Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Naptime

Sunday after church, we had lunch and then Marissa curled up on Daddy's lap and passed out.  He held her for a while and then laid her down on the couch and joined her for a nap.  Pretty soon Madalyn turned to the couch to join them.  There really wasn't a ton of room, but she found a spot regardless.   

When she first got up there, I thought for sure it wouldn't last.  But before you knew it, she was snoring with the other two!  

I didn't think it would be long before she hit the ground, so I moved her to a safer sleeping spot :)
And that is what you call a full couch!  :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another Marriage Post...

I ran across this on Facebook.  It really hit home.  
I know I just did a post on "Slow Fade" a couple days ago, and I guess this kinda goes along with it.  I have felt God encouraging me to give more lately.  I have found myself searching and wondering a lot lately.  Am I in 100%?  Does Doug know that without a shadow of doubt?  Have I let things slide?  What did I used to do for him while we were dating, that I just "don't have time for anymore"?  Take the time to read this story.  
I have no idea if it's true or not, but even if it isn't it still can be applied. 


“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband…."
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.
So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do it and have a real happy marriage!

Share this and you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

(Sad thing is, we can only control our side.  Somethings are out of our control.  Please don't think that this is a save all for marriages out there.  But sometimes even those that think their marriage is safe, could still use a boost!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just another day...

Nothing crazy here today...same old same old.
Chloe, guarding the tree from the nearby squirrels.  She doesn't like them in "her" tree!

Cali, snuggled up with Madalyn's puppy.

The kids got quiet for a bit so I went to investigate.  I found them in my bedroom, removing all the screws from Daddy's Hess Fire Truck.  They were "trying to figure out how it works".  LOL  
Hopefully we never have to get into it to fix it because most of the screws are stripped now.  HAHA
Oh well, they got their science project for the week done.  

Pretty sure that one right there is the mastermind behind this operation :)

They moved onto the Potato Mashin' Game, as they call it.  

Laying down the rules!

The girls were convinced Lucas couldn't spin, however he is a pro!



Left over mess!  Not too terrible :)  

Last night I was working on some stuff on the computer and Madalyn starts hollering in the kitchen.  "Cali is Yankin' something up out here!"
HAHA!  When I asked her to repeat it, I think she knew she didn't have it right so she proceeded to demonstrate so I was sure to know what she was talking about.  So cute :)

The girls birthdays have really snuck up on me this year.  Marissa's is a week away!  Madalyn's is three.  I got their gifts ordered last night.  Whew!  Thank goodness for free 2 day shipping.  This morning we were talking about birthdays, trying to figure out what they wanted as gifts, cakes, and dinners.  They seriously crack me up.  Marissa decided she wants noodles.  I told her she can't JUST have noodles!  So she opted for Spagetti.  Madalyn wants Beans and Rice.  Such an odd request for a little kid!  They were trying to decide on cakes.  I think both have opted for Poke and Pour Cakes with different colored Jello in them.  They want to pick when we go to the store tomorrow.  As of right now, Madalyn wants Strawberry and Marissa wants Lemon, with blueberries on top of the whipped cream.  LOL  Then we moved onto the gift topic.  Even though they are already bought I was curious what they would ask for.  I had ideas of what they were going to say, but boy was I off base!  I asked them what was their most favorite thing they wanted for their birthdays.  Marissa pipes up and declares that she wants a hug :)  She is so sweet.  They she says she wants the Lion King 2 movie and Venus Fly Trap Plant.  LOL  Alrighty then!  Madalyn is still at that stage where she wants whatever Marissa wants.  I wonder when if ever she will grow out of that....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Slow Fade

Did you watch the music video?
Everywhere I turn, I'm surrounded.  I know I'm not alone with this thought.  Today, its everywhere.  The big D word.  
The big question though is why?  Why is Divorce so prevalent today?   
Lately I have thought a lot about this subject.  My heart is burdened and I have to put my thoughts down on paper.  So bear with me!
I think there are a couple reasons why we are seeing the numbers climb.  
First off, things have changed in homes over the years.  As the years have passed, more woman are leaving their places in the home, and have moved out to find work elsewhere.  She ventures into territory that is just a breeding ground for trouble.  Most homes start lacking because Mom isn't home to take care of the house and kids, arguing starts, both spouses are tired when they arrive home from a full days work.  After finishing all that needs to be done at the house, they are beat.  They start slipping further and further and one day one of them starts getting some extra attention at work. 
The second reason is that we carry around this attitude "That would never happen to me!".  I'm sorry but EVERY ONE of us is a human being.  EVERY ONE of is capable of slipping up.  It doesn't take much.  Spouses don't have their guards up against temptation.  They aren't being honest with themselves and seeing what they are truly capable of.  No one is exempt here.  Let's guard ourselves!  Let's protect our families by starting with us.
The last reason that comes to mind is the most important factor.  God isn't where He should be in American homes today.  Families aren't starting out they way God designed them to.  God didn't just make up a bunch of rules for us to follow just because.  He honestly made them to protect us and give us what we need.  If He isn't the center of our homes, if He is guiding our every move, we might as well kiss our marriages goodbye.  We don't have a chance on our own.
As the world continues on its downword spiral, lets cling to the Lord.  Let Him guide our marriages.  Let's turn to Him for direction.  Let's take the time to put ourselves aside and think of our husbands/wives before we think of ourselves.  Keep our lines of communication open.  If you ask most people facing divorce, I bet they would say, "I never saw it coming."  But it doesn't happen overnight.  It's baby steps that drive you farther and farther apart.
It's a slow fade....

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray 
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray 
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

("Slow Fade"by Casting Crowns)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Morning!

Today is going to be another one of those days :)
Day number 2 of snow/rain/sleet/hail/whatever you want to call this stuff!
One bonus of not having a television is that I never know what is going on (yes, ignorance is bliss!), but the downside is I wake up shocked yet again that we are back to yucky weather.  Although seriously, why am I surprised - after all its only April!  Oh well, summer will be here soon enough!

Have you met our new friend?  For those of you farther away, meet "Harry"!

Madalyn has a thing for trees with faces on them.  A couple that goes to our church have a few faces on their trees.  Madalyn noticed them the first time we went over there and took right to them!  Mr. John started whistling when she was around the tree and she is now convinced it whistles at her.  A couple weekends back the girls and I headed to my parents.  We got back later Saturday night.  Well Sunday morning when we got up, the girls start hollering about a face.  Sure enough, I go out to the dining room and there he is.  "Someone" had carefully hung him on the tree!  :)  The girls love him and generally check on him pretty often.  When we got all our sleet, Madalyn was all worried about him because he looked cold!  LOL  

It looks like snow but it was hail and sleet...only lasted for about an hour and then we were green again.  However it is snowing this morning, I'm sure we will be somewhat white again.

 "Mommy, can you take a picture of me and Cali?"

 "Wait, I forgot to smile!"

Marissa and Chloe - I love this one of Marissa!  :)
(They really need to come up with a program that fixes dogs eyes in one click like the red eye button does on my current program!  My animals all look like they are possessed!) 

It was the day for sleeping.  Madalyn was sitting up one minute and fell over the next, passed out.  It doesn't show it well, but she is totally running down hill with her head.  Definitely doesn't look comfortable.  But she slept like this for almost 2 hours and didn't complain about anything hurting when she woke up, so I guess it couldn't have been to bad!

I hope you all have a great day!  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blonde moment...

Alright, so after yesterday's serious post, today you get to laugh at me :)
Not to hard though ok?!
So our dehumidifier's bucket was full, so I pulled it out and emptied it into the bathtub and left.  I came back in the bathroom for something and noticed the water was still hanging out.  Mind you our drains are HORRIBLE at the house, I'm not sure why, but they always have been.  So I set out to plunge the drain.  I unscrewed the cap...

And then got to work.

My arms got sore after a little while, and I didn't seem to be making progress, so I moved to the kitchen sinks to see if plunging them would help at all.  I kept sending Marissa back into the bathroom to check on the water level.  After going in twice, Marissa finally came out and said "Mom, the water CAN'T go down, because the drain lever is up!"  

Boy did I feel stupid :(  So call it a blonde moment or a lucy moment, or maybe even a mommy moment, but at least I gave you your laugh for the day!  Enjoy your weekend!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

10 Months

Psalms 25:4-5
"Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day."

It's been over 10 months since Doug and I have "lived" in the same zip code.  First off, time flies!  I can't believe we have made it through a winter, which can I just stop and say how awesome God is?  (I didn't think any of you would mind!)  We live in the infamous "Tug Hill Region".  Ok, maybe some of you have never heard of it :)  Well, let me just paint the picture for you.  We get ALOT of snow!  Its windy and the snow drifts to no end.  It's nothing for us to have snow at the end of May still sitting around.  Keeping up with the driveway is usually a bear and it requires a lot of hours throughout the winter, tending to it.  This was the first winter that all that was going to be on me.  I was worried.  I babysat every day of the week, so I had to have things cleaned out before they arrived at 8:30.  I knew I could do it, but I also knew it would be a struggle.  I wasn't really sure how I was going to work it.  God had that all taken care of for me though.  I think if I said I shoveled the driveway twice this winter it would be pushing it.  When we did get snow, which still wasn't much, it always showed up on Saturday.  Doug was home safe and he was here to snow blow it!  I didn't pray specifically for it, but God saw my need and was gracious to me.  
Anyhow, through the past 10 months, it has been a whirlwind of ups and downs.  It's tough to manage everything sometimes.  It's hard not to get selfish and whiney.  I never in a million years would have imagined that we would still be doing this with no real end in sight.  After all, there is no way that it's God's will for a husband and wife to be separated right?  I have searched my heart so many times wondering what I am doing wrong that has kept God from selling our home.  It's a battle I fight.  I'm a fixer and I know if I just did everything right, it would sell - Or would it?  I'm not sure where I got the notion in my head that God was going to do things my way and in my timing, but let me tell you that philosophy doesn't get you far!  God's plan is bigger than I can grasp.  
Lately I have been reading a book my Dad gave me.  It's called Lord Change My Attitude (Before It's Too Late)  by James MacDonald.  The book talks a lot about complaining and starts out highlighting the Israelites and all the complaining and murmuring they did.  It talks about how how God can't stand complaining, especially the kind where we start going down the "But why?  Why me?  Why are you doing this to me?  Did you forget about me?"  Hense the reason he dealt so harshly with the Israelites.  Yesterday a portion of the book hit me like a ton of bricks.  This is what he had to say.  
"God has entrusted to every person a measure of adversity.  You have a measure of adversity, and so do I.  Just the right amount to accomplish the eternal purposes of God in our lives.  I could go on and on with examples.  But hear this:  Every one of us has a measure of adversity, and God Himself is the one who measured it out.  Instead of rejoicing in all the good things that God has done in our lives, we complain about that one thing--whatever it is.  You say, "But it's hard."  I know it's hard.  It's hard to live with adversity and it's hard not to complain.  But listen to me.  Hear this pastor's heart.  You are forfeiting the grace that could help you through that trial by complaining about it.  All the grace and strength you need to experience joy and victory is available to you, but by choosing to complain, by clinging to the idol of a perfect life you are flushing away the grace of God.  Do you feel you are entitled to a perfect life, one without adversity?  Realize this:  That very adversity that you so often complain about is the thing that God wants to use to keep your heart close to His.  In His grace, He grants adversity to bring us close to Him."  
He goes on to use an example of parents who go out on a date and leave their younger children with an older sibling.  When they get home, they expect to find them in bed, however they are no where to be found.  They finally hear voices and they sneak up to listen to what they are doing.  They discover that the kids are complaining about how horrible their parents are.  Their dad is lazy, Mom nags all the time, you get the idea.  How would YOU feel if you walked in on that.  I would probably handle it the same way he talks about in the book.  I would be crushed, and hurt at first.  But that would probably only last for 20 seconds and then I would be MAD!  After all, I do this, this, this and this for them.  "It's never enough, they have no idea the sacrifices that I have made!"  I realize that God is perfect and handles Himself a lot different than I would, but imagine how He feels when we complain about what we are going through, even though through the trials, good is going to come.  We know this from Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose." 
 My best friend Amanda is my biggest encouragement in all of this.  She always sees the glass half full.  It seems like no matter what is thrown at her, its always going to be "ok!".  She went through a deployment with a toddler in tow and VERY pregnant, and I don't think I once heard her complain.  We spent just about every day together and pretty much tell each other everything, and she still looks for the good in everything.  Since reading this book and being convicted, I find myself using her as a boost.  If she can do it, that means it IS possible.  I can't slide under the radar saying that its just how we sinful creatures are.  It means I have to fight.  Life is a constant battle.  Just like that song, "I may never march in the infantry, ride in the calvary, shoot the artillery.  I may never zoom over the enemy, but I'm in the Lord's Army!"  I never realized how much truth there is in that kids song.  
So as much as I am praying for the Lord's will and waiting for this...

I'm also seriously challenging myself to Philippians 4:11.  
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

Thanks for listening to my heart!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Day at the Park with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Chelsea

The pictures and videos kinda speak for themselves :)

Video of Grandpa and Madalyn

Video of Grandpa and Marissa

Mom braving the slide :)  She kept getting shocked like crazy!

Dad, showing off his moves

Marissa kicking the football, and Grandpa trying not to get kicked.

She had to REALLY get a running start

And up they go!

Mom trying her arm with the football.  I don't even know how she got her hand around it! 

Case was very much enjoying his freedom...can you find him?

Race to the top

They mean the world to me!

LOVE this!  

Hello Marissa!

Aunt Chelsea and Madalyn

Grandma and Marissa sliding together

Trying to get the bridge to jump high

Oh my goodness...this was our laugh for the day.  Mom is going to kill me, but oh well!  
I'm not even sure where she got the idea to try and go down from, but I think she stood up there trying to find a way to start for about 10 mins.  She was so afraid she was going to zoom down!

Video of Mom FINALLY braving the pole.

The dogs playing