27 October 2009

My Little Boy

Mark you are awesome! 5 Months old and so smart. You have such laser like focus on whatever you do. What I am really excited about is that I can tell you are going to have a tender heart. I love the way you stare at me when I am holding you and you look deeply into my eyes with such love and you don't get distracted - you are just focused on all of me and your eye's say, "I just want to know you," as you gaze and giggle. I love that! I see you do that to your Mom too and already you are teaching me so much. Telling me not to get too busy with life as to forget to do the same thing that you do to the most precious woman in our lives. To study her and know her. You are amazing my son. Happy 5th month! ;-)


Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
(Pro 5:18)

26 October 2009

Mark 5 Months Old

Hi Mark :)

Mommy is so proud of you! You are growing so big and doing so well. For the past 3 weeks you have slept only in your crib at night and have gone at least 6 hours (last night 7...yay!)before waking up.

You are able to roll over and sometimes the way you prop your head up and kick your legs I think you are almost ready to crawl!

You love your cereal at night time. You've been eating rice cereal and oatmeal. We've tried prunes, apples, and bananas so far and you are loving them all. Sometimes you even cry when you are done eating because you don't want dinner time to end!

You have been teething a lot lately and love to have a toy in your mouth. I am so impressed with how well you grab toys and bring them to you. Especially in your exersaucer. You stay occupied for long periods of time.

But my most favorite thing about you is your smile and cooing! And how well you keep eye contact. You are so smart honey! I'm just praying that one day you will grow to love Jesus with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength. That you choose godly friends to surround yourself with who will hold you accountable. And that you are good to your older sister Julia who adores you and watch out for her.

I love you my son, my boy, you are so special to us.


25 October 2009

Prayers of a child

This evening I found Julia at our dining room table in a "big girl" chair, hands folded, head bowed and praying out loud. When she looked up and saw me I said, "Julia what were you praying about?" Her one answer response brought tears to my eyes, "Mark." she said matter of factly.

Lord thank you for these little moments that teach me more about you than any sermon ever could!

24 October 2009

Husband Appreciation Day

Dear John,

Who knows when you will read this, but I just wanted to tell you and the rest of the world that I so appreciate all you do for us. From 7 am till 9pm you are up and serving our family.

Thank you for going to Julia's room at 7am when she wakes up (sometimes 6:30) and giving her breakfast and making me breakfast and my first cup of coffee. It is so nice to come downstairs to smell that freshly made coffee and hear Julia happily changed and fed, playing with her dolls.

I appreciate how you take care of the puppy. I've been so neglectful of poor Paris now that Mark is here. It is hard juggling two babies and a puppy. Sometimes I even forget to pet her.

Thank you for working so hard for us in our home and out of our home at the Taekwondo school. The way the parents and your students adore you speaks volumes of your godly character and the fun-loving person you are.

I love how you play with Julia (even when you two are rough housing and I get nervous, of course Julia squeals with laughter) and read to her and teach her new words. I love how you are consistent when she needs a time-out or a daddy talk.

I really appreciate how you take Mark outside for a stroll so I can take a shower and get ready for the day. It is so nice to have two free hands!

Thank you for allowing me this time to be with the kids as they grow and are so impressionable right now. I know it is only because of how wise/responsible you are with our income that we are able to pay all our bills and are not worrying about debt or the future.

Most of all I am just thankful for your love and friendship that has become so dear to me. It is really true that as you get to know someone your love for them grows and you grow to love every single thing about them! (even the things you thought you could never love...like leaving your shaved hairs in the sink LOL)

I can picture us in a few decades living in a small flat in Europe somewhere, traveling the world, and serving Jesus with all we have!

I love you babe!


23 October 2009

A time to laugh...

Taking the kids to the farm was a blast yesterday! The sun came out and there was a crisp, cool breeze! The leaves are all turning bright shades of yellow, oranges, and reds...driving around New Jersey right now is so beautiful.

This morning I was reading in Ecclesiastes and came across chapter 3 verse 4: A time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

How true this is in life. God gives us all seasons of life and I am thankful for times with my family when we can all be together and just laugh! What great memories to think about as the kids grow older and John and I grow old together!

