Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 wrap up

I can hardly believe that today is New Years Eve. It seems like we were just here, only it was 2010:)! I thought I would do a wrap up because lately when I read back on past year's posts I think, "Thank goodness I wrote that down because I would never remember!"
It's been a big year for us in many ways. One of which was me going back to get my MSW at Western. It has been a wonderful decision. I love the work-family balance. I love having something for myself and being able to add something through my work at the Borgess Neuro Rehab, to others lives. I have been stretched and tested and come out better educated, firmer in my faith and clearer on where I stand politically. I have seen even more how great of a dad and supportive of a husband that Jeff is. I have met new friends and realized new dreams for myself and my family.
The kids have had many changes this year too. They went from being at home with mommy all the time to going to school everyday, for Matthew and Caroline, and going to daycare three days a week. That has also been good as it gives them opportunities to socialize with more children and have fun playing and learning. Ellie has thrived in these past months and we're blessed to have wonderful ladies providing stellar care for her. They truly love her and care for her as if they were related to her.
Some things have been challenging for us in 2011. I have realized, through being busier, that some activities and friendships, weren't meant to be. This has been bittersweet. Its always sad to have parts of your life and people who you thought you'd always be close with and that were so ingrained in who you were, not play as much of a role. We have also fallen away from regular church going which I am not proud to admit. There are a variety of factors that have lead to this. One is that I am just not feeling as tied to our church. There isn't any one thing that I can specifically name for why I feel like this. I am sure not going isn't helping at all. That is one goal I have for 2012, to change this as I feel its paramount to a strong faith. As always, with my daily quiet times and Bible reading, I have had good months and bad months and sadly, more bad months. I hope to have more good months and consistency with quiet times in 2012!
In the workout/eating right department, overall, I have been successful. I lost some weight and rarely miss a week where I haven't worked out at least once or twice. A goal of mine for 2012 is to increase working out to at least three days a week and to finally run that gosh darn 5K!
Our home got its lovely makeover, thanks to my awesome friend Nicole, in July and I am proud to say we've maintained the organization she set up. It has been the greatest blessing!
Overall, 2011 was a great year full of God's blessings. We're thankful and hope to make the changes necessary to have 2012 be even better for us and to glorify God. I can't think of a better New Year's resolution!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Once upon a time I was a babysitter for a family in the town I grew up in. I remember details of random things, its important to remember that, because I am sure as you read this you will be like, "How did you remember that?" Anyways, one family for which I did a lot of babysitting was the Thomson family. The dad of the family is Kip and he worked with my dad. The mom is Wendy and from the moment you meet this wonderful lady you're smitten. She oozes with niceness and all things "fun mom". The kids at the time I began were Ryan and Heidi. They were three and four when I started babysitting them. Over the next couple of years two additional children, Kelly and Scott were added to the Thomson clan. This is where my freakish memory comes into play, I remember that Wendy wanted more kids and I kind of got the idea that Kip was probably o.k. with three. Wendy decided to leave it up to God and I assume Kip did too and soon God decided that Scott should be a part of this family.
I remember that the Thomsons were very involved with their church. Their faith was important. They were involved in Men's Bible study, Couple's Bible study and Mom's Bible study. They seemed to be new in their faith and were learning all they could.
As a mom, Wendy was such an example to me. I remember her getting down and playing with the kids. She seemed to truly love being a mom to her four children. She loved watching them learn and grow and encouraged that daily. Her house was fun! I loved talking to Wendy and would spend many minutes after they arrived home just chatting with her. I never felt rushed out. I felt very strongly that she appreciated me and what I brought to her family through my babysitting their children. I remember having a falling out with another mom who I babysat for. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances and I felt horrible about what this women was telling people about me. Wendy took the time to call me and express how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
I went on to graduate from MSU and move to Chicago. The Thomsons moved to Houston for Kip's job. For a short time, my parents lived there as well. The last time I saw Kip and Wendy was at my Dad's retirement party. It was so good to see them and find out what the kids were up to.
With the dawn of Facebook I have been fortunate to reconnect with Wendy. Her children are now 21,20, 16 and 14, I think. They have all grown into beautiful children on the inside and outside. They all have strong faiths. Ryan,the oldest, writes a blog that is so impressive. I really have enjoyed reading his entries and wrote Wendy about how proud she must be to have such great kids. She wrote back, humble as ever, thanking me but ultimately giving all the glory to God. I have learned through FB that she is involved in ministry at her church with the teens. Whatever stage she is in of life, Wendy has always sought to glorify and honor God.
A few weeks ago, Wendy had a brain stem stroke. She has been in the ICU for over two weeks but recently has been transferred to the stroke floor because she is improving. I know from my work in the Neuro Rehab that Wendy's journey in her recovery will be filled with all sorts of emotions. Rehabing is hard work. Its physical and emotional and tough. I am prayerful and confident that she will be surrounded by a team of therapists and nurses and doctors who will serve her in a wonderful way. I know from my own observations that once people settle in and learn to get used to the rehab way of life, that they truly begin to thrive. More important, I know that Wendy and Kip and the Thomson children will be able to reap what they have sown all these years. The wonderful thing about having a well established faith is that it gives you a remarkable foundation on which to pull yourself up. God will give the grace and power to literally have Wendy stand again, talk again, serve again. He will sustain the kids, who despite their ages, still need their mom. I know God will do great things through Wendy and her story. Once again, I turn to Ephesians 3:20 for comfort, knowing that "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"
I believe that and know that God has great plans for Wendy and her sweet family. I have always been honored to know and love this family. It is honor to lift them in prayer in their greatest time of need. You can do it Wendy!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wisdom from the Grinch...

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling, "How could it be so?
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
"It came without packages, boxes or bags."
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps... means a little bit more!."

Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Enough said..Merry Christmas! Be Blessed in the New Year and take time to enjoy all the things in your life you could never get in a store. Family, friends, good health, faith, fellowship.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Customer Service

I feel like customer service has really taken a hit from the blah economy. It seems that many people who work in service jobs such as waitresses, cashiers and store clerks seem very disgruntled to say the least. Usually I just ignore it and move on with my life. A few weeks ago, however, while doing some very early morning shopping at Meijer (we're talking before sunrise kind of early shopping) I decided enough was enough.
Let me back up a little to explain the situation. I went to Meijer at 6a.m. one early Saturday morning. My weeks are so busy now a days, with school and internship, that I usually put off big Meijer trips until the weekends. So there I am, at Meijer, at the crack of dawn and shopping merrily. Once my cart was full of the Simpson household necessities, I attempted to find a check out line. There were none to be had. Apparently Meijers thinks that the early morning shoppers only want the self checkout option. NOT me! I would rather get a flu shot than deal with the self checkout, "No item in bagging area" have to wait for CASHIER ASSISTANCE crap. I asked a lady donned in the Meijer red if she was opening a lane, to which she just answered with a grunt. Was that a "Yes, I am opening lane 2?" or " Hell no find yourself another employee?" I stood there awkwardly for about a minute and then she waved me over exasperatedly. Like I should have known all along that was what the grunt meant. As I am frantically loading the belt in attempts to not further irritate the cashier, I decide this is a bunch of crap. Why am I being treated like this? All I am trying to do is buy groceries!! If this women doesn't want to be here maybe she should get a new job. These are just some of the mean and nasty thoughts that were racing through my head. I then decide that I am not just going to think these thoughts, I am going to tell the manager about this cashiers crappy attitude. Then she says a simple sentence, "So, how are you today?" I was taken a back. Here we were, a good ten minutes into a very awkward and unpleasant exchange and now it was headed somewhere else. This was the week before Thanksgiving so I answered back with, "So are you ready for Thanksgiving?" Then the cashier proceeded to tell me about how she finds both Thanksgiving and Christmas very difficult since her mother passed away a few years ago. Her mother had always made both the meals and since her death, this women, the cashier at Meijers that I was hell bent on reporting to her manager, was struggling.
We went on to have a very pleasant conversation. I expressed my sympathies and we ended up joking about the holiday rush and believe it or not..grouchy people.
I left Meijer as the sun was rising feeling very strongly that God was teaching me a lesson on an early Saturday morning in the grocery store. He was showing me to be careful how I judge others and what I am assuming through their behaviors. If I had just barreled on with my decision to inform this lady's manager about her less than jovial customer service, it would have made a difficult day in a grieving daughter's life all that more miserable. Thankfully something made my heart soften and to sense there was something beneath the grouchy, uninterested exterior.
These types of moments make me so grateful and thankful for the Holy Spirit's prompting to do and say and be like Jesus would be. To not make the world revolve around me and my needs but to show those who are hurting and in need that HE knows and HE cares. Even at Meijer at 6a.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Thankful Thanksgiving List

I have done this list every year for awhile now. Here is what I am thankful for this year..

