Bedtime Routine

Over the last 6 months we have prayed the Lord's prayer with Sofie every night before bed. It is often a cutting check to our own spirits as we pray. 

Recently, we have noticed Sofie embellishing her prayers in places. Her version: 

"Our Father in Heaven, may your name be kept Holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today the food we need (chocolate), and forgive us our (popsicles) as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 

And don't let us yield to (Momma and Daddy), but rescue us from the evil one.

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever."

Amen. 

If that isn't strong-willed, I don't know what is. 

Love to you all. 

Dee2 

Fireworks

I really love to watch the fireworks every year on July 4th. It was fun living in Central FL where we could see Disney/Seaworld/Universal shooting them off every night at 9.

The first year M and I were married a group of our friends went out to the church property before the construction began and shot off fireworks. I, of course, sat far away and shook my head at them in pity for they were surely crazy. One managed to set his sleeve on fire and another skimmed his car with one.


This year I shall be joining the fray. I know I'm crazy.





Meet Thumper. Due July 4th, 2009

Allergy Update

Thank you all for praying today. Sofie's appointment went better than I expected. She was very mad at being poked and prodded, but she survived. :)

The doctor was very thorough (though not friendly), and they tested her for all the suspected allergens. It will take 7-10 days for all the blood test results to come back in. 

He wants to keep her on a wheat exclusion diet until the results come in so pray we find foods she's willing to eat. 

I'll update when I know more. Love to you all, Dee2


A Quick Prayer Request

Sofie has an appointment with the allergist tomorrow at 1:30. I am very concerned about having all the issues addressed and taken seriously. Please pray specifically that God will guide this doctor, that she will not suffer, that I am able to provide just the right information, and that we get conclusive results and answers. 

Thank you. Love to you all. Dee2

The difference in a year

A year ago today my little family was homeless, infected, and gravely disappointed. To say nothing of betrayed and painfully humbled. 

I fought the infection in my body for a full ten months before it was conquered, but the more deadly spiritual infection held me far less. 

I do not like chaos. I do not like to have my routine destroyed. I would rather deal with the devil I know, than anything unknown. 

I thrive on security and consistency, and yet God speaks to us in the trials and changes us to be more like He desires if we allow him to.

God spoke to me to ask for help when I would have chosen to suffer. He told me to trust when I was inclined to panic and stress. He had spoke to me "quiet" (more than once I'm afraid) when I wanted to rant and rail, and seek revenge

I had never felt more that I was walking in my Savior's shoes, and OH HOW THEY HURT. 

I have never been the meek, mild-mannered, hero of the story that ultimately does the right thing or says the right thing. I am the miserable character that people shake their heads at as I wade through the muck, and come out cleaned by the skin of my teeth.


I must thank the Austin's for giving us shelter when we had nowhere to go, and no money to take care of ourselves.

I must thank Cheryti for giving a SAHM and a wild 1 yr old a home to be in during the day even though we were sick and inconvenient. 

I must thank Daphne for staying late to work to help strangers with tears in their eyes. 

I must thank my mother for the $310 that meant the difference between food and shelter and hunger and pain.

Thank you to Scott whose gift of $50 made my husband believe in the church again. 

Most of all, I must thank God for not giving up on me, and his continued discipline in my life. 

I am so unworthy.  

Love to you all, DeeDee

A Note to my friends after the election

I'm really amazed an African American was elected. I'm sorry Jesse for downplaying the historic moment. I let my natural pessimism overshadow the moment.

This election says something new to our children that was never before true, to my forebearers that lived in a world where they were hated, beaten, feared, enslaved, persecuted, and even lynched for their skin color.

It says something new to a 27 yr. year old Texan that is sick of choking down the bigotry, racism, and persecution found everywhere in my society from the local grocery store to the local church.

I am honestly disappointed in my friends that voted for Obama merely because of his skin color, but I understand the cry for an equality that still doesn't exist in my day.

In the last few months, I have put up with a lot of crap from my friends who do not understand the minority, feel little pity for the poor, are more concerned about their money than their neighbor, and have the audacity to believe in the majesty of Republican politics even after its moral and social failure of the last 8 years.

I did not vote for Obama, but I feel equal disdain for the so-called conservative party.

To them I say: your arguments have not won me over, and your actions have not impressed me nor apparently the Nation.

Frankly Obama holds wildly immoral beliefs, but I find that same immorality deeply rooted in most people that I talk to. People who call themselves pro-life, but fiercely defend the death penalty and wage war over oil, but refuse to send troops to fight genocide. I could go on, but I fear you'd stop reading.

I don't mean that I hold any more respect for a party that justifies 1.3 million abortions a year, socially crippling same sex marriage, and pushes an agenda in our schools that is so humanistic that truth is equal to fiction.

What I do feel is relief. I am relieved that America is about to have its shirt ripped open and the festering wound of racism will be exposed. No one will be able to tell me I am imagining it and no one will speak to me of the amazing progress we've made.


WE WILL BLEED.


I hope it disgusts you. I hope it shocks you. I hope you will carve it out of your own heart.

And perhaps, someone will do something so that my child does not have to bear the wounds of ignorance and intolerance on her very soul.

To my Republican friends: I hope that you will each find some way to demonstrate your Christian faith with Democrats in power.

To my Democratic Friends: I hope that you will each find some way to demonstrate your Christian faith with your newfound power.

To my non-Christian friends: I hope that we will show ourselves worthy of your respect.

I love you all.

A month in pictures

Have I ever mentioned that I hate Colin the Computer more than Tori the Taurus? My lack of blogging, and other computer activities are directly related to the games Colin likes to play with us. His favorite game is to take 30+ minutes to open a browser window, and then freeze up if you are unlucky enough to open a pdf. Oh the joys.

So while he's behaving himself I thought I'd share some pics from the last 5 weeks.



Sofie is in LOVE with everything princess right now. Notice her long legs. She's had another growth spurt since this pic, and it's all in the legs. I think she looks like her cousin Brooke in this pic. They have matching Bad Butts. ;) Can you see her strength in this picture?
Sofie in her favorite chair. It's an egg shaped chair from Ikea that spins, and has a cover that pulls down so she can hide in there and read books (or sneak candy).


Next we have a little night time adventure. Sofie was having a difficult time falling asleep in the new house so I told her to pick out 2 stuffed animals to put in her bed. When I checked back on her this is what I found.




Most of her animals sleeping on the floor under Mommy's quilt.
M's puppy reading some library books.
A few bed friends for Mommy.
And one lucky bunny tucked in at her side: sweet sleep. Cute little moments like this make the terrible two's a lot more bearable.
Sofie playing in her laundry basket. When she wants to sneak out of bed at naptime or bedtime she puts the basket on her head, and tiptoes around the house thinking we can't see her. It's amazing. *That skinny arm is her fairy godmother visiting us. :)*



The two of us waking up.
She looks like a burst of sunshine in this picture. This is currently her only nightgown. She keeps telling me it is "too friggly" to wear. Who can argue with that?

We finally had some rain in Dallas today. My Mom found a cute rain jacket for Sofie so it was the perfect opportunity to get out and use it.

The curls were the first to go.
The hood came very quickly next.
Yummy rain water - eek!

The jacket had to come off because she was using it as a vessel to catch water. I'll have to work with her on the concept.
That's right she's in her panties, and the drying off towel is outside too. Eventually she wore me down, and was outback in the all together. I had to chase her down and drag her inside. Catching and holding onto a wet naked toddler is never graceful. I just hope the neighbors weren't looking out their windows.

These last pics are from a twilight walk we took around the neighborhood.

The swirls above her head came from the stick she's holding, and the red flashes on the ground are from her light-up shoes. You can see where she was hopping around during the long exposure time.


A touch of magic.

Daddy copying her silly posing.
Mommy couldn't resist either.
The red dots should tell you why I get more pics of where she was, rather than those with her in the frame.

