Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Best Kid Ever

Charlie's self portrait

Charlie recently asked if he could take pictures with our point and shoot camera. Finally, he's old enough to know how to do it without breaking the camera. So the picture above is one of those that he took (along with quite a few of his toys, ha!).

It just strikes me that he's growing so fast. He's looking less like a little boy everyday. He's reminding more of a kindergartener than a little kid. He's getting easier to discipline, although he's also getting more crafty at getting into trouble. He tells stories, asks many questions, helps me a lot, misses his friends and family, and wants to learn all that he can. He's learning the names of the weekdays and asks, "Is today Saturday?" and I tell him it is, he tells me "Saturn is a planet with rings around it." Hehe. He's also learning that all the days aren't named after the planets.

The best I could get

This morning as he was doting on Chandler he said, "You're the best baby ever." I asked if he's sure, since Chandler wasn't a girl, and he said, "Yeah, he's still the best baby." Then he said, "I will love you forever, baby Chandwer."

And I can't help but think, "Charlie you're the best kid ever. Even if you are strong-willed, ha!"

"And I will love you forever."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tag Blog

I've been tagged a couple of times, and finally decided to blog it:

Here's how you play: Once you've been tagged you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself, at the end choose 10 people to be tagged, list their names and why you tagged them. Don't forget to leave them a comment saying '(You're It!) and to go read your blog. You cannot tag the person that tagged you so since you can't tag me back.

1. There are very few vegetables in my diet. In college I began forcing myself to eat salad - I'm such a picky eater.

2. I never thought my career would be raising kids...but I wouldn't change it for anything!

3. A jaw surgery took away my ability to sing. :(

4. Any creativity I produce is usually plagiarized. LOL

5. I'm pretty thick-skinned - I don't get hurt easily. Although I also don't think about how my words can be seen as hurtful because of that.

6. I can sometimes be independent to a fault - not accept help when I really need it (aka pride).

7. I have 4 younger sisters and a younger brother... all of them are "half" siblings, but that doesn't matter.

8. My dream is to take a Meditteranean/ Holy Land tour someday - with Chuck and our boys.

9. I wish Texas was smaller -then my family would be closer.

Lake LBJ Sunset

10. I'm in love with the Texas Hill Country.


The Rules -
1. Link to the person's blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Seven random facts about me:

1. I've always been a thrill seeker - and clumsy. Not a good combination.

2. I'm the first on my mom's side of the family to breastfeed in a few generations. In fact I was afraid I wouldn't be able to, because many women in my family were told they had bad milk. But I was able to nurse Charlie and Chance for 12 months each - and hope to with Chandler as well.

3. Someday I'd like to pursue a master's in theology - and maybe even teach some seminary classes. I really miss being in youth and college ministry.

4. I miss my old Ford Explorer. I'm a freak, I know. ;)

5. I'm very frugal - sometimes to a fault. That's one place that Chuck complements me well. He shows me how to enjoy finer things in life.

6. If we could stay disciplined enough, and not have too many crazy expenses come up, my dream of owning our home would come true in 8 years - when Chuck turns 40 and Charlie starts middle school. Just in time to spend that mortgage payment on braces, cars, and a trip to the Holy Land, ha!

7. I don't believe in autographs. Not that there's anything wrong with asking for one, especially for little kids. But I've found I'd rather know the person than have an autograph to show off. There are people I greatly respect, but I wouldn't want to feed their ego, so to speak.

Because I don't want to pressure anyone into doing something they might not want to do...I'm not going to tag anyone. But if you would like to copy this and do it, I'd LOVE to read it. Please let me know if you do it!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why believe in Jesus?

This evening my Aunt Delores passed away. I had talked to her 2 weeks ago, when I heard that her cancer had returned. She was expected to live up to 5 more years. There was no sense of urgency, although we knew she was already uncomfortable. Chuck and I had planned to go see her next month. No one knew it would be this fast.

