Sunday, June 27, 2010

Misc. Good Stuff

An interesting article about the Khan Academy, a non profit organization founded and run by Salman Khan, who has a free online library of over 1,500 instructional videos on various topics, especially math. I haven't watched any of the videos yet, but plan to check them out.

I just found Pink and Green Mama this weekend. This artist mom has some terrific projects that she's done with her little ones. I need this kind of inspiration, so I've added her to my blog reader.

I'm looking forward to trying some of these 14 Ways to Enjoy Ripe Tomatoes once our tomatoes are ready.

And here's a feel good song I've been loving lately.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Davey's Birthday Party - June 18

Way back on June 18, we celebrated Davey's birthday. I've just been a bit slow about blogging it since I've generally not been on the internet during the day lately. Nevertheless, here are some pics from our young man's 14th birthday party!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stephen's Birthday Party

We had Stephen's birthday party on Friday the 11th. We had salad and pizza for supper, and banana cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. As you can see, traditional birthday candles had been purchased since Grace's party.

Posted by Picasa

Stephen thoroughly enjoyed the evening, as did the rest of us. Fun times!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to the wonderful Daddy of my children. I'm thankful to have Jonathan as the leader of our home. You're a great Daddy. Love you, Babe!

And Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful Papa. I'm so blessed to continue growing with you to encourage and cheer for me. I love you.

Papa sent me a link to this song last week. It's usually my job to write or link to stuff that makes him cry, but he got me good with this one! Enjoy...

Rom 8:14-39
(14) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
(15) For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
(16) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
(17) and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
(18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(19) For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
(20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
(21) that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
(22) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
(23) And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
(24) For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
(25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
(26) Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
(27) And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
(30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(32) He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
(33) Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
(34) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
(36) As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
(37) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
(38) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
(39) nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

100 Toes

I was amazed tonight by the realization that we are a family of one hundred toes. I'm feeling overwhelmedly thankful tonight for my wonderful husband and the eight lives God has entrusted to our care.

The Father has been steadily renewing my affection for my children lately. In the busy-ness and challenges of my pregnancy, I had gotten into a rut that found me not treasuring my Blessings. Or perhaps I wasn't treasuring them before the pregnancy and had not realized it. But my heart is being drawn back into communion with these precious lives God has given us, and I'm thankful.

Last Monday (June 7), I began a new phase of life that is helping to facilitate my desire to draw closer in heart with my children. The internet is now considered to be "off" to me during the day while Jonathan is gone to work. And this decision is helping me to change my life.

The first couple of days of this new habit brought the head-bowing realization that I would have to go slowly as I worked my way back into my children's daily lives. My pregnancy was quite debilatating physically, and I ended up spending most of my time in my room. My children became acustomed to me not being around very much. But we're changing that for the better, and while I still have a long ways to go (and always will, because that's the way growth works), I am thankful to find my relationships with my children growing and deepening.

The Father seems to be working on my heart in a lot of other areas right now, including toward my beloved man, but instead of typing more, I think I'll get off the computer and get back to my family. Tonight is Davey's birthday party and our traditional Friday night family late night. Fun times!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweet Smile!

I caught this wonderful smile Sunday on Dad and Mom Smith's camera. This little man is unspeakably precious to us!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Yesterday" update

Just did a major update on my "photo a day" blog while nursing Andrew. Most of the pics are ones I haven't posted here. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grace's Birthday Party

We had Grace's birthday party on Friday the 4th, and went outside for her cake & ice cream and presents (because we only have a flash-less camera at present).

Everyone else was outside first, so we sang to Grace on her way from the front door to the party table:
And we were out of birthday candles, so we gathered 7 candles from around the house and lit them instead:
She had fun opening her presents
And Andrew even stayed awake for part of her party!

Saturday night (the 5th), G'pa and G'ma Smith, freshly home from a trip to North Carolina, came over for supper (with their flash-equipped camera). (Yes, that's their dog on a stool at the table)

Grace got to open some more presents
And Stephen delivered an almost open-eyed smile (his current trend is the squinty eyed smile)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Meeting of the May Day Babies

Some of you may remember me mentioning in my labor progress reports that friends of ours also had a baby on May 1st. Darling Elisabeth was born at home just after midnight and was taken to the hospital right away because she was born with spina bifida. She has the most serious type of spina bifida, but the weeks since her birth have been full of miracles, and she is doing remarkably well.

We were thrilled to get to meet Elisabeth this past Sunday at the FoMM picnic. Here are some cute pictures of our treasures together:
About the same weight, but the long and the short of it!

They're both gazing at Jen in this one - so cute!
Jen, Elisabeth, Andrew, and I
Beautiful Blessings!

14 years!

I neglected to post earlier this week about Davey's birthday, which was Sunday. He was quite gracious about the fact that we spent his birthday afternoon/evening at the FoMM picnic. We'll be having his birthday party next weekend.

In some ways, it's hard to grasp that it's been 14 years since Davey was born. And yet, I am daily reminded that our eldest son is a young man. I won't go into detail on those reminders because he's getting old enough he wouldn't appreciate that. (/grin) I'm thankful to say that I genuinely like this young man who so resembles my first baby.

Happy Birthday, Davey!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Birthday Season Has Begun!

Note: I finished this post and thought I had posted it yesterday, but discovered today that it hadn't posted (or saved my final draft). So here's another try.

Andrew's arrival on May 1 extended birthday season by one month. Prior to his arrival, all of our birthdays fell between June 1 and September 8. Birthday season is full of fun, good food, and lots of cake and ice cream!

This year we are spreading out the four June birthday parties by celebrating them on the four weekends. The birthday person will still get to request the dinner of their choice on their actual birthday, and the cake of their choice for their party. Should be fun!

Our sweet Grace turned 7 on Tuesday. You can read the story of her birth here and here, if you like birth stories. We are so thankful for Grace and the joy that she brings to our family.

Grace's requested birthday dinner was chicken salad and refried beans - what a combination. We added in peas, corn, and grape tomatoes. Josiah, Barak, and I also made a cheesecake on Tuesday that we baked in two pie pans; we had one on Grace's birthday and one on Stephen's.
Happy Birthday, Grace!

And Stephen turned 3 on Wednesday! I haven't managed to get his birth story written out yet, but maybe in the next year I'll get it done. This little guy gives us many chuckles and much sunshine.

The first word out of Stephen's mouth when asked what he wanted for his birthday meal? Salad! And he meant it; the boy loves salad and will usually eat it first if it is available. We rounded out his meal with pizza, which was his second request.
Happy Birthday, Stephen!

Andrew - 5 weeks!

It amazes me that Andrew is already 5 weeks old (yesterday). And at the same time, he feels so much a part of our family, it's hard to imagine life without him. He has a very sweet personality and is super cuddly. We are so thankful for him!

Andrew's pediatrician called on Thursday with the results from Andrew's chromosomal analysis, which she said looked good. They check for a wide range of anomalies, and he doesn't have any of those for which they check. We have an appointment with her on Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she thinks of how Andrew is doing. Her thinking today was that we would be watching his development, etc, to see if it's just his personality to be a laid back little guy.

We had a four week post-partum check on Wednesday and Andrew weighed in at 7# 14oz, which is almost a pound in a week. Go baby go! He's now big enough to fit in the one-size pocket diapers I bought in the spring, though he looks a little pear-ish in them because they're not very trim at this point. But I'm thrilled to be able to use them for him.
(May 27)

He also has two all-in-one cloth diapers that are more trim. I took him outside the last Wednesday to get a few pictures of him (outside because our new camera is broken and our old camera has no flash). Click on the picture to get a better look at his cuteness.

And here he is last night. Within an hour of exactly five weeks:

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Barefoot Week

In honor of Soles4Souls Barefoot Week, it's also Barefoot Week in the I Heart Faces' photo challenge.

About Soles4Souls: Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic’s Green Guide, and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Anyone can join our cause, and we need your help.

Our Andrew's darling bare feet:

Words of Blessing and Encouragement

The path that leads to joy is a hard road. It's hard for us, and it was hard for Jesus. It cost him his life. It may cost us ours.
~~ John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

To complain against God is in effect to deny His holiness and to say that He is somehow not fair and just. It is less injury to Him to deny His being than to deny the purity of it; the one makes Him no God, the other a deformed, unlovely, and a detestable God...He that saith God is not holy and right speaks much worse than he that saith there is no God at all.
~~ Stephen Churnock, 17th century

What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good. What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory.
~~ Spurgeon