Smooshy-Face Gone Wrong

Thursday, December 31, 2009

If there's an unusual way to injure yourself, leave it to me to find it.

Robby has come up with a new "game" of sorts. I like to call it "smooshy-face". He'll wrap his arms tightly around your neck and press his little face as hard as he can into yours. Usually, I have no problem with this. While he and his dad wrestle on the floor and headbutt each other, Robby and I have our smooshy-face time. Last night, however, smooshy-face time turned sour.

Last night, Rob came over and crawled up onto my lap with book in hand, wanting to be read to as usual. No problem. We read the book and then he decided it was smooshy-face time. So, he wraps his arms around my neck and shoves his body into my face, resembling something like a facehugger from the Alien movies, giggling and wiggling wildly the whole time. This went on for awhile until the worst happens. He pulls away, grabs my head, squares himself up with my face, confuses me with his father for a moment, and goes in for the headbutt at full-speed...


The sickening noise and feeling of my nose cracking against toddler forehead brings me to tears and makes me say some very colorful, un-Christian words. Setting him down on the floor, I go to assess the damage. I'm afraid to, really. Feeling around, I find that my nose, in fact, is still there. Check. No blood. Check. Oh, but the pain! My whole face begins to throb. Poor Robby this whole time is looking at me with a very confused and concerned look on his face. Matt has Rob apologize to me and he gives me a hug, but he's lost his smooshy-face privileges for awhile.

Whether my nose is fractured or not, I really don't know. If anything, he definitely bruised it. I do know, however, that it still hurts pretty bad today and I'm having difficulty breathing out of it. The bridge of my nose and my cheek bones are still throbbing with pain, despite Tylenol's best efforts. He clocked me good. I've never been punched in the face before, but that's the closest I ever want to come.

Aside from my unusual injuries, I have a Baby Drew update. I went in for another prenatal checkup yesterday. My blood pressure was good, Drew's heart rate was easily found and very strong; although the PA did note, "Wow, he's moving around a lot! Is that normal?" For my children, evidently. Robby never stopped moving. Nothing's changed in the department. Also, my weight-gain is steady and normal. Overall, the visit was very quick and painless. The PA informed me that my appointments will be every two weeks now and my next visit will be my glucose test. Please pray for clarity in this test, even though I passed my first one with Robby just fine. Thankfully, I don't have to fast this time for some reason. Definitely a plus. Two weeks after my glucose test, I will have another ultrasound (on Matt's birthday of all days - and he'll have that week off!), which marks my eight-week countdown. We are definitely getting close! I'm shocked just how fast this pregnancy is flying! We still don't know if this will result in a natural birth or a c-section. We're hoping for a scheduled c-section, since Matt does not get leave like he did with Robby. We're having to try and plan one of his weeks of vacation when Drew is born, which makes me slightly uneasy, but if it's scheduled beforehand, we'll more likely be able to get a more definite plan. Trusting in the Lord that everything will come together somehow.

Our First Christmas Home

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We had never done a Christmas at home before, so at first the thought kind of weirded me out. No packing up the car for a day at my grandparents' place, no "premade" breakfast, and no "premade" dinner. We were on our own this year. As odd as it felt, things went as well as expected, if not better. I am not one to break "tradition" and I'm not great with dealing with change, but I took a deep breath and went for it anyways. Didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

Cher joined us for Christmas Eve Service at our church, which was one of the most beautiful and spiritually satisfying Christmas Eve services I've ever been to. We sang songs, heard a fantastic, Gospel-filled sermon, and then finished up with a few more songs by candlelight. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. A lovely reminder of the true reason for the season. We all went our separate ways, stopped off at McDonald's (nothing says "Merry Christmas" like McD's) for dinner, and then heading home to get Robby to bed. This little elf had some more sneaky business to do (I had one more gift to pull out - not from Santa, of course - just too big to wrap). Matt and I had our nightly cup of tea, watched a little of the 1984 version of "A Christmas Carol", and then toddled off to bed.

