Friday, November 28, 2014

For Laughs Volume 3

I can't believe it's been 2 years since I did this.  Here are the majority of the silly things my kids have said that I have posted to Facebook in the last two years.  Enjoy!


This evening we were so engaged in a heated conversation with J that we failed to notice M was eating his entire dinner with a magnifying glass he received as a party favor! Silly boy!


“In honor of President Obama's suggestion that we should allow children to vote, I ask M who should be the next president. Confused at first as to what a president was he asked, "I have to choose one of my presents?" Upon clarifying that he must choose who will be in charge of our country he selected ME to be president. Unfortunately he keeps me too busy to consider the position!”


“Among other things, this evening J prayed that none of us would get cavities and that he would be good at bowling. : )”


“Proof of the power of advertising---
M: J. I got one dollar. What can I get with it?
J: The only thing you can get with a dollar is a McDonalds spicy chicken sandwich. That's it.”


“M. is on a little bit of a roll today. He's was really excited for Valentine's Day yesterday so this morning when he saw me he shouted "Good morning mommy! Is it tomorrow today?!" Right now he's scribbling pictures for his friends and I suggested he draw an actual picture. His response, "This is a picture! It's me going around and around on a race track!"


“My Dad asked J and M today where their Dad was born. They couldn't remember so he answered, "He was born in Trinidad." He then asked them where I was born and M matter of factly replied, "She was born in Trinimom"


“M describing the taste of Penicillin to J: Its nasty! It tastes like a chocolate alligator with flashlights in its mouth”

“M just shouted to me from the bathroom: Mom I have cavities! I replied: Well I hope you're about to brush your teeth! He then shouted back: No, no, not cavities, I meant diarrhea! I'm not really sure how those two things got mixed up?”


“The boys went to swim lessons today. J missed yesterday so the instructor asked him where he was (M was there). M loudly announced: "He was on the toilet! He set a world record for the longest time ever on the toilet because he was sitting on it when we left and still when we came back!" Amazingly J was proud of this feat and just smiled and nodded his head while I was shaking mine.”


“The boys were reading a school library book at breakfast about cows and J says "What's this part where the milk is made?" and M says, "That's the gutters". LOL!”


“T's prayer tonight: I'll title it, "A little bit of randomness"- "Jesus, thank you for this day, and I peed my bed...for 7 7 I gotta wear a diaper...Amen!"


“Epic length prayer this evening from M that included praying for every kind of teacher there was and will ever be (Art, gym, music, Math, and at least 10 more), keeping our home safe from Carvon bionoxide, for those that make and create flags, for help to stop stealing candy, and that he wouldn't get sick or pass along germs to anyone...There was more that I am forgetting now.”


“Today we dedicated Ian at church. While we stood up at the front our pastor addressed us. When he got to the part about how we raise our children and said, "If you speak harshly to them they will grow up only knowing harsh words." Behind me a little well-known voice pipes up, "Uh hmmm! Yup!" That kid is something else!”


“Endless material from Ms' 15 minute long prayer tonight: "...And God please protect me from emergencies, like fires, tornados, carbon monoxide, strangers, epi pen emergencies, and all emergencies. Please also help the people who forgot to put the blood on the door maybe remember to do that next time so you can pass over them too. Please help me not to pee the bed....Amen" There was at least 5 minutes of other prayer on either side of this snippet related to his future careers and helping Ian to be a good baby son. I have to hold my breath while he prays so I don't explode into laughter. : )”


“After the fire department visited Ms' school he prayed without ceasing for our home to be protected from Carbon Monoxide. He also took a clip board and tallied up the smoke detectors in our home (rightly determining that we didn't have enough). After a month of prayers and daily requests for us to properly outfit our home, Ricardo purchased and installed 8 dual smoke/Carbon Monoxide detectors. Miles was pleased, but his prayers have now shifted to asking that no one would come into our house and steal them off the walls. He's really fixed on this Carbon Monoxide thing.”


“J is laying it on: No one likes me! My life is an invisibility! (This is in reference to Miles, Tessa, and our neighbor not wanting to be hit by snowballs)”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another one year old!

Exactly one year ago today our baby I. showed up two weeks ahead of schedule.  I celebrate so much about his arrival and this past year beyond the fact that he was and is a sweet, incredible, lovely baby.  The fact is, this little boy completely changed me as a mother and as a person in general.  My only regret is that it took me this long to see the light.

I had announced after the birth of T. that I thankfully would never be going through labor and delivery again.  I didn’t want to be pregnant with him.  I spent the first half of my pregnancy languishing the fact that I was pregnant, that I was that much further away from saying good-bye to the baby stage of our life.   I probably should say I’m ashamed of this fact, but I’ve purposed to live my life openly and unashamed, even the ugly parts.  God’s grace allows me to do that.   So yes, I lacked total perspective in the first half of my pregnancy.

And then at some point, my heart turned.  I accepted God’s plan and embraced it a little bit.  And then he was born.  And I just looked at him and loved him.  And in the weeks and months that followed, God began to show me how I had tried to rush through time, hurry my kids through their childhood, so it could get to the easier part, the part where I was getting sleep and not feeling stretched so thin.  I had blamed that on so many things.  But the truth is, it was just my attitude.  And this new little person reminded me of that. 

So this past year I slowed down and cherished each of I.’s little milestones.  I stopped waiting for him to sleep through the night, stopped wishing we were at the next step.  And I also did that for my older children.  Even in the crappy moments, I reminded myself that they would only be young for such a short time.  And I remembered every single day that only that moment was promised to me with them.  It was (is) a gift.   

My little I. shattered my plans for the future and he is a little reminder to me that my plans are completely insignificant compared to those that God has for me.  What a gift he is to all of us!  I pray whatever this next year has in store for him, and for all of my children, that I will continue to live in the moment, to love them deeply, to listen to them, to cherish each and every second because most likely I will blink and they will all be a year older.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"The Shirt Off His Back"

Everyone knows that expression.  It’s used to describe really generous people.  Yesterday we were invited by some new friends to go swimming and hang out.  We’ve actually been overwhelmed by how friendly everyone is here in our new home.

 So we arrive at the pool play date.  The kids have a blast.  The grown ups hang out, and then it’s suggested that we go get ice cream.  Everyone is on board.  We begin to get ready to go.  J. comes up to me with a distressed look on his face.  Seeing as this happens regularly a few times a day, I am not highly alarmed.  He tells me he forgot to bring his shoes.  He’s upset because now he can’t go into the ice cream store with no shoes.  Really what kind of a mom doesn’t even notice that her kid got in the car, arrived at the house, swam etc… all without any shoes on his feet?  I must raise my hand, because apparently that mom was me yesterday.   The host of our get together notices our plight. J’s nearly in tears and I’m basically chastising him for coming without footwear.  She leaves and returns from her car with a pair of flip-flops.  “I found an extra pair in the trunk”, she tells me.  I’m so relieved.  On to the ice cream store we go.

So that was really generous of her and we’ve probably all done that once or twice; given up an extra pair of shorts or t-shirt or diaper to another mom in need.  But my story doesn’t end there, because when we arrive at the ice cream store and walk in both Ricardo and I notice that her son the same age as J. isn’t wearing any shoes!  She had literally given me her son’s only pair of shoes.  I was floored. 

 It was a gesture that only the most generous soul would do.  It’s what Jesus would do.  It really touched me to the core.  I hope I can be more generous like that.  It was an amazing lesson for J.  We noted to him later that his friend was walking around without shoes so that he wouldn’t be upset not to have them.   I think we all need to challenge ourselves to be more like that, to give not just the extra that we have, but to give sacrificially to others.   I know giving J. a pair of flip flops might not be quite on the same level as the poor woman in the bible who gave the last of her small amount of money, but it's the same concept. 

“ All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”  Luke 21:4 NIV

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our New House!

The story of how we ended up in our new home is long.  It’s really four years long because that’s how long we pondered, prayed, and worked to get here.  We didn’t know where God was leading us for the majority of it.  We didn’t know when or how He would do it.  But in the end, He did. 

Four years ago we found out we were having a third child and knew that at some point in the nearish future we would want to move out of our apartment and give our kids some space and much needed fresh air.  That began a roller coast of emotions for me. I spent a lot of that time wondering when God would move us, how He would do it, where we would go, how we would afford it etc…  Ricardo remained steadfast and certain that God’s timing would be perfect and we must wait for that time before so much as lifting a finger. 

We looked at a lot of communities before and after we visited the town where we are currently settled.  This one just felt right.  Still there were some logistical challenges to living here, mostly centered around how far away it is from work/church.  We waited and prayed some more. 

