Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Surprise Visit From Logan

I've sat down at the computer for 4 straight days, trying to write an update. 

I got nuthin'.

I started this blog in an attempt to chronicle our lives with Joshua...and for my kids and grand-kids to maybe read one day. But how boring is my life that I can't even think of anything to write?

And I love to write.

Actually, I love words.

I never realized, until the other day, how much. I was sitting at the kitchen table, and just looked around. Our home is covered with words. It must be my love-language. :)

Right now, my brain feels like mush. I guess that's what happens when you're OLD, and off-schedule for weeks at a time. This must be what Joshua feels like when we have breakfast casserole for breakfast...on a MONDAY...instead of his usual blueberry muffins. Ha!

Little mind blown.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am all about family. I love nothing more than to have all the kids here. This Christmas break, tho, has been like a revolving door. In, out, stay, leave...I'm really starting to relate to my mother-in-law even more. She always says that she doesn't care if we come...she just wants to KNOW. I'm feeling the same way. I don't care if they come...or if they stay...in fact, I LOVE IT! I just want to know, so I can have food for them.

And clean sheets.

But mostly, food.

This week, Logan surprised us by coming home for a day. Well, for 24 hours. 

IT.WAS.AWESOME!

We were sad Morgan couldn't come, but we were all thrilled to see Logan. Logan was excited to get some extra snuggle time with Rhodie.

Clark is still here on his Christmas break. I think he will go back to college next week...not sure, tho. I'M not sure, because when I asked him when he was going back, he said, AND I QUOTE: "I don't even know."

So there's that.

It's going to be a shock when he goes back, because he will have been here for about 5 weeks. And it's been great! I'm going to miss him so much.

Okay...so that's it. With Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation program still on break, there's nothing for me to share. He has enjoyed the break, but once Clark heads back...he will be antsy to start back, too. He has been having fun doing the things he loves: working out, reading, writing...lather, rinse, repeat.

And, hopefully, when he starts back, I will have a few hours to myself to get my house in order. It is out-of-control...and I'm not even kidding.

And hopefully, when he starts back, the fog will lift in my mind...and I will be able to string together enough interesting words to make a legitimate post.

Very thankful for these ordinary days.

"My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability." Psalm 73:26

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Sleepy Saturday

We've had a really nice day today. Bella-the-puppy woke us up around 4:30, barking in her kennel. Jim gets up with her when he is home, WHICH HE WAS, so I couldn't figure out WHY he wasn't getting up and taking care of the situation.

(AHEM)

Maybe the fact that it was 4:30 a.m.?

He was actually trying to make her "wait" until 5, because that would seem less painful than getting up at 4:30...FOR A DOG. He did wait until 5, but none of us went back to sleep during that 30 minutes. Except maybe Bella. She did settle down a bit...but not for long.

Jim finally got up with the her. I heard him take her outside. I heard him bring her back in. I heard him pour her food. I heard him get her water. I heard him open up the package of "busy bones," and toss one on the floor. Notice a "theme?" I HEARD him.

WHY IS HE SO LOUD?

But then...he was silent.

JIM was silent.

And I HEARD the jingle of Bella's collar running in the kitchen. And I HEARD her standing outside our bedroom door. And I HEARD her bounding down the hallway.

JIM...was silent.

I got up.

I walked into the family room. Jim was laid-out on the love-seat. He looked at me, and said, "WHY are you up?"

And that's how Jim died.

JUST KIDDING. But REALLY?

I made myself a cup of hot tea, and sat in the living room with Jim and Bella. At one point, I looked over at them. Jim was asleep. Bella was asleep. I got myself up out of the chair, and headed back to our bed. And I slept the sleep of angels for another hour. :)

I woke up to the smell of bacon.

Which, how awesome is that?  I mean, unless you are a vegan.

We hung out here all day. I didn't leave the house except to walk Bella on the leash in our driveway and out in the street. We are trying to teach her to "heel." 

I also started the lonnnng process of taking down the Christmas decorations. I thought I about had everything, but, at dinner...I looked up at the ledge over the cabinets, and saw a Christmas sign.

I actually still have our "family" Christmas tree up. I've taken all the ornaments off of it, except for one that Rhodie really likes. I'll probably try to get the tree put up, and the family room back to normal...tomorrow.

Maybe.

Jim said he had some gift cards for Chili's, so we ordered our meal "to-go," and ate here at the house. It's just soooo cold outside. We invited Holly, Aaron-the-son-in-law, and baby Rhodie to come over...and they did.

And that's IT. That's all we did all day.

For those of you keeping up, I did hear from Clark late last night...early this morning. He said there were lots of really spiritually needy kids at his D-NOW weekend, and that he was really glad he came. :)

"Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Friday, January 6, 2017

I LIIIIIIIIIVE!

