Archive for July, 2008

Amazing Grace like you have NEVER heard it before

July 30, 2008

Okay. . .don’t freak out. . . but listen to this rendition of Amazing Grace by C.C. DeVille, the lead guitarist for Poison. This was just a couple of days ago in a concert in Atlanta. I’m sure you remember this rocker group from back in the day. You know, Every Rose Has it’s Thorn! Well, my blogger buddy, Pete Wilson, had a unique opportunity (read about it here) to share with this dude a while back. Incredible story.

I just think it is amazingly cool to have a rocker play something for God’s glory. I love seeing what God is doing EVERYWHERE in the hearts of those we may never think would come to know him. Remember that God’s word tells us that God is able to do immeasurably more than than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20) and that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). I am praying that God will move in Oprah’s life next. 🙂

Tears

July 28, 2008

Okay. . . it is late at night and I have been crying for a while now. Crying over a movie, no doubt. But if you are a girl, you will surely understand that when you watch a movie that evokes the emotions that bring about tears, they start streaming for many more reasons than just from the movie you are watching. Make sense? First let me say that I have had a pretty unproductive day when I really needed to get something done. After all, we are moving this weekend and I only have four boxes packed – and they are just filled with books and movies. But I watched a friend’s kiddos for a short bit this morning. . . then managed to clean off the kitchen table and the kids art table. . . followed by some errands and a short swim for the kids at the pool. . . then a shower and out for my monthly dinner with some friends. . . then to Lowe’s. . . and home by 8:45 to find Rick getting ready for bed and me wide awake! With mounds of laundry to fold, dishes in the sink and oodles of boxes to be packed, I decided to watch a movie!

What a great plan! My friend, Holly P. saw me at church yesterday and asked if I had seen the movie, “P.S. I Love You.” She said I could borrow it. Now, obviously I have no business watching movies this week. Heck, I don’t watch movies during weeks when my life isn’t going 90 to nothing. But I sat down to watch it anyway. It is the most wonderful movie. I love movies that make you laugh and cry and give you something to think about. If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to rent it. . . and don’t watch with your husband. I was sort of doing the heaving, sobbing, ugly face cry at times. I really needed to cry, I think. But what happened, as it always does, is that I started thinking of all the other things that make me want to cry right now.

What came to mind is Addison going to Kindergarten. Sarah is probably ready to shoot me for bringing it up again. . . but I am tearful about it. . . very tearful tonight. You see, most of my friends, like Sarah, with a child going to kindergarten have children that are SO EXCITED about starting school. But Addison is not. And it makes me sad. Today we drove down a road near her school when she exclaimed in a rather hateful tone of voice, that she did not like her new school and did not want to go there. She wasn’t going to kindergarten. I was ready to burst into tears then. Why? Well, because I hate the thought that she is so much like me and doesn’t do so well with change. Okay. . . I am practically squalling as I write this just having to think about it. I want her to love school and I really think that she will, once she gets in there and gets her feet wet. But I don’t want her to be sad and fearful and full of anxiety. I can vividly remember the anxious feelings I used to get when things would change for me. And I hate it for her, that she has a hard time transitioning. She is just like her mommy.

I can so vividly remember going away to college. I was so ready and so excited, and so scared and so sad. My best friend, Kim, went with my family to take me to UT. We spent the weekend getting me all moved in my dorm room and on Sunday morning we had breakfast at Shoney’s. I remember feeling sick b/c I knew when breakfast was over it would be time to say goodbye. I remember all the hugs from everyone and then came my mom. I couldn’t let go of her. . . I didn’t want to. . . suddenly I didn’t want to stay there. . . and I had that sick feeling like on the first day of kindergarten. And I know EXACTLY how Addison feels. . . she doesn’t want me to let go of her. She wants to stay with me where it is safe and where she knows what to expect. . . but I have to let her go. And my mom hugged me tight and told me she loved me and walked out of my dorm room. And I cried a lot that day. I cried a lot that first semester. . . but guess what? I LOVED college! And it was a great growing experience.

