Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
We are so thankful to everybody who ordered a poinsettia for our Christmas fundraiser. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!
Don't forget the flowers will be at the church Sunday December 5th in the old offices.
We have to remember that God's timing is always the best even if we don't understand it. My grandma always says. "Be still and know that I am God." What a truthful and encouraging thought. I was discouraged this week when I prayed for money to be given towards little Gretchen's grant fund and nothing came. Then the next day I saw that God had answered my prayers for 3 children. Nikita, Vika, and John Mark had all found adoptive families!!!!
Then Jason pointed out that if I wanted to see Gretchen's grant fund grow then I should be the first to contribute and cut something out of our budget to make it happen. Whew, the truth can hit you smack in the face some times! Why should I get to eat at McDonald's while little Gretchen sits in an orphanage waiting for a Mommy and Daddy! (Note: this is not the child we will adopt...as that remains unknown at this time)
The honest truth is that it is hard for Jason and I not to eat out but I know we can do it with the Lord's help. I just keep hearing the words from my blog title in my head....."But God doesn't call us to be comfortable."
These days most people have so much we don't even know how to live like we're poor. I'm sure I could talk to my grandma to gain some wisdom about living on a tight budget (no credit) because in those days that's all you had. I have a friend who told me that when her mom was younger and had 5 little boys at home it was a treat if she could afford to put chocolate chips in the cookies.
Do we consider living this way in order to help ,"the least of these"? I am the first one who is guilty of thinking things are "normal" rather than viewing them as the luxuries that they really are.
What can we all do this week in order to be "radical"? What chocolate chips can we live without? Maybe if we all cut out a coffee, or a meal out we could give that money to Gretchen instead?
Remember: There are many families willing to adopt these children and money is the biggest barrier.
Go to http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingchildren/angel-girls-0-5
There you can scroll down to find Gretchen and many other dear little girls. Will you help one of them today?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best. From the beginning of time, He has been clear that some offerings are acceptable to Him and others are not. Just ask Cain, upon whose offering God did not look with favor (Genesis 4:5).
For years I gave God leftovers and felt no shame. I simply took my eyes off Scripture and instead compared myself to others. The bones I threw at God had more meat on them than the bones others threw, so I figured I was doing fine.
It’s easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left. Hosea 13:6 says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing. A mumbled three-minute prayer at the end of the day, when we are already half asleep. Two crumpled-up dollar bills thrown as an afterthought into the church’s fund for the poor. Fetch, God!
“But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the Lord.
The priests of Malachi’s day thought their sacrifices were sufficient. They had spotless animals, but chose to keep those for themselves and give their less desirable animals to God. They assumed God was pleased because they had sacrificed something.
God described this practice as evil.
Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one that matters), they’re evil. Let’s stop calling it “a busy schedule” or “bills” or “forgetfulness.” It’s called evil.
God is holy. In heaven exists a Being who decides whether or not I take another breath. This holy God deserves excellence, the very best I have. “But something is better than nothing!” some protest. Really, is it? Does anyone enjoy token praise? I sure don’t. I’d rather you not say anything than compliment me out of obligation or guilt. Why would we think God is any different?
We have our first seminar coming up on December 3rd at the adoption agency. Thank-you mom for being willing to come along and watch Renee for us!
We will then begin the paperwork. We will have another 3 day seminar in February and then we will begin the home study which takes a minimum of 3 months.
That is what we know for now as far as a time line. We are trying to remember that this could change at any time but we hope and pray for a smooth journey.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We got rid of our books that teach baby training such as Baby Wise and The Baby Whisperer.
We feed Renee on cue not on a schedule. This is usually when she makes a sucking noise. She does not normally cry for food.
Renee sleeps next to us in a co-sleeper. She naps on our bed and we usually lay beside her to help her fall asleep.
We have a crib but we don't use it. We don't use our playpen either but it holds a lot of toys.
We like to wear Renee in a sling but due to my arthritis it is not always possible so I like to keep Renee by me in the swing or I sit with her on the couch or bed.
We understand and respect that other people parent differently.
What is attachment parenting? (AP) A lot of people may have not heard of this term. The term is new (ish), but the parenting style is not.
"It's what we would do if we gave birth to our baby on a deserted island, away from the advice of well-meaning relatives and friends, away from all the wildly varying opinions in the baby books. Without the influence of culture, this is how God designed us to be. Intuitively, we feel drawn to meet our baby's need for comfort, security, connection, and closeness with such things as gentle touches, nursing, cuddles, and loving words. We want to be *there* for our baby, and we want to do what it takes to help our baby feel right. " - Gentle Christian Mothering - flowermama
The term itself was coined by Christian Pediatrician and father William Sears.
AP is about anticipating your baby's needs and responding to them. This then creates a deep bond of trust. Babies have a need for continual close contact and this is achieved by sleeping close to baby and babywearing when possible. The time in your arms/bedroom is only a short one yet the memories of love and availability last a lifetime. When babies sleep with or near their parents, especially mom, they are not being spoiled, they are being made to feel secure and accepted.
AP parents feel that:
Babies cannot be spoiled or held too much.
Babies night time needs are just as important as their day time needs.
Babies are designed to breastfeed on cue not on any type of schedule.
Feeding (breast or bottle) a baby is a time for nurturing and communicating love to baby.
Young children need gentle, positive discipline not threats of punishment and harsh words.
God has been gracious to us and we need to be gracious to our children.
A father's involvement in raising his children is vital.
Babies should not be left to "Cry it out" for any reason.
Parenting decisions should not be made based on convenience.
Breastfeeding is beneficial to toddlers as well as babies.
Children's efforts to communicate must be affirmed and valued.
Parents need to be involved, available, and empathetic.
Fear based parenting has no place in gentle, loving, Biblical discipline.
Children need an appropriate mixture of kindness and firmness in a manner that respects their feelings and their developmental, emotional, and daily needs.
For more information see:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I think I am realizing that even though she only has 45 minute naps during the day, they are very important to her, especially the first one of the day.
All in all, since about 5 weeks, she hasn't cried that much. She wakes up smiling and at night she goes to bed smiling too. I guess that's why when she does cry it bothers me so much.
She is usually very happy!
Well I finally figured out how to properly wrap my Moby wrap and we walked with Charla to Walmart and back and she really like it. She slept in it on the way there, facing in, and faced out on the way back.
Going for a ride...the sunglasses didn't fit.
Friday, July 16, 2010
We headed off to Cottage Grove, Oregon to spend the night. It took about 7 hours so we got there at 12:30 at night. Yes we left for a road trip at 5 in the afternoon, however that's pretty good considering we only decided to go on the trip at 2:00.
As you can see, Renee and I were very sleepy....like mother like daughter. I can't believe Jason actually got this picture.
We left in the morning for San Diego. It took a looooong time. We finally arrived at 0300 AM!!! Renee slept basically the whole time except when we stopped to feed her. The back seat made a great change table and my front seat was the only place to feed as the A/C was on full time it was so hot. At one point I thought to myself , " Why is this taking so long?" Well, we couldn't even go the speed limit half the time because of the semi trucks...I counted 300 trucks in 10 minutes. That is 30 trucks a minute. And then of course there was the California Highway Patrol who somehow managed to be pulling people over left, right, and centre in the middle of nowhere.
We made it...yeah! We went to Sea World the first day. Jason didn't end up going on the rides because the line was too long but there was plenty of other things to do. We saw the Shamu show. How many Shamu's are there really? You have to wonder if those whales actually have real names. They can't all be Shamu. We saw this family with five boys that all looked about the same age. Turns out they had one boy and then two sets of twins only a year apart. Now those are busy parents. I would definitely recommend Sea World over the zoo because it is way easier to get around and for one price you can eat and drink all day unlimited.
I wanted to take her home as my pet.
Renee made friends easily.
Renee on the train at the Wild Animal Park
Mommy and Baby
On the third day we went to the zoo, which was really fun because you can see the animals quite close up. It was a lot of walking up steep hills though. Jason got up close to the African Spoonbills which were quite aggressive.
And we both got to feed the giraffes. We found out from the zoo keeper that one of the orangutans used to escape and hang out at the zoo's bus stop. Jason carried Renee in the Snugli the whole time at the zoo which she really loved.
Renee and I on the aircraft carrier, USS Midway, with another carrier behind us. How many people can say the have breastfed their baby on an aircraft carrier? :) This was our last day in Sandiego. The USS Midway museum was awesome. The real retired pilots share their first hand accounts of what it is like to land a plane on the carrier in the dark. Apparently the stress is worse than in combat and the pilots are hyperventilating during the landing. Wow! We then drove up the coast to Huntington Beach and had dinner at Ruby's Diner on the end of the pier.
When we were is San Diego we kept getting these flyers for several pizza places under our motel door. We couldn't believe how cheap it was and we didn't feel like going out so we called them. One guy said he was closed. (at 9 on a Friday night!!) One guy was out of drivers and we were out of luck. The next day as we were leaving Ruby's and walking down the pier we saw some guys fishing. The next thing we hear is a cell phone ringing and the guy answers, "Mario's Pizza..Can I take your order?" We looked at each other and dropped our jaws in unison. We couldn't believe this guy was trying to run his business while fishing. He probably had his mom making pizza in his basement. We were pretty glad that the places we called didn't work out be
cause it all seemed kind of shady.
When we were driving home it was 44Celsius in Sacramento. Needless to say Renee never left the air conditioned car. We brought her in the pool at our hotel in Woodland, CA where we stayed our last night. Even though it was 33 degrees outside she didn't like the pool. :(
On the way home we stopped at the House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex. It was a fun place where people appear to grow and shrink, brooms stand up crooked, and balls roll up hill. Jason basically concluded it was an optical illusion after he discovered that their homemade levels have curved tubes in them. Either way we really found it to be interesting and it was cheap too.
"Time to go home Mommy and Daddy!!!"
Overall we had a great trip. It is definitely an adventure to take a little baby all the way to San Diego, but it really gets you used to breastfeeding that's for sure. Even though we had such a great time, I began to miss and appreciate the comforts of home. There's nothing like you're own shower and your own bed.
I had to throw away all of my food and it really made me realize that I was probably taking my food security for granted. Who was I to think that there would always be food just sitting there waiting to be eaten? After all, am I not supposed to trust the Lord for all things, not just the "big" things? I felt like I had been subconsciously saying, " OK God, I've got this one on my own."
I also realized that I had too much food and a lot of expired food which is really a waste. I have been inspired to try to start planning my meals and my shopping. I'm currently looking for some great websites to help with home making and organization in the areas of cooking and cleaning.
After spraying the bugs to their death, and then cleaning out the pantry with hot water and pine sole (actually my hubby did that), I still found a bug alive. I will have to wash it out with bleach and water tomorrow and wait and see what happens. There is no food in there so they can't live much longer.