Monday, March 31, 2008

Now What?

This morning we were watching a friends little girl because they were at a funeral. Lately Noah has been crying for no reason at all. If he has the slightest boo-boo he has a melt down. We have been trying to ignore some of the outburst because nothing else is working. He and Miss S. were playing in his room when I heard the familiar whining. I gave it a second (Kayla and I were in the living room engaged in school) then he was fine. Then he was whining again. He did this a couple of times but he did not act like he was really hurt. I asked him to come here so that I could address the whining and talk to him. He did not come but he did stop fussing. I knew that with S in there (she is older) that she would let me know if there was a real problem. He actually started fussing again and out of frustration (not concern) I went to check on him. To my surprise I found S playing in the floor with no concern to the fact that Noah had scaled the crib and was unsure of where to go from there. I must seem cruel for not checking on him but this is the first time that his cries have meant there was a real problem. Kinda made me think of the "Boy that cried wolf."

After getting the video evidence for Dad I did help him down and we talked about why he should ask for help if he needs something from his puppy. I tell you that boy and his dog really do get into more trouble together. After the matter I asked S how he managed the climb. We had been suspecting that he was climbing but had no evidence of it. She said "he climbed on the toy box and then jumped to the bed." When he got there he had no where to go because mom had put one of his big toys in the crib to give them more play space.

So...I spent the rest of the day looking for a toddler bed and crying my eyes out because I was not ready to put him in a big boy bed. No luck with the bed. They are sold out everywhere I called or checked. For now we took the front of his crib off and are using it like a day bed. We thought his crib transitioned to a toddler bed when we purchased it. It doesn't- only concerts to a full. Now the search is on for a lasting solution, but for now this will have to do. Hopefully we are not about to regress when it comes to sleeping through the night.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pray for your children.

I just wanted to let everyone know that you can follow a link in the side bar of our blog that will take you to a site for a scripture to pray over your child/children every week. The power of a praying mother is unmatched. Especially when she is praying scripture. It is simple...just click on the link and read the prayer and scripture for the week. Then pray that prayer every day for your children. There is a new one every week at your fingertips. Try it out. You and your children will reap eternal rewards. If the prayer does not fit the age situation or your child just simply scroll down and find a different weeks prayer. Just remember that it is never to early to cover our children with prayer concerning things "to come". What better way to bless your children than to speak it over them so that they have heard those words spoken for them. Also speaking it out loud means that the enemy will hear it as well. Remember he is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient so it does us good to "speak up" in our prayers. Let us make sure that the enemy hears that we are speaking out against him.

I look forward to hearing how this is impacting you and your family. I have copied this weeks below to get you started.

Week of March 23, 2008

I pray that You would enable __________________ to live in ongoing forgiveness. I pray that they will forgive themselves for times of failure, and may they never blame You, Lord, for things that happen on this earth and in their lives. According to Your Word I pray that they will love their enemies, bless those who curse them, do good to those who use and persecute them, so that they may enjoy all Your blessings (Matthew 5:44-45). I pray that they will live in the fullness of Your forgiveness for them and walk in the freedom of forgiveness in their own hearts.

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." Ephesians 4:31-32

"Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25

Friday, March 28, 2008

Don't worry be HAPPY!

I'm not sure if these qualify for favorite photo Friday-but they sure make me smile. Let me explain these before you think that I have completely lost my mind. Thursday we played a new game that the 'Bunny" brought for our nieces. We had a really great time. The game is called Luck of the Draw. I must say that it really is pure luck as to who wins. Every one is given an item to draw. The first picture shown below is an example of one of the items. Everyone was supposed to draw "happy". So what ever that means to you that's what you draw. Then you roll a dice to determine how many categories the drawings will go through. For instance-the card might say most likely to see in an art show, obviously had too much time, or what side is up? The categories are endless and might have nothing to do with how much time and detail or how good the picture looks. So it really is based on the luck of the draw which is the category cards. Then every one has a chance to vote according to the card. When you vote all the pictures are in the middle so you never know who the picture belongs to. This is a lot of info and hopefully you get the idea. It is just a really fun game.