Which leads me to what I want to blog about. I had planned on talking to her face-to-face, to see where she stood spiritually. Obviously, that's not going to happen. Of course, I keep wondering why I didn't just do it on the phone that day? (other than the fact that I had the three boys alone, so any conversation would have to be short. Phone calls and kids don't mix in my house.) But this has me thinking, and I'm sorry that this is deeper and maybe not as happy as most posts... What if it were you, my dear friend/family member? If you read this blog, to my knowledge, you're probably related to me, or are a friend I care about. Basically, I'm asking you what I wanted to ask Aunt Delores: "Where do you stand spiritually?"

I don't want this to sound like a manipulation, "you never know how quickly your time may come" plea. If you aren't sure if you know Jesus, I'm not going to try to sell Him to you. And I'm not going to condemn you, either. I don't think He'd like that very much. But the truth is, we often think we have plenty of time to settle the matter, when we just don't know...

Why believe in Jesus? Why become a Christian?

First of all, let me say this: Don't come to Jesus just because you're afraid of going to Hell and want some fire insurance. God knows your heart, He knows if you're sincerely following Him or just using Him.

And don't be afraid to ask God the hard questions: "Why'd You allow hard times in my life? Why do You allow bad things to happen to good people? Where were You when..." etc. I'm not saying that the answer is one you'll like, but He will answer. My aunt and I had talked a few times about God's justice and mercy, and how they work together. It was hard for her to see why she should forgive certain people who'd hurt her, and didn't think God was being fair by forgiving them when they asked. She felt some sort of retribution should be carried out. My answer was "all of us will give an account for our deeds, although it may not mean hell, it won't be comfortable."

And when you have those questions, search until you find the answer. You can find those answers in His Word, the Bible. If you know a Christian who studies the Bible, ask them to help you. There are online resources like, too.

So, if you're still with me, and you've asked those questions and sought the answers, here's the question you need to ask yourself: "What does the cross of Jesus and the resurrection mean? Why is it important, how is it more than just an event in history?"

The funny thing is, you can find a lot of that answers in I Corinthians 15 - which I've been studying lately in my ladies' Bible study. I think it was God's timing that I was reviewing it - that I might tell you about it today. It says that the Good News is this: Jesus died, was buried, and was raised.

I Corinthians 15:21-22
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

And so, the point is, sin entered thru the first man, Adam. We're all sinners. I think most of us have no problem admitting that. That sin separated Adam, and us as well, from having a relationship with God, from communing with Him. God introduced a system called "atonement." People could sacrifice an innocent lamb with the idea of putting their sin on the lamb, thus a debt was paid for awhile. Jesus, being fully God and fully man, came to earth, born of a virgin, so as to not be from Adam's sinful seed. He then lived a sinless life so that He could be that perfect sacrifice. When He died on the cross, our sin was being paid for forever. And then, 3 days later, He rose again, which proves that those who trust in Him will also rise again. If Aunt Delores knew Jesus, we haven't seen the last of her. And that's my great hope...for her and for you.

How do you tap into that? The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord (master)' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

I know that's a lot to digest. Let me sum it up with my own story.

When I would read the Bible growing up, it didn't make much sense to me. In fact, it was dry reading, and a little boring. I believed there was a God, and that He loved me, but I was also afraid He was going to get me for sinning. I figured He was justified in doing so, since He's holy and awesome in the true sense of the word. I had hoped I would be good enough to get into Heaven. But then one day it all became real to me. I realized that the Bible was true, I could believe it. I realized that Jesus was a real man, and really God, and loved me enough to die in my place. I prayed for the first time believing that I was being heard, not just hoping. I told God I wanted to be forgiven for my sin, and wanted Him to be in control of my life.

Then strange things started to happen. At first it was little things, like I no longer wanted to cuss or lie. And I was no longer afraid of the dark or scary movies. And when I read the Bible, it actually made sense and was exciting. And thus it began: I began to see God working in my life, from the inside out. I'm still not the reflection of His character that I want to be, and that I know He wants me to be, but I know I'm growing closer to that goal. And much like my relationship with Chuck, I'm learning more about Him and His character, and falling more in love and deeper respect of Him with each passing year. I've seen Him provide for me, protect me, confront me, teach me, hold me, and lead me.

