Thursday, August 30, 2007

First Accident

Today Stephen had his first major bike accident. I don't know who was more traumatized by it: Stephen, Timothy or me! We were heading down the street that has a slight hill and Stephen whizzed past Timothy on his tricycle and Christopher in his stroller. I warned him to slow down because I knew it could get fast for him, plus there was a curve coming up. Well, sure enough! He rounded the curve and wiped out big time! He jumped up and all we saw was blood pouring down his face. He was screaming like crazy and Timothy started shouting, too. "Mommy! He has blood! Mommy, his face hurts!" I had a difficult time getting down to him because Timothy panicked then and didn't want to ride his bike down the hill so I had to drag him and push the stroller at the same time, all the while hollering to Stephen (who couldn't hear me over his screaming anyway!) to hang on because I was coming!

By the time I got to him, there was blood up and down his arms and legs. His face was a total mess. His shirt and shorts were drenched in blood and I was starting to panic. I only had two skimpy baby wipes with me and I tried to sop up what I could see coming from his nose, but it was still pouring from somewhere else ... in his mouth. My fear was his teeth. After getting him calmed down enough to listen to me, I had him open his mouth so I could take a look. Thank God all his teeth were still there! I could see a HUGE gash on his upper lip where all the blood was coming from. We got things stablized and I tried to head back home ... half way around the block yet! He refused to ride his bike. Timothy refused to get on his. Christopher is wailing because everyone else is crying. I felt like just plopping down on the grass in front of me and screaming, too, until some neighbor would come out and deal with this all for me. Instead, I hooked Stephen's front wheel into the basket of the stroller and plunked him on the seat so that he could ride back as I dragged him along...back uphill! I forced Timothy to ride his bike anyway even though he was screaming that he didn't want to. I also handed Christopher some junk mail that we had just gotten from the mailbox and he was happy looking at the ads for ReMax.

When we got home, I tried as calmly as I could to get Stephen settled down and cleaned up. During this whole ordeal, he had also managed to drench me in blood so I had to clean myself up as well. What a mess! How disgusting! I was trying so hard not to be grossed out. I kept telling Stephen that Uncle Joe has a job where he does stuff like this all the time and he stopped screaming briefly to ask the simple, but familiar question, "Why?!" I couldn't answer that one because I'm not really sure why Uncle Joe wanted to have this job, but we sure are thankful that he does!!

Tonight before bed when we were recapping our day, we were talking about the accident because I prayed, "Thank you for using Stephen's helmet to protect his head." He said to me, " Mommy, today after my accident, my top lip was a mountain because it had a huge, huge bump on it. But then it sank down and became a hill. Now it's just a flat road again." What imagination and description he has!

So despite the major nosebleed, the "mountain" lip, the "pink marker" colored scrape on the knee, the ripped up elbow and the emotional trauma of the experience, we are all doing well tonight and Stephen is back to his old tricks of getting out of bed to complain that he's too hot or too cold or that his stomach is a desert ... it needs water!

I'm glad today is over. I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Maps, and Such As

Well, if you haven't already seen this clip, you have to check it out. I was laughing so hard that the boys had to come over to see what was so funny. They didn't understand what I was laughing about, but seeing my enjoyment, they also burst into laughter ... Christopher, too! Then I called Fred over to watch with me. He was laughing so hard that he couldn't even watch the whole thing at one time - said something about his stomach not being able to handle it all at once.

If you need a good laugh today, just click on the link and be sure to show your kids a map, especially if you are a U.S. American!!
Now check out this one:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Peach Ball

Liz, this one is for you!

Today Stephen and Timothy had out some balls and they were playing basketball. They would stand in the kitchen and throw the balls into my laundry basket and then Timothy would yell, "Cannonball!" because he knew that he should yell something and he figured that would work just fine.

