Hit the Brakes, Nic!

Laugh, Cry, whatever you will...

Just hang in there, I promise there is a point!

Thursday Night

Leah and the children are sitting on Nicole's bed reading stories shortly before 8pm. Nicole starts to cough a bit. Then Mommy starts coughing too. Then Joshua next. There was a "spice" in the air that was tickling...no...collapsing our airways. My heart began to race. I ran downstairs and shouted to my husband - "Honey, did you just spray Pepper Spray?" (Yes, I am talking about Mace, but stronger...) "Yup, three cans of it...all over the trash cans!" He replies quite smugly. I guess he didn't realize that the children's window was open and the whole house fan was sucking cool air in the house...and that the trash cans are right next to the children's window...Which is why he did not realized that 90% of the pepper spray would be sucked right into their room. And WHY???? on earth would he spray the trashcans with pepper spray, you ask? Because our 1 year old Labrador Retriever has a territorial issue and keeps peeing on them as if someone other dog has been encroaching on his trash turf. My husband was tired of washing off the trashcans only to find more sun baked urine the next day. Thankfully the room aired out quickly and the children were able to return to their beds at a somewhat delayed bedtime.

Flash forward 2 days...

Nicole requests to ride her bike. Her super cool purple and blue bike that Mimi and Bumpa slaved away to find for Christmas. Problem is...Nicole's version of riding her bike involves walking and pushing it up and down the driveway a few times before leaving it haphazardly in my husband's way. Daddy's response..."Do you want to me to give your bike away to some little kid who will ride it?" Nicole, says..."Sure Daddy, that will be fine." Daddy placed bike in shed behind the house and tells her the bike is gone. Little girl cries because she'll never be a "big girl" because she won't be able to ride a bike.

Now for the behind the scenes...

The dog (at least in my husband's opinion) pees on the trashcan and various other items in the backyard because he doesn't get walked as often as he should. Click here to find out why that is. I guess male dogs need to get out and pee on everything visible in order to feel validated...or something like that.

Nicole, on the other hand...is a girl and is a bit afraid of things like falling down and going fast. Daddy took Nicole to a church parking lot once to teach her to ride the bike and came back a little frustrated with her progress...they haven't been back since. Sometimes Daddy forgets that he was the 4th child...2 others of which were boys. Of course he knew how to ride a bike when he came out of the womb. If we were going to have a 4th child (which we are not) and it was a boy (he could only wish)...I am sure that he come out riding a bike too. But not so for our 4 year old princess loving ballerina.

Mom to the rescue...

I decided to kill 2 Goliath's with one stone. After all, what SuperMom can't exercise the puppy AND teach her daughter how to ride a bike at the same time.

Now Picture This:
Leah pushing Abi and Josh in double jogger...
80lb yellow lab on leash for the first time in about 2 weeks...
Nicole on super cool purple and blue bike for the first time in...a long time.

We (all) go cruising down the sidewalk.

Things are going great.

We go around the block and back.

We are within 50 yards of our house.

Nicole was feeling confident and decided to go from riding behind me (and the stroller and the dog) to riding in front of me. We started down a very SLIGHT decline. "You can stop pedaling Nicole and coast this out..." I yelled to her. She pedaled faster.
I yelled. She started to swerve and wobble...and then scream. Now here I am...a good distance behind her now with the double jogger and the puppy. If I let go of the jogger it would go careening down the street even faster than her because of the extra weight. And if I didn't catch up to her....she was definitely gonna eat it! I found a patch of grass to ditch the jogger and quickly hit one of the brakes. I dropped the leash and took off in my fastest sprint (a crawl at best compared to some). Just as I was about to reach her...right at the end of my finger tips...she ate it all right. Off the curb and into the back of a parked car. Amazingly...there was no blood and even more amazingly...my Drama Queen shed no tears. I on the other hand...had just become scarred for life with guilt.

And now for the point...

