Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Room Revamping

So yesterday, I attacked two rooms in my house. Nathan's room, and the guest bathroom.

The stuff I did in Nathan's room wasn't THAT noticeable but it was huge to me. It was mainly his changing table area. It was growing cRaZy-cluttered and there were a few things within his reach that would have thrown me into "freak-out-mode" if he had gotten ahold of it. Though he doesn't usually play in his room (he keeps to the living room or wherever I am at) I wanted his room to be, well, HIS room! I wanted it to be safe for him. So, I covered the plug-ins in the wall. I moved his swing to the other side of the room (That is, until it gets stored in the garage. Waiting on the hubs for that). And then I reorganized his changing table area.

I moved all his burp cloths and bibs into a drawer in his dresser. I removed all the pins and q-tips and such from his reach and put them in a basket under the sink in the bathroom. Then I rearranged and organized his diapers and wipes. I'm pleased. Here are the pics:



much better

Where his swing was, I made into a little play area.
P.S. That little piano was mine as a baby. :)

His dresser area

THEN I did something I've been wanting to do for MONTHS. When Grant and I married, we had painted the guest bathroom a dark grey/charcoal color. We were given a light purple shower curtain, so we just made everything light purple. It was pretty but, not something I absolutely loved. So I have spent the last two months debating on what to do. Should I paint the bathroom? Should I just change the decor? And then I tried to think of a way to make it kid-friendly and neutral for both boys and girls, AND have it "grown up" enough for our guests. The bathroom is right across the hall from Nathan's room, so I wanted it semi-fun and bright for him. But it's also the bathroom that friends and family use, so I didn't want it screaming "KID DOMAIN" either. I wanted to be frugal and wise and practical. So yesterday, after two months of thinking, I went to Wal-Mart and started browsing around. I was about to leave when a shower curtain caught my eye and I thought, "This would go well with the charcoal color of the wall. I wouldn't have to spend extra money on paint. AND it would compliment the general colors of our house, too." One savvy move, and $30 later - TA DA! I am very happy with how it turned out.



Nathan's toy bath basket

the sink area

A little here, a little there, and the whole look of the room is different. I love it. <---- happy mom.

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 6

Proverbs 31:15
"She rises also while it is yet night,
and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to her maids."
Today, I cleaned the kitchen, I finished the laundry, I cleaned out our guest room, I cleaned the study (finally!), I cleaned our bedroom and bathroom, I dusted, I swept, I mopped, and I vacuumed! Nathan was through with his bottle and his breakfast by 8 a.m. I have beans boiling on the stove and jello in the fridge. My emails are caught up and I have everything ready for dinner tonight - all before noon! Can we say, productive?! I feel like grabbing pom-poms and cheering, "Two-four-six-eight! Who do we appreciate? THIS GIRL! THIS WIFE! THIS MOM!"

----thank you for letting me pat myself on the back today----

Though I enjoy getting up early and accomplishing a lot, I have to make one thing crystal clear: I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person. Or, let me rephrase... I am not a HAPPY morning person. Don't get me wrong, I'm no grouch, but I'm also not one to pop up at daybreak, throw back the curtains, and sing "GOOD MORNING, world!!" with a big smile on my face.

It's just not me...

If I have to get up early, I prefer to get up and get ready for the day quietly. I don't usually want to talk. I don't want to hear loud banging or what-not. Each morning, I think to myself, "Ugh...I'd rather not have to get up at ALL....ever." But I have been convicted in this area of my life, and here's why:

"She rises also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household...."

In the last posts, we learned that Miss 31 works willingly with her hands and goes to great lengths to prepare healthy meals to feed her family. In this verse, we see that Miss 31 wakes before the first streaks of sunshine light the sky. She doesn't get out of bed at daybreak, she gets out of bed BEFORE daybreak.

