Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hand, foot and mouth....eww, yuck!

Toby learned two new words this past week..."Ewww, Yuck!"
This was in response to his latest adventure....Hand, foot and mouth disease. Yes, Toby contracted this nasty virus that attacked his whole body from head (especially mouth) to feet from church nursery. Painful blisters, high fever, diarrhea, and lethargy sent me with him to hospital. I came home with tylenol. Poor kid...nasty virus and all we could do was wait it out and hunker down into quarantine mode. That's right....stuck in the house for well over 7 days. Then Promise got it, but thankfully, she only got two spots. :) So with our stuck days, we decorated the house for CHRISTMAS! Yes, we know it's early, but it's the most wonderful time of the year! We're just attempting to make it LOOOONGER. :)

And here is our fairy princess now! She LOVES her princess crown from her cousin's birthday party and her girly sunglasses from her friend, Shiloh. And the dress....from our friends Sandra and Wendy...they blessed us with a bunch of beautiful clothes for Promise. This is Promise's favorite outfit...she says that she is beautiful in this dress. I agree....with or without daughter is beautiful.

When the kids and I finally reached total meltdown, cabin fever, get the heck outta the house feelings this weekend, we decided that Daddy should take us to Grandma Con and Papa Jim's house in Oregon for Remembrance Day weekend. :) Tim thought that was the perfect way to spend a 3-day (that turned into 4!) weekend! Tim has very few days off, so this was quite a surprise and a welcomed treat!
So we surprised my mom and dad arriving Friday afternoon and invading their peaceful house and weekend with Hand, Foot and mouth disease remnants. They didn't mind!
We had an amazing time.
It was what we needed. I find that spending time with my parents is like getting hooked up to a Holy Spirit IV of encouragement, truth and eternal perspective. We all needed it.
One night on a whim, while doing some much-needed laundry (Toby still had horrible diarrhea), I found my wedding dress from almost 10 years ago! I also found my mom's wedding dress, my grandmother's and my GREAT grandmother's wedding dresses! So the thought goes through my mind, "I wonder if I could still fit in that!?"
And guess what!?

I DID! And my mom put hers on, too, just for fun! Although 10 years have changed my shape dramatically (partially from having kids), that dress fit me almost better than it did 10 years ago. It was somewhat encouraging.

Toby showed off his new tricks...he has this little flirtatious evil eye he does (the picture doesn't do it justice, but it's AWESOME!)...he had my parents in laughing fits with this move. What a character...even when sick!
My little man.
And His sister likes him, too! She's very affectionate and he is just waiting for the right moment to take her affection and sink his teeth right into it...literally...we often have to say, "TOBY, NO BITING!"
And once again, my precious girl. She is just so very smart and growing so well. Ya know, she still remembers her friends from the Philippines.....she often asks for Eliana and Zoe, her very first friends....she was less than 2 when she made those two friends and still draws them pictures and makes them "presents", Heather Boswell and An-An, if you are reading this, please tell your kids what an incredible blessing they have been and continue to be to Promise....she remembers them with great love.

With Christmas on its way, we have been reading treasured stories to Promise about the birth of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas. We will not be doing any Christmas presents this year, so we are planning on doing some kind of service project or creative blessing activity instead. Promise is still young enough that she does not expect gifts on Christmas (at least we don't think she does), so we will start the tradition of blessing eachother in other thanks first and foremost to Jesus, for it is HIS birthday and HIS celebration.

With all the bombardment of "give the perfect gift" and the pressures of "bigger and better", I am so thankful that we are broke and haven't any money to buy gifts this year! It certainly takes the pressure off AND gives us more time to focus on BEING the gift rather than BUYING it. I am committing to BEING a gift to my family in order to honor Christ and I hope to teach Promise the same....THAT is pressure enough! Ha ha ha! I will need Christ to accomplish that, too!
Enjoy the season of blessing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Warm colors, cold wind....

Greetings! Promise, Toby and I (mommy) went out this week for a autumn photo hunt for fall colors and WOW! we found some! Above is our little Mum plant that was dying from slug attacks last year and after some loving care, behold! What a pretty color.

Grandma-Stina, as Promise calls her (Tim's mom), and Papa Steve bought a lovely maple tree for the backyard that Tim planted...Promise loves that the leaves are falling off it....she had to strike a pose.
One of my favorite plants this time of year is the chinese their colors and love their shape.
I planted a passion flower vine in the yard this year and despite the nursery telling me to bring it inside for the winter, I planted it in the ground....with plenty of winter warmth...underneath Promise's painted rocks is a fleece blanket, styrofoam, newspaper, and finally, the plastic planter....I am sure it will survive. :)
Next we have my favorite fall colors.....
And our walk to the park, under our favorite fall tree, with our house (the blue one) in the background (though you can't see our basement suite from this angle).

Sorry it took me so long to post...Tim was gone in Vernon, BC for two weeks for more Kal Tire training, so getting to the computer was like going to never happened.
But Tim has returned and life is just starting to get back to normal.

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a "true Christian" amidst a society that is self-seeking, self-sufficient, self-actualizing, and SELF-selfing. You know what I mean?

Our search to make ourselves happy is a constant rat race....while we don't always admit it, but just about everything we do comes down to our need to feel happy....we buy certain foods because they taste good, thus making us feel good while we eat them...we buy certain cushy chairs to make our bums feel happy....we plant flowers to enjoy their fruit, which makes us happy....etc.

Now, I know I am leaving out a large component here, as I am fully aware that enjoying God's creation and His provision is not always self-serving....however, I am finding that there is also an "unhappiness" in life that is to be expected, is healthy and certainly "holy".

Like I shared about in the last post...we ARE sojourners here....aliens in a weird, fallen, pain-ridden world....and because of this, we groan. Our spirits groan....creation groans....we groan for the coming of Jesus when pain, suffering and sin will be no longer part of our daily lives.

In Freedom Session, a class I am currently taking, one of the repeated phrases is "the only way through the pain is THROUGH the pain" can't jump over it, cover it up, ignore it, medicate it, or go around it....we are MADE to experience pain. It's's necessary and it will always be there....a reminder of the fact that this world is not what we are living's the next....until Jesus comes, pain will be a part of this life....yes, I know I am stating the obvious, but how often do we run from pain because it is uncomfortable and we feel we should not feel discomfort? Or even SHOW discomfort..."a GOOD Christian is living in a constant state of VICTORY and it should show!" Yes, I am being VERY facetious.

Jesus came to rescue us from the pain and consequence of sin and death and He HAS!....but until we are in His Presence.....face to face....beholding His complete glory in the Place He has prepared for us, we will feel a lack...we will feel pain....our spirits will groan. Do we not believe that the Trinity feels pain as He watches another divorce, another starving child, another person refuse Him? Of course He does! When we feel pain, we identify with Christ. Did He not feel the utmost pain on the cross? Why do we run from pain? What if Jesus had run from the pain? Mmmm.

My friend, Naomi, had a beautiful baby boy on Tuesday....she is one of those people who smiles broadly while in labor...singing, swaying and dancing....moaning, grunting, and IN PAIN....seriously...she will say loudly, "I am in PAIN" and yet, she continues to smile through tears of pain and joy....and her pain lasts but a couple of intense hours and her reward is nestled in her arms....isn't that how we are? With our lives as a moment, a breath compared to eternity...we smile and groan through tears of pain and joy knowing that our pain will not last much longer and will give way to precious life with Christ.

I long and groan for Heaven....and I smile through tears.
Be blessed.