Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yes, We Had a Guinea Pig Birthday Party

Kennedy insisted on a birthday party for her beloved guinea pig, Prince Terrian. So, we shaved carrots, peeled apples, and put together a salad of delight for the great Prince. We took pictures and had a blast. The best part was when daddy stepped into kitchen to find a scorpion staring him down. He froze and asked for a weapon. Instead of giving him the cutting board, I decided to smash the sucker myself. Well, I guess I threw the board a bit too hard and parts of the scorpion went flying towards daddy. Well, he freaked and knocked a glass off of the bar and we spent a few minutes cleaning up pieces of dead scorpion and broken glass...LOL

Books, Doors, and Paper Glasses

I can' believe how fast my kids are growing up. I found this sign posted on the girls' bedroom door the other day. They are making signs to keep their little brother out. It's like they are pre-teens or something. They even made one for Lincoln's door. Not only are they making signs but reading like crazy. Kennedy is reading through all of the Chronicles of Narnia and reading each book within 2-3 days. I think the librarian doesn't believe her.....LOL. Their school has a program called Accelerated Reader, in which kids read book and take reading test. Well, this is a great way of keeping track of their reading levels and how many words and books they have read. Kennedy, the only 2nd grader in her school, is trying to read 1,000,000 words this year. There is a Million Word club but it's mostly accompanied by 4th and 5th graders. Well I told KK I'd give her $20 bucks if she accomplished this massive goal; both sets of grandparents agreed to do the same. So, KK is saving up to buy another American Girl Doll and she is already at 400,000 words!! Everytime I turn around, she has a book in her face. I love it and Mia is starting to do the same thing. Speaking of Mia, she has been wearing these paper glasses and they just make our hearts melt. She couldn't look any sweeter!

And He's Preschool

Well, my baby has survived the first quarter of preschool and is loving it. He awakes each to ask if it's a preschool day. He is then very disappointed when it's not a preschool day. He loves his teacher, Mrs. Delongchamp. But most of all, I love how he says her name. He walks in and yells "hey 'delongchamp'!!" Oh gosh, gotta love him. When he is at home, he will randomly comment that he 'loves Mrs. Longchamp'. I love that he is comfortable and loving his preschool.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Must First Kiss the Frog to Become the ..........................

I believe each and everyone of us share many things in common but one of the most revealing character traits about humans is PRIDE. John 3:30 says "He must increase and I must decrease" Phil. 4:12, Paul states that "I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound." Isn't it true that God does His best in us when we are truly broken before Him and feel as though we have nothing to offer? We must first come to a point in our lives where realize that, without Him, we do have NOTHING to offer. Read these statements about Proud vs. Broken People and see what side your heart falls on. I found myself in the proud side, more that I had hoped. So it's true, you must humble yourself and 'kiss the toad of humility' before you enter the Kingdom as a growing and maturing Prince/Princess.

Got this from a bookmark that was published by Revive our Hears by Nancy Leigh Demoss
Ps. 51:17 The sacrifices of God are of a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thous will not despise

Proud People = pp
Broken People= bp

pp focus on failures of others, bp overwhelmed with sense of their own spiritual need

pp have critical, fault finding spirit; look at everyone else's faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. bp are compassionate, can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven

pp are self-righteous, look down on others, bp esteem all others better than themselves

pp are independent, self-sufficient in spirit, bp have a dependent spirit; recognize their need for others

pp have to prove that they are right; bp willing to yield the right to be right

pp claim rights; have a demanding spirit. bp yield their rights and have a meek spirit

pp are self -protective of their time, their rights and their reputation. bp are self-denying

pp desire to be served. bp are motivated to serve others.

pp desire success. bp are motivated to be faithful and to make others succeed!!

pp desire self-advancement. bp desire to promote others

pp have a drive to be recognized and appreciated. bp have a sense of their own unworthiness, thrilled that God would use them at all.

pp wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. bp eager for others to get credit; rejoice when others are lifted up

pp have a subconscious feeling, "this ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts." they think of what they can do for God. bp heart attitude is "I don't deserve to have a part in any ministry" they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

pp feel confident in how much they know. bp are humbled by how very much they have to learn

pp are self-conscious. bp are not concerned with self at all!

pp keep others at arms' length. bp are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.

pp are quick to blame others. bp accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

pp are unapproachable or defensive when criticized. bp receive criticism with a humble, open spirit

pp are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; work to protect their own image and reputation. bp are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; are willing to die to their own personal reputation.

pp find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others. bp willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs

pp want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up. bp, once broken, don't car who knows or who finds out; are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose

pp have a hard time saying "I was wrong; will you please forgive me?". bp quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary

pp tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin. bp able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin

pp concerned about the consequences of their sin. bp grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.

pp are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got 'found out' or caught. bp truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.

pp wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in a relationship. bp take the initiative to be reconciled when there is misunderstanding or conflict in relationships; they race to the cross; they see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been

pp compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor. bp compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.

pp are blind to their true heart condition. bp walk in light

pp don't think they have anything to repent of. bp realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance

pp don't think they need revival, but are sure that everyone else does. bp continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Caught in the Grip

Remember when you were growing up and someone would yell "hey, what are YOU staring at?!!" It would happen when your body froze, jaw slipped down, and your eyes went into a lazy tranz. Often you were off on another planet but appeared to be staring at the individual who was now poking you. I find myself just caught in my kids grip. I am completely mesmerized when they get to conversing and playing. Have you ever just become totally invisible in your kids presence and you find yourself soaking up their spirits as they flutter and fleet within the moment? The other night Kennedy got out of bed for the 10th time and came into my room. I was just sitting on my bed reading and Paul was in the kitchen blogging. My initial thought was to send her directly back to bed but for some reason I laid down my book. She just wanted to chat. She went on and on telling me how "she felt close to nature". She had been exploring in the backyard that day and was feeling especially cognizant of her earthly appreciations. Surely she is a scientist in the making. But anyhow, she went on to discuss lots of her feelings. She told me that she couldn't wait to grow up because "she could go to Starbucks whenever she wanted, spend money, and have kids.....having kids would be the fun part!" Oh my. I was completely overtaken with all the things she was saying and watching the rise and fall of each eyebrow and the flicker of all her sandy eyelashes protecting her chocolate eyes. I wanted that moment to last forever. I hoped she would sit there for an eternity. She leaned against my legs and just casually released all her dreams and aspirations. They floated up into the air like fairy dust. I was caught in her grip. It happens with all my kids. Either Lincoln is explaining to me how much he missed me while he was at preschool, or Mia singing one of her new songs about "Jan World" as her deep blue pools of blue captivate my soul. Capturing that moment and seeping in their countenance at that perfect time, hearing their sweet voices, and having the time to just relish the memory..........priceless

Inside the Cup

Not sure if you are a coffee drinker, tea drinker, or just plain old water. But the Alexanders love all of the above, especially coffee. Some of our favorite past time memories have birthed within the 4 walls of a coffee shop. A few years ago Paul and I skipped out early from a Christmas party for coffee and cards at a local Starbucks with our good friends, Gokees. Well, to no one's surprise, I play cards at an exuberant level. Well, I became so excited that I accidently spilled my hot Paul's lap. And to top it off, I also snagged my necklace on my pinky and beads flew everywhere. Needless to say, the loud chuckles and belly laughs drowned out Paul's grave disappointment with his new 'hot pants'. That is so typical for me! Believe it or not, we spill out each day, emotionally, verbally, and spiritually. I've recently been challenged to think about the types of things 'spilling' out of me. John Ortberg wrote "When someone bumps into me, what spills out of me reveals what is inside of me." how do I respond when life or people bump into me?? For some reason, I have a magnet on my forehead that reads "all rude people, please be rude to me!". Well that is precisely how some days feel. Just the other day I was in Paradise Bakery, when a young woman approached our table and blurted out "I want you guys to know we have a 6 month old sitting on our laps and no high chair for him." Apparently, that was her way of asking for Lincoln's child seat.So we took our toddler out of his chair, put him in our laps and gave her the seat. She is entitled to it and more important than us, right? Wrong!!!!!! I was steaming like an engine when she walked away and fortunately my husband was there or..........who knows! I was bumped into that day and love, patience, and even gentleness did not spill out of me. There was certainly stuff spilling out of me; but it was pride, anger, disgust, and self-righteousness. I mean, who talks to people like that?! Everyday we are buzzing through life and jolting this way and that way. We are always going to be rubbed the wrong way, whether it's in a relationship, job, or some brief encounter with a stranger. We can't control their tone or what they say but we can most certainly choose our words and soften our actions. Next time I'm hoping to spill out something that is healthy and contagious.