But let me put this disclaimer on this message: Trusting Jesus means that He will never leave you. It means that He will work in your life (are you ready to be changed? It's not always easy or fun, but it's oh so worth it.). It does not mean that life will get easier. It does not mean that your circumstances will magically improve. You won't wake up tomorrow perfectly healthy with a big bank account. But you may wake up with more joy that you've ever known. In fact, C.S. Lewis talks about how he was "surprised by joy," when he came to know Jesus. It does not mean that your boss will give you a promotion or your mother-in-law will stop mistreating you. But it may mean you have a peace that passes understanding. When things don't make sense, you'll still be able to rest instead of worry, knowing that God's in control, and He's on your side. If God is for us, who can be against us?

And someday, when I breathe my last, as my aunt did today, may you rejoice that we have been given this great gift from God: eternal life. I may not know until then if my aunt chose to follow Jesus, but I know that God is faithful and did not want her to perish. I just hope she searched for the truth and found it...and I hope you do, too.

<a href="" title="Mammy&#x27;s flowers (Psalms 103:15-17) by Chuck &amp; Angie Thier, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="386" alt="Mammy&#x27;s flowers (Psalms 103:15-17)"></a>

Friday, April 18, 2008

Community - The Body of Christ at work

I Corinthians 12:24-26
But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Since we brought Chandler home from the hospital, there has been a steady stream of friends - mostly from church - who've brought us dinner. I've been so touched by this sweet show of generosity, and also been delighted to visit one-on-one with many of my girlfriends. I tend to miss adult conversation while caring for a newborn. I've also felt ministered to, in the truest sense of the word, because it's as if God Himself is taking care of our needs. It's like He's saying, "I know it's stressful right now, but I'm going to get you through this. Just trust Me, I've called you to this." All of the sweet people who sacrificed their time and energy to bring us meals have also represented Christ to me. And I'm so thankful.

Another result of this great blessing is that I get to taste what other people serve their families for dinner. Oh, man! I've been inspired! I don't fancy cooking much, but it'd be worth trying, just to taste these great meals again. And I thought I'd pay it forward by sharing with you one of my favorite desserts that my dear friend Kelly brought us.

I've actually made this dessert a couple of times since her initial offering. This time I decided to take photos of it for you, but in the 5 seconds it took me to grab my camera, half of it was gone. Yes, it's that good! Just don't ask me where it went (*slurp*)...

Kelly's Chocolate Eclair Cake

Kelly's Chocolate Eclair Cake

Kelly's Chocolate
Eclair Cake

1 large container of Cool Whip
2 small packages of French Vanilla Instant Pudding
3 cups whole milk
1 box Graham Crackers/Whole
Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding and mix until you achieve a pudding consistency. Add Cool Whip and stir until thoroughly mixed. Line bottom of pan with crackers. Add a layer of pudding/cool whip mixture, then a second layer of crackers, then another layer of pudding/cool whip, and finish with a layer of crackers on top.
Chocolate Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp vanilla
Mix sugar, milk and cocoa together in a metal sauce pan. Continuously stir until it comes to a boil. When it comes to a full boil, then boil 1 minute stirring continuously. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and stir until completely mixed. Let sauce cool before you pour on cake. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Typically makes 9x13 pan.

[Disclaimer: If you happen to gain 50 pounds (or don't lose any baby weight), I am so sorry. If you find yourself getting up during the night just to have a bite, again, I am so sorry. And if you find yourself making this dish on a weekly -even daily- basis...well, maybe you and I can start an ECA "Eclair Cake Anonymous" group...oh, and I am so sorry. Please forgive me for introducing you to this delicious, and not-exactly healthy, piece of heaven.]

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Go Forth and Read

Ok, I could tell the story about how Chance got his stitches out today, then promptly hit his head again, slightly reopening his wound. And there are lots more stories that are funny, ironic, or downright crazy that I could tell about life lately. But it's after 1 am, and I really only have enough energy to tell you this...

