Saturday, January 31, 2009
Yes, that was MY statement, seven years and a few months ago. Does that surprise you? :)
Seven years and one month ago, Hubby (in his pre-Hubby days) began working at a Christian camp in southern Ohio as their full-time, year-round food service director. So you can see from my question that this turn of events must have come as something of a surprise to me. *ahem* UNDERSTATEMENT!
Seven and a half years ago, Hubby and I were enaged (full story here). He was planning on being a pastor and I was planning on being a pastor's wife. Our wedding date was set for May 25, 2002. And then God changed our plans, as He often does. Hubby heard about a job at the aforementioned camp in Ohio, had a couple years experience in food service at college, was 'getting tired'- his own words- of being in college after transferring once, switching majors, etc...and after praying about it & talking to his cousin Amy who also worked at the camp (and talking it over with me, of course, giving me the opportunity to make the above statement)... He decided that it would be a nice change of pace, and he could continue to work toward his degree through correspondence while working at camp.
One small problem remained. Remember how I mentioned our, you know, WEDDING??? Well, after we were to be married, I would still have two semesters of college left- one semester of elementary education classes, and one semester of student teaching. And it would be much easier to finish those classes at Faith, where I was already attending, instead of trying to switch to another state's teaching standards or another school's course requirements. So. After considering all the factors, and through the shedding of many tears, we postponed our wedding seven months until January 4, 2003. (Faith graciously allowed me to do my student teaching in Kentucky, near the camp, so we wouldn't have to wait a whole YEAR longer to get married.)
At the time, it was the hardest decision I had ever made.
Looking back, I have to remind myself that we even postponed the wedding because I don't think of it often- now it seems like our wedding was always planned for January of 2003.
So, on January 7th, 2002, Hubby headed to his new job & home at the camp, and I headed back to college, hundreds of miles from Ohio. I'm sure Heather could tell you stories of all the whining I did about this situation on the way to and from our jobs at Culver's. :) EVENTUALLY (it seemed like forever), we were able to get married, and we began to settle into the 'routine' of camp life.
For those of you who might know about as much about the camping ministry as I did a few years ago, I'll let you in on a little secret. The key to surviving a camp summer or even a busy retreat season, is FLEXIBILITY. At camp, you are there to serve a lot of different people all at the same time, and you never know when a mealtime will be changed or a sudden power outage will cause you to have to figure out what you can serve for lunch using only 8 gas burners & 2 gas ovens. Or, just speaking hypothetically here, you may have to postpone your celebration of Valentine's Day with your brand-new hubby of 6 weeks when you have 300 teens in for a retreat and you lose power because of a horrible ice storm and trees are being uprooted all over the camp and could kill people if they leave the buildings...but that's a story for another day.
When we got married, let me just say that I was possibly the antithesis of flexibility. NOT my strong point. :) When things changed suddenly, I was not (pardon the pun) a happy camper. I like to think that God has changed and grown me in this area, and that I would respond differently to certain situations if I were put in them today...but I honestly can't say for sure.
What I can say for sure is that over the last 6 years that I've been involved in full-time camp ministry alongside my husband, God has placed a love in my heart for the camping ministry. I love all the contacts that God has sent our way through the camp, all the people we've met through summer camp, retreats, volunteer work groups, and camp conferences. When I think of heaven, I think of all the churches we've been a part of and all the weeks of family camp and summer camp and camp conference all rolled into one- all of those people (and SO many more) united in God's presence with no sin and only one singular goal- to praise HIM every moment.
So, I guess what I'm saying is- Come to camp. It's like Heaven.
**Disclaimer for all of you theologians out there- that last sentence was not a theological assertion- it was just a joke. I doubt we'll be singing the "Shark song" in Heaven.**
Friday, January 30, 2009
But this week, I have won TWO giveaways. First, I won a Praise Baby CD that I can listen to with Zachary, and I was psyched!!! Yay- I finally won something!!!
Then, yesterday, as I was working around the house, I was thinking to myself about when we have another baby...and I was thinking, "Hmm...I'd really like to have a ring sling and a wrap to use with my next newborn...but, maybe we won't be able to spend money on both of them...I'll probably have to pick which one I want." And the fleeting thought crossed my mind that I had entered a giveaway for a sling, and maybe I would win. But I dismissed the thought, because, as previously mentioned, I never win anything. I also had the fleeting thought that God would provide just as He provided much MORE than we needed when Zachary was born!
