Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sad to see it go...

So, the blog will remain here in blogoshpere for a while I'm sure (I'm not deleting it), but I imported it into my "other" blog - http://livingchara.blogspot.com/.  I was having trouble once I removed this one from privacy - getting comments to show up and my blog feed to update, so I just merged them to help myself out :) 

All to say, go to http://livingchara.blogspot.com/. 

:) 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just a few words from Anna...

Wanted to post a little humor from our darling eldest daughter...

The other day while at her Grandma's she apparently wanted a cookie. When Grandma told her "no" Anna replied, "Grandma, you must obey."

Anna was asking what it meant to be married the other week. After the best on the spot explanation for a 21 month old I could muster I said, "Which boy would you like to marry?" I then began listing some boys she knows just for fun. She said "no, no, no" until we got to Caleb. :) But then I said, "What about Jackson (her favorite boy to "call on the phone")? She said, "No, Caleb," and kept playing. About a minute later she looked over and said, "Maybe Jackson, too."

At lunch yesterday Anna was passing gas. I smiled at her and asked if she was going poopy in her diaper. She looked down in sheer surprise, eyes wide and said, "No poopies in my diaper mommy, there's birdies in there!" I laughed (she seemed to think this was true) and we continued our meal. She passed more gas - multiple times in a row - and looked down and said, "Wow! More birdies in there!"

While we are on the subject of bodily functions (sorry Mom), we also just ordered her a potty because we will most likely be starting potty training soon - we'll let you know, we aren't in a huge hurry at our house. When the potty arrived from diapers.com Anna was checking out the box and on it was a picture of a girl beside the potty. She thought it was her friend "Gracie" who is a couple years older than her. Trying to be encouraging about the potty I said, "Yes, Gracie goes to the bathroom on a potty. She doesn't have to use diapers anymore." Gracie also has a younger brother who is in diapers (younger than Anna). That night at dinner she plainly said, "Gracie goes to the potty but Jackson STILL wears diapers."

Today my mom was teaching Anna to hula - my mom is great with the girls. Anna said, "You're shaking pretty grandma."

After dinner at our house last night Anna brought my dad a Bible off our book shelf and proudly announced that she was going to read the Bible. My dad asked if it was all about Jesus. "No, it's about God," she said.

We love her!

More Easter ideas to come...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Easter Playlist


Here are some of the songs we have compiled for our Easter playlist (most all discuss the death AND resurrection of Christ):

Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
Mystery - Charlie Hall
Revelation Song - Philips, Craig and Dean
Hosanna - Paul Baloche
My Savior Lives - New Life Worship
Before the Throne of God Above -
For All You've Done - Hillsong
The Power of the Cross -
Hallelujah, What A Savior - Sovereign Grace Music
Beautiful Savior - Casting Crowns
You Led Me To The Cross - Matt Redmann
In Christ Alone -
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
Jesus Paid It All - Kristin Stanfill
Oh For A Thousand Tongues To Sing - David Crowder
This Fathomless Love - Sovereign Grace Music
Gospel Song - Sovereign Grace Music
Mighty Is The Power of the Cross - Chris Tomlin

Some of these songs are done by multiple, and I mean multiple, artists so you can always find your favorite! We have so versions many of some of them, I didn't even list an artist, but in case you haven't heard of the others, I put our favorites :)

We would also love input if you have some that you'll be adding to your playlist, or that just discuss the glories of the gospel in general. We're hoping the truths in these songs will focus our hearts again on Christ.

Again, I also hope these songs will eventually find themselves into our kids hearts. After all, Anna has "learned" more from music than from my everyday conversations at times! Just last night she sang to Nadia, "Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little Nadia wants to play, for the Bible tells me so." Apparently mixing Rain, Rain Go Away and Jesus Loves Me, but still precious to a mother's ears :)

"Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts." (Jer. 15:16)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Easter time!


Easter is just under two weeks away - can you believe it?!

Anyways, in order to show Christ as what we value the most (although we don't as much as we want to or ought to) Daryl and I have to be really purposeful with our days and times and are oh so thankful for holidays that remind us again to emphasize Jesus Christ and the gospel to ourselves and to our children.

So this post is really just an encouragement to be thinking about Easter and to perhaps plan now how you will "take advantage of it" to encourage your souls to look again at Jesus - his death and resurrection - and celebrate all that He has accomplished for us! If you have little ones, it is also an especially great time to help them to see Him.

Because our girls are so young and don't have great memories yet, we haven't used Lenten season to teach them of Jesus' death and resurrection, but are waiting to begin on Palm Sunday. We will start out with 7 candles at the table burning brightly on Sunday, read a Scripture each night to hopefully correlate with that week in Jesus' life and then snuff out a candle. Sounds harsh I know, but we hope this snuffing out of a candle will be a visual representation to us all of the Light of Life being put to death. Good news is, after all candles are blown out and we wrap up the story of Christ's death, come Sunday the family will be greeted in the morning with all 7 candles burning brightly again and the retelling of how Jesus conquered the grace! John 1:5, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness HAS NOT overcome it." Yay!

We will be doing some other fun things as well - we've created an Easter week playlist on our Ipods, have special cookies to make, a Lamb cake to bake, and stories we have purchased for the girls. I will post more updates this week in case you are interested in any of the resources we have found that we hope to benefit our families.

The best ideas I steal from others :) My favorite resource for holiday planning is Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper.

Happy pondering on the cross and feel free to leave any ideas/suggestions/traditions your family enjoys this season!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

"...we're going to catch a BIG one. We're not scared. What a beautiful day!"

We made a bear cave for Anna today. She was pretty scared about it until daddy came home, but here's a little blurb from her about it...


video

Lastly some pictures of the girls in the cave - once we determined the bears were friendly of course!Nadia with the bears

This is not a great shot lighting wise, etc, but captures them together so well (most of the time!).

And just for fun, our cute little bugaboo - rolling and sitting and everything!


After nap time

Standing with Mommy's help

What a happy Saturday!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lord of the Snow


The title of this blog sounds humorous, I'm sure, but the Holy Spirit has made it clear to me that when I bemoan or complain against "the snow" and how it has "ruined" so many moments of late, I am not bemoaning or complaining against "snow", but against God Himself. Under this conviction, I have now begun to "preach" the truth to myself - sometimes lightheartedly to make myself laugh rather than cry, and sometimes in all seriousness and urgency because I need rebuked for the whiny attitude of my heart.

The specific truth the Spirit brought to my mind is from Isaiah 55:9 in which it says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

Interestingly enough when I went to the chapter the next verse even talks about snow! Hahahaha! God is so fun! Verse 10 says, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

God knows what He is doing. And so although I was terribly sad that the Valentine's Day Party I had planned for the kids was canceled, the Sweetheart Dinner at church was canceled, two dates that we had planned were canceled, church today was canceled and the mom's prayer event I had planned was canceled, yet shall I praise Him! I may have thought that so many of those things were the best ways to glorify God as I was planning and cleaning and decorating and praying about them, but obviously they weren't. God knows what glorifies Him most, and I'm sure that even me coming again to the truth that I don't know best glorifies Him more than the game I planned about "biblical love" for the kiddos would have.

Oh, and Nina...I am also very thankful for how this snow is blessing you and Len :) I suppose that's another good reason to let go of a few date nights and parties :)

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." Proverbs 19:21 Thank God for that!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My husband, My Hero (along with the creators of Whole Foods)


Nadia has had some gastrointestinal troubles since about birth. They seemed to be getting worse and eventually she started developing what looks to us like an allergy rash. We aren't able to get in with a pediatric allergist just yet, and honestly, we don't really want her tested for a while since the results are so inaccurate for young babies, so we are playing "detective" until we go!

Since I am breastfeeding, if Nadia does have a food allergy, something that I am eating is the culprit. So I searched around a lot online and spoke to some lactation counselors and Daryl and I settled on eliminating some of the major allergens from my diet and then slowly reintroduce them, one at a time, to see what happens. Namely wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, shellfish, food additives, corn, and tomatoes. I've also scratched beef for a while as I found that can cause problems, too, but to scratch anything else I think I would die :)

That last part was a joke, but in all serious, Daryl and I did realize that while the elimination diet is a good idea for us, I have to eat - and I have to get enough nutrients and calories. The first few days it was snowing and I hadn't stocked up on good foods so I was surviving on squash, rice, baked potatoes and rice cereal with rice milk (by the way, I think rice milk rocks)! My milk supply plummeted which meant Nadia was fussy and had to eat a lot more often than normal and I literally almost had a breakdown. Daryl may even think that I did :) Even Anna knew that "mommy upset" and I swear I didn't clean my house all week as I was too consumed with research, trying to make foods I could eat, and caring for my kids. We had to cancel our Valentine's Day reservations and everything. Super bummer.

After my breakdowns my darling husband canceled everything else there was to do on Saturday and drove me and the kiddos to Whole Foods in Pittsburgh (it was even nice just to get out as I had been without a car most days since we only have one that is good in the snow and Daryl has to go to work!). I was prepared to find rice pasta, a dairy/gluten/soy free butter spread and some soups, but when I found this brand...
...I literally teared up right in the isle! They make all of their products without the top 7 allergens! WHIPPEE! I got breakfast bars and cookies! They are grainy tasting, but at least I have something! And I found a bunch of other cool stuff - including some veggie burgers, so needless to say, it was a good trip. Nadia even had fun helping me pick as she tagged along in the babybjorn and Daryl and Anna had fun at the cafe enjoying a granola yogurt parfait.

Thanks to my hubby for being so supportive and helpful! We got enough foods for a good while, but plan to make the trip every couple of weeks or as needed. My mom also directed me to this website foodallergygourmet.com which is a local place. God is good!

Lastly sweet Nad's rash has cleared up mostly and we've seen major improvement with bowel issues :) Can't believe I just wrote that. Hopefully we'll be able to help her and we are praying that if there is a food allergy that she will grow out of it quickly especially if I can avoid it for her.

If you have any products or recipes you like that we could have, we'd love to know about them!