Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Sickness...

In case there was any doubt...

Now you know, that when you are slammed to the bed for hours at a time...unable to watch your 2 children...hardly able to speak, or open your eyes, let alone prepare food or hold babies or keep them away from plug-ins...etc...

And your godsend of a husband comes home during his lunch break to:

-get your crying baby from the pack-n-play
-prepare lunch for said baby and 2 1/2 year old
-feed both boys
-put both boys down for naps
-put wife in bed to sleep off this horrendous migraine

AND THEN he proceeds to do almost the exact same thing the next day (but a little different timing)...and including even more grossness (pertaining to the wife, not the boys!) which i will not mention on this blog...

we know for certain
that he is with you in sickness and in health.

Thank you, my beloved Insoo.

*and hooray for a migraine-free day today! I could not have handled another day of this!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Promised Photos

So I'm a bit disappointed with the results of the disposable camera, but there were a few things that made this Easter very fun!

Eva visited us from Chicago. It was so wonderful to have her here! She's such a good friend to us and loves our boys to pieces. Almost their entire wardrobes are gifts from Eva. Seriously. We miss you, Eva!

I made little Easter treats for the boys.
They got to hunt for the eggs around the house. Elliot got a kick out of it.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the Easter service was great!

Since we attended our Easter service on Saturday night (largely due to the idea of "saving space" for the new people who visit on Easter Sunday) it made our Easter celebration seem extra long!! We got all dressed up on Saturday night, and then Sunday morning we had a nice and relaxed Easter brunch, the egg coloring and egg hunt around the house, and then an Easter dinner that evening. Oh, and at the Easter services we reached our highest attendance ever: a total of 12,090!!

And as you can see I splurged on matching outfits for the boys. I had decided not to do this because we couldn't really afford it and how silly to buy outfits for ONE day...until I justified the whole thing with this rationale: we have some summer weddings coming up...we have 1 yr photos coming up in May...3 yr photos coming up in August...and THEN I found these outfits--every single item on a great sale, (the Friday before Easter) each article of clothing was on sale for 7, 8, or 9 bucks. Well worth the "splurge"...even if this darn disposable camera didn't take the greatest pictures. Many more to come in these outfits, I am sure.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Boys' Room!

Well, I certainly feel like I'm living in the "olden days"! Tonight I had to do something I have not had to do in 5 years or so...I drove to Wal Mart to pick up my photos!

Since I had been without my camera battery charger for a while, and had a very dead battery, I bought a disposable camera to capture our Easter Sunday, complete with the boys wearing matching outfits and getting their first Easter "baskets" and Elliot coloring eggs for the first time (although I had run out of film by that point so no record of the egg coloring.)

Anyway, I had planned to pick up the photos tonight and post a few but since I got to Wal Mart after 9, I could not get the pictures. So you're going to have to wait to see the photos--just like me! :)

SO. Since I had planned to update, I'll catch you up on the latest rooming situation--our 2 boys in one bedroom.

Isaiah's in the crib now. Yay! He's doing very well at night, and if he does wake up he puts himself back to sleep and does not wake Elliot with his crying! We are thrilled.

The boys' initials hanging on the walls are courtesy of their crafty Auntie Mel. I love them. The other day I was going over the letters with both boys, and I said "E, J, H..." and ISAIAH said, "K". I am certain it was a fluke, but still. (Insoo heard it too--I was not imagining things.)

Elliot's "bus" bed (it's really a VW beetle but he insists on calling it a bus) was given to us by some friends whose boys have outgrown it, and we absolutely love it! Once in a while Elliot asks to sleep in the crib, but then gets over it when we say no. We have a slight problem with him getting out of the bed and stealing things from Isaiah's crib...but we're working on that. And mostly he does ok. Sometimes he'll sing to him or talk to him if he's crying, which is so sweet to hear. And it won't be long until they're talking and giggling, and while that will have it's challenges, it will be so fun too.

One of my favorite decorations in the room was a gift from my friend Helen. These Bolivian women & babies hang in the boys' room because Helen babysat Elliot quite a bit as a baby, and he absolutely adored this hanging in her home. When we moved, she gave it to us, and it has been so special. As you can see, the boys are already "wrestling"...geesh. I have so much to learn about boys.

My most recent completed project--a few of Isaiah's photos put together just in time for the new room.

