Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A gym membership to the YMCA!!
Some of you (including my husband) think I am crazy for wanting to join a gym, especially as a Christmas present! Since I have been in college, I have enjoyed running or using the elliptical machine and toning up with weights. Occasionally, I enjoy attending a class at the gym too. In college, I went to an abs class twice a week and loved it! When I attended Southern Seminary, a friend and I went running 3x a week. We enjoyed running and exercise is always more fun with a partner.
When we left Southern, I no longer had access to a gym (or at least a "free" membership). For those of you who know my husband, you know that going to the gym is not on his top 10 list of things he must do. Last year, a new friend (whose husband was also a pastor) told me that she had a membership to the YMCA and it was half price for pastors! Immediately I was ready to join, but Josh wasn't (remember I have been asking for a year and a half).
To be fair, there was some definite reason for the delay, other than his desire not to go! I got pregnant last September and a gym membership wasn't at the top of either of our lists. Josh said that he decided that he would get a family membership in November as a Christmas present to me (and of course I hadn't been reminding him how much I would love to go since August!).
Yesterday morning I went for the first time around 6am. It was wonderful rising early to spend time with the Lord and then exercising! As a mom, it is wonderful to have an hour to myself. I was even able to come home and get ready before the kids woke up. It definitely helped me to feel ready for the day by having time with the Lord and time to do something for me.
This evening Josh and I are going together (childcare is provided). He isn't thrilled about it, but he said he would try and I think if we do it together, he will stick with it. We are beginning my New Year's goal early - to be healthier!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We took him to the pediatrician yesterday for his 6 month well check and he is doing great! He is in the 80% for height, but only the 33% for weight. Those cheeks sure do fool everyone! Developmentally, he is right on track. He is rolling over constantly and is sitting up well assisted, and can sit up briefly unassisted. Josiah has recently started to giggle and it is the cutest thing in the world!
Josiah has started to eat some food as well. I was very eager with Thomas to start solids, but I waited with Josiah because I learned how much extra work is involved with solids. My goal is to make most of his baby food, and so far I have been able to do it. He has to have prunes everyday, and I am going to attempt to puree prunes this week. If anyone has any tips on the best way to puree prunes, let me know! A book that has been very helpful in making baby food is Super Baby Food.
Six months is also a little bittersweet for me too, because it means soon he won't sit still in my lap or want me to be held as much. These last six months have went by so quickly, and I know it will only be a blink of an eye and we will be celebrating his first birthday. I am mindful of how quickly the time goes and I'm trying to be purposeful in enjoying all these precious moments with my baby.
Here are some recent pictures of our sweet baby:
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Lottie Moon is a familiar name for anyone who has ever attended a Southern Baptist Church. When I was little, I thought she was a lady the church gave money to because she was poor! Have you ever seen Lottie's picture? She looks like she could use a little more to eat - at least to a 6-year-old! For all my readers who are non-Southern Baptists, Lottie Moon is our annual offering for international missions. It is always at Christmas, which brings me to the point of this post.
Many church members would probably say that we should have the Lottie Moon offering at some other time, because Christmas is such a busy and expensive time of the year. While both of those things are true, I believe that Christmas is the best time to collect an offering for our international missionaries. As Josh explained Sunday morning before our Lottie Moon offering, "At Christmas we celebrate Christ taking on flesh and dwelling among us. Our international missionaries do the same thing as they take on the culture, language, and country of the people they are dwelling among. They illustrate with their lives how Christ came and took on our culture and language and left the glory of heaven to save us from our sin." Praise God for the over 5,000 SBC missionaries who are dwelling among a foreign people, often in dangerous circumstances, so that all people may hear the good news!
A common excuse for not giving to Lottie Moon is, "I don't have the money right now. I have to buy gifts for my family." Josh and I both know the temptation to not give (or not to give sacrificially) because you want to have enough money to give to your family or do something else, and so we decided to plan to give to Lottie Moon. At the beginning of the year, we talk about what amount of money we want to give to Lottie Moon in December, and then we budget for it every month. We have a savings account and part of what we put into savings every month is a portion of what we will give to Lottie Moon in December.
If you are Southern Baptist and don't give to Lottie Moon, I encourage you to give so that the gospel can go forth to those who have never heard. There are so many people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus. They don't know what Christmas is or if they do, they don't know why we celebrate this holiday.
If you are Southern Baptist and do give to Lottie, but would like to give more, I encourage you to set a goal for what you would like to give next December and save for it all year. It isn't hard to give more, when you have saved all year.
Lastly, if you aren't Southern Baptist, I encourage you to find out how you can support missionaries your church or denomination sends out.
