Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book Lists


I love reading, honestly, I love books, I wish that I had more time to read and more resources to purchase them. I try to use the library as much as I can but I have a small fetish with germs and I like to mark in my books as I read them.... which creates a small problem with the library system :) This means that any extra spending money I have goes to books. I am a bargain shopper which helps, but my hubby has now began to add a surcharge on all book charges for the cost of shelf space, which is sad, but true, good shelves are hard to come by and they're not cheap!!

Anyhow, I didn't keep record of all the books I read this year, but when I started looking back at the past year I could see where so many of the books that I read impacted my life and heart. I've decided to share with you (at least what I can remember) the books that I have read in the past year.

~ Walking with God John Eldredge (My number one pick for this year - GREAT book)
~ The Shack William P. Young - contoversial, but in my opinion very good - my recommendation would be to focus on the relational aspect of the story and not theology (it is FICTION)
~ Faith and Doubt John Ortberg - incredible author, I read two of his books this year and I can't recommend him enough.
~ A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place Beth Moore (this was actually a study, but I count it as a book, lots of reading and as always excellent)
~ Lord I want to Know You Kay Arthur
~ Captivating John Eldredge
~ The Life You've Always Wanted John Ortberg
~ The Beloved Disciple Beth Moore (a study turned book - VERY good)
~ Intimate Issues Linda Dillow and Pintus - sure to affect your marriage!
~ Dawn's Light Terri Blackstock (This is the last book in it's series, excellent fiction series, I was actually waiting for this book to come out!)
~ Family Driven Faith Voddie Bauchum - great book on family disciplship, I am not as "strict" in some areas but I agreed with so much in this book including the overall concept so I have to recommend it.
~ Boundaries with Kids Cloud and Townsend - another good one - has a lot of really practical great parenting tips
~ Lord Foulgrins Letters Fiction book by Randy Alcorn - I only thought this book was "okay" but it was an easy read and fairly short
~ A Time to Dance Karen Kingsbury - fiction
~ Between Sundays Karen Kingsbury - fiction
~ 3:16 Max Lucado
~ The Splitting Storm Ruth Gutteridge - fiction
~ When you rise up RC Sproul (a book on homeschooling)
~ The Bible: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Lamentations, Joel, 1 Timothy, Galatians, Acts, 1 & 2 Corinthians - can't go wrong with the Bible - I got stuck on some of the prophesy books and I wish I would have read more but every book has a message to offer - incredible!!

I know that I am forgetting some, I know for a fact there were a few library books I read and they are not on here. And I have several books that I started and didn't quite finish (I can think of 4 homeschooling books that are mostly finished but didn't quite get to the end.... ugh... disappointing). My top 3 recommendations from this year, (excluding the Bible - which is always my number one recommendation) would be "Walking with God" "Faith and Doubt" and "Initmate Issues" very good... but seriously.... all of them are great.

Must read authors, in my opinion, are John Ortberg and John Eldredge --- sooo good.

I have a big hope for the coming up year and my goal is to read even more books:

~ When God Weeps Joni Earackson Tada & Steven Estes (I've read a little bit already and I have already bawled my eyes out ---- looks sooo good and came highly recommended by a friend I trust)
~ Living Beyond Yourself The Beth Moore Study I am currently going through with my mom and sister, it's taking us a little longer, but we're getting through it
~ Intimacy Ignited Dillow and Pintus (couples)
~ Foxe's Book of Martyrs John Foxe - I started last year but took a break to get through some of my other books
~ Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World I bought this book forever ago and it's just been sitting on the shelf - I'm going to read it this year
~ Lies women believe and the truth that sets them free Nancy Lee Demoss - I bought this book a while ago as well, but I signed up for a study that is going to be going through this book which should be the motivation I need to get through it!
There are so many more, but this is it for now. I am ALWAYS taking book recommendations so any thoughts please share!!

What about you guys? What are some of the books that you read this year? Which ones affected you most deeply? What books are on your list for the next year?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Goals for 2009


I never do very well with New Years Resolutions. By February I'm usually left defeated and guilt-ridden for failing once again to complete my resolutions. So this year I am doing it a little differently. I had already begun making a list of goals when I read Jocelyn's post, so I decidedd to go ahead and join in the home school blog awards fun!

Again, I want to clarify for those of you not from hsba, these are not things that I am going to be starting to do "cold-turkey", so to speak, on the 1st, but things that I hope to gradually work up to and accomplish throughout the year.

~ Talk with God Daily
~ Develop a daily quiet time "routine" - routine is the wrong word, but I want a system of some sort.... I'm going to start with more of an inductive study approach (I think) but I need to stop "jumping all over the place" - I'm doing pretty good with the "daily" part it's just unorganized and it's driving me nuts!
~ Excercise 2-3 times a week
~ Plant a vegetable garden, bigger than the one I had last summer
~ Memorize 24 scriptures (2 a month)
~ Display more nicely framed pictures throughout the house
~ Make a quilt for Tim & I's bedroom
~ Become a better photographer.... I wouldl love to take a class, but even if I can't learning new techniques would suffice
~ Finish reading the entire Bible for the first time.... and then start again
~ Complete Treyton's first year of preschool - going all the way through the letter "Z" in our curriculum
~ Read 25, books or more
~ Start serving in my church
~ Redecorate the upstairs bathroom
~ Blog a reflective post once a week
~ Scrapbook: catch up my scrapbook, finish Treyton & Alexa's one-year albums
~ Learn at least one new way to be more natural (examples of things I already do: cloth diapers, vegetable garden)
~ Get back to having a date-night with my hubby
~ Make more home videos
~ Have a girls-night out once a month
~ Touch-up paint throughout the house, and add some more decorative touches throughout the home
~ Read to my children more often
~ Change the oil in my car - once
~ Teach Treyton his alphabet
~ Learn of a non-violent way to get rid of rabbits
~ Make a scarf for my brother-in-law
~ Learn how to use photoshop or someother similiar program to edit, and create my own digital scrapbooking buttons and such

Gently Leading those with Young

I try to pick out a new verse every year as a compass and truth to carry with me throughout the year. This verse actually started speaking to me in the spring of last year, and I forgot about it for a while, and it recently came back to me.