God you are soooooooooooooooooooooooo good!

20 October 2009

Julia continues to amaze me...

Today was a fun day because we took the kids out for pizza and a walk around an outdoor mall. It was a perfect day for walking with the strollers.

I love walking side by side with John and getting some fresh air was so nice. Mark and Julia are almost over their little cold and I am as well so it was nice to get out. John took us to an Italian restaurant and Julia behaved so well, and Mark just sat like a prince in his car seat staring at his mommy! (Love him)

Julia has been saying two word sentences so much lately. Today I tried to keep track of all the word she puts together. I heard her say, "Runny nose?" (which means...mom please get a tissue for me LOL) She says "Juice Baba," or "Milk Baba," (she still signs for milk as she says it, so cute, same with please and thank you and more). She also says "Thank you," "More snack," "Help baby," (help baby means, can you help me put my baby in my stroller, or help me cover my baby).

At the restaurant Julia was looking out the window and kept saying "Outside!?" she loves being outdoors and playing, when we got home, I made sure she got some back yard time. She plays house with her kitchen set and her toy house.

Watching her today made me realize how fast she is growing up and how quickly she is learning new things each day. We practice our alphabet at least twice every day (There is a Barney Alphabet Soup book, so that was easy to get her to want to read it...its amazing how powerful Barney is to her.) She is like a sponge. When we got home and played a little outside we watched a reading video before nap time (Your Baby Can Read) and there was a picture of a yellow star, a green circle and a black circle and she walked over to the t.v. and pointed to the star and said "star" and pointed to the green circle and said "green"!!!!!!!!!! I was so amazed. Yes, we practice with her, but sometimes I guess I just don't always expect her to learn it so quickly.

Julia you are awesome honey! Mommy is so proud of you!

The absolute best part of my day...I was nursing Mark and sitting on the floor leaning against the couch...Julia climbed up on the couch and proceeded to kiss me on the top of my head two times and when I leaned my head back to peek at her and smile, she kissed my forehead. Julia Star you are my star!!!

17 October 2009

Fun family traditions

Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father!

One of my favorite family traditions when I was a little girl was going to Cape May for summer vacation. My mom LOVES the ocean, she could totally live on the beach! (Now I know where Julia gets it from). My dad enjoys making my mother happy...he is not a beach fan, but he does like sitting on the shore with a good book or a camera, its the artist in him I guess, he hates sand though and I always wondered why he would wear moccasins at the beach, but that was just him :)

Mom and Dad would take the 2 hour drive to cape may and me and sara would play car games like name all the state license plates, sing songs, and listen to dad tell us stories. Plus dad loved the drive down to cape may and he would always point things out to us along the way (even though we saw the same thing every time, we would say, "cool daddy!")

Once we would settle in to our hotel mom would immediately want to go right to the water and we would too! Suits on, sunscreen on, flip flops, let's go! I loved going into town in the evening and shopping at the mom and pop stores and getting ice cream!

Well, needless to say when we got married I wanted us to have our own family traditions. Cape May is one of them. We try to go every year right around our anniversary in August. We used to stay at lovely bed and breakfasts but now with the kids being so young we stay at hotels right off the beach which is also nice.

My new favorite family tradition started 3 years ago when the Weaver's moved to Pennsylvania. We drive to their home during Labor Day Weekend which only takes a little over an hour, and it is a beautiful drive, plus we get to pass through Peddlar's Village (a really cute shopping area). We try to stay for a few days so we can just sit and enjoy their company...we miss them so much! The first year we did it we were pregnant with Julia. The second year we did it we had Julia and that is the picture taken above. (John Dimare joined us, my doula's son is best buds with Luke). This past year we brought both kids and it was the first time we didn't sleep over...I didn't want to have Mark keeping everyone up at night, even though the Weaver's insisted we just stayed for the whole day.

Usually we all share a meal together Christy's style and then we share a meal McInerney style! Last year John and I cooked chicken francaise and pasta! We go to church together. We go to Peddlar's Village and walk around and shop. And we always go to the park by their house because the Weaver kids are so athletic! And we always end our time with...ICE CREAM...Bill and John always compete with who can eat more...Bill always wins!!!

Family traditions are so special because when that time of the year comes you are so excited for that special time to happen, you look forward to it, and once you are there you feel so blessed that you had another year to celebrate life and love with your friends and family.

16 October 2009

A friend loves at all times...Proverbs 17:17

My first year of teaching at Timothy Christian School (2001) I met a kindred spirit named Christy. She is wonderful. I wanted to be with her all the time. Christy is so funny and smart and she LOVES the Lord. She is/was such an inspiration to me.

She taught 5th grade down the hall, and I taught 3rd grade. She got me into creative memories (scrapbooking) and Longaberger baskets (I became a basket consultant in addition to teaching and working at The Limited.)

She was such a great teacher and I really looked up to her. Not just because I am so short, but because she has a way with her students that made them love and respect her. She had to confront a lot of hard sin issues in 5th grade, but the way she cared enough for her students to do the hard thing was really admirable. That's the way she is, if she loves you, she does not hold back. She loves you completely and is super loyal and honest.

We became fast friends! We did aftercare together and would sing silly musical songs that we made up to the kids. They all acted like they thought we were crazy, but deep down, I know they loved it! We played off of each other all the time.

Christy and I love going to the movies together. We've seen countless movies like, Lord of the Rings, Riding in the Car with Boys, The Mysterious Case of Benjamin Button, and one I will never forget Finding Nemo. Now, I don't know if you know this, but Christy has by far the best laugh in the world, and in Finding Nemo she cracked up so many times and her laughter filled the theatre. It was both mortifying and hysterical all at once. I loved it!!! She is so fun! She has THE BEST sense of humor.

Christy is also a great listener. I was struggling with some home issues at the time with my parents and she was always willing to listen and was very objective. I love how she can always see the bigger picture and give you a good perspective on an issue. God has really blessed her with wisdom. I tell her all the time she should be a psychologist or christian counselor. She is so talented.

She is one of those people that given any task will do amazingly. Yet at times she is really hard on herself, and she doesn't always see how absolutely wonderful she is.

She also has the gift of encouragement. As anyone can imagine your first year of teaching is always a challenge, no matter how much of a gift God has given you to teach, no matter how much you love it, working with parents can prove to be one of the hardest parts of teaching at times. Christy was always there to tell me that I was an amazing teacher. She used to tease me all the time and say, "I can't believe this is your first year!" She always had something positive to say. She is also the one who pushed me to get my Masters at Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA. I was so nervous because it was taking 5 courses in one month for 3 summers. I didn't know if I could handle it. She was like, "Kristi, you can totally do this!" She was right...I graduated in 2005 Summa Cum Laude! It is friend's like Christy who can see the best in you and are not quiet about pushing you towards your highest achievements. She is always there when I need her.

Just yesterday I called her up to pray for me and the kids because we all have a cold, and without any hesitation she told me she was coming over after work to help me and what could she bring for dinner! Now that is a true friend. I call her my bosom friend (Anne of Green Gables said this to Diana Barry...I loved reading the Anne series by Lucy Maud Montgomery when I was a teenager.).

Thank you Christy for your love and friendship and encouragement. You have made me a better teacher, a better daughter, a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, and a better friend! I love you!

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Love your bosom friend,

14 October 2009

Grow in the Lord

Julia and her site words...

Yesterday was just like any other day...we went to MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) in Englishtown from 9:30-12pm), came home for lunch with daddy, (he made tuna pita sandwiches with cheese and beans...Julia's favorite) and then we all headed to play in the basement while dad sent out some emails. I turned on Disc 2 of Your Baby Can Read and Julia played with her dolls while Mark and I played on the floor.

Well, about 15 minutes into the video, especially during Old McDonald, Julia started watching exclusively and copying all the words. Then came the end of the video where they review the words on the screen and the narrator does not prompt the child with the answer. The word play flashed on the screen and immediately Julia yelled out, "Play!" while doing the sign language for it with her hands! We stopped and looked at eachother amazed.

