21 March 2011

Our fire-breathing monster

This past weekend, the fire-breathing monster reared his ugly head again! I thought we had put him to rest (possibly for good?); but, alas, he decided to re-emerge from the deep, dark corners of Daniel's closet. This particular monster, however, has become Daniel's friend.

Yep, THIS is the fire-breathing monster. Maybe you have one of these at your house?

Yes, our fire-breathing monster is a nebulizer. Daniel started having coughing attacks on Thursday, so out from the closet it came. When he went to the doctor on Friday, the doctor said, sure enough, he was wheezing again. So it was Zyrtec, steroids, and breathing treatments every 4-6 hours through the weekend. Fortunately, we were blessed with a "happy wheezer," and, as you can see, Daniel takes it in stride. Addie, on the other hand, does not. She is petrified of it!

She has kept a 3 foot buffer zone between that machine and herself at all times! She whines and makes animal sounds at it the whole time it's on! I really believe that she thinks it's "alive." (I mean, the mask does have eyes and smoke coming out of it!) You know, this child may end up with a very vivid imagination. That can definitely be good and bad!

Well, anyways, I'm glad to say that Daniel has done much better the last couple of days! We are definitely a family that is thankful for steroids and Albuterol. :)

A picture of my "happy wheezer" when he was about 4 months old. Even when sick, he's happy! (I had to tell him to stop singing while he was getting a neb treatment, if that tells you anything. And no, my other children do not handle sickness nearly as well!)

18 March 2011

Daniel's Decision

Last weekend was an exciting one for us! Daniel was baptized by his Daddy and our whole family celebrated it with dinner at our house after church. Here's a couple of pictures of Travis baptizing him and of Daniel soaking wet. He was one excited little boy!

Daniel's decision to accept Christ as his Savior and his desire to be baptized (a sign of obedience to God, Matt. 28:18-19) has made me examine some of my beliefs a little more carefully.

I have never questioned whether or not a young child should accept Christ... until my own children reached that point of decision. I've had this discussion with more than one friend: Can our children really understand the basics (to the point of "believing unto salvation") at such a young age? Do we risk them making a decision, but not really meaning it or living it - and then having a false assurance? These worrisome thoughts went through my head as Travis sat Daniel down to make sure he understood the basics and had the right motive.

As I sat across from Daniel wondering if my happy-go-lucky four-year-old could possibly make a decision to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart and brought these words to my mind: "Forbid not the little children to come unto me." Who am I to determine whether or not the Holy Spirit can make a child understand the Gospel message and convict him of his sin? I must rely on the Bible to give me that answer. Being tempted to discourage Daniel put me in the same place as the prideful disciples, who "rebuked" the people who brought children to Jesus. Jesus was "greatly displeased" with the disciples. He told them not to forbid the children, for "such is the kingdom of God." Salvation is simple belief. Believing Jesus to be who He said He is. Believing He'll do what He says He'll do. And when you truly believe Him, you follow Him. That is child-like faith. That is saving faith. The Bible then says that Jesus "took them up in his arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:13)

An interesting side note is that this small, seemingly insignificant interaction took place in the few days between His Transfiguration, when God spoke audibly and declared Jesus His Son, and the Triumphal Entry, when Jesus entered Jerusalem to initiate the series of events that would lead to the cross. The countdown to Calvary was nearly complete; there was a sense of urgency that even His disciples could feel; and Jesus stopped. He took time to deal with children. He said "let the children...come." And then He ministered to them spiritually. That, my friends, is a very convicting realization to me as a mother. He took time in the midst of earth-shattering, life-changing busyness to minister to children.

And, again, why would I think that God would not compel a child to, now, "come"?

It was a blessing to hear Daniel pray and to see the joy on his little face -- true joy that comes from being in a right relationship with God!

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as [like] a little child will by no means enter it." Luke 18: 15

07 March 2011

Celebrating Almost-Spring

Today is the day when bold kites fly,
When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.

When robins return, when children cheer,
When light rain beckons spring to appear.

Today is the day when daffodils bloom,
Which children pick to fill the room,

Today is the day when grasses green,
When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen."
- Robert McCracken, Spring

03 March 2011

IF I had a hammer...

This evening I did something that, I hope, will reap plentiful returns in the days to come.

I taught Thomas how to change the batteries in a toy! Woohoo!

Not that I do much battery changing at my house. That job would fall on my Dad. I know. Pretty sorry of me, huh? Since my parents started keeping the kids for me a couple of days a week, that has become my Dad's calling card around here. I come home from working in the library, and I can tell that he's been at my house all day, because every single toy is now flashing, beeping, rolling, and singing. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Did I mention that I don't like changing batteries?

I really think, though, it's more than just the noise-maker aversion that I have. It's actually more of an aversion to tools of any sort. That's why when I changed the overhead bathroom lightbulb (that requires using a screwdriver) the other day, my husband acted completely shocked. Very pleased, but shocked, nonetheless.

I'm pretty sure this aversion goes all the way back to when I was in the tenth grade. That's the first time I can remember using a hammer (in the way it's supposed to be used). My geometry class had to BUILD, from scratch, a miniature golf course in the gymnasium. From that point on, I think I just developed this association between tools and math. That would make both of them very bad things. (Don't tell Thomas. He likes math. I'm the one that cried when I found out that even English teachers-to-be have to take math in college. Yes, I cried. Seriously.)

So, anyways, the aversion continued into adulthood. I was slightly broken of it when I married into my husband's family. They are some of the most tool-lovin' people I know. (Did I mention that my sister-in-law is a MATH teacher by trade? Uh-huh. See?) Not many years after we were married, when my in-law's were building their screened-in porch, my husband and I drove over there one afternoon so he could help with the construction. I brought my bathing suit because I thought the ladies would be spending the afternoon by the pool. Boy, was I wrong. No sooner had I arrived, and Grandpa Joe handed me a paint brush and told me to get busy. I recall telling him "Oh, I don't paint." (I cringe now when I think about that. But it was true. I had never used a paintbrush!) He looked at me pretty incredulously (I'm pretty sure he laughed at me, as well) and said something like "Well, today you are!" I know he was wondering what kind of lazy bum his grandson had married! But, paint I did, and, surprisingly, I've even helped Travis a few times since then! Needless to say, my aversion to tools was somewhat overcome that day. But not enough to start walking around my house with a screwdriver in hand.

Which is exactly why it's time for the six-year old to start learning how to use some basic tools! So this evening, we had some fun learning about batteries and "Tighty righty, Lefty loosey." The less I have to touch a screwdriver, the better! :)