Friday, October 31, 2008

Grateful Friday

Good morning all! Welcome to my grateful Friday (although I should be grateful everyday!).

  • I am grateful that Abigail went down very easily for a nap this morning. It's been almost 45 minutes and she's still asleep!
  • I am grateful that she slept through the night.
  • I am grateful for our small group of young married couples. I love Thursday nights because I get to hang out with all of them. It is truly a highlight in my week.
  • I am grateful (and excited) for friends of ours who are about to join us (in 7 months or so) we new parents! :) Yeah!
  • I am grateful that God placed a fabulous idea in my head for a Christmas present. I am so excited about this I feel like I could jump out of my skin! It is inexpensive but so meaningful! Sorry to my family but it's for Andrew's family. You'll understand at Christmas.
  • I am grateful that I have the day off!!
  • I am grateful for my wonderful husband. He chose to (probably) miss an earlier bus this morning just so he could see Abigail and change her poopy diaper for me. You have GOT to love daddy's like that!
  • I am grateful for the beautiful sunny day. I'm not a big fan of the gloom we've had recently!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why do I do this?

I must make a note to myself to not blog about sleep conditions improving. Whenever I do, we have a night like last night. All in all, it could have been worse, but still. . .

She woke at 1:00 am, wasn't hungry, was wet but not dirty, and was simply restless. I tried rocking, laying her down, holding her hand, etc, but she was still restless until about 2:30 am. Yikes! Not crying (thankfully) just not sleeping either. I checked for a runny or stuffy nose (nope), fever (nope), teeth (nope). No explanation.

To be quite frank, this stresses me out. This mainly stresses me out because the buck stops with me. I'm the mom and so I'm the one who people look to to figure out what the problem is, if she's not her normal self, so when I don't have an answer (right away), I get stressed! Hopefully it was just a little awake period and not anything else. She was pretty cranky this morning but she seemed tired to me, so perhaps it was just the night that made her tired.

I'm enjoying this fun stage she's in right now, but to be honest, I'm also looking forward to when she can talk!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


After finding that old blog post yesterday that contained Andrew's poem, I read a few more. The old memories came flooding back from our time in Kansas, our move here, etc. I did laugh out loud a few times at some of the comments that had been made by Andrew's grandpa on my blog and I must say this morning that I miss him. I'm glad I can look back and read those!

Sleep seems to be improving at our house. I hope I'm not jinxing things! Abigail still gets restless between 9:30 pm and 11 pm but she hasn't been waking up as much. She did cry out on Monday night so I went in there and unwrapped her from the blanket, and she promptly went back to sleep. I think she wanted to turn over and couldn't because of the blanket. She has slept through the night several times this week (last night being the fourth night in a row). She's still not a good napper. I just need to be thankful that she sleeps pretty well at night, I guess! We've been feeding her "supper" before bed and I think that helps with keeping her tummy full.

She has become quite the little piggy. Yesterday she ate over 8 cubes of food (ice cubes are the way we measure her food, since I make and freeze the majority of it), although it wasn't all at one time.

That's all for now. I'm trying to find time to study for my driving test, which I will go take on Friday for my Ohio license. It's probably about time to get that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Calling . . .

If you all don't read girl talk, do it! I have been stretched, called, challenged, encouraged, and blessed by reading this blog.

Their most recent topic, "Doing him good" has been particularly challenging and encouraging to me. I am going to give you a dose of total honesty here . . . in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule, one of the last things I have felt like doing is looking for "additional" ways to "do good" to my husband. Most days I feel like just getting the clean clothes upstairs, food prepared, baby taken care of, and most of the junk cleaned up in our house is a huge stretch for me. However, I think God wants more from me. . . read on!

My attitude towards this challenge was very negative at first. I struggle with the "what about me" syndrome and that's not good! I was challenged by my attitude. I mean, hello, it is in the Bible, so obviously, I am called to do it! I am being fed lies from the world that I don't need to make an extra effort to help my husband and let him know he is appreciated. In fact, I have been challenged lately that I am called to put these needs above those of my child. Obviously, with her being a helpless baby, I need to feed her, bath her, love her, shelter her (and we do all those things and more) but I need to have an appropriate balance of these relationships.

I have seen some beloved people go through turmoil lately and this has driven this point home even further. People are walking on dangerous ground when one person in the relationship (or both) feel neglected, unappreciated, unloved, disrespected, or unwanted. So, my resolve is to look for little ways to bless my husband. They don't have to take hours. I started last night by making his lunch. I continued this morning but forgiving him and laughing, instead of getting mad, that he forgot to take the lunch. I am far from perfect and I'm sure I will fail each and everyday in my actions and attitude but it's still worth the effort because I am certainly blessed to be his wife!

