Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
I saw this over on another blog - http://cheryl-rubyslife.blogspot.com/ - and thought it was a wonderful idea!
1. Samuel was a "surprise" baby - a very welcome surprise.
2. Samuel and I were both born on the 13th day of a month - August (Sam) & September (me)
3. Samuel is presently in the habit of greeting people by pulling his shirt up and patting his belly for them to notice. (?)
4. Samuel is an escape artist - gates? so what? stairs? big deal! his bed? no challenge whatsoever. closed doors? he's getting close!
5. Samuel "sings" himself to sleep.
6. Samuel has 5 sisters and 5 brothers and rules the roost!
7. Samuel loves it when his big brother Nathan tosses him around. (Mama isn't so thrilled)
8. I'm pretty certain I was the first person to know that Sam had ds, when I looked down and he turned his face to me as he was being born.
9. God has always known that He would create Samuel and that Samuel was designed according to His perfect plan.
10. Samuel is a very popular young man at our church, before he could walk he would be passed around from arms to arms. Now they have to catch him.
11. Samuel loves books and paper.
12. Samuel never really crawled - he scooted around on his tush with one leg out and one leg crossed under him - and he was FAST!
13. As a newborn in the hospital, with patches over his eyes (he was under the bili lights) he could "rootch" from one end of the crib to another. He had pretty good muscle tone from the start. He also kept managing to reach up and remove the taped on patches from over his eyes. They kept having to come up with new versions.
14. As evidenced by #13 - Samuel is a very determined young man.
15.Samuel's first sign was "all done", followed by "more".
16. Samuel loves the song "Jesus Loves Me." He know some of the signs in the chorus and has recently started making muscles for the "He is strong" part.
17. Almost as soon as he could sit up (around 6-7 months) Sam would roll a ball back and forth with someone.
18. When he "prays" he grabs both little hands, tilts his chin downward, and whispers little "s" sounds. When he hears "in Jesus' Name", his head comes up, he smiles and waits for the "amen" then cheers.
19. He loves to dance, always looking around to make sure his performance is being properly appreciated.
20. Often, when he wakes up in the morning, or after nap time, he will say "bed, bed, bed" and point to my bed. So we climb in and cover up and snuggle (usually with brother Braedan) and giggle!
21. Samuel's smile lights up my heart!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
"Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary's mountain.
In the Cross,
In the Cross,
Be my glory ever.
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river."
There's no other place I want to be, no other glory. That's hard to remember sometimes, because this world's attention is enticing. But it never lasts, is never unconditional, and is never enough. Only God satisfies.
"Near the Cross, O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me.
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadows o'er me."
Day to day, sometimes second by second, I need His help to walk in the way He would have me go. To be able to love as I should, forgive as I should, give to others as I should.
"Near the Cross
I'll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever.
Till I reach the golden strand just beyond the river.
In the Cross,
n the Cross,
Be my glory ever.
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river."
I'm singing this on Sunday as part of a trio. There are three parts - the soprano, the middle alto, and the lower alto (me). Each of us singing our own part, blending together. It's a beautiful arrangement. I get very nervous when we sing, I'd never make it as a soloist. I want this time to stand there and think of the One for whom I sing, knowing that He wants a JOYFUL noise, not an perfect performance that lacks reverence for Him. That's true of our lives, also. The perfect house, children, car, career, clothes, and so on may look pretty good here, but that's not what He looks at.
For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7 b
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
There is a little man upstairs, overheard on the monitor, chattering himself to sleep. Three other young men are asleep not far away, one in the bed next to him, two in the next room who fell asleep with a Lego magazine between them. Two much taller teens are in the room down the hall, the oldest probably asleep before some of the younger ones. Getting up at 5 a.m. or earlier each day is a good reason not to stay up too late. The girls who are still at home are gradually filtering off to bed, one just off the computer, another probably upstairs on her laptop, one coming in from an evening out, and the oldest is kitty-sitting at some friends' house. Miss Erika has her own cute little place. I like being able to go through the house before I go to bed and count heads, adjust a blanket or two, remove harder or noisy toys from beds before they wake the occupants, who may then just happen to wake their mama! I am blessed. I need to remember that the next time they're all doing something loud and obnoxious at the same time!
