Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving!  We had 4 extras that were able to join us for this day.  
 Joshua, Elisabeth, Brenna and Silas usually sit in the Living Room for our Sunday Meal because we don't have room at the table.  They don't mind at all!  But, they did want to know if we could somehow all sit around one table for Thanksgiving Dinner.  After some brainstorming (and plywood) we came up with an idea to have one long table set up in our Living Room.  It worked perfect!
 For the past few holidays Beth and Brenna have helped me in the kitchen. But, as Brenna pointed out, this was the first year I could just say, "Okay, you're in charge of making this dish."  It was such a blessing to work in the kitchen with my girls!  I love it!

 I wasn't able to find cranberry sauce.  (our favorite is the jellied kind in a can)  But, the night before Thanksgiving I found some fresh at the store!  Yay!  So, I followed the instructions and made homemade cranberry jelly.  It was fabulous!
 For our Sunday meals we do like they do here in St. Barths, we serve everyone their meal.  That means I make their plates and bring it to them.  That's pretty different than how we do things in the states.  I talked to Patrick about it and we decided since this is an American holiday, we would set up our feast buffet style like we do back in the US.  It was definitely a little different for our company and it did take a little urging for them to go up and fill their plates.  But, it worked pretty well.
 My sweet Micah's first Thanksgiving!  (thank you for the bib Aunt Tay!)  He ate sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie!  And loved it!
 Callie was so excited to have some Turkey.
I have so much to be thankful for!  God has been so good to me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Laying Up" God's Word in your HEART #3

I think that every Mother’s goal for her children is for them to be successful.  We want them to turn out right! I’m so thankful that our Heavenly Father didn’t leave us clueless on how to meet this goal.  The truth is, He wants them to be successful even more than we do!

I’ve added some more verses to my “List for Success” as I am laying up God’s Word in my heart.  This time, I’ve added verses to the list that will help me as a Momma. (Last week’s was about me as a wife) 

Verses I need to help ME:

~My theme passage as a Momma is Deuteronomy 11:18-21.  "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hands, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest-up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:  That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth."  I need that reminder of keeping God’s Word at the forefront of my life and at the forefront of our home.  I need to be living out God’s Word daily!  I love this passage because it shows me how it is possible to put God’s Word into action in my home.  The biggest mistake we can make with our children is hypocrisy and inconsistency.  This verse teaches me to incorporate God’s Word into every area of my life…a consistent Momma!

~2 Timothy 3:15 will help me to remember the importance of teaching my children the Bible.  The word of God will “make them wise unto salvation”!

~Proverbs 29:17 teaches me that God has given me the responsibility to correct the behavior of my children.   It is sometimes so easy to just “brush” aside a wrong response or wrong behavior when we are tired or overwhelmed, but this verse reminds me of the blessing if done correctly!
So, that adds three more to my list!  My next post will be verses that will help me to be the Christian that God wants me to be.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Eczema Problem Solved!

My poor Brenna has suffered with eczema for many years.  We thought that when we moved to St. Barths (much warmer climate) that it would get a little better for her, or that she would grow out of it.  Actually, it has gotten worse.  We've tried several things: The Cortizone Cream the doctor prescribed, OTC Cortizone, every brand that says anything about Eczema, and this past summer Patrick made a homemade concoction from a recipe he found online using Aloe plants.  The results?  Not a difference.  At all.  I read online that you need to fight it from within by drinking water. So, my girl drinks 2 liters of water a day.  Not a difference, still.  So, when my friend Britney started mentioning Rodan and Fields, I messaged her right away to find out if they have something that helps Eczema.  She quickly answered, Yes! (It's actually known for also helping sensitive skin, Rosacea and Psoriasis.)  So, we ordered the Soothe Regimen.  The first week my Brenna didn't notice much of a difference.  The second week she scratched a little less and the redness was decreasing.  By week 3 and week 4 her skin had healed up and she quit scratching!  Talk about one excited girl!  We were talking last night about how great her skin is feeling and she had to confess, "Mom, I actually haven't used it everyday, though.  I sometimes forget."  Ha!  That's a 13 year old!  I'm just so thankful that we've found a product that will work for my baby girl and that she has some relief!
So, this is the second product that we've tried from Rodan and Fields that we love!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Missions Banquet Part Two continue my last post on our banquet....After we finished our banquet dinner (which was wonderful) it was time for Missionary Christmas!  My sweet Aunt Robin sent us a box that arrived the day before for us to open up and enjoy on our Family Fun Night!  It was a perfect ending to our banquet!  The kids gathered in the Living Room as I pulled out all the amazing stuff from the box.  Talk about excitement!   
But first, I want to share a memory:
When I was younger, every summer we would go to Michigan for our Family Reunion.  It was right before school started and my Aunt Robin always had so many things for us.  I remember she would have us 3 girls (When Tay was older, she would sit with us) and Robin would bring out outfit after outfit for us for school.  She sacrificed so much for us, and it is a sweet memory that I will never forget!

