Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Books, books, books


"One Lost Sheep" by Rhonda Gowler Greene is a book that Quinn received for his first birthday. Somehow when we opened it there wasn't a card connected to it. If you are reading this post, gave this book to Quinn, and wondered why you never received a thank you note--now you know! Quinn loves this book! Every single page has tape on it because Quinn has torn the pages apart in his eagerness to look through the book. It is a very sweet book.

Quinn will be twenty-two months old on Thursday...almost 2! Then we'll never have to give his age in months :) He has bundles of energy as he runs around people, couches, and tables. He still loves snowmen and wants us to draw Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all the time. He is using a sippy cup! We are still working on his love of food--he doesn't love to eat solids though he does have a healthy appreciation of cheetohs and yogurt. He loves using a hammer and saw (don't worry, they are plastic). Quinn likes drawing and writing--he even attempts to write his "name". He asked me the other day to write "Quinner" (what we often call him). He always has something to say and is willing to repeat anything...including the commercial he heard that said "money back guarantee". I guess there are worse things he could say. He loves to hold hands to pray and always wants to pray for his Uncle Chad. Uncle Chad, your nephew loves praying for you.

We went to library time yesterday carrying Quinn's library bag from cousin Aidan. We picked out new books and spent some time with other little ones listening to the children's librarian sing songs and read books. Quinn was very cautious as he checked everything out and made a bee-line for the door a few times BUT we prevailed and by the end Quinn was enthralled. Mostly because the librarian was blowing bubbles and Quinn was running across the room to get to all of them. Bubbles. We have a winner.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The song running through my head

In Remembrance of Me

This is my body given for you
This is the cup that holds the blood of the new covenant
This is forgiveness, simple and true
(This is the way that I have made) for you


Before you eat,
Before you drink
Take a long look inside
And tell me what you see
He said, Do this in remembrance of Me.
Do this in remembrance of Me

This is the bread of life broken for you
This is the cup that holds the wine of the new covenant
This is the love of Christ poured out anew
This is the Son of God who died for you

I will remember the cross that You bore for me
I will remember the crown that You wore for me.
I will remember the reason You suffered and died
Cheri Keaggy

Friday, January 25, 2008

Peace

"Now may the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.

The Lord be with all of you."

II Thessalonians 3:16

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tackling Thursday

I tackled the hall closet and master bathroom cabinet this week and reorganized them both. I bit off a bit more than I could chew in one day but I made sure the bathroom was put back together before I went to bed. Sometimes I try to do too much at one time--does anyone else ever do that? :)

Both spaces got done with the help of some baskets and a lazy susan in the cabinet. In cleaning the hall closet I was able to use my label maker for the baskets, throw out some items that had expired, and found some things that I hadn't seen in quite some time.

Before


After

The bathroom cabinet hasn't been organized since it was installed in May. Working on it also made me work on the medicine cabinet too. Now both spots are clean and organized. In the cabinet I used baskets and on the bottom shelf is a lazy susan for tall items--it always seems like hairspray bottles, mouth wash, and lotion are sitting in the back of a cabinet in a line and they aren't easy to reach. Now the lazy susan just spins around and you can reach everything in the front instead of reaching for the back.
Before

Next week I hope to tackle the guest bedroom closet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kenya

The news has had less to say about Kenya as other news pushes to the forefront. So many things happening around the world and every situation deserves more attention than it gets. Unrest, violence, refugees, cries for justice, yearnings for peace all continue and a couple of things continue to float in my head. What can we do for Kenya?

What can I do for another mother with a baby living in Nairobi? There is a great need to meet physical and spiritual needs among the people who are living through and in the midst of chaos and crisis. My uncle is the pastor of a church in So. Cal. called Eastside Christian Church. As a community they have discerned that their church is being called to partner with Kenyans and missionaries in Kenya to share the Gospel as well as attend to the physical needs of people. This discernment occurred before the latest political unrest began.

I really believe that God loves the people of Kenya. He always has. I can't go to Kenya right now but I can consider ways to partner with what his Spirit is leading others to do. Take a few minutes and check out the Eastside Christian Church homepage and click on Kenya Relief Fund. It will be two minutes well spent listening to individuals share about their experience this past summer in Kenya.

Consider giving to the relief fund (sending a check to Eastside, earmarked for the Kenya Relief Fund would take about two minutes...maybe more if you have to find a stamp). Consider praying for the Hams--the missionaries currently serving in Kenya. Sending money someplace can be a scary proposition but I am willing to vouch for Eastside. And if not financial support, consider taking two minutes to pray for the Kenyan community, for those seeking justice and peace, and for Jesus to be known in the midst of heartache.

