Monthly Archives: August 2009

South America – Day 9

I just read my post from yesterday and I can tell that I must have been really tired when I wrote it.  It sounds like a 12-year-old wrote it!  Well, like I said yesterday, I am completely overwhelmed at how my church family is so willing to help us.  I have had so many people ask what they can do to help!!  A lot of the time I just don’t know what to say.  I think I get a blank stare across my face when people ask because a.) I’m not used to this kind of generosity from anyone except maybe my family, b.) I’m probaby thinking about how my house looks and if someone is going to come and help me do cleaning or babysit for me, I’m gonna have to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I just can’t keep up by myself all the time, and c.) I’m completely blown away by watching how God leads his people to help others.  And, how God never seems to provide for someone in the same way twice.  What an awesome and creative God we serve! 

I had 2 helpers today.  One friend went grocery shopping with me.  It was an adventure.  Aida had a total meltdown in WalMart.  We had to take a trip to the bathroom at one point because she couldn’t calm down.  Of course, the entire store was staring at us.  And Brody decided that he was hungry about an hour before normal and then he pooped through his diaper.  Fortunately, I got him to calm down long enough to finish my shopping.  I think Allyn made it through the store without incident.  I used my wonderful WalMart giftcard that I got in the mail.  God helped it to stretch and I got enough groceries for the week plus some extra things, and I even got the oil changed in my car!  When all was said and done, I had $.34 left on my card.  Praise God for just enough!!

Then another friend came over and cleaned my kitchen and my bathroom.  I am so appreciative of that.  I know its a matter of swallowing my pride, but it feels weird to let someone else clean my house for me.  But, sometimes even getting the toilet clean and the dishes washed seems like an impossible task.  Oh, plus she brought us some muffins and some barbeque for dinner tonight. 

Kendra came just to kill time before Chai Alpha prayer tonight.  That occupied the kids for about an hour.  After that, it occured to me that I should have a regular routine for the kids to follow at night.  Maybe a weekly routine.  Christian said he wanted Friday nights to be movie nights, and I suggested Wednesday nights we could write to dad.  I need to think of other things to do on the other nights.  The problem is that it can’t be too complex because Allyn likes to get into things, stop movies in the middle, move pieces on a board game, etc.  On Tuesdays, my parents have been coming over to mow the lawn and tak out the trash.  Sunday’s we decided we would go see Bill and Bonnie.  That leaves 3 nights.  I think Christian said something about reading Eragon on Monday nights.  (That is Christian’s book series of choice right now.)

Tomorrow I have friends coming to have coffee in the morning and another friend coming to have lunch.  I’m looking forward to that.  Derick and I actally had a conversation before he left about my desire to get to know more people in Tremont and make some really good friends.  I told him that it would be nice to live there, but even if we can’t for a while, it would be nice to have someone that I felt like I could just call up and chat with and they felt comfortable enough with me to do the same.  I’d also like to continue to be good friends with these people after Derick comes home.  I don’t want to get my husband back and then forget about my friends that I have made.  So far things have been going well.  Of couse it is only day 9.  Let’s hope that it continues to go so well!

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South America – Day 8

Toay is Sunday.  Sometimes its my favorite day of the week and sometimes its just not.  This morning at church was probably not my favorite day at church.  Not because anything went wrong, I just missed Derick a lot today!  I was planning on going to my in-laws for dinner tonight and I would always rather he go with me.  It just made it hard to enjoy church because I was thinking about how I was going to see Bill and Bonnie and I so wanted Derick to be with me. 

My church is so wonderful.  Everytiime I turn around, someone else is asking what they can do to help us.  Sometimes I am just overwhelmed.  Partly because of the unbelievable generosity of our church family and partly because of all the work that I have to do at my house.  My initial thought is, “NO, they can’t come here!!”  Then start trying to decide what I would have them do.  I have no idea where to even begin.  So, if you ask me if you help and I give you a blank stare, its not because I don’t want your help.  Its because I’m already thinking about how terrible my house is and now people are gonna see it that way!  Seriously though, sometimes its best for me just to have companyand just visit with someone.  I like to get to know all of these people that are offering their services!  Because when Derick gets back, I want to feel like they are still my friends! 

Anyway, I went to my in-laws tonight and made dinner.  Once I had the recipes in hand it was pretty easy.  It was finding out what my mother-in-law is allowed to eat that was the hard part.  She is basically on a salt free diet.  But, they brought home a copy of a cookbook and I got recipes for sweet and sour chicken, and cooked carrots out of that.  It was good!  Then we ate the cinnamon rolls that my mom made.  Then I prayed for her.  I knew that God wanted me to do 2 things if I went today, fix food and then pray.  Pray outloud in front of both of them and pray for healing in Bonnie.  Praying for her was really stepping out of my comfort zone.  I don’t like praying outloud in the first place, but when it comes to  praying in faith and believing God for specific things, I just feel paralyzed with fear.  Yea, I know, Perfect love cast out fear!  God did not ask me to do the healing, only to be faithful in praying for her.  So to that, I am committed!  That and dinner on Sundays for them!

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South America – Day 7

So, I can already tell this is gonna be a short post.  I went to my parent’s house tonight and didn’t leave til 10:30.  Then when I came home I had to clean up the legos on my bedroom floor and put the sheets on my bed.  (It feels so good to have fresh clean sheets, though!)  Then Derick called and we talked for about 20 minutes.  Now I’ve sat here for a half hour and I’m done winding down and I’m ready to go to sleep. 

I’ll do my best to write, though.  If I sound a little goofy, just know that its because I’m falling asleep.  The thought today, of what my family is going to eat this week, had not even crossed my mind.  I hadn’t even entertained the possibility that we might go hungry one day before Derick gets his first paycheck.  That is how well I have seen God provide for us over the last month, and today was no different.  I worked on cleaning my room today.  (If you read yesterday’s entry, you can safely assume that you can’t really tell that I worked on cleaning my room today.)  After having lunch with my kids and then putting them in bed to take a nap, I went to get the mail.  In the mail, I found a card with no return address and semi-recognizable handwriting.  I openned the card and on the inside it simply said, “Praying for you!” with no signature.  Then I openned the gift cards.  The first one was for Starbucks.  Then behind that one, in the envelope, I noticed another one.  I pulled it out and it was for Wal-Mart.  Both of the cards, especially Wal-Mart, far exceeded what I expected!  Now I can get a relaxing cup of coffee and go grocery shopping… maybe even by myself, if I can find someone to keep my kids for a couple of hours.  I was just elated!  Thank you Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you!!  I had even decided that I wanted to start taking a Sunday dinner to my mother-in-law every Sunday.  I planned all week on calling them and never did.  I intended to tell her that I wanted to start next week.  I wanted to start this week but I had no groceries and no money.  But, praise God, he provided just what I needed.   I was also getting dangerously low on Allyn’s diapers and now I can get those too.  YAY, GOD!!  Maybe I’ll get him underwear, instead. 

The other thing that happened that was so great was that Jack found a new home.  My neighbor, Josh, is the one that called PAWS.  He felt really bad when he found out that Jack was my dog.  He told PAWS that if no one claims him that he would be interested in adopting him.  So, I after I picked up Jack, I walked to his house and asked him if he was still interested.  He said it was for his in-laws and he would call them and let me know.  Today the in-laws came to meet Jack and I found out that they lab they used to have, is from Steve Thompson, a minister at my church, who also happens to be the mother-in-law’s boss at Easter Seals.  Its a small world!  Anyway, to make a long story short, they took Jack home with them.  I am now dogless, but that is fine with me.  Actually, I’m quite excited about it!  Although, the house does seem a little empty without him, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.   

What a good God I serve!  These have been hard times with Derick being gone and with his mom being sick and with all the financial struggles we have had, but God is with me and things will get better!  He will always provide just what I need for that day!!

