Friday, January 25, 2008

Rambling Thoughts

The camera is now in Colorado, so imagination will have to do....

Imagine: Scott driving a bus for the first time in heavy snow with 43 college-aged kids to Wolfcreek, Co to ski for two days, one of those days being College Day. He has the skis, the cameras, amazing snow.

Imagine: Amanda home cleaning vomit, diarrhea, and snot out of numerous articles of child's clothing, bedding, and toys. Does this not even mention the poor child himself!?

Ranne had a fever on Wednesday which didn't last long. Ate and played like a champ on Thursday, throwing-up in his bed twice that night. The first time Scott and I handled it alright. The second time was worse; I whimpered the whole time. Ranne kept telling me, "Mama, some thing's wrong with me. Do you know what's wrong with me? I'm okay, Mama (in response to my moans)." Today, he ate NOTHING and has slept the majority of our waking hours. The only thing he'll say is, "Some thing's wrong with me. Do you know what's wrong with me?", repeating it over and over. When I say I do know, he replies, "You think you know." Arhg. He was feeling a tad better this morn and said, "The bug in my throat is gone. It must've crawled out!"

Toby is fine aside from a drippy nose. He's hamming it up, for all the extra attention he has while brother sleeps. He's helping me with laundry, picking up toys, and throwing away trash. He's gotten a new tooth and is saying many words, the most clear one being "Amen". I think that's just because he usually wants to eat or sleep and is excited for the prayer before meals and crib to be OVER.

Last night at the Student Center a homeless man came up. I have worked with this specific individual before, though in his constant overdosed state he'd never remember. He and I were so absorbed in conversation (him swearing at me, pretty much), Toby took off and was almost to the street when one of the CSC guys who was standing there spotted him. Only that night had Toby realized he could move rapidly. Ranne, after experiencing the unhappy homeless man, said, "Mom, why did that man call you a 'Piece of c///'?" Nice....

Yesterday was Scott's birthday. I fixed him a birthday breakfast since he likes this particular meal but I rarely make it. I had to pry him out of bed. Ranne was sleeping late, recovering from his fever the day before. Toby and I were done with breakfast by the time Scott came out. He ate and opened his box. It was kind of sad. BUT, one of the girls at the CSC decorated his office a little and baked a cake that night to eat after everyone sang. This very kind--not to mention well-received.

The new semester has brought more faces to Scott's work place. It's also already bringing in groans of homework and perverted sociology professors. Ah, the college-life. For the most part, people seem relieved to begin their courses and have an excited air.

I am very excited about the next ladies prayer circle. The first one was attended by four gals. They all seemed happy with it and I've had much talk from others who want to come to the one on the 9th. If there are more than four this time (who knows where people's talk goes), .... well these details aren't interesting. Please pray that the ladies come and come with expectant hearts.

So, the weekend is here and I'm not in Colorado. I try to imagine myself there, but it only makes me feel more miserable and lonely and sorry for myself. So, pray the trip is safe and the weekend passes quickly here. R's breathing sounded a little loud when I put Toby down, so I'm somewhat concerned.

Betty, Syd, or Sun: if someone could send me an address to mail the quilt blocks to, I'm sure the women quilting would be grateful. Yes, I know I'm the latest and holding things back. Tonight I am cranking them out.

Because blogs are only fun with pictures, I'll go ahead and post some of my step-mother's daughter's girls. Riley is the child who was born so early. After huge amounts of surgeries, worry, stress, and prayers: she's doing blessedly well. Quinn is her adoring older sister. In the B&W picture, Scott said, "Who's head of hair is that?!" I said, "Yeeshk, I know. It's heaven hair.", ie what all the ladies' hair will look like in heaven. Yes, I know that's not scriptural. Ranne saw the picture of Quinn and said, "Where's she going to fly to?"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Old House

So, many of you have wanted pictures of our house. I have avoided doing this, but remodeling is not progressing very quickly. After blogging about our average week on the last post, you can, perhaps, understand why there's not been time for patching, sanding, painting, wallpaper stripping.... We are blessed to have a house now and a place for people to come without worrying about neighbors.

Last night, we had perhaps 15 people over for a very last-minute potluck in our home to celebrate the baptism of a young woman who's been at the CSC for her first semester at UNM. She began reading her dad's bible three years ago (KJ!), found a church in town and then began coming to the CSC. Through study with the freshmen group, as well as personal relationships with Scott and Garrett, she decided that it was time.

Here she is on the far left, her parents next to her:

For you who would be interested in news of Scott's work, there's been a very fun development. The website, designed by my brother (a very busy guy, it seems, as he just designed one for the church in Bellville, TX too) is now up. The kids still can't sign into it, having very funny stories about trying to fill the registration out several times in excitment, but it is beautiful and has the schedule posted.

This Tuesday Scott and Garrett are to attend an evening meeting with the elders, taking all finance and ministry updates with them. To quickly explain, in faith the elders hired both guys to work full-time, knowing it was a huge job to minister to the potentially thousands at UNM and CNM and the base. The ministry has been several thousand dollars in the hole monthly, using student center reserves to pay the men and bills. Mountainside probably feels like they're being trying to sqeeze water from a dry sponge, but have up-ed their giving two thousand dollars a month. I post these numbers freely, knowing that anyone who asked would have the information, as well as to show the ways the family in Albuquerque are pouring out of their blessings to support God's work and our families. Despite the increase, however, the ministry is still a few hundred short per month (this does not include ANY spending over budget). So, please keep the student center and the work there in your prayers. We know God will provide, but also know the import of telling him struggles. If you are interested in helping, or know of someone who is looking for a way to support God's work, let us know.

Here is the CSC computer lab in use and a couple of our most involved ladies with our son, Toby.

So for today, Scott is preaching twice this morning, teaching a bible class, working at the CSC and then taking us to meet with the church in the evening. Tomorrow is company for dinner: our long lost friends the Lewis'. Tuesday Scott takes his CDL test so he is able to drive a bus for the ski trip, as well as the BIG MEETING. Wednesday is a bible study with a friend and church. Thursday is the big CSC night, and Friday we drop off the boys to my brother's as we head out of town for a ski trip with nearly fifty college kids. All this to say: no posts for a while. When we return from CO on Sunday, we'll have LOTS of pictures and stories to post.

Sunny and Sydni, your blogs keep me going. Keep it up!

God bless.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Little Rings

The latest little ring of our tree's trunk isn't much, but does have some cute pictures and a story or two of the children.

Life is more normal now, since Christmas. Last week, though, we did have four groups over in a seven-day time frame. That was a bit much but does fill our days with good memories and refreshment.

First we had a very good Student Center study at the house. Three students came and had some very thought provoking study on salvation. It was two hours, though. The boys enjoyed the first part.

Second, the Robinsons came over, as well as my Great Aunt: Dora. Bill (Mrs. Robinson's husband) used to be "the man in charge" at the CSC. Long ago, she adopted our children. She always hunts them down at church events for hugs and kisses. This Christmas she gave generous gifts to the boys. We waited to open them until the night of their visit. Ranne received a piano with gadgets galore and Toby unwrapped a cart to push around and carry things in. We ate together, played with the toys and spent some time over dominoes.

Thirdly, my brother and his family joined us for supper on a Saturday night. Their sweet daughter kept my boys on their toes, trying all sorts of playing they'd never adventured to try before. She is a very agile and capable little gal with a big vocabulary. Hearing her small voice saying, "Yes" and "Up please." was adorable. Unfortunately I only got one picture. By the time I remembered the camera it was late and hard to get a good shot. There's also a picture of Scott with a new growth we need to have something done about and my brother.

Lastly, we had our dear friends the Bowles over. Same thing ther: I only got one good picture of their son, but none of the rest of them. Having them over is always refreshing and fun. We had a crock pot meal and lots of playing. Their daughter and Ranne have been long-time buddies. Moving further away from their home has been especially hard due to that!

Today Scott took a lunch with the boys and me, walking around the University's golf course. Ranne did well except when distracted by the cranes and tractors on the city's horizon. Toby was very content in the carrier we carried on our backs. So content, in fact, that when I took him out of the carrier at the car upon leaving, he began throwing a tantrum (new thing). As this was happening, a woman was just pulling away in her car and Ranne was walking around a fence to take all this in. He ran to Toby and tried to pull him up and hug him, yelling, "Toby was hit by the car! Help." When I had him let Toby go, he looked at me with huge, upset eyes and insisted that Toby must be screaming because he was hurt from being hit by the car that just drove away. It was so neat to see him react in such a concerned and helpful way. Wow.

