A Deeper Peek into Kristi Mac's Mom Brain

My proudest parenting moment: When I "caught" Julia sitting at the dining room table in a "big girl" chair with her head bowed and hands folded praying out loud to Jesus about Mama, Daddy, and Baby...at least those were the only words I could pick out :)

Activity I don't love but do anyway: Julia loves to watch Barney...and after the 20th time it gets old, really fast :)

My meltdown-prevention tactic: Sing a silly song, dance, or pretend I am crying (all three make Julia laugh)

Mornings are always smoother when I: Pack the diaper bags the night before with snacks, diapers, change of clothes, binky, special toys...and make all the sippy cups for the day and put them in the fridge.

I define downtime as: Talking on the phone to one of my BFFs, or writing a letter to someone I love, or writing in my journal, or reading a novel.

My guiltiest pleasure: Hot cocoa with tons of marshmallows (the itty bitty ones) chocolate cookies, or dare I say, a second cup of coffee!

I've started ________ a thousand times: Organizing Mark's clothes...he grows way too fast :)

My mom was right about: EVERYTHING...she is very wise!

My spouse and I always disagree about: who drives better :) But I am learning and working on being quiet in the passenger seat...it is so hard!

Even when my children have families of their own, I'll still: Cook for them, pray for them, and babysit the kids when they need a date night!

Women's Retreat

Thank you to my husband for allowing me and Mark to go on the women's retreat (Mark was only allowed because he is 4 months :)) this past weekend. I came home today and about 10 minutes later John and Julia walked in the door from church and Julia looked so beautiful. John did her hair and coordinated her shoes/outfit/hairbow...and she had on tights!!! My, my I was so impressed! All the little things that you worry about when you are not home, (will her teeth get brushed, will he brush her hair, will her outfit match,) all the details that mommies are good at that daddies sometimes don't remember. Not only was it nice to get away and hear a word from the Lord, but I got to share a room with my mom, and on Saturday we all took a walk along the beach and did our 2 mile Walk for Life! It was such a beautiful day.

Coming home was lovely, John had laundry done, the house was so neat and clean, and I was so glad that Julia behaved yesterday. Thank you Lord for caring about all the details and for such a loving husband.

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Last night I was watching Jon and Kate and it was the episode where she visits Henry's farm (He's Amish) and the kids get to pick all fresh fruit and veggies. Everyone knows that Jon and Kate are big on organic foods. Well, that night she made Chicken Cacciatore. Basically it is chicken breasts (or you could use a whole chicken) with a ton of fresh veggies in the tomato sauce. Well, it looked so good!!! Even the 8 kids were complimenting Kate and eating up their food...sooooooo I had a great idea to try the dish myself.

I went online and got the recipe off of cooks.com, made my grocery list, which was short since Grandma Joan had just picked some peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant for us. (Egg plant Parmesan is tomorrow's dinner :) and Mark and I headed to the A&P.

During Julia's afternoon nap I held Mark while I gathered everything I needed on the counter and then I put him in his exersaucer. He sat really good because he is teething so he just kept gnawing on his hand, poor guy. Then I was able to cut up the onions, green peppers, tomatoes, celery and bread/season the chicken. Let me tell you it smelled soooooo good! God was so good to me because Julia slept til 4pm like usual and when Mark got fussy I put him on his back on the carpet downstairs and popped in BabyFaith DVD and he hung out til I was entirely done!

At 5pm Julia and I enjoyed our dinner (she ate all her chicken and the veggies...of course I had to add parmesan cheese). And John came home at 9 pm and couldn't wait to try it out! It is one of those meals you are proud of because it is healthy and delicious, and you want some for leftovers the next day! I added some fettuccine pasta with it but you could also have garlic bread or another type of pasta with it.

Thanks Jon and Kate for a great idea! Just another reason why I like being home. I have time to be creative with meals and share recipes with other moms!

The Wedding

This weekend I lost 3lbs due to all of the stress I put on myself in trying to make everything perfect for someone's wedding. Julia is only 20 months old and yet she had the daunting task of being a flower girl. She had to walk hand in hand, outside, past a fountain (which she desperately wanted to swim in) with a 3 year old boy. If I am to pass on any advice don't agree to let such a young child in a wedding it can be very stressful for the parents and very unpredictable because kids are well, unpredictable. In the end, she did absolutely wonderful! I never would have expected her to do so well, especially since she didn't take her second nap that day and fell asleep 15 minutes before she was supposed to accomplish her task. Thankfully she woke up on her own, in the nick of time. Little Frank grabbed her hand tightly and guided her, away from the fountain, she did look longingly inside (everyone watching laughed...it was cute) and holding on tightly to her white flowers and orange rose buds ball she prepared the way for the bride!

It made me think back to our wedding day...

We had a summer August wedding. It was very hot. I wasn't nervous at all. I was really calm and at peace and all I can remember thinking is please no more photos I just want to be hand in hand with John. Our photographer took over...more advice, do pictures before the ceremony so that you can spend a lot of time with your guests and new spouse.