 Silas and Callie were so excited about Goldfish crackers, they are their favorites!
 Can you tell she's a Tigers Fan?

 When Callie saw this pillow with Bears on it, she just hugged it, it was so sweet!
 I love the reaction on the girls faces!  Do you know what I pulled out of the box?  Crystal Light Drink Mixes.  Another of our favorites!
 Don't my two boys look so handsome in their new shirts?
My Aunt Robin sent so many goodies!  There were snacks galore for everyone, clothes, toothbrushes, wipes, many goodies!  Thank you Robin, you are so thoughtful and made our night so special!  We love you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mission's Banquet Part 1

Last week our Home church had their Mission's Conference.  So, for our Family Fun Night last Friday night, we had lots of special things planned for our Missions Banquet!  I received an invitation the week prior that said to come "Dressy".  Yay!  
 The kids worked hard on a great theme "Across the Miles" and made some great decorations to go with it.

 We had Winnie the Pooh supervise the nursery during the banquet.  :o)
 Patrick made an awesome meal!
 We had congregational singing, special music, and Josh made a great video about people Across the Miles and missionaries trying to reach them.  It was very convicting when he showed a slide at the end that said, "512 people have died while watching this video".   Wow, we all need to stay busy sharing the gospel, don't we?
 And what Mission's Banquet wouldn't be complete without a commitment card?  Patrick and I have given to Missions ever since we were first married.  Our kids also give to missions every year.  But, this year (above our monthly missions commitment to our church) we are adopting a missionary family and making a commitment of what we want to send to them for the year.  I am so excited about this!  Next week we will turn in our cards and start praying and watching for God to provide!  I love Faith Promise time!
And I can't wait to share with you Part two of this post!   God is so good to us!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Laying-Up God's Word for a successful marriage...

I recently invited everyone reading this blog to join me in “laying up” Bible verses in our hearts that will help us to become the wife, momma, and lady that God wants us to be. It's been excited deciding which ones to add to the list!  Here are the first few that I've picked:

My parents just celebrated their 42nd Anniversary.  Patrick’s sister and her husband just celebrated their 48th.  It’s sad to say that these are a rarity.  We hear of many couples that have been married for 15-20 years, who give up and quit.  I don’t want my marriage to be a statistic like that.  I’d rather rank with those that say 50+ and even 60+ years of success!  

In compiling my “List for Success” for my marriage, my mind thought of remembering my purpose.  If I remember why God has created me, then I will have the proper perspective as I go through out my day.
Genesis 2:18 says, “ And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone;  I will make him an help meet for him. “  To make this verse even more personal to me, sometimes I like to put in Patrick’s name in place of man.   Just think, God said it wasn't good for Patrick to be alone.  He made someone that would help him and that would meet his needs.  That someone is me!

The verses I want to “lay up” in my heart are verses that will help me to remember my husband’s needs and how I can meet them.  So, for this week’s study, I thought I would focus on just one of his needs that is my job to fulfill!

My husband’s need for respect:

Man has a natural desire for respect.  We, as women, have a natural desire to be loved.  We see this in Ephesians 5:33.  God is commanding the husband to love their wife, and the wife to respect and reverence her husband.  The two really go hand-in-hand.  Give your man some respect and reverence and he’ll love you for it!  Proverbs 10:19, 13:10 and 21:19 are three verses that will help us in our quest to reverence our husband.  If a wife is not careful, she can tend to want to be the Holy Spirit in her husband’s life.  Our husbands are not perfect and they will have their bad days just like we do.  It’s important for us to remember that it is not our job to be the Holy Spirit.  If we are not careful, we might “nag” our husbands about what they should be doing or point out their faults. In reverencing our husband, we need to look for the good and focus on it.  Brag on him and respect him for those things.   

As a wife, I want to search, find, and focus on my husband’s strengths.  Proverbs  11:27  says “He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.”  If I am to reverence my husband, and want favor in return, then I must diligently seek the good in him.

So here’s our list so far:
Genesis 2:18
Ephesians 5:33
Proverbs 10:19
Proverbs 13:10
Proverbs 21:19
Proverbs 11:27

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Playing a Solo

My little Micah is such a busy guy!  When he crawled up to the piano to play, I was so proud!  Do you think he'll be ready for a solo next Sunday?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Opening Letters Family Fun Night

I've mentioned before that we have some amazing penpals, The Jackson Family.  When the girls came home from Florida, they had an envelope from them that said, "Don't open until the November 10th"  So, we tried to obey, we really did!  But, that big envelope with the cute little bee, sitting on our shelf was such a temptation!  We decided to open it for our Family Fun Night on November 9th!
 Pie and 'good news from afar', what a perfect combo!  We each read our letters and laughed and felt like we were right with our friends.
 They were so sweet to send Callie and Silas a letter, too.  That made their day!  They read it over and over!
Thank you, Jackson Family, you are a blessing to us!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ideas for "Laying Up" God's Word in your heart

Since I posted about "laying up" God's Word in my heart, the Lord has flooded my head and quiet time with verses that I want to memorize. These verses are some that I desperately need!  God is so good to me!  So, I've been compiling my "List for Success."  But, before I share my list,  I wanted to give a few ideas on how to make memorizing the Bible easier.  Busy Moms are exactly that...Busy!  It's easy for us to be too busy and then use that as an excuse to not do what we're supposed to do.  Well, I have some ideas from some Super Busy people.  But, they've made memorizing God's Word a priority and it works!   So, pick one, or do all five, just get busy "Laying Up" God's Word in your heart!

~My Pastor (Pastor Strange) has so much Bible knowledge.  He's a wealth of information! One of his tricks to memorizing is to write your verse on a card.  Then, put it in your pocket (or purse).  Whenever you have a free moment, pull out the card and read your verse.  Think about how many times we have a free 20 second time span...all those 20 seconds add up, so don't waste them!  (standing in line at the grocery store, waiting in the drive-thru, waiting on hold) 

~Patrick has been memorizing a verse in french every week.  Not an easy task!  Every morning he writes his verse for the week over and over.  He finds that writing these verses helps them to stick in his mind.

~I love my Bible on CD.  I find that if I listen to my particular verse or chapter while I'm folding laundry or doing dishes, I can more easily memorize that verse.  (And I can still hear Alexander Scourby saying it in my head!)

~Teach your verses to your kiddos. I've been teaching Silas and Callie 1 Corinthians 13.  By making fun motions and expressions they pick up on it pretty quick...and I do too!

~Lastly, have your kids help you to create a "tune" or song to a Bible verse.  We actually had a contest for our family as to who could come up with a new scripture song!  Patrick combined the "Muffin Man" tune to Proverbs 16:2 &3.  This was a lot of fun and now we can't get these verses out of our heads!

My next "Heart of the Matter" post will be some ideas for verses that will help us to be successful in our marriages.  I'm loving this month's word, "Lay Up"!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy 7 Months Micah!

 My Sweet Micah Roo turned 7 months old today...7 MONTHS! 
 His eyes are slowly starting to change more brown.  They still look blue/grayish, unless the sun is shining right on them.  Then, you can see some chocolate brown poking through. He now weighs 17.6 pounds.  Perfect!
He's now pulling up on everything!  It makes for a few bumps, but he's doing very well.  He just doesn't know how to get down yet.  I'm starting to recognize his Momma-I-can't-get-back-down-and-my-legs-are-tired cry.  It's made for some interesting nap times!
He's now eating real food (cereal, veggies or fruit) 3 times a day and loves it!  He likes to say, "Ba-ba-ba", but still no "Momma" or "Dada"  He is making the "MMMMM" sounds, so I think Momma is going to be next!
He's crawling around everywhere!  He's very quick.  I can just imagine what it will be like when our Christmas Tree is up! :o)

We love you Micah Reuben! I love how you are becoming so active!  Today I held you and you just giggled and kicked your little legs. You love your family and love to laugh at all their attempts at Peek-a-boo.  You've started giving little hugs, too, and they just make my day!

Happy 7 months!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One of her favorites!

Here at my house, you will often hear Miss Callie Grace ask, "Can I paint?"  Her new favorite activity is perfect for a busy two year old that is accident prone, active, curious, and loves to create.  Painting? Well, sort of.
 She goes to our school cabinet and picks out a piece of construction paper.  Then, she goes to the drawer to get her paint brush.  I give her a little cup of water, and she heads of to her desk to "paint".  By the time she's done, the whole paper is a soaking wet creation.

Then, we display her art on the counter in the sun so it can dry and be used for next time!  Love my little girl!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heart of the Matter Study for November

It had been a tough morning.  Micah had woken up a few times during the night and it made for a sleepy Momma when Silas and Callie woke up too early.  I tried to get up before them to have my quiet time with the Lord, but by the time I quietly prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father…”  they were asking for Chocolate Milk and for help in finding a missing pink balloon.  

That afternoon I finally got Silas and Callie down for their naps.  Micah’s nap wasn’t lining up with theirs, so he was full of energy.  Not me.   As he played actively on the floor, I lied down beside him just exhausted.  He crawled over to me with his drooly, dimply grin.  As he did, many thoughts ran through my head. 
“Is that new tooth causing an ear infection?” 
“How can I help him sleep better at night?” 
“Why isn’t he sleeping through the night?” 
“Am I really succeeding at this whole parenting thing?” 
Then, I felt a gentle tugging at my heart that reminded me that I can succeed in all God has called me to do.  I want to succeed as Momma, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend… I want success.  And the Lord wants that for me, too.  He wants me to succeed at being a helpmeet to my husband and at being a Mommy.  Do you know that the Bible does mention this word?  It’s only in there once, but it speaks volumes!

Joshua 1:8 “ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.      
So, how do we obtain this sought after prize of success?  By laying up God’s Word in our heart, then doing it!  Deuteronomy 11:18 says, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.”
 It’s easy to fill our hearts with things that can take us away from the Lord.  We have so many distractions, don’t we?   But, God gives a clear recipe for having Success…. “Laying  up” God’s Word in our Heart and then “to do it”.  The Book of Psalms teaches us that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet.  His Word can shine on our path to show us the steps we should take.  Imagine a situation arising and having a verse flood your head with the direction from the Lord on how to handle this problem.  That’s how the Lord wants us to live! He’s given us such clear instructions that I’m sure it pains Him when we don’t know His instructions, let alone do them.
So my “heart” word for this month is “Lay up”.   I want to  be more actively memorizing God’s Word so that I can have success in my life…in so many areas!  But, where do I start?  There are so many verses I want to learn and put into my heart!   This month, I will be sharing a series of posts with you of verses that I am going to start memorizing that will help me to have success in the different aspects of my life as a momma, homemaker, wife and lady.  I’m excited to share these with you!  But, I’m also excited to have this accountability, too.  So, do you want to join me?
 Success.  We can have it and the Lord freely gives it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Girls are Back! My Girls are Back! My Girls are Back!

Can you tell I'm excited?  :o) 
Elisabeth and Brenna had a great trip to Florida.  They were able to have some quality time with family, enjoy our home church, do lots of Christmas Shopping, Eat fun food, Go to fun places...they had a blast!
But, I'm so glad they're home!  Last night after we'd all had a chance to chat and for them to show us lots of goodies from their suitcases, Patrick and I were busy with getting little ones to bed.  I heard laughter from the dining room.  Joshua, Beth and Brenna were all around the table laughing and joking around and just enjoying being together.

Today, the laughter and giggles have been multiplies times two.  I've loved being in the kitchen again with my girls.  (I'm sipping some of Beth's sweet Tea right now!) We've been making plans of what games we want to play and Family Fun Nights to plan.

 When my children started in their teen years, I heard so many comments about raising teenagers.  Yes, it can sometimes be tough. But the good is so much more frequent than the tough.  I'm loving this season of parenting! 

I'm so thankful for my family!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Teeth and Green Beans

This week, Micah tried Green Beans for the first time---He loved them!  You can see the joy all over (really all over) his cutie pie face!  And I was able to get some good shots of his 2 new teeth, too!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Don't worry girls...she's got your back!

My Elisabeth and Brenna have been gone for a week now.  This Momma misses them for sure!  They're really loving being spoiled by Grandparents.  I think they are on a Fast Food Marathon and they are loving it! (And I'm a little jealous!)  So, while they're gone,  Little Miss Callie Grace has become a fun helper...a little more time spent on each chore...but it's been fun!
 Today, Patrick and I were sitting at the kitchen table just talking when Josh came in and said, "Mom, you really need to look at this."   Starting a conversation like that always makes me nervous!  I came to the bathroom and Silas and Callie each had a toilet paper roll (the cardboard part) empty.  Yup. No toilet paper.   It was ALL OVER the floor.  2 rolls worth.  Silas started telling me, "We did it Mom, we got it all off!"  What?  They have so many toys, did they really need a cardboard tube to play with?  I'll admit it...I was a little frustrated.  Then, I heard a sweet hubby quietly saying, "They're just being children.  Don't get upset."  So, after a goooood deep breath.  I looked at both of them and asked, "Did you make a big mess?"  Duh.  They knew that answer!  Then asked,  "Were you being a good helper to Momma when you did this?"  No.  So, I told them to not do that again and make big messes to clean up.  So, I went to put Micah in his crib before tackling cleaning up the mess.  As I came out of the bedroom, Josh said, "Uh, Mom, there's another problem."  I went into the bathroom and found that ALL of the toilet paper had been stuffed down the toilet and then they tried to flush overflowed and now there was one inch of water all over the floor with tons of toilet paper in the overflowing toilet.  Oh boy!  Then, I had to giggle.  I had asked the stupid question..."Were you being a good helper?"  I guess they decided they would help, and what better place to put toilet paper? :o)
Loving my time with my blessings!