Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's amazing to me...

The human body is amazing to me. I realize that I'm probably really simple minded when it comes to this, and Mrs. Haid could really elaborate on the specifics on how it all works! But when I look at this picture from two weeks ago...

And then I see this picture from this morning...

And I realize how much Gabriel's little forehead has healed in that time, it just amazes me. It really does. I'm thankful that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. From something as small as a paper cut to something as big as a broken bone - or worse! When we eat something that our body rejects and we throw up, even as gross as it is, it's just our body taking care of itself.

I think that's pretty neat! :o)

Thank you, Nurse Jaimee, for helping me hold Gabriel (or...let's be honest...HOLD HIM DOWN) while he had his stitches taken out. I'm glad it was you.

And thank you Mr. Ray for watching Caleb and Sarah so I could go with just my little guy to his appointment. They always have so much fun with you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducing: My Movie Monday

Did you capture your baby's first steps on your iPhone last week? Did your 3-year-old throw a fit and you just happened to capture it, too? Or maybe it was a line from your child's Easter play that you were able to record? Then My Movie Monday is where you want to link up!

My Movie Monday

Since this is the first My Movie Monday at Traveling Light, I'd like to explain why I decided to do this, and where the idea came from. Last November, my husband and I both purchased a Samsung Solstice, and when I realized how great its' recording feature was, I began to grab my phone and attempt to capture all kinds of things my kids would do. I even briefly recorded part of the Kenny Rogers concert I attended!

Then I would sometimes link up with other sites and work it into their theme. But I realized after all the blog hopping I've done that My Movie Monday could be it's own theme! So many of you add videos to your blog, how about sharing them once a week and coming back here to link up! Sounds good to me! :o)

So grab the big button for your post (shown above). Grab the little button for your sidebar (shown on my sidebar). Come and share those kiddos of yours...or your dogs...or your husband...or yourself...whatever you've recorded this week! Please link to your My Movie Monday post, not the front page of your blog. This makes browsing much easier for everyone!

And here is my "movie" for the week. I've shared it before, but since it's my very favorite one, I wanted to make it the official first of this series.

Special thanks to BlueBird Design Studio for creating the My Movie Monday button!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Winners Announced!

Thank you to everyone who entered Traveling Light's milestone giveaway! I always thought it was corny when blog authors would say, "I wish everyone could win!" But I actually felt that way each time I would read a comment! You all are so sweet! Thanks for reading along!

And now, without further ado, here are the winners!

Sarah @ Everyone's Sarah - blog makeover winner!

Tiffany @ A Moment Cherished - an Applebee's gift card!

Scott @ This Daddy's Blog - set of Redbox codes!

Kim @ The Loves of My Life - box of Pampers wipes!

Please email me at chrissyrenee79@yahoo.com with your address so I can mail the prizes to you (and for Sarah, I'll need to pass along the info for your blog makeover)!

Congrats to you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Caleb's First Soccer Game

This past Tuesday, Caleb had his first soccer game (first ever, first organized sport, big first I guess)! We did not sign him up in the fall, but the organizer said if he wanted to play in the spring it would be just fine...they would find a team for him.

So that's what we did. I wasn't sure about all of this since my parents didn't "sign me up" for any league sport until I was 7. I can certainly see the benefits of waiting now, but I do think it's nice that he gets exercise and meets new friends. That's what I tell myself anyway!

All the kids looked the same to me as far as ability. The one main difference between the two teams was that I could tell our team had not really practiced before the game, and the other team seemed more organized (our coach had been on bed rest and the assistant decided to not coach in the spring...so Josh just filled in...literally just showing up the night of the game and helping "direct traffic" as I like to call it in pre-k/kindergarten soccer)!

Caleb with his arms outstretched, no idea why!

I think he had fun. He was the goalie once and "blocked" several "shots" (it's almost laughable to even used those terms, but we'll keep with the soccer terms)! When he was on the field, he was able to get to the ball a few times and kick it in the right direction. But with the mob of kids, for this age, it's often hard to even get to the ball let alone have a chance to kick it.

Overall I think it will be a good experience. My dad and Josh's dad enjoyed giving a play by play account of what was happening and joking about what their coaching strategy would have been (they are NOT into soccer AT ALL...this is so new to them, they give us a hard time about the soccer thing)! :o)

Josh with Sarah and Caleb. I love this picture.

So here I am, in yet another stage of motherhood. I guess this would be the soccer mom stage?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm boring predictable consistent!

I forgot to mention that the night before I ran my first 5K, I treated myself to a pedicure and manicure at Express Hair and Nails in Springfield. Oh, I just love that place! If I lived there, I think I would go quite often because of how great their prices are. And because they do such a nice job.


When I select a color, I always go for the red/burgundy shades. I just can't break out of the mold. As I looked at each shade, I turned the bottle upside down to read the name of the color. This often will give me a chuckle, and sometimes I'll pick out the shade based on the name. So I selected I'm Not Really a Waitress and asked the girl to use that color for both my pedicure and manicure.

Fast forward to this week on Tuesday.

I was walking into my bedroom, and for whatever reason my toe lunged towards the foot-board of my bed, and it chipped about 1/3 of the paint off of my first toe. I was heartbroken. The perfect pedicure that I knew had to last for a long time because I hardly ever get pedicures was ruined. Not to mention the weather was nice enough that I was going to wear flip flops to my son's soccer game that night, so I just had to think of something.

