Saturday, December 29, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth...

In case you missed my last post about Isaiah losing another tooth -NOT TO WORRY- he popped out yet another one today! I repeat my original sentiment regarding this phenomenon...freak!

That makes two in two days and four in one week. Contributions to the Sexton family tooth fairy fund are being accepted now. ;-) If he keeps this up I'm going to have to start chewing his food for him. With luck (and the ability to locate our camera cord) I will have some pic's for you tomorrow.

Played Apples to Apples Bible Edition with my in-laws tonight. Much fun and highly recommended for gamers out there. You can even order it from my father-in-laws website:

More updates soon.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

We are in Atlanta with family and having a great time. I will try to post stories and pictures soon. For now I will leave you with one tidbit:

ISAIAH lost ANOTHER tooth! What is it with that kid? When I sent him to brush his teeth last night he said, "I sorta only have a few left, Mom."

And if you're wondering -the tooth fairy did not travel with us. She's on Christmas vacation and won't be back in the office until after the New Year. Izzy doesn't seem disappointed since there are plenty of new toys to play with anyway. We're off the hook for now. =)

More coming (sooner or later)...

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Sexton Crew wishes you a
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Give Love on Christmas Day

We have spent a lot of time this year (and year's past) emphasizing to our kids the importance of giving at Christmas above receiving. We think they hear us and somewhere in the recesses of their minds just behind the 'it's all about me and my presents' section, they get it. But just in case, God gave us a great opportunity to drive the point home yesterday.

The whole family was heading to WalMart (aka: the black hole). Since I am there every single week, we've gotten to know several of the employees. One of those was a young lady working in the deli. Over the course of our visits, we learned that she had a four month old daughter, which gave us an idea for building the relationship. I went through Bella's box of outgrown winter clothes and pulled out some pieces that were in great shape (she never wore some of them because summer came before she got big enough) and put them in a gift bag to give to our deli-counter friend. (yes, we knew her name but are choosing to leave it out of the story.)

We were excited for a tangible example of loving others for our kids. Well, unfortunately, we found out that she know longer works at WalMart. Bummer. We stuck the gift bag in the bottom of our cart and went on with the shopping trip. I was really disappointed. Here we were trying to do the right thing, trying to set an example for the kids, and nothing came of it. I briefly scanned the store wondering if there was anybody we could give the clothes to but quickly wrote it off and moved along. Then God showed up. He's timely that way.

While stocking up for Bella in the baby food aisle, we turned to see a woman with a baby! AMAZING! Yeah, yeah, that's not really the amazing part. Anyway, another friend from church (who just happened to be there) and I made comments about how cute the baby was and asked the usual questions: how old is she, what's her name, etc. And God said "Now, Amie."

I began with "can I ask you a strange question?" I offered the bag of clothes which were just the right size and she gladly accepted them. Then the grandmother looked at me with a strange expression and asked, "You stay in Wake Forest?" Yep. I proceeded to tell her where we live and didn't even get to finish. She knew who we were. "I thought I recognized you. I just knew it was you. We live right around the corner, just a block away from you." TADA-now, that's the amazing part!!

We went from giving a gift to someone we only saw on occasion (still a good thing, but...) to meeting people in our own neighborhood and having the chance to consistently build a relationship with them. How cool is that?

More about the day's events can be found on Tim's Blog (via Faith Baptist's website). Click here.

Here Comes Santa Claus

I was just reading about my dear friend Tara's FUN-FILLED day searching for an available Santa Claus, you can read it here. And while I hate to rub it in =), I felt especially lucky this year and figured I would share our experience. It does not include driving; there were no malls; and not one encounter with Santa's pesky little helpers.

The kids came running into the house yesterday screaming "Mom! Santa Claus just got out of a car down the street!" Apparently Santa recognizes that few people in the 'hood can manage the mall scene so he comes right to them. The most joyful black Santa I have ever seen made his way up and down the street from door to door, 'ho,ho,ho-ing' and singing in a booming baritone voice, while passing out candy to the kiddos.

