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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Day of PreK




We're now into our fall routines...and it's 102 degrees outside.

Crazy.

Actually, this week hasn't been too bad with an ever so slight breeze outside. It's been fairly chilly in the low 90's.

Jonah started PreK yesterday! Last year he went to Mother's Morning Out twice a week and this was the face of an excited three-year-old on his first day of breaking free from Mama's apron strings....


So precious.

(Note the high-protein/low-carb breakfast. I'm pretty sure he ate more than just sausage. Maybe.)

This is the face I got yesterday from an experienced four-year-old who knows practically everything one needs to know about life in general....


I'm serious. That is the face he gave me. I used my best high-pitched "Aren't you excited!!!!????!!!" and he gave me that.

(I'm glad to see that in addition to sausage this year, we have cinnamon toast and cheese grits. Good to see we're back on the carbs again.)

Later on, he got a little more into it...


"Inja" Style
[Click here if you need more explanation.]


Oh yeah, baby! We're excited now!


Finally, a serious one to appease Mommy.

Good friends of our's told us to pick a spot in your house and use that same spot to take the "First Day of School" pic every year so you can see how they've grown. This is said after raising two boys. Their youngest had his "Last First Day of School" pic this year. I'm pretty sure the facial expression was probably the same as Jonah's breakfast picture.


Gosh, he's so big! And yes, that's the same bookbag. It was practically unused so we're using it again. And note that we're going to Lunch Bunch this year! I'm telling you, the boy's pretty much grown.

He was nervous getting in the car. How could I tell?


Every toy had to come with us. Last year, everyday at the same red light we would pray for Jonah's day. This year, we reached the same red light and I asked him if he would like me to pray for his day. He nodded.


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 



I snuck a picture. Don't you just love that he's big and tough and Mommy is absolutely insane to take a picture at breakfast but it's completely normal to stroke Lovie's ears when you're nervous and want to pray? I love it. Big...but not too big....yet.

After we prayed, he was all smiles.

He said, "Mommy, I'm SO excited about my big day!"
     "I am too, Buddy."
     "Why are you excited? It's not your big day, it's my big day."
Gotcha. Still all about you.

He went right on in and had a blast! And he left every single toy in the car...after kissing and hugging Lovie good-bye, of course. Did Mommy get a kiss and a hug? No. {sigh} Oh, well. I'll make him when he goes off to college if I have to tackle him in the dorm and sit on top of him in front of the whole hall. Just you wait.

This morning, everything was back to normal...

...including a Pop Tart for breakfast in the car and pulling up about 5 minutes late. It's gonna be a great year. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Substitute Blogging

Starting tomorrow, we officially begin our fall routines with Jonah's first day of Pre-K which means back to blogging ritual. I think. Yeah, I'm pretty sure.

If I had blogged in the past TWO MONTHS it would've looked a lot like this....


Please enjoy. I about wet my pants reading about my own life. Stephanie, you have a gift. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Significant Summer: An Update- Spiritual Goals

Summer consists of inconsistency for me. Can you tell? Every year I determine that we're going to get so much accomplished and every year, the enemy whispers that I've failed. Well, it may seem that way, but I have not! Here are just a few of the things we've been doing....

....Okay, could someone please remind me how to hook up my camera to the computer to share pictures? Good grief! Has it really been that long???!!!!

Seriously. That's never a good sign.

Well, one of my spiritual goals was to have a family devotion all together every day. This is a challenge because Bear sometimes leaves at 4:30 a.m. and sometimes he's here until 9:00 and we never know what the next day will be like. I once read in Beth Moore's Feathers From My Nest how she used index cards to help with her family's devotions. The Scripture for the day would be there and each family member signed his/her name both acknowledging that they had accomplished their quiet time for the day but also promising to live it out. If it can work for Beth I figured it could work for us, right? After all, you  know we're tight...Beth and I.

[Crazy thing- I actually wrote this post last week but forgot to schedule it to post up on the blog. Beth wrote about her index cards on her blog yesterday! Crazy, huh? What are the odds? I'm taking it as a little pat on the back from God...and encouragment to keep it up.]
I started with this-


I love related Scripture and could follow a bunny trail forever but apparently, four year olds don't cross-reference. (This was from the day/week/month that we worked on our attitudes and I got my SSMT verse.) So I thought I'd use all of these Scriptures for our entire week. You know, one per day. Nothing huge. Um, not gonna happen. I've now settled on this approach-


One verse.

One illustration for those non-readers in our house...and I'm not necessarily talking about those under 30 either.

One topic.

Many weeks. This one we began about two weeks ago. It came from my study that I'm doing with some mother/daughter pairs from our youth group.....loving that. Jonah and I have been talking about how we're God's treasured possession so we should our behavior should reflect that. I'm about to move on with this concept and talk about treasuring what He treasures. Any Scripture suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)

So far, this has worked really well. It's posted up on our fridge so I can refer to it constantly throughout our day. I'm thinking our next verse we're going to memorize with hand motions. Yeah. Definitely.

Another spiritual goal of our's was to help serve lunches to kids in our community with the Fish4Kids program once a week. That has been my absolute favorite part of this summer! We've been up there several times each week handing out about 175 lunches each day.


Jonah loves to go door-to-door. He knocks on each one and instead of yelling "Fish4Kids!" he hollers, "This is for kids!" I tried to let him know that we're not passing out Trix cereal and that we're actually saying "Fish4Kids" so that the people will know who's at the door. I got the oh-so-frequent-mom-doesn't-have-a-clue look and he responded, "Yeah. This (holding up the lunch) is for kids."

Is anyone else's four-year-old getting a little too big for his britches lately? I think that's all I do around here. Anyways.....

We haven't had any family theme nights yet. I worked out a deal with our neighbors of us watching each other's kids on Thursdays and alternating every other week for free babysitting/date nights. I was going to do our theme night when Carter and Riley Kate could join us but we haven't been able to get it together yet. I thought it would keep the kids entertained while they're over here. Once we finally get that together I'll post pictures of how it went.

How's your "Significant Summer" going?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Significant Summer: An Update- Relational Goals


Okay, okay. I know what you're thinking.

"Wasn't one of her relational goals to post here at least three times a week?"

Yes.

"Wasn't her last post dated June 5?"

Yes.

"Isn't this June 22?"

Yes.

But I've really been having a significant summer! I've got all the details written and saved so you can read about them as they post this week. I decided to start with my area that needs the most improvement.

Relational goals.

I am not a phone person. I've tried and tried to be but I'm just not. Some of my friends know this about me and gladly accept it as part of my flawed, quirky self and love me anyways. But when it comes to new people, they occasionally get their feelings hurt if I don't call and check up on them from time to time.

My husband? Great phone person. I used to think that girls were the phone hoarders but he does an exceptional job holding members of our small group accountable, catching up with friends we have living all over the country, etc. Of course, he's in a truck all day long driving around Metro-Atlanta and has banned radio from his truck so he needs something to do.

I'm relieved that he's started calling people because he used to use that time to memorize Scripture. He would have about 10-20 index cards filled with verses all across his speedometer, dash, and lower windshield. At one point, he was memorizing John.

Yes, John.

The book.

I can just picture that conversation with the police officer now. "Um, yes. Officer? The reason I plowed into the back of ___________ was because...well, you see....I'm memorizing the eigth chapter of John. If you could just hold this Bible for me and double-check, I'll show you how far I've gotten." Yeah....

Anyways- I digress. So blogging for me has been better than the phone. I just don't want it to get like my phone habits because there's something so special about our little world here, you know? The encouragement and connectivity I get from living out your lives via pictures and stories is priceless. Knowing that I'm not the only mom who doesn't have it all together keeps me going. Knowing that there are other women out there who love Christ with everything they have yet struggle with worldly desires inspires me to battle on. Even though I may not be writing, I sure am reading. Whether it be a quick scan of pictures or reading on my phone while filling up with gas, I'm there. So I hope y'all don't quit posting! :)

On to my next two goals:

1. Calling my sister every other day.

This has lengthened to a few times a week but I'm very proud of myself on this one. (See above.) I try not to call her earlier than 9:00 and be her daily alarm. I also try not to dominate every conversation with my hair. (For those of you who don't know, Katie is a crazy-gifted hair stylist and cuts my hair. She also is crazy-gifted with make-up, coloring hair, and all things trendy. And she's stuck with me: a 30-year-old "Old Soul", as she's labled me, who has an education background and struggles with the love of appliqued sweaters and wooden teacher jewelry. Just imagine the dynamics there.)

