Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Morning Devotion

Awhile back, my mom gave me a devotional, Moments with the Savior: A Devotional Life of Christ by Ken Gire. I have began to make the devotional part of our morning routine. I know that Ella is too little to understand but she does have ears to hear :). Anyways, I was really struck by a devotion. It was the type of devotion that made the hairs on your arms stand up and that sent a shiver down your spine and that gave you goosebumps.

The scripture that we were richly blessed by was Luke 1:26-38. (This is the passage where Mary answers God's call to be Jesus' mother.) The devotion focused on Mary's response to God: "I am the Lord's servant." What an incredible response! As Ella sat in my lap on this particular morning, I thought very hard about Mary's response to God. And I have to admit, as much as I would like to say I would have had the exact response-I can't say with 100% confidence I would have. It made me think and reflect...a lot.

It is truly amazing how easily those words can come out, "I am your servant," but do I mean those words with all of my heart? What would happen to my life if that was my daily prayer and I meant it whole heartedly? Not would it change how I treated people, but how would it change the way I treated people? Not would it affect my thoughts and feelings, but how would it affect my thoughts and feelings? How would life be different if I truly gave God everything and abandoned my own desires and said, "I am your servant."

At the end of the daily devotions, there is always a prayer and this is where God spoke to me-arm hair standing, goosbump giving, and shivering words that went right to my heart. I would like to share the words of Ken Gire with you (hopefully it is legal to copy this down-but I did credit his book and the page numbers :) ...

Dear Jesus,
What a remarkable person she was, your mother. So highly favored. So greatly blessed. Mary, Mother of God. Help me to hear beyond the liturgical familiarity of those words to their far-reaching implications. Mother of God. Who could be equal to such a task? Who, in any stretch of the imagination, could be qualified
The honor bestowed on her was staggering. So was the responsbility. To be the one not only to bear you but to protect you, raise you, teach you.
I pray that even across so many centuries she could teach me too. There is so much I could learn from her. What wonderful things would be birthed in my life if only I could learn to pray, "I am your servant. May it be to me as you say."
If that were my prayer, how would it affect the thoughts I think, the plans I make, the words that come from my mouth? If I read my Bible this morning with such a response, how different would this afternoon be? How different this afternoon would I be?
"I am your servant." The words seem so religiously correct. But are they really true? Am I really your servant Am I willing to submit to whatever plans you have for my life, regardless of the risk, the cost, the consequences?
"May it be to me as you say." I can say the words so easily. But can I say them honestly? Say them and mean them? Live them?
For years she taught you, Lord, with so many word and in so many ways. It's sad so few have been saved for us. But thank you for saving the words, "I am your servant. May it be to me as you say." If I learn nothing else from her, those words have given me a model not only how to pray but how to live...
(pg. 27-28, Moments with the Savior, Ken Gire)

An Unexpected Phone Call

If you are like me, when the cell phone rings and an unknown number shows up, you ignore it. I hate answering phone calls of unknown numbers because it is usually some sort of solicitior. Now most people would probably have no qualms with listening to a complete stranger on the other end, but I do. I am not good at saying no to unwanted things, or saying no to making donations, or meeting with people for whatever reason.

Today was an exception. I had decided when the number showed up on my phone that I would call the unknown subject back if that person had left a message and today a person did. So, when I listened to the message I was super excited to find out that Robbi was in town and I was lucky enough to get to spend time with her.

Robbi and I have many memories together which began with being co-RA's together in beloved Grand Island Hall. One memory, that will go down in hisotry is when we had to do our first write-up. However, we never could actually do the right up because we could not find the male who was hidden in a GI closet. It's amazing how that door was jammed! Anyways, today more memories were added. We had a few good hours of conversation and then time at the pool with her and a few others.

I love knowing that even though Robbi and I haven't seen each other in at least a year or so that it was like we had never been apart. We just picked up where we left off and it was wonderful. So, thank you Robbi for calling and spending part of your day with Ella and I. Thank you for being the person I was lucky enough to get to call back. It was a delight and you made my day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Sunday was Jared's first Father's Day. His one request was to have a relaxing day at home and so that is just what we did.

The day started off with Jared and Ella looking at the Sunday Ad's online. He is already teaching her the importance of frugality and she too seems to enjoy it.

