Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Senior Moment

I guess it's important to laugh at yourself. Believe me, there are days I don't stop! I had one of those moments today. I thought I would share it because it might encourage some friends of mine. Especially Julie...she's older than I am, it will probably make her smile to know that I am showing signs of aging.

I am planning a softball tournament. This is not a major ordeal - it's only six teams. I was sending an email out to the team managers today and a wave of panic came over me. "Did I reserve the ball fields?" I knew that I had talked to the sports complex director, but I honestly could not remember reserving the date. And to make it worse, this is one of the few times that I did not write it down. (that noise you hear is a slight disturbance in the force)

So I argued with myself for a moment or two about how to handle this situation. Do I ignore this pang of fear and rely on my past history of organization or do I call and confirm? Now I realize for some of you this is no big deal. But for me this was new territory - I don't forget these kinds of details. Don't hate me 'cause I'm organized.

In the end I decided to make the call. I reasoned that it would be far better to make the phone call and allow the director to think me a fool, than to assume and end with me and 75 other softball players to be standing on the sidelines watching someone else use the fields that I forgot to reserve.

What I have learned is that with age comes wisdom - because when your mind slips, you have to work really hard to think through the options!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are You Sure They Are Related

We have many children...many, many children. All live in the same house, all raised by the same two people, but my how they differ! I experienced this again today at lunch. After we were done eating two of the girls began to play.

Madison: Asked mom if they could have a tea party this afternoon. She sat down at the table, made a checklist, and then began collecting all the necessary paraphernalia.

Megan: Ran around the house with a headless doll, sticking it in her sisters' faces, pressing the button that makes the doll laugh. (It is really odd to hear a headless doll laugh - kind of creepy)

All of this to say that I continue to be amazed at the difference in my children. Each of the 5 have their own personality, and they are nothing alike. How cool that God can wire each of us to be ourselves, to be unique, even when our circumstances are similar. I love that about Him.

Oh yeah, pray for Megan.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Security, just to use the bathroom?

On the way home from Louisville, Kentucky we stopped in St. Louis at the arch. We had a bathroom emergency - with five kids, that's not a big surprise. So we went to find the restroom only to realize that we had to pass through security. This was airport security level! Belts off, electronics in the bin and everything - just so my six year old could pee! I hate to think of what our kids are filing away in their minds.

Even with the ultra-secure toilet bowls, we had a great time in Louisville. Two sick kids cut our time a little shorter than we had expected, but we've learned to roll with it...it's going to happen. A water park, 2 museums, an imax theatre, the skate park, swimming pool, a crab shack (thanks Joe), and great worship every day! That's a good week.

Good night. I am tired after 11 hours in the van with 5 kids and 2 adults - you don't even want to know.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So long...and the same lesson learned.

Well first of all, I can't believe that it has been so long since I posted. Wow, time flies.

I am not the most stubborn person in the world, maybe not even the most stubborn one in my house. :) I have learned a lesson in disappointment, again. I like to think that I have figured some of this out by now, but I guess we never stop learning - even if it's the same lesson over again.

We were in Minneapolis last week for my daughter's annual check-up at Children's hospital. She was born with a small jaw and had to have surgery when she was two weeks old. We have gone back for these annual check-ups ever since. Our expectation was that this check up would go as the previous ones have - "she's perfect, see you next year!" (we even suspected that this would be her last check-up - "she's perfect, have a nice life!")

The check-up consists of one doctor after the other throughout the morning, lunch, and then a consult with the whole team of docs in the afternoon. So through out the morning we saw each of the docs and instead of coasting through, we got one bit of disappointing news after the other.

To summarize the visit: she has minor hearing loss in her left ear, and they have no idea why. They will look into it further when we go back later this summer. And she is not able to close her airway in her speech. She will need surgery to help her keep air escaping through her nasal passage. This too will be done later this summer.

I didn't realize at first how disappointed I was. It wasn't until I shared the news that the emotions came and revealed the fact that I was not ok with these developments. I should say that I had a similar experience after her birth. I knew that God was able to heal her, and that if He would, the doctors and "experts" would have no choice but to acknowledge His power.

