Sunday, November 30, 2008

A quarter of a year!

Annabelle turned three months old this week. We were in Thailand for the Thanksgiving holiday. She enjoyed chilling out on a beach chair under the umbrella while Caleb played in the surf and sand.

Khai Nok Island, Phuket, Thailand

Our little Sweet Pea is a happy girl. She's full of smiles and squeals for anyone willing to pay attention to her. She is sleeping through the night and growing like a weed. She's got Daddy wrapped around her little finger. She melts her Mommy's heart. And, her burps and toots send Caleb into laughing fits. We can't wait to discover more about this little girl God gave us. What we've seen so far is delightful!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Remember when. . .

A friend of ours dropped off a few toys her daughter has outgrown. Caleb was excited about the exersaucer. I wonder if he remembers when. . .

Four months old

Two years old

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My little Sweet Pea

Annabelle is now 12 weeks old. This is the last of the weekly posts. She'll be 3 months old next week. . . old enough to graduate to monthly updates.

Lately I've taken to calling Annabelle "Sweet Pea". . . calling her Sweet Pea got me humming the song by that name. . . humming the song made me want to listen to the real deal. . . wanting to listen to the real deal led me to iTunes. . .getting on iTunes led me to spend a buck I would not otherwise have spent. So all in all, Annabelle's new nickname is good for the economy =) Anyway, more to the point, when Caleb heard the song playing, he came running over and announced, "Hey, Mom! I wanna dance with Sweet Pea!" Here's a little video of what happened:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Perfect Nap Poll

Annabelle, the Queen of Cat Naps

This poll is in honor of my favorite nap-loving cousin, Jessica, who recently posted an article on her blog about the benefits of taking naps.

Are you a napper? If so, what is your perfect nap? where do you sleep, for how long, etc. . .

My answers: My perfect nap #1 would be a mid-morning nap on a cool, rainy day where you can hear soft thunder in the distance. I would curl up with a fluffy, fresh-from-the-dryer down comforter and a good book. I'd read for a bit and then fall to sleep for at least an hour.

Perfect nap #2 would be getting to snuggle up with a newborn in the hospital after delivery. Not exactly the best sleep in the world, certainly the most contended feeling in the world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The basics of our Faith

When I was growing up, I had never heard of protestants going to catechism. As far as I knew, whatever it was, it was something Catholics did. Then when I was in junior high, my friend, Lisa, invited me to go with her to her catechism class at the Turlock Covenant Church. It sounded so mysterious that I couldn't wait to go with her to find out what it was. I was awfully surprised when it turned out to be totally normal. We played games and sang songs and then her pastor came in and taught us the answer to a question about Christianity. I couldn't figure out what the catechism part of "going to catechism" was.

I eventually learned that Catechism isn't just a Catholic thing and it isn't mysterious at all. It is a way of teaching the principal tenets of the Christian faith using questions and answers. And, kids are particularly good at learning this way. But, don't assume kids are the only ones who can learn this stuff. I'm learning right along with Caleb as we go through the Small Children's Catechism.

Someone is going to fill our kids' minds with something; why not let it be us, their parents, filling them with God's Word and easy to understand summaries of the things we believe are True. Obviously, memorizing the answers to the questions is just a start. It's our kids' hearts that matter. The ultimate goal is to lead our children to Christ!

If you aren't sure how to catechize, or you want to add some fun into it, I'd recommend Dana Dirksen's Questions with Answers series. They are songs taken from the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I have found that songs are one of the easiest ways for me to memorize, so I have really been enjoying the cd we downloaded from iTunes. Check her out and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fight FOCA

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
. . . a time to keep silence, and a time to speak
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 7b

Remember the story of Esther? There was that guy, Haman, who tricked Ahasuerus into signing into law a death order for the Jews. The law said that any citizen could annihilate and plunder a Jew without any consequence or restrictions whatsoever. But, God used the voice of Mordecai to spur Esther into action. Esther was committing political suicide to stand up for the defenseless, but she knew that God had called her to her position of power for exactly that purpose and to keep silent would be wrong.

There is a peice of legislation right now called the Fredom of Choice Act (FOCA) that bears an uncanny resemblence to Haman's decree. It is calling for the permanent and broad-sweeping stamp of approval on abortion, including the end of all bans on partial birth abortion, all requirements that women be informed about the risks of abortion, that only licensed physicians perform abortions, and that parents be informed and give consent to their minor daughter's abortions. In a word, it is stating that any citizen can annihilate a baby without any consequence or restrictions whatsoever.

In addition to the annihilation of the unborn, this legislation also removes legal protections for individual healthcare providers who decline to participate in abortions, and for Catholic and other religiously-affiliated hospitals who, while providing care to millions of poor and uninsured Americans, refuse to allow abortions within their facilities.

It has not yet been signed into law, but President-Elect Obama has made a promise to sign this piece of legislation. Now is the time to speak. Please consider signing the petition linked below. And, prayerfully consider spreading the word about this to your friends and family. And, most of all, please pray.

The Cookie Book

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

10 Weeks Old

My happy little girl. . .

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Prayer for the New President

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Rom 13:1

It's 3pm, November 5th, here in Singapore (making it 11pm on election day in California). I just finished reading the headlines that McCain conceded the election to Obama, making Obama our new President-elect. Barring any extraordinary circumstances, Mr. Obama will take office in January to become the next leader of the United States.

Whether or not I would have chosen Obama for this position is irrelevant. The Bible is clear that God is absolutely sovereign over the affairs of men, including political affairs, which means Obama is God's ordained leader over our nation. Mr. Obama is the man GOD chose for the job and ultimately, Obama must seek to please God, not the American public.

God cares about justice. He calls us to defend the defenseless and to care for those who cannot care for themselves. There are many, many people who fall into this category, and though we may debate the best way to accomplish our goal, as Christians, I believe we are (or at least ought to be) striving for the same end. Mr. Obama has expressed great concern for the poor and needy of our nation and of the world. In fact, that is the reason given me by several of my Christian friends who chose to support Obama. While I disagree with his solution, I admire his compassion for these often overlooked groups.

Unfortunately, while helping some, he has waged war on others--the very least of the "least of these". If you've ever held a newborn baby, you know who absolutely helpless newborns are. How much more so those that are not yet born! While there are, perhaps, many others who are equally in need of our protection, there is no one, no one, in need of it more. We must be in fervant prayer that God would change Obama's heart in regards to the "least of these" among us--the unborn children who are being annihilated by the thousands each day. Let us be persistent and not grow weary in praying for this!

Father in Heaven, thank you for establishing government to rule over us. Thank you for placing Mr. Obama in the position of President-Elect. Be with him and bless him. Fill him with wisdom and understanding. Give him a passion for righteousness and justice. Use him to carry out your will in our nation. Father, we know that it is your will that we protect and care for the weak. I ask that you change Mr. Obama's heart in regards to the heineous practice of abortion. Give Mr. Obama the humility needed to change course and come to the defense of the unborn children. Most of all, Father, give us the heart we ought to have, for the lost and suffering. Have mercy on our nation. Forgive us of our manifold sins. Help us to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly before you.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. . .