There wasn't enough time for me to redo all of my toesies, so I looked in my nail polish collection to see if there was something close enough to just get me through that night...just so I could cover that little section. I figured from a distance no one would be able to tell anyway.

As I put the color I found in my drawer over the ruined section, I came to a realization. The color was exactly the same. It was not an OPI color, it was actually an Avon color. But I had picked out two identical colors at two completely different times. This is my "repaired" first toe with two different colors...

And I decided it's not because I'm boring...

...or predictable...

...but it's because I'm just consistent!

How does that sound, Sonja? :o)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TL Milestones - A Giveaway!

**Contest closed - see this post for winners!**

Traveling Light has hit some milestones lately, and I'm so excited to host a REALLY FUN giveaway in honor of those milestones!

On Friday, March 12th, TL reached 20,000 hits. Hooray!

On Friday, March 19th, TL reached 200 followers. Yay for readers!

And today, March 24th, TL's author has written 400 posts. Didn't that sound all important written in third person? Ha!

So to celebrate, I am giving away FOUR cool prizes! First number drawn will have first selection, second number drawn will have second selection, etc.

Prize A - A BLOG MAKEOVER by BlueBird Design Studios. She created my page and has also created such looks as this one...

Prize B - A $25 GIFT CARD TO APPLEBEE'S. Because we have received over $100 worth of cards lately, and I asked Josh if I could share the love on my blog! And he said I could!

Prize C - A BOX OF PAMPERS WIPES. Because we bought them, thinking I wanted to try something different, and the texture is not what I expected. But I know other moms like them, so maybe you'll enjoy them, too! There are four, unopened packages inside the box just waiting to be used by someone.

Prize D - FIFTEEN REDBOX RENTALS. Because no one goes to McDonald's as much as me, and we can't rent them as often as I get codes. We have a stack of cards that need to be used, and I wanted to share some with you.

To enter:

*Leave a comment on this post! Just any comment!

*For a second entry, go to this discussion on Blog Frog and tell me which prize you would want to win most!

I will use Random.org to select the winners.

Good luck!

P.S. I've had several people ask me about Redbox codes. They now come with large drinks for one, and also come with $1.99 Happy Meals on Tuesday nights (maybe it's just our area?) - so there's the scoop!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday

For my husband:

Why Darth Vader? Click here. But some of you will remember!

We Can't Take Credit

When Caleb goes to AWANA's on Wednesday nights, once a month he will go to the AWANA Store to pick out something, paying for it with the "bucks" he's earned by attending each week (wearing his vest, reciting his verse, bringing his bible, etc). It makes my heart smile each time he comes home and says, "I picked this out for Gabriel, Mom!" or "I found this for Sarah!"

Every time he will get something for his brother and sister. Every time.

The first few times he did this, I thought to myself, "Where did he learn to be so thoughtful?" I know we as parents like to take credit for absolutely everything. We tend to pat ourselves on the back for all accomplishments including if our children are thoughtful or humble - I guess they don't learn humbleness from us if we are boastful about them, huh? :o)

For some reason I've been thinking lately about how we tend to take credit for their own personalities. Got an easy-going child? Got a thoughtful child? Got a gentle-natured child? Or a humble one? Maybe most if not all of those traits are just their traits. I'm not saying we have nothing to do with that (genetics you know...ha!) but I guess I'm just going to start trying to let go of the idea that it's all because of something I did. Because too often I think parents are proud of their child...not necessarily because of something the child did...but because they are proud of themselves because they think they had everything to do with it.

What about parents who have strong-willed or...let's be honest...a more difficult child? Should they feel horrible and think it's something they did wrong? I really don't think so. I just think it's a personality trait. Yes, I think being difficult can be a trait. I believe as parents we must somehow redirect that type of trait so that it doesn't grow. Likewise, if a child is thoughtful, we should nurture that trait and hope it does grow!

I love Caleb's thoughtful trait. I cannot take credit for it, it's just his. And I will do my best to nurture it. Because it's a wonderful trait to have.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Big Fish

Have you seen this movie?

You should. Really. One of my favorites. We own a copy but watched it tonight on the Reelz channel. It's on my "Could Watch a Million Times" list...along with Forrest Gump and The Wedding Singer - does this give away my varied taste in movies? :o)

Her Life In Pictures

Every now and then I'll scan through some of my old pictures from prior years, and then, of course, I'll get teary eyed when I see how much my kids have grown.

And it's not that Caleb hasn't changed a lot since he was a baby. Of course Gabriel has, too, and will continue to change. But there is just something about Sarah...

When I see her as a baby...

Then as a new toddler...

And then as a little girl...

As she continues to grow...

It's just hard for me sometimes.

She just amazes me. I love her so much. She's so cuddly and sweet. (I'm conveniently leaving out that she's got a mind of her own every now and then, but I'm ok with it...she's still in training, and that mind of hers will come in handy someday!)

I love you my sweet Sarah. I will always be here for you to stand strong when you need me to do so. I have never taken for granted that God gave me a daughter. Your heart, mind, and spirit are something that I take very seriously, and I will do my best to honor the Lord with the gift He's given me.

Photo credits:
[1] Picture Me Portrait Studios
[2] Life by Light
[3] Photos by Lori
[4] Picture Me Portrait Studios

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update on Gabriel

On Friday I took Gabriel to his pediatrician to follow up with her after his incident last week and to have his stitches removed as our discharged papers indicated - to remove them in five days. My mom offered to watch Caleb and Sarah while I was gone because she had the day off anyway (thanks, mom).

