Friday, February 26, 2010

Cai's First Airplane Ride

I was a little worried about how Micaiah would do on his first airplane ride. We had to get him up at 5:30am and we had a 4 hour direct flight to Denver to make it to my Uncle's funeral at 1pm CO time. He did SO good! I did add a few more feedings yesterday with the time change (and lack of naps). I had no idea what meal I was feeding him so we just went with the flow and he did amazing=)

I kept him in the Baby Bjorn during the whole flight and he just sat in it like a car seat and took naps throughout the trip. When we stood up after the flight the people in front of us said, "I had no idea there was a baby behind us!" and our seat partner was really sweet to him!

So, it was a success! Hopefully the ride home will be as good=)

Fun Facts For Friday - Rewind

When I had a walkman I HATED rewinding a song. It took forever to find the beginning of the song! There were a few exceptions though. Here are a few songs that I hit rewind for...over and over and over=)

1 - Roxette - Listen To Your Heart (any Roxette song would do though=)

2 - Ace Of Base - All That She Wants

3 - Paula Abdul - Straight Up

4 - Tracy Chapman - Fast Car

5 - Sheryl Crow - Strong Enough

6 - The Connells - 74-75

7 - The Cranberries - Salvation

8 - The Dixie Chicks - Cowboy Take Me Away

9 - Plumb - Stranded

10 - Warren G - Regulate (don't laugh, you know you liked Warren G too=) but for obvious reasons I won't link this one!)

What are some songs that you would take time to rewind?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daddy Date - You Hold The Key To My Heart

Josh and I took advantage of our 8 hour trip to GA this past weekend to read together. The book of choice for this particular trip was "Raising A Modern-Day Princess" by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna.

Josh has always been good at taking our kids out on Daddy Dates and this book just motivated him even more to keep it up. Josh was already planning on taking Areyna out on a special date for her birthday and this book gave us a GREAT idea that we decided to make our own.

Josh will be posting about their date in full detail but I'll kind of outline the gist of their day together=)

Here they are helping each other get ready.

All Ready To Go!

First stop: IHop for pancakes - Rainy's choice
Next stop: Violin Shop - they took my first violin to get fixed up for Areyna for her birthday!
Final Stop: The $1 movie to go see Princess And The Frog

The best part of the date occurred at lunch when Josh presented Areyna with a heart and key charm. He explained to her that God had given her to him as his daughter and that God has called him to protect her and to take care of her. He explained that this charm isn't a toy but one day she will eventually be able to give it to her husband. But until that day her daddy will hold her heart and protect it.

I can only imagine the look on her face as she held her heart while her daddy explained how special it was=)

That is our prayer for her...that she would learn to see the importance of guarding her own heart as she waits patiently for her prince that God has created for her.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's A Rainy Day

Today we are celebrating Areyna's life. She turns 5 years old on Sunday and I'll be in Colorado for my Uncle's funeral, but wanted to share this special day with her. So, today is HER day!
On the agenda:
Breakfast - as many bowls of cereal she wants. This is her FAVORITE meal!
A nice LONG bath - it's been a while. Besides she has a hot date with her daddy.
The Preparation - She loves getting all dolled up for her daddy. So, today it's a beautiful dress, a little eye makeup (her request and Josh's approval=), mommy's smell good perfume, fingernail polish, and a hair-do by mommy.
The date - I'll post about this won't want to miss it!
I'll think we'll let her skip her nap too;)
Dinner - she chose mac-n-cheese and spaghetti. At least I know she'll eat dinner tonight=)
Presents and Ice Cream

Here are a few facts about her day 5 years ago...enjoy!

Pregnancy Facts:
  • We weren't technically trying to get pregnant...just not being too careful because we knew we wanted to start trying within the next few months=)
  • Found out we were pregnant just days after getting my shots for our mission trip to Uganda. Gave us a scare since I'd already started my Malaria pills. I just happened to be taking the one kind that is alright to take when pregnant.
  • Wanted to keep it a secret...didn't work so well! We were WAY TOO EXCITED!
  • I started getting "sick" while we were in Uganda. Morning sickness and missions trips don't really go very well together=)
  • I gained about 25 pounds.
  • I exercised throughout the whole pregnancy.
  • You were sucking your thumb when we found out you were a girl. It's a tough habit to break=)
  • You were very active!
  • I craved strawberry butter, meat, ranch or caramel dip and Arby's.
  • They kept moving your due date around...20th, 21st, 24th
  • I was SOOO ready for you to be here!
  • I was a preschool music teacher until you were born and all my kids kept asking why I was so fat, HA! Then when they figured out what was going on they kept asking me what your name was going to be=)
  • We kept your name a secret until you were born!
  • Our friends Ross and Shannon were the first ones to know we were pregnant with you.

Labor Facts:
  • You were five days late...although at the time it felt like 5 WEEKS late!
  • I started counting contractions at 10pm.
  • We watched Napoleon Dynamite to take up time. My mom didn't like how Napoleon was treated...heehee.
  • You were way too comfortable in my belly and didn't want to come out. They had to use forceps and suction and were prepping for a C-section by the time you decided to make your entrance into the world.
  • You arrived at 1:20pm the next day.
  • You scared us with your jaundice. Your levels were so high they couldn't read it on the chart and you had to be put on a billy blanket in the hospital. Your count didn't go down enough and they were going to keep you longer in the hospital but they allowed us to take you home with 2 lights knowing that insurance wouldn't cover another night.
  • We placed your bouncy seat in the sun and followed it's rays across the window throughout the day and rejoiced every time you had a poopie=)
  • Nursing was a 2-3 man job while trying to keep you on those crazy lights. You were our little glow worm for the first week of your life.
  • You were 7lb 2oz. and the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen.

Character Facts:
  • You are definitely the first child=) You love to tell people what to do.
  • You also love to teach Zeke everything you know. You are such a GREAT big sister.
  • You are awesome at helping with Micaiah: feeding him bottles and his food, changing his diapers all by yourself, checking on him to see if he's crying, making him laugh when he's sad...
  • You love learning and ask LOTS of questions.
  • You pray sweet prayers to Jesus.
  • I can see God at work in your heart. He is softening your spirit.
  • You're pretty sneaky, but don't worry, you'll soon realize that mom's have eyes everywhere!
  • You have a GREAT memory. I know that if I need daddy to remember something, I just need to tell you, HA!
  • You are a great cook. Thanks for helping me in the kitchen.
  • You have a wonderful imagination. You can stay pretty busy in your own little world.
  • You are my Little Miss Independent. You've always liked to do things on your own.
  • You are as girly as they come=)
We love you Areyna Joy. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poor Little Drummer Boy

Duct tape will hardly hold this bad boy together anymore=(

Check out his make-shift drum kit!
He even uses his spiderman car and his car holder.
I told you he was LOVING this CD!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spotting A GAD Girl

Josh calls me his "GAD girl". It is "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" and I have struggled with this since I was a little girl.

When I was 4 years old I was hospitalized for stomach issues and crazy symptoms and underwent many tests and procedures. One of which was a tube that was placed through my nose that went all the way into my stomach to pump out my stomach. These are memories that I remember all too clearly. The doctors could never really pin-point where all the problems were coming from and when all was said and done they said that it all linked back to excessive worrying. What in the world does a 4-year-old in a very loving, nurturing and godly family have to worry about?

My sister had just started school and I had a baby brother and my mom saw a need to get me involved in something that was just mine. Something that only I could do, something that I could thrive at. So, she enrolled me in a violin program=) (I have a pretty wise mom)

Well, fast-forward to the present. I had learned to live with my problem and it just became part of life. I thought, "Hey, everyone is stressed out and everyone gets frazzled over little things...right?" Josh was seeing it get out of hand after Micaiah was born, though.

We both started seeing a pattern...
  • Numbness (in my lips and legs)
  • Irritability (way more than what is NORMAL)
  • Insomnia
  • Fidgeting (think "nesting" to the extreme!)
  • Nausea (when the phone would ring or I'd look at my calendar-wondering what was going to happen next)
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Heavy feeling in my chest
  • Hot Flashes and Sweating
  • Twitches (especially my eyelids)
  • Exhaustion (I suppose from all the trauma my body was feeling)
  • Trembling (my hands would start shaking when it would come on strong)
  • Worry over simple, everyday tasks
  • Felt like I just couldn't handle my children
  • Crying-let's just say I cried A LOT, not just at sad stuff, at everything. My friend Holly always laughed with me because I was always the one who'd be "that girl" crying at everything=) I still do, don't worry my unashamed crying friends (we have a club you know), I still shed a tear or two during those sappy Hallmark commercials!
It was textbook GAD and I had it bad!

There were a few problems though...
  1. I HATE taking medication, especially for long periods of time.
  2. Aren't Christians supposed to be worry-FREE because worry is a SIN?! I must not be doing something right.
  3. I like to at least appear like I have it all together and if I got "help" then I would be admitting that I don't. It was a big pride issue for me.
But action needed to happen. I was getting to where I couldn't function during the day. A trip to run to the grocery store and post office, or my kids getting in the least bit testy, would turn into a full blown panic attack. It was the most awful, helpless, frustrating, depressing feeling in the world.

I tried the whole natural route but it didn't NEARLY do the trick.

So, Josh made the call and I went in to see the doctor. I got home with my prescription and felt the relief. Just knowing that "help" was on the way. It took about 4 weeks for me to start feeling the effects but man was it worth the wait!

I have never felt so free, so full of life. My quiet times are much more full and intimate. I feel like GAD has been such a distraction from His voice! I can handle everyday tasks. In fact, instead of feeling like making baby food the other day was just something I had hanging over my head and to get checked off of my list, I turned the olympics on in the background, took my time and actually ENJOYED making food that I knew was healthy for my sweet boy. Instead of feeling like I just "cannot handle" the events of the day with my kids I enjoy time with them. I don't remember the last time I just broke down and cried, even with the ER scares with Cai a couple of weeks ago.

I have had these verses (and quote) on notecards in my Bible for years:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

"The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead."
Philippians 3:13

"So do now worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings."
Matthews 6:34

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength."
Corrie TenBoom

I used to feel constantly convicted of these verses, knowing that this was such a huge struggle for me. Now, I praise God for creating such gifted people who can make something that will help us GAD folk get to a place where we can pray these verses into our lives and allow God to do His thing!

So, be encouraged all you who are heavy-hearted...To God Be The Glory!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday - The Absent Mind

1 - I super-glued my fingers together this week

2 - I also accidentally threw my load of laundry in the trash can instead of the washing machine. Honest mistake, right?!

3 - I then proceeded to give myself an aluminum foil paper cut. I do think that I almost uttered a few choice words after this event.

4 - I think I've walked into every room AT LEAST once, forgetting why I had entered

5 - Let's just say I won't be opening the mini-blinds in my kitchen until after I've changed out of my skimpy jammies from now on. "Hello landlord!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On The Move

Look what Cai learned to do on Tuesday night at small group! He is pulling up on his hands and knees and scooting to WHEREVER he wants to go. He doesn't quite have the hang of it but we have already had to rescue Zeke's lunchbox from Cai's mouth twice (poor Zeke is really in for it...he HATES slobber!), as well as Areyna's silky princess dresses. There's no stopping him now, just look at his determination!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nothing Cuter Than a Clean Baby

I Don't Remember Where I Parked

Do you ever walk out of a store and completely blank out as to where you had parked before entering? Yeah, well, I do, but I come by it naturally - my mom was excellent at this maneuver growing up=) It didn't help that my little brother would intentionally "lead" her into different sections of the parking lot for a laugh though, ha!

Anyway, after one of my "Sure, buddy, do whatever you want on the window by your seat. Anything that will help keep you quiet and occupied during this 4-hour trip." comment a few months ago we have accumulated quite the collection of window art. It does narrow down my "searching" time in the parking lot by about 95% though=)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's The Little Things

I have certain piles of "stuff" that always seem to accumulate around our house...on our dresser, or my desk, or our kitchen counter, or the floor...

It's a pile of things to...

...fix for the kids.
For some reason, store-bought costumes and princess dresses just WILL NOT stay together. I feel like I am constantly having to sew a seem back together, or a button, or a ruffle... Not to mention the on-going things that break just because you have kids, like necklaces, and pages out of books, and tinkerbells wings that keep falling off, sheesh!

...or medicine for this ever-so-sick family to take so we can get better
The medicine has a home, but who wants to keep going to that "home" just to get your 4-hour de-coughing, de-sneezing, de-sick fix? It's just easier to have it sitting on the counter.

...or coupons to cut, ministry work to get done, or things written on sticky notes to get accomplished.
I am pretty good about getting rid of junk mail right away but keeping up with ministry work and coupon cutting and those little thoughts that crowd my brain during my time never seems to end, therefore keeping a never-ending pile of things (and sticky notes) on my desk.
Hey, don't laugh at my sticky notes...
we all have our "issues".

...or clothes to fold or just put away!
When I am motivated I'll get all the laundry washed, folded AND put away on the same day. Did you catch the key phrase "when I am motivated?". Yeah, that doesn't happen very often. The same goes for the clothes that I've been wearing that day. I wish I could say that I ALWAYS put them away right away, but I confess to the growing pile in my bedroom (that I quickly pick up if I know someone is about to drop by=>)

...or the pile of things that don't belong to us, just waiting to be taken back to their rightful owner. (Yes Kelly, I found Cana's other boot!)

These little, insignificant things are the things that make me feel like I just have SO MUCH TO DO!

At least I'm not as bad as THIS GUY, or maybe I am=)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Words Of Wisdom

Me: "Zeke, look at mommy. Ok, I need you to go get your spiderman shoes for me and bring them to me so I can pack them. We don't want to forget them here, k?"

Zeke: blank stare

Me: "Zeke, did you hear me buddy? Look at mommy's eyes. I need you to go get your spiderman shoes so I can pack them. They are right by the front door."

Zeke: "Ok=)" but still just standing there

Me: "Did you hear what mommy said? I need you to go get your...?

Zeke: "!"

Me: "And where are they?"

Zeke: "Uh...the...uh...backyard!"

Me: "No buddy, no, not the backyard, the FRONT DOOR."

He went all the way downstairs and came back up the stairs with a...bouncy ball, HA!

Boys! Focus...Focus=)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#1 "Of COURSE That Would Happen To Us" Moment Of The Weekend

Josh and I headed to VA on Friday evening so we could go to his Great Uncle Mayo's funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Knowing how Zeke is we prepared him very thoroughly for the events that would take place and explained that this was going to be a "Quiet Celebration" of Uncle Mayo's life and that even though Daddy was going to get up and sing a song with his guitar, Zeke was going to stay with me in the seat...and NOT sing.

We also talked about how we "will not freak out" and we "will not throw a fit" and we "will not scream out" and we "will obey all the way, right away with a happy heart."

So, when Josh walked out the side entrance to take Areyna potty (because Cai was sleeping in my arms) Zeke began to freak out (quietly at first) saying that he wanted to go with him because he had to go potty too. Knowing that if I refuse his request a freak-0ut was soon to occur, I gave in and let him go find his daddy.

Not 30 seconds later Zeke comes running down the center aisle screaming for his daddy (because he couldn't find him) in the middle of the funeral, in a VERY acoustic auditorium.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Love...

These are a few of my favorite things...

The rush I get at the checkout counter when I save more than I spend!

Everything weather - especially storms.

Sipping on hot beverages on a cold day.

Being outside.

Window days.

Watching my kid's sleep...nothing sweeter.

French fries dipped in a frosty...mmmm

Blogging - you never would have guessed this one;)

Our small group! I've NEVER been a small group girl.
Me+random group of people+sharing intimate details in my life=Nervousness, a red face and uncontrollable sweating.
Something is different about our new small group. I actually look forward to Tuesday nights...and it's more than just an evening without the kids=)

Creative at-home dates with my man.

Listening to my kid's laughing while they play together.

Checking the mail every day!

Music - it can be so comforting and exhilarating all at the same time.

The feeling after I've completed our taxes and the ministry taxes every year *sigh*


Pop-tarts and Orange Juice.


How about you...what are some things YOU love?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday - "What Makes My Daddy My Hero"

1 - "Because he's my prince and I'm his princess and I love him" - Areyna

2 - "Because he has a cool pedal board" - Zeke

3 - "Because he does funny things like spank my mommy's booty" - Areyna

4 - "Because he's gonna get me real drumsticks at Guitar Center" - Zeke

5 - "Because he plays guitar like Happy Day" - Areyna

6 - "He can get his own clothes on." - Zeke

Why I love this hero of mine:

1 - He's pretty stinkin' sexy (I'm just sayin')

2 - He writes beautiful music (click to get a free download!)

3 - He can search out an awesome deal like the best of 'em.

4 - He's a fun and creative daddy.

5 - He love the Lord and seeks to be a godly example for our children!

6 - He is a GREAT writer.

7 - He chooses to play along with me in my money-saving endeavor=)

8 - He takes time to find out what shouts his love to me!

9 - He always saves me the last bite=)

10 - He really has a way with words, ha!

I can't think of anyone I'd rather grow old with! I love you Baby...

Have A Happy Valentine's Day Weekend ya'll=)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Did You Know...

...that CVS will accept any pharmacy gift card coupons?

That's right! I never shop at RiteAid but I always look through their add every week to see if they have their $25 gift card coupon for transferred prescriptions. They usually have 2 about once a month. You don't actually have to transfer anything. Every time I have to refill a prescription I give them the RiteAid coupon and get a $25 gift card, no matter how much the medicine actually was!

Target also has $10 gift card coupons about once a month too that are good for any new prescription. CVS will take these too!

Believe me, this has been a lifesaver when we have to keep up with multiple medications, especially when we are in the middle of a sick phase in our family.

This Little Prayer Of Mine

I had the opportunity to get an advance copy of "This Little Prayer of Mine" by Anthony DeStefano.

It is a sweet book about a child's prayer to God. It steps into their world as they pray about things they are going through and emotions they are feeling, like being scared, feeling sad, acting in a way they know they shouldn't and not knowing what they are going to be when they grow up. Areyna likes the words and Zeke loves the pictures (probably because there is a little boy playing an electric guitar on one page=).

Thank you Anthony for the great book!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Via At-Home Gym

I have a very fond memory from my childhood that I often think about. I remember my mom getting her jogging shorts on with her workout shirt and tennis shoes. Then she'd gather us up and head out to...wait we stayed home! We worked out in our own home. We'd take laps inside our house around every room and then we'd take time to stretch. I vividly remember my mom teaching me the butterfly stretch. Don't ask me why I remember this but I do. And it makes me smile=)

So today, when the 35 mph winds blew outside making it feel like 17 degrees outside, I KNEW we needed to improvise. We've been cooped up, sick, in this house for a week and a half and these kids needed to get some energy out!

Here's what you need to make your own at-home gym:

1 - The perfect workout outfits

2 - Clean the house. We were in desperate need of a straightening and the kids had fun since we made it part of our work-out game.

3 - Every good workout girl/guy needs a cool water bottle.

4 - Pick some great music. We chose some electronica/techno music from the iTunes radio which guaranteed a higher heart rate=)

5 - Kitchen condiments as weights. Use what works best for you of course. I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and gave the kids 2 cans each of tomato paste. If you are feeling really adventurous you could probably pull out the 2Liter of juice or something like that, HA!

6 - Start with some warm-up stretches. It was hilarious to watch Zeke trying to count AND stretch AND move all at the same time=)

7 - We then worked up to some basic jumping and shuffle moves. ie. jumping like a frog to touch the sky, lunging like a leopard, shuffling like an undercover superhero...

8 - The jog around the rooms. We all took several turns being the leader and following each others motions while jogging.

9 - The cool down. Don't forget to get some water in between segments!

I must admit that I worked up a sweat by the end of it and had fun with the kids while doing it!

NOTE: If you'd rather just become a member of our Via At-Home Gym then you can simply make your $30 donation to the right under "Our Ministry Links And Partners" and click on "Feed The Kids"=)

Thumbs Up!

You may remember our fatal attempts to try to get our kids to stop sucking their thumbs last year. If not, you can get a good laugh if you click HERE, HERE and HERE=) As parents you live and you learn, right?

Well, a couple of weeks ago Areyna came to me and said, "I don't want to suck my thumb anymore! But I can't stop sucking it." I couldn't believe my own ears. She, on her own initiative, was willing to admit that she needed some help.

So, we spent some time making a "No Thumb-Sucking Chart". At the end of 21 days she gets to get a surprise. It is said that it takes 21 days to make (or break) a habit. She was SO excited...

...until she woke up the next morning with the saddest look on her face. She looked at me and said, "Do you know why I am making this face?" I quickly replied, "No baby, what's the matter?" Then she said, "I sucked my thumb. I think I suck my thumb because I sleep with bear, but I don't sleep so good without him."

I reassured her that I was still SOOOOO proud of her for trying so hard.

The next day she decided she would try to sleep without bear and keep him on the chair beside her bed. That didn't even last 5 minutes because she said she missed him=) So, after almost a whole week, with no success stickers on her chart (but continuing to tell her how proud of her we are), came a blessing in disguise. She crushed her thumb with one of Zeke's tools. She got a HUGE hematoma (You like that word don't you! Yeah, my dad is a doctor;) on her sucking thumb. She was really hurt but she found the positive side in her circumstance. She was so excited that she couldn't suck her thumb because of her "boo-boo"!

So now, 3 stickers into her chart she is more pumped-up than ever. The mornings that she doesn't suck her thumb she wakes up ecstatic and runs in to tell us she didn't suck her thumb. There is permanent "prunage" (yes, I just made that a real word!) on her thumb so in order to REALLY be able to tell if she has sucked her thumb or not we've been sticking a band aid on it just in case.

I need to give Zeke a big "E" for "E"ffort on his part. He sees Areyna trying to quit and he is...well, talking about trying to quit too;)

Here's a big "Woo-Hoo" for her FINALLY being ready to kick this habit on her own! We don't have complete success every day but she is really trying!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update On Micaiah

As a lot of you know, we've been pretty sick around this Via house. Micaiah started coming down with something last Saturday in Richmond at the Winter Retreat. After several days of cold-like symptoms he was beginning to wheeze and was having trouble breathing as well. We started his albuterol treatments (from when he had bronchiolitis the beginning of Dec.). He wasn't getting any better, in fact he started getting a little fever and was struggling even more for his oxygen.

We took him into the doctor last Friday. They gave him 2 breathing treatments and then a steroid to help his enflamed lungs, followed by 1 more breathing treatment in hopes of bringing his heart rate down. Our pediatrician was very concerned so she sent us directly to the ER where they diagnosed him with bronchiolitis (again) and RSV. Since his oxygen levels were alright they went ahead and sent us home telling us that he should get better in a couple of days.

Well, Sunday rolled around and he was acting even worse. His temperature spiked up to 102.9 and he was very lethargic, struggling for breathe even more and wheezing worse. The pediatrician sent us back to the ER where they monitored him closely for several hours.

They checked for a urinary tract infection, knowing that he had to have some other kind of virus along with the bronchiolitis and RSV that was triggering the higher temperature. His urine came back regular, his oxygen levels were good and they were beginning to control his temp. and breathing. They gave him an epinephrine treatment and something else to help his lungs. After several more hours of monitoring they told me that it was up to me whether we wanted them to admit Cai or send him home.

We ended up getting home after 9pm Sunday night. My sister-in-law brought us over this thing called an Angelcare monitor to help monitor his breathing at night. It put our minds at ease so we could sleep better. Monday was a little better with more alertness and less wheezing.

I've been sick this whole time too so Josh was sweet enough to take Cai in for his follow-up appointment today. They gave him another treatment and checked him over really well. She said he looked and sounded much better but because he is so prone to getting this had has to take this new treatment (on top of his normal breathing treatments) until this cold/flu season is over (the end of March). She said that this should at least keep him out of the ER.

Today he is beginning to act like normal again. I see life in him again which is just wonderful.

So, we are counting our blessings and praising God that Cai is getting better and that we have medicine that can make him well.

Wrong On So Many Levels - The Male Thong

Zeke insists on wearing his undies backwards.
Herein lies the problem-the boy thong!
The funny thing is...
he'll walk around for an hour without it seeming to bother him.

I know, I know...he'll HATE me for posting these pictures...but how could I resist?=)

Discipline Of Quiet

The devotional I picked up after finishing "The Discovery" is called "Dear Abba" by Claire Cloninger. This book has been awesome at helping me develop my prayer time. It is also full of practical applications and insights on what a life completely surrendered to God can look like.

Here is an excerpt that I read recently:

"Surrender requires letting go, and letting go is very uncomfortable. It flies in the face of everything we've been taught by this culture-this culture whose twin national anthems seem to be 'I Gotta Be Me' and 'I Did It My Way.' Most of us have been schooled in the art of being in control, living as captains of our own destinies, architects of our own life plans. Many of us find the old anxiety level rising sharply at the thought of being caught without a 'to do' list, without a mapped-out agenda. We feel much more comfortable with marching orders, job descriptions, and mission statements, so that little is left to chance. We want our priorities neatly listed and our lives tidily contained."


The coolest thing about this book is the habit it is creating in my life to sit quietly and listen to the still, quiet voice of God. The first time it said to "Sit quietly for ten minutes (or more) and listen for Him in your heart" I about had a panic attack, but I was determined to learn how to meditate on Christ and to sit quietly listening for His direction, His voice. The first 3 minutes were a constant battle of the mind to close out all the distractions around me, like the misplaced toys on the floor and my growing to-do list.

I actually look forward to this time now=) I would encourage all of you to try to find that time every day to just sit quietly and listen for that still, small voice.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If They Had It Their Way...

If the kid's could have it their way they would... cereal or mac-n-cheese for every meal.
...make blanket forts every day. worship videos on an hourly basis.
...drink their bath water.
...never wear socks with their shoes, or shoes at all for that metter!
...have appointed wrestle times scheduled throughout the day with daddy.
...wear their spiderman and princess costumes every day...all day! all their toothpaste. us out of naptime so they could "read" books by flashlight every afternoon. on the top bunk.
...take apart all of Areyna's necklaces so they can play with the beads.
...tape all kinds of things ALL OVER THE HOUSE=)
...have so many bags to put things in that they couldn't keep up with them all.
...jump on the couch and beds.
...never want Micaiah to take a nap (whether we heard Cai's cry of protest or not).
...switch seats at the dinner table a dozen times in one meal. with all of daddy's recording stuff and record their own band.
...get flowers EVERY time we are at the grocery store.

What would your kids do if they had it THEIR way?

"The Discovery"

I had just finished a devotional book and realized that I had never gone straight through Josh's book, "The Discovery". After a few months of sporadic quiet times for the fact of having a new baby in the house, and moving, and the holidays, and (my excuses were endless) I decided that it was time to get back into the "every day" swing of things. "The Discovery" is a 21-day devotional through the book of John. It's perfect for getting back in the habit of a daily time with the Lord. I mean, I know I'm a little bias, but this is a GREAT devotional and even though it is geared more toward new believers, or believers trying to figure out where to start with a structured devotional time with God, I truly learned a lot. Not to mention the dozens of times I practically rolled out of my chair laughing at his stories every day.

I sure love this man!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

6 Months

Micaiah is 6 months today!
He is sick as a dog, can't you tell=)
We spent our yesterday in the Doctors office and ER.
He has RSV and Bronchiolitis (again).
He's lost weight so I'll post his weight after he starts eating normally again.
We're having to monitor his breathing closely but we can tell he is on the mend.
It's been 7 days and they say that he should be fine in another few days.

On a brighter note, here are a few NEW things Cai has done this month:

He started copying sounds and facial movements

He is sitting up for several minutes at a time before toppling over
To our dismay he started sucking his thumb this month
(we are just destined to have all thumb-suckers)

He is now a tummy sleeper

He no longer needs to be swaddled
(makes it a lot easier to lay him down, wherever, for a nap)

When he is playing on his tummy he scoots to his toys sometimes

Loves avacados, oatmeal and sweet potatoes (or ANYTHING food!)

He LOVES people! All the nurses and Dr. yesterday were making over how cute he was in spite of how terrible he was feeling. He smiles at everybody he sees=)

Happy 6 months of life little Cai-bo!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday - The Fun Picture Kind

It's been a while since I've done a Fun Facts For Friday
and I had some pictures I wanted to share so without further ado...

