Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kinda makes you think

Health scares make you think more about your health.
I'm fine, don't worry. It's my precious father-in-law.
After a few days of intense pain, Stephan's mother dragged his father to their hospital in Jacksonville. He was immediately transported to Tyler's Mother Francis hospital after a CAT scan showed a large mass in his abdominal cavity. The doctors at Mother Francis found a 7lb tumor the size of a grapefruit pressing on his stomach. We have yet to find out the results of the biopsy, but, needless to say, it has been an eye-opening experience for all. Sias, my father-in-law, has given up any and all unhealthy habits he has casually embraced for years and years. And when Noah wanted to call Oupa last week, and he said, "I love you, Oupa", that sweet old man cried on the phone.
  As for us, we have re-realized the importance of praying for our loved ones. I know that prayer makes a difference, and though we pray for Ouma and Oupa every once in a while, usually during Noah's bedtime prayer, we have now made a far more conscious effort to pray for them daily, along with all of our family members.
 Also, we are trying to be very present and in-the-moment when visiting Ouma and Oupa. Somehow, that equated to a few crazy moments during our last visit to the farm.
Riding a cow is fun!

I believe this is called the redneck swimming pool?
I love that my boys love both set of grandparents so much. Witten seems to favor his grandfathers, though. Every day, he's on the lookout for Papa. Every time he sees my dad, he loudly calls him repeatedly until dad acknowledges him. Then, he'll pause for a moment, and start at it again. "pa-PA! pa-PA! pa-PA!" It's the same at Ouma and Oupa's house. "o-PA! o-PA!" He'll gladly point out Bebe or Ouma, but the party don't start 'til gramps walks in, as far as he's concerned.
  And since we're talking about health and junk, let me declare, here and now, that Taco Bell is a HORRIBLE idea for anyone recovering from a stomach bug. Even if you think that's all your uneasy stomach wants, just say "No!" Stephan is recovering from the same 24-hr bug that I dealt with yesterday. Praise God for Phil. Stephan's back-up cook stepped in on very short notice and allowed Stephan to spend the day resting at home.
Witten crawled up there himself so he could watch the game like Daddy.
 Looking at the above picture makes me realize that my family is all men, save for my lonely lady-self. It also makes me thank God profusely for such a wonderful family. A handsome, loving, hard-working husband, an energetic, happy, imaginative big boy, and my squishy, funny, cute little guy. Though they tire me, and oft' cause me frustration, I love them all so much and would hate my life without them.

 Be blessed, readers. And be aware of your health.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Seriously, though.

Friends, I was just now making my bed, which is more of a challenge than making a standard, full-sized bed should be due to my husband's outlandish sleep patterns, and I was suddenly so overwhelmed by exhaustion that I flopped onto my belly on that hardly-made bed and seriously couldn't move! I did, eventually, will my heavy body to rise up and finish the task at hand before I succumbed to sleep. Now the bed is made and I am lying on it, updating my blog. 'Cause I've got something to say.

 Readers, this is a baby born after being housed safely in her mother's womb fora mere 24 weeks.
Friends, this is a baby. This baby is at the start of her new life. This baby holds potential and promise to grow and be healthy and do great things. This baby's mother spared no expense to ensure her precious daughter would live, even though she came out so early. This baby has a life!
   Friends, just 4 weeks earlier, this baby's mother could have legally chosen to end this child's life. In the state of Texas, the cut-off age for a legal, in-clinic abortion is 19.6 weeks, according to planned parenthood's website. At twenty weeks, a small baby, who has been moving, feeling, seeing, tasting, growing hair, and can even get the hiccups, can be killed at a mother's behest. And, most sickeningly, the most common reason for an abortion is convenience. The mother is too young/ unmarried/ already has kids, and the responsibility of adding another life to hers would be too much for her to bear. I have heard other arguments for abortion as well. I will give this to you, pro-choice readers; there are many valid reasons for a woman to not be a mother. But there is never a good reason to kill a baby. 
  For the sake of a new, separate life, is it too much to ask for one to sacrifice 9 months of discomfort and "inconvenience"? For those mommies and daddies that want a baby so badly, but can't have one due to a slew of reasons, can't you let the life you don't want to deal with exist anyways? For those who are willing to spend however much money and time it costs to take a baby not biologically theirs and raise it as their own beloved child, won't you consider an alternative to abortion?
Adoption, adoption, adoption. One of the kindest, most unselfish things anyone can do. A true blessing for both childless parents and unwanted children. A beautiful, tangible portrayal of the love our Father in heaven has for us, His adopted sons and daughters. Adoption!
  I typed this uncharacteristically somber post because I hate abortion so much. I don't hate those who have abortions. I don't hate those performing the abortions. I hate that such a thing even exists. The killing of the innocent is deplorable, and I see babies in utero as the most defenseless of the innocent. 
  Something to think and pray about for sure.
 After all, we were all babies in our mother's belly once.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm too sleepy for this post