We were to draw "Happy"- my youngest niece was actually scared of this picture. The rest of us laughed every time we saw it. I just don't think you get any happier than this.

This picture you were supposed to draw a pigeon. The person that drew it said that they were thinking dove so that is why it is on the Ark. Either way that is one "risky" bird.

Bear? I think that his teeth are eating him.
Bear again. Or is it a dogbear?
Yes this is a used car. A very used car.
It is the simplest things in life that seem to bring us the biggest laughs. I can't wait till we get to play this again. We may need to buy this and have our friends over soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snorting gold dust!

I'm kind of behind on my post this week. There has been so much to write about but I just haven't been up to it. I will try to catch up and then tie in todays post.
Spring break we did a lot of cleaning and organizing. We really needed it and it still needs more work. Actually we need to have a garage sale...of course that requires more time and energy than I have these days. We also did a little shopping to get ready for Easter and the numerous birthday parties that we attended. Kayla had some friends over and then Daniel came to see us while his parents flew to California for a funeral.

Easter was busy but fun. We had a house full of people and more food than an army could eat. I made homemade B-B-Que beef sandwiches and others brought homemade potato salad, baked beans, chips, drinks, and every dessert know to man. We still have left overs. The kids played outside off and on and then we hunted easter eggs.

The weekend was spent tag teaming Olivia because she had fifths disease, tonsillitis, and 103 fever. The poor thing was miserable. Mom had bought her a "princess" dress for easter since she has always been daddy's little princess. This was her first easter with out dad and now she is covered in a rash and for the most part to sick to get out of bed. Thanks to many prayers she was a little better on Sunday but still sported her rash. Since we only had service she came and sat with mom in service. (By the way she was not contagious and the fever was from a sinus infection). No one had the heart to tell her that she could not go to church on easter or that she had to miss the big easter egg hunt. I must say that she was the most beautiful polka-doted princess my eyes have ever seen. Since Olivia was still running a fever she stayed with us Sunday night and Monday. I was able to take her to the Dr Monday so that mom did not have to miss any more work. She was better by Wed and was able to go back to preschool.

Tuesday I was supposed to start bible study again but was just too tired to get going. I skipped. I have never done that before. I really look forward to bible study days. Needless to say by Tuesday night I was really not feeling well. Wednesday morning I woke up with a sinus infection that knocked me on my rear. I actually spent most of the say in bed. I did take the kids to the park that morning so that Noah could run off some energy. Then came home and went to bed. Kayla was a huge help and James was home by 2:30. I was hurting so bad that every joint in my body ached and and I was just weak.

James had taken Thursday off because I had made an appointment to see my Dr about the asthma attacks that I am still having. The worst part is that I now have the sinus infection so I'm not sure that they will be able to work on the other problems until the infection is gone.

So the downer part of Thursday came when I did not receive the results I was expecting from the Doctor. Still no answers and pretty much the same meds that didn't help last time. However this time he did start me on two weeks of Advair (thankfully it was a sample). More steroids- just lost the weight that I gained from the last round of steroids that lasted 7 weeks. He also wrote me a prescription for a nose spray. He gave me samples last time one sample this time but told me to fill the script. The sample he gave me should last two weeks. When I went in to pick up the meds I almost passed out when they gave me by total. It was $136 in co-pays. We have great insurance so I told her that could not be possible. She explained it all and it was correct. The problem was one is not even covered by insurance (asthma related but only need it one time). The other was the nose spray that is a $50 co-pay every two weeks. Needless to say I gave them back their nose spray and said that there was no way I was spraying $100 up my nose every month. I might as well snort gold dust for that matter. By the way I was nice about it, just not going there. The thing that upset me the most is that I just want my singular "that actually works" and only cost $30 month. I was very frustrated and do not feel like we got any where today. I am going to call my insurance tomorrow and see if I can just go to a ENT and by pass the PCP. (insert update- I now have an appointment with an ENT mid May)

After my appointment James and I went to be with a friend of ours who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer about a month ago. They did surgery to remove the tumor today. The surgery lasted about 6 hours but they were able to get it all. They had to take more than they expected but he was in real good spirits and should be better in about 10 days. We praise God for the answered prayers and continue to pray for his healing. We also pray that the growth will not return. God is good and we do praise him for this victory for this precious family. (update again- our friend C had a rough night following surgery. The pain medicine made him very ill. Please pray for his healing and comfort. We praise God for the words-cancer free when he left but do hope that his recovery is quick and as painless as possible.)