I said, "Honey, she just said Play!!!" She just read the word!! John, stopped the DVD and replayed the word, and we asked Julia, what does that say, "Play!" she repeated...we whooped and hollered and she loved it! Who wouldn't love praise, right?

Then a few seconds later the same thing happened with the word sit! And this time we replayed it several times to see if we had heard correctly and she began bending her knees to show us, (hey guys I said sit, see, sit!) it was so funny! We hugged and cheered. What a smarty we have!

Then, this morning I was thinking, you know what, I bet that is what it is like in heaven with the Lord. When He sees us learn something new from His Word, and do what is right, there must be a huge celebration. For He is our father, and we are His children. He loves us the way we as parents love our children and get so excited when they learn something new!

Lord, I pray today I can make you celebrate and smile when I do what is right and when I learn from you! I know you want me to grow just the way Julia is growing each day. You don't want us to stay baby Christians constantly needing the same milk, you want us to grow and move on and learn new things. Help me to not have to be taught the same lesson again and again, but to choose what is right the first time. I want to grow in you! I want you to celebrate over me!!!

Hebrews 5: 12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen!

13 October 2009

Who is your Hero? Are they faithful? And bold?

Today I read Daniel 6:1-28 and the verses that gripped my heart were found in 3-6 where the men who were trying to find fault with Daniel and were seeking to destroy him could find "no charge or error or fault found in him," in fact they knew the only way they would find "something wrong" with him way if they find "it against him concerning the law of his God." That is how closely Daniel walked and talked with God. Prayer was super important to Daniel and no decree was going to stop him from praying to God. He was bold! He was faithful!

Whoa...talk about faithful...you mean to tell me he didn't watch too much t.v., or spend too much time on the computer (facebook, my space, etc.), he didn't backbite or gossip, or have an attitude problem? He wasn't ever cranky, or grumpy or rude? His only "problem" was that his priority was God first, everything else second? Wish I could have met Daniel, in fact, I can't wait til I do!

Verse 3 says that the governors and satraps saw "an excellent spirit was in him," so much so that the king gave him huge responsibilities. That excellent spirit was definitely given by God!!!

In my devotion we had to think about people in our life who are our heroes, who we can find no fault or error, who we look up to, who is faithful, and bold for Christ?...and the first two people that jumped to my mind were Bill and Christy.

Bill and Christy are fellow believers, and dear friends, they were in our wedding party and now Julia's godparents (aka prayer parents). Christy came into my life when I was a young girl seeking to honor God and we were put together to memorize scripture at church. It was so fun being her partner and practicing our bible verses in person or over the phone. Christy was my youth group leader and eventually when she began her family I was their babysitter. Well, you can imagine how much I adored them. I wanted to be just like them because I saw they had an excellent spirit in them and it was lovely and attractive and contagious! Bill and Christy are not only the kindest people I know but when I think of someone godly a picture of them always comes to mind.

Christy and I have always been close and when John began seeking after the Lord the first person I thought of to help him along the way was Bill. They became fast friends and are wonderful accountability partners. I thank my Lord every time I think of them because they have been such good role models to us.

I can remember thinking as a teen that when I grew up I wanted to be just like Christy and marry someone as kind and loving as Bill, now Luke and Bridget (their teenagers) tease us all the time because they say they see a lot of similarities between me and Christy and Bill and John. I guess its true that you do become like the people you look up to. I am thankful I have them as mentors.

Daniel is a hero too. He was faithful to God even unto the thought of death in the lions den. He was bold to go home and pray with windows open even though he knew the decree said they were not supposed to pray to any other god but the King. God brought about a miracle too, to show us and those governors and satraps that he is the one true God and that God is faithful to care for His people.

Lord, thank you for our heroes. I pray that we can be someone's hero or godly example. Thank you for Bill and Christy leading me to a bold christian faith. I pray that Julia and Mark will have people in their life that bring them closer to you. I pray they surround themselves with people who push them to do what is right no matter what the cost. Keep them in your word. Keep me in your word. Help me to be receptive to those you put in my life to challenge me and guide me to walk closer to you.

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens , Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Success by whose stadards?

