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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rivers of living water

"This is the testimony. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God, does not have life." 1Jn 5:11-12

 I recently joined a ladies' bible study at church. I missed the first meeting, mostly because I forgot about it the night before and stayed up til 3. Getting my kids up, dressed and to the church by 9 seemed pretty much impossible after a late night like that.
 But tomorrow is meeting number two and I am excited. We aren't doing a Beth Moore study, or a specific theme like marriage, or raising Godly children... we are simply going to study together and work to memorize foundational scriptures.

 Foundational. All those verses you memorized as a child. The ones that are the basis of what you believe, and explain who God is, what He asks of us, and how to introduce Him to those around you.
 Surely I have known those my whole life. I grew up singing them along with various animated characters. When a question arises, they spring to mind as easily as water flowing from a faucet.
 But with this group I am going to study where the faucet gets the water from. I am going to go back and memorize the "address" of all those verses. (Matthew 6.... hmmm)
 And I'm going to do it with other women of God who are seeking first His kingdom and righteousness. (vs33!)

 There is something about holding each other accountable, isn't there?

 I can tell myself to focus on a verse, memorize it, learn it, study it. I'll even write it down and post it on the fridge. But knowing that someone else is going to ask me "did you learn it" or even better, "what did you learn from it"... well, that will make me stay focused, dig deeper, and listen harder for that still small voice.

 God's word speaks.

 We just have to take the time to listen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pictures, pictures, pictures

I had my friend Mary come over and teach me some basics about photography. I learned a little about ISO settings (something to do with light coming in) and fancy terms like "noise", which really just means the photo looks grainy. Mostly, I learned to just play with the buttons and not be afraid to experiment.

 My first day I just played outside and left it on auto. Caught some cuteness, and even managed to make myself feel cool with the whole "Focus on the acorn, Canaan in the background" thing. 
 Even on "auto" the camera could take this picture, on a rainy day, with no flash, and no overhead light. 

 But once Mary played with the dials, it could take this picture on a rainy day with no flash. 
 Whatever ISO is, it sure is cool! 

 But the setting that absorbs the light best, does not like movement...
It starts to get fuzzy when they wiggle - definite problem with 3 and 4 year olds! 
  I am learning! 

 The last pic of the night is Zion. The light is too much, but I didn't take time to mess with any setting, and simply started snapping. The poor thing fell and smashed his face into the door. Once we knew he was okay, and had ice on the goose egg growing on his face, I had to get some pictures of his poor pitiful expressions.

I am pretty sure he is going to have a black eye tomorrow. Sigh.

 In closing: 

 I, Bethany, do solemnly swear that this is not going to become a photography blog. I have no idea what I am doing, and have no plans to become a professional. I just want to take pictures of my children and the people who love them, without spending half the time waiting for the camera to load, and half the time waiting for the flash - and by then, the kids have fled the scene and the moment is over.
  So, my favorite thing is that when my children are moving fast (which is almost always) and the moment is fleeting, this camera is smart enough that I can just set it on auto and let it figure it out for itself. It may not do the fancy artistic look I want, but it will catch my kid in motion, and that was what I was looking for. No doubt about it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A very boring update -

 I have reached a point in the last few days in which I have had too many words, too little time, and not nearly enough organization in my brain to sort it all out.
 So instead of writing, I have turned the opposite direction - away from the computer. In fact, I even added the media package to my phone so I had the potential to blog from ANYWHERE. But did I?
 Not that there is anything wrong with that. My children and husband have enjoyed the extra time with me (I hope) and I have gotten more sleep. But eventually the words have to come out.
 The question is, where are the words headed?

 Marriage is still very much on my heart so I have asked some people I respect and admire to share their wisdom with me, in a survey sort of thing. I am very excited to have all their years of wisdom compiled in one place, and I hope that in sharing it here it speaks where it needs to be heard.
 While we are waiting for those words, check out this fun blog. A husband and wife team write about marriage together. Hearing both points of view and both sides of the story is a fascinating way to blog, and a wonderful way to experience marriage. I love the reminder to step outside my own brain waves and try to see the situation from Andy's side.

