When we hit the summer we hit the "birthday season" at our house. We have one in May, two in June, two in July and one in August. Add in a graduation, vacation and adoption finalization and we have had a full summer.
Instead of taking fun family trips for each child's birthday, we opted for the reasonable present for each child. I am so glad that we reverted to presents for this year at least. The birthdays have been quiet, but fun.
Miss Mary turned 15 in May.
Her last few days with her sister Riane before Riane's flight to Chicago
Fifteen is a lot candles, but she managed!
Mary is quite the artist! Hard to believe how far she has come.
Our little Wokelle from that picture has blossomed so. Look at him now:
Seven years old and every bit the charmer. He can make conversation with anyone.
Every child gets to request their birthday dessert and he asked for ice cream cake. This year he lit the candles himself.
Everything was fun!
And that present from Grandma:
felt pretty good!
Riane is also in June, but she is away living the dream and serving the Lord in Chicago. We sent her a box of fun and she told us her friends went all out to show her a great 18th.
In July, Adela turned 13. Her day started out unusual with Jerome rolling out some water filled barrels and challenging everyone to race.
For the first time ever she asked for the dessert she really wanted:
A bowl full of candy!
She is such a sweet girl. The family letter writer! She keeps up with somewhere around 14 pen pals. Not only that she keeps a good friendship going with an older lady in our neighborhood.
The last of our July birthdays was our little Isaiah turning 5 -- his first birthday as a Googeg.
He wasn't quite sure about the whole thing, but in the end decided it would be fun.
Opening cards can be challenging, but his brothers had his back.
That present from Grandma was so exciting --
It was hard to eat that chocolate, chocolate cake.
We got him a rip stick. In case you are wondering:
Thursday night I was awakened by an odd dream. I was hanging a particular
pair of pants on the clothesline. Then they were missing and, as dreams go,
there was a confusing middle part. However, the clarity came back when I
approached the clothesline again, and a young lady was taking the pants off the
line and I was approaching to get my clothes back. As the lady began to turn, I
woke --A hard, jolting, heart pounding awakening. I prayed.
All I could remember
praying was a "hedge of protection." Sometimes I will pray walk the
house and look in each child's room, or read scripture. This time I did not
feel moved to rise from my bed. I did sleep well, though and I mentioned this
odd dream to my husband in the morning. During family devotions the verse that
caught my attention was "...and set an hedge about it ..." Mark 12:1.
Our day was pretty normal as days go and Jerome went off to
work and I left to have a day full of errands. I decided to leave Adela home
with Heaven for the very first time. They were going to bake a dessert for our
get together the next day. Before I left I hung out the last load of clothes,
and there were those pants from my dream. "That's so odd," I thought.
I dropped two children at the piano teacher's house and took
my remaining four children off to buy hot dog buns. The music was playing;
Braydon was talking all about guitars and music until...
"Braydon! Do you see that storm we are driving
"Yeah, looks big."
I slowed the car as I could it see it moving like a wall.
"We are turning around!"
I frantically handed the phone to Braydon instructing him to
call the piano teacher.
"I know they have a basement. See if we should pick up
I was racing to the piano teacher house.
"Call Adela, tell her to forget the laundry on the line
head for the basement NOW!"
I knew my daughter would try to gather in the clothes on the
line if she saw the rain coming, but this was more than rain. The radio was
telling everyone to get in and get safe. He finally reached her; she was
already in the basement with Heaven.
I was in the piano teacher's driveway; the kids were
wide-eyed and racing to the car. I backed out of the driveway to barrel back
the way we came -- there was a huge tree branch down where we had just driven
"Oh children, that could have fallen on our car!"
My only thought was to get all my children into one place. I
was in the middle of country roads -- always a farm house I could run to, but I
wanted to get them all home and we were only four miles away. Dirt was flung
against the car -- I didn't know what hit us. I dodged the branch in the road,
but had to stop to let another tree fall. We finally got home.
I sent everyone to the basement except my two older boys. We
raced patio furniture into the barn and away from the house.
We all clambered into the house telling our exciting
stories. The storm had past. I believe we spent the worst of it outside driving
or hauling patio furniture. The safest of us all had been Adela and Heaven who had
spent most of the excitement in the basement.
I told Adela my dream and said that I thought God woke me up
to pray so she would be safe today. Then I mentioned my verse from the morning.
God had "hedge of protection" on my mind from start to finish.
"Mom, that's kind of weird. My hand was on those pants
you dreamed about when I realized I had to get Heaven in or we were going to be
For awhile I rode the high of praise. Thinking about how God
had prompted me to pray a hedge of protection on my family that day so that we
could be safe during a storm He already knew about. He even showed me a verse
in the morning, as if to say he was already there. I thought about Ephesians 6:12
and how "... we wrestle not against flesh and blood ...." it was
spiritual and fought out in prayer.
Then I came crashing down and saw myself in shame. If I had
really trusted the Lord and his protection, would I have thrown five children
in a car and drove them around? Wouldn't I just have ridden the storm out at
the piano teacher's house in perfect trust of his care for the two at home?
Didn't I pray all last night, didn't he give me a verse in the morning? My
adrenaline racing Mom Moment, was not heroics to keep my chicks together, it
was lack of faith and perfect peace. Still my patient, gracious saviour kept us
all in his hand.
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his
hand, and caught him, and said unto him, o thou of little faith, wherefore
didst thou doubt?" Matthew 14:31