Sunday, June 29, 2008

Getting Away

We, along with Chris's mom, dad, brother, and family friends had the opportunity to go to Traverse City for a few days this weekend. We arrived late Thursday night, got settled and headed to bed. Friday the boys spent the afternoon and into the evening golfing, I played in the pool and napped with the girls, and Mom and Kim, enjoyed a little shopping and a pedicure. The gang went to a late dinner and I had a relaxing evening in the hotel room, while the girls slept. All in all it was a great day. Saturday was glorious. The girls slept till 7:45am (Very exciting for me). We checked out and headed for the beach. We spent a few hours playing in the sand, dipping our toes in the water, flying a kite, playing on the playground. Chris had this idea of a perfect afternoon in his head. He had talked about it for weeks leading up the the trip. It all came together just like he dreamed. He was so excited to fly a kite with Melia on the beach, Eva tasted her first sand, and Melia explored looking at everything. We left to drive home in the afternoon, so the girls would nap in the car. They did great the whole weekend.

GREAT memories were made.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beautiful Morning

What a beautiful morning! Mine started early...6:15am. Eva decided she wanted to make an early start of the day. So I fed her, and then sat in bed with her deciding how to begin the day. With friends coming over to swim today, and the pool not being attended to for a few days, I thought, I better go check it out. So by 6:45am I was out vacuuming the pool. The sun was shining, it was a cool, but beautiful 64 degrees. Eva played in her excersaucer, and I enjoyed the quiet of the morning, taking in all the sounds and smells of a crisp summer morning. What a great way to start the day...observing God's creation, spending a few quiet moments communing with Him, and getting a chore done all at the same time. It is only 8:30am and the pool is vacuumed, laundry is started, Eva is fed, has played and has gone down for a morning nap. I am not saying I want to start all my days at 6:15am, but it was a great start to today. One morning I may even get up a few min. earlier to see the sunrise. We need to stop and take it in sometimes. We fill our lives with so many things, and do not take time to stop and take advantage of the beauty that God has laid before us. Have a great day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Going to the Dentist

Melia had her first dentist appointment on Friday. At just shy of 2 1/2, I was not sure how this was going to go, but MUCH to my surprise she did absolutely great. She sat in the chair like she
had done it all before. Dr. Shary was able to count, polish, and FLOSS her teeth. The highlight for Melia was getting a new tooth brush. The girl loves to brush her teeth. She also got a new bouncy ball and stickers. We were in and out in 20 min, and she had a smile on her face the whole time.

Thanks, Dr. made the experience a great one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Speaking Life

Over the last few weeks/months, several situations have come up that have really got me thinking. My writing may seem a little disconnected to start, but I will bring it back together in the end, I promise. Two months ago Chris's grandmother went to be with the Lord. In more recent days I have read or heard of other situations involving sudden tragedy/death of people young and old. I have given much thought to how precious life is. When I think about our time on this earth in comparison to eternity, it is a short time. Thinking about how we interact with people and the words we use has been a reoccurring theme in my heart over these past few months. On father's day we were celebrating with family and out of no where, during a conversation, something very hurtful was said to my husband. He quietly slipped away from the situation and went to another part of the house. The rest of us were left there in a moment of awkward silence. The day went on, but I was left with a nagging in my heart. Another family member asked the person involved to go and make it right with Chris. The response was I guess, but I just have a way of offending people, making an excuse for his actions. The situation was resolved and forgiveness was given before we left for the day, but the hurt was still there.

