December 26, 2010

Two More Recipes for Nursing Moms

Shiphrah still has a hard time with flatulence, particularly when I eat dairy. Yesterday my Mom made this wonderful strawberry trifle (Paula Dean Christmas recipe) with cream cheese, whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. Afterwards, Shiphrah screamed for at least an hour. :-( Bad, Mommy, bad!

Garlic and onions are unavoidable in almost every prepared food, except meat and plain white bread. However her reaction is much less severe, she only spits up (a lot) when I eat these foods. So I'm still finding ways to prepare foods without those gas causing ingredients. Here are two more recipes:

Maple-Glazed Spiced Carrots

3 medium carrots (8 oz. total), peeled, diagonally cut into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup water
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine the carrots, water, butter, syrup, lemon juice and spices in a small nonstick saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid has reduced to a glaze and the carrots are tender, about 8 minutes. Just before serving, taste and adjust the seasonings by adding more lemon juice and salt, if necessary. Makes 2 servings.

Notes: To save time, you may use 8 oz. packaged peeled baby carrots. After reducing the heat to low, cook for about 10 minutes.

To make it non-dairy, eliminate the butter and use 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs sifted flour for the fat and thickener. I tripled the recipe for 2 lbs. of carrots for our Christmas meal and it was great. When cooked using the time guidelines, the carrots will have a more al dente texture, not completely soft in the center. Adjust the cooking time until you reach the texture you desire.


Campbell's Tomato Vegetable Soup

1 can Campbell's condensed tomato soup
2 stalks of celery, diced very thin
2 carrots, diced very thin
2/3 can Leseuer peas
1 and 1/2 to 2 cans of water
1/4 tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste

In a non-stick pot combine soup, celery, carrots and water on high heat. Allow to boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the carrots and celery are the desired texture. Once your texture is reached, add the peas and spices and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Makes a little more than two 8 oz. servings.

This was really good, easy and off-the-cuff.

Notes: If you don't have a non-stick pot, first boil the celery and carrots in about 3 cups of water until you get the texture you want, then add the rest of the ingredients. We still had the maple carrots left over, so I just rinsed them in water and added them to the pot. Super easy.

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Joy to the world: the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
and heaven and nature sing!

December 23, 2010

Horizontal Mobility

Two nights ago, around 2 a.m. I heard Shiphrah making noises and I awoke. As I laid there a few minutes listening to her I realized that she sounded more like she was playing rather than her normal waking up to eat. She was happy. I sat up and looked into the bassinet where she lay and lo, and behold, she had rolled over!! She normally sleeps on her stomach, but here she was on her back! She did it again two hours later.

The bassinet is getting small for her and I figured that she had pushed up against the sides and rolled with some structural assistance. I didn't want to get up in the middle of the night for this reason - because she isn't accustomed to sleeping on her back. So I set up the pack 'n play for her night time sleeping. During the day I've been putting her to sleep in a crib. Well, she knows how to roll over in those too!

She has also discovered her hair. :-) While she's nursing, sometimes she'll use her free hand to rub the side of her head, exploring that textured stuff just beyond the borders of her face. If I gave her a little soap, she could wash her own hair. :-) (Just kidding.) Also, occasionally when I get frustrated with her nursing habits, coming on and off, on and off again, she'll look up and laugh at me. My frustration is funny to her. Well, her laughing does help to disarm most of my frustration and refresh my attitude. It is funny, isn't it?!

December 18, 2010

Long Time, No See

I am so sorry that I have been very much absent lately. Those three little girls in the left sidebar and that handsome man above them have been keeping me pretty busy around here.

Moriah had her third birthday the day after Thanksgiving. We celebrated it after the Thanksgiving meal on Thursday while all the Anderson and MacDonald families were in attendance. Moriah had a great time dressing up in a new dress, getting her hair and nails done and wearing new shoes and tiara. She is a princess diva. :-D

Lily is about the same as she was a few months ago. She's not made any significant strides to or away from anything. It's great that amidst all that is changing with other stuff that we have someone who is staying the same. :-)

Shiphrah turned four months old yesterday! It's hard to believe that it's been that long. She's the one I don't want to see get any bigger (because I know that toddler-hood is coming down the pike). Her hand-eye coordination has developed wonderfully and she is reaching out for things she sees. She has been able to belly laugh for some time and it is wonderful. :-) She is sweeter than a 10 lb. bag of sugar: almost always able to smile.

All of us just returned from traveling to Louisville, KY. We had a great time with some friends, Bryant and Hannah, that we missed the last time we visited and were able to relax far more by scheduling a lot fewer activities. We returned the violins I borrowed for trial and spent the majority of the time hanging out. On the way back we stopped in Whitwell, TN to hang out with another one of our dear friends, Channing, and made a very easy drive back down to L'ville. I'm very pleased with how the girls did on the long drive - very little screaming and much less fighting. I guess they're getting accustomed to long rides in the car. I can't complain.

December 9, 2010

Thanksgiving in the 'Boro

G'Wanda, Moriah, Lily, Shiphrah and I drove down to spend Thanksgiving with the Andersons and MacDonalds. There were a lot of people there and it was great to see everyone again. Unfortunately Jeramy had to work on Thanksgiving Day and missed out on seeing everyone. But hopefully these pictures will give some small bit of consolation.

We had Thanksgiving dinner just after lunchtime. When that was over we celebrated Moriah's 3rd Birthday PRINCESS style. :-D She's such a diva. Enjoy the pix. There are all the November pix in the right sidebar too.

December 3, 2010

Shiphrah Is Three Months

Here are some cute pictures of Shiphrah as she turned three months.

The week before Thanksgiving she started laughing! It was great - full belly laughs and squeals. :-D I really love the baby stage.

Funny Friday: Sleep Sayings

After I've changed diapers and tucked my older girls into their beds, then I remind them of their sleep duties.

"Be quiet.
Stay in the bed.
Leave the curtains alone.
Keep your clothes on.
Go to sleep.
I love you, goodnight."

November 26, 2010

Three For Three

Three pregnancies in three years of marriage since 3/3/2007.
Three deliveries for three baby girls.
Three children from three years to three months old.
Three heads of curly hair to comb.
Three kisses for three girls from Daddy before 3 p.m.
My third baby girl turned three months the third week of November.
And today Moriah (3 syllables) turns three years old! Happy Birthday!

Currently we are in Register/Statesboro visiting The Anderson's for Thanksgiving. Jeramy is on Stay-cation at home because he had to work. Pictures will follow some time after we get home tomorrow.

November 15, 2010

Our Task: Raise Ladies

It is wonderful to see that our daughters are very much aware of their sexual orientation as females. And upon this foundation we hope to continue building qualities that Christ would desire in godly ladies.

Femininity Our little girls are already very feminine. They love shoes and to express their wants for their daily attire. Moriah now loves to wear dresses and skirts almost everyday if I let her. (Sometimes I want to save a dress for church. :-) God's Word makes it very clear that our sexuality is in God's image and we should not distort His image.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. Deuteronomy 22:5

Modesty When our girls dress modestly (and myself also!) it honors God. It forces people to look beyond their physical appearance to the character of their hearts. When women dress immodestly it is distracting and, truly, unattractive. There is a reason that prostitutes dress the way they do and we don't want to communicate those same signals. Modest dress is a visual sign of godliness.

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.
1 Timothy 2:9

Helping attitudes This is one of the reasons why God created the woman, to be man's helper. Our girls already demonstrate a strong desire to help and we want to continue to hone in on that. Some things they presume will be helpful but really are not, so we must teach them to maintain the same willingness to help, but to be more thoughtful and ask what would be the best help to others.

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

Nurturing, Mothering attitudes This is the second important reason that God created woman, to experience motherhood. The human race would not continue if she doesn't take up this call. Notice in the text that Eve was called "the mother of all the living" before she bore any children. Moriah loves to hold both Shiphrah and Lily's hands as a way to show affection and empathy. And it is very sweet and good. It honors us as her parents and I'm sure that it honors God also to display healthy, compassionate affection to her sisters.

Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. Genesis 3:20

Gratitude Always showing gratitude is a Christlike quality and it goes hand-in-glove with joy. But this attitude will only come about when they experience (if the Lord wills) the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one wants to be around someone that is critical and complains all the time.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21

Gentleness My honey describes gentleness this way: restrained strength. A woman has the ability to calm and comfort with soft touches and words. We harness more strength than we might think. Christ is described as being gentle, but He was not wimpy.

Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:3-4

Submission I think that this is first an obedience issue, which we are trying to foster as faithful parents, second a trust issue and third a pride issue. Our girls must be taught to fear God, obey and trust Him. Out of that I believe that they will learn to do the same for their future husbands--submitting to their leadership with respect, trust and patience so that they won't become nagging manipulative wives, giving up their own claims to dominate their future marriages.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5

Manners I consider that manners and etiquette are more than just some sign of elitism or refinement, but rather showing manners is the same as having consideration for others in our presence. It is a way that we can apply the command to love our neighbors. Listening well without interrupting, eating without attempting to do disgusting things at the table, giving others preference, and saying, "Please," and, "Thank you." I think that this helps instill humility in some ways also.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor . . . Romans 12:10

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:10

By no means would this be an exhaustive list. If you look at the context of all these passages included above, we would see many other character qualities that are encouraged for all ladies and men alike: generosity, hospitality, diligence, service and on and on. Of course all of this is void if God isn't present.

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
Psalm 127:1

O Sovereign God, be with us and strengthen us for this task that can only be accomplished by Your grace and for Your glory. Amen

November 13, 2010

Coo Coo At You

This is what I get to see and hear every day! I love it!

Raking Leaves!

I love the shot where the girls are walking their wheel barrows to the leaf pile! That is too precious!

November 12, 2010

A Brief Update

On October 31st we celebrated the first year we've moved into our new house! Yay! It's hard to believe that it's been a year already. We've made some necessary improvements and had many opportunities to fellowship which have all been sweet! God has blessed us abundantly over the past year that we've dwelled here.

Moriah is learning the U.S. Presidents (and the States and addition). Out of the 44 that we've had as a nation she now knows more than half of them! Her memory is amazing. It's really funny too. Obama is in the dollar store book that we bought and Jeramy and I have taught her well. When she gets to Obama she says, "That's Obama. He's a communist. He's bad." It's funny not just for her words but her emphasis too! She will have her third birthday on November 26th! We plan to celebrate it at Grandma and Grand Daddy Andersons after our Thanksgiving meal with a Disney Princess party.

Lily has learned to count to 20 about as good as Moriah can, because Moriah is her teacher. One through 10 is perfect and 12 through 15 is a little mottled. She has graduated out of her crib into a twin sized bed on the floor. And she has a booster seat to eat at the table. Our little Lily is growing up. She has peed in the potty several times, but nothing consistent yet. She will be two years old on January 4th, the day after Grand Daddy Dennis' birthday.

Shiphrah is still so cute and chubby cuddly. She will be three months old on the 17th. Much of her early gas issues have been under control for some time so that now she is much more able to sit in her bouncy seat and swing whereas she couldn't before. Her sleeping is not a whole lot better, but still very inconsistent, but I put her down earlier so that I can get to the gym before the other family members wake up.

I'll post some pictures soon, stay tuned.

November 9, 2010

Last Friday's Funny

A musical interval is the dentist between two boats.


Sarah and I conjured this one during her piano lesson last week.
The true definition of an interval is the distance between two notes.
You just had to be there. :-D

October 31, 2010

All Work & No Play Makes Moms Question Fertility

Since the birth of our third child under three years old, I've been debating what our next course of action would be concerning our fertility. This issue is such a sensitive one in our post-modern day after the rise of feminism and the birth control pill (and other reliable methods). Even in the Church the issue of fertility is treated as a private matter between each husband and wife and each couple is convinced of their individual position (which is necessary - I'm not here to point fingers or take sides). There is a delicate balance of obedience to "Be fruitful and multiply," and personal responsibility with a clean conscience.

When Jeramy and I were considering each other for marriage, he brought this issue to my attention and made his views known. At that time I reviewed the Biblical texts that discuss this, looked at all of the examples given to us in Scripture and decided to trust God that He opens and closes the womb as He sees fit and we would therefore not prevent conception.

Now that I have my work cut out for me, so to speak, I'm strongly reconsidering my previous decision. I want to continue to trust God with our fertility because I believe what God's Word says -- that He is good and He does good, and that He is trustworthy. The difficulty lies with the work and the stress involved in the discipline of my children. I'm an only child and I never had to deal with constantly fighting with a sibling for anything. Everything was either mine or my parents. There was no one else to blame when handprints in red paint ended up on the white walls. But with Moriah and Lily, both toddlers, it's almost like having twins. As soon as I discipline one for misbehaving, the other goes right behind and commits the same offense! They are always coveting the each other's toys and I am constantly acting as a referee. It's exhausting and it often makes me angry. I'm not the parent I envisioned when I was a single person and that makes me sad.

