Dec 29, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Romans 12 (New Living Translation)
A Living Sacrifice to God

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

3 Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.[d] 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[f] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;

I will pay them back,”[g]

says the Lord.
20 Instead,
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap

burning coals of shame on their heads.”[h]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

This chapter is so packed, I could go on and on about it. However, I think I will simply let these words speak for themselves. I find the last verse "Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good" especially powerful. Thank God for His Word!

Dec 28, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

This Christmas has been a wonderful blessing for me and our family! We spent Christmas Eve with the Chaffins this year, which is a rare treat because usually Christmas Eve is reserved for Luke's side of the family. However this year things were a little different to accomodate late arrivals from out of town. On Christmas Eve, we met my parents at a methodist church for a candle light Christmas Eve service. Mandie and Matthew got to work on their manger stickers during the preaching, then we all sang Christmas carrols with the congregation, then we passed the fire from person to person. M&M's favorite part was holding the fire. Whitney held little Michael during the service, and he slept in her arms most of the time. While he was preaching, the preacher mentioned a verse out of the book of Luke. Matthew had been very busy with his stickers, but when he heard the word "Luke" his head shot up and his eyes grew wide and he exclaimed in a voice loud enough for at least 3 rows in either directions to hear: "LUKE! He is talking about my DADDY!" Matthew is really freaking me out right now because he seems so big! I can see the toddler in him turning more and more into a big kid every day. We all returned home to my parents house to pop our traditional poppers and then eat a bite. Then Robin, Dickie, and Grandmother came by for a quick visit. While they were there Whitney read a Christmas book by Max Lucado and the story of the birth of Jesus out of the book of Matthew. Alas, it was time for the kids to open their presents. My mom went with the Disney princess theme for Mandie and the Toy Story 3 theme for Matthew. Little Michael had no theme. Thankfully, however, he could care less as long as he is well loved and well fed. We really enjoyed seeing Aunt LaJean during this time, she is such a treat to have around at Christmas time. We went home and put out milk and cookies for Santa and threw reindeer food on the lawn. Then we all gathered on Matthews bed to sing jingle bells about 10 times before calling it a night.

The next morning was Christmas morning. Luke and I woke up before the kids and hurried to get the camera and the video camera ready to see the expressions on the kid's faces when the discovered that Santa had actually come to see them. We had been ready for a while when Luke decided he was tired of waiting on them to wake up, so he went in to wake them up. It took them a few minutes to find their presents, because Santa had left them by the fireplace and not under the tree. I guess he was in quite a hurry because he left the doors to the fireplace open on his way out. M&M were very good this year, and Santa treated them well. He left them a Melissa and Doug art Easel, stockings full of little trinkets, a Littlest Pet Shop House for Mandie, and a Transformer for Matthew. Michael also got a little toy and a stocking full of bathtub toys. Luke and I both recieved a pack of mixed nuts in out stockings, apparently Santa was not as pleased with us as he was with our children!! After playing all of Christmas morning with our goodies, we all went down for a long Christmas day nap (praise the Lord!) and then we headed over to the Grand Parent's house on Luke's side. On the way over we were listening to The Chipmunks rendition of "All I want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth" and decided to take the CD in with us so that Mandie and Matthew could sing it for everyone for Christmas. That was pretty cute, at first they were a little shy, but as the song went on they got more and more comfortable and they were laughing and singing like silly gooses! They even got up on MiMi's coffee table to use as a stage. However the best part by far was when Matthew elected to turn around and pull down his pants for no apparent reason after the song was over. Apparently he wanted to show everyone the big boy underwear he got in his stocking that morning from Santa. We opened presents and ate a delicious gluten free meal (thank you so much MiMi for going gluten free for me!) MiMi and G-Dad got M&M&M some little rocking chairs with their names on them. They are really cute, I'll have to post a picture later. Then all of the Cooper's came over to listen to the guys play and sing. I am so blessed to be married to such a talented musician! Luke, your skills on the piano and guitar are truly amazing! It was a real treat this year because the little cousins are old enough now to hold a microphone and sing along while their dads play. That was really fun! Matthew and Noah really played hard that night, it makes me look forward to Matthew, Noah, Michael, and Micah all playing together as they grow up! I was able to sneak away for a few minutes for a Christmas walk that I really enjoyed. I think overall everyone was really able to celebrate the birth of Christ! Praise the Lord!!

