Cartunes or Cartoons....

Today we had a fun filled day of TV... ALLLLL DAYYYY.... I am not sure my brain can handle much more of the entertainment and yet I can't imagine another way to have spent the day with the kids. Courtney was sick on Wednesday, but she was fine between episodes. Today Emily has been sick and has NOT been fine between episodes. She feels so ickie and I wish there was something I could do to help her feel better. So, we had a marathon

A Most Amazing Birthday!

McCormick & Schmick's is a must try experience if you ever visit the Kansas City area. Though I may be a little partial to the place as that is where we celebrated my birthday with three other couples. It was a night full of precious and priceless memories. The night was cool and crisp with the stars sparkling in the night sky. It could have only been made more perfect if the Plaza lights had already been lit. The friends that went with us, David and Jennie Smith and Keith and Carrie Hanson had decided that as a small group we needed to do something a little crazy and have a night out without kids - I know shocking! We started talking about going to the Plaza a month earlier and finally decided that the only night we could all go would be Friday night, the 20th, my birthday. I was soooo excited. Not because we were going out on my birthday but just that we were going out. Wow, a night without cutting up someones dinner before I eat mine. A night without taking someone potty in the middle of dinner. A night without interruptions from squabbling kids.... a night with the man I love and our friends. WOW... Yep, I was pretty excited. Don't get me wrong. I love my kids with all my heart and wouldn't trade a moment with them - even the late night calls. Their little hands and precious faces pressed close to mine is a potent mixture for falling in love all over again. They are worth soooo much more than I could ever pen. But it is nice to get out and talk with friends if even for an hour or so.

The night of my birthday everyone was coming over to my house where we would car pool together down to the plaza. That week I had been feeverishly painting almost every room in my house so when my friends arrived I naturally showed off my new colors and upon my return trip back down the stairs thought I was seeing a mirage. My two girlfriends, Jennie Smith and Carrie Hanson, had arranged with our mutual friends Gary and Carrie Farris to show up for my birthday weekend. I saw her and SCREAMED! Then I flew into her arms and hugged her until I was sure the tears would flow and not stop. We stepped away just in time for the tears to NOT turn into Niagra Falls and then everyone started talking at the same time. I was so overwhelmed. It was such a blessing to have so much thought put into my birthday and here I wasn't expecting even a card from anyone. It was an awesome surprise. I spent a great protion of the night just running the moment of seeing Carrie standing in my door through my head - it sure beat pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming! So, off we went down to the Plaza where we ate at Panera Bread and ended the night at McCormick & Schmick's. It was perfect. We went to McCormick to experience their special dessert, the Chocolate Sac. Talk about chocolate heaven! It is a chocolate sack shaped like a real brown bag and filled with creamy lucious white chocolate mousse and topped with fresh cut strawberries, raspberries blackberries and blueberries with a little cookie roll and raspberry sauce drizzeled over the top. DELICIOUS!!!!!!  We were given menues that even had Happy Birthday Martha written across the top. We spent the next hour and a half talkig, laughing and eating our dessert. Fun doesn't even begin to describe the time we had together. Jonathan and I are so blessed to have friendships with the Smith's, Hanson's and Farris's. God has richly blessed our lives in so many ways through them. It really was a perfect night. 

The night was over all too soon, but the fun did not stop. Gary and Carrie stayed until Tuesday afternoon. We spent as much time together as a group for the next three days. My house has so many more memories now than it did a week ago. We added four little giggling girls to our two girls and one boy. The Farris's stayed at our house Saturday thru Monday. When we were all together we had a total of four boys and eleven girls. Yep the girls rule!!! On Saturday night the guys watched a movie and the girls kept the kids. On Sunday the guys kept the kids - yep all 14 kids - we kept the baby with us - and the girls went shopping and for some girl talk. It was so wonderful. The time to say good bye came all too soon on Tuesday afternoon. It was a good thing it was such a blustery day (to borrow a Poohism) or I would have been crying as I hugged Carrie good bye again. As it was, I was so cold all my energy was going towards keeping me warm and I didn't have the energy to cry... then... later I shed a few tears. I know with all my heart that God will direct them and bring them to a place of rest. When that day is I don't know, but He does and until then I will pray earnestly that He will show Himself to them in mighty ways as they are in their wilderness journey.