So imagine my surprise this morning, when I turned on the computer and saw an email from Stephanie, announcing that I had WON a ring sling!!!! I am SOOOO excited! I get to pick the one I want from KimzKreations Etsy store & she'll send it to me!!! I sent Stephanie an email back using about 1,000 exclamation points about how excited I was. :) Also, I REALLY wanted to win this sling, so I twittered about the contest to get an extra entry...and guess which entry of mine was picked? The one where I said I twittered it, of course. :) I guess I should do that more often. :)
So now I'm trying to decide between the fabrics- I really like all the pink ones, but should you carry a baby/toddler BOY in a PINK sling? I am undecided. So for now I am trying to decide between the Multicolored Cotton Batik with Dots (pink rings, of course); and the Red/Orange/Green Cotton Batik (with green rings). Anybody have an opinion???? I'll let you know what I decide. :)
So, isn't it cool all the different avenues God uses to provide things we need AND things we want? Who knew He would use a fun giveaway to remind me that He knows what I want and need and cares about the little things???
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Religion isn't about rules, it's about Relationship." This was one of the points driven home by the book The Shack, which I just finished reading. (More on that later, maybe even a full review, if anyone's interested.)
Anyhoo, these last few weeks, I've been struggling with my 'parenting/discipline philosophy'. I feel like I have to have it ALL figured out before I begin. (Well, I know I technically BEGUN almost 14 months ago...but, you know, a newborn doesn't disobey you, so they don't need to be disciplined...) Before I had Zachary, I read Shepherding a Child's Heart, loved it, and thought, 'okay, there you go, that's my philosophy'. I re-read it when Z was old enough to cause trouble & begin to need discipline. I think it's a good book, but lately, I just have felt like what I understood from it didn't form a complete philosophy. And I think this age is a hard one for discipline, because Z isn't verbal yet, so it's unclear how much he truly understands. But I don't want to ignore his disobedience either.
Now I am reading another book, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. I am enjoying the different points- so many creative ideas for discipline! Also, the greatest point that I am gleaning from this book is this: Parenting, like religion, is not just about RULES. As a whole, parenting is about RELATIONSHIP. If I don't have a close relationship with my son, no rules or discipline measures are going to make a difference in his life. I have so much more to learn, and when I get it all figured out, of course I'll post about it here. Don't hold your breath while you wait for that installment, though... :)
Also, we had the greatest talk about this subject with our youth pastor & wife at church this week...they have 3 kids between the ages of 9 and 14. Our youth pastor pointed out that God gives this important job of parenting to those of us with NO experience...possibly because He wants us to lean solely on Him and cry out to Him in our struggles! So my first goal in parenting this week is to strive to bring God into each and every parenting decision- "Lord, what should I do now? Does he need a little swat, or just a reprimand and a distraction?" And I've also been attempting to spend more time hugging & just hanging out with my little man, to build our relationship stronger and make my discipline more effective. And I'm still reading my book...still learning!!!
Fed my son breakfast.
Backed the car crookedly in the driveway, sticking it deep into the five-foot snowbank on the side of the driveway.
Frustrated my husband ever-so-slightly by insisting that the car slid and the stickage was not entirely my fault.
Apologized to said husband.
Worked at camp for an hour or so.
Fed my son a snack.
Cleaned yogurt from my son's face, hair, hands, and sleeves.
Cleaned a booger off of my son's coat hood.
Fallen flat on my bahootie outside the office door.
So. I hope everyone else is having a more fun, glamorous day than I am.
I'm off to drink some hot coffee and have some much-needed prayer time. :)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
2. Favorite Vacation: my honeymoon at Disney World
3. How Many Siblings Do You Have? Just one 'real' sibling- my sister is 22. But I have 2 great Brother-in-laws who are like brothers & their wives are like sisters to me, too.
4. Type of Toothpaste You Use: Colgate Total
5. Favorite Cookie: Peanut butter cookies!
6. Favorite Candy Bar: Probably Butterfinger...I don't eat a lot of candy bars
7. Celebrity you met or came close to meeting? I met Kevin Sharp- he's a country singer- when I was working at Toys R Us in high school, he came through my line.
8. What Do You Like Most About Facebook? reconnecting with old friends & sending quick messages to people I wouldn't necessary call.
9. What Do You Like Least About Facebook? Hmmm...all the random notices that someone I don't know has commented on one of my friends pictures or notes, maybe?
10. Favorite Movie(s): This one is always hard for me to think of...maybe Ocean's 11? Or While You Were Sleeping?
11. Favorite Color: PINK!!!
12. If You Could Change One Thing in the World, What Would it Be? @bor+ion would not exist.
13. If You Could Select Your Hair, What Color Would It Be, Style, etc.?
14. Coffee, Tea or Milk? Coffee AND milk. Not together. But both separately.
15. Favorite Salad Dressing: ranch...or creamy Italian
16. Leno or Letterman? neither- they come on too late for me! :)
17. Do You Prefer the Weather Hot or Cold? HOT!!! Can't wait for summer!!!
18. Choose One: Horseback Riding, Surfing or Skiing? um...I'm probably only coordinated enough to do horseback riding.
19. Most Embarrassing Moment? Wow, yeah, right, like I'm going to share THAT on my blog. AN embarassing moment of mine was when I walked out of Perkins & almost got in the backseat of a car where 2 people were making out- and actually touched the door handle before I realized it was the wrong car- and my friends were 3 cars down laughing hysterically at me!
20. Favorite High School Moment: Oh, but it was so long ago...I loved Young Life, so those meetings were probably some of my favorite memories from high school...all the meetings & activities...
21. If You Had to Pick One Resource Book, Which Would it Be? Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Theasaurus? : Thesaurus for sure.
22. If You Could Have Lived in any time era, which would it be? Probably right now. Don't think I'd be super-happy without indoor plumbing. :)
23. Favorite Sport? not into sports...probably enjoy watching gymnastics or ice skating more than anything else. :)
24. Favorite Month of the Year: August...we finish camp & get time off to relax & it's still summer so it's nice out & we can take time to enjoy it.
25. Pick one: Rainy Day, Foggy Day, Snowy Day? Rainy days - I love that rain is relaxing
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Isn't God's creation breathtaking???
And, finally, I leave you with a picture of our favorite souvenir from the trip. This also happens to be one of the most unique souvenirs I've seen...
This is a wax mold of Hubby's and my hands. Wish I could've gotten pictures of the proces...we held hands & dipped them first in COLD ice water- on a 0-degree day- fun! :) Then we put lotion on & dipped our hands in HOT paraffin wax. Then we dipped them in colored wax- we picked black- and then we had to remove our hands VERY carefully from the molded wax. And we had our names & the year painted on them & this is what we came home with:
Friday, January 9, 2009
So, to play along, here are ten blogs that I personally find fabulous (other than Denise's, of course):
1. Antique Mommy- Tina's a great writer and always reminds me to appreciate the times I have with my son.
2. Together for Good- Erin's a real-life friend from college, whose stories about her two boys are utterly hilarious, and even through a miscarriage and now- morning sickness- yay!- she continues to write delightful posts.
3. One Breath at a Time- Janine's blog never fails to remind me to cherish my time with my husband (she lost her husband a little over a year ago), and I appreciate her parenting insights- she's raised/raising 6 kids!
4. Erin's Corner of the World- Erin's another real-life friend, who always has an encouraging word- the sweetest girl you'll ever meet- her blog is sometimes funny, sometimes serious & always real!
5. FriedOkra- Megan's a great writer- I love seeing pictures of her preschooler & her 'new' baby boy & hearing all kinds of stories about her past and present. She's even sharing great tips about blogging for all of us amateurs this week!
6. Stretch Marks- Melissa's stories about her family, including a preschooler & another 'new' baby always have me laughing out loud.
7. Fiddledeedee- DeeDee's posts are absolutely hilarious, too. Her three kids do and say such funny things, and she writes about all of it! :)
8. Adventures in Babywearing- Okay, truly, I never knew what a phenomenon babywearing is until I read Steph's blog! I wear Z on my back in a frame backpack when I work at camp just because it's convenient, but Steph has opened up my eyes to so much more! I'm actually shopping for slings on ebay as we speak! :) Oh, yeah, you'll love the pictures of her 4 kids on her blog & all her great, thoughtful posts, too!
9. Owlhaven- Mary has 10 kids- 6 of them adopted from various countries around the world- her blog is such a blessing as she shares her joys & struggles in parenting & tips for the rest of us comparatively new moms!
10. Bring the Rain- I love Angie's transparent honesty and her thought-provoking posts. They always point me to worship and praise God and to cherish every moment with my little Z. When she shares her struggles with grief, she also helps me to know what a friend may be going through, which is so helpful in ministering to friends.