And I'll leave you with this sweet shot of the boys. They are fighting more and more...but love each other more and more every day too.

Well, speaking of bedrooms. Time to get to mine and get to bed. Good night!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Daddy's Love

Elliot specifically did NOT want to go to the library for story time today, he wanted to stay home.

Fine with me! That calls for a lazy Monday morning of staying in our pj's...eating a slow breakfast...watching a little "Boz"...trying to skype with Andrea and the cousins (but having technical problems)..."fingerpainting" (with brushes)...a little playing in the sink...and then a later lunch.

Then suddenly, mid-bite Elliot got a very sad expression on his face.

"Mommy, I'm sad."
"What? Why? What's wrong, Elliot?"
"Where's Daddy?"
"He's at work, honey."
(We went over that this morning...after the weekend we remind Elliot that Daddy works so that we can have a house to live in and food to eat and clothes to wear.)
"But I miss him."

Insoo always reminds Elliot to call him if he misses him, so, thrilled with a solution I run downstairs to grab my phone and start dialing on my way up, taking the stairs 2 at a time. I give the phone to Elliot. Thankfully, Insoo answers:

"Hi, hon."
"Hi Daddy."
"Hi Elliot! Did you go poo poo on the potty?" (the normal reason we call around 1/1:30 for the past week!!)
"Not yet."
me: "Tell Daddy why you called him."
Elliot very softly: "I missed you. I want you to come home."
me: "Daddy can't hear you. Say it into the phone"

Elliot repeats himself clearly and right into the phone "I miss you" and then I see his lip quiver and immediately my own eyes fill with tears. "Here, give me the phone, honey. I'll talk."

I explain that Elliot really is sad. He really misses Insoo.

"Is he getting ready to go down for his nap?"
"Pretty soon, but we're still eating lunch."
"You're still eating lunch? I'll be there in 15 minutes."

I get off the phone and see a single tear on Elliot's face. I explain that Daddy is coming home for lunch and if he hurries up with his beans, he can just sit on Daddy's lap when he gets home. It works. He finishes all his beans.

When Insoo walked through the door, Elliot was off his chair in a heartbeat, and running into his arms. Literally. (And this doesn't always happen with our 2 1/2 year old anymore.) He told Insoo how much he missed him and that he was sad and that he called him on the phone, and Insoo assured him that he was here now. He didn't have to be sad anymore.

Just like a million other father/son interactions I witness every day, I was reminded of our Father's love.

I'm pretty sure that my own dad, upon receiving a teary phone call from his eldest daughter, would be checking immediately.

But my heavenly Father. Here in an instant.

I know that as parents, we reflect God to our kids. And that subconsciously, they are learning of our Father's love through their earthly parents. Their "world-views" and "God-views" are slowly being shaped with every interaction and every response.

But I've come to discover that as parents we are learning even more. I'm absolutely sure of it. We feel this intense love for our kids and go "Where did that come from?" We see our child's quivering lip and our eyes fill with tears! We hear our son say "I want you to come home" and we're in the car without a second thought.

What a precious way for God to reveal his heart to us--through our own love for our children.

Do you miss your Father?
You should tell Him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eggs and Bunnies and Easter Dresses

Memories are such funny things.

We sometimes pick and choose what we remember, consciously or subconsciously. And then sometimes for the life of me I just cannot remember things I want to. Some memories morph into feelings, where the details become so foggy but the feeling is crystal clear. Some memories I KNOW that each and every detail is correct. Others I wonder if I'm wrong...or if I even made it up!?

Easter brings back so many memories for me. And they fall into all kinds of those categories.

We didn't get Easter baskets at our house, but oooh how I envied my friends who did. And on special Easters shared with our Aunt Barb, we were spoiled with our very own baskets overflowing with malted milk eggs and candy coated marshmallow eggs and chocolate bunnies...the things we dreamed of.

Grandma Smokie always had an Easter egg hunt in her house, with the exact same chocolate eggs every year, hidden in exactly the same places.

One year, or maybe more, I made an Easter basket for my siblings to share, and I remember trying so hard to fill it with only the best candies I could find, and make it REEEAL good. But sharing between 4 siblings, I'm not sure it ended up as the extravagant basket I was going for on a limited budget.

