cancer · celebrations · family · God's plans · God's will

Happy Birthday, Cub 4!!

This was the plan:  four children, four years apart.  Cub 1 was born in 2000.  Cub 2 was born in 2004.  Cub 3 was born in 2008.  Cub 4 was born in 2010.  Huh?…..SURPRISE!!!

I’m a planner, and Cub 4’s early arrival rocked my entire world.  I cried for about two weeks and couldn’t wrap my head around how we would manage two babies who were going to be 18 months apart!  We discovered that we needed a bigger table in the kitchen, we needed to figure out new sleeping arrangements for the cubs, we even had to buy a bigger vehicle to accommodate two car seats and a booster.  

I didn’t really get it yet, that God was in control and not me.  So, to ensure that we didn’t have anymore surprises, I convinced Poppa Bear (PB) to go “take care of himself” because if we did decide later on that we wanted more children, his procedure was reversible.  Little did we know that this procedure would lead to the discovery of prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer screenings are recommended beginning at the age of 40.  PB was 35.  Look at God!  

God knew I would still try to be in control.  

God knew what was ahead for PB.

God knew that having PB go through that procedure would reveal a bigger issue.

God knew that PB wouldn’t make it to his 40th birthday if the prostate cancer hadn’t been discovered earlier.

God gave Cub 4’s life a purpose before she was even introduced to us.

God knew that I needed a lesson on trusting in Him, and he orchestrated it in such a way that I felt convicted, forgiven, and extremely thankful.

Convicted for thinking that I was in control of my life.  Forgiven for how much I complained and the shame I felt for thinking that I needed to “help God out” like He didn’t know what He was doing.  Thankful that He has blessed PB to live six cancer-free years, and thankful for Cub 4. 

Cub 4’s entrance into our lives has been pure joy and happiness.  

She is our little dancing machine.  

She is always smiling and friendly to everyone.  She is creative and active.

She is loved by all who know her, especially our Party of Six!  Most importantly, she is a daughter of the King!

Happy 7th Birthday to our baby cub!!

Mama Bear

anxiety in children · birthdays · celebrations · choices · God's love · God's plans · God's will · parenting


Last night, we forgot to let Kodi know that we planned to sleep in this morning.  Kodi is our 16 year old Shih Tzu who started barking bright and early this morning at 5:00am.  On any other day, someone is up and moving around the house that early, but I guess Kodi assumed that we had overslept.  I seemed to be the only one in the house who couldn’t sleep through her barking, so I was the lucky winner who had the privilege of taking her out this morning.  It has ended up being a pretty productive morning, so maybe I’ll give Kodi an extra treat before the day is done.

It’s a holiday weekend and Cub 2’s birthday weekend!  He will be turning 11 tomorrow!


Cub 2 is the reason we came up with a birthday rule in the Party of Six, that you cannot start talking about your birthday until it’s a month away.  He used to talk about what he wanted as a gift, where he wanted to eat, and what he wanted to do for his birthday, and then change his mind ten times or more before it actually arrived.  On April 24th, he started sharing his birthday plans with us and now it’s finally here.  All week, Cub 2 has been making “This is my last time ______ as a ten year old” statements.  The other night, it was “This is my last time having dinner on a Wednesday as a ten year old.”  During  dinner conversation last night, PB asked Cub 2 what his plans were for his future if the NBA doesn’t work out, and he said that he plans to join the Army.  I was fine with that until he started talking about what he wanted to do in the Army.  He wants to be on a special team or on special assignments…like top secret mission-type stuff.  Yes, the type of stuff that will send this Momma Bear’s anxiety level through the ceiling!  Both of my boy cubs thought it was amusing that I didn’t think I could handle either of them being in the military, but it didn’t really change their desire.  I resolved that they could take credit for drawing me closer to Jesus!  Really!

As my cubs get older and make more decisions on their own, I find my responses to their actions, questions, and decisions can be narrowed down to about four responses from me (either in my head or spoken aloud) – Okay, Wait, No, or Yes – and in between each thought there is time spent with Jesus. Here are a few examples:

Cub 1 wants to hang out at the park with some boys from his school?  No.  We need to know the parents and the kids.

Cubs 2 and 3 want to walk to and from school? Okay, if I feel like walking.  Alone? No.

2015-04-21 15.39.58

Cub 4 wants a play date with a friend? Okay!  Wait, without me? No. Well, let’s wait until you can read words like “peanuts” and “eggs” and “seeds” so that I don’t worry about you eating the wrong thing.

Cub 1 wants to practice driving since he’s getting a learner’s permit soon?  No.  Okay, wait. While you’re in the country with Grandma? Yes.

Cub 4 wants to go to Kindergarten? NOOOOOO!!  Okay, okay…yes, but MB is not happy about it!

2015-04-21 21.53.54

Do you see why it’s necessary for me to spend so much time with Jesus?  It’s to remind myself that God loves my cubs better and more than I ever will be able to love them.  He’s entrusted them to PB and me, but they belong to Him.

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Our responsibility is to teach them to love God.  That is a definite YES!

2015-04-03 15.37.45

Living for Him!

anticipation · family · school · trusting God · waiting for something

Great Might Be Greater

It is eerily quiet in the den right now.  Almost too quiet.  We had to get up early this morning like a regular school day, so I guess everyone is trying to recover before having to go back out again this evening.

Back in November, Cub 2’s homeroom teacher called to talk about his school progress so far, and she asked if we had considered sending him to a magnet school next year.  He hadn’t really talked much about it, but she felt that he should apply and would like the programs that were offered.  After discussing it with Cub 2, we decided that it would be worth a try.  Cub 2 applied for three different programs – a (PVA) performance visual arts program, an (IB) international baccalaureate program, and a STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) program.  This morning, he had an audition for the PVA program which involved playing prepared pieces of music, as well as doing some sight-reading on the snare drum and xylophone.  The second part of his morning was spent in an interview setting in which he had to talk about an artifact of his choosing and how the programs (IB and STEM) would be helpful to him in developing the artifact that he had chosen to bring.  Yesterday, he also had the opportunity to shadow a current 6th grade student at the IB school for the day.  Needless to say, he fell in love with that school after visiting and it is now his first preference.  Here is the issue:  the IB school has 70 seats available, the PVA school has 4 seats available in percussion, and the STEM school has 100 seats available…and thousands of 5th graders who want one of them!  Due to the high number of applicants, there will be a computerized lottery system used to fill the seats.  GAH!!!




So now we wait.

Cub 2 could get invitations to all three schools, or he could not get an invitation to any of the schools.  Either way, we will trust that God wants what is best for Cub 2, and if it isn’t a magnet school program for the next three years, then there is something even better in store!  Acceptance into a magnet program would be great – unless God has something even greater planned!

Whether you are waiting for a door to open, or wondering why an open door was shut BELIEVE God is preparing greater for you!

Living for Him!