I am going to crash in bed now before Colin gets any ideas. ;)

Love to you all, Dee2

August Pictures

I forgot to send pictures with yesterday's post so I thought I would give a brief run-down of August in pictures. :)

This is when my youngest brother, Tracy, visited. We miss him so much. He was such a sweet addition to our daily lives, and poor Sofie asks me everyday when Nana will bring him back. I miss having someone to play cards or video games with.
This is my Dad. We got to see him breifly before he had to ship out to Iraq.
This is M with the shaggy beach look I was telling you about. He cut his hair, and ooolala he looks nice. :)
Tracy has a giant apetite. ;)

The orange was from our trip to Central Market where we discovered Tracy has quite the expensive taste in foods, and that it only takes one hot and fresh Krispy Kreme (next door to the grocery store) donut to make a convert.

Big crocodile tears after being spanked for running away at the arboretum. She has such a free (read wild) spirit.


Nothing better than giant frogs squirting water at you when it's 100 degrees out.
The Crepe Myrtles are my favorite part of the aroboretum. Blossoms were wisping through the air as we walked through.
I was just as tempted as Sofie to pick all the flowers for myself. :D

This is me last Friday heading off to scrapbook with some friends.
This is what was at my feet begging me to take her swimming. She thinks if she gets totally ready that I HAVE to say yes. Pushy little thing.


Sofie is munching on an apple. I could use my own apple tree as the girl drinks apple juice for breakfast, has whole apples for snacks, and wants apple sauce with her meals.
Me looking crazy. :)

At my feet looking crazy. lol

Love you all, Dee2

An Update on the Everyday

It is hard to believe more than a month has passed since my last post. The year has passed so quickly barely touching down to leave an impression on my mind, and yet dragged its lame feet through the mediocrity and mundane details of my day to day life.

I shall start with an update on myself today, and hope that I don't sound too self-absorbed.

I am finding the burden of chronic illness too hard to bear of late. I cannot understand what I am supposed to learn from this. I don't like to be limited. I don't like needing help. I don't like the imperfection sickness brings into my life and home. I don't like weakness. Today I feel that a sore nose and shallow breaths could break my very spirit. Please pray that God will have mercy on me, and heal this wretched body. It wouldn't hurt to pray for my spirit as well.

In other news, the school year has started back up and M is teaching again. He seems delighted by the group of students assigned to him, and eager to dive into fractions and the scientific method. He does have some concerns that you could pray about. The administrators are significantly cutting into the mandated science instruction time with a disorganized morning assembly. His students must take state exams in science so his job performance, as well as the students education, are directly affected.

On the homefront, we have found a house in Lancaster. We are set to close Tuesday and hopefully move Wednesday. I will miss this beautiful apartment, but perhaps not walking up three flights of stairs with one arm full of grocery bags and dragging a reluctant toddler with the other. ;) More on this soon.

It has been an interesting month for Sofie. She does her best to live up to the terrible two's, but I must admit I admire her brilliance and athleticism.

Last night as we lay on the bed snuggling, I asked her to sing me a song. She sang her ABC's and then a garbled bit of twinkle twinkle little star. In turn, I sang her the song I made up for her. She said "Momma I like our song, I'm sleepy, I miss you until morning." Excuse my sniffles. We rarely have such tender moments with her. I hope that I can remember these, and not the crying screaming tantrums as she gets older.

I have been compiling a list of Sofie-isms to share with you. I hope you like them as much as we do because we aren't correcting her. :D They're just too cute.

1. "My tummy has the hip-ups" for hiccups.
2. "Sofie's hair is pretty, yours is straight. It's OK."
3. "Sofie is white, Momma is brown, Dada is orange." (He doesn't like this one as much as I do ;)
4. "Momma is my brother friend. Dada is a huuuge big girl." (Again, he didn't think it was as funny as I did. :)

I will save the rest for later so there is room to tell you about the smallest member of our family. She recently suffered through an "episode." I walked into my bedroom to find Mocha stretched across Sofie's lap as they both sat in the pool of curtains bathed in sunshine. I was so pleased as they've never been particularly fond of one another. I told Sofie how proud I was that she was being gentle with the cat. She said "Momma, Sofie needs tail too. You cut cat tail for me? OK. Thank you." She then made little snippy noises and motions across the cat's tail with her fingers. A bit shocked, I told her that we can't cut the cat's tail, she needs it like we need our legs. Thinking about it, Sofie declared "OK Momma. Sofie's not scared. Sofie cut tail. OK, thank you. Bye." Meanwhile, the dumbest of all animals, Mocha continued to lay draped across her lap purring. Needless to say, I have since hidden all the scissors, clippers, and knives.

Love to you all, Dee2

Summer Days

Time for a new family update:

I will tell you before-hand that it has been a difficult month for my family, and if you are down right now please give yourself a break and read this later.

My Dad is being sent back to Iraq. I wish the days of war were behind us, and yet I know they are ever-increasing. My prayers seem so small against the tides of hatred and injustice.

My oldest brother is in jail. I don't want to go into the details of that situation except to say that my heart breaks for his family.

Michael is job-hunting again. The summer program he has been working for doesn't have as many enrolled now compared to the beginning of the summer so there just aren't enough hours to fill his time. Please pray something comes through this week. He has put applications in several places the last two days.

If you've seen him recently you know he has let his hair grow out into the shaggy beach look. At first he was too busy to get it cut, but now there is suspicion that he is doing it to drive his poor wife crazy. ;)

Sofie continues to be plagued by hives and itching. There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer in that area. Please pray for her healing.

Let's see, she has also developed a great love for band-aids and medicine. I can only guess she is interested in how much attention she gets from us and our exaggerated responses to her cutting her foot etc. If anyone would like to become her colored band-aid supplier please let me know as she is trying to break the bank.

In other news, we are house-hunting. Our toddler's active lifestyle has become a burden to our (extremely annoying and loud) downstairs neighbors. She needs a yard to run wild in.

Trying to keep a two-year old from making noise is stressful and unfair. We have put an offer in on a house in the Lancaster/Red Oak area that Michael really likes. Please pray for us.

Mocha is of course dreading a switch in houses, as most cats would. She makes herself ill every time we move even if it is only a five minute drive. I keep in mind that we need a house with many warm sunny spots, and just the right amount of creepy crawly creatures coming in every once in a while.

As for me, I don't know where to start. I live in the land between not-enough-sleep and chronically sick. It shares a border with no free-time and always broke. lol What can I say? We need prayer all around. ;)

Here are some pictures of my rascal.

This was our day at the beach a.k.a. the porch, a beach ball, and a Sonic slushie. :)


This is after we played in the mirror. She changed her outfit several times, and let me tie her hair up. Aren't those sunglasses cute?


This is her fluttering around with wings after finally learning how to say butterfly. She's so beautiful and clever.

We love you all. We keep you in our prayers. Dee2

I've been meaning to tell you all..

The other day I was driving, and as I looked to my left I saw a man with an oversized bug-shield on his motorcycle.

I just can't understand motorcycles.

I can't understand why people would drive them. Wondering how to enter this mans mind, I looked over again. This time I noticed that he was wearing one of those blue medical masks that you see surgeons wearing on television.

Hmm. He must be taking precautionary measures against the exhaust or perhaps he has had one too many bugs fly into his mouth. I decided even though it wasn't very manly, I could respect someone who wasn't embarrassed to take on a little extra bug protection. I once had a bug fly into the back of my mouth while I was on a bicycle, and it was bad enough at a slow speed.

I looked over to give him some sort of a nod of affirmation (the official Dee Dee seal of approval), but I couldn't believe it.

I almost swerved into the concrete wall of the highway. Coming out from under his medical mask was a tube leading to an oxygen tank.

Like I said, I don't understand people who drive motorcycles. ;)

Anyway, here are some pictures of my sweet girl in her favorite imaginary characters: a lion and a pirate.



She basically runs around saying "arrgh" and wielding toys as swords. She learned about pirates on Sesame Street. Their brand of pirates are "Bookaneers," who check out books at the library as their booty. Sofie runs around and pinches your booty as her prize. lolPirate Sofie is definitely preferable to lion Sofie. As a lion she will run at your legs, and attack you as if you are a gazelle separated from the herd. Thanks for showing her documentaries Michael. ;)

Don't let your eyes stray to the pretty girl. This is actually Sofie forcing me to take a picture of her singing frog, Hop. She remonstrated him over and over to say CHEESE.
A close-up of the curls. I suspect this is where she gets her powers. A picture of her camel. You probably can't tell, but she is wearing three outfits because Mommy has quickly learned to choose her battles.
Aww, isn't she sweet? She told me she would take a picture if I gave her a cookie. What really happened is she stole my bag of cookies and hid them while I was deleting the pictures that didn't turn out. A true pirate at heart.


