Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fragments: Scene 3 & hatching chicks

Have really begun to look forward to Half-Past Kissin' Time... Time To Kiss Again
Mommy's Idea 
Besides meeting wonderful new bloggers who develop into cyber-friends, it gets me posting about the "happenings" in our lives that are important for posterity's sake, but wouldn't make it to the blog otherwise: after all, there are only so many hours in a day and that family I blog about does need the ocassional "tending to"!
Click on the button above to link-up and play. :)

* Miss Gracie's pediatric urology appointment finally came around yesterday: 7 weeks out from the pediatrician's referral.  Has our narcissistic Prez's self-proclaimed ground-breaking, "fix-it for good" health care plan, which includes killing the people he proclaims to help with it (see the bill's plan for the elderly and abortion), already winding its spidery fingers throughout my healthcare?  And of course I have to use code words like "Prez" and sound like a literary lounge lizard for fear of reprisal from his internet police.  Next thing I know they're knocking on my door, with his agricultural police behind them ready to confiscate my garden.  Up until this point, we have been blessed with amazing physicians and specialists with bedside manners, experience and skill leaving naught to be desired.  

One particular physician demanding to be noted, my OB/GYN, always comes to mind when I count my many blessings.
This wonderful man delivered Miss Gracie and Punk: reason enough to lay my loyalty at his doorstep.  However, this remarkable Dr. went above and beyond his calling, redefining "doctoring" when he walked alongside me through 3 miscarriages.  He mourned with me.  He held my hand and wiped my sweaty brow as I was wheeled down that green mile for a DNC.  Go to bat for him?  Hot coals?  Bring it on!

But I digress.  I've noticed I do that alot.  Perhaps I need to start a meme...something along the lines of "A Rantin' Thursday" or something similar for "venting" purposes!  Anyways, once again, back to the subject at hand. ;)  Guess our successful running streak with doctors was bound to end at some point.  And end it did in this particular Specialist's office.  Just as a good many vertically-challenged people cater to what I've heard dubbed a "Napoleon Complex", somewhere along the way, the phrase "God Complex" in the same breath as "doctor" has been mentioned.  Perhaps you've been in one of these said physician's audience at one time or another?  In this case, the NP (Nurse Practitioner) and Dr. were discussing the details of Miss Gracie's urinalysis.  During this brief, but very important discussion, neither looked at me nor addressed me: no acknowledgment WHATSOEVER!  And being without a medical training background, minus the humble on-the-job-training one gets as a mother, their jargon was just that, gibberish jargon...a foreign language.  At one point I heard the word "low" and caught a fleeting, concerned look pass over the Dr,'s face.  Without hesitation and much aplomb (and perhaps a bit of glee) I quickly became the rude, obnoxious person in the crowd interrupting the performance.  Miss Gracie herself, however, saved what could have turned into a cold and rigid affair.  During the course of this entire exchange, she had sat on the bed brushing her hair (unlike her mother, she takes her purse everywhere).  Not long after insinuating myself in that conversation I should have been a part of in the first place, she quite collectively put her brush away, zipped it closed, gave a "Hurumph" and looked at us as if to say, "Are we done here, yet?"  Even the Dr. laughed out loud!  Have no doubt the phrase "breaking the ice" was coined after a child!

* Our church held its Spring Revival earlier this week.
It turned out to be a Revival like no other.  Our Lord, Jesus Christ, saw fit to work through our visiting pastor, Dr. Phil Hoskins, and answer part of my most fervent prayers: mySamuelson made the most important choice of his life.  Visit my "Wordless Wednesday" post, A Roman road... A perfect choice... for the entire story.

