Okay, alot has happened recently and there has been so much I've been wanting to write about, but everything else happening has pre-empted the other stuff (follow?). I'll try and write some random thoughts I've had lately...
Please keep our nephew Andrew in your prayers. He is in Iraq again now and his group of soldiers are dealing with some of the toughest things over there right now (yes, it's all bad, but the area he's in is classified as the worst, and he's got a great team of men over there who are called on all kinds of missions). If you've seen some recent events in the news about stuff over there, it most likely was about his group. They've dealt with the deaths of three men in recent weeks, two of whom he was good friends with. Please pray for his physical, spiritual, and mental health along with courage and wisdom in the decisions he must make and comfort especially in troubled times. Not just for him, but for all our troops. Having someone dear over there just brings it all home even closer.
Our sermon this past Sunday was on being In Communion with Christ. The first Sunday of each month, we have communion served at our church. As the elements are being passed around, we are always reminded of the meaning of the elements as well as of communion itself. However, the sermon on Sunday was a wonderful reminder about all things pertaining to communion. I especially appreciated the comment Pastor Marty started with...about how important it is to stay in communion with Christ individually, setting aside the time in all the hustle and bustle that happens in our lives. It was exactly the reminder that I needed. Things have been so crazy busy lately (like when aren't they?), and I needed the reminder of the importance of having alone, quiet time with Christ. I look back at the things that I did just during December, surrounding Christmas...so many "good" things -- but all so busy and filling up on time. How often did I take the time to spend by myself, refreshing myself in Christ? How often did I take the time, even though I was there and with them, to just sit and visit with family members? How often during the day, even though I'm pretty much with them 24/7, do I spend on my knees, playing with the kids with what THEY want to do? How often do I GIVE of my time, doing what OTHER people want and not what I think needs to be done? Not often enough. But that has changed.
Cameo apples are WONDERFUL! I've heard about them for years now, since we carry many different varieties of apples at the market before closing for the year, but Cameos are a later variety and not available before we close at the end of October. However, when we were in Ohio, I got some to serve with the baked brie at the Toth Christmas get-together. Wow! What a perfect combination...the puffed pastry, the melted brie, the Cameo apples. I was delighted to see them advertised at one of our local groceries and asked Tony to pick some up when he was in town yesterday. I'm on my third one for the day...no brie, but they are delicious plain and even better dipped in left-over dark chocolate fondue sauce, yummy!
I've come to realize I'm a terrible mom when it comes to dealing with sickness. Well, not just any sickness, but (as the Carter side calls it) "erps." I can deal with headaches. I can deal with chicken pox. I can deal with owies. I can even deal with bandaging up little fingers who get the bottom of the finger nail cut clean across by a folding chair smashing it like I did to my son today. I can take out splinters, deal with rashes, put up with grumpy-grouchies when they aren't "just right." I cannot deal with erps or cleaning up the erps. Thankfully, I have a husband who can deal with it (even though nobody ever wants to). It is hard for me to even hold and rock a child, MY child, when he or she is dealing with the flu or bad tummy problems for fear of them erping on me as I would probably quite promptly return the favor. Are there any other moms out there like me, or is it just me? Even if you aren't like me...just make me feel better and agree that you're the same!
Today is another gorgeous day outside -- yesterday and Sunday were in the 40s, or very close to it, I believe, which is extremely odd for this part of Minnesota. While no one really felt like taking advantage of this nice weather the previous two days, the kids and I had a blast outside today, sliding down piles of snow into the ditch, climbing up the mountains of snow Daddy had bulldozed out of the way last month, and just throwing snow at each other. The added benefit was it wore 'em out and they both fell asleep quick at nap time!
Tonight the plan is to have supper out with Uncle Dwight. He is one of the many beloved uncles -- Dwight is the second oldest in Tony's family, the only remaining bachelor of the bunch. He has an extensive farm in Guatemala raising everything from different fruit trees to noni to talapia and I'm sure much more. He has another business with a friend down there where they supply old dairy equipment from the States to dairy farmers down there. This brings him to the States at least twice a year, summer and winter, to pack up a load to ship back down. And Luke and Susanna LOVE when Uncle Dwight is here. Today Luke was walking around all day with a beat-up old hat on his head "I'm Uncle Dwight!" (you'd know what I mean if you knew Uncle Dwight). And Dwight loves his nieces and nephews. He showed up at our door Sunday afternoon just to play with the kids. And they loved it!
We got home from Ohio and I think Luke somewhere along the way got a huge dose of testosterone. I cannot believe the "boy" things he has been doing. Hitting. Kicking. Pushing. Pinching. Just because. Thankfully, no damage has been done except to his backside, and I'm not sure if it was his bout with the flu or the above-mentioned damage that has slowed him down (or a bit of both). We'll see within the next few days. Susanna has learned the fine art of self-will and temper tantrums along with the ornery words "I DON'T WANT TO!" It's confusing as to where she learned this as she did not see it displayed anywhere in our travels or here at home. Oh yeah! That whole human nature, fallen man thing. Hmmm. Well, that's in the process of being dealt with, too. She knows the limits, the expectations, and what isn't acceptable...and has learned that just because her attitude and/or words change before Daddy or Mama reach her with the spanking stick or before she's put in the naughty spot doesn't mean it pre-empts her from those consequences. She's also been thanking us for the discipline meted out, along with gifting us with big hugs and kisses afterwords (although "I'm still just a little bit happy and a lot of sad.").
For today...my rambling is done. At least to you!