Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Five Year Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on 4/24/09. Andrew made plans for us to travel to Chateau Elan and stay overnight. We walked around the place for a while when we first arrived. Then, we enjoyed some wine tasting (see below for more details as this relates to my 2009 resolution). After that, we had time to go back to the hotel room and relax for a while before dinner. We both got dressed up for dinner, which is always fun. The red scarf was my feeble attempt at being modest since I did not remember that the dress I planned on wearing was cut very low in the front. It worked out good enough, I think and am so glad I brought the scarf...totally by chance. We had dinner at Cafe Elan and the food was great! When our desserts arrived, the plates had "Happy Anniversary" written in chocolate syrup around the outside of them. It was very cute. We also got a "Happy Anniversary" card slid underneath our door that evening and a bottle of champagne delivered to our room. It was a very memorable way to spend our anniversary and I am so glad we decided to do something so special for our five year anniversary. Although, it would not have mattered what we did as long as we could spend it together with a celebratory spirit and praise God for this wonderful gift that He has blessed us with.

Now for the confession: I did not realize it was our fifth anniversary coming up in 2009 when I made the resolution. I thought and prayed about our trip and the resolution a lot, once I realized it. As my post states, I do not think drinking is a sin and this occasion was something that I really wanted to celebrate with some wine and champagne. So, we did but no we didn't get drunk, which I am totally OK with and I think God is too. I write this to be completely transparent so that anyone who read or knows my resolution would be informed that I did amend it, just slightly, and for this occasion only.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Power Of Music

I don't know how music effects other people but put the right words with the right tune and it is so powerful to me. In fact, the right tune is so powerful to me that the words will just take on life, regardless. Therefore, if the words are not positive and uplifting then the song will have a negative impact on my mind. I used to be a die hard Linkin Park fan and now I realize why I was in a constant bad mood back then. However, the opposite is also true. If I feel myself getting in a down mood I can turn on an uplifting song and let it speak to my heart. Further, I can turn on a Christian song and it will light my heart and soul on fire for God and I begin worshiping Him whether I am driving in my car, playing trucks with Braedon, rocking or feeding Kaley, cleaning or doing laundry, blogging, or pretty much anything else. I thank God so much for the gift of music and the sensitive spirit I have. I consider my sensitive spirit a huge blessing but it also comes with a call to protect my spirit from lyrics or other material that is not glorifying to God. Here are a few songs and a thought to go with each.

-Casting Crowns, Slow Fade - I have actually posted about this song before here
-John Waller, While I Am Waiting - This song is a beautiful word picture of a faithful Christian giving God the trust that He deserves.
-Casting Crowns, East to West - "from one scarred hand to the other"...need I say more?
-33 Miles, One Life To Love - This is an awesome reminder to not take relationships for granted and take advantage of every moment we have and value the most important things in life.
-Hillsong United, The Stand, What an awesome creator we have who sacrificed so much for us. Worshiping Him is the least I can do.
-Jeremy Camp, There Will Be A Day - What a wonderful word picture of the promise of eternity with our wonderful God.

These are not nearly all of the songs that speak volumes of hope into my life but they are in the forefront of my heart right at this moment.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Parent Commissioning for Kaley-2

Kaley did so good during the service. She was happy, alert, and smiling/gazing the entire time. She had on this beautiful white dress with a white bow in her hair. It was such a neat time. See next post for more details.

Parent Commissioning for Kaley

Today was parent commissioning, formerly known as baby dedication, day at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. This is a special ceremony where the baby and parents come up on stage and a life verse is read for them and the officiator asks the parents if they commit to raise the child in a Christ-centered home. Then, the officiator touches the baby and welcomes them to church and prays for the family and all families seeking to raise their children in Christ-centered homes. We were blessed enough to have Bryant Wright and his wife, Anne, performing the service for us today. Anne held Kaley while Bryant announced us and read her life verse, which is 1 Corinthians 16:14 "Do all things in love." Then, Bryant put his hand on Kaley's head and said "Well, Kaley, welcome to church. We will be seeing a lot of you." She just gazed and smiled at him. It was too cute. It was a very special time for us at church. Afterward, we had a casual lunch back at our house. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that God has blessed us with as our church family. They truly are serving as our family as the majority of our blood relatives are out of town. I can't thank God enough for their presence in our lives. Normally, I wouldn't even have thought to have a celebration after the service but recently God has really given me a bigger heart of appreciation for these types of things in life that really deserve celebration. So, kind of last minute, I threw together the idea of having people over for lunch after the service. It as such a blessed time with good friends enjoying each other and celebrating this wonderful thing we call life that God has given us all. Praise God!
I love the way Kaley is gazing at Anne and Bryant in these pictures...too cute!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kid's Cuteness on Easter

It was such a pretty day outside and am so thankful that we got to get out and enjoy it a little bit. Kids are still getting well from sicknesses but I had to get us outside a little today. As soon as Braedon sat down next to Kaley with the basket she grabbed for an egg.

Hunting Easter Eggs

We "hid" some easter eggs on the ground outside in places where a two year-old would be able to find them. It took him about 1 minute to figure out what was going on and then we didn't even really have to explain to him what to do. Braedon just took off running to each egg to pick it up and put it in his basket. We used real eggs, which in hindsight was probably not the brightest idea that mommy ever came up with. However, it was definately more fun than it would have been had we used the boring plastic eggs. Braedon wasn't satisfied until he had squished each egg in his hand and then threw it back in the basket.

Coloring Easter Eggs

Although we didn't really feel up to it, I wanted Braedon to have some fun coloring easter eggs this year. So, Friday we spent a little while playing with the dye and paint. He was so excited the whole time and just could not wait to get his hands all over everything. I let him put the tablets in the glasses. After we poured the vinegar and water daddy helped him put the eggs in and then fish them out. Kaley was watching the whole time up close to the action. I don't really like the idea of sitting her seat on top of the table but I wanted her to see the action and be near us. Of course, I had to include a cheese-arm picture of Braedon. :-)

Coloring Easter Eggs-2

Why does blogger only let you post five pictures at a time? Or, am I doing something wrong? Here are a few more pictures of egg coloring.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Devotion Shared by Amanda

As I was going through my rut this week, I reached out to a circle of friends, sisters-in-christ, fellow bible study and Sunday School ladies for support. I knew that the enemy would just love to keep me in seclusion about what I was going through so I knew I had to reach out. I emailed them and asked that they pray for me because I had not been the wife and mother that God wants me to be and was having a pretty rough week. Also, I had been seeking God on what to do in the future during similar circumstances and how specifically He wanted me to grow as a result of this rut.
One of my friends emailed me back the following:

"I recently got the devotion book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and I wanted to share today's devotion. Well I thought it was today's until I realized it wasn't April 7th. I guess I got off track. The devotion book was made when Sarah spent time just listening to God so the book is written like Jesus is speaking.

I am the Potter, you are the clay. I designed you before the foundation of the world. I arrange the events of each day to form you into this preconceived pattern. My everlasting Love is at work in every event of your life. On some days your will and Mine flow smoothly together. You tend to feel in control of your life when our wills are in harmony. On other days you feel as if you are swimming upstream against the current of My purposes. When that happens, stop and seek My Face. The opposition you feel may be from me, or it may be from the evil one.

Talk with Me about what you are experiencing. Let My Spirit guide you through treacherous waters. As you move through the turbulent stream with Me, let circumstances mold you into the one I desire you to be. Say yes to your Potter as you go through this day. Isaiah 64:8 Psalm 27:8"

God is amazing!

Sicknesses of 2009

This year has been our hardest one yet as far as sicknesses. In perspective, none if it is a really big deal because everyone is healthy for the most part. Braedon has yet another ear is like the 4th or 5th one this year. Andrew and I both have sinus junk going on, probably infection. Kaley went to the Dr. at the same time Braedon did on Monday and he said she had viral croup and that it wasn't in her chest or anything so she would be fine but we just had to let it run it's course. A good friend of mine thought her baby may have whooping cough so she was contacting everyone who has been around them just as a precaution. I called the Dr. just to ask for advice and they scheduled an appointment to check her out first thing Friday morning. In response to what was diagnosed Monday, the Dr. came in and said, "well, you know viruses will last about 7-10 days so you are in the middle." He also said, "she looks perky and happy so I am sure she is fine but let's just have a look and listen." As soon as he listened to her breathing, his face dropped and he said he was really concerned about her and that he would never have guessed by looking at her that anything was wrong. He called it reactive airway disease, which is where her airways are sensitive to other things going on in her body. In this case, her airways had reacted negatively to the croup and tightened up causing her situation to change dramatically since Monday. With that diagnosis, we are thrust into the world of breathing treatments and steroids. She also was prescribed an antibiotic to clear up a sinus infection. I can't believe my five month old baby is on so much medicine. I thank God that treatment is available but hate the fact that she has to be sick at all. Due to how sick we have all been, this week has been the roughest yet for me as for being a wife and a mommy. I failed miserably at being the gentle, loving, nurturing, encouraging, wife and mother that God has called me to be. I know that I am only human and continue to fall short of the glory of God and am so happy to be forgiven and washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. However, it still takes a while for everything to get back to normal. While I am not really beating myself up about it anymore I am still trying to figure out how to get back on the horse...I haven't spent any time in the Word or dedicated prayer in a little over a week because I have either been sleep deprived and depressed, taking care of someone else who is sick since the whole family has been, or actually sleeping (or trying). While I am not sleep deprived, sick, angry, or depressed anymore I don't necessarily feel spirit-filled. I am constantly reminding myself of the standard I want to live by, which is, "I do what I know is right and pleasing to the Lord, whether I feel like it or not." So, I am off to start by praying and reading my bible.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kaley's Cereal Covered Nose

Kaley started eating rice cereal a week or so ago. She is pretty good at keeping her head stable these days but it got away from her and she nose-dived right into the spoon. She looked too cute not to take a picture.

Putting Dishes Away...or Not

Braedon is becoming such the good little helper. He hands me dishes from the dishwasher so I can put them away in the high cabinets. He puts the plastic bowls and such away in a low cabinet we have. So, these pictures were taken the other day when he was supposed to be putting a few plastic bowls IN the cabinet. He was having so much fun and did not stop until he had unloaded the cabinet. He completely emptied it but I had put a few things back in it before I thought to take a picture. Although organizing that cabinet was not on my to do list that particular day, it got organized anyway...thanks Braedon. Of course, I got a "cheese arm" picture of my great little helper!

Daddy Jungle Gym

Daddy, Braedon, and Kaley were playing "Bounce on Daddy's Legs" at Daddy Jungle Gym the other day. For anyone who doesn't know, Daddy Jungle Gym is usually in the center of our living room and involves the kids bouncing, climbing, pulling, crawling, wrestling (just to name a few) with Daddy. Braedon was holding Kaley so she wouldn't fall off. Of course, she is probably thinking what in the world is going on!?! It is so much fun to just watch daddy playing with them. I get in the game sometimes but mostly just snap pictures from the sidelines. It cracks me up that Braedon is trying to do the "cheese arm" thing in the last shot but I took it too quick and he didn't get his arm in the air. :-)

Braedon's Bunny Ears

Braedon made some bunny ears at school the other day and I thought I would show off the pictures on our blog. Of course, I had to include the "cheese arm" picture since it just would not be the same without it.