Monday, July 26, 2010

Heart Breaking Question

We have a wonderful toddler bible. I really love it. We read Claire one story each night from this bible. I think we have made it through the entire thing at least 5 times and are still going strong. It has planted many of the better known bible stories in her mind and that has offered us countless opportunities to teach her about God throughout the day. Like when she is scared at night after having a bad dream, we remind her what Daniel did in the lion's den when he was scared. He prayed to God. 

So the other night we were at the hardest story of the bible for a 3-year-old. The death of Jesus. She has always handled this story with no problem. Fortunately, this bible is truly geared toward the toddler so it is a "just the facts" version that avoids getting too detailed. But Claire was in a "why" mode that night. We got lots of "why" questions that night and did our best to answer them.

Bible: The soldiers arrested Jesus and marched him to Jerusalem.
Claire: Mommy, why are they marching him to Jerusalem?
Me: Well honey, Jesus told everyone that He was God and they didn't like that.

Bible: The soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head. They whipped him. The soldiers put Jesus on a cross to die.
Claire: Mommy, am I going to die?

Now, what I wanted to say was, "No, sweetie. You aren't going to die. Don't worry!" That would have been easy. But we decided a long time ago that we were not going to lie to our kids to avoid uncomfortable situations. But it is so hard to stick to that resolve when you really want to protect their little hearts from fear and preserve their innocence. Obviously we know that we need to choose our words wisely when tough questions crop up. The trick is to figure out how much of the truth they can handle and only dish out that much. Give them enough information to answer the question honestly. If they want more information, they'll ask more questions. So with a quick glance over at Michael that begged him to, PRAY, I looked back at Claire and said, "Well, yes baby. One day you will die. But not today."

Claire: (tears now welling up in her little eyes) Mommy, will you hold me when I die?
Me:  (wanting to cry at that question) Yes, baby. I will. But remember that you are not going to die right now. You are okay.

Unfortunately, Claire still looked a little uncertain and scared. UGH!!! This is just what we need right before bedtime.

Claire: Mommy, are the doors locked?
Me: The doors? You mean the doors to our house?
Claire: (nodding fearfully)
Me: Yes, honey. The doors are locked. Are you scared?
Claire: (another nod)
Me: Why? What is scaring you?
Claire: I don't want the soldiers to come.

Now I get it.  I now know what has her so upset. She thinks that to "die" means you get whipped by soldiers and put on a cross. So when I told her that one day she would die, just not today, she took that to mean that one day she would be taken away by soldiers, whipped and put on a cross. Talk about a punch in the gut. MY POOR BABY!

Me: Oh honey. There are no soldiers coming for you. Jesus did that so that we would never have to. Jesus didn't want the soldiers to come get us and hurt us, so He let them do it to Him instead. Isn't that so nice of Him? 
Claire: (still a little uneasy) Yes.
Me: He loves you that much!
Claire: (another nod)

We decided that we didn't want to end the night on such a dark note, so we read further in her bible. We read the story where Jesus comes out of the tomb and also the one where Jesus gathers with his disciples again after he rose from the grave. These two stories seemed to calm Claire's nerves and she was back to her giggly, happy self.

SIGH. I prayed and prayed that night that my fumblings to find the best answer wouldn't leave her feeling anxious or fearful. I also prayed that if she had any lingering fears about that conversation, that she would ask more questions. But so far none have surfaced. She seems happy and content with the answers given. 

I do love God moments. Moments when I can seize opportunities in our day to talk about God and share with Claire all the wonderful things He does for us. But I must admit this one was a little tough. Up until this night, the God moments were all about happy, joyful things which aren't hard to discuss. This was my first taste of what I know will be a lifetime of tough questions. Because they will only get harder as my girls get older. 

Lord, help me to always be filled with Your Spirit that I will have YOUR answer ready when the tough questions arise.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. --James 1:5

Friday, July 16, 2010


Some might call it writers block. I, however, don't consider myself a writer so I can't officially explain my lack of posting ideas official "writers block". What I believe has happened is that any and all good ideas have been pushed out of my mind and replaced with gobs and gobs of snotty phlegmtastic goodness. Translation: sinus infection. It really is hard to come up with fun things to write about when you are on 4 different medications at one time. I have been living in a sort of "head in the clouds" reality for the past 11 days. I think I am finally on the road to recovery--for the most part and figured I'd better sit down and blog just out of sheer determination.

So prepare yourselves, this could be a very random post.

During the climax of my cootie-fest, I ended up feeling desperate enough to visit one of those after hours clinics. It was the weekend and I really wasn't sure I could make it until Monday. I am sure that there are several clinics with amazing doctors. But the one I visited was a complete joke. I think I've gotten more thorough check-ups from Claire and her Fisher Price doctor's kit. I ended up leaving with a handful of prescriptions for medications that I was already taking over the counter. When I asked if I truly needed the prescriptions since I was basically already on these medications the doctor said, "Um, well probably not." Gee, thanks. When I asked for a diagnosis, I was told that my throat was red and probably sore from all the coughing. Really? No kidding. Well I'll be darned. I can't believe that I didn't figure that part out for myself. Snark, snark, snark.

Over the weekend, we had a wonderful visit from my amazing mother-in-law and niece. That was quite fun. Claire adores her cousin and they played from sun up to sun down. It's a nice break for me because she'd rather me stay out of the "playing" business when her cousin is around. Trust me, I don't mind taking a break from playing the part of Prince Eric as Claire reenacts various scenes from The Little Mermaid.

Today, Sarah turns 18 months old. She is growing so very fast is amazes me. She weighs 29 pounds (95%) and is 33.5 inches tall (93%). This kid is solid let me tell you. I have yet to see someone pick her up without uttering an audible grunt/groan, so great is her girth. And I love it! I think the extra insulation is the main reason I have such good sleepers. Sarah goes down every night at 6:30 and sleeps until 8:00 the next morning. And still takes a 2.5 hour nap every day. Ahhhhhh, bliss. Believe me, I count my blessings. Every. Day.

And tonight? We are hiring our first baby sitter. We are getting together with several other couples to head out to The Melting Pot. Can't wait!! I told Michael that we are not going to know what to do with ourselves after this weekend because we've gotten so accustomed to time away together. We were blessed by my mom with a cruise at the end of June. Then the following weekend, some friends from church (with whom we trade childcare) took the girls so we could have a date night. Then last weekend, my mother-in-law insisted that we go out while she watched the girls. And now this weekend, we head to The Melting Pot! Love it, love it, love it!!!

So there you have it. You are now completely updated with as much rambly-randomness as my clogged brain is capable of in its current foggy state.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun with a Bean Bag

Claire was having a blast jumping on her bean bag tonight. And I was having fun playing around with my shutter speed.

Sarah usually opts for the more relaxing way to enjoy the bean bag.

And don't worry. Those are the ONLY two times Sarah has EVER watched TV in her life. You believe me, right? Right?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th on the 5th

Last night we let Claire experience her first fireworks. We tried our best to avoid anything that would make a loud noise. Claire shys away from any loud noise that isn't made by her person. Since we would like for this to be an annual event, we chose to break her in slowly. Got that advice straight from the "How to Properly Expose Your 3-Year-Old to Explosives" handbook. 

We did put Sarah to bed first. We figured we would have enough on our hands making sure Claire didn't burst into flames. Trying to wrangle a rogue 17 month old at the same time could've proven disastrous. 

First came the sparklers.

I think that face says it all. She wasn't quite so sure about the sparklers. She was happy to hold them, but eventually the wind blew some of the embers onto her arm and that was enough to convince Claire that sparklers are for Mommy's and Daddy's to hold.

Then came the smoke bombs and boy did she love those.

They were very quiet and non-intrusive so she was happy to play with those the entire time. We would light them and Claire would run over and stand in the smoke.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Her shoes are now tinted a lovely blue from the blue and purple smoke bombs. We also tried some color fountain fireworks. We were told that they would simply emit quiet sparks of color. Wrong. They were quite loud and a few times even gave off a lovely squeeeeeeeeeel just for good measure. Fortunately Clarie handled that in stride and we were able to call our little intro into fireworks a success. 

I did, however, have to tell her to pretend that the neighbors were popping popcorn outside her window just so she'd be able to go to sleep that night. It was a little loud to say the least. And I also had to promise that in the morning we could go outside and pretend to eat all the popcorn they left on our lawn. Hey judge all you want, it worked. She fell right to sleep. And, yes, we did go "popcorn" hunting this morning!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Couching Around

As often happens around here, I was playing with the girls and ended up inventing my own little game. It was nothing special. Sarah was on the couch and would pop up and look over the back. When she did, I'd yell out, "Peek-a-Boo" with quite a bit of gusto. She really found this amusing and I managed to get some good smiley pics.

Of course, with all the ruckus we were making, big sister had to get in on the action too.

It's wonderful how the simplest of things can impress the daylights out of small children. I better enjoy it now, because there is a time in the not so distant future where everything I do will no doubt be a complete embarrassment to them. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Wow. June was a busy month around here. We had so many busy things going on that I finally decided to give up on my blog for the month and not feel one bit guilty about it. Okay, I felt a little guilty, but oh well. So now that it is officially July, let me update you on the last couple of weeks.

As you know from the last post, I taught VBS. It was a great time and as always I enjoyed getting to teach once again. As soon as VBS was over, my mom arrived for a 12-day visit. Part of that visit was so that she could spend some over-due time with the grand-babies.

And part of her visit was a mercy mission. What do I mean by that? Well, my wonderful mom took it upon herself to stay with our two girls all by herself for 3 1/2 days so Michael and I could go on a cruise. ALL. BY. OURSELVES. Ahhhhh.

I don't think I can begin to describe how wonderful it was to spend a few days with no real schedule. No running around chasing after a very energetic 17 month old. No halting of activities to head back for nap times. No eating with one hand while fighting to feed the baby. None of that. Ahhhh. It was so nice to spend an entire day reading a book on the beach under the shade of these trees:

Taking breaks from reading only to cool off in the clear, cool water. 

Oh, and no vacation is complete without seeing what has to be the world's largest goldfish.

Okay, so it's not a goldfish, but still. Look at the size of that thing!! Michael better watch out because I think that fish wants to eat him for lunch.

Needless to day, a relaxing time was had by all. Well, my mom might say different. She and the girls had tons of fun, but I don't know how relaxing it was for her. Now I am in the process of getting back in our routines (which will hopefully include regular blog updates). And Claire is busy teaching me all the fun new games MiMi taught her while we were away. 

And now I am off to the luxurious laundry room where the unfolded clothes are calling my name.