Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Its been the worst kind of day. I just got up off the couch after sitting and thinking about what went wrong. It was the kind of day where everything seemed to go wrong. It wasn’t tangible things like on Sunday. From this morning until tonight I was frustrated by everything and I think I frustrated most everyone. I cried this morning and I cried tonight and I couldn’t even put it into words if you were sitting in my living room with me. I suppose this is being too transparent (maybe too serious) for blogland but it’s the truth. Trying to think about being thankful is almost impossible tonight. Surely everyone has days like this. I am thankful that tomorrow is coming. I am thankful for the new day that is on the other side of this night. I am thankful that I have the desire to be thankful. Beyond that- well, I am thankful for YOU. Have a fabulous Friday... I am planning on it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday Words

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.
Psalm 84: 11-12

These verses reminded me today that only God knows what is permanently good for me. He will not hold back things that will help me live for him. He gives me the means to walk along his paths but I have to do the walking. All I have to do is to continually put my trust and faith in him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We have lint!

I mean we could have lint collecting in the dryer lint collector (what is that called?) because the dryer is fixed. (No telling what the repair man thought of Thomas pretending to shoot him. He was a good sport. I imagine he has kids. He was kid friendly, thank goodness!) I still have clothes hanging in various bathrooms (though the clothes are dry). I suppose I will go collect those clothes after this and put them up. If I have time to blog, I must have time to take care that! Jonathan is still running a fever (between 100 and 102 depending on how much time it has been between his Tylenol dose). He missed his "Blue and Gold" dinner at cub scouts tonight. He was pretty disappointed about it. He had fun working on his poster today even though he knew he wasn't going to scouts. That's the update. Oh, and the #1 VOLS lost to #14 Vandy tonight. That was disappointing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My New Favorite

The Heath bar is my new favorite candy bar. This is a big deal for me! My favorite as long as I can remember has been a Snickers. I have struggled with loving eating a Snickers ever since we found out about David's allergy. (It is just hard to enjoy savoring each bite when you are eating something that could kill your child.) Seth re-introduced me to the Heath bar about a month ago and I have had several since then. They are sooo yummy! Now that I have found this new love, I have to figure out how to stop eating them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

(For anyone that is not a U2 fan, my Post Title references a U2 Song Title. It has nothing to do with the song but the title seems so appropriate for what I feel)

This night will be remembered for a long time.
I should begin again.
I am writing to vent about my night. The night could be considered a “growing pain” of the Owen family and as such it would be posted on the Owen home blog. I am not writing to document the night—though I intend to share the gruesome details—I am writing to vent.
Where do I begin?? We decided to try a yummy recipe from the Southern Living magazine. We were also really behind on laundry so we were washing and drying clothes. Our house was buzzing with the sound of children fighting. Seth and I were getting bombarded with crying and tattle-telling. To set the mood even more, the living room and kitchen looked like victims of numerous minor explosions. The kitchen counters were not clean. The toys were everywhere. And, our ironing board was still up from where we ironed clothes for church this morning.
I was in the kitchen and I was suddenly unsure where Seth was. I look in the laundry room (expecting to see him pulling clothes out of the drying or something). As I peek around the corner, the first thing I see are Seth’s feet. He is laying on top of the dryer looking at the back of the dryer. Then he tells me our dryer just broke. He went in the laundry room and found the dryer not working. The breaker had been flipped. He reset it and restarted the dryer to find the sparks coming out of the back wires. (We just bought the dryer when we moved into our house 6 months ago.) We had one load in the dryer and one in the washer. I was planning on grocery shopping after the kids were in bed but we decided that Seth would have to run to the laundry mat and dry our clothes. We move back to the dinner and chaotic kids. As dinner is cooking we try to work on Jonathan’s project for cub scouts. He has the “Blue and Gold” dinner on Tuesday night and all of his pack is to bring in a project on poster board (without it, he will not get his award.) I had bought a new ink cartridge today because the printer was stuck on a “Check Ink Cartridge” error. Turns out the new cartridge didn’t help. The printer is not worker at all. We tried everything possible. And, when the printer tries to realign itself it makes this unusual noise. The printer is broken. Seth is scheduled to work from morning until the night shift – much later than Jonathan is to be up. So all we can figure is that he will have to print the pictures at work and then bring them home sometime during the day. Our dinner turned out delicious (but of course the kids don’t like it). Before, during and after dinner, Jonathan keeps complaining of being really cold. We are just frustrated because it seems like he won’t stop complaining. This is just one of the many, many complaints of the 3 boys. David's asthma has been acting up due to a cold. He tells me that the "wheezer" is here. We give him his breathing treatment. As Seth is getting Jonathan to brush his teeth he realizes that Jonathan might have a fever. Sure enough, Jonathan has a fever of 102.4. We gave him some tylenol. At this point, Seth and I are just looking at each other with these blank how-can-this-be-happening stares. We herd the boys (with the 2 non-feverish ones throwing fits and crying all the way) up to bed. Seth wonders aloud if they are all getting sick. As soon as the kids are in bed, Seth threw all of the wet clothes in a tub and went to the laundry mat. About 15 minutes after he left, he called to say that the laundry mat is closed (last load has to go in at 8 p.m.). He went from there to Walmart to buy a bunch of hangers to hang up all of our wet clothes. He just got home.
So... Seth is now beginning to hang up wet clothes. I just got Elisabeth in bed. Jonathan is asleep and sweating. David is sleeping restlessly. Thomas is awake (as of the last time I checked) and asking when we are going to go to church again and when are we going to the McCoy’s house. I am getting ready to get up off this couch and face the mountain of a mess in the kitchen. I feel like I am brain dead. I can't hardly talk and I feel just plain numb. What a night! Thomas’s ideas are pretty solid-- I think I need to go to church again (or at least spend some time in prayer) and an escape to the McCoys house doesn’t sound bad at all!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #30

Here are some of the things that have filled my Thanks Tank this week:

1. Successful meal planning and grocery shopping.
2. Trying out new recipes that turn out very tasty.
3. The neighborhood watch group in my neighborhood.
4. Pictures that my children draw for me.
5. Clean children (3 out of the 4 kids got baths early in the day).
6. The flowers that have been bringing me joy all week.
7. Being able to stay home with my kids.
8. How hard my hubby works to provide for our family.
9. Making progress getting rid of clutter in my house.
10. Cold medicine and Puffs with lotion tissue.
11. Baking cookies with my kids (and each grain of sugar that was spilled all over the counter and floor each time each boy got to pour their ½ cup of sugar in the mixing bowl).
12. Cameras.
13. Laughter.
14. Impromptu family fun.
15. The smiles I see on my kids’ faces when they see momma and daddy being silly.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday Words

Sometimes I just need humor! (Be joyful always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16) I found this delightful poem last week and it made me smile.

The Purple Cow
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Peanut Allergy Happenings

I have had David's peanut allergy on my mind constantly lately. I guess that's an understatement because it is ALWAYS on my mind as I read food labels and ask about food contents. It is just that as I have been thinking about sending him to preschool in the fall, I have been focusing new energy on his allergy. I have visited a few preschools. My preschool perspective is totally different with David. It isn't about the curriculum. It is about how the teacher would handle his allergy. I had a disappointing reaction from one teacher last week. I was talking to the teacher of a highly recommended preschool. I actually unexpectantly met her and realized who she was. The teacher has been teaching for many years and is known for her creativity and hands-on approach in the classroom. We talked a few minutes about David and how he was set to the be oldest in his class (his birthday is 2 days after the school cut-off). She was extremely upbeat about how that would help him as he goes through school. She was happy to tell me about her program, gave me her card and school website. Then, I mentioned that David has a severe peanut allergy. She asked if he required an Epipen. Her attitude changed. She started sharing experiences she had with another student that had a nut allergy. She started sharing her concerns. She started talking about how hard it is as a teacher (and I found myself self saying- I know- it is really challenging as a parent). When I told Seth about the interaction, he said her reaction was based on her fear. Perhaps it was. She was polite. However, at the end of the conversation, she said that all of the 3 year olds would be coming back and they would get precedence. She said that I should put David's name on the waiting list because it is always possible that someone might move or something. I was pretty stunned by the change of attitude. I am certain that even if she was the best teacher in the state, I couldn't confidently take my child to her class.

This past week at Cub Scouts, the kids were to make bird feeders (basic peanut butter and bird seed variety). This was an interesting activity because David is a "cub scout brother" and he attends all the meetings (our pack allows 4 and 5 year old brothers to participate as a way to introduce them to scouting). It was a small oversight (the kind that I dread when it happens in coming years during an activity of David's). Seth told the den leader that he would just have David stay home. So, on Tuesday, I took Jonathan to cub scouts. Right before the activity I realize that this could be quite frustrating to Jonathan. (My thoughts- Why didn't I think of this before? He CAN'T take the bird feeder project home!) I pull Jonathan over to the side and I explain that he can make the project but he will have to let someone else have it. (His reaction: solemn face "Oh. Okay.") As they start working on the feeder, I come up with another solution. He could prep everything, take some bird seed hom in a bag and use our sunbutter at home to complete the project. Brilliant! Jonathan was thrilled. Another adult dumped some bird seed in brown paper bag for me. I told Jonathan we could complete the project the next day or so. At home, I proudly tell my husband how it all worked out. A few hours later, he checks out the bird seed and tells me that it is full of peanuts. Oh my gosh, I was so surprised. But then, what do I know about bird seed? I had no idea that there were "nut loving birds" The only real blessing was that I did not get all the boys ready to make bird feeders and then pour out the peanut-laden bird seed in our peanut-free home.
Lastly, here's something positive. David has the most amazing attitude about his allergy. On Valentine's day I took him and Thomas (with Elsie in tow, of course) to the local library for story time. This was a first for us and I was hoping for Valentine stories. I was not disappointed but I was caught off guard by the valentine cookie decorating. The moment the librarian mentioned cookies, I had to pull a very excited Daivd aside and let him know that the cookies might not be safe for him. It was all he could do to wait until the last story was over to find out. As soon as she finished reading and said something about the cookie decorating, David asks her if she has a box for the cookies (He knows the only way to know if they are safe is to read the label!) I quickly explain that he has a peanut allergy and find out that the cookies are from a local bakery and are not safe for David. The librarian was so gracious in such a wonderful kid-friendly way. She said, "But, I DO have some graham crackers you can decorate." David was thrilled to get TWO crackers as opposed to Thomas's ONE cookie. Later when I complimented him (over and over) about his wonderful attitude, he said, "It's okay Momma, I just pretended they were cookies." His attitude is the only thing that makes this allergy journey okay. He is so, so positive about it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #29

Since it's LOVE day, I thought I would make my Thankful list a list of things I love.
I love holidays. I am a total holiday nut. I love doing fun things to make holidays special.
I love having a good breakfast. Our Valentine breakfast was sausage and biscuits with chocolate milk in the fancy glasses. I love my valentine of 17 years! My hubby informed me last night that this is our 17th Valentine’s Day. I love that we have been writing love notes since I was 17 years old.
I love my three boys that are all about noise and sound effects.
I love holding my baby girl that has a smile that warms my heart.
I love hearing my middle (happy-in-the-morning) boy this morning proclaim, “Momma! I love you FOREEEVER.”
I love kid excitement. I love how much joy a $1 brought each of my kids when they found the money stuffed in their Valentine Day cards from the grandparents.
I love my parents and my husband’s parents and how much they care about my family of 6.
I love laughter. I love when my kids make me laugh. David was totally cracking me up last night imitating Daddy.

I love candles. It has been a candle kind of week. It is funny how something so simple can make me feel happy.
I love sunshine. We have blue skies here today and plenty of sunshine.
I love seeing rainbows (like this one yesterday).

I love getting out the house for some girl fun. This past Friday I went out with some friends for dinner and then coffee.

I love my friends both near and far away.

