Thursday, August 30, 2007

A new revelation

Have you ever been reading through your Bible and something strikes you in a totally new way? I was reading in Galatians this morning, the chapter with the fruit of the Spirit. It's chapter five. Thanks to my Bible Commentary, I noticed something that I had never noticed before. In verse 19, Paul refers to the 'works' of the flesh, plural. However, in verse 22, he refers to the 'fruit' of the Spirit, singular. My Bible notes had two things to say about this.

1. The works of the flesh are things that we do on our own, by our own efforts. That's why they're called 'works'. However, the fruit of the Spirit can only be produced by the Holy Spirit. Nothing that we try to do on our own can produce 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Now, this was nothing really new to me. However, read on for the part that surprised me.

2. Notice also that the works of the flesh are plural, but the fruit of the Spirit is singular--indivisible! In other words, when an individual fully gives his/her life over to the Spirit, he will produce all of these fruits!

This was a new revelation to me. I had always had the sinful thoughts of "Well, so and so is good at being joyful, and so and so is good at being patient, and I am good at loving." Almost as if these were different talents or gifts that different people had. Wrong attitude! If the Spirit has full control over my life, then I should be displaying all of these fruits!

So, I guess that it is safe to conclude that when I worry and have no peace, I have stolen a piece of my life from the Spirit. Or when I lose my patience, I have failed to give a part of my life totally to Him.

Now, I don't always agree with my Bible Commentary, but I have to say that on this particular point, it has shed some new and welcome light on what I thought was a familiar subject!

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ketchup man

This big mess from one little squirt of ketchup!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I have been reading, or rather 'browsing' through an interesting book lately. It's called "The not so big house", by Sarah Susanka with Kira Obolensky. The author is not so concerned with the size of the house, but rather the 'mood' that it puts forth. In this book, the main idea the author presents is that there is a new trend toward 'Not so Big' houses---houses that aim not so much at largeness and impressing, but rather comfort and character. In other words, the home you live in, no matter now large or small, should reflect who you are as an individual or family. What passions do you have, what things interest you, what things give you comfort?
For example, the home of an art lover will probably be covered from floor to ceiling with beautiful and thought-provoking art-work. Walk into the home of a musician, and you'll here music coming from the CD player, you'll see instruments in the living room, and you'll see copies of music scores laying around. A book lovers house will have endless book-shelves and comfortable reading corners. The 'not so big' houses are aimed at improving the quality of life for those living in them, and providing a 'window' into the soul of those people.
So, I asked myself, what would someone think when walking into my house for the first time? Does our home meet the needs of our family? So, take an imaginary walk with me through my house....
When walking in my front door, you'll probably first notice that you have to gingerly step over huge lego blocks in order to not twist your ankle. There is a nice book-shelf on the far wall stuffed full of all kinds of children's books.
Walk into my kitchen, and you'll see two booster seats at my table, canisters of play-dough on top of my fridge, and most likely more toys in the cupboard or on the floor. On many days, there is also a generous amount of crumbs laying around.
You'll probably notice our 'family photo wall' as you walk down our hall-way. You'll see little tooth-brushes on our bathroom sink, tub toys in our shower, and a potty seat on our toilet.
On most days, our bed is covered with clean laundry, waiting to be put away. Both children's rooms are well-used, so there are often many toys scattered around and being played with.
If it's late enough in the day, you might be lucky enough to smell dinner baking in the oven, waiting on my beloved husband to come home.
There is a wading pool in our front yard, and pumpkin-cookie finger prints on our door.
And that is our home. It is usually tidy enough, but not spic and span. And we love it. It is the home Joel and I moved into after we were married. It is the home we brought both of our babies to. It is where we laugh and play and love our children.
So, I hope that after walking through my home, you would conclude that our passion is our family, our children. They are everything for us.
And, after looking through this book, I feel confident that I have created my own 'not so big' home. It fits our families needs. It serves its purpose. It is filled with laughter and love.
Thank God for 'Home Sweet Home'

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lesson learned

Just a warning...never, ever, ever EVER try shopping in WalMart the Saturday before school starts.

Joel and I (with the kids) did this past Saturday, and boy was it an adventure.

