"Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas






Eating sugar cookies


They were better than he made them look. :)



Playing the part of Little Boy Jesus when the wisemen came to visit. 



He did such a good job!

Happy Birthday, Jesus. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa Claus, three Kings, okay . . .

To start out, I am sure I am not the first person to see how much Christmas is NOT about Christ these days. Walking around in stores and seeing the different Christmas options--okay, lots of reindeer, Santas, wreaths, trees, gingerbread men, snowflakes . . .

The most genuinely Christmassy things you would find in abundance are the stars. And angels. And a few manger scenes. I'm grateful for that. Its a small allowance that yes, there is a "different" meaning of Christmas than what I think most mainstream America construes.

In light of all this, I am trying to counter the mainstream. I dont' think there is anything "bad" about old St. Nick . . . except he is nothing to Christmas, and, quite honestly, nothing to us. He did a few good deeds during his day, if the history books are true, and he can get his reward for that. But for all of us, there is little reason to celebrate him. His good works did not truly affect our lives.

But now he is definitely being used for a bad purpose. To distract from the meaning of Christmas. To draw attention away from Christ. Christ, who is everything to us. Christ, who did more than a few good deeds but was perfect. Christ, who can not only just affect our lives, but completely change and transform our lives.

There are so many things that society is teaching that are completely opposite of the Bible and completely opposite from the message of Christmas.

To actively choose not to celebrate Santa is one good way to counter act this commercialized, santa clausized, empty version of Christmas. Let's bring the true meaning of Christmas back to our families, and teach it to our children.

I haven't gotten to the point of completely banning Santa from our house. His face is in a couple of corners, and on Yoni's pajamas, too. They're quite cute pajamas on Yoni! Maybe next year I will completely kick Santa out. But books about Santa coming down the chimney are not encouraged here. Again, its not because Santa is so evil, but simply because I want to teach my son that Christmas is about the baby that was born, who is the Savior.

How to focus on CHRISTmas? I have been looking for board books that tell the Christmas story. Not only are there few options, the options there are have the facts wrong.

When I am reading to my son and the book says, "Then three wise men came to worship baby Jesus in the stable," I usually try to change the words at this point.  First of all, the Bible never says how many wise men there were. Secondly, the wisemen came around when Jesus was a little bit older. If Mary and Joseph were still living in the stable at that point, I'm sure Joseph would be a farmer instead of a carpenter.

I guess I just wish there were a LOT more options of fun Christmas books that got the story right. I might have to write one some day. :) I have an idea for one but, you know, can't give it away or someone might steal the idea ;)

I have noticed that Yoni will actually listen when you read the gospel out loud to him, so I have read him the real Christmas story. That one really can't be improved!

A challenge to everyone out there--lets make this Christmas about Jesus. Forget about all the "christmas" love songs and singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. How about some Oh come oh Come Emmanuel. Stop stressing about the gifts. Stop worrying about the food. Enjoy it, but remember to focus on celebrating God's perfect gift.

This is my challenge to myself, this year.

Some ideas:
Listen to and sing real Christmas Carols
Attend your church's Christmas programs and Christmas Eve and day services if it has them
Read the Christmas story several times throughout the season
Read some of the prophecies about Jesus' birth
Thank God and praise him for Christmas!
Remember the Joy God has brought to us and try to share that with others.

Any more ideas, concrete or idealistic, are welcome in the comments!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A little Thanksgiving


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was quiet but still wonderful. It was the first Thanksgiving dinner I'd ever cooked. 
And, probably the first Thanksgiving dinner Tes had ever eaten. ha.



Our interesting seating arrangement . . . Usually we eat using our coffee table and both of us sit on our couch, but I wanted to decorate the table so I decided to use Tes' study desk, as it is out of Jonathan's reach. 
Since we only have one chair, I sat on the arm of the couch. :)


It was Jonathan's first Thanksgiving dinner as well, obviously. 


He loved it.


A very thankful young man. 


We played a variation on Thanksgiving bingo -- really, I was trying to make it feel like Thanksgiving without a crowd of relatives! 


For our dinner I made mashed potatoes, fried chicken, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing and squash soup. 
(It was really good squash soup.)
I never did finish making the pie until half a week later. :) I guess we didn't really need it.

I am so thankful this year for my husband and my son. I love them both very much. Tes has taught me a lot about cleaning and made me a tidier person. (Not quite reaching perfection, however.) Marriage and being a mother are teaching me to be flexible. 

I wouldn't trade my new family for anything. :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Early Christmas photos

I know it is Thanksgiving this week. (I do not like it when people call it Turkey day. No one would celebrate Thanksgiving if that was truly all it was--how lame would that be? Celebrating Turkeys, c'mon.) This year for Thanksgiving it looks like I will be cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner. For 2 people that should be pretty easy! Anyways, working on putting together a Christmas card made me in the mood to post "Christmas" pictures. Enjoy!












Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quick post! :)





Making apple cider at the farm :)



Jonathan got an icecream truck!




 Tomorrow is the my very first actual real shift as a real nurse.  I've been training and training 
....and training
and now it is time for me to finally begin!
I am mentally preparing myself for an awful day. ;) And telling myself it will be over. It will go. I will somehow survive. 
And then I can come home and get my husband to give me a backrub
eat some icecream
and crash. 
I am so sure it will be a nightmare of a day. 
But I am also excited that I can finally put those years of college to use.
One sentence (that I received from an anonymous classmate before a nursing exam) that has kept encouraging me over the last few years is
"You have worked hard to get where you are and will do your best today."
Nursing school and studying and taking boards was all hard work. I will do my best tomorrow. :)

Thanks for viewing my post!

~Busy Momma

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hi!

I really have not posted in too long! My schedule is crazy right now.



Going to church--and he has already outgrown these shoes. 




Jonathan's uncle made him this cute duck hat! Speaking of hats, his Auntie made one for him as well. Last time we were visiting, she had two nearly identical hats for him to try on. She tried them both on him and took the bigger one, put ties on it, and gave it to us. 

The other day, we were about to go somewhere together and I had to grab something from Jonathan's room. I went in there and saw his new hat on the floor. "That's funny, I thought I just saw his hat in the living room?" I said to myself. So I picked up the hat and went to the living room, and what do you know, I had brought both hats home with me! 

Which wouldn't have been so bad, except . . .  I went to look for my keys in the bottom of Jonathan's diaper bag, and came up with . . . 

My mom's. 
Keys. 
Yep, I brought Grandma's keys home with us. 
Since they were of no use to us besides a teething toy,  we mailed them back to her this afternoon. 





Jonathan's play area. Unfortunately he doesn't spend enough time here! More interested in garbage cans and toilets, and laptop computers! 

The cute rug he has was a gift from our dear friends the Medfords! It really brightens up his corner and I like sitting on it too.


Outside of our apartment


We went to a museum for Tes' birthday. I also decorated the living room with balloons while he was away at school so he was surprised when he came home! I also had the honor of making him his first birthday cake ever, and watching him blow out candles for the first time in his life.

In his culture, they didn't really celebrate birthdays except for a few times when he was a child--for his birthday he got new clothes and his parents prayed a blessing for him. So the chocolate brownies were a first for Tes!



And this little guy thought he had gotten lucky, and was going to get another bath after just having one only minutes before! Ha. Little kids are so crazy. 

I'm pretty sure he is teething right now. Everything is so heartbreaking to him, as he cries so pitifully when he can't go in the fridge or explore the toilet or eat paper. . .  The other night he got up every hour crying. Finally at five in the morning, he was crying again, but oh well, I had to get up anyways since I was going to work.

Life is perpetually interesting that way. Just when plans are set, something comes along to up the excitement level. :)

And now I will say my goodbyes again, as he has ingested some paper, and just found some more to eat, too.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Falling off the earth


Believe it or not, I didn't "fall off the face of the earth." 
I got this weight bench for Tes' birthday :)
Which Jonathan was excited about as well!



Been busy with work


And lots of babysitting ;)



Chasing him all over! Jonathan was crawling excitedly away from me to go see something and his pants fell off.
He doesn't care about toys but likes paper, the laptop, Tes' school books, the garbage, and anything he isn't supposed to have.

Well I have to go. I got off work and was hungry for pizza, and didn't have the ingredients and the grocery store was closed so Tes and I ordered some at the gas station. When Tes went to pick it up, they had given it to someone else. She didn't want to come back in and get her pizza, so they gave us her large pizza with 2 L of pop for free, and made us our medium pizza too. So we will be busy eating pizza now. LOL. ;)
Tes: "So where are we going to start, from large or from small?"

Friday, October 17, 2014

An update on me this time

Instead of Jonathan. My apologies to his fans.

I have no clue where my camera cord is. I'm sure my husband knows exactly where it is. I make messes, he cleans. Definitely a blessing when I come home and the dishes are done, so I can't complain! However, this will just have to be a "boring" post. 

I want to post even if I can't post pictures, because it has been awhile. I have been busy . . . starting a new job!

Some things I have learned:


  • how to do a blood draw
  • how to do an INR
  • how to do an incident report
  • lots and lots of protocol that it would behoove me to remember, even though I won't, at first
  • And that I love working day shift. It is awesome to be forced to get up early, gulp some coffee, get to work within 45 minutes of getting out of bed, and work eight hours before coming home and having the rest of the day to do other things! I may not be a morning person, but that is exactly why I like the morning shift. If I work an evening, it seems I spend the whole next day sleeping, before going to work again . . . and then I start to feel like I never even lived out my day. Yes, day shifts are the best feeling ever.
  • Oh, and I love my job so far. I know that there are going to be some stressful days when I hate my job, since I'm new and I just graduated. But eventually I will love it as much as I do now, in training. :)
Another interesting piece of news is that I am planning to go back to school, either in December or January! My husband has been very supportive of my education and encouraged me to apply--then I got accepted and transferred credits, and what do you know, I only need 36 more!
 
It all feels surreal to me, as if its just "happening" to me, instead of me making things happen. I think because even though it was my goal to go back to school eventually, this was more my husband's idea at this point. I just went through the motions and all of a sudden I'm almost back in school, and wondering how that happened . . . haha. Well, I am kind of excited. It will be a challenge. I think I'm about ready for one.

But wait, even starting this new job is a challenge! As in, a big one. So now I will have two challenges. So please remember me in your prayers. I would be very grateful. And I will keep everyone posted on how it all goes! As well as some more pictures, pretty soon here.

Well, it's Friday! I am going to go make pancakes for supper! mmmmm ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pray for the Christians persecuted by ISIS

This past Sunday we were led to pray for the Christians being persecuted by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Missionary reports were made that “Isis is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents.”

Being a parent myself has changed everything for me. A year or two ago, I would have felt bad. But now, now I have my own son that I love. While I can only imagine what these parents are going through, I feel my heart breaking with theirs.

My first instinct is to push it away from my mind; forget about it. My son is here, safe. I love him. We are all right.

But stop. My son is no better than those children in Iraq and Syria. No more loved than they are. He would be no more mourned by me, than they are by their parents. He would feel no more terror or pain, and no less, than what those children are surely facing.

And his life is no more, and no less, precious in God’s eyes.

You see, those children’s lives are not precious in our government’s eyes. Not enough for them to do anything about it, as perhaps, we hope, they would do something if it were our children being murdered.

And for many of us, these children’s lives are not precious enough in our eyes. Not precious enough for us to truly grieve their deaths. Not enough to be praying, daily, constantly, for the surviving ones. Not enough, oh, to be fasting before God in sackcloth and ashes. Not precious enough to cry for, not precious enough to remember.

But thinking of my son, and realizing that these children are no less than my child, and every bit as loved as mine, I cried out to God, asking him why he allows this to happen.

And this thought came to me—

He loves Jonathan more.

He loves the children more.

More than I can love my son,
More than those parents can love theirs.

As much as we hurt when we see our children hurting, God hurts more.

In no way is he “unfeeling” towards their deaths. His tears must far surpass our own.

Jesus loves the little children.

And—

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints.

As much as I hate to say this, as much as it sounds “wrong,” I do believe it:

These children’s deaths are precious. And they are beautiful, such beautiful deaths, because they are dying for Jesus. They are unwilling to deny Jesus and his love.

Jesus is that real to them, means that much to them, that as little children in the face of terror, they will not deny his name.

And not only is their death precious and beautiful in God’s eyes because they are willing to give their lives for him, but they will be rewarded.

Now, God is wiping all the tears away from their eyes and comforting them. Now, they will feel no more fear, no more sorrow, no more pain.

Now, they know the true joy of being in God’s presence physically, which is something that we here on earth cannot even imagine. But I know this—that it is far more joyful and fulfilling and beautiful than anything we have ever experienced.

And their rewards are very, very great in Heaven.

So, Christians like me: We are here, for now, in comfort. Our children are safe. But how can we forget our brothers and sisters?

Pray for them!

Pray for the parents and adults, that they would be courageous and continue to instill this in their children. That they would stand strong in their faith. That they would realize what a powerful testimony their children are being for the Lord. That they would see how their lives are bringing glory to the name of our God.

Pray that they would be comforted, by knowing that God loves their children more than they could ever love them, and that they would keep their hope in eternal life, as they will surely see their children once again.

Pray that God gives them his peace and his presence, that he would relieve them of some of their pain.

Pray for the children,  that as more of them are called to stand up as witnesses of Jesus Christ, that they would not be afraid. Pray that they would stand strong. Pray that God would be with them, holding their hands, through every minute. That they would never feel alone or abandoned, but as Stephen, when he was stoned to death, be able to say, “I see Jesus, seated at the Father’s right hand.”

Pray for ISIS—the individual men (and women) who make up this Islamic group. Pray, not that they would be destroyed, but that they would see this powerful testimony of the Christians and that they would come to know Christ as their Saviour.

For what are we all, but sinners saved by Christ. We all deserve death in hell, yet God extended grace to us. So pray for them to accept the grace extended to them. They can be forgiven.

Pray that the murders be stopped. Pray for protection for the Christians.

And pray for us. For forgiveness for our apathy and lack of love and caring. For our selfishness, in wanting to ignore the pain our brothers and sisters are feeling. Pray for us to be courageous, to face the persecutions that we face today. Our persecutions—who wants to be made fun of or left out because they are a Christian? Or perhaps miss out on opportunities—job, promotions, other things—because of our belief in Christ? May God forgive us for fearing man.  May we be more courageous in sharing Jesus publicly.

And finally, pray for Christians around the world. These are frightening times. But we do not need to be afraid. So let us pray that we remember to trust in God, and remember that our Hope comes from him. This World is not our home. We’re just passing through.

Heaven is our home.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Joy


I have noticed--why do the simplest things make my baby laugh and smile? Why are children so carefree and laughing, while adults usually serious? Wouldn't we all be so much happier if we took the time to delight in the joys that God has given us?
I hope I never "stifle" my child's joy.
I hope I encourage him to laugh, to jump, to run, to dance, to delight in this world that God made for him to enjoy.
He is more precious than the angels. We are more precious than angels.
God rejoices over us with singing.
He commands us to shout for joy to Him.
Here is something written on Joy from a medical standpoint by Kairos Midwifery.

"Today I am writing a lesson on joy for the postpartum depression group and I am totally intrigued

Did you know that on average a child laughs up to 400 times each day while most adults laugh less than 15 times per day. And often as adults we are telling our children to be quiet and get control of themselves when they are laughing hysterically at less than opportune times! We are taught to stifle our joy. 

Laughter gives a constant massage to the digestive tract and brain and improves blood supply to all the internal organs. It stimulates blood circulation which helps to transport nutrients throughout the body and helps to remove toxins. It can help boost the immune system, reduce pain, improve mood, increase creativity, help with chronic breathing problems and lower blood pressure. It even helps increase the production of serotonin and endorphins which help us to feel better.

So here is the key - 
You don't have to be happy to laugh; laughing can make you happy
Laughing is contagious and your joy will spread to others improving their health
Even a "fake" laugh is beneficial 
Take time from you busy life to appreciate positive experiences
Choose to replace distressing thoughts with joyful memories
When you are feeling anxious or depressed or if you are ill, it is even more important to savor positive memories
Laughter will give you a sense of perspective on your problems

So no matter where you are at today, or in whatever situation you find yourself in; choose to seek joy even if it is one tiny fleeting seed from the past, fake a laugh, and choose to take time to feel joy."

Natural Progression (watch Jonathan escape his swing)

He's crawling! He started crawling on Friday. The real deal! 
I don't have any pictures of it, but here are some other things he is interested in:








And that is how he feels about his swing.




He fell asleep on the floor listening to Patch the Pirate while I was making supper.

Then, today, he was supposed to be taking a nap, but wasn't (I could definitely hear him.)I came into the room to find this:





Yes, he has started pulling himself up now, as well! I ended up lowering the crib mattress down to the lowest level today. I wouldn't want him to climb out of his crib like he climbs out of his swing!