Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keeping Our Eyes on the Goal!
“That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once."

~J. C. Ryle 1888
pregnancy calendar

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sticking With Diapers... Yes, Utter Failure

Well, for those who are wondering (or not), the potty training was an utter failure. We did the whole scheduled thing for two weeks, used the doll to model, learned all the right words, even kept M&M's beside the potty. Not a drop. She seemed to have a complete brain disconnect between all this and what she was to do. And for those of you who are wondering if... Yes, we did that, too. Our experience seemed to be a classic 'not ready' case. Oh, well.

Despite my initial discouragement, it could be and has been worse.... those first weeks when no diaper sized 'preemie' could be found in any local stores, forcing us to search far and wide. When even those found leaked out the back all the time. Solved by folding a pleat in the backside of the diaper, fastened with yes, duct tape! (She was hilarious looking!) When my culinary adventures caused nasty tummy problems and icky diapers. Propping the crib mattress up with three hardback books underneath one end to keep leaks from running into her hair. The day she learned to remove her own dirty diaper during a nap- think shrieks of horror, LOADS of laundry, scrubbing walls, and an immediate investment in many little bloomers.

So! Now I don't feel so bad. And as Nathan reminds me, we all eventually 'got it.' As far as we know, all our friends and family are officially potty competent individuals. And for those who've recently & gleefully posted on YOUR success, goody-goody for you ;O) Well, that's all for now. I need to change her diaper.

Friday, May 11, 2007

To My Wonderful Mom

(an excerpt from the tribute I sent my mom, Anita Frederick- Happy Mother's Day!)

"...there are so many things about you that I aspire to on this Mother’s Day. I’d like to tell you a few: Your famous sweetness that everyone tells me first thing about you. Your unity with Diddy even when his ideas scared you out of your mind. I don’t remember once you ever running over him or shouting him down in front of us. You always seemed glad to be home and taking care of us. Even though many days and evenings you worked hard to pull the load, you still burned the midnight oil to help some last-minute person with homework ... You always worked so hard; I never knew how you pulled it off. Now I really don’t know how you did it! You have this wonderful natural compassion that allows you to be genuinely sincere and nice to pitiful people, even the guy in the nursery home who tried to suck on your fingers- ew! You truly cried when I did, and you lived vicariously the exciting times of my life.

Now don’t go getting a big head ;o)! You certainly weren’t perfect. For examples: I KNOW I deserved more spankings than I got. But you taught me mercy. I KNOW you doubted yourself far more than you should have. But you taught me humility. I KNOW you were weak enough to cry out your frustrations to Someone Else in those early mornings. But you taught me what a relationship with God looks like. Admitting we can’t make it on our own, God comes in and picks up the loose ends.

On this your 27th Mother’s Day and my 3rd, I want to ‘rise up and call you blessed!’ You have blessed my life in a million ways.

With all my love on Mother’s Day,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

(As you all know already, but it's worth stating... the following are general recommendations. I don't agree with everything in every book I like, etc.)

Reflective Reads:
Broken Minds by Steve and Robyn Bloem
Comprehensive book on mental illness in the body of Christ. Great read if you know someone who struggles with these issues, or if you just want to be a more sensitive member of the body.
When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada
Asks some really tough questions on pain and suffering in the Christian life. Has lots of great thoughts, and I definitely feel the author is qualified on the subject.

Refreshing Reads:
Mitford Series by Jan Karon
What Andy Griffith is to old-time TV, this series is for literature. Just really relaxing and fun to read.
Madman by Tracy Groot
Not exactly "refreshing," but still fiction. Well-written retelling and embellishment of the NT story of the demoniac. Kind of gave me the willies, but there's nothing like thinking about stuff like that to underscore the amazing power of God.
Blink by Ted Dekker
Don't care for all of his writings (the phrase "gratuitous violence" comes to mind- my opinion, of course) but... this is my favorite. Interesting look at the idea of foreknowledge.

Coconut Crunch Delight (awesome for church dinners- always a hit!)
1/2 c. butter, melted; 1 c. all-purpose flour; 1 1/4 c. flaked coconut; 1/4 c. packed brown sugar; 1 c. slivered almonds; 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix; 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant coconut pudding mix; 2 2/3 c. cold milk; 2 c. Cool Whip

In a bowl combine 1st five ingredients; press lightly into greased 13 x 9. Bake @ 350 for 25-30 min. or until golden brown, stirring every 10 min to form coarse crumbs. Cool. Divide crumb mixture in half; press half into same baking pan. In a mixing bowl, beat pudding mixes and milk. Fold in Cool-Whip. Spoon over crust. Top w/ remaining crumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with strawberries if desired. Yield: 12-16 yummy!!! servings

Perfect Boiled Egg (no laughing please- I hate guesswork and this makes me happy)
Place eggs in cold water, salt the water. When water hits the rolling boil point, turn it off, and cover pan with lid. Set timer for 17 minutes. (Run cold water over eggs as you peel them.) Voila! Perfection every time. (and yes, here in Alabama we pronounce this a "bulled egg")

All classical guitar music by John Williams

P.F. Chang's - really love their Crispy Honey Shrimp or Chicken and Shrimp in Lobster Sauce.
Cheesecake Factory - cheesecake, of course ;o)

Relaxation in General:
Mary Kay's Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet & Legs- tingles and smells minty!
Candles, candles & candles (although Nathan has outlawed all that smell as if something is actually cooking when it's not ;o) - I still love the apple scented ones from Cracker Barrel.
And since I'm becoming more 'heavily pregnant'- let's not forget any seat that can recline and has a footrest!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hydrangeas and Johnny Mathis

At the risk of sounding a little too "Julie-Andrewish," I find that dwelling on happy thoughts on stressful days eases the tension. You guessed it, the potty training is killing me. So here's my list of happy things. Most have some sentimental meaning linked to the carefree days of childhood. Maybe they'll spark thoughts in your minds of things that just make you smile no matter what...

Peanut butter and honey / sourdough bread sandwiches with milk
Hydrangea bushes, irises and daylilies
Sandwich made of perfectly ripe tomatoes and mayonnaise
Playing hide and seek outdoors on cool summer nights
All crooners
Sweet tea "done right"
Sycamore trees that pop off bark during thunderstorms
Chicken and dumplings
All things gingham with eyelet lace
Homemade oatmeal cookie dough on a spoon
Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning
Holding hands with Nathan
Hot tea with sugar and milk
Sunrises when I'm rested
Sunsets when I'm tired