Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ahhh . . . Dinnertime!

Nicholas and Ashley
Originally uploaded by Beth.
These last two weeks have been filled with the most glorious meals coming right to our door. Our good friend, Judy, was the chef last night. Incidentally, her resume is quite impressive. Not only has she owned her own catering business, she has owned her own bakery as well.

Just as we were sitting down to eat Judy’s delicious roast chicken with all the trimmings, our eleven year old darling asked . . .

“Doesn’t anyone ever make, like, fish sticks?”

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mama’s Big Helper

Cole and Nicholas
Originally uploaded by Beth.
While feeding Nicholas . . .

Cole: (Sitting in front of a pile of Lincoln Logs) “Mom, will you help me build a house?”

Me: “Not right now, Cole. I’m feeding the baby.”

Cole: “Mom, will you get me some apple juice?”

Me: “Not right now, Cole. I’m feeding the baby.”

Cole: “Mom, will you get my Weebleville down?

Me: “Not right now, Cole. I’m feeding the baby.”

Our interaction went on much like this for the entire feeding. I then put Nicholas up over my shoulder to burp him. While I was patting his back, Cole came over and started patting my arm.

Me: “What are you doing, Cole?”

Cole: “I’m burping you, while you burp the baby!”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Noah Steven

I just learned of some former Teen Mania leaders who are having a really rough go of it at Children’s Hospital in Denver. I visited their website and it broke my heart. I’m putting their link Noah Steven on my sidebar with hope it will generate even more prayers on their behalf.

Now every time I look at my little guy with chubby, pink cheeks, I think of Noah Steven too. I remember Pastor Chuck Warnock once said, “We should pray for other peoples’ children when they are sick, as if they were our own.” Such a good word. I’ve taken it to heart. Will you join me?

Counting My Many Blessings

Jonathan, Ashley, Cole and Nicholas
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Maybe it’s just the season I’m in . . . but I just can’t seem to stop counting my blessings. They’re piling up, so I’ll start naming them one by one.

1) Just when David and I were starting to forget what it feels like to sleep, my sister called and said her husband needs her to get her “newborn fix.” Since she just started her last child in kindergarten last week, she would like to spend the night on Friday and do ALL of our feedings!!! Let’s hear it for sisters who need fixes!

Oh, and for everyone else who commented about wanting to have another baby after reading my last post, feel free to come spend the night and get your own “newborn fix.” (Sam are you reading this?!)

Or how about you Karen . . . a plane ticket from New York to Texas is about 10% of what a hospital delivery costs these days—and that is way before adding on all the little incidentals such as diapers and the like!

2) That beautiful brown truck keeps pulling up at my front door with the most wonderful packages—having a baby is so much fun!

3) Having the entire Hasz family live nearby after having a baby is almost like having your own Chabukah.

4) My sister-in-law, Kelly, not only threw a great shower, she has now organized some of the best cooks in Texas to bring us the most wonderful meals. This of course reminds my husband on a regular basis that he didn’t actually marry me for my cooking skills.

5) Two nights ago, after eating the most incredible meal put together by our good friend, Shanygne—my husband actually made the comment that he personally would like to go to her house for cooking lessons. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!! I know, I should start those nationwide seminars Michelle said I’d be so good at: “How To Train Your Husband 101.”

6) My sister-in-law, Lisa, keeps coming to my door to take my little 3 year old on fun excursions like the zoo, the library and The Science Place. Cole is LOVING it, and I am starting to become a little saner. (My husband might question my generosity with the use of that word!) :)

7) When none of the little outfits I had taken to the hospital fit our little 8 lb. 7 oz. darling, my in-laws ran out and bought us a couple of bigger sizes. Now that we’re home, they keep calling and asking if there is anything they can do . . . so we keep giving them things to do!

8) And then there are simply the wonderful many moments throughout the day (and night) when I just get to look at this sweet little reminder of how much God enjoys lavishing His love and blessings on us!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Perfect Day

Originally uploaded by Beth.
There are not words . . . but I’ll try.

Tuesday was the most perfect day. David and I arrived at the hospital quite early—everything worked like clockwork. With very little pain (epidurals are the best!) and no complications, Nicholas arrived into the world at 1:10 in the afternoon—perfect in every way.

It was an amazing day filled with a steady stream of visitors from about 20 minutes after the birth until 10:00pm just as visiting hours were ending.

The hospital was great, my nurse was the best, and honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t know why such blessings just rain on us—they feel so undeserved; they make us feel so loved.

Late into the night while David and Nicholas slept, I gazed at this tiny little miracle—so peaceful, so perfect; unasked for, undeserved . . . and wondered at the goodness of God. It’s almost like for a brief moment in time there never was a fall, the world is not in turmoil, and evil doesn’t exist.

Somewhere in my ethereal moment I heard the words singing ever so softly, “ . . . oh what a foretaste of glory divine.” Someday we will live in a place wondrously free from the sin that engulfs and be surrounded by the glory of God. Somehow this little guy brought all of that into much clearer focus.

