Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Birthday Wishes!

It is so hard to believe that our daughter turned 1 today at 15:51. As I reflect on the past year, my heart is so full. Blessing has amazed me every day. She is an amazing little girl who has taught me so much. I can't believe that a year has passed.

Blessing has taught me all about patience. Every day she tests me and pushes my buttons, especially on the days where she is clingy. Blessing tends to want my full attention at all times - one of the problems of being a stay-at-home mommy. However, Blessing pushing my buttons is worth every second of being home. It has been very wonderful to be able to make sacrifices to spend time with her. It has been awesome to see the little things that happen as a baby grows into a toddler - from rolling over, to laughing, to taking the first step. I can't imagine missing one second of that.

I wish that I could put all that I am feeling into words. Blessing is so much of a blessing. She is the light of my life, the one thing that tends to shine even when the going gets tough. Over this past year, she has made me smile so many times and laugh that many more times. She has caused my heart to break as she has fallen off the couch or missed a step and fallen down a step or two. She has made me just shake my head as she wasn't wearing a diaper and decided to poop and then smear it on every step as she came to the main floor from the second floor. She has tested my patience as she has thrown food off the table onto the floor, and then managed to smoosh it into the carpet.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy her cuddling. When she was first born, she didn't want anything to do with cuddling with mommy. She would cuddle with daddy and fall asleep for him. But not mommy. However, in the past month, she has cuddled with me. She has fallen asleep on my chest several times and ran to me and given me gigantic hugs. Those hugs mean the world. It is so rewarding to be hugged and to know that she appreciates me and loves me just as much as I love her.

I would give my life for her. I want to protect her, teach her, and help her to develop into a beautiful young girl. Each day, I want to help her to learn about her Creator and discover life.

I'm not very good with this, but Blessing, you are an amazing young girl. You have taught me so many things - from what love is to caring for a little person. You have given me joy that couldn't have come from anywhere else. You have given me peace. You have helped me to find my true place in life - to discover what happiness truly is. Blessing, you have changed my life and helped me to become a better person - just by being you. You have helped me to see who I was and strive to be a better person, a better mommy, and a better wife for your daddy. Blessing, you have helped me to focus on the good things in life. I love you and will do anything for you. You are a Child of God!

Ok, on another note, we had Blessing's birthday party on Sunday. We invited grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a few friends who have meant a lot to us. We had a meal (lasagne, homemade rolls, salad, and of course, cake and ice cream). Following the meal, we opened up gifts and then ate cake and homemade ice cream. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with excitement and fellowship. Blessing received some much needed things (a Leap Frog discovery table, a sheep rocker, a rocking chair, an outside swing, a push/riding toy, some mega blocks, and a couple of outfits). These were unexpected, but so very much appreciated. Blessing will get some excellent use out of them and enjoy playing with them.

Happy Birthday to our amazing little girl! We wish you many more years of happiness and many more years of discovery and learning. Know that your mommy and daddy loves you so much and will always be here for you! We love you!

Pictures will come soon!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Galations 5:22-23 ~~But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

During this past week, this verse has been brought to my mind several times as we have been picking "fruit" from our garden. We have been picking zuccini, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, and onions. Each time we have picked fruit, this verse has come up and made me think of ways to apply it to everything I do.

Some of the fruits of the spirit we have practiced lately is patience, self-control, and faithfulness. To pick "fruit" from the garden, one has to be patient enough to wait for it to get ripe and faithful enough to keep the garden weeded, watered, and looking healthy. It takes time to raise home-grown "fruits," but it is so worth it. We have also had to practice self-control. If we eat all the tomatoes in one setting, then there is none left for the next day. Also, we have had to have self-control so we can share them with others. We have given 3 precious tomatoes away.

Our daughter is learning all about kindness and gentleness. This past weekend, we went camping at grandma and grandpa's house. They have four kittens that run around and catch their mice. Well, Blessing will point at the kittens and walk towards them trying to catch them. Once she gets to them, she will grab them by their ears to pick them up or hit them. As parents, it is our job to instill kindness and gentleness. We show our daughter how to treat the kittens and be gentle and kind. We show her her to pet the kittens to make their motors run and how to feed them, showing them kindness. It is a tough lesson for an almost one year old to learn, but one that we are trying to teach.