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South America – Day 6

I tried to clean my house today.  It never works, but I try anyway.  Anyone who has ever dropped by my house unexpectedly probably just peed their pants from laughing so hard when I said I actually tried to clean my house.  Like I said, it didn’t work, it never works and most of the time you can’t even tell that I tried.  I will never understand how people with little kids have the time and energy to keep their house clean all the time.  I long to be able to do that.  Even when my house is clean it is still messy because there seem to be piles of stuff with which I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do.  In a way this almost makes it a relief that Derick isn’t here to see the mess for a while.  I know that he would appreciate it if I did a better job of cleaning the house everyday, I want to have it clean for him and I feel guilty when I don’t.  He never complains but I feel bad.  I feel like I’ve failed him.  I want him to be king of his castle but that’s hard when the castle resembles a salvage yard. 

So, I cleaned the kitchen sink today, and loaded the dishwasher, did some laundry.  Then I cleared off the top of the microwave.  It seems to be a catch-all in our house.  I wanted to really clean the kitchen but every time I’d leave Aida and Allyn by themselves one of them would make another mess or they would get in a fight.  Or sometimes they just want to “help”.  I usually end up rewashing clothes or mopping up a puddle off the kitchen floor.  (Today the puddle – lake – was on the bathroom floor.  But they weren’t helping, their playtime in the tub got a little carried away.) 

This evening my sister, Carrie, and my mom came over to help me clean the basement.  It was such… a… mess… I will never know how it got that way or why we have never really cleaned it.  I think we need a truck in order to really clean it.  We need a truck parked in our driveway, so we can just start loading up unwanted items and clothes and take them to the mission or good will or something. Carrie thinks we need the show, Clean Sweep to come to my house. That would be great except for the fact that I would be embarassed for the whole world to see my mess. My sister, Kendra, is supposed to be moving in with me.  (She’s seen the mess before.)  My mom thinks its a bad idea because she thinks we’ll kill each other.  She said that Kendra won’t be available to help me as much as I probably would be expecting.  I’m not really expecting too much.  I mostly just want company.  I feel clostrophobic after being here all day with little kids and not talking to a single adult.

So, tomorrow I continue the daily quest for a clean and organized house.  I want my kids to have a place that they are proud to call home, that they aren’t afraid to bring home their friends.  Someday, I’ll have that.  In the mean time, does anyone want to come over tomorrow to hold a baby and play with a couple of toddlers for me?  Near impossible to get things done with them in the same room.

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South America – Day 5

Today we found Jack, brought him home and we may have even found a new home for him.  This morning I decided to go to my parent’s house to help my sister pack her stuff to move in with me.  We didn’t get any packing done.  We just hung out for a while instead.  We watched “Race to Witch Mountain” even though we have both seen it already.  I think Dwayne Johnson is hysterical in that movie.  Anyway, my mom called me while I was getting ready to leave and said that PAWS had Jack.  But, it would cost $85 to get him back.  Well, I’m broke so I don’t have an extra $85 right now.  So, my parents shelled out the cash to get him back, I think because they felt sorry for me.  Fortunately Jack was current on his shots, so I didn’t get a fine for that. 

Anyway, the people that called animal control were actually neighbors across the street from us, about 4 houses down.  I knew who they were because about the time Derick and I bought our house, they were getting married and I did her hair for their wedding.  Plus, Caleb cuts his hair on occasion so they had a general idea who I was too.  Well, when I told him that Jack was my husband’s dog, he felt really bad for calling PAWS.  He said he was sure that he knew all of the dogs on the street.  (I guess we should have taken Jack for more walks in our neighborhood!)  Well, to make a long story short, I notice on the paperwork at PAWS that the person who turned him in lived on our street and was interested in adopting him if he wasn’t claimed.  So, I went to their house and asked them if they are really interested.  They said it was actually for her parents, and they would find out from them and then call me tomorrow.  I hope this works out.  Its just too big of a job to keep the dog with all 4 kids.  Maybe when they are older and can have some sort of responsibility in raising it. 

