Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Singing "Happy Birthday" and eating loads of chocolate cake with our friends the Liechty's.
Friday, December 28, 2007
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.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
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
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
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here are some of Calvin's friends from Sunday School, also enjoying decorating their cookies.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
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
- 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
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
Friday, December 7, 2007
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 thing...no 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
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, November 10, 2007
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
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
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
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
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
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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
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.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
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.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
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?
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.