Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Better late then never....

It is Christmas night now. We have had four days of Christmas festivities, and all three of my over stimulated and extremely exhausted boys are asleep. Finally, a moment to myself. Breathe in, breathe out. What a lovely sound - near silence.... except for the dryer. Tomorrow the cleanup begins, but for right now, I can just look back and remember the beautiful moments that made up our Christmas celebration this year. What an amazing group of people I have in my life, and I am so thankful every day for each one of them. My family, obviously. Everyone who knows me knows that I have an amazing family. But I am truly blessed by Andy's family too. I am thankful for Andy constantly, and remember to tell God that on a regular basis, but I forget to be thankful for his family too. Without them, he would not be the amazing man that he is. But we also have some amazing friends. I have received Christmas greetings from so many wonderful people, and I am daily reminded how blessed I am for friends. There is a poem about how people come and go, and how some are in your life for just a moment... I forget sometimes how important those moments are. I feel bad because I lose track of people sometimes, or don't get to stay in touch as closely as I want. Trust me, I want to talk to people more, stay in touch better. Since I am not capable of that, I am so thankful for the moments. If a moment is all I get, then I am grateful.
Thank you, anyone who reads this, for taking a moment, and for being part of my life. You have helped to mature me, make me grow in the Lord, given me a moment of joy, and I am so thankful.
Merry Merry Jesus' birthday to you all. Blessings always!
Bethany

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Examples of possible disasters...

My friend Carrie says that every time you think you have run out of things to blog about, watch out... something is sure to happen. The sad thing is that I really hadn't run out of things to say. I had a whole piece already composed in my head about Christmas cookies, and all the adorable and messy things my kids had done while we made them. But that whole thing will stay in my head. Instead I am going to talk about things we (we being mom's) already know, but for some reason have to be reminded of again and again.
If you see something laying out on your counter and your first thought is "I should put that where it belongs. It could ------ (fill in the blank with .... make a huge mess, hurt someone, destroy my entire house) if it fell into the wrong hands." Of course the wrong hands are those of your child, or children, whichever the case may be. Anyway... to finally finish the first sentence, if that is your first thought, put it away. Don't wait. Don't think "I already have three things in my hands, and am on my way to the bathroom, and haven't yet folded the laundry in the dryer, and the washer is already done, and another load is waiting to be put in" Don't think that. I don't care how busy you are. Do not, no matter how busy, merely push the offending item farther back. It will not, let me emphasize that, WILL NOT, be out of reach of your two year old. Also, if you have a two year old, and you think to yourself, lets get a nice little stool for him to stand on, so he can reach things by himself. It will be so helpful. He can wash his own hands, and reach his own snack, and stand on it so he can pee into the toilet by himself. Don't think that, and if you do think it, don't listen to yourself.
Okay, now that I have shared my deep thoughts, let me just tell you about my day, well actually, days, plural.
This week has been overwhelming, for several different reasons, that I won't go into right now. But, yesterday I noticed that the Ben-Gay muscle rub was sitting on the bathroom counter. My first thought was "gee, that would make quite a mess if Zion got ahold of it". But, all I did was scoot it to the back of the counter, and move on with my day. Just a few moments later I noticed a hammer sitting on the counter in the kitchen. I had used it to crack pecans the day before, which leads me to my Christmas wish list... a nutcracker. But, back to the hammer. I just shoved it to the middle of the island, and didn't carry it out to the garage where it belonged. Around 11:30, as I was reading the mail (a Christmas card from one of you, my loyal readers!) and thinking to myself that I should blog that afternoon during nap time, Canaan ran up to me and said "Mommy, Zion is eating something, and it smells spicy." At first I thought he was eating gum, but as I walked up to him, he swallowed hard, then burst into tears. Immediate spike in the worry meter. I got him to show me what he ate, and sure enough, it was Ben-Gay. I started pouring water on him, trying to get it in his mouth and wash it all down, dilute it, cool his throat, whatever. It says to call poison control if it is ingested, so I did. They told me that aspirin is the worrisome ingredient, and that he would have had to have eaten at least a teaspoon to hurt him. Since I didn't know how much he had eaten, perhaps I should take him to the ER. I didn't even know where the ER was!!
Anyway, I called around, Andy asked the guys he worked with for directions, I loaded the kids after getting Zion dressed, since he was still in his pajama's, and they were soaked with the water I had poured all over him, and we headed to the ER. I went rushing in, dragging poor Canaan behind me, and this wonderful, fabulous, old doctor happened to be standing at the reception desk, talking to a nurse. As I come in, obviously nearly in a panic, spouting nonsense about my son eating Ben-gay, the doctor just said, "I'm sure he is fine." And suddenly, all was right in the world again. Amazing, isn't it, how just a few simple words from the right person can make the world starting spinning again, and breathe begin filling your lungs again. The doctor looked at him, told me that he really doubted Zion had eaten enough to make him sick, since the stuff tastes terrible, and that I should just give him lots of fluids and try to flush it out of him and keep it diluted. No need to pump his stomach, or give him that charcoal junk, or even do any blood work. Within five minutes of walking into the ER, I was back in the car, and beginning to see the humor in the whole situation.
I can only assume that Zion thought it was toothpaste.
Poor thing, that wasn't the end of his day, or mine either! Later that day, obviously with no side effects, he pulled his little stool over to the kitchen island, and while I loaded the dinner dishes in to the dishwasher, climbed up, got ahold of the hammer I had noticed earlier, and carried it off. He then proceeded to beat repeatedly on the door leading to the garage. unfortunately, it is always loud at my house, so it actually took me a few minutes to notice that the noise level was higher then usual. By that time he had put about 15 little dents in our metal door. Beautiful!
Luckily, it was nearly bedtime by then, or I may have just completely lost my mind, curled up in a ball, and gone to sleep myself.
Today I took the boys to base and dropped them off with Andy around 1. He was able to get off work early and take them home, so that I could go to my 4th doctor's appointment in two weeks time. (nothing serious, just the usual diabetes and thyroid stuff, with a new doctor, in a new town, so extra work) Anyway, when Andy got home with them, Canaan was asleep, so he let Zion out of the car, and started to carry Canaan in to his bed. Somehow Zion managed to trip and fall on his little pedal car. Beautiful split, straight across his forehead! Needless to say, Canaan got woken up, because Andy had to put him down, run and find a towel, and soak up blood! According to Andy, Canaan was wonderful big helper, holding pressure on Zion's head while Daddy tried to find the antibiotic cream. By the time I got home it was a beautiful bump, and still slightly scary looking, but done bleeding.
That child may not make it to 2. He only has 2 days left until he turns two, and I may have to put him in a padded room, with only stuffed animals to play with just so he can survive that long. Goodness, he has worn out my emotions these last two days! Physically I am pretty worn out too, but it is the sudden panic, and the crashing relief that really wear you out!
That's my story... learn from it!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cucumbers

