Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I just had to share this moment from this morning. Kate plays in her crib every morning while I do my devotions. She coos and talks to herself. She swings at the toy crab hanging from our makeshift mobile and pulls on her singing monkey that is attached to the baby mirror on the railing of her crib. She wiggles. She kicks her feet and scooches by arching her back. And then she falls asleep. This is how I found her after I got suspicious by the absence of noise. Obviously she was done.

The Hoarded Recipe

We hosted dinner club and cooked up an extra-special meal to celebrate Travis' graduation. I have been saving the recipe from my Inn at Little Washington cookbook for several years now, waiting for an appropriate occasion to celebrate. And who better to celebrate with than our dear friends and foodies?? Travis and I aren't the only ones to celebrate a big year; we have all been through major changes- adding children, changing jobs, Matt's loss of his stepmother, moving, and more pregnancies. And God has been faithful to us all. We enjoyed recounting God's blessings along the way as well as celebrating upcoming adventures in our future.
The menu was simple but delicious:
Surf and Turf: Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Steamed Lobster Tails
with a Red Pepper Coulis and Sweet Corn Saute
Hot Popovers with Butter
Creme Brulee

Saturday, September 27, 2008

5 inches later

At around three months, I did my own weighing and measuring of my little girl. She's no longer little either. We think she is around 13.5 pounds...but the real shocker is that she has grown more than five inches. She is now 25 1/2 inches long! The dress I put on her this morning no longer reaches her ankles, it is now a mini dress! The little bloomers peek out from under the dress now :). Problem is that 3 month is too short, but 6 month clothes are not "skinny" enough for her (even though she is a great weight for her age). We hope her tummy catches up with her little arms and legs.
Her little body isn't the only thing growing either. As you can see from the pictures above, her hair is getting very long. It is still very curly when we get her out of the bath (her favorite time of the day--she loves the water.)
She is also quite the social creature. She is fought over to "do school" with here at the house. She is toted around and read history to or science or to be a "study partner" to the kids. She is pictured above with Maddy, who babysat for the very first time the other night for us while we went to caregroup. Maddy is learning to change poopy diapers and clean up the "cheese" (spit-up) as well as the fun activities.
The other caregroup Taylor watches her. I get a text message usually with the report but this past time I got a picture. Taylor had found her in her crib rolled over. Of course she waited until we all weren't watching :) She is very strong and we have been waiting for her to do it. We can't wait for repeat performances.
We have been focusing on nap-training. It has been a week of torture for mommy and Kate. She sleeps almost 12 hours at night, but her naps have been thus far all less than 40 minutes. We have been trying to train her to go back to sleep if she wakes up, but it has only resulted in two long naps and a lot more tears. We knew we would probably have a stubborn child, but I didn't know I would be so soft-hearted and that this would be so difficult. We are going back to just focusing on a longer afternoon nap. She has gotten so tired that it is only putting her to bed earlier,which isn't the point. It is such a small, temporary issue that I wish we could just ignore the need for a "schedule". Wiser women than myself have told me you don't want them to think they run the roost. So, we persist and persevere.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nutrition and Cooking Lab, Part One

I am teaching a nutrition and cooking lab this fall to two young friends as a lab science.
The first week, we discussed the idea of nutrition and basic kitchen skills.
One of the most interesting things about the study of nutrition is that it is a combination of many other disciplines, such as philosophy, gastronomy, anatomy & physiology, chemistry, social science, psychology and so on. Another of the basic points we covered was the make-up of nutrients: not only do we consider carbohydrates, fats and proteins, but also vitamins, minerals and water as essential for human nourishment.
In the kitchen, we discussed food safety. Do you know what temperature life begins at? Anything above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. That means even though you may put things into your fridge, doesn't mean it's safe from growing something.The most important numbers to remember are in the DANGER ZONE 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep cold foods below 40 and heat everything up above 140. Last week, we also discussed knife skills, since this is one of the most basic skills in the kitchen. Here's a video to discuss the proper use of a knife.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Two and a Half Months

She's 12 lbs and 23.25 inches long according to our checkup...and she survived all four shots. Aren't my pigtails cute! Thanks Miss Becky for the suggestion.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Announcement, Arriving

Here are the baby announcements that you all should be receiving in the mail. After many delays on my part, illness, and Kinkos errors, we are finally sending these out. Today Kate and I are off to our 2-ish month appointment. Hmmm... shots. That will be fun!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Life and Death

As I read through my emails that accumulated over the weekend, I received two emails that hit upon the same theme: life and death. My friend, Erin, a RN who is serving in an AIDS clinic in Mozambique wrote:
"To make a long story short, while we were at the restaurant a women committed suicide by jumping off our building. She was so close that we could see her body lying there covered with a sheet from our table. It was horrifying and unsettling. I woke up this morning still thinking about it and two main themes are going through my head. First, I praise God that He has revealed himself to me (and to us) and that we have a hope beyond this world. There is so much suffering in this world, in our lives, and to some degree in my life, that I know that I could not make it without hope in Christ. In Mozambique the suffering at times seems magnified. There is extreme poverty, rampant AIDS and sexual promiscuity, and broken families with practically non-exist father figures in most homes, to name a few of the difficulties here. People here cannot hide behind the mask of materialism like we can in the States. Without God, there appears no hope.
After thanking God for my own salvation and the hope I have within me, my heart is just breaking over the hopelessness that this women probably felt. No one can have lasting joy through these sufferings without the joy found in Christ. So I pray with more fervency now that God would shine His light here in Mozambique to bring His hope. I pray that God would give me opportunities to share the gospel and also my life and the reason for the hope that is within me. I pray that in my life there would be a joy that is constant through the valleys because of Christ’s presence in my life. As I am building relationships with the kids and with the Mozambican workers here, I pray that people would see that joy and desire it.
God has been revealing to me how important it is to “be joyful always; pray continually; and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18) Witnessing and contemplating this suicide last night makes me realize how much of a witness that joy and hope in Christ really can be.
So I also pray for each one of you that God’s joy would increase in your life and that this would overflow into your relationships with all people to draw them closer to Christ.

Then my father-in-law, Steve, sent us an encouraging thought along the same lines from the Hiedelberg Catechism:
“What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong-body and soul in life and in death- to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; In fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from how on to live for him.”

This gives me a renewed perspective of my purpose today, as I live in the comforts of the cross, our country, my church, and my home with my family. Thank you Lord for your mercies towards me.