Sunday, August 31, 2008

Alter Call

Our church service was in Spanish today. Translated into English. The pastor of the Spanish ministry that meets at this church presented our sermon today, with the rest of his congregation meeting in our service also.

I wasn't too sure about it at first, but it was really good. Even Eric really enjoyed it. By the end, I could even understand some of the Spanish!

He talked about being satisfied in God's goodness.

But my favorite part, and the part that actually choked me up, was the alter call at the end. I just watched the people come forward. One gentleman gave his life to Christ and the excitement was all over his face. Another couple came forward and gave their life to Christ also, together, as a couple. (The pastor told us about those two afterwards). A number of different people came down for prayer.

One couple caught my eye. A more mature couple, maybe in thier late 50s. Walking down the isle hand in hand. With determination and uncertainty and a bit of fear on their face. Yet coming down together, as one. As they approached the elder to share thier story, I saw a friend of theirs come and meet them and put her arms around the couple and pray with them. After the prayer there were tears wiped away and hugs given...especially to the man. As the man and his wife walked back up the aisle, there were handshakes to the man and hugs to them both.

I couldn't help but wonder what their story was. Is he sick? Did he lose someone? People seemed to be attentive to both, but more so to the man. And as I watched from a distance I was touched by the love of the people who surrounded them, and the love and support the couple had for each other which was so obvious.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

well...it's short!

I was tired of my hair and I hated my last hair cut....I think I like this...but I think it'll look better when it grows out just a smidge....there was one point during the cut that I thought I looked just like my brother!! (when it was still wet and parted down the middle)

And no one said anything as I walked out...you know...a lot of times if it's fabulous they tell you...otherwise they keep their mouth shut. It was silence as I left! ugh.

My kids didn't like it either, but they are slowly warming up to me. Eric liked it - I guess that's what matters!



Friday, August 29, 2008

Time-Out Chatter

Camryn was in time-out this evening. She's not in time-out a lot, but when she is, it's devestating and she always cries to herself...tonight I had a pen and paper handy so I started jotting...here's what was said by Camryn...to Camryn in time-out. Remember..she's sobbing and dramatic...so add that into the translation...

I've been a good girl today.
I don't remember what to do.
I get a time-out every time I touch on the counter.
I am sad I'm in time out.
I want ice cream tonihgt.
She said we could have it tonight but I don't k now if I get any.
Mom - you love me SO much, don't you?
I love mommy SO much.
I'm really sad that you made me sad and you're sad too.
I just want to be happy.
Mommy I want you.
Mommy I really am hungry and I want some ice cream.
And you aren't letting me have some, are ya?
I'm so sad that you are making me SO SO sad that you have ever made me before.
I want you to come talk about why I'm in time out.
I'm not happy.
I get sad when you leave me alone and nobody gets me.

I sat there laughing...out of sight of course...as I jotted notes. I couldn't catch all the phrases because she was talking rather fast at times....but trust me...it was pretty entertaining!!

continuing saga

I know I have moaned a lot this week and I apologize to you who are tired of me. But I have one more...and then hopefully I'll be done.

On the ONE letter I received from Camryn's school, she had an open house from 8:30 - 9:30 this morning. So I figured that was all she had today. And last night when her teacher called to introduce herself...I doubled checked...I said, "It's only 8:30 - 9:30 tomorrow morning, right?" and she said , "Yes, that's right...see you then."

So today, when I arrived, I find out that it's a full day of school. I won't go into my complete conversation with the teacher....part of which I reminded, her ever so politely of course, that I asked her specifically aobut the time last night. (***SIGH....GRUNT...MOAN***) So I sat and read books with Camryn for 45 minutes and then she and I left. I told the teacher since we came completely NOT prepared for a day of school, that Camryn would return on Tuesday...late...after her dr. appointment.

Seriously. AND....supplies...that we never received a list of...people had. I guess we were supposed to KNOW that you could find the list online.

I'm a bit frustrated.

On the other hand...today was the first day that Amber walked into her class without me dragging her...and she was playing when i left...not crying and clinging!! It was great. Almost made up for the rest of my morning!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just let God....

