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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just a Trip to NC

Just to forewarn you, this is going to be a long blog. If you aren't into stories that are detailed and dramatic, stop reading now! I have decided that in attempt to chronicle our last trip as well as get some cheap, much needed therapy to help me get over the last few days, I would share all of this with you. Enjoy!

It began with my husband's admonition to go to North Carolina the weekend before Christmas. To this very minute I have absolutely no regrets about choosing to go. This is just where it all started. I agreed that missing a good friend's engagement party and meeting her future husband would be regretful. Being the brave, too-big-for-my-britches gal that I am I loaded the boys and myself into the van along with Christmas gifts to share and headed out. We left at 5:00a.m. and made it to Wilkesboro by lunchtime. The only thing to report about the departing trip was the unfortunate fate that awaited a squirrel trying to decide whether or not to cross the interstate halfway between Lexington and Huntington. We were greeted in NC by family and crammed all we could into the first half-day.

This is Elijah's invention, bread on a fork!

Sunday began with time at church, running into old friends, and then a visit with my aunt and uncle who traveled from Clemmons. It was my brother's 18th birthday and we of course had some cake to celebrate.

Dad and Chelsea, getting some cake~

Elijah warmed up to my uncle Jeff while watching "Horton Hears a Who"

Then, the engagement party. It was so much fun to be reunited with friends and parents of old friends, many of whom I had spent nights sleeping over, watching movies, and, well, growing up with in middle and high school. The highlight was of course seeing my friend Devon and meeting her fiance Jeff. Expectation of marital bliss was oozing from the both of them and it was clear that he adores her. I was so happy to have a few minutes to talk to them both. Then the craziness began. In the middle of conversation with Jeff, I felt my throat swelling. For those of you who don't know this about me, I have a severe tree nut allergy. I had eaten a corner of a brownie that wasn't plain as I had thought, but had some type of nut. In my lifetime, this has happened many many times. It has been the source of many trips to the ER. There are times, though, when benedryl is all I need. I quickly excused myself for a minute and took a dose of benedryl and tried to rejoin the party. Very soon thereafter, I realized that the benedryl wasn't working. I took another dose and headed to my parents home. Needless to say, around 30 minutes later I found myself in an ambulance on my way to the ER. (No pics of the party... I left in too much of a hurry...)

Hindsight is pretty amusing though. When my parents first started searching for some help by way of neighborhood friends that were first responders, I found myself confronted by highschool kids (also Chelsea's X... if you know what I mean) rushing into their house with oxygen tanks. Then, when 911 was called, every first responder within a 15 mile radius- some of whom were old acquaintances- came rushing in as well followed by the EMS. It was quite a production. The boys were cared for by my loving grandparents and were distracted by Rock Band in the next room. Let me say assuredly that if you are in Wilkes County, know that if there is an emergency, help is readily available! I felt very taken care of:) EMS had my reaction under control in minutes and by the time I made it to the ER, I was already recovering. Of all the scary experiences with allergic reactions I have had, this was one of the most memorable.

I returned to my parent's home before midnight to a sing-along in their living room with my aunt, cousin, and friends. Thankfully due to all the medication, I slept great that night and felt rested the next morning. The boys and I drove to Micah's family 45 minutes away. I really enjoyed our time together and so did Andrew and Elijah. They got more gifts and even a really cold ride on Micah's Dad's new John Deere tractor. It was also good to see my little nephew, Caleb and how much he has grown!

Nana and her grand-boys.

Aunt Amy and Elijah became good buds as well on this trip.

Then Tuesday came- our departure day. I was pretty groggy coming off all the medication I had been on by this time, but was anxious to get home to Micah. With a jump start of caffeine, we left around 1:30 p.m. and the drive was easy through beautiful Fancy Gap. The boys slept most of the afternoon and watched movies the rest of the time (travel DVD players are a fabulous invention!).
We made good time until we reached west of Charleston, WV. Around 6:00, we started seeing accidents on the interstate. First one, then two, then three, then four and five. Traffic finally came to a halt in Huntington. We sat on the interstate for about an hour when I decided to inch over and exit at the next ramp a few yards in front of me. I called Micah and decided to be really smart and take a road parallel to the interstate until I could find an unblocked exit ramp. I had a pretty good plan, and I had Micah on the phone with me helping navigate.

After going as far west as I thought I could, I headed back toward the interstate. I stopped short of the ramp on a bridge headed uphill a few yards from the exit ramp. I could see I-64 traffic in both directions from where I sat still completely stopped. What was the problem you may ask? I wondered the same thing until I opened my van door, stuck my foot out and slid on a think layer of ice on the bridge. I flagged down a passing police officer who informed me that the entire interstate through Lexington, KY was closed. The boys were getting restless, Elijah had a leaky diaper, and no one had had dinner. We finally made it with the help of another officer to the exit ramp headed back east hoping to make it two exits where there are hotels. We went one mile, then stopped again. I think this is when God just picked me up and carried me. It is a blur-waiting and waiting, creeping along the interstate, checking in at a hotel in the freezing rain, making three trips to the van to get all we needed for the night, eating snacks from the van and hotel vending machine for dinner, and finally lying down to sleep. I was so thankful as I rested that we weren't involved in any of the multiple traffic accidents around us. As much as I had been frustrated with the way the drive had turned out, I was quickly reminded that it could have been much worse.

The next morning, the boys and I enjoyed breakfast at the hotel. They thought our stay there was so much fun. I rode them around on the luggage cart and they thought the indoor swimming pool was especially cool. We left fairly early and arrived safely in Louisville just after lunch. The trip was over. Praise the Lord for safety, family and friends, medicine and EMS workers, and the everyday help of my husband which gives me strength and stamina for tough situations.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Childs Go To the Theater

Micah's Christmas gift this year included tickets to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. We saw them at the Brown Theater in downtown Louisville on Dec. 6. There are entertainers in the music biz and then there are musicians. These guys are incredible at both. Each member of the band could easily hold an audience captive going solo. Together, they are incredible. No glamor, glitz, or sell-out attitude; just serious talent. It was also fun being in such an beautiful theater. They were joined by Tuvan Throat Singers from Siberia. Their sound is fascinating. My wish at the end of the concert was to have a few minutes to play around with Future Man's drum machine (the Drumatar?!?!)!
Tonight, Andrew and I had a date. We went to see Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at The Actors Theater also downtown. He was such a little gentleman! He operated the elevator for Mommy, held the tickets, and handed them to the usher as we entered. This was Andrew's first experience with live acting. We were three rows from the front, so he was up close and personal with the cast. The story line was intriguing to him. Afterward, he and I talked about the means by which God uses to show us the sin in our hearts as well as the life of loving each other that Jesus exemplified and calls us to as we discussed the storyline. He also learned a lot about being an actor and working in a theater.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tiffany's Tracks

I know saying this is totally taboo, but I am not a morning person. I am truly a night owl. I am not lazy in the mornings, just uncreative and totally robotic. To help me out, I am in the process of creating a play list for my Ipod that includes a morning mix of songs that will help me awake with purpose and hope each day. Some of the songs I am including so far are Fill My Heart (Twila Paris) and May the Words of My Mouth (Christy Nockels and Janna Potter) from a lullabies CD called Sing Over Me. Some of my very favorite music from a Keith and Kristin Getty CD called O Church Arise. Andrew and Elijah love it as well; especially the parts about battle and swords. The words are below.

O Church Arise
O church, arise and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain;
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We'll stand against the devil's lies;
An army bold whose battle cry is "Love!"
Reaching out to those in darkness.
Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev'ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died—
An inheritance of nations.
Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict'ry march continues till the day
Ev'ry eye and heart shall see Him.
So Spirit, come, put strength in ev'ry stride,
Give grace for ev'ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.

Next I am going to come up with a middle-of-the-day play list that includes from the same CD, Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer when I need perseverance and an end-of-the-day list that reminds me that in Christ there is much grace in The Power of the Cross. For those of you who are interested, you can go to to read the lyrics and even hear samples of these songs as well. This music feeds the soul.