Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Wakeup Call

I have done a bad job taking care of myself.  I really do feel selfish when I stop to do things for me.  However, I think I am finally beginning to get over it.   I had a BIG wakeup call a few weeks ago.  It came from my dear Randy.  He woke up out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night thinking thyroid medication.  Randy questioned me about my medication and was none to happy to hear that I hadn't taken it in a long time.....probably 2 years.  I believe this was from the Lord....because this is not like Randy.  He never thinks about stuff like that.   I initially thought it had been about year since I had taken my medicine but after talking with my doctors office and scheduling an appointment I realized it has probably been closer to 2 years. 

Shortly after I had Audrey my blood work was a mess.  They thought it was probably from having so many babies so close together and waited a while.  When things didn't improve they tested my thyroid.  Turned out I had they killed my thyroid with iodine.  Then I continued to be tested.  Like most people who have their thyroid killed, I ended up having hypothyroidism.  I was prescribed medication for that and we toyed with the medication to get the right dosage and I was given a year subscription.

Well, all was well.....until it came time for my 1 year checkup.  Which I missed.  Then I kept forgetting to reschedule.  Then my doctor moved offices.  I just never rescheduled....and I never really thought about it again.  I thought I was fine.  Ocationally I would have a passing thought about "I wonder if it matters that I'm not taking that medicine...." but that was about it.
I was busy raising a young family.
I was busy with life.
I was feeling okay.
It wasn't a priority.
So....then came Randy's revelation.

So I promptly scheduled an appointment with my doctor, who is a specialist and who also happens to be my beloved neighbor from my parents old house.....and he's getting ready to retire!  But I got an appointment for the end of July. father-in-law who is also a doctor....thought I needed to have blood work sooner so I could go to the appointment armed with that information....and could be ready for treatment.

ANYWAY....skip a lot of details.....and it turns out.....I have hypothyroidism....which is no surprise....BUT it is evidently pretty bad.  Evidently numbers over 4 are consider hypothyroidism....mine are 67=not good. 
Its actually REALLY bad.
It has been a wakeup call for me.
Several people have said they do not know how I've managed to function....and that I must feel horrid.

Hmmmm......I honestly don't know.  I wouldn't describe myself as feeling horrid.

Freezing cold....yes. 
In a fog....yes.
Somewhat down....yes. 
Weight gain issues....yes. 
Dry skin....yes.

However it may be a case of I don't realize what it is to feel good so I don't realize how bad I feel.  I just wrote everything off as I'm at a busy stage of life and I should be tired.....Well we shall see.  So I'm on medicine and still have my appointment scheduled with the specialist/neighbor.  So the ball is rolling.

Randy asked today if I was feeling better.  I've been on the medicine for about 3 days.  No.  I don't feel different but I would think with numbers as high as mine are that it will take a while to regulate. The one thing different is Hope.  I do have hope.  I hope that I will feel better......

This whole episode got me thinking about how I need to take better care of myself and how it's not selfish but necessary so that I can take care of my family and do the work the Lord has for me.

So I am resolving to take better care of myself. 
And futhermore to try not to feel guilty about it.

PS.  I am not interested in gym memberships, Paleo diets, or Shakes.....but I love you all!

PSS.  I am interested in your prayers....your friendships.....and your encouragement!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wedding Bells

Thursday Eno had its annual intrasquad swim meet

This years theme...
Brides versus Grooms...

Needless to say we were a family divided!

Everyone swam hard!

Fun was had by all....

This is "Chip" and "The Ole Block"

The Brides pulled off the victory

and a certain flower girl....can't wait to be ON the team!
Next year year!

All the siblings are real troopers
The swim meets are hot and long!

Saturday was filled with more swim team fun

The Orcas won their first meet of the season against the Hope Valley Hurricanes!!!

Way to go Orca's!

They celebrated at Cici's Pizza

Fun was had by all!

Gearing up for the final two weeks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Think I Made a New Friend

So changing churches is a lonely business.  There is a definite loss and grieving that goes along with the process.  So we've been visiting a particular church for the last month or so and this week Randy was going to be out of town on Sunday.  So to go or not to go was the question?  Hmmmmm  The kids were exhausted from a super busy week and so was I.  I was really tempted to sleep in and just skip. I was also VERY anxious.  I was scared.  I didn't really know anyone and this church has Sunday School for the children but then the kids go into the worship service with the parents and 4 of my children do fine....but one of my children is VERY wiggly....and VERY talkative....and I was VERY anxious.   I talked to Randy about it and he said that it was fine but I could tell he wanted me to go....he just wasn't going to pressure me.
So......I prayed about it.  I prayed that if the Lord wanted us to go we would wake up and be well rested and then I went to bed....
So.....needless to say I woke up well rested and so did everyone else.  So we reluctantly dressed and loaded into the car and set off.
I was REALLY nervous! went well.  Andrew ran right off to his group.  Sophie went into her class without any tears!  Jackson, Lydia, and Audrey tore into the nursery.  Then I had to go to my class.....alone.  My throat was tight.  I felt winded.  I really thought I may have a panic attack.  So I got a sip of water, took a deep breath, walked in and sat down.  It was difficult.....but I did it.  Right after Sunday School I ran to collect all the kids and go to worship.  I spent the entire service a ball of nerves.  Because Andrew didn't show up after Sunday School.  What happened?  Was he okay?  Where was he?  I was counting on him being there to sit between Lydia and Audrey.  It was just me and them.....and it went fine.  Andrew ran down right after service and told me he misunderstood.  He thought we were supposed to meet up in the balcony and he had arrived late from his class and didn't want to interrupt the service by coming down.  Whew!  I felt better.  We had made it.  Everyone was safe.  Now we could go home.  We survived. 
A sweet lady behind me asked how long we had been attending this church.  I recognized her from the pool and had seen her in the halls of the church but didn't really know her....she was just a familiar face.  I told her that we had only been visiting for a few weeks and she said them too!  It turns out our first Sunday was her first Sunday.  We laughed.  We both assumed the other had been there for years.  Nope!  We were both brand new!  Since then we've gotten to know each other a little.  We have had several chances to sit and talk and I really like her.  She has 2 sweet girls the ages of my youngest girls, she home schools, she lives nearby, she seems very down to earth....very sweet..she is somewhat reserved.....and very real, I really like her.  I'm  glad Randy and the Lord encouraged me to face my fears and go last Sunday.  I'm really glad that she was brave enough to strike up a conversation.  I think I made a new friend and I am really happy about that.
So this week I guess I get to try again!  Randy is going to be away again!  My new friend is going to be out of town.  But now I'm feeling much braver and much more optimistic!  Amazing what having a friend can do for you.  Maybe I'll be really brave and strike up a conversation and make another friend!  We'll see!

Hope your having a good week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Swim Team

We are in the heart of swim season and the Stewart kids are all swimming.
Andrew is doing his 9th year of swim team.
Sophie has started her 3rd year.
Jackson and Lydia are doing their first year
Audrey is taking swim lessons!
So needless to say we are spending LOTS of time at the pool and going through LOTS of sunscreen!

Swim meets are fun and hot and loooonnnng!
We arrived at the pool at 7:00 Saturday morning and were back home at 2:00.
Lydia swims Freestyle, Backstroke,and Butterfly.
She has a cute pair of goggles but prefers to swim without goggles!
She gets very nervous each time she swims but always does a great job.

Sophie swims Free, Back, and Breast.
She is learning flip turns this year and now has to swim 2 links so this has been a big transitional year for her.

I like the kids to swim because they get to be a part of a team but they really compete against themselves.  It also makes me feel much better about them being around water knowing that they are good swimmers.  Its obviously GREAT exercise, burns off lots of wiggly energy and makes them sleep very well at night!

All good stuff in my opinion!

Jackson who just last week was terrified to swim at an away meet and clung to the rope until a lifeguard jumped in to save him....yes......really! We are never at a shortage for drama!  Saturday he was so brave and swam not only free style, but also back stroke, and butterfly.  He even won for his heat in butterfly....he also got disqualified because he stood up to breathe midway through the race....but it didn't damper his spirits in the least!
I love seeing him taste success!
He is a sweet boy.

Audrey has fun hanging out with all her swim team buddies and cheering on the Orcas!
She can't wait to be on the team next year!

Andrew is a good, solid, swimmer.
He swims Free, Breast, and Fly.
He's enjoying his role as captain this year.
He was very excited to swim on the B relay on Saturday since Jay had to leave early.

It was a long meet but we enjoyed it~

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Under the Big Top

Well Wednesday and Thursday the kids had their breakfast.

And......We also had sunshine!
So we spent a lot more time outside!


Wednesday was less structured and Thursday was MUCH less structured.
I think the kids were tired!
So I just let them play.
I think it is important for kids to be engaged but I also think its important for them to have time to just be.
Audrey found some rolly pollys....
(Baby food jar use #81 rolly polly aquarium)
Knox found a slug.
Jackson found a centipede....
They found all sorts of good stuff!

