Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super Model

It is very difficult to take pictures of Molly. I had to bribe her with candy corn to sit still and smile. Even then, it was quite a chore! Her Ma Mere got her this new rug as well as a new bedding set that she'll use when she moves into a twin bed. In addition to being very cute, we play little games on the rug, too. We say, "Put one food on a purple circle and one foot on a pink circle." Very educational!

This little outfit is a birthday gift from Uncle
Matt and Aunt Ilene. Cute!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God and Guinness

I recently found out about a program where I can receive books from a Christian publisher in return for writing a review of each on my blog. To find out more, click here.

Browsing the list of available books, this one caught my eye immediately. I am often interested in books that relate faith to practical examples. I also married into an Irish family that is passionate about their roots; then again, aren't all Irish families like this? So, this was a perfect way to learn more about a great piece of recent Irish history.

The author begins by giving a brief history of beer. He provides a case for the morally acceptable consumption of beer; it seems like he is trying to at once appease and attract those opposed to all forms of drinking. I found it interesting to learn how the first beers were most definitely brewed accidentally in ancient times and how beer plays a role in stories ranging from the ancient Sumerians to the pilgrims to modern times.

Early after beginning it, I was struck that this was a history book. There are hundreds of names and dates littered throughout this story of the Guinness family. Stories chronicle lives of different family members throughout many generations. Because of its format, I did not find it effortless reading. I had to prod myself at times to continue reading. I'll hand it over to my history teacher husband next, and I'm sure he'll be immediately enthralled!

What is fascinating about these accounts is the passion that many of the Guinness family members and employees had for easing the suffering in their generations. The Guinness company blessed their workers with unheard of benefits. The medical care, educational opportunities, and recreational activities provided were beyond compare to those provided elsewhere. There are countless stories of benevolent programs formed as big-hearted men and women became troubled by rampant disease, inadequate housing, overwhelming alcoholism (interestingly), and godless living.

Mansfield ends the book with a summary of lessons learned from the Guinness history. By reviewing these, I was motivated to let the Guinness men and women be my mentors and to pursue integrity as well as passionately work on the count of the down-trodden.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Recent Pictures

Love the Texas cacti! We found a beautiful new park near our place that has a lot of trails through the rugged landscape and overlooks a big lake.
Time to get out the flannel pjs! These are Elmo and Zoe pjs from Nanna and Papa.
Visit from Uncle Matt and Aunt Ilene. Molly was quite taken with Uncle Matt. She has pretend phone conversations with him all the time!

Run, Molly, Run! She's got Ryan's muscular legs and speed. She hasn't mastered staying in the lane yet, though!

Friday, October 16, 2009


You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

As Dad struggles with multiple physical difficulties, I am reminded that 100% of us will die. His opportunity to meet God face to face probably will come sooner than the rest of ours. The reality is that we are not fully complete on this earth. Even little Molly is so full of life, but true abundance of life will be ours only in heaven.

I love this verse because God promises that we will be filled with joy in His presence (and ETERNAL PLEASURES!). When we spend time with Him here on earth we get a glimpse of that. I love to imagine what it means to be full of joy. We get joy from so many things on Earth- a deep conversation with a kindred spirit, an exquisite meal, the beauty in crashing waves or a tree-lined lake, learning something new and wonderful, love given and received, and the satisfaction of accomplishing a task.

I believe that all of these things, and others we can't imagine, will be ours in God's heaven. He says that He will make a new heaven and a new Earth. How cool will Paris be in God's new Earth?

So, today I believe God's word. I seek to walk with Him and in His path of life. I pray for a miracle for Dad, but I also recognize that eternal salvation for sinners that repent is the greatest miracle.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Babysitting Day

The only morning that I have to set an alarm is Thursday. Molly acts as my alarm clock on the other days. She's usually up between 6:20 and 7:20. However, baby Joe gets dropped off at 7:30 on Thursday, so I set my alarm for 7:10 to get dressed, brush my teeth, and wash my hair - in that order just in case I run out of time!

Unfortunately this morning, Molly was up from 4:40-5:20 this morning. She was in her crib most of that time, but I couldn't sleep. Then Ryan needs to get out of the house by 5:45, and I was emailing a document for him while he finished getting ready. I didn't fall back to sleep until after 6. Molly slept until 8. Great- the only day that I have to get up early, she sleeps until 8!

Today is my only babysitting day. Baby Joe (8 months old) stays from 7:30-4:15, and Xander (26 months) is here from 11:30-7:15. The day is a whirlwind of naps, playing, time-outs, diaper changes, trips to the potty, prayers for obedience and wisdom, snacks and meals. None of them are on the same schedule. Thank goodness Molly and Joe nap at the same time. (Xander does not nap.)

Xander sleeps in late, and his dad told me that he had breakfast at 9:30. So, when I sit Molly down for lunch at noon, Xander has to sit at the table with her. He picks at his lunch. I then put his lunch in the fridge, and he ends up eating it mid-afternoon! He's not used to sitting for meals with his family around a table. So, this is something I'm training him to do at our house. He's here at dinner time again, but usually he's not hungry due to his late lunch (except for the week he refused the food I offered at lunch and didn't eat until dinner. That time he chowed down!).

Molly uses her diaper and the potty each about 50% of the time. Xander is not potty trained, but his mom wants me to put him on the potty. So, several times a day, all four of us are hanging out in the bathroom together. Altogether I changed four poopy diapers today and washed my hands 32 times. Actually, I didn't count the hand-washing, but that's probably pretty close! And, that doesn't include the many washings of tiny hands!

Joe is a sweet and contented baby. He likes playing with toys or sitting on my lap. I wouldn't be able to do this otherwise because the toddlers are so high maintenance.

Whenever we transition between rooms or activities, the older two get crazy. After the afternoon naps, we settle into Molly's room and play with toys and puzzles. As soon as Joe's dad arrives to pick him up, and we head into the hallway, Molly and Xander go crazy. They think our house is a racetrack! So, even though it had been a laidback playtime, it looks like Kiddos Gone Wild.

I then construct a fort out of a card table, blanket, and towel. We camp beneath it to read books, watch a Sesame Street dvd, and do puzzles. Ryan's working late, so the three of us eat. We wind down playing outside as the air gets a slight chill to it. We come in fifteen minutes before Xander's mom is due to arrive. After removing shoes and washing hands (again), I watch the clock intently as we do a couple final puzzles.

After the kids go, the husband is fed, and Molly's bathed, I'm exhausted. I start longing for a glass of wine to unwind with, and remember that it's October 1. (We only buy alcohol once a month to cut back on the grocery budget.) Woohoo! I've worked hard for this one, baby! Oh, wait, Ryan needs a shirt ironed for tomorrow... and a lunch packed, too. Back to work!