Another situation occurred this week. A friend and I were at McDonald's having lunch with our kids. There were several other kids and families in the play place this day. A little boy, maybe 7 or 8 was playing alone. After observing him for sometime, I determined he was most likely Autistic. This little boy was getting agitated and hit another boy and his mom. This mom then asked who this kid belonged to and in a angry tone, speaking loudly enough for everyone to here reported what happened. The person that was with the Autistic child, who I later determined was not him mom, claimed him and made him come and sit at the table. There were two other children with this mom, and when they were told it was time to go, they whined and complained a little. The mom's response to her children was "I know, he (speaking of the Autistic boy) ALWAYS ruins everything. My heart broke for this child. Again this conversation took place, loud enough for everyone in the area to hear. Although the boy seemed unphased by what was being said about him, the words were still spoken. What impression/attitudes does this statement leave on her children about this other boy, and more importantly this child is being cursed by the words of another person. I try very hard to leave the words always and never out of my vocabulary. Even if something happens 99 out of 100 times the word always cannot be used. They are so absolute.

Over the past weeks Rebekah and I have been getting together to pray and study the book of James. A few weeks ago we studied James chapter 3.

James 3: 9-12 says,
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

I read these words, ones that I had heard and read before and did not give it much thought to them at the time. Over these last weeks they have resonated in my heart. Our words our powerful, they can curse or bring blessing. Being faced with situations involving death, recently, I began thinking about the situation with Chris differently; questioning what if?. What if the hurtful words were the last ones to be spoken? What if this was the last time we were to see this person? Many times we walk around taking life for granted, but in a moment a very different picture could lay before us. We assume we will have time to resolve offenses or make a relationship right. I know this all seems a little morbid, but it's what is in my heart. I am not one to live thinking or fearing death, but I do want to be conscious of what is coming out of my mouth. Am I speaking words of life? Even in everyday conversation, what seems harmless, can open the floodgates for the enemy. I was mowing the grass this afternoon, listening to my IPOD, when the following song came on. I listened to the words and it brought all the thoughts over the past few months together. What are you going to choose today...blessing or curse? What legacy are you leaving behind?

This is a song by John Waller called "The Blessing"

Let it be said of us While we walked among the living.
Let it be said of us By the ones we leave behind.
Let it be said of us That we lived to be a blessing for life.

Let it be said of us That we gave to reach the dying.
Let it be said of us By the fruit we leave behind.
Let it be said of us That our legacy is blessing for life.

This day You set life, you set death right before us,
This day Every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.

Let it be said of us That our hearts belonged to Jesus.
Let it be said of us That we spoke the words of life.
Let it be said of us That our heritage is blessing for life.

This day You set life, you set death right before us,
This day Every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.

Blessings and Curses are choices,
'Cause blessings and curses are choices.
Will we build up, tear down?
The moment of truth is now.

For your Kingdom, for our Children
For the sake of every nation
For your Kingdom, for our Children
For the sake of every nation

We will choose to be a blessing for life.
For life.
Blessing for life.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sitting, Crawling, Standing

At 61/2 months old Eva began sitting up on her own. Just a short month later she discovered crawling. Now there is a new adventure around every corner. She has discovered the cat food, and loves to grab handfuls and drop it on the floor. Well, now it has been only one more month (8 1/2 mon. old) and she is pulling up and standing against anything that will hold her. She loves to stand at the toy box and grab things. At this rate in another month she will be walking. She is such a peanut, and I am not ready for her to be up and cruising around the house. I feel like once they are up and walking, the baby stage is over...independence takes over. Time just goes by, it seems like yesterday that she was being delivered in the ambulance on the way to the hospital (see earlier post for the full details - it was an adventure)

Braving the Cold

Well, it was 92 degrees today, far from cold. What was cold was our pool that Melia desperately wanted to go in. We had friends over and their two boys wanted to swim also. So, while the pool was freezing, we braved it and got in with our kids. Even little Eva, floated around in her ring for a little while. She was not so sure at first, but once she was in she was fine. Melia had a blast swimming on her own, splashing and playing. I stayed waist deep, very careful not to get any more wet than I had too. Hopefully this heat wave we are experiencing will warm the water a few degrees.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Going cloth

We received our Bum Genius cloth diapers from in the mail today. They are washed and dried and ready to be used. No more throwing money away in disposables, and it is much nicer to the environment. It is a little more work, but well worth the cost savings. And no more smelly diaper genie. I am only going to use them for Eva at this point. I am out of school in a week and Melia will hopefully be potty trained this summer, so we will just use up the disposables we have for her, and hopefully she will be trained in a few short weeks.

Monday, June 2, 2008

All smiles

Our daughter Eva ALWAYS has a smile on her face. She is filled with the JOY of the Lord. Everywhere we go, people are always stopping to look at her. Her smile lights up her whole face. She also has the brightest and most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Eva's Welcome into the World

Eva's birth story as told by my best friend Rebekah, who was thankfully with me every step of the way.

I have been flying on adrenaline the past 24 hours, because little Eva Kay Rayner was born at 6:18 yesterday (September 17th). The adrenaline part came when Meeghan decided to test our friendship and start having the baby in the van, on the way to the hospital! Long story short, I received a call from Meeghan at 6:00pm yesterday [note the time of Eva’s birth], saying she “thought” she was in labor and needed for me to pick her up and take her to the hospital. No sooner did we get to the end of the street and both of us were in tears—Meeghan’s for pain, mine because I didn’t know what else to do! As we pulled on to 32 Mile she was huffing and puffing pretty good…by about 30 mile she says, “we need to call the doctor and find out what to do…” In my head I’m thinking…”what do you mean ‘what to do?’” The doctor was paged and we were told we’d hear back in 15 or 20 minutes….We’re at about 27 mile at this point and Meeghan says (not calmly—mind you) “Call 9-1-1.” Umm…okay. (I wasn’t convinced we had a problem—I though maybe Meeghan had panicked). I said, “about how far apart are your contractions?”

“Two minutes!”


We call 9-1-1, they tell us to pull over on the ramp to 26 mile and they’ll be there in minutes….In the meantime Meeghan is crying in pain that the baby is coming and she needs to push…I cannot tell you the panic that took over as I furiously dialed 9-1-1 AGAIN, to insure that they were on their way. What seemed liked an hour probably took about a minute and half! The EMS guys show up and tell me, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.”

In my mind, “okay” meant we were going to fly to the hospital, barely get to a room, and Chris would help Meeghan in her delivery. I sighed a breath of relief…

Until a second later Meeghan’s clothes were flying off and she’s saying, “I need to push.”

Back to panicked mayhem! To my shock, they fully intended on delivering her, in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. (Not that Meeghan had a choice in the matter!)

Meeghan pushes once—the head pops out.

Twice, Holy Cow…we have a baby!

EMS later told us that it took exactly 6 minutes for Meeghan to deliver the baby from the time they put her on the stretcher…

Thank you JESUS, they got there when they did! Meeg and I were 6 minutes away from delivering that baby on the side of the road!

Not only did I have the awesome job of holding my friend’s hand as she welcomed her beautiful [speedy] baby into the world, but I became an honorary deputy and helped with oxygen, blankets, gloves, etc. Unexplainably INCREDIBLE!

Chris had beat us to the hospital…however, the last phone call he received went something like, “They’re loading her into the ambulance right now and checking her…CLICK.” You can imagine his surprise when the doors opened and out comes mom WITH baby!

It was quite the event! Mom and Baby are both doing awesome. Little Eva is a little blue and purple from the sky-rocketing that happened through the birth canal, but she was a healthy 8lbs 3oz, and 20 inches long.

Time line:

6:10pm - The 911 call was made

6:12pm - EMS arrives

6:18- Eva is born!!!

I cannot tell you how thankful I was to have Rebekah with me. She means the world to me (and our girls). We are so excited for her and her husband who are walking the road of adoption. Please pray for them, as they walk out this journey. You can follow their adoption journey at Heart Cries.

Running after the heart of the Father. Seeking His face in All things. Walking His will out in my life. These are the desires of my heart. Along the way I am a wife and mom who wants to capture memories that will last a life time.