Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for the kindness of friends and soon-to-be friends.

I'm thankful that I can receive such joy in intercession for the oppressed.

I'm thankful for full tummies and good health.

God is Good!

(I'm also thankful for a sweet husband who unexpectedly wisks me away to Barnes and Noble for some together time, hence my Thankful Thursday post is posted late. Yet again.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Well, it's official.
I am NOT the homeschooling queen.
I finally got my 6th grader, Antonio, going on his internet homeschool courses about a week and a half ago. He'd been taking some classes at the OHOP Co-op before that, but it was a huge wake-up call to do this! I thought he was doing great. Zooming through his lessons, catching up, enjoying the audio lessons, video lessons, interactivity, and finally his books came a couple days ago.
His grades are not doing so great. This is a straight A student. Okay, he has gotten some B's but they always averaged out. He even had some other dismal scores on occasional assignments and even quizzes that averaged out by the quarter. HELLO!
Not only is this new because of the internet/homeschool courses, but he is now in middle school. A whole new ballgame.
There is day-to-day work and assessments, but they are not included in the grade. The only grades to be averaged are Quizzes, Tests, and Portfolio assignments. This is huge for Antonio who would sometimes surf on all those homework A's. I had to REITTERATE the importance of STUDYING, taking his time, reading through the entire question, asking me questions if he isn't getting something. I guess he was under the impression that he was supposed to get through it all as quickly as possible. Yah. That's how you end up with a D. I'm really going to have to plow, plant, feed and water this boy. Even if he gives me attitude about it.

All this reflection reminds me of God and how He deals with us. Gentle reminders to take our time. A Book to read and study. Interactive lessons to reinforce the main ideas. And, when we try to rush through our lessons and mess up, there are consequences. Wake-up Calls! Then, He offers to spend extra time with us so we don't make the same mistakes again. He doesn't give up on us because He loves us so very, very much and wants us to learn and succeed! Even when we give Him attitude about it being too hard or not important. God is a good Father, pure love and endless patience.
I'm going to need His help with Antonio. He'll be there, because I happen to know that Antonio is God's favorite.
As am I.
As are YOU!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scary Mommy

I have to admit this really struck a chord with me. Her definition is a little different than I first thought it would be. A little more like me. If you agree with my definition of "Scary Mommy", and therefore MYSELF, please comment!

  • I teach them self-reliance by allowing them to make their own breakfast while I sleep in.
  • I sometimes just let them "fight it out."
  • Long, bone-crushing hugs are therapeutic.
  • Forcing Encouraging my children to read isn't actually killing them.
  • My 4 oldest kids have all changed diapers of the 3 youngest. Even the boys! I know, it could cause a revolution!
  • I decided to homeschool all 7 of them. This means I'm actually teaching 5 kids this year. (Maybe more - do you think a 2-year-old can learn the multiplication tables?)
  • I allow and even encourage my children to sing and pray ON the MICROPHONE at the prayer room!
  • I sometimes cry after yelling at my children.
  • I get a little irritated when they all crowd around me and talk at the same time.
  • Time and conversation with my husband (their father) comes first!
  • I went out today wearing sweats, t-shirt, scrunchie, flip-flops. No make-up. Fabulous sunglasses.
  • I don't actually care if my 5-year-old still sucks his fingers when he goes to sleep, as long as he actually sleeps!
  • My kids do chores. I know - it's a crazy concept. Even the littlest picks up toys. (Before joyfully tossing them around the room once more.)
  • Lastly, and maybe the scariest mommy thing to do, I sing and dance in PUBLIC!
Hello, my name is Dixie, and I am a Scary Mommy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Belated

On Wednesday, the whole family was at the morning intercession watch from 10 - 12 noon at OHOP. That, in itself, is a huge task & momentous occasion! It's a blessing to be able to intercede for families (and our own) as a family.
During a quieter contemplative portion, Keliah (6) came and stood before me, put her hand on my forehead and started praying for me.
Then, later in the day, I was getting flustered and frustrated and she asked if I wanted her to pray for me again!

