Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Review: Teach Them Diligently

Over the past months, I've slowly made my way through "Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training" by Lou Priolo. It really helps me to read parenting books, since we are in the thick of learning how to discipline little Hopey. We want more than anything for her and Anna to grow up to be women who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind, and their neighbor as themselves. So, we enjoy drawing from the wisdom of others who have walked down this path before us.

"Teach Them Diligently" challenged me in two ways: First, to know and memorize the Bible more. I will not be able to effectively get to the root heart-issues of Hope's (and Anna's eventually) sin, if I do not expose it with truth from the Word. But, I have to know the Word! I need to know scriptures that apply to every area of life, so that I will be able to point Hope in the right direction and expose wrong thinking. It would be helpful to point her to people in the Bible who have the same struggles as her, and to the promises of God that can be claimed in the situation. Such as, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. And this is the first commandment with a promise; that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land." Priolo says, "your child cannot repent (change his mind) without first being convicted of his sin." We do not want to raise little Pharisees who behave outwardly, but in whom there is no heart-change. This would not be good for the girls. So, we need to be able to convince them with scripture.

Second, I was challenged again to focus on the good of Hope when disciplining. Priolo says, "The goal you're trying to accomplish when dealing with a brother who has been overtaken by a fault should be restoration... your motive should be to restore your child, not to expose him, make things easier for yourself, or extract personal vengeance on him by humiliating him." It is good for Hope and Anna to obey God's commands. (It is good for ME to obey God!) They are little human beings that we have the responsibility for teaching how to live Christ-like. It is no easy task, but we should never be self-centered or impatient about it.

The book was helpful and probably one I will revisit in a few more years. A lot of it will work well when Hope is a little older and when reasoning with her is a little more realistic. I appreciated the book's biblical approach and the focus on the heart of the child, rather than their outward behavior. I'd recommend it.

On another note: Here's a picture of Hope and Mark at a Giants vs. Cubs game at Wrigley Field from a few weeks ago. They had a very special trip - train ride, hot dog and all. Hope is still pretending to go to the "baseball game" with her babies. Mark thinks there's nothing cuter than his daughter in a pink Giants shirt.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Favorite Album

I'm pretty sure that my favorite album of all time is Caedmon's Call - 40 Acres.

It's one I could listen to over and over again (and drive my husband nuts!). I like the music, and have been able to identify with many of the lyrics over the years.

Their song about moving has been an encouragement on the drives to new homes: Faith My Eyes.
"So keep on comin', these lines on the road, keep me responsible, be it a light or heavy load, keep me guessing, these blessings in disguise, I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes."

When I was single, I really appreciated the encouragement from: Table for Two.
"But ya know I know better, I'm not gonna worry 'bout nothin'. Cause if the birds and the flowers survive, Then I'll make it okay. I'm given a chance and a rock; see which one breaks a window. See which one keeps me up all night and into the day. Because I'm so scared of being alone That I forget what house i live in. But it's not my job to wait by the phone For her to call."

In Louisville, a friend explained the song: Somewhere North to us. It's already a beautiful song, but when I found out it was a love song, and the story behind it, I loved it even more.
"I give you my life and all I am But what I have to give So I hand you a candid photograph of this little boy 'Cause I have nothing to my name But I can give you that."

And the song: Shifting Sand, is a great reminder of how weak my faith in the Lord can be, and how powerful His grace is.
"Sometimes I believe all the lies So I can do the things I should despise And every day I am swayed By whatever is on my mind My faith is like shifting sand Changed by every wave My faith is like shifting sand So I stand on grace."

I'm thankful for and encouraged by the Truth of God's sovereignty that is proclaimed in the song: Thankful.
"Cause no, there is none righteous Not one who understands There is none who seek God No not one, I said no not one. So I am thankful that I'm incapable Of doing any good on my own."

But really, you should just buy the mp3's and listen to it for yourself. Because these little snippets won't do it justice.

What's your favorite?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

6 Whole Months

Things Anna likes:

Long walks in the Snuggli or in the stroller.

Rice and Oatmeal cereal.


Playing with Hopey.

Trying to eat her feet.

Smiling and capturing our hearts!

I for one, think this is going by too fast. It was hard to pack away the 3-6 month clothes last week. And, starting solids is a big girl thing, for sure.

She's petite - weighing in at 15 pounds, 1ounce. She's working on sitting up by herself. We're looking forward to her first trip to California in a few weeks, her first time to Grammy and Pappy's house, and her first summer. We love you sweet little Anna!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nannie's Visit

Nannie came to visit for a few days over Mother's Day weekend! It was a special time. Mark finished up with school work just before she arrived and we just relaxed and played for a few days! Thanks for coming Nannie, and for loving the girls so well.

Sweet picture with Nannie.

For some reason I can't figure out how to order the pictures on blogger these days. Any tips? Any way, here is a picture of the fam on Mother's Day. I am one grateful Mama.

Nannie and Hope did a lot of reading. I guess that's one plus of having your Nannie here - she'll read you the same stories over and over again if you ask her to!

Hope decided to do Nannie's hair. Brushing and pretending to spray it with water, and all.

We were able to go to the Botanic Gardens for about an hour one evening. We would have stayed later, but it was freezing. Silly us, we thought it was Spring/Summer and we dressed accordingly.

We stopped by our new rental house while Nannie was here. We are looking forward to moving in the first week of July. We have a dear family from our church who are going to serve overseas in the Fall for several years, and we're going to rent their house from them. We are really looking forward to moving in and for the space it will provide us when we're locked inside during the winters.

We went to Cracker Barrel the night before Mother's Day to celebrate, and because Nannie loves it!

Nannie and Hope cooking :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Wow. It was really good tonight. I'm enjoying all of the biblical imagery. What did you think?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Potty Training Update #3

Here it is, dear readers: The final installment of The Potty Training Series (Lord willing)! I know you've been waiting on the edge of your seats!

It has been quite a while since Potty Training Day #1, and Potty Training Update, but I am happy to say that it seems we are now fully potty trained: 8 months later.

I'll spare you many details, but here's how it went down: Hope learned how to go #1 in the potty chair in 3 days of intense potty training. After about a month she was accident free. #2 however, has not gone so smoothly! She's been afraid of it, and has instead had an accident most days until this last week when we decided to do some intense training again. I was skeptical and ready to give-up again, but Mark encouraged us to press on. So, we did. And after many tears, she got it. Yesterday, she gave me the best Mother's Day gift ever: she told us twice that she needed to go, sat on the chair, and went. What an exciting event!

There you have it. Thanks for following the Potty Training updates!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I Love Them!

We've had a great last couple days with the girls. Most days are great, but some days are exceptional. The sweetness of these two little blessings is almost more than we can take! Hope is so affectionate, and really makes me tear up with some of her sweet words. She is so full of energy, excitement and ideas. Anna continues to be the sweetest baby that there ever was. If it weren't for pregnancy and the 6 weeks of healing from a c-section, I think I could perpetually have a baby in the family :) I'm so thankful that the Lord put Hope and Anna in our family. I've included a short video at the end of Hope and Anna playing.

Big Girl Hopey making a silly face.

Hopey with her purse, sunglasses and phone :)

Sleepy little Anna. She's such a great cuddler!

I'm pretty sure this is the first picture I've taken with both of them smiling.

Little Anna has captured our hearts! She is so full of happiness and love for her family!

And finally, a short video of Hope and Anna playing together :)