There are so many possibilities represented in each of these children. Some wonderful, some frightening. Statistically, with this many people in one family, just think of all the illnesses, accidents, or tragedies that could befall us. And they may. This one thing is constant - God is and He is good.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Tonight was the last soccer game of the season for Nathan and Garrett. During the girls' game, I worked in the concession stand, and Meredith watched Samuel. Toward the end of the 3rd quarter she had to leave and go pick up her father, so Samuel was very kindly looked after by one of the men at our church. When I was finished, I came out to find my boy. There he was, hanging out with Mr. Miller and "chatting" with whoever was around. While he can choose sometimes to be shy or standoffish, he generally seems to have an easy self confidence, and expectation of being well-treated and accepted by everyone he meets. I love this, because it's an indication to me that he feels loved by all of us, so what else should he expect? Our church family has been wonderful with him, young and old. His siblings are always holding him, loving on him, wrestling with him, taking his photo, welcoming him. He's adorable, and he knows how to use it. ...... But will it always be this way for him? I wonder how things will be when delays might be more evident. What about when he hits a "gawky" stage (we all do!), and the cute isn't workin' out so well? What about when his world expands and there are more strangers in his life? Will there come a time when he is not accepted, not welcomed, dismissed, and will he recognize it? Then what? But, when I think about it, that it some respect comes for all of us. I know it has with my older children, it's a part of growing up. I think I fear it more for Sam. Therefore, I guess I'M the one right now who is treating and thinking of him differently. I really want to protect him. At our recent ladies' seminar I attended a workshop about doing hard things. Hard things stretch us, grow us, mature us, and draw us closer to God, fit us for His service. Things I want for Samuel. My hard thing may be watching him go (and grow) through his hard things. I have to remember who our God is. And He is with us.
Behold, I am the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Well, I missed Saturday's post by 14 minutes. Ended up watching a movie and not paying attention to time. Sounds like I need to revisit some of my last posts and notes from devotions on using the time God gave us wisely.
A wonderful day today at our ladies' seminar. I'll post more tomorrow (or, I guess, later today!) I think that the best use of my time now would be to go to sleep!
Now after viewing the post, it still says Saturday, October 23, 2010 - I guess I'm okay after all.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Some of went to an apple festival on Sunday. Afterwards, I took most of the rest of the boys to choir and church, while Meredith, Shelby, and Lindsay looked after Samuel, sort of.
And then, apparently, they went out into the pasture for a photo shoot. They had lots of nice photos. They placed several of these on facebook. I found the next one kind of amusing.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Other Bible translations have the word gift instead of heritage. This psalm reminds me that the children in my family have been placed here thoughtfully and with purpose by a God who can do nothing wrong or by mistake. We are a family by His perfect design.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Almost forgot to do this!
My sweet little boy, who has almost always been so adorable and obedient at bed time, has lately decided to show another side of his character! He can hike himself up and over the side of his bed pretty easily when he wants to! So tonight, after I tucked him in, I listened over the monitor and could tell he was escaping. So I stood at the bottom of the stairs and waited. He came tip-toeing out the door of the bedroom, I called up, "get back in that bed, mister!" and the next thing I saw was his little feet up in the air as he went over backwards in surprise!!! Another trip back upstairs, another tuck-in, with a warning to stay put, a few minutes of tears, and then he started talking himself to sleep. He has had few of the muscle tone issues that children with ds can have, so he has little difficulty getting into - or out of - almost anything he cares to. It can be frustrating, but also relieving, along with a little amusing!!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I plan on being quick here tonight. I need sleep! And I have a terrible tendency to NOT get off the computer at an appropriate time.
Since today was Sunday, and I made it to both services and choir practice - something that I haven't been very regular lately - I find this quote from Susannah Wesley very interesting.
Help me, Lord, to remember that religion (Christianity) is not to be confined to the church ... nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Thy Presence. Susanna Wesley
And where am I not in His presence? Do my children see me live my Christianity? Does my husband? Do my choices of how I spend my time reflect a Christ-like attitude? My pastor's message this morning (a good, timely one) touched on this. And, as I face a Monday, the "start" of the working week, I'm praying and meditating on the ways I spend my time. That I would "redeem the time."