He fell asleep on the way there, and stayed asleep when I carried him into the doctor's office. I thought this was going to work out perfectly - that he would sleep through the entire thing and it would be a peaceful visit.

Well, he did sleep the entire time.

But when the doctor looked at his forehead, she said the stitches were not ready to come out. She said the bottom three looked good (the skin is completely healed under them) but the upper three were not close enough together, and he actually could have/should have had an additional stitch there to limit the gaping that has occurred.

Nothing major. We'll just go back and see her on Wednesday. She said it never hurts to leave them in longer anyway.

It's funny that I had a few friends tell me I should save my copay and just take them out myself! No, thanks. I think I'll just leave that to the professionals...ha! :o)

I guess we'll see what it looks like on Wednesday!

Reality Check

As I was blog hopping, I came across an entry from Jackie, and it sounded exactly like what I was going to write this morning - minus the fact that she just saw the movie Precious:

These past few weeks I've been stuck in my own selfish pity party. Thinking about small time things like who's hurt me in life and who hasn't. I mean come on Jackie get real! Whoever said life would be easy and that people would all be nice and pleasant...no...things happen and from them we must grow and move on. Thinking about Precious and all she endured, my struggles seem so small - yes I know we all face different trials which God allows. When you look around and see that you have a loving supportive husband, beautiful kids, a place to call home, enough people in your life to call friends, all the other stuff seems so irrelevant to worry about. I believe God is working in my heart BIG time and is not for me to consume myself with anger and pain but rather grow and flourish...

Ephesians 1:4-6

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son.

Thanks, Jackie. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Miss You

I miss you.

The one who let me fix your hair and paint your fingernails when I was a kid.

The one who watched "The Price is Right" with me (Bob Barker version) and "The Little Girls" show (otherwise known as Full House).

The one who would come and get me when I was sick in elementary school. Even though I sometimes would pretend just to be with you. And you'd make me eat chicken noodle soup, but it was worth it.

The one who gave me a dollar or two so I could walk up and get us hamburgers at that small town burger place. We sometimes got ice cream, too.

The one who would spend the night with us each Christmas Eve and wake up with us on Christmas morning. And each year I'd ask if you saw Santa, and each year you'd say, "Not this year! Maybe next year!"

The one who would talk with me at your kitchen table for hours. Even though I don't even remember what we talked about specifically, I loved talking with you. And I hope you loved talking with me.

The one who put together 5000-piece puzzles and tried to show me how...I still can't do it! :o)

The one who let me spend the night...and sometimes sleep in your room with you...even though you said I always stole the covers.

The one who let me bake in your kitchen, start to finish, even if I made a mess. You didn't mind.

I was practically a kid when you left us to be with Jesus...just 14...and in the almost 16 years that you've been gone, there really isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. More so since I've been married and had children...I so badly wish you could have met Josh. You would have loved him. And I so badly wish you could have met Caleb, Sarah, and Gabriel. You would have told me how much Caleb looks like me (and his ornery side is probably like me, too). I'm guessing you would have told me how pretty Sarah is with her auburn hair (the color would remind you of Grandpa - your husband - in his younger days), and how adorable Gabriel is with his cheesy smile.

There are times when our family will get together, and every time I will tear up when someone (usually Leslie) will say, "I sure wish Grandma could have seen our kids. I wonder what she would say!"

I know what she would say. She would say how blessed she is to be a part of a family that is so genuine and real. A family that loves each other and doesn't ever talk poorly of one another. She would say that she loves us, and she would mean it. Because there was not a mean bone in that woman's body, and I strive to be just like her.

So Grandma...I have tears streaming down my face as I write this. I wish I had you here to tell you all that's going on in my life. The good and the bad. Because I know you'd tell me what to do when I just don't know what to do. Your calm and sweet spirit are so greatly missed.

I miss you.

I love you still.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just In Time For Spring

Last night my husband finally took down our Christmas lights off of the outside of our house.

Thus, we are no longer white trash.

A special thank you to my neighbors for not sending me anonymous notes about how we're somehow breaking an unwritten rule in the neighborhood. I suspect we may have received one if we waited much longer, though! :o)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where to eat lunch...

Earlier this week I was having one of those days when I just wanted to drive around in my van, and I didn't feel like making lunch for the kids. I know, sounds bad. In those moments I usually just encourage the kids to head out to the van, strap in, find the drive-thru of my choice, and then let them eat in the vehicle because then I also have nothing to clean up in the house.

It's ok. You can think less of me. I don't mind.

[Insert wink from me...because I know some of you understand, and those who don't, I still love you.]

So I asked Caleb, "Hey, mommy is going to treat you all to a lunch away from home, so where would you like to go? Your options are McDonalds...Sonic...or Burger King." Those are the only three drive-thru restaurants in our small town.

He thought for a second and said, "What about daddy's work? Can we go there?"

Confused I said, "Well, daddy is probably busy with his work. But why would you want to go there for lunch?"

He explained, "Oh, you know. We could go to the bacteria."

You know those moments when I am capable of holding back laughter? This was not one of those moments.

When I finally composed myself, I just gave Caleb a hug because I so badly needed a laugh that day. And there are many days when he will say something (or Sarah will say something) that brings joy to my day when my thoughts are going a million different directions and I just need to stop and laugh.

I continued the conversation, "So you want to go to the bacteria?" He nodded. "I think it's called the cafeteria, hun." He smiled at me and agreed.

