Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I could get used to this.

I mean it.

TWO FULL nights of sleep.

Now, granted, on Tuesday night, we had two little girls in our room, on our floor.  One with reflux, one recovering from strep.  But they SLEPT!  No, "Mom.  Mom.  Mom." beside my bed, all night.  Not even a, "Please sit up with me?  Please?"

Last night was even quieter.  Lots to be thankful for this morning.

1.  Thunderstorms the last two nights.  Love it.  And RAIN.

2.  Productive day yesterday.  Doctors appointment, coffee with Granddad, chapel at school, lunch with my kids, groceries, cooking, piano lesson, laundry, and a clean house.

3.  Shorter "To Do" list for today.  And more school work at home for my girl.

4.  Son's (#1) improving elbow.  He played last Friday and is continuing to get better.  Hoping the new brace will help, too.

5.  Volleyball season winding down for Daughter (#2).  So many nights I've felt torn between going to watch her and staying home with other kids who need to be HOME.  But she's played well and been sweet and understanding when we couldn't be there to watch.

6.  Friends who pray.  I can't begin to express my gratefulness for sweet friends, teachers, family. . . who have prayed us through these last few weeks.  There have been nights (like Monday) when I really didn't know how we could keep on with it all.  But God has continued to give His grace.  And day by day by day. . . we are seeing Him work and move on behalf of our girl.

7.  Our pediatrician.  We've spent a lot of time in his office since July.  Grateful, again, this week, as we found out that Daughter (#7) had strep.  Poor thing.  Hoping to find her MUCH better, today.  (And no, I won't win "mother of the year" for letting her be sick an entire week before taking her to the doctor.  Sigh.)

8.  Our school.  It makes my heart hurt that Daughter (#6) isn't there right now.  Because I know how much she is missing! We are so very blessed to be able to send our kids.

9. God's enabling to home school.  I'm just not good at it.  I don't even want to be good at it.  I don't want to DO it.  But when you know you are doing what you should be doing. . . well. . . you just do it.  It's given so many opportunities to work through things.  And I'm grateful for what we are both learning.

10.  New cordless phones for the house.  And the blessing of having kids (in this case, Son #3) who can get on Consumer Reports, find the best rated phone with what we need, get online and find the best deal, and order it.

11.  ALL of the kids help.  It's taken all of us working together to survive here at the troops, lately.  Daughter (#2) has taken over meal plans and they've ALL helped with laundry, schedules, rides, and making sure the Coach and I get a date night now and then.

12.  So much wonderful help and counsel from sweet friends who love us.  Trust me, I need the help!  I have been tremendously grateful for the words of advice.  We are trying it all!  Ha!  And some of it has been just what we've needed when we've needed it.

Can I ask for prayer, yet again, today?  We have now been referred to a Pediatric Gastrointestinal specialist.  Pray with us that the Lord will give the doctors discernment, insight, and wisdom and that test results will give clear direction.  Thank you.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday

In spite of all of the kind, loving, and soveryencouraging comments. . . as I reread yesterday's post, it sounded much more like "Whining Wednesday" than the update I was going for.

I apologize.

And to get my attitude back where it belongs, I spent my time trying to go back to sleep last night, after being awakened over and over, by a little girl who SHOULD NOT have eaten chili for dinner (duh!  whatwasithinking?), beginning to make a thankful list for today.

The only problem?

I could only think of one thing for my list.

Hopefully, that is only because every time I fell asleep and was wakened once again, I had to start all over.  Surely there is plenty to be thankful for.

1.  A hair cut.  After four months.  So nice.

2.  Chili for dinner last night (first time this Fall!).  9 of us enjoyed it.  Well, ten enjoyed it, but 9 seem capable of actually digesting it.

3.  A good long visit with a sweet friend, yesterday, who I have missed terribly.  And what happened to those days of talking on the phone while shushing my toddlers and cleaning the house?  I miss that.  I don't have time (to talk on the phone), toddlers, OR a clean house, anymore.

4.  "The A Team" on Netflix.  We are on our second trip through all five seasons.  They are oh-so-predictable.  And funny.  And it's even funnier that my 7 year old GIRL is the one wanting to watch them!

5.  Pumpkin muffins.  Son #3 made a batch on Sunday and they were gone sometime Monday.  I'm sure I didn't eat more than half of them, myself.  And for those of you who missed the post on FB, here's the recipe on my BFF's blog.  Just use the batter to make 3 doz muffins instead of loaves.  Or a combination of the two.

6.  A back-up pair of glasses.  Little Man decided to "try on" my favorite pair one morning this week, while I was in the shower and then set them by the chair and then hopped down ON them.  Oh well.  Glad I have another pair to put on in the mornings. . . those contacts just WILL NOT go in at 5:45.  Ugh.

7.  My hard-working husband/Coach.  I haven't been feeling great this week, and he has walked in the door every evening ready to help.  Dinner, homework (of the math variety, I can handle the rest), baths, bedtime.  It's all seemed a bit overwhelming to me since I'm a bit under the weather.  But he handles it all gracefully AND sends me to bed early while he waits up for the older kids.  I love my Coach!

8.  Parents who are back in town after two weeks away.  I missed them.

9.  Our sunroom.  I never would have guessed how USEFUL that room would be when we moved here 7 years ago.  It's school-room, play-room, craft-room, treadmill-room, extra dining-room, and this time of year it's SO pretty out there!

10.  The trampoline.  Dangerous, yes.  Wonderful at getting all that extra energy out of the kids after school?  YES!

11.  Along with that, the basketball court, swing set, big backyard.  So blessed.

12.  Cooler weather.  80's are better than 100's any day.

Now I'm off to tackle the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming, get dinner in the crockpot, and hide my glasses while I take a quick shower.  Ha!

Happy Thursday!

Leave me a comment and let me know one thing YOU are thankful for today. . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ready to move on. . .

Life is full of seasons.  Phases that come and go.  Things that in the moment seem huge, but later on seem so. . . well. . . temporary.  Like those days of diapers, or toys all over the floor, or keeping toddlers in their beds at night.

Before you have time to figure it all out, life has moved you on to the next thing.  Driving, high school, sports. . .

And as Fall (my favorite) is beginning to peak out a bit around the corner of the end of Summer, I grow sentimental.

I love Fall.

The cooler weather, the pumpkins, the Chai Tea (so perfect on a Fall morning), the pansies and mums in the pots on the porch, watching my boys play football on Mondays and Fridays, and ohmyheavens I'm ready to pull out the sweatshirts!

But this "life" season we are in?

I'm not a fan.

The Coach is busier than I can ever remember.  There's football, there's basketball, there are papers to grade and work to do at home every night he's here.  He got up and ran, early Monday morning, and I'm pretty sure it's the first time he's run since school started.  And I'm in the same boat.  Can't even remember how we trained for a half-marathon during football season?  Or any season?  Seems somewhat illusive at this point.  Kind of like regular blogging or keeping up with the laundry.

Son #1 is still out with the elbow situation.  Have sure missed seeing him play!  I'm extra thankful that he's driving, but I don't see him much.

Daughter #2 is tired.  T.I.R.E.D.  The girl is worn out.  Late nights at volleyball and a massive amount of homework.  And a friend of hers at school lost her mom this weekend.  That's a lot of pain to bear at 15 (for the friend) and a lot for my girl to comprehend.

Son #3 is doing well.  Early morning practice and homework in the evenings.  He's such a blessing to me, always pitching in and helping out when I'm tired and the Coach is gone.

Son #4.  Well.  I may or may not have googled "boarding schools for boys" this week.  Just to see.  I'm not serious, of course, but the kid is wearing me out.  He's fun, smart, athletic, hard-working, and has WAY too much energy.  I wonder if I could find a full-time job for a 12 year old?