But when we take the time to go out and do something fun, I have a lot of joy watching them have fun! I could have stayed with them in the Creation Museum for hours watching them marvel at the different sights to see. Tonight both Grandmas and I took them to a Reformation Party at church and they had a wonderful time. Anytime I've taken them to the park and they slide down the slide and swing and watch ducks, etc. it's great! Really! But when we're at home, all day, the work beckons me to get it done and it must get done. Laundry piles up. Floors get gross. Tables must be cleaned. Bathrooms must be sanitized. Babies must be nursed. Food must be cooked. Errands must get ran. And it's the same thing every week. Sometimes it feels like adding one more thing is almost an imposition on any time there would be just to relax. Time for reading, blogging, sewing and any other hobbies is reduced and must be stolen away from sleep. Oh, if there was more time to do fun things as a family, then maybe this issue of fertility wouldn't be such a hard one.

October 29, 2010

Calm After the Storm

Wednesday Shiphrah had her two month check-up appointment and we went to Bi-County Gwinnett Pediatrics. We had a pleasant experience: I came prepared with all the forms filled out in advance, submitted the new insurance card and co-payment. The reception desk was friendly and they also took the other forms I prepared for both Moriah and Lily at the same time. Within about 10 minutes or so we were moved to triage. Shiphrah weighed in at 11 pounds and 10 ounces. :-) The triage nurse was nice and enjoyed playing with her while doing her examination. When we moved into our formal examination room we were met with a medical student within a short time who asked basic questions and performed a simple exam. After another 10 minutes or so the doctor comes in and does her round of questions and exam. Everything went very pleasant until Shiphrah received her vaccinations. The expected crying commenced and she was comforted accordingly. Upon leaving we were able to check out with our next appointment set. We were in and out in 75 minutes. Yay!

Then the storm began. (Literally it started raining when we left.) Then Shiphrah began screaming, literally screaming, in pain for the next 12 hours. She did have some short bouts of unsettled comfort, maybe 30 to 45 minutes. But her appetite was abated and when she was hungry, she couldn't bear the pressure on her thighs to breastfeed! G'Wanda came over from work to help out. I could not have made it through the evening without her help! She did finally eat from her first bottle which she was VERY reluctant to take. Every time she kicked her leg, pressure was put against it, or she was in any position other than over the shoulder, she would scream bloody murder. It was really rough. I don't mean regular baby crying. Her face would get red, hot and sweaty, the scream was blood curdling and her entire body would tense up. Her entire left thigh was red. She did not run any fever but it was obvious that she was miserable. Tylenol didn't do anything to relieve her pain.

But, by the grace of God alone, at about 1:30 a.m. it stopped! It was like a miracle! Seriously, one minute she is screaming and then the very next minute she would coo at me, kick her legs and not be in pain! It was amazing! She nursed and was fine! Then she slept for 5 hours before her next feeding! Thank the Lord! I can't describe the gratitude Jeramy and I had when she was no longer in pain AND slept well.

I don't know if we'll submit to those vaccines again. If we can put them off until she's older, I think I would much prefer that instead.

October 20, 2010

Shiphrah Is Two Months

It's hard to believe that Shiphrah is two months already! She is following us around with her eyes. She has really come out with her vocalizations and coos very easily. Her voice is sweet and clear, like a bell. I love to hear her coo because she's not nagging, complaining, whining or asking me to get her anything. They're just happy baby noises. :-) She's already been stretching and strengthening her legs as she stands on my lap on her toes. One of the biggest ways her appearance has changed this month is with her eyelashes. After the first week her eyelashes were few and wet looking. They were always sort of stuck onto her eyelids. But a week ago I noticed how full and girly they have become. :-)

She doesn't sleep any better; she still wakes up usually twice a night to feed. But this is still a great improvement from when she came home from the hospital. She doesn't care for the car seat all that much either. She cries in the car unless we're moving. But she doesn't fight with her sisters (yet) over any toys or attention. Aren't babies great?!

Pix of Our Hosts

We were so thankful to be able to stay with some really good friends on our trip. We love these guys. Both of these fine men are bachelors and it was really fun to watch them enjoy playing with our children. They would make great fathers if they could just find the right women.

Here is Toby with Moriah and Lily. He always has a smile on his face.

Here is Channing with Shiphrah and again with Jeramy. The Chan Man is always a lot of fun to hang out with.

