Wednesday, August 31, 2011

knees and blessings

Miss Beth's sprained knee is still swollen, though she seems to have full use of it most days. Pediatricians commonly tell worried parents that toddlers will stay off their injuries when necessary, unlike adults who try to push themselves. Well, she re-injured it on Monday, so I'd say that's not necessarily true. Though less swollen than the first forty-eight hours, there's still visible swelling and I'm concerned that the longer the fluid stays around, the more chance for infection in the joint. They'll eventually decide to insert a needle and drain the fluid if it stays around too long.

Yesterday morning she started with a limp again, and I considered taking her back to the ER, but after the stiffening subsided and the limp stopped, I changed my mind.

In an attempt to keep her off of it, we are trying to run extra errands and keep her in a stroller or carseat. Since I sold a little more curriculum, we went to a thrift store yesterday to gather fall/winter things for Miss Mary, who only had two pairs of pants to start the season. I hate getting myself into a one-to-wash-one-to-wear laundry situation. That never works around here.

In other news, my Peter--regular readers might recall--prays every summer for a praying mantis. Around this time they are full grown and more visible. Once again, the Lord provided, as you'll see below. 

Running into the house, Peter yells, "I caught a praying mantis!  Jesus told me to look in this one bush and at first I said to myself there was nothing there. Then I decided to look and I found a female mantis! Maybe we'll get an egg sac!" 

All these clothes are like new, though I'm not sure the pictures show that.

A Talbots jumper for church

pink Gap chenille pullover

Children's Place layering sweater in red

Old Navy fushia stripped hoodie

red Esprit sweatshirt

Simple shirt dress from Walmart, new

Cherokee jeans, look brand new though the picture makes them look old

new Arizona jeans with diamond jewels on pockets

A pair of new jeans for Peter and new navy cords for Paul (not pictured)

Always love finding book treasures at the thrift store! I'm sure there were more classics, but with four kids along, I could only look briefly.

Can you tell she wasn't thrilled about a picture just then? I'm mourning the loss of my sweet girl! While she still cuddles lovingly, there is much more attitude and whining over minor things. A stage I hope? She will be five in December.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

God's Timing; Weekend Wonder

I really want to write about Catherine Marshall or the Lord's Prayer, but alas, those topics take a long time, and the clean-laundry mountain has reached an elevation I can't ignore. I keep up with the washing and the hanging, but I'm pretty good at ignoring the folding mountain. I'd never write a word here if I didn't ignore it.

But briefly, I have a testimony to share on the Lord's timing, and some weekend photos to post.

Paul, age 7, has been interested in soccer for awhile now. A few issues hampered our signing him up. One was financial and another involved me chasing young girls around the green by myself, instead of cheering for my sons....back when husband still worked nights. As the girls got older, we had the issue of no van available while Daddy used it for work.

Most importantly, soccer options I looked into involved way too much time.....time stolen from family meals and Bible reading around the table. Life can take a nasty turn when you have to rush children here and there. Over the years, I've noticed that too much of this prevents all of us from giving our best to God and to one another.

We all prayed. Not continuously, but every time Paul mentioned it, we began adding it to our prayers again.

Enter my soccer angel.

The Lord knew my Paul's heart. He knew our hearts, which desired the best for Paul, without compromising our family purpose goals.

A few weeks ago I received a homeschooling e-mail from my Christian group about a September soccer class. It meets two days a week for the month of September only, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:30 - 11:30 for soccer instruction, and from 11:30 - 12:15 for lunch, fellowship, and free play. It costs $15 per month per child for one day a week, and $30 total per child for two days a week. There will be one game at the end of September at a date and time decided upon by the parents as a whole. We will do just Thursday mornings, since the class is thirty minutes away from us, and with library day and another day of household/business errands, we already do enough running around.

The whole thing was put together by a homeschooling mother who also has a 7-year-old son long interested in soccer. For reasons similar to ours, she's never put him on a team (she's a single mom).

After rejoicing over this e-mail, our next obstacle was that both my boys needed a soccer ball and shin guards...cleats being optional.

I found shin guards for one boy at a garage sale. Today my cousin's wife sent along a like-new soccer ball, cleats to fit both my boys, soccer shorts in various colors and sizes, and another pair of shin guards. Her boys have moved on to other sports.

Make that two soccer angels.

We're short one soccer ball, but the Lord has shown His love for my son, and his respect for our family goals. Another soccer ball will show up before September 1st. I know this.

The Lord's timing.

It's mysterious. Hard. Beautiful. Perfect.

Speaking of angels, we also had one for the fair. My aunt gave the children spending money for our County Fair, which is a big deal around here.

 Last year my Sweet Miss, at eighteen months old, cried around all the farm animals, with the exception of the small animal barn. This year she fell in love in with these farm buddies.

Saturday was Fair Day, and Sunday was Reptile Day at a local nature park.

I respect wild animals. Which means I don't put my children in front of free-walking alligators. People were looking at me strangely, as though I was being over-protective in making sure my children were out of striking distance.

Yes, folks, this good-sized alligator was walking the floor free--no lease, no noose, no pen. My husband took this photo, but he wasn't really this close.

This smaller one had a noose. This woman held him the whole time, like he was her baby. When people start treating their alligators like babies, I know they've lost perspective on wild the woman whose chimp destroyed her friend's face.

The flower garden at this place! It soothes my soul. I showed you these flowers last year, but I thought you'd like another peek.

My children were thrilled with the soccer things from my cousin. Miss Beth was not to be left out. Here she is in her soccer gear pose, happy as a lark. Yes, I let her go outside like that. The boys put everything on and ran around the house, uber excited. Then they practiced out back for an hour.

They're already quite good! Miss Mary too!

This group of fair photos are courtesy of my Peter. Every time I see these teeth, I giggle. It looks like he's smiling at my Peter.