Today was a good day. I was able to successfully drop off and pick up my daughter at school on time. She's already writing new words (or copying them...) and her vocabulary and sentence structure has already impressed me...in just 4 days. I know this saturation is what she needs.

Do you ever have a hard time letting go so that God can do His work? Do you ever second guess your decisions...even when you know you prayed about them and felt that you were following God's lead?

I'm struggling with that right now. There's that part of me that wants to keep fighting this fight that I've conjured up in my head. There's that part of me that knows God is just waiting for me to put my guard down and collapse so He can catch me and carry me through this. Why are we so afraid to let God carry us through life? It's not like he's going to trip and fall!

Comments

For all of you non-bloggers who read this but don't have an account - I think I successfully changed the settings so that anyone can leave a comment now.

So...comment all you want!!

love you!
Stacy

Finally!!!

It was a smooth morning. Granted - I only dropped off one of the girls since Camryn doesn't really start 'til next week. BUT...I found a route that had virtually NO stoplights!! It was fabulous! And I was 5 minutes early too!!

I'm a happy mommy right now. But now I have to go mow the lawn....ugh.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kindergarten...Day 3

I'm about ready to quit. If I hadn't made the commitment to stick this out until the end of next week...I would have quit today.

We left the house 45 minutes early...to ideally arrive 10-15 minutes early. But, since we had tropical storm Fay yesterday and some places got 5-8" of rain...traffic was bumper-to-bumper....stop-n-go for 10 miles!!! So here's how it went:

45 minutes early + heavy, ridiculous traffic = 1 hour, 35 minutes of driving = 45 minutes LATE to school.

There are too many emotions wrapped up in my heart right now about what I am doing. I'll stick it out until the end of next week....then we'll see.

Why next week? Because I won't have a normal "commuting" schedule until Wednesday...so that will give me 3 days of pure h*ll (because I'm only in 1/2 H*LL now)...before I decide to keep them home and pretend they are 4....forever!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1st Day of Kindergarten

It was great and no one cried. I'm still working out school times...I can't get the same answer twice about anything...maybe it's because I have 2 different schools I'm dealing with and I'm just confused. The girls were both giddy when I picked them up and had a great time.

My big complaint about it...from the time I left the house to go pick them up...to the time I got home...was 2 1/2 hours!!! Most of that was spent waiting in the stupid pick-up line in the car. Then I was late picking up Amber because they told me the wrong time for Camryn. Then when I asked if I could just go inside and get her each day I was told "no"...I'd just have to be first in line in the car pick-up line. I was there 20 minutes early and already I was probably #23 in line...I'm not going to sit for an hour just to be first....let's make my pick-up routine 3 hours!!!
#$%)^#*&$
Today was harder. Camryn's school has a staggered entry...so she only went to school yesterday and will start next week officially. Amber starts full speed this week and she cried hard when I left her...not to mention I was 15 minutes late dropping her off because the time-thing was not explained well to me. (*&#^#$%

Then I went to kickboxing and realized that if you watch yourself in the mirror, it's like you're boxing yourself...which gives you a good visual for where your punches are supposed to land...but then I found myself taking out my own emotions on myself (if that makes sense)...and I felt like I was hitting myself and beating myself up because of the whole school thing. I had to stop looking in the mirror.

Anyway...enough with that...here's a couple pictures of the girls yesterday...when we were all happy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beach Pictures

1ST OCEAN SIGHTING

1ST OCEAN FEELING

1ST OCEAN SIT

TOES

MOM & KIDS


KIDS at SUNRISE

US

US...again


DAD & TYLER


ME & ERIC :O)...i need to teach the kids how to use a camera!


CAMRYN


AMBER
TYLER

ERIC & TYLER


CAMRYN


AMBER


I'm just posting pictures - I think they say enough. It was fabulous...and injury free! The best times weren't caught on camera, because the best times were when I put the camera away and just played.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prayers of my children

We try to remember to pray every night at dinner. Sometimes it's crazy and it doesn't happen. I've been trying to start that routine at night too. I know...many of you do it by nature already, but we are working on it still.