For those missionaries who read my blog, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and thank the Lord for you. While we may sacrifice a little to give to support you, you and your families sacrifice everything to go and share the gospel with those who have never heard. May the Lord bless you greatly as you continue to serve Him and share with all nations!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
This is a topic that I have prayed about and read a lot about it too. Recently, a friend and I began reading Mark Chanski's book Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit and he comments on this verse:
Fruitfulness varies in its manifestation among different plants. A fruitful grape-vine will sport many, many clusters of grapes. On the other hand, a productive pumpkin vine may only generate four or five pumpkins. A farmer is very thankful if a single cornstalk produces two ears! Fruitfulness will vary from womb to womb, family to family. Revelation, providence, liberty and wisdom must be conscientiously blended. p. 32 (emphasis mine)
Let me be up front: Josh and I plan to have a big family, Lord willing. We do believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, but we also believe that family size is an area the Lord gives us wisdom to make decisions. I applaud the Duggars for raising 18 children (soon to be 19), but there is no way that Josh and I could afford to have that many children. They spend $3,000 a month on groceries alone. For many people, including us, we would spend our entire paycheck feeding that many children, and how would we clothe or provide a home?
There is the argument that God will provide for all our needs, and I believe that fully, but also believe that he gives us wisdom and discretion about family size. A family who has a disabled child has to spend much of their time and money to provide for that one child and may be physically or emotionally unable to care for more children. A family who is in ministry and dependent on the support of others has to decide how big of a family they can support.
Chanski's thoughts on procreation and fruitfulness were very helpful to me in explaining why it is okay for families to make a wise and prayerful decision about family size. Each plant is different in its fruitfulness and the Lord made us that way. Families come in all sizes and that is okay.
A caveat: I do believe that Scripture is clear that Christians are to have children unless they are physically unable. It is a sin to willingly remain childless because God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. And our American culture views children as a hindrance instead of a blessing as anyone can clearly see in how available abortions are here.
There is much more that I can say about this issue, but I will stop for today. What are your thoughts on this topic? I'm sure some of you disagree and I would love to hear your feedback. Maybe what you say will give me a topic for another day.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I wasn't exaggerating when I said it was a daunting task! And just a side note: that plant on top of the bookshelf is the only one in my house and it was given to me when Josiah was born - 5 months! If you know me, then you know I have a very brown thumb; I kill everything. One time I even killed a tree by drowning it in water, but that is another story!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
#6 - Meredith
Congratulations! I used random.org and it said it would be the same as drawing the numbers out of a hat, so I went with it!
Thanks for all who participated. If you still want to buy the book, you can go here and purchase it for $9 or $8 if you buy 5 or more. It was a great bible study tool for those of you wanting to use it with a ladies group.
I said last week that I would post more about the book, but the week got away from me. Lord willing, I have a post coming later today!
Oh, and ladies since you both live near me, I will just save the shipping cost and give it to you sometime soon!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
1. Rise Early
2. Sit Still
3. Sit & Plan
4. Consider People
5. Plan to Depend
All of the chapters were helpful, but the second and fifth chapters were especially meaningful to me. Today, I'll focus on the second chapter and another post will cover the last chapter.
If you know me well, then you know that I don't like to sit still. I am always moving and doing. The moment my feet hit the floor, I'm ready to go. It amazes Josh that I can be up for 5 minutes and already washing the dishes or clothes, or vacuuming the floors. The first thing I normally think when I wake up is, "Oh, I need to do _____ today," and most of the time I want to do it right then, especially if it is a chore that I dislike.
However, from the time I was a teenager I learned the discipline of sitting still with the Lord in the mornings. I'm the type of person that cannot have private worship in the evenings because I'm too tired or I make too many excuses. It was much easier to get up earlier as a teenager (I had to go to school) or as an adult without children (I had to go to work), it is MUCH harder to get out of bed now that I have children. Why? Because sleep can so easily become an idol in my life. If it were up to me, I would go to bed by 9pm every night. Sometimes when we tuck Thomas into bed, I just want to snuggle up next to him and it is only 8pm! Yes, my children do sleep all night now, but it is still a struggle to get up most mornings.
What I am learning is that I desperately need to sit still with the Lord now more than ever. Why? Because I can't meet the needs of my family in my strength - I am weak and frail and utterly sinful - I need Jesus! And until I read this book, I never realized how prideful it is not to spend time with the Lord. This is how the authors explained it:
Conversely, choosing not to sit at Jesus' feet makes a statement. It says to the Lord, "I can do it without you. I don't need to read your Word or pray or listen to your voice. I am competent all by myself, thank you very much." These are frighteningly arrogant words we're saying, if not with our mouth then with our heart.
I am ashamed to say that my heart has often uttered those words. Oh, LORD forgive my prideful and conceited heart and give me grace to call out to my Savior!
What am I doing in light of reading this chapter? I am committing to rise early (their first tip) at 6am and to sit still at Jesus' feet because I am truly lost without him. Am I prone to fall away? Yes, as the hymn says, "Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." Am I prone to legalism? Yes. Sometimes it is easy to think that I can "earn favor" from God or that he loves me more, but he doesn't.
Are you needy? Then join me in sitting still and communing with our Father in heaven. I promise your days will be more peaceful and you will actually look forward to rising early.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
With that said, Thomas was a train engineer for Halloween and he was so cute! Josiah was himself. He is only four months old and I don't dress my babies up until they are old enough to walk. I don't think he felt deprived because Thomas got to dress up and he didn't! We went to our church's fall festival and then to my in-law's fall festival. Thomas was able to play some games and win a small tractor, which he has not put down since Saturday night!
Below are some pictures of Thomas. After looking through the pictures, I realized we didn't take any pictures of Josiah. Oh, now I remember why: he was sleeping the whole time! I also included some pictures of a little art project I did with Thomas on Friday.
Any of my other readers participate on Saturday? Or do you not agree with Halloween and didn't observe the day?
Monday, October 26, 2009
We don't listen to Christian music much because the messages usually are watered down. However, Josh heard this song first and told me how much he liked it. When I heard it, I thought, "Wow, this song really does have a great message."
Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-8SYA6rfbs
I can't embed it into the blog for some reason. Oh well - I hope you still watch it!
Here are the lyrics:
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little eyes what you see
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
He actually isn't crying here, but squealing - his new favorite thing to do!
I love this little face - he looks so serious!
Everyone thinks he is so much bigger than Thomas was at 4 months, but he is smaller! I looked at Thomas' 4 month numbers and he was 16lbs and 26 3/4". Josiah' s 4 month numbers are 14lbs 15oz and 25 1/4". Josiah is a pound lighter and an inch and a half shorter. I guess it is those cheeks that has everyone fooled!
Monday, October 12, 2009
A good picture of us!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
2 years (and every year following)
Since we plan on homeschooling, we will have to take the initiative of having professional pictures every year since they won't have the infamous school pictures (maybe that is a good thing considering how some of mine and Josh's turned out!).
Without further ado, here is Thomas' 2 year photo, Josiah's three month, and a picture of them together. For some reason they turned out a little fuzzy when I scanned them. If anyone knows how to fix that, let me know!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Last week we spent a week at the beach! So, really I wasn't busy, but the last thing I wanted to do was blog. We left last Monday to go to Hilton Head Island for the week. It was such a wonderful trip. We had a beautiful condo on the beach (rates are much lower after Labor Day!) and we enjoyed just sitting on the balcony listening to the waves and feeling the breeze.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30th, Josh & I celebrated our third anniversary. Well...I don't know how much celebration we had. We took Thomas to an inflatable playground that morning and then treated ourselves to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. That is life with two small children! Josh's parents joined us on Thursday, and we were able to have a date to a very nice Italian restaurant on Thursday evening.
We returned home on Sunday, but life didn't return to normal until yesterday. Josh & I attended a NANC (national association of nouthetic counselors) conference Monday through Wednesday. Thankfully, it was only an hour away and we were able to be home every evening. I'll post more on my thoughts from the conference in another post.
Now, I'm trying to get back in the normal ebb and flow of life, but there is so much catching up to do! It is hard to take care of little ones and catch up on all the cleaning, laundry, mail, and couponing for two weeks, but I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And for some crazy reason, I have just been so exhausted about 3pm in the afternoon. I honestly feel like I could go to bed at 7pm every night, but that isn't reality in our house.
Thankful for the weekend and hoping for a calmer week next week.
I'll post pictures of our trip AND our new van (we bought a '06 Honda Odyssey and love it!) when I have some time and energy!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Now, there is an even better way to learn more bible verses with music! The CD is called Fighter Verse Songs and I'm pretty sure the people who produced it are connected to John Piper's church, Bethlehem Baptist. We listen to music all the time and what could be better than listening to music that will help us hide God's word in our heart?!
The best part? You could win the CD! Go to this blog and check out the details! Even if I don't win, I'm going to buy it. Happy singing and memorizing!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The best deal this week: diapers at Rite Aid. Last night I went to Rite Aid and this is what I got:
3 packs of Huggies Pure & Natural
1 case of Nestle bottled water
1 A&D diaper rash cream
1 small box of vanilla wafers (Josh's reward for staying with the kids and he needed it since Josiah decided to cry the whole time I was gone - poor Josh!)
Total out-of-pocket: $17
Total rebate check: $10
Total spent: $7
If you don't coupon, you are throwing away money!! The diapers alone were $11 each! Yes, I had tons of coupons - $3 Huggies coupons, $2 Rite Aid Huggies coupons, $5 off when you spend $20 Rite Aid coupons, $2 off A&D diaper rash cream, & $.50 off bottle water and it was on sale for $3.88.
Look at this site - you will save money!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Here are some other things I love about this age:
- Awake longer. Newborns are SO sleepy, but now Josiah is happy and content for about an hour. Usually, at the hour mark he begins to fuss and that is my cue to lay him down.
- Smiles and "talks" to us. I LOVE interacting with my children and Josiah is such a happy and "chatty" baby. He loves it when we talk to him and usually gets very excited. Seeing his sweet smiles make my heart melt.
- Great naps! Around 10 weeks, he began to take great naps. I would lay him in his bed and he began going right to sleep with no fussing. He normally takes 4 naps a day for around 2 hrs.
- Sleeps through the night! Around 9 weeks he began sleeping about 7 to 8 hrs, but between 10.5 to 12 weeks he hit his 3 month growth spurt and was sleeping around 6 hrs (I'm certainly not complaining about 6 hrs!). Thomas ate more during the day and continued to sleep all night, while Josiah ate the same during the day, but couldn't last as long at night. Right at 12 weeks, he began sleeping 8 hrs again and now is consistently sleeping from 10:30pm to around 7:30am. I'm beginning to move that 10:30pm feeding back and eventually would like his last feeding to be around 8pm. It will happen sometime in the next couple of months; I'm not in a big hurry.
I honestly think that Josiah does so well because we are on a routine. Our basic schedule is eat-awake-sleep or the acronym EASY. It has worked great with both of my boys and I really think it helps to regulate their metabolism. I do what the ole' wives tale says not to do: Wake a sleeping baby. Why? Because I want him to eat during the day and sleep at night! The only time I woke him during the night was when he was tiny and I wanted to make sure he was getting enough.
Well, it is time to go wake my sleeping baby. I'll post some new pictures soon of our sweet three month old boy!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thomas is talking a lot, but he still isn't completely clear on everything, but the peditrician said he is right where he needs to be for two. Everyday he picks up something new. We are trying to teach him to sing "Jesus Loves Me" or to say "I love you," but instead he says the things you don't want him to say. I guess we need to be careful what we say around little ears.
Now let's just hope he never meets President Obama...
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Right after we got married, Josh was pastoring a church in Indiana of about 20 people - yes, it was really small! While we were there, I was able to do everything with Josh. If someone was sick, I went with him to visit. If there was a wedding or a funeral, I was able to go. Of course, there wasn't nearly the amount of work to do for a congregation of 20 as there is for a congregation of 150. But even still, I was able to go because I had no other responsibilities than to serve with my husband.
Things are a lot different today than they were 3 years ago. We have two beautiful baby boys who require most of my time and attention. They need their mama and I cherish the time I can love on them and share the gospel with them. However, by caring for them I'm not as available to minister alongside of Josh. I am realizing that my role is different now. I have the primary responsibility of taking care of our children and home. The biggest role I have in Josh's day-to-day ministry now is prayer. And over the last few weeks, I have realized that prayer is more important than all the other things I could be doing.
I won't lie and say it is easy "staying behind." I love my husband and want to be with him. But I can't go to all the funerals or weddings or special services or to visit the sick. The hardest time for me was a few weeks ago when Josh was on his mission trip. I wanted to be there with him, but the Lord has placed me in the home with our children. I am trying to remember that our children will grow up all too quickly and one day, I will have more time to be "hands on."
Every season of life has its positives and negatives. Even though I can't participate in ministry as much right now, I can diligently serve my husband by fervently praying for him and by training up our children in godliness. What an awesome responsibility!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Yesterday, he had his 2 month well check and he is now 13lbs 2oz and 23 1/4". The pediatrician said he looked great and he was very happy for most of the visit. We both cried when he had his shots. I know the vaccinations are good for him (yes, some of you may disagree with me), but to watch him cry in pain makes me cry too. He slept more yesterday and today because of the shots, but seems to feel okay. Thomas never had an adverse reaction to vaccines, and I'm hoping the same for Josiah.
What I have noticed most about Josiah's personality is how active he is. Even now at two months, I have to keep him completely swaddled to sleep. Last week, I tried letting him nap without the swaddle and it was an awful nap; he only slept 15 minutes. He still doesn't have great control over his arms and legs. However, even though he is completely swaddled he will move from the top of his bed in a vertical position to the bottom of his bed in a horizontal position by the end of the night (about 6.5 hours). I usually find him stuck in the corner of his bed and he is upset because he can't wiggle anymore! He was very active in the womb and that hasn't changed one bit. I think I better enjoy this time while he is immobile, because he is going to keep me busy once he starts crawling!
Here are some recent pictures of our baby boy: