Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Barfo-rama!

If anyone remembers that classic scene in "Goonies" where Chunk confesses to his captors that the worst thing he ever did was to make barf sounds in the movie theater, which made someone really hurl, then one by one everyone in the theater started upchucking! Well...it wasn't quite that bad, but almost!

I think there were two or three different variations of the stomach flu going around, one coming out the top half and the other coming out the bottom half. Some of us were lucky enough to get both kinds. Check it out...

Monday last week: Andy (Ben's brother in Mansfield) got it
Friday last week: Z and I got it
Saturday: We had a big family get together this day. Jenna (my niece) and Missy (Andy's wife) got it, Z was still puking too. Missy said baby Owen was puking too, but he always pukes.
Sunday: Ben got it, later in the day Ben's mom and sister, Bekah got it too
Monday (Christmas Eve): Biz and Jeremy (his sister and brother-in-law) got it
Tuesday (Christmas Day): Today we all got together again, figuring all of us has been sick, what's the harm? Ben's youngest sister, Debbi, got it, and later in the day I got the other variation of it
Wednesday: Z woke up with explosive diarrhea. And the worst part, Ben's Dad and his new wife, Amy, left for their honeymoon today, after spending all morning with all of us kids yesterday for Christmas. I'll keep you updated on that one. I hope Cancun is ready for the stomach flu!

The only family members unaffected at this time are: Scott (Mom's hubby), my niece, Ally and Grandpa and Grandma H. Oh, and we're hoping Dad and Amy too...

So, they say, the family that pukes together stays together. This will definitely be a Christmas to remember!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Hope

Merry Christmas everyone! I'd just like to take this opportunity to reinforce that the true meaning of Christmas is NOT being together, or being nice to others. That seems to be the message I'm hearing on all the cartoons we watch these days. I think that's their way of finding some depth in the midst of all the materialism. We are simply celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, who came into the world to save it. He was born to die so that we might know Him and live eternally with Him. How humble His birth was, how flagrantly we ignore it.

I don't think it's enough to just remember the true meaning of Christmas each year. I think the best thing we can do is to accept the gift He came into the world to give us, or if we've received it, be sure to say "Thank You," again. The last thing we deserve is presents, let alone the gift of eternal life. May each and every present we open remind us of His gifts to us, forgiveness and rescuing. This is the star we see bright and shining in the sky, hope and purpose in living. Now, THAT'S the reason for the season. As they say in England, "Happy Christmas!"



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sanity check

As I sat there rerolling a massive pile of toilet paper that my son had fun unrolling minutes before, I thought to myself, "Do sane people do this? Or do they just throw the TP away?" I don't know...I really don't know...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cuteness!

Greetings and Happy Christmas to all! It took me a while to get to posting this time, sorry about the delay! I usually upload my pics to my computer every week, but I missed a week and had 124 pictures this time!! That's a lot of cuteness! Here's my favorite of Z and a fun bow thing at the end.


We were surprised last week by waking up to snow, which kept coming and coming! Daddy came home to play during his lunch break twice! It's almost all melted now, but it was fun while it lasted. We certainly made the most of it.


Check out the wedgie! Turns out this size 18 month snow suit is too small for Z this year. Thankfully we have friends who were able to use this and we found another one that fits better in the closet! Someday he'll cringe when he finds out I posted this on the world wide web!

His new favorite toy! He couldn't stop spraying himself in the face when he discovered what it did!

We have tile warmers in the kitchen, but they weren't on until it got cold recently. Guess who loves them!? I do! ...but I'm not nearly this cute when I lay on them! Check out the giraffe cuddle!

He had just finished eating dinner with us and I was cleaning up, when he pointed to the BBQ sauce bottle on the table and said, "This?" Like he always does when he wants something. So, I handed him the bottle and minutes later I find this...and yes, he got it to stay on top!

OK, I wanted to share my little bow trick I figured out. It's not rocket science and you probably already know how to do this, but I JUST figured it out! If you use wire ribbon on presents, tie a normal bow...

...then take both hands (I needed one to take this picture) and bend to make a second loop in the bow...

...and VOILA! You have a double bow, without having to tie a double bow somehow!

In other news, I accidentally chopped a big chunk out of Z's bangs when I cut them last week. He's only a little bit wiggly! It looked a cross between Z finding the scissors, and an Amish bowl cut that didn't get finished. I DID NOT take pictures of this to share with you, I was horrified. Instead, I did follow up trims, making the long bangs next to the booboo more jagged so the chop wasn't so terribly noticeable. Yes, if you scroll back up you can see how awful it looked. It's actually more grown out this week and I'm feeling less bad.

We have our airport Christmas party this Friday and we're having trouble finding an available babysitter, so if anyone is free and can come to New Phila. that night, give me a jingle!