I love that God gave me love and the ability to love. (We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Words

This week I received an announcement from a college friend that her and her husband had adopted twin boys. The pictures were precious. The boys are beautiful. The couple has a biological child and she is pictured holding her brothers. The announcement left me feeling so thankful. What a gift! How wonderful they were able to adopt these boys. My reading this morning made me think even more about the incredible gift of adoption. I am thankful for God, as my heavenly father, and his gift of the Holy Spirit. What an amazing, overwhelmingly gracious gift! It is beyond words.

Romans 8:15, 16
“For you did not receive a spirit of fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a doll!

Elisabeth got her first baby doll this past week. It was a late Christmas present that had been on back order. When our relative told us that she was sending a Madame Alexander doll for Elisabeth, I thought, "Why? She is way too young to need that." Now, I have to admit that I am pretty excited to see this little doll laying around the house. It is so cute! I had fun setting up pictures of Elisabeth with her new doll. It is funny how much joy I got out of taking those pictures. I think with each new girl thing, I will have to realize all over again that we actually have a girl in our family! It still seems amazing. I am not sure when I will adjust and stop being amazed that she is here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #28

Here are a few ways my Thanks Tank is being filled.

1. Rest. I have been making an effort to get in bed earlier. I can tell it is making a differece. Also, Elisabeth slept through the night Tuesday night! That was a surprise and I felt SOOO refreshed. (She didn't sleep through the night last night but that's okay, it happened once so I know it can happen again!)

2. Intimacy. I am thankful for Intimacy in 2 specific ways. 1: With God. God knows me. God is with me. He allows me to know him. (Psalms 139:1-3) 2: With my husband: Spiritually, Physically, and Emotionally (I am sure I made at least one person blush with that thankful thought.)

3. Baby Smiles. I love, love, love getting Elisabeth to smile. Take it from her momma, she has the sweetest smile. My new joy is holding her up to the mirrow and making her smile at our reflection.

4. Imagination. I love listening to my kids play. It is so fun to listen to their imaginations at work. I am thankful for their imagination, as well as my own.

5. My Sisters. I made the most of my phone time this week and I talked to both of my sisters on the phone. I am so bad with making calls and it was refreshing to talk to my sisters. I believe I even talked to them on the same day. I am very thankful for my sisters. They mean a lot to me!

6. Quiet. It is naptime at the Owen house. The youngest boys are asleep. The oldest boy is at school. Elisabeth has been tucked into her swing to ensure this quiet moment lasts. This is when I refuel. I turned off the music and I am just listening to the hum of the swing and the sound of my husband's dog snoring. I am thankful for when my house is quiet and still.

7. Cleaning Out and Organizing. Each thing I organize or clean out fills my heart with such joy! It is very rewarding.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wednesday Words

"Our first problem is that our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned about our own "victory" over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God. We cannot tolerate failure in our struggle with sin chiefly because we are success-oriented, not because we know it is offensive to God...
God wants us to walk in obedience--not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self."

Jerry Bridges from The Pursuit of Holiness

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


My house is full of superheroes. We have all sizes. We have a superhero tub full of the action figures. We also have plenty of superhero costumes. It is fun to pretend to be a superhero. My boys always have so much fun doing this! It is only natural, then, that I had to take this survey.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

I am Superman!

Superman: You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

My Full Test Results:
Wonder Woman--42%
The Flash--30%
Iron Man--30%
Green Lantern--20%

If you go take the test, fly your superhero self back over here and let me know which superhero you are!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Big Idea Contest- Vote Allergy Publication

Martha Stewart is holding a Big Idea contest on her site to choose the focus of a new publication, and one of the choices is a publication for Allergies and Intolerances. If you will, go vote for the allergy publication. It would be wonderful to have an allergy publication (with the backing of a big name like Martha Stewart behind it) geared towards our needs as a family dealing with food allergies.

You can vote as many times as you'd like (once per day) over the next week. On Thursday, February 7, the poll will be closed. Just follow my link below and then scroll down to the "What is your favorite Big Idea?" poll.

Vote for the Allergy Publication.

I just found out about The Big Idea contest today. I read about it on an allergy website I visit. It would be wonderful to have a magazine of this nature. So, go vote! I really appreciate it.