Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hello... Is anybody out there?

Do I have any readers left? This is Steph-- the girl who used to blog nearly everyday but suddenly got abducted by traveling, soccer, homeschool, closets, and scripture memory. We were traveling for 2 weeks straight and then came home to our home projects. I have basically cleaned and organized all the closets in our house. I have moved the boys into their new room. Tim has been painting or staining everything in front of him and hanging things as fast as I can hand them to him. It is so great to be married to someone who can literally do it all. He is the reason we have anything cool in our house. I have ideas. He makes it happen.

In my "spare" time, I am still memorizing the book of Philippians and loving my Bible Study with the girls. We grow so much as we memorize 7 verses a week and then study them together. We really are feasting on God's Word and there is no way I would be doing this if the girls weren't (basically) holding a gun to my head. It is hard and every week I think the exact same thing,

"I CANNOT DO THIS". Then, I sit down and do it.

I am teaching the boys too. They have almost learned Chpt 1. We have learned 1 & 2 now. I am so thankful to have God's Word hidden in my heart. It has revolutionized my prayer life.

Now, as I pray for my boys I pray things like...

"God, help the boys "live a life worthy of You, pleasing You in every way, bear fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God" (Col 1:10)

or

"God, ' this is my prayer... that the boys' love will grow more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that they will be able to discern what is best and my be pure and blameless until You come back for us, fill them with the fruit of righteousness that can only come from You-- for Your glory". (Phil 1:9,10)

My desire is that my children KNOW GOD. That they would fall in love with Him and that their heart's desire above all things would be to serve Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. The best way for them to know Jesus is to know His Word... so we practice and practice and practice... and get cheeseballs (actually cheese curls now) as a reward.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:1

video

"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Phil 1:1-21

*************************

I LOVE THE BOYS' NEW ROOM. It is so beautiful, fun, peaceful and functional. It is still not finished but I have dropped off the fabric for the bench cushion and the pillows. I cannot wait to see the magic my seamstress does with navy, cream and orange.
I finally found some lamps that are great and that I think the boys can't break. Although their batting average IS perfect this year for lamp-breaking.

Introducing... phase 2 of their new room~





I am so in love with Tim. Good grief.. he is amazing. He is hanging a boat sail.










See? cute.
Also, I love my new framed pictures of the boys surfing.




Tim made this for me (them). FABULOUS. They have a huge closet. It was full of all the stuff we didn't know what to do with over the last 3 years. That took forever to sort through and move so that the boys could move in. THAT closet is where I have been during these past couple of weeks.







One small step for man, I giant leap for mankind. Look how simple boys are. They have tennis shoes. That is pretty much it. When I attempt to even look at girls things now that I am having a girl, I get so overwhelmed. I have no idea how to get all the stuff they need. Bows, tights, actual OUT-FITS?? What in the world? I tell the boys, "Put your clothes on". 5 minutes later, we leave. They have on some crazy outfit and major bed head and we are off to Church.








I give those lamps 3 months.


















Can't wait until it is finished. Seamstress said Thanksgiving. I will definitely post pictures.
I am having a garage sale full of boy things. Email me if you live close enough to come. Selling 2 cribs, crib bedding and tons of boy clothes.
















































We went to an indoor waterpark in Pigeon Forge a week or so ago with my sister and her family. It was really fun. Wilderness in the Smokies.


































































































































































