Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Family Game Night

Since my post regarding our family game night, I have received alot of e-mails with questions regarding our family game night with a preschooler. I wanted to take a little time to answer a few of your questions.

Do you have a certain day and time that you do game night?
Yes, we do have a "game night" - our game night is on Friday nights, after dinner. We decided to set up a certain night and time to ensure that we actually did it. This does not mean that we aren't flexible, sometimes we miss a week or we're out of town, etc. so we miss that week, and that's fine, we just make sure we do it the following week. Also, by having a "game night" this doesn't mean that we don't play games on other nights or at other times. Treyton is at the age where he LOVES games.... so I especially play lots of games. Sometimes it's just mom and Treyton, sometimes dad and Treyton, sometimes all of us, and sometimes even other people get roped into the fun!!

Do you struggle with cheating? If so, how do you handle it?
To be honest, we didn't even deal with cheating until Treyton played a few times with some older kids, then suddenly he picked up on it... Kids learn what you show them, so as parents be careful to not even kid around about cheating, they do catch on. In our family, we take cheating fairly seriously, because even when it is fun it is still cheating... each parent has to handle the situation with their child(ren) according to the rules and disciplines of your home. Treyton is actually pretty good at not cheating, but he also hasn't placed too much value on winning yet. Playing the game is most of the fun for Treyton... this may be more of a struggle as he gets older. Prevention is everything, my goal is to keep Treyton focused on playing the game more than winning... if anyone else has any pointers in this area please leave a comment as this is not an area I'm well acquainted with yet.

What games do you recommend? What games does your family play, what do you like? What has worked what hasn't?
Believe it or not, we started with dominos (I don't remember the version of the dominoes game we play - Toni, help me out here), but it went pretty good. Treyton needed a lot of help, but at the time he was more interested in playing with mom and dad than he was getting all the rules. Because Tim and I were both helping Treyton usually ended up winning anyway :)
This christmas we went a little "game crazy" (I hit a HUGE sale at target board games for $4, so I picked up all of them!) Below is the list of games we have and a little synopsis of what I think:

CANDY LAND: One of my personal favorites, I think because it's one I loved as a kid... Treyton is 3 1/2 and very much understands the concept of this game. It's easy, and fun and even the baby can play (this is the game I was referring to in my original post).

CHUTES & LADDERS: Another oldie but goodie, I like this game okay, but it's not one of my favorites, there are ALOT of Chutes & Ladders, so it can take quite a while to actually get through the game.... Treyton also struggled remembering which way he was going because the board winds up back and forth

HUNGRY HIPPO: This is Treyton's favorite game, so it gets good reviews from us, it's also a fairly short game and easy to control so I HIGHLY recommend it. However, as you may imagine there are 20 little marbles, so just a caution for those of you with younger children. Surprisingly we have not managed to lose any of the marbles yet, but if you are able to get some "backups" I would! This game is also great because it has challenged Treyton with his counting which you gotta love!

HI HO CHERRIO: We have also really enjoyed this game, this game more than some of the others has really helped Treyton with his counting. This one took a little while for Treyton to "get" (and I'm still not sure he has) his goal was to land on the spilled bucket and dump out all his cherries, which is actually not what you want, but to each his own :)

MEMORY: We have tried this game with Treyton, and he's not quite ready, if we minimize the cards he does a little better, but he struggles with only turning over two cards on his turn.... he is close though, so I would think in the next 6 months this will be another regular

GO FISH: Treyton likes this game, but I think only because we use the mickey mouse cards.... again he doesn't quite get it yet, and he needs alot of help.... which doesn't exactly work if you know what I mean!

SNAP: I'm not sure I even get this game.... Treyton is not nearly fast enough to play it, so it's letting him get them at times.... not one of my favorites yet, but as soon as he is old enough I think I will really enjoy this one.

LADY BUG GAME: have to be honest, we got it for christmas but I haven't played it with him yet. Aunt Toni has but it seemed a little complicated from where I was sitting so I have held off a while.

