Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wyatt, the potty trainer!

I know no one really cares about our potty training journey (unless of course, you are about to start one of your own!), but I still wanted to write about it. When I wanted to pull out my hair and pull back out the diapers, it was very helpful to me to go back and read about when I trained Audrey. You think you'll never forget something so traumatic as bodily functions happening all over your house, but details always grow fuzzy over time!

Wyatt had started telling me when he needed to do #2 probably at least a month ago, and pretty consistently. I knew he was still so young (now 19.5 mos), but I'm of the opinion that there's a magic window of time for many kids when they first gain physiological control that they are able to learn to use the potty. So I watched and debated. I got him a potty seat a couple weeks ago, and started letting him sit on it occasionally, mostly right b/f bath. He also is a predictable pooper, so I stuck him on there after breakfast several mornings. Last week, he pooped 3 times and peed a couple while sitting! Then it so happened that my work schedule changed this week (normally Tu/Th, not readily giving me a nice 3 day window of time), to where I would be home Mon, Tu, Wed. The stars are aligned!

I felt much more chill about training this time around, giving myself an open door. If it just went really terrible, we could try again in a couple months. It's not like the baby is coming next month! We have time. So Monday morning, we jumped right in. We had our giant stack of Spiderman and Cars underwear in the bathroom, our Clorox wipes, our Skittles, a tall pile of cleaning rags w/ antibacterial Windex and Resolve. We had the big pep talk of "No more diapers! Don't teetee in your underwear, tell Momma when you need to go! You're a big boy now, you use the potty!" He shook his head and almost giggled when I said don't pee on Spiderman, like that was the most absurd thought in the world! Pee on Spiderman?!?! Never!

Monday was, well a mess. I think he was ~50% in the morning, but I couldn't get him to drink a ton, so we didn't really have lots of opportunities. After nap, he started downing the juice, so we had LOTS of opportunities, most of which were not successes. I think he actually peed 3 times in a row, in his highchair while trying to eat supper. Ugh. After 5ish pees on the floor/chair, while I'm still stalking him saying "Tell Momma when you need to teetee!" ad nauseum (Yes, I even annoyed myself...), he did announce "poopoo!" and head toward the bathroom. Sat on the potty, and peed. Ok, we're starting to get somewhere! He went 2 more times b/f bed, so I felt ok about the whole process.

That night, I had a bunch of dreams where he was totally on the ball on Day 2. Just clicked overnight, and moved right along. Well, those dreams set me up for disappointment! Day 2 did NOT start well! Again, lots of juice. And lots of opportunities. Most of them were partial successes. He'd start to pee, I'd holler "You're going teetee!" and we'd run to the bathroom. Still LOTS of cleaning and lots of underwear, but he at least was stopping, holding, running, sitting THEN peeing. It was a busy morning, and I was starting to feel discouraged by naptime. Wouldn't you if you had to clean pee from your carpeted closet floor, the couch, the play tunnel, Audrey's play kitchen, the living room carpet, the kitchen floor, and inside the dryer?? When I woke him up from nap, 3.5 hrs later, his underwear were dry!!!!??? Wha?? After a morning like this one, how in the world did he hold his bladder for 3.5 hours?? But he did! And apparently that's when he flipped a switch. He only had 1 more accident the rest of the day (while I was busy answering the door) and 1 slightly damp underwear, everything else in the potty! Woohoo! Now we're cooking!

I got a little greedy, I guess. Since his brain switched on over naptime, I thought, well, we may as well try bedtime too! So underwear to bed, woke him up at 9:30 to pee, and crossed my fingers. Alas, he woke up soaked this am. Worth a shot though! Day 3 is upon us. After breakfast, he told me "poopoo!" and then ran and peed on the potty! He announces both of them as poopoo at this point. But I don't care! I'm not changing any more diapers! We'll tease out a few more details later. :) Over the course of the morning, he told me every.single.time. that he needed to go! 2 poops and lots of pee in the potty! I think he's got it! The only accidents we had were 1 teeny tiny damp underwear, and then when he reallllly didn't want to stop what he was doing, he didn't fully empty his bladder, so we had 3 trips in a row w/ dampness in between. But I still count victories! He didn't empty his bladder on the floor, and it's not a big deal to me to need fresh undies.

Kudos once again to my sweet big boy. These 3 days have worn him (and Momma!!) out! But we're done w/ diapers and his tiny hiney looks so cute in Spidey underwear. Call me crazy, and I probably wouldn't disagree w/ you. But I now have ~4.5 months of DIAPER FREE DAYS!! That alone is worth a little happy dance!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Ministry of Motherhood

As a Christian wanting to do the Lord's work, make an eternal impact, see unbelievers come to Christ and abundant living, I have been struggling with what real ministry looks like for, ohh, the whole year so far. Back in January, life dealt me a miscarriage. I wanted it to matter so badly, to become a turning point in my life, I suppose. Not just be "wasted" pain. I was also getting into a study by Beth Moore on the book of James, which is wholly about making this Christian life work. How to live right, how to love others, how to demonstrate this faith. By doing! Beth made a point in her discussions that the Lord will oftentimes lead us to minister where our hearts already.are.!! That ministry isn't a big drag, and we have to go kicking and screaming off to a foreign land. Not that he doesn't sometimes call us to things we may not initially be excited about, but that many times he lets us make a difference where our hearts already thrive.

