Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nativity Set

Before I was married, I had a nice collection of Nativity Sets that I would pull out every year at Christmas and put all over my apartment. I loved looking at them and I especially loved the ones that I picked up on my travels as they all portrayed the birth of Christ as they saw it in their own individual cultures. The one from Chile in a hollowed out gourd with cactus decorating the manger scene, the one from my sister in Paraguay that is made out of beautiful orange clay, the one from Mexico in a little white painted box with doors that open and close. Another sister gave me a beautiful stained glass scene that is very eye catching. I have many, but as I said in a previous post, most of my nice decorations are now put away for the future (if they have survived the curious hands that have found them!).

This morning when Stephen was getting dressed, he mentioned that as soon as he was done, he wanted to go back down and play with the, the, the, "Mommy, what's it called again?" I told him that some people call it a Manger Scene, some call it a creche, most people call it a Nativity Set. Stephen got all excited and said, "Oh! I like that one the best because I LOVE doing crafts!" I didn't quite get it at first, but then he repeated himself and I realized that he heard me say, "An activity Set." He loves crafts, so therefore, his favorite word for this group of people, animals, barn and Jesus is An Activity Set! Not wanting to laugh at him, I buried my face in the towel and had a good chuckle to myself.

I just love watching the boys play with these wooden toy sets that we have. Hearing them tell the story of the birth of Jesus from their perspectives is so precious. If you have little children, I hope you are taking the time to really listen to them tell their stories. I also wish that my kids would allow me to videotape them telling these stories so we can watch them when they're older. Unfortunately, they can hear the little beep of the camera from miles away and come running over to see what's on the video... which is NOTHING because the subject matter has just disappeared to stand beside me! Maybe these little scenes will be burned into my memory so that I can recall them without gadget-related aid in the future.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quiet Around Here?

Yes, things have been quiet on the Blogger front, but only because they've been anything but that on the Weinhardt front! Last week was a challenge with Christopher's burned hand, Mom and Dad's wonderful, but short, visit, my Watkins Open House and a million other things that all happen in a "normal" day. Let me catch you up with our lives.

First of all, thank the Lord, Christopher's hand is pretty much healed!! I wish you could have seen it. It was a nasty, nasty burn! We tried to put Petro Carbo on it and keep it wrapped up the first day and a half, but he sure didn't like that. He eventually ripped my hard gauze-wrapping work off of his hand and that was that! Today you can see only two little spots, but you wouldn't even know that they were burns. Thank you, Lord!!

Mom and Dad blessed us with a wonderful visit last week when they were here for their Thanksgiving vacation. We had a great time! The boys loved listening to stories, playing with them, showing off for them, etc. Mom and I spent just about all day on Saturday baking cookies for the Cookie Kitchen. It was a lot of work, but when was the last time I baked Christmas cookies with my mom?! It's been TOO long! We got all our cookies baked and even had time to visit while we were doing it. What a great day!

Last Friday I held a Watkins Open House. We had a nice turn out, although I had hoped for a few more people to come. I met my goals for this month which makes me happy. It was so nice to have Mom here helping me get things prepared. Prior to their arrival, I was fighting with Christopher. Every time I'd set something up, he'd come by and tear it down. It was a losing battle until Grandma and Grandpa showed up! It was a long and tiring night, but I'm thankful for the nice time that we had.

The Cookie Kitchen is taking off! We have had so many orders come in this week that it's caused us to scramble and whip up a few more batches of cookies! We're trying to stay ahead because we've been getting calls from people who are wanting platters the next day and we want to accommodate them as well. Surprisingly, the boys are not sick of these cookies yet! They still hover around to see if there are any broken ones that they can sample. Somehow Timothy can always find at least one that isn't up to par and needs to be removed "so we don't sell it by accident."