10. Our new flat screen t.v. We had the old school one for so long. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. Bonus is that it was gifted to us!
9. Having 67 Gilmore Girls dvr'd ,so that at a moments notice I am able to enjoy some witty banter and relax.
8. Living in a great neighborhood where the kids have great friends, you get a jump when your minivan dies in your driveway or your half way through baking a cake and realize your missing half the ingredients.
7. Pioneer Women. This women and her blog have transformed my meal planning. It may have also inadvertantly added a few lbs!
6. Having my home transformed this summer by my wonderful friend, Nicole. Six months later and we're still organized and blessed everyday because of her kindness.
5. Sallie Mae for loaning me money to go back to get my MSW. I feel like I found the missing piece of the puzzle through this journey and am so happy to be in school.
4. Wee Care for providing my children with loving childcare. Words could never express the peace of mind in knowing that your children are being well taken care of and loved when your not able to be with them.
3. An amazing husband that continues to love me, support me and be the best father a child could ever want.
2. A wonderful extended family of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, sister, brother and cousins. Whether it's the helping with the kids, bringing you down when your irritated and you need a voice of reason or having fun on vacations at Silver Lake and Wisconsin water parks.
1. Jesus. Words could never begin to express my thankfulness.
We are blessed.
Have a wonderful Turkey Day. The Simpsons will be in Chicago feasting with my family. We're looking forward to it!!
Gobble Gobble!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

No title

I have no title. Just felt like blogging. Thanks to those of you who emailed me! I will be making it private sooner than later. It has been interesting to me as I have quit Facebook how blogs in general are getting to be annoying and problematic to me. After the blogger I mentioned in my last post deleted my comment, I was more than just a little irritated. I wanted to write back and say so many things that really in the end would do nothing that would glorify God. I am seeing this more and more in the world of blogging. Not only completely ridiculous posts of half naked bloggers, primped up kids, cats and dogs and mean, spiteful, hateful comments. All of the blogs I read have a Christian undertone. All of them proclaim to be Christian, but more often than not, their words, their lives, and certainly the comments their posts generate are negative!!!
In my quiet times I have been led to cut these blogs out of my life. It can be a struggle because what can I say, I am drawn to the drama.
Over all all this review of my computer habits has really made me evaluate my own blogging. I want to blog for three reasons:
1. To document these precious days of my little ones that will all too soon be gone.
2 To document our lives in general and how we are making it, day by day, through the grace of God.
3. To glorify God.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today I had something happen that really irritated me. I was reading a blog of someone I barely know. She has a blog and has gone to great lengths to make this blog widely read. She didn't realize the implications of trying to make her blog popular and found out that her private pictures, which she posted on her blog, had been used on someone else's blog. That is creepier than creepy. I made a comment on her blog stating that it was unfortunately a casualty of having a blog that is widely read. Now I ask you, Was that offensive of me? The blogger thought so, deleted my comment and then accused me of bringing negativity into her life. Whatever. I intended no ill will. To me that is basic blogger 101. If you type it, post it and don't own it, copyright it you're opening yourself up to that type of creepiness.
All of this prompted me to consider something I thought about awhile make my blog private. There once was a time that I hoped for lots of readers and comments. Those days are past. I am writing this for my kids, my family and myself. I want to know who is reading this. So, if you would like to continue reading please email me at and I will add you to my list.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm loving it....

Lately I have that snappy little McDonald's jingle in my head. What am I loving you may be asking yourselves? LIFE! I haven't been this happy and satisfied with my life in a long time. The balance between school and kids and just life in general is going great. I love having the entire weekend through Tuesday, to be with the kids and Jeff, catch up on homework, clean, grocery shop and do the stay at home mom thing and then Wednesday through Friday is school and internship. The balance has made me so much more patient and content in nearly every area. The Facebook break has allowed me to focus more time on quiet times with God, reading books with the kids and just catching up on stuff that needs to get done. Being at a secular school has allowed me to exercise my ability to be bold and intentional in my faith. In fact, I am making quite a name for myself as a conservative Christian on campus:). Funny because in most other circles I tend to be the liberal one.
This morning I took Ellie to the library to play and for the toddler story time. We had such a great time. It made me realize how much I was missing out while I was forcing myself to be at home full time. I haven't really enjoyed kid related activities for some time. I am glad that I didn't waste all of the precious time I have with my kids and that we're making our way, day by day, to a happier place.
Fall is finally here and I am glad. I hate to see Summer go but it is always nice to welcome a new season. Especially Fall! I love crock pot dinners, soups and stews, apples, pumpkins, Halloween and Thanksgiving. This year we're heading to my parents in Chicago. My sister's family will be there too. Lots of fun stuff going on in our world! Hope your enjoying your family and the Fall!!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Caroline is 5!

I can't believe it. I know I say that all the time when the kids have a birthday but really, this time, I mean it!! It doesn't seem possible that we've had five years of that little spit fire! I love her so, so much even on her most demanding days. I love that she knows her mind, she is creative, she is energetic, she is loyal, she is like me in so many ways. I think that has always been the true source of contention between us, on the days when we get the best of each other. Seeing someone who came from you, exhibit your strengths and weaknesses, is humbling to say the least! Caroline's smile melts my heart and brightens the dreariest of days. Her lisp and way of talking is so very sweet and even though I am thrilled at the accomplishments she has made in regards to her speech, I admit I will be sad to hear her babyish was of speaking go by the wayside.
Caroline started Young Fives this year and loves going to school everyday. She loves her teacher and has made some special friends. While Matthew and Ellie struggled with the adjustment to daycare, for Caroline its been a breeze. She loves her neighbor girlfriends, especially Daphnee, Roxanne and Avery and Makenna. As I mentioned before, Caroline is creative and is a talented artist. She could spend hours coloring. She likes music and dancing and performing.
The conversation we had tonight before bed sums it all up to me,
"Caroline, what little almost five year old does mommy love best?"
Flashes her baby browns and that giant smile and says happily, "Me, Sweet Carowine!"
Happy 5th Birthday to the sweetest Caroline of all!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Leading on Empty

I read this on another blog that I read and I just loved it. It is a prayer that speaks so much to me in this current season of life...

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live from deep within your heart where God's Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so you will courageously try what you don't think you can do, but in Jesus Christ you'll have the strength necessary to do.

May God bless you so you remember we are all called to continue God's redemptive work of love and healing in God's place, in and through God's name, in God's Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indiana Jones...

Matthew is obsessed with all things Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. In that order. He has especially taken to Harrison Ford and one of his life ambitions is to meet him. I didn't have the heart to crush his little spirit and tell him that there was probably a 2%chance that he would ever meet him. And who knows? Maybe he will meet Harrison Ford someday. He is going to be Indiana Jones for Halloween. He already has the hat and wears it all the time.
Last night my brother was in town for business. Matthew loves Uncle Mike. No, adores is really more the word. I think its mostly because my brother is so hands on with my kids. He spent like a half an hour reading books to them before bed, wrestled with them and played Wii. Matthew was wearing his Star Wars helmet that annoys the crap out of me. You press a button on it and it repeats the same four phrases over and over! He was excited to show it and kept pressing it. I asked him to stop and he didn't. I yelled at him. Then my brother said something that really resonated with me. He said to enjoy the days of little boys wearing Star Wars helmets, dancing adorably around the living room to the themes songs and snuggling with their uncle.Because it will be gone before I know it. In its place will be a moody, awkward teenager who says, "Whatever mom, I am going to my room" Hopefully not, but you never know. Who would have thought that my baby brother would be the source of wisdom on parenting in my life? Not me!!
Point of this post...Yes kids can be annoying and their toys DEFINITELY can be annoying but they're also so stinkin adorable and little for such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things so snuggle them up, read to them and pretend like meeting Harrison Ford is certainly possible!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


So last night I deactivated me Facebook account. It has been a long time coming, this decision. What it really is all about is being obedient to the God I love and whose grace I bask in daily. The thing about the grace is I have fear I have come to take it for granted. I say I will change, I promise to do better and then DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it. I don't make the tough changes that need to take place. I am sick of that and I am sick of KNOWING I am missing out on the better way of living. I know obedience and living in accordance with God's will bring that better way of living and being in this world and hopefully will spill over to other's lives around me.
I am working with Nicole, the same fabulous lady who helped me with my house makeover, as a lifecoach. She asked me if I would enter into a lifecoach relationship with her for a class she is taking and I said, "Sure!" Little did I know how much I was about to be stretched! The first meeting she asked me where I felt God was asking me to grow. I immediately knew that my issue was with FB and that I needed to not just take a break but needed to quit it for a specific amount of time. I decided that I will not be back on it until after the school semester ends in December. I will reevaluate the decision and where I feel God is leading then.
This being the first 24 hours sans Facebook have been very difficult, more than I was anticipating! I am such a junkie!! I say this laughing but its not that funny. I spent way too much time and thought on FB. If I put half of much effort into other relationships, namely my one with God, I would be so blessed. So that's exactly what I intend on doing. Quiet times and snuggle time with my babies, study time and couple time. One thing I know for sure is being obedient sure is tough but there is no place I would rather be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

And we're off....

To the races...well, no, not really. But it certainly has felt like that these past two weeks. I started full time school and internship two days a week and Matthew and Caroline both started school. Matthew has a freshly graduated teacher and she seems to be great. Caroline has the teacher who Matthew had last year for Young Fives and is enjoying it. I think she was a bit taken aback that she would be going everyday considering last year it was only two days a week, but she is adjusting. Ellie is not adjusting as well as I would have hoped at daycare. She is really missing her mommy and crying a lot. I feel horrible about it. I know that it will take some getting use to but it is hard to see her little tear stained cheeks at the end of the day. And me? Well, I am LOVING grad school so far. I really feel like I made the best decision. I love all of my classes and although I have only had two days of internship under my belt, I love that too. My field instructor is a great teacher and a skilled social worker so it really makes the whole situation ideal. It has been strange to realize how much I missed practicing social work. For so much of my life I felt like my calling was to be a full time stay at home mom. But, as time went on, I realized that wasn't my calling and in fact, it was the cause of much of my unhappiness and frustrations. That was hard to come to terms with and to reconcile. I think it will always be a struggle to balance it all. Work, children, marriage, me, friends, etc. It's a lot of pressure, to get it right. I am just beginning to navigate that world but so far I find the challenge to be doable and not overwhelming.
Jeff has been great about helping get the kids ready for school, taking Ellie to daycare on my internship days and allowing me time to study. We're off on this new journey and loving it!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th

Tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. I have heard several people say that no one who has the ability to recollect can forget where they were that awful day. I certainly have vivid memories of that day. In fact, it is as clear to me in this moment, as it was ten years ago.

