Thursday, April 28, 2011

Treytonism: Treyton’s Wisdom

IMG_0001 Today we were reading the Bible story “Finding a Wife for Isaac” in the story Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. Before I started reading, I reminded Treyton of the story we had learned a few days prior, I said “Remember, we just learned about Abraham and Sarah and how God gave them a son, do you remember that son’s name?”

Treyton: “Isaac”

Me: “That’s right, but now, Isaac is older and….”

Treyton: “How old is he?” (Treyton always wants to know how old people are)

Me: “I’m not sure, maybe 20 or 30.”

Treyton: “Wow, God has a lot that he can still do with him! He’s pretty young, right mom? So God has a lot of time to use him.”

What a wise little boy he is!!

 

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This morning started out a little rough for Treyton and I, but we had both apologized with each other and moved on, a couple hours later however, after struggling with a subject in school Treyton had sat down in the chair put his face in his hands and said “I wish it was night-night time, I just want to start a new day already.”

I said, “Why do you need a new day? This day is not that bad, you can still have a good day – I am.”

Treyton: “I’m glad this is a good day for you, mom, but it’s just not for me!! I want to start over.”

(Update)

As I was typing this out, Treyton was working on illustrating his Bible story (the thing he wasn’t too happy about earlier), he finished it though and liked his finished project so he said “Well, this day isn’t that bad any more. It’s turning into a good day.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Alexism: That’s Not Good

IMG_0108 Lexie is learning new words ALL the time, I’m shocked  (and a little scared) actually by how quickly she catches on to words and phrases.

Last week Papa and Mommer were here watching the kids a few days later I overhear Lexie calling Audrey “Pumpkin” – this is totally a Papa thing (he calls his youngest daughter Pumpkin), so somewhere in the time they were here she must have picked up on it. Since then I’ve heard at least 3 separate occasions where Lexie has referred to Audrey as pumpkin.

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In an attempt to get Lexie to let me put pig tails in her hair, I started calling them “princess tails”, which she was immediately interested in, so if you ever here us refer to princess tails or see her wearing princess tails, just roll with it :)

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I think I mentioned before that Alexa started referring to herself as Natalee (her middle name) for a while, that lasted a few weeks and now she calls herself (and expects to be introduced as) Princess Lexie. IMG_0008

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COMMON PHRASES LEXIE USES:

I’ve never seen this before” yesterday at the store Tim was taking the kids out while I finished checking out Lexie didn’t want to go with Tim so she said “I’ve never seen Mama before, I’m sad.” She’ll bring things from the playroom or her bedroom and say “Wow, I’ve never seen this before!” even if it’s her favorite toy :)

Not Again!” Anytime anything goes wrong this is the line Lexie uses, at first it was cute, now it’s a little frustrating.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” another common phrase when something might not be going her way.

When Lexie wants the window in the car rolled down she says “Turn my window on please!

Lexie is super bright and cheery in the morning (she gets this from her Dad) nearly every morning she tells Tim “I love you so much Daddy-O” and then when I finally manage to roll out of bed and wander into the Dining Room she’s always the first to notice and I’m greeted by “Heeellllllooooo Mommy!!” in a super sweet, cheery voice. It’s a great way to start the day.

That’s not good” this is something Treyton says a lot so I suppose it was only a matter of time. She’s used this one a lot today:

  • when she was sitting on the potty and managed to somehow get her foot IN the toilet
  • when she went to get on the stool to wash her hands and found what appeared to be dried cereal on the stool
    • After I went in to clean (scrape) it off the stool she tells me “I do not like that mom, I don’t like it at ALL!”
  • when she pushed the baby gate over after trying to barrel through it
  • when she fell and landed partially on top of Audrey as she was making her way (a little too quickly) to the bathroom
  • when Audrey grabbed her cup of paint water and tipped it over on top of herself
  • when she saw what she was going to be eating for lunch

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Alexa is very expressive and is constantly using words that I didn’t know she knew to describe a situation I didn’t know she was even aware of. She’s intuitive, articulate and always paying attention. I can’t wait to see what she says next!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Waterpark Fun

This past weekend we were given the chance to stay at the Kalahari water park in Wisconsin Dells. If you’ve never been there it’s amazing – there’s tons of stuff to do there. They have a huge indoor water park as well as an indoor theme park (dry) with an arcade.

We had a really great time, and since it’s been way too long since I’ve put some pictures on here, I decided I would go ahead and share these with ya’!

THEME PARK

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The Ferris Wheel was one of Lexie’s favorite things! She preferred it when “all of us” (as she likes to say) would do it together.

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Although it doesn’t look like it in the picture, Audrey really liked the Ferris wheel as well. She even laughed a couple of times when it would start going. I think in this picture, she’s just a little weirded out by her big brother ;) who, by the way, really does act like that most of the time!!

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One of the highlights of the weekend for Treyton was definitely the high ropes course. He was so so so brave. Tim and I were so proud of him. IMG_0121 Of course he went into it all confident and sure of himself, but one he got to the 3rd or 4th section there were no longer supports to hold on to so he had to just “step out” on to the ropes. It took a few minutes of pep-talking from Dad but Treyton not only conquered it, he kept on going to the upper level!!

