Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's in a name

If you haven't heard the news yet we found out last Tuesday that we are having a baby girl! We are so excited. It's such a blessing to think about having one of each,the best of both worlds.

We had tossed around a bunch of names and the day we went to the doctor we still weren't sure. It's kind of funny because after the ultrasound all the names we thought of for a girl went out the window. They just didn't seem right. It's funny because the same thing happened with Isaac. I know you don't see the baby in person but it's like when you see them on that screen they become way more real to you. There is an actual little person in there being formed and fashioned by God.

You can't just throw any old name on that baby. I can't help but always think about Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament when I think about names. I mean, doesn't it seem like names are really important to God. I believe they speak of who God wants us to become. Abram's name was changed to Abraham which means "father of many nations". Sarai's name which meant quarrelsome or argumentative was changed to Sarah which meant "Princess". Aren't those awesome meanings.

I always think to myself, "I would never want to name my child something that means 'bitterness', or 'despair'. Don't get me wrong, I know God is redemptive and all that, I just want to start our kids out on a positive note if it's in our power. :) And I also know that some people don't feel the same way about this. That's okay, we can still be friends. I'm not trying to throw my convictions on anyone else. However, this is my blog, and after all it is called "Michelle has Thoughts", and well, these are my thoughts on the matter. :)

In any case, back to the matter at hand. All this to say after some searching, praying and looking at meanings we have decided on a name. Just a first name. The middle will come later.

Brielle Dameron. Who we have affectionately been referring to as "Baby Bri" around here.

You want to know the meaning? It means "God is my strength". It's derived from the name Gabriel, you know, like the angel. :)

We also chose it for another reason. The meaning is so appropriate for our family as a whole during this season. You've heard me say before that this past year has been the hardest in our lives. However, we have to look to the good that has been accomplished in it. That good is that God has taught us to rely on Him and His strength. We would never have made it through with out Him.

So, with Isaac which means "He laughs", it was fitting at that time in our lives because it was so happy. There is no experience like having your first child. The excitement, expectation and unknown all wrapped in a beautiful gift.

It was timely for our family, and so our children become living stones. . . testimonies of God's faithfulness and all that He has done and continues to do in our lives. We will name her Brielle because God truly has taught us in this season to rely on His strength.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It seems like everyone I know took the opportunity to decorate their houses for Christmas this weekend. I love this time of year. Not so much the cold weather, I don't really like to be cold. But truth be told I don't really like the middle of summer either. I like to be "comfortable". :)

Anywho, we started the morning off with a breakfast of Eggnog Pancakes, bacon and eggs. Yum. Unfortunately, their was no bacon to be had for this prego lady, as I am still dealing with this reflux.
Here is a picture of the ingredients, pretty simple. I got the recipe from this website. I did two things different in the recipe. I subbed half of the all purpose flour for wheat flour, and used vegetable oil instead of clarified butter (only cause I didn't feel like messing with the whole butter thing).


Then we unpacked our attic, put up the tree and put up some of the decorations. After lunch the three of us went to a few antique shops. Seems a bit random, but we were looking for a "new" cabinet for the kitchen. We were in luck and stumbled upon a great piece. Thankfully it will hide my unending assortment of cookbooks that were starting to pile up. :)

To fully appreciate this you would have needed to see the metal bakers rack that was here. Isaac will miss his indoor jungle gym.


That afternoon I whipped up a batch of my Great Aunt Babe's Molasses Cookies. I wanted to start a tradition where we would have those family cookies and decorate the tree at night. So, that's what we did! Isaac lasted about 10 minutes. After we ran out of "horsies" to put on the tree he lost interest. That was also about the time the 3 cookies he ate kicked into full gear. He started running around the house and got Daddy to play chase with him. That left me decorating on my own. But I was okay with that. It was nice having the chaos in the background. I love my men being men.






TA-DAAAAH!



This decorating idea I was pretty stoked about. I bought this dessert stand back around Easter at the World Market. I didn't know what else to do with it other than serve food until I came across this post found on The Nester blog. I'm super excited for what other creative ideas this may hold!