Even though we aren't technically part of the government housing area, he made his way to our corner where the crew was waiting anxiously. It may have had something to do with Jayla (one of the neighborhood kids) screaming "HEY SANTA! Come over here!" Not with the tone of pleading excitement you may have read into that sentence but more of a direct order. As in, "I'll pop a cap in your jolly behind if you don't."

So, there you go Tara. Just move to the projects and hire some little thug to terrorize Santa into your yard and you've got it made. Or you could just move to a third world country where it is a non-issue. ;-) Love you!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stuck on You

Some photos of Bella enjoying (read idolizing) her first "DumDum." The words death grip are not an understatement!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Here is the list of "if-then" clauses I am currently living by:

If I could finish the laundry then I could get packed for our trip to Atlanta.

If I could sleep through the night then I would have more energy to do laundry.

If I would stop drinking sugar laced coffee and hot chocolate right before bed then I could sleep through the night.

If I wasn't overwhelmed by the task of doing laundry and packing for our trip to Atlanta then I wouldn't turn to the comfort of sugar laced coffee and hot chocolate.

Yes, the pattern is quite clear. And I realize that IF I break the pattern THEN I won't have to whine about it on this blog. But what IF...whining is more fun than actually accomplishing something? Then I better go have some hot chocolate.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Beauty School Drop Out

In other news tonight... we've learned of a beauty salon in Wake Forest, North Carolina owned and operated by Miss Isabella Sexton, who, in fact, does not have a license to practice cosmetology. Our researchers did some digging into this story and found that Miss Sexton dropped out of beauty school at a very, very early age but has continued managing this boutique illegally for some time. We caught up with the salon owner earlier this afternoon but as you can see, she was unwilling to give us a complete interview. We'll let you decide for yourself. Would you trust this woman with your hair?

Here we found her working with a client.

She seemed very focused on the task. It took a moment before she noticed our crew BUT she did notice us.

"HEY! What's going on? You people got an appointment?"

"Get outta my studio. Right now. You hear me. Get on out."

"I said no cameras up in here. Turn that (censored) camera off!"


I Keep on Fallin'

Piles of junk on floor + two boys running around like maniacs =

A 1/4 inch in any direction and we would've had serious problems. God is good and goose eggs are better than blindness!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time Warp

(song title chosen for my Aunt Pam and her Rocky Horror Picture Show days. =))

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) maybe you are familiar with another time warp known as WalMart. It's seems like no matter what I do I can't just get in and get out of that place. And yesterday was no exception. I arrived at approximately 11:15 am. I pulled out of the parking lot at 2:15 pm. THREE HOURS! ugh. No, I wasn't fighting or dragging along four children. I was all alone. Please believe me when I tell you that if given the opportunity to actually enjoy three hours of alone time I would never consciously choose to squander it away with the other four billion people at WalMart.

The first forty-five minutes weren't so bad. But another thirty minutes, hour, hour and a half later and I started feeling trapped. It was like one of those dreams where someone/something really scary is after you but your feet feel like lead weights and you can't run no matter how hard you try. My brain was racing on high speed and I knew my legs were moving, but I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Then after finally getting everything unloaded and rung up I realized that the scary creature wasn't chasing me, it had been waiting for me at the cash register. "Your total comes to _____." AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

With great fear and trepidation, I slayed the beast using my handy debit card. Then the computer has the nerve to ask if I want "cash back." Does this monster really think there's anything left in the account? Or is he just mocking me from the grave? "NO." I hit the enter button with a quick jab -a last little poke to be sure he was dead. Then I collect my scroll, er, receipt and finally make my way out to the parking lot. I am weary, worn, and walk slightly slumped over my cart but I rise from the ashes a victor! My Christmas shopping is done!!!!

"I am the champion, my friend..."

(two songs in one post -consider it a freebie =0))

Friday, December 14, 2007

At Last

Bella has a tooth!

We were starting to wonder if God had forgotten this one little detail. For a kid who has done everything early, it's about stinking time.

