Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Does Little Birdie Say?

Our parents watch over us and take care of us until it is time for us to leave home.

I ran across this poem, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, today while reading to Gabriel. It is a strong reminder of how fleeting the days are that we have to teach and train our children.

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
"Let me fly," says little birdie."
"Mother, let me fly away."

Birdie, rest a little longer, Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
"Let me rise and fly away."

Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

This poem is sobering, but it made me think again about how I am using the swiftly passing days I have with my children. Am I too busy? Are we at home enough? Am I talking enough, reading enough, praying enough? Am I modeling the character I want them to emulate? Am I leading gently, kindly but consistently? To be honest I probably fall short of what I want to be doing more times than not. This is, however, where my heart is. I want to be equipping and training in righteousness while my little birdies are still in my nest. I would love to hear from you; what are your thoughts on your time with your little birdies? How are you preparing them to fly?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great Hymns of the Faith

I grew up on the great hymns of our faith which are now becoming more and more a thing of the past. I love the newer praise choruses as well, however, the hymns are beautiful because they are very rich in doctrine. Presently I am using an inspiring hymn book in my quiet times. The book is pictured above with the title. It is a beautiful book with rough edges on the pages to give an antiquated appearance. For every hymn there is a story of its origin beside it. It is awesome to learn the stories behind the hymns I have been singing my whole life. In fact, I was hearing the hymns in the womb before I was born. I am thankful that these beautiful expressions of praise to God have been such a rich part of my upbringing.
Even though my kids are growing up in different times I am still trying to connect them to the hymns as well. Today I read about the very old hymn Fairest Lord Jesus. What peaked my interest about it is that it was written by Roman Catholic Jesuits in Germany. It originally appeared in 1677 in a hymnbook titled
Munster Gesangbuch. Anything about Germany peaks my interest after living there for a short while back in '07.

I like stanza Two:

Fair are the meadows; Fairer still the woodlands, Robed in the blooming garb of spring. Jesus is fairer; Jesus is purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fun at the New Katy Park

Today was a nice day to try out a new park near our house. We had a picnic lunch and then played. We're definitely looking forward to our next visit!

Rolling Downhill



We Love Home School Recess!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three Month Old Angel Baby!

Abigail Joy is three months old today. Where has the time gone? She is getting so big. When I took her for her last check up she was in the ninetieth percentile in everything. She is a growing girl!!! She has been an absolute delight to our whole family. After having four babies, with four different personalities, we have to say Abbie Joy is the angel baby the books refer to. She is the sweetest, easiest going thing we've ever seen. She rarely fusses unless she is hungry or is in need of a diaper change. She just sits, smiles, and coos a great deal of the time. She is the first baby we've been able to schedule from the very get go. She is like a little clock that predictably wakes every three hours for her next feeding. Matt and I are so thankful to the Lord for His mercies in giving us such an easy baby the fourth time around. We ask ourselves if it is all her personality, which it mostly is, but we also have to admit we've learned a few things as parents too. This time around we feel like we really know what we're doing so much more. Isn't it amazing how parenting changes us and teaches us much we never knew? I believe God gives us children fully intending them to grow us, stretch us, and prune us like nothing else can. I'm just thankful He doesn't expect us to do this huge task called parenting in our own strength. His plan is to lend us these blessings, and He wants us to be His instruments in raising them. He wants to raise them through parents who are willing to be empty vessels. Well, those are some of my thoughts today on our sweet baby girl and on what I am learning as a mommy. Thank you, Lord, for giving us this DREAM BABY who is fitting into our family so well. Please help us to be faithful to teach her Your ways and point her to you. Amen

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Little Mama in Training

We gave Annagrace this doll when she came to meet her new baby sister in the hospital. She was ecstatic over it. She loves to feed her doll and take care of it. I am happy to see that God given, motherly instinct showing up in her at such an early age. I want to encourage her loving, nurturing side and affirm her in her femininity. I want Annagrace to grow up knowing that being a godly wife and mother is a very high calling. I want her to know that running a home and training the hearts of her children is a job with eternal benefits.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Little Man

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,21)

I was introducing the kids to my new blog this morning, and Gabriel requested that a picture of JUST HIM!!! be posted. :) I love my little man. Being the only boy in our family makes him uniquely special. I remember when I was pregnant with him the Lord impressed upon my heart the words from Ephesians written above. The Lord was speaking to my heart that my son would be more than I could imagine and do you know what??? Gabriel has been an absolute delight to his Mama's heart. Having a little boy has been a real joy. I thought I would bullet point some of the things I love about this little man in my life.

  1. His adorable smile
  2. The way he says, "I Love you, Mama."
  3. His overabundance of hugs and kisses
  4. The way he loves and wants to protect his sisters
  5. He ponders things deeply and comes out with some amazing thoughts. Recently he told Matt, "Daddy, I don't know much about crystals, but I sure know I love you."
  6. He is just so stinking cute!
  7. I love to see him dressed up as Robin Hood, Superman, a Knight, a Pirate, a Pilgrim and many other things in his imagination. It is amazing how he utilizes different costume pieces to create the characters he wants to be.
  8. He can be super funny and have everyone rolling with laughter.
  9. I love the many mornings he has come in with his Nemo pillow and snuggled in bed with me at the start of a new day. (Yes, he is my early riser; always has been)
  10. I love our special times reading together.
O.k. I could go on and on, but can you tell I love my little man? Yea, I REALLY do!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lauren Walking Towards the Castle Church

A Mighty Fortress

This powerful hymn was written in the 1500's by the great protestant reformer Martin Luther. Our family had the awesome privilege of visiting his hometown of Wittenburg, Germany a little over a year ago. It was incredibly moving to see the door where he nailed his 95 thesis stating that salvation is in Christ alone and not by works. We were able to go inside the Castle Church where he nailed that thesis and had a special time of family prayer at the alter. Martin Luther was actually buried there in the church as well. The church has a tall steeple with the words, "Ein' fest Burg ist unser Gott." Do you know what that says? A Mighty Fortress is our God! Luther is known for starting the protestant reformation but also for writing that majestic hymn based on Ps 46:1 - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
This morning I was reading the hymn in my quiet time, and these are some of the lines that stood out to me:

"Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing, Were not the right man on our side, The man of God's own choosing, Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He, Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same, And He must win the battle."

Here are some pictures from our trip to Wittenburg:

We are standing outside the location where the thesis is said to have been nailed up on the door.

Matt and the children at the alter where we had family prayer inside the Castle Church

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tea With My Girls!!!

My sweet Lauren loves to have tea parties with Mommy, and now that Annagrace is old enough to join in on the action she is quickly becoming a fan of tea parties too. Recently we had our first tea party with new sister Abbie Joy along with Lauren's American girl dolls as well. What sweet memories!