January 25, 2011

Three whiskers

Yesterday, as I am getting Twain ready for his nap, I hear some major tom-foolery going on in the boys' bathroom.

"Calvin! Ollie! Settle down! What is going on in there?" I call out loudly, stalling for time.

I hear running water.

And laughing.

And lots of strange banging.

I'm getting antsy but before I can get to them, I hear Ollie's frantic screaming. I quickly put Twain down and come running out to meet Ollie.

His cheek is gashed under his eye and blood is squirting out. His skin is spit open and gaping and I can see his flesh beneath. I know right away that this is not our typical boo boo.

"What happened?", I interrogate Calvin.

"He fell into the bathtub", Calvin replies.

"Was he standing on something?" I inquire, quite doubtful that a tub could jump out and attack a child.

"No, he just fell in..." Calvin replies.

I quickly scan the tub. There is no water in the tub, just some toys laying at the bottom. And I do not see any blood in the tub.

I grab some napkins and apply pressure to Ollie's wound and bright red blood begins soaking the napkins.

Ollie cries hysterically and screams "bloody boo boo!"

By now I realize that I am no match for this cut and I start making phone calls. It is no easy feat dialing phone numbers with one hand, and applying pressure to the cut with the other hand.

And I am shaking a bit because the cut won't stop bleeding.

I call the pediatrician's office and am very blunt. "Ollie is cut and needs stitches. Do you do that in the office? Or do I need to go elsewhere?"

They tell me to go to the ER.

I call John's mom at work and on her cell. No answer.

I really don't want to drag all the kids in to the ER if I can help it. Especially Tweetle.

I call John's dad at home. No answer.

Finally I call John's work and tell him to meet me at the ER.

Calvin is the only one dressed. I load Ollie and Twain into the van in their pj's. I wore leggings to bed the night before(cuz they are SO comfy!) and throw some boots on...and a shirt and sweater.

The ER is busy but Ollie's cut has stopped bleeding profusely and now it's just oozing blood. The skin is still gaping open. I predict 2 or 3 stitches.

Ollie is chatting happily. "Fell in bathtub" he says when I question him what happened. Ok, the bathtub story it is!

We wait and wait. Twain is growing restless and keeps throwing his orange kitty on the diseased floor and then screams and demands that I pick it up again. Oh the joys of the waiting room.

Finally we see daddy gliding down the corridor in his blue dress shirt and orange striped tie.

Twain kicks his legs happily in his stroller. Clutching his kitty, he yells "Hi daddy!" It is very cute, considering our circumstances.

Daddy is smiling. We are all happy to be together. I am thrilled to have John as company with my restless children.

Ollie is called back for vitals and Twain comes along...destroying everything within his path.

After vitals, we are sent back to wait. It's almost time to pick up Finn from school. Perfect time for John to escort Twain and Calvin home...and they can pick up Finn.

As we say goodbye to daddy, the nurse calls out "Oliver?"

It's our turn.

Ollie sits on my lap as we wait in our little room for our impending doom. We wait for a long time and Ollie points out every single item in the room.

Stitches. Hm. Never done this before. I always wondered how Ollie would do in this type of situation. He is super sensitive. This could be ugly. But I knew we just needed to power through.

Finally a hip, friendly doctor comes in and puts me right at ease.

"Nice boots" he comments to me.

"Thanks" I reply.

"Aren't you grossed out?" I ask, pointing at Ollie's face.

"No!" he declares happily. "I love putting people's faces back together! I find it very exciting!"

He disappears for a while and eventually comes back with some needles and bottles.

They raise the table really high and hoist Ollie onto it.

"We are going to wrap Ollie like a burrito", he explains, as he wraps Ollie's arms and legs down with a white sheet.

I am instructed to hold Ollie's chest down.

The nurse is gonna hold Ollie's head down.

And the nice doc is gonna do his thing. I look away, but hold Ollie tight.

He gives Ollie's cheek a shot of lidocaine. It stings. Ollie screams hysterically and I cannot calm him down.

"Shhh it's ok. Mama's here..." I feel strangely calm. Thank you Lord.

