Yesterday I found her up on the sink in the yellow bathroom playing in the water as Jacob's was brushing his teeth. Grrrr.
January 30, 2007
This chapter is talking about ways we can be a "perfect" wife. Not by definition of the word perfect, but if we behave in loving, non-critical ways toward our husband, he will overlook our faults and have his "perfect" wife.
I was reading this last night and thought this was interesting. I have always thought older women to be beautiful. When I think of the word beautiful, I think of an older woman who has shining eyes and holds her head up high, because she has learned contentment and peace. I don't know why, but I think when I'm older I'll have so much more wisdom just from living. To come out "on the other side" will be beautiful! But even now I can choose to have a cheerful heart and support my husband without criticism. I can choose to behave beautifully, just because I love Robert that much, and because I want to be pleasing to my King!
January 29, 2007
Last week she was ready to use a spoon, so she's been feeding herself some applesauce.
Yesterday she decided she was ready to walk. So now she's taking 6 or 7 steps wherever she goes. She does best when she doesn't realize what she's doing.
Saturday she got a kleenex and decided to wipe Robert's nose for him. (So cute!!)
Last week she got a pen out of my purse and started drawing, but first she found a piece of paper to do it on!!
And today she's decided to climb up the side of the playpen. No success yet, but it won't be long. This skill I fear!! She just sticks those pointy toes in the holes and moves on up. Not sure what I'll do when she masters that! Well, I guess I'll clean up random stuff (out of the cabinets) a whole lot more than I already do. I think I'm going to buy cabinet locks...
I just can't believe she's almost a year. I'm very sad about it. Only 9 days left...And in a blink of my eyes, she'll be going off to college...
January 27, 2007
I've had the itch to cut mine for a couple of weeks now and have decided that the 10 inch ponytail for locks of love is not for me. I'd love to be able to do it, but I still had 4 inches left (minimum) and I just couldn't really hold out that long. I decided to save that charity for the people who look good with the hair that makes 10 inch ponytails!
I've been tired of wearing a ponytail every day and the other days it just looks yucky. I'm not going to blow dry and curl it every day. This only took me 5 minutes to do this morning. That's my kind of haircut!! Actually, I was going to go this length but lots more shorter layers, but I got this far and liked it, so I stopped.
The funny thing is when I was looking with Candace at pictures yesterday, I said I don't want shoulder length and I won't do any more bangs...and I ended up with both!!
Now I'm off to do my taxes...
January 25, 2007
January 24, 2007
Me: Jacob, you know how we've been talking about grumbling and complaining lately? How God's word tells us to "do everything without grumbling or complaining so that you may become blameless and pure" and be lights in the darkness?
Me: You can be a light that shines in the darkness, bright like a shining star in the sky...
Jacob: I'm not shiny!
Me: You can be bright and shine like a light in the sky but when you grumble and complain you don't shine as brightly.
Jacob: But I'm not shiny.
Me (another try...): God's word says you can be blameless and pure which means to keep your heart clean for God.
Jacob (walking away and pulling up his shirt): Well I was just complaining and my tummy's not dirty.
Me (giving up silently): Help me, God!!! Obviously I need another book...one written for extremely literal children!! (You'd think, being so literal, I could figure out my own son.)
1. Apparently other people think this is disgusting, but I drink straight from the faucet when I brush my teeth. (If my faucet is clean and I'm drinking the same water, why not? I don't touch the faucet with my mouth. I can't stand to touch a toothpastey mouth to a clean cup!!)
2. I shave my toes and tops of my feet in the summer.
3. I love, love, love mint chocolate chip and peanut butter (together) milkshakes!!!
4. I loved being pregnant...all nine months of it...even the days I threw up.
5. I get headaches if I look to the right too long (for a movie or tv show) or sleep on my right side. Note the location of my tv in relation to our couch!
6. I survived my head getting run over by a car when I was three. (Go God!!)
7. When I cry or my eyes water, my right eye stays dry. The only things that make both eyes water are red things (skittles, taco bell sauce, starbursts). I'm assuming this is to never forget what God did for me - see number 6.
Val, it's your turn when you get your computer back!!
January 23, 2007
This is Jacob's Bible verse for this week. We were talking about it and I was telling him that God didn't make any mistakes in making Jacob, He made him exactly as He wanted him to be. And I love him just the way God made him...warts and all! How nice that is to tell that to my children to help them feel better about themselves.
Well, what a hypocrite I am!!! How many times have I begrudged part of my personality or, um, my nose? I have begrudged my no-nonsenseness, my straighforwardness, my strength, and lots of other things about myself and the way God created me. Well, I can't do that any more...not now that I've been convicted! I guess now it's time to ask the Lord to help me believe this verse...and that He meant it about ME too!
January 22, 2007
This morning I was asking the Lord to show me my sin so I could make it right. He instantly brought to mind something I hadn't realized I had done to my sister. And now that I think of it, I certainly would not have thought of it as a sin, though the Lord thought it critical enough to stir me to apologize!
One of my sisters has a hard time staying in touch with us. She has a busy life and rarely calls. If she does call, it's usually for a specific reason, and she has five minutes or less to talk. Well, this weekend she called me twice. Both times were when she needed something specific, and both times she didn't have much time to talk. Both times when I answered the phone I made some joke about being shocked that she called. And I realized this morning that I was just reminding her of her failure to stay in touch with us. The last thing I need to do each time she calls is remind her (even jokingly) that she needs to do more. (While it does bother me that she doesn't have or choose to spend her time catching up with us, I should be thankful for the five minutes I do get every now and then.)
This reminded me of a time in high school when I was about 15. I had begun to have a closer walk with the Lord and was feeling very convicted about my unwillingness to be wrong. I made a pronouncement to my family that I was trying to work on this and began to say, "I might be wrong, but..." Boy did I get ribbed every time I said that!! (Now, family, I have forgiven you, but you are the best example I have right now!) Rather than applaud me for being humbled and trying to do the right thing, I was constantly reminded of how rarely I had done it in the past. It was embarrassing and demoralizing.
I don't know if this is a sin or not, but instead of reminding people of their failures (in a joking way), why don't we naturally celebrate their success? Isn't it a wonderful thing when the Lord convicts us and moves us closer to Him? I enjoy knowing that there is something tangible I could be doing better, because I know that pleases the Lord. What a blessing to see a brother or sister in Christ in the same situation. I should be joyful with them when they please the Lord, not remind them of how many times they failed. I guess I'm thinking of bread rising...it rises for a while and then you have to punch it down. Reminding one of their failures is like punching the bread down. It takes the life out of me and makes me want to give up.
I know we’ll struggle forever with our flesh, but when I know a brother or sister is striving at doing the right thing, I want to be an encourager! I want people to feel free to share their convictions, because they know I’ll encourage their success!! I want to breed this kind of attitude in my home and raise my children to encourage others. I want my children to feel free to be transparent (and admit failures), because they know I desperately want what’s best for them…ultimately for them to be more like Christ!
Romans 13:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11a “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another...”
Let that be me...
January 19, 2007
I am so thankful for Robert. And thankful for what the Lord has done for us lately. We were so not looking forward to this new work schedule that would take him out of town. We did everything we could to change it. But I knew all along that the Lord knew the situation, and that He knows what's best for us.
I've always been thankful that I got to marry my best friend. It's hard to remember the beginning of our "dating" relationship because it wasn't much different than our "friend" relationship. We were still Robert and Lissa...what you see is what you get. We still had fun doing nothing, by ourselves or with our friends. We never went through that pretend, trying to impress each other stage.
Then we got married, and I thought it would be hard. (Everyone says it is!) Everyone says the first year is the hardest. Then when that year is great, other people say the third year is the hardest. Then when that year is great, the remainder say the seventh year is the hard one. Well, we're about done with number seven and none of them have been hard! How hard can it be to have a forever-long slumber party with your best friend???
Well, now on to what the Lord has done for us recently...
The first week of Robert being out of town was really tough. I hated the quiet evenings, struggled through the dinner/bedtime hours with the kids, froze by myself in bed, and wandered through my anti-climactic day. The next couple of weeks got better as I got used to it, though we struggled with our individual perceptions of what the weekends should be like. He's thinking, "All I want to do is sit on the couch and do nothing!!" I'm thinking, "Robert's home! I can get a break from the kids!!" We've had to work through those differences. And there have been other adjustments and worries too.
Robert and I are blessed to really get along remarkably well in our marriage, and we don't often have much to "work through." We don't butt heads often, almost never argue, and generally enjoy each other's company. But this is where it's at...the Lord has brought me through this small challenge to a contentment with the situation. He shook us up a little bit, and that was good for us. We needed a little shaking up, I think.
We're making more of our time together, just the two of us and with the kids. Robert is more in tune to our needs than he's ever been, and is more helpful than ever! I'm more sensitive to his needs more than before, I think. We're talking more about what we're thinking, not just what happened in our day. I think we generally appreciate each other more. And I'm really thankful for it all.
I decided to do some school while Hannah and Emily to enjoy it with Jacob. We put some pictures in order about a snowman being built and then melting.
Then we made snow!
3 c milk, 3T sugar, splash of vanilla
Warm on stove just enough to dissolve sugar, then pour into containers (smaller portions are better-ours took a long time to freeze) and put in the freezer for 3 hours or more.
Fluff with fork and enjoy!!
We all decided we liked chocolate snow best! (And, yes, I realize it's just like melted ice cream, but not nearly as fun!!)
Hannah enjoying her snow.
(This is the most milk Jacob has ever had... we'll see how it goes!)
And then we all snuggled up on the couch for a couple of good books about snow!!
Isn't is soooooo good to have local cousins???
January 18, 2007
And a quick note about Mattie. I've discovered how to make some money on her. I'm going to submit her to Graco to be a highchair safety strap tester. If I have it loose enough for her to take a deep breath, she can squirm right out of it, and does several times a meal. She's ROTTEN!!!!! My dilemma: do I cause her to hyperventilate by having it too tight, or do I let her fall on her head as she stands up on her tray?? Hmmmm...
At least noone can ever claim that being a stay at home mom is ever boring!!
- Grab the book closest to you
- open to page 123, and go down to the fourth sentence
- post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
- Name the author and book title
- Tag 3 people to do the same
Templeton's eyes were blazing.
"Is this true?" he asked. "Is this appetizing yarn of yours true? I like high livuing, and what you say tempts me."
I only know two other people who blog, and they've already done this!
I guess this is one of those posts that makes non-bloggers think, "Why in the world do people blog?"
January 16, 2007
Well tonight he wanted me to brush Mattie's teeth, so he brought me the toothpaste. I noticed it was empty and was quite surprised. Robert and I thought it through and it's only been a week. That means 4 oz has disappeared in a week...and it hasn't been all over the counter. So after much urging he sheepishly admitted he was eating the toothpaste to make his teeth shiny! Eek!
So the toothpaste company will be my first call tomorrow morning!!! I do hope this is it...at least then I'd know we weren't crazy!!
(I found the ingredients online and there is definitely corn...ingredients I'd never have given him if I knew he was going to EAT it!!) Hopefully his reactions will go away now...
January 15, 2007
At our new church the pastor has been encouraging the church to read through the Bible this year. My first thought was, "I've already done that." Well, I started thinking more about it and feeling like it's certainly something good to do. Maybe God was urging me! Plus I am never sure what to read during my quiet time anyway! So, I started a week late, but I'm on board. I'm up to Genesis 29 so far and it's been good to remember the things I'd forgotten already. I love to read through the Old Testament because it gives me a good understanding of the big picture. I was amazed the first time how many things just fit together when it's read in its entirety. I'm reading it through in a way that illustrates the order of how the recorded events actually occurred (rather than just reading from cover to cover). I really love doing it that way when I get to Psalms. That way I get to read David's Psalms in context and it makes so much more sense! Anyway, that's commitment #1.
Another thing our church is doing is memorizing one scripture each week. This is one area in which I have failed greatly. I don't randomly memorize well, I don't know what verses to pick to memorize, and have been willfully ignoring the fact that it would be good for my walk with the Lord to hide His word in my heart!! Sooo, commitment #2: memorize one verse each week with the church. The church had the selected verses printed on cards and I have the first two weeks' cards (ooh, that reminds me to go get the third week's card!) up in my window by my kitchen sink. We all know I spend plenty of minutes there each day! I have done the first two week's verses with little effort and really enjoyed it because I know I'm pleasing the Lord.
This week's verse (I just went and got the card out!):
For you have bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB
Kind of a humbling verse to read as I record my mediocrity in regard to spiritual things. Thankfully, He thinks we're worth that price no matter what we do.
Two more things I've been attempting to do kind of go together. I've been failing miserably at the "management" part of my home. With Robert gone several days each week I've had no reason to stay structured with much. That combined with a little girl who allows me little free time, I've not been getting much accomplished. So, I just kind of wander aimlessly through my day. So, I made myself a weekly schedule of my responsibilities. Included on that is a wake up time (hate that!!!) designed for me to get up, shower and have a quiet time before my kids are up. I shoot for 7 AM each day and other than last week when I had two sick kids, the Lord has been helping me. I find now He's waking me up earlier so by the time my alarm goes off I'm actually bored of laying in bed. You know that's gotta be from the Lord!!!
So, these are the commitments I've made to the Lord...and now to all of you! I leave it open for anyone to ask me at any time how these things are going; that will help hold me accountable! The most accountability for me comes from knowing that the Lord is pleased...not that He loves me any more, but knowing that He delights in the time I spend with Him and serving Him.
January 13, 2007
My dh just went jogging with a walkman...a tape player walkman!! At least we had the headphones that fit right in your ears instead of the ones that go on top of your head like earmuffs! :-)
We are so not caught up in technology! Hahaha
January 12, 2007
We had been desiring another child for several years. The Lord had not seen fit to grant us a pregnancy, and we had begun talking about adoption options. We had talked about foster care, domestic adoption, white or minority child, etc. I finally started praying that If the Lord had adoption in our future, it would be a "right place at the right time" situation that we knew was from Him and for us. And we began to tell others of our desires so they could keep us in their memory in case anything came up.
Well, in October 2005, my uncle called me and shared story with me. He is an elder in his church and a family had come to him with a struggle. Their son, Danny, had been involved with a girl,Donna, who had become pregnant. Donna had chosen a couple to adopt her baby, and that arrangement was falling through. She just didn't feel good about them for several reasons. So, now they were at square one again. She didn't want to go to an agency and just pick random people. She wanted someone who came personally recommended.
Danny's parents are strong Christians and desired Christian people to adopt their grandchild. This previous couple was not Christians, but seemed at least to be good people. Well, at the news of this family falling through, they were scared and frustrated, worrying about what could go wrong next. (As Danny's mom was sharing this with my uncle, he was remembering a conversation we had over breakfast several months before that. I had said, "If anyone ever needs a baby to be adopted, remember us!!") So, it all went from there. Danny's mom realized that God was changing the situation for the better, rather than allowing it to get worse. So, my uncle called me and told us about this situation, and I was beside myself!!! My face hurt from smiling so much that night!! I think we left it where we were all to pray about it and see how Jane would feel about it. Oh, and he called back to tell us it was a little girl and she was due in February! Ooooh, only 3 1/2 months to wait!!!!
So, I told Robert and tried to contain myself. I had to guard my heart so as to avoid a major disappointment, but trust that God was bringing this little girl to us.
Two weeks later, I was in their state for a bridal shower and met Danny's parents and Donna and her parents. She decided right away, I think, that she wanted us to have her little girl!! She said, "I feel like I can breathe again just knowing that she'll be with you guys!" She was really excited about us having Jacob to be Mattie's big brother...Donna has a brother and treasures her relationship with him.