It was, like my husband said in his sermon this morning "Like the running of the bulls" I had no clue what that meant, but those of you who do will understand.

It was 'bumper to bumper', cart to cart, etc, etc.

I watched all the high-school and college students walking around with piles of notebooks, paper, pens, calculators, and back packs, and remembered again how grateful I am that part of my life is over. Yes, I have some good memories from that part of my life, but I'm creating even better ones now with my husband and two children :)

So, we finally made our way through WalMart, down the crowded aisles, past the screaming, tired children, the weary workers, and all the displays of school supplies.

We stood in line for.....oh, quite a while. And then, we finally walked out the store, exultant in our wonderful purchase----

Two tooth-brushes and a tooth-brush holder.
Folks, it just wasn't worth it :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I was 'sinkin......

This is what came out of my two-year old's mouth tonight at the dinner table.

Cosette: (With her hand on her chin and a thoughtful expression on her face) Daddy, I was sinkin (thinking) that I have a good idea!
Daddy: Oh? What is that?
Cosette: Well, I was sinkin' that we should have a gate outside.
Daddy: A gate?
Cosette: Yeah, you know, across the drive-way and the yard so Eli can't get out.
Daddy: Oh, you mean like a fence?
Cosette: Yeah, and it should be able to open so that you can get your van in and out.
Daddy: That's a very good idea, Cosette. What made you think of that?
Cosette: Well, I don't want Eli to go on the road. Can we put up a gate?
Daddy? Well, we don't have a gate to put up tonight, Cosette.
Cosette: Yes we do, we have one downstairs!(She was referring to our baby gate)
Daddy: (Hiding a smile) Oh, that gate would not be big enough to cover our whole yard, Cosette.
Cosette: Oh, okay. Then we will have to buy one.

Joel and I were amazed at her ability to think up a whole different conversation than what we were originally talking about, and then express her ideas clearly and in full, understandable sentences. And she wasn't even talking about baby-dolls or playing with her friends. She thought up a legitimate problem, and figured out a solution to it. We always said how different things would be when our children could talk, and we are quickly finding out that we were right :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Our daily life

I'm sorry it's been several days since I've posted anything. I haven't really taken any pictures this week, and I've had brain-freeze every time I've thought about doing a new post. So, I thought maybe I'd just give you an update on how everybody is doing in the Curtis household.

Joel--Joel is very busy with work this time of the year. I suppose everybody is anxious to get their wood-stoves up and running before the cold season comes. Whatever the reason, he is finding himself with more than plenty to do each day. He is also enjoying being part of a musical that several churches in our community are doing. Practice is only once a week, so it's not been a big burden on us or anything. I think the musical is going to be performed in October sometime, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Jaime--Just my normal being home and taking care of the kids. I haven't started piano lessons up for the fall yet, but I anticipate students starting to call here soon. That will make my afternoons more interesting, as I try to schedule lessons around my kids nap times. I am also still getting over this pleurisy. One day I will feel pretty good, and the next day I feel pretty lousy again. I had a couple of tests done at the doctors the other day just to make sure it's not something else I'm suffering from , and I'm waiting for those tests to come back this afternoon. Other than that, life continues as normal.

Cosette--She is proving quite the challenge for her mama lately. I don't know if it is my being sick, or her being two, or a combination of the two, that is making life difficult lately. I find myself 'butting heads' with her alot . I'm trying to be the loving, caring parent, but she is really wearing my patience thin. However, by God's grace we will get through this trying time. I must add, however, that she is learning many positive things as well, such as clearing up her spot at the table, helping to fold laundry, and more Bible memory verses. God grants me times of joy and love with her each day which help me to work through the rough times.

Eli-- He loves to wave to people and say 'hi'. He loves having a bath, taking walks, and looking at books. He hates having his teeth brushed. We just recently worked through this, and I thought the issue was solved, but he is really having problems with it again. Maybe he's cutting more teeth? He is really a sweetie-pie right now--he gives big hugs, lots of kisses, and will occasionally just start patting me on the back. Oh, and he's learning to use a spoon at the table. That's always fun :) He also pushed the button and turned the computer off while I was typing this post, so this is the second time I've typed it :(

So that's life in our house recently. Hopefully my brain will un-freeze and I'll have something more interesting to post about next time :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Capturing the moments

Here's a couple of sweet moments that happened at our house recently. The first is one of Cosette and Eli enjoying the frosting left in a bowl. With children around, simple things seem more special than normal. The second picture is Eli enjoying his hat. Isn't he sweet? :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A little girls perspective

Last night, Joel and I had a date night. We went grocery shopping. Now, before you laugh, let me explain that yesterday was the grand opening for a new Martins in our area. It's great! They have an internet cafe, a huge produce section (I didn't even know there were such things as yellow baby carrots!), aisles and aisles of nothing but organic and natural food, a seafood section that's much better than the old Martins, and so on and so on. Joel and I were really looking forward to having our date night without the kids and taking our time looking around the new store and trying to locate everything! So, my mom agreed to watch the kids for us. Joel had a long day at work, and by the time we dropped the kids off at my parents, it was almost 7:00. Their bedtime was in a very short while! So, we decided that since they'd be asleep soon anyway, we'd just let them there over-night, and I would pick them up the next morning. (My parents only live like two miles from my house. What a blessing!) It was the first time Eli had spent the night there.

So, anyway, I got up this morning and ate breakfast in a very quiet house, made the bed, and took a shower. I was amazed at how quickly I got out the door after my shower without any kids!

When I got down to my parents house, my hair was still pretty wet from my shower. Cosette looked at me, confused, and said:

"Did you take a shower at the grocery store?!"

We all had to laugh! I guess in her little mind, I had been at the grocery store all night!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My sweet man...

My wonderful husband is so sweet. He will occasionally leave me encouraging notes in the morning before he goes to work. You know, like, "Hope you have a good day", "Thanks for everything you do", stuff like that. It's always a nice surprise to find one.
Well, he generally hides them places where he thinks I'll be sure to find them during the day---on the bathroom mirror, by the computer, taped to the milk jug in the fridge, etc, etc.
Well, guess where he stuck one this morning! Inside a container of store-bought cookies that were sitting on the counter. Now, I wonder why he felt so sure I'd find it there.... :)

I love you, Joel!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday pictures

Fun at Grandma's house
"Do we have to do this, mom?"

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The differences

How little girls like to spend their days....

playing with their baby dolls.

How little boys like to spend their days.....

showing off their muscles :)


My daughter is turning into quite the social butterfly!

Most mornings, after we've all had our breakfast, brushed our teeth, made our beds, etc, etc, (which can take a large part of the morning), I load Eli up into the stroller and we head down the road for a nice long walk. Cosette has just recently gotten big enough that I allow her to walk to, provided that she stays right by my side.

Well, in times past, when the kids were smaller, or even before kids, I hardly even knew our neighbors. I might smile or wave as we walked past, but that was it. I tend to be kind of 'introverted'--sometimes a bit too much so!

Well, this is fast changing now! My daughter is pushing me out of my comfort zone. If we walk past someone's house and they're out in the yard, Cosette makes a point to stop and say hi. She waves until she gets the person's attention. She asks what their name is. She says what a nice day it is for a walk. She tells them she likes the flowers in their yard, or asks what their puppy's name is. She tells them her name, and introduces her Mommy and Eli. And the neighbors in turn smile, and often times walk over to the edge of their yard to say hi.

Cosette is so good at this! It just seems to come naturally to her. ME, I'd rather curl up in a ball and die before introduce myself to a stranger! It's just doesn't come easily to me. But now, with Cosette, I am being forced to change! When my TWO YEAR OLD stops and says hi, it would certainly look pretty silly for me to not at least say hi myself and engage in a short conversation.

And you know what? The funny thing is, I'm starting to look forward more and more to our morning walks! I wonder which neighbor will be out this morning, or if so and so will be cutting their grass, or if the little boy down the street will be out riding his bike again. Our morning walks have become more than just an exercise time. They are a time to get out 'in the neighborhood' and say hi to some folks!

As we returned to our house the other morning, Cosette commented "Mommy, I like talking to all of our neighbors!"

I smiled as I thought what a valueable lesson my two-year old had just taught me. My neighbors are not secretive, scary people who will be offended if I stop and say hi. (Okay, so I never really thought that they were, but you get my point) They are normal people, just like me, and I need to grow up like my two year old and start saying hi :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

My grateful heart

My little man, how big you're getting! You're not even a baby in your crib anymore. In fact, when you stretch all out like that, you could use some extra space.

You saw your Daddy coming home from work today and yelled excitedly "Daaadd---yyyyy!!!" I think that must be the high-light of every day for you--when your daddy comes home! And I imagine that must be the high-light of his days as well!

I was so proud of you today. I handed you a sippy cup full of milk, and without my prompting, you said thank-you. No, you didn't sign thank you, you said thank you. It wasn't exactly clear and crisp, but it was obvious enough that I knew what you meant! And then again later, you said it again! What a polite little man you are!

And then, when I came back home from the grocery store this evening, you ran to me with arms open wide and gave me a big bear hug. You looked at me with love in your eyes as if I'd been gone a year---when in fact, it was only 30 minutes.

And so, little man, as I look at you there asleep in your bed, sometimes I find it hard to believe that you are mine. But you are. You are mine, a gift 'on loan' from God. What precious gifts God loves to give to His children.....

Friday, August 03, 2007


Sometimes you just read those things that are totally inspiring, and make you want to be a 'better person' all around. I've come across a few of those 'reads' lately!
Now, anyone who knows me also knows that the word 'cozy' was once banned from my vocabulary because...I use it too much! I am all about comfort foods, loving families, big quilts, hot coffee on a rainy get the picture. My family (my parents and siblings, that is), at one point decided they'd had enough and told me to drop the 'cozy' word and get a life! Point taken....
However, read some of these blogs/news articles I've mentioned below, and I think you'll get a better perspective on my love of 'coziness.' The families in these blogs are very inspiring. I just recently came across them, and have been enjoying reading about their day-to-day activities and family life. They just really exemplify to me the peace, satisfaction, and yes, even coziness that can result when a family is run well under God's leadership.

This first family, mentioned in this news article, just had their 17th child! Yep, you read that correctly. Seventeen! Now, I live in a community where it's not unusual to see large families---8-12 kids. But 17? This was the first I'd heard of that many :) Check out their page.

This second family has a very nice blog. There are all kinds of helpful things on here, like yummy recipes and just fun reading.

The third family has a beautiful blog that just speaks volumes about what their family and home life must be like. Every time I've visited I've been interested to see what new thing they're posting about today! (Much thanks to andrea for pointing out this site!)

So, have some fun, get a cup of coffee or tea, and check out some of these sites. I think you'll agree with me that 'coziness', at least in moderation, has it's place :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summer Treats

Alot of hard work....

for a yummy reward :)

Daddy's treat of ice-cream :)

Someone remind me again how old she is!

Just some proof that Cosette is actually two going on twenty.....

"Daddy, make sure you fill up your water jug and drink lots of water! It will be hot out there today, Daddy!"

"Daddy, you look sleepy, do you want to lay down on the bed and take a nap?

In response to a nice lady in a store saying "Oh, hi there, you're cute!"

Yes, and my name is Cosette, and I am two, but I will be three on my next birthday, and this is my brother Eli. He is one, but on his next birthday, he will be two. I like to go shopping,......and so on, and so on.

The lady looked quite a bit surprised!
"Mommy, I will take care of you. Do not worry. I will take care of you."
(I'm not sure why I needed to be 'taken care of' at the time, but she was gonna do it! )
"Mommy, I would like to make an appeal. No nap today, please. Only quiet time!"

Yes, at two years old Joel is teaching her to make 'appeals'. In other words, if we give a final yes or no answer that she doesn't agree with, she's allowed to politely and respectfully make one, and only one, 'appeal'. This is a nice way for her to be able to share her point of view without foot stomping, yelling, that type of thing. This doesn't mean she'll always get her way, and whatever the final decision is, the proper response is 'Yes ma'am' But we've been really proud of her :)
And finally....

"Mommy, I am going to get married and wear a pretty white dress. I am going to marry Ryan (her friend from church). I will go to the library for my honeymoon! You and Daddy and Eli can come too, Mommy!"

Oh dear, I hope she isn't picking out china patterns yet.... ;)


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