Nathan was so happy for her. "Bella, you get to eat pizza now!" This will make her very happy, too. The last time we went to Cici's Pizza the little sneak somehow avoided detection from two moms sitting at the table with her and dove into Tim's plate while he was refilling a drink. Another friend from church just happened to be sitting across the way and noticed the sauce covered child with both hands full of cheesy bread. Anita snapped this shot of her after we had contained most of the damage.

Maybe instead of birthday cake in January we'll just order up a large pepperoni pizza.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

I could not resist using this title for this post. You will see why. It has come to my attention that one of my most faithful readers is feeling a little self-conscious. And being given knowledge of this slight vulnerability, there's only one thing to do...take full advantage of it for my personal enjoyment, of course! =)

Ron Millender is one of our closest friends (along with his wife, Chris), one of my most devoted readers, and incidentally the only man who regularly posts comments on this blog. And he may be feeling a bit alone. So, I am asking you all to help me offer him some assurance. Are there any other men who read this???!! If so, will you please identify yourself in the comment section of this post? Please! It's easy. Just read the directions at the bottom of the post. Wait. What am I thinking? Men are not going to read the directions are they?

Or if you are a woman but your husband has been known to read this blog over your shoulder or independently, will you comment on his behalf?

Let's work together to make Ron feel comfortable, after all...

...he clearly has other issues to work through.

To post a comment: click the comments link in the lower right hand corner of this post. Type your comment and then sign in as either a google user or anonymous if you don't have a google account. Hit submit. Your message will not automatically show up. I will get your comment via the blog and publish it asap. Thanks GUYS!

If I Only Had a Brain

My daughter, Mamoune, is a very smart young lady and in some ways mature beyond her years. BUT during this interchange yesterday, well, you be the judge:

The Setting -Mamoune is looking at the computer over her mom's shoulder and mutters something incomprehensible.

Mom: What did you just say?
Mamoune: (swallows and repeats sentence, the content of which is irrelevant to the story)
Mom: What was in your mouth?
Mamoune: (with eyes bulging) Trash.
Mom: (with eyes bulging and mouth agape) Trash from where?
Mamoune: The floor.
Mom: You put trash from the floor in your mouth?
Mamoune: Yes.
Mom: And then you swallowed it?
Mamoune: Yes.

(Mom stares at Mamoune in disbelief. Turns her back to the child and places her head in her hands. Returns to the child and continues to stare in disbelief.)

Mom: Exactly what kind of trash was it?
Mamoune: I don't know.
Mom: You have no idea what it was or what it could have been from?
Mamoune: It was kinda fuzzy.

Just when you thought this family couldn't be any weirder. sigh.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Only the Good Die Young

Appropriate title. Horrible song. Is it true? Clearly not. But here's my question: what does "good" mean?

I saw a brief interview with a friend of Robert Hawkins' (Omaha shootings) in which he said of Hawkins, "He wasn't a monster...he was a good person." Really? Compared to whom? He just mowed down eight people in a shopping mall two weeks before Christmas! What the heck???

I don't know why this is surprising since the number one answer given for why someone should make it to heaven is "I'm a good person." Again, I have to ask by what standard? So, for the sake of analysis, let's remove the element of faith and just based on a list of people I consider to be really good humans see where someone like me would fall on the "Goodness will get me to heaven" scale.

Good People
Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey
How does Amie compare? Never won a Nobel Peace Prize; never led a peaceful revolution; never done humanitarian work in South Africa

Yikes. That doesn't work out so well for me. Maybe I'm coming at it from the wrong angle. Let's try it this way.

Bad People
Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Ted Bundy
How does Amie compare? Never incited a world war; never orchestrated a terrorist attack; never raped and bludgeoned an unconfirmed number of victims

Yes! I am sooo getting into heaven now. As long as God lets ME choose the standard of good or bad by which I am measured, it shouldn't be a problem. whew. But then I wonder...

Did the guys who flew into the trade center think they were doing something good? If so, does it count as good? Or does the general population's perception that it was bad negate their "good" motivation? Or does my thinking that what they did was bad even though they think it's good make me bad for saying their good is bad? Or are they bad for thinking that what I say is bad is good?

Dang it! If only there was some way to be reconciled to God without having to compare myself to other people!!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

Wow! That is good news!

