Apr 30, 2008

Quick thoughts on prayer

Hunter recently has been asking me to pray for whatever pops into his head. And it's never a request but a statement. He usually starts, "I want to tell Jesus....". Then he just tells Jesus something. This is awkward for me because in the Christian community everything we pray becomes a prayer request. Think about it. We tell Jesus a situation and end it in a request. At every Bible study, "are there any prayer requests?" "How can I pray for you?" Yes, we also praise Him, but there are usually more requests. How interesting to pray just to tell Him something and make Him a part of my day. My son has been teaching me about prayer, and how there is more than just praises and requests.
Also, he emphatically tells me that he wants to see Jesus. I tell Him he is everywhere like the wind, you can't see it, but you can feel it and see it doing things. I'm not sure now if Hunter doesn't think Jesus IS the wind. But he gets the idea. When I notice something great, I tell him Jesus did it. When I ask for a request and it is answered, I explain it to Hunter. I am hoping Hunter understands....
Hunter tells me he doesn't love Jesus. That's fine, but I want him to know that Jesus loves him, and we talk about that everyday. I'm not sure Hunter's reasoning behind that statement. But a lot of Hunter's reasoning has not made sense lately, and it's been hard for me to get to the bottom of it. I know that Hunter is quite confused about God and who He is still, but he also surprises me with what he does understand. As he gets older, we can have better discussions. I do not want to pressure my son, but make God and talking about Him part of our daily life. Hunter always has many questions and we love to talk together.

Going down the slide

I videotaped Ainsley going down the slide headfirst. She had a bit of a rough landing in this video, but she recovered quickly and was back at it again two seconds later. She had already done it a bunch of times (a lot more smoothly) before I decided to get the camera for a video of it. It appears I have a rough and tumble kid....again.

Ainsley has been trying to say "cracker" this week, and she is eating a lot more solid food like cooked carrots and peas, strawberries, and sweet potatoes.

Other news and thoughts: I met with the youth pastor at our church today to discuss getting involved in youth group. I am excited! I love what the church is doing and the way they do things. Can't wait to start. I need more kids in my life too. I miss it when they are not around.

He asked me my philosophy on parenting as an unrelated question. I answered it, but on the way home I was thinking about my answer. In a round-about way I gave this answer. I wish I would have been more succint:

I want my children to choose wisely their Master, Mate, and Mission.

Their Master: Nothing is more important than loving and following God. I want my children to choose him and make Him head of all areas in their life. He is their hope, peace, joy, center, and Lord of all.

Mate: Hopefully my own marriage will be a role model in what a marriage should look like, and my friends role models in the type of friendships my children have. The people you surround yourself with shapes you. We were meant to live in community. And how can I begin to say how important choosing a good marriage partner is?!

Mission: All of us are here for a purpose. There are no accidents and we all have a place in God's kingdom to serve and be a part. I want to help my children explore, grow, and learn to be what they were designed to be. And while this probably evolves over the course of a lifetime, I want them to jump in and do what they were meant to do! (I also think that a lazy, rude, unmannered child will have a hard time being able to fulfill their "mission" so to speak, and won't be taken seriously or respected. Therefore, the reason I teach manners, hard work, discipline and self-control is so that they can be what they were meant to be.)

So these are the three things that drive the way I parent. I really want to instill these things in them.

Outside waiting for me to help her down the big slide.My rose tree out front is blooming and all of the rest of my flowers. Hunter is filling up our fountain. How is it possible that our garden just keeps getting prettier and prettier?! I am out in it at least once a day. It is so theraputic to me. It was a hot day and they played in the pool.This is Ainsley modeling the little outfit I made her. As I type this, the little bugger does not want to go to sleep and is screaming in the other room. Too bad, she's rubbing her eyes and obviously tired. The screaming seems to be slowing down, and I think she'll fall asleep soon.....I hope.

I wish I knew how to get this video turned around. I guess you'll have to watch it sideways. But she's pretty cute so I thought it was worth it. I also love the sniff she does at the end. Don't know why she does that all the time, but it's cute.

Apr 24, 2008

"More" and "Thank You"

Here is Ainsley saying two words, "More" (listen carefully this is really hard to miss haha), and when she gets the cheerio she says, "Thank you." I will now translate, "Mo!" is "More." "Dane You" is "thank you."

She loves to hand me small toys from a pile over and over again and say "Thank you" as she hands them to me.
Never one to give up, she loudly says "MO!" as many times as she can until she gets food (as you can see.)

She has also been saying "bye bye" and waving when she leaves somewhere or someone else leaves. She says, "Ba! Ba!"

Apr 23, 2008

Getting crafty

I could write about how Hunter plugged both toilets with full rolls of toilet paper, gave Ainsley a black eye, and ripped apart my stamps and threw the pieces in the garbage and hid the other half in the closet, all in a matter of three days last week, but I am refraining. Enough about him. We all know his tendencies by now. I would rather share other fun things.

So I decided to get crafty and make some things for the baby shower and first birthday party that I went to this weekend. I found this pattern online for baby shoes and made some for Ainsley, Heather's new baby, and Piper. Piper was turning one so I had to enlarge the pattern a little. Once I made the little brown and pink shoes for Ainsley, I decided that it also needed a dress and hairbow to go with it, so I made them too. Piper's little outfit I found at The Children's Place, so I just made some shoes to go with it. I also made a nursing pancho and and baby book for Heather's baby girl. I love my nursing pancho because it's more modest than the ones you can buy in the store and I also have used it as a burp rag, sun shield, blanket, etc. I go nowhere without it. As a second time Mom, I now don't feel the need to bring EVERYTHING with me when I go out. Sometimes the pancho and an extra diaper is all I need and they fit right in my purse.

(I just made the blue shoes to go with this outfit that I bought)
(Ainsley looks so cute in this!)

Last week, we had a family day to the zoo since we are members and it was such a nice day. Hunter and Daddy had a lot of fun petting the sting rays. They feel so slippery and smooth and they were swimming right up to our hands to glide right by us. Hunter was a little scared when they flipped their fins at him and splashed him. I didn't know why he was so skittish until we got home and he told me that he was afraid of their stinger. I guess I neglected to tell him that they couldn't sting him. Ooops! He was pretty brave in that case because I kept making him stick his hands in the water to touch them. He had fun though and thought they were pretty great. He laughed and laughed at them.

These next pictures are for those of you who asked what our finished living room looked like. My apologies to those who just like to see kid pictures. We just got the reclining love seat and table and chairs. We feel like we are living in luxury with all this nice furniture! (By the way, Tone made the bookshelf and TV built-in. There was just a big alcove/hole in that space when we moved in.) The table pulls out into a square shape so we can fit eight chairs.

Our entry way. The last picture I showed some of you had it filled with boxes from moving in. The book/music room and hallway is to the left, dining room to the right, living room straight ahead.

Yes, It is warm enough already in Fresno to model the bathing suits. They sat in the kiddie pool and ate watermelon. Talk about a mess by the time they were through! I have banned watermelon from the house and it's to eat in kiddie pools only.
Hunter found a headband of mine and socks with toes. He thinks they are great to wear together!
Next year, we have decided that I won't work afterall. I know I had posted that I would probably try to find a part-time job, but with California giving pink slips to teachers everywhere, and United airlines deciding this last month to halt all hiring for the rest of this year, we decided to keep things status quo. There is also the possibility of Tone going to Jet Blue airlines. He would make in five years what he would make in 17 at the airline he is at now. We never thought of them before since they are an east coast airline, but they just announced that they are opening up a base in Oakland in June. We'll see as all the airlines aren't doing so great right now with the cost of fuel being as high as it is. So we are in the process of researching them out. The good news is, they pay more that United does the first year, so we could probably squeak by (by cutting out everything) that first year without me working.
Other good news I received this week: I went in and cleared my teaching credential and I was told that I no longer have to do anything to keep it up. I am officially done jumping through state hoops! A new bill is being passed that I no longer have to work 150 hours in the classroom every five years to keep it. Arnie actually is doing something good for us teachers, if you believe it. I didn't. I went, "Wait, what?! NO!!!" The lady doing my paperwork had to convince me it was true. Every five years, I just go online and pay the fee ($55) and that renews it. You have no idea how great this sounds to me. With 42+ units, 4 difficult state tests, 4 years of different mentoring programs (i.e. just a ton of extra paperwork), a CPR class, and a large project under my belt (the equivalency of a masters) just to get the dang credential, I better not have to jump through any more hoops! But alas! In New York (one of the only other states who requires extra work after a BA for a credential), they actually give you a masters for all your trouble. Not so in California! I get a piece of paper that has "Cleared Teaching Credential" typed on it. This is my eighth year of teaching in the classroom in some capacity. It's about time.

Apr 10, 2008

Awefully cute garden pictures and other thoughts

I was thinking that it's awefully amazing how I can be yin and yang in the same day. I have a great day showing God's love, and then also blow it in the same day. Yesterday I was substitute teaching 6th grade (which was great because middle school is easy for me) and I had a blast. The kids enjoyed me and I enjoyed the kids. For an hour or so, they were assigned work to do on their own, so I sat down and got out my Bible study while they worked. I didn't say anything, but at the end of the day the kids were pretty bummed that I wasn't coming back the next day. I am not sure if any of them noticed what I was reading, but if so, I hope that my actions left a good impression on what someone who reads the Bible is like. So that was the good half of the day. Then I got home and for some reason I was exhausted. Hunter was having a particularly hard time and the daily normal grind really got to me and I was impatient and snappish with my own family. When I finally got to retreat and take a shower, I was much better, but so much for being loving by that point. How can I be so nice to 30 strangers and then be ready to kill my son by the time I get home?! My heart really isn't hypocritical since normally I am great with own family (I think), but still, the contrast yesterday wasn't good.
Well, today I went out in the yard and took some cute pictures of my kids. I took about 100, but these were the cutest. Also, I heard Ainsley and Hunter cracking up in the next room, so I went to go get a video of it. Don't you want to live at my house?! Well, that's true, maybe relaxing isn't the first word that came to mind as I watched this video.