Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you!

DeLaynie has been saying "thanks!" in the most adorable way recently. I told Edwin about it Sunday, but he seemed a bit underwhelmed. Last night he handed her something, juice I think, and she replied with her "thanks!". I think that if Edwin had been drinking milk, it would have come out of his nose. He was very happy. It is really stinkin' cute.

DeLaynie has really enjoyed playing with a mixing bowl full of water and spoons. It's a simple thing for her to play with, and it keeps her entertained while I work in the kitchen. My thought is that the dirtiest consequence is that some things, like DeLaynie and the floor, get wet. Due to sensory issues, DeLaynie hates being splashed, so she's very careful to keep the water over sink as she pours it from one container to the other. I figure that it sounds like one of those things that should be good for her hand-eye coordination, hand strength, or what-have-you. Another, added benefit is that it forces me to keep at least one half, preferably both halves, of the sink clean (except for the things she plays with). It's nice to have such accountability.

On a totally different note, possibly a different key altogether, I must sadly announce that it doesn't look like I'll be participating in the 5k as hoped. I only had one offer for sponsorship, and we don't have any extra money to pay the fee or the gas to get to Louisville. The friend that was going to "run" next to me is having back problems because she isn't supposed to run. I'm sorry that I'm backing out, but I'm continuing to exercise and eat healthier than I had been, much healthier. I hit my goal weight, not that it looks as good as I remember. I'm pretty sure that unless you have a lot of money and a good cosmetic surgeon, the after baby body never looks quite as good as it did before. I'm hoping that I'm wrong.

Both girls are asleep, and I haven't had lunch, so I'm going to go eat and then get to cleaning. My mother-in-law's coming Friday, and there's lots (and lots) to get done before then.

Monday, September 29, 2008

In Your Anger, Do Not Sin

Edwin preached on anger yesterday. I had to step out for a few minutes to quiet Ella. I could hear her all the way from the nursery. Maybe I should've stayed in the service because I feel the need to talk about one or two of my biggest pet peeves.

If you know me pretty well, you will know that racial prejudice drives me up the wall. There are some stereotypes that make me cringe to hear them. In fact, the main issue that I take with private school is that most of them have very few minority students. Since Edwin and I plan to adopt internationally, that may make our children feel a little out of place. Even if it doesn't, I don't want my children to grow up believing that all people look about the same, or that white people are the only "normal" people.

I can't understand for one second how a Christian can assume that the color of someone's skin lessens their value to God or the amount of His glory that person holds. Edwin told me that one of his professors mentioned that racism is a likely root for Jonah's disobedience. He didn't want to go to the Ninevites because he didn't believe that they deserved to hear from God as much as his own people did. That's just a theory, and shouldn't be taught as fact, but it fits the story well. Racism has no place among God's people. He made us. He designed us all well. Jesus made a point to speak to people that no one else would. He sat down to dinner with those that the Jewish leaders of the time wouldn't make eye contact with. He was a liberator.

In a similar fashion, it makes me even more angry to hear people use my God as an excuse to hate people. You hear it often in discussions about homosexuality and abortion. How dare anyone use the name of my King, who died for the sins of His people out of love, as an excuse to hate sinners? When we mistreat people because they have sinned, we break the second commandment. "Love your neighbor as yourself." Why do we think that who they sleep with or a terminated pregnancy changes that command? Most of the time, people who try to use the Bible to excuse their sin don't know the verses that they want to quote. I once heard a guy in an experiment conducted by one of those magazine news television shows, which one I cannot remember, swear every other word, and then try to defend his disdain for homosexuals by the Bible. Granted, I don't think he could tell the difference between the Bible and Koran if his life depended on it. Even though I'm positive that he was lost, he marred our faith with his words.

Here's the confession: I sometimes get so angry about these things, that I am challenged in loving the people who make these mistakes. I know, how hypocritical can a person be? When I heard that guy on t.v. saying my Lord's name in his defense of hatred, I had a very hard time maintaining any love for him. I'm trying very hard to be aware of this weakness, one equal to the weaknesses listed above. I don't know why such things drive me so crazy, but even if they do make me angry, I can control my response. I can intentionally think on something else. Change the subject. Watch a nice, happy VeggieTales movie. Edwin's very helpful in this. I'm thankful for him. Although he doesn't have any racism in him, and he never hates people due to their sin, he isn't as emotional in his response to them. I'm glad that the same God that forgives the sins of the hated and the hater (if they come to Him) is willing to forgive me, a sinner like everyone else.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Few Kids at the Table

Last night was our turn for keeping the Wald. kids. B. Wald. had watched ours while we went to FAITH training, and we owed her... big time. We haven't really re-paid it since she kept them for four hours a day for two days. We kept them for like... three hours. And I had Edwin. Her husband was at work while she was in charge of all four kids.

Well, it wasn't bad at all. They were pretty good. It was actually pretty fun when we were eating dinner. Edwin was performing a wedding for a part of the evening. I made everyone a grilled cheese sandwich, except for me and Ella. She had peas and sweet potatoes. DeLaynie sat at the head of the table, Saw-man at the foot, Baby O-O (she's 18 months) in the high chair, and Ella in her Bumbo on the table. They did a great job eating. Everyone ate at least 2/3 of their dinner, and DeLaynie and Ella ate every drop of their dinners. I was so proud! Edwin told me that I should have taken a picture, but I didn't think about it. I'm pretty sure that it would have simply caused total chaos. You know, cameras tend to incite riots in toddlers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Football...

No one has an Oregon State shirt that I can borrow, I suppose. For those of you who are unaware, Oregon State beat USC last night. That's a big deal. USC was numero uno. They're one of those teams that most people despise, and those that like them, love them passionately. They seem to be an incredibly conceited team, though I've never met them. I probably shouldn't judge.

Until the second half, USC didn't even score on the beavers. That's right. The number one team in the country (until last night) got beat by a team with the noble beaver as its mascot.

In other NCAA football news, Alabama plays Georgia tomorrow! I am so excited. Granted, we could esily get completely demolished by the bulldogs. I know... fans aren't supposed to say such things, but Georgia's good. Either way, it should be a great game. And I love Mark Richt (Georgia's coach). No one's going to give Saban hugability points, but maybe he can pull out a win for us. We shall see.

Speaking of football, sort of... I'm a little bummed that Sawyer's (B.Wald's son) first soccer game was moved. It was going to be tomorrow, but it was moved to Tuesday. I just can't wait to watch a bunch of three year-old kids scramble around a field, kicking eath other's shins silly. (They'll be wearing shin guards; I'm no sadist.) I think I may get a shirt made that has "Sawyer's Completely Un-related Fan" written on the back. Okay, probably not. I'll wait until he's old enough for that to really embarass him before I do that. Maybe I'll add a picture of him in his diaper. That'll be great when he's fifteen.

I hope that you have a great start to your weekend! Rollllll Tide, Roll!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kay Arthur

I've mentioned that I'm working through Kay Arthur's Lord, I Need Your Grace to Make it Today in an earlier post. I've also mentioned that Kay Arthur is a little intense in style. I've kidded with some people that she wants you to mark everything. But I have to say that this study has been incredibly helpful to me. It's a fabulous look at the word "grace" and how it applies to the Christian life. I'm not sure if there's anything I'd rather study right now, and I'm extremely grateful for it.

Maybe I'm just used to Beth Moore's "I could just hug you right through this page!" kind of style. Women's Bible studies tend to lean that way. I'm grateful to read from someone who doesn't go that way, although it has required an adjustment in my expectations. There's nothing wrong with either style. It's just the personality type of the writer. God did a great job in designing us in different ways to fill the different needs of His people.

All that to say, I enjoy her writing, and I would recommend her books to anyone currently looking for somewhere to go in their study time. She will help you grow, and that's far more important than being comfortable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Six Month Well Visit for Ella

Ella had an appointment this morning. Because Edwin made the appointment, it was at nine a.m. Pretty much the earliest option available with our pediatrician. It didn't matter too much since DeLaynie was up around 6:40. So was everyone else. Well, not Ella. She can sleep through a train roaring through our den in the mornings.

Back to the check-up. Ella is still in the 55th percentile in height and head circumference, and the 90th for weight. That's right... 9oth percentile! She's a chubby bunny. She just had her first tooth pop through! The doctor confirmed that it is a tooth and not a piece of porcelain that became embedded in her gums. We were worried there for a second, (just kidding). Now that we know it is a tooth, we're quite proud. She worked very hard on it.

Poor little Ella endured four shots. Four! I hate the look I get when I'm holding down a trusting, little infant and they feel that first poke. It screams, "How could you be a part of this? I loved you! I trusted you! You are a traitor!" She forgave me though. It just took a meal. (I can't imagine how she got so chubby.)

As the doctor and I were talking, we realized that today was our last visit before we go to training for the IMB, if everything works out. It's an odd thought. Everything still seems so far off, but it isn't. We're creeping up on it. Granted, the possibility that one of my girls will get sick before we leave isn't exactly small, so it's not really our last visit to this particular doctor. Still, it's an odd thought that we won't be at Middle Creek, or in Kentuky, much longer. A lot of things could change very quickly, but the way everything is coming together, it really looks like we'll be going to training in January.

I guess that I need to get back to caring for my sore infant and my early-rising toddler. I'm hoping that they'll both enjoy a decent nap today. (I'm not keeping my fingers crossed on a repeat of yesterday's child-free hour, though.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a Miracle!

Both of my girls are in bed... at the same time! It's a great day. The sun seems brighter, the sky seems bluer, and the grass seems greener. This euphoria can only last for a few moments, and there are so many things on my "in case both girls take a nap" list that I don't have too much time to waste. (Did I mention how freeing it is to type without a baby in my arms?)

I feel the need for sleeves. I love fall. The intermediate seasons are my favorite. Change is always enjoyable to me. I'm wearing my favorite lounge wear: a fuzzy long-sleeve almost sweatshirt and even fuzzier almost sweat pants. And socks. I like wearing socks. I'm not feeling too well, and the warm clothing and socks make me feel better. I'm pretty sure that it's because Dad always told us that we couldn't say we were sick while barefoot.

On a completely different note, we had a great weekend at church. Community Day went well, as I mentioned previously. Yesterday, a young woman (the same one that held Ella during her nap the night before) came forward after placing her faith in Christ and gave one of the most incredible testimonies I've ever heard. No, really... ever! It wasn't a story of being saved from the pit of drug abuse or unwed pregnancy. It was just the beautiful testimony of someone who grew up in church, believing that the hour spent there was a waste of time. Hearing only "spells" (the term that she used) from the pulpit. Then the Spirit worked on her heart and made the Gospel clear to her! Our God is good!

Today we started back to MOPS. I really enjoy the time with other mommies. I hope to get more women involved, but the four of us had a wonderful time (I thought) today. It was fun to get to sit and talk to other, like-minded people going through very similar day-to-day situations. My prayer is that today's conversation, and all the proceeding ones, point back to how dwelling in the Spirit and basking in the grace of the Father can make us all better at the important job of loving and raising our kiddos.

I hope that your week is off to a great start, and that every day of it will be filled with the richness of God's grace and mercy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Quick Community Day Note

We had a wonderful turnout! We saw new people for our area tonight. I think DeLaynie thought that it was her birthday. In typical, "What? This is my backyard, duh," fashion, she ran around like the precious little monkey that she is. Ella took a nap in one kind woman's arms between rounds of "pass the kid." Yes, fun was had by all.

People heard the Gospel, got a free pen, and one person even won a gas card. Everyone had fun. And the cake that I made was edible, remained in one piece, and it even tasted good, not that I had much...

My First Layer Cake

I'm pretty sure that something terrible is going to happen before Community Day festivities begin, so I want to share the pictures of my cake before disaster strikes. :)

I noticed that the icing is oozing out of the middle. I hope she'll hold together. I plan to smooth out the icing before presentation.

Not perfect, but I'm pretty proud. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sid The Science Kid

There's a new show on PBS called Sid the Science Kid. I let DeLaynie watch t.v. in the mornings, and it comes on at 8:30, before t.v. off time and after her wake up time. I really like this show! Jim Hensen produces it.

The kid goes to the coolest preschool ever, with the lowest student-teacher ratio ever. It must cost them a fortune! Everyday they do these really fun labs and they show videos of real kids doing the same labs in a real classroom setting. I can't wait until DeLaynie's old enough to experiment a little. I could see us blowing up our kitchen at some point.

The other show that I really like is SuperWhy. Granted, they rip traditional fairy tales to shreds by making them more acceptable. Still, DeLaynie loves it, especially Princess Presto. After watching it, she goes around waving her imaginary wand and saying, "Presto!"

Someday soon I hope to get a video of DeLaynie doing her tiger/lion sound. She always whispers it. She's figured out that Edwin and I find this adorable. She just giggles when we ask her to do it. She has us wrapped around her pinky.

In other news, community day is tomorrow! It's our biggest outreach event of the year. I'm excited about the cake I'm going to make. I've never made a traditional layer cake. I'm hoping that it works out okay. It's a really fattening chocolate cake... and I'm adding nuts for, uh... protein. I'm really into baking these days. Too bad that all things worth baking have more calories and grams of fat than I should have in a week. Community day is giving me a good excuse to make something. I'll have a piece, just to make sure that it turns out okay, of course.

Well, it's t.v. off time. I think I'll get the girls ready to go out and play. Then maybe we'll blow up the kitchen, purely for educational purposes, obviously. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Wish I Were a Shopping Warrior

That's the term my dad uses for my mom. She's amazing. She can stretch a buck farther than a pair of pantyhose. I'm not a shopping warrior. We spent a ton of money today at the grocery store. I'd stretched our food as far as possible, but we ran out of a lot of staples, like flour, sugar, etc. all at once. It was painful. It doesn't help that they've cut the number of diapers you get in a box without reducing the price. It's just plain wrong.

DeLaynie broke my glasses. They were already pretty pitiful. They're four years old, so the prescription's outdated, but there are plenty of times when my eyes beg for freedom from contacts. Oh well, that'll wait.

Today we shelled out the necessary cash to get a new key for the van. Edwin and I both have amnesia for the moment that he supposedly handed me the key. We're pretty sure DeLaynie got a hold of it.

All this to say that I'm positive that my mom could've fed us for the same amount of time, with better food, for half of what we paid. Yet another way I hope to become more like her. Time... just give me some time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Perfectionism

It may surprise some of you to learn that somewhere deep inside of me is a perfectionist. In his book The New Birth Order Book, Kevin Leman refers to me, and others like me, as "discouraged perfectionists". I find this to be a brilliant description.

We first-borns (and only children, to an extreme degree at times) have a tendency to want everything to be a certain way. When we realize that it can never be that way, we either try harder, or we get discouraged and quit. Guess which way I lean. If you've met me, you know.

I am working through this discouraged phase. There are times when my failure to reach the level of perfectionism that I feel my efforts warrant becomes too much for me. As you may recall from "Such High Hopes", it can get to me. It doesn't bother me when nothing is as it should be, and I'm not trying. But when I do try, as hard as I can, mind you, it should all be perfect!

Well, it isn't. Although I try my best to be "easy going", deep down the perfectionist part of me is going nuts. I don't think that a happy balance comes naturally to me, or other recovering perfectionists. That's why there's grace! I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's not about me. And that's a very good thing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Faith Training

Edwin and I went to a training event for FAITH Evangelism. FAITH is a program put out by Lifeway to help churches in mentoring believers, evangelizing the lost, and starting new Christians off on the right foot. Our association office held a two half-day mini-conference on its implentation and benefits. It was a very beneficial use of time. I was happy to get to sit and listen to someone lecture for a few hours. I'm beginning to miss school.

FAITH is well designed, in my opinion. It's more comprehensive than most church evangelism programs that I've heard of. I recommend looking into it if your church is looking for a way to pull in lost people and increase conversion growth.

Allow me to take the opportunity to thank B. Wald. She watched our kids for us while we went to the training. She's my hero. We've done the thing where you take turns caring for all four kids. I've determined that she's much better at it than I am. She's already agreed to take care of the girls while we're at the IMB conference. What a brave woman. I'm gonna build that gal a statue!

Incidently, I've begun a mini blog with devotionals for women. It's a simple, short devotional that I update a few times a week. Check it out if you're bored.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lost Key

Missing: One black van key. The kind with a chip inside it, making it really expensive to replace. Most likely seen in the hands of a two year-old thief. She should be considered cute and mischievous. Take cautions when approaching. Do not make eye contact. Be prepared for a soft growling noise. If you find the key, please contact me. That should be easy since you would have to be somewhere in my house to find it. Most likely in an air duct or toy box. Hey! what are you doing in there?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Pictures From Our Weekend

video

I know that there are way more pictures of DeLaynie, but Ella wasn't doing too much.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

He's Got My Girls In His Hands

The more real the possibility of going overseas becomes, the more that I think about what that's really going to mean. There's the obvious concerns in the area of chores: Will I have to pluck a chicken in order to make Sunday lunch? Will we have dirt floors (granted, we kind of have those now)? If we live in a hut, will I have to put it back together every afternoon after DeLaynie tears it down?

Then come the more serious questions dealing with the girls. I think about the possibilities of kidnapping and persecution. I wonder what it will take to keep my precious babies safe in a place that I don't know. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have concerns.

Then peace comes, a reminder that they aren't mine. Since my name is Hannah, I've taken a special interest in the Biblical Hannah. I've read her story more times than I can count. The Bible says that God actually closed her womb, and then He opened it when she became willing to give her child to God's service. God didn't allow her to become a mother until she made the commitment to place her precious baby in God's hands. I can't imagine what it was like to sit there, nursing a child that you know you're about to take to the temple... and leave, forever. You may see him once a year, but he doesn't belong to you. He belongs to God.

In the next chapter, Hannah has a praise song for God. The theme is that it's God's choice to give, and it's God's choice to take. That was after she took Samuel to live with Eli in the temple. She ended up having five other children, but that doesn't change the sacrifice of giving her son to God. By this action of faithfulness, God blessed all of Israel.

What does that mean for my little ones? They are under my care, and I will take protect them as best I can. They will get medical care when they need it. They will eat until they're full, as much as it's in my control. We won't let any random person babysit. But when I know that God wants something from us, like service overseas, I'm going to have to trust. The best thing that I can instill in our girls is that the will of God is the safest place to be. If they live in Kentucky, or Alabama, or New York, and always have what they need and want, and never have fear for their safety or comfort, but they aren't afraid of life outside of God's will, then they are not safe at all. Danger, real danger, looms when we live apart from God.

Most of us say that our first priority is Christ, but, for me, this is where the rubber meets the road. If that's true, then I have to be willing to lay them on the altar, right next to me. That doesn't mean that I'm going to be stupid when it comes to their care and safety. It just means that when I'm positive that God wants something from us, then I'll have to be willing to take risks and leave the provision to the Provider. I'm still nervous about some aspects of their protection. I don't think that God has to keep them safe in order to be a good God. They may suffer from this decision, but my job is to keep them in the shelter of God's will. If that's in a hut with a dirt floor with a chicken pin outside, then that's where we'll be. Though I am hoping for a slightly different situation.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Edwin's Day Off

It's been a fun afternoon. Edwin took the afternoon off. We all went into E-town. We went to Staples and spent a credit card points gift card (we use it mostly for church expenses until he's reimbursed), followed by refreshments (for whatever reason, that's the term Edwin decided to use) from Starbucks. I had that ridiculously expensive Fiji Water and 1/2 of a cookie. Okay, fine. It was way more than half. Edwin had a part of a half. What do you want from me? It was good, too. Really good. I want another one (or four) good. They had Cheesecake Factory cakes and cookies, and I chose against them. I think that counts for something... right?

I made an executive decision that this week is going to hold two nights off from cooking because we'd have to make an extra grocery store trip, oh and I don't want to cook tonight. Then we're going to watch a movie. The plan is to prevent DeLaynie from napping so we can put them both to bed earlier than normal. We'll see if that one works out.

Between the really fun office supplies (yeah, I get genuinely excited about pens, notebooks, and Post-Its), a cookie, and early night-night, this could turn into a great kick-off for the weekend. Ooooo, kick-off. That reminds me: tomorrow is football day! This really will be a fun weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Dad and His Sayings: Part 1

My Dad is a man of sayings. Micah and I quote him on a regular basis, as does my mom. For just about any situation, he has a saying. I thought that it might be fun to pass some of them along to you, just in case you're short a saying or two.

"It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." I heard this almost every time that I packed for anything. I didn't understand it until I was much older. I use it a lot with Edwin. He's the type that packs for a week with a backpack, and he always needs something that he deemed unnecessary at home. Maybe he'll learn one day.

"Every girl is prettier with a smile." I got this one when I was getting ready to go somewhere that I was nervous about, a common experience. When I get really nervous in a new situation, I get very serious looking, and that is a scary sight.

"What you grow up with is normal." Something every newlywed needs to remember. Edwin and I have two very different ideas of how a towel should be folded. Some people think thin spaghetti is the only kind, but I find it an odd choice. For some people, a good yell is cleansing, but some people just don't know how to handle a raised voice, even if it's not toward them.

"Sometimes people learn the wrong lessons from life." This is one of my favorites. Experience itself isn't enough to create wisdom. Only when we look at our experiences through the lens of the Bible are we able to develop a real understanding of how we are to live and how to relate to one another.

There are many more, but I'll save them for another day. Have a super fabulous day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sitting Pretty



Maybe you've guessed where I'm going with this one (the picture may help). Ella is sitting, solo! Okay, so she's not the most stable, and she doesn't quite get the idea that she can't lean too far in any one direction. She's doing a fabulous job learning, though. Such a proud mommy am I!


So maybe one day you thought, "I'm going to get healthy now," and you went out and bought a box of a certain high-fiber cereal, only to discover that the box tastes better than the cereal inside. I haven't experienced this myself (ha ha), but this is a yummy recipe, even if you have to go out and buy the cereal.

Peanut Butter Cookies


Prep Time:1 hr

Start to Finish:1 hr

Makes:About 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2

cups Fiber One® original bran cereal

1/2

cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2

cup granulated sugar

1/2

cup packed brown sugar

1/2

cup creamy peanut butter

2

eggs

1 1/4

cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/2

teaspoon baking soda

1/2

teaspoon baking powder

1/4

teaspoon salt

1

tablespoon granulated sugar

1.

Heat oven to 375°F. Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and finely crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or finely crush in food processor).

2.

In large bowl, beat butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar and with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. On low speed, beat in peanut butter and eggs until smooth. Beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well blended.

3.

Stir in cereal until well blended.

4.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 3 inches apart. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped in 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

5.

Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until set and very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.



A Few Notes: I did two half-batches, one for Edwin and one for myself. I used Splenda for mine and sugar for his. I also added 1-2 Tbsp. butter to his as well as 1-2 Tbsp. peanut butter. Mine were a little too dry (though still pretty darn good). His were just a tad bit too gooey, but yummier than my batch. Do with that as you will. Maybe you should just split the difference.

Nutritional Information:
With Splenda- 95 calories and 5 grams of fat per cookie
With Sugar- 100 calories and 5 grams of fat per cookie (That's if you go by the original directions. Add stuff like I did, and the values will go up.)

This recipe was borrowed from the Fiber One site. I'm pretty sure that they're okay with me passing it along since it means that they will sell more cereal to you fine folks. I hope cookies will make the mid-week bust a little more bearable :).



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bananas and the Library

My child ate a banana, well half of a banana! It wasn't made out of play-dough or anything. She did keep putting the peel on her head and saying "Nanna head!". In a Dora dvd, Boots does this and says, "I'm Boots the Banana Head!" I found this very cute.

I took DeLaynie to the library kiddo time. She was easily the most rambunctious kid there, but she was also the oldest one of only four kids. I talked to B. Wald who normally takes her kids twice a week, every week (very impressive), and she said that it's because they're shy, not well behaved. Okay, I'll go with that. It would make sense that the library time would be made up of shy kids. I took DeLaynie once last year and gave up after trying to hold her squirmy little self down for fifteen minutes. I bet the other moms of "active" children had a similar experience and stopped going. Or maybe they predicted the outcome and side-stepped it altogether.

I'm going to keep taking DeLaynie. Just to make sure, I checked out a kid's book (about learning to talk), so that I'd have to go back and return it. I think it's good for her, even if I drive the other mommies nuts with our presence. Eh, they need to see what a nice, normal, slightly nutty two year-old looks like.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grace

I decided that it may be a good idea to explain something. It may seem like I bring up my weaknesses a lot. I have tons, way more than I have mentioned, or even could if I tried. It's not that I don't like me. I do, actually. I have several reasons for why I talk about the more annoying and obvious inadequacies that I have.

First, I want people to know that I know that they're there. If you hang out with me, even for just a few minutes, you will experience at least one of my less attractive qualities. I tell new people in my life that I'm not great socially. And it's true, I'm not. I'm not as bad as I used to be, and I hope to continue improving. I want people to know that I'm aware of these things, and that I'm trying.

Secondly, I don't want anyone to think that I believe myself to be infallible. I talk about parenting, politics, and theology quite a bit, and I want those who read what I write to be absolutely sure that I don't think of myself as beyond criticism. I'm going to be wrong, and it's fine by me for you to think so, and even comment about it.

Finally, and most importantly, I boast in my weaknesses because it just isn't about me. Make no mistake, I'm about the most human human you're going to find. I will point to my weaknesses with the prayer that Christ will cover them up with His power. If you read nothing else, know this: It's about Jesus. What I do well is because of Jesus. When I fall, that's just what I am poking through. But He has covered it with His own precious blood, and it is paid for. I cling to the promise that He isn't finished with me yet. When I see Him face to face, I, along with the rest of His Church, will be purified, ready to meet my Groom.

My God is big, really big. As big as my sin is, and as big as my inadequacies are, He is bigger. He is still in control. So when I say that I'm not a good housekeeper, or that I can talk more than I should about things that have little spiritual value, like calorie counting, I'm just making sure that you know, as well as reminding myself, that I am weak, but He is strong.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

For Those of You Who Don't Know...

Edwin and I made our announcement today. I've been excited about telling everyone. I seem to spend most of my time talking about calories and exercise. I'm one of those obnoxious people who feels the need to contribute to the conversation, even when I have nothing to say. Weight stuff just seems to fall out of my mouth when I open it needlessly. It's annoying, I know. I apologize for that, and I promise that I'm working on it. But I don't have a hobby or a job, and there's only so much I can say about my children. I think they're great, but who really cares if they prefer strained peas to carrots? I'll make some note-cards with conversation topics... then I'll really be cool!

Back to the announcement... Edwin and I are very excited to announce that we are being considered by the International Mission Board for a 2-3 year stint overseas! We're going to "the conference" in November, where we'll talk about various jobs and the qualifications pertaining to them. I've been wanting to write about it for so long, but I needed to wait until we told our church.

This is the main reason that I've worked to lose the weight. We started this process while I was still pregnant, but even before this pregnancy, I was over the weight requirements. They changed those requirements while we were in the middle of the application process. Now I fall within the parameters previously held (now wasn't that a grammatically poetic sentence?). Anyway, I needed to lose the weight, so I'm grateful that we were told that I had to lose it. There's nothing to motivate you like the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) telling you that you're bad habits are keeping you from fulfilling your family's calling overseas. Thanks, SBC!

We genuinely believe that this is what's best for our girls, as well as for the Kingdom. I'm confident that there isn't much difference between the two, but we consider our first responibility as servants of the King is parenting our children well. If we can't develop a passionate love for Christ in our kids, we have no right to go overseas to spread the Word of God.


I'll keep you updated as we learn new information, but that won't be for a little while, like November. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Warning: Mommy Bragging

I've said it before, and it's worth repeating: Child development, especially when delays are involved, is a matter of small victories. Thanks to Dora, DeLaynie has learned quite a bit this summer. I think it may also have something to do with the therapy, but I attribute at least half of the credit to her animated teacher that lives in the box.

DeLaynie doesn't say Mama very much. The "m" sound is pretty difficult. She sometimes replaces it with the "b" sound or other, easier to say sounds. She was calling me Hannah for a while. Not adorable, but it's still progress. Last night when I came home from a consignment sale, she came to the door and greeted me with, "Mommy!"... twice! Not just repetitive "Mamamama," (she's done that before, on occasion,) but "Mommy". Very good. I've always tried to console myself with the thought that maybe she doesn't say Mama as much because I'm always here. She mostly says "Daddy" when he's coming in the door. Maybe my theory wasn't purely fiction after all.

Today we were playing with play-dough while she listened to one of her therapy cd's. First of all, it was the homemade kind that had to be refrigerated, so it was very cold. One of De's quirks is that she doesn't like to touch cold things. She jumped right in there, though. She was smashing her hands into it and giggling at the imprint, rolling it in her hands, all the normal things a two year-old should do with play-dough.

Which brings me to the next mini-milestone. She rolled it into a snake-like shape, but it was a little thicker in the middle. The play-dough was yellow, and she looked at it and looked up at me with an excited twinkle in her eyes and yelled, "nana!" It took me a second, but I realized that she was saying banana. Sure enough, it looked like a banana. Then she did something really new. She tried to eat it. That's a lot of connections for her to make. It was yellow play-dough that she crudely molded into a banana shape, on purpose or not, I do not know, and then she recognized that the banana is something that you eat. Not to mention that she generally only eats things that are deep-fried or crispy. After last night, when she ate a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, this is quite a twenty-four hour revolution!

I would like to thank Boots the Monkey for making the banana revolution possible. Without his constant consumption of the delicious fruit and his enthusiasm for its presence, no banana related achievements would have taken place. Dora, thank you for your excellent casting in the role of "goofy sidekick," as well as using the word "Mommy" in several episodes. Your bi-lingual influence has helped DeLaynie to reach new heights. I also want to thank the dudes who invented the cd and dvd. Without the crystal-clear high frequencies of the therapy cd's, DeLaynie's oddly structured inner-ear muscles may not have gotten into shape as they have. And without the dvd we could not have taken our dear friends Dora and Boots with us, greatly reducing the amount of time we could learn from them or enjoy that wonderful theme song over and over (...and over and over) again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin

My brother called her, "the hottest candidate on the presidential ticket since the turn of the twentieth century." I'd agree, not that there's been a ton of competition. Because she is both female and quite attractive, she can get away with some things that other people just can't. She's the Edwin of politics. (Edwin gets away with things that other people can't. I don't think it has to do with looks as much as personality.)

She sure didn't pull any punches last night. This "bulldog with lipstick" may be exactly what our party, and our country, could use right now. Between poking fun at Obama's experience as "community organizer" and describing her own resume, I think Palin is fully capable of taking on the big dogs of Washington.

