Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I should be packing right now because we are going away to the beach for a whole week!!! I'm very excited. We're going to our friend's beach house with my family for a week of relaxing, reading, playing, beach combing, and celebrating Mom's Birthday. I'm hoping to have Internet out there so I can post. If not, I'll be back on Friday! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

SuperMillers

As I was writing that last post and bragging to Ryan about how big my blogroll was getting, I got an email from Chris and Angela saying they have started a family blog! You have to check it out to see the adorable pictures of new little baby Truitt!

Lest Old Acquantaince Be Forgot. . .

I recently found an old friend of mine on Facebook. Molly and I were best buds in third and fourth grade. I still remember her Mom's homemade frozen applesauce, our many discussions about Anne of Green Gables and of course crushing over Bo Duke! I remember the sadness of returning to school after Christmas break and finding out that her Father had passed away. She was a great friend, but over the years we had completely lost touch, until now! It is very surreal to read her blog and see my little girl friend as a Mom and a Wife, and from what I hear a prolific writer! Here's to old acquaintances renewed!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rylieisms



"I know that's a girl because she has eyelashes, boys don't have eyelashes."
"My ears don't have eyelashes."

Rylie: "This music is old."
Ryan: "But it's good music."
Rylie: "But it's OLD."
Ryan: "Are we having this battle allready?!"

"But, I wanted to be Jesus!" What she yelled out in the middle of the night.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Truitt is here!


Our friends, Chris and Angela had their precious baby boy this morning! Truitt James was born at 7:48 am, he was 7lbs, 14 oz and 21 inches! His body temprature was low as well as his blood sugar so he's been under the heat lamp and had to have some Similac. He is stable now. We were able to go see him this evening and give him all our snuggles! Welcome to our church family Truitt and congratulations Chris, Angela, and Keegan!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas


I was going to write a deeply moving profound post for Christmas, but never got around to it, what with four Christmases in two days! (That, and the lack of profoundness in my Mommy brain!)
Christmas started on Christmas Eve morning. This was the only time we had to have our own family Christmas. It started with Ryan making us our new traditional Christmas waffles, then the retelling of the Christmas story so that we would remember that it is really all about Jesus' birthday! After that came presents. This was the first year that Rylie could open her own gifts and really understand what was going on. It was also the first year that we took her shopping and let her pick out presents for us. (I got a bright pink stuffed pig!) We had a lot of fun and a special family time (and I got an Ipod! Rylie got a princess "Ipod" as well but decided she liked mine better so she pulled my headphones out and plugged hers in. I never thought my Ipod would get jacked by my two year old!)
That evening we had my family Christmas at my parents. My "adopted" Grandma Pat was also able to come, which made it even more special. We have a few traditions that we do as a family and then we opened more presents.
After that we went to Ryan's Mom's house and spent the night. Christmas morning the kids woke us up bright and early so they could rush downstairs and open their presents. By the end of it, Rylie was in a little bit of a stupor, tired and overwhelmed by all of the present chaos. Then we had our traditional breakfast of homemade strawberry crepes with whip cream! They are so good, I don't know why we only have them once a year!
That afternoon we went to Ryan's Dad's house (he has his own ranch). Rylie was so excited to see the horses and then even more excited when she got to sit on one! Imagine her excitement after that when her gift from Grandpa Jim was a rocking horse that made horse noises and moved his head and tail (she's named it "Fafa")! We only see Ryan's Dad once a year, so Rylie didn't remember him from last year. I was thankful that she wasn't too shy and he could see how adorable she is (I know I'm biased!)
Today we were supposed to go down to Oregon to visit my Aunt, my sister, and then my Grandparents, but after the severe contractions I had last night, we decided it was better to stay home and rest today. My wonderful husband has been doing housecleaning (our house is full of presents!) and taking care of Rylie all day, so I can rest. Thanks hon!
I can't forget to mention that I'm writing this post on my very own laptop! Ryan asked our friend Aaron to put one together for me (he's a computer whiz) for Christmas! I love it! Now I can use it whenever I want, I don't have to wait for him to be done.
Click here to see all of our Christmas pictures!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Leadership Christmas Party

We had our annual Church staff and leadership Christmas party this evening. It is always quite the exciting evening with our gift exchange. We play that you can take gifts from other people which can sometimes get a little rowdy. This year my pride cameth before my fall! Ryan and I sat next to one of Deacon's (Jerry) and his wife (Ginger, who is also on the Women's Ministry Board with me). I have known them since I was probably about ten and they are veteran Christmas party gift exchangers. I thought it would be quite advantageous to make an "alliance" with them so that at the end we would all end up with the gifts we wanted. There were three coveted gifts that received a lot of play. It was us veterans vs. the newbies, a new couple came to our party for the first time and they weren't shy about jumping in and fighting for the same gifts. As the evening wore on, I grew cockier and cockier because my alliance knew what it was doing, these other people were new, they didn't really know the subtleties of the gift exchange. We had it down until the last round and then, crash and burn! The new couple (well, actually just the husband, his wife left to relieve the babysitter so he was playing both of their parts) with the help of another veteran couple, retrieved the coveted gift and I was left to open the gift that I brought to the exchange! A good dose of humility with a lot of laughter thrown in!

Before this materialistic feeding frenzy, my Dad shared a devotional with us that was excellent. He talked about how exhausting it can be at times living the Christian life, especially if you are involved in ministry. He used the phrase, "letting your soul catch up to your body". I have felt like that often! He read us the first few verses of Psalm 23 and reminded us that God is our Shepherd who desires to have intimate time with us and that He will make us lie down in green pastures to get it. He pointed out that the pasture may not seem green to us at the time, but from God's perspective it is green because He knows the good that can come out of any situation. Whatever situation you are in, God is there and He desires you to look to Him and to spend time with Him. He talked about how God leads us to still waters. He likened that to the deep drinking from God's Word. It's opposite of the "read a quick Bible verse and then I'm done" mentality. He challenged us to get alone with God and spend real, quality time with Him, and then our soul will be refreshed. He said this all much more eloquently than I did, but it was a great reminder that I thought should be shared with everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Hostess with the Mostess










My friend Becky is the best hostess ever! She recently had a Christmas party and I think there was enough food to feed an army! She is so thoughtful and tries to provide things that everyone would like. She sent everyone home with doggy bags too. She even bought all of the supplies for us to make our own Christmas ornaments. The green one in the picture is the one I made for Ryan. (Sadly, when I got home I dropped and broke the one I made for Anna. Rylie was so sweet though and gave me a big hug and told me, "It'll be ok Mommy". Here is the link for the rest of the pictures from Becky's party.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dr. Appointment

I had a good Doctor's appointment this morning. He said my cervix is still closed, that is a huge praise! Anna's heartbeat is nice and strong and I'm measuring right on target. I am anemic which explains why I've been so tired. I have iron now, so that should help.

On another note, my daughter said she wants to have a "Dora, Ariel, dark brown" birthday party this year. Anyone have any ideas how to accomplish that?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Church Christmas Banquet









Ok, I know these are cheap posts, but I've been having a lot of pain and just generally not feeling good (but I have a doctor's appointment in the morning). Enjoy some pictures of our church's annual Christmas banquet that we had last Saturday night. There is one of my girls, Emily and Jenaya. The next is Jerry and Mike carving the meat, then me and my hubby, then me and my "little" brother, Matt. (Notice the huge belly and my new dress!)

Decorating our Christmas Tree

I realized I never posted any tree pictures. For my own memory, I'm posting these, enjoy!








Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Program Chaos







Tonight was our Church's annual Christmas Program, and our Rylie's first program! It was so great to see all of the kids (and the adults too, but let's be honest, it's all about the kids!) publicly giving praise to the Lord. There were a few glitches, such as Mary and Joseph running off the stage instead of going to the stable (they got turned around in time!) Then the two through five year olds came up, this is where the chaos really started! Some of the boys decided to start wrestling which ended up with a couple of the boys taking a nose dive off the stage. Then there were the bells, they were supposed to ring nicely while they sang, instead they were banging each other in the head (especially Rylie on Ryan's head). And we can't forget the flashlights (for "This Little Light of Mine"), that were shining in each other's eyes and being swung around. But, of course they were absolutely adorable! If you want to see more of the fun, click here. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Once again, Rylieisms:

"Rylie loves Anna, yes she does" (This is the song she made up for Anna. She also made up a song about fish, "Fish, fish, fish, divers, octopus, fish, nemo, mermaids, fish, fish, fish.")

"I want to go to Heaven. I believe in Jesus, I don't believe I'm getting so big"

When we pulled up to the store, "Let's do this thing!"

When I told her not to stand on the ottoman, "But it's a FOOT stool".

Ryan: (after she had been taught what an octagon was) What animal has eight legs?
Rylie: An Octopus.
Ryan: Octagon and Octopus both start with "octa" because that means "eight".
Rylie: But what does "agon" mean?
Ryan: stumped

Rylie: (while watching Dora) Where is that sound coming from on Dora?
Me: I don't know.
Rylie: I do, it's coming from Valley Bible (our church).

"I like Grandpa's white hair with the pink circle in the middle."

"I like ducks, mermaids, people, and food."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!



Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you very much! You are such a great Dad and Grandpa, we are very thankful for you! Thank you for loving my girl (s) as much as I do and for really wanting to get to know her. Thank you for being such a great Pastor and consistently teaching me (and others) the importance of God's Word my whole life. You have taught me so much about God's sovereignty, about His unshakable character, about how His Word is always sufficient. Thank you for living out what you preach, for "walking the talk". Thank you for loving Mom and being a good husband to her and for showing us how to have a Godly marriage. Thank you also for being such a loving father to me. You have always loved me unconditionally even when I didn't deserve it (this has also taught me a lot about our Heavenly Father's love). I'm so happy to be your princess! I love you!

Don't take God for granted

God does not like to be taken for granted, It flies in the face of his eternal purposes - that he be known and loved and praised and enjoyed.

And it makes us superficial people. . . When the main thing is missing, what's left is distorted and superficial, whatever it is.

If someone says, 'Oh, that's just religion. You can't expect everything to be religion,' I answer, 'It's not religion, it's reality. God made the world and everything in it. He owns the earth and everyone on it. He is the main actor in the world. He is guiding the history of every people and nation to their appointed goals. Everything, without exception, has to do with God and gets its main meaning from God. And not to show this, but to take this for granted, is to be superficial. . .'

It is simply impossible to overstate the importance of God.

And he does not like being taken for granted. The psalm does not say, 'Great is the lord, and greatly to be taken for granted.' It says, 'Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. (Psalm 96:4)

- John Piper from "God Is A Very Important Person"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree




Yesterday we bundled up and went to a tree farm that a man in our church owns. He has been so gracious to us over the last few years and allowed us to by the trees at what it cost him, and then my Dad paid for that. We are very thankful! My Dad brought Rylie's cousins Abby and Luke to help him pick out a tree for he and Grandma. The kids had fun running through the trees. Luke especially enjoyed "driving" Grandpa's truck. Click here to see more pictures from the morning.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Check out these new Blogs!

I have mentioned before that we have two friends that are Children's Authors. Allen's wife, and my friend, Sarah, has started a new blog. She is a great writer and is transparent with the struggles of raising a little boy with Autism. She also has another little boy (who is one of my Puggles and Rylie's good friend) and is in the process of adopting a little girl from Vietnam. Throw in an author husband a few pets, and you've got a great read!
The other blog is from my friend (and former neighbor), Keren. She has a one year old boy and another baby on the way. Her and her husband are avid Seahawk fans as well as huge animal lovers.
Check out both of these and give them some love!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Help the Flood Victims



If you want to help with any of the flood victims, go to this site. You can see some first hand pictures and donate. Please keep praying for all of those who have lost so much!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Tea


Last night we had our annual Women's Christmas Tea at church. It is a wonderful time of yummy food, pretty decorations, singing, and most of all an evangelistic message. We always have a lot of visitors that may otherwise not come to church, and they all get to hear the Gospel! This is the first year that I didn't spend two days decorating and setting up for it (I did have fun MCing it).

It was nice to walk in and see it all set up and see all the pretty lights. I've attached the link to all of my photos from the night.

Friends!


This is Rylie and her friend Hannah. Aren't they adorable?! Hannah's Mommy, Krista took this picture in their Sunday School class last Sunday. It's so fun to see Rylie make friends and to hear them talk to each other and play. We are so thankful that she has good friends like Hannah!

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

I have just finished reading a fictional account of Abigail, one of King David's wives. It was a fun read, but it also was a good reminder to me of the God we serve. As I have told you all before I am slowly reading through the Psalms to get to know Him better. One thing I have been struck with lately through the reading of the Psalms and this fictional book is that we serve the Ancient of Days! I have really had a sense of the "bigness" of our God! I tend to focus on the here and now and what He is doing in the lives of people around me (which is great!), but I'm also reminded of all of the great acts He has performed throughout history, especially Old Testament history.
Whenever someone was going through a trial they looked back and remembered how God had delivered them and their ancestors time and time again. They preserved those memories because it was proof of God's faithfulness to them, even when they didn't deserve it. I think we tend to look forward to what God is going to accomplish in our lives, through our trials and we look forward to Heaven. This is not a bad thing, it's a great perspective to have, to live in light of eternity. I have also been greatly comforted by the fact that this God who is taking care of my little problems, has already taken care of giant problems in the lives of others. If He is faithful to take care of them, and has done miraculous things in the past, I can have comfort and strength in the present. He has already proven that He is sovereign, that He is faithful, that He loves His people. I can rest in that!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Mommy

I thought I'd better update this quick for those of you who were praying for my Mom today. She had to go into the ER this morning for severe abdominal pain, bleeding, etc. She is home now with a diagnosis of Colitis. She is on antibiotics and pain meds. She has to see a specialist to find out what caused this attack. It could be something as simple as eating something bad and having ecoli or something more long term like Crones or Diverticulitis. We won't know that for a couple of weeks. It was a scary morning, but she's starting to feel better now and is home. Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Prayers Needed

Please pray for my pregnancy buddy, Becky. She is due March 17th but due to some medical complications she has started going into labor. She is home from the hospital and is now on total bed rest and has to take medication every four hours to stop the labor. They are hoping to keep the baby in at least until January. Please pray for the health and safety of this precious baby girl and her Mommy!

Wordless Wednesday!



Monday, December 3, 2007

Self-pity

Ryan and I have been trying to be more productive with our time and our brains, so we have been turning off the T.V. at night and reading together instead (we're not saints, we have DVR!). We have been reading Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan and The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper. The other night when we were reading the Piper book, I was slapped across the face by the Holy Spirit. We were reading a chapter on pride and self pity, no problem I have this under control. Then, I read this paragraph, "The nature and depth of human pride are illuminated by comparing boasting to self-pity. Both are manifestations of pride. Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity says, 'I deserve admiration because I have suffered so much.' Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be so needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego. It doesn't come from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride."
This was so convicting! I didn't realize that I have been sinning in this area until the Holy Spirit enlightened me. (If those of you close to me have noticed it, we're sometimes blind to our own faults.) Now I have even more to work on! I'm so thankful for grace!
(Thanks honey for the tutorial on hyperlinks!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Dream Is A Wish You're Heart Makes





We just finished watching Cinderella and it reminded me of this picture from Disneyland two years ago.


I'm so happy my Prince Charming did come and his name is Ryan! Love you honey!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cravings

Did you know that chocolate and sourdough bread go together wonderfully? They do when you're pregnant! (Thank you Heather for the chocolate!)

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!





Our first snowfall of the season!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Goodbye NaBloPoMo!


I did it! I participated in National Blog Posting Month! I posted every day in November! I loved reading the posts of everyone else who posted everyday too! I think I might miss it! Here's to November!

Happy Birthday Gabe!



Happy 5th Birthday to our nephew Gabriel! We can't believe how big he is, it seems just yesterday he was born! Last night he told me that he just knew he would feel different when he woke up today! We love you Gabe!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Psalm 84

Psalm 84 is a great Psalm, two of our choruses have come out of this Psalm. As I was reading it yesterday I was struck with verses 5-7. I have been working on the discipline of perseverance in my life. I have one great day, then I sin horribly the next day, when I fully know that it is wrong. I wonder how do "those people" do it, you those I mean, the perfect Christians, the ones who never miss a day in their devotions, who are allway exhibiting all of the fruit of the Spirit all of the time. They never give in to temptation, they never get selfish, they never get depressed. As we all know, "those people" don't really exist. There are definetly people who are walking much closer to the Lord than we are, but they certainly are not perfect, but for the most part they are persevering. These verses in this Psalm gave me an insight into how they continue to persevere. "Blessed are those whose strenth is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."
Firstly, their strength is found in the Lord, not in themselves, not in their family, not in their circumstances. For their strength to be in the Lord, that means their focus is on Him, they are trusting Him, relying on Him, talking to Him. They have the right perspective on this life, that is an eternal perspective, not jsut temporal. They set their hearts on the pilgrimage. They are focused and dedicated, they don't let things distract them. The Valley of Baca is not an actual Valley but rather it means a valley of tears, these are the trials we all go through in life. But, do you see how they handle these trials? They don't give in to their tears and wallow in despair, but again, they have the right perspective. They don't focus on the horribleness of the now, they see the beauty in the trials. They see what God is doing and what He will do through them. They make their trials a place of refreshment. I really liked the phrase, "they go from strength to strength". This is a day by day process. They don't get strong at one point in time and remain that way. They keep getting stronger, they don't give up, it's a moment by moment thing. How long? Untill they appear before God! This is the end of their pilgrimage, this is what they have been focused on and now they will enjoy thier eternal reward.

Oh, how I long to be like them! What is stopping me? Just myself, I have no excuse. He will be my strength.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ryan's New Blog!

My wonderful husband has started his own blog, http://outofthemiryclay.wordpress.com . He is an excellent writer and has a lot of wisdom to offer. His blog will have great Theological truths, things he's learned from his own personal devotions, and of course thoughts on our family life. I think you will find him very insightful and inspiring. I may be bias, but this is now my favorite blog! Go check it out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lumination Studios

*Editors note: I forgot to include the website where you can buy a copy of Gid the Kid, here it is: http://www.luminationstudios.com/sitemax/default.aspx?tabid=215&CATReferrer=amywood76@msn.com
Check out my friends, Allen and Chris' blog: http://themillerbrothers.blogspot.com/ . I have mentioned them before, when their first children's book was published. It's called The Legend of Gid the Kid and the Black Bean Bandits. It is awesome and would make a great Christmas present. You can order it from their web site or Amazon or even find it your local Christian book store. This is the first in a series of books (which will also probably be turned into movies, much to Rylie's delight). The second book in this series is due to come out in January. They have several other projects they are working on, but I don't know if I'm at liberty to share those or not, as they are in talks with various publishers, etc. (that's right, I'm on the inside!) As well as being great authors/illustrators, they are also friends, brothers in Christ, and Dad's to three (soon to be four) of Rylie's good friends, and husband's to two of my friends! Go check them out!

Peace Like a River

I haven't had a very good day. Nothing particularly bad happened, but I felt tired, impatient, and crabby all day. As the day progressed I felt more and more anxious and restless. I felt like I needed a break. When Ryan's counseling appointment cancelled, I was glad, this meant that he could play with Rylie so I could have some time to myself. I thought that might make me feel better. I perused a magazine, that didn't make me feel better. I figured if I did the dishes, I would feel good because I was doing something constructive and I wouldn't have them hanging over my head. Since that didn't work, I moved on the reorganizing and cleaning the medicine cabinet. I called my parents and told them I needed a break and asked if I could send Rylie over there tomorrow. They said "of course", then I felt guilty that I was sending my child somewhere else so I could have some rest. I had a good cry and heard reassuring words from my parents. They assured me that I wasn't being a bad Mommy or wasn't loving my girl just because she would be spending the day with her Grandparents. That made me feel some what better, but still had that moody feeling. I decided maybe I just needed some time with the Lord. I spent some time in prayer, then read the Word. It washed over me like a cool balm. Finally, this is what my soul needed! He promises us peace, but only if we go to Him. Of course I wasn't finding peace in all those other things I was doing. I needed to go to Him and confess my sinful attitudes and spend time in His presence. I also read this from the Valley of Vision:
"May his comforts cheer me in my sorrows, his strength sustain me in my trials, his blessings revive me in my weariness, his presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness, his might establish me in peace and joy, his incitements make me ceaseless in prayer, his animation kindle in me undying devotion. Send him as the searcher of my heart, to show me more of my corruptions and helplessness that I may flee to thee, cling to thee, rest on thee, as the beginning and end of my salvation."

Monday, November 26, 2007

25 weeks (from Babygaga.com)

Fetal development in pregnancy week 25:fetus in sixth month Your little grower’s physical proportions are evening out at this point and most of their remaining development will largely be weight gain and lots and lots of nervous system development. The good news is: if your child is born premature now they’ll be more likely to survive without too much trauma as their lungs began to produce “surfactant” last week, which means their tiny respiratory system is getting stronger with each passing day. Yes, now’s a good time for a minor sigh of relief and a quick pat on the back. All that hard work and conscientious living is really getting your child prepared for a healthy delivery. Keep up the fabulous work mama! This week they’ll be scootching slowly out of the old breech position and start rotating (already!) into a better position for exit during their birth. Their head and feet are slowly rotating so that the head is pointed down towards the birth canal. Time is short (or really long, depending on who you ask)—just (still!) 14 weeks left before you can go back to being a single-resident human.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Girls Win!!!!!

We like to play the card game, Hand and Foot with some of our friends. It's usually always boys against girls. The boys like to do a lot of smack talking, of course
us girls are sweet, and compassionate (you can be competitive
and sweet at the same time, right?!) Friday night we played with our friends, Aaron and Becky (and they brought us yummy Chinese food for dinner!) I'm ashamed to say that the guys creamed us (at one point I had negative 700 points!) To our defense Becky was going on only a couple hours of sleep and I was having very painful contractions, so we weren't on our best game. Last night, our friends, Rachel and Luke (visiting from the Oregon coast) came up to visit. Rachel and I killed the guys! The paper I'm holding in the picture is our score sheet, which shows that we beat them by 10,000 points! I told my husband I had to put it in my blog so that I could have proof because he would conveniently "forget" that it had happened.
(You can see a little bit from this picture how big my belly is getting!)
*Editors note: I had acctually posted this on Sunday but I had written it on Saturday. When I posted it Sunday, I forgot to change it to the right date. Just want to make sure everyone knows I'm being honest for NaBloPoMo. I really have posted every day so far.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rylie and Jesus

I was telling Rylie about when Jesus was born and how He had to be born in the stable and had to lay in the manger. She said, "If I was there, I would give Him my Dora blanket to use and I would hug Him and say, 'It's okay'." I love her compassionate heart!
(Sidenote: I'm having major contractions tonight, very painful, not very much fun! But it is all worth it for my precious Anna!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving

Top 3 things Rylie is thankful for:

1. Corn

2. Cheeseburgers

3. God

(at least she's well fed!)

Here is the link to all of our Thanksgiving pictures:

http://community.webshots.com/album/561536487kVNJrl?vhost=community

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This is what I'm most Thankful for:

"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Dream Item for my Christmas List

Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI73MA/ref=amb_link_5873612_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-center-column&pf_rd_r=1YJK8WQ8HQE4759GHTY7&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=329252801&pf_rd_i=507846

Have you seen this yet? We have a friend that works at Amazon and worked on this project specifically, so we've been anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Can you imagine carrying 400 books around with you all the time? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. But, now you can in something the width of a pencil! Think of it as an Ipod for books. And it has wireless access so you can automatically have your favorite blogs downloaded to it every time they are updated. You don't have to be in a wifi hot spot either. I am so coveting this, the only downside is the price, $399. This is a little steep for me, but apparently not for other people since it's already sold out! I can dream though!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Addenm. to Saturday's post

My Pastor (Dad) called me and thought I should clarify my post on Saturday about the Holy Spirit. It wasn't that we weren't taught about the Holy Spirit or that we don't believe in Him. We believe that He is very much an integral part of the Godhead, He just wasn't emphasized as much as Jesus or the Father.

More Anna and Rylie

Part of the reason I have this blog is to record memories for my family and my children, so bear with me as I include things that are special to my heart, but may not mean much to anyone else.
This morning Rylie wanted to talk to Anna again. She layed a picture of herself on my belly button so Anna could see it, and she got upset when I took it off after a few minutes ("Anna's still looking at it!") She saw my belly move from Anna kicking it and her eyes got as big as saucers! She thought that was really exciting. When she heard my stomach growl, she said, "Mom, Anna said hi to me! I heard her!" She put her doll on my belly so Anna could snuggle it. She talked and played with my belly for about ten minutes. Then she said, "I'll be right back, I have to go to my office." That was followed by, "I'm soooo hungry and thirsty, my stomach is growling." in a very pathetic voice. Now she is happily eating her banana and muffin and watching Diego!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Nana!


Happy Birthday Patty! Thanks for being such a great Mom, Mom-in-Love, and Nana! We love you!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Anna and Rylie

Last night as I was putting Rylie to bed she wanted to give Anna hugs and kisses. She was so cute kissing my belly and trying to stretch her arms around me. She told her all about pumpkins and that she will take her to the pumpkin patch next year. She introduced her to her baby giraffe, and told her that she misses her. She put her finger in my belly button and said, "I'm touching Anna, I can feel her!" She gave her Eskimo kisses and "earys" (this is a kiss that Rylie made up where you rub your ears together). She stuck out her stomach and said "Look, Mommy, out bellies match!" My favorite though was when she said "I love you little sister."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Holy Spirit

Growing up as a Fundamentalist I think the Holy Spirit was downplayed in my thinking. It was a reaction to unbiblical doctrine that some other denominations hold. I have recently been thinking more about the Holy Spirit and His role in my life. I read this Valley of Vision prayer that was very glorifying to the Holy Spirit, so I wanted to share it with you.
Spiritus Sanctus
O Holy Spirit, as the sun is full of light, the ocean full of water, heaven full of glory, so may my heart be full of thee. Vain are all divine purposes of love and the redemption wrought by Jesus except thou work within, regenerating by thy power, giving me eyes to see Jesus, showing me the realities of the unseen world. Give me thyself without measure, as an unimpaired fountain, as inexhaustible riches. I bewail my coldness, poverty, emptiness, imperfect vision, languid service, prayerless prayers, praiseless praise. Suffer me not to grieve or resist thee. Come as power, to expel every rebel lust, to reign supreme and keep me thine; come as teacher, leading me into all truth, filling me with all understanding; come as love, that I may adore the Father, and love him as my all; come as joy, to dwell in me, move in me, animate me; come as light, illuminating the Scripture, moulding me in its laws; come as sanctifier, body, soul and spirit wholly think; come as helper, with strength to bless and keep, directing my every step; come as beautifier, bringing order out of confusion, loveliness out of chaos. Magnify to me they glory by being magnified in me, and me redolent of thy fragrance.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Psalm 100

Lord, I worship you with gladness and joyful songs because I know that you are the Sovereign, Supreme God. I know that you have created my Anna, she is yours. You are her shepherd. I am thankful that you are in control of her life. I praise you that you are good, your love and faithfulness for her endure forever!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Preterm Labor

That is the verdict from my Doctor. I was having more pains and contractions so I called my Doctor this morning. They had me come in and he did a number of tests. My cervix is still closed, which is a huge praise. But I am having preterm labor so he wants me to rest more than I have been, not be lifting, and to drink more water. I'm not quite sure what all that will entail as far as resting more. My Mom is taking Rylie for the day tomorrow so I can just have a day of rest and my wonderful sister in law has offered to take Rylie twice a week. I'm struggling with not wanting anyone to think I'm taking advantage of them, or being thought of as lazy, or not spending enough time with Rylie. Then on the other hand, I don't want Anna to come early. I want to give her the best chance possible. As Pam said, we want a nice fat, healthy baby. So, do I cut everything out? Do I just do Puggles, do I do both Women's Bible study and Flock group? Do I not do any of my Women's Ministry Board responsibilities? Can I still go places? Lot's to figure out. I think I'm just going to have to rest more during the day and then see how I'm feeling on a day by day basis.
The most exciting thing about today was hearing Anna's heartbeat again and seeing her little bum on the ultrasound. My Doctor was doing an ultrasound of my cervix, not on Anna, but I could still see a little of her! She keeps moving around like crazy, so that makes me feel reassured! When I told Rylie that I couldn't lift her anymore, she said, (patting my back) "that's ok Mommy, we'll take care of you." How can I go wrong with that?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fires and Broken Noses?

Last night we had some excitement in our house. Ryan was doing some marriage counseling with a couple in our Dining Room, so Rylie and I were hanging out in the kitchen. I put the rice on the stove to cook and decided to get some dishes done. Rylie was playing with her magnetic letters on the fridge (she found almost all of the letters that spell her name!), when she, very calmly says, "Mom, there's a fire." I turned around and there was a flame a foot high! Remember when I told you my house was all clean now? Well, I forgot the details, like cleaning the tops of the burners. I had spilled something that apparently was flammable. I grabbed a big cup of water and doused the flames. This shot ash and smoke throughout the room. I had to open the back door and shoo the smoke out while Rylie and I froze. She stayed so calm through it all, and Ryan the other couple didn't have a clue anything was happening! (I thought there was a Spiritual analogy in there somewhere about how if we don't pay attention and clean up the small sins in our life, then eventually something will spark them into a big flame that demands attention.)
After our dinner (which didn't burn at all), Ryan and Rylie were wrestling in the bedroom while I was doing dishes (do you see a pattern here?) when I heard Rylie's "hurt cry". She had fallen head first into Ryan's head. She skinned her forehead and her nose was red and swollen. We thought at first that it might be broken! We put ice on it right away and gave her lots of snuggles. She thought she'd better snuggle with Daddy and watch Diego and that worked. Halfway through Diego, her nose wasn't even hurting anymore. It's still a little red, but not swollen anymore.
So, the moral of the story is: bad things happen when I wash dishes, so I better not do them anymore! Don't you all agree?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Bean!


Happy Birthday Bean!!! I can't believe you're seven already! It really does seem like just yesterday that we were outside the door at the hospital waiting for the doctor to tell us that you were born. I got to hold you and breathe in all your newborn sweetness and now you are

in first grade, a whiz at reading, and my daughter's favorite cousin! We love you very much!

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Conversations with Rylie (so her Mommy remembers)

Me: Let's put your overalls on.
Rylie: No, Mom, they're "overgirls".

Ryan: Who has the bigger belly?
Rylie: Mommy! Your belly has cheeseburgers in it.
Ryan: Is Mommy's belly big because it has cheeseburgers in it?
Rylie: No, it's big because it has Anna in it. Yours has cheeseburgers in it!

Rylie: Mom, we're twins, I'm Rylie baby and you're Mommy baby

Rylie: (while peeling an orange) I have really strong fingers.

Rylie: Tell me about Jesus' birthday.

Rylie: When I turn three, will I be a boy?

Rylie: Do I have a brother?

Rylie: I have a guitar and a drum, do you have any instruments?
Me: No, I don't have any because I don't know how to play any.
Rylie: (in a compassionate tone) I'm sorry Mommy, that's ok, Daddy and I will teach you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

C.S. Lewis Quote About Evangelism

"Remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is worth the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. you have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization-these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors." (from The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses)

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Little Artist


Here is my little artist painting the other day. She loves to paint, her favorite medium is usually rocks. For some reason she loves to paint them. She will find nice big ones in the church parking lot and say "Oooh, this would be a good one to paint."
This day she decided that she wanted to paint with dark brown paint because that is her new favorite color, but not light brown ("that's yucky"). With each painting she would tell me what she was making, a nice pirate, the pumpkin patch, etc. My favorite was the one that she said was a "present for Jesus"! I thought that was so sweet!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Clean, clean, clean!

I was going to post about something completely different tonight, but instead I need to tell you all to come over to my house right now! It is so clean! I have always struggled with keeping a clean house (or room as my Mom would attest to), but I do enjoy it when it is clean. Tonight, my friend Becky came over and deep cleaned my bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and both living rooms!!!! Dusting, mopping, scrubbing, it's a beautiful thing! She wanted me to lay on the couch and rest while she was doing this, but I felt so humbled and guilty for letting her clean at all. Because she was doing the main housekeeping, I was able to do some decluttering that has needed to be done for some time. I won't bore you with all of the details, but lets just say that three loads of recycling were taken out, six bags of toys were either put in storage in the basement, or put into the give away pile, and various other things found new homes! My house not only feels cleaner now, it feels bigger! Ryan was so happy when he got home from Flock Group! Maybe I'll even take some pictures because I don't know when it will be in this state again (just kidding honey, it will be like this every day). Thank you soooo much Becky!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lessons

A few weeks ago, the Holy Spirit convicted me and taught me a lesson. I realized that all of the ministry stuff I had been doing was good, but my heart wasn't into it like it should be. I was partially doing it for the Lord and for the people that I love, but also partially out of obligation. If I didn't do it, who would? I was partially doing it out of my desire for others to look kindly on me (that is really hard to admit). My motivations weren't right. Should I be ministering so that I will look good? Am I the only one able to do certain things? Does it have to be done my way? Of course the answer to all of those are a resounding "no"! A few weeks ago, I worked so hard that I ended up crashing with a fever, etc. God really used this to teach me a lesson. My ministry isn't "my" ministry. It's God's, it is for His glory, for His honor. It has nothing to do with me. Any good thing I do, is from God anyway. I learned that I need to minister out of my love for God and love for others. This love is to be fueled by my walk with God, through my daily devotions.
Last week, I had already forgotten about this lesson that I learned. The main reason for this is because I didn't do my devotions all week. I didn't spend that time with the Lord to get refueled. I was frustrated when my Doctor said that I had to rest and cut some things out of my life. I had a full week of ministry planned, I felt guilty for cancelling things. I felt left out when I knew others were enjoying things that I wasn't a part of. I felt sorry for myself.
This morning, when I was finally doing my devotions again, I had a "duh" moment. Obviously I haven't really learned my lesson if I already forgot it. I think God planned for me to cut back on things so that I can refocus on what is important and get my heart motivation right. I need to spend this season getting closer to Him. I need to realize that He doesn't need me to do everything. He can do things (even better) with out me. And, He has gifted a lot of other people to serve also.
You may need to remind me of these lessons learned every now and then, but hopefully they are learned now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Read this article about a baby who refused to be aborted!

We're twinseparable! Happy with his brother, the boy who refused to dieBy LUCY LAING - More by this author » Last updated at 01:09am on 3rd November 2007
They say twins share a strong bond - but the one between Gabriel and Ieuan Jones was unbreakable.
When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart,and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.
Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel's suffering sooner rather than later
Mrs Jones decided to let doctors operate to terminate Gabriel's life.
Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.
They then cut Mrs Jones's placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.
But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.
Although he weighed less than a pound, he put up such a fight for survival that doctors called him Rocky.
Astonishingly, he managed to carry on living in his mother's womb for another five weeks - until the babies were delivered by caesarean section.
Now he and Ieuan are back at home in Stoke - and are so close they are always holding each other's hand.
Mrs Jones, 35, a financial adviser whose husband Mark, 36, is a car salesman, said: "It really is a miracle. Doctors carried out an operation to let Gabriel die - yet he hung on.
"It was unbelievable."
"When I felt him kicking madly the morning after the operation, I suddenly knew that he was going to hang on.
"The doctors couldn't believe it when they could still hear his heartbeat the next morning."
Mrs Jones learned she was expecting twins when she was ten weeks pregnant. She said: "When they told us we were over the moon."
But at her 20-week scan, doctors had some devastating news. One of the boys was half the size of his brother.
They didn't know what was causing it, but somehow he wasn't getting enough nutrients.
Then doctors said his heart was three times normal size and it was likely he would have a heart attack or a stroke in the womb.
Mrs Jones said: "They told us that if he died, it could be life threatening for his brother.
"We had to decide whether to end his life and let his brother live, or risk them both."
They said it would be impossible to keep him alive afterwards as he was so poorly.
It would be kinder to let him die in the womb with his brother by his side than to die alone after being born.
"That made my mind up for me. I wanted the best thing for him."
At Birmingham Women's Hospital, when Mrs Jones was 25 weeks pregnant, doctors tried to sever Gabriel's umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply and allow him to die.
But the cord was too thick, and they could not cut through it.
As a last resort they divided Mrs Jones's placenta so that when Gabriel died, it would allow Ieuan to survive. Mrs Jones said: "I put my hands on my stomach thinking of Gabriel. It was devastating. I had said my goodbyes."
But the next morning Mrs Jones felt Gabriel kicking. A scan showed his heart was still beating. She said: "No one could quite believe it."
Gabriel hung on, and his enlarged heart started to reduce in size. He also gained weight.
Mrs Jones said: "They thought it may be because the placenta had been divided. Inadvertently, it had evened out the distribution of nutrition between them, allowing Gabriel to survive.'
When Mrs Jones reached 31 weeks doctors carried out a caesarian to deliver the twins. Ieuan weighed 3lb 8oz and Gabriel 1lb 15oz. Both were kept in hospital, but since going home they have thrived. At seven months, Ieuan weighs 15lb and Gabriel 12lb 6oz.
Mrs Jones said: "The boys are so healthy, they have huge appetites too. Ieuan is the noisy one, while Gabriel is always laughing, it's like he's just so happy to be here.
"There is such a strong bond between them.
"They are always holding hands and if one cries, the other reaches out to comfort him."
"Doctors tried to break their bond in the womb, but they just proved it couldn't be broken."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Needy Children

Last night at church we had a missionary come and speak to us about Nicaragua. He is with Chosen Children Ministries. Nicaragua is the second poorest country on the Western Hemisphere. 80% of the population is 18 or younger, the majority of them being 15 or younger. These children live in extreme poverty. It made me cry to see the pictures of these children. It also made me realize how many things I take for granted. I was cleaning up the table from last nights dinner and saw the Taco Bell wrappers, pop cups, Starbucks cup, candy wrappers, etc. Did I even thank God for providing this food for me? There is so much to be thankful for and so much to pray for. I never remember to pray for those less fortunate around the world. Even more than their need for food is their need for the Gospel. Lot's to pray for! We can also help by giving of our money. Stephanie (www.creaturebug.com) is donating $1 for every comment left on her blog towards sponsoring a child in Africa. Go over there, read her blog and comment for a good cause. And then, pray for the children around the world, then explore different ways to help!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thankful

I realized this morning that Thanksgiving is not very far away. We won't have Puggles the night before Thanksgiving, so if we want to celebrate it with them, we have to do it a week early, which is in two weeks! (By the way, www.betterhomesandgardens.com has some great ideas for kids Thanksgiving crafts, games, and free printables.)
It made me think about some things I am thankful for. I am so incredibly thankful that my little Anna is doing ok in the womb and that I got to hear her strong heartbeat. I was really starting to freak out on Friday morning waiting for the doctor! I am very thankful for my precious Rylie girl (who can now spell her own name!), she is such a delight and a joy to me! I am very thankful for my Godly husband. He has been so helpful lately and has been giving me opportunities to rest and doing sweet things for me (and for Rylie). My favorite thing in the world is to watch the two of them playing together! They love each other so much, and the giggling (from both of them) is contagious! I'm also thankful for the rest of my family, my parents, my in-laws, Matt and Pam, my nieces and nephews, my sisters, etc. This wasn't supposed to be a thanksgiving post, so I won't go on and on. (Of course I am very thankful for my salvation!)
The whole point of this post was supposed to be to thank my friend Becky for being such a wonderful friend! I could fill this whole page with things she has done for me and for others and for things she has taught me, and ways she has caused me to grow. She knew I was bummed out that I had to miss out on some things yesterday and that I've already had to cancel on three events next week. So, she dropped by with a pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pecan strudel, whip cream, and even a mini pumpkin for Rylie! She really didn't have time to do this, she was incredibly busy, it would have been much easier for her to just go home. It was very thoughtful of her, and yummy! She has offered to come clean my house for me while we are gone at Bible study! Like I said, this is just a fraction of the kindnesses that she has shown me and my family! We are very thankful for her! Most importantly, I know that she prays for me and my family. She loves my children, even though she doesn't have children of her own, she offered to watch Rylie and gave her such a fun night. She came to Anna's ultrasound, even though I'm sure it made her sad to not be having one of her own. She gives me Godly advice, without criticism. Enough gushing, you should all get one like her! We love you Becky!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Haloween


Here is my little zebra! Isn't she adorable?! She went trick or treating with her cousins Abby and Luke in my parents neighborhood. Abby and Luke were pirates, but Abby decided to call herself a ladybug, after all, she was wearing red and black. They were also adorable! I just love kids in costume. After our candy gathering, we went to Awana to our pumpkin party. This year no costumes were allowed and there was some controversy over having a harvest party or not, so Pam (my sis-in-law, who is the Cubbies director) and I decided to combine Puggles and Cubbies and have a pumpkin party. Pam did a great job organizing it all! We broke the kids up into three groups and they took turns going to three different rooms. One room was our game room. We had six different carnival type games set up (bean bag toss, etc.). At each game they got prizes and candy to put into their bags. This was a big hit with the kids. Rylie loved the fishing game. She wanted to play that one over and over! Then, they went to another room and decorated cookies (with at least an inch of frosting each) and made wreaths out of their hand prints and paint. It was very cute. After that, they went to another room where they heard a story and ate cupcakes and popcorn balls. All in all it was a fun night! If you want to see pictures from the evening you can click this link here:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dr. Appointment

I have been having some cramping/contractions this week, so I went to my doctor this morning just to have it checked out. He said that Anna is fine (praise the Lord), but I need to rest more and "put my feet up" during the day. I'm not quite sure how to do that with a certain two year old little girl, and a full ministry schedule, but I'll work on it. I already had to cancel out on two birthday parties tomorrow. I hate doing this, but if I didn't I would only have one day out of seven that I would be able to be home. I really have a hard time feeling like I'm not fulfilling my responsibilities, plus I'm a social person, so I hate to feel left out. If I'm home for too many days in a row, I get a little stir crazy. But, my primary responsibility is to my family, so I need to cut back on a few things for my little Anna's sake (it will be good for Rylie too). I was so thankful today to hear her strong heartbeat! I'm very grateful that she is okay!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Christmas List

Ok, you have to check out this website! I'm adding this to my Christmas list (I know wishful thinking!) http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/eye-fi-wifi-memory/
It's a wifi card you can put in your digital camera! After you take your pictures, say at the pumpkin patch, you can upload them to your online photo storage service (ie: webshots) right then and there! From the Pumpkin Patch, or wherever you might be! How cool is that?! I'm so excited about this new technology! My husband on the other hand, thinks it's a waste of money, so I probably won't be getting this for Christmas, but it's fun to dream!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Pictures!






We had so much fun yesterday! We went to the pumpkin patch with my parents and brother, sister-in-law, and family, then we went back to Matt and Pam's house for pumpkin carving and dinner. I know I wasn't going to include pictures with my posts for awhile, but I can't resist pumpkin patch pictures! Here is the link if you want to see all of the rest of the adorable pictures:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One More Rylieism

Rylie:"Mommy can you read to me from John, like Grandma did? Read about how they were naughty to Jesus. The Pirates were mean to Him."
Me: "Do you mean Pilate?"
Rylie: "No, the pirates! They are always the mean guys!"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rylieisms

"I don't like sunny days, I like nighttime days."
"I'm going to be a spider when I grow up. I'm going to be blue and have eight legs and not talk. Spiders don't talk."
"When Anna gets bigger she'll know how to talk and then we'll call her Rylie."
"I'm not your girl, I'm Grandma and Grandpa's girl."
"You're the best Mommy/Daddy in the world!" (that one's my favorite!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Good Quote

This is a quote from Missionary Adoniram Judson after burying his wife on the Mission Field:
"Great is our privilege, precious our opportunity, to co-operate with the Savior in the blessed work of enlarging and establishing His kingdom throughout the world . . . Let us not, then, regret the loss of those who have gone before us and are waiting to welcome us home, nor shrink from the summons that must call us thither. Let us only resolve to follow them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Let us so employ the remnant of life, and so pass away, that our successors will say of us, as we of our predecessors, 'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Baby Appointment

I had an OB checkup today. After a few agonizing minutes (ok, probably just a few seconds, but it felt like forever), the Doctor found Anna's heartbeat and it was loud and strong! Just the way we like it! I'm at almost 21 weeks, but I'm measuring 22 weeks. The Doctor said that it is probably because Anna is a little longer than average. If you've seen me, you know that height runs in the family! Those of you who do know me are laughing right now - 5'2 can be pretty formidable! (Long Legged Louise, right Dee?!) I'm pretty proud of myself though, because I haven't gained any weight in three months, and prior to that I only gained a few pounds! I learned my lesson when I was pregnant with Rylie and stayed looking pregnant for the last two years! Anyway, it was a praise to hear her heartbeat and know she's growing good! Next appointment - glucose test!

New Blog

Check out a new blog I added to my list of blogs that I read: Growing Together. I also joined BlogHer. There's a button on the side in case you want to join too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NaBloPoMo

Ok, I decided to take the challenge and join NaBloPoMo! All that means is that I will be posting every day in November. You are going to get so sick of me! Thanks Karen!

Wordy Wednesday!

Recently, a couple people have told me that when they pull up my blog it freezes their computer for a few minutes. I think this is because of all of the pictures that I post. I'm working on trying to make them smaller, but in the meantime, I will forgo posting new pictures. This is so hard for me, I am a scrapbooker at heart! So, for a while, you will just get my random musings!
I have really been enjoying my devotions this week. I have put some of the things that I learned from our Women's Retreat into practice and it has helped tremendously.
Today, I was reading Psalm 78. I have been taking out all of the things that I see that teach more about who God is, His character. But, today in between all of the wonderful things I saw about the Lord (22 things!) I also came across a verse that encouraged me. I have been feeling like I am just getting through the day lately (probably because I've been really busy and sick), and not purposefully living out my day. Especially when it comes to Rylie. Don't get me wrong, I take care of her and play with her, etc. But I haven't been focused on teaching her the Word. In this Psalm today, it talked about the commands to the Israelites to teach their children and even the unborn ones, the future generations about God, and His commands, and all He had done for them. Verse 7 is the one that gave a reason for this, "Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." This verse was encouraging to me because it kind of gave me a motivation, a purpose statement. I need to have some goals. I have had these goals for my children, but it was good to find them stated so succinctly in this verse. I think it's one I need to commit to memory!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Pregnancy Buddy!



This is my pregnancy buddy, Becky. She is due 10 days after me. She is my friend from church. It's been so fun to go through this pregnancy with her. This is also her second baby, her first being a girl, just like me. She will find out the gender of her baby in a couple weeks. She has been amazingly strong. For her first trimester, when she was feeling the worst, her husband was deployed overseas. He is an Army Ranger and where he goes and when he goes and returns is top secret. Becky doesn't even know for sure when to expect him. Praise the Lord, he returned safely from this mission, but was now sent somewhere in the States for a few weeks. Becky has been so strong during this time, she has really been relying on the Lord. With her first pregnancy she delivered very early and Lindsey was premature and had to remain in the hospital for quite a while. She is now a very healthy, adorable little girl. Becky now has to take shots twice a week to prevent the same thing from happening this time. I'm so proud of how well she's doing. Keep her and her baby in your prayers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Women's Retreat

We had our Fall Women's Retreat this weekend. It went great, other than me feeling absolutely miserable! I am now definitely sicker than last week. I asked the pharmacist if there was anything I could take (because of being pregnant), he just laughed at me! Now, I feel like I could just curl up and die. Of course when I do curl up, I get heartburn and I feel like I'm squishing the baby, not to mention that I can't hardly breathe because I'm so stuffed up. Then there's the intense pain in my ears and the burning in my throat. . . ok, enough whining!
Back to the retreat, we had a good turnout and I think everyone had a good time! Friday night, we had a fun time of fellowship and of course played our annual game of Taboo! (should I mention that my team won?!) About 1:00am those of us that where still up decided we needed to go to Denny's. I have been craving biscuits and gravy for awhile. The top picture is Jenaya and Sara at Denny's, and the next picture is Jessica and Keren at Denny's. Jessica, Keren and I spent the night, well, the early morning hours, at the church. I wasn't sure if I would get my five months pregnant body off of the nursery floor in the morning, but I managed.

Saturday we had a great day of learning from the Word. (And of course lot's of food!) Deborah shared with us in the first session what she does for her devotional time. She is amazing! She spends one to two hours every morning, reading five Psalms, two Valley of Vision prayers and then she has a separate notebook for each member of her family (six people including herself). She uses those to pray specific requests for each of them, and then she finds Scripture to pray for them for that day. She does some other things too. When I asked her to be one of our speakers, I asked her because I knew she was a Godly woman, but I didn't realize how deep her devotional life is. God really had me choose the right person! She is so gracious and humble too, it never came across as pious. For our second session, I had everyone go off on their own and just spend time in God's Word. We are all so busy and have so many distractions at home, that I had hoped this would be a real gift to them to have an uninterrupted hour. For our third session Betty shared with us how she realized that God was her shepherd when she battled breast cancer this summer. It was great to see how she applied something she had learned in her devotional life, practically.
The retreat was a lot of work, but it was worth it. It was a great time of fellowship and learning. I loved seeing women getting to know other women that they didn't know before. We always make place cards and move them around to different spots for each meal so they have to sit with someone new. This avoids cliques.
Now, I'm going to try to take a nap while Rylie watches Wonder Pets! (Yes, we skipped church today!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

25 Years of Ministry


Wow! What a celebration! My parents have been ministering at our church for 25 years. In this day and age of Pastors going from church to church, it is an amazing accomplishment to be faithful in one ministry for 25 years. We are so proud of them, and of course give the glory to God. We had a special service Sunday morning with presentations and a Message from my cousin, Jerry, who is also a Pastor. The Sunday School classes also did a special program. Rylie's class was supposed to sing, "You are my Sunshine", but they all just stood there with deer in the headlights eyes. Rylie had practiced all week and knew all the words, but I guess it was a little intimidating to be standing in front of all those people.
Sunday evening we had a Banquet for them. It was a catered event. We had different people share memories and honor Mom and Dad and the Lord.
This whole celebration has been a lot of fun to plan and also a lot of work. This is why I haven't been blogging much lately. There have been a million details to attend to. But, it was all worth it to see the smiles on my parent's faces!
Here is a link to all of the rest of the pictures from the celebrations:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anna


Your pregnancy: 19 week
How your baby's growing:Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. If your baby is a girl, she has an astonishing 6 million eggs in her ovaries. They'll dwindle to fewer than two million by the time she's born.