Monday, February 28, 2011

Pirose Nursing Cover {Review}

IMG_0003I was recently given the chance to review a Pirose Scarf, which along with being a nursing cover is “a stylish and innovative scarf imagewith endless fashion potential”!  Being a nursing mother, I am constantly looking for new covers, and one of the things I look for is not only feasible but also fashionable. I mean lets face it, breastfeeding takes a lot of work, it’s nice to at least look good (and modest) while doing it. :) 

Once I received my scarf, I immediately put it on, and the thing I noticed right away about it was that despite wearing it for several hours it never got too hot or heavy to wear. When my hubby got home, he said “Hmm, nice, I like it mama.” Which I think means it passes his test.

I’m particularly excited for the weather to warm up a little bit and wearing my scarf with tank tops and short sleeve shirts, which i feel like it accessorizes nicely.

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As far as using it as a nursing cover, I liked how it was a little lighter, and how I was able to see Audrey while nursing but other people weren’t able to (which is obviously the purpose of the cover). My personal preference is to have my nursing cover to be a little bit longer to cover my back and sides, but when sitting in a full chair or couch, this cover was more than adequate.

I like having a different type of nursing cover to use and wear. It’s not something that I had ever thought of needing, but now that I have one, I enjoy it.

Available for Purchase On their website for $35.00

Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: (insert author/publisher/or company name) for this review.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Lexie’s Bible

image I was so excited to get the chance to review The Shiny Sequin Children’s Bible – the second I saw it I knew Lexie just had to have it!!

This Bible is written in the International Children’s Bible (ICB) version, which I haven’t had lots of experience with, but from what we have read so far we have enjoyed.

Tim sat down one night and compared some of the verses in the ICB with the ESV (our preferred version), and actually said he might like to use the ICB to read for himself at times. IMG_0022 When I first showed Lexie her new Bible she took a big gasp and said “Oohhh my goodness, cupcakes!!” She thought the sequins were cupcakes :)

She has loved her new Bible – I’ve caught her several times just sitting in the corner “reading” her new Bible, flipping through the pages and saying “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”.

So far we’ve loved this Bible, and I think it’s a perfect “big kid” Bible for kids between the ages of 2-10.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the BookSneeze blogger reviewer team. The opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Unseen Issues of a Debate

As an informal introduction: I normally try to avoid some of the more controversial issues (particularly of political nature), but after talking to my mom and my husband about some of my feelings related to the recent political debates in our state, I felt really strongly the need to address some issues that I felt particularly strong about here on my blog.

When I first started reading the gazillion facebook comments and seeing the countless news stories and articles regarding the recent political debate surrounding our great state of Wisconsin I had my own opinions but didn’t feel strongly enough about my stance to publicly declare it. However, I’ve decided to speak up regarding the issue of HOW the entire debate process is occurring.

To put it bluntly, I am amazed by how ignorant we have become!! And please, hear me loud and clear, I am not speaking of this specific political issue! What I am referring to is the fact that we are failing to teach our children the process of thinking for themselves and seeing around the argumentative fallacies our government, media and self-motivated debaters are using to persuade towards one side or the other of any debatable issue!! And just as sad, many adults are falling into the same trap as our uninformed children.

The entire process by which many are drawing their conclusions is down-right shameful not to mention inaccurate!! Using our current situation as an example I’ve heard several arguments like “IF you care for education, THEN you care for teachers”, (not a true statement, but it goes on) “IF you care for teachers THEN you agree with collective bargaining.” Which is also not true but a further conclusion is then drawn that “If you care for education then you must agree with collective bargaining” or “If you don’t support collective bargaining, you are not supporting education.”

However, despite this popular debate approach – it is possible to care for education and not support collective bargaining, as well as it is true that you can support collective bargaining and not give a rip about the education system. Furthermore, you can agree with education and/or collective bargaining and not consider the current public school system as very educational at all. The truth is, the possibilities of opinions between people are endless, but our students aren’t being taught that and in discussing political issues in particular they are often persuaded to one side or the other through improper, incomplete arguments and are none the wiser for it.

Do you see what is happening here? It’s referred to as a “false dilemma” and it happens when we simplify a complex problem into an either/or of two sides.  It is an attempt to make a person agree with your argument (which may merely be a matter of opinion), by limiting the options of your opponent. If the person you are trying to convince is unable to see past the delusion, they easily fall to the temptation of agreeing with your statement. Regardless of whether your point is right or wrong, the premise by which they arrived at that conclusion is FALSE!! This is called a fallacy (“an error of reasoning based on faulty use of evidence or incorrect inference”).

This is so much bigger than any single issue or debate (political or otherwise). The danger is, our children are not being taught to distinguish the difference between fact and opinion. So when they are told “If you value your education you value your teachers” they think that that is always true. While education is in fact made possibly by teachers (as a whole) they are NOT one in the same, and it is even possibly (though undoubtedly tougher) to receive an education without public school teachers.

The truth is, we each have the God-given ability, responsibility and right to our own differing opinions (with or without the same outcome), and we should all be taught how to develop them!

It is a sad reality that this incomplete process of reasoning is exactly what is being taught in our public schools and often portrayed to our children as “freedom” and “being American”. It’s a scary realization that our children are no longer being taught how to think for themselves, and how to draw their own conclusions based on fact rather than opinion, or even the ability to distinguish the difference between the two. Whether you get your way this time or not, is not really important, what matters is the fact that we are in the process of raising a generation of children who are able to do nothing more than jump on the next bandwagon of whatever political, religious or personal agenda the next figure of authority in their life tells them to join.

From here, I can’t help but confront a few other issues that have been brewing in my mind throughout this entire process, which again I must state are not merely a reflection of my views on collective bargaining, as much as the approach of both supporters and those opposed of the bill in their process of debating the issue.

It has been insinuated throughout this debate that if you don’t support collective bargaining or the education system, that you are opposed to to teachers in general, which is not true. For me personally, I respect some teachers, particularly the few Christian teachers called to serve in our public school system. The fact that a few Christian teachers remain in the public school to fulfill a God-given call on their life is admirable, and it is a sad reality that they are the minority. Whether they consider the benefits and their calling worth the poor treatment they are subjected to as well as what they will be (and are) held accountable for (James 3:1) is their own personal choice, one they must make (and is between God and them), but it is not one that I will base my opinions of the public school system as a whole on. And for the record, I am grateful for their efforts, I pray for them, I want to support them in any way that I can. Lord knows we need more people like them, and perhaps if there were people brave enough to step up to a challenge that great we wouldn’t be in the position that we are in. A position which many seem to be forgetting includes a God-mocking, Jesus-hating, government taking religious freedom from Christian students and teachers while supposedly promoting religious diversity and acceptance. And as if that weren’t enough they continually brain wash our children with both personal and governmental agendas, encourage sexual immorality and tolerance, introduce marriage destroying habits, teach evolution as “science”, allow vulgar language and illustration to be used in their so-called literature and teach God-defying world views without any acknowledgement of absolute truth.

I personally know and respect several public school teacher, so this is not coming from anywhere near an attitude of disrespect or personal contempt. However, when discussing public school teachers in relation to something like a bill being passed, we need to do so as “a whole”; to take a few (particularly “good Christian teachers” or a few “bad teachers”) out of the group and use them as our examples is not an accurate portrayal of reality, nor is it a good foundation on which to base your decision. Like it or not they (individual teachers) are a part of a system and will be treated (at times) as such when discussing the educational system. A system, by the way, which is broken and failing and often used to push agendas that I, as a Christian, am directly opposed to.

Again, I will say it, while I am able to respect a few individual teachers, I do not respect much of what they represent or stand for as a whole, and I will not base my voting power and opinions on any issue based on a selection of individuals when it is the system as a whole that is under scrutiny and question.

Regardless of what NEAP records show as far as US standardized tests, the truth is education is pointless without teaching our students how to think for themselves and to value morals and absolute truth. All of which our schools are failing to teach. The question begs to be asked, are we even aware of what kind of education we are fighting so hard to defend? The sad fact is, the system is what the system is, it’s the only one we have, but I personally do not see standardized test scores as an indicator of how good our school systems are doing. I expect more from our public school, I expect more from our teachers (particularly the “good Christian ones”) I expect more from parents and I expect more from our government.

Perhaps my standards are to high – I do not consider what our public school systems consider as education, to be education. To be honest, if the education system was working and raising up students who could think and reason beyond the “information” put directly in front of them, perhaps we wouldn’t be in the situation we are currently in.

It’s a sad reality we live in, that the arguments being made are accepted as appropriate and truth. I’m appalled by the number of things I have heard in the last couple of weeks and by the actions of both political parties and supporters. But truth be told, after several paragraphs of ragging on the education system, I am more disappointed in the majority of parents than I am any teacher. Regardless of what is going on in the schools, it’s ultimately the parent’s responsibility to monitor, filter (when need be), build upon what our children are taught at school.

Are we taking our job seriously enough?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Little Star

 The Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

imageBook Description:

“I think I understand!” Little Star cried out. “The baby Jesus is a king! He’s just little!”

A king is about to be born! The stars in the heavens are competing to shine the brightest to celebrate his birth. But when they see the poor family, the donkey, the shabby stable, the stars all think, That can’t possibly be a king. We’ve been fooled.

All except one. The smallest, loneliest star in the sky, Little Star, is the only one to understand what the king was about to bring to the world. But what can Little Star do for him?

Certain to become a Christmas classic, this delightful tale connects the star atop our Christmas trees to the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, in the hearts and minds of young children.

Book Review:

Alexa, our two year old, begged to read this book as soon as we got it in the mail. We read it twice in the first day! She loved the illustrations, as did I, which was one of the primary reasons she was so attracted to it.

This is an adorable little story about the Christmas star. I actually caught myself choking back tears my first time through it. I truly enjoyed it and thought it was absolutely precious.

While it is considered a Christmas story, I think it is applicable any time of year. I particularly loved how this story focused on how Jesus chose to be born into the most humble of circumstances, and how this is an important part of His story.

This is a great story about self-sacrifice and highlights the importance of keeping Christ at the center rather than ones self. A beautiful story reminding us a beautiful principle.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Princess Bed {Review}

It has arrived.

The moment we have been waiting for is finally here.

After accidently ordering the wrong one from CSN and needing to return it (easy peasy by the way). The bed canopy I’ve wanted for my WHOLE life is now hanging beautifully above our little princess’ bed.

She loves it.

I love it.

Dad said “Wow, it’s really princessy”

Treyton said “Wow, Lexa, that really pretty.”

And it is, it really is.

Of course I took some pictures so you can see for yourself.

IMG_0037  IMG_0039 

IMG_0044 Here’s the princess showing off her princess bed.

IMG_0046 She’s got all the moves!!

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She loves her new princess bed, so do I.

IMG_0048 “No more princesses jumping on the bed!!”

I strongly believe that all princess deserve to have a canopy hanging over their bed. It’s so girly and absolutely fancy!!

Disclosure: I bought this item with a CSN gift certificate given to me for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Complete Randomness

I had a lot of random thoughts running through my head so being the "random blogger” that I am I figure why not share with the world?

~ All the kids have a little fever and cold, it hasn’t been a big deal, but Treyton did end up falling asleep on Mom and Dad’s bed last night at 6:00 (for the night). At about 7:00 he wandered out into the dining room, pulled his pants down and was seconds away from peeing on our subtraction board that we had sitting up against the wall, when Tim looked over and calmly said “You’re not in the bathroom buddy”. Treyton was completely out of it, so he just looked at Tim and said “Huh?” – Tim then ran over and gently picked him up and carried him to the bathroom. Treyton was totally sleep walking!! Funny thing is, this is something Tim did when he was a boy too.

~ Alexa absolutely LOVES baby food. I don’t know why or what her deal is, but she begs to eat any left over (or her own) baby food at every meal with Audrey. I’ll say it – weird.

~ Audrey has recently developed a few random “ticks”. She’ll just be sitting there and her head bobs, almost like she fell asleep sitting up, but she’s totally awake. She also opens her mouth and closes it over and over again. It seems like it’s involuntary. I looked it up on-line, I didn’t find anything unusual, but I’ll be bringing it up to Dr. P.

~ I am working my way through listening to Matt Chandler’s sermon series on Colossians and it is FABULOUS!! I highly, highly recommend it.

