Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Honor



One of my 2 degree goals this month was to find little ways to honor my husband better - I think following a 2 1/2 year old around and being pregnant has really dampened my attitude of late. John has been the best husband, stepping up and doing laundry, watching Drew, making dinner, he even cleaned the floors! What a wonderful husband I have!

I asked John what I could do to honor him better this week and he said " you could rub my feet" so that is one of my daily goals! John is remodeling a clients bathroom and has been working 12 hour days, his feet are quite tired and sore. What a privilege to wash and rub my husband's feet - just like Christ washed the disciples before his crucifixion.

A few other ways I am honoring John this week are:



  • I am committed to praying specifically for John each morning before I get out of bed, which was reinforced by the quote of the week "When there is little awareness of real need there is little real prayer."~ Donald S. Whitney ~ Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life. My husband has great needs in his life that I have been slacking on praying for as his wife and #1 encourager. This goals has been moved to the top of my list, even above feet washing!

  • honoring him with kind and encouraging words

  • thinking of his needs first even in the little things - like ordering him his favorite type of pizza with extra sauce, just the way he likes it

  • Drew and I splurged and ordered John a subscription to a woodworking magazine as a special surprise!


What a difference this challenge has made in me! I am finding it easier and easier to see the little things my husband does for us - there are so many, he must spend all day thinking up ways to honor us. John is always kind in his words and has a smile on his face even after a long day of work. I wish I could say that about myself! Since taking this challenge, I've had a much better attitude in general which overflows into all aspects of my life. When I combine this challenge with my 1000 gifts challenge there isn't any time in my day to think on the negative.



Philippians 4:8-9 comes to my mind



"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen
in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."



I believe that my attitude as a wife and mother has everything to do with allowing the "God of peace" access into our home.



May the God of Peace be in your home also!



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No more Mimi!


Well, that was easy! I thought weaning Drew off his "Mimi" would be hard, but he took it well. Drew loves to be called a big boy so getting rid of the Mimi makes him feet like a big boy. Drew has been hopping and running all over the place today, he even took a 3 hour nap - his first nap in three days! We are so blessed, Drew has been such a good little boy lately. Today was hard because it rained all day, but we did manage a walk in between showers!

Week 16



Fat begins to form underneath skin, providing your baby with insulation for the coming months.
Did you know that both baby and placenta are now about the same size?
Your little one has reached 4.57 inches (11.6cm) and approximately 3.53 ounces (100gm).
His head and neck are held straighter now.
This is a week of "mights!" You might hear the tiny thumps of his heartbeat with an external monitor now. The genitals are developed sufficiently that an experienced sonographer might be able to determine if your baby is a boy or a girl.
Her heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons of blood a day and beats at a rate about double your heartrate.
If you could take a peek inside, you would witness your child's reflexes in action! (Sucking, swallowing and blinking are now evident.) She is probably even hiccuping even though you don't feel it yet!
Your baby has learned to breathe! This is apparent from the regular movements of his chest. Isn't it amazing that he is able to breathe "underwater," inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid? These actions help the lungs to develop and grow.

More Gifts to Report


67. Day by day renewal (2 Corinthians 4:16)
68. a Fathers Day German Chocolate cake
69. Drew and Daddy “saving the house from dust bugs”
70. A night out with good friends
71. a freshly mowed lawn
72. a clean, naked little boy running around before bedtime
73. watching Drew take his first bubble bath
74. Drew’s intoxicating smile
75. a quick meal with little cleanup
76. John’s sweet and joyful mood in the mornings before church
77. Worship music that searches my soul and draws out repentance
78. Medicine to calm heartburn!
79. a good nights sleep
80. A smiling child after his first nights sleep without his “Mimi”
81. watching Drew jump around the house using sweet words as he goes
82. dinner guests who bring Chocolate cake
83. Drew steering his Jeep down the street waving as he goes
84. A peaceful latte before church
85. Drew sitting in my lap watching home movies
86. Drew falling asleep without “Mimi” for the second night in a row – only 45 minutes of talking to himself
87. watching home video’s of Drew’s birth and our “younger” bodies!
88. John’s sweet words of affirmation
89. an early nights sleep
90. The Tiger Movie – Drew was so excited because the two of us sat down and watched it together – Drew pointed out every time Eeyore came onto the scene
91. Serving John ice-cream
92. Root beer Popsicles
93. Psalms 106:1 – God’s enduring love
94. . words of gold
95. . homecomings
96. Tylenol for headaches!
97. forgiveness for ill words spoken in haste
98. a husband who calls me during the day just to say “I’m thinking of you.”
99. John’s handy man business
100. A “Mimi” less house and a very cheerful little boy (Drew’s attitude has been exceptionally wonderful and pleasant for the last two weeks)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Night #2



Drew's smiling face before his second night without "Mimi." The first night went well, Drew only woke up once at 10:45 looking for it. After rubbing his back for a few moments he went right back to sleep. So far so good!

Night # 2 has not been too bad, I did run into his room when he started streaming, only to discover he had unzipped his PJ's and got stuck in them trying to take them off. He said he was hot! A few times today Drew asked for his "Mimi," I just said "oh your a big boy now, you don't need one." So far it is working!

Today Drew was able to poor his own raisins at snack, he was so proud and said "I'm a big boy mommy!"

New pictures and video's are posted on the photo and video page.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Night #1

Last night was Drew's last night with his "Mimi" (passy). As a special treat we let Drew play all day long without a nap = hoping he would be more tired tonight for bedtime. Drew had such a fun time playing outside with Mommy and Daddy, playing in the garage, swimming at the pool, playing chase, driving his jeep on the sidewalk, and having a picnic lunch in the garage! Tonight at bedtime, eyelids drifting downward, we explained to Drew that he is a big boy and doesn't need Mimi anymore. I bought him a new train and gave it to him. I said "instead of your Mimi you can play with your special train in bed." I even played a special boz CD for him to fall asleep to. Drew was very excited until the lights went out and the door was closed. Then he cried for his Mimi. Oh, how guilty I felt! Poor little guy. He has slept every night for 2 1/2 years with a Mimi!

It took Drew about 1 hour to fall asleep. He stopped crying after 5 minutes, but kept asking for Daddy or Water or Snow or a new shirt, etc. Everything but Mimi. Finally the sound dissipated and he fell asleep for the first time without Mimi. I hope he stays asleep all night! Please pray the transition goes smoothly for him.

Melissa

Friday, June 22, 2007

2 Degree Changes


I heard on a radio show, Focus on the Family, that an effective change in habit starts with small 2 degree changes in our habbits.

"Houston, we have a problem." Just a two-degree shift in Apollo 13's homeward course would have caused the spacecraft to miss the earth by thousands of miles. Indeed, minor changes can make a big difference. The same principle applies in daily life. For example, how long did you maintain your New Year's resolution to lose 20 lbs? Setting the bar too high often leads to discouragement, but smaller, more manageable changes can increase your likelihood of success. Psychologist and author Dr. John Trent discusses simple adjustments that can lead to life-changing results.
"How in the world such can a small degree of difference lead to such a great effect? I don't meet couples that, when they got married, were 11,121 miles apart. They started off two degrees [apart] and all of a sudden they woke up one day and were miles apart."

- Mr John Trent


A few 2 degree changes I am making this week are: working on my 1,000 gifts list, praying for my children throughout the day (note cards work great!) and I am making it a personal challenge to encourage my husband more this week than ever before. John works so hard and never complains! He is always an encouragement to me and to Drew. Drew lives for Daddy to come home. - Daddy is much more fun than Mommy! There is so much to praise and complement him for! For Valentines I wrote down the top 100 reasons why I love him to much. I think I will go back and re-read the list and use some of them each day to praise him for his sacrifices and wisdom in leading our family.


"She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:"

Proverbs 31:27-28


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away


Last year at this time Texas was in a major drought - crops were failing, water restrictions were in effect, burn bans were everywhere. Not so this year, we have had more rain just this month than in all of 2006. On Monday night we had the worst storm I've ever been in. The thunder woke us up around 1:00 am and lasted until 3:00 am. Our power went out, the fuse box went off, and anywhere from 5.5-7 inches of water flooded the streets. We even had hail. I had the thought cross my mind that the end of the world may have come. It was so scary yet there was a peace knowing we were being sheltered from the storm inside our home. I now have a real life experience to visualize when I picture the Lord sheltering me from the storms of life.

Poor Kitty ran into our bedroom and cowered next to the bed; she didn't like it one bit. She slept there all night and managed to not snore! The cats also found comfort on our bed, it was a huge slumber party minus Drew. Drew slept through the whole 2 hour ordeal! We had another storm hit again this morning but it only dropped about 2 inches of rain. I heard that another storm is on its way for tonight. Pray it doesn't drop more that 4-5 inches or we may be flooding again.

John and I thought we had weathered the storm without injury, only to wake to a flooded dining room. The water backed up so far that water came in the weep holes at the front of the house. Today, after airing out the dining room for 2 days we finally decided to rip out the carpet and dry out the cement floor. What fun! The carpet was starting to smell like mildew .. yucky.
The plan is to put in purgo/hard wood to replace the carpet we just tore up. We were so blessed to see that the water was contained in the dining room!

The whole town was effected by the flooding, roads are closed, ponds overflowed banks, garbage is everywhere because it hit on garbage day and the water rushing down the streets taking garbage cans with them. Our recycling bin was found a day later down around the corner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Week 15



You may begin to feel some fluttering movements as baby kicks, flails, twists and turns (but don't panic if you don't yet). She can also grasp, squint, frown, grimace and maybe suck her thumb!
Your baby's legs have grown longer than the arms and the body is now longer than the head.
And you'll be happy to note that he is moving those arms and legs often!
His skin is very thin -- so thin blood vessel are visible. It's covered by a fine, soft layer of hair called lanugo. Lanugo comes from a Latin word meaning "down." This hair is thought to help insulate your little boy.
The three tiny bones in his middle ear have begun to harden. The auditory centers in your baby's brain haven't developed yet, so she might not really understand what you say but her hearing capacity is in the process of developing.
Fingernails and toenails are growing.
Eyebrows are beginning to grow and even the hair his head is sprouting. It will probably change color and texture after birth.
All this and your little one is an amazing 3.98 inches (10.1cm) long and may weigh 2.47 ounces (70gm).

Quote Tuesday

"As Christians, we are called to convert our loneliness into solitude. We are called to experience our aloneness not as a wound but as a gift--as God's gift--so that in our aloneness we might discover how deeply we are loved by God."
~ Henri Nouwen ~
I really like this quote because it reminds me that the times meeting with the Lord that are the sweetest are discovered when I am alone and quiet before Him. After the business and chaos of the day a nice cup of tea and my Bible will rejuvenate my soul like nothing else. To truly know the Lord takes time, effort, and an expectant heart; during quiet times of solitude I've learned more about the very nature of God, his character, his passions for my life, His visions, and taken on His pursuits. It is when I am in solitude that I feel the closest to my Jesus and "His ways become my ways and His thoughts my thoughts."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thanks Be to God for His Indescribable Gifts