(Want to know more about this Son who gives eternal life? Email us at

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hit Me Baby One More Time

I have to preface by assuring my dear friend, Mrs. Livesay, that I don't intentionally go looking for these things. It's just God's gift to me. =)

If you image google "tooth fairy" you get lots of tooth fairies. BUT if you image google "goofy tooth fairy" you get picture number TWO in the line up -Hope and Isaac Livesay!

Tara, are you still in denial? psychotic, goofy? I would never use these words to describe your family.


You Give Love a Bad Name

Indeed, we do. More specifically, we give the Tooth Fairy a bad name. And if remembering to "tooth fairy" is equated to loving your children -we are up a creek.

(side note: My kids love this song. They are currently walking through the kitchen singing Nathan's interpretation of it --"walk through the hall, but you're still late..." You would think he's been to high school or something. ???)

It all started last night when Isaiah was sent to brush his teeth. After a few seconds he calls out in a sing-song voice, "Come here, Mommy. It's something happy." Since nothing "happy" has been associated with the bathrooms for some time now, I'm up for a treat. I look in to see the sink full of bloody toothpaste (oh joy, more body fluids). Isaiah stands proudly with foaming pink spit dripping down his chin, smiling and pointing in his signature way to a small tooth lying on the corner of the sink.

Let me interrupt the current story to share a brief summation of tooth pulling at our house. There's Mamoune. The ever conflicted stoic drama queen. She pulls her own teeth out without anyone even knowing they were loose. The stoic part. Then she makes a grand entrance with hips swiveling and eyelashes fluttering to announce her conquest. If she were a better speller/reader I have no doubt she would fashion her own "applause" cue cards. It's not about money, it's about fame.

Then there's Nathan. Nathan believes, despite his parents constant reassurance, that every tooth in his head is directly rooted into his brain and pulling the wrong one will result in a horrific and painful death. He wants to be a marine. I could be mistaken but I think there is an unwritten rule in which pulling a tooth without hysterical screaming is prerequisite to taking a bullet for your country. As for money -we could flash a 100 dollar bill in his face and still his mouth would be clamped shut.

And finally, we have Isaiah. His first teeth came out while we were visiting a family in Kentucky. We put the kids down for bed and shortly after Nathan came out and excitedly reported that Isaiah had pulled his tooth. We congratulated Izzy and settled them all back into bed. Five minutes later, the whole gang comes bustling down the hall "Isaiah pulled another tooth!" At this point we're thinking dude, are you just bored? Fortunately he stopped at two that night. Fear of dying? Not an issue. Overpowering drive for recognition? Nope. For Isaiah it's all about the cash. Back to our story:

Me: (with less enthusiasm than a good mom should have) You're tooth fell out.

Izzy: (with more enthusiasm than any person should have) I GET MONEY! YES!!!

He put the tooth in a Ziploc bag and stored it under his pillow. This is where the system breaks down. See, we've never really done the official Tooth Fairy gig. It wasn't so much about deep spiritual convictions as it was about figuring that our reality was grueling enough without having the added pressure of keeping some tooth-stealing pixie under wraps. We had the same theory about the Easter Bunny. (Lazy Parenting 101 sign ups in the comment section) Instead, we made it a game. If Mom (aka Tooth Fairy) can get into your room and slide the money under your pillow without waking you up -you get to keep the money. If you wake up -Mom gets to keep the money.

No, it doesn't make a lot of sense but it works in two important ways: we don't have to keep up the Tinker Bell charade AND I barely have to sneak because even if they did wake up they would never let on. Everybody wins. Unless of course, Mom pops up at 5:45 am and says "craaayup!"

There was one saving grace. Nathan and Isaiah had switched bunks last night. Nathan had a fever and fearing the worst, a recurrence of stomach flu, we put Nathan on the bottom for easier bathroom access. Ah, a plan was emerging. My hero, Twinkle Toes Tim, went out to the truck to retrieve some spare change. Put it in a baggy and then penned the following note and placed it on the kitchen table:


Where were you? I almost gave your money to Nathan! Since I couldn't find you, I put your $$ in the Christmas tree. Bet you can't find it! (I knew you would come to the table today!)

~T.T. F"

We pulled it off with only one hitch -the stand-in tooth fairy meant to give $1 but somehow only counted out 95 cents. Must be the costs of gas in fairy land. =)

LATE ADDENDUM: We get a chance to redeem ourselves. The boy just popped out another tooth. Freak.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Coming Out of the Dark

Tim was singing this three days ago (a bit prematurely) but NOW I think it's true. We have stepped back into the light of healthy digestive tracts. There are still a few coughing/snotting issues but those seem minor in comparison. Tim is back to work and we are back to the usual daily events. And now for your viewing, er, reading pleasure; I have compiled a list of five things I was taking for granted before last week:

#5 -Not having to taste and see every meal twice! I gotta tell you though, the last think I ate before I ... you know ...was Fruity Pebbles. Which may go down (and back up) as one of the least unpleasant episodes ever. Must be something about all that sugar. Not that I'd do it again for fun but if you know it's coming, I recommend Fruity Pebbles.

#4 -Not having to see every meal that my kids eat twice! I don't know what Isaiah had on his plate at church last Wednesday and normally I have nothing but compliments for our amazing kitchen crew BUT even the legendary Karen Frisbee's cooking leaves something to be desired when revisited.

#3 -Trash cans that are actually used as trash cans! No commentary.

#2 -Kissing and hand holding! When you are trying to keep germs confined these things are not an option. And while I am happy to kiss my husbands sweet, smooth, and feverish head; some lips would be nice. Which brings me to...

#1 -Naturally regulated body temperature! (What did you think I was going to say? Get out of the gutter, people. =)) Seriously, fevers are nasty and unless you are dealing with PMS, menopause, or illness; it's good to have a steady, comfortable, internal temperature.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

He fought a good fight but in the wee hours of morning the enemy overtook him and Tim became the fifth victim of the stomach bug. He held out the longest and was so disappointed. "I thought I had it beat," he said weakly just as I emptied clear evidence that "it" was definitely beating him.

He is resting now and the kids and I are doing some cleaning. I am so thankful for the crazy rise in temperature. It's nice to open the windows and air out after a week like this.

Tim was wondering yesterday, what kind of world we live in where I can write stories about vomit and diarrhea and other people actually read them. It's a good question. I've been pondering it and here's my best guess: it's all about relating to something outside of ourselves. It's the same reason millions of us watched Seinfeld -the show about nothing, and why stand up comics are so entertaining. If we can catch a glimpse of ourselves in someone else's experiences or observations -we feel validated.

When someone whose blog I read is going through stressful times and gets ticked off and blows their cool (totally hypothetical =)) I think to myself, yes, I am not the only freak out there. And as a Christian, blogs offer an amazing connection to the body of Christ. To think that believers across the globe can say "I've been right where you are," or "I see you hurting and I'm praying for you," or even "you are cracking me up" gives new meaning to the admonition in Romans 12:15 to "rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."

OR I could be way off base and it's really our innate depravity that gives us pleasure in the suffering and misfortune of others.

That being said -to those of you who have endured the recent posts about body function and human waste for whatever reason -THANK YOU!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Country Roads

This was Mema's favorite song (and another fun one for you Mr.Millender). Mema was Tim's maternal grandmother. Yesterday marked the four year anniversary of her passing. She was a special lady in many ways and I want to take the opportunity to just mention a few.

For years we thought Mema was, well, crazy. She was the kind of woman who would take every opportunity to brag on her family and to talk about her Jesus. I mean every opportunity. Church services, weddings, funerals, etc. It didn't matter who was supposed to be the focus of the service, she could turn it to her advantage. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and truly endearing.

It wasn't until Mema was deep in the clutches of Alzheimer's Disease that some of us saw her for what she truly was...a faithful child of God. In those days, she didn't know most of us by name or even face. She was lost in passages of time gone by. But the one thing she never wavered on was her Savior -His sweet name, His saving grace, and the songs that had marked her years of service to Him. She loved to sing and if you were with her for more than, uh, 3 seconds, you were going to hear and do some singing, too.