Along with this fabulous award are a few rules (if you want to play along):
- Put the logo on your blog or post.
- Nominate at least 10 blogs which you think are fabulous.
- Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
- List five addictions
1. Kissing my sweet son's cheeks
2. Facebook/Google Reader (basically, to sum it up, the internet)
3. chocolate (typical, I know)
4. coffee with lots of cream and sugar (it can even be decaf, I just love the taste)
5. Ice cream! 'Nuff said. :)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
As for my own story, I had several friends recommend this system of parenting my new baby, and while I was pregnant, I read the book, and thought it sounded like a great idea.
Then Z was born.
And everything changed. I've already posted about my feelings on babies crying it out, I think it is positive and necessary. But I also think on-demand feeding (as opposed to rigidly scheduled feedings) is necessary, especially before a baby is 6 months old. I now wonder if many of the problems we had with nursing those first few weeks wouldn't have been avoided if I had been feeding on demand instead of attempting to schedule Z's every feeding three hours apart.
If I had those first months to do over again (and I never will with Z, but hopefully someday I will have another stab at them), I would do things rather differently. I think it's important for new parents to remember that they need to find what works for their family and their baby, and not what works for another family, or what the new baby's grandparents or other relatives or friends think they should do.
I guess if I had one piece of advice in a nutshell to give to an expectant mom, it would be this: Don't fall hook, line, and sinker for any one parenting system. Spend time paying attention to your baby's cues and getting to know him, then use pieces and bits of the advice that everyone has given you, and pray for God's wisdom to know which pieces to use. And, yes, six months of feeding on demand and not being able to schedule, well, anything... sounds like forever now, but it will pass SO quickly. You'll see. :)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (truly, we all do)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (do smashed toes count?- that's all I've ever broken).
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
On that note...I think we need something funny to focus on... Sunday night, I was watching the kids in the nursery at church, and I had a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old girl who had come in there to play. Towards the end of the evening, the 3-yo said she needed to use the potty, but she could do it herself. So she went in the bathroom, which has a door straight into the nursery, and I kept one foot in each room, listening for her, and watching the other kids...a few minutes later, she hadn't made any progress, so I went to check on her, and her 4-yo sister came to check on her. The 4-yo stuck her head under the stall door, and came out with this report: "She's chewing gum in there."
"Gum?" I asked. "Where did she get gum?"
"Oh, from the little trash can next to the toilet."
Yeah, really. Yuck, yuck, and double yuck. At this point the girl exited the restroom, threw away the gum & washed her hands, big smile in place. I responded feebly, "Um, you know, it's really not usually a good idea to eat things you find in the trash, honey."
So just dwell on that as you pray for my friend today, okay? :)
Monday, January 5, 2009
Let's see...yesterday was Hubby's and my 6th anniversary!
We celebrated by not doing anything too extraordinary- church, quick trip to town, afternoon at home, evening church, KidZone practice, watching TV together... but it was nice. We discussed throughout the day what we were doing 6 years ago relative to the wedding & all...on our way home from town we celebrated 6 years of being married (our wedding was at 1, so we figured by 1:40 we were married. :) ) We also discussed whether our wedding day was truly 'the happiest day of our lives' or whether people just say that...there have been a lot of other happy, ordinary, less stressful days since then, you know. :)
I have some New Year's resolutions for 2009- just three of them:
- To speak kindly and patiently to my family and to others.
- To spend time consistently in prayer and in God's Word.
- To send birthday & anniversary cards to our families. (I used to do this quite regularly, but it fell by the wayside after little Z came along.)
And, finally, I found these pictures this morning on the little camera I keep my diaper bag. I guess I hadn't checked it for a while. :)
This one's from last September (28th) on our trip to visit family in IA- Z is playing peek a boo with the lid to his food container.
This one is from October (24th)- Z had a cold & fell asleep in his backpack as we were working in the camp kitchen one evening...poor sweet little guy!!!
Hope everyone's enjoying their New Year & getting back into the swing of things- we've got a busy week ahead of us with a work group at camp, several evening meetings for Hubby, KidZone tonight, MOPS tomorrow morning...I'll try to check in at some point! Oh, and my wonderful MIL is coming this weekend...and staying through next week so that Hubby & I can have a nice couple-day getaway to Niagara Falls- sans baby- for the first time since Z was born! I'm excited...but nervous to leave Z!!! I know it will be fun, though.