Prayer requests and Hopper humourisms.

*Had a moment with Sophie this evening when that thought went through my mind again for perhaps the thousandth time in her three years, "Why? WHY did God think giving me this one was a good idea?!" Heard the whisper back this time. "To humble you, dear. I gave you this one to humble you." #ouch #boombaby #amihumbledyet #arewethereyet #keepingitreal

*Haydon: "I'm glad we live in this nice, quiet, and organized family." *stunned silence from the rest of the room* Jeremy: "Um, what family do YOU live in?"

Prayer request: Last night my cousin's 2 year old boy Aidan had a seizure, it was bad enough he was unresponsive when the ambulance arrived and he was taken first to the the ER and then to Mercy Children's Hospital. He is stable now and was sent home with his mom this morning, they think he had a febrile seizure in spite of the fact he was not running a fever. They are waiting on neurologists to call them in the next couple days to schedule tests. His name is Aidan Etisomba, his mother's name is Hannah Etisomba and they have already had a very rough year.

So we were up late last night waiting to hear updates. Finally went to bed around 1 am and was subsequently awakened at 3 and 4 am by childrenish things and when I finally stumbled out at about 8:30 am (we don't leave for church till around 10:15) I was not prepared for the onslaught of intellectual conversation that awaited me.

Jeremy: Any updates? Me: "I just went to check my phone but its dead, I'm getting a laptop. Oh look. Both laptops are dead. Its like a metaphor for our life. I guess I'll plug one in." Haydon: "What's a metaphor?" Me: "Um...Its as word picture. Like when we say, 'Look at the fiery sunset!' the sky isn't really fiery, is it?" Jeremy: "Yes it is. Technically. The sun is a ball of fire." Me: "Ok, fine." Jeremy to the kids, all of whom now want to know what a metaphor is: "If I say, 'Mommy is as hot as a firecracker, she isn't really a firecracker. Right?" Me: *eyerolll* followed by: "Actually if you say 'as' or 'like' that's really more of a simile, isn't it?" Jeremy: "Wow. People have been correcting me all day. " There followed here a long explanation of how Haydon had explained to Jeremy the difference between amphibians and reptiles and how dinosaurs were reptiles and frogs were amphibians.

Haydon, quite cheerfully: "Pretty soon people will be calling us the Smarty family instead of the Hopper family!"


Also had some conversations on humility today. :-D

Ok. I need coffee.
  • misssonja
    Who needs TV? The 2nd paragraph was my fav & made me giggle.
    by misssonja at 10/02/16 10:00AM
  • onelittlecandle
    by onelittlecandle at 10/02/16 1:13PM
  • tryphena
    Love it all! Was Haydon being sarcastic, perhaps? Hard to imagine sarcasm from him, except that he does have half your genes.

    It'd be fun to be a mouse in your house sometimes!
    by tryphena at 10/02/16 7:16PM
  • ceoltoir
    The "stunned silence from the rest of the room" made me laugh. Every day is an adventure with such family members. Try to enjoy them and not go crazy ... at least not TOO crazy.
    by ceoltoir at 10/02/16 10:21PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Oh. My.
    :D and (( ♥ ))
    by cyber_space_cadet at 10/03/16 8:47AM
  • marmee
    I'd say you all are just right for each other! Love love your conversations with your children.
    by marmee at 10/03/16 10:49AM

For those who were following Jeremy's work/promotion/raise Saga...

He did not get the raise or the promotion, he just spent a month working a job with much increased responsibility without any increased pay and the alcoholic was never fired and Jeremy went back working in the yard this week.

The saddest part of all this is not the money, because even though the raise would have been amazing and having it mentioned but not followed through on was crushing, at the end of the day we are not making less money then we've been making for over a year. The saddest and hardest part of all this is the damage this did to Jeremy and Randy's relationship. They were never friends exactly but before Paul offered Randy's job to Jeremy and then changed his mind, they both respected each-other and could work well together. Jeremy has come home early twice lately because of fights he has had with Randy. Randy is now feeling totally insecure and threatened by Jeremy (for obvious reasons) and pretty much looks for ways to attack him.

It has taken what wasn't a great job situation and made it almost unbearable for Jeremy. Just pray for him please.

  • marmee
    I will pray for him ... and for Randy. That boss Paul sure did set them up. So very unfair. Love to you all.
    by marmee at 09/08/16 11:14AM
  • tryphena
    That is a very hard situation to deal with. Jeremy is going to have to kill Randy with kindness, and even then, there's no guarantee that this will work out. I'm sorry--when the man's work situation is tough, it's hard on the whole family.
    by tryphena at 09/08/16 11:45AM
  • mountaingirl
    Oh, so hard! I do hope Jeremy can get through to Randy to accomplish a more wholesome work environment...
    by mountaingirl at 09/13/16 3:08PM
  • curlie
    by curlie at 09/26/16 11:10PM

Updatage n'Things (Long and discombobulated, but sometimes I write discombobulated posts on purpose because I like the word discombobulated.)

Basic Important Things to Know About My Life:

*We're picking up an exchange student from Denmark tomorrow. Her name is Cecilie (pronounced closer to Cecilia) she is 17 and will be going to the high school here. We'll be hosting her for about 10 months. I would say 80% of my acquaintance thinks I'm insane (my husband says "Well, they're right and we *are* crazy, but its ok to be crazy") but I'm tremunjously excited. I like international adventures and I like them best when I don't have to pack or buy a ticket.

*Of course part of the reason they think I'm insane is that not only we are an hosting an exchange student, we also are expecting baby #5 in mid-Feb. I admit this part was not planned, a couple things had changed and been going on the the last couple years and we were not expecting this one. But that's ok, we are pleased anyway. I had a moment of panic when I realized this baby would be coming while Cecilie was here but when I told her the news (we've been e-mailing all summer and we've Skyped twice) she was just as overjoyed and excited as our own kids were. It was adorable and reassured me all over again that she was going to be a good fit for our family.

*Jeremy is now an (ahem) "Materials Supervisor", which means he is now a Boss Man at the construction company he works for and has an air-conditioned trailer office and his rate of pay has been doubled.***

*To go back to afore-mentioned #5 in February, Haydon is determined that this is his moment to finally get a brother and seriously, who can blame a 6 year old boy with three little sisters? So we're praying for an Asher Michael but we will also love a Clarissa Elise or a Cora Alice or a Gillian whatever just as much. (But it really needs to be a boy so we don't have to do the hard work of selecting a girl name. We've had Asher picked out for years.)

*Um. Drat, drat, drat. I forgot what this update was supposed to be. Help.

Re: Jeremy's new job posish, that is a short version and the full version actually brings up a couple prayer requests. I shall copy and paste an update I sent to family:

So for a while now Jeremy has had a supervisor who is an alcoholic. His hands are shaking by the end of the day and he's late and hung over every other day. Jeremy has befriended him and been able to give him advice from his own past experience. On Thursday of last week, Jeremy was called into the office and was told that Randy was going to be fired and that Jeremy was going to be given Randy's job, which would include a significant raise. On Friday Jeremy went into work and instead of outright firing Randy there was a meeting with Randy, Jeremy and their boss- Jeremy said it was the most unprofessional meeting he's ever been in. Randy was yelled at in front of Jeremy and told that if he didn't get his act together they would fire him and make Jeremy his replacement. For now, Jeremy was expected to be Randy's assistant and Randy was now going to be charge of training Jeremy so that Jeremy would be ready when they fired Randy. (Obviously, after this meeting Randy was a bit ticked at Jeremy but now at least Randy and Jeremy are on good terms again. ) Yesterday was the first time the boss mentioned a raise again, he asked Jeremy if he wanted to stay hourly or be on salary. Jeremy said hourly (a good call, I think) and then today Jeremy went in with his own numbers and suggestions and also said he thought they were being completely unfair to Randy, and as of Today: The final agreement seems to be that starting this Monday, Jeremy will be making $40 an hour (double his previous pay) and Randy will be gone. Please pray that they stick to their word on this, and that Jeremy and Randy will be able to part on good terms and that Randy will get the help he needs.

Update to this Update:
At least on the paperwork, Jeremy is getting the raise. The proof in the pudding will be the paycheck he gets on Monday. (You may have noticed by this point that I have trust issues. Heheh.) Randy is still there and who knows if he will be gone Monday or not, but honestly at this point Jeremy and I both strongly feel he has been very badly used and he needs help. Whether they fire him or not is up to management and it isn't going to change the fact that Randy needs prayers and help. On the other hand,this raise is desperately needed for us so please pray hard that this sticks no matter what they choose to do with Randy. We committed to the exchange student right before a student loan payment of Jeremy's jumped without warning from $30 a month to over $300 a month and shortly after that we found out we were expecting again. Without going into any gory details, this has been a long and hard and stressful summer. God has been working on teaching me patience and trust one day at a time and I am not a fast learner. It is true, God takes cares of our needs one day at a time. I have seen this proved so many times. So I do not know why I let my stomach grow into knots, I really don't. But I do. Every single time. I'm so tired of making myself so tired.

  • misssonja
    So much exciting and happy news!
    I can only hope Haydon's dream comes true :)
    I am sad to admit that I have the same miserable anxieties and this week has been awful on that front and I am exhausted, too.
    by misssonja at 08/12/16 9:38PM
  • tryphena
    It's hard to be at peace with so much happening! But I'm happy for you about all of this good news!
    by tryphena at 08/13/16 3:40PM
  • sirtarin
    I will be praying. Enjoy all the interesting and exciting times ahead! Congratulations!
    by sirtarin at 08/17/16 10:59AM
  • mountaingirl
    So very exciting, for so many things! I will pray for you all! And... Enjoy! International adventures and baby *etc* ! :-)
    by mountaingirl at 08/18/16 2:03PM

Mundane Matters

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers on my last post, they did help. Focusing on the mundane these days in the hopes of finding eternal glory as a reward for the eternal struggle against laundry and dishes.

Interesting note: It is not yet the end of June. In the last four weeks the 3 year old got sick enough to go the doctor (if you know much about us and most of you do, that says alot), we went camping for a week-end, the 6 year old broke his arm, the dryer broke (still not fixed) the dishwasher broke (still leaks) and the vaccuum cleaner died. (Still not replaced either, but that last is because I am really not convinced yet that its completely broken. I feel like we are misunderstanding each-other.)

On top of that I had one of those interactions with someone whose identity shall remain anonymous and whose true intention was to help with house-cleaning and such but actually the nature of the interaction was such that it was a much more discouraging encounter than a helpful one. Moreover, in this particular instance it was unasked for help as well, the very reason I hadn't asked Anonymous Person for help was because I hadn't figured it would go well, and it didn't. Please pray that A.P and I are able to work this out in such a way that it doesn't happen again but mostly pray that I am able to Rise Above the discouragement because that one ten minute interaction set me back months at least, if not years. This probably says more about how over-sensitive I am than it says about AP, just pray that I get over myself. ;-)

Haydon's arm is doing very well though, so that is good news.

It is HOT over here, folks. Is it hot everywhere else?

But that should mean early tomatoes, right? Not that I have a garden, because I don't. I just have an Aloe Vera plant in my kitchen that I bought myself at the Farmers Market last Thursday, I'm very proud of him. But the elderly-and-energetic couple across the street have a ginormous garden and they grow it just to share with their neighbors and their tomatoes last summer were delicious. I'm enjoying watching their garden grow from out the living room window.

  • ceoltoir
    It's kind of hot here too. It's not really a problem except it makes our water bill go up because some things *must* be watered, lest they dry up and burst into flames.
    by ceoltoir at 06/20/16 4:29PM
  • tryphena
    Hot here. No A/C in the vehicle I have to drive this week.

    Discouragement from AP: No matter the person's intention (and we will assume they were good, because that's the right thing to do), please don't allow her to discourage you. Obviously, she doesn't have a level of understanding of your life, and that's okay. You do things the way you need to and provide for your family what they need. They probably don't need beds that are made or all the laundry in the house done and folded all at the same time. They probably don't need a clean kitchen or carpet that doesn't crunch when you walk on it.

    They probably need food and their mother, don't you think? I don't know you well at all, but I am so proud of the way you think and how you handle life's adversity, as well as the way you revel in the little joys. It makes me sad to think that someone has discouraged you!

    There will come a time for a clean house or whatever "help" she thought you needed. Maybe you do need some help, perhaps from AP or from someone else, but it would have to be your call, not theirs. Until then, you are doing JUST FINE. And probably much better than that.

    Oh, for a homegrown tomato!
    by tryphena at 06/20/16 5:49PM

The good news is: Its working. The bad news is: Its working.

All that prayer, all that wrestling and struggling to get back to a place before God where I remember who He is and who I am and asking Him to bring me ever closer to Him, its working.

But throughout my life I have found that the closer I am to God, the closer the events of the world and the closer the pain of others touches me. I doubt that I am the only one to have noticed this phenomenon. But I am afraid that I am among the very few selfish enough to find this something to fear rather than something to embrace.

And then I find myself in this strange little cycle. First the pain. I read the news and catch my breath and feel kicked in the gut and I have no words but only tears and fear and wordless prayers. Then one of two things happen, and I can't always tell which is which. Sometimes I distract myself again. I flee the scene and try to shut out the images of blood and violence and silence the screams of the victims that I'm hearing in my head and I do so out of selfish cowardice when instead I should be seeking out some way to help. At other times God comforts and brings perspective and says "You have wept with the weeping my child but you do not have to live here. Let go and move forward."

I think as I think about this that the key that I should look for and trust is who I am most seeking to glorify and honor? Mankind? Myself? Or God Himself? Should I only dwell on mankind, I will be forever paralyzed with misery. If I am only focusing on myself, I will after the first few pangs of sincere grief become pleased with what I might be pleased to call my "tender heart" and become one of those people who are always talking about their Sensitive Feelings and become more attached to those feelings than I am to God and my downfall will be pride.

And my stupid pragmatism always, always gets in the way. My question is always "What to do?" and this is sometimes the wrong question and even when it is the right question, the answer has been the same now for many years and will not change for another many years.

Love your family. Get up and make them breakfast and read them the Bible and show them a different way, and teach them about Perspective. As a dear friend of mine says, this world can be compared to a video game. What happens down here will never be the end. We're all just waiting to unlock the final level, and then we will understand.

Right now I'm a little confused about alot of things.

"Never let me wander from thee, never leave the God I love. Here's my heart, oh take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above."

My favorite hymn since forever, because of this line and because it talks about God's goodness "like a fetter" binding my "wandering heart."

I'm not growned-up yet. God, here are my wrists. Shackle me up. I know I'll get lost and I know I'm still resisting. Please drag me all the way home anyway and have mercy on me when I go kicking and screaming in my selfish immaturity and confusion.

  • heatheronthehill
    It's so difficult to find a meaningful way to comment on something like this. Remember that happy week spent at homeschool campout a few years ago where we just sat and watched our children playing? That is where I am with you right now in my mind. Just sitting as we absorb the hard and heavy things of this life and struggle to deal. Love you.
    by heatheronthehill at 06/14/16 7:10AM
  • tryphena
    "Then we will understand..." I can't help but think of the song "Farther Along" and the idea that God will clear up all the confusion "by and by." A friend of mine once noted that we probably *won't* understand it all, but it won't matter once we're face-to-face with the Creator. THe Father and His glory will simply erase or outshine all the craziness and confusion that was this world. So, to extrapolate from that idea, if understanding evil won't matter then, it probably doesn't matter now. It's simply the work of Satan and has no part in Some Day. I find that comforting. Not that we should shrug off all that happens in this world--indeed, we must have compassion and mercy--but it is such a waste of energy trying to figure it out. Be Still My Soul is one of my all-time favorite hymns of comfort when things get me down. Even it contains the idea that things will become clear in the end, but the overall sentiment is comforting to me.
    by tryphena at 06/14/16 7:19AM
  • heatheronthehill
    Psalm 131.
    by heatheronthehill at 06/14/16 8:57AM
  • marmee
    What to say to you? What to say? God bless you ... and keep you ... and give you courage and strength.

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    by marmee at 06/14/16 12:39PM
  • misssonja
    ^ I was reading her Prov 3 passage, and v 25-26 is one for me to remember in moments such as the present vile mayhem:

    Do not be afraid of sudden terror
    or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
    for the Lord will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.

    Your fourth paragraph was very CS Lewis and pricking. We can be a little smug, a little self-satisfied, even when we mean to be compassionate and grieved. I love you.
    by misssonja at 06/14/16 5:00PM