I spent most of today un-Christmasing our house. I gotta say, it' looks a little bare and it really needs to be vacuumed! There are little green pieces of Christmas tree and other random greenery all over the floor! We are still looking forward to the New Year's celebration coming on New's Year's day. I am so glad every year to have a chance to give and recieve with our family, and more than that the opportunity to teach my children about the birth of Jesus Christ. At the candle light service, all the kids gathered on stage to hear the reading of a kid's book entitled "Love Came Down and Christmas". I didn't pay a lot of attention to the actual book, but I was deeply moved by the title. On Christmas night so many years ago, God sent love down to earth in the form of Jesus Christ. Love did come down at Christmas, Praise the Lord for Jesus! For the life He led, the death He endured, and the example He gave! Thank You Lord.

Dec 18, 2010

Mandie Can Read, in a manner of speaking . . .

We have a Christmas decoration that consists of 3 rows of words made out of wooden blocks:
JOY on top,
NOEL in the middle,
PEACE on bottom,
and a Santa Clause rests on top of all of these words.

The other day, the blocks had been played with so I was telling Mandie the order to put the letters in so that the words would be readable again. When we got to "NOEL" I thought it was pretty simple phonically speaking, so we began sounding out the noises of the letters and this is what transpired:

Mandie: "nnnnnO . . . . . eeeelllllllll

nnnnnO . . . . . eeeellllllll

I GOT IT! . . . ELNO! I can read!!"

Of course, you can imaging what "ELNO" sounds like.

It was hilarious!!

So maybe we have a ways to go in the world of reading, we'll get there :)

Dec 13, 2010

The Exception

Last night was not a regular night for us Haneys. Mandie and Matthew were both sick. Thank the Lord, they are rarely sick . . . but I guess last night was the exception. Mandie had a slight cough and a low grade fever, Matthew caught a stomach bug. At 10:30 he walked out into the living room where Luke and I were enjoying a bowl of popcorn, to inform us that he had spit up in his bed. The amount of throw up was almost indescribable, and for your sake I'll opt out of an effort to really make you see the picture. After a bath, new sheets, new jammies, and some teeth brushing Matthew was tucked snuggly back into bed. Luke and I thought we could settle back on the couch, except we had to repeat the above process 3 more times that night.

Usually when it's the middle of the night and I've been up taking care of my kid's, I get a little irritable. I think this is because of my desperate desire for sleep. But, last night must have been the exception . . . because by God's grace my witt's stayed intact throughout.

Later in the night, Mandie woke up coughing and wheezing a bit. Usually she's an awesome sleeper, but last night was the exception. After a little dose of medicine and some TLC she was back to dream land.

Michael has always been a great sleeper as well. In fact at around 3 months he was sleeping 12 hours a night most nights of the week. The last couple of weeks have really been the exception to that, because he's been cutting his first two teeth. Last night he was up at 4 for a quick meal, and then back to bed as well.

Man, having sick kids can be rough . . . although it is such a joy and a privilage to snuggle, and rock, and cuddle those snottly little babies in the middle of the night. Yes, that would definetly be the exception!

Nov 2, 2010

Michael's 1st Month in Pictures

It was so fun for me to look back and see the pictures I do have of my little baby. He is so precious. He seems so different now than he did for these pictures. Thank you Lord for making this little guy!
Daddy giving M3 his first fingernail trim:
M3 with uncle Jake

The 1st time Mandie and Matthew saw the little guy. This was the morning after he was born. Mandie gave him a pink pillow to lay on.
M3 with Nana Jana:

M3 with his cousin Whitney

M3 with his Great Grandmothers, Dora and Donna:

M3 with his Mama:

M3 with Aunt Tynetta:

My growing family

Mandie loving on her newest brother:

I just love newborn feet. They are so indicative of a brand new baby . . .

Matthew kissing his little brother:

M3 and MiMi

M3 in the sling after I took him on a walk, it just looks like I'm pregnant again!

Hey little guy, I love you so much. You have been a joyous addition into our family! I am so glad you are here, I am so enjoying watching you grow! You are the easiest baby on earth, thank you! I love you so!
Love, Your Mama

Halloween :)

Halloween was really fun this year. Mandie and Matthew love dressing up, and Michael just loves everything!!
This year Mandie decided to be a Southern Bell. We found her outfit at Target, she knew it was the one the minute she laid her little blue eyes on it. We spent some time practicing her Southern accent. If someone asked her what she would be for halloween, she occassionally replied, "I'm gowna bee a Suthern Bell, Ya'll" in a really high pitched voice that would require my interpretation. I thought it was precious.
A few weeks ago, Matthew decided to borrow the next door neighbors old puppy dog outfit for halloween. It was really cute and he LOVES playing 'puppy', so it seemed like the perfect costume for him. However, when the time came to put the puppy outfit on for the Fall Festival, Matthew began stripping down . . . and I mean all the way down. He was very decided that there should be no underclothing of any kind under the puppy outfit. I mean puppy's don't wear underwear, why should he?! Anyway, when I made it clear to him that he must wear either underwear or a pull-up, he decided to be a cowboy for the fall festival, and then later a shark for halloween day.
Michael wore Mandie's old pumpkin outfit and a Monkey outfit from Nana Jana.
Now for the pictures~

Happy Halloween!

Oct 27, 2010

Say click, take a pic . . . or not

It seems to me that having three kids isn't really that much different than having two. I always tell people it's not harder, it's just more of the same. However, the main difference in my experience is that Michael's sweet life is not being recorded in the same manner as the other two. Mandie had an entire website devoted to pictures of her for the first year of her life. We took literally 200-300 pictures of that girl every single week. Some of you may think this is crazy, but I bet a lot of you did the same thing with your sweet little #1 as well. Although Matthew didn't have a website devoted to him, he's got about a million pictures on the computer, and I've done a lot of blogging about that boy! Michael on the other hand, definetly has pictures but no where near as many as either of the other two. And most of his pictures are shared with the other two. Now this might sound crazy, but I don't think this is really such a bad thing. This is a really busy time in my life, and the lack of pictures proves it. Praise the Lord for children, and more so for families. And for a sweet little boy who smiles at the rest of his crazy family while we run around living our life.

Sep 9, 2010

The Old Gray Mare

There was a period of time in my life that was different than this time in my life.

The times have changed.

Things are different now.

I ain't what I used to be.

And 30 minutes on the elliptical has made that fact abundantly clear.

Oh well.

Sep 5, 2010

Life Right Now

It may go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: since the birth of my 3rd child, my life has been a lot busy! I find myself with practically no time for this business of blogging! However tonight I am going to take a few moments to record my thoughts.

Having Michael is a wonderful blessing! He really is a happy baby, he makes all of those precious baby expressions, and all of the little baby noises. When he was younger his Dad would call him "Billy Goat" because of the noises he made, but now he's more of a cooer. He is growing so much! After wrestling his arms out of a onesie tonight I made the official decision that he's outgrown his 3 month clothes. He is content most of the time. He loves to give big smiles to anyone who will pay him an ounce of attention. He's been sleeping about 6-7 hours at night. He's awesome! He fits perfectly into this family, and I'm honored to be his Mama!

Matthew is a mess lately. He is deep into two-ness, which truly isn't all that bad. Here is an illustration. Today we were all eating watermelon. When the watermelon was gone, Matthew lost his will to live, fell on the floor, and cried the saddest cry you've ever heard. About this time I informed him that we would soon be eating spaghetti for dinner, at which point he grinned a huge smile from ear to ear, "we are!! YAY!!!" Then he continued to play happily. He's a cute, silly, mess! Who is so close to being potty trained . . . if he could just be a dependable potty pooper we'd be there!

Mandie is the sweetest thing on earth! A couple of months ago she decided to ask Jesus into her heart. Because she's only four, I didn't put a lot of pressure on her about this decision. I sort of played it down, in case it turned out that she simply had not understood what she had done. But she is quite sure that He's in there, and tonight she completely immersed herself in bathtub water and came up announcing that she had just baptized herself. For those of you who have ever seen Mandie try to go underwater at the pool, you know what a big deal this is! I really don't want to push her in this area, I want her decisions to follow the Lord to be her own decisions, but that girl knows what she wants, and she loves her Lord! I am so grateful for her heart for God!

Luke and I are great, for two completely exhausted individuals! This week was his first week at his new office. He really enjoys being there, but it does take a lot of work and a lot of time at the get-go. He has been so convicted throughout the process of changing offices that the Lord was completely guiding him to the place he is at now. Because of his assurance that this was God's will at God's time, it has been the most peaceful, non-stressful transition I could imagine. Why worry when your trust is in the Lord? Even if things don't go perfectly, we feel the Lord's will is being done, which is the ultimate goal anyway!

I started back at school this week. I'm only working 3 days a week from about 8 until noon. The schedule is ideal! I have a little window of time to nurse the baby just before it's time to teach. The group of kids at school is quite a mix. Some of them come from christian homes in which there parents are so caring and so in love with the Lord, others come from broken homes and bad choices by there parents. They are all there together, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the Lord grows the seeds inside these kids this year! Today at church our school janitor, and her husband were baptized. There son is in the kindergarten class at school. I love it when the Lord uses children to bring entire families to him!


Aug 10, 2010

A Mandie Moment

One of my favorite things about Mandie is that she knows what she wants. She is not one who has a hard time deciding what she likes, what she thinks is good, or which one is the best. It's great! Her opinion is strong. Occassionally, believe it or not, Mandie will feel quite strongly that something I have done, said, or enforced is not a good idea in her opinion. And, of course, she generally has no problem telling me all that is wrong with what I have done. I am grown, and I usually have confidence that I am making a good decision despite her remarks, but occasionally it will get to me when she is unhappy with me for long periods of time. But last night in the car, my little girl made my day and she didn't even know it.

Mandie: Matthew, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Matthew: I want to be a (some word no one could understand) duy. (duy means guy)
Mandie: I want to be a princess when I grow up.

Mandie: And then after I'm a princess I want to be a runner girl.

Mandie: And then after I'm a runner girl, I want to be a teacher.

Those words are precious to me. Although I was never a princess, I was once a runner girl, and now I am a teacher. It's good to know that even though she's displeased with me much of the time, Mandie looks up to me, she's proud of me, it's a great feeling!

I love you little girl!

Aug 8, 2010

Mandie's Birthday Blog

Mandie and Elli
Birthday Girl

Daddy and Matthew

Family Picture

Birthday Girl

Princess Cake
Oh Blog Land
I am so very behind on some major family blogging! I guess there's no time like the present to get those important moments on the blog!! This is a post dedicated to Mandie turning 4 years old on June 4, 2010. I can't believe it, but I love it! The older she gets, the more I love my sweet child! These are some pictures from her party. She wanted a swimming party with a princess cake . . . you got it girlie!
Mr. Mason
Dusty and Mason
Elli Jay
the Princess Cake
Emma Kate
Noah Paul
The Birthday Girl!
opening presents
happy friends

To my Mandie,
You are such a special creation of the Lord. He was having such a fun day
when he made you, and I am so honored to be your mother. I simply can't explain the responsibility I feel towards you. To teach you what's right, to impress upon you the love the Lord has for you, to be an example for you, to provide fun experiences for you, to provide educational experiences for you, to provide a pleasant atmoshpere for you. Oh sweet girl, I love you so much. More than I think you will ever know! I know you can't understand it now, but truly everything I do for you is what I think is best for you in the long run. I hope you understand it someday, and I hope you are glad. Your Dad and I are so proud of you, and we just can't wait to see the person you continue to become! You are God's special treasure, created for Him, by Him. Your smile can brighten a room, your humore can bring a silly laugh to any situation. We love you and we are so glad that you are our child!

Your Mama!