Friday, November 26, 2010

{Thanks}giving guest post

I hope all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends! I know I ate well and enjoyed being with my family. My mom and I even did a little Black Friday shopping today. I was mostly excited about the 1/2 price glider we found at Babys-r-us. Major score!

Today I am excited to share with you a post titled "Thankful in the Little Things". You can find it over on my friend Caroline Collie's blog From Africa, with Love. She has been doing a week of posts on Thankfulness. So click on over there and take a look at all the contributions by various writers. I must say the variety and inspiration has been great.

And make sure to check out Caroline's blog after this week. She is an inspiring woman, mother and missionary in South Africa!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Refuge

Good Morning! We are in Stella now for the holidays, and we are super excited to be here! I hope you are having a good week and that you have safe travels for Thanksgiving.

This morning I was spending some time in the Word on my parents back porch and I came across a verse I wanted to share.

Psalm 62:8
"Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us."

You can talk to Him about anything. Any situation. Any circumstance. Any fear. Any failure. Any concern. Any hurt. Any misunderstanding. Any insecurity. Any hope. Any joy. Any desire.

He is a refuge for us. He is the perfect Friend, perfect Father, perfect Counselor that will listen to us. Our secrets are safe with Him. We should feel the liberty to open our hearts to Him. We have our Earthly confidants, which are much needed but there is nothing like the security and refuge of God. I want to encourage you today, if you haven't, pour our your heart to God. He wants to hear from you.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Year Has Come a Gone

Most people would track their year based on the calendar year, and most years I do. But not this year. For some reason I've tracked it from the moment I miscarried last year November 15. I can't explain it but for some reason I thought if I could just make it to the same point the following year I would be okay. Mind you I knew I'd be "okay", it was just a mental hurtle for me. I had big hopes for 2010 when January rolled around, but then it was just one punch after the other. I 'm going somewhere with all of this and I hope not to depress you in the process;)

The night that I miscarried last year started me on a journey that would forever change me and my perceptions of God. My second pregnancy started off kind of rocky with various symptoms that didn't look promising, but we pressed on with prayer. At 8 weeks I started bleeding and having contractions and for some reason unknown to me that baby hung on. We went and had an ultrasound and everything appeared fine. Again we praised Jesus for the miracle. Unfortunately, exactly two weeks later while I was visiting my mom with Isaac I miscarried around midnight. The miscarriage itself was a shock, I had no idea it would get worse. Shortly after, the bleeding was supposed to let up, but it didn't. I ended up on my mother's bathroom floor feeling like I was going to pass out and told her to call the ambulance. The medics got there and shortly after I was being hauled off to the hospital in Morehead City.

Once we arrived they started sticking me with needles to get an IV going. My mom was in the room with me and shortly after Blake showed up around 1:30am (He had to drive from Greenville). The rest of that night is somewhat of a blur. I remember people rushing in an out of the room and being poked and prodded constantly. It was the scariest moment of my life. I literally felt like I was floating, somewhere between life and death. I kept asking the nurses if I was going to live. At one point I remember looking up at Blake and wondering if he would have to raise Isaac on his own. I wish I could say that I had more faith in that moment, but the truth is I didn't. Blake took my hand and he said "Michelle, repeat after me. 'I will live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord.' And so I did, over and over until the point the Doctor in the room told me I was going to need to calm down. :)

So, after an emergency D & C I had 2 blood transfusions and stayed in the hospital the whole next day. My mom and Blake stayed with me the whole time. Meanwhile, my stepdad, the amazing man he is took care of Isaac the whole time. And to top it off our best friends, Kasey and Lee happened to be in town and were able to come to the hospital to visit me. We had already lost one life that night, and God was with us, He spared mine.

