Sunday, December 30, 2007

Feminine Appeal

I recently finished reading Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, by Carolyn Mahaney. Mahaney's writing cuts through the confusion surrounding men's and women's roles, and, with great clarity, paints a beautiful picture of what God intends for women to be. She writes in depth about a passage in the Bible, Titus chapter two, which lists seven virtues of a godly woman, virtues in which women are to be trained: loving their husbands, loving their children, self-control, purity, working in the home, kindness, and submission. Mahaney examines each virtue, sharing real life stories and drawing out fresh applications. The bottom line of each virtue, as Mahaney writes, is to make the Gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, attractive to those who do not believe. A great book on an important topic.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Teddy's First Birthday

Teddy's first birthday was just before Christmas (when we couldn't load pictures to the computer!). He had a ball opening his birthday presents...

Playing on his new rocking horse from Grandma Maggie...

Singing "Happy Birthday" and eating loads of chocolate cake with our friends the Liechty's.

We have had you for only one short year, yet we cannot imagine life without you!
Happy Birthday Teddy Dean!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Schmidt Family Christmas

We have had difficulty loading pictures onto our computer over the past couple weeks, but we finally found a solution. Now we can share some of our Christmas pictures! Above is a picture of our family in front of the church Christmas tree last Sunday morning. Our boys are in their adorable matching Christmas outfits from Grandma Patti.

Auntie Lyndsay sent the boys some Christmas pancake molds. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast Christmas "Eve" morning of snowflakes, elves, and snowmen. Calvin was tickled pink to be eating snowmen for breakfast. I think this will turn into a yearly tradition. Thank you Dan and Lyndsay!

This is after the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Sitting in church on Monday night made me think of last year's candlelight service in Minnesota: Holding my tiny, five-day-old Teddy Dean, marveling at his sweet face and tiny hands, while singing about Jesus' birth.

New toys!

Christmas Day at Scott and Marcie's house...The Kids' Table.
Christmas was fun and special this year. But it was different, as well. Family in Minnesota, Seattle, and Houston, we missed you!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Calvin, the defender of truth

Two days before Christmas, Calvin and I went to Target to buy treats for mommies stocking. As the lady checked us out she asked Calvin if Santa Claus was going to bring him presents. He replied, "Santa Claus is not real." She said, "No, he is real and he will bring you presents." Calvin responded, "He is not real!" I told the teller that we told Calvin the truth about Santa Claus, she looked at me like I was the worst parent in the world. Calvin has told a few people, "The lady said there is a Santa Claus and I told her he is not real!"

The speaking truth part is there, we just need to make sure the love part is there. I am very proud of my boy's stand for truth.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas family and friends! We are enjoying our first Christmas in Kentucky. As Kim and I crept into Calvin's room to place his stocking at the foot of his bed, he sat right up and shouted, "Is it time for presents?" (Good thing we have told him the truth about Santa Claus)

Our morning started at 7:00 am with stockings. Then we had a wonderful breakfast. Calvin asked to be excused and stood by his presents patiently waiting until Dad and Mom and Teddy finished eating. When we finally arrived in the living room he was shaking with excitement.

Both Calvin and Teddy Dean loved all of their gifts. Kim and I were the recipient of many wonderful gifts as well. Oh yeah, Calvin is not good at surprises. He whispered to mommy last night as they snuggled in his bed, "I got you Jelly Bellies in your stocking."

After gifts and a nap (for daddy and Teddy Dean) we went for a walk. It is almost 50 degrees and sunny today so this was a wonderful family time. We are getting ready for afternoon naps (yeah!) and then we are off to our friends' home, Scott and Marcie.

As we exchange gifts today, we are remembering the greatest gift ever given: Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas to all, we miss and love all of you dearly.

Friday, December 21, 2007

$.84 of Joy

Ken is not the only one sneaking a treat here and there...

A package of three Ferrero Rocher chocolates, $0.84.