However, tonight at dinner we were saying our prayers...normally the kids pray a simple "Thank you Jesus for our food. Amen." Then it's Daddy's turn. Well, tonight Dad wasn't here, and just a I started my turn for all the extras, Camryn kept praying.

Camryn: "Thank you for making Grandad's heart all better."

And simultaneously the other two continued:

Amber: "Thank you for doctors fix Grandad's heart." (In her great broken English)

Tyler: "Thank you for Grandad all better and for this great day."

Then they kept praying...for the dogs and for the guy that Dad was playing with at his game tonight and for aunt's and uncles and for Mimi.

I sat there and leaked tears of joy....tears of gratefulness for the tender hearts of my children who so sincerely prayed...and for children who recognized who the great "doctor" is that fixed their Grandad's heart....without any prompting from me!!

It was amazing.

Now I have to go stop the food fight that I'm sure is going on....I just HAD to blog this before I forgot the details!!

Ahhh...the beach

20-some hours and counting!!! What a better time to go to the beach then the weekend before kindergarten starts!? We head to Charleston tomorrow morning for a couple of days!!

I've packed the kids clothes and started mine
I have errands to run today and cleaning to do and packing to finish
I have found my ideas of "beach" pictures that I want to take (my family may hate me!)
Now I need to erase my memory card and charge my battery!!
I just checked the weather forecast....high winds and thunderstorms...my pictures may be out. I hope they have some fun indoor activities!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm done...

....today, I'm done being mom. They have been emotionally unstable all day. So I decided to hit the library to find some books....

Why? Why even attempt to take them out in public when they are like this? Amber cried about wanting a horse book...no people in it, no other animals...only horse pictures. So I searched and searched...only for her to follow me whining about it the whole time. Then finding all three kids pounding on the keyboards of the computers....nice.

Then I had to go to Target for 2 things....2 things!!! The whole time the girls are whining about their shoes hurting their feet (probably because the shoes are too small, plus they decided to wear tights...thick, winter tights today)...so finally I said..."Fine, take them off and carry them."

Then it happened....The Target employee approached me...."Ma'am...they HAVE to wear their shoes. People drop glass around here all the time and they could cut their feet."

I don't know the last time I've seen a pile of glass at Target...or even been in a store when someone has dropped something...I was willing to take my chances. But instead, I looked at him, tight lipped and said, "Then YOU tell her."

He then bent down to Amber...who had handed me her hearing aids 5 minutes earlier...so she's totally deaf for the most part....and he said, "Sweetie, you need to put your shoes on...." I was being mean...I know...because then she looked at me like, "What did he just say...?" So I had to interpret for her. I hope he felt stupid. I do...I know that's not the right attitude...but that was my attitude!!

I really wanted to say, "How dare you insult my parenting. I know the hazards of walking around tight-footed. Maybe next time they'll chose different shoes!!"

Then he stood there and made sure they all put their shoes on...and as I walked off it took everything I had not to cry...deep breaths, and lots of blinking. And then, at the check out counter the lady behind me...trying to be funny...was commenting on my kids and how cute...blah blah blah...then she said...."You know the rule, right? You can't stop at an even number." I really wanted to shoot daggers at her, and laughed and just said, "Well, God will have to make that one happen because I'm not going to!"

I'm done today.

Curse of the phone calls

What is it today? I understand that we, as moms, joke about the fact that our kids can be perfectly happy up until the time that the phone rings or we pick up the phone to call someone....then all hell breaks loose.

But today....it's INSANE!!! It's past the comical stage. Now I just want to swear like a sailor at them....I don't...but I want to!!

It's either a "potty issue" or a "toy issue" or a "she hit me" issue or a "He won't let me play" issue or a "I can't put my shoes on" issue or a "Tyler hit me in the face with his bat" issue, or a "I can't open the back door" issue, or a "I want a snack" issue or "Camryn's wearing my shoes" issue...and the list goes on...and these are just some of the issues from TODAY!!!! And believe it or not I haven't been on the phone an excessive amount!!

And for some reason...no matter how often I try to teach them...they are incapable of coming to me in a calm manner and telling me what's going on. It's like it's physically impossible! I can hear the shrills from across the house and I KNOW it's coming!!! So it only gets louder and louder until the poor person on the other end of the phone is now in the middle of whatever is going on also.