I share this story not because I want you to feel sorry for me but because God deserves all the glory. He has done a great work in my life since that moment. After that moment when I would cry out to Jesus, I could feel Him like never before. This has been the hardest year of my life with our various trials, but God's presence has never been more tangible in my life. He has shown me my fears, doubts and misconceptions that I had about Him along the way. Sure, I had a lot of questions about the whole ordeal, who wouldn't? God doesn't mind our questions. And though I didn't find all the answers I wanted, I did find out who Jesus REALLY was in the process.

He is someone I can believe. Someone I can count on. He will never leave me. He will always work things together for good. It was a hard lesson to learn but I'm glad He showed me about my fear of death. I want to be in control and mostly I don't want to be in pain. But those aren't my decisions to make. This past summer I did a Bible study on the Life of Paul, and it has done wonders on my perspective of life. That man endured so much for the sake of the Gospel, and he knew Jesus intimately.

I know this is long and I need to wrap it up. I could write a book on all that Jesus has done in my life this year. So many stories of His faithfulness. So, I will just leave you with one.

A year has come and gone, and this time we are 15 weeks pregnant and having a much healthier pregnancy. Three days before we found out we were pregnant I asked God for a word to stand on. This is what He gave me:

Jeremiah 17:7-8 "Blessed is the woman who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.
For she will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream.
And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit."

I took some liberties with the "she's" and "woman", but that was so that I could make it even more my word to stand on. It was just what I needed. Trust in the Lord. Just like the scripture says the heat did come. The first trimester was a constant battle in my mind. Even so much so, when I was 10 weeks, at our college retreat on the same day Blake and I had the same vision from the devil of me miscarrying. It was the craziest thing. The devil is not creative and we immediately recognized it for what it was. We prayed and the fear left. And though this last year has seemed like a drought in the natural, He was right, I am producing fruit and he or she will be here in May.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Festivities!


We had a fun and busy weekend! It started off Saturday by going to Briley's Pumpkin Patch outside Greenville. I've been wanting to go for weeks, but we have literally had something planned every weekend this month and this was the last weekend they were open to the public! I'm just gonna sum up most of our weekend with pictures:

Isaac on his pony ride!

Isaac was pretty upset we had to leave the tractor, so he pouted his way through the pumpkin patch :) All well, you can't win them all!

All is well in the world, back in view of the tractor!

The next day for Halloween, instead of trick or treating, we went to Aunt Ally and Uncle TD's for a Fall Party and cookout. It was lots of fun! All the kids dressed up except Isaac. He was supposed to be Thomas the Train, but lately he has been non-negotiable about putting on any type of costume! I was a little disappointed, but you can't force your kid to dress up, that would just be traumatic! :)

Daddy dressed up instead to "encourage" Isaac to try it, but the mission was a fail. The picture on the right is all the kids. It's just not a good quality picture unless some of the kids are crying! :)

To finish up our weekend we took Isaac to the Winterville Fire station so he could see all the "Big Trucks"! Our friend Jeremy, who is a fireman, offered to take us. Isaac ran around like a crazy man. He couldn't figure out what truck to look at because there were a few different ones.

Isaac and Jeremy "driving" the Big Truck!

I think this smile sums up how much fun he had!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grammy's Maine Apple Sauce

So, another month has gone by and I'm just now updating again! :) It seems that this morning sickness is finally ebbing off (at 12 weeks) and I am super thankful. I know my house will be thankful.

This past weekend we spent at my mom and dad's place in Stella because I had my 1o year high school reunion. It was fun seeing everyone that came and seeing all their children. Also, Friday night we went to the football game. I was really excited we got there in time for the half-time show with the marching band and colorguard. My hubby has teased me relentlessly for years about being in colorguard and finally he got to see it in action. It is quit a production at my old high school and I have to admit I felt a bit of satisfaction when Blake commented "There are more people on that field than I had in my whole high school!" :)

Anyway, the weekend before last my parents went to Maine to visit my Grammy and they came back with lots of fun presents! They gave us pure maple syrup, 3 bags of apples and lots of other little goodies. Isaac got some books, a shirt, pjs, and his most prized possession a "Big Truck with horsies!!!!"