Another fruit of the spirit is joy. Joy is something that I have been struggling with over the past year. It has been hard for me to be joyful with everything going on with my husband's recovery, job loss, and job search. However, I tend to feel joyful at least a little bit each and every day. This comes through my daughter. She reminds me how to laugh at the little things, how to enjoy the goofiness of my husband, and how to appreciate all that I do have. Lately she has been running between Mr. Tall and I (playing her own game). She will give us giant hugs one time and then get almost to us and turn around and run toward the other. It just makes me smile and laugh. That is one time that I truly do feel joyful. One of these days, I will be joyful at all times, without my daughter reminding me.

Love. What can I say about love except to show it at all times to everybody. I have had a few experiences lately where I have been able to show love, not only to my family, but to strangers. One stranger in Wal-Mart helped me to carry a very heavy battery out to my car. After he had put it in my car, I talked a few minutes with him and just showed him love and gratitude. I show love to my family every day. I work at cleaning the house, make dinner/lunch/breakfast, do laundry, and spend time with them. On the 4th of July, we went to town to watch fireworks. We sat about 300 yards away from where they lit them off, a little close for an almost 1 year old. Anyway, she watched them without moving. However, she was scared and just needed my love. So, I held her tight and comforted her through tight squeezes. I know that she sure appreciated it.

Goodness and faithfulness. These are two that are hard to explain. I remain faithful to my husband, daughter, and God. I try to remain faithful to my routines and to my friends. It is hard to explain goodness - except that God is good. He has been providing for us. A good friend of mine came through at the last minute (after disappearing for a month) and provided just what I needed to make my pampered chef goal for June. He provided just tonight with another possible July show, after two had cancelled. I need two shows to meet my goal for July.

Overall, I am working on the fruits of the spirit. It is amazing how every day things can bring me to a place of awe. It has been amazing how the silent time has been working (see previous post on solitude). Just turning off the television or the radio has made a huge difference for me - it has allowed me to appreciate God's goodness in all parts of life!

Well, enough for now. God is so good!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Camping and other things

We finally got to go camping! It really wasn't camping - as we ran around a lot, but it was still camping!

Our camper was in a wind storm back in March. The damage was a hole in the side of the camper and the roof torn. Therefore, we had to wait on insurance and have 2 panels on the side replaced and a new roof. There were a few other things repaired as well.

So, on Monday, when we got the call that our camper was done, we were extremely excited. We went and picked it up and began work the next morning at getting it ready. I cleaned out 3 boxes of stuff that we had never used and donated them to a local charity.

On Thursday afternoon, we pulled out of our driveway to go camping. We pulled to a local small campsite and set up. It was a blast! Blessing enjoyed every minute of camping, and actually slept better in the camper than at home! She just played and played and had a ball.

Like I said earlier, it really wasn't camping like we like to camp. We camped close enough to home that we had to run home several times to get a few things that we had forgotten. I also had a pampered chef party to do Friday night and Mr. Tall and Blessing ran home home to bid farewell to his brother who is going over to Iraq. Saturday, we drove around looking for garage sales and then ran to town to get a tire fixed for the car and take Blessing swimming.

Swimming - what a joy. Blessing enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. She played with another girl about her age for awhile. She enjoyed mommy and daddy's undivided attention. She was having so much fun that she cried when we took her out of the pool to warm up - she was shivering because the air was cold! She was glad to get back into the pool!

Sunday, we woke up and went to church before packing things up to go home. It was a good chance for us to find what we were missing from the camper and to just get away from our house for awhile.

Besides camping, we have been busy getting ready for Mr. Tall to go back to work. He has also been going to town several times a week for reading tutoring. This has been making a big difference as he has started reading books to Blessing!

I have been busy with Pampered Chef. Even though it is July, I am trying to finish up my June promotion and get ready for a busy August - 8 shows plus vacation in the middle!

Also, I took Blessing to the doctor today. She woke up with a red spot on her head on Monday morning. Then, this morning, she woke up with a golf ball sized knot on her head. I was extremely worried and just called the doctor to see what to do. She wanted to see her, so I ran to the doctor to find out it was probably just a pimple/bug bite (red spot) and a bump (she had ran into something). I am glad I took her, but it just broke up the day a little.

Randomness - that is what happens when I am sleep deprived. With Blessing waking up several times at night and being up late trying to accomplish a few things, sleep has been little.

What a life!


Just so you can follow what is going on, names have been changed to the following:

Mrs. Haven - me; a wife, mother, homemaker, and teacher

Mr. Tall - my wonderful husband, a very tall man

Blessing - our beautiful daughter, a perfect blessing in trying times