Brave Adventure

Brave Adventure

Friday, July 20, 2012

4th of July Pie

So, I had an idea recently about how I want to influence my daughter. I want her to grow up having lots of fun dates with her mommy (and daddy) that include just some fun, bonding time, but also include some intentional teaching about the Lord. One thing I look forward to the most with Rebekah is teaching her to bake. I can already picture letting her stir the batter, crack eggs, and most importantly lick the beaters. SO FUN!

In preparation for this day, I am going to do some baking how-tos for y'all that come with a free Bible story! Enjoy!

Adapted Strawberry Pie
(by adapted I mean, I used some blueberries, but it's originally all strawberries)

Ingredients:
5 cups Strawberries (I used 4 cups Strawberries, 1 cup Blueberries)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
Pinch Salt
2 Tbs Butter, melted
White sanding sugar
Crust (Either 2 traditional pastry crusts, or a cookie/graham cracker crust + a pastry crust)
Whip Cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure out your blueberries in one bowl, hull and quarter strawberries in second bowl.



A long time ago, God chose out His people, the Israelites (Strawberries).

2. Add sugar and cornstarch to the blueberries and strawberries.

He told them that not only had He chosen them, but He wanted to give them their own land, the Promised Land (graham cracker crust - Genesis 17).


While it took a few tries (Moses, then Joshua), eventually God allowed the people to come into the promised land. God also commanded that Joshua and the Israelites would make sure that all the other people groups were not in the Promised Land any more (Joshua 6 and on). While in many cases the Israelites did what they were told and won many battles (Jericho, Canaanites, etc.), they did not get everyone out. They let some people stay (Joshua 13).

2. Put the strawberries and blueberries into the pie in a flag-like shape.


While the people of the Lord thought that they could stay separate and not be influenced the people they allowed to stay in the Promised Land, they were wrong. They began to marry outside of Israel, worship other gods, and stray from the Lord. The Lord was very unhappy with His people. He gives them many chances to return to Him, but ultimately He allows them to be conquered because they are disobedient (Judges 2, Minor Prophets).

3. Roll out the pastry dough. Cut one star shape (I used a cookie cutter) and several strips. Put these strips and star on top of the pie, then brush melted butter on the crust and dust with sanding sugar.

The pastry illustrates how everything was touched by idolatry

4. Bake the pie for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the top is golden brown (another 30 minutes).



The good news is that God knew His people couldn't be perfect! Just like you sometimes disobey your parents, dishonor your spouse, sin against your friends - God knew those mistakes would happen. This sounds like bad news, but it's good news because since God knew this would happen, He decided to make a way to help us. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world and HE WAS PERFECT! He never made any mistakes. He was never mean, rude, or fake - not even in His thoughts. He fulfilled what God always wanted for everyone. Everyone else deserved death (Romans 3:23, 6:23) and Jesus deserved life. But (John 3:16) God loved you so much that He allowed Jesus to suffer and die in our place. Jesus didn't stay dead, though. Jesus beat sin, He won! Because Jesus beat death, He has the right to give life to us as well. He paid the price for us. We owed God death, but now we get life since Jesus paid the price. So originally we look just like this pie. All of our flavors are all mixed up with the flavors of the world. We are holding on to the same things they are holding on to. But when we accept Christ, He covers us with His life and we become pure. We become white as snow!

5. Put whip cream on top of the slice of pie (optional)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Doctors

So I have recently decided that doctors and I are not the best of friends. This has, I suppose, always been the case because I am just a mess of medical issues. I had lots of stomach problems growing up, lots of tests done there, they thought I was depressed at one point only to discover I was lactose intolerant... weird. I've always had a gimpy stomach. Then as I began to travel overseas I would always come back with something I picked up (when everything comes out green... it's a problem, also don't eat ice cream in a 3rd world country). Then issues with pregnancy. Anyway, I have passed this on, from conception, to my child.

Recently, we went to the doctor for her 4 month checkup only to discover that she has lost a lot of weight for a 4 month old. I won't go in to all the possibilities for this, but she is not exactly sick just not eating enough. I just feel like every time I go to the doctor it's something. How I crave those appointments where they say "everything's looking good" and let me go home. We'd been doing so well up to now! Her kidneys are still sort of an unknown, but everything else was normal. Ugh. So the next two days were spent with me attempting to force my child to take more feedings. Well, guess what else she got from me... she's stubborn. Not only did she refuse the extra feedings, she was so mad at me for attempting to give her the extra feeding that she went even longer than normal between feedings. Girl-friend has a will for sure. She would arch her back and turn her head away from me so that I could not physically feed her. The only way I managed to get in an extra feeding was to pump and then feed her that in a bottle. Extra Argh! So can I just some up the past two days as really difficult and have you understand that once she went to bed each night all I wanted to do was let Cal hold me. I just laid on the couch in his arms and last night included a few tears. In the moment I always can call upon the Lord and keep calm to help her stay calm, but once I got her to bed it was like all the day's stress just came out my eyes.