One Easter, Andrea and I discovered Dove Truffle Eggs for the first time, and I have made it a point to eat 1 (or maybe more) Dove Egg on Easter.

We did not normally get new Easter outfits, but ooooh how I envied my friends who did...AND my sisters who did! One year, Maria and Melinda were decked out in new dresses and hats and I would have given absolutely anything to be 3 and 4 years old with them. But one year for sure, or maybe many, I did get a new Easter dress. It was lavendar and it had a "sash" and I felt like a princess.

But my strongest feeling-memory from Easter mornings was with mom. For sure once, or maybe many times, I was allowed to get up really early and go to the Sunrise service with her--just me and her! Not only did I LOVE sunrise services, but I loved the privilege of being the only kid who got to go with her. I remember waking up before she did and running downstairs to make sure she did not oversleep. I think I got to wear my lavendar dress that year.

And as a child, I'd have chills up my spine celebrating the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday. I remember Easter brunch at Maurice church, and ham at Grandma Mol's. (I have always hated ham.)

This year, at our Easter service, **complete with a rapper and a full gospel choir (in the same song, even!)** we sang "In Christ Alone"'s song. The song that I still cannot sing because I've already choked up just from seeing the words appear on the screen. So with tears streaming down my face, wanting desperately to sing I have to whisper the words with a quivering chin, and when a tone does escape from my choked up voice it sounds more like a squeek than a note.

People believe many different things about loved ones who have passed away. Christian people believe all sorts of different things. Some think they are looking down on us. Some think they are "here" with us in some way or another. Some think they're in heaven, and some think they are waiting until the resurrection of the dead...of which Christ's resurrection was just the first!

What I believe is that it is ALL about Christ. After losing mom, that reality is so much stronger. That life is so short, and only few things matter. I like to imagine sometimes, though, that I am joining in with the heavenly chorus--even if all I can do is whisper the words and let the tears fall. And in some strange way it is like holding her hand as a little girl in that sunrise service. Because she and I are worshiping our risen Lord together.

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Regular Life

Not much to report these days...I feel so boring. When I talk to friends at church, or family on the phone...I have so little to say...nothing much has been going on!

I am so grateful for the health we have experienced, amidst so much sickness! Seems everyone I know is battling or has already battled all kinds of sicknesses this year...and thankfully we've stayed very healthy for the most part!

If I had not forgotten my camera battery charger at Dad's, I could take pictures and post the new "Boys' Room" in our house! It's very exciting. Things are going extremely well. The room's a bit cramped, but works out just fine! When I get it, you better believe that will be one of the first things I'll share!

I'm trying desperately to enjoy regular life these days. Isaiah's first birthday in less than a month (!!) is striking me in a very strange way. I know much has happened in this year. Adjusting to Columbus and life as a family of 4 has been crazy and full and I never feel like I'm "caught up"...with anything. And as time slips by, I just don't want to be a person who is always wondering where it went. It's common ground amongst every living person, I know. To say HOW can it possibly be this long...or how has she grown up already...or where, oh where did the time go? My only solutions are to take lots of pictures, look at them often, and try to really enjoy each day. Every Regular Day.

So often I find myself just trying to make it to the next thing...if I can get through the morning it will be lunchtime...if we can get through lunch it will be naptime! just a few more hours daddy will be just a little bit it will be bedtime...well...and then what? Then we start all over the next day! What a horrible way to be spending my days! I need to make a deliberate effort to not live like this. Sieze the Day. Enjoy the moment. All the trivial-sounding little cliches are really so true...especially when I realize I'm not living that way.

Today there was a sweet conversation between Elliot and Insoo. Insoo had come home for lunch with us and as he was leaving, he told Elliot to have a good nap and to dream of him. Elliot said, "And if you're sick or stuck or hurt, I'll take care of you." I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it was precious and a very sweet moment in our day.

Isaiah is jabbering up a storm lately. "Uh Oh" is by far his favorite, but he now has "bye bye" down (along with the waving) and "buh boh" seems to be brother, "da da" is old news, "ma ma" is heard more and more, "kah koo" is thank you, and as of today... "peek a boo!" I couldn't believe it! (sounds more like "pah uh BOO")

That's about all I have to share because really, not much has been going on. If you'd like, I invite you to join me in trying to enjoy the regular moments...the nothing-to-report days. Count them as blessings, and see the beauty in them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009