Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween lessons

I didn't really grow up celebrating Halloween. When I was little, we dressed up in one of my dad's referee shirts and a whistle and we were ready to go. Or a baseball shirt and a hat. Our church in South Florida often had a Bible festival on the 31st of October, and we dressed in Bible costumes and ate lots of candy. We never put up decorations or went to haunted houses. We celebrated, guardedly, I suppose you can say.

I never thought much about Halloween.

Until now.

Now I have two little kiddos. Well three. But two that are old enough to participate in the festivities. Now John and I have to decide. How do we celebrate a holiday that does not align with our Christian faith?

So we have decided. We've decided to let the kids dress up (like they did last year for the first time.) No witches or dead people or anything like that. Just fun characters.

But the other big thing that we plan on doing is taking what was intended for evil and using it for good. Looking at the pagan part of the holiday as Christians.

An example?

Check out: Crystal Bowman's My Happy Pumpkin book. Crystal is a friend of Joan's, and when Isaac was born, Joan gave me a TON of Crystal's books. I love them! My Happy Pumpkin tells the story of pumpkin carving in a Christian way. When we clean out the pumpkin and put in a light, it is like Jesus taking the sin out of our life and putting his light in us. How cool is that?!

I understand if you decide not to let your kiddos participate in the holiday. However, it is my belief that I have to raise my kiddos to be "in the world but not of it." This means that I can raise them to participate in things of the world but see Christ in it. When we carve a pumpkin, we can talk about how God takes the sin out of our hearts when we ask Him to love forever with us. We can discuss the parts of Halloween we won't participate in and why.

Books like this are a great tool for young children. Crystal has books for nearly every holiday -- there's one about the symbolism in a candy cane, and another about the star on the top of the Christmas tree. I recommend her works wholeheartedly as a way to remind our children of the real reasons behind the seasons.

I used to care ...

I love this post from a friend of Joia's who has started a blog about her adventures with adoption. This is so right-on. Prior to infertility, I cared about if we were ready for a family. I cared about whether we were financially stable. The sex of the child. The number of the children. What month they would be born in. That sort of thing.

But infertility showed me what I really cared about. What I really cared about was having a child to love. Period. That's it. A boy. A girl. Old. Young. Healthy. Sick. It doesn't matter.

Infertility taught me that.


My goddaughter Grace, now a freshman at WKU in Kentucky, was recently in another music video. (Grace is also Veronica's cousin incidentally.) Here is the video she is in (she's the one in the red hat):

Chris Young "You"

Grace was also in a Justin Bieber video before he really hit the big time:

Justin Bieber "One Less Lonely Girl"

And Grace's sister Jessie was in Kellie Pickler's "I wonder" a few years back:

Kellie Pickler "I wonder"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's the little things

I am thankful for good friends. I am thankful for technology. I am thankful for the combination of these two things.

Right before we boarded the rotator for our PCS (permanent change of station) move to Turkey last summer, we stayed with our great friends John and Becky for a few nights.

One of the things Becky took me to do was buy a new pair of running shoes. There was a really cool store by her in DC that watched how you ran and then told you what shoes you needed to buy to match your gait. Since I was struggling with two stress fractures leftover from the sprint triathalon I did with my best bud Kristi, I was in need of some new shoes in a bad way.

I bought the shoes. I took some time off and then started running again. And my feet got better. Yay for good (and expensive!) shoes.

Fast forward to Spain. This may seem like a strange connection but do stay with me. I brought my shoes to Spain. And I left my shoes at a hotel in Spain. My wonderful, awesome (and expensive!) shoes.


Not to fear. I had written down what kind of shoes they were. Mizuno X10. I wrote down the size too. Then I get on the website to order them only to discover that there were many different types of Mizuno X10. Egads! I tried to find the kind I had. I couldn't.

More sadness.

I waited. I thought. I fretted. My feet started feeling worse and worse as I ended my pregnancy and recovery and started trying to run again.

So I emailed good ol' Becky who now lives in Tucson. She called the store for me! (Did she know how much I hate talking on the phone? Especially to strangers. And how much I hate navigating the time change to make the call?)

