“God gives one step at a time.”

our family, according to Caleb, age 6
Best part:  Caleb drew this and then said, “Here, Mommy, do you want to put this on your blog?”  Yes!!! Bliss!!  See, I always get permission before I publish their work.  Oh the things I could show you, if only I could always get permission!
  Somewhere around 4 pm every day the kids and the work and the chaos level start to overwhelm me.  It’s around that time that I know homework should be getting completed, sometimes my kids are at their friends’ houses or vice versa, supper must be dealt with, the baby has his thing going on, Daniel must be kept out of trouble….and there are just so many thoughts running through my head at once!
  Do you get that way?
  I feel like that guy on t.v. with all the spinning plates, and I must keep them spinning or they will all just crash to the floor.
  I start to feel very, very tired, looking at the massive amount of these spinning plates, and a large part of me just wants to sit down and let them all smash.  (the plates…..not my children…..just to clarify….  we’re speaking metaphorically here!!!)
  I had that feeling today.  John David had had only cat naps all day long, thanks to the pick-up/drop-off brothers routine (That’s FOUR trips because Dan went to preschool today as well).  Daniel and Joshua were playing in a pillow fort in the basement.  Caleb was doing Reading Eggs on my computer, my bed was covered in clean laundry to put away, no one had done homework yet, supper hadn’t really been addressed yet, and I knew that Caleb’s den meeting was only two hours away.
  I couldn’t sit down on my bed, thanks to all the laundry, so I just stood beside my bed and grabbed my Bible and flipped it open, just hoping to open it to something I could use for my tired soul.  
  
 This doesn’t always happen perfectly, but today it really did.  
  I opened it to the book of Jeremiah, chapter 13, and in the margin, I had written, “God gives one step at a time.”
   Huh.  I don’t remember writing that.  I don’t remember if I came up with that on my own or heard it from a sermon or a book, but it was good to read.  I quickly read through the first half of chapter 13 to see how it related:
  God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy a linen belt, wear it, and to not let it get wet.  Jeremiah did as God directed.
  Then God told him to go to Perath and hide the belt in a crevice in the rocks.  Jeremiah did this too.
  Many days later, God told Jeremiah to go back and get the belt he had hidden.  Jeremiah did this, and the belt was ruined and completely useless.
  So God explained to Jeremiah:
“In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.  These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt–completely useless!  For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me.’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor.  But they have not listened.'”
  Jeremiah 13: 9-11
  Now that is a seriously random Bible story that you don’t hear too often in children’s church, eh?
But I love the concept that God gave one step of directions at a time.  All of life is like that.  I didn’t set out to have four children.  That was revealed to us one step at a time, as we have gradually grown our family.  We didn’t set out knowing exactly what problems 2013 would bring and how we would tackle them, we just had to roll with the punches.  God gave us what we needed, when it was needed.  Some things we’re still working on!
  We have a lot of decisions and unknowns and just plain life to get through in this coming year.  There’s one thing in particular we are having to wait on, and of course it’s always a bit of a challenge to wait, but that’s okay.  God will reveal what we need to know one step at a time.
  
  And that’s not all that can be taken away from this little section of Jeremiah 13.  I also need to be careful to not let my pride and stubbornness get in the way.  The last thing I want to be is useless!
What if we had given up on babies before God gave us this one?  I have FAITH he will not find as much mischief as our darling little Dan man!!!
 checking out his feet
 So thankful God gives one step at a time.  I could not have handled knowing I would end up with four little boys even just a few years ago!  And just think what I could have missed!!
Lone Ranger artwork by Joshua
I hope you all have a GREAT weekend!
  

Grandparents: A Gift from God!

Grandaddy and John David 

Proverbs 16:31

A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.

 

  Today I have been grocery shopping alone.  Daniel played trains without me.  John David was bounced on the knee of someone else.  I walked only two children to school, without having to drag the ‘littles’ out in the cold.  There are even neat little piles of folded laundry all over my bed.
  Do you know what that means?  Nana and Granddaddy are here!!!!
  This may be the most exciting thing that happens to me for a long time!  We are so lucky to have such wonderful sets of grandparents.
  My parents were the world to Caleb from age 1 to age 2 1/2 because back then we lived in the same town, and we spent a LOT of time with my parents.  Oh, we would have had it made, if only Alan had not been deployed at the time!
  Right now Mom is at the school, picking up the big boys, and Dad is downstairs, waiting.  When they get home he’s taking my car to get serviced, as well as taking Joshua and Caleb to get Joshua’s birthday present.  Should be an exciting evening around here!
  I’m so glad they have come.  You know I was in need of an almost vacation!
  Last night we went to our parenting class without having to take Dan and Caleb to the church nursery, and I saw Jackie there.
  Jackie is my reminder that I can do this.  Jackie has five-WEEK-old twins, plus a 3 and 5 year old at home.  Can you imagine!???  And yet she always looks peaceful!  She might look a little tired, but never sad.
  This encourages me.  If she can do that and still be happy, surely I can do this.  (And thank you, sooooo much, dear Heavenly Father, for not giving me twins!)
We’ve been having a fun time around here!

 Caleb loves playing with Dominoes.  I HIGHLY recommend this educational activity.  He builds things with them, and he is constantly calling to me, “Hey, Mom, 8 +5 is 13!  Hey, Mom, 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 equals 12!!” because he enjoys adding the dots.

Joshua was born to read.

Daddy made quick work of the dead tree.

 Good ol’ fashioned fun!

The kids had to dig through their toy boxes and created make-shift costumes for the school’s fall festival….  Joshua was Green Lantern and Caleb called himself  “a little ax man”.  He’s really been into the lumberjack thing since Alan cut down the tree.

 

 

JD cam.  He kicked himself sideways and then went back to sleep.

 

 …..and then he woke up

 Intruder alert!  ; )

 The crib is covered in teeth marks.  Baby Dan was the beast of teeth-ers in his day.

A visit from the grands always means getting to play the games they have on Granddaddy’s iPad.

 

 Nana, sweetly helping in the kitchen

 

Such beauty!


*****
WE LOVE OUR GRANDS!!

 

 Nonna, Caleb, and Joshua

Granddaddy and Caleb

 

  simpler times!

 

 

 Nana and Caleb

Caleb and his great-great granny!  She is now 100!

Thanksgiving 2011

 

 

 Dan and his great-grandmother

Nonna and DaddyO

 my mom’s parents
I just adored my grandma when I was a child, but I never met my grandfather because he died young.

Amber, Grandpa, Grandma, and me
This was my step-grandfather, but he was a really fun Grandpa.

 

 my dad’s dad
My brother looks so much like him!  He had the turned up nose that I think some of our boys have.

Great-Granddaddy and Great Granny on their 50th Anniversary
I think Granny was about 76 in this picture.

 

 my two grannies, on the day of my graduation
Granny on the right was my dad’s step-mother, but she was the only grandmother I ever knew on that side because his mother also died young.

Granddaddy and Caleb

 

the growing family, last Christmas

 

 Daniel with his great-grandparents

Caleb was our last baby to meet DaddyO’s (Alan’s dad) mother.
Grandparents are such a great compliment to the “village” and the family.  We’d be a wreck without them!!!
  
 

The Power in the Things We Say


I can’t get over the stupid things people say to pregnant women, y’all! 

The power of words is an amazing thing, don’t you think?  Words have the power to build people up or squash a person like a bug.  Words can unite countries or begin wars.  Words make friends and enemies.  We remember certain things people say to us for years and years after we’ve forgotten everything else.

As you might imagine, this is something I deal with frequently, in my current condition.  Now, I will grant you that I realize I am an interesting sight to behold, though I often forget until it is pointed out to me by a stranger or acquaintance.  I’m a sight anyway, with my flaming red hair, walking around with three little boys, but add a giant pregnant belly onto that, and it is an open invitation for…….words.

 

   Some of it is quite humorous, and I am admittedly laughing in my head at some of the comments, but then there are others…. 

There are others that serve only to remind me that to the common observer I look like a whale, and why do I look so big?
  
   Why does it bother me, though?  Most of these comments come from well meaning people, who simply are amazed at how big my belly is and want to talk to me about it.  There’s really nothing wrong with that.  
 

  With that said, I think the women here have been nicer to me than any women I have ever known.  My friends in my neighborhood and at church have all been so kind and supportive.  I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me.  I have never experienced so much niceness when it comes to remarks about my pregnancy!

 So words also have a wonderful power that I need to use more often!  They have the power to encourage, inspire, and build up.

 “I don’t think anyone ever committed a mean act because too many people had been nice to them.  Indeed the opposite is usually the case.”

 

I need to take notes to MYSELF from all of this.  Let this be a lesson to me how important it is to say kind things to others.  

I need to make that my goal for this year:  to notice the good things about others and thank them for it!  Words really can make or break your day, even if it is a silly thing.

 The fact is we all hate having our feelings hurt.  Yet, I cannot say to the man on the street who says I must be having twins that that hurts my feelings.  Wait.  Maybe I could.  It would be awfully funny to see their face when I said it……hmmm..  