Daughter #5 is precious and sweet and so easy to have around, be with, talk to. . . but then I start thinking I depend way too much on her consistency and howintheWORLD is she almost 11?

Daughter #6?  Well.  I could write volumes.  But I won't.  She's still sleeping in the hall, but I DO think we are making progress.  Real progress.  We brought her home from school.  For awhile.  She needed rest and the Coach and I needed a break, too.  And I'm really good at not making school at home fun.  She'll want to go back in no time!

Daughter #7 is sick.  Picked her up at school on Monday and she's yet to be back.  On the positive side, I'm thinking the first few weeks of struggle with Daughter #6 at school were her reflux AND whatever virus this is.  So there's hope in there somewhere.  In spite of the fact that I think I'm coming down with it, too.

And Little Man?  He's ready for some kind of normal schedule.  And maybe just a little ready for all of the big kids to LEAVE, already.  But in the meantime, we are working hard at obeying and speaking kindly.  It seems the more kids we have in the car, the uglier his words get.  Have NO idea where he gets that.

But at the end of the day?  I realize that each of these things will change.  Some quickly, some not.  And then there will be a new season and new "issues" and more things to work through and deal with and pray out on my knees.

And in the meantime, a batch of pumpkin muffins and some chai tea certainly wouldn't hurt, right?

My struggles fade as I think of dear friends who are grieving, suffering, fighting illness.  Some faced with a new perspective on eternity.

I can trust them to the Father's loving hand.  I can pray for the Lord's peace and comfort.  For them to reach out for the HOPE He offers.

That's a good reminder for me, as well.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finding JOY. . .

With bleary eyes, I stepped over my 6th born this morning. . . asleep in the hall, where she's been every night for the last month or so, since we told her she couldn't sleep on the floor by our bed, anymore.

There's something so sad about her curled up little body sleeping outside our door.  As close as she can get without being IN the room with us.  Not to mention the fact that it can't be very comfortable.

How odd that in this moment, my mind wanders back to a trip to Taiwan way back when . . before I had the Coach or the troops.

We stayed in a youth hostel.  I can still remember he noise, the food (I've never quite understood how bread with a slice of cucumber you can see through is a "sandwich", but maybe it's why everyone is that culture is so thin!), the traffic outside our windows, and our constant campaign to get to a McDonald's for something to eat that we could recognize!

The room wasn't bad.  It wasn't great, either.  Three of us.  Bunks end to end on one wall.  Every night and every morning and sometimes during the dark in between, I'd hear my friend exclaim,

"YA'LL, THESE BEDS ARE SOOOO HAARRRRD!" in her Southern drawl.

She had a point.  I think our carpeted hall is probably softer.

And these last few weeks, I've found myself saying over and over (in my head, mostly),


I don't know what is wrong.

I don't know how to fix it.

I don't know what's causing the problem.

I don't know how much is emotional and how much is physical (can a little 9 year old girl even tell?).

I don't know WHAT TO DO.

I don't know how long I can go without decent sleep (we're heading into month 4, at this point).

I don't know why the Lord is allowing this.

I don't know how much to "push" her and how much to just comfort her.

Or how to do both at the same time.


And in the dark early hours, I am sometimes frustrated with God for not making it all more clear.

As a mom, you try everything you know to try.  Then you try some more things you hadn't thought of before.  Then you keep going, even though you don't know where you are headed with the whole big mess.

We are so very tired.

I think of that quote (I should go hunt down the source, but thank you for giving me the grace to skip it just now),

"Oh the JOY of a trial, accepted."


Maybe the joy is only possible when we accept (not fight against) this hard thing because it comes from the hand of a Loving, Sovereign Lord.

I trust Him.  With my self, my marriage, my troops, my hurting girl.

"Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Great is THY faithfulness, Lord until me."