Oh, and my friend, Jenn, shared with me that if you Google "Mommy" and hit their "Images" button, I'm on page 6! If you click here you can see the picture that's suddenly become famous without going to all that work. It's the top picture, so you know.

Finally, for those that live in the jolly state of Ohio, there's a concert this Sunday night in Cleveland that should not be missed! Kate Hurley and Todd Berger, who do a few songs on Enter the Worship Circle, are doing a Christmas concert at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights at 6pm! Click here for more info on that! Check out Kate Hurley's MySpace site to hear some of her music. Enter the Worship Circle is my absolute favorite in Christian music, you can hear them on their website too. It used to be made up of just Ben and Robyn Paisley and they were called, "100 Portraits," but then they merged with several other artists to create worship albums together. We were able to see 100 Portraits in concert while we were in college at LeTourneau University. They even went on a Fall Retreat with us. Now they're huge and are responsible for much of the worship songs churches sing every Sunday.

Welp, that's all from here, have a lovely week!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome to Wiglife!

Greetings Christmas Card visitors! If this is your first time visiting our family website, welcome! We have been at this website location for a year now and update weekly, usually with lots of pictures. We love it if you leave us comments so we know you visited, but if you're more private you can always click on "Becca" under "The WigWho?" to the left and you'll see a link to Becca's e-mail on the top left. The best way to see what we've been up to for the past year is to click on some of the archives listed on the right. Since there's a lot of them, here's some links to a few of our favorites:

More WigPics

Z on the go

All that is one

Our new living room, finally!

Fifth trip this year!

What Halloween might have been...

Please keep in touch, we'd love to know what's been going on in your life! Enjoy this precious time to be with family and celebrate our Savior's birth. Many blessings to you!

Swinging Pendulum

I find it so hard to muster the courage to write in this Spiritual journal I've started that sometimes it takes me a while to update it. This is my twentieth post on this blog and I'm actually surprised I've written that many! Forgive the delay to those (two) of you that read this. I'd like to preface this entry with a brief history of where I've come from. In regards to understanding "freedom in Christ" and being disciplined, I've been on a swinging pendulum. Prior to age 20 (which coincidentally, is when I got married), I was super disciplined in reading my Bible, going to church, and well, rather black and white about everything. I was never living up to my own standards let alone God's and constantly felt as insufficient as I really was. In my twenties I came to a new understanding of this "freedom in Christ", realizing, that there really was nothing I could do to make God love me any more or any less. That's actually something I remember my parents saying, but I didn't get it until I left home. Here's the big swing, I let go of all those chains around my neck making me feel guilty all the time and reveled in my new found freedom. I didn't go crazy doing harmful things, but I'm saying in letting go of these obligations, and telling myself, for instance, that I'll just read my Bible when I'm aching to, surely that won't be more than every other day...

In a nutshell, I swung (is that correct?) so far the other way I didn't read for a year, telling myself "God still loves me!" To make matters worse, we stopped going to church for like six years, "Going to church doesn't save you!" Now, I'm trying to bring back some much needed discipline into my life, which I need in EVERY area (controlling my mouth for one, structuring my day, exercising, memorizing Scripture, writing letters to people, etc.), and I'm trying not to swing too far the other way that I get overwhelmed and quit again! I've never been great at finding balance, it's so much easier to see the extremes.


It's not just with God, though, for me, the swing affected my approach to people too. I was the best brown-nose in school, ask anyone! I feared people as much as I did God's wrath. When I realized my freedom, I stopped caring what others thought. I struggled with respecting authority figures especially and even rationalized not exercising or eating right with thoughts like, "My husband loves me no matter what!" Obviously, by writing about this I see the error in it, but I still struggle on a daily basis with doing my best to do what is right and giving myself grace when I don't. As simple as it sounds...

Yet again, we have a Zerbik entry on obeying God and a Veggie Tale quote. I've written before about God reteaching me obedience: To the Pure all things are Pure, Do what you're told, Freedom vs. Discipline, and the all too popular, "Circumcision." My Veggie Tale quote comes from "Gideon: Tuba Warrior" when the angel appears to Gideon and tells him he's been chosen to lead Israel's army against the excessively hairy Midianites. Gideon doesn't think he can do this and assumes there's been a mistake, surely God wouldn't ask him to do such a thing. The angel said to him, "If you want to hear God say, 'Well done," you'll have to do what He asks." For me, that says it all.