Sitting alone in the van to eat them, priceless.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

$.79 of joy

This morning as I returned from the seminary I passed the Krispy Kreme store just minutes from my home. I had just enough change to have one steaming hot iced donut. Mmmmm, it's the little things...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Preschool Christmas Party

We had a fun time at the church Christmas party for families of preschoolers on Sunday night. As I thought, it was a riot. I played Christmas carols and sang to a fidgety group. The whole time, there was something of a low roar, as all the kids talked, screamed, cried, etc. Pastor Jeff read the Christmas story after that and remarked, "Tough crowd. Kind of like preaching at a nursing home." Very true. The kids enjoyed decorating Christmas cookies. Here is a picture of Calvin with his Sunday School teacher, Miss Becky.

Here are some of Calvin's friends from Sunday School, also enjoying decorating their cookies.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pictures of Our New Home

Here are a few pictures of our new home, decorated for Christmas.

(This one was taken in November.)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Away In A Manger

A couple days ago, Calvin and I worked together to put out our nativity scene. I was so impressed with the care he was taking with each piece, and how interested he was with the whole thing. Since he so enjoyed it, I decided to take the risk of displaying it within reach. Here you can see both Calvin and Teddy examining the manger.

For an hour or more, Calvin played happily by the manger, looking at the baby Jesus and singing, "Away In A Manger." I was in the kitchen, smiling as I listened to him play in the other room. How precious, I thought.

Later in the day, Calvin was alone for a while as I tended to Teddy. I came into the living room to find the nativity pieces strewn about, and the manger grass and shrubs smashed into the carpet. My two-year-old was not so trustworthy after all.

The nativity is now safely displayed above the TV armoire. The three wise men journeying on camels toward Bethlehem are the only pieces within reach.

I guess any hands-on manger activity will need to wait for a couple years. For now, we will talk about the nativity and admire from a distance.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Random thoughts...

  • I just ran out of my supply of Caribou Sumatra Decaf that Pat G. sent down in November. I love Caribou, nothing compares down here.
  • I love bagels. For those of you who know me, this is amazing. I do not know what happened.
  • The Green Bay Packers are having a great season. The beauty of it is that I still have no expectations of them.
  • Baseball is in sad shape.
  • I am studying the book of Genesis. I am more and more persuaded that the point of this book is to tell us who God is and who humanity is and what that means. It was not written to determine how many days creation entailed and to give us an age for the earth.
  • I am also studying the theme of worship. Worship is about engaging with God in the way that He reveals pleases Him.
  • I am excited about Christmas this year. We are having friends over for Christmas Eve from my work and our church. This is going to be a wonderful time of singing Christmas carols and reading the story of the birth of Jesus.
  • I have been home the last two days and been in charge of discipline for Calvin. It is a tiring job. He is in a rebellious stage and needs constant discipline. It is starting to work, his heart is softening and he is obeying more. I am more thankful for Kimberly and all her hard work as I have taken on the role of main disciplinarian.
  • We have great friends. Everywhere we go, God places amazing people in our lives that give generously of their time and talents. The body of Christ is called to minister to one another. I only hope that my family will be a blessing to others as others have been a great blessing to us.
  • I like the weather in Louisville. It is cool now, but not cold. We have yet to have snow. This is a very good thing.
  • I do want snow on Christmas Eve...then I want it to melt quickly.
  • That is it for now...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas At Ninth & O Baptist

The past couple weeks have been an exciting time of attending Christmas events at our church, Ninth & O Baptist. Two weeks ago, the Sunday evening service was "Family Night and Christmas Cookies." All the children went to the worship service with their parents; there were no children's activities or nursery. The service was brief, with a few people sharing their faith stories of how God has worked in their lives, and the children's choirs singing. Afterwards, everyone mingled in the worship center, where tables of Christmas cookies were set out. My boys loved it...the cookies especially, but also playing with all the kids and hearing the music.

Then, last Friday night, our Sunday School class had a Christmas party at church with the senior adult class. We had a wonderful dinner. Calvin and Teddy each had two helpings of sweet potato casserole. It was nice to meet some more of the seniors at church. We've met so few at this point. The seniors doted on all the children in our group. Anyway, it was just a great night, tons of fun. Calvin made a new friend named Gracie; they chased one another around and fought "monsters" hiding around the Christmas tree.