I was fed up with social work and the daily grind and despair that type of work brings. I was even more fed up with the completely out of control office manager who was intent of ruining my life. So I basically up and quit. First I called a nanny agency and interviewed and got a nanny job. I began the job about a week before September 11th. The job was for two families. Each had a little girl who was 2.5 years old, Sophia and Jordan. Jordan's mom was a law professor at U of Chicago and had to go to Harvard, I think for a couple of weeks, and so they were gone and I was at Sophia's home watching her. This was nice because Sophia's parents lived much closer to me. I remember arriving to their apartment and the news was on for some reason. I find this recollection strange b/c these parent's weren't the kind that allowed their daughter to watch morning news programs(for good reason I might add!) Never the less, it was on and it all started unraveling before us. The first plane had already hit but they didn't know what had gone on and then just as we were watching it happened..a plane flew into the Trade Center. Before out very eyes, hundreds of miles away, the horror began to unfold. Sophia's dad, Michael left for work and I remembered thinking, "Why is he leaving?" I can't keep it together for this little girl who is old enough and verbal enough to know that something is horribly wrong. Now, having known this family for ten years I would certainly be like, " not leaving! This type of thing doesn't fall into nanny responsibility!"
He left and I was totally unsure of how to continue. I called Jeff at work, he worked in the city and I couldn't get a hold of him. Then I called my mom and my sister. We were all just trying to get a handle on what had just happened. One thing I distinctly remember is how even the news anchors seemed confused and shell shocked. At one point I began to cry and even though I did my best to try and hide it from Sophia she obviously noticed. She asked me why I was sad to which I responded that some people had made very bad choices and it caused many others to get hurt. A short time later Michael returned home and we talked about how didn't really understand what was happening. For some reason he didn't let me leave which I've never asked him about but at the time I definitely was thinking, "Dude, I want to go home!!" I still hadn't been able to get a hold of Jeff and by this time I was in total panic about it. Plus I had just met Michael and Sophia days earlier and wanted to be around people I could fully feel comfortable crying and generally freaking out around. Michael suggested that we go to the park to fly a kite. Again, I was like.."What the heck!? Fly a kite?!" So we went to the park and did fly a kite. The weather that day in Chicago was exactly the same as in New York, brilliantly sunny. As we walked to the park I noticed how eery the neighborhood felt. Completely still, barely any people were out. I remember as we were flying the kite, an airplane flew over the park. It was then that the tears I was struggling to withhold poured out. Finally Michael told me I could go and I drove home. By this time I had gotten a hold of Jeff and he was back at my apartment. We sat together and watched the coverage. There are certain images and sounds that are burned into my brain from that day. The brilliance of the blue sky, the people roaming the streets of New York covered in dirt and dust and the horrific last calls that were played from people trapped in the Trade Center. Those calls haunted and continue to haunt me. It was a depth of sorrow I have never known.
Ten years later much as changed. The world we lived in pre Trade Center was filled with an arrogance and false sense of security. I remember noticing how everyone, even the most atheist of my friend's, couldn't help but contemplate the possibility of a God. Everyone so desperately wanting to cling to something hopeful. No one wanted to be part of a world that could have such evil in it. The irony is that horrific things had happened to other people but not to us before 9/11 or at least in many minds that is how it seemed. There was certainly a solidarity among mankind and America at large that manifested a glimmer or hope.
Ten years is a long time. I hope that it always feels like it wasn't that long ago. That I am always able to honor those that lost their lives that day and continue to fight for our freedoms and protection.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Today Ellie is 2! I can hardly believe it's been two years since that little lady came into our lives. She fits our family so well and it is hard to imagine a world without her! Ellie is a sweetie. She loves her brother and sister but can hold her own. She won't hesitate to pop you if you get in her face or in her way. Ellie is seeming to follow the speech delayed trend that the rest of the Simpson kids have been on. The one word that she has no problem saying is "NOooooooooooooooooo!" It is really quite cute. She loves to read books and color especially if she manages to finagle a marker. The girls loves markers!! She also loves marking her clothes, her hands, the table, etc. Mommy isn't quite as happy about that! Ellie loves being outside and being with the ig kids. She is especially fond of our neighbor, Sam who is 2 also! She always looks for him and points at his house looking to play with him. Ellie loves her family especially Daddy and Grandma Barb. In addition to "no" some of her other favorite words are "Ama","Mamma","Dada" and "This". We're getting her tested, again, for speech and hope she qualifies this time.
Ellie is embarking on a new adventure this fall. She is going to daycare three days a week because mommy is going back to school for her MSW. She tried it out last week for two days and really enjoyed it. She loves to play with the other kids and was exhausted by the end of the two days!! We're hoping she has lots of fun and learns things too. Like how to share!! That is one thing she doesn't really like to do. But hey,what two year old likes to share!?
To celebrate Ellie's 2nd birthday we're having a small celebration tonight with a dinner that Grandma Barb and Papa Burt are coming to. Mommy made a cherry chip cake. Next weekend is the real party with all of the family. Even Grandma Betsy and Papa Lenny are coming. Rumor has it Aunt Jenn, Uncle Keith, Clair and Patrick might come b/c they live closer now that they are living back in Detroit.
We love our little girl with many names. Some of her nicknames are: Ellie Bellie, Ooga(Caroline only calls her this!), Boo-Boo, Bada boo boo, and if she is really being a stinker she might hear her full name..Elizabeth Jane!!
We love you Ellie!! Happy 2nd birthday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The God in You..

The God in you helps you bear up under pressure better than most who don't
know Him. The God in you makes you love your enemy. The God in you shields
you from all hurt, harm and danger. The God in you has you laughing when
others would be frowning. The God in you helps you see your way out of no
way. The God in you puts your feet on solid ground. The God in you opens
doors when they should be shut! The God in you gives you peace in the mist
of the storm. The God in you won't let you down, He'll build you up! The
God in you never fails. You are different, because of the God in you. The
God in you hides you in His arms. The God in you quiets the raging storm.
The God in you is a strong tower. The God in you helps to light up your
path. The God in you will keep you until the day of completion. The God in
you sees you for you are and still loves you. He is amazing. You are

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The final stretch...

Summer is coming to a close in these parts. The kids,well at least Mattthew and Caroline and Mommy:), start school in a little under three weeks. Before we begin the new routine/insanity that will be our Fall, we're heading to Pittsburgh. Why Pittsburgh you may be asking yourself?
Well, the thing is both of my parents were born and raised in Pittsburgh. They were high school sweethearts! My mom's sister and my dad's brother still live there. I have four cousins that still live there and my cousin who lives in New Jersey will be coming in next weekend for my cousin's son's birthday..are you still following me? Anywhoo..I have been wanting to go there for a long time. Six years to be exact because the last time I was there was when my paternal grandmother died. It's been far too long and I my family to know THEIR family.
We're (Matthew,Caroline and I) are heading out early Friday morning. I am sure the ride will be nostalgic for me as I made the trek there when I was a girl every summer. I have wonderful memories of visiting grandparents and cousin and of FLUFFED ham and WISE potato chips!! Seriously, that stuff is like crack to me. I hope to hook up with all of the cousins from both sides of my family while I am there. I am praying that Matthew and Caroline don't drive me insane in the car. They aren't the best travelers. I am expecting lots of fun and memory making on this final trip we're about to embark on. I know Ellie and Daddy will have lots of fun hanging back here in Michigan. Maybe next time they can join us.
Hope your last minute summer plans go just as you plan!!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Know God

Today I went to a funeral for a women I have never met. I know her mom and dad through church. Her dad is one of the most giving, caring, live for CHRIST and have that contagious desire to get to know Him better vibe going. So, even though I didn't know Peggy, I know Mike and his wife and their other kids so I went to show that I care. It was a wonderful celebration of a life that yes was haunted with some addiction demons, but one that ultimately knew the greatest truth of all..The Christ died for her sins. Many family members got up to speak about her and all of the fun and laughter she brought to their lives. Our pastor spoke about how Romans speaks about once we know God nothing can ever separate us from the love and grace of God. He also spoke about how it was a struggle for Peggy to surrender her pain and struggles to God even though she believed in Him.
The most profound sentence of the morning came right at the beginning of service from Mike himself. It was a simple sentence.."KNOW GOD!" He said, with such urgency, that this is really what it all comes down to. If we KNOW God, the rest is so much easier. If we KNOW God, that means we're SEEKING Him more, wanting for others to KNOW him too. If we KNOW Him it does become easier for the Holy Spirit to permeate all the pores of our lives that need the refashioning and molding.
I left the funeral feeling like I knew Peggy and many of the wonderful gifts she blessed those who knew and loved her with. I also left feeling convicted to continue on my own quest to KNOW God and to be intentional about making sure others want to KNOW too!

Monday, August 01, 2011

The dog days

The dog days of summer are certainly in full force here in Michigan. It always surprises me how different Summer can be in this Great Lake state of ours. I have many memories of cool,almost downright chilly summers here and then there are Summers like the one we're currently enduring which is down right hot! I am not a huge fan of super hot, super humid weather. In fact I would take a 20 degree, snowy day over it in a heartbeat. Take for example today. I decided to be the "good" mommy and haul all three kids over to a local park for an animal show. It is about 95 degrees and horridly humid here today. I decided to take Ellie with us and all the could go wrong, did. There was miscommunication between the library and the presenter. This caused about a thirty minute delay in the performance. The guy also thought he'd be inside which is better for his animals so half of his animals barely came out of their cages. Did I also mention that due to the large crowd that came out to see this man, they moved us all in the blaring hot sun?! We ended up leaving early because we were all puddling and the presentation kind of lost us without any animals!
I realized in this moment of frustration and irritation how blessed I am. Sure it was an annoying couple of hours but at the end of the day it was pretty funny how stinking hot we all were. Plus the slushies and diet cokes we were rewarded with from Sonic soon made our heat exhaustion a distant memory. I am thankful for the mundane. For being blessed to be irritated by truly trivial occurrences. Thankful for three beautiful children who yes, whined and cried so much today that I thought I might be committed for a few hours. But who also belt out, "My God is so Great!" with such enthusiasm that you can hardly stand it. I have a little boy who loves to learn about the tiny details of everything and has a giant heart for others. Last, but certainly not least, a little girl who is nearly two who walks around with her blond, yes, blond mop of hair and shakes her head feverently and says..."No!!" but also gives the best.hug.ever!
As I have begun my MSW progrm this summer, I have been re-introduced to the world that makes up social services. One word..DEPRESSING. It already has made me cherish the normalcy that is my life. This week I have read several things that have giving me glaring perspective. One of which was a post from Shelly Buck on her blog about the 6th anniversary of the death of her daughter, Ava. It was eloquent and heart wrenching to read but it spoke such truth to me about how lucky I am. How lucky we all are really to love and serve a God who serves us and our every need. In every circumstance my God is there. He meets us whether we're literally in the depths of despair. grieving so deeply we're not sure that we can go on for one more day. But also for those of us who outwardly have it all together but inside feel like sometimes we can't go on for one more day. Don't freak out..I am not saying that I literally feel like that. Sometimes the daily grind just literally starts to GRIND on you is all I am saying. The past few weeks I have made a concerted effort to have daily, early morning quiet times with God. It has made all the difference. I feel like when I do that I literally can feel God within me. I can go to Him and lean on Him much more readily than when I skip it or choose some other activity instead. I am feeling very convicted about several "time suckage" issues I have. I am praying that God would clearly reveal to me those areas in which I need to consider giving up. I am sorry to say there are several things in my life that certainly aren't edifying to me or doing anything to help me grow closer to God.
So..I started talking about my hot, crappy day and ended up talking about God. Well..where the Spirit leads...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blessings and Deals

This week my family has been incredibly blessed by a friend of ours from our church. I have known Nicole and her husband,Kevin for five years now. Through our friendship I became aware that Nicole had a business called, ACE OF SPACES. The following is taken directly from her ACE of SPACES website,"When simplicity intersects a woman's life it should effect her home, her beauty, and her fashion. As we shrug of the "before" and live out the "after" we liberate those around us to do the same. A congruent woman can boldly reflect this simplicity to a very cluttered world and share it intimately with those she brings near."
This past week together with Kevin and Nicole we worked to transition our home from one that to me represented chaos,anxiety and was severely underutilized. But before we get to the process of transitioning our home I want to explain how this all came to be.

When I knew that I would be starting the full time MSW program this fall I decided that something had to be done with our office space. It wasn't functional at all. Worse than that, I hated being in our basement. Toys were everywhere, the unfinished side was seriously beginning to look like something out of "Hoarders". Boxes were everywhere. Nothing had a home. There were countless times that we couldn't find things we needed like for instance, the hardware to Ellie's crib! There were so many nights when I would lay in bed stressing about how overwhelming it was to tackle it all!! So I told Jeff that I wanted to hire Nicole to transform our office and basement playroom. She came over and we talked about what I wanted for the space. Then Nicole suggested that we look at the upstairs too. She had great ideas for that space as well. We hatched a plan to tackle it all. I think, and I have disclosed this to Nicole, that she was itching to get her hands on my house because she had a vision of what it could be:) I was so excited, until later that night, when fear crept in and the "What ifs" What if I didn't like it? What if was going to cost too much to buy the things needed to make the transition? What if I couldn't get it all done? I called Nicole the next morning and told her I thought we should just tackle the basement space and maybe do the rest of the upstairs later. She said ok but I will admit I felt like it wasn't the right decision. I was praying about the experience and very much felt like God was saying,
" Do the whole house." Well, apparently He was because the next day I got an email from Nicole basically telling me that is what she was feeling led to do. We decided to go ahead and tackle the entire basement and our first floor.
The process...
Nicole came over and we began the session praying that God would bless our partnership and this entire process, that He would be a part of it all. BOY WAS HE! I have so many stories about the moments that we could see God working in this. The timing was one thing. We had our regular trip to Silver Lake with Jeff's family already planned. But with the summer class I am taking, I wasn't able to go all week which left the perfect opening for time with just Ellie to care for. An added blessing was that my mom was able to come for most of the week to help take care of her while we worked. We also found the most perfect roll top desk in great shape for a mire $60.
Nicole and her sweet daughter Havilah came over the week before we left and took all the wallpaper off the wall in our old dining room. I will admit that the week before the work was to begin I was stressed. My house seemed to be at it's messiest. There was crap literally everywhere. To make matters worse,I was trying to pack Jeff and the big kids to go to Silver Lake for the week so it doubled the messiness. Finally the day of work arrived. Kevin came at 2p.m. and we were still trying to load our cars. He began to paint and just oozed of peacefulness. It was calming to watch him work. We finally were on our way and left the Aces to their Spaces! I can't even begin express the shock and awe I felt when I received photos send via cell phone only 8 hours later! In that little amount of time they had painted and moved ALL OF THE FURNITURE in my house and put all the crap and clutter in the garage. I immediately loved the results but had no idea how much I truly would embrace it all once I arrived home.
I ended up coming home early because Ellie came down with pneumonia(which is an entirely other post!) and so the work of sorting began on Tuesday morning. It was a long process, even though it only took four days! We're talking about going through your stuff, all day long. Hauling crap to the garage, making decisions, etc. But,it was by far the most worthwhile four days of hard work I have ever endured. I realized and I know this sounds kind of silly,that my house is my home. Up until this week, I truly felt like it was just a house. It kept us dry, it costs us money, its where we lay our weary heads each night but real memory making, peacefulness and happy times were sadly few and far between here. This place stressed me out!! I always had chores looming and it never seemed like there was ever going to be enough time or will from either Jeff or me to accomplish all that lay before us.
I truly believe that God used Nicole to show me that even when I don't hold up my end of the bargain in regards to being in relationship with Him,HE ALWAYS DOES. He heard my cries (some figurative and some literal!) to have a more peaceful life. He does know that most days I feel like I am barely going to make it. He chose to bless me even though I fall horridly short nearly every single time. How is that for a big ol' GRACE pie in the face?! Several times over the last month I have been brought to tears over what Nicole and Kevin have blessed me with. I really feel like I have been given a new lease on how to do this thing called mothering and daughtering and wifering:) Ha! I know these aren't words but you get the gist. I feel like a new women. I have so many emotional burdens lifted through this physical transformation that has taken place.
Finally, I leave you with some wisdom gained from a fellow MSW classmate of mine. We had to participate in several mock counseling sessions this week. During one of mine, I disclosed to my "counselor" that I felt uncomfortable with so many blessings being showered upon me. Like I wrote earlier, I didn't feel worthy. My classmate said simply, "Why are you trying to turn a blessing into a deal." "It sounds like God has put this women in your life to bless you. Be careful not to turn a blessing from God into a deal."

Monday, July 11, 2011

God is with us...

Disclaimer: I started this post yesterday but finished it today!
Today in west Michigan all holy hell broke loose around 10:45a.m. I had just finished working out at the gym. My kids and Jaime's two were there too. When we were leaving, and on our way to Hardings when Matthew asked if Avery,Jaime's 8 year old, could come along. I agreed and off we went. Not five minutes into our shopping extravaganza/donut finding expedition the rain started and the wind. Soon after came horrid crashes, bright bolts of lightening. Following that came power lines falling,trees being uprooted, transformers blowing up. Of course we didn't know all heck was breaking loose around us. We all sat quietly in the back break room of our neighborhood Hardings. The kids munching cheap cookies and coloring and me freaking out b/c I couldn't get through to Jaime on the cell phone I borrowed from a fellow storm shelter seeker. I knew that she would be worried that Avery was freaking out b/c well, she tends to do so in these types of situations. The thing is, she was cool as a cucumber. Not one worried look,no questions about if she was in danger. She was downright peaceful. Someone asked the kids, "Are you guys scared." Avery looked up from her picture and said, "No,why would we be scared? God is with us?" I saw several of the adults look at her with thoughtful smiles. I nearly cried. I have known this little gal for four years and that message sums it all up. She has learned through her trials with having a brother with half a heart and all that entails That really at the end of the day, on the stormiest of days,that God is ALWAYS with US! The peace she had in that cramped,stuffy room in the back of Hardings could only come from God. I was so proud to know such a sweet and faithful girl and could hardly wait to get back home and tell her mom what a wonderful example she had been. How brave she was!! Two days later and I am still choking up about it!!
We made it home and on the way we saw all the damage that occured in our neighborhood. I was glad that we made it home safetly. That God was indeed with us and shone through His precious child in the stuffy break room of a grocery store!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Other people's lives..

This week I have been thinking a lot about just that, other people's lives. I am sure there is a better way of saying what I am thinking but I am at a loss for what it is. The reason I have been thinking about it all has to do with a lovely girl with whom I bank with. We have been banking at our bank for over six years. We set up accounts there when we moved to Portage because that is where our mortgage is. At first this bank irritated the crap out of me because you have to GO IN to make a deposit, get cash, etc. For an inherently lazy person such as myself this was a pain. I much prefer the drive up and stick your stuff in the sucky up thingy(yes, that is the technical term):) In the midst of my several trips in and out I have become quite attached to the one banker that handles most of my transactions. We were both pregnant at the same time, me with Ellie and L with her first. Oh yeah,I am calling her L for privacy sake. I feel like we're friends but really its more of a business acquaintance relationship. A few months ago I found out that her husband who is only in his early 30's has ALS( Lou Gehrig's disease). A devastating neurological condition in which you slowly lose all of your capabilities and end up dying. I am sure you have all heard of it but if not, google it. But I forewarn you that its a devastating diagnosis at any age. Add in a young wife and one year old( which is how old their daughter was at the time) and you have perhaps one of the saddest set of circumstances possible.
When I found out about it I was unsure of how to act. Should I tell her that I knew. Should I apologize for all the stupid things I KNOW I have said over the last year like, "So when are you going to have another kid?!" Should I simply say nothing. The first few times I saw her I didn't say anything. I know from being close with Jaime that sometimes its nice to not be the one that everyone is looking at with pity. Maybe she would prefer our conversations to remain carefree and mundane not deep and filled with the horrific realities of her life. Then a part of me felt bad ignoring it because I knew from other circles in which our lives were entwined that she would realize that I did know after all, that I would say something. So the other day I said that I did indeed know about the ALS and that I was sorry. We joked about the fact that I have offered her help in the past with daycare situations and how that is when I didn't even know that she might really need it so I must have really meant it when I offered:)! She shared that its when her husband has fallen down the stairs and her daughter is crying that she really wants to call all of the well meaning people and be like, " Yeah, you..get over her, this sucks!"
When I left there I cried like I haven't in months. Literally sobbed in the parking lot of the bank. My heart broke for this dear family. Later I came home and happen to click on a blog of another acquaintance of mine whose son has several medical issues. I was shocked to read of several severe issues he had endured over the last month. When I went to check my email I saw an update from Kate Mcrae's family about the last two years they have spent battling the beastly brain tumor that has attempted to ravage and steal their daughter from them.
But then I see our dear, sweet Sammy boy next door. Who successfully came through his third surgery. I know that he doesn't have to see his cardiologist for two whole months(the longest he's ever gone) because he is doing so well. I know through all these situations that GOD is THERE. He is the great sustainer. His GRACE sees us through it all and is SUFFICENT for EVERY NEED.
It just seems so surreal to me that there can be so much suffering and we don't even glimpse any of it. We get comfortable in our own little bubbles and worlds and troubles and sometimes we just want to stay there because knowing of all the hurt and sorrow can be too much to handle if we don't really have to.
I hope my heart never gets there. I want to be able to always pray, offer help, make a meal,hell..even tell a joke and give that person in need one minute of reprieve from the harsh realities they face each day.
As I re-read this I am not sure what motivated me to write this. Maybe its because the emotions that I felt after leaving the bank were so raw and profound. Maybe its because I feel guilty for having such a blessed life. Maybe I just felt like typing.
This weekend is Fourth of July. I pray that we're all able to enjoy our families, our freedoms, whether that be having the ability to live freely or have a body that allows us to run and play with our kids in any manner we choose. To stay safe and just cherish each other.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goodbye Summer

So I thought I was starting class in September. Turns out its really going to be June 30th...crap! Long story short, I had to drop a class from my Fall schedule in order to accomodate my internship schedule.I am super excited about my internship. I will be working at Borgess Hospital on the neuro rehab floor. But the class I had to drop is a prerequisite for other classes so I need to take it now. I am a little bummed about this since I thought I had a few more months to wrap my head around this whole grad school idea but I am excited to get started. The class is titled, "Social Work for families, individuals and groups." I bought the book for the class on Friday and have been looking through it, very interesting stuff. Jeff thinks I am crazy! Another good thing is the class is on Tuesday and Thursday nights so I don't have to figure out childcare for the kiddos!
In other Simpson news, Summer is in full swing for the kids. They had one week of swimming lessons so far. This week they all go to their respective "places" while Jeff and I head to Vermont for a friend's wedding. They are all excited and SO.ARE.WE! I can't wait to see what Vermont is like and to get away with my honey bunny for a few days of kid free fun. When we return my class will start and we have other trips planned. In July we're meeting my famly including my brother and his family from Alabama that we never see, at a waterpark in Wisconsin. We're also making our annual trek up to Silver Lake for our vacation with Jeff's family. Because of my class, Ellie and I will only be going for a few days. I am hoping to take advantage of the other days to get my house ready for the craziness that Fall will bring.
Matthew has been sick with pneumonia all week. Even with being treated with antibiodics, he is still running a low grade fever. We need to get this cleared upo before we all leave on Wednesday!
Hope everyone out there is enjoying Summer!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Summer time training...

So I have decided to run a 5K. What's that you say? You have heard this before from me?! I know, I know. I will admit that I have stated, in the past,that I was going to do it. But before you call me a BIG, FAT, LIAR..hear me out. The last time I tried to train was about six months after Ellie was born. I hadn't been working out at all and just started running. NO surprise there that it didn't go as swimmingly, or should I say runningly as I had hoped. Fast forward eighteen months. This past December I decided that enough was enough with this whole working out business. I committed to joining a gym and getting my bootie there. I am happy to report that I have actually stuck something out. A huge feat for me:) I have regularly attended my gym since December. I have only lost about ten pounds but I feel pretty strong right now. All of these factors lead me to the decision to train for The Crim race that takes place on August 27th in Flint. I am planning on running it with my friend, Liz. Although I should probably firm that up with her. I think she thinks we were just considering it. I started this week and I didn't hate it. But I wouldn't say I loved it either.
My goal this summer is to train for it and accomplished my long standing goal of completing a 5K. I also hope while training to get stronger and leaner. I have decided to also stop drinking soda of any kind. Lets face it..its horrible for you. Plus, truth be told I prefer the real stuff to diet, making it all that more terrible and calorie filled.
I am hoping with this schedule of running along with my regular classes I take at the gym, that come Fall I am one smoking, hot Grad Student:) That may be asking for a little too much. I guess I will take an even healthier, less jiggly 36 year old wife and mother of three who also goes to grad school!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not much to say

I keep meaning to post but each time I sit down and write I end up never publishing it. Usually its because its lots of random thoughts that don't really have a theme. As you may have noticed, I like themes when I write. A lot of what I have had to write about is in regards to Sam and his surgery. Obviously, because he and his half a ticker are so heavy on my heart. I did get to speak to Jaime on Saturday and its was great. We ended up talking about lighter, funny neighborhood stuff and it was great to hear her voice and contagious laugh again! I am praying that Sam's low potassium issue and chest tube drainage stop soon so he can come home. It feels so lonely with our beloved next door neighbors gone!
Makenna and Avery, Jaime's girls spent the night Friday. We had a pizza party with them and some other kids in the neighboorhood and ice cream sundaes. They were all really well behaved. Then it was off to the Howard Street Hustle, a 5K fundraiser for the Kalamazoo Christian schools on Saturday morning. The kids all did the fun run. Matthew, Makenna and Caroline ran one lap of the track while Avery did two! All of the kids ran the WHOLE WAY!! It was a little crazy there but a beautiful day!! I felt really weepy there. Sad that Jaime and Steve have to miss stuff like that. I know its so very hard for them but they have no choice. Thankfully there are so many people who love those girls like their own and we try and make things has fun and normal for them as possible. Continue to pray for them as week two of their parents being gone starts.
Only one more week of school for Matthew who is anything but sad to see it ending. That kid just doesn't like school. I can't really figure out why b/c he has a great teacher and lots of friends. So often when he is whining and carrying on in the morning I want to say.." Seriously kid, get over it! Its going to get so much worse than Young fives!" Nice...
Memorial Day is upon us next weekend and we have 5 yards of mulch being delivered on Friday. We're hoping to get our yard in shape. We also are trying to figure out what to do about the eye sore of a deck of ours. We're looking into a few options. If it were up to me and money was no object..I would tear that baby down and build a new one. Oh wait, I meant to say..I would hire someone to do that! I really love hiring things out. That way, they arrive you go out for the day and come home to a new deck, freshly painted kitchen, clean house..etc, etc! Too bad I married a man who wants to hire nothing out!
The pool we joined is opening next weekend. I am hoping for a nice day so we can go over and use it. I think we're all really going to enjoy it.
Finally, I have my WMU MSW program orientation this Thursday. I am beyond excited to get some details about what the next 20 months are going to look like for me.
Well for seemingly not having anything to say..I certainly did jabber on..
Have a wonderful week.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Ode to MOPS

