Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's miracle

I made dinner tonight as usual, however the miracle of the day is that no one complained about what I made, and everyone ate everything on their plate. INCLUDING ALL THE VEGETABLES. That includes the 9 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old AND 1 year old. That must qualify as a miracle. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Kind Act

I was in downtown Chicago yesterday and it was a beautiful day. Every time I venture down there I am always amazed by the look of the city...the high-rise buildings, the parks and gardens, museums, Lake Michigan, etc. What an incredible blessing to live by such a remarkable city. And even though there is traffic and smoke and whatnot, there is so much good there. One thing in particular left an impression on me. I was walking down Michigan Avenue and in front of me there was a woman who looked in very bad shape. She was in a wheelchair and was missing teeth and was holding a cup. It is sometimes easy to dismiss these people as they are not uncommon in the city, and I often struggle with what to do when I pass them. Having lived in China where the homeless and lame grab at your clothes, and it's impossible to help every single one of them, I tend to rationalize not helping, which is very wrong of me. But there was in front of me, a kind person who stopped to talk to this woman. She smiled as she gave her a sandwich from Subway and even slipped some extra money into this woman's hand. She said "Good to see you!" as she walked away, which made me think she has befriended this person or at least seen her before. What a great thing! It made me want to show love to all those who are alone or suffering in some way. Heavenly Father truly has put us on this earth to help each other and how peaceful and comforted do we feel when we help and when we receive help. I am thankful for this example of love and kindness!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sick As A Dog

So this past week, we played host to my brother-in-law, who is 14. When he arrived on Monday, we all ran out for errands - first to Meijer, and then to Costco. I pushed the cart at Meijer, and touched everything in the store. Then in the car on the way to Costco, we were all in a silly mood and my husband was trying to lick his hand and put it on my face (he knows I hate it!!) - so I thought I would do one better and get him first - I licked my hand ---and realized I hadn't used any hand sanitizer. :oP

Monday night, I started feeling sick. I caught a cold - and it was my own fault. A few days went by, it was getting really bad, and I was complaining... more than I should. On the worst day (Thursday) I totally lost my voice. I started my day feeling frustrated that I couldn't talk to my family or tell them in anything but a whipser what I was trying to get across to them.


As the day went by, I started to notice that when I talked to my son, he would answer me back quietly, or by whispering...
It was such a powerful moment for me, to realize that sometimes when he is yelling, maybe it is because of how I sound to him.

Having this cold, and losing my voice, has been such a blessing. It has taught me to be more gentle, to take the perspective of my child, to be more patient... I know that I can get the message across without having to repeat it several times, or get frustrated.

...I feel people listen harder when you are whispering than when you are yelling.

Diapered blessings

I don't know most of y'all here, so just a little background, my husband lost his job in December we are living in our fourth home since then, we just opened a restaurant and I have four kids.

In order to save costs at the restaurant, I work a few days a week for free. And, something that doesn't really make sense, I pay a babysitter to watch my actually not really saving any money. But every once in awhile a dear friend will watch my kids. I feel guilty asking others to watch them for free because I am working but at the same time it has been since December that we have brought any money home, minus the two months I worked at the school.

So anyway, my friend offered to watch the kids, well I think I asked this time around but she has been willing to help out before. I dropped the kids off with some lunch, and big thanks, and she hands me a pack of diapers....which I so needed to buy but literally don't have any money to do so, and some laundry soap and dish soap, all things that I have run out of and she didn't know. My eyes welded up in tears as I said thanks, and ran out the door to work.

I truly felt blessed and knew that I was being watched out for in more ways than I had even known.....

Now to find a plumber to unstop the kitchen sink so I can finish washing the dishes....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Problem solved

OK... so quick little background, my husbands car is in need of serious repairs that we aren't going to do, so we are currently a 1 car family. I've been trying to figure out how we are going to shuttle my 9 year old to and from cub scout day camp on the days that Benson needs to work. My parents had said they could help, but they are actually down a car too because my other brothers car broke down and he is borrowing theirs.

SO! During church today, one of the men came up to me and asked if my son was going to camp... yes. "Can my wife pick him up all this week and bring him to camp?"

In my brain I'm wondering why they would want to do that. They would drive past camp to get to our house, then have to backtrack to go to camp.

"Well, yea, if she wants to, but we're out of the way a bit. Not by far, but still."

"I'll let her know and she'll contact you."

OK. That was strange. Or was it. Suddenly I realized that a problem I hadn't even brought to the Lord was being solved right before my eyes. I really didn't know how we were going to work out Benson's work schedule with my parents schedule and my need for a car to get kids where they need to be. A sudden overwhelming feeling of love came over me, and I knew that the Lord is aware of my family and our struggles.

When I talked to this friend, she claimed that her son really wanted to spend some time with my son. :) It will be a total of maybe 5 minutes of car ride they get to spend together. However the blessing of not worrying about the need for a second car for this week... THAT is huge. So here is my public THANK YOU to my friend for being in tune, and to the Lord for knowing my needs even when I don't ask.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Good Little Advice

So maybe this is just dumb, but we're recognizing even the little miracles, right? So here goes. A while back we bought a gigantic container of dish soap at Costco, and the day we brought it home it got knocked off onto the floor and the flip top broke off. I wasn't looking forward to using this whole big bottle of dish soap with plastic wrap over it, so that stuff wouldn't fall in it, or it wouldn't get tipped over again and spill all over everything.

A few days later my mother-in-law came to visit and made a suggestion: "Every time you finish off something in the fridge, before you throw the container out, check to see if it's lid fits on the soap." (Simple as that is, it never occurred to me.) So now I think fondly of my mother-in-law every time I look under my kitchen sink and see the dish soap wearing the pickle relish lid (it's even a flip top!) Thanks, Mom!

The Center of a Pretzel

Yesterday was a no good, dirty rotten, awful day. My children were acting up all day, and then my 3 year old locked us in his room, where we were stuck for an hour until a friend could come rescue us. That night we were eating pretzels at Sam's club and my 6 year old pointed to his pretzel and said, "Mom, here, I was saving this for you." It was the center of his pretzel, which he was saving for me because he knows it is my favorite part. My heart melted and suddenly we were having a very special day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Good Deed

I my little town, we have a local internet forum where everybody posts about the local going ons. Occasionally, it gets pretty snippy. The other day, there were tons of incidents involving helicopters in Anthem. An accident involving a sheriff's car on the freeway, a traffic stop involving a truck full of illegal immigrants, something going down at someone's house, and a near drowning at the community pool. A floundering 3 yo was pulled out by a 10 yo. People were quick to jump in about the parents not watching their kid at the pool, how could they let their kid drown, I saw this one mom. . .yada, yada. I posted about how easy it is for kids to get away from you, how drownings can happen so quickly, even when you are watching your kids around water, so every parent really needs to know CPR. I was nervous about jumping in and getting ripped on, but I did anyway. One guy ripped on me for my attitude and said I shouldn't let my kids near a pool or bath tub. (Kids don't really need to bathe, do they?) Here's the e-mail I received from the family:

"The little boy that this happened to is my son!! When the EMT arrived his airway was clear and he showed no signs of concern. He was taken to ER as a standard precaution to confirm that there was not water in his lungs! He was never at the bottom of the pool either. He reminds us everyday now of what happened and tells us how he was on his tiptoes and a little girl grabbed him by his arm and saved him!
He had gone to the pool with a friend of ours and when my wife arrived the situation was already taking place. It was not in fact due to my wife being a neglectful parent. And just for the record she is very attentive to our children (sometimes overly) and has first aide and CPR certification. Has been re certified every year since the birth of our 5 year old son!
Thank you for sticking up for a family that you don't even know and having positive comments on such a negative thread.
My wife is having a very hard time dealing with the situation and all of the false accusations are making it even harder. She calls me at work when you post something new and is very appreciative of your comments. We refuse to comment on the thread to avoid further bashing. You could if you don't mind state that he had no water in his lungs and is perfectly fine!!!

