Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Thanksgiving" by Ethan

I asked Ethan to write about his Thanksgiving in his journal today. Sometimes I worry that he'll never know how to write in complete sentences, but for now, I'm not cramping his muse.

The pumpkin,
the cranberry.
Nine years of mine.
Anna, Rose, Bella, Mom, Dad;
Gran, Pa, Gramma, Pappy, Grangran, Eloise,
the past ones, the others.
The turkey steaming,
stuffing with gravy on top.


He went on to write similar pieces on other holidays. I think he may have a future with Hallmark.

Turkey making

Today, Anna helped me mix the aromatics for the turkey, then I offered to hold the turkey up while she stuffed the cavity.

She began, then, "EWW! I touched the turkey! Eww! I touched the turkey! That is so gross. I'm dropping this stuff in one at a time...I don't care.. so that I don't have to - Eww! I touched the turkey!"

Rose murmurs in the background, "Why are you whining about something you're going to eat?!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are you ready for advent?

Last year we read Jotham's Journey, a story with a reading for each day of advent. I'm debating on whether to read the next book in the series, or just the Scripture readings. It's hard to keep up with the last week of readings the years we spend Christmas with relatives, but we've been known to pack the advent wreath and take it with us. :^)

Some new printable Jesse Tree ornaments look like a promising project, though.


"Me and Ethan are going to be investigators today and investigators stick together." - Anna Kate on the monocot and dicot hunt they embarked on with nature journals in hand.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living with Fibromyalgia

Maybe you've never wondered what it's like to have a husband with fibromyalgia. Maybe you need to know anyway. Maybe everyone ought to be more aware that the people around them that look normal and act normal could be living in so much pain every day that they just want to give up. How would you like to wake up knowing that you would hurt all over, have a headache, and have to think through a fog and that most people weren't going to know, care, or cut you any slack for it.

On a day by day basis, it means that we can't plan anything. Oh, we can try, but we will probably have to cancel a couple of times. The children got free tickets to a waterpark that's about a mile from our home at the beginning of June, we finally went at the end of August. It was the first weekend that summer that Brian felt well enough to go. We'll go on vacation and he might have to stay in bed while we do the things we planned. We never know if it will be a good or bad week, we can only guess.

We usually have a "date night" each week when our kids sleep over at their Gran's, but we can go months without actually doing anything on our date. Usually the energy required to go through the Hardees drive through is already pushing it. Our date nights are frequently just quieter, more peaceful versions of normal nights, hanging out watching a movie at home. I like them, I do. But I have to remember to have no expectations, because usually, he'll be too sick and in too much pain to want to do anything, especially after having to work all day as if he wasn't sick or in too much pain. There really isn't any choice about that.

It means that home repairs are left undone, doctor bills pile up, and remedy after remedy is tried and fails.

It means that the people who ought to know better, forget, or stop caring. Sometimes people just assume that you don't want to do anything. It's never the wanting that was the problem. Other people, especially people at work or at church, must assume that if you are there, you're probably doing okay. Bad assumption. If he was only at work on the days he was not in pain, didn't have a headache, and wasn't thinking through a fog, he would never be there at all. Just assume that he does have a headache, he is working through a pain haze, and he feels awful - and that if you'd woke up feeling that way this morning, you'd be home in bed. Then you'll be closer to the truth. So people, if he's home sick, you can imagine how bad he must feel, and when he comes back, he's not better, he can just stand up now.

And he doesn't just miss days at work, he misses far more days at the beach, church, family outings, and parties. He spends most weekends completely drained from a week at work and goes back not feeling any better.

And having fibromyalgia means worrying that someday all of that effort won't be enough and there won't be a job, and then choosing not to worry about that, because what good does that do anyway? It's in God's hands. Sometimes I don't know what God's thinking (usually!), but if His will brings Him glory than what else is there?

Having fibromyalgia means months and months of misery. Cold days are bad. Rainy days are bad. Hot days are bad. How do you encourage someone who always feels bad? It's not easy. But Brian stays in the Word, and the Lord encourages him. I'm constantly amazed that he can keep on going. I just try to push him enough to be able to live a little more fully. And sometimes I just have to do things on my own. And I'm learning to be okay with that. It's not how it used to be. It's not how either of us want it. It just is.