~ Lexie’s new canopy came it!! As soon as I can I will post some new pictures of her princess bed. I’m so jealous and am fighting the urge to take over her bed.

~ I pulled the trigger this weekend and booked my sister and I’s New York City trip, that we’re taking in June. I am SO excited (and nervous). I cannot wait to go and spend some 1-on-1 time with my sister in NYC for her 30th birthday – she has wanted to go for as long as I can remember. It’s a trip of a lifetime. I feel so blessed.

~ Alexa now calls Treyton “Train”, it’s caught on and I think he’s called “Train” more than Treyton. He says only Lexie can do it, but after you here her say it you can’t help but say it too. He’s a good big brother and he lets her get away with it.

Snow Day

The fact that it’s snowing like crazy right now reminded me of some snow pictures I had wanted to post last week.

Tim and Treyton went out and enjoyed a little bit of the warmer weather we were having last week (and by warmer I mean 40 degrees). IMG_0047

Believe it or not, despite the amount of snow we have had this was the first chance we’d had to build a snowman, so of course we took advantage. IMG_0056The boys had a great time outside, building and creating “Charlie” the snowman. Here they are after they finished, taking a break in the warm sun.

IMG_0049 Posting this also reminds me of a month or so ago, when Tim and Treyton got the 4-wheeler out, but the snow was a little too deep and soft to ride on.

After getting it stuck in about 3 foot of snow, more than 5 times, in one trip around the house, they decided to give it up and try again another day…. it was a good decision. IMG_0056 ….only in Wisconsin….

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Despite the havoc in the backyard, (including my torn up lawn) the front yard remained peaceful and serene :)

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alexa Natalee: One of a Kind

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2 1/2 years ago, the Lord blessed us with a true miracle, the birth of our first daughter, Alexa Natalee. At nearly 8 pounds she stormed our lives with all the gusto she could muster!! And muster she did.

She is one of the most dynamic, unique, independent, and adorable people I know. It’s taken me over a month to compose this post, because there is so much to say about Alexa and no way for her speechless mom, to find the right words to do so.

Recently Alexa has decided she wants to be called by her middle name “Natalee”, which I think is hilarious, and shows so much of who she is. Starting this weekend she began introducing herself to people as Natalee, which is taking a little getting used to, but doesn’t seem to phase her in the slightest bit.

As far as the “name change” goes, I’ll be honest, I’m all for it, I actually wanted to call her by her middle name when she was born, but Alexa/Lexie seemed to just stick, which I was okay with. But we’ll have to see what she decides, if I know Alexa, right about the time we get used to calling her Natalee, she’ll want to change it again.

Alexa/Natalee marches to the beat of her own drum – she always has. She’s an interesting contrast to Treyton who thrives on his relationships, Alexa seems to be the opposite. While she loves her “people” she is much more interested in doing her own thing than she is in pleasing people, or fitting in. She has a drawing personality, and I think it’s her independent, self-fulfilled nature that causes this.

Most days Lexie makes me feel bi-polar. In one moment I feel like I want to pull my hair out, or her hair out, or both of our hair out, and the next I want to hug her so tight and kiss her face because I can’t resist her cuteness and charm. She warms my heart and boils my blood.

She is hilarious. dramatic and theatrical.

Lately, she has learned the art of a “gasp”. When she really wants to make a point she takes a long big breath in and will say something “Oh my goodness!” in a long gaspy exhale. I have no idea where she came up with this!!  She also uses her gasps in her laugh for effect, which reminds me a little of her cousin Shayla. She does this bend-over forceful ha-ha-ha laugh, it doesn’t even sound like a real laugh until you look at her face and you can tell it’s real. IMG_0050She is the queen of “one liners” and most times, she isn’t even trying to be funny.

She posses an uncanny ability to constantly repeat the noises around her, whether it’s people talking, sirens, music, or a toy’s noise, she repeats it. While it’s cute to listen to her imitate goofy sounds, it has given her brother much grief as she will repeat things he says to the point of frustration. This natural ability of hers, to hear and remember most things, has helped her to already learn most of the words to her favorite songs, the pledge of allegiance, a couple of Bible verses, where we live, and even today I caught her repeating after Treyton when he was counting by 5s. Which should serve as a warning to all of you be careful what you say around her because she is ALWAYS listening, even when she’s pretending not to.

