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.