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.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Encouraging Yourself

Yesterday I took a much needed trip to our chiropractor in Goldsboro. (And man does my back feel better!!) Anyway, Blake came home to work from there while Isaac napped and I took my road trip. It's just too hard to try to bring Isaac by myself now.

While I was in the car I found Blake's cassette tapes ( I know, old, right!?) titled "Winning in Life". So I pulled out one by Jim Laffoon entitled "Encouraging Yourself". It was really good. He started out by talking about the difference between fear and discouragement. Fear and terror can come on you in a wave, a matter of minutes or even seconds. Discouragement is similar to an IV drip that can happen over a span of time and mess up a healthy point of view.

I had never thought about the difference between the two. Both can be really debilitating. He went on to share a couple of passages from scripture that were really good. On of them I had actually already been meditating on for the past few months.

Psalm 42: 11 "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God."

I used to be the first one, and still occasionally let my emotions take me where they want. I used to ride life based off of my "feelings". Which frankly would not take me to the most comforting of places. These past few months I've had to claim this verse. I would have to grab my emotions by the scruff of the neck, like a dog and tell them what they were going to do. I would tell my soul, ' God's done so much for you, you better start hoping again because He is faithful'. It's hard to do when we are discouraged or even depressed but boy does it make a difference over time.

That leads into the next psalm that Pastor Jim talked about in that message, Psalm 103.

Psalm 103: 1-5 "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me , bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons ALL your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years (or desires) with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle."

I mean just look at that list.(*See Bible for a complete list of all God's benefits) God has forgiven us of all our sins, heals all of our diseases, redeems our life from the pit. The list goes on and on. Man, that's pretty awesome stuff. I can encourage myself daily with this list. I don't know about anybody else but my life surely needed some redeeming, especially after college. I'm sure glad he didn't leave me in my pit to be a pit dweller. How miserable would that be!? So, go ahead, encourage yourself today. God loves you. He has a plan for your life. . .today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

ENCM Summit in Texas

So this past week Blake and I had the opportunity to go to Austin, Texas for our annual gathering of youth and campus missionaries.

We had a blast! First of all our lodging, food and registration this year was covered before we even got there, that was such a blessing to us. There were some great speakers too! Also, the week before we left I was talking to my sis-in-law, Ally D, about taking Isaac to Texas and she volunteered to keep him for us. . .for 5 days! Talk about a saint! She had 3 kids all under the age of 3 for 5 days! I know Isaac had a blast, if you want to see Ally blogged all the days on her blog, Dameron Girls.

We dropped Isaac off at 8:20 am on Tuesday morning and then headed to Durham for our flight at 1. Traveling was really fun because we were able to fly with a group of campus ministers from the Raleigh/Durham area. We flew on Southwest and it was great! I've flown over a dozen times and have never been on a flight that was as on time as they were the whole trip. I am definitely not a big fan of flying, mostly because I get motion sick. I've used my fair share of those little white bags in the seat pouches. :) There's one other thing about flying that boggles my mind. It is the fact that that many people and all their stuff can get onto a whole bunch of metal and it flys through the air at hundreds of miles an hour. It just doesn't make sense. Luckily, on the flight to Texas I had Laura Lever sitting beside me and she distracted me. You know Laura, she can talk to you about anything and everything! I really missed having her to talk to on the way home (she stayed longer to visit Brian and Lindsey) :)

This is our group from Greenville: (from left to right) Nick and Heather, Beaty and Carrie, Alan and Melissa, Blake and I, Kristen R., and Laura

Blake and I at Cantina Lorado in downtown Austin.

For our "date night" in Texas we went with a group to Cantina Lorado. It was a nice evening so we sat on the patio. I wish we could have walked around more downtown but I was super tired after dinner! I think it was like 10pm, I know, super late. I don't know if it was the time change or simply recovering from caring for a toddler but I was zonked at like 9:30 or 10 every night!

Wednesday evening after dinner we went to The Domain to walk around. It's a really nice area with lots of shops and restaurants. While walking around we found one of my favorite stores, Zara, so I finished off my birthday money there. That night we also found a place called Orange Cup, a very delicious frozen yogurt place. They only serve four flavors with a choice of different fruits or cereals. My favorite was the regular and acai berry. There was a pale green one called Glo that tasted a bit like face wash. I think that's just because I saw that "aloe" was one of the ingredients. That pretty much ruined that flavor for me. :)

Mmmmmm. . . . . . . .

This is the group from North Carolina. This is an awesome group of people!!! So blessed we got to hang out with them.
Saturday morning we hitched a ride with Nick and Heather, at 5am, in the swagger wagon to the airport. We had one stop in Nashville, TN and got back to RDU at 4. Then we headed to TD and Ally's house to pick up little man. He wasn't as excited as I'd hoped he be but that's okay! :) He babbled at us when he saw us and then ran over to Bella's swing set. ha ha When we left his sight he did wig out a little bit so that was reassuring that he really did miss us and liked that we were back. ;) He seemed so grown up! I think it's from hanging out with his older cousin all week!

Isaac driving while on the phone. . .think he's seen that before!? You like how he talks on the phone? He holds it on the back of his neck and talks! Like I said, He thinks he's grown!

We had a great time and the trip was a success. We learned a lot and got home safe!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer Reading List

So, the other day I was thinking about the hundreds of books I would love to read! I know I waste too much time watching TV sometimes when I could be more productive by reading instead. I thought, "I need to make a goal for myself". So I thought I would post the books that I'm going to read this summer. Feel free to join me, or if you've already read a particular book feel free to tell me what you thought of it!

So here's the list:

The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. Dobson

(my goal is to finish this by the end of May) ;)

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Enjoying Where You Are On the Way to Where You Are Going by Joyce Meyer

A marriage book, haven't decided on yet :)
A book on public speaking, also haven't decided on yet :)

and for fun Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

So far this book is really good! I love historical fiction and the other books I've read by Francine Rivers are great. She really gives a depth to her characters. Her 'Mark of the Lion' series was really good. I read that last summer and it really helped me see what it was like to live in biblical times. So if you're into that kind of stuff I would definitely recommend it! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Suuuper Excited about my new kitchen gadget!
Happy Mothers Day to all you mommas out there! A couple of weeks ago my Boo asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him a new hand mixer. I had had ours for almost 4 years and the metal exterior of the beaters was chipping off. Metal chips are not something desirable in baked goods! So, instead of the hand mixer he surprised me with the idea of a kitchen aid mixer (I had been wanting one for a couple of years)! So, for my birthday/Mother's Day/Anniversary gift I got the mac daddy mixer so I can be "straight owning bake sales with my cupcake skills!" ;)
After church today we went to Rocky Mount to have mother's day with Blake's family. We had a great time! Lots of yummy food from Papa D's garden and of course great company. Isaac loooves wandering around out on the lawn.

Suuuper thankful for my gift from God, Isaac!

Suuuuper fun day at the Dameron Plantation. Isaac eating strawberries with Uncle MD while we played cornhole.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Date Night

No, not the movie. We went and saw that last week. This week for our date night we decided we wouldn't do a movie so that we could spend more time talking. We went to A'tavola for dinner and then went over to Barnes and Noble to look around and talk.

We went to the cafe area and decided to play a game where we would ask "what if" kind of questions. I went first, "If you couldn't do campus ministry what else would you like to do for a job?" After a laborious few minutes of waiting, and waiting, and waiting longer my husband finally responds. At first he says "could I be a college professor who happens to do campus ministry on the side?"

I said 'no'.

So then, as he puts his hand up to his face he says " well, I don't know . . . that would require me to completely restructure my values of why I do what I do. . ."

I responded "You suck at this game." :)

The next question was from Blake. He asked me if I could go anywhere in the world for a week and had to leave tomorrow where would I go?

I thought about two seconds and responded "Greece"

When I said that he made a comment about Greece being a peninsula or something like that and I laughed at him and told him it was a group of islands. Yeah, that's right, a group of islands. I had myself convinced. This of course turned into a bet and in true Dameron fashion my husband got up from our table to go find information to prove his point.

I'm thinking he will return with a book about Greece since we are in a book store, but no, he comes around the corner into the cafe with none other than a globe! ha ha

And as it turns out Blake was right. Greece is connected to land mass. Dang it, my education failed me again ;) Looks like I will be studying up on my geography! We had a lot of laughs and a great night!

On a side note, while we were at Barnes and Noble I got a book from an author my mom had been telling me about. I'm pretty excited about it.

You may have heard about this book, I know I've seen it around but I never picked it up until tonight. The hard thing about reading books like this is it takes us out of our 'land of ignorance'. In the book Michael Pollan talks about how we as a nation don't really eat products of nature, but products of food science. This author also appears in the documentary Food Inc.

Which I really want to see, but I am kind of nervous because I'm not sure if it will freak me out! :) I am building myself up for this ;) Have any of you seen it? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Birthday and Strawberries Galore

My Strawberry Birthday Tart made by my mom! (She's where I get my baking skills from)

It's been a while since I've been on here because we have been crazy busy! The end of the semester is winding down and we just celebrated my 28th birthday on April 28th. I had lots of fun with family and friends.

This past weekend we went to my parents house in Stella for a couple days to celebrate. Usually I would love to have anything with chocolate but for the past few weeks I've had really bad acid reflux (yay) so I was trying to stay away from it. So my awesome mom accommodated my wishes for 'no chocolate' this year and made a strawberry tart. Luckily my birthday is always around the time the strawberries come in!

My parents also have an above ground pool in their backyard that they opened recently so we played out there. Isaac had a great time playing on the side of the pool, seeing as it was still a little chilly. He would splash around from the side of the pool, but he was less than thrilled when we tried to put him in his floating crab. My mom has "Maine" blood so she was the first brave one in. :)

On Saturday before Blake and I left to come back to Greenville my mom took me to Becky's Berries in Stella to get a flat to bring home. This is some of what was left after I made some Strawberry frozen yogurt.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
This recipe was soooo good and super easy!

Isaac approved if the frozen yogurt, I think he's eaten his weight in strawberries this past week!

Isaac on his sweet ride in Memere and Pepere's driveway

Isaac on the road. . .I think we had a break down in communication which ended with a fit and laying down in the road crying. It was all quite dramatic (I'm not sure where he gets that from, must be his dad's side) ;) *Also, no Isaac's were harmed or endangered in the taking of this picture.