Friday, October 30, 2009

Hurricane Elias

I just had to share this - thought many of you mommies of toddlers could relate. This is what my living room looked like moments ago before I put Elias down for his nap (Click to enlarge.):What on earth happened in here? A freak indoor tornado? A burglar who was searching for our valuables? Nope, it was just Hurricane Elias, my toddler whirlwind. Cleaning up is the next thing on my list to teach him!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For Grandma

When Elias and I visited my family in Ohio back in August, his Grandma taught him how to say "Mm-mm-mmmmm!" when he's eating something tasty. Well, he's still doing it! He usually only says "Mm-mm" but occasionally he gets the "mmmmmmm" at the end. Either way, it's cute and we think of Grandma every time!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Texas for the wedding of my best friend, Charity. (We were missionaries in Africa together, and she was the maid of honor at my wedding. I thought that might help some of you know who I'm talking about!) It was an AWESOME weekend, and the wedding was PERFECT! I am so thankful to have been able to go! I'll just post this pic, since Charity hasn't posted her own yet and I don't want to steal her thunder. But I'll just post this one to show how beautiful she was and how perfect the ceremony was!!!!! (Photo courtesy of Margaret Allen)Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Njesada!

Justin and Elias stayed home when I went, so Nana (Justin's mom) drove down to stay with them and keep Elias while Justin was at work. From what I hear, they had an incredible weekend and I'm so thankful Elias was well-behaved for Nana! I couldn't believe how much he had grown and developed even just in the 4 days I was gone! Such a big, smart, sweet, and handsome boy. I'll be posting more pictures and videos soon to catch you up with all that he's doing these days, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shape Shenanigans

I mentioned in our 15-month post that Elias had learned to recognize the shapes and push the buttons on his little toy computer on command. Well, I'm finally getting around to posting a video of that! He lost interest after pushing only 3 of them, but you get the idea...

A more recent talent he has developed is being able to correctly use his shape sorter! I'm very proud of him for being able to do this.

My little smartypants!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The first few times Elias ever saw bubbles, he didn't care in the slightest. He was always like "So what?" But then one day a couple weeks ago, I was blowing bubbles with him at home, and it just clicked! He laughed and tried to grab and pop them, and he even said "Bubbles!" very clearly! So here's a video of that day. He has loved them ever since!

If you watch it all the way to the end, you can also see his good use of the sign for "Please," which is pretty new in his signing vocabulary.

Eating with a Fork

This video is a couple weeks old, but I keep forgetting to post it! We're trying to teach Elias to eat with utensils, and he's actually not doing too bad with a fork! He still loses the food off of spoons, but since the food stays on the fork, he does a great job getting it into his mouth. He has only been able to get the food on it himself once or twice, but it's still progress! He actually really loves eating with a fork, and we can often get him to eat food he doesn't like by putting it on a fork. I hope THAT continues!

Note the tiny little fork that came in a set his Nana and GrandDad gave him for his first birthday. Cute! You can also see his good use of the sign for "More." He does it with his right fist closed and left hand open.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Be Careful Little Feet

God is working on teaching me something right now, and my thoughts aren't fully formed about it yet, but I want to get it out there all the same. Most of the time writing about something helps me organize my thoughts about it, so you all are lucky enough to be able to be the recipients of my ramblings on the matter.

I'm currently participating in Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible study with a group of young moms in my area. This is a powerful, powerful study, and I recommend it to anybody whether you feel like you have areas of bondage in your life or not. This week's focus has been on looking back in our families to see what kinds of bondage may have been passed down to us from generations and generations of our families. One of the main Scriptures she uses this week is Exodus 20:5-6.
You shall not bow down to them [idols] or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This verse doesn't mean that we have to pay for our ancestors' sins - Christ did that on the cross. Instead, this means that we often have to bear the natural consequences of generational sins, and we are often more susceptible to repeat the mistakes we saw in those who came before us. Don't get so caught up in verse 5, though, that you miss verse 6. The descendants of the wicked often reap painful consequences, but the descendants of the faithful are guaranteed to reap blessing for a thousand generations! So not only do I want to look back at my ancestors to see if I may have inherited any bondage that I wasn't aware of, but the thing that really took hold of me about this concept this week is to be aware of the legacy I'm leaving for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. Do I want to be the means by which suffering is inflicted on 3 or 4 future generations, or do I instead want to be the means by which blessing is passed on to thousands?

God has given this all a very personal application for me, though, in thinking about my own struggles and areas of bondage, and thinking about the effect it will have on Elias and any other children/grands/greats/etc. I have been struggling a lot with shortcomings, difficulties, and failures for the past couple of years, and I often get discouraged. I struggle with making the right choices every day and with maintaining hope that God can and will deliver me from this bondage. I am often tempted to think that the little choices I make every day don't really matter, won't make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Or probably a better way to put it is just that I get tired of fighting day in and day out to make the best choices, when I don't feel like I'm making any progress or don't feel like there's any reward for doing what's right.

But there's a Casting Crowns song called "Slow Fade," which has always been meaningful to me, but this week has taken an even deeper meaning in the context of breaking my own bondage in order to not pass it down to Elias. You can watch the video here and read the lyrics here. This week it has seemed to come on the radio every time I get in the car, so if you see me driving down the street bawling, that's probably why. The chorus goes like this:
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away.
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray.
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away.
People never crumble in a day.
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade.
So the meaning that this takes for me is just that every choice I make is either one step closer to freedom or one step deeper in bondage. There are very few neutral choices. So when I'm tempted to just stop fighting "just this once," I need to remember that just this one compromise is the first step down a path I don't want to walk down myself, and that I definitely don't want to lead my son down. The first verse of the song says this:
Be careful little feet where you go,
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow.
Oh, I want to lead those little feet behind me down the path of God's Truth to freedom and nowhere else. So I will fight. And keep fighting. Because I do not want to see my children struggling in my same prisons. I want to be the means by which they are able to live in great blessing, freedom, and power from the Lord.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We went to a pumpkin patch with our church small group last night, and we had a great time! Elias loved playing on the playground and crawling around in the hay and dirt, and we got some really cute pictures! Enjoy!