Monday, March 31, 2008

Modern Day Miracles

Today the neatest thing happened...

We received a call from the school nurse at about 10am. Poor Molly was complaining that her ear hurt.

I thought it was a bit odd that her ear would hurt. I mean, even though Ethan has been battling an ear infection this weekend, her ears seemed fine all of spring break. And to think - she has to face the pain on her first day back.

I went up to the school with ear drops and ibuprofen in hand. I found Molly curled up in fetal position on a blue beanbag chair covered with an Ariel towel. "Pathetic" doesn't come close to describing how she looked. Head down, eyes dreary, mouth in a frown. Sad, sad, sad. No fever, though, thankfully.

I brought Molly home.

Then, without warning, something happened. Molly began singing! Molly began skipping! Molly played and rejoiced in life! She was cured! It was a miracle!!

I turned around and took her fanny back to school.

Bless ya!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Snake and the Brocci

Just a couple things...


First, I've had a couple people ask me for an update on Steven, the "pet snake" Caroline found in the garden the week before Easter. One day last week - on one of those cold mornings, Caroline woke up to find Steven a bit stiff. He wasn't frozen dead, but Michael did have to explain to her the whole "cold-blooded" concept, and how keeping Steven could ultimately be very harmful to his health. Caroline told us that she intended to let him go - but she wanted to do it Easter morning - thought that would be a good Easter present for him and his family. Knowing there would probably be several more cold mornings before Easter, we tried to persuade her that Steven might not make it until then. I believe I even gave her the whole "if you love somebody, set them free" speech, then left her to herself.


A while later Caroline came in the house, tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me that she had gone far into the backyard and let Steven go. She was genuinely sad. It reminded me of the tree frog she caught a few years ago - the tree frog she, literally, loved to death. This love for reptile-like things can of freaks me out, but it's part of who she is. Wherever Steven is, I doubt he'll ever again find the genuine love Caroline had for him!


And second...


Michael told me he wanted me to post this picture on my blog. It's Ethan eating raw broccoli (or "brocci", as he calls it) from our garden. If I cook the stuff, coat it in butter and salt and cheese, he will have none of it, but raw, unwashed (don't worry - it's organic!) from the garden suits his fancy. Go figure.


We had a wonderful Easter, loads of company on Sunday and sweet pictures. Hope yours was just as joyous!


Bless ya!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rite Aid Righteousness

Yesterday Ethan, Molly and I made a trip to Rite Aid to take advantage of some sales on potential Easter basket fillings. Rite Aid is never an easy place for me. Why? Several reasons, but I'll just mention one here. In front of the cash registers, front and center, is a huge display of metal cars. They are bigger than matchbox cars...about as big as my hand...and Ethan is like a moth to a flame. In fact, one of his first words was "car". He loves them.

I'm mentally preparing myself, and feel like I have headed it off by telling Ethan that he may NOT go over to the cars. Things seem to be ok...at first. Finally, my helpful 5-year-old Molly WALKS OVER TO THE CARS I JUST TOLD ETHAN TO STAY AWAY FROM. Like a good little brother, he follows. What ensues is nothing short of utter chaos. Ethan palms a great big yellow bus and I follow with "Ethan put that down." He obeys. However, he then proceeds to locate a big grey airplane (or air-gack, as he calls it). "Ethan...put that back." I warn. But alas, his brief stint of obedience has expired.