When I started this blog a year ago, I didn't expect to see myself wrestling so much with the simple issue of obedience. I also didn't expect to quote talking vegetables so much. The biggest surprise is what a spiritual battle it is to actually type these entries. I probably have twenty more Zerbik entries in my head in any given week, but you only saw twenty in the past year because I over analyzed whether something was worth sharing or too personal...well, maybe it's good I've shown some restraint.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Christmas Greeting


Well, I've finally ordered our Photo Christmas cards. What do you think? Just kidding, this is one that almost but didn't quite make the cut. We had several sittings with my dad before we got one we liked. Speaking of which, if you didn't get a card last year or don't think I have your address (maybe you moved or you're a cyber friend), please e-mail me your snail mail address and I will be sure to get you a Christmas card! I ordered tons!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pics by Grandpa

Greetings! It's time for more pictures by Grandpa J (aka my Dad). He, my mom and their dog, Freeway, just left yesterday to spend Thanksgiving with his parents in Tennessee. OK, I had two requests for the dog story, so here goes: My folks lived in England for sixteen years and made some friends toward the end of that who also had a dog. They would often dog sit for each other when they'd travel back home or wherever. When they moved to Germany two years ago, they kept in touch, their friends moved to the States. Since my folks still travel quite a bit and their friends still love Freeway so much, Freeway lived with their friends in Maryland for six months this year while my folks did the bulk of their traveling. So, my Dad was just picking him up. Voila! The dog story!


Grandma and Z


I knew he loved to push buttons inside the washing machine door to make the light go on and off, but this is a new one!

Grandpa and Z



Now, this one I took after they left. I decided, if he wants to feed himself so badly, I'm gonna let him! I was spoon feeding all the soft foods, but not anymore. I may have to bathe him more often, but it's worth it if he learns some dexterity and gains some independence.

This is one of Becca's favorite things. Just wanted to share. The tea bags are so fancy I can barely bring myself to use them. The tea leaves inside smell like fancy pipe tobacco and the tea is dreamy! Not in love with the brand's name, but the tea itself, worth a try!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Joy

Well, do you think they like each other? This is Z with my Mom. We've had quite an adventure since she's been here. My Dad just arrived yesterday with their dog, Freeway. Why their dog is here from Germany is a long story, so I'll share if you ask! Anywho, Z had a minor ear infection the week before last and was put on antibiotics. About a week later, we notice lots of congestion in his lungs and took him back to the doc who said he could have croup, but for now it was just a bad chest cold. He said to continue the antibiotics. After a full week of them (and several times of being prescribed them before), he had an allergic reaction to them. So, Saturday morning I was in the ER with him making sure he was going to be OK. His poor little face, arms and legs were swollen and red all over like a rash. It was SO sad! They didn't do anything for him there, but we kept him on Benadryl for two days and the rash finally went away. Thank goodness it wasn't worse!

Right now, my sweetie heart is in Utah with Matt S camping in the middle of the desert! I talked to him yesterday and he was having a blast. No desert varmints he assured me. He'll be home soon, hopefully with awesome pictures to share.

Tonight is Mommy's Night out with my Mommy Group! We're going to Applebees. Looking forward to being with the girls. We're starting a new book called, "For Women Only," by Shaunti Feldhahn. I'll let you know how I like it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What Halloween might have been...

We had a Harvest party at Mommy Group on Halloween. The kids were supposed to dress up. I got one good picture of Z in this duckie outfit (courtesy of Missy and Andy) before he began screaming to get him out. It was a bit big anyway. Maybe next year. He loves duckies, I was really rooting for this one.
Well, we went to the party sans costume, but my friend, Jolene, brought this hilarious chicken costume for us to try. The orange leggings made him scream so I left them off and tried the coat. You can see from the picture the coat wasn't a hit either. I gave up and we handed out candy with my old neighbor, Betty, that night and enjoyed other people's costumes.
When Z was first born it took us a while to get adjusted to the new lack of sleep schedule, but we got used to it. Occasionally, there would be a night here or there where he'd be teething or sick and we'd get even less sleep than normal. Well, this week took us to a whole 'nother level of sleep deprivation! Z caught Ben's cold and had congestion. It was hard for him to breathe through his nose, especially (it seemed) at 3am! He'd toss and turn struggling with this for a half hour, then be wide awake for say, 2-3 hours! This brought us to what we call "morning". After six nights of this (he was fine during the day except for some boogies and snot), we took him to the doctor. Partly to make sure he'd be OK and wouldn't get an ear infection and partly because we were starting to lose our sanity. I was becoming delirious from lack of sleep half way through the day. Doctor put him on antibiotics again and sent us home. He's been sleeping much better since. Thank the Lord! I neglected to mention that plain old "congestion" meds have been taken off the market so we had to get combination meds and some of them (namely congestion and cough medicine) caused sleeplessness. It took us a few nights to figure this out.

My mom comes tomorrow for two weeks, my dad comes for the last week. I'm looking forward to the extra help! This week about did me in! Ben too!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Hey! Today is my best friend, Chrisie Mayne's birthday! Please go visit her website and see her cute little boy, D, in his hilarious Halloween costume! Leave her a birthday wish if you want! She'd love it! Just click right here! Thanks everybody!!! Happy Birthday Chrisie-poo! Love you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spaghetti Fun

Hi! While in Tennessee, I showed Z how to slurp up spaghetti and he's still working on it. Turn up the sound and check out his progress (oh, and he gets distracted by the fun shapes the noodles make in the air):
video
Happy Reformation Day and Happy Birthday Dad W! We're having a Harvest Party at Mommy Group on this last day of October. My Mom arrives late Sunday night so, I'm looking forward to that!

