Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Pam!



Happy Birthday Pammy! You are more than a friend, you are truly a sister! I love you!

Update on Cathy

Please continue to pray for Cathy. She is now on life support. Pray for her family as well!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Please Pray!

Please pray for dear, sweet, Cathy Norris! She is visiting her family in Arizona and had a heart attack this evening and had to be airlifted to another hospital, where she is in ICU due to failing kidneys! She is one of the most giving people I have ever met. Her love for the Lord shines through her in everything she does! She is like a Grandma to me and so many others at our church. Please pray for her and her family right now!

Interruptions

This past week, I've been feeling like I have been in a hamster wheel. Do you know what I mean? Where you feel like you are just rushing around but not really getting anywhere? I have been complaining that I have so much to do (combination of "real life", getting ready for Women's Retreat, MOPS, catching up from being sick, etc.), and I can't get anything accomplished because I keep getting interrupted. I'm ashamed to say that I was mostly complaining about my children interrupting me! How utterly selfish! The Lord has convicted me greatly! My precious daughters are blessings! I was further convicted/encouraged when I read this C.S. Lewis quote on Girl Talk:
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.” The Quotable Lewis, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1989), 335.
Hopefully that will encourage you as it has me!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Salvation

"The salvation of every person is initiated by God and is His sovereign choice, through grace, based upon no merit whatsoever in the individual sinner. None of us deserves salvation - which means there is nothing we can do to earn, win, achieve, or otherwise attain salvation based upon our own merit, intelligence, good works, rational intellectual argument, religious or denominational affiliation, or family heritage. We can do nothing by any means to save ourselves. Salvation has nothing to do with our initiative or accomplishment. Salvation is all by grace. There is no clearer manifestation of this truth than the gift of eternal life given to a helpless, lost infant. The saving grace given to an infant who has no part whatsoever in his salvation is a perfect example of salvation, which is always wrought sovereignty by God through grace."

John MacArthur, Safe in the Arms of God (pg. 77)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Linky Love

MOPS: If you haven't heard, VBC is starting our own MOPS group! Go to our blog to find out all the details!

Uploading Photos: This is a one place stop for uploading all of your photos. You can upload your photos to a plethora of photo sites (ie: Webshots, Photobucket, Shutterfly, Blogger) all at once!

Worship Conference: Go here to listen to Sovereign Grace's worship conference for free. There are some great messages!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big Kid Class!

Every Sunday Rylie spends her time in the nursery. She is in there for her Sunday School class and for playtime. But, this week, she started her big kid Sunday school class. She is in a class for three years olds that meets upstairs in it's own classroom. I'm so proud of my big girl!
Thanks Natalie and Sarah for teaching her!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby Friends!


Hailey, Anna, and Sophia were all born within a week of each other. We took a picture of them together as newborns, so Sunday when we were all in the nursery together, we decided they needed a six month picture together. Aren't they adorable?!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Brother was on the News!


Go here to watch the video of my brother on the news! He was interviewed by the local news station about the annual Tunnel to Towers Run. For those of you who don't know, he is a Firefighter and has started a foundation (UFFF) to help fallen and injured firefighters and their families. One of their causes is the Tunnel to Towers Run. This is a run in New York City to honor the firefighters who died in 9/11. It is also in honor of a firefighter who had just gotten off duty and was on his way home when the call came in that the planes were crashing into the World Trade Center. He grabbed his gear and ran from one of the tunnels in Manhattan to the World Trade Center Towers. He gave his life trying to save others. His family now has this run every year to honor him and others and to give money to local (NY) families in need. My brother, Matt and some other firefighters from the Northwest are leaving in a few days to do this run. They are receiving an award (Brother to Brother) for their fundraising efforts. In the interview, Matt is at his foundations booth at the fair, where I worked last week. In the background you can see someone else selling shirts, that's Pam's brother, Steven.
(I know this picture is tiny, I couldn't make it any bigger. It's a picture of Matt and some of the other firefighters at last years run.)

Jessica and Anna



Anna loves our friend, Jessica! (So does Rylie) She gives her big grins and always wants Jessica to hold her. Jessica is married to our friend Cris. He has been one of my brother's best friends since they were in High School. He lived with my family for awhile, I've always thought of him as a little brother. We missed him when he went away with the military, but then excited when he came back home with a wife, Jessica! Soon after he was deployed to Iraq for over a year so we got to know Jessica really well. It was exciting to see her grow and mature in the Lord and become an active part of our church family. We also really enjoyed growing in our friendship!
This picture is of Jessica and Anna at Becky's house one evening when they babysat her. I love Anna's face in this picture! She has her mouth open and I can just hear her yelling at the balloon. Lately almost all of my pictures of Anna are with her mouth open, happily yelling something to us!
Thank you Jessica for being such a good friend to us and for loving our daughters! We can't wait to meet baby Keeley! We love her already!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comfort in God's Sovereignty

This quote from John MacArthur's book, Safe in the Arms of God, has been very comforting to me as I've been working through my miscarriage. I thought I would share it with you in case in can offer you some comfort as well!

"The decision about whether a baby lives or dies is God's decision. He allows conception. He allows birth. He also allows death at birth. He allows what is in keeping with His purposes. No death or life occurs apart from the purposes of God. God is actively involved in every feature of every life, including whether a child is born or dies in the womb, and whether a child lives past birth or dies at birth."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Life

I haven't posted in a few days because life has just gotten the best of me. I've been busy and feeling emotionally and physically drained. I have to admit that I've let my emotions get the best of me and have therefore been eating pretty much whatever I've felt like and not counting calories. Thankfully I didn't gain any weight this week, but I wasted a week where I could've lost some. My hormones are all wacky still, so that doesn't help anything.
There are a lot of things on my heart that I would like to vent about, but they involve other people, so I won't. I will tell you about some exciting things that happened this week.
Sunday, when I was home sick (thanks Mom for taking the girls!), I heard a loud crash and looked outside to see a hit and run. People are constantly going through the stop sign in front of our house. The girl that was driving the car that was hit, got out and ran down the road, yelling and cursing, trying to chase the other car. She was extremely mad! I wanted to go out on my porch to watch the action, but hesitated because I was in my pajamas. Then I looked around at the other neighbors that had come outside. There were three other people in their pajamas as well (this was at 4:00 in the afternoon). I guess I wasn't alone in the 'hood! Anyway, there was a lot of ruckus and commotion for about ten minutes and then everyone went away.
Tuesday, I worked all day with Pam at the fair. Her and my brother have a foundation that helps injured and fallen firefighters and their families. They had a booth to sell shirts to raise funds for the foundation. (There are some really good causes they are helping out with, so let me know if you want more information!) I saw some interesting people, got to eat (half) of an Earthquake burger and an elephant ear. I could probably quote you the Chamois spiel since their booth was right across from ours and we heard their demonstration about a thousand times. One of the girls that works at the Elephant Ear booth brought me one for free. I thought that was so nice of her! I also met a guy from Poland who was surprised when I told him I had been to Rabka before! He asked me if I knew any Polish words, so I told him the few I did know. He got a laugh out of my pronunciation! It was fun spending the day with Pam. Afterwards we went to Becky's for dinner and the premiere of House with Jessica and Jenaya, which was fun too.
Wednesday, we went to the zoo. We needed some family time and I am so thankful to our Flock Group who gave us a zoo membership! I totally fell for no reason at all, skinned my knee, and in the process my full cup of pop flew out of hands and spilled all over. Of course we happened to be walking by the table full of white shirts that were for sale. . . you can imagine the rest! And my wonderful husband happened to be walking in front of me too, so he got showered with it as well! Instead of asking if I'm okay though, he just doubles over in laughter! I got him back later in the day though when I convinced Rylie she and her Daddy needed to go pet the rat that the zoo keeper was holding. She begged Daddy to come with her to do that. Rats are Ryan's one fear! He did it though. His love for his daughter outweighed his fear! I don't know if I would be so brave if it was butterflies.
Yesterday and today have been spent babysitting my cousin's baby boy. He's a cutie and a good boy, but it is a little hectic when he and Anna have to eat at the same time. I am glad we get this opportunity to spend time with him though because in a few months, he and his family are leaving to be missionaries in Morocco.
Please pray for my Grandma, she is getting sick with her chemo. It seems to be getting worse.
Please also pray for Patty, my mother in law. She saw the Oncologist yesterday. I won't get into all of it, but pray that her body heals quickly from the surgery so she can start chemo. In order for the chemo to be effective they have to start it as soon as possible. Her body is healing slower than they thought and she still isn't able to eat food (due to a duct that isn't closing) which affects her blood sugar, etc. She is tired of being in pain and having to lay around. She is a very strong woman, but this has really thrown her for a loop. She needs lots of prayers!
Thanks for reading this long, rambling post! Linky Love will be back next week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Worldview

