Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Minivan Musings

I always wanted a minivan.  Okay, maybe not while I was in college.  However, when I first drove a minivan for a conference in Florida I was hooked.  Although, I knew that I needed more of a reason to actually have one other than a couple of conferences a year.

Fast-forward a few years and I am married with kids.  I figured someday we would have a minivan but I thought that day would be when we were expecting child #3 as we had a SUV that worked well at the time.  Not too long after we had Miss A we got our van.  A gem of a find on Craigslist.  Needless to say, I was thrilled!  Only two kiddos and we had our van.  It would be a few months later we would find out that Miss S was on her way.  HA!

Anyway, the story of how we got our van and why is not the reason for this post.  One thing I noticed on the road is that minivan drivers sometimes were going super fast. (Or sometimes super slow)  But I would notice them fly by me at times (and I was going a bit over the limit...ahem).  I would get so uppity because they had their kids in there and they were flying by like a bat out of... well.. you know.  Compromising safety, blah, blah... like those in minivans were held to some other standard.

Well, I think I know why minivans go speeding by....

...the kids are screaming and they are just trying to get home as fast as they can because whining and crying in a car sounds about 10 decibels louder than it actually is.

...there is a preschool aged child that has frantically notified her mother that she needs to go to the bathroom and WILL NOT use a public bathroom.  She will, however, relieve herself in her car seat should you not get home fast enough.

...there is a woman in the back about to give birth.

Now, I may or may not know about one or all of these things.  Ha!  I am sure some are just driving like crazy because...well... they are.  However, these have been my musings as of late as I drove back and forth to the hospital to see Miss S.

It made me laugh.

Do you have minivan musings??

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meal Ministry

If you have never needed the blessings of a ministry through meals I say two things... a) blessings to you and b) boy, are you missing out!

However, I will have to say accepting meals from people can be a very difficult thing.  I remember while I was still single and living on my own I had been pretty sick.  A friend that lived two apartments down for me offered to make a meal for me.  In my pride, I thanked her but turned her down knowing full well that I would probably have to go pick something up somewhere because I was not up to cooking for myself.  I met with my mentor very briefly that afternoon and she basically told me that I needed to let people be generous and let them serve.  She challenged me to go back to this friend and accept the meal.  Talk about a killing of pride.  It was a good lesson.  I was blessed by my friend being so gracious and generous.  Plus, I ate a really good meal!

Fast forward to 2008 when Miss L arrived early in December of that year.  Our church at the time blessed us with an abundance of meals even though we lived almost an hour away from where most people lived.  They got creative and it was a blessing for sure.  When Miss A arrived in 2010 we were in a bit of transition but sweet friends put together meals and we were well taken care of during that time.  When Miss S arrived our church really stepped it up a notch with the meals because we were running back and forth to the hospital with her in the NICU.  And even just this week with Miss S in the hospital I find my fridge full of food because of the abundant generosity of the people around us.

However, it is a dying to self to ask for help... to ask for meals... to ask for help cleaning your ask.    Why is it so hard for us to ask?  A former pastor once told me to not ask for help is denying someone the opportunity to learn how to serve others. (He said it much more elegantly)  It was a profound thought.  We don't know how to serve the body of Christ (or others) because people are too prideful to ask or they think that people are not able or will not help.  The fact is that people are willing to help.  Cheerfully!  More than one could probably ever imagine at that.

All of this came flooding back when Pastor H was visiting us in the hospital and asked if the church family could do anything else for us.  I was tempted to just suck it up and figure it out.  But there was an offer of help and this was the area I needed the most help (because grandparents were taking care of kids during the day) all I had to do was...ask...

So, I did.  Boy, were we blessed!

Needless to say, I won't be posting a meal plan this week because we have so much food left over and I still have a couple of from last week that will carry over to this week.

I encourage you to ASK for help when you need it.  When a baby comes... when a loved one passes... surgery...people are willing wanting to help.  While we as a body also need to be on the look out for areas to help people we also need to die to self and kill our pride and ask for help, too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

RSV Happens

We drive by Phoenix Children's Hospital on a fairly regular basis.  We often comment that while we are glad that their care and expertise are available we hope that we never have to call on them for help.  Well, we did need their help this last weekend.  For those that keep up with us via this blog Miss S was hospitalized on Sunday with RSV and just came home yesterday.  Hence the absence from blogging at all over the last few days.  It's been a crazy time of back and forth to the hospital while grandparents in super hero fashion stepped up to watch Miss L and Miss A.  They made such sweet sacrifices of themselves to help us out in so many ways.  Our local church family is also blessing us with meals for a few days so we can get back on our feet.  Or should we have to go back to the hospital we are taken care of in the meals department.  So very thankful and humbled by the generosity of so many people.

The nurses and staff at PCH were phenomenal and we couldn't have asked for better care for our little girl.  We are also thankful for going in sooner rather than later because she could have been a lot worse had they not been able to do all the things that they did to support her tiny frame during this time.

RSV is kind of a random thing it seems.  It's basically a cold that older children and adults can handle quite well.  Babies have a hard time with it because their airways are so incredibly small that the slightest irritation, swelling, or whatever make it a very big and scary deal.  There are also a couple of different presentations of the virus that can make it hard to know whether you should go see a doctor or wait it out.  We learned a lot during this time.

We are thankful to be at home and on the healing side of things.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Yes, I know it's been awhile since we have done menu planning.  Yes, I know I generally do it on Wednesday.  But, I have my meal plan done today so we will roll with it.  I may actually have a lot of it done for next week, too but I won't really have that nailed down probably until Wednesday.  HA!

So, the freezer meals are basically gone.  I realized I had a couple left that I will put into next week's rotation.  Sometimes forgetting is a good thing.

The goal of any meal right now and for the next several months (years?) is simple, simple, simple.  My mother-in-law is around during meal prep time generally 4 nights out of the week.  I know that this will not always be and can change at any moment so I try to have very little hands on time.  Here's what's on the dinner docket for this week...

  • Ravioli w/ butter sauce, Parmesan, roasted potatoes and green beans.
  • Cranberry Chicken with creamed spinach
  • Leftover Mashed Potato Soup
  • Breakfast Pizza
  • Fish Tacos w/ broccoli slaw
  • Moms Meatloaf with twice baked mashed potato
  • Pizza (back-up meal)
What's for dinner at your place this week??

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Job By Any Other Name

Much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be right as long as the man is the boss in an office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own.
(from Feminine Appeal, p. 102 - original source Dorothy Patterson, Where's Mom? p.21)
A friend posted this quote on Facebook awhile back and reminded me that we had read this in a book study a couple of years ago.  I pulled the book off the shelf and as I looked through my notes it made me want to read the book again.  Feminine Appeal outlines seven virtues of being a wife and mother.  It was an encouraging and convicting book in many areas.

However, what I like most is how Mahaney encourages women to battle and swat down the vicious lie that the world tells us in that staying home with our children is somehow an underachievement.  As though the world has any place to spew such hogwash.  Yes, it was hard getting used to putting homemaker in the occupation line on a plethora of medical forms.  What would they think?  That was my problem.  Worrying about what other people thought.  I wasn't too concerned about what my God thought.  I was questioning this role that He had clearly called me to fulfill.

I have not arrived in all areas of my new job.  I have been at this whole stay at home thing for almost six years now and it is by far the hardest job that I have ever undertaken.  I find a new joy in it each day with my girls.  I love loving my husband even when I fail miserably.  He is my best friend.  I find more and more that there are women who would love to be in my shoes.  They want to stay home but for whatever reason cannot. I have at least come from worry and anxiety when I fill in the occupation line to sheer joy and smiles when I write homemaker.  I don't need to write domestic engineer or any other silly moniker.  No, I am the keeper and maker of my home and I'm okay with that.

The sad thing is that the above quote is deeply true in society.  Sigh.  It's a sad state of affairs.  So, if you are a stay at home mom or wife... press on, dear one, in the work that the Lord has called you and throw to the side the clanging of society saying that you are not contributing to society or you are somehow an underachiever.  You are the strength of the next generation contributing in ways that are enormous but most will never see nor even remotely think to give a nod for a presidential award.