Friday, October 26, 2007

Two Belly Buttons?



Just this afternoon I was changing Saraina's diaper when Joshua pointed out Saraina's belly button. I say, "Yes, that's Saraina's belly button."

He then looks at my shirt and says what I think is, "Mommy has belly button too?" I reply, "Yes, Mommy has a belly button too."

Joshua then shakes his head and says, "No, Mommy has TWO belly button." Still, I'm slow and I don't get it.

He repeats, "Mommy has TWO... one, two belly button" and points to something a bit too high to be my belly button.

Aaaah! I get it! "No, Joshua, Mommy doesn't have two belly buttons. Those are not Mommy's belly buttons."

I then do an awkward and confusing job explaining what I mean.

Oh! I guess I better have a conversation with Papa Bear about some things this evening!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Gift That Gives

So, if you don't know, I turned 33 earlier this month. Okay, so 33 is not like turning 30 or 50 or 60 but it is significant to me! In fact, every birthday I have is very meaningful because I'm reminded again of God's mercy. I mean, let's face it. I didn't to anything to earn my salvation. And I definitely don't deserve His mercy.



I enjoyed all the cards, gifts, and special times with my family but there was one gift that did stand out a bit.



Now, I'm only sharing this to give others this idea in case you're like me and never had this thought!



My TX fam donated $33 dollars in honor of my 33rd bday to the Pregnancy Information Center that we support. How kind and honoring! (Thanks, T, C, E, & A)



So, in case you're running out of gift ideas as the Christmas season approaches consider supporting a ministry in honor of someone. Talk about eternal benefits!

Another Update on Everyone

Us Whits are having fun. Here are some pics to share and an update on how we're doing...

William - New job is going well. Looks like this will be the last switcheroo for the year, Lord-willing! Pray no sickness comes our way as we'll be without health insurance for the month of November. The Papa-man is still working in and around and outside our home. His new work schedule has called for a few changes in regard to schedules so we're still trying to navigate our way through that.

In this picture he's working on the yard and driveway.

Me - I share too much on me already!

Joshua - Talk about CHANGE everywhere! Our Little Man keeps getting bigger and the things he remembers / understands shock me! Just this morning I said, "Joshua, you want to play dominoes with me?" to which he replied, "No, Mommy, I want to read the Bible!" Oooo, talk about storing up in my heart these moments!!!! Then, Ihe sat on the couch and "read" the pictures. Every so often he get my attention and say, "Mommy, Pilate." and point to the right picture! Coincidence? Then I'd say, "Did Pilate believe in God? What did he do?" Our not-yet 3-year old's answer: "No, he no believe in God. Pilate hurt Jesus!"







It's also amazing at how quickly he (and his sissy) have picked up on their letters, letter sounds, and even words that start with them! I'm stunned. Teaching Kindergarten and 2nd grade was never this easy. We borrowed this DVD from a friend for about a week and they (and I) were HOOKED! I highly recommend it!



Here is our guy with his favorite short-sleeved shirt (Cubs).








In other Joshua news, we got bunk beds so he's loving his new bottom spot and looking forward to the day when Kadin can chill underneath him.



Here is Joshua biking hard with his favorite long-sleeved shirt (Clifford).











Saraina - Our Ladybug has a big birthday celebration coming up. We're having fam over (Granny from NJ, Grandad and Grammy from "down state", and Uncle Freeman and Aunt Jenny from the city) this Sunday and are looking forward to it. Sissy LOVES letters, puzzles, singing, and dancing. She continues to speak VERY well and will greet others quicker than Joshua will.

To the left is our girl holding her Pop-pop's hand. My dad came out for a brief but sweet visit. The kiddos loved the attention!







She is still a snuggle-bug and wants to get a hug or sit in our lap at random times. I know that this season of her wanting to be held by me is going to fly by so I'm happy to squeeze and hold her little petite body close. Her biggest request though is for someone else to sing to her random songs over and over and over!
Pictured here is Saraina asleep in OUR bed after a long night of tossing, turning, nose-running, and being congested.




Oh- and since Joshua moved to the bottom of the bunks, Saraina has her own big girl bed! I saw the most adorable quilt with a lady bug on it on Craigslist but I didn't get it. So bummed! It would've been perfect!

Here is our girl the other day when she should've been napping. Instead she stripped herself and said she needed to go potty, and threw her dirty clothes in her drawer.



Kadin - Little Chunk had his 9 month visit on my bday and it was a great check up. The little guy bulked up. He's up to (2 weeks ago now) 18.12 pounds and is a shorty at 27 inches tall. He's still nursing but does have 3 teeth now with another one just peeking through.













Kadin is hilarious! He's cruising (for a bruisin') all over the house, pulling himself up on everything, and grabbing whatever he can (mainly chunks of Saraina's hair)! His grin is wide and expressive and his appetite is just as animated. Little chunk can pack it away. He can't get enough of finger foods (chicken nuggets, bread, hot dogs, french fries) but that's where the Mama comes in. He would eat ALL junk if he was able.









Here's my dad (looking way too young!) with the kiddos.






So, that's how we are!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Recommendation

This is such a hot button topic. I'm imagining people's responses to some of my other posts on this topic but if there is one thing the Lord has impressed on me (which I'll try and write on later) is that I must ACT when He is prompting me to act. So...

Randy Alcorn's book WHY PRO-LIFE? is excellent! I read it in one day - a major feat for me. Seriously, I cannot recommend it enough. Any book that causes you to run to God is a winner!

Here's quote from it,

"One thing is for certain: If abortion really does kill children and harm women, then there's too much at stake to stand on the fringes and do nothing." (Chapter 1, last paragraph)

Also, if you've got school-aged kiddos, participate in the Day of Silence which will be held on October 23rd. And if you come across a kid with red tape over their mouths, encourage them as they go against our culture and stand silently for Truth.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vision

Yesterday was my 134th day doing the The Bible in 90 Days. I guess I'm a bit slow. I'm enjoying it but have found myself in a bit of a rut.

My QTs have been... what's the word to describe them? Flat? I don't like to say, "I had a good quiet time" or "I had a bad quiet time." I'm already self-focused enough and that doesn't help me turn my gaze to the Lord.

Despite my perceived "flat" quiet time I know God is at work in me and I know that I am desperate for Him. Or at least my head knows that.

Enter the problem. My vision.

When I begin to believe the lie that I'm not so bad, that I'm not the wicked, sin-riddled, arrogant, selfish Nakia that I know I am, my vision gets all wacked out and my soul is far from satisfied.

So this morning I asked the Lord to correct my vision. I desperately needed to see accurately who Christ is, who I was before He saved me, and who I am in Christ. In essence I needed to see the Gospel. I needed to be broken.



I read this from Philip Yancey's book What's So Amazing About Grace? and found it very helpful to begin to correct my vision:


The scene from John 8 rattles me because by nature I identify more with the accusers than the accused. I deny far more than I confess. Cloaking my sin under a robe of respectability, I seldom if ever let myself get caught in a blatant, public indiscretion. Yet if I understand this story correctly, the sinful woman is the nearest the kingdom of God. Indeed, I can only advance in the kingdom if I become like that woman: trembling, humbled, without excuse, my palms open to receive God's grace.

So, that's where I am. Asking the Lord to help me keep the stinch of MY sin ever present lest I forget all His benefits. Feel free to pray for me if the Lord brings this to your remembrance!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Homemade Pizza

There's much I need to blog about but time is short. Hopefully later I'll update peeps. There is MUCH to share!!!!

In the meantime, here's one of our new favorite (and CHEAP!) meals. I share this thanks to a friend who kindly gave me permission (thanks, Teresa!). And if you've got a homemade pizza recipe or other thoughts /ideas, please share!

Teresa's Homemade Pizza and Pizza Sauce

In a very large bowl mix the following and let sit for 5 minutes. (It will be foamy.)

2 cups very warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Then add...
4 tablespoons oil
5 cups flour (If you're like me you need to measure! Use a knife too!)

Knead it in the bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Punch it down and divide it in half or thirds (depends on how thin you like your crust and how big your pan is!). Note: this dough freezes well! So don't let the quantity scare you.

