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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cheerful Giver

The sermon at church this week was based on the 8th commandment, do not steal. Most of us are not thieves, but this still applies to so many of us, including myself. This is because when we do not give God what he has declared his, we are stealing from Him. This applies to holding back from sharing our finances, our hearts, obeying His word, etc. When we follow the Scripture and give it all to Him and trust Him, is when we are following this commandment with our whole heart.

In the last few weeks, I have felt called to live a more simple life. I struggle with filling my life with material possessions instead of filling myself with more of Him. The Lord doesn’t say we aren’t supposed to have nice things, but that we aren’t supposed to hold them above giving to Him.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

We want to give more to spread His word all over the place, the more we give, the more invested we become. If our treasure is in giving and tithing, our heart will follow. The more and more we let go of our desires for worldly possessions, the more cheerfully we are able to give.

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun weekend!

We had a very busy and fun rest of the weekend. We had fun at The Little Gym on Saturday morning and then took Hunter to my parents house. Our anniversary is this week, so my parents agreed to watch Hunter on Saturday through Sunday morning.

We went to the afternoon Mariners/Twins game at Safeco and had fun actually being able to focus on the game and not wrestling with a 10 month old. We then checked into the downtown Hilton, walked around Seattle, drank a little champagne, ate some chocolate covered strawberries, and headed to dinner. We decided to eat at Benihana and had a great time.

We picked up Hunter in the morning and then headed back to Safeco for the last day of the Twins being in town. After the game, we relaxed at home for a bit and then headed to the Sunday evening service at church. Such a full and wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Twins are in town!

So the Minnesota Twins are in town playing the Mariners. Jesse is a huge fan, so of course we have to go to every game!

Last night we took Hunter to the opening game of the series. Jesse was on cloud 9 all night because he got his Thome jersey signed before the game on Jim Thome's 40th birthday! That was the highlight of Jesse's year!

Here are some pictures from last night!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stairs, vacuums, and dishwashers

So Hunter has a serious obsession with them all. I cannot leave the gate open, vacuum the living room, or unload the dishwasher without him making his fastest bee line to them all.

If I leave the baby gate open to the stair, he starts squealing and crawls like lightening to them. He tries to crawl onto the vacuum whenever I am using it. And I have discovered that the pack n' play was invented for moms who have to either load or unload the dishwasher.

Does this mean that this little man will grow up loving to do chores? One can hope!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Great News!

My little brother, Brandon, is getting married! We are are so excited for the two of them and just love Jennifer!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Marriage - Keys to making it work

I've decided to write a weekly blog regarding the message at church for the week. It helps me share the Word, the message that Pastor Dean conveys, and helps me put to words what my thoughts and take is on the subject.

Last night the message was on marriage and the keys to making it work in a Christian household. Here are the 4 keys that were given:

1. Be a Jesus family, not a religious family. Religion will not hold your marriage together, Jesus will.

2. Have no deal breakers.

3. Agree that you both married an imperfect person.

4. Marriage is God's solution to you both becoming the person that God has destined you to be.

I needed this message, just like most people who are married. Marriage is one of the most challenging and difficult things that people go through. When you get married, it feels like "puppies & rainbows" to many of us, everything is wonderful and perfect. We are so disappointed when there is a storm or when rough times come. It is a lifelong commitment to constantly make the effort to understand each other better and be willing to change when need be. But, marriage is also such an amazing and rewarding experience. To know that you will never be alone, that someone will always be on your side no matter what, is a reward that tops any other.

Let's talk about the "keys". To commit to being a Jesus family is one of the greatest decisions that can be made in a marriage. It's not about following rituals, it is about giving all thanks to our Savior and allowing him to be the biggest presence in our marriage and family.

Having no deal breakers. Wow, does society tell us differently or what?! So many people think that people who stick by their spouse no matter what have no backbones. It can be quite the opposite. Isn't it harder to stick through hard times than to leave? Jesse and I are committed to staying together no matter what. I am so glad to know that we are on the same page with this and have the reassurance that we will make it work no matter how imperfect we both are. If he cheats, I will stay. If he become a drug addict, I will stay. If he becomes paralyzed, I will stay. In any situation, we will stay and we will pray.

Agree that you both married an imperfect person. This seems like a no-brainer, but how many times to we get caught up in our spouses imperfections and forget our own? It drives me nuts that Jesse doesn't make the bed and gets toothpaste all over the bathroom counter. He doesn't like that I don't always hang up my towel or that I set my alarm for three different times every morning. But....we are imperfect and we love eachother anyways.

Marriage is God's solution to making us the people that He wants us to be. How true is this? I have changed so much and so has Jesse, simply from being together. We need to trust that He knows what we need more than we know what we need.

It breaks my heart to see so many marriages failing around us. I pray that God's hand is revealed in all of our family and friend's marriages and that their hearts are opened to letting him be a part of their struggles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Fun!

Hunter and I have had a very fun morning so far. He slept for 11 hours straight last night, slept in until 7:15am this morning, and got ready for The Little Gym. We had lots of fun at class today because our friends, Rachel and Cole, joined us today! Cole is just 3 days older than Hunter.

When we got back home, Hunter was content to play with his toys while I match Molasses Cookie dough. I still haven't made the cookies because the dough has to chill for at least 4 hours. Boo!

Here are some pictures from this afternoon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Things I am thankful for this week:

1. The sunshine
2. My amazing parents who take such wonderful care of Hunter and I both.
3. My amazing husband who works so hard and makes many sacrifices to serve our country and provide for his family. I love that he is dedicated to staying in contact with me as much as he possibly can while he is away.
4. Having a secure job in this economic turmoil.

Now to more trivial things to be thankful for...

5. Coffee
6. Skinny Cow mint ice cream bars that only have 100 calories in them!

What are you thankful for this week?

More swimming

So we finally made it back to swim lessons this week after taking last week off because Jesse's mom was in town. We have been having so much fun in the water. Our friends Geoff and Tera and their kids, Allie and Adrian, are also taking lessons at the same time.

This class is pretty funny because it's mostly singing nursery rhymes with some variation to make them include lyrics about being in the pool. Here are a couple more swim pictures from this week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Life Well Lived

At church on Sunday night, Pastor Dean was speaking about preserving life while living in a “culture of death”. He was mainly speaking about euthanasia and abortion. I’m not trying to get into a political debate, but I thought that he made an amazing point through the story of Mother’s Teresa’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994 in front of all the big guys in Washington, including the Clinton’s.

Mother Teresa gave a speech about how abortion is the destroyer of peace today. It was very controversial and blamed a lot of the problems in the “West” on abortion. Check out the full speech, http://www.famousquotes.me.uk/speeches/Mother-Teresa-Speech/

When a reporter asked Bill Clinton how he felt about what Mother Teresa had to say on abortion, he responded by saying “How can anyone argue with a life so well-lived?”
Wow, what a powerful sentence. I sat and pondered on those words. How amazing would it be if we could all live our lives in such a way, that people regardless of differing backgrounds or opinions, would be able to speak those words over our lives as well. I want to love Jesus and humanity in such a way that people would be challenged and encouraged to emulate and live “A Life Well Lived”. It's a journey but an amazing adventure that I pray that I will strive to be thoughtful of.

Renee's Visit to Seattle

Last week, Jesse's mom came to town to visit us from Minnesota. We had lots of fun and she was so much help! We got to do lots of fun things with Hunter while she was in town.

We went to church twice, ate on the Tacoma waterfront, saw the Circus exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, shopped at Bellevue square, took Hunter to the barber for ANOTHER hair cut, and ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Jesse and I even went out with our friend, Jamie at Emerald Downs and met up with our other friend Pete later that night. I also went out to Tacoma on Saturday night with some friends. It's been so long seen we've been able to go out at night without Hunter.

Here are some pictures from last week.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spending Diet

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am an addict. My addiction is my son, Hunter's fault. I LOVE to by anything that has anything to do with him it, he can play with it, etc). So... don't worry, I know it's not really his fault. I also love to buy myself things and gifts for other people.

I am cutting back and am officially on a spending diet through the end of September. This means no purchases at Baby Gap, Stride Rite, Gymboree, Lululemon, Williams Sonoma, etc. The list can go on and on. I am staying away from the mall!!!

Looking forward through September, there are a few things that are not critical, but I will not give up:
1) Hair colored and cut
2) The Little Gym tuition for the Fall
3) Decorations, food, etc. for Hunter's 1st Birthday Party

Any suggestions on keeping myself on track with this goal?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Here are some pictures of Hunter from his first day at swim lessons.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So Sore!