2. Date night with Bear twice a month.

Hmmmmmm....yeah. Um, does the Free Friday Concerts in Downtown Monroe count? With kids? And Katie and Cobb? And our neighbors? And their kids? And the entire rest of the town? Then, yes! We've had one.

Actually, I had a free babysitting scheme planned with our neighbors. They watch our kids one Thursday and we'll take theirs the next. Sounds great, right? Apparently, us and the Hodges have extremely demanding social calendars. We just can't get our Thursday nights....or any nights for that matter....together! Hopefully, this week is it. Oh, wait. That's tomorrow. Well, maybe. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Becky, who started this whole Significant Summer for me, asked for updates a while back on her blog. Here are her posts. What are y'all doing for your Significant Summer?

Monday, May 16, 2011

SSMT #10

I have no idea how this happened but I have 11 verses in my Scripture spiral. According to Beth, this is verse #10. Hmmm.....I always knew I was gifted. :)

"Fools vent their anger but the wise quietly hold it back." Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)

This verse was our first family worship time to kick-off our Significant Summer. I chose it for our devotional because Esther Grace is having biting issues and Jonah is struggling to tolerate it. I thought it would be good for them. During our morning, Jonah's face lit up and he proudly exclaimed,
    
"Oh, Mommy! This verse is really good for you to not lose your temperature!"

Yep. Temperature.

So naturally, if my four-year-old clearly recognizes the need for this in my life, I've got to memorize it.

Our Signifcant Summer's off to a great start!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Significant Summer

This past Wednesday, we wrapped up our BSF study of Isaiah with Sharing Day. Oh, what a wrap up it was! So many women testified to what God had done in their lives through this study and I soaked it all in. We sang "To God Be The Glory" and it's true...great things He hath done.

The last chapter in Isaiah describes what Isaiah's been describing all year: a future of promise or peril, judgement or hope, reconciliation or retribution. For those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, their future is one of productivity and fruitfulness. For those who reject Him as Lord, eternity is dismal. In our last lecture of the year, we were challenged to not allow our lives to end as abruptly as the book of Isaiah does but rather to persist in our growth with Christ. My mind drifted to this summer and how I desire a time of productivity and fruitfulness for my family.

Yes, many pool days.
Yes, many naps.
But also purpose.

Becky, who writes one of my FAVORITE blogs that I follow, is doing just this with her summer. I've never met her in person but we are sisters in Him. :) I struggle with organization and the Lord knew exactly what kind of structure I needed when he led her to write her most recent posts. I've now got three topics to help organize my intentions. Here are my personal goals for a significant summer:

Spiritual Goals:

1. Have a family theme night twice a month. (Sort of like a mini-VBS. I found some great ideas to get me started here. Maybe I'll venture out and plan my own by August.)

2. Start each day with morning worship and a devotional as an entire family. (I've got some ideas on how to include everyone since Bear's day sometimes starts at 5:00 a.m.)

3. Help serve lunches to needy children in our community through our church's outreach program, Fish4Kids, once a week.

Physical Goals

1. Run twice a week. (I'm not sure exactly how far, how long, or even where...but running none the less.)

2. Complete at least one segment of my kickboxing video twice a week. (Probably not the same days as the running....)

3. Clean out the closets in our house. (We have GOT to get some organization down somewhere!)

Relational Goals:

1. Have a date night with Bear twice a month. (This may sound very limited but it's better than what we've been doing! I've also got a scheme going to try and get free babysitting.)

2. Call my sister at least every other day. (Crazy as it sounds, before the twins sometimes we went weeks/months without talking! I have LOVED spending time with her while she stays at our parents' house. She went back home yesterday and I already miss her. I figured every day may overwhelm her and I don't want to spoil my chances of her moving out here so I'm going to try to restrain myself.)

3. Blog at least twice a week. (I've missed y'all too!)

Who's with me? Anyone else want a fruitful and productive summer? Tell me what you're planning!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Jonah the Jumpin' Bean

Jonah turned 4 on March 27 and we celebrated at "Pump It Up" in Athens. I went the easy route and didn't have it at our house this year. The kids had a blast! (And from the pictures, I think the dads did too.) I had forgotten my camera...and it's still missing!...but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought theirs. Thanks Uncle Josh & Aunt Allison!


 Jonah with the battering ram. I mean, is there a better way to say "Thank you for coming to my party" than to whap each guest with love? I didn't think so.


Papa, Bear's dad, and Landon wrestling it out.


Zach, Bear's best friend, and his two daughters, Lowen and Liesl.


This picture cracks me up.




Does anyone see a trend? I think we're getting Papa a season pass for his next birthday. :) He just loves his grandbabies!





This is Mr. "Rhino", our neighbor. He's Carter & Riley Kate's dad. His real name is Ryan but when you have a dad with the name Bear, everyone ends up getting animal names.


Sister did not miss a beat!



Here are my mother-in-laws. Grammy, Bear's stepmom (but we don't like that word) is on the left and Grandma (Bear's mom) is on the right. Grandma's holding Jillian, Jonah's newest cousin at the time and I've got Molly Kate.


See what I mean about the dads loving it?





Cake Time! Jonah requested a superhero cake. When I asked for clarification as to which superhero he wanted, he said, "All of them!" But of course.



It's family tradition to steal a fingerful of icing. That one's passed down from Papa himself.




I told you Sister didn't miss a beat!



Landon and Liesl...don't you love her pearls?


 It was a great day! The best part? The way all the kids (and dads) napped afterwards. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SSMT #9

I bet you thought I'd quit, didn't you? Nope! I have no idea what happened to my 7th verse but I did have one. I just never shared. It was for April 1 and no, it wasn't my version of an April Fool's joke. I just looked at my post history and that was during my unintended month long hiatus from blogging. Goodness! Well, here's #7:

"A wise woman strengthens her family but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does."
Proverbs 14:1 (NCV)

I just posted about verse 8 and it's that time again. Mem-o-ry Verse Num-ber Ni-i-i-i-ine. (Imagine me singing that to the tune "Love Potion Number Nine" with a head bobble and a bit of shoulder action.)

"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)

I almost got to live this one out today and it's only May 2. On my way to Snellville today, I passed a green van with a man standing out front holding a white posterboard sign. It read "FAMILY IN NEED OF FOOD AND GAS TO GET HOME" in marker scrawled handwriting. I was on the phone with Bear and asked him if I should turn around and help them. Normally I wouldn't put myself or my kids in jeopardy if we're alone without Bear but this van had a woman and two kids in the back. What was the harm? He said it was my call. By the time we finished our conversation, I was right in front of my intended destination so I pulled in and ran my errand thinking that I'd get some gas for them on my way back. I had no cash but there was a QuickTrip almost directly across the street from the stranded van. I could tell them I was getting them gas and see if they had enough to pull into the gas station with me so I could fill up their car.

When we all piled back in the car, Jonah asked me if we were going to stop and help that family. I told him that's exactly what we would do. As I got within seeing distance of the vehicle, I noticed that the police had stopped. I was a bit relieved thinking that God had provided me with a little reassurance that I was doing the right thing. As I merged into the turning lane, I noticed four BIG guys in handcuffs sitting along the curb. What? The policemen were wearing latex gloves and searching the green van that I could've sworn had just been carrying a family of four minutes earlier. One of the men had a ponytail and it was high on his head. I had mistaken him for a woman when I drove by earlier and the other two heads in the back I had just automatically credited to being the two children of the needy family.

Isn't that crazy how I was so deceived?! And I was so excited about living out my generosity so that a needy family could praise God and give Him thanksgiving. I even had gotten my little SSMT spiral out so that I could share with them why I had stopped. Bummer. I guess I could've stopped and shared anyway but from the look on the police officers' faces, it wouldn't have been a good time. Jonah was bummed too. His little innocent world had been shattered. He kept asking me why the police thought the family were bad guys and didn't understand that it wasn't a family at all. He was so excited to get to help someone and practice what we talk about. Did I mention that the police had several wooden clubs and trash bags full of who knows what out of the van and laid them out on the pavement?

I'm still on the lookout! I've got to be ready on every occasion. I'd just prefer no blunt objects or trash bags to hide the bodies please.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Jonism: A Blogging Revival?

Over the past week, Jonah's added to his strange individualistic vocabulary. Hopefully, he'll keep me in abundant supply of blogging material since I've been rather at a loss lately. (Well, it's not really material per se as it has been time.)

He has a small blemish on his right cheek. I tried to inspect it one night during bath time because it looked like a bug bite to me. He greatly protested and said, "Mommy! Leave my flickle alone!"


That's right. A flickle. Not a pimple. Not a freckle. But a flickle.

His tastes have also graduated now that he's four. I guess you grown-up taste buds accompany grown-up acne. He doesn't like just plain, old vanilla ice-cream anymore. Now, he prefers it covered in hot swudge swauce. (Always said with a swirly flourish of his hand as if he's swooping a Dairy Queen cone with the perfect swirly finish, much to his father's chagrin.)


Must get that from his Mama. His sister shares the same inherited trait.


I picked him up from preschool the other day and he informed me that one of the boys in his class was absent that day.
     "Hmmm, do you think he was sick?" I inquired.
     "Oh Mommy, yes! He has pig eye!"
     "Pig eye?"
     "Yes. It's when your eyes get pink like a pig's and they're really itchy."


I'm not so sure my hopes and dreams for medical school will play out.

I saved the best for last. Just when you think my child is destined for a minimum wage job that requires absolutley no verbal skills whatsoever, he goes and says....

At BSF the other day, Jonah's class was talking about how Jesus is called many different things in Scripture. He's known as Messiah, Christ, Savior, God's Son, etc. Jonah's hand shot up. (When his teacher was telling me this story, my brain immediately thought, "There is noooooo tellin'..." at this exact moment.)
     "Yes, Jonah?" the teacher asked.
     "Jesus has LOTS of nicknames."

If not an MD, than maybe a teacher of the Word?

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Double Portion

[Posted with permission from my sister. For an even more beautiful account with breathtaking pictures, go to Stephanie's post. You'll need an exuberant amount of tissue for either.]

Well, I've been absent for far too long. I've missed all of my blogging sisters and I've missed sharing in your lives and love for the Lord! Gosh. I've missed you.

Some of you already know, but my sister lost both of her twins this week. She developed an infection that caused her body to go into labor. They stopped the labor but the infection had already spread causing her entire womb to be infected. The only choice to save her was to birth the babies at 21 weeks gestation. It was the most tragic and the most beautiful thing I believe I will ever witness.

Before delivering, we had a strong prayer time. We beseeched our living & active God to come into the room and completely heal Katie. We asked in confidence for a closed cervix & restored amniotic sacs. We asked for the infection to be cast out and for her fever to disappear in Jesus' Name. I know that God was in that room. I know that Jesus Christ Himself was with us. We fully expected for our prayers to be specifically answered. When they checked Katie, Sailor was already in the process of being born. God answered in a way that we didn't understand. Katie said it best when she said in the silence of the room, "Well. I asked God to take my infection away. The babies are the infection. He's taking the babies."


Sailor Marie Cobb was born at 11:37 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. Maundy Thursday. Sailor never spent a moment here on earth.

Ryder Hunt Cobb was born at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, April 22. Good Friday. If anyone knows what it's like to lose a son, especially on that day, it's God. He was born alive and his heart continued to beat for about 2 hours after he entered this world. What I saw in those moments was breathtaking. Katie scooped that baby up and became the BEST mother I've ever seen. Her strength was indescribable. She set aside her own emotions and with every bit of her being loved that baby. I still can't even begin to imagine how in the world she did it.

Yes, I can. Jesus.

Medically speaking, Katie will make a complete recovery. Her womb will be completely healed and she is physically able to be a mother in the time she chooses. I praise God for that restoration.

Emotionally speaking, Katie has a hard road ahead of her. I don't even know what it will entail but God has surrounded her with friends that have experienced the very same thing and she has their comfort and wisdom.

Spiritually speaking, Katie will never be the same. None of us will.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (emphasis mine)

The Cobb/Jarvis/Keeling family shared something incredible and God is knitting our hearts together in a way that we could never do on our own. His Presence with us is such a mighty thing. My SSMT verse a couple of times ago was Colossians 2:2-3...

"My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches of understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Who knew how true that would be..... We don't have full understanding of the mystery of God but we do have full understanding of the knowledge of that mystery. I hope that makes sense. We don't understand it but we understand knowing it. And I'm completely okay with not understanding it because He does.

My next SSMT verse is my prayer for Katie, Ryan, and our whole family. Please join me.

"Instead of shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours." Isaiah 61:7 (NIV) (emphasis mine)




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Randomness

So I've been neglectful as of late and really for no reason. We've been in a whirlwind but for the life of me, I don't really know what we've been doing. Just life, I guess. Esther Grace is in that phase where you can't let her out of your sight for a second and when it gets quiet you should be scared. Very scared. Which probably explains why I haven't been able to sit down at the computer and post. I usually do it during naptime, before they get up, or after they go to bed but that's when I've been doing all my motherly duties. Let's face it- we need clean underwear.

Anyways- Jonah's birthday was great! :) He's so big now....four, you know....and he doesn't let me forget it for one second. His party is this Saturday and I plan on taking pictures and posting about it before he turns five. I also had my very first parent-teacher conference this week as a parent. They're much more stress free on that side of things!

I heard this new song on the radio yesterday and LOVED it. I'm pretty sure it was the introduction by the boys' choir that did me in. Yep. Definitely. I can't find it on the free playlist website where I get my songs so I just embedded the cheesiest video I've probably ever seen. Ignore the visual and focus on the audio please. I think I loved it so much because I studied Isaiah 55 this week and it was rambling in my brain while driving.  Don't forget to pause my player at the bottom of the page!



“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. " Isaiah 55:1-2 

What have you been listening to lately? Any favorites? I think we can all agree that while "Our God is Greater" is an incredible song, I'm getting a bit tired of overplaying it. Let's take a break and share in your favorites too. I'll search and try to add them to my list. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Does 3 Look Like?

Take a good looooong look......


....'cause this is the last time Jonah will ever be three in his whole life. Tomorrow, this cat turns four!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SSMT #6

It's that time again! This time, I really wanted a short verse so I chose Hebrews 10:35.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."

Simple. Sweet. To the point. But it's not without reason. The entire passage preceeding this verse talks about the endurance and commitment we have when we first embrace Christ and His commands. Knowing that we are being called to live counter-cultural lives in light of my Isaiah study this year and Bear's India trip, I thought this would be a good verse to cling to when facing opposition from those who may not understand. I wanted to also remember the reference of Hebrews 10 so I'll know where to turn during those times and focus on God's Truth rather than my surrounding circumstances. Perfect, right? I thought so too.

I logged on to the Siesta blog and went to post my verse. Then, I read this and God completely changed my heart. So now, instead of a simple one-liner to jumpstart my mind on a larger reference, I'm memorizing not one but two verses.

"My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches of understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Colossians 2:2-3 (The NET Bible)

While I was reading Beth's post, He just whispered to me that this is the perfect prayer for any future opposition. Not that I will firmly stand up underneath it but that He will knit our hearts together in love and that we will be encouraged to continue following Him so that we may know have full understanding of the mysteries He has for us. Our treasures lie in Christ alone and He is the only source of all wisdom and knowledge. It may not be a simple, sweet, straight to the point journey.

After all, Bear and I are completely clueless as to what He's even calling us to do! But we know that He's preparing our hearts for something and it won't be what we expect. It may be complicated and not fit into our current structure of life (like memorizing two verses when I'm really only supposed to pick one each time), but He is faithful and will reveal all the riches of complete obedience when we get there.

Until then, I guess I'm memorizing two verses.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh No, She Didn't!

Imagine the above being said with my head shaking from side to side, hand on hip, snapping across my body. I'm channeling Ghana right now. Apparently, our prayers are working because Stephanie has fully immersed herself into the culture. Please read Exhibit A.....


Now that you've collected yourself, you can also read about her visit to the orphanage and preaching at Faith Gospel Church.

The scary part.....this makes me want to go next year SO badly!

[Monday, March 14]

What they will be doing:

Visiting the Cape Coast Slave Castle

How you can pray:

Pray that they will reflect on the fact that they too were once slaves to sin, but because of the glorious work of God we are now slaves to righteousness. Pray for opportunities for us to share stories of our freedom with others. (Romans 6:6-23)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Okay- Bear's back from India safe and sound but now we've got Round 2: Ghana. (I seriously had to restrain myself from titling this post "Ghan to Ghana". It's that bad over here.) Stephanie's headed there tonight for 12 days and she needs our prayer cover! Her husband, David, went to India with Bear. I swear, I'm the only one not getting a stamp on my passport this year.


I'll be posting updates on my Facebook profile from their itinerary as well as here on occasion. Here's Thursday's schedule:

[Thursday, March 10th]

What they will be doing today:

Traveling. They will leave for the Atlanta airport at 6:55 p.m. and their flight is scheduled to depart at 9:50 p.m. They'll arrive in Accra, Ghana tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 p.m.

How you can pray:

Pray that they will do as Christ commanded and boldly "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15)

Pray that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and [their] minds in Christ Jesus" as they travel. (Philippians 4:7).

Pray that "when [they] lie down, [they] will not be afraid; when [they] lie down, [their] sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3:24)

Let's pray that God does a mighty work, not only in the hearts of the men and women in Ghana but also in Stephanie's heart as she seeks His direction. Thank you, Prayer Warriors!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Advances in Parenting

I feel like I haven't had the freedom to post about random things because of Bear being in India and the importance of being his prayer cover. My friend, and unofficial family photographer, Stephanie is going to Ghana on Thursday and I'll be on duty once again so I'm taking advantage of this window to catch you up on the latest advances in parenting.

Occasionally we'll get magazines in the mail that we apparently unofficially subscribed to once I birthed children. One Step Ahead is one of these publications. It's a catalog of all things new to the parenting arena...especially those that are supposed to make our job "easier". I always get a kick out of what I see, especially in the safety category. Like first-time parents aren't freaked out enough without actual products to validate them?

For instance, what is your first reaction when you see this?

Kid at the morgue, anyone? Did you know that if children don't sleep in the appropriate position that it can lead to all sorts of health problems and even....death??!! Whose toddler sleeps like that?! Jonah flops around like a fish out of water whenever he sleeps with us so I know he's not sleeping in the "appropriate position". Someone call DFACS. And this?


This is a tube to test if items would choke a child. It's the same size as a child's airway so you can see if the item will lodge itself as a choking hazard. Really? You can't look at a pair of dice and think, "Hmmmm, maybe my infant shouldn't eat these?" Of course, I've had "Pregnancy/Nursing Brain" and wouldn't underestimate anything that a new, sleep-deprived mother would forget. But still, let's give us a little credit.

One of my personal favorites is this little gem-


Is that kid not just set up for embarrassment come high school or what? He's got on a helmet and knee pads. Because crawling can be such a contact sport. I can see this in the football program senior ad right next to the five-point racing harness with full roll bar in his first car. What I don't get is the same publication that markets the above to fear-driven parents is the same publication that sees fit to also sell....


Shouldn't these items come with a helmet? Do you see how much air that kid on the trampoline is getting? He's about to flip over that little handlebar thingy! Right now I know that those who know us best are thinking, don't Bear & Kristen have those things? No, we don't. Who needs them when your Daddy is the ultimate jungle gym?


(I know we have better pictures than this one but it's the only one I could find on the computer. That's Bear holding Jonah up over his head. I wish it was full length but you get the idea.)

I'm not saying that this magazine isn't a total loss. I'd love to equip every bathroom with one of these babies.


I can't count the times that we've had an indoor snowfall since Esther Grace has gone mobile. Notice how these parents have deterred their toddler from unraveling the toilet paper but not from scribbling on the walls. Or is that wallpaper? This entire post has been leading up to the one thing that disgusts baffles me the most. It is labled as a BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (yes, all one word like that). It replaces those little blue bulbs you get in the hospital.


Ewwwwww. As first time parents, our nurse at the hospital emphasized in an extremely forceful manner that we were to NEVER under any circumstances blow air into Jonah's nose while clearing his nasal cavaties (i.e. getting his boogers out). You are ONLY to suck air out with that little blue bulb. So what, I ask you, is this woman doing? Ewwwwww. Here's the description with my own commentary added:

Looks Weird [Ya think?], Works Wonderfully!
Would we carry this if it wasn't totally amazing? [Well, I've seen the rest of your magazine, so yeah.]  This parent-powered aspirator clears stuffy noses more effectively (and less invasively) than any bulb or gadget we've tested. And YES it's hygienic: it's physically impossible to draw goop up the tube. [Suuuure. Ever heard of a straw?] Unlike other versions, [There are other versions?!] it uses tissues, not replacement filters. Choose Blue or Crystal. Dishwasher safe. For health reasons, we can't accept returns on opened packages. [I thought you said this thing was hygienic?]

There's even a customer review...

"It really works. It's just amazing! I'm going to tell everyone I know about this product and buy them as baby shower gifts."
-Pauls Valley, OK

If we ever have another kid, remind me to never invite anyone from Pauls Valley, OK.
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