Monday, August 29, 2016

A Day of Two Miracles

Miracles still happen.  I know this.

Prayers are answered.  I know this too.

Today, I was shown, once again, that it's true.

I haven't shared much about this, but for the past year, my younger brother Brad has been battling a very aggressive cancer.  He has undergone 3 surgeries, 2 rounds of chemo, 1 of radiation.  He has lost muscle tissue, arteries, veins, and I think even nerves in both sides of his neck.  He has been through hell, and this cancer kept seem to show back up.  Truthfully?  I have had to put up a wall in a sense.  I couldn't think too deeply about this, because every time I did, my stomach knotted up.  This is my "little" brother.  This can't happen to him.

And so I prayed.  We prayed.  We fasted.  We hoped.  Today, for the first time in a long time, the news was good.  Hope grows.  He isn't through this yet.  There is another round of chemo.  A life-long effort to keep cancer in remission.  But there is hope.  The news was good.  Oh how we have prayed for this.  How I have prayed for this.  And so, today.  This was my first miracle.

My second came only a few minutes later.  You see, my Lynnaea has two little stuffed doggies she likes to sleep with.  Every night, she remembers them at bed-time.  And usually they are nearby, because she usually carries them around from room to room.  But tonight was different.  We'd all searched in all the "known" places.  Under the beds.  In her closet.  In mommy and daddy's bed.  In the playroom, in the cupboards.  Even in the recycle bin (Corbin likes to put things in there).  We were at a loss, and Daddy had already told her she might just have to sleep without them tonight.  Oh how she cried at the prospect.

No, I don't necessarily relish her being so attached to the dogs that she melts down at the thought of not sleeping with them.  But to hear her cry like that...  It hurt my mother heart.  And so I kept looking.  Utility room, back in the playroom.  Behind the couch, under it.  Behind the couch cushions....  Into the play room again.  And then we went back into the kids' room and I searched the closet again.  I stopped.  I looked at her and said, "Lynnaea, come here a minute."  She did.  I said, "There is Someone who knows where your doggies are.  And He loves you very much.  He will help us, if we ask.  That person is Heavenly Father.  Let's say a prayer and ask for His help to find your doggies."  She immediately sat on my lap and I said a prayer.  I told Heavenly Father that I know He loves Lynnaea, and I know He knows how important these doggies are to her.  I told him I knew he knew where those dogs were, and asked if He could please help us find them before Lynnaea had to go to bed.  After our prayer, we looked some more.  I did know He would help us.  I just didn't know where else those dogs could be.  I went into the kitchen and looked in the oven (Corbin again...).  And then I remembered.  I remembered the little roller backpack she sometimes stuffs things into.  I remembered it had been in the living room earlier and I'd thrown it into the play room.  I remembered that, as I was throwing it into the play room, I wondered if there was stuff inside it.  I marveled that I hadn't noticed the bag in the play room the two times I'd been in there already.  But when I went in again, this time specifically looking for it as I called Lynnaea to the play room, I saw it lying there.  I told Lynnaea I knew where her doggies were, and I pointed to the backpack thing.  She smiled and zipped it open.  Her face was joyful as she pulled her doggies out.  I asked her if she knew what we needed to do at that moment.  She said we needed to thank Heavenly Father.  She was right.  And so we did.

Now, it may seem coincidence.  It may seem ridiculous to believe the Lord would care anything about two stuffed dogs.  But I know He does.  Because they matter to Lynnaea.  And she matters to Him.  This was my second miracle today.

How grateful I am for His love for my precious girl.  For His precious girl.  How grateful I am to be reminded of His love and awareness of me.

I leave you with this talk, because it's one of the best I've ever heard and read.

And I leave you with this little cutie and her paper cut-out of herself (for school).

Friday, August 19, 2016

Right Now -- It's [My] Tomorow

A miracle!  A miracle!  A post TWO days in a row! 

Because it's nap-time, and this is too cool and fun and so Nilla that I just have to share!

Brad texted me last night to tell me Pepsi has re-released Crystal Pepsi after 23 years... 

There was only one thing to be done:  we stopped at a convenience store after our (awful) Wal-Mart shopping trip this morning and bought one.  And let me just say, there are very few reasons I ever make special trip for one item these days...  Getting two kids in and out of the car at lunch time/nap time for a single soda is not a ton of fun.  But getting the soda:  priceless. 