So, as you can see, only the blog entries have been quiet. Our house and our lives have not! We are enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season by listening to our Christmas music and putting up some decorations. My decorations have changed over the years. Now I only put out things that are out of the reach of children. I've had to say goodby to some of my favorite decorations the past few years and already this year because of curious little hands. Last night when we were going through my boxes of things, Stephen was just a real Mexican jumping bean watching as I pulled out different items. He even said at one point, "This is the best Christmas Eve ever!" We've been talking about how exciting it is for us to celebrate Jesus' birthday for so long before Christmas Day. Stephen said, too, that we're going to have to explain Christmas to Christopher because he was too little to learn about it last year. I'm going to make sure the boys have lots of opportunities to explain Christmas to their little brother! It's so cute to watch them at this age. I love it.

Ok. That paragraph was a real diversion. I got caught up in the Christmas spirit myself there. We want to do our best to keep Christmas simple enough that the real purpose and meaning behind this holiday is emphasized. The boys have been playing with the little wooden nativity sets and are such a joy to listen to while they tell their stories to each other. "Mary is looking out the window to make sure that there is nothing out there to scare the baby Jesus." "I want to put the kings close to the staple (not a misspelling) so that they can see over the shepherds." "If I put Jesus on top of the roof, then everyone will be able to find Him!"

This house is definitely not quiet. I love it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Analogy

This afternoon we experienced another analogy between God and His children and us as parents with ours.
Christopher is certainly giving us a run for our money, let me tell you! Life was calm this afternoon, until he slipped while playing with his dump truck and tried to balance himself with the glass panel of the gas fireplace that had been on all day! I heard the truck hit the flange at the bottom of the fireplace and then after a brief pause, I heard his ear piercing screams! I ran over as fast as I could, only to see him throw both of his hands up to his face and just scream and scream!
I finally pulled his hands away and saw, thankfully, that only the entire palm of his left hand was bright red. That's bad enough, but I feared both hands, or even his face, would have been burned. I plunged his hand into cold water and started praying. Thankfully, he seemed to like that cold water and had fun playing, but as soon as I would pull it out, the screaming would start again.
When Fred came home, the agony that he showed on his face watching Christopher screaming in pain touched my heart. This is what God must look like when He sees His children screaming in pain. He wants to heal us and take away the hurt, but we keep pulling our injured selves away from Him and try to protect ourselves. If only we could see that God wants to HELP and our pulling away only delays relief! Fred did just what I imagine God longs to do for us. He scooped up Christopher, held him tenderly and close and sang and spoke gently to him. He dropped everything he was doing to hold his injured child and comfort him. Whenever Christopher would scream again, Fred would wince in pain with him and hold him even tighter. Can you picture God doing that for us?! It was so amazing watching this and the analogy for me of a father and his child was so clear tonight.

Lord, help me remember to always come to you when I'm in pain. Remind me that You are there to help me and relieve me from my pain. Comfort me when it seems there is no comfort available. Hold me close like I saw Fred holding Christopher tonight, and reassure me that I'm safe in your arms. And please heal little Christopher's hand quickly!! He can't even crawl with it in so much pain! Thank you for protecting the rest of his body from injury. We put ourselves and our children in Your hands again and again.


Today is only Wednesday and Thanksgiving is really tomorrow, but up here in Canada it doesn't seem to matter. Not many people are thinking "Thanksgiving" this week. We are already done celebrating the official holiday as ours was back at the beginning of October. I've been here for nine Thanksgivings already and each year it catches me off guard and Thanksgiving Day is over and done with before I know it! By the time the end of November comes around, I'm ready to start thinking turkey dinner, Thursday and Friday off, cold weather, maybe a little nuts-o shopping adventure on Black Friday, you know... THANKSGIVING! Of course, by the time I'm thinking all this, everyone else around here has already moved on to Christmas and no one seems to care that we're missing out on a holiday.

My friend, Miriam, and her family were here last weekend and she brought me the most wonderful gift from Syracuse, NY! A nineteen pound turkey! You might think that's an odd gift to bring from the States to Canada, but it was a thrill for me! In Canada, even at Thanksgiving, you can get a turkey on sale for $1.69/lb., but Miriam got this one for $.29/lb! We're going to have turkey for many, many meals! I can't wait! I roasted it yesterday and we shared a little mini-Thanksgiving with Fred's parents last night. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, the works! It was delicious!

