Tuesday, October 30, 2007

8 lbs. 6 1/4 oz. and 21 inches long

That's what my baby was TWELVE YEARS AGO today. My oldest turned 12 today. In some cultures, he would be a man. In "Mamaland" he's still a little boy. A little boy who still wants to cuddle up on the couch with me when he first wakes up. A little boy who still hugs and kisses me in public...in front of his friends. A little boy who comes to me when he gets hurt and wants me to make it better.

When I first started this blog, I wrote a post introducing each of my children. The following is what I wrote about my firstborn. The child I prayed for. The child I wanted so badly. The first of four amazing gifts from God....

Wow, for some reason it is really hard for me to start to write about Benji. Benji was my first baby. I prayed for him. I asked for him. He was a direct answer from God to my prayer. When Benji was born it was just he and I all day long until Daddy came home. Benji was an angel baby. I took him EVERYWHERE and he was never fussy. We went to the mall, to movies, on walks to the 7 Eleven for a Slurpee, and he was happy and pleasant, a true joy. He sat still and quiet while I got my hair permed (2 hours mind you), he patiently was passed up and down the rows at church because everyone wanted to hold him, and he sat quietly in his carseat during Worship Team practice because both Daddy and I were on the team. People stopped me wherever I went to look at him because he was so beautiful. He was the perfect baby. He made me want to have 10 children. He's now 11 years old, and no longer quite so perfect, but he comes pretty close...most of the time!

You will see from the before and after pictures above, a big part of Benji's personality. Benji likes to have FUN! And fun sometimes comes at a price. (Our dentist has suggested bubblewrap!) He fell in our hotel room when he was 4--while we were frantically packing up to get out of there by checkout time--and split his chin open requiring 4 stitches. (I still haven't forgiven Ben (Daddy) for making me stay behind and finish packing while he rushed my baby to the ER.....without me. But that's a different story.)Then, when he was 8, he fell out of a tree at the park and tore his spleen. (This time I rushed him to the ER and left Daddy with the other kids.) We spent 4 days together in Children's hospital, he and I, after that one. And most recently, as you can see, he was playing "Hide-and-Seek" in the dark and ran into a hanging plant and broke his tooth. (Now I should note that his lip was completely unharmed...meaning, he was smiling! BIG! when he hit that pot!) None of my other kids have ever been to the ER at all. Apparently, they have learned well from Benji's mistakes!

Benji is also my athlete. He has LOVED baseball since he was 3 years old. He has played on a team since he was 5, and from time to time has dreams of playing in the Big Leagues. He also LOVES football although he isn't as good at football as he is at baseball, he REALLY loves playing the game. (That's MY boy!) Benji's only problem with sports is his mom...you see, growing up, I was a skinny-and by skinny, I mean BONEY-kid. EVERYONE made fun of me to the point that I wore sweat pants under my jeans to make myself look "normal". I am also about 5'2" tall. Now, I did try...Ben (my sweetheart husband) is 6'2" and about 175-180 lbs. Very healthy, very athleticly (is that a word?) built. Unfortunately for Benji, he is his mama's boy. He just doesn't have the size and power to be a true force at the bat or on the football field yet. So, he plays skill positions and doesn't care that he's little. I like that about Benji, he's just having fun playing the game. He doesn't care about being bigger, or stronger, he just wants to play.

Man, I could write for three more days and still think of things to tell you about Benji, but then who would feed the kids and the man? However, what I MUST tell you about Benji is that Benji is truly "Benjamin--the son of my right hand". Benji is my helper whenever I need him. He helps me with the cakes, he helps me with the other kids, and when my kidneys are acting up and I can't get up off of the couch, he helps take care of me. Benji and I are more than just mom and son, we are friends. He still gets up in the morning and comes to snuggle with me before everyone else gets up. He still kisses and hugs me in public, and tells me he loves me in front of his friends...sob... And he still looks for me in the stands during his games after he has made a good play to see if I saw it. (Are you crying yet? I'm darn close over here myself!)


Monday, October 22, 2007

Sick Kids, Tired Mom, No Time....Video Time!!!

Two of my kids aren't feeling well, I've been up at 3:00am for the past two mornings, and quite frankly I can't see straight at the moment and this typing thing is not easy to do when you can't see straight! SOOOOO....I'm going to let you see the final practice of Maddie's cheer team dance! They performed the dance Saturday during half-time at the football game as a final practice before yesterday's all.day.long. Cheer Competition (another post for another day!) My girl is second from the left in the front row--she's the one who counts them out after the cheer is over...I am just so proud, my girl can count!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bloggity Book Club -- Part 2!

For those of you who don't check BooMama three times a day...if there are any of you out there...I'm here to pass along the announcement that the Bloggity Book Club is happening again on November 7th. The details will be coming soon, but basically everyone reads the same book and then writes a post about it on the same day! Then we all go around and read everyone else's posts! The last one we did was on Beth Moore's "Get Out of That Pit" and it was oh so much fun! This time the book is a work of fiction titled "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger.

I just finished the book myself and I was captured from the very first chapter. I'm sure the book will get a bunch of different reactions from different people because it is such a unique piece of work. I do highly recommend it and am anxious to get everybody else's impressions of it! So, go to your bookstore or your library and get reading! And be sure and stop by BooMama's for all the bloggity details of how the club will work!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Please Pray for Little Ethan

I clicked on the cute little picture of Ethan in my sidebar which takes me to his website where I was hoping to get good news...I found instead a plea for fervent prayer. The leukemia has returned. It had appeared to be packing up and leaving, but it has decided to camp out and stay.

Ethan's parents, Ben and Becky Powell, truly believe God can heal their little boy, but they would really appreciate all the prayer "back-up" they can get. This fight is personal for me for reasons I won't go into in this post. This isn't about me, it's about a little boy and his family who desperately need the healing touch of the Father right now. Will you please pray for Ethan today, and could you please post the request on your own blogs? Can we storm the gates of heaven for "Little E" today?

Thank you everyone, and you can read Ethan's story and get his updates here. If you haven't already, you will fall in love with this special little guy. He is indeed a treasure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yankee or Dixie?

Okay, my friend, Heather, sent this to me and I decided to post it here so I can find out just exactly who my friends are! This is a short quiz to determine if you are more Yankee or Dixie...or at least whether you speak Southern or Northern!

So, just go here and take the quiz, then be sure and come back and post your results in the comments!

And in case you were wondering...yankee parents not withstanding, this girl scored 80% DIXIE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

They're Running....

The kids and I (all except little Dave) ran in the Cedar Perk 5-Miler and Kid's K a couple of weeks ago. All the kids did great. Benji finished 5th over-all, and both Maddie and Jon finished strong. I had tears in my eyes watching them all take off. Jon didn't want Maddie to fall behind, so the two of them started out holding hands! How sweet is that? (Especially since the majority of their days are spent trying to see which can aggravate the other the most!)

They both stopped to walk for a little bit, but when the end was in site, Maddie took off running and Jon spent the remainder of the race trying to catch up. He told me, "I was holding her hand so she wouldn't be alone, and then she smoked me!" The best part was that he wasn't mad about it. He was proud of her.

Now, I should admit here and now that I don't run so much as I jog. I don't run for speed, I run for distance. If I can make it the whole 5 miles, I'm happy with that. I did however, beat my previous "fastest" time by running the entire five miles in a mere 1 hour and 14 minutes! This was a full minute faster than my previous best. Are you proud of me?

Would you still be proud of me if I told you I came in 246th out of 300 runners? How about if I told you that the speed walkers left me in the dust? What about if I mentioned that the fastest time that day was 28 minutes and 20 seconds? And here's the kicker...the lady who won in the 70-75 year old category ran it in less than 40 minutes!!! Believe me, there is no room for pride in my running career!

I did not stop to walk though, and I did finish the race with a sprint at the end which is always my goal--to have enough left at the end to finish strong. It just feels better than starting out strong and then crawling across the finish while sucking air!

The best part of the race for me, however, was when I came down to the final 1/4 mile mark to find three of the kids standing there waiting to finish the race with their mama! Here we are coming down the stretch...

...you may notice the 4 people behind us. See how leisurely they are walking and having conversations while my face is completely red and I'm huffing and puffing? Sad, so very sad, I know. In fact Maddie thought I came in last place...she thought those people behind us were just out for a Sunday morning walk!

My next race will be on November 4, and it is the "Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure". My friend Denise is going to run or walk it with me. Yahoo! It's a 5K, so not as long as the 5-miler. Hopefully, we'll finish in front of the strollers and dog-walkers! But, just having a friend to do it with will be fun for me! If you are interested in making a donation for me, you can check out the details and find the link here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More of the Same Around Here...

As usual, it is extremely busy around here. We have two more weeks of football/cheer; two more birthdays this month; and of course homeschooling and trying to keep up with a two year old are time consuming and exhausting! This is a slow week as far as cakes go, so I'm hoping to be able to blog a bit more this week...and yes C, I AM going to get your cookies done THIS WEEK! There, I said it to the blogosphere, so now I HAVE to get it done!

Anyway, my sister took some great pictures of my kids at last week's football games, so I thought I'd just share those with you all today because Barb has taught me that when all else fails, just post a bunch of really big pictures! LOL

This is Jon, playing on the offensive line and holding his block (our team is the blue/black). He's so little, but he plays so hard!

This is Maddie cheering for her brother.

Here is Benji also holding his block...from up in the air a bit.

Finally, here is little Dave holding his brother's sign during the game. Can you tell it's naptime? The blue football sticking up is a little sign one of the moms made for Benji, so he is trying to hold both signs at one time! He does love those brothers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First Things First

I have been terribly negligent in a bit of bloggy business, and since I am finally back, I feel that I must take care of it right away...

Several months ago I was contacted by someone from Zondervan Publishing and asked to review a book on this blog. Being the book lover that I am, I jumped at the chance to receive a FREE ONE! What I received in the mail was this book:

Author: Ravi Zacharias

Synopsis: With inspiring stories and thought-provoking questions, Ravi Zacharias traces the multiple threads of our lives, describing how the unseen hand of God guides our joys, our tragedies, our daily humdrum to weave a pattern of divine providence and meaning.

When the book arrived in the mail, I was quite excited. Who wouldn't be, after all, to be presented with a book that will explain how God uses the events in our lives to weave His tapestry? The minute I started reading, I thought to myself, "Hmm. They probably should have sent this book to Lisa at "The Preacher's Wife" instead of me! The man is highly intelligent, people, and writes to intelligent people. It reminded me of some of my textbooks in college, and though it has been a long time since I've read anything more challenging than, "Is Your Mama a Llama?", I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

The stories he used as examples were so engaging and thought provoking, that I was immediately drawn in. Through his commentary and story-telling, Ravi Zacharias makes you want to live your life with purpose. He makes you anxious to see the final tapestry that God is weaving in your life, and yet he also teaches you how to patiently live each day of your life allowing God to weave each thread in His own time.

It was a fabulous book, and I do highly recommend it! I'll be passing my copy along to some lucky reader in the near future. So, if you are interested in reading this book, just leave me a note in the comments and I'll pass it along to one of you! If, however, you just can't wait...you can find this book at most book stores or you can order it straight from Zondervan.

Now I must go get breakfast for the kiddos, but I'll be back later with a BRAND NEW BLOG AWARD! Oh yes, I thought this one up all by myself...and yes, there is a story behind it. Stay tuned, folks. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Back....well, tomorrow anyway!

I know, you didn't know it, but my computer crashed....again....on my birthday....sigh. Anyway, I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new hard drive and (cross your fingers) we shouldn't have any more trouble! If we do...well, let's just say the word Macintosh is sounding very, very, good to me!

Anyway, I'll be back officially tomorrow with an actual post! I need to catch you up on my birthday...and the very famous person that I share it with, David's latest exploits, and perhaps even a little football!

So, sleep well internet friends, I am alive and well, and will be back to posting sometime tomorrow. I know both of you are thrilled to hear it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Am Asking for Your Help

UPDATED: Wow, we've already made our original goal of $100!! Now the goal has been raised to $200...and we're only $75 short of that goal! Let's see how many times we can adjust that goal, shall we? Thanks everyone!

We all know people who are battling cancer, leukemia, or any number of other serious diseases. I don't know about you, but I feel so helpless sometimes in the face of such huge giants. Currently, two of my friends are battling breast cancer, and apparently losing the battle. While I know that God is bigger than this disease, and that He certainly can heal them, I also feel the need to do something proactive. So, I have entered myself in this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I have a personal web page set up here where people can go to make an online donation to help find a cure for this terrible disease.

So, if there are any of you out there who would like to make a donation, you can go to my personal page and make a donation. I would also appreciate it if anyone is willing to post the link on their own blogs to help raise money as well. The default goal for each runner to raise is $100. $100 would be amazing, but I'd love it if we could blow that goal right out of the water! So if you can help by making a donation, or passing on the link, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!