In remembering years past, here is a link to a post I wrote on this very blog about Andrew. It seems so long ago, many states away! He no longer makes the bed (since I'm still in it when he leaves) and I am the one who generally handles the money now . . . but the rest is true! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Political Confusion

No, this isn't about who you should vote for. This is a rant that most people don't know what is going on when it comes to voting. See, I work at a polling location. 364 days a year, it is a church, but that one (possibly two) days a year, we have people that come in to vote. I have nothing to do with any of it, except that I open the door for the guys bringing in the polling equipment, and on voting day, I stay huddled in my office, only to be bombarded with people needing things (usually easy things like pen and paper). However, before election days starts, I always seem to get those lost people calling and asking ME for an absentee ballot. Yes . . . umm, please call your county courthouse. I have nothing to do with elections, even on election day, except that my office happens to be in the same building that you vote!!


We had a grand weekend. We got a lot done, including almost every stitch of laundry in the house. Naps didn't go so grand, however. Abigail's last nap of the weekend was on daddy's lap at 5:30 pm last night. Not good! She was up until 8 pm and was restless in bed until about 9:30 pm. She has also been an eating machine. She probably ate a three-ice-cube size helping of peas, and a one-ice-cub size helping of sweet potatoes last night. She still woke at 3 am to nurse. I keep wondering when her magical age of sleeping through the night will be! She definitely does it more often but it's not consistent. She did act like she would have eaten MORE last night, so we just need to feed her until she's full. I spent a lot of time making baby food this weekend. I'm having to work hard to keep up with her!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Good Song

Oh, what time I am afraid,
Oh Lord I will trust in you.
When my heart it fails for fear
and I don't know what to do.
You alone will be my strength
and my courage you'll renew.
So, what time I am afraid
I will trust in you.
He was the worship leader at our church. Enjoy this video and hopefully you'll be encouraged!

My Goodness: Grateful Friday

I am grateful for:
  • My washer and dryer. They've worked hard for me today.
  • My husband. He works so hard and is still fun and easy going.
  • My daughter.
  • My comfortable house.
  • The geothermal in our house (thanks to Andrew).
  • Once again . . . the whole day off!
  • My job and co-workers who graciously let me have the day off! :)

Ok, I'm not terribly creative today. It's been a day full of battles and there's one raging right now! Abigail refuses to sleep at our house. It's not fun! Grr! I'm trying not to let the frustration get to me but it's kind of grabbing hold, if I'm honest.

No nap this morning, until I nursed her, then she promtly fell asleep. I battled about 50 minutes this afternoon to get her to sleep and she slept for 40 minutes. When I got her up she was cranky and unhappy (rubbing eyes, etc), so I knew it was tired. Fed her some prunes (um, she LOVES them, so we may be in TROUBLE this weekend), and am working on another nap. When I rock her, she is almost asleep instantly but when I lay her down, she's up again. Grr . . .again!

Ok, I'm off to lay her down. I guess I can keep folding and putting away laundry during this whole process. Perhaps we'll just take a break from all of this utter madness in a while, if she doesn't fall asleep and go visit people.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Template Changes

I removed the image above. It was so big that it was annoying me. I don't think anyone will be too disappointed.

I also added a good reads widget to my sidebar so you can see on my blog what is on my read list. I couldn't decide if it would be more interesting to have the read, to-read, or to-be-read list. Any ideas?

The blog world (or at least my small one) has been so quiet lately. No one's posting and no one is commenting. Wonder why?!

Twittering and Winter's Here!

If you haven't read my last post, please do. Go to and add me as a friend. I'm addicted to that site now. I am so glad I can mark books when I read them now and I already have a huge list of books that I want to read. I can't wait for a trip to the Library!

I am debating with myself if I should twitter or not. If you don't know what that is go here. It's pretty much mini-blogging. I'm signed up but I haven't really figured out the ins and outs of it all yet. Do I really want one more thing to do? Hmm, I've heard it is so much fun. We'll see.

This cold snap hit us so quickly that I'm a bit unprepared in the clothing department. Each morning I have a dilemma as I stand by Abigail's closet . . . finding warm clothes. She had so many 6 month clothes (primarily because of Hawaii) that I could go two and sometimes three weeks without doing her laundry and she'd still have cute things to wear. Right now, she only has a few pair of pants, one long sleeved onesie, a jacket, and a few pair of jeans to wear in the chilly mornings! The jacket I put on her this morning (out of desperation) as a 0-3 month size! :) It fit but the sleeves were more like 3/4 length! Last winter this wasn't as much of an issue, as she was tiny and we carried her everywhere in her car seat with the Bundle Me on it. I don't carry her in the seat anymore, unless there is no other option!

We're going to have to go shopping this weekend and get Abigail some warm clothes! I bought some fleece PJ's a few weeks ago from Once Upon a Child so she seems comfy at night. Since we'll be at Walmart anyway with the car, that will probably be our shopping of choice this weekend. I've never been impressed with their infant clothes selection but perhaps we'll find a few things to tide us over for a few more weeks.

I also am having a similar issue with my clothes. I am having vague memories of all these sweaters and other shirts that I had but they are no where to be found. See, last winter I only wore maternity clothes. It worked out perfectly, actually. I only needed to start wearing these in September, so I didn't have to buy any summery maternity clothes. This, however, means it has been two years since wearing any of my sweaters or other winter clothes. Where could they be?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I love to read. I always have. Many times on our chore list growing up, my sister's would have reading on hers and I would not. It's because I loved it so much that no one had to encourage me to do it. The love still continues today. I mainly enjoy reading fiction, although I will be working my way through a non-fiction most of the time. That's just not the book I bring in the tub with me or on a trip. So, yesterday I was overjoyed to read on a blog about a great website called:

It is a place where you can keep track of books you have read, you are currently reading, and books-to-read. I am absolutely in love with this website. I have a terrible memory when it comes to if I have read a book or not, so this is the perfect solution. Also, there are many days that I spend time searching for the next good page-turner. This website gives suggestions, has reviews, etc. So sign up on the website and add me as your friend so we can share suggestions and see each others lists. Yeah!

I also have a slight problem with buying books. I'm trying to stop this and just use my local library more (must pay my fines still - from when Abigail was born). The problem is not that I don't read the books, it's just that I buy the books much faster than I read. I don't usually buy fiction books, unless it's really good or want to read it to my kids someday, because I rarely reread these, unless they are classics. So, I am primarily buying non-fiction books. These take me a long time to read through because I do it in conjunction with the fiction.

I'm beginning to get carried away with buying children's books. I know we have enough board books and should save up for some of the classics that I'll want to read her when she's older.

I have been reading to Abigail every night for over a month now and she loves it. Right now her favorite thing to do is to turn the page, so we're only reading board books! :) I just let the page flop out there and her chubby little hand grabs it and "turns it". It's amusing and she loves it. I am so glad I can share my love of reading with her.


Other news: I was casually surfing the Internet last night after cleaning up from supper and before Dancing with the Stars was on. I happened upon the Point of Grace website and was shocked to learn that my favorite singer of the group, Heather, has left! I don't follow them (hardly at all) as much as I used to but still shocking. In my humble vocal opinion, she was the strongest singer of the group . . . the powerhouse soprano, if you will, so it will be interesting to hear what they sound like now. I also understand her reasons for quitting (she has 4 kids!!).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Muddy News!

I have started about four posts today but I can't seem to collect my thoughts to finish them. Perhaps my mind is still in a fog because we're still having sleeping issues at our house. Will it never end?! So that's the title of my post. These will be random and might not make much sense, since my mind feels rather muddy today.

Since we've let her cry-it-out (with checks) she goes down so much easier. However, lately she has been waking up at 10:30 pm or so. Most nights she goes in there with only one check-up. One of us lays her down and she's out. Not last night! We let her cry and did our checks for about 45 minutes before she fell asleep. Then she woke again at 11:30 pm. Since I had already been asleep, I tried feeding her. She acted hungry and got pretty angry when I offered the pacifier. I had assumed that all six of her teeth were in but this is the same way she acted when the other top teeth were coming through so I think the one just right of center is still working it's way down (her right). Then she slept the rest of the night! I hope this pattern eases off soon. It's just hard on us if we haven't been asleep yet because it can take her a while to go back to sleep with our method.

I'm sure that's what you wanted to read again . . . sleep issues but when that's the trouble, it's really hard on the parents!

Abigail did stand for us last night. She pulled herself up using the wall for support and then practiced letting go for a few seconds. She did this at the babysitters weeks ago but hasn't done it since. We think perhaps she was so engrossed with her toy there that she didn't realize what she was doing!

I believe my Friday this week will be filled with either getting my car serviced and/or getting my Ohio drivers license. Oops! I've technically been a resident for three years. I tried going on Saturday but the place was packed and I didn't have Abigail with me, so I had a limited amount of time to spend there. I need to be studying!

I promise more interesting stories and pictures soon. I haven't forgotten about the promised Hawaii post (talk about procrastination) or a post about my sister's wedding. They're still in the works!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interesting Article

Ah, my second post of the day. I just wanted to share this interesting article, as it really pertains, explains, and is interesting in light of my main subject on this blog . . . sleep!

I love this blog anyway. It encourages me as a new mom and guides me as I figure out who I am as Abigail's mom, since that changing and shaping is always a challenge. This article is great!


Also, this is not my story to tell, so I'll leave the details and names vague but I wanted to just express my thanks to those of you who have prayed for friends of ours going through marriage trials. I got an encouraging phone call from my friend yesterday. It was awesome to talk to her after praying and hurting for her these past few months. I just want to give glory to God for what He is doing. It still won't be an easy road for anyone and the trials are not over for them (are they for anyone?) but hearts are being changed.

My Sniffer is Broken

Abigail usually has dirty diapers in sputs. For example, she will have four in one day and then go four or five days without pooping. This usually means that I don't change many poopy diapers as they happen while I'm at work. So on Sunday morning, I was surprised to find a dirty diaper while dressing Abigail for church. Got her cleaned up and off we went. She was in the nursery with Andrew first hour while I taught Sunday school (a whole other post has to be dedicated to the horrificness that was my classroom on Sunday! Ugh!) and then she napped a bit during second service and got another diaper change, just wet.

At Andrew's grandma's for lunch yesterday, she fell asleep in her seat (while Andrew rocked her) and when she woke up it was time to feed her again. I carried her all the way upstairs, nursed, brought her down to play with another sweet baby that was visiting. When I set her down, I saw a speck of something on the floor next to her so I picked it up. Poop! I instantly thought that the dog had brought it into the house (I'm not sure how dumb I can be!) and so I threw it away and washed my hands. In the meanwhile, Andrew's aunt was playing with Abigail and said, "someone's poopy." My poor darling child, had a blowout the size of Texas. It was all up her back, on her pants and on her shirt and I can almost guarantee she pooped during her nap. It definitely brings to light that my sniffer is broken, since I held her close and probably patted that poor poopy butt during her nursing session.

I need to get that fixed soon! :)


In other news, of course, you all know I'm going to talk about sleeping! Last night she was tired out after a long weekend, so we put her to bed pretty early. She fell asleep at 7:15 pm but woke again, as I was in bed going to sleep around 10:30 pm. After letting her fuss for a little while (10 minutes or so), I went in and checked her diaper (gun shy now, you know), made sure she was comfortable, and laid her back down with a pacifier. She fussed a little when I left but fell back asleep and slept until I woke her up at 7:00 am!!! Seriously, the girl went over 12 hours without eating, and with sleeping most of it. So, it can be done. She can sleep through the night without eating. Can I say it again? Figuring out babies is difficult!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Battle of Schechter Naps

Abigail has never been a very good napper at our house since my return to work. I primarily blame the fact that 1) she is just not consistently home for naps (we run around a lot on the weekends), 2) we've coddled her to sleep this whole time, just for some peace, and 3) she's excited to see us. I decided that since I'm going to have her home on Fridays, this whole nap time drama has got to stop.

I was 100% committed yesterday to MAKING her nap in her crib . . . not the car seat, our bed, in my arms, etc. She was TIRED at 2:00 pm yesterday and so I did our nap time routine (reading a book and rocking a while) then when she was very drowsy, I laid her in bed. No go. She was up in a flash but not necessarily fussing, so I just let her be. When she did begin to fuss, I went in, laid her down, kissed her and left. I never let her go more than 15 minutes without checking on her and folks. . . it took me TWO HOURS and FORTY MINUTES to get her to take a nap but I WON! I was so frustrated that whole time that it felt like my blood was boiling but I stuck to my guns. I know that she can and will go down easily for a nap by herself, just not with mommy (and sometimes daddy too).

She slept well last night and slept in this morning (until 8:30! yeah!). We did the same routine this morning and it took her 45 minutes to fall asleep. For this afternoon's nap, it took her a little under 30 minutes. We're making progress.

The great thing about this is I got almost our whole upstairs cleaned (I mean dusted, vacuumed, all clothes put away, organized, etc) while putting her down for a nap yesterday and today. It's like our bedroom is a spa! :)

Ok, since she's asleep (for how long, no one knows), I'd better get to work on our budget stuff. Oops, I didn't do that yesterday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rally Pictures

Patriotic Girl all ready to go!

The crew that went to the rally. The boys were cold!

Cool girl!

There are many pictures of us. Yes, I'm wearing an SC sweatshirt. I didn't have anything else red or blue! :)

All bundled up with mommy.

Cool picture with all the signs waving.

Congressman Boehner (I think I spelled that right) and Gov. Sarah Palin.

Sorry, there won't be much more detail. The baby is fussy and crawling all over me trying to get to the laptop! :)

Grateful Friday

Boy, I have a lot to be grateful for today! I feel like just having one extra day off a month is a luxury! I can't believe I get to only work 4 days a week. It is an amazing feeling. My house is already cleaner than it has been for months and months!

  • I'm grateful for the opportunity to go to the Sarah Palin rally this morning and for good company to go with me! :) Thanks for driving, Ari. I will post pictures and more info later.
  • I'm grateful that while Abigail isn't sleeping in her crib (yet) she's not crying either. Just playing.
  • I'm grateful that since getting back home at 12:45 pm I have had the strength to make lunch, do a load of laundry, declutter the guest room, feed the baby, eat lunch, wipe off the counters, fold a load of laundry, dust the bedroom, call my parents, and feed the dog. I wonder what the rest of the day will hold! :)
  • I'm grateful for my wonderful husband who loves and supports me through anything. I really do love you!
  • I'm grateful for my wonderful baby girl and getting to spend a whole day with her. She was so good this morning!
  • I am super super grateful right now for having this day off. It feel so nice (wait, have I said that before).

More pictures to come when I get my car cleaned out and the camera uploaded. Perhaps tonight, since I'm in a cleaning frenzy and don't want to break that cycle (except to blog, of course).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Let's not get into a political discussion on here. In all honesty, I'm downright SICK of politics right now but being that I'm a good American citizen, I realize it does affect my life so I do vote (but that's about it at this point in my life). However, I am going to be participating in something political tomorrow because

1) it's my first day off and
2) it's so stinkin close to my house, I just can't pass it up

I almost decided not to do it (and might not if it's raining or something) because I'm not sure how Abigail will handle it (naps and all) but I feel like this is a once-in-a-lifetime (or if I'm honest with myself, now being an Ohioan, it's a once-in-four-years) opportunity.

Andrew is getting me the ticket tonight on his way home.

Anyone else in the Ohio area want to come with me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On Being Accidentally Fashionable!

Many of you know my views on fashion. While I like looking fashionable, I'd rather be debt free and have money to get things for my daughter. So, I made a decision in May to not purchase any new (used is ok) clothes for one year (with the exception of underwear - standards people). I also do my best not to spend much money on beauty items.

I will get my hair cut once every few months and buy a dab of make-up but I just don't do much else. So, I was pleased to read this article today on natural nails being "in". I keep my toes nice and pedicured (at home, no $40 pedicures for me) but my nails just get cut when they get dangerously long. I used to paint them and I'm not against any of it. I just don't have time or money right now. Plus with caring for a baby constantly, and washing dishes, they wouldn't last long. Ok, here's the article.

See, I am being fashionable with my healthy natural nails and I didn't even know it.


We had a fun birthday dinner for Andrew last night and the burritos were close to Chipotle, if I do say so myself. The tortillas weren't the same but they were big anyway. As I came downstairs this morning to leave for work, I spied the unfortunate bag of peanut butter cookies and pan of brownies that was left at our house by the grandparents. Hmm, and I'll be home on Friday to eat them. Not good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You are the Love of My Life . . .

Today, twenty-eight years ago, you were born. Since that moment, you have been a blessing to everyone who you have come in contact with. I am so blessed to call you my husband and to have you as the father of my child. I am thankful every day for you and your steady, positive attitude, your hard work and dedication to our family, and the fun and silliness that you also bring to my life. It is much needed! So, on your birthday, I just want to say that I love you very much. I hope you have a wonderful day!

I am posting this picture because I know it will make you happy!

Disclaimer: This photo is fake! I don't want to scare anyone so I am letting you know that Andrew edited it with photoshop! :) It was taken at Red River Gorge last weekend. I was actually standing right by Abigail when this was taken and then we each sat for our pictures while the other held the baby. He then combined the three pictures. Pretty good, huh?!


Also, it is our real life and now blogger friend, Jenn W's birthday as well. Please go over to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday as well!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Abigail's newest adventure and Birthday's!

Last week, Abigail began to stand on her own at the babysitters. She has not done this for us yet but she stood so long at the sitters that she was able to snap four pictures of Abigail standing. Yeah! Here they are. . . (yes, she has LOTS of toys there. Abigail is so underwhelmed at our house with the lack of toys compared to her sitter's house.)

A little blurry since she's shaking a toy.

We had a great weekend. On Saturday, Andrew wanted to go to Red River Gorge in Kentucky to take in the sights, so we headed out at an early hour of 7:15 am! Abigail and I slept in the car while Andrew drove! :) We went on two pretty short hikes (the baby is heavy!) and took a sky lift up to see Natural Bridge. It was fun and the scenery was beautiful. I really enjoyed spending the day with Andrew and with Abigail. On Sunday, we had some friends at our house, using Andrew's photo studio. I had so much fun. Our friend then hung out with us editing pictures, etc, until evening. So much fun! I had a chance to work ahead on Andrew's birthday supper, so I'm in good shape. I'm going to MOPS tonight so I won't have time to prep anything for tomorrow.

In other news:


I want to say Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law (and my aunt-in-law, Linda - but I don't think she reads this). I must say that I am so very blessed to have the in-laws that I do. My mother-in-law helps us out each and every day by keeping Abigail (I hope she's good for you today - thanks for keeping her on your birthday!) and she is also always feeding us and taking care of us! :) Have I mentioned that she's a fabulous cook? I am very blessed to have in-laws that love the Lord and will also share that love with my daughter. We hope you have a fabulous birthday day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Long Over-Due Book Review

I have been meaning to write this book review for a while. Andrew read the book after me, so I didn't want to sway his opinion any by my review, so I waited to write. Also, the last post was my 600 blog post. That is unbelievable! Anyway, here's the review:

Revolution in World Missions: by K.P. Yohannan

First of all, I would like to thank one of our wonderful SC (Sterling College) friends, Dorinda for suggesting this book to me. To be honest, my first attraction to it was that it was free from the Gospel for Asia ministry. I figured it would be a great thing for my book shelf. Well, I got the book and decided to read it and have forever been changed.

I am not sure if this book will touch others the way that it touched me. Perhaps it was that it opened my eyes to world missions and the fact that if we just give up a little bit we can make a huge difference. The book chronicles the life and spiritual journey of K.P Yohannan who founded the ministry of Gospel for Asia. I had heard of this ministry before but had never really looked into it much or really found out what it was about. I am so glad that I read this book!

The two primary ways that this book touched me was through a conviction of our excessive materialism in the United States, and the need for the church to get back to urgent and basic evangelism.

I have been convicted of materialistic tendencies before but never have I seen it presented in such a way that also points out the materialism of the churches in the United States. I'm simply not sure I can say it as good as he did, so I'm going to add some quotes.

"There is such an emphasis on church buildings in the United States that we sometimes forget that the Church is the people - not the place where the people meet."

"In the years I have lived and worked in the United States, I have watched believers and whole congregations get caught up in all kinds of similar crusades and causes that, while not necessarily bad in themselves, end up taking our eyes off obedience to Christ. And in this sense, they become the anti-Christ."

This is a must read that makes so much sense!! "The typical media (and some main-stream high-profile American churches and pastors! - I added this!) testimony goes something like this: "I was sick and broke, a total failure. Then I met Jesus. Now everything is fine; my business is booming, and I am a great success. It sounds wonderful. Be a Christian and get that bigger house and a boat and vacation in the Holy Land. But if that were really God's way, it would put some believers living in anti-Christian and in the Two-Thirds World in a pretty bad light. Their testimonies often go something like this: 'I was happy. I had everything - prestige, recognition, a good job, a happy wife and children. Then I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Now I am in Siberia, having lost my family, wealth, reputation, job and health. Here I live, lonely, deserted by friends. I cannot see the face of my wife and children. My crime is that I love Jesus."

As far as revolution and evangelism goes, here is what he says:

"If we could spend only one minute in the flames and torment of hell, we would see how unloving the so-called "gospel" is that prevails in much of missions today."

He goes on to warn of the sole focus on serving people's physical needs. There is nothing wrong with doing that but we first and foremost must be concerned with the salvation of people's souls, because those are eternal and our bodies are not.

My mom has warned me against the use of yoga for years. I have never done it but in my mind, I truly wondered if this was something to really be concerned about. It is addressed in chapter 15 of this book. Here is a little about what he says,

"There in beautiful color (on TV) was an attractive woman seated in the lotus position teaching yoga. I watched in horror and amazement as she praised the health benefits of the breathing techniques and other exercises of this Eastern religious practice. What her viewers did not know is that yoga is designed for one purpose only - to open up the mind and body to the false gods of the East. (skipping ahead) Those of us born and raised in nations dominated by the powers of darkness know that hundreds of Eastern religions are marketing themselves in the United States and Canada under innocuous - even scientific-sounding - brand names."

Anyway, I could go on and on but this is a book that you must read if you want to be challenged spiritually to do what you can (and he doesn't really ask much) to help native missionaries to reach souls for Christ. I cannot begin to describe on this blog how much this book has helped me to have more of an eternal focus in my life and less of a worldly one. Of course, I have a million miles to go in that direction but this is totally challenging and eye-opening to the suffering going on that we don't realize.

Please, please read this book. It's free on the Gospel for Asia website or through Dorinda's blog. I will send you (or loan you) my copy if you want. Also, when you're done with the book, honestly ask yourself if there is anything more that you could be doing to help support this ministry and the work they are doing around the world, even in these difficult economic times.

Good night all!

Grateful Friday

Yeah, grateful friday . . .

  • I'm grateful it's Friday! The main reason that I feel this way isn't that I'm so fond of getting away from work (I do like my job) but that I get to spend all weekend with my family. Andrew has a "surprise" planned for tomorrow, although I think I've figured out what it is! :)
  • I am so grateful for Thursday nights. We have a young marrieds group and it was so nice for Andrew and I to get away together last night and meet up with all our friends. I cannot imagine my life without that group!
  • I'm grateful for Andrew's aunt, who again took a whole evening of her time to watch Abigail for us. We love you, Anne!
  • I'm grateful for my Friday sub who is coming in the morning for "training". Next Friday, I won't be posting this so early because hopefully I will be sleeping in! :)
  • I'm grateful that my milk supply was much better this week. I can't tell if it was the extra pumping, the oatmeal, or what, but we should have some leftover. Yeah! :)
  • I'm grateful for Andrew getting up at 5:10 am with Abigail and bringing her to me so I could sleep for an extra two minutes!
  • I'm grateful for my lovely, comfortable, and warm home.

Ok, have a great day everyone!

P.S. I'm going to make some changes to Abigail's feeding schedule (have her eat some food with us at supper) to try to eliminate the possibility of hunger at night. That way I'll feel more confident about letting her settle herself after a brief check. Thanks for all your answers, prayers, and input. They are all very helpful!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another Tooth

I am fairly certain that Abigail got another tooth last night. She fights you when you try to look into her mouth but I'm pretty sure I felt that it had broken through this morning. Thank goodness. The night wasn't so hot (could have been worse!). She was up from 10:30 to 11:30 pm, then 4:00 am, and 6:00 am. She ate a lot at 4:00 am and 6:00 am, so I also wonder if it is a growth spurt.

We MUST come to some sort of conclusion about sleep and how to do what it is we want to do because this is one thing we (Andrew and I) don't see eye to eye on. I have agreed to let him - let her cry but last night he told me to shut both doors, turn off the monitor, and go to sleep (while she was crying). In my humble opinion, men obviously have no emotional connection to the fact that me, being a mom, would be no more likely to go to sleep while my daughter was in the next room screaming than if I were trying to sleep beside a jack hammer. Not happening. No way I could relax. So, I went in and fed her. She was so squirmy that she didn't eat much so I put her down in her crib. She fussed and tossed and turned for about 20 more minutes and went to sleep (on her own). She had also just been dosed with orajel and teething tablets so we were trying to take care of the pain.

I have rewritten parts of this post over and over again, trying to figure out what I should say and what I shouldn't say. So I'll just leave it at this . . . I am praying today that God would replace my heart of self-pity, selfishness, and negativity with a heart overflowing with selfless service, a loving nature, and a positive attitude. I simply cannot do it without Him!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I've been tagged . . .

This will be interesting. I was tagged for this random post by Jenn.

7 random things about myself. Ok, random, not unknown by other people.

1) I have double jointed elbows. My husband gets grossed out when I stretch my arms out.

2) I got my hair cut today. It had been three months since it was cut and before that it had been six months between cuts. I'm busy!

3) I love it when it rains. I really like all kinds of weather as long as it doesn't stay one way too long!

4) I love to sing. I gave up teaching voice lessons when I had my baby. I wish I were doing something but I don't want it to take away from family time.

5) I have stuck to my shopping goal so far this year and haven't purchased any new clothes since May! I am hoping to make it until next May (underwear, swimming suits, and gifts are allowed).

6) I love to organize and clean but I rarely have a clean or organized house or car. I wonder what that says about me. I guess it's that I'm not a perfectionist!

7) I love any kind of online or digital communication or networking (facebook, my space, blogging, email, etc). I just have to be introduced to it by someone else and then I take off. It's been almost 4 years ago that my sister introduced me to blogging!

I tag

Laura, Ari, Anna, Kayla, Jennifer (I think you've been tagged already though), Amber

Sorry, only 6. I don't know who all reads my blog and has a blog of their own! I need more people to follow me! :)

What to do about Halloween

We are currently in discussion (a very positive discussion . . . in no way do I mean argument) in our house regarding Halloween. Usually I bring up a subject . . . ask my husband what he thinks . . . discover that we both agree, and we go on our merry way. In this case, we have decided not to do anything for Halloween, at least this year. Our reasons?

1) We don't like Halloween. As a general rule, we don't celebrate or participate in Halloween due to the nature of the "holiday".

2) We don't like candy. Oh, come on. Of course we like candy, but we don't really eat it often (and as Aunt Anne discovered on Thursday while babysitting Abigail, we don't have ANYTHING sweet in our house. Her best bet to calm her sweet tooth would have been organic raisin bran cereal. Seriously.). We won't feed it to our kid, and I don't like passing out something to other kids that I don't think is good for them.

3) Time. When would I have time to get a costume?

4) She doesn't know what is going on and can hardly stay awake past 7 pm.

So, that's where we stand right now. I'm not sure what we'll agree on in the future. Our church has a harvest party on Halloween, so we'll probably be involved in that, rather than gathering candy that we don't need and probably won't be into letting our kid eat.


Another question for you moms . . . what did you do about brushing teeth? Abigail now has four teeth and is working on two more. When did you start brushing teeth and what did you use? Her babysitter advised me to use a wash cloth so we might try that and I have a finger brush but it seems harsh. I'm just interested in what others have done. I just read an article about how you should floss your baby's teeth when two are together. That seems a like a nightmare!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Prayers Together!

After about a week of horrible sleep at our house, Abigail slept from 8 pm until 6:30 am last night. We video conferenced with my parents last night so Abigail could see her grandparents and my mom gave me the advice to add in to our bedtime routine, a prayer with Abigail each night. We've been doing lots of reading in the evening (her Bible story book a lot of times) but we haven't prayed (to clarify, I HAVE prayed for her, just not with her). So last night I prayed with my daughter that she would be freed of any teething or gas pain that she might be experiencing so she could sleep better.

She cried a bit going down but I was actually able to settle her down without staying and holding her hand (which is simply amazing) and she was asleep by 8 pm.

Thanks for the good advice, Mom. I'm not saying that you can pray each night and your child will sleep but last night God answered my prayer within my timing expectations and I am thankful for that!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Blog Changes

I'm on a roll. . . 3 posts in one day! Whew! Anyway, I just wanted to point out that I've finally gotten out of the dark ages and upgraded my blogger account so it will be much easier to make changes to this blog. I hope to have a new look and maybe a new name (it will still be at the same address). Also . . .

Blogger has a new feature called following. See the link on my sidebar. So, if you want to become a "follower" (I know, sounds weird) of my blog, click the link to the left and join the 5 faithful followers that I already have! :)

Hang in there while I update my Layout, etc. I will get all the links to other blogs I read updated at some point on the sidebar. When I upgraded, it reverted back to a very old list!

Saturday Pictures with Daddy

Andrew got up with Abigail on Saturday, so I could sleep in a little bit. They had a good time playing, crawling and bonding. Abigail even fell asleep on Andrew for her Sunday morning nap. This is virtually unheard of. She rarely sleeps on anyone but me (and that's only when I'm putting her to bed or the middle of the night). They enjoyed their snuggle time!

