Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Graduate

This last week ended Jacob's preschool year and culminated in his graduation. There is always a part of a mommy that aches and another part that celebrates her kids moving on to the next stage in life. Jacob will be off to Kindergarten in the fall and I will miss him, but he is ready and excited!

I thank God that he has given me the gift of Jacob...

351. The way his eyes smile when his mouth smiles.

352. His hearty laugh

353. The way he winks at me

354. Listening to his crystal clear voice as he sings

355. Watching his strong, small fingers play the piano

356. His beat-boxing. His amazing sense of rhythm.

357. His ability to be a peacemaker, never looking for a fight.

358. The love and the kindness he shows his little brother.

359. Making cookies together.

360. Playing catch with him in the backyard.

Just to name a few reasons why I am so thankful for his daily presence in my life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Update on Evan Sharp

Yesterday was a long day for me so I can't imagine how tiring it must have been for Dave, Rhonda and Evan! God was at work in big ways and for that I am so thankful.

The facts are: Evan survived a very dangerous surgery and late last night was moving all his extremities after initially being paralyzed on the left side. The pathology diagnosed Evan with a grade four astrocytoma (the worst) and 70% was removed. The remaining 30% will be killed off with chemotherapy which will begin in the next 1-2 weeks. Evan woke up enough to tell his dad that he loved him. 10% of kids with this type of tumor survive.

The praises are:

346. God answered our prayers that Evan would survive his surgery.

347. God allowed him to move all his extremities so much faster than expected.

348. God protected Evan's brain during surgery...he knew who his dad was and that he loved him.

349. God brought together many believers to intercede and pray for Evan for 4 1/2 hours straight.

350. God is a miracle worker and we can trust and pray for all His benefits listed in Psalm 103...forgiveness, healing, giving Evan the desires of his heart. God is good and His Son, Jesus is mighty to save!

You can follow Evan's journey at his caringbridge website. Please continue to pray for him!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Please pray for Evan Sharp

Our family friends and the doctor I work for just found out that their youngest, nine year old son, Evan, has a very aggressive and life threatening brain tumor. It is called an astrocytoma. Evan has surgery planned for Monday at 2 pm. Fortunately, this tumor can be operated on, but it is deep in the brain and the surgery will take several hours to complete. They have a wonderfully, talented surgeon doing the surgery right here in Omaha.

Those are the facts, but scripture says in Ephesians 6 that the battles we face are more than physical, they are spiritual. And, the tools we have to fight these battles are faith, the Word of God and prayer. We can be confident that prayer for Evan and his family is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Whether you know Evan or not would you please bring him before the throne of God in prayer? Would you pray for a hedge of protection to surround him, for skilled hands to perform the surgery and that his body would be healed? Would you pray that his parents and family be unified and at peace? Would you please pray however the Spirit prompts you?

I will keep you posted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What a weekend!

I had such a sweet and wonderful weekend. First off, Ryan and I celebrated 12 years of marriage! We both agreed that we are more in love now then on our wedding day and that we like ourselves better because of the other.

325. The shy, blushing feeling I get when Ryan looks right into my eyes and tells me he loves me.

326. Date night with Ryan for our anniversary. Laughing at the table together, holding hands as we walked to the movie, really talking.

327. Choosing to be healthy together. Running a 10K on our anniversary and talking, talking, talking the whole time. Matching shirts to run in because we are dorks!

328. The hope of many more years.

329. Ryan inviting me to pray together last night. Thanking God for being the center of us.

Part of the reason such a wonderful anniversary weekend was possible, was because my parents, sister and her kids were staying at my house this weekend watching our kids. On Saturday (before the date night) all the girls on my mom's side of the family got together to make GiGi's famous coffee cake and cinnamon rolls. While we were baking the boys were trimming, mowing, mulching home.

330. Two hours in the car talking to my sister, my friend.

331. Cousins playing together, enjoying each other.

332. My parents' generosity. They give and give and give and when you think there isn't any possible way to give anymore, they find a way to give again.

333. Jillian's squeal.

334. Tyler's red hair and the way he says, "Otay (Okay)." Makes me smile.

335. My grandma's hands kneading the dough. Passing on her gifts to my daughter.

336. A five, seven and a ninety-four year old laughing together.

337. The smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls.

338. The beauty of a green, trimmed and mowed yard. Knowing the hard work and love that went into making it look that way.

And, then today the boys and I took a spontaneous trip to the zoo. They both wanted to dress like superheros and I saw no reason why they should not do just that!

339. Boys skipping at the zoo.

340. The smiles that my superheros brought to EVERY face as we walked around the zoo.

341. Holding their hands and seeing them hold hands and walk together.

342. The baby gorilla licking Zac's hand through the glass and Zac saying, "Ahh, the baby gorilla wants to be my friend."

And, last but not least we planted our garden tonight. Strawberries, tomoatoes, broccoli, sweet peas, zucchini and cucumbers.