Becky wrote me back with fantastic news. They had me in the system! They had recorded my purchase! And they had a website. And they shipped to APO addresses (always a concern.) And I could order the shoes online. And I did. And they are on the way.

Okay so it may take weeks or months to get them. But I don't care. Yay for good friends. Yay for computers that record your information. And the Internet to mail things. And the post office to send the things.

We take for granted the extras that weren't available just twenty years ago. I'm glad I'm growing up when I am.

Trip to the dentist

Other than a quick visit before we left Eglin to get medically cleared for Turkey, my boys haven't been to the dentist before. 

But Isaac is three now. And it was time to go. There is a long waiting list for individuals who are not active duty to be seen at the dental clinic here on Base. Isaac's been on it for awhile. They called us a few times while we were in Germany. But this time they called and we were here.

So off we went.

Isaac did fantastically! I was so proud of him. He walked down the hallway holding my hand, following the tech. When she asked him to sit down in the big chair, he said that I should sit in it, but then acquiesced when I told him I was going to sit next to him.

Then she let him pick out a toothbrush. She brought out three boy-looking toothbrushes. Isaac looked at them and informed the tech that we had two of those at home. He was right. Pooh and Eeyore already occupied our cabinet. He then peered into the drawer and spotted a pink toothbrush with Dora on it. "What about that one?" he asked.

"The pink one?" the tech laughed.

Yep. Isaac wanted the pink one. So home with us it went. We also got kids' floss. Does anyone out there actually floss their three-year-old's teeth? Be honest. Am I a terrible mom for thinking this is more than I can take on?

Isaac wasn't too excited to wear the sunglasses required. But he did a great job letting the dentist count his teeth and even "tickle" them a bit with that metal hook thing we all hate. I could tell that he was rethinking this whole thing when they laid the chair back, but he refrained from panicking and willingly gave them about thirty whole seconds to look in his mouth.

As we were walking out of the dentist, Isaac turned to me and said, "You are so proud of me Mommy for doing a good job at the dentist. Give me a hug."

Sweet boy with a sweet tooth. Love him so much.

And as good as he did at the dentist, look at the trauma that going to the hair dresser caused:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mosque-n' it

One of my favorite things to do in the local area is go to the huge park surrounding the big mosque in Adana. Adana, on the whole, is not a very pretty city. But this park is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I think you will agree after looking at these pictures (below):

One of the boys most dearest friends: William (Stebs' son). William is probably bigger buds with Elijah but either way, they are three peas in a pod when they get together.

William and Elijah playing in the fountain

And cheesin' it up for the camera

Peter and Sarahbee also joined us. Peter is just getting in on the boy's club. We couldn't believe all four of them willingly posed for this photo.

Patty came too -- there she is trying to capture the four boys playing in the fountain.

I have been so blessed in all the places I have lived to make such wonderful friends. Turkey has been no exception. Stebbs and Sarahbee are two of the most beautiful people I have ever met.

Can you see the mosque in the background?

Here's a closer look if you couldn't see it before. I love how Stebbs said it. Playdates are a bit different here in Turkey!

You can just barely see a figure off to the left of this picture (behind Isaac's back.) A group of teenage boys was approaching wanting to get some photos of the Americans. This is pretty typical whenever we venture away from the Base. Tourists aren't very common in the Adana area, and we are quite the novelty. We took a few photos but didn't give our names so they could add us on Facebook as they requested. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some smiles

The boys went out to play on one of our first cool mornings of the year. They came inside requesting jackets. Elijah said, "It's hot inside," remarking on the change of temperature when he came into the house. "I need to go outside and warm off." I think he meant cool off. But it's so fun to hear him trying to use expressions.
After an especially challenging day with both boys, Elijah walked up the steps to head inside for dinner and gave a big sigh and said, "It's been a long day."
I told the boys that I was taking them to the mosque park. This is a big park by one of the largest mosques in Turkey. Isaa asked in all seriousness, "A mouse park, Mommy?"
Isaac: "Apricots are my favorite."
Me: "What about me?" (In other words: "aren't I your favorite?")
Isaac: "Oh. Yes. Apricots are your favorite too."
Me: "Isaac what are you going to be when you grow up?"
Isaac: "A firefighter. I'm a doctor right now. But when I grow up, then I'll be a firefighter."
Me: "Elijah, what about you? What are you going to be when you grow up?"
Elijah: "A tall boy."
When I told Isaac that the boo-boo on my knee was from falling when I was jogging, he told me, "Mommy, would you please slow down?" When I asked him why I should slow down, he said, "Because I don't want you to get hurt."
I told Isaac that he should eat all his cereal. "It gets wasted if you don't eat it," I said. He responded by saying, "Well, then you eat it Mommy."
Elijah doesn't seem to like drinking milk. I informed him that milk gave him muscles. He lifted his arms to show me and then said, "I already have muscles."
After waking up from his nap, Elijah said the following: "Where's Isaac?" I told him Isaac was still asleeping but baby Abigail was on the couch. He looked at Baby Abigail and said, "I love baby Abigail. But I got to go pee pee." He went into the bathroom and came out rather fast. I asked him if he was done already, "Yes, I did a fast pee pee," he said. Then I brought his underwear to him, and he said, "Oh, there's my underwear. I love underwear. Underwear is my best friend."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turkish IVF

During my first few months in Turkey, I had the pleasure of meeting another woman on Base just beginning the infertility journey. While JB cannot tell me he is seeing a patient, this woman volunteered the fact that JB was her doctor and how blessed she was to find someone who understood the pain associated with infertility.

A friendship was formed, and I was given the extreme privilege of standing beside her as she began the quest to have a baby far away from the comforts of the U.S. of A. Our tiny clinic here at Incirlik does not do infertility procedures. You can get some basic medications and some initial tests, but if it is deemed that you have reached the end of the clinic's capabilities, you have the option of being referred to a Turkish infertility center.

I made the trip with my friend quite a few times. Off base. In the middle of Adana. The building is clean and professional. But it is different. It doesn't feel like anything you'd see in America. It feels unfamiliar. The waiting room is filled with women dressed in Turkish attire. Headscarves. That sort of thing.

There is a wonderful doctor who speaks fairly good English. He looks like Robin Williams. There is also a translator who speaks some English. Not good English. But some. Conversations are choppy and carefully spelled out. Some questions can't be asked because they are just too difficult to get across.

After one of the appointments, we had to go to the Turkish pharmacy. We found the one guy who spoke some English. He gave my friend the medication. It looked different from the previous cycle's medications. Was it the right one? How can you confirm when you don't speak the same language. They brought us Chai and asked me why I wasn't drinking mine. Turkish delight was served.

In 2007, JB and I travelled to Nigeria on a mission trip. As JB served these people as a physician, and I stood along side him helping organize patients and records, we met quite a few women who had been unable to have children. Years. No babies. What could they do?

These were women who lived in huts in the middle of a grassy plain. Truthfully? There was nothing that could be done? Maybe if they could save thousands of dollars and make it to one of the major Nigerian hospitals they'd have a few options. 

My friend is lucky here. While Turkey is definitely not America, she has been blessed with a fantastic doctor, a reputable clinic, and costs only a fraction of those back home.

But either way I have come to realize something. The desire to have a family isn't unique to a certain section of America. It is happening to women in Nigeria who have no options but to wait and pray. It is happening in countries like Turkey where headscarves are worn in the lobby and chai is offered while you wait. It is everywhere. Infertility is everywhere. 

This same friend recently started a support group for infertility on Base. I have been attending as more of a "mentor woman." We are reading a fantastic book called: Every Drunken Cheerleader ... Why  not Me? And in the pages of the book, I was told something I never really thought about.

Those struggling with infertility are NOT special. She writes: Yep, that is right. There are zillions of women in this world and most of them want to have babies. It is perceived as our most basic reason for creation and that is even stated in the Bible in the book of Genesis. However, according to a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics ... there were  '6.1 million women ages 15-44 with impaired ability to have children.' That same list of statistics also reported that there are '9.2 million women who have used infertility services and that 2.1 million couples are infertile.'

While it seems every drunken cheerleader can get pregnant but you can't, the truth is that there are millions of other women in every other country with the same desires and hopes. Some have medical hope. Some do not. Some are doing it with God. Some are not.

