Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30th Daybook

Outside my window ... it is gray and rainy. It's fairly warm today, but the colder weather is coming.

I am wearing ... sweats and a t-shirt.

I am hearing ... rain falling.

I am going ... to get the kids today ... our family has been scattered for the last week or so, but today we'll all be back under one roof. Yippee!!

I am noticing that ... I am not nearly as ready for Christmas as everyone around me seems to be.

I am thinking ... that I am going to need to pace myself to catch up on everything this week.

I am hoping ... that the kids won't be too spoiled after having spent a week with grandparents.

I am reading ... the Psalms.

I am remembering ... a wonderful weekend with friends.

I am thankful for ... safe travels and homecomings.

On my mind ... family and friends in need of prayer.

Words that I am pondering ... What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Psalm 56:3

From the learning rooms ... catching up on Zoology, geography and a book-it report to prepare on thankfulness.

From the kitchen ... who knows?

Around the house ... more catching up to do.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... aside from the catching up I've mentioned, carving out as many moments to enjoy the family being together as possible.

One of my favorite things ... being at home.

A picture thought to share with you ...

Want to join in the daybook fun? Just visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook to find out how.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

another reason to be thankful and why my mother-in-law may never agree to keep her youngest grandson again

I think wish I had a picture of what happened today ... but then again, maybe I don't.

Ronnie and I left the Thanksgiving festivities with his family around 3 this afternoon to head home and get ready for our trip this weekend (see my last post). We had only been gone for about an hour when the phone rang. His mom calling us while we are on the road is not unusual, however, it only took about a minute into this conversation before I knew that something unusual had happened and only about a minute more to realize exactly what that something was.

Let me just tell you at this point - just so you know - Ronnie's mom is terrified of water. Trust me, this will be important later.

As usual, Thanksgiving lunch happened at the home of Ronnie's aunt and uncle. They have a beautiful home on a bayou off of the Back Bay in Gulfport. Today was a lovely day and some of us enjoyed lunch on the porch before the kids headed out to play in the yard. After lunch, the adults headed into the living room for coffee and conversation while the kids played. We could see the kids and even cautioned them a couple of times for playing too near the pool, but even with all of our warnings, D ~ our little hurricane ~ managed to step into the pool. No harm done, just a wet boot and a kid worried that Daddy was going to be mad at him.

Fast forward a couple of hours. Ronnie and I are on the road, having left the kids playing safely in their cousin's room, inside the house. But the beautiful day was too much for the kids and they were allowed to go back outside with the admonition to play in the garage or driveway, but not by the pool.

But, kids will be kids, you know.

So, while the two older kids (ages 8 & 7) watched, my 4 year old tried to use a pool net to rescue a pair of shoes from the pool.

I know ~ you can see where this is going, can't you ...

He managed to save one shoe just before falling in the pool.

Thankfully, the adults were very close and the older kids had the presence of mind to get an adult rather than try to rescue D on their own.

The down side ~ I am sure that we owe Ronnie's uncle a new pair of shoes.

The up side ~ we found out that our little hurricane can tread water.

So, what does a 4 year old say as he is being fished out of a pool on Thanksgiving day? Well, here's what mine said:

I'm okay, I'm okay, Granny ... please don't tell Daddy!

So on this Thanksgiving night, I have something new to be thankful for. No harm done, just a wet, and hopefully forgiving, uncle and a wet kid, still worried that his Daddy is going to be mad at him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

giving thanks

Many of the blogs I follow have been featuring Thanksgiving related posts and I figured it was time for me to add mine to the list.

I have many more things to be thankful for than I can list in one post, but I think I'll focus on some specific things that are happening (or have happened) this week.

First, we had a wonderful collection week for Operation Christmas Child. We had great fun for a great cause. On Monday I took our final paperwork to our area coordinator. This is one of my favorite parts of collection week. I love getting to talk to the sweet lady who is the coordinator and it is wonderful to see the next step for the boxes. We'll go a step farther later this week, but I'll tell you about that later.

