On Sunday night, as Keith and I sat eating at Jason's Deli, I got the call. Daniel Heinrich, on his way to do street evangelism in downtown Fort Worth with the other youth, had been hit head-on by a drunk driver and was killed instantly. His only sibling, Emily, is a dear friend to me and is our main babysitter. Their family has been friends with us for about 4 or 5 years. After the news began to sink in, I told Keith that I wanted to go be with Emily. He wholeheartedly agreed. When I called my to find out where she was, I was told that she was in a meeting at Denton Bible Church...almost an hour away...she did not know yet. I offered to go get her and bring her home. So mom, Melinda Spray (another friend from church) and I set out for Denton. We got their in just over 35 minutes. News had started spreading fast and we were afraid she would get the news by a text message before someone could be with her.
When her meeting concluded, I grabbed her before she could get to the phone. Her parents wanted us to go ahead and tell her. We quietly pulled her aside into a women's restroom and mom stood guard at the door to keep people from coming in. There, standing by the tile walls, I delivered the news. She stood there stunned, just staring at me. Then the tears began to flow, her shoulders began to shake with the sobs, but she didn't make any sounds. I felt as if I had just stabbed my friend.
The ride home was quiet. At one point, she turned on her phone and played a song about being safe in the arms of Jesus. Her first impluse was to run to the arms of the Savior and be held by Him. After arriving at her house, I watched from a far as she literally ran into her parents arms as her mom ran to her. I will never forget that sight or those sounds. A small group from church had gathered and we gathered around them for a time of prayer. What a bittersweet time. There was gut wrenching grief, and glorious celebration at the same time. Only in the life of a Believer...
Daniel, only 18 years old, was already a man of God. When I think of him, there are only 2 expressions I can see...one is smiling and laughing, the other is eyes closed and face earnestly lifted toward heaven with hands raised in worship. There was an earnestness to his spiritual life. He had become burdened for the lost and for sharing God's Light with those in darkness. That was his mission at the very time of his death...to find those downtown that needed to hear the Truth. He was a young man who was running hard after Him. What a testimony for us to leave behind. May it be said of me. Daniel, you were an example to those much older than you, as well as those who will hopefully follow in your footsteps.
"To know and follow hard after You. To grow as Your disciple in the Truth. This world is empty, pale and poor, Compared to knowing You, my Lord, Lead me on and I will run after You."
For two days, Katie has been asking to hear the "many mittens" song in the car. Of course, I have no idea what she is talking about. I've suggested several others, but it just makes her more mad. So today I asked her if she could sing a little bit of it for me. She thought for a minute and then started singing, "In my Father's house are many mittens..." After I stopped laughing I said, "Oh, you mean 'in my Father's house are many MANSIONS!" (From Steve Green's Hide them in Your Heart, Vol. 2)
I wanted to let you know about an amazing product I just found. (This is not a paid endorsement, just something I thought might be useful to you.) Someday, you may have to teach your child how to swallow a pill. It is no easy task...enter ORALFLO. It is a pill swallowing cup. After weeks of trying to swallow pills, having to crush them and put them in pudding, dealing with bitter after-taste, this morning my 6 year old swallowed a pill in literally less than 2 secs. I was amazed! No gagging, choking, nothing. And this is my child who has sensory integration issues and is VERY sensitive to textures and has a STRONG gag reflex. He was thrilled!
Two years ago today I held in arms a surprise gift from God. Our little Jack entered the world at 12:49 pm and my life has never been the same. He brought completeness to our home and is continually a breath of fresh air. From day 1, he has been relaxed and happy, two wonderful traits...especially for a 4th child! His smile lights up a room and his laugh is contagious. We love to hear him talk, which he does very well and very often. He loves trains and can be found most times with at least 2 in his hands. He loves his siblings and tries his hardest to do anything they are doing. He is by far our most cuddly child and still loves to put his head on your shoulder or sit in your lap. Jack, you are a blessing to me and to our family. Although you were a surprise to us, the Lord had you planned from before the foundations of the earth. I pray that someday you will know this Great and Awesome God who brought you into being. You are a gift and we give you back to Him, thankful to be entrusted with parenting you.
Last night Charlie lost his first tooth. He's been working on it for a while. It still wasn't REALLY wiggly, so I had just told him that it needed more time and not to just yank on it. Less than a minute later, he had it out. Guess he couldn't stand it any more. He didn't cry, but started gagging when he realized it was bleeding a little. After biting a piece of gauze, he was ready for the tooth fairy! He's growing up.
Charlie came running into the living room this afternoon yelling, "Mommy, there's a REAL skunk in our backyard! Really, there is, and it's ALIVE!" Sure enough, I turned to see a skunk out by Keith's shop. Keith, of course, is at work, so I grabbed the camera and the phone and called my neighbor. The skunk was nosing around in the grass and then would fall over. I was worried it might be rabid.
My neighbor graciously agreed to come and check it out for us. And that's exactly what he did...he "checked it out!" I had no idea that it would spray straight into the air when he shot it. Within a few seconds of shooting it, we could smell it INSIDE the house. A few seconds later, the smell was so strong you could taste it. GROSS!!! I called animal control to see about having someone come and dispose of it, but they are closed today. I called a private company that deals in wildlife control. I told them I had a dead skunk in my backyard. They took my information to have someone call me back. Then they said, "There is a $399 fee to come and assess the situation, do you accept this charge?" To which I replied, "No. There's nothing to assess...He's already dead. I can show you where he is, what he is, and how he died. There will be no trapping or return visits, and he won't bite or spray." The guy sat there kind of confused. "So...you don't accept the fee?" "No." "I'll have to have someone else call you back." Don't think I'll wait by the phone.
Update...as I was writing this post, only a few minutes after the skunk was killed, Katie Beth said, "Mommy, there's a duck by the skunk." Me: "Katie Beth, there's no duck out there." Katie Beth: "Yes there is Mommy. There's a duck by the skunk and he's scaring me."
I looked out the window to assure here there is no duck, only to see a HUGE buzzard crouched over the skunk. CAMERA!!!
This week was spring break for the boys. Keith only had Wednesday off work, so we used that as our "outing" day. We wanted to take the kids to the Frontiers of Flight museum at Love Field, but weren't sure if they are all ready for the full museum experience. So we decided at the last minute to go to the C.R. Smith Museum at the American Airlines headquarters. It is much cheaper and much smaller and they have a restored DC-3 that you can go in.
We started with a 15 minute movie that was really neat. It was done like an IMAX movie where you feel like you are flying. It explained the history and growth of American Airlines. Then we toured the exhibits. Will and Charlie did well, but we quickly realized Katie Beth and Jack are not ready for museums. Neither one wanted to stay in the stroller, but both wanted to touch everything and RUN. I was grateful for small crowds and a large open area around the DC-3. They ran and played going in and out of the plane.
After a quick bite of lunch, it was home to nap the little ones. Keith took Will and Charlie out to Weatherford to help a friend from church cut up some trees. They came home dirty and happy.
Friday was beautiful, in the upper 60's with bright sunshine. Saturday morning we awoke to thunderstorms along the leading edge of a COLD front. The temps continued download all day with strong winds. By suppertime, we were starting to get snow pellets. The ground this morning had a light dusting of snow, not enough to get good pictures of, but snow nonetheless. How crazy to get snow on the first day of spring! Temps are supposed to be back in the 70's this week. Welcome to Texas!
February is a month for me to celebrate my hubby. We not only have Valentine's Day, but his birthday is a week later. I know I'm running a little late on getting this post up...but let's just say that we've been busy living!
I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. This thought is never far from my mind. I am continually reminded that he is unusually easy to live with. Some people require winning the argument, being right, and fighting to the death to prove their point. (That would be me.) Keith, on the other hand, would rather have peace at all costs. In order to argue with him or to hold a grudge, you have to really WORK at it. And even then, you feel really dumb because you realize very quickly that it's a one-sided fight.
I also appreciate is transparency in our relationship. He is quick to share his heart with me, and I know that there is nothing in his life that is off limits to me. If I want to know something, all I have to do is ask. He is always willing to share. I remember how odd this was for me early in our relationship. When he would get home from work I would ask, "How was work?" Fully expecting the typical "Fine", I was shocked to hear him give me a full detail report of the day's activities. At first, the details were more than I wanted, but now, I realize that he is letting me into his world. I know his job, his co-workers, his life because he has chosen to make me a part of it.
I am blessed to have a man that seeks to live according to the Word, to love me as Christ loved the church, and to honor the Lord above all. So to the best husband and friend that I would ever imagine, Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday.
Keith walked into Katie and Jack's room this morning to find that Katie had gotten Jack undressed, CHANGED HIS DIAPER, and was getting him dressed again. Jack was happy as a lark and the new diaper was actually on correctly! SWEET! Now my 2.5 yr old can change my 1.5 yr old! She's been correctly changing her babies, complete with wipe down and cream, for months now.
I am blessed to be married to my best friend, who daily makes marriage so easy. I have 4 amazing, healthy and totally different children. I love being home with my kids and serving my family in ways that only a wife and mom can. However, my first love is my Savior Jesus Christ and my aim in life is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.