Friday, March 28, 2014

The Good Shepherd and His Lambs

At the He Remembers the Barren Retreat last July, we attended Emmaus Lutheran Church together on Sunday morning before we parted ways to begin our journeys home. I snapped this picture of one of their stained glass windows. I liked it because the title of my blog is from the hymn, I am Jesus Little Lamb.

My friend, Heather, reminded me of this beautiful scene. Jesus is holding our lambs that have gone to heaven before we do. The ewes are at Jesus' feet.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Washing Clothes

When my washer was broken, Lamb 2 suggested I use this...

I didn't take his advice, I waited for this...

So far I don't love this machine, but it is better than using what Lamb 2 suggested!

Friday, March 21, 2014

First Day of Spring

 After 2 weeks of many doctor visits, constant prayer, shots twice a day, and unanswered questions we received an answer to our prayers last night. Another one of our children joined his/her 8 siblings to be held by Jesus. His/her siblings are ages 8 months-9 years. 

We spent some time yesterday afternoon looking at the flowers around our yard on the first day of spring. We marveled at God's work on those bulbs and plants we planted last fall and how they are blooming beautifully now. We can see Easter Sunday on the calendar in a few weeks. We can see that in a little while we will join the angels and  archangels and all the company of heaven to evermore sing praises to God.

We praise God that our baby had 6 weeks and 6 days to hear the Word of God and receive the Lord's body and blood often. We thank God that our baby is alive in Christ forever!

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.
(LSB Compline Service)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When it rains it pours...

1. Ram's finger is better and he went back to work today. He is on some high power antibiotics just in case some infection got in there.
2. Lamb 2 lost his voice and felt worse today. I took him to the clinic. A nurse practitioner student saw him first. He ran both a strep and flu test on him and both were negative. Then the nurse practitioner saw him. She didn't like the ways his ears looked. We'll never know if he wasn't completely over the last ear infection or if he got a new one. It was just the beginning of an infection. They gave me a prescription to get filled if his ear gets worse. It is stronger than he took last time as they suspect it didn't work last time. We rarely go to the doctor and the clinic knew our family name today.
3. Last night my washer broke. It started making this terrible noise so I thought after this load we should have it checked out. Lamb 1 came downstairs after his bedtime to tell me that it stopped in the middle of the load. It didn't even make it through that load. This morning I took all the wet clothes out and put them in my bathtub. I emptied a lot of water but it won't drain. Tonight Ram will need to see if he can get the rest of the water out with a shop vac.
4. I did a little research on the computer about that washer noise and decided it would be better to replace the washer than pay for repairs. We bought this washer used when we moved here 2 years ago for the rental. A couple of guys from church helped us hook it up at our new house. I am very nervous about buying a washer for a second floor laundry room.
5. I decided to go to an appliance store that we bought a used refrigerator from when we first moved here. Ram looked up the address and it was out of business. I had no idea where a good place to buy used appliances was besides there so I decided to buy a new one.
6. So after lunch I went and bought a new washer. I had no time to read reviews or ask Loopers. I knew I did not want a front load on the second floor. I knew I wanted a very delicate cycle. I wanted a basic washer, not one that adds the soap and everything. I chose a top load Maytag. I am hoping it at least works for a week so I can get caught up on the laundry that is piling up while I'm without a washer. I figure I can use it enough doing that to decide if I like it before the 2 week guarantee is up. If I don't like it, I have no idea what I will trade it for. I am glad that the one detergent we found that is affordable and that doesn't irritate Lamb 2's skin is ok for HE washers. They will deliver the washer tomorrow-it worked out to be the only day I am home all day.
7. The Lambs hurried to clear their toys out of the hallway so they can deliver the washer. Lamb 1 was really ambitious and cleaned up the whole playroom while he was at it. He wants Grandpa to see where/how he would build a train table in the playroom. Grandpa will be here in a few weeks to celebrate Lamb 3's birthday.
8. I had to cancel Vision Therapy for Lamb 2 because he was sick yesterday and today. We will need to make up those therapy times over the next couple of weeks. I had to cancel piano lessons because Lamb 2 was sick and Lamb 1 did not practice very much last week. I am hoping that Lamb 2 is better before speech and OT on Thursday.
9. The plan was for Ram to take the Lambs to track tonight so I could attend a teacher workshop. Lamb 2 was sick so Lamb 2 and 3 are home with me and soon we will go trade cars and Ram will take all the Lambs home while I go to the workshop.
10. We made meatloaf for supper last night. We had a busy day planned today so I said  leftovers were for supper and we would eat something else for lunch. After coming home from the clinic and before I went shopping for the washer we ate the meatloaf. So that meant I had to make supper tonight. Today was supposed to be very busy. It was busy, just not doing very much of what we had planned for today!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ram's Finger

