Thursday, June 26, 2008

a very busy July

Looking forward to next month, I see a lot to keep our family busy. Our Vacation Bible School begins June 30 and goes on to July 3. Our theme for this year is going to be soooo neat: Road Sign for Godly Living. So the church buildings are going to be decorated with road signs. Some big, some small, some real metal ones....which really need cleaning up. They so dusty. And no, we didn't go out and steal them for Bible school. haha. A man in our church works for the town and is getting them for us legally. I asked our pastor if I could "borrow" some off the road and he just kinda looked at me and said, "That's illegal" (or something to that effect) with a little grin. Poor man, having to put up with my silliness all the time.

I promise pictures of VBS later, but I'm going to be a bit busy for posts.

Looks like youth camp is going to be a bit longer than I originally thought. This is going to be the longest I've been away from my kids. I love working with the youth, really I do. I love them to bits. I love talking with my girls. I utterly despise being separated from my children. But it is the way it has to be. I can't be of much help to the youth if I'm having to rock a baby instead of working at an altar or in a similar situation. Late nights, early mornings, teenage activities, deep swimming pools, long drives, and no naptimes just don't mix with with toddlers and preschoolers. It's just unnatural to be separated that long. I mean, after a Christian and a wife, I'm a mom. I relish every moment with my kids, even the hard ones. So, what's a girl to do. I just have to pray, pray, pray. Then shut my eyes, and make my feet walk. And then spend at least the first 100 miles to camp with teary eyes and cry every night when I get off the phone with them. That seems to be the way it's gone in the past. Of course, in the past I've told myself, "Five days, it's just five days." Now it's going to be eight or even nine days. Oh, that's so much harder!

But I try to look on the positive. Once I get to camp, I always have a great time with the youth. I really love them. I have a lot of great memories in camp. We have seen the Lord do a lot for the teens through camp. And when I feel so dry and empty, the Lord always fills my cup. It's not that He's asking too much of me, because anything He could ask could never be too much. My family is my "sacred calling" (borrowing Stacy McDonald's phrase) and it pains me to be away from that. God gives me peace and joy though, because He's let me know that He needs me at camp. What's going to be neat is when he works it out for us to go to youth camp in the future. It's hard to find someone to keep just 3 children. Even this year, we're having to split them up because no one will keep all three. How is He going to manage it as our family continues to grow? That'll be neat.

Wow, I didn't mean for all that to come out! haha Anyway, July will be very busy indeed.

June 30-July3 ... ... VBS
July 11-July 18 ... ... youth camp

Gotta finish getting homeschool material rounded up after camp is finished, too. Oh, and I promise to post photos of Lydia in her bed. I had both of my boys in real, twin-sized beds by her age, but I we don't have one for her. So her crib is converted into a toddler bed for now. Can't believe she's 16 months old!

Friday, June 20, 2008

correction ... and an answer to prayer

that doughnut sale is actually next Friday, the 27th. Oops, sorry!!

As for tonight, my children are going to the circus with my Mom and Dad. On that note I have the biggest praise to share!

Ethan, my three-year-old, came down with a ... something. A virus of some sort. Now, I do have very healthy children. None of my kids have ever had an antibiotic and John and Lydia very seldom have a virus. Ethan however, has several allergies including peanuts, cats, dogs and feathers. You'll remember from our Easter vacation that Ethan was in the emergency room from exposure to cat dander. When something ... even not one of his known allergies ... gets his allergies in a tizzy, he usually gets a fever and cold symptoms. They always last a week. I can only think of 1 time that it didn't last a week. So, he started with the cold symptoms Tuesday night along with a fever. By bedtime he was on his nebulizer. By the morning (2 days before the circus) his fever had crossed 102. We didn't want to sugar coat the situation for him, so his Daddy told him, "Ethan, if you're not well by Friday you can't go to the circus." Of course, that sent him into the saddest crying imaginable. I really knew that he couldn't go being sick, but I didn't have the heart to tell him. So, his Daddy reminded him that God could heal his sickness if he prayed and asked for healing. Jeremy, John and Lydia went off to church while I stayed home with Ethan. When they got home, John was so sweet. He told Ethan, "Ethan I put you on the prayer list and I prayed for you three times at church." The "three times" was said with such sincerity I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud!