Picturing Nicole on her bike yesterday is a good example of how I feel about life right now. Some days feel good...I am cruising along, feeling confident and even willing to take a few risks. Most days, however, I feel like that scared little girl...out of control, pedaling faster, swerving and wobbling as I head for what is likely to be a major collision. And yet now I see...if I would just stop...just put on the brakes for a minute...I would be fine. I could slow down, regain control, coast it out, or even stop for a breather.

I wonder if God ever feels like I did...screaming at me to STOP and PUT ON THE BRAKES... wishing I had never felt confident enough to go out ahead of Him on my own. If I would just listen to Him, I would be safe.

Today, I gave the theory a try. It was nap time for all three - and time for mom to sit down at the computer for 2 hours of work (I work from home for a friend's business when I can find the time, ha ha). No one was cooperating and I was feeling stressed. Pedal faster (get them into bed and get to work)...Starting to swerve (frustration building)...Panic setting in (Lord, I can't do this anymore!!!)...

And then I stopped. I hit the brakes. And I hit my knees...

Just like a little girl at bedtime, I knelt down beside my bed and asked the Lord to help me. I stated my weakness, confessed my frustration and acknowledged that only He could get me through the rest of the day. And you know what...He did.

Next time I think I'll hit the brakes a little sooner.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


Prayer Request

Please join me in praying for Kendra and her family. Their 7 week old, Baby Joe, was admitted to a Children's Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit this weekend after Kendra found him limp and unresponsive in his crib. They are now several hours away from the SEVEN other children. The doctor's anticipate that Joe will be in intensive care for at least a week and MAY have some severe long term damage from the viral infection that is inhabiting many of his organs and brain. You can read updates straight from them at Preschoolers and Peace.


Thank you all!


Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...

My wonderful husband!

He has sacrificed so much for our family. He leaves for work at the crack of dawn and gets home far too late in the evening ( He commutes 2 1/2 hours each day) - just so that we can have a better life. He has given up many of his personal goals and hobbies for the sake of family time...and yet maintains a passion for life like no other person I know. He is my knight in shining armor. He is my best friend. He is a wonderful husband and father, provider and protector of our home, and we Praise God for him each day!


Wordless Wednesday - Changes

She can SIT!

He wears UNDERWEAR!!!

And she just smiles as she plans the next
victim of those beautiful blue eyes!
(But then again...that's nothing new)

For more WW visit

Mom Blog


Wordless Wednesday - Sisters

Nicole - Age 5 months (2004)

Abigail - Age 4 months (2008)

For more WW visit
Mom Blog



This is so what I need right now...
a commitment to focus on gratitude.
To praise the Giver of all Gifts.
So many of my days have been spent in a "funk" lately and yet,
I am so blessed...

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11

I am grabbing a notebook right now
and labeling it my 1,000 Gifts Journal.
I will randomly share some of the entries with you.

Want to join me? Check out the details here...

So, here goes...my first entry in my 1,000 Gifts Journal:

1) The stillness and quiet of the house after everyone has gone to bed for the night.

Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings and gifts you give to me each day. Please forgive me for my indifference and lack of attention to details. Open my eyes, my ears, and my heart so that I can see you in all the small details of my day, everyday. Amen.


A Meme...

Ok, so I am not really sure what a Meme is...but I was tagged by my friend Leah and I'll give it my best shot.

The rules:
1. Link your tagger and list the rules on the blog.
2. Share 7 facts about your kiddos on your blog…random, weird, funny…whatever you want!
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post
4. Don’t forget to let the tagged people know!

So here is every random thing I can think of about my children

1. Nicole has been deathly afraid of water since she was about 18 months old. I mean...she cries when I wash her hair. Until 2 weeks ago, that is... We visited a "beach-entry" pool and she decided to try it out. She cried when we left because she didn't want to get out. Since then she has swam in the ocean (at a ripe 60 degrees), a regular swimming pool, an unheated hot tub, a friend's wading pool and anywhere else she can go in her bathing suit. She has also decided that she wants to be a lifeguard when she grows up. Amazing.

