Sunday, March 31, 2013

When the Iris blooms

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."
1 John 4:7 (NIV)

I write about her every year on Easter. As a young girl, she filled my heart with love. As a teenager, she loved me unconditionally. As a young adult, she never forgot me on my birthday. She was quiet and humble and meek. She loved Jesus with all her heart and you could see it daily in her walk with Him.  She was more than just a grandmother. She was an example of Christ in my life. It is no wonder that instead of going to church on Easter Sunday, she went to be with Lord. Dressed in her Sunday best, no doubt God orchestrated their first face to face meeting on the day that we celebrate our hope in our Savior.

She was the first to see me ride my bike without training wheels on my blue Care Bear bike. And she was the one who taught me the word "peacemaker"...a phrase she would so gently and kindly use when I was fighting with my siblings. "Be a peacemaker," she would whisper. She would come every Sunday night with her little blue suitcase (I loved that suitcase!) and would stay until Tuesday. She would sleep with me in my room and I cherished those days. She would bring me a little brown bag with some candies she picked up from the gas station. My favorite was always the "bit-o-honey." (Does anyone else remember those?) She played the piano unlike any other. She was too humble to brag, but she even studied at the Boston Conservatory when she was younger...yet, anytime you'd ask her to play, she would sheepishly say "I'm not that good anymore." It is because of her that Clair de Lune is my favorite masterpiece...a piece she played with beauty and ease.

In my memory box, I have two letters penned by her. I wish I had saved them all through the years, but I am thankful for the written words I have from her. One was a letter that is not dated, but I am guessing I was somewhere between the ages of 16 and 17.  She wrote to me to say thank you for sending her a card. That just shows you what a thankful heart she had...that she would write a note of thanks just for me writing to her. She mentioned something about how "I must be enjoying learning to drive...and how she couldn't imagine learning to drive in the city." She then talked about all the iris' growing in her yard...that they were "all different shapes and colors and she loved them so much."

When at the market this week, I stumbled upon the most beautiful bouquet of iris'. My heart immediately was filled with many emotions, but mostly I was just thankful that I would see these beautiful flowers mere days before Easter. That visual gave me hope of not only that I would see my grandmother again, but that I would also one day be with my Savior. It made me look forward to Heaven in a way I had never experienced before.

The second is the last birthday card I ever received from her for my 23rd birthday. On the front it read "For love is of God. and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7"  How appropriate that those were her final written words to me...they are so relevant with all the division in our world. God's words are so clear: LOVE one another. And we can only love one another if HE dwells in us. Real love shows that we have His  Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and that we belong to Him. We are called His beloved for this reason. I would think if there was one legacy she would have wanted to leave behind is a reminder to love one was why she would whisper "be a peacemaker" in my ear. And friends, she radiated Christ's love.

It's been almost 9 years since she went to her eternal home. I imagine Christ greeted her and showed her her home with a yard full of iris'. It is because of her, that I learned that it is not necessarily with my words that others will come to know Christ...that others will hopefully know Him because they will see Him living in me.

I cannot wait to hear her fingers playing Clair de Lune as I enter the gates of Heaven one day. Today, she celebrates Easter walking side by side with her Savior. And I am sure she brought Him a bouquet of her finest iris' to thank Him this morning.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How to catch a leprechaun: the tale of a catch gone wrong

I bet you didn't know you could to catch a leprechaun. Yep, it's true. All you need to know is how to build a trap. You see, leprechauns are attracted to rainbows because they think there are pots of gold at the end. So first you will need to make a rainbow...or you can trick him by putting out fruit loops all over the ground that look like a rainbow. Put it all around your colorful box that's propped up on a stick. (By the way, my engineer husband instructed me that this whole thing didn't even make sense. He insisted it needed a string attached so we could pull it once the leprechaun got under the box. I gave him the evil eye and told him that leprechauns will ONLY come if little children are taking their afternoon naps. Ahem.)

Once you've caught the leprechaun, he will offer you some gold to let him go....

unless you have a really, really wise and honest almost 5 year old who gets very upset and exclaims "but taking gold that doesn't belong to you is STEALING!! I'm going to call the police man and have him taken to jail. We do NOT steal."

Leave it to Ella to have to be all moral in my creative mommy moment. Geez!

We did, indeed, catch something. But, it wasn't a leprechaun. We caught a duck off the lake who apparently really loves fruit loops.

This, my friends, is why I rarely bother with these creative mommy things...they always backfire on me.

I did close the box later and let the children lift it up to reveal a few gold coins and some chocolate wrapped in gold paper. 

They totally didn't buy it. 

Stupid ducks. 

Hope you all had a festive St. Patty's Day. I couldn't even get a decent photo of the kids all decked out in their green outfits. Mommy fail!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tales from the Medicine Cabinet

I am so thankful that this winter has mostly been a season of health for our little family. We had some illness back before the holidays, but have mostly been healthy since then. God has given us so much mercy this season.

However, the past couple weeks have been really rough around this house. I don't have a photo of Ella doing all her breathing treatments, but just imagine all 3 at once with some sort of respiratory virus...croup, fever, etc. The worst was the week when Ella was sick (thank you Lord for keeping the other two well at least until we were able to get Ella over the hump). You see, she is my asthmatic child. You'd think the two preemies would be my asthma children...but's the child who was actually breastfed for 10 months and was full term. Ironic, huh?

We are so blessed that she sees the best Pulmonologist for her asthma. He takes very good care of our family. Awhile back, he even prescribed a type of inhalant for her that is usually something you can ONLY get in a hospital setting. I've never had to use this extra inhaler before, but boy were we glad we had it the other night. She was struggling so much to breath I briefly wondered if I needed to get an ambulance to take us to the hospital. If you know someone who has a child with asthma, you know that when they get some sort of respiratory virus, it is so much harder to deal with than your normal, healthy child.

Anyway, we are all slowly on the mend and praying that the pollen season that is headed our way will be kind to all of us...especially our little asthmatic girl.

So, if it seems like I've disappeared, it is only because I've been playing nurse for the past two weeks. I wonder when pay day is? Surely I earned some overtime money for the middle of the night "throw up" session, no?

Even in the midst of lots of breathing treatments and loss sleep, I must say that snuggling in bed watching movies with them all day was fabulous...and the napping!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February Snow

We usually get one or two decent snow days here in Atlanta during the winter season (along with the random flurries that don't really do anything except melt upon hitting the ground), but the past two winters have been much warmer than normal. Perhaps since we have an over abundance of snow in the 2010/2011 winter season, mother nature decided our Southern blood needed a break. We get a little crazy excited over a couple inches of snow here.

Anyway, we totally lucked up when we decided to take a little over night trip to visit some friends in Charlotte, North Carolina a couple weekends ago. We got the absolute perfect little dusting of snow to play in. It was just enough for the kids to run and play in. It makes me excited about one day teaching them to snow ski (who am I kidding...I'll be in ski school with them...I'm not the most graceful on the slopes, but I do love it!)

Here are a few pictures of our little snow angels!

Audrey-future child model
Ella-can you see the tiara on the front of her snow hat?

Jacob-right before he slipped down the hill and face planted in the snow completely enamored!

I know people up North probably hate the snow, but we are so thankful for it because it's such a rare treat for us. And no, none of the kids had gloves on. All we had were the cloth kind that got wet immediately, so they took them off. Obviously we are not well prepared for this type of weather.

Do you all love the snow as much as we do? I hope there are snow days in Heaven!