Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Memories from 2006....

We have a tradition at our house in how we open the Christmas stockings. On Christmas morning, the little munchkins wake up, get their stocking, and jump in bed with Mom and Dad and open it right away. They don't have to wait for any other siblings to wake up. Our kids love this.

One of my favorite parts is capturing big Daddy on video camera half awake and his hair all messed up. Every year...he looks the same..well, maybe a little less hair. I love it.

Anyway..last year...the Davester awoke extra early. He appeared at our bedside at 1 a.m. with "Merry Christmas!". It's time for Christmas!!!

We now have a tradition with a rule. Nobody up before 6:30 a.m.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gonzo sings at my house..all.the.time.

Do you remember Gonzo from the Muppet Show? He would sing in this gravely type voice. Add a touch of "screechy" and you have Bethany's happy sounds. She's home full time this week, no special classes. She goes from screechy sing-song type noises to a half yell, half scream when she's frustrated. She will often go back and forth very quickly from one mood to the next. She's a loud child. And, I crave quiet.

She is also enjoying the art of teasing. So, when her Gonzo voice gets out of hand, I'll ask her to sing in a nice voice. She will look at me, do it again, give me the eyes and smile, "Nice voice". Or she'll yell it, depending on what her mood is. But, I think she knows it bugs me.

In my quest to live intentionally..I've been asking God to help me to have patience and love beyond my own ability. I've asked him to help me see His face when I look into hers. She was, after all, God's idea. I've been telling myself when I hear the Gonzo voice, she's happy..let it go.

Today, she and Gonzo were in full swing. Instead of trying to quiet her down, I looked her in the eyes, and really listened to what she was screeching..I mean singing. It was from the "Doughnut Man" video. It went something like this....

Oh, the love of Jesus.
Oh, the love of Jesus.
Oh, the love of Jesus.
That washes white as snow.

Thank you, Jesus for the gentle reminder, right in the middle of my battle. Your love is enough. Your love washes my impatient sinful heart. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Living Intentionally...

The Zimmermann's have been living in "survival mode" for the last two years. Pretty much since we got Faith. And what that means to me, is a lack of living intentionally. There is so much going on in our home that there doesn't feel like there's energy to snap out of it. There are things that we always want to do but can't quite muster up the time or energy to get to it.

And, just when it feels as if the chaos will settle, a big event happens that puts us back into "survival mode". Energy put into figuring out how to live with a child who has autism. Emotional energy sucked dry with the waves of grief over a dying parent.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. Caleb is going to be 13 at the end of next month, David is 8, Bethany has many needs, and Faith has lots of screams. There's a marriage that needs time, a budget, a spiritual life, a middle aged body that ..well...we won't go there....hearts that need pointing to the cross..and on and on the list goes.

And I wonder...maybe this is it. Maybe this is just the way life is going to be and next could be a wave of another major event..and what is God calling me to? What am I supposed to put my time and energy into? How can I become more like Jesus amidst all the pressures, the people, and the things pulling at me? And am I making it too difficult?

My way out of a jam is to make a list. So, I emailed that to my DH today. I'm not big on new year's resolutions..but maybe it's a time to re-evaluate where we're headed. I am tired of being on the tobaggen out of control. I want to have some sort of a map, a plan. And even if we end up in different destinations than what we expected...that the map shows us what needs to stay constant.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cricket Drama, Part 2...

I can't believe I'm blogging about crickets..but this is really kind of cool. Maybe those of you who want to catch your own crickets, can try this at home!

I was cleaning out David's room (a.k.a. The Davester) and he has this bulletin board that sits on the floor. Behind the bulletin board was a few tape rolls of duct tape (we don't ask why). Attached to the duct tape were about 8 dead brown crickets!

This can only lead me to believe that I do not need Mr. Orkin to set traps in my basement any longer! I can make my own duct tape traps for a fraction of the cost!

Duct tape lives yet another serve us yet..another new capacity. Will it never end?

I'm just wondering....

Ed..this one might be for you. Swampy..I'm thinking you've probably cooked with something like these here goes.

We have brown crickets in our basement. When the Orkin man came out this summer to spray for beetles and boxelders (we had thousands of them swarming on our front door..the guy said he's never seen such a bad case)..I also had him set some traps in the basement for crickets. I didn't want to spray in the house, so these sticky traps were the next best thing. The traps have been out for a few months and it's been fun to see the crickets get themselves attached. The boys love it. Well, I was just picking the traps up and placing them in the garbage when I noticed that on two of the traps, the very large crickets are gone. I know they were dead and stuck. I'm wondering...what is in my basement eating the large, brown, dead crickets? Please don't say mice. Would spiders eat them? (We have lots of those, too.)

Friday, December 14, 2007


If you ever jam your teeny tiny battery in your teeny tiny digital camera, don't call your brother who owns a pawn shop...he won't know what to do. Why? Because he's smart enough to never jam it in the wrong way! What you do is, go to the Stillwater Early Childhood Education Center, to the special ed. room. Those teachers are prepared for anything. They will get out their teeny tiny little tweezers and yank that baby right out in no time flat.

Just for your information.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Davester....

David asked me to blog about him again. Here's one of the funniest memories of our sweet boy.

When David was four, we took a family vacation to Colorado Springs to visit some friends. We do this trip every other year with another family. So picture three families worth of kids (8 at that time?) out on a hike in the mountains. We came to a rippling brook and it had tons of rocks in it. Earlier that day, we had just passed a beaver dam and were explaining to the kids how the beavers make the dam, etc. We let the kids play in the brook and David had an idea to make a dam, just like Mr. Beaver. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey guys! Hand me a dam rock! Let's make a dam!"
"Hey..there's a good dam rock...hand me that dam rock!"

Totally innocent...very, very funny because Caleb was the oldest and the only one to realize the humor. Pretty soon, all the kids kept finding more dam rocks and excitedly told one another about their dam rock.

Dam funny.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One more David story...

Our boy is built like his Daddy (His dad is six foot five). We like the term, stocky. Well, this boy has been growing an awful lot lately. I have just purchased new snow pants, new uniform pants, and three new pairs of footware. He is one of the biggest kids in his second grade class. He has a great attitude about it. He wants to play football someday. Here are a few examples of how he deals with his up and coming size.

"David, we should put your name in your new snow pants."
"Aw, don't worry, Mom. I know which ones are mine. They are the BIG ones!", as he laughs.

"Mom, today we played king of the hill. I was the king pretty much the whole time. When one kid would come up, all I had to do was stick my hand out like this..down they went! I quit being king when all the kids got in a big group and said, "Let's get David!" Then, I just looked around and thought to myself..I'm out of here!"

My personal favorite...this morning he was taking off his old uniform pants that were very tight, and trying on his new pants. As he was taking off the smaller pair he said, "Watch out for the bubble burst, Mom!" "What?" "That's the burst that happens when I take off my tight pants and everything bursts out! Ka Pow!!".

Older brother comments..."Uh, David...please don't say that at school."

This one, I felt bad about. Some little boy said to him, "David, you're fat. No offense." David didn't reply to him, but he told me what he'd like to say.

"Cole, you're so skinny, I don't know how you are ever going to play football. No offense." (sometimes it's hard to stifle the laughter......I'll let his dad coach him on that one.)

No tears here..promise.....

Lucky Duck! David, our 8 year old, going on 23, declared this morning that he knew where the saying, "Lucky Duck!" came from. It's because ducks get run over all the time by cars, get up and run away and don't get killed! So they are lucky ducks. And when people get in car accidents and they don't get killed, well then, that's when you say, "Lucky Duck!".