While visiting with my Grandpa VN a couple of Saturdays ago, he mentioned the posts I've done on Ayurveda (the Indian Science of Life) and said "it sounds fishy". I realized that I zoomed into discussing some of the more abstract areas of this giant topic. So, today I thought I'd give y'all a taste of some simpler lessons I've learned from this ancient science from India. Here's some routine rules for optimal living:
  • Awaken before sunrise
  • Evacuate bowels and bladder after awakening
  • Bathe everyday to create a feeling of bodily freshness
  • Do not take breakfast after 8:00am
  • Wash hands before and after eating
  • Brush teeth after meals
  • Fifteen minutes after meals take a short walk
  • Eat in silence with awareness of food (not in front of T.V. as they believe you digest your eating experience)
  • Eat slowly
  • Each day massage gums with the finger and sesame oil
  • Fast one day a week to reduce toxins in the body
  • Sleep before 10:00pm
I know that most of these are obvious or sound simple, but they have exhaustive reasoning for each one. For instance, six of the above are in part to reduce toxins in the body. Toxins come from any food that is processed or not natural. They also believe that toxins come from stress and bad feelings. Also, you can inhale toxins through unnatural or unhealthy odors (fake candles instead of soy candles, air freshener, etc.). Toxins like to store themselves in parts of our body that are weak, aggravating injuries or illnesses. We can't avoid all toxins, but we can manage them by some of these ideas. There's several more ideas to come, didn't want to overload you at once. Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

lots and lots of pictures

...And we're back! Hey folks! We had a lovely time in Tennessee! The plane ride went well (I got a direct flight this time). The day before we went we had a family birthday party (Ben was one of five we celebrated). Here's Z and his cousin Owen at the party.

Our niece, Ally, playing shy behind a tree

Here's Z on Grandpa J's lap in Tennessee

We had fun at the zoo too! See G&GJ and Z?

Grandma J and Z at the church playground on Lookout Mountain

Z writing Daddy a letter

Grandpa made Z a wooden dog on his scroll saw that Grandma drew. Very special! I'll post a pic of it soon!

Z's first spaghetti meal

"Traditional Chair Picture" - We have a picture of me at this age in this very chair, and one of my cousin, Lauren, in it too.

Guess what? I have lots of family down yonder! This is my Uncle David (mom's brother) and his famous BBQ Ribs....Mmmmmm!

Guess what else!? My grandparents from Iowa happened to be in town while I was visiting in TN, so I got to see them too!

The whole gang in Northern Georgia (from left to right): Grandma VN, Aunt Pam, my cousin Hannah, Rachel VN and her fiance Doug, Z!, Grandpa VN, Uncle David, cousin Josh, and Uncle Delvin.

Grandma and Grandpa J, Z and I got up at 2am yesterday and drove (with lots of stops) for twelve hours. Thankfully, Z slept for most of it. He was such a good little traveler. While I was gone, Ben had planned to update some of our pipes in the basement, but when the city came out to shut off our water, they couldn't find our water shut off! They said it had been so long since it had been shut off, they had lost the plans for the house. They used some fancy equipment to find it, and did so under our driveway! So, this is what it looks like outside my house right now. It's a good thing we've been paying our water bill for the seven years we've lived here, or else they'd have had a hard time trying to shut our water off on us!
My grandparents will be here for a couple of days, then are off to Grove City College for a concert that my cousin will be playing French Horn in. We're going to Der Dutchman for dinner tomorrow! Wahoo! Ben's glad to have us back (even though we mess up the house) and insists that Z grew a bunch in one week. He may be right, I can hardly fit his size 7 shoes on him now. We're going out tonight to get him some that fit. Have a great week everybody!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Quick 'Hi'

I'm getting ready for my trip to Tennessee to see my Grandpa and Grandma J. While I'm there, my other grandparents (from Iowa) will be visiting my aunt, uncles and cousins in Northern Georgia, so I get to see most of my family while I'm down there! I'm not sure if I'll post while I'm there or not, so stay tuned!

As a side note, I've discovered another Internet phenomenon called "Face Book" and have had lots of fun this week reconnecting with British friends from junior high, high school friends, college friends, etc.! Mostly teens and college kids use it, but lots and lots of my British friends are on there who are my age, and I've found a few Americans my age that use it too. Anyways, it's been fun to see pictures of my old friends and catch up on what they're up to. Must go pack now!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ayurveda, YNAB and YouTube!