It's moments like these when I feel that I might be doing something right.
And, maybe just maybe, we're hearing the voice of God on this whole "living by faith" thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Pink Week Entry!

This is a fabulous opportunity to give back a little, once again, to fight cancer. I've never entered an I Faces contest before, but thought with 3 adorable little girls I should have some incredible PINK pictures. I was right! It was pretty hard to pick just one. Here is my entry:

This is Cecelia just about 3 1/2 years ago. How time flies! Be sure and visit to check out everyone else's great entries this week!

Coleman's Continuing Battle

Coleman heading for a treatment. What a trooper!

This is the latest about my cousin, Coleman, and his battle against Lymphoma from his grandma, my Aunt Nona. Praying for him has just blessed my heart. He's halfway through his chemo treatments. Please continue lifting him and his family up during this trying time. Thank you!

Coleman had his 10th Birthday Wednesday October 7th. His immune system was way down so he couldn't go anywhere or have anyone over. The kids in his class at school brought gifts to school . the teacher brought them to him along with some flowers and balloons. This really made his day.
Coleman just had his 4th treatment Friday October 9th. This time he was to be admitted and kept over night in the hospital. He has 4 more treatments to go.
I got to go into the room where they do the treatment and it was something. They have the room decorated like an ocean. They turn on a projector and it projects the images on a curtain which makes it move like its actually a body of water. Very relaxing in there. Didn't care to watch the procedure itself but the Doctor and nurse were very nice and made Coleman feel very comfortable. They kept him talking practically the whole time. The treatment this time involved the spine. They took from fluid off the spine then administered the medicine. This whole procedure probably lasted about 30 to 45 minutes. Coleman was sedated so he really didn't feel a thing. He just started talking a little silly about watching some beavers playing.
What amazed me was Coleman. He was a little groggy getting back to his room, but as soon as he got in bed and raised his head up, all he wanted to do was eat. And eat he did, nacho cheese chips (a $1.29 bag of chips), a candy bar, some twizzlers, then came lunch of pizza and chocolate cake. This satisfied him for a little while. For dinner he had 2 cheese enchiladas.
As you can see he is doing pretty good.
Later that evening he got to feeling bad and feeling hot. This is a side effect of the medicines he has to take. After the spinal treatment he has to have three different kinds of medicine, which is administered through his port. This happens right after he gets to his room and then later in the day. This is why he has to stay overnight in the hospital. Saturday he came home feeling pretty good.
He still gets tired late in the afternoon and sometimes just hurts all over. He says he cannot explain how it feels other then it just hurts.
The family is well and doing good. Thank you for your prayers.
PRAISE GOD PRAYERS ARE BEING ANSWERED. Treatments could have been worse, family could still be sick, but all this has been taken care of only through all your prayers.
Coleman also wanted me to tell you Thank You for your prayers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby Picture Sunday - It's a Video Age

This is Sabina at 5 months dancing to the amazingly anointed worship singer Misty Edwards from the International House of Prayer - Kansas City. She loved to dance even before she could sit up. And, obviously, Keliah loves to be on camera. It's been about a year since I looked at this, so it was a fun trip down memory lane for me! Check out those dimples...

6 Word Saturday

Yes, I am a lazy blogger.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Birthday Girl Blogger & Thankful Thursday

Yes. Today is officially my birthday. Well, it is after midnight, so I'm calling it today.
And, even though I sat my kids down 2 weeks ago to tell them seriously that my birthday was coming up and they better start planning, it snuck up on them.
"What? TOmorrow's you're birthday?"
So, we're blessed to have a friend who works at one of the Disney parks and she's getting Nick and I in tomorrow (today). This is going to be the first time we've been to Disney alone since our honeymoon! I'm excited and don't know what to wear! Tee-hee.
Then, we'll celebrate with family cake and ice cream time this weekend. Because, to the kids, it's just not a birthday without those 2 things. And presents, of course.