So in this new found understanding of having faith-THAT-works, coupled with a need for distraction, coupled with (can you couple three things??) a desire to be in the Lord's will, even when it included pain, I began earnestly searching for WHERE GOD WOULD HAVE ME MINISTER! (Not yelling. More like a dah-da-da-dahhhhh! moment.) What do I already have a heart for? What am I interested in? Where is a great need that I can help fill? Where is my heart???!?

Fast forward several months, and I'm pregnant again, chasing 2 precious babies around, still working part-time, and now I have found a place to minister that is SO where my heart is, where a great work of the Lord is being performed, but it's just not working. Then I really start having some serious conversations with the Lord. (And am now studying the book of Nehemiah. Talk about learning power and persistence in prayer.) Did I mention having some serious conversations w/ the Lord back in the spring? Oh, no? Oh maybe that's b/c I did some drive-through prayers about the whole business. After all, I knew my faith should be working, and I knew a great starting place was where my heart already was, and I knew this ministry was making an impact in people's lives for the Lord! Check, check, check...right? Wrong. I had muuuuuch to learn about waiting on the Lord. Muuuuuuuuch. So now when what seems to be right is going all wrong, I finally stepped back and re-evaluated the whole thing. Many of the same questions, but asking then waiting on the Lord to answer them, not filling in the blank for myself.

Again, I'm asking, where is my heart? What am I interested in? Where is a great need? But I'm praying these questions now. Seems silly to not be able to answer your own question about what's in your own heart, huh? "Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?" Ps. 43:21 In the midst of, where IS my ministry, I'm also realizing that where I am is NOT my ministry. And I'm feeling like I just need to be at home, with the kids, fully present. For some reason, that doesn't sit too well with me. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom, and look forward to the day when I can be SAH full time. But I just kept feeling like that's sort of a cop-out when it comes to ministry. "I'm busy w/ the kids. I have too much to do at home. I can't help w/ your such-and-such project right now." I felt like I couldn't just put faith-that-works on hold while I get these kids grown up.

So as I'm continuing my serious prayer about my ministry, whatever that was to look like, I also picked a few friends' brain on the matter, and brought it up not just a few times w/ the darling hubs. I must admit here that even as I was learning to pray and wait, my prayers still went something like this: "This is a good ministry, right Lord?? Can't I make this work? Well, maybe not soooo much time, maybe just every now and then? But this is a good thing!" My wait-on-the-Lord still looked a lot like convince-the-Lord. But through wise counsel and the living and active Scripture, he was giving me a new revelation of what ministry looks like, and the fact that your ministry will not look like mine, which will not look like hers.

The biggest aha! moment for me came when Blaine and I were having (another...) heart-to-heart about my strong desire to be doing the Lord's will, to be making disciples, and how all that would look. It also happened to be late afternoon, so the kids are bouncing off the walls, I'm trying to get supper on the table, etc. You know the drill: Momma, I need a drink. How do you ask? He pushed me! Go play, honey. Babe, Momma's talking w/ Daddy, you need to wait. I'm earnestly telling Blaine "James says pure religion is helping the widows and orphans! We're called to take care of needy people and those that don't know Jesus!" And suddenly, the Spirit opened my eyes. THESE clamoring, climbing little people are NEEDY! And guess what else?!? They don't know Jesus!! Peace washed over me at that instant, and still does every time I think of that revelation. Here was my ministry. Mothering is not a cop-out. It's the purest ministry there is! Meeting physical needs, building a relationship in order to tell them about Jesus!

We're always looking for ways to get our foot in the door, so to speak, in order to share the gospel. How about washing little feet and faces and bodies, while telling them how God created us? Why not use those moments of needed discipline to teach about how we're all sinners? What about "Play with me Momma, read to me Momma, entertain me Momma" to tell Bible stories and sing hymns rich in theology? How about teaching love for others w/ a playdate, and stewardship of our things by cleaning up? Ohhh the multitude of ministry opportunities, when I asked the Spirit to open my eyes to them.

Don't get me wrong. It's a daily, or momentary struggle to not get lost in the "make breakfast, clean breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, another meal???" shuffle. But when I'm able to change my perspective from "get these tasks done" to "love these needy people" THAT'S ministry. To use a quote that Kelly Minter has in her "Nehemiah" study: "This is good work, and it will only last for a season. That doesn't mean that I close my eyes to the rest of the world; it just means that I need to take this work of raising a family as a serious calling and be faithful in that." That's the ministry of motherhood.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Rev

(Yes, I'm back. Sorry for the absence...etc, etc...)

Everyone knows how dinnertime goes for a mom of young kids. Fix kids plates, send kids to wash hands, get them up to table. Fix own plate, sometimes hubby's plate, get those to table. Hubby sits down. Forgot my drink, get that to table. Someone's missing a fork. Go get fork. Forgot a milk cup, hubby volunteers to get it. Up and down, back and forth, and the kids are half finished b/f I even sit down. And let's not even mention the temperature of my food by now.....

