Monday, February 23, 2009

Postage Increase




I just want you all to know that I figured out why postage keeps going up! Take a look at what the postal lady did to our mailbox today, the good news, she hand delivered our mail and will be for quite some time! John and I have been laughing all afternoon - its either laugh or cry!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Retreat


I'm taking a little sabbatical from blogging. The Lord perfectly worked out a busy February and a March fast to keep my mind focused on Himself. Over three sequential weekends I'll: attended a marriage conference, attended a mothering conference, and fly away on a personal retreat to Oregon to visit my best friend Bethany and read tons of great godly books. At first I was overwhelmed with being gone for so many weekends, but the Lord knew that I needed a retreat to process all the ideas swimming around in my head. I'm coming out of a "dry" time with the Lord. I have them about once a year and the Lord uses those times to reveal various sin or lifestyle changes that need to be made in my life. I'm so excited to be out of the dry spell and am excited again to be inspired by God's word and walking in faithfulness. Coming out of the desert and into the valley makes for a peaceful home, joy filled children, and a very happy husband!





It is interesting how the Lord speaks to each of us a little differently. For myself, the Lord plants seeds of truth and scripture and sends me to the desert. He then allows repeated messages through sermons, strangers, and scripture to water and bring to fruition the areas in my life that I need to grow. This year I'm learning a new level of faith and obedience - to release my godly plan and submit to whatever God has planned for our family. I haven't a clue where that will lead, but I am at such peace laying it all down before Him. I'm also been challenged to strengthen my heart attitude regarding work, stress, control, and joy. I so excited to be out of my desert and into a place where growth and peace seem more attainable.


I'm elated to spend the next two weeks just meditating on mothering, marriage, and mastery over my flesh! Please pray for me while I'm on my retreat, surrounded by dear friends, awesome music & sermons thanks to my IPOD, and great wisdom filled books!

Enjoy the pictures from our week at home with Titi and Tio!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Join A Crown Life Group Today!


(Don't forget to mute the music on the right sidebar...)

Do you know that the Bible speaks about money and possessions over 2,000 times; it speaks more about money than any other subject in the Bible. If your struggling with your finances, need accountability, or are just searching for financial answers, join a Crown team today! There are life groups popping up all over the metro-plex. You can check out Crown's website and find classes that meet any day of the week - or look at my sidebar and follow the link to a lifegroup. We are just about to begin our third Crown class since our marriage in 2003. Join us on this exciting journey!

On a personal level, Crown has taught John and I God's plan for handling money. It has brought peace into our marriage and allowed us to work together as a team to reach our financial goals. We're well on our way up the Crown money map and are so excited to finally have reached our goal of having 3 months living expenses. Over the past 6 years, the Lord has faithfully taught us Truth and provided wisdom through the vessel of Crown Financial Ministries . We will forever be grateful for this ministries impact on our family.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Do We Look Like Brothers or What?


(15 Months Old)




(13 Months Old)



(15 Months Old)



(1 Year Old)


(14 Months Old)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Marriage 101



We're celebrating marriage this weekend - for 6 years in a row we have spent a weekend together improving, maturing, and celebrating our commitment made on January 11th. Divorce is NEVER an option, with that being said, its imperative that after the foundation of commitment and covenant is secure - energy is placed into cultivating the communion. As we were reminded tonight, most people who need to be here aren't, it is those who see that marriage is an investment that are here - learning, remembering, and seeking out godly wisdom.

A covenant marriage takes sacrifice, commitment, and humility. Marriage wasn't created to bring us all happiness, it was created to reveal our sin, flesh, selfishness, and greed and provide an environment where two sinners lay down their flesh and through the power of the holy spirit serve one another. It is within the community of humility, servant-hood, and forgiveness that we learn to see God's perfect character and bring glory to God through our marriage testimony. When man sees a healthy Christian marriage the Bible says that this union will bring God glory and testify to God's love and desire for mankind.

Lord, may this marriage reflect the power of God; and our unity be a light to a dark world, testifying to the Saviour who came to save this broken world from its sin.


So, I encourage you to seek out a Family Life Marriage conference, or local church marriage retreat - we invest tons of money and time into planning for retirement, why not spend the same amount investing in the one who will hopefully be there to share that retirement with.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mommy Time

Tonight I bowed my head and asked Drew to pray, he replied, "I will pray after I pick the boogers out of my nose."
Things this week are a little slow and a little messy. John had some dental work done today so he has been a little quiet and tired. I'm still working on a crazy mess at work with many conference calls each week. I've spent so much time on the phone the last 6 weeks that my neck is killing me and the batteries in all 3 portable phones now only last about 45 minutes each. John was so sweet to run to Costco today and pick me up a new set of mobiles because I was so frustrated with the battery life on the others.



I took the evening to just spend some time with the boys. I worked all day and didn't spend much time with them until dinner. It was hard to switch back to being a mom and just enjoy the kids, especially when everywhere I looked there was work - laundry to wash and put away, grout bits all over the bathroom to vacuum, toys to put away, books to put on the shelf, coupons to file, clutter to be put in its rightful spot, etc. Drew was my big helper, he cleaned up his entire room while I cleaned up Gabe's room and changed all the sheets on the beds. Gabe ran around naked and undid everything we were putting back. It was nice, we turned up the CD player and listened to a Hillsong Kids CD and cleaned for 20 minutes,then our reward was some much needed book time together. I missed being a mom today - picking up my boy from pre-school, making him snack, hearing about his day. Daddy was a good filler while I was occupied, but it really made me feel blessed to be able to have that with my boys most every day. Working from home has many challenges, but the rewards are being here for my kids every day. I am a lucky woman, especially since I have a husband who loves being home with the boys investing in their lives and teaching them along the way - even during random trips to Costco.


Did you enjoy the pictures of Gabe today - can you tell he had fun with Daddy and didn't miss me in the least?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Control

Have you ever wondered if you struggle with issues of control? I have a wonderful test that you can perform the next time your at a carnival. Just send your son, husband, and new Nikon D-80 camera onto a Farris Wheel and see how you react!
Did you react to the total loss of control?


Did you glue your eyes onto your child, memorize the "cage" number their in, pray for the ride to be over, scream at your husband to make your child sit down - even though the only people who heard you were those directly in front of you? Did you check to see if your husband had the camera strap around his neck while snapping pictures of you from 75 feet in the air - he didn't by the way. Did you almost ask the attendent to stop the ride when you saw your son reach out and touch the metal brace at the top of the ride or when you saw the front of his head peeking over the back of the seat? Did you mentally image your new camera crashing to bits on the cement?

I would never do such things, obviously I don't struggle with control!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

God's Glory


I went to pick Drew up from pre-school today and his teacher rushed out once she saw me walk by. She began by saying, "Your little Drew just made us cry today..." Mentally I was thinking, "What did he do, hit someone or spit on you?" Sweet teacher Misty went on to say, "Drew was singing quietly and I overheard him singing Holy, Holy Holy. I asked Drew if he would sing that song to the whole class, not wanting to embarrass him, and Drew said yes!" He sang the first verse to the whole class and Andrea and I almost started crying, it was so sweet to our ears! Your parenting Drew so right!"

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three
persons, blessed Trinity!

She went on to say that he is the most polite child in her class. Today I forgot to send him a drink in his lunch and the teacher found one to give him, he replied so genuinely, "Thank you so much, I was really getting thirsty!"

Her compliments were such an encouragement to me, especially today which has been a very stressful day of balancing work and mothering. So often I focus on all that I've done wrong, her kind words reminded me to focus on the godly characteristics we're instilling in Drew. Just as I type he is in cleaning up the playroom singing, "Children obey your parents in the Lord" from Hide'Em In Your Heart.

Today when Drew and I were home I told him how proud I was that he brought glory to God by singing praises of God to his class! Drew just beamed and said, "I know mommy, I like bringing God glory!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Wonder of Blanket Time

(Drew insisted on participating in Gabe's blanket time training! So cute!)

Last night I was in the middle of cooking dinner and Gabe was underfoot, whining and demanding I pick him up. Normally I would plop him in his high chair with some finger-food. Unfortunately, I'll normally end up feeding him his dinner before we eat and then he isn't happy to sit still while we're enjoying our food. So, I thought to myself, "We've been practicing blanket time for a good 3 weeks, now is a great time to use it!"
It was perfect! I had 40 minutes to myself while the boys, Drew included, sat on a blanket in the living room and played with a toy. Drew insisted on participating and actually asked for blanket time so he could be a good role model for his brother! Gabe was so good, he only went to get off 1 time and I just looked at him and told him to get back on his blanket. He turned right around and sat! Who says a 1 year old can't understand our simple commands! I was so impressed with Gabe's obedience!
For those who want to enjoy the blessings of blanket time, all you need is a blanket and a toy. You begin by putting your child in the middle of the blanket and sit close by and pretend to read a book. When they stand up or walk off the blanket, simple walk over and place them back on the blanket and say in a bright chipper voice, "No, No, Its blanket time!" Repeat as necessary. (Note, blanket time is suppose to be fun so if you get frustrated try and wrap it up as soon as you can!) I started out with about 5 minutes and slowly added time. It is so much fun to actually sit and watch your child play with a toy! Drew is a little old for blanket time, but he still asks for it, especially since we've started training Gabe. Drew enjoys the activity, when he was little his toy was books. He learned at an early age to sit and read. He is our little book worm! We normally had blanket time with Drew while I was cooking dinner, he would sit and look at books while I cooked and listened to some quiet music. It made for a peaceful hour from 4:30-5:30pm, which is normally the worst hours for mom's!
Blanket time is a great training tool we've taught the boys starting at about 1 year. It allows them to develop longer attention spans, work on self control, as well as obedience. Its so simple! We always start and end the exercise on a good note, and I do lots of praises while they're learning to enjoy blanket time. I want them to see blanket time as fun and a great activity to enjoy. Its also a handy tool when you go someplace, like the doctor, and you need the child to not wander off. I recently went to a meeting where Gabe was still a little under the weather. I didn't want him spreading germs in the nursery so he had blanket time, while I enjoyed a meeting with friends.
Blanket time is a huge asset in our tool box of resources for training children without going insane enforcing rules!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spring Type Weather

Here are some pictures from our sunny weekend! I took the boys to the park and we enjoyed the sunshiney 70 degree day. This was our first shorts day since last October.









Fun Times

We were home this week with Papa Tractor and Grandma Carol. The boys had fun with the constant attention and garage time. Drew enjoyed playing Bingo, going to Preschool, playing in the garage, reading books, asking everyone "Why," having Papa read him Winney The Pooh (Drew's first chapter book) and riding his scooter. Drew also enjoyed sliding on the walkway after our ice storm!




Gabe enjoyed reading books and following all the action around the house. He was sick for about 1/2 of their visit, but proved to his family that even thought he is sick, he can still eat! Gabe has been well for 4 days now, we're still waiting for some tests to come back. I'm praying he has a parasite, that would explain a lot, otherwise we're all at a loss as to why he keeps getting sick.