I just think people ought to know. You don't really understand until you're there. And I remember knowing about people that had fibromyalgia and not really knowing how to help, or how to fit that help into my busy schedule. But at least remember them. Remember to pray for them. And remember that unless you heard that they were miraculously cured, they're probably still sick. And if you did truly want to help, if everyone did one thing each year for the people they knew with chronic illnesses, imagine how much easier their lives would be. Time after time, I've seen people rush to help those sick from chemotherapy - and they should! But the church gets tired of helping these people who never get well, but never die. It disturbed me before I lived the reality for myself.

There are people who have helped us - with medical expenses, yard work, home repairs, and meals (when I get sick, it really goes downhill). And we are so grateful for each and every act of help and kindness. Our neighbors that we are still just getting to know on a more personal basis have really been more help to us than anyone else. They see the way he walks to the house after work, when he thinks no one is watching. They see the yard work start to go undone - and do it. They notice the car parked in the drive on a week day. They are a blessing to us, and we try to bless them in return.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Jesus is my Righteousness. The End.

One by one by family members are joining the ranks of the anti-dispensational "heretics." Rejecting an eleborate story of the multiple stages of end-times drama, and instead embracing a story of redemption, beautiful in its simplicity.

I will not be judged by my works, but by Christ's great work on my behalf. The final judgment for works is simple - they are all good or all evil. Because I am judged on the basis of Christ's righteousness,not my own, I am declared righteous. His righteousness has been imputed to me.

I don't need starry crowns or mansions either. My great reward is Christ and Him alone. If that's not enough for you, that might be something worth worrying about.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Psalms are for singing

Turns out making up your own Psalm melody word for word in the version you want to memorize in works even better. We've got the first half covered already.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


For three weeks now. Flu-like virus, upper respiratory virus/infections, stomach virus - it's mean a never-ending cycle here. And we're missing the best fall weather in the process!

I've only had a couple days of a cold and Brian's felt awful the past two weeks with Ethan and Bella not faring much better, but on average 4 out of the 6 of us have been sick every day for the past 3 weeks despite as much good natural food and supplements as I can manage.

Sooo...Soup for dinner - again. Brian and Ethan haven't been able to stomach much else this week, and Bella's living on smoothies. Anna and I are rebelling against the sick masses and having sandwiches and salad. Oh, and Rose is having PBJ, because that's what Rose always has if given a choice, but I'm using croutons as a bribe to get her to eat salad too - mwah, ha, ha, ha!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Psalm Memory Challenge

Each November we choose a Psalm to memorize before Thanksgiving. We've been working our way through Philippians, and have finished (mostly) the first chapter, so we've spent the last few days reviewing Psalms we've memorized in the past - Psalm 1, 23,63 (we don't know this one as well - I had morning sickness that year, blah!) 67, 100, 113, and 150. We initially memorized Psalm 23 when Anna was not quite two, so that she could learn it for Sunday School (she did!), so Rose didn't know it. We've been singing it to this video:

There used to be a website for this song with a different video, but I can't find it anymore. I was glad to find the song on youtube.

I set Psalm 67 to music the year we memorized it and Ethan is the best at long-term retention, so he remembers it. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they all remembered Psalm 113 and Psalm 1 from last year.

This year's Psalm pic was easy since Rose has newly adopted this song:

I prefer the Praise Baby version which is the version she first got stuck in her head, but I couldn't find a video for it - you can listen to a clip here ( "Better Is One Day"). Hillsong's "Blessed" covers a few more verses. The new Sons of Korah have their complete version of the Psalm:

Psalm 84

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

As we read through it today, Ethan said, "oh, the Sons of Korah, I like their Psalms! - remember I read through all the Psalms?" I love that boy!

So will you join us in the memory challenge? Choose a Psalm, there's a length appropriate for any one's learning curve, and join us! Let me know in the comments which Psalm you'll be memorizing for Thanksgiving this year.

Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord!