Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Bella!

Today is Bella's 2nd birthday! In honor of her, I am dedicating this post to all things Bella!
  • Bella's name was chosen by her father and I off the internet.
  • She was born with a full head of dark, thick hair that reached her neck!
  • She was born on Memorial Day.
  • She could be soothed as a newborn by the sound of my voice.
  • She was the easiest pregnancy and labor, so far.

  • Bella loves to eat and will try any new food at least once.
  • She has always loved to snuggle and give kisses!
  • Her love language seems to be touch.
  • She likes to play dress up and has a favorite pair of Strawberry Shortcake boots that light up when she walks. 
  • We call her "Belle" for short.
  • She is a rambunctious gal who likes adventure.
Things we love about Bella:
  • Her ability to make everyone feel special with her affection.
  • Her big smile.
  • Her curly (and very manageable) hair.
  • Her thoughtful attempts to cheer Noelle up when she's sad.
  • Her sweet little voice.
                              Happy Birthday Belle!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Impacting The World Through Homemaking

“We are called to be different - not conformed to the pattern of this world but transformed by Christ (Romans 12:2). We are to live in such a way that others may have hope. When we trust in the Lord and submit to His design for marriage, family, home, and church, then our homemaking accomplishes far more than just making homes. It has the power to impact countless lives and generations for the glory of God.” ( Passionate Housewives Desperate For God, p. 163)

I always knew there was something different about them. The more I began to know them, the more shocked I was. "What! You have never had a boyfriend? You have never kissed a boy? You don't drink? You don't curse? You don't talk about people behind their backs?"

Their sweet spirits and dedication to prayer, fasting, bible study, and church attendance also took me by surprise. It wasn't uncommon that I would knock on their door and find them prostrate on the floor praying in the middle of the day or night.

There God was, right in the middle of my sin, my distress and my weariness, allowing my path to cross with two of the most peculiar people I'd ever encountered. They were two sisters who lived on campus in the same dorm as I. They were only 18 years old and modeling right before my eyes a fervent love for God and a life consistent with his word.

Little did I know,  my interaction with these two ladies would be the start of a fresh new life for me, as a young christian woman who practiced biblical womanhood. Not only did I become a born again Christian, but so did two of my close friends, their friends, our parents, and many more students from other campuses as a result of their holy lifestyle. Now, many of us have married and have children who we are bringing up in the ways of the Lord.

With all that goes on in the life of an 18 year old girl on a college campus, I often wondered where did these two sisters get such a love for God and such a powerful conviction to stand for him in college?

As time went on, I found out that their mother was a stay at home mom of 15 children. That she and her husband woke their children up for family devotion everyday. That their mother kept their home life peaceful and consistent. It just so happens that their love for God was largely shaped by her consistent support, training, and example.

It wasn't their mother who witnessed to me on that college campus, but I do attribute much of my being who I am today to her. It was her sacrificial love and work of her hands that God chose to use to radically impact my life as well as the lives of many other people. 

As a homemaker, I realize that my cleaning, dusting, diaper changing, nose wiping, and laundry is not the end all be all. My primary reason for staying home is not to clean, but to raise children who will impact the lives of others for the glory of God. God has placed gifts and talents in them and has a purpose for their lives that is bigger than me and "my agenda." As I work everyday to train, walk upright, and to create a loving home environment, I must remember that my purpose is eternal. If I do my part, there will come a day when someone will experience salvation as a result of the prayers and witness of my children, just like I did through the witness and prayers of my college friends.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.

How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!

He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates(Psalm 127:3-5).

Truly, my children are God's gift to me and my gift to the world.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Blessings of Closely Spaced Chidren

Mrs. Anna T. has posted a wonderful post about about the blessings of closely spaced children. I've posted a small excerpt below, but you can read the entire post at Domestic Felicity.

Blessings of very closely spaced children (not by any means an exhaustive list!):

1) those children will likely have a very close relationship 

2) they will both grow into your helpers nearly at the same time

3) their training will be fairly similar, not exact of course, but very similar due to their closeness in 

4) your organizing skills will be honed.