I am so sore that I can hardly walk! Jesse motivated me to do some mini Crossfit workouts with him this weekend and sadly, I am paying for it! They are short, intense workouts that make you breathe fire, as Jesse likes to say. :) What do you do for an intense workout?

We did our workout at home on Sunday and then took Hunter to the playground next to our house. He loves the swing!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Zoo pics

This is from several weeks ago, but here are some pics at from the Woodland Park Zoo.

Busy, Busy week... but a great one!

This week has gone by so fast and was full of so many great things. Let's start at Monday...

Monday was a normal day, but Hunter went to bed in time for me to watch 3 full hours of the Bachelorette Finale! I'm such a geek, but I'm hooked on this show. I was happy with her choosing Roberto. Chris was a super nice guy, but I just didn't see them working out long term. (I know, I know, nearly none of them end up working out.)

On Tuesday, Hunter had his first day of swim lessons. He was great and loved the water. The leader mostly sang songs and had us float them around the water and dunk them under the water once.

Wednesday, Hunter took his first steps while I was at my parent's house for lunch! Yay, Hunter! The day took a turn for craziness once I left work... I was on my way home and I got a call from our new tenant saying that the dishwasher was leaking all over the floor. Mind you, this type of thing only happens when Jesse is out of town. What in the heck do I know about dishwashers?! Not a thing, so I called Sears, waited on hold for 20 minutes, made a repair appointment, all while trying to do some grocery shopping with Hunter. I finally finished shopping and got home and got straight to making cupcakes. My boss asked me to make some cupcakes for a baby shower she was throwing for her neighbor. So I whipped up some red velvet with cream cheese frosting and some yellow buttermilk with fluffy vanilla frosting. I finally got to bed at about 11, only to be woken by people in the neighborhood screaming at each other... gotta love summer because everyone leaves their windows open to have their arguments heard by all. Finally went back to bed at midnight, but then Hunter woke up at 1am and wanted to play until 3am, then my alarm went off at 4:45am. Ick!

On Thursday, I could barely get out of bed. I decided to jump on the scale only to discover that I'm 10 lbs. under my pre-pregnancy weight! Jesse got home from a 2 week trip and surprised up at my work and we took Hunter to his second swim lesson together, after walking around the North Bend Farmers Market.

Friday, we had to do some grocery shopping and then I went with Jesse to his Crossfit gym for a good workout. Cleaned the house.

Saturday, woke up early with Hunter and we went to the store. I made homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Went to my Dad's family's get together at a cabin in North Bend. Cleaned the house and then Jesse's mom flew in from Minnesota late last night.

Finally today.... we woke up and went to Church, had lunch at Duke's on the Tacoma waterfront. And now I am finally taking a moment to myself :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Oh how he has grown up!

I can't believe how fast time has flown and how old Hunter is getting! He wants to walk so badly and is getting pretty brave about letting go of a piece of furniture for a second at a time. It might not be long until he takes off!

He is also officially done with using his pacifier. We just gradually stopped giving it to him about a month ago, I don't think he really noticed.

And.... he's not loving the pureed food much anymore. He'd much rather be eating table food, or even better, feeding himself finger food. Recently he has started eating: pancakes, pulled pork and chicken, raspberries, graham crackers, and cereal bars.

Here are some of the more recent pictures of our little guy :)

Fun weekend

My mom, Hunter, and I decided to go down to Portland this weekend. We drove down on Friday morning and went shopping and had lunch on NW 23rd once we got done there. I love that area! It has the cutest shops and restaurants!
Then we checked into the downtown Hilton and decided to hit the department stores. We didn't have much luck at Macy's so we cruised on over to Nordstrom where they were having their big anniversary sale (not that I hadn't already participated in the sale the weekend before :) ). We then went to the mall area downtown and browsed through the shops. By that point, Hunter had quite enough. He had been in the carseat or stroller for most of the day and was getting a big antsy.
So, we ended the evening at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Hunter got his first children's meal off the menu. They had macaroni and cheese served with buffalo chips (soft round french fries) and boy did he love it! He was just all smiles and laughing nonstop.
In the hotel that night, he was a wild man. He would not go to sleep and was into absolutely everything possible. Guess he had a lot of pent up energy!

Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.

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