My friend was talking to her husband and said to him that this chance with IVF might be their only chance at a child. Her husband told her, "We could end up like John and Wendi. You never know."

"But we don't have the same problem as John and Wendi," my friend said.

"No," her husband began. "But we have the same God."


Two of my three sweeties

I love her Elijah climbs up next to Abigail and tells me that this is his little sister, he loves, and she is his best friend. And then he wants a banana.

Singing ABC's to sister Elijah tells me he is petting Abigail even though she isn't a doggie. Then he decides to sing to her.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One thing I'll miss ...

... about Turkey is how cheap everything is! I am still not fitting into my old pants and my maternity pants are too big. So I went to get a couple pairs of pants made to get me through until I lose a few more pounds and can fit into my old jeans.

I went to Hatice's sister-in-law's shop. She is off the main stretch of the alley. This brings the price down tremendously as she is not catering to the Americans but serving mostly locals. She made me a pair of jeans and a pair of khaki's for $30 lira each. That's about $15USD! Where else can you get a pair of pants made, especially a pair as long as I need them (37" inseam!) for that? Nice. I'm planning on having a bunch of things made before we leave next summer.

P.S. Could you keep praying for my friend and her unborn baby? The pregnancy is still in question and we need God's arms to continue to shelter the life that grows inside her.


From left: Sarahbee, Heather (new nurse works with JB), Patty, Pinky (new neighbor), Casey, Molly, Logan, Linda, Paula, Stebbs, me, and Tina

This is old news now, but I just got a hold of this photo. A bunch of us gals went to my favorite restaurant (Sato) on the lake to celebrate Linda's birthday back at the end of September. These are some of my dearest friends (minus Angelica who couldn't attend) here at Incirlik. I am so blessed by the wonderful people that have come across my path on our many adventures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where in the world?

We keep two maps on the wall in our living room. One of the United States. One of the world. There is a sign on top that says, "Home is where the Air Force sends us." This is something I try to keep in mind, especially as the end of our time in Turkey will be rolling around in the summer of 2012, and where we go next is not completely within our control. We also keep a clock on the wall. This clock says what time it is back in South Florida. It helps me to feel connected to our families back in the USA.

The boys love learning new states and countries on the map. Veronica is probably the best at quizzing them on countries and states. Every time I leave the boys with her, I come home, and they have learned a new country. Madagascar is a current favorite.

We love our maps. We love Veronica. And we especially love her photographs.

Nearly Me

I must say that truly ... I am almost nearly back to the old me. It is a wonderful feeling to feel like yourself. To not feel like every action is a strain. To not avoid social situations. To not feel fatigued constantly. To enjoy moments. To laugh easily. To not cry constantly.

I credit how I am feeling with three things: prayer and encouragement / medication / counseling. I pray that anyone thinking they may be struggling with depression -- either post-partum or not, get help right away. If you don't want to use medication, you can try other avenues. Don't be afraid to tell people how you are feeling. Don't be afraid to seek help. Don't suffer alone.

I have faced slight bits of depression in my past but nothing as debilitating at those weeks/months following Abigail's birth. Thank you for supporting me and loving me through this. I think I am nearly me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Thank you all for the emails and prayers in wake of the earthquake in Turkey. This was in far Eastern Turkey, far from where we live. You can see a map of Turkey above. We are in south central Turkey, to the left/west of Syria. Although we are actually out of the country right now (but as usual I don't blog about the details until we return). I will write more when I know more but as of right now, all I know is that this is a very serious earthquake but our area was not touched. Please keep this wonderful country in your thoughts and prayers.


A great toddler activity that has stood the test of time. Playing drums! My only advice? Use Tupperware instead of pots and pans -- it helps with headaches.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bowling anyone?

If you say, "Let's go to the alley," (referring to the shopping area right outside of Base) don't be confused when your children then keep asking you when you are going bowling.

I couldn't figure this out until Veronica (she's so smart!) connected "the alley" with "the bowling alley."

