Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Old and New Adventures

Let's see who actually reads this...

The last month has been filled with Christmas chaos and a lot of peace and joy as well.  Really.

As hard as I try to "tone it down" so as to not stress-out my dear husband, the fact is Christmas is just dang busy.  Usually I even squeeze in more homemade gifts than I managed this year, but I stuck to just cookies.  We had fun delivering to neighbors and friends.  Sophia and Jossie decided it would be fun to do some caroling while delivering.  So, everyone got a song with their plate of cookies.  I felt a little silly belting out the tunes in front of friends and their families, but if I'm going to teach my kids to get over their embarrassed feelings and push through, I guess I had to as well.

We forced ourselves to do a once a week Advent candle/wreath.

 If we were really thorough, we could have focused on it nightly, but let's not forget this is Christmas chaos, and slowing down even once during the week was what we could do and it was a meaningful night each time.  With kids ages 2, 4, and 6, it's just going to be a little chaotic anyway, but the fact that the Spirit of God is speaking to them and through them blessed us so much.  I cried each time when they would talk about their understanding of Jesus, and the concepts of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  They really got it.  When Jossie prayed one night, she called Jesus "just the strongest, most awesome Person ever!"  They took initiative to earnestly pray for kids around the world who need love and food and to "know Jesus," and they prayed for sick people around us.  It was sweet.

Some of our adventures included two different choir performances; one at church, and one at our homeschool co-op, and they were each in a ballet performance during school.  For Sophia, she became a little more self-aware this year and became a little too embarrassed to perform.  So, she opted out of the church choir performance 30 seconds beforehand due to a "stomach ache."  With many tears and last minute hand squeezes she forced herself on stage for the school choir, and was beaming with excitement that she had finished it and performed at the end.  But, the next week when ballet came, she had forgotten how good it felt to complete a performance and her "stomach ache" returned.  I tried to say things like, "you're part of a team that you can't let down".  Not working.  "You are an instrument of God, and He could use you in this dance to reach somebody in the audience." Not working. Then, when I had no other ideas and thinking the "stomach ache" or screaming and tears might win, I threw in "you have a haircut appointment tomorrow to cut your hair short.  It's a reward for completing ballet, and you get to do that only once you perform."  It Worked!  Whatever!!!    She looked absolutely beautiful and graceful up there, so if it worked, it worked.

Jossie on the other hand had a completely different experience with the whole thing.  She was right in front for the church choir, sang her heart out with a huge smile and even through in some jazz hands at the end.

 Then at homeschool choir, she was right in front again, sang her heart out and did a little dancing and practically some air guitar on the jazzier songs.

A friend later said, "I didn't even know Jossie talked much, and that was a whole side of her I did not expect!"  Ha!  During ballet, she was front and center again, and looked so stinkin' cute.  She had a total blast!  I had a smile all day from that performance.  She was just too fun to watch.

For our new adventures...

Well, we had a surprise right before Christmas to discover we will be having baby number 4!  Not in our plans, but we know that our children are such blessings, we have no choice but to be happy.  With knowing how strong the diabetes gene is in our family, I was concerned about another child being at risk for that.  But,  it is yet another opportunity to fully trust our Lord and not to lean on my own understanding.  He is much better at handling life than I, so I walk in peace knowing He is worthy of my trust.

Well, I haven't been to the doctor yet to officially confirm, but two tests were enough to convince me that it's a likely scenario.  The girls were pretty happy.  Sophie especially was thrilled, and said, "Ha, ha!  How'd that happen."  Redirect!  And then said, "Oh, I was afraid we were always going to be a family with just 3 kids!"  Jossie was happy, though didn't have much to say.  When Sophie got in Norah's face later and VERY enthusiastically asked, "Are you so excited that Mommy has a baby in her tummy?", she quickly replied: "No, I da Baby!"  Yes, honey, you are.  Aww...  She later agreed that maybe a real baby to help take care of in her house would be a little fun.

So,a new year, new adventures.  Maybe house hunting is in our future!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prayers of the Innocent...

First of all, this is Joe not Anj.  I wanted to record a couple of prayers uttered by our kiddos lately that really touched Anj and I.  Donna Nix said two Sundays ago that there is no "junior" Holy Spirit.  Our kids have the same Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead.  In fact, maybe they have it in greater measure than we do only because they restrict His movement even less.

We have been doing a family Advent candle once a week leading up to Christmas and it has turned into a really precious time.  For those few of you that have been around our house at bedtime, it will be no surprise that the teaching happens sprinkled with curt phrases like, "Jossie, don't dance on the back of the couch," and "Jossie, please don't catch your hair on fire again," and "Please don't sing songs about bottoms while we are doing the Advent candle," and "yes, I know your sister tooted but please ignore that when we are praying."

Ultimately, though they get into it.  They get into the Story of Christmas.  We don't tell the whole story every time but the Story itself occurrs to them somehow in our discussion.  They are enamoured with the magic of it, the characters, the intrigue, the sense of scandal.  They sense its importance just in our discussing it.  We don't have to TELL them it is important, they just know.  So eventually a general feeling of peace and awe settles over the whole crew.  Then we go over the definition of peace that we learned on the first week.  Jossie and Sophia both know it very well: quietness with hope.  "There can't be peace without hope" Jossie adds, betraying a much deeper understanding then her tulip tip-toeing toes would lead you to believe was possible.

Finally we get to the prayers.  Jossie and Sophia both want to pray.  Here are the best part of their prayers in my opinion.  Shared as exactly as I can remember:

Sophia - Jesus, Thank you for coming so we can go to heaven sometime and be with you.  I hope I get to meet Mary and Joseph when I go to heaven.  But mostly the person that I want to meet first and most of all is you Jesus because I love you with all of my heart.

Jossie - Jesus sometimes I know that it gets really loud with everybody yelling and bein' crazy and stuff but then I just get quiet and I hear my heart just beating and I'm just happy because I know that it is you in my heart.

I am honored to be led into the presence of the Almighty by children.

Today, Anj and the girls were driving by Miss Betty's house who is our neighbor that we know is in the hospital.  Her daughter was out in the yard so Anj stopped to get the news and offer some encouragement.  She told her that we would praying for Miss Betty as she was leaving.  On the way home Jossie pipes up with this little gem:

Jossie - Mommie, I'm just gonna pray for Miss Betty right now (eyes closed tight and hands folded) Jesus we just want Miss Betty to get all the way better and we're just gonna pray for her EVERY day.  Well, I don't know about Sophie or Mommy or for that matter even Daddy, but I know I am going to pray for her EVERY day.

Then she prayed for Miss Betty at dinner.  I'm betting she'll pray for Miss Betty everyday for the next year or so. beautiful...

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Blog

One of my other reasons I was lacking in writing for the blog, is I started a new one.  It's not nearly as weighty.  Well, unless you actually make and consume it all.  

It's a cooking blog.  You can view it here.  There are much better cooking blogs out there, but this one is filled with my favorites.  It was intended to get copies of all of the yummy meals my friends share when they're blessing someone who's had a baby or any other need.  I haven't received many recipes, except those I've begged for pretty much.  :-)  I'm thankful for those who've shared though.  That being said, you're welcome to send me a recipe to post as well.  The ones that people ask for, you know.  Make sure and give credit to whomever you've gotten the recipe from!  

I pray this Christmas Season is a blessing to you so far!  Find time to do something fun, or cancel one of those obligations and watch a movie with your kids or go Christmas Light viewing.  (Bring the hot cocoa, it's worth the mess when you see the smiles).  

Monday, December 7, 2009

Still Here

I'm not sure what my excuse is really.  We are all still here, and I have lots of blog ideas in my brain.  But finding time to put them to computer screen is not always possible.  

We've had cold after cold, in our house, and we're pretty sure it all started with the Piggy Piggy Flu in September.  As I've said before, colds are a serious thing for Sophie, so she has really struggled with blood sugars and overall not-feeling-well.  I'm on my 4th or 5th cold of the season.  Lovin' that!

It's life, I know.  I try to keep perspective that everyone gets sick.  I've already shared how crazy we are about using our germ-x, washing hands when we get home, and taking massive amounts of Vitamin C.  I'm losing my faith in any of it working though.  I continue to battle feeling totally frustrated at the relaxed attitude everyone has about bringing sick kids around.  I guess we all just need to get back to life, so we don't make a big deal about our kids' snot, cough, etc.  Do I return the favor?  Not really.  We miss a lot of activities because I don't want to be hypocritical.  But sometimes I want to not care that I'm bringing my sick kids around, since that's just what people do.

I'm not mad at anyone.  It's just this process of trusting God that this 5th cold of the season for Sophia isn't going to start attacking major organs.  I wish sick kids stayed at home, but more than that I wish I could walk in peace and faith through these seasons.  I can't live in a bubble, and this is how it goes.

Sorry to sound whiny.  I have much more fun and happy stories to tell.  Soon, I hope.  I just thought people would wonder if we fell off the planet, so here's my un-fun reason why I can't do more thoughtful blogging at the moment.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know you're here.

Now, off to take some tylenol...

P.S. I just re-read this and it's a little crankier sounding than intended.  I promise I'm not mad at my friends or have one of you I'm really secretly trying to target in this.  It's really about my heart needing to trust God and find peace in the process.

P.S.S.  I love disclaimers.  I offer them often to people.  Maybe that means I stick my foot in my mouth too often.