Friday, December 17, 2010


We spent a week sick...all but Colson. This is the juice we lived on, along with oyster crackers. Delton and I were so low that we were forgetting to feed the boys. Asher, who fared better than the rest of us, had to ask for food. Poor guy! Colson waited until we were all better before coming down with a cold. I don't know how I would have handled it otherwise!
Asher beebasher! :)

Toys for Christmas? Why?

Colson, you are deeply loved!
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Hodge Podge

I am NOT crafty. At all. The thought of "craft time" makes my blood pressure rise...that said, I get very excited when I think of something that allows Ezra to be creative, because Ezra LOVES crafts, loves being creative. Sooooo...decorating a cake with m&m's is right up his alley. Fun times!!

Colson reminds me of my brother Daniel. He looks like I remember Daniel as a baby, and they are both third in line. Wonder if Colson will grow up to be a lawyer like Uncle Daniel?
  Brotherly affection...

I love the pictures of Great-Grandma Sollenberger holding each of the boys. I thought this one was so precious.
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Monday, December 6, 2010


I am going to start this post and see how far I get. I probably should write this some other time, because I am already crying, but here goes. Do you know what Sensory Processing Disorder is? No? Neither did I until a few months ago.
One of my boys, who I will call s.h (superhero), is dealing with spd. A mild form, so mild that the occupational therapist doesn't need to see him again. But this mild spd is still rocking our world.
Last week, s.h. wore clothing for 2 hours from Monday through Thursday. Two hours. As the temperature dropped, as he took meds for bronchitis, my beautiful boy couldn't handle the feeling of clothing other than his underwear. They tickle. They have tickled since he was 32 months old. It has been a long journey.
Tags need to be cut out of shirts. His snow boots are the only shoes he has worn for months. He will wear only one style of socks, of which we have 4 pairs. He now refuses to wear a coat, refuses to layer clothing, is unable to handle the feel, the tickle...
"Mom, will I go to school at Christmas?"
no, not yet.
"But mom, will I be grown up at Christmas?"
well, you will be older than you are today.
"But mom! Will the tickle go away at Christmas? Will it go away????"
Why am I sharing this with you? Many reasons. This blog is about my life, and this has consumed my life and changed what is normal.
I am sharing this so that you will understand why s.h. may be wearing the same outfit he wore last week, the same clothes he has been in all week, and why we are simply thankful that he has clothes on. I am sharing this so that if I fail to smile at you you won't be offended, but realize that we may have spent the last 40 minutes before church trying to get a shirt, or pants, or shoes, on a child that wants so desperately for the tickle to go away...but it won't. And he can't make it go away, and we can't make it go away.
I am sharing this so that if you have ever judged a parent for their parenting decisions, as I have, that you will recognize that there may be more going on here than you can see. You may not see a parent crying inside because she doesn't know how to help her son. How to give her son the wings he needs to fly. Doesn't know if her son is ever going to be able to go to school...or play in the snow...So many many ups and downs...
...but there is a child asleep in his bed right now that is so loved, so delighted in, such a blessing...and this is simply a part of our journey with him.......

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My life in pictures...

 This is my beautiful baby, Colson, who has stolen my heart. Every day, Colson, I thank God for you. You are a blessing in more ways than I can count. You are loved and delighted in, Colson Graham!!!
 Asher being....Asher.
 Colson has been a "frustrated" thumb sucker. He more often finds his fist, and if he happens to find his thumb, it doesn't last very long! In the past day or two, he has found his thumb often, and has enjoyed sucking it for a time. We will see if this continues. My vote is yes. Delton's vote is no! :)
We went to TriState Fellowship on Saturday for their Pumpkin Seige. Cedar Ridge built a huge trebuchet, which a sort of like a catapult, just with a different set up. Something like that! They launched a pumpkin over 500 feet, then suffered a disappointment when the trebuchet broke! :( It is really an awesome sight to see this huge machine do what it was created to do...and see the pumpkin fly through the air! Check out trebuchets on to see one at work!
Ezra and Colson definately have a close bond. When Ezra talks to Colson, Colson talks back. Ezra is so gentle and caring of his little brother. I look forward to seeing what their relationship is like in future years. I pray they continue to have a close connection.
I had cut up some apples that needed used, and found a recipe for apple dumplings. After deciding to use this specific recipe and getting the baking supplies out, I realized it was actually a recipe for apple fritters. As in donuts. Delton came home post-frying. He had one, and asked, "How did you make them? Were they baked?" I smiled and said, "Yes, I baked them." He grinned, looked at the oil on the stove, and didn't eat another one (that day!) 

Ezra went with Delton Friday evening to set up the trebuchet. He was daddy's little helper!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Fun

 Story Time with Daddy is so much fun!!
 We went to Reynold's Pumpkin Farm in Waynesboro on Saturday. What a fun time, and  a perfect day for a fall outing. The farm has all kinds of fun things for kids to do, most of them free. We only paid for the barrel train ride for the boys- and the pumpkin we had to bring home! It was one of those times that I felt we were making memories for our boys- doing something that they will remember in later years. I enjoyed myself thoroughly!

When you have kids you get to go down fun slides!!!

 Those smiles alone made me glad we let them ride!
So much fun!
Not so much fun...
My baby!!!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday Sermon

Delton spoke on Sunday. It was a simple message that spoke to me. I found his notes yesterday and read over them. Yes. So, here they are. May God's word and His heart minister to you...and change you.

Psalm 139:1-24

To Be Known! Longing for Intimacy!

We were made for intimacy.

Intimacy. The word can bring the thrill of excitement and at the same time the grip of fear. On one hand it is possibly the deepest longing of the human heart, on the other the deepest fear of the human heart.

This dichotomy may point to the fact that we were created for the perfection of Eden and yet grow up some where east of it. Adam and Eve were created to walk in unbroken intimacy with the One that created them, and in complete openness with one another. They were naked and not ashamed, because there was nothing to hide, and no one to hide from. No fear. No shame.

But what was the first response when Adam and Eve fell into sin? They hid from each other. They made coverings of fig leaves. Then God comes walking in the cool of the day, and what do they do? They hide. Now there is something to hide. Now there is someone to hide from.

And ever since we have been covering and hiding. While we long to be known, to be embraced as we are, to be accepted, to be intimate, at the same time we are terrified to open up to anyone. We hide from our friends, our families, our spouses, from God.

True life is found in intimacy. True life is found in complete vulnerability before God – in John 17,  Jesus says, this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." In John 15, Jesus tells us – “Abide in me, and I in you….my words abide in you….abide in My love.” These are not words of a distant relationship, a business arrangement, or of an acquaintance. These are descriptions of intimacy, of being completely known.

Psalm 139, I believe, paints a picture of this struggle of longing for intimacy and yet fearing it.

1 O LORD, you have searched me

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

(NAS: You scrutinize my path and my lying down,

And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.)

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you know it completely, O LORD .

To be known, understood, scrutinized, intimately acquainted with! To have someone that knows what you are thinking without you telling them, and can finish your sentences for you. When someone understands what you do and why you do what you do! Isn’t this what we all long for and run from at the same time?

5 You hem me in-behind and before;

you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

You have seen this with older couples – you know, the ones that have been married 40 or 50 years. And, not just married, but truly intimate friends. They know what the other is thinking, what they are going to say, what they are going to do. They got each other’s back.

And yet we know that is not automatic. You’ve seen the couples that have been married just as long, but you can almost see the walls of protection, offense, and bitterness that they have built.

But, like we’ve said, intimacy can be a scary thing. The psalmist says “God, you completely know me. This is to wonderful for me to attain.” I can’t take it!

How would you feel if I walked up to you and said, “_____I know everything about you.” It is frightening! And now, we are talking about a perfect, Holy God, that knows everything about me? What does the psalmist do?

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, F222 you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

I run to the heavens, I go to hell. I leave early in the morning, I stay out late at night. But everywhere I go you are there!

You can’t escape God – Ask Adam and Jonah!

What did Adam and Eve do? They tried to cover up with figs and hid among trees. What are you trying to cover up with? Where are you trying to hide?

Just like intimacy in marriage is not automatic, intimacy with God is not automatic. You may have been sitting in church all of your life, and yet you’ve never allowed the vulnerability and honesty before God that is required for intimacy with Him. You have been hiding behind the fig leaf of religion. In fact, maybe the reason you are sitting here this morning is because you are hoping one hour in this building will be enough to keep God appeased but at arm’s length. You come before God with your little wilting fig leaf trying to act like everything is o.k. But in your heart you know it is not, because there is no life in your Christianity. Inside you are as dried up as dead man’s bones.

Or maybe you have been running and hiding. You have tried to bury yourself in your work. You have tried to bury yourself in entertainment. You have tried to bury yourself sin – trying to shut out the reality that you are really not living. You keep hoping the next paycheck, or the next vacation, or the next purchase, or the next taste of sin will make you feel better.

In all of our covering up, and in all of our hiding, why is it never enough to get us away from God?


It is not a religious ideology or system we are trying to escape.

It is not a cultural way of living you are trying to elude.

It is a Person you are running from – You are trying to escape the loving gaze of the One who Made You for Himself.

Caught by the Creator...

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake,

I am still with you.

You cannot escape the One who made you – Because you were made for Him. He is not asking you to get your act together. He is not asking you to fix all of your problems. He is asking you to surrender. To stop running. To stop covering up. To stop hiding. He simply wants you to surrender. Surrender to His plan, His redemption, His love. Just LET HIM IN.

The psalmist, after being faced with the All Knowing, Ever Present God’s intimate knowledge of him, finally surrenders.

But first He rages against the evil around Him

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!

Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;

your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD ,

and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;

I count them my enemies.

Isn’t that what we like to do? It is the old distraction ploy. Look at all those bad guys out there. Look at what THEY are doing. THOSE people do such BAD things.

In the end the psalmist prays one of the most vulnerable prayers possible

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

God – I surrender. Here I am, just as I am. I’m not making excuses. I’m not covering up. I am what I am. Lead me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Colson at 3 Months

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Life from here...

My "pies" What? Pies!! You know, people who are sneaky and follow people. Ohhhhh...spies!!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who is Who

Can you guess which of the boys are in these picts?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dress Up

We cleaned out Delton's closet today, which has functioned as storage as well. The boys had a blast. When I pulled down some of Delton's work clothes from the top shelf, Ezra was delighted! He was so excited to play "dress up" (where did he learn that phrase?). He now has a huge stash of Delton's clothing on his closet floor (why do I try and clean???). I'll have to empty it out tonight while he sleeps!! It made for some precious pictures- a little Delton!!
ps. Actually, looking at this picture, I think he more resembles a little Charity in Delton's clothes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catching Up

Bear with me. This post has been a long time in coming. Stick with me as I ramble, or check out my fb page  if you struggle with staying focused... :)
Colson is 6 weeks old. The baby that I carried for nine months, that I felt would never now a month and a half old. I am still amazed at how quickly time has passed.
Labor is still fresh in my mind and at the same time a blur. My water broke at 1 a.m., 1:05 a.m. to be exact. A complete surprise. My first clue that labor was here. By the time we had finished packing our bags and I had showered, contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was fighting (and losing the fight) to keep my composure through each one. My poor townhouse neighbors.
We arrived at the hospital at 3:30 a.m., and my eyes stayed closed almost entirely from the moment I arrived in the delivery room until Colson was here, a mere 1 hour later. After Colson was born, a nurse said something about the labor. I asked her- Oh, were you here for that? She laughed at me. Yes, I was.
My labor was 3 1/2 hours long. Wonderful, some say, and I would have thought it beautiful had I not experienced it. The transitions of labor that I had experienced over the course of 12 hours with my other boys came within 3 1/2 hours. A train barreling chance to catch  my breathe...Colson was here, and I was shaking with the intensity of the last few hours. Exhausted, drained...but then there was Colson. What joy!!
Colson has been such a blessing. A head of black hair- unique. His features- unique. Like ours, yet all his own. He cries, fills his diaper, smiles, rolls over...He is like my other boys, but I have forgotten so much of this stage. Each development is new. Each stage leaves me remembering what I had forgotten.
3 children. 3 boys. The transition to this new number has been huge, a larger jump than when Asher arrived. Suddenly I feel like a mom, and the craziness that I heard about and thought I understood is now a reality. Chaos. Fatigue. A simple lack of time to fold the load of laundry that was in the middle of the living room...for two days. A return of energy, making me feel like I had pre-pregnancy, and yet realizing that every bit of this energy is required of me throughout the day. More laundry, more activity, more...more...more.
The urgent is what is required of me right now. Diapers. Meals. Tears wiped. Clothes folded. Toys picked up. Books read to listening ears. Baths given. Kitchen cleaned...and so much more. To expect more of myself, to walk in guilt for the extras that are being neglected, is something I have to let go. To refuse to walk in.
An intense time? By all means, yes. A difficult time? In some ways, definately. How can you be prepared to be ever pulled in a million directions? A bad time? Are you kidding? I have three amazing boys, a wonderful husband, the grace of God, and a future and a hope. Life is good, and I am enjoying every moment. LOL (definately not EVERY moment!)