We did not go to the bacteria...excuse me...cafeteria that day. But I'm really glad he thought of it.

It made my day.

The Iron-On Patch

God bless the inventor of the iron-on, denim patch.

You must have been a boy mom, I am quite certain. And perhaps you were domestically challenged like me as well.

You have a special place in my heart.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My First 5K

On Saturday, March 13th, I traveled with my friend Emily to the Springfield Expo Center to check in for my first 5K running experience. If you've been reading my blog very long, you know that my sweet friend and neighbor Kim and I have been training since the beginning of January. We were training for June, but I got a harebrained idea to run one in the middle of March.

As we walked into the building, I saw all these people who were obviously REAL runners. Yeah. Loved that feeling. They were wearing running pants, had serious looks on their faces, and many of them were doing plyometrics before we lined up for the race. Ugh. Just let me stretch my quads and I'm good to go! But I didn't let that bother me (too much). I knew that I was a rookie and should be proud that I was at least trying.

They called for the 10K runners, and we knew that meant we had about 15 minutes until our lineup. Emily and some of her friends that I met got ready (mentally ready...and a few stretches to get us physically ready) and listened for the 5K runners to be called.

And then...they called us.

As we lined up for the race, I felt so excited! Cheryl was right...the racing day excitement and adrenaline is a great feeling! I was pumped! So much so that as Emily turned back to take my picture, I looked like this:

Yep. The most unflattering picture EVER and I'm sharing it on my blog. That's how much I love my readers and want you to understand the story! In fact, Emily posted this on facebook and a girl said, "OK, she looks WAAAAY too happy to be racing! HAHA!"

To which I responded, "I agree...I had only taken about 10 steps at that point...lol!"

I kept a good pace, never stopped to walk, and finished with the time of 39:54 (really good time for me...Emily finished around 36 minutes). If you knew me...or should I say...if you ever watched me play sports in my younger days...you would know that I've always been "slow" when it comes to running! My junior year of high school I hit a line drive down the right field side during a district championship softball game, and if anyone else would have been running, it would have been an inside the park home run for sure. But me...I only made it to third! So I never really considered my time when doing this, I'm just thrilled that I ran the entire thing.

Who cares if there were 10K people who ran theirs faster than I ran 5K! :o)

As I crested the HILL that preceded the finish line, and looked ahead and saw that the end was near, I could feel myself become emotional. I'm pretty sure if Kim was with me I would have let those emotions show more, but I was among so many "real" runners...and real runners don't cry, do they?

When we got to her house afterward, Emily's husband took this picture:

That's my "I just ran 3.1 miles" hair. Nice, isn't it? My husband questioned me on why I received beads. Really, honey...everyone got beads for participating! Really!

It was a great accomplishment. And I'm looking forward to my next one!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How did it happen?

After yesterday's post, I had several people ask me if I knew what exactly caused Gabriel's injury. I referenced the "thud" but didn't really explain what happened.

Gabriel ran into the living room from our bedroom, and from where he was sitting when I found him, we gathered that he ran into the corner of the wall.

The direction of the cut is consistant with this idea, and the fact that there is a gash in the paint in that corner also indicates where he hit the wall.

Last night we took off the two band aids that covered his little forehead and saw his stitches for the first time.

It looks like the doctor did a great job with it. The only experience I have with children and stitches is the memory I have of my little sister cutting her knee when she was about 7 or so. We didn't think they did a very good job with her's, and that's probably what was running through my mind when I realized that Gabriel would need them - especially considering this cut was on his face. Ugh. But fortunately his hair actually covers it when I'm not strategically parting his hair to the side for the sake of a picture...ha!

This incident has caused me to be a mom that I didn't want to be. An overprotective one. Normally I let Gabriel play in his room on his own or with his brother and sister. I used to do whatever I needed to do - laundry, dishes, make beds, whatever. Now I don't really want him to be out of my sight. Some moms are like this without an ER trip, and I realize that's just one way of parenting. That's just not who I was before, and I told myself I didn't want to be that way.

But for now...I am.

Josh's dad came by this morning and brought some donuts for the kids. I captured Gabriel being his normal self. Donuts will do that to a kid!

I know he's ok. I know ER trips are not uncommon for parents of small children! But this has been something that has altered me I think. Perhaps for the better? I don't know.

My intent was to write about my 5K on Sunday...but considering what happened, that post hasn't been created yet. Hope to work on it sometime soon. I ran the whole thing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

8:17 am

It was 8:17 am yesterday morning when it happened. I know the time because I had just looked over at the clock and said to Josh, "Shoot...we need to get Caleb and Sarah up! We're going to be late for church. They both need baths."

Maybe it was the word "baths" that made Gabriel so excited to run out of our room. He was the only child awake in the house. We had been playing with him in our room, just giggling, hugging, hiding under the covers on the bed - stuff like that - until I sat him down on the floor so we could all start getting ready. He quickly headed out of our room, but I didn't follow him. I stood up, getting off the bed, and probably asked Josh jokingly if he wanted to do baths or if it was my turn.

Then we heard it. A loud thud. Followed by loud cries from Gabriel.

I raced into the living room to see what happened. There he was, just sitting on the floor almost to the hallway, covered in blood. I yelled for Josh, "Hurry, please! I can't tell why he's bleeding! I'm not sure if he just hit his nose or what!"

