30 April 2014
29 April 2014
The Next Chapter For The Home TeamYou may remember the last time I interviewed Morgan when she was pregnant with her latest bundle of love. Well, now that Jordan Foster Rudanovic is here I wanted to touch base with Morgan and see how she was doing with her new addition and how she prepped her older son Desmond for the baby to come.
I absolutely love highlighting other Moms because A. They inspire us to all be the best at what we do. B. It encourages me that I am not alone in my motherhood journey. C. I am so thankful to have met so many awesome moms who truly make me a better mom!
Jordan Foster was born on April 8th...here is my interview with Morgan....
How did you prep Desmond for his new brother?
We discussed mommy's belly a lot with Desmond beforehand. He wasn't that interested until Sara Jones and Deanna Sgalambro had their little ones. Then all he would talk about is "Nate has his sister and Dray has his brother, when do I get my brother?" So I would really say seeing other babies prepped him on what was about to happen.
What are you most excited about in meeting this new little guy?
We can't wait to see what he looks like! (Jordan looks just like his Daddy!!!!)
Lastly, what new tradition will the four of you be able to do now? Or what are you excited to teach/share with Jordan?
We are so excited to have two boys who will grow up playing with daddy and mommy in the backyard. We are both very into sports and games so it will be fun to continue that with our boys. Desmond already loves playing in the backyard! We are also excited to teach Jordan to pray and to see him grow up being taught the truth of the Gospel and the grace that has been extended to those who trust in Jesus.
**** Morgan and Chris are one of my favorite couples at Jacobs Well. They are down to earth, very funny, and the hardest working pair I have met. There is also a huge measure of excellence in everything they do. They lead the Well Kids ministry at our church which is all of the education programs for the kids. I am so excited to join their team this summer. I'm teaching K-2nd grade this summer and helping out with VBS. I really felt like God was pushing me to teach more at church and use my gifts there for Him. I was so glad when the opportunity came up!
28 April 2014
Growing in Love and Size
|My darling Julia, my favorite first born|
|My sweet Mark, my favorite red haired boy|
To my favorite chubby little, happy go lucky, always smiling blondie boy
And to you my sweet petunia whom I have not yet met...we love you already and we are happy to welcome you and include you into our growing family.
23 April 2014
|photography by Erin Nicastro Photography|
Proverbs 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 13: 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Jesus-The Ultimate Friend...how do we become godly friends to others
22 April 2014
On the Home School Front
Wrapping Things Up
Success in Spelling
21 April 2014
The Third Baby Woes
Trusting God No Matter WhatI met Michele at Jacobs Well right away. She and Ming are very sweet and warm people and we are so thankful to know and love them.
Michele found out she was pregnant right after I had Micah. I can remember nursing Micah at church and talking to her about getting things ready at her for her baby to come. We were both excited and nervous to add this third member to the family. Michele has been someone I can totally relate to in her faith, her career (she taught at a christian school in elementary) and now as a stay at home mom.
We are looking forward to double dating with her and Ming super soon! We both have very hectic schedules so at least we are in the same boat! Michele has so much wisdom on motherhood and in her faith. I could listen to her all day.
Here is her story...
Did you and Ming always envision a family of 5?1. We did!!! However we didn't think it would be a reality. In fact, Rachel was our surprise baby!! At the time we were both happy with only having Jonathan and Hannah but God obviously had other ideas and blessed us with Rachel.
What has been the hardest part transitioning from 2 to 3 kids (this has been super difficult for me)?2. This transition from 2 to 3 kids really has been the most difficult for me. I don't know if it's just I'm older this time around but I find myself really tired all the time and not being able to keep up with all the housework. It's also been lonely at times because I've been stuck at the house with Hannah and Rachel due to the crazy winter we've had. I'm not really sure I have fully adjusted yet. I try not to beat myself up about the housework. On any given day there will be toys on the floor, dishes in the sink and laundry that needs to be done & that's ok!! I try to have the attitude of it'll get done when it gets done!! It also helps having a husband who is understanding and will help out with the chores and let you take a 2 hour nap after working a full day!
