Monday, January 31, 2011

Music for Monday

Be Still and Know by Steven Curtis Chapman

Be still and know that He is God

Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God

Be still; Be speechless

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spilled Soup


This is me...
looking at the bowl of lentil soup...
I dropped.
And spilled.
All.Over.the.Floor.
and cabinets.
and baseboards.
and stove.
and fridge.
and dishwasher.
and me.

Sigh. Sometimes that happens.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A quick view of Daredevil Sela...crawling under the table as close to the electrical outlet as possible with a surprised look when caught in the act...

Sela is adding in some new words too...
my favorite right now is cookie or "coo-coo" said in a l o w voice

Monday, January 24, 2011

Music for Monday

The Stand by Hillsong United

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Friday, January 21, 2011

Conversations with Quinn

Q: I like you.
M: I like you too.
Q: I'm glad you married dad. You made the right choice.
M: I'm glad I married dad too.
Q: Did dad choose or did you choose?
M: Dad chose me and I chose him. We chose each other.
Q: You made a good choice.
M: Well, I'm glad you think so. I think so too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A food processor

If you've noticed the books on my nightstand a lot of them have to do with food. I've read all of them so they really aren't stacked up by my bed but they've helped me sort through some "food stuff". A journey I started when I started feeding Sela solids and wondered what she was actually eating. And where our food comes from. And how it gets to my table. And what food standards exist. And what impact does food have on how we feel. And is any of that real? Or is it a fad?

Well you get the idea.

I started another blog. Because I think about food. A lot. And I don't want "Branching Out" to become a blog about food. So if you're interested in food too (do you have a stomach?) and want to see what we're doing with food these days or what I'm thinking about food, then feel free to check out "a food processor".

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sela, Sela, Sela

Sela in pictures...

Look at those cheeks!

I like to do what my brother is doing...

If Quinn is in his room, Sela likes to be outside the door or stick her fingers under his door.

Cheese!

Super Cheese!

Thanks for reading to me Karin!

Are you looking at me?
Sela Ruth at 16 months...
Curious, laughter, feisty, independent, snuggly, funny, cute, clever, problem-solver, loving and lovely, loves her brother, dancer, 14 teeth (4 molars and one eye tooth in three weeks!), walks everywhere with purpose

Some Sela words...
dada, mama, baby, shoes, book, Woody, tweet-tweet, duck, woof-woof, mouse, baba (grandpa), hello, Manny, moo, nose, eye, toes, night-night
, uh-oh, no-no, go, happy

We love Sela Ruth!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quinn Radar



Quinn's current "favorites":
1. Larry-Boy from Veggie Tales. He loves the old Larry-Boy theme song and launches himself down the hall way like he is taking off in the Larry-mobile. He arrives in the living room announcing, "I. AM. THAT. HERO!" I am typically Alfred, his attendant and asparagus. Quinn has made a variety of pictures to place around the house of Larry-Boy, the Larry-mobile, and the special light signal (ala Batman). I think I'm living in the Larry-Boy mansion.

2. Super Why on PBS. I'm really glad that he is all about Super Why right now--it is really a fun show. Four "superheroes" from various Fairy Tales read through books to answer questions by using the alphabet, rhyming, and spelling. Really fun and creative. Super Why's alter ego is Whyatt Beanstalk (his brother is Jack) and he is Quinn's favorite character. Quinn is drawing pictures, doing little Super Why dances, and finding new things to spell.

3. Sid the Science Kid on PBS. Quinn is into Sid and all the discoveries, experiments, and observations that Sid and his friends make. I've learned a few things too about reverse change, inertia, and decay. Sela is getting some early exposure to all these things too because she is usually awake when Quinn is watching the shows during his chest percussion therapy (CPT).

As honorable mention I have to say is Word World. Quinn loves it and I think it really is amazing. All about spelling and sounds, each characters' shape is made from whatever they are. Like Sheep's body is made with the letters "SHEEP." Duck's body is made with the letters "DUCK." So clever!

Quinn is a drawing machine--he is drawing all the time. Making little books, posters, designing fire trucks and fire stations, and drawing all his favorite characters from Disney shows or his own creation. We may need to start planting trees because of all of the paper we are going through at our house.

Quinn loves Sela...most of the time. Tonight he sang a little song about how much he loved Sela and how she was the best sister a brother could ever have. He loves to tickle her toes and make her laugh. It is fun to watch Quinn and Sela walk around making a train or watching Quinn and Sela give one another hugs. He does get frustrated when he is trying to build something and she is trying to "help". Today he was trying to run down the hallway but Sela was sitting in the middle of the hall. When Ryan looked up, Quinn was quietly trying to direct Sela to crawl into the hall closet to clear the path for unobstructed running.

Quinn was talking to me and I had to laugh as he used his "English" accent. He wanted me to use my accent too so we had a lovely conversation. He also has a version of a Scottish accent and some sort of accent he has created when he sings certain songs. Just made me chuckle. He has a few other voices that he does which must be an influence of his dad who has his own voice collection.

Quinn is still loving preschool. Loves to learn, loves to play, and loves to go. He really is like a sponge and just soaks everything up. He asks great questions. He makes me think about how to explain things--whether about Jesus or math or how to spell something. Keeps us on our toes!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music for Monday

Shine a Little Light by James Taylor

Let us turn our thoughts today

To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children
Can grow free and strong
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead
We are bound and we are bound

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist

There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

(Chorus)

Shed a little light, oh Lord
So that we can see
Just a little light, oh Lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh Lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh Lord

Can't get no light from the dollar bill

Don't give me no light from a TV screen
When I open my eyes
I wanna drink my fill
From the well on the hill

(Do you know what I mean?)

- Chorus -

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist

There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Oh, Let us turn our thoughts today

To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood

MLK and me

It seems like my birthday always falls on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday...well, I guess every few years but it feels like it. And I'm good with that shared day. My fascination with MLK began when I was in the 6th grade and his example, speeches, and writings influenced how I saw others and conflicts. It also launched my interest in Gandhi and eventually Mother Teresa.

Quinn and I talked on Saturday about MLK on his actual birthday.
Talking about how people who were not white...
Could not vote.
Go into stores.
Go into the movie theater.
Get a drink of water.
Go to school with white people.
Talking about that with a 4.5 year old and watching some of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech on YouTube was important. And pretty moving. To see all of the people gathered, unified, and standing up for what they believed. Powerful.

The two things that stood out to me in my conversation with Quinn:
1. That he put it together...that God loves everybody and made us with different colors of skin.
2. His innocence...why would someone not like someone because of skin color. Or because of hair color. I had said, "It is like if someone didn't like you because your eyes are brown." To which Quinn responded, "Then I'd make my eyes blue." And it made me think about all the self-hatred that has been perpetuated because some feature was named unworthy and unwanted...to just change that one thing and then they would like me.

My prayer for Quinn is that he will recognize that he is loved by God and created by Him...
"so that the works of God might be displayed in him" (John 9:3). And in turn, Quinn will share that with others and draw them to Jesus and the freedom of Christ.

My 34th birthday. 34 years. And I suppose that my prayer for Quinn is the same for myself...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage

A few years ago Ryan and I had been talking about what we had learned and observed since being married. We came up with a little list of things that really stood out to us--about relationship, commitment, and taking care of our marriage. We've lived them out better in some seasons then in others. In February we have our 9th anniversary and these are still marriage thoughts that are true for us.


Let your first ministry be to each other.

  • There are needs and people all around you. In getting married, you’ve committed yourself to placing your spouse as your top priority after Jesus. Make decisions based on this premise—your first ministry is to your spouse.
  • Consider the people you surround yourself with—be discerning about those that don’t support your priorities.
  • Be discerning about workplaces that don’t support your priorities.
  • Relationship doesn’t “just happen”—be intentional in how you love one another.

Write out your vows and put them in a public place to remind you of what you have pledged to one another.

  • Look at what you have vowed before God and your spouse. Your marriage vows are typically the one thing that you actually vow.

Choose a small group of individuals to give you counsel about your relationship.

  • The individuals should be TRUSTWORTHY—they know how to keep their mouths shut!
  • The individuals should show evidence of wisdom and insight
  • The individual should be a follower of Christ
  • God doesn’t call us into isolation—He calls us into community. But that community doesn’t have to be EVERYONE (and shouldn’t be everyone that just asks). No one is “entitled” to the intricacies and intimacies of your marriage.

Be wary of anyone that takes “sides” or tells you that you are right…

  • You don’t need anyone to “tickle your ears” with agreement that you are right and your spouse is wrong.
  • Marriage is a two way street—try to maintain a posture of openness and honesty rather than defensiveness when disagreement occurs. Believe it or not, you may not always agree with one another

Honor one another

  • Don’t criticize or put down your spouse in front of others.
  • Make a habit of complimenting and esteeming your spouse whether your spouse is present or not.

Be on the same page about how you save and spend money and then STICK TO IT!


Seek for ways to serve your spouse…

  • Make your spouse’s needs more important than your own.

Ask for what you need

  • Your spouse is not a mind reader
  • It is OK to ask for help…time…flowers…a compliment…a hug
  • Think about what the need is—and consider if there is some underlying reason for that need…are you needing validation, affirmation, affection, reconnection
  • It is unfair to your spouse to expect him or her to understand exactly what you need--you can help your spouse!

Set boundaries

  • How do you view boundaries? Do you believe Jesus had boundaries? Is having boundaries contrary to Scripture? Are you willing to keep boundaries you set?
  • What do you need your home to be?
  • Consider how you can be intentional about spending time together.
  • You don’t have to explain anything to anyone—and double check with each other what you want to have shared. You may have different ideas about information that you want shared. As you set boundaries that are new to those around you, expect to have them pushed. Do you really mean what you say? You will get to help people understand what your limits are—this process does take some time and repetition.

Eat, Laugh, and Love with gusto!

Conversations with Quinn

Q: "What is Jesus' cell phone number?"
M: "Jesus doesn't have a cell phone. You can just talk to him."
Q: "No cell phone?!"
M: "No. You just talk to him. Remember, its called prayer."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quinn vs the Sick Bug

One word I would NOT use to describe Quinn is "lethargic". The kid has energy coming out his ears. But in the wee hours of Wednesday night/Thursday morning, he threw up a few times and I could tell that he was HOT. Temperature? Check. Vomit? Check. Sick? Check.

Thursday morning Quinn walked slowly out to the couch and sat down. Sunken eyes? Check. He sat on the couch with his rabbit (his best friend since the NICU) and stared at the TV. Which was off. Stared. We eventually watched Monsters Inc. which was Quinn's first time seeing it.
Out of it? Check. Lethargic? Check. Temperature? Check. More vomit? Check.

It kind of went this way until Friday afternoon. Only one more vomit session. Still had a temperature. Quinn slept from 1-5 Friday afternoon and that was huge! I was starting to get worried because he hadn't come out of his room yet and when I peeked my head into his room, he was just waking up.

He decided he was ready to eat a little something Friday night--some egg, crackers, and banana all stayed down! Still had a temperature but he slept through the night and woke up peppy this morning. No temperature? Check. Singing and dancing around? Check. Imagination in overdrive? Check.

Conversations with Quinn

Q: (pointing at the computer) "You're a slow po."
M: "A slow po?"
Q: "Yeah, a slow po--when you go slow."
M: "You mean a slow poke?"
Q: "What's a slow poke?"
M: "Its what you mean when you say 'slow po'."
Q: "Oh. The computer is a slow poke."

Fo' sho'...


Monday, January 3, 2011

Music for Monday

"Revelation Song"

Worthy is the,

Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven's Mercy Seat
[Repeat 2x]

(Chorus)

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You…!
Yeah!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color

Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,
Yeah

(Chorus)

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!
Yeah!

Filled with wonder,

Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery
Yeah...

(Chorus)

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!

Holy, Holy, Holy

Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come,
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore YOU…

(Chorus) (Repeat at a cappella)


Come up lift up His Name

To the King of Kings…
We will adore YOU Lord…
King of heaven and earth
King Jesus, King Jesus
Aleluya, aleluya, aleluya!
Majesty, awestruck Honor
And Power and Strength and Dominion
To You Lord,
To the King, to King
To the King of Glory


by Jennie Lee Riddle