Oh no...
For me, this is a big task. It takes a lot for me to wake up at 6:30 a.m. Somedays, it's all I can do to climb out of bed at 7:30! But Miss 31 has a job to do. She has a goal in mind. She has a To-Do list and she wants it done! One thing I have learned in getting up earlier and earlier is that I usually have more free time in the afternoon. The household chores are complete and I can settle on the couch and read a book, or play with Nathan, or tell him a story, or watch a movie, or write letters....or blog. :) I love that. But the thought of getting up before daybreak is still difficult for me to swallow....and I know why that is. Galatians 5:17 tells us that our flesh is at war with our spirit. They are against one another and that makes it hard to do the things that we should....like getting up early, for example. But I should not succumb to laziness. I should make it my priority and my privilege to willingly and joyfully greet the morning, and eagerly rise early - long before my family - and prepare for the day.

Now, one portion of this verse had me puzzled:

"...and a portion to her maids."

So, Miss 31 gets up early before daybreak. Got it. But what's this about her maids? I don't have a maid! Boy, wouldn't that be nice... I brought this verse to my husband and, after presenting my case that I need a maid in order to be like Miss 31 (fail), he gave me a new take on this phrase. He said, "I think this part tells us that she cares for everyone, not just her own family. She treats her help as family."

Mmmm.... so she's kind to her help. She's giving and servant-hearted to her guests. Wow.

As my little boy grows, I need to have a couple of hours under my belt before he wakes. I need to have breakfast prepared for my family and my child(ren). I need to have our home presentable. I need to utilize the hours God has given to us in the day to accomplish as much as I can because, let's face it, a woman's work is never done! We have our house to clean and maintain; we have laundry that must be washed, dried, ironed/folded; we have children to care for, disciple and teach; we have a family to nurture and feed; and we have our own personal goals and needs as well (such as studying and exercising). WE NEED every precious hour we can get!
As our quest for Proverbs 31-ability continues, keep ME in your prayers, for this is an area I want to cultivate in my life. I want to rise early and be a productive "Miss 31" myself. :)

Proverbs 31:15
"She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maids."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Meanderings - 01/30/2012

My sister is doing so much better! Praise the Lord! As it happened, her fall last week had nothing to do with this problem. Turns out, she has an infection in her hip in the back side, close to the tailbone in the joint. After many, many, many tests, blood work, X-rays, an MRI, and lots of sleepless nights, my parents were told that she will NOT have to have surgery to remove the infection (praise the Lord!!) which also means there is no culture to know what type of bacteria we are fighting. The course of action will be to treat this with antibiotics, then check her blood levels. If her levels improve, then they chose the right antibiotic. If not, then they will try another one. What has been going on in the last three/four days has been a literal "God thing!" Before the doctors did the MRI, they were convinced that they would know exactly what the problem was and how to fix it, etc. etc. etc. Nearly 24 hours later, my Dad was getting antsy, wondering WHEN they would know something. Finally a doctor came and told them that Noel's case had them all baffled. Children's Hospital doctors baffled?? Hmmm....  My Dad told me that he got a peace right then. God was doing something! From what the doctors could tell, the infection was not where it would normally be. They diagnosed her with some long name that NOBODY can pronounce or remember, but it is a type of infection that isn't common, but also isn't uncommon in children. The doctors began IV antibiotics and told my parents that she would be there at Children's anywhere from two to six weeks. Saturday night, however, she somehow rolled onto her stomach in her sleep - something she absolutely had NOT been able to do. Yesterday the doctors said that since she obviously felt better and her levels were dropping fast, they were going to go ahead and switch to oral antibiotics and see how she does. So they did that around 10 p.m. last night. If she handles it well, she will come home today or tomorrow. That is a HUGE improvement from less than 48 hours earlier when they were certain she would be there at least two weeks! :) Thank you all for your prayers. Keep praying!

Well, today is Monday and I have been working around the house. I cleaned Nathan's room and organized some areas that were, in my opinion, areas that I would FREAK OUT if Nathan got anywhere near. I covered all the plug-in sockets in the wall in his room. I reorganized his changing table area (it was horrendous). I bought a little toy basket for his toys and I moved his swing to the other side of the room (which will, sadly, have to be taken down and stored in the garage once my husband can help). I'm washing all the weekend laundry and constantly picking up after Nathan. :) Life is sweet!