A year and a half ago we drove by what is now our home and Ricardo immediately fell in love.    Truthfully, it really was beautiful, but to me I just saw something way out of the ballpark for us.  We admired it from the outside and drove back to New York.  Unbeknownst to us the home was almost sold that spring to another family, only to have the deal fall through at the very last minute.  It went back up for sale and a year ago we decided to tour the inside of some other homes and apprehensively I told our realtor we'd like to look at the inside of this home too.  Ricardo again was in love with this house.  I worried that it was too big, would require too much upkeep, and quite frankly was just way too wonderful for us. 

So many things had to fall into place in order for us to even consider this house a possibility, and amazingly they all did.  We had an offer accepted in March and then waited for our apartment sale to close before we would officially be able to purchase this house. 

Everything on the apartment sale went smoothly until the very end.  Our buyers had to get approval from the board as we owned a co-op apartment and at the very last hour we were told they might not be accepted.  Basically the majority of the board was voting “no”.  They were having one final meeting and if one person changed their mind it would go through and if not, we would be without a buyer and stuck in our apartment. 

I knew right then and there that God was with us.  He was going to give us a clear answer on this move.  Either He was going to shut down the whole thing or confirm for us that He was with us in buying our new home.  At 11:30 pm, four hours after the start of the meeting, we got the call that our buyers were approved!  A few days after that we were able to buy this house!

We’ve been here three weeks now.  I have a ton of boxes I’ve given up on unpacking for now.  But it’s been confirmed in my heart with every new person we meet and when I see the joy in the faces of my children, that we made the right decision.  We belong here!  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.  Our home is beautiful and it will be shared with everyone we know.  We know He didn’t give it to us only for our personal enjoyment, although personally I can say we are enjoying it very much!

Here's a few pics of our first week in our new digs:

                                 Last moment in our apartment.  So many memories!
The new digs!

Lots of great neighbors!
Love the wildlife!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our Amish Swing Set

Updated pic of the new swing set!!!  
Ever since we moved two weeks ago (and actually for some time before that), I’ve been obsessed with purchasing a swing set.  I think probably it has something to do with the last 8 years of schlepping kids, stroller, scooters, snacks, diapers, change of clothes, toys, band aids, etc. to the play ground by our apartment.  Now that we are settled into a house, the idea of shooing them outside to play on their very own swing set feels so very simple and easy. 

I’ve ordered one, and then canceled it, spent hours pouring over websites that sell them, and even tried unsuccessfully to buy a few used ones on craigslist.  Somewhat on a whim yesterday I called a place that helps you design custom sets that are then built in Lancaster by the Amish.  We went on an adventure to the guy’s store about forty-five minutes from here.

Ultimately this blog post has little to do with the cool swing set we ended up ordering, and everything to do with the interesting gentleman who sold it to us.  As we sat in his office he began to tell us about how the Amish rely on outsiders such as himself to advertise, order, make phone calls etc. for them as they are forbidden to do those things.  He then shared with us that he and his family had in fact left the Amish community themselves about 16 years ago.  Knowing only a little bit about the Amish, I was surprised at his answer when I asked them why they left. 

It turns out our swing set salesmen had literally never made a phone call or driven a car 16 years ago.  He was a devout member of the community.  However, one day a close friend of his decided to become a missionary and leave the community to share the gospel overseas.  His choice, led members of the Amish community to shun him because they believe that it is both faith in Jesus Christ and complete devotion to the Amish that gets you into heaven.  This event rocked our swing set seller’s world.  He began asking questions and looking to the bible for answers.  He told us that the Amish are forbidden to read the bible for themselves.  I don’t know if that’s accurate, but that’s what he said.  When he read verses such as “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations.” he was blown away.  Ultimately it was contradictions between scripture and what he had been taught that led him and his family to leave the community.

This man has maintained a deep respect for his former community and his family members who are still part of it.  He applauded them for their strong sense of family and family values.  But ultimately he said, “Jesus isn’t just for the Amish.  Jesus is for all people.”  I think that’s important for us all to remember.  Jesus doesn’t just love one group of people.  He didn’t die just for Americans, or straight people, or people who try really hard to be good.  He died for everyone.  Every single one of us. 

It was a great day meeting a very interesting individual and scoring a really cool swing set.  When we get it in three weeks I’ll include a picture of it on this blog post. 

For anyone in blogger land who has wondered where I’ve been the last few months (Dad that’s probably just you even though you are well aware), we’ve obviously had a ton going on with our move.  We’re settling in now and I’m hoping to share a lot about that journey as well as get back into writing a bit more often.  Stay tuned!