Friday, September 28, 2007

Still Small Voice?

The alarm went off at *shudder* 3:30 this morning and the VERY tiny part of my brain that was SLIGHTLY awake rationalized that if I did not move, J would KNOW I wasn't getting up with him this morning and I wouldn't have to work up the energy to actually say so. Plus, not moving at all was very easy. BUT... I had to... um... pee... and that kept me awake. I argued with myself for a few minutes on the pros and cons of staying in bed anyway. I REALLY did not want to get out of my warm cozy bed. BUT, the knowledge that if I didn't get up right then and go, by the time I did get up (only a couple hours later, give or take one, or maybe two) my kidneys would be screaming at me. So, I got up. Then went DIRECTLY back to bed. And couldn't get back to sleep. *sigh* I would close my eyes and have all these thoughts about having to respond to the scene of an accident and the people involved be my children who were out with their aunt and I would instruct the ALS responders and our drivers to load my two children in my ambulance together so I did not have to choose between them. They could take the sister-in-law that was dumb enough to wreck her car with my babies in it.... Er... Oh.... Breath... I climbed on top of those thoughts, rebuked and prayed protection over my kids, my hubby and extended family. Then snuggled back into the bed, closed my eyes and attempted to sleep.... I then was either thinking (seriously, I can shut my brain off sometimes! I think.... If I try really hard.......) or dreaming about responding to an accident and the driver was not injured, just shaken and wanted to "sign off".

We always have to respond to a car accident once we are toned out for it, but sometimes people just get their car into a ditch, maybe deploy their airbags and are not really hurt, but it is always a good idea to just get looked over. We then advise them of their "rights" (no, not like Miranda Rights) tell them all of the possible things that could happen after a car accident, even if you don't feel bad then. Blah blah blah....

So, back to the thoughts/dreams/whatever..... I was talking to someone who had been in an accident and didn't want to go to the hospital and I was telling him how your brain will slosh around when you are involved in accidents like that. Your body is stopped by the seatbelt and/or airbag, but your brain has room to move (this would be the whole reason for "don't shake the baby....") so problems can become evident later. A few minutes after six our tones went off for a possible MVA and away I went. Half an hour later guess what I was doing? Yep, along with my team, explaining to this guy what his brain is like and what can happen with it. Huh.

One of the things that I have noticed is that many times I will be going about my day and the thought of getting called out will cross my mind or I'll just get this feeling that we will be called out sometime that day. When I do get that thought, we usually do get called out for something that day. So, I am thinking that those thoughts or feelings might be that "still small voice" from God. Now what? Am I just supposed to be prepared or is this something for me to be able to intercede for situations before-hand??

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

After picking up a few logs in the woods and getting her hands dirty (we had literally been there for five minutes) T said, "I think it is time for my Royal Bath." I think I might have a Royal Pain on my hands.....

And while we were downtown, Daddy Dearest bought a coke for JT and T to share. JT had a few sips and then handed the bottle to his Royal Sister and told her she could have the rest. Her response? "Sweet! Now I can back spit all I want!" Um, ew. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Can You Smell That?

I love this time of year.... Everything is cooling off, the leaves are turning and we spend our Saturdays in the woods..... Ok, I probably love every season... Spring everything comes back and smells so new and there is the promise of new life, Summer.... ah, Summer..... The sun, the warmth, how could you not love summer? Autumn when everything cools off and the crisp smell returns to the air. And winter.... The first snowfall is always gorgeous. Everything is so clean and white and beautiful. I love winter.... until about January 15 or so, but, unfortunately winter doesn't end then. At least not in THIS state. But, I digress... Back to Fall..... The colors of the leaves are so gorgeous! And last night when we opened the window it was so refreshing.... Close your eyes and breath in.... Can't you smell it? The damp earth, the apples, the fallen leaves, the sawdust and the cool breeze? And this is how we spend our weekends in the fall.... Sure, it is hard work, but we stay nice and cozy all winter long and there is something so rewarding about waking up Sunday morning and having that slight ache in your muscles to remind you that you FINALLY got that work out that you have been talking about doing for months.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Explanations for Hard Lessons

There are no explanations for why some things happen. At least no easy ones. But because my last post was so... odd... for me, I thought that titling this post "Explanations for Hard Lessons" was my best bet. It started Monday evening......

I was throwing dinner together (literally) because I had to be out the door within 20 minutes to get to school on time. I had not previously planned dinner better because I spent the better part of the day curled on the couch wishing to just pass out because I felt so sick. My family was not willing to accept an icky tasteless frozen lasagna. No offense if that is what any of you serve. There is nothing wrong with them, they are just an inappropriate fare in this household of stay-at-home mom and stay-at-home-and-learn-about-life-including-how-to-cook children. Daddy doesn't go for it. Tacos it was....

I had eaten and just finished brushing my teeth and J had come in to kiss me goodbye when our tones went off.... I grabbed my school books while the pager was still beeping and started towards the door, an ear tuned to the speaker, figuring we would do the run quickly and then I would head to school.... The EMT instructor would surely understand that I was late for being on a call...... Then the words came through the pager and started that cut right into my heart: "....Two year old struck by a vehicle and is not breathing...." Any one of those is bad, but to hear all three together is something we pray NEVER happens. At the scene and in the ambulance I felt absolutely helpless but did me best to be of help in every way possible and to not be in the way. And, oh, did I pray. And I wanted so badly to be able to lay my hands on his tiny body and speak life into him. With every press to his chest that my co-worker administered and with every breath of oxygen that I pushed in I asked God to breath life into him, so unwilling to take no as an answer but knowing that without a miracle, this child was gone. We left him in the care of God (he was really already with Him) and the doctors and nurses at the hospital and went outside. There any professionalism I may have been showing started cracking and cracking quickly. I despise crying in front of most people so I did my best to pull it together again, appreciating so much the support of the guys I was with for me and for each other. Every one of the EMT's on our crew has told me "talk about it. You HAVE to talk about this." And I have even had the same support from one of the H City paramedics that responded. For that, I am grateful. It is good to know that I am not taking this hard just because I am a girl.

