Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands

  Don't you just love children's songs?  I do.  I not only love hearing my kiddos sing them, but I love singing and doing the hand motions right along with them.  I love the Jesus songs the most.  Why? Because they are simple words that carry such a big, BIG truth.

  One of our favorite songs to sing is "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." I don't know the exact verses after the first one, but here's how we sing it:
    He's got the whole world, in His hands (repeat 4 times)
    He's got little baby Creek, in His hands (repeat 4 times)
    He's got Anna Beth and Lynnsie, in His hands (repeat 4 times)
    He's got the mommies and the daddies, in His hands (repeat 4 times)

  I especially love it when I see these big, BIG truths in my life.  Please forgive me for being a little vague, but one of our children is going through some things and has been for several months (if you are reading this and know what I am talking about, out of respect for our child's privacy, please do not comment which child or what it is, thanks in advance). 

  Jacob and I have a very important appointment in the morning to hopefully figure some things out.  I scheduled this appointment over 6 weeks ago and it is the first of 2 that we have. 

  Not exactly something that can be easily rescheduled and, since we have been going through this for months - not exactly something we want to reschedule.

  I have had all childcare arrangements worked out for almost a month...checked and double checked to make sure everything was in place. 

  Tonight, at 8:54 pm, my friend who was going to take AB to school tomorrow for us called to give a heads up that her daughter was coughing, but no fever or other symptoms and she just wanted to let me know in case I needed to make a back up plan for getting AB to school.  I told her we could work it out if she couldn't take her, we just wouldn't get to our appointment very early, but not to worry. 

  And then at 9:22, my friend who was going to watch Lynns and Creek called to tell me that one of her children was throwing up.

  Deep, deep breaths.  Feeling a little dizzy.  Okay.  More deep breathing.  This will be okay.  It has to be okay.  In less than 30 minutes, all of my childcare arrangements are crumbling.  I admit, I felt a little dizzy :)

  I texted my mom and one other friend and just said, "Please pray...friend's kids are sick and I have to find someone to watch the kids tomorrow."

  I called Jacob at work, we tried to come up with something but couldn't.  It is times like this that I think to myself, "If only our family were closer than 8 hours away!"

  And then God showed me, He had it all in His hands.  He knows this is an important appointment.  He knows my child needs for Jacob and I to be there.  He knows we do not need to be worrying about who is taking care of our children so that we can focus on this appointment.  He knows.  And He's got it ALL in His hands.

  In less than 20 minutes, childcare and a backup for getting AB to school was completely worked out.  And to tell you the truth, it's worked out in a way that is even easier than our original plan for everything.

  I let my friend know that things were worked out and she apologized for not being able to keep them, but I told her not to worry about it...because it gave me a chance to see God at work.  And I love seeing God at work.

  But He didn't just work out some childcare for us...He showed us, that He's got this whole, entire situation in His hands.  He's got our child in His hands.  And there aren't any better hands for any of our kids to be in, than His.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pink Friday

  We have Black Friday, Good Friday, the frightening Friday the 13th...and now, Pink Friday!!  It was totally pink day in our house this past Friday.  I had been looking forward to doing this book activity with the girls for weeks!!  Lynns got the book, Pinkalicious, for Christmas.  A little girl and her mommy make pink cupcakes and she eats so many, that she turns pink! The girls love to read this book and I, of course, love to read it to them.

  I put the girls in pink t-shirts, Lynns with her adorable little pink hat and we sat down to read on the couch.  Snuggling up on the couch with my two girls, reading one of their it :) They were pretty ecstatic, too, when I told them we were going to make pink cupcakes with pink frosting!
Everybody say, "Cupcakes!"

Because you can't make cupcakes without letting the kiddos lick the beater.  It's like, criminal, or something :)

We used our new, best, kitchen-friend - our BabyCakes Maker and made the perfect, homemade, bite sized, pink cupcakes with homemade pink icing.

