Wednesday, February 25, 2009

first family youtube

I know it's sorta lame but it was a first attempt.  

few family firsts

Stephen's first house as a novice architect

Abbie's first huge gap in her mouth

Diamonte's first "go" at being a tiger

Azariyah's first Zwieback treat

































Monday, February 23, 2009

3 of my february reads

By mid February, I was wondering if I would actually finish just one book!   Yet, somehow, between naps and dishes and school and laundry, I read the following:

February was all about diversity!

Hold Tight, by Harlan Coban - Coban is one of my favorite quick read mystery writers.  It's near impossible to put one of his books down.  I guess that's why it only took me two days to finish.  Very suspenseful as it kept me guessing to the very end.  Not my favorite of his, but definitely an enjoyable read.

Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be), Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck - If you don't know much about the emergent church (I knew very little), this is a great book.  I found the authors to be humble and discerning and quick to commend what is good in the emergent circles, while graciously pointing out their concerns and warnings.  I am impressed that these guys did their research.  They read lots of emergent books, websites, blogs and even attended various emergent churches and conferences.  They asked people questions and positioned themselves as "learners" while holding onto the Gospel.

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller - After hearing a friend talk about her frustration with Bell's "Velvet Elvis", I decided to choose a different author in the emergent circle to read.  As a rule, when I read a book that is critiquing a particular movement, I try to read something from that movement directly.  Aside from a few statements here and there, that I think lacked in basic theological truth,  I liked the book.  I actually liked it a lot.  It's therapeutic in places and weak in bringing a clear definition of the gospel, which seems to unite those in emergent circles.  On the other hand,  Miller talks candidly about sin early on in the book, which I wasn't expecting.  As a writer, he is engaging, honest, and inspiring and it helped me to better understand the beef he and others have toward evangelicalism as a whole.  It also led me to ask myself, "How am I living out what I say I believe?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

stephen's diamante

Remember doing these in elementary school?  In case your memory has failed, a diamante is a form of poetry that contrasts two nouns that are opposites.  The word "diamante" originates from French and means "covered with diamonds," hence the diamond form.  

Perhaps after reading this, you'll conclude that Stephen needs to read Tim Challies' post about his ipology.



fast, sleek

working, creating, enjoying

Leopard, love, dislike, Vista

breaking, boring, unsatisfying

slow, bulky


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

an hour lost, an hour gained: part 2 I left off with a big thank you to God for ordaining a Luv's diaper to leak.  

I meant that, really.  That busted diaper led me to the gift of an extra 60 minutes that began in the first chapter of the book of Job.  I can't imagine how horrible it must have been for Job to receive news that he not only lost all of his possessions but more importantly - all of his children.  The emotional pain and suffering must have been horrendous.  It's hard to project how we might respond if we were in his shoes, but I know for me, I would not have responded like he did.
"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.  And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." 1:20-21

The very next verse is very important:
"In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong."  1:22

These verses immediately cut me to the heart, yet in the most careful and gentle manner.  I don't know how long I will have my precious foster children.  They are a part of our family and we all love them so much that if feels weird to even put "foster" in front of the word "children".  But the reality is that they are not mine.  I am called to be their Mommy now, for this season.  I am called to love them and teach them about Jesus and pray for them and play with them and hold them close.  There is no promise or assurance that they will remain with us though, and that is undeniably painful.

Yet, in spite of the pain and sadness that this uncertainty brings, I know there is a way that I can glorify and honor God through it.  Job's example showed me how.

Upon learning of his indescribable loss, he both grieves and worships.  He declares the truth to himself - that he came into this world with nothing and that he will leave it with nothing.  He declares that the LORD gives and that the LORD takes away.  Then he blesses the name of the LORD.   Furthermore, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong in his response.  

This is the way that I want to respond if and when I hear the judge decide that it's time for the children to go back to their birth mom.  I want to grieve and worship the Lord who is worthy of all of my trust.  I want to bless Him even when He takes something precious away from me, because all of His ways are good and perfect.  I don't want to charge him with wrong.  I want to declare that His decisions are right!

I think John Piper's counsel is very helpful when we encounter trials and sufferings - big or small.  

"Trust in the goodness of God, and let him be your treasure and your joy.  When your calamity comes, may the Lord give you the grace to affirm the sovereignty of God, let your tears flow freely, and let God himself be your treasure and your joy. Amen."




an hour lost, an hour gained: part one

Amazingly, after almost 9 months of allowing Azariyah (our foster daughter) to sleep between us, Matt and I bit the bullet and made the ol' switcheroo to the crib.  

img_3761It's not that we didn't try this in the beginning, but she cried.  And cried.  And cried.  We were suckers.  We were tired.  We like quiet.  So we had the best 9 months of baby-snuggling!  We didn't complain when our little chunk decided to sleep horizontally, forcing both of us to hang off the edge of the bed.  We didn't mind when our arm fell asleep from holding her tightly, snug against us, for hours.  We didn't get angry when we'd awake to our hair being pulled or our backs being kicked by her little feet.  We loved it all.  But she's in her crib now and sleeping through the night.  This is a good thing.

This morning I awoke to her little whimper.  Turned our her diaper was at its maximum capacity which resulted in a wet set of pajamas and a dissatisfied 9 month old.  So much for our morning snuggle time.  A bath was required and I was exhausted.  There went my last hour of sound sleep before the start of another day - and the day before the first week back at Co-Op.   After her bath and dressing her in a clean set of clothes, I tried to sneak back into bed with Azariyah snuggled up against me, just hoping against hope that she'd go back to sleep.  That did NOT happen.  Instead, she giggled, babbled and smiled at me, flashing her two bottom teeth.  I just looked at her and kissed the bridge of her nose (my favorite sweet spot to kiss her) and began thinking of how much I will miss her and how my heart will ache when our time with her is over.  I cried for a good ten minutes and she touched my tears with her little fingers.  I wasn't in a despairing place, but I was sad.  

It was clear she wasn't going back to sleep and I knew I just needed to get up and begin the day.  I felt like I lost an hour but after grabbing some coffee and sitting down with my Bible, I was reminded that this hour was a gift.  Sure, I could have been sleeping in my toasty bed, but it was an extra 60 minutes I unexpectedly had because of a Luvs Diaper blowout.  Since I'm behind in my daily read-through-the-Bible plan, I found myself in Job 1.  

God met me in a very specific and sweet way, gently caring for my soul and redirecting my affections to Him, through His precious Word.  I will share how He did that in Part Two of this entry, but for now I can say without hesitation and full assurance of faith:

Thank you God, for ordaining a Luv's Diaper blowout.

Monday, February 16, 2009

racing cheese

I really enjoy the show "The Amazing Race".  

Some friends joined us for the one hour premier last night and we admittedly rewinded this particular part a few times to laugh.  There's just something about seeing people fall.  But when it involves a 50 lb. swiss, it's even funnier.

Watch here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


In Reading Class, Stephen was learning about friendship from the book of Proverbs.   One of the fill in the blank questions was this:

There is a friend that sticks closer than _______________________.

Stephen had put the word "yes" in the blank, which of course didn't make sense.  

"There is a friend that sticks closer than yes."  We laughed together and then I asked him what the correct answer was.   

"A friend sticks closer than what, Stephen?"

To which he replied, "Glue?"

Monday, February 9, 2009

pictures in a week

Last week was a crazy week so I blogged zippo....but here are some photos that capture the fun.

Stephen, trying to finish reading book four of the Harry Potter series, while walking on Matt's back.

Azariyah in her duck bath for the first time.

Diamonte loving on Abbie and enjoying her DS.

Matt and Azariyah - very sweet.