Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I've been dreaming of the day this would happen.
Yesterday my mom overheard a conversation between them.
Gabi had come up from the basement where they had been playing "mom and daughter."
Gabi was the mommy.
After a couple of minutes had gone by Karis crawled up the stairs, still very much the pretend baby girl.
"Mommy, Mommy, you need to come downstairs with me. Please Mommy."
Gabi, still very much in mommy mode says,
"I can't dear, I'm going stinky in my pull up."
I had to laugh and shake my head. What a thing for a mommy to say.
My precious baby girl is still terrified of going stinky on the potty chair and with the way things are around here we haven't pushed it.
She puts a pull up on all by herself.
Has no accidents.
Someday, I'm praying, it will all click.
For now, I'm just enjoying watching my little girls growing up and pretending together.
My mom is doing such a wonderful job with them. They are blossoming in ways I would have thought impossible in our situation.
God knew what He was doing when He gave me my mom.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I've had some tough times in my life, but the past couple of months trumped them.
God has brought me to my knees, literally, in tears. Realizing that I have nowhere to turn but to Him.
Never before in my life have I been so tired and weak that there are days I don't shower.
I've always been a religiously once a day kind of gal.
Cooking rarely, if ever happens, and usually it is just to warm something up that someone else has made. Even pulling something out of the freezer can sometimes be overwhelming.
I don't clean my house, rarely do a load of laundry, and can't take care of my girls by myself.
For someone who has wanted so much to be a stay at home wife and mother....
And my health scares the daylights out of me when I think about it too long.
Even gaining weight seems to be out of my control.
Now, my body is rejecting my pain meds.
I've wanted it to be anything and everything else, but it's not.
And you know what? It's not so bad that they are being rejected. I really only need them when I'm in extreme pain.
What is bad is this.
They are addicting and I have to slowly go off them so as not to go through withdrawal too terribly.
They make me sick with flu like symptoms, which means I lose weight and am too sick to eat sometimes.
One more thing taken out of my hands.
I feel like I'm complaining here. I'm trying not to.
I want you to know where I'm at.
Maybe understand the people in your lives better who are going through medical issues.
Never really being sick in my life I think I thought you got sick, went to the doctor, and got better somehow.
Seems there is another side of it.
A side that can bring you to the point where relying on God is the only possible option.
A place I should be in all the time.
I'm not giving up on the medical field... well, at least the more natural one.
So far all the regular one has done for me is scare the bejeebies out of me on a regular bases. I can't keep doing that to myself when they aren't offering any solutions.
Not sure what to do about that yet.
Anyway.... today with our Tuesday meal Carol sent a letter.
She may have written it, but I think it came straight from God to me.
When you are the neediest, He is the most sufficient.
When you are completely helpless, He is the most helpful.
When you feel totally dependent, He is absolutely dependable.
When you are the weakest, He is most able!
When you are the most alone, He is intimately present.
When you feel you are the least, He is the greatest.
When you feel you are useless, He is preparing you.
When it is darkest, He is the only light you need.
When you feel the least secure, He is your Rock and Fortress.
When you are the most humble, He is the most gracious.
When you can't, He can!
I read that with tears to Dustin. Sitting in all my unwashed, unbrushed, stinky glory. :-)
God is here for me, right now, in the midst of everything.
I don't know the outcome of my life, no one does except Him.
You may not have cancer or the physical struggles that some of us face, but are there any of us who really have any control of our lives?
Some of us just have it shown to us a little more clearly at times.
I need your prayers like never before, but I also want you to know that He is there for you, too, no matter what you are going through.
He is there!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The outfits had been tried on the night before. Mine was even ready, so Easter morning we spent a little time snuggling and watching Curious George before we got up to face the day.
Reluctantly we pulled ourselves out of bed and started morning preparations.
Karis opened our blinds to see if the weather would be sunny or the clouds we had been experiencing the last few days.
"Mom, Dad, come look, you'll never believe it!"
Dustin and I both looked at each other. Usually "You'll never believe it" doesn't mean something we will necessarily like.