After a rough night of uncomfortable sleep for me and 7:00 considered "sleeping in" by Matt, we both decided to get up - both before the child, mind you. We put on some coffee and opened our gifts to each other, enjoying our own private little Christmas before Rob had toys scattered from one end of the living room to the other. This year marked our seventh Christmas together, so it was rather nice to enjoy our quiet time. We then decided to go rouse the Robster, who gave us most unpleasant glares from his bed as we turned on the light. He soon changed his tune as we took him out to see what we had woken him up for. He had gotten used to the wrapped presents under the tree, but one was unwrapped and sitting out in plain sight - a brightly-colored Elmo chair. After watching him drag his booster seat from the kitchen to the living room over and over again, I finally found him a chair of his very own for reading and TV-viewing. He was thrilled. $15 well spent. I then helped him unwrap his other gifts as Matt recorded video (seen here). Lots of books, trucks, and his very first train set. The poor kid was so overwhelmed, he didn't know what to play with first. Here I will admit that I went a tad overboard, but I had to reasonings: A) this will be his last Christmas as an only child and B) last year was such a let-down since he was so little. Reasonable reasonings? Don't know. I had fun shopping for him, though. Breakfast of pancakes and sausage was made and eaten and then we all went back to playing with our Christmas toys, waiting for Cher to join us and for our food to settle.

Cher came over at about 1:00. We opened more gifts with her, let her try her hand at the Wii for the very first time (quite entertaining...our TV barely survived the ordeal), and I started dinner. Yes, I had to make my very first Christmas dinner. Honey-glazed ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and an apple pie for dessert. Cher was kind enough to buy the ham and make the pie, but the rest was up to me. Slightly nerve-racking? Yes, but I survived and nothing exploded or caught on fire. The ham was my deepest concern, but I found it to be quite fool-proof. Everything turned our great, if I may say so myself. We sat and digested for a bit and then Skyped with Matt's family in Colorado for awhile. Cher was very unsure about being "on display" at first and quickly sprinted out of view, but my father-in-law called her out and made her join in on the conversation. We said our virtual goodbyes and then had to say our goodbyes to Cher, as all of us were growing quite sleepy.

What a long, wonderful day. Nothing like I expected, but better. Still, I don't know if I'd want to do it again anytime soon. I'm looking forward to next Christmas, with lots of family and food, and a two-year-old and an eight-month-old. I guess I kind of took the holidays for granted and this year made me appreciate them more - not that I didn't enjoy our holidays on our own, of course. I'm really glad Cher was willing and able to join us. It was really nice to kind of "reconnect" with her, as we've somewhat fallen away since her and I lived together. This year was a nice break from tradition and I look forward to next year when we'll go back to "tradition as usual". I pray you all had a good Christmas as well!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Today, we reflect and celebrate the day that our Holy and Mighty God humbled Himself by coming to earth as a small and helpless baby, setting aside His divine attributes to live as a lowly man, and suffering for all mankind's sins on the cross so that we may be fully redeemed by His blood through repentance and faith. Nothing wrapped up in ribbons and bows can even come close the perfect gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks for this immeasurable gift of mercy, love, and sacrifice the Father has bestowed upon us!

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
-Isaiah 6:9

Christmas Chuckle

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now THIS is talent! I hope you all get as big of a chuckle out of this as I did. Merry Christmas!

Pineapple Cookies Recipe

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My aunt and grandma used to make these a lot when I was growing up. I just got the chance to make them for myself for our church's Cookie Exchange. They were a hit, as far as I could tell - they were all gone! This recipe is slightly older than I am and before you turn your nose up at the thought of fruit in cookies, don't think "fruitcake". These are definitely NOT fruitcake. To assure you further, Matt loves them...which says a lot.

Pineapple Cookies

3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c shortening
1-1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1-1/4 c crushed pineapple (undrained)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly combine together wet and dry ingredients. Stir in pineapple. Drop teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Makes about four dozen.

It Will Cost You Everything

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Excellent video. Well worth the watch.

Let's Say Thanks

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I was directed to this site by a Facebook friend. Basically, you pick a design, fill out your information, choose a message, and when you click "Send", Xerox prints out your card and sends it overseas to a U.S. soldier. It's just a small token of thanks to let them know that you appreciate and pray for them. It takes less than a minute, but you never know who's life you'll impact in the long-run. Click on the banner above to visit Xerox's Let's Say Thanks website.

Whether you agree with the war or not, please continue to pray for the brave men and women serving our country.

First Professional Haircut

Saturday, December 5, 2009

After putting off another chopped "mommy cut" for so long, we finally took Rob in for his very first professional haircut. It's not perfect by any means (it's difficult to trim a moving object), but he did beautifully for the hairstylist, only fussing a little twice during the whole experience. He didn't mind the scissors and comb, but didn't want to have anything to do with the clippers. She didn't even have to turn it on for him to make it very clear that he did not approve. So, the haircut was cut short (ha...punny). I think he still looks quite dapper and oh-so grown up.

