Monday, January 2, 2012

David and Goliath

Here is Titus telling the story of David and Goliath - his very favorite right now. We often sing the David and Goliath song, his favorite veggie tales movie is Dave and the Giant Pickle and every night before bed he reads this story with Daddy... so it is no wonder he's got so much of it memorized... still - pretty cute, if I can say that as his mom. His speech is a bit slurred at night, so Graham repeats what he's saying most of the time so you can still understand :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Presidents

No one ever accused Titus of being forgetful -- the kid has developed some kind of memory already. Here's his latest: the presidents. Mom's got it down now too, but Dad is still struggling...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Memories I don't want to forget...

Not that I expect anyone to read this blog anymore after such a long time of not posting, but at least so I don't forget - here are some funny thing Titus has been doing lately:

-- when eating our turkey bacon one morning, he had eaten parts of his bacon and made it into "shapes" and held one up and said "Alabama!" (and it actually did look like Alabama) - then, he'd turn it over and say "Mississippi." A few days later, he made a "South Carolina" as well. The kid loves his states - he carries them around in groups and plays with them - I've learned that Colorado and Wyoming must always go together, as do Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.

-- Because we're reciting so much of the time these days, he does it while waiting in his crib after the night or a nap and will randomly just recite things... One morning, I heard this from the other room, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want... I SHALL not want, I shall NOT want, I shall not WANT, I SHALL NOT WANT" - if only we all could remember this in our days :)

-- When learning the books of the Bible he repeatedly had a block when it came to Esther (he usually has one like this in any sequence at the beginning). So after numerous times of going from Nehemiah to Job and me saying, "ah, don't forget Esther," I found myself saying to him one day - "Titus, poor little Esther." The next day, when practicing, it went like this... "...Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, poor little Esther, Job..." A few days later, he added "poor little Job" to which we had to agree, yes, poor little Job!

-- He's making some connections from our Bible reading at night to his books of the Bible and when we got to Jonah in the list, he kept saying, "...Jonah, Micah, Jonah and the fish!"

-- This morning, we had one of my favorite funny moments lately. Graham wanted to finish memorizing the books of the Old Testament as well so that when he quizzes Titus, he'd know if he was doing it correctly. So he was going through this list a few times this morning and it was so funny to me to hear our 23 month old helping him along when he'd forget one (it definitely has to be the first time Titus has helped Graham learn something!). When Graham completed it successfully after a few tries, Titus immediately responded with "Yay, Dada!" and clapped for him.

-- When doing the months of the year, he started adding some syllables in the last several months so they now sound like, "Septem-mem-ber, Octo-bo-ber, Novem-em-ber and Dismember!" So cute. He also decided to add some syllables to Cucumber lately, so that now sounds like "Cucum-mum-mum-ber"

-- He's also gotten quite the personality these days - more adventurous and always trying to make me laugh with funny faces or goofy comments about what I'm doing. Hopefully, Graham will post some pictures soon so we can remember some of these as well.

-- It must be hard-wired into a boy to be obsessed with death. After learning Romans 6:23, he started adding "is death" anywhere he felt like in any of his verses... or repeating it over and over... "For the wages of sin is death!" When Graham was trying to video him one day, he was doing it and just kept repeating that phrase and wouldn't go on to the rest of the verse... and then ran out of the room. Graham yelled after him, "Buddy, what about the good news??"

-- He also likes to finish the sentences in books lately, which is cute. His favorite book seems to be "Guess How Much I love you" and at the part, where the little rabbit says to the big rabbit, "I love you..." He pipes in with "m'is much!" He will often do it when telling Dada or Nonna that he loves them on the phone as well and will end enthusiastically with "THIS MUCH!" and arms stretched out wide.

-- He is quickly becoming obsessed with Thomas the Train (we let him watch this now during our home dates so we can eat alone) and BIG trucks that he identifies throughout our walks... of course, every truck or SUV is definitely a BIG truck so I hear it an awful lot each morning and everywhere we drive.

-- He's gotten very particular about what he is wearing - right down to the diaper and many days will tell me which order he wants his diaper covers... blue diaper, then green diaper, then yellow diaper then white diaper!

If you are reading this, don't get too excited that I'm going to start posting a lot, but who knows now that I have a little entertainer to provide some content... maybe.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's Better: Eating of Feeding Someone Else?

Well, for a kid, you might expect the answer to that question to be quite obvious. Titus certainly lets us know when it's time to eat and he enjoys it. But he's taken on a favorite activity that he finds amusing: feeding Daddy. Enjoy.

video

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Humbled

I have had the blessing of working as a partner, as a board member, as a volunteer and now I have the great privilege of working as a staff member of Changed Choices. Why is it such a privilege? Because it gives me a front row seat to see God work miracles on a regular basis.