I have figured out a few helpful things. For one she has a bruise from one of the shots on her leg so that is why she was screaming at least on one side for nursing - I take comfort here because that will get better. The bottle knowledge while not my favorite is at least comforting because I could pump and give it to her that way. At least she won't starve.

So this morning as I was driving home from dropping the husband off at work and praying to the Lord that today would be different despite the fact it has all the opportunity to be bad since it's the day of her renal ultrasound, this song came on the radio. Have you ever had a song just speak to your need and as you sang it you could not even voice the words because the tears were choking out the sound? This song did that for me. I encourage to sing it as a prayer as I did in the car this morning. Praise the Lord, for He is worthy.

Your Great Name Lyrics
Performed by Natalie Grant

Lost are saved; find their way; at the sound of Your Great Name

All condemned; feel no shame; at the sound of Your Great Name
Every fear; has no place; at the sound of Your Great Name
The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of Your Great Name


Chorus

Jesus, worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and man you are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise Your Great Name

Verse 2

All the weak; find their strength; at the sound of Your Great Name
Hungry souls; receive grace; at the sound of Your Great Name

The fatherless; they find their rest; at the sound of Your Great Name
Sick are healed, and the dead are raised. At the sound of Your Great Name

Chorus

Jesus, worthy is the Lamb; that was slain for us
Son of God and man; you are high and lifted up
that all the world will praise Your Great Name.
Your Great Name.

Redeemer, my Healer; Lord Almighty

My Savior; Defender; you are my King
Redeemer; my Healer; Lord Almighty
My Savior; Defender; you are my King


Jesus, the Name of Jesus, you are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your Great Name.

Savior, Son of God and man; you are high and lifted up; all the world will praise Your Great Name. Your Great Name. Your Great Name.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

4 Months

Happy 4 Months, Rebekah Blakely!



She growing longer and longer every day, but is struggling to fatten up at all! Don't we wish we all had that problem! We are adding some extra feedings to her day to see if she is just going to be naturally skinny or if that will help put some fat in her skinny body. She is ahead developmentally, though, so our doctor isn't worried.


She is rolling front to back and back to front (and has been for a while), but only when she feels like it. If I don't get to her fast enough in her crib, she rolls over on to her stomach. She is attempting to chat with us and sing to the radio a lot. She has such a cute little voice. She has started to get up in the morning without crying, she just wakes up and starts talking to herself. I love hearing her sweet little sounds. She is also trying to sit up. She is so cute because she looks like she is doing crunches every time she tries to sit up on her own. She loves to "read" books and tell me what she thinks of them. She prefers to view everything from the seated position these days. She is grabbing things and no longer prefers to be swaddled when she sleeps. 

What a lucky mommy I am!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Road Trippin'

So this last weekend Cal and I made the long trip to Mississippi to see a lot of family that came into town! Cal's brother came into town along with Rebekah's Great Granddaddy, Grand Babbie and Dot. Lots of people came by and we figured out that, all told, we saw 7 sets of families. Each of those sets had multiple people in them, so it was a crazy weekend! Rebekah did an amazing job and slept a ton. Since she met so many people and had some sweet moments, this blog is going to be told in pictures.


Dot and Rebekah!

Gran Hugs

Gran and Great Granddaddy reading RB's new book

Between the above picture and this one - 4 generations

Uncle Bubba!
Family - staring at Grand Babbie

Lucy and Arby - first friendships being formed here

How can you not love this face?

Love from her parents


She's spent a lot of good time with family this summer. We went to Ft. Worth and saw family a week or two ago, but I was lame and didn't take any pictures! I brought my cameras (video and picture), but I just got so caught up with swimming and family that I was not on my game. Here is a picture from mother's day when RB met Nana for the first time and hopefully this will make up for my lack of pictures!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Week that Wouldn't End

Well last week just felt like a doozy. I'm not sure that's a real word or how you are supposed to spell it, but there you have it.


 Well my little girl is growing up and we are about to celebrate her 4 month birthday. Some quick news about her before I give you all the details from my insane week. We will take her in for her next kidney scan (read: renal ultrasound) in mid-July and hopefully get some more answers. Thank you for all the prayers, I know you want updates but the truth is we won't have any until after this scan. Baby girl is getting long. She is skinny for a baby - not freakishly so, but still skinny. She is getting so long! It's funny because Newborn pants fit her around the waste but are preparing for a flood on those ankles, 0-3 months are slightly too short and are GIANT as far as her waste and thighs. I haven't even tried the 3-6 month pants because I can't imagine they'll be any better. She is grabbing more and it all goes straight into the mouth these days. She is also the rolling queen. She rolls from stomach to back and back to stomach now although only when she's happy and you aren't expecting it. She does not do tricks for anyone but herself. She spends a considerable amount of time on her side, sucking her fingers (any combination of the middle 3, but not the thumb or pinky typically). She has been "swimming" twice now but is still figuring out how she feels about the water. She always cries for a little bit until she gets used to it - don't worry I'm keeping her in the shade. Girl-friend has decided that she is highly fond of a 3 year old, curly headed, blonde boy that lives close by and he is great with her. He rocks her in her car seat, and shows her toys. Today when we were at their house, Rebekah was crying and he came over to rock her and started going "shhhhhh, shhhhh" in a very calming manner. I know he's picked this up from his mom who is the baby whisperer, but if he's not careful he is going to get himself an admirer in our little girl (though we would be thrilled, he's a fantastic little boy). He's also the only little boy I know who already thinks about who he will marry. Rebekah is shaping up to be a chatting Claire... I mean kathy haha and is making lots of happy sounds amidst her smiling. Mrs. Debbie (RB's favorite nursery worker) was even rewarded today with a smile. She has finally started to eat for a reasonable amount of time (rather than an hour at each feeding) and staying awake happy. She likes to look at the pictures in books, stare at mommy/daddy, look at dancing phalanges (anyone?), play peek-a-boo, suck on everything, and stare at her rattle/jingle toy. She's also getting much more tolerant of other people's houses - she sleeps like a champ! *singing* All night long! Lastly, Little Bit loves her Daddy. She can be seen almost nightly attempting to fall asleep on Daddy's shoulder sweet spot or staring at him even though she's in mommy's lap. It's so precious!


Now, for those of you ready for my quick week recap of crazy.... This week our AC went out. It just couldn't handle the pressure - praise the LORD for home warranty. Literally. So we called upon some incredibly gracious and precious friends. I stayed at a friend's house all day pretty much and then they even let us spend the night because our house was over 92 degrees indoors. We had many offers to let us stay with them and we just felt crazy blessed. So needless to say that was a swerve in the path. Then the AC man couldn't make it until the next day so my accountability partner agreed to come to my house, with her two kids, with no AC - troopers, y'all. Praise the Lord again, it was a rainy/cloudy day so my AC worked enough to cover us until the fixer got there. Well in the midst of all this craziness (because the week before, traveling to DFW and back) wasn't crazy enough (pics to come), RB went on a nap strike. She took 1 hour long nap over about 3 days. It's not that she was crazy fussy or anything, but she needed constant entertainment from yours truly. Praise the Lord a third time, it seems to have been a short lived phase. She has been doing this thing where she is super fussy in the evenings, but I am slowly winning her over to happiness. It will happen. We are still dealing with some drama with the Jetta and are thus, driving only one car at the present which makes life just that much more stressful day to day. Praise the Lord again for nothing serious to do Friday or Saturday and making homemade gyros. Cal didn't even get out of his pj's on Saturday. Lastly, she has been doing this thing off and on where she is eating fine and then towards the end she just starts screaming every half minute or so. She nurses, screams, nurses, screams, until she's done eating and then she's happy. Weird? Any advice out there ladies? We have tried gas drops and acid reflux stuff to no avail. She also let me have it a few more times than normal this week in semi-public, just enough to stress out even the laid back mommy. I just tried to take some deep breaths and calmly decide what to do.

I have to say that nursing in public is no longer a thing I am scared of. A few weeks ago push came to shove and I nursed the babe in a Whataburger. They didn't care, I wasn't an exhibitionist and all was fine. I read an article once that said there are a lot of things that you worry about that in the long run don't matter, but one thing you will always regret are the moments when you didn't stand up for your baby's needs (as in, you knew what they needed/wanted and allowed peer pressure to make you do something other than what you thought was best). So... I fed in her in a Whataburger. I won't give you the list of the places I have fed her since then... be calmed by the fact that I always use a blanket/cover up and try not to be make a scene of it. I have to do this, but you don't have to watch. Another piece of advice I have really liked is "you're the mommy, no one else, no one knows her like you do". So true. I cannot tell you exactly how to parent your child or take care of your child. I think we can all agree that you need to feed, clothe and discipline your child but how exactly that is accomplished is generally none of my business. It should be consistent, it should meet the child's needs, it should help the child grow up into a healthy and responsible adult. I don't care how long you nurse your baby, whether you spank or not (though discipline of some time should be used), whatever. I know my baby, you know yours, and as mommies we have to stick together to fight for the best for our children. End of that rant.

Writing that out made my week seem so much less frustrating and tragic, but I think I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment, because it makes me feel loved :)