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Long day. I woke up at 5 a.m. when Nathan got up to do his papers. Started some laundry. Got Nate and Garrett to the church so they could go to an all day harvest party a couple of hours away. Back home, and cleaning the kitchen. Trying to find all the cobwebs hiding up in my beams. Curtains washed and put back up. Door windows mostly cleaned (until the dog decided he needed to see outside). Various odds and ends going on. Grocery shopping. Now, three pans of lasagna in the refrigerator to pop in the oven for lunch! Some of us will be heading to an apple festival after lunch, so I'd like to have something that can be ready and we can get going.
I'm going to try and finish reading "The Holiness of God" before I go to sleep tonight. Very simply written (I like that!) but it really is giving me a lot to think about. The difference between God's mercy and His judgment - both always righteous. And how we (like the Old Testament Hebrews) come to expect Him to always be only merciful and are shocked when He metes out justice. Which He has to do - He is Holy.
Looking forward to church tomorrow. I'm trying to be ready as much as possible tonight, so that I can get everyone going in the morning and still be ready to worship!
....Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.
.......Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This past June, Samuel and I took a trip down to Florida to visit my father and stepmother.
He was a great little traveler on the way down.
I think we giggled the whole way!
He posed for a photo session in front of a swamp. (Looked for alligators almost every day we were there - nothin'!
We did, however, make the acquaintance of the these rather large birds, sandhill cranes, who apparently believe they are in charge. I didn't argue.
And this speedy character who slowed down just enough to snap this right outside the house.
But the best part was snuggling with Grandpa................
..........and Mammaw! (well, and Xena, too, although she didn't seem to appreciate our visit as much!)
Then it was time to say goodbye.......
And get on the plane back home..... "no photos, please!"
Well, maybe just one!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
the snares of death confronted me.
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
but the Lord was my support.
he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:1-19
Monday, October 11, 2010
A beautiful and wild storm tonight - lots of lightning. An impressive reminder of the One who created and controls it.
"At this also my heart trembles,
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Today's weather was absolutely gorgeous. Most of the family spent some portion of it outside. Not me. I spent most of it in bed. Some sort of stomach, head, all over body ache thing. I can't remember the last time I spent most of a day in bed. Not even after a C-section. It was kind of nice, actually. In fact, I plan on returning there pretty shortly. I'm reading Sproul'l "The Holiness of God." I'm not a big highlighter, but there are some sections that I keep reading over and over. I have a pile of good books to read. Good for the winter weather coming up. I also finished a dishcloth and saw a new crochet pattern to try. Time to be thinking about Christmas gifts.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
A beautiful day today. We spent part of it just wandering around the farm. Meredith and Samuel and I took the donkeys for a little walk. Or maybe the donkeys took us for a little walk. I did put Samuel on one of them for a moment and, while Samuel wasn't thrilled, the donkey didn't seem to mind at all!
We'll be eating fresh chicken tomorrow night. Some friends who raise meat birds are having a butchering day at their place. I have three lone meat birds left, so Nathan will be taking them over and processing them. We still have 10 or so whole birds in the freezer, so I'll just roast these up. I'm hoping not to end up helping much - I did most of ours earlier this summer, and I have a boatload of other things to do.
I'm planning on taking some photos for Sam's book. I have a couple of albums that I want to fill with photos of people and things that Sam knows, along with cards printed with the name of the person or object, and make a book that we can use to help him along with his speech. He loves books, will spend 20 minutes or more sitting and looking at pages, even books without a lot of pictures, he likes the print. He had a new sign he kept doing tonight, over and over, trying to tell us something, but it wasn't clear what he meant and none of us recognized the sign. He would point his finger, tap it to his cheek, and then sort of twist it. Then he'd look at us, smile and sort of nod his head, like, "hey, guys, wasn't that good? Now get me what I asked for!" We never did figure it out. He was wearing overalls today and looked like such a BOY, not a baby. Time is going so fast.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Another example of how our lives don't always go as planned! But now she'll be able to say she's been in Seattle (I would like to go there)! And hopefully the rest of her journey will go as expected.