Being just a granddaughter-in-law, I didn't have the benefit of all the years but Mema and I shared something special. We each had a dimple on one cheek. She would always tell me "I'll kiss your sugar bowl and you can kiss mine." It was our little bonding moment. =)

If you have a moment, say a prayer for Tim's mom -Patsy, and her siblings. That time will continue to heal the hurt while the memories grow sweeter and sweeter.

This is tooooo funny. I was on google images looking for a fun picture that I might add to the previous story about the midnight caroler. I typed in "psychotic caroler" and guess who pops up?

THREE, count them 3 pictures of the Livesay crew! Go ahead, Tara Livesay. Google it yourself.

Ha!! 'Splain dat. oh, it hurts to laugh but this is just rich.

And the Gift Goes On

That title is for Ron Millender. He needed a new song in his head. =)

I don't know what I did wrong. I washed my hands. I took my pro-biotics. All my defenses were in place and yet, I was attacked from the North and the South. (Sorry, that was the least graphic way to put it.) Here's where we stand so far. There are six of us. Four have been taken down. One is living under a cloud of doom. And the other one?

If you track with us long enough you will notice that through every family illness one name is conspicuously missing from the list of casualties -Mamoune. We can't explain it but we have a theory. Apparently living in a third world country and a crowded and filthy city like Port-au-Prince where she breathed and ingested goodness knows how much dirt creates a ridiculously strong and almost inhuman immune system. And while on the one hand, it's one less scream in the night, one less bucket of muck to clean up after; on the other hand, her inexperience with physical illness has left her with little to no compassion for the rest of us. (ha-the child just gave me a real time example to share with you. She just walked by and said "Mom, you should taste that sausage we ate, it's so good." Sweet and thoughtful for wanting me to enjoy something that she obviously liked? YES! Clueless of how the idea of eating sausage effects my weakened stomach? YES! ) We think it would be a great movement in our bonding process if she would, just once, get sick enough to totally need us. It hasn't happened yet. Super Girl continues to hang tough.

Back to today's report. I do feel better. And on the bright side, it's been one week since I made my 6 pound declaration. I stepped on the scale this morning and YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE THIS -I've lost 4 pounds!!!! I'm over half way there and I barely even worked out. That chocolate plan is paying off. whoohoo! Okay, okay, I know it doesn't count and as soon as I get back to eating without the involuntary and immediate recycling process, I'll be right back where I was. But for today I'm going to sip my chicken soup, nibble saltines, and put a heating pad on my back while basking in the knowledge that I am four pounds lighter. ;-)

Lest you think that vomiting is the only excitement around these parts, I'll share the other culprits of sleeplessness that haunted us last night. #1-Bella. The girl cried forever! I have a theory about this, too. Wednesday night she slept on the couch with mom. Thursday early, early morning she ended up in the bed with mom. So by Friday night, the old crib was lonely. It took Tim several trips and coaxing to convince her that she wasn't coming to sleep with us. And finally she settled down. In the midst of cry-fest came #2-the trashcan tippers. A couple of guys walking down the street at 1:30 am (yea, that's a good sign) were apparently annoyed by our emptied garbage can that was still out by the street. So, one of them knocked it over. A big, empty can hitting the ground is rather loud and startling and didn't help at all with Bella's crying issue. Oh well, I just hope whichever one shoved it over had the good sense to wash his hands. Or maybe I don't.

And last but by no means least #3 -the caroler. A little after two o'clock in the morning a gentlemen was walking by singing "The Little Drummer Boy" very loudly. I'm serious. Not making this stuff up. A theory? I just happen to have one. =) I'm guessing he was either drunk, nervous (you know those times when you are frightened and start humming any and every hymn you can think of -is that just me?) or he was just truly filled with the Christmas spirit. Whichever the case, despite my nausea, the insane hour, and the bizarreness of it all --it made me smile. What else can you do when a cheerful, soulful voice goes pah-rum-pum-pumming down the street?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oh What a Night

6:00 pm Bella has a blow out diaper at church. Amie brings her home early.

8:00 pm Bella goes down for the night (or so we think).