Just a really quick funny story. I made a homemade pizza a few days ago for lunch. Nothing fancy - boboli whole wheat crust, zucchini in marinara sauce, some green peppers and cheese. Not something exactly kid friendly, but my boys are pretty laid back, so I thought it would go over fine. Canaan was not impressed. After picking off some of the cheese, the scraping off the toppings and eating the crust plain, he starting the bargaining for something different. "Mommy, if I eat one more bite, can I have something different?" Usually I just say no, but I was in a laid back mood, so I asked what he wanted. He said, " Momma, we haven't had cucumber in DAYS! Can we have some cucumber?" I personally am not too fond of cucumber, and it had been months since we had eaten one, but for some strange reason I had bought one recently. My four year old son proceeded to eat an entire half of a cucumber for lunch. Plain. So random, but he was happy, I was happy, and Daddy ate the leftover pizza when he got home, so he was happy too. I just thought it was pretty funny that he didn't ask for junk food at all, just a cucumber. Kids!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Confirmation

First of all - Thanks to all those who have posted, or sent me E-mails of encouragement. It is amazing how much better you feel when you are reminded that you are loved. God and I had a really good heart to heart. He reminded me once again that he always always always brings something good out of the bad. He doesn't plan the bad to punish us, he doesn't want bad things to happen just so he can work something good, but because the world he created is no longer perfect, and the people he created with so much love are no longer walking in his presence, then sometimes bad things happen. And when they do, he is sad with us, hurts with us, and finds a way to make something good happen in spite of it. With some bad things, I may never see the good, but I completely believe that it is there. I don't have to put my hands on it to believe it is there - I just trust.
Last night was the ladies Christmas party at my church. We all brought a Christmas ornament and had a gift exchange. It was all random, with numbers assigned for tables, then find someone you didn't know already and trade - stuff like that. Afterward they were having people talk about their new friend, and the ornament they received. One lady stood up and explained that she had a miscarriage earlier this year, and they had named the baby Hope. She said she had already told her husband that the only thing she wanted for her Christmas tree this year was Hope. Amazingly enough, out of about 200 ladies and their ornaments, she had received one that said HOPE. I was so blessed by that story. God was listening to her, and gave her that tiny little gift to remind her that HE is always listening. He cares.
I have been struggling with my Christmas letter this year. I can't write it. I certainly don't want to write about losing Anastasia in my Christmas letter, but I can't seem to write a letter talking about our year with out her. So, Andy is supposed to take that duty over. If you get a Christmas card from me that has no letter, is only signed with our names, you will know who's fault that is. I really need to get them out, since we have moved and a lot of people don't have our new address. Oh well. Anyone who reads this, send me an E-mail with your address please. I have a lot of addresses, but I know I am missing quite a few too.
I am rambling now, which means I should quit. Thanks for caring people. I don't take you for granted, and I really appreciate the kind words.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Still healing

I heard a really great message on the radio the other day, about how we need to appreciate our time with God. Not let it just become routine, the same all the time, dry. I was convicted. I have been pretty faithful lately, keeping up with my Bible reading plan, even learning new things. But I have definitely lost something lately. I am pretty sure I know what it is. I am not really letting myself be honest with God. I stick to the safe topics... thanks for my wonderful kids, beautiful house, hard working husband, etc. My prayers are crying out with one question.... over and over, and I won't let myself ask, because I know there is no answer. Why is it when we know the answer, or that there is no answer, it is still really hard to just let it go?
The worst part is that there are so many people who have lost so much more than I have. When I hear stories, even meet people, who are rightfully upset I feel so ridiculous. Why can't I get over a tiny little pea, whom I only knew about for a week. I would be 20 weeks now. We would know if it was a girl or boy. I would be signing my Christmas cards Andy, Bethany, Canaan, Zion and baby. I torture myself, and I know that. It is a choice, to let myself suffer, and sometimes I chose correctly.... sometimes I don't.
I guess what I need to do it just ask. I know God isn't angry when we ask stupid questions. He created us. Hopefully he understands us better than we do. So even though there is no answer possible, I have to ask Why. There is no why, no reason, but I have to put my pain and confusion back in his hands. I am sure I will try to steal it back again. Pain is beautiful to let go of, but so tempting to pick back up again.
There are so many others, who hurt so much worse. I try to think of them instead. It doesn't seem as selfish to cry for others, to feel their pain just a tiny bit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just a note

Hello everyone. I feel like I haven't written in a while, so I wanted to say hi. Thanksgiving was great. I am so unbelievably blessed to have a family that I not only love, but also like. I have pretty good in-laws too, so the holiday was great. Good times, with great people, and a really fun game of Cranium
I am exhausted, but for some reason am wide awake. It is almost 1am though, so I really should try to sleep.
Thanks for listening. I want to know what everyone is up to for Christmas. Talk to me people!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Clarification

First of all, I think that it is probably a good idea for me to NEVER blog at 11:30 at night. By that time I am exhausted, and my emotions are a little more sensitive then usual. I feel much better tonight. I have talked to several important people in my life and have been reminded that I DO have a definite calling, and that I am silly to doubt it. Andy hasn't mentioned any of our discussion from last night, so I will just wait for awhile and see where it all goes.
Secondly, it has been pointed out that Melissa does not remember pigs, and I felt called to clarify. I personally never had any contact with pigs. My family merely rented a house on property that was owned by a farmer, and the barns on said property were used for pig "storage". In all honestly, not only did I have nothing to do with the pigs, I don't even actually know what time of day they were fed. I was, and still am, completely terrified of pigs. I think that a combination of watching The Wizard of Oz too many times, and visiting the Marcellino farm as a very young and impressionable five year old worked together to create that fear, and I must admit that I have never fully overcome it. Pigs will eat anything..... way scary thought when you are quite a bit smaller then them. Charlotte's Web is all well and good, but pigs are still scary.
One last note for the evening - Zion has perfected the ability to eat a fork full of food, and with precision, spit out the vegetable that was hidden under the cottage cheese, and behind the macaroni. It is am amazing feat to witness. He has also decided that most food is better when it is chewed on for long amounts of time, then spit out. That trick is reserved mostly for meat, and I can't really fault him for that one, so we are letting it slide. Every day is an adventure!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Flabbergasted...

We have gotten involved this week at the church we have been attending here. I have finally found some people to connect with, and that is so exciting. Tonight Andy got out of school early (he had a test, so only had to stay long enough to take it) and we all went to "small group" as a family. At this church they keep the kids at the church, while the grownups go different places for different groups. Our group had a good variety of ages, most with children, one other homeschooler, two ladies that teach at a local Christian school, some prior military guys... good group for us I think. We ended up talking to one of the teachers and Andy was so enthusiastic, and excited to hear about the school. That put my shield up, of course. Not that I have anything against Christian schools...I just knew where it was going.
Of course, on the way home afterward we had a "discussion" (that is code for an almost arguement) about homeschooling, again. I was fussing at him because I have always talked about homeschooling, I thought he was open to it, he has had years to get used to the idea, yada yada yada. He wants me to put Canaan into a Christian school, try to get a job at the same place, and eventually Zion would be there with us too, when he got old enough. I am totally closed to that idea. Possibly when Zion gets old enough for school I would consider it, but not while he is so young. Anyway, I was telling him that he needed to really pray about his attitude, and that he needed to be more open to God's leading, and I realized.... have I ever really prayed about homeschooling? I have always assumed I would teach my kids at home. That has been my dream, my goal, my desire my entire life. But is it God's dream, God's goal, God's desire for my boys? I have to admit that at first glance, I don't see how it could NOT be God's will, but I can't honestly say that I have specifically asked him about it. I KNOW that God called me to be a mother above all else. I have a degree, I am not afraid to use it, but even in college, when people asked what I wanted to do afterward, my answer was "get married, have babies". I even have the t-shirt to prove it. (do you remember that Michelle? I still have mine, by the way) So, being a Mom is God's will for me. I do not doubt that. I can't see how keeping them home would not be part of that plan, but if I am going to ask Andy to seek God about it, I have to be willing to seek him too. There is a chance that his plans are different than my own. That terrifies me. How do you know the answer to a question like that? I suggested that if Canaan can't read by the end of this school year, we could consider sending him somewhere. Andy vetoed that immediately, because quite honestly, Canaan can read now. He doesn't like to work at it, but when he sits down and tries, when he has an interest, he can read several of his little "hooked on phonics" books.
I think that Andy is still way too influenced by his own upbringing, but when it all boils down, so am I. I just think the way I was raised is "right" and his was "wrong", at least as far as schooling goes. How do you help someone over come that? I really haven't anticipated this problem. I didn't plan for it, don't have a ready arguement. Carrie, you just had to talk your husband into it. How do you do that? I thought that Andy has agreed with me for all these years. I have been talking about homeschooling our children since before we ever had one. I just assumed that he was fine with it. I am slightly flabbergasted.
I guess the first step is to take it before God with an open heart, just in case I am wrong, and this is not what I am supposed to do. Pray for me, because I am truly at a loss.

The new time...?

I am just wondering if my boys and I are the only ones affected by this time change. I have never really understood why we still do the whole "spring forward and fall back" thing. I lived on a farm, and it really didn't help there either - it is not like the pigs understand and just gleefully accept that they are going to get fed an hour later because the time has changed. (but, by the way, when I lived on a farm it was in rural Indiana, and they don't participate in the time change. Pretty much the entire country does, but not Indiana - those rebels!! (brilliant, if you ask me)) I thought the whole idea behind it was to make access to sunlight easier, since it will get brighter earlier in the day. But it doesn't really help, because now it gets dark really early. It's not like it increases the actual amount of daylight during any given day. Canaan has been up at what he thinks is 7:30 every morning, same as usual. The problem is that now it is 6:30, and since I have stayed up until 11 or 12 new time, which was 12 or 1 old time, I really have no desire to get up.
I must admit though that there are some definite positives though. Since I am up, I get stuff done. I have accomplished more in the mornings this week. This morning we made bacon, eggs and biscuits, set up a train set that covered nearly the entire living room, watched Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed, practiced shapes and colors, Mommy worked out, as well as cleaned up the breakfast mess, made our beds, and Canaan ran the vacuum in his room, all by 11 or so.
It is currently 11:45, I am still in my sweaty work out clothes, and I could happily retire for the day now. Maybe I will feel better after I finally get a shower and clean clothes! I guess I will go work toward that goal.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween

Happy Halloween!
We had a really great time walking around the neighborhood, talking to other people out with their kids, and getting tons of candy. Canaan changed his mind at the last minute and decided to be spiderman, instead of a pirate. He was a pirate last weekend when we were in Rome, so I guess he was tired of it. I was slightly sad, because his spiderman costume is well loved, and quite worn out, but he was adamant... besides, what do I care if he looks like a ragamuggin. It is Halloween, he is supposed to be what he wants to be, right? Zion was adorable as Peter Pan. I'll post pics eventually.
Canaan knew what to expect, and was totally prepared for this day. He has talked about nothing else for several days, and he was READY. Zion had no idea what was going on, but caught on really quickly. I don't think he even knows what candy is. He has had very very little of it, especially the kind of candy you get when you are trick-or-treating. However, even though he didn't really understand what was going on, he really got into it. He loved walking around, holding his little treat bag, and saying "tank tu" at every house. I was so proud of him. I managed to talk him into skipping a few houses, but only about two or three. Canaan and his friends would be done with a house before Zion even made it to the end of the driveway, but he usually insisted on walking up to the door himself. We only did our street and the two that run behind it, so not very far at all, but both my boys had full bags. Our neighborhood went all out I guess!
As anyone who knows me may guess, I boycotted candy at my own house. We had bubbles, and stickers, and pencils, and playdough, and erasers, and really cool bug rings and giant plastic roaches. And just in case, little bags of pretzels. My sister's comment was "at least you didn't give out organic health snacks". I don't think she was impressed with our variety, but I think the went over pretty well. Besides our house, only one other house had anything except candy - they had temporary tattoos. I guess I am the only uncool person in my neighborhood! Oh well. We have very little left over, mostly pretzels. Fortunately for me, those are Zion's favorite. I let him pick out one treat when we got home, and he got a sucker. He ate about half of it, then put it down and reached for the pretzels instead. I love that kid!!!!
Anyway.... it was a good day. Now I just have to find something to do with all this candy!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Success!!! (kind of)

Canaan read his first story yesterday. It was very basic, and only consisted of 4 words, in various orders, but he read it! It was so exciting, and he read it again to his Daddy when he got home. I am so proud. However, today when we sat down to learn the next lesson, his interest was just about zero. So, as he wiggled and squirmed, and dawdled I realized that it was all about me. If he wants to read, then great, I will help him. But if he does not want to read, I really don't think I should force him. Eventually, (and for the rest of his life) he is going to have to do things just because they NEED to be done. Right now, at 4 years old, I don't think it is a good idea for me to push that on him. He already has to go to bed, eat his vegetables, use good manners, etc. That is enough for now. I want him to be able to do, as much as possible, what he wants to do right now. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to let my kid be a bully, or eat icecream every day, or stay up until midnight watching cartoons. But if he wants to spend his time screwing pieces of cardboard together, "building" a house: so be it. If he would prefer to spend an hour with watercolors, creating Halloween cards for his friends: wonderful. If he is craving time outside, riding his bike in circles or digging in the sand: that is what I want for him. I think Andy is stressed about our children learning responsibility. Andy was raised in public school, his mother is not very fond of the idea of us homeschooling, and most of the people he works with have had very little positive exposure to homeschooling. I guess it makes sense that he is nervous. I have allowed his nerves to stress me out, and make me feel like I have to "succeed", have to accomplish something, have to prove that what I am trying to do is right. And that completely sums up what is wrong. I have spent 48 hours being stressed, and when it all boils down, I was stressed about nothing.
Canaan is bright, talented, interested in a multitude of things, and a very normal four year old boy. There is absolutely no need to pressure him to "learn". He is learning every minute of every day. As long as I remember that, focus on that, take advantage of that, then I am doing my job. For crying in the mud, he is FOUR!
It is about more than learning how to read: my children have to learn how to want to know things, want to learn, desire knowledge. If I can give then the desire to learn, then I will have succeeded. No matter what any future tests, or grades, successes or failures try to tell me, I will know I have given them the best thing there is - the desire to learn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Language

We slept in today, which was very nice. However, no matter how late you sleep, you never want to be awakened with the words "Mom, wake up. Zion has poop on his fingers". I'm just saying, 8:30 is a beautiful time of day, and I adore my children for letting me sleep until then, but really... poop? I will tell you that there is very little that will wake you up so completely and utterly as the above mentioned sentence. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as my first fears... nothing pretty, but nothing too tragic either. Looking back on it now, from the safety of 11pm, it is really quite humorous.
After my last post my friend Michelle asked about Zion's language progression. I decided to make a list of his words. I had started one about 3 weeks ago (actually, when I was home for the pumpkin patch) and I added to it over the last few days. I was happy to note that there were three new "words" since then. I think that is good. The thing is, many of his words aren't real words. The mean something to him, and I know what they mean, because he uses them on a regular basis, but they sound nothing like they are "supposed" to. For instance - juice and shoes sound exactly alike. I can only tell which one he wants by his motions. Also, boo boo, choo choo (train) and doo doo are very hard to tell apart. Also, where in the world does doo doo come from? No one in this house says doo doo. We say potty, or possibly poo poo, but never doo doo. Why does he say that? Does he think he is saying poo poo? Can he not hear the difference? Little things like that are starting to worry me. His newest word is please. He has been signing it (or at least, his version of it) for several months now, but he "says" it now too. But it sounds nothing like please. It sounds like Thhhh thhhh.
My favorite of his new words is EWWWW. He says that when he needs his nose wiped, because that is what I say every time I wipe his nose. It is not even really a word, but because that is what I say, that is what he associates with wiping his nose and now it has meaning.
So, he has 22 words, is you count all of them, even the ones that aren't really words. Actually, 23, because Thank and You are two seperate words. Even if they sound like "tank too". So, does anyone out there think I need to be concerned? He is 22 months old now.
One more thing... he still does not have a name for his brother. If I point to myself and say "who am I" he will say Momma. If I point to Andy and ask, he will say either Dada or Momma, depending on his mood, and if I point to Canaan he will say Momma every time. Canaan hates it!!!
I feel better now that I have vented. Feel free to comment, but also feel free to completely ignore the worries of a Mommy.

The pumpkin patch trip

I never did get around to writing about our trip to the pumpkin patch. It was a huge success. Canaan was looking forward to it this year, for the first time. (he has never remembered it before this year, even though he has gone every single year of his life!) We love the petting zoo, the maze, the great swings, and of course, the hay ride. I have more pictures, which I will put on snapfish eventually, but I wanted to get a few out there while I was thinking about it. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My cup runneth over

I bought the new Caedmon's Call CD last week, and finally got around to opening it today. I like to savor the anticipation, "save" the moment I guess, so I was trying to keep it new as long as possible. I do that with everything, and I don't really know why, but thats just how I am. I am glad I didn't wait too long for this one. I have loved Caedmon's Call for about 8 years now, since 40 acres, and thier tour came to Rome GA, where I was attending Shorter College. I have always liked that they write a lot of their own music, and that they seem to sing about things that mean something. It seems that they are often in the same place in their life that I am in mine. We are about the same age, so life hits us at the same time. The new CD, "Overdressed" is fabulous. Their is a song called "Sacred" that I absolutely love - it is a mother's song, about how life just gets crazy sometimes, and she stops and realizes that "everything is sacred". Laundry, the messes the children make, life as it is, that is sacred. She sings "my cup runneth over, and I worry about the stain". I feel that way sometimes. I get so busy just doing, living, breathing, that I forget to stop and drink from that overflowing cup. Jesus will fill me constantly if I let him. I just forget to allow it. Wonderful song, wonderful CD.

In other news, Zion has gone potty in the toilet 5 times in the last three days!!! (three of those times today) I am super excited. I am not going to get my hopes too high, since he isn't even 2 yet, but I am certainly going to encourage him while he is interested. He is still so far "behind" in his vocabulary, and I spend too much time worrying about that. It is nice to have something positive to focus on. He wants to be able to do everything Canaan can do, and going potty is something he is perfectly capable of, so yeah!!

So, I guess my word of encouragement for the day is, enjoy your overflowing cup. I prayed for this life, have dreamed of this life, since I was 5 years old. A mommy was the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up. Now is the time to celebrate my dreams come true, every moment.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New friends

I met people today. Nice people, and we all had something in common. We are all Air Force Wives. I have been an AF wife for almost six years now, and have never been involved in a group before. I am super excited to give this a try. I met one woman at story hour at the library last week and she invited me to come to the meeting with her. So, I left my comfort zone and tried to branch out, and I am so glad I did. We come from all different family backgrounds, areas of the country, religious and political persuasions, and quite an age range, but we have enough in common, just because of our husbands.
I made some great connections for other areas of life too. Let me back up for a minute and say, "We seriously considered adopting a sibling group this week." (and it is only Tuesday, if that tells you what an emotional roller coaster my week has been!) Someone my parent's work with was telling them about a distant relative that was having lots of problems in their life, and had decided to put their kids up for adoption. A boy, 2 and a girl, 7 months. Did you know that it is possible to completly fall in love and lose your heart to someone you have never seen, and don't even know their name? I told God Sunday at church that I was scared, because I didn't want to love someone when I was pretty sure I couldn't have them. But, God told me to love them anyway. So I allowed myself to love, and I am glad I did. Skip the middle of the story.... the kids live in CA, and by the time my parents told me the story, they had already been put into foster care. By the time I talked to Andy (who was all for it, by the way) and began to persue the idea, they had already been placed in a home that wanted to keep them permenantly, and would keep them together. So, it was over before it ever began. But I opened my heart, and it hurt a little bit, but it was a good pain. I am so happy that they found a home, together, and hopefully forever. And now I know that I am ready to open my heart again, and that pain won't kill me. I also know that I have to start somewhere..... so maybe I will take the foster/adopt orientation next week. If it can happen in CA, it can happen in GA, and I have to let someone know that I am willing to be available. It can't hurt to at least go to the orientation class, right?
This is a scary place to be, and I have to talk to Andy a good bit more, but I want to be open. Several of the ladies at the meeting tonight have friends in the process of adoption, one is taking the foster/adopt class next week, and they were all very encouraging.
On a side note, I met two other women who had a miscarriage in the last 6 months. I had no idea how common that was. I think that as a society we tend to push it to the side. Miscarriage happens a lot, but so many people don't realize, because we just try to "get over it" as quickly as we can. Not that it is wrong to "get over it". You have to heal, and move on, and keep moving forward with life, but I think it might be helpful for women to be more open about it. Talk to each other. Share their feelings. Until I had a miscarriage I knew of a few people who had lost a baby, but not really that many. Now I feel like I meet a new one every time I go out. It is so sad, yet strangely comforting to know that I am not alone.