BUT! As soon as all four of us are seated, Wyatt loudly and persistently reminds us we need to "P'AY! P'AY!" Hands outstretched, eyes are closed, it's time to pray! It used to be ok for Daddy or Momma to bless the meal, but now even after thanks have been voiced, "Ayuht. P'ay!" Then the sweetest baby boy voice says "Deedus, da doo. Pah-bu. Boh-wi. Miel. Ahben!" (In case your toddlerese isn't so fresh, that's "Jesus, thank you for pasta, broccoli and milk. Amen!") Then invariably, Audrey also wants to pray, or maybe just one-up him if he forgot to mention something that was on their plate. ;) Or maybe it's The Rev's insistence that now "Is-sy. P'ay!"

The Rev doesn't just limit his precious prayers to mealtimes either. We were in the van last weekend, when ole Rev pipes up in the middle of Finding Nemo, hands folded, eyes fluttering closed... "Deedus, da boo. Momma. Is-sy. Darr. Boobee. Beh-nee. Ee-an." Ohhh bless him! (And that's, Jesus, thank you for Momma, Sissy, the car, the movie, Mrs. Bethany and Ethan. And no, they weren't w/ us!) What a sweet little spirit. I hope and pray this isn't just a fad or a new trick that he thinks is just for fun. I hope the Lord speaks to his heart at a tender young age to call him to Himself! What a joy, a responsibility to raise The Rev!

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Beach" vacation

The short version of our vacation goes like this: 1280 miles and 22 hours of driving, to end up vacationing 50 miles from home.

We had been planning our Dauphin Island beach vacation w/ some family and close friends since oh, about February. We headed out Friday, spent the night halfway, and arrived Sat afternoon! It was a beautiful beach house, on a private beach on the bay side. Enter: Isaac. So, we crammed in a fun beach day on Sunday, packed evvvvverything back up Sunday night, did some frantic research and calling to find a new vacation plan for 10 people, and pulled back out on Monday at 6:30 am, ahead of evacuation traffic. 11.5 hours later we pulled into a lovely little vacation home in Hot Springs, AR. Yes, AR. 50 miles from home. And very, very far from any beach. But it had an in-ground pool, ping pong, putt putt, all sorts of fun and games, plus was right near downtown Hot Springs. We still enjoyed a fun week of friends and family, lots of food, staying up too late, and swimming. We're all still sad about the timing of the hurricane, but hoping we can make it back to the beach next year!!

Addendum: Forgot to mention the bit-o-fun that we had Monday night/Tues am. Audrey and I both came down w/ a stomach bug! In the middle of the night, when we were making the bathroom door into a revolving door, I wanted to cry! We had just been kicked out of our glorious beach house, driven nearly 12 straight hours, and then we were both sicky sick! Thankfully Dr. Daddy called in some zofran, took great care of us, and we were feeling much better w/in 24 hrs!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daddy's name

Discussing who is whose family members on the way home from church tonight:

"Who is Audrey's Momma?"
"What is her name?"
"Chis-een Boosahd!"
"And who is Audrey's Daddy?"
"Annnd what is his name?"
"Uncle Blaine Boosahd!"

You know this is a kid that has a lot of cousins, if she thinks her daddy's name is Uncle!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Minstry...trying, anyway

First: oops, I fell off my blog again. Sorry, if you've been waiting w/ bated breath for another installment.

The main point: Several months ago, I really felt led to get involved in some type of ministry. Put feet to my faith, if you will. Not faith BY works, but faith THAT works. Since I'm such a baby nut, I thought I would start volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. They have several different opportunities for clients and for volunteers, and I decided to start off with the HUGS (Helping You Grow Strong) program. Basically, it's an incentive-driven Bible study, that walks the clients through the plan of salvation. I was super excited to be in a place where God would lead young women us, and then allow an opportunity for them to hear life changing news! The divine appointments walk right through the door at this place.

Or so they should anyway...after the application/background check/interview process, I started signing up clients to mentor through the HUGS program 5 weeks ago. I go on Wed. afternoons while my babes are napping. They're good sleepers, so I don't worry about em...kidding! My sweet friend, Bethany comes to sit while they're sleeping. :) So I have now gone 4 weeks with appointments for HUGS, and 4 weeks with showing up. Ever been stood up? 4 times in a row?? Stinks. Needless to say, I'm a bit discouraged at this point. Each week, I pray for the girls that I'm about to meet, and pray that God would give me just what they need that day. And I get mentally prepared to speak the truth in love...and then I have no one to speak to. :(

I'm not giving up though! I'm also now praying just for one of my appointments to show up! I would love to have you praying with and for me as I try to get up and running in this new endeavor. Also, if you're in the LR area, the center could really use more volunteers, esp. Wednesdays, esp. this summer! You can also help out by donating baby items or hosting a "baby shower" for the center. is their website if you're interested.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Interview

Audrey's sweet teacher at MDO, Erin, so thoughtfully conducted an interview of the 2-yr-old class for Mother's Day. So cute and funny, I had to share!