"There are Easter eggs everywhere!"
Again we looked at each other, but we were both as surprised as she was.
Gabi dashed to the window with Dustin and I following.
I will let you imagine the tizzy our house was instantly transformed into.
Well, everyone but Dustin. He was just waking up, and Gabi and Dustin wake up very slowly.
The girls were going to run out there barefoot and in jammies.
Now, I have let them out in some horrifying outfits, but I drew the line here. :-)
We needed coats, pants, and at least some form of footwear.
I managed to call a few orders as the girls ran around like crazy.
Gabi threw her pull up away while I tried to corner her to get some underwear on. We finally halted face to face and she looked up at me with sparkling eyes.
Her, "I can't believe this is happening to us!" said it all.
They were finally released.
It took Gabi a bit before she realized she didn't need to open and eat the exciting contents right away. As soon as she noticed Karis getting most of the loot her bag began to fill.
Some of the eggs were super cute puppy dogs, cats, and chicks. Not cuter than my little treasure hunter, though.
The surprise was such an unexpected blessing for our family. It had been a rough week with me being a little more sick than normal and, as always, hard decisions to face and make. This little surprise started our our Easter in a way that reminded us of how much God loves us.
I'll keep their identity a secret, but thank you, precious friends, for reminding us of God's love by your surprise!
We had another special Easter surprise when Grandpa Jay, Dustin's dad, made a last minute trip down to see family. The girls were already flying high from the hunt, and these adorable baskets sent the soring.
He brought this special piece of art that a friend of his surprised us with. We love it!
All dressed up and ready to go! We were all so glad Grandpa Jay came for a visit!
Showing off some of her reading skills for Grandpa Jay. Grandparents are such a great encouragement for little learners. I wonder if you realize just how much your praise means to them. Thanks to all the grandparents in our lives who are so good at building up my little ones.
The Rankin girls.
Goofing off a little bit. I was blessed to feel fairly well that day.
Waiting for my hubby. I can't believe how frilly I like my tops these days. I never thought I'd say this but I believe I'm turning into a bit of a girly girl.
The love of my life, the one who manages to hold us together, my one and only!
This little man has been successfully kept from chocolate all his year and a half of life. I am not proud of the fact that I bought his first taste. In my defense, his mommy was recording this. And... he loves it!
Cousins with the final round of loot!
Worn out, but so blessed.
We had such a wonderful Easter.
It was packed full, but not so full that we didn't have time to remember how blessed we are to be able to celebrate it.
I am grateful my Savior has risen, that He took my sins away by dying on the cross, that heaven is my future dwelling place, and that what I am experiencing now is only temporary!
Thank you everyone for making our Easter such a wonderful one, and thank you Jesus for saving me!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I'm swallowing my pride with this picture. Short hair was so long ago that I forgot how crazy it looks when I wake up in the morning. :-) Pony tails and gel do wonders on the days I don't hop in the shower right away! Oh me, oh my!
Here is my stylish little miss. Her fancy shoes, leggings, adorable dress top, snazzy sweater, and fashionable coat. I'm serious, she is more in style than me most of the time. And the most amazing part? The only item I bought was the coat at a second hand store for $5. God has been so good at providing for my girls when I have no energy to shop for deals or the finances to dress them as adorably as they currently are. Thank you everyone for sharing with us!
My five year old going on twenty is up to a lot as usual.
Let's see.... She is learning to skip count almost all her numbers ten and under. My mom asked her to sing the three's to her Auntie Faith. Gabi surprised us all by running up to her Auntie Faith, sitting on her lap, and singing the threes perfectly. Gabi practically bursts with pride every time she sings them for us. We LOVE it.
Back to Karis. She is figuring out how to tell time, loves to read to herself before bed, and when she talks to my mom on the phone she asks her, "Do you want to talk to your daughter now?" Not my mommy, her daughter.
She also handed me an empty Easter egg and said, "Here, take this up to your mom's house." Not my grandma's, your moms.
