Friday, September 25, 2009

What Do I Know?

Things have been a bit busy around here. I'm still trying to figure out how to get into any sort of routine with a newborn again and with the addition of homeschooling. I'm exhausted most of the time. I'm struggling to get into a groove of spending regular, meaningful time with the Lord in His Word. Before Claire and homeschooling, I did this in the afternoon when Gabe was napping and Ladan was resting. That time is no longer free. I know that the best thing I can do for myself and my family is to take this time no matter what, but as soon as I think that's going to happen, one of said family members needs my immediate attention to clean up some bodily fluid, make them food, teach them, discipline them, proofread something, pay bills before they're late, etc., etc. So, rather than getting lengthy periods of time in the Word, I have to settle for shorter bits. And I have to realize that while they might not seem as meaningful as what I was getting, it keeps me going. I may only have a little bit of time to sit with the Bible open on my lap, but I can meditate all day long.

So, what have I been meditating on? In our community groups here at Redeemer, we're working through 1 John. What do we see in 1 John? The gospel. God's holiness. A reminder that our joy and our eternity rest on whether or not we believe the gospel and are being transformed to be more like Christ every day. Assurance that if we do know God and believe the gospel, we will be changed, we will have joy, and we will have eternal life. I'm writing it here like it's just that simple, and it is. At the same time, I'm sitting here looking at the words in 1 John with tears in my eyes because it's HUGE! Seriously, do you understand the weight of this? There is JOY and ETERNAL LIFE that comes with knowing God and growing in holiness! There is hell and destruction if we don't know God and grow in holiness. I want to KNOW God. I want to grow in holiness. I need to know what holy looks like.

I keep hearing the song "What Do I Know of Holy" by Addison Road on the radio, and it stirs my heart every single time. Just when I think I know who He is, I get a greater glimpse of who He is, and it brings me down to my knees. Really, what do I know of holy? More than I used to, but in reality, I know nothing. How's that for motivation to stay in the Word no matter what? Even if it's just little bits at a time that I can think about all day. In the event that someone else might be spurred on by this song, I'm posting it here. And if it's been a while since you read the book of 1 John, I'd encourage you to read it again very soon while this is fresh in your mind.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

She's SMILING... and Ladan's First Painting

Here are some photos of Claire in her little church dress. Actually, it's a dress that I wore when I was a baby. She's 6 weeks old, and she's SMILING!!!! All these girly things are so much fun!

Ladan Painting a Purple Pansy using Pointellism!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Well, Look at You!

Gabe has been hilarious lately! This morning I had on an old t-shirt that my dad got me YEARS ago to wear as pajamas. It's basically an extra-large t-shirt with dolphins on it. When I got up from feeding Claire, I helped Gabe go to the bathroom. He was standing on the toilet while I washed my hands. He suddenly looked over at me and said in his very expressive voice, "Well, look at you! You got whales all over your shirt!" If you know Gabe's voice, you'll know how funny this was... and if you don't know his voice, I wish I had a recording for you.

When he doesn't like something that someone else says--like when you tell him to eat the chip in his mouth before he gets another one--he puts on his best stern face, points quickly to the stairs, and says in his best stern voice, "Go to yo' bed!" Today I told him that he wasn't going to be able to watch Tom and Jerry, and he promptly told me to go to my bed. If only I could have obeyed him! I needed a nap!

Other updates....

I took Claire to her one-month appointment last Friday, and she weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 21.5 inches long. Still lighter than both the boys at birth with an extra half inch compared to their birth measurements. She's a skinny little peanut. She's growing just fine though, and the doctor didn't even mention her size as an issue at all. She had a lot of catching up to do after she lost nearly a pound in the hospital.

She's starting to lose the hair on the top of her head. We'll see if she loses the rest. She's gripping things pretty well and held her first toy today and waved it around all by herself for quite a few minutes. I can tell she's about ready to start smiling here in the next week or two. She's got these huge bright eyes when she gets excited, and today she was starting to move her mouth in the direction of a big fat grin... but it's not there quite yet.

Ladan is doing really well with school. Handwriting is not his favorite or best thing at all, but many of his lessons require quite a bit of writing practice. He's getting loads better, but we were both tired of spending so much time on this every day. So he does all the writing associated with his math every day. However, I decided to only do parts of the assignments in his phonics curriculum so that we could skip ahead to the parts where he's reading. Since he's already a reader, I felt like he wasn't being challenged in this way, was getting bored, and was getting a bit discouraged as well. According to my projections, it was going to take us through the end of October to get to read a book that he's already read on his own, which seemed crazy to me. So I'm going to rearrange the order of quite a few assignments in order to spread out the handwriting stuff and pull the reading stuff forward. It's working MUCH BETTER so far. I guess that's the cool thing about homeschooling... I can totally rearrange things to keep pressing ahead in areas where he's very strong and give him more time to work on the things where he needs more work.

I'd say that homeschooling is going very well so far. But there is not yet a pattern to our days. I'm so thankful that I didn't expect any kind of routine at this stage of Claire's life. I look forward to the day when things are just a little bit more predictable... and for now, I'm just fine with the fact that I may not get a whole lot done other than school, feeding my infant, playing with the kids, communicating with my husband, keeping the clothes and cloth diapers clean, washing dishes, buying groceries, preparing meals, paying bills, spending time with Redeemer folks, and reading the Word... oh, and sleeping occasionally.

Chet's been working like a mad man getting all manner of things prepared for when Redeemer starts having services every Sunday. We will finish up core team development by the end of October and begin weekly services on November 1. There is much to be done between now and then, but we have an excellent team, and things seem to be trucking along. While there's some work left to be done on our website, it is live now. Check it out at when you get a second.

Exciting things are also happening with His Voice for Sudan, the ministry that my brother and Amber started several years ago!!!! Their blog is in transition, so they have two right now: and

Well, my bed is screaming my name, so I'm going to try to get there before my infant is screaming my name again.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Days of School

Ladan on the first day of kindergarten. We are homeschooling this year, and it's all an adventure. Ladan absolutely loves school! I'm so thankful!

Here are some photos of the boys on the first day of homeschool co-op, Sept. 3. They each have a class, and they both had a blast the first day! Ladan helped Gabe get his backpack on, which was super-cute. And I had the hardest time getting Gabe to stand away from Ladan to get individual photos. He just wanted to be next to his big brother!