On Friday our church preschool had a fundraiser. We were talking to people and missed out on a lot of the clean up. Ram and I hurried to help before everything was done. I was in the kitchen working. Ram went to put something away in the shed. He cut his finger on the shed lock. I thought we would need to go to the ER. The members laughed because last summer he cut his hand on a cheese slicer. It stopped bleeding and we went home, missing out on the rest of the clean up.

Today Ram thought he should have the doctor look at it so he went into the clinic. He needed to have a splinter removed from it. He came very close to fainting while they worked on it. He had to remain at the doctor's office until they were sure he was ok. They told him that often tall people faint with the medicine he was given to numb it.

He came home and his finger was too sore to type his sermon. So until his meeting tonight, he unofficially took the day off. Lamb 2 had a fever Saturday night so Ewe, Lamb 2, and Lamb 3 stayed home from church yesterday. All the Lambs were grouchy today so I think they all have a touch of what Lamb 2 had on Saturday even though none of them have fevers today. It was very helpful to have Ram home today to help me with grouchy Lambs. I wish that we would have accomplished more organizing and cleaning today since we were all home, but that wasn't happening with grouchy Lambs. I hope that we can all go back to normal activities tomorrow.

Add to this that strep throat is going around now and I'm unsure if I will need to take Lamb 2 to the doctor. We are very close to meeting our deductible, but have not met it yet. Injuries like Ram's finger were not in the plans for meeting our deductible! Doesn't it seem to always work that way?

Friday, March 14, 2014


As a family we have listened to a lot of audiobooks as we travel in the car and now with our Ipad. The only one that the Lambs loved was The Chronicles of Narnia. It is really difficult to find something that all 3 Lambs like. There is only a 4 year difference so I don't know what parents with children farther apart in age do. If Lamb 1 likes one Lamb 3 hates it and vice versa. I try to get unabridged but occasionally we listen to abridged. We continue to listen to them because Ram and Ewe like them even if no one else does.

We listened to the first half (56 chapters) of Our Island Story. Some but not all of the Lambs liked it. When I said we were going to listen to a new story and not finish Our Island Story Lamb 2 requested that we didn't listen to any more history stories. I chose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. My "evil" plan was to introduce it to the Lambs that I hoped they didn't get any ideas for mischief by listening to this.

My plan worked! When they heard that Tom stole sugar from the sugar bowl in the first chapter, they were hooked. They have never gotten ready for bed as quickly as recently. They hurry to get ready for bed and beg to listen to Tom Sawyer. One chapter is not enough and then they beg for another chapter. The chapters are long, about half a hour. We have only read a few chapters and the Lambs already have looked up what else Twain wrote so they can listen to that next.

Tom Sawyer was required reading for me when I was in school. I never in a million years would have guessed that listening to a classic like Tom Sawyer was the answer for what our family should listen to. Ram says it is because it is a good boy book. This girly Mama with boys is gradually learning! Hopefully the Lambs won't carry out their ideas for mischief that they hear in Tom Sawyer now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Different Parts of the USA

Yesterday my dad reported that most schools in Fort Wayne were closed for another snow day.  I remember a couple of the years that I was teaching in Fort Wayne that school was canceled on St. Patrick's Day for snow.
Yesterday Lamb 3 counted all the flowers that have bloomed in our front yard. Before and after church last night the Lambs played outside with all the other kids from church in short sleeves. After church someone suggested we turn the heat off in the sanctuary now that it is March. When we got home from church I made all the Lambs drink a lot of water because they were so hot after all that playing.

