Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas or Xmas?

Ideas for Keeping the true meaning of Christmas your focus:
  1. Do advent calendars or advent candles/wreaths to prepare yourself and family for the holiday.
  2. Do a Jesse Tree! See this link for more information! [Thanks to Kristina for this tip]
  3. Give just one gift to others in your family to symbolize the one special gift of Jesus' birth.
  4. Use a child-friendly nativity set to tell your kids the story of Jesus' birth.
  5. Participate in your church's Christmas activities as a family
  6. Read the Christmas story aloud on Christmas or Christmas Eve: Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.
  7. Teach thankfulness by role-modeling. Don't take back gifts unless you need a different size. Have your kids pose for pictures with their new possessions and send those with thank yous, better yet, have your child write the thank you! Why not make being grateful as big of a deal as opening presents?
  8. Volunteer at shelters, visit a nursing home or someone who's lonely.
I think there's a number of things we can do (and not do) to keep Christ at the center of this holiday that bears His Name. However, just as in Christianity it's no longer about what we do or don't do that brings us closer to God. Jesus' perfect sacrifice was the fulfillment of all our debts, and now what's left for us to do? " To glorify God and enjoy Him forever," according to the Westminster Catechism for children that my parents had me memorize when I was five. So too, with Christmas, we will get the most out of that day, as with every day if we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as we love ourselves. The true meaning of Christmas is love, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

In my last Zerbik post, I wrote that our relationships on Earth reflect our relationship with God. It goes without saying, though I'm gonna say it anyway, it's a good time to get right with God and mend broken relationships here too. How many kids are just wishing that their parent would just spend time with them or be nice to them, and secretly wanting that more than any other gift. Or maybe it's the parents wishing their kids would be loving toward them? The same goes for husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, co-workers and so on.

The best way to enjoy your holiday and keep the true meaning of Christmas all at the same time is to remember that you were created for something bigger than yourself and then act like it.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and other ideas on this subject.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Updates!

Here's the new glasses that I am so spoiled to get! These are my first black pair and my husband likes them a lot, which is important. As my friend at Fragile Flower said when she got her new haircut and glasses, "I feel pretty, oh, so pretty!"

My Dad arrived last Saturday and took the above picture (not the video) and the six new additions to the slide show (check out the bathtub pic!). My parents watched Z yesterday so Ben and I could have a date, yes with Juju in tote, but she was such a good girl and slept the whole time! Today, my parents are on a date by themselves to catch up, they've been apart for over two months. Tomorrow, we're picking up some pies from Der Dutchman, where they're yummy, oh, so yummy! On Thanksgiving we're ordering in. We couldn't rationalize making a huge meal for just the four of us so we're ordering a turkey dinner from Zoar Tavern and Inn. It's a first for my family to do such a scandalous thing and I'm proud of us for having the hutspa to do it!

I remembered something else to update you guys on! Remember the Discover Card deal that I shared in a previous "Money For Nothin'" article where you earn up to 5% back on gas and automotive purchases? Well, it was a little too tempting for us to have a credit card to use after just having paid off all the others. Also, it only gives you 5% back on the first $100 of automotive expenditures AND it wasn't counting the gas I bought at Giant Eagle's GetGo as automotive, but rather, grocery! So, we decided to pay the thing off and stop using it. Now, "petrol" is a budget item, to be distinguished from the "gas bill" item. My grandparents in Tennessee are very good about sticking to fuel only purchases and don't really spend more than $100 a month on it, so they're truly maximizing the benefits of the Discover Card fuel perks program. We didn't want to feel like we still had debt or a huge bill to pay off every month, so we're better off without it.

