Monday, June 30

A Father's Love

Being the parent of a special needs child has its joys and challenges to be sure. My challenges are pretty minor compared to what many parents deal with on a daily basis, but there are still days when I feel overwhelmed and not cut out for the job. Sometimes I get tunnelvision and can't see anything but the hill I am trying to climb, and today was one of those days. Abby began a "bad cycle" last Friday, and as I was trying to pay bills and get caught up on some housework after being sick last week, I began feeling the dark fingers of despair gripping me as I was having to stop every couple of minutes to redirect, discipline or rescue my little girl. Finally, I sat her down next to me in my big chair and we looked at some blogs and checked email. This is what was in my inbox:

Here is an additional video with more background information on Team Hoyt.

I've seen this before or at least have heard of Team Hoyt, but today this video was just what I needed to help me gain some perspective. By way of quick background, this father's son was born with cerebral palsy. Once his son told him that "running" made him feel like he wasn't disabled, and ever since he and his father have run in marathons, Ironman events, triathalons, etc. It makes my "hill" look pretty small and makes me want to be be a hero to my daughter (and son) the way this father is to his son.

Wednesday, June 18


Hubby filled up my minivan with fuel this evening. It was a little more empty than I usually let it get, and it cost $77 to fill it up!

Monday, June 16

Punctuation 101-Lesson 2

Rule 5 under Apostrophes in the Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation says:

Do not use an apostrophe for the plural of a name.

We visited the Sanchezes in Los Angeles.
The Changs have two cats and a dog.

Tuesday, June 10

Retro Food

After sampling some of astronaut food last week, I began reminiscing about one of my favorite childhood snacks: Space Food Sticks. Anyone else remember them? I particularly loved the peanut butter ones, and I can still remember the smell, look, and texture of them...yum!

On a whim I Googled it, and much to my surprise and delight, I found out that they are being made again. It seems I am not the only one to have fond memories of this odd snack. There is a whole website devoted to them and the story of how they came to be produced again so many years later. Once we have recovered a bit from our current financial pinch, I think I'll order some and share a fond memory with my kids!

Sunday, June 8

Unexpected Blessings

We typically go out to lunch after church on Sundays, and we almost always go to our favorite local restaurant, which happens to be Mexican. We know the server and he knows us, so much so that he brings us our drinks even before we order. Last Sunday we debated whether we should go out or just go dig something up at home since our finances are hurting a bit lately. We ended up going ahead as usual. We ordered, discussed the sermon, and quizzed the kids about what they learned in Sunday School and had a nice lunch. Then as we were waiting for the check, our server came over and asked if we knew the man who was sitting next to us. We told him we didn't and he said, "Well, he just paid your bill." What?! We were incredibly blessed by his generosity and kindness!

A second blessing came last Thursday. Our hubby called to tell me he won a $100 gas card from the local radio station! Now that is something that we definitely can use!

When we had to cancel our camping trip we had planned for next weekend, I was a little discouraged about our finances and even lost a night's sleep stressing over money, but by the morning I was finally able to turn it over to the Lord and have peace. Then these events happened and were just two ways I felt like the Lord was encouraging me to be anxious for nothing. "I own it all, your medical bills, car repairs, and rising gas prices aren't a surprise to Me."

I know that God is trustworthy even if we were to lose everything, that financial provision is not guaranteed, but this week I felt the Lord's tender mercy and grace toward us through these unexpected blessings!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habbakkuk 3:17-18

Wednesday, June 4


Sometimes I get discouraged when I read some blogs where the families seem to have it all together, there's one success story after another, and everyone is always in harmony with never a hint of strife or chaos. I know that's not the way anyone's life really is, and it certainly isn't the way my life is. I try to keep Ryan's and Abby's blogs fairly positive because I don't want to seem like I am "tattling" on my kids or putting their sinfulness on display, but it's uncomfortable sometimes because on the other hand I don't want to seem like I'm bragging or that we don't have struggles. I know at least one of their birthparents read the blogs (I've made it known and available to all of them) and I want them to see how incredible their children are and what a blessing they are in our lives!

The intent of this blog originally was more of a journal of my thoughts, struggles, and things along the way that God is teaching me. I've tried to be transparent about some of my struggles and frustrations, but it's hard to dig deep and expose myself. I'd much rather people only saw the bright side, the parts where I'm growing, and the successes, and from most of the blogs I see, that's how most people feel too.

When I look at my most frequented blogs, I find that they are not the ones where everything looks perfect. I am strangely encouraged when I read about other people struggling with similar issues that I have and when I see people who do not have it all together but they are still fighting the good fight, people who fail and repent and get up and try again. That's where I live, not in the glory of success day after day but in the fight against sin and pride and complacency with glimpses of victory here and there.

Just on the off chance somebody else likes to know that others struggle, here's a list of eight things I fail in regularly. Some are outright sin, while others are just ways in which I am not meeting my own standards.

  • I yell at my kids.

  • I still haven't finished reading through the Bible in a year that I began September 2006.

  • I snap at my hubby.

  • I often avoid a particular neighbor instead of sharing Christ's love.

  • I have never mopped the floor of my laundry room in the 29 months we've lived here.

  • I have unrealistic expectations of people, particularly Christian leaders.

  • I avoid homosexuals whenever possible.

  • I am four years behind in scrapbooking my kids' lives, even though I have all the supplies.

Be encouraged:
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:22-26

Sunday, June 1

Date Night

We don't get many "date nights" in our home. We have no family nearby who can watch our kids or friends that we feel comfortable imposing upon too much. Our neighbors are good to watch them when we have an appointment or a meeting or something where we absolutely need a sitter, but I don't like to ask them too much so time alone with hubby is what gets left out. Sometimes I will put the kids to bed early, make a dinner for two, and have time alone at home, but it is nice to get out of the house as a couple sometimes. Whenever my mom comes, she always insists we go out together, and we usually do at least one time. But she can only visit once or maybe twice a year.

We also find other creative ways to have some time together where we can have some adult conversation or just enjoy each other's company. We have taken the kids to McDonald's and let them play in the play area while we talked or played a game together, and most recently, we took them to our newest attraction, Out of This World, and let them play for hours while we talked and played a game together.

So last month when my dad came we asked him if he would mind watching the kids one evening so hubby and I could go see a movie and have dinner together. He agreed and for the first time in 16 months, we saw our first non-kid movie! We went to see the new Indiana Jones movie and then went out to dinner. It was so nice to have such a relaxing and quiet time alone. Thanks, Dad!


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