And it was a total success.  The girls were slightly disappointed that they didn't turn pink, too, and were pretty sure that if they ate just a few more they might.  I won't lie, I let 'em try just to see :)

Creek slept through our Pinkalicious adventure, but we got in some snuggly time later on.
And I totally loved it.  Totally and completely.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Celebrating A Precious Life

  Today is January 15, 2012.  Our first baby was due on January 15, 2008.  We should be throwing a birthday party this weekend.  We should be singing Happy Birthday, eating cake and ice cream, and opening presents.  But we aren't.  There's no party, singing, ice cream, or cake.  There's no candles to blow out and make a wish on.  Why? Because our baby died very early on in my pregnancy. 
  Today is a weird day every year.  I always have trouble sorting through my feelings.  I am sad.  I get confused.  I battle bitterness and anger.  I rethink over all of the "could have beens" and plans that were made during the short time I knew I was going to have a baby. 
  Earlier this week, I told a friend what today was.  I told her it would be a hard day.  And she said the most perfect thing...she told me she thought it was great that I was remembering the day that was supposed to bring her life, not grieving the day that brought her death.
  Her life.  So very short.  But she did so much.  She made me a mommy.  I became a mommy the moment she was conceived.  I loved her from the moment I saw the two pink lines on the test.  She changed me.  She brought me closer to the Lord.  She helped me to know His compassion and comfort on a deeper level than I had ever known.  She gave me the ability to be able to walk with others and love them and show God's love to them during the heartbreaking time of losing a baby. 
  She has helped others realize that every life is real, human, and valuable from the VERY beginning.  How? Because people have seen my very real pain and heartbreak and realized that, even though she was so very tiny, she was a life.  She was a life that made a difference to me and to others even though she never lived on this earth.  She never took a breath of this air. 
  I started this post not really knowing what I was going to write, but feeling that I had to write.  I had to do something to celebrate her life.  And I think I have.

Happy Birthday, Mary Grace! I love being your mommy :)

You can read more about my miscarriage and how I came to give my baby this name in my post, I Will Hold You in Heaven

Saturday, January 7, 2012

'Parkly Butterflies

  I've never really been a crafty person.  However, my kids love to do crafty type things.  So over the past few months, I've been slowly learning, searching the internet, and copying great ideas like the one Laura at Pitter Patter Art did with her kids.  (And Pinterest, of course!)  Doing this one project, stemming from this one idea that I found, got my creative juices flowing (which, by the way, I didn't really know I had!) and I now have ideas for 3 more book projects with the girls!  Excitement :)
  AB got the book, Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly, for Christmas.  The book is adorable.  If you've never heard of Fancy Nancy and you have little girls, you should look her up.  She dresses super fancy and uses super fancy words.  In Bonjour Butterfly, Fancy Nancy is simply devastated that she can't go to her best friends Butterfly Birthday Party - and instead has to go to her grandparents Anniversary Party.  But, she does get a butterfly surprise at the end! 
   I sat down with the girls after putting Creek down for his morning nap and we read Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly together.  Then we got down the craft box (that my born-to-be-crafty mother-in-law put together for me a couple of months ago) and got down to crafty business.

Construction paper, scrapbook paper, craft sticks, glue, glitter, and pom poms.

The girls picks out a piece of construction paper, I folded them in half and cut out a "B" outline, adding a piece at the top for antennas.  We glued small, colored craft sticks down the middle, cut out some pretty scrap book paper and glued them on the wings for prettyness, pom poms on the ends of the antennas and added glitter all around for Fancy Nancy sparkles.

After they'd dried, the girls put on their own butterfly wings and we took them outside to fly them around the backyard.  I'd added a larger craft stick to the back as a handle for them to fly their butterfly.

Creek didn't participate in the craftiness, but he sure enjoyed sitting outside and watching the butterflies with me.

   I love doing things with my kids, but this was especially fun...even though my perfectionist nature had a tendency to want to do the whole butterfly project FOR them so everything would be even and color coordinating!  I loved it because I love books, I love to read, I love to read to my kids, my kids love books, and my kids love crafts.  Mostly, I loved it because I was spending time with them.