2. Abi pooped today. "Big deal" right? It is around here. From about 6 weeks old until 6 months old, my children do not poop. With Nicole, I freaked. With Joshua, I was mildly concerned. Abi - I know better. She'll start pooping again when she is 6 months old. All of them were exclusively breastfed. All gained weight. None pooped. I am a lactation consultant and I cannot explain it. They are not constipated, there is just no poop in there. Strange but true.

3. Nicole's favorite bedtime song is "Shout to the Lord." She calls it the "My Jesus song but not Jesus Loves Me." Joshua's favorite bedtime song is "Taps". Did you know that "Taps" (the solo trumpet song they play at military funerals) has words? My husband googled it and found the words. You can read more about the history of "Taps" by clicking here. The words are:

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the l
ake, from the hills,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

4. Joshua's birthday is coming up in August. He wants a "red car shirt" for his birthday. That would be Lighting McQueen from Cars. Nicole's birthday is next March. She wants a pink telephone with a cord (which she thinks is so it doesn't get lost). Abi is still undecided on her next birthday gift...

5. Nicole has flown cross-country 6 times. Joshua 4 and Abi 2 times. Mimi and Bumpa (my parents) live in Maryland and the kids long to go to their house again. Amazingly, Nicole still remembers that the plane makes her ears hurt when she goes to Mimi and Bumpa's house.

6. Neither Joshua or Nicole slept through the night before they were 15 months old. (Joshua was actually more like 21 months old when he started sleeping through the night). I have very low expectations for Abi sleeping through the night any time soon...although maybe she'll suprise me! I have been sleep deprived now for 5 consecutive years and I live on Chai Tea lattes and Coca-Cola. Not good...

7. Though my children drive me absolutely insane sometimes, they are the most precious thing in the world to me and I praise God for them everyday! I could not imagine my life without their madness and I wouldn't want it any other way. There is a country song called, "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins and the very last stanza says this:

Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin' One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'
And she keeps apologizin'
He says "They don't bother me.
I've got 2 babies of my own.
One's 36, one's 23.
Huh, it's hard to believe, but...

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast These are some good times So take a good look around You may not know it now But you're gonna miss this"

That pretty much sums up my life right now. Except instead of the plumber...it's the air conditioning repairman (who has been back to my house 3 times now since allegedly fixing the air conditioner). I just laugh when I hear that song because it describes my house perfectly.

Sampson is barking...Joshua's crying and Abi is screaming...

I could wish these days away, but I will try my best not to. I know that one day they won't be so small and I won't be able to kiss away their boo-boos anymore.

OK, so that wraps up my random facts about my children. I am supposed to "tag" 7 people...but I hardly think I know 7 other boggers. So, here is everyone I know and if you are lurking and want to join in...please feel free!

Blessings to you all, I'll be back soon with a more "meaningful" post about prayer!

Kaiser Chronicles
Cooper Chaos
Mommy Doesn't Live Here



We are **SUPPOSED** to be on vacation right now.

We are not.

Any guesses about the atmosphere in my house right now? Yeah, whatever you are thinking is probably right - we'll leave it at that.

We were scheduled to leave for Colorado last Thursday, a much needed break from an otherwise overwhelming life. We were planning to drive and camp along the way. We were returning to the Christian Camp where we met, 9 years ago, for a dedication ceremony and some long anticipated fellowship with old friends. We were (somewhat) packed and awaiting my husband's arrival home from work on Thursday when he called to say we could not leave...a work issue had come up and it would not be feasible for us to drive to CO in time for the ceremony...especially w/ 3 children under the age of 4 in the car.

Now, some of you may be thinking...3 children in the car...driving to Colorado...and CAMPING...good thing the trip was canceled!!!! I have actually thought that once or twice over the past week myself. But the truth remains - we needed to get away. And we didn't.

