Thursday, December 17, 2009

for those who didn't read it on Facebook....(a.k.a. guess I should have skipped the second helping...)

My kitchen seems to have a hex on it these days. First, my electric skillet kamikazed off the counter, breaking off the handle and “foot” on one side. Next the toaster oven became, um, toast. Then the microwave bit the dust. If the expression about things coming in threes were accurate, that would have been the end of it. But last night, something else failed—rather catastrophically.

The day hadn't been going all that well anyway. I woke up with a sore throat and congestion. The cable went out (not a big deal, unless you have a telecommuting husband who needs that Internet connection to do his job). Natalie's nap was cut short when she somehow scratched her head (we still haven't figured out exactly how it happened). And so on.

I had made ribs and mashed potatoes for supper. I decided that I wanted a second helping of potatoes (hey, I'm a nursing mom! And potatoes are comfort food. I'm entitled, right?). I got up to go get them and returned to my chair to sit down.

Unfortunately, the chair (which had been a bit wobbly of late) chose that moment to fall apart completely. It was like something out of a slapstick sitcom, all happening in slow motion (at least that's how it felt to me). There was a sickening crunch of splintering wood. The chair gave way, I went down, mashed potatoes flew all over the kitchen, and Natalie and Sarah both broke into hysterical sobs of terror.

Ouch. Not to mention messy.

I consoled myself with a homemade gingerbread latte.

Anyone know a good carpenter? I have a project for him....



opportunistic blogging parents strike again

Remember this post? Sarah got stuck in a laundry basket, and I snapped a picture before rescuing her. After all, this is what a good Blogger mom does!

Last night, something similar happened. Natalie was crawling on the bed (Nelson was watching her). She fell off the side--not into the floor (Nelson would not have let her do that)--but into her own bed (a co-sleeper that attaches to ours). She got stuck, and she just looked too cute not to take a photo before rescuing her!

See? Isn't she too funny? (And she doesn't look at all unhappy about this turn of events!)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

sisterly bonding, driving in reverse, and other things

I'm going to combine several posts here. It seems easier than trying to do separate ones for everything!

Sarah is continuing to learn to read, and Nelson was able to take some pictures of her reading to Natalie the other night. You can see from the photos that both girls were really enjoying the experience! :)


Okay, so Natalie was less than interested at first...




Much better!




In the end, a good time was had by all. :) (Or rather by both, I guess I should say.)




Those on Facebook know that Natalie is mobile...in a manner of speaking. She can only go backward. She scoots all over the house, just in reverse. She often gets stuck though, under the couch or a chair or against the wall, because she just can't figure out how to go forward! She very nearly pulled herself up to standing in the tub the other night,though, so she may end up being one of those babies who skips crawling and goes straight to walking.

Here is a picture of Natalie taken today. It doesn't show her moving backward, but it's still cute! ;)





Finally, here is a photo of the deer near our house hanging out in the snow we got yesterday. Pretty! I wish we could have gotten some pictures of the snow hanging on the tree branches, but it didn't last long enough.


Friday, December 4, 2009

conversatIon in car

While driving to visit my parents yesterday, Natalie was jabbering away and waving her hands in her car seat. She was really having a great time of it. Sarah was not impressed, though. She informed me, "Mommy, Natalie is getting TOO rambunctious! She needs some self-control!"

"Hmm. Why don't you teach her that?" I responded. My tongue was planted firmly in my cheek, but this of course was lost on Sarah.

A few minutes later, Natalie had settled a bit (I think she was getting sleepy). "Mom!" Sarah exclaimed. "Natalie has self-control! I've never seen her do that before!"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sarah's reaction to Aunt Tara's maternity photos

We've been decorating for Christmas the past few days, and we've started our yearly Advent Bible study. Sarah and I have talked about Christmas being a celebration of Jesus' birthday. She is of course eager and excited.

A few minutes ago, I was browsing Tara's maternity photos. One had Tara holding a small flower near her belly. Sarah asked if that was so "the baby could smell the flower." Then she asked the million-dollar question: "Is the baby a boy or a girl?" I answered that we didn't know yet, but we would find out at Christmas (December 23 is close enough to Christmas for that to be a legitimate response, right?). Sarah's eyes grew wide and her expression puzzled. "Because the baby is Jesus?!"

Oh, dear. Didn't see that one coming! I probably should have. But now Sarah knows the right birth date for her new cousin, and that although the baby will be very special, he/she isn't on that level!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween

Friday night, Sarah, Natalie, and I went to a party at our church (Nelson had to work). Sarah dressed up in her Halloween costume (she was a bee). I put Natalie in a cheerleader outfit that Grandma and Grandpa had bought Sarah when we went to Florida.

Sarah was two when she wore this outfit. Natalie is seven months. Hmm. (To be fair, it was a little big on Natalie...but only a little.)

Saturday night, Sarah trick-or-treated in Greeneville. She is loaded up with candy and treats. Thankfully, she likes to share. :)

Here are some pictures of the girls all costumed up.

My dad took these photos, so I'm not sure what Sarah's deal was in these first two pictures...she looks like a mean bee, for sure!






Oh, much better! A happy bee!




Now a silly bee...




Still silly...




Even sillier...




Natalie in her cheerleader garb.






Natalie and Mumsy hanging out before we put her costume on.




I'm not exactly sure when this picture was taken. But doesn't she look pensive?




P.S. At a recent doctor visit, Sarah, age 5, weighed 32 lbs. Natalie, at 7 months, weighed 16 lbs. 1 oz. Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take Miss Natalie to catch up to and then bypass her big sister? :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

not smiling

I really wish I could get a good picture of Natalie smiling. Her whole face just lights up, and it's beautiful. Alas, she continues to elude my attempts with the camera. But here are some photos of her...not smiling.




Sarah is always willing to perform for the camera.




So solemn...




She's very close to being able to crawl...just hasn't quite figured it all out yet. Hey, Dad, like the UT onesie? Gotta train 'em early! :)




Sarah, very willingly smiling.




Last night, Sarah was running back and forth in the downstairs hallway. Natalie was watching this intently. She was studying it. Her eyes followed Sarah's every move. And her body would jerk every so often. You could tell that she was trying to figure out just how Sarah was doing all this running business, and how she (Natalie) could take off after her!

Oh, and you want to know how to really make Natalie cackle with laughter? One, be Sarah and jump up and down. Or two, say (with great enthusiasm), "YAY, Starbucks!" She'll always at least grin at this, but usually it's enough to make her howl with delighted laughter. Is she my girl or what? ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

quote of the day...

"I hate tough love. It hurts!" So says Sarah. :)

Out of the mouths of babes.... ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pictures

I've had pictures hanging out on the camera for awhile, needing to be transferred to the computer so they could be posted here. For some reason, I haven't gotten it done before now. And I don't remember the circumstances of all of the photos. Sigh. Oh, well--here they are anyway.

(I wish you could hear Natalie squealing and laughing right now--that would definitely be blog-worthy! I keep trying to get a picture of the HUGE, ear-to-ear grin she has on her face right now--but she stops smiling the instant the camera clicks. She starts again as soon as the picture as been snapped. I have all these pictures of a solemn baby, who was smiling and laughing a split second earlier and will be again a split second later. Sheesh.)


I think this was from when Natalie first started sitting up...




See how steady? She can even reach for toys!




Sarah likes to feed Natalie.




Should have cropped this picture...oh, well.




Anyone want to place bets on how long it will take me to get he pictures I took today on here? :-p

holy frijoles!

When Sarah was beginning to eat solids, as a first-time mom, I followed all of the "rules." We did rice cereal first, then other grains. We started with orange vegetables before green. We did veggies before fruits. I think I waited a week after each new food before introducing another. And so on and so forth. I was so afraid of doing something wrong.

I'm a bit more relaxed with Natalie. I've done a lot of just pureeing whatever happens to be in the house at the moment (or mashing it up, in the case of bananas), and we are adding new things all the time. She is a big fan of applesauce, bananas, sweet potatoes, and squash. She's not real sure yet what she thinks of avocado, carrots, or Cheerios. Teething biscuits are a hit. Tonight we're going to give peas a go. But last night she cracked me up completely with something that I did as a lark honestly.

I was making tacos last night. When I do homemade tacos, I like to have black beans seasoned with cumin and garlic. I got the idea of pulling out a few beans for Natalie to try before I seasoned the rest of the pot. I scooped some out, added the cumin and garlic to the rest, and finished up cooking. I didn't really think Natalie would go for black beans, but I figured they were easy to mash and good for her to try.

Oh, my goodness. Apparently Natalie is nuts for black beans! She absolutely scarfed them down. I could not feed her fast enough. And clearly I had NOT pulled enough beans from the pot. She had eaten the entire bowl and would kept going, but I had no more unseasoned beans to give her!

I think I'm going to nickname her "Frijolita". :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

typing with one hand

I seem to be doing that a lot lately. The other hand is always busy holding Natalie!

I know I said in the last post that the steroid regimen worked and that Natalie was getting better. Apparently I was a clueless idiot when I typed that. :-p This has been the cold from hell. She seemed to recover a bit, then she relapsed. We've run the humidifier, given Benadryl, rubbed her with Baby Vick's, sucked out her nose with a syringe, and so on. And still it went on. She coughed. She sneezed. She sniffled and snorted and gasped. She vomited mucus. But the cold wouldn't quit. It's like an uber-cold.

In addition, something (quite possibly all the mucus drainage) was causing her to make almost constant dirty diapers. I have done more laundry than I care to think about, honestly. At the worst of it her bottom got so red, sore, and irritated that it looked sunburned and she screamed every time I had to change her (which was a lot!). I have tried just about every diaper cream there is, plus a few unconventional home remedies!

Thursday was supposed to be a well-baby check-up for Natalie, but clearly she was not a well baby. Her cold has now begotten an ear infection, and she is on antibiotics. But (knock on wood!), they appear to be working. After so many days of dealing with a fussy, clingy baby, Natalie is happy and smiling--almost giddy. I can actually put her down, and she'll play instead of wail miserably. So hopefully, we're finally through the worst of it. Fingers crossed, anyway!

In other news, Sarah got a new book Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? She likes it because SHE can read it to Natalie! She is quite proud of herself. :) She also made up a cute little song the other day: "Daddy's girl...I'm a daddy's girl," she sang as she danced through the house.

Nelson's job continues to go well, and since he's working from home, he was able to take us to the doctor for Natalie's visit. My car currently has a dead battery, so this was quite essential indeed (I couldn't borrow Nelson's car; I don't know how to drive a stick shift!). We did have a snafu with his paycheck this week, and that has been VERY difficult to deal with. But we are hoping (fingers crossed again!) that it will be resolved Monday.

Please forgive any typos here--I sometimes bobble the keys with all this one-handed typing! ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

miscellany

Sigh. I keep thinking of blog posts I need to write. And I keep not having time to get them actually written, or posted, or anything. :-p

I am such a slacker blogger mom.

Natalie is now 6 months (that's half a year!) old. Wow. She is eating rice cereal, applesauce, bananas, and sweet potatoes. She enjoys sitting up and playing. She smiles and laughs (especially at her big sister! She absolutely howls with laughter when Sarah starts jumping in front of her). She does this incredibly adorable thing where she grabs my face (or Nelson's) in her hands, pulls it to her, and puts my nose or cheek in her mouth. I think it's her way of trying to kiss us! :)

She has been sick this week. Saturday she started sounding congested, so I ran the humidifier that night and kept her home from church Sunday. By Sunday evening, she was starting to sound rattly and wheezing. So Monday, I took her to the doctor. She couldn't get in with our regular pediatrician, but another doctor in the practice checked her. He told me to give her regular doses of Benadryl to clear the congestion and prescribed a steroid for the wheezing, which he said was inflammation.

I was surprised; I had never heard of giving a baby a steroid. But it worked. It stopped the wheezing, rattling noise. She is now feeling much better. (A friend of mine said her daughter had gotten inflammation like this and had steroids prescribed a couple of times as well. I guess you learn something new every day.)

I need to get pictures of Natalie sitting up posted; I also have pictures of Sarah feeding Natalie. (Awww...) But the camera batteries are low, so that will have to wait for another day and another post.

Sarah loves Natalie and loves being a big sister. Still, sometimes her reactions to other people interacting with Natalie can be quite hilarious. One day when we visited my parents, Sarah walked into the living room to find my dad holding Natalie. "Why are you holding her?" Sarah demanded. "Are you bored or something?"

One day when Natalie was being particularly fussy and clingy, I jokingly told her that I was going to go crazy and that she was the reason. Sarah informed me, "She's not a reason! She's a baby!"

I also get a kick out of watching Sarah use her imagination. She decided to ride a horse one day. She brought one of her child-sized chairs into the living room. She placed the chair legs inside two pairs of shoes--those were the horseshoes!

(Caution: stop reading here if you are offended by language. It was unintentional on Sarah's part, but language was definitely involved.)

Sarah is learning to read. We have these cards that go over word families. She was reading cards that have words ending in "it." Sarah successfully read read sit, hit, bit, fit, etc. But she got to the words that have consonant blends (flit, spit, etc.) and began having a bit more trouble sounding the words out.

You know where this is going don't you? Yep, you guessed it. In trying to read one of the words (I don't even remember which one), Sarah read, "Sh*t." I didn't tell her it was a "bad" word, of course, but I couldn't help laughing as I said, "No, look again, that's not what it says." (I laughed pretty hard though.)

In the same session, Sarah got confused trying to read "spit." And she said "p*ss." We had quite the salty reading session that night! Ah, the adventures of homeschooling....

Okay, that's all for now (how could I possibly top that, anyway?). ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the job post (looooong...)

This will be, I'm afraid, a rather long and rambling post. Unfortunately, I don't know of any other way to tell the story. Sorry. :-p

I have been fascinated with homeschooling for a very long time now. I was in college when I first had the strange, random thought that homeschooling any children I might have one day was something I wanted to consider. God had to have been the One Who put that thought in my head, because homeschooling was not even on my personal radar at the time (I was in school studying education so that I could become a public school teacher!).

When Nelson and I were first married, we spent a lot of time with a small Reform Presbyterian church in Bristol. We didn't attend there on Sunday mornings, but we went on Sunday evenings and to many of their social events. Every single family in this church homeschooled. It was a matter they felt very strongly about, and it was here where I first began to hear the biblical arguments for teaching and training one's own.

The pastor's wife gave me a homeschooling curriculum catalog from the Elijah Company. It wasn't a huge catalog, but it was absolutely chock-full of information. It contained not only summaries and reviews of various curricula the company offered but also articles on various homeschooling philosophies and methodologies. I went through that catalog from cover to cover, many times. I made notes. The pages became worn and marked up, but I still have this catalog. It is such a wealth of information. (Later on, because of the high demand for their catalog, the Elijah Company actually started charging a $5 fee to receive it. You could then get a $5 rebate on your first order. But the catalog was that good--people were willing to pay just for the privilege of getting it!)

The Elijah Company no longer sells homeschooling curricula and no longer publishes this amazing catalog. However, in 2004, they compiled some of their best articles and essays from their catalogs into a book called I Saw the Angel in the Marble. Recently, I read this book, and I enjoyed just as much as my tattered old catalog.

One of the essays covered why they chose the name Elijah Company for their business. It is a reference to Luke 1:17, which says, "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Chis Davis, the father of this homeschooling family, had left his job as a pastor to come home and raise his sons. His heart had been "turned toward [his] children", and he saw training them to be wise, godly men as his most important vocation. The main philosophy of this family was that homeschooling isn't so much about schooling as it is about home and family. He encouraged readers to pray for this spirit of Elijah to fall in their own homes and for the hearts of fathers to be turned toward children all over the nation.

I was intrigued by this idea; who wouldn't want the spirit and power of Elijah? Who wouldn't want fathers' hearts turned toward their children and disobedient hearts turned toward righteousness? Still, I honestly had no clue what it might look like in our own family. Although we were already embarking on our homeschooling adventure as I am teaching Sarah to read, and I have had two different home-based careers, I couldn't imagine how God might bring Nelson home. Although work-at-home careers geared toward women seem to abound (hence, the term WAHM, as a variant of SAHM--work-at-home mom vs. stay-at-home mom), it seems much more rare to see men or fathers working at or from home. Men "go" to their jobs. That's how it works.

When Nelson first lost his job, I thought perhaps God was calling him toward entrepreneurship, and perhaps that will be true someday. But as the months wore on, as he continued to fill out applications and send out resumes and not so much as hint of interest came back, both of us began to grow depressed and discouraged. By the end of August we had reached a breaking point. Neither of us could encourage or lift up the other, because we were both in the same dark pit. The last weekend of August I started praying fervently for some sort of miraculous breakthrough. I prayed that the next week, something would give.

I have heard it said that God is never late, but He usually isn't early either. This was certainly true in our case. He let us hit that rock-bottom point, but on Monday, August 31, He answered those desperate weekend pleas. Just as I had prayed, Nelson got a call for an interview to take place the following day.

It would be a phone interview. The company calling was in Idaho. The position would be a telecommuting one--working from home.

Because of Nelson's previous unemployments, I have a vast collection of job search sites (seriously, if you need a job in the Tri-Cities area or in IT, you should talk to me--I will gladly share my bookmarks). One of those sites, one I had truthfully never paid much to, was called Programming from Home. I honestly do not remember where I found this link; it had just been hanging out in my bookmarks folder for years. But this particular unemployment, it suddenly became the most useful link I had. The temporary job Nelson did for a month back in May/June was found using this site. Now Nelson had a job interview lined up because of an application he had filled out there as well.

Nelson started working (from home) September 7. I am still processing a lot of the aspects and ramifications of it, but it truly seems this is something God has been orchestrating for a long time. A bunch of seemingly unrelated things, over a great many years, adding up and entwining together in ways that only God could do. It really is amazing. I think perhaps the spirit of Elijah is falling in my family. I praise God for it--and for His faithfulness and provision. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a couple of quick Sarah stories

Still trying to get caught up on all the posts I've gotten behind on--at this rate, I might have them all complete sometime before 2015! (But don't hold you're breath...)

Sarah is a never-ending source of blog material. I have two stories for this post; one a sweet, touching tale and one that's just cute and funny. I think I'll start with the cute, funny one first!

I have several feather dusters that I use for cleaning. One is a small one for pictures, knickknacks, etc. One is a larger one with a longer handle. The last one isn't actually a feather duster at all, but I'm honestly not sure what the material is. It's purple and has a telescoping handle for reaching high places.

Sarah loves helping me dust, and she did so yesterday. Last night before bed, she picked up the small feather duster (because I had forgotten to put it away when we were done. Oops). She began pretending that it was a trumpet, holding the handle up to her mouth and making noises. Nelson made a comment about the trombone we have stored in the house. Sarah immediately decided that she should play the trombone instead of the trumpet. To do so, she put the small "trumpet" duster down and reached for the larger duster with the telescoping handle! After all, it's much more trombone-like. Isn't she clever? ;)

On to the more "serious" (but still very cute) story: a few days ago, Sarah was having a difficult time coping with disappointments. After two separate temper tantrums (and the consequences resulting from them), she apologized. We talked about how she could ask God to help her practice self-control since He now lived in her heart.

Apparently the conversation stuck. A couple of nights later, Sarah got a small piece of paper and a pen. She told me she wanted help writing the word thank-you; she wanted to write a note to Jesus thanking Him for helping her "not have temper tantrums anymore."

I am so humbled. God is doing amazing things in my daughter's life!

Monday, September 14, 2009

are you kidding me?!

I have posted before that I have a sensitivity to MSG and that it triggers migraines in me. Truthfully, it is more accurate to say that I have a sensitivity to glutamate, which is why I can't eat natural, organic things like brown rice and autolyzed yeast. I have learned to read labels very carefully...at least for the things that I eat.

But I discovered a whole new wrinkle in this whole glutamate-sensitivity thing. It's one I never would have expected! Part of me still can't quite believe it. :-p

I have very sensitive skin and have always had to be careful to select gentle soap products. I recently started making homemade laundry detergent (partly because I'm cheap, but partly because I like how gentle it is). I am still searching for the perfect shower soap. But my face has the perfect skin care routine. Since I was 19 years old, I have used Mary Kay's Classic skin care line. I wasn't interested when they launched the new Timewise line; I'll stick with what works, thank you! I get lots of compliments on my complexion, and the products are safe for me. (My love for the skin care line, when I had tried SO MANY other things and found them lacking, was a big part of the reason I became a consultant).

Our house has two bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. Because I prefer the upstairs bath and shower, I had all my Classic line products stored op there. The downstairs bath is a shower-only stall, and frankly I don't like it. But we are having problems with a leak from the upstairs shower, so I have been showering downstairs more and more often.

I found it difficult to fit all my skin care supplies around the tiny sink or in the limited space of the shower. And because of this, I made a terrible mistake. After 13 years of successfully using the same skin care line, I got brave and bold and decided to branch out. It took up less space! And it seemed to be okay; I wasn't having my normal irritation or breakouts.

But as the weeks wore on, I noticed something vaguely unsettling: I felt better on the days I splurged and showered upstairs. I told myself it was psychological; I preferred the upstairs bathroom, and I wasn't showering up there often because of the leak, so it was a special treat. I tried to talk myself out of this silly idea that there was any real difference.

Late last week, it occurred to me why I felt better after showering upstairs. I was getting a slight headache each day that I showered downstairs. Not a full-blown, not-me-for-a-loop migraine, but enough of a headache to be an annoyance. Now I was really convinced that it all psychosomatic; I was somehow letting my dislike of the downstairs shower make my head hurt!

But quite by accident, I stumbled across the actual cause. I still can't quite believe it. But there on the ingredients list of the moisturizer I was using downstairs was glutamic acid. Unbelievable. But apparently I was absorbing just enough traces of glutamate through my skin to cause a slight headache! Sheesh.

So now add reading toiletry ingredients' list to my things to do. And yes, I am absolutely back to using my Classic Mary Kay...even if I shower downstairs. Lesson learned.

I just had to learn it the hard way. :-p

we have a sitter! and an eater!

We've had many blog-worthy moments in life, but since I haven't gotten them posted, some are forgotten. :( Sigh. I will try to share those things that I still actually remember though!

First of all, we have a sitter! Natalie can now sit independently. :) She is having a GREAT time with this! She likes being able to sit and play and really see what all's going on around her.

Natalie is also eating a little bit of applesauce in addition to her nightly rice cereal and her enthusiastic nursing. Right now, she's not quite sure what to do with the applesauce. More of it ends up on her clothing than in her mouth. :) And the very first time I fed it to her, she got teary-eyed and looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, "Why are you torturing me, Mommy?" But we're slowly making progress. :) Sweet potatoes to come next!

True confession: the following pictures are not of Natalie actually sitting by herself. They are from August, and she is propped up on the couch. I've taken shots of Natalie sitting alone; I just haven't uploaded them from the camera to the computer. I know, I know; bad blogger mommy. Sorry. But hopefully these will do until I actually get the real thing off the camera!







I will also post the story of Nelson's job acquisition. I want to get it all recorded, because it's neat how God provided (and when). But I think I'm too tired to be that deep right now. ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

so behind...

I have soooo many posts to write and get uploaded here. But for now, I will simply keep it short and sweet: Nelson starts a new job Tuesday!!!!

Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Details to come! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sittin' pretty

This post is waaaay overdue. I transferred these pictures from the camera to the computer the same day as the pictures of Sarah's beauty shop play. Just haven't gotten them posted. Life gets busy.

But...better late than never. Here they are, at long last!


Natalie loves the Exersaucer.




Doesn't she look like she's concentrating hard?




Sarah chose this bunny for Natalie. Natalie "talks" to it sometimes as she snuggles it.




Natalie isn't sitting up quite yet...but she's close, as this picture shows.




Love that smile!




Awww...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sarah the beautician

Sarah has a play beauty shop that has been seeing quite a lot of action the last couple of days. The neighbor has fixed Sarah's hair, Sarah has fixed Barbie's hair, and Sarah even has had a go at fixing MY hair! The results have been comical...I don't think we'll start any new style trends. ;)

Some of the pictures are a little out of whack because Sarah was actually the photographer. She hasn't quite mastered how to aim the camera just yet!


Sarah's new 'do...




Barbie's new style...




You can't really see it well (told you Sarah wasn't the best at aiming the camera), but here is my new look...




Another shot of my rats' nest, er, hairstyle...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sarah says...

I've had a couple of blog-worthy conversations that I haven't been able to get posted yet. One is from several weeks ago; the other is more recent. I'll start with the older one first.

One of our neighbors lives alone in a large house on quite a large spread of property. His wife passed away a few years ago, so it's just him and his vehicles and his cows. Sarah has no concept of a grown man not having a wife, and one day when we were talking, she asked where Mrs. L was. I told her that Mrs. L had died. "Mr. L misses his wife," Sarah said mournfully. She paused, then added brightly, "He still has his cows though!"

Last Friday evening, we visited my parents. My dad sometimes enjoys watching those animal documentary shows, and one about elk was playing on the TV. Two male elk were duking it out, antlers clashing, etc. Sarah asked why they were doing that. Dad responded that they both wanted to be king, but only one of them could be, so they were fighting for it.

Finally, one elk triumphed and the other ran off in defeat. "That one's king!" Sarah exclaimed, then asked if the other got to be queen. "Um, no, it doesn't work like that," Dad answered. He never got any further than that though, because on the screen King Elk was immediately exercising the rights of royalty by, um, mounting a female elk. It happened so fast that there was no time to look away, change the channel, distract Sarah, or anything. Sarah's eyes grew wide. Her reaction? "He scared his wife!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

July photos

I'm not sure why, but we don't have very many photos from the month of July. But here are a few of the ones we do have.

From the 4th of July...






Natalie








Sarah played photographer and took a TON of pictures this month...but most of them were of random things like the TV or a chair. ;)

p.s. on baptism

Jesus said that we are to have "childlike" faith, which would indicate that it is more than possible to believe in Jesus and be saved as a young child. Still, parts of Sarah's participation in the baptism ritual reinforced the fact that she IS still a child, with very childlike tendencies! It made for some humorous moments.

I mentioned in the previous post that our pastor does a brief interview prior to baptism, with questions such as "Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins?" Sarah was emphatically answering "Yes!" to his questions. When he said, "But Jesus isn't still dead, is He?" she automatically responded "Yes" to that as well! :) She caught herself immediately, but it was still pretty funny!

After Sarah's Q & A, Bobby moved on to talk with the others who would be baptized that evening. He also gave an opportunity for others to share anything God was doing in their lives. There was an awkward pause, as people are often very uncomfortable speaking up for things like this. Not Sarah! She marched up to the microphone. Surprised, Bobby asked her what she wanted to say. But she didn't actually want to say anything. She was just getting impatient with all this talking and wanted to get on with the baptism! At the end of the day, she is still a four-year-old with the attention span that goes along with it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

baptism

Prior to the baptism, Bobby asks questions, such as, "Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins?" This is Sarah answering those questions.






Now for the video. I'm so glad that modern technology allows me to share this. It was such a sweet, profound moment.


video

good news!

Don't worry, Jess and Tara, the July photos will come. :) But I'm going to go out of order a bit to cover the more important blog post first!

On August 9, we had Natalie's dedication service. It had been planned far in advance, and it was going to take place at our annual potluck and baptism service. My parents were planning to attend, and it even worked out that Nelson's parents could be there.

The day before the event, Sarah heard us talking about the baptisms that would take place in addition to the baby dedications. She was immediately interested, saying she would like to be baptized. I told her baptism wasn't something we did for fun or because we wanted to get in the water or anything; it meant something--something important. And we went on to talk about sin and punishment and Jesus' death paying for our sins and forgiveness and new life. We talked about how Jesus would live in her heart and help her to obey Him.

Sarah insisted she understood. And she prayed to God about all of the above. I told her we would need to talk with the pastor on Sunday morning. He would have the final say as to whether she was "ready" to be baptized or not.

Sunday morning Sarah told our pastor that she wanted to be baptized. He asked her why, and she responded, " Because Jesus has been working on my heart!" He talked with her alone for quite awhile, and when they were finished, Bobby said that Sarah was absolutely ready for baptism and would be a participant in the evening's service! :)

If Sarah had wanted, Nelson could have baptized her, but she opted for Bobby to do it. Nelson took video of the event, which I will *try* to upload in the next post.

But in a time that has been all around discouraging, this was the best possible ray of hope! In the grand scheme of life and eternity, this is far more important than jobs or whatever. :) So we are praising God for working on Sarah's heart, even so young! :)

And Natalie has not been forgotten. We have pictures of her dedication as well. :) And we pray that God will work on her heart even from an early age too!


Before the dedication service...Natalie hanging with Grandma...




Natalie being dedicated...(we were outside at a local park, if you are wondering about the casual attire...)




Baptism pics (and hopefully video!) to come!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

some June photos

Just random pictures...no particular order and no commentary. :)