Thanks, David.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sam's Club...

I was Christmas shopping in Sam's club today. I was actually looking for a sweater for my dad because he is always cold. I just had Faith with me. All of a sudden she blurts out, "Bapa! Bapa!". I looked and there was an older man who looked very similar to my dad. The man smiled at her and then kept shopping. I kind of noticed him, and he was shopping with his daughter. She had long brown, curly hair, and brown glasses. She looked like she was in college. They were quipping back and forth, as she was looking for a present for him. He kept saying he didn't like any of it. They both laughed and she said, "Daaaaaad." I had a flood of memories about shopping with my dad.

I turned to leave, and then I found myself turning the cart around and approaching this man with tears in my eyes. It went something like this.

"Excuse, me. I couldn't help noticing that you were shopping with your daughter. I can tell you have a special relationship. It reminds me of my dad and I. I was actually shopping for his Christmas present. (He's nodding, yes through this whole thing. I kept going....) My dad actually was just diagnosed with cancer. I just want you to know that you dads are so very important to us daughters."

As he was rubbing Faith's little head, he looked at me and said, "And you daughters are very special to us dads."

I smiled, turned away and went down the cleaning isle to gather myself. Faith just kept saying, "Mama cry...Mama cry" while she rubbed my arm.

I don't know what that was all about. The man had such a warmness about him, I wondered if he was a Christian.

I called my dad while I was still shopping in the store. I just needed to hear his voice. I told him the story and he said, "So you want me to go shopping with you?" I started laughing and said no....that's so my dad.

I've never quite been able to hide my emotions. I hope somehow it encouraged this man and this daughter to cherish their time together.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sweet Glimpses....

Picture this...a diner of sorts, set in a small town square, off to the side. High ceilings with copper squares, an old fashioned soda fountain across from the wooden bar, green vinyl stools lined up since the 50's. Old men playing dice in the table by the window. Pancakes for two dollars and coffee in thick handled mugs.

The diner is called, "Edies". In the twenty years that my parents have lived in Fairmont, they often spend Saturday morning breakfasts greeting local townspeople, joking with the waitresses and getting to know their stories. Grandchildren love to go there with them as they order the giant pancakes. When the kids reach the age of 12 or so, my mom takes them there and presents with their own personal prayer journal. She describes the God whom she loves with the hopes of spreading the vision and passion to the next generation.

Jump to Sat., Dec. 8th at 8:30 a.m. I called my mom, and I heard lots of activity in the backround. Yes, dear ones, they were once again back at Edie's on a Saturday morning. It's been over three months...but, in God's great mercy, he saw fit to extend just enough health to a faithful servant to enjoy a twenty year old tradition. No masks, no IV carts, no hospital gowns or a team of doctors swarming. An ordinary acitivity to most....but an act of God to those who love them.

And somehow, life is just a little bit sweeter.

Christmas cards... I keep trying to construct the annual "Christmas letter" in my head. All I can come up with are sad, depressing details of the last year. March, got the big "D" (diagnosis) and autism officially entered our home. September..Dad got the big "D"...then I think..we'll just do the picture. And it all wears me out just thinking of it. I need permission to take the year off. Not because I'm ungrateful, not because I don't have hope in the One...but because I'm just weary.

Can you say pathetic?????

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I cried at the movie, "Bicentennial Man". A robot dies in the end, holding the hand of his human wife and I cried.

What silly things have you cried at lately? Come on, make me feel better, would ya?

Monday, December 3, 2007

He's back...

So my dad is a little ball of energy, and fire. He is high on the "I" (Meyers Briggs), but you'd never know it to meet him. My mom described this picture to me, and it warms my heart so much, thought I'd share it.

My dad went to both services yesterday at their church. He got up to give a brief update on his health. This is the first time that he's been back in church since Labor Day. In the first service, he ran up the platform, like he always does. But this time, when he reached the pulpit, he was out of breath. Mom said it took him a few minutes to catch his breath and then he said to the congregation, "Guess I can't do that anymore." And then he laughed.

There were lots of tears and hugs as the congregation greeted thier pastor of 20 years. Most people expressed that they never thought they'd see him in church again. They feel as if they've been given a miracle. And, I would agree.

Dad said the most meaningful part of the day for him were all the children. They all love him, he's a fun guy to be around and he's like a kid magnet. One little girl in particular wrote him a card in the hospital and said that she missed rubbing his coat. They weren't sure what that meant.

Yesterday, this little six year old girl came running across the sanctuary and into my dad's arms. As he held her, she whispered in his ear, "Can I rub your coat?" And dad felt this little hand rubbing his suit coat. And it dawned on him, each Sunday when she would give him a hug, she would always rub the shoulder of his coat.

When I think of this picture, I can't help but think one day when we go home and we finally see Jesus, it will be a reunion of all reunions. I want to love him like a child loves her Pastor and I want to know him so well that when I hug my savior, I too, will have a "rub your coat" familiarity.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Best friends...

So, I'm feeling "foggy" again (my word for struggling with depressive like tendencies). I was on the phone with one of my best friends, sitting in my truck, right before I was to go into the church today for Latte's big event of the year. As I sat there...she was trying to cheer me up....and we started laughing at a previous conversation a few months back when I was having another foggy day. It went something like this.

BF (best friend) "Hey, Christmas is coming....that's happy."

Me, "No it's not..tears start to stream...Christmas is really sad...Jesus had to come to this crummy earth as an innocent little baby and then he suffered and died all because I am a wretched sinner. It's all my fault." (tears still streaming)

BF, "Huh...I guess the angels had it wrong then."

Oh...we were craffing (laughing/crying). You know what I love about best friends? They just love you right where you speeches...just total unconditional love.

Thanks, BF for the craffing today in the truck. Hoping this fog lifts in the morning.

Friday, November 30, 2007

French Fries

I want the old french fries back. The ones with the bad fat. I don't eat them very often, but when I do, I don't want the taste of wax in my mouth! Can't we decide if we want to eat the bad fat?

Thanksgiving Reflections...

I haven't been in the mood to blog since Thanksgiving....been quietly contemplating the changes in our family since my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. At our family gatherings, he is usually the center of fun. Playing with the grandkids, teasing, joking, saying something super positive that just bugs the melancholy in me, but loving it still the same.

This year, my dad was quiet, weak and frail. He took my grandpa's spot in the corner lounge chair and dozed while we all bustled around him. He sat and watched the kids play the tv games...just to be near them.

We sat around the table like always, to say what we were thankful for. It was different this year. We all said what we were thankful for about my dad. He was visibly humbled and emotional. My 16 year old nephews had to hide their head in their arms because they were crying so hard. We did a lot of "craffing". That's where you're crying and then you start laughing. After 23 of us shared, it came down to my dad. He broke the ice, and for a moment, the twinkle was back in his eyes and he said, "I feel like I'm dead already!". More craffing.

He told us, if we only remembered two a student of the Word and prayer. The words of a dying man. Read my Bible and cry out to God. Life boiled down to the important things.

I love you, Dad.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Clean Queen...

So, my two year old, Faith, is quite the Clean Queen. She loves to use the vacuum that her auntie bought for her. She is constantly wiping her place off at the table, or claiming that her cup is "sticky sticky" (every phrase is in two's). Well, tonight, my little Clean Queen shocked the pants off me, you might say.