What do I say to such remarks!?  

I wish I knew.  I’m a delayed reactor as it is, but when I hear such things I’m always so surprised that I simply say nothing and smile.  Of course, I always think of dozens of things to say later on…..not really nice things though….

 Here, for your reading enjoyment, are comments I have received about the way I look, just this week:

 1.) lady at bounce place, where I took the kids:

“How far along are you?”

 Me:  (inwardly dreading her response to my answer)  6 1/2 months.

Lady:  *eyes widen*  Oh!

Me:  ….smiling politely

Lady:    You just look further along than that.

Me:  smiling politely

Lady:  *beginning to realize she may have hurt my feelings, I guess*  “Oh, well, you’re just so tiny that it really sticks out on you.”

(actually that helps)

 

#2.) I was taking a nap when Joshua rushed into my room to wake me up b/c someone was at the door.  I troop downstairs, still half asleep, and discover two packages and a man standing on the doorstep.  

 I figured he must be the mail or UPS delivery man, and I went to work scooping up the packages, not really paying him much attention, until I began to realize he wasn’t leaving.

He said, “So how far along are you?  I don’t mean to be rude.  It’s just that your legs are so skinny, I figured you must be…”

Now I hadn’t really looked at him until he said this b/c I was still in my drowsy state and wasn’t thinking about him, only the boxes (Dan’s birthday present from my parents), so I looked up at him and almost laughed at this unusual comment.

“6 1/2 months”  I said.  Hey, at least this salesman knew how to be nice!

He started to give a spill about roofing, so I interrupted him and let him know we’re just the renters here.

“Oh,” he said, “well, then I guess your landlords probably take care of that sort of thing.  So is this your second baby?”

…..Now what you don’t know is that I was wearing very minimal make-up, straightened hair, blue jeans, and a long sleeve t-shirt.  I looked way too young to have to say what I had to say in response to that question…

 I hesitated a minute, b/c for some reason I sometimes find this to be an embarrassing answer….

 “Actually, it’s my fourth, ” I said and chuckled because sure enough his mouth did unintentionally drop open…

 If only Alan could have been around.  He loves shocking people so much, and I really should just embrace it too.  Why start trying to fit in now?

 

3.) This one was today, from my chiropractor, who really knows better:

I walked in for treatment, and he said, “Let me guess, it’s twins and one is a girl!” 

 Now I go there every two weeks, so he knows good and well that I don’t like it when people comment on how huge I am–because I’ve told him that– and I am certainly not having a girl, which he knows that too.  

 My best guess is that he thought he was funny.   Sometimes I’m not sure I understand some people’s definition of funny!

 

4.)  Also today:  

  Caleb:  That baby is ready to come out.  He’s coming out any day.

 You know what’s funny?  Those little boys can say whatever they want about my belly, and it doesn’t bother me at all.  

 I tell them all the time, “Look how huge my belly is,” so really they are okay.  Perhaps I should teach them to be sure to never say that about anyone else’s belly though…..

And now I know that I’m not exactly known for being April the Sweet Darling, so I’m going to work on this myself!  I do not want to bring people down, but bring people up with my words!  

 Words can make someone’s day, especially sincere ones, and I need to be better about complimenting the good in people!

 

********************* 

In other news:  I saw my midwife today.  

Believe it or not, my belly measured one week behind.  (Take that, pregnancy bullies.)   I took yet another glucose test, hopefully my final.  (They always think I have the gestational diabetes b/c I keep giving birth to massive babies.)  

 At my next appointment (April 24), I get to schedule my c-section, and I will even know which doctor will be performing it.  Roll Tide!

stats:  

blood pressure:  120/69

weight gain:  total 22 pounds, but only 5 lbs since my visit 4 weeks ago, which is insanely good for me, in the third trimester!  I’ve usually gained about 30 pounds by now.

baby’s heart rate:  in the 150s  (normal)

fundal height (uterine measurement):  26 weeks  

 The midwife said that could just be the way the baby is lying.  This has always been a much greater predictor for me though, than ultrasond estimates.  

 The ultrasound tech always thinks my baby is average sized, but the doc always starts shaking their head around 32 weeks, and saying, “You’re measuring a few weeks ahead…” and sure enough, a baby with “macrosomia”     (large body for gestational age) pops out.  

 I think pregnancy is so weird and interesting!  

Hope you all have an interesting but happy Easter weekend, and may no one spoil your day with unkind words!      

 

 

 



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