Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So We Don't Forget: Alone Time

I'm doing my first "So We Don't Forget" post today! This week we are blogging about our favorite alone time activity. To join in, click on the button below!

Alone time... isn't it wonderful?! Okay, maybe not for everyone; but it is for me. I need my friends, and I need adult conversation, but I also need my alone time. As a stay-at-home mother of four children three years old and under, I don't get a whole lot of time for any of these things (i.e. hanging out with friends, engaging in adult conversation, spending time alone), so what time I do get usually comes when the kids are sleeping.

So what is my favorite thing to do while the kids are sleeping (besides eating a bowl of ice cream ;-))? Blogging! I love to write, and blogging gives me the perfect place to do so. (I actually blogged about my love of writing--and blogging--here about a year ago!) I remember when my husband told me he had started a blog. I said something along the lines of, "What's a blog? I want one...." And now that I have one, it's like my outlet to the adult world. Through blogging I am able not only to satisfy my desire to write but also to share encouragement with others. Often times I even feel as if the Lord teaches me through my own writing--probably because writing forces me to take the time to think through things. This is probably why, for me, blogging has to be an alone time activity. I tend to become so deep in thought while I'm writing that I'm nearly impossible to talk to--just ask my husband! :-) While I do have some alone time every day, I obviously can't always devote it to blogging. But I can usually find a way to at least fit a bowl of ice cream in! :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Veggie Tales, part 2

Remember this post?  Well, I'm beginning to see that we've come a long way since then!  I was afraid the day would never come, but it has:  yes, my picky eater Amariah has decided that vegetables aren't so bad after all.  I think the turning point came several months ago when Amariah was watching me cut up a head of fresh broccoli, asked for some, and proceeded to eat numerous bites of what I think is probably one of the least kid-friendly veggies out there.  And then there was a night a few weeks ago when I told Amariah she had to eat her vegetables before she could get down from the table, and for the first time ever she did it without any repeat requests, retaliation, or regurgitation.  When we put her plate of food in front of her at supper last night, she went for the steamed carrots first and ate them all before moving on.  And just tonight, she ate all of her steamed peas without me telling her to and then asked for more!  Now, after months of diligently serving vegetables to Amariah night after night and making her eat at least one bite of them each time they were presented, she seems to have finally acquired a taste for them.  I'm so glad I didn't give up (and that my husband is now the only pea-hater in the house ;-))!...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kids Say, vol. 1

Abel and Amariah have reached a stage where they talk all the time.  Amariah is still pretty hard to understand at times, but Abel converses very well.  I am continually surprised at the expanse of his knowledge and understanding.  Some of the things he says, though... I don't know whether to call it foolishness or wisdom.  Whatever is it--wise, foolish, or just plain cute--it needs to be remembered....

Me:  Abel, look at the moon!  Do you suppose it's a full moon?
Abel:  No, it's a hungry moon.

Me:  How did your bed get wet?
Abel:  God had a hose.  He turned it on.

Abel:  Mommy, can I have a snack?
Me:  I thought you said you were full.
Abel:  God made more room in my tummy.

Abel:  Mommy, can I have some pop?
Me:  No, honey.  Kids don't need to have pop every day.
Abel:  Yeah, just Daddies do....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Embarrassed and Humbled

Why do children choose the most inopportune moments to disobey?  Are there any other mothers out there who are diligent in training and disciplining their children and yet have been utterly humiliated by them in public?  I think I have pretty obedient children (though they are definitely a work in progress!), but from time to time, even though they know what the consequences will be, they decide to make a public display of disobedience that must certainly make bystanders believe there is no such thing as training and discipline in my house.

Yesterday I took Abel and Amariah to the pediatrician for their (delinquent) well-child exams, and it was there that Abel attempted--and may have succeeded--to convince the nurse and doctor that my home is in complete disarray.  (It's not, but you would have thought so yesterday!)  It all started when the nurse asked Abel to take his shoes off and step on the scale.  For whatever reason, he had made up his mind that he wasn't going to do it; and he changed his mind only after Amariah went first.  If that wasn't embarrassing enough, he then literally refused to comply with the nurse's next request to lay on the table and get his length measured.  (As a side note, don't you think they could treat a three-year old like a three-year old instead of like a baby and measure their "height" standing up instead of their "length" laying down?...)  After my failed attempt to lay my writhing son on the table, I took him to the bathroom (where I would have disciplined him had we been in any other setting) and talked to him about how I wanted him to behave.  When we returned to the exam room, he proved the truth of Proverbs 29:15:  "The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother" (emphasis added).  Indeed, reproof alone did not do the trick; and I was most certainly ashamed as the nurse and doctor and I resorted to using force for every bit of the remainder of his exam.

Let me say here that it is so against my principles to use coercion and force in place of the rod and reproof.  Though I did appropriately address the issue when we got home, I hated that I felt trapped by Abel's disobedience because of the setting we were in.  I hate that I couldn't deal with Abel biblically at the time due to the fear of what the doctor might think.  I hate that our society has equated spanking with abuse and that parents have become paralyzed by the fear of being reported or having their children taken away.

Obviously, I write this post in some frustration; but I also write in humility.  I much prefer to look like I "have it all together" (even though we all know I don't!), so I was admittedly a little hesitant to share this story.  I decided to, though, partly because I'm curious how other Christian mothers out there would have handled this situation.  Is it wrong or unnecessary to be fearful of what society may say?  Is it detrimental to be inconsistent in an inopportune setting?  Truly, I am in no way looking for justification for my child's behavior or for the way I chose the handle it, but I would like to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Amen to THAT?

One of my favorite things to do as a mother is to quietly observe the way Abel and Amariah interact with each other.  Just a moment ago I was listening to them having a tea party.  (Actually, according to Abel, they were having Carrot Strawberry Lettuce Soup with broccoli in it.  Yummy....)  After getting the table all set, Abel asked Amariah if she wanted to pray.  She said, "No, you pray," and so he did.  "Dear Jesus, thank you for this food.  Amen."  A moment later I heard him praying again.  "Our Father, please help Daddy to get home.  Amen."  This prayer was immediately echoed by Amariah:  "Dear Jesus, Daddy home 'night.  Amen."  And another moment later came one final prayer from Abel:  "Dear Jesus, help Mommy's tummy get smaller.  Amen."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blog Hop--10 Things About Me

In thinking about how the blogging community can be a source of godly fellowship and encouragement in this busy, technology-driven era, my blogging friend Lynnette is hosting a blog hop to facilitate the "meeting" of us bloggers. In order to help us get to know one another, she has suggested we share ten charming, interesting, fun things about ourselves. So, here's mine!...

1. Ten weeks ago today I learned that God had spared my life. Upon being opened up to deliver my twins via the repeat cesarean section that I so did not want, my doctor discovered a complete separation of my old uterine scar. The only thing holding my babies inside my uterus was the unbroken bag of waters. Had I labored for the VBAC that I so earnestly desired and prayed for (and for which I was denied) or had my water broken, both me and my babies would probably have lost our lives. Praise God for doing according to His will and not mine....

2. Summer is my favorite time of year. Warm weather, fireworks, sweet corn... all my favorite things!

3. God has blessed me with an amazing husband. We celebrated our fourth anniversary one week after the birth of our third and fourth children!

4. I am a perfectionist who isn't very good at organizing things.... Does that make sense?... :-)

5. I have shaved my legs (almost) every day since I got married.

6. When I was getting to know my husband (before we started dating), I purposely didn't wear makeup because I wanted him to see the real me (and as it turns out, the Me he would have four years of marriage and four children later!). :-)

7. I was baptized in India while there on a three-week missions trip.

8. I am known by my family as being a long teeth brusher. The joke is, "She'll be ready in five minutes. She just has to brush her teeth." :-)

9. I was diagnosed with writer's cramp, a focal point dystonia of the forearm, after gradually and mysteriously losing the ability to write with my right hand. I have since taught myself to write left-handed and to use the computer for as many things as possible.

10. When I am home alone with my kids, I can often be found dancing and singing silly songs to them. (Please call before stopping by.) ;-)

My Growing Babies

This morning I took Isabel and Elliana to the pediatrician for their two-month check-up.  It's hard to believe they are already--to be exact--two months and one week old!  Since we don't vaccinate our children, today's appointment really just consisted of getting their measurements.  I was looking forward to seeing how much they've grown since their last appointment at 12 days old.  Since that time, Isabel has graduated from preemie size diapers and preemie size clothing to size 1 diapers and newborn size clothing; and Elliana has graduated from newborn size diapers and preemie size clothing to size 1 diapers and (some) 0-3 month size clothing.

Today's measurements confirmed all this growth!  Isabel, who was 3 lbs. 15.8 oz. and 17 3/4 in. long at birth, is now 8 lbs. 6.5 oz. (5th-10th percentile) and 20 1/2 in. long (3rd percentile); and Elliana, who was 5 lbs. 10.2 oz. and 18 in. long at birth, is now 10 lbs. 2.0 oz. (25th-50th percentile) and 22 1/4 in. long (25th-50th percentile)!  Both girls are growing faster than the normal growth curve and are reaching developmental milestones right on schedule.  (In fact, my little Isabel has already rolled over from tummy to back!)

I'm finding that it's exciting to watch my children grow.  While it would be fun to keep them as babies forever (okay... maybe not forever...), it's also fun to watch them learn and develop and discover their world.  I've heard parents of older children say that each new age is more fun than the last, and I'm beginning to see where that could be true.  As I've begun to accept the new reality that Travis and I are most likely done having children (see this post), I find myself somewhat excited to move into the next stage of life.  This past Sunday I was watching one of the "grown up" families in our church, and I thought to myself, "How rewarding it will be to one day fellowship with and worship alongside my grown children."  It was like looking at the eventual fruit of all the work that goes into having a young family.  And it was like God was showing me through the simple sight of a mature, godly family that it's all going to be okay.  I may not have more babies to look forward to, but I have so much to look forward to with the beautiful family He has already given me.

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