If you are a believer then you are on a journey to become more Christlike. If you know that Jesus came to Earth as a baby and yet was still 100% God. If you know that He lived a sinless life and then chose to lay His life down for you and take your punishment on the cross. If you know that Jesus Christ also rose again on the thrid day and had victory over death and sin. If you not only know but believe with all your heart that Christ rose from the dead, you will be saved - eternally. The journey you are on will not always be easy. In fact I can promise it will be paved with many heartaches and joys. Ahhh, but those heartaches are when God carries you even if you can't see Him or feel Him. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you and He is God and can never break His promise. There is nothing more comforting to me than to know that I never have to face anything on my own - sometimes - in the hard times I just have to repeat it over and over again because I have a weak sinful heart and forget the awesome power of Christ who lives in me.  So on your journey, I pray that with each step you take you become more like Christ every day because when you do, even the heartaches become jewels in your life.


A Quiet Night Out

Last night I had one of the most uplifting and encouraging dinners with 3 dear friends. My husband and I have been learning sign language at our church and last night I spent almost 3 hours with Jenna, my deaf friend and two other hearing friends. It was so much fun to communicate in sign language. It is a very expressive and beautiful language. I "turned off" my ears for the evening and signed everything. It was a real stretch in my understanding and use of the language but it was so much fun. We laughed a lot and shared what was in our heats. We spent time encouraging each other and have a better understanding of how to pray for each other. It was a true meeting of the hearts. Oh how I praise the Lord for dear friends who are willing to be real and share what is hurting, encouraging, discouraging and just plain life with each other. Thank you Lord, for many ways to communicate and the ability to learn another language. And, thank you sooo much for precious friends who will help lighten the burden on this journey called life.

Back in the Saddle

After nearly six years of self-employment I am back in the game working as an employee for someone else.  Self-employment is a great thing but one can only survive so long without a paycheck.  The economy has been hard on everyone and software developers are no exception.  I missed paychecks from time to time and covered my bases with savings.  The business hit a low this year.  I went two and a half months without a paycheck and our financial resources finally dried up.  A wise person once said that "If what you are doing isn't working you have to do something else."  Although a project did come in after I put myself back on the market, I continued my search.  The temporary income took a lot of the pressure off during the job hunt.  I was offered and accepted a position at Geneva Roth Ventures in mid-June as a software engineer.  Looking back, I'm thankful for the lessons God taught me, the business knowledge I've gained, and the skills I've been able to hone.  One of the most remarkable and comforting exercises I like to do is to look back on my life and see how God has orchestrated ever detail of my life.  Every step of the way He has connected me with the right people in the right place at the right time so that I could assimilate the skills and knowledge needed for the next step.  My current employer is very entrepreneurial.  We often discuss business strategy and development.  It is a great fit for me right now.  I can't wait to see where God's going to take me next! 

The Miracle of Life

For such a time as this.

I have been amazed many times at the intircate working of God in our lives and this week was again a powerful reminder of God's awesome power. Last September we invited the Hanson's and Smith's over to watch the Amazing Race and have dinner together. Our kids enjoy playing with each other and it was a GREAT opportunity to have adult conversation. For us Mom's, adult conversation is something we crave since most of our day is filled with answering grade school and pre-schoolers. We had so much fun that first night we thought we would do it again, and again and again. Until one day, we decided to call oursevles the "Amazing Small Group". Though our only "Spiritual" content is praying before we eat, the relationships we have formed from our "Amazing Small Group" have been incredible. We have encouraged each other in parenting difficulties, prayed with each other and for each other for the struggles we face and created a bond of the heart. Even after the "Amazing Race" was finished we still continued to get together to share in each others lives. With the ages our kids are, a grand total of 11 kids among the three families, we have not delved into a Bible study because of the multitude of demands we already are facing. The time spent together with our "peeps" is full of laughter, sharing, and most importantly the bearing of one another's burdens. I praise the Lord for His perfect timing and in bringing these families into our lives for such a time as this.

This last week Ella, the newest memeber to our group, at 7 weeks spiked a really high fever that lasted over 3 days. She scared a lot of people and sent hundreds to their knees in prayer.  When Keith called to ask if I could watch Seth, Ian, and Claire because Ella was being checked into the hospital it was an easy answer. Of course I can watch them - for as long as you need. He couldn't get a hold of his Mom so called us. It was so wonderful because thier oldest three were thrilled to come to the Slaven's house. Carrie reminded the kids that it was not a party, but the kids didn't listen. :-) If they had not spent the last 9 months playing at our house they would not have been as excited or as comfortable at our house. As it was, the girls played mom to their baby dolls and the boys played with Lego's all day. When Grandma Hanson came to pick up the Hanson's, the boys told her "it's ok, Nonie, we can stay here and play". June quickly turned to me and asked me "what did you do to my grandchildren!" Then we both laughed. It was so cute.

