Friday, July 23, 2010

A Birthday Day

Of all of our family birthdays, Adam's is by far the best. It always has been because it's in the summer. We have no obligations, nowhere to be, nothing we have to do. It can be as busy or as relaxed as we want it to be. Charlotte's and my birthdays bookend Thanksgiving; they always will. There is a different kind of special that goes with that, but Adam's birthday is on its own in the middle of glorious summer. This birthday was yesterday.

Charlotte had a summer cold, caused by too much air conditioning, we suspect. So she slept a lot, and whined when she was awake most of the day. One of the things Adam desperately wanted to do yesterday was watch Charlotte's favorite (and only) television show as a family: Sid the Science Kid. This is a great show on PBS, on at 8:30. But Charlotte, since she was sick, slept until about 9:10 (which is when the less appealing Super Why is on). So Adam did something he'd wanted to do for a while: he took his newly acquired Target gift card (thanks, Kim) and bought Charlotte a boxed set of 3 Sid the Science Kid DVDs. He came home, and we watched a couple episodes as a family. It was wonderful.
She knows where movies go, and if you give her a little bit of help, she can put them in all by herself. She's such a big girl!

I experimented with a special surprise breakfast of cinnamon apple French toast which was good, but not great. It was a little soggy for both of our liking; in hindsight, I think I would have crisped up the French toast in a skillet before baking it. If you'd like the recipe for this, it's here. Charlotte was definitely a fan, even in her less-appetite-than-usual state. She kept saying, "Bite." :)

The only other event of yesterday was Adam's party at Red Robin. It was wonderful, with all kinds of brothers and sisters in Christ attending to celebrate Adam's birthday. The Red Robin came and terrified Charlotte (only when he came close, from a distance, she was amused), the whole wait staff came and sang to Adam, followed by Jody and her sister Lori singing a special song of theirs and Suzanne finishing off the performances with a strange birthday melody resembling "The Volga Boatman" for those of you who were in the same elementary school music program that I was. :) Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera because leaving the house with a sick toddler, I just forgot it. Oh well.

And today is back to business as usual: dishes, laundry and a still-needing-more-sleep-than-usual toddler. I love being at home. God bless.

P.S. Here's a free picture of Charlotte from a couple of Sundays ago I forgot to post. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breakfast Time

This is what happens when we forget to buy cereal bars for Charlotte at the store: toast and jelly.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer, Pictures and Redemption

I apologize for my absence - my computer was being updated. Here are some pictures that have been taken in its absence.

Us at the park on the HOTTEST day of the summer with Adam's friend, Josh and his wife, Chelcie.

"Mom, I though you said the doctor said my feet were SMALLER than normal!"

People keep asking me how I am liking my summer, and I can't say enough that I basically love it and live for it every school year. Charlotte is at a wonderful age where she mimics words, identifies things that surprise you (like when she named all of the kids on the show "Sid the Science Kid" yesterday at Toys R Us) and sounds like the wrestler Ric Flair walking around the house going "Whoo!" It has been truly wonderful to be home with her and Adam, and though I know that July is only about half over, I also know that the rest of the summer will slip away quickly. For the first year since my first year of teaching, I have no idea what I'm headed into next year. Our school's whole administration has been shaken up, the building and bell schedule are both being remodeled, and everything will be very different next year.

The past two sermons we've had have been AMAZING. Our pastor's family is on vacation, so we get to hear other people preach. Jonathan Murphy preached a wonderful sermon on Wednesday night that you can hear here, and Eddie preached a super-convicting sermon on Sunday you can hear here. I told Eddie after church that what I love about the Word of God is that it hits you exactly where you are. I felt like Eddie was preaching that sermon JUST to us, but I know that everyone else felt that too. It's awesome.

During the sermon, and not really because of the sermon itself, I got a picture into my head of redemption that I still am meditating on. I pictured a negotiation in eternity past between Satan and Christ. God the Father might have been there in the shadows somewhere, but most of the talking is between Satan and Christ. And they're talking about people. They're talking about me. I get closer and I see a file with pictures of me, even though in eternity past I'm not even close to being born. And they're negotiating for me. Satan wants me because I'm smart and passionate. He starts off with the upper hand in the argument, saying that I already belong to him so he should get to keep what's his. Then I look at Christ, thinking what could He possibly say to that? And He just says, "No, she's mine." Satan is not discouraged; he keeps coming up with reasons that he should get to keep me, and for every argument, Christ just says, "No, she's mine." There are times I get nervous that Satan will come up with something that Christ can't refute, but each time He just says calmly, "No, she's mine." Finally, at the end of the negotiation, Satan says in a frustrated tone, "Well, you're just going to have to die for her, then." Christ can't see me, or He would see me shaking my head, saying that's too much, You are worth more than me, it's not worth it, I'll just belong to Satan, that's fine. But without hesitating, Christ says calmly, "I know that and it's already done. She's mine and you can never have her." Stunned, I back away and the negotiation fades away. Amazing, huh? The redemption of our Lord.
Love you all; Soli Deo Gloria.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting our Groove on...

