Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Mr. Workman and I were discussing tonight (well, this morning), how our measuring of a good Christmas has changed through the years.  We mused that Christmas used to be measured by things like....how good the gifts were, how tasty the food was, and how much fun the gatherings were.  It amazes us that we now measure Christmas by things like how much time we got to spend doing fun holiday stuff with the kids, having resources to have good gifts for each child, and getting to share the Biblical Christmas story with our children.  By the current measuring stick we had an amazing Christmas! 

Serious Christmas celebrations started with a get together at my parents home on Thursday.  Then Friday night, my folks came to visit and as is traditional we opened gifts after dinner.  As part of this tradition, dinner is take out and usually pizza.  This year it was pizza, pasta and bread sticks.  Then after dinner we rearranged the family room furniture and passed out gifts.  We usually start with the youngest and go to the oldest, but this year we skipped Nate until after Grace because he was being so good watching everyone else. 

The twins seemed confused at first, but after a few packages, they were ready to play and it was hard to keep them busy opening more while Grand-dad and Dad assembled and added batteries to toys.  The race track, that I almost didn't buy for them, surprised me by being the twins and Matt's favorite toy.  Matt got a "Cozy Coup" car and wanted to take it outside to play immediately.  He was pretty disappointed when we told him no because it is dark and very cold. 

Matt was our most excited child and he kept asking, "Mine?"  When we said yes, he would smile so big.  David was our next most excited and he was definitely the easiest to photograph.  He knows the "drill" and was facing me as he opened most of his gifts.  Jon obviously didn't realize that he was included too because when Corrine brought him his first gift, well...he almost leaped out of his chair!  Jon loved everything!  I had picked out two awesome toys for him that had buttons that he can reach and press.  Jon approves of my choices and has played with them non-stop.

Vanessa got a doll and lots of clothes including a fuzzy pink sweater, which she hugged when she opened the box.  It was very cute!  Hannah's favorite gift was a pair of super soft, fuzzy socks that Grace had gotten for her.  Corrine loved it all and Grace got an unusually large gift...a laptop!  She thought we had wrapped her Christmas in my old laptop box so she did not realize that she actually got a laptop until she reached in the box.  Great fun!

Nate opened his gifts last, after the other kids, and he was more interested in Jon's toys and the ribbon than in his gifts.  However, by Christmas morning he was ready to play with his too. 

Christmas Day was filled with kids playing with new toys, watching new movies and sharing a huge turkey dinner.  What a great celebration!

Luke 2:4-14

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rain on my parade

No matter how rarely it happens, it happens too often.  It causes a dull hurt that I usually avoid to coming rushing forward into full consciousness with great pain.  When I was in high school, there was a grocery store that I avoided because this seemed to happen a lot when I went there to shop.  What am I talking about?  Well let me tell you what happened this time and then my pain may make more sense.

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, Mr. Workman and I were attending a church Christmas dinner at a buffet style restaurant.  The kids were excited and Vanessa used her walker from the parking lot to the back meeting room which was a LONG walk.  We were all excited for her.  Our whole church group clapped, whistled and cheered as she walked into the banquet room.  Each of them have prayed and shared in the journey with us with all our kids so they know what a big step has occurred for Vanessa.  Christmas cards and well wishes were exchanged along with enjoying a great meal with great conversation and laughter.  It was a great day!

Then we gathered our crew and were making our way to the front doors.  It was indeed like a parade!  Daddy with Nate and his oxygen, Corrine with the twins in their stroller, David with Matt & Hannah, Grace with Jon, and finally me with Vanessa all traveling together in a line to the front door.  Then an older gentleman stopped me and told me that he went to an amazing church and he offered me a business card for the church.  I recognized the church.  I explained to the man that I was glad he had a great church and we have a great church too, in fact we had just finished a wonderful meal with our church family.  He looked disappointed, and walked away. 

Then this gentleman somehow cut around the tables and stopped Mr. Workman.  He began with the same introduction and Mr. Workman gave him the same response that I had.  The gentleman responded shaking the business card, "Listen I had cancer, this pastor prayed and the cancer is gone...something to think about with the crew you have."  Mr. Workman took the card, smiled and walked on....BUT there IT was AGAIN! 

It is so frustrating and hurtful that apparently some people believe we would be better, happier people if everyone could, walk, talk, see, hear and be "normal".   Even more frustrating is the failure of this man of faith to recognize the healing that we have already enjoyed.  We have experienced many miracles in our family and Daddy was carrying one HUGE miracle...Nate!  Furthermore, these miracles were performed by God, not by our pastor.  Sure our pastor and church anointed with oil and prayed, but God did the work.

As a mom, these "faith healers" are even more hurtful to me than when they just try to "heal" me.  Like any mom, I think my kids are about perfect and for anyone to suggest that they would be better another way is a BIG insult.  I know one thing for sure and that is that the Lord has given my kids (or will give them) everything they need to complete His plan for their life...I don't want them waiting on some pastor to try to give them something that God in His Divine plan knew was not needed. 

