Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January Lesson

This lesson came as many of them do - right in the midst of a conversation with one of my children.

Eveley was getting ready to watch one of her favorite movies.  One she has seen at least a dozen times.

She confided that she was nervous to watch it again because she feared the main character would get hurt in a dangerous scene.

"Why are you so fearful?"  I asked.  "You know how the story ends."

"Exactly," I heard the Spirit whisper to me.


January is a difficult month.  It hasn't always been this way, of course.  My Januarys were typically consumed with picking out the perfect new calendar, tidying up the closets and labeling the playroom bins, and vowing to exercise more, eat better, and lose a few pounds.

But for the past few years, Januarys have become, frankly, very daunting.  I dread them.  After Christmas, I sort of feel as if life is at a standstill until the looming date of January 16 passes.

It was January 16, 2007, when our world forever changed.  I was forced to say goodbye to our beautiful Robbie and to begin a journey more difficult than I could have ever imagined.

But it was also January 16, 2007, when our world forever changed, and I began to know Jesus in a way I had never imagined.

He held me so very close.  He let me cry and yell.  He listened to my heart struggling to find answers and explanations.  He guarded my mind as it wandered down many dangerous paths, trying to unpack the tragedy.  He displayed His power and goodness in soft and loud ways.  And He gently reminded me of Truth.

"My grace is sufficient for you.  For My power is made perfect in your weakness."  I Cor. 12:9

"The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."  Rom. 8:18

"Death is swallowed up in victory.  O, death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?"  I Cor. 15:54-55

"I have told you these things so that in Me, you shall have peace.  In this world, you will have tribulations.  But take heart.  I have overcome the world!"  John 16:33

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."  Rev. 21:4

Well, here it is.  January 16, 2013.

"Why should I be fearful?" I ask myself.  "I know how the story ends."



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wrapping up 2012

Yes, I know 2012 is now a thing of the past, but we tried to enjoy every second of December -- which means I am just getting around to blogging about it.

taken by my talented friend, Jenn

We had a wonderful holiday season, just a little bit of stress but a whole lot of fun.

The last week before Christmas was quite a blur.  The kids -- all 4, at 4 different times, were very sick.  And since we spent the week of Christmas in Tennessee, our family Christmas morning was postponed until December 29.   

But the change of date didn't lessen the excitement at all.

Christmas morn.

One of the elves.
With her many dramatic expressions.


Yes, we realized on our "Christmas Eve" - Dec. 28 - that we had run out of the Christmas wrapping paper.  So we ended up with this polka dot remnant and some Whole Foods brown paper bags.

I try to take advantage of the Christmas season to spread a little cheer -- reach out to neighbors, friends, teachers, and even strangers who we come across.

Usually, I make oodles of batches of this .  Nothing says 'I love and appreciate you' more than homemade caramel popcorn.

But, with our new food habits, there was no way I could continue this tradition unless I did it at midnight when the family was sleeping.  (But I am afraid that even the smell would have awakened them.)

So, this year, we tried to go a different route and we nixed the food gifts.

Instead, we put together some pretty bags of Christmas smells.  I included a little bit of orange, lemon, lime, cranberries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.  Eveley and I stuffed about 40 of these!  But once we put this into a saucepan and simmered it on the stove, we were definitely in the Christmas spirit.  Smells wonderful.  And I'm sure it will help get you through the January blues too if you need a boost.

The next things we did for Eveley's and Caleb's teachers and some friends was to decorate some rosemary trees.  These turned out so cute, and the kids really enjoyed this little "craft project."

I don't know about you, but I always keep the toiletries and samples provided at hotels.  We have stayed at quite a few luxurious resorts over the years, and I always pack away the bathroom stash each day so the staff will replenish them the next day.

As a result, I have quite a few travel sewing kits.  These worked perfectly. They had just the right amount of thread already threaded onto a needle.  We bought several packs of different sized pom poms.  The kids had fun picking out a pattern and then trying to replicate it.  When they were finished, we wound the garland around the trees and topped them with a little bow.  Hopefully, our friends enjoyed this festive and smelly tree and will continue to use the dried rosemary throughout the year.  

And 2012 wouldn't be complete without a trip to the ER.  

My big New Years Eve started out with a trip to the gym.  The kids were in childcare making fun NYE crafts and playing their little hearts out (while I was spinning my little legs off in the pedal and kettle class).  I was notified that little Jack took a spill and did a face plant off of the little ladybug car.  (He's a daredevil.)  

He ended up with a fat lip and a bloody nose.  No big deal.

Or so we thought.

On our way home from the gym, Jack kept nodding off.  And then he threw up.  We arrived at home and I got everyone into the house.  Jack threw up again.  

I knew that was a concern after a head injury (because I had quickly googled it), so I called Bob.  He came home and took Jack immediately to the hospital.  Poor little thing continued to throw up throughout the day and was completely lethargic.  

They did a CT scan and concluded my little tough dude had a concussion (but no other major trauma or issues, thank Jesus).

This is without any sedative or meds.

The little man slept on my chest the rest of the day, and almost rang in the new year with us.

Thankfully, he seems to be as good as new.  We are just keeping an eye on him (and Caleb) to try to prevent any other injury.

Cheers to 2013!

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