...but mostly just Charlotte's. Tonight, we went to a free program at the 419 Library by Tom Teasley, a world percussionist and educator. Here's his website, primarily for my dad who I know will be curious. :) It was sponsored by a group called Young Audiences/Arts for Learning, and it's a very neat program and concept (here's that website too, dad). Charlotte was probably the youngest one there, and I know the onlookers didn't know if she was going to make it or not, but she definitely loved hearing (and jamming to) all of the different instruments. We had a good time also, and even learned a little bit.

We also had our 18 month well check today (even though Charlotte's 19ish months) and it went well. Charlotte was terrified of Dr. Craft which he said was completely normal for her age. Haha. I think her apprehension also might have had something to do with the child across the hall screaming his face off from the time Charlotte and I got into the room; seriously, even the doctor said it sounded like he was doing an amputation, which obviously he wasn't. Charlotte looks good, it's amazing how healthy she is when she's not in daycare, and everything looks fine. The mildly humourous thing, besides the amputation across the hall, was when Dr. Craft asked if Charlotte said 10-12 words. I quickly answered 'yes,' and he said that teacher's kids were usually above the curve when it came to that. When I told Adam this tidbit driving home from the percussion program, we started counting the words she can say (and know what they mean) and we got about 25. Huh. So, on tomorrow's to-do for Charlotte's college...check.

It rained today; not downpour, but nice, steady rain. I don't know about you, but sometimes, rain is just so refreshing. It's been oppressively sunny and hot this summer, and the rainy day today was just soothing.

Oh, and although she didn't need them today, here's a picture of Charlotte's new shades. Please enjoy the fact that they are upside-down. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Geneologies and History

The sermon last night was on Genesis 14. For our pastor, preaching one sermon on an entire chapter is a big deal, since he usually goes a few verses at a time. This chapter focused on a historical battle, apparently a pretty big one in the region at the time.

The tendency that we have toward these types of passages in Scripture (or just me, but it's probably most of us) is to ignore them, gloss over them or skim them. Surely these mundane things have no application for us, no lessons, no information necessary for our lives. The names are difficult to pronounce and silly to say, the places are all foreign and we don't know where they are in relationship to anywhere else being mentioned.
You can read the chapter or listen to the sermon here; my intent is not to summarize what was taught last night. What I was thinking about, and what I have considered since the sermon is that Abram had to make a decision: either he could be a man of faith or a man of the world. This is a decision we all must make multiple times in our lives. Do we want to be people (usually women, followers :)) of faith or people of the world. What do our actions show the world about our love and obedience of Christ? What do our homes, families and marriages show?
This sermon also made me think about what I said earlier about faith vs. discernment. I still stand by that post and the comparisons I made. Some theological things are just held in a tension that we don't understand. But the application of last night's sermon was that everything depends on our faith and shortfalls are a result of unbelief. Disobedience, sin and pride all come from unbelief - a lack of faith that God is not who He says He is, a lack of faith in His promises and His love for us, a lack of faith in His sovereignty. Ouch.
I hope this post encourages and challenges you to reassess your faith in God. Also, I hope that we might take more time to discern what God is saying to us through seemingly boring, pointless passages in the Bible. After all, "all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I'm sure I'll move onto a different topic for the next post. Soli Deo Gloria.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Splish Splash

We went to the pool today, much to the surprise of Brittney who's been asking us to go for weeks. And the answer is, Charlotte still does not understand why people go to the pool for fun. It was the perfect pool day, hot and sunny, but she still had a death grip on whoever had her while she was in the pool, doing a combination between whining and crying the whole time. Oh well.
Here's the gang (I'm taking the picture :)): Allison, my mentee, Brit and Adam with Charlotte. Notice that Charlotte still looks terrified, even around people she knows and loves.
So, I took Charlotte out of the pool and put her in a little chair Brit brought for her. Here she is, chomping on animal crackers we brought.

After a while of her squinting at me, I gave her my sunglasses. She looked like such a little diva sitting perched in her chair eating her cookies with her shades. :)
Basically, it goes without saying that our time at the pool was MUCH better than our weekend excursion to the Salem Fair. It's not worth blogging about at all, but here are some pictures of it anyway.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I'm trying to use the time I have this summer to hone my homemaking skills. What I have now could hardly be called "skills," but I am working to improve them, improve my home, family and save us money. I have more homemaking skills than many women and wives in our country, so for that, I thank my mom. Thanks, mom!

I have two recipes to share with you today that I am very excited about. I can't take credit for one of them at all, but since I tried it and it worked, here it is.

Iced Mocha - a small pitcher for the fridge
Pieced together from online sources

Using ridiculously bold coffee, brew 8 cups of water with about 10 rounded tablespoons of coffee. This gave me about 6ish cups of STRONG coffee. I added about 5 tbsps of chocolate syrup, 2 tbsps of brown sugar, 2 cups of cold milk and the piece de resistance: 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Pour over ice, store the pitcher in the fridge....Ahh! SO GOOD! Seriously, it's like $20 worth of coffee drinks in your fridge.

Blueberry Muffins
From GirlTalk blog

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed blueberries
2 cups whole blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease both muffin cups and tops of muffin tins around cups. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to butter mixture. Stir in blueberries. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle tops with sugar and nutmeg mixture. Bake about 25 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before removing from tins.

I made these muffins on Wednesday night when Charlotte was asleep and sick and Adam was at church. They are significantly better than the boxed variety I'm used to.

The family is going to Salem Fair today; I'm sure pictures will follow. :)