Lexie think’s she knows it all. Nearly every time I instruct her on how to do something or to stop something she’s doing she’ll say “I know, I know” or “Yup.” All the while, continuing on her own way, not heeding the words of advice. She likes to learn things the hard way, a lot like her mama and daddy.

Alexa, like her big brother, enjoys praying. Whenever we pray Lexie ends it by saying “And help Lexie with crying!” At first I thought she was asking God to help her to not cry (the number one thing she gets in trouble for), but now I’m not so sure. :)Alexa has a natural mothering ability. She comforts, hugs and loves on her siblings, dolls and above all her lamby. She is our cuddler. She loves to lay down with us in our bed, and would think life were perfect if she could sleep with mom and dad in their bed for naps and bedtime. IMG_0053

There is so much more I could say, and I know I will wish later that I had added it, but for the sake of ever getting this post written I’ll have to leave it at this. I hope she will forgive me in 20 years when she looks back over this and reminds me of all the other things I could have added in. :)

Alexa has filled our world with so much excitement, laughter and love. She is someone that I strive to be more like and that I look forward to watching grow into a woman of God. God has blessed us beyond measure with a little girl that understands what it means to truly live life and to be who God has created her to be.

Alexa Natalee, you are a true princess, I pray you spend the rest of your life claiming it and living it in all you say and do.

We love you,

Mom and Dad

Review: God Loves Me More Than That

God Loves Me More Than That by Dandi Daley Mackall illustrated by David Hohn

Book Description:

How much love does God have for me?
More than the letters between A and Z. More than the bumbles in a bumble bee.
God loves me more than that!
As your child revels in each lively rhyme and engaging illustration from this delightful picture book, they’ll learn that God loves them deeper than a wishing well, wider than a semi-truck, louder than thunder, and softer than a kitten’s sneeze.
Each question, presented with charming child-like faith will help your child grasp the great love of God through comparisons and descriptions they can easily understand. In short, they’ll discover that His love is bigger, wider, higher, and deeper than anything they could imagine!

Book Review:

My kids were really excited when they saw this book come in the mail! We read it right away, we didn’t even make it to the couch, we had to sit down right in the middle of the kitchen floor.

I think this is an adorable little children’s book. Easy to read, with an important message. God loves them each more than they can imagine or understand.

While I thought some of the comparisons were a little odd (like God loves me “more than the bumbles in a bumble bee”) the kids didn’t seem to care, and they enjoyed they rhythmic lines and flow of the book.

The recommended age is 4-8, but Alexa Natalee, who’s two, liked it just as much as Treyton, our five year old.

Disclaimer: "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why We Homeschool: Reason Number 2

This morning for tot-school Alexa was doing a matching color game. She was doing pretty well, so I ran upstairs to grab the video camera so that I could share it with Daddy later. While I was away, Treyton stepped up and continued to review her colors with her. It was a proud moment for me to watch the two of them interact and I realized yet another reason why I love that we homeschool.

For us, education is not just about teaching our kids what to learn, it’s about instilling a lifestyle of learning and teaching. 

After posting a recent video of the kids each saying the pledge of allegiance, we received a lot of comments about how surprising it was that Treyton didn’t yell at Lexie while she was obviously intruding on his “pledge time”. And to be honest, I was a little surprised myself. But the truth is, he tends to be very patient with her during school, wanting to teach her and allowing her to get away with things he wouldn’t otherwise.

I don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture, so let me clarify by saying: our life isn’t perfect, and sibling-teaching/learning doesn’t always go smoothly, in fact I hear the two of them “going at it” as I type this. Treyton is not always patient and understanding with his sister and Alexa does not always take kindly to Treyton’s attempts to help. But it is something that happens on a fairly regular basis. And I believe that the primary reason it happens is because we are deliberate about encouraging it.

The chance for them to learn from and to teach one another (and eventually other’s in their lives) is an ability that is naturally promoted during the process of homeschooling. When your home is the classroom, you’re children can’t help but to be a part of one another’s schooling.

Since our children were very young we have done whatever we could to create a love of learning, and one effective way we’ve done this is to create an environment where they are not only able to, but encouraged to, share what they’ve learned with one another and to use their special gifts and abilities to teach each other. A regular part of their day (including play) is side-by-side learning and teaching. It’s not uncommon to find the two older kids playing school down stairs, reading stories to one another on their beds or working on songs/verses together, without any parental interference. They have at their disposable more than enough resources to play with, use and teach with, even when we’re not technically logging “school hours”, and they take pride in doing these things together.

IMG_0062Treyton takes as much pride in what Alexa is learning as Alexa does, and that’s because he realizes he’s a part of it. And vice-versa, when Treyton says the pledge, or a verse or where he’s from, Alexa joins in, because she’s a part of what he’s learning. Her presence and desire to be a part of Treyton’s school pushes Treyton to do better.

Just another small huge reason, I love homeschooling!

Alexaism: Train?

On Thursdays I try to get all of the kids to nap, because we’re up late on Wednesdays with AWANA. This afternoon Lexa woke up first and crawled in bed with me.

30 minutes or so later Treyton came in, Lexa looked up from reading and said “Well Hiiiii Train” (this is how Lexie greets me in the morning as well…. she gets this from her, dad)

Treyton: Hi (in a deep groggy voice – Treyton’s a little bit more like me)

Alexa: Helllloooo, Train!

Treyton: Hi (still groggy)

Me: Did you call him Train?

(I’ve heard her call him this a few times before, but it was very clear this time)

Alexa: Yeah, Train.

Me (to Treyton): Do you care if she calls you train?

Treyton: No, whatever.

Me: Okay

Alexa: Yeah, Choo! Choo!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alexaism: Maybe Not

IMG_0124 I’ve been working on a post on Alexa for a while now, it seems as though every time I go back to finish it and post it, she’s already changed or has managed to remind me of tons more stuff I have to say about her. This girl might be an open book, but she’s a big book with LOTS of layers, not as easy to dissect and record as I would like (for blogging purposes). But I promise it’s coming soon.

Alexa talks really well, we’re often asked how old she is, after she talks to people and get “She talks really good for 2 1/2” and she does. She uses several expressions over and over again, which I plan on talking about more in my post, but a few of the ones she’s pulled out lately:

~~~~

Lexie was wearing her sunglasses around the house one morning. She told us she was going to wear them all day.

Tim said “Well, with a future that bright you have to wear them, right?”

Alexa, staring at her dad like he’s lost his ever-loving mind says “Maybe not.”

~~~~~

IMG_0050 Starting this morning she’s been saying her full name “Alexa Natalee”, she talks in first person a lot of times so throughout the day I’ve heard all of the following at least once:

“Alexa Natalee poops”

“Alexa Natalee likes applesauce”

“Alexa Natalee do your hair”

“Alexa Natalee don’t know”

“Alexa Natalee like swimming class” (side note: she’s not in swimming class, Treyton is, but she calls sunday school swimming class, we’re not sure why) :)

“Please, Alexa Natalee” (she said this to me after I said she couldn’t listen to music on my phone anymore)

~~~~~

At lunch time, I opened a jar of baby food for Audrey, I went to set the lid on the counter but missed and it fell on the ground. Alexa said

“Oh noooo, that’s not good.”

(This is something she says ALL the time)

~~~~~

I overheard her disciplining her lamby the other day and this is what I heard:

“I said ‘no’, those are your choices, you chose ‘no’, that’s not good. Now you get a time out and you think about it.”

She set lamby down and walked away.

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~~~~~

I told Alexa that she needed to go sit on the potty before nap time. She said “I don’t want to nap.”

I said “I’m sorry, but it’s time for night-night and I want you to go pee so you don’t have an accident in your underwear.” (side note: she has been going nap without a diaper for almost 2 weeks, and started this week sleeping in underwear at night too!!)

She walks to the toilet and sits down, but then she says to me calm as can be, “I’m getting really mad.”

~~~~~

One day as Alexa was getting ready for her nap, she did a summersault onto her play phone and hurt her back. She was upset as I carried her to her bed. She said “I sorry I cry” (the number one thing Alexa gets in trouble for is unnecessary crying/whining, she actually prays about it every night).

I said “It’s okay to cry honey, you got an owie, it’s okay to cry when you are hurt.”

I tucked her in, laid down with her and rubbed her hair as she softly cried (she was much more tired than she was hurt).

She said to me “You can go, I just want to cry, but you go.”

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh How He Loves Me!!

This morning in my quiet time, I was reading Psalm 126 & 127.

Psalm 126:1-6

“When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”

And 127:1-5

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”

Without going into a lot of detail, I will say that, God met me right where I needed Him too, in the moment I needed Him to. If you read my earlier post you will remember that I have been having a hard time sleeping lately. That is the tip of the iceberg in all that these verses spoke to me.

God amazes me, I mean, blows me away with His love for me.

The Lord has been revealing to me recently, some things about my sin nature, how sinful my heart is and how serious it is in the presence of His holiness. And how even as a Christian I continue to sin against Him. Yet He chooses to continue to pour His mercy and grace all over me.

I am so undeserving.

Yet, He loves me.

How amazing is He?

That He chooses to not only love a sinner like me but to pour out blessing after blessing in my life, in spite of me is unfathomable!

I love Him. I truly love Him. And the only reason I love Him is because He first loved me. (1 John 4:19)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Treytonism: I Love Being a Kid

IMG_0018 Tonight on his way home from AWANA Treyton and Tim were talking about what he did tonight at Spark’s Tim was encouraging Treyton, telling him what a good job he had done completing his memory verse and questions on John 3:16.

One of the questions they went over was ‘What happens when I trust the Lord Jesus as my savior?” and Treyton answered it “You get to go to heaven.”

Treyton brought the conversation to a sudden turn when he said: “I want to die when I’m a kid.”

Tim: Why’s that? You don’t want to die, why would you want to die?

Treyton: Because I want to be a kid when I’m in heaven.

Tim: It doesn’t matter how old you are you’ll always be my kid, you don’t need to worry about that.

To which Treyton replied “I just really like being a kid.”

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When Tim told me this tonight, I couldn’t help but feel my heart break a little bit, but at the same time I was filled with joy to know that Treyton knows what it means to live life to the fullest, and to know that heaven is far better than any life here on earth. Heaven is as much a reality to him as earth and he isn’t scared of the unknown, he has faith enough to even long for it.

What about Hezekiah?

I’ve been having a hard time sleeping lately. To be honest, it’s normal for me to struggle falling asleep, but once I’m asleep I generally have no problem staying that way! Lately however, it’s been normal for me to wake anywhere from 4-8 times a night for no apparent reason.

Last night, I was laying in bed, thinking about why I couldn’t sleep, and the thought suddenly came to me – it’s because I don’t trust God!! Stay with me here: I am a control freak, I’m not scared of much, but loss of control throws me into a tizzy. It’s been a struggle since as long as I can remember, I remember struggling with this from as early as Kindergarten.

When I start to fall asleep, especially lately, thoughts begin to pop in my head of situations in which I could be out of control – a house fire, one of my kids waking up and wondering outside, someone coming into our home, etc. And the weird part is, I’m not “scared” of these things, what scares me is the fact that I might be sleeping when it happens and that somehow I would be unable to prevent, protect or rescue my children (in essence control the outcome in my own ability). When I am sleeping, it’s the only time that I’m not able to kid myself into thinking that I am somehow in control.

Again, I know how silly and “crazy” this all seems, I’m reading the same thing you are. But it’s true.

So last night, I laid in bed for a while earnestly praying, asking the Lord to do a miracle in my thought life and to help me relinquish my need to constantly feel in control of every situation. I asked Him to change my desire to control. I laid their crying out to Him, telling Him I didn’t want to be like this any more, I didn’t want to feel this way.

Eventually I fell asleep.

At 2:00 I woke up and immediately I heard (I thought I actually heard a voice) say “Hezekiah” and I thought “Hezekiah, king of either Israel or Judah, one of the few good kings… and that’s all I remember about him. What about him Lord?” I didn’t hear or sense anything else. I fell back asleep a little while later.

Now a little side note here: I have NEVER audibly heard the Lord speak to me, and I can’t say with certainty that I did last night, but I can say with certainty he did speak, whether it was in my heart or in my ears, I don’t know.

At around 3:30, I didn’t come fully awake, but minimally “conscious” and felt in my spirit once again the word “Hezekiah”

I woke up again at 4:30 the first thought in my head was “Hezekiah”. And I thought “Okay, I’ll read the story in the morning for sure!!”

5:30 Audrey woke up, the moment my eyes opened I thought “Hezekiah”

7:00 The kids woke up, Tim got out of bed to get them breakfast, I had already had the thought “Hezekiah” before I even fully woke up, I jumped up and grabbed my Bible. 

I recently finished reading 2 Kings, and remembered reading about Hezekiah so I turned there. In chapters 18 – 20 I found his story.

2 Kings 18:5 says “He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, after him, nor among those who were before him.”

After a little bit more digging, I have found that Hezekiah’s story does not end in 2 Kings, but is also recorded in more depth in 2 Chronicles 29-32. As well as Isaiah 36-39 which seems to repeat the 2 Kings account, but is also on Hezekiah’s reign. 10 chapters of scripture based on one king of Judah, this is a significant amount of scripture devoted to record the reign of a king of Judah. 

Just looking quickly in my “What the Bible is All About Book” that was sitting next to my quiet time chair I read the following “The reign of Hezekiah occupied one of the most important in Israel’s history.” I also found that Isaiah 15-39 was written during the reign of Hezekiah.

I have quickly read each of the scripture accounts of Hezekiah’s life (Isaiah 36-39, 2 Kings 18-20 and 2 Chronicles 29-32) but I am going to be going back through them with a fine tooth comb, learning what I can about this incredible king. I am SO looking forward to this journey!!

Book Review: God Gave Us the World

imageGod Gave Us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergen art by Laura J. Bryant

Book Description:

Little Cub’s trip to a special museum exhibit, “Bears Around the World,” sparks a flurry of questions from the young polar bear who is just beginning to learn about life beyond her North Pole home. 
As Mama Bear shares with her about the different types of places that God has put the various types of bears, with their different kinds of fur and food, Little Cub begins to wonder: Why didn’t God make us all the same?
With Mama’s loving guidance, Little Cub is taught to see the vastness of God’s wonderful creation; His abilities as an amazing, inventive Creator; His desire for us to care for our world, and especially the important lesson that…
“Every bear has a special place in God’s great, big world.”
This adorable story offers young children who are discovering their place in God’s big world an opportunity to learn about the wonder of diversity, the gift of creativity, the importance of caring for His gifts, and how each child-each creation-is special to God.

Book Review:

I was ecstatic to be a part of review the newest book of the God Gave Us series featuring little cub and his family. We own all of them!! We’re big fans, and this book was no exception.

This book creates valuable teaching moments for parents and children to discuss the gift of diversity that God has so creatively given us. It’s a blessing for a child to learn at a young age about how people live all over the world, and while they might be different, they are a beautiful reflection of God’s creativity.

This book beautifully displayed how God creates because it’s in his nature to do so, and that He created each of us for His glory, to worship and serve Him.

I loved this book, and am happy to have it as part of our book collection.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a MamaBuzz Review Group, for the purpose of this review. The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Review: The Dragon and the Turtle

imageThe Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari” by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark illustrated by Vincent Nguyen

Book Description:

Padraig the dragon and his best friend, Roger the turtle are determined to spend the whole night outside. As brave explorers at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow, the boys use their imaginations to have fun while munching on crunchy baked bugs and toasting s’mores over their campfire. But when the sky gets dark and the sounds of strange animals fill the forest outside their tent, their safari gets scary. This adventure is just what the boys need to discover that the dark might be frightening, but their friendship is stronger than fear.

Book Review:

This is a cute book about two friends (a turtle and dragon) and their back yard camping adventure. Their imaginations run wild as they encounter different types of animals; including a leopard (a.k.a. kitten) whom they rescue.

Recommended for ages 4-8. This book kept my son’s attention (who is 5), but my daughter (at 2 1/2) was not able to sit through it.

One aspect of the book that I found a little distracting was the language with which the two friends talked to one another using old-english (for example “Cheerio. Right jolly good spot for us.” Treyton didn’t really understand it , and asked me a couple of times what they meant.

The illustrations are great, and the story is a cute one which we really enjoyed.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a MamaBuzz Review Group, for the purpose of this review. The opinions are my own.