Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Good morning all. Today the ladies At the Well are discussing having a Family Vision. I'm not going to have time today to share with you all, our family visions because we are leaving for a fun family trip this morning. However, I plan to share what we have written down for our family visions in a later post! I also want you all to think about the importance of having a vision and goals for your family! Please click on the At the Well link above, and check out what they have to say about it this morning, because they have already taken the words out of my mouth about it. It is so important!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This was our Lillian when she was born...five weeks early. She was 5 pounds and 1 ounce. The one on the left is Audrey's baby doll!
She looked so much like a doll when she was a baby. My mom used to call her my "little dolly"
Here she is today.....a bigger little girl. She will be two in early October...hard to imagine. She's still rather small and petite! But, there's nothing small or petite about her personality!!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This may seem a little odd, but this morning I am reminded of a children's song:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This week at I Heart Faces, it's feet week. This picture I call Little Feet on the Go. This is my little Elias. I have always loved this picture and how his little feet are taking him to big places. Although the picture doesn't focus completely on his feet, I am always drawn to his little feet when I look at the picture. His little feet are getting bigger now....it's so sad!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
- Sandals....yes you heard me right. I think sandals are one of the best things ever invented. If you know me, you know that I would go barefoot all the time if possible. Who wants to be bothered with socks and tying shoes and all of that? My feet are rebellious, and long to be free. Now, since it isn't practical to go barefoot all the time, everywhere, then sandals are the wonderful compromise. I also wish that my children could wear sandals all year long. How, how much easier life would be. I look forward to summer for the simple fact of sandals weather. Ok, everyone, throw on your sandals/crocs, and let's go! Sooo easy! Give me a good pair of Birkenstock sandals, and weather warm enough to wear them and I am happy!
- Blueberries....ahh...one of God's greatest creations. I'm thinking alot about blueberries as I am thinking next week, we are going to head up to our blueberrie place (the one we go to every year), and get about 30 pounds of blueberries. MMM....just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Delicious and nutritious, you can't beat that can you. Not to mention all the berries that I will freeze, that will supply us with blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry smoothies, and blueberry pie for the whole winter. I personally never tire of blueberries, and my kids love them too!
- My MP3 player! I go crazy when my player loses it's charge. I like to listen to my own music while I am doing my chores. I've been a music junkie my whole life, and I think and MP3 player is one of the best inventions. Gone are the days when I had to fast forward through songs I don't like. Now, I can just put the songs I like on there, and I'm good to go. Love it!
- Little House on the Prairie. Ok, this sounds silly, but I love Little House on the Prairie. I love the books, I love the show (except the last season or two kind of went downhill). I can sit down and watch episodes with my kids, and it is entertaining, but there is always something to teach them something valuable about History, or character.
- Chocolate...ok, I can't talk about things that are my favorite without mentioning chocolate.
- Lake Michigan. I love Lake Michigan. I have lived within an hour of the Lake my whole life, and I would rather go to Lake Michigan than the ocean any time. With Lake Michigan, it's so big, that you get the benefits, and feel of the ocean without all the irritating things about the ocean (salt water, sharks, jelly fish, crabs). Now, granted it might not always be as warm as the ocean, but the trade off works for me. There are also so many wonderful small towns on the coasts of Lake Michigan, that you could spend days just going up and down the coast, and have a whole vacation right there.
- The Bumbo seat. I got one of these from a friend when my Lily was just learning to sit up, and I have loved it. I use it to feed the babies there baby food, when it is too cumbersome to use a high chair for them yet. It also helps them learn to sit up on their own, and balance. I am now using it with Donna, and it works so well for me to sit in my recliner, feed her some bottle, and then sit her little seat on the foot stool of my recliner, and then feed her some food, then back to the bottle. Those were a great invention.
How can you react when someone tries to undermine you as a parent or encourages something with your children that you do not agree with? Do you get mad or angry like a momma bear? (I used to.) How can you better react and still stay in the Spirit?
What ways can we rebuke un-Godliness and still be loving? Maybe it is a display of an un-Godly relationship or public drinking or something else that you have taught your children displeases the Lord?
How do you react when your small child asks a family member who is doing something wrong why they do that? Do you hush the child or make excuses? Is your reaction understandable to the child and in the Spirit?
These are the good questions being posed by Penny At the Well today. Head over there to see her entire post.
I've been pondering these questions this morning, as I've been doing my laundry and other chores.
To understand how to respond to anything in the Spirit, we need to think about what the Bible says about such matters. We need to think about what the Bible says in regards to the words that we would use with others, and how we should use them. Psalms 19 :14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Proverbs 15:1 tells us that "A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." Verse 4 then tells us that " A soothing tongue is a tree of life...", and Ephesians 4:29-32 is very clear..."Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you with all malice. Be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you."
I think these verses make it pretty clear as to how we should address the actions of others that we might encounter, and how we can teach our children to respond to others as well.
One thing that I think we all need to remember also is that our children need to first be very grounded in the word of God, and understand what is sin, and what is not. Then, I feel, that we need to help our children see that the unbeliever cannot be held to the same standards as the believer. We teach our children that there is a different standard. An unbeliever does not need us to point out sin in their lives, without also pointing out that everyone sins, and that there is a Savior who died to save them from their sins. If our children understand that compassion for the lost, and a genuine desire to see them come to true repentance, should supercede our desire to change their behavior, they will have a better picture of what Christ came to do for all of us. It is our job as Christian parents, not just to teach our children what is right and what is wrong in God's eyes, but also to teach them that mixed with this abhorrance for what is wrong, there needs to be a compassion for the lost, and the weaker brothers and sisters in Christ. If I, as a mother, approach someone about what I perceive as sin, with anger, and malice, then I have just slapped the gospel in the face. Christ came to seek and to save the lost. He loved, he served, and he made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. We know that Christ was not silent when it came to pointing out sins. We need to carefully remember in front of our children, what sins he was most vocal about. It was the sin of hypocrisy. The sins of the pharisees, who took it upon themselves to point out how others were sinners, and they were perfect, because they kept the law. This is what we need to be careful of.
Our words to others, should always be gentle, kind, seasoned with salt, well chosen, and used, only when absolutely needed. The words we choose when responding to someone who has wronged us or our children, should always be equal to the words of our savior, filled with compassion and concern for their hearts, not just their actions. I think this is one of the most important lessons that we can teach our kids. If they are grounded in the word, they will know sin when they see it, but how will we model their responses to it? If they have parents that can only accuse, and never show kindness, love or compassion, then we are teaching them to be like the pharisees.
Our children,in their innocence, will always have questions for someone who they see doing wrong. I think it's ok to allow them to ask the tough questions, if they can do it in a fashion that does not insult or tear down. A very young child, will often sound offensive, because they do not yet understand how to use words of compassion, but I think others also understand, and the woords of that little one with high standards might just make them think about their actions. Children can be taught by example how to mix their "rebuke" with compassion and kindness, and when is an appropriate time to use them. Behind the scenes it is most important that we are continually having dialogue with our children, not about what pleases us, or makes us mad, but what pleases our savior, and what doesn't. We can be very vocal about what we see in the world that is wrong, and sinful, and still be vocal in our compassion for the people themselves, and our desire to show mercy and love to them. We should teach our children to hate sin, but also to love the sinner.
I have many other thoughts on this matter, but not enough to time right now to get them all verbalised. If anyone has any further thoughts on the matter, I would love to hear them. God's blessings to all the parents out there who, like myself, are plugging away, and trying to teach our children what God desires in all our lives.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This week's theme is sports in action. I love this picture of my three oldest boys playing football. The little brother's are so obviously enjoying "taking down" their older brother. They are taking it very seriously. Owen is so obviously not enjoying it! There is a lot of emotion in this picture!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Since I am still sick today I am going to just pass along this article that I received about what kinds of foods to eat before a workout, I found it pretty informative, as I'm attempting to lose weight, and work out! Enjoy, and let me know if you have any further thoughts:
There are lots of opinions about how to eat before a workout. Some say eating a pre-exercise meal gives them the energy they need to keep up the pace or go the distance. Others say food sits like a gut bomb and gives them cramps. We all grew up with Mom's rule about no swimming for an hour after lunch. Who's got the right answer? Mom comes closest.
Anything you eat right before you workout is unlikely to digest enough to provide the fuel your muscles need immediately to perform well. Instead, your body uses stored energy. The major source of fuel for active muscles is glycogen, broken down from carbohydrates and stored in muscles hours and days before exercise. That's why many athletes do carbo-loads the night before big events; so they have time to digest and store fuel.
Working out on a completely empty stomach isn't your best bet either as low blood sugar can cause rapid fatigue. Many athletes snack before they lace up their shoes. But what's best to eat?
The American College of Sports Medicine says, "Research suggests meals with a low or moderate glycemic index provide sustained energy to significantly boost exercise capacity, increase endurance, and extend the time before you need to refuel."
What's a glycemic index? It's a nutritional tool that suggests how fast the glucose in common foods respond to insulin, is digested and absorbed into the blood. Many food factors work together to affect this rate including the amount of fiber and sugar in the food and even cooking method. Typically, foods with a low glycemic index have high fiber content (like apples and bran cereal) and only elevate blood sugar moderately. Foods with a moderate gycemic index include oatmeal and bananas. Donuts have a high glycemic value. They break down into glucose that enters the blood stream and elevates blood glucose levels quickly. They also cause a large release of insulin that subsequently slams blood sugar to the ground. That's no way to start a workout.
Your best nutrition plan is to maintain a consistent, balanced healthy diet. If you know you'll be doing a big weekend run or all-day soccer tournament; load up on healthy carbohydrates like whole grain pasta, along with lean protein and healthy fats for a few days before your event. An hour or two before you exercise, have a small meal or snack that includes whole grain bread, cereal, fruit or yogurt. Include a little protein for a longer lasting fuel supply. Toast and peanut butter are good choices. When you finish your workout, a healthy meal provides the fuel your body needs for cell recovery.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Once again, I couldn't pick just one picture this week. These are all from this weekend! Enjoy, and have a great 4th!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday is America’s birthday, and I have question marks, because I wonder if the America that has existed for 232 years, will have many more celebrations. I’m worried about America. You see, the United States of America is our child. Our ancestors gave birth to it, and it belongs to us. In the same way that I worry about my children, I worry about America. I often find myself worrying about a path that my children might be going down, and it’s time to sit them down and discuss with them how this path will bring bad things into their lives. In the same way, I fear that America is going down some very wrong paths. I fear that America is on it’s way to losing it’s relevency. We are gradually losing the spirit, the faith, and the power that we once displayed in the world. I loved the way that Ronald Reagan described America, as the city on the hill. Wow, what an inspiring picture. An America founded on biblical principles, setting an example to the world of Philippians 4:8. In the past we have been the example to the world of what is true, what is noble, what is just, what is lovely, what is of good report, and of what is praiseworthy. Now, does this mean that we have been perfect. Of course not, America, like any child born with original sin, has had it’s share of sins. But, we have always come through the fire, and come back a stronger country for it. Over all America has looked to do what’s right, and be a light in the darkness of the world. When another country is in trouble, who is the first one to their aid….America. When a people is struggling under oppression, who comes to the rescue with the prize of freedom from tyranny…America. We are, after all, the land of the free of the brave.
There really is no place in the world that compares to the United States of America, our lovely city on the hill. But, is our country continuing down the same path that will keep it strong, and free, and brave! It does not appear that way to me. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are many of us out there, that think it is time for discipline. It’s time to get in the face of our “child” and tell them that they are taking the wrong road, and convince them to turn back…before there are consequences! When our child is in trouble, we mama’s fight to keep them in line. We will do anything to keep that child from having to suffer the consequences of their incorrect actions. As Americans, it’s time to do what we can to keep our country on the right path. Sadly I am aware that sometimes you can do all that you can, and the wrong choices are still made. God gave us our freedom and, like our children, we will often use our freedoms in ways that God never intended.
You may be asking, how is our countrie's free will taking us down the wrong path? The first step came during these last elections. Much of America chose to worship a man, instead of the God that gave us this country to begin with. Much of America voted for the men and women who made them all kinds of promises to better their lives, even though they don’t have the power to do so. We made our bed, and we are now lying in it. Many of us did not vote for these people, but what did we actively do to prevent them from gaining the power they now hold? In the same way we need to be proactive parents, and not reactive parents, we need to guide, correct, and purposely shape our country. If they choose to use their free will for wrong, well, at least we can say we tried, we did our part!
Now, we are seeing the consequences. There are many things on the table now, that make me fear that we are going to lose our “child” altogether. There is the Freedom of Choice Act, the ratification of the UN’s Rights of a Child, Cap and Trade, Universal Healthcare, the movement to keep citizens from being able to sell homes if they are not in regulation with someones idea of Eco-friendliness. There are bailouts of incredible proportions, there are broken promises and there is a general attitude that America should no longer be a powerhouse, but should silently fade into the “international community”. What about our city on a hill? What about our national security? What about our pride, and bravery? Where has it gone? It is slowly being chipped away. The unborn and the elderly in America are no longer important, the authority of parents is no longer acceptable. Many in this country who have died for our freedoms, now have a different eulogy, one that says they shouldn’t have bothered because who needs freedom? Soldiers will no longer die for their country, they will only die for their government to have the right to oppress their people. Other countries around the world will no longer look at us as the powerhouse, that they don’t want to mess with, they will look at us as just another one in the “global community”, that can be threatened and pushed around. When has America ever allowed itself to be pushed around?? The answer to that is…. NEVER! Now, our president is going around asking the very people who would behead us all, to forgive us, and be our friends…why? Because we are no longer a Christian nation!!! My Jesus died for the sins of all men, men who then laid down there lives for my freedom and the freedom of my country, and now we must be ashamed of not only our freedom but the Savior himself! You don’t speak for us, Barack Obama. You don’t speak for those of us who love freedom, and who love God. You don’t really speak for America. My “child”, my America, was founded because of the thirst for freedom, and the thirst to worship the God that created us all! My America does not make excuses for itself, and it’s core beliefs! My America values life…ALL life. My America believes in the rights of its citizens to make their own decisions for their families and their children. My America is One Nation under God! My America is being taken away from me, in ways I hoped it never would. It is being forcibly turned down the wrong paths. We need to pray dear Christians, we need to be involved, and active “parents”. Let’s not just let them take our child away from us without having something to say about it. I want to still be singing Happy Birthday to the same America that I have always known many years down the road. I want to still have to crane my neck to see our beautiful city on a hill, when I am old and gray. If my boys choose to serve their country and they lose their precious lives, I want to be able to say to everyone, my boys died for your freedom, not the governments!
I will now step off of my soapbox, and get back to my regular life, but I will keep my armor on. I will need it in the coming years. I will fight to keep my “child”. Although, I will accept what God allows to happen in our country with faith, because God is always in control, I will not stand by and do nothing. If all is said and done, and the America I once knew no longer exists, then at least I can say, I tried. Perhaps we are no longer a “Christian nation”, but I am still a Christian, and I will fight on the Lord’s side. The Lord who wants us to value life and individual freedoms!
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear America……Happy Birthday to you….and many more…
I had to use two pics this week. I wanted to use the picture of Elias with the baby bird, but I also just had to put in the close up the bird. We think this may be a baby hawk. My boys spent an afternoon babysitting this baby. We didn't realize that they had found it, until it was too late to tell them that they probably shouldn't mess with it. Our fear is that the mother would reject it, with human smell all over it. We hope he/she is still alive. They took him/her back into the woods and left it (with much tears from Ethan). We have so many animal adventures at our house!! Go here for more Thousand Words Thursday.