My dear husband tried to make it up to the kids with a last minute overnight camping trip at the lake. It was a disaster. Not because of the children (as you would expect), but because of the (scary) people camping around us. We did not sleep at all. We are eaten alive with mosquito bites. We did not even stay for breakfast the next morning...we were packed and headed for home by 8:00 in the morning! But the kids had fun, so I guess that is all that matters.

Sunday, we decided to try the pool. Nicole (who has otherwise been terrified of the water) was suddenly converted to part fish and could not get enough swimming done. Joshua (also known as our future river guide due to his passion for the water) sat on the edge and cried the entire time we were there. Another disaster. Yeah!

My husband headed back to work on Monday and well, when you are planning to be away from work for a whole week and end up back there anyway...you usually aren't very happy about it. None of us were. And none of us were doing a very good job of hiding it. We were tired and grumpy and driving each other crazy. By last night I was done. I mean D-O-N-E. The children had been whiney and disobedient...the baby cranky because we are in the middle of changing her meds. I had been puked on all day and I was, well done. There was an issue with the (new/ used) car that had to be dealt with immediately, so my husband spent all evening taking care of that...which meant another meal and bedtime on my own. I knew that I was headed for a meltdown, so I text-messaged my dear friend Tami to ask for prayer. It went something like this: Pls. pray for me, I am close to meltdown. Call me tomorrow. Love you! She text msg'd me back the following: You are a wonderful mother and wife because you know when you need prayer and you ask for it. Love you too.

Man, who doesn't need a friend like that!

By the time I got her text back, I had actually calmed down a bit...but I still wasn't exactly "speaking" to my husband. We were both clearly annoyed with one another. As I stood at the sink washing dishes, I thought back over the events of the evening...At one point I was ready to call it quits. And at some point, I regained a small glimer of hope (perhaps it was the rapidly approaching bedtime). I chuckled to myself as I thought, "someone must have been praying for me, not even knowing that I needed it." And you know how thoughts go...that snowballed into a flury of thoughts that led to this..."If I am supposed to LOVE my enemies and PRAY for those who persecute me (Matt 5:44), how much more should I be LOVING and PRAYING for my husband right now..."

OK, stop right there...I am in NO WAY implying that my husband is my enemy or that he persecutes me. My husband is my BEST friend and takes care of me better than I take care of myself. My point is, if I am to treat people I am not fond of in this manner, shouldn't I be treating my husband 100 x's better than this? Sure, I pray for him daily. I **try** to put his needs before my own, although I am not very good at it. But the word INTERCEDE was stuck in the forefront of my mind. My husband was suffering through this bad week just as much (if not more) than I was. He needed prayer. I immediately confessed my negative thoughts and selfish musings as sinful and asked the Lord to forgive me. I then began to pray for him, for encouragement, for peace, for him to KNOW that I was on his side, supporting him, and not just someone else who needed his support and attention. You know what happened? Nothing...
Just kidding.

My heart began to soften towards him. More and more, my heart turned towards him and I began to want to encourage him and serve him myself. Even more awesome is that his heart softened towards me (and I know it because he finally started speaking to me again). We were on the same team again, supporting one another through this time of trial, not feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming the other person. Prayer is amazing! (And he doesn't even know how I manipulated him into speaking to me again, ha ha).

So, what in the world is the point of this LONG post...I'm not really sure, but I needed to get all this off my chest. Pray for your husbands ladies. If you are upset or frustrated with them, do not harbor bitter or wrong thoughts towards them. Confess any wrong thinking immediately - these thoughts are sin! Begin to keep a mental list of things you love about your husband and pray through them, praising God for each thing (even if you can only think of one or two at the time...keep it up and the list is bound to grow). Instead of grousing about him, praise God for the man He brought into your life. God is faithful to soften our hearts and turn our hearts back to them when we do!

Blessings to you all...have a great weekend!

But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you...
Matt 5:44

For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matt 6:21