyrics:
"My grandma, needs a cane,
so does your grandma too,
your grandma needs a cane,
so does mine,
yeahhhhh baby!
chihuahua..."
Every song they made up ended with chihuahua! and a jump off the stage/ trunk.
I think the inspiration for this song was Cassie's grandma who had just walked in using a cane. Notice the background vocals from Isaiah and the marching beat of the smaller group members.

Never let go

video
Who ever said modern worship songs were repetitive?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Feeling

Preparing materials for a women's retreat on being sensate women and loving this section from Keila Underwood's blog a while back. There's a lot to think about here if you let it percolate.
Rizpah was a mother of sons who had lost their lives in war. Their deaths were so meaningless that their bodies were left to rot in the spot in which they had fallen. Rizpah took a stand too. She set up camp next to their bodies and protected them for the season. Her mourning and courage reached all the way to King David’s ears… and he heard. Her suffering caused him to feel again, and he was moved to gather up the bones. And then God healed their land. Keila Underwood as posted on her blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Web Parish

So I get to post occasionally on the campus Web Parish site. Here is a link to my post from today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bus Bully

Elijah (eating watermelon in this picture) experienced his first school-bus bully on Friday. It's Friday afternoon and I'm standing at the bus doors, waiting for Elijah to get off. As he walks down the bus steps, our eyes meet and he immediately starts to sob. By the time we are inside, he is too choked up to say anything- you know the kind of cry where you're choking on every word and you just can't control yourself. I start asking questions, "What happened?"
E: sob sob... yelled at me
Me: Was it a kid or an adult?
E: A kid
Me: What did he say?
E: She... it was a girl and she's like 8 or something.
Me: On the bus?
E: Yeah... more sobbing
Me: Ok, it'll be all right. Why did she yell at you?
E: She found a toy that I knew was Jacob's, so I told her, "that toy is Jacob's. You should give it back to him." Cause Mommy I know that Jacob really loves that toy.
Me: That was great buddy. I'm so glad you stuck up for Jacob. What did she say?
E: She said she was going to beat my eye until it was black if I told... (loses it again.. sobbing)
Me: (lots of hugging and consoling) You said the right thing Elijah. She shouldn't keep the toy if it doesn't belong to her, and she definitely should give it back to Jacob. You did the right thing telling her that it is Jacob's. We'll work it out. Don't worry about it OK. Lots of kids talk mean, but they really won't do anything about it. It doesn't feel good does it.
E: No...

He was really sullen for the rest of the evening off and on. Eric even asked him what was wrong while we were eating dinner, but Elijah didn't want to talk about it.

So, Eric and I talked about it later on, and we're not sure what to do. I'm thinking it kind of depends on how Elijah reacts to the idea of riding the bus after the weekend is nearing its end. His reaction will show us how severe the confrontation really was. If he's still intimidated or fearful after 2 whole days away from the situation, then it was serious enough to talk to the school about it. OR, maybe I should tell someone about it just so it's on file somewhere. I'll probably at least email his teacher and let her know, so she can be aware of the conflict.

It's such a difficult thing though, to watch your kid grow up and get hurt by the real world. If anything good does come from all of this, its that he'll definitely think twice before saying threatening words to his brothers or anyone else.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quick Thoughts

Matthew 7:13-23. My thoughts.

"Don't look for shortcuts to God." Am I following a formulaic list of tasks that I think makes me more holy? "The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time." Lord, there is no time that is not Your time. Remind me of that today. "The way to life- to God- is vigorous and requires total attention." Am I washing dishes, doing laundry, making phone calls, returning emails, watering my tomatoes, parenting my kids with attention given to you? "Who preachers are in the main thing, not what they say." Lord, help me reveal who I am today. Help me not to be caught up in how I sound; help me to just be me with You shining through. "You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important." Lord, forgive me for the times I have sought (or thought I deserved) recognition for the work You were doing. Reveal to me the times that I put myself first. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Isaiah lately...

video
Isaiah loves to do puzzles. In this video, he is doing the United States puzzle which he has learned to do completely on his own. I think this is quite a feat for a 3 year old. Micah is telling me what colors to make the sentences while I type. Isaiah says his favorite puzzle is Wolverine with Spiderman. When I asked Isaiah why he likes puzzles, he said, "Because they are easy for me." Isn't it true that we most enjoy what we're good at. I wonder what careers puzzlers go on to pursue and enjoy? Isaiah has also learned the fine art of diplomacy, probably as a result of living with his at times stubborn brothers. His whole, "you can call it a rabbit, I'll call it a kangaroo" spiel, that's regular line. He uses it on everyone every time there's a disagreement of some sort. He's become a big fan of it especially since it makes Micah furious. Micah is determined to be right at all times. "You call it this, I'll call it that" just isn't satisfying enough for him. Someone must be right!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laughter

video
Streams of laughter from the boys' bedroom as they spend some playtime with Daddy. They play so well on their own most of the time that I sometimes forget how much they love spending time with us. Tonight Eric is the shark and the boys are feeding him marbles. The shark then throws them up and starts over. I'm pretty sure the throwing-up part is the funny part, and it doesn't seem to matter how many times he does it, they still laugh. We are so incredibly blessed!