Finally, next week I want to hear how you and your family are making efforts to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas this year. My friend at YarnSticks and I have been discussing this topic by e-mail. I think she has some good ideas which I'll share with you next time. Be ready, WigLife will really dive into this next week! As for Thanksgiving, our pastor at LifeBridge Community Church had a good idea for maximizing quality time with your family which he shared from the pulpit last Sunday: Turn off your TV! Just turn it off!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Hi there! New pictures have been posted in the side bar. I omitted a cute naked picture of Z, he'll thank me someday. Speaking of the Z-man. About a three months ago we were visiting Daddy at work and he overheard someone call him, "Ben," which led to a good week of calling Daddy "Ben". We thought that was behind us when we noticed him calling Daddy "Bubby" last week. That's my pet name for Daddy! I over heard the following last week from another room:

Daddy: "My name is Daddy, so you call me Daddy, Okay?"

Z: "Okay, Bubby!"

More recently I noticed MY name had been replaced. I thought perhaps it was a one time thing when in the middle of a tense dinner moment (we were all stressed out trying to eat quickly before a church function), I give Z his juice and he says, "Thanks, Honey!". Thank goodness for comical moments that bring us out of our grumpiness. I'm trying really hard to only call Ben, "Daddy" when Z's around. It's almost subconscious though! Poor little guy sprained his ankle last night chasing Daddy. He hasn't walked on it all day, crawls around instead.

Updates on things I've talked about with y'all on WigLife:
Update on Juju: I'm still on a dairy free diet, it's been a week and a half. I'm sticking with it for another week and a half before I decide whether it's working or not. So far, there's been no change in Juju's breathing at night. The Ear, Nose and Throat doc said that she's just got dry nasal passages. Though it sounds like she's congested, she's essentially snoring when she inhales and exhales. It's really sad to listen to like one of those snuffly pug nosed doggies. We're to use saline drops up her nose 5 times a day. Anways, we'll keep you posted.

Update on the budget: I'm sold on keeping a budget for our family expenses. Though it's a bit of extra work, it's crucial to keeping organized and sticking to goals. When I was greatly pregnant I went on strike one paycheck and didn't do a budget, we not only didn't make a payment on Ben's school loan that paycheck but we overspent and couldn't the next paycheck either. It seems we paid it down really fast at first (partially thanks to our tax returns) and now it's going super slowly. It's discouraging, especially when we've barely scratched the surface of my school loan, but we'll get there and the budget will only help that goal.

E-Mealz: I did not end up doing that e-mealz program that I thought I might. I've been making my own meal plan and sticking to it, which has been a huge money saver.

FlyLady: I haven't been reading these e-mails since Juju was born, HOWEVER, I did read them and other articles on her website before she was born and I learned a lot about how to incorporate regular cleaning into your schedule. I haven't figured out how to have two kids and do most of them, but I still run the dish washer at night and empty it in the morning which she suggested.

Earth Shoes: I wore my fancy sandals all Summer long and after the first week I no longer felt like I was going to fall backwards. A yoga instructor invented their Kalso negative gravity heels which I really really like. I think the BEST place to buy these is on e-bay though as my friend has bought several pairs for under $20, which is better than the deal I got at

Recycling: I wish I could keep up my nifty plan of recycling all my junk mail, but I'm afraid that was a wonderful symptom of my nesting during pregnancy. I used the envelopes up till a couple weeks ago for keeping grocery and gas budgets on the outside, with receipts on the inside. Now, I realize, I'm not sure why I was keeping those receipts anyways. So, I just keep their running totals on the opposite page in my budget notebook.

TV: I'm being real with you guys here, OK? We waited until last season's "The Office" was over before we cut off our cable for all our noble reasons. I wish in some ways we'd waited until the Olympics and the Presidential election were over too, but in other ways I don't. So, we've missed a TON of American culture and I feel myself becoming more and more disconnected with things.
Like, for instance, I haven't heard of any of the movies listed on the marquee at our mall. I heard enough presidential campaign coverage on the radio. I figured out all by myself that cardigans that button up at the top only are in style right now. Ooh, and puffy vests. Lots of trendy people wear those now. It almost makes me less inclined to follow suit, even if I like the style. But, I guess I was kind of like that before we cut the cable. I learn about new cereals when I get to the grocery store. We learn about breaking news when my Grandma calls me. In a few years I suspect we'll be completely foreign to the culture we're living in.

I like it though, if "Daddy" lets me, I'm rearranging the furniture in my living room so the comfy stuff doesn't center around the TV, but rather is more conducive to discussions and relaxing. Z still watches Thomas the Tank Engine excessively, the TV isn't going anywhere soon, but I like not feeling enslaved by it. Y'know?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Since we didn't send birth announcements to very many people, I thought I'd share what we sent which was the above picture with the following:
"The Wigton Production Co. announces...2008 Wigton Baby Girl...Model released: September 26, Weight: 7 pounds, 8 ounces, Length: 20.5 inches. The Management Team, Ben & Becca assures the public there will be no new models the balance of the year."

Yes, her full name was included. If anyone missed that memo, please e-mail me or leave a comment here and I'll send you an e-announcement. The picture was taken when she was one week old and I don't think she's changed much except in size. I'm planning to update the slide show in the sidebar soon, so come back soon. Here's some footage of our little squeaker that I took today:

Also taken today...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Milk

Hi! I had a busy week with Play Group, Mommy Group and La Leche League on top of helping our starter church move to their new building this week. Lots of fun though! Juju and Z are doing well. Still getting along for now. When I went to wake Z up from his nap the other day, I laid Juju on him and he put his thumb in her mouth. She started sucking it and with his eyes still closed he smiled really big! Made me laugh.

Oooh, I baked for the first time this week since the baby joined us. Chocolate chip cookies from scratch and peanut butter cookies with a mix I had in the cupboard. Yeah, my plans to eat better and start exercising have definitely not been happening. I'm still losing weight though, thanks to the miracle of nursing! As a side note, Ben told me he saw a statistic on the hospital wall while we were there for Juju's birth that nursing for five months decreases one's risk of breast cancer by 80% and nursing longer decreases it even more, I don't recall the exact numbers he said. Not bad, eh? Nursing for eight months has been proven to increase the child's IQ by six points. OK, I'm out, that's all the factoids I have on nursing.

Juju's been having a strange congestion that comes on at night and by 5am every morning is really obstructive to her breathing, nursing and sleep for all four of us. So, I spent all Thursday making appointments for her at an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor and an allergist. Friday morning at La Leche League (aka "The Milk" league in our house, which Ben chuckles at every time it's mentioned) I learn that it's possible her congestion is actually related to a food allergy or intolerance of a food that I've been eating. Since I'm lactose intolerant when I'm not pregnant it's most likely that it's lactose intolerance in her too. They also taught me that I need to abstain from milk for 2-3 weeks before I'll see any change in her. So, I'm praying this works for her sake and ours. If she struggles to breath too much at this age it can change her bone structure and cause her to have an overbite. I'm hoping to see a difference in the next week before our ENT doctor appointment.

After I troubled you all for votes on which glasses to get new lenses in, I've gone and lost the winning pair. I haven't seen them for two weeks. Perhaps because I can't see very well without them....just kidding, I'm wearing my contacts. My sweetie heart wants me to get a new pair just because he knows I'd love a new pair, so I'm rather excited. I promise I didn't lose them on purpose. I'm convinced they are somewhere in the house and a certain two year old might have an idea of where they are if only he could communicate better. Anyways, had to update you on that.

Becca's Favorite Things
Two cereals I really like right now: Kashi Go Lean Crunch! and Honey Bunches of Oats with chocolate clusters. The Go Lean is way better for you, but don't try it if you don't love honey as that's the predominant flavor. The other is almost as good as the schoko-meusli that my parents send me from Germany. Very yummy! I took this pic while my mom was still here. I do plan to share more pics of the kiddos soon, I think I can, I think I can!