Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Spiderman Birthday

After a 5 day battle with something flu-like, I finally felt better in time to celebrate Elijah's Spiderman birthday on Saturday. My mom was here, as well as my in-laws, and Elijah received the full birthday experience: cake, ice cream, presents, and even a birthday spanking! (this was the first year we could do that and explain it wasn't because he had disobeyed!)
This was the birthday cake he requested - I chose chocolate because we both love it!
I can't resist his smile! Alli enjoyed the cake as well. She was pretty blue by the time the cake was gone!
He got some fun presents, like a combine to play with, a Hot Wheels race track, a Leap Frog alphabet toy, Hungry Hippos (I have great memories of that game as a child), a UPS truck and a scooter for outside play come warmer weather.
Enjoying a game of Hungry Hippos with his Daddy and his Grandpa.
It was a full weekend, but we had a blast. He is already talking about turning 5 and naming all the things he would like to get for that birthday. I'm hoping the birthday buzz wears off soon, though, since he has been pretty hyper since all the company, cake and presents.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Buddy

My little bud turned 4 years old today. I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. You are such a wonderful son, loving big brother and all-around fun guy to be around. I can't imagine life without you! We love you tons, Elijah. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Could Live at IKEA

I found this article today, which led me to this website where I watched the videos. Funny, because we are planning another trip to IKEA in a few weeks and it may just be the way to figure out what you really want from the store. Sometimes I think it takes a week to fully see everything they sell.

By the way, I did see some stuff in the videos that are going on my list for our next trek.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

When Snooping Fails . . .

I've exhausted the list of people who were in my house over the holidays and have only discovered the deliver-er of the anonomous gift. And since I am too self-conscious to ask everyone I've ever met if they are the mystery giver, I decided to say it like this:

Thank you to whomever gave me the gift I hinted at in another post. I was ecstatic to get it and am still in awe of how quickly you got it to me. The post had been up less than 12 hours! Your generosity was a blessing to me and my hubby is glad that he doesn't have to hear me complain about it anymore! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Indwelling Rule of Law

Lately I have found myself contemplating why, in movies and TV shows, the characters usually do the right thing. I mean, they may not, and often do make wrong choices, but usually the moral of the story is a good one. The husband is wrong to choose his career over his family, the woman is wrong in lying to and cheating on her husband (unless it is for true love, of course). While rarely in real life do we apply the same standard to ourselves. The man who is involved in an adulterous affair while his wife is at home caring for their 4 kids usually justifies his sins. The mother who constantly screams at her children feels she must to get them to behave.

Which leads me to another contemplation I have had: why does the news media constantly call for those they cover to be above reproach? Two recent stories come to mind: a presidential candidate is publicly reprimanded for not reprimanding a supporter for using a not-so-nice word to describe an opponent; and when an over-the-road truck driver fails to realize that his blown tire has killed a man in an oncoming vehicle and continues to his next destination without stopping, he is branded as an unsafe driver. Two instances when I could clearly see the other side of the issue, but the media portrayed the stories as having one right way to handle each situation, and the ones involved in the story did not measure up to their ideal.

The answer isn't complex, but I found this paragraph in the first chapter of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity to be the most concise way to explain it:

I am . . . trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money - the one you have almost forgotten - came when you were very hard-up. And what you promised to do for old So-and-so and have never done - well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behaviour to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it - and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much - we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so - that we cannot bear to face that fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves. (emphasis mine)

I guess Romans 1 is more concise (and inspired) but I appreciated Lewis' take on it. The fact of the matter is, without the gospel in one's life, no amount of "Rule of Law" or "Law of Nature" is enough to cause us to consistently do what is right. And only the cross gives us the ability to rightly perceive our sin and to not only make the right decisions, but to desire to make those decisions for the Glory of God. Another reason to rejoice and weep over the amazing grace we have received.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A New Year's Resolution I Actually Kept!

Last New Year I decided that I would make only one resolution and I was determined to make it sufficiently vague enough that I wouldn't become obsessive-compulsive about completing it. (I tend to be a bit OCD) My resolution was to read more. I realized that I kept buying books and then putting them on a shelf and never touching them again. So I decided that I would be more purposeful in my reading in 2007, which included doing just that (reading) instead of this (blogging) and also to read a chapter of a book before bed every night. I kept a list of the books I read and even posted a review or two. So here is my master list of reading materials for the last year:

1. Humility – True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
2. The Eaglet by Jim Ellif
3. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
4. The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
5. Sex is not the Problem (Lust is) by Joshua Harris
6. The Life and Labors of George Muller by Mrs. Muller
7. Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman
8. Lies my Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
9. Mary by Janis Cooke Newman
10 & 11. The Humanist Manifesto I & II
12. Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock by Andrew Beaujon
13. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
14. New Covenant Theology: Questions Answered by Steve Lehrer
15. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
16. The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
17. The Nine Day Queen of England – Lady Jane Grey by Faith Cook
18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
19. It Aint’ All About the Cooking by Paula Deen
20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
21. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
22. Saving Erasmus by Steven Cleaver
23. Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson
24. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
25. The Art of Wedding Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen

I am already on par to complete at least another 4-6 books just by finishing up books that I am reading for a Bible Study or with a friend, so 2008 is off to a good start! I have really enjoyed taking the time to read for pleasure again, and I hope to do more of it this year. And for all of you who gave me suggestions -thanks and keep 'em coming!