Philippians 1:6 Being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Over the weekend my devotional was about how we view success. Do we look at how the world views success, by power, wealth, position, career, college, degree, the size of one's home? Or do we have a godly view of success which is living for Christ?

Whoa! This was just what I needed...after having Julia I really struggled with staying at home and not working. I felt like my identity and success was through being a teacher, and I felt at a complete loss being home all day and not "contributing to society,"...how wrong was my thinking!

Through many wise christian women I have begun to see the extreme value of not only being home with my children, but even being content with this season of life, and now thoroughly enjoying it. I'm not saying that every day is easy, or that I leap out of bed with joy (5 or 6 times) in the middle of the night when one of the kids wakes up, but I've realized that living a life where you are only fulfilled outside of where Christ wants you is like trying to fill a bottomless bowl, you will never be fulfilled, the world's standards will never be enough, you will always want more.

I am learning that God truly is all that I need each day to get me through the day. He has enough strength and love for me when I feel exhausted or stretched to my limit.

I want God to renew my mind and my way of thinking and this is hard when the world says that success is an impressive job title!

Lord, thank you for teaching me through friends and family and my mentors that success is defined as worshipping you with my life no matter where I am or what I am doing. I can do that at 3 am when I am nursing a sick child. I can do that at 3pm when I am pushing my daughter on the swing at the park. I can do that in church while teaching a sunday school class with passion. I can do that by encouraging my husband as he heads out the door. Thank you Lord for this season of my life, help me to be faithful!

12 October 2009

Craziness of life - joys of the Lord

What a whirlwind of a month. Trying to spend time with my family was a great difficulty. Running the Taekwondo School, starting up Artisan Images (www.artisanimagesonline.com), planning the St. Jude event, planning and prepping for the Apologetic’s seminar, planning and prepping for Old Bridge day, refinancing the house, and taking Hebrew, my plate was full and too heavy to bear. I have learned quite a bit though. After the Apostles had done much teaching and great works, in the Gospel Mark, Jesus said,

"Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." – I need to do exactly this.

In Luke 11 Mary is so consumed with her preparations, she misses the words of Jesus and gets angry that her sister Martha has stop doing what Mary thinks she needs to do, and is just listening to Jesus. Jesus tells Mary, Martha is doing what is most important. I need to stop doing so much and just sit and listen to the Lord more, and focus on His words and blessings (Kristi and the Kids.) – Thanks Lord for teaching me this lesson – to lean more on you.

This was such a wonderful weekend with Stuart McAllister. What a great honor it was to spend such great times talking to this great warrior for Christ. Kristi and I will be hardcore praying for him and his family as they sacrifice so much for God’s work, traveling all over the world to encourage and build the faith of other’s in our Lord.

Most fun part was walking through Princeton University with him – we got to chatting about how the architecture was similar to Scotland’s, and how it is amazing how far the college has gone Theologically as you see the people like Peter Singer who work there and yet they have a stone monument of John Wesley.

We got to sit and drink espresso and chat, and then spent almost an hour in an awesome book store which was largely philosophy books. Stuart bought about 10 books, he’ll probably read them all on the plane back to Atlanta.

I was expecting Stuart to want to spend Saturday night at the hotel and rest but he unexpectedly asked to hand out with Kristi and I for a late dinner after the kids went to bed. We grabbed some Thai, man, he likes it hot!

I must say though, Kristi asked me the best part of my weekend, and I told her it was just sitting at the dinner table watching her talk to Stuart and make him feel at home. He travels all over and Kristi was such a great hostess. She makes everyone feel so comfortable, welcome and loved in our home. She is the greatest gift the Lord has given me. I do not deserve such a woman.

Proverbs 12:4 – “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.”

11 October 2009

Roll-y Poll-y

Mark has officially learned how to roll over from his back to his belly and his belly to his back! It is so cute to watch him roll!

A friend at church was telling me that her middle child Jack, learned how to walk at 9 months old! She was telling me that boys in general hit their gross motor skill milestones very quickly, especially the second child because they are constantly watching an older sibling and wanting to mimic what they see them doing.

I am totally seeing that happen with Mark. He "talks" so much more and faster than Julia did. He coos all the time! He has such great eye contact and really focuses on people and objects. I can tell he's going to be a smarty!

Keep up the good work my baby boy! Mama loves you!

How beautiful upon the mountains...

Isaiah 52: 7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'"

We were so blessed to have Stuart McCallister at our church this past weekend for an apologetic seminar (defending the faith). I was so proud of John, to hear him preach with passion, there is no greater joy a wife can have than to hear her husband speak of Christ!

It was so nice to sit down with Stuart last night and enjoy some Thai food and just talk. He is so down to earth and easy to talk to. He's been all over the world and has an awesome Scottish accent! I could listen to him speak all day! He knows German too. He is so intelligent that when he was preaching I really had to focus and pay attention to understand what he was saying (plus I could ask John about terms that apologists use that I am not familiar with.)

What an honor to be able to say, Stuart was at our church, and even more so to be able to say, and he came over our house! God was so good to us because we put Julia to bed at 7:30 like normal and Mark also went to bed and stayed alseep til way after Stuart left. So the entire time I could focus on being a host and entertaining our guest, although I peppered him with tons of questions about his travels, his family, and his speaking. In the past 6 weeks he has spoken 40 times!! He flew home to Georgia today only to be leaving for Malaysia to speak in 3 days.

I asked him, "Stuart, how does your wife do it?" I would have such a hard time being apart from John so much. He said this is his calling, and that his wife Mary is wonderful because she totally supports him, she also sometimes is able to travel with him since their children are much older, 23 and 25 years old. His wife is also on his committee that decides his schedule of speaking engagements, which also helps, so that he can be home for holidays and birthdays and such.

I could only hope that if God calls John to do what Stuart does, that I would also be as supportive. I can't imagine not seeing him every day.

Well, this was the end of John's project list. Planning and organizing this conference and his own sermon has taken so much of John's time...I am glad it has come to an end and we can enjoy more quality time at home with him. He can now say he spoke on the same panel from someone on Ravi's RZIM team! How awesome is that!!! Ravi is one of the main reasons why John started seminary, after hearing him preach and have such great answers for our faith, John knew God was calling him to study at Nyack. It has really helped him to grow in his own faith and fall more deeply in love with Christ.

Lord, what a blessing you have been to us. Please give Stuart safe travels home and may he and his wife be blessed as they continue to reach out and share the good news of Christ.

10 October 2009

A few talents and skills

Praying for Purpose by Katie Brazelton

Exodus 31: 1, 3 Then the Lord said..."And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge and all kinds of crafts."

Right now I am doing an awesome devotional that I love! Today's scripture led us to read about the talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) We then had to list our own gifts and talents:

I am humbly going to share what I think my gifts and talents are:

1. Teaching
2. Organizing (from drawers, clothes, shoes, to teams, ideas, and events)
3. leadership
4. encouragement
5. writing (correspondence and free writitng, although I tend to write how I would speak to a friend instead of formal writing)
7. cooking & baking (hosting too)
8. dare I say, shopping!!! (I get really good deals!)

We then had to ponder and see if we are currently using our gifts and talents for the Lord. I really hope I am. As a mom and wife I have to use many of these things and I do try to transfer some of them by teaching K-5 Sunday School at church and do nursery, I try to stay in touch with friends I may not see every day, but let them know I care about them and are praying for them. But I do wonder if there are other things God wants me to do.

Lord I am open to be used for your glory. Please show me how I can use my gifts and talents for you. Help me to enjoy being a stay at home mom and really put a lot of my time and efforts into cultivating a safe and happy home. I want to have the kind of home that I longed to have as a kid where all the neighborhood kids want to come over and play and feel welcomed.

09 October 2009

Big Purple Dinosaur---BARNEY!!!

Julia loves Barney! We have an assortment of DVDs and VHSs from church friends, and even taekwondo friends....everyone knows Barney is Julia's favorite! She loves all the songs and everytime Barney sings I LOVE YOU, she has to hold either mine or Mark's hand and gives us a hug and kiss. It is so sweet. She sings the "Special" song at random also!

