Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back to the Basics

I believe our house has been bestowed a new title, a new claim to fame in the last week: "Meltdown Capital of the World." Yes, life this week has been particularly...RIDICULOUS! What in the world has happened to my children? Of course, I would like to lay blame on my nearly complete absence for the past two months. The insertion of a wonderful, but somewhat spoiling grandmother is a little suspicious as well. I wouldn't expect Oma to be anything other than spoiling, but it has taken its toll. If I am not mistaken, the dependents lifted nary a finger in chores while she was here (maybe once or twice if that).

The result has been complete ear-shrieking whining and body collapsing by Lily:
Lily: Ahhhhhh - IIIIIII --noooooooottttt waaaaaaannnnnt thaaaaaatttt!
Me: What was that ridiculous noise?
My friend Margo: A very tired child.
Lily: It was ME! (At least she owns up to it!)
Additionally, Lily has begun wetting her pants again. Two days ago she sat on my bed and wet it, sat on Ethan's bed and wet it and then peed outside on the driveway. UGH!

The result has been a complete sassy, back-talkin' attitude by Sadie:
Me: Sadie, please go to the back yard and tell your friend that her mom is here to pick her up.
Sadie: I don't want to.
Me: It is not your choice and that is not the appropriate answer. Go tell your friend to come.
Sadie: Why don't you go do it? (I think I almost saw a head wag, but it is still a little debatable)
Me: (Inwardly fuming and doing every thing possible not to back slap her across her head). DO IT NOW and then go to your room. This little chat between the two of us continued in her room, but I won't post details.

The result has been isolation by Ethan:
Me: Ethan, time to go
Ethan: no response
Me: Ethan, c'mon, time to go
Ethan: no response
Ethan: no response
Me: loudly, ok, at the top of my lungs screaming: Ethan Loek Van Dumoulin, get down her NOW!
Ethan: (opening door to his room) "what?"
I think I will have a PSP for sale very soon - it will go to the highest bidder, so start getting fund together.. It is white with some special edition Star Wars theme to it.

This was my first week back in the saddle. Oma went home Friday and Jay moved into RaRa Telecom World Headquarters on Monday. Keep in mind, I am still limited on the amount of driving, sitting, physical movement, etc. Nevertheless, I have been left in control (liberal application of that term). I haven't really been alone in nearly 8 months adding in Jay's sabatical.

Therefore, we are getting back to basics. We have a chart which gives a point every time I hear yes, ma'am or no ma'am upon asking any question or calling their name. We are starting a kindness chart for chalking up kind words, kind actions, sharing, etc. (thank you Margo for the idea) Every infraction is a point lost. Seriously, if they can get into the car, buckle themselves in without a single snippy remark, squeal or physically touching each other, they get a point. I am talking simple basics...again!

Alright, not every minute has been this discombobulating, as they don't all happen at the same time. However, they appear to be consecutive which does not give this mom a breather. I love being an active participant in their lives again, but whew, I have forgotten how much hard work it is! Looks like it is BOOT CAMP TIME!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vote for your favorite

My long-time "friend" sent the following composite of my school pictures from 4th grade - 9th grade. Although I ponder why someone would keep these school photos for some 25 odd years, I am glad she did. We had some great laughs commenting about them. I thought I would share the hilarity and subsequent observations.

4th grade: Epitome of preppy period with Izod sweater and loafers. I was obsessed about having my hair pulled back very, very tight. Thus, I had these enormous white plastic clips on each side to hold it all back. In fact, everything had to be tight at that stage - tight belt, tight shoelaces, etc. Must have been a control issue. Not surprising.

5th grade: I look like Lily, I think. Wearing outfit and hair chosen by my mother - I was not thrilled. Did anyone ever think that it was really taken outdoors? What gives with bad photography back drops?