After the ads had been looked at we got ready for 8 o'clock church. It was nice to make it to the early service and see friends and family. When church was finished, we headed to Kaladi's to get our favorite breakfast: waffles and a carmel steamer. Then, we headed home and watched Ella jumparoo, which she thoroughly enjoys! The afternoon then consisted of a family nap and a trip to Lowe's and Sonic (happy hour from 2-4) and Jared reading his newest Lee Child book.

It was a wonderful day for a wondeful husband and father!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zoo Trip

This afternoon we met some of our good friends (Allison and Eliza) at the zoo. It was a beautiful day to be out and to enjoy the weather. Our trip lasted almost two hours. It was filled with great conversation and enjoyment watching the kiddos interact with the animals. Well, I guess you could say Eliza did most of the interacting and Ella chimed in a time or two at the goats. Those seemed to be her favorite. They also wore her out because she spent the remainder of the trip sleeping!

Here are a few more pictures!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fire in the Hole

This summer one of our goals as a family was to not go out to eat-especially on the weekdays. We are on a frugality kick to accomplish some goals we have for the future. Every week, we cut coupons and plan out lunches and dinner for the nights.

Tonight, we were having marinated chicken, rice, and vegetables. So, I started making the rice on the stove. I added my two cups of water and was waiting for the water to boil. I walked out of the kitchen to check on Jared and Ella. From the living room, I thought I heard the water boiling over. I was thinking that was not possible since it was only two cups of water. It is a good thing I walked into the kitchen when I did, because I managed to start a fire!

Out of habit, I turned on the front left burner. Unfortunately, that was not the burner with the rice on it. Instead was our wood cutting board - which had burst into flames. Luckily, I had a pot of water right next to the flame and was able to douse it out!

I've decided to make the rice in the microwave tonight.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

This summer, one of our favorite things to do has been to take an afternoon nap together. However, on this particular afternoon, I could not sleep because I was too busy watching her sleep!

McKennan Park

This week, Ella had her first outdoor swimming experience. We went to McKennan Park with Jenny, Logan, and Grammy. She loved the water and loved playing with everyone as well as watching all of the other kids. I thought I would post a picture of her in complete swim gear. I am biased, but I do think she looks pretty cute!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Visits

Jared and I have discovered an interesting fact about our daughter: she loves to visit the same place every Sunday. You would never be able to guess what place it is she likes to visit, because most kids hate it. Yep, that's right the doctor's office.

Every Sunday, Ella somehow manages to convince us that she needs to go urgent care. Mostly, it has been for her ears. But, not today. Today when we came home from grocery shopping Ella had decided to throw up. It was not just a little bit-it was an enormous amount. It soaked her clothes, my clothes, and her floor. So, of course we naturally bring her to the doctors office thinking it is something serious. All of the baby books say if your child is throwing up you need to take them to get checked out. So, we load up the car and head to the doctor's office. However, once we get there she is completely fine-giggling, talking and smiling.

We are convinced she knows when the on-call doctor is working because he has seen us the past three times we have been there which has been three weeks in a row. He kindly told us with a smile he could tell we were first time parents!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Strike A Pose...

This one is for you Aunt Christin! "Doesn't my rump look cute in my FuzziBunz?"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day and Firsts

This weekend we were able to go to down to Sioux Center to visit Chris and Christin. It was a ton of fun (minus the car ride where Ella decided to scream like she was being tortured almost the ENTIRE time)! Chris, Jared, and Christin were able to get a lot of projects accomplished. Ella and I tried to help when possible. I think Ella's favorite thing to do was lay on the bathroom and tell Christin and I stories as we worked in the bathroom. Christin, Ella, and I also had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather, and great conversation on our walks around Sioux Center. It was picture perfect and wonderful spending time with them.

It was so fun to share Ella's first swimming experience with her aunt and uncle. She loved the water and the hustle and bustle the pool provided. She did not cry once! Unfortunately, the video does not show her giggles and smiles like we were able to enjoy in the pool. I will post videos later. We will defintely be heading to the pool a lot! I think she will become a water bug.

Also, Christin and I experimented with our FuzziBunz cloth diapers. They worked really well and her rumped looked really cute in them. I ordered more because we are going to switch to cloth diapers. Yes, some may think we are crazy but it really isn't that much more work. At least Christin and I have each other for support :) It will also save money and help the environment by not filling up the land-fills. We also found another way to save money: making your own laundry detergent. Jared and I made some last night and tried it out. It works well and was easy to do!

More pictures to come with Ella and her FuzziBunz!