What is something mom always says to you? Go play.
What makes mom happy? Daddy
What makes mom sad? When I don't listen.
How does your mom make you laugh? Tickles me.
How old is your mom? Forty-nine-six. (Her standard answer for every numerical question haha!)
What is her favorite thing to do? Go outside.
What does your mom do when you're not around? Blow bubbles.
What is your mom really good at? Going to the store. (Got that right, especially Target haha!)
What does your mom do for a job? Eats her lunch. (Contrary to the previous post...)
What is your mom's favorite food? Lunchable. (Oh wait, this isn't about me...?)
What do you and your mom do together? Play basketball.
How do you know your mom loves you? She tells me.

And then she drew a portait of me, which was of course the spitting image!! How precious to enter the mind of a child.

Going to work

Audrey is majorly into pretend right now. For example, all day today she has been Strawberry Shortcake, and Wyatt is Huckleberry Pie. Which mostly consists of referring to them by those names. And don't slip up!! "No Momma, dat's not Wyuht! Dat's Huckleberry!" it.

So the other day, Audrey was "going to work." She had some assortment of dress-up on, like a necklace, I think her winter boots, and some glasses. She also had her purse (of course) and her baby in her purse. Not sure where she got the idea for carrying her baby in her purse! On a side note, apparently her baby is pretending too, since her name is Candi, but Audrey has recently taken to calling her Emily Elizabeth. Ok, so she tells me she's going to work. "Have fun! What will you do at work?"

"I'm gonna play wis my friends." Naturally. "And Daddy's at work too."

"Oh, well that will be so good! What does Daddy do at work?"

"Ummm, he goes to work."......................."And heesa doctor."

"What does Momma do at work?"

"You play wis your friends." Haha!! I had a good chuckle on this one! I love that she thinks I either want to do what she does, or maybe she wants to do what I do. And I love seeing a 2.5 yr old's assessment of life. I'm a pediatric physical therapist. I WANT the kids to think we're just playing games, as I'm sneaking some work in there...and I love that that's what Audrey thinks I do. She frequently asks to go back to work with me. Maybe this will inspire her to be a PT one day. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The thumb stops here!

Let me just start off by saying, I LOVE thumb suckers. They m.e.l.t. my heart! And I have been blessed with 2 precious ones, who oddly enough, suck their thumbs (haha, I just wrote "sumbs"...that's how Audrey says it!) the EXACT same way. Same hand, lovey held the same way, etc. And I love it all!

Except for the resulting orthodontic problems...gappy, buck teeth, deformed hard palate, tongue thrusting, etc. And this is just what I see w/ my untrained eye! So, as much as I love those little thumb suckers, the time has come. Blaine wanted "the time" to come a while back, but Momma wasn't ready. Recently, I've come around a bit. I even asked the pediatrician at Wyatt's 1 yr checkup what he thought about banning the thumb from Wyatt too! After all, it's pretty hard to quit smoking when your family is still lighting up. ;) He said go for it! So we are...

The most common recommendation I've received was for Mavala Stop. Some Swedish brand, that according to all online reviews, personal friends, pediatric dentists, and dental hygienist-friend works the best! It's just some yucky tasting stuff you paint on the nail. Ok, so I finally got around to ordering it on Amazon for ~$12 about a week ago. Delivery date was supposed to be April 17, so I knew I had a few days to get myself prepared (I was nervous!!). When the stuff arrived on April 10th!!, I freaked out, called a few people for support, and decided to jump in. All or nothing, no more thumb sucking!

I painted both thumbs before nap on Wed. Wyatt tasted it, make a yucky face, a spit-it-out sound, tossed around a minute, then went to sleep. He fussed a bit about every hour, which I think was likely when he used to grab his thumb and roll back to sleep. Other than that, he took a pretty decent nap. Audrey had a mini-meltdown b/f nap, just with the THOUGHT of not being able to suck her thumb! She hadn't even tasted it; I just told her she was a big girl and couldn't suck it any more. When I finally told her she could taste it, she did, and freaked out some more, but then eventually went to sleep. So far-success!

Bedtime. I'm still a little nervous. But we paint their thumbs again, and off we go. I think they were both so tired from fitful naps, that they didn't really complain at bedtime! Wyatt did yucky-face-spit-it-out-noise again, but that was that. Audrey tried to tell Daddy what a big girl she was, then cried some big tears, then went to sleep.

Morning. Looking for a real verdict! Wyatt's thumb was wet and wrinkly. That crazy kid, sucked his thumb all night long in spite of the nastiness!! That's dedication. (And let me tell you, this stuff is NASTY. I was blowing on his thumb to dry it at bedtime and accidentally got some on my lip. Ruined the rest of my evening, including my kids-are-asleep-where's-the-candy-snack.) We tried it again for both naps on Thursday, but he apparently didn't care. He sucked it right off. Final verdict for Wyatt: try again in ~6 mos. We know he's still young, but it was worth a shot!

Audrey, on Thursday morning, woke up singing and clapping "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. Clap clap!" (Which she has deemed a pink song??) I guess she slept well! Her thumb was dry, and she said she didn't suck it! (cautiously...) Victory! We have continued painting her thumb at bedtime and naptime, this only being the 3rd day, but she hasn't sucked her thumb since we started. The only current struggle is how long it takes her to go to sleep, since she's had to change her routine. I'm sure that will settle out soon enough.

So once again, I'm surprised and impressed (and not just a little saddened!) by my sweet Audrey, at how she seamlessly moves from babyhood to big kid status. At least I have a little more time with one thumb sucker baby... ;)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter music in big church!

Last Wednesday, our church choir presented an Easter program called "The Story". It was SO good!! They sang from creation, through the life of Jesus, about his death and resurrection, and about the final ending. It was really neat b/c there was a lot of audience participation. (requested, not impromptu :)) We took Audrey into big church w/ us, because she's such a good, calm girl, and because she loves music so much, we knew she'd sit through it. And she loved it!

The next morning, she was still talking about "big church." She said "Big chuuuuurch....I singed."
"You didn't sing, silly girl! Who sang?"
"De angels."
(Maybe she really did see angels, I'm not gonna count that out. But she's also 2. I'm gonna at least investigate...) "Angels? You saw angels singing? Where were they?"
"Yes'sam. Up dere."
"What were they wearing?"

Audrey thinks our choir loft is full of angels!! They really did a great job of sharing the gospel, and Audrey thought they sounded heavenly. :)

Dear Little One

*I feel like I haven't had anything to say the past several weeks. Really, this is the subject that has been consuming my thoughts, and I wasn't sure (still not) if I wanted to/was ready to share. Not trying to be a tearjerker here, just trying to keep it real. This is all about the Business of Being Broussards, after all.*

Dear Little One,
I miss you. Some days worse than others, and this weekend has been some of those worse days. Not sure if it's because of Easter, and thinking about God willingly giving up his child for me. Or maybe because you recently had a precious little friend join you in heaven, but either way it's been a little tougher here lately.

I miss what you were going to be, miss my growing belly, those sweet little flutters from the inside, the excuse to eat, the glow of new life. Your pregnancy was due almost exactly 3 years after Audrey's pregnancy was due, so that makes it easier to keep up with the pregnancy milestones, and harder to forget what should be happening in our lives right now. My throat is tight thinking about how I should by now either be pulling out Audrey's baby clothes for another sweet little girl, or wondering how I would manage 2 little boys, 17 mos apart in age.

Instead, the Lord saw fit to let you enter heaven before you entered earth. Your Daddy and I were talking about this today. I said, "I know God allows trials to further show his glory. But why does it have to hurt so much?" He wisely answered, "Sometimes diamonds require a lot of pressure in the process of refinement." Then we talked about relationships in heaven. Like, will we know each other as mother and child? Will you and your siblings run to each other to play? Are you being loved on by your cousin and your aunt? What about your great-grandmas, are they taking care of you? Right now, I need to think so. Even though, as your Daddy again wisely said, "When we get to heaven, in the presence of Jesus, will it matter?" Of course not; nothing will compare to meeting Jesus. But it comforts me here on earth to think about snuggling you, my sweet baby once I get to heaven.

Little One, I know that you're in the best place of all right now, and that you couldn't be better off, even if you were in my arms. I thank God for the short time that I got to carry you in my belly, and try not to think too much about what I missed with you. After all, none of us is promised more than today. For now, I just have the hope of more siblings for you, and the future joy of meeting you in the presence of Jesus.

I love you so much, Little One.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

True wisdom

I've always thought one of my gifts was wisdom. Sounds a little stuck up, I guess, but stay with me. In reality, I've always been an "old soul", which can come across as wise I suppose. Think about it; as a highschool kid, when peers are discussing clothes and boys, and I'm thinking about what I want to do with my whole life. Seems kinda wise, right? Or in college, the basketball guys are thinking as far ahead as their next meal, and I'm writing out their plans of study so they can graduate on time. Wisdom? Ok. But as I've gotten a little more life under my belt (28 whole years of experience...wah wah wahhh), I'm seeing that that stuff I THOUGHT was wisdom, was really just fluff. Big-picture planning. Maybe the gift of administration. Not true wisdom.

Over the past several months, the Lord has been really working on me. It's tough to chip away at the "flesh suit" (as the darling Janet Osborne says) that we're stuck wearing here on earth. But what a joy, knowing that Christ loves me enough to change me to be more like Him. Last semester, I went through "The Mind of Christ" by T.W. Hunt. Woooweee, what a Bible study. If you ever get the chance to go through it, please do. It it a huge commitment, but a huge reward to learn to have the mind of Christ. Side notes. Sorry. Anyway, so this semester I'm going through the book of James with Beth Moore's new study. These 2 studies are a 1-2 punch combo about true wisdom.

First, in ch. 1 of James we have "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Excellent. God will make us wise. But what kind of wise? What does this wisdom look like? Is it "wisdom beyond your years"? That's what I thought I had all this time. What does that even mean, anyway? Maybe "understanding beyond your years" is a better idea there. We know that Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings ch. 3) and it was granted to him. But look at WHY he wanted wisdom. He understood that he was responsible to God for these people, and also understood that he was completely incapable of handling things correctly, apart from God. God granted his desire because it was asked for in humility and in God's will. Ok, so now that we know how to get wisdom, we need to know what it looks like.

Back to James, ch. 3 starting in v. 13. "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peaceloving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch! Whoa baby. If I ever thought I had an ounce of wisdom, that just went out the window. It's like James is speaking right to me. "Oh really, you think you're wise? Prove it! Ever have envy? Selfish ambition? (Um, yeah.) Those are the furthest things from being wise."

Earthly. Unspiritual. Of the devil?!? Well, ok I know selfishness is a sin, and sin is of the devil, but doesn't that seem kind of harsh? There goes any misnomer about "living in good-land" or "riding the fence". Can't be a little bit wise and a little bit selfish. (Refer back to earlier in ch. 3, v 9ish-12) Ouch again. These things don't promote wisdom of any sort, not even earthly "wisdom". Disorder and evil practices. Help us Lord!

And of course He does! Praise Him for that!! Just when we get (hopefully) grieved over our sinfulness, here comes the good news. Remember Ch. 1? Who lacks wisdom? Ask for it! Because wisdom, like every other good thing is a gift from God. And now we now what it looks like. Pure. Peaceloving. Gentle/considerate. Entreatable/submissive. (Side note: I like the KJV "easy to be intreated", because it's really saying that people can ask things of you, and you're glad to do them) Full of mercy and good fruit. Impartial and sincere. Wow, I have a long way to go before I would consider myself wise.

Pondering all this wisdom stuff in my mind lately, I pulled out my "Mind of Christ" book, knowing we had studied James 3:17. The first part of the lesson really spoke to me last semester, and hit me fresh again when I looked back. Hunt talks about cleansing your mind with God's word, and how a big thing he had to combat was humanism. And this was back in the early 70's! How much more so is humanism ingrained in our brains these days, even in church circles. His definition of humanism is "a capacity for self-realization through reason. It glorifies what man can do apart from God." He says, "My humanistically trained mind wanted to work hard to achieve the virtues." (found in James 3:17 and Gal. 5:22-23). Now if that doesn't speak about me, I don't know what does. I see that I lack wisdom. I ask God for it. I see what it should look like. Then I try realllllly hard to start looking like that picture! How foolish of me. Dang it, as far away from wisdom as I could be again!

I think I need to take it a couple steps back and try a different route: I see that I lack wisdom. I ask God for it. I see what it should look like. I cleanse and fill my mind with God's Word, and I ALLOW him daily access to myself, to chip away the "flesh suit" and fill me with His wisdom. Phew. What a humbling thing to remember how far I have to go to look like Christ. But praise, praise, praise the Lord that he's willing to take me there, if only I will let him! So friends, seek wisdom with me. True wisdom from above. Not just good advice or smart planning. And if I start spooning out some of that old "wisdom", hug me tightly and whisper "pure. peaceloving. gentle. entreatable. merciful. fruitful. impartial. sincere." in my ear as a sweet little reminder of what we're really after.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

T-shirt Scarf Addiction

Years ago, I decided I was going to make a t-shirt quilt. So I've been saving my highschool and college tshirts all this time. Since the crafty bug bit me recently (the first bite), I thought I might be inclined to actually MAKE the quilt. So I googled tshirt quilt, and you know how the search box starts giving you suggestions for what you  might be typing? Tshirt SCARF was first on the list. Hmmmm. This could be interesting, I thought. Multiple clicks later, when I was severely detoured from my original plan (which might have to wait another 6 yrs...quilting takes a lot of patience!), I had an irresistible urge to make some scarves. One of the great links I found has tutorials for 10 differnt scarves! I picked a couple of my favs (mostly the NO-SEW ones!) and followed the links. This blog and video were the actual source of what I made. I didn't take step-by-step pics, so I'm going to just throw my completed pics up here, along with some pointers you may want to follow.

My first spaghetti scarf! Made from XL shirt. If you're using a plain tshirt (ie, no design on the front or back), I actually prefer this tutorial. I like how it will stay together better. If your shirt has a design like mine did, I followed the DIY Dish video.

Next up, my first waterfall scarf. Is that what she called it on the video? Oh well, I think it's a brilliant name if she didn't! Black XL shirt. I LOVE this!! I think it looks so fancy and dressy, and it's a T-SHIRT! I think I was able to get 6 circles cut from the shirt. This may be "duh" to the rest of y'all, but after you cut your circles (which will be 2-ply) keep them together as you spiral cut them. Less overall cuts to make! For some reason, I seperated my circles this go-round. I did not follow her suggestion of gluing to strips end-to-end, so my scarf is shorter. And less time consuming. But as you can see, it still hits my waist when tied over, which I feel like is plenty long. Not sure if she did this on the vid either, but I cut a piece of the hem of the shirt and used it to tie my strips in a bundle. That way there's no risk of scarfy-chaos!

More spaghetti scarves! This pic is actually 2 different ones I made, but the later it got last night, the fancier I got! Again, my shirt had designs, so I cut full strips, rather then leaving them attached at one end. This was I could group the design sections together, wrap tie them around the designs, and put that section in the back. No random colors peeking through.

It's later still...and fancier! This waterfall scarf is combined from 2 different shirts. We're rather short on XL shirts around here, as neither of us actually wears XL. So I used a L purple and a M white/silver to get a total of 7 circles, and mixed the strips together before wrap-tying them.