Anyway.... I am excited. I have met women, discovered that I may have a ready made Bible Study group available, and definitely have people who are interested in adoption, child rearing, Jesus, and the AF life. Good things are ready to happen.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Inspirational people

"I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy, in whatever situation I may be: for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." Martha Dandridge Custis Washington

When the wife of our first president wrote this in a letter to a friend, she had already survived being widowed at 26, with two small children to care for, had lost two other children, and had married a wonderful man who risked his life daily leading our country in the battle for it's independence. I think she may have been thinking of one of my favorite verses.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I had written a little intro to this thought, about how cool Martha Washington was, as well as our other "First Ladies", but I lost it. Now I don't have time to re-write it. I just wanted to say that I am reading a really cool book about the first ladies, and they were fascinating people. Andy says first of all that I am nerd for reading something "boring" when I don't have to, and secondly that he thinks it is silly to read about people who were famous only by default, not because of their own actions. But I disagree with both of his thoughts. I love history, so it isn't boring. And the wives of our Presidents, especially the early ones, played a huge part in the development of our country. They may not have chosen fame for themselves, but they lived up to it with grace an honor, and left a legacy. They should be famous on their own accord, because they accomplished amazing things.

I am headed to Adairsville, so I have to close. It is time to hit the road. I'll post pictures of our trip to the Pumpkin patch sometime later.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Next step

Behind me, playing on the television as background noise is a program called "Our 27 children". It is absolutely amazing. This family has adopted 23 special needs children, along with giving birth to four others. It completely inspires me. I have always always planned to adopt. When I started having babies I let that dream get a little dim. It is now renewed, bright and shining again. I don't think I could handle 27 kids, but I want to make sure that I am open to whatever it is that God has for me. In 20 years, we'll just have to see where I am. I really want to love children - any and all, whatever their family history, medical needs, and however many God puts in my life. I don't think Andy is quite as open in the area of numbers, but he is willing to love any child, however they end up in our family. So, here I am, ready. When I first lost my baby I couldn't even consider another baby. I just needed to mourn for her. Then my friend Naomi lost her baby, and I mourned again. But now I am ready. It seems like it is time to look forward. So, once again, here I am, ready and waiting. If anyone hears a word from God for me, please pass it along. I think my biggest question right now is, "what is the next step?" Do I start that paperwork to get an international adoption? Do I place myself on a list for a baby in the foster system? I want to see a picture, or hear a story and just know. It sounds strange, but I don't want to have to look for my baby. I just want God to lead me to him or her.

On a completely different note... homeschooling is going really well. Since Canaan is only 4, I am trying to make it very laid back. I think he is really enjoying it. He asks me every morning if he can do school. We put the flag up outside, and do a little bit of desk work, then play educational games. It is really cute. Today he practiced writing our phone number. It just feels really great to be teaching again. I have missed it. He really is an easy kid.

Zion, on the other hand, is a little pistol. He keeps me on my toes every minute that he is awake. Yesterday when I put him down for his nap, he reached across his changing table, and pulled about 30 wipes out of the container. He then got ahold of the Desitin, and squirted it in his hair. In his HAIR!! For any of you who don't have babies, Desitin is a diaper rash ointment, and it is super thick, and fairly sticky. It does not do well in hair. Today during coloring time Canaan made a book. Very age appropriate, but creative. Zion colored himself. Also very age appropriate. I had forgotten how busy this age is.

We have almost completely unpacked now. My sisters came down this weekend to see my new house, and helped do a little more decorating. I have done most of it by myself, which is very out of the ordinary, but they helped do some finishing touches in my bedroom. I am beginning to feel settled. Today we planted trees. We put a Maple in the front, and a Chinese Pistache (sp?) in the back. I feel like such a homeowner, planting a tree in our yard. It feels really good.

Andy has now switched the channel to WWE Raw, so I think I better go. I can't stand to sit here and listen to it, and the computer is right next to the tv. That narrows my choices. My next project is going to be figuring out how to put pictures on here, so keep your eyes posted. Until then.... Blessings

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

An update and a prayer request

I was re-reading my last post before I started this one and it made me laugh. On the way down to help me move into my new house my Mom spilled her coke in her lap, all over her cell phone. Needless to say, it no longer worked. So, she stopped at a rest area to use a pay phone. It told her to insert $3.25. Three Twenty Five, for one phone call. She thought that was ridiculous, so instead she looked around the parking lot, picked a likely looking traveler and asked to borrow their cell phone. She then realized that she did not have my phone number memorized. She just always pushes "Bethany" on her cell phone memory, and had no idea what my actual number was. So, she had to call Dad and ask him to find my number, then, while still using the poor stranger's cell phone, she had to call me and get the rest of the directions to my house. The plan had been that she would call when she got to the exit and I would tell her the rest then. So, here she was, about 40 miles away, and no idea how to actually get to my house, and no phone. It just seems so ironic to me that just a few days after I had written about our dependence on cell phones, my Mom got stuck without one, and truly needed it.
By the way, diet coke does completely fry a cell phone. Hers is still broken....
We are moved in, settling nicely. Mom took Zion back home with her, so I have gotten a lot done. Tomorrow we are headed back to N. GA to get him. It has been so nice, and I have gotten so much done with out him here, but I am missing him like crazy. It has felt so strange to only have one kid. Canaan is so self sufficient too. He entertains himself for hours on end without any input from me. Zion still needs constant attention. I can't imagine how strange life would be without my Zion.

