Thursday, April 29, 2010

a little red picnic table

I'm one of those people that thinks anything miniature is cute.

Now don't start sending me tiny spoons or doll furniture. I don't collect it, I just think it's cute.

I digress.

Connor has a birthday coming up (I can't believe it's been a YEAR!) so I made him a little picnic table. It's so little. :)

You read that correctly.

I MADE IT. all.by.myself.

ahem.

I got the plans from Knock Off Wood, went to Lowe's and bought the lumber, and then got to work. It took two days to build it because I could only work while the boy was napping (he's not a fan of the Miter Saw). I finally finished painting it today.

What do you think?

Before the paint

and after!
Silas will be getting one of these. :)

giveaways

DIY Day @ ASPTL




Tuesday Talent Show

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do you know that you're beautiful?

You are.

You are gorgeous.

You are absolutely, wonderfully perfect.

Do you know that?

Do you believe it?

YOU.

I heard a song on the radio recently that made me start thinking about all of this. You're probably going to laugh when I tell you what song it was, but I love that Jesus can speak through an infinite number of things - including the lyrics of a secular song. :)


According to You
{by Orianthi}


According to you
I'm stupid
I'm useless
I can't do anything right

According to you
I'm difficult
Hard to please
Forever changing my mind
I'm a mess in a dress
Can't show up on time
Even if it would save my life
According to you
According to you

But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me out of his head
According to him
I'm funny,irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

According to you
I'm boring
I'm moody
You can't take me any place

According to you
I suck at telling jokes cause I always give it away
I'm the girl with the worst attention span
You're the boy who puts up with it
According to you
According to you

But according to him
I'm beautiful,incredible
He can't get me out of his head

According to him
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

I need to feel appreciated
like I'm not hated
Oh, no
Why can't you see me through his eyes?
It's too bad you're making me dizz-ay

But according to him
I'm beautiful,incredible
He can't get me out of his head


According to him
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

While that song is obviously about a some boys with differing opinions about a girl (sung from the girl's perspective), when I heard the chorus I couldn't help but think about how that is exactly how God feels about you and me. He can't get us out of His head. He designed us perfectly and He wouldn't change a thing.

I wonder how many of us truly believe that and walk in the confidence of that? (Do you end that with a question mark? I've never been sure.)

I was blessed to have parents (especially a father - because I believe daughter's NEED to hear it from their dads) that always made me feel like I was the prettiest girl ever made. Not in a way that suggested I was better than others - I just was always taught that I was beautiful because I was created by a perfect Creator who knew exactly what He was doing. I was also taught that "pretty is as pretty does" so my inside needed to be as pretty as my outside. :)

Thankfully there have been very few times in my life that I have struggled with self-esteem issues (like a few weeks ago when I had to buy a new bra that was the same small size I bought in 7th grade - thank you breastfeeding), but I know there are countless numbers of girls and women that struggle every day with feeling like they aren't beautiful or worthy or whatever because of {insert issue with body here}. If you are reading this I want you to know that the little voice that tells you that you aren't is LYING.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are WONDERFUL, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

His "works" include you.

I wonder if the little girl twirling in her new skirt knows that she is prettier than any fun, twirly dress?

I wonder if the teenager looking at the magazine with bikini-clad models knows that God finds her incredibly perfect just the way she is?

I wonder if the new mother desperately trying to lose the "baby weight" knows that the extra weight and stretch marks are to Him the sign of another perfect life being born and that she is mesmerizing to Him?

I wonder if the middle aged woman struggling to "keep up" with her body and those of the women she sees on tv knows that He loves her and wouldn't dream about trading her in for a "newer model? " :)

I wonder if the old lady with wrinkled, sagging, and sun-spotted skin knows that she is just as gorgeous today as she was in her "prime" and He loves her still?

I wonder if anyone is telling them that they are beautiful?

I'm telling you that YOU ARE, but I want you to hear it not from me, but from the One who made you that way - the only One whose opinion matters. :)

Hear Him say:

"{Your name here}, You're beautiful. You're INCREDIBLE. You're everything I've ever wanted. And I LOVE you."

Tell someone else that they are beautiful today.

(Sheesh. Can I say "beautiful" any more times?) :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Parenting the Heart


Our church held a parenting seminar last night called "Parenting the Heart." We talked about two different models of parenting: Behavior Modification and Grace-based. We also had a panel with two couples that raised large (6 and 5 kids) families where the kids grew (and are still growing) up to thrive and actually still like the parents. :)

Some of the things we learned:

Self-discipline (read: self-control or willpower) is a learned behavior. If there is ineffective discipline as a child there will most likely be poor self-discipline skills as an adult.

Behavior Modification, when used as the sole source of discipline, can produce undesirable effects.
~the kid will do "behavior" if they know there is a reward for it - so they are doing it because they get something and NOT because it is the "right" thing to do
~the kid rebels because they feel they are being manipulated
~the kid becomes arrogant because they are able to "learn" the behaviors and then become critical of others and inflexible and often times too independent
~when they fail to live up to the standards set for them there is a massive amount of shame - "There is something wrong with me."

Grace-Based Parenting is about molding and motivating a kid by appealing to his/her heart, NOT appealing to the behavior.
~It is relational.
~It aims at the heart-not primarily the actions. The GOAL of grace-based parenting is to change the conviction/desires/wants of the child, NOT the behaviors. This way they learn to want to do the right thing for the right reasons, not just because they are afraid of a consequence or because they know they will get a reward.
~It relies on the energy and work of the Holy Spirit
~It is other-centered (meaning it is NOT ABOUT YOU-the parent)
~It leaves room for God's design - how the child was created
~It sets high standards, but also provides the means/power/energy to meet them
~It offers valuable help. Behavior Modification feels like manipulation while grace-parenting feels like, "You're helping me."
~It motivates by love and respect

From the panel:

*Provide a "freedom to fail" and let them know that they will always be loved

*Approach difficult situations with the attitude that you are fellow sinners (not that the parents can do no wrong).

*Prayer communicates love. It's virtually impossible for it to communicate anything else.

***Distinguish between disobedience and childish irresponsibility, and discipline accordingly.
Ex: A 12 year old boy loses a school book. This is childish irresponsibility and while it still needs to be dealt with, you should realize that it wasn't disobedience. He did not intentionally lose the book.

*Don't say "no" for the sake of saying "no." Think through your answers and be sure your motives for responding the way you do are appropriate.

*parent TOGETHER

*Kids don't need you to be their friends. They need you to be their PARENTS.

*If you want to know where your kids are and what they are doing, BE with them. Have the parties at YOUR house. Let the friends sleepover at YOUR house. Drive the carpool.

*You can't say "I love you" too much or in too many ways.

Here are some resources:

Shepherding a Child's Heart - Tedd Tripp

Families Where Grace is in Place - Jaff VanVonderen

How People Change - CCEF

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weeeeeeeeeeee!

This is what we do in our spare time...





We do it every evening when Justin gets home and Silas LOVES it. I mean, he really really loves it. He kicks his legs and squeals. Momma and Daddy love it too. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Silas (9 months)

{EDITED 4/13 because I forgot a couple of things}

It's that time again! Silas turned 9 months old yesterday. My heart broke right in two. That means that in just 3 months he will be a year old.

We are having so much fun every day and this past month was a blast! There are tons of pictures to prove it and trust me when I say that even though there are 15 in this post, there are 500 more that I could have shared. He was just ultra-adorable this month. And every month. :)

He is:

*no longer just pulling up on everything. He now walks around the tables and chairs and anything else he can get to. Occasionally he lets go for a second or two. But when we are taking a bath (yes, we bathe together) he just lets go and free falls assuming I will catch him. He also dives from one side of the tub to the other (it's a pretty big tub) with no concern for the water in between. Guess that means he trusts me. :)

*Walking very well while you hold his hands. He just got good at this in the last 3 days.

*still talking non-stop. He cracks us up because he will even whisper to his toys. No real words yet.

*Waves hello and bye-bye and any other time he feels like it. I plan to video this today. He stretches his arm way out in front of him and opens and closes his hand. I melt every single time he does it. He also does this when he is eating and we think he might be using it as "more" but aren't quite sure.

*Gives high-five :)

*very indecisive about how he feels about brushing his teeth. One time he loves it and the next he throws the toothbrush at me and screams. He has five teeth now - 3 on top and 2 on bottom.

*His favorite things to do are:
~walk around and climb on EVERYTHING
~eat puffs and Biter Biscuits and anything else he can find on the floor
~follow Momma around the house
~take stuff out and make a mess. Everything from his toys to clean clothes to trash bags to wipes. He can make a mess faster than anything!
~turn on the faucet for the tub and then get scared and dive for Momma. He does this at
least 5 times every bath.
~anything outside
~undo his diapers and pull them out from under himself. This has resulted in more than one mess.
~take off his bib and throw it

Here are the pictures. They are in no particular order. If you make it to the end you can have a pat on the back! :)

This is what he did in the 2 minutes I was putting away clothes in our room. He was so very proud of himself.


He is lightening fast when he wants to be and he escaped while mom was changing him and putting on his jammies. Clearly the kid is mine with his love for the nakedness.


Easter. Please excuse the whiteness of my legs. I'm working on it.


My parents drove out and spent the week before Easter with us. We had a blast and Silas LOVED playing with Mamay and Pops.


He will eat anything.


I am happy because we have several pictures of the two of us from the past couple of weeks. I am usually behind the camera.


Walking with Pops at the Monastery


Weeeeeeeeee!


Mamay and Pops at the Monastery


In his new cap handed down from Connorkins


Once again, I left the room for a minute or two to do something and this is how I found him. Look at the expression on his face!! TROUBLE.


Align CenterPlaying in the trailer and being a loon

Goofin' off with Daddy


Precious.

And just because he is gorgeous. I have no problem saying it. :)

Did you make it??

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Song

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Happy Easter friends.