Friday, February 29, 2008

Sarah and the computer

Tonight Nelson brought home a very small laptop computer from work. He is just borrowing it for the weekend to play around with. But Sarah got so excited seeing it. She exclaimed in delight, "That computer is Sarah-sized!" She immediately asked if she could type on it. She said she wanted to type a note to Grandma and Grandpa!

Here is Sarah, hard at work on her letter.

Even with a computer, Sarah likes to pose.

After finishing her typing Sarah decided to distribute Valentines. She meticulously stuffed cards in envelope, then began handing them out. She gave a card to Daddy, and to Mommy, and to Curious George!

We also had another hearty bowl of "hair clip soup" this morning. Maybe that will help us get over our colds! :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

doctor visit and early literacy

Sarah's cold took a turn for the worse today, and she woke up feverish and lethargic. So off we went to the doctor for Sarah to get "docked." The doctor checked her breathing and ears, then ordered a nasal swab to test for flu and blood work to test for walking pneumonia. Thankfully, both tests were negative (and Sarah never made a peep when the tech was drawing her blood--brave girl!). We came home with a list of recommended OTC drugs and dosages. Basically we need to try to keep her fever down and keep her comfortable.

While we waited for the test results, I let Sarah use a pen and paper to keep her occupied. I noticed something quite interesting. When I gave her a sheet of notebook paper, Sarah drew pictures--mostly faces of people she knew. But when I let her use a blank page in my day planner, she didn't draw pictures--she "wrote." I'm sure we all remember those scribbly lines that kids draw to write "words" when they don't know how to form letters yet. Those lines are what Sarah wrote in the planner. I found it very interesting that she drew on notebook paper, but "wrote" in the planner. I wish I had some pictures to include--maybe I can post those later, and you can see for yourself.

I have a bit of a cold myself that Sarah "shared" with me. While we waited for the test results, Sarah listened to me cough and drew a picture of "sick Mommy." She told me I needed to be "docked" as well!

Monday, February 25, 2008

boats, diapers, and the lost weekend

Well, obviously I am NOT going to make the blog every day in February challenge. :-p I'm not even making my own personal 'blog every day from the 7th of February on" challenge. Life has a habit of interfering with our plans sometimes! "The best-laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a-gley..." (Hope I spelled all that's been awhile since I read Burns!).

Anyway, this weekend has been something of a struggle for me. Those who know me know my life is frequently disrupted by migraines. The past few days it has been more disrupted than usual! I couldn't drive home Friday night, so my parents drove Sarah and me to meet Nelson in Johnson City so that he could play taxi. Saturday we were supposed to go back to Greeneville to get my car, but we never made it. Sunday I missed both church and our evening small group. Today I am finally starting to come out of it a bit, although I wasn't able to make it to my normal Monday night Sunday either. I am hoping that I wake up to a headache-free day tomorrow and that life will finally return to normal!

Fortunately, I did at least manage to get Sarah to Kindermusik today. Her "homework" assignment was to build a boat and bring it. We took one of the Gladware containers that sandwich meat comes in, poked a hole in the lid, stuck a straw through the hole (to be our mast), and added a paper sail (or flag, as Sarah calls it. She of course decorated said flag). She is very proud of her boat, and she looks forward to trying it out in the bathtub tonight. She also discovered that if she removes the paper flag, she can blow into the straw and have a very cool homemade instrument! :)

As we were getting ready to leave for Kindermusik this morning, I changed Sarah's diaper. Once I got a new, clean diaper on her, she told me I had done it wrong and needed to fix it! I wanted to know just what the problem was with this diaper. She responded, "It's lefty-loosey, and I need it to be righty-tighty!" Lol. I tightened the tabs, and she was fine!

Friday, February 22, 2008

funny conversations in the car

Sarah and I drove to Greeneville to see my parents today, then rode with my parents to Johnson City to meet up with Nelson for supper. While in the car at one point, my dad asked Sarah if she was doing okay. She did not reply. Since I was sitting right next to her, I also asked her if she all right. Still no response. I said, "Are you not talking?" She answered, "No, I'm spaced out."

Later, my parents drove Sarah to the mall. On the ride over, Sarah suddenly said, "Mike, I need you to give me some privacy now."

Funny, funny girl! :)

Have a good night!

P.S. I'm highly insulted that Blogger's spell check wants me to change the spelling of Greeneville! Doesn't it know that all of the other Greenvilles in the nation that don't have the extra E are spelled wrong?! :-p

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2nd post--with promised pictures

Well, here is the 2nd post and the pictures that I promised! The first is just a simple picture of Sarah brushing her teeth before bedtime. Ah, the minutiae of daily life! :)

We all know how much Sarah loves Cinderella. She now has 3 (count 'em 3 Cinderella dress up outfits). But she has shown an interest in a few other of the Disney princesses. She calls this her Sleeping Beauty outfit...

I really wish I had thought to take a picture the other day when she dressed herself again. This time she chose purple and blue pajama shorts and a pink t-shirt that said princess on the front. She does a really good job on getting the clothes on herself, but she has no concept of seasonal appropriateness or color coordination! Lol. Sadly, though, I did not get a picture. So you are left to you imaginations!

See you tomorrow! :)


Looks like I missed a day! :( Does it count if I say I DID write a blog post yesterday--I just posted it on Spark People instead of here? :-p

Okay, so I agree that's cheating a bit. How about the fact the post on Psalm 32 was so stinking long it counts as two posts? Does that work? No?

Well, then, here's my final offer: I'll post twice today (later with a picture!). Does THAT make up for being missing in action yesterday? Whoo-hoo! I think we have a winner! :)

Sarah has two toy magic wands. They make noises and are great fun. I had to vacuum today (always a pleasant experience!), and Sarah came up with an idea for those magic wands! I pitched the idea of using the wands to magically clean the floor so that we didn't have to vacuum at all, but oddly enough Sarah rejected that one. Her thought? Use the wands to "magic" (yes, she uses the word as a verb, ala Calvin and Hobbes: "Verbing words is fun!") herself so that she wasn't bothered by the vacuum anymore! "Let's do that tomorrow!" she says. Who knows? Since it was her idea, maybe it will actually work! (Not holding my breath on that one, but hey, you never know!).

See you later! Picture to come!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Psalm 32 (loooooong)

Okay, now that I've built up all this anticipation, the post itself is probably going to be something of a letdown! :-p That's the trouble with putting it off for a couple of days! Now I can't live up to my own hype!

Anyway, the first sermon in the series was on Psalm 138 (see entry on Feb. 10 if you want a review of that one). This week we moved on to Psalm 32. This is a confessional psalm, a psalm of David. It is not quite as personal (in my opinion) as its companion Psalm 51. The context of Psalm 51 of course is David's sin, chronicled in 2 Samuel 11-12. Psalm 32 likely comes out of that same time period, but it is a bit more "generic," so there is much we can glean. I will kind of combine what I learned in my own study as well as what the preacher brought out as well.

The speaker quoted a commentary by a Baxter (sorry, didn't catch the rest of the name) which stated that this Psalm was a "psalm of the sacrament of confession." Since Lent is traditionally a time of acknowledging our need, it is a perfect time to reflect on our sins and our need for confession. (And on this side of the cross, we know that "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." But I'm getting ahead of myself).

The Psalm itself begins "How blessed is he whose trangression is forgiven, who sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whom there is no deceit!" The first thing that stood out to me in my private study is that the word "blessed" literally means "Oh, how very happy!" If you've ever truly felt the weight of your own sin bearing down on you, you can certainly relate to that "Oh, how very happy!" feeling of relief that comes when you know for an absolute fact that you are forgiven and that the slate is wiped clean. :)

In those first two verses there are several different words used for sin: transgression, sin, and iniquity. Interestingly, all three have a slightly different meaning. Transgression refers to rebellion; David's behavior in back in 2 Samuel definitely qualifies as direct rebellion against God! Sometimes we are not so quick to see our OWN transgressions as rebellion, but it is important to remember that is exactly what they are. Sin is the idea of "missing the mark." (The speaker mentioned that sometimes we aim for the wrong target!). It doesn't seem so bad somehow to refer to sin as "missing the mark"--makes it sound like an innocent error. Of course this is doctrinally incorrect--our sin is not just an innocent little mistake. We do badly miss the mark, but we do it deliberately (going back to that idea of rebellion). Finally, iniquity emcompasses the idea of guilt. We are all guilty.

Sorry that I can't seem to get past these two verses, but I think it really brings out the meaning when you look at it as 'Oh, how very happy is he whose rebellion is forgiven, whose missing the mark is covered! Oh, how very happy is the man to whom the LORD does not impute guilt." How very happy indeed! :) That is really what the celebration of Easter is all about!

Verses 3 and 4 go on to say, "When I kept silent about my sin, my body waasted away through my groaning all day long. For Day and night Your hand was heavy upon me." This made me think of Hebrews 12:5-11. I won't quote it all here, but it can be summed up by saying that God disciplines us because He loves us. Discipline for sin is never pleasant, but we should be grateful that God cares enough for us to do it. David felt that heavy hand upon him, draining him. But as soon as he acknowledged and confessed his sin (verse 5), God forgave him. "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.' And You forgave the guilt of my sin." Again, all three words for sin are mentioned: David acknowledged his sin, confessed his transgressions, and did not hide his iniquity. Also, three different words used for David's confession: he acknowledged his sin, he confessed his transgressions, and he did not hide his iniquity. So once David stopped trying to run, stopped trying to hide, stopped trying to ignore his sin, he confessed everything to God and was completely forgiven. Interestingly, confess means to "say the same." When we confess our sin to God, we simply say the same thing about it that God does. We acknowledge that guilt and rebellion; we admit that we have missed the mark and have aimed at the wrong target. And God covers our sin. He puts it behind His back. He removes it as far as the east is from the west. He casts it into the bottom of the ocean.

Oh, how very happy we are indeed!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sarah and her castle

Here is the promised pic of Sarah and the "castle" she constructed. Yes, it's just two candle holders stacked up, but she was very proud of it!

I know I promised a posting on Sundayy's sermon, but I'm very tired (Mondays are SUCH long days) and I just can't think clearly enough to do it justice. So I'm going to put it off till tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a thought-provoking quote that I "blog-lifted."

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.”
–C. S. Lewis

Let's strive to be in the former group, shall we?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

quickie post

Okay, tomorrow I do a long, in-depth post regarding today's sermon on Psalm 32 and the ramifications for Lent (I know I have at least one fan of my musings on the subject!). I will also have a picture of a "castle" that Sarah has built. Today, I am just doing a short-and-sweet post to honor the daily blogging commitment. So here's an amusing story from today's lunch. We went out with some friends after church. One of the men ordered a burger with a side of slaw. Sarah has been saying all day, "Angie's daddy ordered slop!"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

conversation on the bed

After Sarah's bath each night, we all spend a few minutes together on the bed in Nelson's and my room to get her settled down to sleep. We talk, read books, etc. Last night, Sarah was looking at the book The House That Jack Built. Several of the pages had pictures of stars, and she was counting them. I looked at her pajamas and *thought* that they had stars on them and asked if she wanted to count those. Then I realized that the pajamas actually had flowers on them, not stars. Sarah knew this as well and said (somewhat disdainfully), "Those are flowers, not stars, Mommy. You misunderstood." I responded, "Oh, I am so sorry." (Insert sarcasm here). And Sarah said, "Thank you for saying sorry, Mommy!" Lol.

On a completely different note, here is an article on various ways you can burn 100 calories. Some of them are quite amusing! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sarah's first crush?

Today Sarah and I had plans to meet Mike and Mumsy at the Atlanta Bread Company in Johnson City for lunch. Sarah said she didn't want to go to the Atlanta Bread Company; instead she wanted to visit Stargate Atlantis! (This is the name of a show on Sci-Fi that Nelson likes to watch). And she really, really wanted to see "John Colonel Shepherd." (Colonel John Shepherd is the show's main character). She looked for John to arrive all through lunch. And when we were heading home, she protested that we had not seen "John Colonel Shepherd" yet, so we couldn't possibly be ready to leave! She was sooo bummed, not seeing him. I told her that John probably had to work and couldn't get away from the Stargate! ;) This seemed to satisfy her.

Now she is telling me to call "John Colonel Shepherd." "He's still on his way here," she insists. So maybe Sarah has her first crush...on a fictional character. Lol. Hey, at least that's less complicated! :) (And she has good taste--the actor who plays Colonel John Shepherd is handsome!). :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

mommy's little helper

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day! :) I cooked Nelson's favorite meal at home, then he treated us to Starbucks post-dinner. YUM!!! I hope you were all able to do a little something to celebrate as well.

Sarah LOVES to help Mommy out at home. I have two feather dusters, one small and one large, and Sarah has claimed the smaller one as her own. She helps me dust each week, with me using the larger one to dust up high and her using the smaller one to dust down low. Yesterday she decided she wanted to help me clean the tables. I squirted the wood soap on the coffee table and dining table and showed her how to wipe it down with a cloth. And she took over and scrubbed those tables! My little cleaning apprentice in training! Somehow, I don't think I'll be able to talk her into vacuuming any time soon, though...

Sarah also helped me out yesterday by dressing herself. She chose kind of an unusual outfit however. We may need to work a bit on her fashion sense...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sarah types

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more stuff Sarah inherited from me

Okay, yesterday I posted the "look alike" meter, and it showed that I DID contribute to Sarah's genetic make-up. :) I have also shared in a previous post that Sarah inherited my guacamole addiction as well. Today, another food preference that she got from me came up.

For reasons that I won't go into right now, Nelson is bringing home supper tonight. Sarah requested that he stop by Captain D's. Those who know Nelson know he is NOT a seafood fan. He orders chicken when he eat at Captain D's. Sarah, however, asked for...popcorn shrimp! She grinned in delight when Nelson assured her that he would indeed bring home the shrimp. She said excitedly, "It's yummy!" :)

Sarah is begging me to let her type so I am turning over the keyboard to her now so she can share whatever it is she has to say. :) (She also wants her OWN post, so hang on just a second!). :-p

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Butterworth Look-alike Meter

I am always hearing how much Sarah looks like her daddy. People notice it and comment on it. I joke that all I can claim is the fact she has brown eyes. :) But according to a link sent to me by my sis-in-law Tara, Sarah looks equally like us! Apparently it's just more noticeable that she resembles Nelson. Interesting! I feel better now. ;)

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Free family tree maker - Free family tree software

Monday, February 11, 2008

writer's block

This daily posting thing is hard! I have no idea what to write. :-p I feel like I ramble a lot as it is, but on a day like today, when I'm tired after a long day, it can be difficult to come up with something.

Sarah and I traveled to Greeneville for Kindermusik today. She was supposed to bring a homemade instrument. We took a box and taped it shut, and Sarah decorated it with drawings and stickers. It now makes a very nice homemade drum. :) We needed another drum, you know! ;)

Sarah has also discovered a new Disney movie she likes: The Aristocats! It's a nice break from Cinderella, I must say. :)

I am participating in a women's Bible study on Monday evenings called, appropriately enough, For Women Only. It's based on the book by Shaunti Feldhahn, and it has been quite good so far. It just makes Monday a very long day. :)

I guess I will close by bragging on my hubby a bit. He's working hard at his new job (he's actually a bit stiff and sore right now from some physical labor he's having to do), and I know he is tired after the long day and the commute home from Bristol. But he does solo parenting on Monday and Tuesday evenings so I can go to Bible study and aerobics (and trust me, Sarah can be exhuasting!). And he's still in classes as well, working toward his degree, so he has schoolwork to keep up with. (He's making good grades too!). So here is just a public declaration of "Nelson, I'm proud of you, and I appreciate all that you do." :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

more musings about Lent

Sorry if I'm boring anyone! But I am really getting a lot out of focusing more on the spiritual aspects of Lent this year. I enjoyed the Advent study Sarah and I did together this year, and I would love to find a similar one for Lent but have not as yet. So I'm just fumbling along. Fortunately, I have a wonderful church and a terrific pastor to help in this quest. :)

For Lent, we have started a series of sermons highlighting some Psalms. Today's Psalm was 138. It begins with David speaking of "giving thanks" to God. And apparently the phrase has a connotation of publicly acknowledging God's work. After all, psalms were hymns of worship, meant to be sung and shared. We are to be openly sharing all the many things God has done for us and all the reasons we personally have for praising him. The pastor shared a story of a missionary working in a country where the people didn't have a way to express "thank you." Rather, they would say, "I will tell your name." That is what we do: we tell God's name as we share how He has worked in our lives.

Later in the Psalm, David mentions God's word being exalted above God's name. Given the importance placed on God's name in Scripture, this can be somewhat surprising. Our pastor quoted a commentator who spoke of "word" as being a specific answer to prayer for David. In other words, God answered a prayer in such a dramatic, mind-blowing way, it topped everything David thought he knew about God. Haven't we all had that experience? It is amazing and humbling to look back at those times in our lives when God did "exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine." Then, following the idea in the first verse, we share that experience with others, so that they may join us in praising His name.

Finally, the worship leader talked about finding ways during Lent to remind ourselves of our need of God. Whether that is through some kind of fast or sacrifice, or through a more concentrated time of prayer and Bible study, we put ourselves in a place where we can reflect on just how much we are in need of Christ. Then, when the season of Lent culminates on Easter morning, we will truly be in a mindset to celebrate, to exult in God's gracious provision for us!

To keep this post from becoming too "heavy," here's a quick story from last night. As my mom was giving Sarah a bath, Sarah asked to use the potty. Mom got her situated on the toilet, and Sarah said, "I need you to give me some privacy now."

Finally, I will close with a couple of Sarah pics for you to add to your collection. After all, I'm sure you can't possibly have enough already, right? ;)

Here is Sarah playing dress up with one of her many costumes...

Sarah winking and giving a "thumbs up!"

better late than never!

It's very late as I type this, so don't expect anything terribly profound or even totally coherent, but I promised daily posts, so by golly, here's today's post! :) We got home late this evening because we attended a concert in Greeneville with my parents titled Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles. The group is billed as the top-rated Beatles tribute band in the world. They did do a decent job of sounding like the Fab Four, and they sang several classic and well-loved Beatles hits. Unfortunately, they didn't sing a couple of my personal favorites, so that was kind of a disappointment. Still, it was an enjoyable evening.

Sarah attended the concert with us and did an amazing job of sitting and listening without disturbing anyone. She liked the music but thought it was too loud (too be fair, we all agreed with her), so she spent most of the show with her hands covering her ears. My girl is just not fond of loud sounds, be it household appliances or musical performances!

The affection for Scooby-Doo continues; last night Sarah told her beloved Scooby, "You're my hero!" Lol.

Okay, I have honored my commitment; I'm going to bed now! ;) See you tomorrow!

Friday, February 8, 2008

post of misc. ramblings :)

Okay, the title says it all, so you've been warned. ;) I'll start with the cute Sarah stuff that the family loves, then meander a bit. So fasten your seatbelt, and here we go!

I've mentioned that Sarah's Uncle Dave got her a Scooby-Doo toy for Christmas. Sarah loved it from the get-go. She sleeps with Scooby every night, and carries him around with her during the day. Yesterday as she got up from her afternoon nap, she grabbed Scooby and called him her "snuggly treasure." Sweet! (She got that phrase from a book we have, but I still found it endearing that she applied it to her Scooby). Kudos to Uncle Dave.

Long time readers might remember my post on Nov. 1, 2007 regarding language. Here is another example of its misuse. Sarah was attempting to trace her foot today, and commented that she was tracing her "feets." Darn that English language--so confusing with all of its contradictions and exceptions to the rule! You go to all the trouble to learn that adding "s" to a word makes it plural, then a whole bunch of "special cases" get tossed at you! Sometimes I think there are more exceptions to the rule than there are times when the rule is valid. :-p

There are many bloggers in the Internet world, and I must admit that I have my own "blogging heroes." These are blogs that are "super-star" blogs in my mind, with deep, thought-provoking posts, or high readership, or both. The blog I linked to yesterday is one of those. I own Deborah Taylor-Hough's cookbook, subscribed to her e-newsletters, and been an avid reader of her blog for a long time. She is an amazing Christian woman and an excellent writer, and I know many read her blog regularly. Wonder of wonders, when I linked to her yesterday, she came to check out my blog. Even more amazing, she referenced me in a post of her own and linked back to me today! It's like being noticed by a rock star or something!! Thanks, Debi!!! :)

And along that thought-provoking idea, I loved the post that she wrote. She talked about the idea we have of a fast being to give something up (fasting for Lent certainly, but even just fasts in general). And any time I have attempted a fast, it has been along those lines--no soda, no radio in the car, no computer usage, etc. But perhaps it's time to broaden our idea of a fast. Debi's post referenced Isaiah 58, which talks about God's chosen fast...and it describes fasting *to* something rather than *from* something. God tells His people to be active in fighting against evil, ending oppression, helping the poor, etc. They are to be adding things, rather than subtracting them. Not to say that we are never to fast *from* something (after all, Jesus did do a "traditional" fast in the wilderness for 40 days), but maybe we should broaden our definition of fast to include a larger range of things.

Once again, here is the link to Debi's blog if you want to read the post. I promise I won't link to her every day, but I did love this one!!! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

boy, am I behind!

I don't seem to keep up with this blog quite as well as I'd like! :( I saw a challenge issued on another blog I read to try to make a new entry for every day in February. Obviously, that makes me now several days behind, since today is already Feb. 7! But I'll jump in right where I am and try to have a new entry each and every day for the rest of the month. How does that sound? :) (Sounds to me like it could get very rambling...).

Anyway, for today's post, I'll just hit a few highlights. Sarah created a tea party for us today, telling me that she was serving "gracious tea." Not sure exactly what "gracious tea" is or where she came up with that, but it sounds lovely, doesn't it? :)

Nelson's work is going well so far--he now has one week under his belt. He doesn't have any idea at this point how long the "temporary" aspect of it will go, but we are grateful that he has it for however long. Of course, we are hoping and praying that it does become permanent, but we're trying to take things one day at a time. :)

Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and Lent is now upon us, I thought I'd share this entry on another blog I read. It describes her first experience with Ash Wednesday service and her first Lent. You can read that here

I have tried a time or two to do something for Lent, with varying degrees of success. I don't think I got anything spiritual out of it, which defeats the whole purpose. So this year, instead of trying to "give up" something, I'm just going to focus on staying consistent in daily Bible study and prayer. Those are good goals for any time of year, not just Lent! :)

Talk to you tomorrow! :)