Saturday, June 28, 2008

Family Day

We had a great family day today! Since Nathan will be solo for a few weeks, we wanted to spend the whole day together, as a family. Nathan and I started the day at the gym. The kids consider this to be for them. They haven't caught on to the fact that they are in the playhouse, so that we can workout :o) It is good that they enjoy themselves so much there.

Then we went and saw Wall-E. It was cute. A lot was over the kids heads, because it is all about "the big messages" these days. We asked the kids afterwards what they thought the point was and they really didn't know, but they liked the cute little robot and his "girlfriend" Eve. The firs part of the movie is reeeeeeaaaaallllllly slow, but stick with it. It gets better.

We took the kids for pizza for lunch. They just couldn't believe that we went. Even as we were walking into the pizza place, Graycen was saying, "First the Y. the Wall-E. NOw PIZZA!?!?!?! Now way!

After pizza we came home and the kids cleaned their rooms, but after our dinner tonight Nathan surprised even me by screaming, "Everyone in the car!" He took us all out for an Ice Dream from Chickfila.

It was a good day. Not because we spent a TON of money, but because we just enjoyed the time together so much. The night ended with a tick removal (explained below!!) and everyone bathed and reading.

One bad note for the day: I hate TICKS!!! I noticed one on MaryEvelyn during her bath. This isn't my first tick removal from a child, so I got my handy tweezers, placed them right up against her head, and pulled. I have never had a tick put up such a fight!!!!! Don't you know that the mouth stayed in?!?!?!?! SO pray that it comes out by the morning. Everything online says that it is fine, but the nurse line sad we should go to urgent care tomorrow. I don't want to take her for nothing, so I am praying for discernment.

Anyone have experience with this that they would like to share with me?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ear Piercing Round One

In this corner we have the ever-changing, ever-maturing, 7 year old Graycen. She asked (begged) for this battle. She has trained herself and prepared for the big event by taking responsibility for her own personal hygiene and been consistently doing so for over a month now. She was dressed and ready for the event. She was smiling and armed with not only her's, but one webkin form each of her siblings for extra courage. She was ready for the challenge.

In the opposite corner, we have FEAR. It was a vicious opponent and was given much added strength from the 3 nurses and the Dr that stood one foot away from Graycen clicking the piercing guns over and over and saying things like, "Don't use the one with the X on it. It pinches."

FEAR won today. Graycen fought the good fight and tried to overcome her adversary, but in the end and through big crocodile tears, decided to come back "when she was older". I don't know who was more disappointed between Graycen and her four waiting and watching siblings. After comforting and reassuring her, I had to comfort and reassure them too.

It was rough for this busy mama to watch. I wanted to encourage her to overcome her fears and to push through to grasp hold of the reward that she had worked so hard for, but after a few minutes of seeing her crying and SO scared, I just wanted to her to feel better no matter WHAT she ended up doing. She was very gracious to the Drs and nurses by thanking them for their time and apologizing. I could tell that she was sad, but I think that she was mostly feeling abd about possibly wasting their time. I assured her, and they did too, that it was fine and happened from time to time.

As we loaded the van to head home, Graycen said, "I think that I am starting to understand why Gran-Gran always said that she never saw the point of putting holes in perfectly good ears." I am not sure, but am a little relieved that there won't be a ROUND 2 for some time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Baby Chappell

Just to update you on this precious baby, the Chappells are going to the Maternal & Infant Health Center at UNC tomorrow. They will be touring the NICU and talking with Dr's. You can go here to read more, but PLEASE be in prayer for them as they go tomorrow. They are having to face science which doesn't always consider God.

I will be praying, and I hope that you will too, first that this precious baby is healed. Second, I am praying that Dan & Casey will be protected from ANYONE who tried to diminish the value of that baby! And finally, I am praying for the heart of Dan and Casey; that they will be comforted by Father God and kept warm in His arms through this.

Please take a minute to stop by and *meet* the Chappell's.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I am struggling today. Not with my children or with my home and not with my sweet Nathan. I am struggling in my heart today. There is an ongoing struggle, one that goes back many years, that hurts my heart deeply. There have been so many times when I have felt progress has been made with it and the end of the issue seems to be so very near that I can smell it; so close even that I am beginning to rejoice in it's closure. Then, like a lightening flash, it rages again and my heart is as troubled as it has ever been. The hurt is brewing right now and I don't want it. I want to be able to brush past this offense and not let it curtail into something that causes stumbling. However, I am already beginning to trip over it as I type this.