When I told her we were going downstairs to skype Owen this morning she said, "Let me get dressed before I talk to my boyfriend." She came down hair brushed and clothes coordinated. I felt a bit sloppy. :-)
Gabi is growing up and I see my baby slipping away forever. It's late, so I'm going to have to think of all the cute things she does and share them in the next couple of days.
I'm sure you are all wondering about me.
That is part of the reason I haven't blogged.
I don't really have anything new, and that is a bit of a struggle for me to deal with at times.
Waiting is so hard.
God has been challenging me big time in the area of joy.
Not just having a joyful attitude when you are getting better, or things are going your way.
Joy even on the worst of days.
Easy to say, so hard to do, and so much to learn.
So..... I'm hoping I do better at blogging because I really do have a lot to share. I'm going to sign off for now, though. :-)
Thanks to all of you who are out there faithfully praying for me! What a huge, huge blessing.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
It is so nice to have a place we can call "home" when we travel out there once a month, and we feel blessed to count them among our precious friends!
After we left this time, Dustin called the girls to have a short chat.
Gabrielle came on the phone crying. One, because she had gotten up very early and was tired. Two, because she had been tormenting my parents dog and he nipped at her hair.
Dustin comforted her and told her we would bring her a surprise.
That did the trick and for the next few days this is what my parents heard.
"Grandpa, guess what? Daddy is going to bring me a sur...prise..." (sing song voice)
When my mom couldn't cuddle her for nap time she told her to think about something nice and listen to the music.
"Ok, Grandma, I'll think about my sur...prise..." (sing song)
She even prayed about her surprise during supper at my aunts. I guess this sparked an interesting conversation between her and Karis about whether or not you should pray about surprises.
Dustin and I were feeling the pressure of a good surprise, let me tell you.
We found it at T.J. Max. A tea set that had cups that would turn dark pink when you poured ice water in them.
We added animal crackers from Trader Joe's. And....
These stylin sunglasses.
Everything was a hit and Karis is convinced that praying about surprises is the best thing ever.
I loved watching their little tea party this morning.
How did my visit go?
I don't even know what to write anymore.
I'm not discouraged, just cautious.
We are trying something new.
One thing I have have to fight against is doubting everything.
If you go into something already doubting it is going to work, well, you are basically shooting yourself in the back.
I'm keeping on with everything, adding a couple of new things, and praying that if it isn't the answer, we are one step closer.
Thank you for your continued prayers.
Oh, and I have gained 7 pounds.
It may not seem like much, but it is weight I have gained and kept on. This hasn't happened before.
I kept gaining then losing. Gaining then losing.
Lord willing I am holding onto these pounds for keeps!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
That was a case of Him answering before you even prayed!
I've been laughing at it today - could be my drugs....
There are a gazillion changes I would make, but since I'm not trying to get that published, I'll just take the stories and shrink them.
Will we ever get published? Hummm..... that market is brutal, but we can at least give it a shot!
Dustin and I are headed out to Chicago the next few days.
Pray for wisdom for us, for the doctor, and healing.
We want to do what is best and what God has planned for us.
If we cry out for wisdom, Proverbs 2 promises He will answer.
We are crying out, thank you for joining us!
Loves, and I'll let you know how Chicago goes when we come back.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Believe it or not, there is something I want to paint, and I'm going to, (that should be a trip:-) but that isn't what I'm excited about.
Here's what it is.
My sister Noelle loves to paint.
I love to write.
We have decided to try doing a children's book together.
I took a couple college children's lit. classes.
During that period I wrote a book that I never tried to have published about my grandpa during the Depression.
It was for 8-10 year olds.
We are going to take that same idea and scale it down for kids around the age of Karis.
My family has some of the best stories around that time period. I'm excited to hear more of them and hopefully incorporate them into our newest idea.
Could you pray that I find my old manuscript?
It is on a no longer working computer and printed out and saved somewhere in my basement.
I looked tonight for about two minutes and couldn't find it. :-)
I know, I know.... two minutes. I don't feel like digging forever, though... :-) So some extra prayers would be appreciated.
I'll share more as the days go on, but right now I just wanted to tell everyone what has me smiling.
Love you guys!