Saturday, June 28, 2008

7 Month Comparison





Well it is easy to tell which one is Gabe - he has all the fat rolls! I looked back at Drew's baby book. Both boys are on the same developmental schedule - Gabe is currently sitting up and can crawl 1-2 steps before tumbling over. Today he went from a crawl position to a sitting position! Gabe is still teething, I looked at Drew's book and he didn't get his first teeth until 9 months. Ugh, two more months of diaper rashes, diarrhea, fevers, and drooling! Poor Gabe, he does handle it much better than Drew ever did.



Gabe loves life! He smiles at anything and loves to move around after Drew. When I get him in the mornings or for naps he is always up on all 4's trying to practice crawling. When he eye's me, I get the biggest smile, almost as big as the one he gives Daddy when he gets home from work. So cute! Gabe is enjoying barley and banana's for breakfast & Dinner, but will eat anything i give him - he doesn't have a favorite. He is only nursing in the mornings and evenings, and really is content to drink formula the rest of the time. I wish I'd been more intentional about feeding and pumping but It became so tiring that I needed the break. Plus, the doctor discovered that my 2+ week of migraines was really a sinus infection. The migraine meds and the antibiotics are both no no's when breastfeeding. I've been more tired the past few week and really sore. I haven't had migraines since before Drew was born and I was dealing with TMJ issues (yes Drew, not Gabe). I'm sure its the change in weather, change of hormones, and all the dust that was swirling around after our ducts and carpets were cleaned a few weeks back. I can't wait to feel normal again!



Drew just finished two weeks of swimming lessons. He loved it, but still doesn't like putting his full head in the water. He loves playing in the water though so I'm not too concerned. We watched the gymnastic trials this past week on TV and Drew's decided he wants to be a gymnast. He starts a little gym class once a week starting in July. I can't wait, he's been tumbling and jumping all over the house! Tonight we had a thunderstorm and Drew had fun running and jumping in the rain!

(Daddy made rainbow pancakes to top mommy's Green Eggs!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back To Basics

I find it so interesting that as more studies and research are conducted on media, we are being taken back to the basics of life. New research is showing that to "Recapture Joy", or get rid of depression, we need to get unplugged. Focus on the family interviewed Dr. Archibald Hart explaining how we are addicted too excitement and over-stimulation. The broadcast summary states:


On yesterday's broadcast, psychologist Archibald Hart explained how many Americans are addicted to excitement and entertainment, and how over-stimulating the "pleasure center" in our brain can diminish our capacity to experience enjoyment. Today, our guest outlines steps that listeners can take to break the entertainment addiction. Hart offers advice for recovering a healthy balance and gaining lasting contentment in a discussion based on his book Thrilled to Death: How the Endless Pursuit of Pleasure is Leaving Us Numb.

"[Anhedonia] is the gradual shutting down of the brain's pleasure system because it's overused, over-stimulated. And at a certain point, that shutdown is so profound that technically, it becomes a clinical depression."


"I'm a gadget person, but I discipline myself. I will not touch a
keyboard after eight o'clock in the evening because if I do, I know I'm not going to get to sleep [on] time ... I have a cell phone, but only one person
knows the number, and that's my wife, and it's [only] for emergencies. Very few people have my e-mail address."

Archibald Hart

Our family isn't too plugged in by way of TV but we love our computers! I loved this broadcast because it freed me from the guilt of always having fun things for my boys to do. The research encourages children to grow up exploring and discovering through a lifestyle of simple experiences. This encourages boredom and forces the child to use their imagination. Consequently, it also allows us to work on discipline and heart issues with the boys! It certainly is a matter of discipline to keep technology from controlling our lives!

To listen select the "recapture joy" link above.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thanksgivings



The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and,
as the magnet finds the iron,
so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!


Henry Ward Beecher




329. Thank you Lord for a child clothed with the virtue of compassion, even if it’s for a feather-bare baby bird… (Col 3:12)
330. A quiet evening with nothing pressing but enjoying a good book

331. The toad who interrupted my obedience lesson with Kitty.

332. A dog who genuinely loves to please, kids that do too!
333. Pool time, feeling adventurous enough to meet two new mommy faces
334. Teaching Drew to share his toys at the pool, he is starting to enjoy the act of giving
335. Gabe’s quiet, relaxed demeanor that just wants a cuddle or smile
336. Quiet Friday enjoying music, laundry, sweet boys, books, and knowing it was pizza night so I didn’t need to cook!


337. While cleaning up tonight, the laugh and smile of Drew’s headless Lego driving in convertible along couch – I love little boys’ imaginations!

338. Drew actually playing with Gabe for the first time!
339. Watching Gabe try and crawl
340. John initiating reading our devotional book last night
341. Watching Drew enjoy his swimming lesson – thankful I’m not the mommy who has to stay with her child because he won’t follow directions
342. Awakening to the pitter patter of raindrops
343. Teaching Drew lessons of responsibility (Gal 6:5), today he put his swim trunks in the laundry room without a reminder!
344. For Nana’s and the fun times Drew had alone with his Nana before leaving for Oregon
345. Dreaming about future visit to China?
346. Nice quiet evening sipping coffee and eating cookies with women from NW
347. The blessing of a home where I can serve and provide environment of rest… until rambunctious child comes downstairs informing me that he isn’t tired!
348. New, wide screen monitor my sweet husband bought me so I’d stop squinting and getting headaches.
349. Being home with my boys - its such a blessing that most moms desire but few are able to afford
350. Looking over budget tonight- thankful for our Crown class last year, that taught us Biblical principals on saving, investing, and managing God’s money – especially when hard economic times come



351. Resolve – thank you Lord for that uncompleted feeling that drives for completed projects, completed routines, completed verbal agreements – especially when I want to give up.

352. Drew reciting pieces of Green Eggs & Ham, who knew reading the book 500+ times will help him with memorization?

353. A well deserved breakfast of Green Eggs (mommy didn’t have any ham to dye green)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Was I thinking?


I went in yesterday for an annual checkup. The doctor noticed that I was due for a tetanus shot. When she asked if I wanted it today, I said "Sure!" I don't know what I was thinking! The last tetanus shot made me feel tired and sick with the flue, not to mention not being able to lift my left arm. So, here I am 24 hours later begging my husband to come home from work and take over. I have the chills and every muscle in my body is terrible sore, my mother is in Oregon for 2 weeks, and I can't even lift my baby. I guess I wasn't thinking!


Today Gabe is officially 7 months old. So, to celebrate he was given his first french fry. He enjoyed gumming it and had the most accomplished look on his face once he was done. At last weigh-in Gabe weighed 19 pounds and has more fat rolls that I can count. He is trying hard to crawl and keep up with his brother. Gabe's been teething for 3 months now and hasn't a tooth to show for it. He had the runs, a fever, and was congested this week. Drew would get that way right before a tooth would pop up. I'm praying it comes fast!


Drew is enjoying swimming lessons and reading books way into the night. He enjoys playing in his sandbox or at the neighbors swinging. Daddy took him out yesterday for a guys outing. They went to Sears (it had A.C) in between two visits to the park. Drew rode tons of tractors and pretended that a storm was coming so that had to mow quickly. Too cute. The salesmen at the store were very confused, they thought Drew had to buy a tractor so he could get it home before the storm came. They didn't quite comprehend the imagination of a 3 1/2 year old.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thoughts

It's been 1+ week since our marriage conference. The novelty and bliss we experience after these conferences is set to expire any day now. The emotional highs are great, but its how we respond afterwords that cement's the marriage in passionate change. One statement from the conference that I've been mulling over is "What if God designed marriage to make me holy, not happy."

Holiness certainly isn't what I was thinking about on my wedding day. But, in reality, that is the purpose of marriage. Marriages are tough, so is raising children. Both marriage and children were created by God to be stable, permanent, and push us towards holiness. If life is all about us, then there isn't any room for God. When we have strain in our lives it pushes us to depend on God.

Thank you Lord for my family, in every aspect of my life they've changed me to become more like you.....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Things I love About My Daddy

We Love You Daddy! Happy Fathers Day 2008


Here are a few things that Drew loves about his daddy:


  • Daddy plays Lego's with me

  • He works at Home Depot and brings home hammers to fix the TV

  • He has lots of fun tools, Drew's favorite tool is Daddy's little piece of wood

  • Daddy works hard

  • Daddy reads me books and tickles me

  • I love it when Daddy throws pillows at my head, but only when I don't get hurt

  • Daddy wears pink shirts

  • Daddy swings me high!

  • Daddy makes all things for God's glory (slight paraphrase, Drew actually said Daddy makes all things for his glory, he meant a capital H right?)

