Monday, April 30, 2007

Around the House

Random pics

We've had a good week at home this week. No one has been sick. And we haven't done any traveling. And the weather's been perfect. Truly made for a good week. Here are the little updates:


~Charlie has improved in his speech so much. He's even more clear as he talks and can truly tell stories now. Like today he said, "Sometimes it rains outside, and sometimes it doesn't rain outside."

~Charlie's also become quite bossy. Chuck says, "I wonder where he got that from?" (me). I guess it goes with the whole strong -willed leader personality, and with being a big brother. But he even bosses Chuck and me around. Anytime I play with him, he tells me what to do the whole time. Last night as he was watching tv (and I was on the laptop), I heard things like, "Mommy, you go turn that light off? Mommy, you cook me a hot dog? Mommy, you go get my Lightning McQueen out of my room?" And somedays I get so sick of hearing "Mommy." Mommy this, Mommy that, all day long. I know I should treasure it, but literally I think he said it over a thousand times one day.

~We're getting closer to potty training. This week I often made excuses for needing to delay putting on his diaper, so he would just go on the potty. Pretty soon he liked it. Now on the days he goes diaperless, he potties all day. On the days we have diapers, still no pottying. But at least we're getting closer.

~And to help with the pottying thing, I've decided the boys can swim naked in their little pool. I am sure the neighbors love that, hehe. But I've given up on keeping them in swim trunks/ swimming diapers. The boys have so much fun in the nude, and it's just so cute and innocent. I have lots of funny pics, but of course, I'm not about to post'em ;)

Random pics
[Charlie drinks from the sprinklers over his pool.]

~To follow up with how Charlie's behaving in Bible class, this week was his last week and once again, the teacher said he did great. No issues. Whew!


~Chance has been growing! Just yesterday as I got him out of his crib, there was a noticeable difference in his size! He's getting taller, for sure. And he's still working on words. So far, he's mastered: Momma, Daddy, hi, Bye Bye, waffle (although it's more like "favul"), woof woof, choo choo, night night, vroom, bath, Nana, and banana. He's working on: kitty, grape, out, all done, more, and ball. It's fun to say a word to him and hear him try to imitate it. He gets really close most of the time.

Random pics
[Chance always eats double-fisted; with both hands!]

~Chance has also been into taking his diaper off before going to sleep. Like, at least 4 times in the last week. He also loves to throw his pacifiers out of the crib. It's amazing how easily those things get lost!

~He's no longer the good little sitter he used to be. When we go to stores, he's not so content to sit in the cart/stroller. And at home he usually fights sitting in the high chair. So I've started letting him sit at the table, although he's really too short to reach the food. Maybe it's time to go to booster seats?

~Chance is so much fun to watch go down stairs. He basically does a controlled slide. It's hilarious!

~Today as I grabbed the camera to take a pic of Chance, he said "Cheeeee". I think he was trying to say Cheese. What's funny about that is I don't normally tell the boys to say Cheese, I just photograph them in whatever they're doing. Charlie, however, does like to run around the house with his play camera and tell everyone to say Cheese. So that must be where he got it. What a smart little guy!

~Chance also loves to play "peek-a-boo." He loves to run into another room and have you call "Where is Chance?" He gives himself away by laughing. Then he likes to come around the corner, and for you to say "There's Chance! Peek-A-Boo!!"

Random pics
[Chance got "stuck" in this barstool this morning. It was so funny! He had no idea how to get out. I guess I'm a mean Mommy for taking pics instead of rescuing him ;)]

I've been trying to stay home more to conserve money and spend more time with the kids, and I must say I truly enjoy it. The continuous housework gets a little old, but I could hang with the boys forever. Makes me sad to think someday they'll be in school! But I've got a couple more years to enjoy this, and that's what I'm gonna do...Until my next blog :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Fiesta!

~Lately Charlie's really into competition and reverse psychology. For instance, I'll ask him if he wants to talk to whoever I'm on the phone with, and he'll say, "No." Then I will tell him, "That's ok, only I can talk to (whoever)!" Then he comes running, wanting to talk on the phone. This works for goodnight hugs and kisses, eating dinner, etc. So last night, Chuck tried it, telling Charlie he was going to go lay in Charlie's bed. But Charlie outsmarted him, and said, "No, I'm gonna go sleep in your bed, Daddy!" Then Chuck called me to peek in our room. In less than 30 seconds, Charlie was passed out on our bed...

