Archive for December, 2008

top-secret2Two Sundays ago, each of our boys came home from church with a manila envelope marked, “TOP SECRET.”  They were supposed to wait until we were with them to open them.  When we did, we found a white envelope and instructions that told us to take the white envelope (containing a $5 bill) to the grocery store, covertly place it in someone’s basket and stand back to watch what happens.  We didn’t get a chance to do this last week in time to report back to Sunday School, but we did it today.

I chose Boss to go first so that Bubba, being younger, could get an idea as to what we were doing.  We saw a young mother with two small children and her grandmother and decided to give one to them.  I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure Boss could pull it off unnoticed, but he did.

After throwing the envelope in the front of her cart while she was faced the other way, Boss ran back to us and we followed and watched, trying to be inconspicuous.  Almost immediately, the young woman made her way to the cash register and stood in line.  We positioned ourselves in the make-up aisle across from her and pretended to look at lipstick (which is funny because I NEVER wear the stuff).

While still standing in line, she noticed the envelope and opened it.  She looked very confused and overwhelmed.  She even looked around to see who had placed the gift in her basket.  Then she called her grandmother over, who had gone to sit down on a nearby bench, and showed it to her.  She was obviously happy even though it was only $5, and that made us happy to have played a part in it.

Bubba’s gift didn’t work out as well.  He was able to successfully get the envelope into another young mother’s basket without being noticed (I think just because she was too busy with the kids to pay attention).  However, at the cash register, the envelope fell out of the cart onto the floor.  A cashier noticed it and tried to give it to the young mother, but she declined it not knowing what it was.

We couldn’t tell what the cashier did with it, so we waited until the young mother left and then approached the cashier to inquire as to the envelope’s whereabouts.  She leaned down and took it out of her trash can and said that she assumed it was a religious pamphlet in disguise.  I laughed and told her what it actually was and she was surprised.  Oh well!  We’ll have to try with Bubba’s envelope again next time!

This idea, though, was a very good one I thought.  And it’s something I would like to do with my children from time to time whenever we have an extra $5 lying around!  It’s fun with the added benefit of teaching them that “it’s better to give than to receive!”


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0812-0401CHRISTmas 2008

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone! As always, we pray this letter finds you doing well physically, mentally and spiritually. Once again it has been an eventful year filled with blessings from our loving Father!

We began 2008 by celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary! We had always said we wanted to celebrate our 10th anniversary by watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York City, so we did! We spent a week in The Big Apple and had an amazing time! My morning-sickness made it a little difficult at times, but we had a ton of fun and made lots of memories!

In February, Boss turned 4 years old! We had a dinosaur party with lots of his friends at the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. It was so fun for him; they even brought in hissing cockroaches and other creepy crawlies for the kids to touch.

Also in February, Gram, Shmoopy’s grandma, passed away. We all traveled in the van up to Minnesota for the funeral. Bubba and Boss were both sick with fevers of 102 degrees. It was something like 25 degrees below zero wind-chill. And I still had morning-sickness. But the service was wonderful as we remembered good times spent with Gram and the strong Christian she was.

Bubba turned 2 in April. We celebrated his birthday at home with family and watched the end of March Madness, which is perfect for Bubba since he loves basketball so very much. He’s a natural when it comes to b-ball. When the guys at the gym see him coming, they go into the play area to play basketball with Bubba because they’re so amazed at his skills. Maybe he’ll go pro and Shmoopy can retire early!

In June, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which was a total bummer. However, it turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise. With the “diet” the nutritionist put me on my energy increased greatly. I was able to workout much more often, which put me in the best shape I’d ever been in while pregnant…if not ever! I felt great!

We spent a week at the cabin in Minnesota over the 4th of July. We all had a blast as usual. Boss stayed behind at the cabin with Nanny and Poppa for the rest of July and into August. This gave me a chance to start potty-training Bubba a little before the baby came…pray for that, by the way!

Once again, Shmoopy survived lay-offs at work. We’ve lost count at how many times this makes. But we are so thankful!! God is so faithful to protect us and watch over us! (If you had a copy of last year’s letter, you’d notice this paragraph was left in word for word. Lay-offs are old hat now!) However, we are expecting that Shmoopy’s job will be outsourced after the New Year. At that time, he will either stay in his same position at his current company but for another employer or he will be laid off. Regardless, we are not losing sleep over it! We choose to trust in God because He truly has never failed us yet!!

August brought much change for our growing family! Our 17-year-old niece moved in with us and stayed for 2 months. Two days later, on August 19th, our beautiful daughter, Sissy, was born!!! Her natural birth at a birthing center was an amazing experience. If you’d like to read more about it, you can do so at Shmoopy’s blog ( http://buffalonickel.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/ the-birthing-center-experience/ ) or here at my blog (https://beyondblessed.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/ the-un-regrettable-birth/ ).

The next week, Boss started preschool for the first time. He did so well. He told us when we dropped him off on the first day, “I think I need to be on my own now, guys.” So we left him. He loves school, has received a good behavior stamp every single day so far and has received the student of the week for his class twice, once for kindness and once for selflessness. We are extremely proud of him!!

This past year has been both trying and good. Our awe never ceases when we consider the journey on which Christ is leading us. It is challenging, exciting and unpredictable, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!! We are thankful for the blessings this year of new family, new friends and new neighbors. We pray that in this coming year not only will we reflect on His goodness but that we will also be reflections of His goodness!

