Friday, December 2, 2016

Quiet Time/Devotions for 15 month old

First, I have to tell you a story about an insanely generous woman we just met from Craigslist.  We were selling our dining room table since the one we is pretty worn out and I wanted to replace it with a larger farmhouse table I could refinish.

The woman, her husband and granddaughter came to pick up the table and she was just exuding with kindness and joy from the minute she walked in the door.  She doted on Gideon and complimented him on his red hair, of course :)

When it came time for her to pay me she asked me to remind her how much the item was.  I am such a dork and couldn't remember...maybe $40 or 50?  I had it priced low I thought and had many other items listed at the moment so couldn't remember.

She pressed me to pull up the ad and I actually had it listed for $99 HA!  She said even that price was too low for the table and handed me over $200 cash.

After a lot of protesting and begging her to not pay DOUBLE the asking price...she declared she was the most stubborn person in the room, it was Christmas time, and she had a good week so wanted to pass along the blessing.

What??  We were so warmed by her generosity and kindness.  Who does that?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Galatians 5:22
_______________________________________________________________________
On to devotionals...

Lately I've been feeling convicted and excited to use a more intentional chunk of time with Gideon to shepherd his tiny heart towards knowing Jesus.

How sweet he is playing quietly with baby Jesus and reading his Bible (keep scrolling, people)

Ryan and I have prayed over and for him every day of his life.  We read his Jesus Storybook Bible (a worthy investment, promise!!) and talk to him even now about a relationship with Jesus and how our sin is the reason Jesus went to the cross.

Now that he is becoming more active and interested, I want to at least TRY to have a set apart daily quiet time/lesson for him.

I've felt a little lost to know how to do that but we have been sent some good tools and I think we have something for this season figured out!

Real life!  He got sad that I couldn't find the sheep

After breakfast we have been setting aside about 15 minutes for a "quiet time"...

Some days Gideon and I just sing our memory verses from the Seeds of Courage CD I'm OBSESSED with!  Just ask Ryan, I sing our memory verses to him and he is mega impressed with how catchy the tunes are.

Other days I read a short story to Gid out of my Bible making big hand motions to up the excitement factor and we draw what we talked about on our big coloring pad.

Since it's Christmas time I pulled out his Fisher Price nativity set and we read the story of Jesus' birth while we play with the toys.  That is usually a big win!

It just depends on the day but these are a few short activities that work for us.

He got bored and we played workshop and tools

My dear friend Beth has developed really neat resources that we are starting to use that focus on integrating your faith into your everyday life at home.  Check out this link for them.

A friend just sent over this kid friendly Advent devotional if you need one!

Another important resource has been the The Mother of Boys Society (MOB).   The women who run this website base the ministry on Deuteronomy 6:5, "we believe God has called us to help raise up a generation of men who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength."

Um, yes!  That is exactly what I want my mama mission to be.  MOB had a prayer challenge I went through earlier this month and many other articles and ideas on the website.

So those are a few ideas that we're using since he's just 15 months old but I'm excited to keep growing and expanding our time to love on him intentionally and raise him to be a man who loves the Lord. 

 It's the most important work I'll ever be a part of.

If you have other ideas and things that have worked...please share!

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1000 Gifts in November 921-1000+

It's the final day of our 1000 gifts in November challenge!!  And we made it 1000 gifts plus a few more!

This was so good for our hearts and came at a really important season in life for us.  I'm grateful we logged the endless blessings in our lives, discussed them together, and took the time to make sure our hearts were grateful to the Lord.

Here are a few pictures from November also since I haven't been as good about really updating here this month...

On Thanksgiving we spent the day with several of Ryan's co-workers and their families.  Gideon took two steps and then had a huge audience of "big kids" to keep him entertained the rest of the evening.  He was a happy guy!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  It was right on the ocean and truly a beautiful place.  It took 2.5 hours to get there but was worth the drive.  They have a 1.2 million gallon tank full of sharks, fish, turtles and more.  Ryan and Gideon were pointing at the 28 foot tall aquarium window holding the Kelp Forest

This little peanut enjoyed all the sights so much and seemed to be especially intrigued by the jelly fish exhibit

There was even a kid's area for water play and some other interactive spots to touch sea creatures

 Other random activities include going to open gym, the library, meeting daddy for lunch and playdates with his sweet friend Shep.  Also Gid is definitely in a stage of loving particular stuffed animals.  This is his Blue Blue and Mr. Fluffernutter who we also call "Professor" ha!

