Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out of place?

Grace is still sick so we stayed home from church this morning. We couldn't handle an entire day without any church though so tonight Nathanael, Matthew and I visited a church while Jason stayed home with the little ones. Jonathan was asleep when we left or he would have gone too. We walked into the sanctuary and there were about 100 people in it, none of which was under 60. Even the choir was a special all senior choir. I know it is a fairly young church overall so I assumed there must be somewhere else on the church campus where there was another meeting going on. (that thinking was confirmed when service got out and we saw lots of younger people in the parking lot.) We were greeted warmly however and decided to brave being the only young family in a sea of gray hair. There were actually some people we recognized so that was nice. I was still feeling really uncomfortable as the service started.

After a couple of songs I decided that I was thinking about it all wrong. It wasn't that we didn't belong. We did. We may not fit in the age category of the others in the sanctuary but we serve the same God. They were there to worship God and give him glory and honor. Who can argue with that? The songs were old and familiar to one like me who grew up in a Southern Baptist church. The people were kind. Once I stopped thinking about how out of place we were, it was a good experience. So tonight I am praising God for placing us in a situation where we would have to choose to worship. So glad that he made it known that it isn't the place we are in or the people we are with but the God we serve.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chocolate Milk for Grace

The other day Grace came and asked me for chocolate milk. I was doing something on the computer, (probably blogging) so I told her I would get her some in a minute. She wandered off without much complaining. That should have been my first clue something was up. I didn't think any more of it until about five minutes later when I remembered her request and put the computer down to get her some. I went to find her and this is what I found........
Yep, she made her very own chocolate milk and was enjoying it to the fullest. Unfortunately she couldn't get the milk, "milk too heffy" so she just got the Hershey's syrup. Yummy! I took it away and added milk to her chocolate syrup but not before taking her picture so you could enjoy her yummy treat with her.

Wordless Wednesday #23

One Brave Little Girl

Not My Kid

I sent the two little ones off to nap. On Wednesdays Matthew gets home early so he was already here. I told him he should go read a book and he begged, "Can't I do five extra pages of math instead?" I told him he could if that was what he really wanted to do and that is what he did, five extra pages of multiplication. I don't understand that kid. Whether it shows a love for math or a true hatred for reading I am not sure but either way he couldn't possibly be my kid. Any of you mathematicians lose an eight year old?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No More Brothers

The kids and I just got home from a party with some friends. One of the moms was getting ready to leave a few minutes before us so she asked if I could hold her baby while she packed her car. I sat in the grass and the baby and Grace played happily together. He is just learning to crawl so he would try to crawl to her and if he managed it he would grab her face or hair and they would both laugh hysterically. So cute! Jonathan sees us from the slip n slide he was playing on and comes rushing over. With a stern voice he declared, "You can't have him, Mom. He belongs to someone else!" I said "But he is cute. Don't you want another brother?" He answered, "Yes, he is cute. I have a lot of brothers already though." Good thing we are done having kids, isn't it?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Big Decision

Months ago Jason and I made a decision that will change our family's lives. We decided to change churches. There are several issues that caused us to make this decision, none of which need to be shared. I think sharing reasons for changing churches would just be gossip and could cause someone else to make a decision based on us and I don't think that would be God-honoring. Just know that it isn't a sin issue on the part of us or on anyone else in the church. Please pray for us as we begin to make the transition. We decided we would stay through the end of the Awana year since I was Awana secretary and felt I should finish my commitment. The Awana year finished yesterday so it is time.

I am terrified of meeting new people and am not looking forward to visiting churches. We have already been to one local church for a couple of Wednesday nights so that may be the first church we visit. Please pray specifically that we would find a church that we can give God glory. His glory is ultimately what matters.

I will miss so many people from our church. Of course, there are a few friends that will always be friends no matter where we attend but there are lots of other friends that the only time we ever see them is at church and we will really miss them.

The kids are very worried that they won't have any friends at a new church and are begging us to go to one of the churches where they have friends that used to go to our church (We aren't the first family to decide to change in the last couple of years.) It is very hard to make them understand that while we love our friends it isn't a good enough reason to choose a church. Other wise we would just be staying where we are now and have lots of friends.