At home I hugged my children so tight and I lost all shreds of "professionalism" and composure and wept. I desperately needed my husband who was back on the scene keeping the road closed and helping the investigators piece it all together. I contemplated calling my mom but, while shaking like a leaf, told myself that she was needed at her own home with my dad and younger brothers. I wanted very much to hang up on the person who told me right after I returned home that I need to pull myself together, get over it and pray for the family. Pray for the family, check. Pull myself together, check... in a little while. Get over it? Some say you don't ever "get over it". I can still see his tiny body and brown eyes and hear the anguished screams of his family as they were told that this little boy was dead. I am afraid that they are right.... you don't forget. You don't "get over it". But, part of me doesn't want to. I always want to realize how precious life is and how precious my children are. I want you to realize that as well. Without the lesson.

My mom came over yesterday and before she got there, I wanted to curl up on the couch, lay my head on her lap and have her play with my hair like she would when I was younger. When she got here I think I did the "pull myself together" thing again. I don't know why. I don't even think I realized I was doing it until I wanted to crawl right in her lap again the second she left. I did actually sleep last night, though, so that is good. I still woke up thinking about the boy and his family and the driver. Please, keep the family and the driver in your prayers. It was not the driver's fault. There was absolutely NOTHING that he could have done differently. Pray for the little boy's parents. He was in the care of his father at the time... Pray that his dad will not be beating himself up and overwhelmed with guilt. I have taken my two year old niece downtown, had her by my side, turned to push the unlock button and turned back to her to find her RUNNING and half way across the parking lot. It can happen to anyone. There is no blame. Pray for comfort and peace and healing. And hug the people you love. We really truly never know.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hard Lessons

Please, if you have young children, teach them the importance of obeying your voice immediately and of the dangers of the road. Please. Because so very easily they can learn just how dangerous it is too late. Some things are truly accidents and there is absolutely nothing that you can do differently. But, perhaps if you have the chance to teach them, even if it is for the millionth time, teach them to stay away. Train them to listen. It truly can be a matter of life and death.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Enlightened by JAG

It was a brisk evening as I sat basking in the bubbles of the hot tub and enjoying a conversation with my bride. I would have to say the talk was going well in the crisp air (or maybe i should say crunchy air) until it turned to the topic of Dixie cups and cereal (crunchy and/or soggy)! As the wife proceeded I kindly interrupted and changed the subject to something less, well how should I word this... STUPID comes to mind. So the next few minutes she began to tell me that it takes her an hour to print off our kids' school, being the library does not carry the short story's that the kids read. So I posed the question, "what short stories?" My wife replied "you know like the bet between the wind and the sun, stuff like that." Then she told me The Boy is reading the life story of Chris Columbus and how he sailed and landed on our continent in 1942. Now this is the women whom i love and have entrusted in the teaching of my children! Questions began to arise in my mind (and they came very quick). I thought, no wonder the thirteen colonies had such a hard time! They no more got started and the depression hit, then they had to go to World War Two! MAN we have prospered very fast. You know we are a blessed nation in that time line. I pulled my head off the back of the tub and looked at her and said in ultimate wisdom, "ah babe, what year was that?" and the wife gave me a "deer in the head lights look" and she replied slowly "1842?" I again in ultimate wisdom smiled and thought "I can have so much fun but its not nice to pick on those who went to prep schools." So after a few more tries she landed it JUST LIKE CHRIS DID. I was so proud of her as I was trying to hold the laughter in. So kids the lesson for today is always look both ways before shooting the spit wad in class! Because its obvious that she got caught and spent that vital day in detention. My wife is a little gullible at times which brings back to memory the great northern tree rabbit nest that we found in the back of her parents house... if you must know ask her. But she has one up on me she can spell and punctuate. My love to all.

From the front lines,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is a story that has been on several blogs lately and the original link is lost amidst all of the other links to everyone else's blogs that it is on. My goal today is not to be a blog copier, but rather to encourage you. What is it that you are doing that has you worn out and frustrated and feeling like YOU can't be seen anymore? I know there are plenty of days that I feel this way! Not entirely every day, which is good. Be encouraged today as you do what God has called you to do.

I’m invisible…….

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Pick me up right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going … she’s going … she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress;it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read — no, devour — the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals– we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”

And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Life Lesson

My children have never done this to me, but if they do, I now know EXACTLY how to handle it. Want to know what I know? Go here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day of School

Ok, so it isn't OUR first day, but I thought I would post this in honor of my little brother's first day. The other little brother went back to school last week. They still start before public schools, but the one thing they have changed since I graduated from there is they now have the little one day holidays. Must be nice.

I received a request for pictures of the kids' school area so I thought today would be the perfect opportunity. Don't they look like they are having a blast?? I thought so. :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Oh My

These looks SO COOL that I wish we were having another one JUST so I could get one of these. I mean, really, who wouldn't want one? Have I mentioned that these carriers look REALLY COMFORTABLE?? Now, she really has a nifty way of carrying a baby, but I am thinking that this MUST be better. Don't you??? These carriers are REALLY for sale!!

People are stupid sometimes. That's all I can say.