PICK UP STICKS: I like this game cause it causes Treyton to slow down a little bit, but he has to be in a perfect mood to try to do it right.... so it doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's a fun game

ELEPHANT GAME: we do not have this game, Target was sold out at Christmas, but I have seen it and I TOTALLY want it!! I have heard great comments on it

DR SEUSS GAME-UNKNOWN: There was also a dr. seuss game that Treyton played at our friend's house (Jaime help me out with the name of it please) that Treyton talked about for a while after we played. You picked three different cards which told you to do a funny/crazy action like "take the ball' "between your knees" "jump three times" (I'm totally making these ones up cause I can't remember... sorry), I hope you get the idea. Anyhow, this was a fun, interactive game that kept you up and moving too!!

Well, that's all that I have, if any of you moms have any other recommendations, leave a comment below. We have really loved having a game night, with a variety of different games, and we plan on keeping it going, any pointers or recommendations are GREAT!!

If you have any other questions for me, please leave a comment and I'll try to answer them - the most important part is to HAVE FUN, the purpose of game night/time is to spend quality time with your kids one-on-one (so to speak) giving them your full attention. So go pick out a game, and have some fun!!

Books

I love books - they are my ultimate weakness, you would be surprised by what I would be willing to give up in order to get a new book!!
As I read I post alot of my opinions or thoughts that come up, along with that I am also a blog reviewer for Tynsdale and Thomas Nelson. Here is a list of the books I have read and/or reviewed in the past (some for publishers and others just for myself)

My Book List for 2010
This link not only has my list of books that I plan on reading in 2010 but there will also be links to my reviews and thought updated here throughout the year. 


Non Fiction - Christian 
A Dad Shaped Hole in My Heart by H. Norman Wright
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg
Family Driven Faith by Voddie Bauchum 
Following Jesus by N.T. Wright
God's Pursuit of Man by A.W. Tozer (Part 1, Part 2)
God as He Longs for You to See Him by Chip Ingram
I'm not Wonder Woman but God Made Me Wonderful by Sheila Walshe 
Love & War by John and Stasi Elderedge (Part 1)
Radical by David Platt  
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Where is God? By John Townsend
What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper

Fiction
The Shack by William P. Young
Unspoken by Francine Rivers

Devotionals 
His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd 

Children's Book 
3 in 1 - a book explaining the Trinity 
Love Your Heart by Tim McGraw, a cute story about a Dad and a little girl who is trying to find a talent for the talent show.

Extras
Free Downloadable John Piper Books!

About

I am a stay at home, home schooling mama of three beautiful children that loves God and loves my family. This blog is devoted to recording my journey in life - this includes my walk with God, life as a wife and mother as well as the many other roles I fit into.

I plan on adding more stuff here - including some of my beliefs about God, faith and freedom. I have shared many of my beliefs before it just takes some time putting them all together for you here.

Favorites

Journey and Reflections 

Random Thoughts from a Tired Mama - my thoughts on adjusting from 2 to 3 kids

Daily Quiet Time - what I do for my daily quiet time, things that work for me things that don't 

This is the Way - my reflections coming out of a long-hard desert place

Where is God in Our Pain? - written shortly after my precious nephew passed away, I still look back on this post for encouragement

Letter's From a Father: Get Ready - words I received from the Lord that I share

Clothed in Righteousness - it's not about us, it's about Him

God's Pursuit of Man: The Mystery of the Call - my feelings on predestination and the origin of salvation.

The Loving Wrath of God - as explained by Mark Driscoll

God's Faithfulness in the Midst of our Suffering  

Freedom through Truth our truth is relative to our perception, but His is not!  

Homemaking

Our Family's Favorite Meals - a list of common meals we have are our house

A Separate List of Breakfast and Lunch Ideas 

Natural Living: Raw Milk

Natural Living: Cloth Diapers

Monday, January 26, 2009

ANOTHER Video Post

It's me.... wow.... three posts in one day!! Don't get used to it.

However, I wanted to upload this video of Alexa learning how to wave.... it's too cute!
video

Link Clickin - January 2009

Marriage
Separation vs. Divorce when times get tough (and sometimes they do) why choose a separation over a divorce.... blog from my pastor Mark Gungor

The Power of Understanding
- also written by Mark Gungor (I LOVE this guy!)

Men are Visual a portion (5 minutes) of a Mark Driscolls sermon on the Song of Songs.... I LOVE this guy, too!!

Christian Living
The Best of Intentions written by one of my blogger friends (Lori) about the struggles of finding and doing quiet time

A Biblical Description of a Woman: a fairly exhaustive study of the word "woman" in the Bible, with all of its uses and descriptions

Beware of the Big Logs I saw alot of myself in this post, so I thought I would share

Cardboard Testimonies I bawled my eyes out while watching this, the transforming power of God is an incredible thing!!

Put your clothes on written by my bestest friend, this is a great post on the armor of God.

Standing on the Edge of Peace incredible article on true peace

John Piper on the "Prosperity Gospel" a youtube video - a MUST see.

Broken & Spilled Out an article on what God desires to do with our pain, brokenness and wounds

Homeschooling
Making Home (one of my favorite blogs) answers one of the most repetitive question regarding homeschooling.

According to a recent study Daycare is “A high-stakes gamble with today’s children and tomorrow’s world”

Parenting
What do you tell your kids about Santa? I know this is a little late, but this explains my viewpoint on the issue (for the most part)

Misc.

Cute things falling asleep oh my goodness I could watch these videos FOREVER... too cute - it will make ANYONE smile!

Update on Alana

Please see Alana's blog for an update on her and her baby.
Sadly, we did not receive the news we were looking for this morning during the ultrasound, so I ask for continued prayer for her and Mitchell. They have a long road ahead of them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Priceless Family Moments

Treyton loves to play board games, this past friday night (during game night) we were playing Candy Land with Treyton and Alexa. We actually gave Alexa a piece and let her pick a card out of the box, she liked it and Treyton got a real kick out of it too.

Treyton has this thing when he is playing a game, that he will pick up the rules, act like he is reading them and say a "rule", they are usually things that we have already said .... this night he was mostly guiding the baby along, helping her figure out the rules of the game.

He was saying things like "Only one card, Baby." or "No baby, no chewing on cards". After doing this at least 30 times, it was apparent that we were going to do this everytime Lexie had a turn. On one of her turns, she had picked up a card and put it in her mouth. Dad said "Uh-oh Lexie, I think there's a rule about that - what do you think Treyton? Is there a rule?
Treyton picked up the rules started "reading" and said "No Baby, no.... (his voice trailed off) and then he said "What did the baby do?"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Prayer Request for my Sister!

Dear Friends, I ask that you all will join with me in praying for my sister, Alana, and her husband Mitchell.
They were married in October and found out a few weeks later that they were expecting their first child. They had a hard time getting into see a doctor (insurance purposes) but Alana called me yesterday excited to be going in for their first ultrasound this morning.
This morning she called me a little after 8 am, in tears, informing me that they were unable to find a heartbeat. The baby looked healthy, but only 11 weeks developed (she should be closer to 15 weeks). She is going in this afternoon or tomorrow to the hospital for another ultrasound. If they are unable to find a heartbeat then, they will be performing a D & C immediately.
Please pray for her and Mitchell.
Right now, I am praying that they will find a heartbeat at this next ultrasound. Until I know more, I am standing firm believing in a miracle, please stand with me!
If you would like to visit Alana's blog you can see pictures from their ultrasound this morning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Treytonisms

This morning, I was sitting on my bed checking my e-mail and watching part of the inauguration. Treyton ran into the room and said "Hi!!!" I knew something was up so I said "What are you doing?" "Nutting." and then a few seconds later "I didn't toucht (touch) the turrrrtle"

"You didn't?"

"No"

"Well, I think that you should wash your hands anyway."

"Yeah, I will"

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Marriage Covenant

My pastor, Mark Gungor, recently said something that got me thinking, and I can't help but share it with you now.

He was talking about the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife, and how people don't take that covenant as seriously enough (obviously, with the divorce rate what it is). When things are going well, we have no problem respecting our vows, but as soon as things get tough we think we have a right to bail out. He related this to us as parents and how we would never allow this to happen with our children.

It's seems so natural to apply unconditional devotion to our children. They can drive us crazy, break the law, abuse our love for them, never say 'thank you', break our trust, disobey, lie, steal and more and we would NEVER think about abandoning them. We would never give up on them. In their darkest hours we would be there for them in a heartbeat.... so why do we have such a hard time thinking of our marriage in these terms, when our covenant with our husband is just as sacred, if not more?

In our culture, you hear it all the time "If you're not happy, then you shouldn't have to deal with it." It's all about our happiness these days, and not about the long-term will of God. This is NOT biblical thinking, and we need to guard our hearts from agreeing with that lie. As a spouse, we must begin to look at our marriage through the eyes of God, and divorce is NOT an option. If that's true, and I pray that it is (for your sake), then you might as well put your energy into making your time together enjoyable.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Trust: Part 2 "Keep My Eyes on Jesus"

Since asking the question "How do I trust God in all circumstances?" I have had to continually give this question to God. Knowing something in your head, doesn't always make it to your heart. Everyday I ask God for a little more clarity, a little more revelation of Him and His heart for me. I have to, because without asking everyday I couldn't make it through the day serving Him well.

Without giving my fears and uncertainty to God everyday, it's easy to get caught up in the world around us. There is so much pain, heartache, uncertainty, death, sickness, questions and hurt. How do we get through the day without going under? The answer is, we focus our eyes on Jesus and not on the world around us. This is not ignoring the problems, it's giving the problems and all the worry and anxiety that goes with them away.... it's allowing the greatness of Jesus outweigh the worries of the world.

This seems like an easy thing to do until it's personal; until the thing you are asking about becomes personal, and then what? How do you trust when He says 'no'?

For starters we ask Jesus to take over, we ask Him to give us the strength to get through whatever happens in this world. The truth is, God is sovereign and He is able to do ANYTHING, but sometimes He chooses not too. This world is filled with sin - it isn't our home, and it will bring us pain.

I often think that because I am a Christ-follower bad things shouldn't happen to me. If I only had enough faith.... If only I prayed the right prayer.... things would work out for me. But that's not true, beloved! Regardless of who or what we believe in, life is hard and life happens. What's different about being a Christian is Jesus, it's knowing that He will save us and He has offered us more, He is what we live for!

Trust in His character, what we know about Him. I choose to focus on that!

God is so great, as I was processing all of this, in the same day, He brings to my attention the story of Peter walking on water, it helped me to see all of this in a "real" sense. You can read of the story in Matthew 14:22-33.

POINTS TO PONDER:
~ Jesus "made His disciples get into the boat"
~ They were in the boat for somewhere between 9-12 hours, fighting the wind and the storm
~ Jesus approached the boat at a walk - not a run - a walk
~ When Peter stepped out of the boat, the winds were blowing, waves crashing and the storm raging, and when Peter started sinking, the winds were blowing, waves crashing, and the storm raging.
~ As long as Peter's eyes were on Jesus we remained on top of the waves
~ As soon as Peter said "Lord, save me", Jesus immediately reached out His hand (no more walking)
~ "Christ didn't change His circumstances to make them bearable. He mastered them at the peak of their impossibility." (Beth Moore "Living Beyond Yourself")

Friday, January 16, 2009

"What Did I Just Say Mom?"

Treyton has started something new in our house:

Pop-Quizzes

It's no secret that there are times we don't always understand what Treyton is saying. If we know what he is talking about, it's not that hard for us to make it out but other times.... it can be anyone's guess.

If we don't know what he is talking about we have come up with all types of creative ways to try to figure it out. However, sometimes, there's just no way to know what he is saying (or we're not totally paying attention) so there are times when we try to "fake it", we will say things like "ohhhhh.... I see" or "that's great" or "that's interesting" or even "oh, I didn't know that...." It all depends on how he says what he's saying.

Well, I guess he's figured out that we don't always know what he's saying, because several times today we would be talking, and if I didn't repeat back to him exactly what he was saying he might say....

"What did I just say mom?"

YIKES!! I guess I better make sure I'm paying more attention.... I was thankful that most of the times he asked I did know what he said. There was only one time that I really didn't know.

Either way, if you communicate with Treyton very often, just a pre-warning, there may be a pop-quiz so LISTEN UP and Good Luck!!!

** Also for an update, Treyton will be starting speech therapy this Wednesday!! We're very excited about it, this is an answer to prayer. He didn't qualify according to his test results (he was in the 9th percentile for his age, but it takes being in the 4th percentile to qualify) but because he failed to make some of the early-on sounds he qualified. He is set up on a year-long program so we will be meeting with his speech therapist once a week for the next year, unless he improves before then. They will not only be working on speech and speech sounds but also language development (which is also a good thing).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trust: Part 1 "Turning Heavenward"

"How do I trust God in all circumstances?"

This was the question that was written on a blank page in my journal a few weeks ago. I had to leave it unanswered at the time, because I honestly didn't know the answer. I didn't know how to trust Him. I wanted to, I desperately wanted to.... I just didn't.

I have no problem believing in God. There is not a doubt in my mind that He exists and that He is all-powerful (sovereign), good and loving. In the past 2 months, since Trent's death, my relationship with God has grown stronger due to His increasing presence in the midst of my pain. He has handled all of my tears, my anger, my hurt, my sadness, my compassion, my moments of no feeling at all.... He has covered me with His grace and mercy through all of it, and He has taken everything I've given to Him. Praise Him!

But I need more.

I want to be able to TRUST Him.

As I brought this all before the Lord one morning a week or so ago, He answered me with such a sweet and gentle way. He lead me to John 14:1-7 where Jesus says "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me." He then goes on to say how He is going to heaven to prepare a place for us, and how He is the only way to get to that place. This scripture made it so clear to me, how short-sited I have been!

To fully trust in God, I must have my heart and mind forever heaven-ward. My thoughts have been corrupted by my culture and I trust based on my circumstances and feelings that I see and feel (RIGHT NOW). I have to go back to what I KNOW, and that is this:
~ God is good
~ God is sovereign
~ God loves me
~ God loves my family
~ God sees ALL things
~ There is more to life than what I see
~ God wants what is best for me and my family - not just for this life, but for eternity
~ Jesus wept for His friends who were mourning (John 11:33-38)... He cares about what I am feeling and what I am going for.

So what does all of this mean? It means that it is easier to trust God when I make myself aware of the fact that there is much that I can't see yet, and this life is only a breath compared to eternity.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Difference Between a Boy & a Girl

Today we had Alexa's 6 month appointment. It went pretty good - considering it was only me, two kids and an hour and a half at the office. Treyton had to go potty twice, Alexa got two shots and I ended up with spit up all over my shirt.... but seriously, it wasn't really that bad. Both of the kids were on their best behavior. Treyton brought his doctors kit and showed the nurses and the dcotor all of his tools (and how to properly use them). He checked out Alexa right along with the dcotors and nurses The doctor helped Treyton hear Lexie's heartbeat and listen to her lungs.... he loved it! It was super cute, after she got her shots Treyton ran around the room shouting "where's the ban-aid, where's the ban-aid?" because he had misplaced his plastic band-aid that he had laid aside for Alexa. The nurse just thought it was the cutest thing....
Alexa checked out great she weighed in at 16 pounds, 11 ounces (64th percentile) and was 27 inches long (89th percentile) I compared her numbers to Treyton's 6 month check-up, he was: 18 pounds, 8 ounces and 27 1/2 inches long (75th percentile for both).

Speaking of comparisons, I was feeding Alexa carrots for lunch and was thinking about how different her and Treyton have been.... and to prove my point I took a picture of her (as she is eating) to compare to Treyton eating at the exact same age.

This is a picture of Alexa during lunch today (eating carrots) most of the mess on her bib is from her hand.... she grabbed the spoon in an attempt to feed herself, needless to say it didn't work so well.... but she is happy, waiting for her next bite (mind you I am eating at the same time, feeding her in between bites of my own). To be honest, it doesn't always go this smoothly, but today it did.

This is Treyton at 6 months eating carrots, the same thing Alexa was eating this morning..... notice anything different? Maybe the ability to see Alexa's mouth!! When Treyton would eat, you could not stop shoveling it in, otherwise he would cry and scream - we never had time to wipe his mouth or scoop up the "spit up" with the spoon.... you just had to keep shoveling!

This is a picture of Treyton today..... some things never change!!

Veggie Tales Theme Song

UPDATE: If you would like to actually hear the video, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and pause the worship music :)
video
This is a video of Treyton singing the Veggie Tales song.... we get a real kick out of it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Treyton's Cute Sayings

This evening at dinner Treyton wanted to know if we could watch the Planet Earth movie after dinner. I said "I don't know buddy, it's kind of late already. We probably won't have time."
He took a second, cocked his head to the side and said "You think about it, alright?"

A few weeks ago when my sister was here visiting, we had put Treyton down to bed and we had stayed up talking. After about 10 minutes Treyton called for Dad (because he's not supposed to get out of bed) and when Tim went in to check on him Treyton said "Dad, my ears hurt, you talking too much."

Treyton and I were making my bed the other day and he tooted. He looked at me and smiled. And I said "Treyton, what do you say?"
He said "It was just a little bit."
I replied "Even if it's just a little bit you should say excuse me."
He smiled at me and said "Mommy..... Come On....."
(This one is a little hard to explain because you have to hear how he says "CoMe On....." it's super cute.)

(Going along with the one above) One afternoon Treyton and I were praying for our nap, and in the middle of one of my prayers Treyton said "Cooommme OOOnnnn Jesus!".... I couldn't help but laugh out loud and Treyton said "What's so funny?"

When we had first got our van we had put Treyton's seat in the far back, thinking that i would need to sit in the middle seat next to Alexa to sooth her (she isn't a big carseat fan). But Alexa liked the new van better than we thought, so we had moved Treyton's seat next to her in the middle row. As he was getting in the car - he literally walked right past his seat and was standing in between the two middle seats and said "Where's my seat?".... it was a classic Dad move!

One day Treyton was having me name everyone we know and he was telling me who was a boy and who was a girl.... things were going along great until he said "I don't want to be a boy anymore".... YIKES! Let's not tell Tim :)

Treyton and I were playing a game one morning and it was his turn to go and I said "Okay, Treyton's it's your turn." He was laying on the ground with his eyes closed and he said "Wait a sec, until my eyes work again."

Even now as I was typing this, Tim is chasing Treyton around like a lion and wrestling him to the ground. A little while ago I heard Treyton say "Not to rough, Dad" (just like mom says it!). Then after Dad pinned him to the ground and was tickling him uncontrollably in between laughs he said "Thats too rough Daddy!!!!"

This is such a fun age, I love all the cute things that Treyton is saying and doing. It's amazing to watch him learn things and figure it out, knowledge we take for granted.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And the Winner Is.....

I decided to select a winner the old fashioned way:

Each name was written on a piece of paper

My adorable assistant made the selection....

And Commenter #7, Jenn is the winner!

Congratulations!!
I was impressed by all of the great advice and answers that you all came up with. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the comments from the original posts for great tips and devotional ideas.

I wanted to include the name of the devotional book that I have been using. It is called "Be Still and Know that I am God". I am on day 6 of 31 and I love it. It's goal is to teach you how to "Stop, Breath, Listen & Be Still". Each day includes practical steps and ways to develop a habitual quiet time with God and ends with a segment of scripture to reflect and meditate on. It has been GREAT!

Thanks to all of you for entering my giveaway - I received the most comments that I have ever had on a post (exciting) as well as received a lot of great ideas!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Letters to My Children: Part 2

My Sweet Little Man:

What can I say? You are truly one of a kind and a joy to have around. I can't express to you in words, how your life has changed daddy and I (for the better). Since the moment we found out we were pregnant you were a deep part of our lives, and we knew we would never be the same. I will never forget the day you were born and the way being your mom made me feel. It's priceless and something a woman cannot express in words - there is nothing even close to compare it to so I won't even try, but I will tell you that I would never give it back, not ever, even for a moment. You have made my world a better place in every way.

While being the first born brings with it a lot of good things, it can be hard to. I know that it won't always be easy for you, and that we will probably make more mistakes with you than your sibling(s), and for that I apologize, please know that we have never wanted to give you anything but the best and we will always try to do right by you. We are thankful that God has given you an incredible personality and heart and your ability to love deeply and forgive quickly. It has helped us through so much already.
I am so grateful for the chance to watch you grow up. I have known you better than anyone else and it is an incredible thing to witness you develop in everyway. As I have watched your personality develop I could not be more proud. But as proud of you as I am, I want to give you some motherly advice: Be careful to not move too quickly that you forget to slow down and notice the little things. Life is so full of details and things we don't take time to see. Your child-like heart notices detail and you thrive on it, but you are also very busy and excited - be sure to take time for both.

You have such a sincere heart and sweet spirit, you are so sensitive, not only with your own emotions but towards other people. You notice people, you notice things that people don't always say with words. Baby, that is a gift! My prayer for you since when you were in my womb was that you would be a leader and that you would be sensitive, and the Lord has heard and answered my prayers! I want you to treasure your sensitivity, you will need to protect it. Because of your love for others you will be more vulnerable to being hurt and open for attack from the enemy. You will get hurt. My prayer for you is that you learn to give your pain to God and allow Him to heal you, that you won't allow your wounds to harden your heart. It isn't easy to make it through this world with a heart like yours, but the world needs your heart, the world needs your character and strength. Hold on to it.

Your love for life is something that has attracted people to you from when you were an infant. You process the world on your own and you have to learn things on your own. This is a good thing in that once you learn it, you know that you know, but at the same time, please try to learn some from other people's mistakes --- you don't have to learn everything "the hard way". There is lots to learn and there are people who are willing to teach you what they know, learn from their wisdom and experience.

I love you big boy, thank you so much for loving me back,

Your Mommy

Letters to My Children: Part 1

Dear Beautiful Baby Girl,

You're six months old today! It's hard to believe it. There is much I want to tell you and teach you, so much I want for you to experience. And as time seems to be flying by me I wanted to stop, take a moment of time and tell you a few things I had on my heart.

I am so thankful for you; who you are and who you are becoming. You are growing quickly. There seems to be too many changes to even record or keep up with, I'll be honest, I try to record as much as I can, in part for you to have when you want it, but mostly for myself, I don't want to miss a thing and I want to be able to look back, if/when life ever slows down and remember what a precious and beautiful gift this time is. I'm so grateful to be at home with you everyday.

~ Your two little teeth on the bottom are just now starting to come in, it is only one of the many changes that I have noticed in the last few days.
~ Your main source of independent mobility is rolling. You are adorable to watch, if you're trying to grab something, you usually end up rolling the opposite direction from where you wanted to go.... and then you seem so confused :) like somehow the toy/person moved instead of you. You have the same struggles with crawling when you try to scoot you go backwards instead of forwards.... (I try not to laugh but sometimes it's hard).
~ I have been placing bets everyday as to which will come first sitting or crawling, but really they are both improving a little bit everyday.

You have been a perfect second born, very understanding, forgiving and adaptable. It's no secret that your experience has been different than your brothers at your age. I feel badly at times because I expect more out of you than I ever did out of your brother. You spend more time playing on your own, you don't receive the same amount of individual attention and I let some things slip that I never would have with Treyton (ex: a set nap schedule, getting solids everyday, etc.)

While this may seem unfair on one hand, you need to be aware of the many blessings you have that Treyton never had.... like a constant companion and playmate. Your brother loves you so much and spends so much of his time trying to play with you, help you and soothe you. The bond you have with him is unlike anything that he experienced at your age, and you LOVE it. He makes you smile and laugh more than anyone else - it's a precious gift that you have, one I pray you grow up to cherish and appreciate. You have also been given a much more relaxed atmosphere to grow up in. Your dad and I learned a lot through parenting Treyton, and while we're never going to be perfect, we hope that we have grown better through our past and that the choices we make with you reflect the wisdom we've gained.