Josh scooped him up in his arms and quickly took him to the bathroom. I grabbed a washcloth, rinsed it in cold water, and began to wipe his face. And that's when we both discovered that it wasn't his nose that was bleeding. It was a large, deep cut to his forehead. A cut like I had never seen before. It was bleeding profusely, and to be honest, it just looked horrible. I felt panic hit me, and I looked at Josh and said, "We have to go. I will call Kim to see if she'll watch kids."

And he agreed.

I hurried to my room to find my cell phone, quickly called Kim, but there was no answer. "Oh, my gosh...she's not answering...one of us needs to run over there and get her," I said, continuing in my panic mode. He gave Gabriel to me, washcloth over his little head, and I continued to apply pressure while Josh ran across the street with no shoes on.

In that moment when I was holding him, I began to shake. I'm not sure why, I think I just couldn't believe that this was happening to one of my children. He was hurting, so badly, the bleeding not slowing at all, the cut looked like something I've only seen in movies.

As I sat on my bed holding him, I could see out my window that Josh was talking to Jim (Kim's husband) and then I saw him race back over here. I met him at the door, he grabbed Gabriel, and we began to load up in the van. Our garage door opened, and I saw Kim as she walked over to our house. I didn't even get to speak to her, and I didn't get to say goodbye to Caleb and Sarah or explain what was going on. They were still asleep through this entire thing, but we just didn't have time. We had to go.

I sat beside Gabriel during our 8 minute trip to the ER. The longest 8 minutes ever. I held the washcloth on his little head and tried to sing to him - my attempt to comfort him - with one of my made up songs that I sometimes do with my kids. It was something like, "Baby Gabriel...Mommy loves you," repeated several times, complete with my own melody. I stopped every now and then because I didn't feel like I was making a difference, and Josh would say to me, "Keep singing, Chrissy."

As we pulled into the parking lot, I began asking God that there would be very few patients in the ER at that moment. I know. Sounds weird. I just wanted Gabriel to be taken to a room right away, I wanted there to be plenty of nurses to take care of him, I wanted the doctor to not be consumed with so many patients that he couldn't see my son for hours.

He was taken to a room right away. Three nurses began working with him promptly. The doctor saw him within 15 minutes or so.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

I guess that's why I was specific about my request to God - about there being very few patients in the ER. Because His word tells me to present my requests to Him. And in that moment, that was my request.

In the end, it took six stitches to sew up my little boy. On the discharge papers we received, I looked at the diagnosis, and it said, "Forehead laceration." Yeah, that sounds about right. Something about the word "laceration" that just makes it sound horrific. (Which is was to me.)

He is doing fine now, and seems to be his normal self.

I, on the other hand, am still emotional. If someone drops something, and I hear that "thud" sound, I jump...and sometimes it makes me cry. I don't know why.

Thank you, Kim, for coming to our house at the drop of a hat, literally in your pj's, to help us out. You are a
true friend. I owe you so much.

And thank you PCRMC Emergency Department for the excellent care you provided to my little guy.

For the "How Did It Happen" post, click here.

For the "When He Fell" - the one year later follow up post, click here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You can't eat Bubby...

Caleb: Mommy, when did we get the van?

Me: Well, about a month after Sarah was born.

Caleb: Oh...and when did we get the car?

Me: We got the car before you were even born...when you were still in Mommy's tummy.

Sarah: (Chiming in and sounding concerned) But Mommy...you can't eat Bubby...he needs to be out here...I want him in our house, not in your tummy.

I held back the laughter. Then I enjoyed the conversation between Caleb and Sarah as he tried to explain to her that babies start out in mommy's tummy...when God decides it's time for mommies to have babies.

How I cherish these innocent moments!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Birds of the air...

Yesterday morning while Caleb was at preschool, I was cuddling on the couch with Sarah and Gabriel, watching Word World, and spelling the words along with them (occasionally giggling along with them, too).

The window that displays our front yard distracted me frequently, however. I found myself looking at our Bradford Pear trees, realizing that any day now they are going to bloom and look like this. The sky was just the perfect shade of blue, and the clouds were the fluffy white kind - "Simpson's clouds" as Mrs. Haid once described a sky - which perfectly accented the view I was having.

I am often mesmerized by the birds that fancy our yard. My favorite, of course, are the bright red Cardinals. They are so gorgeous in the winter, and since spring hasn't quite arrived yet, they still add some beautiful color to an otherwise dull landscape.

And there he was...

...perched on one of our trees was the prettiest Cardinal. I couldn't help but stare. As I got up to look closer, Sarah asked me what I saw outside. I explained and pointed in the direction of the bird, and she became excited, too!

Every time I watch the birds in our yard, I can't help but recall a scripture that means so much to me...and should mean a lot to anyone who has worried about...well...just about anything! It's a part of the "do not worry" passage in Matthew...

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

Yes, I really do think of that scripture. Every time. I think it's the Lord's way of reminding me EACH TIME I watch those sweet, beautiful creatures that He loves me and I am even more valuable to Him than they are.

He takes care of them.

He will take care of me.

I love when the weather breaks and I'm able to play outside with my kiddos. I am then even closer to the birds of the air, and in those moments, I often feel closer to Him as well.

Photo credit CrabAppleLane Wildlife

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lego Star Wars In Our House

My oldest son is completely obsessed (perhaps addicted?) to Lego Star Wars for the Wii. If he's not actually playing the game, he often pretends to be the characters on it.

I sometimes have to remind him that he is Caleb for preschool and church. There have been days when we've arrived at his school, and I've watched him go up the stairs, then heard him say to Miss Becky, "Hi, I'm Jar Jar Binks today!"

The sweet teacher will respond, "Well, is that a good guy?" And then Caleb will explain that it is, in fact, a good guy!

The rest of us in the family are not exempt from his imaginary play. He has assigned roles to the rest of us at times, and more often than not, I am assigned the role of Princess Leia. Yeah. Good one! To Caleb, Princess Leia looks like this...

One morning after his bath, breakfast, and get dressed time, we let him play a bit before preschool. Josh hadn't left for work yet, and he heard Caleb say, "Mommy! You be Princess Leia!"

Josh's ears perked up. "Yeah, Mommy. You can be Princess Leia!" Obviously the above picture is NOT what Princess Leia looks like to my husband, but I'm electing not to put the picture of what she looks like to him (and to every man who has seen that particular episode of Star Wars)!

I am so sorry if this is TMI for some of you.

So then I asked, "Well, if I am Princess Leia, who is Daddy?"

"Oh, well...he can be Darth Vader!" This completely ruined it for Josh I think.

And I did learn recently that Caleb thinks our hot water heater was not fixed correctly and that we should call Darth Vader to fix it. Evidently Darth Vader has those skills. The storm troopers told Caleb so.

Should I be worried that storm troopers are telling my son that Darth Vader can fix hot water heaters? :o)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My mom in 1963 (or thereabouts).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The "next phase" has arrived...

Do you recall when I wrote this post concerning the idea of the next phase of Caleb's life that includes losing teeth? Do you remember when I said, " I've had my friends' children come up to me with excitement and say, 'Miss Chrissy! Look! I have a loose tooth!' and I just have to turn my head and tell them how wonderful it is. But I don't mean it."

Well, guess what I discovered tonight? Yep. That's right. The time has arrived.

Caleb told his daddy that a tooth of his sort of hurt. So then, of course, Caleb showed me. I put on my brave face...the mommy mode kicked in...and I said, "Well, can I feel it really quick?" He allowed me to do so, and I gently touched his bottom middle-right tooth. Sure enough, it was just a little bit loose. While I was feeling teeth, I decided to touch the middle-left one, too. I'm thinking it won't be far behind in the falling out process.

And while this was actually difficult for me (just like I thought it might be) I also felt a flood of emotion about the whole thing.

Yes, me. The one who generally doesn't become overly emotional about the growing up process.

Generally speaking.

But every now and then, something just hits me. And this particular milestone really doesn't seem like it should be here already.

Baby teeth. I remember when Caleb got his first tooth, he was around this age...

I can see his first two teeth in this picture. It was taken outside of our duplex we lived in...the duplex we brought him home to. The one I still drive by on occasion because it's where I brought home my first baby.

My baby.

And I jokingly said something about this to my dad tonight on the phone. How I didn't like it that Caleb had a loose tooth already, and he said, "Yes, loose tooth today. College tomorrow."

But, you see...that's exactly how I feel.

So bear with me as I process this next phase of his childhood. And in the meantime, if you have a machine that stops time, I'd like to borrow it.

Naked Time

My kids love to be naked. I guess this isn't exclusive to just my own children. I've heard of other moms talk about "naked time" and it always cracks me up. Just to feel that free to run around without clothes and have no shame in it must be exhilarating...ha!

This more often than not happens before or after bath time. They will dart out of the bathroom and exclaim to whoever will listen, "Look! I'm naked!" Their giggles are just too darling. Their quickness around the dining room table and into the living room and then back around the table should prompt me to sign them up for track lessons...though I'm not sure they'd be as fast if I wasn't chasing them...not to mention their clothes would slow them down.

And the other day this got me to thinking. You know, before the fall of man, Adam and Eve walked around without shame in their nakedness. I think it's really hard to comprehend this, but when I see my kiddos run around without clothes, it makes me realize that perhaps their attitude and perception of everything must have been childlike. Not that they were childish, mind you. But they must have seen the world the way a child does...before they decided to disobey God...then the weight of the world came upon them. Yet before they decided to go against what God told them, they were like my little children before bath time.

How I wish my life were as simple as a child's. But it's not. I have grown up issues. And what I'm realizing is when I stray away from the concept that my blog title gives, I become overwhelmed with anxiety. When I hold on to past hurts, when I don't forgive or ask for forgiveness, when I let someone else tear me down - and start to believe what they say - or if I lash out because my human nature goes into defense mode...oh, it is not a good thing.

Then bath time comes, and I see these sweet little kiddos, their giggles, and their enthusiasm to run around naked. I am reminded of their carefree spirit, and I know that God wants me to feel the same way. And how do I do this? By giving my burdens to Him. By seeking His face, and asking Him to soften my heart.

When I give it all over to Him, I won't be literally running around naked (you're welcome) but my spirit will feel lighter...as if I'm wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops rather than 5 layers of clothes, boots, and a parka.

I hear the kids...they are waking up. And it's bath time once again. Thank you, Lord, for a new day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Almost embarrassed...

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that this is my family's favorite commercial right now. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you that my kids run around singing this song, and even my 15-month-old chimes in with the "ahhh" at the end of the words. I'm almost embarrassed that I find myself singing it throughout the day as well.

Almost embarrassed. But not completely.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend In Pictures

We traveled to Springfield and visited Bass Pro Shops while we were there so daddy could replace/exchange his waders that ripped. While he was trying them on, the kids thought the dressing rooms were just a great place to play. They called it their house.

After we watched the St. James girls basketball team play their semi-final round game, we surprised the kids by going to a park behind the mall and meeting some of their sweet friends who moved away last May. Caleb ran towards Alli...Alli ran towards Caleb. And he said, "What are you doing here?!" It was so cute.

Today is just so beautiful, so of course we've been spending time outside in our own backyard!

Oh, and I got my Motivated Mamas t-shirt last week and finally put it on. I only have a month left in the contest. I need to get MOTIVATED! :o)

Hope your weekend was a great one!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bunny Alternatives

On Wednesday night, while Caleb and Sarah were at AWANA's, Josh and I traveled to Wal-Mart with Gabriel for a few things...and to just walk around with "only one child" as we often do on Wednesday nights.

We really only needed milk and toilet paper. I could have just gone to the local grocery store for that, but I really needed my Wal-Mart fix (sorry, Tina, that I didn't call and ask if you needed anything)!

As we passed by the Easter aisle, I told Josh I wanted to look. I have no idea why I wanted to do this, usually I just become irritated with all the bunnies. You recall that I don't like Santa, I dislike the Easter Bunny more. But I've opted out of the anti-Easter-Bunny post for fear of the repercussions.


Anyway, as I turned to go down this aisle, I couldn't believe the new items in the "inspirational" section. Veggie Tales!

At first, I was thrilled. I mean, I have barely given my children anything in past Easters. They have received some nice, Christian-type things from my mom, but overall I just really don't understand the things that are promoted at Easter time. Chocolate and bunnies...what does that have to do with my Lord and Savior dieing on the cross, rising again, and saving me from eternal separation from Him?

Shoot, I'm sort of writing what I said I wouldn't.

Moving right along.

The Veggie Tale items were cute. They had Larry Boy lollipops for example. They had candy with all the characters on it that my kids recognize. It's a nice alternative to the bunnies, but after I thought about it, it's still candy and STUFF.

So thank you, Big Idea, for making items as an alternative to the bazillion bunnies that I usually see this time of year. I think it's a nice idea, but I'm still not sure I'll purchase any of it. I still don't understand all the STUFF that we feel compelled to BUY in honor of these holidays.

But that might just be me.

Especially after seeing blog posts like this and this, it's just really hard for me to think about buying baskets full of candy and things that don't even matter.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Traveling Light

Guess what book is sitting on my night stand, just waiting to be read?

I didn't actually pick my blog title over a year ago because of this book. I actually chose it because of a song I really liked by Joel Hansen and Sara Groves entitled "Traveling Light" where the chorus says, "I lay my burdens down now I'm traveling light." And that's what I try to do in this life of mine. Through all the hurts, stress, burdens...I just have to give it over to my Lord and Savior. And sometimes it's still hard of course, but I can't imagine what it would be like without Him.

Odds are, you did this morning. Somewhere between the first step on the floor and the last step out the door, you grabbed some luggage. You stepped over to the baggage carousel and loaded up. The carousel is not the one in the airport; it's the one in the mind. And the bags we grab are not made of leather; they're made of burdens.

The suitcase of guilt. The trunk of discontent. A backpack of anxiety and a hanging bag of grief. Add on a briefcase of perfectionism, and overnight bag of loneliness, and a duffel bag of fear. No wonder we are so tired at the end of the day.

Where do we turn for help? How about looking to an old friend, the twenty-third Psalm.
Using these verses as a guide, Max Lucado walks us through a helpful inventory of our burdens. May God use this Psalm to remind you to release the burdens you were never meant to bear.

I'm not much of a reader, but I'm looking forward to completing this book.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WFMW - Pick a date

Week six of joining Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

I once had a director who was a frequent smoker. Even though she knew she should quit for her health, the main reason she "had to" quit was because the facility we worked in - including the grounds surrounding it - was going to become smoke free. The employees (and community) were given months and months to prepare for this and be aware of it, and I knew she would have to take steps to quit.

One way she did this was by setting a "quit" date. I can't remember what month it was that she told me this, but I remember her quit date was June 1. I have a feeling it may have been in April when she set it. That may seem like a long time to "mentally prepare"...but for her, it's what she needed.

And I'm not sure what it is about having a start date, but the same works for me when I'm trying to lose weight or make better choices (quit soda, quit fast food, etc...start working out...whatever it may be). It's not that I over indulge before the start date, but I guess there is just something to it for me...knowing I can have one last McD's cheeseburger or one last Pizza Hut trip.

For me, I have to start on a Monday OR the 1st of the month OR both. Since I've had a few rough weeks lately (added stressors from different things that have come up) I knew I needed to get back on track. So on Monday, March 1st, I set some new goals for myself. And that just happened to be the day that Kim and I ran 1.5 miles for the first time. May I add...we ran 2 miles this morning! Love ya, Kim!

So pick a date. Give yourself a week of "whatever" if you need to and then buckle down on a Monday and start anew.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pitter Pat 5K

Yes. It's official. I'm going to run a 5K three months earlier than I originally planned. But I am pumped.

Saturday, March 13, 2010  |  9am to Noon
Registration is 7:30 to 8:30am Day of Race
Race starts and finishes at the Springfield Expo Center.

They are taking donations for Isabel's House, so if you live in my area and would like to donate any of the items listed below, I would be happy to stop by your place and take them down to Springfield with me!

Clothing and Shoes
• Pajamas
• Children’s Shoes
• Socks
• Underwear

Child Care Items
• Baby Food
• Formula
• Gerber Finger Foods
• Toddler Toothpaste
• Pullups
• Sunscreen
• Bubbles

Household Items
• Batteries
• Space saver bags
• Plastic storage bins

Office Supplies
• Post its
• Sharpies
• Masking Tape
• Copy paper
• Binder clips

Wish me luck!

Being In Love With a Baby...

It's pretty different than being in love with a man.

If the object of my affection made rude bodily noises, I would probably be turned off. I don't think my son's burps are cute or anything - I just usually ignore them!

If my sweetheart gave me wet, sloppy kisses, I would probably gossip about it with my girlfriends or try to teach him how to kiss more effectively. These days, I just accept the sloppy ones and wipe the wettest slurps off of my face when he finally detaches from it.

And if my guy didn't make conversation on dates and just stared at his surroundings, I would dismiss him as a poor conversationalist and struggle to bring out the hilarious or interesting stories he is harboring.

When I go out with my son, I take a break from the chatter and just look at whatever is holding his interest - whether it is a ceiling fan or a laundry basket - to see it with new eyes.

Being in love with a baby is a lot of fun, but luckily, my heart has enough room for him AND my wonderful groom.

Written by Mrs. Haid. I just had to share it! I added a picture of my own baby, though, even though her's is super sweet! :o)

Monday, March 1, 2010

About Tithing

It was several years ago, when I was probably 18, that I sat and listened to a pastor talk about tithing as referenced in Malachi. I have no idea why, but the wheels in my head started turning, and I began to start wondering about the word "tithe", what it meant literally (by definition), what it meant in the days the scripture was written, and what it meant to us as Christians today. Thus a several-year search began on my part to understand it better.

And my conclusion? I do not believe that tithing, in the way it is taught in most churches, is even close to being biblical. None of the "tithing" that occurs now has any connection to the definition of tithing contained in the Bible.

I have sat in small group discussions and kept my mouth shut on this issue. I have listened to countless other sermons on the topic. I have heard notable speakers and authors use Old Testament law to try and convince those who listen that that's what God wants from us. And after searching on my own and doing my best to understand what those scriptures really mean, it actually bothers me when I hear the word tithe.

First, God did not require anyone to give money. It was always edible products, not money. Some say that's because "they didn't have money" back then, but this is not true. Money is first mentioned in Genesis, and Malachi (the book that is most often referenced for tithing) was written hundreds of years later. And for example, Deut 14:22&23 says, "Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always."

I also do not believe we are under the Old Testament law, and all the scriptures used to defend the idea of tithing are often cited from the Old Testament. There is one passage in Matthew 23:23 where Jesus talks to the Pharisees. But the Pharisees were under the law, and we are not. And actually, I believe the point of that scripture was to show them that they were more concerned with keeping the law than helping people.

Let me also say that it has always bothered me when I read or am taught that I must give 10% to a local church, and if I have nothing left to give, that's too bad. If there is a hurting family who just lost their home in a fire...or if the local food pantry is empty...or [you fill in the blanks] I can't give the way God leads me?

Some people write a "tithe" check like it's just another bill.

Mortgage - check.
Utilities - check.
Insurance - check.
Church tithe - check.

How is God honored in that? How do we turn our backs on "the least of these" as Jesus talks about in Matthew 25:45, but make sure and write our checks - sometimes all we have to give - to pay the utility bill of a church building?

Yes, I realize that some churches support outreach ministries like the Caring Center (in my current town). It is not that I'm saying we should not support a local church at all. I think we've just been given the idea that we HAVE TO give X amount or we are not being faithful in giving. And that's just not correct.

But don't get me wrong. Some people may feel led to give "10%" of their income to whatever God puts on their hearts. I believe God may be telling others to give 20%...30%...it's all His anyway. Teaching that we are commanded to give a set amount, however, is not a biblical truth.

So in conclusion:

The tithe was not about money; the tithe was an Old Testament law, which is no longer binding. When it was binding, the tithe was used to take care of people, not buildings. We are under a new covenant now. Paul instructs the Corinthian believers how they are to give. He says in II Corinthians 9:7 "Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver." So each believer is supposed to give as he or she has determined in his or her heart. Someone can not give cheerfully if they are being forced to give. If a church can not survive on freewill offerings, maybe God is not part of that church at all.

For more info, click here. Or here. Or here.

Or take a few moments and just Google search phrases like "is tithing biblical"?

A Running Milestone

I need to give another shout out to Kim this morning. If you ever get tired of hearing about our running...I'm sorry. But this is a big deal.

We hit a major milestone today at 6:30 am. We ran 1.5 miles non-stop. This is a huge deal for me, and I know it's a huge deal for her. I have not ran that much since my college days SBU. We used to have to run 1.5 miles in 15 minutes for SBU softball. Now, I am NO WHERE NEAR that time now, but just the fact that we have built up our endurance and are able to run that much...it's just amazing to me.

Now here's the kicker...that is the absolute MOST I have ever ran at one time...just 1.5 miles. We will keep working to get to our 5K which is about 3.2 miles. I know we can do it. I can't wait.

Truth be told (and I think she'd agree) I bet we could have kept going. There's just a feeling that kicks in when you're running...when you work past a certain "this sort of hurts" point...that I think we could just keep running! Like I told her this morning, it sort of reminds me of Forrest Gump when he said...

"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. "

So maybe next time we'll keep going. I doubt we'll run across the country, though. She sort of has to get read for work and all! :o)