Thursday, February 28, 2008

Immunization woes

Landon had his check up on Tuesday morning. He weighs a whopping 14 pounds! Pretty good for a kid that doesn't eat hardly at all. He'll hate that slow metabolism someday but for now it's a good thing. He also got his first round of immunizations. I would love to hear some thoughts that some of you have on immunizations. Here are my struggles. While I am all for some of the big ones like polio, hep b, and even MMR despite the controversy over that one, I am beginning to feel a little leary about the others that they keep introducing. Like, is it completely necessary to immunize children from the chicken pox, pneumonia (prevnar) and rotovirus? The reason I ask is because some good friends of ours recently found out their 4 year old has type1 diabetes. This is a severe form of diabetes. Since then, they, and I, have been researching some of the studies that suggest the possibility of some of these live virus vaccines being the root cause of some auto immune disorders. Now, I know that for every study that links diabetes and autism to vaccinations, there is one that refutes any such link, so I am not going to not vaccinate my children for those reasons alone. But, I am beginning to wonder if the risks really outweigh the benefits in some cases. Now if hundreds of thousands of children were dying a year of chicken pox, then sure, the vaccination would definately outweigh the risks associated. Same with rotovirus. But as far as I can tell, the actual percentage of children who have actually died from chicken pox and rotovirus is quite low. I don't know, it's all very overwhelming. I did let them give Landon all four vaccinations the other day because I'm a weanie and didn't feel like I had any ground to back up my concern, but I am strongly thinking about holding off on chicken pox and rotovirus until I either have enough research to feel comfortable with them giving those to him, or I feel comfortable forgoing them altogether. Lee and I decided we will be doing a lot more research before Landon gets more vaccinations, then I think I will have him come to the dr.'s office with me to discuss our concerns and decide which ones we may pass up. If any of you have done research, I would love to hear some of your thoughts.

Remind me...

...that trying to run outside when it's 32 degrees out and you have a cold and you've only had a baby two months ago is a bad idea. Amy S., if you are reading this, I would just like you to know that you stink for making me think it would be a good idea to run this race. I have to be able to run 6 miles in about 4 weeks. Uh-huh. I'm also hoping for a unicorn for my thirtieth birthday but that probably won't happen either...

Great videos

For all you moms of boys, I have a great website for you to check out. Actually, Tia loves these videos too. It's called The videos are awesome!!! They are a little pricey on that website, but you can find them for half the price on Amazon. I think we may have all of them at this point. They are shorter, which is nice so the kids aren't plastered to the TV for an hour and a half and they are so informative! We have Where the Garbage Goes, which shows you everything about how garbage is recycled and processed. Just beware, you'll probably be convicted on how much we consume as a nation - it's disgusting. Another favorite is Farm Country Ahead, which shows the kids how corn is grown, how bread and peanut butter are made and how milk is processed. Did you know that one cow poops an average of 150 pounds per day! That's a lot of s*@#! There's also some poor guy that has to get in a little Bobcat and scoop all that manure up and shovel it into a dump truck so it can be sprayed over the crops to help them grow. When we wathced it for the first time I commented that these videos are great advertisements for a college education. Now, every time Sloan watches the poor guy scooping up the poop, he says, "I don't want to do that when I grow up. I better go to college!" That's right my boy! Tia loves the airplane one called Cleared for Takeoff and they both love the fire fighter video. Seriously, these videos are fun. Check them out. They'd be great birthday presents. What kid wouldn't like to sit and watch garbage trucks, tractors and fire trucks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Third baby

So the plan, when Landon was born, was for him and Tia to share a room because she's a great sleeper and we figured she could handle it. Unfortunately, he was not a great sleeper at the beginning and we didn't want to put him in there with her. He is now a better sleeper, but we figured we'd wait until he was sleeping through the night to put them together, something that I am still dreading. Anyway, because he tends to be a really noisy sleeper, we have been putting him in the pack and play in the front room. This is working great. And now he is turning into an awesome sleeper. He's still asleep this morning despite the fact that both kids have been running around talking and yelling and being their normal loud selves. Third babies really are quite adaptable! We would have never tried this with the first two, but out of necessity, Landon gets relegated to sleeping under a window. And another's 8:30 and I still haven't woken him up. With the first two I was such a stickler for waking them up at 7:00 and getting them on a daily schedule of napping and eating at certain times. With Landon it's whatever little man!

In other news, we are dropping like flies around here. First I got the cold, then Sloan was up with a fever and the sniffles last night, now Tia's sneezing. Blah! We leave for Florida in 15 days. I think the beach is just what the doctor ordered!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tia Tales, 2

I don't know why my stories of Tia always involve her doing gross things. No dainty little girls for us! So, while this isn't nearly as disgusting as her chewing on Landon's umbilical cord, it's still pretty yuck (if you've not heard the story, click the link. Just don't eat while you read). Yesterday it was a whopping 40 degrees out. Not warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, of course, but still seemed balmy and pleasant after several days in the 20's. Anyway, because it was so warm, all the ice is melting into a nasty, slushy mess. While I was busy getting Landon and other things out of the car, Tia went to splash around in the muck on the driveway. When I looked over at her, she was sitting in the garage, scraping the slush from the grooves of her shoes and eating it. Why on earth she felt the need to eat the ice off the bottm of her shoes and not just pick it up off the driveway is hard to say...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I went to Target today to buy a new swimsuit. Guess what I came home with? Two cases of SlimFast. *sigh*

Get this CD!

Hey everyone,
A friend of ours just released a new CD and it's awesome! His name is Jerod Starkey. Jerod and I sang together in college - go BRH!!! Jerod also sang in our wedding. He's got an amazing voice and he's a very gifted songwriter and musician. I highly recommend you click over to his website and purchase his CD.

Friday, February 22, 2008


If you guys get a chance, I wouls highly recommend you click over to my sister-in-law, Becke's site and read her latest post. It will encourage you greatly and move you and hopefully spur you on to a deeper knowlege of God's grace. I've always admired Becke' for the way that she so deeply seeks to know and understand who God is. So many times when I talk with her on the phone she is on the internet researching some aspect of God or the Bible that she wants to know more about. While I find myself reading the latest celebrity gossip, she is seeking God's face. Plus, Becke' is just good fun to be around. It has been a really hard week for her and for her family, yet she has been gracious and strong, not on her own, but through the strength of the Lord upon whom she so faithfully leans. I am so honored that she is a part of my family and that I get to learn from her.

Kids Say the Darndest Things, 2

We went to the mall today and went to St. Louis Bread Company for lunch. While waiting for our food, an older gentleman walked by using a wooden cane. Sloan, in his highest decible voice, points and says, "Look, it's Moses. It's Moses from the Bible." Sheesh. Poor guy.

Iced In...

We were iced in yesterday due to an ugly winter storm. Lee got up at 5:00 to leave for a breakfast meeting then catch a flight to Reno for four days. More on that later. The kids, naturally were up at 6:40 because why would they want to sleep in when they could wake mommy up and torment, er, love on her all day long! Anyway, by 10:00, we were all stir crazy. The kids had already plyed Ply-Doh for an hour, had a snack and watched a movie. Of course they picked the shortest movie we own, only 30 minutes and our rule is only one movie per day...most days anyway. So, what else to do? I must confess, I considered telling them it was noon anf feeding them and putting them down for naps, but I resisted. So, we built a fort. A stroke of genius on my part as that occupied them until lunch! And, Lee's flight and trip got cancelled due to the ice and my desperate prayers so he came home at 3:00. Today it's not so bad so we're leaving the house and going to the mall because we're stir crazy. Oh, and kudos to my friend Nicole for all she got done yesterday. While I had the opportunity to be just as productive, I was not because I was tired and felt like a slug. I did get the laundry done and folded but not yet put away because I hate doing that. Ah well....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Parenting 101

I've been meaning to post about this for awhile but keep forgetting. Lee and I went to the best play last Sunday. Actually, I saw it a couple of weeks ago and liked it so much I took Lee back to see it with me and he loved it. It's called Parenting 101: A Musical Guide to Raising Parents. For all you St. Louis people, you should really go see it. It's at the Westport Playhouse, which is an awesome theater. It's really small so there's not a bad seat in the house. You can get tickets through MetroTix. Anyway, the play is made up of four actors, two guys and two girls and they sing songs about parenthood to the tunes of popular songs. Sample lyrics that I can remember:
(This is a girl singing about labor to the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
Oh God, when will the pain end?
Wish I were high.
Natural childbirth was clearly
Thought up by some dumb guy.

She later sings "It's My Potty and I'll Try if I want to" about potty training and "I Will Always Hate You," as a bratty ten year old who is mad at her mother. They sing Stayin' Alive as they attempt to teach a sixteen year old to drive a car and We will Rock you to a newborn that won't stop crying. They cover every topic imaginable from puberty (a hilarious number) to the death of a pet (Another Pet Bites the Dust) to finding out Santa Clause isn't real. The singing is awesome, the actors' comedic timing is perfect and it's all around a great show. I want to go see it a third time!
Here's another link that actually lets you watch a little of it. You have to click on the watch vidoe button. It's not the exact same show they do at Westport but it's close.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Still four...always four

I took Sloan to the dentist yesterday to have his teeth cleaned. He walked right into her office and hopped up in the chair, informing her that he didn't like the spicy toothpaste so could they please give him something sweeter.
"Will bubble gum do?" she asked.
"Oh sure!" Sloan said. "Go on ahead."
Looking at me with an amused smile she asked Sloan, "How old are you?"
"Well, I'm just four," Sloan said with exasperation. "I'm still four. I'm four everyday!"
"Are you ready to be five?" she asked.
"No," he said. "I just want to be six."
Why are they alwasy in a rush to grow up?

Umbrella's in Heaven

There are many things I love about St. Louis. The free Zoo. The pretty scenery. The Arch. The fact that there are parks on nearly every corner and there are so many free things to do for families. What do I not love about St. Louis. The freakin' weather! We get a conglomeration of all the crappy weather from around the country. Case in point, the flash blizzard that sprung up on Monday morning. At breakfast, the sun was shining and the air was bitter cold. At 8:10, I look outside and literally it was a white out. Snow was flying everywhere. I've never seen anything like it. The wind was whipping and little tornadoes of snow flakes swirled around our house. After about 15 minutes it stopped and the sun came back out. It was then that we discovered that our umbrella was missing off our back porch. Sloan was very concerned about this and wanted me to go out and look for it. I matter of factly informed him that I do not go traipsing about in 20 degree weather. He wanted to know what traipsing meant...Anyway, when we left later, I did scan our backyard and our neighbors backyards for the missing umbrella and it was nowhere to be seen. As we pulled out of the driveway, Sloan came up with the solution. "I guess it flew up to heaven," he said with a shrug of his shoulders. "Why would an umbrella go up to heaven?" I asked. "Well," Sloan replied, "God just needed to protect his head." And with that satisfactory answer, we went on our way, though I must admit I was still perplexed about that actual whereabouts of that umbrella. Later that day, however, my neighbor solved the mystery when she emailed me and said, "Hey did you know you have an umbrella on your roof?" Ah ha! I walked outside to the other side of the house and low and behold there was the missing umbrella. When I told Sloan later that it was on the roof he furrowed his brow up at me. "Oh. Well, I guess God was all done with it and just threw it back down on our house," he said. And because we're hoosier and it's cold outside, the umbrella is still sitting up there because Lee doesn't want to climb up and get it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Speech Therapy

I take Sloan to speech therapy on Thursdays to work on a minor dysfluency problem. That's fancy talk for stuttering. The boy can sometimes bump painfully through his sentences. Anyway, nearly every Thursday, Tia and I sit in the little library of the preschool while we wait for Sloan to finish. It's an interesting experience, I must say. When we first get there, it is usually blissfully quiet, but that does not last long as the children are let out of school about half way through Sloan's lesson. When that happens, the library fills up with noisy, rambunctious children and their parents. There are two groups of moms that have been especially interesting to observe. The first I like to refer to as the Harried Mom's Club. This group is made up of three mom's and a grandma who come in, plop themselves down in the little miniature chairs, their knees up at their chests, and gossip for a half an hour while their children wreak havoc on the joint. The head honcho of the group is particularly amusing. She usually comes in with her youngest tucked under her arm, and yelling at her oldest to stop running or else. Or else what she's never said, though I think both her son and I would be interested to hear her actually finish that sentence. Once she's assumed her position around the table, she shows very little interest in what her children are doing behind her and rarely acknowledges them unless they happen to get in her direct line of sight (something that's hard to do since she usually has her back to the room. If, however, she does happen to notice her children, she just opens her naturally beady eyes so wide that they almost swallow her face in what I'm assuming is her "stop it now or else" look. She then makes some kind of threat in a form of a question: "Do you want to leave right now and go take a nap with no lunch?" What she doesn't know is that her child essentially laughs at her as soon as she turns back around. Needless to say, her children are the worst kids in the area. This last week, I had to physically pick up her youngest and remove him from my side as he was constantly trying to pick Landon up out of the car seat.

The grandma of the group is a hoot. Her favorite phrase in "Cut it out," which she yells constantly at her grandson, who, incidentally, never cuts it out.

Then there is the soccer mom. This is the lady who comes in with four children under about the age of five and spends most of her time dolling out snacks to keep them happy, which only starts fights as every kid in the library then wants their snacks. It's a wonder she doesn't feel a hole burning in the back of her head as the rest of us glare at her for sending our children into a frenzy over snacks that they can't have.

Finally, there is the follower. This is the woman who actually attempts to keep her child in line but always ends up fighting a losing battle as her son gets riled up by the other hooligans. Poor woman usually gives up about 5 minutes in realizing that she's not going to win.

The second group I like to call the West County Whities. These are the ladies that have oodles of money and wear it. One of them honestly has such big implants that it's hard not to stare at her bulging chest. Their hair is piled high on their head and their kids come in dressed in pristine smocked dresses. They are adorable, but bless their hearts, they are hardly allowed to breath for fear of messing up those fancy outfits. These women sit next to each other talking animatedly, their huge diamond rings blinding the rest of us. Their topics range from the latest spa treatment to the plot of Desperate Housewives. I know this because they talk really loud as if they want to make sure the rest of us know that they have money. We get it ladies, we really do.

Then there are the middle grounders like me who take great delight in observing these stereotypes in action. We have a special bond built through silent headshakes and sympathetic smiles.

It's a unique group of people, all meshed together in a little area. I find myself fighting off laughter a lot of the time, and sheer annoyance the rest of the time. You gotta love speech therapy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

God is good

It's been a tough weekend...for reasons that I don't feel it appropriate to share on this blog. All I will say is that while I was not directly affected by the events of this past week, people that I love dearly were directly affected and their pain has impacted me. I have been reminded once again that life is fragile and that God is good. Hug your babies. Love the Lord. And know, that no matter what comes your way, He is Sovereign, Holy and giving us all the strength to endure. Sometimes that's all we can cling to.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The demasculinization of my son...

First of all, I have no idea if I spelled demasculinization right...
Happy Valentines day to everyone! This morning, I laid out my gifts for the kids so when they woke up they'd find them on the table. Such a mom thing to do. I bought both of them these little stuffed dogs that cost $5 at Walmart. The dogs have pink visors and pink and red back packs on. The kids loved them. Seriously loved them. Sloan came running up to me and gave me a big hug, thanking me profusely. It may have had more to do with the little heart shaped box of M&Ms than the toy, but whatever...Anyway, they both clutched those little dogs all through breakfast. Lee, however, was not too thrilled with the purchases. As he watched Sloan pet and talk with his little doggy he asked, "You couldn't have gotten him a G.I. Joe or something?" Yes, my dear husband, I could have. But then he and Tia would have spent the entire day fighting over the dog so I decided to minimize my battle and get them the same thing. I did get Sloan a black one and Tia a pink one. That should count for something. But if giving my son a toy that's better suited for a girl makes my day easier, then count me in man!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Set the record straight...

Okay, I was wrong. Sloan's bowling high score on the Wii was 247, not 289. Hey, I'm a mom, I can exaggerate a little right? Anyway, we actually took a picture of it and I went back to check the picture to see exactly what his score was. He's freaky good at bowling. Here's his record score...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Short Story

So, I recently found out that I won a short story contest that I entered a few months ago. The premise was to take one line of a song that you liked and craft a story around that song. This is what I came up with. It's not a brilliant story by any means, but it was fun to write. Now, unfortunately I didn't win the grand prize, which would have been more fun because you get cash, but three first prize entries were chosen for publication in a short story anthology that comes out sometime...I have to find out when. Anyway, I thought I'd share my random short story with my blogger friends. Enjoy!

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…”
“Ahh, Katie. They’re playing our song,” Ed said looking lazily at his wife as Rosemary Clooney’s sultry voice filled the room. Leaning further back in his lounge chair, Ed grabbed his wine glass and took a long, slow drink.
“You sure you don’t want any wine, baby?” Ed asked, his words slurring slightly.
Katie smiled gently at her husband and shook her head. “You say every song is our song, dear,” she said, chuckling softly.
Ed returned his wife’s smile and shrugged. “God, you’re beautiful tonight honey,” he mumbled.
Katie blushed and lowered her head, her dark, curly hair falling over her face. “Ed, please, you’ve said that a hundred times tonight. I’m feeling embarrassed.”
“Ah, I’m sorry darlin’. But I can’t help it. You’re just gorgeous.” Ed smiled again – a goofy, lopsided grin that caused Katie to melt into laughter.
“I think you’re drunk, my dear,” she said, her vibrant green eyes sparkling.
“I wouldn’t be if you would help me with this bottle of wine,” Ed replied, pouring himself another generous glass.
“God, I love Rosemary,” he said. Ed closed his eyes for a brief moment and let the music fill his soul. Suddenly a deep sadness washed over him. A lump formed in his throat.
Hearing no reply, Ed opened his eyes and looked over to the couch where his wife sat. She was not there.
“Katie?” Ed looked around wildly.
“Right here, honey,” Katie said from behind him.
“Oh, baby, you scared me,” Ed said. “I didn’t know where you were.”
Katie laughed. “I was wondering, Mr. Stevens, if I might be able to request a dance,” she said to her husband.
Fumbling slightly, Ed pulled himself out of his chair and walked unsteadily to his wife. “I’ve had a little too much to drink to be dancin’ baby,” he said slowly.
Katie stepped up and put her head on her husbands’ chest. “We don’t have to move much,” she whispered. “I just want to hear your heart beating.”
Ed wrapped his arms around his wife’s small frame. Suddenly wishing that he would have stuck to that diet, Ed found himself trying to suck in his protruding gut as he swayed back and forth.
Ed jumped and pulled back from Katie as Travis entered the room.
“What are you doing?” Travis asked, his face slightly red.
“I’m dancin’ with your mother, Trav. It’s nothin’ to be embarrassed about,” Ed warbled.
Travis looked uncertainly at his father. “Okay,” he said slowly. “Um…Well, I'm going out with the guys tonight so I’ll be back later.” Travis turned quickly to leave.
“Travis, wait!” Ed bellowed. “Get back here.”
Travis turned back to face his father. “First you say hello to your mother, then you ask properly if you may go out.” Ed grabbed hold of the back of his lounge chair for support as the room spun slightly. He did not see the look of confusion, followed by anger that swept across his son’s face.
“Uh, hi mom, sorry,” Travis said, looking down at his feet. “So, can I go out with the guys?”
“Ed, let him go,” Katie whispered to her husband.
“Okay, you can go, but be home by midnight, got it?”
Travis nodded and stared at his father for a brief moment before turning to leave.
“Katie, I’m sorry he is so rude to you. That boy needs manners!” Ed said as he scooped his wife into his arms once again.
“Oh Ed,” Katie sighed, “Travis is sixteen. He’s at a very confusing time in his life. Give him a little space to figure things out, alright?”
Ed nodded, then stopped as Frank Sinatra’s voice greeted them through the speakers.
I fall in love with you, every day…
“Listen baby, they’re playin’ our song.”
Katie threw her head back and laughed out loud. “Okay, it’s time for you to get some rest,” she said. She took Ed’s arm and guided his back to his chair.
“I don’t want to sleep,” Ed slurred. “I want to be with you.”
“Yes, well I'm tired and I do want to sleep. You rest awhile and I will see you soon, okay?”
Ed nodded slowly and leaned back in his chair.
"Okay, baby," he mumbled. "But don't go far..." Before he could finish speaking, Ed was asleep.
Five hours later, Ed awoke with a jolt. Rubbing his eyes he squinted at the clock, trying to make out the time. 2:00 a.m.
“What woke me up?” Ed grumbled, his head still spinning. Then he heard the creak of the stairs behind him.
“Travis?” Ed called. The creaking stopped. “Travis get in here!” Ed yelled, stumbling out of his chair.
Seconds later, Travis appeared in the doorway. “Yes dad?” he asked slowly.
Ed pulled himself up tall. “Come here,” he said.
Travis walked slowly forward, tripping over the corner of the end table.
“Do you know what time it is son?” Ed asked.
Travis shrugged.
“Answer me, Travis!”
“It’s 2:00, dad, okay?”
“Have you been drinking?” Ed asked leaning in closer to his son.
“No more than you have,” Travis mumbled.
“Did you drive yourself home?” Ed asked, his face growing red.
Travis did not answer.
“What the hell is the matter with you Travis? Do you have any idea what a stupid stunt that is? You could have killed someone!” Ed was yelling now, his face inches from his son’s.
“Oh, well gee, Dad. I’m glad you’re so concerned about everyone else’s well being. But don’t worry about me, alright?” Travis yelled back.
“Oh shut up, Travis. And lower your voice. I don’t want to wake up your mother. After the way you treated her tonight, she would be devastated to know that you came in drunk.”
Travis looked up at his dad, fury flashing in his eyes.
“What are you talking about, Dad? What the hell are you talking about?” Travis shouted.
“What do you mean, what am I talking about?” Ed replied. “I’m talking about showing your mother a little respect from time to time.”
“Mom is DEAD, Dad! She’s been dead for over a year!” Travis trembled violently as he glared at his father.
Before Ed could stop himself he felt his arm lurch back and swing around with a crack across Travis’ face. A thin line of blood immediately trickled from the corner of his son’s eye.
“Oh, God. Oh Trav, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me son,” Ed cried softly as Travis spun on his heel and ran from the room.
“Travis! Oh Travis, forgive me!” Ed wailed. He was answered by the slam of the back door. A few seconds later he heard squealing tires and watched through the window as his son pulled out of the driveway. Ed collapsed in his chair and covered his face.
“Oh, God forgive me. Forgive me,” Ed said the words over and over. He closed his eyes and leaned back. He felt another wave of sadness press upon his chest. It was a deep, suffocating sense of dread and doom. He needed his wife.
“Katie?” he said, opening his eyes and looking around the room. “Katie?” He looked behind his chair where she had stood before. “Katie?” the voice coming from his throat did not sound like his own.
Once again, Frank Sinatra’s smooth voice jumped out of the still playing stereo.
Fly me to the moon…
“They’re playing our song, Katie,” Ed said, tears dripping onto his cheeks. He waited for his wife’s magnetic laugh, but was met with nothing but the calm, melodic sound of the music.
“Okay, Katie. Let’s get some rest,” Ed said softly. He wiped his eyes and leaned back. “I’ll see you soon, baby.”

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yoga Baby

Lee has taken up yoga in an effort to stretch himself out a little since he and I have signed up to run in a marathon relay in a couple of months. Why have we done that? No one really knows. Perhaps we are glutten for punishment. Either way, since Lee is likely the most unfleixble person in the entire world, he thought it would be a good idea to stretch more frequently. As you can see, Tia likes to keep him company.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ode to McDonalds

Oh McDonald's, you're so grand
Your food is oh so good-oh
I can find you anywhere
From Rodeo to the hood-oh

How I love your value meals
I get them super size-oh
Because I just can't get enough
Of your greasy fries-oh

My darling children go crazy
When they see your golden arch-oh
Their wild screams pierce the air
As I drive the car-oh

How they love your Happy Meals
With the cheapy toy-oh
Apple dippers, Chocolate milk
One for girl and boy-oh

Yes I love you fast food joint
You're easy and you're fast-oh
And now it's even easier
'Cause I don't need no cash-oh

Then there is the Playplace
Where my shoes, they always stick-oh
But that place stinks 'cause when we leave
My kids are always sick-OH!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Church Triumphant

*Sorry, this post is a little long.*
So I got a CD I ordered in the mail yesterday and I am THRILLED! It's the TRUTH 25th Anniversary album, which is my all time favorite CD. I lost it several months ago and have been so bummed because it's out of print and is nowhere to be found...or so I thought. After some stealth internet searching, I finally found a website that sells old, out of print music and low and behold, they had my CD! Today, I gladly popped it into the CD player and sighed with contentment. I love this CD for several reasons. First, it takes me back to my college days as the first two songs are songs that I sang 500 hundred times with a travelling group I was in at Baylor. As I hear those notes, I remember the days that were filled with so much fun as we travelled all over Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and, well, the world, singing and performing. We went to Spain, British Columbia and Taiwan on two week long tours and I've never had so much fun in my life. Second, the singing on this CD is just phenomenal. Finally, the words of the songs are so powerful. They are deep and filled with such meaning. It's just great music. Anyway, while driving Sloan to speech therapy, a song called The Church Triumphant came on. This song was never really of my favorites for some reason. I tended to skip over it, but today I really listened to it and I got chills. What a powerful song! By the time it was over, I had tears in my eyes and was blinking profusely (can you blink profusely?) so I wouldn't drive off the road. Sometimes I get so discouraged as a believer. I feel like there are so many people out there who are led astray by people claiming to know Christ, but who are indeed spreading lies. I get discouraged by the many religious leaders who fall so publicly due to blinding sin and therefore make a mockery out of the faith that I hold so dear. I feel like so many people misunderstand Christianity because of groups like the one that protests the funerals of fallen war heroes. These radical people who are entrenched in hateful slander and are anything but loving. My point in this post is not to preach. I just share how I was encouraged today. I was reminded that the Church, God's Church, is still alive and well, despite those who have tried to destroy it. Here are the words of the song. Roger Breland, the founder of TRUTH is speaking these words while the singers are in the background. Just reading it doesn't do it justice. You should buy the album to really get the effect! I just checked the site and they are currently sold out but keep checking if you're interested to see if you can get a copy. Anyway, I hope you are blessed by these words:

"God has always had a people. Many a foolish conquerer has made the mistake of thinking that because he has forced the Church of Jesus Christ out that he has stilled its voice and snuffed out it's life, but God has alwasy had a people. The powerful current of a rushing river cannot be diminished because it is forced to flow underground. The purest waters are the stream that's burst crystal clear into the sunlight after it's fought it's way through solid rock. There have been charliatains (sp?) who, like Simon the Magician, sought to barter on the open market that power which cannot be bought or sold, but God has always had a people. Men who could not be bought and women who were beyond purchase. Yes, God has always had a people. There have been times of affluence and prosperity when the Church's message has been nearly diluted into oblivion by those who sought to make it solcially attractive, neatly organized and financially profitable. It has been gold plated, clothed in purple and crusted with jewels. It has been misrepresented, ridiculed, lauded and scorned. These followers of Jesus Christ have been, according to the whim of the times, elevated as sacred leaders and matyred as heretics. Yet through it all there marches on that powerful army of the peak. God's chosen people that cannot be bought, flattered, murdered or stilled. On through the ages they march - the Church, God's Church Triumphant, alive and well. Now listen child of God, it's alive. Discouraged pastor, it's His Church and it's alive. Lonely missionary, sow the seed with confidence. It's alive my broken hearted friend. Old saint, you're not alone and forgotten, the Church is alive. Busy lover, cast your cares on Jesus. It's alive young student, you're not alone in serving the Lord. Faithful father, there's rest in the Lord and the Church is alive. Cynical skeptic, you haven't killed God with your noisy unbelief, He's alive. So family of God, raise your hands and praise the Lord for the Church, God's Church Triumphant, is alive and well!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

So far so good

So, we put Tia in a big girl bed tonight. She went right to sleep. She seemed a little perplexed by it and kept looking at her crib like she didn't understand why she had to sleep in this bed when there was obviously a perfectly good bed right there. But, she did not get up so we'll see how it goes. I fully anticipate her waking up and traipsing into our room early in the morning.

In other kid news (because really, what other news is there?), Sloan is absolutely petrified of thunder. It all stems from last year when we had a big, nasty ice storm and had a lot of damage to our house. A limb came through the roof, lots came down in the driveway and yard so that we couldn't back out and we lost power for five days. We still have a visual reminder of a tarp on the roof because we're lazy and haven't gotten it fixed yet. It didn't actually come into the house so it's been easy to ignore. Anyway, since then Sloan has been a basket case anytime he sees a flicker of lightening or a rumble of thunder. Tonight we told him that lightening was just the angels taking pictures from heaven and thunder was them clapping at how beautiful the earth is. Yeah, it wasn't that effective, though we did notice him grinning really big when he looked out the window. The boy can never resist the chance to ham it up for the camera. Now he's asleep with his sound machine turned up so loud it sounds like Niagara Falls in the next room. We'll probably all have to pee all night...

Yahoo! My first award...

My dear friend Nicole gave me the Excellent award for my blog. And I'm honored. But, I'm not cool, nor am I tech savvy because I can't figure out how to paste the picture on my blog. So, you'll just have to take my word for it. Or go check out her blog and Here's the Diehl to see what I mean. Thanks, Nicole! You're the reason I'm blogging and this blog has helped me keep my sanity over the last month. I'm now officially addicted.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snow day

Sledding rules!!! Lee and I agreed that if we lived in Florida we couldn't have good fun like this! Of course, down there we could water ski... Tia and daddy went down first, and Tia did not have fun. She watched from the top of the hill the rest of the time.
Mommy getting a push from Sloan.
Mommy flying off the jump.
This is Sloan catching some serious air, just before he landed on his head. It's all fun and games...
Daddy going off the jump. Graceful isn't he?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Katya Rose!

To my precious little girl,

Happy 2nd birthday. Oh, how much I love you. You move my heart in so many different ways and I am honored and blessed to be called your mom. Two years is not very long, but somehow I feel I've known you my whole life. When I look back to the years when daddy and I were married before kids, I still see you and Sloan and Landon in those memories. It's as if you've always been here.

My darling daughter, I love you in so many ways. I love your zest for life. I love the way that you will do anything you want out of sheer determination. Your indepence, while frightening at times, is amazing to me. Very few things frighten you. You're so brave and free and happy. I love the way you get to laughing so hard that the laughter comes out in one long stream, with hardly any break in the sound. I love watching you smile, your chubby little cheeks drawing up and your big, blue eyes twinkling in delight. You are infectious and joyful.

Over the past few months, you have become your brother's shadow. No matter what he does, you will follow him and you will do the exact same thing. You watch him closely, and despite the fact that you two seem to fight like cats and dogs, I know you desperately love one another. When he leaves for school in the morning, you get the most pitiful look on your face as you know you've lost your playmate for the next few hours.

You are a master mimic and mime. You communicate through charades as you just refuse to talk. There is no need, though, because we always know exactly what you are saying. Your eyes light up as you point and gesture until we guess what it is you are trying to tell us. "Uh-huh," and "uh-uh," are your words of choice. Sometimes it can be frustrating to us, but most of the time it is so adorable watching you "talk." Even Sloan has learned your language and sometimes you two have whole conversations without saying a real word.

You've done so well with your new baby brother. You've been sweet and patient with him as he's taken mommy away from you from time to time. You give him kisses and love to hold him. You also love to dig your nails into his head from time to time...we're working on that.

You've become quite the daddy's girl lately. You save your best snuggles and hugs for him and it melts him to his very core. You smack your lips for a kiss in his direction and no matter how late he may be walking out the door, he'll always turn around and give you one more kiss. How precious you are to him.

My hopes and dreams for you, Tia, are that you one day grow up to know how treasured you are, not just by me and daddy, but also by God. I pray you know Jesus, baby. I pray that you grow up to be a young woman of grace and peace, of virtue and strength, of wisdom and gentleness. Those are my greatest desires for you.

My sweet Tia Rose. You were a much prayed for little girl. For nearly a year, mommy and daddy longed and prayed for a child and could not get pregnant. Then, all of the sudden, it happened. And for nine months, we prepared ourselves for another little boy, though deep in my heart, I knew you were going to be my little girl. The day you were born was shocking for us all. The Stuart family had not seen a little girl for many, many years. And now, here you are. Growing up. You're not my baby anymore. S Dyen Razjdyenya, moya Katinka. Ya tebya tak ochen lyiublyiu.

Love, Mama