 On to other news: The countdown to the move has begun around here. Andy reports of Ft. Benning on Feb 2nd, and has to out-process from the AF before then. We're going to try to move out of this house by the end of Nov, may be slightly transitional for a while, (ie:homesless) then use up his vacation days over Christmas and January, living with my parents. Quite a few unknowns still floating around here.
 I guess this is a good time for me to be thinking about and praying for a good marriage. All this stress is bound to cause some arguments!

 Last, but not least, Santa came to visit me early.

 That may be another reason I have been a slacker in the world of blogging. I have been playing around in the world of photography instead.

Obviously, these pictures were not taken with the Rebel, since they are of the Rebel. I haven't actually uploaded anything I have taken yet. But I have been snapping away - different lighting, different angles. I have even tried out Andy's lens from his old film camera- works great! It has a much larger range, but it doesn't have the anti-shake "image stabilizer" feature, which is sort of useful for a beginner.
 I'll try to get brave enough to actually upload the pictures soon. For now, I am enjoying my early (and only) Christmas present.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waste not, Want Not Wednesday

It is Wednesday, and I am supposed to be thinking green.
 I took the recycling out to the bin a little while ago and realized I hadn't posted yet today. The clothes are on the line out back - I could write about that. The boys made very interesting forts out of the cereal boxes a few days ago - I could write about that.
 Thinking green is second nature to me, as much as I can afford to.
 Today however I feel like preaching to myself, and I listen so much better if I write it out, and have you all (am I southern enough to say ya'll?) to hold me accountable. If I type it up it is not just words floating around in my head, but black and white in front of me, and something I have to accept.

 Waste not - those words are something I write about as a reminder for protecting the beautiful earth that God created.
 But what else do I waste besides natural resources? Time? Energy? Emotions?
  This week I must admit to being very guilty of wasting my energy on emotions that accomplished nothing. It is much easier to preach about it now, chastise myself now, when it is over and I don't have to stress any more.
 The truth is that I really should have spent less of my time stressing during the middle of the stressful situation.
 Day after day I laid it down, told God that I trusted Him, and knew that whatever He had planned for us was the best.
 And then I worried anyway.
 "What can I do to fix it" "Is it happening because I did something wrong?" "Did we hear God incorrectly?" "If we just work harder, sleep less, stand on one foot and hop up and down with our tongue to our nose...."
 You know how it goes.

 There were things that had to be done. But worrying about them didn't help them get done faster, or better. Stressing about "why" the problem occurred in the first place didn't help fix it.

  What a Waste.

 And it left me Wanting.

 Wanting for peace. Wanting for comfort. Wanting a reminder, which my Savior gladly gave, that I am not in control. He is.
 I seem to be learning that lesson a lot lately.

 I never would have thought I needed to learn that lesson.
 I wouldn't have described myself as something who thought she was in control - but with the way I have been acting lately, I guess I was wrong.
 I certainly hope I am done learning it - but I am not going to hold my breath. Learning how to live the right way is a lifelong commitment, and some of those lessons take longer to learn then I would like to admit.
 Waste not, Want not - in more ways then one my friends. There is more then just God's beautiful earth at stake here. Our souls are part of his creation too, and He guards them with infinitely more love and care.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breakfast in Bed

 Andy's sleep schedule has been completely destroyed lately. He has gone from working days in Yuma, which is three hours behind here, to working swing shift here, (usually 3-midnight or so, it fluctuates some), then last week they ran a blitz to get their sister unit deployed. 12 hours shifts for everyone on the flight line, trying to get all the planes in the air and on their way to the desert. Midnight to noon.
 They got all the planes safely in the air and on their way, and the support troops headed out on Saturday. Mission accomplished - and if you think about it, say a prayer for the families this first week. That is usually the hardest, adjusting to daddy (or mommy) being gone.
 Now however, Andy's body had to readjust to sleeping, and living, and working his "normal" shift. Basically a 12 hour switch.
 When he got off at noon on Friday, rather then go to bed after working all night, he just stayed up. He crashed around 9pm, rather then our usual 1 or 2 am, obviously, but I was impressed with his 24 hour day.
 The problem was that he was wide awake and ready to go at 7 am, and the rest of us were not. We sleep late anyway, and especially on a Saturday morning.
 Rather then sit around doing nothing, or being loud and obnoxious to the woman who stayed up til 2, as usual, he was an angel instead.

