Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Past Few Weeks

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events, emotions and disasters. But I would like to write about and celebrate just a few things.

On 5/27 and 5/29, two of my friends welcomed two new babies into the world. The one born on the 27th is my friend, Tiffany's third. The one born on the 29th is my friend Amy's fifth. How wonderful for them to finally be able to meet the beautiful little beings they have carried within them for the past 40 weeks. Congratulations to them both and their families!

On 6/7 was Joe's cousin's wedding and he took Angel and Aidan to the reception. The above pic is of the two of them enjoying themselves in a dance with the beautiful bride. Congratulations to Pam and Jose! I decided not to attend the reception for various reasons but I did go to my Uncle's annual picnic. It was hot and muggy but we survived. I drove the van with Bella, Mary and her husband Joe and daughter Rose. Mary and I enjoyed bouts of hysteria on the way there over a story I wrote when I was 12 about how mean I thought she was then. (Mind you, I was the one always beating everyone up, the one everyone feared when we were young!) It was a nice day, tiring, but nice.

This past Tuesday, I pulled a tick off my belly. Not sure how it got there or when but it was a small one, a deer tick, the kind that usually carry Lyme. My friend Lisa recently found out she and her son have Lyme disease from ticks they each were bitten by in their yard. I'm a little concerned but I'm praying I don't have it. It would mean many awful things, including probably having to stop breastfeeding the baby to go on antibiotics. Friday I had some nausea and then a migraine, which I don't usually have unless I'm pregnant, and then all weekend I felt pretty achy and sick. I'm not sure if symptoms for Lyme can show up within 3 days but if things persist, I will be going to the doctor. Lyme is a tricky disease, I hear. When the children have been out, we've been checking them when they come back in, to make sure they don't have any ticks on them. Aside from the physical issues I've dealt with over the weekend, the past few weeks have been a little emotional, as has been mentioned in previous posts. I am working to overcome these emotions, deal with the things that I know are causing some of them and I am trusting that God will carry me through everything, no matter the outcome.

My tomato plants are growing nicely, all 25 of them. (I actually just counted them the other day.) As are my zucchini, eggplant, peppers and cucumbers. I'm very excited for "harvest time," as it will mean an abundance of produce that we will greatly enjoy. I'm sure we'll have tons to share. Our strawberries don't taste any better than they did last year so I'm not sure we'll keep them past this year. We could use the space in the garden next year for some peas or maybe a different fruit. Every day I go out and see the beautiful plants growing happily alongside each other, pull some threatening weeds from the beds and thank God for the gift of these beautiful plants and for my husband who was so loving to plant such a wonderful garden for me. Our yard in general is starting to come into full bloom. The beautiful garden in the back is just starting to open itself up to the season. Oranges, purples and yellows are slowly dotting themselves across the hill, painting the landscape with their beautiful color. My husband planted an amazing bed of various flowers and plants in the front of the house. The lilies we borrowed from other parts of the yard last year are starting to open up and even the ones my sister bought for me last year, which I wasn't sure would make it, have scapes on them. They should probably bloom in the next week or so.

I've been trying to teach my children about the beauty that surrounds us each day, in nature, in people, everywhere we look. I particularly point out the things of nature which often go unnoticed in our busy days. Saturday night, Joe and I sat outside in the front and talked about the garden and I noticed the sun was retreating quickly, brilliant pinks and oranges spreading across the sky. I pointed it out to him, as I do with the children because he often doesn't notice these gifts either. God is such a beautiful artist! I remember many rides down to Maryland where I'd point out the sky or the surrounding landscape, horses and cows gathered in the fields. On one particular trip, Angelina said 'Mommy, look, the sky is following us!' Sure enough, as I looked out the window, I saw that big blue beautiful morning sky following us all the way down to Maryland! Angelina thought it was amazing. I have to admit, so did I!

Yesterday was Father's Day. We went to church and then later, we headed down to Maryland so Joe could play softball with his team from our old church. I dropped some cookies I made for my dad off at the house and visited for a bit and then I went over to the field to catch the second game. Aside from the fight at the game that seemed like it was about to turn violent, the evening was pretty nice. We sat at the field with my sister-in-law and her kids and our friend Cathy and her kids as well as others who there to watch the game. I bought a card for Joe that had a man on it holding a screaming baby with 2 other children (a boy and a girl) and a dog running around him. This was the perfect card because it was exactly our family...sans the dog of course. It said 'Happy Father's Day to my husband' and on the inside it said '...and fellow zoo keeper!' (Again,the perfect card.) I wrote him a note telling him how much of an amazing father he is. I love that despite his upbringing, he is capable of being the man he is for his children. I know they mean more to him than anything in this world and the love he not only has but
shows them is nothing short of a thing of beauty.

As I revisit the past few weeks' happenings, I am reminded one important thing: God is an amazing Father. The weeks' events, emotions and disasters have just cemented this for me even more. New babies, the beauty in nature, the fruitful garden my loving Joe planted, Joe's love for our children....and yes, even my worries, physical ailments and pain of all kinds are all truly blessings and are proof of God's love for all His children.

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