Born to Die

Friday, December 4, 2009

This beautiful video about the true story of Christmas was put together by my dear friend and brother in Christ, Mike. Make sure to check out his blog, Wretched Sinner.

It's a...

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Another healthy, normal baby boy!

I have to admit I was a little surprised. I was honestly starting to wonder if we were having a girl, but the Littlest Marshall made no secret of his manhood. Please excuse the crappy ultrasound pictures.

My appointment went very smoothly overall. During the ultrasound, Matt kept jokingly asking the nurse where the "other baby" was. After the ultrasound, the doctor came in and said, "Well, everything looks really good, but I'm going to have to check the second baby again." It was so quiet, you could have heard our jaws drop. Before I could get my voice back to protest, he laughed and said, "Just kidding." Relieved, I pointed to the door and said, "You're you can leave."

Guesses? Anyone?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tomorrow we quite possibly find out what we're having, so go guess on baby #2's stats! I haven't decided if I'll be closing the game after that, as it isn't fair if people know what the gender is and guess. If you haven't wagered a guess yet, go do so now! And pray for an immodest baby!


This was the scene just before Rob did his first two somersaults. He did the first one by accident, landing with a loud "thump!" and a very surprised look on his face. Then he laughed and did it again! It's not unusual to see him do his "headstands"; especially when he's tired, but this time he pushed a little too far and ended up on his back. Crazy kid!

PhotoBlog Name Change

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Since we made the change from JSMarshall Photography to just Marshall Photography, I decided to change the name of my photoblog to The Shutterbugette. If you're following me or linked to that blog somehow, please make the following changes:


If you have any questions on how to do this, please feel free to email me.

Venturing Outside

Playtime - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2009

Both feeling cranky and cooped-up, I decided to bundle Robby up and take him outside to play for awhile. One perk of living here is that there's little playgrounds scattered throughout the apartment complex, so "going to the park" is quick and easy. Sadly, I had never taken him to play at one before. I talked myself into taking my camera along - something I've also been neglecting - and was able to catch some sweet moments.

I'm glad I took the opportunity to go outside. Usually, I find a million excuses not to go outside, but something just told me "go". It was good for both of us. Needless to say, Rob wasn't too thrilled at the idea of going back inside, but the cold wind forced both of us back into our warm home.

Thankful - Day Thirty

Monday, November 30, 2009

30.) I am so very thankful for all the blessings God has given me. I admit when I started this project, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to find 30 things to be thankful for, but now I'm overwhelmed with just how blessed I truly am and how much I have to rely on God to provide for us. How'd you do? Did you find 30 things to be thankful for? My further challenge for you is to find at least one thing to be thankful for every day of the year and not just when the calendar forces us to think about those things by which God has provided and blessed us with. Rejoice in both the good and bad things that your loving Creator has given to you in your life!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Thankful - Day Twenty-Nine

Sunday, November 29, 2009

29.) I'm thankful to have a fully-stocked, cram-packed kitchen full of food, thanks to God's good grace and mercy.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Eight

Saturday, November 28, 2009

28.) I'm thankful for time spent with sweet friends. And homemade cheesecake. Definitely thankful for that!


A Parent's Prayer

"O Heavenly Father, I commend the souls of my children to thee. Be thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is wanting in me through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, to resist all solicitations to evil, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour thy grace into their hearts, and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so faithfully serving thee here, may come to rejoice in thy presence hereafter. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." - St. Augustine's Prayer Book

Thankful - Day Twenty-Seven

27.) I'm thankful I'm not dealing with the Black Friday foolishness. Grabbing that fantastic deal on that perfect gift is NOT worth getting up way too early, freezing your tush off, getting trampled to death, and possibly ending the morning with a black eye...because you both lunged for that last remaining super-deluxe, limited edition, once-in-a-lifetime Elmo doll your kid just HAS to have, ending in a knock-down, drag-out between you and some other caffeine-induced mother in the middle of a swarm of other crazed, sleep-deprived mothers in the middle of Wal-Mart...I'm just sayin'.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Six

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26.) I am thankful to have so much to be thankful for all year long! Happy Thanksgiving! May your conversation be blessed and glorifying to the Lord and your hearts and tummies be warmed!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 107:1

I Asked God

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Asked God
-Author Unknown

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! But I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Four & Twenty-Five

24.) I am thankful for the bad days. When put in the correct perspective, they really aren't that bad.

25.) I am thankful that my son is growing, developing, learning, thriving, and laughing - especially when there was a time we didn't think he ever would.

For All Moms

Monday, November 23, 2009

I stumbled across this story today. The author is unknown, but I agree with her whole-heartedly.

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."

"We're taking a survey," she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations...."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.

That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.

She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years -- not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.

Funny Sign

Thankful - Day Twenty-Three

23.) I am thankful for the baby squirms and kicks going on inside of me. What a beautiful, comforting feeling.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139-13-14

Thankful - Day Twenty-Two

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22.) I am thankful I get to spend eternity in Heaven with such a wonderful group of believers. We'll be the noisiest group by far!

Thankful - Day Twenty-One

Saturday, November 21, 2009

21.) I'm thankful for my husband's genuine kindness, gentleness, love, guidance, and care for me and our family. I am such a blessed woman to have him as my husband and partner.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:25-32

Thankful - Day Twenty

Friday, November 20, 2009

20.) I am thankful for my bible study group, who were nice enough to bring the study to my house so I could participate while Robby naps.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20

Advent Conspiracy

Thankful - Day Nineteen

19.) I am thankful to be 20 weeks pregnant, today! Halfway there, baby!!

No verse for this one, either.

Thankful - Day Eighteen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18.) I am thankful for my little boy, who fills my days with laughter and never ceases to make my life interesting.

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound." Psalm 4:7

Thankful - Day Seventeen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

17.) I am thankful for God's constant provision. Although we don't have much, we have never gone without the necessities and are blessed to have some luxuries. Only by God's good grace and mercy are we able to have the things we do have.

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:31-33

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Monday, November 16, 2009

This is the best pie you'll ever eat. Matt and I had a piece of raspberry cream cheese pie when he took me out for my birthday and since then I've been scouring the internet trying to find a similar recipe. I think I may have found it. I must say, for only being the second pie I've ever made and by far the most complicated, I'm quite proud of my results (see photo)!

The recipe calls for fresh raspberries, but I had to use frozen, since they're out of season. I'm sure you could experiment with whatever berry you wanted or whatever happens to be in season. I plan on trying other berries in the future. Also, if you know how to make pie crust, I suggest you use it instead of the store bought ones. I used Wal-Mart brand crusts and I regretted it. They were crumbly and thin. Pillsbury makes a decent premade crust, however.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

9 inches pie shells, baked & cooled
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks are formed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice (typically from one lemon)
4 cups fresh raspberries

1. In a small mixing bowl, beat soft cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in half of whipped cream until thoroughly combined, then fold in remaining cream very gently. Spread evenly into pie shell. (You may refrigerate while cooking berries.)
2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice with a whisk until smooth. Stir in raspberries.
3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook and stir berries for 2 minutes or until thickened. Then, in a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, press berries into strainer, separating seeds from filling. (If you'd like, keep about a tablespoon of seeds in the filling for texture/appearance.) Cool to room temperature, then spread over cream cheese layer.
4. Refrigerate until serving for at least 3-4 hours. Filling will thicken as it sets. Don't try to cut into it without letting it completely cool! Serve with whipped topping.

Thankful - Day Sixteen

16.) I am thankful for memories, like when I first fell in love with my husband. He had my heart since day one. I didn't even stand a chance. =)

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Thankful - Day Fifteen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

15.) I am thankful to be the Lord's hands and feet when He chooses me to be, knowing that this broken, wretched sinner can take no credit for the deed - ALL the glory and honor goes to Him and Him alone.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Also, a prayer request. Please be praying for my brother and future sister-in-law. They want to get married, for the sake of themselves and their baby, but her family is being a huge hinderance with their selfishness. Pray for salvation for both of them and for the family. Pray that Matt and I be His hands and feet in this situation - our hearts ache for them and we want to help where we can.

Thankful - Day Fourteen

Saturday, November 14, 2009

14.) I am thankful for cold, lazy Saturdays spent enjoying time with the ones I love.

I don't have a bible verse for this, without completely butchering context.

Thankful - Day Thirteen

Friday, November 13, 2009

13.) In honor of my grandma's birthday today, I'm thankful for my grandparents, who were willing to take me in when I was three and raise me as their own. Without them, there would have been a good chance I would have been stuck in the foster care system, at best.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Thankful - Day Twelve

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12.) I am thankful to be under fire for Christ's sake, knowing that His Truth will be my armor.

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

If you aren't making Satan take notice, you're not doing it right.

Thankful - Day Eleven

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11.) I am thankful for the good days...and coffee. Lots of coffee.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Thankful - Day Ten

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10.) I am thankful that I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom. Although it is challenging and stressful at times,  I realize just how blessed I truly am to be able to stay home and raise my children.

"He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!" Psalm 113:9

Comic Relief

Monday, November 9, 2009

The future of diapers - the Smart Diaper. Click to enlarge.

Thankful - Day Nine

9.) I am thankful God closed and opened my womb, so I could truly appreciate the children He has blessed me with.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

Thankful - Day Eight

Sunday, November 8, 2009

8.) I am thankful that although I complain of aches, pains, and tiredness, my supposed suffering doesn't even come close to those of others in this world - especially those who are enduring it without the hope of the Gospel.

Warning: This photo is very graphic in nature, but will change your perspective on what suffering is in an instant. Click here to view.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

Thankful - Day Seven

Saturday, November 7, 2009

7.) I am thankful for Matt's God-given strength and ability to be able to work hard for his family day in and day out, with little to no complaint.

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8

Thankful - Day Six

Friday, November 6, 2009

6.) I am thankful for the reformers' diligence and sacrifice, making it possible for me to freely study the bible in my own language.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Thankful - Day Five & Update

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5.) I am thankful for Jesus' selfless sacrifice upon the cross; making me sinless and righteous before a Holy God on Judgement Day.

"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

Also, just a quick update: Had a quick and easy prenatal checkup this morning. My blood pressure was lower than last visit and they found the baby's heartrate right away with the doppler - 155 BPM! My next checkup and ultrasound is scheduled for December 3rd. I don't want to wait that long!

Just for fun, I used these Chinese gender predictors to see what it would come up with. Supposedly, we're having a girl. Interestingly enough, it predicted correctly on Robby, so perhaps there's a little girl in our near future? That should make a few of you very happy, I'm sure. We'll just have to wait and find out!

30 Days of Thankfulness

I was inspired by something a friend of mine posted on Facebook today and I wanted to start a similar project here on Chronicles. Since November brings Thanksgiving, we find ourselves reflecting upon what we are truly thankful for. Usually, this only lasts the day of, as the comforting effects of the Thanksgiving turkey warms our tummies, only to quickly fade away as we are faced with a sink full of dishes, pans, etc. As believers, of course, we should be thankful all year long for God's provision, grace, and blessing, but how often do we actually thank God daily for those things? I challenge both my readers and myself to write down, blog about, or just pray upon one thing a day that you are thankful for until November 30th. I chose to blog mine, of course, and just for a bit of study, I've included bible verses for a reference of sorts.

I realize that I'm four days late on this. I wish I would have thought of it sooner, but if you know me, you know I'm not on time unless I'm late. To start things off, here are four things I'm thankful for:

Days One Through Four

1.) I am thankful for trials and tribulations, as they stretch me and grow me more into Christ's likeness

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Romans 6:22

2.) I am thankful that I live in a country that doesn't persecute me to the extent that I'm not allowed to worship freely.

"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God." 1 Peter 2:16

3.) I am thankful for our loving church family, who have become just that - family.

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12

4.) I am thankful to be redeemed by God's good grace and that I am forever His servant.

"But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation." Psalm 13:5

What are YOU thankful for?

Eager Reader & The Holidays

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rob finally likes books! He'll sit in the middle of the living room and "read" a book out loud (in Robby language, of course), pointing at the pictures and narrating each page. He'll also bring you a book to read to him and sit through the whole thing, so we've started reading a book to him before every night. I'm so excited he finally will sit still long enough for a whole book and he really seems to enjoy it. Now I have another gift idea for Christmas!

Speaking of the holidays, it looks like we'll be doing both Thanksgiving and Christmas on our own this year. My grandparents have decided to become snow birds and head to the desert for the winter. I'm always slightly uneasy about change, but I'm excited to think that we finally get to start our own traditions with our little family. I think Robby will be very excited about Christmas especially. Him and I went to Target today for a few things and I took him over to see the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) decorations. He got very excited over the trees, the garland, and the lights. I wonder what he'll think when he sees his own tree in his own living room? I'm so excited that he's old enough to somewhat appreciate the holidays, now. Should make Christmas morning fun!


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rob gets into the Halloween spirit.
The perfect shirt.
Daddy and Rob on a hike.
Grandpa and Rob on the four-wheeler.

My Dream

Friday, October 30, 2009

Usually, those last little dreams you have just before you wake up in morning are completely random. At least, that's my case. However, the dream I had this morning was particularly detailed and deeper than any dream I've ever had. This is how it went.

Matt, Robby, and I were touring an old, dilapidated school along with a large group of people. The building was huge, so I assume it was some sort of university at one time. While touring a part of the building, the ceiling started caving in, trapping many people and ultimately killing them. The rest of us fled into what I assume to be some sort giant, stone foyer, filled with crumbling fountains and statues. The ceiling in this room started to cave in, also. Many people fled, knowing that it would eventually collapse all together, but many stayed behind. While we were of the group fleeing, we stopped and noticed the group that was choosing to stay behind. I thought, Why aren't they running for their lives? Don't they know the ceiling is caving in and they're in danger? Amongst the chaos, I somehow observed that there were three kinds of people in this group; people who were oblivious to the ceiling caving in, people who were too scared to move because the ceiling was caving in, and people who were in denial that the ceiling was caving in. I then told Matt, "We have to try and save these people! We have to get them out!" We ran around the room, yelling out, "You need to get out! The ceiling is caving in and you're in danger! Get out now!", but no one moved. Resolved to the fact that these people weren't going anywhere, I then turned to Matt and said, "If we die, we'll go to Heaven, but if they die, many of them will go to Hell." Matt agreed, seeming to understand where my train of thought was headed. I then spotted a large stage at the far-end of the room and I went and walked onto it. Next, I started preaching to these people, "The ceiling is caving in and all of us will die like the people in the other room. We will all see our Judgement Day. How will God judge you? Will He send you to Heaven or Hell?" I then went through some of the Good Person Test and many of the people were driven to their knees by the Truth. Some people shook their fists angrily at me, cursing and spitting. Others trembled in the corner or ignored me to look at the statues. Nevertheless, I pushed on, praying for the words to say. Just as I finished with repentance and faith, the ceiling gave way. Huge pieces of stone came tumbling down on us, crushing many of the people. I heard people screaming and crying out, scrambling to find safety...

...and then I woke up.

I didn't quite understand the depth of it until I started waking up more. I have never had a dream like this before and it even surprised Matt. I don't want to say or suggest I had some sort of "vision", but I do admit that the subject matter does hit home and it really shook me up and still is even after the fact.

Where the Wild Things Are

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Newsweek asked Maurice Sendak (author of "Where the Wild Things Are"), "What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?"

Sendak humbly replied, "I would tell them to go to hell."

From what I've read in the review, this movie is deceiving. Unlike the light-hearted, whimsical book, the movie is dark, violent, and full of strong, atheistic overtones; not to mention profanity, blasphemy, and one incredibly disrespectful child.

Still thinking of taking your kids to see it? Sendak sounds like just another God-hating, bitter old man to me. We need to be praying for this man and other authors of children's books. We also need to be praying for discernment as parents to lead our households in a godly manner, being wise and careful to monitor every possible attack on our children - no matter how innocent it may seem. Satan is a wise one.

"Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
There's a Father up above, looking down in tender love,
So be careful little eyes, what you see."

North Idaho Trip

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sorry this is so late. Getting back into the swing of real life seems to be a challenge this time around for some reason. We had a wonderful time visiting my dad and step-mom in Sandpoint over the past week; with the added bonus of catching up with a childhood friend, my half-brothers, and finally meeting my baby nephew, Chase. A week was far from long enough and none of us wanted to leave.

Our drive up was rather uneventful and went by quickly. We made the drive in about 12 hours, which is pretty good considering all the stops we had to take so Rob could burn some energy and I could visit the restroom...again. We were greeted with open arms as usual and Kathy, my step-mom, didn't waste any time spoiling Robby as soon as she could with new clothes and toys waiting for him. We ate dinner and talked for a bit and then crashed out early.

Sunday was my dad's only day off, so we made the most out of it, but didn't go anywhere. Kathy made a wonderful pancake breakfast for us and then the boys headed outside to find something to burn. We are a family of pyros! Two burn piles and one almost burnt woodshed later, the boys finally made their way back inside. The afternoon was spent chatting and napping (by Rob and I) and then my brother, Matthew (yes, it gets confusing), his fiance, Sara, and their baby, Chase, came over for dinner. It was great seeing my brother after so long and finally meeting the two new additions to the family. Sara is the sweetest girl and I'm excited to someday call her my sister-in-law. And Chase - I grew quite attached to him during the week! What a cutie! The boys played Wii while I held Chase (oh darn) for the rest of the evening.

Monday, all we did was go on a photowalk in the woods and veg, so I'll skip to Tuesday. Tuesday morning, Matt, Rob, and I headed to Coeur d'Alene (my birth place, about an hour away) to do some window shopping and to meet up with my childhood friend, Della. How sweet it was to see her again after seven years! We treated her and her son, Malachi, out to lunch and chatted. She has recently made a profession of faith (praise the Lord!), so we all went to the Christian book store so I could price a bible for myself and to try and find her a better one (little did she know, we went back and bought one for her as a surprise). At that point, Rob and I needed a nap, so we said "goodbye" and headed back to Sandpoint.

Wednesday, we were invited to breakfast at Della's house for a traditional Papa Bob (her dad) breakfast. Unfortunately, the lunch we treated her to the day prior gave her food poisoning and she had to reschedule. Since we were back in Coeur d'Alene anyway, we decided to do some window shopping and eat lunch. The weather was rainy and cold, so we didn't do much else and decided to just head back to Sandpoint. Later, when Dad got off work, we all (Matt, Rob, me, Dad, Kathy, Sara, and Chase) headed back to Coeur d'Alene to eat dinner at Red Robin, my dad and step-mom's new favorite. There we met up with my other brother, Jeramy. I didn't even recognize him as he was walking up behind us! It's been too long. We had a great dinner and visit with everyone, laughing and poking fun at Kathy's blondness (love ya, Kathy).

Thursday evening, we all went out to visit Kathy's mom, who I haven't seen since I was about 13 or 14 years old. She finally got to meet Matt and Robby, who immediately attached himself to her without hesitation. Soon, Matthew, Sara, and Chase joined us and we had a nice family dinner together, laughing, talking, and reminiscing. Dad introduced Robby to great-grandma's piano, so we were "serenaded" by my tone-deaf son. It was a good evening and I was sad to leave.

Friday was nuts. Back to Coeur d'Alene to meet up with Della so she could lead us to her house near Hauser Lake for breakfast. It was wonderful to be able to see my Papa Bob and Mama Pat again! When I was growing up, they were like a second family to me. Malachi and Rob played as we "adults" chatted and caught up some more. We then took a walk down by the lake and then had to say our goodbyes. I didn't want to leave at all. On the way back through Coeur d'Alene, Matt dropped me off at Shari's to meet up with Kathy, Sara, and Chase to eat lunch and then do a "girl's day out". I must not be very girly, because I spent a lot of time herding them out of stores instead of window shopping myself. I bought a few clothes for Robby and an outfit for Chase and then we headed back to Sandpoint to drop Sara off, only to find a huge line of traffic blocking the entrance to town because of construction. Luckily, Kathy knew a round-about way, so we got into town, only to find a long line of cars trying to get out of town. We decided it would be best to just hang out with Sara and Chase for a bit and wait for traffic to die down. I got to feed and hold Chase one more time and then we headed home. While we were gone, Dad, Matt, and Robby went out on an adventure of their own, heading up a mountain to check out the view and scout for deer. Sadly, Matt got to spend more time with my dad than I did, but I'm glad he had a good time. I really wish I got to see him more.

Saturday, we got up early, but later than we had planned (stupid cell phone alarm). We said a quick goodbye to my dad, who had to go to work. We packed up all our bags and belongings, let Robby eat some breakfast and play a bit, said our sad goodbyes to Kathy, and were on the road. I wanted to bawl, but amazingly I kept composure. I so did NOT want to leave! We stopped in Coeur d'Alene to eat breakfast, but the thick fog that morning slowed us down from getting out of town quickly afterwords. We ended up stopping in Post Falls for gas and then we were on our way. The trip home was absolutely horrid. Robby did NOT want to be in his seat at all and made it well-known all the way home. We stopped as much as we could and let him romp around, but it didn't make any difference. He still cried and screamed and struggled. The last five hours were a nightmare, but about an hour out from Twin, he fell asleep and it was peaceful the rest of the way. It was about a 13 hour drive home and we got in about 9:30pm. All of us completely drained, we just crashed, happy to be in our own beds again. We couldn't bring ourselves to make Rob get back in his seat the next morning, so Matt ended up going to church by himself. I'm thankful we made that decision because Sunday was rough for the little man.

So, there's our trip north. It was wonderful and I got to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in years. The weather wasn't great and I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to (I spent a lot of time sleeping), but it was still good. Also, I dropped the ball when it came to sharing the gospel. I had a chance to at one point, but sinfully, I just changed the subject, something I'm now regretting immensely (please be praying for me). Now, it's back to life-as-usual. It's been a challenge getting Robby re-adjusted back to the normal routine for some reason and he's definitely been showing his true, sinful colors lately, but we're working through it. I'll hopefully get some pictures posted at one point or another, as I'm waiting for some that Kathy took while we were there. Thank you for your prayers for safe travel while we were away. I am quite bummed to know that this will be our last roadtrip anywhere for a long time. :(

North or Bust!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We're off to North Idaho to visit with family and friends for a week, so please be praying for travel mercies!

Prenatal Checkup - 14 Weeks

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today's doctor's appointment had a bit of a rocky start, considering I was almost 20 minutes late to my appointment to begin with. Yikes! Never go to Wal-Mart if you need to be somewhere in the next hour. Seriously - that place makes you forget about time.

I got there and they were still willing to see me. I got to talk to a doctor this time, oddly enough the same doctor that performed my c-section last time (and he remembered me), and the main subject was the "endgame plan" - how this was going to play out and what kind of delivery I could expect. I told him that we would like to try for a VBAC and he was all for it, but he also told me that statistically speaking and all things considered, the odds of me delivering on my own with a creeping blood pressure, high weight, and past c-section make the odds for me delivering naturally very slim and that I should "plan for a c-section". He said that if I made to 37 weeks and went into labor on my own, he'd happily do a VBAC, but if I'm 38 weeks with high blood pressure, gave over. C-section time. He said they would really monitor me to make the best decision, but luckily, they can't induce me this time with a prior c-section. Whew! I do NOT want to do that again! He said, "It sounds like it would be a waste of time anyways. Nothing was working on you!" Nope. Not a thing! I didn't get past 2 cm. So, we'll just have to play it by ear and hope for the best, but at this point, I'm just wanting a healthy baby without the circus that last time brought.

I'm very impressed with the care I'm receiving at St. Luke's OB/GYN. I've heard horror stories, but so far, it's a vast improvement from Dr. Dan. Take for example, the doctor tried to find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler, but of course couldn't find it. I wasn't shocked. Dr. Dan couldn't find Rob's for the longest time, too, but instead of saying, "better luck next time", this doctor gave me a quick ultrasound to find the heartbeat, free of charge! So, I got the reassurance of seeing our little one kick and squirm (which I've felt for the past week or so, too) and got to hear his/her little heart gallop along (158 BPM). I had to wait awhile to get my ultrasound because they were busy, but it was definitely worth it.

So, things are good. From the sounds of it, the baby's doing great. I have another appointment in a month and then a legit ultrasound sometime after that, hopefully telling us whether we're having a boy or girl. From what the doctor told me, the techs at their office are really good at "looking at babies", so hopefully our chances for finding out the gender are better than with Rob, the modest. So exciting! Please be praying that my blood pressure stays down this time, although it's way lower than it was with Rob, but still a threat. Also, I've been experiencing horrible sciatic pain since yesterday, which I understand is very normal with second pregnancies, so please be praying for relief for that on our trip coming up on Saturday.

That's all I have for now! :)


Sunday, October 4, 2009

We were quite surprised to awake to a thick blanket of snow outside this morning and the weather showed no sign of letting up. It's made for a pleasant afternoon spent watching it from inside, snuggled-up warm and cozy. In my ten years of living here, this is the earliest I've seen it snow (other than the day I saw it snow in May, but I don't know if that would count as "early" or "late", really). Hopefully, we don't encounter any snow on our trip north this Saturday or on the return home next Saturday. Please be praying for travel mercies.

I'm trying to figure out how global warming plays into all of this - not particularly warm out there. Hmm.