Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Birthday Girl! *warning: I believe in parents bragging on their children...especially when it's their birthday*

Ok, so this is a few days late, but I have a good excuse. We've been busy around here; we've had a birthday to celebrate, and that's not something we take lightly. Zarah, our oldest, turned 5.  In a way, it's hard to believe it's already been 5 years since she was born, but in a way, it's hard to believe that there was ever life before Zarah!  I can say with all heartfelt sincerity, that she is a joy and a delight to have as a daughter. She's always been really mature for her age; I think it's because she was born 11 days after her due date, so when she was born she was already 11 days older than most newborns. She already needed her fingernails clipped when she was born. That's how mature she's always been. (I'm glad you see my point.)

I won't go into details, but let me just say that after what I went through to give birth to her, I think she knew she'd better be one pretty special kid to make it up to me. And she certainly has made it alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll (that represents the first 12 hours of labor. I don't have room to write a long enough "all" to represent the next 10 hours of transition... the part that "only lasts about half-an-hour, which is good because it's the most painful part"... or the almost 4 hours of pushing... or the hemorrage once she was finally out...) worth while.

It's funny, because both Philip and I are third-borns, so we're both the laid-back ones who always had older siblings to be responsible and stress out over things and boss everyone around. (I'm not saying that my big sister Jen, of Noble Womanhood was bossy. But.... I'm not saying that she wasn't ;)) So I honestly didn't know if we would be able to have a first-born that acted like a first-born. Zarah has pleasantly surprised us, though, and she is every bit a first-born! A few examples: We had tucked the girls into bed, and I was about to head downstairs when Zarah called out: "Mama... when you go downstairs, can you check the plug in the bathroom and make sure it's plugged all the way in, and if it's coming out can you push it all the way in?" Now maybe I'm just slow, but at 4 years old I don't remember being concerned about potentially dangerous outlet situations. Honestly, at 4 years old, I probably would have been the child thinking it was neat to stick the metal screwdriver into the outlet. (those who know me know I'm not joking).

Zarah drew this on her birthday. She didn't know how to write a "5", so she just drew 5  fingers instead!
Another example: Just a few nights ago, we had stopped at the  grocery store on our way home from a Bible study, so it was fairly (ok, ridiculously) late. I ran in to grab a few essentials and Philip stayed out in the car with the girls. When I came back out, the girls were all sound asleep. Philip told me that the 2 younger girls had fallen asleep first and then he drifted off for awhile. When he woke up, Zarah, who was still awake but having a hard time staying that way, said, "Papa, can you stay awake for awhile now so I can sleep?"

She also has a hilarious and witty sense of humor, and all through the day she keeps us laughing. I have this desire that my children be funny, but be more known for being sweet and kind. I'm not so sure that's going quite the way I wanted it to.... ;) In my family humor is very highly valued, and after living with my family for 2 1/2 years starting when Zarah was 10 months old, my children definitely picked up on that! Which is great,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and I trust that before Zarah's 15 or so, she'll learn that there are times and places when it's not appropriate to do your baby dinosaur/troll face.
Zarah with her handsome Uncle Caleb
She does have a wonderful sweetness, too, which blesses her Papa and I again and again. On her birthday she told me: "Last night I was praying and I asked God to help me be a better big sister as a 5-year-old".  When she received birthday money from my Nanna, her first reaction was to hand it to Philip and say, "Here, Papa... you can use it to buy things that we need". (No, he didn't take her up on it. ;) She chose a lovely doll stroller/playpen/diaper bag set. Even though I was trying to get her to buy an inflatable pool. But that's another story...)      
Zarah and her Papa

Lest I give the wrong impression, Zarah is not perfect, and trust me... we're aware of that. She sometimes can be a bit tightly strung and quick to show a little temper. We're working on that, though, and if you hang around much you'll hear the reminder to be "slow to wrath" (James 1:19) uttered a time or two. But the good thing about her being a sinner, is that that's exactly who the Lord Jesus died to save! We pray and trust God and look forward to the day that Zarah knows, without a doubt, that she is going to spend eternity in Heaven because her sins were paid for in all their ugly entirety when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, and that God the Father was satisfied with that, and Jesus rose from the dead! Her favorite song right now, which you'll hear her singing many times through the day, goes like this: "Living He loved me, dying He saved me; buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified, freely forever, one day He's coming, oh glorious day!" Our prayer is that it won't be long before she realizes and really understands the beautiful truth of those words.

Now, a few fun pictures to end on.......

Zarah is a wonderful big sister!
P.S. As I was finishing this up, I heard Zarah screaming from upstairs.... I ran up to find that she had buckled herself in the baby swing and was panicking because she couldn't unbuckle it. Maybe I should rewrite the part about being mature.... ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Fun Summer Morning

Anja and I chilling in the most wonderful chair in the world. Our "Air Chair".

Having a good laugh during our morning picnic in their "tent". What are they laughing at??

This! Anja tipped over backwards in her chair! She was just silent for a moment, then said "weeee".

Our driveway.

Here's where we started REALLY having fun....

Yes, that's right... 3 sets of identical twins. It gets pretty crazy around here but we have a lot of fun.

We may not have gotten a lot done off of our "to-do" lists for the day, but we sure enjoyed our morning! Maybe tomorrow I'll put that on our "to-do" list! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How To Be A Dangerous Woman...

Taken from the book "100 Days of Blessings" by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies

"But the more they (the Egyptians) afflicted them (the Israelites), the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved ( = disgusted, abhored, horrified, afraid) because of the children of Israel." Exodus 1:12

"And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them". v. 7

"Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many and Moab was distressed (same word = disgusted, abhored, horrified, afraid) because of the children of Israel." Numbers 22:3

When a people multiply, they become scary! When they multiply, they take dominion! You may think you are insignificant as you care for your children  in your home each day, but mother, lift up your eyes! You are doing a powerful work! You are doing God's work. You are dangerous to the enemy. He is scared of you, because he is scared of the Godly seed coming into this world that will hate evil and love righteousness, who will destroy the works of the devil and who will lift up the name of Jesus. Don't you love being dangerous?? Look out! Here we come- holding onto the Word of Life, walking in God's commandments, embracing the Godly seed and training them to be mighty warriors for God who will impact this world and fill it with His glory!

My nephew Sam, a soldier-in-training in God's mighty army!!
Never forget: The more children a Godly mother brings into this world.....
The more scared the liberalists will become!
The more evil will be defeated in the land!
The more the Kingdom of God will be advanced!
The more the Gospel will be spread across the earth!
The more the image of God will be revealed in the earth!
The more the economy will boom in the land!
The more righteousness and morality will pervade the land!
The more righteous leaders will arise in the nation!
The more justice, honesty and truth will flood the land!
The more God will be glorified in the earth!
The more the nation will prosper and be blessed!
And the more the statists will fear and tremble!
Keep being dangerous!!