There are essentially two ways that humans can understand the world. The first way is the way we all understand the world until the Holy Spirit intervenes in our lives and gives us new eyes to see. This worldview is I-centered. I am the center of my own universe and the arbiter of all truth. I may not vocalize things in just this way and may not even think them quite like this, but it is ultimately what I believe. I believe that I am capable of looking at the world and understanding the way it works--who God is, who I am, the relationship between us, and so on.
The other way of seeing the world is God-centered. Here I acknowledge God as the center of all that exists and the arbiter of all truth. Everything that is true and everything that is knowable has its source in Him. Thus I can only interpret the world properly by rightly acknowledging God. This is, obviously, the biblical worldview. It is God who tells me who He is, God who tells me who I am and God who declares the terms of the relationship between us.
The first worldview allows me to acknowledge as truth only what I want to believe about myself; the second worldview requires me to acknowledge as truth what God says about me. The first worldview has to have as its premise that I am ultimately good while the second has as its premise that God is ultimately good. In the first view I sin against myself while in the second I sin against God. The contrasts could hardly be more pronounced. From Tim Challies

Visiting Mom and Dad on Vacation







Monday, September 15, 2008

The Main Thing

“In the midst of our various responsibilities and many possible areas of service in the kingdom of God, one overarching truth should motivate all our work and affect every part of who we are: Christ died for our sins. This…is the main thing. Nothing else—not even things that are biblical and honorable—are of equal or greater importance than this: God sent His Son to the cross to bear His wrath for sinners like you and me. If there’s anything in life we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others; I mean passionate in thinking about the gospel, reflecting upon it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world and all of life.” CJ Mahaney, Living the Cross Centered Life

Friday, September 12, 2008

Book Giveaway!

Go here to enter into a Homeschool book giveaway!

Linky Love


Adorable Hair Clips: My good friend Ricci, just started her own shop at Etsy selling her handmade hair clips. She is selling them at an incredible price, only $1 a piece! And her shipping cost is unbelievable also. She made one for Rylie that she proudly wore on Sunday!


For Fun: If you are getting bored with the election so far, you can spice up your life by getting these Obama and McCain paper dolls to play with! They each come with their respective spouses and changes of outfits.


Modesty: Some great guidelines for Modesty for you and your daughters.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekly Weigh In