Samuel certainly wasn't planned. At my age and already having 10 children, we figured we were through. But God had a different plan, and I am so completely thankful that He did.
A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
What to say today about ds? Nothing. It isn't on the forefront every single day around here. And that's all right.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Since I am attempting to blog every day this month for Down Syndrome awareness, I've been thinking about what to write about in regards to the way Down Syndrome has impacted our family. We've been very blessed in that Samuel has had no major health issues - heart, ears, eyes, digestive system: all doing very well, thank you. As far as physical development, age appropriate on some levels, slightly slower on some levels, and ahead on a few others. (His fine motor skills have been amazing from the beginning - that kid could spot and pick up a tiny piece of lint a block away!) His speech delay is a big issue for me, most of my children were very early talkers. But then, he's only 25 months, and there are children without ds who talk late. He is using some signs, lately more and more. He is a very determined young man and likes to get his point across! He is very active - as are most two-year-olds - and into everything. So most of the time, there is no issue, he's just Sam. Just like all of the other children - all 10 of them, HE has impacted our family, Down Syndrome has not. At least, not in a major way, not yet. There are those times now, though, when I have to think about it. Sometimes in small ways, when he gets the "double-take" when we're out. I want to say, with a smile, "Why, yes, he does. Isn't he just beautiful? Aren't I blessed?" And in other ways, when I read on someone else's blog about a sweet baby who has been diagnosed with leukemia. That, I confess, is a knot in my stomach sometimes. I have to keep in mind that the God who designed and created my little one, who, from the beginning of time knew there would be a Sam-I-am, knows what the future holds for him, and for our family, that He has a plan for my guy, and for the rest of us, and that it's a good one, to bless us. I get excited then to think about what He has in store for Samuel. And for those of us who love him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Samuel had a 3 month evaluation today. He did very well - showed off his new signs (tree, book, sort of mama, and a couple of others), did very well with some of the puzzle toys, played the itsy-bitsy spider, and ring around the rosy, and said "bed." We're making progress!!
In the kitchen, I turned a fresh ham into black bean chili/soup, and a batch of porkette. That should last a couple of days, anyway! Some of the soup went to a soccer game with my two older boys, Nathan, 17, and Garrett, 14. The team played in a constant drizzle..... and they lost...... sigh. Then back home to get warm and fed, and now pretty much everyone has gone to bed. Sam and Braedan, 3, and I sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus, Name Above All Names," complete with the signs.
I got to hear a part of a radio message this morning about the grace of God. I am so humbled and amazed that He can love someone like me, who messes up daily. But He does. His Word tells me that ("the Bible tells me so!"), and I am putting my trust and faith in Him that because He loves me, He will work within me, for His Glory.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
So, I can expect great things of a great God!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Church this morning, just Sam and I - the rest were still sleeping off the fair. Then spaghetti at home, back to the fair to dismantle a display and some of the pens, then some groceries, then back to choir and church. Now home to a house that definitely needs a little TLC - preferably from more than just me. Monday, you are coming too swiftly..... I need to check some lesson plans. Maybe I can start by having the boys write a composition on "What I did at the Fair." That might occupy a bit of time.
I am way too tired to be playing around here for long, so I'll close with something I've been praying from the Psalms:
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Friday, October 1, 2010
In honor of that topic, I guess my first post should have something to do with Samuel, my presently not-too-thrilled two-year-old, who just happens to have T-21. The not-too-thrilled part comes about due to the fact that he has been put to bed. I snuggled, I sang, I prayed, so it's time. I think he's just too tired.
It's quiet here tonight. Only four of the 11 children are in, and one of them is getting ready to go meet a friend. Two of the others are asleep, and from the sounds of things, Samuel is heading in that direction, too. The rest are at the Bloomsburg Fair. We are a 4H family, and six of the brood have hogs and sheep there this week, and tonight is auction night. So I'm going to have a little time to myself. What to do?! I think I'd better get some paperwork organizing for school that I keep putting off because Samuel enjoys "helping." The usual two-year-old stuff. Which, given the T-21, I appreciate more than with some of the other children. Usually! He is a wonderful, active, curious little man, and I am so thankful to have been blessed to have him in our family.
For you formed my inward parts;
God is good!!