Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat
our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several time a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing.
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being
disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities? And no dropped calls!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Click here for Homeschool Update

Brotherly Love

My special Blessings before we left for church on Sunday.

One thing I have to tell you about my kids is that despite how frequently they fight, they each have a lot of love to share and give. Psalms says "Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. This seems very true of my two special boys. Andy absolutely adores his little brother. Every morning, if Ezekiel is in bed with us, Andy (Andy tends to wake up before everyone) will come over and start saying baby and pointing at Ezekiel. If JA is already up and Ezekiel and I are still in bed, Andy will crawl up and lay down and JA's side of the bed. He will then commence to try and have Ezekiel hold his hand (regardless of the fact that Ezekiel is usually asleep).

When Ezekiel is laying on his activity gym, Andy loves to go over and lay beside him. He will try to entertain Ezekiel or simply smother him with kisses. I love just watching the two of them interact.
Note: I do make sure not to leave them alone because for the few moments I stepped away this morning I return to find Andy trying to wrestle his baby brother -- I am looking forward to being able to watch them play together when Ezekiel is older.

Andy was more than happy to pose for these pictures with his baby brother.

First Trip to the Dentist

Wednesday Kara and Lydia had their very first dentist appointment. I must say I was very nervous about how this trip would go. JA stayed home with both boys, and the girls and I traveled the thirty minutes to go to the dentist. I was sure that both girls would have a fit the minute the dentist told them to open their mouths. I am so thankful to report that I was completely wrong. Both girls did great, and I think that reading books to them all week about going to the dentist helped to prepare them for the experience. The book I liked most about going to the dentist was Dora the Explorer Show Me Your Smile.

First to hop into the chair was Kara. Kara chose to bring her favorite Kitty cat with her.
Dr. Potter told her that he was going to count kitty cat's teeth but since her mouth was
sewn shut he wasn't able to. So he counted Kara's teeth instead. Counting her teeth
while he was looking for cavities kept her from being afraid of the hook.
The middle picture is the Hygienist showing Kara how her special toothbrush will tickle her
teeth -- she had the toothbrush tickle Kara's finger. By the time Kara had the fluoride
treatment in the last picture she was completely at ease and letting them work with her mouth.

Lydia was very eager to hop into the chair after Kara was all done. I was able to get a picture of the dentist "counting' her teeth. You can see Lydia holding onto her puppy in the first picture.
Both girls chose the bubble gum flavor toothpaste to have their teeth cleaned with.
Lydia was proud to be able to smile during the fluoride treatment. And I was surprised neither girl balked at the vacuum thing stuck in their mouth.

Since both girls had to wait 30 minutes before eating and drinking, I drove them to the park to play for a little bit before I took them out for a special dinner. Here are my girls showing you their lovely smiles.

For dinner we stopped at the "Chubby Pickle" a little diner in Phillipsburg. I had to get their picture with the huge pickle on the front. Until Lydia saw her french fries and hamburger without pickles, she kept saying "I don't want pickles" -- I guess she thought pickles was all this diner served :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Apples, Apples, and More Apples

Last week was a wonderful blessing for our family. On Monday, we decided to take the kids apple picking. I have to admit I was very tentative about taking them because I figured there would be no way we could keep track of them in an apple orchard. Now I am thankful we decided to take them. We picked five pecks of apples -- that comes to be 1 and 1/4 bushels of apples. And the kids each had a fabulous time.
The kids stopping to eat lunch (banana muffins)

Lydia and Andy preparing to explore the Hay Maze

Kara and Lydia in the middle of the Hay maze by the Scarecrow

Lydia on her way out of the maze
Picking apples
Kara looking for the perfect apple
Andy actually needed two hands to pick this apple
JA topping off the last bag of apples
Ezekiel slept through the entire experience until right before we left.
Ezekiel and me in the middle of the hay maze
Because the apples had been damaged by hail and
were a little wormy, we had to cut them up and turn them into
applesauce and apple butter.
We were able to get about 30 quarts of applesauce, and 24 jelly jars of
apple butter all for the grand price of $10

Andy wanted to try his hand at making applesauce.
With our trip to the Apple Orchard, we spent a lot of time in school last week talking about apples for school. Making the applesauce and apple butter was also a part of our schooling last week. Below our the pictures the kids drew of their apple orchard experience. Notice the black stroller in the bottom right hand corner of Kara's picture. She is really beginning to discover a purpose in her drawing instead of simply scribbling.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ezekiel's Baby Shower

I feel so blessed to be a part of a wonderful church family. Not only did they bring me a couple of meals after Ezekiel's birth, but they also planned a wonderful baby shower for us. I took Kara and Ezekiel with me to the shower, and Kara became the official photographer.

We received some adorable items including three packages of diapers about six packages of baby wipes; some lotion, baby oil, and baby wash; baby socks, some bibs; an adorable photo album; some creative memories scrapbook and baby stickers; and a beautiful picture frame to hang on the boys wall.

If you would like to see more pictures from the shower click here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women's Retreat

We have already had a very busy a full month at our house. September 5-7, I went with my friend Lynette to a Women's Retreat held at the Quaker Ridge Campground in Colorado. We had a wonderful time. The main room where we listened to the speaker had an amazing view of Pike's Peak. Amy Smith, a mother of six, spoke at the retreat on the Disciplines of a Godly Woman. My heart was convicted in so many different areas. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband who stayed with my three older kids so I could be refreshed from the Word at this retreat. I'm also thankful for the church members who were willing to sit with my kids in church so I could attend. The above picture is of my friend Lynette, Ezekiel, and me standing on the porch with another amazing view of Pike's Peak.

Between sessions we had some free time. I went hiking with a few of the ladies. I admit I would not normally go hiking three weeks after giving birth, but since I only had this one opportunity to get out and enjoy God's beautiful creation, I felt I needed to take hold of this opportunity. We did have a beautiful hike, and I am afraid that I did slow the women down a bit. I carried Ezekiel in the sling, and did have a picture of us hiking on the trail, but it must not have taken since I can't find it on my camera :(.

Some of the women took the opportunity to do the ropes course. It appeared to be quite strenuous requiring quiet a bit of upper body strength to be able to balance oneself and walk on the ropes. Thankfully they were harnessed to a lead rope so they weren't able to fall.

Ezekiel had a wonderful time being the only baby at the retreat. I think I only needed to hold him if he was wanting to eat :) I also was challenged in the area of learning to accept help gracefully. I don't know why I always feel like I need to do things myself. It felt very strange having women volunteer to go change Ezekiel's diaper, carry my plate and cup up to the window for me, and many other tasks I could easily perform.

I do have to give props to my husband for being such a wonderful father and pastor. I called him Sunday morning before church just to see if he needed help finding anything. Lydia had woken up sick Sunday morning. She threw up three times before Sunday School. I tried calling a couple of people to see if they could come and stay with her during the morning service, but I was unable to get in contact with anyone. I can't tell you enough how faithful a God we serve and how He LOVES to answer our prayers. JA and I, and the women at the retreat were praying that Lydia would be able to make it through the service without getting sick (since JA was the pastor, there was no way he could stay home with a sick child). My kids were the only ones in Sunday School, so we didn't need to worry about exposing other children to Lydia's illness. She made it through Sunday School wonderfully. During the morning service she had some dry heaves, but no vomit (Sorry, I know it may be TMI). Less then fifteen minutes after JA and the kids got home, Lydia was throwing up again. I can only say it is by the Grace of God that they made it through church. We were able to get Faith to babysit for us Sunday night, so Lydia was able to stay home in bed.

Lynette and I made it safely home at about 10:00 Sunday night. Another answer to prayer while I was at the retreat was the gift of an infant carseat. The carseat we had been using was a five-year-old three point harness (no longer meeting safety standards). While at the retreat one of the ladies came up to me and asked if there were any baby boy items I needed since they were in the process of getting rid of their baby items. I asked her if she was getting rid of an infant carseat -- and she was! We stopped by her home in Colorado Springs on our way home.

I am excited about the truths that we studied during this retreat, and I am excited to see how I can continuously apply them to my life.

One of Amy's key sayings for the week was -- "Start practicing to be the kind of older woman you want to be." I'm not going to wake up one day and be this godly older woman ready to teach the younger women. I need to begin practicing to be a godly older woman now.

I have much more to blog about, but that will have to wait until another day.