As usual, we have sealed this letter with a prayer for each and every individual reading it. We love you all, and ask that you, too, will count your many blessings throughout this new year

Love in Christ,

Beyond Blessed, Shmoopy, Boss, Bubba & Sissy

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Family Pendant

0812-0121After Boss, our oldest child, was born, my husband bought me a family pendant with all of our birthstones on it.  With each subsequent child, we have added their birthstones as well.  This necklace means a great deal to me; I wear it everyday.  I was so excited today because we just had Sissy’s birthstone added to it and I have felt naked without it the last two weeks.  I picked it up, brought it home to put it on the chain and wear it, and the pendant no longer fits the chain.  I hope the jewelry store can fix it quickly and without too much ado.  Sorry the picture is blurry; my camera just couldn’t focus on something this small.

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cps1Yesterday as I was getting the kids ready to leave the house so we could have lunch with Grammy (my mom), Bubba was laying down on his bedroom floor with Yellow, his blankie.  I reached down and grabbed his hand to help him stand up so I could put his coat on him.  He stood with my help, and I turned to grab his coat.  As I did, he began to cry loudly and said, “You hurt my arm, Momma!”

This surprised me since I hadn’t pulled hard or yanked and hadn’t heard or felt anything crack or snap.  I pulled him close to me and cuddled him expecting the pain to subside quickly and the tears to stop.  He’s a tough guy and usually tells me he’s okay and goes on his merry way.  But this time was different.  He continued to cry for several minutes.

Finally, I asked him if he could move his arm this way and that way and he could every time.  However, when I asked him to grasp my finger with his left hand, he said he couldn’t.  When I told him to try, he did and began to cry even more loudly.  After a few minutes he stopped crying and laid down on his bed with Yellow.

I took this opportunity to consult with my husband, who was at work, to see if he thought I should take Bubba to our doctor.  We decided to wait until after our lunch with Grammy to make the decision.

Getting Bubba into his car-seat seemed to be painful for him, so I gave him some Tylenol in hopes that it would take the pain away.  He fell asleep on the way to pick up Grammy.  I was glad because I thought he would wake up as good as new and have forgotten about the incident.  But when we got to the restaurant and I woke him, he immediately began to cry.

I carried him into the restaurant and babied him.  I let him pick his seat and held him when he wanted to be held.  The whole time, he never lifted his left arm one time.  Though, he ate and did not complain about any pain.  Because he refused to use his arm, I decided to stop by the doctor’s office on our way home.

Bubba didn’t hesitate to tell anyone who would listen at the doctor’s office that I had hurt him.  But I was confident enough in my mothering that I wasn’t the least bit concerned!  The doctor’s assistant couldn’t get Bubba to hold his arm up for the x-rays so I had to leave my other two children with her while I coaxed him to cooperate with the technician.  Then we joined his siblings in the exam room to await the results.

In the exam room, I noticed huge change in Bubba’s willingness to use his arm.  All of a sudden, he was fine.  He climbed up on the exam table by himself (no small feat when you consider he weighs 40.6 pounds at 2 1/2 years old) and continually used and even leaned on his left arm.

A few minutes later, our doctor, who is the greatest, walked in and said, “What’s the number to CPS?”  I laughed because I knew he knew that I hadn’t hurt Bubba on purpose.  And, praise the Lord, he confirmed what I had already ascertained at this point: Bubba was just fine!

Everyday is a new adventure with little boys!  I’ve yet to see if the same is true with little girls!

P.S.  As I was publishing this post, Bubba fell and hurt his foot while trying to climb on a bench to reach the Teddy Grahams.  (He’s fine.)  Maybe I shouldn’t be so confident that someone won’t call CPS on me!

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genders4Yesterday as I was changing Sissy’s clothes, Boss was talking to her (he adores her!).  Pointing to his little sister’s chest he asked, “Momma, I thought only boys were supposed to have those bumps.”

I responded with a chuckle, “Nope.  Girls have them, too.”

He replied, “But I thought only boys had them.  You don’t have them.”

Not wanting to be too detailed in my answer, but also not wanting to be untruthful in anyway, I responded, “Everyone is born with the bumps, but as girls get older their bumps grow larger.”

He then stated with understanding in his voice, “You mean they disappear?”

I gave up at this point and simply replied, “Yep!”

I suppose I should study up on some appropriate answers for such questions soon.  I would love any suggestions you may have to offer.

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Boss has reached the stage where it’s very difficult to get him to take a nap.  But I do require him to at least stay in his room for a little “quiet time” and try not to wake up his little brother, with whom he shares a room.  Today he was very quiet but kept coming out to see if his time was up yet.  Finally, I told him he could play in his play room.

At 5pm, we went into the boys’ bedroom to wake up Bubba (he still takes long naps) and found the following:

This child never ceases to amaze me with his ingenuity!!  He had spent his “quiet time” building this amazing structure out of every shoe in his closet without making a sound.  And he didn’t even mention it when he came out of his room.  I’m so amazed that a 4 year old could do something like this!  Wow!

If you have a 4 yeard old who has a mind that just won’t quit, please share your stories with me!

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Early Unwrapping

present-unwrapped1A few minutes ago I was rocking Sissy and singing to her before her morning nap when I heard ripping sounds in the living room.  Bubba was in there, so I asked him what he was doing.  He said he was “getting this stuff out.”  I asked, “What stuff?  Bring it to me so I can see.”  And he came and stood in Sissy’s bedroom door looking at me as if he knew he had done something he wasn’t supposed to do.  The following conversation ensued:

Me: What are you getting out?

Bubba: Just some stuff that somebody brought.

Me: What stuff?

Bubba: The stuff in the playroom.

Me: Are you unwrapping Christmas presents?

Bubba: Yes.

Sure enough, I discovered when entering the playroom where our Christmas tree stands that Bubba had completely unwrapped one of Boss’s presents and had gotten a corner ripped off of one of his own presents.  I just wrapped those less than 12 hours ago!  Bubba’s sitting in timeout in his room as I type this post.

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