29. a husband who freely changes Drew’s diaper and enjoys tucking him in at night.
30. The morning call from the crib “Mama… Mama”
31. Morning smiles and shouts of laughter as Drew realized it is another day of fun with much adventure to be found
32. overhearing John give Drew verbal encouragement
33. watching Drew cautiously enter the children’s swimming pool with a pensive look on his face
34. the freedom and privilege of listening to God’s plan for handling money through Crown’s daily radio broadcast (www.crown.org)
35. Watching Drew and Daddy wrestle on the floor until both are exhausted
36. Drew saying “ Daddy, you ok?” and then kissing his bubo
37. Laughter in the walls
38. Drew dancing and jumping to music while mommy plays the drums
39. The calm that comes after the storm
40. The privilege and opportunity to disciple this little child
41. Two months of working on colors with Drew, slow progress, yet he does know two – white and pink!
42. Books, books, Books!
43. A date out with my sweetie, his smiling face after driving me 35 minutes for a hormonal burrito from Baja Fresh
44. A date night to the book store where dreams are made and futures planned
45. a little boy clutching proudly his daddy’s drill
46. Evening delights as Drew cries “Daddy’s home” and the smile that crosses his face when Daddy comes up to meet him
47. Cries of joy while wrestling “am I hurt, or should I continue?”
48. Obeying the command to “give thanks in everything” I am thankful for a flooded carpeted dining room, it means that hardwood floors may be sooner than we thought!
49. the scent of lighting a new candle
50. Babies to rock in the nursery
51. God’s humbling mercy
52. a mothers visit
53. a clean kitchen after a long day of cooking
54. My husband, the best father and leader! Thanks for a great year of servant leadership
55. John’s smelly clothes after a long day’s work
56. Drew’s smelly feet that resemble his daddy’s!
57. A happy hearted child that obeys his mommy
58. Dirty clothes in the hamper
59. an unexpectedly made bed
60. Kitty’s nuzzle asking me to “please rub my tummy!”
61. a hushed Sunday afternoon listening to the worship songs of old
62. Drew lost in the world of a classic Whiney the Pooh book – “I want to be Tigger today mommy!” he replies as bouncing across the room.
63. Hearing John’s voice on the other end of the phone
64. the storms of life - only a few present today!

65. a life of purpose

66. one lone muscular kick from my little one growing inside

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father Day



Today we celebrated Daddy! It was a simple, yet memorable day filled with yummy food, special gifts, and lots of thanks. I make a special steak dinner for John with his favorite twice baked potatoes and corn for dinner. Drew gave Daddy the best gift - a happy heart! Drew had a great day - after church he came home and asked to play outside by himself, then he preceded to play for 1 1/2 hours! In that time, with mommy and daddy spying on him, Drew built towers with his blocks and then tore then down, next he found some blue chalk, soaked it in a puddle, and painted his face blue, then he thought Kitty needed a blue backside so he colored her blue too! Then he discovered that his hands were all blue so he turned on the water hose and washed his hands and remembered that playing with the hose was fun too! Finally he chased Kitty and all his toys around the yard with a hose - he soaked them, filled them, bathed them, and sprayed the block towers over. He had a great afternoon, mommy hated to interrupt the fun with a nap, but it had to be done. So at 2:00 Drew went down and didn't wake until 6:15 which allowed Mommy, Daddy and Nana to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing steak dinner, topped off with a homemade German chocolate cake.

John's gifts for Fathers Day were new white shirts, a nice polo, and the most important a book called The New Answers Book by Ken Ham which tackle and answer hard questions like:
1. What really happened to the dinosaurs?
2. Does Radiometric dating prove the earth is old?
3. Does Carbon 14 dating disprove the Bible?

Those are three of 12 questions that I am sure Drew will be asking his mommy and daddy about one of these days. Proverbs 10:1 says "A wise son maketh a glad father." I pray that Drew will grow to be wise and give great delight to his daddy!

John spent his Fathers Day watching Star Wars and helping mommy in the kitchen.That evening Drew and Daddy played in the garage. I have to tell you that Daddy is such a great teacher! Yesterday while playing in the garage Drew ran over to Daddy and kept saying "oh no, oh no Daddy!" When John looked up he saw his mobile cart almost ready to collapse because Drew had drilled out 4 important screws holding the cart together. John was so proud! After fixing the cart he gave Drew a piece of wood with screws just for Drew to safely play with!

I have to brag a little on my sweet husband, he is the best husband in the whole world. John is so caring and giving, he always donates his time to help others, especially when it involves fixing things. Just yesterday we had a new family move in across the street and John ran over to offer his help moving their heavy couch. He is truly the servant leader in our home, always modeling what it means to lead through serving - as an example on Friday he did all the laundry and put it away! Drew is such a special little boy to have John and his daddy and role model! I can only pray that Drew grows up to imitates his father. John epitomizes the saying by Clarence Kelland "He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just a funny

Drew and I were outside playing today and he decided to be helpful and water my flowers. First, he sprayed himself right in the face and laughed, then a few moments later he sprayed the hose up in that air and said "look mommy, I'm making it rain!"

