Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dearest Elijah

I am so proud of you!  I always have been but the last two weeks have been especially proud moment filled. Earlier this Fall your teacher suggested we consider the advanced program for you.  It would involve testing and some rigmarole   When Daddy and I pitched the idea to you; you shrugged your shoulders and said, "Sure."  So off you went to a room with a stranger to answer questions for an hour.  A year ago, there is no way you would have done that.

Those test results confirmed what Daddy and I have known since, well, always.  You are brilliant.  I had an inkling of this when you insisted on reading all of the books on the bookshelf at the ripe age of 10 months.  You would grab a book, sit on a lap and turn pages, then return the book and grab another.  Now you read a whole chapter book in a day, by yourself.  When I can't find you, I know you are sitting at your desk, reading away.

Tao Kwan Do also makes me incredibly proud.  You tested last night and I am amazed at how much you have to remember!  You are only 7 and everyone there was older than you but there you were, in front of the judges kicking and punching and blocking and taking down with the big guys.  I know you were disappointed that you didn't break your board but man I got tears just seeing how brave and determined you were!

I love you more than the words in the heart can express.  I am so blessed to be your Mama!
You bring me great joy.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Adding Iron

At Daniel's one year check-up they did an iron blood test.  Apparently iron deficiency is rampant in our population or the doctor just wants me to feel badly about another area of my mothering.

I totally expected everything to be peachy but got a call from the nurse informing me that Daniel was "borderline" coming in at a 10.6 (don't ask, I don't know either).  Treatment starts at 10.9.  I politely asked what I needed to do.  She suggested more steak and green leafy vegetables. While Daniel is a great eater he is more of a graham cracker boy and less of a green leafy vegetable boy, unless I hide spinach in his blueberry smoothie.

So I have begun a quest to find iron rich foods.  His beloved graham crackers have 6% of the recommended daily intake of iron.  Thank the Lord I don't have to take those away, we would never get a cooked dinner again since those little treats buy me cooking time without him hanging on my pants.

My beautiful sister, the adored Aunt Sara gave me the secret recipe for "Secret Brownies".  Made with black beans and sugar and cocoa and peppermint, these babies pack an iron punch of 15%!  John thought we were crazy when we dumped all the ingredients in the blender.  "This is going to be gross!"  he shared but I proved I think the evidence below tells a different story.

PS... Daniel's favorite cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats, has 90% of the recommended daily intake so I think we are safe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Word 2013

There was a cheer we did back in the old days at LHS:
Attitude check, Orioles how do you feel?

A big, year long attitude check is in order for this year.  My one word for 2013 is Attitude.  Before I did the James MacDonald study I had no idea how insulting my attitude is toward my Savior.  Complaining, critizing, coveting, doubting, and plain ole rebelling....they have got to go.  

If my response to the attitude check question is anything less than thankful, contented, loving, faithful or submissive (Oh that is a hard one for me) then I need a time out to regroup and refocus.  

One of the main points Pastor MacDonald makes in this study is that the bad attitudes lead to wilderness living.  I don't particularly like the wilderness for living...I am not much of a camper or roughing it kind of girl. But when my attitude defaults to complaining....God is going to lead me out into the wilderness where it is hot, dry, and just plain lonely.  

I know an attitude check will take a conscious effort and I know it will feed into my other words from years past: Joy, Strength, & Abiding.  Praying this is a powerful year of tremendous growth so I can look back and respond to the cheer the way we used to....

We feel good, x, Oh we feel so good!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Blessings of 2012

I live a seriously blessed life.  I might not always show it, say it, or appreciate it, but at the end of the day as I lay my head on the pillowcase I have had for most of my life (it is made from a sheet that was my mom's from the '70s) I know I live a blessed life.

A thing that has been floating around that pinning sight that sucks my time and make me feel inadequate in the crafting department is to have a jar that collects the blessings of the year.  You would open and read through the blessings on New Year's Eve as a way to reflect on the great parts of the year.  I would never remember to do this...I can't even remember to write in baby books or get what I need from the grocery store.  I do think that the Holy Spirit brings my blessings to mind when I most need them.

Here are just a fraction of my greatest blessings from 2012:

1.  New friends and deepened friendships with old friends.  I prayed for friends, good friends at the beginning of 2012 and the Lord was so faithful in blessing me with such wonderful women.  Bree, my Sarah's, some Bible Study women who share their wisdom and rebuke me with love; Jill, who is like a sister, my Supper Club buddies, and so many others the God has brought into my life.

2.  Health Insurance.  It is silly but what a blessing to be in professions with health insurance, especially since 2012 was a year we needed it in a big way.  As Chris and I received bill after bill for his surgery we thanked the Lord for insurance.  It gave me such a different view on how people can slip into poverty and other trouble so easily.  Seriously, the debt we would have to have endured would have crushed us.  Praise God!

3.  Career Changes.  Even on the days when I have to kiss John so I won't yell at him,  I know what an incredible blessing it is to be a stay at home mom.  I am still not very good at it but this on the job training is getting better.

4.  4 Boys.  The fun we all have is insane and should be illegal.  My heart overflows with joy when I watch these boys.  Elijah is growing into such a boy (where did the baby days go?) and he is so stinkin' smart (he gets it from his Dad).  John has such a heart to share Jesus that it doesn't occur to him to be afraid.  Daniel gets right in there with his brothers and is the king of the bathtub.  And my favorite boy, Chris.  Man, how did I get so blessed to have a husband who works so hard for our family and who works so hard to learn and love and grow in the Lord.  I love that man more today than ever!

5.  Family Ties.  Growing up in a broken home changes your perspective on things.  While I am a statistical anomaly, family is still something that is uber important to me.  Having my maternal grandma, Pearl, want to be in the same room as my Dad was a major blessing of 2012.  No longer do I feel the need to alter my conversations or avoid telling Grandma Pearl where I am going.  Taking care of Grandma Pearl is also a blessing.  I am so glad to have more time and energy to do so.  She is still learning to lean on me and not so much on my beautiful sister but we are getting there.

6.  Home.  One of the prayers I prayed while we were in the decision making process on me staying home was that I would be happy in the apartment.  I had just told Chris that I would live there forever when God opened up some doors for us to be able to purchase a home.  The process was long but we had the second best (can't top my lifelong friend Sarah K.) agent in the area, Angie.  She was real and truthful and kept at it for us.  The home we were blessed to get fit all of our "wants" and now we have the honor of blessing others with it.  I am so excited to see how God uses this house in the future for His glory.

7.  Bible Study.  There is something about going through God's word with a group of women that really makes me happy.  I love perspectives and how people process what they are being told.  The group I was placed in has this great woman who refuses to allow people to justify or use loopholes to get out of what God is teaching.  I LOVE IT!  John, too, looks forward to Thursdays and his Bible Study.  He even dresses up.   

8.  Sara.  I don't think there has been a day when I haven't heard, "Auntie Sara......."  We love that girl around here.  She blesses the socks of us and me.  I could go on and on...

I am seriously blessed.