It was just a test shot to check the lighting as I got set up to take our littlest girl’s birthday pictures. When I saw it on the computer though, I saw the look on his face that showed how much he loves her. Our world would not be complete without our Juju. She’s almost always the center of attention – not because she demands it, but because she’s just that loveable. In fact, this morning there was a shouting match between the three oldest about whose Juju she is. Haha!
Tag Archives: family
I’m thankful to be able to feed my family.
Yesterday my family went grocery shopping. We were crunched on time this weekend, and the best spot available was yesterday afternoon on our way home from viewing another house. Because of the items on our list, we had to make 2 stops.
At the first stop, we unloaded our two youngest from their car seats and laid them in the front seat to change diapers. Hubby with one and me with the other – we do diaper changes in the car like pros now. Haha! We didn’t even have a kid out of the car before one was crying, and we laughed about how bad the trip was starting.
We made it through our short list for that store (of course forgetting two important items!) and at the check out my husband grabbed drinks out of the cooler for a treat for us. Back in the car, he mentioned how he sometimes feels guilty for the frivolous spending that goes on in our country, ourselves included, and so many think nothing of it, ever. I agreed. We certainly didn’t need $3 worth of sugary drinks. We are just as guilty as the rest of this country’s population.
This isn’t a new topic of discussion for us either. With a growing family, we know the importance of stretching a dollar. I meal plan, budget our finances, and cook mostly from scratch just to stretch our food bill (and keep my family healthier). Some paychecks we have to stretch more than others, but even then, you’ll find items in our pantry that others would consider unnecessary and a huge treat. On just about any given day I have the ingredients to whip up oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips. Nearly every week I purchase or make an extra dish to take to our Wednesday night small group.
At our second stop, I pulled put my long list of items needed for the next week or two. I had planned out a menu of meals for our family, double checked the kitchen for what we had and what I needed for each recipe, made a list and hoped it would all be within the amount I budgeted for groceries. Thankfully it ended up under our budgeted amount, but after we made it home with 3 sleepy kids and I put everything away, I opened one of the freezers (Yes, we use two! So many in this world will never own one!) to squeeze in one last bag of green beans and felt so very grateful to be able to feed my family – to live in a country of abundant food. Even with so many struggling financially, there are churches and food banks and non-profits handing out free food every day to those in need. There are people out in the woods and fields across the country right now harvesting wild game for their families and others. We are blessed with a basic necessity that we so often don’t stop to recognize or appreciate. This morning I’ll be filling my crockpot with the ingredients of a potato soup, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to cook another meal for my husband and children.
I’m thankful for a rare Saturday with my husband home.
Lately he has been working 6 days per week, leaving the house by 5:30 a.m. and returning around 6 – just in time to eat supper, play for a few minutes and then do the bedtime routine. All that is assuming nothing happens and he actually leaves work on time. By that point we are both exhausted (I get up before he leaves too), and usually crash within 30 minutes of the last kid going to bed. So having him home today was a treat. We slept a bit later (as late as 3 littles would allow. Haha!), hung out outside while he worked on our cars (Bless his heart, he can’t get a break!), and then after lunch he got to take a nap when the kiddos did. 🙂
Edit: This is part 2. To start at the beginning, CLICK HERE.
October 28, 2012
The call. That dreaded storm call. Every lineman’s wife cringes when the phone rings and there is a major storm brewing somewhere. We all know what it means – days, nights, weeks, or more, will be spent alone, worrying about our husbands and trying to carry on the day-to-day stuff by ourselves, as if nothing is wrong at all. We juggle jobs, kids, grocery shopping, family events, and whatever else life throws at us, all while continuously praying for our husband’s safe return. (And trying to avoid reading the stupid comments on the Facebook pages of electric providers while checking for updates.) This call was different though. I was almost 40 weeks pregnant with our third child, and the storm brewing was a combination of a two different storm systems colliding on the East Coast – Hurricane Sandy. She would later be nicknamed Frankenstorm. We both knew the ramifications of a storm like Sandy could take him away for weeks. Weeks that we could not afford to go without a paycheck with a third baby joining our family. We had been discussing it since Friday and had decided he had to go. Friday had been our warning. It had given us a chance to prepare ourselves a little and realign our weekend so that we could spend as much time together with our boys as possible.
