Thursday, May 28, 2009
The question that kept running through my head as I read the book was not why does God allow bad things to happen, but how does God decide when to intervene? Because there are some children who get cancer and live and others who die. Does God love the ones who died less? Some people are in terrible auto accidents and walk away without a scratch and others are in much less serious accidents and die.
Today would have been my younger brother's 23rd birthday. He died suddenly and unexpectedly when he was 15 years old. And I was mad at God for a while. You see, when someone dies of a disease, you can blame the disease. When someone dies from a drug overdose or a drive by shooting or a car accident, there is a logical place to assign blame. But when a seemingly healthy 15 year old athlete dies of "natural causes" the only entity to blame is God. Why did you even send him to us, I screamed at God, if you were only going to take him away so soon, too soon? And I still don't know. Almost eight years later, I am thankful for the time we did get to spend with Jeremy. I think our lives are richer because he was with us for a time.
I remember the day my brother was born. My mom had been scheduled to go in for labor induction that day, so when my older brother and I woke up to find our mom and dad gone, we weren't surprised. We set about getting ready for school, and then the phone rang: my dad, telling us that we had a younger brother. We were so excited, we actually danced around the room, no kidding. Jeremy started kindergarten the year I started college, so after that I didn't spend much time with him. I really wish that we had had the chance to get to know him as an adult. I wonder where he would be, what he would be doing now, what could have been.
I don't know how God chooses when or if to intervene in our choices, our situations. But I do know this: God is love. Everything that God does or does not do comes from a place of complete, utter, unconditional, amazing love.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It kind of reminds me of selective reduction in higher multiple pregnancies. A couple of years ago, there was a couple with sextuplets (I think) in this area, and when the babies were born, there was a huge firestorm of public outrage that the parents chose to continue the pregnancy with all the babies rather than to kill some of them in utero. The last I heard, five of them had died--I never heard if the sixth one lived or not, but I remember thinking that there was no way I could have done that either. Even though if they had reduced down to 3 babies, those three would have had better chances at surviving...
Anyway, I know that bean plants aren't quite the same as babies, but that's the way my brain works. I'm wondering if I should have planted more corn, since if the ones that are currently up are going to be it, I don't know if we've got enough for pollenization. I guess I'll just have to go out there with my paintbrush, pretend to be Mendel, and pollenate them myself. Only one green pepper plant survived, but there are around 5 tomato plants, the zucchinis look like they will do well (as if there was any doubt that the easiest to grow vegetable in the world would not do well), the pumpkins and watermelons are up, and we've got sunflowers and zinnias up for sure. I'm not sure about the cosmos, because I don't know what those are supposed to look like. The marigolds that I planted in our window boxes are doing well, and the lettuce I planted in a big pot seems to be sprouting (those of you who get the Kraft Food & Family magazine--I planted the seeds that were embedded in that paper on the back cover).
We also have quite a few weeds thriving. It's kind of hard to control them, because I can't really go in there to weed while I'm taking care of Bubby, and when Hubby's home, he's busy doing other things. So anyway, that's exciting news about the garden, right?
Guess what my children did yesterday. Go ahead, guess.
Well, within 5 seconds of each other, and within 30 seconds of when supper was to be ready, Bubby threw and broke a glass candle holder (my favorite one, by the way), and Code-man dropped and broke a drinking glass. And everybody was in the kitchen and nobody had shoes on. On the other hand, the MC scored two goals during his soccer game last night, and almost scored two more. His coach last night did a terrific job: he had 7 kids playing 3 v 3 and each time a new player came in, he would have them change the color of their jersey, so they were really all just playing together.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Here's Sawblock...they both said it was fun, but to me it just looks like a lot of work.
I forgot to add in Cody's that it's a little choppy because I was videoing from the canoe. After we left that place, we passed some people camping on the river bank, and one guy called out, "that little kid can kayak all by himself?" And then asked Code-man how old he is. I guess I never really thought about it before, but Code-man is the youngest kayaker I've ever seen, too!
We went up north for Memorial Day weekend--that's what people do around here. And on the way, I noticed a billboard that said, "If you could improve a life, would you?" As we got closer, I saw that it was an ad for the Shriner's Hospital, but that doesn't really matter. You know, my immediate reaction was, sure! I mean who, besides a narcissist or sociopath, wouldn't? But how often are we given the opportunity to improve a life and we decline? I think we think that we have to do something huge to improve a life, but honestly, for me, sometimes all it takes to give me a lift is kindness from a stranger: a smile or kind word, or someone standing a few extra seconds by the door to hold it open for me and my stroller. Sometimes it's a letter in the mailbox, or an email at the right time. And each day that I have a positive outlook improves my life.
My point is, you never know what the ripple effects of your actions will be. Each moment of the day, you could potentially improve a life, or, on the flip side, degrade a life. So I think we should be aware of those opportunities and seize them, always.
Now, obviously that sign was an appeal for us to send money, not necessarily an appeal for us to be nice to each other, and that's a big thing, too. Money. There was an article in our paper recently about giving, saying that the poorest 1/5 of Americans give away the highest percentage of their incomes. One of those poorest people said something interesting. He said that poor people give more money away because they are less worried about money. Isn't that crazy? Well, not really. Remember when Jesus said (talking about money) that man cannot serve two masters? The more money we have, the more concerned we are about losing it--money becomes, to many of us, an idol--our source of comfort and security. For where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also, and all that. We say we can't afford to give to every cause that comes along asking for money, but look at us! We are so prosperous. We are so blessed, with so much more than we need, and we can't afford to give a little bit away?
I say again, you never know what the ripple effects of your actions will be, what effect your little gift of surplus will have on someone's life, but when we are presented with those opportunities, our answer should always be a big, resounding yes! I will improve a life.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Here's a picture of the group at the chapel. Code-man is third from the left in the (sort of) first row.
And here is Bubby contemplating a tulip:
And showing off his rain boots.
Wednesday, Hubby had to visit a vendor about a two hour drive from here, and decided that he needed a driver, so he took Bubby and me along. After we returned, Hubby asked Bubby how the business trip was...It was a real bear (or doggy, as Bubby would say)... About 12 miles south of the vendor's offices, there is a little zoo. This is Ms. Grizzly, giving us a look before resuming her lunch. It was hot, so she had just taken a dip in her little pool.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
One of my favorite parts of the book is something that Papa, the author's personification of God the Creator, says over and over: "I am especially fond of that child." She says it about everyone, each person, even those who have done unspeakable things, and each time I read that phrase, it's like getting a little hug from God. She says it as a loving mother or father would say about each of their children, loving them in spite of their mistakes. So my message to you today is that God, creator of the universe, is especially fond of you. Especially fond.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The good news is, Goodwill has redeemed itself, at least in part. I went there today looking for a scooter and scoping out the helmets for Code-man (who has decided that he needs a snowmobile helmet to bike in), and discovered Toddler Thursday, on which all children's clothing and toys are 50% off. So those $5 jeans were $2.50, and that spring jacket was $3.50. Much better. The bad news is, no boys' size 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 pants anywhere in the place...there was another mom there looking for size 8 jeans, too, and she even commented on the scarcity of used pants in that size range.
Poor Bubby. All that's going to be left when he gets that big will be rags...
And I am pleased to announce that Code-man scored his first goal of the soccer season last night. Way to go, Code-man!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
On Friday, Bubby and I were in the garden enclosure. I wanted to pull out the grass plants that were the only green that I could see in there, and take a closer look to see if I was missing something. Bubby started digging in one of my pumpkin mounds. I was a little upset. I told him, how can anything grow in there if you're digging it up? So we left the rest of the weeds where they were, and I moved on to the hose portion of my day. As I was spraying, I noticed pumpkin seeds peeking out of the area in which Bubby had been digging. See, I told him, they're not going to grow if they're not underground. So I went back in to cover up the seeds (leaving Bubby on the outside, which he started protesting vigorously). And as I was covering up my little pumpkin seeds, I noticed little green sprouts growing out of them. And that, just that little bit of growth, was enough to remind me of my hopes and inspire me to believe again.
How many times in your life have you waited, and waited, and waited, wondering "when?" My answer to you is, just a little longer. How many times have you felt your faith waver? My answer is wait. And watch. And listen.
Wait for the LORD;
Code man is finally on a team on which he knows a couple of the kids...had to happen sooner or later, I guess.He really enjoys playing soccer, and I enjoy seeing him enjoying himself. It's a little hard to control my coaching from the sidelines, but one game at a time, eh? His team has 12 players and in his age group (U10--yes, the not yet 9 year old is under 10, but the 6 year old is under 6) they play 6 v 6, so the coach was subbing everybody out at one time, whether they needed it or not. I thought he was subbing a little too frequently, then I realized that he must be used to hockey, where they sub every 60 seconds or so. He's a likeable guy, so I won't hold that hockey thing against him :-) He said his goal was to not get yelled at by the ref.
And how could I not post this pic of my little man, Bubby?
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
I am happy to report that Bubby did much better in the canoe this time than he did last year. I think it helped that the life jacket wasn't quite as cumbersome now that he's a little bigger.Here's a picture of Hubby with his first catch of Sunday.And here's a close-up, just in case you can't tell what species of fish it is.It's a turtle! Scott caught a turtle!
And here's Code man's first catch of Sunday.His is a bass.
Here's a picture of my four favorite boys fishing.I was taking pictures blind, since the sun was in my face. I know I should have put the back light feature on, but I couldn't see the screen to even do that. So, the pics aren't bad, considering...
Friday, May 1, 2009
So this morning, Bubby decided to get out of his bath quite abruptly, so abruptly that I wondered if perhaps he felt a certain tingle that made him uncomfortable, so I asked him if he wanted to use the potty. "No," he told me, while shaking his head. "No" is Bubby's automatic response to any question these days, but generally, when he combines it with head shaking, he really does mean no. So I told Bubby to go get a diaper, and he ran off, returning in a few seconds with the diaper, which he threw on the floor. Then Bubby ran off again before I had a chance to actually put the diaper on him.
I was cleaning up the bathtub area (I told you he got out abruptly...), when, two minutes later, Logo came in and informed me that "Caleb peed on the floor." Bubby followed Logo into the bathroom, snatched his diaper off the floor, and ran out with it (Bubby runs a lot these days). I went into the kitchen and yes, there was a yellow puddle on the floor (at least he did it on vinyl rather than on the carpet, right?). I grabbed a washcloth to start cleaning it up, and before I could get back to the puddle (here's the cute part), Bubby had started trying to wipe up the puddle with his unused diaper! I told him it was a little late for the diaper, but it's nice that he's willing to clean up his messes!