Anyway, that was our day. Now their sleeping their third our of a nap. Long day.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Montana Christmas

OK, you all. You must, now, understand Scott's obsession with Montana when seeing the view from the home he grew up in!

The Sunday after we arrived, Toby and Sayler shared CradleRoll time. Aunt Sydni was their teacher.

Christmas Eve the family opened gifts. The big hit with the boys was the snowy train that blows real smoke. Every time they were bored, Ranne would ask for the train to be "fixed", i.e. turned on.

Christmas Day began with stockings, of course. Both the Hostetters and the Lairds joined us throughout the day. Middle picture is Toby, Calla, Sayler and Amber.

Outdoor fun made for awesome three hour naps for the kids.

Toby's turn.

Brider Bowl
This is where Scott and I skied the Thursday after Christmas. We got there before most. I am proud to say I was first tracks down the bunny hill in 17-inches of Cold Smoke (powder). There were areas we were over our knees in powder.

Aunt Sydni read book after book to three kids! Toby never has that kind of attention for my reading. Sayler shared her family and toys with the boys very well! The seven of us attended a Bobcats basketball game. Seems to be a thing we do when in MT over the winter. FUN.

Scott is busier than ever at work. His co-worker has gone on his vacation to Malibu, so we're trying to stay afloat without he and his family's help! There's a lot going on this month from prayer meets, to men's and ladies' studies, Welcome Back week, a ski trip, weekly meets.... How exciting for them.

The boys are doing well. Ranne keeps saying hysterical things I forget to write down. He's also potty-trained, for the most part. His imagination is flourishing and his stories are a mile long.

Toby is now walking most everywhere, unless he's in a hurry to catch big-brother. He's also signing his three wonder signs of, "Please", "more", and "food". As you can probably guess, he's eating enough to effect our budget and is growing like a weed.

Being in Montana for the holidays has inspired both the boys in so many ways. They just flourished in development with the added stimulation.

The trip up was, unfortunately, longer than we hoped. I had a miscarriage on way to Colorado where we were staying the night. We're still unsure whether or not that process is over, but praying God heals me as He can or desires. Despite the ER visit and extended trip, the boys did awesome, fussing only when I could easily have fussed myself from boredom and tiredness. All four days of travel, there and back, they did amazingly well. We had a blast with them and wouldn't have traded the time, unless it was in order to have more hours with dear family in Montana.

Our visit in Colorado always holds good memories with my cousin Alda's family. They bless us with such personal encouragement and educated, stimulating conversation. Too, their dogs entertain the boys after a long day in the car, which is a wonderful experience thing.

We arrived in Bozeman to beautiful snow and a cozy Free home. Wonderful is was to arrive there and be 'freed' to take care of the kids with baths and beds before feeling like we have to visit about everything. The boys settled in and we caught up a little before bed. It was so nice.

The next morn we met with the church, Toby getting to share cradle roll class with Cousin Sayler. She is the most precious and smart little girl! It's obvious her parents work very hard to help her be happy and accomplished. She's so SMART. Ranne marched out of his bible class with candy and head full of stories and children's names and talk of baby Jesus.

To make a long story short, we visited with: the Phillips family, the Hostetters; the Lairds; and the church family there, including dear Jim. We gifted, we ate, we played, we shopped, we skied, we sledded, we slept, we ate (did I mention that?), we coffee'd, we talked and read and caught up on study Scott was able to sing with his family, which delighted him. It was so nice, I didn't want to go home and would still rather be elsewhere. Hm. Funny how when blessings are counted, it can make one a bit down and ready for heaven.

Funny things: Ranne called Grandma "Grandpa" most of the time we were there. He did it at first due to my mistake and his smarts, but continued after getting so many laughs from it. He was also spoon-fed by Grandma the whole time, so is having to relearn how to feed himself since coming home. He keeps saying, "I can't feed myself; you have to feed me."

So, I'll post some pictures, including some Sydni sent. She takes such great pictures with her little camera!

Sunny, we were very sad when you were unable to come see us. Know you were in our thoughts are prayers as everyone was together and missing your sweet family as well. We suffered too, not having you there. Lord willing we'll see one another face-to-face very soon.