9:00 pm Tim and kids get home from church. Nathan's throat hurts.

9:15 pm Bella has another blow out diaper and refuses to be comforted.

10:00 pm Tim and his coughing, scratchy-throated self takes medicine and goes to bed. Amie and Bella try to sleep on the couch.

11:45 pm Bella's fever goes down and she finally quits fidgeting enough to fall asleep on a pallet
beside the couch.

1:05 am Isaiah throws up twice -in his bed and on the floor. Amie cleans up, changes sheets, and supplies Izzy with a vomit bucket and dose of acidophilus. Amie wakes Tim up and gives him acidophilus. Tim starts coughing. Amie feels bad but still thinks coughing is better than vomiting.

2:00 am Amie returns to the couch and listens for sounds of puking, pooping, and coughing.

4:00 am Isaiah throws up again -in the bucket, thankfully!

4:30 am Amie returns to the couch and Bella begins moaning and passing ridiculous amounts of gas in her sleep.

5:00 am Amie pats Bella and thinks of our friend Cory Thornton (stationed in Japan with the Marines) who is just about 8 hours out of surgery for an elbow that is broken in two places. Amie is very thankful for the dose of perspective and wonders how to say "hurl" in Japanese.

5:45 am Tim takes Amie's place on the couch and sends her to the bedroom. Tim continues coughing. Bella starts crying. Tim tries to get her back to sleep on his chest.

6:00 am Nathan screams for his daddy because he is coughing his head off. Tim carries Bella with him to give Nathan some medicine.

Unbeknownst to them, Tim and Amie share a moment of prayerful relief that the sun will be up soon and this night will end.

9:00 am Everyone is up. No more vomiting so far. Bella is a crab. Amie is a crab. Tim is going to try and put in a couple of hours of work. We are out of Children's Tylenol and Motrin. There is carpet to clean and laundry to do.

Projected for 2:00 pm -FAMILY NAP!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Dose of Reality

This will sound harsh. Even mean. If that bothers you -stop reading now. I have four kids. Mamoune is bossy and has a rebellious heart. Nathan is wimpy and a quitter. Isaiah is lazy and easily influenced. Isabella -too young to tell. If your jaw happens to be laying on the ground now, please pick it up and put it back on your face. I am not a hateful mom. It's not like we have t-shirts printed up with "wimpy," "bossy," and "lazy" on them. I love my kids. And I could make a list ten times as long of the good things I see in them. But I do see the character flaws which have the potential to destroy each of them if not chiseled, smoothed, and brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, they are particularly easy to recognize because most days they are little mirror images of their mother. I am fully capable of being all the horrible things I've attributed to them. What's worse, I have ample experience being a lazy, rebel-hearted quitter all in the same two seconds.

This is where I find myself in parenting right now. It's not just about random or childish acts of disobedience. It's realizing that their choices seem to be consistently defined by these character traits. This is not what I want for them. I want to see Mamoune's bossiness become true biblical leadership and her heart to be full of tender mercies and service. I want wimpy Nathan to become a man of deep compassion who is willing to go the distance to see justice done. I want to see Isaiah become driven to influence others toward Godliness.

I believe my kids are well-behaved. (you may have evidence to the contrary -shrug) The older ladies in our neighborhood are always telling us that they are "mannerly children". It makes me smile. But I know that having kids who chew with their mouths closed, say yes ma'am, no ma'am, please, and thank you is not enough. It's a start and it's necessary but it isn't the end goal. I believe it was Michael Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries) who said, "figure out what you want your children to be and then be that 10 times over." ugh. I've got my work cut out for me. Thankfully, God has provided a Paraclete (one of those fancy seminary words that Tim taught me) to come along side and advocate for me and the kids as we work through our flaws together.

Paraclete (Holy Spirit) not to be confused with parakeet (loud obnoxious bird) -although that could be fun, too. "Sqaaaawk, stop being lazy, sqaaaawk"

Monday, December 3, 2007


The Youngsville Christmas Parade:

Isaiah walking with the Upward Basketball group.

Post-parade snacks.

Other random photos: