Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Toddlers and Blogging

So, because I've been trying to spend more deliberate time with Jeremiah, I haven't been on the computer nearly as much. However, he's been hitting less during the day (the evening is another story...). So, more time with Jeremiah= less time on computer= happy toddler. But, it also =less time blogging = less pictures of Jeremiah on the blog = not as happy grandparents. ;) (they haven't said anything, I'm just assuming they miss pictures of him). So, due to mail day yesterday and Jeremiah receiving a cool cook set and play food from Grammy Dee and Grandpa How, I've had a little more free time today.
Mail day was indeed exciting yesterday. We also received a wonderful baby/toddler care package. It has lots of fun things, including toys Jeremiah will receive when the new baby comes (and some we'll give him between now and then).
-I need to interrupt myself to mention that Jeremiah just brought me a plate with bread, a tomato, two slices of cheese, a can of salmon, and a can of baked beans. He also made a plate up for himself of cheese (he really likes the cheese), lettuce, can of salmon, and canned corn. And just a few minutes ago he was blowing on the pots and food saying "hot." It's so fun to see him using his imagination!-
Okay, what was I saying? Oh yeah, so last night we had fun opening mail. :)
Other things we've been doing lately- I finished making curtains for our bedroom, and a curtain to cover the shelves in our hallway. I'm excited about having those finished- now every window in the house (besides the ones in the shower and the high window that opens to the laundry room) has some sort of curtain/window treatment. It only took 4 years! (we didn't do much in the other house) I'll put up pictures some time.
Alrighty, time for pictures of Jeremiah (and other misc. things like squid).

Jeremiah practicing hammering (unfortunately, we had to take this toy away as he kept hitting me with it)

Jeremiah showing off his Wisconsin Onesie Jeremiah loves to snuggle Chiste!

We've been trying to teach Jeremiah how to be "suave" with Chiste, while at the same time trying to teach Chiste that if he's going to be an indoor dog, he needs to put up with toddlers. :) Hopefully they're both learning.

Jeremiah and his "train" that we made out of boxes

Chef Jeremiah with his new cook set

Cherry pie/cheescake:
I had some frozen cherries I'd been saving, pitted them (which took forever!) and made them into cherry pie filling. But I decided to go the extra mile and make a cheesecake layer for the pie. However, the cherry filling was heavier than the cheescake layer, so instead of being layered, it turned into a mix. But it was still super yummy!

We found squid (tentacles) for less than $1 per pound! Doesn't that look appetizing? ;) We're excited, anyway.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Toddler Discipline: A little advice, please?

So I definitely have a 2 yr. old now. Not only does he like to contradict me and change his mind a bajillion times (says he's done with food, I take it away, he gets upset and asks for more, I give it back to him, he pushes it away, I take it away, he gets upset, .....), but he's becoming obsessed with throwing things and hitting. Throwing and hitting have never been allowed. Either he gets a time out, or the object he threw gets taken away. Or both. But the hitting and throwing continue. After time out, I make sure to tell him he needs to be "suave" (gentle) with whatever he was hitting/throwing things at ("Suave with Chiste". Or, "suave with mommy"). He repeats "Suave" and sometimes even gently pats me if he had hit me before. If he threw books, I give him a book and make put it down nicely before he can come out of time out. Yet the hitting and throwing continue.
Sometimes it's out of anger, sometimes it's just for fun. For example, as I was writing this he:
Came up to me, happy, and hit me with his sippy cup. I took the sippy cup away. He did not like this. He started crying, found a wooden ball, and threw it at me. Now he's in time-out.
Is this something that he'll eventually grow out of? Should I continue taking away items, putting him in time out, emphasize being "suave," and just give it time? Or do I need a different strategy? Any suggestions would be welcome!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Abortion and our society's responsibility to women (and all)

First, I want to start with a disclaimer: Although I am adamantly pro-life, I am not writing this against women who have had an abortion. While I do believe the act of abortion is wrong, I am in no way passing judgment on women who have had an abortion (just as people can think eating meat is wrong without judging me as a person just because I eat meat, though they may disagree with my decision). What I want to talk about is society's role in abortion. I'm also not getting in to when life begins, etc., etc...

I want to paint a scenario: You do something that somehow ends up crushing one of your legs terribly (below the knee). You go to the hospital. They tell you it's not life threatening (you don't need to amputate to save your life or your leg). However, if you don't amputate it, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. You will never be able to walk without crutches or some kind of help. However, if they do amputate, you can get a prosthetic leg that will allow you to walk, though not as you could before. (Obviously this example is a far cry from being pregnant- the majority of abortions aren't chosen because of an injury, life-or-death situation, or even because of a problem. Also, the fetus has it's own, separate, human DNA. But bear with me...)
Now, your doctor comes to you and tells you, "I think you should get it amputated. Things would be easier." Your friends and family tell you, "yes, get it amputated. Don't find out about other options. Don't ask about other options. In fact, the doctor shouldn't even give you other options!"
Would you make the choice to get rid of your leg without knowing your options? Without finding out how they will take it off or what it will do to you? Without information on what would happen if you did keep your leg?
Many people are pro-choice because they think it gives women liberty and freedom. I believe, though, that the way abortions are performed in the States actually distorts freedom. Freedom, in my opinion, is making choices knowing fully the consequences, and being expected to deal with the consequences. I don't believe we are empowering women by allowing abortions without feeling the necessity of letting them know the consequences for abortions. Until I see an abortion clinic that brings women in, says, "Here is what your baby looks like right now. Here's what will happen during the abortion. Here's how the baby will react. Here are other alternatives to an abortion if you desire them. We want to give you all the information to empower you to make the best choice possible for you and your unborn child. If you choose not to have an abortion, great. If you do want one, come back and talk to us."
Until I see that, I don't believe that pro-choicers even have a right to argue their case. If I did see that, I still wouldn't agree with abortion, and I would still use my right as a citizen to respectfully argue against it, but at least I would believe that society and the government actually cared about women and their unborn children (even if I still don't believe abortion should be legal in most cases).
Take another scenario: I serve meat to my children (yes, I do eat meat). I try to hide from them that what is on their plate ever looked like a cute cow. I don't want them to hear that the cow was butchered. I don't want them to be told how the cows are treated before they are killed and about what happens afterward. I do not believe this is empowering my children. I want my children to make decisions based on all the information. I want them to know where their food comes from. If they decide they will continue to eat meat, okay. If they decide to become vegetarians, that's okay too. But in truly helping and empowering my children, I want them to make decisions based on all the information and, most importantly, I want them to deal with the consequences! I desire this because I truly love them and want them to grow in character and maturity. I believe it would do my children a great dis-service if I let them do whatever they wanted, but tried to hide the consequences of their actions from them.
We live in a culture that very much wants to do what it wants without dealing with the consequences. Many (not all, I know, but "93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient)." according to this website, that obtained it's information from pro-abortion sources.) abortions occur because people want to sleep-around without dealing with the consequence. By saying, as a society, that it is okay to do that, we are teaching current and future generations that they can do whatever feels best without thinking about the outcome. Instead of empowering women and giving them choice, I believe it is actually stripping women of power.
If someone is truly pro-choice, I believe they should foster wise, empowering choice making. Women and girls should be treated as mature adults and given all the information. No woman should ever have to say, "If I had known what abortion really did to the child, I would never have done it..."
Most importantly, we need to let women, and all people, deal with, and be aware of, the outcomes of their choices. Hiding ourselves and others from our consequences stunts growth and twists the idea of "freedom." To see true pictures and videos of abortion, go to this site. If you are pro-choice, you should be willing look at the reality of abortion and know what you are fighting for when you fight for/accept legal abotions.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Love Dare

Daniel and I recently started going through The Love Dare, a marriage book inspired by the movie Fireproof and written by the brothers Stephen & Alex Kendrick (creators of the movie). While I have yet to see Fireproof (we're hoping to borrow it from some friends), Daniel and I are enjoying this book/devotional/challenge.
Basically, for those who haven't seen the movie, The Love Dare is a 40 day challenge to love your spouse unconditionally. It is broken into daily challenges, based on a specific aspect of love. For example, the first day includes a discussion on the aspect of patience in marriage. Following this is the daily challenge. This day challenged the reader to "resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all..." Some dares are more concrete (actually doing something for your spouse or saying something to them), others are more internal. It's been a wonderful way to focus on aspects of love that are so easy to forget in our own human selfishness! Daniel and I are both committed to growing our marriage and growing in our love for one another through individual and couple prayers, couple devotional times, as well as enjoying time together. This book has been another wonderful resource to encourage that growth, and I highly recommend this 40 day challenge to any couple!
Yesterday's topic especially stood out to me. Here is a sample from the discussion on "Love Cherishes."

"Consider these two scenarios. A man's older car begins having serious trouble, so he takes it to a mechanic. After an assessment is made, he is told it will need a complete overhaul, which would tax his limited budget. Because of the expensive repairs, he determines to get rid of the car and spend his funds on a new vehicle. Seems reasonable, right?
Another man, an engineer, accidentally crushes his hand in a piece of equipment. He rushes to the hospital and has it x-rayed, finding that numerous bones are broken. Although frustrated and in pain, he willingly uses his savings to have it doctored and placed in a cast, then gingerly nurses it back to health over the following months. This, too, probably seems reasonable to you.
The problem within our culture is that marriage is more often treated like the first scenario. When your relationship experiences difficulty, you are urged to dump your spouse for a 'newer mode.' But those who have this view do not understand the significant bond between a husband and wife. The truth is, marriage is more like the second scenario. You are a part of one another. You would never cut off your hand if it was injured but would pay whatever you could afford for the best medical treatment possible. That's because your hand is priceless to you. It is part of who you are...
It's time to let love change your thinking. It's time for you to realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, your eye, or your heart. She, too, needs to be loved and cherished. And if she has issues causing pain or frustration, then you should care for these with the same love and tenderness as you would a bodily injury. If he is wounded in some way, you should think of yourself as an instrument that helps bring healing to his life... when you look at your mate, you're looking at a part of you. So treat her well. Speak highly of him. Nourish and cherish the love of your life." (The Love Dare, Stepehen and Alex Kendrick)

I desire to cherish Daniel and love him with God's unconditional love. And only with His help is such a desire possible!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ministry Update

We've just sent out an April/May ministry update. If you would like to receive it, but did not, please let me know!

The end (we hope) of the inverter saga...

So, a few Tuesdays ago I posted about my joy in having new inverter batteries. Well, the very next day the inverter ceased working. That week we tried to contact an inverter repairman and endured a week of terrible power outages. Finally, we contacted one that could come and the following Monday he came and took the inverter to fix it (the transfer-switch wasn't working, so it wouldn't turn on when the power went off). He came back on Tuesday with it fixed. Yay! But.... he put the case on upside down (which isn't a problem except that the vented side was then on top). That evening a strong storm came and... the inverter died. So Daniel had to change our electricity to bypass the inverter and go straight to city power. We soon discovered the problem: since the inverter is in an caged outside-area with only a tin roof, water from the storm leaked into the inverter. Before, when the case was on the other way, the vents were on the bottom and we had no problem. But, since he switched it, water could now leak in. So, we called the guy again and he came the next day. Finally, on Thursday, he brought it back repaired (We only had to pay for the new switch thing). Of course, after all this, we've had power all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But, today the power was off for all of 10 minutes, so we were able to enjoy the inverter!
Of course, as soon as it's fixed the power magically goes from being terrible to wonderful. But, I'm not going to ccomplain. City power is good (it means I can do lots of laundry and have cold food!). :) I just hope that's the end of the saga!

Meet-and-Greet Monday: Gardening

Last Monday was labor day. So, we decided to do some gardening. This mostly meant clearing up areas, digging up weeds, etc. We also put in a few flowers. We still have a long ways to go, but it's a good start!
Jeremiah wanted to help out:

Chiste decided he liked the newly tilled garden spot

Jeremiah played in the pool while our friend Christy helped till and pull weeds

Daniel hard at work

Proof I helped:

Jeremiah trying to spray Christy with the hose

Here are the newly tilled/weeded areas:
In the above picture I planted 3 impatiens plants and lots of impatiens cuttings (you can't see them very well in the picture). One of the things I love about gardening here is that you can take so many different cuttings and just plant them in the ground! They are already starting to bud and bloom, but this pic was from last week.

Again, I planted some cuttings. There are also some rose vines in the middle of the area.

Our next gardening adventure: growing lechosa (papaya) trees from seed and planting ground cover. Eventually I'd like to plant beans too.

For more meet-and-greet, see

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Preggie Belly

Here's my belly right now. Some people are surprised at how much I'm showing for 5 months; some are surprised at how little I'm showing. I even had one person (who I'd really just met) say something to effect of "you're really big for only 4.5 months!" I wasn't sure how to take that. I personally like having a preggie belly, so I'll take it as a compliment. :) 4 more months to go!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Meet-and-Greet Monday: Jeremiah's best friend

Jeremiah loves Chiste. And now that Chiste is an indoor/outdoor dog (in and out throughout the day, sleeps in our laundry room area at night) he can play with him even more! Sometimes Jeremiah gets upset when Chiste wants to be outside and Jeremiah is inside. He's constantly asking where he is: "Chite!?" (that's pronounced Cheetay) We're having to do some training to teach Chiste that Jeremiah is not a puppy, but comes above him on the "doggy scale." And it's helping that Jeremiah is starting to reprimand him when he's naughty. So, Chiste is getting much better at not growling when Jeremiah annoys him (gets at his food, bothers him when he's resting, etc. And of course, we're trying to teach Jeremiah not to do those thing (but we still don't want Chiste reacting to it). But, Chiste's getting better (not so sure about Jeremiah). Anyway, here are some pics of Jer and his buddy:

Trying to "snuggle" Chiste

Joining Chiste on his doggy bed

And now for some more random pics of Jer:

His first play dough experience!

Just plain cuteness

Here's the play food set I made out of really bad silverware (the fork bends when you stab broccoli), extra lids from lost plastic containers, and laminated paper food. I tried to make a nice place setting...

...but it didn't last for long:

Eating cheese with a spoon

And here's what happens when he puts his shoes on by himself:

For more meet-and-greet, visit the natural mommy!

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Wow; I am so behind in blogging! After our joy of having new batteries for our inverter, it stopped working the very next day. And so our inverter itself is getting fixed. And, of course, this past week has been one of the worst lately in power outages. The times we have had power I've been concerned with figuring out what to do about Jeremiah's ongoing rash, making paper-play-food, and spending time with the hubby.
So, with that introduction, last Sunday was the annual JCS Kermes. Daniel worked all day (and subsequently had Monday off) while I came after church and nap time. In spite of the rain, it went very well and I chased around a little boy the whole time. :) There were many games, but only a few suitable for a 1 1/2 yr old: the lolly-pop pull (he won tickets, but I didn't give him the lolly-pop), duck pull, and sponge toss (except we modified it to the sponge whack for him). With the tickets he won, he picked out a few prizes (a mini toy car, which Chiste ate the wheels off, and a little toy motorcycle). Here are a few pics from the event:

Decorated for the "safari" theme

Unfortunately, we only have video of Jeremiah smacking his daddy with a sponge, but here's a pic of a student throwing a very wet sponge at "el director"

Us in our "safari" outfits (hey, my shirt has leaves on it- it counts!)

After our lunch break