Love to you all, Dee Dee

July is here

I wanted to share this link with you about Michael presenting at SPS, and Politics of the Spirit in October.

http://sagu.edu/home/index.php/20080626174/Academics/SAGU-Student-Presents-at-the-Society-of-Pentecostal-Studies.html

A family update:

Sofie's creeping hives are mostly gone after more than 2 weeks of itching, and diet change. We never tracked down the exact cause of the hives, but altering her diet seemed to help a lot. I have to say, I am so afraid of her food allergies. Please pray we narrow things down more.

She has been becoming exceedingly more gymnastic. I am hoping we can start attending some group classes at a local gym. She can do all sorts of tumbles and cartwheels, and she loves to jump off things and stick her landing. Pray for my downstairs neighbors. ;)

Michael is loving his summer job. He has been a total stand-out, and was even offered some job opportunities from competing principals after observing him at work.

He finished up his summer class, and is now free to work on the honey-do list. Joy unspeakable.

As for me, I am enjoying summer. I've been doing some reading, enjoying friends at a local scrapbook store, and I am getting together with someone from my church to start a small group for Moms to get together during the day to pray and share lunch.

Oh, I should mention Mocha. She is in the dog house. She viciously attacked me without provocation... Well, she viciously attacked me when I was innocently trying to pose her in a gift bag for pictures. :D But you should feel sorry for me, not her, as whatever is in her claws made me sick.

I hope you all are having a nice cat-free summer. Love to you all. Dee2

Bear with Me

I had a dream last night. I know this is where most people stop reading. Please bear with me.

I dreamed that M, Sofie, and I were at a gymnastics meeting in a large concrete gym in the country. There was nothing in any direction for miles around. When the competition let out, about a hundred of us started pouring out of the gym. We were all startled by the swirling angry clouds.

It was clear that deadly weather was imminent.

Most of us ran back in the building with our children - terrified. M was not one of them. I ran back outside with Sofie to tell him to come inside. 20 men stood frozen in my path.

Directly in front of us was a pitch black storm descending from thousands of miles into the sky and stretching for miles across. Everywhere it touched the ground it sparked with hateful fire, and dull smoke swirled around its perimeter .

It was headed directly for us.

I could barely breathe. Two families jumped in their cars and tried to speed off. The monster storm sent tornados to snap them up.

I grabbed Sofie, who seemed unaware of the storm, and ran inside with Michael. People were cowering in fear and helplessness. The walls of the gym began to shake, and I sensed hopelessness.

A man called to us calmly. "Come sit. We are covering our children." With a curious peace, Michael and I walked over to this man and two women who were leaning over their three children younger than Sofie. I knelt down and covered Sofie and my lap. We all joined hands and began to pray.

Then it all went quiet.

A voice spoke to me. "The Lord is raging against the Earth. Flooding in the Midwest, earthquakes in the West, tsunamis in the East, blizzards in the North, and hurricanes in South. Do you think you can escape His wrath? Flee the coming wrath, turn to Him."

And then I woke up.

I don't know what to think. I am too skeptical. People speak of dreaming dreams, and I roll my eyes. They see angels, and I scoff. I doubt. I reason things away.

And yet, I can hardly ignore such a blatant message. Is He speaking to me? I can certainly do better. Obedience is hardly my strong suit.

Would he give me such a fearsome message to share with others? I fear for my friends and family who do not share my faith.

Pray for me today. Love to you all. Dee2

Oops! :)

That shelf post was meant for my other blog. I suppose I should update here since you now know I am around. :)


Let's see.


Sofie has creeping hives covering roughly 1/3 of her body. We're not sure what is going on with that. She may end up going back to the doctor. Please pray for her. She is very itchy and miserable.
Here's a pic.



We bought her a new car seat this week. It is pink, and does not yet have food growing on it. Ewwww. We had such high hopes of keeping our car nice after havig a child, but it is MUCH harder than you might imagine.


Weird, just realized her hives could possibly be connected to the new car seat. We'll have to check that out. Hmm...


Sofie stayed the day at Cheryti's for our anniversary Saturday. She has hardly talked about anything else all week. Cherry is fun. Cherry has donkeys. Cherry plays hippose. Cherry has Grace. (A girl, as well as the fruit of the Spirit.:) I don't think I can live up to all the fun they had, so hopefully she will be well enough to visit again soon.

Here's a happier picture of her.

M is still not feeling 100%, allergies and all that. He LOVES his summer job. It is so sweet to have him come home after having a good time each day. He is teaching math and science for the summer with some field trips and swimming thrown in. (Don't forget your sunblock M!) He says his kids are eager to be in the classroom which I know is a nice change.


Mocha seems happier. She caught a spider who sneaked in from the porch. It was quite the chase. I think it eases the pain of not being able to attack the birds who stare into the window.


Tori the Taurus is a mean little brat who refuses to be fixed. The check engine light came back on AGAIN. I can't win with this car. I am ready to just give up and sell it, but M still thinks he can conquer it. We shall see who is standing in the end.


As for me, I'm fine. Here's the short version.


Bronchitis: Better.
Hair: Relaxed.
Friends: Visited.
Church: Thoughtful.


I am looking for something to read if anyone has a suggestion. Nothing has been striking me lately.


Oh, and if you are going to Springfield soon I want to know more about possibly coming. :) Love to you all.


Dee2

Clearing My Shelves

This week I made myself finish a couple of albums that have been lingering half-done on my shelves. (There are still several more.) I really love making album covers. :)


I went ahead and listed what I had on eBay, and re-listed some other albums at great prices to make way for more. :)


PFOP has a challenge coming up June 24th-30th. I plan to get working on that as soon as I get back from my mini-vacation. I have the idea in my head (pink and frilly!!) already so hopefully it will be quick work.


I don't have any new projects to share so I thought I'd show you a pic of my scrap space.


Yes, that's right I am standing on top of a table to get the picture. It was easier than moving the table. That's it. The whole of it. I just try to work on whatever surface I can secure that day. It could be a little neater, but the best way to do that is sell something so I try not to worry about it too much. Hope you like!

We Haven't Killed Each Other Yet :)

I know, not the most romantic title. :) Here are some others we thought of..


1. I know where most of you were 6 years ago tomorrow.

2. If you haven't got a thank you card yet, it's time to give up.

3. If you haven't sent a present yet, it's not too late. ;)

4. Donkeys now trot where we tied the knot.

5. 1998 Hyundai Elantra: still part of the marriage. Barely...

6. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes diapers, sleepless nights, potty training, Barney videos, and the slow push toward insanity.

7. We still like each other. :)

A little story for your amusement. When M and I were on our Honeymoon we stayed at an uber-fancy resort that only had valet parking. The aforementioned Elantra sported a pretty fancy squealing, squeaking, crunchy noise every time the car was put into drive. Even better, once you were in the car, the only way to get out was to roll the window down, and use the outside handle. This would probably have been valuable information for the valet who parked our car 12 times that week. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Love to you all. Michael and Dee2

Faithfulness

A small update:


Michael has secured a summer job through his District! He is one of very few who were selected so it is a bit of an honor. Many of you know that I have struggled with worry so much in the past, but I determined to trust that God would provide a job for Michael this summer without making myself ill with worry or endlessly searching. He has shown me His faithfulness *again*. I hope that this small example will help me to better trust Him in darker times.


My car is on the mend. Tori (the Taurus) has had some repair work done that has been ailing for a year, and is now being seen for some cosmetic work after a certain hubby dipped her nose into the back of another car. I hope to be a free woman by next week. Expect visits! :)


After a round of truly horrid antibiotics I, too, am on the mend. Sofie is still coughing, but she doesn't let that stop her from romping around the apartment like a wild animal and bossing me around.


Should I mention Mocha Roe? Hers is a very difficult life these days. There are 2 blackbirds that sit on a ledge outside our window everyday about noon and make taunting noises as she tries to sunbathe. The poor kitty is going mad trying to find a way outside. I hope she finds some solace in the 23 hours she sleeps each day...


Here are a couple of pictures of an album I made for Sofie last week.





That's it for now. Love to you all. Dee Squared