I have been so excited about the Maine apples! I'm gonna have to come up with some more recipes. I started with homemade apple sauce last night. It's actually probably more like a cross between apple sauce and stewed apples. I thought I would share my grammy's recipe with you.

Grammy's Applesauce

12 Apples ( good cooking apple, ex Cortland is what I used and a few Maccoons. I would not recommend a real grainy apple like Macintosh)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar ( Packed if you want it more sweet, otherwise don't pack it)
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Start by peeling all the apples. Next, cut in half, cut in half again (so now the apple is in quarters, cut the middle core out) Then cut each piece in half again. You want it to be in chunks instead of slices like apple pie.
Get a big pot and fill it with 1 inch of water. You don't want to overdo the water because then it will be soupy. Yuck! Put all your apples and other ingredients in pot and mix together. Bring to a simmer and then cook it on a low simmer. Cook it slow or you will burn it. Stir occasionally and when apples start to break up you can mash the apples with a potato masher. Mash to the consistency you like. I like bigger chucks so I didn't do it too much. Cook to smell and taste, you may like yours sweeter or with more cinnamon. Serve warm or cold!

This is a great applesauce, but you could also use it like this:
filling for apple turnovers
topping crepes or pancakes
topping on a bowl of oatmeal
topping on ice cream or yogurt

This recipe makes a good amount so feel free to freeze some of it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Isaac's Birthday Festivities!


I've got so much I want to update you on and share, but I will have to do it over the next few weeks. For starters, those of you who haven't heard, ISAAC IS GONNA BE A BIG BROTHER! :) That's actually a big reason why I haven't been updating as of late. With my first two pregnancies I felt great morning sick wise but this one has been a completely different story. I have had nausea for the past two weeks pretty much all day everyday. Occasionally, I will get a few hours of a break. But it's pretty difficult dealing with this and keeping Isaac. Blake has done an amazing job helping. He does as much as he can when he's home! He's been so good about helping with Isaac and even doing the dishes! So anyway, we are super excited and I am definitely looking forward to the end of my 1st trimester. . . in about 4-5 weeks! One day at a time :)



Also, this past weekend I went with a group of friends to Durham for the Pure Life Women's Conference. It was a blast. I think they are moving it back to New York next year. We are already trying to plan a road trip for next year! It was so worth it! More to come on that conference in a future post.


Last weekend we had Isaac's birthday party. Lots of food, friends, fun and presents! His actual birthday was today so we did get him a cupcake to celebrate. Here are some pictures from the party and today:The "Bug" cake






Isaac was ready for some "Happy cake"!


Isaac on his birthday. We started a tradition last year where we got him one cupcake from Your Perfect Cake in Greenville. And so the tradition continues this year!

Isaac one year ago!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Day Off

Today was our day off. We had a great day. We ate breakfast and then went over to Boyd Lee Park to walk the trails and then let Isaac play on the playground. On our walk we saw a little green snake, Isaac did not hesitate to touch it and then pull it out of his daddy's hand! Laughing all the while (mommy may have screamed a little in the background). :) After, that he got to play with a worm and some big ants. Then he ran down the trail after Vanderbilt emphatically shouting "go , go" and waving his arms at him.

After the park we ran to Sam's and Blockbuster and then went home for lunch. While Isaac was napping Blake and I watched the Firm because neither one of us had seen it before. When there was about 10 minutes left in the movie Isaac started to wake up. We looked in the video monitor and saw he had taken his pants off and was bouncy around like a crazy man in his crib. We should have gone back there then, but we were trying to finish our movie! :) Sooo, when we get back there he is naked from the waist down and his diaper with "poo poo" is on the floor. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as it could have been but it still needed to be cleaned up. Especially the crib bumper he apparently rode as a horsie. . . after the diaper was off I'm guessing. So I did some laundry and Blake got the Clorox wipes out. All is well now.

Every Monday night Blake has class online from 7 to 9 so I was hanging out with Isaac. As I was giving him his bedtime snack I decided to get started on the dishes. He finished, but I wasn't done so I thought "Hmmm, I think I'll just let him play on his own for a bit". Every time I do this I usually ask myself afterward if it was worth it! :)

Granted I know this isn't horrible but the boy was just crazy! I came in the living room and Isaac was jumping up and down on the couch in his diaper like a wild man. This was after he made sure most of the pillows were off the couch. I just had to laugh.

On the bright side the dishes got done and at least one room is clean! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tailgate

We've been a busy bunch lately. The start of fall with a million football games on the schedule, birthday parties galore, and even a couple of weddings to go to. All that on top of an already busy campus schedule! We are having fun, and I've been sure to take a few naps here and there so I can keep up.
I'm gonna keep this post short and just share some pics from the ECU vs Memphis tailgate. Isaac and I left before the game. He has been a little under the weather with a runny nose and I wanted him to get plenty of rest this afternoon! Tis the season!:)



The Family!




Isaac playing football with Daddy!






Isaac is enamored with the ECU Marching Band. He looooves watching them march and play. Especially the drums. Blake said it's a strong "spirit" he inherited from his mother's high school years and we're gonna have to break it! :) ha ha




I looove this picture! Daddy's and sons are so precious!


Like Father, like Son. This boy is taking the coffee and running! He seriously held this box the whole way home; in his stroller, in the car seat and then walked down our street with it when we got home. He's a peculiar one at times! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pavlova

This past Thursday I ended up making the Pavlova. It turned out great but it's a little sweet, even for me. If I make it again I would probably cut back on the sugar in the meringue.
It's a definitely a different dessert, texture and all. The Pavlova was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Some chefs in Australia and New Zealand wanted to make a dessert for her that was as light and airy as she was when she danced. How flattering! :)

Part of the reason I wanted to try this dessert was because of the egg whites and whipped cream. I hadn't tried either one of those things with my Kitchen Aid yet. Can I say it was a breeze! I was completely amazed! It took like 3 minutes to whip the egg whites into meringue! I was super dooper impressed.



Fresh out of the oven, crunchy on the outside, foamy and chewy on the inside!

Finished product!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not quite the Barefoot Contessa

I'm not sure if it's the start of a new school year or fall approaching, but lately all I've wanted to do is organize, bake and do crafty projects. Don't get me wrong, I haven't completely changed. I didn't say I "liked" cleaning but I do appreciate things being organized. I hope this is the beginning of a new habit, but only time will tell. My hubby affectionately told me the other day to "Slow down, before you burn yourself out" ;) Point taken, will do!

Yesterday, while I was sorting through our desk (bills and receipt's galore) I was watching the Barefoot Contessa. On that episode she made some Irish soda bread. While I was watching I thought "hmmm, I've never had soda bread, it seems an odd thing to make, it doesn't sound super appetizing" But it did look delish and was super easy with a Kitchen Aid mixer. So, today I thought I would try my hand at it. I did switch up a couple things in her recipe. It calls for orange zest which I didn't have and buttermilk. Side note: you can actually make your own buttermilk by adding white vinegar to regular milk but I was out. So I just used half and half and milk. Also, it called for currants, which I've heard of but didn't really know what they where. After looking it up tonight I believe they are really tiny Zante grapes that originated in Greece. I didn't happen to have any lying around so I kicked it eastern NC style with regular raisins.



This was before! (Beware the dough is SUPER wet and sticky)


This is after! I laughed when I took it out because it was so tall and cracked on the bottom half. Not quite the Barefoot Contessa, but it still tasted great!

Tomorrow I may try my hand at a Pavlova which is a dessert made out of meringue, cream and topped with berries. Yummmm. At Sam's this week they have had 12oz containers of organic raspberries for $3.47! That is a steal! I remember they did that last year too. I've already bought 3 containers and I'm hoping they still have them when we get paid on the 1st so I can freeze some.

And just in case you wonder what Isaac has been up to here is a picture.

Wearing his ECU beads and shoes Mama D bought for him for next year.


Isaac's new favorite snack, frozen peas! Who knew? A family friend told us about it last week when we had dinner with them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weeee're Baaack!

Hello there! I know it's been a while. It's been a really busy summer. There have been a few times I've wanted to post and not been able to because of Internet access. Anyhow, we are back in Greenville now and it feels great. I think since June we haven't been in town for more than 3 days at a time!

This summer we went to Texas, met up with some of our ministry partners, got a few new partners, I spent a couple of weeks with my mom, Blake went to VA for a week of school, we went on vacation, Blake had surgery on 2 hernias, Blake went to Harvest Institute in Raleigh, led summer VCM and we went to 2 weddings! I think that pretty much catches us up ;)


This past weekend we went to the Outer Banks for Joel and Hilary's wedding. It was so much fun! It was truly one of the best weddings we've ever been to, and we've been to a lot! ;) I can't wait to see what Jesus does through their marriage!



Blake and Joel at the reception.


The beautiful bride!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chopped

Many of you have probably already seen my new dew on facebook, but just in case you haven't here are some pics!


The hubby loooved it! When I text him a picture after, he responded "hot tamale". And then when I got home he said it reminded him of Jennifer Aniston's hair on friends. To which I replied "Like from the 90's!!!???" I know he meant it as a compliment, so I'll take it ;) ha ha

The best part is I was able to cut off 10 inches and will donate it to locks of love!

* in a recent development, I need to go, I just heard Blake get Isaac up from his nap and ask why his PJ pants are on the floor! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stella Day 3

Today was a great day! I don't know what we are going to do when we get back home. Isaac will probably look at me and say "What? No pool, no river, no beach?" "I'm going back to Stella! " ;)



"Umm, I have a wedgie, Can I come in?"



Isaac and Memere walking to the beach.




Isaac looooved the water. He got brave and started charging the waves. . .mommy was running close behind! ;)

Isaac after his shower at the beach!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stella day 2!


Today we took Isaac back to the river. . .



video


He had lots of fun and met a couple "puppies". He even scolded one of them for playing with Vanderbilt. Isaac came running out of the water and said "no,no,no,no".




No trip to the river is complete without proper shoes. They're hot, I know! Yesterday when we went down to the river the water was murky and warm and I thought " this is a labor of love" (and if we come back I am totally wearing shoes!)

And lastly, I will leave you with a picture of Isaac talking to the cat. I use the work "talking" loosely, it's more like yelling. Isaac also tried to play ball with the cat. The cat responded by hissing at him. I understand. Honestly, who would want a ball flying at them during a nap?

Daddy, we miss you! We can't wait to see you on Friday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fathers Day and Stella

For Father's Day this year we went to Battleboro to visit Blake's parents. We had a great time. We went to church, came home, put Isaac down and had a fantastic lunch!

Don't you love how easy it is to get a family picture with a toddler? :)

He's enjoying life a little better here ( He went to visit the chickens). If you look at his right hand it is clasping tightly to a huge blue and green beetle he found on the porch. He later threw a bit of a fit when mommy made him leave his new friend outside ;)

On Sunday evening Blake had to leave for Virginia Beach for his graduate school course. Whenever Blake has to travel for school I usually take the opportunity to go to my parents house in Stella. Did I mention they have a pool? Oh yeah, we are having a great time! Isaac too :)




Two pairs of goggles and one pair of sunglasses!

Too cool for school. He'll be here all week ladies. ;)

After Isaac's nap we went down to the river and let him wade around. "Wading" turned into him trying to lead us into the middle of the river had we let him! That boy knows no fear!

View from the shore, I love the coast!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Due Date

This past weekend was the due date of our second child. It's a weird feeling. You can't help but wonder what it would be like to have that child here. What would it be like to have two kids right now? As I was thinking about this last weekend I thought "I bet we all go through these feelings". You don't have to have miscarried to have a "due date" in mind.

I think we probably all do it. We have a time period in mind, or a picture of how our future is going to work out. For example "I think I'll be married by the time I'm 25. . ." or "I will be making this amount of money in certain number of years. . " etc, you get the picture.

But what happens when our "due date" comes or even passes and we have nothing to show for it. What if it doesn't turn out how we envisioned? It's pretty easy to get discouraged about it and even lose a little hope.

So let me just preface this next part by saying I didn't just immediately arrive to the following thoughts. It's been a process.

After thinking about this stuff the other morning I reminded myself I need to have a big picture perspective. If I start magnifying a particular incident or event (like the miscarriage) it makes me sad. But if I can pan out a little and look at that in the span of my life it gives me more hope. I also have to look at the other side of the coin. Yes, negative things happen, but so do some really great things. Shouldn't I also look at the positive things that I didn't see in my future? I never saw a relationship with God in my future when I was in college. And I sure never envisioned marring a man that would value me enough to save ourselves until marriage. I never really wanted children, and now I have a little man that brings more joy to my life than I ever imagined.

I guess what it boils down to, is not just focusing on the bad or unpleasant things that have happened but having the right perspective and rejoicing in the good.

These past 9 months were not the path I would have chosen for my life. But I trust God that He knows infinitely more than I do about what I need. He can work this past season for good. It's all about perspective.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's up?

I know it has been a while, sorry for not posting ! This time of year is pretty hectic for us. I call it the "living out of our suitcase" season. That's pretty much what we do from mid May to Mid August every year. It's great because we get to see a lot of people and catch up but it can be exhausting :)


The other thing that is exhausting lately is keeping up with wild man! Isaac does not stop. He is everywhere. Today while I was loading a CD in the DVD player he went into the kitchen and climbed on top of the table. I came around the corner and he was wearing a t-shirt and diaper swinging the light over the table back and forth. I'm just lucky I caught him before he decided to hang from it! (It was funny, but I tried not to let him see me laughing. I also wanted to take a picture but thought that would be encouraging the action, so I opted out of that idea.) :)

This is another example if Isaac's handy work!

Our house pretty much looks like a tornado went through it before nap time.

I hope to write again soon! Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The New Strong-Willed Child

To my great surprise I met my goal and finished "The New Strong-Willed Child". I've been working on it for months and hadn't gotten past the first 3 chapters until this month.

This was a great book. I am by no means an expert now at raising children but I feel much more prepared for the season we are moving into with Isaac. He is somewhat "strong-willed" but I haven't met many toddlers that were not. I think that's just human nature playing itself out.


So what did I learn from this book? Well, I'm glad you asked :)


One of the biggest things was what Dr. Dobson said about the balance between love and control. When the scale tips in either direction is when things get out of whack. He also said in this balance we need to recognize "that implementing a reasonable and consistent action line does not assault self-worth; instead, it represents a source of security for an immature child". The 'action line' was a big thing for me too. That's when you give your child clear boundaries or instructions and they disobey there is a consequence. Your child knows if they do this action, this consequence will happen. But they will push until they know you will react.


This really helped me with a situation we are having with Isaac. For some reason Isaac has a thing for throwing his food and utensils off of his tray when he's eating. He's been doing it for months and we had started doing a slap on the hand when he threw food off. Now, let me say I understand the whole "exploratory" phase but we are way past that. He looks at us sometimes and holds his cup hostage over the side challenging us to see what will happen. We used to give a lot of warnings but this week we started implementing some of the methods Dr. Dobson talks about in his book. We have had a lot less incidents because Isaac now know the first time is it. Mom and Dad mean business. Let me also say we don't scream, yell, or get mad at Isaac. I really appreciated that about this book as well. Dr. Dobson does a good job of describing the difference between controlled discipline and child abuse. We in no way would ever want to belittle or hurt Isaac. But we do have to navigate between shaping the will and preserving his spirit.


Overall, I felt like there was some great straight forward advice and some great insight. Now onto "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollen.