Thursday, January 28, 2010

Easton's Half Birthday




Easton Brooks celebrated his half birthday yesterday.

It may not have been the most delightful celebration. We started the day off waking him up around 5:15 am to get him ready to go to the hospital. It would have normally been time for him to eat, but he wasn't allowed to eat after 1 a.m. So he was just tired, hungry and cranky (as are most of us at 5 am).

We arrived at the hospital, waited around for awhile and then he went in to get tube in his ears around 7:30. He came back, tubed up, around 7:45, ate and was still pretty cranky. We took him home, he took a 3 hour nap and woke up a new baby. The doctor told us he was able to clear out lots of yucky fluid in his ears and so I am sure that helped. The tubes will now help whatever fluid accumulates in there to empty itself out, as it had been unable to the past 2 months that he's had constant ear infections.

While not the greatest thing to have done to your 6 month old, it is definitely an answer to prayer. There have been many naps and many nights where I have just had to pray and ask the Lord to take away any pain he is experiencing. It's awful to know your baby is in pain and not be able to do anything about it. So, all that to say, this is a good thing and I believe his world is getting back to normal. The happy, "easy E", as we call him is back.

He slept great last night (all through the night) and I am sure that's why. It's been months since that happened.

As far as milestones this month, our little man is almost crawling. I can't believe how big he thinks he is. I guess he sees the other two and wants to do what they are doing, but I am tempted to push him down when he tries that crawling action. Not cool for a 6 month old. He's not trying to sit on his own yet and we haven't tried solids yet. He grabs at everything and is actually very coordinated. He did not get his great hand-eye coordination from me, that's for sure.

Here are some pictures of the precious fella:



And a few of the other two cuties:



Monday, January 25, 2010

Gospel Powered Parenting, Ch.1




I LOVE this book.

I am not one to just swallow a book whole, but this one I did and will continue to.

This is the ultimate parenting book. I love Shepherding a Child's Heart and it is my old favorite, but I think this book is so foundational that it wins out. Every chapter in this book brought me back to the Gospel and seeing all aspects of parenting in light of the cross, seeing ourselves in view of God's character and His great mercy toward us.

The author, William Farley, talks often about the importance of the father on your children. As a matter of fact, much of the book is directed specifically to the father. He says this,

"The common denominator between success and failure seems to be the spiritual depth and sincerity of the parents, especially the spiritual depth and sincerity of the father."

Farley says we "need the grace that comes to (us) through the Gospel" since parenting is difficult and because we are imperfect. I have often wondered how people raise children without the Lord. I have so many days where I just want to give up...I think I would despair if I didn't have God to turn to...if I didn't have a refuge.

God is sovereign but he uses "means" (parents) to reach our children. Holding God's sovereignty and man's responsibility in tension is what Farley emphasizes in the first chapter. He says, "It is fatal to presume upon God's sovereignty by neglecting parental faithfulness. Yet it is also a mistake to assume that it all depends on us."

He also takes a stab at those who shelter their children from the world and taking a defensive standpoint when instead he says we should take the offense and equip our children to overcome the world. He says it is our job as parents to give our children a God-centered worldview by "going after their hearts."

A few questions he asked and I had to ask myself:

What assumptions have affected my approach to parenting? (am I assuming parenting should be easy, am I assuming God is sovereign and I am responsible and holding those two in tension, am I pursuing my childrens' hearts and making the Gospel attractive, am I assuming my children are believers just because they do or say the right thing, is my house child-centered or God-centered)

Which pressures from our culture make these assumptions difficult to believe or apply?

What do you think? Have you learned or are you learning this through your parenting journey?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to him...

to the one who jumps vigorously...



to the one who samples lots of concoctions...



to the one who "catches" butterflies...



to the one who consents to my decorating whims...



to the one who loves and gives and serves his heart out...



yeah, you. Plus 28.

Happy Birthday.