6th grade: What the...? is the only way I describe my choice here. Besides my head looking like it is sitting on a platter with no neck there is a very interesting jewelry choice. I am wearing a gold (use that term loosely) necklace that has a charm on it. The charm is an outline of a cowboy hat. Like I was into western stuff –and I don’t know if I wore it another time. Although maybe I spawned the beginning of that type of charm as being hip and it carried its way into Sex and the City…the "Carrie" necklace? For some reason, I just felt compelled to wear a fake gold cowboy necklace with a turtleneck (now that’s true western wear – in the hot-as hades western prairie sun, herding cattle). And, upon careful inspection, I remembered I am wearing a plaid, grossgrain ribbon tied into bow. Another non-western addition to the freaky adornment choice. Another friend thought it looked artsy - I think it is just bad.

7th grade: This is when I remember trying very hard to be hip and cool. I am wearing a brand-name shirt with Jordache jeans. I accessorized it with red hair bows, my newly pierced ears and a red belt - remember the ones with the changeable gold belt loops in different shapes. Mine were starfish - another out of nowhere choice. I had red espadrilles. This was also my first foray into bangs and experimenting with new hair styles. I was smokin'. Or, at least I really thought I was.

8th grade: Not sure what the deal was with the little white step stool (another gaffe by photographers) but I was beginning to grow out of the preppy era into the Esprit fetish. This photo was a mixture of these two styles and I am pretty sure I am wearing plastic shoes. Bangs are a little longer and I have an official Dutch boy haircut, which spawned one junior high nickname (Dutchy). The other was Spike (I kid you not). Long story. I had discovered a store at Westchester Mall called D. A. Kelly's which carried my beloved Esprit. My relationship with Esprit de Corp pinnacled with an assault to their only outlet (at the time) in San Francisco while on a family vacation. I completely over-dosed and like most over-dosed items in our lives wasn't able to wear much of it after 10th grade.

9th grade: Oh my! This is when Ansley convinced me to lighten my hair at the beach the summer prior to school starting. Does anyone remember Sun-In? Well, my hair actually turned more orange. Writer John Hughes' movies were all the rage (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles) and I felt the call to combine Molly Ringwald's hair with Anthony Michael Halls'. Throw in a dash of large hoop earrings and matching heather gray skirt and it was close, but not quite. photo of example here

Actually, now that I look at it - that is my 10th grade picture. I had braces on in 9th grade and that pictures is worth saving for the archives. Thanks, friend, for keeping that in the vault. And, hmmm, that photo I have labeled as 5th...maybe 3rd? Hey friend...can you double check the dates and let me know?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Red Light Stop, Green Light Go

I received the 'GREEN LIGHT' from the doctor and physical therapist today. A big PTL going His way!!! I was also told I am doing great for this point in time. I still have some restrictions and multiple therapy sessions to go, but the end is near!

A friend just asked me where I was so desperate to drive. Interesting question and well, it caused me to ponder for a moment. In my pre-ruptured disc life, getting in the car to drive was pure drudgery. It was late in the school year and the sometimes thrice daily trips to the school, errands, etc., had taken its toll. I was enjoying my time at home with Jay. The back and forth, and back and forth - I was just over it.

However, after two months of only two self-driven segments, I can say that not having that privilege at all will drive you BATTY! I could never be alone. I think that was the most taxing on me. There was always someone at my house and always someone in the car with me. Except for the walk to the doctor's office after my surgery, I can't remember a time of solitude during this ordeal. Well, maybe a couple of drug-like coma hours in the hospital, but that doesn't count.

Getting the green light to drive was, to me, indicative of my progress. It was another step closer to performing all of my responsibilities - ones I really enjoy and ones that I abhor. Either way, I want them back. Lounging in bed is fun...for a couple of days. Television, books, and of course, my computer get old. I am social creature and I have miss seeing my friends up close and personal. I have missed going to church (can't sit for that length of time, until now). Driving was just very symbolic to me because it was while engaging in this activity that I had the most intensive pre-surgery pain. Being able get behind the wheel today, pain-free, was just awesome.

What little pearls of wisdom have I gleaned over the past two months? Well, it is so incredibly cliche, but it is true. You can't appreciate what you have until it is gone. In this case I declare my praises to God for healing me, for giving me a car, for providing money for gas to put in it, and for the ability to be functional with my family. I don't forsee driving all around High Point just because I can. Nor do I have any place in particular, except for an oil change after dropping E and S off for basketball camp tomorrow. Oh, and maybe a car wash - my car is a filthy wreck!

We simplified our lives quite a bit during all this mess and I plan on keeping it that way. Of course, I write that knowing we plan on operating the business from the new warehouse on July 1st. I think Jay has sheltered me a bit from the insanity of owning your own business. Whatever, I say, oh, what a lovely, glorious, God-given road on which we are riding!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The list never ends...

A whirlwind of activity has descended upon our house over the past several days. My head is spinning in light of everything that is still ahead of us, too. We signed a lease on office/warehouse for the business. We are a little ahead of our time frame, but that is a good thing. To wrap your head around all the things you might need for a completely empty building is a little like trying to figure out who really won the 2004 presidential election.

We have two "employees" on the road this morning in a rental truck heading to pick up what we hope is some great de-installed equipment to sell. We ironed our logo onto several golf shirts so that everyone would look neat and tidy. I have to go today to set-up a business account for the utilities and get a business license from the city.

Alright. I started this entry this morning. It is now 9:20 PM. What a boring and dull post. This is what I have come to people. I am sure I am now the poster child for the "get a life or this could be you" cause. To be sure, I am beginning to fret about this metamorphosis. Most days I begin and end my day here. Sure, I pick up a devotional or two. I may even google (my new BFF) something I read in them, and then I am back at it. Someone who says she is my friend suggested that I try facebook to pass the time. I entered into that realm innocently enough and now I am a stalker...looking to see who I can badger from my past to "be my friend." And now this...writing about the mundane, basically nothing.

It all reminds me of my favorite Seinfeld episode where Kramer finds the set of the old Merv Griffin show in the dumpster and sets it up in his apartment. Neuman pretends to be his side kick and they pretend to have a talk show -complete with tape recorded applause. After a few tries, they realize that they have...nothing to talk about. So, they decide to spice things up a little with a more Jerry Springer sort of feel. You can read the details of the episode here .

I am not going to go Jerry on this blog, but maybe I need to reserve posting when God has made a profound statement in my life or in those around me. I am deliberating on the purpose and point of this blog. Why am I writing this and to whom? With that, I am taking a hiatus. I know myself, and more importantly, know that all of this rides on tomorrow, my first physical therapy appointment. If all goes well, I will receive the green light to drive again. There will be fewer entries and loud tire squeals out of the Millis Center. If I am still relegated to the house, be warned.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dear Miss Three and a Half

Dear Miss Three and a Half,

This letter is to inform you that you have been put on probation effective immediately.

This probation is due to the following violations:

Hitting your fellow co-workers
Persistent attitude of superiority, i.e. thinking that you know it all
Not open to correction
Running away when called for
Anger mismanagement, i.e. spitting and throwing yourself down on the floor
Inappropriate reaction to negative criticism, i.e. whining and crying
Belief that television must be on in order to get work completed
Not listening to management
Hiding from management when in public places, particularly in stores with clothing racks
Occasionally showing up at the work place in inappropriate work attire, i.e. stripping of all clothing
Intermittent lack of personal grooming, i.e smell of urine because of waiting too long to go to the potty

After repeated warnings, consider this your final notice. The next violation will result in either 1. being sentenced to your cubicle until you turn four in August at which point the management feels you will change this behavior or 2. being shipped back with your Oma to the Netherlands.

Dumoulin household

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who's on First...

I had one of those conversations with Lily that just confusing and frustrating like trying origami. You start it, try going different directions and then you have no idea how to make it work...much like the comedy "Who's on first, What's on second, etc."

