A blog about the reality of God's presence, love and involvement in everyday occurrences. This is a record of my journey towards discovery. I often share thoughts on femininity, scripture, motherhood, creativity and ministry.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jude 8/9 months



Jude is on the verge of independence. He is crawling on his elbows. He is pulling up to stand. He is sitting up all by himself from laying down. He really talks a lot when someone is listening. Most of his time is spent watching his brother. Roman is loud enough for both of them. But, when you listen, he talks. And he really has a lot to say! His words are really well directed. His vocabulary is increasing. Today he said "bath" as we sat next to the tub waiting for it to fill up. He says "Hi." It is amazing to be a part of this process and especially to compare how my boys develop. You always think your first child is the most intelligent of course. Then, the second one comes along and your realize how every child is more developed in different ways. It is all about that God given personality. He really tries to imitate what we say. It is pretty funny. When we say "Thank you" or "Love you" he will repeat us with very similar sounding words. Roman was so ahead of the game in so many ways. Jude is right on schedule on some of those things like crawling. But, he is quicker at different types of things like talking. They are so different yet similar.

My boys weigh EXACTLY the same at 9 months. Isn't that strange? Roman was only 3/4th of an inch longer. So they are very close to the same size. This is odd to me because it seems like Roman was so much smaller. Jude is clapping and playing peekaboo. His favorite thing right now is music or singing. He starts swaying back and forth the moment he hears a tune. He is eating just about everything and I haven't found a thing he doesn't like yet. But, let me just tell you he is such a big eater. He is never full! He got both of his bottom incisor teeth this month. He loves blowing his lips together and making funny sounds!

He is such a sweet baby. When he stares into your eyes there is no one else in the room but you and him. He loves his blue blanket with silk on the edges. When he gets sleepy he wants it with his paci. He holds the edges and rubs his little fingers back and forth across the silk.

Roman is imaginative and expressive. He is in fact so intelligent that he has decided that Santa is not real! He told me that Santa is only in books and on TV. I cannot convince him otherwise. He even thanked me for buying the presents that are suppose to be from Santa this year. Seriously. He is 3!!! He has to believe in Santa!

God at Barnes and Noble

Valiant Girls.
I love them from the depths of my heart. They are inspiring, encouraging, and passionate. And I love even more that God finds us at Barnes and Noble. He hears His name spoken and He is there. My hope is that the love of Jesus Christ will be transplanted into each of their lives.

So, there is a guy. Let me just say that these girls are crazy over him. There we were a few weeks ago, crowded around a table and he listened from across the room. He sort of became a running joke among us. (If you saw him you would understand) We laughed because of our conversation. It is a very open area. If you can imagine a group of 11 or 12 teen-age girls talking in a book store. It is quite loud. People listen and we are not ashamed.

There we were last night, just assuming our typical positions around our table. I actually made the comment “Okay, let’s just see what crazy thing is going to happen tonight.” Then, Arianna says “Oh no, he’s back.” Let me just add here that I highly doubt any of the girls were actually thinking “Oh no.” He walked past us. I said as I threw my study notes in the air “Girls we have to keep it together. He will be back so we have to NOT be so obvious.” We were way past obvious but I was desperately trying. Within five minutes, he was back across the room writing and listening as I struggled to keep our conversation going.

We discussed relationships and boundaries. The girls had a lot of opinions on this topic. I secretly prayed and wondered if there was a way at all I could change or influence their thoughts on this matter. I was struggling.

At the end of the night, when there were only a few girls left, he walked over to our table and handed me this note.

“Share this with your girls. I pray my encouragement blesses you all as yours has blessed me.
– The tall guy with long, blond hair and the skinny jeans”

The note was quickly pulled from my hands and read aloud.

“When I look across the floor and see you girls. I see Christianity as God intended it to be. Public, unashamed, accountable, transparent. When your sweet, God-given voices reach my ears, I hear the voice of Jesus whispering into my own, “One day, my son, you will have a woman such as these.” Honestly, I am a young Christian man. I am eighteen years old. I have known Christ for fourteen of those years and I have struggled with addiction for eight. From the standpoint of a man after God’s heart, you young ladies are the catalyst to life-change. I pray. I worship. I read the good book. But none of these are as powerful as the testimony I hear from you ladies. Godly women are the reason lost and struggling men run into God’s arms when they experience the hurt I have been scarred by. I pray God sends me a woman like one of you. You are all beautiful in God’s eyes and in mine. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently, even yourselves. Protect your hearts, your minds, and most of all, your bodies. If a man truly loves you, he will go after your hearts, not your purity. God bless you all.”

There is no one like my God. He is the Truth. He is working and making a way at all times. When I don’t know what to say, obviously He makes a way to get the point across.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jude 7/8months and Mr. Roster



Jude. Jude hit 8 months! He is absolutely nothing like his brother. He is hesitant, observant, demanding, pleasant, analytical.... He doesn't like major unexpected movements. Most of the time, if you toss him in the air, his arms will fly up and shake like he is terrified. The frown between his eyes indicates he would rather be securely resting in your arms. We put him in his swing outside this past week and there went his arms. Frightened. But, he LOVES watching his brother swing in a swing. Now that is comedy. Because he senses the laughter and love in Ro's voice. If you are happy, he is happy. If you are upset, so is he.

The way to his heart is love. Just sit in front of him and talk. Put your eyes right on him like there is no one else around and you will see smiles. You can tell when he thinking and figuring something out. But, he wants to do it at his own pace. By all means, don't rush him or he will tell you about it. He loves to be held so he can snuggle his face into your chest and hold on tight.

He wants mommy. Really. It is quite extreme. It doesn't matter who is holding him, his arms are stretched and he is leaning to whichever direction is closest to me. And, I don't even have to hold him. He just wants to be near me. He will sit on the floor and play happily if he has just one hand touching my leg or if he can just lean again me.

He finally got his first tooth at the end of his 7th month. Now it looks as though another may be on its way right beside it. He is sitting up perfectly and trying so hard to crawl. So so close! He can get just about anywhere he wants just not completely up on all fours yet. His desire to accomplish milestones is not as strong as Roman's was at this age. He is a thinker. I can see wisdom behind those eyes. Roman would jump out and try anything. Jude wants to put a plan together, so when he does it, it will be right the first time.

And he has a temper. According to stories I've heard, it's the red hair. He is quiet until something happens he doesn't like. Take a toy away for example and he will let out a scream like something horrible just happened.

His smile. Oh my. He tightens his little lips together so hard that his cheeks dimple. Definitely an original and irresistible smile.

So Jude and Roman have recently started the brotherly taunting. They tease each other out of meanness and love. Roman gets in trouble for it and we all think it is cute when Jude does it of course. Jude does not miss an opportunity to grab Roman's hair or bop him on the head with a toy. It is obvious he does it on purpose considering he lets out a mischievous squeal like he must hurry and jump on the opportunity before Ro gets away. I overheard Roman telling Jude this week "You are my best friend in the whole world. I love you brother."



Roman. He has so much love. He says "Mommy, thank you for making all this food for me" so passionately. He wants to know why EVERYTHING. Why is that sick bird laying on the porch. And he is no longer happy with our quick answers. He sticks around to see what exactly daddy is doing that he didn't want him to see. "Why did he put it in the trash can?" His little mind is way too clever as times. He talks to everyone. In just a grocery shopping trip Roman makes at least 5 friends. And he says so much that most people can only gather a few words. He is learning his Christmas songs and taking it very serious. Singing the words as loud as he can, memorizing, and practicing. He loves his classmates and his teacher this semester. He is very upset on the days he has to miss. He wants to do and be a part of everything. By all means, lets not miss out on anything!



I am very proud and thankful for these two boys. In the midst of recent tragedy among many friends, I am seeing the great fortune I have even more clearly. Each of them, a gift, created for a purpose. May they fulfill God's desire for their lives.

The Easy Road



Oh my Word. Life is moving and changing so quickly. Over the past 2 months, God has been unveiling new ideas and new ways of living. Lets see if I can sum it all up.

It all started when Roman had a horrible reaction to his asthma medication. I was scared and wondered what to do next. I didn't want to pump his little body full of any more toxins but was scared he would end up back in the hospital. Through a serious of prayers and people walking into my life, I consulted a chiropractor that specializes in natural medicine. She is now successfully treating me and Roman. After three months, I am free of lower back pain that I had lived with for over a year. Roman is healthy. He has only suffered from one minor cold since the beginning of cold/flu season. This is truly a miracle in itself. For now and hopefully forever, asthma has subsided.

In the meantime, God was teaching me about our ministry. Inspiring me with new ideas and totally new thought processes. He has shown me some incredible things. It is exciting to feel God so present in my life again. We were uprooted and transplanted - now living as missionaries in a convenient sort of way. Away from family but devoted to a group of individuals. Not worthy by any means - but wanting and willing.

Next, a call from a physician reminding me of something from my past. Her words "Ignorance is bliss huh?" may ring in ears for a long time. There are antibodies in my blood that should not be there indicating I have some sort of autoimmune disorder. One antigen in particular indicates Scleroderm - a horrible disease that potentially kills within 5 years.

I know that that Satan can be clever but I am on to him. In an effort to destroy my hopes and dreams, he uses defeat. He uses fear. This disease, I do not have. But let me just tell you that it did mess with my mind for a while. Still there are days I am weak and I give in to thoughts of defeat.

I took this information and asked God what to do with it. He is now leading me on a journey of holistic nutrition. Through research, I am learning about many things we consume which are proven to causes autoimmune disorders, cancer, etc. And learning about all the things we were created to consume that we do not. I am taking supplements, choosing food differently, and eliminating certain foods from my diet.

Like my last post, I believe this is another issue of black and white. We want to believe that what we are told regarding what is good for us is true. We want to believe that all the research has been done for us. The truth is there are agendas and there are mistakes. As an nurse, I was taught that medicine is truth. Never was I reminded to read the small print. The print that tells you that the medicine you are taking caused uterine cancer in 50% of the mice it was tested on. Never was I told that hydrogenated oils cannot be digested and float around as free radicals in our bloodstream.

We are given one body. At 29 years old, I have decided to finally take care of mine like it was a gift from God. It is right. Also I've decided to take care of my children (and my husband) the best I way I can. The easy road is not the best - it never is.

And now He is teaching me about my mind. You have heard "You are what you eat" right? I am learning that the same thing applies to my mind. I am eliminating certain TV shows that I absolutely adore. But the thoughts that are implanted into my head are detrimental. I said in my last post that if Satan can implant just one thought than he has power. I am focusing. I am meditating on God and His word.

So, there it is. The beginning of my journey to a physically and mentally healthier me. Right now, I am feeling really great. I am laughing more, breathing easier, and enjoying my days at a slower pace. I am learning to love unconditionally. It is Jesus that heals you. It is Him that teaches you and makes you better.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Black and White

My boys. They have absolutely no idea how much they are loved. They have no idea how I cherish every single smile, every single glance. I hold it in the palm of my hand like someone just gave me the world. My heart aches when I think of them being sick or someone hurting one of them. How can one survive this? There are days when the responsibilities overtake me. There is so much fear. Fear of sickness. Fear of sadness. Fear of hurt. And it is all around. Some days I feel it coming closer. I hear of pain that others must endure and I wonder how long it will be that I live in this world of shelter. How long can I endure under His wings. He didn't promise perfection.

May God give me peace in these times that Satan and his team are out to torment and destroy. They want me to believe I cannot be safe. They want me to believe it is my turn next. I am mad that I let them in. I am frustrated that I don't recognize them when they sneak around trying to latch on. They are leaches. Draining me from what strength I have left.

Black and White. We want to believe that is the way it is. Are the only things real those that are tangible? The truth is that there is this whole other dimension. We must see it to protect ourselves. We have to believe it exists and remember its claim against us. We have the ONE thing he can NEVER have - a promise. We have to protect our hearts, our souls, our minds from the enemy. If he can implant just one thought, he has power. He has no power in me or my family. I give everything to Jesus Christ. He is my understanding. He is my strength. He is my peace.

Recognize them. Remove them. You have power in the name of Jesus Christ because He lives in you. You are stronger. Let God build you up. Let God be your refuge in times of despair. God will deliver you from the enemy and be your safe place.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Catching Up

So many thoughts. So many things to reflect upon. But, since my time is limited, I will start with the most important and see how far I get tonight. The past 2 months have flown by so quickly. We went to Florida with my dad, which was a miracle in itself. More to come on that. The trip was amazing. Jude's first time to the beach and Roman's third.



Jude is ending his 6th month. I cannot believe how my baby has grown. Today, he stood by himself not holding on to anything but leaning against a box. He is picking up small snacks and feeding himself. He almost has the sitting up milestone accomplished but not quite exact. Still toppling over to the left or right. You can't lay him down without him immediately pulling a fast one. Before you know it he is on his tummy wiggling across the floor. He knows he has places to go and things to do but can't accomplish his dreams quite yet. He is maneuvering his way out of every infant seat. So, needless to say, we are in this in-between place that will pass very quickly. He is a hungery little one. When looking at his pictures that is obvious. He constantly wants to eat. And then he grunts! Grunts when he wants it and grunts when he eats it! It is like he knows there are so many wonderful things he has never tasted as he longs for each of your bites! He said Dadda, Momma, and Bubba all in two days of turning 6 months old. Today, just a few days from 7 months he is saying "Gan Gan" which is, of course, Gran Gran in baby language. He is a grabber. He reaches for EVERYTHING. He can't hold one thing long enough to know what he has when he is already reaching and stretching for the next. He talks, laughs, and plays with his brother already. Still in love with his mommy of course and I will soak up every second of it!



Roman. He is one intelligent little guy. Flash card expedition. DAY 1 - knew 2 letters. Day 3 - knew EVERY letter. I try to study preschool books with him and he already knows how to do everything. Things I have never taught him, he just knows. All about matching, mazes, shapes, sizes, the list goes on and on. He is even starting to sound words out already! He just embraces every part of life. Nothing will ever slip past him. He remembers and reasons on an adult level at times. He is a truly amazing person. He notices things I walk past. He is teaching me so much and helping me to see things I once ignored. He has a very loving and concerned heart. That is one thing I love about him. He truly sympathizes with people around him. He wants everyone to feel as loved as he does. I have seen tears in his eyes when he thought someone was hurt and he tries so hard to understand. Questions! There are at least 500 a day! "What does a minute mean?" "Why?" "What does a little while mean?" Never never say a word without being prepared to explain it. He wants to badly to understand life and all its mysteries.

Tonight, David is in Austin, TX, submersed in experiences of a lifetime. I am in KY with family, also embracing these moments of sereneness. There almost isn't room enough for all there is to consider.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What a Life



Jude is 5 months old. He absolutely loves his brother. It is really nice to have Roman to entertain him when I'm busy. I put Jude in the playroom in his walker with Roman and he is entertained for a long time. He longs to do the things his brother is doing. And he loves when his brother pays attention to him. I find Roman talking to Jude many times a day telling him "Its okay Jude. I'm right here" or "I love you brother." Roman likes to sit beside him in the floor and hold his hand while they watch cartoons together.

Jude is rolling and reaching everywhere. When he sees something he wants, he will do anything to get it. He was so quiet for so long but over the past couple of weeks he has started talking a lot more. We play a game where he grunts and I mock him by grunting. He laughs and laughs. That game can go on for a long time. He cackles out loud EVERY TIME you tickle his neck. His favorite this right now is a sippy cup. A few weeks ago I gave him a cup with some cold water and he LOVED it. He lays in his bouncy seat with it for at least 30 minutes. He will take a few drinks, chew on it, then spit it all out:) I think he likes to chew on it because its cold and feels good on his gums. He is eating solids twice a day now. He has finally decided he likes it! He gets mad if you don't feed him fast enough and grunts at you. You can't take a break in between bites! He is sleeping really well. Going to bed at 8 and waking up around 6 to eat. Of course, we have our night every so often where he likes to wake up every hour. But, for the most part, he is doing great.



I pulled out all of Roman's winter clothes this week. Jude is already fitting in all of Roman's 6-9 month stuff and some of his 12 month! He is such a solid boy which makes for a snugly little one! He has started one of my favorite phases which is playing with his feet.! Awww - I could sit and watch him play with his feet all day. Although, those feet can sure be distracting when he is trying to go to sleep and there they are - right in front of him - so tempting to play with. He is just so calm and sweet. He wakes from a nap by quietly talking and playing. Unless he decides he wants Mommy, then he lets out this painfully loud screaming cry. It is the only time he cries this way. It is very very sweet that he wants ME so much but a little frustrating when I can't leave him with anyone during church, for example, because they bring him to me thinking something terrible is wrong! Then, afterward he whimpers for a long times like he is trying to tell on someone for not doing right. When all along they were doing everything right.

Roman starts a new preschool year this Thursday. He will be going one day a week again this year. We do a couple of days of school at home during he week and everytime I try to teach him something he ends up telling me how to do it. He must pick up things very quickly. I sat down to teach him rectangle the other day and instead he showed my ALL 6 shapes on the page, then continued to draw an i. None of those things I had taught him except 3 of the shapes.

Roman told us a few days ago that he had 3 favorite places. They are Cracker Barrel, Target, and Chuck e cheese. He thinks Cracker Barrel is what we mean when we say we are going to stop somewhere quick and pick something up. No McDonalds - just Cracker Barrel:)

Roman went 5 solid months without sucking his thumb, then had a relapse. For some unknown reason, started again. Last weeks he has his second dentist appointment. He did awesome except says that he NEVER wants bubble gum toothpaste again. Then sold me a medication to paint on his thumb nail that taste bitter and will cause him to not be able to such his thumb. So, when we got home I sat him down and we had a talk about the medicine and what it does. He has not sucked his thumb one time since! He told me that we can take it back to the dentist because he doesn't need it.

It is so wonderful having two boys. They already love each other so much and are already playing together. Jude get so excited and starts swinging his legs and arms when he sees Roman driving his four wheeler or playing with his monster truck! I can tell they are going to be best friends and that is priceless.



I love these boys and I love our family.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Roman 3 / Jude 4 months


Roman had the best birthday party. Thanks to all the family's help and lots of friends showing up to celebrate, it was awesome! Roman told me a few days later that he wanted to have "another party next time like that." Mickey Mouse was everywhere. Water gun fights, the slip'n'slide, his new swing set, balloons, a four wheeler, dance music, yummy food and cake - you name it we had it going on! He deserved it all. Not only because 3 is such a milestone, but because the birth of his brother a few months prior had brought about a lot of new changes in his life. Literally, since the day he turned 3, he grew up. I've heard this so many times about different ages but right before my eyes I witnessed the biggest changes in his life yet. His thoughts are on a completely different level. No more baby. I think his arms and legs grew a foot over night. That babyish waddle and face seem to have disappeared. He insist on doing everything on his own. Each moment that he request me, I am quicker to respond because I know that those "mommy hold me" times are growing fewer as time goes on. But, another change I've noticed is how he wants me to see each "big boy" thing he does. He glances from the corner of his eye to see if I am watching. You bet I will NOT miss a single one. I am growing more patient and learning to listen more closely as I realize the fortune I have in my care.



Jude has also turned 4 months old! He has came alive. I'm sure he slept the first 3 months of his little life. He is truly a pleasant child. He rarely ever cries. A friend of mine made a comment recently that she had never heard him cry. And seriously, we will go days without a complaint from him. The BEST ever is his smile. You can glance at him with just a smile and he offers a shy little smile in return. I have to say that this little one is attached to mommy big time. He follows my every move. It doesn't matter who else is in the room, he always has his eye on me. He smiles with his whole face while squinting his eyes and tucking his chin to the side like he is embarrassed. He is babbling a lot. He has learned how to blow bubbles! He will started talking and blowing bubbles and this will go on forever. He totally knows he is doing it. He soaks up any attention. He loves for anyone just to sit down and talk to him. He can sit and play with his hands forever and be completed content. His eyes are so big! They just draw you in when you see him. His hair is coming is pretty thick now. It is blond but has an obvious red tone to it. Everyone says it is red but it is more like a strawberry blond - except when David holds him - then it does look more red. He is sleeping 8 - 10 hours at night now! We have tried a few baby foods and rice cereal. He is not interested in any of it! I've tried every day now for a couple of weeks and he just doesn't want anything but milk. He spits just about all of it out of his mouth. The only thing he has liked is banana - not the baby food - the real thing. He went to he doctor this week. He weighed 15.7 pounds, and was 24 inches long.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I've Been Thinking


I've been thinking. Life must be about decisions among your circumstances.

There is complete dissatisfaction.

There is complete satisfaction.

Then there is this "middle ground." Middle ground is a place you get stuck. For me, it is a place where I don't know what I want and become torn. Nothing gets done here. One day you feel one way and the next day another. Nothing ever changes here. Things you have dreamed of never happen because you never DECIDE to do anything. Instead, you wonder what it would be like. In a way, I think being completely dissatisfied would be better because then decisions would be made.

This is all personal by the way. These thoughts in no way are the thought of my family. I think they are all a part of a new chapter in my life. As I approach 30, I am thinking about what God is calling me to do. There are opportunities but I have to make steps forward. Middle ground is no place to stay. It is stagnant. My mind has wondered way to far in to no where land:) It is a evil trap. It could be the devil. We like to blame everything on him. I'm sure he likes me here since I seem to be doing absolutely nothing for the Kingdom of God in this place. Or it could just be me and human nature - to always dream about something different. Better or not, its out there.

Where did my passion vanish to? It seems to be undercover in a far away land. Probably is in "completely satisfied" land. I've got to get over this bridge. According to God, I've got things to do. I've got to get my eyes off myself and bring myself into an entirely different place. I think it is about balance, priorities, focus, and DECISIONS. I have two beautiful boys and a family to care for. It is a lot for anyone. But, as a family, all of us have things to do. Me, my husband, my boys, together we can accomplish many things in the Name of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us. I want Jesus for us all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

29

29 when I realized life really doesn’t turn out exactly like you think it will. I’m in a strange state of mind right now. This is where I have found myself a lot lately. I think I am trying to work something out. Just not sure what it is yet.

Remember when you were a teenager. You would dream of what life would turn out like. All good and perfect and wonderful. I’m reminded of the song Somewhere over the Rainbow.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

I can totally feel why the words to that song were written. Teenagers don’t dream about fighting and dept. They don’t dream about sickness and stress. I dreamed about marriage and children. Those things happened. But, it is all the stuff in between that is different. It is my cousin dieing of cancer and my parents divorce that I didn’t anticipate. It is my son having a terrible peanut allergy. I could take my eyes off him for one minute and he could die from it. It is the pace of life and the absence of family. It is the expectations and failures. It is the relationships that aren’t there. I could go on but I’ll save it.

I dream now and there is doubt. I think this is why adults loose their passion. This is why most of them get stale. They realize the things they’ve dreamed of are somewhere over a rainbow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Justice


Proverbs 21 list many attributes considered honorable by God. One that is repeated several times in this chapter is justice. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice - vs. 3 It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity - vs. 15 The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice - vs. 7

I knew what this term meant in general but began to wonder about a more absolute definition? It seems to be a very important term used in the Bible several times when God is giving us instruction on how be day to day.

According to Dictionary.com Justice means many things. Here is what I found. The quality of being just; conformity to the principles of righteousness and rectitude in all things; strict performance of moral obligations; practical conformity to human or divine law; integrity in the dealings of men with each other; rectitude; equity; uprightness.

Shew.... Seems like a lot to live up to if you ask me. But definitely something we should strive to achieve in our own lives. I believe God wants us to live according to His law by obeying His commandments and instruction. Living a life of transparency. Letting our sin come to the surface so that it can be dealt with and resolved.We should strive to be easy going and pleasing to others. Instead of stirring up trouble we should close our mouths and turn off our thoughts. Many times we find flaws then let those thoughts take havoc on our minds. Eventually we cannot help but to voice our unneeded opinions. We convince ourselves it is important that we "tell them like it is" so they know the truth. Instead God wants us to show love and forgiveness all while withholding your own personal righteousness. There is a time to share our concerns and warn one another in a loving manner. But, many times our actions speak louder than our words.

I also believe we should strive to obey laws made by government. I have a friend who is constantly in defense when it comes to political issues. There will never be a day when he is content with any decisions than have been made in government. He is constantly searching for ways that it disagrees with God's law and is loud in voicing his concerns. I think we should be knowledgeable when it comes to these issues but also be diligent and uplifting in our prayer and speaking of these issues. We can peacefully make a stand without a continuous disgruntlement that consumes us. God calls us to uphold our moral justice while also respecting human law. We have to remember that though things may seem grim, God still is the ultimate ruler. He is able to do what He deems necessary, even when it comes to government.

He also calls us to have integrity when dealing with one another. I believe he calls us to respect one another even through our differences. I can easily find fault in many around me pointing out obvious sin. Many churches have been known to protest against sins that they have decided to single out and make more deadly than others. Not only calling out the sin but also demeaning the individuals carrying the flaw. I hardly think this behavior is showing love or respect to anyone. We should stand firm when it comes to our moral beliefs and live our lives according. We should voice the truth when the time is right in a loving manner. Thank goodness that Jesus sees more than just sin. I am thankful he sees me and loves me and helps me to overcome in areas when I struggle. God calls us to love.

God teach me how to be well rounded and do justice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boys are Growing Fast


Jude is 3 months old! Can you believe it! All of the sudden he has just emerged from his shell. FINALLY! He is awake and energetic most of the day now and smiling all the time. He just seems to always be in a good mood. He is so happy and content all the time. He is starting to really coo a lot and form some new sounds. Just as plump as ever. Those big cheeks and little rolls are so sweet! He tries so hard to sit up. He grunts and uses his stomach and arms to try and lift himself but it just wont happen. He totally is watching us eat very closely and I believe he is longing for a bite:) He moves his little mouth just like he is chewing. Just about a month from now and he will be trying his first baby cereal! He sleeping very well. Most nights we get about 7 hours of continuous sleep but last night we got 8!





Roman is almost 3 years old. I am very sad about this. Three seems so big. And he has all of the sudden seemed so mature lately. I can't believe 3 of the years I have with him as a mommy has already passed. He has been dealing with some things emotionally lately as he is figuring out about death, loosing things, bad people, and being alone. I have heard him use that terminology a few times lately. He has had some moments of tears out of no where and he says things like "Mommy, I never want you to get lost because I love you." It is very heart wrenching to watch him as he discovers some of the misfortunes in life. Children should never be exposed to sadness. Last night he cried and cried because a cow in the book we were reading was alone in a barn. Roman is a very intelligent child and thinks about things in great detail.


Garden is growing fast and we have already been harvesting some vegetables from it! Going to experiment with growing cucumbers and cantaloupes on trellises. Should have squash, cucumbers, more lettuce, bell peppers, and tomatoes any day now!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vegtable, Fruit, & Herb Garden

A few weeks ago I planted my 2nd garden. It is growing very quickly this year thanks to all of the rain! My plants seems to be very healthy except the green beans I had planted. The birds helped themselves to the seed sprouts leaving only stems emerging from the ground. I replanted them this week and added the beautiful aluminum pie tins to my garden to scare the birds away. The sound of the wind blowing the tins and the reflectiveness seems to be keeping all of the predators away.

I plan to blog on the progress of my garden and what I am learning about growing each vegetable, fruit, or herb. Something inside of me is fascinated by planting the garden and watching it grow. I think it is the organic nature of planting a seed in the soil and watching a healthy plant emerge. It connects me with nature and God. It is truly remarkable how God orchestrates such things to happen. For a seed to germinate then arise from its capsule with bright green leaves that need soil, water, and sun - also provided by God - is amazing. I think this hobby helps to keep me centered and thinking about some of the most basic of God's creations. And of course, we enjoy the harvest. We love the fresh vegetables and fruit. Roman goes to the garden and picks cherry tomatoes and pops them in his mouth. I love cooking with the herbs and learning about some of the ancient remedies herbs were used for. Working in my garden, feeling the sunshine and listening to the angered birds chirping at the pie tins, is relaxing and renewing to my spirit. Here is a little more about my garden this year.










Many of you may have heard that I had to start my herb garden all over this year due to a tilling accident :) So far I this year I have started French Lavender, Oregano, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Mint, Sweet Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, and Rosemary. Lemon Balm will always be my favorite. Love the strong aroma and it is also good in tea.














I have tomatoes and cherry tomatoes that are all about this size. I did spot some blooms this week already! They are growing so quickly that they already needed to be supported with stakes.













Broccoli. Last year I planted Broccoli and Cauliflower that never flowered or produced vegetables. Hopefully this year I will have more success. They seems to be growing much quicker.










Lettuce. Much more successful than last year. These will probably be ready to harvest in a few weeks then I will plants more in their places for a second harvest.











Squash.










Potatoes. My first year for these but they are growing very quickly. I hear you get around 15 potatoes per heal. I planted 7 or 8 heals. Way too many.










Cantaloupe









Bell Peppers. You can see a bloom already after just a couple of weeks.










Cauliflower










Onions. I planted a variety of bulbs. Red, Yellow, and White Onions.










Carrots. I took this picture a few days ago and I promise the carrots are already double in size. They need to be thinned.










Sweet Corn. Last year my corn was pretty pitiful. The stocks grew huge but corn was wimpy. Bought a different variety of seeds this year so hopefully I will have more success.











Cucumbers. These things grew like crazy last year and I had an abundance of cucumbers.











Watermelon


My garden will produce way more than my family can eat. Let me know and when the time comes, I will deliver you some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Life Lesson 101

Ever wonder where sarcasm originated? In Job 38 and 39 God asks Job where he was when He laid he foundations of the Earth or when He put the sea in its place, covered it with clouds, and set boundaries for the very tides of the ocean. He asked Job if he had gone down to the bottom of the ocean or looked into the land of the dead. God wanted to know if Job had ever been to where the snow comes from or where He paved out the path for the thunderbolts. He asked Job if he could string up stars in heaven, along with their various constellations. After all, in the face of God who created the whole universe, any arguments look ridiculous.

Ever feel like challenging God because you are frustrated. We have all been there. Many times, life does not seem to be going in the direction we want it to. Disappointments bring about hopelessness. We loose sight of who God is and what He is able to accomplish. First, we loose our loyalty and desire to be close to Him. We travel miles away from God looking to make it on our own. Who needs Him anyway right? He didn't seem to do the job in the first place. When things go wrong we are quick to say "Why didn't you?" Next, we begin to loose our faithfulness and honor. I'm tired and worn out. Everyone else seems to be happier NOT trusting in God. I need some relief. Out of our desperation and sadness, we rebel against the one who can bring restoration. It's a downward spiral. The lower we get, the more we blame God and loose sight of Him. The further down we go, the harder it is to travel back up. Ungodliness becomes more appealing and the more likely we are to cave.

When you feel this way, read Job or at least chapters 38 and 39. If this doesn't make you feel regretful for your thoughts or actions, you may be further down the spiral than you realized.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Roman's 1st Class Picture


Roman is finishing up his first year in preschool! We are so proud of him. He overcame fears and became his own independent little person for 5 hours once a week:) Here is his first class picture! It is priceless. I still have my first kinder garden picture and remember each of my friends in that class. He can tell me everyone's names and describe their personalities. He comes home telling me about conversations he has had with his friends and what games they played together while at school. He has been blessed with the best of teachers to help him transition into the classroom atmosphere. He has learned so much and is also very proud of himself. I love to watch him learn and grow socially and intellectually.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Routine

Jude went to his 2 month appointment yesterday. He weighed 11 pounds! Up 5 pounds from his last visit. He is 21 1/4 inches long. Still quiet a bit smaller than his brother was but behind a few weeks since he was born earlier.

The doctor did confirm that he has a small umbilical hernia as I had suspected. But he relieved my worries but saying that it will most definitely close up on its own by age 1 or 2 not needing surgery because it is so small. When he cries or grunts his little belly button blows up a little and you can feel the hole in the muscle tissue beneath.

He got 3 shots but tolerated them really well. His legs were sore for the rest of the afternoon indicated by a squeal every time his legs were moved. But, he barely cried during the shots and didn't seem to be affected by them otherwise. I remember Roman would always get really fussy for days after shots.

On the way to the appointment I explained to Roman that his brother was going to get shots. In the room waiting for the doctor to come it, he started crying and saying "I want to go home" When I asked him why he said that he did not want baby Jude to get shots. He was so so sweet. He was very worried. Once the nurse came in with the shots he hid in the corner and never said a word. I think he was just relieved it wasn't him getting the shots:)

Things are finally getting back to normal around the Huff house. Jude is just fitting in like he has always been a part of our family:) Last night he slept 6 hours, ate, then slept another 6 hours. That was a much needed miracle and the only time he has ever done that. Ha! Roman was already sleeping 8 hours through the night as this point but baby Jude wants to grow his little fat rolls a little larger than Roman did! I am returning to work tomorrow! Part of me is glad to be getting out and using my nursing skills. But, another part of me will miss our Friday family days we have had since the baby came. Daddy Roman Party Day has returned - only this time as Daddy Roman and Jude Party Day!

So far in Jude's little life, he seems to be much less vocal than Roman. His coos and goos so far are much less frequent. I know I shouldn't always compare them but neither are better than the other- just stating some differences. He doesn't cry near as much but when he does cry it is much louder and with so much intensity. He will just lay flat in the floor and fall asleep which is something Ro never did. But, he loves for us to sing to him. No matter what he is upset about, that will always calm him down. He doesn't really seem to care as much about toys or even looking at them. He likes to just be held and talked to. He would rather watch us talking and moving around the house.

We are very excited that our new youth facility will be opening at the church within a couple of weeks! Pray that with this new facility that God brings a fresh movement through our teenagers and us. It will be very exciting to have our own place for the first time since we moved to Nashville!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roman Dancing at Centennial Park.

Saturday, we went to the Adventure Science Museum. It was so much fun. Roman loved it! He was a little overwhelmed at first because there was so much to see and do. He had never seen anything like it. Afterward we went to Centennial Park to have lunch and play. That afternoon I started getting sick and have been sick since with the flu. It's terrible. Roman's nose starting running again today as well. Hopefully it is just a runny nose and not what I've had.




Jude has accomplished many things during the 6th week of his little life. He rolled over both ways! Roman didn't do this until much later. He really knows what he wants and makes it happen. Also, he started smiling! He loves to pull up. If he is laying in my lap I let him grab my fingers and he will pull his head and body up to sitting position. If he is awake, he wants to be sitting up so he can see what is going on.



Roman went to an Allergy/Asthma specialist today at Vanderbilt. It took us 4 months to get in just after making the appointment. They tested him for about 20 different things on his back. The entire test lasted about 15 seconds. Everything was negative except for cats. Looks like he inherited that from me. But, all other environmental inhalants such as grass, weeds, etc. all came back negative. This is good news for many reasons. 1st is that he shouldn't have to deal with allergies like David does and 2nd this means that his asthma will more than likely go away around school age. They said 75% toddlers grow out of the asthma especially if it is not caused by the things he is exposed to in the environment. They did not test him for peanuts again since he has already had a positive test for that. They wanted to do blood work to determine the severity but we are just going to wait until he is older for that. All the other nuts he is not allergic to although they still suggested we avoid them because almost all nuts have been cross-contaminated during processing with peanuts.

Roman went to his bedroom tonight by himself. A while later he emerged completely changed into his pjs. He got undressed, found matching set, and got completely dressed on his own! He was so proud! I've also realized that he has this unbelievable ability to memorize things. You can put in a CD we've only heard a couple of times and he will sing all the words. He also really likes things like mazes that he can sit down and figure out. He is doing very advanced mazes on a lap top. He even looks ahead to figure out the ways he can't go because there all walls blocking the path. He is showing me lately that he is much more intelligent than I even realized.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Huff Boys

Jude 5 weeks old. See how he is changing!



Healthy Boys Again

Roman is off to school today! Always so proud when he comes home to tell of everything he did during the day. Each week his new crafts are placed on the refrigerator and he tells of the story over and over of how he made it. He is learning and growing so quickly. My goal was to teach him his colors, shapes, numbers, and letters this year. But, before I even really got started, he already new a lot of them from school and things he has played with on his own. He is feeling much better this week.

Jude is also feeling better. Thank goodness the runny nose didn't turn into anything else for either of them. Last week, Jude's entire face and ears broke out in a scaly rash. I remember Roman's had done the same thing at the same age and the doctor said it was eczema. So, after two days of hydrocortisone cream and Eucerin Lotion, it was almost completely clear. He is also sleeping much better at night. He is just waking up right at 4 hours on the dot to eat then right back to sleep. Yesterday, he looked right into my eyes and reached up to touch my face. It melted my heart. He is getting SO chunky! I can't find the bottom of the creases in his neck. He really doesn't have a neck at all! His tummy is so round and full like a little frog:) And he has chunky rolls under his diaper! So so sweet. He looks stockier than Roman was at this age. Also, when we are out in the sun, his hair completely looks red. Then, we come inside and it is blond again. But, the part in the back that is getting thicker is getting more reddish. But, Roman holds his head next to the baby's and says "Look, the same." Jude likes to stay awake a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the evenings now. He has already outgrown many of his preemie clothes.

We had a wonderful Easter. Roman woke up and immediately wanted to know if the Easter Bunny came. The Bunny had left the baskets on the front porch. Roman was amazed! He brought the boys each a basket of bathtub things including a bubble maker, water changing color dye, and markers. Of course, he brought candy and each of them a Dr. Suess book.

Thank you Jesus for resurrecting to give us the opportunity of life and to enjoy our beautiful boys.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jude's First Cold


Jude is sick! I guess having a two year old brother with a cold puts you at high risk for getting one yourself. Roman seems a little better but had to have another breathing treatment yesterday. Last night, I sat and watched Jude breath all night. His little nose is completely stuffed up and he is having a hard time getting air to pass through. He kept gagging and it really scared me. I thought he was choking a couple of times. He keeps sneezing and his voice is also raspy so he must have a sore throat. Keep them both in your prayers!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brotherly Love


Here are a couple of pictures taken this morning. You can tell that Jude is really interacting more today. I played with him and he would get really excited and start cooing. He really focused on a toy duck and you could tell he really wanted to grab it. He moved his arms towards it but couldn't quite reach it. He is also staying awake for longer intervals. He may actually stay awake for a couple of hours at a time now! He is really focusing in on your eyes and responding more to interaction. The more his eyes are open, the more he looks like Roman. I have a feeling they are really going to look a lot alike. Roman has a cold

this week. It's just a runny nose and sore throat. His pulmicort seems to really be helping since his simple colds are no longer turning in to breathing problems. After the baby came, he became really hyper-active. That seems to be slowing down this week. His "No's" are becoming much less frequent. He does look out for his brother. We were outside taking pictures and Jude's feet were in the ivy. He started crying because he was afraid that a spider might get his feet. We also can't leave room without taking Jude with us. Ro does not like to leave him alone! Yesterday, I was cleaning and was in the bedroom. When I came back to the kitchen Roman had gotten a Yoohoo box out of the fridge, put the straw in it and was drinking it. He was also eating a jello cup then he had gotten out, opened and started eating after getting his own spoon from the drawer. He is so big! Sometimes I look at him and wonder when exactly it happened. When did he grow so big? A couple of days ago, Roman grabbed his "self" and said "Oh, my tenders!" Thank you Kung Fu Panda for that quote. Ha Ha. Roman went to a huge Easter Event on Saturday. There was an Easter egg Hunt, blow up bounce houses, face painting and the Easter Bunny even made an appearance. Roman even won a Easter Basket after his name was drawn and he went up front all by himself to get it. We had a great weekend!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

24 Days and Counting!

24 Days until this new little one comes.... if he waits that long! This has been a very long pregnancy to say the least. I'm sure I'd have 3 more children if I didn't have to carry them all. Sadly - this may be my last only for that reason. My body does not like to be pregnant, especially my pancreas! But - it is almost over and I already feel as though I have accomplished something big! I'm pretty sure I've been so focused on getting through this pregnancy one day at a time that I have forgotten to consider the reward at the end.

Roman Eli now calls me "SweetiePie." This was what I apparently called him every now and then and didn't realize it. Now, he has adopted it to be used on me, Mommy, all while showing his love and affection for me. Awwwww - can you imagine TWO of these little boys!

Yesterday, I started swelling. I was hoping it wouldn't happen this time like this. And when I say swelling, don't take it lightly. I mean, I wake up that way in the morning and it continues to grow as the day goes:) I have creases all the way to my hips from every piece of thread in my cotton pants. My ankles are the same size as my calves! And lets not even mention my hands all the way up to my shoulders! Yuck...... A week after delivering my first child my husband said "I had forgotten what you really look like. Now you remind me of when we were dating again." Pretty sure I'm approaching the same condition again.

Okay - so now I feel a little relief from the venting! Everything is ready except his name! We are close but not sold. I wish I knew for sure. I wish I was sold 100% on a name but I'm not. Hopefully it will come to us soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big News in Roman's World


1. Roman went to his first dentist appointment last week! He loved every minute of it! There were balloons everywhere, animals hanging from the ceiling, and a TV on the ceiling playing Cars! He left with a huge ribbon on his shirt that said "Cavity Free Club," a balloon tied to each wrist, and a bag of toys he got to pick out from a special drawer. He opened and let the dentist clean, floss, and polish all of his teeth with no complaints! His teeth were all in perfect shape.

2. The biggest news is that Roman has seemed to voluntarily stop sucking his thumb this week! About 5 days ago, I noticed he wasn't sucking his thumb much at all and then for the past few days he has not sucked his thumb AT ALL! Even when he is laying down to go to sleep or snuggle with you on the couch, he just wants to hold your hand or hold one of his stuffed animals! I am VERY thankful for this because the dentist mentioned and measured his overbite caused from the thumb sucking. He said "we will just take care of that later with braces." But, I distinctly remember my overbite as a child and the embarrassment it caused me. I hated pictures because of my teeth. So, after the appointment I started thinking that I would like to start working on stopping the thumb sucking. Well, it looks like we don't have to worry about that at all! In a matter of days it looks like he has decided to break a 2 1/2 year habit. We will see??