Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ridiculous!

I paid $4.23 for gas today! Out of control!

Belated Memorial Day Pictures





We enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day BBQ with our friends, Aaron and Becky and half of Becky's family (her Dad was on a business trip and her sister was off on her Honeymoon!) It's so great how Christians have an instant bond in the Lord even if they don't know each other all that well. Thanks for such a fun day, Aaron and Becky!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Linky Love (My Man C.S. Lewis)


Tabletalk talks about the man in this article.
Interesting Review of Prince Caspian.
Imagination of the man, how Lewis wants us to read his books.
Significance; why the man is important.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Giveaway!

Go check out this giveaway at Seattle Mom Blogs for a chance to win a stay at the beach!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Congratulations!

Congratulations Josh and Kate! Hudson Elliot was born at 9lbs, 10 ozs! Mom and baby are doing well!

Anniversary Pictures


















We had such a good time on our Anniversary! I surprised Ryan with a trip to an Italian Villa Bed and Breakfast (in our town). When we walked into our room there was tea lights burning, and rose petals all over the room, it was beautiful! We went to dinner at the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant. It was good, but we were too full to get the chocolate fondue for desert, that will be for another day. The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in our room and uninterrupted conversation! That afternoon we went to our friend, Becky's sister's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, very romantic and glorifying. My surprise from Ryan was a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings and a Journey diamond necklace! I was so surprised! I love them, I'll try to post a picture later. We had a wonderful ten year Anniversary!

I don't deserve His love! (from Valley of Vision)

My Father, enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips, supply words that proclaim 'Love lustres at Calvary.' There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son, made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me; there the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow; there thy infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite atonement was made; there infinite punishment was due, and infinite punishment was endured. Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell's worst that I might attain heaven's best, stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, a thirst that I might drink, tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light. My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped form my eyes, groaned that I might have endless song, endured all pain that I might have unfading health, bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem, bowed his head that I might uplift mine, experienced reproach that I might receive welcome, closed his eyes in death that I might for ever live. O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me, All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished; help me to adore thee by lips and life. O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed, Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed, sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood, hell's gates closed, heaven's portal open. Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Heroes!

Josiah is my hero! He was so awesome! I can't wait to meet him in Heaven some day.

As you know, we have been reading through 2 Kings. I keep reading about generations of evil kings. They had totally set aside the Law of the Lord and were worshipping false gods and doing all kinds of wicked things (ripping open pregnant women, sacrificing their own children, etc.) Josiah's own grandfather was probably the worst there was.

But, then you come to Josiah. He started ruling when he was only eight years old, he had an awful heritage. He could have easily gone astray and followed in the footprints of his grandfather and father, but he followed the Lord. He went a step farther than many of the other kings and tore down the "high places" were the people were worshipping idols. He set to restore the house of the Lord. One of the priests found the Book of the Law that had been cast aside generations previous. When Josiah heard the Word of the Lord, he was completely convicted and humbled. He didn't just keep it to himself though, he read it to all the people and made a covenant before all of them to obey the Lord.

Then, he cleaned house! He went through all of Israel and literally tore to pieces all of the idols and alters, and all of the things used to worship the the false gods. I'm sure this made many people very angry, but he didn't care. He was courageous and was serious about getting rid of sin and reestablishing God's Law. He not only acted externally, but he gave the Lord his whole heart and soul.

These are the kind of people we need to hold up as our heroes!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Love x 10



Ten years ago, I never dreamed how wonderful my life would be. Ten years ago, I was in love and walking down the aisle to marry my best friend. This was the love of my life that I knew so well. This was the boy that I sat next to in Junior High. This was the boy that always made me laugh in English class. This was the boy whose art work I admired. This was the boy who, for a time, was the spiritual leader in our class. This was the boy I hung out with, was friends with, flirted with, talked with, laughed with, but never in a million years thought I would marry. This was the boy that I shared so many teenage memories with. This was the boy that became my best friend during our college years. This was the boy that pursued me even when I broke his heart. This was the boy that made me jealous when he dated someone else (even though I had no claim on him). This was the boy that kissed me. This was the boy my family and friends said not to let get away. This is the boy I fell in love with. This is the boy I married!
Now, this is the man I am still in love with. This is the man who pursues God with his whole heart. This is the man who skillfully teaches others. This is the man others turn to for wise counsel. This is the man who still makes me laugh harder than anyone else could. This is the man who encourages me and challenges me to grow. This is the man who is more than a Father, this is a man who is a Daddy. This is the man who will crawl into an ice bath with his little girl to get her fever down. This is the man who will get up with a baby in the middle of the night so I can sleep. This is the man who thinks of creative answers to "why" even though it's the hundredth time he's been asked. This is the man who disciplines, teaches, plays, and shows unconditional love to his daughters. This is the man who studies diligently. This is the man who ministers even when he is completely exhausted. This is the man who is my example. This is the man that loves me even when I fail miserably. This is the man that puts up with me, forgives me. This is the man that I still kiss. This is the man I fell in love with. This is the man that I married!
(Go see what Ryan made for me! On the framed one that he gave me, he also drew our girls! He had originally written this for me when we were dating. Yes, I cried! He still hasn't revealed his other surprise for me and it's still driving me crazy!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Week 5 Weigh In

I'm down one pound this week. I have had a sick baby that has required almost all of my attention this week so I haven't exercised, so I was worried that I wouldn't have lost, or that I would have gained. So, one pound is exciting to me!
I have lost nine pounds in five weeks. My goal was ten pounds, but that's not too far off. That means that if I want to stay on my weight loss schedule, I will have to lose eleven pounds next month. That should be doable if I don't slack on my counting calories and if I start exercising regularly. I'm glad that I'm accountable to you all through this blog, otherwise I would've given up by now, after all, who would know? Thank you for reading this and for making comments. They are so encouraging!
Does anyone know what are some low calorie, high protein foods? I feel like I need to eat lots of protein to stay full. Whenever I don't eat protein, I feel sort of light headed, but I don't want to eat extra calories either.

Side note: Tomorrow is our ten year anniversary! I have a special surprise planned for Ryan that I'm excited about. He has a surprise for me too, and it's driving me crazy that I don't know what it is! I keep peppering him with questions and his answers just make me more confused! He has been doing some mysterious things this week! Hopefully I'll have lots to tell you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Awesome Verses

These verses from John 6 (35-37) are so packed full of Soteriology and are such a comfort!

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."

Thank you Lord for giving me to the Son! Thank you for keeping me eternally! I don't deserve this at all, in fact I deserve quite the opposite! I know this is not based on anything I have (or will do)! That makes it all the more secure! I praise you Holy God for your perfect plans!

(Ryan's Mom is home and doing better, thank you for praying. They think she may have Diabetes now.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for Ryan's Mom, she was taken to the ER this afternoon for a super high blood sugar (she's not diabetic). Ryan and his sisters are with her now. I'll update when I find out more information.
My baby, Anna, has RSV, but the doctor said it's not bad enough for her to be on medication. The poor little girl has been coughing and sneezing and just seems like she feels miserable.

(For my records: She now weighs 10.13 and started sleeping upstairs in her crib, sharing a room with her big sister!)

My Little Chef!




Lately Rylie has been helping me make dinners. She will pull her princess chair into the kitchen so she can stand at the counter with me. She especially enjoys putting shredded cheese on everything we make. One handful on our pizza, one handful in her mouth. She actually did almost all of this pizza by herself.
I am so thankful for these times we have together like this and for her helpful heart. There is a certain element of "look what I can do by myself", but there is also a genuine desire to be helpful. I am trying to cultivate that now and to teach her why we want to be helpful. She is learning that everything we do is to glorify God and enjoy Him. I want to pass this lesson on in practical ways.
Please let me know how you incorporate this lesson practically? What chores do your children have?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I recently read this quote by J.C. Ryle on another blog. I thought it might be an encouraging reminder of God's love for us, even when we are going through trials. Enjoy!

“Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: ‘He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).
See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you except in love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

He is Faithful!

In my devotions I have been reading in 2 Kings (along with others in my church) and I have noticed how over and over again, it states that various kings "did evil". Almost all of them abandoned the commands of the Lord and did their own thing. Even the ones that were good, still didn't completely obey the Lord (as David did). They still didn't tear down the idols and demand the people to stop worshiping them. As a result of all these evil kings, God allowed them to be attacked by their enemies. They suffered the consequences of their sins. God had warned them about this, but they continued in their sin anyway.
Several times, they were on the brink of complete destruction, but God stepped in and saved them. God was angry with them, they had disobeyed Him even after repeated warnings. He had every right to let them be destroyed (He had every right to let them be destroyed even if they hadn't disobeyed them, but that's for a different post.) Yet, God, because of His perfect nature, was faithful to the the promises He had made to Abraham. He didn't have to. He is not bound to any man, but because He is perfect, He was faithful and He keeps His promises. He does this for His glory and for His future plans.
I am so thankful that He kept His promises to the Israelites back then (this had/has future ramifications for us) and that He still keeps His promises today!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fun in the sun!





Linky Love

Evangelical Manifesto: Here is Dr. Albert Mohler's take on this interesting document.

Preschool Crafts/Educational Materials: This site offers free, downloadable ideas and templates for crafts and teaching materials. You can also sign up for their free enewsletter and get printables sent to you a few times a week. I've used their ideas several times with Rylie.

Modesty: This is a series of must read blog posts for every woman. Even if you think that you are a modest woman, there is something in here to make you think.

Free Audio: Here is another link to a site that offers free audio. You can download these great works of literature for free! I have really been enjoying this. I hate to do housework, but it makes it much more enjoyable if I can do housework while listening to a book on my iPod. Plus, there are several books that I would like to read/re-read, but don't have time to sit down with a book. This is a nice alternative. There is definitely value in sitting down with the paper and ink, but this is a good substitute when you don't have that luxury.

Please let me know if you have any good links you want me to include !

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Week 4 Weigh In

I have to confess that I had several "bad" days this week. Did you see the picture of the chocolate fountain?! However, I somehow still managed to lose 2 pounds! A couple of weeks ago, I had watched my calories really closely and I didn't lose anything. My wonderful husband helped me to figure out what I was doing wrong. I was barely eating anything during the day, and then at night I would eat the bulk of my calories, usually in the form of fast food, or some other kind of junk. I have been trying to reverse that and eat a bigger breakfast, smaller lunch, and smaller dinner. My only problem with this is that I don't like most breakfast food and I want to snack in the evening. I'm going to eat whatever food I like in the morning even if it isn't designated in the "breakfast" category, and if I really have to snack in the evening, I will snack on fruit or veggies. I decided that I'm going to stick with nonfat coffee, but not the sugar free. I just can't handle the chemically taste (and if it tastes like chemicals, it can't be all that healthy can it?). It's only 30-40 calories more to get something that actually tastes good. If you get an iced coffee it has even less calories in it because they use less milk. I don't feel bad for splurging on coffee a couple of times a week because it's the only milk I drink (I hate milk!) and the caffeine is the fuel of life! (Yes I know how bad it is for you, but as far as vices go, it's not so bad. . .)
I have not found time to exercise this last week except for one walk with Michelle and the kids at the mall (thanks Michelle!) For reasons I will not go into here, I have not been able to do my workout DVD, so I really need to find other forms of exercise and make it a priority. I will get back to the DVD soon. I need to start thinking of exercise as a normal part of daily life and incorporate it into our routine.
Total Weight Loss: 8 pounds
Pounds Remaining: 67 pounds

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Weekend Through Pictures

A Weekend full of Mother's Day events, chocolate, garage sale finds (all these clothes for $10!), smiles, Wii play, family, and roses from a cherished friend! Who could ask for more?!











Happy Mother's Day Mommy! I love you!!!




Friday, May 9, 2008

The Best Link!

The best link, in my humble opinion, has to be for Ryan's post today. He posted video of our Rylie girl saying her catechism. It's pretty cute! (and I'm a proud Mama!)

Linky Love

United Fire Fighters Foundation: The first linky love shout out has to go to my brother's foundation. This site is primarily for firefighters, but check out their current fundraising effort to benefit a former firefighter who is battling for his life. Read his story and if you're so moved, donate to this worthy cause.

Christian Audio: This site is chock full of Christian books, fiction and nonfiction, that are available for purchase in a downloadable format or in the form of a CD that you can have shipped to you. They also have a catalogue of free downloadable items. I downloaded quite a few John Piper sermons into my iTunes library. The part I liked the best though was that they give away a full book once a month. Free! This month they are giving away Martin Luther; In His Own Words, a $12.98 value.

Coupons: Who doesn't love coupons?! (I got a good quality lunch meat the other day for only fifty cents using coupons!) This site has printable coupons for almost everything. You can even put in your zip code and they will tell you about local deals.

Lost Spoilers, Theories, and More: If you are a Lost fan (as I am!) you need to check out this site for everything Lost. There are Easter Eggs, theories, spoilers, summaries, behind the scenes info, etc. Very fun!

Let me know you're favorite links! Email or comment me. Sending you all some linky love!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Week 3 Weigh In and Awana Awards



One and a half pounds gone this week. Not stellar, but better than nothing. I've reviewed my week and realized some changes that I need to make, so hopefully next week I'll have some big results. I'm too tired to go into it all now.
Last night we had the end of the year Awana awards ceremony. It was so fun to recognize my little Puggles (don't tell them I called them little!) Aren't they adorable?! The other picture is Rylie and her cousin Abby hamming it up. Rylie is very excited that next year she gets to be a Cubbie like her cousin!
I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but I got my hair cut and foiled this week. I went to a beauty school. It was significantly cheaper, but it took much longer. Becky and I went together to get our hair foiled as part of our "mentoring time" and that took three hours. They didn't have time to do the haircut so I had to go back yesterday morning for another three hours. Thanks to my wonderful hubby for going in late to work so I could do that!
Lot's more to say, but it's past my bedtime! Enjoy some linky love tomorrow! I'm already started on next weeks list!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Linky Love, Pretty Dress, and Other Things




First of all, thanks to Aunt TeeTee (Sarah) for Rylie's pretty dress. She loved it! She also liked her "ballerina" hairdo. Unfortunately, by the end of Sunday School her up do was more of a messy braid, but she was still cute.

We started having her do some chores. She really enjoys her "special jobs". She got upset the other day when I forgot and put my clothes down the laundry chute instead of having her do it. We are also working on a children's catechism with her. So far she has four questions/answers memorized. For some reason she feels she needs to yell the answers half of the time! My favorite is hearing her answer number two, "Why did God make you?" Answer: "To glorify and enjoy him". To hear this in her little voice is just precious!

The Banana had her two month well baby check up today. She is now 10lbs, 10 ozs. She has gained almost a pound just in the last two weeks. She is now in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height (23 inches). She had to get four shots, which are always hard to watch. Her little bottom lip was sticking out so far, it was so sad. The doctor confirmed that she did have acid reflux and was pleased to see that the Zantac is starting to work. She said that Anna will need to be on that for the next couple months at least. She also reiterated that Anna needs to be on hypoallergenic formula (which is ridiculously expensive) due to allergies, etc. The Doctor said that neither of these treatments will help with her excessive spit up. I've decided to just tell people that it is my new perfume. Other than these things, Anna is very healthy. The doctor said that she thinks she is going to have a "sweet personality". Anna was smiling and cooing at the Doctor during the whole exam.

Have I mentioned that Anna has said "Mama" 6 times now?! I know, I know, she's only two months old and I am an unrealistic mother, but, I have had four witnesses (at different times)! I'm not saying that she knows what she's saying, but she is at the very least imitating me. Hundreds of times a day I'm telling her, "Mama, Mama, Mama". She also gets a big smile and watches my mouth very closely. If I can capture it on video, I'll post it!

Rylie and I have been gearing up (translation: scouring the house for change) for garage sale season. She has her own change purse and wants to stop whenever we see a sign. Last weekend I got myself a lined black Gap coat for only a dollar. Rylie bought herself some new books, and stuffed animals (because we don't have enough of those!) for less than a dollar.

I'm going to start a new feature, "Linky Love". There have been several web sites I've found that I'd like to share with you all. I'm going to try to post links once a week. If you have any favorites you think I should include, email me or leave a comment. Be looking for the first edition on Friday.

And now, I need to get to bed. My new schedule of getting up at 6:30 every morning is making me very tired around this time of night.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Daddy's Girls!



I am so thankful to have Ryan as a Daddy for my girls! He is so good with them. His love for them is very obvious. He is sacrificial and helpful. He has fun with them and is teaching them all about the Lord. He is a wonderful Daddy and we love him very much!