The girls and I were in the bathroom and Bethany was standing on a stool while I trimmed her nails over the sink. All of a sudden, I felt this little soft rubbing motion on my bum.

It so happens that the Clean Queen had grabbed a wad of toilet paper and was helping her Mama out. I think I'll live with her when I'm old.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007...

Today my sweet Bethany used the pronoun "I" in a sentence for the first time. She is delayed in language and speaking of herself is a new concept. I asked her to go potty and she said, "Maaaaaoooummmmmm......I already did that." Hands in the air for emphasis. The cool part, Caleb was there to see it. We both looked at each other in astonishment.

Second milestone of the day: She tucked Faith (our 2 year old) into her big bed and I heard these words as she closed the door, "Goodnight, Honey." Pretend's coming.

Since we heard about the big "D" in March, (diagnosis of autism), I've lamented to God about our little girl and wondered, prayed, petitioned for things like, will she ever play? Will she get go to college, will she get a job, get married, have children? I still don't know the answers to all of those questions. But for now, I am so thankful and celebrate our two milestones today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh, my goodness...

Friends....if you've ever wondered how to experience the power of God in your every day life...listen to and choose Nov. 18th sermon by Pastor Gregg Heinsch. I listened to it yesterday and it reminded me so much of what he taught me during the season in my life when I was grieving for our daughter. Hope is dripping all over the place in this sermon....deep, abounding hope and love. Listen!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


My family surprised me with a birthday present Saturday night when I got home from Rochester. My husband said after I opened it, I did the girly squeal/scream thing. I didn't even know that it came out of my mouth. Here's what I opened...a hot pink FINEPIX Z, small, pocket-sized digital camera! I've been wanting a small one that I can throw in my diaper bag and take with me everywhere! Here's the best part..when my husband looked online for reiviews, the only complaint was..."It's too simple." Perfect! I love simple.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

II Chronicles 16:9

"For the eyes of the Lord range througout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

Here is a story of God's gentle love and grace. First a little mom just started putting gas in her own car. My dad has taken such good care of her. She went through a drive through car wash a couple of weeks ago for the first time. My dad sat in the passenger seat to coach her through it. It would seem that God is gently preparing my mom in the smallest of details, to be independent.

Today, my mom and I left the hospital parking ramp to go and eat lunch. As we pulled onto the street, we heard a scraping noise. I jumped out of the van and the passenger rear tire was flatter than flat. Metal on the street. She didn't know what to do, we didn't even know where the spare tire was at! I called my AAA (Triple A) number and because I was with her, they came out to change her tire for free! They were there within 15 minutes. We then proceeded to the Honda dealer where they patched the tire (had some huge metal thing lodged into it).

While we waited for the tired to get fixed, my mom called and signed up for AAA for her and dad. It was only $74.95 for the two of them per year...and the tire fix would've cost $50. (Randy also loves it for the hotel discounts..AND...if you lock yourself out of the car, or the person that you're with does..they will come and get it open for free....shameless commercial). While my mom was on the phone the AAA lady asked if she was a widow or divorced. My sweet exhausted mom blurted out that she was probably going to be a widow soon..and then the tears and horrible reality that she is facing smacked her in the face.

Today was more than just a flat tire. My dad was back in the hospital, nauteous because he couldn't take care of my mom, and I'm sure he was thinking about her future alone. My mom was sickened and sad at the thought of being alone. They have sacrifically loved each other for over 50 years.

Here's the cool part. God allowed me to be there. I walked beside her, we took out the stupid car manual to see where the spare tire was. I was able to call Dad and assure him that all was well. We did it together. We were so thankful that it wasn't 9 o'clock at night, when she would've been alone on the highway returning to my brother's house.

Some people might think that this just happened by chance. I don't believe it for a second. I know that God, my father, knows my mom's most inmost being. He knows what she needs and He gently loved her today through a flat tire.

Friday, November 16, 2007


You won't believe has literally taken me two days to make lasagna. Well, three if you count the day that I couldn't make it past getting the cans out of the cupboard (that perimenopausal day and no I don't feel like figuring out the link button thing) I made the homemade sauce yesterday and after it was simmering, scorched the first pan, and into the second heavier one, I realized it had to simmer for 45 minutes, then assemble, then cook for two hours. I wasn't going to make it in time for dinner. Threw it in the fridge.

Day two (or three depending on how you look at it). It has taken me an hour and a half to cook the noodles, mix the cheese thing, slice the mozz., realized that I added the oregano and parsley to the red sauce instead of the white cheesy stuff...laugh..oh well...finally, get it all together. Can't think straight on what to layer where, so write it out in vertical fashion in my cookbook...Oh, and I made two pans, one to give away or throw in the freezer. Put the parchment paper on first (so the cheese doesn't stick), throw on the aluminim foil. Done!

Look in the sink and find 6 noodles in my drainer. My lasagnas are both light on the noodles..I missed the whole stinkin layer.

I think I'm going to go for easier fare from now on. Can't wait until this fuzziness goes away! Think I should be driving?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fitness advice....

Okay..this is for all of you who have an opinion...there..that should narrow it down nicely (evil laugh...)

I need to lose 20lbs. I will turn 40 next year..and no, I'm not telling you my nickname. I want to be fit by this time next year. Here's what's in my basement for equipment. I have enough hand weights (up to 50 lbs.), a workbench, a NordicTrack, a mini-trampoline, and a stationery bike. The NT hurts my knees..and I was thinking of getting rid of it. Oh..and I have a Kettle Bell, that I'd really like to use.

Trainer Pat....maybe RZ could give you a bonus if you came up with a workout plan for this middle aged, tired mama.

Then, there's the whole eating needs to be a simple plan. I'm sinking into a body that I don't like. I think they call it middle age. I think I'll just go eat the last piece of my birthday cake while you all ponder...

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12, 2007

Three posts in one day...good grief.

I am finding myself not wanting to go to bed. In an hour and a half, November 12th, 2007 will be over. It may be just a day on your calendar, but it's my dad's 69th birthday today. I don't know if he will be here with me or with Jesus on November 12, 2008.

39 years ago mom had a 30th birthday party for my dad. She went into labor the very next day and I was born. November 13, 1968. When the nurse came out into the waiting room, only two hours after my mom was admitted, my dad didn't believe that she had the right father. He told her she had the wrong man, because HIS wife is usually in labor for hours. I've never had much patience. It was me. My dad named me..and chose the spelling of my name...I never did find any stickers or mugs with my name spelled with one r and an i. I don't care. My mom wanted to name me Julie. After three boys and two miscarriages..they were pretty happy to have a healthy baby girl. I never once doubted their love for me.

My dad and I have always celebrated our birthdays together.

Dad...I'm going to need you when I turn 40 next year. This year is our "9"s...let's do the next decade together.

I love you.
(I'm not typing your nickname for me....too embarrassing....that's our secret.)


A special friend of mine taught me this trick this summer. It makes me so happy and it is so quick. Try it!

Rice Krispie the microwave.
Get a huge plastic bowl from the dollar store. (Not bigger than your microwave.)
Place 1/4 C butter in the bowl. Nuke for 30 seconds.
Swish the melted butter all around the bowl.
Dump in a whole bag of marshmellows (not the cheap Walmart brand..uck.)
Nuke for 3 minutes on power 8. They will be all fluffy.
Spray your spatula with Butter Spray (Pam) and whip the marshmellows up with the butter.
Dump in 6 C of Rice Krispies. Stir.
Pour in a pan (that was sprayed).
In four have a great snack for the kids...quick dessert for whatever. I've eaten two whole rows already...big's cereal.