Well, howdy! I've had some people message me to check on me...thank you so much. Things have just been so...busy. We had Thanksgiving, and then we got the puppy, and then we had Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation Christmas play, and then we had the Country Christmas with Jim's family, and we had our Christmas here at home with our kids...and then we celebrated the New Year with my side of the family in Texas...and I got a piece of glitter in my eye from a festive hat I wore in a picture, and now I can't wear my contact in my left eye...annnnd it snowed today.

There.

All caught up.

Actually, I have had very little time to myself these past few weeks...which is great, and which I love...but I can't pull out my laptop and write on my computer unless my mind is, like, still...and it has been a lot of things lately, and STILL is not one of them!

And, I try my hardest to have my "quiet time" with God before I have blog-time. I have blogs I love to read, and a stack of books on my nightstand, but I haven't read much of anything in weeks. And that's okay.

But today?

Today I have a minute.

Sure, all of my Christmas decorations are still up, and I have laundry to do...ANNNND I'm trying to cook 3 lbs of FROZEN HARD AS A ROCK ground beef for chili tonight, and the meat won't even fit in my pot, so I'm having to go over to the stove every few minutes, and scrape the meat that is thawing...off the frozen hard rest of it.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has ever done this.

But Jim has taken Joshua to the gym.

And Clark?

Well, don't get me started on that child.

He signed up to be a leader for a D-NOW weekend at a church in the southern most part of the state. Like, it takes 2.5 hours to get there on a good day.

This is not that day.

Because this morning, we got snow.

Granted, we got mayyyyyyyyyybe 1.5 inches, but the entire state of Arkansas shut down.

Thank you for visiting...please come back another day.

I wish I was kidding.

So all of the meteorologists were on TV telling Arkansans to STAY OFF THE ROADS unless you just HAVE to be out on them. I'm thinking they meant for emergency purposes. Or for firefighters, police, etc. Or for someone like our daughter, Holly, who is an RN in the NICU...and she had to go in for work today.

Anyway...where was I?

Oh, yeah. Clark. So I thought he was leaning toward not going to this D-NOW, and I was pretty relieved about that. Jim had just driven home from out-of-town, and he came in and announced, "THE INTERSTATES ARE PERFECTLY CLEAR...it's just the side-roads."

I mean, what was he thinking?

Because, all of a sudden, Clark started getting his stuff together.

Jim and I talked to each other, and we agreed that it was not a good decision for Clark to drive down to this town. Jim told Clark it was not a good decision to drive down to this town. I told Clark that I was very uneasy about it, and did not think it was a wise decision.

Guess what?

He went anyway.

I mean, he will be 21 in a few weeks, BUT STILL.

I walked him out to the car. I was seriously about to cry. I hugged him tight, and said, "BE VERY CAREFUL..." and he said, "don't worry, Mom...I will be." I said, "you interrupted me. BE VERY CAREFUL...bringing all of your stuff back inside from the car, because you're not going."

He laughed, and hugged me tight.

And he left.

And, you know what? I hope that some young teen-aged boy is so affected by Clark's life and testimony...that he sees Something in Clark that he doesn't have in his own life...and that, because of it, a boy will make the most important decision he will ever make in his life: to give his life to Jesus.

I really hope and PRAY that it happens this way.

Even tho, for the rest of my life, I'm going to hear, "oh yeah...well, remember when you didn't want me to drive down to that church in the SNOW, but I did anyway...and that boy gave his life to Jesus?"

Yeah, okay...I'm good with that.

But as long as God gives me the opportunity to mother this child, I'm going to love and care for him to the best of my ability. I'm going to pray for him, and guide him, and probably be a little too cautious when it comes to him. But, in the end, I'm going to let him make the call, and I'm going to support him, even if I'm afraid...and trust God's plan and purpose for Clark.

And I'll be praying like crazy for God to hide Clark under His wings, and keep him as the apple of His eye.

Clark made it there safely.

And, also? Parenting is hard.

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings..." Psalm 17:8

Monday, December 19, 2016

Busy Week and Joshua's Christmas Play 2016

We had such a busy week last week. Mainly because: PUPPY.

And also? Joshua's Christmas Play.

Every year, the Therapeutic Recreation group that he's involved with...puts on a Christmas play. And the FRIENDS get to choose what they do, and how it all goes.

This year, they chose, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Do you remember that movie from the olden days?

Burgermeister-meisterburger? 

Yeah.

First, they start off the program by singing some Christmas carols. And I am using the word "SINGING" lightly. Verrrrrry lightly.

In fact, Joshua said that he wanted to sing a duet with Jenni-the-girlfriend, during the Christmas program. And, yes, I know that there are those individuals with Down Syndrome who can carry and tune and sing beautifully. Let me just say that...well, how can I put it delicately?

There are none of those individuals in this group.

I told him that if everyone sang a song, the program would last for 4 hours...so they might better keep it to the group singing and the play.

They also always ask Joshua to read the verses from Luke 2. This is his favorite part, because he loves sharing the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I posted the video of it on my Facebook. I think he did such a great job.

Ms. Sherrie, the TR director, she always reads the story...and the FRIENDS always act it out. There is no talking from the FRIENDS.

Ms. Sherrie let them all choose the parts they wanted. Joshua said he didn't choose, but he played the part of Kris Kringle. He did a great job.

They all wear costumes, and they are always pretty simple. Last year, Joshua was Santa, and he had a pillow belted into his shirt, because he does not have the typical Santa body!

There was so much work that went into this play. The FRIENDS worked on their parts for 3 weeks. The TR staff worked on the "set" for longer than that.

Some of the FRIENDS get nervous performing in front of people. During the dress rehearsal, Joshua's girlfriend, Jenni, told Joshua she was nervous...and he told her to hold his hand. It was the sweetest thing, because they held hands and swayed slowly back and forth during all of the songs.

Jim's parents wanted to come to the dress rehearsal. It was in the afternoon, and they do not like to drive at night. Jim and I ended up meeting them there for the dress rehearsal, even tho we were also going to the performance the next night.

Holly said that she might come to the dress rehearsal as well. I told her she didn't have to, because she was planning to come the next night, too, but she insisted. She said she would bring her own car, and come with Rhodie.

Well, she called me when she got there...she had taken the wrong entrance, and was looking for us. I told her I would stand in the drive and show her where to park. Sure enough, in a minute, I saw her car winding its way down the hill. I waved real big at her, and pointed toward the parking area. She didn't move her car...she just kept grinning. And, it was cold out, so I pointed to where she need to go, and she kept grinning.

Finally, she pointed to her passenger seat, and the window rolled down...and there was LOGAN! In her car! He had surprised us and come in for Joshua's program!

I have the sweetest kids.

Morgan is a teacher, so she couldn't get off work to come with him...but we were so happy to see him..even if it was just for 30 hours or so.

So, for the dress rehearsal, there was Jim and I, Jim's parents, Holly, Rhodie, and Logan.

And for the night of the program, there was Jim and I, Holly, Aaron-the-son-in-law (who had just driven in from out-of-town), and Rhodie, Logan, and Clark (who also came in from college for the event!).

Joshua was THRILLED to have them all there. He was not one bit nervous during the dress rehearsal, but during the actual performance on Friday night? He was a wreck. I noticed he kept putting his hand to his mouth...and during some of the songs, he would close his eyes and breathe slowly. WHAT IN THE WORLD?

Holly looked at me and said, "Joshua's fixin' to hurl." I looked down at Logan and Clark, and they were looking at me like, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH JOSHUA?

I prayed he could make it through the songs...and when they left the stage to change into their costumes for the play, I stopped him and asked if he was okay...if he needed to go in the bathroom. He said, "I'm okay now."

And he was. He just kind of had a moment, but...no harm, no foul, no barf.

It was such a great week!

"Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:10

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mercy, Come In

We've had a great Sunday.

Our small group was having a breakfast potluck this morning, so last night, I made a breakfast casserole that had to sit in the frig overnight before baking...and then I put it in the oven early this morning, so it was hot and yummy when everyone got there.

Today was also the day our choir was presenting our Christmas musical in both morning services.

Good thing THE PUPPY woke Jim and I up at 5 a.m., because I was completely ready for church around 6:30 a.m.

UGH.

Also? Good planning to schedule a potluck in our Small Group (Sunday School class) on a day when I can't be in there.

Fortunately, we did our musical different this year. Instead of taking the whole service, we sang several songs in the beginning, and then the pastor preached a message...and then we came back on stage and sang one song at the end.

That gave us a break of 25 minutes or so in each service. Most of the choir members stayed in the choir room and listened to the sermon on speaker...or visited with each other. I ran up the stairs to our class...and had me some breakfast casserole, and a sausage ball or three.

I also made a plate for Holly, and took it down to her in the choir room. Gotta take care of my girl...because she takes care of my grandson. :)

We had two great services. I hope we honored and praised the name of Jesus, because that is the whole point of anything we do. Our musical was called, "Mercy, Come In." I loved all of the music. 

We have a couple in our church who are missionaries in Thailand. They have started a jewelry business over there. They use Thai girls and women who are prostitutes...who are trying to leave that life, to start a new life...and they work in this business to make money for their families. And they use their business to open the door to share the Gospel with them.

Anyway, this couple is here on furlough, and they had their jewelry booth set up in the lobby. I may or may not have bought several items for Christmas gifts.

I got tickled, because Jim has our credit cards set up to alert his phone with every purchase. So he might come in from work and say, "what did you buy at ____ today?" or something like that. Not in a mad way. Just in a Type-A way because he oversees our finances, and I do not. 

Because he wants to, and because I do not. 

Also, he has caught fraudulent use on our cards on more than one occasion...and within MINUTES.

I got tickled, because I could just picture Jim in the service...and his watch vibrating with an alert...and him looking at it and thinking, "HOW is she spending money...AT CHURCH?"

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

He never said a word about it, but if he ever does, all I'm gonna say is, "it's for MISSIONS."

And for Jesus and God.


"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31