We love you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taylor Joyisms & Beckettisms

Taylor Joyisms used to be monthly feature here at the Duty Chronicles and since Easton was born, they are sadly down to a semi-annual basis. It's not that hilarious things aren't being said, but they are laughed at and forgotten most of the time.

Here are a few that we have kept up with in the past month, with a few from our newly verbose son, as well.



Taylor Joyisms:

"Daddy, you're the exercising boy that's the exercising boy!"

"I meant to do that on accident"

(pointing to her sippy cup) "N - U - B - Y. That spells cup."

"Since Beckett was coughing two times, I burped his back."

"Daddy, you're a sneaky potato!"

"I'm a really good killer. I can kill them really really hard." (about the flies in our house)

"oh, pink it!" (she says it in the same context of "aww, man!")

"it's like a rock star" (if something is really cool)

(with her new doctor kit) "I can hear your heartbeep!"

"Mommy, do we need to disgust?" (discuss)

"Take it to the MAX!" (when she wants to do something with greatness)

"Daddy, I want to be an adult." Allen said, "No Geet (her nickname), I don't want you to be an adult. I want you to be my little girl." And she said, "But I just want to be an adult." Allen said, "You'll be an adult one day. But for now I want you to enjoy being little. I love that you're my little girl." And then she said, "Yeeeeah, I'll be an adult when I'm four."




Beckettisms:

"mommy...i unt a piece of chocolate milk!"

(after pulling down a table in the kitchen and glass all over the floor) "I sorry. I not do it 'gain."

"I aggle goose" (mommy translation: I want apple juice)

"What doin' dayeee? (daddy translation: what are you doing, Daddy?)

(after seeing a boy hitting in preschool and him being told to "be nice", Beckett walks around patting everyone saying this) "I nice. I nice. I nice"

Beckett also loves to pray and will go on and on until you stop him. I would love to listen to him pray forever, it's so sweet, but often (for time's sake) we have to prompt him to say, "In Jesus' name, Amen." I hope to get it on video very soon.


Hope you enjoyed this installment of Dutyisms. I'll try to keep up with all the Duty funnies until the next time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How you can help Haiti

This is Allen's post on the NL blog:

By now, you have probably heard about the massive 7.3 earthquake that struck Haiti two days ago. If not, here is a news brief from the New York Times on the event and the country:

“On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, devastating its capital. Thousands of people were feared dead. The recent earthquake, the worst in the region in more than 200 years, brought even more suffering to a nation that was already the hemisphere’s poorest and most disaster-prone.

Haiti occupies an area roughly the size of Maryland on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Nearly all of the 8.7 million residents are of African descent and speak Creole and French. The capital is Port-au-Prince.

The country is, by a significant margin, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, with four out of five people living in poverty and more than half in abject poverty. Deforestation and over-farming have left much of Haiti eroded and barren, undermining subsistence farming efforts, driving up food prices and leaving the country even more vulnerable to natural disasters. Its long history of political instability and corruption has added to the turmoil.”

Please be in prayer for the country’s leadership, the believers there, and for the many aid workers already there or leaving to help. We would also urge you to consider donating by purchasing a Help Haiti t-shirt (take a look here). The shirts are $25 each, and 100% of the proceeds go toward Haiti disaster relief through Real Hope for Haiti, Compassion International, and Heartline.

New Life will be placing a bulk order for these t-shirts on Friday. To place your order through New Life, please email Allen by 12 pm CST on Friday with the number of t-shirts you would like and the sizes you need. Then bring your payment to worship on Sunday evening (make checks payable to New Life with “Help Haiti” on the memo line). One of our members has volunteered to bring the shirts to College Station next weekend so we will not have to pay any shipping charges.

For friends of New Life that live outside of College Station, you may order your shirt directly through Aaron Ivey’s website, and the shirt will be shipped to your address in 3–7 days. Shipping charges will apply to orders placed through Ivey’s site.

Thank you for praying or donating to help these hurting people.


Here's a few more ways to help on Justin Taylor's blog, as well.

Praying through this

Thinking beyond myself

{for today}

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Rescue Kids!