Next Wednesday I will attend my last MOPS meeting and I think I may be a blubbering, pile of tears. For those of you who don't know what MOPS is, I will give you a quick tutorial. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. So basically you can attend if you have an infant through kindergartener. When you go to a MOPS meeting several things can and do happen.
1. You get a break from your infant or how many ever kids your toting along with you. They are lovingly cared for by a group of fantastic volunteers called MOPPET workers. Bonus if you have older kids because they learn great Bible lessons, do awesome crafts and have a snack.
2. There is food. Delicious, high carb, high sugar, indulgent, who gives a crap about the baby weight from my 2 year old, cheesy casseroly goodness.
3. There is a great speaker who makes it seems, for the half hour in which she speaks, that anything is possible in the grandscape of mothering. You could be the best mom, disciplinarian, wife, cook, friend, couponer ever to set forth in Kalamazoo county.
4. If there isn't a speaker you get to make a cool craft like a bracelet that's beads describe the birth of Christ, a freezer meal, a Christmas ornament, etc.
5. You get to actually have a conversation with another mommy who is on the same journey of mothering young children, just like you. No pressure to look a certain way or say the right thing. You can just be you, as you shove your face full of egg casserole and drink endless cups of coffee.( with as much creamer as your cup will hold.
6. If your lucky enough to pop out another kid during your tenure as a MOPS mom, lovely other mommies bring you awesome homemade meals. Complete with desserts!
7.Ok, a serious one. If you don't know Christ, you will get to. If you do, you can't help but grow in your faith.
I have been going to Southridge MOPS for six years. Matthew was just a wee lad of six months when I began. I remember checking on him like a bajillion times those first meetings, certain that the kid couldn't be torn from me for TWO hours! Fast forward six years and two more kids later. Lets just say when I drop Ellie off and she cries, I basically throw a diaper at them and say.."Don't come and get me until I have finished my strudel!" Just kidding...kinda!
I have met some of my dearest friends through MOPS. I have learned much through my time spent on Steering as MOPPETS co-coordinator, Small group leader and Co-Hospitality member.
My faith has grown much through the speakers and relationships I have been blessed to be a part of.
I know next Fall, when the first and third Wednesdays roll around, I will ache for the fellowship that MOPS provided. But,I will also know that my time there is complete. While I was there, MOPS served me well. It provided a safe place to get a break and get a little more grounded in myself and in my faith. It well equipped me and now its time to get going to the next phase of this journey called motherhood. I know I will tuck my MOPS experience away deep in my heart and treasure it always.
Who knows, I might just come back someday and be one of those lovely ladies that sits and rocks that newborn and gently encourages a new mom to get the heck out of the nursery and into the meeting..her studel is waiting!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Crap! I got in!

That is how I really felt when I got into Western Michigan's MSW program! Don't get me wrong,I did apply, so obviously I was happy to get in. This has been a long time in the making. I actually started the journey to MSW land back when I was a single lady, nannying in Chicago back in 2000. But,I decided that I really wanted nothing more than to be a dutiful wife and mother to the children that didn't even exist back then! I wish I could shake that girl by the shoulders and say, "Stupid it will be so much easier and you will want the options that this degree affords you!":) Fast foward eleven years and I have to do it with the three kids and a hubby to boot! Oh well, hindsight is twenty twenty as they say!
I am not going to lie. Starting in September, the next 20 months will be grueling. Getting my MSW will be a full time job. I am prayerful that I find good daycare situations for the kids. Matthew and Caroline will be in school half days next year but Ellie will obviously need full time daycare. I will only be able to do this if I am secure with a solid, loving caregiver. Matthew and Caroline will most likely be at one place and Ellie at another. I have always been able to depend on Jeff. I will need his help and support like never before. I will need to be ultra organized, consistent and driven to obtain this goal. Do I think I can do it? You bet every loaned dollar that I will borrow to pay for it:)
With all these changes coming up, I am going to be quiting my job at the retirement home. I want to spend the summer with my kids and we already have a lot planned that would make my weekend work there not possible. I will miss my oldies terribly. I will forever be indebted to them for their love and support and kindness. I plan on doing an internship at a retirement home b/c working at one has opened my eyes up to many of the unmet need that this population has.
The future is full of many possiblilites and challenges for me in the next 20 months.I hope to embrace them and learn from them and become a better person, mother, wife and Christian through it all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter with the Oldies..

I had to work this weekend. Let me start off by saying that I was not one bit happy about this. Well, I guess that isn't completely true. At first I thought I was going to get overtime pay for Sunday since I assumed it was a holiday. Well we all know what they say about people who assume things(hardy har)! I found out at 6a.m. Saturday that Easter wasn't in fact a holiday where I work. That is when my bad attitude hit and it hit hard! I was bummed that I would be missing out on church and Easter basket finding and dressing little girls in their best dresses!
I literally think there was an audible "Grr" when my alarm went off again this morning at 4:30. But as soon as I got there it become more and more clear that this is exactly where God wanted me to be. Several of the residents leave their doors open so be who pass by can say hello. I have established several of my closest relationships with these "open door" residents. Believe or not many of their doors are open by 7a.m. so I was heartily greeted by many, "Happy Easters" I even got to say my favorite Easter greeting, "He is Risen!" to which of course these sharp,Christian oldies responded with a "He is Risen indeed!"
As the day wore on I realized that while many residents were being taken out by their families a number of them were not. One lady in particular had a very sad and public interaction with a family member in my dining room. Another who recently lost a spouse was sitting sadly in the public sitting area despairing that this was the first time in his life that he wasn't at church on Easter. Yet another lady when asked by me how she was doing responded by saying, "I guess ok, I am just so lonely!" Because I wasn't terribly busy, seeing that many of my regulars were gone, I was able to sit and chat with her for awhile and maybe,for a few moments, get her mind off her loneliness.
By the end of the day, I swear I could hear God whispering to me, "See. This is where I need you to be." And of course, He was right!(duh) My kids found their Easter baskets, got dressed(of course Ellie's outfit was on backwards but hey..who really cares?) I even managed to make it to church during a break for the Easter Egg Hunt! I was home mid afternoon and we had a nice family evening together complete with Honeybaked Ham and a screening of our newest movie courtesy of the Easter bunny, "Tangled".
I am ending this Easter feeling good. Happy that God is in control of even the tiniest details, like who works in an assistant living dining room. Wow. How Great Thou Art!
I hope you had a blessed Easter...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crazy Matty

Its funny to me that the domain name of this blog is crazy Matty. When I began this blog, Matthew was only six months old. He was a little crazy but I had no idea that he would become much more crazier before mellowing out. Now, six years later much has changed in all our lives. Matthew is the oldest of three children. In many ways he has the personality of a first born. He is very concerned with "rules" and if people are following them..namely his sisters!! When I am driving he is the first to tell me if I am breaking any laws or if my hand comes off the steering wheel. When Caroline went through a phase where she would unbuckle herself, it nearly killed him, he became very panicky. At school he is quick to listen to his teachers and doesn't like to "have his card switched from green to any other color"! :)
As I have mentioned in other blog updates, Matthew has mellowed this past year. He is sweet, loving and caring. He is all boy! He loves all things Star Wars, Indiana Jones and WII!! He is obsessed with the WII. So much so that we're taking a break from it this summer. He still loves to be outside but has become pickier about not wanting to play with all girls. This can be hard since there aren't many boys in our neighborhood his age. His best friend is Gavin, a boy from school. He adores him and loves having playdates with him.
Matthew is a Daddy's boy. He worships Jeff. When Jeff went out of town for a weekend in March, Matthew could hardly stand it. He really looks up to him and has informed us that he is going to do whatever Jeff does when he grows up so he can go to work with him! Matthew is a homebody. He gets very homesick when he is away from us. Something I can relate to because I struggled with this when I was his age.
Matthew had his first friend birthday party this year. We had it a Pirates Island, a local waterpark. He had about seven friends and loved it! The theme was STAR WARS. Nearly everything Matthew does lately revolves around Star Wars..the kid is obsessed!
Matthew has kept his big blue eyes, but his hair has darkened quite a bit this Winter. I am wondering if it will blond up again this Summer?
Matty loves his sisters and has special relationships with both Caroline and Ellie. He is always looking out for Ellie and is a pretty good playmate for Caroline. Favorite activities are wrestling and building forts.
He continues to be my deep thinker and is very thoughtful when he prays or is seeking God. He loves to learn about Bible stories and Jesus. He continues to ask to go back to a Christian school.
I think that about wraps up my oldest and only boy! I love how much he has changed and grown this year. I love knowing that there is indeed a light at the end of a tunnel when you think your not going to be able to parent a child for one more day! More and more I find Matthew to be delightful to be around. I am blessed to have been given such a treasure!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet Caroline...

Let it be known that girl loves that song..she can sing along with Neil with the best of them! One of her preschool teacher's whom Caroline dearly loves calls her sweet Caroline all the time. So much so that when you ask her what her name is she answers with boldness, "Sweet Caroline!" like..Duh!! Believe it!
Caroline is four and a half. She is by far the most STRONG willed child No, the periods aren't a typo! Iron will, unbendable,unshakeable,full of conviction that one. Sometimes this plain stinks. Like for example when said child is at her kindergarten screening and REFUSES to cooperate at several of the testing stations. Other times this serves Caroline very well. She has been dressing herself, getting her breakfast, brushing her teeth, riding a bike, writing all sorts of shapes, letters and can blow a fourth grade out of the water with her AMAZING coloring skills(all of which the kindergarten screeners failed to see). If Caroline likes you, she loves you. If she doesn't..well lets just say..sorry about your luck. She is a girl who knows her mind. So, we just keep continuing to fill that little mind with lots of good things. Like about her faith, her God, her friends, books, coloring,drawing, favorite shows(right now its Peppa Pig). In the moments when she is difficult we try and remember that we are trying to mold that will for good and not trying to break it. I feel like God has great things planned for our middle gal. I am sure all moms feel that way but I know all this will is not for naught. I just want to help her always know that she always needs to go to God for her every step in life. Caroline has enjoyed her preschool experience very much. Like I mentioned earlier, she adores her teachers. Next year she will attend the public school,going to the Young fives program five mornings a week. I think she will enjoy going everyday. I just pray she likes her teacher:) For everyone's sake!
Caroline continues to struggle with her asthma. This Winter was tough for our little gal. She had to be treated daily for her symptoms. We're hoping Summer gives her a reprieve from some of this. She is due for an eye exam in May and we will see about her need for surgery, as her eye muscle hasn't improved at all. In fact, even with correction we're seeing some crossing. Caroline still suffers from some severe peanut and egg allergies. Thankfully she seems to have reached an age where she is aware of this. She almost always asks,"Does this have peanut or egg?" before eating anything unknown.
At the end of June, Caroline will be spending a week with her cousins(my sister and her family) in Wisconsin while we go to Vermont for a friend's wedding. I purposely picked my sister for Caroline b/c I think she can handle her without incident and that Caroline will have an amazing time there. I really hope it goes well. No matter how much she fights me..she misses me the moment I am out of sight.
All in all, Caroline is a pretty terrific little girl. Sure she can put up stink. But this story pretty much sums her up. Last weekend we had some pretty amazing weather on Sunday. We were taking a family walk to the park. Caroline,who only recently mastered the art of bike riding, fell off. HARD! Did she cry? Never. She popped up and said in her most exasperated voice, "Uggh!! I getting back on and going to da park!" No tears, no whining. She got her little bootie back on the saddle and did indeed make it the park( before her brother I might add!!) We love her very much and can't wait to see what God has in store for our green kanagaroo in the middle! (Which by the way is the title of a favorite book of mine by Judy Blume, anyone who has three kids should get "Green Kangaroo in the middle!"