What I didn't realize was that what he had in mind was for me. By going through the experience of surgery, hospital stays, lost wages, etc., I had no choice but to acknowledge God's provision. He cared for us in every way possible. The lesson was for us, not the experts.

Obviously I had learned that God will take care of us. So imagine my surprise when disappointment reared its head again last week. I am certain that God has something in store...one of us needs to learn a lesson: me, Heather, our other kids, the experts, or maybe someone I will never know of.

And you know what, that's ok. We have claimed all along that we are at God's disposal and for his pleasure. Now is the part where we live it. I would obviously prefer that my daughter not have to go through another surgery (the other day we were talking about the surgery at dinner and she asked what she would do if she got scared this time - ouch), but I am sure of God's hand and his ability to care for her through whatever he calls her to.

So come what may, we are thankful for how God will choose to use it to reveal himself to one of us. And Sammy is created by His hand, just as he intended...
"She is perfect! Have a nice life."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let Dad win this time

The girls and I have a race every time I leave the house. I get in my car and they position themselves on the sidewalk. I roll down my window and yell, "Go!" We then race up the street to the corner. I usually rev the engine and pretend to be grasping the wheel for all its worth. I don't usually win, but its always close.

Today when I left after lunch, my oldest daughter was the only one outside. We began our race and about half way up the sidewalk she started tanking it. I slowed down and then gunned the engine a bit to try and encourage her. She just smiled and WALKED up the sidewalk with a grin on her face.

When she finally got to the corner I made a comment that I had won. She looked at me like I was the sweetest thing on earth as she said, "You know Daddy, I told the other girls just the other day that we need to let you win once in a while."

Pitied by a seven year old, ouch!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some Days Need a Pile of Leaves

I remember when I was young we would pile up all the leaves in the yard and then race across the yard and dive into the pile. We would laugh and wrestle and throw leaves at each other. In those moments there was nothing else...no tests, no bullies, no chores, nothing that steals the innocence of childhood.

So, I am glad when I can pile up the leaves in our yard and jump in the pile with the kids. Enjoy the video of the girls...my son is too big to wrestle into the pile AND take video at the same time! Sorry, no sound but you can imagine...


Friday, October 24, 2008

"They always seemed like such nice people."

Do you ever get the idea that the only difference between you and the parent who is escorted with handcuffs past the mob of onlooking media ghouls to the waiting police cruiser is simply chance? There are days...

Today for example. My bride and I were in the living room. She had just finished a trip to the grocery store and had melted into the love seat. (if you have ever shopped and stocked groceries for a family of 7 you understand) I was on the couch finishing up one of my papers for ordination. Our youngest was the only child left among us - no, we didn't kill them, they were in bed sleeping...peacefully.

The eight month old was on the floor crawling around. She was done exploring the living room and had moved on to the dining room. She had been brought back multiple times already. Her mom and I exchanged, "can you see the baby?" and we took turns retrieving her.

At one point I looked up and couldn't see her. I went to the dining room, not there, the kitchen, not there either, the laundry room, nope. To be completely honest I was beginning to get a little concerned. I mean really, how do you explain to family and friends that you lost one of your children?

I found her soon enough, at the top of the stairs. She is our fifth child and this is no great surprise that she figured out the stairs, but there are two things that concern me. First, that she got up there so quickly and quietly. The other kids played around on the bottom steps until they were comfortable and then moved on to the higher levels. Not this time, straight to the top on the first try.

Second, is that this staircase is made of hardwood. It is really quite beautiful; ornate and detailed craftsmanship, built in china cabinet, the works! But it is also quite dangerous. And there was the baby on the landing looking over the edge as I came up to retrieve her.

This picture has nothing to do with the story. I have thought about the fact that I don't have any pictures on my blog so I thought I'd give it a try. I think he's a nice looking dog. Do you think he's a retriever?

So, I rescued the youngster and all is well. I just thought of how easily we could have been that strung out family on the evening news that let their baby fall down the steps and break her arm or leg, or worse. But I don't dwell on it long - really it would drive you crazy. I thank God that he watches over my kids when I don't or can't.

The irony of all of this could have been that the subject of my paper that I was distracted by was healing! Ok, it's late and I'm going to bed.