Thursday, May 28, 2009

Titus 2 Woman and Computer

I just read this blog post and felt that it was so worthwhile I wanted to post it here.

Facebook and Computer Time for a Titus 2 Woman

Technology has made communication efficient, immediate, and constant. There are real benefits to these things. There are also areas of concern that we, as women, need to be aware of. As women living in such a high tech world, it is wise to evaluate and discern what place technology (especially facebook, reading blogs, and just being online) should have in our lives.

There are pros and cons of facebook and blogs. I truly believe these 2 can be used for God's glory if used properly. I also see that they can take away and be a distraction from a woman's role in her home, church, and the world. All of us are at different stages of life...some of you are newly married and do not have children yet, some are single,...some of you are married with young children, some have older children, some are like me and have teens and toddlers, and some of you are empty nesters with your children grown. This makes all of our priorities different because of the different stages we are in. Still the goal is the do we glorify the Lord with the use of our time and how do we be a blessing to others in our lives.

Some questions to think about:

1)Can facebook/blogs be a tool in a christian woman's life to help minister to and encourage others?

2) How does facebook fit into our high calling as woman who are strving to be a Titus 2 woman?

3) What is the proper use of our time as we strive to be a wise women by God's standards?

4) All sorts of things are lawful, but are all advantageous?

5) When trying to evaluate an issue that is not specifically mentioned in scripture, how do we apply biblical principles to help us know God's best for us?

6) Does facebook encourage deep, biblical relationships or does it encourage superficial relationships?

7) Are there times that we should choose not to have a facebook? Does it cause us to waste time, put aside studying God's Word or prayer, talk with other men, or cause us to sin in other areas?

8) Do we really need to know what others are doing throughout a given day by checking on their status?

9) Do we really need to know what Disney princess we are most alike? (facebook applications)

Just some things to ponder as we strive to be what God has called us to be.

If you would like, check out Kim's blog Lifesong and leave her a comment. I was very convicted and am signing off to finish the work I need to do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Children's Museum Daze

One of the blessings of being in the Indianapolis area is truly its amazing Children's Museum and zoo as well as so many other opportunities for cultural events. When our girls were little, we had annual passes to the zoo and the museum. I would ask for them for Christmas as it was a great way to get out during the year to visit with friends as well as just run off some steam. Today's Walk Down Memory Lane is about one trip to the Children's Museum in 2004. This day we happened to be joined on our adventure by two of my friends and their kiddos.
Here the kids are all posing in front of the
giant polar bear. Notice they are
"roaring" like the bear!

As I now notice my girls getting older and more independent, while that is lovely in it's own right, I sometimes find myself thinking back to the days when we would make weekly ventures to either the zoo or the children's museum. Several of my dear friends would get annual passes too and we would make it a weekly date. This allowed the mom's time to chat and catch up on what was going on in their lives but also gave the kids such rich experiences as they would explore their world around them. We loved exploring each new exhibit as they opened. This day we were checking out the Dinosaur exhibit. There were areas to dress up.....

Doodle in the Dinosaur area at the Children's Museum.

...or to dig for dinosaur bones....

Doodle and Bean being archaeologists.

....climb in a cave.....

Doodle and Bean exploring a cave in the science area.
or read about dinosaurs as well as touch everything around.
Bean measuring a fossilized dinosaur egg.

While checking out the new exhibits was always a great time, one thing that always stood as a constant in our visits would be the PlayScape area. In this area designed for children 6 and under, they had exploration areas set up for the kids to be able to explore freely with all kinds of mediums. Some of our favorites were the movable bridge in the dress up area....

Bean and a friend on the movable bridge.

....the sand tables.....
Bean exploring at the sand table.

and of course the water tables were a huge hit.

Doodle, Bean and friends playing in the water table.

As I look back on these pictures, I know I have stacks and stacks of others just like them only with different friends from time to time. These memories are so sweet to me now as I am looking eye to eye with one of my sweet girls and share shoes with both of them. These days of adventure and exploration are so precious in the development of the girls but also sweet to their mommy. I cherish the times I chose to sit in that Playscape area and observe them. Some mom's felt the need to "help" their child play. While there definitely is a time to do this, over time I felt this area was set up for freedom to explore. So I did learn to take the more hands off mom approach unless needed. In doing so, I was able to see my girls excitement and curiosity over different things. I noticed what challenged them and what was natural for them. I am grateful I took time in that moment to really watch my kids and soak in each moment. I remember how wet they would manage to get at the water table no matter how well we got them covered with the aprons provided. And they always wanted to do the sand after they played in the water. While that might drive Mommy nutty, they loved how the sand stuck to their fingers. I adored seeing them excited about learning how things work and dressing up and playing in their imaginary world. My oldest daughter will be 12 this summer and she still misses visiting this area of the museum. I guess that means it was as memorable for them as it was for me. I look forward to continuing to visit the museum and it's many exhibits in the future, but I have to say, I am eager to one day visit PlayScape again. Join me...I'll be sitting back watching whoever I brought, snapping pictures and grinning from ear to ear.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Race Time!

I think I wrote last week about my husband's passion for racing. He has attended practices at the Speedway since he was 2, according to his mom. He has attended the Indy 500 since he can remember. That legacy is passed on to our girls. Doodle loves going to the race with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa each year. This year, we had a new attendee...Bean.
My honey and his girls at the parking area.
You know it was hot if we had the
girls shirts tied like that!

Bean started asking to attend earlier in April. So, we set plans in motion. I knew that meant I needed to go since it was brought to my attention that I attended Doodle's first race. :) I told Bean that I would go with her if she really wanted to go. I also kept praying she didn't! :) Seriously, she was excited. I packed a bag of snacks and entertainment for her because I know my child. This is the child that can not sit through an entire movie at the theater so why would I think she could make it through the entire day at the track without entertainment?!

Our day started off well, the girls had stayed at the grandparents' lake house while Matt attended the "Night before the 500" races at Raceway Park and I went scrapbooking with dear friends. So we met up at the caravan location. One of the perks of my mother-in-law's job is that we do get to be in the police escort caravan's on race day. Makes parking so much nicer. Then we walk and walk and walk.

Daddy and Bean walking to the track.
At this point, she was still excited.
Once we make it to our seats, we all were so ready to sit and get some water. We drank 4 bottles of water before the race even started!! It was so hot. I don't recall being more hot at a race before but it has been awhile since I attended.
Daddy and Bean at her first 500!
The Miller Crew at the race
Yes I am wearing a hat! My girls could not
get over that fact but had to protect the face. :)

By the time the first cars made the turn at the 4th corner, Bean was a bit done. She had walked miles, sat in the heat for hours, saw and heard things she didn't enjoy and the race had not even started. After the first 16 laps, she and I went down to find a place to hang out for a bit. We found a patchy spot of grass and sat in the shade eating lunch, coloring, playing with the stuff I packed. It made me thankful that she was on this trip. If she had not been there, I would have felt that I needed to stay up in the stands the entire time. I am happy to announce that while Bean is glad she went, she and I have decided it is not our cup of tea. She likes practice days better...less crowd and not as long. That's my girl! :)

4th Turn before the green flag to start the race

Saturday, May 23, 2009

One Catepillar turning into a Butterfly

Bean being silly at home...what we all see all the time and she rarely shares with others.
Our girl is a nut!

For those of you who know our family, you will not be surprised to hear me say that my youngest daugther, Bean, is terribly bashful. This has been something we have worked on since she was a little toddler hiding behind my pantsleg or running behind her daddy. Over the years we have talked with her, prayed with her, challenged her, reminded her what is expected and at times we had to scold her for being rude to someone. However, recently we are noticing something about our girl. She is really starting to shine on her own.
Bean and her buddies from Bible Bowl.