I’m not always so philosophical and meditative . . . how can you be in this rush, rush world? But when something so overwhelming good takes you by surprise and turns the world as you know it completely right side up . . . it makes you take pause. Suddenly you want to figure out ways to be way more loving toward everyone, let go of all the things you get hung up on that really don’t matter, and live your life in such a way that God is honored in all you do.

In this household we are enjoying these moments with the latest little guy who just arrived from heaven.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It’s All In Your Perspective

Me at my shower
Originally uploaded by Beth.
You think you’re having a bad week when . . .

• two of your three kids ask you why you’re still wearing your pajamas—but you’re NOT (maternity clothes are sooo attractive).

• you realize you accidentally left the milk out overnight and then all three of your kids want cereal for breakfast . . . Of course, usually, NONE of them want cereal—so you’re the bad guy because they had to choose something else.

• you open the door to the playroom—the one you worked so hard on the night before, organizing all of it’s contents in neat little bins and containers—only to once again find absolute chaos!

• you realize your husband forgot it was trash day—so you haul it all out to the curb yourself, only to then realize your neighbor’s trash has already been picked up.

• your three year old tells you he wants to tell you a secret. You lean down so he can whisper in your ear, and instead he yells—really loud . . . and then runs off laughing hysterically.

• your doctor decides to induce. Then you realize it’s going to be a really great week because you have waited NINE LONG MONTHS for this—and it is finally here!

We’re off to the hospital . . . prayers appreciated!

P.S. The picture is for you, Ginger. It is the only one I have—I think your daughter snapped it! :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rip-off Of The Week

Lunch at Subway
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Sheeeish, for $1.09 don’t you think you should get a few more chips? Beware of rip offs at Subway!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Singing With Dad

Ashley, Cole and Jonathan
Originally uploaded by Beth.
During David’s four years at ORU he taught children’s church in a local congregation. Occasionally he pulls out his repertoire of talent and sings with the kids.

Jonathan humors his dad, Cole thinks his dad is the bomb, and Ashley is simply way too cool to participate.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Saved By The Bell!

First day of school
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Today my kids go back to school! Where has the summer gone? I must admit, this is the first year I’m actually READY for this momentous occasion. I think it has something to do with being SO pregnant and believing my doctor when she said this baby was going to be born about a week and a half ago!

I’m not very pleasant to live with at present. I’m pretty sure my kids are glad to be going back as well!

Ashley, who loves the social aspects of school, is now in the fifth grade (gasp!). Jonathan, our total academician, is in the second. He actually cries when Ashley gets homework and he doesn’t. (Can this really be my child?!)

Cole, of course, is having a rough morning. He too wants to go to school and hates it that his siblings are now gone. I’m planning on trying what I did for Jonathan a few years back when he was in this same situation—put together a backpack full of “school supplies” and pack his lunch in a lunch box. Let’s hope this puts that big grin of his back on his sweet little face!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Red Light Dilemmas

Cole on a Sega
Originally uploaded by Beth.
We were driving in Tyler yesterday when “Willie Nelson” pulled up next to us at a red light. From the back we heard an ever so soft, awe-filled, long-drawn out, “Cooooool!”

Was our three year old referring to the red bandana around the man’s forehead flying in the wind? Was he overly impressed with the myriad of tattoos all over his body? Maybe it was his long, gray hair spun into little braids and dangling like the mop hanging in my garage.

Did his lengthy gray beard fill my little Cole’s heart with delight? Or better yet, was it the rather worn cowboy boots sticking out beneath his torn and tattered jeans?

Or lastly, was it simply the loud, fast, low to the ground, disgusting bike on which the man was reclining that caused the sigh to spill forth from my sweet son’s lips?

These are the questions I don’t have answers to . . . only prayers!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Somewhat Small Summer Employees

My summer work force
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Sometimes you just need to get a job done.

After having the deck built, we had a huge pile of scrap wood that needed to be moved. I told my kids I would pay them a nickel for every piece of wood they carried from this wood pile to the garage. Some were big, some were little: I still paid a nickel for each.

I know, the phase coming into your mind is, “Slave labor.” Okay, so the entire pile cost me just under $20—I still think they made out pretty good.

For someone who’s favorite saying is, “The Bible says if you don’t work you don’t eat,” my kids think they got a pretty good deal. It actually should have cost less. I thought Jonathan and Cole, though they didn’t carry as much as Ashley, certainly worked just as hard—and the heat around here as been next to ridiculous! So I matched Ashley’s earnings and they each pocketed $6.50—which they each promptly gave to Walmart in exchange for various treasures.

What I think is really amazing is that Cole didn’t “know” any better about the small pieces having the same return. He carried some really large pieces and seemed to actually enjoy manual labor.

Now, if only they were big enough to remove tree stumps!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The King Of Drama!

Drama King!
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Yesterday Jonathan got a huge splinter in is foot. David had to work for quite some time to get it out. He did get it out and Jonathan’s foot is back to normal.

Last night Cole needed David to get the “splinter” out of his foot as well. He didn’t really have one, but Cole was quite insistent. David pretended to take the splinter out, put neosporin on it, and added a Curious George band-aid. (Cole “needs” at least one band-aid a day.)

Cole limped around the house on one foot the rest of the evening. When it was time for bed, he insisted that David carry him upstairs, “Because I have sore foot.” Twice during the night Cole wanted a drink. Of course, he had to be carried both up and down the stairs, “Because I have sore foot.”

Can someone say drama?!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Baby Ashley
Originally uploaded by Beth.
It’s hard to believe it was eleven years ago when two friends and I drove from Denver to Tulsa. David's younger brother, Sam, drove the moving truck with all of our earthly belongings. I was eight months pregnant, David was in Albania, and this was our first child.

We were so naive. I actually went into labor one day after David returned. The hospital sent us home and said to give it another 24 hours. That 24 hours turned into 2 1/2 weeks—she came 4 days late!

Both of our families were in different states, all of our Teen Mania friends were in Miami for summer debriefing, and we were alone in Tulsa. It just so happened that David’s sister’s husband’s dad was a neonatal doctor at the hospital where we delivered—he was our only visitor. He was such a blessing to us as he came bearing gifts and welcoming our new little girl into the world.

Oddly enough, we were the only couple having a baby in that hospital at the time. A local news station was wanting to do a positive story on families and asked if we would mind being their subject. Just as I was opening my mouth to say, “no,” David said, “Sure!” I was soooo tired and didn’t want to do the story, but they were desperate and David had already given them a “yes”.

The story turned out great and today it is such an added blessing to have the video clip they aired on the news as a memento of the occasion.

Somehow that event sums up our eleven years at Teen Mania. The fast-paced, action-packed culture of Teen Mania doesn’t always make life-changing events convenient. But we have found in the midst of it all, God has always been faithful.

Happy Birthday Ashley! We love you!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Do You Really Need A Reason?

Random sign
Originally uploaded by Beth.
If you are driving down the road and happen upon a sign such as this one, do you . . .

A. Not even notice it because you’re the type of driver who keeps his hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. (And besides, you’ve got better things to do.)

B. Do a double-take and try to figure out why it is there?

C. Ignore it because it gives no reason as to why you should call?

D. Dial him up just because the sign says to?

My dear husband, OF COURSE, opted for D—he got an answering machine that still gave no clue as to why one should call.

(I wonder how much the guy pays to advertise on that sign?!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Risks Of Living In East Texas

Jonathan–no cavities!
Originally uploaded by Beth.
My kids’ dentist left a message on my machine yesterday. They wanted to set up a time to get Jonathan’s “fillin’s” taken care of. I wasn’t the one that actually took he and Ashley to their appointments a couple of days ago, so I didn’t realize he needed anything. I listened to the message and then freaked out for a good 20 minutes.

You must understand—we have never had a cavity in our household. I was hoping the hereditarily strong teeth David and I are blessed with would be passed down to our kids, and they too would not have to deal with awful travesties like cavities.

I called David on the edge of tears (I am 9 months pregnant after all) because I felt sooo guilty. “Why do I let them eat candy?! Why don’t I make him drink more milk?!”

I finally calmed myself down and called the dentist back. I am now one happy Mama! If you’ve never lived in East Texas, you might not understand what I am about to write. Some native East Texans talk with a bit of unusual flair where generally all vowels tend to blend together in a similar tone. What I heard on the machine was, “fillin’s.” What the receptionist actually said was “sealants.”

Sealants are a GOOD thing. They prevent cavities!

After the 20 minutes of trauma, I made a decision my kids are not going to appreciate—they will now be eating less candy and drinking more milk! Just trying to prevent a future phone call to set an appointment for “fillin’s.”

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I Can Do It Myself

Cole and his apple juice
Originally uploaded by Beth.
Lesson of the Week:

If your three year old keeps asking you to make apple juice and you keep replying,

“In a minute”

. . . he might give up on you, climb up on the kitchen counter and make it himself—at least that’s what Cole did!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Grandkids Camp—Here They Come!

Ready for camp!
Originally uploaded by Beth.
When we moved to Texas ten years ago, we never dreamed we would ever be able to live near either of our families. We came to this little neck of the woods out of obedience to God. To our complete amazement, David’s entire family has moved here from all over the country—and so has mine! We couldn’t have asked for a bigger blessing from God!

My kids are so excited. Today they are going to “Grandkids Camp” at my in-laws. They live on a really cool lake and have been making their home an irresistible magnet to all of us who are related. There is a lot planned: Fishing, hiking, sleeping in tents, learning life lessons . . . pretty much every camp activity one might think of!

I think it’s great David’s parents go to such extraordinary lengths to be a blessing to their grandkids and to pour into their lives. Ashley and Jonathan (and six of their cousins) are going to have a blast!