Ethan turned on me. He threw his pacifier to the ground in a fit of rage and proceeds to fling himself to the ground. Then, as if that weren't enough, he jumps up and runs down one of the aisles toward the back SCREAMING at the top of his strong, young lungs. Me? My hands are full of cheap plastic Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and some of that ridiculous green cellophane Easter grass. What can I do? I run after him, thus losing my coveted FIFTH place in line (!!!) toward the back of the store. I grab his hand, whisper a few threats - which he can't possibly hear because of the decibel level at this point. He pulls his hand from mine, but I manage to get a good hold. I make my way back to the front of the store, where I am now SEVENTH in line, while Ethan is holding his legs up refusing to let them touch the ground, forcing me to virtually drag him along.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that everyone in the store is looking at me. Some of the people - moms - look sympathetic. Others look irritated. I am smiling to myself because I literally am thinking about what I could possibly say to everyone that wouldn't sound like "he never does this!". I hated this moment, but kind of liked it at the same time. It was a perfect example of how I don't need to defend myself. In fact, I had no defense at all! To all of those people at Rite Aid, in that moment, I am a bad mom. I selfishly want to turn to everyone and kind of give my "good mom" resume. You know, show 'em my trophies. But that wouldn't even have worked. Ethan is still screaming, Molly is trying hard to pacify him (I think she was feeling bad about kind of kick starting the whole thing), and I really want and need to buy this stuff. Thank the Lord I am complete in Christ.

When we got to the card I explained to Ethan's 2-year-old ears that the way he acted in Rite Aid was neither loving, respectful or self-controlled...but that's why he needs Jesus, and only Jesus can help him say no to his sin and yes to obedience. I followed that up with a few pops on the behind.

Later, when Michael got home, I told him what had happened. He looked at Ethan and said "Ethan, did you disobey Mommy at the store?" And Ethan said "Daddy...cry." It's amazing what they understand. They are never to young to hear the gospel.


Bless ya!


Oh! One other thing...Caroline found a snake in the backyard and has claimed him as a pet. His name is Steven. He eats termites, which Caroline feeds him, he crawls on her, and this morning she went out and held him during a thunderstorm so he wouldn't be afraid. He's still just a baby, but I'm not feeling good about it. In fact, he might accidentally escape today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kenny and the Crayon

Our van has been having a little problem...the right side door won't slide open. A couple months ago I went to open the right sliding door...to no avail. I pulled, I prodded, I got inside the van and kicked the door, I contorted by body every which-a-way, but it wasn't budging. And I had no idea why. Imagine, if you will, pulling up to the car pool line, having to roll down the window and ask the poor teacher if she would mind walking the kids around to the other side of the car. To Mason, who is easily embarrassed, this was the low point of his day for about, oh...2 months. Yesterday Michael and I took the van to "Kenny's Collision Center" to get it fixed.

Michael informed me with little warning that we were taking the van to Kenny's . I had no real opportunity, then, to straighten up the car so it would be in good enough condition for Kenny's very male and very busy eyes (like he cares what my van looks like...still, I was slightly shamed), but regardless, by that afternoon Kenny had worked his magic, and for only $30 we had a door that opened and the paint touched up.

"Why wouldn't it open?" I asked innocently.

"Crayon." Kenny replied.

I don't doubt it at all. In fact, I should have guessed as much. Something as little and insignificant as a crayon had a real impact on our family. At first, we had trouble remembering to go to the left side to get in. Almost inevitably, someone would go to the broken right side, try to open the door, and open it just enough to get the interior light to come on. I remember one particular time Caroline went to the broken door first. She tried to open it, the light came on and my smart-alec remark was "Welcome to the family, Caroline...that door's broken!". Incidentallly, the next Sunday morning at church, I got out of the car, walked around to the broken side and attempted to fling it open. I realized my mistake when, you guessed it...the light came on. Caroline's response?

Welcome to the family, mom! That door's broken!!!

Why does God seem to use crayons so often in my life?

Bless ya!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ugh!

I want to post...but I don't feel that great today.

I don't feel like sitting here typing. Think I'll watch the Today show...

Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm not That Elephant...as sung by Molly Ferguson MacCaughelty

video

Finding my Joy in the Crumbs

All day long yesterday - as different "opportunities" kept cropping up - I kept thinking "I need to go blog about this right now." But the "opportunities" were just so close together that frankly, I couldn't find the occasion.


Let me just start at the beginning...




At about 4:30 am, Molly woke up - barfing, of course. Following defcon vomit mode, Molly was moved to the couch, and the Cinderella trash can strategically placed. (Aside - that good ol' Cinderella - she never lets us down). Molly of course, had the fever, the whimpers - the whole gamet. Here's a picture (see Cinderella?).