What would you say your family's mission or goal is?3. We haven't really come up with our family mission statement yet so this is kind of a "work in progress". First, we want our family to be rooted in the Gospel. We want to raise our kids in the ways of the Lord and we pray that they would be saved and have a relationship with God. Second, we want to live out the Gospel by loving Jesus in serving those who are around us. And finally we want to glorify God in all that we do.
What is your favorite part of motherhood?4. My favorite part of motherhood is seeing the kids accomplish something they have been working on. With Jonathan it's been his journey with his speech - he went from not really talking at 2 to now reading books with ease! With Hannah it's her ongoing conquest of being afraid of everything. We are still working on it but I'm sure she'll overcome her fears eventually. With Rachel it's been every little developmental milestone she's been able to reach - from lifting up her head, smiling, grasping fingers tightly and now rolling over! I'm excited to see what she'll do this week!!
What is the most difficult part of motherhood for you personally?5. The most difficult part of motherhood is disciplining the kids and being consistent. It's so easy to make excuses for them or let them off the hook. However, I find that their behavior becomes worse. For example I've had a really hard week with Hannah not listening & doing what I've told her to do the first time. It's been building up all week and finally she threw a huge tantrum after church. After we got home, she was put in time out and cried her eyes out! However, for the rest of the day, she was well-behaved! :)
How has your relationship with Jesus grown/changed through motherhood?6. I have definitely grown since becoming a mom. It certainly teaches me about unconditional love and being patient everyday. When I struggle with something the kids are doing like not listening or talking back, I find myself struggling with the same thing in my relationship with God. Except it's me that's not listening or having a bad attitude. God definitely uses my kids to point out the things I'm struggling with and the lessons He wants me to learn.
God bless your growing family Michele. I 'm so thankful God allowed our paths to cross!!!
18 April 2014
New King James Version (NKJV)5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed.
17 April 2014
Hands held high or Screaming bloody murder?
16 April 2014
Book Club Wednesday
Chapter 5: Exploders
I like how in this chapter Lysa shared that she struggled with not being able to function after a disagreement with someone through texting. She was so frazzled she couldn't even put her shirt on the right way! She ended up at Target with her shirt on inside out, and the check out lady HAD to mention it.
Have you ever been frazzled by someone's words?
Have you ever tried to call back to fix things only to make matters worse?
Did you explode instead of become the peacemaker?
And afterwards did you get so mad at yourself for not being more calm and patient?
I hear you!
Lysa says, "Raw emotions won't sit quietly awaiting further instructions. They'll move outward if we explode and inward if we stuff."
That's the tough part about emotions. WE can't control them. They are so unpredictable and complicated.
And the shame and regret afterwards only makes matters worse. What do we do with that guilt and shame we feel after we explode? Do we use it to motivate us to be calmer next time? Do we use it to help us to not want the shame to be our reality next time?
Lysa says, "Sip the shame so you won't have to guzzle the regret."
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.You know what often happens in this life? We put each other on the enemy side. We put family members, the annoying lady at the library, the rude man at the gas station, and the sassy mom at the park as our enemy. We explode on each other we dump on each other and we don't even realize who our real enemy is. Every time we explode and we hurt the other person, we make Satan so very happy. That is just what he wants. To side track us, to cause disunity, and to make people the enemy when HE is the only enemy.
Not to sound corny, but we should be busy loving each other, making and keeping the peace, pouring on kindness and blessings, not dumping and exploding even if the other person "deserves it", even if we are in "the right."
Ephesians 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.I love this verse!
Whenever I open my mouth....words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
WE must all carefully consider our words to each person. People are not the enemy. Try to see the BIGGER picture. Trust me, I am speaking to myself more than to any of you out there. I really really needed this reminder today.
Instead of Exploding
1. Begin by honoring the one offended.
2. Keep your response short and full of grace.
3. End by extending compassion.
Lysa reminds us that choosing a gentle reply does not mean you're weak.
15 April 2014
14 April 2014
When did you and Scott meet? When did you get married?
