Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Unexpected Adventure

Update Friday 5pm: Today S. had a outpatient surgery to remove the barb. Thankfully, the surgeon was able to easily locate it and get it out. The barb was smaller than I thought, but still a pretty long object to have embedded in the soft part of your big toe! S. was very calm and a good patient, though he was quite a character when he was still loopy from all the medications. He'll spend the next 24 hrs off his feet and then a few days on crutches. What a story he has to tell his friends! Thanks for all your prayers and comments. I'm so glad to have the excitement behind us. Now we can spend the weekend restoring order and peace to our home.

(click on the picture to enlarge it and you can just barely see the serrations ... ouch!)

Update Thursday 4pm: We had a consult with a foot surgeon today and scheduled the surgery for tomorrow (Friday) morning at 11. They will not use general anesthesia, but instead "twilight sleep" plus lots of local anesthetic. Thanks for your prayers! S. is in good spirits and enjoying all the extra attention, I think. :)

Well, the Gulf of Mexico gave S. a birthday present - a stingray sting! It happened Monday afternoon while we were enjoying some especially pleasant weather at the beach. I have never seen one of my children in such excruciating pain! We quickly got him to a life guard station, where we were told to immediately take him home and soak his foot in hot, hot water.

After almost 2 hrs in the hot water, the pain from the toxin subsided. The wound is a puncture, and it bled quite a bit. Since it was swollen and ugly this morning, we took him to a local urgent care center. The ultimate diagnosis was that 2 shards from the barb are lodged in his big toe - one of them is almost 2 inches long! A trip to the operating room will be required, with general anesthesia, so that the foot surgeon can use x-ray technology to locate and remove the barb without tearing his toe to shreds. Crocodile Hunter aside, I was really surprised a stingray sting could be so serious.

Since we're leaving for home anyway, the docs felt having surgery at home was better than staying extra days in a strange town. He's on 2 antibiotics, which will buy us the time to get home and have the surgery. I covet your prayers for safe travel, scheduling, and of course, healing!

We are also counting our blessings: though we hate to see S. suffer, we're very glad it wasn't our 3 year old; we're thankful it happened at the end of the trip - after we all enjoyed many good times; we're thankful to have found, after some searching, a podiatrist who could work us in today and took our insurance; I'm thankful that the Lord gave me an opportunity to see the manly character growing in my son - he was so brave; we're thankful that God is a God in control of the tiniest details and we rest in Him.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Happy Birthday!

It's birthday season at our house. Today is a milestone ... my firstborn turns 13! Yes, at 3:38am I became the mother of a teenager. S. was not only our first child, but the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Despite all the grandmothers' spoiling, he has remained a very sweet, even-keeled boy. He is a lego-builder, nature-lover, scientist, and friend to all animals. He loves to read, loves to act, and loves computers. He has been my right arm with the arrival of babies #4 and #5. He is not just my son, but quickly becoming ... my friend. Happy Birthday, S!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my #2 son, C.'s 11th birthday! C. made his arrival 3 days before his big brother's 2nd birthday - what a fun birthday present for S. that year! We are on our vacation and are celebrating by eating his favorite breakfast - pancakes - and heading to the beach! For the last 11 years, this boy has made us laugh more times than we can count! He has a hilariously sophisticated sense of humor. He also has very contagious joi de vive and I love him for it! Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random Thoughts

Fans: Our family is addicted to fans! I contemplated that fact with some frustration as I began packing for our trip to the beach. If you were to visit our home in the dead of night, you would hear no less than 4 small box fans whirring away as the family sleeps. I'm not sure how it started - perhaps when our oldest was a babe and we had a monster german shepherd that barked at everything. And now - let's face it our house is a noisy place! The pleasant white noise of a fan helps a baby settle down for a nap in the midst of the commotion. Our favorite is this Honeywell version; we've been through many of them over time! And so, as we load up the suburban, we will be taking along our 4 favorite little black Honeywells!

The Lord gives the increase: I have happy news - my dear sister is expecting her second baby in April! After years of waiting on the Lord, she gave birth in Jan. 2006 to the cutest little girl you've ever seen. It has been a joy for me to watch her become the amazing mom I always knew she would be. I know she will be a great mom of 2 as well. Congratulations, Sis! I'm so thrilled for you!! While we're giving out congratulations, pop over and congratulate 50 Toes, who will become 60 toes next spring!

A little holiday: We are scheduled to depart for the beach tomorrow at 5am - a 10 hr drive. I'm gathering every sticker-book, DVD from the library, portable snack I can find to pass the time. We even bought a new noisy electronic thingy at Wal-Mart last night in the hopes that it will keep 16 month old K. quiet for at least part of the journey. These last 2 babies have just not been good car sleepers for some reason. And inevitably, if one falls asleep, the other cries and wakes him/her up! We are really excited, though, and once we arrive we have a whole week of R & R to look forward to before making the trip home. Happy Times!

Inspiration: From the Word... "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

From Amy Carmichael... Amy quotes this nursery poem:

A centipede was happy till
One day, a toad in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg goes after which?"
Which strained his mind to such a pitch
He lay distracted in a ditch,
Considering how to run.
Amy says, "I think there are a good many toads in the world, and sometimes, not in fun at all but very seriously, they manage 'to strain our minds to such a pitch' that instead of going on in simplicity we may very easily find ourselves distracted in a ditch, not running, but only considering how to run. ...and on the race-course -- looking away from toads without and within -- let us run...looking unto Jesus [Heb. 12:1-2]... so shall we run and not be weary and walk and not faint."

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Quotes flying around our house recently:

"I have natural talent!" - 10 yo C. getting excited because he can play Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing on his recorder. Enthusiasm? Yes. Talent? Time will tell.

"Mama, I so sick. I need to rest because my feelings hurt." - 3 yo. A., who is not sick at all, just trying a new angle on getting to be a couch potato.

"I really got one?!" - 12 yo. S. in disbelief after opening a gift from his uncle - a bonsai tree. Believe it or not, that is what he wanted most for his birthday. (The actual birthday is next week, so I'm calling him 12 as long as I can!)

"Mama" - 16 month old K. - yes she finally said it and her Mama is very happy!

And winner of most convicting comment of the week...
"I wish... Mom, it would be cool if you could be a kid again." - Ouch! 8 yo. M. after I told her I couldn't help her brush her doll's hair right now. Guess who is getting some Mommy time today?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Pet

My son C. (almost 11) caught this katydid in our backyard with our next-door neighbor. His 5th grade science curriculum (with A Beka Academy) encouraged the students to make a "meadow terrarium" so he thought this katydid was a good place to start. They named it "K-man."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Children's Book Review

I love historical fiction! It's probably my favorite literary genre. So when I put God King by Joanne Williamson on my sons' reading list for this school year, I knew I would have as much fun reading it as they would. The last time we were studying ancient history, we read Williamson's Hittite Warrior, set in the biblical time period of the Judges. We fell in love with her vivid characters, readable style, and exciting way of making the action of the Bible come to life. This book was no different.

God King is set in the time of King Hezekiah, when the Assyrians had already conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and were knocking on Jerusalem's door. True to form, the book was easy to read and action-packed. Taharka, a young Egyptian pharaoh (thus the god king reference) must flee for his life to Judea. Once there, he witnesses first-hand Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem, coming away with a respect for Yahweh, the God of Judah. I came away with a neat discovery about King Hezekiah's "improvements" to the wall of Jerusalem. (Hint: see 2 Kings 18-19.)

The book is on an upper-elementary to middle school reading level and would be enjoyed by boys and girls equally. (There is a subplot involving a very pretty Egyptian girl to whom Taharka is betrothed.) It is published by Bethlehem Books, a company known for reprinting excellent, God-honoring historical fiction. Check it out!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Just Do the Next Thing!

One of the reasons I love that poem is that I sometimes feel I never get out of "survival mode." There are so many days that we don't seem to "move the plot along" in our story. We struggle to feed, clothe, and clean up. Projects get postponed - again. Lesson plans don't get made - we just wing it. Our pastor is preaching through the book of Ecclesiastes and I've been thinking recently how tempting it is to feel like day follows day and all is vanity under the sun.

But as Christians, we don't live life under the sun - we live it "under the Son" (borrowed from the title of a Jay Adams book.) That's why I find myself saying, "do the next thing." Do it immediately, do it with prayer; looking to Jesus, ever serener. Instead of wallowing in my frustration, I just "do the next thing" with prayer and more often than not my attitude experiences a change for the better.

This week has been a good example of that. We had an all day doctor's appointment and our laundry piled up as we waited for a repairman to come fix our lovely new washer when it wouldn't drain. Most of the week I felt scattered and frustrated and it trickled down to the family. But by Thursday I was able to turn my attitude around and look at the good things from this week. Here are some highlights:
  • While Mom was distracted, my children's creativity came out. They made little pom-pom creatures, complete with pipe-cleaner limbs. They then proceeded to make "habitats" for their creatures using all of my extra rubbermaid tubs, lots of construction paper, and a few landscape elements from their army men. It was adorable - one had a desert habitat with appropriate vegetation; one had a beach, ocean, and little island, complete with its own pom-pom Robinson Crusoe. And yes, the almost 13 yo. boy participated in this. I'm thinking I can mark this down for art, science, and maybe even literature???
  • I sat down to watch some of R.C. Sproul's Dust to Glory series with son S. (12 going on 13.) He is studying Old Testament history this year and it thrilled my soul to see him grasp not just the stories of Genesis, but some of the theology of it as well. What an age this is: playing pom-poms one day and being so grown up the next! I feel honored to be his Mom.
  • We all got a good laugh out of the washing machine incident. Not only was it precious to watch my 3yo boy stand in awe of the "pear man" as he did his work; but it was hilarious to find out that the culprit was a tiny wooden toothpick that 10 yo. C. had put in his pocket on our last trip to Jason's Deli. I can't tell you how many toothpicks I found in the laundry this week! I guess this was the one that got away. Not sure what he was planning to do with them...
  • I painted the kids' bathroom. It was not a project on our Master To Do List, but it was just plain ugly and I got tired of looking at it. With 3 boys sharing one bathroom, I hated for any females to venture into the "cave!" So I popped into Lowe's on a whim, bought a pretty blue called "Ships Ahoy" and painted the whole thing in an afternoon (while the big 3 were at Master's Academy and the little ones napped.) I added some tropical fish accents from Target and now it's cute. I might actually venture in there myself instead of "holding it" until my bathroom is vacant!
  • Our sweet baby K. (15 months) is trying her best to talk. It is so sweet to hear her toddle through the house calling, "Ba Ba? Ba Ba?" looking for Daddy. Or to hear her say "Hi" when you pop in the room. She's also nodding and shaking her head to answer "yes" or "no" and signing "please." And she can play pat-a-cake without Mommy's help. She's really getting a cute personality and joining in family life!

Thanks be to the Lord for His mercies that really are new every morning. He is so faithful, even when we are not, to bless our most mundane experiences if we fix our eyes on Him!

Monday, September 3, 2007

The BLT Turns 3!

Three years ago, after a break of five and a half years, we had our fourth child, a son. It was with great joy that we reentered the baby phase after such a long break. A. was instantly a hit with our older children and became the "family doll." The Lord's timing was perfect, for this baby would be the last my beloved mother-in-law would hold and his beaming face and charming personality comforted all of us when the Lord took her home.

As A. became mobile, we quickly realized we had a spirited kid on our hands. My #2 son, C., nicknamed him "BLT" - "Busy Little Toddler." The name was perfect and it stuck! He is the most active, rambunctious, and mischievous toddler I have ever had! He conquered every baby gate we put up. He climbed out of the playpen and the crib. He has decorated furniture, carpet, and walls with his marker "art." In short, he runs circles around us!

But the BLT is also one of the most affectionate and compassionate little guys I've ever met. He freely offers hugs and cuddles, spontaneously says, "thank you" and "I love you, Mom." If anyone is hurt or sad, he is all tenderness. Though nearly always on the go, he loves to snuggle and read a big stack of library books. And his smile will melt your heart!
So Happy Birthday, my precious boy! I guess we'll have to retire the name "BLT" since you can no longer be called "toddler!" We love you! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Prov. 3:5-6

We had a little "car wash party" with family last night. A. is completely obsessed with the car wash. He talks about it constantly and is always pretending his cozy coupe or bike is going to the car wash. This was the first time he's had a chance to use real water to play car wash and they had a blast. (The cute little blond girl with pigtails is my niece.)