Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A First

Justus got to eat his first cereal this week. He's a pretty big boy and was starting to be hungry all the time, so I thought I would graduate him to some food. Here's a little peak at his first attempt at some rice cereal.
video

Tea Party Anyone?

And yes, even Justus gets dressed in his fancy suit for our tea parties!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Spiritual Journey

"They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer...their hearts were not loyal to him..." Psalm 78: 35, 37

This morning as I was reading the Psalm, these verses stuck out to me, convicted me, and made me start to think.

Why: This summer has been extremely busy. It seems like there has been something almost every night and every weekend since the summer started. Being busy isn't a sin, but yet I just haven't been able to have this flourishing relationship with the Lord this summer. I've been learning things and applying, but just not flourishing.

What does this mean: This morning, the Lord began speaking to my heart about the busyness in my life. When I'm busy, I still definitely "remember" God. I know and recognize He is my "redeemer", and I thank Him for that. However, there is no way for my heart to be loyal to Him continually because I'm too busy jumping from one thing to the next. My heart and mind can't stay fixed on the things of Him because I'm more worried about schedules and deadlines and activities and traveling and all the other things that cause a busy schedule. It is in the simplicity of life where I find I can walk WITH God moment by moment. Busyness is what causes spiritual defeat for me.

Its funny. Just as I was about to turn to Brent and tell him what I was talking to God about, he walked up to me and handed me the book "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg and said, "read this chapter." The chapter was entitled, An Unhurried Life. Brent then started to talk about what God had been telling him that morning. Its crazy how God choose to speak to both of us at the same time about our schedules. One of my favorite quotes from this chapter was, "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." It then goes on to say, "The great danger is not that we will renounce our faith, but settle for a mediocre version of it." A mediocre relationship with Christ is not what I desire. Needless to say, this chapter further convicted me about our schedule these past few months.


What Am I Going to Do: I am slowing down. I know some people think that because I stay home, I probably already live a pretty slowed down life. I'm hoping that stereotype will be true in the coming months. I desire to live in obedience to the Lord. What that obedience looks like, I'm not quite sure at this point. But I do know that I will be spending this week seeking the Lord's guidance on how to slow down but yet still do everything we've been called to do. I desire to be productive, but I don't desire to be busy. There's a fine line, and I pray the Lord will show me how to balance that in the coming weeks.

Goals:
  • I guess this means I'm going to start practicing the spiritual discipline of simplicity. This week is week 1 of practice time. I'll let you know how it goes =)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekends

We took a weekend trip to Duncan to see Brent's family

We spent Friday with Gramps and Grammy, and we got to swim, celebrate Gramps birthday, play with all the cousins, go to Kiddie Land, and just have fun.Saturday was spent with Nana and Pappaw, and we got to play at the park, play with all the cousins, enjoy tons of new toys, eat lunch with all the relatives, rotate the tires on the van, and just enjoy being with family.
Things I learned on this trip:
  • Both Justus and Elliana are allergic to something in the Duncan air. Medicate them before we go next time!
  • While Elliana may sleep in a big girl bed at home, a sleeping bag is still a little hard for her to sleep in. She doesn't quite understand how to keep her legs in the bag part.
  • When allowing Elliana to sleep in the bed with you, put a pillow between you and her or else you will wake up with bruises along your side from her kicking you all night.
  • Avery really is getting to be big! She can now sleep where ever I tell her, eat what's put before her, and she understands whats going on so doesn't freak out with every new situation. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Only 3 more years and all my kids will be able to travel a bit better!
  • When you don't get home until 10pm on a Saturday night, don't plan on making your kids go to both services at church the next morning. You'll be 45 minutes late.
It was a fun trip, and it was so good to be able to see everyone! Thanks for letting us come visit and for all the fun memories.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Favorite

I have a new favorite blog you should check out if you live in the Fort Worth/Keller/Grapevine area.

Frugal in Fort Worth. I've been following it for a few weeks now and its wonderful. Its not inundated with millions of coupon deals or things where you have to sign up and give personal info. It simply picks one or two free events that are occurring in our area and lets you know about them.

It has been a great resource for me as I try to spend little or no money while still engaging my kiddos in fun activities. You should check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chunky, Chunky

Look who's 4 months old today!
Height: 90% : 25 1/2 inches
Weight: 90% : 16 lbs 1 oz
Acid reflux is still an issue...maybe he'll outgrow it by 6 months???
Laid back, easy going, sleeps great. He gave us a run for our money at the beginning, but he's turning out to be the easiest of all 3!
Happy 4 month birthday =)

My Spiritual Journey

Green tea is my friend today. I woke up unable to swallow without hurting, so hot tea will be what sustains me today. All that to say, short and sweet will be this week's post =)

Last week, I talked about how the Lord was stirring up boldness in my heart to share Christ. Here are a couple examples of what God has done since last Tuesday.