* mySamuelson had a pretty eventful week, for on top of ensuring his destiny, he was accompanied by his paternal grandmother, Grandmaw Janice, and the kids' adopted, resident Granny, Granny Carolyn, to a special school play called "Fixin' the Fence".  The High School Seniors and teachers put it together along with a tea and autograph signing party that immediately followed the performance.
On the way out the door...
* Two of our 37 incubated eggs hatched Sunday afternoon!  Was sitting here at my desk in the office, blogging away of course!  Suddenly, I hear a, "Kerthump!"  I looked around for a fallen comrade, Miss Gracie's one-paw-on-the-rocker-one-paw-off-kitten and its senseless antics...  The quick visual scan revealed notta.  I glanced over at the incubator sitting on my Hope Chest and thought, "Hmmmm... not supposed to hatch until tomorrow, but just in case..."  I sauntered over there, saw this...
and all heck broke loose as I screamed for my camera and the kids and they screamed for Dad, which all resulted in senseless, frantic sprints and panic-laced garble.  Moments to never forget!

That's the good news.  Have come to realize there's always some type of bad news that leeches itself to the good.  {Aside: Thanks alot Adam & Eve!}  Neither chick lived. :(  The first chick was flourishing until the second one arrived on the scene.  Other than a small hole the second one managed to peck out, he/she couldn't break free, so as researchers suggest, I assisted.
There are a number of probable reasons to explain why the chick was sickly from the beginning.  Anything from a "bad egg" to inadequate humidity (that was hard to maintain) could have caused it.  Not realizing that its body would be spreading bacteria as it died, I didn't remove the other chick.  In all likelihood, this was the healthy chick's cod (cause of death).  mySamuelson, as my sensitive child, took it hard.  While we don't want to shield him from the oftentimes grim reality of life (though only allowing that which he is developmentally prepared for to hit him), we also want to help him lay claim to Christ's promise to all of His children in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Thus, the day after the healthy chick passed, Sugar found some baby chicks for sale and brought home 6. :)  

Regardless of the sad outcome of our first incubation experience, mySamuelson summed it all up quite matter-of-factly with his repeated proclamations that, "Well, I guess I'm a grandpa now!"

Not wanting to leave you with the "bad" in mind, and to accompany that chuckle mySamuelson's quote surely brought about, below are some pics of the first few minutes following the discovery of the chicks birth... Definitely breeds warm fuzzies. :) 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Roman road... A perfect choice...

Happy Ecstatic Overjoyed Delirious Humbled practically speechless ;) but surely BLESSED BEYOND BELIEF & MEASURE is the mother who watches on as her one and only son makes the most important choice of his life.  What can be considered the only "perfect" choice man can make.  The one choice that will determine his destiny...

mySamuelson asked Christ into his heart on the second night of our church's Spring Revival, April 26th.  During the Invitation, I heard soft whispers in the pew beside me and took a peek; God forgive me. ;)  mySamuelson had his head bowed, eyes squeezed tightly shut with mouth moving.  In reading his lips, I quickly realized he was walking that Roman Road to Calvary!

"Oh, happy day!  Oh, happy day!  When Jesus washed, my sins away!"
(in a singing voice laced with tears)

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice!"
Philippians 4:4

*The picture above captured mySamuelson's first ever trip to the alter to pray a few months back.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday: Laundry Overload

To join in this rabid fun...


Sunday, April 25, 2010

"And the awards go to...Mommy Wemmick!" HUH???

When I received notice, from my new (& FABULOUS I might add!) friends-in-training, Julie at The Peanut Gallery...Exit Here and Misty at Miss Fit, "HUH???" was exactly the expression of the moment.

 (in disbelieving shock)

You've probably already figured out these are my first.

Sweet Friend Award

Honest Abe Award

Put the two together and you get an "honest, sweet friend".

What a most humbling, beautiful sentiment.
A big part of me wants to scream out, "But I'm not worthy!"
They might not know that.
And you might not realize it.
But God does.
And as His willing servant, I know these accolades rightly belong to him.
For it is His Spirit, in me, which is shining forth.
After all, every good and noble thing comes down from the Heavenly Father.

Separate from Him, I am completely, utterly lost.
I'm not a very nice person.
Actually, I can be quite impatient, judgmental, irate, temperamental, discriminating, controlling...basically all things BAD.
Ahhhhh...but GLORY BE TO GOD for sending His one and only Son to save me from myself!