Comic Relief....

My two year old dug out the safety latch that was under the kitchen sink, guessed it. Right next to all the cleaners...and latched the two cabinet doors together. I told her thank you. Now she will be safe.

(I gave up on the latches about 6 months ago, because she is a Gizmo and figures out seatbelts, buttons, latches, etc.)

Thanks for the laugh, today, Faith!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I had a gift today...time with my dad and mom alone. We didn't really talk about much today. We were all kind of tired, sad, discouraged. My dad's fevers just keep coming and they really wipe him out. His right hand is numb from the chemo.

One thing I love about my dad, is his hands. They symbolize a gentle strength from my childhood to me. Those hands held mine when I was scared, they kept me safe while walking down the street, they held the reigns on the horse that bucked me off and Dad made me get right back on, they held my bike when I was learning to ride, they were there the day he took out the secret fifty dollar bill in the back of his wallet and he paid for an extra special prom dress...they walked me down the isle, they held my hands when I was 16 and I was baptized, they held all of my babies, they dedicated my special baby Grace in the hospital, they held my hand when I was scared after I was diagnosed with crohn's, they held my hand at my daughter's funeral, they touched the casket as he prayed over our babygirl and I was scared to leave her there in the ground, they have gently led our family through many trials..they've led singing at old fashioned tent meetings, and they've pounded the pulpit more times than I could count..... I could go on and on.

Today I did something special to those hands. I trimmed my dad's fingernails and toenails. I remember my dad doing that for me.

What an honor and a privilege to do something so seemingly insignificant...but with so much love.

I love you, Dad.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I've got it.....

Brilliant idea...if I was a woman of's what I would do. I'd hire a life coach for myself. Think of it..somebody to tell me how to do it "all". I'm lacking a schedule for exercise, healthy eating, need to know how to lose 20 lbs., how to organize my digital pictures and find time to scrapbook, spend indiviual time with my four children, love my husband the way that I should, manage the household budget (I was way over this month), find a way to go Christmas shopping, bake, time to do Latte (lots of dreams, but little time), invest in friendships, be a support for my parents, get a system that I feel good about in the area of devotions/prayer. I'd love it if at the end of the day, I could crawl into bed and breathe a prayer of thanks to God because I felt like I did my best. I wasn't surviving, I had lived the day purposeful. I had a plan to accomplish what my family needed, what God needed from me and also had a little time to myself. Isn't this what we're all trying to accomplish? And how many of us end the day in guilt over what we didn't do? I'm thinking that this type of lifestyle wasn't what God had in mind for us. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly. But, in practical terms...what does that look like?

Is this what it feels like?

In my perimenopausal state..I have one day a month where some hormone is totally whacked and I am in such a funk. Today is it. I have a hard time focusing on anything, my body literally feels heavy. I start something only to stop in the middle and start something else..or go to my email account for the 500th time, looking for what? Every little task feels like climbing a mountain, so nothing gets completed and I feel like I'm failing at every role that God would have for me. All I really want to do is crawl into my bed and wait until the day is over. Then I always think this thought...if this is what depression feels like day after a terrible feeling. I guess I'm thankful that it is only one day. I try not to make any major decisions or declarations to my family on this day. I have nothing good to say. When I go to church tonight to sell Latte tickets and people are you? What do I tell them? Hmmmm..think I'll use my therapist friend's line and say, Fine! (which stands for fragile, insecure, neurotic and emotional..which wouldn't be a lie.) Looking forward to tomorrow and praying for my friends who struggle with this daily.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Here we go again...

Dad's back in the hospital with a fever of 101.6. I'm keeping the FCC blog dad's birthday is Monday. I need help with ideas for a gift. He suggested we give money towards a new pulpit at church. I can't do it. Feels too much like a memorial. He doesn't NEED anything...but I'm trying to think of something comforting, hopeful, thoughtful..and I don't have a lot of time. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Enemy....

White linoleum. Must I say more?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dad's 69th Birthday....

I am having a terrible time focusing on anything today.....went to Walmart...kept retracing my steps and it just dawned on me. I picked out a birthday card for my dad today. As I was crying in the card isle, none of them said enough...or just the right thing. I settled on one, but I think my search is not yet completed. It may be time for a homemade card. I think the thing that really sucks (there ...I said it) is that I don't know if I will find myself in the "Dad" section of Hallmark ever again.

I feel better...maybe I can figure out what to make for dinner tonight. This grief sneaks up on you, takes away your immediate attention, energy and leaves you with a heaviness that you just can't quite put your finger on. We weren't made for this thing called death. It isn't beautiful, we try to make it that..but it isn't. And, I'm not going to pretend that God needs a rose in his garden...or that he needs my dad in heaven. God doesn't need anything. That whole idea makes me sick to my stomach.

What God desires is my heart. And, I am more convinced than ever that He is good, that He loves us more than we realize...and that when I'm sad, His heart aches. I praise Him that He's helped me to turn the corner in trusting Him a little more, and believing a little more that His plans are better than my comfort. It is in facing the doubts, bringing them to the cross, that He gives living water to my soul. I am not disappointed. This, truly, is amazing grace.


I've been given (note I didn't say blessed) with an extra sensitive sense of smell. It can work to my advantage when I smelled a dead mouse and nobody else did. My nose found it, behind the fridge. My family and friends often tease me and give me a hard time..and I want to tell them that it's not an attitude (of which I know I have many), it's a nose!!! Most of the time, I find this special gift annoying. Take last night for instance.......

My boys love to fish with their dad and Uncle Dave. I'm happy for them, I really am. Up until now, they used to fry the fish over at Grandma's and I would purposefully stay home. You see, I don't eat anything that swims..I cannot stand the smell. And what's worse than fish fish frying in hot grease. Saturday this all changed. They are frying the fish, in peanut oil, in my garage. I wouldn't let them cook it in the house. Even so....last night....I seriously got nauteous at the smell that would waft in every time they would open the garage door. Now...contrary to what I normally do, I purposefully kept my mouth shut all night. I didn't complain. When it came to clean up time, I opened the dishwasher so all the stinky fish stuff could go I didn't touch it. I had candles going, windows opened (I know the heat is on....I was nauteous!)

Went to bed by 8 pm. after I sprayed sweet pea Bath and Body spray in my bedroom.....this morning I was pleasantly surprised that my house didn't smell anymore. But, when I went to get my one and only coat to run errands with my daughter this was hanging in the screams.....grease and fish. Now, I guess I've complained. Ugh.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Old Fisher Price Toys...

I started collecting these from garage sales when my 12 year old was little. I have two huge plastic bins full of them. (airport, town, people, plane, bus, I don't know...)It's the town with the smaller people that are now outdated because they are supposedly a choking hazard. I still don't know how a kids would get that thing lodged...anyway....should I get rid of them? And where...I know they are worth money..not that it really matters. I've seen them in antique stores. I'm just thinkin...could be something to create more space. Will I be sorry? Will the girls play with them? My mom has my original house and schoolhouse, so I was trying to collect a "town" and I have that. Now, do I want it? Thoughts?


I'm in the mood to get rid of stuff around my house. We are quickly outgrowing our home, four children, and lots and lots of stuff. My dream weekend would be alone in my house for three days...crank the Chiptole for at least five of the meals...and just go from room to room and sort, pitch, organize....clean. Some people dream of warm sunny vacations...and I just want to be home alone in my house organizing my life. Hello, my name is Sheri and I am an ISFJ.

I'll play my own therapist here for a minute..part of it is a desire to control some aspect of my life. When my surroundings are in order, then inside, I feel like I have order. V~ do you have a deeper analysis for me...knowing your knowledge of ISFJ's?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lesson Learned....

It's not possible to have a clean house and great meals for your family all at the same time. It really is one or the least when you have two toddlers. This week, I've opted for making great meals (don't ask David)....unfortunately we have cell group tomorrow night....gotta get cleaning. Frozen pizza anyone?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


My dad could use some few extra prayers. He hasn't been sleeping, his numbers are down and he's very weak and tired. There's that ache, a deep deep feeling inside my soul that only God knows about. I think it's one of those times where the Spirit will intercede on my behalf. I don't have any just goes beyond hurting.....for my dad, for my mom, for myself, my family....for everyone that loves my dad. He's just one of my favorite people...and I know if you knew him, he'd be one of yours, too. I love you, Dad.


This morning when our two year old Faith saw her biggest brother she happily said, "Hi Ca Ca (Kay Kay)!". About a minute later she saw her second big brother, David. Out of her mouth came, "No, Mine!". I think it was a preemptive strike on her part. A girl can never be too prepared for what's about to happen next.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Not sure if you all know that Pastor Gregg's sermons are online now.....

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Like ants to a sugar large daddy kicked a football randomly in the air outside...two boys....a twelve year old...and an eight year old inside.....drop their spoons in their hot chocolate and run outside to be with their daddy.

All I want for Christmas this year is a letter from my own daddy. Just a letter expressing his heart.

And then, my mind goes to our Abba. He's already written the letter....the letter which tells us how much He loves us. And, although I am too tired to run to Him....I can lay my head on His lap. I can rest in the shelter of the Almighty.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bathroom Story...

In honor of Erin's bathroom stories...I have one of my own. It's Friday, and it's time you heard it.

So, there is a toilet on the Lobby Level of Methodist Hospital, in Rochester MN that has an amazing quality. If I had not experienced it myself, shown it to several witnesses, I still may be questioning it to this day.

I sat down one evening after a nasty dinner in the hospital cafeteria. I was extremely exhausted from the days events. As I was sitting doing my thing, I felt a warm sensation on my ever growing first thought I having some type of allergic reaction (this is always my first thought when weird body things happen)? No, that wouldn't make sense.....why do I feel so hot and warm and steamy? It's not toilet......just to make sure, I quickly stood up, touched the pipe on the wall that leads to this steam making machine...and yes...ladies and gentleman...the toilet has hot steamy water running through it.

I was so amazed at this strange fact, I had to go and get my brother, neice and mother. We all stood outside, looking in....wondering.....why?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Blogville...I'm happy to announce that my dad has traded his hospital gown for street clothes and he is currently home. And, the W.O.E.(see previous post) is probably still coordinated perfectly at this very moment. She always looks amazing. She changes clothes to go to the grocery store. Oh, mom..and then you had ME. (the comfort queen who loves her sweats). I love you both!!! So happy for a small reprieve..praying it lasts longer this time. Aren't you impressed that I figured out how to post pictures???? So much fun.

More shopping please....

Today I took my big three and a half year old, Bethany girl shopping. Bethany also happens to have autism. This is the first time that we've ventured out on our own for clothes. You see, a few months ago, she would've freaked just walking into a new store. It could be the black mat, the tiled floors, the high ceilings, the lights...anything. She would cry, scream, want to be picked up, hide her head and throw a huge tantrum. She tried on jeans in a fitting room. That NEVER would've happened before. While walking on a sidewalk that had small squares stamped onto it, she started to tense up and I could see her fighting for control. "What's that, Mama?" "It's just a sidewalk with squares." She tightly gripped my hand, but calmly said, "Oh, okay."

When in the store, we usually get lots of attention. A white mama and a beautiful chocolate girl. Many people said today, "What's your name?" or "How old are you?". Nothing. My girl is looking around, smiling, unable to process what that means. So, I answer for her. These are the next things we're going to work on. It will come, I just know it.

When we got into the car, I asked her if she had fun. Her reply, "More shopping, please."

Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Can you wear a blue denim jean jacket with black denim pants? I did today and somehow it just didn't feel right. What do you think? I'd google it, but I trust your advice more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Woman of Excellence a.k.a. WOE

This is my mom. She received this award on Saturday night. Some young moms from her "MOPS" group, that she's led for almost 20 years, submitted an article about her to a magazine called "Womeninc." There were four different awards with a winner and another finalist. At the ceremony they shared all the stories about these amazing 8 women. Two stand out in my mind other than my mom. One woman's husband got MS 20 years ago. He is now bed ridden. She has devoted her life to taking care of him while working and being a single parent. Her daughters submitted her name. While they read her story, she had her head down and just cried. I wanted to just run up there and hug her and tell her that she is my hero. Another lady, is 80 some years old. She was widowed at age 50, yet went on to raise her family, work, volunteer, she still makes coffee every day at the senior citizens center for all the "old" people. She walked with a cane and was very shaky. She too, seemed extremely humbled and almost embarrassed to be up on the stage.

These ladies inspire me. They didn't give in to self-pity. They didn't crawl back in their beds when there were things to be taken care of (what I feel like today). Somehow, by the grace of God, they not only survived, they thrived. And they made a difference.

The magazine doesn't even know my mom's whole story. It'd be a book all on it's own. The short version...she grew up in an alcoholic home, was taken out three times and lived with her aunt and uncle several states away. She was the only one out of five kids that had the opportunity to leave. She met my dad at age 13, married him at 16. Raised three little boys in a one room apartment. She didn't have a license until many years later...walked with the three little boys to the grocery store, one on a trike, two in a wagon...all four seasons. There's so much more. I'll continue on another post.

For now..I'm going to move my lazy bum and get going in honor of all the women before me who have overcome obstacles much greater than my own.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In case you ever wondered....

Just in case you ever wondered, it is possible to listen to your ipod and file your nails while taking a bath.


Our two year old locked us out of the house today. She likes to fiddle with the button on the handle.....we were keyless, everyone loaded in the truck and I went back in to get my keys..nope..can't get in. The ever ready to help boys were getting the ladder out to try the windows on the the rain...when suddenly Mama remembered that the neighbor has a house key and she was home. Went to meet Beth, who took the girls (one screaming the whole time I'm wrestling two car seats into her van) this time, Mama needed coffee. Went to dig money out of my purse...where is my purse? Back in the home. Trailed all the way back home. Got the purse. Still need coffee. Headed to Hastings to Dunn Brothers. "Mom! I've gotta poop!" Younger son does his thing. Older business man follows younger son into the bathroom, apparently the toilet is clogged and overflowing from younger son. Great...there is only one bathroom and now Mama has to poop! Quick....get the boys in the car...try the door on the ice-cream shop next to Dunn's locked. Nice lady opens the locked door and asks if there was anything that I needed. Yep! Could use a bathroom because the other one in Dunn Brothers is running over (didn't tell her why). Kind lady lets Mama into the candy shop to do her thing. (too much information, right?). On our way to Rochester at last! Arrive at the hospital, take the elevator down to the subway level...where's my phone? Thankfully, not in Dunn Brothers. Back to the truck, get the phone. Maybe I shouldn't have left the house today.


Hope comes in many different forms:
1. A dad putting on those funny glasses with the nose and moustache attached and making a funny dance move.
2. Laughter while he watches Red Skelton with my boys.
3. The brightest rainbow that I've ever seen and my mom's voice in my head, "God always keeps his promises."
4. Belting Chris Tomlin's cd alone in the car....the song about the cross..."What can make a dying man, raise to life and whole again?"
5. Stable numbers of all blood counts for several days......
6. Color in my dad's more grayish tones.
7. A pastor telling his congregation about my dad in Haiti and all 400 of them pray for his healing.
8. Deacons willing to find an alternative clinic for my dad....
9. A church full of people, a small town, many friends checking his blog and praying...
10. Scriptures that tell of God's love and faithfulness
11. A husband who supports me running to Rochester and .....
12. Knowing that God loves my dad more than me.
13. Friends willing to help me do the practical things of life, watch my kids, make meals and even clean my house.

It all adds up to hope. It's terrible when you feel like hope is missing. When it returns, it is like a cool breeze on a humid day. Thanks, God.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Do you believe in miracles? Because that's what it's going to take for my dad to get better. I feel like I'm riding on a teeter totter...remember those? One moment I'm up and I believe, the next, I'm on the ground in unbelief(usually because the other person jumped off quick and remember when you went crashing down to the ground). Right now, I'm crashed and I'm just so sad. It's hard to know where to put your thoughts. Is this just a hard time, and he'll pull through? Or is this the beginning of the end? Is this the best that he will get? I wish I knew, because then I could just deal with it. Instead....nobody knows. God does. I'm hanging on, don't worry. I'll always ride the teeter totter of belief because the alternative isn't very good. Life without God would be hopeless. But, there are times in our walk where life is just very hard and God hangs onto us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My view...

My view from my dad's hospital bed.....he's sound asleep in his recliner...iv full of antibiotics going in.....a dark sky outside with lights everywhere.....a low hum of nurses outside in the hallway.....the tick of the clock and a slight snore here and there.

I wish I could stop the clock. But what will be will be. My dad has pnuemonia. I'll keep the FCC blog updated. I don't know what this means..I just know that we know what we're treating now. And, I'm here all night long...keeping vigil. What an honor to watch over him. So many times during my childhood, it was the other way around.

One time, I had a really high fever and I needed an antibiotic. It was expensive and there was a snowstorm outside. My dad drove the 18 miles on country roads to get the medicine that I needed and he couldn't afford. I still remember him standing by my bedside with his dorky grandpa fluffy hat on, his winter parka and his cheerful voice saying, "You need it...I'm going to get it! That's what dad's do."

My heart aches for those who haven't had the love of a daddy. I've been blessed beyond measure.

please pray bloggers

Friday, 3:15 p.m. My dad has a fever of 103.4. Please pray for him. It could be an infection that takes him...they don't know what's causing this...I'm so scared and frustrated to be so far away.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The best part...

The best part of yesterday was.....Dad was sitting in the recliner in his hospital room with his head back and his eyes closed, Mom was sitting on the other chair typing away on the laptop like a pro and I was curled up in my dad's hospital bed. No words, not even any music on in the backround. Just a quiet moment of peace...and a heart full of memories when it was just the three of us (my brothers are all alot older than me). I was loved like no other daughter. I am so thankful for my parents and the refuge that they gave me while I was growing up. The moment didn't last long as medical people kept coming in and the day spiraled a little out of control...but for the brief time....on my fridge it says...

we do not remember days...we remember moments.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Underwear Lady

I need your writing gifts out there..people. I spent the day at the Mayo with my mom and dad. I don't have the energy to write about that. It was a very difficult day today. (You can see the FCC post..I toned it down a bit for the was exhausting.) Anyway....the "other" story.

So I met my mom's new friend on the cancer floor. She also has acute leukemia and has been in the hospital for over a month. She's mid-fifties, mother of three grown children, and an administrator of a christian school for 20 years. She is currently bald as a sweet nurse helped to shave her head because she kept finding clumps of hair on her shoulder and that was devastating to her. She is awaiting a bone transfer from her brother, she just has to get strong enough to take it. It's sitting in a freezer in a zip lock bag with her name on it.

This sweet woman is called, "Underwear Lady" because all of her friends and family have been anonymously sending her new underwear as a joke. She has bikinis, thongs, striped, hand decorated, grandma bloomers..maybe 30 pair. Her sisters pinned them up on her hospital curtain and many of them have crazy sayings attached. The best part is, when she walks the halls she takes the iv cart with her that is fully decorated with sexy lacy undies, boxers...all kinds of crazy underwear. She herself is not attached to the iv pole anymore, she just pushes it to bring people joy. She said, she carries around her underwear so that everyone will be curious, come into her room, and read the daily Bible verse up on her wall and they will experience Jesus.

She told many funny stories about the doctor's reactions, etc. One nurse comes in more than necessary just to be around this amazing woman. She is full of joy, laughter, yet her pain and grief are real. She looked me in the eyes and told me that it was all going to be okay. Even if my dad died suddenly, God was still good and we were going to be okay. Coming from this woman, it meant so much. We hugged, we cried, she told me that she loved me and my mom and if we needed anything at all, to call her in the middle of the night. She would pray. This saint, who has her own burden to bear, wants to lift us up. Only God could put that kind of love into someone who doesn't even know us. She told us that we were family. And, because of Jesus, she is right.

I told her underwear lady wasn't a good enough name for I was walking out, she said, "Lingerie...and all I could think of was Lunatic". We laughed and laughed. But, she still needs a classy name. Can you guys help me think of one?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Prayer for my dad....

Somewhere along highway 90 between Fairmont and Rochester there is a godly couple driving quickly to a hospital. Please pray for their safety, that nothing happens to dad's health on the way, and that my mom would feel a peace like she's never felt before.

My dad has been having fevers again and they are increasing. The doctor wanted my dad to come by ambulance, but he didn't want to go without my mom. Mom told me this morning that he didn't look good.'s where the rubber meets the road. Praying and believing, not giving into fear and panic. I'm headed to the green ottoman and getting down on my can check fcc's website if you want updates on my dad. Thanks. ( click on community, then forum).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Money for grades....

Caleb, our 7th grader tonight at the dinner table.

"At my school, kids get money for A's and B's. I get a "good job!".

Dear Caleb,
That's right buddy! My dad didn't pay me! What's up with paying for school work? I seriously don't get it. Your reward is that you learned your stuff, and you have the grade to prove it. Keep those grades up and they'll save you money by giving you scholarships for college. Cuz, guess what, sweet daddy didn't pay for college either.

Love you....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Defining moments...

I had an opportunity this weekend to do some reflection on defining moments in my life. One such moment sticks out and I thought I'd blog about it because that's what I do now. When I was a little girl, around 7, my dad was at the Mayo with a blood count down to 4. We didn't know if he was going to live or die. My mom said we were kneeling at her bedside praying and I told God that if my daddy died, that Jesus would be my daddy. I don't remember praying this prayer, my mom often reminds me of it. I'm struck by a faith that I don't remember, but just had. Fast forward to when I was 17. My dad was again faced with a terrible circumstance (all because of his crohn's disease) and he was heading into emergency surgery once again. I'll never forget his last words to me, he said, "Always remember that no matter what happens, God is sovereign." This was a defining moment. It helped to lay a foundation of faith. As I've been thinking about that, I am overwhelmed that God in his sovereignty, was preparing me for my future faith tests.

