Monday, March 31, 2008

More Chicken Pox!

I'm not exactly sure why all four of my children didn't come down with the Chicken Pox at the same time. If I remember correctly, this is how it used to happen. You know, back in the "old days" before there was a vaccine for every imaginable thing. Somehow, we have managed to spread out the chicken pox virus over the course of a month. Maybe it's even been longer....the days/weeks sort of blur together after a while!

Anyway, it started with Micah. I watched the others every moment of the day for the spots, but none were found. He went through the ordeal, gained a playstation 2 out of it, itched and drank lots of juice and then it was over. The doctor said the baby most likely wouldn't get it, but James would unless I vaccinated him. So off I went to get the shot and hope he wouldn't come down with the spots.

Nope. He got them. Then the baby got them.

And now, after I thought we were home free, sweet Dori has it. We were just getting out of the van at church yesterday when she showed me her tummy....and I knew what it was right away. Dori was vaccinated, but yet, she came down with them, too. Also that morning we learned that two other vaccinated children from our church have caught them. One a fairly bad case.

Interesting stuff, eh?

God has used this whole experience to help me learn about life and about resting in Him. We are just not in control, are we? He is sovereign and we are not. How often we think we are able to manipulate this or that....or if we just do this for our children or that for our children then we will guarantee that xyz won't happen to them. It happens all the time, doesn't it? The reality, again, is that He is sovereign, and we simply are not.

So when these things happen, that we try to prevent or control or whatever, God is showing me to just rest in Him. I don't have to respond with alarm and fretting, or fear. He knows. He's with me. And He's with my children. Their protection is ultimately in His hands. Truthfully, this is very hard for me. But it's something I'm working on. I guess I can thank the chickenpox for helping me with this lesson.

Dori is doing just fine, by the way. After she recovers, I think I'll be more careful about saying we are "finally done" with the chicken pox. Who knows, maybe me or Jason will catch it again!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Purrrrrrrrrrrovidence Bruins

Yesterday night our church family went to see the Providence Bruins vs. Portland Pirates. That's hockey for those of you who don't know. This was only my second hockey game EVER, and boy was it fun! My first experience with hockey was a Memphis game J took me to when Dori was a wee babe. I absolutely loved every minute of it until the first fight broke out. If you haven't ever been to a hockey game, let me just tell you that it is fast-paced, loud, and brutal. There's lots of "roughing," "instigating," and "fighting" going on. And it's all a legal part of the game. I wasn't prepared for that and I'll admit it disturbed me a bit. Yes, I am publicly admitting I am a total wimp. Yes, my husband is thoroughly embarrassed I am admitting this! I think some people go to the games just for the fightin'. Personally, I could do without it, but it is intriguing to watch grown men pound each other without risk of going to jail for assault and battery. Heh.

Micah is very intense about sports. So is James, for that matter. I sometimes wonder how it is possible that I, the artsy, musical, never-played-a-sport-in-my-life-girl, have *3* rough and tumble boys--two of which are already obsessed with all things sport. It matters not the particular game. It matters not the particular team (well, Jason has pretty solidly made them Cardinals and Cowboys fans, but they are open to others). It matters not the winning and losing (yet). Micah and James are seriously serious about watching the game. They get it honest--and it ain't from me! Check James out in the background of this picture.
This was Dori and James' first hockey game and they both loved it, but for different reasons. James sat perfectly still in J's arms taking the game in, while Dori practically stood up and danced to all the loud music that periodically came on. YMCA, Sweet Caroline, and the "Hey" song--oh yeah, she totally boogied and yelled with the rest of the fans. No bashfulness in that child. Such a free spirit, that one.

All in all, we had a wonderful, fun-filled evening. It was very late when we finally got in bed, but it was worth it to create such a great memory. Since hockey is such a hit around here with the boys, my friend Linda suggested I come up with a "penalty box" at home. A place to put the boys for "roughing", "instigating", and "fighting." I love it....and I am totally going to do it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter 2008

This year has been strange. As a family, we have never been more sickly and spent so much time at both the doctor's office and in bed! Starting in January, we've experienced a perpetual cycle of sickness, healing, repeat sickness with a different family member, healing, new sickness, and on it goes. I believe I have missed more church services during the past 3 months than ever in my life! It hasn't been easy, but in many ways, it's been useful to teach me patience, service, and to slow me down.

We had planned on taking a big trip South to visit family right after Easter. That trip has since been delayed due to a bout with the chickenpox. Yes, I said chickenpox! That not-so-common-anymore, spotty, itchy, uncomfortable childhood illness. I'm happy to report that everyone survived relatively unharmed, save for lack of sleep on Mom's part. :)

Easter celebrations this year, like much of the first three months of 2008, were different. Micah and Dori were able to go with Jason to church, but the baby and James were still contagious and missed out on the church festivities. Micah was kind enough to collect many candy-filled eggs in his brother's stead, and we all together enjoyed a leisurely afternoon after eating roasted chicken with veggies and resurrecting (no pun intended!) an old tradition from my childhood: the coconut cake.

This year was a time of reflection. Of remembering hope. Hope we have from the cross, hope for the coming of Spring, hope for the future. And although the children were quite a sight, and Mom was super sleepy, it turned out to be a wonderfully quiet and relaxing day.

Sometimes we get bogged down in trying to create some super-spiritual experience for our family. You know what I mean--we've all done it! Christmas Eve rolls around and we think, "Oh no! We haven't read the Christmas story yet, we're not focused on the real meaning." Or we try to somehow give only three gifts to the children to represent the wise-men (or some other symbolic mechanism that will make us feel like we have adequately given enough spiritual weight to the holiday) . Or we just *have* to bake a special scripture cake, and then we will have effectually created the right balance of focus on the birth of Christ verses the joy of giving and receiving gifts. And so we run around frazzled and sometimes even stressed trying to facilitate this "spiritual" aspect.

I was thinking about this a lot this past Christmas and talking with a dear friend about this very thing. She said something so true: waking up on Christmas morn and seeing the delight in your children and feeling the warmth and love of your family.....that is the spiritual part of Christmas. That is something that only our relationship with God can foster. That is what the birth of Christ and the redemption of man yields.

Where am I going with all this? Back to Easter.

I forgot to dye eggs or go over any symbolic meaning with the kids. I stayed up almost the entire night before with a sick and uncomfortable babe, and so I was a little fuzzy. We didn't have ham or taters, and all the family didn't make it to church. But being together and waking up to children's delight and reflecting on the hope we have in Christ....well, it was a spiritual experience indeed.

Dori's Easter treats. She loves drawing and writing so I got her this nature notebook--just in time for spring!

Dori and Micah before the church Easter egg hunt

James' Easter treats. He really wanted this Rapunzel Puzzle

Micah's Easter Treats. I got him this Usborne book to take on the trip, and in his pail is a wonderful Pirate Stories cd that we've all heard now about 9874 times!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Hi! You are reading this because I invited you to, or by some randomness you found me whilst surfing the net. Either way, I want to start by thanking you for even reading. Hopefully it will be worth your while.

About 7 years ago I distinctly remember a conversation I had with another mom. It went something like this:

Perfect Mom: So do you have an email account?

Me: Yes, it's I'd love to keep in touch!

Perfect Mom: Well, I'm not one of THOSE women who surf the net all day long.

Me: Uh..yeah, no, me neither (feeling instantly guilty for even having an email account that I *gasp* check more than one time a day).

And for several years after that encounter, I had a mixture of feelings regarding the internet and my relationship with it. Part of me wanted to embrace every new technology and become a blogging, surfing, netting Queen. Part of me wanted to completely ban the net in our house and become faux Amish. In fact, we have had months at a time with no media influence whatsoever. This usually happens when we get so sick of the pull that we abolish it all and clear our collective family head. It's refreshing, and hey, it saves lots of money. But ultimately, I don't think I could say I'm the type of person who rejects the very notion of surfing the net or using the computer. All in moderation, as they say.

So maybe I am one of those women, whoever that is. I mean, if my Grandmother can effectively email and communicate and learn from the net (Grandma, you inspire me!), then I am certainly not going to let the years and technology pass me by without utilizing them to the fullest extent.

This leads me to where I am today.

Hopefully, somewhere in the future-perhaps ten years from now-I'll have filled this blog with all sorts of pontifications and stories and pictures and wonderful tales from our family, and look back to where it all began. That would be here. That would be *right now*. Let me pause for this momentous occasion...

Okay, now that I've given it the proper pregnant pause, let's begin. Why blog now? It's been quite a few years since blogging took over the world wide web and people started publishing and writing and communicating in this "Information Age." It's surprising that it's taken me this long to jump on the bandwagon. I mean I *am* a communication minor, former collegiate debater, and regular *ahem* discusser with my hubby. This blogging thing is right up my alley. It's practically tailor made for someone like me. And yet, here it is 2008 and I am just now starting. Why is this so?

The reasons are many.

Firstly, I've been having and raising four beautiful children. It's sort of busy around here and I never really got around to thinking about seriously starting a blog. Secondly, I'm a bit chicken about blogging and clicking and POOF! the whole world knows my thoughts. Yikes. What if I say something dumb (that's pretty much a given)....what if I over share (typical female activity)....what if I start it and then get too busy to keep it going, and end up committing blogger suicide? Up until now, I have wondered what it's like to blog, but never taken the leap of faith and started one.

Then it hit me. This would be a wonderful way for my family and friends to keep up with us. I'm admittedly terrible at email updates (mainly because I never have the right email addy or current one) and since we have no relatives anywhere close to us....well, that got me thinking. And thinking. And wondering if I should just bite the bullet and do it. Then, as I usually and painstakingly do, I laid out my whole case to my poor husband. I shared all the pros and cons, fears and exciting thoughts. After listening to me for a good 30 minutes straight and in his typical efficient manor, Jason said, "Just start the blog."

That settled it.

So here we are....embarking on a truly exciting adventure (I know it's thousands of times more exciting for me, but I'm pretending you are mutually excited). I now have 879,923,098 blog posts to catch up on, so buckle up and get ready for the ride. It might be bumpy....