Thursday, June 30, 2011

up close & pesonal with Abigail Smith

June 29, 2011
8:00 p.m.'ish
Bel Air, Maryland

This morning I sat down with local cool kid, Abigail Smith, to ask her about her recent bike accident that resulted in a trip to Patient First.

What in the world happened?
Well, I was riding my bike down a hill and it started going out of control. I fell off and it was dragging me along the street.

What did you do? Did you freak out?
As soon as I got up from the street, the whole cut and around it was completely white. I got back on my bike and rode to my house. When I got home, it started bleeding and then I freaked out because I knew it looked bad.

Where did you go and was the doctor nice?
My mom and dad took me to Patient First. Dr. Igor was my doctor and he was from Moscow, Russia just like me. He was very nice. He told me that I would feel one mosquito bite (the needle to numb it) and then I wouldn't feel anything else. He was right.

Did the needle hurt? Did you cry?
Yes, the needle hurt. I didn't cry but I was close. My mom encouraged me to look at her instead of what the doctor was doing and she told me to breathe. That helped me not to cry. My mom was watching the doctor put in the stitches but my dad had to look away.

How many stitches did you get?

Does it still hurt?
Only when my mom cleans it and re-bandages it.

Will you ride your bike again?
YES. I will.

What advice would you give to other kids in case this happens to them?
I would tell them to breathe and don't panic.

So...less than a week later, our second daughter needed medical attention.

When Jayda was injured, Abbie was an emotional mess - practically hyperventilating. Yet when she was injured, although she initially cried, she calmed down and stayed strong through the worst of it.

When Abbie was injured, Jayda was an emotional mess - screaming and crying, "Abbie bleed!" In fact, when I had to clean Abbie's cut and re-bandage it, Jayda and David both wanted to look at it. This is the reaction that followed.

Everyone is happy in this pre-clean/re-bandage picture. They are holding Abbie's hands and everyone is smiling. Things are good!

Jayda is so curious to see the boo boo.

After looking, Jayda begins to cry, "Abbie bleed!"

At this point, I cleaned the cut and I was allowing it to dry. David is very concerned and Abbie was very sad. The cleaning part hurts.

I'm so thankful that in both cases with my girls, they experienced minimal pain. Both accidents could have been far worse.

In both situations, Matt was home at a time he would not normally be home so we were able to care for our family together. This was good for us and kind of God. I learned that David knows the importance of prayer as he wanted to pray for Abbie repeatedly and out of concern (like a brother) he doesn't think she should ride her bike anymore.

I saw my oldest son, Stephen, remain calm in both situations. I think that God gives him grace for this as hard things happen to others and it's only when something scary is happening to him that he panics.

I'm not hoping for any more accidents that lead us to the ER, believe me, but I can honestly and sincerely thank God for the clear ways He has showed our entire family - youngest to oldest - His faithfulness and care for us in the day to day stuff of life.

bracelets for two

Last week, Matt and I were sitting in Bob Evans, attempting to enjoy a spontaneous little breakfast date.

Matt: "I think this is going to be a great new season for us now that Stephen can legally babysit. We'll be able to enjoy things like this."

Or will we?

Just minutes after that optimistic statement, we received a frantic phone call from Stephen. There was screaming and crying in the background. This couldn't be good. Matt hung up and told me:

"Jayda fell and her head is bleeding. I'm running home - you stay here."

Yeah, right, sure. I'll enjoy a nice omelet with a cup of brew while you tend to my baby girl's bleeding head. Let me know how it goes....I'll be here in Bob Evans pigging out.

I guess we all say odd things when we are in stressful situations. Matt was in a panic and he wanted to make sure he got to the scene first. And I do appreciate that.

Just moments behind him, I rushed out, breaking a few speed limit laws, racing to get home. Would she need stitches? Stephen is prone to panic he o.k.? How bad is this going to be?

First thing I saw when I opened the front door was a rather large pool of blood on the carpet.

First thing I heard when I opened the front door was screaming and crying. Screaming from Jayda and crying from Abbie, the big sister who was so frightened for her little sister. Abs was also the one who had cleaned up all blood from Jayda's body and no doubt this gave way to fear. Stephen was extremely calm and level headed, handling the situation like a pro.

Immediately Matt and I began playing our parts.

I put pressure on the head and gave Jayda a popsicle, which eliminated all screaming immediately. Thank God for that recent sale at Shop Rite where I stocked up on these frozen treats.

Matt grabbed his Norwex "magic rag" and began cleaning the large blood spots and trail that Jayda left behind. And for you skeptics out there, yes, Norwex worked perfectly.

Our trusty friend Allyson was already on her way to our house so she stayed to calm Abbie down while we took Jayda to the ER. Thankfully, no stitches required. She "dodged a bullet" as the doctor said.

We've only had two ER visits in our life and both have been with Jayda! This comes as no surprise, really.

I mean, it's Jayda.

I'm happy to report that her little laceration has healed just fine. Even while she was in the room at the ER, she was jumping up and down and bouncing on the bed.

I wish this was the last of our "accidents" but....

Monday, June 27, 2011

if the sun was out

Instead of the bright sunny day we were anticipating, the sun hid behind clouds, changing our plans.

No pool = disappointed children.

But God had a different plan for our family. Far greater than we could have imagined.

When our little ewoks were taking their naps, Matt stayed home so I could do a special date with Stephen and Abbie. They chose the library of all places, so after a quick bite at Panera, we drove towards the Abingdon branch. Just as we were approaching the entrance, we noticed a homeless woman holding a sign that read "Homeless: Please help." The kids anticipated my words before they even left my mouth.

"Guys - we have to see what's going on here. I'm going to stop."

That began an adventure that wonderfully consumed our afternoon and extended into the evening.

If the sun was out and shining bright like the weather forecast stated, we never would have met Sandy, a 42 year old homeless woman in our own community. I never would have had the privilege of sitting in the library, listening to her life story; learning of her struggles.

If the sun was out, we never would have had dinner with her as a family.

If the sun was out, we never would have sat in a restaurant, sharing the gospel with her.

She never would have heard Jayda (3) sing Happy Birthday to everyone in the van as we drove to a nearby hotel.

If the sun was out, Abbie would not have been walking through Target with me, picking out clothes for a woman that didn't have any.

If the sun was out, our children would not have experienced our attempt at living out the parable of the Good Samaritan, as we sought to care for our neighbor.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

We planned our way today and the way led to the pool we just joined. But the Lord established our steps and He led our every step to Sandy.

And I'm so grateful He did.

Our family is nothing special. We are not uniquely gifted and we don't have experience working with the homeless. But our lives have been bombarded with God's grace and mercy; both of which we do not deserve. This love that Christ has shown towards us is what motivated us to befriend a stranger. It is His doing; not ours.

When we finally got home and put the little guys to bed, we sat with Stephen and Abbie and asked them what they thought about everything that took place. They admitted their initial fear and uncomfortableness, but they thought it was cool that when the evening was over, she had a safe and comfortable place to sleep.

Stephen and Abbie prayed for Sandy aloud, and as they did, I thanked Him for hiding the sun behind the clouds today.

*An excellent book that transformed my heart towards the poor is "Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road" by Timothy J. Keller.

Friday, June 10, 2011

price's + smith's = fun

A simple equation that is always true:

Price's + Smith's = fun

Even amidst bumped heads on banisters, slamming doors knocking little ones over, boo boos on toes, reluctant apologizers, toys in the cat dish, missing mommy, and catching killer spiders...

*Please note that this equation is also true for all adult Price's and Smith's.

To quote the wise Forrest Gump, from Forrest Gump:

"My momma always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

I had no plans today - none at all - so when my phone buzzed with a text from Amanda asking if three of her children could come over while she took Keely to the eye doctors, I was happy to say "YES!"

When I told my youngest two, they immediately started jumping up and down, yelling, " Maelyn...Ezwa...Keelwy!"

My "box of chocolates" today ended up being delightful at just about every turn.

Here's a little smattering of pictures from our day...

Ezra reads to everyone. I am so proud of him! He had a captive audience.

Lila shows Jayda the boo boo on her foot. Of course Jayda has to touch it; this kid finds a reason to touch everything!

Stephen looks for Nazareth, a small town in Ethiopia.

David plays the part of the reluctant sailor.

There were big feet and dark chunky feet...

And little white baby feet...looking for Mommy.

Busy hands, sorting through cars...

Washing phones in kitty cat's water dish...

..while her Mommy, and my taller-than-me friend tries to catch a spider. He may look small in the picture, but he was hairy, fast, and had three white spots on his back.

Clearly he was no match for Amanda and as a result, spun a new web inside of a ziplock container.

The only bad part about this box of chocolates (and really most) is that there are never enough! Surrounded by a bit of chaos, Amanda and I start and stop many conversations.

"What was I saying?"

"Did I just tell you that?"

"What were we talking about?"

Hours are breezing by and it's past nap time. Time for her crew to get going. Yeah, we'll finish those conversations.


Loaded up to the max with children - well almost - their van pulls away...

And freedom waits on the other side for...

Because a ziplock container is not a proper home for a white-spotted, hairy, black, spider. He takes a while to leave his plastic prison, but he eventually crawls out and then up the tree, blending in perfectly with the bark.

And a little freedom comes my way too...