Well, I was doing my usual thing of listening with half an ear to their play and I kept hearing Stephen talk about his "peach ball." I corrected him several times and said, "No, Honey. It's a beach ball." But he would always go back to saying PEACH ball so I gave up on the corrections. This went on for quite some time until the laughing got louder and more mischievious. That's when I decided that I'd better check into what was going on.

Liz, remember working at Rittman Orchard when we would be in the back room packing baskets of peaches and there would be some that just screamed out for us to become peaches with water on the brain?! Well, Stephen really, truly was playing with a PEACH ball because he had taken a peach from the refrigerator, dropped it, rolled it, and squished it until it became a water-on-the-brain peach! When I turned around to see what the laughter was all about, he said, "Look Mommy! It's my peach ball! Watch this!" And he stood up and armed himself to just smash it to the floor! Thankfully I was there and grabbed it before it slammed into the floor because that thing no longer had any flesh inside. No sir! It was pure peach juice and one last slam to the floor was bound to cause the poor thing to explode!

I wanted to be upset with him, but I was so fascinated with the memories that hit me of us standing back there at those machines with Judy and Becky making our own water-on-the-brain peaches. So instead of getting all upset with him, we examined it, commented about how it was amazing that the thing didn't split open all over the kitchen, and then gave promises not to do that again with a peach.

I stood there for awhile holding it and squishing it in my hands, feeling for the seed inside, before I pitched it out. It was unbelievable how many memories came flooding back just by holding a warm, super-squishy, water-on-the-brain peach! Happy memories, Liz! (Because there were a few, weren't there?)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Splinter and The Beam

Lest I come across as seeming holier-than-thou in yesterday's post about the conversations in the kitchen at VBS, let me continue on this subject today. I need to amend yesterday's post by saying that not all the conversations in that kitchen this week have been full of boastings and gossip. Not at all! We've discussed child-rearing issues, improvements for next year's VBS (although that could all change considering we'll be in the new church by then), funny stories about everything in the world, exchanged recipes, etc. I enjoy the fellowship around a cup of coffee and a treat, no question about it! I guess it all hit me yesterday because I took a step back and really started listening to the conversations instead of participating for a change. :)

Stephen lately has been pointing out all of Timothy's flaws to the rest of us. Timothy doesn't put his coloring paper straight on the table. Timothy decided to pick up his chicken nugget with his fingers instead of his fork. Etc. Etc. So I decided the other day that there was a teachable moment to be had. I told Stephen about the splinter and beam principle from the scriptures. It wasn't the easiest concept to explain to a four-year-old, but I tried. I want him to learn a lesson earlier in life than I did. As I was telling him how important it is for us to get out the beams in our own eyes before we pick out the splinter in our brother's, I found myself using examples from my own life to help him understand. THAT was convicting! Especially now that I've shared with you my feelings on yesterday's kitchen conversations. Who am I to scratch at and irritate someone else's splinters of boasting and bragging and gossipping when I get so caught up in that myself?! This is why I'm glad that I confessed it on here and am asking for your accountability. I have so many beams in this heart's "eye" that I'm surprised I can even spot the splinters in someone else's!

I have a long, long way to go, but I sincerely want to learn to deal with my own beams before I start to dig at my brother's splinters.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swimming Lessons, VBS and Milestones = Maturity

Well, I wanted to post this last week already, but I didn't have pictures of Stephen's swimming lessons downloaded yet, so I thought I'd wait. I still don't have them downloaded yet, but I'm going to post anyway.

We finished two weeks of Stephen's swimming lessons last Friday. He did great! His greatest accomplishment this year was his bravery in going down the slide into the pool! Last year when the teachers would ask him to go, he flatly refused! This year, he told me that it was his favorite part and he wanted to do it over and over again! Yeah!!! Maturity on his part!