I don't know why a turkey meal automatically clicks us into a Thanksgiving mentality, but it does. I guess it's years of conditioning, eating that bird on the day we set aside to specifically express our thanks. Last night was one of those nights that it did it again. As we were sitting around the table, my thoughts were jumping back to how many things I am thankful for. I can't list all the reasons here, but I'll share some. I'm thankful that both my parents and Fred's parents are still here and in good health compared to some of my friends' parents. Fred's dad is definitely slowing down, and that's sad to see, but we enjoyed our evening with him last night, talking about the Ortsi (farm) where he grew up in Yugoslavia. I'm thankful for the children of our parents. My husband is my best friend and I am so thankful for his committment to God first, and then to his family. My siblings are also my dearest friends and our relationships are extremely important to me. I'm thankful for the next generation: our children. Stephen, Timothy and Christopher bring us more joy and contentment than I ever knew possible. (They bring us more frustration and pain, too, but I'll take those if I can still have the rest!) I'm thankful that God cares so much about us and that He is 100% aware of whatever we may be faced with on a daily basis. I'm thankful for creative ideas, for people who encourage, for sunny days, for internet connections that aren't flaky, for the ability to smell cinnamon. The list goes on and on.

I know many of my known and unknown readers will be with their families and friends tomorrow for a Thanksgiving meal. I will be celebrating with you, even if it's only in my heart (and with some leftover turkey!). When I hear stories of the struggles that other people are going through, I cannot help but be thankful for God's blessings. Grandma always told me that no matter how bad off she was, there was always someone worse, and that's why she always answered "Thankful" when we asked how she was doing. So true! I'm thankful today, tomorrow, always!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Our First Official Order!

My friend and I decided that this year for Christmas we were going to try something new. We sat down and brainstormed and came up with an idea to give us stay-at-home moms a little purpose outside of our four walls as well as hopefully bring in a little bit of extra cash to help out with our family finances if we could. We poured over our cookie recipes, looked at old Christmas magazines and searched the internet to look for recipes that sounded like delicious Christmas cookies to us. We, along with our husbands, did some number crunching, went over marketing strategies and worked on flyer layouts and eventually came up with The Cookie Kitchen. We've been baking and testing (of course!) and modifying and asking opinions and we now have six delicious cookies that are featured in our Christmas platters. Listen to these descriptions and tell me that they don't sound mouthwatering to you!

* Cinnamon Stars *

Chewy almond and cinnamon stars with a hint of liqueur, elegantly topped with a light and crispy meringue

* Chocolate Caramel Delights *

Soft, decadent chocolate cookies rolled in crushed pecans with a soft caramel center

* Soft Gingersnaps *

Soft and chewy witha a delightful taste of Christmas spices, including Watkins Purest Ground Cinnamon and Watkins Double Strength Vanilla

* Peppermint Pinwheels *

Thin and chewy peppermint delights, pleasing both to the eye and palette

* Christmas Spritz *

Delicate chocolate spritz dipped on one side in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy

* Grandma's Shortbread *

Rich and buttery shortbread cut-outs decorated with handcrafted detail

Don't those sound GREAT?! They are. Trust me. Trust our families. We've tried them all to make sure that they would be hits on a Christmas cookie platter.

So this past week, my friend and I put on our walking shoes and hit the neighborhood with our flyers. We figured that there have to be some people out there that want to serve Christmas cookies this year, but just don't have the time or talent to make them. That's where we wanted to step in and help. We got our first order before plans were even finalized by a friend who teaches piano and has a recital at the beginning of December. She said that she could either buy a couple hundred cookies from the grocery store, or she could buy them from us! She decided to buy "real" ones from us!

But our first OFFICIAL order came in tonight! We included my email address and phone number on our flyers that were distributed around our neighborhood and tonight we got our first real order from the flyers for three platters of cookies! And to top it off, this person said that she hopes we don't mind, but she took the flyer to work because no one there has time to bake either! We're so excited! We have about twelve platters ordered as of right now, with promises of more to come in the next few weeks.

You are wondering how two moms with little kids can pull something like this off, right? We were wondering, too, but we've really committed this in prayer and we believe that God will help us to accomplish this. We both feel the need to have a goal beyond the day to day activities of taking care of our families, to have a sense of accomplishment, and to assure ourselves that we really still do have brains and can manage a little business. Keeping this project in constant prayer has allowed us to do a ton of homework on pricing out our cookies, figuring out our costs, deciding the most appropriate wording for the flyer, organizing a distribution plan and even start ahead on some of the orders that are needed in two weeks! We have not been stressed out by this. We are not feeling overwhelmed. We ARE feeling a bond growing between us as we work on our cookies together. We ARE thanking the Lord for the idea, the initiative, our husbands' backing, our ability to work so well together, our children who love when we break the cookies or make a batch a little too dark, for the perfect walking weather the only day we had available to walk around the neighborhood, etc. I honestly believe that this project was an inspiration from the Lord because He knows the needs of the two of us and has been blessing us so far. Don't worry. Our families have not been neglected in any way (except when we tell them they can't have the batch of cookies that just came out of the oven!), and have actually been our biggest cheerleaders from the beginning.

Who knows where this will all take us, but for now, we're thrilled that we have an official order from someone we don't even know and we're enjoying the excitement of working together on these cookies to help out others and ourselves! Anyone need a platter for their Christmas get togethers?? Just let us know!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A New Favorite!

I've discovered a new Watkins favorite today! I ran out of my Ultra Dawn Oxi dishsoap that I have been using for ages (I LOVE Dawn because it cuts the grease!), so I pulled out my new bottle of J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care Lavender Liquid Dish Soap. Oh my goodness! I'm in love! First of all the scent is sooooo pleasant that I kept looking around the kitchen to try to find things to wash so that I could keep smelling that lavender and rosemary scent! Seriously! The funny thing is, after I used it, I was reading the back of the bottle and it says, "This natural earth-friendly formula rinses away leaving your dishes sparkling and spotless. The sweet soothing smell of lavender will make you want to clean all day long!" I have to admit, it's true! You've got to smell it. I normally gag at the descriptions that marketing specialists put on packaging to try to convince the consumers that their product is unique and the best. This time I just laughed because I really did want to keep cleaning just because of the smell!

And another great thing is that it really does cut through the grease just like my good ole Dawn! It had to be put to the test today because I had to clean up after frying bacon. Amazing! It didn't leave any greasy smears or anything! I was a bit skeptical, and a bit disappointed, when I realized I had to use the new stuff on that grease. I wished I had saved a little bit of my trusty Dawn in case the Watkins soap didn't work. I didn't have to worry! It amazingly took the grease away and there's no slimy feeling like you get from the cheap no-name brands. If you are coming to my Open House next Friday night (23rd from 4-8pm), remember to smell the soap! I'll even leave some really dirty dishes in the sink so that you can try your hand at it yourself!

On a different note, I wanted to give you an update on our artists. Stephen has been working off the damage he did with the marker and Timothy has been punished enough by not being allowed to use his crayons all week. However, today Timothy saw Stephen's sheet that he drew on and he asked in such a shocked voice, "Mommy! Why did Stephen do that?!" I guess he didn't connect the fact that he also did something that he shouldn't have done by drawing on the wall! I tried not to laugh at him, but I couldn't help but smile. I'm so thankful that Fred and I were both able to laugh about this right away. Every time I go in our room, I look at that wall and just stand there in amazement. Then I shake my head with a smile on my face and move on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Budding Artist

These pictures are not clear, but they are enough to give you an idea of what our budding little artist, Timothy, was up to during naptime yesterday. It was his turn to take his nap in Daddy and Mommy's bed and he was soooo quiet yesterday! After an hour or so, I peeked in on him, expecting to see him lying there, peacefully sleeping. Instead, he was just lying there staring at me. I asked him if he was done resting (as I didn't want him to fall asleep too late or we'd be in trouble come bedtime) and he replied that he was. He bounced out of bed and tore off out of the room as fast as he could. I thought it was because he was anxious to get back to the Candyland game that was deserted prior to naptime.

When Fred and I stumbled into bed in the semi-dark room last night, I thought I saw something on the wall above our bed. I DID see something! I saw a three-year-old's masterpiece taking up the entire wall behind our king-sized bed! He had drawn roads and cars and sunshines and smile-faces and a bunch of things that were unidentifiable at 11:00 at night.

PAUSE!!!! Deep and very painful pause here while I regain my composure. Breathe, Martha! Count to ten! No, wait. On second thought you'd better count to one thousand.


Ok. Here's the rest of the story. I just now went up to check on Stephen during naptime today because it was so comfortingly quiet up there. I am shocked by what I found. I just don't even know how to react, thus the above paragraph encouraging me to pause, breathe and count until I am more than sure I am calm.

I found Stephen standing by his bed with a green, permanant marker (that he found by Daddy's desk, he confessed). He had written every letter he knew how to write in his new library book "The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs. The one with no words, remember? He thought every book needed words, so he added his own. As I was swallowing the shock of him writing in his library book in green permanant marker, I noticed the sheets on his bed. He now has a palm-sized green drawing on his sheet. Wait. I take that back. It's not even HIS sheet! We were expecting company for this past weekend's church dedication service so I had put our BEST sheets on his bed because it doubles as our guest bed. So, my fury is starting to mount when I march him out of his room (Timothy was sleeping in there already and I didn't want to wake him with my reprimands, calm as they may have been, ha ha!) and back into ours when I about lost my lunch at the sight I saw in THERE! Stephen had taken that same green marker and TRACED Timothy's entire masterpiece PLUS added his own touches. He also drew a border around the entire thing which stretches as high as a four-year-old's arm can reach while standing on the bed. My eyes glanced to our bed and saw that same green "spot" decorating our sheet! His once red teddy bear is now an ugly brown because red and green make brown on that type of material.

I think that's enough description for now. I'm not even sure what else I'll find when I go back up later. This was all I could take for now. He found the marker in Christopher's room/the office, and I haven't even looked in there yet. There could be green marker absolutely everywhere upstairs. I just can't bear to check it out at the moment.

Those of you that are parents of children older than four that have gone through something similar in your own homes, how did you deal with this?! You can't tell me that your kids never destroyed anything, because if you do, I won't believe you. No matter how much you think you're going to raise your children to be respectful and not destroy property, each child has free will and curiosity and has probably done something to shock you at some point. I just don't know how to handle this right now. How did you all handle this?! Feel free to email me personally, too. I want to balance out the consequences here and just don't even know where to start! I tried getting Timothy to clean the wall this morning, but crayon on flat paint doesn't really come off that well. I had him wearing a glove and using a Mr. Clean eraser, but that didn't do much. I made him keep scrubbing away anyway, just to show him how hard it was going to be to clean and make him responsible for his actions. Now that it's been traced over by Stephen and that marker, though, I just don't know how to handle this. Any tried and true wisdom out there?! Help!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Miscellaneous Amusement

I just put Stephen and Timothy to bed. I decided to stay up there and snuggle with them a little bit and just tell stories and laugh, etc. Well, things started to get a little weird so I told them that they must be overtired and need some good sleep because of all their odd comments. I'll share a few with you.

Timothy: I won Candyland tonight because everyone else was a slow poke, but I was a fast poke.
Stephen: Mommy, if we had hands on the sides of our hands, we'd have fourteen fingers. (Don't ask. Remember, it's late for them!)

Timothy: I can count to three! One, three, four, five, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three. See! I can count to three backwards!

Stephen: All night long apples fall from trees.

Timothy: Mommy, do I have all my numbers on my hands?

Stephen: In the morning, no one will wake me up because I'm going to sleep until my clock says 9! (This comes from the boy who has a hard time sleeping past 7:00!)

Timothy: Kissafah only says "Bah!" Someone needs to teach him real words!

It's way past bedtime for these little guys! I couldn't even keep up with their conversations anymore! Goodnight everyone! Oh, and by the way, they don't sleep in this Thomas bed. They were just trying it out one day.

Another Tooth!!

Finally, Christopher has another tooth! He's been living with just his two front lower teeth since July with NO signs of anything else to come! Last night when I was finger-brushing his two teeth, I flipped to his top gum and lo and behold, there's a tooth starting to poke out! Now he won't look like a semi-toothless "Angela" (that comment was for those of you who remember the woman Liz, Karen and I used to work for). He'll finally look like a real 14 month old ... well, not quite yet, since all the other kids I've seen around his age already have a mouthful of teeth.

No worries. By next summer he'll really be able to chow down on his cobs of corn!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First Snow Fall

I wanted to post about the excitement the boys had this afternoon when they saw the first snow fall of the year. I wanted to portray the thrill of the change of seasons that they were showing. I wanted to use words that made my readers appreciate the joy of youth that comes from experiencing that first snow. I wanted to leave a feeling of anticipation of the season to come.

Instead, I will say nothing.
Instead, I will use a well-worn cliche' that says a picture is worth a thousand words.
Instead, I will ask you to click on the link to the left that says "Liz".
Instead, I will promise you that the pictures there will make you smile!

Some other day I'm sure I will write about the joy of the boys' experiences in the snow, but for now, Taylor and Laurel have captured that excitement for the rest of us! Thanks, you guys!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Humility

This morning, Fred and I were so pleased that for the first time since the boys were born, the time change adjustment went smoothly in our favor! We were out late last night at a church function in Hamilton and the boys got to bed quite a bit later than normal, but we were anticipating them waking up at their normal body clock time of 7:00am, which would now be 6:00am. We were thrilled when they ALL slept until about 7:30am ... the NEW time! We felt we were handed a very special gift from God this morning!

My lesson in humilty came about 20 minutes later, though. Here I was basking in the joy of having the boys sleep so long and adjust so well to this new time change and God wanted me to know that it was nothing of OUR doing, but all in His hands! I needed to be rid of a bit of pride this morning, I guess, because as I said, 20 minutes later, I was wishing that they WOULD have gotten up at 6:00am!! Christopher woke up with a leaky diaper, so I got a bath ready for him, plunked him in and then let Stephen join him, just for a little bit of fun. I sat back to watch the two of them play and was just loving watching Christopher sitting there smiling away at me. Uh ... Christopher sitting there smiling?! Christopher doesn't just sit in the bathtub! He's usually slipping and splashing all over the place! I leaned over to do a little interaction with him to see what was going on and just about threw up! He wasn't smiling at me! He had been taking care of a bowel movement right there in the tub! By the time I realized what had happened, the pieces were starting to break apart and get the water quite murky. I yelled at Stephen to get out quick and tried to grab Christopher before he reached for any more little "floaties" to play with! At this point, I was really getting grossed out! Between Fred and myself, we managed to get the two boys out of the tub, got the major remaining chunks out of there, got the boys rinsed off under the shower and then dressed. I then spent the rest of my leisurely (?!?!?!) Sunday morning disinfecting the tub and all the toys, including the one Sesame Street tug boat that we just happened to borrow from the library yesterday! What a mess! So all my pride in having the boys sleep in and adjust to the new time was solidly put back in place as I cleaned up that disgusting bathtub this morning! Believe it or not, though, we were still ready for church with about fifteen minutes to spare!

