Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Training Day

Since Easter is this weekend I thought it would be fun for Isaac and I to do some Easter activities this week. We started off the afternoon with a practice Easter egg hunt. That's right, practice. We've got a big hunt coming up this weekend at Boyd Lee and we've gotta be ready. Blake and I are thinking maybe two-a-days until Saturday. What do you think? ;)

Just kidding, honestly I wondered if Isaac would even know what to do with an egg and a basket. Surprisingly he did! I told him to put the egg in the basket and he did it over and over. I was shocked, I thought for sure he would get distracted.

So, the egg hunt ended up being a success with Isaac. After that I thought, "Hey, let's dye some eggs!" I know what you're thinking. 'Isaac is 18 months, she can't possibly be serious?!'

Well I wasn't completely naive. I knew I would have to do the dying but I thought maybe he would like to watch. Hahaha, yeah right. He didn't want to watch. It turned into a crying fit because he wanted to touch everything. So, I held him and we did the eggs together. After that they had to dry and it was time for Isaac's nap. Later that evening while we were waiting for dinner to finish cooking I thought Isaac and I could "decorate" the eggs.

I'm not exactly sure what planet I was on when I thought this was a good idea. So, we "decorate" the eggs and it ended in an all out egg-splotion! :) After I got over the "hey, that's not how you do that" I was okay. I saw that he preferred to crush the eggs than to decorate them and if he's happy then I'm happy! Crush on Isaac, crush on.

"Mom seriously? What am I supposed to do with this?"

"Okay, so let me get this straight. I'm not supposed to eat them. . ."

"How bout this, I'll just slam my fists down on them and then poke at the remains?" :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Campus Harvest: One God, All Nations

We just got back from an awesome weekend at our annual college conference, Campus Harvest. The theme this year was One God, All Nations. It was awesome!

Even though we stayed up past one a.m. for almost 3 nights in a row I am pretty energized. It actually kind of felt like a break because Isaac went to visit his grandparents for the weekend. ;) We hadn't been away from Isaac since the fall retreat in september!

The weekend was great. We saw students give theirs lives to Christ, 117 got baptized in water and some responded to a call for ministry (giving a couple years or more to ministry in a full time capacity).

The speakers this year were great as well. As always, I really enjoyed hearing from Lynette Lewis. She spoke on a message she titled "Our Story, His Glory". She shared personal experiences and said sometimes there are 'chapters' in our lives that we wouldn't have chosen, but in that we need to give God glory, and even let his Glory be seen through our story. She also said we need to change our perspective sometimes and span out. Occationally we can get to a point that we look at our lives through a microscope and that doesn't give us an accurate picture of what's happening. Oh my, it was so good. If they put it on podcast I'll put a link on here later. It's definately worth hearing straight from her.

The following is a video I took with my camera during worship Saturday night, pardon the sound quality ;)

Worship was awesome. The speakers were awesome. And the fellowship was definately awesome. I enjoyed hanging out with peeps kid free! I'm so thankful for all that God did in our students lives this weekend!

Blake and me Saturday morning.

When we picked up Isaac he wanted to go next door to the Belton's to visit the horses before we came back to Greenville! That boy loves him an animal!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

God don't go to pity parties!

Yes, you read it correctly. "God don't go to pity parties". I thought this to myself as the day progressed.

You see, it has been a relatively busy week gearing up for our annual college conference, Campus Harvest. I'm thinking logistics, trying to get laundry done, pack the house for Isaac and leaving our house in some state of insanity. . . oops I mean sanity.

Also, I really wanted to go to our weekly campus meeting that was tonight to hear Rice Broocks! This was huge that he came to ECU! But, unfortunately there was not a babysitter to be had. I don't blame them, I would totally want to go to. :) My point. . . I wanted to go but couldn't. I guess on the bright side I will get to hear him speak this weekend.

So with that already on my mind I woke up this morning and took Isaac to the doctor. I thought he had allergies because of his runny nose and watery eyes last week but just wanted to get him checked before we left town. So, we go and I find out the poor little guy has his first ear infection and wheezing! I'm am so thankful we caught it when we did because he doesn't seem that bothered by either thing. Today was my first experience with the nebulizer (breathing machine). They should just call it the "Mommy torture machine". Seriously, they had me hold down my 18 month old for FIVE minutes with a mask on his face while he screamed and kicked the whole time. I'm sure people could hear him in the next county. I was most definitely on the verge of tears at the end of that one. So, all that to say we have a lovely little antibiotic and breathing treatment for home. They were nice enough to "give" me the treatment stuff at the office. I'm sure they will be greatly compensated on our next bill. ;)

By mid morning I was in an all out mental pity party. Since I have a child and that does not allow me the luxury of an actual pity party. An actual pity party would consist of a nap, maybe a movie, and definitely some chocolate.

Thankfully, Hannah and I had already scheduled a time to get together with Isaac and Eisley today so that saved me! ha ha :) I had a great time hanging out with them and I think Isaac enjoyed himself very much too!

By lunch I was feeling much better and reminded myself of something Mrs. Irene said at our Lifegroup, "God don't go to pity parties. The only ones there are you and the devil". It's so true. I needed that!

Isaac after his breathing treatment.

Isaac after our trip to the pharmacy. The nice lady gave him a "get well" bear.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lately I've felt a little like Alice. . .

As of late I have had about a billion thoughts rolling through my head! So I wanted to attempt to share some of them. This may get a little lengthy, so if you're short on time you may want to come back later ;)

Last weekend, Blake and I were blessed by his parents to take a date night to Raleigh for the evening. We ended up seeing Alice in Wonderland at the IMAX and then going to dinner afterwards. As I was watching the movie (especially the end) I thought "Man, that's a good analogy for life".

If you haven't seen the movie yet, I will attempt to explain the scene I am refering to but it is definately better when you see it.

On a side note before I get into that let me just preface this with saying this past 6 months has been the hardest 6 months of my life. It all started October 1st with our second pregnancy, that started off shaky and ended at 10 weeks with a trip to the ER and 2 blood transfusions. A week later our Sequoia got totalled with Blake and Isaac in it. That same week we found out something was wrong with Isaac's eye and he might need surgery. Fast foward a couple months, I'm thinking the worst has to be behind us and then Blake ends up going to the ER with a kidney stone. The man has never been to the ER before this! Then two weeks later, and two weeks before Isaac's eye surgery I break out in hives all over my body. I seriously thought I was having an allergic reaction. I couldn't breath well, I was shaking uncontrollably and thought I was gonna pass out. It was scary. Blake took me to an urgency care place that closed as soon as we got to the door, so that left the ER . . again. So, this time we decided to stay in the car and pray because of the last bill we had recieved :)

Anyway, we ended up going home and I went to the doctor that week and they did a bunch of blood tests. They named off a whole bunch of things it "could be" that were scary and I didn't want. That appointment ended in me going to a thyroid specialist which ended with all my results being normal. Praise God! But you know what I did find out? I had a serious case of panic and anxiety.

I think that my body had just been through so much it finally just shut down and said "I can't take it anymore!!". If someone had told me all the stuff that I felt that week that I had the hives I would have believed them but I'm not sure how much I would have understood. Anxeity is a very real thing and it can do crazy things to your body. I am for sure that part of it was spiritual warfare and man was it intense. I remember the day after the episode I went to church and half way through worship I thought I was going to pass out and my chest felt really tight like it was being squeezed. My friend Kasey got Mrs. Irene over there to pray for me and as soon as she put her hands on me whatever was holding my chest let go. (The devil doesn't like Mrs. Irene, I think he is scared of her, as he should be) :)

So, here I am a month later and doing much better. It has been a day by day fight, but thanks be to God who always leads me to triumph in Christ! As I said earlier, it has been a rough six months and there have been plenty of tears but one thing that has been certain, God has been there. I can't imagine having walked through all of this without Jesus. He is the reason I made it through. The awesome part about it, is that through it I could hear God like never before. His Word became alive. I felt alive every time I opened my Bible and read His promises. One of my favorites was Psalm 138:3 "On the day I called, You answered me; you made me bold with strength in my soul"

Okay, back to Alice in Wonderland. All through the movie the Caterpillar kept telling Alice she wasn't the "right" Alice. And she would say "But it's my dream, how can I not be the right Alice?!" And he would say "Well, I don't know but you're not her".

Then all the characters kept telling Alice that according to the scroll she was supposed to fight the Red Queens Jabberwocky (this horribly ugly dragon). The Mad Hatter said it was up to her, she was the only one that could do it.

That was so relevant to me in this season with battling anxiety. I'm the only one that can fight this battle. Obviously I know Jesus and I do it, but I mean Blake can't do it for me. My mom can't do it for me. My friends can't do it for me. I have to learn to battle. I have to learn the schemes that the devil uses. Anxiety is my battle, but it could be anything for other people; alcohol, drugs, lust, cheating, pride. We all have our battles.

Then at the end of the movie the Red Queen and the White Queen come with their champions to fight. Alice vs. the Jabberwocky. Before the battle the Caterpillar tells Alice that she is now the right Alice. The journey has made her who she was supposed to be.

So, Alice and the Jabberwocky fight. At one point Alice takes her sword out and cuts the Jabberwocky's tongue off! Yuck, but yeah! That's what we have to do with the devil. Cut his tongue off. He is the father of lies, and we don't need to listen to his ridiculous accusations. And, of course in the end, Alice kills the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen is exiled.

It all ends as it should. I know the end of my story too. Devil you will not win. Jesus wins and He will bring to completion the plans He has for my life and yours.

I thank God that He has never left me in this season. During the roughest times I would have to make a choice minute by minute, then hour by hour and day by day to trust Jesus. And He has been faithful.

One last verse I will leave with you is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

My hope in writing this is that it would be an encouragement and comfort to others. Even when life doesn't go as you planned it, God is there and He cares for you. The end will be greater than the beginning!

*picture from LA Times article :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mom to Mom: From My Kitchen to Yours

My friend Jessica is hosting a blog carnival for moms to share food ideas for little kiddos and I've decided to join in on the fun! I sure could use some more creativity in our snack department!

As a family we do try to eat pretty healthy, but we are sure not above eatting out or having wonderful homemade desserts. That being said, I usually make Isaac eat more healthy than Blake and I. :)

When Isaac was just starting to eat solids I did a lot of mashed avacado and purees that I would freeze. That was easy and more economical for us, plus I felt good about what we were feeding our child. I hope to do this with our future kids but you throw a couple of more kids in the mix who knows what I'll do! So just know, if you don't make your own food, I won't "judge" you ;)

My two favorite cook books for kids food right now are Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and So Easy by Ellie Krieger (which is not for kids, but is healthy and Isaac loves a lot of stuff in there)

This is what we typically eat:

Oatmeal mostly because that's what fills Isaac the best. I used to do oatmeal, apple juice, and prunes mixed together and microwaved but lately I've been using a recipe from Ellie Krieger's book.http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/vanilla-spice-oatmeal-recipe/index.html This is Isaac's FAVORITE breakfast right now, the boy downs it!
Sometimes I make bran muffins with dates, or pancakes. Usually we try to make breakfast pretty heavy.

Lunch: Leftovers from dinner the night before, or a sandwich (peanut butter and jelly or honey, grilled cheese, or tuna sandwich) Usually we also have some kind of fruit (usually banana, apple, or clementine) I can't wait for summer fruit!!!! That will be a nice change. And if Isaac happens to see my baked potato chips I will give him some of those too.

Dinner: That could be a million different things, but I'll just list our latest ruts.
Lemon pepper chicken, cooked carrots and cabbage (without water), and a starch (rice or potato).
Italian (spaghetti and salad, chicken Parmesan, manacotti and salad)
For Isaac, the mac and cheese from Deceptively Delicious is his favorite.http://www.oprah.com/food/Macaroni-and-Cheese-1-with-Butternut-Squash-or-Cauliflower We usually pair that with some frozen sweet peas. That recipe also freezes well if you make it one night for the kids and then put it in snack baggies for a single portion.

Snacks: We are definitely in a rut on this one! Goldfish, goldfish, goldfish!!! And toasted wheat chexs (generic kind) :), I've tried raisins, but they usually end up ALL over the house instead of Isaac's mouth. When we have the opportunity to be home during snack time I'll put him in his high chair and give him Yo-Baby yogurt or apple sauce. Also, I did find another good recipe this week in the Ellie Krieger book called Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars.http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/walnut-and-dried-cherry-bars-recipe/index.html In this recipe you could sub the dried cherries with cranberries to curb the expense, and for the preserves I just used what we had on hand (raspberry preserves).
Lastly, at night before Isaac goes to bed we give him a bottle of organic Vitamin D milk. I know, I know, he probably should be done with the bottle by now, but we all choose our battles. Hey, I said earlier I didn't judge you! ;)

That's pretty much what we eat on a daily basis. Hope some of the recipes help. I can't wait to get more ideas from other moms!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chocolate Coffee Cookie Sandwiches

I have many loves, and one of them is definately baking. The night before Isaac's surgery I made these, Chocolate Coffee Cookie Sandwiches, and they were delish! However, I am not used to caffine anymore so I did get a little jittery after one of these and my "nerves" about the surgery! ha ha (Just a warning incase you are not big on caffine!)
Anyway, I thought I would share the recipe with you. It is from the Land O Lakes website. They have great recipes for cookies!
Also, the cookies are really good without the filling ingredients if you don't feel like doing that part. ;)
Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 5, 2010

One Relieved Mommy!

I wanted to first start by thanking everyone for your prayers for Isaac and our family. It has been a stressful few months, but by the grace of God we are making it through!

Isaac had his surgery this morning at 7:15 am and he did a great job. We had to get up at 5:30 to be there an hour early to get Isaac prepped for surgery. We went to the Surgi-center here in Greenville and our doctor came from Raleigh.

I was super impressed with that place. You can tell that they work a lot with children. There were a ton of play areas and it was super clean. They even had little red wagons to take the kids back to surgery. (However, there was NO way Isaac was getting in one of those this morning, all he wanted was daddy!)

One of the most heart breaking moments was when the nurse had to take him back to the room and he was crying. I thought to myself "Why don't you just rip my heart out!" :) That was tough but I knew it wouldn't be long before he got the anesthesia and was relaxed.

Soooo, all that said, Isaac did wonderful! His eyes are red in the corners but the doctor said the surgery went perfect. The surgery only lasted a little over an hour. ( It absolutely amazes me that they can do that kind of stuff to your eye ball!? crazy) Then we had to stick around for an hour while Isaac came off the medication. That was a little sad too because he was a little disoriented and of course we can't explain what is happening to him. So we just had to let him cry for a while til he got sleepy. While this is happening there are 3 other toddlers "recovering" in curtain stalls ALL crying. Talk about stressful, I don't know how those nurses do it! :)

Here are some pics from our morning:

Isaac with Daddy before they took him back.
Isaac getting amped on Daddy's coffee. . .just kidding!
Isaac recovering.

Our brave little man finally fell asleep.