She is loving this new church we have been at for a year. She is involved in Bible Bowl and the Sonshine Kids Choir. Doodle does not go to the choir with her because she is too old now. (can you imagine!) This year, they put on two different musicals. They were sweet. The first time, she didn't want to even sing.
Bean "singing" with the Sonshine Choir in November 2008.

Then the second one she told me she was going to audition for a solo! What!?! My girl? I encouraged her to do it but then she realized she would have a spotlight on her she knew she didn't want that yet.

Bean showing a bit of the "confidence" she has acquired.

However, at the end of the performance with her friends, she did tell me next year she wants to try out for one of the speaking parts. So I am not sure what all of this means. I truly don't care if she ever is in a musical with a speaking or singing part, but what I do love seeing is my girl starting to fly. She is not needing to hide behind my legs now as often. Every once in a while she still does but for the most part, she is truly becoming this beautiful little lady...she has her wings now. Precious!

Bean has met wonderful friends at our church.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Alone at last!

Much to my dismay, my girls now have their own bedrooms. We have spent the past couple weeks emptying out the play/school room and dividing up the clothes, shoes, toys into two rooms. Bean had the choice of the bigger room with bunk beds or the smaller room with Gaga Rachel's furniture. She chose Gaga Rachel's furniture. (she got to decide since Doodle has always had the bigger room)

I have to tell you that I dreaded this move. I shared a room with my sister all her life. I don't recall not sharing. I guess when I came home from college and my brother was gone I did have my own but before that we were always together. I feared that due to their age difference, if Doodle had the chance to shut her sister out, she would because they just were so different.

I prayed a lot about this move and I have cried a lot about it. I just felt like I was caving and letting the fighting dictate what was going to happen instead of stopping the fighting. What I found though is nothing worked. They just kept fighting. The fighting was starting to cause resentment and that is not what I wanted at all. So I guess in that sense, I did cave or submit to my husband's wisdom. He really felt that the problem was that the two of them were always together with no breaks from each other.

We have friends with large families and this is not a problem. Then I remember, if someone is needing a bit of space, the one who is getting on their nerves does have others to play with. For mine, they are each others playmates alone during the day. So, with that, we moved the stuff. I got rid of my grandma's love seat from my playroom, which was a bit difficult. We got the furniture from Gaga Rachel's apartment. Then we went to work at getting the rooms set up.
Bean's new bed and dresser.

Doodle's new set up of the bunkbed.

What I have found is peace. I have to admit when I am wrong and I was WRONG! The girls have been playing together beautifully. Doodle finds time to do things with and for Bean that she never did before. They also have times when I find them playing alone in their own rooms. The other night, I came around the corner to see this:
My girls cuddled up in bed reading a book together.

Now that may not seem a big deal to you, but trust me when I say, it is a small miracle. My girls love each other but they are truly complete opposites. God knew what the other would need when He chose these two to be sisters. But being together for all day versus going to school and just seeing each other at night really did make it hard for them to find a way to just enjoy each other. What I am seeing now is that Bean and I have some work to do in the training department as far as taking care of her things. :) Doodle had always done that for her and had grown to resent it. Now, Doodle is sitting on Bean's bed telling her what to do so they can go play together. This would not have happened before.

Then there is Doodle. She is a girl who needs her space from time to time. I am seeing her being able to take that time during the day while Bean plays in her own room and there is peace. No fighting over being too loud or stop touching my stuff...or whatever. I am so happy to say that obedience brings joy. :) I did not want to be submissive and I recall being a bit nasty in my thoughts of this move. I am here to say, I was wrong and I am thankful I have learned enough in 18 years of marriage to let my man be the head of this house even when I think he is dead wrong because sometimes God doesn't fill me in on all the joys until after I have obeyed. :) Love that!
Bean in her new bed.
Doodle in her "new" room.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No More Fishy!

The Fishy Bathroom
Well, the day has finally come to take down the little kids "fishy" bathroom. Our girls will be 12 and 9 this summer and have definately outgrown the theme. Not to mention that the fish keep disappearing over the years from various kids picking them off my walls. Makes me giggle.

Anyway, the girls and I talked about what kind of bathroom they would like to have for the next 9 years....I know it's a dream but that is how long the fish lasted! Anyway, they decided on a "spa" type bathroom. Mind you, neither of my girls have ever been to a spa nor will they on my tab. This must just be something they have seen in a movie or heard about but it certainly gave us a starting point. First, we found the shower curtain and rugs.
The new colors
Once I saw the colors and knew that both of them would get their favorite color, that set it in stone. Next came the day I dreaded....taking the fish down. And you know what? It didn't bother me a bit! Who would have guessed?! I think I was so excited about working with the girls to create the bathroom they will enjoy that I just didn't have time to sit and think about it much. Either that or I am just really sick of the fish. Could be either. :) (loved the fish but it has been 9 years!!!!)

Doodle thought peeling the border down was so cool.

Bean got into the peeling action as well.

They did some pretty good damage but those fish still left their marks.
The next phase came painting. Doodle and I picked out the paint color together. She calls it spa green. It is pretty. I painted the bathroom last weekend and my honey trimmed it all for us.

Pickling Spice goes on the wall.
Then Bean and I went out looking for new bathroom accessories to go with our new bathroom. We chose some pretty cool silver assessories.

Bean's addition to the silver assessories.

I have to say, doing this with my girls and not just for my girls made it more fun. We do now have a bathroom that is in working order. Matt got the light, towel racks and stuff put up last night. It looks sweet. Now, I do want to have my dear friend, Lainie, help me write scripture on the walls, but beside that we are done for the time being. I think the girls will enjoy and I certainly enjoyed our time together working on this project.

The "finished" project...can you guess where the scripture will go?

Doodle and Bean's addition to make it more like a "spa".
They crack me up!

Race Time!

Today's Walk Down Memory Lane seems timely. My husband is a HUGE race buff. He has attended practices at the Indianapolis Speedway since he was 2, or says his family. :) So, naturally he is gone most weekends in May to go to the track. He is able to get passes to go into the pits for the entire month which means, he has met many drivers and had great fun with his buddy,Warren, over the years. (he was the best man in our wedding) Warren and Matt share the passion for the track and open-wheel racing in general. (scares me that I know that term!) They also like to meet the drivers and the crew that work on the cars. It all excites them to no end.

That's my man looking ready to race!

When Matt and I first met, I knew one of his passions was racing. I knew he would be gone to hang at the track the month of May. I knew what I was getting into fully and I did not mind one bit. That is what I love about him, he is so passionate about what he does or enjoys. Which brings me to my point of the day. While I have never fully learned to love this passion of his and am so thankful he does not make me suffer through the month at the track, my girls love going with Daddy to the track. Each in their own version.
Doodle loves the Indy 500. She loves the planes flying overhead. She loves the songs sung. She likes learning about the drivers and hearing who he met at the track each time. She likes going to all the pomp and circumstance before the first engine is heard. Then the roar of the engines begin and she is so excited. This passion her daddy has had for years is now in her.

The same is true for my younger daughter except with different vehicles. Bean loves to go to the Moto GT with Daddy. For those of you who do not follow racing...well that is motorcycles. She gets just as excited to head out to the track for the day and watch these guys soar past her in circles all day long. She loves the sound they make as they pass her. She loves the junk food only Daddy can give her at the track. She loves the smell of the pits. She loves it all. She even has toy motorcycles from this last race which are proudly sitting next to her collection of international dolls.
Matt and Victor ? on his big day at the track. The 2 seater race car.
(I would not make brownie points for not knowing this drivers name!)
Why write about this today, you may ask? Well, it seems to me, that over the 18 years I have been married to this man, he sure has changed his tune a lot. While he has had his picture taken with the most famous drivers over the years, A.J. Foyt, Arie Lyendyk (sp)...etc. and he has had the chance to go for 3 laps in a two seater IndyCar at 200+ miles per hour, he still would rather spend the day at the track with two little starry eyed girls than any of them. That makes me even more grateful for this man God brought to me. He has never complained about taking them and is eager to pass on this legacy with them even though I know it has to be a different kind of day going to the track with his girls than with his buddies. And in case you wondered, they aren't starry eyed over the "famous" drivers. They are starry eyed because of the way their Daddy makes them feel. They adore being with him at something special to him. Those stars in their eyes are all for him. Love it!

This picture is when Doodle first went to the Indy 500 when she was in first grade.
That girl loved it and has gone back every year. This year, her little sister has decided to give it a shot. I'll post pictures after the race on Sunday because I get to go with them their first year.
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Hands and Feet

It has been such a crazy few weeks around here. Within 8 days of losing Matt's grandma, my dad's best friend of 53 years lost his battle with cancer. We attended funerals two weekends in a row which just took it out of us really. The next week, Wednesday, Matt's sisters' mother-in-law was hit in a head on collision. We feared we would be attending a third, but praise God that she is healing well and out of critical care now. She has a long road to recovery but she is doing well. So, truly we have been bombarded with serving our families...both sides! It is not uncommon to tend to help one side out more than the other at times but it always flips around. But to have both sides going through trials at the same time proved to be quite interesting around here. We are so blessed to live near our family and able to help out when needed in times like these. We also know that when we are in need they will step up and take care of us.

When I think of that reality, I have to stop and consider that we are the hands and feet of Christ to each other and what a joy that is to see in our family together. My parents were able to send a meal over to Matt's family when Gaga Rachel went home to Jesus. His parents offered the same but instead sent Bibles in honor of my Dad's best friend. We all pitched in to help the victim of the crash through prayer, childcare, food, etc. Most of all, we all pray for each other. I am thankful to be a part of a family that serves our risen Lord and shows it best in times of trial. If only we all could remember that during those other times when we get on each others nerves. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top 18

Today we celebrate 18 years together. 18!!! That sounds so long and yet when I consider my grandparents 65 years, we have just begun. This journey together has been such a blessing to my life and a true gift from God. So in honor of our 18 years together, it seems only fitting that I make a top 18 list of things I adore about my man. This is easy.

1. His generous heart towards others.
2. His smile that beams when he sees any of his girls.
3. His eyes that twinkle when he is looking at me. :)
4. His servant's heart
5. His great work ethic and desire to make a difference not just money.
6. His faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior
7. His giggle when he sees physical humor....makes me laugh so hard!
8. His ability to make anyone feel comfortable around him.
9. His ability to play with our girls and let the stuff wait.
10. His tender care of all of his girls.
11. His silly faces he makes in order to get me to laugh when I feel sad or angry.
12. His strong hands that I get to hold or that hold me when I am sad, tired, etc.
13. His cute little legs that have not changed at all in 18 years!!!
14. His desire to pass on a legacy of faith to our girls over money.
15. His understanding nature of my need to help my family and those around me.
16. His encouragement of my new things and ventures God puts me on.
17. His joy when he sees his family each night.
18. His tears when he watches his girls soar.

While some of these are less serious than others, they all make up the man I adore. I love all that these things say and so much more. I always thought that we would never love each other as much as we did when we first married. Little did I know that the gift of marriage is learning that as you grow together in your marriage, you grow more and more in love with that person. It becomes a self-less love instead of the selfish love we all start out with. I have loved digging in life's trials with this man for 18 years and can only imagine what we will feel when we reach our 65 years. Love you honey! Te iubesc foarte mult!
Me and My honey at Panama City Beach on Spring Break
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