Monday, January 31, 2011

The Ways of God

My verse for the year is:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139:23-24

I just read this excerpt from A Seeking Heart by Fenelon. It spoke a lot to me. I hope it blesses you as well.

The Ways of God

When God starts to deal with your old nature He heads straight for the center of all that you hold most dear. Allow Him to bring you the cross in the very center of who you are. Don’t grumble and become agitated when the process starts: Silence and peace will help you m ore than being upset.

You will be tempted to speak out in a humble tone of voice to tell others of your problems. Watch out for this! A humility that is still talkative does not run very deep. When you talk too much your self-love relieves its sense of shame a little.

Don’t be angry about what people say. Just follow God and let them talk. As far as people are concerned, you will never be able to satisfy them. Silence, peace and union with God should comfort you from all that people speak against you. You need to be determined to do the right things in your present situation – but yet the same time your quick temper requires checks and balances. Come to God often just to sit in His presence and renew yourself. Nothing is as important as lowliness of heart and detachment from your own opinion and will. Stiffness and harshness is not the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Asher - 3 Months

I have more pictures I have been wanting to put on this post, but since he is nearly 4 months old, I guess I should just add the pictures later and go ahead and publish this...

At 3 months old, Asher is really becoming his own little person. He has so much personality and is so much fun. He has found his voice and loves to coo and laugh. He even laughs when he is sleeping. We keep trying to catch this on video, but he stops before we can get the camcorder out. This is the best we have done so far. We caught a weak little laugh at the end. It is too dark to really see...but I am putting it on here for posterity's sake.

He definitely recognizes Ben and I and gets so excited when he sees us. His sweet fat cheeks get so rosy. And his whole face lights up when he smiles. He also thinks we are hilarious. We spend hours coming up with jokes that are funny enough for his sophisticated sense of humor. Not everyone can come up with stuff as good as "Hey Buddy!" and "Boogie Woogie".

He is holding his head up with out any support, blows bubbles with his slobber, loves his Glow Worm, and anything that dangles above him. He is intrigued by the TV and loves to watch his Praise Baby or Veggie Tales DVD's from time to time.

We set up his highchair so he could sit at the table with us when we eat dinner at night and he looks like such a big boy in there. I think he likes being able to see everything from a new viewpoint.

He started Day School at 12 weeks old. He seems to like it just fine. It took some getting used to for me, but I am actually starting get in the swing of things.

His schedule got a little awry between all the traveling over Christmas, starting Day School and hitting his 3 month growth spurt, but I think we have figured out the perfect schedule to get him back on track. He takes a 4 oz bottle at 6 AM, a 5 oz bottle at 9, 12 and 3 and another 4 oz bottle at 6 PM, we then wake him up at 9 PM for a 2 oz snack. Sometimes he doesn't even drink the whole 2 oz, but it is enough to get him through the night. He generally falls right back to sleep when he is done and we have to wake him up at 6:00 the next morning to start all over again. However, I can't complain too much. Even when he was waking up at 2:30 in the morning, he would wake up in a good mood. I would drag myself out of bed to get him and then would get so excited to see him smile and laugh when he saw me.

He is still in 3-6 month clothing and weighs 14 lbs. He really doesn't seem to have grown much in the past month at all. Which is fine with me, there for awhile I was afraid he was turning into a Giant Baby.

He is no longer sleeping in his Moses Basket. The kid is way to big for it now. So he sleeps in his pack and play. I keep saying that I think I am ready to move him to his crib but I am part lazy and part nervous. It will be hard being on the first floor while he is upstairs, but I guess that is what the video monitor is for.

He has gotten a little bald spot on the back of his head from rolling his head back and forth when he sleeps. He does this when he is awake too. We call it his "Stevie Wonder Impersonation" and keep saying we are going to put some sunglasses on him and video tape him.

He had his first cold last week and handled it pretty well. He wasn't his happy, smiley self for a few days and then finally started with a runny nose and watery eyes and got pretty fussy one night. He wouldn't eat and I could tell he didn't feel well. We gave him some Baby Tylenol and it knocked him out. After about a day - he was back to his cheery self but still had some congestion. The doctor said he was improving really well and to just keep an eye on him and make sure he didn't get an ear infection. So far, so good (knock on wood).

he woke up and told us he didn't feel good...

and spent the rest of the day in deep thought.

He catches glimpses of his hands every now and then and is mesmerized by what he sees. He brings his hands together in front of him. Sometimes it looks like he is praying while other times he looks a little more like a villain concocting his evil plan. He loves to suck on his hands and can bring things to his mouth to "chew" on too. I keep waiting for him to figure out how to pop his thumb out and suck on it.

He hasn't really figured out how to grab stuff, but he can hold onto whatever you put in his hand. It takes about two seconds before he puts it in his mouth.

His constipation medicine is keeping him regular. I tried to cut back on it and it was pretty obvious that we are not ready for that yet. But, I am happy that he is not hurting when he makes a poo anymore and he doesn't fight me when I give him his medicine.

I love when I am holding him and get preoccupied with texting someone or watching TV. I will look down to see him staring at me and his whole face will light up with a smile when he catches my eye. It is so precious! This little guy melts my heart. I never tire of his precious smile and LOVE LOVE LOVE being his mommy. I always knew I would love being a mommy. But being ASHER's momma is way better than I ever imagined.

Asher is the perfect addition to our family.

3 month photos coming soon...

Asher - 3 Months (Photos)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas in Ohio

We traveled to Ohio on December 22nd. When we arrived, Asher's fan club was waiting on us. My grandmother, her twin sister, Aunt Joy, and my great grandmother were so excited to meet baby Asher.
5 generations.
Oma was so excited to see her grandson.

My mom had everything ready for us when we got there. I didn't need to bring a thing for Asher. She had clothes, bath stuff, a bassinet, pack and play, bouncy seat, diapers, wipes, baby q-tips, bottles, towels, bibs, you name it. She was prepared! I think she might have been looking forward to Asher's visit. What do you think?

Poppa was excited too.

It is our tradition to go to my dad's parent's house for Christmas Eve. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me if I am not there. I was so thankful to get to spend time with my family and for Asher to meet his relatives.

Asher and his Grandpa Amel.

Asher and his Grandma Angel (my grandmother's mom). If he had been a girl he would have been named Audrey - after her.

Asher and his Grandma Judy, or as we all call her - Grandma Jude.

Asher and Camie, my cousin Eric's wife.
Asher and Eric. Eric doesn't like to hold babies, but Asher won him over in the end.

The great grandkids, Madi, Brent and Asher.

On Christmas morning, we woke up to find that Santa thought we were VERY good this year.

Asher got a lot of great stuff!

He was so excited about it!

All the excitement soon wore him out so Mommy and Daddy opened his presents for him.

I got my mom a blanket that was monogrammed with "Oma". She loved it.

Disclaimer: Mom made me promise not to post any pics of her in her pj's on facebook. Good thing this isn't facebook. :)

We got more gifts than we could fit in the car to come home.But my favorite gift was having Asher and spending time with our families. We got to see both families this year. We are extremely blessed to be surrounded by caring, Christian families that love us and love our son. I look forward to the relationships he will build with these amazing people for years to come. My heart swelled with joy this holiday season as I was continually reminded that God has poured out his blessings on my family.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Bundle of Laughs

I have Christmas posts that I still haven't done yet. I know, I am behind. And you are sitting on the edge of your seat with baited-breath, right? I will get them done eventually, I just have to figure out how to get photos off of my new camera. In the meantime, here is a video of my sweet baby boy laughing at his Oma. He laughs quite a bit, but we had never seen him laugh like this before. And we haven't been able to get him do it again since. Apparently, Oma is a lot funnier than we are. This was Christmas night.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Bible Verse for 2011

This year I want to really start being the Christian woman God is calling me to be. I am sick of being a luke warm Christian, barely keeping my head above water. A blogger friend, Haley, said this week that she wants to be more intentional in who she is. I love the way she put that. I had already decided this was the year God was going to work on me. And the year that I would let Him. So - I will be calling on this verse along with several others for the next three hundred and some days.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139:23-24

Thursday, January 6, 2011

31 Days to Intentional Parenting

I am loving this series from Mommy Matter Blog.

Even though I am barely a mommy, with Asher not even being 3 months old yet. And a lot of the her tips and advice are directed to parents with "children" and not babies, I appreciate reading her Biblically inspired approach to motherhood. I am aware that these are probably the easiest days I will ever experience on this mommy ride, but I always want to prepare myself for the days ahead that will require much more effort.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to pray over Asher daily. I want to pray specific things for him but I also love this blessing. And I like her idea to speak it over him.

Blessing for Asher
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
-Numbers 6:22-26
If you are a mommy, I am pretty sure you will be blessed by this series as well.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resoltions for 2011

1. Lose 30 lbs by Asher's 1st Birthday. Here we go again. Definitely not planning to be pregnant again this year. That should help.

2. Minister. Become actively involved (as a family) in a ministry that serves others.

3. Nurture my soul. Continue in devotionals and prayer time with hubby, pray over Asher daily and spend time in the Word and solitary prayer.

4. Document Asher's First Year. He has changed so much already. Memories of him as an infant are already starting to fade. I am so thankful for the photos and videos that help to preserve those precious moments. I want to do my darndest to make sure I have a healthy library of Asher Moments to look back on.

5. Organize my closet. This is the year. Either I am going fit into my "skinny clothes" again or I am going to accept that I will never again need them. Either way, I am sick of having a big, medium and small wardrobe.

6. Home Projects: 
Living Room - Art, chest for hallway and paint.
Dining Room - Buffet and rug.
Master Bedroom - New furniture, chandelier, drapes and paint.
Staircase - Wall of photos, paint (flat paint not working).
Hall bath - Wallpaper.
Asher's Bath - Wainscoting, paint.

7. Edit my recipe collection. I have put a lot of work into building a catalog of recipes that my family uses. We have found several new recipes this year (mainly due to so many people bringing us delicious meals after Asher was born), I want to get rid of the recipes that we really don't use and update with some new favorites.

8. Teach Asher Baby Sign Language. Just some basic words, nothing too extreme.

Resolved Resolutions?

Along with everyone else last year, I made a few resolutions. I am usually not very good at keeping them but I think I did pretty good obtaining some of my goals considering I was busy having a baby for most of the year. It was fun to look back at my list and realize that some things had actually come to fruition and the ones that hadn't were still weighing on my heart and mind. Here's a look back on how I did...

1) Get healthy. Another year of promises...hopefully not so empty this time around. My mom gave me an elliptical (Thank you, Mom!). It is upstairs in my very own house. I don't even have to brush my teeth to get to it. No excuse can keep me from working out this time around. None. Except laziness. Let's say 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week. To start.
OBJECTIVE: to get healthy, weight loss will be a bonus.

Achieved: Nothing. I have an excuse though. I was pregnant for most of the year. We found out we were expecting on February 15. While I should have been able to keep working out, the fact that I was extremely sick during the first half of my pregnancy prevented me from doing much of anything, let alone work out.  I have lost all of my baby weight though. Only because I only gained 13 pounds - and all of those and more came off the day he was born. I still have LOTS more to lose. As I like to say, I gained all of my baby weight when we got married. So I still need to get my "married weight" off.

2) Home Projects.
A) Paint - A room. Any room. I have several on my list, but I am scared of color. Maybe doing one room will take the edge off? One room painted - the nursery. Not what I had in mind when I listed this goal, but it works for me!
B) Window Treatments - Dining Room, Master Bedroom, Master Bath and Living Room. Dining Room and Living Room now have window treatments. Along with the office, nursery and new guest bedroom. Still lacking in the Master Bedroom and Bath.
C) Hang Family Photos - Hopefully along the staircase. Still haven't done this. But I have purchased some frames and have quite a collection of photos of the cutest baby ever ready to be hung.
D) Furniture - Bedroom, Buffet, Chairs for LR and bookcases for our ever growing collection of books and DVD's. We have a new chair in the LR and 4 new bookcases for books and DVD's. But no buffet and no new bedroom furniture. Again, I am going to play the baby card. Most of home improvement money went to doing a nursery. Our bedroom has definitely taken a back seat to his.
E) Rugs - Living Room and Dining Room. The Living Room has a rug, but not the Dining Room.

3) Daily Quiet Time. I fantasize about being the type of person that gets up early in the morning, puts on a fresh pot of coffee, runs 30 minutes on the elliptical, showers, makes her bed and reads her daily devotional all before the rooster crows. But as my poor husband can attest, I am by no means a morning person. By NO means. So if I can just accomplish these things before the days is over I will consider myself on the ball!
MAIN OBJECTIVE: Daily Quiet Time. In the Word and in Prayer.
I have done this, but not in the way I planned. Instead, Ben and I have a devotional every night (not in the morning) and then spend time in prayer. I received the book Jesus Calling for Christmas and am going to use that to help me spend some one on one time with God. Being home from work for the past 3 months, I actually have started making our bed. Let's see if that keeps up.

4) Love. Isn't this what Jesus is asking us to do? I love Him. I really do. But do I love Him enough to love His people? Not the people that are easy to love; i.e. my husband, family and friends. All people. This includes bad drivers, inconsiderate individuals, arrogant folks and even loud eaters...everyone. This is a life long journey. But I plan to be extra aware of this calling this year. Well, this is a tough one. Will I ever be at a place where I can say that I have obtained this? Doubt it. I am and always will be a work in progress. But I am constantly aware of this calling and try to make a conscious effort to do this. I am much better at it than I was this time last year. I would say that is a success.

By far, I am most proud of this achievement:

How did you do on your resolutions?