Friday, May 27, 2016

Brave In The Attempt: State Special O 2016

I had the worst night of sleep in the history of ever.

Or, in a long, long time. Not that I'm being dramatic about it or anything.

I had helped Holly box up and move things and I was exhausted...so no one was more surprised than me that I couldn't go to sleep. But then about midnight, my phone "dinged."

I always keep my phone charging on my nightstand at night, but it's always on silent...until now. With Clark being out-of-the-country, and Holly be close to giving birth...I've been turning the ringer on.

So, it dinged, and I picked it up. It was Clark. From all the way around the world. And he asked me to send him pictures of him back when he had long hair. This is all very important stuff at 12:15 IN THE MORNING. But I scrolled through my old pictures until I found about 3 of them, and I sent them...and then tried to go to sleep.

And then, my phone RANG. It was 12:45 IN THE MORNING. I answered it, and it was Logan. He said, "we are at the garage door, and I forgot my key."

WHAT? 

They were supposed to meet us at Special Olympics this morning, but they decided to come last night. I felt really bad, because I hadn't even put the sheets back on the bed. They were washed and dried, because Holly stayed there this week while Aaron-the-son-in-law was out-of-town...I just thought I would put the sheets on this morning before we left.

I tossed and turned after that...and I realize that anyone reading this doesn't want to read about my sleep patterns. I'm just saying that I slept horrible.

But we got up and left the house a little before 7. We picked up Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, and headed to Special O.

We had the best day. The weather was hot and muggy, and the fieldhouse was like a little Easy Bake Oven. SO HOT. But the athletes didn't seem to mind. Joshua was excited to see some of his friends, and we had some friends from town come by to say "hi."

Joshua did extremely well today. I posted a video of his last dead-lift on my Facebook and IG (martythemoose). He won 3 gold medals for his efforts. 

Special Olympics is always inspiring, but today? Today took the cake. 

We had a new Powerlifter...a girl...and she was in a wheelchair. I don't ever remember us having a Powerlifter who was "confined" to a wheelchair. I don't know if this girl would be classified as a paraplegic, or if she has spina bifida. Either way, she could not use the lower half of her body at all.

When they called her name, she wheeled herself up to the bench-press. Then she had two men...family members or coaches...lift her out of her chair. They positioned her on the bench, and then they strapped her legs to the bench, so that she wouldn't fall. They placed a "spotter" on either side of her, just in case...and then she attempted a lift of 60 pounds.

She didn't make it...but everyone cheered. She told her coach that she was really nervous.

The second round started, and when it was her turn, she rolled up to the bench-press...just like before. And, just like before, she attempted a lift of 60 pounds...and this time? This time she made it.

And everyone went nuts.

Because my sore back...my lack of sleep...and the fact that the fieldhouse was burning up hot? All of a sudden, it didn't matter anymore.

The cheering went on for a WHILE. There wasn't a dry eye in the fieldhouse. All of our athletes have challenges to overcome, but this particular athlete epitomized the Special Olympics oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win...let me be brave in the attempt."

She was brave in the attempt.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Joshua's Reaction to His Birthday Book

So, I may or may not have mentioned that my youngest son, my baby, is overseas in "East Asia" on a trip with his school. FOR THREE WEEKS.

I am beyond proud of him, but my heart is being stretched for sure.

Before he left, I cautioned him about what to watch for, and to KEEP UP WITH HIS BELONGINGS. Because, you know, in their security meeting, they told them to "be aware...and blend in."

Riiiiight.

Clark has blonde hair and blue eyes.

But mainly, and most importantly, I reminded him to keep up with all of the papers he would need to exit this country. I told him to always be aware of his surroundings, and to know where he was going...and where he was staying. You know, just in case something happened, and he needed to get to a certain place.

Then he said those 5 words that no mom ever wants to hear: "Don't worry...I'll be fiiiiiine."

Bless his sweet, little, naive heart.

We had some lengthy conversations before he left. He told me, and he believes, "to die is gain." And that, any way things could go, it was a "win-win" for him.

I know the same God who is holding me here in Arkansas...is holding him wayyyy over in another country. I know this. And, I am thrilled he has this type of faith. But, in my selfish, momma's heart, I don't want to live in a world where he's not in it.

Don't worry...we didn't have these conversations around Joshua. OH MY GOODNESS, that would be all it would take to send him into a frenzy. But, even tho we aren't saying the words out-loud, he knows there is a risk. He doesn't understand everything involved in the risk...but he knows his brother got on a big plane, and flew far, far away. And that he is staying in a country where everything to do with our faith...has to be spoken in code.

He's been a little out-of-sorts.

So even tho I was waiting for a time when all 4 kids could be here together, I gave him his Birthday Books. He was so excited! I don't know what I expected...but I kind of thought he would take them upstairs to read them, but he opened the first one right away, here on the couch...and began to read.