 He went to walmart, since we were out of eggs and peppers, made me an omelet (and fresh coffee) and brought it to me in bed at a much later hour. 
 I am going to post the picture of myself - but please, remember, I had just woken up, bed head and all.
 Have some grace!  

 I was puffy eyed, but very happy. 
I am so spoiled. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Marriage: Anticipation and Planning

 Most of us, at least us ladies, plan our marriage well before the event. Not just the wedding - the marriage. The dress and the flowers and the cake are always talked about as the thing every little girl spends her childhood dreaming of. I would venture to say that there are plenty of young women who spend a good bit of that time budgeted for wedding planning dreaming about the groom also.
 Not just who he will be, but what he will be:
 "Tall, dark, and handsome." "Rich, dashing, and debonaire." Or even "Bold, strong and courageous."
I knew exactly what I wanted.
 I was the daughter of a missionary, granddaughter of a preacher. I was looking for someone with a similar background. I was a bookreading, high GPA, classical music loving nerd, who wanted to settle down, have kids I could homeschool and shine Jesus wherever I was. Once again, I thought I would find someone similar.
 Everyone I dated, or even had a serious crush on, was serious minded, slightly bookish and had very set plans for their future. Not that we didn't know how to have fun - I am making us sound like a bunch of sticks in the mud. My life was just very planned out. How can I put this...

 Ever watch X-men? I was planning to marry a Cyclops. Good man. Steady, strong, full of love and ready to work hard to get the job done, whatever the job may be.

 But then, Wolverine showed up. Simply rode into town, and threw everything in my world out of balance.  I was introduced to Andy one night at a concert on our college campus. He was a transfer, fairly new to town and needing friends. One of my girlfriends said, "Bethany, this is that guy I was telling you about. The one who got arrested last week."
 I was 20 years old, and nothing in my life has EVER been the same.

 He had sideburns and tattoos, and was an art major. Where did that fit into my plan?

 But, he loved Jesus, and he loved me, and somehow, that was all that mattered.

(He always wants me to clarify the whole "arrested" thing. That was mostly a wrong place, wrong time, 19 and stupid thing. He sat in a holding cell for about two hours until his parents came and got him and he ended up with a ticket. Still, it makes a great story!)

Having a plan is a good thing. Thinking ahead, preparing for what might come. But even more important is the ability to be flexible. Sometimes what we plan for just can't work. If we get our hopes set on something and focus all of our attention on it, then when something changes we get lost.
 Last night when I was trying to take a picture of Zion I zoomed in from across the yard. Then, he moved. That super focus on just one spot was nice and clear, but the object I wanted was no longer in that spot. I had to change my point of view entirely, drawing back to see the big picture first, before I could zoom in again.
 In fact, in the meantime, I got some really great shots from farther away.
 Those close ups are precious, because they show facial expression so nicely. But sometimes seeing the wider angle, looking at more then just one face at a time gives just as amazing of a picture.
 Not what I originally planned, but it made me just as happy when I sat back and rolled with it.

 So Wolverine and I keep making our little plans. Every day we are learning more about each other, where we are going, and how to get there as a team. 
 We have changed each other, but in wonderful ways. He loosened me up. I toned him down. He taught me to ride a motorcycle. I make him balance his checkbook. 
 There are moments when we fight over who has control over the zoom button on the camera - and what exactly we focus on. In the end we always reach the same conclusion though-

 Who is making the plans around here anyway? Certainly not us!

 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

 And after all, "the foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength." 1Cor 1:25

This and That

 I have discovered that teaching math to a boy is very different then teaching math to a girl, or at least helping teach it to your little sisters!

 Because we lean toward the "child led learning" style of education, I tend to teach Canaan what he is interested in. After learning the basics of addition and subtraction last year, he really wanted to learn some multiplication. Since counting by twos, threes, and fives helps a good bit with that, we focused on those skills. Telling time, measurement, some basic fractions - we skipped around a good bit.
 This year when we started out again I realized that in all of our skipping I had never taught him to borrow. He had done some double digit subtraction, but the numbers were always neatly lined up so that the top number was larger. Convenient.
 He's in second grade now. The time had come to learn how to borrow. The unfortunate question was - how to explain the concept?

(sample problem)  84-37=47

 First I tried writing it out on paper, simply showing him the problem, and the process.
 No luck.

 "Remember Canaan, the ones place, the tens place, and the hundreds place?"
 I pulled out those little math blocks (although our's are not like the ones in the link) and tried to show how one side could borrow from the other, moving those blocks around everywhere.
 I almost confused myself with that one.

 Finally, I had an epiphany.
 "Canaan, see that 4? He is trying to win in battle against the seven, but he isn't strong enough. He has to call up his neighbor the 8 and ask him to send over some help. Since the 8 is in the tens place, that makes the 4 a 14 now, and a 14 can totally beat a 7, right?"
 And that worked.
 I had to remind him a few times while we practiced that the troop "loaner" had to remember to cross out the original number and cut back one, but overall, war as a tactic in math worked well.
 Who knew?

 Every day the teacher learns something new.

 In other news:
 Andy finally talked me into learning to drive the motorcycle this afternoon. The neighbors came out and watched the free entertainment, then their children joined me on their bicycles.

 Andy has been trying to talk me into it for weeks now, and I have put him off every time. I think my pride has balked - what if I couldn't do it? What if I stalled out repeatedly and looked like an idiot? Also, I must admit a small fear. I don't mind being a cycle chick, sitting up there behind my man, but driving the thing? That is an entirely different story. It is a lot bigger then me!
 But, once I actually got on it I fell in love. I never left the subdivision, or second gear for that matter, but at least I know the basics. And I did get slightly faster then the neighbor kids on their bikes! (but just barely!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Kelsey

 My sister Kelsey Joy has been living up to her name since the day she was born. She is a little over six years younger than me, so I vividly remember her entry into the world.
 I think she was the first answer to prayer that I ever got to hold in my hands. Even at six, I had no doubt in my Savior. He and I were already pretty tight. But Kelsey was such a beautiful confirmation, visible and tangible that He really was listening.
 Something that a six year old could grasp. Literally.

 You see, I had so wanted another sibling. We had a few come through our home, through the foster care system. As much as I enjoyed them, I always knew that they were not ours to keep. Then Mom had a miscarriage. My, at the time, five year old heart was so disappointed that our baby was going to live with Jesus instead of us. So I prayed and prayed for a baby.

For some reason, I still haven't remembered to get my old photo albums from mom's house, so we will have to work with what I already have uploaded on here. Don't worry - she is plenty adorable! I just don't  have any baby pics...

 God worked fast. Just a few months after I turned six, there she was. Beautiful brown eyes that squinted up so tight you could barely see them. After two girls in a row that looked like Mom, Dad finally got one that looked like him!
She was truly an answer to prayer that I could hold in my hands.
Dad's first foreign mission trip. 
They became common after that, and obviously, Kelsey can't remember life before then! 
She has always had a flair for the dramatic. (She's the one on the far left)
And a love for costumes.
So when she fell in love with theatre and dance, I can't say we were surprised. 

She has participated in and taught dance around the world.
She has already been teaching my sons very useful skills, like how to be gangsta
(See - he caught on quick)

and how to love life with abandon. 

When she found someone who shared her love for taking Jesus's word and living it with every breath you take until you cease to breathe...

well, she added him to the family,

  and they spent their first year of marriage in Uganda, where he worked as a pilot for a mission agency. 
 You can read about some of their adventures here

Mostly, she continues to live up to her name.  
Kelsey Joy.
She shares it, shines it and creates it in abundance for everyone who comes in contact with her. 
Most of all, she is never afraid to tell them who true Joy comes from. 
Sadly, I think this is the only picture of the Binkley girls all together taken this calendar year.

 I love you Kelsey Joy. Happy 25th Birthday! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not Wednesday

Our summer full of gardening, an attempt to be green, hasn't really been a success. 
We tried. Truly we did. 
Our crop so far has included one strawberry
and this beautiful red pepper
barely bigger than a grape or blueberry.

My squash and cucumber bloom over and over again, but so far not a vegetable has emerged. 
The only thing that seems to really show any promise for a usable crop this fall are the potatoes, which are taking over the entire back porch. 
So today's Waste not, want not Wednesday is an encouragement to keep trying. 
 I will.
Even though I seem to be a completely failure~ I won't give up!
Perhaps next year I will live somewhere I can plant in the ground, rather then just containers.
Maybe that will help? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spank a little, spoil a little

Pray a whole stinkin' lot. 

 Each child is different is what they always say. I was a child development major in college. My degree is in Psychology for crying in the mud. I am suppose to know what I am doing.

 But this, this is anger.

This is seeking attention, begging for attention - and the problem is, I don't really know why. 
Why does he feel he has to beg for it?

 I know every house has different ways of doing things, but in our house, the shelf shown below

 is neatly filled with the "buckets", 

sorted by style and type of toy, and only two at a time are allowed out. 
 He knows that dumping all six (you can't see the Mr. Potato Head "bucket" behind the closet door) in one giant pile, plus the lincoln logs, cowboys, and alphabet blocks was a sure fire way to make mommy lose her OCD mind.

 Then, he said his finger hurt, and he couldn't pick them up. His finger?! Seriously -  A quick little swat on the behind made him remember that he wasn't the boss, mommy is.

 And as long as I sat with him, we made progress. Every time I walked away though, he quit. Yes, I know he is only four. His attention span is so very short. That is why I stayed with him, and helped him. But occasionally I had to check on the other kids, or try to catch a minute with Andy before he left for work. Zion just wanted my attention focused on him, and him alone.

 Canaan knew, even at four, how to ask for my attention without destroying things. Zion doesn't seem to have that gift. Maybe it is the lack of clarity in speech? Maybe it is the competition, being the second child? Maybe, maybe, it is just how he is wired.
 That is what I am trying to learn right now: "every child is different". And not only is each child different, but each minute is different too.
 Because the defiant, disaster creating "don't mess with me" boy meekly ate his veggies, carried over his plate and asked nicely for dessert.

 Had a slight moment of forgetting his manners at teeth brushing time, but curled up nicely for Bible and story time. He literally dragged himself to bed on his belly, complaining the whole way, but prayed so nicely and gave a generous hug and kiss.
 Can you say mood swings?

 Homeschool mommy is not just teaching, she is learning too.

 I think it may be time for my icecream treat now...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marriage: Communication and Laughter

At the beginning of the month I promised that September would be the marriage month, yet here it is the 13th already, and nary a post about marriage.
 You see, after that original idea, I realized that in order to write about marriage, I had to think I knew something about marriage, and truthfully, who am I to talk? I must admit that I think our marriage is fabulous, but Andy and I have not quite 10 years under our belt, so I don't think we count as experts.
 So over these last weeks I have been talking - mostly to Andy, because who better to discuss marriage with then the man you are married to? But I have also talked to friends - some happily married young, despite the warnings against it, some succeeding quite nicely on their second try, one in the middle of falling apart, and another single and searching.
 Mostly though, I have looked at where I came from. My parents have been married for 33 years. One set of grandparents nearly 60, and the other was together til their savior took them home.
 Andy is blessed with a similar story. Parents still together, both sets of grandparents together until death split them apart.
 What an amazing, beautiful example we both have had to base our marriage on.

 The reality of true love, the kind of love it takes to make marriage last.

 True love knows that not every day is easy.

 Not every day is googly eyes and romance novel. In fact, pretty much no days are romance novels... perhaps that is why romance novels get written? No real man leaps from his horse to rescue you from a  deadly mountain slide, then stares into your eyes and expounds on your breathtaking beauty. (yeah, I know, I picked the cheesiest scenario possibly, but you know what I mean girls)
 In fact, depending on what your man's "love language" is, getting him to comment on your beauty at all, forget calling your breathtaking, might take more effort then it seems it is worth some days. Because if words of praise are not what makes him feel special, remembering to give you praise is not even going to occur to him!

 But enough about romance novels- lets switch to music. There are plenty of songs out there about love. Lots of them about what the world equates with love. I must agree with the songs and say it is one of God's most beautiful creations, truly, although I perhaps wouldn't be so crass about it. But it is not the same thing as love.

 However music today has so much more to say.
 The song of the night tonight will be John Mayer's "Say what you need to say".
 (you'll want to pause the music at the bottom of the blog before you push play on the video)

 Andy is a music fanatic. Truly, I am not exaggerating. He has more then 14000 songs on his Ipod, and that is the cut back version. So whenever I have something to discuss, he has a song in answer. Always.
 While we have been on the subject of marriage, this has been the song of the hour. The original point behind it is slightly obvious. Be open. Discuss your feelings, even if they are scary, or negative, or something that seems impossible. Dreams and hopes as well as fears and stresses need to be shared for a marriage to have strength.
 Don't wait and hope it, whatever it is, will go away. Don't hold things inside. Especially from your team mate. This is your other half. If you can't tell them, then you aren't part of a team.
 This whole communication thing connects back to the Love Language idea. What if your man is the type who just bubbles over with compliments, but can't remember to take out the trash or carry his plate over to save his life? Or perhaps you really just need him to sit down for five minutes and listen while you tell him about the adorable and annoying things his children did today, and he just can't focus that long.
 Communication people!
 Gary Chapman will give you a whole book about each person's love language, what "speaks" love to them. But I would simplify it a little bit more. Rather then writing up a book about five generalized ideas, I think that you need to stop and talk to each other. Find a quiet moment, look your spouse in the eyes and ask, "What makes you feel special?" In return let them know, "This is what makes me glow". Don't wait until you are past the point of sitting down for a quiet moment and looking each other in the eyes.
 Say what you need to say

 The second point hidden in this song is a little less obvious, and would perhaps only be learned by someone living with Andy. Every time I hesitated in my speech for anything this week, even trying to decide what descriptive word to use when telling him about a situation, he burst into this song. Especially when it was something I was stressed or concerned about. 
 Andy reminded me to find humor, and draw it out. He encouraged me to get the worry off my chest, and at the same time, made me laugh. There will be moments when things look bleak. Sometimes the well is dry and the garden has stopped growing and you think that God himself might have forgotten your address. That is why God made you a team, because chances are you won't both feel down at the same time. So, find a silly song, or a clown face, or their ticklish spot and remind your other half that laughter doesn't hurt as much as tears. 

 Say what you need to say, and laugh when you need to laugh. 

 What have you learned about communication and laughter in your marriage? Please, share. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My version of a baby book

 This is the kind of post that no one really cares to read except perhaps Noni and Grammy. But you see, if I don't type it up and post it here, it will be gone forever. That tiny slip of paper that the nurse handed me at the well-child appointment, it will soon be lost in the mess of paper here on my desk.
 My computer desk has some organization to it, truly it does. The bills have their spot, and are filed accordingly. The required paperwork for homeschool has a folder and is kept neatly also. Receipts, adoption file, a container for passwords and account numbers. They all have their places.
 But here where I sit and write, here where everything happens - here it is a disaster. When an idea strikes, or a verse hits me, or one of the children say something cute I jot it down on whatever happens to be available at the moment. Sometimes it goes on my Blackberry, but often it is a post-it note, or the back of a napkin, or an old envelope that hadn't gotten thrown out with the junk mail. So here, where everything happens, is overflowing with disaster. Happy, creative, potentially wonderful disaster - but disaster none the less.

 I have been a complete failure at keeping a growth chart for my poor boys, and since we move so often they don't have a door frame to mark and watch their progress over time. Instead, I have journaled their growth here in the wonderful world of blogland.

 Last week Canaan, at seven years and three months was 49 inches tall and 61 pounds. He was in the 75 percentile I think she said in height, and is a hefty boy, but not overweight. However, with my high cholesterol, and heart attacks on both sides of the family, they want to check his cholesterol level (already!) The doctor said "might as well check them both" so I need to take them in for a fasting blood draw sometime soon. She also wanted to give him some Claritin to keep on hand, since his allergies are always acting up.
(As I was looking for photos to add to this post, I realized that 1) I have been a slacker since we got our haircuts and 2) I take lots of pictures of them doing things, and almost none of them looking at the camera! Oh well, they are busy little things, always doing something.)

