Saturday, February 20, 2010

Julia's 2!!!

Wow! I can't believe it's been two years since Julia was tiny like Ava. I don't know how she grew so big so fast! I keep looking at Ava and wishing she would stay tiny a while longer, but at the rate she's growing, that won't be happening. =)
Julia is such a joy to have in our home. She's sweet and funny and cuddly. She worries when others are hurt or sad and loves to comfort them. She's constantly bringing me "babies" (little nothings cupped in the palm of her hand) with owies and asking me to kiss them. The she cuddles them next to her face and gives them lovies until they feel better. She copies Kylie constantly. She wants to be just like her big sister. And she's talking ALL the time just like Ethan was at that age. "I don't like that!" "That too loud!" "Kylie owie me" "You no do that me." Yes, she's pretty bossy.
Julia loves to wear her "nina" - a ballerina skirt or dress. It has to be pink and it has to twirl. And once she finds one, that is ALL she'll wear. She screams otherwise.
That brings me to the loud Julia. She has been known to wake up crabby and scream virtually all day over everything - like she did yesterday. She was the crabbiest birthday girl I've ever met. She even screamed while we sang her "Happy Birthday". She likes to tell me she wants something, and then when I give it to her, she throws it and screams bloody murder. I have no idea why, but she's been doing it since she was born. Crabby child. Actually, she's determined and emotional - a dangerous combination.
She knows all about Jesus living in heaven. She loves to point to the ceiling and say, "Jesus. Heaven." And she walks around singing the sweetest little songs that I can't understand most of the time. But I hear the words "Jesus" and "God" alot, so I think she's singing praises to Him. I need to video it, because it's the sweetest thing. =)
I always wanted a little boy who looked just like his daddy. But I guess I'll have to be good with Julia. She reminds me of her daddy so often! It makes me smile. =)
I pray that Julia keeps her innocent sweetness and her joy for life. I pray that she stays compassionate towards those around her and that she learns to control her temper. I pray that she grows in love for Jesus.
Happy birthday, my little girl!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Tithing" by Douglas Leblanc

I saw the title of this book, and thought, "I can always use a challenge to be less selfish and more generous with my money right?"
"Tithing" didn't quite meet my expectations, however. It is a journalistic account of 11 people's lives and their views on tithing - not necessarily being generous, but the notion of giving 10%. These people range from a peace activist to a widely - read Christian author to an Orthodox Jew. So while all of the advice is "good" morally speaking, only some of it is from a Biblical perspective. And some of the Biblical advice is very legalistic.
The author writes in a journalistic style that is disjointed at times. He spent more time telling me about people's lives than about their views on tithing. He throws out names, places, and dates quickly with very little context. This confused me.
However, Leblanc did manage to get across a few good challenges. My favorite quote was from Randy Alcorn.
“If you take the standard of 10 percent and say God required it of the poorest people in Old Testament Israel, and now that we’re under the grace of Jesus and we have the indwelling Holy Spirit and we live in this incredibly affluent culture, do you think he would expect less of us?”

I wrote this review as part of Thomas Nelson's book review blogger program. Learn more at

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things I've learned after 6 1/2 years and 4 kids

~You can't MAKE a two year old go potty in the big-girl potty.
~NEVER try to do shoe or clothes shopping with kids.
~Force your firstborn to be a perfect, calm child, and maybe the rest will follow his example. =)
~If you want your kids' clothes to match when they're in elementary, DO NOT let them pick their own clothes when they're 2 or 3!
~Be prepared for virtually every meal you slave over in the kitchen to be disliked (vocally!) by someone.
~Try not to arrive anywhere exciting after bedtime. The kids will NOT go back to sleep for hours - even if it is 3:00 in the morning.
~Bribery works.
~Two toilets, a toy room, and a big backyard are necessities.
~So are pink "ninas", sparkle shoes, sticks, various small pieces of scrap metal, and fruit snacks and animal crackers.
~Homeschooling a six year old while being a mommy to a preschooler, a toddler, and an infant is hard.
~Never allow anyone to scream EVEN ONCE, even in fun!!! This is VERY important if you want to be able to hear when you're 40.
~Try to find kids vitamins that are all the same color.
~When you're pregnant with your first baby, buy the nicest stuff you can afford. The crib, stroller, swing, carseats, and changing table will be used over and over forever. You will appreciate that these things still work by your fourth baby!
~Scrapbooking is fun, but you will get hopelessly behind when trying to stay current in 5 scrapbooks at once.
~You will be late everywhere.
~Expensive toys are overrated. They either break or the kids get tired of them in a week. They'd rather play with the box or a rock anyway.
~It's important to try to stay in control of yourself. If you lose it, your kids will too.
~Books with flaps ALWAYS get ruined first.
~Never buy clothes your child doesn't like because you think they're cute. She won't wear jeans even if they do have pink sparkly butterflies on them.
~PRAY!!! Constantly.