This Week

We have been so busy this week! John was invited to a Teachers job fair on Wednesday and has been fervently filling out applications. Earlier in the week he was checking and proofing his resume, making it just perfect.He has also been helping me clean the house! Oh, and I can't forget that he added a sprinkler system to my new flower beds in the back yard and completed the doors on his garage shelves. What a busy man!

Drew has been following Daddy everywhere! He is enjoying his summer of fun, going swimming, taking Kitty to the pond, playing with Nana in the afternoons and visiting his Friend Riley. Drew's vocabulary has really increased, we are working on the pronunciations of his words - Drew loves to leave off the ending of words which makes is very hard to understand. We have also been working on manners - please, thank you, waiting until dinner is over to be excused, not whining, sharing with friends, etc. It is rather tiring, but John is home to back me up! Drew has been showing improvements though, he really enjoys reading books and reciting the words after mommy. Oh, one funny story, I can't recall if I've shared yet. In Oregon, John was sprinkling white flowers over Drew and kept telling him it was snowing. Somehow, in Drew's little mind, he thought that whatever is the color white must be "snow." So, a few weeks back Drew kept asking for Snow and we couldn't figure it out, then Drew called his milk "snow" and we discovered that was his word for milk. Now, we all call milk "snow" - I wonder if we will all grow out of it?

Kitty, as John says, is getting fat. So we took her to the pond yesterday for a real workout. Would you believe she swam the length of the pond - straight down the middle - I don't know the exact distance, but it was approximately 2 football fields in length. It took her about 10 minutes - she loved it! You should have seen the faces of all the fishermen as she just swam about 40 feet out, determined to enjoy her freedom. Then, thinking she was exhausted I wanted to go home, but John thought he would play a few games with her. She ran and ran for an additional 45 minutes and she still didn't look tired. I don't know if there is anything that will wear her out - she has quite the endurance! Last night she slept on the floor with John and I, watching Lord of the Rings: The return of the King. She loved the fight scenes and snored her way through the rest. Tonight we are off for a walk to find her ball that got stuck in the mud.

Well, off to eat some dinner! Some new swimming pictures should be posted tonight!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More Gifts



20. The faultless Hydrangea Bush along the side yard, coming out in awesome bloom - the first bloom of the season.
21. Reading Whiney the Pooh to Drew while he asks “where’s Eeyore mommy” over and over again
22. Running after Drew with his stuffed horsey while loudly humming “William Tells Overture,” then listening to Drew say “more horsey mommey.”
23. Ironing my husbands shirt as he gets ready for a job interview
24. Reading his perfectly worded resume for the first time
25. The growth smell of my cascading petunias as they begin to drape over my brick wall
26. Drew slipping his head onto my shoulder as I read
27. Laughter when I realize that Drew has been telling me repeatedly that the picture in the book is of a digger… and he is correct – funny how he knows diggers and fire trucks but has not interest in knowing what color they are.
28. That relaxing moment at night when I realize that all is asleep and the house has been tidied

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Week 14


Week 14

Crown to rump, your baby is around 3 and a half inches / 9 centimetres long and weighs one and a half ounces / 43 grams. The body is now growing faster than the head. This week, its parchment-thin skin covers itself with lanugo (ultra-fine, downy hair that usually disappears before birth). Though eyebrows are beginning to grow and the hair on top of the head is sprouting, this hair may change in both texture and colour after birth. About now, the fetus can grasp, squint, frown, and grimace. It may even be able to suck its thumb. Researchers believe these and other movements probably correspond to the development of impulses in the brain.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;tell of all his wondrous works!
Psalm 105:1-2

I am thankful for so many things! One thing the Lord revealed to me this weekend was just how blessed I am. If I would just stop and notice all the things around me I could enjoy each moment as is come instead of always looking ahead to the future, never enjoying the moment. So. I am challenging myself to meditate on 1,000 gifts the Lord has given me.
Melissa’s 1,000 gifts list:

1. Another year to love, laugh, listen, and learn
2. The bright white of the blooming crape myrtle in our back yard
3. A work to do, a family to love, a God to serve
4. A handy husband always eager to lend a hand
5. Flower boxes with fledgling plants to quiet my spirit and calm my soul
6. A place to call home that hold all our hearts and many happy memories
7. Marriage, it is wonderful to not be alone
8. A camera to take snapshots of our lives, eyes to look and remember
9. Fond memories, reminders of God’s faithfulness
10. Unexpectedly washed dishes waiting to be put away… thank you honey….
11. Spring blooms painting the yard with joy
12. A new life, healthy and lively in my tummy
13. Drew’s precious grin that reminds me of his Daddy
14. A son who loves to sleep and rarely wakes up at night
15. Quiet expression of respect coming from Drew’s mouth – “Yes Mama, Pweese, No tank you”
16. God’s Word, a love letter overflowing with wisdom; impending growth and a tool which fulfills my authentic yearning -- to know You more intimately
17. A family to come home to
18. For men and women to protect our nation
19. A new song on the radio

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Home from Oregon





We are home and caught up from our 10-14 day trip to Oregon. We had a lot of fun visiting the Pacific Ocean, Washington State, visiting grandparents and uncles, and long lost second cousins. Our days were filled with exploration, which Drew loved! Drew's every minute was filled with discovery, adventure, and passionate pursuits. Drew came home to a very quiet house and very few playmates - although he has started playing more with Kitty! Drew was pleased to see that our neighbor Riley is home for the summer, he anxiously awaits playing with her each morning, and then Nana in the afternoon. He has picked up a few new topics to educate us about: lawn mowers, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and airplanes.
It is so nice to hear more than just "train" talk. His train vocabulary, though vast, can be very boring. I wish Drew was interested in "traditional learning" but instead he wants to find out and know how everything works. I can't get him to sit still long enough to read books or go over colors and numbers. I am really having a hard time "teaching" him traditional subjects like counting, letters, colors, etc.



Kitty had a blast with our friends the Tyson's while we were away. I will say she greeted us with tons of kisses and tail wags though! She made a trip to Houston with our friends and enjoyed tons of play time with Zac!


John and Drew just left this afternoon to visit Titi and Tio in Oklahoma for three days. John is building them new shelves for their brand new home. Drew will enjoy the time with his Aunt and Uncle.



I am at home relaxing, trying to get caught up on laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. I am ashamed to admit that my hormones are raging so a few days of quiet is just what I need. I am looking forward to getting back into my quiet times and settling down with the Lord for some nice peaceful chats. It seems months since I've felt the Lord's presence, wisdom, and hands of peace surrounding me -- could it be that I haven't made time for Him? I think a three day retreat with the Lord is just what is needed - time to clean up the heart and mind and set new patterns for the summer. Just in time for our new little blessing! He/she is growing, a lot! I have only felt it move once but am hoping those "fluttery" feelings will begin to increase. The best part of pregnancy with Drew was being able to feel him move and kick and get the hiccups!


More pictures were added to the picture page!




"What used to make us stumble, God can use to make us stand.
What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory."
~ Joanna Weaver Having a Mary Spirit

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Week 13



We had a doctors appointment on Monday June 4th. Everything looked great. The baby's heart beat was 167, which is well within the healthy range. At my next appointment the doctor will be going over the process for the weekly injections and then two weeks later we will have an ultra sound to check the gender and make sure everything is OK. I am feeling much better and have a lot more energy! So far everything has gone as planned.




Week 13 Changes


As our baby continues to develop, the vocal cords begin to form. The face is looking more and more human each day as the eyes begin to move closer together instead of being on the sides of the head and the ears move to a normal position. It would be possible now to determine the baby's sex by looking at the genitals if we could only get close enough. (We usually can't "guess" via ultrasound until around the 16th week.) The intestines move farther into the baby's body; the liver begins to secrete bile and the pancreas begins to produce insulin. A very busy week indeed!