Paul said that of anything that the apostles in Jerusalem could have asked him to do, they asked "that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do" (Galatians 2:10). Lord, make us eager.

Good Morning Sunshine

A yawn for the morning

"Cheese" for the day

"Good morning Sunshine, we're on our way!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dinosaurs


Saturday we went to the Rose Garden to see "Dinosaurs Live"--a major production involving life size dinosaurs. We got to go with Ryan's brothers, one of his brothers' friends, and Quinn stayed with a babysitter. The show was pretty amazing--life size dinosaurs moving, interacting with one another, lights, and sounds! There were lots of kids there including the nine year old behind us who had every dinosaur memorized as well as what period it was from. He really did know what he was talking about!

After the dinosaurs we went to Panera Bread and had a great dinner. It was fun to be together!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shed a Little Light

When I was in the sixth grade it was the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember watching videos about him and I wrote a poem called "He Fought With Words Not His Hands". When I was in the seventh grade I read his autobiography--I found it on a bookshelf amongst my parents' books (I also read the autobiography of Malcom X and some of Gandhi's that year). I really liked him. Maybe because our birthdays were so close together. Or because he inspired me. Or because he said things that were true and bold about how we treat one another. He pushed the Civil Rights Movement forward and spoke out against injustice.

Here is a photo essay by Time of Martin Luther King, Jr. Notice the role of college students and MLK--students made a huge contribution to the civil rights movement and I love that. We all have the potential to cause great change.

There is a song by James Taylor that I love called "Shed a Little Light" (this link will take you to a site to listen to it) that starts off by saying, "Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King...".

Check out the song and turn your thoughts today in the direction of his message of justice and peace. What can we be doing today?

Perplexed

As I've been reading through some Scripture and Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" study I looked through II Corinthian 4:7-9 and was really struck by Paul saying they were "perplexed but not in despair." Perplexed. The Greek word is "aporeo" which means:
  1. to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn
  2. to be at a loss with one's self, be in doubt
  3. not to know how to decide or what to do, to be perplexed
I was encouraged to know that sometimes Paul felt perplexed like I do. But that we don't have to be in despair.

Good.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Before and After

I bought some baskets in order to organize the little things that get mixed up in some of our drawers and cabinets. It can be frustrating finding a teaspoon when I know there are 4 in the drawer! In the last week I've taken five minutes and organized two drawers. Here are the before and after shots!

before-cooking supplies
after-cooking supplies

before-medicine drawer

after-medicine drawer
Baskets come in so handy! I'm going to tackle the Master Bathroom cabinet next.

Beth Moore

I mentioned earlier having a hard time settling down to read in Scripture or pause to pray. I determined to get up earlier and be intentional. I started setting the coffee maker up the night before so I smell coffee after I get ready in the morning. Quinn is still asleep (or just talking quietly in his room). I pulled out a study I started a couple of years ago--Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" and I'm glad to be revisiting it.

3-1

Yesterday was my 31st birthday! It was a fun day and as I hate waiting for things, Ryan let me open a few things before my birthday so really it has been a birthday week! Tuesday we went to Red Robin which I LOVE (Banzai or Whiskey River BBQ Burgers are the current favorites). Quinn says "Red Robin" when we drive by the establishment--what does that say about the influence of parents on children?

Wednesday I got to open some cards and Ryan bought me some pajamas.

Thursday--THE day--we got my free Coffee Cottage beverage and in the evening went to see "National Treasure". I really like those kinds of movies--adventure, heist, mystery--and I was not disappointed. I'll be curious to see what "page 47" leads to...I think a three-quel :)

Yet to come is a family dinner and some time with friends. Someone asked if I felt older. I'm 9 years away from 40. And really, I don't think a lot about getting older. Sometimes I do think about what my parents were doing when they were 31 and that is interesting to me.

I'm thankful to be 31!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A little off the top...

Another Quinn haircut has come and gone. Here are the before and after photos of the event. Quinn is watching a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartoon--it is the best way to keep a 21 month old little boy still. Isn't he handsome?!




Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Remember Me


One of the first things that Ryan ever gave me was a framed, decorated copy of the chorus to Rich Mullin's song "Peace". It was actually his first Valentine's gift to me. I gave him a basketball hoop with nerf basketball.

I love the song very much.

Though we're strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that's much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us here, you and me

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls
This drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And though I love you, still we're strangers
Prisoners in these lonely hearts
And though our blindness separates us
Still His light shines in the dark

And His outstretched arms are still strong enough to reach
Behind these prison bars to set us free

So may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In this Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Like those little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the draught has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

I love the words. It is a communion blessing and it reminds me of Christ's sacrifice. I read in a blog the other day that everyday we need to be drawn back to the Cross. It is the sacrifice of Christ in his death and the power of God shown in his resurrection; it is the redemption offered through his blood and body; it is the Truth of Christ that his words about himself were true and that he is worthy of praise, worship, and trust because he is the Son of God.

It makes me realize too that I don't think about the Cross very much. Through the Cross and his Resurrection we have Communion with Christ. I remember that when I take Communion but today I want to be intentional about remembering that whenever I see a cross.

Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and inviting me into communion with you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Routines in 2008

This morning has been cold and frosty. One of my hopes for 2008 was to blog more frequently so I've got some ground to make up! It was good to have Ryan home during the break and for a few mornings that he was able to go to work in the afternoon. Our routines have kicked in again and while I really like the holidays I also like routines and knowing when different tasks will be completed. I also like knowing when there are some free times and rest times. I started back to the office this past week which was really good too. I have many interesting projects to be working on and lots of great things to be reading through. I feel like I'm learning some new things and continuing to grow professionally. When I'm not actually at Fox working, I'm finding I need to build in some more set work blocks at home so I can make sure I'm accomplishing what I need to for my role at Fox..

One of the blogs I check out from time to time has a "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge. I like these kinds of things because a) I get to learn what other people do in their homes, b) I like hearing what creative ideas/solutions they have for organizing, c) it is good to know other individuals are working out their daily tasks too. Her challenge lists these items:

1. Refresh your spirit
2. Tackle your morning routine
3. Take time to plan (5 minutes)
4. What is for dinner?
5. Do something!

I got stuck on number 1. Beth Moore talks about how she would get up early in the morning when her girls were little, get her coffee, and read through Scripture and take time to pray. I'm challenged to do this in the morning. My mind goes from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds and I want to get to numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5! It is a discipline for me to stop. Period. My grandma Ruth told me that seasons in her life she would have to be "pre-prayed". You've heard of "pre-paid"--like putting money on a calling card before you make your calls? When a season of life doesn't always permit us to stop and reflect and pull away during the day, it is important to be intentional to be pre-prayed. To talk with the Lord from the very start of the morning. To be connected. To get plugged in. SO I'm mindful that intentional listening and prayer times won't "just happen", I have to choose.

2. Tackle your morning routine.
For me that means showering and getting ready for the day. I decided that I wanted to do somethings that make me feel nice like remembering to put on perfume or wearing some long earrings just because. I make sure the bedroom is straightened up (Ryan does make the bed). I get Quinn's food and items together, unload the dishwasher, and get Quinn fed as well as ready for the day.

3. Take time to plan.
I like to do this. I have a notebook that I keep all of my lists in. I had to go on a hunt when I bought my latest notebook. The pages couldn't be perforated and easily torn out plus it needed to be something I liked to look at. When I found it and got to write my first list I was pretty excited. I use one page for one day. And things that I do that aren't on my list, I typically add to my list. So I can check them off. For each item on my list I make a box to the left of it and then make an X through the box. It really is a pretty specific process. Does that make me compulsive?

My weekly plan looks a little like this:
Monday-laundry (dark, white, sheets/towels, Quinn's), ironing, new bedding on beds, dinner
Tuesday-vacuum, kitchen floor and bathroom floors, work in the afternoon, dinner
Wednesday-clean bathrooms, dinner
Thursday-Dust, work in the afternoon, dinner
Friday-grocery shopping in Mac, dinner

Through out the week I figure out when I can do other things like enter receipts in out budget log, pay bills, and attend to other items that come up.

4. What is for dinner?
I try to do a menu for the week. It helps me anticipate what I need to make as well as to use items we have in the house so I don't keep buying things we aren't actually eating. This week the plan is:
Monday-Stew and cornbread (I love the crockpot)
Tuesday-Tacos
Wednesday-Italian Casserole
Thursday-Soup and Bread
Friday-Breakfast for dinner (isn't breakfast great!)

5. Do something!
This basically means to tackle some project in your home. It doesn't have to be huge--just a little something to keep up on things so you don't have to keep catching up! Yesterday I went ahead and vacuumed and cleaned the floors so I would have a little more space today to do something like...blog.

Quinn usually naps from 1-3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. During that time I do things like iron, complete some of these other tasks so that I am free to spend time with Quinn in the morning, or we can run errands as needed.