Hi! I tried once before and I think my video was too big to upload (it never ever finished), so here I go again. I videoed in several different sizes to experiment with what looks best. Yesterday, we were playing outside with the hose, and Z decided he wanted to sit on my lap (after he got all wet, of course). So, this is nothing horribly exciting, but I thought Grandpas and Grandmas out there would appreciate seeing Z on video. The scrapes happened last Thursday at Grandma and Grandpa H's house (he tipped the car over that he was playing in and fell on his face, just like last weekend when he fell on his face and busted his lip). The dirt all over him, well, that's just normal!
video

video


On a totally different note: INAB! That stands for 'I needed a budget', but then I got YNAB ("You need a budget") and now I'm all better! I ordered it online, received it electronically, dowloaded it to my hard drive, and even figured out how to export my bank statements to it all within a matter of minutes. Which, I'm quite proud to share that the lady in charge of our on-line banking at my little bank told me a week ago that we did not have the capability to export our statements (she even assured me that she's been telling people this for a while), and I figured out how to do it (hit the "export" button), and called her and taught her how to do it! OK, enough bragging, so here I am two days later and I'm still reading the "how to" manual that came electronically with the program! Not everything can happen lightening fast. It looks really good, and I have made a start by labeling the transactions I exported from my bank statement. So, here's the four rules of YNAB, which can be found on their website, so it's nothing top secret:
1. Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck (they get you to start living a month ahead)
2. Give Every Dollar a Job (budget down to the penny)
3. Prepare for Rain (save, save, save)
4. Roll with the Punches (this you have to have the software to do, but it helps you adjust your entire budget when you overspend in a budget category.)


I'm really excited to implement the new ideas, I'll keep y'all updated on how we like the software.

Finally, I promised more info on Ayurveda for those who are interested. If you took the quiz then you should know your primary constitution. For more information on each, click on your constitution: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. There are a few people in the world that are tridoshic, which means they are equally all three. They usually change which one is dominant with the seasons, as the seasons have the same constitutions. Here are the three doshas and their respective seasons and times of the day:

Dosha

Predominant season and time of day

Vata

air and space

Fall

2-6 am

2-6 pm

Pitta

fire and water

Late Spring and Summer

10-2am

10-2pm

Kapha

water and earth

Winter and Early Spring

6-10am

6-10pm

I'm gonna quote from my book, "Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing" by Dr. Vasant Lad instead of trying to explain myself as he says it so much more succinctly. By the way, "self-healing" does not mean replacing God with yourself, but rather allowing His amazing creation (your body) to do what it was created to do, heal itself when given the right conditions. After my last post I remembered that there are, in fact, some chapters in the book and in other Ayurvedic books that I recall thinking were a little "new agey", but instead of throwing the bucket out with the water, I filter what I read (as I hope we all do). Taken at face value these concepts are intriguing and helpful to leading a healthy lifestyle. When viewed through a post-Judeo Christian lense, it leaves you breathless at what an amazing Creator we have. I hope you can capture a small piece of of my awe through what I share. Check this out:

Vata, pitta and kapha each have their own attributes, and substances having similar attributes will tend to aggravate the related bodily humor by the law of like-increases-like. For instance, the summer season has attributes similar to those of pitta - hot, dry light motile and penetrating. Naturally, in the summer, pitta in the body will be aggravated. Vata is light, subtle, dry, mobile, rough and cold. So, in the fall season, which also exhibits these attributes, vata will tend to be aggravated in the human constitution. Lastly, kapha is liquid, heavy, cold, sticky and cloudy; so in winter when these characteristics predominate in the external environment, internal kapha.

So, if you are pitta, then when it's summer, you're getting an overdose of your element. We'll get into more on how to keep yourself well balanced later, but isn't it cool just to think of the similarities so far (between people and seasons?). But wait! There's more.

Like time, the bodily humors are constantly in motion. There is a definite relationship between the movement of the tridosha (three doshas) and the movement or passage of time. The increase or decrease of these three humors in the body is related to the cycles of time. Morning, from sunrise till ten o'clock, is a time of kapha. Because of the predominance of kapha humor at this time, one feels energetic and fresh and also a little heavy. At mid-morning, kapha slowly merges into pitta. From ten in the morning till two in the afternoon is the time when pitta is secreted and hunger increases. One feels hungry, light and hot. The afternoon from two o'clock until the sun sets is the time of vata when one feels active, light and supple. Early in the evening from about six o'clock until ten is again kapha time, a period of cool air, inertia and little energy. Then from ten at night till two in the morning are the peak hours of pitta when food is digested. Early in the morning before sunrise is again vata time. Because vata creates movement, people awaken and excrete wastes.


Pitta people are the ones who get grumpy when they're hungry, just feed them and they're fine. I loved this last excerpt about time, because I know if I go to bed too late my mind is racing (it's pitta/clarifying time). If we can get ourselves to bed before ten, we can catch the natural sleepy Kapha time. Also, if I can wake up before Kapha time (6am!), I actually have tons of energy probably because it's Vata time! Sleep in too late and it's sleepy Kapha time. He says it's fresh, but I say it's heavy and sleepy. Whatever. I also feel there's a midafternoon Kapha time that he's not accounting for when half the world is having a ciesta, and the other half wishes they were too. Please write me your questions, I'm happy to try and answer. More soon! There's so much to all this!





Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ayurveda, Part I

When we visited my grandparents in Iowa in May, Z discovered he could play Peek-a-Boo by shutting and opening a door. It's still a favorite. Another favorite game is pretending to be asleep, then surprising everyone by waking up! He even tries to pretend snore. It sounds more like heavy breathing, but still very cute! We're having so much fun with him these days. His little personality is such a hoot! I'm still constantly getting zerberts (aka raspberries), and everyone is getting more kisses than ever. Yes, big juicy ones.

It took me a while to get to posting this week. I spent a lot of extra time on the Mommy Group this week. We had to make some decisions this week on how we're going to do things. For now, we've decided to keep things the way they are. MOPS is not an option for us as we have no one to lead the Moppets part of that or anywhere separate to do it. Instead, we're planning to keep addressing Mommy issues and start reading a Christian marriage book together called, "Sheet Music," by Dr. Lehman. We've made plans for our first Mommy's Night Out, and a Harvest party for our kiddos in October. I have so much fun with these girls, I'm so thankful for our weekly get-togethers.

Let me catch you up! Last weekend I spent the whole weekend with my new friend, Melissa. Hi Melissa! She has a little one who is two months younger than Z, named Dominic. On Saturday, we worked very hard (we were exhausted by 3pm) making top secret Christmas presents. You can e-mail me if you want to know what we made. If you're a grandparent to Z, don't bother asking! Sunday, we went to her house for dinner and played bean bag toss. She calls it 'corn hole', but I like 'bean bag toss' better. She and her hubby must practice a lot, they creamed us. That must be why they call it 'corn hole'. Who ever heard of creamed beans?

On Thursday night we went to family night at church and I got to play 'Apples to Apples' for the first time! It was so much fun! My parents have been telling me about it for years. It's too big to bring over from England or Germany so I just keep hearing about it. Now I know for myself, it is indeed a hoot and a half.

My sweetie heart had a birthday this week! I was thinking that day that I had a few people to thank for making his birthday meals possible. We started out with Aunt Val's chocolate chunk cookies for breakfast. I actually made the cookies for him to take to work. Then for dinner, I made Grandma Jennings' Chicken Madras recipe, which I'll have to post below, since it's Ben's favorite meal currently. For dessert, at his request, I made brownies. I used the Ghiradelli box mix, and I'm trying to remember who recommended these to me. Leave me a comment if it was you! They were divine! Just because I had a good excuse to buy sweets, before his birthday I looked in the frozen section for something that made me think of Ben (this was before I had the cookies inspiration). I found cookies'n'cream Klondike bars which very much sounded like him. Since I would save a little money if I bought two, I HAD to pick another, and am I ever glad I did! I grabbed the caramel pretzel Klondike bars ....let me just say, Becca has a new favorite dessert! Such yummy goodness should be illegal! So, somehow, I benefited greatly from it being Ben's birthday this week. What would you do for a Klondike bar? I got him a watch that looked great on Amazon.com, but in real life looked more like a small wall clock. I knew it would be too big as soon as I opened it, but kept it to show him, so we could laugh at it together. We sent it back already and hopefully we can find another one he likes as well that is made for a wrist, not a wall.

Finally, I'm ready to share with you all my love for Ayurveda. It's an ancient Indian medical science. The word is translated, "Life Science." It took me a while to gather up all my resources on my computer and find my favorite ones online, but I think I'm ready. Ayurveda is really really really huge. There is no possible way for me to explain it all in one post, especially since I've barely scratched the surface myself after reading several (about 5) books on it and attending several (about 5) conferences on it. I love to study Ayurveda because it broadens my view of God in that every time I learn something new, I say, "Whoa, God is so cool that He thought of that!" I had reservations at first because most of the people who know about Ayurveda are either Hindu or really into New Age stuff, both of which contradict my belief in Christianity. Ayurveda by itself though is neither Hindu or New Agey. It is a valid and recognized medical science in India and people are slowly beginning to see it's worth in America. Much of what Dr. Oz and other doctors say who are open to holistic models of health and not just medical models is supportive of Ayurvedic principals.

The first piece I'd like you to understand it what "constitution" you are. This link will lead you to a short questionnaire to help you figure it out, then you can read more about recommendations to finding balance in your constitution (or "prakriti"). There are three primary "doshas" that make up one's constitution: vata, pitta and kapha ("kuffa"). They represent respectively: wind/air; fire; and earth/water. I plan to give you much more on each of these in the future, but for now, you should know that everyone has all of the elements, but most have a tendency toward one or two doshas. For instance, I am primarily Vata (air and space), then secondarily Pitta (fire). Air and space sounds pretty ditsy, huh? Well, when I'm out of balance, guess what? Quick to learn, quick to forget are the Vatas. They also have a tendency toward dry skin (think of the air chaffing one's skin) and anxiety. When in balance they are the most creative. Here's part of a grid I made for a presentation I did on Ayurveda a couple of years ago:

Dosha

Emotional ailments excess can cause

Strengths when in balance

Vata

Fear, depression, nervousness

Creativity,

adaptability, quick to learn

Pitta

Anger, hate, jealousy

Understanding, discernment, courage, motivated

Kapha

Possessiveness, greed, attachment

Loving, content, high endurance, melodious voice and soft wrinkle-free skin


These are just the emotional aspects, there's lots of other directions this can go that makes me awe-filled of our amazing God. I'll be sure to share how time has changing constitutions and affects our sleep next time. Have fun, ask questions!

In efforts to make this the world's longest post, I will add the promised, aforementioned recipe, which is not Ayurvedic or even authentically Indian (note the ketchup and marmalade), but is nonetheless very very yummy and a bit easier than my traditional Indian recipes, thanks Grandma!:
Chicken Madras
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
3 T. butter

Blend the following:
1 1/2-2 T Cornstarch
1 1/2-2T curry powder
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. orange marmalade
2 T. lemon juice (lime doesn't taste as good, tried it.)

1 large green pepper, cubed
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 c. celery cubed

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken (I do this in a big pot). In another bowl blend the list of ingredients to be blended. Pour over chicken. Cook while chopping the last three ingredients. Mix all together then cook on medium heat for 45 minutes then as long as you like on simmer. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice (may I recommend basmati or jasmin?). I like to serve with naan, Indian flat bread. Let me know if you want that too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WigDrama

Hello World! So glad you visited! While you're here, check out our new list of WigFriends on the sidebar! If you're not on there, either I need your URL or you need a blog! It's nothing personal. I avoided the list for eons so as to not offend people I left off, but my mom said she'd like to visit our relatives and our mutual friends more easily, so I did it for her. As a side note, I just got distracted by this neato blogger thing called "Blogger Play", it plays a slide show of all the pictures recently uploaded to people's websites. It was mesmerizing! Someday maybe I'll list my favorite websites I like to visit. I like lists, really I do!

Well, I have a long update on the piano lessons. Friday I had decided I would, in fact, take lessons. Saturday morning at 3:30am we were in the ER with Z. In a nutshell, his temperature went from 103.9 degrees to 96.2 in twelve hours (both rectal temps taken by docs). He was freezing for over 8 hours and sleeping super deep, I could hardly wake him up (not normal for Z). At one point I couldn't find his pulse. I almost peed my pants! It was truly the scariest thing I've ever been through. ER doc said he had a double ear infection and that it's normal for their temps to run the gamut and for kids to sleep super hard. He's on antibiotics and feeling fine now, a little congested at night is all. So, after all that, we left for Toledo as we had planned (see pics below), and talked a lot in the car. I decided on the way that when things like this come up, we need to have enough cash to cover it (if even in payments) without dipping into savings. So, no piano lessons yet...but I did buy the books (for "older beginners" tee hee) and have already started my independent study. Thankfully, my hubby plays and can answer questions as they arise! So, our kid is OK and I'm learning piano.

Ben finished installing electricity into his sister's garage in Toledo over the weekend. His other sisters, Bekah and Debbie came and we had fun hanging out while the boys (Ben and Jeremy, Biz's hubby) worked outside. Oh, we also visited Dad W's fiance's lake house on Lake Erie. It was fancy! While I was there my topaz fell out of my ring setting, the one Ben gave me for our tenth anniversary! Argh! I knew I liked that ring too much! It has yet to be found.
Biz and me

Helping clean Aunt Bizzy's house (notice the bear butt)

Z and Aunt Debbie

I love Biz's taste in decorating and took a picture of her totally awesome chandelier to share with you! Hope she doesn't mind!
We had "Lapsit" today at the library, tomorrow is Mommy Group and Thursday we're representing our alma mater at a college fair, while Bekah and Debbie babysit. Thanks ahead of time, guys!!! Well, that's all the news from little New Philadelphia! Hope your week is full of happy memories and thankful thoughts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Love Journey

I've been praying that God would teach me how to love others. Oh, and to rip my awful pride out too. I'm so darn selfish and proud. Anyways, it didn't dawn on me until last night that it's probably related to that prayer that I felt God drawing me to memorize 1 Corinthians 13, yup the whole love chapter. I've got the first seven verses down. I'm chunking it (psycho-babble term for dividing it into chunks) then writing out the chunk several times every night until I think I have it down. I also try to quote it to Ezra while I'm putting him to sleep for his naps and at bedtimes. Our church decided to start memorizing scripture too starting with 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Maybe I'll end up memorizing the whole book! That would definitely be worthy of a "Super" sticker. I'll keep you posted on that one!

So, I feel I'm on some sort of learning to love journey. On a somewhat related topic, I've been thinking a lot about how us moms like to pick each other a part. I didn't realize how brutal it could get until I became a mom. It's cut throat, I'm telling you! "You do what?!" "You're still nursing?" "You're co-sleeping?" and so on and so on. I was [ahem] priding myself in how accepting I was of other moms and not judging different parenting styles, when I got some feedback from some people about my parenting style. Without a thought [that's probably key here] I defended myself, if only in my head, then found myself being critical of them!
Ack! I've figured out two places criticism can come from: ego-centrism (thinking you're the top tomato) or from insecurity (or jealousy which is rooted in insecurity). The latter happens because we want others to think we're a good mom, and we're somewhat dependent on others to reassure us of this. So, ideally I would be OK with my abilities as a Mom all by myself, and recognize that my ways aren't always going to work for others and vice versa. Easier said than done especially when we all can agree that being 'Mom' is the most important job we've ever had and most would admit we don't always know what to do as each child and circumstance is different. So, as I write this I'm realizing how humbling God must have meant motherhood to be. Funny that [say with English accent], when Moms often have a reputation for being prideful. I guess my two prayers were very related as I think about it now. Maybe by being humble and not being defensive or criticizing, I am loving others. It's a step anyways. Here's part of my memory chapter with an ambitious twist:

Moms are patient, moms are kind to their kids and to each other. They do not envy even when other moms dress their kids better; they do not boast even when their kid really is amazing, they are not proud or defensive, but humble and non judgemental. Moms are not rude to anyone, they are not self-seeking, they are not easily angered, they keep no record of their children's, husband's or their own wrongs. Moms do not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. They always protect and teach their children right from wrong, always trust others, always hope and expect the best in people, and always persevere in their hard work.


Happy September!


Is it me or is time flying by these days? I barely realize it's September and it's nearly half over. We went out to the grass runway at the airport today and played. We got to pretend what it would be like to have a yard bigger than our little strip of poopy grass behind our house. I took toys, let the dogs run, Z didn't know what to do with all the open space. He just stayed confined to a small area until I started making a game out of running back and forth down the runway. Then he started briskly walking (he doesn't run yet) and kept going and going! Daddy took a break from his busy day to join us. Mommy group was today too, so somebody was extremely tired tonight! Also, I'm thinking about taking piano lessons (a lifelong dream) and had an interview with a piano teacher tonight. I have to decide if I'm ready to commit to the daily practice and growing pains one undergoes when learning something new. I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My New Do


I couldn't wait to share my new haircut with you! I had so much fun! Ben babysat while I got a fancy consultation at this fancy salon in Dover called "Renaissance". I love my friend Molly's hair and went to her guy. I just want to clarify that my hair will NEVER again look as it does tonight. Not only do I not have a flat iron like he used, but I opted not to buy the uber-expensive hair products that he used in my hair. So, I doubt I can get it to look like this again. It should look OK curly too. O vanity of vanities!!!

Fifth trip this year!

Yet another weekend in West Virginia! Oh what joy it is to be in the wilderness with your little wild child and naked dogs! We decided it was time to give Z's hair a trim, as his mullet was getting into his eyes. Some Twizzlers and Nutter Butters got him through the act, Mommy could have used something stiffer. Once I got cutting, it wasn't so bad, it was just getting over the thought of cutting off his baby hair forevermore.
Before his first haircut...

...during...

... and after!

Daddy and Z in the lake getting splashed by Jenna!

Bekah and Ally being silly together

Jenna, Ally, Mary and I painted rocks together on Sunday.
It's fun, you should try it!


Home again, washing the car with Daddy.

Z's favorite thing in the world: drinking out of the hose.
Next time, I should have some haircut pictures of my own to share! Not sure what I'm getting done yet, but soon I'll have to make my mind up! Next month, Z and I will be visiting my grandparents in Tennessee (flying one way, then driving back up with them). I am so excited I found a ticket for $89 for a direct one way flight! I'm pleased with my bargain! Ben already has plans to get some pipes fixed while we're gone. Aren't husbands normally unmotivated to do stuff around the house? Not mine! I'm very blessed! Z likes to have a job to do too, we're finding it's very important to give him some sort of responsibility when possible. For instance, he "cleans" his high chair tray after every meal. He's very verbal these days, here's some of what he's saying:

"Deggie" (Veggie as in Veggie Tales)
"Doggie"
"Duckie"
"Bug"
"Titty" (for Kitty!)
"Get you"
"Baby"
"See it"
"Do it"
"I do it!"
"Where Da?"
"Ball"
"Shoes"
"This"
"No"
"Yup"


If he keeps this up, he'll be sitting next to the teacher like his Daddy did for talking too much!