They begged for more parachute time!

Stella loved being underneath!

Knox is such a good big brother!

When we headed inside I got out the tents.

This was a hit with the whole crew.

The girls nestled down and played with dolls.
They made their tent like a little home.

The boys were in and out and through the tents!
For them it was a wild adventure.
Boys and Girls are soooo different!

Everyone was tuckered out and ready to rest by afternoon!

I had also changed the school room to a playroom for the summer and the kids LOVED that!
Bye, bye books....Hello Toys!

They played in here forever....

So we enjoyed circus week but even the most eager clowns were pretty worn out on Thursday!

And so was the Ring Master!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's Your One Thing?

That is the question that I have been asking myself for several months now.

It came from the lyrics of Matt Papa's song:

One Thing

Phil 1:20, Psalm 145:13, 46:10

For Erick there was one thing, one thing and nothing more

That moved his growing family to the slums of Bangalore

For Becca there was one thing, one thing that kept her home

She gave up her career to take an orphan in her arms

What would make a man so bold

Make a woman lay her own life down

Only one thing

Jesus Christ, Magnified

All over the world

Lifted High, glorified

All over the world

Only One thing

Is Worth everything

Jesus Christ, Magnified

All over the world

For David there was one thing he gave his life to preach

His church in China meets in secret growing every week

For Ruby there was one thing that kept her in the choir

It hurt to stand at 90 but she worshipped with a smile

What would make a man so bold

Make a woman lay her own life down

only one thing


For us now there is one thing

A choice that we all have

Living for our kingdoms or the only one that lasts...

Best CD ever! Thank you Shay for giving it to Andrew and thank you Andrew for letting it live in my car!

The lyric that haunts me doesn't actually appear in the words above....but Matt sort of asks the question under his breath towards the end of the song.  The question that has been running though my head day after day after day....

"What's your one thing?"

I've been told often and by many loving, well meaning, Christians.....oh you are fine. You do plenty.  He doesn't expect anything else of you.  However, I disagree.  It is so easy to become complacent in my walk with the Lord....yet I can't.  I must not.  I can't let my busyness be an excuse for not chasing hard after the Lord. 

He doesn't want part of me.  He doesn't want the left overs.  He wants all of me.  He wants to be my one thing.

What is my one thing?  Homeschooling....nope.  My give me two things.....and yep.  My way.  My house....naw. My friends, my reputation, my blog, facebook, books, Denny and Debra (ha, ha.....and you thought I was going to say the Reyner's....that was for you D :) ).....all of these matter to me....but are they my one thing?

I don't want them to be.

I want my one thing to be Jesus Christ magnified all over the world.....the gospel. I want it to be lived out in my parenting.  I want it to be lived out in my relationships.  I want it to be lived out in my school.  I want it to be lived out in my interactions with the lost.  I want it to be lived out in my my the world and behind closed doors and in the secret places of my heart.  I want it to be my one thing.

Yet it is not.   He is not.  I get task oriented.  I get stuck on my checklist.  I sin.  I get angry.  I have bad attitudes.  I am selfish.  Yet I learned recently in a way I never had thought of before that sin does NOT have dominion over me. For him to be magnified I have to die to sin and self.   I do not HAVE to sin.  I am saved.  Sin no longer has power over me.  I CHOSE to sin.  My battle is against the world, the devil, and here is the biggie: My Flesh!  The world and the devil are outside forces....the problem is my flesh is an inside force.  It betrays me.  That is why I like Paul do what I do not want to do...and keep on doing it. 

I have got to work at killing the sin in my own life.  Yes work at it.  Not ignore it.  Not accept it.  Not excuse it. Not compare it to the sin I see in others.  I have to kill the root of sin in my own life.  How do I do this?  I don't.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit.  It is yielding to his control.  It is living in his power.  It is dying to self.  Ahhh.....and there is the rub.  If I want him to be my one thing.....that means my kids aren't, my family isn't, my self isn't, my goals aren't,  my list isn' means he is.  Other things certainly matter.....but I want him to be my one thing.

So that is my prayer.  That I would be aware of the sin in my life and that I would cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the sanctification process.....and oh what a process it is! So he's  not my one thing....but oh I sure do want to want him to be....does that count?

So this begs the question......What's Your One Thing?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rainy Days!

Well....I can tell you one thing....when you have a house full of younguns.....for the entire day

This is NOT the forecast you are hoping for!

However.....we've got to work with what we've got!

So we just made do.....
We started out with Breakfast (cereal, fruit, milk)
and then the kids all played while I did Reading with Sophie.