We have to find a church that will not only cause us to grow in our walk with the Lord but will also present the gospel in a clear form since all of our children are still unsaved. Please pray for us as we go about making the huge decision of where to go to church.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Every day this week at least one of my kids has said something cute and I have thought "I must blog that later." Every day this week I have gotten kids to bed and immediately forgotten all about blogging because I am tired. I know, it is truly pitiful. I will try to do better next week. For now,

I took Jonathan to the grocery store with me the other day. We went by the bakery and he got a cookie which he made last the entire shopping trip. He had so much fun picking out the perfect granola bars and cereal. It is great to be the only kid on a shopping trip. As we left the store, I opened the package of push up Popsicles and gave him one. I know, he had already had a cookie but it was hot and the Popsicles looked so yummy. Jonathan is sitting in the backseat of the van eating a Popsicle and smiling. He says

Hey Mom.
Yes, Jonathan?
It is a beautiful day.
Yes it is a beautiful day. Why do you like it? (I thought he would say something about the cookie or the Popsicle or the fact that he got to have BOTH!)
It is a beautiful day because Jesus made it and he ALWAYS makes our days beautiful.


I just love that little kid. I think I needed the reminder that I love him because most of this week he has been a terror! Seriously! He has argued, whined, thrown fits and had temper tantrums. Grr! Just when I want to kill him he goes and gets all cute on me. I think God has him do that so I won't kill him!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jonathan's Soccer Trophy

Jonathan got his first trophy on Saturday. He is so excited. They actually have one more game tonight but they had their party on Saturday. We skipped the actual party because we decided we would rather be with David and Rebecca when little Miriam was released from the hospital. Here is Jonathan with his soccer coaches. He had a fun soccer season. He didn't learn to play very well but he got some exercise and had lots of fun and isn't that what matters?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Jason


Happy Birthday Jason!

I told him that at 36 he is now closer to 40 than to 30 and he didn't really appreciate it very much. Isn't it funny how when you are little you think people in their 30s and 40s are old but when you get there you think it is young? Anyway, Happy 36th birthday to the best husband a girl could ask for. I love you!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Update on Matthew's Asthma

Matthew went back to the asthma specialist this week. They said his daily medication is working great. He hasn't needed an inhaler all month. Yeah! The doctor wants him to go without the medication in the summer if possible because kids don't usually have as many attacks in the summer. So he will be going off of the daily medication next month for a couple of months and then probably going back on it during the winter months. He is doing well and is breathing so much better. Oh yeah, we got bored waiting for the doctor so we had a photo shoot. Here are a couple of the pictures we took. He is so much fun to hang out with!


Grace's First Dance Performance

Last night Grace had her very first dance performance. It was so cute. As usual, she did her own thing. She is more interested in singing the songs they are dancing to than in following the routines. Maybe she will be a singer instead of a dancer. Shirley, one of her good friends, is in her dance class. Aren't they cute together?







video

Free At Last!

Miriam is free at last! Free of monitors and cords. Free of her parents having to scrub up and be beeped in. Free of hospitals and nurses. She is home where her sisters can love on her and pick on her. Where her parents can cuddle and feed her. Praise God for what he has done in tiny Miriam's life this week. Thank you, friends for all of your prayers.








Friday, May 15, 2009

Not the Best of Days

Miriam is still in the hospital for at least one more night, a much beloved aunt died this morning and I have a major migraine. Not the best of days. Not really feeling like writing much. There was fun today too. Grace's dance recital was adorable but since I am kind of in a teary mood right now I think I will save the cuteness for tomorrow. Be glad you aren't with me now...... talk to you all tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You Can Leave Now

Last night we visited a friend's church. They had a family worship time and then split into small groups. Jonathan didn't want to go to the kid's group and cried for me to stay with him, which of course I did. We made a craft. I kept asking if I could go join daddy but he wanted none of that. Almost at the end of the evening one of the leaders said they would be having snack soon at which time Jonathan turned to me and announced, "You can leave now. Bye Mommy!" I wish they had told him about the snack at the beginning and I might have made it to the entire adult Bible Study.

On another note, we are still waiting for the doctors to announce, "You can leave now. Bye Miriam!" She is doing some better. Her infection is getting better and she is starting to keep down formula, even though it is less than an ounce at a time. Please keep praying that she would be well enough to get home to her family soon.


Just got this update from her mommy......
Update on Miriam when I called @5:15 pm on Thursday--IV is out for feedings and she can eat what she wants! But she is still on the IV for anitbiotics. However, they put her under one light for Jaundice today (which we thought they were not going to have to do . . .) so if her jaundice is down enough according to the dr. tomorrow, she can go home, otherwise it will be one more day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #22

Handsome Boy with some Terrifying Animals!

A Miriam Update by Her Daddy

I have had lots of people asking for updates on Miriam. My brother, David wrote this post on his blog late last night. I decided to simply copy and paste much of his post instead of trying to write all the same info myself. So here it is, plagiarism at it's finest.....