Just gotta power through.

Ollie screams for a while as the lidocaine numbs his cheek. He is just plain freaked out.

And then, he suddenly stops crying.

I cautiously take a peak at Ollie's face out of the corner of my eye. And this image will forever be burned into my brain: His eyes are serenely closed, his cheek is orange from iodine and he is all wrapped in a white sheet like a mummy.

Sweet little Ollie.

The doctor starts stitching Ollie's cut...amazingly Ollie is calm and just whimpers a bit.

One stitch.

Two stitches.

After a few minutes the doctor says, "let's do one more".

Ollie fusses a bit and tears stream down his cheeks.

Three stitches total. Three whiskers.

After they clean the boy up a bit, they unravel my little burrito and hand him back to his mama.

She is so proud of her little boy. He grabs his mama and hugs her tight for dear life.

A little over 3 hours in the ER...and we finally get to go home.

We witnessed a lot of pain and agony from other patients there and so I was grateful to get home.

Home sweet home.

If you look close, you can see my reflection in his eye.

I was honored to be around for this whole little ordeal. Remember last time?
I chickened out and made John take Calvin in for his broken arm.

Percy was also along for the thrilling little ride to the ER.

Percy is Ollie's favorite toy this week.

I did not expect to be in the ER yesterday dealing with needles...kind of ironic, considering my last post.

A mom of ALL boys...

Have mercy.

January 23, 2011

Last night we met Gilbert

While reading Radical, a certain story rattled me a bit. Members of David Platt's church went to Africa to help out in an AIDS clinic. Not too long into it, one of the church members got stuck by an infected needle. And not too long after that, a second church member also got stuck with an infected needle. Not good.

Their response? "Thank God it happened to us and not to someone else!"

Wow, I cannot even imagine such a response. Needles alone make me squirm, let alone infected needles.

When I was in high school, I was very gung ho on becoming a doctor(insert enormous laugh right here). I joined a medical magnet team and at the age of 16 or 17, was following around doctors in a hospital.

I watched a doctor perform open heart surgery from 1 foot away. I watched the heart beat while the doctor was holding it in his hands.

I watched spinal surgery.

I watched a man get his lungs suctioned. Mucous was flying everywhere. I passed out. When I came to, his wife said,
"You don't look too good dearie".

One day I walked into a postpartum room and saw a lady sitting on her bed. Just sitting there. And I just about passed out again. Clearly this was getting worse.

While helping deliver a baby, I got light-headed and said to God "Ok, if you just help me not pass out, I promise you I will give up my hopes and dreams of becoming a doctor."

It was a good bargain. God helped me make it through the delivery. And I upheld my side of the deal:
clearly, I am not a doctor.

It was a win-win situation.

Anyhow, after reading the book, I was still thinking about David's church members who were stuck by infected needles. It kind of bothered me for a few days. I finally realized that when Jesus died on the cross, God poured out all of his wrath and our "disease" onto Jesus. We were the diseased ones and Jesus took this on himself. Just like these church members took on the disease. This really helped me come to terms with the whole thing.

Our small group from church gets to work with Flood, an organization that helps feed and house homeless people. Our job last night was to serve the people the food. When we got there, there was a surplus of helpers and we were re-assigned the task:

Pass out drinks.

Ok! Easy!

And go talk to the homeless people and form some sort of relationship with them.

Gulp. This was my first time here and I did not really know what I was doing.

Calvin and I walked around holding little white styrofoam cups of water. Calvin's eyes were round as saucers and his voice was barely a whisper.

As we bumbled and fumbled our way around a sea of people, we met a black man named Gilbert. He had a twinkle in his eyes and a bounce to his step. We shook hands with him and he immediately invited us to sit and talk with him while he ate his meal. As we sat down, these were the words out of his mouth, no lie:

"Do I look healthy? Do I look like I have AIDS?"

"Um, no sir" I said.

"Well I have AIDS", he announced. "All of my friends with AIDS have died already...but I am 50 years old and am on 15 pills a day... the same medicine as Magic Johnson!"