So, my mother-in-law took me on several errands today. One was to Wal-Mart where I ran into Amanda - yay! Haven't seen her in such a long time. We swapped surgery stories. Anywho...we pulled into the Hobby Lobby parking lot for another errand, parked in a space and unstrapped Lily from her car seat. And, here is where the conversation began.

Me: Come on, Lily, let's go.
Lily: I see a card.
she proceeds to walk to the third row seat of the car. On her way back there she "ducks" underneath the seat belt which was caught on the arm rest of one of the second row seats.
Me: Lily, come on, we don't need cards to go into Hobby Lobby.
Lily: I want to get a card on the floor.
And with that she kneels on the floor of the van where I can't see her. The cards she was referring to were the ridiculous animals cards they are giving out at Chik-fila that you must have superman vision to even read. It comes with a plastic holder that keeps breaking sending these cards all over the floor of the van. Should have thrown them in the trash before we left.
Me: Lily, just "duck" back under the seat belt and get out of the van.
Lily: Where is the "duck" card? I can't see it. She is still kneeling on the floor of the van between the
Me: Realizes she thinks when I said "duck" I meant there was a card with a duck on it. No, Lily, there isn't a duck card. Just duck, I mean, go under the seat belt.
Lily: No, Mommy, I want to find the duck card. I can't see it. I wike (like) the duck card.
Mommy: There is no duck card. Come under the seat belt and let's go.
Lily: Where is the duck card, Mommy?
Mommy: Lily, get out of the car now or I will have to take you to the bathroom for a visit with Mr. Do-Right.
Lily: Ok, Mommy, I find the duck card later.

A quick note on the sanitary conditions of our pool

Sadie just ran into my room and announced that there are frog eggs in the pool. How she knows this, I don't have a clue. I don't doubt her because she is actually pretty accurate when it comes to nature knowledge. Lily heard this and declared to me that she was going to teach the tadpoles how to swim. I told her they already know how to swim. She insisted that she would teach them. She then scampered off to get her bathing suit on. Anyone know if that is a bad sign concerning the cleanliness of our pool?

OK - Lily just ran back in here, completely naked with suit in hand and announced she would get the eggs out of the pool.

Summer Fun

Because we knew that I would not be very mobile this summer, trapping me home with three children, we decided to purchase one of those large inflatable pools that comes with a filter system and chlorine tabs. Yay for sanitation! We got a deal on it and it has been the best $70 we have ever spent. It is basically a large bag with an inflatable ring around the top. Every morning right after breakfast the kids race to get their bathing suits on and usually, I don't hear from them for at least an hour. The process repeats itself after lunch and then again after dinner. It has been a sanity saver for me.

They have come up with all sorts of games to play - with pool noodles, with the hose, with water balloons, even piggy backing each other. They take turns jumping off the step Jay created using hay bales. It is very cute to see Ethan and Sadie make these major jumps and then Lily comes with her little quiet step-down. Consequently, they are browning up, particularly Lily who takes after Ansley's olive complexion.

However, as predicted, after a couple of hours, when it is about time for them to come in, the bickering begins. Someone plays too rough, someone is hit in the eye with the hose, someone is kicked, someone won't stop pestering another one, or someone (guess who) pees on the driveway (at least she has the foresight to get OUT of the pool). There goes the calm and enjoyable couple of hours and out comes the referee/clean-up crew!

Lily loves getting on her bathing suit. After several weeks of training she can finally do it herself. I have never had to teach a child how to get dressed on his/her own. However, Lily seems to be a little challenged in the dexterity department. She has come up with her own vocabulary for a two piece bathing suit. One piece bathing suits are called bathing suits. But, two piece suits are water panties and water shirts! Makes sense to me.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Jay's Perspective

Jay entered our bedroom where I was (no surprise here) lounging on the bed. He had just returned from Wal-Mart where he picked up a prescription and a few other notables. He was really stoked because the pharmacy had accidentally filled his prescription twice. They let him purchase both at the same time (is that legal?), thus giving him 4 months at one time. After commenting about this victory, he had an "aha" moment. See, his prescription is somewhat of an amphetamine, helping him with weight control. I, on the other hand, still pop a muscle relaxer only at night when I am feeling the ouches. So, his "aha" mention was: Our medications are symbolic of our personalities. I am all hyped up while you are just sort of there." I laughed pretty hard and thought it was funny. But, now that I type it, I am thinking that wait a minute...