But I haven't posted in a while, so I feel obligated.
-Witten's walking everywhere. No more crawling for him.
-Stephan and I have experienced strep throat for the first time. Ain't it sweet how we do things together?
-Noah's getting so tall and big and he talks so eloquently (for a 3 year old), and he is so handsome!
-We should be closing on our new house on June 10th or 19th or some time around then. I'm excited, but to tired to adequately express my excitement at the moment. We'll circle around to that topic on a later post.
-I'm signing off now, so take care, readers!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ladies, go check out BSF

Bible Study Fellowship.
I have partook of this particular Bible study for the past four years now. With this well established and organized study of God's word, I have undergone an in-depth study of John, Isaiah, Acts, and this last year, Genesis. Dear readers, I do love me some BSF.
 Friends, I have long had a very difficult time with putting aside a slot of time in my day specifically for personal quiet time, and every Bible study I've attempted to do on my own was always left sadly undone. I blame my brain. It's the wrong kind of brain for organization and focus. God made my brain for imagining and jumping about. But since joining BSF and committing myself to the "homework" provided by the hardworking staff at BSF headquarters, I have been feeling so much more plugged into and recharged by God's Word. Yes, I still miss some days or skip some studies, but overall, this Bible study is truly a God-send.
  And, dear friends, not only is it one heck of a blessing for me, with all the learning and the growing and the fellowship, but I have seen crazy-precious growth and learning in my little boogie-boy, who attend the childcare provided by the Wednesday morning study. How can I tell, you might ask? I'll show you:
That's Noah singing a song he learned at BSF. In case you couldn't understand his childish tune, he sings, "Good morning, God! This is Your day. I am Your child. Show me Your way!"
 *pause for a moment of motherly praise and affection*
That is one of several God-honoring songs Noah has learned from his time at Bible study. Every time he busts out a song he learned from the wonderful ladies who taught his class, I feel a renewed swelling of pride and hope in my heart. Pride at what a good little learner and singer Noah is, and hope that, someday, the simple songs and easy lessons he is learning now, from Bible study and his church class and here at home, will sink down and settle into his heart and he will realize how much God loves him and he will love God with all his heart in return. That's certainly what I'm praying for for both my sons, and their presence at BSF is certainly helping. Also, Noah learned the pledge of allegiance at BSF. UH-dorable.
   And, to sign off, a picture that I want to burn permanently into my mind so as to treasure forever.
The cuteness! It's too much!!
Be blessed, readers!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

what is precious?

Precious is my big, squishy baby falling straight to sleep on my chest (something that has not happened in a year), snuggling his blankie, as I sang him the untitled hymn. Want some more precious? Sneaking out of Little Bit's room and hearing Big Brother singing the same song I was to himself as he plays with toys in his room. My hearts sings!

Click here to hear the song.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Don't get too excited folks,

But I do believe God has shown us our new house.
 Our new house is a beautiful house with everything we want and plenty of room for improvements and changes. It's in a great area with a great neighborhood and it's an easy bike-ride away from the Stand, meaning it's exactly what we wanted! (Also, our new neighbors are the bomb. *What up, Luhrs!*) I'm being cautiously optimistic, just in case we find a flaw during the inspection that is a definite deal-breaker and we back out, but I doubt that will happen. I'll post pictures as soon as I can. Friends, don't let me forget to take before and afters!
 And now, a time for reflection. And a picture that might embarrass the tar out of Stephan.
   I'm glad Stephan and I did not meet in high school. We were both completely different people then. I would have seen him in the cafeteria or across the gym, as he mingled coolly with his tennis team buddies, and I would have thought he was so hot, as high school girl do, but I would have figured it impossible that anything would come of it, for he would have been three years older than me and one of the "cool" guys, therefore waaaaay out of my weird, quirky league. He would have seen me in that same cafeteria or gym and snickered at me, and then probably not give me a second thought. I'm not ashamed of my high school oddness, and neither would I have blamed Stephan for thinking me weird. Lots of people did, and I couldn't care less. But, boy, if we had met in high school, and that had been the extent of our "relationship", we would both be missing out on the best life God could give us! And the world would be short of two incredibly precious, blonde headed boys! I'm SO glad we didn't meet in high school.
   Though I will say that Mr. Handsome Man used to be Mr. Hottie McTottie back in his high school days. *Woo!*      
12 hours shift in a New Mexico milking parlor can't dampen this stud's smolder. He even looks good brushing his teeth!
 If the above picture is what Noah will someday look like, and Noah's current stunning similarity to his father pretty much guarantees he will, then watch out, teenaged girls of Noah's future! There's an impossibly cute cutie coming your way!
 All that to say this: God's timing is perfect. While we may feel the need to rush and worry and make things happen, His perfect plan is already in motion. So chill, all my single ladies and all you unattached men! God's plan for you is unfolding before your feet, you just need to follow Him and trust and obey. For there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. And now you're singing that song, aren't you?

