Sunday, August 30, 2009

30 Year Milestone

Today our church celebrated a very special anniversary. Our pastor Warren and his wife Tillie have been serving our church body for 30 years. Three of their four children still attend our church. Wow. Thirty years. How many churches can say that? This special couple has stuck with us (the church) through lots of ups and downs over these many years. I myself have attended this church for something like sixteen years (I think).
Warren and Tillie did not want a fuss made for them today. They genuinely wanted all the glory to go to God as we celebrated this monumental anniversary. I thought the special service today was balanced well. There was much praise given to God for blessing our body with such wonderful servants as Warren and Tillie. But we also honored them for their tireless years of faithful service to us.
There was a video montage of pictures throughout the years. Showing church members that have come and gone. Church buildings and meeting places that came and went. Our church was homeless at times during these thirty years. We met in apartment club houses, school auditoriums, strip malls and finally were blessed to have our own building to call "home". That building burned down a few short years later and we were thankful to be permitted to share another church's facility while we went through the long and tedious process of rebuilding. What a blessing to go through all these things and grow even stronger as a church body.
I will say that this morning's service was bittersweet for me. While I was glad to be there with my fellow believers to share in this celebration of praise and thanks together, I was painfully reminded of the absence of some people that are near and dear to my heart. Not everyone sees the church as a body of believers who are the family of God. I think some people see church as a building a place that you come on Sunday mornings to dutifully make an appearance and go through the motions without being seen or heard. God wants our church to be our family. And we all know that families are messy. There are differences in opinion, feelings get hurt, some people work harder than others... its all part of it. But you go on loving and serving along side one another anyway. That is what Jesus would do and that is what Warren and Tillie have done faithfully for thirty years now. Thank you and God Bless.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Take on: Registries

Ok, these are just little tidbits that I have learned and I wish someone would have told me (not that I would have listened back then! ;-)

Wedding Registries
* Don't register for anything you would not actually buy yourself. If its too expensive for you to buy its probably too expensive for most of your friends and family too.
* Limit yourself to registering at one or two places. Seriously, what does Target have that Walmart does not? And vice versa, etc. It gets too confusing and overwhelming trying to keep track of multiple registries.
* Don't be afraid to ask a married friend or family member to help you register because they already have a home and will know what things you need and which ones you do not. I recommend taking said married friend instead of your future husband. Face it girls, he probably has very little interest in registering for anything that you need for your home. If he goes it'll just be to sneak in a few video games onto the registry.

Baby Registries

* Keep it Simple! You do not have to register for the child's entire life's worth of stuff. Trust me, as much fun as it is to open cute outfits and stuff at the shower, you will wish you'd just been given diapers! ;-)
* Don't register for stuff you would not actually buy yourself. If its too expensive for you to buy its probably too expensive for most of your friends and family too. And baby stuff is used for such a short time it usually doesn't make sense to spend alot of money on it.
* Again I will say have a friend or family member who has had babies before come with you. There is so much stuff out there that looks cute or handy but its so hard to know what you need before you have your own. Get advice on what essentials are worth registering for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grandma Says

Grandma Says, a publication of Growing Child

Articles that appear from Grandma Says are focused on general parenting practices and philosophy and are not as age-specific as articles that appear in Growing Child.

"Grandma Says" is a feature of Growing Child and we encourage you to send your comments to:


You always knew there must be some secret list that all those perfect parents had access to, the list that would remove any difficulties you have with your children forever--right?

Actually, there is such a list, published in a wonderful little book, titled Parents, Please Don't Sit on Your Kids, by Clare Cherry. (Unfortunately, the book is out of print now, but see if your public library has a copy.)

In it, Cherry offers the magic list as reminders of alternatives to typical punitive discipline responses that many parents resort to out of frustration.

Here, with a couple of explanatory words, is the magic list. You can copy just the main ideas to make your own list to post inside a kitchen cabinet for those challenging moments.

1. Anticipate trouble. Consider the ages and personalities of your children to guess their likely responses to situations and people. You can control the physical environment to minimize stress.

2. Give gentle reminders. Demeaning children or nagging them into oblivion doesn't work. Instead, reminders may be just one word, such as "helping" or "waiting", or even a nonverbal nod of the head ("yes, that's okay"), or shake of the head ("no, not now).

3. Distract the child's attention from what she's doing to a positive model. Compliment one child on a positive behavior, and see how quickly a sibling will want that positive attention as well. (Use this one sparingly and carefully, to avoid creating sibling issues.)

4. Inject humor. A note of humor (not sarcasm) can interrupt a deteriorating situation. Remember, this is laughing with children, not at them.

5. Offer choices. When possible, offer children choices that are acceptable to you. Freedom to make choices makes it more likely that children will cooperate, as well as learn to make good decisions.

6. Give praise or compliments. Sincere praise, not over-used, reinforces those behaviors that you enjoy in your child.

7. Offer encouragement. Related to praise, this is another way of giving your children respect for what they are attempting to accomplish at their own level, not in comparison with others, and helping them learn to overcome obstacles.

8. Clarify messages. Leave no room for misunderstanding, and make sure you have children's attention before using language that they can understand.

9. Overlook small annoyances. Otherwise known as, don't sweat the small stuff. If you find yourself getting annoyed frequently, ask yourself whether this situation is indeed worthy of a battle.

10. Deliberately ignore provocations. This method can gradually eliminate an undesirable pattern of behavior. By giving no kind of reinforcement to annoying behavior, eventually those behaviors will disappear, particularly when you are careful to give children specific attention during times of acceptable behavior.

11. Reconsider the situation. Nothing is set in concrete. Reconsidering decisions can foster sensible handling of potentially difficult situations or conflicts.

12. Point out natural or logical consequences. Help young children see the connections between their actions and the results of their behavior. When these behaviors and results are presented as a means of explanation, not as a moral judgment or punishment, consequences help children see the sense in acting in a certain way.

13. Provide renewal time. Notice that this is not the punitive isolation of "time out," but an opportunity to calm down, renew themselves, and regain composure.

14. Give hugs and caring. Frequent demonstrations of caring provide an atmosphere in which children just want to behave well.

15. Arrange discussion among the children. This is a big topic we'll need to go back to soon, but for now understand the idea that children need help in communicating with other children to solve their problems.

16. Provide discussion with an adult. In avoiding power struggles, clear communication is important.

That is the magic list. It's mostly good, common sense with nothing really magic about it. There is an emphasis on finding ways to keep feelings from flaring out of control, and ways to live together humanely.

© Growing Child 2009 Please feel free to forward this article to a friend.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Scrap Challenge

Ok, so my scrappin' sisters and I have been giving each other these scrappin' challenges to livin' up our scrapbooking and to help each other try to techniques and branch out of our crafting rut - er, I mean, style. ;-)

So I thought I would share my current challenge with the other Sunday Scrappers!! Here goes:

- Two page layout - the sketch and sample are from the August PageMaps and pictured below
- must include four or more pictures - and get this... YOU must be in one or more of the photos
- must include at least three different patterned paper, and at least two solids
- must include at least one paper piecing (here is a link to some piecing ideas at Scrapbooks Etc
* bonus points for using something(s) that are not actually intended for scrapbooking

Feel free to include anyone you want in the challenge, I've cc'd a couple friends to entice them into joining in the scrapping fun. If you are going to participate you may email me a pix of your pages or post them on your blog or facebook and send me links. The challenge will be open until the end of the month. I'll announce the winner and send out the prize sometime in the first week of September.

That is all for now. Let me know if you have any questions. Now get to scrappin'!! ;-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Go Cubs Go

A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I went to Cincy for a Cubs-Reds ballgame. Isaac's family has always been big Cubs fans. I come from a non-sports family so I've had to adjust to having a team/sport to watch at any given time. I'm still a work in progress. ;-)
So this was my first "real" baseball game (I've been to minor league games before), and our first Cubs game together. What fun! Seriously, being at the game in person is so much more fun that watching it on tv. And let me just say it was a sea of blue!! We both decided that there were definitely more Cubs fans than there were Reds fans.
It was a great game. There were some great plays and the Cubs WON!! Isaac rubbed it in to our friends who are Reds fans.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scrappin' Retreat

This weekend my scrappin' sisters and I did a DIY scrapbooking retreat. We were blessed to be able to use my inlaws' lakehouse for free. We drove up on Friday afternoon and stayed through Sunday afternoon. We were all in the "zone" and got some awesome pages done, including some challenge pages. Each of us created a kit of our own design with paper, embellishments, etc. It was interesting to see how different our pages were even though they were done with the same supplies. Here is a slideshow of the pages from the weekend. Let me know what you think.

For more awesome papercrafts check out Sunday Scrappin'.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Knock on Wood

So... after what feels like the longest potty training ever I think Nate has finally got it. We finally got serious and broke down and had him wear underwear even though he wasn't showing much of an effort. We had a week or two of having to clean up accidents on a daily basis. Which was exhausting and annoying and gross. Seriously, cleaning poop out of underwear is way worse than just changing a diaper.
Then about two weeks ago something must have finally clicked. Nate was playing and all of a sudden he said "my poop is ready to come out" and he went to the bathroom and that was it! He's been doing it ever since! We have not had any accidents during the day. We're still putting him in pullups for bed and I'm cool with that.
We took him to Chuck-E-Cheese as a reward for staying clean and dry and going in the potty. Throughout the evening we kept reminding Nate why we got to go there. Later we asked him why we went to Chuck-E-Cheese and he replied "POOP!". It was pretty funny!
I'm so thankful to only be changing (and buying) diapers for one kid now. And Nate feels like he is a real big boy now. Its a win-win! Hallelujah!!