Isaiah 40:11 "He will tend His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in His arms;
He will carry them in His bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young."
This verse speaks such hope to my heart. I am a mother of two, and hopefully someday more. I love being a mom and I love my children. But this stage of life can be hard. I spend about 90% of my time (if not more) at home, I never really "punch out" - I'm always on call, one of the things i look forward to in life is getting the mail (!), and my job description includes cleaning up bodily fluids of small people .... it isn't glamorous, but it is a blessing. I'm thankful for it, but it is hard.
I need encouragement EVERYDAY! Maybe that seems like a lot, but it's easy to get burnt out. I'm thankful for my friends and family that I call in my moments of despair that lift me up, pray for me and get me back on my feet. But this verse reminds me that there is one who is gently leading me everyday, every moment; and He is gentle with me.

Gently.
Leading.
The comfort those words bring.... He isn't harsh with me when I fail or screw up, He isn't angry, He is gentle, He is loving, as a shepherd should be. And what's more than that? I'm not on my own! Somedays I feel very lonely, I feel like I am in a crazy maze and I have NO clue which way to go. The good news is, I don't need to know - only He does. He leads me and guides me through whatever comes my way. I don't always understand His ways, but I don't need to, I am the sheep, He is the Shepherd, I will follow Him.
"He will carry them in His bosom"
When I fall, when I can't go on, He will pick me up and carry me in His arms.
As I am typing this tears are streaming down my face, I can't tell you how this ministers to my heart. I grow weary, I get tired, I feel like I don't have what it takes. I want to be a good mom, I want to be a good wife, I want to be a good person..... but some days I don't have it in me, but instead of giving up, I can lean upon this truth and know that the Lord - the Creator of the Universe - is carrying me in His arms when I can't take the next step on my own.

Lord, thank you for this verse, thank you for the promise that you are leading me and that you are with me. There are times when I feel uncertain and I doubt, when I can't see you in the storm. Thank You for still being there when I can't feel You. Thank You that when I can't go on, You are carrying me. When I don't know which way to turn, You are there to lead me. You are good - and You are gentle with me - thank You.
I pray that I will hide this verse in my heart and that You will use it to light my path when I need it. Fill my head and heart with the promises it contains and I pray that you will use it to encourage me and that I may encourage others with it as well.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I know I'm a day late, but....
Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours!
We had a busy Christmas schedule this past week, but it was actually very peaceful and minus a few last minute stress-sessions, was fairly relaxing.

Last weekend we hosted the Schoessow family Christmas at our home for the first time. We really enjoyed it, and I think it went off pretty well for everyone else too. We kept Christmas simple, taking out all presents, excluding our usual ornament exchange and gift from Mommer and Papa to the grandkids. For our "big" Christmas gift to ourselves we are planning on taking a family vacation in February to Florida (Super excited!!). I truly cannot wait - I really think the kids are going to love it!

Christmas Eve we spent at my mom's house, we weren't planning on it, but we ended up going down the night before due to the snow storm we were having. Instead of exchanging gifts individually, for the first time we did a generic game for the immediate family. It was similar to the white-elephant game, but with a few modifications. It was a lot of fun and we kept it fair, which is not surprising in our family :) There were a lot of great gifts in the game so everyone walked away with something nice.

Christmas Day we spent at home with our family - this is the first time we've ever celebrated our family's Christmas on Christmas day. It was very relaxed. We got up, ate breakfast, Treyton played with a few of his toys from the night before, and then we got around to opening gifts. The kids each got 3 presents a piece from Tim and I (to represent the 3 gifts from the wisemen) and then 1 from each other. Not surprisingly, we ended up spending most of the rest of the day cleaning up wrapping paper, putting together toys, figuring out our new electronics and watching our new movies.... it was fairly pleasant and simple, perfect as far as I was concerned.

We hope that you all had a great Christmas holiday as well, and continue to throughout the New Year!

The Schoessow's

Monday, December 22, 2008

Looking Back at 2008

As 2008 nears it's end, I started to think about what this year has meant to me, what areas God has blessed me in, what He has given me, what He has taken away and what lessons I have learned in the process of it all.
Looking back over the year brings a mix of emotions - we have had some of the best and worst moments of our lives. Through it all though, we know the Lord was faithful and regardless of the circumstances, we know that now more than ever.
So, in spite of our recent family tragedy and the great loss of Trent that we think about daily, we still recognize that God is good and has blessed this year, like all the years in our past.

The Blessings of the Past Year:
~ The birth of our little miracle, Alexa. Though I have posted on this before, I never want to get over thanking God for her. She is without a doubt the best thing that has happened to us in this year. To think that almost two years ago we thought we would never be able to have more children.... She is pure joy, and the best baby a parent could ask for. At nearly 6 months old she is full of character, but content enough to allow mom a little time to breath - she is a perfect mix of character and peace.... she is a breath of fresh air and a great personality. I can tell already, the Lord has such big plans for her.
~ The ability to stay at home and my hubby's awesome job/business: These didn't happen this year, but are a continual blessing in our lives and I don't want to ever forget to thank God for them!!
~ A new van: we recently got a new van, and while this is a material blessing, and I want to be careful on not putting too much value on material things, going from my SUV (which I do miss by the way) to a minivan has been far beyond what I imagined. Incredible!! The space, and the conveniences that have come with owning a van are truly a blessing for our family. For the first time with either of my children, we can put them in the car and they can stay awake without crying - something I thought was only true in fiction stories!!
~ A new church: since we moved here over 2 1/2 years ago, we have gone from church to church. We had a pretty strong guideline of what we were looking for in a church, and while we had found two churches we liked a lot, neither of them ever felt like "the one", but this past August after Tim attended a men's conference at Celebration Church in Green Bay, he called me and said "I think I found our church", we attended the following sunday and during the first song, I was moved to tears, and I knew that we had found our church. God has blessed us with a church home and we look forward to building relationships and a church family there.