He then gave me quite the stern lecture on the importance of safe sex.

He continued, "Whenever I tell people on the streets you can get AIDS from sex, they don't believe me. They are like, no way!"

I did my best to appear as nonchalant as possible--this was not a typical day-to-day conversation I usually have and I did not want to look shocked and make him feel uncomfortable. And I really felt for him. He looked so cheerful yet lonely. He was so happy to talk to me and Calvin. I felt this overwhelming wave of sympathy for him.

"Do you know Jesus?" I asked. He looked at me kind of funny and said "Yes! How else do you think I keep going?"

A little while later I saw him sitting by himself and I felt another wave of sorrow for Gilbert's plight.

Later on during the night, Gilbert found me again and said, "I'm gonna find a cure for AIDS... I"m gonna be a billionaire...and I'm gonna buy you a Mercedes Benz!"

Aw. Dear sweet Gilbert.

I could not help but fall in love with his charming spirit.

Do you think it was a coincidence that the first person I met last night was Gilbert?

I think not.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he set up this divine encounter.

I may not be called to work in an AIDS clinic in Africa.

But I was called to befriend a man named Gilbert who has AIDS.

And Gilbert sure made it sweet. I no longer have a random statistic from a book in my head. But a real live shining sparkly face like Gilbert. I am thankful to God for this unexpected encounter. God sure has a way of keeping me on my toes.

January 19, 2011

pumpkin family 2010

Last year I hosted my very first Pumpkin Family{2009}

And now presenting our 2nd Annual Pumpkin Family {2010}

I was planning on posting this a while back but never got around to it. Better late than never is my motto these days.

I hunted down each pumpkin so it would fit into its corresponding gnome hat. Because I am slightly nutty like that.

The pumpkins that represent me and John:

Along with our kiddos.

All was calm and serene until certain little people happened onto the scene with their Nerf blasters.

Because pointed gnome hats apparently make AWESOME target practice for little boys.
The wreckage I tell you! It's more than any pumpkin family should have to endure. Better luck next time little pumpkin family.

January 15, 2011

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

What do you love? What do you treasure? What do you spend your time and money on?

Cute clothes?

Yes. Guilty as charged.

Decorations and cute pictures?

Yes. Guilty there too.

Of course I love other more noble things too. God. Family. Friends. Training my boys. Yes. But after reading the book, I realized that I also spend too much time and $$$ on cute clothes and decorations. There are poor, poor, starving people out there who don't even know Jesus, and I should spend more time and money on that.

One day we are all going to stand before God and give him an account on how we spend our money, time and resources. And how we have handled the precious gospel that He entrusted to us.

You are not going to wish you spent more time and money being comfortable, buying cute stuff to make yourself happy. You will wish you invested more of yourself into things of eternal value and to glorifying him.

And what do you think about most during the day? What do you focus on? Just the kids and cleaning and cooking and family and friends and blogging/facebook? Reading the bible and praying each day for a little while?

Uh, guilty there too.

The main thing I learned from the book is that my heart and mind all day need to actively focus more on God and the people around me. Telling people about Jesus who don't know him. And encouraging and discipling those that already do know him. Of course training my kids to know Jesus also tops my list. I find myself looking intently into Twain's eyes and telling him, "Jesus! Jesus is all that matters!"

And Twain beams as he looks back at me, swinging his feet, and says "Jeh-Jus!"

From the outside, my week looked about as ordinary as could be. Mostly just taking care of kids and stuff. But now that I am thinking and seeing things differently, it was one of the more extraordinary weeks I've had in a while.

I am now interacting with people more as I go about my business. I have met more new people in one week than I have in a while.

We take Ollie to Occupational Therapy twice a week. I'll tell you more about Ollie soon. Anyway, we get to meet lots of different people there.

Ultra cool tom-boy mom Jacqueline with daughter Roxy.

Little Angelo with major mental and physical problems.