Who's that sleeping in my bed?!

So, being the proud parents and camera freaks that we are, we spent about 10 minutes trying to get a good shot with the low lighting. Ha!

~Anyhow, today a neighbor invited us to a Mini Fiesta. Her daughter is in a Mom's Day Out school at a local church, and the school was throwing the party. Since Charlie always asks to go to school, I thought this might give him a good taste, but to my amazement, he was too overwhelmed by the busyness to even enter her classroom. It's an odd thing for Charlie to become shy! But then we went to the Fiesta, and he had a blast. Of course, I took some pictures...

Mini Fiesta Mini Fiesta Mini Fiesta Mini Fiesta

And I must say, I was sooo proud of Chance. The party was around his nap time, so I thought it might be hard on him. But because he was tired, he just sat in his stroller the whole time, without complaint. It's nice when things actually go better than expected!

Mini Fiesta

Chuck joined us on his lunch break, and Charlie got him with a confetti egg.

Mini Fiesta

Here's our neighbor, Mandy, and her daughter, Luciana, playing basketball. Luciana is such a beautiful little girl, and I love the expression on her face!

Mini Fiesta

Once we got home, both boys went down for naps without a fight, so I can blog. Isn't that sweet?! Happy Fiesta!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Really Should be in Bed

but it's storming outside, which is keeping Charlie & me awake. So whaddaya do but write a blog?! :)

Please vote for me starting May 7th. There's a photo contest Chuck had told me about, which I just entered. There are three rounds, so this is the first and the theme is "the meaning of life." If you want to vote for my entry (in 2 weeks), click here. If you want to enter the contest yourself, click here.

This is what I've posted:

"The meaning of life is found in loving relationships. The Love of God led to finding my husband. The Love of my husband led to this precious new life. This is symbolized by the wedding rings. We were created for loving relationships, with our Creator, our family, our friends. We need each other and we need love, as seen by his tiny hand grasping mine. Loving relationships are truly the meaning of life."

Alright, I'm going to try to catch some winks. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And 28 brings me... first gray hair!

I never felt old until I had kids. Still, I know 28 is not old, but I am feeling "older." 2 weeks ago, I found my first gray hair. While it can be easily hidden (so far), I know I have many more to come, and in many ways I'll begin to show the marks of being an adult, and no longer a youth. It's not really traumatic (yet), and as long as Chuck has more than me (he has 2 gray hairs!), then I can handle it. (Love you, Babe!!). But the inevitable cycle of life has become more apparent to me. While I hope that I'm wiser than I was ten years ago, I know I can't relive those last 10 years and I won't get them back. Each day, month, and year is so important because this is my one chance to live this season of my life. And it's weird how, as time goes on, and as I see more people dying, even death becomes more acceptable. Of course, I hope it won't come for another 60+ years for me, but I can accept that my life is moving in that direction now. Losing 3 of my grandparents and an uncle in the last 2 years has helped me see this, I think. And considering how quickly my boys are growing, and how time seems to be flying by now, I know I'll be looking in the mirror tomorrow and realize it's been another 10 years. Funny how we long to "grow up" as kids, wishing the years would go more quickly, but then we get there and wish time would pass slowly, like it did when we were kids. (Does that make sense?)

Anyhow, this weekend I went on a small Women's Retreat with my church and was just amazed by it. There were over 50 women, who were all so loving, and there was no gossip or bitterness, just sweet attitudes. Most of the women were older. I only hope that as I age, I will be like them. There were women there that I just wanted to sit at their feet and learn the lessons their life experiences have taught them. How'd they raise such good kids? How did they keep their marriages strong and healthy? Where did they find their worth? How did they survive the many great trials they went through? Where did they run for comfort and healing? It was an honor to be rubbing shoulders with women who'd lived their lives, and were so honest about their victories and their failures, and cared enough to share it with those of us who were younger. And these women do it on a daily basis at church. They lead Bible studies for younger women, they mentor, they reach out. It was an awesome time of being encouraged and challenged for me. These women were living examples of Titus 2:3-5:

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God."

OHC Women's Leadership Retreat
[This is me, showing off the wildflowers I picked on the roadside this about a retreat!]

I'm so amazed at the birthday gifts I've been given this year. They were all so extravagant: the Wii, the new camera, the weekend with Chuck in Marble Falls. And yet this one seemed like a gift from the Lord Himself, knowing my need to be mentored and discipled. Not only to have wisdom for what lies ahead, but to know women who have walked this road, and to know that I can do it, because they did. He knew better than I did how much this would help!

