Monday, February 28, 2011

Thoughts on Fasting

Paul challeneged our church members to fast all or part of last week. Many people participated in many varied forms of fasting. When he first talked about it, I decided I would fast from food for 3 days. He had already decided to fast from Sunday to Sunday. This is the longest he has ever fasted and it was quite a challenge for him to partake in. He started Sunday and did well, even during our Fellowship meal at church. He was hungry, but not overly so.

I woke up Monday morning and "out of the blue" decided I was going to join him on this fast until Sunday. I say out of the blue, but I know the thought came from God. I had fasted one time for 5 days (can't really remember why), so I was fairly sure I could do this.

It made it easier for both of us to be doing it. We were able to encourage each other and have sympathy for each other when we wated to eat. I found out that I was not really that hungry, the entire 6 days. The hunger would come, strong, but then it would go somewhat quickly. I also realized how much "mindless" eating I do. You know, taking a spoonful when you're making dinner or eating a bite or two off the little one's plates.

Paul lost 9 lbs and I lost 10. He looks great! It is amazing how much these last 9 pounds have changed the look of his face and body. He looks like he did 20 years ago. The weight loss was a (nice) side effect but it was not the reason we fasted.

We fasted and prayed for the beginning of Lake Wildwood Baptist Church. God laid on the heart of the leadership of our church to begin anew. We prayed for God's richest blessings on our church and specifically on this Sunday, that God would bring many people out to hear His Gospel.

We had 107 people on Sunday, about 40 more than our normal Sunday attendance. It was a wonderful service, with special music and preaching. God blessed our church on Sunday and some of those blessings may not be known for years; some may never be known on this side of heaven.

I was very proud of our church members Sunday; they all did a great job doing whatever needed doing. But I was also proud of the ones that fasted the week before. There were many people fasting many different things all week long and I think God blessed that tremendously!

**Please don't be impressed with our fasting. I did not write the post for that reason. I wrote it to encourage someone that may be considering starting that spiritual discipline and also to remind myself in the days, weeks and years to come of what God is capable of doing in the lives of those who are serious. Paul and I are considering fasting one day a week to pray for our children. I need to remind myself that this is a worthy discipline to partake in.

Ben's Party

Ben was VERY excited for his party. He could not wait and asked about it all day. When people started arriving, he was beside himself. He was so animated opening his presents. I'm still disappointed we didn't get it on video. He was crazy excited! It started out slowly,
and with each present the excitement grew. Notice he's not sitting down anymore?
Here he was watching Dad and Andy play with his walkie-talkies. I was surprised at his self-control, not to snatch them out of their hands.
An alligator and snakes from his sisters. Look at Andy, playing along with Ben!
When he opened this present, (a pb candy heart) he yelled, "MY VALENTINE! MY VALENTINE!" and then he kissed it over and over. It was so funny! Later that evening, he did NOT want to share, but I persuaded him to give everyone a bite. He held onto that heart as each of us bit into it, watching carefully that we did not take too much.
A mini bottle of sparkling apple juice from Dad.
Emma wanted in on all the fun!
Anna made him this cute, cute robot cake. He loves robots (for whatever reason!) and she searched online and found a cute tutorial and did a wonderful job with this cake.
3 candles!
Trying to keep him from blowing out the candles too early.
but there was not stopping him when the song was done.
He had such a great birthday. I hope he will remember at least part of it when he gets older, but I know I will remember his excitement for a long time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ben's Birthday

We wanted to make Ben's birthday a special day for him. When the big kids were little, I took them to Chuck E Cheese on their birthdays, just for a special treat. I had forgotten about that, but remembered earlier this week. So this morning, Anna and I took Ben and Sam to Chuck E Cheese. I think there were 2 other people there. It is a nice place when it's empty! Ben loved riding this horse.
This is about all Sam did- play Mario Kart.
He wasn't too sure about this ride and ended up getting off before it started.
Back on the horse!
Eating a popsicle.
He loves popsicles.
His big birthday smile, or so he said.
Meeting Chuckie.
Some of my children have been afraid of Chuckie at this age. Not Ben.
After Chuck E Cheese, we picked up Emma and lunch and headed to the park. It was 80 today and breezy and beautiful.
We love a picnic.
Sam was serious about the food.
Emma's first time at the park.
And her first time on the swing. She loved it!
Sweetie Pie~
She smiled and laughed while she was swinging. I think it tickled her stomach.
The big boy who doesn't even need a push anymore.
He was telling me he wanted to go as high as the sun.
A monkey on the monkey bars. (Check out that tongue)
Merry Go Round.
We had a nice time and Ben enjoyed himself.

Ben at 3

Benjamin Robert Anthony turned 3 today. He is an amazing kid. I am almost sad to see him turn 3 because I enjoyed him being 2 so much.
Ben loves to play outside, loves rocks and sticks and loves to eat. He seems to eat all. the. time. At his party tonight, Paul and I gave him a Reese's Peanut Butter heart. He kissed it. Not once. Not twice. THREE times. What 3 year old does that? (Well, thinking about it puts me in mind of another 3 year old who probably would have done that- his name was ZACK!)
He is generally obedient, but does test the limits at times. He does not like to nap. In fact, one of his favorite sayings, said right before naptime and bedtime is "I don't take naps anymore". He is amazed that Sam doesn't have to take a nap and is convinced he doesn't need to either. Some days he lays in bed, never sleeping. But mommy is not ready for him to give up naps yet!
He loves to read books, play cars and has discovered playing games. I try and play at least one game with just the boys every day after we do school and Ben loves this. Alot of the time he has no idea what is going on but he is happy just to be included.
Ben loves Emma and loves to kiss her. He is very sweet to her. He also loves to play with Sam, who is his idol. If Sam is doing something, then Ben wants to do it also.
He makes the funniest faces and can be very animated. At his birthday party tonight, he was so excited, he exclaimed loudly at each gift. At one point, he ran down the hall to put on a new outfit he had just received. He gave us all a good show!
Benjamin, I love you so much. I can't believe you are already 3! What a gift you have been to me and to your family. Don't ever change. (And you can slow down growing up!!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blast from the Past

These pics were all taken in the summer of 2008. We were on the first leg of our cross country vacation, The Rocky Mountains. Look how small Sam was!
A beautiful picture Paul snapped of an elk making its way across the mountain.
Baby Ben. Looking at this, he reminds me of Emma. I think it's his mouth. It's certainly not his hair. :)
Anna and Ellie were so little. Ellie was just a little girl! How did she grow up so fast?

They have all grown up so much in the past 2 1/2 years. It's amazing. Looking back through these pictures have reminded me of what fun we had during those 3 weeks. That was an incredible vacation.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Silly Faces

These were all taken in church. :)