The big ones were when I lost two babies to miscarriage, a couple months after that, I had emergency surgery and they diagnosed me with crohn's. Four years later I was told that my baby girl had anencephaly and she would not live beyond my womb. Three years later, I was told that my little 3 year old had autism. And now, my sweet dad has cancer. I know other people suffer much greater than this. I had a wonderful childhood with all the love that I needed. I am not trying to make it sound like "poor me". I am truly in awe of a God who goes before the suffering, prepares us for it when we don't even know it.

I still don't get the why...and I don't need to know. I'm fighting to look past my pain and look at the God who is faithful. To have a deeper trust. A deep knowing that no matter what happens, He will never leave me. I am not alone. And it is all part of his plan. And that Jesus can fill the void when my dad is no longer here. This somehow feels like one of the greatest tests yet. I just love him so much. I feel like I'm losing my safety net.

Jesus, grant me the faith that I had when I was 7.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How do you know if you have PMS?

If the friendly drive-thru lady at Wendy's ticks you off when she asks..."Hi, Welcome to Wendy's. Would you like to try our (*(*(^(&^&^% combo today?" First of all, I can never understand what in the world she just said. And second of all, if I'm in the drive-thru, I already have my order ready! Do people actually say yes to this question? Would it not save about 10 seconds of my time to just say..."Welcome to Wendy's...I'm ready for your order." Then, after I ordered this same friendly drive-thru person asked if I'd like to donate one dollar to their adoption fund. In my head I said, "No thank you, I am already donating my whole life to that right now. Thank you very much." Yep...I've got PMS.

And God...thanks for David.

Comic relief this morning in the kitchen. We're doing the whole routine to get the boys on the bus. I'm trying to get David's attention, but that boy gets so distracted (just like his Daddy). Finally, I raise my voice ever so slightly and say, "David! Focus!" He looks up, undaunted, and in his best Tigger voice says, "I am! I am! I'm focused on multiple things!" Then breaks out into song, "It's hard, it's hard, it's hard to focus on multiple things." Over and over again. It was so good, I asked him if that was really a Tigger song...of course not. It was a David original. That's my boy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Day 2 - Rom. 8:28

I'm working through this short series that Piper is speaking on....Rom. 8:28. Today's thoughts are about God knowing, planning, allowing all things to happen to us, good and bad. Piper gave the example of Joseph. Do you know it was 17 years from the time he was sold until he was put in charge of the lives of a whole nation. In those 17 years, his father was grieving for a son whom he thought was dead. Joseph was given small windows of relief, but kept being put back in prison and forgotten. Piper was saying that God worked all of this out for Joseph's good and to bring glory to himself and to save a whole nation from starvation.

The next example was Job. And as he was describing all of this, he read a reference of scripture from James 5 that the reason God did this was to show his mercy and compassion. Now, I have be honest. I was challenged in my thinking for a second about God's nature. From the outside, it would seem that God hurt his own "son" Job in order to show him his mercy. Would we do that to our children? Hurt them only to show them comfort? Immediately I knew this was stinkin thinking because we're talking about God here. Then, he made the statement, that God also did this with Jesus. And I was humbled to the depths of my soul.

God allowed his son to die on the cross.....Jesus took on my sin...and everyone elses so God could show his mercy and his compassion on me....the undeserving sinner. The daughter who deserves hell.

Then he said this.....if God was a God who came in and cleaned up only after something terrible has happened...what does that say about him being God? Is it not comforting to know that God has control before the horrific event, during and after? God always shows up in our pain. He always does something good out of it for those who love Him. He has to, because he said it. And he's faithful.

I know these are heavy posts. But it is so helpful to write them out. I want to be faithful, yet I can't deny the struggle. And my prayer is, in the struggle, that I will believe and trust Him deeper and the dark corners of my soul would be lightened by Him. I want to be faithful. I want God to be my rock.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

God is the Gospel

This is the title of John Piper's new book. He has written all about the following in it. Haven't read it yet, but I listened to an online sermon that expounded on Romans of the most quoted Bible verses of all time.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

The past few days I've been cringing when I hear, "God is good.". I know it in my head, I believe it with my heart, but I don't feel like it right now. I have these pangs in my gut when I think about my dad. Maybe it's another step in digesting the reality that he has cancer and he doesn't have much longer on this earth. Here's a man who is sold out for the kindgom, in the last chapter of his ministry, and it's being cut short.

Yep, I know all the right responses to the above statements...God's plans are better than ours...He is going to do a great work through this suffering...I'm not making light of this, I believe it. But, I'm not there emotionally. In my heart, I don't want this to be my dad's last Christmas. I want my girls to know their Bapa. He's a fun grandpa. I want to be able to call him and hear his voice. When he's at the office, my mom and can I call in and reach him at any time. He told his secretaries to always put us through, even if he's in a meeting. I can always call and hear his voice. I want my mom to have him to grow old with. I don't want her to be all alone. Lots of "I" statments, I know.

So what does one do with all of the thoughts, the pain, the heart that desires something different...something that doesn't seem to be God's plan? I've been listening to sermons every night when I go to sleep. I'm working on filling my mind with the truth, and praying and giving God all of my laments. Here's what I was reminded of this morning, as I relistened to this sermon again....(this is Piper's words..not mine)

Loving God is not a response for God being good to me. Loving God is not something that we do. It is not a response to being saved. (He said he's been working 30 years to put this in writing and to understand it)...

Loving God is in its essence:
desiring God in and beyond His gifts
treasuring God in and beyond His gifts
delighting in God in and beyond His gifts
being satisfied with God in and beyond His gifts
cherishing God in and beyond His gifts
Savoring God himself in and beyond His gifts
Valuing God in and beyond His gifts
prizing God in and beyond His gifts
revering God in and beyond His gifts
admiring God in and beyond His gifts

We can be trapped with wanting God to give us his gifts, but according to Rom. 8:28, we have to love him first. So, do we love him first, so we can get his gifts? And round and round we go. He offered a way out of this. He said the escape path for my heart is to look at the promise of God (Rom. 8:28), look through it, before it applies to me, and look straight at God. See Him, taste Him, feel Him, linger with God, look at Jesus, think about his life, what He did for us, watch God's actions in History...and then pray Deut. 30:6.

"The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your decendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."
So, my prayer is just that. God, change my heart, help me to have the faith to believe, because even that comes from you. Help me to love you and savor you for who you are, not what I think you should do for me to live a comfortable life.

My dad said it in the hospital, "Either I believe what I preach or I don't. I choose to believe."

(The sermon is on the radio broadcast archives..."All Things for Good..3/22/07 - 3/29. There are six 24 minute segments..I'd give you the link, but I don't know how to find it.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Clean Kitchen Floors

Today I cleaned my kitchen floor. I love a clean kitchen floor. It makes me want to bake. So, I made banana bread, carrot cake cookies, and a warm yummy dinner for my family. I always try and maintain my clean kitchen floor for at least the day that I washed it. This, is probably not a good idea. So, my question long does a kitchen floor stay clean in this household? Today, it was about 1 hour and 45 minutes. (Keep in mind, this was nap time and there is no activity what-so-ever during this time.) Here's what happened:

warm banana bread crumbs (from 3 out of 4 kiddos)
crumbs from the carrot cake cookies
wet banana bread crumbs spewed from a child trying to talk while eating
bread crumbs from dinner
fluffy ball strings (from the yarn ball that is slowly falling apart)
au jus spilled in a sprawling manner (from the 8 year old trying to walk it to the counter)
the muddy ladder from under the deck
the old ceiling fan coming down...dust..screws...
the outside shoes that are now being worn on the muddy ladder
crumbs from the bedtime snack...did I mention it was a blueberry cereal bar?