I've even tried sneaking into my room to make a call and it's like they can sense it!! But today it's insane.

If my sister weren't in the middle of moving and needing my "internet help" and if my dad weren't in the hospital waiting heart surgery...I'd unplug the phone...just so it couldn't be used!!!

INSANE!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

A friend of mine shared this with me. It's about 8 minutes long and there might be tears, but I hadn't seen it before and it was really good.

Cardboard Testimonies

School Clothes shopping!!

Remember being young and shopping for all your school clothes?! How fun it was? I was excited to get to do that yesterday with the girls. We dropped the boys off at the house after church and lunch and then we hit the stores. Old Navy, Marshalls, Target, Children's Place...and a Starbucks stop somewhere in there. The best part?....when it was over!!!

This was not the fun, mother-daughter bonding day I had imagined!!

Camryn was whiny and clinging and just wanted to stroke my arms when she was pouting...which made me want to lift my hands above my head and take 2 giant steps backwards and say..."DON'T TOUCH ME!!" (I just get that way about continual touching sometimes!) And...I did the arm raising, but not the giant steps and "DON'T TOUCH ME"...but I really wanted to!! I just took lots of deep breaths and tried to give more hugs.

Amber wasn't necessarily having a bad hearing day (but maybe a little bit)...but she was having a bad listening day. I could tell her...using voice and sign...to stop touching, stop playing, stop laying on the floor, stop playing in the clothes racks, stop, stop STOP STOP!!!! And everytime we had that discussion....she'd look at me like I'd never told her before..."Oh...ok mom." Then 30 seconds later she was at it again!!!

No...I didn't do timeouts in the middle of the store and I should have. But I was trying to be firm and fun and productive mommy....UGH! At the last store Amber walked in saying, "I'm doe-ing to licken weally dood mommy." (Translation: I'm going to listen really good mommy.) And it's a toss up of how I felt that actually went.

What did I learn in all of this....all of a sudden...I really like the uniform idea!! I had to buy Camryn regular clothes and I had to buy Amber uniform clothes....and that is SO much easier!! At the end of the day I said, "Camryn, do you want to go to the same school as Amber? You can wear blue and white too!" She was very excited about the possibility....so I think that may be a possibility!!

We are going to the beach on Thursday....the hurricane is supposed to be here by then...not a direct hit, but the post-hurricane-weather. It should be super dooper fun.

Friday, August 15, 2008

photo contest update

I was not a finalist, but that's ok because there were so many great pictures I can't be upset!! However, my good friend, Holly, is a finalist!! I encourage you to go on the site and vote for her. Click HERE and scroll down to see the 20 finalists. Her daughter's photo is #3, "Embrace This". She's the one with the huge eyes and is totally enjoying the ice cream cone!!

Good luck Holly!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tyler Talk 2

Things have been quiet around here lately. Nothing to really write about. Today it's rainy so we'll have to be inside and entertaining.

But, I wanted to share this converstaion I had with Tyler. I don't remember my girls saying all these cute things...or maybe it's just because I didn't have a blog!

Scene set up: My mom had given the girls all these little white gloves to play with...my sister and I used to wear them at Easter when we were little. The girls were playing with them and Tyler wanted to too. So as I was putting the pretty white, lacey gloves on Tyler, this is what was said:

mom: "Oh Tyler, you really need some boy friends. Boys to play trains with and trucks with. Boys who will play sports with you and just have good boy-time with you.

Tyler: stops what he's doing, looks at me with his big blue eyes and very seriously says, "Will you help me find some mom?"

mom: trying to blink back the water in the eyes, "Yes, Tyler, I will help you."

It was more cute than sad, but the sincerity in his voice when he asked me to find some, was just heart-wrenching. He only plays with girls, so I feel bad for him sometimes....but at least he loves his sisters!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tyler Talk

Tyler frequently has that dry-throat cough in the morning...just a little bit, but he always tells me,

"Mommy, I have coughs today

"....and it's always in this low, raspy, whisper voice that he has.

Well, the other day he was sneezing and he said:

"Mommy, I have 'bless yous' today."

It was too cute.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A good night for baseball...

The kids had a late nap last night so instead of staying home while Eric played his late game, we all tagged along with him. The kids will always stop what they are doing and come watch Eric bat in hopes that he'll slide into a base...they are always disappointed if that doesn't happen. And Eric, being the loving dad that he is, will purposely slide sometimes just to make his kids happy



(I'm going to enter this pic in the contest Holly talks about. Sorry Holly! Your pic is SO different I thought I'd give it a shot! It's just fun! Thanks for the idea! *Photo Contest*)

One of their favorite things is to run the bases after Eric's game if there isn't a game immediately following. Last night they were practicing sliding. Watch the video....Tyler's is my favorite!

http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIC_XFjcQmI

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Swimming...2 love or 2 hate?

2 love: The refreshing warm water in 104 degree...plus humidity...weather
2 love: Watching the kids practice what they learned during their lessons
2 love: Life jackets that allow the kids freedom in the "BIG" pool until the lessons fully pay off.
2 love: That it takes little planning and effort to go to the pool.
2 love: When the YMCA pool is closed because a kid pooped or threw up in the water...we have another pool around the corner from our house.
2 love: On the weekends, it's a great family time.

2 hate: 3 kids...in full life jackets (including the straps through the legs), 1 mom, 1 hour, 5 potty breaks (X 3 kids = 15 potty breaks in 1 hour). At least they did it all at the same time....BUT STILL!!!!

Things I heard during...or just before potty breaks:

"I'm tyring to wait until we get home to go potty"
"Mom, hurry up and get it off before I pee in my swimming suit"
"I have to go stinky."
"I have to go stinky too."
"Me too mom...I have to go stinky too."
"Hurry up, it's almost coming out!" (Said in the water!)

And then with the burning hot cement and the urgency of needing to go the bathroom, the 16 year old lifeguard has the nerve to tell my kids "WALK!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"helping"

I was sitting outside this morning, enjoying a couple minutes of quiet while the kids were nicely playing inside. All of a sudden Amber comes running to the back door very excited about something! "Mommy, mommy!!! Tyler wiped my bottom!!"

uh...end of quiet enjoying coffee time!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

School

I have 3 weeks until my girls become kindergartners. It has been a long and hard decision about what to do. Eric and I thought we had made a good choice, but things changed this weekend.

God has really been opening my heart lately and helping me to see my selfish and prideful ways. These aren't things that other people would see in me, but God sees in me and is revealing to me. When it came to Amber's school I realized how selfish I was being. Forgetting that she is God's child, not mine. That it's not about what I want for her, but it's about what God wants for her and what's best for her. I'm always telling the kids, "It's not always easy to do the right thing, but we do it because that's what makes Jesus happy."...I'm feeling God telling me that now.

After a lot of crying and praying and relinquishing control (which is the hardest part) and great conversation with Eric, we knew where the best place was for Amber...at the school I've been fighting against since January.

The choice: Putting her in a school where they don't understand the deaf & hard of hearing, and putting her in a situation where she wouldn't thrive...but where she would struggle. OR, putting her in a school where she will be "normal". Other kids with hearing aids and language issues and a class of 5 other kids where they will get great one-on-one help from a caring, loving teacher who understands them. This school will equip her with everything she needs and teach her to someday be able to say, "Mom and Dad...I'm ready to go to a normal school, and this is what I need..." Until SHE can tell me that, I need to provide the best possible resources for her...and this school does that.

I still can't put her on a bus for 3 hours a day, so I will drive her and pick her up. She has to wear uniforms and it's a full day, 5 days a week. That's hard for me.

Last week at Lisa & Louis', they were having fun and just playing so it wasn't hard for me. At school...it's a whole different world. Amber is not excited about it because she wants to stay with Camryn, and wants to stay with mom & dad. She doesn't fully understand why she has to go to a different school...that breaks my heart. She doesn't understand that she is different. Her best friends are her brother & sister...and they communicate just fine. My little girl will be a kindergartner and I will miss her terribly. But I know this is where God wants me to put her, and I know it's right for her.

Camryn will be at her "home" school...one that's only a couple miles from here. Maybe one day we will transfer her to Amber's school, but we'll see how she does for now. She's is SO excited and ready to jump on the bus (which is a possibility) and she understands why Amber has to go to a different school. She will be gone all day too, 5 days a week. My little girl will be a kindergartner...and I will miss her terribly.

I never thought I would be the mother who cried on the first day of kindergarten. But I will be the mother who cries daily for the next 3 weeks...at least, because it's hard to let go.

Kids - wrap up

So they are back. And it was a lot of fun to see them again and to hear all about their week...but I would have been ok with a clean & quiet house for a couple of more days! :O)

Lisa didn't take any pictures while they were there...too busy keeping track of kids...like it's hard or something! So I'm including a quick picture of the kids with Aunt Lisa & Uncle Louis ice skating the last day. The kids did really good, but only lasted about 45 minutes at the most. Other events of the week included:
*a total of 3 zaps by the electric fence (no injuries...just more awareness!)
*riding horses (the girls were learning to ride by themselves too!)
*cleaning stalls
*feeding chickens and collecting eggs
*eating at Red Robin and getting balloons
*Chuck E Cheese
*Swimming with new friends
*Not a lot of sleep...regardless of the long and busy days!

Lisa & Louis survived great and everyone had a blast. Kids can't wait to do it again next year! I asked Lisa if the week had resulted in continued birth control or an aching uterus!! She answered with a very convincing "birth control!!"
Notice how Lisa looks like SHE should be the mom!! Everyone thinks the girls are hers.


Yesterday we went to the mall and these are the differences from last week to this week:

This weekend at the mall:
*Stroller for whoever was whiny enough to need it...and to carry all the bags
*3 kids wanting to "help" push the stroller...but not being able to, so I was tripping over them
*3 different bathroom breaks....I understand I have a child with bowel issues...but it still doesn't make it easier!
*A repeated reminder to the kids that we are not shopping for them...we are shopping for cousins...no, you can't have that or that or that...your birthday is coming...remember to ask for it!
*Chasing down Amber who decided her hearing aids weren't working and wouldn't wear them...but then she'd keep walking and not know that we were stopping...and she couldn't hear us...
*"I'm tired", "I'm hungry" "I want that" "Mom, she's in my way" "Mom, he won't move" "I want to sit in the stroller...no I Want to sit in the stroller...no it's MY turn!" "Look at the girls funny red hair! (Said to a tall thin woman dressed in all black except her punk RED hair)"
Last week at the mall:

*No stroller
*No bag of snacks
*No children to get out of people's way
*No explaining "rules" before walking into every store
*No bathroom breaks
*No apologizing to people who just got broadsided by a kid not paying attention
*No telling "NO...you can't have that"
*quiet - the ability to get lost and go into breakable shops - focus
As nice as it was to have a quiet and clean house, when they returned it felt "normal" again. Chaos and all. My children are the greatest worldly gift I have received. I wouldn't trade them for the world and I am thankful for the time that God allows me to have with them.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

too much!

The kids are back.

Should I end this blog with that?! Tempting. That says it all!! I'll do a more detailed wrap of of the week soon. But now, I just have a lot in my head....about Amber's school.

All summer I thought I was at peace about what we had decided for the girls and school next year. Then, I get a call from the deaf education teacher that would have had Amber in her class. She was wondering if we'd decided to put Amber in her class or not. She was going shopping for her class this weekend and wanted to pick up something fun for Amber to welcome her to the class.

Seriously - how many teachers care that much? Needless to stay I spent time crying out to God today...literally crying. "God, I want to be ok with what you want. Is that school what YOU want for Amber?!" ...and much more.

It's amazing what happens when I put my selfish pride aside (because God has opened up my eyes to that lately) and actually think about what God might want for Amber...what's best for her in HIS eyes...not what I want. It's not about me. If it were about me the school would be a block away and no uniforms and perfect. I have too much in my head to bore you with. Eric and I are sorting out a lot this weekend, and I think I'm getting ready to make a decision I have fought making for the last 6 months....and I think it's going to be ok.

It's about God....