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The next morning he couldn’t wait to go back and do it again. He did it a second time, without an ounce of fear more than halfway through it. Once he got to the top, he slowed down a little, but he really did amazing – much better, I am certain, than his big mama would have done. 

IMG_0128He has brought it up several times since we’ve gotten home – about how brave he was, about how hard it was, what he’s going to do “next time”…. he’s awesome! 

IMG_0129 They were WAY high, seriously, I can’t believe how good he did. It was a great lesson in courage. I compared him to David, I told him that even though David was scared to face Goliath, he did it anyway. Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid, courage means that you overcome in spite of your fear. 

IMG_0138  My boys…. a bunch of monkeys!!

WATER PARK

What kid doesn’t love a good waterpark!? I know mine do!! IMG_0150

Lexie did a couple of big slides with Daddy and we even got her down the big kiddie pool slides (with a little force from mom), but her favorite was the hippo slide. True to form, the girl likes to do things on her own and be in control, I guess she felt the most comfortable with the hippo slide (and that’s alright with me, made it easy to keep an eye on her – unlike her big brother :)). 

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At one point, I took Lexie up to the top of the kiddie area where the “big kid” slides are. Treyton went down first and Alexa was excited to go down too, until I went to set her down and she realized there was water splashing on her. She yelled “No!” so I picked her back up. I asked her again “Do you want to go down?” She said “Yeah.” “Okay” I said and put her back down on the slide. She sat. After a second she looked back at me and said “No.” So I picked her back up. I said “Are you sure? Do you want to go down?” She said “Yeah!!” So I put her back down on the slide, she started to say “No” but before she could fully change her mind again I gave her a gentle “push”…. and so she went down. Not 12 feet into the slide, she went on to her back and floated the rest of the way down. Auntie Skye and Daddy were at the bottom to catch her. The moment Auntie Skye picked her up she yelled “I SAID NO!!”

Oops :)

Then Daddy asked “Did you like it?”

To which she said “Yeah!!”

IMG_0177It was for her own good :) at least that’s what I’m going to tell her when she gets a little older! LOL!

IMG_0156Audrey was content watching the crowds for most of the first day, but the second day we got her into the water a little bit more and she LOVED it!!   

IMG_0159 Unlike the other two, I wasn’t sure Audrey would ever take to water, she even hated baths until the last month or so.

IMG_0160 IMG_0162 She loved crawling through the water, so much so that she tore up the front of her brand new bathing suit from the bottom of the pool. Oh well, it was worth it, she had a great time, I don’t think we could ask for more.  IMG_0164 I think Treyton is part fish!! The boy can swim and swim and swim. The only thing that might (and it’s a big might) slow him down is if he gets cold.

IMG_0166 I took Treyton on a ride the first day, but the lines were a little long so we spent most of our time in the kiddie pool and lazy river. On the second day, however, there were no lines so dad took both the older two on several of the slides (together and alone).

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IMG_0171Our new “ropes champ” was excited to try yet another rope adventure, this time in water!!  IMG_0172 IMG_0183

We had a great time!! Believe it or not, the kids had so much fun this is what they looked like not 5 minutes after we got on the road to head home :) That’s what I consider a good trip!!  IMG_0184

A perfect two-day get away for the fam. The kids loved it, Tim and I loved it. All went smoothly, not a lot of fighting from the kids, fairly good obedience. I wish all our weekends went this smoothly.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hard To Believe

Hard to Believe written by John MacArthur is a hard read. It’s a message I think that we (as Christians) should be hearing more of, but it’s also a message that needs to be handled gently and with love.

While I think MacArthur’s heart is in the right place, I do think there were times that his words are a little hard to hear. Though, truth be told, they said the same about Jesus’ words. Which is the whole point of MacArthur’s book. 

This book caused me to examine my heart closely and I didn’t always like what I saw. At the end of the day this book is John MacArthur’s attempt to exalt Jesus and raise his voice against the softening of His message in order to make the gospel more appealing to accept.

We are called to be evangelize, that’s for sure, but never were we asked to make the gospel more acceptable. It’s God’s job to draw people, it’s only our job to share the truth and help gather the sheep.

Something that really stuck out to me was when MacArthur early on in the book went through the “main players” of the early church, starting with John the Baptist, the Disciples and Paul and pointed out how unacceptable they really were as ministers of the gospel. Nothing about them was acceptable and probably even an obstacle to many in accepting the gospel, yet we try so hard to be and make Jesus the opposite of what He came to be and that is acceptable.

I’m not saying that I think that we shouldn’t try to become somewhat relevant to the culture and to meet people where they are. But I do agree with MacArthur, that we are living in a time and culture where it is not uncommon for us to reach too far and in so doing, we muddle the gospel until we’ve distorted it. The danger is that “delivering half of the message is almost worse than delivering no message at all” – are we even aware of the damage we (the church) are doing when we do this?

The truth is, the gospel is hard to accept. Jesus Himself said that the gate was narrow and that many would not find it. He offers us a beautiful message of grace, hope and love; but with that is a dying of ourselves, an admittance of our sin and our depravity, we must dethrone ourselves and put Jesus as Lord and Master over our lives. He isn’t just a “way out of hell” or an accessory to add to our lives – He is meant to become our life, which is hard (in particular in our Western culture) to do. The gospel is humbling, it’s desperate and it’s non-negotiable and though we don’t like to always admit it – it is the narrow road that few will find. Is that how it’s being presented? Is that the gospel you were taught?

This book is unapologetic, hard-core and truthful in many ways. I got a lot out of it, but I’ll admit it took me a long time to get through it, and at times it was too much. I wish that I couldn’t recommend this book. That I could find countless things wrong with it, and while I don’t agree with every statement MacArthur made, I think his overall message is too important to ignore.  If you’re thinking about reading it, I pray that you would soak yourself in God’s love and mercy every day and ask Him for the grace you need to come face to face with some hard truths and that you take everything MacArthur says and line it up against scripture to compare, for it is the Bible, not MacArthur that we need to base our lives on. And you should also keep in mind that MacArthur is primarily attacking the prosperity gospel and not Christians!

If you want to hear more about this book I found these youtube videos of an interview between Kirk Cameron and John MacArthur further explaining his book. Here is Part 1 and Part 2

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Lakespur Cove

 image Lakespur Cove written by Lisa Wingate

This book is written in the first person. I don’t know how I keep getting this style of book (I should really do a better job of checking), but I do. A big difference in this book than others of similar style is that the narration switches between the two main characters: Matt McClendon and Andrea Henderson.

The story deals with lots of issues including divorce, heart ache, pain, regret, guilt, hope, perseverance, and love.

Andrea, a recent divorcee and single mother to a 14-year old son, takes job as a counselor for Child Protective Services in a small town called Moses Lake. She has her hands full as she works hard to support them financially as well as emotionally. When Dustin (her son) finds himself in some trouble after crossing a line, the Game Warden Mart McClendon and Andrea’s lives begin to intersect – and not in a good way (at first). Whatever negative opinions they took away from their first impressions soon begin to fade as they find common ground when seeking to find out more about a little girl seen in town whom no one sees to know much about.

As the story unfolds both characters are forced to face the pain of their past and begin to hope for the future. This is a story of healing and hope.

While I am not a big fan of the first person view-point/writing style. Their was a good story underneath it that kept me not only interested but invested in the characters.

As an added bonus the author has included some discussion questions at the end of the book, which would make this a great book club choice.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Reading Challenge Update

I’m doing better than I thought I would be doing at this point in the Spring Reading Challenge. Though it’s thanks to the fact that I could NOT put down the Circle books by Ted Dekker!! imageI ended up reading over 1200 pages in less than a week!!

The Circle Trilogy

The Circle Series is actually four books. I borrowed and read the first three: Black, Red and White from my sister.

image The concept behind the books is fascinating. I kept telling my mom (who’s already read the series), I would LOVE the chance to sit down with Ted Dekker and just chit-chat, I can’t imagine what goes on in his mind, with the imagination to write a storyline like this one…. his mind does not work anywhere near the level that mine does.

I cannot possibly do the story line justice in just a couple paragraphs, but I’ll try:

Thomas Hunter a 25 year old man from Denver Colorado begins to experience what he thinks are “dreams” though both places feel so real that he soon can’t distinguish what is his reality and what is his “dream world”. As the reader you too begin to question is it possible that they’re both real?

One world set in present day is in a fight for it’s own survival as a deadly airborne virus controlled by evil men is about to be released into world – a virus which only Thomas Hunter seems to be aware of and willing to do whatever it takes to prevent.

In the other world life seems near perfect, at least temporarily, the inhabitants are innocent and pure in a state of constant awareness of their creator, Elyon. While evil exists, it’s plain to see and there is a clear line between what is perfect and good and what is not. Because of the evil that does exists, this world faces dangers as well, dangers that are just as deadly, just as dangerous and for me, much more tragic.

The entire series is fascinating. The characters are easy to love and accept. The storyline is riveting. And underneath it all lies the story of the gospel. I recommend this book, though I’ll be honest and say I don’t think everyone would appreciate the complicated nature and length of this book. It’s not sci-fi by any means, but anytime you introduce parallel worlds you have to admit it’s a book of fantasy.

The book holds a solid message throughout; one of  good, evil, sacrifice and redemption. All the elements needed for a great story.

Spring Reading Update

I am excited to have not only reached my goal for the month already (which was to read 2 books a month) but actually doubled it!!

I read these 3 books as well as John MacArthur’s Hard to Believe (I will post on this book separately), and am more than a 1/3 of the way through Ted Dekker’s “Adam” (a book I added in later).

I have picked up where I left off in “The Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges and another recent add-in “When the Brain Can’t Hear” a book dealing with Auditory Processing Disorder.