Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two Dinners

One of tonight's conversations with my son, Tucker:

Tucker: "Mommy, I'm still hungry" (after eating his dinner and a brownie)

Me: "Well, then you'll need to eat more dinner (knowing very well he just wanted more brownie)

Tucker: "NO, not two dinners!" :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Weirdo Here

Funny...I was praying about what to do with my kiddos' naptime today. A few thoughts of what I wanted to do: take a nap, throw in some laundry, make my hubby chocolate chipless cookies (yes, he likes them without the chocolate chips...he's the weird one!), read a book, work on my daughter's birthday party plans, etc. But, then I hopped over to "Ordinary Mother" and knew I had my answer: write a blog post with 7 weird things about myself. Ahh, yes...the divine does speak through Laurie Reyes...(actually, I do believe that to be true, but in this instance I'm being very sarcastic). :0

So, because I cannot disappoint my dear friend, here are 7 (am I limited to 7?) weird things about myself:

1. I LOVE the smell of my boys' breaths when they wake up from their naps.

2. I LOVE watching QVC...seriously, I will say to my hubby at night before we go to bed, "Can I just go downstairs quickly and get my QVC fix?"

3. I love to run and even moreso if hills are involved. In fact, if it was possible, I would have only uphills and no downhills.

4. I have this thing for pain some would say> I was nearly distraught when my midwives were pressuring me to have an epidural in place for the delivery of my twins (which I didn't comply to and ended up with a spinal instead for my emergency c-section with them). If at all possible, I will choose not to be put under anesthesia for a procedure just so I can know what they're doing to me. I've had a novicaine shot into my eye rather than being put under and was so close to asking my midwife what the doctor was doing procedurally during my c-section. **For those of you who have never seen a C-section or had one, they place a sheet at your mid-section so you can't see what they're doing...this killed me during mine because I was so curious. I think the only thing that kept me from asking was when I saw smoke arising from behind the sheet and I thought, "hmmm, maybe I don't want to know." Later, I did ask my midwife and she obliged me by telling me step by step what really happens during a C-section.

5. I must have my bedsheets straightened and tight in order to go to sleep at night. There have been times I have actually woken up my husband because the sheets had gotten all "sloppy" and I couldn't sleep.

6. I have to have the toilet paper coming from the top of the roll. I have actually turned the toilet paper around at other people's houses if it's put on with the paper coming from the bottom of the roll.

7. I would actually get a thrill out of being left home alone to clean all day.

I tag Melanie L. (because I know you have sooo much time on your hands), Lydia E. (even though you don't have a blog..email me your list and I'll post it here if you're okay with that. I'm thinking you'd have a pretty good list), Jessi and Jen Brewer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Babies

Tucker funnies

There are days I can't write things down fast enough because my boys say the funniest stuff.

The boys really wanted to eat bananas out on the deck the other day, so I bundled them up in 3 layers and sent them outside. I took care of some laundry and when I came back, Tucker was without his banana. I inquired, "Tucker, where's your banana?"
Tucker: "The birds will eat it, mom."

I knew then that he had chucked it over the deck railing.


Yesterday, the boys' Abuela (Lawrence's mom) came to stay with the kids while I had a doctor's appointment and ran some errands. She has a habit of bringing small containers of applesauce with her when she comes to visit. The boys love applesauce and look forward to having their own container of it when she comes. She was getting ready to leave and Tucker said, "Abuela, can you come another day and bring applesauce with you for me?"
I sought to instruct him that it's rude to ask others to bring things for oneself when they come, that Abuela brings the applesauce to bless them, but when they ask for it, it takes the blessing away from Abuela.
Tucker's response to my instruction: "Abuela, can you come another day and bless me?"

I think he missed the point!


The squirrels love to skip around on our deck, and the boys are always fascinated by them while they eat their breakfast in the morning. This morning we were watching a squirrel, and it ran quickly away when Tucker approached the window. I asked Tucker, "Where did the squirrel go, Tucker?"
Tucker: "It went to find its nuts."

A Really Good Roast Recipe

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not meat girl. I don't like handling raw meat; I don't know how to cook red meat especially. So, when I find and cook a red meat recipe that actually turns out well, I feel like I need to tell the world: "Hey, Look what I found!" This is for all those out there who are not especially skilled at preparing red meat.

From Cooking Light:
Autumn Cranberry Beef Stew
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (3 pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes (I just threw the entire roast in the pan because, like I said, I hate handling raw meat)
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat free, less sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 (12 oz) Guinness Stout
1 (10 oz) package frozen pearl onions, thawed (I left these out)
1 (8 oz.) package button mushrooms, quarted (I used sliced)
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
8 cups egg noodles

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle over beef. Heat a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Coat pan wtih cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add chopped onion, broth, bay leaves, and stout; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 (or more) hours until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.

Combine 1/4 c. water and flour in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and cranberry sauce to pan. Cook 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve with noodles.
*I thought the broth was a bit thin, so took some of it out, mixed it with flour to thicken it up and poured it back into the pot.

My husband's comment after eating it: "This is the best roast I've ever had in my entire life!"
This is quite a compliment from my husband who I would say is rather picky when it comes to his food.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Laser Treatment that Didn't Happen

Several folks have asked how Judah's laser treatment went on Friday. In short, it didn't. Here's an excerpt from my journal about the situation at Hopkins written the next morning:

Once at Hopkins, we were told authorization was not gotten for this treatment. They tried calling the girl in charge of acquiring that for us, but of course she wasn't answering her phone. It turned out that George, our nurse, tried reaching her, came out and spoke with me to try to work something out. I got on the phone with Lawrence's insurance broker from work, Sharon. LA pulled his PR guy, Keith, in on it, too. What it came down to (as far as I can tell) is that Nicole (from Hopkins) didn't do her job. I gave her the information she needed a week ago and asked her to call me back if she continued having problems with our insurance. She never called me back. So, I assumed she did her job and authorization was received---wrong assumption.