 Infinity scarf. Oh. My. Too. Easy. Ready for this? Don't even watch the video...lay out your shirt, cut off bottom hem, cut across under armpits. Stretch it out. Bam. You have an infinity scarf! I'm still boggling over how easy this was. In fact, this was the one I made AFTER I posted about making 7 last night. I closed the computer and was compelled to just whip out one more, haha. And it still looks good!

Of all the scarves I made,  (ummm, yes I did actually make 8 in one sitting...) THIS one is my favorite! I made Audrey a little pink waterfall. :) I have a special place in my heart for all things tiny, and this tiny waterfall was just too much. She was a bit excited about it too, if you can't tell! And what little girl doesn't wanna be just like Momma?

So there you have it! 8 tshirt scarves in about 2.5 hrs. What's that, like 20 mins each? This excites me, cuz I have trouble accessorizing...I forget, or don't want to spend money on jewelry, etc. Well, no more excuses! Just as long as people don't get tired of seeing me in a scarf!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Big-kid hooded towel

When I was pregnant with Audrey, I received hooded bath towels as a baby gift and have loved them since she outgrew the baby towels! So much bigger, more absorbant, and warmer. They have cute ribbon sewn on the hood, along with her name embroidered on them. These were made by folding a hand towel in "hamburger" half, then sewing one side together, and the other side to the edge of a bath towel. Voila! Great in theory, but the hood has always been WAY too big (and would probably still be too big even on me...). One of my friends posted a tutorial on FB recently on how to make these same towels with a smaller hood (1/2 hand towel). Wyatt needed a set of towels to match Audrey's so, here I go! (And here's step-by-step instructions in case you want to attempt also!)

I used 2 bath towels, 1 hand towel (all the same color, since I wasn't going for funky ;)), coordinating thread and approx. 1.5 yds of ribbon.

First, I made the hood by folding a hand towel in "hamburger" half, then cutting in 2.

This is going to become 2 hoods for 2 separate towels. I got a little snazzy with these, and added starry ribbon. Sewed on each side of ribbon to secure to band of towel.  Next, folded back the band of the towel ~2 inches and sewed this down.

To finish the hood, I folded the towel in hamburger half again, ribbon side in, and sewed down the cut seam. Turn the hood right side out, then sewed remaining side centered on edge of towel.

Da-da-da-daaaaa!!! Hooded towel!

A few side notes if you attempt this project: I'm not a skilled seamstress by any means. Those of you that might already sew will find this a snap to make. I found out the hard way you should: pin all your seams before you sew, lock all your seams or they will unravel, keep an eye on your bobbin so you can refill it BEFORE sewing a bunch of half-seams that will then have to be re-sewn, and use a heavy gauge needle. You will at times be sewing through 3 layers of towel. If you don't use the right weight needle, it will break at some point in the middle of your project.

The towels I bought came in 2-packs for the hand towels. So I finished my 4 towels (2 as gifts) (I did brown and cute bright green to match the ribbon! Completed set pic below) using 2 hand towels and debated what to do with the other 2. Use them as hand towels? The bathroom is done in blues; brown and green hand towels might stand out. Give them as gifts along with the other 2 towels? "Here's 2 random hand towels to go with your super cute hooded towels!" Weird. Soooo, since the crafty bug had bitten, I decided to make bath mitts! Why mitts vs. washcloths, you ask? Less seams to sew. :) The bug might have bitten, but don't assume I've gone sew-crazy! So here follows my tutorial if you also want to make awesome bath mitts to go with your towels:

I folded the hand towel in "hotdog" half. Cut off the bands (I did this because I was tired of sewing through the thicker material, and didn't think it would be very soft to wash oneself with the band material.)

Then I cut the towel into 4 sections, which became 4 mitts.

Next, I added the cuteness. I sewed the ribbon about 1-1.5 in from top fold.

I folded the towel inside out, with ribbon on inside and sewed each cut side closed.

I turned the mitts right side out, then rolled little cuffs since they were kinda long. You could cut off and hem, but again, I was going for least number of seams here! Again, da-da-da-daaa! Bath mitt! Perfect for scrubbing wiggly little people!

I'm so excited to have these for Wyatt finally. I really did have fun making them! Next time around will be much easier, especially since I re-learned how to wind a bobbin, load a bobbin, change out a broken needle, and sew straight seams today. :) The complete set:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grilled cheese...and boy cheese.

I previously posted (not sure if here or FB...I'll try to find the link) about how apparently Audrey thought grilled cheese was"GIRL" cheese. She was eating girl cheese, and Daddy was eating boy cheese. Today, these labels went to a whole new level.

Wyatt, the man-child, was also eating a "___" cheese sandwich for lunch, along with Audrey. His first. (And for the record, I think he could have eaten an entire sandwich. He ate more than A. Little beast.) So it went a little like this: "What's Wyuht have? Dat's his boy cheese?"

I laughed as the previous gender-cheese sandwich experience came flooding back to me. "Yes, baby that's his GRILLED cheese."

"No, heesa boy! Dat's his BOYYY cheese! And dis is my GURRRRL cheese!"

"Ok, that's his boy cheese, and that's your girl cheese." No use arguing the inconsequential details. And so we continue eating our gender-cheese sandwiches. Until Wyatt has polished off his half sandwich, green beans, and puffs and is looking around for more. Audrey hasn't been eating well lately and is also sickly today, so I know good and well she won't finish her half.

"Audrey, can you share some of your grilled cheese with Wyatt? He's still hungry."

"Dis MY gurl cheese, Momma."

"Yes, but you're all done with it, and he wants some more." I start cutting it up and putting it on his tray, then the distress starts.

"Dat's my gurl cheese Momma!! Heesa boy!"

"Ok, well, he can eat girl cheese." Why am I now calling it a girl cheese? Would my efforts be better spent explaining GRILLED???

"He not eat GURL cheese! Heesa boy!"

"Alrigh then, now it's a boy cheese for Wyatt."

"No, it's notta boy cheese, itsa GURRRL cheese!"

Ayiyi...apparently GIRLs eat GIRL cheeses, and BOYs eat BOY cheeses, and there is to be no cross-eating, nor magic-momma-wand waving to convert one into the other. I guess I can't tell her I made ONE sandwich and cut it in half...that would just rock her little world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Taste Test

Audrey learned all about the sense of taste at "school" today. I asked her what she got to taste: "Lemonade!" (Maybe lemons? Ok, I can buy that.) "What else did you taste?" "Pencils!!!" I laughed out loud when she said that, and really had no clue what it might have been until I started typing this. Any guesses? Ummm...pickles?? I'm hoping anyway. Whatever it actually was, I'm quite confident that pencils were not included in the taste test. When I tried to elicit more responses (hoping to deduce what the pencils were), she remained firmly adament that she tasted pencils. Oh to be 2 is so fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ohhh the drama!

Girls are so dramatic. I'm allowed to say that, cuz I know I am (only at times!! haha). Some are worse than others for sure, and I feel like much of the female drama mentality can be encouraged/discouraged by environment. Thus, we try to have an environment of discouraging excess drama. That being said, I never really thought I'd have much drama to even deal with until closer to the teenage years! But little miss Audgee can put it on with the best of 'em.

Brushing her teeth has ALWAYS been a dramatic event in her life. We think it likely has become a vicious-cycle-type-issue that all started with her anatomy. She has a low/attached frenulum (that little piece of skin way up under your upper lip that crosses over to the gum), so hers goes down through her front teeth to the hard palate. Anyway, supposedly it can be quite sensitive, and well, it's in the way when trying to brush teeth. You get the picture. So here we are, at least 2 yrs worth of teeth brushing and every time is STILL an issue. Crying, wailing, "wiiiipe myyyyy tearrrrrrrrrs" (yes, that again), closing her lips around her teeth, etc. The latest addition to the "routine" is turning around to look in the mirror while crying. Oh yes. Not just crying, but watching herself cry! Seriously??

One recent morning when my patience was likely thin, the drama was definitely high, and time was running short, I said "You turn back around! You do not watch yourself cry in the mirror like that!!" (Once again, one of those times you go "What did I just say?? I never thought I would have the occasion to utter those words!") I followed the reprimand with "You. are. pitiful." (Extend me some grace...thin patience, high drama, remember?) Further proof that this was drama, not true distress, sweet Audrey turns back to look in the mirror with no tears, a sweet smile, and in a darling voice "Yes Momma, I boo-tiful." I wanted to holler PITIFUL! I didn't say beautiful! But the drama was done for the moment, and all I could do was laugh and say, "Yes baby, you are beautiful."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reset button, please!

Some days you just wanna start over, ya know? Today was one of those days. I knew it was going to be a long one, since Blaine is on 24-hr call tonight, ie, he won't be home till tomorrow morning (hopefully morning...) Wyatt was up at 6:15 this morning (as opposed to a normal 7:30ish). He's trying to cut some more teeth so he's been cranky crank the past few days. Audrey woke up cranky crank too, mostly being dramatic about her lip.

Backstory: she fell NYE, late afternoon while running on the driveway and busted her lip wide open. We actually did take her to the ER, thinking it needed stitches. Thankfully, it didn't and it's healing nicely. Although my dear little Audgee tends to milk the drama, so every other phrase is "Momma my mouf is hurting!" (complete with tears and "Wiiiipe myyyyy tearrrrrrs!" Yes. Drama.)

ANYway, all that was piling up on my by 8:30 this moring. Far too early to look forward to nap. And far too cold to play outside with a high of 46 today. So! We made it a fun day instead and went to the Wonder Place! For you non-Little Rock-ers, it's an indoor playplace for little guys. Lots of pretend stuff to play with, puppet theater, water table, blocks, puzzles, pretend vet, grocery, cafe, etc. The kiddos had a blast! Audrey loves watching all the other kids, and Wyatt wanted to be big so he essentially walked all over the place! The water table was a big hit of course. They have a baby seat for the little ones and Wyatt was cracking me up! Even with the smock on, he was soaked within minutes. He would splash splash splash until his face and hair were wet, then he kept trying to lay his face in the water and drink it. Crazy boy. :) Audrey's favorite was the grocery store, where she selected all her food, then rang it up on the cash register. I learned that my 2-yr-old knows what a mushroom is! We took our lunch with us (peabuttuhjelly and yogit) and played away until naptime, when they both crashed. Ahhh, there's the reset button!!