Spiritual Growth & Blessings
~ Daily Quiet Time: this past year I grew so much in my relationship with God and one of the areas that I felt the strongest area of growth was in a deep desire to spend alone time with Him everyday. While I went times without it, I have definetly developed the heart, desire and habit of drawing near to Him daily!! What a precious gift.
~ Homeschooling: the Lord placed many things on my heart this past year, primarily through my daily time with Him, and one of the biggest desires was to homeschool. Though the enemy has enjoyed spinning lies and doubt among this word of the Lord for me, I know that God has given me this desire and has also put so many other great christians in my life with the same heart. I am learning so much at this time and am so grateful to have received these thoughts from Him a little early to give me the "prep time" that I enjoy. Though we are only doing preschool right now, and we aren't that constant with it, it has been so much fun and I have learned alot about myself and Treyton and what we are capable of and what we are not.
~ Family devotions and memorizing Bible verses: We have started trying to do family devotions after dinner as well as memorizing verses. Tim and I learned more than 6 verses in the past 6 months, we wanted it to be more, however, we are happy with what we have accomplished. Treyton has learned so much as well through not only the family devotions, but watching Tim and I grow and relying more on the Bible.
~ Family Prayer: We have begun to teach Treyton the importance of prayer and how we can talk to God anytime about anything. When he gets hurt, Tim is so good at asking Treyton if he wants to pray about it, and Treyton always says yes. It wasn't this way a year ago. Part of this comes from the realization that God cares about the details of our lives, and living in that reality.

Lessons I have learned (and am learning)
~ The importance of friends - not to take away from the importance of family, but in addition too.
~ Joy is not contengient on my expressions and feelings
~ The Lord is sovereign, He is in control, all things go through His hands
~ I have to let go of some of the little things so that I can grab on to the big things
~ The Lord is speaking - most of the time through His word, sometimes through a still small voice. I need to put myself in a position to hear Him through either way He choices to speak to me.
~ My dreams and desires are from God, and He will fulfill them in HIS time!

My Verses of the Year:
There have been a lot of great verses that have ministered to me throughout the year - I'm sure I'm forgetting some but a few of the first ones that come to mind

Psalms 55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."
Isaiah 43:1b-2 (this has been my "life verse" for a while now.... I LOVE it) "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame will not consume you."
John 15:10 "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."
Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, acceptable and perfect will of God."

My Verse for the upcoming Year:
Isaiah 40:11 "He will tend to His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom and gently lead those that are with young."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Link Clickin' - December 2008

Family

Children & Homeschooling

Christian Living

  • You never walk alone an encouraging post for the times in our life we feel the most desperate and alone.
  • Priorities a nice reminder during the Christmas holidays - What is worth our time and energy?
  • Showers of Stress an encouraging post on the daily "storms" of life and how to get through them
  • Just Do It a motivating article on what it takes to get into a daily quiet time routine - it's hard core but I think it's exactly what some of us need to hear!
  • Melissa's (Beth Moore's daughter) process and pointers on studying books of the Bible - using Leviticus as her example.... very good article!
Misc. & Fun

  • A list of companies that donates to planned parenthood, I was disappointed by some of the companies on the list, including sears (kmart), whole foods, ebay, time warner, johnson & johnson.
  • Digital Camera Lag Time Comparisons A comparison chart on digital cameras and their shutter speed
  • Speedtest, how many words per minute can you type? (My test showed 68 words per minute)

Centered on the Home

Blogging

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Memories & Traditions

This week we have been busy making some Christmas memories. On Saturday Tim's sister, Toni, asked us to go to the Green Bay Botanical Gardens to walk through their light display. It was a beautiful night (40 degrees) so we bundled up the kids and headed north :) It was soo awesome, we are so glad that we went(if you live in the area I definetly recommend that you go). Treyton loved it and Alexa (who I was wearing) actually fell asleep.
The trail was a mile long, but it didn't seem like it. Because of the nice weather it was pretty crowded, but again, it didn't really seem like it once we got in. We had to park in the overflow parking and then buses came over to pick us up. This was actually pretty cool, Treyton enjoyed being on the bus and it went rather smoothly.

There were lots of different displays. This tree is 5 stories tall with over 20,000 lights!! Can you believe it? I never would have guessed it. Treyton's favorite were the caterpillars (Hermie's, he called them) They were all beautiful and I can't believe how much it got me into the holiday spirit. We plan on making it a yearly tradition.
Yesterday, we spent all morning baking cookies. This was a tradition that I remember and treasured as a child, and since I have moved out of my mom's house, I haven't really done it. That all changed this year and Treyton and I had a blast! We made chocolate covered pretzels, m&m oatmeal cookies, butterscothc haystacks, chocolate & coconut haystacks and peanut butter cookies. Treyton had quite the sugar high (and crash by the end of the night) but it was a good time nonetheless. I look forward to carrying this tradition on through the years as well.
(This picture isn't really anything but a cute picture of my man and his little princess) Aren't they cute?)

This is a picture of Treyton in his snow tunnel that him and dad made last week. This was after it got a little bit warmer so the tunnel had shrunk a little bit, but Treyton still loved it!! From the first time it snowed Treyton started asking to build a snow tunnel, this is something that Treyton has done every year with Tim and has always loved it - it's definetly a wintertime favorite for him!

We hope that your family is enjoying the holiday season and making some family traditions of your own.

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cute Christmas Video

Our church played this video this morning, it tells a great Christmas message in a cute way

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Word-Fillled Wednesday


Joy in Relation to Hope

Pre-Warning: this is a long post.

I am currently doing the Beth Moore study on the fruit of the Spirit with my mom and sister, this week we are covering joy. After talking on the phone with my mom about joy I began to think about how confusing the topic really is for me. How many misconceptions and assumptions I have regarding joy. Something that has always stumped me about joy is that I have always assumed that being joyful is a continual thing, like you can NEVER lose it once you have it, like a joyful person would always show signs of joy (like never being sad). After looking into the Bible a little more, I now know that this is not true - Joy, like any other fruit of the spirit or character can be temporarily forgotten or ignored by a believer , a good example of this is patience. You can be a patient person, and have a sudden outburst, but you are still a patient person, you didn't lose your patience just because you failed, the same is true with joy, if we allow a situation to overtake us and we lose our joy, it doesn't mean we aren't joyful, it only means we aren't currently experiencing our joy.

So, back to my thoughts....What is joy? We know that it isn't happiness... it's seems similiar to peace, but a little different, we're told it isn't dependent on our circumstances, but we really don't know what that means --- can you still cry and be joyful? What emotions are 'allowed' while still remaining joyful? Are we supposed to be glad when bad things happen? What is it about trials that is supposed to be considered joyful?

Let's go over a few things that the Bible tells us about Joy:

1. We acheive joy when we obey the commands of God 1 John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." This also insinuates to me that there are different levels of joy

2. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23 Joy comes as a result of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we open up our hearts and lives to the Holy Spirit, in turn, we will experience joy as a 'fruit", or side effect of His indwelling.
3. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances Romans 5:3-5 "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE, and HOPE does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." James 1:2-3 "Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."

4. It seems to me that joy is a result of suffering, not because of the suffering per say but of the character that sufferings and trials produces. If that is the case, then it is fair to say that anytime we begin to develop character (perseverence, HOPE, faith, loyalty, etc.) we also obtain joy. Joy comes as a result to character development, primarily HOPE. Romans 12:12 "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." When we face trials, the test is: are we going to allow ourselves to hope in our salvation, in our Lord and saviour? Or are we going to focus on the storm around us? It isn't the trial that matters as much as it being an excercise of hope, which brings us joy in the midst of our suffering.

5. Joy is dependent on our faith in Jesus Christ, without Christ we have no salvation, we have no future, no HOPE Romans 5:2 "Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God."

6. God also rejoices and has joy, He finds joy in His creation (including us) Psalm 104:31, Isaiah 65:18, Luke 15 speaks of 3 parables (the lost coin, the lost sheep, the lost son) and refers to the joy over the salvation of 1 sinner(15:7)

7. Sin will rob a person of joy Psalm 51:7-8 (along with this the sin we fall into will turn us into a prisoner to sin... definetly NOT joy!)

8. We are called to rejoice (to be joyful) with those who are rejoicing Romans 12:14 "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." When I looked up the original greek word for "weep" I was surprised by what I found. This word ("Klaio", pronounces klah'-yo) is NOT referring to crying. It actually refers to 'any loud expression of grief, wailing, sob'.... this word is referring to a serious expression of emotion and sadness. What this is telling us is that as christians we can be joyful and also wail, weep and express (strongly) the pain and hurt we experience in this life.

9. Joy is a result of having an eternal perspective Psalm 51:12 & Luke 10:17-20 When we allow ourselves to focus our heart, mind and spirit on heaven and the eternal implications of our actions - our lives will be TRANSFORMED, and in that as well. When our heavenly destination and eternal fellowship with God becomes our focus our earthly circumstances take on a new meaning, giving us a natural joy and peace.

I pray that we will all begin to experience the joy of God in our lives, that we may focus our hearts and lives heavenward and live in the joy and strength of our God.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Faith and Doubt

This is the book I recently started reading.
Written by John Ortberg it addresses the issues of, you guessed it, faith and doubt. On the back of the book it says:
"What if the most important word is the one in the middle" "We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? In this refreshingly candid look at a life of faith, he traces the line between belief and unbelief: less a dividing line
between hostile camps than a razor’s edge that runs through every soul. His findings point us toward the relief of being totally honest. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Written from Ortberg’s own struggle with faith and doubt, this book will challenge, comfort, and inspire you with the truth that God wants all of us—including our doubts."
I'm only a few chapters in and I have learned so much already, I would include this book (thus far) on my "must read" list.
One of the quotes that really stuck out to me in the first chapter was from Nicholas Wolterstorff it says "I cannot fit it all together by saying "He [God] did it," but neither can I do so by saying, "There was nothing He could do about it." I cannot fit it together at all... I have read the theodicies produced to justify the ways of God to man. I find them unconvincing. To the most agonized question I have ever asked I do not know the answer. I do not know why God would watch him fall. I do not know why God would watch me wounded. I cannot even guess. My wound is an unanswered question. The wounds of all humanity are an unanswered question."

I cling to my faith and the goodness of God in ways I never have before, I've never needed to to this extent but there remains a part of me that does not, and cannot understand the "why". I keep thinking, if only I could somehow "get it" if I could somehow make sense of it all.....

On one hand I am filled with a level of faith and confidence I have never known before, but on the other hand I am also filled with questions, and confusion, unanswered questions to deep wounds. Though I may not get the answers I am looking for, I will never let go of my faith. I know that my God is good and that He is faithful and that He loves us. I know that regardless of the situation, my God is by my side and He sees a picture I cannot - He is leading me home and while I do not understand and cannot see what is in front of me, I know the one who does, and I hold onto Him.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

1 Peter 1:6-9 "In this you rejoice, though right now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Cute Treyton Stories

~ On our way home for church yesterday, Tim, Treyton and I were discussing his sunday school craft. It was a piece of paper with stickers on it and things listed on it that he was thankful for. It was cute, you could tell that they actually wrote down what he said because it said things like "food" and "baby" (typical Treyton answers :)). I asked him, "Are these things, the things that you are thankful for?" and he said "Yeah, but no Leaner".
Leaner is the neighbor's dog and is Treyton's best friend - he prays for him every day and anytime we leave Treyton waves at "Leaner's House" and says "Bye Leaner".... Anyhow, as you can imagine a three-year-old talking, when Treyton says "Leaner" the "L" isn't as clear as one would hope, and it typically comes out "Weaner"
So, Tim and I quickly realized what probably happened at Sunday school.... when the Sunday School teacher started asking for the things Treyton was thankful for, I'm certain that Treyton answered "Leaner" (or what they thought was "Weiner") and they must have told him "no" because he knew, without being able to read, that it wasn't on there. And he kept saying to us "leaner, no, no, leaner" when we asked him about it.
Tim got a real kick out of the fact that his sunday school teachers probably thought he was saying something else, and that knowing Treyton he repeated himself several times to make a point! Me? I was totally embarassed, especially considering they didn't say anything to us when we picked him up!!

~ The other day, we were eating twisty pretzels and Treyton had taken a bite of one and it looked like a letter "M". Treyton looked at the pretzel and then looked at me and said "McDonalds"

~ When dad got home frome work last week, Treyton was down stairs watching a movie, I called down to him and he yelled up "Is daddy home?" and I yelled back "yeah" and then he yelled back up and said "Daddy, I'm watching a movie" - it was so matter-of-fact I felt like he was a teenager.

~ Treyton always says to me and Tim how he wants hair, like dad when he gets big. He points to his lips, his cheeks, his arms, his legs.... it's cute - he says "when I am bigger and bigger, I want hair."

~ A few nights ago, Treyton was hot during the night and he called out, Tim fixed him up so that he had just the sheet instead of the comforter but Treyton said that his baby sam, who was sleeping next to him, was cold, so Tim had to swaddle up baby sam, and cover him up so that Sam and Treyton could both sleep comfortably.

These little stories bring such a smile to my heart, children have such an innocent and sweet outlook on the world, I hope that by being a mom, I can somehow take on part of Treyton's easy-going, simple mentality rather than the other way around. God Bless the hearts and minds of children.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where is God in our Pain?

My entire family & I thank you for your prayers and your faithfulness in holding Trent up, not only in the last week but throughout his journey of illness. We want you to know that your prayers did not go unanswered. While they were not answered in the way that we wanted, they were in fact answered. Please, do not be discouraged in what you do, and the prayers that you have made, for our God is faithful! We know that our God is sovereign and that He has and is bringing good from our pain.

I ask that you continue to be faithful in your prayers, escpecially Terry, Sandra, Emma and Ava - we have a long road ahead - but God is faithful and we know that He will continue to sanctify a wound that we cannot and may never fully understand.

It is easy in times like this to become discouraged. But I listened to an incredible sermon today that encouraged me (isn't God good) and I want to share with you all some things that I walked away with.

God works in two ways - through His visible hand (miracles and such) and His invisible hand. It's easy to thank God and recognize Him in the visible things, it's much harder when He works through the invisible things.

God works more often through His invisible hand of providence. Through the subtle details and everydayness of our lives. Things that we may not give Him credit for but that He controls and blesses us with. We see these things when we look with faith.

We know that God is both sovereign and good and we need to cling to BOTH of these characteristics.
Sovereign: God controls ALL things, there is NOTHING that God does not reign over and control, down to the smallest detail of our lives, it does not happen without God's permission.
Good: He is loving, kind, patient, merciful, forgiving, compassionate.... God is GOOD!

Just because our God is good and sovereign does not mean that all things that happen are His will - It was not His will for sin and evil to enter this world, He doesn't WANT bad things to happen. The Bible tells us that God weeps, He gets angry and sad; it also tells us that everything is not in obedience with God. We (people) sin, and Satan is a liar out to destroy the world and the people in the world (1 Peter 5:8).

So how does this work? How can there be bad in the world and in the lives of people who serve a sovereign and good God? The Bible tells us that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28) for those who love Him. God will not waste one tear, one moment of brokeness or pain from his sons and daughters. He will bring good to our pain and suffering.

Mark Driscoll calls it "santified affliction". To paraphrase him "it doesn't mean that everything comes from the hand of God but everything goes through the hand of God. It means whatever the affliction is - it is serving a purpose. For a non-christian it may be a cause and effect consequence but for us who know God it is an affliction that is sanctified - it will bring us closer to God, good WILL come, God's will WILL be done through it. God will use it to santify us. There is no pain for a child of God that is pointless. "

We must bring our pain to God, because it is only there that our pain can and will be sanctified and made right.
So again, I just want to encourage you all to bring your pain, bring your questions to God because that it the ONLY place that it can be made right.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trent's Service

The service for Trent is going to held on Monday November 24
at CrossPoint Assembly of God located at 2727 Cnty Hwy CX Portage, WI 53901

Visitation 10am
Service 11am
Luncheon to follow service at the church

There will be information printed in the Daily Register
http://portagedailyregister.com/ tomorrow and the State Journal on Sunday


Trent is now in the arms of Jesus



Our little Trent has gone home to be with our Lord. Although this is a hard time for our family we are finding peace in the presence of God. Thank you all for your prayers - they have meant so much to us.
Isiah 43:1-2 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
I will update once I hear when the funeral is going to be. Thank you,
The Schoessow Family

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Call for Prayer

Hello Dear Friends and Family
I am writing now begging for prayer.
I don't know very much at this time but my little nephew Trent (who is 2 1/2) is in desperate need of our prayers! All I know is that he was sick last night, with a fever and throwing up and this morning they have called the ambulance to bring him to the hospital.
His mom, my sister-in-law, has a blog with updates for their family and while she obviously hasn't posted today if you would like to take a closer look at their journey you can.

I will update as soon as possible!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Craft: Paper Pumpkins

I found this craft on another blog that I read and I decided that Treyton and I had to try it. I already had all the supplies so what was the harm in trying it? I'm glad I did 'cuz I think they are super cute!
To begin I took 4 sheets of 12*12 thanksgiving themed/colored scrap paper and I cut them into 1 inch strips. I then attached 12 strips (3 of each type of paper) together with a brad. I separated the strips of paper to created a circle of strips. I then took my leaf cut-cuts and attached them to a seperate brad, and attached all 12 of the strips of paper to that brad (this was the top of my pumpkin).... this is extremely hard to explain in words, but you can get the point of it when you look at the picture (I think).

We are hosting my family's thanksgiving in our home so these will make cute decorations!!

Thank You for Your Prayers

I realized yesterday as I was posting Alexa's update that I had failed to update you all on Treyton's speech appointment last Wednesday.
It went really well, he talked to the therapists and was very cooperative. He repeated anything and everything we asked - Tim and I were very impressed.
I didn't really know what exactly to expect when we went in, and really it was basically and evaluation to decide if he needed a formal evaluation. The pathologists said that she did recommend a formal evaluation on both speech and language, so that is the next step. We still have some paperwork to receive, but once that is all done we will be scheduling a formal evaluation - from there they will decide one of three things (1) he needs formal speech therapy which would take place at the school once a week (2) he would need in-home speech therapy, which would obviously take place in our home (3) he doesn't need speech therapy.
At this point, I don't really have a preference to which method occurs, I just want him to be properly treated so my prayer is that the evaluation is an accurate reflection of his speech and language abilities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Little Princess: Part 2

Last monday I posted about our little princess, Alexa, and how God has blessed us in so many ways through her. I got a lot of e-mails and comments regarding that post and how Alexa has blessed the lives of others as well. Today I would like to continue on and share with you how two days following that post the enemy tried to steal our joy and the glory that belongs to God.

Last Wednesday night at about 9:00 - Tim fell down our basement stairs while holding Alexa. We think that he was about 3 or 4 stairs down when he started to fall. He fell backwards as much as he could, but he also fell to his side. He had a hard time recalling which arm he was carrying her in, or how exactly they fell (who wouldn't?) but he knew he didn't land on her, and that he pulled her close to him when he fell.

When I got to them, Tim was trying to stand up but was in a severe amount of pain - he immediately handed me Alexa who was screaming uncontrollably. Tim could hardly stand or walk, but was hopping around trying to help me with Alexa. After about 5 minutes I was finally able to calm Alexa to a normal cry, her entire body was shaking but she didn't seem like she was in any physical pain - we checked all of her limbs, and what not.
When she stopped crying (which happened rather suddenly now that I look back), I looked at Tim's leg, it had already bruised, and had a scratch (it almost looks like a gashed carpet burn), and was extremely puffy. I told him "I want to check that out more after Alexa goes down to bed"

I walked back into the playroom, where I had laid Alexa on the blanket and she was just laying there (not moving her feet her arms - nothing) - not moving at all - her head was turned to the side. I ran over to her and laid down next to her right as she was starting to close her eyes. I said "Hey princess" really loud to keep her from falling asleep. I looked at Tim and said "What's wrong with her? What's going on? I think we have to take her in - this isn't normal". We looked at her for a few more seconds and agreed, our normally responsive daughter seemed almost lifeless, she wasn't moving anything really, didn't want to turn her head to the right (though she did once), and wasn't smiling, crying or anything - just staring ahead, kind of "zoning".

Tim called his sister Toni right away, and then ran across the street to ask our neighbor to stay here until Toni got here (Treyton was already in bed, sleeping). I called my mom, Tim's mom and my friend Jaime as we were headed out the door to the hospital. Asking them to pray with us. Our daughter who typically hates the car seat - immediately tried to fall asleep in it (before I even got her buckled). I spent the entire way to the hospital talking to her as loudly as I could and keeping her awake. It was one of the scariest times of my life.

When we got her to the hospital, the bright rooms helped to wake her up a bit, and when the nurse with cold hands touched her she seemed to come back to life a little bit (thank the Lord for cold hands!) They took all of her vitals, a doctor came in to check her out and said that she didn't seem to have any head trauma or broken bones, the fact that she was somewhat consolable by me and the pacifier was a good sign - and there was no time of unconsciousness or vomitting, which all pointed away from any head injury. They wanted to stay away from a CT scan because of the radiation factor, we agreed.

They explained her behavior was probably due to an adrenaline-rush. Basically she got such a rush of adrenaline, that once she had calmed down her body was just exhausted from the rush. They allowed me to feed her - she nursed for not even 15 seconds before she fell asleep. When we got home, she cooed for the first time when I took her out of the carseat and she saw Aunt Toni. It was almost as if she wanted to tell her what happened. We woke her up every 2-3 hours throughout the night to check on her, and she woke up at 4:00 for her normal feeding. She is still sleeping now, but she seems totally fine.

Tim was/is in ALOT of pain,nothing is broken, but I think he is going to be in pain for a while. he has a large bruise (about the size of my hand) on his upper thigh - it has been a nice little science experiment for Treyton to see, as it has changed to alot of "pretty" blues, blacks and purples in the last few days. :) The first night he moaned throughout the entire night and since then he has had pretty bad back, neck and shoulder pain. He compares it to being in a car accident.

Since this has happened, I have experienced alot of mixed emotions (none of which were related to being upset or angry with my hubby, as far as he was concerned, I felt more pain for him than I ever did for myself or even my daughter). Thursday was an extremely rough day for me, the Lord was faithful throughout the day. I was in a very broken and vulnerable place but faithful, like always, the Lord met me there. I know that the Lord was present throughout the entire situation which I am so incredibly thankful for. A situation that I would have never thought could turn out positive has once again helped me to grow and love my God in a deeper and more intimate way ---- What a mighty God we serve!!

I am certain that this entire incident was an attack from the enemy, after giving all the glory to God for our precious daughter the enemy wanted to steal a part of that; however, our great God has turned it into something beautiful and very healing for me. I have learned alot in the last week about myself and about God. I am thankful to my close family and friends who were aware of what was going on and kept our family in your prayers. In the near future I would like to share with you some more of what has happened in my heart with this whole situation, but this is getting a little long already, so I will leave it for another time.

In His Arms,
Amber

Treyton says the cutest things!

Here are some of the more recent Treyton stories that have made me laugh:

Treyton needed to pee and I was in the bathroom doing my make up, I said "you need to put the seat up" and he promptly replied "Daddy Told me, put the seat up" like I didn't need to tell him daddy already had .... alrighty, then.

Treyton wanted to listen to one of his children's CDs, I asked him which one and he said "The one with the big teeth". I thought that was kind of strange description and didn't really know what he was talking about but sure enough as I was looking through his CDs there was one with cartoon kids on the front with really big teeth.

I was feeding the baby some rice cereal mixed with green beans. I had talked Treyton into trying a bite. He took a bite (like half a baby spoonful) made a funny face, bent his head down as he forced it down. Took a really deep breath and said "Me big boy, I eat noodles" (we were eating mac n cheese for lunch) -- It was hilarious... alot of it was his reaction which I can't properly portray in words --- just know it was hilarious.

The other day something fell in the bathtub and it made a loud noise, the baby was sleeping in her swing and Treyton was painting at the table. I was sitting next to him and he said "what was that?" I said "I don't know, I think something fell in the bathroom." and he looked at the baby looked back at me and said "I don't want it to wake the baby up!"

When we were visiting at Mommer's house, mommer had called Treyton to the kitchen, and he was standing in the rec room having me zip up his jammies after a little potty break. So when mommer called him he said "be there in a second" which is something I say alot, though I didn't really realize it.

Now if Treyton is in the other room and he needs to get your attention - he will "whistle" and by whistle I mean he make a noise that sounds like "Woooo Hooo"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The 7 x 7 Prayer

I saw this prayer square on someone else's blog and I followed the link to read about Angie's story, wow, how this story came at a moment unlike any other. How great is our God!!

Angie has set up a prayer that she is calling the 7 * 7 and it is 7 prayers that you can pray for and over our children for 7 days. I am attaching the prayers and part of her post below that you can print out if you would like, but you should definetly make your way over to her site if you have the chance.

The other day I came across a verse that God used to prompt me to write this post. If you are a mom (or have someone else you want to pray for specifically), I hope you will join me as I do this for the next 7 days. It struck me that I need reminders during the day to be praying over my girls, and I decided to choose 7 events in a day that would remind me to do so. Then, I chose verses that had to do with that time of the day (for example: as my kids are getting dressed in the morning) and then I put them on notecards.
Here are the events and verses I chose:
1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)
2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)
3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)
4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)
5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)
6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)
7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

I feel like God has been reminding me more and more lately that I need to live my life in prayer. For my children, husband, family, friends, country, those in need, etc., etc. As a mother, it has been so pivotal for my children to hear me praying out loud over them, and I want to commit to do this every day (seven times a day!) for the next week. If you care to join me, just copy these verses onto index cards

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Devotions

We are starting to try to do family devotions - we're not doing much because Treyton doesn't have much attention span ecspecially in the evening after Dad gets home and through dinner.


This week we started going through a book that I just got for us - we have started doing this immediately following dinner and it has worked well for us - mostly because Treyton is a slow eater and Tim and I typically finish way before him and have a little time while he finishes his meal.


I had picked up two books for us to use:
The first one is called "Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching your child to live for God" it has little catechism type questions that I also learned when I was a kid and then it has stories to read along with it - you don't try to have your kid memorize all the catechism questions the first time through you just pick a few some of them include:
~ Who Made Me? God made me
~ What else did God make? God made all things
~ Why did God make all things? For His own Glory



The other one I got is called "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" and it is broken down into weeks, each week focusing on one catechism type question, and then has a short daily reading with verses covering the weekly topic.

The first question is "What is Man's Primary Purpose" and the answer "man's primary purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever"
Other Questions include: How is Christ a prophet? What is Sanctification? What does the 4th Commandment forbid?



We started the other night with the "Training Hearts" book, because it was broken down into shorter sections - at this point we are not memorizing the catechism part, but we would like to eventually. I really enjoy both of them so far from just skimming through them and I think that as the kids get older they will spark some really awesome family discussions, and give Tim and I as parents a time to discuss what and why we believe the things we do.

If you don't mind, please share what you do for family devotion time - when do you do it? what do you do? How has this worked for you?

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Little Princess



Alexa is 4 months! I can't even believe it. I seriously know that everyone says this but it does not feel like 4 months even a little bit!

We went to Alexa's 4-month appointment today. She had her shots (there were three different pokes) and was a real trooper. Dad was there this time, so I didn't have to do the hard part of holding her down (which is always a relief).

She weighed in at 15 pounds 6 ounces and was 25 1/2 inches long. She was in the 90th percentile for weight, height, and head.
Looks like things are going well, and she passed all of her milestones.

Chubby Cheeks
One thing that I love about Alexa is that she seriously has the most kissable cheeks I have ever seen, luckily she LOVES to get kisses. She will just smile and laugh when I give her hundreds of kisses in a row (I'm hardly even exagerating here).

People have always commented on her cheeks - since the beginning - but it seems like they have drawn more attention in the last few weeks. We were at church last Wednesday night and we sat in the back because I had forgotten the moby wrap and Alexa doesn't seem to do as well without it. We were in the middle of worship and a lady tapped me on the back (as she was walking by) and said "Your baby has the cutest cheeks I have ever seen on a baby, EVER!" Of course I said "Thank You!"

Then just the other day we ran to the grocery store and a lady stopped us to look at the baby (which I always love :)) First thing she said was "oh, look at those adorable cheeks" which is usually the first thing people say when they see Alexa. Then she said "I just want to squeeze them"..... so she did :0

My mom and I went to Hobby Lobby last week, and on our way in a lady (with her daughter and two friends stopped as they were leaving the store and said "Wow.... look at her cheeks.... she is just beautiful, beautiful.... oh, I love those little cheeks..... so precious" It went on this way for what seemed like an unnatural amount of time - my mom and I smiling and saying "thank you" the compliments and cheek comments never ending.... finally I just started to slowly creep away :) I think after about 3 feet they noticed and finally went on their way (ha, ha).

Treyton refers to Alexa's cheeks as "cheeky's" but a couple times has referred to them as "chunky"

Seriously - her cheeks are priceless and I just love them to pieces - Treyton had big cheeks too, which I'm proud of - I hope all of my kids have big cheeks!

What She is Like
Alexa has the most sweet personality - I cannot even tell you the joy she brings to my day. She LOVES to smile and laugh. And as long as she can see what's going on - she probably is! She doesn't like laying down, tummy time only lasts for about 5 minutes before she is sick of it, she likes her johnny jumper (though not even close to as much as Treyton did), but mostly she just loves people. She is a people watcher and she plays off of others emotions in a way I didn't know was even possible. If there is an underlying excitement in the room sometimes she will just start laughing (even if no one has said anything or made a noise) if there is tension or negative emotions in the room (even if no one has said anything) she will start to get agitated and sometimes start crying. She has become my human tension meter.... I love it, she is very sensitive to the things going on around her.

She absolutely loves to watch her brother and he is one of the few people that she recongnizes at this point. She loves to be tickled ---- she will squeal with such delight! It's so much fun.

She likes her cereal but like Treyton is impatient when it comes to eating, so if you putz around too much in between bites she decides she has better things to do than to sit in a high chair - alone! :)

She is starting to roll over - she easily goes from her back to her side (usually to the right) but will not roll over on her tummy, which is not surprising considering she doesn't like tummy time. She has once gone from her tummy to her back but I don't know which way (I had laid her in her pack n play and when I came back she was rolled over and facing the opposite direction.... who knew?)

She isn't quite sitting up on her own yet, but she is definetly progressing towards that - she want's to so bad and definetly has the muscle for it, but not quite the balance. She is still what we call a "little bobbly" Sometimes she looks like one of those bobble heads, she can hold her head up, but it hardly ever stays still :)

We call her our "pretty girl" or "pretty princess" and she LOVES it - if you call her pretty or beautiful she often smiles!

In all seriousness....
When Alexa was born, one of my prayers was that I would never forget what a miracle she was. That I would never take for granted the gift she was. Sadly, for a short time I did. I had forgotten, but God, being the loving God that He is so graciously brought it back to my heart last week and it moved me to tears.

The world had told us that she would never come, but God had other plans. And while I know that my correction has medical explanations behind it, the number of things that fell into place to even FIND a doctor to correct the Asherman's was miraculous!! If we had lived at ANY other time in history or any other place in the world there is probably NO WAY that she would be here today. It brings to my mind the verse in Esther that says "for such a time as this". Alexa is special, she is special to her family and to everyone who knows her, but more than that - she is special to Jesus, and God has a plan and a purpose for her life, that I can only pray for and imagine at this point.

Thank you Jesus for Alexa, thank you for who she is, thank you for the person that she is becoming and the precious personality you have given her. Thank you for allowing me to be her mom, I feel so underqualified, so humbled and so blessed. You are so good and the gifts you have given me through her are like none I have ever known, words will never express the gratitude that I have for her. Father, I ask now that you watch over her, that you protect her body, mind and spirit. Give her the strength to become the person you are calling her to be. You are so holy and good Jesus, in your precious name - Amen

Thoughts about Marriage

My hubby and I have always stuggled reading or doing a Bible Study together I think the only one we actually ever started and finished together was "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman (which is an AWESOME book by the way) we've started several others but never got very far. We've always wanted to - we know that it is so important for us to read and meditate over the word together and we are still in the process of getting there. For right now, we have found something that is working pretty well for us.
Lately, we have started to listen to some on-line sermons together at night and then we discuss them together (do we agree or disagree, what did we learn or take away from it, etc.?) We can't do it every night because sermons can be a little long but I would say we have done it 2-3 times a week so far and it's been great. Right now we are going through Mark Driscoll's Song of Songs series - which I also HIGHLY recommend. It's going really well and we are learning SO much and having fun in the process. I think we might be on to something here.....

We just finished part 4 of the series and one of the quotes that I wrote down last night as we were watching it was "The last day of your marriage is more important than your first." I LOVE that! After all the recent weddings I've been a part of I couldn't help but think about all the time and energy that we put into our wedding day, and while this is OKAY, we have to ask ourself: are we putting as much effort into the following YEARS of our marriage?
Every day of our marriage should get better and better. We will have our disagreements and hard days and seasons that come upon us - this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of - however, typically speaking, every day we should be growing closer to one another and God, we should love one another deeper, learn new things about one another, serve one another, discover one another on new levels.

So I ask you:
The last day of your marriage.... what do you want it to be like? What do we need to do to make sure that our last day of marriage is the best it can be?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Confidence

About 2 1/2 years ago the Lord began to place a lot of desires and dreams in my heart. Since then, I have been in the process of working towards those dreams. Some of my attempts have been successful and some have not, some were given by God and some I tried to fulfill on my own. I have had a lot of trials and struggles regarding the passions that God has placed in my heart and have allowed the enemy to steal alot of my confidence and replace it with doubt and fear. And while, I know now that it is not the time for my dream to be fulfilled in it's completeness, I KNOW that I KNOW that it is from the Lord and I KNOW that one day it will be perfected according to His will.

Our pastor recently spoke on the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and how it took 20 years for his dreams to come to reality and for Moses it was 40. Our dreams do not always happen in a day, but when it is time the Lord can bring us from the lowest pit to the highest point in a day - like Joseph we may not know when it is going to happen or how it is going to happen, but the dreams that are from the Lord WILL come to pass.

Have confidence knowing that the Lord is on your side and that His Word will not go out void - it will be fulfilled. Cling to the Word He has given you!!

Isaiah 55:10-11 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heave and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Prayer Request

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to send out a little prayer request for our family. Next Wednesday we are taking Treyton to a speech pathologists (sp?) to get evaluated. This is something that we have put off - more because of feelings that Tim and I were feeling, and we kept thinking that because he was improving there wasn't a need for an evaluation. And who knows, there may not be, but we are taking the next step to get it figured out.
Anyhow, please just pray for Tim and I as parents to make the right decisions and to know which path to take (if there are paths to be taken)
And also for Treyton that he will cooperate during the evaluation, and that regardless of the outcome his speech will continue to improve.
Thanks for your support and prayers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Solid Food

I can't even believe that my last post was on Wednesday, it seems so long ago. Anyhow, it's been a busy week here at our house. My mom came in on Saturday with my niece Shayla, and while it has been fun to have both of them here (Shayla and Treyton are really close, people always say they seem more like siblings than cousins) since the two kids have gotten a little older we are spending more time breaking up fights than having fun it seems .... in fact even as I sit here typing this I hear my mom telling one of the kids not to throw sand in the others face (oh the beauty of cousins!) Overall, the visit is going well, it's just a lot more work than my mom or I anticipated.

However, what I really wanted to post about was what happened here a few nights ago. After about a week of our once awesome sleeper NOT sleeping more than 1 1/2 or 2 hours at a time at night, we decided to give Alexa a little rice cereal at night before bed..... I was a little nervous as it was a few weeks earlier than when we started with Treyton but after a lot of research I found that more often than not the success stories came when a mother would "follow her instincts" so that is what I did, and wow, am I thankful I did. The first night Alexa slept for 9 hours without waking up which was almost like her old self, then last night she slept 9 again..... so we've actually gotten a little bit of rest!! It was well needed. I could tell I was starting to develop mastitis (sp?) I had all the symptoms from when I had when I got it when I breastfed Treyton and after my mom researched it a little she found that one of the primary causes of mastitis is a lack of rest/sleep (I don't know if that's true or not but it was definetly applicable in my situation - as soon as I started not sleeping as well again, that was when the symptoms showed up). Thankfully after a lot of prayer and doing all the things everyone recommended I think that I am going to be able to get by without antibiotics which is awesome.

Anyhow, back to the feeding - our first feedings have gone well. At the beginning of each feeding Alexa needs a little more help but after the 3rd bite or so she is ALL about it!! She practically attacks the spoon! I'm excited to hit this stage but a little saddened by the fact that she is already here... where has the time gone!!

I'm attaching some pictures of the last week. Hope you enjoy!
Woaw, what is this stuff in my mouth?
This was taken immediately after her first bite.... looks like she enjoyed it... ha ha!

Our own horsey! Grandma!!

First Bite of Food EVER!


Alexa fell asleep while dad was holding her like this, I think she was tired!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Word Filled Wednesdays

I know I'm a day late, but it took me a little while to learn how to do this, but now that I got it....