Monday, August 28, 2006

Sunday School

I love this post about teaching Sunday School. Check it out! My sentiments exactly!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sick little boys

So the whole "finish your chicken" thing came back to bite me, I think. The night after I posted about Ethan not liking the chicken that I served, he was up all night puking. He was running a high fever too, which probably brought on the tummy troubles. Pretty common for him. He has a very weak stomach, as those of us who have ridden in the car with him know. :)

Both of the boys still have fevers, 3 days later.

Anyway, I just thought it was ironic that Ethan threw up his chicken, when that is exactly what I did to my parents when I was little. I can just hear my mom saying, "I told you so!"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Clean Plate Club

Did you guys grow up having to eat everything off your plate before you could leave the table? My parents called it the Clean Plate Club. And it was not just in order to have dessert. No, we didn't really have dessert that often. We just had to finish what we were served, be thankful you even get to eat, there are starving children in Africa, and so on....

For those of you who are especially close to me, you'll recall a certain story involving a family dinner, my dad, me and a plate of homemade chicken. Let's just say that I wasn't a big fan of chicken when I was a child. And I'm particularly stubborn too. :)

So tonight at dinner, I was reminded of all of this. I tried a new recipe for Chicken Pockets (chopped chicken, cream cheese and cresent a mini calzone almost) which was in an effort to appeal to Ethan's tastes. Nothing doing. He was not impressed. And being the 2 1/2 year old that he is, he promptly refused tentatively gave it a try.

Then came the hilarious part of our dinner conversation:

Ethan: I not liiiiike it, Daddy.
Dave: Sorry, Ethan, you have to eat what Mommy makes. That's the rule.
Ethan: But I not want to! (very sad look)
Dave: Ethan, without rules, what would we have?
Ethan: (perks up) Chicken!

I don't know why Dave and I thought this was so funny, but we could not stop laughing about it. Dave is always asking Ethan these retorical questions (in jest), and it's not like he is expecting an answer.

But yes, we made him eat his chicken. Just like I said I'd never do when I grew up and had my own family!

On another note, here's what Simon was chewing on during dinner...

The spanky spoon (known to some as a Home Depot paint stirrer)! Hmmmm....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Our day

Simon is almost crawling! Here is a picture of him getting started. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth until he picks up enough momentum to lunge forward. He's not even 6 months yet!

We just got back from Dave's softball game. Ethan has an absolute blast, playing in the dirt with his little friends. After he had gotten sufficiently dirty tonight, he meandered over to the dugout to hang with the guys. Every so often I'd hear him yell out, "Go Jer-my! Base hit!" in imitation of his dad. It was so stinkin' cute. :)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Spiritual Side of Mommy

"O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions- this great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great...these all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good." Psalm 104:24, 25,27,28

I was talking to a friend of mine today about this job she and I have. It's called being a mommy. And most of the time we love it. But today, she was discouraged and teary, wondering how much impact she was having in her young children's lives. Before she was married and had kids, she was involved in several areas of ministry and spent a couple hours a day studying her Bible. Four kids later, she can barely find time to read her Bible.

I can relate.

The conversation turned to spiritual things pretty quickly because we realized that one of the biggest causes of discouragement in our lives is neglect of our relationship with the Lord. She admitted that she struggles with getting up early to spend time in the Word--of course! we all do!--and I found myself remembering when I first became a mom. For awhile there, I felt like I almost lost my spiritual side, as if me and this infant are all that really matters, and if I can just make it through this day.... not seeing the big picture at all. The Lord gave me this infant to raise into a man who will seek after God, and in order to do so, I have to be in the Word and praying for wisdom.

The responsibility of it all makes me want to hide underneath the covers. :)

But I've appreciated having this second son, because it seems like I'm starting to wake up a little spiritually in the process. Maybe it's just seeing the different stages my boys are in at the same time, that they do grow up quickly. Potty training, diapers, breastfeeding...that's not all there is. :) My children need to have a mommy who seeks after the Lord more than they need anything else. They need to see me reading the Word, and choosing to obey it, even when it's hard. They need to see me going to the Lord with my anxieties first, instead of complaining about them to everyone who will listen. They need to see me willing to serve the Lord in whatever way He asks, even when it costs me something.

Halfway through our conversation, my friend started to perk up. See, she knows the truth, that everything out of the Lord's hand is good. He's not asking her to be involved in those ministries she was involved in before she was married. He has something better in store for her now! Being a godly mommy to her boys. And for that to happen, she cannot neglect her relationship with the Lord. Bottom line. Children's hearts are not guided to the Lord by accident.

She knows it. And I'm glad we had this conversation, because I needed to be reminded of it too. Because my spiritual side is waking up.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I wish I could post a picture of how exhausted I feel tonight. I doubt it shows on my face, but it's for real, I tell ya. I'm not sure I've ever been so tired in all my life. Do you feel sorry for me? :)

Hmmm...well, it's been a busy weekend so far, and I'm pretty sure that it's going to continue that way. You would think by now that I'd be used to this pace. I think it's a combination of the still-getting-up-at-night-sometimes-nursing-baby-thing and the husband-who-never-slows-down-for-a-minute. I am in awe of him really. He doesn't sleep much.

We had a Sunday School icecream social here tonight to kick off the new school year (it was for the teachers, not the students :). Dave is the Sunday School superintendant at the chapel now, and he's been meeting with a committee all year to come up with an organized program so that our kids graduate with a clear understanding of the gospel, a knowledge of the Scriptures, and have learned how to "rightly divide the Word of Truth." It's been a neat process.

One thing Dave and I have been thinking about it in relationship to Sunday School is how much all those kids are watching our lives and actions. It is such a huge responsibility to be a Sunday School teacher! And the natural question to ask ourselves is, "Am I living a life that reflects how important the Lord Jesus Christ is to me? Am I conveying that to those who are learning from me?" In Acts 2:42, the early church was characterized by continuing steadfastly in 4 areas: the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. It was in this setting that the Lord worked mightily, and He “added to the church daily those who were being saved” (v.47). I LOVE THAT!!!! If our goal is the salvation and growth of our young people, our teachers should be people who are characterized by regular attendance and participation in the Lord’s Supper (breaking of bread), the Family Bible Hour (the apostle’s doctrine), the weekly Prayer Meeting, and times of fellowship.

Okay, so this is hard. Especially if you have young children. Or if you just have a full plate, with too many committments. Or if you're just a little bit lazy--ahem!--I mean exhausted, like I am tonight. :) I don't feel like getting up early and making it to the Lord's Supper tomorrow. Dare I admit that!!! But you know what? I will get up early, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One worthy of my mornings, my committments, my passion. I want to serve Him with my life, and I want my children--and those taught by me--to see that He is my life.

And I want the Lord to work mightily here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Good gifts

Why is it, I wonder, do I get so excited about finding my kids cool toys at garage sales and the Goodwill? I mean, yes, I can find really good prices. Sometimes for next to nothing, practically. But seriously, how many toys do they need anyway? :)

I think I'm just a sucker for a good deal. Or maybe I'm addicted to that look of wonder that Ethan has.

A couple Saturdays ago, Dave needed the morning to himself to prepare to speak at church the next day, so I took the boys out and drove around town to several garage sales. This is all I ended up buying. It's a motorized tractor, Little Tikes, I think. Ethan loves it. It wasn't a need, but I loved buying it for him.

Makes me think of Matthew 7:11, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

I love to think about the emotion of the Lord, how much He loves us and pursues our hearts. The idea that He, like any good parent, would delight in bestowing extra, totally unmerited, just for the fun of it, new toys on me....well, it just blows me away. I hope I have my look of wonder on.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Biter Biscuits

So it's lunch time at our house. Dave is home, and the boys are enjoying their food. Ethan always chooses a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, no matter what else is offered to him. And Simon had his first biter biscuit. Here's the evidence.

Here's cuddly Simon, getting ready for his nap.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Garage Sale Find

I have been praying, every time I go out to garage sales on Friday or Saturday mornings, to find 2 things we've been wanting for awhile. A dining room table with 6 chairs, for more seating when we entertain. And a train table for the boys. This week I found both!

Thursday, when Ethan and I were playing in the backyard, I noticed that my neighbor was having a garage sale. It didn't look like she had too much stuff, but I walked over anyway (more to be friendly than to shop) and there it was.... our dining room table, complete with 6 chairs! Problem was, it looks a little dated, and she had it marked $100 for the set. I didn't really wanted to spend that much, so I looked, talked to my neighbor for a few minutes, and then went back home to ask the Lord what He thought. The more I prayed (Ethan kept asking, "Mommy, why not listening me?" :), the more I was convinced that this was the table for us. So I went back over to the sale and asked what her lowest price was. And she said, "For you, let's say $50!!!" I was elated! What a deal! So here's a before picture...they are all solid wood, so Dave is going to sand everything down. And then we'll prime and paint them all black.

I removed the seat cushions today, and I'm trying to decide what kind of fabric to cover them with. Any ideas?

So, I'm thankful to the Lord for His provision. I've been wanting to buy a dining room table for about 8 months now, and contrary to my nature, I've been trying to be patient and just see what the Lord had in store for us. Instead of just rushing out and spending money on something new, even though I made enough at my garage sale last spring to cover it. Just because we can afford something doesn't mean it's the Lord's best for us, and I've been trying to put on that mindset, that the Lord really does care about the small details of our lives. And that even something like a dining room table, because He was the Giver, can bring Him glory.

Oh, yes, and Ethan loves his new train table too. :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006


We had our VBS in June this year. Our theme was the Law of the Leper, and our speaker Ken Miller used leprosy as a picture of sin. The kids were riveted to his every word. We decorated the church to look like a Jerusalem marketplace, complete with a large tent, giant palm trees, a Jerusalem cityscape, and an almost life-size camel that actually bobbed its head! In the picture below, you can see me (Rachel) and the rest of the Leper skit cast...every night we performed a portion of a skit that Dave and I wrote based on the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. Obviously we made our own costumes. :)

Ethan went to VBS this year. He's a little young...we usually start them at 4, but since Dave and I were helping out, we brought him along. He LOVED it, and still sings his version of all the songs. I say his version because sometimes it is really hard to determine what he's singing...all the words sort of blend together into this sort of rhythmic chanting, complete with motions, of course. It's hilarious.

We had the kids wear headbands for nametags this year. Here's Ethan in his...usually the name is printed on the band, but for some reason, Ethan's is not. I think we all know who that troublemaker is anyway. :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not so new news

We have a new baby brother in our house! (Okay, so maybe this is not news, but we just realized tonight that we have neglected to share pics with some of our dear relatives. Shame on us!) So let's recap. Simon was born a week early, and at 8 lbs, 8 oz, he seemed huge to us. He loved to be swaddled, just like Ethan, and right away, seemed to be such an easy baby. Here's a picture of his first bath. Big brother has always liked to help. :)

His disposition is usually content and happy. He thinks his big brother Ethan is the funniest thing he's ever seen, and when they wake up in the morning, and see each other, the look of delight on each of their faces is just priceless! Sometimes I am blown away by it all...thank you, Lord, for such sweet children to raise.

Here's Ethan holding Simon when he was first born.

Simon with Grandma Hart

His adorable grin!

So just like that, there's 4 of us now. And we couldn't be happier. Ethan is old enough to be such a little helper to me - he throws all the diapers in the trash, finds lost binkies, sings songs to Simon in the backseat to comfort him, loads dishes in the dishwasher (I am not kidding! You just wish you had an Ethan, don't you?! :) - and with a cheerful attitude too. I realize every day what an impact my attitude has on his, and it's so convicting. Having children has really opened my eyes to my own inconsistencies and "attitude problems." Is it that way for everyone, or am I the only one? :)