Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Great Thou Art

 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

 The cord of death entagled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
'O Lord, save me!'

 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the simplehearted;
when I was in GREAT need, He saved me.

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I believed; therefor I said,
'I am greatly afflicted.' 
And in my dismay I said 'All men are liars.'

How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up my cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Praise the Lord.
Psalm 116
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord. He did indeed hear our cry for mercy last year. It is ONLY because of him that we will be celebrating the miracle of these two lives tomorrow. Jesus, how do we ever show you our gratitude for these precious gifts and miracles you have given us? I do not know why you chose to let them live here on earth with us, but they are forever a reminder that you love us. Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to care for YOUR children for as long as you will allow us. Their lives are living proof of a miracle.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes...

I love this girl. She's so adorable and cute that you can't stay angry at her for long. Her mouth never stops. This is interesting considering how shy she is around others. But the moment she is with me alone?...the girl just doesn't know how to stop talking. I had gotten to the point that I learned to tune her out, but now she knows if I'm not listening because she will say "MOMMY!!! I'm talking to you!! or MOMMY!! I just asked you something." Shesh! I can't even pretend to be listening anymore. She's too smart for me.

So, I wanted to write down a couple of funny things that Ella has said recently.

~When talking about Heaven, Ella said "when I get to heaven, God is going to build me a castle and my prince will come kiss me and wake me up and I will live happily ever after".

~After a super whiny car ride home from ballet, I finally had heard enough and told Ella I was going to pull the car over and make her walk home by herself if she didn't stop. She then cried the rest of the way home because she actually wanted to walk home.

~One morning when she woke up she said, "Mommy I am soooo tired. I just need to have some chocolate milk to wake up." This is funny because this is what I say, except I say I need my coffee to wake up. She also loves to tell me "when I get older, I can have coffee too." Yes Ella. When you are 18 and in college, then I will let you have coffee.

~She loves to tell me "Mommy, when you get older, you can wear my clothes."

~"Mommy, I look just like Princess Tangled" (she means Rapunzel. And yes she does look just like her!)

~When I was tucking her into bed I told her not to get out of bed or she would be in trouble. Her reply was "It's ok mommy. I'll just get up later and ask you for more water." (This made Andrew and I laugh so hard because we knew she would!!! She always needs more water. And another animal. And to go pee pee again. Usually in that order)

~She also always asks me every time we get in the car "Did you get Jacob and Audrey? Where are they?" She knows they are there, so I don't know why she asks, but it always makes me think for a second "hmm...did I get everyone?"

~This morning she got up at 6:55am (I have a rule of I don't get up before 7) and I told her it wasn't morning time yet and she needed to go back to her room. She went to my window, opened the curtains and proclaimed "but mommy!! The sun is shining! It is morning!" I can't fool her.

~She's been wanting to read Audrey a story at nap time lately.  So, I let them sit on the floor in her room for a few minutes while I put Jacob down and I always hear her saying things like "Audrey when you get big like me, we can go to PARIS together!! We can wear our fancy clothes!" Oh dear.

The other day I told her I loved her so much and she said "yes, and Jesus REALLY loves me." I must be doing something right, huh?

So that is just a tiny installment of Ella-isms. I keep telling myself to be better about writing these things down because you do forget. These were just a few that came to mind. She is quite a character. She is certainly at an age where I have to really watch not only what comes out of my mouth, but even my body language. I see her mimicking me when she is playing mommy to her dolls or making her figurines act out. There is nothing like having a child who copies everything you do to help push all the sin out of your life. A couple months ago, Andrew and I got upset with each other about something and she said "mommy, do you love daddy?" It broke my heart and I still feel terrible about that to this day (even though I'm sure she has forgotten about it). It was a good reminder to Andrew and me to show our kids what a good marriage is and always make them feel secure about that. We always promised we would never argue in front of our kids, but kids pick up on it even if you aren't raising voices. They just know if your voice seems unhappy or stern. I am actually thankful that she said something because it was a good reminder. Ella is a very intense and emotional person, so not much gets past her. There have been times where I have been quiet and she'll say "mommy, are you ok? are you sad?" It is amazing how intuitive she is.

I will say that even though her incessant need for conversation can sometimes leave my head spinning by the end of the day, the things that she says really are a fun part of parenting. I think kids remind you not to take life so seriously. The things that come out of her mouth are pure innocence. It truly is so sweet to be her mommy.

I will leave you with a thought that I read on a blog-friend's blog recently and I can't stop thinking about it. It has been on my heart ever since I read the words and I think it is a great thing to ponder every single morning that you get up and start your day as a parent. It was an exert from a book and said
"Young children, fresh uncluttered minds, the world before them- to what treasures will you lead them? With what will you furnish their spirit?" (Gladys Hunt)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buttons and Pins

So, I'm trying to spiffy up the ole blog here. This is nothing exciting for all you tech savvy people...but for moi...this took using parts of my brain I don't use too often.

So, without further ado, I present to you in the little right hand corner of this little blog: my button! What? That's so 2010 you say? Whatever, I'm usually late to jump on all the trendy things. But if you still think I'm cool enough or worthy of your time, I'd just love it if you grabbed my button. (Doesn't that sound a wee bit risque almost? hehehe)

ahem raise your hand if you waste time  are totally in love with Pinterest? You can follow me there too. Just click on the little link under my button. That's one party I wasn't late too. In fact, I started before most of my friends. That doesn't impress you?

Anyway, just bragging wanted to share my latest goodies with you all.

Now go grab my button. (I just like saying that, so let me just say it a few more times: my button, my button, my button.)

Sorry, this insomnia is making me a bit neurotic. Hence why I am here making a button for my blog at midnight. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Beautiful Heart

There is nothing simple or easy about raising a 3 year old little girl. The constant battle of her need for independence and to be heard, yet that fact that she is still too young to really have much voice are always a source of conflict in this home. It's not that I don't respect her as an individual, but things like wanting candy for breakfast are just not smart choices. She still has a hard time understanding the concept of time...meaning, you can't have it now, but after lunch. To her, all she hears is "no". The whining and crying to be heard, yet my need to instill discipline, patience, and manners wear me down mentally every day. Add on the fact that her naps are becoming a thing of the past and I just feel so run down by 4pm every day that sometimes I just put my head in my hands and cry. I love my children, but having 3 little ones who are ages 3 and under is very hard. I may seem like I have it all under control...and for the most part I do...but, I am not superwoman.

We had a rough afternoon yesterday. The twins are both teething and fussy and my patience with Ella was very small. I tried so hard to just sit and play with all them. I even took them all on a wagon ride, but as soon as walked back inside the whining started up again. The day basically ended with Andrew walking through the door and me saying "Ella is yours. I don't want anything else to do with her today. I am over her." I hate that. I hate feeling that way about this precious child. I know in my heart that it is my job to teach her how to behave like a little lady, not whine, and be a grateful person. Sometimes, I am quick to forget that she is a sinner just like me...and not just a sinner, but a child who is still doesn't understand that the world can't always cater to her every desire. The repetition of disciplining and reminding her of how to behave can be exhausting. I wonder if we exhaust God? Goodness knows I am constantly going to Him with my whines and complaints. In many ways, I am probably no different than my 3 year old child.

There is something that always brings me back to my knees and thanking the Lord for this sweet little life He has intrusted me with. This morning, I awoke with a fresh attitude and was determined to remember my role as her give her love and be her teacher.

With my new perspective today, I sat and was reminded why she is so amazing and why she is worth every effort to help her learn how to behave. I sat and watched and observed what a BEAUTIFUL heart my daughter has. This is nothing new, but I had forgotten in the midst of dealing with temper tantrums. This girl isn't just beautiful on the outside. God has given her the most beautiful and compassionate heart. I know God has great plans for her.

What did she do exactly? I watched how she so effortlessly loves her siblings and helps them. She is always looking out for their safety. She is always willing to share her toys and never snaps at Jacob when he steals her toys. She also knows that Audrey can't crawl yet, and I watched her take some toys and put them in front of her so that she didn't feel left out. I watched her take something out of Jacob's mouth that he could have choked on and she so sweetly said "Jacob, you have to be careful. You can't put those things in your mouth because you will choke! Here you can play with this instead." I watched her go hug Jacob when he fell down and hit his head.

Later, I heard this sweet voice open Audrey's door and talk to her through the crib slats and say "Don't cry Audrey. Mommy will be here in just a minute. Here you want my blanket?"

Now that's love. Ella's loves her blanket almost as much as I love my morning coffee. But, when she saw her sister cry, she thought offering her that would bring her a smile that same way it does herself.

I never have to ask her to be sweet to her siblings. She naturally is sweet to them. She loves playing with them and making them laugh. She genuinely loves to share with them. This is amazing to me.

When she hears another child cry on the playground, it really upsets her. Often I see her go up to them and try and offer comfort. It makes me so proud. Isn't that one of the main things we want from our children? learn to love and extend grace and compassion to others?

So despite the fact that she tries my patience daily...and many times (too often, actually), I fail miserably to keep my cool...her heart will always amaze me. So even if I fail as a mother at times, I can see that God has instilled something in her that will serve her well in life. I cannot understand why God gave me such a generous and compassionate child, but I am so grateful for her and her beautiful heart.

Her nickname is Ella Bella or El Belle, which means beautiful Ella in French. There is no doubt that she is beautiful on the outside. But, I am starting to believe her internal beauty is going to outshine even that!

Monday, August 22, 2011

If they could only talk...

This is what the twins would say to people if they could talk to people who look at them:
Imagine if you will...ahem..

Yes, we're twins. Yes, one girl and one boy. And what do you mean by "are we natural"? We aren't robots.

 No, we are not identical. Did you miss the part where we told you we were a boy and a girl? Boys and girls are NEVER identical. Think about it. Perhaps you should have stayed awake in Biology class. Look deep into my eyes: BOY/GIRL TWINS CANNOT BE IDENTICAL...EVER. Should we pull off our diapers to prove it to you?

 Yes, our mommy has her hands full. She tells us she wouldn't want it any other way. I mean, look at us??? Doesn't everyone secretly wish they had a pair of these. Mommy says we are worth it. Plus, we are the sweetest babies in the world. So, you don't need to give her an "I feel sorry for you look". She is very, very happy to have her hands full.

Yes,  I am always this quiet and calm. My mommy says my sister was a screamer, so God had mercy on her this time around. She says she already paid her dues.

 Yes, I keep hearing I look like the next Gerber baby model. Have your people call my people, ok?

I don't know why people keep saying they want to eat me up. You should stick to cows, chickens, and your diet coke.

We are different, but our mommy loves us the same.
And no, again, we are not identical. Sheesh!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I keep finding myself thinking about the what-ifs these past couple weeks. I read posts from a year ago (click here) and a lot of emotions get stirred up in me. What if God had not allowed their hearts to beat inside of me for those last few weeks? Those last few weeks are why I see these faces every morning:

 Could she be any more beautiful? Her life is such a miracle.

 And that boy?? He thinks I've hung the moon. He'll never understand just how awesome I think HE is!

And although I should be rejoicing, I often find myself harboring a lot of guilt. Guilt because the mother who stood next to me in the NICU was not so lucky. Guilt because God answered my prayer the way that I wanted, yet He did not for so many others. Why me? Why was I so lucky? Why did my babies survive being born 3 months early, but others do not?

When I went into the hospital at 24 weeks and did not initially think my labor was going to be able to stop I will never forget the presence of God in my life that day. Instead of panic, I will never forget the feeling of God's hands wrapped around me...a true, literal feeling of God touching me. And although I did not audibly hear His voice, I still heard Him whisper to me "Sarah, I love them even more than you do."

I still begged and pleaded with God...any mother would. The moment we know there is another life inside our bodies, we immediately become protective of our children....because we love them. We love them whether they never breathe one breath here on Earth or they live to be 99.

I do not know why He chose to allow my babies to live. I say that to so as to not ever make another person feel like God didn't hear their prayer...even if He didn't answer it the way they wanted. We can't know what another persons journey is about.

It is for sure an emotional month for me as I reflect on the past year. I cannot believe that almost a year has passed by. God has worked so many miracles through them. I feel blessed to have been chosen to watch Him perform those miracles on my babies. Almost one year old...can you believe it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Day Ella licked the stirrups at the OBGYN's office

You would think considering I was at OBGYN's weekly last year when I was pregnant with the twins that Ella would be well acquainted with the whole "get dressed from the waist down and put this stupid paper thing over yourself to maintain some modesty for a moment before the world sees all your business" thing. (How about that for a run-on sentence?). So, per usual, I went to the OBGYN for a little check up recently and modeled yet another fancy sheet. No biggie. I get Ella set up with her markers and paper. I figure that should keep her occupied for at least five seconds.

So, the difference between this year and last year is that Ella is 3, not 2. Well, "duh!" you might say. But the difference is that we have officially entered into the land of "why?" EVERYTHING I do or say gets followed with a "why?" from Ella.

Here is a recent "why?" moment to help you further understand what I am dealing with these days:

Me: Alright Ella, let's get in the car to go to the store.
Ella: Why are we going to the store?
Me: Because Tigger needs more cat food.
Ella: But, why? Why does he need cat food? Why can't Tigger eat people food?
Me: Because it will make him sick.
Ella: But why will it make him sick?
Me: I don't know. God just made him that way.
Ella: But why did God make him that way?
Me: I don't know?
Ella: Why did God make Tigger a cat?
Me: I don't know Ella. Let's get in the car.
Ella: But, why can't Tigger eat turtle food? 
Me: Because it will make him sick.
Ella:, we are going to go buy him some cat food?
Me: Exactly.
Ella: ..............but, why?
Me: (insert black stare and crickets chirping)

Anyway, you get the idea. I digress.

So, here we are at the good ole OBGYN office when Ella sees all the fabulous diagrams of female internal organs. And of course, nothing is more exciting than explaining female parts to a 3 year old who says "but, why????" to everything. Oh, but it is! Because in the midst of me explaining basic female anatomy to a 3 year old, bearing in mind I am still sitting there half naked", when Ella starts playing with the stirrups. Of course, I told her to stop. I cannot imagine anything nastier than touching those...until she did the unthinkable.

Ella licked the stirrups in the OBGYN office.

After scolding her, all I could think was what kind of bodily fluids or STD's have touched those stirrups. You may be thinking germy feet...but, all I could think of was someones water has probably broken on the table and gotten on those stirrups.


As I was contemplating whether I should wash her tongue off with soap or rubbing alcohol (I kid), I witnessed something worse.

A second "licking" of the stirrups.

This time, I really thought I was going to come unglued. But, instead, I just looked at her and said "But why?"

Dear Lord, please don't let my child end up with he.rpes on her tongue!