Rewind to the previous Friday morning, October 26, we were told he would be leaving Saturday morning more than likely. At first, I accepted the news well. I was probably in denial more than anything. I knew though, that he had to go, and whining wouldn’t change that. We decided to head into town to pay some bills and go by the courthouse for early voting. We stopped at the end of our driveway to check the mail, just as we do nearly every Friday. Inside was an envelope with no return address. I assumed it was a card for our little one’s impending arrival. However, inside I found a prayer written by an anonymous friend. To this day, I don’t know who wrote it. I have a few suspicions, but it doesn’t really matter. I just hope that sweet friend reads this and knows that we had to stop the car and hold one another and cry over it. It could not have been better timing. It assured me that someone wasn’t just giving a comforting answer of “I’m praying,” but was genuinely invested in our family and cared enough to let us know this, but at the same time this person was so humble as to want to take no credit for it. When they put that prayer into the mail, they had no way of knowing exactly what God had planned or how it would be used to comfort us that day. Hopefully that sweet friend is reading this though, and knows how much I appreciate their kind words. I keep that envelope tucked away and still read it from time to time.
Well, Saturday came and went with no call. We started to relax a bit, but were also trying to prepare ourselves. Then Sunday rolled around. We skipped church to be together at home, knowing he could be gone for a while. The call finally came that afternoon. He would be leaving from their usual hotel the next morning. That was absolutely the hardest goodbye ever. God must have carried him out that door because I know he wouldn’t have been able to leave any other way.
The next few days passed in a fog. The boys were wilder than usual, I was more exhausted than usual, and I was mostly numb. People would ask what we were going to do, and I would shrug, and say, “We’ll just wing it.” I found myself saying over and over,”It’s just part of the package.” “It comes with the territory.” I knew when I married him this situation was a possibility, but every linewife prays it never happens to her!
But I felt loved. Loved by friends. Loved by family. Loved by church family. Loved by strangers. Texts, Facebook messages, hot meals, frozen meals, and offers to babysit poured in. (I know people thought I was crazy, wanting to keep my two wild toddlers at home all time, being so exhausted, but I couldn’t hardly let them out of my sight. They kept me from falling apart.) I was so amazed though, at all the prayers and kindness from everyone. I am so thankful for every person that took the time to check on the boys and me, ask how Steven was, or pray for us. I’m pretty sure all the prayers are what kept me from going crazy. I assured Steven that even if he didn’t make it home in time, we would be well cared for, and he didn’t need to worry. I felt God’s arms around my family like never before. In those moments where I wasn’t numb, I was at peace. Being at peace with a situation I had no control over was definitely God’s doing! I can be a bit dramatic when things get hectic, so for me to be at peace with it was strange.
Throughout that week, Isaiah 43:19 played in my head, over and over.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and springs in the wasteland.”
On Wednesday night I took the boys trick or treating with my parents, yet another holiday (Ok, maybe it’s not really a holiday, but it’s a fun tradition for us.) without Daddy. It was fun, but bittersweet.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t ALL fun. 🙂
I still had no idea how it would all turn out, but I saw God’s hands at work.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
(Note: this is Part One of a multiple post story. Part two is linked at the bottom.)
Above is one of three verses I have held in my heart for the past year, reminding myself that I am a child of God, and He has great plans for my family.
