Sunday, December 30, 2012

15 Months Plus 15 Days

Baby Girl is not the same Baby Girl that she was on September 15th. Far from it! Though that may have been due to the sun slowly roasting her brain since it was so dang hot that day!

It's just amazing to be part of someone else's life and to watch them literally change and grow daily. You know you went through the same things yourself, but there is no memory with the exception of memories we somewhat make up ourselves by looking through old photographs. To be witness something, right before your eyes, it's like getting to watch miracles. It really is such a blessing.

Here are Baby Girl's "milestones" for the past few months:

  • Walking! She just started, out of the blue, last night (29th). It wasn't just a few steps, it was a journey around the entire play yard area at the mall down the street from us. Amazing!
  • Two top teeth started to come in and we noticed on the 18th.
  • Standing for a long period of time (25th...Merry Christmas!).
  • I think she's finally really saying "dada" and she looks for Pastor Husband when I ask her where Papi is.
  • There's also a definite "d" sound when she sees a dog.
  • Two naps have turned into one long afternoon nap. 
  • Knows the sign language motion for "food" and "more". We're trying to learn "thank you" right now.
  • Blows kisses, waves bye, squints her eyes, and will sniff things when we tell her to.
  • Loves to play "Ring Around the Rosie". That's my girl...loves a song about death!
  • Cries as if her best friend died every time meal time is over. 
  • She likes rubbing her face into mine when I hold her so that I give her kisses.
  • Loves to throw herself on Pastor Husband whenever he's on the ground. It makes her laugh and laugh.
  • Her favorite show is still Pocoyo and also Rugrats.
  • Loves to read just about every book she owns.
Baby Girl is growing up and it's so hard to believe that another one is along the way and we get to marvel at all of her/his tiny miracles as well. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, but I know it'll be amazing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Sunday before Christmas...Pastor Husband working it!
Christmas Eve
Around 1am when everyone was asleep except for me!

Baby Girl ripped one piece of wrapping paper at a time

Baked French Toast for Christmas Breakfast

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Advent...Really an Announcement

How I told my husband: (there was a picture, but I cannot find it. How does one lose a picture during these times?!)

Baby Carrots
Baby Corn Dogs
Baby Apple Pies

How we told our family: (we just did this tonight!)

How we told everyone else:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent: Days 18-22

Day 18 Verses: Matthew 1.18-25
Day 19 Verses: Luke 1.39-56
Day 20 Verses: Luke 1.57-66
Day 21 Verses: Luke 1.67-80
Day 22 Verses: Luke 2.1-7

What a day today! It's finally ending with me in at the dining room table, blogging, and listening to Baby Girl gibber-gabber away to Pastor Husband as he gives her a bath. He takes such good care of her when he's home. He's a very hands-on, active daddy and she absolutely loves him! Pastor Husband even took her to run some errands this afternoon.

Today I have been one with my kitchen. So much so that I took a nap while still wearing an apron. Yeah. I started on what I am bringing to Christmas Eve - salsa, pumpkin cookies and Oreo truffles. The cookies and truffles will be made tomorrow. Today I made salsa and chips. It was my first attempt at salsa and I used the recipe from "One Particular Kitchen". So good! I only used 15 serrano chilies though because Pastor Husband can't stand the heat, but it still came out pretty dang hot, I think.

So, even after being in the kitchen all afternoon, I decided to make a family dinner and we had enchiladas and rice (I was feeling very brown today). In the enchiladas I put black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and shredded turkey. Baby Girl ate the same only minus the tortilla. She left her plate clean. Pastor Husband left his plate clean.

Food making was a success today!

Homemade salsa on homemade chips...yes, please!

After pulverization

I was watching an Ellen comedy special - here are the ingredients before roasting

Can't wait to massacre these ingredients!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent: Days 15-17

Day 15 Verses: Luke 1.5-17
Day 16 Verses: Luke 1.13-25
Day 17 Verses: Luke 1.26-38

Baby Girl has her first sleepover tonight with her Gma. I miss her, but I know she's having a good time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent: Days 11-14

Day 11 Verses: Romans 3.21-28
Day 12 Verses: Romans 8.1-4
Day 13 Verses: Isaiah 60.1-5
Day 14 Verses: Hebrews 10.1-10

Somehow the reading plan and I are on the same day when before I was a day behind. Not sure what happened there, but I'll go with it!

So, today, is going to be known as one of those infamous days that will never be forgotten due to the horror. A man, twenty-years old, went to an elementary school and opened fire. His mother, it's reported, was a kindergarten teacher. At the end of the event, there are now 26 victims with about 20 of them from the ages of five to ten.

I can't even begin to know how that would feel - to be a parent for one moment and the next moment your child is, without asking, taken away from you. To have someone take it upon themselves to decide that you don't need that member of your family anymore. I've had relatives, both distant and dear, die; however, never by the hands of another. Prayers are all I can offer these families and, for my own sense of comfort, the fact that I know these precious children are now in heaven. I have absolutely no question, doubt, or fear about it. They are in heaven and He has welcomed them with the most warm, secure, comforting hug we can imagine. Sometime - well, lots of times - you wonder whether someone is in heaven and the answer is always, that's between the person and God. We can't even begin to judge on that, but I know with these children that they must be there.

It's a sad, sinful world. That's no surprise. It won't always be that way and that's where the patience in affliction comes in and the pure joy during trials. We know that it won't always be what this world offers us, which is nothing but pain and death. We grieve and hurt and ask why and there's never a satisfying answer. That won't always be! There will be that day where the beauty that always seems so hidden and unattainable is so prevalent that it takes over who we are and we finally fully become God's children, blameless and pure.

I don't know...if my child was suddenly gone today, I would like to believe that my faith is strong enough that I could cling to Jesus and His promise. I pray that the parents who hearts were broken today either lean harder on Him or finally turn to Him.

Revelation 21:3-5

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent: DayS 7-10

I don't promise to get any better at this everyday-blogging-thing.

Day 7 Verses: Numbers 24.15-19, 2 Peter 1.19, Revelation 22.16
Day 8 Verses: Exodus 20.1-17
Day 9 Verses: Joel 2.12-13
Day 10 Verses: Isaiah 40.1-11

"'Even now,' declares the Lord, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning'"(NIV84 Joel 2.12-13).

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I was sick and am finally at the end of it. Baby Girl had a cough for a couple of days. Pastor Husband got sick last week and went to see the doctor today. They diagnosed him with pneumonia! Can you believe it? Like I said...rough, in this household, under our roof.

I wanted to share a thing we're doing at church. We have a couple, who have been coming for the past month or so and they are such dear people. She is actually a character at Disneyland - we get a lot of Disney employees being so close to the theme park. Anyway, they started coming and they have since shared with us the story of their granddaughter, Emalynne. Emalynne, sadly, passed away at 6 months of age from  heart issues. Her parents and grandparents have chosen to use her death to bless others by gathering pocket-size Bibles and travel-size toiletries. They're going to put them in packages and distribute them to parents who practically live in hospitals because their child is sick.

If you would like to contribute, you may send your donations to: 701 W Broadway Anaheim CA 92805. Feel free to mail or drop them by! The name of the project is "Emalynne's Love Gifts".

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent: Day 5 & 6

It wouldn't be real life if I didn't get behind on something!

Verses for yesterday: Micah 5.2-4
Verses for today: Malachi 4.1-3

I like this reading plan because it really has you all over the bible. It's like going on an exploration.

I didn't post last night because we had a very good friend come over for dinner and we haven't seen her for months! Actually, I think it was in October when we got together for her birthday and Pastor Husband's birthday. She's a great lady. She was our doula with Baby Girl and was the best person, aside from Pastor Husband (of course!), to have by my side during the stages of labor and birth. We absolutely love her!

Baby Girl filing for us yesterday morning.

Collecting leaves this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent: Day 4

Verses: Isaiah 11.1-9

A rod shall come forth from the stem of Jesse - Who the heck is Jesse? He is the father of David, who eventually becomes David who fights Goliath, becomes king, and becomes really good at apologizing to God.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent: Day 3

I forgot to post the verses for yesterday, so here they are: Genesis 22.15-18

For today, we have verses from Isaiah 7.14 and 9.2-7.

Christ's birth and kingdom are foretold by the Prophet Isaiah - the devotional part tells us that God never goes back on His word and it's through His word, the prophecy of Jesus, that He gave hope to the people then and continues to give us hope now.

I have so much hope for Baby Girl and for any other arrivals we may have in our family. My biggest hope is that she knows, early on, that there is a way to live life where there is joy, hope, and love. I hope that she doesn't just know about it, but that she is living life in that way. I hope she lives life in such a different way than how I lived my life both as a child and as an adult. I want her to be aware of that other way of life so that she's not locked in the whole "Christian bubble" thing, but I don't want her to have that experience first-hand. As I continue to grow, learn, and teach my faith, I hope she will grasp onto it as well.

Gma and Baby Girl

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent: Day 2

Devotional: God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed.

We are always blessed and, I believe, those "extra" blessings - things, people, events, etc. - are God's love notes from Him to us. Today, God sent an abundant love note through Pastor Husband who was the best daddy and husband in the whole world today! I'm dying of a cold and he took of both of us today without breaking a sweat. As I sit here, unable to breathe out of my nose, my ear plugged up, and sweating because right now it feels like it's 100 degrees in the room, I am also thanking and praising God for bringing this amazing man into my life.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent: Day 1

The word "advent" means arrival. According to the "Advent" reading plan I'm doing through on YouVersion it means, for the church, "the arrival of Christ". So, we use this time to anticipate, get ready, prepare, and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's a fun time! It should be as exciting as it is for most parents preparing for their child's first birthday. When we use our time to focus on our child, getting things ready, having a countdown, making the presents, and baking the cake all for one very important and special child. 

The reading plan I'm going through is titled, "She Reads Truth: Advent" and here are the verses for today (well, actually tomorrow...I'm actually ahead of schedule!) Genesis 3.1-15. The devotional part tells about Advent and, to go along with the verses, speaks about the fall of man and the first promise of the Messiah being revealed.

This is how I and my family will go through Advent. In pastorland, there just isn't a normal week or weeknights for that matter so it's difficult to plan set activities. We'll see Christmas lights, decorate our tree, and stuff like that, but it probably will happen on a whim or over many days. We're keeping it simple and free. We'll go through the daily reading plan and I've also am going to post a new photo every day of the amazing gifts that Jesus gives us. Don't be surprised if the majority of pictures are of Baby Girl. She's a pretty good gift!

I hope all of you enjoy the journey of Advent to the Grand Celebration!

Cousins eating Thanksmas dinner together.
It's also pretty awesome that Baby Girl wore her Galaxy bib as they were winning the MLS Cup!