I’ve now officially been visiting prisons for a decade. And I’ve visited a LOT of prisons and met many special people. One thing that always struck me though was the frequency that the song “Because He Lives” was chosen by inmates to sing when they were together. Even more was the passion I’d hear when they’d sing it. Well, the dots were connected this past weekend for me.

Several of our clients, volunteers, board, and staff went to Montreat this past weekend. We stayed in a dorm-style building with a shared common area – perfect for fellowship. For some of these women, it was the first time they’d ever climbed a mountain or even been to the mountains. It was an incredible time.

Our theme was “Changed by the Maker” and we focused a bit on Jeremiah 18:1-6 where the clay was marred and yet the potter could reshape that clay. How true it is of all of us! The clients further on the path in transition would give the talks, sharing the applications of surrender, moving forward and forgiveness from their own stories and then we’d break into small groups to talk about where we are now in those areas.

It brought me to tears over and over to hear their stories. Some of these women with backgrounds of years and even decades as addicts and in prostitution who were touched by the love of Jesus. Some who lived on the streets and slept under bridges. I can’t say it better than they can, so here are some quotes I wrote down throughout the weekend:

“My only fear of God now is that I would ever have to face a day without Him”

“Bless them; change me” – a prayer of one of the clients realizing that though many people have wronged her, it wasn’t worth the captivity she’d stay in to not forgive them and move forward.

“If you (speaking to Ruth – the founder of Changed Choices) can forgive me, then I can believe that God can forgive me, too” and piggy-backing on that, another woman said, “that’s true, and your forgiveness saved my life” because it led her to God and out of the lifestyle she was in. If that isn’t motivation to get in the lives of people and love them, I don’t know what is.

“There isn’t an area in my life I can find that He has failed me”

To a mom who left her children for the street life when they were 1, 3 and 5 – and returned 10 years later and slowly won custody…
“Thank you, Mom. Growing up, I never pictured you being here on my wedding day.”
And when she picked her son up for the first time to take him home to live with her and she asked – how are we going to get through this? He said: “If you drive this car looking in the rearview mirror, you’ll run off the road.”

How true that is… and how humbling. We must look forward, accepting His new mercies every morning – forgiving ourselves and others and crawling back up on the true Potter’s wheel daily to be molded, used and filled for His Glory!

Now I understand the passion in the song… “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know, God holds the future and life is worth the living, just because He lives.” When you don’t have family or friends that are safe, when you are homeless, when you can’t see a better choice than to shoot up or drink, when you have suffered decades of abuse… the only reason worth getting up for in the morning is that Jesus loves you. Of course that’s true for all of us, but seeing this truth through the eyes of these women, I could realize and appreciate it all the more.

That then begs the question – why didn’t the Lord allow me to have the life that some of these women have walked? Why did I grow up in a loving, Christian home? Because I did something right? Because He was nice to me? Because I'm a lucky one who gets to take a break for this life? Absolutely not. He has equipped me and blessed me, not for me alone, but to use the compassion, love, joy, peace, talents, abilities, time and energy that He has given me to reach out to others and help them experience the same great, mighty, awesome God that I have. To whom much is given, much is required and so we must not grow weary in doing good.

Praise the Lord for women who are physically living each day simply because Jesus loves them, laid down His life for them and took the penalty for their sin. And Praise the Lord because He did that for me, too, and gave me this precious freedom to live in relationship with Him experiencing His joy, peace, love and so much more!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who's the Champion?

Titus has a new "trick" that makes us laugh pretty much every time...

video

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Visit from.... MorMor!!!

My 89-year-old grandmother made the trek from New Jersey all the way down to Charlotte last Thursday and stayed here until this past Tuesday. What a trooper! And not only that; she then visited each family's house down here -- which had to be several hours of additional driving to the five different homes (not to mention staying with John, Keiko and Sammy in Stafford, Va., on the way!).

Of course, if you know MorMor (what we call her - it's Swedish for mother's mother), you'd know that she has always been extremely adventurous, and I'm sure I don't even know the half of it.

We had the privilege of spending Friday afternoon (she beat my mom and me in cards as usual - she is as sharp as a tack!) and Saturday evening with her at our house for dinner. Titus just loves spending time with her. She's so good with babies/toddlers. Here are some pics from our time with her.









(My mom took some great pictures of MorMor and Titus holding hands, walking down the sidewalk to our pond... I wish I had them here to show you, but maybe I can post them once I get them from her.)

Thanks for visiting, MorMor! We love you and can't wait to see you again!

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