I am not free to share the details of this struggle, but I pray that the Lord will hear my heart right now and will comfort me. The Lord knows the details and I pray that He will lead me in this.

Busy, busy, busy, and busy today!

We leave on my Crazy Mama Road Trip in one week, so this week is scheduled to get us ready! I *hate* the last-minute packing push, so I am trying desperately to avoid it this time. The kids have TOO MANY CLOTHES, so I am going to go ahead an pack a few things that I can just wash while we are gone. I have lots of stuff to do in the next week including organizing travel-mates (leapster, batteries, movies, etc), so blogging may take the back burner. In the meantime, hop over to my irl friend's thrifty- finds blog, screaming pennies. You could spend days scrolling through the free stuff and discounts she organizes there! She is also a coupon maven, so I am looking forward to a coupon 101 session very soon!!!!!

Happy thriftiness and tell Cheryl that I said hello!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I must sing this song 10 times a day, at least. I had heard it before, but we bought this CD the day we left to go attend Nathan's grandmother's funeral. I heard it then on the way down and played it on repeat several times while we both cried.

The words in this song speak to my heart. They encourage me. Often, they cause me to stand with my hands raised in my own kitchen, singing at the top of my lungs to the Lord. I *love* my life here, but OH what a time we will have when we are standing in His presence.

Come quickly Lord.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Annagail Saw An Ant.

Annagail was rather sleepy this morning, so I allowed her to take the morning nap that she has been choosing to skip for the past few weeks. This is fine, except that it means that when the older kids have quiet time in the afternoon, she isn't at all interested. So, today after the big kids had been settled into some well-needed (at least for me) quiet time, she was up and raring to go. She spent most of the time toddling around my feet while I did my normal afternoon things like fold laundry, load the dishwasher, etc.

Soon the smell of "clean" was replaced by the smell of a not-so-clean diaper and I needed to go out to the car and get the diaper bag. I KNEW that Annagail wouldn't stand for being left inside the quiet house while I went out "adventuring" to the car! She saw me head for the foyer and she screamed as if to say,"Oh no you don't!". I turned to her and told her that I was planning on bringing Little Miss Prissy with me. She smiled and waddled over to me with her hand up and ready to be escorted out.

We walked down the walk and onto the sidewalk where the car was parked. I asked her to sit and she proudly squatted down with her chunky, 15 month old legs. Her corkscrew hair that has grown on the back of her head was already sweaty from the heat of the sun and she seemed content to just sit for a second and watch me take the last few steps alone. I retrieved the diaper bag and she squatted back to standing with her hand up again to take mine for our journey back up the walk.

Then it happened.

She spotted a HUGE, red ant that was running for it's life in front of her. She froze. She looked at it. Then looked at me with her mouth open. Then she looked at it again and squealed! She pointed at it and looked at me again, like she needed me to verify what indeed her little round eyes were seeing! It was marvelous!!! She bent over, just a tad with her hands rested on her chibby knees, to get a little closer look. Then she started taking itty-bitty, purposeful steps as if to follow it and watch it at the same time.

After only a few seconds of watching, the ant found a hiding place from Annagail and she looked up at me with such a joyful look on her baby-face. I had been standing in the same spot during the whole observation, so she took a few shuffles back to me, took my hand, and started heading back up the walk. I think if she could have whistled, she would have. She was smiling from ear to ear. It was like she had just been given a special treat or something as fabulous.

As she grows, I know that her excitement will fade over such, seemingly small things. Until it does, I plan on ENJOYING it for all it is worth and soaking it up. She is learning about God's glory and His wonderful creations by stumbling upon them. When I see her face and the look of AMAZEMENT that dances all over it, I too am reminded of my Creator and His Glory.

**Photo: Annagail practicing walking with her Gran in April 2008.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prayer Request

I came to this sweet, Mama-to-be's site through a post on another friend's site. It is strange how you can get somewhere on the web, begin reading, and immediately feel moved to get on your knees and plead on behalf of someone that you have never met. My heart immediately broke for Casey and Dan as I read through their posts and learned about the medical questions they are facing regarding the precious child she is carrying. They are not getting a lot of the answers they are desiring right now, but they are holding onto their faith in God through this.