But honestly, that day wasn't what was important to either of us. We just wanted to be married. We didn't care about flower arrangements (John picked them out...we used the florist that he always bought me roses from since we were teenagers, the owner of the florist couldn't believe we were together for so long, he gave us a huge break, flowers are so expensive!) We didn't care about the cake (John sat down with our cake maker and designed exactly what he pictured...me I really didn't mind, I trusted John and actually like what he picked). We didn't need a huge fancy hall (God did provide one) or a party (the reception was fun)...we just wanted to call eachother husband and wife. The details are nice but too many couples today focus on the details and get so hung up on the wedding that they forget to put care and concern in building and preparing for the marriage. The best part of the whole process, honestly, was meeting with our Pastor twice a month for pre-marital counseling. We learned so much about each other, and our families, created our goals for our marriage (most of our goals we have already accomplished...we served over seas in China on a missions trip, and we have been so blessed to travel the world before we started our family) and a budget for our lifestyle.

The wedding is a special day, but the marriage lasts for years to come! I love you John...wow 6 years later and we are still so blessed and seeking God's hand in our life.

Mark's Baby Dedication

Sept 13, 2009

Today was a great family day. At church during our 9:15 am service John and I dedicated baby Mark to the Lord. This is our way of promising to the Lord to do our very best to raise Mark for Jesus' glory. We know that children are a gift and we are basically telling God we will try our best with His help to honor Him as we raise our children to serve and love God. Mark was very awake and attentive during the dedication and Julia was waving to "Anpa (grandpa) and Aunt Yaya (sara) and Aunt Louie (Laurie)...it was so funny! Earlier that morning she was telling Pastor Joe all about her Bible...so Pastor Joe brought that up in front of the congregation...I was such a proud mommy!

Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are the best parent to us. Please continue to give John and I wisdom as we raise these two precious children. We want to do what is right. We want our children to love you and honor you with their lives. Give us grace each day as we make mistakes. Help us to be good examples. We want to be good stewards of all you have blessed us with.

September 11th

Psalm 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land...

Tomorrow is a very important day for us to remember...

Our country is so blessed to have so much materialistic things, but our hearts are far from God.

I will never forget where I was and what I was doing the day the towers fell...

It was my first year teaching at TCS and it was a hot, sunny day. I was in the front of the classroom reading a novel to the class during our free time when Mrs. Martin, our Elementary principal, knocked on my door and waved for me to come out to the hallway. I thought nothing of it since it was only the second week of school and we were all still adjusting to the routine, I just figured she had forms for me to pass out or a message to give to a student. But that was not it. She said very bluntly, Kristi, the towers in NY have been attacked, they believe it to be terrorists, some parents may be coming to pick up students early.

Whoa...this was not news I could share with third graders, and my mind kept racing to think about John. John worked in the financial district in the city...was that near the towers? I didn't know but I was very worried. I couldn't wait for lunch break to begin so that I could call him on my cell phone.

At lunch time I tried John's cell but it was not in service. I started to panic. I really felt our Superintendent should've just cancelled school that day. Many of our students were picked up well before 3:05...everyone just wanted their family close, and I didn't blame them. Once I got home I was able to reach John's parents. They said he and Laurie (John's sister Laurie was a trader at that time and worked rather close to John's office) met up and had to walk over the Brooklyn bridge to get out of the city...that was the only way, and that was a long walk, they stayed with their grandparents that night. It wasn't until the next day that I finally got to talk to John.

He was so shaken up about it. It was so scary he said. People were crying and panicking. There were many who walked over the bridge that day since transportation was pretty much halted, and fighter planes were flying overhead and John was so nervous that more buildings would be attacked.

Little did I know that God was using this time to woo John closer to Himself. I didn't know that John would soon give his heart and life over to Jesus come January. I didn't know that that June he would then propose to me. God used something as horrible as 9/11 to rock John's foundation and show him that it was a deep relationship with His Son Jesus was all that he needed and what was missing. I didn't know that John would then leave his job in NY and open up a martial arts school in Old Bridge....God is just so amazing...he can make a horrible situation and use it for His glory. God is in the business of making all things new.

A few months after 9/11 my whole family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins came over to my parents house for a New Year' s celebration and John was invited. He was amazed to see that everyone brought their Bibles and that all of us, young and old were just sitting around and sharing what God was teaching us and doing in our lives. It was my uncle Mark who led our Bible study that night and he said, "You are awfully quiet John, what has God been teaching you?" Leave it to good old Uncle Mark (my favorite uncle, and the reason why we named our son after him) to put John on the spot.

To my surprise John began sharing how 9/11 really opened his eyes and his heart towards God...9/11 began his journey and walk with the Lord.

God thank you for using crumbled buildings to restore a relationship with your people. Thank you for flooding our church that Sunday with people searching, and broken, and open for you.

Lord help us never to forget the men and women who lost their lives saving others in those towers. Help us to never forget the men and women who died on 9/11 who were fathers, and mothers, and sisters, and sons...going about their day not knowing it would be their last. And Lord help us to always remember how you gave your life for us so that we could be saved. Help us to honor you with each day you give us because we know that our days too are numbered.

Revelation 21:5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new..."

What did you just say mommy?

September 8, 2009

Rayna has inspired me to write some things I never thought I would say. I guess it is one of the joys of motherhood :) For those of you who don't know Paris is our puppy.

Julia please don't feed Paris Mark's binky.

Paris stop eating Julia's snack!

Yes, Julia that is Mark's eye, please don't poke it.

Julia please take the sneaker out of your mouth.

Julia do nice to Paris.

Paris go to your room! (our puppy sleeps in the laundry room)

Julia we don't eat dirt...or the shovel.

Julia take the sand out of your mouth.

Being a mom is hard work! Thank you Lord for my children, and my puppy!

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