Friday, July 29, 2011

Strangers to my Rescue

Have you ever watched someone trying to juggle too many things at one time, and thought to yourself "I really should go and help that person"?  Next time, please do.  I'll share with you why.

Wednesday, a church member was having surgery two hours away.  JA wanted to be able to be with the family and pray with them before the surgery.  So, he asked the kids and I to ride along to keep him company (we have had a very busy month, and both of us are a bit sleep deprived.  So, having company on a long drive is a huge help.)  I said sure, the town has a McDonald's with a great play place, so I figured I could drop JA off, take the kids to McDonald's and we'd have a great time.

Well, we dropped JA off, headed to the mall to try to redeem our free summer reading books from Waldenbooks only to discover their liquidators are not honoring anything from Borders (should have called ahead before lugging five kids out of the van).  However, we were doing great.  Kara, Lydia, and Andy held hands singing "Oh How I Love Jesus" as we walked through the mall.  I had Ezekiel's hand in one hand, and Gabe's car seat in the other.  We walked back out of the mall, into the van, and headed to McDonald's.

McDonald's was great.  The kids obeyed as we walked across the busy parking lot.  They stood still as I ordered our lunch, and filled our water cups.  They even patiently obeyed while I filled my ice tea.  Here is where I must have gotten too confident and needed a bit of humbling.  I picked up Gabe's car seat, and then I picked up the food tray (which, by the way had a large cup of sweet tea on it).

I don't know what happened!  The kids were obeying, but I was holding a car seat, and a tray of hamburgers, but my tea was all over the floor and me.  A lady told me to take care of my kids and she would get someone with a mop.  I set down the hamburgers and just had the kids head over to the play area. I paused only to joke with a lady who was sitting watching us (she had three kids of her own, and was obviously pregnant) - "That's what I get for trying to juggle to many things at one time!"  I told Lydia, Andy, and Ezekiel to take their shoes off, and was about to have Kara watch Gabriel so I could go get the hamburgers when a gentleman came up with our tray.  He actually apologized to me for not having stepped in and helped me before the spill!  I was shocked.  This complete stranger was apologizing for not having helped me avoid a STICKY (and I mean it was sticky) situation :)

Even the lady who was cleaning up my mess was great about the whole thing - "Thank you for giving me some work to do, I was getting board."  Wow, God is so good and has really blessed this time with my kids.  I tend to get very anxious about taking all five kids out by myself - especially in a busy place.  If you knew Ezekiel, you would understand why (see my previous post).  But the wonderful attitudes at McDonald's helped encourage me that it really isn't so bad taking them all out by myself -- just next time get the kids seated somewhere before trying to carry the tray of food.

The children enjoyed a wonderful time playing on the play set, drinking their water and eating their hamburgers.  I enjoyed watching them play and make friends with the other kids there.  I even found a few minutes to be able to do my Bible study (which had been delayed because of the early morning drive).  I am so thankful for my five precious blessings, and for the lessons God daily teaches me through them, and through complete strangers.

Hey, this even gave me the courage to try taking them through Sam's Club by myself before picking Daddy up again -- I'd saying we are definitely making progress.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Challenge, My Comedian

Ezekiel riding in the combine
Can it be that my little Ezekiel is almost 3 years old?  My joyous surprise the morning he was born and the Dr. called out - A Boy!  My poor boy nameless for a few hours while Daddy and I struggled to come up with an acceptable name for our fourth precious blessing.  Like all parents, we have taken considerable amount of time choosing the right name for each of our children.  With Ezekiel, we did this twice - however since the first name was for a girl, we had to think fast.  As JA listed names from Scripture, we would look up the meanings to find the perfect name for our little boy.  At the time we settled on Ezekiel Paul (until a nurse came into my room later that day and said "Ezekiel Paul Hall" - I am not into rhyming our children's names).  Thus his name was quickly changed to Ezekiel Peter.  He was named Ezekiel because the name means God has strengthened.  At the time, I took joy in the definition because I knew I would need strength to raise four kids.  Little did I realize it would not be me, but Ezekiel who greatly needed God's strength. You can read it here
 Ezekiel is my WILD Child.  Literally, he is my crazy, do what he wants kinda guy. He is his own little man - capable, in his own eyes, of doing whatever everyone else can do.

With his independent streak, he is also my imaginative one.  He will spend all day shooting bad guys, or sword fighting to his heart's content using anything that even remotely (or unremotely) resembles the item in question.

Ezekiel is also my clown. He absolutely loves to laugh, and enjoys nothing more than to get you to laugh with him. Whether it be by making the goofiest face you've ever seen, or surprising you with a tickle fest.
Ezekiel is a child with no fear - oh, he will act all shy and fearful if you try to force him to do something, but if left to his own, I have no doubt he would sit on the edge of a high cliff and enjoy the view.  He would probably sit their for hours if his bouncy self didn't fall off the cliff when he gets excited about seeing a bird or a buffalo :)

With Ezekiel, I can always know that he will enjoy the small things.  Whether it be a bird in the sky, a deer in the road, or especially a cow grazing in the field.  He is my happy boy (if he's not being terrorized by older siblings).
My precious little Ezekiel.  Born quickly and fighting for the abilities he has achieved - Ezekiel is a child of strength.  Trust me, if he is bowling towards you with a gleam in his eye, you had better step aside. He has a VERY hard head :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Six Month update

Gabriel is now almost seven months old.  At his six month appointment, he was 12 pounds -- just barely on the growth charts -- but in the 25% for height and weight.  All of my boys have been super small from three months to about 15 months.  As far as development, Gabriel logs in at about 8 months.  He is able to sit on his own, and he literally crawls all over the house.  He LOVES to eat.

Driving a semi

Playing on vacation

I love riding on mom's back

I love being able to turn my head and see mommy

Yummy apple while watching the ball game