Sunday, January 30, 2011

More of Asher... naming animals and sounds =)

Here is more of little man... reading about animals and their sounds! Sorry if this seems boring and redundant to everyone- we just want to have all of this documented for him when he gets bigger!

Asher reading...

Asher is getting so big and he LOVES to talk now. He talks all the time. Some awesome friends of ours, The Burke's, watched Asher last night while Sonny, Zoee and I went to a rehearsal dinner. When we got there to pick him up at 9pm, he was still playing cars (there were literally hundreds of cars to play with) and he was reciting everyone's names... over and over and over. Of course he liked the guys better because he is 100% boy and he loves hanging out with the guys! Thank you Uncle Kevin, Nana, Jake, Kristen, & Rope for watching Ash for us! All this to say, I wanted to document Asher's growing vocabulary! Please excuse the crazy hair and messy face- that's the life of a toddler! He got a little distracted when he saw himself on the computer but overall he did great! Sonny and I LOVE this age- it is a blast!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The perfect timing...

I had been thinking about this small lesson from the Lord a while ago and I never made the time to sit down and write about it so I guess now is as good of time as any. Our small group on Tuesday nights started reading through the book of Genesis and that's what reminded me about this lesson on God's timing.

We read last week about the ark and Noah's family. Usually when you read these chapters in Genesis you can learn a lot from Noah and his faith and obedience to the Lord. While those are great lessons, something new stuck out to me a few months ago when I was reading Genesis. If you read closely it says that once the flood had subsided THEN God said to Noah's sons "be fruitful and multiply" and their family line continued (Genesis 9:1). This is a small but very interesting statement. We have no idea when all of Noah's sons got married. They could have been married for years before the flood or maybe just a few months. What stands out is that none of the wives got pregnant or had a child before the waters of the flood had subsided. I wonder if any of those three women were worried about why they were not getting pregnant? Looking back, we can see how perfect God's timing was for those women. Can you imagine being pregnant and never being able to leave a ship? Can you imagine morning sickness in addition to the nausea from being tossed by waves. Or imagine if Noah's sons had younger children before the flood? Can you imagine having a toddler aboard the ark? When looking back we can see that the Lord withheld pregnancy from these three ladies because it was BETTER for them not to be pregnant and have children at that time. I just know that if I was one of those wives I would have wondered... "God, why am I not getting pregnant? Did I do something wrong?" and it was simply because He was looking out for them. There are so many times in my life where I have not understood why the Lord was "taking so long" or why it seemed like He was withholding something from me just to be mean. We cannot think this way. The Lord's wisdom is so far beyond our comprehension. We must trust the He knows WHAT is best for us and WHEN it is best for us to have certain things. I am just so thankful that He is reminding me of this. I need to always make my requests and heart known to Him but after that I must trust that His answer really is the best thing for me.

A small wilderness...

Before I begin this one, I would like to preface this blog with the fact that I KNOW the Lord has been very, very kind to me. He has given me gifts beyond my wildest dreams. My husband is absolutely incredible. He is not only godly and encouraging but he is also extremely handsome and romantic... he is everything I could have asked for and so much more. My children are, for the most part, absolutely incredible too! Yes, we have our hard days, but they are such a wonderful gift to Sonny and I. We went through 5 miscarriages before getting pregnant with Asher and discovering that if I was going to carry full-term I would need progesterone supplements. Then came Zoee- sweet surprise but totally amazing.

Okay, now to what I feel called to write about. Last night Sonny taught the students about Deuteronomy 8. He taught them about remembering the Lord's deliverance through the wilderness. The Lord had led Israel from slavery in Egypt to the promised land but in doing this He took Israel through a desert for 40 years where He sustained them completely. We, as the children of God, will most likely go through more than one season in life that can seem like huge (or even small) "deserts."

Yesterday (and the past few days) was one such time for me. I know it might seem small but Zoee is going through a phase where she only wants me to hold her and she wants to be held A LOT. DOn't get me wrong, I love holding my daughter but it IS nice to have a break and have someone else hold her from time to time. Anyways, these past 2 weeks at church have been very rough on anyone trying to hold Zoee. My wonderful friend, Mrs. Burke, has been the one holding Zoee for me almost every Wednesday (if she isn't holding her, her incredible daughter Kaitlyn, is =) ). Last night and the week before, Zoee screamed at the top of her lungs for a long time when anyone other than me was holding her. This was so frustrating to me. I started getting stressed out, not for Zoee's sake because I know that crying is not bad for her, but for the sake of those that were holding her. I want my little girl to bring joy to others- not stress! I don't want her to make people sad or angry- I want her smile to light up the room like it does at home. So, I was just really having a tough time in my heart dealing with the fact that she was being so cranky. Then, after Sonny taught and while I was worshiping, God made this verse stick out to me:

Deuteronomy 8:2 "You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

I felt like God was saying... "I am trying to humble you again... you sometimes think you can do this mom/wife thing on your own and I want to gently remind you that you need Me. Come back to me with your whole heart... with all of your weariness and I will give you rest. I will strengthen you and sustain you like I did Israel."

It was so sweet to know that the Lord was calling me back. Two other verses that came to my mind during this time were:

Joel 2:13 "And rend your hearts and not your garments.' Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness..."


Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I hope to encourage you all that when you are going through seasons, even very small ones, where you feel dry and weary- remember that the Lord will often take you through those to humble you and keep you dependent on Him. We are so quick to try to "do life" on our own and He is so loving to let us go through tough times to keep us needy for Him. Let's keep coming to Him- as often as we can- for He gives us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Faith like a child...

There are so many things that we can learn from parenting and I am trying not to let any lessons pass us by. A few days ago I felt like the Lord really gave me a visual of what he meant by having faith like a child. As I was thinking hard about how I wanted the house to be cleaner and how I needed to get the laundry done, something struck me. Asher does not worry about tomorrow or even a few hours from now. At each moment he gives his all to what he is doing right then and he really does "let tomorrow worry about itself." This might not make a lot of sense but I was just thinking about the things that Jesus talks about in the gospels and I noticed that my son is showing me an example of what Jesus was talking about. Asher does not worry about what he will be wearing tomorrow or even what he will be eating for the next meal. He lives each moment just thinking about that moment. I think this is what the Lord wants from us too. He does not want us to be worried about anything but to live each moment in joy trying to honor Him with what we are doing. I think we can learn so much from our children. Maybe this is what the Lord meant by telling us to have faith like a child. I hope to learn from my son not to spend time worrying about things in the future or even worrying at all for that matter. We never know when Jesus will call us home and how sad will we be when we get to see how much time we wasted worrying about things that do not matter!

Mark 10:15
"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

Matthew 6:34
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More of the kids...

We have been cooped up in our house lately because of the really cold weather and the fact that we are trying to get over a cold that we have had since Zoee was born. I try to make things as fun as I can but I am ready for some nicer weather so we can go outside more. Here are a few pics of the kids before we ventured out on a walk... I really am so thankful for how sweet Asher is to Zoee. He really is so tender with her. I cannot recall one time so far where I have seen him angry with her- even when she is screaming at the top of her lungs!

Dear Zoee...

Dear Zoee,
I want to start early documenting your life and all the wonderful things you do. Already you are either VERY joyful or VERY upset. When you are happy, your smile is so huge and just makes me want to cry. I just love it. You are already "talking" and that is also so precious! Right now you are not doing a whole lot more than eating, pooping, spitting up (yes- you have reflux like Asher did), crying, sleeping (a lot, which lets me get a lot of sleep too), and smiling. You are absolutely beautiful though and we love you so much!


ps- you LOVE taking baths!

Dear Asher...

This post is for you when you get older. I wish I had started this a long time ago. Time is just going by so fast and I want to document all the funny and sweet things you do! Here are just a few things from lately...
1. You are learning your manners... I am trying to teach you to say "yes please" and "no thank you." Well, the other day I asked you if you wanted to get out of the bath (you had been in there for almost forty five minutes) and you nicely replied "no-chu-chu"- which is your version of "no thank you." It was so cute. Then you went on playing with all of your bath toys.

2. You really love Zoee. I was worried that you might be frustrated that she came into your life but you are rarely frustrated with her. The other day I was trying to make lunch and she was crying. I peaked in the game room to check on her and you were leaning down trying to kiss her as she was crying. So precious. You are a great big brother.

3. You love to eat. You snack ALL day and you love bread. I try to make things as healthy as possible because you love to eat so much. Here is what you had yesterday...

- 1 1/2 banana muffins (with hidden spinach in them)
- 1 breakfast bar
- 3 spoons of peanut butter
- 1 1/2 go-gurts
- 1 bowl of steamed broccoli with cheese
- 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 organic cookies (small animal cookies)
- 1 brownie
- 1 cup of applesauce

4. You LOVE cars and trucks (especially the trash truck!) You play cars all day long and anything that you can turn into a car- you do.

5. You love to climb in anything. From the dryer, to boxes and the laundry basket- you love adventure!

6. You love to make sure things are in the 'trash.' You pronounce that word with so much intensity that it makes us laugh a lot.

7. You are very smart and love to tell us what colors things are. You love "jean" (green), "ya-ya" (yellow), "boo" (blue), "pa-pa" (purple), "back" (black), "yed" (red)

8. It's funny because sometimes the different things that you are trying to say all sound the same. Here is an example of some things that sound the same but the meanings are very different and you get really frustrated when I cannot figure out what you are trying to say...

"pa-pa" could mean one of many things:
- Pa-pa (your wonderful grandpa who you adore)
- puppy (you love animals)
- purple (you are always telling us the colors of everything)
- propel (we give you this instead of juice b/c it has less sugar)
- paci (you love your pacifiers are they really do calm you down quickly)
- poo-poo (I think you are close to potty training but still not there yet)

Wow it gets hard to decipher your language but I love the challenge and it does make me laugh a lot!

I think that is it for now!! You are just so wonderful and we love you so much. You just started sleeping in your "big-boy" bed two days ago and now are sleeping really, really late! It's almost 10:30am and you are still asleep!