She has her head on straight, too. Her willingness to call things as they are, such as "the bridge to nowhere," is complimented by her sweet smile. It would be much more difficult for Hillary to say some of the same things, since there is nothing sweet about her. Hillary is about as cuddly as a cactus.

This is the kind of woman we need. She is a woman, not a man with earrings like some women in politics are. Palin is good for America and for the women therein. She's proud of her motherhood, and she doesn't use her gender as an excuse for supporting the horrors of abortion. I'm proud that it's our party that's putting a chick on the ticket. That's how it should be.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I've Been Published!

I decided to start trying to make a little bit of money by publishing a few articles. One of them has been picked up. I make money based on how many hits my article receives, so feel free to send this link to anyone and everyone. :) Yes, this is yet another ode to my stroller. Thanks for checking it out! There is a misprint in the opening paragraph. It's driving me nuts. It's supposed to be, "my husband's dad and his wife," not "my husband and his wife." That would be Edwin and myself.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/982820/kolcraft_contour_double_stoller.html

Let's Talk About Running

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I plan on "running" a 5k charity race in October. I was originally going to participate as a timed runner, but I'm thinking that's not going to happen. I may just get involved as an untimed "I'm doing this for the cause" runner.

Yesterday, I tried running. I went for my normal walk around lunch time. Edwin stopped by as I was completing my third lap, so I took a break and then I decided that I should start incorporating some actual speed into my workout. I had this theory that pushing the stroller and walking at a pretty strong speed was going to make it easy to move into running. That was the theory.

Good theory. I left Edwin with the girls. I'm nervous about running with Edwin around. He's a real runner. He moves his arms at a certain stride and leans his body in a certain way. He has "good form". I walked to the part of the track that he couldn't see before I started running. I didn't want him to discover that this is something that I do completely without grace or skill. I just move my legs as fast as the cellulite-ridden things can go and hope not to fall.

Well, that's what I did for a couple of minutes. Then I stopped feeling my legs. Did I mention that it was really, really hot yesterday? I know, who would have thought that the first day of September would be hot at lunch time? I had already walked my three miles, and I would like to think that it really hurt my ability to run. I don't want to think that I'm just that far from being ready for this thing... but I'm pretty sure that is the fact of the matter. So I ran about 2/3 of 1/2 of a mile. That would be 1/3 of a mile, but there was a break for walking in the middle.

I was looking for a challenge. I think I found it. My running was a pretty big failure, but I walked a lot yesterday, seven miles grand total. B. Whit (Brooke Whitlow) invited me to walk with her last night. My husband sees great value in me spending time with other women, so I got to hang out with her and walk for a while, completely child-free. I'll walk to New Mexico for a few minutes of conversation without a whiny little monkey screaming. B. Whit is a fun gal anyway. (Just between you and me, I think she's a lot more fun than I am, but don't tell her that, or she may not want to walk anymore. ;)

I'll update you as I continue to try not to die through this whole running thing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What I'm Going to Be When I Grow Up

You know the kid in "A Christmas Story"? I never really liked the movie (I know, I know), but the kid in it reminds me of myself. I'm pretty sure that I should have grown out of it by now, but I still have those fantasies when I wow everyone with my brilliance. Someday, I'm hoping that an expert in one area or another will jump up excitedly and say, "This is it. You are meant to do this!" That hasn't happened.

I am very good at laser tag. My brother and I share this oh-so-useful skill. We'd both get "Top Gun" honors for our respective teams when the youth went to play. Now, there's a gift. For whatever reason, this particular sport doesn't have a pro league yet. I'll be here, housewifing, until they do. (I sure hope women will be included on that fateful day.) I would take up paintball, but I bruise like a peach, and I'd hate for Edwin to be accused of domestic abuse since he can't even raise his voice in my general direction.

I love lecturing. I'm not very good at it. I haven't had a ton of opportunities to refine any skills I may have naturally. Believe it or not, there aren't many touring circuits for young, Bachelor's level mommies that don't require much time away from home. Crazy, huh?

You may not know this, but I have every intention of getting my doctorate... eventually. (And no, I don't have my Master's yet, or any classes toward a Master's either.) I'll probably be ninety when I do, but I am fairly dedicated to the idea. In what, I have no clue. I have very little say in where we live and what schools are near us. (That whole God's calling thing...) Thus the five colleges that I attended before graduating from WKU. I am waiting for direction... still waiting. Bear in mind that I'm not patient. Maybe that's why I'm still waiting.