It’s going to take me a while to tell this story in its entirety. I’m having trouble finding the right words for some reason. I’ve tried several times to sit down and type it out, but the words just never came to me. It’s already a long story, and God keeps showing me that it isn’t over yet; he has more to show me, more to do. I am really excited to see how it all turns out. While it hasn’t been an easy journey, I know His hand is over it all. I have seen so many mountains moved and details arranged over the last few months; I am in awe. I’m not just writing this for myself, but I truly can’t wait to share this story and all the wonderful things He has done for our family this year. It’s been chaotic and amazing at the same time. At every turn there seemed to be another roadblock, but God took care of each and every one. I have said this before, but when I chose joy as my word for this year, I really had no idea. No idea that now I would be writing all of this with a sweet baby girl asleep in a bouncy seat next to me. No idea I’d become an aunt again in 2013. No idea I’d make new friends that I will certainly cherish for a lifetime. No idea I’d be in a new town less than a year later. No idea I’d be waiting on my husband to come home at 5:00 so we could take the kids to the park in the middle of the week.
One morning, as I sat on my couch, my bible across my lap, I found these words in Psalm:
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30: 11-12)
As I read those words, God spoke a promise into my heart – a promise that He knew the desires of my heart and they would be given to me so that I could proclaim this verse as part of my story. For 4 years I had been praying for my husband to get a job that would allow him to be home every night, without giving up the career that he loves. My husband started doing linework in 2006, and I knew right away it was his calling. It’s in his blood. He eats, sleeps, and breathes linework. However, it has also kept him on the road for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It’s hard saying goodbye to your husband week after week, knowing he’s leaving home to work a dangerous job and go “home” to an empty hotel room every night. It’s even harder to watch him say goodbye to his quickly growing little boys that miss their daddy and don’t understand why he is leaving or when he is coming back. I always knew God heard my prayers, and I felt that it was a matter of waiting for His timing (Oh how I wished it was on MY timing!), but sometimes doubt would creep in and make me wonder if the answer was simply no. That day God spoke to me though, and I knew the answer was yes. I clung to that verse for the rest of the year. Later I also came across Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and springs in the wasteland.” I wasn’t sure how or when it would all play out, but when things weren’t going as I had hoped or planned, God reminded me through that verse that it would all be for His glory in the end. And it truly has.
Well, I apologize for being gone for so long (again). Things have been crazy around here with the arrival of our newest zoo member!
On November 5, Miss Sylvia-Kate arrived into our home! She arrived with a hurricane (literally & figuratively) of drama. She is the sweetest little girl, and the entire family (even her brothers!!) loves her to bits! More on her later. She will get an entire post to herself. 🙂
But in the last week….
- I discovered Lincoln naked and covered in gray/green eye shadow in my bathroom.
- Stanton poured half a container of formula in the floor…twice. Good thing that stuff is cheap! (not)
- We put our Christmas tree up. Yay!
- I killed the lights on the tree.
- Steven fixed the lights – and instructed me to buy a new tree after Christmas.
- We bought a new (to us) car.
- My mommy brain has gone to a whole new level. (The level where you wear a bra inside out for an entire day without realizing it and you lay a sweater out on the patio to dry – and leave it there…to be rained on the next day.)
- Stanton is still trying to potty train himself.
- The boys emptied a 130+ box of diapers all over their room more times than I care to count.
- The boys emptied the boxes of baby clothes stored in their closet more times than I care to count.
- Sylvia-Kate rolled over (tummy to back) for the first time today! She’s only 4 weeks old.
- I kissed 2,621* (sibling-inflicted) boo-boos.
- I gave 3,322* hugs.
- I slept 7* hours.
- I threatened to put the kids in daycare only once. 🙂
*These numbers may or may not be completely accurate.
Yep, that’s a goat standing in my kitchen. He’s a Pygmy goat to be exact. Friday afternoon we brought home the newest member of our zoo. Lincoln has been wanting a horse as long as he’s been alive, but for his second birthday we decided to start small. He has done surprisingly well with remembering to feed the dogs and reminding me to let them in or out, so we thought a goat would be a good addition to his entourage. So far, his name is “Goat.” Hopefully that will change this week.
Don’t worry, he lives outside. Lincoln’s daddy (my awesome hubby) just happens to be pretty handy with a hammer, and he built a spiffy goat house for our new friend. The next picture is Lincoln and his friend playing in the goat house before Daddy got the roof finished.