Today most schools in Fort Wayne are on a 2 hour delay.
Today the Lambs are choosing which shorts to wear to track practice tonight. This morning the birds are chattering loudly outside my window.

Are you ready to move to ID yet?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.” – Franchesca Cox

This is such a perfect quote to me. It does not matter if you ever conceived a child. It does not matter if you wished for a large family but only had one or two children. It does not matter if you have children in heaven at what age you lost them. It does not matter if you have any pictures of some of your children.

If you look at my family portrait you see 3 Lambs. 8 of my Lambs are not in the picture. This quote fits so many of my friends and family. You don't see some of their children in their family picture. But they have godchildren, nieces and nephews, children from church, children of their friends, and perhaps children in heaven that they love dearly.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring is in ID

Since our house was brand new, there were only a few bushes planted in our yard and any other landscaping was up to us. After living most of my life in parsonages or older  houses this was something new to me. Last fall one of our church members gave us a bunch of bulbs and plants as she thinned her flower beds out before she went South for the winter. I didn't know she was going to gift us with that so I also bought some crocus, tulip, and daffodil bulbs. It took two weekends of all 5 of us working in all our free time to get all those bulbs planted. I'm not sure of the names of all the plants we were gifted nor when they will bloom. I especially wanted to plant up my front sidewalk with some early, mid, and late spring bloomers so we can have flowers there for a long time. I also wanted daffodils along our back fence so we can see them while we sit at the kitchen table.

All that work last fall paid off and I must have planned well along the sidewalk because this is popping up about every third space! The daffodils have already bloomed at church but I didn't take a picture. Our daffodils are just starting to come up and it will be awhile before they bloom. We have had lots of rain the last month so perhaps they will come out faster than I expect.
I have never been big on gardening unless it was something edible as it didn't seem worth all that work unless I could also eat it. Since we moved here and everything is so dry and often brown, I have had a change of thinking in this. We did plant some fruit trees and bushes and those are worth the time and dollars to water. But we do not plan to have a garden here. Here it is worth the effort to plant flowers and especially bulbs or perennials. I NEED the color in my yard. My home owner association is glad when we put some effort in the front yard. The Lambs are hoping the colors attract insects and butterflies to our yard.
It will be very fun to watch all the parts of our yard that we planted and see what comes up and when it comes up.
Is it spring where you live or do you still have snow?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lamb 1's 10th Birthday

We began celebrating Lamb 1's birthday last week and I've been too busy to post pictures.
Grandpa and Grandma came to celebrate the weekend before his birthday. He got a Lionel train set. 

Of course after it was put together Grandpa needed to have a turn, just to make sure everything was working correctly, of course.

His Sunday School teacher gave him a small cake and a bookmark for his Bible.

Aunt Hannah gave him this ornament with a treat inside. It reminds us of our Grandma Frieda as she did that for us.

I had a coupon for a free small Snapfish book so I made one for Lamb 1's first decade. I tried to avoid baby pictures that would embarrass him but I wasn't successful because I put a picture of him as a shepherd in it.

Homeschoolers get in very cheap to our indoor trampoline park on weekdays during school hours. We had never been there before. We don't take a spring break, but we take birth day breaks. I thought I was a pretty cool mom to not only cancel school for one day, but also take them to the trampoline park. 

Aunt Hannah made cupcake toppers. Lamb 1's birthday was on Ash Wednesday so we took the cupcakes to our soup supper at church. I felt guilty taking cute dessert on Ash Wednesday, but the kids liked it! Lamb 3's birthday is also on a Lenten service night and Aunt Hannah sent those cupcake toppers with Lamb 1's.

We haven't quite had all of Lamb 1's choices for meals because we have been so busy this week. It gets ridiculous to celebrate for over a week, but that's what happens when you are a pastor's kid and your birthday is during a busy time of the church year.

Now we are back to regular routine and school work for about a month until Lamb 3's birthday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Feeling like Supermom today...