343. Ryan's encouragement about my parenting. Little comments that let me know he appreciates and likes the things I do with the kids...zoo, gardening.

344. Hallie helping me pick out the garden plants and seeds. She is growing up, such a mature helper!

345. The kids almost fighting (but not, thank goodness) about who gets to water the seeds and push them into the ground. Simple pleasures!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day 2010

321. My mom...a pillar of strength and beauty. A planner and organizer for the family. Her creativity and ideas always bring our family together and keep us close. My mom's enduring love, always and no matter what, for her kids. Her encouragement as I parent. Mom, I love you and thank you. I'm still learning about how great your love is as I journey through mothering with my daughter.

322. My grandma. My mother's mother. Her smiles yesterday as my boys wrestled and were wild. Her strength and courage to keep living even though it is getting harder for her body. Her love for Jesus passed down to me. Grandma, I love you!

323. My mother-in-law who treats me as her own. You care for us with time and attention. You raised a man I grow more in love with every day and you encourage my mothering with words of affirmation. Thank you for your love, I love you!

324. My sweet daughter. Her desire to be a mom someday just like her great grandma, grandmas and me! If God grants that wish I can see a tenderness in her heart that will love her children unselfishly someday. So grateful to have you as my dear daughter, Hallie. I love you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A mother's mind...

...has so many things going on at once! So this is a bit of where my mind has been this morning.

1. I think I need to institute a new culture of prayer with discipline at my house. My kids were picking at each other this morning and my response was to raise my voice and demand better behavior. Hmmm...don't think it's going to work. Our attitudes and behavior comes from the heart, so I am embarking on new endeavor. When we are fighting each other I want to draw our hearts together by uniting us with the peace of Christ through group prayer. I'll let you know how it goes.

2. Jake was off to Kindergarten round-up. Little lump in my throat, longing in my heart to keep him younng as he happily marched off to Mrs. Van Hove's classroom. So happy for him.

3. To do list...mail in payments, e-mail friends from church, get my mother's day gift done for my mom, update my goodreads.

4. Eat a donut and drink coffee while Jake's at school! Yummy!

5. Answer Sherilyn's questions...keeping things light.
1. Where are we going for summer vacation? Estes Park, Wyoming to see my sister!
2. Do I like reality TV? Kind of...we only watch Idol, but I do like to crtic the singers!
3. Have I seen the movie JAWS? No, only the scary scene.
4. Favorite DQ Blizzard? Cookie dough, of course. One a month this summer (maybe more).
5. Newest Fav song? Francesca Batistelli's album.

6. Figuring out what I am going to make for the cookout tonight with neighbors and when I'm going to make it.

8. Planning garden boxes that we will construct tomorrow for our summer vegetable and strawberry garden.

7. Taking Jacob to lunch after round-up then off to work at the clinic for the afternoon.

8. Remembering my kids sweet faces as they slept last night. So thankful they can sleep peacefully and in safety.

9. Thinking about how much a love this multi-tasking and being a wife and mother. Lord, thank you so, so, so much for these abundant gifts. Thank you for the gift of motherhood and the grace to see me through it all!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A lot of happy memories being made around here!

I'm giving thanks with a grateful heart because this past week and half has been filled with wonderful family memories.

First, we went to North Platte, NE for the kids to do a triathlon and spend the weekend in my hometown with my wonderful folks.

310. Doing a triathlon with all my kids.
311. Making fitness a priority in our family.
312. Watching Hallie smile as she swam in the race.
313. My boys competitive nature driving them to bike hard and run fast.
314. Hallie "living in the moment" and soaking it all in wherever and whatever she is doing. She rode her bike at her own pace and commented to me, "Mom, isn't this fun. Look at the blue sky!"

Second, I was surprised last Friday with a new car! I went to work in my old minivan that was making strange sounds and leaking power steering fluid. I told myself, "you can make this last until the end of the year," but was cringing every time I turned a corner and heard it make an awful sound. So, after work I walk out to get into my car and can't find it anywhere! I call Ryan and tell him that I think my car has been stolen (who would steal my old minivan with so many better options in the parking lot?!). He says, "Well, do you see any other cars you would want to drive home?" I was confused for a minute and then squealed, "did you get me a new car?" It was then that I saw Ryan and the kids in the back of the parking lot in this...

315. How Ryan loves to surprise me and the creative ways he expresses his love for me. The car is great, but his heart of love is priceless.
316. The seats in the van swivel and there is a table in the middle. I'm thankful for the sounds of belly laughs coming from the back seat as my kids play cards together.

Last, but not least, I ran in a half-marathon this past weekend in Lincoln, NE!

317. My new friend, Barbara, that ran with me.
318. The reward of the race after putting in the hard work of training over the last 10 weeks.
319. My husband and kids were there is cheer me on. Encouraging me with hugs, kisses and high fives.
320. Sore muscles...thank you Lord for this body that you have given me.