It reminds me of the summer of 1993 when it had been released.  We were in Dothan for vacation that summer, staying with my grandmother.  Because my grandfather had passed earlier that year, we were here for a longer time than usual:  6 weeks.  As pre-teens, we were pretty bored with staying at the house all the time, and since my mom was here to help my grandmother, we didn't always get to go anywhere (we sure couldn't drive ourselves...).  So we started walking down the road to the little convenience store and buying junk food.  A lot.  Hahaha.  Funny what you end up remembering so fondly.  That is where we bought our first Crystal Pepsi.  And possibly our last.  I can't remember.  But I know it was our first :).  23 years.  Holy cow.  That's a whole adult lifetime!  

I love the nostalgia.  Love it.  And, after all...  It was good to do it right now.  Why wait 'til tomorrow? ;).

Here's the song, which Pepsi used for their Crystal Pepsi commercials back in my younger days...

And here's proof!
In other news...  My eyes have suddenly decided they hate my contacts if I wear them more than 4 hours a day...  So I am doing a lot of glasses-wearing these days.  I'm not a fan, and I need to make an eye appointment and see what's up.  I just keep putting it on the back burner.  Blah.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kiddie Update

Once again, it's been several weeks.  My intentions are always good.  My follow-through is lacking.  This is ridiculously true in many aspects of my life these days...

Today I got the pleasure of participating in my first book group meeting here.  I had been in an active book group in Washington, and I loved it.  I always looked forward to the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  It broadened my reading horizons.  It was something I knew I'd miss when we moved to Alabama.  And so I put out feelers to see if there was interest here.  Well, there is!  Yay!  And today we met and picked a book for discussion next month.  I hope this turns out to be as successful a book group as the one in Washington.  I love reading.

That has no relevance whatsoever to anything.  I just am excited about it.  Mostly life is falling into a routine.  I still am trying to get stuff hung on the walls.  There is still a room full of unpacked boxes (those boxes you don't know what to do with for forever...  Mine happen to include all my old photo albums and such as that...).  We signed up to participate in a Pre-school type program where someone does home visits here and brings me curriculum and such to teach Lynnaea.  This is going to help me help her to learn more, I think.  Teach her how to focus.  We've been working on a book they gave us when we signed up...  I think we are wading into territory that is a little advanced for her at this point, though.  So I'm glad we're going to start getting the official curriculum next week.  But each morning, we sit down and work on one page of the workbook.  She does really well, all things considered, but the next one has her writing numbers.  And she isn't quite to that point yet.  But she'll get there, of that I'm sure.  She loves doing school each morning.  It lasts about 15 minutes, and then we move onto other stuff.  Lynnaea is also a big helper!  She is earning money by doing chores.  We added a new chore this week:  dusting the living room tables.  For now, her chores are small (she folds the washcloths and puts away her own clothes in addition to the dusting), but I hope to instill in her the importance of work.  It's an important principle.

And then there's Corbin.  He is curious and naughty; sweet... and naughty; mischievous... and naughty!  No... He really is the sweetest little guy.  He has the best dimpled smile, and he is very smart.  He understands so much of what we say.  He can bring his shoes to me when we are going to go somewhere and I ask him to bring them.  He can follow me to his room, carrying his folded clothes, and put them in the drawer (with help opening the drawer).  He is completely aware of the "no-no's" and he does them anyway :/...  While looking at you and laughing about it.  And he gives kisses and laughs as he leans in again and again for kisses.

My children are my greatest blessings.  Truly.  They drive me to the brink some days...  But I think that's just motherhood.  I wouldn't trade them for anything.

It doesn't sound like much, I know...  But that's what's been going on.  Here are a couple pictures :).
 We enjoyed watermelon on National Watermelon Day.
 And rootbeer floats a couple days later on Rootbeer Float Day.
 We've been doing a lot of smoothies lately.  Lynnaea likes to help me pick out the fruits to go in them.  And she likes to press the blender button.  And pretty much, the kids love them. And I do too -- because we 're all getting extra veggies (in this case, kale!)!
And Lynnaea is pretty much completely potty trained.  She has days where she will have an accident.  And some nights she still does too.  But we have more dry days than accident days (and nights), so that's a victory.  It wasn't hard, but I think that's because we waited a really long time to do it. 
 Corbin thinks putting banana in his hair is hilarious.  I don't...  Which is why he does it.
 He loves blueberry pancakes.
 Lynnaea posed with (and like) a princess at story time a couple weeks back (apparently there is a "princess arm pose" that I knew nothing about...  I have been schooled!).  Lynnaea thought this was the coolest.
She also made a hedgehog craft a few weeks back.  Let's just say, with a younger brother... It's seen better days ;).