Now, on to the meandering....

Bible Study... the Gospel of John

Memory Verse... John 1:14
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Iron his shirts.
♥ Do all I can around the house so he will have less to do when he gets home.
♥ Pray for him.

Train Them Up...
* Focus on discipline (he is getting to be a bit rebellious)
* Play with him
* Teach him, love him, pray for/with him
* Read to him more
Personal Goals...
* Spend quality time with Jesus each morning. Wake up to Him, first and foremost.
* Stay dedicated to diet and exercise
* Make time for myself. Sit down for 10 minutes a day with a book.
* Clean out closets and problem areas in the house.

New Habit of the Month...
* Cultivate joy
MUST Do...
* Work in Nathan's room* Go to post office
* Get gas in car
* Stop by Wal-Mart to pick up a small basket for bathroom
Zone... the study

M - Lasagna at Mrs. Janet's house
T - Salad and roasted mushrooms and broccoli
W - Salad and sauted' green beans
Th - Salmon Bell Peppers
F - Chicken Fajita Salad
Su - TBD
* Celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday tonight
* Organizing and cleaning (yeah, I know...)
* Playing with my boy
3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. The Lord's healing Hand!
2. Family!
3. Water!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Time for a Pop Quiz!

I was homeschooled but I still had my fair share of tests. I always hated taking a test. My hands would get clammy, my throat would tighten, and I KNOW my blood pressure would spike. I hated it. I still do. But even more horrific was when my Mom would surprise me with those two dreaded words - pop quiz!

oh no...not today!!


Though now I am years out of school, yesterday I felt that same panicky-pop-quiz-feeling. A few days ago, while in revival, my sisters were running and playing and my youngest sister tripped and fell. Like all kids do, she said "Ow!" and got up and continued to play. The following day, however, she began to complain about her left leg hurting. She started having pain when she walked. Then she started crying when she had to move her leg. Yesterday, my parents brought her to the doctor. After lab work, tests, and Xrays, he sent her to Children's Hospital.

NOBODY likes hearing that their little girl (or in my case, little sister) has to be sent to professionals because of some unknown problem. It is scary. It is heart wrenching. It is the panicky-pop-quiz-feeling, times ten. I was out running errands, grocery shopping, and taking Nathan to his nine-month check up when I got the call that my baby sister was headed to Children's. When I got off the phone, as I drove home, I tried to stay calm and swallow the lump in my throat. All the common "what if's" were going through my mind:

What if it's something really bad?

What if she has to have surgery?

What if it's a disease?

What if it's cancer?

What if God takes her home??

As he usually does, Satan will take any chance he can get to flood our minds with the worse possible scenarios. He WANTS us to live in fear. He WANTS us to be in tormented while facing the unknown. He wants us to be kept down. And as I'm sure he did with my parents, he did a number on me.

I started praying and then, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I found myself doubting if God would even answer my prayers. But I love that no matter how many times I question the faithfulness of the Lord, and how many times I fail this test or that test, He continues to teach me that YES, He IS listening. YES, He is in control. YES, all things will work together for good.

By the time I got home, I had a peace. I asked the Lord to help me stay calm through this test. I asked Him to dry my clammy hands so I can hold on to the pencil. I asked Him to bring peace to my parents and my family. Through this "pop quiz" (and, indeed, it is a definite out-of-nowhere pop quiz), I want to have faith. In life, it is certain that we WILL be surprised with a sudden test that will challenge our faith. Sometimes, like the Lord did with Abraham, He simply wants to know if we are willing to obey Him. Sometimes, He wants to teach us more about Him and His sovereignty. Sometimes, He wants our attention. Sometimes, He wants to show us that He is truly all we need.

I don't want to fail those tests. I don't want be so afraid that I miss out on what He wants me to learn.

As of now, we still don't have any answers. My little sis had a long night, full of poking and prodding. IVs, Xrays, blood work, scans. She is scheduled to have an MRI done today. We have no idea what this afternoon holds....or what tomorrow holds....we don't know when another "pop quiz" will be pulled out and placed in front of us. BUT we do know that our Great Teacher has only the best in store. We know that He only wants to mature us, strengthen us, grow us up in the faith, and fill us with more knowledge of Himself.

Please be praying for my family. And I hope you will join me in praying that when God says, "It's time for another pop quiz," we will all say, in faith and with blind trust, "BRING IT!"

Psalm 9:9-10
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalm 91:2-6
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Isaiah 26:3-4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cloth Diaper Purchases

Okay, so I am nearly a month into 85% cloth diapering. I say 85% because when we go out, I still use disposable most of the time and Nathan wears a disposable to bed. But I am slowly on my way to becoming "cloth exclusive." So today I decided to share what I have bought and the products that I have come to love, thus far (there are so many!).

Nearly a month ago, I spent a grand total of $92.82 for cloth diapers and accessories. You may be thinking, "$92.82?? For diapers? That's quite expensive...." Well, it was a chunk of money that I didn't fully enjoy spending (I'm very frugal), but I am SO SO SO SO pleased with my purchases. AKA - it was money WELL spent! :) When you calculate the cost of disposable diapers vs. cloth, cloth diapers come out on top every time. :) Here is an awesome chart to better understand the amount of money you save when you use cloth diapers instead of disposable. Oh and for the record, I am NOT against disposable! I have several packages in my house. My reasons for using cloth are 1) because it's cheaper (and who doesn't love that?!), 2) because it's more natural and free of chemicals, and 3) because they are the ultimate in recycling. Here is a very interesting article with facts on cloth vs. disposable. Beware, some of it will make you go - EW!

So with all that said, moving on....

Having only one, very small diaper cover, I knew I needed to buy at least three more in the next size for Nathan. So after browsing around for what seemed like hours (....and it might have been), looking at the various functions and styles, I ended up getting one, Bummis Super Lite diaper cover, one Blueberry Coverall One Size, and two Imagine One Size diaper covers. I'm very practical, so of the four diaper covers I bought, three were solid-colored and could be used for a boy or a girl. But I did spend a few extra dollars on the fourth one because I just couldn't resist the oh-so-cute pattern....monkeys.

After purchasing the covers, I knew I needed more cloth diapers. I wanted to have enough to last two, maybe even three days should something prevent me from being able to wash every day. So I purchased two dozen Imagine Indian Prefold diapers. Love them. They are very soft and are thicker than the Wal-Mart brand cloth diapers and they look so much more comfortable. If I were a baby, I would much rather have them on my bottom than disposable. I am very glad that I purchased two dozen as well, as that makes it where I wash one load of cloth diapers - with covers - every other day. If I had to, and I haven't had to yet, I am sure I could make it every two days, but I don't like having soiled diapers in the pail for that amount of time. Ew....

To top it off, I bought one wet bag. There were - and are - so many to choose from, but I ended up getting the Bumpkins Zippered wet bag which I am VERY pleased with. I used it for the first time last weekend when I spent the night with my family while my husband was out hunting with friends and I am officially happy with it (I was nervous at first!).  In fact, I will most likely be buying a bigger one in the future. The wet bag is for storing the soiled diapers (and clothes if need be). It is leak-proof and smell-proof (glory be!) and very easy to manage. I had it hooked to my diaper bag and never had a problem with it.

I have found it to be incredibly easy to use cloth diapers. There are many websites you can go to in order to buy various cloth diaper products, but MY personal favorite is NickisDiapers.com. Do your own research. You may find a place that better serves you, but I was incredibly impressed with Nicki's Diapers and will be using it more in the future. :)

So there's the cloth update! I'm loving it and....judging by the boy's face....I think he loves it too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beauty Crowns and Bloody Crowns

When I was a little girl, I remember various people telling my parents that they should put me and my sisters in local beauty pageants. Though I know those sweet people meant well, my parents always politely refused. They did not want to get caught up in the praise of physical beauty. They did not want me or my sisters to grow up believing that our value or sense of beauty is found in how many crowns we win or how many trophies that fill our shelves. Of course, that isn't to say that you will grow up believing that way should you chose to be in a pageant, but they wanted to steer clear of such functions to protect us from the temptation. I so treasure their teaching!

A few days ago, the 2012 Miss America Pageant came on TV. Having watched the pageant years ago, I decided to go back do some studying on the history of the pageant. Then I decided to sit down and observe. I was deeply burdened - though, sadly, not surprised - at how far the organization had "evolved" since 1921. The women competing for the crown each year are very lovely and very accomplished women in today's society. They are very smart; some aspiring to be doctors, lawyers, and teachers. They have wonderful platforms such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention, domestic violence, diabetes awareness, and literacy that should be encouraged. But as I sat and carefully observed every contestant, I found myself wondering "Just what part of this pageant is about providing "personal and professional opportunities for young women" or promoting "their voices in culture, politics, and the community"? The Miss America website states that the program provides "a forum for today's young women to express their viewpoints, talents and accomplishments to audiences during the telecast and to the public-at-large during the ensuing year....The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance." While I believe that is wonderful, I do not see that "statement of belief" displayed on the TV. What I see is beautiful women showcasing their physical beauty, some doing so in a very provocative way.

Now, there is nothing wrong with beauty, or admiring beauty. Miss America, though, takes it a step further and, while I am not throwing stones at the organization as a whole, I have to rightly call out a grave flaw.

This blog post isn't about the world's fixation with external beauty. It isn't about how difficult it is for girls and women to see themselves as beautiful in today's society when they are smacked in the face with the Miss America's that are a representative of "today's woman." It isn't about how the very organization that promotes a woman's intellect places the interview score barely above talent, evening wear, and swimsuit.

This post isn't about how many preliminary pageants have been held on Baptist campuses. ---leaving that one alone for now---

And while I believe that no Christian woman of God should "strut their stuff" in fashionable underwear in front of dozens, hundreds, thousands, and nevertheless millions, this blog post isn't even about that. I have posted so much on modesty, that it is - and should be - VERY obvious how I feel about the swimsuit competition that is masked as "physical fitness." If you know me or have spent time browsing this blog, than it is very clear how I feel about both. So I will let past posts speak for themselves on those subjects for now. This post is about something else.


Fifty-three girls competed for Miss America's crown last Saturday; each of whom already own at least one other crown from their state's preliminary competition. Many others all over the world compete for the title crown of Miss World, Miss Universe, etc. I remember when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess. Golly, I'm 25 years old and I STILL want to be a princess! What girl doesn't want a crown? There is something so royal and dignified about wearing one. I'm sure each of those fifty-three girls - and all the other "Miss" winners in the past - thoroughly enjoyed wearing their crown. I know that if I had one, I would likely be wearing it while folding laundry or grocery shopping!

But there are other crowns....

There is a crown of rejoicing - (1 Thessalonians 2:19 - "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?")

There is a crown of righteousness - (2 Timothy 4:8 - "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.")

There is a crown of life - (James 1:12 - "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.")

There is a crown of glory - (1 Peter 5:4 - "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.")

And then there is a crown that nobody would EVER want to wear. Yet, it was worn by our Savior. There is a crown of thorns that was once violently placed upon the Lord's head 2,000 years ago. Though He was King of all, that crown was put upon Him as a cruel mockery. His royalty was laughed to scorn. His crown was not one of shimmering gold, but of painful thorns that dug into His head and caused blood to pour down His face.

I am guilty of desiring a pretty crown of jewels over my Lord's crown.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 tells us that so many in this life are running the race for their own praise. They are going about their Christian life trying to attain physical crowns; be it beauty crowns, crowns of prominence, crowns of prestige, crowns of popularity, crowns of wealth, or the like. But we should run the race for the incorruptible crowns, because, at the end, all the crowns go to at the feet of Christ. He does not need the crowns of wealth, or fame, or prominence. He is GOD! He does not need beauty crowns either. What He needs are the bloody crowns - the crowns we have won through tears and sweat and blood; crowns we have attained in working for Him, serving our fellow man, loving much, giving all, and proclaiming to the world that He is the Savior. Those crowns may not be made of gold and gems and they aren't placed on our head before we walk forward and wave to millions. Once God Himself places them on our head, we will immediately take them and cast them down at His feet as we give glory to Him because in light of the REAL significance to life, crowns mean nothing.

Revelation 4:10-11
"The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."


Today, I have been thinking back to my childhood. And I am willing to bet that many of you grown girls will relate to this post.

Next month, I will be 26 years old. I am married. I have a little boy. I am grown.

...but sometimes I still feel like a little girl.

When I'm hurt, I cry.

When I'm upset, I sometimes throw a fit.

When I want something, I often don't have much patience to wait for it.

....you'd think I'd be more mature by now.

Sometimes I wear my feelings on my sleeve. Sometimes I just want to go run through a field or play on a swing set. Sometimes I want to go grab up my favorite teddy bear. Sometimes I want to lay my head on my Mom's lap. Sometimes I want to curl up and listen to a story from my Dad.

Which brings me to right now.

Growing up, my Dad told THE BEST stories. If you are an avid Andy Griffith-watcher (like me!), then you can remember the many times Andy Taylor would tell his son, Opie, the perfect thing in the perfect way. When Opie struggled with history, Andy made it interesting. My Dad has always reminded me of him! The coolest thing is when he would make up his own stories. Since I am remembering my childhood (and missing it in a way), I thought I would share with you one of the first stories my Dad ever told me as a little girl. It became a regular tale and, in 2006, Dad wrote it down and made it into a little booklet for me! Today, I pulled it out and read over it again and, I have to say, I got teary-eyed. So for all you women who sometimes feel like a little girl and for all you mommies who may want to tell this story to YOUR children, I thought I would share it...in my Dad's words. :)

It was a stormy night in Arkansas and a little girl named Kristen Elizabeth was awakened by the storm. There was lots of wind blowing, lightning flashing, thunder roaring and rain falling down hard to the ground. The water was rising fast towards Kristen's house. During the storm, Kristen began to cry and then she started to pray, "Dear Jesus, please help me tonight in this storm. Lord please stop the loud thunder. And, Lord, please stop the bright lightning and the strong wind from blowing hard. And Lord, stop the flood waters from getting into my house. Help me, Lord Jesus, not to cry or be afraid. Amen."

Well, way up in Heaven, the Lord called all of His special angels to His throne and said, "I've got a special job for a special angel to go help calm the heart of Kristen, one of my little children, who is scared tonight." Then the Lord said, "Which one of you angels would like to volunteer for the job?"

Just about that time, a little angel shouted for joy, and said, "Lord Jesus...please let me go and help Kristen. I don't want her to be afraid of anything, please Lord, let me go! Pleeeeeeeease!"

I never knew the name of that special angel, so I'll just call him "Gullabagoo."

Then the Lord said to that little angel, "You're just the one I was thinking of for this job!" The Lord said, "Gullabagoo, you will go and help Kristen and I will tell you what you must do."

Gullabagoo was so happy to be chosen, and he smiled and grinned from ear to ear and said, "Thank you, Lord." Then he was off and on his way to help Kristen.

When Gullabagoo saw the horrible storm, and heart Kristen crying and praying, it broke his little heart. Gullabagoo saw the lightning flashing and streaking across the sky. He saw the rain falling hard and fast to the ground. He heard the wind blowing and howling through the trees, and he heard the loud thunder roaring and banging on the clouds.

And then, Gullabagoo saw that old mean devil trying to scare the children. So Gullabagoo spoke and said, "In Jesus' Name: RAIN...you stop that right now!" And all of the sudden the rain stopped, and the flood waters began to go down.

"Lightning...stop flashing right this minute!" And as quick as a flash all the lightning just stopped.

"Thunder...you are way too loud tonight, so you just hush right now!" And all the loud thunder just stopped.

"Okay Wind...you quit blowing so hard against Kristen's house!" And all at once the wind stopped.

Gullabagoo then turned to that old mean devil and said, "The Lord Jesus sent me to tell you to get outta here right now, and leave Kristen alone!!"

Well, that old devil started running through the briar patches, and through the bushes, through the swamps, through places that even a rabbit couldn't go! He ran and he ran. He ran so fast that even the hounds couldn't catch him!

Well, Kristen began to smile, and said, "Thank you, Lord." Then she laid her head on her pillow, and softly went to sleep.

So when the storms come in your life,
and you don't know what to do,
just call on the Lord
and He will help you.

He may send an angel,
who will know what to do.
And who knows? His name just might
be Gullabagoo!

Thanks, Dad! :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nine Months Old

I am so proud of my little guy. :) Nine months old! Wooo! Time sure is flying and he sure is growing. The last month was a month of major changes, so....here is the latest!
  • On Christmas Eve, he began crawling. What a great Christmas present! :) We were beginning to wonder if he would EVER crawl! But now, he is most definitely not inch-worming anymore, but is officially crawling....everywhere. :)
  • A few days after Christmas, he pulled up for the first time. Now, you can't keep him on the ground for long. He crawls to the coffee table, then pops up. He crawls to the couch, and pulls himself up to say "blah-da-da-tha-blah-da." He crawls to the TV and pulls himself up so he can take everything off the shelf. :-o Uh oh....
  • He loves to eat. He loves the Gerber "crawling snacks" and loves apple juice and water too. As for "big people food," he loves avocados, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, sweet tea (though I'M not the one giving him that), ice cream (uh oh) and just about everything else that is put in his mouth. He isn't fond of carrots or asparagus, but I force-feed them to him anyway. He has tried scrambled eggs and green beans, but can't seem to make up his mind if he likes them or not. :)
  • On January 5, I felt his first tooth pop through. Then on January 11, the SECOND tooth came through. Ahhh!!!! C.U.T.E.
  • A few days ago, I was trying to get him to say "Momma" but all he would say is "Da-da." Then I whispered - in desperation - "Nathan, say Momma!" And he WHISPERED "Da-da." LOL. Crazy nut.
  • Okay, so he knows what the word, "No" means. You can say "No!" and he will either 1) pucker up and give you puppydog eyes, 2) begin crying like he just lost everything he loves, or 3) look disappointed and crawl off. When he's being mischievous and gives me those big, sad, pleading eyes, it is HARD not to crumble into hysterical laughter. He knows how to take full advantage of his cuteness. I have a feeling he is going to be QUITE the handful very, very, very soon.
Now, for the pictures....

Playing while Momma cooks

Almost up!

Christmas Day!

Baby's first Christmas :)

With Momma, Daddy, Marmee, and Poppie

Watching Veggie Tales in his "club house" hehehe

Eating Pop's mashed potatoes

Road trip!

First time in a hotel!

In a big-boy highchair at Denny's

He's up!!

TWO teeth!!!

I'm nine months old!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Want to be Pretty Like That!

"A pretty woman, with lovely soft features, kind eyes and dark hair. She was never angry, never impatient, never resentful, she patiently wore away prejudices and hatred by her gentle, gracious presence and her blameless life. She had all the firmness of a man, and yet a more gentle and womanly woman it would be hard to find."

Said of Lottie Moon, young single missionary to China

"She seemed endowed with a peculiar magnetism when you were in her presence so that you could not help thinking yourself in the presence of a being much higher than the ordinary run of humanity. I have heard her pray, and she could offer up the finest petition to the Throne of Grace of any person I ever heard in my life. She was always gentle and kind to the Indians, as she was to everyone else. She took an interest in every one at the mission, especially the children. Everyone loved her, because to see her was to love her."

Said of Narcissa Whitman, young married missionary to Native American Indians

“They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him… she has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in their affection… you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful…. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind…. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.”

Said of Sarah Edwards by her husband, Jonathan Edwards

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 5

Proverbs 31:14
"She is like the merchants' ships;
she bringeth her food from afar."

Obviously, they did not have Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, or Kroger in Biblical times. Unfortunately, there was no Pizza Hut or Crackle Barrel either. :) As the woman of the home, Miss 31 did what all the other women did in those days - she grew her own food and she shopped at the market of her day.

Now, I will take a brief moment and say that I do not have a green thumb. At all. However, I still would love to have a garden. I am taking my sweet time in that endeavor, but it IS a goal I hope to achieve before I die. Until I master the art of keeping a plant alive longer than a week, I am perfecting my grocery-shopping skills. :)

In studying this verse, we see that Miss 31 travels about obtaining food for her family (and most likely their livestock as well). I'm sure she was frugal and wise, shopping for the best "deal" of the day. The last few words of this verse stumped me a little: She bringeth her food from afar?? How on earth did she do that? And how am I supposed to do that? Should I order a shipment of fish from Norway?

It's so easy for me to think like the above. But if I take a minute and be practical, I can usually understand things a little easier. :) In those days, people walked just about everywhere. Maybe she had to walk into the village which was two miles away. Or maybe she planned a trip once a month to the city market and rode her donkey. In a time when there were **ahem** no automobiles, I'm sure 2-5 miles was "afar." Who knows? But maybe our "afar" can be the grocery store 10 miles away. And - get this - we don't even have to walk! We can make it there in a few minutes as long as we know where we placed our car keys. :) We don't have it so bad.

One thing I did learn was that merchants' ships are used for transporting goods, especially perishables (aka - food). They are not fast like airplanes. They are rather slow. However, they can carry a much larger load than one, or even two airplanes, can. Interesting. So Miss 31 is like a merchant's ship. Okay. Now, how can we tie this together?

Have you ever stopped and looked at the amount of "instant everything" we have? When I first married, cooking for two was a totally new experience! I came from a family of eight and so there was always lots to prepare at every meal in order to feed - and fill! - everyone in our family. In the first month of my marriage, I cannot tell you how many times I made twenty biscuits for two people or found myself cracking 10-15 eggs to feed just me and my husband. After a short while, I thought to myself, Why do this? I can easily pick up a couple of frozen meals at the grocery store. That will be quicker, easier, and I won't find myself with too much food. In short, this was lazy of me. Later, I looked back and realized that I spent more money on various single dinners than I would have, had I chosen to learn to cook for two. So I began to put extra time and effort in learning how to 1) find good deals, 2) buy in bulk, 3) freeze leftovers, 4) reduce waste, and 5) cook healthy. Most all frozen meals are either overpriced or completely unhealthy (or both!). Would Miss 31 resort to that? I don't think so.

A merchants' ship may be slower, but it gets the job done and it carries more than any other mode of transportation. Making healthy, home-cooked meals make take more time out of my day, but it is time well-spent. And as the keeper of my home, it is time that should be of utmost importance. In being like a merchants' ship, the food I serve my family should not be whatever is most convenient for me. It should be what is best for my family. Miss 31 takes time to plan nutritious meals that bless her family. She grows and purchases volumes of groceries that are cost effective, healthy, and go further than any "instant" meal found at the supermarket! I want to be like her. I want to manage my time well and make a point to wisely create well-balanced and home-cooked meals for my children and my husband. Kind of an odd thing to aspire to, but I'll say it anyway: I want to be a merchants' ship! Don't you? :)

Proverbs 31:14
"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."


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