October 19, 2010

Lynn's Paradise Cafe

It's just a really fun place to eat.

Need a hand . . . chair?

The tea pot and cup fountain.

Many businesses around Louisville have decorated horses which, I think, signify that they support the Derby in some way. This horse is a toaster: the tail is an electric cord.

Funky glasses in the novelty store.

The dining area. See the trees with kites and animals in them. Notice how every table has a unique lamp.

The sweet potato fries are totally AWESOME!! I could have eaten two platefuls, but thankfully we had a budget. :-)

October 18, 2010

The Creation Museum

I loved going through the Museum again! I especially enjoyed watching the girls' reactions to the various exhibits. Moriah was scared half the time and begged to be held especially during the dark parts and where the dinosaurs moved and roared. The other half of the time she wanted to go back through it and really take it in. Lily did very well to hold Mommy's hand throughout. Lily especially loved watching the live animals move around. She was almost like a statue watching them. :-) Shiphrah slept through the whole thing in my Sleepy Wrap. (Yay!) She did awake when we got to the gift shop/bookstore at the end, just to tell me to buy something. :-) I'm so glad that we have lifetime passes that we can take them back as often as we want to make the drive. :-) I know they'll appreciate it more when they're older.

Jelly Face & Bed Head

October 16, 2010

The Winner Is . . .

Thanks to everyone who participated!
I would like to have more giveaways in the future, Lord willing.
And thanks to for randomly choosing the winner. Here was my list:

1. Dianna
2. Leah
3. Leah - blog mention
4. Erin
5. Victoria
6. Lydia
7. Abby
8. Sherri
9. Sherri - blog mention

True Random Number Generator 8Powered by RANDOM.ORG

October 11, 2010

Road Trip! Destination: Louisville

I'm so excited! I've been busily cleaning, laundering and packing away today for our family trip to Louisville, KY. We leave tomorrow around 9 a.m. and arrive at our good brother-friend Toby's house around 5 or 6 p.m. We're excited to catch up with him.

Wednesday we hope to take the girls to the Creation Museum! I can't wait to see their faces and reactions, especially to the dinosaurs and all the educational videos. I'm excited to see it again, myself. Jeramy has 4 guest passes for life, so we get in free!

Thursday I really want to go to the chapel service at Southern Seminary! I miss the worship there! Everyone sings and listens with their full heart and mind there -- it's awesome! I should have relished it more while I was there. Then later Thursday evening is the devotional signing where I get to meet the other authors and sign a few books! What a unique opportunity! Then we will quickly leave and head down to Whitwell, TN just outside of Chattanooga and stay with our good, good brother, Channing (aka "The Chan-Man"). Then Friday we'll return back to Lawrenceville.

Ahh, I'm so excited! At some point while we visit we have plans to hook up with my old violin teacher and I also hope to try out some different (more expensive) violins that I might purchase. I feel like a kid in a candy store! I also want to eat at Lynn's Paradise Cafe and get sorbet at Graeter's. I have never seen a more unique restaurant like the Paradise Cafe. It's almost like a trendy, cool, creative designer twist on Cracker Barrel. (Wait until you see some pictures.) And Graeter's is a French Pot ice cream shop and it's oooooohhhhhh so good! Better than anything anywhere, except Carl's in Fredericksburg, VA.

October 8, 2010

"You Wanna Learn Something?"

Or, Another Reason to Love the Dollar Store!

Jeramy was looking for some education materials to continue teaching Moriah about time, geography and the U.S. Presidents. She also needed to learn about the days of the week and months of the year. Off they go to Walmart to find large maps and other things only to be disappointed. Then he decided to check out The Dollar Tree and what a treasure trove awaited them! He found all kinds of learning posters: a world map, a North American-U.S. map, a counting poster, an empty calendar with "Today Is ___." "Yesterday was ___." and "Tomorrow will be ___." that includes the days of the week and months, and two different posters that explain how to read a clock face. He taped all of these wonderful things in the front hallway.

He also found at the dollar store books that teach about world continents and countries, the United States and the U. S. Presidents even down to Obama. These books have colorful pictures and flip openings to make it fun for the girls. Yay, let's learn something! Whoever said that homeschool starts when your 5 or 6?! Start teaching them when they're ready to learn, whatever age that is, right?!

The only downside is that the book that explores the world continents and countries does state a great age for the earth as fact. "60,000 years ago . . . " But we have plenty of Answers in Genesis materials and faithful parents to set her straight. We did get it for only $1.00. (You get what you pay for. :-/ )

October 4, 2010

A Giveaway!

Sometimes, I get frustrated listening to Christian radio. Does that ever happen to you? You hear, what seems like, the same songs over and over and you have to deconstruct the text in order to be somewhat edified by it or worship through it. Then after about 30 minutes you get mentally and spiritually tired of working so hard that you just shut it off and go with silence.

The contemporary Christian music (CCM) on the radio is entertaining, but not really edifying. We get into the beat and bump along. We like the soaring strings and the wailing guitars. We like to make our voices sound like the artist and even use our hairbrushes or cell phones for microphones. :-) But are such songs appropriate for corporate worship? A song is only as good as the theology it reveals in its lyrics. The power behind the song is in the words, not the rhythm, not the melody, not the harmony, not the "strings that make you cry," and not the voice of the artist.

As believers we are commanded to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. How many congregations sing the Psalms? Are there psalters available in our pews? Are our song sets filled with rich texts on which we can meditate on the vastness of God?

Great songs and hymns are Biblical. They use Biblical language, are not sensual, nor are they vague. An example of sensual language would be, "I'm so in love with you." Yes, there are times when our affection for God just soars and we cannot adequately put into words what we are trying to express -- but let's just try and find something specific for God, not something we say to our boyfriend, fiance or spouse.

Biblical language and phrases call the Scriptures to remembrance and cause us to go searching for them and their context. For instance,

Speak, O Lord as we come to You
To receive the food of Your holy Word. (Matt 4:4)
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us. (Jer 31:33)
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:18)
That the light of Christ might be seen today (2 Cor 4:4)
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith. (1 Thess 1:3)
Words of power that can never fail. (Josh 23:14, Is 55:11)
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Great hymns and songs also communicate and teach Truth, help our memory, encourage, edify, and focus on God and His attributes.

Do you choose to listen to great hymns and songs?

Well, here's your chance! In honor of this, my 500th post, I'm hosting a giveaway! I'm excited to give away some of these great hymns older and more modern in two CD's. The first is the album, In Christ Alone, by Keith and Kristyn Getty. These are modern hymns and most of them we sing in our church. This CD is like the best hits of the Getty/Townend combo. The second CD is from Sovereign Grace Ministries headed by Bob Kauflin. The Upward album features several older hymns rich in encouragement and edification with a modern, up-to-date sound! The Songs for the Cross Centered Life album is awesome too! You can choose between the Upward album or the Songs for the Cross Centered Life album if you win. Anyone, anywhere can enter except my Mom or Jeramy -- even you closet readers.

To enter my giveaway you can:

  1. Post a comment and tell me which Sovereign Grace album you want if you win.
  2. Post about this giveaway on your blog and give me the link in a comment.
  3. Write about a great hymn or song with the Scripture references and how it impacts you (either in a blog post or in a comment on this post) -- no limits. :-) You get one entry per song or hymn you submit.

This giveaway contest is open through Friday 15 October. Then I will randomly select a winner. Not luck but God's providence to you.

Yay! Spread the good Christian music!!

Future Blackmail?

Or just a testament to the love between sisters? I hope it grows, but not in this physical sense!

They see Jeramy and I kiss all the time - so it must come naturally to them, huh?

September 29, 2010

Girls' Update

Shiphrah slept 5 hours last night!!! (Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background.) She is 6 weeks old. I fed her at 11 p.m. and put her down immediately afterwards at 11:30. I heard her moving around about 2:30 a.m. but she was still sleeping. I woke up at 4 a.m. and pumped, then she woke at 4:30 and I fed her then. I woke her up again at 8:45 a.m. and she was still sleeping soundly! Yay!

When we came home from the hospital her days and nights were backwards and she would be up 1 out of every 2 hours during the night for several days. After this phase, I would feed her and attempt to put her down to go back to sleep, but instead she would scream for 2 hours until I fed her again. That lasted about 2 to 3 weeks or so. Jeramy and I worked it out where I would be up breastfeeding and I would put her back down. If she began to scream for more than 5 or 10 minutes, he would get up and rock her back to sleep so I could get some rest. Gradually this phase was eliminated and she would go right back to sleep after her feedings in the middle of the night.

Lily has begun having tantrums and refusing some of her food. She has always been a great eater, so this is a shift from the norm. She has also become very dramatic with her discipline and when she and Moriah fight over toys and other things. Her speech is coming along great and I noticed that she is learning to count! And G'Wanda painted her toe nails last week.

Moriah is teaching Lily to count and loves to dote on her baby sister. She must be going through a growth spurt because now she eats most everything set before her. She continues to have a great interest in learning and always wants to help and do big people things.

September 26, 2010

Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms

Our little one seems to have quite a bit of gas and it causes her a lot of belly discomfort. Jeramy and I refuse to call it "colic" because we reason that that term is just what doctors use to say, "Yeah she screams and we don't know why."

But since cutting my diet down significantly to eliminate the majority of known gas-causing foods, laying her to sleep on her stomach and keeping her over my shoulder during her wake times has brought about a better disposition and a somewhat more steady sleep routine. (And I'm more pleasant, too.) The list of gassy foods I found Here are:
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cheese
  • Corn
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Ice Cream
  • Milk and Milk Products
  • Onions
  • Pasta
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes
  • Soft Drinks
  • Whole Wheat
Which is pretty much everything I eat! Also I had to eliminate caffeine and chocolate. *NO! Not chocolate!!* And I was very surprised to see some fruit on that list!

So, I've taken to making pumpkin bread for breakfast with grapes, melon, nectarines or oranges and an egg or bacon or french toast with jelly or maple syrup. For lunch and/or dinner I'll have white bread sandwiches with mustard, pretzels, Campbell's tomato soup, cucumber slices, salads with catalina dressing and brown rice. PB and J works too and buffalo wings. Spicy things seem to be okay when done low to moderately. I'm taking a calcium supplement and the white bread is fortified with calcium too.

About two weeks ago I made a chicken soup in the crockpot with 3 bouillon cubes, 2 white meat frozen chicken breasts, 1.5 cups brown rice, carrots, celery, 1 can of Leseuer peas, parsley, salt and pepper, cooked on high for 4 hours. Everything was raw when I put it in the crockpot and filled the remaining room with water. After it cooked I cut the chicken up into smaller, bite sized pieces and it was great. Give it a try. It was really easy and really yummy. It also doesn't cost a lot.

Last week I made another crockpot soup with 1 lb. hot italian sausage (which probably has some garlic and onion in it, I'm sure), maybe 1/4 cup of olive oil, a heaping handful of fresh basil, some oregano and parsley, about 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of Campbell's tomato soup, carrots, celery and I filled the remaining room in the pot with water and cooked for 4 hours on high. It was good but next time I think that chicken broth or bouillon will add more flavor instead of water and possibly a bay leaf or two. I wanted to add rice to this soup too, but we ran out. Only add one or two carrots if you add any. I really wanted something similar to sausage and lentil soup, but I'm unsure as to whether lentils are considered a bean. It's more like a pea, but aren't beans and peas from the same family?

If you have recipe ideas that don't contain those gassy foods -- PLEASE SHARE!!

Parent & Student Studio Review

"We love Mrs. Anderson and the Anderson Music Studio. She is professional and knowledgeable; at the same time is also incredibly patient and encouraging. I love to watch her interact with my daughter.

We are pleased with our daughter’s progress, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her as she works with Mrs. Anderson."

Sherri, parent


"I am so glad to be a student of Mrs. Anderson. She is a talented musician and a wonderful teacher.

Mrs. Anderson is understanding and intelligent and gives kind compliments and always gives me praise when I play a song correctly.

She is honest about areas where I need to improve, but very friendly about it.

Mrs. Anderson is very good at explaining new concepts and is excellent on telling me what to practice and how to practice.

She makes learning an instrument fun. I am happy with my progress and am looking forward to being taught by Meggan Anderson now and in the future."

Leah, age 15, violin student

September 24, 2010

Studio News: Updated Handbook

The Anderson Music Studio Handbook has been updated for Fall 2010.
There are no major studio changes however,
students and parents are encouraged to read it.
Endorsements and reviews are coming.
I hope to make hard copies available very soon for your personal files.

September 23, 2010

A Book Signing!

About 18 months ago, I was approached by a woman from SBTS as a female alumni to submit a devotional on an excerpt from the Psalms. I did so and it has been published and all of the authors have been invited to return to Southern's campus for a book signing Thursday, October 14th, during Heritage Week. Jeramy, the girls and I will be heading up to Louisville and take advantage of this unique opportunity! The book is titled: Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms (ISBN 9780984065707). The book cost is $25 and the proceeds go to an endowment fund that generates scholarships for women. Let me know if you would like to purchase a copy to have signed. If you want to buy a copy, let me know (and send me the $$).

Read the copy of what I submitted HERE.

Potty! (No Pictures)

Lily pee peed in the potty for the first time yesterday! She will be two years old on January 4th.

I usually change her diaper before her nap. Both yesterday and today she woke from her nap with a dry diaper. I also had to use the restroom and figured we could go together. I sat her on the potty opposite me and we both smiled and talked while Moriah made faces in the bathroom mirror.

After I finished up and washed my hands, I put the toilet lid down and sat opposite her again, reminding her to stay on the potty. Then her expression changed dramatically; it was really funny. From smiling she suddenly looked very worried and nervous, as if she was saying, "I can't hold it anymore!" Then I began to hear the wonderful trickling sound! She would go a little, then stop, go a little more, then stop again. I smiled and kept telling her, "It's okay," and "Go pee pee. Go all of your pee pee." Then the smile returns to Lily's face and we wipe and review the deposit. Celebrations commence. Pictures were taken. Phone calls were made and it was wonderful! Yay Lily!!

September 22, 2010

A Quote for Mothers

What a gorgeous gift--the gift of birth--placed within the realm of woman's possibilities.

Think of it.

Bach's mother gave him the gift of birth.
Luther's mother gave him the gift of birth.
Michelangelo's mother gave him the gift of birth.
Beethoven's mother gave him the gift of birth.
Without the conscious choice to make this often costly gift of birth . . . the gifts individual people have brought into the stream of history could not have been given.

Edith Schaeffer

Shiphrah at One Month

This is the first time Moriah got to hold Shiphrah today! She was so elated -- see her big smile. Shiphrah seemed to tolerate it fine for about 2 minutes.

Shiphrah turned one month old this past Friday the 17th. She is already 5 weeks and it's gone by so fast, but at the time it really didn't. When she was screaming at night for several hours, each minute seems like an eternity. She doesn't scream at night any more because we pick her up and rock her to sleep.

She has gained 2 pounds and 6 ounces since birth (9 lbs. 6 oz.) and grown 2 and 1/2 inches (21.5 inches). She smiles while getting her diaper changed and she doesn't mind her baths. She seems to struggle with pressure in her belly and finds sitting upright and lying on her back uncomfortable for any length of time. This makes her a little high maintenance for this Momma of three, but we continue to adjust. She's a little cutie.

September 19, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

Things I'm thankful for:
536. Evidence of an attitude adjustment.
537. Hearing less complaining.
538. Less stress.
539. Less conflict.
540. Less hours up at night.
541. A hubby who rocks our baby back to sleep at 4 a.m.
542. No more struggles with breastfeeding.
543. Help with the house work/chores.
544. More affection from my honey.
545. Winning Callie's giveaway. :-)
546. Regaining some sanity.
547. Catching up on much needed sleep.
548. Black cherry sorbet.
549. Smiling faces at church.
550. Any time that my children decide to obey without debate, delay or fuss.

What are you thankful for today?

September 17, 2010

Great Hymns Challenge Us

When Trials Come
When trials come no longer fear
for in the pain our God draws near
to fire a faith worth more than gold
and there His faithfulness is told;
and there His faithfulness is told.

This song has come into my remembrance lately as our family is still making adjustments to our newest addition. I was meditating on this verse the other night around 3 a.m. or so and considered this: God's faithfulness.

What is God faithful to do?
Or, to whom is God faithful?

God is faithful to Himself -- to His own will. It is by the nature and virtue of His perfect being and character. His wisdom is infinite and perfectly holy.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25

So then the question is: what is God's will, as He is faithful to perform?

For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . .
1 Thessalonians 4:3

And since God is jealous for His own glory and in everything He does, He discloses some aspect of His glory, how is it that He would sanctify us? Not by our will and our way, because then we could have some room to boast in our own holiness. No. God is faithful to sanctify us using His means, His methods and according to His will, not ours. It's not about us. We are not in control. We do not have all power; if we did, we would not rely on Him at all for anything. There are no excuses we can make that give us a license to behave in an unholy, ungodly manner. We are still commanded and expected, as children of God, to obey our heavenly Father. "God says, "Obey."