I love watching the way a child's mind works!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Congrats Dr. Linda & Mr. Shane

A few weeks back, our good friends here at Incirlik went home to the USA to get married! Okay, okay, so they were already married, but their first wedding was a small elopement so this time, they did the whole thing -- fancy dress, tuxedo, friends and family. I wish we could have been there to celebrate with them, but pictures will have to do. Congrats to Shane and Linda -- what a cool way to celebrate just over a year of being married.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Train Time

The boys got these wooden trains as a gift from our online friend Denise back when we were in Germany. We finally got around to doing them! We followed Denise's advice and had JB put them together while the boys were sleeping. Then, today, we took out finger paints and let them paint away. These photos are showing off their finished work.

Fall Fest Flashback

The Base held its annual FALL FEST this past weekend. We heard that it was on Saturday and Sunday, but not one explained that Saturday was the "main" day. Sunday's was just a few vendors, and it wasn't nearly as exciting. 

But just the same, Linda came over and she, I, and the boys hung out for an hour or so at the fest while John and Shane talked boy stuff back at home with Scrubby and Abigail. We got to see these camels (check out Dan and Rowan on this one below). But neither of the boys was interested in riding.

We got to see these donkeys below. And one of the Turkish men, before anyone realized what had happened, scooped up Elijah and put him on the donkey. He was not too happy about it. I love this picture, below, as it has Sparky the Firedog riding with a little boy. Sparky comes around on Base a lot to teach about fire safety. The boys actually attended a demonstration at a house with Sparky a few weeks back. Big men in animal suits used to scare both boys, but Isaac gave Sparky a hug this year, and Elijah actually gave him a high five or two.

I also let the boys try cotton candy for the very first time! It was no surprise to me that Isaac (who loves sweets) loved it! (After I showed him that you could in fact eat it.) But Elijah, as usual when it comes to sweets, likes to get what his brother gets, but ends up completely unimpressed. He so just wants the meat and potatoes!

We also let the boys spend quite a bit of time jumping in this castle, below. Jumpy castles are all the rave here on Base. You can rent them for events, and you can usually find one to jump in every week. I think they are just a fun bit of entertainment for our remote location:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When two or more

Would you join me in prayer for a dear friend? Pregnant after many tries with IVF, her little baby is now fighting for its life inside her womb. Please take a moment to pray for this little life. We know God is capable of more than we could ever ask or think. I know he has this little life in the palm of His hand. The next 24-hours are very telling for this family. Please pray without ceasing.

Ordering in Turkish

Out and about off Base today, Stebbs and I went through the driveway at McDonalds -- my first time doing that. I am the better Turkish speaker of the two of us. I was the driver. So I ordered. Here is what I wanted to order: one double cheeseburger meal -- a #4 in Turkey.

Alas, here is what they thought I wanted: four number fours.

And what's even worse is that, once they gave us our order, we quickly decided that spending $25USD on lunch was better than trying to explain in Turkish that we didn't order four of the meals but instead one meal of the #4.

Oh and I also ordered a cheeseburger for Elijah which didn't show up. So instead, he got a double cheeseburger ... and we still had one to spare!

Just another bit of living in a country that doesn't speak your language! And another bit of having an appreciation for people who come to America not knowing English. Telling them, "learn the language!" isn't as easy as you might think. Learning a language is HARD (cok zor in Turkish) and even if you learn it, the nuances are a whole 'nother thing. In addition, I highly doubt Americans are as helpful and courteous to foreigners attempting to speak as the Turks are to their tall blonde friend fumbling through an order at the drive-thru.

Something for us ALL to think about.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Here is a link to the wonderful video my friend Janet made for my shower (with sneaky Veronica helping!)


Last night, some of my dearest friends here in Turkey threw a surprise baby shower for me. There had been a shower scheduled for me before I left for Germany. But with the early contractions, it had to be cancelled. This was a bummer for me, but there was nothing that could be done about it. It's a third baby, and we had been overly blessed with baby showers for Isaac (seven of them!) and Elijah (a great one with friends). A few of the gals decided I needed one for Abigail though, and they surmised (rightfully so) that if they tried to set one up, I would talk them out of it. So, they came up with a plan.

Tina gave me this invitation:

But she gave everyone else this invitation:

With this note included inside:

I was walking the two blocks to Janet's house when I spotted Linda in her jeep and asked her for a ride. She threw my gift, slyly, in the back seat. We walked in, people yelled "SURPRISE!" They blessed me with an awesome DVD of pictures (I'm trying to load it to youtube) and shared scriptures and encouragement and we had great food. I cried a lot. And I'll upload some pictures from the evening when they get sent to me. Great women. Great gift. Great encouragement. Great friends.

Great surprise.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Infertility drugs & breast cancer

I cannot figure out a way to share the actual video so I will just post the link that will allow you to watch it for yourself. Giuliana Rancic announced that when she went in to do her third round of IVF, the doctor required a mammogram. The reason? Infertility drugs could accelerate any cancers. So she did it and they found out, before starting the cycle, that she had breast cancer.

Just wanted to share this video. I really respect Giuliana Rancic for being so forthcoming about her infertility struggle. I had no idea that the drugs I took for IVF can accelerate cancer. I also had no idea that they have been finding an increase in cancers in women who have undergone infertility treatments. (This was something I learned from a doctor in Germany.)

Per a request in the comments, here are some studies indicating the risk of cancer rising with infertility drugs. The link is still being newly researched, and it is important for women to be aware but obviously not convinced at this point.

Infertility, Fertility Drugs, and Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies


Three months ago yesterday ...

... a bit of pink entered our lives.

And we know we will never be the same!
As of today, Abigail Grace is ...
  • is cooing and talking a ton!
  • follows objects and us with her eyes.
  • Can sit upright propped by pillows.
  • smiles all the time -- especially when she hears Daddy, Mommy, Veronica, or her brothers' voices.
  • eats 5-6 bottles of formula a day ranging from 3-7 ounces each time. 
  • loves to stick out her tongue (as you can tell from the photos above).
  • sleeps through the night, every night (7pm-7am usually).
  • Takes 3-4 naps a day -- one is usually a little longer and usually wonderfully corresponds with the boys' afternoon nap.
  • Will let anyone hold her but does seem to prefer mom.
  • Gets very upset when you try to feed her and she is done.
  • Takes naps in her swing or in her bed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cultural experiences

We love opportunities to participate in the Turkish culture since being on Base can sometimes cause you to forget that you are in another country. Truly, the Base is just a tiny America, and when you go out of the gates things are so unbelievably different.

Last night, the manager of one of the Turkish hospitals downtown invited a bunch of the Turkish doctors as well as the Incirlik doctors to a dinner at his farm. The two private hospitals in downtown Adana are always looking for ways to foster good relationships between the doctors on Base since we use the downtown hospitals for Care outside of what the Clinic can provide.

The only little glitch in the evening came when, all of a sudden, a group of Turks started laughing and pointing. We turned to see what they were laughing at and found our son Elijah with his pants and underwear around his ankles, peeing off into the distance. Sigh ... ugh!

What a wonderful evening! Here are a few videos:

ABC singing -- they required someone in the family to sing before you could leave. We recruited Elijah who opted to sing the ABC's.
Turkish meal -- a look at some of the foods that are traditionally served here in Turkey. It is very typical to have these types of things on the table and then have the real food come out (doners, meat etc.)
Turkish soccer -- I love the way that my kids can play with other kids even though neither of them speak each other's language.
Turkish dancing -- there's always dancing here in Turkey!

And here are some photos:

Pomelos -- look how big those things are!

Are these geese? I think so? 

 A Turkish mutt -- only six months old and huge!

Elijah was frustrated that the soccer ball was squishy!

I love this picture of our little boy. 

Isaac posing with a tree in the orchard.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book winner

Congratulations to CHERYL who won my most recent book giveaway. She was comment #7 and using an online random number generator, wins Thunder Dog. Cheryl, please shoot me an email at with your address so I can send your book to you. I am not exactly sure which Cheryl this is!

Happy Birthday Grama Gert

Today would have been my Grama's birthday. She joined this world on October 15, 1923 and went home to see her husband Mike on September 4, 2009. My Grama was one of the fiercest prayer warriors I have ever met. She loved the Lord more than words can describe. You couldn't be around her without knowing Jesus Christ. Grama didn't know anything but living for the Lord. Here are a few pictures that I will always treasure of my Grama.

My Grama with her six children: Scott, George, John, Linda, Jeff, and Bob. Grama had 17 grandchildren, and truly, I have lost count of the great grand children.

Grama prayed so hard for me to have a child. I love this photo. It is at a baby shower for me and Isaac in Chicago in August 2008. Grama wanted four generations in the photo so she held up a photo of my Dad. I am also pregnant with Elijah in this photo.

My last picture with my Grama. I brought Elijah to visit her in June of 2009.

Four generations of Huismans.

My Grama with Elijah. Oh how I wish I could have a picture of her with Abigail.

Here are a few links to posts I have done on my Grama. The day she died: September 4, 2009
and the story of her life: Gertrude Dykstra Huisman

Friday, October 14, 2011

Now I wonder ...

I wonder why God made grapes with seeds in them? The ones without seeds are so much more fun and easy to eat. And easy to give to your kids.

I also wonder why he made cockroaches. And ticks. Those two things. I think he could have skipped them.

I wonder as a mom if I will ever get used to sitting next to my children while they get a shot. Elijah had no clue today what was coming even though I tried to explain it to him. He was so brave. His eyes filled up with tears, but he didn't scream and didn't yell. He just looked at me and said, "That willy huwt me Mommy." Isaac got a free pass because the flu shot has eggs in it and he is allergic to eggs, but Elijah had to get one. He took it like a champ but every time I watch pain inflicted on my children that I know is for their good, I think that this must be how the Lord feels when he sees his children hurting.

I wonder how many times I can take Scrubs to the vet while in Turkey. They believe that he, like so many of the other dogs on Base, has an allergy to ... Turkey. Swollen and red paws. Ears infected. Poor guy! More steroids. More Benadryl.

I also wonder a lot lately about saying good bye. About moving. About starting over again. It's not anytime soon but it's coming ... again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today I ...

Today I ... got excited that the mail came! Presents from home (like this huge Percy puzzle) are always cause for an exciting day. We got a package from Papa and Grama Di and Joni and Bree on the same day. Thanks guys!

Today I ... wondered how Scrubs got mini wheats on his nose and then realized that Isaac had left his bowl on his little table and that the bowl was now flipped upside down -- it's contents in Scrubby's tummy or on his nose.

Today I ... learned that Elijah is fully capable of taking his shorts and underwear off by himself and going pee pee on his pepper plant outside without me having a clue. Only him bringing me his underwear and pants to put them back on indicated the deed he had done.

Today I ... had a realization that when a 2/3 year old says, this week, last week, today, tomorrow, yesterday ... that they are really interchangeable. Elijah said, "I want to sit down this week," when climbing on the potty and Isaac has been telling me that we went places yesterday that we haven't gone to in months.

Today I ... shared a devotional at MOPs and realized that even after many years of teaching, speaking in front of groups always makes me a little nervous.

Today I ... theorized that if I asked Elijah "why?" enough times in response to his reason for needing a granola bar, that he would eventually come up with a different answer then, "...because I need one." But he did not. I asked why twenty-six times and each time he told me he wanted a granola bar "because I need one." 

Today I ... was reminded how much I love M&Ms. Okay, okay, so the packs of M&Ms were addressed to Isaac and Elijah in the box Joni sent. They won't miss a few, will they?

Today I ... had Scrubs returned to me by a neighbor again. I am really going to have to talk to the gardener about forgetting to lock the back gate.

Today I ... attempted a nap. All three kids down but no sleep for me despite being very tired. Ugh!

Today I ... discovered that it is possible for one boy (Isaac) to attempt to pee standing up without me helping him and actually get pee on all four walls in the bathroom. I'm thinking he turned in a circle while peeing? No other explanation comes to mind.

Today I ... realized that Elijah knows how to ask, "How's it going Mommy?"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A tower as big as you Mommy

Isaac told me he was going to build a tower, "... bigger than you, Mommy." I don't think this one got quite that tall, but he still had to get the time-out stool out to add more pieces to it. I was pretty impressed he did this entirely by himself without it falling. I tried to explain to him why, eventually, it would fall, and I don't think he understood it. Nor do I exactly. It has something to do with physics which of course is not my strong point. Either way, I just love this little boy. I especially love the way he plays. I love watching my boys learn and grow and think and imagine. What a joy!