Two people from my church brought us meals tonight.  This is just overwhelming, what people are doing for me.  I had a home visit from the Health Department last week.  She was asking questions, just making sure that I had everything I need, i.e. clothes, food, money.  It felt so good to say that my church is taking care of everything.   I have always felt like that is one of the roles of the church, to, at the very least, provide for its own.  It is not the governments responsibility to provide the basics for us.  Someday, I want to know what it is like not to live in want.  I want to be the one from my church that can help people out when things get really tight financially, or otherwise.   

Ok, I’m starting to doze so I think this will be a short entry tonight.

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South America – Day 4

I must have spoken too soon this morning.  Disaster has struck and it is only day 4.  I lost Derick’s dog today.  I, personally, was not particularly attached to the dog, but I would rather have found him a good home than just let him loose in the great city of Peoria, IL.  I put him in the back yard at about 7:30 this morning and that was the last time I saw him.  I remember thinking at some point during the day, that Jack was being particularly quiet today but I didn’t bother to check on him.  Then at 6:00 tonight, when I went outside to bring him in, he was gone.  I was invited to go to my parents house for dinner tonight, and Brody was already hungry so I didn’t have time to drive the neighborhood on the off-chance that I would find him.  Since I don’t know when he got out of the back yard, I have no idea how far away he could be.  I called Derick immediately and as soon as I told him what happened, I started sobbing!  I don’t miss having a dog, but I feel terrible that Derick left his dog in my care, and within less than a week, I lost it. 

I cried for quite a while, (until I got a phone call and had to compose myself).  I cried because I did $350 worth of hair services to pay for him.  I cried because he wasn’t my dog, he was Derick’s, and as much as I resented the dog, I love Derick and if he had asked me to keep Jack for the whole 6 months while he was gone, I would have done it.  I probably would have agreed, knowing that I really didn’t have the time or the energy to take care of him and 4 kids and a house and myself, but would have done it anyway just because I love him that much!  I cried because we never took the time that we needed to train him the way he should have been trained.  He had the potential to be a great dog!  I, however, do not have the potential needed to become a great pet owner.  I’ve decided that I’m just not cut out for that.  And, I cried because now this potentially great dog is out roaming the streets when a family could be learning to love him. 

Yesterday I mentioned that I had a little scare with Allyn at the soccer game.  He kept wandering off, making new friends when I had my back turned.  The last time that he wandered off, I went to look for him in the same place that he had been going ever time he left my line of vision… but he wasn’t there.  I looked all around me and didn’t see him anywhere.  My heart started beating a mile a minute.  I was about 2 seconds away from an all out panic attack, when I spotted him standing by the sidelines making eyes at a spectator.  I collected myself, retrieved my son, and promptly decided to go home.  I’d had enough soccer for one night.  All the way home my heart was still pounding!  So, the last reason that I cried, is the thought that the lost dog, could have very easily been a lost child.  The very thought brings tears to my eyes. 

I have this horrible fear of something happening to my kids.  I know the Bible speaks against fear.  I’ve heard all the verses like “Perfect love casts out fear.”  “I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?’  The Bible is just filled with verses like that.  But, still, I struggle.  Is this something that every parent struggles with?  Sometimes, I feel almost paralysed with the fear that something is going to happen to one of my children that maybe I could have prevented.  Then I won’t have my child anymore, and everyone will blame me, including myself.  How would I ever forgive myself??  Or worse yet, what if my kids hurt each other?  And, how could I ever call Derick to tell him something tragic has happened while he was gone?  Just pray, just give it too God.  It sounds so incredibly “Christian” and so cliche’.  You know how people, who have been groomed by the church, just know the “right” answer to all the questions??  That just sounds like a “right” answer… even though I know it to be true.  No one else could calm my fears but God, himself.  And, the great part is… he WANTS to calm my fears. “Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you!” *sigh*

