Jun 28, 2008

I'm having a moment here!

Whoa MaMa!! I just finished a HUGE 8 page paper, that was preceeded by a 5 pager last week and another 5 pager the week before that!! That's summer grad school for ya I guess. Anyway, I'm officially done with this class, which means, drum roll please, I am only six, that's right, count'em six short hours away from, . . . , moment of silence, . . . , GRADUATION!! I found out I was pregnant w/ Mandie one month after starting my first semester, and school has hung over my head like a dark, haunting cloud ever since that wonderful moment I knew motherhood was approaching. I am constantly torn between school and family/friends/events/ and mostly sleep! Anyway, I've got one more summer class that starts in a week, and one class to take in the fall, and one HUGE comprehensive exam that covers 4 of the classes I've taken, and then, that's right, . . . , another moment of silence, . . . GRADUATION!! And then, no more guilt over this degree!

Thanks for listening!

Jun 24, 2008

kitty cat kitty cat baker's man

Last night I was tucking Mandie in to bed and we were reading Brown Bear for our book. (We always do book, prayer, drink of water, then I hold her for a few minutes, then bed). Mandie was trying to say what all the animals were. She got to 'purple cat'. She said pupel cat pupel cat . . . which turned in to . . . kiee ca kiee ca . . . which turned in to . . . kiee cat kiee cat bakers man . . . over and over and over. I guess because it has the same number of syllables as patty cake. She tends to mix up songs a lot. Sometimes she'll sing 'ABCDEFG, how I wonder what you are'. She is trying SO hard to sing things the right way, because it's like she finally realized that she doesn't quite sound like the grown up who's singing. It's pretty cute. I really appreciate her effort to do things right. I love that two year old!

Jun 20, 2008

Hot Stuff!

Mandie LOVES these shoes! She likes the way they look. She likes they way they clonk on the wood floors. She LOVES them!! If only she could wear them every day!!

Jun 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary Honey!!!

FIVE YEARS!!!

Hi babe! We've been married for five years today. We dated for exactlly five years when we got married. You know what that means . . . we've FINALLY been married for longer that we dated! I wonder why that's such a big deal to me.

Anyway, happy anniversary. People keep telling me that the five year mark is such a big deal. And maybe it is, but my commitment is a lifetime deal . . . and we're just getting started baby!! I love you so much, looking forward to the next five, the five after that, and the fifty after that!

It's been hard, it's been good, I'm glad it's been with YOU!!

I love you!

Jun 13, 2008

Found the Link

Here is the link to the Cardboard Testimony youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvDDc5RB6FQ

This goes with the blog below.

Cardboard Testimony: Doubter ~ Devoted

I want to take a minute to testify about what God has done in my life. Before I continue I need to say a few disclamers: I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ, that he died for my purity so that I can be with God in Heaven. I believe that God is responsible for the events that have happened in my life. I believe that he is seeking you out, putting events and people in your life, to make himself known to you just as he has done for me, and is doing for so many others.

I don't have a link to the u-tube video, but it's awesome! it's called cardboard testimony and it's about the transformation that God has made in the lives of people at Hillside church. I just found out that they are doing it at my church (South West) as well, and I am really really excited! I have done a lot of thinking about mine: Doubter ~ Devoted. Here's the story:

I grew up in the church, and I had a lot of faith. I truly believed in God, I had a deep relationship with the Lord. I was an avid Bible reader. I was very active in my youth group, I did service projects and more. Jesus Christ was my life. I spoke with the Lord every night. The purpose of all of this is not to soundy braggy, it's to really try to convince you that I was truly 'Sold Out'. Anyway, about 5 years ago some major life changes happened in my life. I got married, moved to Houston (very far away from home), left my "dear Christain College" for a very very worldly school, and started working. Some major changes were happening to me, and somehow I was unable to find my faith within all of those changes. I entered a very dark period of doubt. I thought I had been raised in a bubble. I didn't understand how there could be so many people in my new home who were not Christians, weren't even tempted to be Christians. Was I crazy, was God real? Had I been talking to just myself all those years when I thought I was praying?

It was bad. My 'God shaped hole' was empty. I had lost that rich faith that had brought me so much joy, and life, and passion. I was lonely, and alone. And fankly, I wasn't that fun either.

So, I realized that God was real, and I didn't know him anymore. I knew he was real for other people, though. And I began trying to say these prayers, asking God to find me, to reveal himself to me. It was really akward (sp??) trying to talk to someone that I had once loved and then left. There were a lot of I'm sorry's. There was a lot of guilt for me. And I felt pretty worthless to God. Like I hadn't done anything for him for a long time, why would He bother with me now. Eventually my prayers were no longer akward. It was so wonderful to speak to the Lord, as someone I knew and not as a stranger anymore. Gradually, very very gradually and progressively, my life started perking up. I was able to see God more and more in the world around me. Truly it was like my heart had been hardened, but now it was softening. I began giving grace to the people around me, and I began acknowledging that God would give grace to me. It was wonderful! But it was only the beginning. As time went on, I realized there was so so so much more to believing in God than just believing in God. It's a fire. I saw people who had strong faith giving of themselves, and loving it. They live exciting lives anxious to see where God will put them and what the conversations will hold. A total lack of fear in there lives. They felt safe. Not afraid of anyone, not afraid to die, and not afraid to live. Hopefull for tomorrow, Happy for today, understanding that troubles will come and go. I am not yet at that place. But I am at a place where God's presence is a huge, real, and powerful force in my life. I know the more I act on my faith, the more God will use me, and the more I will truly live. But I am kind of shy about acting on my faith at the moment. However, I guess putting my testimony on my blog is an act of faith. And I am so happy to tell anyone who will listen about how God has given me so much love and forgiveness and grace. Not only did he forgive me, he adopted me. I am his daughter, and therefore I will receive his inheritance, I am highly favored by my Father. Again, not trying to sound braggy . . . but I am trying to water some seed that may have been planted in you, that you will search for God, and allow him to reveal himself to you. That you will allow yourself to be forgiven and loved by God. That you will open yourself up to him, and take your knowledge of him with you everywhere you go. That you will become his child, his daughter or son. That you will be privy to his inheritance, that you will be highly favored and dearly loved by your Father.

I would love to talk, share, pray, or encourage, or just try to help you find God's hand in your life. It is the least I can do for him after what he has done for me.

Jun 11, 2008

Swim, Swing, Mud!!

OK, I didn't realize it when I made my last post but I really didn't take any pictures at Mandie's party because I was just using the video camera most of the time. So no party pictures. Don't dismay, this post is all Mandie pictures taken since her birthday party (I guess this one's for the grandparents!).

Mandie's sweet friend Paisley came over for a play date!



Mandie and Matthew on the new birthday swing set (or wingset as Mandie likes to say):

Going . . . Going . . .

Gone. . .


Mandie playing in the mud:
Mandie's in the diaper bag (what's up with my hair??):

Jun 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mandie!

My little baby girl is just not so little any more!! Yesterday was her second birthday!! I can't believe all of the things that can be packed into just two years!! Thank you God for Mandie! Since her birthday was on a Wednesday, we had her party last Sunday evening. It was so much fun. Her grandparents got together and gave her a swingset for her birthday, she absolutely loves it. And we also had a little swimming pool, and bubbles, pizza and ice-cream! It was quite an event, and I loved hearing all of the kids laughing and screaming and running around my house. I will have to post pictures later when the other computer is working. But for now, I want to mention a few of my favorite things about Mandie, and some of my favorite memories.

~When I realized that I was pregnant and going to be a Mama, my world turned upside down. I have never felt such a responsibility in my life. I was so concerned about her health, I ate 2 eggs a day while I was pregnant, if I smelled something in the air I thought a pregnant person shouldn't breath I just held my breath, I exercised, got lots of sleep, I did everything to the extreme in an effort to bring health to my sweet baby.

~Labor with Mandie was INTENSE! I didn't realize how hard it was until after I had Matthew, much easier!! I remember while I was laboring one of the midwives (Jennifer) saying to me, "Cassie, this baby is paving the way for all the other one's that will follow". And that is still true. Mandie will always be my oldest child. Her firsts will be my firsts. With our other children, there firsts will not be my firsts, but they will still be very special. Mandie is truly a wonderful person. And God created her to be the oldest sibling in our family, which tells me that he trusts her, and that she will be a woman of understanding and nurturing.

~Mandie has already lived in three different homes since her birth. She was born in Houston, then we lived in an apartment for about a year, and now we are settled into our home. She has acclamated EXTREMELY well each time we have moved, it's like she didn't even notice the difference, and maybe she was too young to really tell something was different. But her personality does seem to be very stable. She's not scared of silly things like bugs or storms or rain. She doesn't care where we are or what we are doing, as long as she's feeling safe and secure. And she makes all of our adventures turn into big laughs with her silly expressions and words.

~Mandie likes to make jokes. She tries so hard to be silly, and she practically always succeeds! She tries to make her brother laugh. She tries to tickle him. She'll make a silly noise and then pretend like she doesn't know what made that sound and say "Whasthat??!! . . . Noise??!!" and then she'll laugh and laugh when we finally figure out it was her all along! And sometimes when she's in trouble and I'm trying to be stern with her she'll just slap a smile on her face with some 'is this smile making you any happier mom' eyes. This has been known to break the tension, however she must still do her time.

~Mandie is very sensitive. She feels everything very much. And she hates feeling like she's done wrong. She's quick to apologize, and she is very loving and tender in her heart. When she's down she'll come up to me and say "Mandie sad". And just want to be snuggled on and loved on. Though I certainly don't like it when she's sad, I must admit I do love the snuggling that comes when it happens!

~ Mandie has silly quirks, she sucks her thumb. She pinches her belly button, in fact for the past year or more we have not been able to put her in anything that snaps between her legs because it causes her belly button to not be accessable, not good! When she's falling asleep she'll have her thumb in her mounth and her pointer finger touching the inside corner of her right eye, don't ask me why. She loves her Dora blanket and sleeps with it every night.

~ She loves her baby dolls and accessories. She loves to wrap them up in blankets, washcloth's, towells, t-shirts, and everything else. She'll walk with them and sush them and burp them, and yes . . . she even nurses them. She has even tried nursing Matthew! She loves to push her babies around in her little stroller and she LOVES having tea parties with them. (The girl will tea party with anyone!!)

~Mandie loves being outside. She runs up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. She plays in the grass, she writes with chalk, she LOVES to swing. The most common phrase around our house since we got the swingset is "Iunnawing". Translation: I want to swing.

~She loves school. This year we enrolled her in a mothers day out program at Central called KU (Kid University) and she really got to know and love her teachers and her little classmates. She loved being there! And she learned SO MUCH!

~She loves to ride people's legs and pretend that it's a horse. Her Dad is her favorite leg to ride because he'll flip her up over his head and gently place her behind the couch on the way down. We see it all the time around here, but when he does it in front of someone else they always get scared, Mandie cracks up and runs around the couch to do it again and again!

Mandie, this is such a short list of all of your wonderful and adorable traits and attributes! You are a joy and a blessing! Your Dad and I love you so very much, and we are so happy that we get to spend so much time with you! It is a little tearful for me to think that two years have already gone by! You are just growing and going! I hope I can keep up. I hope my relationship with you is always honest and close. I can't wait to see where God puts you and what he does with you! I know your potential is out of this world! You are dearly loved and treasured! Thank you for being patient with me as I learn how to be a Mama! I love you!