Many people have asked about how I keep up with certain blogs, and I wanted to let you in on my little secret. Actually, it's common knowledge, at least to computer people like Chuck. But one day Chuck decided to have mercy on my soul as he watched me click thru my long list of bookmarks to see who might've posted something new. It's called the Google Reader. Just so you'll sound smart, I should tell you it's called an "RSS feed." Just please don't ask me what RSS stands for. Anyways, all you have to do is go to and put in the various websites/blogs that you want to keep up with (If you don't have a google account, you'll have to set that up. If you have gmail, you have a google account. Oh how I love gmail for email, but that's another story). Then when you go to this google reader page again, it'll show you all of the newest blogs.

With all the time you save you can actually do something worthwhile, like feed a newborn, bathe 2 grimy little boys, or even the ultimate: take a shower!

Or maybe that's just me.

[PS For you myspacers, you don't have to worry about a reader, since you can just subscribe to the blog in myspace. Basically you already have your own RSS feed. But the Google reader will work for myspace blogs as well as all websites.]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Catching up (aka A Long Post)

Just playing around

~ While I'm sitting on the floor of Chik Fila, cradling Chance, covered in blood, in total panic, waiting for the EMS to arrive (you get the picture, right?) - Charlie comes up to me and says, "Mommy I want ice cream." I tell him we can't get one because we have to take Chance to the doctor. He puts his head down to his chest and marches off with clenched fists, in a huff (and probably to go ask Nana, in case she'd give in...). I guess I'm glad Charlie didn't realize how bad things were for Chance. Oh, to be an oblivious kid again, wouldn't it be wonderful?!

~Ever since Easter, Charlie's really been into hunting things, or at least hiding things for others to hunt. At first, it was all the Easter eggs, over and over again. Then he got into Daddy's wallet and decided to hide all of the contents around the house. A deck of cards, a package of diapers, and finally the other day, he pulled out all of the wipes from a container,

~Charlie's favorite things these days are
-learning letters (and we're getting close to learning words)
-Baby Brother
-Watching way too much TV, ha!
-Pretend playing. He loves to play store, and often goes around the house selling something.
"Strawberries for sell for free!" he'll call out all thru the house.

Great big brother
[Charlie is such a great help with Chandler!]

~Charlie recently described to me what every number looks like. I didn't realize he could recognize them all until then, I was just blown away.

~Chance will mimick anything Charlie will do. He tries to tell me what letters and numbers he sees on things. And as we were walking the other day, Charlie pretended to run into a sign - so you know Chance had to do it, too.

Mimicking brother

~Chance isn't doing too well today. After his bobo on Thursday, he went to Nana's house Friday while Chuck and I went to Marble Falls. By Friday night he was running fever, which persisted thru Saturday afternoon, so we've cut our trip short and brought him home. His fever is unrelated (per the doctor), and we have antibiotics for whatever bug he's fighting.

You can see it doesn't hurt

~Life with kids is so unpredictable. It's hard to make any sort of plans. Like how we planned to have family portraits taken by my favorite photographer, Brandy, on Friday morning - so of course Chance's bobo happens the day before...

~Chance's new thing is bubbles!! He's always loved them, but now he can blow them by himself, which makes it that much more fun. So I got out the camera the other day and had fun with them, too.



~Chance is loving Chandler. He often wants to play with him, but I've asked him to just kiss him instead because he's too rough. He laughs at everything Chandler does, especially his little burps.

"Kiss baby Chanwer, Mommy?"

~Chance's newest words are "funny" and "What?" along with "My name Chance" to anyone he meets. He learned that from Charlie. He often tells me when things are funny or "coot" (cute), usually in reference to Chandler. His favorite word is still "No," which is the automatic response to any question he's asked. Suffice it to say, he is living up to the term "terrible two's."

Little (Big) Foot

Big eyes
[Chandler (and I) keep having to fight off thrush, thus the purple lips from medicine.]

~Chandler's newest thing is smiling! It's a beautiful thing. I've yet to catch it on camera since the one time I caught it in his sleep. One morning he was looking around and Chuck caught him cooing and smiling. Then he smiled for Nana about a dozen times. At this point I gave him a talking to - he had smiled for everyone but me....So he made my day and gave me a big smile on Wednesday. He looked me right in the eye while doing it, just to let me know he meant business. It was great! ;)

Sleeptime fun
[Remember this one?]