Sweet mama Stephanie to her twin miracle boys, Noah and Jonah. They are now 3 years old. They were born at 24 weeks along in her pregnancy. 24 weeks! That is crazy! Noah is pretty much fine...just needs some PT...Jonah has cerebral palsy, can't see well and is confined to a wheel chair, but hears great and LOVES music and listens to it loudly wherever he goes. And I got to meet him and learn all about him!

Mama Sara and her son Andy from Ollie's speech school.

Before, I might have been too shy to impose. It's uncomfortable branching out all the time. But how are people to know Jesus if we don't say anything? God could have chosen any way for the gospel to be spread. For some insane reason, he has chosen us.

So what does that look like?

I believe it's going to look differently for each person. I feel no need to compare myself with others or to judge anyone legalistically for doing it differently. I just want to ask Jesus each day where he wants to take me.

In the bible it says to take up your cross daily.

Not weekly or monthly. But daily. I try not to think so far ahead in advance that I get overwhelmed.

Each day is a new chance. And some days, I am sure to crash and burn. As I type this I am thinking to myself, "Why are you even sharing all of this in blogland? What if I totally screw up and everyone then thinks I am so hypocritical?"

Arg. I will most likely mess up and would appreciate lots of grace:)

So what did Jesus ask me to do specifically this week?

Here are a few of the many things that happened:

Normally when I pick up Finn(and Ella) from school, I get in a tidy line with all the other vehicles along the sidewalk to pick up our kids.

We all wait in our own little bubble of a car.

Nobody interacts.

Which is usually fine by me because this means I don't have to drag all 3 boys out in the cold...sometimes in their jammies...sometimes I look sloppy.

So Monday I drove up and parked behind car #10 or so. Somebody pulled in behind me.

And I felt a little tug at my heart: "Get out of line and go park. Get the boys out of the car and go stand by the other parents by the gate".

Really Lord? Um...ok.

I pulled out and parked.

Got the stroller out of the trunk. Thankfully the boys were dressed.

We walked out and greeted some long-lost-friends we haven't seen in a while.

I'm talking to old friend Ashley and end up meeting her friend Deirdre.

Turns out Dierdre has a son named William who is in Finn's class. And they live just around the corner from us. I did not know that.

Deirdre and I are pretty much complete opposites. But that's ok!

Tuesday...Wednesay...Thursday...I continue to get the boys out of the car to go wait for Finn. It took a conscious effort each day to make sure all boys were dressed appropriately so we could go outside. And we ended up talking to Deirdre every day.

This Friday, Finn was gonna have two friends over to watch Star Wars: Ella and Jordan. Two sweet SAFE and comfortable girls that Finn goes to school and church with.

Spur of the moment Friday decision: Let's ask if William can join us? Really Lord? Maybe it would be more comfy if just Jordan and Ella came...maybe William can come next week", I rationalized to God.

But I felt God say, "No, invite him today".

William ended up coming over with Jordan and Ella. They all had a blast.

Williams mom, Dierdre also came, with her young daughter.

"I have not really met any normal moms like you from school", Dierdre explains to me..."they are all either messed up punks that I don't want my kids around...or snobs."

Teehee. She thinks I'm normal. Little does she know.

I talk to her about Jesus and God and "religion" and her current Catholic church and her former Baptist Church and so on.

I don't know where this will lead. That's ok.

I was only asked to take a few steps of obedience. One step at a time.

After everyone left, I looked in the mirror and saw a yellow piece of fuzz from my sweater hanging onto the front of my hair. Pretty embarrassing, but that's sometimes life. HAHA.

And I made a dope of myself other times this week too. As I was getting my yearly checkup, I wanted to tell my doctor about Jesus. But I chickened out. Later as we were saying goodbye, I asked about her upcoming vacation to the Philippines. I blurted out "One day I would love to tell people there about Jesus!"

Um, major doi on my part. Sounded like an idiot. The Philippines? Where did I get that thought from? I've never once even thought of going there, so not sure why I said that! So clearly I am going to be making a fool of myself at times.

And sometimes I am gonna be awkward. Have I ever mentioned how much I love awkward people? Well, I do! Which bodes well for me in the weeks to come, I presume!