Abigail loves to sit up by herself. She will crawl a few feet then practice sitting up.

I'm a pill but Mommy and Daddy love me!

I'm determined to get Daddy!

I LOVE to crawl and stand! (We'll get standing pictures soon!)

Weekend Recap

Abigail is sleeping better but we're still not back where we should be. On Saturday night, we had to let her cry when she woke up at 11:00 pm. I couldn't do it, so I went downstairs and let Andrew do his thing. She finally fell asleep around 12:15 am. She only woke once last night. I'm still VERY tired this morning! I'm pretty sure some of her night waking can be attributed to . . .

Teeth! She has two new teeth on the top. Very strange actually. One is the front tooth (which we call a bucky tooth) and then a side tooth also came in. Her other front tooth is almost in as well, so I think that's giving her a little pain and trouble. It also looks like she's working on the other side top tooth as well. So, she'll have six teeth when these all come through! That's a lot. I'm glad she is getting so many over with at once. That's good! I'm not always sure what's going on in her mouth because I try to keep my hands out of there unless they are ultra clean! Another theory about sleeping issues is . . .

My milk supply! Ugh! It's low, I'm pretty sure. I pumped after every feeding this weekend, except one on Saturday, and one on Sunday (due to the fact that I didn't pump in church). I only got about 2 ounces per pump. I used to be able to pump 5 to 7 ounces, so this is weird. I'm making a few changes in my routine to try and help. 1) I'm eating Oatmeal regularly. This is supposedly something that will help to increase the milk supply, 2) I'm drinking the breastfeeding tea (yuck, it's gross), 3) I will be pumping every weekend, all weekend long, 4) it will help to have Fridays off when I can nurse and pump. I hope these things help! We're living on the edge. I think there are only 4 or 5 bags of frozen left so if I get terribly behind, that could only last two or three weeks!

In other weekend news, I got a lot accomplished the weekend . . . and it felt great! On Saturday, I cooked! It really is one of my favorite things to do. I made corn chowder from scratch and it felt so good to cook and eat something yummy. I made enough for leftovers and it's frozen for later. I also vacuumed upstairs. It needed it . . . badly! I also painted 1/2 of the front porch. It's been half painted since we moved in and we decided that it should be done before winter this year. The part that I have finished looks so good. I can't wait to finish the rest of it. The weather has been great! My favorite part about these little home improvement projects is that they are free! :) We already had the porch paint, I just had to use it. It is a much needed improvement and it didn't cost us anything!

That's all for now folks. We took a few crawling pictures this weekend so I'll try to post those if I get a chance.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Grateful Friday

I must admit, I don't feel like doing Grateful Friday today, since our night was HORRIBLE. I guess life goes on and I just have to write about other stuff, other than sleep. Here it goes.

  • I am grateful for Andrew's aunt, who came to watch Abigail last night so we could go to small group together. Thank you!
  • I am grateful for our small group. Meeting with them is really the highlight of my week.
  • I am grateful, again, for my job. They are flexible and lovely to work for.
  • I am grateful that in just two weeks, I won't be working on Fridays.
  • I am grateful for my nice warm house.
  • I am grateful that it is Friday!

That's all for now. Have a good day, folks!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

8 Months Old

It is hard for me to believe that I have an 8 month-old baby girl! She is growing so quickly and doing so many new things. Her favorite new thing to do is to crawl to the nearest object (she doesn't care if it is steady or not) and pull herself up to a standing position next to it. If it is a table, she will proceed to clearing off the table! She is now standing one-handed and using the other hand to wildly wave in the air.

She also LOVES to pull all of our DVD's off the rack. She is very serious about this work and will often hold one up to us in triumph! She is still a pill when it comes to sleep. She was up at 2 am last night and then woke up for the day at 5:30 am (I think she heard Andrew in the bathroom). She's getting a little better at going to sleep but we still have a long ways to go! She still has a bit of a runny nose.

Her favorite thing to "say" these days is "dada" although we don't think she really knows what she is saying. I always point to Daddy when she says this or say, "Daddy is not here" if Andrew is not around.

We haven't been good at keeping up with taking her picture. I am going to try to get my act together and take some 8 month pictures this weekend. I hope to share them all when I have them.

Happy 8 month birthday, baby girl!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah!

Well, now Andrew has the cold. Blah! I can't wait until this clears out of my house! The night wasn't too bad really. Abigail only woke up once and wasn't terribly congested this morning, so that is good. I hope we can get back into the swing of things so I can get some things done in the evenings, like the dishes and laundry.

In other GOOD news, I am going to officially be off on Fridays on October 17! Yeah! I am so thankful that my job is so wonderful and flexible to allow me to do this. I can't wait for the extra day with my daughter and the chance to catch up on some things at the home front. This will be the least I have ever worked. I have always been at 40+ hours of working, so I can't imagine what a 4 day work-week will be like. I can't wait!

That's all for now.