Monday, December 20, 2010

God with us

This morning I sit here, already downed my cup of coffee, fire cracking in the wood stove, baby boy talking and bouncing in his seat, husband napping beside me, my brain a muddled mess as I think about last night and what happened a  few short hours ago. And the phrase that keeps coming to mind is, "Emmanuel, God with us...."
Last night we put the kids to bed and went to bed pretty early ourselves last night. About 2:30 this morning, I heard a commotion (our kids), and Larissa had come up to where we were sleeping. We asked her what was wrong and she said Charlotte was sick and coughing and she was almost crying. I followed her back downstairs with some medicine I had brought with us on our trip. I got down to their room, and it was filled with smoke. I look at the foot of Larissa's bed, she was sleeping on the top bunk, and noticed that she must have been playing with the welcome light my mom had put in the window. Larissa had left it on her bed and must have fallen asleep. It was smoldering on the bed. I yelled for Nate and he quickly pulled the mattress out of the room, down the steps, and out the door. We opened the windows in their room and put a fan in there to blow the smoke out. It smelled so bad. I can totally understand the dangers of smoke inhalation. I felt like I couldn't breathe. We put an air mattress downstairs and we all slept in the living room. Once we got the girls settled, Nate and I couldn't go to sleep. Your mind goes to "what if" land and instantly I am conjuring up all these alternate endings. Not to mention my dad tells us to look outside, and we have a serious bonfire going on out where Nate tossed the mattress. To think that if that would have gotten just a little air, that mattress would have totally erupted into flames, with our baby girls inside.....tears fill up my eyes now, just thinking about it.
Emmanuel, God with us. The phrase just kept going through my mind. Like God was whispering it to me, to just remind me, He is always with us. In tragedy, in heartbreak, in triumph, in loneliness, in defeat, He is with us. I am just so thankful that the girls woke up. That smoke could have just been so strong, they never would have had a chance, and we could have had a blazing fire. I don't deserve God's mercy or grace, but I am so thankful for it. For a second chance, another opportunity.  There are so many times in life where I can get so frustrated with myself, with my kids, with people, and then something like this happens, and it just brings the uncertainty of life and that there's no guarantee that you will get a tomorrow, that just brings home the meaning of living your life today as if it was your last. Loving on those kids, your spouse, your friends, your family, and treasuring and valuing that time, because it may be your last.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We made it!

Yes, we finally made it into Pennsylvania! We left Monday around ten in the morning, and made it to the farm Thursday evening around 8p.m. What a trip! The kids did so well. The girls hardly ever complained. When we first started, Alaina, would sigh dramatically and declare, "We are NEVER going to get to Pennsylvania!" To which we would laugh and say we only just got started! It takes three days to get to PA! But after the first day she pretty much got over the sighing and declaring. We ran through no precip except for some slight misting in Oklahoma and southern Kansas. In case you are wondering, yes, we did take a slight detour. My husband has itchy feet and wanted to look at some land in OK and KS. We also made a pit stop in Hesston, KS, where I have some family. We usually stop there as a resting place. There's nothing like a great home cooked meal, a woodstove, good coffee, great conversation and a clean house. Staying in hotels can get old....and expensive! So we spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday until after lunch with Merv and Betty Ann. Two of my favorite people. I went to college at Hesston College and they became surrogate parents to me since I was so far from home. And now  our kids are getting to know them and love them too.
Leaving Hesston we drove to Terre Haute, Indiana.  We got a hotel there and spent the night. The three girls shared a queen sized bed and Larissa fell out around 3 a.m.! So funny. She just hopped right up and got back in bed and went back to sleep. When we got up the next morning it was only 10 or 11 degrees! And Thursday we drove the rest of the way.
There is one who did not fare so well on this trip. Landon does NOT, I repeat, does NOT like his carseat. Not even a little. So I will just sum it up to say, I am glad we will not be taking any LONG trips while we are in here. He has two weeks to forget his terrible experience, and then he'll get to do it again!
I would have taken some pictures of this adventure, but my camera was packed somewhere deep in the suburban and still hasn't surfaced! But I need to find it because today is the first of many family get togethers. Until later......