Sunday, June 29, 2008
We arrived at Mom and Dad's house on Friday for a week of rest and relaxation. The princesses are being spoiled, I'm getting waited on, and King Charming is vegging in front of movies. I'm sure there will be a pinochle game some time soon.
With my pregnancy history, we weren't sure if we should try to travel at all this summer. My OB gave me the green light and we decided we wanted a break from the routine. So here we are! : ) I told you I was impulsive!
It isn't a flashy vacation, but it is just what I needed....a chance to get out of town, spend time with the people I love, and do nothing but swim, eat, watch movies, and sleep. Ahhh....
One of the things I've been enjoying the most is quality time with God. Usually vacations are so packed with activity, I end up taking a vacation from my spiritual life as well. This time, I've been surprised by the amount of free time I keep finding each day. I've enjoyed my quiet times with the Lord so much!
I've also had opportunities to work on the book I'm writing. It is a project that is close to my heart, and I dream of the day it is a book instead of files on my hard drive. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I can't wait to share it with you all some day.
I better go help Mom make dinner instead of expecting her to wait on me hand and foot.
Happy Summer Everyone!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Want a little tour of my refrigerator? : )
Chuck E. Cheese sketched our family portrait above. We don't make it there often...King Charming and I are not fans of the pizza...but our new tradition for birthdays is to let the girls choose two friends to go out to dinner with us on their special day. Princess K chose Chuck E. Cheese for her birthday restaurant. It was fun trying to squeeze us all into the booth.
Below our fancy family portrait are photos of my brother's kids. I don't get to see them often enough and they grow faster than I can keep up with photos on the fridge, but I love seeing their smiling faces every day.
These ultrasound pictures document our little miracle. The first was taken at 8 weeks, the next at 16 weeks, and the final one at 21 weeks. Can you see him sucking his thumb? By the way- Did you know that Monster Truck has a real name now? Hmmm....guess you'll have to keep coming back so you don't miss the big announcement. : ) (Blog Bribery)
Gallery of Fridge Art by the Princesses:
You've seen this before:
Beezus and Ramona, Beezus paints a dragon with lollipops for scales up his back. The next morning, Karissa had a butterfly with lollipop antennae for me to put up on the fridge.
Well....there it is!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So instead of driving straight like I was supposed to, I turned left at a stop light, and walked into a salon and said, "Please cut all my hair off."
The hairdresser asked me, "How would you like it cut today?"
I told her, "I don't know. Just cut it please." So she did.
I told her I'd pay extra if she could get rid of the puffy prego face, too, but she just looked at me funny and kept cutting my hair. My attempt at humor didn't work. I think she thought I really believed she could do something about my puffy prego face.
I walked in with hair a little past my shoulders and walked out with a chin length bob. I'm so impulsive! My ultra-organized, plan-ahead, engineer friend, Daiquiri, has an appointment to cut her hair tomorrow, but she is taking the very sensible, research based approach to her new do. You should check out the fun she is having on her blog with hairstyles. Oh to be that organized and self-controlled! : )
Sorry...I don't have any pictures of it yet. I'm hiding from the camera these days. Some people know how to do pregnancy cute....I'm not one of them. : )
She prayed for the immediate things going on in my life, but she also prayed for my future- my future husband, my future children, etc. My dad, brother, and I often talk about how we have been so covered by Mom's gift of prayer. I always know I can call Mom up on the phone and ask, "Will you pray for me?" And she will.
Wanting to be a praying mom like mine, I saw the value in prayer, but I didn't necessarily know what to pray about for my kids. Then I found this list online. There is one spiritual virtue or character trait to pray for each day of the month. It has been so helpful in showing me how to pray about their spiritual development.
I saved the list as a Word file I can refer to do during my morning prayer time, and I also printed a hard copy I leave on my nightstand so I can check it before bed. On the first day of each month, I start over again at number one. Today, being the 24th, I prayed for my kids to all have servants hearts. In my prayers, I include Monster Truck (see sidebar for explanation) and Whombie (our future adopted son "whomever he may be").
There are many things I pray for my kids that aren't on the list, but I'm thankful to have this reference and know that God will be shaping their hearts as they grow up.
An unexpected result of going through this list has been realizing how much I need to grow in each of these areas. This list could be used to pray for anyone you care about and also as a list for praying for yourself. None of these things come naturally. Only God can make these reality in a person.
You can use this link to find the list online, or I've included it in this post below my name for you to copy and paste and save for your own use. Works for me! : )
You can read my past WFMW posts here.
You can read other WFMW tips here.
I hope you will come back and visit again.
31 Ways to Pray for Your Children:
1 salvation "Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory" (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).
2 growth in grace "I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ'" (2 Peter 3:18).
3. love "Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them" (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).
4 honesty and integrity " May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection" (Psalm 25:21, NLT).
5 self-control " Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be 'alert and self-controlled' in all they do" (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
6 a love for God's Word " May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb'" (Psalm 19:10).
7 justice " God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do" (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).
8 mercy " May my children always 'be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful'" (Luke 6:36).
9 respect (for self, others, authority) " Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands" (1 Peter 2:17a).
10 strong, Biblical self-esteem " Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are 'God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus'" (Ephesians 2:10).
11 faithfulness "' Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],' but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts" (Proverbs 3:3).
12 courage "May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
13 purity "'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions" (Psalm 51:10).
14 kindness "Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else'" (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
15 generosity "Grant that my children may 'be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age'" (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
16 peace, peaceability "Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace'" (Romans 14:19).
17 joy " May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit'" (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
18 perseverance " Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to 'run with perseverance the race marked out for [them]'" (Hebrews 12:1).
19 humility " God, please cultivate in my children the ability to 'show true humility toward all'" (Titus 3:2).
20 compassion " Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion" (Colossians 3:12).
21 responsibility " Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load'" (Galatians 6:5).
22 contentment " Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. . . . through him who gives [them] strength'" (Philippians 4:12-13).
23 faith " I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them" (Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40).
24 a servant heart " God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men'" (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).
25 hope " May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
26 the willingness and ability to work hard " Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men'" (Colossians 3:23).
27 a passion for God " Lord, please instill in my children a soul that "followeth hard after thee," a heart that clings passionately to you (Psalm 63:8, KJV).
28 self-discipline " Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair'" (Proverbs 1:3).
29 prayerfulness " Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18).
30 gratitude " Help my children to live lives that are always 'overflowing with thankfulness,' 'always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ'" (Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 5:20).
31 a heart for missions " Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples" (Psalm 96:3).
The hardest part of being disconnected was being disconnected from Blogosphere. I missed you all! It was so nice to wake up this morning to blessed connectedness's. Ahhhh....
The girls and I are off to our free movie this morning. I'll be back later to catch up on posting and reading through my blogroll.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I don't remember when I gave my life to Jesus. I was too little to know the moment, I just believed.
After late Saturday night parties, Mom and Dad wanted to sleep in on Sunday morning. My dad claimed to be an atheist, but my mom had been raised religious, so it was important to her that my brother and I had religion. She would wake us up, go back to bed, and my little brother, Ben, and I walked to the neighborhood church a few blocks away for Sunday School. That must be the place I first heard the Bible stories.
I remember how my little girl discussions went with Dad about God. They always ended something like this, "Becky, some people need God. I'm really glad you have him, but Daddy doesn't need God."
One day I walked down the stairs to our basement and saw Dad sitting on the couch reading "The Way" Bible, taking notes, and highlighting portions of it. I was so excited, but I didn't know he was reading the Bible to disprove it, not because he wanted to accept it.
Somewhere around second grade, my family life took a drastic turn. Three doctors in our small town became friends with Dad and invited him to weekly breakfasts with them. They were Christians, but my dad respected them as intellectuals. Eventually Dad said, "They put skin on Christ for me. They could never have argued me into believing, they couldn't have done that. Instead they loved me into the Kingdom. I saw Jesus in them so clearly, I couldn't deny the truth any longer."
My mom became friends with the doctor's wives and other Christian women in town, and she realized that the religion she had grown up with was meaningless without a relationship with God. Her life was empty and her marriage was falling apart. One night as they were about to fall asleep, Mom said, "Roy, I need to become a Christian."
His response was, "Me, too." They prayed together that night and we were all never the same.
I witnessed such a change in Mom and Dad and their marriage, it strengthened my faith in ways I'll never be able to describe.
At that time, we became your typical American Christian family. We went to church together, Mom and Dad got involved with Bible studies, and made great friendships with other Christian families. They were hungry for the Bible.
Ben and I went to Sunday School, summer camps, and as we got older, youth groups.
When people would ask me to share my testimony, I'd always clam up because I didn't think I had a story to tell. It was really my parents' story, I thought. My testimony is their testimony. I didn't have some dramatic life of being addicted to drugs and then healed. I didn't have a huge period of teenage rebellion that led to my life falling apart. There are amazing stories of God's healing in people's lives and how He transformed those lives. The church I go to now is full of stories of God's amazing rescues, but I always just saw myself as the goody goody girl who always believed in God, went to church and youth group, and really had nothing exciting to share. I often joked about making up a more exciting story.
One thing I can do is encourage parents. If you want to be a good parent, you need Jesus. I can personally attest to what a gift it is to children when their parents give their lives to Jesus and raise them to know Him. All of my life I have had the joy of knowing Jesus. I didn't have to ever go through a time without Him. It's a gift to grow up in a Christian home even if you don't end up with a very exciting testimony. : )
When people ask my parents what they did to raise Ben and I so successfully, they laugh and say, "Jesus did it."
My mom would often pray, "Lord, I don't know what I'm doing here. You raise them!"
So, yes, my childhood testimony is my parents' story, but as time has gone on, I've seen how God has been faithful to give me my own story, a story that isn't my mom and dad's story, but Becky's story, but because this post is already so long, I'll have to tell Part 2 tomorrow. : )
Seek the Lord Sunday is a weekly blog carnival hosted my good friend Daiquiri. Stop by and see what other bloggers are talking about this morning and join in. The more the merrier!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
When Pat's dad arrived later in the afternoon, he was treated to the same royal treatment.
Hmmm....King or Jester????
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
When Baby outgrows the newborn size, I'll bring in the 6-9 months from the garage and rotate the clothes. The less stuff in his room to keep organized, the happier I am. : ) I like the uncluttered feel/look.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Today at a playdate, my oldest daughter sat on the floor playing with my friend's baby boy. She looked at me and said, "Mommy, our baby is really going to be born this time!"
Yes he is! Thank you, Lord. Thank you for getting us through the pain to this gift.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Yes, it’s true. I’m still picking on my little brother. (Who by the way isn’t so little any more) : )
Like I said in the Underoos post, Ben was a constant source of entertainment for our little family and the star of some of my best stories. I’m just compelled to tell them. I hope you’ll stick with me to the end of the Little Brother Chronicles because you’ll see that I will make it up to him. : )
You can catch up here:
Little Brother Chronicles Part Two
Big Sister to the Rescue:
Right after “Daddy” and “Mommy”, my little brother’s first words were “Cocoa Puffs.”
He loved to say the words “Cocoa Puffs.”
He loved to eat Cocoa Puffs.
Ben’s love affair with Cocoa Puffs was well known throughout our neighborhood.
He really was cookoo for Cocoa Puffs.
My mom has the greatest cassette recordings of our voices when we were kids. On one you can hear her urging Ben to talk into the microphone.
“Ben, say, ‘Hi Grandma and Grandpa.’”
“No, Ben, Grandma and Grandpa want to hear you talk to them. I’ll get you Cocoa Puffs later. Can you say hi to Grandma and Grandpa?”
“Cocoa Puffs!” He insisted.
“Can you say how old you are?”
Cracking up at his own joke, he answered “Cocoa Puffs!”
She gave up. She didn’t know she had captured a classic Benism on tape. I’m glad he didn’t say “Hi Grandma and Grandpa.” : )
As cute as it was, this obsession with Cocoa Puffs almost cost him dearly, though.
The Bradley kids lived down the ally from us, and one day they snuck into our backyard where Ben was playing all by himself.
“Hey, Ben, you want some Cocoa Puffs?” They held out a tray of chocolate lumps. “We baked homemade Cocoa Puffs JUST FOR YOU!”
Stepping out the backdoor into the yard, I overheard them. Then I remembered….
“No, Ben! Don’t eat it!” The Bradley kids took off running.
Ben was so mad at me for chasing off his friends as he watched them run away laughing, taking his beloved Cocoa Puffs with them. He didn’t know what I knew.
Guess where that tray came from? Guess what the “homemade Cocoa Puffs” really were?
Ben’s lucky he had a big sister watching his back.
The Bradley’s had rabbits! : )
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The best part about this system is it's price: FREE. Parents create an online chore chart and kids check them off as they complete them. Parents grade how well the chores were done, and kids earn handipoints to spend on their online pet. It can also be used to earn rewards/allowance that families set up.
This is actually our second attempt at using Handipoints. Here are some tips that will help you learn from the mistakes that I made:
1. Keep it VERY simple. The first time I tried to use Handipoints I had a morning, afternoon, evening, and weekly checklist. It was just too much. Start out with a simple list so it is easy or this system won't last. You can always add more later. It is only as complicated as you make it and believe me, I made it COMPLICATED last time.
2. It works best for kids who can read so they can do their charts independently. (Our girls just turned 5 an 6). My youngest is a beginning reader, so her big sister will have to help her read the tough words.
For right now, I'm just doing our summer morning routine. They have to have this checked off before they can go out and play with friends.
Enjoy! You can stop by Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.
If you're visiting from WFMW~ Welcome!
Here's my other WFMW posts
Lately I've been blogging about my little brother, Moon Boots, and Underoos. : )
You can learn about me here. Please come back and visit again soon.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I can't wait for my girls to experience the fun of having their own little brother. My big sister heart still fills with love and pride when I think about my little brother. It's always been that way.
I was 2 and 1/2 years old when Mom and Dad brought Baby Benjamin Michael home from the hospital. I was in love from the beginning. So in love, in fact, that my mom had to buy a play pen just to keep him safe from my love. For some reason she didn't like it when I walked out of the bedroom carrying my baby brother like a rag doll, his head held securely in the crook of my elbow.
In the beginning we shared a bedroom in our tiny 1920's bungalow, but when I was in elementary school, Dad remodeled the basement, adding a Master Bedroom. Ben and I were given our own rooms. It was a sad day. We were just across the hall from each other but it felt like miles apart. We kept our bedroom doors opened so we could talk before we fell asleep. Many mornings, I'd wake up with a visitor in my bed. He missed his big sissy.
I'm not just biased when I say my little brother was cute! Completely towheaded with green eyes and a contagious giggle, he was easy to love. He had his very own sense of style, too. Ben's haircut of choice was a crew cut and his outfit was usually a pair of cutoffs, no shirt, and his beloved cowboy boots.
He was a constant source of entertainment for our little family. One summer day, he pulled a disappearing act (one of many) that we still laugh about today.
(Side note: Before I tell the story, I HAVE TO ASK, does this photo bring back memories for anyone else? My Wonder Woman underoos were one of my childhood treasures)
On this particular summer day, Ben's outfit of choice was the red briefs from his Superman underoos and his red rubber Paddington Bear galoshes. That's it. What can I say? He was a minimalist. : )
Mom washed dishes in the kitchen, watching him through the kitchen window while he played in the backyard. I can imagine how she must of felt watching her baby boy, lost in imagination, playing in the backyard in that ridiculous outfit. It must have melted her heart.
For a few minutes, she got distracted from her dishes, looked back out into the yard and realized that Ben was gone. I'm sure she didn't panic at first, but as she continued to call and call and search, Ben was nowhere to be found, and she did start to panic a little.
I had a friend over for the afternoon, so she and I hopped on her banana seat bike and went searching for Ben.
We called and called and searched the neighborhood. How far could he have gone?
We rounded the corner, and at the base of a steep hill we could hear music in the distance. We looked up at the top of the hill as the music came closer and closer. It was the high school marching band practicing again.
As the band crested the hill, we fell off her bike, gasping for air, suddenly struck by uncontrollable laughter.
Marching down the middle of the street to the beat of the drums, proudly leading the way for a bunch of laughing highschoolers, was a towheaded toddler wearing nothing but red Superman briefs and his spiffy Paddington Bear galoshes!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
A pair of Moon Boots in MY SIZE and ON SALE! These boots weren't navy blue or black or brown. It was as if the heavens opened, a ray of sunshine broke through the ceiling, and I beheld the holy grail of Moon Boots. Before me was the most beautiful, gloriously pink pair of boots I had ever seen. You'd be hard pressed to find more girlie boots than these girlie boots. They were pink! Pink boots! And they were mine!
On Christmas Eve, we drove an hour away to Grandma and Grandpa's house to celebrate. Their house was heaven on earth for two little kids. My brother, Ben, and I couldn't get enough of the presents and candies and cookies and eggnog.
No doubt about it, vomiting was going to happen and immediate action was required.
Merry Christmas to me...
I feel better getting this off my chest. : )
Friday, June 6, 2008
Drum roll please.........
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 1
Timestamp: 2008-06-06 23:24:57 UTC
Congratulations Emily! Stop by Emily's blog and see all the gardening work she did this week! Don't forget to leave a comment congratulating her. I'm so impressed by how productive she is in her first trimester of pregnancy. I'd be laying on the couch with my TUMS and saltine crackers. : )
(Emily, email me your mailing address so I can get your Starbucks card in the mail to you.)
If you missed the chance to join us for the W.O.W. Carnival this time, don't worry! We'll play again soon! : )
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
AFTER: Did I do it or not? : )
I truly think that I get the most out of these W.O.W. blog carnivals. : ) Thank you so much for the motivation. Getting our bedroom done during the last carnival and now having the nursery ready to decorate feels so good. (As soon as I figure out what curtains to put up, I'll show you the before and after pics of the decorating I did in our Master Bedroom)
So how did this week go for you? Even if you didn't get everything done that you planned, leave a link below and let us help you celebrate what you did accomplish within one week.
I'll use the Mr. Linky list below and a random number generator to decide on Friday who the Starbucks winner will be. Good Luck! Thanks again for playing along!
I'm interested to know how you all feel about these Within One Week carnivals. Are they fun? Helpful? How often would you like to participate in one? Every other week? Once a month? A couple times a year? I'll use your feedback to decide how often I host the WOW carnival.
Can't wait to see all of your hard work!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
"Mom, I'm Bored!" Edition
Post your ideas for clever ways to keep the kids
occupied during the summer months. And if your ideas are cheap and simple, I'll love you that much more...
It's funny. When I read through the summer rec program here, I was bummed by how expensive it all was. As I looked for what we could do for free, I've found more than we'll probably have time to do. There's the upcoming minor league baseball game that is $1 admission on Family night, the Christian bookstore's story and craft hour, the parks and rec van at the parks on Monday mornings.....the opportunities have filled my calendar.
Happy Summer Everyone!