I certainly wouldn't keep him from going to the circus with a cough...even a pretty nasty cough. Of course, he can't go out with a fever nor with his asthma acting up. Well, I say asthma. He doesn't really have asthma per se, I guess. From what I've observed, pediatricians seem reluctant to diagnose asthma. My pediatrician (who is really amazing) will say that Ethan's wheezing or he can have allergy driven asthma symptoms. She's never labeled him as asthmatic. BUT when we took him to an allergist, the allergist said that anyone who wheezes, no matter the circumstances, is to some degree asthmatic. It seems to me that pediatricians are hesitant to diagnose asthma and allergists all too ready. Who knows... lol

Anyway, back to the subject: We had family prayer and everyone focused on Ethan's sickness. We put Ethan to bed Wednesday night after having done a breathing treatment for wheezing, giving him medicine for fever and Benadryl just to calm whatever's got his allergies irritated. He really was pretty sick. I remember praying that night, "Lord, if he's better in the morning it'll really be nothing short of Your hand in it."

Well, I just love it when the Lord just makes Himself known. You know, when there's just really no mistaking it and you say to yourself, "Wow, that was the hand of God!" Thursday morning Ethan woke up right as rain! Even when he's "better" there's usually a croupy cough that lingers on and on. Not this time. I think I actually noticed him coughing maybe twice Thursday. He was his normal self...bouncing, jumping, screaming ... and more screaming (he's a screamer).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my blessings and praises with everyone. Hope you're blessed to hear how God heard and answered the prayers of a three-year-old boy (and his five-year-old brother, his dad and mom, and church family :P).

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 19:14

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sweltering Summer

and it's not even really summer yet. Gardens are not fun to pick when it's 95 degrees outside and the humidity makes it hard to breathe. Yeah, but at least I have tomatoes in this salmonella outbreak! That's nice indeed.

Since so many of my posts recently have involved the youth group, I guess I'll continue in like fashion. It looks like we'll be taking at least 11 teens to camp this year, which will almost double the most we've taken in years past. Praise the Lord!!! It is possible that we'll have 12 teens, and my John will also be riding with us to be staying with "Uncle Phillip and Aunt Jamie" (my husband's best friend. He actually has no siblings). We have 15 seats in the van and we may just have 15 passengers. Which will make for a jolly ride to Ohio (when everyone is excited) and a miserable one back home (when everyone is exhausted). We've decided to do another fund raiser to help offset the cost. The cost of camp isn't really all that much, but gas in a 15 passenger van hauling a trailer and driving it 700 miles is really hurting with gas at $4 a gallon. So for our last fund raiser we'll be selling these:

mmmmmm...yes, good to say for certain. We'll be working on this project Friday the 20th. We'll be getting up well before dawn. Last time we had to get going at 1am. It's an exhausting fund raiser to say the least, but it is very lucrative. We're looking for God to bless our efforts, as we're confident that he will. We'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Around the House

Just a few photos from the home.

Blooms from one of our Bradford Pears...from March, actually, before the leaves came back from winter.

Our pink Crabapple Tree

I have no idea what this is...but isn't it pretty?! I picked it up at a local nursery a few years ago.

Zinnias that I planted in the vegetable garden. I don't really have a bed to plant them in and I only wanted them for cutting and putting indoors, so who needs a flowerbed?

This lantana I bought when I bought the white flowers above. I put it in a pot and it died very quickly. So I threw it out in the woods beside our house as trash. I'd say two years later I'd totally forgotten about the plant until I looked out the window. I saw something orange and thought maybe it was an orange or kumquat tree. I was surprised to see it was that silly lantana! We dug it up and brought it back home.

Out of all those flowers, I think that this one has to be my favorite. The picture doesn't do it justice. The center is a very deep red and the white has these intricate ribs going down to the stamen. Some of you may know what this plant is, but for those who don't its an ... ... okra bloom! Isn't that funny?

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. --Genesis 1:31