Molly, quite comfy, finally napped. A bit later, my sweet Ethan came to me with an orange crayon and a guilty smile:










He took my hand and led me to his masterpiece.









My budding Picasso! We're so proud of his talent...though we wish he would pick a canvas other than my mother's dining room furniture.


Mr. Clean eraser, here I come!


I failed to mention that I had a Bible study to teach this night...so, I'm studying and preparing in between all this.




Later on, after dinner (Hawaiian pizza), Mason reached up into the freezer to get a "go-gurt", and his hand nudged the box of Girl Scout thin mints - Michael's prized and relished food item...he can make a box last one year - spilling them to the floor. While Michael was screaming (with a smile on his face), the kids scrambled to the crumbs for a forbidden snack off the floor.






Right after dinner I headed next door to Ginger's house for the Bible study. We're studying James right now, and I LOVE it. Last night our verses were James 1:1-8: consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds. We talked about how often we only look at the considering our trials as pure joy part, without noticing verse 5: if we lack wisdom (insight into our particular trial and the ability to see them as opportunites to have an encounter with the Father), all we have to do is ask. We all face trials, no matter how “good” we happen to be. Our central problem is not our problem itself, but our response to our problem. James tells us that our response should be one of faith – knowing that the Father is our only option (therefore ceasing to fight what he is doing in our lives). So, whether my trial is a sick child, crayons anywhere crayons don't belong, or something much, much more difficult (lots of things come to mind), they are all opportunites to grow in our faith/perseverance/maturity and to see where it is we truly find our joy.


I'll tell ya...it's so freeing and so joy-giving to know that even the little things I face every day are producing something valuable in me.


Bless ya!


Oh! And Molly is feeling much better!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm not that Elephant

This past Christmas Caroline received a Barbie keyboard. It's cute: Barbie talks to you, there's a microphone, some cool accompaniments. Caroline loves music, so this is right up her alley.

Unfortunately, while perusing the aisles of Toys R Us for Christmas presents, I found myself in a bit of a time crunch...and 4 kids to shop for. Now, know that my nearest Toys R Us is 1 1/2 hours away - I think I've mentioned that before. I appreciate that 1 1/2 hours is not that big of a deal in the whole scheme of life...but, I'm sorry, it is for me. I have to be going to Mobile already for something else.

So, having said that, you can surmise that my research of said Barbie keyboard was limited, at best.

When I got the thing home, I realized that, in addition to the cool accompaniments, we would also have the joyful option of listening to parts of three "popular" pop songs, one of which is "Oops, I did it Again!" by Miss Brittany Spears. I have nothing against Brittany at all. Her songs are quite kicky, I guess. But the words to "Oops" go something like this:

Oops I did it again...I played with your heart...got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby..
Oops, you think I'm in love...that I'm sent from above
I'm not that innocent!

I don't think I'm ready for my 5 and 8 year olds to be singing "I'm not that innocent."

So, as a remedy, I "innocently" enough began singing along with the song, and at the end there, I changed the word "innocent" to "elephant":

"I'm not that elephant!"

Yes, I know it's not completely true, but hey, it works for right now? The fact that my girls walk around singing "Oops...I'm not that elephant" instead of "I'm not that innocent" without any thought of "hey mom, that doesn't sound quite right? Why would she say 'I'm not that elephant'?" actually says quite a lot about the innocence they yet have. And you know what? That's good for me. Because once it's gone, there's no going back.

I have a short vdo of Molly singing the song with the keyboard, which I will attempt to download as soon as I can get up to Michael's study (because at home? Hello! Dial up!). I've watched it a hundred times and it is so cute and funny to me. I know that one day Molly will see it (maybe at her rehearsal dinner? I'll keep that in the mental file...) and roll her eyes at me. But until then I have this living picture of childlike innocence. It's pure gold.

Bless ya!