It was very upsetting. Judah had been given Benadryl which I think was semi-sedating him as he was farely patient through it all. But, it was upsetting to me that he had his numbing cream on as long as he did, that we ventured down there, went through the emotional stress of it all, arranged for a sitter, etc.---only to be turned away because someone didn't do her job.

Well, on the phone with Lawrence I gave full vent to my anger, declaring all the ways I was going to "let Nicole have it" for putting us out. I was quickly convicted over the poor example of humility I had been to my son who quietly witnessed my interactions with the staff at Hopkins, my frustration and exasperated tone of voice, my sense of despair when we realized the laser treatment wouldn't happen and finally, my anger.

I knew I would be instructing my son to do otherwise if he was the one facing a similar situation. More importantly I knew I was valuing something of earth over the things God values--that being gracious speech, humility, gentleness. Philippians 4 says, "let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near..." I became convinceted that I wanted what I wanted in that moment more than what God wanted.

Stopping to pray and ask for forgiveness both from God and Judah ushered in grace to begin to view the circumstances a little differently--with more humility, recognizing the possibility that I didn't have the full picture or all the information playing into what happened and even if I had, was I going to demand my rights, make them pay for inconveniencing me so or choose God's priority for me to be light in darkness by remaining calm, peaceable, gentle and humble?

Well since then, I have wrestled with my heart quite a bit not only to know what is wise but also what would glorify God. I don't want to be a doormat about the situation and not hold anyone accountable for what happened. But, I don't want to demand recompense (well, I do but am feeling as though that might not glorify God).

Living in America clouds this issue quite a bit for me. I know I am influenced by my culture that is always aware and pursuing one's rights. Where do I stand on this? God, how do you want me to respond? Where do you want me to stand? Teach me wisdom AND grace. teach me, show me how to be humble and wise--looking out for my family, protecting them and providing for them while remaining dependent on You and humble before others.

Proverbs 12--
v.15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
v. 16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
v.20 There is ... joy for those who promote peace.

Later on during the day on Saturday, I started listening to a message by John Piper, a biographical sketch of sorts of the life of Charles Simeon. He entitled his message, "Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering." In his introduction, Piper writes,

I need very much this inspiration from another age, because I know that I am, in great measure, a child of my times. And one of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. I feel it as though it hung in the air we breathe. We are easily hurt. We pout and mope easily. We break easily. Our marriages break easily. Our faith breaks easily. Our happiness breaks easily. And our commitment to the church breaks easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition.

When historians list the character traits of the last third of twentieth century America, commitment, constancy, tenacity, endurance, patience, resolve and perseverance will not be on the list. The list will begin with an all-consuming interest in self-esteem. It will be followed by the subheadings of self-assertiveness, and self-enhancement, and self-realization.

We need help here. When you are surrounded by a society of emotionally fragile quitters, and when you see a good bit of this ethos in yourself, you need to spend time with people – whether dead of alive – whose lives prove there is another way to live. Scripture says, "Be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12).

This proved to be instructive and very helpful to me in my wrestling over this situation at Hopkins. I know the inconvenience I faced on Friday was just that...an inconvenience, not a major trial; although I responded that way! I do want to help my children learn as I learn that God does not promise us sunshine and roses all the days of our lives. We will go through life being at least inconvenienced by others, at worst, sinfully wronged by others. I want to teach my children again as I learn myself that God provides HIS way through these situations and it's not the knee jerk reaction to self assert and self protect. It's to "allow my gentleness to be evident to all for the Lord is near." The Lord will assert Himself as my protector and defender and as I step aside, He will receive more glory.


By Saturday night, I had moved on from the situation at Hopkins to take care of more pressing matters in our home: that of the stomach bug! Two of our three kids were throwing up Saturday night, and we are now at home spraying Lysol, doing lots of laundry and praying the rest of us manage somehow to stay healthy!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Laser Routine

Another laser treatment for Judah is quickly approaching: this Friday! I have yet to arrange for a sitter and am actually debating whether to try to take Tucker with us this time. He has never gone, but I'm wondering if he might be ready to see what his brother goes through as the two of them "play" laser treatment here at home quite often.

Judah is understandably upset when he realizes it's a laser treatment day, and always asks not to be taken, but is a champ the minute it's over and relishes in the fact that he gets a sprinkle donut afterwards!

So, not wanting to take it for granted, I am again asking for your prayers for our little family. It is our "normal" life, but I never want to think I've arrived at the place where I can handle it apart from God's grace as it then becomes quickly clear that I cannot! :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Our Gladness

Here's a quote I couldn't resist putting on my blog. It is a challenging thought but one worth spending some time meditating on, I think:

“The acid test of biblical God-centeredness — and faithfulness to the gospel — is this: Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because, at the cost of His Son, He enables you to enjoy making much of Him forever? Does your happiness hang on seeing the cross of Christ as a witness to your worth, or as a way to enjoy God’s worth forever? Is God’s glory in Christ the foundation of your gladness?”
- John Piper, God is the Gospel (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2005), 11-12.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Some Pictures from Our Holidays!

They look like angels, don't they?

She IS our little angel!

Notice: I AM getting my hair cut and colored this Saturday. As you can see, it's in desperate need.

My brother, Jay, with his new baby girl, Sadie...both in their favorite pose!

Bella looking out for her new cousin...or is she just stealing her nuk?