5) many times the training that you would have waited to start will be started in the first child out of necessity, thereby teaching that child to work (and we are to work 6 days!!). Many times children are capable of doing muchmore than we parents think they are able to!

6) you & your husband will be put to the test in training obedience from #1 sooner than many parents think that training should be started, resulting in a well trained, obedient child who will be a blessing to her mother and father. I liken it to getting to the essentials EARLY!

7) your creative skills will be stratched and honed in finding ways to keep #1 creatively busy while you are unavailable with #2

8) your trust in the Lord will increase as you rely on His provision for your time, sleep, health, etc...

The Dad Hold

The Dad Hold has been known to put the little ones right to sleep!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award

The Kreative Blogger Award was passed on to me by Thandi. Any recipient of this award is asked to write a post listing 7 things they love and then pass the award on to 7 other bloggers so they can write a list and pass the award on as well. So, here goes...

7 Things I Love

1. I love when my children act on biblical principals I worked diligently to teach them! For example, saying grace, praying for each other, being thankful, apologizing when wrong, and saying, "I forgive you" when wronged.

2. I love when hubby has a day off of work and we spend the day together!

3. I love learning new things! 

4. I love anything that smells good!

5. I love the Christmas season!

6. I love the excitement and zeal of a new christian!

7. I love blogging...duh!

I'm tagging the following bloggers with the Kreative Blogger Award:

6. Lorie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Being His Crown

149688248_<span class=

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." (Proverbs 12:4)

At first glance, this scripture causes my "fallen nature red flags" to go off. The flesh asks, "What am I now? A trophy wife?" "Why does the virtuous woman have to be defined in terms of a man anyway? "Why can't she be her own crown?"

Once I am able to cast all that down, I can then humble myself enough to say, "Lord, what do you mean by this? and "How can I become this woman whom you speak of?"

Once I look deeper into the text, I find out that ‘To crown’ means to invest with royalty. To bestow something upon as a mark of honor or dignity; to adorn, dignify; also to award first rank.

Webster's also says that ‘to crown’ means "Anything which imparts beauty, splendor, honor or finish; also the highest state or quality of anything." In her article, A Crowning Jewel, author Nancy Campbell writes:

Isn’t it interesting that God says a virtuous woman is a crown? She is not to be trodden underfoot. She is not to be looked down upon. She is not inferior. She is a crown. A crown is worn upon the head. A crown is something that is dazzlingly beautiful. It is usually made of gold and ornamented with precious gems. It is a token of honor.

A virtuous woman adds distinction and dignity to her husband. He is proud to wear her. He wants to show her off. He praises her before others.

When she honors him as king of her home, he will rise to kingly heights in his manhood. When she awards him ‘first rank’ he becomes free to reach his full potential and is inspired to do things he never thought possible. He will treat his wife like a Queen with dignity and respect.

Have you crowned your husband? The more richly you crown him the more you will be blessed.

Honestly, I think it first takes quite a bit of humility in order for us to even concern ourselves with trying to figure out how we can be this "crown" to our husbands. As a wife, I first have to ask myself if I even make my husband a priority.

At first, I may think, "Of course I prioritize my husband! I am always so tired because I work so hard to please him!" However, after closer examination, the truth is that often, I work so hard to please my children and to take care of them. In actuality, I may not be giving my husband what he really wants or needs at all.

I think that often, wives may be working hard to take care of what they deem important for their home and the welfare of their children, sometimes to the detriment of their husband. As a nurturer, its easy for women to focus on our children because they are helpless and dependent on us for everything. Meanwhile, we see our husband as strong and "able to stand on his own two feet." We forget that he needs us and that God created woman for man. The design of a wife is to serve as a helper to her husband.

One of my favorite speakers once said, "You ought to cause someone to be what they wouldn't have been without you!" I believe that this is what God is getting at when he says, "a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."

The bible says that the heart of the husband of a virtuous woman "...doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil" and that "she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life"(Prvb 31:11-12). That text also notes that "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land"(31:23).

This is a woman who is adding something to the life of her husband. She has not only gained his trust by being consistent in meeting his needs, but I believe the text is letting us know that she has caused him to be what he would not have been without her work and influence. She made his well being and success her priority and it paid off!

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all (Prvbs 31:28-29).

This is an issue that I know God is dealing with me on and I am keeping at the top of my prayer/priority list!

How about you? Do you think about this issue? How have you dealt with it?

Eternity Gowns

Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful compliments on our family and apparel at the wedding! 

A few of you commented on the how modest the the bridal party dresses were as well as the bride's. I remember from my own wedding planning, and from that of my friends that it can be quite difficult to find fashionably modest dresses for bridesmaids to wear.

I am not sure where the bride bought her dress; however, if you and/or someone you know are interested, the dresses we are wearing in the pictures were purchased from Eternity Gowns

Here is a short description about them:

Eternity offers a unique collection of bridal, bridesmaid, prom, MOB and Sacred Occasion gowns designed for the discriminating customer who does not choose to wear, or cannot wear, revealing styles due to religious and/or cultural restrictions, figure, organizational standards, or her own personal taste.

If you or someone you know decides to purchase something from them for a special occasion, please come back and mention it on my blog!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Coats Wedding

Here are some pictures taken at the wedding last weekend.

The female side of the largest wedding party ever! 24 people in all!
It was great to see my dearest friend who resides on the east coast.
The bride and I just before the wedding.
The dress!

I hate to brag, but...hubby SANG that song!

Mr. Coats was one happy groom...
...and my girl Tia was a gorgeous bride.

While the newlyweds were enjoying each other at their table... children were praying for each other at theirs.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tend and Befriend

With the many responsibilities of a typical mom, it behooves us to understand what strategies best help women deal with stress. 

In her article, Women's Friendships Vital To Health, health care consultant, Teri Louden explains that women respond to stress differently than men do. A UCLA study suggests that women's response to stress involves a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. 

In fact, one doctor notes that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress response in a woman, it gives her the urge to tend children and gather with other women. Once she actually engages in this " tending or befriending," studies suggest that more oxytocin is released. As a result, the woman's stress is further calmed. 

What's interesting is doctors claim that the same calming response does not occur in men because testosterone-which men produce in high levels when they're under stress-seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, however, seems to enhance it.

When I read this, I thought "No wonder God's prescription for our success as wives and mothers is partly centered around women teaching other women!" Titus 2:3-5 says, "The aged women..may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." This is part of God's will for our lives, to engage with other women in such a way that a transfer of knowledge can take place that will strengthen us in our roles as wives and mothers. Ultimately, that kind of interaction can have a huge impact on stress reduction. We really do need each other to survive!

Furthermore, I would also say that this "tend and befriend" notion is partly why so many of us moms follow and/or contribute to blogs. It is a way for us to connect and support each other. Just look around at the post and comments of various blogs. For the most part, you will find women engaging in meaningful and supportive discussion with an intergenerational and multicultural group of other women. Perhaps this is simply a "survival strategy" in this high-tech, information age.

When we look at scripture, and understand the basic biology of women in terms of how we handle stress, it helps us see that there has to be time for relationship with other women. God did not create us to go at life in isolation. Personally, I can attest to the fact that a good chat with a friend in the middle of a stressful day and/or a outing with other moms really does enhance my mood and my outlook on life. It helps to just talk to someone who can relate.

Now, who's up for a girls night out?!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Online Resources

Here are just a few online resources that I have found out about recently that may help you save money and lose weight!

Deal Seeking Mom is a site dedicated to helping moms learn how to save money in order to stretch their budgets.

Curr Click is a site that provides convenient and affordable to homeschooling resources.

Fat Secret is a online resource for people interested in joining a community of others who are trying to lose weight. There are a variety of diets to learn about as well at tools for weight loss, such as, journals, food and exercise diaries, tips, recipes and plenty of advice from the community.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Our weekend in Ohio was fabulous and it was topped off by a wonderful Mother's Day! Here were a few highlights:

  • Mini Reunion: Hubby and I reconnected with some our dearest out of town friends at the wedding and reception. Here is a picture of us (notice our girls playing in the background:)

  • Noah's Debut: Sunday was my first day back at church with the new baby. He was a hit!

  • Mother's Day Morning Run: Hubby got the children ready for church, while I made a kid-free coffee run and visited with my mom.

  • My Surprise Gift: Hubby outdid himself again! Guess who's going to see Third Day live in concert!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies!

Click here to learn more about my 2009 Mother of The Year Award!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Comfy Columbus

We have made it to Ohio and have attended the wedding rehearsal. This is the largest wedding I have ever been apart of, or ever seen in person, for that matter. There is a total of 24 people in the bridal party!

Because of the size of the party, rehearsal ran a little longer than planned, but things seem to have went well. The wedding musician is impressive and caught on to my husband's song very quickly. Together, the song came across beautifully, if I do say so myself.

Besides the wedding, another highlight of our trip has been our very comfy (and affordable) suite. It is complete with a living area, fireplace, queen bed, sofa sleeper, and full kitchen. Its the perfect "home away from home." 

Speaking of which, although I'm still awake, some of us have already nestled in and made themselves at home...

Ahem. On that note, I think I'll join them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A "Can-Do" Mommy

A good friend of mine is getting married this Friday in Ohio and I have been asked to be the matron of honor! Meanwhile, hubby has been asked to sing a song he wrote for me called Proverbs 31 Woman. Its all so exciting! We are planning to pack up and leave before the crack of dawn on Thursday morning to begin our road trip. 

As you can imagine, wedding participation+ family road trip= a lot of work! Since I have just recently "got up" from my lying in, I haven't gotten as much done as I would have liked.  Nevertheless, I have a couple more days and I just so happen to I have an extensive background  in working under pressure:)

After making a to-do list this morning, I reflected on a couple of scriptures that helped me "beef up" my can-do spirit. Most times, these two do the trick:

For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall (Proverbs:18:29).


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).

There's nothing like a powerful scripture to remind you that when you roll up your sleeves to work, God is right there to help you. With a job like this, a mom's got to get her strength from somewhere! 

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.  ~ Lisa Alther 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Born Free Wrap

I'm still on the prowl for a baby wrap and/or sling. So, today I got excited when I found this:

The two women in the picture, Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake, are the makers of The Business of Being Born documentary. The wrap they are wearing is called the Born Free Wrap and is their own exclusively designed Moby Wrap. It is being sold in chocolate, sand, lilac, and sky blue for only $44.00. A portion of the proceeds of each sale will be donated to Coalition For Improving Maternity Services (CIMS).

Do you remember when I first watched this documentary? It had a huge influence on my decision to have a intervention-free/natural birth with Noah! How fitting would it be for me to have this wrap for him to ride cozy in? Are the proceeds not being donated to a worthy cause? Not to mention that the thing is SO cute! That chocolate one would be PER-FECT!

Am I convincing you? I really hope so, because these are the only arguments I will have when I discuss the prospect of my buying this wrap with husband. Hopefully, he will see things my way;)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Note To Pregnant Self

Dear Pregnant LaSandra,
Postpartum LaSandra here. Now listen up, just because you are pregnant does not, I repeat DOES NOT give you the right to eat whatever you want! I know you are nauseous, and tired, and hungry and feeling a little sorry for yourself right now, but STOP THE MADNESS! Put down the full-fat muffins. Put down the mocha frappuccinos with whip cream! You only need about 300 extra calories a day! That looks like 1 cup of non-fat yogurt and a medium apple. NOT a extra value meal from McDonald's! I'm being firm with you now, because I know "how you do." 

Oh, and don't stop exercising either. A daily low-medium impact workout is NOT going to kill you just because you are with child! This is only a test and you have to pass it this time. Stop telling yourself, "I'll just work it off after I have the baby." You don't have to put it all on! 

I KNOW its hard and you are not in your right mind right now, but don't let yourself go. You don't want to have to be mortified in the dressing room when you go to try on clothes after you finally have this baby. You don't want to have to regret not eating right and exercising during pregnancy again. You can do this! PUSH yourself! This is for your own benefit! You will thank me later. 

With all the passion, fervor, and zeal I have within me,

~Postpartum LaSandra

If you could write a note to your pregnant self, what would you say?