So there we were...Robert said, "If a little girl needs us, can we say no?" Of course not!!! So, Donna and Danny decided we were the ones they wanted to have their little girl. WOW! What a huge decision to have to make. I cannot even imagine...
I spoke to Donna regularly and developed a relationship with her. She assured me every time we spoke that she felt great about the situation and she had no intention of changing her mind. I believed her, but I still kept myself from getting too excited. Mostly, I knew if she was to be ours, she would be ours. The Lord knew the whole situation. And if she changed her mind, how could I blame her? I could never entrust my child to someone else forever! What a brave thing she was doing!
During this time I also decided to try something to see if it would work. I induced lactation so I could nurse this little one. I started taking blessed thistle and fenugreek (two herbal supplements) and domperidone (a stomach medicine) and pumping three times a day with a hospital grade breast pump (thanks to my sister). Well, within a week I had milk, just a tiny bit, but it was milk!! I told myself I'd like to meet half her needs, but was completely unsure of how it would work, so I tried not to have expectations for myself (though that doesn't come naturally for me!). I also asked the Lord that He would give me enough milk to meet her needs.
So it was time and we were on our way up to get Mattie a couple of days early b/c Donna's mom was in the hospital and she asked us to come and support her. It was a Thursday. Halfway up our 12 hour drive, she called to say that she was in labor. Mattie was born at about 8:00 that night!!
Jane invited us to go meet her at noon the next day and stay for a couple of hours. She was absolutely beautiful! Her head was perfect and her little face was just gorgeous. Robert fed her a bottle and we just snuggled her to death. It was amazing to believe she was going to be ours!?! To be quite honest, there were no sparks, no fireworks, no floods of emotion. (Well, we are two very emotionally steady people.) It was sweet, but very hard to imagine. And a bit strange! We were in the same room with someone who said she wanted to give us her baby. Wouldn't you feel a little awkward? And nursing that child for the first time in that same room??? Yeah, a little awkward! But amazing!
Circumstances changed a bit and Donna asked if I'd stay in the hospital with her for the rest of her stay. (Of course I would! Did she think I had any desire to go home without Mattie??) It was great. She expressed how good it was to see Mattie doing well with me. It was good to see her nursing well (Donna thought that was really cool that I wanted to nurse her) and fitting in with us. I think that helped her realize she was giving Mattie a great start at life and feel confident about her decision. While it was awkward at some moments, I wouldn't change it at all. It was great for Donna and I think I'd want the same thing if I were her.
Okay, I know this is long, but it's hard to shorten such a huge part of our lives!! You can quit reading whenever you'd like!
So Saturday we took her "home" to my aunt and uncle's home. (We couldn't leave the state with her until all the paperwork was signed.) Actually, Donna and Danny hadn't signed surrender papers yet either (so they could have her at any time). They had to wait until Mattie was 72 hours old and that fell on a Friday evening, so they had to wait until Monday. It ended up being 6 days. It was a long 6 days. All there was to do was trust that the Lord holds us in the palm of His hand, and He knew what was best for us!
Monday around noon, we finally got the call that they both signed. Actually, it was kind of bittersweet. I was desperately relieved for us, but hurting for Donna and Danny. And I had no idea until then how much I was reserving my heart. I had been nursing Mattie, mothering her, but subconsciously had held myself from falling in love with her because I was afraid to lose her. What a blessing it was to be able to let go and love her, not just nurture her!!
Tuesday (Valentine's Day) we went to the adoption agency to sign papers to have her legally placed in our care. (It would be another 6 months until the adoption was final.) What a Valentine's Day gift!!
So, that's our story!! The Lord has given us a tremendous blessing in her and allowed us to love as if she was our own flesh and blood. I often forget and say, "When I had Mattie..." and have to correct myself! We have decided to keep an open relationship with Danny and Donna for everyone's sake. I have struggled greatly feeling like I'm robbing them of the joy of seeing her grow up, and the only way to compensate for that is to share as much of that joy as I can. And that means allowing them to be a part of our lives. They gave us their little girl...the least we can do is let them see her grow up! And we want Mattie to grow into an understanding of adoption rather than keep it a secret and spring it on her later.
I'm also hoping that maintaining a relationship with them will allow us an opportunity to plant seeds of the Lord's love in their hearts. I was able to share with Donna quite a bit during her pregnancy, but hope for more in the future. She is very receptive to what I have to say, but I don't know where her heart is as of now. Someday...
As far as the nursing went...it took a couple of weeks to build up my milk supply and in that time I had to supplement one feeding. Than after that I exclusively breastfed her until about 4 months when I had to start supplementing the evening feeding again. I did that until 10 months when I weaned her. Nursing her was a great bonding experience, and I'd do it again if I had the chance! And the Lord answered my prayer for a great milk supply!
Here's Jacob loving on his "new baby sister!" We named her Mattison Joy. Mattison (spelled like Matthew) means "gift of the Lord" and Joy, other than the obvious, is my middle name. Now I can't even imagine our life without our Mattie Joy!!!
January 11, 2007
For starters, here are the men in my life! My husband, Robert, and Jacob, our 4 year old.
Robert is a "Mr. Steady" man (from Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl) if I've ever seen one! He is very predictable, very grounded, down to earth, laid back, non-excitable, steadfast, reliable, loyal husband and father. He is incredibly easy to please and makes very few requests. In the rare event that he does have a request, I try really hard to accomodate it! I am so thankful God chose him to be mine!!
Robert is a fantastic daddy. He is very helpful with the kids and they LOVE him! Life is all about Daddy when he's home!
Robert's hobbies, though there's not enough time for them, are definitely all outdoors. His favorite thing to do is fly fish all by himself on a quiet secluded stream. That is definitely therapeutic for him! He also loves to hunt, but hasn't had much of a chance lately.
Then there's Jacob...I wish he had more of Robert's personality!! He was the easiest baby I could have asked for. Laid back, quiet, great at independent playing, great sleeper, etc. Well that has sure changed!!! He is still great at independent playing, but now he talks non-stop! He has two loves in life...books and trains. Though he has loved Thomas and Friends since before he was two, his love for trains extends far beyond that group of toys. He knows about all there is to know about them and desperately wants to know more! (I sense a unit study coming in the future...)
His love for books he's had since he was a baby. As soon as he could crawl, he'd go to the book basket and sit for 30 minutes or more looking at the books. He loved to have us read to him and was just as happy to look at them alone. When he turned two, my SIL got him the LeapFrog fridge phonics and he learned all his letters in a couple of months. At 26 months we were at OshKosh and he was telling the store clerk the letters on the rug by the door!! By three he was reading small words, and at 4 1/2 now he's reading 2nd grade level books independently. I don't say any of this to be snotty...we know he certainly has weaknesses!!! (Take coloring, for example...) I am proud of him for his reading, but I'm most excited that he loves books so much. His independent reading and love for learning have opened up a whole new world for him and that delights me as a mother for his sake!
That's good for now...I have responsibilities calling me! I'll write about Mattie tomorrow.
My purpose for this blog is to share our family life with my family and friends. My family isn't local, so this will give them a chance to see what's up with us! I'd like to share fun things we do with the kids, cute anecdotes about them, and sometimes more serious stuff like something the Lord may be teaching me. I'll also share our food allergy and adoption stories someday soon.
We are Robert and Melissa, married in June of 1999. We met in college and were married a year and a half later. In 2002 we had our first child, Jacob.
Then in 2006 we added another long-awaited child by adoption, Mattison...we call her Mattie. I stay home with the kids and love what I do!
Robert works for a company doing the underground utility construction. He does directional boring...putting conduit under roads, rivers, ponds, etc, without disturbing the surface. Basically works with a huge power tool all day every day!
Well, that's good for post #1. I won't promise to do something new every day, but I'll at least try every few days...maybe!