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, September 29, 2009

Aches

My big boy woke me up this morning with a strange statement.

"Mommy, my ankles hurt. My wrists too. And if I bend my fingers, they hurt."

That is not a good way to start the morning. Since Andy works 3-midnight, we are late sleepers around here. Our boys go down between 8:30 and 9, and sleep until 8 or 8:30.
Unfortunately, it was 7:30 when he woke up this morning. Not fun for a mommy who had been up until 1:15, but such is life.
His temp was elevated, the base doc was full, so an off base walk-in clinic was advised by the 24 hour on-call nurse. When the flu test came back negative we thought we were in the clear - antibiotics and a decongestant, but nothing too serious.
But then the doctor said...
"If his fever spikes over the next couple days, you might want to bring him back. Sometimes the first flu test is just too early, and is wrong"

What!

Of course, tonight before bed his fever spiked to 103. Which means I will have to be stressing and watching him all day tomorrow. He was already complaining that he has had to check his temp "FOUR times today!" Can you believe the torture?

Now if I can just keep Z away from him... Yeah right!

In other news:

I would like to introduce you to my adorable new sister-in-law. She is totally new to the world of blogging, so please drop by and give her a word of encouragement. Also, if you would like to, you can see the story that I had to s l o w l y and painfully drag out of Josh, bit by bit. She has written it out nicely, in a friendly little font, right there for the world to see. Aren't boys fun? Grrrr.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Selfishness and Underpants

I have been slightly "off" the last couple of days. I am part of a ladies bible study that focuses on being good wives. This week our "homework" was to try our best to be unselfish, giving of ourselves, less focused on what we are missing out on.
Now, this is going to sounds like bragging, but truly and honestly, I think I can say that selfishness is not normally something I struggle with. I have plenty of other weaknesses, and sins that I struggle with, but selfishness truly isn't one of my usual sins.
However, with the focus on it this week in our Bible study, I seem to have had to fight (and fail) this week miserably. I have noticed every single time that Andy has NOT done something I wanted him to. I have been offended every time he didn't carry his plate over, or rub my feet even though I rubbed his shoulders, or let me sleep in a few extra minutes, even though he kept me up late every single night this week (he has been working the swing shift, and I have waited up for him), and I had let him sleep late every other day.
So, even though I wasn't DOING anything selfish, I was being selfish in my attitude. And it was starting to show in my mood. I finally broke down and let him know how I felt.
Poor thing - He can't read my mind... So he had no idea that I wanted my shoulders rubbed, or 15 minutes of extra sleep. Just because I know to give it to him automatically, does not mean that he can think to give it to me automatically. It just isn't part of how he is made.
So, he declared that I have to get over expecting him to know - I have to ask.
I will work on that.

Yesterday Andy declared that he wasn't sure he wanted me going to this bible study anymore. He thought that our marriage was happier before I started going to the "Make your Marriage stronger" bible study! That day I had to agree.
Of course, some of it might be because I am PMSing...

Now, to end to end on a lighter note. How about a few Zion stories.
A few days ago Z was sitting at the table, singing, as usual. He makes up songs, about everything you can imagine, on a regular basis.
As he ate his lunch he was singing, "shake your bum bum, shake your bum bum." Then, he changed the chorus... "shake your wee wee, shake your wee wee".
Now, when he goes potty I often tell him to "shake shake" before he pulls his pants up - but I have never told him to shake his wee wee. I really don't know where he came up with that. But, I think Andy nearly came to tears he was laughing so hard.

Then today when we were at the mall Andy took Z to the bathroom. He came back laughing, once again, at our little one.
When we got home I took at picture of the reason why.

See anything wrong with his underpants?

He likes to completely strip when he "sits down", and it seems he had put them back on by himself this afternoon.
I don't think that could possibly be comfortable, but he didn't complain.
They were so stretched out that I just threw them away!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for an update on my daughter.
It really isn't much, and it isn't precisely encouraging, but it IS an update.
News is news, and for now, I am hanging onto it with both hands.