Well, little does she know that on Christmas morning, Barney is going to pay her a little visit. (Daddy got the costume on Ebay...we won't even say how much it was!) I can't wait to see the smile on her face when she sees him. I already know she won't be afraid because we've been to parties where people have dressed up as Monkeys or Elmo and she is sometimes the only kid who will go right up to the character and try to talk to it and sit on its lap or take a photo...she is so brave! At Barnes and Noble she met Clifford the Big Red Dog, and even though he was HUGE she thought nothing of it!

Thanks Daddy for being so good to Julia! I can't wait to take photos of the Barney moment! There is also a Jungle Barney movie coming out tomorrow October 10th, and I am really contemplating taking Julia, I'm just not sure how she would do in a dark theatre...any suggestions moms out there? She watches videos at home but she walks around and plays with her toys at the same time so I'm not sure if she is too young. We could just wait til the movie comes out on DVD...hmmmmm

08 October 2009

So proud of John

World's greatest husband! I mean basically everyone knows that I have THE best husband in the entire world. From the way he looks at me, and how he works so hard, how he seeks to be a man of God, how he treats his friends and people he meets, how intentional and careful he is with his words, thoughts, and actions. Words just can't express how blessed I feel to be married to him. I am so thankful to be his wife, the mother of his children, and just happy to be on his team. John and I are inseparable. We are like frik and frak. We genuinely enjoy each others company and I sincerely miss him when he is not home. My parents tease me all the time because I am always saying "I miss John." There are just not enough hours in the day for me to spend with him.

Anyway, this weekend he will be speaking alongside one of his apologetic idols (I know we aren't supposed to have idols, but you know what I mean, he really loves listening to Ravi and Stuart McCallister speak...I mean we've been to Oxford Univ. twice just to sit under these wise men in the faith speak all day)...I am so proud of him. He organized this entire conference for our church, he made the reservations, prepared a sermon for one of the days, and then proceeded to design a brochure for our congregation to give to friends and neighbors...then he went around to our entire neighborhood and delivered over 100 of the brochures on foot!!! I love this guy!

I feel so privileged to have seen how God has transformed John. He went from not knowing who he was and what his purpose was to totally surrendering his heart and life to the Lord. And John is not one of those people who claim to be a christian, go to church, but don't change at all, he changed completely. God has done a mighty work in him and I just can't explain how proud I am of him and all he does for the Lord. He has such a great heart, and that is only from God. Noone can do this in their own strength. It is a total God thing.

It's amazing to me how when you really seek the Lord, submit to His will, and bend your knees before Him, how God can dramatically change and use you for His glory. John's faithfulness has blessed us as a family. I'm so lucky to have such a strong leader in our home. That was my main prayer for John, that he would not only get saved and know Jesus as His Savior, but that if we were to ever get married that he would be a strong leader. My mentor and I prayed that prayer a year before John got saved. We met every week at a Barnes and Noble and studied God's Word and prayed for John. Well, it definitely looks like those prayers were answered!!!

Good luck this weekend honey! God bless you as you speak from your heart what God has led you to say. I am so proud of you...keep loving Jesus and serving Him!

07 October 2009

Mark is growing...our team is growing!

Mark is getting so big! Today was his 4 month well visit and he did so well. He is now 15.10lbs and 24 1/2 inches tall! It is such a blessing to know your baby is growing properly and is healthy. Dr. Shih was saying it is now time to start introducing foods from stage 1 baby foods (apples, bananas, veggies) plus cereal. I have already tried oatmeal and rice cereal...but mark hasn't gotten the hang of eating the way my Julia did. Although I didn't start her on foods til she was 5 1/2 months because she was such a good sleeper.
Some new things Mark has been doing lately is rolling from his tummy to his back, cooing non-stop, and he is very alert and observant. I love how he grabs for things now and it is like he enjoys playing in his exersaucer. It is a joy to watch him grow and explore the world around him.

He loves watching Julia. Dr. Shih said that right around 6 months he will visibly start getting mad that he can't do what she is doing. He also said that the 2nd child reaches their milestones faster to keep up with their sibling. Dr. Shih said that Mark is going to be very smart (come on, he's a McInerney...we knew that LOL) because he stares and watches very intently.