Our son is healthy and happy thanks to this one little girl. Thank you very much for your kind words, prayers and concerns. God bless you and your family."

Yay! I helped someone out. Sometimes I feel like such a screw-up, but today, I did one thing good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

things to be happy about part 2

I'm going to start my list right now.

Here is #1: spontaneous slobbery baby kisses.

It was a hard day today and my little miracle was a spontaneous kiss from my little one (he's 15 months now). He will often "allow" a kiss if I ask him for one, but today he slobbered up my cheek all on his own. Seriously, the best part of my day. :)

Things to be Happy About

I recently found a journal I started a while back. It is nothing but a list of simple things that make me happy. I think everyone should have one. Here are some of the items on my list:
#11 good hair days
#26 doggies in sweaters
#100 little children on answering machines
#145 surprises
#173 homemade quilts
#175 hearing my watch tick when I hold it up to my ear
#231 being called "kiddo" even though I'm over 30
#238 when my mom remembers who it was that said to tell me "Hi"
#241 how the tiniest people always produce the biggest burps
#246 accordians

Monday, July 13, 2009

Right place, right time

I can't stop thinking about the remains of a terrible car accident we passed on Saturday. It was the kind of thing you see and wonder if the drivers even made it out alive and then you get that sinking feeling in your stomach that doesn't go away very quickly. Then I realized if we had gone to the store when we had first planned, we may have seen it happen {awful}, or worse, we may have been in it. I don't know for sure. But I am very glad that we put off and stalled leaving the house for just a little longer. I pray that the people were okay and they just have to get new cars!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mirror Miracle

I bought a new mirror last week that lets me see my daughter in her rear-facing infant seat while I'm driving. I'm so glad to finally have found a good one that doesn't fall off all the time, or make my baby look so tiny I can't tell how she's doing anyway. That in and of itself is a blessing in this mother's life, but this story is about my nine-month-old baby's miracle, not mine.

In order to make your baby look big enough for you to see her well, the mirror has a slightly convex shape, so the images are kind of distorted--a little like the silly mirrors you might find in a carnival fun house.

So last Friday Hallie and I were driving home from somewhere on a hot day. I glanced back at her and saw her typical "Oh, do we have to drive around in this hot car again?" expression. She does love mirrors though, and so pretty soon she was enjoying watching herself in her new mirror. But then she must have leaned forward to reach a toy or something, and I guess she noticed that the closer she got to the mirror the funnier her face looked, so she started leaning her head as far forward as her harness would let her, and making sort of goofy faces into the mirror. Then a huge grin would spread across her face and she would sink back into her car seat and just giggle for a few seconds before trying it again. She did this for the rest of the ride home.

This was Hallie's mirror miracle, and for me, it was a reminder, that with a little imagination even the simplest thing can transform an ordinarily hum-drum car ride, (or a boring task), into a zany adventure.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Horray for dates!

My husband and I went car shopping today. It would have been easy to be a bit frustrated over the process since it came about as the result of a sad dying car, but instead we enjoyed it as if it were our first date in months, complete with Oberweis at the end! Now THAT is a blessing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby Love

Nobody else in the world may be glad to see me, but when my baby wakes up after a nap, she lights up like the Fourth of July. She gives me big pats, then grabs my shoulders and squeezes! (That's Rosie's own special way of showing love) Hooray for kids' unconditional love!

Thanks, Cheryl!

I was feeling sad and worried today, then I saw the invite to this blog in my email. Thanks for remembering me, Cheryl. You made my day! Perfect timing for a pick-me-up!

Random chat

I found myself starting a chat conversation with someone I generally don't chat with, but she didn't answer right away. A while later, I was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed when she happened to see my IM and wrote me back. I was so grateful to have someone to talk to at that moment who could REALLY understand what was going on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Angels surround us

Yesterday while I was outside with my kids, I saw a beautiful white butterfly. It made me feel as though I had an angel watching out for me. The butterfly may not have been a miracle, but the feeling was!