Then we did made Clown Hats!

The kids were such cute clowns!

They were also very upset that Lincoln was napping during craft time.
They decided he definitely needed a hat...
So they made one for him.

He wasn't so crazy about wearing it until he caught sight of himself in the mirror!
Then he decided it wasn't so bad!
Such a cutie pie!

They were able to play outside for a little while this morning between raindrops
Ended up doing Wii Kids Just Dance instead to burn off some energy

I've got some good dancers on my hands!

We read about the Saggy, Baggy, Elephant today.
Such a sweet story.
We talked about how friends should treat one another.
We talked about how people should treat one another.
It was precious hearing their thoughts.

Then we wrote secret messages in invisible ink....and had fun revealing our messages.

For Lunch:
Chicken nuggets, Cheese Its, and applesauce and milk.

Then the kids decorated my kitchen windows with clowns.
I have window markers and they drew the cutest clowns.
Can't believe I didn't get any pictures!
They were Cute!

Then it was Rest Time.
So everyone hunkered down for a Movie (Curious George)
and the babies went down for a nap.

After Rest Time, they had some Free Play.
Then our special snack:

Clown Ice Cream Cones!

After snack they all got on their suits.
We loaded up the van.
We ran a quick errand for Andrew to buy himself some new goggles.
I buy the first pair.  If they lose them....they go without...or they buy the second pair.
Andrew chose to buy a new pair.
Then we dropped Lincoln off at his Mama's and headed to the pool.
The kids swam.

Day 2....FUN!

After swim team practices and swim lessons we headed home.  Daddy had dinner waiting for us.  YUMMY! The kids are exhausted.
Everyone, except Andrew and maybe Sophie.....she went home for a sleepover with Hannah, has settled in for the night...I may let them all sleep in tomorrow.
They have a swim meet tomorrow night and need some rest!

I better get ready for tomorrow.
We are going to have a FULL house....Knox and Stella are joining our circus!

Good Times....Running these camps is a job....but I do love it and I love spending time with my kids and their sweet friends!


It's A Circus!

Camp officially kicked off yesterday!
It's a Circus around here!
The early hours were consumed with breakfast (waffles and fruit and milk) and free play.
While the Campers Play I do Sophie's Reading.
Then we have snack time!
We started off with Lion Snacks....
Pineapple face, with carrot mane, tomato nose, and blueberry eyes. 
I think I may use cheese instead of carrots next time....

We headed outside and the kids had a great time.....
We did a clown obstacle course!

Lots of running


Fun, Fun, Fun!

The big hit was the Parachute Time....

They loved it!

We had down time for snuggles too!
Jack LOVES Lincoln.

For Lunch I stuck with the circus theme and we had hot dogs and popcorn.

Then it was time for a rest

While the babies napped the big kids watched a movie....and had some Quiet Time.

They enjoyed decorating balloon cookies....but I think they liked eating them even more!

Lots of crafts! 
They used oil pastels to make Clown Pictures
They made really cute Lion Paper Bag Puppets
I forgot to take pictures...
BUT they sure were cute!

It was a rainy day so we didn't get to spend as much time outside as I had hoped....
So they had some inside time with the Parachute...

We also did face and body painting!
I found an easy recipe.
1 T. Crisco + 2 T. Corn Starch + food coloring= Free Face Paint

However it is MeSsY to make! food jar use #43......face paint storage containers.....

The kids Loved their Body Art!

We also had Story Time, Dancing, Singing, Free Time to just Play, a visit from cousin Trisha Lynn...

We headed to the pool for swim team. Everyone was decked out in their rained HARD!  Sweet Cali ended up leaving before she got to swim.  Oh well.....we will try again today!

Andrew and Sophie are both here during camp.
Since it is summer and we have to be here all day Monday-Thursday
Andrew has his own schedule.

He wakes up late, very late. Fixes his own breakfast. Does some Math. Practices Guitar. Does some chores. Showers. Then it is usually Lunch. After lunch he either bikes or plays basketball or helps me if things are getting hairy. Then he plays his video game or chats on facebook or messes on the computer until swim team.
After swim team and swim lessons...we do dinner and have family time.

By Friday though we are all ready and eager to leave the house.  We sleep in but as soon as we get up we get ready and head out.  This is the day we reserve to do all sorts of errands and outings.  We all enjoy camp and daycare, but we all enjoy our Friday's too!

Sophie helps a lot with camp.
She is my errand girl.  My example girl.  My kitchen assistant.
She likes camp and she likes helping and she really does help!

Yes it is definitely a circus around here!