Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kisses and Ducks

Owen loves finding pictures of ducks in his books, and he loves giving kisses. Here, he got so excited about finding the duck, he gave it a kiss!

Snow Day!

It snowed last night and today. It was the perfect kind. It would just start dumping snow (gorgeous!), then the sun would shine and melt the roads, and then it would start again. Very pretty. Owen was very intrigued. He crawled over to the door last night and stared out the window. We let him get a better look this afternoon. Micah wasn't too interested, but his top molars (last teeth, yeah!) are coming in, and he has been a bit grumpy this week.

Owen's New Tricks

Owen is getting much faster at crawling lately. He is still not as hard to keep up with as Micah was, mainly because he is not as curious about things that are a "no, no," that is except for cords. He has unfortunately had to learn the hard way as a couple of things have fallen on him while I am screaming from across the room: "no, no, Owen. Don't pull the cord!" He loves to climb and pull up on everything, but his favorite is the gate. We put a swing gate in the doorway to the playroom so that I could keep my eye on the boys, and they could have a little more room than in a playpen. He also loves climbing up the stairs (assisted of course!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On a Lighter Note

Micah is learning to sing along with music.  We learned of this song off a cousin's blog, and the boys love it.  It is called Night Mantra by: Renee and Jeremy for those interested.


I recently learned of a radio show "Oprah and Friends," in which "A Course on Miracles" is being taught. This is what the website itself has to say about the course:

About A Course in Miracles

According to Marianne,
A Course in Miracles is a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy contained in three books. It is not a religion, but rather a psychological mind-training based on universal spiritual themes. The practical goal of the Course is the attainment of inner peace through the practice of forgiveness.
A Course in Miracles (often called just "the Course") is an educational program for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious, in its perspective. Although it uses Christian terminology, the Course expresses a universal experience, and its underlying ontology is reminiscent of ancient refrains, echoing the world's most hallowed traditions." …

The more I read, the more shocked I became. One should be forewarned just by the description: "retraining the mind," "spiritual rather than religious," uses Christian terminology, but...

I couldn't believe this was being taught as truth, even using in some places the name of Jesus Christ. That the course tries to pass itself off as agreeing with Christian theology is maddening. I once heard a pastor say that he believed Oprah Winfrey to be the most dangerous person in our society. I don't think he meant an attack on her personally, and by writing this post, neither do I. I like her show and often watch it myself, and I honestly think she means to help people. I do, however, believe she has power beyond what she may even know, and she is using it (perhaps unknowingly) to lead people away from the Lord. Her influence is amazing, and sadly enough, many people take what she says (or what she endorses) as truth. Brothers and sisters, we need to be aware of what is being taught out there. We need to have an answer for why these are false teachings, and we need to fill our minds with God's Word so as not to become deluded by these New Age philosophies that use (but redefine) terminology and theological elements also found in Christianity. I know we shouldn't be shocked that this is happening. Jesus himself taught: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15 ) I feel that I have been somewhat naive. I know there are false religions out there, but Satan has been very clever with this one.
The Course has parts that sound so close to the truth that I believe it has great power to grasp those who are longing for answers. It will prey on those who believe "Christian things," but who are lacking knowledge of God, knowledge to be found in the Bible alone. We must fill our minds with Scripture and be ready to defend our faith.

Paul says,
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."  Colossians 2:8

"Certain persons have wondered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teacher of the law without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions." 1 Timothy 1:6-7

"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing." 1 Timothy 6:3-4

As I was looking on the website of Oprah and Friends radio, I came across this lesson.

A Course in Miracles, Lesson 38
Original Air Date: February 7, 2008
Lesson 38 is one of the most powerful affirmations in A Course in Miracles, reminding you that there is nothing your holiness cannot do. Through the power of your thinking, you can transcend all limitations of the world. Through the power of your holiness, you can transform all situations. Through the power of your love, you can cast out all fear.

There is nothing my holiness cannot do.

Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator.

Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest. Through your holiness the power of God is made available. And there is nothing the power of God cannot do. Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else. It is equal in its power to help anyone because it is equal in its power to save anyone.

If you are holy, so is everything God created. You are holy because all things He created are holy. And all things He created are holy because you are. In today's exercises, we will apply the power of your holiness to all problems, difficulties or suffering in any form that you happen to think of, in yourself or in someone else. We will make no distinctions because there are no distinctions.