Now, for some of the crafts that I have been undertaking throughout November and December that I couldn't tell you about until after Christmas (I love surprises!).

The capes and masks that I made for the kids were huge hit since they (Taylor Joy especially) are in a wonderful phase that includes imagining almost everything they do. I hope this phase lasts! They love to imagine that Taylor's bed is a car that drives us to Chuck E. Cheese or Chic-fil-A and then we get out and order our meal or play pretend games together. They love to imagine they are Word Girl and Captain Huggieface and race around the house "rescuing" each other from the Bad Guys (they usually say that Allen is the Butcher...a bad guy on the show). Beckett is always needing to be rescued from someone who is tickling him. It's just too much fun not to.

All that to say, it's been precious to see them use something so simple to enhance their precious little imaginations. Here are the tutorials I used for the capes and masks:


Superhero Cape and Mask Tutorial


Instead of using an old dress like she suggested, I just used fabric I had or got for really cheap, about a yard for each. I made Beckett's shorter than Taylor Joy's, of course.

I also appliqued their initials on the back of their capes and added a girly bow to Taylor Joy's.

Hope this can be useful for you and your kids, too!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas Pictures in Review

We had a beautiful Christmas together.

We started off the festivities in Sachse with my family on the 23rd. Spending time with their Nanny, Papa and Aunt B was a highlight for sure. It was brief, but worth it. Nanny and Papa attempted to wrap a picture of the kids' new trampoline, but I'm pretty sure it was lost in translation. It came through loud and clear when Allen put it together the day after Christmas. They are loving it and I have to be quite honest, I like it myself. Practicing my old cheerleader jumps is pretty fun and Taylor Joy keeps asking me, "Mom! Who taught you to do that?" I'm not sure I'll be brave enough to try any flips anytime soon though. We are coming up on our 10 year high school reunion this year. Crazy how that silly thing called time flies!

We headed over to McKinney on Christmas Eve morning to spend some time with Mima, G-pa, Aunt Lizzie, Aunt Cathy and Uncle Ryan. It was way too brief, but so much fun. Notice the wonderful quality of my pictures below? Yeah? Yeah! That's what I thought. Thank Mima and G-pa for that. I think Cathy might win the award for most thoughtful gift this year. She got me this awesome book that I can't wait to dig into.

We headed to Frisco to see our friends Ryan and Cate for an excruciatingly quick 10 minute hello and gift drop-off in the SNOW! Yes, it was really coming down on our way there and back. Beautiful!

We came home to get settled back in and spend a low-key Christmas Eve and Christmas in our home. It was a fun night and day of fire burning in the fireplace, cold weather, sweet devotions together, yummy meals and blessing each other with thoughtful gifts. I am so thankful that we sat down before Thanksgiving and actually planned out our budget and gifts this year. I was able to make gifts for the kids and our family that were thoughtful and also useful and well received. I made capes for the kids since they love Word Girl and Captain Huggieface and love to pretend they are the Rescue Kids. I love it that it promotes them using their imagination, as opposed to another battery-operated toy. We also got them a tent with a tunnel that we thought they would enjoy since they love making forts. I made necklaces for Taylor Joy, family, some friends and myself. I was so blessed by our Advent time this year and hearing the kids recite the entire Christmas story on Christmas when we had gone through the whole thing. Taylor Joy's prayer on Christmas Eve was the most memorable thing about the entire day. Such a blessing to hear her articulate everything we have labored to teach her about Christ and Him coming into the world to save us from our sins. It was a beautiful day to remember the sacrifice that Christ made in coming into the world and to praise Him, not only for that, but also for the evidences of His grace that we have seen in ourselves and in our children in the past year. It was a tough year with lots of changes that took place, but nonetheless a praiseworthy year for the things the Lord did in and through us.

Here's a video slideshow of our Christmas:

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Christmas 2009
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Jumpers

Giggles all around and lots of fun being had on our new trampoline. Thanks, Nanny and Papa!

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