Saturday, February 27, 2010

Resolved!


At the beginning of the year, my resolution was to read one book a month in 2010. I started reading "Praying Scripture for your Children," then about halfway through it I gave it away to my sister, Heather, before she left for Argentina. The next book was given to me by my sister Amber and her husband Sam, both very book savvy people. The title and cover looked catchy, "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. After reading this incredible book and being highly convicted through every page, I would rank it as one of the most important books that I have ever read.

My simple resolution of book reading has now led me to a life Resolved.

** "Resolved: that I will live so, as I shall wish i had done when I come to die"**

The author relates a story of an elderly man finding Christ at the end of his life, and crying out in regret of his past years, "I've wasted it, I've wasted it!"
In no way do I want to come to the end of my life and have nothing to say, but "I've wasted it"
John Piper writes that "The opposite of wasting your life is to live by a single, soul-satisfying passion for the supremacy of God in all things." I can find myself passionate (in word) about a lot of ideas or things, but what moves me to deeds? This is a hard subject for me to wrap my mind around and write about. I have realized that as much as I pursue life, love, and fun; it is all in vain if God is not pursured and glorified most in my life. A few years ago, we felt as though God were just telling us to simplify life. Simplicity in not accumulating stuff and simplicity of heart. Now I see He is calling us to something so much deeper.....sacrifice. Two quotes in the book hit me hard 1) "There is more of God's glory to be seen and savoured through suffering than through self serving escape." and 2) "The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not moments of self-satisfaction but self- forgetfuless."

After full conviction through this book, I went on to read the book "Unfashionable" by Tullian Tchividjian (also recommended by book savvy bro-in-law, Sam). This book had a lot of similarities to the former, but it puts it into the concept of the Church. The most important life lesson from this book is when the author writes, "The church's main objective should be Self-Sacrifice for the world not Self-Preservation from the World."
Self-Sacrifice, What? I have been perserving myself since I was 11. Not willing to let the world influence me, keeping myself "holy" of sorts. But that has led to a self-righteous life. Because I am good and the world is not. It surely has not led to a sacrificial love. The life of Christ was all about Glorifying God the Father by loving the world so much that He gave up his life for it.
So what does this life of suffering, self-forgetfulness, and self-sacrifice look like? It is impossible, but that is the point, right?. Because with God, all things are possible. I don't have to rely on superhuman strength, but I do have to be willing to risk my life for the sake of Christ.
Tis the Lenten season, and I am gving up txting. Sounds silly, but it is pretty hard to do. Anyhow, I was preaching to Caeden like I usually do, rambling on about life, when he said, "I know what I am going to give up for God." As I asked what, rather proudly that he was listening after all. He said, "Sharing!"
ugh...so I will continue my preaching :)
The thing about kids is they keep me grounded, and on my face before God. It is that much more urgent for us to obey God because we have two little ones who need to see parents that move when God says move. Their character of heart depends on us. I can't expect them to be something we are not. Just like the phrase, "You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are." I can preach and teach them a lot about life, but in order for them to be a child/teen/adult who lets the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross truly transform the very core of who they are, it has to be learned by seeing their parents live it out daily. That is a big task that I fail at daily. My prayer is John 15:5 when Jesus says "....apart from me, you can do nothing."

How do i teach my kids the Realness of Christ and the urgency of living all out for God? I am on that quest myself. What an image it would look like for us Christians in the Church to truly give our lives for this world. Not to live in seclusion and judgement, but to engage, make a difference, speak the truth, show love!

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow


I will end with what my funny husband likes to call "Pillow Talk"

"Even sinners work hard, avoid gross sin, watch TV at night, and do fun stuff on the weekend. What more are you doing than others?"



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Catharsis

Catharsis: the purging of emotional tensions

And purge I must. This blog is mainly about what makes me smile, but forgive me if I give off the err of perfection in this family. A college roomate read my blog and told me I was a "good mommy." Thank you, but the reason I write is not to puff me up and make me look good. Yes, I do brag on my kids and we do laugh every day and are learning to love life together, but if I fail to write what is real then I fail in general. I started this blog as a digital scrapbook, because I don't like scrapbooking and this blog seemed like a creative outlet that would allow me to store our family memories. It has served it's purpose because there are a lot of happenings that my mind would have already forgotten if they weren't on the web.