Illness needs healing, like Nate's heart and lungs.  Conditions like Downs Syndrome and cerebral palsy are a part of who the person is...just like hair or eye color.  To pray for healing would be like praying for eye color to change (or bigger boobs like the cartoon).  Many times people have prayed for my limbs to be "restored", and then they have told me that it didn't happen due to my lack of faith.  When I told them that I just prayed that they would grow another arm and it didn't happen so they may have faith issues too, then these same people say I'm mocking them and God.  In an attempt to avoid appearing to mock God, I now just pray that God will give them manners and teach them gently about faith. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. --Psalms 139:14

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. --James 5:14,15

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.--Philippians 4:19

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Buzz....

The upcoming Christmas celebration has our house buzzing!  The kids are so excited. We are so excited!  BUT the volume is unbelievable!  Ed's parents gives us money each year to buy the kids gifts from them.  My parents do most of their own shopping, but I help with part of it, especially for ones like Jon and Hannah.  Then I shop from us.  As the piles of presents grow so does the curiosity of the kids.  However, they have all done well to leave the presents alone, except for one....Baby Nate!  He can reach one stack in our bedroom and as soon as I put him on the floor (no matter where) he crawls as fast as he can for our room and that stack of presents. 

I'm behind on getting Christmas cards out due to a Mr. Workman turning off the power during an update and corrupting the file with our Christmas DVD.  Hopefully, by the end of this week, Christmas cards and DVDs will be in the mail.  It has been stressful making a whole year's worth of video in a couple weeks.  Everyone will just have to be understanding that this year's DVD will not be the usual style or quality, but there will be a DVD!

This week we will also start the beginning of making Christmas goodies.  The kids are all excited, especially Corrine and David who are my two main kitchen helpers.  We have our groceries and they are ready to mix, bake, and most importantly TASTE all the treats.

This coming Sunday is the Christmas program and there is still many preparations to be made for it!  In fact, I'm a bit overwhelmed thinking about it since our kids made up a majority of the cast!

I've been looking for some elves to come help me and the older kids get the Christmas tree up this year.  So far I haven't found any elves, but hopefully yet this week.  Mr. Workman works every weekend until Christmas due to debate tournaments so he won't be able to help decorate until right before Christmas, and I hate to say, "Honey, now that your vacation is finally here, I've got a few thousand things for you to do..lets start with the tree."  We did agree that this year we would skip the outdoor decorating and some of the "not baby proof" upstairs decorations like the foyer tree and my snowmen collection.  But the upstairs ledge is lined with poinsettias as is the table (15 in all) and some of my favorite wall hangings are up so it definitely looks like Christmas.

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day;
their old familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet the word repeat
of peace on earth, good-will to men!"--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Yesterday was such an emotional day....I have not cried that much in a long time and for such a variety of reasons! 

First tears of my day came from news that a 10 year old with schizencephaly (same condition as Vanessa) had passed away overnight after a sudden acute complication/illness.  His mother is a part of a group of moms who all have kids with this rare congenital brain malformation.  We all communicate regularly with each other so even though we live hundreds and even thousands of miles apart we feel a close bond.  We can share things that most people wouldn't understand because other people would still be asking what schizencephaly is/if it can be fixed/etc.  We share fears, victories, ideas and most importantly we share a hope that the specialist don't usually have for our children.  Hope is probably our strongest bond, but this year the group has also shared grieving...too much grieving for one year.  Tears had just flowed for a beautiful angel in October, but now again so close to Christmas.

The second tears of my day came as I updated Nate's Caringbridge.  It has been 1 year since his open heart surgery.  I re-read entries from a year ago causing tears and prayers of thanksgiving.  It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the surgery.  So many milestones...1st tooth, crawling, sitting, more teeth, pulling up, babbling, and growing to double his pre-surgery weight and over 9" in height!  So many sicknesses...bronchiolitis, fevers, ear infections, pneumonias and with the support of praying friend, Nate fighting it all off!  I don't know if I have mentioned it lately, but he is one of the sweetest babies in the world!  Nate is such a blessing to our family!
Out to see the movie "Tangled"

The last tears of the day were brought by Vanessa.  She did something ordinary for most folks, but extraordinary for her.  Something that has been a goal of mine for her.  She went out to do something in the community without her wheelchair, without being carried...she went to a movie using only her walker!  I know the irony of a wheelchair-using mom having the closely held goal of her child walking, but you have to remember that I was able to walk from about age 2 to 7 with a brace and then from age 8 to 17 with a prosthesis.  I know the freedom that being able to stand and walk without physical assistance will bring to Vanessa.  Our next goal is to go to Wal-Mart with her walker to buy some clothes, but we will probably wait until after the holidays.  She needs more time to build up her endurance and she currently has me worried that she is having some new seizure activity.  Please keep her in your prayers as we get a new EEG after the holidays.  I'm praying that I'm just an overly anxious mom and that she is not having seizures.  She is such an amazing kid!