12.13.2010

The Holy Family

The King in her womb made her visibly great with child. She had grown beautifully large with Grace himself. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Her skin streched thin over the coming Christ child.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

The Savior was knit together within her, now a living tabernacle.

And I wonder at the anticipation she must have had. Much like the anticipation all women feel
who have carried a babe. But this...this was different. This was the Son of the Most High. The heir to David's throne.

But her very life sustained his.

And she loved Him as I love mine.




And her Joseph...


I have often thought how my Joseph was appropriately named. My Joseph is much like this Godly man. A quiet hero, who needs no aknowledgement though he deserves much. A man who sacrifices all for his family. Who is obedient without a big display.

And this family is so beautiful.

I pray that our family would grow to be more like this one.

12.12.2010

Lazy Saturday

Yesterday might have been the perfect day. I love lazy Saturdays hanging out with my family! Joe has started a new tradition with the boys in the last couple of months. He lets me sleep in on Saturdays and they all get up and watch a movie and make a big breakfast. Yesterday was pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Yum-0. I got up at 9:30 (which was AMAZING!) and ate breakfast while I watched them chase each other, laughing and roughhousing for quite a while.

Then we got all bundled up and headed out to play in the snow (for the first time this winter!) We actually didn't have that much on the ground...maybe an inch? But it was enough and it was about 25 degrees so the boys weren't freezing. They had a blast. I took some pictures that I'm excited to post soon...you'll notice there are more of Judah, though, because he was the only one I could get to stand still for longer than .3 seconds. I also took some hilarious video...I will tell you that Joe got very creative with some snow activities using things that we already had in our garage...but I won't say any more than that. I'll leave you in suspense because it will be better to just see the video! SO funny.

We had lunch. The boys both napped. We watched some TV. I knitted.

The only downside to yesterday was that we ended up with blizzard conditions by the end of the day. 50 MPH winds made for lots of blowing snow and white out conditions. I was supposed to go to Ames and have dinner with some friends. I tried to go, but I ended up turning around just outside of town because I couldn't.see.anything. I was really disappointed I didn't make it to see those girls! But, better to be safe. SO, came home and ate dinner with the boys. We got into some PJs and watched "It's a Meaningful Life" (which is the current favorite in our house. I have only seen it approximately 30 times now.) :)

Tucked the boys in. Had a pomegranate (have I mentioned that they are FANTASTIC? They are such a yummy winter treat). Watched Community. Watched The Office.

Good day.

I have some really fun stories about the boys to share one of these days! But, Judah just woke up, so I better go get him! I also have to figure out if we'll be able to make it to church today! Hoping the weather is better soon!

12.06.2010

The Name

So, as I said, I need to fill you in on how Silas got his name!

I first suggested the name Silas months ago. And, as you will recall, Joe was not a fan. Not a fan at all. So, we dropped the name and didn't talk about it much after that.

Well, didn't talk about it much seriously. Occasionally I would bring it up again just to see his reaction. That's when Joe told me that if I named our son Silas he would call him Kevin. :) If you happen to be in women's Bible study with me, you'll recall that (when he joined us for dinner one night) Joe made some other extreme comments about how much he disliked the name Silas. I'll leave it at that.

In my mind, it was totally off the table. I stopped thinking of it as an option at all.

But then, one night, we were telling the "Silas/Kevin" story to some friends and Joe asked them to vote between the names Josiah and Silas. They both chose Silas without a second thought.

Joe got all flustered about that and then started asking people to vote between Elijah and Silas and Silas kept winning out...much more often than he had anticipated.

Fast forward a couple of weeks (we still hadn't been talking about Silas as a name option at this point). Joe comes home from some late appointments and the boys are in bed. Pretty much the first thing he said when he came in the door was "I have a surprise for you".

...and the rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: "....ok..."
Joe: "I've been thinking about it a lot"
Me. "....ok...you're kind of freaking me out...just tell me"
Joe: "I think his name is Silas"
Me: "no you don't! You hate that name!"
Joe: "No, I'm serious. I think that's his name."
Me: "What?? When did that happen?"
Joe: "I don't know. I just keep thinking about it and the more I say it and the more I hear other people say it the more I think that's his name. So we can make it official now."
Me: "Uh, no!"
Joe: "What? Why?"
Me: "Because now I've been trying to convince myself that Silas is not an option. And how do I know you're not going to change your mind again in 3 days??"
Joe: "Okay, we can think about it for a few more days"

A few days later we were all calling him Silas. Roman too.

And Judah saying "Si-yes" is pretty much the cutest thing you've ever heard in your life.

And, in case you aren't familiar...here is the story of the Silas.

To me the name Silas brings images of a man of strength, a man courageous enough to speak the truth regardless of the circumstances or of the consequences. It seems to fit this baby given our situation during this pregnancy.

And I pray that he, my third son, will be that sort of man. A man who walks with the Lord and who boldly brings others to know Him.

We have chosen David as his middle name. My dad's name. The name of a king, who, though sinful, was called a man after God's own heart.

We are so excited to meet you, Silas. We have already been on quite the journey together and we can't wait to share more of life with you!

Silas David

Yes! That is his name!! I am so excited to finally be able to call him by his name! (In case you are wondering what changed since this post....I'll write more on Joe's change of heart soon! :))

***

All I could think this morning, from the moment I woke up was

"only say the word and I shall be healed".

We have been praying so much for our precious baby boy. We have had so many more praying on our behalf and we are so thankful. As I got myself ready to go to our ultrasound this morning, I just kept thinking "God, you can. Only you can. All you have to do is choose to heal this pregnancy, it will happen."

Please, Father.

***

Don't ever let anyone tell you that God doesn't perform miracles. Two months ago, this was a "hopeless" cause. We were told that the placenta was not likely to move. We were told to prepare for bed rest and a C-section. They said we should work on finding people who would be able to help us. Be sure to watch for any spotting, come in right away if there are any contractions. Be careful. Nothing strenuous. If you begin labor on your own, this could quickly become a very dangerous situation.

We said "We'll be praying". The doctor and the ultrasound tech both said "I think that's nice".

Nice? Well, I suppose.

Powerful? Yes. Most certainly.

Our God is a warrior.

***

I also want to say that I know there are some mamas out there who have prayed for their babies and their prayer was not answered the way that they had hoped. There are some people who have begged and pleaded on behalf of some more dangerous, more pressing matter, and have walked away disappointed.

I don't have answers for all of that.

But, here's what I do know. We serve a God who is good all the time. Even when we don't understand what's happening around us or to us, He is good. Even though we live in a fallen world where death and destruction and disillusionment are daily occurances, He is good.

***

I came across this verse in Deuteronomy just a couple of weeks after we found out about this complication in our pregnancy. And it was one of those times when I knew that God was speaking. Not like I could hear an audible voice, but I knew. In my heart I knew this verse was meant for my eyes and my soul at that particular time.

And I knew that either way, no matter how God chose to move or chose not to move, that this verse, this truth, would be the only thing we needed. We only needed Him.

Deuteronomy 4:35
All this you were allowed to see that you might know the LORD is God
and that there is no other.

Now, obviously, Deuteronomy wasn't talking about Ruth Ann's placenta previa. This verse is referring to the way that God revealed himself to the Israelites as he freed them from Egyptian captivity...by testings, signs, and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors. (v.34)

But, as soon as we heard, "Yes, you see this? The placenta is no longer covering any part of the cervix. This means that you can consider this a normal pregnancy from here on out". Oh, the relief. And immediately, I thought, "yes, the Lord is God, and there is no other".

God has heard us.

He has saved us.

He is a compassionate father with fierce loyalty.

He has intervened on our behalf.

Praise Immanuel! God is with us!!

12.04.2010

Shutterfly, My Hero.


Do you ever get to December and then realize that you haven't even thought about Christmas cards? Or realize that you didn't budget for Christmas cards? Or fret that, now, you probably don't even have time to send Christmas card? Or finally come to the conclusion that you don't have the energy to even think about Christmas cards along with gifts, and parties, and baking, and Advent activities?


That's me. Every year.


We have literally not sent out Christmas cards...ever.

I know, I know. I'm a huge slacker.


I'm always really good at thinking that I'm totally going to do a cutesy little letter and include beautiful photos of my cherub-like children, and then none of it comes to fruition. You already read the why part. (This is also why I am not a scrapbooker...I have so many delicious ideas... and then I get started. And then I get overwhelmed. And then Roman's scrapbook only goes up until he's two months old. Don't judge me.)

ANYWAY, all of this is to tell you that I am SO excited about Shutterfly! I mean, LOOK. HOW. CUTE.

They have adorable Christmas photo cards like the ones you see above, AND they have lots of other very affordable gift ideas like photo books or calendars (both of these items are buy one get one 1/2 off right now!)

AND...right now they are running a promotion for bloggers. Read more here to get 50 FREE photo cards!

11.30.2010

Random

...because I know you love it. Okay, I don't know that. Maybe you hate it. But, mostly because it's easy for me.

  • Another awesome thing that I caught myself saying out loud the other day: "Roman, don't step on Uncle Tony's head."
  • Roman loves to sing. He memorizes song lyrics so quickly. One of his all-time favorite songs is Mighty to Save. The other day, my mom was with us when he happened to be belting it out in the car. She asked me how much I think he understands. My response was something like, "I don't know, but to me, it doesn't really matter. At least it's in his mind and in his heart. Even if he doesn't understand much now, hopefully with time, more will sink in, and maybe some of those words will come back later in life when he needs them". Well, just a few short days later, we were at church and he was looking at his little picture Bible. He was really examining the page about the resurrection. All of a sudden he tapped me on the shoulder, and excitedly whispered "Mommy! Jesus is conquering the grave! He's conquering!" I was one proud mama.
  • Some of my favorite things about Judah these days: he says "sbappers" for "slippers". The way he tries to sing Happy Birthday. He says "Sorry did dat" everytime he gets in trouble. It's in a really deep voice and it makes me laugh every time...not so good for disciplining.
  • goodreads.com Seriously. Go get an account. We can be friends.
  • I LOVE Advent. So happy to have a Christmas tree up and to be preparing myself and my family for the coming of the King.
  • Another ultrasound next Monday. Please pray for us!
  • Blessings to you all!

11.29.2010

I'm not behind or anything...

So, I am pretty much horrible at being organized or doing anything in a timely fashion. I wasn't always this way. (Well, I may have always had these tendencies, but let's just say that I'm at the peak of not organiztion.)

So, please forgive me for the delay in this message. But, trust me, it will be worth the wait!

I'm proud to introduce you to my new nephew, Jack Vernon:



This little man was born Nov 9, weighing in at 8lb 7 oz. Isn't he handsome?

What. A. Buddy!

His big brother likes him quite a bit!

Jim and Chelsey with Carter and Jack

What a beautiful family! We are so happy for you guys and we feel so blessed to call these two little boys our nephews!

It's only killing me a tiny bit that I won't be able to hold that sweet baby until this spring! I am so looking forward to it.

11.21.2010

Another Pumpkin Recipe

Because we've been on a pumpkin kick...
and because, as Tony says, "they're so fluffy!!" (he ate 9 on his drive to SC)...
and because they are absolutely delightful...

try these:

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

11.10.2010

The One Where I Ponder the Kitchen and the Heart

I haven't posted much lately because I am having a hard time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. It has been challenging to sort through the emotions of everything that has happened in the last month. Throw in extra crazy-pregnancy-emotions and you get a bunch of ridiculous blubbering that makes no sense whatsoever.

I actually typed out a whole post the other night and when I went back to read through it, I realized that it actually sounded like I was illiterate. It was just a bunch of words that made no sense together. Aren't you glad I didn't post that one?? :)

Anyway, I am going to try again.

The last month has been scary. I think I've pretty much already covered all the bases there.
The last month has been miraculous. God is so good and so faithful to us.
The last month has been humbling.

I know I have already said it, but I am so overwhelmed with all the help that I have received, especially from the AMAZING women at our church. It is so neat when you just a get a call saying "hey, I'm coming over on Tuesday to take the boys to the park so you can rest" or "hey, what day would you like to borrow a teenage daughter? She can play with the kids and clean your house." Seriously? I feel so so blessed. It has really made me think about the kind of woman I want to be and what I am doing right now in order to become that woman.

I feel like there are so many days that I go through my routine trying to "get by" instead of being purposeful. I hate that.

Most recently, I feel like there are days when I dwell on what I can't do--on my limitations-- instead of what is important. For example, I am not supposed to be lifting heavy things or doing anything strenuous. That means little things you wouldn't think of like laundry baskets, trash bags, little boys who don't want to go where you want them to, etc. Yes, it's frustrating to have a messy house and to not be able to lift my little guys. But does that really matter? What is the most important thing to me?

What is the point of keeping up the false appearance that I always have my act together? (that is what it has become. Sometimes I just want to have a clean house, and a delicious meal on the table, with well behaved children so that people will think I'm doing a good job) But, is that accomplishing my ultimate goal to unconditionally love my kids and show them what it means to know, love, and serve the Lord daily...despite our circumstances? And what is a "good job"? And who determines that? I think it's this: "I want to be faithful in everything, even if no one sees but Him." I answer to Him.

I am far from perfect. Far from the perfect parent. Far from the perfect wife. Far from the pefect homemaker.

So, here is my confesssion of the day:

I raise my voice sometimes. Sometimes I downright yell.
I lose my patience. A lot.
I haven't mopped my floor in weeks.
Sometimes I put in a second movie just to be able to sit quietly with my feet up.
There are days when I put my kids to bed knowing that I didn't teach them anything new.
I suck at being consistent with my God time.
My counters are sticky.
There are days when I realize that bedtime prayer is the only time I have talked to the boys about Jesus all day.
Sometimes I am rude and disrespectful to my husband.
There are days when I voice a lot more complaints than I do positive thoughts.
Sometimes I am totally selfish and want to do my own thing with no one bothering me.
I let laundry pile up for days at a time. And I don't fold my children's clothing. Ever.


I'm not proud of those things, but I needed to tell you. Because who am I helping by pretending to be the perfect mom and wife? I know I'm not really fooling anyone. This striving to seem like I have my act together all the time? It's actually pride...keeping me as a slave to himself. I'm done with that. I would rather be spending my time becoming a woman who serves her family and her friends, lovingly, no matter what the kitchen looks like.

Don't get me wrong, I like a clean house as much as the next mom, but I'd rather have a clean heart.

11.02.2010

A little Bit of Everything

So, even after all of my unloading in this post, I still hadn't realized how heavy my heart has been for the past month until we got the good news at our ultrasound last week. It's literally like a weight has been lifted. Yay for Jesus being awesome.



Now I need to catch you up on some good Roman and Judah stories!



A couple of weeks ago, Roman and I went to visit my friend Lindsay. She was kind enough to make us all kinds of fun treats to eat when we were there. One thing she had to offer was candy corn. Roman was lovin that. He kept sneaking more after I told him to stop...until I caught on and finally he gave it a rest. But, it was enough that he was all hyped up on sugar as we were leaving.

As soon as we started walking out to the car, it got really bad. He was rolling around in the leaves and would not follow me to the car. I didn't mind him playing in the leaves for a couple of minutes, but then he was seriously getting out of control. Usually if I ask him "Roman, are you going to come like a big boy, or does Mommy need to help you?" he comes right away. He's all about doing things by himself. So, when that didn't work, I just went and grabbed his hand and he came to the car. He was still squirming and squealing though...all in excitement. He could hardly even sit down in his car seat. Finally I kind of raised my voice and he snapped out of it. He looked at me very seriously and said "I had too much candy corn". HA-larious.

Then as we were driving away, I said "Roman, I had such a fun day with you!"
To which he replied "CANDY!!!!"
Love you too.

10 minutes later he was completely passed out.

Moral of the story: if you want your kid to completely OD and crash on sugar, just give them candy corn. But, remember that first you'll have to deal with the beloved sugar high. :)

My other favorite things about Roman right now are that he loves "Jamma days" because I let them stay in their pajamas occasionally...but now it's become a daily request. And that he loves letters. He is starting to write some words like "cat" and "hat".

And our sweet Judah...
He is talking all the time now...sometimes whole sentences of only-God-knows-what, but it's pretty stinking cute. We are slowly learning to understand more of his words though, and he is getting clearer and clearer. Here's what Judah has been saying:
  • "Puppies Everywhere" - when he wants to read Puppies, Puppies Everywhere
  • "go sleep"
  • "bless you"
  • "I ate it all" - which comes out more like "i a it ahh"
  • "oh my goodness"
  • "See me?" - in a really high pitched voice when he wants to come see you.
  • "where did he go?" - while playing peek-a-boo...this one is pretty hard to understand, though
  • "set...go!"
  • "that's nice"
  • "Buzz" - as in Lightyear. Duh.
  • "bapple" for "apple" :)
  • "oh no"
  • "ah, man!"
  • "boy", "sky", "house", and lots of other daily vocab type words...these are just his favorites. he must like the way they sound because he repeats them a lot.
  • "Cookies? Cake?" at the end of almost every meal...just in case I might have a treat for him
  • "get down" and "sit down" - probably because that's what he hears every 5 minutes. He's a good climber!
  • "yep"
  • He is also starting to count and can say some ABCs...still pretty random orders though. :) And he can say colors, but doesn't identify any yet.

These boys are SO much fun! It makes me so excited to see what the dynamic will be like with three of them running around!

It has been really hard for me to adjust to not lifting the boys. Mostly Judah. I know that I am being a good mom to our third little guy when I am taking it easy, but it makes me feel like a not-so-good mom to Roman and Judah. I know it's just because they don't understand, and that it is a short period of time.

Praise the Lord I have had so much help over the last several weeks! First of all, I can't say enough about my husband. He is such a good dad and has taken on so much more around the house since I am trying to do less. He puts up with all my crazy pregnancy hormones, and is so good at calming my fears. In our couples' group last week, I got all emotional when they talked about the man being the Christ figure. He has been exactly that during this whole experience. I love you, Joe.

On top of that, I have my friends and our amazing church family. I am so blessed to have several "Titus 2 women" in my life. You know who you are...and I am so so thankful for you. Thanks for teaching me what it means to be a Godly woman.

And, let's not forget my incredible brother, Tony. He has been such a blessing to our family. He deserves some kind of award for all the dishes, and diapers, and other dirty jobs he has done.

So...that was all over the place...but at least it was an update! I have been so horrible about writing lately. Please know I'm praying for all of you and your families!

Ultrasound

Hello friends!

Well, we had another ultrasound yesterday, and I am excited to tell you that we got some good news!

Really this ultrasound was not so much to look at the placenta...it was to look at the baby's spine. The last time we went in, he was feeling a bit stubborn (imagine that...my child...stubborn?) and wouldn't roll over. So, the ultrasound tech couldn't see his whole spine. She said everything else looked fine and she had no reason to think it wouldn't be normal, but we had to come back anyway. I always like to see the baby, so it was fine with me!

They usually wouldn't check on the placenta until 28 weeks - which is another month from now. So, when we went in, she reminded us that we wouldn't necessarily know anything different yet. But right away when she looked she said, "Oh, well that's moved some. I'm going to call it a partial previa". This is very encouraging news, because if the uterus continues to grow the way it has been, it's quite possible that when they check again at our next ultrasound, it will be completely out of the way!

So, basically, thank you, THANK YOU for your prayers! Keep them coming because they are WORKING!

We are not completely "out of the woods" yet, of course. I still need to maintain the same precautions that I have been taking to be sure that we don't put any undue pressure on the placenta. But we are hopeful that this movement, and the continued movement of the placenta might give us the chance to have another natural birth!

And, even if the placenta doesn't move any more, even if we still have to have a C-section, a partial previa is much less of a risk to the baby's safety.

But, as we have seen, God is bigger than this situation and we are so thankful for the way he has been faithful to hear and answer our prayers!

Thanks again for joining us on this journey! Love you you all...


Jeremiah 29:12
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

10.31.2010

Pumpkin Pancakes!

I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast yesterday and they were a big hit with my family! I found a recipe here but added some brown sugar to the mix for good measure! (I had to) :) Here was my final product. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes
(makes 8-10 pancakes)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and set aside. Mix all wet ingredients in small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Batter will be thick.

I would cook these pancakes at a slightly lower temperature than you might use with plain pancakes (I did medium-low) because they are very fluffly and nobody wants a brown pancake that's not cooked in the middle, right?

Delicious when lathered with butter and drenched in maple syrup!

Let me know if you try them!

10.25.2010

To post or not to post...

So...here's the deal: I have gone back and forth about a hundred times as to whether or not I should post this on my blog. I have been reading it and editing it, and saving it and coming back to it...I guess we'll see what I really think when I get to the end of writing and have to decide whether or not to click "publish post". :)

All of this is probably going to come out in one big jumbled mess. So, take it or leave it. If you feel like it's TMI, feel free to sit this one out. I promise I won't be offended. I am (I think!) going to post this and any subsequent posts in order to keep people in the loop about our third pregnancy. And, more than that, we would love to ask for your prayers.

As most of you know, our ultrasound showed that we have another healthy baby boy on the way! Praise God!

It also showed that I have a Placenta Previa.

I would link to something that tells you more about what that means, except that I don't like reading about medical issues online. Too scary. :)

Here's the gist of the situation: As of right now, the placenta is completely covering the cervix, so unless my uterus grows in such a way that the placenta moves, baby can't get out that way. The doctors say that it's not likely the placenta will move at this point in the pregnancy.


We say God can do anything.


So, we are hopeful (not hoping) - I am learning there is a difference. We are hopeful because God is good all the time. We are hopeful that God will move the placenta and that we will be able to have a natural delivery.

If God chooses not to change our circumstances, (and in that case, we will not be hopeless, because God is unchanging...remember, He's good all the time?) that will mean that baby will be delivered via C-section. It also means that I may have to be on bed rest towards the end of the pregnancy. Regardless of what God does or allows, we trust that it is all in His plan.

In the mean time, I am supposed to be taking it easy. I am not allowed to lift my children, or do anything strenuous. I am still trying to figure out what that means considering I live with Roman and Judah. :)

I would be lying if I said I'm not scared. I would love to say that I am totally at peace and willing to go wherever God will lead us...but fear is, for me, the biggest way that Satan tries to get me to doubt God. Just the thought or mention of a possible complication makes me my mind reel in images, scenarios, and worst-case thoughts. Throw in words like "placental abruption", "hemorrhage", or "dangerous for mom and baby" and...well...I have to stop and remind myself to breathe normally again.

How likely are any of those complications? I don't know. And I'm not really interested in finding out. Because, honestly, it doesn't matter. God will have his way in this no matter what the statistics show. And that's what we want anyway.

This has been a difficult thing for me to write about and talk with people about - not because I don't feel comfortable sharing, but because I'm afraid that people will think I'm being over dramatic or that I will come off as either naive or not trusting God enough. The reality is, in a few weeks, I might be saying "scratch that...none of this is even an issue anymore!" I would love to honor God by showing that he is faithful to us in that way. But if he chooses to be faithful to us in another way, in a way that people don't necessarily understand to be "answered prayer", I want to honor Him then, too.

Does any of this even make any sense? In one sentence I say how much I trust God, and in the next, I say how scared I am? Is that even possible? Am a total hypocrite? Is it both or neither?

I just know that I honestly feel both.

So there ya have it.

We have another ultrasound and doctor's appointment on Monday, and again 4 weeks after that, so I'll update again as I know more. We are anxious to see how God will move in our lives and in the life of this sweet little guy. Please pray that He will be glorified in our family, no matter the situation.





"pray for me...that I won't spoil God's beautiful work." - Mother Theresa


10.21.2010

Small Steps to Big Stupid

You should probably read this post over at Stuff Christians Like. So good.

10.20.2010

Baby Clothes

So, I have been looking for a coming home outfit for our new little bundle of joy.

I haven't found anything that I really wanted yet, although there are lots of cute options.

And many ridiculous options.

Let me put it this way: if you pay $50 for a coming-home-from-the-hospital outfit, you are an idiot. What I meant to say is, you may want to rethink that decision. Your baby will probably wear that outfit for all of 5 minutes and quite possibly destroy it with some kind of bodily fluid.

I'm all about getting something cute and special, but let's be realistic.

10.19.2010

1000 Gifts (16)

301. The overwhelming generosity and love that the Body of Christ has poured on our family.
302. This post. Just scroll down to the blue box entitled "What a Mother Must Sacrifice". Absolutely beautiful.

303. Pandora.

304. Naptime. Just being honest.

305. Super fantastic conversation with a good friend visiting from out of state. love you.

306. Getting to share the laughter and the tears.

307. Isaiah 9

308. Christmas parties.

309. Get to see our baby again on Monday.

310. The sweet librarians we get to see at story time.

311. The right words at the right time.

312. A thoughtful husband who puts the needs and wants of our family before his own.

313. Being reunited with our family in just a few short weeks! I am only afraid of the emotions that may come blubbering out of me. I know they say your hormones are supposed to even out at some point during pregnancy...I feel like that has not been the case for me this time. Good luck to anyone who has to hang out with me in the next 3 months.

314. That Roman is learning to say how he feels. This morning when he woke up at 6:00, I told him he needed to go back and lay in his room for a little longer. He responded "I am very angry!" I laughed, but it's exciting that he'll have words for that instead of crying.

315. That Joe has started giving the boys foot rubs before bed. They love it and it's calming.

316. A blanket and a book when it's cold outside

317. Decaf chai. They have it at Dutch Oven Bakery in Boone now, which makes my life so much more complete.

318. Baptism class tonight. In all honesty, I'm not that excited about it considering we have been through the class before, but I'm excited that we'll have a sweet baby to baptise in just a few months!

319. Red-headed boys in the morning.

320. Classic Christmas movies. Roman loves Frosty the Snowman and Rudloph.

10.18.2010

Only read this if you have nothing better to do.

..because it probably won't be life changing. :)
In true Ruth Ann style...I give you: a completely random list.

1. when I look at Roman and Judah's baby pictures, it makes me SO excited to hold our third little BOY! (Who really needs a NAME!)

2. corn chowder + a honeycrisp apple = best fall lunch EVER.

3. one of my favorite things Judah says right now is "gokay".

4. I had to put Judah in his first time out today. For climbing on the table after being told not to. I told him to go sit in thinking time and he went right over and sat down. I didn't know if he really would know what to do...but apparently he does. He kept getting up out of his spot...so I told him to sit down and he did. He started to get up again so I went to sit next to him...he looked at me and said "sorry". First time he has ever said that so it was actually kind of funny.

5. Roman is excited about halloween but he doesn't get it. Whenever I ask him what he wants his costume to be, he says "red".

6. Sometimes I catch myself saying absolutely ridiculous things. The other day I actually said this sentence: "That stays in your pants unless you need to go potty". Nice.

7. Joe really likes the name Elijah. I like that name a lot, but I feel like it's too common. Joe hates every name that I come up with.

8. the baby moves a lot now, which is the best part of pregnancy, in my opinon! :)

9. maternity jeans are stupid. No me gusta.

10. We took the boys to the pumpkin patch yesterday which was really fun. We also took our sidekick, Uncle Tony, so that I didn't have to worry about chasing or carrying one or both boys. He is the best uncle ever.

11. I asked Roman what his favorite thing about the pumpkin patch was. He said "Well, probably feeding the goats some food". And by "some food" he means, "my parents didn't actually buy me any food to feed the goats, so I picked up single kernals of corn that the other kids dropped and fed it to the goats." In our defense, he doesn't usually like to feed animals so we didn't think to buy any food. I know, we're classy.

12. God is teaching me a lot about marriage. Especially by opening my eyes to how good my husband is to me. In times that are more of a struggle, Joe always steps up and takes on whatever he needs to for our family. He is such a good dad, has such a servant's heart, and I'm so thankful for the way he gives of himself unconditionally.

well, I think that's all for now! The boys are both napping, which means I probably should be too. Have a great week!

9.30.2010

What's in a Name?

As you know (or if you didn't know, you can probably guess) baby names have been a big topic of discussion at our house lately. We feel like we did a stellar job picking the names Roman and Judah (we are very humble, also...). The fact that we love both of those names so much makes it difficult to find another that we both feel is unique, meaningful, and worthy of what we can only assume will be another amazing little Pometto. (I know. I already mentioned our immense humility). :)

Anyway, I have been trying to convince Joe to love the name Silas as much as I do. I love it. He hates it. Every time I bring it up he tells me that he hates it and it will never happen. Of course, I realize at this point, if he feels that strongly, that it's totally out of the question. But, that doesn't mean I can't keep bringing it up just to hear his reaction. I'm a good wife like that.

So, yesterday I said "how about Silas? What's so bad about it? I love it!"

Joe's response is still cracking me up.

"Ruth Ann, if we name our child Silas, I will call him Kevin."

I love him.

9.29.2010

Roman Rides a Horse



...and Judah got to ride too! :)



Thanks again to my Uncle Dan and Aunt Marla for letting us come and ride their horses! (And to Caleb and Cana for spending the day with us and helping the boys have fun!)

For a long time now, Uncle Dan (my dad's twin brother, by the way!) had been telling Roman that he should come out and ride the ponies sometime. So, knowing that Roman can be a little bit anxious about trying new things, I started showing him youtube videos of kids riding horses, and getting library books about horses, and showing him pictures of Uncle Dan's horses. He started getting excited about it and eventually asked me "When can we go ride Uncle Dan's horses?" So, we set up a time and kept talking it up.

Joe and I still wondered how he would do. And, although he was little bit nervous when we were walking towards the horses, he loved the whole experience. I think it helped that Dan just picked him right up and put him on Rockstar for his first ride. He didn't have that much time to think about it.

Judah, of course, jumped right on with no trouble at all. That one has no fear.

On about lap #57 Uncle Dan said, "Ruth Ann, I think you started something!" I think he's right. And I think it's fantastic.

Our Sweet Judah

For those of you wondering "where are all the videos of Judah?", this post is for you. Not that any of you are probably wondering that...but just in case. :)

I don't have many good videos of Judah for the following reasons:
1. He is so much different than Roman. Roman loves showing his "tricks" and people clapping for him, etc. He loves to be the center of attention. Judah...not so much. He doesn't care about doing tricks. He smiles when you clap for him, but it provides him no motivation whatsoever. He is laid back and on his own schedule. I love him so much I can't even stand it!

2. Whenever Roman is awake, Roman does all the talking...in videos or otherwise. It's hard for Judah to get a word in edgewise. But, as you can probably guess, he doesn't really seem to mind it. He just goes with the flow. It's amazing how much more he talks when you get him one-on-one.



Also, let's just talk about this:
1. Judah's pants are so crooked throughout the entire video. I'm a good mom like that. Very observant and attentive.
2. Do you like how I say "careful" AFTER Judah falls down? Nice.
3. the "Mommy", "Judah" game...yeah, we do that all the time.
4. Could he get any cuter? Or sweeter? What a blessing.

9.20.2010

Let me be honest.

I don't really have any good reasons for this long blog sabbatical.

I feel like I have had so much on my mind and on my heart that I really don't know where to start writing. So, let me be honest. Here's a glimpse into my head at the moment:

I am so excited about our baby. I am tired. I am trying really hard to be patient with a certain three year old. We have had many a discussion, and lifted many a prayer about discipline...how to do it well and what specifically to do on a daily basis. I want to teach my children the right attitude to have in their heart, not just punish them for one specific act of misbehavior. Do I have the right attitude in my heart? Have I been purposeful today? Was I truly present with my kids today? What can we do to improve our marriage and therefore our family and our ministry? There is such a big world out there and God has been laying the children of the world on my heart. We want to sponsor a child. We don't know which organization to sponsor through. Our youth group is raising money to build wells in Ghana. I love those teenagers. I am praying that they are truly coming to know the Lord - not just knowing about Him. Why can't I ever get my laundry folded? Probably because I spend too much time on the computer. Judah is such a sweet and cuddly baby. He charms everyone in his line of sight. I love the stage he is in right now. I will have to stop calling him the baby soon. Bittersweet. I need to be more consistent with my God time. I am excited about the new women in our Bible study. I am excited about my friends who are having babies soon. I am praying for their journey of parenting. I wish my basement would organize itself. I have more important things to do, and yet it is driving me crazy. My "landscaping" (for lack of a better term) = complete disaster. Again, who has time to pull weeds while parenting a one and three year old? I am in the very awkward stage of "my maternity clothes look ginormous on me but my normal clothes are not flattering or comfortable anymore". I don't want to complain anymore. I want my words to impart grace to all those who hear. I caught myself asking for grace the other day (asking God to help me extend grace) when I realized I was the one in need of it. I need to take a shower and I should probably go to bed. Judah's last four teeth are coming in all at the same time...which means not too much sleep for anyone involved. It's really cute when he talks in his sleep. Roman fell out of his bed last night. He's was fine. And I learned today that he is a pack rat. He found an old container of crumbly play doh in the trash, brought it to me, and said "Mommy, you should not throw this away". He is so stinkin cute. But seriously, I should go to bed. I probably won't be able to fall asleep though because I am constantly racking my brain for a unique and Biblical name for our baby. Ideas?

Maybe the sabbatical was the better option?

9.18.2010

1000 Gifts (15)

281. being filled with sorrow for people I don't know in places I've never been...and being challenged to do something about it.
282. rainy days perfect for much needed rest
283. two cars! I got to go to DSM yesterday and see some friends. It was long overdue!
284. finding out the gender of our baby...two weeks from tomorrow!
285. the way Roman says "woolly mammoth". It comes out more like "woo-ee ammouth"
286. Judah slept through the night last night! Maybe the teething is almost over? I hope!
287. My husband - have I mentioned that he is amazing!?
288. Little boys running to the bath.
289. that we have a live-in-babysitter! Thanks for being willing to help out at the last minute, Tony!
290. Life Teen building wells in Ghana
291. Roman singing his two favorite songs: Our God by Chris Tomlin and How He Loves by David Crowder Band - this one is a slideshow set to scenes from The Passion of the Christ. I thought that was really beautiful.
292. Judah also tries to sing How He Loves...but he just says "oh, oh" over and over again. :)
293. friends that are never far away...even if they live a few states away.
294. Italian food. Baby always wants Italian food.
295. cooler weather
296. That sometimes God grabs you by the hand and leads you to safety (Gen 19:16)
297. That he can turn water into wine. Hope that He can turn this ugly, sinful, selfish heart into one that acts graciously, loves unconditionally, gives joyfully.
298. Pondering the word unconditional.
299. coincidences. God-incidences.
300. the freedom that it is to live life abundant

8.26.2010

I had to share.

I had to share this beautiful response I got to my previous post. If you have missed the countless times I have referred to our dear friend, Jeff, just go read his blog and you'll see why we love him so much and why we are SO excited about him becoming a priest. He is so genuine and thoughtful, and he loves Jesus so much. :) Jeff, I really appreciate your response, your wisdom, and your friendship. I love it that you took time to answer a three year old's question while you are in ROME. It's proof that you will make it your passion to be Christ to everyone you come in contact with. The Church will be so blessed because of you.

********************************************************

Roman, Roman, Roman... You’re three years-old and already a theologian... you continue to amaze me. (Joe and Ruthann, he might have to skip Sunday School with this one and enroll him straight into some Catholic university...)

But now to the question at hand: “Did the Holy Spirit die on the cross?”

Ruthann, I shall begin with your intuitions because they are quite wonderful. The Trinity has indeed always existed... three Persons, one God, for all eternity... and so it might be said that each Divine Person was “present” prior to the passion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ; yet it might also be said that that “presence” was to be dramatically changed after the Son of God was to break into history, for our sake, and become Man. For after the Word of God would take on flesh, God’s relationship with us, and quite profoundly our relationship with Him was to change forever... (and quite for our good, might I add), but this change was only to occur after the Son’s obedience to the Father, through his Sacrifice on the Cross was completed by His Glorification in Heaven.

And this is why when you read in John 16 Christ's words, Christ is telling his disciples that “if I do not go, the Paraclete will not come”; because if he is not Glorified, his Sacrifice would not have been complete... (for what is a Sacrifice if it is not received?)

So don’t get the impression that he is saying that the Holy Spirit is not yet around (or even not yet able to be witnessed on Earth, for recall that he had already been seen at Christ’s Baptism, “in the form of a dove”)... Instead, Christ was saying that if he did not complete his work of atoning for our sins, we as unredeemed sinners would have never been able to share in the intimate life of the Trinity... which is a participation in their intimate Love... whom we call the Holy Spirit.

But now to answer the question a bit more directly... and to do this, we might think of what is meant when we declare that “Jesus died on the cross.” As St. Thomas said (see link), what we declare when we say those words is that Christ died “as man” but not “as God.” For as God, Christ could not have died; it would be impossible for him to have died... God is God, Existence Himself... the Great “I am”... and the Great "I am" could never have been or ever be the Great “I am not”... but in becoming man, the Word of God, through his humanity ,was able to enter death and so make an acceptable offering to the Father for all of Mankind.

So then when we turn to whether or not we could say that the Holy Spirit died on the cross, we have to decidedly say, “no”; for the Holy Spirit, as well as the Father, and even the Son, in his Divinity, cannot be said to pass out of existence.

But please don’t accept this as infallible, for I am far from it...

Jeff

8.25.2010

Something to Ponder...

Roman asked me a question this morning that still has me thinking. He is so profound. It's a question I'm not sure I am theologically qualified to answer. Although I have some different ideas running through my head, I'm probably going to need some help here. Father D? Jeff? Anyone else? Let me know what you would say. Remember he's 3. :)

"Did the Holy Spirit die on the cross?"

It's a tough one, huh?

As I understand it, the Trinity has always existed. Three in one. Free of what we know as "time". Before creation, and outside of what our finite minds can grasp. All three persons have always been. (Gen 1:26)

And yet, Jesus had to die in order that he could descend to hell, be raised to life, and ascend to heaven...all so that he could give us the Holy Spirit. (John 16:7)

There is always something to ponder. What do you think?

8.16.2010

1000 Gifts (14)

261. understanding friends (who don't judge you for a complete outburst of emotion in public)
262. new books to challenge me
263. free new books thanks to sweet, generous friends :)
264. silence
265. Psalm 73:26
266. when food tastes good to me
267. teenagers who are hungry for truth
268. cool breeze
269. underdogs
270. red head coming down the slide
271. that this season will pass
272. witnessing two becoming one
273. family
274. dusk
275. footie pajamas
276. early ultrasound...so nice to see little hands and hear strong heartbeat
277. smell of hospital soap reminding me of the pain and the joy
278. big blue eyes
279. birthday money
280. knowing prayers are heard and answered

Big News

think February 2011...

8.12.2010

In Case you Don't Live in Iowa...

Ten feet of water in Hilton Coliseum. The basketball court was floating...

http://www.cyclones.com/mediaPortal/player.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10700&id=718487&db_oem_id=10700

1000 Gifts (13)

I want to be thankful everyday, for everything. I want to be more consistent about doing a 1000 Gifts post once a week. I want to be thankful in all things, even in the storms of life. Which, right now...living in Iowa... I mean quite literally.

241. clean, running water to drink
242. clean, running water for showers
243. the opportunity to sort, organize, throw away, and clean
244. an excuse to light lots of candles
245. an excuse to stay in the air conditioning
246. a nice house to live in
247. sweet, generous neighbors
248. friends getting married!
249. best husband ever
250. getting out of the house!
251. compliment on not needing a new dress
252. jumping, chasing, laughing little boys
253. Truth
254. marital wisdom shared by friends
255. Judah trying to say the ABCs
256. Roman playing the guitar
257. people who cherish life
258. the beauty of the storm clouds
259. a safe neighborhood
260. that God knows what I don't

8.04.2010

When You Desire an Overflow...

Sometimes I don't realize what I'm saying until it comes out of my mouth.

Yesterday, as I was making dinner, Roman yelled from the other room "Mommy, I need more cold milk!"

I responded, "Roman, you need to bring me your sippy cup and then you need to ask me using some nice words".

He came into the kitchen, holding his little yellow Sesame Street sippy cup, and said "Mommy, can I have some cold milk please?" (And, yes, he always asks for COLD milk. It's not like I have ever served him warm milk, so I'm not really sure why...but it is what it is).

"Thank you for using good manners!", I said. I got the milk out and held out my hand waiting for him to to hand me the cup.

Suddenly he clutched it closer to his chest and said "No".

"Roman, if you want me to fill your cup, you have to give it to me".

And in that moment it hits me like a ton of bricks.


Jesus said, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink', you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water"
(John 4:10).


I have asked. I have begged. I truly have the desire to change.

I want Him to fill me.

I know that only He can do it. And I want him to.

And, although, He wants to, he can't if I won't let him.

He can't fill me when I get distracted and turn away, he can't fill me when I refuse to surrender.

When you are thirsty...
When you long to have an overflow...
Just give Him your cup.


You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5



8.03.2010

Funny Boys


Sorry it has been SO long since I posted last! We have been busy around here! I wanted to be sure I got a few of these funny stories down before I forget them...so here goes:

Roman
  • One day I was laying with Roman before his nap time, and he said "Mommy, what does a porcupine say?" This is a common dilema...he will ask us what the most random animals say...we usually just make something up. But this day I said "What do you think a porcupine says?" He poked my arm with his index finger and said "boop". Now you know.
  • Life with Roman is like constantly being in a spelling bee. I don't mean to brag, but I did win the eighth grade spelling bee, so I'm usually pretty confident. :) But, seriously, all day he's asking "Mommy, how do you spell hat? Mommy, how do you spell Carter?" etc.
  • Here's a good one. I think I've already mentioned that Roman is now potty trained! YAY! Anyway, the other day, as I was making lunch, Roman left the toy room, went to the bathroom, did his business, and returned to the toy room. A few minutes later I hear him saying "Mommy, what's it do? What's this do, Mom?" So, I went to check on him...only to find that he had stolen a tampon from the bathroom and had dissected it into 3 pieces. Neat.
  • Roman is really starting to understand church. It's so exciting to watch him growing and learning. What an awesome feeling as a parent to know that your child is beginning to love the thing that you most want for him in life. A few weeks ago, one of our favorite priests of all time, Father Dennis Miller, moved from St Thomas in Ames to a new group of parishes in northern Iowa. We miss him already! But, we made a card for him before he left, and I asked Roman "What does Father do at church?" and he said "Father says 'Jesus' and Jesus comes down and walks with the people". He is also really starting to understand communion. When we go up, he says "Now you go and drink the wine that Jesus bleed". I just keep praying that he will continue to desire to know and love and serve the Lord!
  • I overheard this during play time the other day "I love you, Judah. You're crazy!"
  • Also, Roman is always trying to get Judah to make his "silly face". Which =
honestly, it's one of my favorite games because they laugh so hard at each other.
  • The other day Roman was in the bathroom and I heard him say "This is a penis. It's not a toy." Not that I have to say that 80 times a day or anything. :)
  • Baby Eliza (Ryan and Kathleen's sweet 2 month old daughter) was at our house the other day...when she was crying she sort of snorted. Roman said "She's like a pig".
  • More on the topic of potty training...(like it ever ends!) We were eating at a restaurant with some friends way back in the beginning of June. It was just before Roman's birthday. We were out with all the lovely ladies in my women's Bible study and all their kiddos. We were seated next to a very sweet couple who were so patient and kind to our children. They told us about their grandchildren and it was obvious that they loved kids. As we were finishing, Roman wondered over near them and the lady asked him to come talk to her. She said "How old are you?" He said "I'm gonna be 3 on June 15th!" As if she knew...she asked our "trigger" question "What do three year olds do?" And Roman diligently responded with what we had been drilling into his head "Three year olds go potty on the toilet!" The man could not stop laughing. Only he didn't know it was about to get better. A few minutes later the lady commented on how adorable Eliza is and asked how hold she was. Kathleen told her...only to be interrupted by Roman's in depth explanation of childbirth "When I was born, mommy went to the hospital and pushed me out". We left quickly so as not to impart more graphic information that the poor couple never wanted to hear over dinner! :)
Judah
  • is always making us laugh! Unfortunately, there are not a whole lot of stories to really type up because it's more just his nature and his reactions to things.
  • He is still not talking a whole lot, although he does have a few new words to add to his vocabulary: down, no, mine, jump, elmo, boo, pizza, potty, ("der go" for "there you go"), he sings "Row, Row, Row" at the beginning of Row, Row, Row your Boat, yay!
  • He is so so sweet. I love how he is smiling all the time and says "hi" in an excited high pitched voice to anyone in sight.
  • He LOVES my grandma. He always wants to sit with her and touch her hair. She was running her fingers on his legs the other day and he was, literally, in a trance. He almost fell asleep sitting up.
  • loves music and dancing
  • still loving books. He is really into any books that have pictures of Veggie Tales characters. Especially "The Veggicational Book" from Aunt Angie. Bonus points if you sing him the Veggie Tales theme song at the end of the book. He tries to sing along...so cute.
  • He also tries to sing the ABC's...which mostly comes out as "B B B B B B B" - but it's in tune!
  • Has puppy radar. We have actually been looking for a dog since that was what Joe promised Roman as a potty training reward. Whenever we see them he can't stop saying "dog! dog!" in a very deep voice, or "pu-ppy" in a sweet little voice. So cute.

Well, that's the latest rundown. Sorry that it was so long since I'm trying to catch up! More to come soon!!


7.12.2010

This Might Be Controversial...

...but that hasn't really stopped me before, now has it? :)

In all seriousness, though, I am about to write a post on something that is very important to me. My goal is not to offend anyone, but to provide encouragement. Feel free to tell me if I am crossing the line in some way, as that is not my intention.

Most of you probably know that I'm a stay-at-home mom. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to stay home with our children and I am incredibly thankful that I get to do it. I am forever indebted to my dear husband, who makes it possible for me to spend all day every day with our children. It is only because he makes it his priority everyday to provide for us that we are able to do this.

Now, moms come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. We all have different dreams, goals, priorities, and talents. We each have our own fortes, weaknesses, pet peeves, and passions.

No matter our differences, I think we can all agree that we share one commonality: loving our children more than life.

Each family functions differently on a day to day basis. We all have different family situations, living situations, work situations, etc.

We are married, single, divorced, widowed. We are happy or depressed, we are pleasantly surprised or we regret that things turned out the way they did. We work full time, part time, stay at home, work from home, use a child care center, in home daycare, nanny or family/friend babysitter.

None of these is the "right" or "wrong" way to parent a child or children. None of these things mean that some parents love their children more or less than others. As parents, our lives will always be a combination of joy and struggles, no matter what our situation.

I want to be clear on the fact that I know and have a great deal of respect for a wide variety of moms. Moms that live and mother differently than I do.

My mom had to work so that we could pay our bills. Later she was a single parent so, even more so, she had to take on the role of breadwinner. I will probably never know how difficult that was but I am thankful that she did what she had to do for our family.

I have a lot of friends who are working moms...full time or part time. They are all incredible women whom I love and admire.

I also have stay-at-home mom friends who love what they do and I love them for their example to me.

So, the real reason for the post stems from a couple of different things: I had a conversation with Lindsay the other night (expecting her first babe! YAY!!). She was saying how she never thought that she would want to be a stay-at-home mom, but that she and her husband have decided that it is really important to them. They are going to make it work regardless of what sacrifices they will have to make.

Also, I have kept up with a lot of high school friends on facebook. People I really don't know that well anymore, who are saying how sad they will be to leave their baby when they go back to work. How they wish they could stay home because they can't stand the thought of someone else being with their baby more than they are (regardless of how wonderful the caregiver is!)

And it just made me think.
1. I know that staying home isn't for everyone. Whether it's because you love your job or because you can't afford to live without the income (or both!), I applaud you for the hard work you are doing for your family and for the people you come in contact with at work. It can't be easy to juggle work outside the home and work inside the home, but there are many women who do it remarkably well.
2. I know that there are a lot of women who really want to stay home with their children but think they can't afford to. This is who this post is really for.

Again, I know there are cases where it absolutely isn't financially possible, and I'm not trying to put those people down. Everyone has to make the best choice for their family based on their individual circumstances. I just want to encourage those moms, who truly desire to stay at home to really look at all of your options. Look at the ways you can cut back and live more simply. Look at some other options for earning extra money. It might be something radical, but if it is really a priority to you, you'll be willing to do some things that other people aren't willing to do.

In our marriage, and our journey as parents, we have gone through times of abundance and times of scraping for every last dollar to pay every last bill. But, I will tell you that we have always felt very blessed to be able to make it work. We have always found a way even when it was really uncomfortable.

Here are a few things that we do to make staying at home possible for me:
1. We have one car. This one is my least favorite, but for now it's the best way to save money. There are a lot of days when I'm very frustrated that I can't go somewhere, but it's worth it to me to stay home. I have to ask myself...what's really important in your life? It's a good reminder.
2. Joe's brother lives in our basement. We lovingly refer to him as "the creepy man in the basement". :) In all reality, Tony is a huge blessing to our family. He was going to move out and then plans fell through for him. As we were talking about whether or not he would find a place without roomates in the fall, we decided that little bit of extra income is very beneficial to us right now.
3. I have done temporary in home child care.
It was actually a really good way to learn that that is not my forte. I loved teaching and working in childcare centers, but in home daycare wasn't my thing. But, the offer came at a time when we needed a little extra cash, and so we took it. Probably won't do it again anytime soon, but it met a need and now we're done.
4. We don't usually pay our babysitters. That sounds really bad! What I mean is, we usually wait to take a date night when a family member is available to watch the boys. We have also traded with other couples...or taken a rain check on trading with expecting couples! :) Every couple needs some alone time...after all, good marriages make good families, but you can still find inexpensive dates. On our last date, we used a restaurant gift card and went to a dollar movie while our "creepy man in the basement" :) watched the boys. I think we spent $10. For the record, we do pay babysitters when we need to! I mean, we try to be frugal but not stingy!
5. We make our own wipes. Joe refuses to do cloth diapers, but I know a lot parents save money that way. Everybody has to pick what they want to sacrifice on, and that just isn't it for Joe! I can't say that I'm all that upset about it either. :)
6. We don't eat out as much as we used to. Trying new restaurants is one of my favorite things so it's hard not to, and we still do more than we should, but we have cut back quite a bit.
7. We stick to necessities. Well, as much as we can. I'm sure I'm a big hypocrite on some of these things! I never do any of these things perfectly, in case you didn't catch on to that! My point is, before we make a purchase, before we spend money on most anything, we put some thought into it's importance. What do we really want to provide for our children? What do we want our family to look like? Unconditional love, a foundation of faith, good friends, time with family. We want to meet their material needs. We want to provide healthcare. We want to give them social and cultural opportunities. We want them to have fun and be filled with joy and peace. So, we have made the priority me being at home rather than buying a DVR or a new summer wardrobe. Although, I'm thinking I need to buy a new dress before the weddings I am going to this summer...the one I have had since freshman year of college is looking a little worn!

I can't think of any more right now. But, as Lindsay and I were talking the other night, it made me want to share more with other women so that they might feel a little more empowered in making a decision to stay home or work. Everyone wants to be able to provide great things for their kids. Some of that includes material things, but what better way to provide for them than to be present with them as much as you can?

So, whether working mom, or stay-at-home mom:
What are your tips on living simply?
What are your tips on being truly present and purposeful with your kids when you are able to be home?

7.10.2010

Sleeping Babies






Apparently my boys can sleep anywhere... Why Roman chose the tiny corner of his closet, I will never understand! :)

7.09.2010

Belated Birthdays!


I have been a huge procrastinator lately...and so here, FINALLY, are the pictures of the boys' birthdays! I have lots more from the big party we had with our friends, and more pictures of the boys enjoying the summer...you can view those here.
Roman's new kitchen from Grandma Susan
Roman's guitar cake...I have been trying to get into this tradition of making a special cake for each of the boys on their birthdays...Roman requested a guitar. I was happy with the shape, but I definitely should be gone with licorice for the strings....it kind of looked like a 5 year old did that part. :)
construction hat and trucks from Grandpa Tony and Grandma Suellen
Roman in his cool new hat from Grandma and Grandpa. Judah climbing into the box to get the truck....or just for the sake of climbing. :)
Judah likes cake!

we got a pool for Judah for his birthday...and Roman picked out the big blue ball. So sweet!
Judah's puppy cake
My cute three year old!
And my adorable one year old!

6.22.2010

Boys

I haven't given an update recently so here goes:

Roman:
  • is FINALLY having some success with potty training. Joe is the genius behind the potty training plan here...you'll have to ask him how he masterminded his brilliant system! :) It is working really well and we actually only had one accident yesterday and one today! YAY! Roman is very proud of himself and very much enjoys all of his prizes.
  • Roman is also going to hold Joe to his promise of buying him a puppy once he got potty trained. He talks about dogs more than ever. Actually, we have some neighbors that moved in across the street a few months ago and recently, when we were playing in the toy room, we saw them outside with their dog. Then a couple of days later, we were outside doing sidewalk chalk when they pulled into their driveway. We exchanged "hellos" and then Roman yelled across the street "You have a dog!" The woman kindly responded "Yes, we do. We also have a cat." Roman was very impressed with this, "You have a CAT??" They nodded and went inside...but Roman continued to yell "Are you going inside to see your dog and your cat?" Nice.
  • Today Roman told me he needed to go potty and so he got up and walked toward the bathroom. I was reading to Judah at the time and so I said "Do you need me to come help you, Roman?". This was his response: "I'm just gonna do it myself and you can read Love You Forever to Judah". Awwww.
Judah:
  • climbs everything...including couches...which is terrifying since he really doesn't know how to get down.
  • is talking up a storm: bubble, go, more, please, all done, puppy, mommy, daddy, hi, bye bye, "go-nee" for Tony, yeah, baby...and probably some more I can't remember :)
  • loves books. His favorites are "Love You Forever" and any book that includes a picture of a baby or has different textures to feel.
  • will push his big truck over to the window so he can climb up and look out
  • loves playing in the pool with Roman
  • makes the funniest face every time he sees Tony
Anyway, they are keeping me very busy and they are always making me laugh. Love those little guys!

6.21.2010

SALSA!

This is another favorite recipe that I absolutely have to share. I discovered the Tasty Kitchen site a few months ago and I'm officially addicted. I have to be careful not to read it late at night, though, otherwise I want to eat.

Here is the original recipe for Ree's "Restaurant Style Salsa"...and here is the Pometto version of the recipe. We just made a few changes...like more onion, because more onion = more deliciousness, and we added some peppers for extra spice and chunkiness. :) ENJOY!

SALSA!!
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • 2 whole chopped onions
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, diced, with seeds
  • ¼ teaspoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • ½ whole Lime Juice
  • assorted chopped peppers
Basically all you have to do is throw it all into a blender or food processor until you reach the desired consistency.

I love you, salsa, for being so delicious and nutritious. And yet, I despise you because you make me eat chips all day. :)

6.20.2010

Father's Day

I used to dread Father's Day.

As many of you know, my dad passed away when I was young. There are countless other people who struggle to get through each Father's Day without their dads, whether it be due to death, divorce, deployment, abandonment, mental illness, miles of separation, or some other extenuating circumstance.

Whatever the case may be, it makes for a tough day. Awkward. Painful. Silent. Lonely.

But, that's actually not what I want to write about. I want to talk about a story of redemption. A story of blessing after years of pain.

You see, I loved my dad so very much and I miss him everyday. But, even in the loss of my father, God always managed to bless me with Godly men in my life...men who cared for me as their own daughter/sister/friend.

I obviously can't list them all here but I have to give a few examples because I don't think I could ever really express how thankful I am to have had them in my life. (I'm going to try to go in chronological order)...

  • My grandfathers, Ted and Ralph, for being strong, steadfast, gentle, hard working, loving, and kind.
  • My uncles: Dan, Tim, Daryl, and Mike for loving my dad and being willing to tell his story or tell me that he would be proud...even when it was very difficult to say.
  • My brother, Jim, for acting like a big brother even though you are younger than me! :)
  • Jim Ott. He was the pastor at my church camp,and was/is an incredible example of a Godly man. I will never forget the conversation we had one summer about how I was struggling with not having my dad in my life. He told me to go read the book of Joel...what I found was that God plagued the land with locusts, and then repaid them the same number of years with blessings. That brought me so much hope.
“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25

  • Very appropriately next: my amazing husband, Joe. I never say enough about him, but he is hardworking, sweet, and the best dad ever. Our boys are so so lucky! He is a thoughtful and helpful husband, he is always willing to serve. He is my hero. Dream come true. :)
  • Some pretty amazing guy friends: Adam, Ryan, Phil, Jon, Andrew, Dameon, Jeff...the list could really go on and and on...and could include some of their dads - i.e. Mike Babbitt! :) These guys have treated me as their sister, have done so much for our family, have been good friends to my husband, and have shown me a lot about true masculinity.
  • My brother-in-law, Tony. We like to call him "the creepy man in the basement". :) Yes, he lives with us. He is hilarious, tender hearted, and we will miss him when he moves out...especially Roman and Judah...they so look forward to lunch with him everyday!
  • My father-in-law, Tony. If you could dream up the best father-in-law ever, you would get Dad. Joe gets his servant's heart from his dad. He is willing to do anything for his family and you will never meet a sweeter man. He has so much character and is the best Grandpa ever. He has always treated me as his own daughter and I will never forget our "father-daughter" dance at our wedding. Cutest ever.
  • Joe's uncles, for accepting me into the family!
  • Fr Dennis, Fr Richmond, and all kinds of other priests that have been spiritual fathers in my life!
So, basically I am super blessed. I am truly grateful for all the men in my life...the ones on this list, and all of the others who have been so good to me. Love you all.

6.16.2010

Fumbling and Frustrated, I Surrender

His fingers fumble with the wrapper.


He has earned a sucker for cleaning his plate and he is so proud. He is grinning, picking at the wrapper, reminding me again, "I ate it all".


He turns it round and round, pulling at the waxy blue paper. His brow is furrowed in concentration. The pulling starts to get more aggressive...


I lean over, my face close to his face.


"Would you like some help?"


"No! I don't want some help"


He is persistent. He starts again...but in vain.


He yells out in frustration this time. No words, just a yell.


I lean over once again, looking into his big blue-gray eyes. I take note of the quivering lip.


"Honey, why don't you let mama help you".


"yes." He seems to feel defeated somehow.


I unwind the wrapper, drop it on the table, and hand him his prize. He perks right back up, satisfied with the reward.



Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried
to my God for help. From his temple he heard
my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.


Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 108:6
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold
of your right hand and says to you, Do not
fear; I will help you.