Sunday, January 24, 2010

19 Years Ago . . .

Nineteen years ago today,
I had surgery to remove a cyst in my abdomen.
Along with the cyst went an ovary and a tube.
I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and put on heavy

hormone therapy to stop it's progress, and told
that only time would tell if I would ever be able to have children.
Endometriosis is the highest cause of infertility.
My doctor said the best thing would be for me to try and get pregnant,
before the endometriosis had a chance to come back and do
further damage.

The only problem was that . . .
God hadn't brought about my Psalm 15 man yet.

So I waited.
And left/trusted my hopes and fears to the Lord.
And waited.

Five and a half years later,
Earl came along and we were married.

We trusted the Lord with our desire for a family,
and were VERY SURPRISED when we discovered

we were expecting for the first time,
not even a month after our honeymoon.

My water broke with Emily on our nine month wedding anniversary!

David came along 16 months later!

We survived a miscarriage and then welcomed Miss Molly in 2001!

Little Annie joined our troop in 2002!

And lastly, Jonathan arrived in 2005!

We have been in awe of God's goodness to us!
And so thankful that He literally is the God of all,
and rules over all.

I love our sweet babies!
They'll always be my babies . . .
though how fast they are growing!
What a privilege to be their mom.
~ Contented sigh ~

Thank you, Lord for the gift of motherhood and these five sweet children you have blessed us with! Thank You for all that you taught me through those 5 long years. I'm grateful for the tears and fears and the sweet fellowship that I had with You during that time that led me to trust You implicitly. I don't understand Your reasoning in opening some wombs and closing others, but I will be forever grateful . . .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rainy Day Compositions

I (Jan) have always loved rainy days. My mom instilled that love in me and I am enjoying sharing it with my children also.
I love the smell of "coming rain".
I love the sound it makes and sometimes will even open the window to hear it better.
I love the "cleanness" of a rain and the freshness it brings.
I love it perhaps because we don't get it very often in southern CA.
When I was a teacher in the LBUSD, I told my students that there would never be any homework on rainy days.
And there wasn't.
Well . . . almost none.
They actually were required to go home and find a very cozy spot in their home
and read for one hour.
Because that was MY most favorite way of "celebrating the rain"!

There are plenty of reasons to be "inconvenienced" by the rain and to grumble and complain, I know (at the moment we are looking at flood damage costs to our front room after this series of storms passes . . . ) . . .
but why focus on what I can't control?
Why not seek for grace to please the Lord by giving thanks in all things,
and celebrating the very things He has personally written into my day?

Rainy Days

~ by Annie (7)

I like rainy days.
I like rainy days because it puts me in the mood to do fun crafts that I can't do outside.
Also, because I can get cozy on the couch and read.
I like rainy days because I can just watch the rain, and I don't have to do anything.
Finally, I can just play with my toys.

Rainy Days
~ by Molly (8)

I love rainy days because they make my little house seem so cozy.
I like rainy days because I don't have to go anywhere.
I like the rain because I can just snuggle up on the couch and read a book.
Sometimes I want to just go outside and jump in it.
Sometimes i just lay on my bed and listen to the rain outside my window.
I like the rain because the rain makes me in the mood to go in my room and work on my jewelry.
That is why I like rainy days.

We wrote some poems.
"What do you see, hear, taste, smell and feel on rainy days?"

A Rainy Day Poem
by Annie (7)

Big, fat rain drops on the window
Drip, drop, drip
Yummy hot chocolate waits to be drunk
My brother's stinky, wet socks

Rainy Days
by Molly (8)

Children playing out in the rain
Rain dropping off the trees
Hot chocolate
Hot coffee from Mommy's cup
The rain on my feet

Rainy Days
by Emily (12)

Raindrops filling up puddles to ride through later
Cars skidding across slippery pavement
Hot chocolate sliding "scaldingly" down my esophagus
The aroma of a warm blaze in the fireplace filling my nostrils
Raindrops running off my tongue.

Rainy Day
by David (11)

Raindrops streaming down the windowpanes
Raindrops plip, plopping on the ground
Marshmallows soaked in hot chocolate
A log crackling in the fire
A warm, cozy feeling

Enjoy these rainy days!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Fun Project: Home Movies!

The kids and I took a break from our books last week and made this fun short film for a dear friend. It was my hope that they would catch the vision of starting with an idea
and fleshing it out
and working hard until it is finished.
They got lots of experience!
And we had a lot of fun!

The movie itself isn't very long . . . (Maybe 4 minutes?)
but we added in at the end some clips that we hadn't used but thought our friend might enjoy
seeing. Feel free to only watch the first part though.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Heart Faces - "Best Face"

It has been a long time since I've been able to enter an I Heart Faces Contest.
But this week's theme was "Best Face" and I LOVE faces.
Usually my children are my favorite best faces,
but last month my family ministered at a dementia facility that we visit monthly.
They hosted a Christmas party and we were asked to come and take family photographs.
It was a WONDERFUL day!
We have come to love these sweet people and this lady in particular has
captured our hearts.
She makes us smile and laugh every visit!
It's not the best one technically, but my daughter wanted me to post this one.
It was a joy to capture on "film" a "perfect" expression of "Mrs. R".
Despite her dementia she radiates joy . . .
a true blessing!

You can see the rest of the photographs we took
and have permission to publish here.

Be sure to check out more "best faces" at I Heart Faces!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A New Year Begins . . .

I am done with all the holiday festivities and school is back in swing.
My last photo project has been completed
and now my body is experiencing
"complete exhaustion".
I did NOT get out a family newsletter this year.
And I did NOT put together another
"Year in Review" video as planned.
But that's ok.

It's time to slow way down and rest . . .
and enjoy the kids . . .
and talk to my husband . . .
and journal the goodness of God . . .
and soak up the richness of the Word and all His promises . . .
and make new plans . . .
and read some books . . .
and create delicious meals in the kitchen unhurried . . .
oh yeah, and probably should fit in some cleaning somewhere . . .
and spend time with friends and family . . .

So much to look forward to in 2010!

(There's not a lot going on right now worthy of posting, but I just had to take off the Christmas music!)

Here are a few highlights from December:

My uncle and aunt from Washington came down
and we had a wonderful evening together catching up!

This would be our Uncle Jack (my dad's brother)

Christmas Eve, my sister Gail, brought a friend over who just happens to drive a red Lamborghini. We all took rides around the block . . . REALLY FAST!

Christmas morning was delightful as we spent it at home with my mom. The kids were fun to watch as they had put so much time and effort and sometimes money behind their gifts. We were blessed to see how much they got into the spirit of giving and were thrilled with everything that the Lord blessed them with through others.

Jonathan bought this hat for Molly with his own money and Emily made the necklace for Molly.

Alright. I'm done. Time to shut up the house and go to bed!

Hopefully, our next posts will showcase some of the fun stories the kids have been writing lately.

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