Today is Hannah's 4th birthday! She is such a happy, giggly little girl. Hannah is very easy to please. When Adam and I were talking about what to give her for her birthday, we both agreed that she would be ecstatic if we wrapped up a piece of notebook paper and a pencil. :) She loves being a helper and she is a good one! We had Hannah's birthday celebration yesterday after church. When I asked her what she wanted for her meal, she chose "carrots, cucumbers, turkey and pita bread". Hannah is dying to start school this year and she wants to do everything that her big siblings do. We're so very thankful for our funny little Hannah!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Posted by Laura at 10:12 PM
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I recently signed up to receive R.C Sproul Jr.'s weekly e-newsletter called The Kingdom Notes. I don't always have a chance to read it, but when I do find the time, I am never disappointed. Below is an excerpt from this week's email. I found it very challenging since I often focus more on correcting the negative than I do encouraging the positive, and also because I am frequently quick to become frustrated. I highlighted a few areas below that were especially meaningful to me.
Though it didn’t look like it would go that way, it turned out to be a good conversation. Concerned about some attitude problems, my dear wife and I sat down with our three biggest to express those concerns, to encourage repentance, to wash them with the Word. From our perspective the children were falling into a common habit among teenagers, looking to their parents as peers, and seeing their instructions as fodder for arguments. Denise and I were quick and happy to confess that our children haven’t been showing outright defiance, just a bit of cheekiness. They have been forgetting their place.If you are interested in signing up for The Kingdom Notes, you can go here to do so.
After some struggle they began to own the problem. They repented of their recent weaknesses. That, however, wasn’t the best part, nor the great turn to the good of the conversation. That happened when they, graciously, humbly, remembering their place, gently suggested that their peace and their place might be more secure were my wife and I more quick to speak encouragement into their lives. It seems our correction may be losing some of its power because it is not sufficiently seasoned with the salt of encouragement.
Our failure to speak more encouragement is likely the fruit of our own lack of gratitude. Were we grateful like we ought to be, we would be quick to speak to those for whom we are grateful. I’m mad about my children. I’m button busting proud of them. But my own sin is to focus my attention on their sin. My sin is to grumble for what is amiss rather than rejoice over what is going well.
This propensity is not limited to just me, nor just to family contexts. The gifts God has given our pastor become the norm, the baseline, what is expected. His weaknesses, on the other hand, become what we focus on, what we think we must correct. Thus we grumble more than we give thanks.
In our work the blessing of our calling becomes what is our due, while the thorns and thistles that we all have to deal with receive our attention and our focus. We think something is amiss with the world, not because we are shocked by the blessings, but surprised by the challenges. Frustration becomes our default position.
God has been so good to my dear wife and to me. We have each other. We have eight wonderful children that pepper our every day with joy. We even have older children that are able to encourage the two of us toward righteousness. There aren’t many parents that can say that about their teenagers. Better still, all of us together have a Lord who forgives us for what we forget. He forgives cheekiness from children. He forgives ingratitude in parents. He gives us peace with each other, and better still, peace with our Father in heaven.
And having forgiven us, He blesses us, with parents who love children, and children who love parents, and a good Word that corrects us all. Yes indeed, those are some fine children. Far better than we deserve.
Posted by Laura at 3:47 PM
Sunday, July 24, 2011
From John Piper and the Desiring God blog:
This is my confession:
I was born into a believing family through no merit of my own at all.
I was given a mind to think and a heart to feel through no merit of my own at all.
I was brought into the hearing of the gospel through no merit of my own at all.
My rebellion was subdued, my hardness removed, my blindness overcome, and my deadness awakened through no merit of my own at all.
Thus I became a believer in Christ through no merit of my own at all.
And so I am an heir of God with Christ through no merit of my own at all.
Now when I put forward effort to please the Lord who bought me, this is to me no merit at all, because
...it is not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
...God is working in me that which is pleasing in his sight. (Hebrews 13:21)
...he fulfills every resolve for good by his power. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
And therefore there is no ground for boasting in myself, but only in God’s mighty grace.
Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Posted by Laura at 2:34 PM
Friday, July 22, 2011
Nikki has participated in Finished Object Friday for quite a while. I've always wished that I could complete enough projects to participate, but it seems like I'm only able to get one done every few months. I decided this week that I'm just going to do it anyway and post about finished projects when I can. It's probably not the greatest time to start since we're about to move, but that's okay!
This week I made a nursing cover for a friend who is due at the end of July. She had registered for this cover, but they are so expensive to buy ($40 for a nursing cover??? Someone is making some serious money!) and so easy to make. I found a fabric that was similar to the one that she wanted. It was a very lightweight cotton though, so I had to line it to give it a little bit of body. I've never lined one before and it turned out to be fairly easy. This is the tutorial that I use for my nursing covers, although I like to make the straps and the cover itself a little wider than the tutorial says to. A little extra coverage never hurt anyone. :)
To see some more finished objects, visit Fresh From the Chari Tree!
Posted by Laura at 5:53 AM
Monday, July 11, 2011
Did you notice the new button on my sidebar?
My friend, Nikki (Audrey and Jacqueline's mom), has recently opened an Etsy shop. She's a wonderful seamstress and she makes the cutest childrens clothes! I bought a dress for Hannah from her a few weeks ago and I love it!
Nikki is having a giveaway for this sweet little dress.
It is available in sizes 2-6, and she can adjust the length, etc. to fit your child. You can go here for details on how to enter, and here to see what else Nikki has available!
Posted by Laura at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
We have had some hair issues in our house recently which have resulted in three fairly drastic hair cuts. A couple of years ago Adam wanted me to grow my hair out, so I did. I've had short hair for most of my life, and I personally think that it looks better short. My hair is ridiculously thin. That combined with the shocking amounts of hair that I lose postpartum leaves me looking half bald for a while! I mentioned wanting to get my hair cut a few times and I could tell that Adam didn't want me to. So I just let it grow. A few weeks ago, however, I mentioned cutting it again and he said that he thought I should. So I did! Thanks to my friend, Natalie, I have fresh, new (much cooler!) hair. Who knows though. Maybe I'll just grow it out again. What do you think? Does it looks better long...
I want your honest opinion. I promise you won't hurt my feelings either way. I'm a bit on the fence myself, so I'd like to know what you think!
Esther got a haircut as well. Actually, she cut it herself. I figured it would happen at some point...one of our children cutting their hair. I'm sort of surprised that it hasn't happened sooner! We are not fans of removing all temptations, and the scissors live in a very accessible place in my desk drawer. The children know that they are there, and they know that they are not allowed to touch them without permission. It teaches them self control, among other things. Anyhow, Esther cut some of her hair off right at the shoulder. I managed to taper it a little and keep most of it below her shoulder, but I had to cut around 7 inches.
Joseph is having hair issues as well. The little stinker pulls it out. I've only seen him do it twice, but I have discovered that he does it when he's in his bed, and he even does it in his sleep! He sucks on his left pointer finger and pulls his hair out with his right hand. He seems to just like having it in his hand. A few weeks ago at church he got hold of one of Esther's hairs and sat perfectly still and played with it for 5 minutes. As soon as he lost it, his hand went up to his head to get some more. I stopped him, but it's nearly impossible for me to break the habit since he usually does it during his nap. The other night I went in to check on him before I went to bed. He did not wake up, but he stirred ever so slightly and his hand immediately went to his hair.
Have you ever experienced this? If so, what did you do about it? Adam suggested shaving his head. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. It was upsetting enough to cut it all to 1/4 inch! He had more hair when he was born than he does now! My Mom suggested sewing a sock onto his pajama sleeve. He would be able to move his hand easily, but not pull out his hair. I think I'm going to start with that suggestion. Do you have any ideas?
Posted by Laura at 3:08 PM
Friday, July 01, 2011
Abigail just recently lost her third tooth and I realized that I never did really blog about the first two. She is the first child to lose teeth in our house, much to Joshua's consternation. :) The first one fell out onto her literature paper while we were doing school one day. There was much weeping and wailing and drama involved! Joshua and Esther walked around with their hands over their mouths and very concerned looks on their faces for a while after that.
Her second and third teeth were both kicked out of her mouth. :) Accidentally, of course. Esther kicked the first out when they were playing and Joshua kicked the second out when they were having a "big tickle" with Papa. Speaking of a big tickle, that explains why she looks all sweaty in the picture. :) I think it's really cute how she talks funny with that top tooth missing!
Posted by Laura at 2:15 PM