~Chandler's also gaining a lot of control. He's 6 weeks now, and it's crazy to think that Charlie was already rolling over at this point. Chandler doesn't get the chance to roll, he's being kept upright a lot due to reflux. He's not as fussy as Charlie was with it, but he's much more uncomfortable than Chance was (yes, all 3 had/have it, yuck!). But Chandler can hold his head up and he's great at focusing his eyes now.

Bright eyes

~Chandler is loud. Much like Chance, he can project his voice. We may have to get these boys singing later in life!

Just keeping it real :)

Asleep, with hand in air
[Chandler's earned the nickname "karate man" because he's always got his hands in a karate position, even while he's asleep!]

Friday, April 11, 2008

Drama & Trauma

That's the best way to describe life lately. The drama part is just from being emotional due to lack of sleep. And maybe a little because Chuck was out of town this week. Thankfully, Nana is my hero, she always saves the day. She came to stay with me the first few days, then we all went to Austin.

Nana's Boys
[Nana and all her grandkids]

Which leads to the trauma. Yesterday, we took the boys to Chik Fila and Chance fell and hit his head on ledge (not even a sharp ledge) - and got a DEEP cut in between his eyebrows. As you may know, the face tends to bleed profusely. And my stomach doesn't take the sight of blood very well, especially when it is all over my beloved child! We kept napkins on it until it stopped, and someone called 911. The firemen got there first, and checked him over and told me that really he only needed stitches (no concussion, thank You, Lord!), so we took him to an urgent care and he got one stitch inside the wound, and three on the outside. To see him now, you wouldn't think it was that bad. But my stomach churns and I get light-headed just thinking about when it was bleeding. I know this is just the first of many ER visits we'll have to make, having 3 boys...I think I'm just going to wrap them all in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives! Ha!

Big boo boo

Then late last night Chuck got in to Austin and we are now enjoying a relaxing weekend in my favorite place - Marble Falls! Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, I couldn't ask for more. The timing is great, I needed this, heh!

I have lots of pics to share and funny stories of the boys - but my online time is limited, so stay tuned, I'll get it up soon! Until then, here's a short sneak preview:

Inspired by flickr


Just to compare...
[Chandler's getting big, can you tell?!]

Friday, April 4, 2008

I once was lost, but now I'm found.

God answers prayer!

Tonight I got a taste of the feeling of relief and joy that Jesus described in these verses:

"Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10

Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I had lost the video with Chandler just after birth on it? This has plagued me since we were in the hospital. So this evening I started watching the tape that's in the camcorder, from the moment I took the full tape out and put this new one in. I noticed everything around the hospital room to look for clues as to where the tape could've been laid. Then I noticed Chance's diaper bag, which hasn't made it home since that's been at Nana & Big Daddy's. So I called Nana and she checked the bag, and Voila!! My precious memories have been recovered!

Another part of the tape that I can't wait to see is when we introduced Charlie and Chance to Chandler! I will even try to figure out how to get it online so you can see it. Talk about a precious moment! And speaking of introductions, I also managed to make Chandler's baby announcements - it only took me a month! Whaddaya think? If you want me to mail you one, please email me ( your address and I'll send one your way.

chandler james

Until then, I'll be praising the Lord for His many gifts this evening - including that lost tape!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

(Moving) Pictures

So we bought a point-and-shoot camera...I feel like I'm betraying all that I've learned about photography by going back, but it was the only way to get videos of the kids again! I have a camcorder, but it uses tapes and takes way too much processing to get it online, ya know?! Who has time for that when you have a newborn? Especially a cute lil snoring newborn:

Funny Snores

Did I mention that I lost the tape from my camcorder that had important things like Charlie's 4th birthday and Chandler just after birth on it?! It's killing me that I can't find it. And that's why this point-and-shoot is great. Like when I need to document the abuse and torment Charlie endures anytime he sees Nana & Big Daddy. It's tough to be a beloved grandson, ya know?!

And lastly, check out Chancey boy. He LOVES trains. But please don't notice my messy house. I've got too much on my plate to worry with cleaning - things like feeding the baby, bathing the dirty boys, sleeping...and writing blogs. ;) But do notice his shirt: it says "My brother did it." Now he has 2 brothers to blame.