On Sunday evening, the church's choir and orchestra performed a concert entitled, "Love's Pure Light." It was fabulous! If they had done the same concert three nights in a row, I would have been there every night. The songs and narrations helped me set my heart on Jesus during this Christmas season. They sang about Jesus being Emmanuel, God with us. Ever since the concert, I have been meditating on Emmanuel, God becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us.

This coming Sunday, we will attend yet another party at church, this time for all the families of preschoolers. That should be a riot. I will be leading the group in Christmas carols

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teddy Dean is definitely related to his daddy

Well, Teddy Dean has proven that he is related to his daddy. He is a major carnivore. He loves sausage, fried chicken, hamburger, turkey, pepperoni, etc. If it is meat he will devour it.


Today is one of those days I have been dreaming about since I knew that I would be living in Louisville. It is December 11th and the temperature is 66 degrees! Kim and the boys went for a play date in the park with some friends and did not even think about putting on a jacket.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thoughts On Moving

Well, we are moved into our new home, a house in Louisville that we are renting from some acquaintances. Our move has had its stressful moments, but we are safe and sound and somewhat settled in.

Even though we are unorganized, have a Green Bay Packers blanket covering one window (Ken doesn't mind), empty boxes strewn about the back entry, and all the wall hangings piled up in our bedroom, we are enjoying the house and feel very blessed by what God has provided.

The first big blessing is that we have three bedrooms. Teddy is sleeping in his own room for the first time, which means Ken and I have our own room again! No more sneaking in and out of our bedroom (which didn't really keep Ted from waking anyway). Everyone is sleeping much better with this arrangement.

The house has mostly wood floors, which is fun for the boys. Calvin calls it our "wood home"; he has been busy racing all his cars. The boys are loving the extra space to play and chase each other.

We are enjoying how quiet the house is compared to our apartment. This is also making for better sleeping for everyone. Ahhhh....

And, one more wonderful cigarette smoke from neighbors.

Here are some of my opinions about moving in general:

  • When the kitchen is unpacked, it feels like home.

  • In-town moves are tons easier than out-of-state moves.

  • When there are more urgent family and household needs than can possibly be tackled immediately, take Carolyn Mahaney's advice to focus on food and clothing. I will add to that beds and garbage removal. Very important.

  • The children adjust easier than I do. I guess I'm 28 and unflexible.

  • Being without a telephone for a few days is challenging. But payphones do still exist and work quite well.

Please email us to get our new address.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A little break...

We will be offline for a few days. We are moving into a house tomorrow. Blessings!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thankful Today

It really is the Christmas season now, but I am still caught up in the Thanksgiving season. I've been thinking about all the good gifts God has given us. Here are just a few things I am thankful for today:

1. My boys are playing contentedly by themselves right now.
2. Infant Tylenol (Teddy is teething).
3. The house we are moving into on Saturday! God has provided beyond what we could ask or imagine.
4. The kind strangers who assisted me when I had car trouble three nights ago. And the teachable moment with Calvin afterward. We drove away singing, "God is so good," and "He cares for me."
5. The three families who invited us to their homes for Thanksgiving; we could only accept two invitations. We were blessed by the hospitality extended to us.
6. The warm, sunny weather today. The boys and I went this afternoon to one of our favorite playgrounds and played in the sunshine.
7. The fun Christmas event I went to last night called a Christmas Exchange. It sparked my creativity for gift-giving and evangelistic hospitality.

God gives us good things because He is good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ken's top ten books

Kimberly and I love to read. We are reading constantly. There are some books that we would love to read again and again. Here is a list (in no particular order) of books that I will read again and again.

The Firm by John Grisham
The Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit) by J. R. R. Tolkien
Christianity & Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
The Cross of Christ by John Stott
According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
Tell the Truth by Will Metzger
The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware
Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Christopher J. H. Wright

Give Thanks to the LORD!