I have a prayer request to post here. I talked to one of my best friends today and found out that her baby died this week. She was 25 weeks pregnant, and this happened with no warning, and at this point and time they still don't know why. She was a huge help to me when I was mourning Anastasia, because she had lost a baby before too, last time at 32 weeks. I know how much it hurt at six weeks, because we had already planned, and gotten excited, and dreamed. I know that at 25 weeks you have had a lot more time to bond, and dream and plan, and it has to be a thousand times harder. Please pray for Naomi and her family. She will still have to labor to deliver the body, and that just stinks. They are planning to induce her on Friday, so please keep her in your prayers. The baby's name is Ruth, and she has five big brothers who are taking it really hard.
I hurt for her. It is so hard not to ask "why", even though I know it is a stupid question. I want to fix it, make it all go away, and I can't. She is so strong, and her faith is holding her up exactly as it should, but I know she is struggling with the why. So please, pray for my friend Naomi.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Moving

I am about to drive up to the cable office and turn in my cable box and internet modem, so I will be unavailable for several days. This shows how addicted to the intenet I am though - I already have an appointment scheduled for the cable man to come out on Sat and turn it on. Today is Tuesday and I am turning it off. I will have it back up and running at my new house in Hahira by Saturday. For some reason I find that highly amusing. I am so spoiled.
Yesterday when we were driving back to NC (after finally getting an all clear on Zion's breathing, and taking him over to GA on Sunday afternoon) I saw a man using a payphone. I don't think I have ever used a payphone. Pretty much my entire adult life I have had a cell phone. In fact, I don't currently have a home phone. Every since January we have been a cell phone only family. It is just such a foreign concept to me to imagine needing to use a pay phone. I am so spoiled!!! I remember when I was a kid my Aunt and Uncle had "car phones", which were the bulky predecessors of cell phones. Those seemed so fancy, out of our reach, and unnecessary. Now I cannot imagine not having a phone with me at all times. In a couple of days we will be moving, and I will follow behind the moving truck. Andy and I will probably talk frequently, deciding where to get off to eat, get gas, etc. I remember when I was a kid we would follow the moving truck (quite often actually, with my parent's moving record) and have to honk, or flash our lights, or try to pass to get Dad's attention. One time we got seperated in Memphis, moving to Colorado and we just had to stop and pray, because we had no idea how to find Dad again. Back then my parents didn't have credit cards either, so Mom was stuck with four kids, no idea where Dad was, and very little money. I am just so glad that I will never have to experience that again. I love my cell phone!!!
Andy is ready to go, so I better scram. I'll be back in touch again after we get to our new house!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's always something, right?

I will first preface this blog by saying, "everyone is fine". With that said... Today I spent four hours in the ER. I think that nicely sums up my life right now. Nothing goes the way I currently have planned. What we planned to do was drive to our new house, give it a deep cleaning before we move in next weekend, and leave the car down there, so we don't have to tow it behind the moving truck. Then, we were going to drive Andy's truck up to N. GA and go camping with my family, have lunch with Andy's family, and leave the boys with my parents while we get ready to move. It was a very full weekend, but because of Labor Day we have a long weekend and I felt confindent we could get it all done. I guess that is my downfall, depending on my own plans too much. Yesterday Zion woke up with a slight runny nose and tiny little cough. By bedtime, it was a full cough, so I gave him his inhaler (to be used as needed, and he hasn't needed it since June) and a decongestant. He was up at 2, and 4 and 5. At 7 I called the doctor's office and got him an appointment for 11. By nine, he was having to work so hard to breath that I knew we weren't going to be able to wait until 11. So, we loaded up and headed to the ER.
They got him in almost immediately, and treated him with the full strength Nebulizer that I don't have at home. Andy was able to come and join us less than 30 minutes after we got there, and I truly have nothing to complain about. But seriously, 4 hours! Four hours is a long time! He has an upper respiratory infection, and either bronchitis or bronchialitis ( I can't remember which, nor do I know how to spell either), but it is not pnemonia. They talked about keeping him overnight for observation (gasp), took an X-ray for precautions sake, then simply renewed his Albuteral prescription, and gave him some sort of liquid steriod. He is still pretty raspy, and they want to see him again on Sat., but all in all, it was a very happy ending to a very long morning.
While we were there a little girl was brought in who was completely covered in a bright red rash. Her entire torso and face looked like they were on fire. She was crying, or course, which made Zion quit crying and watch her. About 10 minutes later, they switched. Zion cried, and she just watched him in wonder. I overheard them talking when they released her, and it turns out it was an allergic reaction to an ant bite. I have always heard about bee stings, or wasps possibly, but I have never heard of such an extreme reaction to an ant. Wow, something new to add to the list of things to worry about!
I already have a new plan for the weekend, but I am trying to learn my lesson and not depend on my plans too much. I guess we shall see what we shall see. Eventually I am hoping to take the boys, and both of our vehicles to GA, and leave the boys and one vehicle there. But, I won't count my chickens before they are hatched. For now, I am just going to go to bed, and hope that I get to stay there all night long!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

23 years

My Mom checked in with me today, as she does almost every day. She was telling me of how many people are sending their love and support, and I felt very loved. But something she said really hit me, made me stop and think.... someone had asked her how long the normal mourning period for losing a baby was. She had to stop and consider it for a moment before realizing that it is forever. She had her first miscarriage about 23 years ago. She still misses that baby. Not every day, not even every week. But forever that part of her, as well as the later miscarriages too, will be slightly painful. That first miscarriage is only a vague memory for me - I was only 5 - but her later ones are still actually painful for me. Every year I think of them around thier due dates, and again in the spring, when they died. For some reason it helped to realize that I still hurt for them, and they were not even physically mine. If I still hurt for them, years later, it is okay that I still hurt for my little baby. I have always talked to my babies, when they were growing inside. I had already started talking to Anastasia, and have caught myself doing it still. She isn't growing inside me anymore, but I think it helps me to tell her how much I wanted her. How very much she was loved. How happy I am for her, that she is safe in heaven, and surrounded by even more love then I could give her.

That is enough for now. I really am planning to write something happy soon. I have happy thoughts, but for some reason, when I sit down here, the sad things are what come out. One day at a time I guess.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Life

So, to tell the story of last week, I have to rewind a little and give a bit of the backstory. About 4 weeks ago Andy got a vasectomy. I planned to blog about that, but I was still trying to understand my feelings on the issue. We reached the decision mutually, but I was definitely the reluctant partner in the decision. After quite a bit of prayer, and being reminded multiple times about the danger of being pregnant and diabetic, as well as my lifelong plan to adopt, I felt really comfortable taking this permenant step to giving birth to children. I will say it hurt a little, because I love being pregnant, and I love breastfeeding, and I love those teeny tiny little toes and first monumental milestones, but I was truly comfortable about the direction of our future.
Less than one week after Andy's surgery we were in south GA, looking at houses for sale, exploring the Valdosta area, meeting up with some old friends. It was a wonderful time. We left the boys with my parents, found a wonderful house in the middle of foreclosure, put in a bid, and had the bid accepted. It was busy, and stressful, but all going according to plan. At the two week mark after Andy's surgery I finally stopped to breath and realized that I was nearly a week late. Yes, that kind of "late". Surely not! We were cautious. We had made that final decision, and done something about it. What in the world?
Joy of Joys, Happy happy surprise, I was pregnant. Two definite pink lines. It changed all our plans, but in a wonderfully happy way. Our little 3 bedroom house was going to be a little tighter with three kids, but no biggie. Our move was going to be a little harder, since I needed to be careful not to lift too much, or wear myself out, but no biggie. We found out on a Sunday (although I had been very suspicious for several days already). I spent that week making plans, telling many of my friends (but not all, so don't be offended if you were one who had not been called yet), already picking out names. I had a really great discusion with my friend Naomi about how scary it is to be a Mom, but how we must trust that God the father loves our children even more than we do. That thought in itself is overwhelming, because I can't imagine a bigger love than what I feel for my children, but I do believe in it. Naomi is pregnant too, and has five beautiful healthy boys, but she has lost a child in the past and I remember her telling me that no matter what she has to trust that God loves her children more than her. I completely agreed, still do agree. I think God was trying to give my warning, to prepare me. During worship on Sunday He kept reminding me that this baby, whom I already loved, was His first. She or He belonged to God first. I think I knew already then.... the bleeding started that night. I held onto this tiny thread of hope. The ultrasound was inconclusive... maybe the baby was just 4 weeks, instead of six. Maybe the bleeding was just a random fluke. But I knew. and I was broken. This huge question loomed over me. Why? Why did I lose this baby? What did I do wrong? Why did I even get pregnant, when I was content with my life the way it was. Why would God do this to me. I didn't want to ask these questions, because I know there is no answer, but they wouldn't stop coming. Then, my mom said the perfect thing. I think God spoke, he just used her voice. Bethany, God doesn't cause these things to happen. God created this world to be perfect, with no pain, and no sorrow, and no seperation from Him. But this world did not stay the way he created it. Sin corrupted it, and now things happen which are not the way God originally planned them. God did not cause this to happen. Sin, and an imperfect world did. Later, when I talked to my friend Naomi again she told me that when she lost her baby she could feel God there, mourning with her. God is mourning with me, and that helps so much.
I don't know what comes next. It has been a whole week now, and physically I am back to normal. It is almost like she never existed, which hurts too. Obviously, since I was only six weeks along, we can't know if it was a boy or girl, but I feel like she was my daughter. Her name is Anastasia, which means "resurrection". That is where we will see her, so it seems like a fitting name.
For now, I keep packing boxes, and cooking meals, and doing dishes, and giving lots and lots of love to my beautiful boys. I know that my family is not complete, and when it is time, we will find the next addition. Until then, I am trying to once again live each day with Joy. Happiness doesn't always come easy, but joy is unending. For that I am grateful.
We are moving to Hahira GA in about 9 days. Moody AFB, here we come. From there, life comes one day at a time.

Just the beginning...

Since I have decided to start a blog, I think that I will begin it with a simple note first. I need someplace to express my feelings, and I love getting comments on my thoughts, so this seems to be the perfect forum. I can't make any promises about how often, or what I will write about, but I can promise it will always be true, and it will always be from the heart. I have A LOT on my heart that I would like to express right now, but my boys are both awake, so it will have to wait. (Serious writing it only accomplished when at least one of them is asleep) I guess for now we will consider this... to be continued....