Monday, April 11, 2011


I feel like I haven't really updated about the kids lately. So, its that time again. Posts dedicated to my precious three. I am starting with Ellie. Our 19.5 month old who has gone from delightfully laid back to a bit of a spit fire this Winter. The girl definitely knows what she wants. I wonder where she gets that from?(her sister), certainly not her mommy!:) She loves to follow Matthew and Caroline around and do whatever they do which usually includes some type of shananigans! Like, but not limited to couch climbing, furniture jumping, table standing,screeching, food throwing..etc! She loves music and dancind and books. Ellie's new favorite activity is playing outside. This past weekend we enjoyed some pretty fantastic weather around here and Ellie loved being able to roam around the yard and go to the park and especially to swing. That girl would swing forever! One way in which she is different from Matthew and Caroline is that she is easily occupied for more than one second with an activity. Like with the swinging or if she is playing with a toy. She stays with something,which is a nice change from the hurricane like behavior of the older Simpson kids!
Physically Ellie is changing too. She is in the 75% for height and 65% for weight. Her hair actually lightened this Winter and is now a sandy blond( I prefer that label to dishwater blond!) Ellie can get pretty much anything when she flashes her soulful baby blues your way!
This Summer I fear will be filled with Ellie doing alot of running while mommy frantically tries to keep up with her all while keeping my sanity in check. We're joining a local pool and I am hoping that she loves the water as much as Matthew and Caroline do.
Ellie has been testing us a bit in the sleeping department as of late. Last night, for example, she cried for nearly 2 hours before finally giving up and going to sleep. Still, she naps for nearly 2 hours each day, giving mommy a chance to catch her breath. The other day I caught her trying to CLIMB out of her crib! Thankfully, she hasn't completly gotten it as I am not ready to make that transition anytime soon.
She does show some interest in potty training and I may try and train her this Summer if only to finally have a DIAPER FREE house for the first time in six years!
Overall I would say Ellie is transitioning from a baby to a toddler. While some things about this are challenging, other things are fun to see. How she is developing her own personality and ways of doing things. How much she loves her brother and sister. Her love of music and books growing everyday. While she is determined she continues to be mostly laid back and easy to please. We love her dearly and can't imagine a life without our Boolah! Oh yeah, her newest nickname by the way..courtesy of big Sister Caroline.
Speaking of Caroline..more about that little flippity witch tomorrow!:)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

From this one place..

One of my favorite albums is Sara Groves "Fireflies and Songs". Every song is amazing and speaks to me in some way. The lyrics for the song, "From this one place" are as follows:

I was about to give up and that's no lie
cardinal landed outside my window
threw his head back and sang a song
so beautiful it made me cry

took me back to a childhood tree
full of birds and dreams

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else

I don't know what's making me so afraid
tiny cloud over my head
heavy and grey with a hint of dread
I don't like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat
with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else

Lately I feel like I am living within the words of this song. With Sam's upcoming heart surgery upon him I am afraid I am letting the devil get the most of my thoughts. I wake up a lot at night lately almost paralyzed by my thoughts and struggle to get a grip through prayer and through Christ. Its like my mind is saying over and over, "But what if, but what if, but,but,but...." AAAGH! Insanity I tell you! The title is so fitting.."From this one place" and the lyrics, " I can't see very far, from this one moment I'm square in the dark. These are the things I will trust in my heart. You can see something else" my heart..letting God take care of the something else. Oh could I forgot I suck at that? :)
The reference to the window seat and the clouds beneath my feet sound delicious to me right about now. Imagining a world without worry. To truly NOT be anxious about anything but instead giving it all over to God. I have no problem doing that with others but when it comes to Sammy boy..I get really scared.
Thankfully, I am able to get my wits about me, even in the midst of the night and whisper verses and prayers up to my God who knows all of this about me and Sam and all of my other worries both big and small. The God I DO trust with ALL of my heart because I know HE can see something else..
Now...go and listen and download Sara and her amazing cd..I promise, you won't be disappointed..
Happy Listening..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bike ride with God!

I first read this poem many moons ago it seems. When I first became a Christian. It was in a book about servanthood that I read one night after the kids I was babysitting went to bed. By the way those kids are now in college! One of them is serving the Lord in Thailand right now!! Anyways..its always stuck with me. How wonderful it is to have Christ in control but also how scary sometimes. As I continue to explore what servanthood means in my life I find myself reading this over and over and remind myself just to keep PEDALING! HE will take care of the rest...

When I first met Christ
It seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
But it was a tandem bike,
And I noticed that Christ
Was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that
He suggested we change places,
But life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way,
It was rather boring, but predictable...
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
Up mountains, and through rocky places,
At breakneck speeds,
It was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,

He said,

I worried and was anxious and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
And I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
And entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed.
Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.
He said, "Give the gifts away;
They're extra baggage, too much weight."

So I did, I gave them to the people we met,
And I found that in giving I received,
And still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, In control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
But He knows bike secrets,
Knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
Knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
Knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal in the strangest places,
And I'm beginning to enjoy the view
And the cool breeze on my face
With my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Squeaky the sickie..

Caroline's nickname from about the second day of her life has been "Squeaky". She was a very noisy baby, always "squeaking" and so one day Jeff called her that and four and a half years later its stuck. We call her Squeaky or Squeak nearly 80% of the time. I know someday soon she will demand that we not call her that.
Anywhoo..Caroline has,by far, the most medical issues of our three children. It all began when she was first born and had horrible skin and eczema. Then when she was nine months old she developed a pretty severe lazy eye. Upon further examination by an opthomologist it was determined that she was also severely far sighted. So at fifteen months, Caroline started wearing glasses. At 18 months we discovered that she has a severe peanut and egg allergy. She has always been intolerant of milk too.
Last Spring we had our first experience with asthma and this winter its been HORRIBLE for her. I can't remember many days when she hasn't been coughing. She weezes much of the time as well. We have taken all of this in stride because quite frankly in the grand scheme of things when you know kids that are battling cancer and severe heart defects your not too upset by things like asthma and glasses.
But these past weeks Caroline has complained of stomach pains and leg pain and keeps getting low grade fevers in the evening/night time. I took her to the ped for the regular checks of ear infection, strep, urinary tract infection, all of which were negative. So then the doctor ordered some blood tests and a chest and abdominal x ray to see if we could figure out a reason for the strange symptoms.
For those of you who haven't met Caroline, there is no way to possibly explain the hell it was to get her blood drawn not once but TWICE!! The first time the lady just plain sucked and so the next day her daddy took her back for another and thankfully more successful draw. The nurse called me on Friday to say that the doctor wanted to add more tests b/c she had only gotten two of the first draw back and they were abnormal and that something on the abdominal xray were off as well. Talk about freaking a mommy out! I spent all day worrying that Caroline had something very wrong. Then at 6p.m. another nurse calls me back to say that her CBC(complete blood count) came back and it was normal but the other tests weren't back yet. When I asked about the x rays the nurse, who wasn't the original one I had spoken with said," Oh, its says nothing about an x ray here so it must have been nothing!" I could have screamed!! I feel like the first nurse freaked me out for nothing!
We still have to wait on the blood tests to determine that all is well in the grand scheme of major things being wrong. But I still feel there is so much we could be doing to help Caroline live a more healthy life. I have a friend whose son struggles with some of the same issues and has begun a special diet. I plan on talking to her and the doctor and in May a pulmonologist. Hopefully, we can get all of these issues undercontrol.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Immeasurably more..

I LOVE the following verse in Ephesians. I think its my favorite Bible verse for a couple of reasons. One, it speaks to the very human, fleshy part of me that is scared of all the crap that can happen in a lifetime of living. I am working on giving that part of myself fully over to God because it clearly keeps me from having a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him. I know that until I TRUST Him fully with ALL of my life, I will never have the close communion that I so desire.
Secondly, I love this verse because it speaks to my favorite part of faith..OPTIMISM, HOPE and GRACE. I believe that God wants the best for me and is more than capable of doing immeasurably more in EVERY situation. The thing that I sometimes fail to get is HOW He does it. If I pray for someone who is ill and they die, does that mean He didn't do immeasurably more? No. It seems sometimes my IMMEASURABLY more and God's IMMEASURABLY more aren't the same. Do I trust His plan? Yes. Is it hard to not know all there is to know when you or someone you love is going through valleys in life..YES! Can I continue to ask God to do immeasurably more in the obvious ways..Yes! Sometimes I can't wait to get to heaven b/c I have sooooo many questions about this kind of stuff. Of course I know when I get there all these questions will seem trivial and all I will really be thinking is.."I am in Heaven..ROCK on!!" :)
I am praying for immeasurably more for Sweet Sam, who is scheduled to have his THIRD open heart surgery on April 19th. Please, if you share my faith and pray..lift this dear little lad and his awesome family up to the Lord. That immeasurably more would occur,that is would be a succesful surgery. For peace for his mommy and daddy and loads of other people who love him so very much. Also pray for a fellow MOPS mommy whose sweet little daughter is facing a 5th open heart surgery tomorrow despite the fact that she is only 2 months old! Pray for wisdom for her surgeon(who just happens to be Sam's too!)