Tonight we had some friends over and played a new board game that they got from the "bunny". We had a blast and really needed a good laugh. I will post pictures in another post. The pictures are pretty funny. I think that we are going to have to get the game for our family. Everyone really can play this game. In fact the little kids were skunking us!

This was a lot for one post. Maybe I can keep up better this next week, but for now this will have to do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Reserection Day!

Kayla & Noah ~ Easter 2008
Kayla & Noah ~ Easter 2007 (they have grown so much)

Easter goodies!
Kayla still in awe of her easter goodies
Mom, this basket is really getting heavy!

Mark 16:5-6 (NIV)

5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

Happy Easter,
Love the Milner Family

The one that didn't get away!

Fishing with the guys
James catch of the day weighing in at 45 pounds
Yes, that's right 45 pounds
This guy is a little hard to hang onto
James' smallest catch of the day

Every good fisherman has a BIG fish tale. You know the tale about the one that got away but you never see the fish. Well this time they have the tale and the pictures to prove it. I have to say that if I had not seen the pictures I would never had believed the stories. Although there is further proof in the deep freeze. What in the world am I going to do with that much fish? We don't even eat fish...unless you count Long John Silvers or one of the local cat fish places. Even then it's not our first choice for dinner. At least I don't have to clean it. That was included in the trip.

The trip actually took longer than they planned. Evidently you have to fill out paper work when the fish you catch is a lake record. Maybe even a state record. The last fish catch of the day weighed in at 76 pounds and was caught by the guy that invited them on the all expenses paid fishing trip of a life time. Thanks Brett. they had a great time.

The guys had a great time-a little sore. I guess it is a lot of work to real in 45+ pounds of flailing fish. Somehow I think that the photos and stories are all worth a little soreness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let the Good TImes Roll

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A fun packed weekend with all the kidos!

Isn't he too cute!Playing Barbies
At least he picked the boy Barbie
Growing up so fast
Stop Uncle James stop! That tickles!
I have to say that we have had a really great weekend. We started out Friday night at the park with miss Abbie and her parents just having fun. We followed that up with some of our favorite Mexican food. Noah actually ate a huge soft taco and a full helping of beans and rice...then finished off mine. I am certain that I will have to get a part time job to feed him in a few years. I would worry that he is eating too much but he is self regulating. He will not eat past a certain point and it varies day to day. He also uses so much energy in a day that he surely burns it off. (As I type he is trying to climb the wood trim in the entry. Wow! I was not fully informed when I prayed for a boy.

Friday night Kayla and I watched No Reservations after Noah and James went to bed. It was fun to hang out together. It was a good movie, we both enjoyed it, but it still hits too close to home. Once you have been through a loss up close and personal you just don't view death the same way. It really triggered some memories that I had forgotten existed. I think there was just too much to process so a lot of it got pushed down. I will be plugging along and something will trigger a memory or emotion and then I have to decide if I'm going to process it or just tuck it away again. I must say more than not it gets tucked away because I just don't want to be sad anymore. I was able to talk to Kayla about the night that Danny died. We really don't talk about the details. We just kinda focus on what we need to do for our friends. I actually didn't even know how Kayla found out. I just remember the phone call and then leaving and being gone for awhile. I couldn't even remember how many days we were gone. I had to ask her. Anyway after watching the movie and talking about some of the details I was awake most of the night. Just too much to process. I knew that the next night would be hard too since we would have the kids. I love having them stay with us, we really enjoy them. This time it was work related not emergency related so we were able to enjoy the kids with out worrying about mom. However when we have them it is a reminder that Danny is gone. He lives through their faces and smiles and when you are tucking them in at night it is just more than our hearts can bear sometimes. Okay see sometimes it just comes out of no where. We really did have a great weekend...I just need to stop watching sad movies where people die. Have you noticed how hard that is these days. There are so many out right now, or maybe we are just more sensitive to it.