1 - Micaiah will only nurse while holding his toes like he is in this picture=)

2 - Is Areyna really old enough to do this by herself now?!

3 - This is the look that ALL of us have when feeding Micaiah, ha!
The funny thing is, I remember my mom doing this too...
I guess it's a natural instinct=)

4 - This is what my kids got for me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago...

Apparently Zeke has picked up on my obsession to clean

Areyna was in the kitchen when this terrible event occurred.
She was thoughtful enough to replace it!

5 - Wow. Check us out! This was the fall after we got married.
Hope You Have A Great Weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Did You Say? - Some Good "S"

Tasha: "I just got rid of all of Cai's clothes that I really don't like because I don't ever dress him in the stuff that I don't like."

Josh: "That's the same with us."

I THOUGHT he said: "That's some good 'S' "

So I'm thinking: "Uh...really? I had no idea you felt so passionately about the kid's wardrobe, ha!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All Mixed Up

You know it's bad when...
you keep mixing up your 3 1/2 year old son's clothes with
your 5-month old son's clothes=)

It's even funnier when Josh accidentally puts Micaiah's
shirt ON Zeke...and it actually fits!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Life We Live

Josh and I feel very strongly about teaching our children that all good things come from God. But we also feel very convicted to show our children that life isn't always easy and we want them to know that God's answers to our prayers aren't always the "yes" we're seeking. That God is good ALL the time, even when our circumstances aren't always the most pleasant.

This practice is one of the hardest things to live by. Especially for the emotionally-driven girl that I tend to be=) But alas, it is a necessary step in our spiritual walk, I believe.

With that said, I want to tell you a story of God's provision in our lives from this past week.

In our line of work, we don't get a consistent pay check. We strive for a salary but we never really know how much of it we'll actually get. It is a life of faith we have chosen to live by as we follow the Lord's direction for our family and ministry. We have NEVER been in need. He always provides for us and we don't doubt that, but sometimes we wonder just how in the world He is going to pull it off, you know?!

Well, it was time for us to cut our next paycheck and we were about $800 short of our alloted salary. We also had a youth retreat in Richmond, VA and we didn't know where we were going to get gas money to get there. We didn't even have our ministry credit card for backup because somebody stole our credit card number...AGAIN!!! The bills were piling up but I was mentally preparing to rejoice in all circumstances. I was trying to think of a creative way to show our kids that we were going to surrender our lives through this and live in expectancy of God's provision.

Then, I went out to our mailbox (one of the highlights of my day!)...

Inside was an envelope that said "Josh and Tasha Via for whatever" It had $60 in it. We were able to mail off our newsletter, put some gas in our car and go out on a date (don't worry, it was a FRUGAL date. We only spent $10 all night long and even racked up on some FREE groceries in the process;).

Then I opened up another envelope that was for almost $400 on a medical bill that we had overpaid! I have NO idea how that happened because I very carefully run every bill by our insurance explanation of benefits and call the company before paying the balance. I won't argue with them though!

I opened another envelope from some dear friends of ours. God had laid on their hearts to give us a $250 donation. Coincidence? I don't think so!

Then I opened yet another envelope for over $100 from Covenant Eyes. We partner with this organization to help promote internet accountability and we had so many people sign up under us that they PAID US!

God is SO good! I was prepared to rejoice with little, trusting that God knows what is BEST for us. I think that's it though, the willingness to rejoice in all things and living in the great expectation of God's ways!

You'll have to excuse me now, I have to go to the grocery store because we're out of milk, bread, cereal, tortillas...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Deliberate Kids

Josh and I started a new family devotional with our kids a few weeks ago. Our kids absolutely LOVE it! Not only does it have awesome family discussion questions for each lesson but it has a song to go with the main theme each week. It is called "The Deliberate Kids". The kids request to listen to that CD on an hourly basis. Zeke had the words memorized to the whole CD before I even heard them all.

You know Phil Joel from Newsboys? Well he and his wife have done a phenominal job putting this together. Phil composed a children's album and then his wife wrote a 10-week devotional to go along with each song.

If you are looking for another family devotional book, or even another CD that will get your kids singing about God's truth go check it out and get your own copy!