Friday, January 23, 2009

Zoe's Got Skilllls

In the past couple weeks (mostly this week) Zoe had decided that she wanted to impress us with many new skills and a couple of these skills involve words! This week she has learned to:
  • Point!
  • Say "uh oh"
  • Say "Dada" and actually mean it.
  • Say "Fish" only she says it as, "shish"!
  • Walk along the side of the couches.

What can I say? The girl is a genius ;)

I'm excited to see what she learns next week!


Photo Friday: 4 Crazy Girls

My sister and her friends, jumping into the Grand Canyon ;)
Photo was edited by a dear friend, Noah. Great job Noah, haha.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Great Idea: No Cussing Club!

I was watching the Jay Leno show last night and this kid named McKay Hatch, 14 years old, comes on and starts talking about his club, The No Cussing Club! It has over 20,000 members now and I'm sure that number will continue to rise with all the publicity it's been getting. I think its such a wonderful idea. I always find myself cringing when I hear someone spouting off curse word after curse word as if it were the word "the". I don't know what language that is but it certainly is not English. I find that I have much more respect for people who refrain from cursing.

Just for fun and to help increase their numbers, I went ahead and joined :) Plus I think it'll give me even more incentive to stay away from curse words. No good can ever come of them.

The No Cussing Club


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Word of God will Stand Forever

6. A voice says, "Cry!" And I said,"What shall I cry?" All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

7. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.

8.The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

-- Isaiah 40:6-8

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Penguin Awareness Day!

Today is not just Inauguration is also Penguin Awareness Day! I just couldn't resist posting something about this, hehe. Today is a day to learn about our adorable little waddling friends. They are just so cute! One of my favorite things to do is learn about different animals, the complexity of God's incredible creations is always so fascinating to me.

Here are a few facts about Penguins that I did not know until today:

  • The largest living species is the Emperor Penguin which averages at around 3 ft. 7 in. tall!
  • The smallest species is the Little Blue Penguin that averages at about 16 inches tall.
  • They do not fear humans, they will actually approach humans. However if humans get within 3 meters of them they start to get nervous.
  • Penguins cannot breathe underwater.
  • Penguins are often seen surfing the waves to the land!
  • The average swim speed of penguins is 15mph.
  • The only time they are ever airborne is when they leap into the water :)

Click here to check out the Penguin Dance!

And for another familiar Penguin dance...



Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kyera Hope - January 16th!

Congratulations to our friends Rachelle & Josh on their new baby girl Kyera Hope! She was born at 8:45 pm on January 16th (my birthday!). She was 8 lbs, 12 oz! I don't think Zoe weighed that much until she was a month old.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about baby Trey, he is the son of Rachelle's best friend Rachel. Here is Trey with his new friend Kyera and both of their Daddies.

Congrats again to both sets of new parents!! I'm so excited to get to know these babies in the future. :)

A Year of Crockpotting

I came across this blog about 4 or 5 months ago. It was created by a woman who decided to use her crockpot every single day in the year 2008, and guess what? She did! They even had her on the Rachel Ray show last year because of her unique resolution. If you ever need a crockpot recipe, here is a great place to find one! She took a photo of all of her ingredients, posted the recipes, and rated everything that she made.

365 Days of Crockpotting


Friday, January 16, 2009

Twenty Four

I'm 24 today so I decided it would be fun to write 24 things that I am thankful for on this day!

  1. I could go on and on and on about being thankful for all of the major blessings that God has given me such as my salvation, my relationship with Him, my husband, my daughter, the home I live in... so I'll start by just saying that I am thankful for this life and for the hope and assurance of eternal life!
  2. The celebration of Birthdays. I LOVE Birthdays.
  3. Dates with my husband.
  4. The Bible. The most amazing book ever printed.
  5. My daughter's smile.
  6. Baskets. They are a wonderful wonderful wonderful invention :)
  7. Delicious drinks such as coffee, tea, Dr. Pepper... they are such simple things that brighten up my day.
  8. Facebook. Just about every person I have ever known in my entire life is my friend on there. I LOVE being able to stay in touch with old friends and distant family members. Just a few clicks and I can read about what's been going on in their lives and send them a message if I want. How incredible is that!
  9. Beautiful sunsets, ocean views, and the gorgeous mountains. God is the most incredible artist!
  10. Cheese. I love cheese. Not all types of cheese...but many of them.
  11. Mexican food in San Diego, CA. Just the thought of it makes me smile.
  12. My church and all of the people we've met through it.
  13. Zoe's nap time. :)
  14. The Internet (or as Gage and those adorable little lolcats would say...the interwebs!) Anything I would like to know I can almost always find on the internet. It's been around for most of my life but I'm STILL amazed by it.
  15. My Nikon D40- we've had this camera for a year and a half and I'm STILL learning how to use it.
  16. Scarves. I just really like scarves...
  17. Zoe's dance moves!
  18. Home groups. They are a great way to get to know people from church and spend time with friends on a day other than Sunday.
  19. Chocolate cake, Banana cream pie, Cheesecake.....
  20. My friends, especially the ones that have been my friends since I was 7 years old.
  21. The photos of my childhood that my Mom and Dad took.
  22. Books, even the fiction ones... maybe someday I'll read some ;)
  23. The ability to travel. We are so blessed to have the ability to travel so far in such short periods of time.
  24. This blog. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

23 today...24 tomorrow.

Even though I do not like the fact that I am going to be one year older tomorrow, I still am excited about turning 24.

24 is a good number :o)

The past week has consisted of:

- Learning the ins and outs of my "new" laptop! This is actually our computer we bought right after our Wedding but for the past year no one has been using it because Gage had set it aside to use for his music recording, well...he only records a few times a year so he decided to install Windows 7 on it and give it to me :) I'm excited. It's like a whole new computer and I can call it mine. hehe.
- Cleaning my house....all except for the dishes. For the first time in a long time I've let the dishes pile up for almost 2 days. ick. I'm really not wanting to dishes for some reason. Usually I'm fine with it.
- Redecorating (nothing new, just moving things around for a little change.)
- "Bake" night. We never bake anymore, we really just hang out. Maybe next week we'll actually bake something. Last night we got Pizza and watched American Idol.
- I've been working on my Bible study - reading and studying the book of Isaiah. Went to church today to discuss the study with others.
- Discovering and reading Jonathan Edwards' list of 70 resolutions.
- Exercising! Yes! I have actually been doing it. Not as much as I should, but hey its better than nothing.
- Creating a "home storage plan" which I will write more about at another time.
- I have been working on my Photography homework.
- Planning for the "photo session" I will be doing with Monique (Gage's cousin) and her fiance Nick on Saturday.
- Zoe turned 10 months old on the 12th. I'm beginning to plan her birthday party. I've got to get invitations out within the next couple of weeks.
- Reading 'Created to be his Help Meet' by Debi Pearl. Have I mentioned this book enough on this blog? ;o)
- Watching Poccohantus for the first time in.... 11 years?
- Going to the chiropractor, as I do every week. I'm not sure if its really helping my back...but I'll keep going until February and we'll see what happens.
- Trying to get Zoe to nurse more and eat more solid foods. Also trying to get her to use her sippy cup... she's having issues with all of these things right now.

Well I think she's about ready for a nap so I'm going to finish this up!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Imitate the Christ-like

Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723. - Jonathan Edwards. Number54 on his list of 70 resolutions.

On Sunday, our Pastor quoted this phrase and it particularly stood out to me. We know that as followers of Christ we are to imitate Christ. One way we can do this is to acknowledge those qualities that are exemplified in other believers and imitate those things that are worthy of praise. In other words - see the Christ-like qualities in others and endeavor to imitate them as an effort to imitate Christ. So often I admire the good Christ-like qualities in others but I rarely put those things into practice in my own life. Good, godly qualities, are not just to be admired, they are to be practiced. This is something I need to keep in mind daily!

This is especially important now that I have a daughter who will soon be imitating me. As a parent it is my duty to imitate Christ to the best of my ability so that my daughter will grow to imitate Him as well.


Monday, January 12, 2009

A Tough Week

Zoe LOVES green beans. They are her favorite food. They are the only food I can really count on with her. Usually I buy the frozen kind in large amounts, cook them, puree them, and then freeze them. This time I bought a giant can (the equivalent of about 6 or 7 cans) of green beans because it was very cheap at Sam's Club. Last night I discovered that she absolutely hates canned green beans. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of these green beans... Gage likes them but not *that* much and I'm not a fan of green beans. I may just have to throw them all out.

Zoe has not wanted to eat anything lately. She doesn't like any fruits, she is very picky about vegetables, and she's not even a big fan of Cheerios anymore, which is very weird. I don't think it's a teething issue, but I guess that is always an option. I don't really know what to do. She does barley, oatmeal, rice, or mixed grain cereals, and she'll eat cheerios and she eats cheese... she really likes bread. She needs more protein though and she needs to eat fruits & vegetables. I really hope this is just a *short* phase she is going through.

She has also been having a tough time nursing lately. She is easily distracted --which is normal for a baby her age -- but she also really does not seem to be interested in nursing anymore. I think she may be weaning herself a little early. The problem with this is that she *hates* formula (I've tried it a few times this week). I may have to go straight to cow's milk... IF she'll drink it. I have a feeling if I tried it she would hate that too. She's 10 months old today, so my goal was to nurse for another two months at least and I really really really do not want to quit.

Arrrg! What is a Mom to do in situations like this?


Friday, January 9, 2009

Fear of the Future

Jhn 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

I have always been a very sentimental girl. I own many things that are strictly sentimental value and do not really serve any other purpose than that. I have always been a documenter - writing, taking photos, scrapbooking, etc. Ever since I was a kid I have tried to make the most out of everything I did because I enjoyed life and wanted to embrace it. When I turned 13 I reveled in the fact that I was a teenager. I didn't follow in the footsteps of many teens but I did do things sometimes I think simply because I was a teen - hung posters on my walls, listened to music all day, dressed in "cool" clothing (while still modest), and went to concert after concert after concert. I remember thinking as a teenager that I wanted to stay that way forever. Young, healthy, with very few responsibilities. I was a little Peter Pan if you will ;) Never wanted to grow up. I took it all in, I didn't want to waste any moment of my teen years.

Ever since I watched my Mom take her last breath my appreciation for life has increased even more. So much that I think it has actually begun to have a negative effect on me. I've come to cherish moments so much that I never want to let them go. I want to stop time. I fear getting older (I dreaded turning 22, then 23, and now 24), I fear getting sick, and I fear dying at a relatively young age just as my Mom did. As with most people, it is my desire to grow old and watch my grandchildren grow up. I know that this is not my decision to make though - it is entirely up to God when I will go be with him. Most people my age simply don't think this way, young people expect to live until they are old, so they don't spend too much time thinking about their futures other than what job they will have or the number of children they want. Many people take it for granted that they will one day have grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, but we really don't know that for sure. With my Mom dying at a young age, it has nearly convinced me that I am going to die young also (which is an irrational thing to expect, I know, but nevertheless that is how I think.)

God has blessed me tremendously in my life so far and there are very few things that I would have ever hoped to be different. My life so far has been incredible, to say the least, and I want nothing more than to spend every waking moment of the day glorifying the Lord with all that I do. I cannot do this if I am constantly in fear of the future. Fear is a complete lack of faith.

My desire should first and foremost be a desire to be with Jesus Christ. Yes, family is a wonderful blessing, but I cannot allow myself to love them more than I love God. In reality, they do not even begin to compare to God. I need to look forward to the day that I die and not dread it, because what is in store for me as a believer in Jesus Christ is far greater than anything, even family.

The last week or so I have been realizing that in a short time, my baby girl is no longer going to be a baby. She will never be a baby every again. Now when I hold her I start to feel sadness, knowing that this beautiful stage of life will soon be over and will never return. I look forward to her toddler years but I am also sad that my little baby that I can cradle in my arms is growing so quickly. I wish she could stay a baby for just a while longer.

Even when I was a teenager my Mom called me her baby girl, I have a feeling I will do the same with Zoe. My Mom told me she loved me every single day of my life and she dedicated her life to caring for me and my siblings. My memories from growing up are so precious. I want to create a home filled with beautiful memories for Zoe, just as my Mom did for me.

I cherish every memory I have of my Mom, of my parents when they were together, of my sister dancing around and singing in the living room, of my brother and his obsession with the Muppets and chicken nuggets, all the fun Christmas' we spent together, the places we traveled to... These memories have such a profound effect on the way I live today. I loved my childhood and I really miss it, but being the sentimental person that I am (and was) I don't feel like my childhood wasn't long enough because I embraced it and enjoyed it to the best of my ability. I am in a new stage of life now though and if I don't "live life to its fullest" right now it'll pass me by and I'll wonder what happened to the time.

In the verse above, Jesus is telling his disciples not to fear because as believers in Him, they have nothing to fear. They were afraid of what was to come, but Jesus gave them the peace that they needed. My prayer on this day is that God would grant me the peace that I need to not fear what is to come. I pray that I will be able to cherish the wonderful moments of life and not worry about a time when those moments will be gone. I pray that I can keep an eternal perspective always - the more we realize how short our lives are the more we focus on our purpose - and that is to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Loving life is a wonderful thing and changes can be extremely hard on a person, but life is FULL of changes and each new change is a new adventure and each new adventure is a way to learn and grow in the Lord and it is a way to create new memories.

I know that I cannot get rid of this fear on my own. If my fear ever goes away it will be entirely God's doing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Photography Diploma Program

In the summer of 2007 I enrolled at Penn Foster with a plan to get a Diploma in Photography. At the time, I was not pregnant and I wanted to pursue my interest in photography. I enrolled with the hope that it would help me get a good job as a photographer. This program is an at-your-own-pace home study plan. They send me all the materials that I need (packets, VHS, DVDs, CDs, books) and I take my exams online and I have 4 projects that I will mail in through snail mail to be graded by a teacher.

In May I signed up for this program, in July I got a job at Sears Photo Studio and a week later I found out I was pregnant. I ended up leaving Sears after just two weeks of working because I felt so sick from the morning sickness. It's a good thing I left when I did because my back pain (that I still have to this day) began shortly after that and I would have had to quit anyway. I also put my studies on hold during my pregnancy and for about 6 months afterwards.

I have had to pay $75 two times for two different 6 month extension times to do my work! The plan was to have this completed by the end of 2007 but God had other plans. My goal now is to have this entire program *complete* by the end of February. My 6 month extension ends in June and after that I cannot extend my studies any longer and all my work will go to waste.... so it is very important that this gets completed as soon as possible.

I currently have 4 packets left to do and 4 projects. I'm working on a packet titled "Presentation Skills" right now and I just wrote a short essay on a photo for one of the projects. On the 17th of this month I am going to be taking some engagement photos for my husband's cousin and I'll use one of those photos for the 2nd project.

Now that I have a daughter, my initial plan has changed - I do not plan on working unless she is in school, so my purpose for completing this program is basically to educate myself on photography and maybe someday I will work as a photographer on the side. Overall, my goal in life is to be the best wife and mother that I can be and that means putting my family first before any personal goals of mine. If it works out that I do get the opportunity to make money with my photos, that will be a wonderful blessing, but until then it is just a hobby and I'm having a ton of fun learning!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my Mom's 53rd Birthday.
January 2, 1956 - July 9, 2005


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baby Trey!

I want to say Congratulations to my friends Rachel and Rob on the birth of their first baby - a son named Trey Wayne! He was born on December 30, 2008 at 5:53pm, 7lbs, 15 oz. He came a few days early, he was due on the 3rd of January (Gage's birthday!). He's adorable and I can't wait to meet him!


Happy New Year!! It's 2009!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I look forward to seeing all that God has in store for us this year.


Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...