Ephesians 3:20 (New International Version, ©2011)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Saturday, March 05, 2011


I fear I have become just that..complacent. Last night at church we had a banquet to kick off in a sorts, a campaign to raise $170,000 for missions in our church and community. First of all can I say again how much I love our new pastor and his passion for what the LORD wants for our church! Ever since I read Frances Chan's book "Crazy Love" I have felt very convicted about certain things. One of them being that I strongly feel God has little tolerance for people whose only goals in life are to get,get,get. I have spoken to this before on my blog. God doesn't give a crap about your house or your car or your clothes! He does care about YOU caring more about those things than those around us who desperatly need HIM.
The thing is I know this but little in my life has changed to reflect this. I still buy things I don't need. I still covet things others have. My dreams sadly reflect those of a person with self-serving ambitions.
As Jeff and I left the church and discussed what we heard and saw the conversation inevitably came to the ulitmate point of the night.."How much are we willing to give?" Money. Yuck. I fully admit to really stinking when it comes to sacrifice. I am all about talking a great game about it but in the end, almost 90% of the time when the going gets tough and I am truly being faced with sacrificing..I find a way out.
But here's the thing. I really haven't found a way out. Because of my choices to do what I want instead of what GOD wants I have done nothing to bring glory to God or his kingdom. No souls will be won if I continue to live a life of complacency.
Certainly when I die I don't want to hear God say to me, "Wow. You really dropped the ball. There is so much I could have accomplished if you would have only let me."
I feel like for the past year or so I have basically just been drifting in my walk. Not growing, not leading, not changing the hearts of those around me who need the salvation of Christ. I need to pray about how to change that. I am certain simply cutting a check each month isn't going to "cut" it. More is required and expected of me from this great God I am priveledged to serve.
I have got some serious soul searching to do. I just hope I get my act together this time!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Are you serious..

I was going to title this post something different but thought I best not swear in the blog title! We have been through the ringer over here wtih sickness. I talked about Ellie's bout with the stomach flu on Valentine's Day. She was victim number 2. Caroline puked a week before Ellie. Then Ellie got it and the next day she came down with a nasty case of RSV. Then Caroline and Matthew got bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections with high fevers for nearly five days thrown in for good measure. Just when I think no one else could possibly get sick..they do. I am weary on many levels. Weary of constantly tending to a puking little one, disinfecting like crazy in hopes that it doesn't spread. Weary of sleeping like crap because one or more of the kids is waking up to have me tend to whatever need they have. Weary of Matthew having missed nine days of school. Weary of doctor appointments and co pays and prescription cost. Weary of my own schedule being completly thrown to the wayside over the last month. Weary that my gym schedule and all I have accomplished with that being disrupted.
But then I read about Kate McCrae who is facing discouraging news in her battle with brain cancer. Or of another friend's baby from MOPS who had heart surgery over a month ago and is still hospitalized almost six weeks later with many complications. I am grateful for kids who have minor illnesses that they will recover from. That I can make it all better with a hug or a antibiodic or just some time.
Yes, this past month has really stunk. But it could be much worse.
We're just praying that the sickie germs that have invaded our home are gone for good soon and that Spring will show its glorious face soon! I saw on a marquee for a local florist the following blerb,"Winter makes you appreciate Spring" Can I get an AMEN!!?
Hoping you and yours are healthier than the Simpson clan!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Because my heart is HIS home..

Matthew is nearly six. First of all can I say I hardly can believe that. It seems like just the other day that I laid my eyes on that sweet little bundle of joy:) Matthew has mellowed over this past year. The child who once could drive me absolutly bonkers has become one of my favorite companions. He is thoughtful and easy going. An amazingly helpful, wonderful big brother! He is also my deep thinker. He has lamented to me several times this year about how he wishes he could go to a Christian elementary school. I have explained to him that right now we can't swing it but it is our desire for him to go to a Christian school one day. Another area in which we have spent quite alot of time discussing it about how God cares more about your insides rather than how you look or how you dress. Over the summer and Fall both Matthew and Caroline talked alot about who was fat or skinny. This kind of talk makes my blood boil. Having struggled with my weight my entire life, I want to firmly instill in my children's hearts that the way you LOOK certainly doesn't tell a person's entire story. I also want my children to be defenders of those who others are quick to judge. It is a lesson they have learned well so far because if they even think about saying something in regards to someone being overweight they will quickly add, "But God only cares about your heart, right mommy?"
So yesterday Matthew is just sitting on the couch seemingly minding his own business when he says to me, " Mommy, you know why God cares so much about my heart?" To which I said, " No, why honey?" " Because my heart is HIS home now. That is where He lives, not on the outside."
Amen brother! Grateful for one tiny lesson that seems be routed in that gorgeous little heart of his!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Learn the love language DUDE!

I have never fully read the Love Language book. But, I have been to countless MOPS sessions on it. I would say, without a doubt I responded favorably to gifts and words of affirmation. I like BIG gifts like IPADS,IPHONES, MACbooks..ok..all things MAC. However, a ten dollar box of coffee or even a ten dollar Biggby giftcard will get this girl pretty darn excited! Unfortunatly, my hubbie, after being with me for TWELVE years, eight of which he has been my husband, has SUCKED at coming though on this. I blame the accountant in him. He is such a money man. Always thinking of that damn budget. So this year at Christmas I had him tell me what he WOULD get me if the BUDGET was not an issue. He rattled off several things I have my eye on and I will say it provided me much satisfaction in knowing at least he listens when I talk:)
So for Valentines Day he told me that I wasn't getting anything but that he would get me a card. I got him a hilarious card by the way and some small trinkets. Because that's how I roll..nicely and thoughtfully:) (and humbly too!) I did have a major meltdown of sorts on Friday night and went to blowoff some steam by soaking my narsty winterized feet in the local nail shop for a spa pedicure. So, techinically that may qualify as a Valentine present. I argue not b/c I think Jeff knew if I didn't get one tiny morsel of me time I may have never returned home..but I will say that it was nice to get out and have my feet all dolled up! The weekend came and went, with me working at my job which I am not at all that fond of. I wake up Monday morning all ready to take Matthew and the awesome cake pops I made to his Valentine Party at school when I enter Ellie's bedroom to find her and her crib, bedding,etc COVERED IN ..wait for it...PUKE! Happy Valentine's day to me! I spent the next eight hours helping a 17 month old puke into towels, washing the towels, trying to distract the 17 month old from wanting to eat and drink, which she desperatly wanted to do. It sucked..BIG time..I realize more for Ellie in the end than for her bratty mommy. As the day went on I became more and more resentful of the lack of gift and card for that matter. I knew he didn't have one and now with Ellie puking the last thing I wanted was a late arrival home. Then I stared puking. Seriously, could it get any worse? Don't answer that, I know. Yes, it could. So, I started talking myself out of my downward spiral of self pity and thought of all the awesome things there are about Jeff. One of which is him coming home early yesterday and rescuing me from Ellie so I could puke in peace:) I rallied quickly and made the huge mistake of going on FB to see what everyone else's was up to while I was catching puke all day. BIG MISTAKE..HUGE! I kept seeing all these posts about flowers, candy, dinners out, gifts, etc. I then did something I try not to do on FB and trashed my hubbie.
Then, not five minutes later, as I took my weary, cardless and giftless self to bed I found it. A hand typed note of 10 things Jeff loves about me. Sweetest thing ever. I went up to him to hug him and he quickly backed away..and said, " Thanks..I will take a raincheck pukey!" Love that guy!
Hope your Valentine's Day was awesome and vomit free!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Covet not

I admit it..I have a huge problem with coveting! Before you get the wrong idea, not about other people's hubbies!:) But of their lifestyles. Its very easy for me to get wrapped up in what I assume is the lovely lifesyle of those I know, or some cases don't even know! Usually, ok ALWAYS its because they have more money than me and I think if I had more that I would be blissfully happy. This is a load of crap for more reasons than I could ever blog about. Earlier this year in BSF(Bible study fellowship) our lecturer talked about how sometimes God protects us from certain things b/c basically He knows we just can't handle it. I think this is definitely true in regards to me and MONEY. I like to think that if I was a cajillionaire that I would be so giving, so unchanged by it. That I would still be the same. I think that might be true in many ways but I think I certainly would get caught up in it all.
Lately, though, my coveting has taken me to a place that I fear God is NOT at all understanding about. Lately, when I think of what I don't have, I get kinda sad and "Poor me" about it. You know what I think God thinks when HE hears it.." You think your sad now Suzie Q.. you better shape up pronto or I WILL get your priorites in line!" I think it downright ANGERS God to no end to hear me think like this.
The other night I was feeling blue and simultaneously urged to go to my BSF lesson, to open my Bible and get right with God! I am sure you will be shocked to know that I did indeed straighten up and fly right:)
In my defense, I think b/c money always seems tight for us in one way or another( insert that this is do to some BAD money choices made by me and Jeff) that it seems like money would solve alot of issues.
But, as a friend who has much money but not also alot of lonliness alluded to the other day..ITS NOT EVERYTHING!
What do I take from all this coveting and money crap..Always go to God and HIS truth when your blue. HE will have you seeing rainbows soon enough:)