Yesterday I worked a full day and Mike went out of town, so when I came home I wanted to spend as much time playing with the kids as possible. We mainly dug in the dirt outside in beautiful weather, I might add. A quick trip to Walgreens for Owen's cough medicine was in store. So before dinner we left the house. As we were out and about I decided I had enough cash for a tall skinny vanilla latte. And since we were at Starbucks I thought why not give the kids the option of either going to the playground or Barnes & Noble to read books. To my delight they chose reading books over the playground. I thought the evening was going very well. It was now 6:30, so we returned home to make grilled cheese for dinner (Mike was out of town remember). Unfortunately what awaited us at home was not more bliss. Sammie our dog had gotten into the trash. This happens on occasion, but what was so traumatic about it was that she decided to tear open a dirty diaper that was already wrapped tight in a plastic grocery baggie. In doing so she flung poo on my walls. Not to mention that the diaper was literally shredded into tiny pieces of poo laced diaper all over my kitchen and laundry floor.
I banished the dog to the outside and vowed never to let her in unless Mike had mercy on her when he got home. The dog and I have a love/hate relationship, she only has love for us and I well, It's love/hate. She purposely chooses to do these things at the most inopportune times for me and i think she enjoys it. Anyhow, my anger got the best of me and the rest of the night with the kids was spent with me frustrated and short and frustrated and short and frustrated and short. By the time I tucked them into bed, Caeden said, "mom guess who I love the best in our family?......Daddy". I leaned down and kissed him and told him I loved him very much.
Shot right in the heart. I knew I had hurt his feelings. This morning I apologized to him for letting my anger get the best of me.
I am still upset at myself with how much I let that one incident determine my joy.
Sammie did finally come in the house to get a bath and her teeth brushed (by Mike)
So there you have it, I am in continual need of God's grace, mercy and power in my life.
The END

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My lovies



Owen is such a lover. Several times a day he looks at me in the eye and says, "I like you" or "I love you." It doesn't take much for my heart to melt. On Tues nights when Caeden and Daddy bond on the track


Owen and I do our own bonding




Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

Like Father



Like Son




Mike set up a jump in the backyard for Caeden to practice wheelies.
These pictures are from day one and day two.....He did very well....I kinda think it's in his blood!



Monday, February 15, 2010

the Perfect Day



"Okay kids, let's ride"

"almost there"


"this hill is really high, Dad"

"I'll show you how it's done, boys"

"I'll try now, Dad"

"Wait up Caeden"

"That was really fun"

"I want to ride this hill instead"

"Here I go"


"I left Daddy in the dust"

"That hill was nothing, lets try something more dangerous"

"Sounds good to me, how's this for dangerous"

The perfect day spent

Riding, Exploring, Bonding


Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

Dear Michael,
Forever in love with you


Yours truly,
me

Tender Warrior


“We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


For 4.5 years I have uttered prayers for my boys. Make them Tender Warriors, Lord. Who fight for the heart of the King. Make them compassionate for the hurting and the lost. Let it be not that they just fight, but that they fight for what is Right and Good and according to your Word, Oh Lord. There are enough warriors in this land, but please make their character tender.

I saw the work of God in C's heart this week (and an answer to prayer). Weekly he tells me of a little girl in his class whom the other kids are cruel to and daily make her cry. It took me a while to see it as a compassionate heart. Until one day he had learned about the word honor at church. Each kid was given a gold medal and was told to give it away to someone that needed to be honored. Someone who may be under-appreciated and needed to be shown respect.
Monday morning C decided to give his medal away to the little girl in his class who "cries a lot."
There were tears in my eyes as I watched him and as I tried to explain to his mother what it was all about. I finally saw that God has been growing a heart that is tender and compassionate in my son and that he is able to hear God's still small voice speak to him and obey.
Thank you Father for bending down and listeneing to me

In honor of my son, I baked a cake:)
White Chocolate Almond Cake
  • Melted butter for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Using a pastry brush or kitchen towel, lightly coat a 10" tube pan with melted butter.
  2. Sift together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with an electric beater, cream together the softened butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides again and beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour in two additions, alternating with the milk. Mix until just combined. With the mixer still on low (or with a rubber spatula), stir in the white chocolate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, mounding the edges up slightly and leaving a bit of a furrow through the middle. Hit the pan against the counter to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  5. While cake is baking, combine the water, sugar and almond extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup becomes thick.
  6. The cakes should be done after 75-85 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Allow to cool in pan, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn the cake out onto the rack (see note) and, use a pastry brush to coat the cake entirely with the syrup. Allow to cool completely.

and to close with this...........

Prayer for His Son, A
by: Douglas MacArthur, More Sower's Seeds

Build me a son, O Lord,
who will be strong enough to know when he is weak,
brave enough to face himself when he is afraid,

Build me a son,
whose wishes will not take the place of deeds...
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort,
but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges.

Let him learn to stand in the storm;
let him learn compassion for those who fall.

Build me a son,
whose heart is clear, whose goals will be high
a son who will master himself before he seeks to master others;
who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things aer his, add, I pray,
enough of a sense of humor
so that he may always be serious
yet never take himeself too seriously...

Then, I, his father will dare to whisper,
"I have not lived in vain."



Saturday, February 6, 2010

What the boys are loving right now!


I often hear (from my sisters) about the weirdness of my kids. And though I can't really deny that claim, one thing I know for sure is how much they truly LOVE LIFE. We laugh hard every day and besides, finding joy in someone else's joy, well, that is LOVE!
Here are 14 things they are hard core loving right now! and yes they really do dress like this daily

1. Shared Love: Heart by Jars of Clay

Jars of Clay Heart Lyrics:
I let it get dark, so you'll see the stars
They'll say we're in love, we probably are
No mountains to climb,
papers to sign
Offer your heart, I've given you mine

One flag left to burn, one country to fall
One soul to pour out,
one love to catch all
No walls to defend, wars to align
[ Find more Lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.org/Eyio ]
Give me your heart, you already have mine
No mountains to climb, papers to sign
Offer your heart, I've given you mine

No mountains to climb, papers to sign
Offer your heart, I've given you mine
No walls to defend, wars to align
Give me your heart, you already have mine
Give me your heart, you already have mine
Offer your heart, I've given you mine
Lyrics:
Heart, Jars of Clay [end]


here is the
it is the boys favorite song to "belt out" in the car


2. Shared Love: Bikes
From the airplane window,while flying into San Francisco a few weeks ago, we saw gorgeous hilltops. To which Caeden's first response was, "Dad, I wish I would have brought my bike!"





3. Shared LOVE: Peter Pan (and all piratey things)


they role play from this movie every day and I love hearing
them talk to each other in their own pirate language:
"peter pan ahoy"
"what makes the red man red?"
"Captain Hook, you arve!" ( is that supposed to be Arse?)
"Tink, Tink, Tink"

4 &5 . Shared Love: Costumes changes and their PJ's

Owen in his "worker man" Pajamas
Caeden in his "doctor" pajamas

they dress up as Pirates, Cowboys, Firemen, Mommy, Daddy, Construction Workers, Doctors, Handy Men, and Super Heroes to name a few
Caeden had a "wear PJ's to school day" he wore his Doctor PJ's and was the cutest boy at school, in my humble opinion :)

homemade masks
caeden as daddy maybe?

6. Owen Loves: the Fire Truck

He places the plastic step stool on the back of his firetruck as a Topper
(just like Maurice's truck)
Before he can move on to his next task, he insists that his truck be parked and that usually requires "backing it in to his parking spot"



7. Owen Loves: Hats, and Helmets
as you can see from the photo above and below

8. Owen Loves: Singing
this video is proof

video


9. Owen Loves: Skating and Surfing
He turns anything and everything into something he can skate or surf on.
Below is a mobile photo I took at Gymnastic world. He literally moved all these mats from around the room so he could build his skate park and skate down his ramp. A little girl came up to tumble and was quite disappointed that she had no room for her somersault. He needs no wheels, just an object that is shaped in a rectangle, and preferably something he can jump off and his imagination soars.




10. Caeden Loves: To Dance
and I hope he never stops

video


11. Caeden Loves: Art
When he gets home from school he usually draws a picture
I wish I had taken a photo of his art the other day, he drew a picture of an entire zoo complete with snakes, giraffes, monkeys, and Daddy as the zoo keeper.
This is his drawing of Aunt Amber that he drew for show and tell at school last week.


12. Caeden Loves: Climbing trees
we don't have many great trees for climbing in our yard,
but he finds a way to the top nonetheless.


13. Caeden Loves: Reading from our Picture Bible

this year we are reading a story from the Kids' Bible every night before bed.
Each night I hear, "Mom, can we read the Bible tonight?"
I love that question. This particular Bible really brings the stories to life. They always ask a lot of questions about each story which brings up a lot of talk about God!
The pictures inside look like a comic strip

14. Caeden loves: This Jump Rope

of course he never uses it for its intended purpose, but rather for anything else he can think of like trying to tie up our feet or to tie the couch to the side table or to tow that same side table with the fire truck

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sisters


I wish we all lived closer to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







I love you........Will you be my Valentines? :)