We enjoyed another very restful Sabbath. I managed to avoid working all day and even took a nap. Elijah asked for family communion last night, and he prayed one of the most interesting prayers I've heard yet. We'd just watched the Prince of Egypt and he then prayed something like this:
"Dear God, Is it really true that Moses pushed someone off of that tall ladder?... (long pause)... Oh really? So it's not true? That's good God. I pray for Moses. Help me to be good at church tomorrow. Amen"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bedtime and Spiders



Unrelated topics, but I finally downloaded pictures. First, the boys have been doing much better at bedtimes. Isaiah has stayed in his own bed all week! I even folded up his closet sleeping blankets today and put them away- a sure sign that tonight he'll need to move to the closet again. We built tents over their beds with sheets and thumb tacks- a big hit.

AND

We found this outside yesterday.
Anybody know what kind of spider this is? Micah, Isaiah and I watched it for quite some time. It doesn't look like a brown recluse or a black widdow, and those are the only two poisonous ones I know. It is definitely aggressive though. We put a stick beside it in the web and it attacked the stick. Isaiah was completely enamored and asked to go out and see the spider first thing this morning. Micah thought it was gross.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Women and Church (Big C)

Concerning the significance of experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in our lives personally: "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." Anthony Graham- Chapel speaker at ATS 9/11/08.

Rev. Graham this morning, got my wheels turning. He spoke about the need for the Holy Spirit in our lives today, that it's not enough to have the knowledge. We must be lead by the Spirit. There was much more to his message and as he encouraged us all, men and women, to pursue our educations and become effective leaders in the church, I wondered about what the church (universal) would look like if women were as representative as leaders as men.

I feel like, from my church experiences with male pastors, the tendency of the church today is to approach the Bible from the standpoint of a scholar looking for information. How should I live? What are my gifts? How should I lead? How much should I tithe? and on and on. Who hasn't heard the metaphor that the Bible is our guidebook for life- "Life's Big Instruction Book." Ugh!

I wonder... What if women had been as accepted and encouraged men as early as... say Constantine? What if women had been trained and given opportunity to teach along side of Aristotle, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and Wesley? Would our views of scripture be different? Would the learned women of centuries past have urged, "Yes, knowing the truth about God is important, but what has the Holy Spirit whispered to your heart this week?" Would they have provided necessary notes in the chord to probe others toward a harmony that better recognizes the role of the Holy Spirit within us?

I don't presume that many men haven't been asking these questions and playing this role for centuries. But surely these men are slightly outnumbered by those who are more comfortable with a more intellectual approach. This would certainly seem to be the case from my church experiences in the last 20 years.

Maybe part of our roles as women in the church today is to be sensate. To sense the God that is at work around us every day. And not to feel too silly, weak or hormonal to share our encounters with the Holy Spirit. And it doesn't have to be "voice in the wilderness" kind of stuff. I'm talking day-to-day awareness of the Kingdom of heaven on earth kind of stuff. God is sooo here, and He has created women as the more sensing part of the Body for a reason. A picture of God that doesn't include beauty, pain, color, tears, laughter, detail and relationship is incomplete. Who better to share this perspective than His women?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Help for Haitians

Read about some of the devastation here from missionaries to Haiti, Troy and Tara Livesay.
In case you haven't heard, Haiti has been at the center or fringes of the last 4 large tropical storms and hurricanes that have swept through the gulf. With more rain than the country can handle, mudslides and flooding have been epidemic in some areas. "About 600 people died in Haiti's recent storms, according to UN and government figures, and one million were affected. The storms also battered roads and bridges," says one news report. My heart hurts for these people today.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wise Words


"Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible."
Thomas A Kempis

Friday, September 05, 2008

Quotable


Upon entering the bedroom of the three supposed-to-be-going-to-bed boys, with full intention of pulling Isaiah out (to go fall sleep in our closet since he CAN'T STAY QUIET- I know, he'll be in therapy for that one day), this is what went down.

ME: Isaiah, you've had your chance, you need to come with me.

I: No Mommy, just one more chance... please.

ME: No, you've had one more chance and you're still talking. Come on.

Elijah: Mommy, don't you remember what we learned from Jonah?

ME: What's that.

Elijah: Everyone should get a second chance.

ME: (hmmmmm)OK Isaiah, Elijah just talked your way into another chance.

Interesting how we learn to take from the Bible what suits our own interests at such a young age. AND, it does my heart good to know that with all of his "living in his own world", he really is hearing us sometimes.

Learning to Feel


"Awaken the senses
Bring them to life
Let them stir
Throw off musty blankets
dig out
claw through dirt
run through fog
shout, sing, dance, laugh, cry
Feel"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sabbath

"If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don't use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
GOD's holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing "business as usual,'
making money, running here and there—
Then you'll be free to enjoy GOD!
Oh, I'll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I'll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob."
Yes! GOD says so!
(From Isaiah 58 The Message)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Photo session montage

Photo Session

Our friend Danessa likes to take pictures for a hobby. She does a great job and we bartered with her to take some pictures of the boys in exchange for some bedding of ours that she could use. We think she did a lovely job! If everyone looks a little somber it's because it was about 93 degrees, but the kids were all pretty good considering.





And More





More pics





Picture Fun






My friend Danessa took some lovely pictures of the boys for us on Sunday. Here are some of the favorites.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Lucky Me

The boys have been playing together without one single argument or interaction from us for about 40 minutes now. They playing hide and seek as animals. Eric is cleaning our bathroom and told me that I should go take a nap (I must be crabby). How awesome is that! What a great labor day!

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.