Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School Interview

I decided to try to do homeschooling with Mia twice a week this year to get her ready to go to preschool next year. She is so interested in going to school but hasn't totally mastered the potty yet. To start out the year I thought we could make a time capsule and fill it with drawings and writing samples and other things so that at the end of the year we can compare how far she has come. I also thought a good memory to have would be a list of questions for her to answer about herself. Yesterday, while she was sitting down for lunch I asked her the questions and recorded her answers.

What did you do this summer?
Play, painted, go to Nana's house, we go to Louisville, we saw Lillian, we rode Small World (she then started singing, "It's a small world after all...")

What do you think you will learn at school this year?
I don't know. We are reading and coloring. (more singing, "It's a small, small world."

What is your favorite color? Pink
What is your favorite movie? Peter Pan
What is your favorite food? Cheeseburger (what she was eating for lunch)
What is your favorite TV show? Dora
What is your favorite toy? Toy Story--I like Jesse and Woody
What is your favorite outfit to wear? My butterfly dress and my turtle dress

Who do you like to play with? What do you like to play?
Bryce and Collin...and ummm, Kylie. I like to play blocks. Kylie don't usually go to Nana's house. You member last time Bryce and Collin come to Nana's house and he say, "Building!" That was fun.

What makes you happy? Playing, bouncing and I like to jump (then she started singing "dancey, dancey dance....dancey, dancey, dance")
Sad? Zane's messing all my toys up
Excited? My makeup with curling iron with dryer. I can dry my hair and put make up. (more singing--"today is the day you have made...")
Mad? Zane's wearing my bib. He eating and I'm mad...I'm really mad.
Scared? The dark makes me scared. (then she started acting silly, looking down at the circles we had just made for a project) OOO...cirlces make me scared! Ahh!

Where do you like to go?
Nana's house. Sometimes Bryce comes.

What do you like about yourself?
Myself is sparkly...that's all I wanted to do

What can you do to make someone else happy?
Somebody to give another toy to anybody who doesn't have any toys.

Is there anything else you wanted to say?
My face looks like I'm sparkly. That's all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Spoiled Brat? Or an Opportunity to Help?

Well, I was really put in my place today. Once again, my 3-year-old daughter inadvertantly taught me a lesson. We had a huge stack of library books that were due back today and even though it feels like we have been running around all week, I wasn't about to rack up a fine on that many books. Although Mia whined all morning while we were getting ready, I just shrugged it off and decided that she would be fine once she had some breakfast. So as soon as she finished her milk and fruit we headed out the door to return the nearly overdue books and to hopefully get a new stack. She and her brother did wonderfully at the library. Mia picked out a huge pile of books and proceeded to read them all while I fed Zane his bottle. We gathered up all the books, checked them out and it was only until we started to head out the door that the whining returned. She had wanted to carry some of the books but they suddenly became too heavy and she dropped them on the floor, sending her into one of her drama queen moments.

Though Mia was a little cranky, I continued with my original plan...to get milk while it was still on sale at Kroger. I let her browse through the book aisle before heading back to the dairy case in hopes that I could spend a little more time checking out the sales that were going on this week. When we finally had to head home, I told Mia that we were not going to buy the books and we had to return them before we could leave. This is a common practice and it usually works out fine...she is usually tired of the book by the time we need to leave the store and we put it back and move on. But today, she decided that she wanted to take those books home and her whining escalated into yelling which turned into a high pitched, ear splitting scream that could be heard all over the store. Her face was red, her eyes were blood-shot and she was jumping up and down in the back of the buggy. This is where I also need to mention that I decided to let Mia wear her Ariel costume out today. I don't usually let her wear those kind of things out, simply because it makes it awkward to get her in and out of the carseat. So, I have in my buggy, a lethargic 5 month old who is slowly falling asleep, 2 gallons of sale priced milk...and a screeching 3-year-old in an Ariel costume.

I don't know about anyone else...but there have been plenty of times where I have seen a child dressed similarly to the way Mia was dressed, screaming the way that she was and thought, "What a spoiled brat! That parent doesn't even have control of what that kid wears. I am sure they have no sense of discipline. I am so glad that my kid doesn't act like that...." and other similar degrading thoughts. I was immediately put in my place. As her mother, I knew this was the absolute biggest fit I had seen her throw in months, maybe even a year...and the Ariel outfit was not a cave in discipline but a reward for being so cooperative and obedient the last few days...and I had pushed her way past her lunch time so that I wouldn't have to go back out later to get milk. As all the people stared, I began to realize just how those mothers (the ones that I found so easy to judge before) must feel.

I learned that it is entirely unhelpful to stand by and judge a situation like that. Who am I helping when I assume that I know what is going on and proceed to pass my own judgement on a family that I don't even know?...I'm not helping them, and I'm not even helping myself. I hope that from now on, I will try to view a screaming child as a way to comfort and encourage a struggling mother and not a way to make myself feel better, because in the long run I'm not making myself feel better but enforcing my pride and judgemental attitude. And it doesn't matter if that child is a brat every single day of their life because the parents don't discipline them...I can view these people through the eyes of Jesus, pray for them and offer my help in the moment knowing that I would want someone to do the same for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm attempting to gather all of my family's favorite recipes in one place so that not only are they easy to access when I want to make something delicious for my family but so that when the time comes, I can pass the well worn book of recipes on to my daughter. I've started by making a list of every dish that I could think of that my family enjoys and now I am in the process of putting each recipe on a 4x6 note card. When this step is complete, I'm going to put each recipe in a cute photo album...and somewhere down the road I would like to put a picture with each recipe (but we'll see how that goes)

I wanted to share one of my new favorite recipes...I just used this one for Mia's birthday party. Lasagna is one of my favorite foods, so I have eaten a lot of it. And over time I have become somewhat particular as to how I like it...firm noodles, not too much sauce, lots of cheese, not too garlicky. This recipe, in my opinion, is perfect

My Favorite Lasagna

1 1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon parsley.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake for an hour. Remove foil after 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

John 14: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

As I have made my way through the study of the gospel of John these verses could not have come at a better time. The healing and peace that the Word of God brings is amazing! Chapter 14 of the book of John is filled with the words spoken by Jesus as he prepares his disciples for his death. The comfort he presents to his followers then, is filled with application for his followers now.

We have all experienced the trials that life holds...death of a loved one, loss of a job, strained relationships, the uncertainty of the future...they are just part of our existence on earth. But as Christians, we are not left without hope. We can experience these hardships in a unique way because we have the promises given to us by God himself. The first verse of chapter 14 gives us the most clear cut way to avoid letting the troubles of this world get to us. "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me." When we believe in God, and in the work of Jesus Christ, we are then presented with blessings that make the world a lot less troubling.

We have hope in the future...in verses 2 and 3 of chapter 14 Jesus gives us the ultimate promise that he is preparing a place for us to be with him. There is a place already in heaven for us and Jesus will someday take us to be with him. With this is mind, we don't have to live in the shadows of this world because we know this life is so insignificant compared to what awaits us...life is so short and our wonderful home in heaven is eternal.

We have the Holy Spirit living in us...in verses 16 and following, Jesus describes to us the power and strength that the Holy Spirit gives to us. He calms the disciples fear of being left without their leader by explaining to them that he will ask the Father to send a helper...the Holy Spirit...to live in us to comfort and counsel us. As a comforter, the Holy Spirit calms our hearts when we feel we cannot take another trial. As a counselor, the Holy Spirit brings the word of God to our mind and applies its truths to our broken spirit. The Holy Spirit is God living in us. The Holy Spirit is Jesus living through us. R. Kent Hughes explains it best in his commentary on John, "The same power that through Jesus brought regeneration and life to many flows through us. The same wisdom that brought healing to most fragmented relationships is operable in us. The same miraculous love that brought life to impossible situations resides in us, through the Holy Spirit"

Through these promises, we can have a peace that the world cannot give us and that the world will never understand. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" John 14:27

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cute Things My Kids Do

My favorite things to post about are my kids...and I really love sharing all the cute things they are doing.

1. I love how she can't quite remember simple words so she just says what comes to her mind or she tries to describe it. For example, she was outside the other day helping me dig up weeds and she said, "Mommy, I need a...a...shelf". I tried not to laugh because she is a little sensitive about it when she messes up her words and just replied, "Here ya go. Here's the shovel."

2. She has started to really take notice of sunsets and her response is always, "Look, Jesus made the sky pink just for me...he knows its my favorite."

3. I admire the way she doesn't care at all what people think about the way she dresses...if she wants to wear a yo gabba gabba party hat to church, she will and not think anything about it.

4. I love to watch her sing at church. She closes her eyes and sings so passionately. She lifts her hands to the sky and dances like nobody is watching her. Oddly enough it makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time....if only we could all worship like that

5. Although it has become somewhat of a problem...it is still so cute that she can't control her affection for her brother. She squeezes his chubby little arms and legs and kisses all over him.

1. He started rolling over while we are on vacation last month and he mostly practices during the night. I put him to bed at one end and I find him turned on his side at the other end when I go to get him.

2. He already loves to sing. When we sing to him, he sings along with his gurggles and coos and a huge smile on his face. I am almost certain that he asked me to sing to him last week...he looked me straight in the eyes and started softly and melodically cooing.

3. He loves his sister...if she is in the room, his eyes are on her. She makes him laugh and he loves cuddling with her before they both go to bed.

4. When he gets really tired he gets a little out of control...he talks and laughs and wiggles. It is a little sad because I know he is extremely tired but it is so cute at the same time.

5. I think it is so adorable that he snuggles with a blankie to sleep.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Last 4 Months

It's been awhile since I posted...I've needed about 4 months to adjust to the arrival of our newest addition. Zane David Russell Dunham joined our family on February 27th and although he is one of the happiest babies I have ever encountered...it took us some time to get used to having a baby around again. After many Sundays of rushing in to church sweating, with arm loads of bags and blankets, feeling frustrated and exhausted, I have now mastered the art of getting two children ready and am now even able to arrive early. I think the secret is to gladly accept help from anyone who happens to be arriving at the same time as me.

And although it is somewhat more difficult than I thought it was going to be to have two little ones to take care of every day I have actually been able to accomplish more than I thought I would. I have read a few books, taken up a new hobby, continued to serve at the church and I've still been able to have somewhat of a social life.

David graduated in May from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us while serving in our current location. God has given David many opportunities to learn and serve since he felt the call to be a pastor and I am confident that each step along the way has been to prepare us for what lies ahead. Please pray for us as we try our best to love like Jesus and to seek God's will for our lives.

Maleigha will be turning 3 on July 25th. I can't believe my baby girl is going to be 3!! Her current obsession is a sparkly pink tiara that she got for Christmas. She wore it every day last week. It started as an accessory to wear to our growth group picnic on Tuesday...she insisted that because it was a party she had to get fancy. So, when we also had a picnic on Wednesday, she had to wear it again. I had to talk her out of wearing it to bed on Thursday and by Saturday her ensemble for the Roe family 4th of July picnic included the tiara (of course), with the addition of a valentine's necklace, a "happy new year" necklace and a blinking, bright pink jack-o-lantern necklace. I'm pretty sure she is convinced that you can never be too fancy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Choosing Forgiveness

It has been way too long since I posted...things have been a little crazy around here getting ready for Zane. But I thought that since my due date is tomorrow I should at least attempt a thoughtful post before my blog becomes ransacked with new baby pictures or, yet again, becomes dormant for months.

After finishing the book "Same Kind of Different As Me", (which I would highly recommend and would gladly tell you about at another time) I was at a loss to know which, in the massive pile of unread books, to choose to read next. I have for the past few years received books for my birthday and Christmas that I deliberately asked for with the intention of diving right into them...but with a two-year-old around who has lately decided she doesn't like to nap, it has become more difficult to reach my goal of finishing each book before I request another pile. For the last week I have moved a stack of 10 books from the coffee table, to the shelf, to the bedroom and all around again, trying to decide which one would best suit my needs at this time. After a week of such nonsense and a few meaningful conversations with friends, I decided on "Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

This book is so practical and engaging...though it repeatedly steps on my toes, I keep coming back for more. After only two days I have nearly finished it and I would have to say it will probably be one of the most influential books I have ever read in my life (and that is saying something, because I have read a lot of books). DeMoss recounts many stories of people who have been through horrible circumstances and have found the grace and strength from God to move on through the power of forgiveness. Though I don't have a testimony racked with horrible sins dealt against me, I have benefitted so much from reading about the forgiveness of God poured out on me. I offend God greater than anyone could ever offend me and yet he wipes my slate clean and gives me an intimate relationship with Him....but I still find it hard to forgive some people for the simple act of neglecting my feelings or for being selfish.

The first half of the book clearly lays out why we should forgive, giving floods of biblical references and examples. The second half of the book explains how to follow through with it. This book is truly for everyone. "Whether the offense is so large that you think you can't forgive, or so small that you think you don't have to forgive"...everyone has experienced a hurt brought on by someone else that effects the way their life is being lived right now. It actually took reading this book for me to realize how true this is for me.

I've begun to realize how destructive unforgiveness can be...over time you find yourself turning from the grace of God, thinking that revenge belongs to you. You choose to codle your hurt feelings which snowball into bitterness, becoming just like the person who has offended you. By not letting the person "off the hook" you are in turn keeping yourself in a prison. I have so many times convinced myself that the feelings I have felt toward people are justifiable because they were the ones that were wrong and they needed to know it and experience the same frustration and pain...but in chasing the need for retaliation, I have only made myself miserable while the offender (most of the time) remains unware and unaffected. DeMoss, suggests...and presents biblical evidence for it...that in forgiving others, even when they have not extended an apology or even any sign of remorse, we are showing them a glimpse of what Jesus did for us and we can call them to Christ through our actions. And isn't more important to see a person draw near to Christ and be reconciled with him than to receive the miniscule, brief relief of bringing our idea of justice upon them?

This book has deeply affected me and I know it will be life changing for those who have experienced great hurt if the principals are taken to heart and applied to their life.