Well, on another topic, I think I may have found the source of the infestation of flies in my house… a dirty dump sink in my laundry room.  I’m not sure how it got that dirty, but apparently it did.  These flies seemed to be getting worse in my house.  No matter how much I cleaned it, they wouldn’t go away.  Well, I’ve notice over the last couple of days that they seemed to be worse in the basement/laundry room.  The only place I could think of, that they could be coming from is this sink.  So, I scoured the sink today and poured vinegar down the drain.  Tonight I went down there just to see if they were still swarming, and to my pleasant suprise, there were only a fraction of the flies in the sink as  compared to this morning!  YAY!!  Let’s hope this lasts.  I’m so sick and tired of killing flies, and shooing flies away, and cleaning up flies and bug spray off my counter and other places!

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South America – Day 3

My kids are sleeping again, and again, I should be too, but I’m not.  This time they are down for the night.  Hopefully Brody will give me a good night’s sleep like he did  last night!  5 hours in a row!!  I was so excited!  So, if its 10:45 right now, maybe he’ll let me sleep til almost 4.  That would be so great!

I am amazed at how God works sometimes.  I have always liked the passage in the Bible, Matthew 6:25-34.  Basically it says don’t worry about anything.  Don’t worry about food, clothes, money, and especially don’t worry about tomorrow.  Let tomorrow worry about itself.  For some reason those verses have kept coming back to me, ever since Derick lost his job at CAT.  And that is exactly how God has chosen to provide for us in this moment of crisis, by giving us just what we need.  Today, Christian wanted to go to the Peoria Christian Varsity Soccer game (I don’t really know why) so I was trying to decide what to make the kids for dinner.  I decided that peanut butter and honey would be good.  They all like it, its quick and easy so we could get to the game, and besides, I’m out of jelly.  But I don’t have any bread.  I have frozen buns that I guess would have worked.  Well, just as I was thinking that, Rachel showed up with a loaf of bread in her hands that she had made for me.  Suddenly we have bread for our sandwiches!  Also, today a friend called and wanted to bring us a meal.  She first said she would come on Thursday.  Thursday is fine (beggars can’t be choosers) but someone else is bringing food on Thursday, tomorrow would be better, but I didn’t say anything, except, “Thank you!”  Then she called back and said she would like to bring it tomorrow morning.  (YAY!!  Now we have dinner to eat tomorrow night!)  And one more example is our cable (internet) bill.  When we realized that it was behind, Derick called them and asked for an extension, due to our current circumstances.  Well, they gave us a week.  Saturday night it was supposed to get shut off.  Friday we received a baby gift with $25 in it, and Saturday morning I did hair for a wedding and made $100, so miraculously we had the money for the bill.  Each day I could give you another example of how God made sure we had enough just for that day, nothing more or less.  Its kind of like when the Israelites gathered manna.  They were only allowed to gather enough for that day and then trust God that he would provide again, the next day.

So, tonight we did go to the soccer game.  We stayed for the first half.  Apperantly, whenever one of the teams passes the other by 7 goals, the game is over.  Soon after we got there PCS was up 6-0.  So, they stopped trying to score and resorted to just kicking the ball around, like they were in practice.  Honestly, it kind of resembled when a cat catches a mouse and plays with it til it gets bored.  The cat was PCS and the mouse was Peoria Central High School.  It was almost cruel to watch PCS like we were just waiting for the “mouse” to die.  My dad says that Chris (my sister’s boyfriend), the goalie, needs a Maytag repair man shirt to wear.  Because the “machine” is so good, there is nothing fo him to do.  Anyway, we finally left just after the half because Christian wasn’t watching and Allyn kept wandering off.  One time I almost had a moment of panic because I didn’t see where he had gone and I couldn’t find him.  But, fortunately, he had just made some new friends.  I think that my kids know no stranger.  Its funny but can be scary too. 

Well, that’s all I’m gonna write about today.  I’m about to fall asleep.  Oh, yeah… Rachel and Kendra came over to have coffee with me this morning.  Tuesday’s are always pleasant with my sisters coming to visit.  And today was no exception! 

More to come tomorrow.

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