This week is our VBS. In our church, you officially start VBS at age 3. Timothy won't be three until September 15, so we were planning on just having him in the babyroom w/the babysitters while I took care of my teaching assignments. I knew he'd be bored in there with all the REAL babies, but rules are rules, right? Still, on Monday morning, I swallowed my pride and asked the three year old teacher if there might be a chance that Timothy could join her class since there were only four other kids in there this year. She was thrilled and said that just that morning she had woken up with Timothy on her mind and wanted to ask if he wanted to join them! She took this as the Lord speaking to her, and was excited that I asked! So, Timothy went to VBS for the first time this year. Signs of maturity for Timothy!!

Christopher surprised us last week by FINALLY learning to crawl! He had been dragging himself around and scooting to where he wanted to go. He has blisters and callouses on his hands, right leg and both feet to prove it, but this week, he finally realized that crawling on his hands and knees got him there faster and with less rug burn. He's also finally learned to pull himself up and loves to stand ... especially in bed! To top it all off, he also popped his first tooth on Monday! He's the lastest one for that accomplishment. Our baby Christopher is maturing, too.

So, everyone seems to be maturing in our family ... what about me? Yes, even I am maturing. I'm realizing more and more that there is truth in the Proverbs when it says over and over in so many ways that a wise man will keep his thoughts to himself and fools open their mouths. It's better to be silent than to spout all you know... or think you know. It's been very interesting this week to be at VBS in the kitchen during my breaks. There are so many conversations going on and when you step back and just listen, you can hear such boasting and pride and bragging and gossip. It's unbelievable! It's so cleverly disguised in everyone's speech and choice of words, but it's there! Today's conversation got so touchy (at least to me anyway) that I had to leave right in the middle of it. So many opinions were being shared with such conviction and I just felt awkward listening to everyone trying to prove their point. Should I have said something? I don't know. I think not. I honestly believe that the Lord is asking me to mature in this area of idle chit chat and to be the one to remain silent. It's not easy for me. I love to give my opinion, too, but I want to be more of a wise man who keeps my thoughts to myself than to be a fool and tell all I know.

Oh boy. I just confessed this on a BLOG!!!! Isn't that what this is all about?! Sharing my words and thoughts and opinions?! Well, I just hope that I am simply sharing my life with all you readers and that no gossip would be repeated and that you would be encouraged by the things I write. I DO want to be a wise (wo)man!! Keep me accountable to this, would you?! :) Thanks!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hot Dogs and Ketchup

So my dear friend Karla shared something that her sister Melinda and her sister-in-law Irene shared with her.

Hot dogs with ketchup should never be served to children.

Hot dogs without ketchup are ok. Ketchup with any other food is ok. The combination of hot dogs and ketchup should be avoided at all costs ... especially for children four and under. I might even add "especially if those children are boys."

According to Melinda, Irene and Karla, if you give this combination of foods to children, they will become hyper strangers before your eyes. They will do things that you didn't think they were capable of doing. Their actions will go beyond anything that you, as a parent, have so diligently taught them.

I doubted.

Now I believe.

Tonight was Men's Bible Study at our house. The adults had grilled sausages on a bun. The boys had hot dogs ... with ketchup! * Oh * My * Goodness * !!!!! After tonight, I don't know that I will ever serve that combination to them again on a night that I want them to be cooperative an hour later! What a circus we had going on here! Timothy would NOT stop laughing! His laughing is usually so incredibly cute, but tonight it was awfully annoying! Stephen acted as if he didn't have a clue what things meant in the English language. They were both so high strung and out of control that Timothy was forced to get out of his bath prematurely, they only got to hear half a story, only I got to pray our thank you prayers before bed, and they got a severe warning after bouncing out of bed umpteen times while I was trying to lay down the law for the night.


All is quiet now, but I'm going to believe Karla's words from now on and I will NOT be serving my boys hot dogs with ketchup any time soon!

Even if that's not why they were going bezerk tonight, that's ok. We can skip hot dogs and ketchup for a long, long time.

Friday, August 3, 2007

We are not alone

Tonight Fred and I experienced something new as parents. I don't even know how to really put it into words, so bear with me.

We went to Claudia and Matthias' house for supper tonight. The cousins loved playing together and we enjoyed visiting with each other. The weather cooled down so much and we decided to go outside and let the kids play while the evening was still pleasant and young. We were all down by the playset/sandbox area for quite some time when I realized that Timothy was not around. We looked all around the area, but didn't see him. Fred commented that he would go inside to see if he was still in there because we thought he had just been right there with us and maybe he went back in for something.

It took Fred awhile to come back out and Claudia mentioned that all must be well or Fred would have come back in a hurry. Unfortunately, it was quite the contrary. When he came back out, he had Timothy with him and he told us what he had found when he went inside. Fred had entered the house and started calling Timothy's name, but there was no answer, so he continued through their long house calling for Timothy. (Here's where my heart is squeezed and I am finding it difficult to write.) He said that Timothy came out of the living room in an obvious panic attack. He was gasping for air and he couldn't even get out the name, "Daddy" because he couldn't breathe, he was so obviously shaken. He just ran to Fred and sobbed and sobbed, gasping for air and clinging so tightly to him.

Timothy had been playing by himself in the playroom when the rest of us went outside some twenty minutes earlier. He didn't realize that everyone had left, and at some point, must have noticed that it was quiet and everyone was gone. He must have gone from room to room on the main level of the house looking for anyone, but there was no one there! By the time Fred came in, he had been crying and panicking much longer than any little two-and-a-half year old boy should ever cry or panic! When Fred brought him out to me, I scooped him up and held him tight and he sobbed and gasped for air all over again! Oh, that just pained and still pains me! I could hardly put him down because I wanted to erase all those memories that he had just made! It brought a flashback of one Sunday morning when I was somewhere between 6 and 8 and I was upstairs getting some new things to put in my purse for church and the whole family left without me. I ran downstairs to see the van pull out of the driveway and I didn't know how to unlock the door and run after it. I stood next to the door in the front room crying and crying until finally someone must have noticed and they came back for me. I thought those memories were gone, but seeing Timothy in this state brought them all back.

My prayer for my baby tonight is that God would be gracious enough to erase all those memories that might be in his mind of being left alone in a big house all by himself, not knowing where anyone was. I don't want him to be haunted by those flashbacks when he would go to visit his cousins again. I don't want him to remember those awful feelings of abandonment.

God, please, somehow in his little heart and mind, remind him that even when he is alone, YOU will never leave him nor forsake him!! Thank you for not abandoning him ... or any of us!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Heat

Wow. It's hot! Today when I saw 91F outside (Sorry. I still don't really know Celcius or want to know it either!) I got a little homesick for Phoenix. I was in the garage today trying to get the boys buckled into their carseats and it was HOT! There was no air moving. There was no hint of a cool breeze. Nothing! I know that to others it would seem to be unbearable, but to me ... I just had flashbacks of standing outside my apartment in Phoenix trying to get the key in the lock after work. Not that I would go in to get cool. I was trying to be very conscientious about my money and I would usually leave the air conditioning off until I couldn't stand it anymore and then I'd buckle and turn it on. So this week's weather has just taken me back "home" to the unmoving heat of Phoenix.

Thinking of Phoenix got me thinking about my life there and my life here and I remembered that this coming week is the 9th anniversary of Fred's proposal to me! Nine years. Wow. It seems like it's been so much longer than that, but at the same time, I can't believe how fast time has gone. My life is definitely different now in Kitchener than it was in Phoenix, but both have been times of blessing and growth in my life. I'm thankful that God has allowed me to experience life in both places so that He could continue to form me into the person that I am now. There's still a lot of room for growth, for sure, but He's so faithful in using all my experiences to make me who I am today.

The heat this week has been a wonderful reminder to me of my years in Phoenix and I'm enjoying it!