 Now I miss my husband.

Be blessed, readers!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

When I was a child, I would play with my mommy's makeup

Now that I have become a woman, well, I still do.
 I usually do NOT post or even take "selfies", but I took this one to prove a point. That point is: my mom's makeup is still fun to play with! It seems to work better, too. Next time a take a selfie, I'll do before and afters of my morning routine so that you, my dear readers, can see what an astonishing difference makeup makes for my face. You can barely see the fine clustering of breakouts on my upper lip, chin and forehead thanks to make up. Yay, make up!
  Now, I have to redeem myself for posting a vanity shot. Here's a picture of my precious boys wearing matching outfits. Why are they wearing identical outfits? Because I can. (Ooooh! I just used the age-old "because" argument. I truly am a parent!)
Today, friends, We are going to celebrate that handsome hunk of lovin' on the right. His birthday may be on the 6th, but we're partying on the 4th. I don't have much to buy/organize for his party, 'cause, like I said, I keep it low-key (no decorative skills whatsoever, remember?). Even so, I have that niggling, nagging feeling of anxiousness that is making me nervous. I always feel this way when hosting/ putting on anything, so I know that once the celebration starts, any bad feelings will disappear. Pictures to come, friends, even if they aren't taken by me.
Y'all be blessed, readers.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pictures, pictures, pictures.

Bad blog! Stop looking so bland!

Silly boy thought he was so silly!
 We went to the Brookshire's Wildlife museum last week with our long-lost friends, Ms. Angie and Grayson. Even though Noah and Grayson haven't seen each other in quite a while, they ran and played like they haven't missed a day apart.
Silly boy is handsome, just like his daddy.

Here are the happy boys on top of the fire truck.

Best buds!
 That was last week. We were invited to go there again this past Monday. Or was it Tuesday? I can't keep track of my days anymore. Time is FLYING by and I need to document my life better! Anyways, Ashley Johnson and her two precious girls invited us to the wildlife museum. By happy coincidence, Aubrey and her two were also there. Again, we had fun with friends. 
Look! they're getting so big!
 After that morning out, we returned to our new temporary digs and had lunch. Then I got an idea. I got a wonderful idea. I dressed my boys in their swim trunks for the first time this summer season and slathered them up with sunblock. With Noah's help and Witten looking on from a safe distance (he didn't like the water at all at first), we washed Noah's little red push car. It was so fun! The car wash itself took about two minutes, 'cause it is a tiny car, but after that bad boy was all spiffed up, we spent the next 30-45 minutes playing with the water hose. Eventually, even Witten was having a blast and soaking wet. It was such a fun, simple activity, and we wrapped it up by eating popcicles Noah helped me make last night.
    This fun outdoor activity made me realize what a difference it is living out here in the "sticks". Sure, mom and dad have neighbors, but you can hardly see most of them through the trees, so there's no fear of nosy neighbors or traffic or anything. We had so much fun with our mini-car wash yesterday that today, Noah, Witten and I had lunch outside. We've never done this before, and it was so fun!
Witten was such a big boy! He used his little fork better than his messy brother did.
Not only is the back yard great for eating, Bebe and Papa pulled out all the stops and purchased an awesome used play set the shape of a boat! 
It's pretty much this, except a bit older and there's a super fun slide
Stephan put is together yesterday afternoon and we set Noah to exploring it once it was safe. He loved it! Witten wanted very badly to go up in there too, but he's too small, so we just sent him down the slide a few times. Good enough, he loved it. 
  In personal news, I am trying to adjust to our new circumstances, and I am,but it's still strange feeling. I have lofty plans to resume my former healthy meal-planning and jogging, especially since the circle surrounding mom and dad's house is approximately one mile, but I have yet to get to it because of an inability to find a steady rhythm yet. It has only been a few days, and things like Dr. appointments and spontaneous invitations to play have caused us to be up and out of the house a lot, so I'm going to cut myself a little slack for not diving right into my idealistic health routine. But only a little slack! I will return to a healthy state and soon! I'm going to the beach this September, for Pete's sake!

Also, I have discovered that party planning, no matter how badly you wish and strive for it to be stress-free, is never without it's difficulties. Despite the forecast being dumb and chilly for this weekend, Noah's party will go on and it will be lots of fun, even if it will be much drier than I originally anticipated. And the cake will be awesome. (Seriously, go try any of the baked goods at cafe Tazza. If Jessie Mayes made them, they will ruin you for all other baked goods.)

Well, readers, this has been fun and long, and I now feel like I've caught y'all up on my life, for the most part. God has been faithful and good and will continue to be so. Praise God! goodbye for now.

Be blessed, readers!