And in 4.6 seconds, he was wiping away tears. I said, "are you okay?" He said, "that letter Dad wrote brought me to tears! He made this 30 year old man cry!"

And I thought, "just wait until you read MINE."

Jim's letter was one page, but my letter took up two pages. He said, "Whew! You wrote a nice, long letter." I said, "You know, Joshua, I told everyone they could write as much or as little as they wanted to...so every letter will be different." He said, "I know."

What I WANTED to say was, "get ready...because I laid it all out in my letter, and you are going to be amazed."

What HE said, after he read it, "very nice."

WHAAAAAAT?

And then, while I sat there nursing my wounded pride, he read Holly's letter...AND HE WAS WIPING AWAY TEARS AGAIN!

WHAAAAAT?

All this to say that even though I put my heart and soul, my blood, sweat and tears, and my last breath...into the letter I wrote to him...the letter that Jim slapped together in 5 minutes is the one that made him cry.

Jim's...and Holly's.

And I honestly could not be more thrilled. :)

"Every time I think of you, I thank my God." Philippians 1:3

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Pack'n'Play Is A Tool of the Devil

First, I want to say thank everyone for the sweet anniversary wishes from yesterday. It was a great day!

Hey! You know how the nice people at The Hallmarks have chosen certain gifts to correspond to how many years you've been married? Well, I looked on-line to see what the gift should be for 36 years, and, low-and-behold, IT'S NOT EVEN LISTED.

But, looking over the list, it looks like I missed out on some coral, pearls, silver, crystal, candy, and...fruit? over the years! Ha!

We have several friends who also got married in 1980, so let me help y'all out. Turns out, the appropriate gift for 36 years of marriage is...a new crisper drawer for your frig!

And, listen...I could not be more excited about it! Ours has been broken for YEARS...and now it's all shiny and new! It doesn't fall out, or throw shards of plastic everywhere, when we open it! So, YAY for 36 years!

We are so happy to still be alive! :)

Today is Jim's birthday. He is fun-loving and hard-working. He is always on the GO (unless he's napping. The dude can nap anywhere, anytime). He loves to run, bike, swim, and work in the yard. He also enjoys "collecting stamps," which is really not about stamps at all. It's a "family joke," that I may or may not share on here at some point.

Which, I probably will...because just the other day, I told about my bathroom experience...so clearly, not much is off-limits.

Jim is a great husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He is looking forward to being a grandfather!

Joshua, Holly, and I worked in Holly's old (AND NEW) house all day today. I am so tired! But we made some good progress. We brought over a bunch of her "kitchen stuff" and got it all set up in her cabinets. We had planned on making another trip to the old house, and making another load...but Holly got started in her nursery, and so that's how we spent the rest of the day.

Before we left for choir practice, I vacuumed her house...and then we decided to put together the Pack'n'Play real quick. I mean, how hard could it be for two college educated women?

Well.

I broke out in a sweat...and I called upon the name of the Lord.

I told Holly that if they took that thing to the beach at the end of the summer...by the time they got it all set up, it would be raining.

Tomorrow? We are going to attempt the baby swing, and the digital video baby monitor.

Jesus, be near.

"Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life." Psalm 119:54

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

36 Years

Jim and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary today. And by "celebrated," I mean that he worked all day, and I painted my baby's Holly's baby's nursery all day...and I could barely move...and so we decided to grill out steaks at home, and it was the best meal EVER.

But, over the years, I've had people ask, "what is the secret to a long and happy marriage?" Because we are pretty much the oldest people around...and we've been married a long time.

And to that, Jim will say, "well there's LONG...and there's HAPPY." (yukyukyukyuk...you are SO FUNNY) (NOT)

And to that I always say, "jewelry."

I'M KIDDING.

The secret is sarcasm.

I'M KIDDING.

(well, only half-way kidding. But, to be used successfully in marriage, sarcasm can only be used by one person...the funny one. NOT the one whose name rhymes with "TIM.")

Side note: We are in a new small group at our church, they haven't quiiiiiite got us figured out. Which, you can't really blame them...we've been married longer than most of them have been alive.

THAN MOST OF THEM HAVE BEEN ALIVE.

Actually, I don't know if there is a "secret" to marriage. At times, marriage can be fun and exciting. Other times, it's hard work, and lots of blood, sweat, and tears. It takes commitment in the good times...and in the hard times: commitment to each other, and commitment to God. He's the One who helps us hold it all together.

I've heard it said that marriages, with families who have children with special needs, have a divorce rate of 85% or more. And yet...here we are. We are no better than anyone else...probably a lot worse. All I can say is we figured out, early on, that we were better together than we ever would be apart; that we made this family, and neither one of us was willing to let it go; and that we had great examples set for us by our parents.

Our parents also gave us great support and encouragement over the years. I guess it should've been a heads-up that tough times in marriage COULD come, when...on my wedding day...my Dad told me, "you can't come back home to us."

And who could forget the admonition from my mother-in-law: "remember, divorce is not an option...but murder is."

Doesn't that make your heart just melt? (HA!)

After our commitment to God, each other, and our family...the next, most essential component in our marriage is: HUMOR. We laugh a LOT (mainly at Jim, but whatever). I mean, you take a Type A+ guy, and a Type Laid-Back girl...and then add 4 kids to the mix...well, it's a perfect storm, right?

But we choose to laugh (MOST of the time).

Jim used to say that he lived in a house with 4 monkeys and a hyena (oh yeah? I know you are, but what am I?).

And if marriage is sanding off each other's rough edges, we are pretty much both gonna be toothpicks by the time this is all said and done.

Over the years, we've come to understand each other a little bit more. Seriously, in the beginning, I didn't understand Jim's drive for challenge and perfection in his work, but our family has definitely benefited from it over the years.

And Jim didn't always understand my opinions on how we should raise our kids, or the intentional way I went about creating our home...but he trusted me, and I like to think we've all benefited from that as well.

I always kinda wish we could see the future, but I'm also glad we can't. Like it says in my bio on here, if we had seen some of the twists and turns God would allow in our lives these past 36 years, we'd have run screaming into the woods...because we were bayyyyyyybeeeees when we got married. We had no clue about the depths of true love, or about the challenges of life in general.

But 6 years later, after Joshua was born, I had a "Jesus, Take the Wheel" moment.

Turns out, that philosophy works for every area of our lives.

So, I guess if there's a "secret" to marriage, and to life, that'd be it.

"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family." Genesis 2:24

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Motrin, Moving, Penicillin, & A Root Canal

Hey...boring post alert.

We woke up very early this morning, because, while Logan stayed here with us last night...Morgan stayed with her family. It's great that they do that, but we miss her when she's not here...and I know he misses her, too.

But it was all good. Logan was a HUGE help with moving day yesterday.

They didn't want to miss their small group and service at their church today...which, how sweet is that? So Morgan was here at our house a little after 6 a.m., and she and Logan loaded up and drove back to their home.

After they left, I took some Motrin and an allergy pill...and crawled back into bed. I really wanted to sleep for another hour, but that didn't really happen. I couldn't breathe, and my body was so sore. I know I'm out-of-shape, but yesterday wore.me.slap.out. If you think that you are in good shape...you should climb up on a ladder and paint for an entire day...and then just see how you feel.

And if you feel just fine, please don't tell me about it...because I seriously might cry.

I went to potty first thing this morning, and I could barely sit down...and then I could barely get up. I realize it's TMI, but I honestly thought I was going to have to have Jim bring me some food in there, and set up the tv. I didn't think I would ever be able to move again.

But, 20 minutes later, the Motrin kicked in...and I felt better.

And, for the record, I didn't sit on the potty for 20 minutes because GROSS. And, also? I'm not a MAN (tee hee). I hobbled back to my bed, and crawled back in there for 20 minutes. :)

Also, did I mention Jim had a root canal last week, and his tooth/mouth has been hurting really bad? I'm talking...up all night on Friday night, and then we had a full day of moving scheduled for Saturday. So I told him on Saturday morning, "you need to call the endodontist, because this is not right." And he said, "I'll call him on Monday." And I thought, "oooooooooookay."

But, glory be, he called on Saturday, and talked to him. And the guy said, 'THIS IS NOT RIGHT.' And Jim acted like it was a word from God, floating down from the sky.

I mean, HELLO? I HAD JUST SAID THAT SAME, EXACT THING.

I'm a mom...which means, I'm practically a doctor. Which makes me practically a dentist...and it's just a quick hop from dentist...to endodontist.

Right?

I've had a couple of root canals. One of our kids has had a root canal. I kind of know what is normal, and what is not.

All this to say that I took Motrin, and I felt better. Jim took Motrin, AND THE ANTIBIOTIC THE ENDODONTIST PRESCRIBED...and tonight, he is feeling significantly better, after just 4 doses.

About 7:30 this morning, Holly texted to say she was coming over...and then, POOF! She was there! I forgot that they stayed at their new house last night, and she can be at our house in about a minute!

We had a great morning at church. It was Holly's last time on Praise Team for a while. We came home and ate lunch...and then everyone crashed for a Sunday afternoon nap. Well, except Joshua. He doesn't nap. He and Jim go to the gym on Sundays at 3 p.m., and so, at 3:02...I heard him coming down the stairs. Jim was still sacked out on the couch, but the sound of Joshua on the stairs made him sit straight up. He mumbled, "I'm ready...let me get my shoes!"

They went to the gym, Holly and I went to her new house for a bit...and then we all went to dinner.

Tonight, we are winding down the day. It's been a good day. Got to spend most of the day with Holly. Got to see Logan and Morgan this morning...and Clark texted us from the other side of the world.

Thankful.

"In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself." John 1:1