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Ok - After prompting from a friend, I have set up a Facebook page. It has been a complete time vortex for me, but hey - I am just lounging around anyway. Over did it at the wedding reception last night and have had some odd pain today. Bummer. Anyway, search for me. You never know who else you might see! They are easy and fun to set up. I hope to find more "friends" soon.

Boy drama - age 6

Last night we went to a wedding reception for Sadie's teacher. Because of my surgery and recovery, I was not given clearance to attend the wedding due to the lengthy amount of sitting that would be involved. However, we arranged for another family to take Sadie to the ceremony and we would meet up with them at the reception (which I was given the ok to attend).

Sadie had been looking forward to this wedding for quite a while. All week she would ask, "How many more days until Miss Adkins' wedding?" I knew she was building up a lot of excitement and anticipation which can only mean one diagnosis for Sadie: emotional overload resulting in meltdowns. I have experience with Sadie in this area, so I planned accordingly. I started getting her ready an hour before her pick-up time so that we could have at least one meltdown and still be ready on time. It is just her nature. I have found it is easier to let her just get it out at this age rather than try to stop it. At this juncture she just can't deal with the intensity and complexity of her emotions. They are few and far between and last only a few minutes. We are working on it and I see little improvements, but until it is resolved, I just plan ahead.

We hot rolled her hair and after several attempts to style it, one flailing upstairs to her room, we reached a compromise. She wore a very stylish dress that had a halter tie, sequins and even some tuile on the bottom, brown sandals (which I advised against), a pink pocketbook and lots and lots of light purple lip gloss, applied over and over again. Interesting several mothers mentioned to me that they almost didn't recognize her because her hair was so styled.

We received a call from Sadie as she was leaving the wedding with the other family. "Mommy, can you bring me some other shoes? These sandals hurt my feet." Ok. "Mommy, can you tell Ethan and Lily that I miss them?" Ok. See you in a little bit at the reception. I packed a small bag with two possible shoe choices, a pair of socks and several different hair bows/clips to cover my bases, thus avoiding any issues that might arise.

Being a teacher and obviously a lover of kids, Miss Adkins had a special room ready for kids attending the wedding (which there were many!). There were coloring books and crayons and a lady that was specifically in charge of the room. The kids also had their own, at their height, buffet line of chicken fingers, french fries and juice boxes. In addition to the Mario Brothers-themed wedding cake (I am NOT kidding - it was great), there was an ice cream bar with toppings. I thought this was the smartest idea I have EVER seen at a reception. How incredibly kind of her to put so much thought into making sure the kids had a great time as well!

Sadie had already decided what boy she was going to ask to dance with her, at least a month ahead of time. It was a boy she has been in school with since the early-2's class in preschool. Unfortunately, he is not into dancing. She was crushed, but not beaten. She moved onto to several other boys. One, thankfully, danced with her. It began as some jumping up in down and ended with swinging each other around. At that point in time, gone were the hot-rolled curls, the hairclips and in place my usual little sweaty, tomboy Sadie whose hair didn't even looked combed! She continued to ask other boys from her class to dance - each one turning her down. Now, she was quite down trodden. She came to our table, flopped down and cried. No one wanted to dance with her. I had to explain that boys, in general do not like to dance. They don't understand it and frankly, with rare exception, aren't very good at it. I also had her look on the dance floor and see how few boys were there. No little boys were there and only a handful of men. Case in point.

When we got ready to leave, Sadie was exhausted and spent. She couldn't contain her utter emotional waste as we said goodbye to the new Mr. and Mrs. Newell and broke down crying...again.

When she got into bed, I laid down with her. I wasn't sure I would be able to get up again, but could tell she wanted to discuss the evening. After mulling over the lack of dance desire of most boys, I offered up that she should put that down as a desirable quality for her husband. Of course, this should be after knowing he is a man of God. That way, she will always have a dance partner.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A trip to...

I am still recovering by our family trip this evening. Jay announced to me, in private, that he wanted to take the family out tonight. He told me where and in my desperation to get out of the house for the second time in over a week, I agreed. Under cloak of going to the grocery store, we managed to keep it a surprise from the kids until we pulled into the parking lot. It is on the top of the list for every person who has recently had back surgery. Gastronomical delights abound which can thoroughly satisfy person that hasn't eaten out in about 3 weeks, save a trip to chik-fila this week. The pinnacle of gourmet decadence and romantic ambiance...Can you guess???? Could it possibly be??? Wait, don't guess now...I'll give you another kids went bonkers in the car at the sight of it...I gave it away with that one, I am sure. Yes, you guessed it...CHUCK E. CHEESE!!!!!

Alright, I am being a little extreme - I did like getting out of this house, despite the noise, pizza and my slowly escalating pain. Seriously, though, the kids still love that place. Jay's purpose was to reward the kids for incredible report cards this school year. It is also a place unlike anything they have in the Netherlands and since Jay's mom is here, well, you just have to go. It ranks up there with Golden Corral in terms of unbelievable-ness to her.

I really should attach a picture of Lily taken at her 2nd birthday - also held at Mr. Cheese's house. The expression on her face is how I imagine my face when I see Jesus. Except, she is gazing, adoringly at the big mouse. It is pure adoration. It was really no different this time either. Chuck came out for someone's birthday party and she literally pushed through the crowd of kids whose parents had shelled out the bucks for his appearance and jumped into his arms. To say she is a big fan of the mouse is really an understatement.

Back to tonight...we took their report cards which gives them 15 extra tokens a piece and then brought in a discount coupon from the 'net. We sent the kids off into the wonderland with plastic cups and tokens in hand. Two hours later, three salads, one large pizza and several refills later, we were at the "trash trove," oops, I mean "treasure trove," to pick out our incredible prizes from the 75 or tickets we have earned. Seriously, who ever earns 3,000 tickets for an inflatable Chuck E. Cheese bouncy ball?

Actually, before we were finished with the games, Sadie came up to me thrust her prize pickins' in my hands and said, "I'm done, I am going to the playset." Huh? So, she did all her games, turned her tickets into the machines herself and got her prizes. O-K. She doesn't need me for that anymore. Ethan took for-ev-er to decide as he usually does. He always asks me if I think his choice is ok. Or, would I pick that if I were him. You know, the child that needs affirmation that he is doing the right thing. He accidently got shorted a measly 30 ticket item (the world to him) - a plastic scorpion ring. The boy was nearly in tears -at 8! The line was long, the prize redeemer had left his station leaving throngs of other kids waiting, Jay was impatient, I was in pain, Lily was itching to crack open her lollipops, so what was a mom to do? Yeah, you know it. I went around the line to the cashier and just said, we got short a scorpion deal - can we just get one? Supermom to the rescue, a boy's smile returned and we headed to the car.

Oh, this is an interesting tidbit...I was standing with Lily at the ticket redemption machine. We were there for a little while because Lily insisted on feeding them into the machine herself and really, it wasn't worth the battle. Another boy, age 7 maybe, was standing behind me, or rather kept slinking up beside me. He declared he was saving up for one of the larger prizes. Then he said, " I have to find Sadie." I said, really, I have a daughter Sadie. He said, "Yes, she is really nice, you know, as a friend. I have had fun playing with her." I had seen them playing together earlier in the germ generator, I mean playplace. I thought it was nice to hear. Upon recounting this story to Jay, Jay was aghast. He had seen them play together but saw it as a sign of the future. A future he is not quite ready for.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

kid funnies

Conversation with Sadie, age 6, as she dried herself off from her bath
Sadie: I am growing arm hair (very matter of fact)
Me: What?
Sadie: I am growing arm hair
Me: Where?
Sadie: In my armpit, I have an arm hair
Me: (giggle) ok

