Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Awesomeness of HIS Perfection

I am truly amazed at the awesomness of our God. His perfection is overwhelmingly comforting when yo uallow it to be. It creates an awe and reverence (the fear of the Lord) and a humility and comfort like nothing else.

He is the perfect MASTER. Not forcing obedience, but His authority demands it from the ones who love Him.

The perfect JUDGE, seeing all things: past, present & future. He judges with an accuracy that we cannot.

The perfect SACRIFICE. Dying for me - needing to make atonement for all sins only once.

The perfect PRIEST. Living to interced for me with the Father - how incredible to know I have direct access to the thron room through my Lord and Saviour.

The perfect FATHER. Loving, accepting, disciplining me in absolute perfection - a Love that I cannot begin to comprehend, an acceptance that I cannot fathom and discipline that brings conviction and change.

How great it is to know that I serve the only ONE who is perfect: everything He says, is, and does is perfect. How can I not trust in that?

A Picture


I can't believe I didn't post this picture - I guess I didn't realize that I hadn't!

Anyhow, here are my beautiful children....

Hopefully, I will get some more pictures up soon. Today Alexa had her first visit out to Daddy's work (the shop) I took a few pictures so I'll upload those soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Update

I apologize that I haven't been updating as much as I would like, but there are fairly obvious reasons for my on-line absence.
Things here have been going very well and I can't complain - even the sleeping issue has been fairly manageable (considering).

Alexa will be three weeks tomorrow and I cannot believe she's that YOUNG!! I feel that she's been a part of our lives forever, and I can't remember what life was like before she was here. She is also VERY strong and big so she doesn't seem like a newborn to me at all!! She is developing extremely well - at her two week appointment she had gained 1 pound since birth and grown 1 inch, putting her at 8 pounds 14ounces and 22 inches long. (and that was a week ago!!)
Starting yesterday she has begun to be awake more and more. Yesterday she had fewer naps than she did alert periods - it seemed like she was awake most of the day yesterday (though she wasn't) - it was a shock to the system a little bit when she wasn't constantly sleeping. Today she has been about half and half. It's nice to see her and finally begin to see a little personality out of her, but it's also much more demanding work when your newborn is actually awake. She is fairly content, but like most babies, she does like to be held more than not.
Treyton is still handling being a big brother with flying colors!! I'm amazed at how much he really loves her and how gentle he can be with her. He listens UNBELIEVABLY well, anytime it comes to handling or being around the baby - He's AWESOME!!
I can't believe in a month that our little boy is going to be three, the amount of changes that he has shown in the last two months is (again) unbelievable. His talking has improved greatly and we actually carry on conversations these days - WE LOVE IT! He is also learning new things every day and because of his better communication we are seeing it more and more. I was actually worried about some of the preschool activities that I had planned for this fall and wasn't sure he would be ready to learn some of it - but now the opposite has happened and I think that it may be a little beneath him once we actually get into the midst of it.
Tim is doing well, this week he will be returning to work full time, though last week he put in close to 35 hours it was on a completely flexible schedule, whereas this week he is back to his "normal schedule". It was really nice to have 3 flexible weeks rather than the 2 weeks of being completely off work.

On Saturday Tim and I celebrated 5 years of marriage!! I can't believe it's been five years. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, yet it seems like our wedding day was forever ago. It's so awesome to be able to look at the last five years and look at the ways that the Lord has blessed us - It has been too much to even count. Our lives have been filled with His goodness and faithfulness, even in the midst of our trials. I look forward to the rest of our lifetime and what all the Lord has in store for us!

I wish that I had some pictures to attach, but I haven't had the time to upload any so it will have to wait until next time.

Take Care

Amber

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Make Some Money!!

If you're looking for an easy way to make some extra money, an easy way to do it is to take on-line surveys. While I haven't really been actively pursuing this for very long, I have done a little research on it, and several people have recommended this to me.

To read about someone else's experience you can go here but to quote she says:
"On average, I do inbetween a half dozen and a dozen surveys
a month through a few different companies I have signed-up with, and this
gives me an income of about $75-$100 a month."

Some of the survey sites that have been recommended to me (some also listed on the blog above) as well as some others include:

www.globaltestmarket.com
www.surveysavvy.com
www.your2cents.com
www.mysurvey.com
www.mypoints.com offers points that you can redeem for gift cards for restraunts, gas stations, hotels, air miles, etc. You earn points by taking surveys, reading e-mails, shopping (on-line stores - like barnes & noble - but going through their website), playing games, searching the web and more.
https://www.opinionoutpost.com/join.php

Some of the survery sites offer gift cards (to restraunts, stores, etc), others cash, if you would like to be selective you definetly can be. There are lots of options out there, you can look further into I'm sure, I also have a friend who has recommended even more sites that I have not included here, but if you're interested let me know and I can send you an e-mail.

* Also, a little side note, on one of the sites (the survey savvy site) rewards you for recommending others to your site, so if this is something that you are interested in please let me know so that I can refer you (or at least enter my e-mail address in when you fill out your profile) however I use a different e-mail address for my surveys --- it's alschoessow@gmail.com so make sure you enter that one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Alexa Natalee


Alexa Natalee has arrived! She is now a week old, and is doing great! She is such a precious little princess and we are so grateful that God has blessed us to be her parents!!


She was born on July 8th at 12:12 pm - she weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. The labor was extremely quick - 3 1/2 hours long, with only 4 pushes - however, things were pretty intense and too quick towards the end because the cord was wrapped around her neck, so they did have to use the vacuum, but luckily it only took one push and only a few seconds of the vacuum to get her out. She recovered pretty quickly and we were able to hold her within 10 minutes --- thank God!!




Now that she is here, life has obviously changed in many ways but we are grateful for all of it.

Treyton has adjusted to being a big brother MUCH better than I could have ever imagined and he loves her so much. He calls her "my baby" which is just precious for me to hear. Tim and I are doing pretty well even with less sleep - we are tackling it together which I think helps - giving each other much needed breaks. We have also had a lot of family step in and help as we adjust to the new lifestyle.

As parents, Tim and I feel so blessed. God is so awesome and we never want to forget what a miracle Alexa is - He has truly blessed us with two amazing children. We are in awe.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Check It Out!

As most of you know, if I don't go into labor befor then, we are going in on Tuesday to be induced. Once Alexa arrives, I don't know how long it will be before I get a chance to post a blog, so I'm leaving you all with some articles and a video to keep you busy for a while. I really hope that you will take the time and pick out even a couple that may interest you - some of the following articles/websites have really blown me away!!
Have fun browsing!

Christian Living

Praying with Authority Charles Stanley on praying with authority and humility

Homeschooler's Threaten our Cultural Comfort I actually found the link to this article on someone else's blog but couldn't not add it! A must read!


How Shall We Fight For Joy John Piper, a list of practical ways we can fight to keep joy in our lives


Politics

Barak Obama: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing I found this article on Barak Obama regarding his stance on abortion, which I was already aware of, however, this article also gave some other sbortion statistics that I found heart breaking - we must start/be praying and interceding in this area!!!


Family & Parenting

Family Scripture Memorization A great article on memorizing scripture as a family (using the "whole method") and it even includes a list of recommended scripture passages to memorize


Teaching our Children Modesty How to teach our children (including our boys) to value modesty (and privacy)

Turn Trash Into Toys Has some cute ideas and ways to use those items that you would normally just throw out.


Homeschooling: Teaching at Home

Best Homeschooling a website with articles, advise and ideas from seasoned homeschoolers. Many links and articles to keep you busy for DAYS!


Fun Ways to Help Kinesthetic Learners offers some fun and unique ways to teach our "hands on learners" - I thought that there were some great preschool ideas in there, which is the age where most kids are hands on


Development Checklist for childrens, seperated into grade levels (including preschool)


Must See Videos

Swan Lake even if you don't like ballet you will appreciate this video - UNBELIEVABLE!


Bible
Free Audio Bible Downloads Ephesians, in three different versions

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Daily Quiet Time

A DAILY quiet time is so much more important than most of us realize. God has made it clear to us in His word that He wants to provide for our DAILY needs, in order to do that we need to meet with Him more than once a week (on sunday). He also wants to meet our personal, intimate needs in real and powerful ways, we need to meet with Him in a personal, intimate way to have these needs met. We cannot live a healthy christian lifestyle without a healthy DAILY provision.

Now, some of you are reading this and you're thinking of all of the excuses you have for why you DON'T do your quiet time. If this is you, you need to strongly consider your priorities and begin to tackle your excuses one-by-one until they are no longer an issue. Our relationship with the Lord should not only be the most important thing to us - it is the MOST BENEFITIAL relationship we will ever have, we have been given a gift of uncomparable value, but we must choose to accept it.