Back to our fun filled weekend...

Saturday we headed out to get the guys hair cut before we met up with Aunt Ber. She had to work Sunday because they were moving the hospital and needed all staff so we were keeping the kids. We went to lunch with Ber and the kids (her treat since we were keeping the kids-thanks it was yummy). Then we all went to see the new Dr. Seuss movie. Noah just giggled and giggled. He really enjoyed it until he bit his lip eating popcorn and then he was done. After that we came home with all the kids and played. Ber got to see a grown up movie that night since we had the kids and then she spent Sunday at work.

The kids played well and ate well but some how it is just a little more hectic with 5 kids than it is with 2. Bath time was a little crazy since little man wanted to sleep. It was only 7 though and I was not willing to give in yet. We managed to keep him up until 8:45. His usual bedtime is 9 and then he's up at 5:30. But at his Aunt Ange's house he sleeps till 7. That's right 10 hours. Way to go little man.

We actually made it to church early and that was with 5 kids and me making breakfast for our ABF class. Was not thinking that one through when I signed up. Actually no one had signed up this week and since James teaches we usually fill in the slots that are empty. After church we had family skate day so we came home ate and changed. We were 1/2 late but the kids didn't seem to mind. They were so tired and ready to go when it was over. This was Noah's and Olivia's first time to roller skate so it was an adventure. They did very well...only a few meltdowns. Noah was a pro in minuets. He actually did better with no one helping him. After that Kayla and Hanna had another friend come home with them and they hung out on the trampoline or in her room the rest of the afternoon. Noah was exhausted and napped. This meant that mom had a quiet room and a TV to herself. It was a slice of heaven to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. I made it almost to the end. It's okay though it is on the DVR so I can finish it later. All in all it was just a good weekend. Lots of playtime with the kids. We are looking forward to Spring Break-no teaching-lots of organizing-playing-and hopefully good weather. We may even sneak in some's favorite.

Guess what Kayla is doing for Spring Break?

Guess what happens when you tell your kids that they need to get rid of things that they don't use? That's right they actually play with them again. I'm beginning to think that the wiser move would have been to just go through them and get rid of them. They did have a good time though and it is kinda refreshing to see them enjoy "their little girl " stuff instead of cell phones and and computers. I have to admit that most days I just don't know how we went from little girl to teenager (well almost teenager). By the way just so she is not totally devastated that I posted this...they did clean up and it usually doesn't look that bad. We are however going to go through everything in her room this week and clean out. She has out grown so much of her stuff and we just haven't had time to go through it in awhile. She has run out of room to keep things organized. I am actually looking forward to no school this week so that we can catch up on our organizing. Hopefully we will keep focused the first couple of days so that we can just hang out the last part of the week.

Oh Mom!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fun Pics

Hey Dude? How's it going?
Noah is that you? Hey what happened to your hair...and the Puppy...
what about Sissy?

Isn't it obvious that they visited Aunt April. I mean how else could you explain the craziness. Thanks Aunt April for the fun pictures. It looks like everyone (except puppy that is) had fun while we were slaving away in Thailand. You know... sweating away on the beach and all. Any way we were happy to see that you found a way to pass some time. Only one more question? Where are the pictures of you and Uncle Bill?

Missing our new friends & far off places.

One of the views from our hotel suit
This pool is right below our balcony-well several stories below
This is the boat that our group rented to go to Coral Reef Island
Relaxing on the Island

Yet another view of another pool from our suite. I think that the resort had four pools.

Friday it will be a month since we left International soil and landed on US soil. It really was the longest Valentine's Day that we have ever had. To leave on the 14th and to land on the 14th while traveling 30 plus hours is just surreal. Jet lag is finally coming to an end. We are sleeping better though the time change certainly threw us a curve ball. I would have never believed that it would take so long to re-adjust. My stomach is settled and smells are not bothering me like they were. I was really surprised that I still had trouble with smells after coming home to things that should be familiar. I would say that I had lost my mind but others in our group have had the same problem. I still have the weirdest dreams though. The other day I told someone that I had the best Thai food and was even telling them about the guy who made it. A few minuets into the conversation I realized that I never even ate Thai food while I was there. Eventually it dawned on me that that was actually a dream that I had. The food was really good though. In the dream that is.

Now that we are able to process those two weeks I really miss the place. It was difficult to be away from the kids and the things of Dt. Coke and protein that you can recognize. On the other hand there are so many things that we do miss.

The views- of the ocean, the main land, and the pools

Going into the city- the strange things that we would discover, the taxi rides, a ton of laughs

Outings- paint ball, water parks, bowling- we miss feeling like old teenagers. Believe me we felt old!

Connecting with the group- we had a lot of time to get to know one another

Our new friends- this is what we miss the most. It's hard to believe that after spending two weeks with them (one week being 24 hours a day) that we may never see them again. Oh how I wish that we could hug their necks just one more time.
We also really miss the stories that were shared, and the work that we were doing. It has forever impacted our hearts and minds. There are frames in my mind that I pause and just reflect on. I do not know if I will ever get to experience moments like that again and they are just priceless.

I wish that we were able to share our hearts but it just isn't possible at this time. For now we are only able to share in person and will do so should any one ever desire to hear more. For now we are just grateful to have had an opportunity to serve and look forward to more opportunities in the future.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

All Boy!

We are not really sure how the big boo-boo happened. Noah woke me up Monday morning crying-which he never does. He was in his crib with his pillow, blanket, and puppy. Therefore we are not sure how he pulled this one off. It is looking better but I think that Easter pictures are on hold for a little bit longer. Dad told Noah that he should not talk smack to puppy. The humor in that is that he and puppy are very passionate. Sometime we playfully ask Noah if he and puppy need to be alone. I am serious as a heart attack. The boy loves his puppy and is not afraid to show it. The bad thing about this is that he actually loves every puppy (yes even the real thing) this passionately. What can I say the boy loves puppies.

Another really cute thing that he does. If he is sitting on the potty and he is tired of mom telling him to try to go poop he sighs and says "mom, I'm just so tired!" His language is really picking up. He has no problem telling sissy to "get out." He informed her that this morning because he need to brush his hair and teeth. Something is wrong with this picture. Isn't it supposed to be the preteen telling the two year old to get out. By the way he does get corrected but it is kinda cute funny. We just don't tell him that.

Cetching up on the last few days.

Noah was such a happy boy Saturday. He loved playing outside. He stayed with his friend Abbie while we were at the cabin. He was playing outside when we came to get him. He fell asleep on the way home but when he woke up from his nap the first thing he asked to do is go outside. The temp was cooling off but he was determined. He even put his own shoes on. While we were outside he jumped on the trampoline and then wanted to swing. This was a surprise because he used to cry and act terrified in them. I guess he is over that. Before we came in he went to the pool and said up. I did not give into that one. It is warm- but not that warm. We are really looking froward to the warm weather. We were really spoiled to have spent two weeks in the tropics. I can't say that we miss Thailand but we really miss the weather!

Potty training is still going great. He has only had a few accidents. Tonight he came and got me while he was playing and told me he had to go. Wow! I have to say I was not expecting this to go so well so quickly.

Today we went to a consignment sale in Fayetteville. Since we were close to UA we had lunch with James. We were discussing where to eat when Noah piped in "Acambaro". It was so clear and he just kept saying it every time we talked about going some where else. No we didn't is too far away for the time that we had. After lunch James wanted to take Noah in to see the folks that he works with. Well let me just say that the little dude made out with two toys, candy, and an orange. He was very proud of himself and even had the ladies (in skirts and heels) down on the floor playing with him and his new toys. He proves over and over to be our little Latin charmer. By the way all the toys came from men so he even has some pull in that department as well.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Day To Remember.

Today is a day of remembering. I wish that I could say that all the memories that surround this day are pleasant. Some are wonderful and I will cherish them forever while others are still very painful.

Today marks 15 years of commitment to my husband and best friend. By the way just in case it needs clarifying this is the memory that I cherish. For those that have known us for the duration or even part of the duration you know that this journey has not always been easy. As a couple we have faced many obstacles (including but not limited to 8 years of infertility and 10 years of fighting for James' health). Of course there are the typical things that couples face...finances, in-laws, life with children (and sometimes without), grief, sex, hurt feelings, stress from jobs, or stress that occurs from staying at home full time and pretty much anything else that causes a relationship to become strained. Also if you know us well you know that God gave us both a stubborn streak a mile wide and a mile long. This can be very taxing on a couple and those around them. However with that stubborn streak comes a desire to never give up.

Because of our age people usually seem shocked when we tell them how long we've been married. The first thing that we usually like to clarify is that we did not "have to" get married. There was no rush- other than the fact that heart disease runs in James' family and if we want to celebrate 50 years then we were going to have to get a move on it. Actually we just knew that we wanted to spend our lives together and that it couldn't start soon enough. We knew each other about four years before we started dating and had become good friends while James was away on summer missions. When he came back and we decided to go on a date we had the advantage of knowing each other without the physical part getting in the way. I would like to believe that we were both easier to look at back then.

Looking back on the last 17 years I can see how much God had his hand on both of us. There is no doubt that God ordained our marriage and that his grace and mercy has covered us all these years. What started as two very young and immature kids that were focused on each other and what we wanted has turned into two young adults trying to focus on what God wants. We have not arrived but the focus has certainly shifted. I am so grateful for a God whose love and patience far exceeds our own.

I am overwhelmed that God would allow two broken people to come together and serve him. I am humbled that God has given me a helpmate that will stand beside me, that will comfort me, guide me, encourage me, help me, forgive me, trust me, and love me unconditionally. I am grateful for each and every day that God allows me to be a wife to my best friend.

With 15 years of marriage comes the reality that life gets in the way. As we remember pledging our commitment to one another our dear friend and sister in Christ is remembering the day that changed her live forever. Six months ago tonight we received the tragic news that our good friend Danny had died suddenly. As we celebrate... another family morns. This is not to say that we are not grieving the loss of Danny today. It is just not the same kind. We are looking forward to what the year holds for us as a couple while she is faced with another day that reminds her that her helpmate is gone. This day speaks to me more loudly than an other day. It tells me not to take one day with my man for granted. To forgive quickly and fuss about details less. To not waste time arguing and to spend more time listening. Loosing so many friends at such a young age that have left behind a spouse and children should cause us to not take one single second for granted. We just don't know how much time we have with the people that we love. Instead of planning out the next year of our life which is borrowed time we are trying to ask God each day what do you have for me today. If we focus on yesterday or we wait for tomorrow then we are only loosing precious time that we can never get back. It is humbling to know that a widow's only wish is to have one more chance to talk to her husband when so many times we pass up the opportunity to have so much more with our own spouse. We miss Danny, Eric, Miriam, and Granddad but we chose to live life more abundantly because God has used each of these precious lives to teach us not to take what time we have for granted.

I encourage those of us who God has blessed with one more day to not only treasure it but do something with it. Make a difference in the life of someone each day. So often we get busy doing life and forget that life is about impacting others for Christ. Weather it is your children, your spouse, or someone else that you love stop today and make sure that they know how much you love them. When you or one of them is gone it won't matter if the bed was made or if the dishes were done. All that will matter is the impact that we made in the life of those around us. Unfortunately many days the only impact that I make on my family compares to that of a tornado leaving behind chaos.

Because of His Grace