Ethan wanted a buzz cut for the summer. As I started cutting his hair, he decided on a mohawk. I agreed he could have it for a few days and then we would buzz it off. I have never seen a child so into hair gel these days! Crazy about spiking that thing up and worried if anyone touches it or if his shirt messed it up when he changes clothes. We'll be buzzin' this weekend.

At dinner tonight:
Me: Lily, you need to eat over your plate
Lily: Mommy, you're a GEN - ius.
Me: What?
Lily: You're a genius!
Me: Ok!

Feast and Famine

I have a little book that my spiritual mentor gave me this past fall. It is called, "God is Enough" by Hannah Whitehall Smith. IMO, it ranks up there with "Streams in the Desert." Seriously. The entry for June 4th ridiculously sums me up. I am, once again begging forgiveness to our Almighty for the repetitious struggle I have. At least during my little trial over the past month I recognized where I was going - didn't prevent myself from going there, but at least recognized it. Oh, how I desire change! I am rejuvenated after reading this. Can you related?

Excerpt from June 4th

People who live in their emotions feel so at one with Christ that they look no farther than this feeling. They often delude themselves with thinking that they have come into the divine union, when all the while their nature and dispositions are still under the sway of self-love. (note by me: Ouch!)

We all know that our emotions are most untrustworthy and are largely the results of our physical condition or our natural temperaments. It is a fatal mistake, therefore, to make them the test of our oneness with Christ. This mistake works both ways. If I have very joyous emotions, I may be deluded into thinking I have entered the divine union when I have not. If I have no emotions, I may grieve over my failure to entire when I really have entered.

Character is the only real test. God is holy, and those who are one with Him will be holy also.

Back to my prattling again. After Ansley's death, I discovered that when I am in a funk or my circumstances have changes, I just sort of drift away. It is not that I doubt God or change my belief in Him. I just do not have Him a part of my day. Drift - that is the best word to describe it. It happens before I know it. This time, my back situation prevented me from going to church for 7 weeks+. I had little to no interaction with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Inside my house, the onslaught of new business responsibilities and the overwhelming load of tasks thrust upon Jay left no time for spiritual togetherness. The ridiculous hours I spent in my bed over the past month drove me to enough mindless tv to fill the rest of my life. By the way, the hours of 12noon - 3pm are torturous. I did not have any food coming in so I pitifully wasted away in this world. No one needs to tell me that I made the choice to drift. I know I did. The blame rests solely on me.

If stranded on a deserted island, how long would I remain in dialogue with God? I know He is always there. Why can't I be? I want to be.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I thought this was funny. Yesterday the girls were in the pool with Oma (Jay's mom - Dutch for grandmother). Lily announced that she was a white egg. (?) She had this very somber look on her face, eyes closed. She then asked Oma and Sadie to hold hands in a circle around her because they were the nest. Then she broke out in this very big smile and stated she had cracked! What interesting imagination - never heard of a child pretending to be an egg.

The last days of school was a bit of a blur with my medical issues, the arrival of Jay's mom, and my surgery. The kids' last day was the 29th. Awards night was on the 27th. At HPCA, every child gets an award. It may focus on academic achievement, but usually is more about their personality or character trait. Each grade level presents a song, poem or little skit about the school year and then they pass out the certificates as the awards are announced. It moves along pretty quickly. Sadie's class was the last kindergarten class to get their awards. I focused in on her face and as she was handed her certificate. I was poised to get the shot, Miss Adkins handed her the certificate and then Sadie held the certificate directly up in front of her face - preventing me from getting the picture. Pooh. Oh - she got the Leadership award for her class. No one I have told this to has been overly surprised by her award - she seems to be destined for something. The program ran long - until about 9 pm. Sadie was pretty wiped out and fell asleep in the pew before it was over. Thankfully, another mom captured it on her camera phone and emailed it to me.