Did you always know you wanted to be a Mother?2. Yes!!! I always knew that I wanted to be a mother. My dream was always to be a stay-at-home mom and wife! Without a doubt! I am so grateful that The Lord knows the desires of my heart and provided for me in this area!
Charlie is 4 1/2 and Maeve is 2...have you found them to be totally different or more alike being that they are a boy and a girl?3. Charlie and Maeve are very much alike! I see so many similar attributes in the two of them. Sometimes I feel like I am reliving exactly what I went through with Charlie as Maeve displays much of the same characteristics at a very similar point in her life. For example, her strong-willed personality, although not as pronounced as Charlie's, began to come through right at the beginning of her life. Her tender, sensitive heart for others and love for her family is as clear as day as is Charlie's sensitive, loving spirit. They both have a passion for life and a joyful personality. They both love The Lord and enjoy learning about Him more and more everyday.
What is your favorite part about being a Mom?
I heard you are homeschooling...do you love it? How is Charlie doing?
11 April 2014
My Beautiful Sister
Here is her amazing Mom to be story!
1. When did you and Kelsey meet and how long before he proposed?Kelsey and I met in November 2010. He proposed in October 2011.
2. Did you guys want to start your family right away? Did you ever imagine you'd have TWINs?!
3. What are you nervous/excited about when the babies get here?
Kelsey and I are just excited about everything! We can't wait to meet them and see what they look like and have our beautiful family together and make wonderful memories!
4. How hard was it to come up with a boy/girl name?
5. So the babies will be here before or on....are you ready????? What do you still have left to do?
Laurie we are so excited and happy for you! Julia and Mark and Micah can't wait to meet their new cousins and help out. Especially Julia, she is a mommy in the making. Remember my only advice: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
You got this! You both are going to be awesome parents! And I for one, can not wait to spoil my niece and nephew!
10 April 2014
09 April 2014
Wednesday Book Club
Chapter 4 What Kind of Unglued Am I?
"It's both healthy and productive to identify the issues that cause us to react badly when we are stressed, irritated by people who get on our nerves, stuck in conflicts, feeling hurt or causing hurt, at the mercy of raging hormones, or drenched in our raw emotions."
Okay, so let's start with me. I'm definitely a stuffer. I'd much rather stuff my feelings than confront for fear of an explosion. However, it is so easy to read me that most of my friends, and the people who really know and love me that they can tell when I am hurting or stuffing even when I say, "I'm fine!"
"Exploding means pushing emotions outward."
If you are an exploder you probably regret every time you explode. You may have stern words, harsh looks, raise your voice, and have demonstrative gestures. But you know what at least you get your yucky feelings out! Although, once they are out they do damage to whomever is in your crossfire. That's the thing about our words...they can deeply hurt those around us. And we can't take them back.
"Exploding feels good in the short term, but awful in the long term."
One thing I absolutely love about John is that he is not either one of these. Seriously, he's pretty darn perfect at times. It's annoying. I think one of the many reasons I married John was that he has been such a level headed even keeled person. I grew up in a home where there was a lot of exploding and stuffing going on and when I sought a mate, I really looked for someone who was super stable and authentic and honest. Growing up in a home like that was rough because I never knew what to expect. It was a scary feeling. I am so glad I married him because I couldn't handle exploding or stuffing from him. I think that would make our marriage very difficult. We really have great communication and talk things out before they get to an exploding or stuffing emotion....thank goodness!
"Stuffing means pushing emotions inward."
I hate being a stuffer when I am hurt because it just hurts all the more and then I get angry for being hurt and I get madder and madder at the situation and it spirals into something really ridiculous. God has really taught me to be honest when I am hurt and say, "That bothered me." "Or that is not okay to say." At least then I can get the emotion out and deal with the hurt right away. Stuffing just prolongs everything!
4 Categories of Unglued Reactions
* Exploders who shame themselves
* Exploders who blame others
*Stuffers who build barriers
*Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks
No matter where you fall in any of these categories, know this, whatever, whichever you do, you will pay a cost for coming unglued.
I love when Lysa talks about Soul Integrity: "honesty that's godly. It brings the passion of the exploder and the peacemaking of the stuffer under the authority of Jesus."
That's what we all need. We need help in these situations. We need time to stop and think instead of stuff or spew. And that requires a lot of maturity and soul searching and self control. I will end with this verse in James.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
We are called in any situation to be peace makers. And as a mom of 3 I feel like I am constantly trying to keep the peace among my three kids so I know how difficult it is among little ones and big ones. Although dealing with little kids is sometimes easier. In life we have a choice, we can explode, we can stuff, or we can be the hero and keep the peace.
08 April 2014
07 April 2014
They Learned A Valuable Lesson
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
04 April 2014
|Photography by Erin Nicastro|
03 April 2014
Husband/Wife Movie Review
Here are some of my favorite theological themes and truths the movie Noah communicated:
1. There is one creator of heaven and earth who made all things by His power and might and should be worshipped by humanity.2. Mankind sinned in the garden of eden, a perfect place where God, man and animal communed together in a perfect world. Man sinned by disobeying God and sin entered through our disobedience.3. The creator is loving and merciful yet also is holy and the righteous judge of mankind who hates unrighteousness.
4. Sin is in every man, even those who live righteously (Noah).
5. Man deserves God’s judgment but also provides a way out of that judgment.
After reading John's movie review all I wanted to type was DITTO. But here's a more wordy answer:
First of all, I do not understand what the "stink" about the movie is?It's a movie about Noah made in Hollywood by an atheist. Did Christians think it was going to be a totally accurate portrayal of the Bible? And why would Christians not want to see a movie that was inspired by the bible and may have used some creative licensing...the bible does not tell us everything that happened in the story of Noah. Some things are left unsaid.
The director (I watched an interview on Friday with him) wanted to make this movie since he was 13 years old. How cool is that? He has been wanting to make a movie about Noah since he was 13 and was able to reach that goal and have Russell Crowe star in the movie as Noah...AMAZING!
As a believer, I was so excited that this movie was out and even put into the theaters! I see movies like this as an opportunity to talk about God even more to all my friends. Isn't that what we are told to do in Matthew 28?
The movie was beautifully done and it was SO COOL to see the ark! (The Director used the actual cubits and sizing from the Bible) It was AMAZING to see the animals on the ark. The whole movie is about how God loved man, and how wicked man got, and how God had to punish that sin because he is holy. Ummm, that is all biblical.
Throughout the movie I just kept marveling at the directors imagination and at God's workmanship of the earth. And the common theme that is so prevalent in my every day life that rang true throughout the whole movie: God always provides.Noah was constantly amazed at how God always provided all along the way as he built the ark and how God preserved his life and his family's life on the ark. This was all portrayed clearly in the movie and beautifully done.
Should young children see this movie?
I would not allow my children to see this movie because of the violence portrayed and the wickedness of man. I can read them the story in the Bible and leave it at that. But when my children are teenagers and can see past black and white issues and not take everything literally because the director used creative license...absolutely I would let them see it. And I would love to talk and dialogue with them about it and answer any questions they may have. As parents we need to talk to our kids, explain things to our kids, and teach them how to differentiate between real and Hollywood.
The movie made we want to re-read the account of Noah in Genesis 5
I am confident in my faith and the integrity of the Bible that I could see this movie and see past the creative licenses. I totally enjoyed the movie and I am so excited for the conversations I can now have with friends who have seen it. Any movie that makes me want to dig deeper, read the Bible more, and love my God and marvel at his love and provision for mankind, is a great movie to watch in my opinion, plus I got to see it with a really handsome guy whom I love dearly.
02 April 2014
Book Club Wednesday
Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst
Chapter 3 The Prisoners
"For we are God's Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." --Ephesians 2: 10
Call it Grace
1. Identify the label as a lie meant to tear me down.
2. I chose to view this circumstance as a call to action, not a call to beat myself up mentally.
3. I used the momentum of tackling one label to help me tackle more.