It makes my frustrated explanations seem ridiculous...."I just washed my floor!" I think the lesson learned is, I am going to be thankful that underneath all the crumbs and dirt, I still have a clean floor. For at least another day. Don't you think?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rainy Days and Sundays.....

The girls are alseep, the boys are at a "the" football game...the house is quiet. I'm in my favorite t-shirt that says, "It's all about me." Now, if you are a mother, you know that THAT statement is a very funny joke. I'm home sick with two toddlers. Need I say more? Yep..this cold turned a nasty corner yesterday morning..sorry to my cell group that was here on Friday night...hope I didn't spread the love too much.

My mom went to church this morning for the first time alone without my dad. Her church family is surrounding her with so much love. One woman has adopted my dad, she calls him "Pops" in private...we'll name her Sue. Sue and her sweet husband picked my mom up, even though she lives across the street, and walked in with her and watched over my sweet mom while she faced into a little more reality of my dad's cancer. I cannot imagine what it was like for her. Sitting in a pew, looking up at the front and not seeing her pastor/husband and knowing that this is going to be the norm. My mom is a very brave woman. She will face into this like she has everything else in her life and she will come out on the other side praising Jesus. But, as she's facing into this, if God ever brings her to mind, would you pray this prayer with me? I know it's a little long, so you could just tell God, "ditto" or something. He knows.

Dear Jesus,
I am asking you to watch over my mom. I know that You do, but please pay special attention to her in the next days, weeks, and months to come. Surprise her with Your grace and mercy. Show her Your love in ways that she could never have imagined possible.

Give her the physical strenth that she needs I ask a special healing on her knees. It doesn't seem fair that she has to struggle physically now as well as emotionally.

Keep her faith strong as she faces the strongest test yet. May you give her the hope and peace that only You can give her. Shower her with it, Jesus. May she identify with You in more intimate ways and may You become sweeter as You turn her ashes into something beautiful.

Make this last chapter of her marriage the most precious yet. Give them laughter through the tears, thankfulness and contentment as they face into this time. Only You can do that, Jesus. Put a hedge of protection around them against the enemy. Make this their shining moment. Your best display yet. As people watch how they suffer, may You be glorified. Help them to desire that even on bad days when their hearts are breaking.

And Jesus, when she is laying her head down at night to sleep, whisper in her ear how much you love her. That above all, she is Your daughter and You love her and will never ever leave her. Let her mind be at peace. Help her to know that all the love that she's shown to her children and to her husband matters. That her children rise and call her blessed. Let her know that she also has run the race in a manner that is pleasing to You and has made a mark on us all for eternity.

Keep Your eye on Your daugher, Jesus. And, tell her that we all love her so very much and we're proud of her.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why do we blog.....

Okay, I need to hear from you guys. I have been challenged on why do we blog? Is it a waste of time? Is it an online diary that shows the world stuff that they just shouldn't be privy to? Is it some type of cyberspace soap opera? I have some of my own ideas..but I'd love to hear yours first. What value does blogging bring to your daily lives? If any? I'm seriously asking...really. For real.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ticked Off...ranting of a new blogger

Okay...I don't appreciate the crude anonymous comment left on my Dear Husband post. I'm not sure if it was a joke or if someone meant it for real. I suppose that's what I get for putting myself out there on the web. I could use some advice from fellow bloggers. I don't seem to have the little trash can icon to help me delete unwanted posts. So, I have selected to have all of my posts first go to my email then I can choose what should be posted or not. Is there an easier route? I was unable to just delete the anonymous post, so I deleted the whole stinking thing. Not sure if I really want to do this blog thing. Maybe I'll just write the stupid book and be done. I could use a different name. How about "anonymous"...wait....that's not a name!!!! Chicken. If you're going to write something stupid, at least attach a name to it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back to reality......

My dad has cancer. I've had a little reprieve from the reality of it. But now, it's late, I can't sleep from this dumb cold, and I'm feeling a little bit guilty for being silly with my blog. In my family, we often use humor to deal with our life circumstances. It is a short, brief vacation from the strong emotions whirling within. I just took the last half hour and reread all the posts that I wrote on the FCC's forum, updating everyone of my dad's 3.5 week journey of finding out about his leukemia. I'm having one of those moments of...I cannot believe that this is happening.

You hear this all the time..."I never thought this would happen to us." I really didn't. I thought for sure his crohn's would finally kick in high gear somewhere in his 80's. When I tell people (who don't know my dad)that he has leukemia, they ask how old he is. When I say 68, they almost react with a sigh and a resigned, "That's too bad" attitude and it follows with, "He's lived a long life". Nobody says the second part, but I am hearing it in their attitude. And I want to scream..."He's not an old man! He's my dad!" It is way too soon.

When Grace (our daughter) died, afterwards, I kept thinking and crying out to God, "I don't know how to do this." I didn't know how to grieve. I am such a list person..and grief doesn't follow any kind of pattern. You cannot predict when it will peak or what will set it off. I don't feel that way right now. It's more like..."I don't want to do this." I know, I know. My dad is still alive and I will enjoy him as much as God allows me to be with him. But...the thought keeps running in my head...I will never again say the word "Dad" to any man. He is the only one that I will ever call Dad. And, I don't want to do this.

I may read this blog in the morning and have bloggers regret. But for's what I know. I know God is good all the time. I know that His love is bigger than my pain. I know that He will carry us through every peak and valley. Right now, at this very just stinks. (I changed that last word for you, mom....toned it down a little.) Rhymes with trucks...starts with an S people....

There I go again....

I love you, Dad.

Bloggers...fess up for me, please.

I am psychotic. I was so excited last night about actually having started a blog...all by myself....might I add...that I could hardly sleep. I woke up with the same excitement and ran to my computer. Sure enough, I had one post already at 7 a.m.! Carla..what's up with the 4 a.m. thing, girl? Get some sleep! Anyway...all day long I was looking forward to when my chillins would be in bed and I could blog some more. What would I write about? I wrote so many blogs in my head...good ones, I might add....and now, they have all escaped me. One thought that I am pondering is, how much time does a blogger spend a day writing, reading and responding to blogs? I am thinking that this could be quite addicting for my introverted self who is a stay at home mom. It is a like a window out of my small little world. Dangerous stuff, this bloggging. Okay, if anyone dares...what's an average amount of time. Do you limit yourself? Do you have certain times of the day that are devoted to bloggville? Do you spend time all day long writing, editing, and thinking of different blogs? Is all of this just part of the honeymoon phase of blogging? I know, I need a life. But for now, I'm happy to have joined the bloggers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm a blogger!!!

I am up late and the munchkins are all asleep. I have been dreaming about this day. The day that I have created my own blog. I am going to have to ask for help from some of my blogger friends on how to make my blog look pretty. I have no idea what I am doing! But, here I am. Won't my husband be so proud of me? He just declared that he wasn't the type of person to blog because he just says what he's thinking. He thinks it's only the introverts of the world who need to blog in order to get their thoughts out there. Hmmm....maybe true for me. I do think better alone. This would be my ideal way of communciating....most of the time. But, husband, if you're reading this, I think you should blog because I love the thoughts that you speak so clearly to me, and others would benefit from them also. (Most of the time.) Stay tuned for thoughts on life, kids, coffee, or whatever comes to mind.