It is the end of another day of running to the hospital amidst trying to take care of our other three girls and slip in to the church this morning. The hospital is about 50 miles away, so it's 100 miles round trip. Not a big deal, until you're trekking it daily or twice a day. I'm tired of Yucca Valley traffic already.
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We were told Miriam would come home after three days. Well, the three day prophecy in this instance fell short. Rebecca is very frustrated, but the nurses are doing a great job. She isn't keeping food down, and her infection remains. What kind of infection is it? They don't know. But they do know she has an infection of some kind; that her body is under attack. This results in her not processing food. They feed her, then after two feedings and a swollen belly, realize she is not digesting the food, so they have to pump it out. My heart breaks for her.
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Family has been great. Dee Dee has watched the older girls daily, even coming and getting Susie as I head out to take the older girls to school. This gives Rebecca some time to shower and rest.
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It's really hard to go to the hospital and see her all hooked up to everything in the world. I think she's rigged up for cable T.V. The NICU reminds me of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer -- lots of machines beeping and dark shadows everywhere, no windows and mazes of beds. Don't worry, this star destroyer really is manned by some great people!
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Rebecca likes to go and hold her. I just can't do it. Grasping all those wires and stuff, I'm afraid I'll pull something out. So I just watch her.
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I've been preaching through Exodus and was prepared to do a series titled "A Few Things Every Believer Needs To Nail Down." This included Israel's experience at Mara after crossing the Red Sea. I wrote notes for two messages on healing (Does God still heal?). It's easier to talk in vague terms of believing God heals, than affirming with faith that we know he still heals when you see a child you love hooked up to so many man made objects. My sister said that God has a purpose in this, and I agree. As my friend Guy Ballard, who is dieing a pretty painful death to cancer, would say: "God is good." Miriam is not in any situation like he is, so I should be able to say all the more that God is indeed good!
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The girls are taking this really well. Sharon is a massive helper. I've seen a lot of maturity in the middle of the frustrating circumstances. She can be a mother hen to the other girls. I am noticing that she is very thoughtful. People will say to her, "What's wrong?" She will say, "Nothing is wrong, I'm just thinking." I sure understand that! People are always thinking I'm upset when sometimes I'm just hanging out in my own brain.
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Annie, who I am looking at sprawled out on my bedroom floor, the blanket covering her tummy, is having the hardest time. I'm usually her play buddy, so I think she feels a little abandoned right now. It takes a lot of creativity to connect with Annie. She likes to catch bugs, grow pumpkins, play on Webkins, read scary stories, play superman and beppo, play in the water outside, and cuddle me in the morning. Sharon makes every day brighter, and Annie makes every day funnier.
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Susie is pretty hyper, always, and right now loves being Grandma's shadow.
Rebecca is really strong. Stronger physically than I would normally give her credit for. She is really tough when giving birth! But also strong spiritually and emotionally.
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I am looking forward to a day of sermon writing tomorrow. Hopefully some "routine" will help focus my thoughts. Which, obviously by this blog post, my thoughts are very disorganized.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peer Pressure

Jonathan got into the van the other day and was very upset that one of his stickers was on the ground (they have Little Einsteins window decals on the windows by their carseats). Grace's friend Danny had ridden with us the other day. It was no big deal because the sticker was just on the ground under the window where it belonged. Grace told Jonathan,

Danny took it off.
Danny very bad boy cuz I his best friend

I asked her why being her friend made Danny a bad boy and she answered

I very bad girl cuz Danny my best friend

So basically she was telling me that she and Danny are bad for each other. She is bad so it makes him bad. He is bad so it makes her bad. Hmm..... two year old peer pressure!

Timetable Altered Again

Miriam will not be home until Friday or Saturday. She has an infection and is on antibiotics. Please pray for it to clear up so she can get home to her family. Rebecca came home from the hospital late last night. I can't imagine the feeling of getting released from the hospital and not getting to take your sweet baby home with you. Pray that God's will can be accomplished in her tiny life and that it will cause many people to grow closer to God through praying for this precious little person.

This picture was taken the day she was born after she got to the NICU. I know that she is hooked up to a lot of stuff but it was an incredibly encouraging picture nonetheless. her hands and feet are so pink and healthy looking here. So much better than they looked just a few short hours before. Praise God that the nurses realized that she needed extra help and got her where she could be well cared for. Please continue to pray for her health.

Praises about Miriam

Miriam's CRT levels didn't go up so it looks like she won't have to stay very much longer in the NICU. Her jaundice levels are up a little but not too high so the Nurse doesn't think she will need to go under the biliruben lights. Her parents will be seeing her in a little bit and hopefully finding out when she will be discharged. Praise God for all he has done in little Miriam's life in the past few days. Thank you everyone for praying for her.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Miriam Update

As long as Miriam's CRT level (a blood infection) doesn't go up any more and her jaundice level doesn't rise, she may be released from the NICU as early as tomorrow. If her jaundice levels go up they will have to put her under the biliruben lights and she may have to go on antibiotics for 7-10 days. Her respiratory issues seem to be resolved so she has been cleared to eat, although she only has eaten a tiny bit. Praise God for his greatness in little Miriam's life. Please keep praying for her speedy recovery.

On another note, Miriam's mommy, Rebecca is being kept in the hospital for another night. Her doctor just doesn't like that her blood pressure levels keep fluctuating. I am sure it is just stress but they want to keep monitoring her a little while longer. It may be a blessing in disguise because Rebecca doesn't want to leave the hospital without Miriam if she has a choice.

Update on Miriam

Miriam is doing well. Her xrays came back and said that her lungs look fully developed and the breathing issues are probably just caused by the fluid that she swallowed. They are feeding her through an IV right now until they make sure all her respiratory issues are gone and the doctor gives the okay to actually feed her. She does have an infection that a lot of babies get when they are premature. They tested Rebecca for the infection and she was negative so they aren't sure how the baby got it but they say sometimes it just happens. They have her on antibiotics for that. Looks like as long as the infection doesn't get more serious and she is able to eat normally, it may just be a matter of a few days before she gets out of the NICU. Please keep her in your prayers.

Praying for Miriam

Yesterday my brother, David, called me at 5am and told me it was time to head to the hospital. I was so honored to be with him and Rebecca when little Miriam was to be born. Miriam was due on June first so she is a few weeks early but Rebecca's water broke and Miriam wanted out. About 2:30 in the afternoon Miriam Joy Squyres was born. She is 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19 inches long. She is so cute. She has the dimpled chin from my mother's side of the family. So sweet and tiny.

Miriam didn't make much noise after she was born. She has swallowed fluid on the way out and they had to suction her lungs. Her breathing seemed shallow and she kind of whined with each breath. Even though she was plenty big, the nurses began to worry that she is more a preemie than they thought and her lungs may not be fully developed. In came the xray technician to check out her lungs. Next they decided that she would be better off in the NICU for careful monitoring. Each of her parents got to hold her for a quick second, long enough for me to snap these pictures and then she was whisked off to the NICU.

She had an amazing nurse last night with her one on one. When we went to see her a little while later she was already looking so much better. Her hands and feet were pink again (they had begun to turn purple when she didn't seem to be getting enough oxygen.) They will be keeping her in the NICU for at least three days if it was just that she swallowed fluid. If it is that her lungs aren't fully developed they will be keeping her until they get stronger and can function properly on her own.

Please pray for little Miriam. Our God is great and doesn't make mistakes. He created her for a reason and has great plans for her life. Pray that the medical professionals will know what is going on with her and find the best ways to help her get stronger. Pray also for her parents, who are understandably concerned about their little girl. Pray that they will be calm in a time when being calm is difficult. Pray also for Miriam's three older sisters. The youngest is not quite three years old and doesn't really understand fully why her parents aren't home. The older two are six and nine and will be wondering why Miriam won't be discharged today when their mommy is supposed to be discharged. Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you all posted as I find out more.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Doing Her Own Thing!

Grace's dance class was practicing a new routine for a performance next week. Grace was following along so well for the entire song. The teacher said they would go through it one more time so I got out my camera. I guess Grace must have been tired of the routine by then because for the video she chose to do her own thing. I just love this silly girl! video

Rock Jumping

videoJonathan, Grace and their friend Danny were having so much fun practicing jumping off this rock together. They decided to hold hands and try to jump together. I don't think they have the timing quite right. It needs work. Falling didn't deter any of them though. They did this routine several times. Each time ended pretty much like this one did. Toddlers are very funny creatures indeed.

The Soccer Star

videoIn this video, Jonathan is actually paying attention and kicking the ball. Go soccer star! Of course, he is kicking it the wrong way. Oops! he is so my son.

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Next week is teacher appreciation week at the boys' school. I was trying to come up with something for the boys to make for their teacher when I read my friend Allison's blog and saw these cute "magic boxes". Since she had copied them off of someone else's blog I didn't feel bad copying it off of hers! Thanks Allison for the great idea. The boys actually did most of the work themselves. Matthew's are the blue and green striped one and the ladybug one. Nathanael's are the school themed one and the purple one. They had a lot of fun making them for their teachers. They didn't come out perfectly because, well there was an eight year old and a ten year old making them but they came out pretty cute I think. They are six inches tall.
Here is an example of what they do.