Another great thing about this week is that Ronnie took the entire week off of work. This is very unusual for him, and we have been enjoying hanging out at his mom's house this week. She lives a couple of hours from our house, so it is nice to get away and leave the normal responsibilities at home. Plus, it is nice to get to spend the time with Ronnie, just relaxing.

I am also thankful for a wonderful opportunity that LB has had this week. My parents, along with my oldest brother and his wife took a trip to Montana this week to spend Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law's family and after much, much deliberation, we agreed to allow LB to go with them. I have to admit that it was hard for her Mama and Daddy to say that she could travel completely across the country without us, but we finally decided that we would put aside our fears and give her this special opportunity to spend the time with her grandparents and do something she'll remember all her life. From what we hear, both from LB and from my Mama and Daddy, she is having the time of her life! I'll even add that I am thankful for snow in Montana. LB was so hoping to see real snow (remember, we live in MS) on this trip and she has gotten to see LOTS of it! I can only hope that the adults who are with her are taking lots of pictures of my girl in an element, totally outside of her natural element.

This weekend I am going to get to do something I have been wanting to do for several years and I want to add this to my list of things that make me thankful. Ronnie and I, along with a few other people from our church are headed to Suwanee, GA *best I can tell this is somewhere northeast of Atlanta, but I'm not driving, so it really doesn't matter if I know where it is* to work in a processing center for Operation Christmas Child. I have been taking part in the local end of packing shoeboxes for years now and I am super excited to get to see, and take part in, the next phase of the process. I can't wait to report back next week about the trip this weekend!

Finally, I am thankful for all my family, especially our son who just turned 8 this week. I'll dedicate a whole post to his birthday when I get back home and can load my new pictures on my computer, but for now I'll just say Happy Birthday, JW!

(This is not a new picture, it is just the only one I could find on Granny's computer of just JW)

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the most wonderful time of the year

No, I am not talking about Christmas, per se.

I am talking about my favorite week of the year. Well, one of my favorite weeks anyway.

This week ~ the week before Thanksgiving ~ is always National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. I have shared how much I love being involved with this ministry before, but now I want to share how it has impacted my life personally and the life of our church.

For the last five years, our church has been a relay center for OCC. In other words, people can come and drop off their boxes at our church and we will pack them in cartons and send them on to the next location. During these five years we have had the honor of receiving just over 10,000 shoeboxes. This is just a tiny drop in the bucket of the boxes that have been received, but I am so thankful that God has allowed us to be a small part of this process. We have been given the opportunity to add our prayers to the many others for each box. And we know that each box represents at least one (but probably many more) opportunity for the Gospel of Jesus to be shared with a child (and his or her family).

Just knowing that a child may be reached for Jesus is enough to keep us working each year to help as much as we can with this project. What an honor to be allowed to participate in this process.

I don't know exactly how to share with you what happens during collection week. I find that I am blessed by this week more than I can express. Perhaps it is because we know that we are part of something "bigger than ourselves" as our pastor mentioned the other night. I know that is true, but I also know that a large part of the blessing, for me anyway, comes from something that I believe is one of the most important functions of a true New Testament church ~ fellowship.

I know that in the Southern Baptist Church fellowship begins with a capital letter and generally involves casseroles. This kind of fellowship is great and we are pretty good at them in our church.

However, in this case I am talking about the kind of fellowship that goes deeper and truly impacts our lives. During these few hours, one week a year, I get a glimpse into the lives of the ladies who volunteer. I see their heart for hurting children that they will never meet. I hear them pray for those children and for those who have packed boxes and delivered them to us. I hear these ladies (and some men, too!) laugh and joke with each other. I see them willingly take extra time packing a carton so that they can let my children be a part of the process and learn how to serve. I see them welcome new people who come to volunteer from other churches and make them feel at home in ours. I see their love for God expressed in more ways than I can count.
I see all these things, and I am blessed beyond measure.

The ministry of Operation Christmas Child is only one of the many things that I am thankful for during this season of the year. I am often amazed that God has allowed me to be a part of this ministry. I started out hoping to be a blessing to someone else, but the truth is that God has blessed me more than I can ever hope to give.

Isn't God good?