That's all for now. I hope this encourages you to think about a few things. Where is your heart? Do you think about God and Jesus a lot? What matters to you? Yourself? God's glory?

p.s. thank you to all my dear girl friends this week that I got to talk with! you are a great encouragement! Also, so nice to meet sweet new friend Jessica too!

January 12, 2011

What it's about

Dear Ania,
You asked what the book Radical by David Platt was about. Here is a snippet:

Thanks for asking. If you are unable to view above video, you can click on this link to take you there. And yes, Lindsay, I've heard it's similar to Crazy Love, but I will let you be the judge.

January 11, 2011

I'm reading

Hi all,
I am currently reading a book my church recommended called Radical, by David Platt. I bought it at church on Sunday and have been reading it all day Sunday, Monday and today, Tuesday.

So, picture me, with my nose in a book.

I have no idea where this book will take me. It has already changed my heart on many issues. The author is compelling...some may even say controversial. But it's the words of Jesus that cannot be ignored. What he has to say about our money and the poor. I'll write more later. When I get my nose out of the book.

And if you've already read the book and would like to stop by and chat, please come by, ya hear?

January 6, 2011

target hooked me up.

Remember when John told me we did not have enough Christmas decorations?

A few days later, John instructed me to go to Target to buy some Christmas presents for Tweetle and Ollie.

As I was meandering the aisles for toys, I somehow ended up by the Christmas ornaments.

Ya know, just somehow...

And some yarn bird ornaments caught my eye.

I bought a few of these yarn bird ornaments and a little itty bitty tree.

I was hoping that John would be pleased that I bought some Christmas decor, but he was not.

"I thought you told me we needed more Christmas stuff!" I said.

"I meant you should buy it after Christmas, when it goes on sale", he replied.

"Oh" says me, completely dejected.

But he let me keep my little set-up. I bought some of it with my own spending money and he bought the rest. I originally bought some wooden beaded garland to string on the tree. I was going to paint them mustard yellow.

But those wooden beads are sneaky and slippery and were too heavy for my tiny tree.

So I used my mustard pom-poms instead.

I think next year I shall put mustard pom-poms on my big tree too.

I found the blue/white rosette flower in my fabric stash.
(I made it a while ago and was going to put it on a pillow, but it never made the final cut)
I used it as my star to top the tree, as you can see.

It took me a while to figure out where to put my new tree.
I think it's going to nestle in my front living room, by my green curtains.

After Christmas, I ended up going back to Target and bought yarn birds in all 4 colors for my big tree:
red, green, purple and teal.

On sale, the birds were $2 each.

I like them very much. And I like Target too.

January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010

Way back when John and I were newlyweds, we would drive our wheels off visiting family over Christmas. Over the last few years, this has gotten more complicated. As much as we would LOVE to see everyone, it just hasn't been realistic with the boys. So we stayed in town for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We hung out with John's family Christmas Eve day and then went to the Christmas Eve program at our church. Finn was the little drummer boy for the song, "Little Drummer Boy". Picture below taken by family friend Mr. Jay E.

Finn was so very serious, but told me he had so much fun. Little emo kid. Love him. It was so exciting to see my little squirt up there, I about died. More importantly, the program was beautiful and God was glorified.

Christmas day we stayed home all day in our jammies. Mom and dad came up for the day. It was the perfect lazy day and I only took a few pictures.

The next day, we got dressed:)

We had somewhere very important and special to go.

For the first time ever, we were going to Auntie Jessica's and Uncle Steve's new house.

I love Jessica's stockings. She whipped them up this December.

This was also the first time ever that all of our family was under the same roof at my sister's house. What a blessing. We shall not take this for granted.

Mom was trying to make the kids smile.

I think she succeeded.

For most of the group shots Emily and Finn were making the craziest faces I've ever seen. They were in kahootz and I could not get them to cooperate.

And then I found these. I felt victorious! I got Emily to look at the camera and smile! Finn is still making faces, but I will catch him another time.

Did I mention I love Jessica's wood floors? No? Well I love them:)

The cousins are back together and that makes this Christmas very special indeed.