Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Missionary thoughts

I just read Brooke's post about Betty Stam, the missionary who was martyred with her husband in China, and I was reminded of how much I loved reading that book. I commented on her blog, but I'll post it here too. This quote has been in my Bible since high school, and I'm inspired every time I read it.

"There is nothing unpractical or disappointing about seeking to live victoriously and happily in Christ, provided you don't try so hard, but just trustfully let Him live. I was much impressed yesterday in reading that when God consecrated Aaron and his sons for the priesthood He literally "filled their hands" for a whole week (Lev. 8:33). When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice and doing lots for Him, when we are really only letting go of some little, bitsie trinkets we have been grabbing, and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of treasures. " ---Betty Stam

This is always my problem, trying so hard to live the Christian life happily.....all the while, clutching at the trinkets this life offers, assuming that He couldn't possibly fill the void when He takes them away. I guess I don't consciously think those things every day, but when I get really pensive and pyschoanalyze myself, those thoughts are there.

But He's so good! And His treasures are lasting! It makes me want to empty my hands in order to be ready for what He has.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Practicing Church

For awhile now, my husband has been asking me to practice "church" at home each day. Our kids do okay for the most part right now, but it's not terribly peaceful in our pew. Ethan did better until Simon was born, probably just because, before then, it was 2 against 1. Now these boys are ganging up on us. :)

So yesterday, after reading this post by Kim about babbling babies in church (again! thanks, Kim!), I was inspired to obey my husband and get this church thing under control. I started by sitting on the couch with Ethan beside me and Simon on my lap. I told Ethan that we were going to pretend that we were at church and said that he could read his library books quietly until I told him he could get up. And he did great, right off the bat! No talking for 40 minutes! Wow, I wasn't expecting to sit for that long on the first day, but Simon ended up falling asleep after about 20 minutes. (And I got to spend an unexpected time of prayer at the end of our afternoon!)

At the beginning it was really difficult with Simon though. He is 7 months, and likes to move! And he knows how to be vocal when he doesn't get his way. Of course I remember going through this with Ethan, but I spent a lot of time in the back when he was little. And we'd love to avoid that if possible. So anyway, I tried Kim's technique. Every time Simon protested being held securely in my lap, I just lightly thumped his cheek and whispered in his ear, "No!" He was so surprised the first time, and then proceeded to get MAD!!!!! But it only took a couple times and he surrendered and sat quietly the rest of the time.

I guess he's old enough to understand "no." Shocker.

Today's practice session went about the same, except Simon stayed awake the whole time.

I am so excited to see if practicing this on a daily basis will make for an easier Sunday morning. Have any of you tried this before?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Child Training

I recently read this post by Kim C, and I wanted to share it with you all. I have been so encouraged by her posts on child training recently. This was a response to someone who criticized her approach to training her babies to obey, stating that some children just have a will of their own. Actually, I think they all do, but what do I know? I just have 2 of them. :)

Kim says,
"As parents, we help our children by teaching them early to have their wills bent to a visible authority. Then, as adults, they are better prepared to bend their wills to the source of all authority, God. The earlier we begin, the softer their young wills are and the more easily they are bent.
This is why it is so important to teach our children to obey! Not because it pleases us, not because it makes our days smoother and easier, not because obedient children are happier. These are benefits of obedience, yes, but none of these is the primary motivation.
We teach our children to obey us because in so doing they honor God now and learn to honor Him more as they grow. How will they obey an invisible God in the hard times of their lives if they can't obey us now when we tell them that 2 cookies are enough?"

Thank you, Kim, for putting my heart into words. I so desire to raise my boys in a way that would cause them to be sensitive to the things of the Lord, and so teaching obedience early makes perfect sense to me!

Oh, and FYI, you'll be seeing my new template soon. Dave is having one designed for me for my upcoming birthday! Should be here shortly!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blog Design Contest

Susie at Bluebird Blogs is hosting a contest for 2 lucky people to win a totally free, completely customized blog design from Bluebird Blogs. Check out her galleries. She is so creative! I would LOVE to win this contest, but out of the kindness of my heart I'm offering you guys a chance to win too. Okay, so maybe there is kinda-sorta an incentive. I MIGHT be getting 5 entries just by featuring this contest on my blog. Maybe, kinda-sorta. Okay, I am. :)

Information on how to enter:- Send an email with your name and blog address to

Entries will be accepted from 7:00pm EST on Thursday 9/14/06 until 11:59pm EST on Friday 9/22/06.

Can't wait to see who wins!

Monday, September 11, 2006

More Vacation Pictures

Hi, my name is Simon
My boys
Ethan and my dad, throwing rocks into a stream near our cabin
We hiked up to this waterfall one afternoon

Friday, September 08, 2006


Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood has decided to host a theme day! So let's share frugal tips every Friday. Sounds like a good idea to me! I am always looking for ways to make our income stretch.
Ladies, this is one of the Proverbs 31 woman's best qualities--the wise use of money. I love verse 11:
"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain."
Does your husband trust you with the money? Strive to be trustworthy! One way you can do this is to seek out ways to be frugal. This shows your husband that you value the hard work he does for your family.
So my frugal tip for the week is this--learn how to cut hair! Now this is something that I never thought that I could do (and actively avoided for a couple years), but when my sister-in-law bought a clipper set to cut her son's hair, I looked over the directions with her. It's not that hard! Now I'm cutting Dave and Ethan's hair every 4-6 weeks. This saves us over $200 per year!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Home at Last

This is a picture of my brother Michael walking a trail with Ethan, who was gazing up at him, adoringly. I think it's my favorite picture of the trip.

So, yes, we're home! Finally! And for all those of you interested, our vacation brings to mind 3 words: puke, screaming, and mountains. Yup, folks, they were beautiful. The mountains, that is. But the puking? Not so much. I hadn't considered how much nursing a baby (who just cut a tooth and got up every 2 hours all night) would affect my hydration. So yes, I got altitude sickness. Really, really bad. It lasted a couple of days--we almost came home early, in fact--but then I snapped out of it. We had a good time after that. Here are a few pics to prove it.

The gorgeous view from halfway up a 14'er

Dave, Simon and Ethan in front of a restaurant At the base of Quandry Mountain Who taught this kid to pose?Our cabin (and when Michael was there, it really did look like a VW car lot! He drives a GTI)
Michael and E, throwing rocks in the river

Our sweet fam

Well, my parents were on this trip too, but every attempt I've made to load a picture of them has failed. :) You'll just have to imagine them in all these pictures. And maybe we'll post more tomorrow.

Friday, September 01, 2006

We're off!

Dave and I finally finished packing the's 1 am, and we're planning to leave here at around 8 am tomorrow. Colorado, here we come! We're staying in Breckenridge with my parents and brother Michael. Ethan is so excited! He went to bed tonight without an complaining, so that he could wake up sooner to go on "v'cation"!!!!!

We'll post pics when we get back. Have a great week!