  • Tuesday afternoon I started reading a book my sister gave me last Thanksgiving entitled Still Red by Georgina Sam and David Wang. I've started reading it a couple different times and just never really got into it. I honestly think God was holding me off on reading it until he started stirring up this need to share Him with others. And this book will definitely inspire you to be bold and get up off your behind to tell others about the Gospel!. Nonfiction book about 2 Chinese men and a Chinese woman living in China who have accepted Christ. The result of them accepting Christ was to share Christ, get arrested, share Christ, get arrested, and so on. An incredible picture not only of Christianity under persecution, but the power of Christ as you tell others about him. One of my favorite quotes was as one of the men was sitting in the office of one of the Red Guards and was being asked to denounce Christ and worship communism. "Either God is God or He isn't. If He is, I have no choice but to follow Him and share Him with everyone." The book was perfect for me to read as the Lord continues to challenge me to live a life of evangelism.

  • Thursday night, our neighbor walks up to Brent and I and starts to talk about her stepdaughter. She proceeds to ask us if we'll talk with her sometime. We schedule for her to come over Friday night after the kids go to sleep. Not only are we able to share our testimony with her, we're able to answer questions and tell her about Christ.
Those are just 2 of the many examples this past week where Christ has challenged me to share my faith. Its fun to see the Lord teach me something and then to visibly be able to see Him use me as I try to implement what He's taught me. Its been a fun week!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ellianaisms

She has decided she likes to get warm under the rug rather than under a blanket. Under this particular rug is her new favorite place to lay and read books.

Me: "Elliana, you don't hit your sister. You need to look at your sister and tell her what?"

E: With a bit of an attitude, she turned to Aves and said "what!" Then she looked at me, smiled, giggled, and tried to run out of the room.

Me: "Elliana!"

E: She slowly crept back into the room, looked at me, looked at Avery, and very sheepishly said "sorry for hitting".

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Fun Day

This post is a bit late this weekend...I guess it means we had a fun weekend =)

Brent woke up Friday a bit sick, so we just hung close to home and found creative ways to hang out as a family.

The morning began with the boys fixing the bathroom molding, while the girls went to McDonalds to grab breakfast and release some energy in the playland. Its hard for Brent to get alone time with Justus with the girls around, so we tried to accomplish that this weekend.The kids took baths (when its too hot to swim outside, we pretend the bathtub is a swimming pool), we all played dress up, we jumped on the neighbors trampoline (we're definitely going to save to buy one of those this Christmas!), read books, and made popsicles. Brent: "What are we going to use to make popsicles?"
Me: "Water and food coloring".
Brent: "So we're making ice cubes?"
At least the girls thought it was a pretty cool idea =)

Friday night, we spent with our neighbors. Our neighbor asked Brent and I to talk with her daughter and share "our stories" with her. So the girls helped make chocolate chip cookies for them to eat while they were over.

Brent's still sick, so we had a very lazy weekend of just hanging out together at the house. The summer is going so fast and has been so busy; it has been really nice just to be home and do nothing and do it together as a family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things are Looking Up

On a day where where nothing seemed to be going right, a surprise discovery in the back of a bathroom cupboard. A coupon book that I never cashed in on. Look out Brent. Its been a long week of taking care of sick kids. I'm cashing in on this one this weekend =)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Spiritual Journey



Here has been the progression of my thoughts throughout the past week.

I started the week reading Acts 9. "Go" in verse 11 and verse 15 kept popping out to me as I read and reread the passage. So naturally I started praying for God to tell me where to go or why he was putting the word "go" in my heart.

The next day as I was reading Acts 10, I wrote these two statements in my journal
  • God speaks to those who pray. Both Cornelius and Peter were men of prayer. It was during prayer that they both were able to hear about ways to better obey God.
  • God totally orchestrated this event. He gave 2 different men 2 different visions and prepared them to meet each other. God overcame the obstacles without the help of men.
So then I started meditating on the idea that I'm to go somewhere or to someone. God will reveal who or where to me as I pray and will overcome any obstacles that are in my way. Above all, he doesn't need my help to do it.

Then I read Acts 11 and these two verses stuck out in my mind all day
  • "They were told and a great many believed"
  • He saw the grace of God...he was glad, and he exhorted them to remain faithful with a steadfast purpose...he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith."
Oh to be able to tell others and have a great many of them believe! There's something stirring inside me to just share Christ. To find those who don't know the Truth and share with them. I know as believers we are called to share, and I do...when the circumstances are just right and the people are just right and the environment is just right and I have no fear of being rejected because their attitude towards me is just right.

This week, as I put together all my scattered thoughts in my journal, I see the Lord beginning to strip me of how I've always been comfortable sharing Christ with others. I feel Him telling me to be bold, at the park, at the grocery store, where ever. I know he is reassuring me that He will show me who to share with as I continue to pray and rely on Him and that He will overcome all obstacles I feel I have...such as being a ministers wife and a stay at home mom who doesn't have a whole lot of contact with nonbelievers and when I do meet nonbelievers, it is as I'm wrestling 3 kids in a grocery cart or at a park or somewhere like that!!

This week I long to be characterized as Barnabas was...full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. Faith that God can push me and develop in me that passion and obedience to share Christ with "a great many".

Friday, July 10, 2009

Family Fun Day

Today was a great day. We started the morning off with a little swim. One of the weirdest things about Texas is the lack of public pools! It seems like you have to live in a neighborhood with a community pool or join a gym with a pool in order to go swimming in this city =) Luckily, some good friends of ours let us borrow the key to their neighborhood pool so we were able to take the girls swimming. Elliana has no fear of the water and is a little fish, but Avery started off the morning petrified of the water.We went to this pool b/c they have a splash park that we thought Justus could enjoy a bit. Unfortunately the splash park was shut down for the day, so Justus and Brent hung out in the shade.

At the beginning of the morning, Avery had a death grip on my neck when we were in the water and started crying anytime I asked her to let go of me. She wouldn't put her face in the water, she wouldn't jump off the side, and she basically just wanted me to hold her. Here is a little video of what she looked like at the end of our time on Friday. I was so proud of her!!
video

After naps, we made cow costumes with the girls
And we all went to Chick Fil A to get our FREE dinner. I guess July 10th is National Cow Day or something like that and if you dress like a cow, they let you eat for free. So we went all out and thoroughly enjoyed our free dinner. We ended the night painting our fingernails and toes to get ready for a tea party the girls were invited to Saturday morning. Can you tell who didn't participate in the whole nail painting party?


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Looking for Someone to Cut Your Hair??

Then look no further. My 2 year old seems to be quiet talented at cutting hair. Much to my surprise, she demonstrated her expertise Wednesday afternoon while helping me make pizza.
Yes, you too could have such a grand haircut. And, since she doesn't yet know the difference between a quarter, a penny, or a dollar bill, your haircut could be quite cheap.
And don't worry, I'll clean her face before she cuts your hair. She may be talented at cutting hair, but putting the food into her mouth rather than around her mouth is still a skill she is working on!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Family Reunions

I love family reunions. Twice a year, over the 4th of July and over either Thanksgiving or Christmas, my sisters, parents and all our families get together for a reunion. I wouldn't miss it for the world. My mom is the lucky one whose birthday is always during our reunion. We love getting to celebrate her birthday together. This year the girls got to enjoy sparklers for the first time. They still haven't stayed up late enough to see their first fireworks though. Maybe next year =) Tons of time was spent outside this year. From jumping on the trampoline to playing in the playhouse to playing games like the bean bag toss and the ladder game, outside was the place to be.

As we sat on the deck one night enjoying the cool Iowan evenings, Brent and I looked at each other and decided we could definitely get used to the weather in the North! It was so enjoyable to be able to play outside all day long!

I think this reunion was my favorite one since having kids. Mostly because I've changed some since Avery was born. I used to think that she was the only kid who didn't sleep on vacation. I used to think I was the only one exhausted. I used to think I was the only one who was going to be miserable for the 2 weeks after vacation as I tried to get my kid back on some sort of schedule. I guess I've realized in the past 3 1/2 years that I'm not the only one who experiences these things, but I am the one who determines how fun the vacation is for our family. I've realized that I need to let go of my fears about what life will be like when we return home and just have fun. I've realized that I have a choice to either be exhausted and sit on the couch or to be exhausted, push through it, and have a blast with life. Yes, this year was a blast and I'm looking forward to it only getting better from here!

To see the rest of the pictures from our vacation, click here

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Top Three Things I will Hopefully Never Do Again

1. Fly by myself with all three kids on a 6am flight.

2. Fly by myself with all three kids on a 6am flight.

3. Fly by myself with all three kids on a 6am flight.

But at least we finally made it home and its almost naptime for the kids and for me. I'm praying they all sleep at the same time so I can sleep! I'm exhausted.

Highlight of the flight:
  • Halfway down the tunnel to get onto the airplane, Avery says: "I have to go back and give Grandpa a hug and a kiss and tell him how much I love him. " I told her we couldn't go back, so she yelled at the top of her lungs "I LOVE YOU GRANDPA!!!" and continued to walk onto the plane.
Low point in the flight:
  • Elliana stretched out on the floor of the plane yelling at the top of her lungs "I DON'T WANT TO BE ON THE GROUND. I WANT TO FLY." She alternated between screaming this and just screaming for the last 15 minutes of the flight. I guess when you wake a 2 year old up at 4am, there's only so much they can handle before they flip out =)
Sorry to all you passengers on flight 3570 this morning who thought you were going to sleep on your 6am flight. My kids had other plans for you.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Grandma! We're so glad we get to spend the week with you for your birthday. We love you!!