1000 Gifts in November
921. LifeNet training healthcare workers in DR Congo
922.  Fundraisers
923.  Giving away money
924.  Winter citrus candle
925.  Fresh sliced cucumbers
926.  Flashlights on our walk
927.  Bundling up Giddy Lou
928.  Long warm baths with the heater on
929.  Ryan getting a 4 day weekend
930.  Fresh fruit
931.  Chestnut Praline lattes
932.  Encouraging videos
933.  Missional Women
934.  Discipleship
935.  Living on mission
936.  Train sets for the boys
937.  The words Gideon knows--"Wow!"
938.  Smell of a peeled clementine
939.  Road trips
940.  Sitting in tension and pressure
941.  Growth and fruit
942. Prayer
943.  Wisdom
944. Compassion kiddos
945. IJM
946.  Horizons
947.  Tree of Life
948.  Sozo
949.  Mercy House
950.  Denver Rescue Mission
951.  Save Our Youth
952.  LifeNet
953.  Goldendoodles
954.  Our days being ordered
955.  Bacon and veggie scrambles for dinner
956.  Cloth diapers
957.  Whipping cream
958.  Homemade caramel sauce
959. James 1:27
960.  Downsizing and purging
961.  Foster care
962.  Adoption
963.  Strength
964.  Faithfulness
965.  Having days off for holidays
966.  Thanksgiving
967.  Christmas Eve
968.  Christmas Day
969.  Snapping picturs with the three of us
970.  Door locks
971.  Porch lights
972.  Aquarium day outings
______________________________________________________________________

973. Ginger candies
974. Undeserved grace from the Lord
975. Undeserved grace from Carly
976. Carpooling
977. Challenging emails from friends
978. Neuro floor
979. Wife’s BSN
980. Challenging weeks that ultimately set my family and I up for better health
981. Selling the corolla
982. Warm vest
983. Wife’s craving for something crunchy!
984. Making fun of the new Gilmore Girls with my wife
985. Tests in life that root my identity in the Lord
986. Clean clothes
987. A kind lady from craigslist
988. Meeting Jake and learning about his policy academy goals
989. Gideon’s 1.5 steps over the weekend
990. Gideon drinking water by himself from a big cup… because that’s what big boys do
991. Pens that don’t smear on my left hand as I write
992. Magnifying Jesus like a telescope
993. Shrimp gumbo
994. Honey nut cheerios
995. United decisions with my wife
996. Restful thanksgiving weekends
997. Supportive family and friends
998. Comfortable couches
999. Hot water
1000. Peppermint tea
1001. Working appliances
1002. Craigslist macbook pro
1003. CEI
1004. Jonathan Spencer
1005. Colorado School of Mines
1006. KAUST
1007. Healing Waters
1008. Lifewater
1009. Math
1010. Mrs. Kissler (high school calculus teacher)
1011. New and free haircut (thanks wife)
1012. Stress management

Monday, November 28, 2016

1000 Gifts in November 876-920

I just realized I never posted our apartment picture tour!  I took these awhile ago but might as well throw them up on this thankful post.   The only rooms I didn't include are the master bedroom and bathroom because they are nothing exciting right now.

 I'm so grateful for affordable, clean, safe housing here in California!  There is a park near by we walk to often, a cute neighborhood we do our nightly walk in, and just about every store we could want just a short drive away. 




We are almost done with our 1000 gifts in November.  I saw this quote from Ann Voskamp today and I think it's so beautiful and true...

"The real gift of gratitude is that the THE MORE GRATEFUL YOU BECOME is the more you realize God is present."

1000 Gifts in November
876.  Board games with a friend
877.  Banana, cocoa, peanut butter, almond milk smoothie
878.  Kissing Gideon’s head in the carrier and watching him giggle
879.  Honey
880. Bees that make the honey that I love so much
881.  Trust the Lord with a lot of things
882.  A charged battery on my kindle
883.  My wife’s cooking
884.  Kind note and gift card from Cle babe
885.  The feeling when all bills are paid
886.  Gummy worms / bears – my wife’s first pregnancy craving
887.  Pulling into work right on time
888.  Carly and Gideon coming to work for lunch
889.   Pandora music
890.  Instrumental praise station on Pandora
891.  Meghan Trainor station on Pandora 
892.  Chess
893.  Stratego
894. Children making us better
895. My wife’s strength
896.  All the hundreds of things my wife does to serve her boys
897.  Setting goals and vocalizing ambitions
898. Reinforced family values
899.  Safe drinking water
900.  A place to use the restroom with dignity
__________________________________________________________________________

901. Appetizer lunches
902.  The availability in my schedule to watch 3 sweet boys
903.  Tuesdays
904.  Christmas stories
905.  Ibuprofen and being to afford it
906.  Unbelievable safety and luxury in the USA
907.  Praying for Aleppo
908.  The nurses and doctors serving in Aleppo
909.  The White Helmets
910.  Access to safe, funded hospitals should we ever require them
911.  BLS and ACLS certifications
912.  Writing a grocery list
913.  Wipes and diapers
914.  Email
915.  Gluten free lavender cake mix
916.  Armed forces
917.  Congressional representatives we can write to
918.  Looking up recipes
919.  Nap time phone calls with so many women I love and cherish
920.  Pineapple clementine spinach smoothies
921.  Sunshine and vitamin D

Saturday, November 26, 2016

1000 Gifts in November 825-875

Switch up!  This time my gifts are listed first and Ryan's second because I didn't see his e-mail until after I started drafting this.

On Saturday morning Ryan made us breakfast and then we busted out a gingerbread house!  Gideon ate a lot of the contruction pieces and we liked seeing him covered in frosting and really doing nothing to help with the actual building.

I'm so thankful for Christmas and sweet activities like this!




1000 Gifts in November
825. Coconut hot chocolates
826. Rain
827. Christmas movies
828. A day in with the 3 of us together
829. Gideon ordering a short whipped cream at Starbucks
830. Making a gingerbread house
831. Having Christmas music on
831. Decorating a tiny Christmas tree together
832. Chicken avocado wraps
833. Hashbrowns
834. Fresh smelling laundry
835. Nativity play toys
836.  A wild toddler
837. Wearing sweats all day
838. Gideon covered in frosting
839. Red and gold ornaments everywhere
840. Fish kisses
841.  Dreaming while you sleep
842. Shelter
843. Looking back at old photos
844.  Ordering Christmas cards
845. Meeting Daddy for lunch at work
______________________________________________________

846. The book of acts and the power of the Holy Spirit
847. Peter telling a crippled man from birth to walk in the name of Jesus Christ.
848. Money to pay bills
849. 30 years of life
850. Fresh honey from a California farm
851. Renters insulating our garage
852. Budgeting and dreaming with my wife
853. Carly singing Gideon Christmas songs in November!
854. Topped off oil in an old car
855. Sleeping in wool socks
856.   Sleeping next to Car
857.   Family coming to the office for lunch
858. Skype calls that introduce Gideon to old friends
859. Kindle
860. Reading harry potter again
861. Having 3 pillows – 2 under my head and 1 on my chest
862.  Soft clothes
863.  Cooking breakfast for my family on Sunday
864. Noise maker
865. Bath toys (for me of course!)
866. Bath towels with build in hoodie
867. Gideon’s curiosity
868. A pantry full of food
869. Cheerios with almond milk
870. Carly teasing me before bed when I am too tired to get her back
871.  Rain storms
872.   Refunds
873.   A God that wants us to cast our burdens on him because he cars
874.  Gifting our renters a small amount off rent for Christmas
875.   Rental income

Thursday, November 24, 2016

1000 Gifts in November 781-824

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I have such fond memories from my childhood of waking up to the turkey already roasting in the oven and that smell mingled with Nat King Cole's holiday CD dancing up the stairs. In most recent years, Ryan and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our home.  We start the day with a long walk together, then get to work prepping the turkey, and Christmas music plays while we spend the day together in the kitchen talking and eating.

This is definitely a favorite holiday for me!  

Like every year, we have the Macy's Day parade on (Gid will love it!), I have poured a fresh cup of coffee while I'm cooking and baking, and our kitchen smells like comfort and love.  I will pop Gideon in his Learning Tower and he will definitely think he's a big kid helper today :)

We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving with two other families we have come to know and love here in California and it will be mass chaos with 8 kids, 8 adults, and plenty of food.  Our food contributions are homemade cranberry sauce, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and an apple cake topped with homemade caramel sauce.  

Everything I'm making is Ryan "friendly" so he will have plenty to eat on his SCD diet.

Here is our ongoing thankful list...try to list 100 gifts today yourself.  It's easier than you think!


1000 Gifts in November
781.  Tennis shoes that keep my feet warm
782.   Technology to connect with Cambodia staff
783.  Opportunities
784. Vaccines that protect my son
785.   Carly getting to work a few hours
786. Joking with my dad
787. No moisture on my car windows this morning
788. Gasoline to get to work
789. Smart, legit, and funny coworkers
790. Thanksgiving potlucks
791. My wife’s sweet potato casserole
792. Rotisserie chicken
793. Learning to trust God’s promises in a new way
794. The way God’s promises directly attack anxiety
795. My wife’s shy smile
796. Conflict resolution
797. Saturday morning Skype calls
798. Sock will with rice 
799.  Microwave
800. My wedding ring (I’m taken ladies :) )
   _______________________________________________________________________

801. Recognizing attacks on God's plan for us
802. Rebuking attacks with scripture
803. Reminders of our identity in Christ
804. 8:30 am sleep ins for Giddy Lou
805. Wading through disappointment
806. Family time training
807. Doughy toddler cheeks
808. Tiny red ringlets down a soft baby neck
809. My two blue eyed boys
810. Ryan playing board games with a friend
811. Girl's night
812. Being invited into new circles
813. Pesto cheese
814. Liberty red wine
815. Sliced persimmons
816. Access to a good pediatrician
817. Vaccines
818. Scientists who research vaccines
819. Founders of the SCD and how effective it is
820. Intricacy of the human body
821. Packed lunch for Gideon on his playdate
822. Ryan's Thanksgiving potluck
823. Mountain view out our kitchen window
824. Episodes of Octonauts

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1000 Gifts in November 701-780

Top list is Ryan's and the bottom is mine!

Here are a few pics of us opening up the mother of all care package from Grammy Nelson! WOW!!!  She packed that thing full to the brim and blessed us so much.  Gideon's favorite items were a bell, snowman cup, and window stickers.

I loved my Christmas candles and soaps while Ryan dug into his beef jerky and got the Christmas lights she sent up and running.  Thank you mom/Grammy!




1000 Gifts in November
701. Calling friends and family on commute home
702.  Dreaming and serious processing with my wife
703. Gideon sleeping in until 8 am
704.  Holding Gideon for his nap because he is restless and wants to sleep in dad’s arms
705.  My wife getting a job offer
706. A warm apartment with electricity and running water
707. Friends asking you to pray for them
708. Double monitors at work 
709. People laughing at work
710.  Grace to cover all things
711.  Homemade meatball sandwiches
712.  Brainstorming about seasons in life
713. Joe Meverden
714.  Beth Meverden
715. Orange coolaid
716.  CPCC Youth Group
717. YMCA of the Rockies – where I rededicated my life to Jesus
719. Learning and playing guitar
720.  Dad and son time when mom is out and about
_______________________________________________________________________

721.  Sliced bread
722.  Being able to afford groceries
723.  Stocked grovery stores
724.  Chatting with moms at open gym time
725.  Washing tiny hands
726.  Gideon knowing how to work the blender
727.  Spinach, orange, banana smoothies
728.  Ephesians 6
729.  The Carters
730.  The Langes
731.  The Bakers
732.  Penny Pie
733.  The Stewarts
734.  The Clarks
735.  The Bishops
736.  The Bolts
737.  The Careys
738.  The Basses
739.  The Jones
740. The Woelbers
741.  The Wrights
742. The Martins
743.  The Boorens
744.  Kitty Cat 
745.  The Andersons
746.  Jearlean
747.  The Malones
748.  The Carvers
749.  The Cooks
750.  Dr.  Blake
751.  The Frieds
752.  The Hutchinsons
753.  The Habernals
754.  Dr.  Fender
755.  The Cordovas
756.  The Krokos
757.  The Lindermans
758.  The Los
759.  The Makuhs
760.  The Butlers
761.  The Seslers
762.  The Meyers
763.  The Olsens
764.  The Prestons
765.  The Seitzs
766.  The Telescos
767.  The Thurstons
768.  The Gerrards
769.  The Webers
770.  The Jetts
771.  The Walters
772.  My Nelson aunts and uncles
773.  My Zimmerman aunts and uncles
774.  Our Decker aunts and uncles
775.  Our Preister aunts and uncles
776.  The Spencers
777.  The Swopes
778.  The Rickers
779.  The Lewises
780.  The Pipers

(lot's of names and people were in previous posts just FYI ;) )

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