While your dough is rising, oil your pizza pans and then make the sauce by mixing...

1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
some sugar (optional)
Dash of pepper

Grab your dough and spread it as thin as you like into your pan(s). Wrap unused dough in plastic and freeze any extras. Tip: If you like crispier crust, bake it for ~5 minutes (or more) at 425 degrees.

Top with sauce and whatever topping sound good to you. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven, at 410 degrees. (If you like less crunchy crust, lower the temperature to about 375.)

Enjoy!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sibling Competition?

So, Joshua is fully potty-trained. And we have seen the benefits in many areas! (Of course, I am still doing ~20 loads of laundry a week till we can fix those "accidents.") But the benefits are WONDERFUL! Let me share one...

Saraina wakes up from her nap this afternoon. I go in to find her diaper half off and Franklin the turtle where the rest of her diaper should be. (Moms out there, do you know the anxiety I was experiencing in that moment?!) THANKFULLY, she didn't do the poopy she kept saying she needed to do.

We make a mad dash for the bathroom but she wasn't ready. When we get downstairs and she hears Joshua doing his business on the potty she screams she's gotta go! Well, she already started in her diaper and I tell her to finish but she INSISTS on doing it in the potty.

Reluctantly, I clean her up just to sit her on the potty and guess what... SHE GOES!!!

A little competition is good, I guess.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Much to Pray About

So we had a very challenging night. I guess God is really working on me, esp. in light of my post yesterday.

Here's the deal, our neighbors decided to have another late night quarrel. To be more accurate, around 11:30pm they decided to go outside in the rain and scream disgusting profanity, run through the streets, stand in front of various neighbors homes (including ours), and chain smoke till around 12:45am.

The cops then came b/c Nicole, the 15 year old decided to dial 911. But, while I am very grateful for the service the cops do across the country, I am disgusted by my interactions with them out here. They came (3 cars mind you) and left in less than 15 minutes! It was almost comical hearing the banter and wild screams trying to make sense of the mess. The cops didn't find any cause to do anything, I suppose, b/c they were gone by 1am!

Please pray for them and for us! We thought about calling the police again (after they left) but quickly ruled that out. So, instead, we just tried to rest.

Thankfully this all night activity hasn't happened since summertime. But we are in a situation that we feel calls for action. But what are we to do? Pretend like we don't hear them? Confront them?

I read 1 Peter today and am trying to see through His lens. My quick take-aways:
- our response should be done with humility
-our response should be done in love
-our response should not be out of fear
-our response should be to bless
-our response should involve rejoicing

That said, we do get weary. We are weary. And we would be very grateful for your prayers.

And we are looking forward to hearing some ideas from everyone out in the blogworld. We would appreciate Scripture references, if you have them, to help us in seeking the Lord on this matter.

Oh- and the other prayer request is about the Planned Parenthood issue. The kids and I went to the prayertime at the site yesterday and whew... talk about emotional! I've never been a big crier but for the first 15 or so minutes, that is all I could do. I also had 2 challenging encounters, 1 with a police officer and the other with a group of PP supporters (at least one of whom is a big NOW person here in IL). Perhaps I'll blog about that at some point but most likely not.

Weary but thanking God for saving a wretch like me,
~kia

Oh- and for those interested in this PP mess, check this out.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pop!


My bubble has been popped. And I'm expecting the Lord to pop some others as they rise to my vision and He brings conviction.

What a good place to be!

The other day I was reminded that this place, Earth / Illinois / our house, is NOT my home. Yes, Heaven is the home of the believer. That truth popped my bubble.


What, you ask, was my bubble? My little world was my bubble. And let's face it, it still is. This is something I must continue to fight.

I find it so easy to just stay in my little world, doing my little thing, being comfortable in my little space, being safe, being self-focused. The problem with that is it breeds pride, self-righteousness, a lack of compassion, anger, selfishness, and more. All "fruit" that takes me away from the Savior.

Okay, so is it always bad to be in my little bubble? In my bubble I have my QTs on time and all the time, I tell myself it's all about "my season" and that I deserve a little solitude, I begin to believe that my role as Mommy or Wife provide me with some sort of "free from sharing the Gospel" card.

"Pop" goes my bubble. My life is not my own.

The other day the house across the street (yes, the firecracker / Avon house) had some domestic disputes going on. Let's face it, when your neighbors are fighting, you know! Well, it was just after bedtime and so the shades and curtains were all closed. My bubble was warm and comfortable. Enter the effects of my sinful, selfish, "everything-revolves-around-me" bubble - I was beginning to bear some "bad fruit" as I was getting annoyed by the volume and how that might wake our sleeping babes since the "party" moved outside.

Okay, what to do? I was getting more and more concerned. The Holy Spirit was softening my heart. I was peeking out the window more and straining to hear what was going on. I figured out it was a "lovers quarrel" between two women, both of whom I've had some interaction with. William couldn't be the one to go there. They don't seem to care for men too much.

Finally, I cried out to God, "Lord, help them! Help me know what to do?" I knew, as William voiced, "If we call the cops they'll know it was us." I threw down my dish towel and said, "I have to go out there!"
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? (1 Peter 3:13)

In my pajama pants in the dark in my flipflops, I walked out our front door across the street and spoke, trusting God to give me words. I don't think I said much other than, "Is everything alright?" and then after hearing NO it wasn't, "How can I help?" followed by, "Well, we're just here across the street if you need anything."

They didn't take me up on my invitation. And praise God for that! I don't know if my faith was strong enough to handle what might have happened! But I needed to bust my safe-bubble and communicate the love of God and my utter trust and dependence in God by simply extending the invitation. I needed them to know that IF and WHEN they need help, our door will be opened to them.
And, of course, as I type this they are outside. Perhaps I'll muster up a bit of courage and walk over and engage them. Urgh... the thought alone brings out my sinful tendencies. Someone reading this will have to ask me if I actually did go out and be "neighborly."

Monday, October 01, 2007

William's Favorite Split Pea Soup

I usually hate split pea soup BUT this was DELICIOUS!!!! I made it last night and William wouldn't stop talking about it. He kept saying how it tasted like soup from a restaurant. Clearly, he was surprised it turned out so good as my "creations" usually earn an "It's not your best meal" or"That was a good try, Wifey" mark. (I couldn't stop talking about the biscuits I made that finally tasted and looked like biscuits! It only took me just shy of 6 years to get that right! Thanks, Teresa!!) Let me know if you try it!

William's Favorite Split Pea Soup

INGREDIENTS:

6-8 slices of meaty bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 onion, died
5-7 carrots, diced
some garlic salt (or real garlic if you have some on hand)
2-3 chicken boullion cubes
some thyme (maybe 1 teaspoon)
some cumin (maybe 1 tablespoon)
some garlic salt
some rosemary (maybe 1 teaspoon)
1.5 cups green split peas, rinsed and soaked
~5 cups water
2 bay leaves


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot cook bacon until crisp.

2. Stir in onion, carrot. Cook until veggies are soft. If using fresh garlic, add it now.

3. Add all spices EXCEPT bay leaves to the oil/bacon/veggie mixture crushing the rosemary and thyme to release the full flavor. Cook spices a minute or two until kitchen is very aromatic!

4. Add the split peas, bay leaves and water to the pot and bring it boil.

5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let it cook for at least an hour, preferably 1.5 hours, stirring periodically.

** To serve, you can eat it as it is, with rice (what we did), or put it in a food mill or blender and serve it extra creamy! Whatever you do, have some cornbread or biscuits on the table to soak up the yummy remnant in the bottom of the bowl!


Other ingredients to consider adding:
- celery
- leeks

Fourth Time a Charm

So, Daddy accepted an offer for a new job today.

What do we think? We think the fourth time... or job... is a charm!

Daddy,

How kind of God to provide this new job opportunity all unsolicited! Congratulations! You are a dynamite manager and this new company will be all the better with you on board. AND, more important to us, you will be around a lot more! Yipee! We're gonna go tell Mama to bake a cake to celebrate!

Lots of love,
~Big Boy, Little Lady, and Heman