Take the lid off.

The ribbon slides off.

The outer box opens from the side.

Four little boxes are glued inside.

Each of the little boxes has little presents for the teachers. The boys chose colored paper clips, binder clips, florescent shaped stickies and tiny pads of post it notes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Going to the Cranberry

This morning we had to go to the library to meet Matthew's education specialist (the teacher who looks over his work once a month.) On the way, Jonathan was making lots of noise. Grace told him, "shhhhhh we go to cranberry." Jonathan, instead of correcting her, went along with it. he answered, "I know we are going to the cranberry but right now we are just in the car so we can make noise." Grace reiterated, "go to cranberry. Be quiet. Got to tiptoe." It was then that it hit Jonathan that they were saying it incorrectly. "Not cranberry, library. We have to be quiet at the library. We aren't at the library yet so I can make noise if I want to." Grace is not easily convinced. "Not librabby, Cranberry. Quiet cranberry. Tiptoe cranberry. No yell cranberry. Be good Donnasin!" With that, Jonathan gave up and was quiet the rest of the way to the library.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Are You Sure I Asked for a Girl?

Grace loves to dance. She has so much fun at dance class each week. This week her teacher told us that they girls needed pink leotards and tutus for their performance next week. Grace already has the leotard. I checked the dance studio and they didn't have any tutus in her size that were pale pink. So to the fabric store I went. I bought tulle and came home and made her a simple tutu. Did you know that it takes five yards of pink tulle to make Grace and her baby doll each a tutu? So as I am cutting tulle into strips this morning I look at the table in front of me and see mountains of pink tulle and this is my thought; "Are you sure I asked for a girl?" If you know me you know I am not a frilly, tulle kind of person and I seriously despise pink. All I can say is that I am sure glad I have three boys and one girl instead of three girls and one boy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Candy-free Easter Baskets with Gardening Sets


Cool Picture by Nathanael

Taken by Nathanael for his digital photography class.

Ramona Pageant

On Saturday I took Nathanael and Matthew to the Ramona Pageant. For those of you who don't know, it is a local outdoor pageant about the indians who used to live in this area. It is a very good story taken from the book Ramona. Anyway, we went to the pageant on Saturday. It was an activity for Matthew's school. We got there early to buy junk food, watch the Spanish and Indian dancers and have lots of fun together. The boys even picked out Jonathan and Grace each a little drum made by the Cherokees which are not very loud at all, which I was glad about. We got into the outdoor ampitheater and found our seats. Then we waited... and waited. Apparantly Raquel Welsh played Ramona in the pageant fifty years ago and she was coming to the pageant on Saturday. She was running late and they decided to wait for her.

The kids began to get antsy. We waited some more and they got very antsy. Finally she got there and the show started. By intermission Matthew had experienced quite enough of the sitting on the concrete benches and watching the show. Nathanael, who had actually gone to the pageant two years ago and knew that Ramona's baby was going to die, was more than happy to leave early and miss that part. So overall, we enjoyed the cultural experience as long as possible and went home early. Oh well, hopefully the pageant will still be going on when Jonathan and Grace are big enough for us to take them. Maybe then it will start on time and we can see the entire show. The snow cones and Kettle corn were sure yummy!

Cubbies

Grace isn't old enough for Cubbies in Awanas. She is supposed to wait until the fall. Last Sunday she had a little bit of a runny nose so I kept her out of the nursery because I didn't want her to get any tiny babies sick. She hung out with me while I registered kids at Awanas. She left to play on the front yard with the big kids until Awanas started. When they called for Awanas to start she got in line with the Cubbies. She followed them to game time. She did a better job than some of the older kids when it came to standing in line and obeying. The cubbies teacher said she could just go to story time with them for the night. She had so much fun. There are only a couple of weeks left in the Awana year so the teacher said she could just keep being a Cubbie. She is so excited.

Last night after cubbies, Jonathan and grace each had a picture of Jesus that they had glued onto a paper covered in cotton balls to represent clouds. I asked them what the picture was and here are their answers....

Grace
It Jesus. Him go Heaven by clouds!
Jonathan
This is a picture of Jesus. He went up through the clouds and went to heaven. He had to go to Heaven to "preplare" a place for us!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beautiful Pictures of a Beautiful Girl

My friend Kammy from http://aypnews.blogspot.com/ took these cute pictures of Grace, who was being very silly that day. The purple and black outfit is one of her dancing costumes, the blue plaid was what she happened to be wearing that day and the pink frilly skirt was something they just had in the studio.