Bonjour 'Parkly Butterfly!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mommy's Little Secrets Part 2

  I've told you before about my little secrets that I share with the girls here.  Well, here's part 2 of that story, this time with AB.
  One night, at bedtime, I was holding AB with her in my lap facing me, but laid all the way back in my arms.  I was swaying her back and forth, telling her how daddy and I used to hold her like that when she was a tiny baby.  Then I told her I had a secret for her.  She gave me that smile :)
  I whispered in her ear, "I love being your mommy."
  She whispered the sweetest words back in my ear...

  "I love being your Anna Beth."

A Merry Little Christmas

  We had a wonderful Christmas!!  But, really, every Christmas is wonderful - not because of the presents and parties and carols, but because we are celebrating Christ...God's love shown to us through the birth of His one and only Son, Jesus.  So that "whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life". (John 3:16) 
  But, all of our Christmas celebrations this year were fantastico! (We've been watching a lot of Dora in our house!)
  Our celebrations started in early December, when our little family of 5 celebrated early due to work/drill/travel plans.  We put up our tree on December 9 and had our family celebration the next morning.  The girls were precious opening their gifts from us, exclaiming over and over, "I love it!!"  Creek...well...he mostly slept through it :)  One of my favorite memories came first thing in the morning that day...
  We bought a present for Jesus this year - clothes, diapers, wipes, and formula for our local crisis pregnancy center.  We let the girls put the items in a Christmas gift bag and it was the first gift under our tree.  When AB came out of her room early, early that morning - all of their presents were under the tree.  But she couldn't see the present for Jesus, so she asked where it was and immediately started looking for it.  Precious. 
  We skyped that day with both sets of grandparents to show them our presents and spent the rest of the day just being a family.
  Our travel plans took some serious thought this year.  I grew up being home on Christmas, but also getting to spending Christmas Day and the days surrounding it with family.  I want both for my children, but living 8 hours away from family....something had to give.  We decided that this year we wanted to be surrounded by family, so we headed to Tennessee a few days before Christmas. 
  The day we got there, my parents took the girls Christmas caroling with our church.  I'm told they brought smiles to lots of faces.  Jacob spent a day in McKenzie with the girls and his side of the family, while my mom, sister, and I went out to lunch and get the supplies for a Pinterest project my sister wanted to do.  Creek got to stay home with my Nana!
  Christmas Eve was spent doing our traditional baking cookies.  We headed to my grandmother's for dinner, then to my other grandmother's to visit family, and back to my parents house.  It was so great to wake up on Christmas Day.  It's great to wake up every day, but Christmas Day...there's just something special about it.  We spent the morning at my parents, opening presents - and making my dad "need his sunglasses" a few times. 
  The girls were supposed to help me make cupcakes for our Happy Birthday, Jesus Party....but they were preoccupied and it was probably better not having 4 little hands helping me since I was using my new BabyCakes maker and trying to figure it out.
  We headed over to my Nana's that afternoon with our BabyCakes and had a late lunch.  For dessert...a Happy Birthday, Jesus Party!  We read the Christmas story from the Bible and put together a nativity, sang Happy Birthday, and enjoyed our super yummy cupcakes.
  A couple of days after Christmas, we got to spend the day in McKenzie with Jacob's side of the family.  We had a great lunch with his grandparents, aunt and uncle, sister, neice, and 2 of his cousins.  Then we spent the afternoon with his other grandparents, another aunt and uncle, and 2 other cousins.  Sometimes it's crazy running back and forth between the two towns where our families are, but it really is a blessing.  We both have families that love us and we never have to choose which family we will spend the holidays with!
  Now, the decorations are down, the gifts are somewhat put away, and the bags are almost, slightly unpacked.  "Christmas" is over.  But the good thing is, Jesus is not over.  He's never over.  Because of His birth - our reason for celebrating Christmas - He is never over.  He is always and forever!