I got Casey's permission to post a link here because I wanted you all to have the opportunity to lift them up also.

Click here to read about their journey!
Thank you in advance for praying for the Chappell's!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Nathan!

No Hallmark card can properly praise you for who you are to me and to our children. You have never hesitated to jump in and BE a Daddy, from the time you had one until now with five. Under your love for our Lord, we come FIRST before anything else in your life. We know that without you even saying it. Your sacrifices don't go without notice.

To quote Graycen on our last trip to Georgia,

"I am realizing that Daddy is REALLY my superhero. I just can't sleep the same without him here. Just knowing that he is here makes me sleep better because I know that he will protect me."


Happy Father's Day Nathan!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is a song that I feel in love with as soon as I heard it! I find myself singing it all the time. It is from a cartoon movie called King of Dreams about Joseph, made by the creators of Prince of Egypt.


Friday, June 13, 2008

The World As I Know It... about to change.

We got a phone call today.

It wasn't just any call.

It was THE call that we had forgotten ALL about, because it seemed so unlikely. I mentioned it here .

Yes, it is regarding the BIG DECISION! EDUCATION!

One of the circumstances that I said "have situations attached that would require the Lord to make ways where there currently isn't one" has come to fruition and the Lord made a way. I am speechless. In a little over a month, my little Graycen will start the 2nd grade in a someplace other than our kitchen. Wow.

As excited as I was when we got the phone call, it is sinking in now. Now one side of my brain is screaming, "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! She is going to love this! She is going to do so well there!" and the other side of my brain is screaming, "You are going to miss her so much!!!" an also, "Uniforms? Immunization records? There isn't time!!!"

I will tell you though that my heart melted again when I told her of the call and her first concern was, "Will we still have time for us; me and you?" She is very excited about picking out her first lunch box and meeting some new friends. Now I have to go and start preparing for our family's first day of school. I know that there will be other Moms tearing up at the sight of their little ones walking into class for the first time. I just don't think that they will be walking in 7 year olds.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am in a quiet house and in my bed with strep. My dear friend very graciously volunteered to care for all five of our children today, so that I could rest. I have done just that and, other than to go to the bathroom or the Dr's office, have been in bed ALL DAY! It has afforded me some time to catch up on a few blogs I love to read.

I found this on one of those blogs (thanks Faye!) As I watched, I cried. Not so much because of what their cardboard said (although it is powerful), but because it made me think of what MY cardboard would read:

Before: Unworthy, Unloveable, & Damaged Beyond Repair
Now: Blessed Mommy, Happy Wife, Daughter of the King


Saturday, June 7, 2008

It is so unbelievable to me that the 5 lb 8 oz little peanut I gave birth to is already FIVE YEARS OLD!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BOY!! I love you so very much ; my only boy, my prince among princesses. You are a special, special child and you don't even know it! You were handpicked by God to be the brother to all these girls, because He knew how good you would be at it.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Sweet Moments with Mama

I had one of "those" special Mama-Daughter moments this morning. Graycen is finishing up her very first ballet class this week with a recital next Saturday.

Today was picture day and we got her all dressed up in her recital costume for her pictures. There was something about putting her in that ballet bun today that brought tears to my eyes. She looked so beautiful! Then, I sat her down across from me in a chair and put her make-up on. It was a great, GREAT moment in motherhood for me. I know it sounds simple, but she was so excited about getting to wear make-up and she was just so nervous about what it would look like. She was beaming. I know that I am the Mama and I am biased BIGTIME, but you see, I know her inside too and that it where her truest beauty lies. She is so kind and thoughtful. She loves deeply and she enjoys giving to other people.

At 7 yrs old, Graycen is TERRIFIED of the dentist, because of a really hard experience she had with one at the age of 3. It is a SERIOUS fear; we're talking nose-bleeds at times. Well, yesterday she and her brother had appts to get their teeth cleaned. She was so nervous and starting to get sick-feeling. Nathan was held up and so I was going to have to stay in the lobby with the other 4 children. She bargained with Cooper to get him to go first, so that Nathan could get there and I go back with her. He was more than fine with the car. When we actually got IN the Dentist's office, he decided he didn't like that idea. He started crying and I was trying to explain to him that I could stand right in the lobby and see him clear as day (it is an open office). He was still not wanting to go back without me and Graycen just walked up, took him by the hand, looked at the ever-so-patient hygienist and asked,"Would it be alright if I go back with my brother?" Ugh! I just about melted right there on the floor. So did the hygienist! She said, "Of course you sweet girl!" and Graycen walked right back with Cooper, holding his hand the whole time. I was so very proud of her. In homeschooling circles, you will hear people talk about measuring growth by measuring the heart verses test scores. I think she aced that one!