Tuesday night her temperature spiked at 104.2 and had all of us a little on edge. Jennie and I were at the hospital when the nurse was checking her vitals and sitting there listening to Carrie say the numbers as it climbed was awful. As the numbers kept climbing the silence in the room got heavier. By the time her temperature reached 104 the tears were running down my cheeks. I was praying so hard for Ella and for Keith and Carrie - praying that God would be gracious and merciful, thanking Him for His tender mercies and knowing that we can trust Him completely to do what is best for us and to bring His name glory. His name has been glorified in this short time. The doctors don't know for certain what bacteria her body was fighting, but know it was a BAD one and have been treating her with antibiotics. On Friday we got the news that her fever had finally broken.  She has been fever free since then. Sunday night June and I went to the hospital to visit with Carrie and to see Ella and were amazed at the transformation she had made. She is alert, not in any pain and responding well to the treatment. She was smiling at Nonie, and trying to talk baby talk back. It was such a beautiful sight to behold. Praise the Lord for his work in their lives. They will be in the hospital for a total of 10 days of treatent.  They will be checking out of KU - their home away from home - on Saturday.

I remember when Jonathan was fighting for his life during his chemo treatment and being blown away at the outpouring of love and help we received. I remember just thanking God that there were people praying for us when I didn't know what I needed to pray for. I am still amazed at how He answered all of our prayers - in His time and in His perfect way - even when I didn't articulate them. He met our physical, emotional and spiritual needs often above and beyond all that we could ask or imagine. It was so humbling to realize that God was working through us to proclaim His name to so many others. I just remember praying that God would allow us the opportunity to minister to others just as we had been ministered too. Now, I would never ever want anyone to go through suffering.  It isn't fun in the process.  But, what an incredible blessing it was to be the ones to give and help bear the burden of a brother and sister in Christ. No pain is wasted when God is in it. There may be weeping for a night, but joy truly does come in the morning. He does make beauty out of our ashes. He is an AWESOME God.


Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Martha really surprised me on by birthday this year.  We had a joint birthday celebration for my Mom and I and my parent's house on the 13th since my Dad would be having surgery on the 17th and would be in no condition to celebrate on my actual birthday (24th).  When we loaded up the van to head to Adrian for the day I didn't notice that Martha had packed a few extra items for the kids.  I was totally surprised when I discovered that we not only had tickets for the Royals game Sunday afternoon but also for the Mercy Me concert immediately after the game.  I think the concert was better than the game even though the Royals whipped up on the Tigers.  There had to be at least 10,000 people that stayed for the concert.  It was a remarkable worship experience that one does not get to experience very often.  The kids spent the entire weekend with my parents so that gave us extra time to do some things we have been able to do in ages.  Jonalyn gave me a gift card for the AMC so we ended up going to the movies twice!  I wonder how she is going to top this next year...


10 Magical Years

This year my husband planned a wonderful surprise for me. In January he told me he was planning something, but not to expect too much. He asked me to save every penny I could in the grocery budget and give it to him for the "surprise". Of course I did all I could to save a little here and there. It was actually fun to try to save and think of even more things we could do without. It amazes me again how much we think we need. Again, the Lord abundantly met our needs and in this case He even allowed a little extra for my husband to show me just how much he cherishes and treasures me. The thing that made our anniversary so special was the thought that went into it on Jonathan's part. He planned all of it, including child care. That was huge! I would not have cared what else we did to celebrate, just the knowledge that he did something special for just me was enough.

 It all began on Monday of the week of our anniversary. He told me to be dressed up and ready at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night. I almost had to ask again because he said "dressed up"! I found out that his parents would be coming on Thursday afternoon to take care of the kids for our evening out. It was amazing picking out a dress and fixing my hair and make-up - I felt like a princess getting ready for her first ball. It was so much fun and so completely foreign to my normal run after 3 kids all day, clean, laundry, fix meals, grocery shopping oh and did I mention laundry - yes it is the bane of my existence. Anyway, my handsome prince arrived home and swept me off my feet at 5:30 and took me to dinner at The Skies. It was where we enjoyed our first meal as husband and wife and the view was as breath-taking then as it was 10 years ago. While we were waiting for dinner he took my hand and pulled a little tissue wrapped gift from his pocket. It was my wedding ring! In January the previous year I gave it to him for the prongs to be replaced so the diamond would not fall out and told him I would not ask about it but would trust that when he could find a way to fix it he would. Let me tell you that was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, to not ask when I could get my ring back. Oh, I couldn't believe it. It was so pretty and sparkled so much - oh maybe that was the tears in my eyes. :-)  I really thought that was going to be the extent of our celebration and then he pulled out the camera to start taking pictures and had something else to show me. Earlier that day he checked us in for a two night stay at Cheatue Avalon in the Castaway Isle suite. He told me he couldn't take me back to Hawaii so he did the next best thing and brought the feel of Hawaii to me. We ran back home after finishing our delicious dinner and I gave last minute instructions to Grandma and Grandpa, kissed the kids good night, packed up what we would need for the weeend and headed off for our second honeymoon!!!! It was so romantic and wonderful. We ate out and didn't have to cut up food, clean up spills or get after little people! Oh to be able to talk and reconnect. We spent some time pouring over our old journals from marriage counseling. It was a chance to look back at how God led us and an opportunity to thank Him for the amazing blessings He has carried us through. We had a chance to look forward and talk about the next 10 years and get excited about the wonderous things God is yet to do in our lives. If the next 10 are anywhere near as amazing as the last 10 I can hardly wait! May God form us more into His image each day so there is less of me and so much more of Him.

Thank you, my precious husband, for giving me a weekend to remember. Thank you for being my spiritual leader, my friend. I praise God that He blessed me beyond all comprehension when He put you in my life.


Magic Moments

I wish I could package up the little magic moments in life and hold on to them forever.  Children grow up fast I've been told.  Tonight Emily leaped into my arms and and wrapped her tiny body around me like a monkey.  I relished in it.  When I came home from work and they ran to greet me at the door with hugs and kisses, I basked in the warmth of it.  Courtney snuggled up in my lap and tickled my cheek with your little blond curls.  I clung to it.  But, try as I might, I can't capture it.  These "magic moments" are fleeting.  Perhaps that's so there'll always be room for more.

It's all in the details

I didn't realize how "in tune" Benjamin was to details until we had the following exchange the other night at dinner:

Me:  "How much chicken did you eat tonight?"

Benjamin:  "I ate like 10 bites."

Noticing a pile of chicken still on his plate and questioning his counting skills I replied:  "You ate 10 bites?

Benjamin:  "No, I said 'like'."

Me:  "So, how many bites DID you eat?"

Benjamin:  "4, 5, 6, or 7."

I never cease to be amazed at the way his mind works.  Am I going to be able to keep up with him when he gets to be a teenager?!


Life Without Plastic

I didn't realize how accustomed I have become to the convenience of credit/debit cards until this week.  We separated ourselves from all credit cards a while ago after being inspired by Dave Ramsey to "live like no other so that one day you can live like no other."  We did, however, hold on to our debit card and mine somewhere, somehow disappeared from my wallet.  In an effort to protect our great wealth (tongue in cheek) I called the bank and disabled the card.  Unfortunately this also disabled Martha's card.  The new cards would arrive in the mail in 7 - 10 days.  No problem, right?  Think again.  We decided to end the week with a movie and a pizza.  I had a whopping $10 in my wallet but I was sure I could make it work.  The last thing I wanted to do was go out of my way and waste a lot of time in the bank drive through.  With my tank on empty, I drove to McDonald's first thinking I might be able to use my ATM card in the Red Box.  I came to my senses shortly after entering the building.  What kind of fool would try to use an ATM card in a Red Box?  And who wants to wait behind six people to rent a movie anyway!  I decided to focus on the pizza.  Surely $10 would get me eough pizza from Papa Murphy's to feed my family.  I drove the 3 miles to their nearest location.  The place was packed but it didn't matter.  The menu said I would need at least $11 and change for a single topping pie.  I could not longer avoid the ATM machine and my family was counting on me so I jumped back in the car drove 2 miles to the nearest ATM.  Fortunately no one was behind me because it took at least 15 mintes to get my wallet out of my pocket.  I'm sure I looked like an idiot twisting, turning, and contorting in my seat.  For some reason my pants pocket just wouldn't let go!  With a crisp new $20 bill I headed back to Papa Murphy's.  The place was still packed.  I waited while at least 5 customers placed and purchased their orders and forced a smile as I stepped up to the counter for my turn.  Unfortunately, this was only an exercise in patience becuase I had left my wallet in the car.  With a somewhat embarrased look on my face I headed back the car, retrieved the wallet, and entered Papa Murphy's for the third time.  After waiting behind at 5 customers AGAIN I finally got to place my order.  Wouldn't you know it.  The final cost after tax -- $9.86.


Recent Posts

Tag cloud