For me, creating a daily quiet time has not been easy, and it's taken a lot of trial and error, but I would like to share with you my "routine". (Side Note: I personally do my quiet time in the morning, but the important thing is not WHEN you do it but THAT you do it)

MY ROUTINE
PREPARING
I wake up at about 6:30 (my son typically wakes up at 7:00 so that gives me about half and hour - however - I am realizing that I WANT to lengthen this time so I may need to start waking up even sooner). I go to the kitchen, make myself a cup of something warm to drink and then I go and sit in my glider.
As of right now, I have been using Alexa's room, because it is the brightest room in the morning and it helps me to fully wake up and it makes me feel "ALIVE". I don't know if I will be able to continue this once she is born.
PRAYER
After I settle in, I drink my warm cup as I begin praying to the Lord. I do not use Tthis time to pray for the "prayer requests" that I have... I pray for my quiet time.
THANKS:
* I thank God for things that happened the day before that I saw Him in
* I thank Him for my many blessings
* I thank Him for the time we're about to share together.
WORSHIP:
* I tell Him of what He means to me
* I worship and praise Him in my own words
QUIET TIME:
I then transition into our fellowship time....
* I ask Him to open my heart, eyes and ears to whatever He wants to say to me.
* I bring up any areas of sin/repentance that may get in the way of me hearing from Him
* Finally, I ask Him if there is anything He wants to say to me - and then I try hard to silence my mind (I usually have to ask Him to clear my thoughts). Sometimes I have a specific question or a topic in mind I want to discuss with Him and I bring it up (I'll pray something like "Lord, I would like to expose some of the lies I have been believing about myself/my family lately, will you help reveal these to me." , sometimes I don't have anything in mind and I just wait on Him to bring something up. This is the most crucial and powerful time during my quiet time.
* If I hear something I may respond back or I may go right into my journaling
NOTE: "Hearing from God" may seem like something you're incapable of or for the "super holy" but that is NOT TRUE. This is something that I have only recently (as in the last week learned how to do and it's awesome). It is not easy to always trust that you are hearing from Him, and like I said it is something that you learn to do and it is something that you must fight for and train yourself in. (Side Note: I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading "Walking with God" by John Eldredge, it has taught me that I not only can hear the voice of God, but how to hear the voice of God.)
JOURNAL
Depending on if or what I hear during my prayer time, I journal, I will journal what it is I heard, what it means to me (the "background information") and how it effects me and what I want to do with it... I usually also write a small prayer to the Lord here as well.
DEVOTIONAL
* From here I may ask the Lord what He wants me to read in the Word or I may look up specific verses on a topic of what I felt God led me to (or maybe I know before hand of things that I need to read). I typically will journal the scripture(s) that most stuck out to me and affected me that morning.
* If I didn't necessarily hear anything or feel led to something in particular I will do my daily devotional (I'm currently doing "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers, but I also like the "In Touch Magazines" daily devotions) and journal and pray on what I am reading and learning.
ADDITIONAL BIBLE READING
If I still have time or I'm just not satisfied yet, I will read a chapter or two out of the Bible (I'm trying to read through the Bible, so I have a method to my reading, but you don't have to). Many people just pick a book of the Bible and start there. However, this doesn't happen very often because I'm usually well past my half hour (or hour) of time that I set aside.


I know that my routine may seem to be too much or you might think "that seems like it would take a lot of time" and most days it does take all of an hour, but let me tell you, that hour passes by WAY to quickly, I haven't had a day yet, that I wanted it to end. Now, I'm not telling you my routine because it's the best way, I'm telling you what works for me in the hopes that you may be able to take something from it or to start your own routine. I cannot tell you the impact that having a daily quiet time has had on my relationship with the Lord, I have had no option but to see Him differently (in an awesomely good way) and it has caused me to fall in love with Him in ways I never thought possible. It has also gotten me through moments and days that I don't think I could have gracefully gotten through without Him. Not every battle has been a victory, but there are definetly more now than there were without my daily time with Him. I cannot encourage you enough to discipline yourself to create and maintain a daily fellowship with our God - it will change your life!!

Tell Us Your Experience
So what about the rest of you, what is your routine like? When is the most effective time for you to study? What are some things that have worked for you or hasn't worked for you? What are your struggles, let's work together to create something that works for you!
Please Share!!