Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Anya!

Happy Birthday, my big seven year old!
Daddy and I are so proud of you and all your adventures. You make us smile, laugh, always keep us on our toes and are the helper we could not do without. You ask the funniest questions sometimes, Daddy is still trying to explain to you what air quotes are.

We love you more than you know.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Babies and Chocolate

I was rocking my youngest little one to sleep last night, thinking of everything that needed to be accomplished before my day was over, and the new book that was waiting for me; when it hit me that of all the times in my life this was one that I needed to 'be in the moment' for. There she was all snuggled in asking me to sing to her, just wanting to be with her mommy for a little bit before her day was done, and I was only thinking of what lay on the other side of the door.
Life had been busier than usual for the past couple of weeks, and I was still in high gear. My only thought was get this kid to bed so I can have a little peace. Sometimes we mommies do need that and just getting through the day is running a never ending marathon of diapers, dishes, school work and balancing all those little personalities, it can be a wonderful thing to let Daddy take over. But the reality was last night that Annette needed me a little longer and it had been a quiet day, in comparison to the past week, I just really wanted to get to other things.

Thinking about it again makes me feel rotten. Why was I in such a hurry??? I know how fast kids grow. After all it was shocking just a month ago that Anya had lost her two front teeth and would be turning seven soon. When did that little girl get so big? Anya was just the one I was singing to and rocking to sleep. Too soon that would be Lila so big, then Annette, what was I doing? The house was a mess sure, but that's often the case with kids and it would be there waiting for me. (when do messy houses disappear?) The book is good, but is it as nice as a warm baby playing with your hair?

At least I can say that this story has a warm and fuzzy ending. Instead of ignoring the transient babyhood that lay in my arms I was reawaken in that moment to the opportunity at hand. There was a bit a babyhood still left in Annette and I would take full advantage of it! It only took a few minutes of rocking and singing before she was sound asleep, very happy and peaceful, and I still had most of my night left, and my priorities right.

Holding her reminded me that babies are like the very best kind of chocolate, the kind you would love to just gobble up and gorge yourself on, but that are really best enjoyed slowly, one at a time making the experience last as long as possible, the dark chocolate truffle moments of life. A clean house is great and a good book is even better, more like a Hershey's bars moment, absolutely yummy in their own right but always available and cheap to get. Babies however are luxuries not to be taken lightly.

I am grateful for the time I am given to spend with these beautiful girls, and how each stage is its own treasure. My house will be clean when I'm old and the books will still be there waiting for me. But I know that the memories of snuggles on a cold night, babies round bottoms , warm breath, sticky hands and time well spent with little ones will still be savored.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From Hospitality to Hospitalization in 24 hours

In my last post I was talking about hospitality being followed by hospitalization in the dictionary, and that I don't like to mix the two in real life but that is just what happened last weekend. Now before you leap to conclusions I did not do anything to my guests that required them to need medical treatment, as far as I know they are all in robust health and are just as well as when we broke bread with them.

The same can not be said for my husband Paul. Two weeks before our dinner party he noticed something wasn't quite right and mentioned to me that his abdomen "felt squishy and what did a hernia look like?". Now I have plenty of experience with squishy tummies, three big babies have a tendency to make mommy a 'bit soft' and not just in the head, but a hernia???
This was definitely new ground for us both, I had him call his doctor who he visited a week later and found that it was indeed a hernia, and because Paul thought the other side "felt funny too" it could possible be a double H.

Now I know that this isn't a major medical situation and that it's easily fixed, but when there is something wrong with Daddy our world grinds to a halt. Paul owns his own business and is the whole show right now so if he isn't working there goes our income. Also we have three young girls that like to be held and wrestle with their daddy.

A hernia ???

This was going to be a challenge. Thankfully we have a heavenly Father up to that challenge and we prayed and so did our family and friends.

Paul's surgery was scheduled for the following Monday (After our Love One Another night) and it went really well. As it turns out he had two really big hernias and it was a good thing he went in, he is recovering now and with the help of my 'always there and will drop anything to help you brother Paul' he is back at work just 48 hours later just a little sore, but getting better. No more squishy tummy.
P. S. The word that directly follows herniate in the dictionary? It's: Hero, go figure.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Hospitable Moment

"Hospitality: the cordial and generous reception of guests. "

In the Dictionary this word is followed by "Hospitalization: The act of putting a person in a hospital as a patient." It's really funny the way words work sometimes, those words were just placed together because of alphabetical order, but for some of us it seems as if it might be telling us more. A warning perhaps.

My goal is to avoid putting them together myself.

I enjoy having people to my home, really I do. I also stress out for a week or so before, clean like a mad woman and dream possible entertaining scenarios in my head (good and bad), clean some more, obsess over what to serve to my guests and most likely involve my mother and most recently my Aunt.

OK, the cleaning is going to happen no matter what. I have three busy, creative, imaginative, fast little gals at home, all the time, and one husband. They can all be a trifle messy and it really adds up fast. Rooms can be clean one minute and faster than I would have ever thought humanly possible there is a mess a again. (I tell myself its a cleaner mess, please don't argue with me here, it's all I've got.) I will say that although they make bigger messes the older they get they can also kind of clean them up too, if it is brought to their attention.

The food can also be fun if you like to think of your guests as guinea pigs, however that is rarely a good idea if you like the people coming over, and want to see them again. I do, so I try to serve something I know well and have practiced before or am familiar with. Again trying not to bring hospitality and hospitalization together. My Uncle, whenever he is in town, makes these really wonderful green chili enchiladas that are dreamt about while he is away. This is what I attempted to make this weekend , or rather a version of them, for my guests, and after a call to my afore mentioned aunt while in the midst of frying the tortillas, they turned out well. Not as good and Uncle Greg and Aunt Cheryl's but they were a tasty representation of the real thing.

All this comes to the blog because we have had Love One Another month at our church. It was a month to focus on getting to know the unfamilar faces around us and to find ways of showing love to all those around us. To finish the month we had a satellite supper where host families invite those in the church they don't know well into their homes in an effort to get to know each other over dinner; after which we all meet at the church for pie and to further mix and meet.
This was a GREAT idea and TONS of fun, we spent time with folks we normally just say "Hi" to on our way to the cookie table and the people we know well. I went out on a limb and signed up to host. It was a lot of work for an initially shy person like myself (My family members are laughing at me now saying Alisha shy?? Keep in mind I have ALWAYS known you.) and it was good to stretch out of my comfort zone. My family feels a sense of accomplishment and there are now new friends and good memories with older ones. I was taught as a child to be a servant of others, to put their needs ahead of my own, and only sometimes succeed in that, but being a servant to all is the key to loving one another isn't it? That is the essence of Hospitality.

"Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whosoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." I John 4:7-10