Another pound lost! That brings my weight loss total up to eleven pounds! Ryan hasn't lost any this week, but he hasn't gained either. Both of us could have done a lot better at counting our calories. It is definitely harder the busier we get. We have had to eat out a lot this week, which is never good for weight loss! I really need to include exercise into my life, but I can't seem to find the time or the motivation. Something to work on!
Homeschooling is going well. The picture is of Rylie making the letter "B" in shaving cream. She really enjoyed this, even though her face isn't showing it in this picture! We also made "B"s out of shrinky dinks and she cut out pieces of blue ("B" is for Blue) paper and glued them in the shape of the letter. The other picture is of her doing ballet (another "B" word). She got the Bella Dancerella DVD for Christmas from Aunt Elisa. Her favorite part about it is that it came with a princess wand. She had to wear her ballet outfit that we got at a garage sale for a quarter!
I took Anna to the doctor yesterday. It was a combination of her being sick and her six month well baby check up. I hadn't made an appointment for her yet because her primary doctor didn't have any available until the middle of October. I didn't want her to wait that long for her shots, but I also didn't want her to see another doctor if I could help it. I called the phone nurse yesterday morning to ask if there was anything I could give Anna for her cold (she was up a lot the night before coughing, etc.). The phone nurse told me to bring her in to check for ear infection and said I could do her well baby at the same time. It turns out that Anna's primary doctor had a cancellation for yesterday, so Anna could see her! I was thankful for that answer to prayer! Another answer to prayer was that Anna doesn't have an ear infection, it's just a virus. I figured as much, since I have been fighting the same thing.
She now weighs 15.9 lbs and is 27 inches. She is in the 50% for weight and the 90% for height! The doctor noticed that she does this shaking thing when she's excited or scared. I had been concerned about this, but didn't want to bring it up, because I didn't want to be a hypochondriac. The doctor said that she wants to reevaluate her in a month because this could possibly be a neurological problem! She said it probably isn't anything to worry about, but wants to be sure. She also said she wants Anna to be sitting up and rolling over both ways by that next appointment. (This morning she rolled over from her back to her belly, so now she can both ways and she can sit up for about 45 seconds and the developmental mark for this age is 30 seconds, so I'm not too concerned) Anna seems to be making all the other milestones and is very social and makes good eye contact and is talkative, but the possibility of a problem still freaks me out a little! I'm dreading and looking forward to Oct. 8th to find out for sure!
She also upped her Zantac. We were hoping that she would have outgrown the acid reflux by this age, but she hasn't. Hopefully soon. She isn't eating much right now since she's been feeling so miserable. She's such a cheerful girl though and is still giving us smiles!
I forgot to mention that the picture of Rylie from the previous post is her trying to "look like a white gorilla"! Quite the imagination!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's A Boy!


Krista and Gavin welcomed Samuel Gavin into their family this morning, weighing in at 9 lbs! Congratulations!!!
Ryan confessed to me that when the monstrous spider was about to attack me he was holding the door closed so I couldn't get in! What a meanie!
Rylie told me last night that Grandpa has a white spot on his head because the tigers bit his hair off. He told them not to, but they were naughty and did it anyway. The moral of the story is beware of tigers unless you want your ears pierced!

My baby will never. . .


  • have a selfish desire

  • utter a useless word

  • perform an unkind deed

  • think a sinful thought

  • have any temptation to sin

  • have any suffering

  • have any sorrow

  • have any pain

  • displease God

  • have persecution

  • have hate

  • have quarrels or disagreements

  • have disappointments

because it's in Heaven! (from John MacArthur, Safe in the Arms of God)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Love is having daughters!



Things Rylie has said to me recently:

"I love you in the day time and the night time."

"Mother, I like you."
"I want you to be with our family forever."

She can always make me smile!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

S is for Scary Spider



These pictures don't do this horrible man eating gargantuan spider justice! He is huge and he's right outside my back door. He is the cause of my almost panic attack last night. I was trapped outside and couldn't get into my house because of this monstrous thing. Ryan did not help the situation by not letting me in the house as fast as I was trying to get in. He proceeded to laugh at me as I frantically dashed into the house. (It is actually bigger than a quarter.)
Ryan refuses to kill this beast because of our daughters love for spiders. As some of you know, she is planning on turning into a spider when she grows up. Yesterday morning, a spider had come into the house and was running towards Anna, who was in her jumper. I was sure he was going to attack her and so I yelled for Ryan to kill it. He obliged and the next thing we knew we had a sobbing girl on our hands. "You killed it! Don't you know spiders are my favorite animal?!" This did not make Daddy feel good and hence the refusal to kill any more spiders. I don't know what we are going to do because I can't live with them (the spiders, not my family). He thought he compromised by moving the spider off the back door and onto the bottom of the porch. Rylie was pleased with this arrangement and gave me a hug and told me not to worry, or be scared anymore. I however, know he's still there lurking, plotting his way back up to my door. Good thing we have a front door, otherwise I might be trapped in my house!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Praise!