When I asked Gabe he just drooled!

My Boys...



Tonight as I was doing laundry I had to laugh at the things boys put in their pockets, I found the following in just 1 load:



  • Two nuts - missing bolts

  • A plastic rocket (have I mentioned Drew's into rockets?)

  • The dog who sits in the rocket

  • Two plastic some-thing-or-others

  • A button

  • A piece of garbage

Like father, like son! Drew is growing into the shoes of his Daddy. They: walk alike (scary!), sleep alike, have very similar mannerisms, dress alike, both feet smell alike by the end of the day, both love playing in the garage, both extroverts, both find it fun to converse with perfect strangers, and finally - everyone in our neighborhood know both their names and hasn't a clue who I am!


Drew is so fortunate to have a generous and godly model to call his "Daddy."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thankfulness

301. Icky diapers, for it means my little one is well nourished

302. Church picnic where I met new faces and saw old friends

303. The change God can make in a marriage and in a heart – we saw friends who were in our Bible study 3 years ago, they were getting a divorce and then God changed their lives! John and I commented that they look so much different than the day we met them 3 years ago. We almost didn’t do the study because Drew was born on the day it began. I’m so glad we did!

304. Watching Kitty swim at the BBQ and all the children laughing in amazement to see a dog swimming with the ducks

305. Sharing an office with my husband, I enjoy being able to talk to him while I catch up on all my filing

306. Establishing family traditions – annual and daily

307. Awesome worship music to help energize my day

308. Gabe’s contagious giggles when Daddy tickles him

309. Drew’s gleeful smile while playing with flubber

310. Watching in wonder as our caterpillars emerged from their chrysalis

311. IBR posts completed – written slowly instead of in a hurry

312. Watching Gabe giggle in anticipation of Daddy’s tickles

313. Clorox disinfectant spray that kills 99% of germs and is safe for kids because it dissolves! 314. Prayer cards that remind me of my focused attention

315. Work changes and the assurance of future stability

316. An attitude of grace and forgiveness … Only from you Father

317. Flowerbeds that always remind me of the love my husband has for me!

318. Chubby legs trying desperately to crawl

319. The passionate worship of my child

320. God reminding me through my son that “daddy does all things for God’s glory!”

321. Family devotions, though still inconsistent, it happens more often than it use to

322. Drew’s excitement over his first day of swimming lessons

323. Imaginations- it takes Drew to the wildest places, so fun for a mommy’s ears to hear

324. 3 boxes of children’s books – a gift meant for the Goodwill – but instead thoughtful husband asked is he could take them home to his wife.

325. I love knowing my sweet husband things about us while he is away

326. Eating a "light and fluffy Chocolate Chip cookie" and dreaming about time with my best friend

327. Sweet memories of sipping tea with friend Bethany

328. Engaging child who loves books like his mommy!






When we were children we were grateful to
those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.
Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?


G.K. Chesterton

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend To Remember



John and I just had our annual "Weekend To Remember" marriage conference at the Gaylord. It was an invigorating time with a lot of lessons re-learned. God definitely prepared my heart by using a 30 day encouragement challenge before the conference. I didn't learn any new epiphanies, just gentle reminders of truths I already knew but need to apply! It was so much fun to relax, refresh, and remember God's plan for marriage and family. Here are a few lessons I learned during the 30 day challenge, and had reaffirmed at the Family Life Marriage Conference:

  • Words are Powerful – they can speak life and death into my husband! Only use words to build up, never to tear down. When confronting problems, always speak the truth in love. The Bible even says that I will stand before God and be accountable for every word that comes out of my mouth - ouch! (James 3:5-12, Matthew 12:36)
  • 5:1 Ratio – to maintain healthy communication, give 5 positive experiences (words, appreciation, touch, smiles) for every gentle criticism. This was discovered in Gottman’s 1988 study which states a " ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions strongly predicts divorce. Couples who maintain a ratio of 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction are likely to remain together. Couples who do not maintain this 5:1 ratio are likely to get divorced."
  • The Christian Marriage reflects to the world who God is, so act like it
  • My daily attitude needs to be one of unconditional respect. My husband is God’s gift to me, he comes with a blessing from God.
  • 50+50=100 (nope!) – I must give 100% each day, regardless of what my spouse is contributing. The 50/50 plan is conditional and destined to fail. God’s plan is that I give 100% regardless of how I feel.
  • My physical/mental health affects my family – that was a nice gentle reminder that I need to loose the extra 10 pounds from my last pregnancy by eating healthier, cutting sugars, and exercising.

Now, I am anxious to hear how all of you did with the 30 day challenge, just send me an e-mail! I really struggled mid month with using my words to only build up , it also corresponded with my cycle…. Hmmm. Do you know that a habit takes 21 days to create! I think I’m going to take this challenge again for June and focus more intently on creating good habbits, the focus and accountability each day kept my mind on track and my mouth in check!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Not My Reality

As I was sitting and plotting out this coming weeks schedule, I took a break and checked on a blog reader from Mauritania who had posted a video link about the countries food crisis. It really took me aback. My world is so small, I grumble about gas and food prices rising, but have no right to complain about my small, insignificant sacrifices. I often throw food away and a stop at McDonald's, though a treat, never breaks the budget (dollar menu's rock!). The video pushed me to consume less, give more, pray harder, and praise God that when I tuck my little ones into bed tonight I have confidence that all their basic needs are met and full tummies will allow them to peacefully dream for 12 slumbersome hours.

I'm not sure how I could function each day knowing the basic needs of my children couldn't be met; watching them suffer, how would I endure? This definitely gives more merit to our fasting months (February & August) and challenges me to instill a lifestyle of service and generosity into my children via modeling.

For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you,
saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor
in your land.'
Deuteronomy 15:11

The Lord provided for the poor by commanding Christians to meet their needs. We are the answer.

Lord, I humble ask how should our family serve the needs of the poor today? Grant Mauritanians the basics of survival this night. Bring food to the poor and peace to their parents souls. Send out a miracle that can only be explained in You.

Summer and Sitting

Our summer break will hopefully be filled with growth and reading! I'm trying to start engaging Drew in Pre-school like learning this summer. I'm trying to find out if "homeschooling" is something I am cut out for. The good thing about living in Texas is that Kindergarten isn't mandatory, so I can spend the next 2 years teaching him the basics and if I (or Drew) end up hating it, he can enter 1st grade and won't be behind. So far I love it! I love seeing his eager desire to engage the world and learn new thing. our Butterfly and Metamorphasis unit was so fun!

John has been helping me learn how to "teach" Drew since my "sit down and listen" ideas always end in frustration. John enlightened me to a new way of learning; Drew learns best by "doing" or participating in play, Its weird for me to think that play is leaning, but the proof is in the child - as well as many studies I've been reading lately. Drew has learned so many new things the past two weeks and all I've done is play and engage his curious mind. For example: Drew loves to get messy, so we made flubber and colored it with yellow food coloring. Then I took alphabet and number cookie cutters and Drew played with the flubber and cookie cutters! Then we practiced naming the letters and spelling out his name in the flubber. Drew had a blast. Finally, we ended by covering his race car, and his head, in flubber. Oh, daddy's head too! Drew had so much fun! John and I are also teaching him basic truths of the Christian faith, for our "homes are the universities where our children learn about the world and how to live." We, John and I, are working through a great book called "Big truths for Little Kids" its a great resource for preschool aged family devotions as well as a great way to pass along the Faith with language little children can comprehend. The stories back up the catechisms and then there are short questions to ask and then a scripture verse to pray. John reads the story and questions and we both ask Drew the catechisms throughout the day (repeatition). Drew really enjoys it and so does mommy and daddy!

Gabe is now sitting up! He just started today, he has been able for about a month but always leaned forward to his tummy or arched his back. He is growing up too fast! Drew is having some issues sharing with Gabe, yesterday he took Gabe's toy and said (after I called him on taking Gabe's toy) "Look, Gabe is sharing with me!" We also discovered that Gabe gets heat rashes very easily. Any time he sweats he breaks out in a splotchy rash.

John and I will be taking Drew and Gabe to the park tonight for a church wide picnic. It should be nice and hot (95 degrees). Kitty will enjoy the picnic too. This week we had a stray dog live with us for 2 days. It really made me appreciate our precious dog that doesn't: bark for no reason, dig, pee in the house, whine, shed, chew up things, and destroy my plants! Kitty is the best dog ever (Thanks Scotty!)

Our annual marriage conference is next weekend! We can't wait! My mom is so wonderful, she is watching both boys for us so we can attend.