After this morning's services at church, I was once again reminded that I am nothing without God. We were in the babyroom getting the boys packed up to go home for lunch. I had just changed Christopher's diaper and sat back to finish my conversation with my friend. Christopher flipped from his back over to his stomach and was getting ready to crawl away when another older girl standing right behind him lost her balance and landed directly on his back, smashing his entire body into the floor. Of course, I'm watching this all happen in slow motion and I can't even make a move to stop the action from completing. Christopher just lay there on the floor motionless for what seemed minutes, but was only mere seconds and then he started to scream in obvious pain! I instinctively dropped to my knees beside him and scooped him up into my arms, to which he responded with an even greater scream and a rigid, and then limp body. He didn't seem to want to focus and was just screaming with a wide open mouth. The whole thing was so fast, yet so disturbing, that everyone rushed over to see if he was ok. I, of course, was losing composure and was just begging everyone, "Pray! Please pray now!" I didn't know if he had cracked his back or snapped his neck or what! I was crying so hard I couldn't even squeak out what happened when Fred came running into the room. Thank the Lord for my friend, Caroline, who was there and saw the whole thing and could speak for me.

We did our best to check Christopher out, once he calmed down a bit, and came to the conclusion that he must have just gotten the wind knocked out of him pretty good. Fred tried to get him to stand up to see if he was ok, but he just screamed at that, probably more because of the fact that Fred put him down than anything. I watched him all the way home to make sure he didn't start convulsing or anything because he seemed strangely quiet and unmoving to me. Thank God, once we got home and he saw his little push toy, he scrambled out of Fred's arms and started racing around the kitchen! God had to show me in another scary way today that He is in control of my children! He's got it all under control and I need to keep trusting him! I really don't like these scary lessons when it involves my children, but for some reason, God is wanting me to learn something from them anyway! Christopher is quite back to normal, and while he'll never remember what happened this morning, I will always have that vivid memory, and the promise that God is still with us!

On a lighter note, I have to share some more Stephen funnies with you. Last night in bed he asked me why his skeleton hurt. When I asked him where, he said, "You know, the part that protects my heart?" I guess he learned a new vocabulary word because of all the Halloween stuff that he's noticed this year.

Then at lunch time today we were talking about when Grandpa and Grandma might come back up for a visit and I told the boys that I would call them today to see if they'd like to come up next weekend. Without looking up from his meal, Stephen so certainly replied, "I think they'd be delighted to come." That comment sure cracked us up! Since when have we ever used the phrase that they would be "delighted" to come?! He must have picked it up from somewhere.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


This morning I heard the boys playing so well in the living room. They each had their trains and were "chooching" (as Stephen puts it) around the lines on the rug. All of a sudden I started to hear some undertones of complaining. The griping got louder and louder until I heard Stephen announce so emphatically at Timothy, "If you don't move your train then I am NOT going to be your friend anymore!" To which Timothy replied in a voice just as loud and emphatic, " I don't care because I'm not going to be your friend first!" I chose to let this moment go uninterrupted by Mom because, honestly, I was trying not to laugh! I figured they could work this one out on their own.

Unfortunately, they didn't work it out on their own, so I ended up going over to find out what the problem really was. Timothy had just sat down with a thump on the floor and said, "I'm not going to talk to him now." I took that as a teachable moment and told them that Timothy was choosing the right action because Grandma always told us that it takes two to fight. If Timothy was not going to fight back, then there really was no one for Stephen to fight with because it would be silly for Stephen to try to fight with himself. This cracked Stephen up and within seconds they were both laughing and "chooching" on their way again.

I know that we were like this as kids, too. I just don't remember it all. One minute these guys are the best of friends; holding hands, telling each other that they love them, encouraging each other, and then within mere seconds, I see arms flinging out with a whack or hair being pulled or a tower being knocked down on purpose. I try not to get frustrated with the fact that one successful occassion does not mean that sibling problems are solved for a lifetime, but I AM encouraged when I hear more of the positive comments and peaceful playing going on. Maybe we ARE doing something right as parents after all!

The boys did end on a good note this morning when we were waiting for Stephen's bus. It was cold, so Stephen asked Timothy if he could come hug him to keep him warm. And Timothy just asked me how much longer until Stephen comes home from school. They DO still love each other! Hurray!!