Your dad and I are so proud to be your parents. We look forward to the memories we will make with you. We want to give you all the tools you need to become a godly woman and a true child of the King. I pray that you will develop your own intimate relationship with God at a young age. If I can only teach you one thing, it would be this: Your relationship with God is the most important thing. He is all you need. In laughter or tears our God is sovereign and He is who we serve, who we live for and why we exist. And most importantly He loves you.

I pray that you never forget the miracle and gift that you are and have been to our lives and so many others. Value yourself and value others; relationships matter, people matter, YOU matter. I pray that you make God and His Word your standard, test everything against it, He will never lie and He will never leave you.

I love you little princess,
Your Mommy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Video

video

This is my first video EVER online!

It is of my son pushing my daughter at Mommer's house this past weekend.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2009

TOSGA Giveaway

Heart of the Matter is turning One! To celebrate their birthday they are running a blog carnival TOSGA (the old stuff giveaway). I have decided to contribute by hosting a giveaway. If you are interested in other giveaways or would like to host your own head on over to HOTM to find out how. My giveaway includes a new journal and note card set. My secret (okay maybe not a "secret") passion is paper - I love journals, books, scrapping, notes, etc. So I tend to over buy these sort of items. I had these in my "extra papers and such" drawer, I realize now that they will never get used. So I might as well donate them for a good cause, right?

The journal is a blue 60-page 5*7 inch book. The note card set is a green velvety box with lose leaf sheets of note paper.

To enter leave a comment below on what your best quiet time tip, resource or devotional is.

Giveaway ends January 10. I will post the winner by the 11th. Giveaway is open to US & Canada only, due to postage costs. Please leave contact information if you don't have a blog.

Obtainable Peace

This morning, as I started my quiet time, I had no agenda. I came to the Lord in a quiet state wanting Him to speak, I was blessed as His presence came and spoke to my spirit. It wasn't an easy message, but one that I desperately needed to hear. To be honest, I was a little shocked by what I received, and while it may not have the same impact for you, I thought I would share my little golden nugget with you.

The verse I meditated on this morning was Isaiah 32:17-18
"The fruit of the righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."

As I meditated on this verse I just felt the Lord say to me "I long to give you peace and rest, but you have to let go of the things holding you back, Let go of the world, LET GO - and CLING to me. I will give you the peace, confidence and rest you need; all you have to do is let go - and just come."

My first thought was that the Lord was addressing a specific area of sin in my life, or maybe a physical material possession that I was trying to hold on to and use as a security. But as I sat there and tried to clear my head of all my perceptions and preconceived ideas, my mind began to wonder and I recalled an incident from over the holidays that had rubbed me the wrong way. (okay, I'll be honest, there were SEVERAL incidents that got me a "little riled up" that had come to mind) Once I realized that my mind was wondering, I thought, "oops, sorry Lord, I don't know where that came from"

It was then that I heard Him say "No, Daughter, that was from me."

What?

Anger
Resentment
Bitterness
Envy
Criticism
Judgment
Unforgiveness

I began to journal a list of feelings that were brought to my heart as I relived these moments. It made me sick to think that I was harboring these emotions in my heart without even trying too! Surprisingly, more strongly than the sick feeling, I felt VERY defensive. I knew now what the Lord was trying to say, and I didn't like it!

I didn't want to let go of these feelings. I didn't want to forgive, I didn't want to forget. As unhappy as these memories made me, I didn't want to give them up. Something inside of me was clinging to these feelings and I realized, these feelings were not going to go away until I CHOSE to let them go.

These emotions that I have been harboring, my anger and bitterness, my unforgiveness towards others have become a sort of armor and protection against the world around me. I have used my unrighteousness as a defense mechanism, a reason not to trust, a reason not to love as much, and to not open up. These were my armor, these were my source of protection.

How can I expect to live a life of peace while constantly preparing myself for battle?

I have to let it go.
I have to LET IT GO!

I am tired, I need rest, I want peace. I want to let go, I want someone else to take over. I want someone else to protect me and to hold my shield for a while. My armor has become heavy and more than I can bear.

There is hope.

This is His offer to us. He wants to give us peace, He wants to take over. But we must rid ourselves of the unrighteousness that fills our hearts. We must choose to lay our armor down before He can pick it up.