 Zion, at four years and 8 months was 43.75 inches and 44 pounds, 1 oz. Almost exactly the same height and weight! That puts him in the 95 percentile. I knew he was tall, but didn't realize how very tall he was. I read a chart saying the average height for a five year old was between 42-46 inches. He is already 44in, and won't be five for another four months!
 Even though he hasn't had any trouble with his asthma since we have lived here in S. GA, she wanted me to get a refill on his inhaler, just in case. If he goes another winter without any trouble we can pretty much say he has outgrown it. Praise God!

 Zion had to have booster shots, and it made him slightly grumpy that he had to have them and Canaan didn't. However, he got over it pretty quickly. Who has time to be upset about a couple little shots when there are so many other cool things to do with life?
 Who can't learn from that? Let the bad slide off, and focus on the good. Blessings my friends!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2 plus alot = 8, and other things you can learn from your kids

Have you ever noticed that your children can spend hours sitting on the floor playing with their toys; army men and their fort spread across the room or Lego's and their intricate designs laid out everywhere. Yet when you declare it is time for the above mentioned toys to be put away though, they suddenly develop a soreness in their legs and backsides. The floor is so hard to sit on while gathering the toys into a pile, and bending over to pick up toys just hurts my legs and back so much mommy.
 Interesting... an hour of playing with the toys didn't hurt at all, but five minutes of cleaning them up might send you into the sudden need for traction.

 Recently when Zion did something he wasn't supposed to we sat down to talk about it. I asked him why he did it. (I can't remember now what it was he did... hit his brother I think) He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "My brain told me to".
 It was all I could do not to laugh.
 But in all seriousness, aren't our children perhaps perfect examples of who we are, and what we are still learning today?

 God blesses us with amazing "toys". Things that we haven't earned, because we don't earn anything. Things that are simply blessings. Our family. Health. Friends who love and support us. A job that pays the bills.
 We take those toys which we have been given and spread them out over the floor. We set up our intricate Lego designs of how we want things to look. The red blocks go over here and the really cool spaceship I built can sit next to it. Over in this corner my (brand new car) will fit nicely with the (third child we want to add to the family). Sometimes God comes in and says, "I'm sorry my child, this room needs rearranged. It is not my timing or design for your room to look like this, so clean up". And He tells us which things to put away. It may be the job we wanted, or health we thought was important but is actually just something of this world and really won't matter in heaven.
 Suddenly our legs cramp up and our hiney's hurt. We may have been sitting here, enjoying ourselves just fine for hours, but now that it is time to clean up... now it hurts.

 So, we pitch a fit. Sometimes a royal temper tantrum. God is all the way on His throne, right? That is an awfully long way away, so the louder we scream the better.
 He cares for the flowers in the field that are here today and gone tomorrow.
 And He hears the whisper of your heart's pain just as clearly as the scream of your anguish.
 He is not far away.
 Why do we do it? Perhaps because "Our brain told us to"?

 Let's not listen to our brains. They may know 2+2=4 and perhaps even the square root of pi, but they don't know the heart of the Savior.

 Listen to your Savior's heart.

 I do so love having children. They may wear me out some days, but they always teach me something.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

It's raining, It's pouring

You know that old saying, It never rains but it pours?
 So often we equate that with negative thoughts.

 Not only did Zion cut his hair (by himself) while Andy was gone, but he got a bit of a bad attitude, Canaan broke his glasses, my insulin pump broke, sending my blood sugars sky high, and a friend of mine kicked her husband out. Then, to top it off, Andy's flight home was delayed.

 It poured a bit during Andy's three weeks away.

 But, on the flip side of that old saying, sometimes you feel like you are in a drought. A drought of blessings, or at least a drought from seeing and appreciating like you should.

 This week, and especially this weekend, the blessings have just rained down - poured out. I want to cry, because my eyes are able to see them.

 My pump was still under warranty, and a replacement arrived first thing Monday morning. The glasses will survive a few more weeks (with some tape) until his yearly exam - then, we will make sure his prescription hasn't changed and order a new pair.
 I got a text from a different friend saying that she had gone back to her husband, giving their marriage another chance.
 Andy's flight on Friday came in a little early. He made it to our house at 5:10, just in time to change his clothes, get in the car and drive to part one of our class for foster/adopt.
 And, when my hubby greeted me at the door on Friday evening (after not even calling me to say his flight was in, but trying to surprise me instead --- like  he could sneak in on me --- I recognize the sound of his truck as soon as it turns into the subdivision!) Anyway, when he greeted me at the door on Friday, he had really exciting news. It seems that the recruiter had called him right before he got on the plane in Arizona and informed him that HE IS GOING TO BE A LIEUTENANT!

 All that waiting, and hoping, and doubting then remembering to hope again; God reminded us that He was in charge the whole time. His timing is perfect.

 We have another weekend's worth of classes to take with DFCS, and a few reams of paperwork to fill out, then hopefully we will get approved to adopt through them. And I trust that His timing is perfect. I don't know how in the world He will work this one out, because now that Andy is going to be an officer we will be moving. But, His timing is always perfect. So - all things in His time.

 Rain, Lord, Rain. I will stand here, arms open wide, and be reminded to trust.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Trying to be Thankful (Thursday)

My friend Tricia is alway so faithful to post her Thankful Thursday list. She has had plenty of tests and trials, and yet always remembers to take a moment and be thankful.

 I was in the mood to complain tonight. I logged on with my rant ready to go. Andy was supposed to be home by now - walking in the door any minute. The kids would already be in bed, so I would have him all to myself. Then, they would wake up in the morning and, joy of joys, Daddy would be there!
 Nope, not the way it is going down.
 Silly AF wife - haven't I been in long enough to know better? Sigh.

 Tonight instead of clicking "new post" right away I skimmed through the new posts of the people I love first. As always, they had a lesson to teach me. As I posted recently, I am so thankful for the internet. God used it to remind me of the things I have to be thankful for.

 I suppose rather then complaining that Andy isn't home, I should be thankful that 1) I have him at all, and he is the kind of husband that I am excited to see coming home, rather than dreading. 2) He will most likely be home tomorrow, and we have a long weekend to look forward to.

 His delay may be annoying, but it isn't life changing.

 I put up the new quotes of the month a few nights ago. The theme of the month is marriage - for many reasons.
 Being military I "get" to see many marriages fall apart. On the flip side, I also get to see some fight through really tough times and survive. This has been a rough couple of weeks for me, emotionally, concerning other people's marriages. I use to think that I wanted to be a marriage and family counselor. I am not so sure of that any more.
 I have a hard time keeping myself separate from the emotions of the people around me, and I end up hurting for them, almost more then I can take sometimes.

 So, this month I am going to talk about marriage a bit. Pray about marriage a lot. And be thankful, immensely thankful, for the husband I have coming home - one day or another.  

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Waste not, Want not, Wednesday

I have missed a few weeks of Wednesdays on here, but I am back.
 Today's is slightly different then some of my others. Rather then creating something, or recycling something, I am just going to point out something obvious.

 The library.

 The public library system was created for the sharing of books. How often do you buy a book, read it once, then leave it on the shelf collecting dust? How often do your children outgrow a book, move beyond that reading level or interest level, and, once again, the book just sits there, collecting dust.

 Ever think about donating those books to your local public library?

 There are thousands of patrons, of all ages and personalities frequenting the library in YOUR town, I guarantee it. After your interest has waned, pass the book along. The dust will be shaken off and it will be shared and loved.

 And on the flip side... save yourself some money and consider checking some books out rather then buying every single one you want to read.

 Obviously, you have seen pictures of my house if you have been reading this blog for long. I love books, and buy entirely too many of them. But I try to clean out, donate the extras, and remember to check them out rather them buy them if they are "read one time" books.

 The written word is a precious gift. The ability to pass along wisdom gleaned, comedy shared, history's lessons and even romance to make a girl's heart skip a beat - that it to be appreciated.
 Please, appreciate your library.

 Waste not, want not my friends.