Lesson 39 says: "My holiness is my salvation"

I included these excerpts so you can read and be aware of some of the dangerous teachings of this course. It wants us to believe that we can be holy and perfect on our own and therefore be like God. It would follow then that we will be our own god, and therefore, don't need God. This is just what the "crafty" serpent told Eve in Genesis 2.

The Bible tells us:

"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Romans 3:10-12

God requires holiness of us. But we have all sinned and turned away from God. This is why we need Jesus. It is His holiness, not ours, that is our only plea for the mercy of God.

"For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The pain and sufferings of the world will not be absolved by our holiness as The Course teaches, nor will our faith in Christ end these earthly sufferings. Christ tells us in John 16:33 that "in the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." There will be pain and suffering until Christ's return, we are told that. We live in a fallen, sinful world, so these things cannot be avoided. We can be confident of this: Christ came, he lived a perfect life, he died the death that we deserve on the cross, he overcame death, and he lives and reigns. He will come again to claim His bride. The devil will not win. I want to encourage you all to read and learn more about the true God that loves us even though we are unlovable, who sent His only begotten Son to bear punishment for our sin; to read about a Savior, who humbled himself to become a servant for us, who bore our punishment on the cross so that we could have communion with our Lord. Let us, as Peter commanded, in our hearts "regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." 1 Peter 3:15

Grace and peace to you all from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cute Picture

I couldn't resist posting this one. He was so sleepy and literally falling asleep while sitting in the playroom. I love when his eyes are closed because it really shows his LONG eyelashes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feeling Better

Micah is finally feeling better! Praise the Lord. We are slowly working up to more normal meals and he is gaining his weight back. We went to "rice and beans" a.k.a. Las Palmas Mexican restaurant tonight, and he ate three tortillas and an order of cheese dip by himself. Here are some belated Valentine's pictures of Owen (Micah was still under the weather), and some safari fun with Micah. He was getting so bored sitting on the couch all the time that we were trying to make life a little more fun and interesting. He liked searching for the animals all over the house, and didn't seem to mind that a cow and rabbit showed up on his safari adventure!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One Very Bad Week

I think there has only been one other week in my 2 1/2 years of motherhood that has tried me as much as this past one (that was November 2006 when Micah had a string of colds leading to a double ear infection while four new teeth were coming in, and I was 20 weeks pregnant.) Anyway, Thursday morning Matt left for work not feeling well. He called a little later to say that he had gotten extremely sick when he got to work. We wrote it off as some bad food off a buffet the previous night at a continuing education seminar. That is until around noon. I was making lunch for Micah and me when I heard it: projectile vomiting coming from the den. I got him off the rug as fast as I could and tried to get to the bathroom, but not before he threw up three more times. Oh, the smell and the mess! I got Micah cleaned up and settled watching a movie while I proceeded to scrub the rug and mop the floor (three times). Sure enough later that night, I began feeling a queasiness in my tummy that lasted until the next morning. Matt was thankfully better and headed back to work, but I had to call him around noon to come home because I was getting sick and couldn't take care of the boys. We assumed Micah was over the worst of the virus, and were so thankful that Owen was avoiding it so far. There were lots of prayers for Owen to stay healthy, and for God to make Mama and Micah healthy. I had a bad night of fever, but woke Saturday to just a mild headache. Micah, on the other hand, was apparently not over it, and was sick a few more times on Friday and woke very weak. We tried a little lunch, but it came right back up during his nap. By Saturday afternoon, Micah had thrown up so much he was starting to get dehydrated. It was a little scary for us because he was starting to show signs of severe dehydration (fast pulse, sunken eyes, strange breathing, etc.) We began taking drastic measures by syringing a teaspoon of Pedialyte every couple of minutes for an hour. We felt better as his color and breathing improved, and he had stopped throwing up. Dr. "Bomp" also helped us know when he would be serious enough to go to the ER. We obviously wanted to avoid that traumatic experience as much as possible. Well, Sunday and Monday came and went with no improvement, and this is where my patience began running very thin. I was ok with cleaning up on Thursday and Friday (this is what mothers do right?), but by Monday I was so sick of changing sheets and pillows sopping with vomit, scrubbing floors, sanitizing toys, bathrooms, etc. that I thought I was going to lose it. Matt was, as always, taking it all in stride (Sorry baby for being so uptight and for being such a cleaning fanatic. Thanks for putting up with me, for helping so much, and for taking care of all of us! I love you more than you know). I wanted to keep that virus in check and to get it out of my house, mainly because I didn't want Owen getting this mess. Praise the Lord for keeping him healthy. I don't know why he didn't get sick. I do know that the Lord was protecting him with my antibodies and had a host of angels guarding him. Of course on Tuesday we took Micah to the doctor. The doctor said, while he is very sick (he had lost 3 pounds, which is a lot for a little guy), he is hydrated (thanks to Dada's syringe of Pedialyte), and that there is nothing to do but wait out this virus. Throwing up is how he is ridding his body of it and to stop the vomiting would give the virus a chance to replicate and make him more sick. Okay, so I don't like giving unnecessary medicine, and I like having a doctor that understands when and when not to give drugs, but at this point we were so worn out and just wanted to be out of this nightmare. To pack up, wait at the doctor for an hour, have him poke and prod on our little boy, and then say, "wait it out" was enough to make me want to scream. I told Matt today, I think that it would feel good to throw something glass against the wall and watch it shatter. Am I losing it, or what? I am getting out tonight for a girl's night, which should be somewhat therapeutic. What I really want is a wonderful, romantic date with my husband, but until Micah is well, this will have to do. Thank you again, Hoff, for watching the boys so I can get out. Can you please give me some of your stamina and patience? We are still praying that Owen stays healthy and most of all, that Micah will get well. We were awakened last night to him crying and throwing up again. Yes, another load of sheets, another new pillow, and another sleepless night. I know those are selfish comments. I really just want my sweet boy to feel better, (the ease of housework will be a bonus though!). Please pray with us that he will be well soon, and that he will keep down some nutrients. He is starting to literally waste away. Here are some pictures from the past week. All in all, Micah has been in good spirits (except when he is actually throwing up). He is very weak, so he rests most of the day. We are trying to teach him to smile for the camera, so that is what all the funny faces are for. I was also teaching him the art of relaxing in a bubble bath!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No clever title this time; I was just having fun with the camera. If you are wondering why Owen looks so sad, one of his teeth has receded. The gum swelled up over it, and he is having a rough time. He hasn't eaten in two days. He will nurse a little, but I am wondering how long this will sustain him. He was so sad today, but as we walked by the window he got so happy and started giggling and jumping. I thought, "yes, something that will cheer him up." We bundled up (it was a bit windy) and headed out. He loves his swing, maybe because he can just get in a zone and relax.

Some Refelctions for Today

...but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. Joshua 1:8

While at Bible study yesterday, the leader pointed something out to us. God calls us to meditate. We sometimes shudder at the word because of what we think that means. Many false religions tell you to meditate by emptying your mind of all things and let "god" speak to you. This is not what the Lord calls us to do when we meditate. Yes, we may need to clear our heads of distractions, but we are to fill our heads with His word in order to meditate on it. It is through His word that He will speak to us.

Here are some things I was reading today:

Matthew 4:22
"Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."

Yep, no ifs, ands, or buts, just complete obedience. Oh, I wish I could say that I obey this way. (in this passage, Jesus is calling some of his disciples to follow him. The Scriptures tell us that they left immediately. They left their jobs, their father. They didn't stop to make plans or to finish up the day's work; they just followed Him.)

Micah 7:18-19
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgressions for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast out our sins into the depths of the sea.
Thanks be to God!

Some More

Sorry, I just can't get enough of this adorable little guy in his undies. Check out those boxer briefs! I love Micah's little body. It is so nice to be able to look upon children's bodies and marvel at God's artwork. It is sad that my image of the adult body has been so corrupted by the media among other things, and therefore it is hard for me not to be so critical. But my children's bodies look so beautiful to me. They truly are an amazing work of art.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Owen's Crawl

Owen's Big Day

Yesterday was quite a big day for little Owen. His bottom two teeth finally cut the gums! We have been praying for their arrival as his bottom gums have been so swollen, red, and have had blistery bubbles on them. He was so happy yesterday compared to the last two weeks, and so we were happy that he finally had some relief. His happiness may have also had something to do with the fact that he learned the proper technique for crawling. He was so proud of himself. I thought it was funny how out of breath he would get, and then the big drinks he would take. I guess it is hard work for a little guy who has hardly moved much on his own. I can tell, the boys will already be so different when it comes to being mobile. Micah wanted to get everywhere as fast as he could and get into everything that was not his. I could literally hardly keep up. Owen seems to want to do the least amount of work possible to get the next toy that he wants to play with. We will see how that changes with time. One thing that is sure to prove difficult: Owen thinks Micah's toys are the best, and Micah doesn't want anyone to mess up his hard work (puzzles and tall towers). Hmmm... time to set some boundaries.