I know that my baby will grow so much this year. . . in many ways. And I guess it is better to get all my crazy mommy tears out now rather then when she is leached onto me and I have to pry her off of me to get into her classroom. I hope the kids don’t make fun of her. That would rip my heart into a million pieces. And I hope my school has a “boo hoo room” for mommies. I have a feeling I will need to stop in for a kleenex. So, will you please pray for my sweet Addison. Pray that she will be excited about school and excited about her teacher. And pray that she will not be anxious. And pray that she doesn’t completely meltdown when I have to leave her there. I pray that I can post about that in a couple of weeks with great news! And you may want to pray that I don’t meltdown when she leaves me. . . cause you know, my life is getting ready to CHANGE and I don’t always handle that real well. . . the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, now does it?!

A Day for PRAISE!

July 27, 2008

Today (Saturday) has been a day of PRAISE!  So many good things. . . all from God.

First, I received a text and picture message from Danielle this morning telling me that her dad “loves his new lungs!”  (which is what Ava Jane had been praying for) The picture showed Don smiling and NOT on a ventilator.  He does have a trach, but hopefully that will be temporary.  Praise the Lord!

Second, I have been following the blog for precious Macy Li.  The Kemps are currently in China doing what must be done to bring her home.  She is adjusting so well with her new family and will be coming to the States in a few short days.  She will get to meet her other two brothers who will, no doubt, continue to spoil her rotten.  Amen for adoption and the beautiful picture it shows of God adopting us into his family!

And lastly, we went to the 2nd birthday celebration for Erik Jackson this afternoon.  He is a miracle in the flesh.  After drowning and being resuscitated several times, he is literally “back to life”!!  I was amazed and in awe as I watched him run and laugh and even go down the water slide today.  I remember so vividly sitting at the hospital with the family the night of the accident.  His mom kept telling me that all she knew was “my baby has brain damage and he can’t be fixed.”  I remember leaving the hospital thinking it was just a matter of time before he would pass.  Boy did God have other plans for that sweet boy!  Can I get a Hallelujah??  I was in tears the day of the accident and in tears as we drove up the party thinking of all God has done in the life of the Jackson family.  Thank you Jesus that you can turn tears of sadness into tears of joy!

Praise the Lord for all he has done and will continue to do!

So Much to Learn

July 23, 2008

Boy do I have a lot to learn in this life. Why is it that some things take forever to learn?

Let me start by saying that I have been feeling a little stressed the past few days. . . like weird butterflies in my stomach. . . heart racing for no reason. . . stressed! I do have a lot going on. . . let’s see, there is: 1) moving into a new house next week 2) picking out all the paint colors for the house by this weekend 3) packing up our life for the past 10 months in this apartment 4) moving it all into the house 5) Addison starts kindergarten in 15 days 6) Addison has a hard time with change 7) I HAVE A HARD TIME WITH CHANGE 8) Addison starts kindergarten in 15 days – didn’t I already say that? Maybe it is just that I can’t stop thinking about it. . .

Now let me also say that none of this stress compares to that of many of my friends right now. And for that I am so grateful. In the past two months I have had friends and acquaintances struggling with the following: a husband who had a double lung transplant, a husband who has a serious addiction that is tearing up the family, a child who is dying, an unwanted pregnancy, the inability to conceive, and the list goes on. Needless to say that paint colors and a new house can hardly qualify as stressors when compared to many others. But we all have different circumstances and the above mentioned happen to be mine right now. Anyway. . . in the midst of all this panicky feeling stuff, my sister suggested that I start my day by reading God’s word. Novel idea, huh? I have been on my knees continually for many weeks now. But not in God’s word. Why is that? Why is it that I have time for so many things, but don’t make the time to dig into the Bible?

Here’s what happened this morning. I woke up before anyone. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I came first thing to get on the computer to check email, google reader, weather and more. The computer can’t find a server. I notice that my modem lights are not on. My phone is not working. My TV is not working. I have no cable services at all (we have internet, cable and phone together). At 6:15 am, I call Comcast to report my outage. I am frustrated. It has not rained. It has not stormed. The sun is shining bright. Why do my cable services not work AT ALL??? I try to go back to bed. I cannot go to sleep. I get back up. I eat some cereal. I wonder why my kids are sleeping so late. Ah ha! Light bulb goes off. . . maybe I should take Suzanne’s suggestion and start my day by reading my Bible. So, I get out the chronological Bible that I recently started and start reading in Exodus. Now Angie just posted about Moses a day or two ago and so I am excited to read this story though I know it by heart. I keep reading and reading and reading. I am totally enthralled with God’s word and his story of redemption.

I know all of these stories. . . Moses in a basket in the Nile River. . . Moses and the burning bush. . . the 10 plagues. . . parting of the Red Sea. . . and the Israelites all the while grumbling and complaining about something. God is delivering them and they still complain. They don’t trust God. And then Moses tells them in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” And it then it hit me. . . I need to be still. Wow! Probably doesn’t seem as earth shattering to you does it? How many times have I heard this before? “Be still. . . and know that I am God.” I can trust God. He is trustworthy. . . if there is one lesson God has been teaching me for the past year it is that I can trust him completely. Boy do I struggle with that. But why? I’m still working through the reason why it is so hard for me to trust. . . but I am learning. And right there on my couch this morning, God met me and whispered to me, “Amy, be still. Trust me. I have a plan for you. I love you more than you can imagine. I want to give you so much. And that little Addison. . . I gave her to you and Rick. . . and I love her more than you do. . . and you can trust me!”

Ahhhhh! The peace that I felt as I met with Jesus. And the peace followed me throughout my day. No butterflies today. No racing heartbeat. Peace. Now several times today I have had to tell God, “I trust you.” When I start to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that I can trust God and I tell him that. It really helps. I have a long way to go and so much to learn!

Oh, and about the time I finished reading my Bible and meeting with God, the girls woke up. I fed them breakfast and we played. And then the cable came on, the computer server was back up and the phone started ringing. Isn’t it just like God to find the most unique ways to get our attention. I just love that about Him!

Miss Manipulation

July 22, 2008

Yesterday we went to the pool in the late afternoon. My accountability partner and I decided to hang out and hold each other accountable by the pool so the kids could play! It was a HOT day. . . but the kids had a blast. We were getting ready to go and I had just seen all three of our kids go down the slide together. . . we kept talking. . . and then we started to yell for them to go ahead and get out to dry off. That is when I didn’t see Ava Jane. No big surprise – she lives in her own world and does her own thing. But as I looked everywhere, still no sight of her. And as you would probably do at the pool, I started to panic, just a little. The other moms were searching the pool for her and I suddenly thought to go look in the bathroom. As I got close to the bathroom I could hear insane screaming – AVA JANE! I ran inside and bless her little heart, she was sort of stuck in the big stall. SCREAMING for her momma! I beat on the door and assured her that I was right there. We got the door open and there she stood with her sopping wet bathing suit half on, half off. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Through her sobs she said, “I can’t get my bathing suit back on. I had to potty and I can’t get it back on.” Oh my poor baby girl. I yanked it up and then scooped her up into my arms. She was pititful. I apologized over and over through her heaves and sobs. As I came out of the bathroom, you could see the relief on all the other mommy faces! Whew! She was just in the bathroom.

Okay. . . so I told her repeatedly that she HAS to tell me when she goes to the bathroom so that mommy will know where she is. . . “yes ma’am” she said, still sniffling. I held her tight until we were ready to go. By then, she was over it and we were all good. Hallelujah! But what would she tell daddy? I better talk to him first.

When we got home I gave Ava Jane a quick shower. I wrapped her hair in a hair towel like mine and well, she looked like a mini clone of me! Imagine that! We were all getting dressed and I was getting ready to make dinner when Ava Jane walked in and asked to watch a movie. “No, Ava Jane. We are not turning on the TV right now. You may go play while mommy cooks dinner.” Here was her response (with a pitiful look on her sweet chubby little face).

“But mommy, I was trapped in the bathroom for hours and hours and I NEEEEED to watch a movie. I was so sad and this will make me happy.” (little grin appears on her once pitifully sad little face) ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Did my child just use the word “trapped” and say “for hours and hours” and did she tell me that her sadness would be made glad with a movie???? SHE IS FOUR YEARS OLD!!! Where does she learn this stuff?

With my sweetest mommy smile, I told her she was not trapped, just stuck! And not for hours and hours, for maybe 3-4 minutes! And that she was just fine and movies don’t change our feelings, we do! Then she rumpled her forehead and gave me that pouty look, and I started laughing and then she couldn’t help but laugh too! Can you say MANIPULATIVE?? Oh my. . . what are the next 14 years of my life going to look like??? Someone pray for me, please!!!!

Wrapping Up the Weekend

July 20, 2008

The time is drawing near for us to move. As a matter of fact, our closing date is less than two weeks away. And I have soooo much to do. We have had an extremely busy week and weekend.

Friday I took the girls to the Adventure Science Center. Whew! It was insanity. I had no idea I would have to wait in line for 45 minutes just to get in! The kids had a blast. They didn’t get that they were suppose to be learning anything and anytime I tried to explain what something was or how it worked, they ignored me and ran on to the next fun thing. Oh well. They had a good time. Shortly before we left, I literally ran into a friend and roommate from college, Becky. She and her daughter were in town for a wedding and came for a few hours to play at the science center. We spent about 45 minutes catching up while the girls played. It was a fun surprise for both of us! I wish we had more time, but we had to zip to the doctor to check on Addison’s eye. (See a couple of posts back.) The eye is fine – Praise the Lord!

Friday night I spent with a young girl who is pregnant and considering adoption. It was a night loaded with tears, fears and lots of information. I am praying that she makes good choices during her pregnancy. It was a God-ordained meeting and once again, I was grateful to hear God speak in His still small voice.

Saturday I had to set the alarm to wake up since my kids had been sleeping so late. We had a t-ball game and pictures. And I had to bring snacks and drinks for after the game. We left the house at 8:15 a.m.!! It was about a million degrees outside, but the game and the pictures were great. Addison was on the pitcher’s mound and loved it. Ava Jane continued to stay in her own world playing in the dirt. Grandmommy and Granddaddy were there (Rick’s parents) and the girls love it when they come to watch them play. OH – and they were celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary!!! Happy Anniversary to the Lafayettes!!! What a milestone.

We had already decided that after the game we were coming home for showers and to stay inside and be cool. The girls needed to nap since they were exhausted from the week. We ALL enjoyed a little snooze time on Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening we headed to the new elementary school where Addison will start kindergarten in a few weeks. We went in the building for a tour and Addison promptly said, “I don’t like this school. I am NOT going to come here. I am NOT going to kindergarten.” Okay, then. . . as soon as the tour started and she found a friend she knew she changed her mind. . . well, momentarily changed her mind. . . the school is incredible. There were several K classes already set up and she got to go in and look around. She was impressed. . . they do look awfully fun! We got sucked into buying school t-shirts for the girls and a magnet for my car. I guess we have entered the world of school spirit and PTO madness!! I suppose this is where it all starts. . . “Mom, I need money for. . . and more money for. . . and still more money for. . . ” If only our money flowed that freely. I have a feeling this is going to be the real beginning of “Honey, we don’t get to do EVERYTHING that all your friends do. . . have what they have. . . go where they go. . . ” Boy, do I sound like my parents!!! Gotta love that!

Since we were sweating to death, we decided to forgo the PTO hamburgers and chips and go to Chili’s instead. Much cooler and tastier! And then we went to the gas station to get icee’s for the girls (since the snow cone machine wasn’t working at the school event and they were literally “melting down” for one). Then it was home for yet another shower because of all the heat and sweat. And off to bed for a good night’s rest.

Sunday was church. I helped lead worship with the preschoolers in TreeHollow and LOVED it! It was so much fun. The service was great. We had a great sermon from Romans 9. It was very challenging and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sunday afternoon was nap time for everyone but mom. I went to a baby shower in our old neighborhood for a boy and his girlfriend that used to live down the street. They are only 18 and 19 years old. It was a fun time to see old neighbors. I had a fabulous conversation with the mother of this pregnant teenage girl. The girl comes from a very conservative Christian family. She is an example of a teenager who made a mistake and is now suffering the obvious consequences. Life will be hard for these two young people, but they are making great strides to do the right thing. They are taking pre-natal classes at the Crisis Pregnancy Center and are also in a series of pre-marital classes at church. They plan to get married after the baby arrives. I am proud of them for working hard and bring proactive at being good parents and having a good marriage. They came over to see our apartment after the shower (because they will be getting an apt. here once they are married). I had a great conversation with her about being a mom, shared a little “mommy wisdom”, talked to her about setting up her home, etc. . . Rick was only here for a little of their visit, but I am hoping that he will be able to spend some time with this young man. After all, we have known this little guy since he was 10 and he always loved to hang out with Rick in the garage or in the yard talking. Isn’t it neat to see how God has purposed certain relationships in our lives and where those relationships lead? Had we not had such a good relationship with this young man, we would not have the opportunity to speak into their lives at this very crucial time. I am praying that God will continue to show us how we can be part of their lives.

Sunday night Rick went to ride his motorcycle and I took the girls to the Creekside pool. I saw some old friends, the Broanders, celebrating a birthday at the pool. Shout out to Laura – who reads my blog!! It was so good to see you and your family today!! I also met a new neighbor who is new to Hendersonville. I love meeting new people. . . and she even introduced herself to me. Her husband is doing an orthodontic residency at Vanderbilt – didn’t even know they did that here??!! And apparently you can get your braces there from dental students (all are dentists) who are specializing in orthodontics. Good to know. I love knowing what people do. . . never know when you might need one of their services!  And then I asked her what she did. . . wouldn’t you know it???  She is a fitness instructor. . . and she certifies people to be personal trainers, and she certifies people to teach fitness classes!!  Here I am. . . chunky monkey me. . . at the pool talking to my new friend, the FITNESS INSTRUCTOR – talk about maybe one day needing someone’s services!  I wondered if she would voluntarily ask if she could help me get fit.  But she was kind and didn’t mention it.  I was glad.  Oh, did I mention that I have NOT been to work out since the first week of June. . . getting up at 4:30 am to workout at 5 am just didn’t seem right when I had NO WHERE TO BE the entire rest of the day.  So, I just quit going for now.  Ugghh!  And now my new neighbor is a dang fitness instructor!  Go figure.  Maybe I will ask her to be my personal trainer one day soon.  Whatever. . . I am going to eat some ice cream.  🙂

Well, that is the end to our very busy weekend. We had some fun stuff and some heavy stuff. And I am grateful for it all. Please pray for my friends who are right now in China picking up their baby girl!! You can read about them here. And pray for Don, who is having a few setbacks from his double lung transplant. You can read about him here. And finally, you can pray for us as we prepare to move and for my sweet Addison who will be starting K in just three short weeks. Change is hard for her and even harder for her mommy. I’m sure I will have lots to write about in the weeks to come. Ta ta for now!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

July 20, 2008

Lots of peeps have asked for this recipe. . . here it is:

1 box yellow cake mix with pudding

1/2 cup sugar

1 small box instant chocolate pudding

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup water

8 oz tub sour cream

6 oz pkg chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, pudding and sugar, stirring with a whisk to remove lumps. Add oil, eggs, water and sour cream, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until wooden pick in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing. Let cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

2 Co-pays later was the $1 toy worth it?

July 18, 2008

Praises!!  We went back to the doctor today and there were absolutely NO scratches on sweet Addison’s eye!  I was both thrilled and relieved.  God is good and gets ALL the glory!  I look at it like this – Either God reached down and touched her and healed her eye OR the eye healed itself (I heard that the eye is one of the quickest parts of the body to heal), in which case, God, our Creator, did a superb job in creating the eye the way He did! I love it how ALL things point to HIM.  No room for anyone or anything to try and take credit!

Thank you all for praying.  It was worth paying the two co-pays to be sure her eye wasn’t damaged and then to find out that the damage that had been done was now healed.  I think I will throw the $1 toy away.  🙂

Ouch!

July 17, 2008

Today we were swimming at a friend’s pool and the girls were playing with these cheap $1 water tubes that suck up the water and then you shoot it all out.  They LOVE them and it is a constant battle not to blast water directly at someone.  🙂  Well, Ava Jane was playing with one and Addison jumped in the pool just as Ava turned around with the tube in the air.  You guessed it – the pointy end jabbed her in the eye.  Jabbed doesn’t even do justice to what I witnessed.  I thought her eyeball had been gouged out of the socket.  She screamed and shrilled and I jumped in the water and snatched her right out.  I was screaming too.  She kept holding her eye and screaming and I couldn’t even get a good look at it.

Ava Jane was in her own little world just swimming away, oblivious that anything bad happened to Addison until I screamed at her to get out of the water.  We were the only ones at the home. . . and without another adult, I almost didn’t know what to do.  I did get it together and calm Addison down enough to remove her hand from her eye.  She couldn’t hardly open it and it was tearing like crazy.  We were dripping everywhere and I sent Ava Jane in the bathroom to dry off and change clothes.  I called the doctor and got us an appointment.  I wasn’t taking any chances on her eye.  She finally stopped crying after about 15 minutes and began to open the eye.  When I asked her if she could see, she replied, “Kinda.”  Oh my goodness.  Are you serious?  You can only “kinda” see???  But I reminded myself that she is 5 and I didn’t know what her definition of “kinda” really is!

We all got changed, cleaned up after ourselves and sat to watch a TV show while we waited to leave for the doctor.  When she was watching TV without complaining, I knew she would be fine.  I did call Rick and he met us at the doctor’s office.  It was fascinating because they put this drop in her eye and then turned out all the lights and turned on a special light that lit up her eye.  We looked through this weird contraption and could see scratches across her little eyeball.  I almost cried.  It just looked incredibly painful.  She has a corneal abrasion.  We are going back tomorrow afternoon (24 hours later) to have it checked again.  Please join us in praying that it has TOTALLY healed.  Our wonderful doctor told me not to worry and that we wouldn’t even do anything today.  I have heard that our eyes have a great ability to heal quickly.  I pray this is true.  The funny thing is that Addison has had several meltdowns this afternoon and tonight. . . with lots of tears.  I don’t know if the tears help her eyes, but I felt like God maybe whispered to me that the tears were for her benefit and not to get so bent out of shape about her meltdowns.  She has been playing hard and long the past two days without a nap.  What does a mom expect??  🙂  So, I listened to God and let it slide and just loved on her and prayed for her little eye.

Anyway. . . that was a lot of me jabbering about something so small. . . but I greatly covet any prayers we can get.  I almost feel guilty asking when so many people are suffering with far greater needs.  But my baby has a need and I will stand in the gap for her and pray that the scratches were washed away with all the tears she cried this afternoon and tonight.  And I will be sure to let you know how things turn out.  I think I am going to google “corneal abrasion” and see what it says. . . or maybe I will just trust God and go to bed.  Yep, that is what I am going to do.  Ta!

Yummy Dinner

July 16, 2008

Tonight we had this for dinner.  Doesn’t it look yummy?

They are pop-up pancakes.  I saw them on my friend, Karen’s blog, and decided to make them tonight for dinner.  The girls LOVED them.  I made them in a muffin tin and they popped up really big and then deflated when I took them out of the oven.  The strawberries were a delicious fresh touch.  I felt like I was on the food network by taking a picture of our specially plated food.  It looked that way until we all dug in with our forks.  If you want the recipe, you can get it here.