Now, if we could just get him to sleep 7-9 hours again....all in good time! God is teaching me to breathe, relax, and take each moment as it comes instead of rushing through my plans and routines. As a teacher, having control and a schedule is very important to me, so I am learning to loosen up a bit and Mark is definitely stretching me. It is the joys of motherhood. I am learning so much about myself, and I can see how God is refining me and molding me to be the mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and servant He wants me to be.

Team Mac is growing in more ways than one! Keep up the good work Mark. I love your smile and listening to you talk, and I do love holding you in the middle of the night when you need an extra cuddle before drifting off to sleepy land. I love you baby boy.

This Little Light

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the world's light-a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light! Let is shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

"This Little Light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!" Julia and I were listening to our kids CD with her name added somehow to each song, and this one has become her favorite, on the drive to our library class yesterday. Especially when we have to yell, "NO!" (hide it under a bushel----NO! I'm gonna let it shine...)

As we sang the song and I watched her through the rear view mirror I thought to myself...do I let my light shine? Do I hide it under a bushel when I'm tired (which is always) or busy, or trying to get the kids in the car quickly so we aren't late? Do I hide it when I speak to non believers, or can they see that something is glowing in me? I want others to see that I belong to Christ at all times, and after singing that song I was really convicted because sometimes I wonder how bright my light is shining.

Lord, I want people to praise your name because of my little light...please help "it", me to shine today!

06 October 2009

Contentment in every situation

Philippians 4: 11-13 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be on a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

The other day I made Julia a delicious dinner. It was a soft taco wrap with cheese, turkey ground meat, and tomatoes. We love taco salad and soft tacos in the McInerney household...well as I put the food on her high chair and sat her down, and we prayed, she kept pointing to the apples and bananas at the center of the table and kept asking for them. I said, "No, Julia, that isn't what is for dinner, please eat what is on your plate." This happened again and again, I just couldn't figure out why she couldn't be happy with what I gave her. After all it took time, planning and effort, and she wanted no part of it. It was nutritious and tasty, and even served warm. Why wasn't she happy. I started to get very frustrated, and then it happened...an aha moment! God was teaching me a lesson that evening. How many times has God given me something, and yet I have my eyes elsewhere on something else I want? How many times am I not satisfied with what is right in front of me? How many times do I forget that God knows so much more than I do, and sees a much bigger picture, and truly knows what is best for me?

It was at that moment that I stopped getting frustrated with Julia and actually smiled to myself.

Thank you Lord for reminding me to be content with what you have given me. Help me to trust you and keep my eyes on you and what you have for me.

It was pretty humbling to be taught a lesson through a 1 year old, but whatever works, right? LOL

05 October 2009

Tired but on the right track...

This morning I wake up proud as I was finally able to use the Ezzo method with Mark. It has taken me a lot longer with Mark. For me to hear him cry and worry about waking up Julia has been a lot tougher than I thought it would. Last night I put him to bed by 9:30 and by 11pm he was already stirring, instead of nursing him like I had been doing to get him back to sleep I tried the pacifier, and it worked...for the past 3 weeks he has rejected the pacifier and it has been a lot of sleepless nights for me. I was at my wits end. But last night I just stayed firm and every time he awoke and I heard him stirring in his bed (surprised he wasn't crying...and surprised I could hear him moving around when he is two doors down the hall) I went to his room and just rubbed his back and put the pacifier aka binky back in. Each time he went back to sleep. This happened about 5-6 times but at least I didn't resort to feeding him because he was getting in a bad habit of nursing all through the night and my body couldn't take it. Thank you Lord for giving me the will and strength. Being a mom to two babies has been so hard. I am trying to hold it all together and do the best that I can. Please, please help me not to fail at motherhood. I've always wanted to be a mom. Some mornings I wake up and I'm just so tired I don't think I can start the whole day all over again. But thankfully, once I look at my children I get a new source of energy and love and I am so happy to be a mom! How can you not be when your children are so cute and lovable? I am praying that we are on the right track with Mark as he gets into a new habit of sleeping through the night again...teething has been rough on him, poor guy.
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