The other amazing thing to me was how willing Cooper was to go back with her. They (her sibs) trust her so much. I think that it is further testimony to her heart. Sure, they fight like any sibs do, but anytime they are hurt, sad, or sick, she cares for them right along side me. Not because I ask her too, but because that is her heart. At times, when they have earned consequences, she has pleaded for mercy for them. She is just a sweet, sweet girl.

I am SOOOOO proud of her and of who she is growing up to be.

I love you Gracie-girl!

***top photo: Parents' Day at ballet class 2/2008
***bottom photo: Family trip to the pottery shop 3/2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Erin!

You are so special to us! I pray that you
have a truly WONDERFUL birthday!!!
We love you!
~Angela & The Crew

What do ya know?!? I AM growing!

At the park today, a Mom of two and I struck up a conversation. After she closed her mouth that had fallen open upon her realization that all five of the bouncing balls of pure energy that had just exploded out of the `burb were all mine, she said, "Well, you must have ENORMOUS amounts of patience friend." In an effort to not be flippant with her, I thought for a minute before bursting into laughter at her suggestion. Before I could laugh, I immediately thought about the me that stood across from Nathan ten years ago in that white dress. Then I imagined THAT girl here in my home with these five babies. Then I REALLY laughed. I said to the other Mom, "Ya know, I started to laugh at the idea that I have ANY patience, then I realized that I must or else I would be pretty miserable." She laughed and we continued to talk while we were both at the park.

Since then, I have thought a lot about it and I am amazed by how much I have changed since becoming a Mommy. I am not tooting my own horn here and BELIEVE me, there is MUCH, MUCH room for further improvement in my heart and my attitude. However, I think that it is important to sometimes look back and check your growth. I don't do that a lot. I spend a lot of time pondering and thinking on how I can improve myself (as a wife, mother, woman, etc) and those are very good self-evaluations to take. But just like any employer would do for an employee, I must also take that time to appreciate the areas in which I HAVE improved and HAVE reached goals in our life. I have to make note of how, ultimately, God has used the circumstances in my life to help me grow (as a wife, mother, woman, etc.)

As much as I know that the bride I was ten years ago loved Nathan and was ready for a lifetime with him, I could not have begun to imagine the life we have led this far. And yet, with relatively little strife between us, we have managed to stay together and to grow stronger and more complex in our relationship throughout these ten years. There is physical fruit from the years in our children, but there is also non-physical (for lack of a better word) fruit that I can see in the ways we communicate and deal with other day to day. That has taken a lot of rain (trials and learning) and a lot of weeding (removing expectations and/or wrong attitudes) on our part, so it is okay and even beneficial to stop and admire that for a bit.

I don't always feel like I have grown in areas of patience and understanding. I KNOW that I could use "several more inches" of growth in those areas and more. Still though, I know that for me to be able to get through these days ,when I am pulled in so many directions, with joy in my heart and love for my family still readily available when I lay down to rest, I MUST have grown fruits of patience and peace in my heart. It is a good feeling to be able to recognize that growth and to let that motivate me to grow further.

Let me encourage you to spend a few minutes today pondering the areas of your life that you CAN see growth. You may have a lot of areas in your heart that still need a good bit of tending and weeding out, but there is nothing that excites and encourages a gardener to keep working more than seeing the first fruits of their labor. And when your HEART is the fertile ground for these fruits, then your family will reap the abundant harvest of your efforts!

Ben encouraged in your growth!!

*the photos are from our May 10th trip to the Strawberry patch for Mothers' Day*

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Blog & A New Recipe For You

First, I posted a new recipe on my recipe blog. It is a yummy salsa recipe that is fresh and GREAT for this time of year. I got it from a friend some years ago and Nathan could eat a barrel of it. ENJOY!

Also, I started a new blog. Here is a sneak peek at what it is about.

I have eluded to my starting a new journey with my health, but basically I am done fighting this fight...