Ethan was his usual cool self. He received the Humorous Personality and Superior Reading Award. I understand from his yearbook that he is quite the jokester. I don't see much of that at home so I find this compelling. He has come quite a distance this year in reading. He read the unabridged version of Tom Sawyer this year on his own. Considering where we were mid-way through first grade, I am very, very pleased. I am just thrilled that he appears to love reading - at least when it is something he is interested in. On to third grade!

Went to the doctor to get my staples out. This is the first time I have left the house since I came home from surgery A WEEK AGO! I am a little stir crazy, but I can't do much outside the house either. I am still very limited in what I can do - no driving, sitting - limited to 30 minutes at a time, walking/standing about 15 minutes at a time, no lifting, bending, twisting, no household duties, etc. I hope I will that I will get the green light on at least driving when I begin physical therapy sometime next week or the next. I am waiting for the office to call me with my appointment time.

One topic of discussion with my new BFF today was the fact that this surgery must bring about a permanent lifestyle change if I want to avoid this again. I will have to think twice before: picking up heavier objects (40 lbs.), ride in fast boats, water ski, ride roller coasters, run for distance, ride on a motorcycle, 4-wheel, etc. Basically, anything that jars my back will potentially cause a re injury. The only option if I blow out the 50% of disc that is left is for them to fuse the disc together. I am sure that is NOT delightful. Overall, that news was a bit of a bummer. Wonder what that will mean on a future trip to Disney?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

God's sense of humor

About 6 weeks ago I asked my small group to pray for me and my attitude. Specifically, it was in regards to them. Over this year I had become increasingly irritated about the rush of cleaning my house for them every week. Because of my OCD-ness, I was always in a bad mood each Wednesday afternoon to the point that everyone felt it my family. I even started threatening to drop out of small group because of it. On one hand it was nice to have everything looking good, but it came at a very bad price. Knowing my sin, I confessed it to the group and asked for their prayers and forgiveness.

Ironically (if there is every any "irony" in God's world) the next week is when I started walking down this back pain path. Each week brought on more pain making it more and more difficult to get my house together. Finally, the no lifting, no bending at the waist, no twisting rule was established-try loading your dishwasher, vacuuming or laundry with those rules. So for 6 weeks I have let some things go. Since the surgery I have been completely incapacitated. I don't ever want to endure the pre or post surgery pain again so I am sticking to the rules like my life depends on it.

So, I happened to venture upstairs for the first time in nearly a week. Oh my. It wasn't horrible, but lots of little pieces of lego, fake teeth, clean and dirty clothes, coins to a Leap Frog game, piles of books everywhere, and then...I entered the bonus room. It looked like Sadie had pulled out every bit of craft do-dah we have - paints, kits, markers, scissors, little bits of papers, you name it. I was unglued. I lost it.

I have hit the wall, people, and I can't see the light. I know all of this is for my own good. God is really teaching me about the value of just being. But I am having a hard time accepting it. I can't enjoy it. It is such an uncomfortable place for me to be. I want to be back in control.

For those that think our house is falling apart, it isn't. We have flown Jay's mom in to help with the kids and basic household duties. Praise God for that woman. And we found our Hispanic cleaning marvel, Amilsa - another praise.

But when you see your youngest hitting your middle one. Or your youngest grab something she isn't supposed to and the runs away, it is completely aggravating, because I can't do anything discipline-wise at that moment. I just sorta sit there, or worse, start yelling. When you see your fun summer plans with your kids going down the drain, it is sad.

I am accepting of God's lesson. When I think about what He had to do to get my attention, I know it must be a serious sin. I just hope and pray I "get it" this time so that He doesn't have to do it again.