Friday, November 13, 2009

D's prayer

Let me first tell you that I love to listen to my children pray. Typically, their prayers are so much more simple and straight-forward than my own. They simply lay out what is on their mind and heart, with little reservation. I think I could learn a lesson from them.

Sometimes though, I will admit to having to stifle a giggle as I listen to them pray.

Especially D. Keep in mind, he did just turn 4.

Tonight was one of those times. Here is a rough transcript of his prayer.

Thank you for today. Thank you for S. and thank you for Mr. Brad and for him being a knot-head and for Mrs. Amy ...

I'm not really sure what he said after that, I was too busy trying not to giggle.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

it is official and I am thankful

At least I am trying to be.

After watching my middle child, who was laying on my bed, moan every time he moved his head, I decided that a trip to the doctor just might be in order. The nurse agreed.

The plan was just to take JW in an attempt to keep the other two from being exposed to anything that they didn't already have. I had planned for their Daddy to stay home with them ('cause who wants to dress 2 children if you don't have to), but Ronnie's good sense prevailed and we all went ~ modifying the plan to them staying in the van while I went into the office with JW. After a surprisingly short wait, we saw Dr. M. We like her, but she isn't our regular doctor and I am still getting used to her.

The verdict? A double whammie (the dr's words) ~ strep and the flu.

The next step? A shot for the strep and tamiflu. And then the question, what about the 4 year old waiting in the van with the same symptoms (minus the headache)?

I knew the answer before I asked the question.
But the good news is that he only has the flu.

So, why am I thankful that my kids are sick?
1st ~ I am thankful that my children are generally healthy and that they aren't really sick.
2nd ~ I am thankful that they all got sick at basically the same time, instead of spreading it out over several days or weeks.
3rd ~ I am thankful that they got sick this week instead of next week.

But, I'll have to tell you about that later.


It all started with a headache on Monday. Now it is Thursday and we are still under a self imposed quarantine. I cannot tell you exactly what is wrong, because I haven't actually seen a doctor, but the best guess of my best friend is the flu. I probably should mention here that my friend is a pediatric nurse who has spent several years working triage for a local children's clinic. She is almost always my first call when any of my children are sick. She is the one who then advises on whether or not I should take the kids on to the doctor or just wait out whatever is going on and fusses at me if I don't call her immediately when I realize someone is sick.

She is a very convenient friend ... and since we have been friends for more than 25 of our 35 years, trust is not an issue.

Okay, back to the story.

This whole mess started with LB having a headache on Monday. Not much to be alarmed about. I gave her a dose of Tylenol and we went on about our business. Tuesday morning she woke up before 8:00 (which is unheard of in our house, for a child at least) and I soon realized that she was running fever. Great. Tuesday's are our busiest days around here. We have speech for JW in the morning and LB has dance in the afternoon and, on this particular Tuesday, we were supposed to be having supper at my parents' house to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday.

The hardest part of the day was when LB realized that she couldn't go to dance. She is in her 6th year of taking dance and this is the first class she has ever missed! She cried, both because she absolutely loves to dance and because she would miss any new steps that they would learn that day and that meant that Mrs. Gerry (her beloved teacher) would have to re-teach the new steps next week, just for her. And to be honest, she was also a little sad that she wouldn't be recognized at the recital for perfect attendance. I think she'll survive the disappointment.

My only fear in not taking them to the doctor is that whatever has come to visit our family is not the H1N1 virus. You see, this flu, at least among the children I have known to have it, has been pretty mild and there has been little need to treat it. But in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that they could have strep or some other infection that would require treatment to get better. So, I guess today will be decision day.

So what do I hate most about the kids being sick (other than them being sick in the 1st place)?
1. They watched enough PBS Kids yesterday to turn any brain to mush.
2. By last night they were bored, so they decided fighting was the answer.
3. The four of us had to miss church last night. Maybe I'll blog one day about why I love Wednesday nights at our church so much and then maybe you'll understand why I hate missing so much.

Today will be the day to pull out the big guns to fight the boredom. Maybe I'll run to Dollar General and get them a new game ... or maybe we'll just go ahead and have school. Whatever we do, I am sure that by the time Ronnie gets home tonight I'll be looking for an escape.