I can't help but be in awe...

...even if He gave me a gray hair!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:
~ Last night as Chuck tucked Charlie in, he rubbed his back and said, "You're getting so big, Charlie!" Charlie responded, "Yeah, I'm getting bigger. When I get really big, and really tall I'll be like Big Daddy. And my belly will be really tall like Big Daddy, too! Really tall like a mountain!!"

~ Today Charlie asked me for something, so I told him to ask Daddy. He then yelled up the stairs, "Hey Babe, I need you to come down here and help me!"

~A few days ago, as I prepared Charlie for a spanking, I told him that if he fought me, he'd get 3 spankings, but if he stood still, he'd only get one. For the first time ever, he stood still, and I spanked him once. He then told me matter-of-factly, "That didn't even hurt!" It was really hard not to laugh. I wanted to tell him he should keep that to himself! :) Instead I told him if he disobeyed again, the next spanking would definitely hurt!

The Bad:
~ Chance has many knots on his head. While Charlie had many bruises on his forehead at this age from running and falling, Chance is usually more cautious and less bruised. About a month ago, as we set on our concrete steps (the kind with pebbles), Chance sat a couple of stairs up from me. We were all blowing bubbles, until somehow, Chance landed head first onto the stair. He immediately had a big goose-egg bump on his head, just inside his hairline.

~THEN a few days later, I had the gate open to our porch, so if Chance wanted to come down to where I was, just below the porch in the flower beds, he could. What I didn't realize, is he would try to take his ride-on Mater down with him. Thus, he has three more bumps on his poor little head. I think he knows now that the stairs and Mater don't mix.

~Chance is also covered in ant bites! Poor guy! I had the sprinklers going for the boys to play in. I was about to strip Chance down when he started crying. I thought it was because his pants had gotten wet, so I didn't take them off immediately. But soon I realized they were crawling up his legs. Chance had ants in his pants! ha! Anyhow, by the time I get him stripped, he had bites from toe to neck. It was terrible.

The Ugly:
~I recently found out that Charlie has been acting up in his class on Tuesdays (Bible Class). At first I thought his teacher didn't care for him much, but now I know it's because he was making her job very difficult. Funny how such a thing never crossed my mind! This was his first bad report ever. I was humbled a bit! I found out that he was feeding off the energy of another boy in the class, and together they were quite troublesome and also the natural leaders of the class, so all the other kids would rebel, too. He was just short of leading riots! Argh. Until he hit 3 years old, he usually only rebelled against me (and Chuck), but now it's everyone. I had always hoped that somehow if I disciplined him right, he wouldn't rebel against anyone else. :( Anyhow, before class this week I told him to obey his teachers or they would get me and I would take him home. As I picked him up later, his teacher said he was a changed child! My only regret is we're resolving this so late in the semester, and we only have one more class left.

~Charlie's also become aggressive that last few weeks. Do all boys go through this? Is it a stage?? I hope so! Until now, he had always surprised me with how considerate he was toward his brother. But lately he's turned mean toward Chance, and to me as well. Not only does he get physically aggressive, he even yells mean things. Needless to say, he's been disciplined a lot lately. And there's something about disciplining him that wears me out. I wish it was easy, and he would just get it.

~So it was with hesitation that I sent Charlie to his grandparents' last weekend, knowing how rebellious and aggressive he's been. [A little background: my dad was practically near tears anytime I would spank Charlie when he was younger. He said he couldn't imagine doing that. It's really funny if you know how big and tough my dad is! And how he disciplined us kids!] Anyhow, the first evening there, as they were getting out of the tub, Charlie kicked Chance for no reason. When he saw that it didn't hurt, he reached back to brace himself, and kicked him again! My dad witnessed the whole thing, and brought him into another room, talked to him and then gave him a good spanking! He said that since Charlie was still diaperless, it made quite an impact. He said he was a perfect and happy kid the rest of the weekend.

Yet, I have to balance this with the times that Charlie is so good. He often shows care for Chance, without our prompting. He shares with him and plays with him. It's hard to not smile as you hear them laugh at each other. I know Charlie has a strong will, which could mean he could be a good leader someday. It's just the getting-there that worries me! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Let's Go Shoot Ducks"

"Let's Go Shoot Ducks," Chuck says as he grabs his camera and whisks out the cabin door.