Patty came home from the hospital today! She is very happy to be resting in her own home. Please continue to pray as this continues to be a long road.

Linky Love and My Six Month Old



Giveaway: My friend, Angela has a giveaway on her blog!

Preschool: My friend, Deb told me about this great phonics site. Rylie loves it!

Puritan Prayers: This site is very inspiring!

Persecution in India: Please read these accounts of horrific things happening to Christians in India this week, and then pray, pray, pray!

I can't believe my baby girl is six months old already! She is such a delight! Ryan and I are constantly saying that we should have used "Joy" for her middle name instead of "Sophia". She is a very happy girl. She loves to laugh and smile. She is constantly saying, "Da Da" and she has a word that she uses whenever she sees Rylie ("Ly Ly"). Occasionally she'll say "MaMa". She is enjoying most of her baby food, especially the bananas. One of her favorite pastimes is sucking on her toes! She has learned how to roll over from her tummy to her back and can point to my nose when I ask her. She has two adorable little teeth and is working on more. She loves to give kisses and snuggle her little head into me! We love our precious banana!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Weigh In and Updates

Drum roll please . . . One Pound! Actually I'm pleased. There were two weeks of not loosing anything, so to see the scale move in the right direction was encouraging. My total so far is ten pounds lost! I am also pleased because I grew lax in counting my calories and was more estimating them, so I was worried that perhaps I had gained weight. This week I'm back on track of counting those calories closely.
Ryan didn't loose any this week, but he was also pleased that he didn't gain any either. He has been way too busy and preoccupied to count his calories the last few weeks.
We have had a fun week so far. Monday night, our friends, Chantal and Justin came over to have dinner with us and the Groth's. The Groth's are the missionaries Ryan and I (and Rylie in my belly) went to minister with in Poland four years ago. They were home on furlough so it was great to catch up with them. Justin and Chantal are planning a trip to Poland in March to minister with them.
Tuesday, I had a Women's Ministry Board meeting. (Ladies from Valley, please plan on attending our mini retreat Oct. 3-4. We are planning some great things for it!) After our meeting, Becky took Anna home with her and Ryan, Rylie and I all went to Panda Express for dinner and then saw Kung Foo Panda at the dollar theater! Since Ryan has been so busy lately he thought it would be good to spend some extra time with Rylie. She really enjoyed the evening, especially the popcorn!
Yesterday, the girls and I went to Borders. My secret sister gave me a gift card for there! (If you read this, thank you!!!) It was fun browsing for the first few minutes then both girls realized they did not enjoy looking at Mommy books. I should have known better! At any rate, we came home with a book for Daddy on poor grammar (I call him my grammar nazi), a pop up Cinderella book for the girls, my favorite movie (Bride and Prejudice, a modern Bollywood remake of Jane Austin's classic), and a novel for me (I, Elizabeth). They did not have the best selection of Christian books. Almost all the good ones they had, we already own, either at home, or in Ryan's office at Church.
I think I might take the girls to the fair tomorrow morning. If you go before noon you can get in for free tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Letter "A"





We have started doing some Homeschooling with Rylie. This is her little schoolroom at the top of our stairs (the calender is supposed to be hanging). We are learning a letter a week. I have been trying to incorporate creative things as well as bookwork. Yesterday, I was trying to teach Rylie how to write the letter "A". It was harder than I thought it would be. She couldn't do it and I wasn't sure how to teach her. She wasn't very interested in it either, she just wanted to draw. We practiced for a little bit then I let her draw. Today, I had planned on doing apple stamping with paint ("A" is for "Apple"), then we would practice writing "A". While she was doing her stamping, she started finger painting. She surprised me by saying, "Look, Mom, I'll write an A". I looked over and she had done it, without my help, with her fingers and paint! I was so excited and proud of her!

Zoo Pictures








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