In lieu of this, I believe some recognition is deserving of the two special ladies who recognized Christ's handiwork in the life of one of their sister's. 

Thank you.
I believe this to be the start of two wonderful friendships. :)

For the Happy 101 Award, I've been instructed to list 10 things that make me happy.

1)  "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise." Psalm 98:4. Whether it be singing (which the dogs love to join me in), playing handbells or calling out to Him in prayer, happy am I when praising and worshiping my Savior!

2)  The homestead clean and organized.

3)  A good book  The genre's not particularly important: can be a devotional, documentary, various fiction, bible study, etc.  As long as it's rich in plot and characterization, I'm in it!

4)  The "love look" and accompanying remarks from Sugar.  Not the "bedroom" eyes (although that can be quite nice as well!).  Am talking about the appreciation-filled stare backed up with a, "You're a good, Mom.", "You're a hard worker.", or  "I don't see how you do it.".  Ocassionally these sentiments are expressed in a card that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. 

5)  Hard work and sacrifice paying off.

6)  Encouragement

7)  My children.  Did I mention, all things, my children???  Yes, all.  Even the puke and backtalk.  Not to mention the sibling fights and whining. (And that's just naming a smattering!)  For it's in those challenging moments that I tend to turn more to my Lord.  How can one not cherish the person who helps you keep your eyes trained on our Savior???  And then there's the rest of the "all".  The many easy reasons "my children... my children... my children" make me happy: an out-of-the-blue hug, tinkling laughter from the girls, robust guffaws from mySamuelson, contagious excitement over a "Family Day" activity, soft-spoken & sincere prayers, "mothers r the best" note (compliments recently of mySamuelson), watching the light bulb go on, and "playing" to name but an extreme few.

8)  A "sweat-the-Devil-out-of-you" run... followed by a bubble bath with candles, soft music, #3, & #10 in this list.

9)  The great outdoors: fishing, bird watching, gardening, hiking, etc. God's handi-work is AMAZING.

10) Sugar just informed me (and can't believe I almost let it slip by), CHOCOLATE!  
Please take a moment to visit the following blogs that I've passed the "Sweet Friend" award along to.

Melodramommy at Melodramommy
Julie at The Peanut Gallery...Exit Here 
  Donna at Double Happiness!
{AWARD-WINNING LADIES: Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog, list who gave the award to you and create a link to her blog (or hyperlink), list 10 things that make you happy and pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.}  

 For the Honest Abe Award, I've been asked to share 10 honest things about myself.       
I do realize I have the right to remain silent...for I know what I say here will probably cost me a few "followers". ;)
1)  My father spirited my brother and I off to the backwoods of the Last Frontier (Alaska) for 3 1/2 years.  I say "spirited", for "abduction", even though theoretically that's what it was, seems more fitting in describing a "stranger" abduction.

2)  While in college, began working on a memoir of the many experiences I encountered while in Alaska (see #1 above).  Harper Collins Publishers replied (still have the letter) with interest in viewing the entire book.  I had only managed to write 6 chapters when I sent the letter of inquiry, which happened to be immediately following my graduation.  Was hired for my first teaching job shortly after graduation, with mySamuelson's pregnancy nipping at its heels.  The unfinished book has collected quite a bit of dust over the past 7 years in storage.  Perhaps one day...

3)  Wrestle daily with extreme OCD.

4)  Have been labeled "adventurous": rode in a hot air balloon, climbed a coal chute, partied in the in-field at the Kentucky Derby, deep sea fished (see recent post: Wordless Wednesday: Out of Hands), driven a dirt bike, panned for gold and was part of a high-speed pursuit police chase where the speedometer moved into that 100 mph+ nether region (YES...was part of the good guys team!)  Have to say though, it's no misnomer that as you age, you slow down.  And not unintentionally either!  I look at this incomplete (yes, there are others!) list and shake my head at myself; "What was I thinking???"  I have a deeper appreciation now for the grandmother driving 5 mph under the speed limit!

5)  I like guns.  Am a huge NRA supporter.  Just ask Julie.  My first experience with one was moose hunting with my father in Alaska.  Shot our pastor's AR-15 last year.  Too cool!  Currently working on my Concealed Weapons permit.

6)  Went into the Army immediately following High School graduation.  Took me 6 weeks to get the #%+$  OUT!  General discharge.  NOT MY CUP-OF-TEA! 

7)  After Miss Gracie was born, joined a fitness kickboxing class.  Fell in love with martial arts.  Sugar and I recently enjoyed our first MMA/UFC Event (Mixed Martial Arts/Ultimate Fighting Championship)...ringside I might add!  We had a personal interest in the main event: mySamuelson's Kempo (karate) instructor fought!  And before any of you start pointing a finger and going, "But you're a christian!  That doesn't sound very "christianly!"", keep in mind, the Apostle Paul regularly enjoyed watching feats of physical skill.  And I dare say you won't argue his salvation?  This is one of the many reasons he is my favorite Apostle!   

8)  Best surprise of my life: Punk's gender.

9)  I believe in miracles.

10) Had some trouble deciding on a major in college.  Went from wanting to be a Geologist to an FBI agent to a Psychiatrist to an Ambassodor (International Studies)...  finally settled on Teacher.     
***I just couldn't pass up sharing the following two, for they're humdingers.  And I have edited the above 10 as much as I can.  So consider the following a Bonus!
Lived through a volcanic eruption and earthquake (4 on the Ricter scale) while in Alaska (see #1 above). 

Hardworking blogs deserving of the Honest Abe Award:

Leah at Funny is the New Young
Me, Myself and Aphrodite at Me, Myself and Aphrodite
Carla at Writing to Distraction
Stephanie at A Pocket Full Of Buttons
{AWARD-WINNING LADIES: Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog, list who gave the award to you and create a link to her blog (or hyperlink), list 10 honest things about yourself and pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.}  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fragments: Scene 2

Once again, it's time for Mrs. 4444's "Half-Past Kissin' Time... Time To Kiss Again..."

Mommy's Idea
Hard not to just zero in on the "Friday" part!!!!


This ingenious meme Mrs. 4444 created presents the perfect opportunity to recount and memorialize the many "going-on's" during the course of our week that just aren't blog-worthy for one reason or another (e.g. too short, etc.).

Click on her button above to link-up and play. :)

*  Was awarded 2, yes, you read me right...2 blog awards this week!!!!!  And from two wonderful women, Julie at the peanut gallery ...exit here & Misty at Miss Fit, for whom I'm grateful for the beautiful brushstroke they've already left on my life.  A post about the awards coming soon.   

* Had my best coupon'ing experience yet: $22.00 for $130.00 worth of groceries!!!  Guess it left an indelible mark on the lady behind me as well, for she stopped me in the parking lot to remark on my savings and inquire into my method!  Am toying with the idea of having a "Coupon'ing Class" for a handful of friends who want to learn the coupon'ing ropes.  It's become second-nature to the degree that, after doing it weekly for 6 months, it's hard to fathom that there are still a great many people out there that haven't embraced it like we have.       

* Pollen is downright H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E this year!  We're all suffering.  mySamuelson has sported a runny nose for so long it's red, raw and bloody.  Miss Gracie has the "sneezes".  Punk has a stuffy, perpetually snot-caked nose.  To quote Sugar, "I feel like I have a cold."  As for moi, suffice it to say that the dry throat/tickle/cough has left me literally GAGGING, seemingly in all places public! 

* Sugar and I created, and with the help of mySamuelson, presented a Honeybee exhibit ( with a hive and accompanying tools from our Apiary) to all four Kindergarten classes at mySamuelson's christian school.  Surely the highlight of his school year!  Post to eventually follow!

* Miss Gracie was given her Dance Recital Costume at the conclusion of her weekly dance class (Mondays).  We (SAHM's) were allowed, for the first time, to watch the girl's practice their dance routine.  Oh me, oh my...  She really redefines "Princess-in-training"... "Princess-wannabe".  And here she's stuck with a partial tomboy for a mother.  Poor kid.  Her only other regular female role models are her cat, Ariel, and my "grouchy old woman dog", Sausage.  Looking for her to start scooting her butt along the carpet or clawing the furniture any day now!     
* Hostessing a "Lia Sophia Party" tomorrow night.  After this, am laying off the partying for a bit.  This social butterfly needs to recoup, re-energize, retreat!  Can feel the "cocooning" coming on!

* Enjoyed a long overdue date with mySamuelson.  Went out for pizza , then to see "How To Train A Dragon".  4 stars, by the way!  A good friend told me some years back that as her boys aged (both in their teens now), relating to them became more difficult.  Am thinking it can be attributed to the distinct differences in the sexes becoming more pronounced.  Males tend to enjoy "snakes and snails and puppy dog tails"; While females cater to "sugar and spice and all that's nice".  In spite of this, I will always make a concerted effort to find common ground for him and I to meet on.  Even if this requires I learn to do some of what he enjoys to "connect", such as soccer or paper airplanes, he's only son...the child who promoted me to "Mommyhood"...and he's worth any and every attempt! 

* Personal Highlight of My Week: Planted our yearly garden.  For details and pics, read my recent post: Family Plant Day

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family Plant Day

This past Saturday marked one of my favorite days of the year.

Our family's traditional "Plant Day".

Coincides quite nicely with Earth Day (tomorrow!), if I say so myself!

It marks the beginning of the growing season...
...the assurance that Spring is HERE!

 More importantly, it ushers in a "Family Day" like no other.

Generally, on top of our weekly "Pizza/Movie/Pop Night Friday's" and Monday's "Board Game/Puzzle Night", every other Saturday is set aside as a "Family Day".  This is sacred time that, even as the kids age and gravitate toward wanting to do things with others, I will stand firm in insisting participation.

No, I'll never be considered the "cool Mom".

But just maybe, as they grow and mature much like the seeds we sow every year, they'll come to love and appreciate their roots that we've ensured run deep.
I pray so.

Did I mention "Family Day" is sacred?

Especially when that "Family Day" involves passing along a tradition...
 instilling a love for something that Sugar and I love...

 Learning to sow...learning to reap...

It's all about the quality time spent with one another.

This was Punk's first time taking part in the planting.

 Last year she was but 7 months.
Obviously too young to join in. ;)

Characteristic of her family's nature, she dug right in...

ending up with a face only a mother could love!

This year we decided on corn: Peaches & Cream's the name, screaming with glee's the game!

It's name doesn't do it justice: seriously!

 Simply divine.

Straight 8
A classic.

Crookneck squash
  GREAT for deep frying (just ask Sugar)... BAD for cholesterol!

And Red Beefsteak tomatoes...

we have HIGH hopes for this one. ;)

And to give credit, where credit is due:
The muscle behind the garden...

As well as the brains...
{The "country" way of weed management.}

To quote one of mySamuelson's favorite kid's-in-motion, Dash (The Incredibles), "I LOVE MY FAMILY!" 

Black & White Wednesday: A Soldier for Many

This picture was taken in 2003 when this young soldier was but 22 years old.  Take note of the barren landscape through the window to her left.  And how about the scarf covering her nose and mouth?  This was no run-of-the-mill drill within the relatively safe confines of a military base.  For a year, this soldier, like SO many others, risked life and limb in Iraq during the Iraqi Freedom War.  Did I mention that the "risk" was on our behalf?  When you see an American soldier on the street, in a grocery store, on an elevator, do you thank him/her?  With the exception of Christ's ultimate sacrifice on the cross, nothing in this world is free.  And that includes our freedom. 

Oh, and by the way, this particular soldier happens to be my little sister.  And this big sister couldn't be more proud. 

For more B&W's, join us in Lisa's Black and White Wednesday's.

Wordless Wednesday: Out of hands

To share in the fabulous "wordless" Wednesday fun, visit 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday: Farewell

Link up your Post It here: