Friday, May 22, 2009

Stepping Out Of The Cave

NOTE: If you haven't read "Living In A Cave In Antartica" below, scroll down and start there first! :)

If we lived in a cave in Antartica, and God asked me to step out of that cave in faith, what would I say??

“God, I can’t – it’s COLD out there!”

“What if my jacket isn’t warm enough?”

Or would I run outside into the snow, eager to embrace the cold, frolic with the penguins, and leave footprints in the ice as I walk with the Lord?

I’d like to think I’d be the latter, but truthfully, most days I feel like a little of both.

Our house is most likely selling (nothing is for sure, especially in THIS market, until the dotted line has been signed), and we are looking at moving to Oklahoma this summer.

So what about jobs?

Good question.

A few months ago, I found out about an online job opportunity through some very dear friends of mine. With their help (and recommendations), I have found myself going thru not one, but TWO different interviews with this wonderful company.

I hesitate to say very much about this. Although both interviews have been absolutely wonderful experiences for me, I don’t know, and won’t know, for a little while longer if I will be offered a position at this company or not.

I will tell you this – I could work fully from home, and utilize many odd hours (such as early at morning or late at night) to get some of the work done. I can also do the work from anywhere – making it a great job to have in Oklahoma.

It would be, in short….a blessing. I feel as though the position I have been interviewed for is perfect for me – a perfect fit with my talents and personality.

I have prayed my way through every step of this, and have experienced such wonderful peace about God’s plan and provision. As a matter of fact, just last night, as I was doing some of my Bible reading, a verse in Proverbs caught my heart.

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)

God’s purpose will stand – no matter what. That means that even if I face the disappointment of not being accepted for this job, that God knows.

I want to glorify Him. I truly do. I want Him to take my heart, my hands, and my life. I want to be a Godly wife, and a Godly mother.

God is also moving to possibly have our daughter K-Bug attend a very special Kindergarten called Veritas. It is a part-time private Christian school and part-time homeschool situation. Again, perfect for our family. A spot is held for her there, even though I do not currently know if that is where she will be this fall.

My dear hubby, for his part, is also walking by faith – and flying by faith – out to Oklahoma the first week of June. His father has decided to take some time off and go with him, a true father-son trip. No matter what happens, both men are excited to have this time together!

My hubby’s resume’ is prepared and he will be looking for both ministry positions and possible contracts for re-starting his own music business in Oklahoma (just like what he does here right now).

For now, we wait, we prepare to the best of our ability, and we pray and stay rooted in Scripture as much as we possibly can!

So, there you have it, as much as can possibly be told in a nutshell, what is going on for the Smith family.

The day-to-day dealings with all of these BIG decisions can make our days seem almost chaotic at times. We have tried to keep things even keel for the kids as much as for ourselves, but we believe that God has asked us to step forth out of the cave and see what He has for us.

With jackets on (and maybe a good set of snow skis) we grasp the hand of the Father, and say one word.


Living In A Cave In Antartica

One of my closest friends growing up had a saying that she would call upon any time a random piece of information used to catch me off guard. With a huge smile on her face, she would always ask, “Where have you been? Living in a cave in Antartica?”

Well, this desert is about as far from Antartica as you can get, but I have indeed been “leaking” small amounts of news that have caught everyone, including me, a little bit off guard.

To my amazing friends credit, if all I had told you was that I WAS living in a cave in Antactica, you would have responded with something like, “We will pray that you keep warm!” and then asked me “WHAT in the WORLD are you doing in Antartica??”

I have given out small pieces of information, mostly thru Facebook, in the last few weeks. I have told you that we put our house on the market, I have told you that we have an active offer on the house (which we’ve accepted), and just a few days ago, I asked for prayer for a job interview (which happened yesterday).

And in the most loving ways possible, you responded with, “We will pray for you, but WHAT in the WORLD are you talking about?”

I apologize right now for doing that to you, my dear friends. It isn’t really very fair to ask you for prayers about which I have been willing to share little.

It’s not that I don’t want to share, it’s more about waiting to see what it is that I really have to share. So much is unknown right now.

No matter though – it’s time for the box to be opened, and to spill out the jumbled contents inside. God is making ALL things beautiful, weaving every part of the jumbled into something that will bring Him glory.

It isn’t any secret that for the last several years, my husband and I have talked, prayed, and talked some more about making a move out of Phoenix. It is not an easy or flippant decision, I assure you. My husband’s family is all local, and my parents have lived next door for almost the past two years – all in all, an awesome situation. My parents have wanted to move out-of-state for a while themselves (they rent the house next door), but have waited here to see what we were going to do – they didn’t want to be far from their beloved grandchildren. 

A few years ago, we visited my sister and her husband in Norman, Oklahoma and fell in love with the place. My sis and her hubby had asked us to consider moving there, so we got a realtor to show us around during that first trip. While there, we found “it” – THE house – our “dream house”. We came back all fired up to try and make a sudden move.

But God had other plans.

Some of our dearest friends had asked us to help them start a church plant, and eagerly awaited our return from Oklahoma to see what we would decide. On our knees before the Lord, my hubby and I both felt that the Lord told us “not yet”. We believed He was leading us to start this church plant, and so we said “No” to Oklahoma and “Yes” to obedience.

Many of you know about all that has followed. It has been almost two years of growth in the Lord – challenging at times (especially for me), but full of so much joy in our obedience. I got pregnant and we were blessed to add J-Boy to the family. The friendships I have here are so deep and so amazing – women that are my sisters in Christ – now and forever.

During that time, my sis and her hubby have moved away from Oklahoma. After a year in South Carolina, they are back in the East Texas area, living in Dallas.

But that call to Norman, Oklahoma has remained in our hearts, and over the last few months, we begin to hear the Lord prompting us to move forward in obedience to Him.

This time the move just might involve moving vans and a brand new state.

Soo….April Fools Day found our house on the market (gulp), and a little over a month later, we had an active offer (double gulp).

We’ve gone thru mountains of paperwork, a home inspection, and yesterday – the appraiser. If all continues to go well, our close date will be June 19th.

Less than a month away….

Where will we live?

I – don’t – know – exactly

There is talk of putting all we can in storage and gutting it out for a month over at my parent’s house – saving as much money as we can.

There is talk of us moving to Norman by August……August???

What about jobs, you ask?? Well, that brings me to the next part of this whirlwind. Read on..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Go Fly A Kite (& Feed Fish)

The first weekend in April found our family looking at sunny skies, windy weather, and a brand-new kite. What to do??

How about a kite festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden?

Some of you know of my dear hubby's love of the Japanese culture. He recently acquired a membership to this small, Japanese garden, located in the downtown Phoenix area. It has become a special place for him to go and spend time with the Lord.

As a "member", he gets updates via e-mail about the various going-ons at the garden. That's how we found out about this small kite festival - celebrated in Japan as Children's Day. We loaded up the kiddos and enjoyed a wonderfully windy day together!

The girlies were immediately drawn to the large, blue tubs of koi fish that were being sold at the festival. Fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors swam in the long row of tubs.

The girlies (and J-Boy) also all had the chance to take to the stage to play a real Japanese taiko drum!! A troupe of young boys performed for everyone too.

Then it was kite time! For a few dollars, the girlies made a small kite (to go with the one that we had already brought with us). Then it was up, up, and away!!

After a little bit of kite-flying fun, we headed over to the garden to feed the large koi fish that live in the pond at the garden. The girls loved how close they could get to the fish and how BIG they opened up their mouths to devour the food!
J-Boy loved the fish too - except he was interested in trying to swim with them - hence the reason he is not in the pictures.

Here are some pictures of the garden - it is a lovely and peaceful place.
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Our family was truly blessed to spend this windy day out enjoying God's creation!

House For Sale



And…..a house…..

For those of you who know me, you know that one of my greatest desires in the last few years has been to abandon Phoenix like a rat from a burning ship (and on a hot, summer day in Arizona, you really do feel like you’re burning…)

Abandon to where, you might ask?? That’s another blog post.

And yet, whenever I would approach my dear hubby about this “burning” desire, he wasn’t ready to take the leap.

So I’ve waited….and prayed….and waited....and whined…and prayed some more

True confession: some of the praying was actually whining too….you know…”But God, this is what I WANT….waaahh”

And then – it happened. One night in March, while my dear hubby and I were praying together, he looked at me and said, “Ok, let’s do it.”

A few weeks later, we listed our house on April 1st - April Fools Day.

I know, God has a sense of humor… :)

So, here it is – our house on the market

Quite possibly the worst market that Arizona has seen in my lifetime.

We’ve had one…count it…one person come to look at our house since we put it on the market just a little over a week ago. Our realtor has not given us much hope to expect many more at this point.

And yet, as I hit my knees in prayer, and approach my heavenly Father with the “Why didn’t you give both me AND my hubby peace about this before now??” question….I am filled with a strange reassurance.

Reassurance that HIS way is always best, that HIS timing is worth the wait, and that HE, and HE alone, will work things out together for the “good of those who love Him”.

So I wait…and pray….and wait some more….
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

J-Boy Is One!!

J-Boy is understandably older (funny how kids do that). He had his first birthday at the end of February. Well….kind-of anyway. Being a leap year kiddo, he didn’t have his actual “date” of birth on the calendar.

We celebrated with a small first birthday party at a local park. He had started to pull up on things and decided to take some of his first “real” steps the day of the party.

He also had a good time eating…i.e. smearing… his own version of dump truck cake (chocolate soy pudding with animal crackers crumbled on top). Mmmmmmm……

He still doesn’t have a lot of hair (seems to be a pattern with my kids), but I sometimes spike what little he does have –so he’s still stylin! I love that boy’s punkin head…

He has since learned how to run everywhere on his chubby legs, and I spend most of my days running after him. He is into EVERYTHING!! For example, about a week ago, I found him in our bathroom. He had managed to somehow get the Listerine bottle out and take off the child safety cap. Thankfully, he had decided to NOT drink the liquid, but was delightedly shaking it and causing large amounts of minty freshness to rain down on his clothes, his stuffed animal, and a pile of clean laundry.

He has started to say a few words – “Dad-dee!!”, “Dogg-ie!” (he loves my parents dog), and his favorite “WOW! He points and uses sign language as well. Despite this cuteness, he doesn’t always get what he wants (isn’t life so unfair?) and he uses his newly developed sense of attitude to tell the world what he thinks about that.

He is a solid chunk, who would rather be outside playing in the rocks, dirt, water, and mud than just about anything else. He would also rather play with his sister’s toys or his Daddy’s guitar than any of his own age-appropriate toddler toys. He tries to play in the trashcan, the cat water, and the toilet on a near-constant basis, and has to be watched constantly when he is awake and moving.

He is...a whirlwind. And he whirls each of my days in a most wonderful way! Here are few pics of him for you to enjoy...

Playing on the computer (a used laptop that Daddy lets his sisters play with) He loves ANYTHING with buttons!

My little sweetheart!!

And...the whirlwind in motion!
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Friday, January 02, 2009

Cooking Up Christmas Fun

We did do lots of fun things during the Christmas season. One of those things was making Gingerbread cookies! One of my best memories growing up was making lots of Gingerbread men every year to give out to family and friends.
So, of course, I asked my Mom if we could all do it as a family this year.
Miss K-Bug LOVES to cook, so she was super excited about the day. Lorelin had fun, but I think she was ready to quit waaay before her sister was.
We put J-Boy down for a nap and got started making Gingerbread. We sure did make a lot of cookies!
Thanks Mom!

K-Bug put the flour on her nose because she had seen it in a book somewhere. She wanted to keep it on there the whole time! Too cute!

Mmmm....yummy...well, not yet..BUT

Soon enough we had lots of yummy gingerbread men. Lorelin DID like the eating part!!!
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry POST Christmas!

Ahhh….Christmas…..that blessedly busy season.

Can I make a confession??

I really DO like Christmas (honest, Scott, I do!!) ……….buuut

I am always glad when it’s over.

I am one of those people that is ready, ready, ready to take down the tree and lights the day after Christmas is over, and secretly get annoyed if I hear Christmas carols playing at church or on the radio after Christmas Day.

Sorry…I know that sounds really grinchy of me….

I do like Christmas…I do….and this year it was more fun than ever with three children under the age of five. K-Bug, by the way, says that she wishes it could be Christmas “EVERY DAY always, always always!!”

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much. I think I will make more consistent blogging one of my New Year’s resolutions (right behind reading the Bible thru in a year and getting in the best shape of my life…but more about that later)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of these cute Christmas pictures and a recap of the true Christmas fun we were able to have!!  Merry Post Christmas everyone!!!



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And on to Valentines Day!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Miss Kertchoo

Last night was one of the first FULL nights of good sleep I feel that I've gotten in weeks!
Next to K-Bug's sinus infection (and ensuing drama), we've also had a bout of croup with Miss Lorelin (she's fine now...but still on some temporary medicine to help her breathe at night), and a round of stomach flu with my hubby (he's OK today...but the last few days have been rough).
My throat has been slightly soar, and J-Boy has had some sniffles, but thankfully nothing else (I've been putting special baby acidophilus in his food, and giving him some special organic probiotic oatmeal).

Oh yeah...and I think I'm having PMS.

I had my breakdown yesterday - lots of boo-hooing and generally feeling sorry for myself since the last few weeks have been a little rough. I called my Mom and told her "I need my Mommy". She came and got all three kids for at least half an hour so that I could take a shower and change my clothes.

Today I slowly feel my sanity returning. In an effort to be light-hearted about the "sickies" that we've experienced these last few weeks, I wrote this poem last night...enjoy!

Me, You, And Miss Kertchoo

We’ve all heard of the Easter Bunny
And the Tooth Fairy too
But little know about the one
Simply known as Miss Kertchoo
She keeps Kleenex in her purse
And her wand is full of bluckies
That make little children everywhere
Green and gooey with the yuckies
Each cold season she awakes
From a long summer’s nap
She takes her germs and infections
And gives her hands a clap
As she giggles with delight about all the sickies she will spread
On each little boy and girl as they are lying in their bed
And who pays the price for Miss Kertchoo – her mischief and her fun?
It’s the parents – the parents I tell you – each and every one
We’ll wake like zombies to the tone of our children whining
“Mom, I can’t sleep. I don’t feel good.”
Their voices will bring
An end to our sleep
Our peace
Our sanity
And what I want to know is why no-one did tell me
About the stress and strain that these germs can cause
And yet I am SO thankful
This is because
I know that these bodies are just temporary
And sometimes germs infect
But ONE DAY our Heavenly Father
Will give us bodies that are oh-so-

So, Miss Kertchoo, how do you do, with your wand of yuckies?
I will use the power of Tylenol (and prayer) to beat back the bluckies!!

So there!!

P.S. Lord, I am still one tired Mommy, so health visited upon our family very soon would be GREAT!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventure

The holiday season has roared down upon us again, and we spent a wonderful day-after Thanksgiving putting up our Christmas tree and decorations (I practically just supervised while the girlies put up all the ornaments and decorations). They LOVED making the house “look SO pretty!” as K-Bug said over and over.

I spent some early morning hours shopping with my Mom (we were insane enough to venture out to Wal-Mart), and the rest of my day was spent cleaning the house. I even squeaked in a nap…..ahhh!!

So, now, here I am, sitting at the end of my day – tired and unbelievably thankful for all that I am blessed with.

God gave our family an extra special reminder about how blessed we are and how HE is always in control this past week. Last Sunday morning, as we were getting ready to go to church, K-Bug started to complain of a scratchy throat. I didn’t think much about until I felt her head and she was burning up with fever.

Poor girl! Later that day, Miss Lorelin started in with her own fever, and we all spent a very long night nursing fevers and not getting much sleep.

On Monday afternoon, my dear hubby took both girls into our pediatrician where it was discovered that K-Bug had a sinus infection and ear infection BOTH (how do these things come on so suddenly?!), while Miss Lorelin was deemed a viral infection.
We started K-Bug on her antibiotics and spent ANOTHER long night of being awake, this time largely due to K-Bug’s nasal passages being virtually swollen shut and her not being able to breathe. We gave her Vick’s vapor rub, put the Vaporizer right in front of her bed, and finally ended up with both her and I on the couch, with me holding her upright most of the night.

By Tuesday, although the fevers were all gone (and Miss Lorelin was acting like she felt significantly better), Miss K-Bug was wiped out from the complete lack of good rest and sleep.

On Tuesday night, we all braced ourselves for another looong night, and sure enough, K-Bug began to sound very much like a eighteen wheeler on steroids as she nodded off, only to wake up crying as her body tried to catch a good breathe. Around 11:00 p.m. my dear hubby and I finally nodded off as K-Bug headed off to bed. At midnight, I woke up and went to check on K-Bug.

I found her with the same VERY noisy breathing, but she also seemed to be tossing, turning, and even thrashing on her bed. I picked her up and moved her to the couch, where I noticed that drool was coming profusely from her mouth and bubbles of spit were popping up. I tried to wake K-Bug to get her to breathe from her mouth, but I COULD NOT WAKE HER UP. No matter what I tried, either. No response.

I went and woke up my dear hubby, and after he had tried unsuccessfully to rouse K-Bug for a few minutes, he asked me to call 911. She had a complete lack of muscle response - she felt completely limp like a noodle in our arms.

Dialing 911 for what was the first time in my life (and I’d be fine if it was my last) will go down as one of the scariest moments of my life to date. I sounded much calmer on the phone than I felt, as I relayed the situation to the dispatcher and gave him all of the necessary information.

With MUCH relief, my hubby was finally able to successfully rouse a very congested and scared K-Bug by putting some water on her face, and we all waited the final few minutes out front as the paramedics pulled up.

Coming inside the house, the paramedics took a blood pressure (it was fine) and a blood oxygen level (it was also fine – 98%) on K-Bug, who by this time was shaking with fright, while seeming very dazed at the same time.

The paramedics gave us the recommendation that we take K-Bug directly on to an Urgent Care to be checked out, but also gave us their full OK for us to drive her ourselves. My brave and amazing hubby took K-Bug on to the pediatric urgent care (called Good Night Pediatrics)

Once there, however, the doctors sent him and K-Bug on to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, stating that our description indicated that there could have been a possible seizure.

According to my dear hubby, the nurses and doctors at Phoenix Children's all treated K-Bug like a little princess, and the attending ER doc was very calm and reassuring that K-Bug’s current seemed normal and healthy, despite the fact that she also felt that a seizure might have occurred.

The ER doctor gave K-Bug an oral steroid to open up her nose, and K-Bug and my dear hubby arrived home around 5:30 a.m., where K-Bug proceeded to sleep straight (and breathing easy, thanks to the steroid…thank you Lord!!) through for five hours.
My dear hubby slept for an hour and then got up to work his morning shift of work.

In talking our pediatrician the next day, she felt that several things could have happened:

1.K-Bug could have had a reaction to the medicine that she was taking, as it was a brand-new antibiotic for her.
2.K-Bug could have been made drowsy by the prescribed Claritan she was taking, and that made it very difficult for us to rouse her OR
3.Her nose could have been blocked to the point that she didn’t receive air for a short time, causing her body to react with a seizure.

So, long story made shorter, her pediatrician
1.Switched her to an antibiotic that she has had before (with no side effects!) and took her off of the Claritin.
2.Will be scheduling K-Bug to get an EEG just so that we know whether or not she had a seizure or was simply in a state of very deep sleep brought about by her complete exhaustion

K-Bug has slept in our bed for the last two nights, as we have wanted to keep her a little closer than normal. Kaelyn is doing MUCH better – sleeping through the night, doing well on her new antibiotics, and being her sweet, cheerful self.

Tonight she is back in her own room and own bed, and I am thankful beyond words for the sparkling eyes of my little girl.

We spent Thanksgiving largely at home, sleeping and recovering. (we spent about two hours at my parents eating lunch too).

I have cherished every sound of her sweet voice, laughed at all of her silly jokes, and soaked in every song that she has showered us with in the last day or two.

My children are so precious, so incredibly precious to me.

I am thankful… incredibly thankful.