Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Laughter is Good for the Soul

"Let's laugh." Jada often says that to me when sitting on my lap. Then, she'll look at me with a sparkle in her eye and just giggle til she can hardly breathe. I get so tickled at her that I join in. It's contagious! Her ability to laugh at nothing at all has been such a gift to me. She obviously likes the feeling that comes with laughter and when she laughs, I do, too and my stress is lifted for a while.
I have laughed a lot the past few days. Mostly at the antics of my children. Yesterday, Eli got in trouble- major trouble with daddy. After sulking in his room for an hour, he came out with two bags full of necessary supplies. I asked him if he was running away and he told me that he had thought about it, but since Christmas was just a few days away, he was just going to camp in the front yard. I told him that sounded like a great idea- even though it was only 16 degrees outside! :) He lasted an hour. The doorbell rang and Eli asked if he could come inside. He said, "I just can't hack it any longer."
Tonight, we made Christmas cookies. The boys were attempting to make a pregnant gingerbread woman. They used a large gingerbread man cookie cutter to make the mother and then used a miniature gingerbread cookie cutter to make an imprint of "ginger baby". Then, of course, they had to make the whole family! Including grandma and grandpa, who's hands and feet kept falling off because they were so frail! They were having such a good time and got me to laughing so hard that I dropped the unbaked, handless, footless grandma. She ended up in the trash.
My heart is light this evening. I'm tired from the holiday busyness and have much-MUCH- to do before Christmas morning, but the joy of the season has hit me full force. The peace that I know from my Savior has reigned over me during this last year. We have been faced with a lot of difficulty this year- alot of transition, uncertainty and the biggest, of course, Jada's diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. My peace, joy and laughter come from knowing that my life is in the hands of Someone who sees the big picture and knows what I don't. I could easily- so easily- allow fear to control me- in fact, it is indeed my greatest fleshly struggle. Many days- the fear wins. Many more days, though, I am able to lean into the strength of my Savior and have unspeakable joy.
Merry Christmas my dear friends!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Answered Prayer

Our oldest, David, turns 10 next week! Holy cow! Where has the time gone? He has grown into such a sweet young man and Jeff and I are so proud of him. He's the kind of boy that you want your daughter to grow up and marry. The only time he's prone to hit someone is if they have done something to cross his little sisters! He's the quiet kind of kid, too. Athletic- he's a great baseball player, but loves more than anything to have a good book in his hands.
He went to public school in Fairbanks, Alaska last year for a few months before we moved. Previous to that he had only been homeschooled. This year again, we enrolled him in public school. We had some concerns for him, because it takes him a while to get settled into a new routine and feel comfortable. He's not the kind of kid that will have ten friends the first day of school- that's our other boy, Eli. We knew that it would be a painful process to watch David go through those first few weeks of school and possibly not connect with some boys his age- it's just the nature of his personality. He always looks before he leaps and chooses his pals with caution. So, Jeff and I began to pray for him. We asked God to give David a good friend- a friend that came from a Christian home and that would be a positive influence. A week or so after school started, we began to hear about this boy named Joseph. As the weeks unfolded, we learned more and eventually met him after school one day. David told us that Joseph is a Christian and that his dad is a pastor! Ok- so far, so good. But how many pastor's kids do you know that were hell on wheels? I certainly have known a few in my time. As David's birthday approached, he asked if Joseph could celebrate with him at Incredible Pizza (it's like Chuck E Cheese- just way more cool). So, yesterday, Joseph came home with us after school and I got to know him a little better. Joseph is from South Korea, he moved here two years ago when his dad decided to go to school at Oral Roberts University. His dad is also a pastor at a local Korean church.
Well, Jeff took the boys to Incredible Pizza and the girls and I came home. Jeff later told me how the night went. He said when they found a spot to sit, the boys sat down with their food and Jeff went to get some drinks. As he was walking back, he looked across the room and saw these two precious boys, with their heads bowed, praying and thanking God for their food. Ten years old. In a public place. Not afraid to give thanks to the One True God. Jeff said at that moment, he knew that God had answered our prayers for David in a very special way.
I am often amazed in the ways that God works. The fact that He is concerned with every intimate detail of our life sometimes shakes me to the core. He knows David, He knows his every need and provides in every way. Maybe I shouldn't be so blown away by this. Many people would say that it's just a coincidence- that they just "happened" to become friends. I know better, because the God I serve has always proven Himself faithful to us and our family.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


"Thanks for helping me with my ninjabread ornaments, mama.", Jada said as we were cleaning up our mess tonight. I busted a gut laughing so hard. I wish I could record what she sounds like- she's so stinkin cute.
We spent a few hours after dinner creating scented ornaments with a recipe from www.familyfun.go.com. I've made these for a few years now and the kids absolutely love doing it. It's a mixture of applesauce, cinnamon and glue- it forms a dough and after about 30 min. in the fridge, you roll it out, cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, punch a hole in it- then of course it takes a day or two to dry. Beware- however- if you are like me and strong scents give you headaches- take some Excedrin before you begin! :) I thought I was going to get a migraine for a little bit, but now that we're done, the headache is going away. The recipe calls for a cup and a half of cinnamon- that gives you an idea of what it must smell like! In years past, I have traced around the kids hands and when Jada was a baby, we did a foot imprint that turned out so cute for a baby's first Christmas ornament.
In other news- Jada's doing ok. She did scare us in the middle of the night. She woke up with an ear ache and cried for about an hour. No fever and her blood sugar was ok, but all I could think of was ketones, ketones, ketones! I never checked because she finally settled down and wasn't having any of her tell-tale ketone symptoms- like puking, wetting the bed, etc.. I think she just got really congested and after laying on one side, it all drained to her left ear. No problems today- we'll see what happens tonight!
Well- off to check the ninjabread ornaments. Oh- one other great thing about these ornaments- we got our cookie cutter fix w/out sugar cookie dough! These babies are CARB FREE!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Today was the first day all week that I didn't venture out of the house. It was an amazingly relaxing, productive day. Jada did have an unnerving low blood sugar episode today and it hung around a while, but after her numbers started rising, she was right back on track. She woke up from her nap screaming (this was after giving her a snack before her nap 'cause she was on the low side) and disoriented. She was at 50- and wouldn't even eat the candy I offered her. I finally just put some glucose tabs in her mouth and fortunately, she didn't spit them out. I need to get some gel for her because I'm sure there may come a day when I won't get her to chew on anything. After about 45 minutes, she finally perked up and we haven't had any other problems today.
Jeff's birthday was on Thursday and we celebrated tonight with his fave foods- hot wings and sweet potato pie. Everyone chowed tonight-Eli was a bottomless pit and I think he ate more wings than Jeff did and these wings are super spicy. I add all kinds of hot stuff to give them a good, flavorful zippy twang. I also made barbeque wings for the others and Jada got her own special wings with parmesan cheese on them- they turned out a whole lot yummier than I thought they would. The sweet potato pie was sooooo good! A nice break from the traditional pumpkin pie. Jada even got to have a very small slice for her bedtime snack. She was one happy little girl. ;)
I love, love, love, loooove Saturdays! I intentionally make myself to be "stuck" at home. We have just one vehicle, and with taking the boys to school during the week, I am everyone's taxi driver. It's so nice to not have to get dressed, to sit and drink coffee a while and cuddle with my kidddos. There is no place that I would rather be on any given day of the week than my home.
Well, off to check Jada before I go to bed. Let's hope that sweet potato pie is holding out in her little body and that I won't have to wake her up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's the Little Things....

"Can I have one, too?" was Jada's question for me as the staff of the Christmas tree farm we went to tonight was handing out candy canes to their guests. I had just taken her blood sugar and she was 206- I had to tell her no and put it in my purse for later. David, Eli and Mary Beth gave me the questioning look- could they have their candy canes right now? I shook my head and when they looked at Jada's face, quietly put them away. I was so proud of them for considering Jada's feelings at this moment. When we got in the rig (Alaskan for SUV), Eli was in the front seat with Jeff, eating his candy cane. I didn't notice until I saw Jada's lips puckered up and tears rolling down her cheek as she stared at him enjoying the coveted candy cane. I cried along with her tonight, hurting so badly with her as we faced the reality of this disease. It's seems so silly, so simple. But these are the things that are hard- the little things. We can handle the birthdays, the holidays, the family get togethers, the trips to McDonalds- because for the most part they are planned for. But, when she is offered a piece of candy or everyone wants to stop for ice cream and then she can only get a diet soda because of her blood sugar, that's tough. The joy of spontaniety is completely removed and I want it back!