"Give thanks to the LORD!" is a familiar phrase that rings out throughout the Bible. Twenty-nine times we are instructed to give thanks to the LORD. This is a great time to meditate on this command. Why should we give thanks to the LORD? We are given many reasons in the Bible. First, because He is good and His love endures forever (Ps 106 & 107). Second, because of His righteousness (Ps 7:17). Third, because He is the believer's strength and shield (Ps 28:7). Fourth, because of His unfailing love and deeds for men (Ps 107:8, 15, 21, 31). Fifth, He gives believers victory through Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57). And sixth, because He has great power and has begun to reign (Rev 11:17).

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? I want to encourage you to read Psalm 107 as part of your Thanksgiving celebration. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good and His love endures forever!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Don Whitney was assigned reading for my Seminary Wives Institute course called Discipleship I and II. I first read this book in 1999 and it transformed my devotional time. It was a pleasure reading this book again, and I learned even more this time. The disciplines explained in this book are Bible intake (including hearing, reading, studying, and memorizing God's word; meditating on and applying God's word), prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning.

My favorite part of the book is Whitney's chapter on prayer, and how we can learn to pray by meditating on Scripture. He says, "Meditation is the missing link between Bible intake and prayer. The two are often disjointed when they should be united. We read the Bible, close it, and then try to shift gears into prayer...meditation allows us to take what God has said to us and think deeply on it, digest it, and then speak to God about it in meaningful prayer. As a result, we pray about what we've encountered in the Bible, now personalized through meditation. And not only do we have something substantial to say in prayer, and the confidence that we are praying God's thoughts to Him, but we transition smoothly into prayer with a passion for what we're praying about." Especially if you are ever bored with prayer or feel it is a chore, consider exploring this "missing link." This is also a great principle to use when leading prayer groups or meetings.

A little nugget in the end of the book was particularly meaningful to me this time through. In the chapter on perseverance in the disciplines it says this: "If you are simply waiting until you have more time for the Spiritual Disciplines, you never will...Because life never really settles down, because we will always have plenty of things to do, if we are ever going to make progress in Godliness through the Spiritual Disciplines it must be done when life is like it is now."

Whitney emphasizes throughout the book that the disciplines are for the purpose of godliness. Not to show off or be puffed up or legalistic, but to pursue godliness. I have enjoyed the past twelve weeks of Discipleship class, meeting with this group of ministry wives, and pursuing godliness together.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thoughts after one semester...

Classes are done! I have a week off and then I take four finals and the first semester is complete. I want to share some thoughts about seminary over the next two weeks. My first thought is this: Choose the books you read carefully. Kimberly and I have both been affirmed that we have chosen good books to read. In each of the classes we have taken we have owned and read about half of the books that were required. There are so many good books out there. Let me encourage you to read and to read wisely. Read your Bible daily. Read good theological books, books about Jesus, the trinity, spiritual disciplines, etc. Read biographies and autobiographies of people like Hudson Taylor, George Mueller, Jonathan Edwards. Read to your children. You will be amazed at how much they pick up and how much you learn as well. Enough thoughts for today, however, I would like to hear from you. What books would you recommend? What book would you read again? I will be compiling my top ten list sometime in the next week or two and will post it when finished.

p.s. Reading fiction is fine, actually we love to read fiction. My caution to you is this: do not read fiction alone. If you love fiction and that is all you read, start alternating between fiction and good theology and biography.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Fun Season

This NFL season has been fun to watch. A great joy for me has been watching the Packers win more games in the first half of the season than I thought they would win all year. This has been a pleasant surprise. But the great joy of the season has been Calvin's enthusiastic love for the Packers this year. On Sunday we sat together and cheered the Packers on to another victory (a 34-0 demolition of the Vikings...ok, I took too much joy in writing that, please forgive me). As I think about it, I find more joy in spending time doing what I love (watching the Packers) with one of the three most important people on this earth. With the boys growing up so quickly, I find myself enjoying every moment I get with them. Being a father and a husband is such a great gift from our heavenly Father.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Jesus Storybook Bible

A couple of months ago, we purchased for our family a wonderful new children's Bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers his name. We have now read through this Bible two times with Calvin. It is quite delightful and Calvin loves it.

Each Bible story is 4-6 pages of text. At first, I thought it was going to be too much for a two-year-old. Really, though, it is written in such an engaging way, with great illustrations, that Calvin is hooked. Every so often, the illustration and text will be turned vertically down two pages--an extra fun element.

But here is the best part: it teaches children that the entire Bible is about Jesus. For example, tonight we read Noah and the ark. The end of the story reads like this, "It wasn't long before everything went wrong again, but God wasn't surprised, he knew this would happen. That's why, before the beginning of time, he had another plan--a better plan. A plan not to destroy the world [by flood], but to rescue it--a plan to one day send his own Son, the Rescuer. "

And this from the story of Joseph: "One day, God would send another Prince, a young Prince whose heart would break. Like Joseph, he would leave his home and his Father. His brothers would hate him and want him dead. He would be sold for pieces of silver. He would be punished even though he had done nothing wrong. But God would use everything that happened to this young Prince--even the bad things--to do something good: to forgive the sins of the whole world."

This Bible is probably best for ages 2-6, perhaps even a little older, and would be good for young readers, too. The parenthetical text is sometimes a little too silly for a Bible, and I often skip those parts. Aside from that, a wonderful children's Bible!

Friday, November 9, 2007


There's no one who could possibly delight in Calvin and Teddy as much as Ken and I do. But their grandparents are a close second. Grandpa John and Grandma Patti visited us this week. For five days, we were able to share with them the joy of hearing Calvin sing and say funny things, watching Teddy try to take steps on his own, seeing the boys play together and wrestle, and discovering Teddy's first tooth. Teddy Dean was nearly inseparable from Grandpa. He cried whenever Grandpa put him down or handed him over or left the room. Grandpa and Grandma did all the special things that grandparents do, like new toys and treats and Chuck E. Cheese. Grandparents sure make life extra fun for little boys.

On Thursday, we drove to the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky, to see the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. It was a beautiful day, sunny and full of fall color. The village was serene, well preserved, and quite a learning experience.

Thanks for coming, Grandpa and Grandma!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Green Bay Packers and Calvin

Well, Calvin has officially become a Packers fan. Ask him and he will tell you that his favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers. On Tuesday morning we awakened and went right for the computer to find out if the Packers won. When Calvin saw Brett Favre's picture on the computer he gave me a high five and shouted woo-hoo.

Calvin also officially knows that daddy is a softy and he knows how to exploit my weaknesses. He gets one jelly belly for going #1 in the potty and two for #2. The other day he went #1 and asked me, "Can I have two jelly bellies daddy, one green and one yellow for the Green Bay Packers?" I gave him two and a big hug and a kiss.

Teddy isn't speaking yet, but he cheers for the Packers and he tackles daddy, so he has football in his blood. His new trick is waving at everybody. Calvin and Teddy were able to pet and feed a giraffe at the zoo today! We learned that giraffes do not bite when they fight. They swing their necks and bonk each other with their heads! Calvin thought that was funny.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Breci

Calvin received a wonderful gift in the mail this afternoon: tattoos and stickers! He stopped just long enough for us to snap a photo of his 'tattooed' body. Calvin wanted to say thank you Mr. and Mrs. Breci!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Pumpkin Pictures

Pumpkin Carving

Today, we had planned to drive to southern Indiana with our Sunday school class and go to Huber Farms. But the boys and I woke up sick with colds, so we stayed home. We had already hyped up the farm, though, so after a day of resting, we did a little farm activity of our own. We went to a "pumpkin farm" (a nearby fruit market) and bought two pumpkins to carve. Ken roasted the pumkin seeds, and we are enjoying them right now before bedtime.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Without Complaining

This morning at breakfast, I told Calvin that we would be going grocery shopping at Meijer today, to buy food for our family. As I looked at his face, I could see it sink in: this was shopping day. I braced myself for whining and complaining. There has been a lot of whining and complaining coming from his mouth lately, so I've been teaching him Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without complaining." To my delight and complete surprise, he said, "I would love to go to Meijer today." Wow.

Training Calvin to do everything without complaining has been convicting for me. Do I model for him what it looks like not to complain about work, chores, tiredness, people? Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Friday, October 19, 2007


In our home, the word "treats" produces squeals of delight. Calvin loves treats. We really try to make them special. For example, Kim and Calvin have a special date every once in while in which they go to the muffin store. Anytime momma is at school, Calvin and daddy have popcorn and watch football (we had to adjust last night and watch baseball). We've had a few special treats in the last couple of days. Jonathan and Yvonne Caldwell and their children Abigail, Annalise and Andrew stopped in Louisville for a day on their way home from a children's ministry conference in Nashville. We had a great time swimming, playing and chatting. This was our first treat. This afternoon momma made a special treat for her boys. Asian Chicken Mushroom soup for daddy, caramel apples for Calvin (mom and dad might have had some too...), and caramel for Teddy Dean! We love treats!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Training Children To Be Responsible

I have been thinking lately about the ways Calvin is becoming more responsible and how I can challenge him with even greater responsibility. Calvin is currently expected to:

  • Take his dishes to the sink after meals and snacks
  • Put his dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Do his potty routine completely
  • Pick up his toys at the end of the day
  • Respect his library materials
  • Put his shoes away when we come home from outings
  • Make things right when he has been disobedient, sinned against a friend or brother, or hurt someone

The challenge I'm giving him this week is dressing and undressing himself. He is able to do it, and has done it many times. But he wants me to do it for him. I'm encouraging him to do it all the way by himself, to embrace responsibility and reject laziness. A big concept for a two-year-old, I know, but I am always amazed what he can learn if I take the time to teach.

I have been using a prayer calendar called, "A Parent's Prayer Program" by Bob Hostetler. Today's prayer, providentially, was for responsibility. It reads, "Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load.' (Galatians 6:5)." My desire is that my sons will grow to be men who take responsibility for their own work, their manners, tongues, relationships, time, commitments, and who take responsibility for their own sin. That they would be men who follow through and whose word means something because they are responsible. Praying Galatians 6:5 for my boys has encouraged me to persevere in teaching them responsibility, for it is important and God-honoring.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Don't Make Me Count to Three!

I recently read "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Ginger Plowman. This book is very much influenced by Tedd Tripp's well-known book, Shepherding A Child's Heart. Both books present the same parenting philosophy: effective, biblical parenting is not just correcting outward behavior, but reaching and shaping your child's heart. But where Tripp's book is heavy on theory, Ginger Plowman gets much more practical. She gives words to say for specific situations, ideas of scriptures to memorize and use when correcting and training, and a chart of heart probing questions to ask your child.

Her chapter, "Training Children in Righteousness," was especially helpful to me. It is based on Ephesians 4:22-24, which says, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Plowman's point in this chapter is that we can't just tell our children that their behavior is bad, they shouldn't do it, and give them some form of punishment. We also need to train them how to "put on the new self." We need to show them what they should do just as much as we need to tell them what they shouldn't do.

This morning I had an opportunity to put this into practice. Calvin was on the floor reading a book when Teddy crawled over and started grabbing at it. Calvin yelled at Teddy and pushed him away. Teddy, of course, cried. I told Calvin that he was not to push his brother, and in doing so he was thinking only of himself ("put off your old self"). Calvin apologized to Teddy and asked for forgiveness. Then, I told Calvin, "Teddy wants to read also. You can be kind to him by finding him some board books. And you can sit on the couch, out of his way, where you won't be tempting him to grab your book." (this is how he can "put on the new self").

Many of you seasoned parents already know this concept and have practiced it for years, I'm sure. I'm new at this and at times feel that it takes more patience, wisdom, and creativity than I possess. But I am grateful for the wise, biblical advice of Ginger Plowman, and would highly recommend this book.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Training My Children

I've been learning more lately about training my children, and I don't just mean potty training. I mean bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). The rules for Teddy at this point are simple: don't touch the houseplants, don't touch electrical cords, and don't swat at the spoon when I'm feeding you. But his rules and boundaries will soon become more complex, just as Calvin's have. Ken and I, when we correct and instruct Calvin, are doing our best to train his heart. It's difficult, challenging, exhausting, and rewarding. I have a lot of learning and growing to do in effectively reaching the hearts of my children. One section of my Essentials I class for the Seminary Wives Institute addressed biblical parenting. That certainly got my brain thinking about what it means to teach and train, correct and rebuke my children. Mrs. Mohler also spoke to us about praying for our children, and gave us some wonderful ideas and resources. I also just read a great book about biblical parenting. Over the next few days, I plan to blog about the subject and unpack some of what I've learned.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Teen or Two?

Is Calvin two or is he fifteen? On mornings like this, it's hard to tell. I went into his room at 8 a.m. to wake him. He pulled his blanket over his head and said, "I want ten more minutes!"

At other times, however, he talks much more like a two-year-old. He favors "f" sounds in his speech. For example, "Mama, I'm firsty. May I have a fink of water?"

Ken taught Calvin how to thank me for making meals. Cal does it often, and not just right after a meal. When he gets up from a nap, or as we're climbing out of the van, or after we read a story, I'll hear, "Thank you for the wonderful dinner, Mama." That is always nice to hear, no matter what time it is.

Meanwhile, Teddy is enjoying a rich environment on a shoestring budget. This morning he played with a flashlight while Calvin and I sang, "This Little Light of Mine." Later, while I was preparing a meal, Teddy made music with some pots and a wooden spoon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Kissing Bandit

Well, Teddy Dean has officially become 'The Kissing Bandit.' He loves to kiss his momma. When she is holding him he will look her in the eyes and plant a long, open-mouthed kiss right on her lips. Teddy Dean also kisses me, but not as much as he does with momma. Can you blame him?

Daddy's Little Football Players

Notice the end-zone dance he is already practicing.

Here are my football players. They are naturals. Calvin loves to run me over with the ball, he is looking like a fullback in a tailback's body.

Teddy Dean loves to go after the ball as it rolls around on the floor. He's got a nose for the football, looks like a defensive lineman to me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Day Off

Ken gave me a wonderful gift today...a day off! I left home just as the boys were waking up, before all the morning diapers, potty-ing, breakfast, and dressing took place. I came home for lunch, but left before it was time to do the dishes and the next round of diapers and potty-ing. And then I stayed away until after nap time. Amazing!

I used the day to take a prayer walk, have extended time with the Lord, and to finish reading a book about parenting. It was refreshing and restful. A side benefit of this day, which I pretty much spent in silence and solitude, was that I could rest my voice (I lost it three days ago).

Have I mentioned that I have the best husband in the whole world?

Date night!

Last night was date night. The reason this was such a special date night is because it was our first in Louisville. One of our friends, Kelly, blessed us by offering to watch the boys. Calvin and Teddy Dean were thrilled that Mrs. Kantorski was coming over to play with them. To say that Calvin has a crush on Mrs. Kantorski would be an understatement. He adores her.

We spent the evening on Bardstown Road. This is the area of Louisville that is quite eclectic, resembling Grand Avenue in St. Paul and Uptown in Minneapolis. We walked up and down the road taking in all the shops and sidewalk restaurants. We had been advised to have a pizza from Wicks. Wicks is known for its 10 pound 'Big Wick' Pizza! No, we did not have the 'Big Wick', but we did enjoy a fantastic Italian sausage and green olive pizza pie. After that we walked the road again and I had a cup of coffee from Highland Coffee shop. It was the best cup of coffee I have had since coming to Louisville. I still miss Caribou though.

The great thing about date night is spending time together. We just love being together. Isn't it great that God gave us the gift of marriage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Calvin & Mr. Toby

A while ago, we blogged about Calvin's fascination with bowties. The reason he loves bowties is because Mr. Toby wears bowties. We had Mr. Toby (Toby Jennings) over for lunch after church on Sunday. Calvin was thrilled! Here is a picture of Calvin and Mr. Toby reading after lunch.

Mama's little helper

Teddy loves to help with dishes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Watching The Wiggles

My boys sat together yesterday and watched the Wiggles for a few minutes. It's delightful to see them play together and want to be near one another.