Thankful Thursday:
I am thankful for my health and awesome family.
I am thankful for our friend Jocelyn who never hesitates to let us in to Disney during her busy work day.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to intercede and sing in the Exodus Cry prayer watch every Thursday morning at OHOP. It's awesome!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Miracle of God's Provision

Bear with me guys, this is more of a short story than a traditional blog post.

This past weekend I was making preparations for Sabina's 2nd birthday. Now, money's so tight that I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to afford the candy decorations for her Puppy Cake, but I wanted to get her one good gift. My other daughters made her a headband and necklace, I had a couple small things on reserve in the emergency gift stash for times like this, but I wanted her to have something she would love. I had a limited budget and garage sales were fruitless, so I brought my oldest son for some one-on-one time and headed out for the secondhand children's store. Sabina didn't need clothes, they've been provided in abundance; I had in mind a rocking horse, but knew we couldn't afford a new one. I wandered through the crowded labyrinth of clothes, toys, shoes and books, a rack of costumes momentarily distracted me. I searched along the tops of the clothing racks where large toys are displayed. Too little for a trike, and already using her brother's like-new ride-on toy, Sabina's gift should be a rocker.

There were cute plush ponies on plastic bases that made (shudder) noises and music. I saw a couple expensive wooden rocking horses that were probably too big for her to get on without help. The two plush Disney rockers looked too small. The three Fisher-Price spring rockers were somewhat pricey and would take up too much room at home. The one I kept coming back to was perfectly fun - a purple stuffed elephant on a wooden rocking base; low enough for her to negotiate by herself and sturdy enough for her 3-year-old brother to take a ride. $25 price tag. I looked around. I wanted to get that elephant. With a little groan, I decided to leave and take my chances at Goodwill. I took note of the store hours for the following day; if I didn't have any luck I still had a chance to come back.

Antonio and I got back in the car and traveled to Goodwill where I'd seen a cute, if worn, rocking horse a couple weeks before. I quickly scanned the toy area there, no rocking anything. Then, I started the thrift store hunt; this is when you walk, sort, and sift through junk hoping to find a treasure. I discovered a brand new, in the box, child's hair care set with brightly painted hand mirror, brush, and clips. I picked out 2 Blues Clues and Baby Einstein video tapes. At 69 cents each, they didn't have to last long to live up to their value. I discovered 2 great gifts for the small Christmas stash I've begun. Then, I dug to the bottom of the toy bin. Antonio had already bought an eagle Webkinz for less than 50 cents. He was ready to go. "What are you doing, Mom?" I think there was a rolling of eyes in there, but I was distracted. That's when I hit paydirt. I found a c-u-t-e "Boo" doll (from Monster's Inc.) Her hair still looked like it was in the original pigtails, a little smooshed from the toy bin but fixable. She laughed, talked and sang. She had a few stickers on her nightshirt. So what? I knew Sabina would love her. I was ready to go. While I was paying $8 (for all that good stuff!) I found a tiny white, new-with-tags, girly purse AND white sunglasses just Sabina's size to put inside. Now she wouldn't have to steal my sunglasses out of my purse! Another dollar plus tax and I happily went home.

As I was showing Nick the gifts I'd picked out for Sabina, he was pleased with them, but frustrated that we couldn't get the rocking elephant I'd loved. With a grumble, he said, "Well, God's her Daddy and if He wants her to have it, He'll provide it. Maybe someone will give you some money tomorrow at church and you can go back to get it." (A short word: As intercessory missionaries, we live by faith. We have monthly pledged supporters, and are blessed by others unexpectedly.) The next morning, Nick was guest leading worship at another church. As it was a Spanish church, I figured the kids wouldn't get much out of it so we went to the Sunday celebration service at OHOP as usual. After the service, I had a few people ask where Nick was and how were we doing, as the kids swirled around me and I picked up the little ones from the nursery. One of these kind souls put folded up cash in my hand. I thanked and hugged him, and put it in my purse without looking.

When the dust had settled at home, after lunch and getting the 3 youngest down for naps, Nick called on his way home. "How was church?" "It was good. Oh, J--- blessed us with money." "Really?! How much?" "I don't know, there was a 20 and a 5, I think." "You think?!" "I'm checking." There was actually 2 $20 bills and 2 $5 bills. Doubly blessed! My eyes filled with tears because I knew without a doubt that God had provided this for Sabina's $25 purple rocking elephant. He is a good Daddy.

It was the hit of the party. Sabina wouldn't even stop rocking long enough to talk on the phone to her grandparents; I put it on speaker. She had to be coaxed off to have cake and ice cream. She love, love, loves it. She liked all her gifts, but that purple elephant will always have a special place in her room, her memories, and my heart.

Verse for the day:

"Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it." Jeremiah 33:9

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birthday Girl! & Thankful Thursday

Sabina was the Birthday Princess on the 5th!
She turned 2-years-old and her brother Rocky thought she needed her own tiara.
Here she's looking at the Family Fun cake book pretending to eat each page and trying to find the Puppy Cake.

Since we had a Puppy theme going on - because Sabina LOVES puppies - I got Scooby Snacks for everyone to munch. I'm sure they tasted better than the bone-shaped Pedigree dog food Luca tried a few days ago. EW!

A Few of her favorite things:
The cute headband Cecelia made her from the dollar kit we got at Michael's craft store.
The mirror & brush set I found at Goodwill - brand new people!
And this adorable "Boo" doll from Monster's, Inc. that talks and sings.
The Puppy Cake at last!
Sabina was thrilled to eat her cake at last. She didn't quite get the candle thing. She just blew a little puff of air in that general direction. I'm sure she'll get it next year!

It was a joy-filled celebration for the baby of the family who is officially no longer a baby. *sniff*

Since this is also Thankful Thursday I wanted to add this:

I am thankful for a healthy, adorable, happy 2-year-old daughter who brings joy to my life every day.
I am also thankful for God's provision - tune in tomorrow for a full report on what He gave His child.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birthday hangover...

Yesterday was Sabina's 2nd Birthday. It was fun, joyous, and slightly sad for me because my baby isn't really a baby anymore. She's a KID!
After gift preparations and a made-from-scratch cake, a stressful day, and late party time because of Daddy's work, I have a birthday hangover.
I wanted to post on the birthday and put the cute pictures up.
I wanted to talk about the miracle of God's provision.
I wanted to eat a little more cake before it dried out.

It's late. I'm going to keep you all waiting just a little longer. I know you're all on tenterhooks - I'm truly sorry. (insert appropriate sarcasm.)
Tomorrow. I will be blogger mom again. Tonight I'm just tired out mom. Love to you all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Picture Sunday - Babies Can Sleep ANYWHERE!

Truthfully, this pic of Luca is only about a year old. He's 2 here, fell asleep having his snack.

Luca is much younger here, only about 2 months old. I know it's not that unusual for a baby to fall asleep in the swing, but it had stopped swinging long before!

This is Sabina (15 months old) this past January asleep on Granny's lap, in a rocking chair. Again, not that unusual, but Sabina has never been a rock-to-sleep baby. She's always had to fall asleep in her own bed, on her own. If I tried rocking her, she'd squirm around and stay awake, and frustrate me. I think my mom just had to get this last sweet snuggle time in. We flew home the next day.

The weird cute sleeping pic I had of Carlo asleep on Nick's tummy, wearing 3D glasses, while waiting for "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" to start at Disney World is sadly missing. I took it with a cell phone that has been damaged. But, I think about these moments as treasured up in my heart.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Can you feel the glee? I don't have time to post tonight because I'm going out for some q.t. with my charming husband Nick. Woo-hoo!
Thank goodness for free events like Winter Garden's Music Festival this weekend. Loving it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for the hard places.
This is where we remember our blessings, remember other rocky times, and remember that God is Good ALL the Time.

I am also thankful for amazing women who use their limited time and resources to reach out to others. Busy moms like Lani and Debi who love others as themselves.

Today I am thankful that my children are safe, healthy, fed and clothed.

I am thankful for new friends who can share heart burdens in prayer.

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