*Up at 7am to make a healthy breakfast for the Lambs.
*On call for a cancellation at the doctor for Lamb 2.
*Got that phone call at 9:05am and got Lamb 2 there by 9:15am.
*Heard I was the first parent to ever write a report for the developmental optometrist of progress I saw in the first two months of vision therapy. Perhaps it is because I am his mom and his teacher?
*Attended Lamb 2's first evaluation by the doctor of his progress with vision therapy. Learned there were improvements but he has a long way to go. Doctor was not surprised that Lamb 2's speech has really improved since he began vision therapy. Now have lots to tell his other therapists.
*Rushed home to get Lamb 1 and 3 so Ram could go to work late/lead preschool chapel.
*Picked up Lamb 2 when he was done with vision therapy.
*Tried a new paleo banana pancake recipe for lunch. I thought it was a disaster, the Lambs all liked it. The Lambs never all like the same recipe! Lamb 1 refuses to eat bananas and he loved the pancakes too.
*Ate lunch-it was ok with sausage and homemade applesauce.
*Spent what seemed like hours getting the Lambs organized to go for the afternoon.
*Took Lambs to piano lessons. While Lamb 2 was at lessons, took Lamb 1 and 3 to Hobbytown to look at train accessories for Lamb 1 to spend his birthday $ on. He didn't buy anything but was glad to window shop. Took Lamb 2 and 3 to the library for a bathroom break during Lamb 1's piano lesson.
*Drove to a new part of town to me to find where they will attend track and field.
*Went to a grocery store to buy snacks as that was cheaper than going home or going out to eat.
*Ate snacks in car with Lambs.
*Noticed it was 60 degrees so told Lambs they could leave their sweatshirts in the car. Noticed most of the other kids were dressed the opposite of mine-with sweatshirts and shorts instead of short sleeves and pants.
*Sat through a 1 1/2 hour track practice thinking it would be 1 hour. Lamb 3 wanted to go back to the car for his sweatshirt but I thought practice was almost over. I was wearing a sweater but Lamb 3 and I froze that last half hour. Watched Lamb 3 during practice because even though he is old enough to do track and field this year he didn't want to. I was very impressed with what they taught the kids today-the only track and field I ever did was PE class. Not sure if the Lambs and I can handle 10 weeks of twice a week track practice along with all our other activities. Know this is really good for Lamb 1 and 2 and we will attempt it.
*Drove home in traffic and was glad that Ram had supper made.
*Ate supper and put Lambs to bed.
*Noticed our taxes were prepared so printed that off. Not counting what we have already paid in estimated taxes and what we will need to pay in estimated taxes for next year, came out about even in what we owe federal and will be refunded by state. This is so unfair because that state refund is to make up for sales tax on food in ID. Every year at tax time I wish we still lived in MN.
*Found out we actually could get a babysitter for the state prayer breakfast. Next found out we were too late to RSVP. I really wanted to hear the Hobby Lobby director speak. Canceled the babysitter.
*Plan to wrap Lamb 1's birthday presents now.
*Glad I made Lamb 1's cupcakes last night as I'm too tired to do it now.
*Still feeling guilty that I'm bringing "cute" dessert to church on Ash Wednesday. I can't help that is Lamb 1's birthday! This is like a few years ago when Lamb 3's birthday was on Good Friday.
*Hoping the Lambs aren't too tired to do my plans for the birthday Lamb tomorrow.
*Trying to decide if I want a bath or just go to bed now.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I promote...

1. We began a new quarter of Sunday School materials today. Lamb 1's teacher said she really likes this new quarter's materials. Have you checked out CPH's Growing in Christ materials recently? A few years ago I purchased several of the Bible story posters. They have been getting a lot of use for Sunday School and preschool chapel recently.
2. CPH is giving away a free children's book to families. You do need to begin a CPH account if you don't have one already. Go to their website and add /children behind their website name for more information. They are on the topics "God I need to talk to you about..." I chose one on feeling sad. LCMS is doing a great job addressing the issue of depression for pastors and adults. I don't think we talk with our children about this enough. I hope this book will help us talk about this with our boys and it will either help them or as they talk to their friends as they get older. After we are done reading it we will donate it to our church library. There were a lot of good topics and it was difficult to choose.
3. We finished Katie Schuermann's Pew Sisters book in our women's Bible study and we began Bless These Lips by Sharla Fritz.  Our mouths get us women in trouble so often. Sometimes our typing gets us in trouble in e-mail or Facebook or blogs. This is a great reminder to us to let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.