Pierre, our contact from Benin is out of the hospital, recovering nicely from Malaria. He has hit a few roadblocks with the paperwork - but he remains optimistic. I am choosing to remain optimistic too.

My parents are going to get to visit him in The Netherlands (where his wife is from and where he lives most of the time) on their way to India in a few weeks. For some reason that is encouraging. Just knowing that my parents are going to be in the same place with him, and he has been in the same place as my daughter - it makes her seem closer somehow.

I am also thankful for Homeschool P.E. class. Canaan loves the chance to run and play and interact, and I get a chance to run on the treadmill at the gym while yapping away with the other moms. AND they have a playroom for Zion! What a fabulous combo!

I am thankful for Baked Potatoes and Broccoli, which make a delicious and easy supper when Daddy is once again working the swing shift and won't be home to eat with us. (much better then the popcorn and leftover veggie tray we ate last night!)

And, I am thankful for Tricare. Sometimes they are annoying, and make me run around in circles to get the care I want. But, I have medical coverage when I or my children need it, for very little out of pocket cost. I do not take that for granted.
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life Changing Day

Yesterday was a big, huge, life changing day for my Canaan.

Or maybe more for me. He doesn't seem to be that affected...

He got glasses.

My camera battery was dead yesterday by the time I thought to take a picture, so these had to wait until today.

He complied for the first few shots, but then he just wanted me to leave him alone...

so he could watch Daddy play his new game.

Hurray for "repackaged" markdowns at Target!
Game, plus extra controller for less then the price of the game.
Thank you Carrie & Corey, Kelsey & Travis. Your Graduation gift money has already been greatly appreciated!

You should have seen this boy punching and ducking and dodging, like he was 10 years old again.

In the meantime - our son with the glasses proudly proclaimed tonight when it was bath time
"Mommy, I wore my glasses all day today! "
(because yesterday he kept taking them off and "forgetting where they were")
"Am I supposed to wear them in the shower?"

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Family

Andy's little brother, Josh, came home on leave last week from his Army training and got married. He didn't give us much warning that this was what he was planning, and I must admit that I panicked a good bit. Josh had just turned 14 when I started dating Andy, and I have watched him grow up. I very much consider him a little brother.
So, I have annoyingly picked and picked at him over the last couple of weeks, dragging every tiny little bit of information out of him that I could about this mystery girl that he was going to marry. It is really hard to drag information out of little brothers who are 1000 miles away. Guilt still works some, but the pouty face doesn't work as well over the phone.

Finally, I got to meet her.
And I loved her!
Suddenly, life was much easier again.

Now, I know I should have trusted him all along to pick a wonderful woman, but the protective gene came out just a little. He really should have just given me her phone number several weeks ago. I think he was afraid I would scare her away - little old me - Surely I am not that scary?!

Perhaps when I look like this... but that isn't too often, and thank goodness for what those foil highlights accomplish!

The wedding party.
Almost all relatives - poor Joe, no uniform, or blood. That is one really good best friend!

Her daughter Anistyn (finally, a girl in the family!) was the flower girl and Zion was the Ring Bearer.
They both look eager to cooperate in this picture.

Anistyn still looks like she is going to cooperate in this picture, but Zion is looking unsure.

Since this wedding was planned on short notice, and with one party in CA, one in Alabama, and the location in GA, it was slightly haphazard. At the last minute I ended up directing "traffic". As in, Groom - Go.

(He doesn't look nervous, does he?!)
Bridesmaids - Go. Kids who are pulling out the runner - Go.

Anistyn declared she was not going to walk down that aisle. Zion refused to go without her. Tara, the bride, just wanted to walk down herself and didn't want to deal with the stress. So, I ended up carrying the flower girl down the aisle, while holding Zion's hand.
Last minute addition to the wedding!

After it was all over, Zion was perfectly happy, and loving that ring pillow!


Here are two different versions of the family picture of our new, expanded family.
Don't the little ones look excited?

I had to put this one - classic Andy and Josh pose.

At the Reception Canaan decided he wanted a "grown up" meal. It was as big as him, but he dug in with relish. There was enough left over for Andy to have for lunch the next day!

Zion declared his French Fry was a mustache.
My boys were a little "wired" for dinner that night!

This picture shows Josh being awful, smearing the cake on his new wife's face. (Sorry Tara!)
It also shows most of the beautiful cake that my mother-in-law, Ellen, made. Isn't she talented?

Tara proudly showed off Josh's handiwork.
The great-grandboys with their Granny.

It was a great party, a fun time, and I am very excited to see where God takes this couple next.
Congratulations Josh and Tara. Blessings to you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A very busy week

My average bedtime this week has been about 2:00am. That means several nights have been later. But, it has been a great week. A birthday. A wedding. Attending a major league baseball game. Learning how to use a table saw.
I promise, pictures are coming. But, 90% of my blogging has been done on my Mac, and I don't have it with me on this trip. I can't figure out how to do anything on a PC.
So, for now, know that I have a beautiful new sister-in-law and neice that I am dying to show off, so be ready for some pictures!

Friday, September 11, 2009

After seeing that caterpillar at Wild Adventures on Monday, Canaan has been on a bug "kick". He really wanted to know what kind of butterfly that specific caterpillar was going to turn into, why it had bristles on it's back, what it ate - the list goes on and on.

Being a homeschool family, we adjusted our curriculum to match his interest.
First, I would like to recommend the site, "What's this Caterpillar?" The name says it all. It was very easy to use, narrowed it down by style of caterpillar (smooth, hairy, spiney, horned, etc) then had pictures of each kind so you could "match" them.

Ours is an Io Moth.
When it "grow up" it will first turn green,

then build it's cocoon, (which will be similar to this)

then look like this:

Isn't that beautiful? It is easily identified by the "eye" markings on the hind wings.

Want to know something really cool? The caterpillar spines have poison in them. The website we found actually says "handle with care". Canaan was pretty impressed by that! If you touch it, you might feel a "sting", and some people even react to it strongly enough to need hospitalization.
Another site worth checking out is "The Children's Butterfly Site". Fairly simple, but some good links.
I have been reminded this week of all the reason's why we homeschool. Yes, my children still have to learn to read, and that 2+2=4, but I want as much of the other stuff to be fun. I want life to be an adventure and school to just fit into that adventure.
Canaan worked on two column addition and subtraction this week, and he kept saying he hated it. 24-14=10. 17+8= 25, with carrying the 1. Those were new concept, and he had to learn them - but by the end of the week, he had them. He still had to work, but he had them.
And in the meantime, he had fun studying caterpillars and what they turn into, and reading a mystery book and studying transportation in history.

Life is good.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wild Adventures

We went to Wild Adventures Theme park on Labor day.

Our good friends, the Enderle's have season passes and on occasion Wild Adventures runs a special "bring a friend" day. You can read about last time we went here. This time the daddy's got to come too, which multiplied the fun 100 fold. Especially since Andy HATES roller coasters, and heights in general.

So figuring out which rides he will actually get on is quite amusing.

At least Zion had someone to ride with!

Canaan loved absolutely everything, and had not one single cautious bone in his body.
He wanted to ride everything he was tall enough for, and several that he wasn't.

Look closely - you can see Zion behind Andy. I was laughing so hard because I was sure he would be smashed, but he didn't want to get wet, so he hit behind Daddy on the water ride.

I have had to readjust my ride "ability level". Normally there is nothing I won't ride, but with the threat of a seizure I have had to be more wary. I have discovered I can handle high, and fast, but not jerky. And, as much as I love to look down and see the world below me, my eyes have to stay closed on rides now. Oh well - I still get the rush!

The above picture was a "Free Fall" of sorts. The kids had their own version, and the LOVED it. I think they rode it four times!


Zion was very helpful reading the map.


Wild Adventures also has a "zoo" of sorts. After being members of the Atlanta Zoo, Wild Adventures really can't compare.

I must say I wasn't impressed. Too many cages, and sad little improper habitats for some amazingly beautiful and large wild animals. If I were slightly more outspoken, and didn't have my children with me, I might have had to protest a little more loudly then I did. Bears in a cage just felt so wrong after watching Brother Bear too many times!

I mostly kept my mouth shut... mostly.

The animals I enjoyed the most were the wild ones that were freely scattered throughout the park.

Freedom gives them their own beauty, don't you think?

Boys, being boys...

Me, with my little red head.
It was a good day!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I wanna die...

Quick, before you get worried, let me clarify that post title. It is part of a song. It is talking about dying to self.
I don't know if any of you ever listen to the music that plays on my page, or just mute it while you read. I know I am guilty of muting other people's music at times, so I can't hold it against you if you haven't heard what I have been playing. All of them on my list mean something at this point in my life. However, there is a Keith Green song on my list called "Make my life a Prayer to you" that really, really speaks to me. If you have an extra minute I encourage you to listen to it.
Now, no one wants to see me less than healthy, and I must admit I don't really want to be less than healthy either.
We go to a church that believes in and acts on the gifts of the Spirit. Several people have laid hands on me and prayed for healing in the last several weeks.
I have been told to claim my healing.
I have been reminded to have faith.
To wait patiently on the Lord.
To ask knowing that He answers those who follow after Him, those who have persistence.

And I can't really disagree, Biblically with any of this advice. But then I hear this song -
"It's so hard to see when my eyes are on me" -
I don't want to have my eyes on me anymore.

This morning rather then preach, the pastor just felt led to have a time of prayer, for restoration, for healing, for redemption - whatever.
It was a beautiful time. But the word I kept hearing from God, over and over was this -
"Don't just seek me for what I can do. Seek me for who I am."
He has already done everything we really need. He sent Jesus who shed His blood, paid the price, and became the bridge. Now, He wants to be our best friend.
Everything else is just a bonus.
One of the girls who prayed over me prayed that God would grant the desires of my heart. That was when I realized that being healed was really low on my priority list.
I want my children to know the heart of God, to seek Him and find Him.
I want my husband to continue to follow with his whole heart, to be happy in what he does, to shine Jesus at work. To let me love him through the disappointments.
I want my daughter to come home - oh, I want my daughter to come home.
I want to make my life a prayer - just like the song.
Sure, I would like my body to be whole. But that comes under quite a few other priorities. First, I want to seek Him for WHO He is, rather then what He can do. No more selfish eyes on me.

Is He your best friend? He want to be. Take my word for it, He is the BEST best friend out there!
If you don't know Him, please, send me an E-mail and I would be happy to tell you more.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am concentrating on being thankful today, so it seemed appropriate to join my new friend Tricia in Thankful Thursday.
I am thankful for my parents, who drove down to go to the doctor with me, since Andy COULD NOT get off work this week.
I am thankful that my doctor was encouraging and positive, and wants me to not give up on the medicine I am taking. I am trying to absorb some of his positive attitude and not be upset that the medicine is not working as quickly as I would like.
I am thankful for the many, many people who have given me rides, and have offered to give me rides in the future. I am surrounded by wonderful people who give their time and vehicles and thus their love and support. It is a wonderful blessing.
I am thankful for my children, who bring joy.
I am thankful for Andy, my man who seeks God with his whole heart, and thus can love me with the right kind of love. (plus is just darn sexy, and hilarious to boot!)
Most of all, I am thankful for healing - someday my body will be whole, and I praise God for that future event. In the meantime, I am thankful for healing of my heart and attitude.
What are you thankful for?

Wordle: blog

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Treebeard

Do any of you collect Willow Tree figurines?
I have for years - for many special occasions, across the country, and through many moves.
I really, really like them, and Andy puts up with them fairly well.
He even put this shelf together for them.
However...

See anything out of place in this picture?

Look a little closer...

Andy decided it would be really fun (or rather, funny) to add his own "tree" to the collection.
I thought it was pretty funny too. Treebeard, from Lord of the Rings, added a fairly interesting mark of distinction and individuality to the shelf.

But he wasn't allowed to stay.