And it's in these moments that I think, I can't imagine life being any better than this.

Marble Falls Weekend

This weekend my dad and stepmom gave us a great treat: a weekend at a cabin in Marble Falls, and they watched the boys the whole time. We've been to the cabin about once a year for the last few years, and it never disappoints. I now understand why people buy "vacation homes," as I find myself yearning for a weekend away to the cabin when times get tough.

Marble Falls Weekend
[If you look closely, there's a butterfly in the tree.]

So, we had an incredible time. Chuck did all the cooking, we practiced our photography, we drove around the area sight-seeing, went shopping, watched movies, the works. Even played the Wii! One highlight was when we settled into the rocking chairs on the porch, about to enjoy a wonderful dinner on Friday, all of a sudden a storm blew in. One moment, bright sunny day, next moment, very dark clouds and high winds. We had to rush to get all our food and things inside. This storm cell evidently had spun off some tornadoes elsewhere, and I could believe it!! It was exciting, nonetheless. The other highlight, was getting to stay up late reading (yes, I'm a nerd, I love reading!), and getting to sleep in for two mornings in a row! Even just one morning is a luxury!

Marble Falls Weekend
[We watched this deer come within 15 feet of us, just before the storm blew in]

It always feels like a week-long vacation, even though it's only a weekend. But just as we savored every moment of our break, we also missed the boys greatly. It was great to get them back, get home, and just enjoy some family time. Chuck and Charlie baked a cake, and they all sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Even Chance, kept singing " you," as he devoured his piece.

Also, I caught a few pics of the boys this afternoon when we got home:
Marble Falls Weekend Marble Falls Weekend Marble Falls Weekend

What a weekend. And it's not even my birthday yet! Times like this make me so in awe and grateful to God, the Giver of all good things. Everything in my life, especially the people, are such blessings to me.

Truly life couldn't get any better than this.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I Love the Hill Country

The longer I live in it, the more it grows on me.

I also love having a good excuse to drive through the hills. I get to do a lot of that now that I live in San Antonio, as I drive half-way to Austin to meet my parents (to send the boys back and forth). We meet in a little town called Blanco. I bring all this up because the creeks I pass on the way actually have water, due to the recent rains. There hasn't been water since before we moved, so I'm getting to see it for the first time. Here's a low water crossing, for instance, on the way to Blanco:


I've found yet another reason to love the hill country! If you live in the area, and need something to do to unwind, take a hill country drive. It's truly therapeutic to the soul. And absolutely beautiful this season.

So, in Blanco, Charlie was so happy to a new car from the movie Cars, and the "Mack" truck. This is him at the restaurant, launching "Lightning Mcqueen."


He also recently got the racetrack to go with Lightning, and he is such a happy camper. I see now why movies make so much money off of the kids' merchandise! ;)

And also at the restaurant, Chance decided his chip must have salsa, so I let him try it. It was spicy, but he didn't complain. He just let the tears run down his cheeks as he happily employed his newfound skill of dipping.


He also cherished the drinks of water!

Then we went for a walk along the Blanco river. Sometimes I get these romantic thoughts of how wonderful the day will go with the boys since we're exploring a new place. Then my expectations come crashing down when I realize how unrealistic I am. Chance spent the entire time wanting to run and jump into the river. Needless to say, it was a short walk. This is him, crying, because Nana won't let him run...


Anyhow, I hope you're getting to enjoy the weather outdoors, and even take a walk or drive...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy Easter!

Ah, so much to share...

First, some catching up to do.

~Thursday Charlie went to the dentist for the first time. He was dressed as the Easter bunny, so that was pretty cool. Charlie was so cooperative and the nurse told me he did better than most of the three year olds she sees. She cleaned his teeth, did x-rays, plus his exam. What a trooper! Don't you love it when things actually go smoothly?! I, however, learned I shouldn't bring Chance...I spent the entire visit chasing him around the office!

Charlie at the Dentist Charlie at the Dentist

~Later, Charlie was just about to eat his sample toothpaste when I busted him. That's the second time this week he's tried to eat toothpaste! Then, he proceeded to tie up the dining room table and chairs with his new floss!

~On to Chance. Chance has a new skill, in that he loves to dip food. Chips and salsa, fries and ketchup, etc. And he usually looks like this afterwards:
Chance Discovers Ketchup

And the main event: Easter!

Chance was not so interested in egg hunting as he was in his new bubbles!

Easter 2007

Easter 2007
And this is my favorite pic of the day (good job, Chuck!!)...Chance and the dog.

Charlie loved the egg hunt and playing with his cousins.
Easter 2007

As for Chuck and I, having 2 cameras is overkill I think. Just call us "The Thier paparazzi."

Easter 2007 Easter 2007

[If you look closely, in my hair is confetti...we also had fun with the bigger cousins!]

On the way home, Chance serenaded us with his new language skills:
Daddy Mommy Byebye

Add to My Profile | More Videos

And I'm off, to try to clean and get my Bible study done. Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Happy Good Friday!

Ok, that title sounds a little off, considering this is the day we observe as Jesus' crucifixion. "Happy Crucifixion Day"?! Maybe "Happy Jesus-Made-Atonement-For-Our-Sins Day" sounds a little better. Ah, forget it. "Happy Early Easter!"

Anyhow, now that I have a child that is teachable about these traditions, I've been trying to think of ways to teach Charlie about what the significance of this day/week. But I can't think of much. Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, all of the kids in "Bible Class" at church went on a little fieldtrip outside. They sang praise songs. It was so fun to watch all these precious kids singing "Hosanna, Jesus is my King!" Charlie sang it a lot that day. They explained how the people waved the palm branches to show that they believed Jesus was their King, and said "Hosanna," which means "Save me!" A boy rode by on a donkey and the kids waved their branches. Then each kid was allowed to pet the donkey. Charlie made everyone laugh with his own donkey noises. It was cute!

The cool thing I learned later in the sermon (in big church), is that there will be a reenactment of this in Heaven, where all the people who have been saved will wave their palm branches for The King of Kings. [Revelation 7:9-12: After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"] The people didn't say "Hosanna" anymore, because their King had already saved them. I guess Charlie's a little young to understand this part, but someday...

But other than that, I haven't figured out what else to teach Charlie. Is a 3 year old too young to be taught about the cross, and death? Does anyone have any ideas, or suggestions of what you've done with your own kids at this age?

The one thing we did do this year was dye Easter eggs. I know these have nothing to do with the Christian story, but it was fun for Charlie...and for me! I felt like a kid again. ;) And then we had an easter egg hunt. We haven't let Chance see them yet, for fear he'll break or eat them before the big family hunt on Sunday.

Getting Ready for Easter

And on a random note: If you're in the mood for Christian things, watch the movie "The Nativity Story." I was afraid it'd be another Hollywoodized version of the story, but it was very well done. While there was some filling in between the lines, it did a good job of staying true to the Biblical account. And surprisingly, it was also dramatized very well. (Usually if it's accurate, it's cheesy acting) It's definitely a must-see, now out on dvd. I'd say it's worth owning.

However, also let me hopefully save you the waste of money when it comes to "The Pursuit of Happyness." While Will Smith and his son did an incredible job of acting, the plot lacked substance. It glorified the main character, and it glorified wealth as being what makes you happy. You see the guy work hard, and it pays off. End of story. It lacked much of a moral and wasn't worth being rented in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Show and Tell

Sometimes I get so excited about taking pictures and blogging, I feel like a kindergartner, bringing things to Show & Tell. :)

Here are a few of my favorite pictures that I took that first day with the new camera. Oh, and Charlie's not in these because he moves too fast for me to get many pictures of him! But Chance was all about posing for me that day (that's unusual!).

Angie's New Camera Angie's New Camera Angie's New Camera

These two show how Chance's eyes change colors (or really it's an illusion, but you know what I mean). So are they blue or green? You decide.

Angie's New Camera Angie's New Camera

Speaking of eyes, I can totally get lost in Charlie's. I guess you can tell I'm so in love with my kids (and Chuck, too!). Yesterday, randomly, Charlie said, "Mommy, you my best friend!" It was so sweet. Then I said, "You're my best friend," and he said, "No, I just your friend." Ah, the mind of a 3 year old...

Angie's New Camera

And a couple of fun ones:

Angie's New Camera Angie's New Camera

If you are a parent, I hope that you have a digital camera and use it often! I'm so thankful for this technology, that allows me to take so many (ok, sometimes, too many) pictures!

Charlie Wii Bowling Videos

So, Myspace has made video uploads easier... And blogging just got that much more fun!

More Charlie Wii Bowling

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Charlie Wii Bowling

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Greatest Mystery of the Universe

Psalms 8:3-4
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

Lately my head has been dwelling on this simple yet profound truth...

To me, the greatest mystery of the universe is not how it began, but how it relates to us. How could the Creator of the Universe love me? To me, this fact alone may be the reason many people don't accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. It's just too hard to understand, and defies human logic.

How could a perfect, Almighty God care about rebellious, unrepentant, irreverent sinners? Why would He? I've heard this thought before, but it's struck me lately, how great a mystery this is. I guess I've always just thought, "but He does, and I'm going to be grateful." But have you ever really thought about it?! Why didn't He wipe out Mankind the day Adam and Eve fell? Or why did He bother saving Noah when He flooded the Earth? He knew we would always be rejecting Him. He knew even His people would betray Him, spit in His face, have Him killed. Why bother? When You have all the strength in the universe, why let these little peons cause You such great pain?!

While we may not have any answers from Scripture, we know that this is a fact. He does love us. He does care. He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked, but longs that all should come to repentance. He is love. He is the very definition of it, and while He doesn't do things exactly as we'd have Him to, and He allows suffering, He's never done anything that wasn't from a motive of love (even in anger, which also amazes me).

But as I was contemplating this, a mighty God caring for broken men, it occurred to me that He has given us a glimpse of why. [Please note these are only my thoughts, not anything I know of in the Bible] Maybe there's a piece to this puzzle found in parenthood. One of the lesser mysteries of the universe is the love a parent has for a child. How is it that a woman can so quickly forget the intense pain of childbirth the moment her baby is laid in her arms? How is it that selfish men and women will show such great unselfish dedication to a child that doesn't understand why, doesn't truly appreciate or respect them, who even sometimes treats them with contempt and anger instead of love and honor...simply because this is their child? It's truly something you cannot understand until you experience it yourself. As a parent, you possess an instinctive love for the child you had a part in creating. But where'd the "instinct" come from? Could it be from the One who created us? Could it be that He possesses that same love for us? Would He design that instinct in us so we might have a taste of how He feels?

I definitely don't pretend to have this figured out, but there's one fact I've become more and more assured of: He loves us. Sure, it's an uplifting thought, but it's gaining more weight in my mind as I realize what a sinner I am, and what that sin does to Him. He holds the right and power to grant justice for my sin. That would be very bad news for me. Yet, He has mercy, grace and love towards me. And just as I, to a lesser degree, love my sons without condition, so He loves me. But how does that affect me; how do I respond? This is where my thoughts have been the most. Sure, it means I can trust Him to care for me no matter what trials come in my life. I can pray and know that He hears and He cares. But it also means I shouldn't take that grace lightly. If I truly get just how big of a deal this is, that He's adopted me into His family and cares for me as His child, I would do all I can to respect Him, honor Him, serve Him, obey Him, love Him! I wouldn't flippantly say, "Well, thanks for caring, even dying, for me, now I'm going to live my life for myself."

To do so would be to miss the whole point, and to miss the mystery.

Angie's New Camera

Romans 5:6-8
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Ephesians 1:4-9
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ..."

Ephesians 3:17b-19
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

The Boys' Latest Sayings

Angie's New Camera
[Pictures taken with my new camera, see below :)]

There have been a few sayings lately that I've wanted to record:

Angie's New Camera


"It's not a pop-SICLE, it's a pop-SIZZLE."

"Brother hurt my fevers (instead of feelings)."

Angie's New Camera


"What's this?"

"All done."

"Choo-Choo" (sounds more like "dhoo-dhoo")

"Yumm" anytime he sees food or drink.

"Bye-Bye" and waves (even when we're not leaving, but he wants to leave).

It boggles my mind that Chance is starting to say words so clearly. Just doesn't seem right for a (small) 15 month old to be saying words, even phrases!

Angie's New Camera

Oh, and watch out world, Angie's upgraded to a dslr camera! :) Since Chuck got his fancy dslr a year ago, the photography bug has bitten me. In the last 3 years I've taken more pictures than in the rest of my life. Funny how having kids will do that to you! But once Chuck upgraded, I realized how much better the dslr can take a picture... So this weekend we found a used one for me. I'm so excited about learning how to use this majestic thing! But the big challenge will be to keep it away from the kids, as they are prone to breaking our electronics.

Angie's New Camera

These are the boys' new toothbrushes. The suction cups on the bottom have proven to be a source of endless entertainment!