So, that is us. My belly is growing, growing, growing. Baby girl weighs about 1 pound now and I am 24 weeks this week. My health is fabulous. I am very concerned about after I deliver and when all of the hormones that are keeping Lyme at bay, plummet. It is a very dark cloud and something we are praying fervently against. It really can scare me because I have gone through this before and it was not pretty. I got the best advice ever from Ephesians when it says,
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." Ephesians 4:7
In other words, the grace that I need for tomorrow-- or 3 months from now-- IS THERE. Christ has already measured out exactly what I need and it is there waiting for me. Just as He has done for your tomorrow.
I got the second best advice from a girlfriend I respect so much who said... "Don't spend time worrying about 3 months from now. Christ may come back between now and then and you will have wasted all that time." Good word, sister! I said, "you are right--I hope He does".
We are still not sure about Hope's full name. I love Bella Hope but Tim and the boys love Hope Elizabeth.
I am starting to think about her room.
It will be the boys old room and has pirate ship wallpaper in it that we have to take down. I am pretty sad about that because they have loved it.
We have already re-painted, re-decorated Lake's room. It is now a guest room (pictures to come). And, you may remember the shark bathroom? Painted over :).. guest bathroom now.
Tim's 'man room' is looking fabulous. Screen is up and lazy boys are in. Movie night comin' up soon!
I have missed taking pictures and writing in "my journal". Things are settling down now that the boys are moved in their room. Next project garage sale.. then decorating Hope's room. Please send me any beautiful pictures of nurseries that you have seen. Also, I just lost my lead in the Divine Caroline contest! Ahhhhhhhhh!
If you don't mind to take 32 seconds, CLICK HERE and vote for my blog, I would so appreciate it. Make sure and click the button that tells them not to email you anything and you will never hear from them again. I really want to win that $250 to go toward Hope's room and clothes. If you have already voted, will you have your husband vote or just vote for him? I have some tough competition. Thank you so much.
I love hearing from you. If you don't hear back from me immediately, I WILL eventually write you back. Even my answering machine has been taunting me every time I walk by when it flashes 29! 29! 29! at me. I never want to be too busy for people and especially not too busy for God's Word. I am toast if I am too busy for God's Word.
Will post updated preggo pictures soon.
My belly is getting big. I feel her move all the time.
I had bread pudding made out of Krispy Kreme doughnuts yesterday. MMMmmm. I am going to weigh 500 pounds by the time the holidays are over. I think THIS is the Bread Pudding recipe. You might want to take this dessert for Thanksgiving to become everyone's favorite relative.
Love and blessings to you...
Steph

20 comments:

Kim said...

wow!! your son's scripture memorization is inspiring!!

I am not sure how i found your blog....but i have "checked-in" before--you have a lovely family and i enjoy reading about them.

I kinda feel like a "stalker" but i too am a mom of 3 boys....they are teenagers so nooooo more chance for me for that girl-THAT will only come in the form of a granddaughter :). Many congrats on the upcoming arrival of your babygirl. Praying that all goes well and that God WILL heal you of your Lyme disease.

blessings from PA,
Kim

Adrienne said...

I'm still here Steph! Miss your posts, but am so glad things are going so well for you and you are feeling good! Love reading your updates, and I love what you have done with the boys' room! Precious. Yes, dressing the girl is SO much harder. I have to start thinking about it at night! Too many things to match. I am LOVING being at home, and God is so good. Miss our conference call study, but still reflect on all that I learned. Thank you!

ocean mommy said...

This land of blog is so wild! I'm a real life friend of Angela (refresh my soul) and click over from time to time.

You have been on my mind and in prayers often!

Praise the Lord for that new life and for the family God has placed her in. As a mom to two girls I can tell you that the outfits? Oh mercy...it can be overwhelming but SO MUCH FUN! :)

Blessings!
stephanie

Lauren @ When Happiness Finds You said...

Still here....

The Boys Closet = awesome

Your helpful hubby = a gift from God

a calm and quiet spirit = priceless

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker but I've been reading for about a month now. Your pictures are awesome. I just wonder - did you know that in the first picture of the group of 4 coming off the waterslide in the tube - the man with his back to the camera with your boy on the left is signing in american sign language "I love you!" with both hands? Excellent coincidence if it was unintentional. ;0) congratulations on the princess-to-be. You'll be in my thoughts.

Heather, Stan and the kids said...

i have lots of things..where to start?! :) ok...1) I am FROM pigeon forge...born and raised :) 2) our 1 year old was diagnosed with 3rd stage lyme's last summer...it was awfullll. but help me out-i am a new reader of your blog and don't have the full story. you have it and it flares up?? :/ they told us not to worry but last month she was hospitalized at A.I. Dupont for a 10 day fever and horrible abdominal pain (5 days)that they never found the source of. I asked about the lyme's and they dismissed it. wondering now if there is a connection. can you fill me in? (you know-in your spare time!) ;) we have 6 kids 9 and under so i feel you. ok...back to the list. 3) save the pirate wall paper! :) we ripped off a huge chunk of our fav wall paper and framed it in 3 diff frames-makes a cute decorative wall with pics of the girls with them in the original room and the wallpaper behind them. ...just a thought :) 4)we have a baby girl in heaven named hope elisabeth...so i am partial :) and finally....LOVE the scripture memorization...and the room-great job! :) sorry this is so long :)

Melissa said...

Love the room!!

We also stayed at Wilderness in the Smokies this summer and loved it. My boys are dying to go back!

I just voted... good luck!

AngelWalker said...

1. Do I have any readers left? This is Steph---- Yes Steph, you have readers left. It is ME. Angel!! From far far away, IOWA. :)

2. Pigeon Forge, isn't that where Dolly Parton is from?
3. The picture of Tim and Lake.. HOT.. sizzle (Tim, not Lake. Well, maybe in 18 years).

I love reading your blog and I am glad you finally updated it.

I will check back with you soon!!!
Angel

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing about your scripture memorization. I decided about 3 weeks to start memorizing the book of Philippians, so that was a coincidence (but probably not really) that I just happened upon your blog a few weeks ago and that you are doing the same thing, but I have gotten behind on Philippians after the first ten verses and have almost given up already, and you sharing inspired me again, so thanks for that!

I will be praying for your baby girl and your Lyme.

Carrie said...

Amazing thing happening in you household! LOVE, love the boys rooms! My little Emily is sitting with me and she thought it was a hotel :) She said, "Wow! That's a big bed!" You can just see all the memories they are going to make in that room! AWESOME! The boys are so darling and I love hearing them say scripture! You are such a wonderful teacher of God's word! So inspiring! Can't wait to see more pics! Take care!

{And unfortunately, or fortunately...having a girl does mean lots of shopping and WAY too many clothes! haha! But oh, so fun!}

Angela said...

I'm still here too! :)

I've been slacking on my blog, too. Ugh. Just too busy. Plus now Baby B is sick, and so I'm exhausted. (Check my FB page for details on B.)

Loooooove the new room, and I love Hope Elizabeth. LOVE YOU! :)

Carrie said...

Stephanie, I just noticed the sign above the bathroom...because I LOVE signs...NO Girls Allowed! That is great...but I'm sure Little sister will have something to say about that ;) So cute!

kendra said...

Hi Stephanie
I tried to leave a message yesterday but don't think it "went" so forgive me if this is a duplicate. I went to HS with Tim and always suspected God had amazing things for him by way of a wife and children. I enjoy your beautiful writing and have been "blog stalking" for a while. Your request for middle name suggestions for your daughter has prompted me to comment. My husband and I were expecting a baby on Christmas Day of '08. Sadly, the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. However, in dreaming about the arrival of this little one, God placed the name Noelle on my heart and I fell in love with it and continue to love it even though that baby was not to be ours. Not sure if you are due anywhere near Christmas but I think Hope Noelle sounds beautiful. Just my two cents worth! Please give my best to your husband and tell him I have enjoyed seeing all the blessing God has poured out on him.
Be Blessed, Kendra

lara721 said...

Stephanie,

I've been an on and off blog lurker for a while, and I just wanted to leave you a little note about this posting. Firstly, I really want to tell you how encouraging your posts always are- though I'm pretty far from marriage/having kids/raising kids (I'm in college still), it has truly been a blessing to me to read how you and Tim grow with your Christ-centered family. It's definitely given me huge food for thought, since I wasn't raised in a Christian home, and want to faithfully follow God will my family life in the future. Seriously, it's so awesome to see how a beautiful, godly woman puts the love of Jesus into all aspects of her life, through her marriage, children, friendships, and health.
What a model of Christ for me you consistently are through your posts! Praying for you and your family as always. Love the boys' new room- so cute!
P.S. I'm putting in my two cents for Hope Eliana (God has answered) or Hope Adel (pronounced like Adele, meaning "God is eternal").

ChocolateAddict said...

beautiful blog!

love the boys' room, my oldest just mentioned wanting to be in the same room as his little brother, so it's definitely an inspiration.

blessings to your belly!

Yvette said...

yes you have readers left,,,,,,,

I just love reading about your adventures :).

your pictures are amazing to...

the boys room is great and huge!!

enjoy picking out the OUTFITS for baby girl my daughter at about 5 decided to let me know she had better taste than me in her clothes outfits!!!lol I have two boys and trust me boys are so much easier when it comes to clothes shopping, with girls you know with every dress you buy you have to get the co-ordinating accessories :).....

Have a blessed weekend :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Steph...I haven't written in a long long time, although I've come on your blog to check in with you. Words can not express how thankful I am to God to hear that you're having a baby!!! I remember praying that scripture over you and your life....and now look what God has done!!! And a GIRL!!! What to do with a girl...I have no clue!! How fun will she be!!! With a thankful heart, I just wanted to say I will keep praying for you!!! You are always on my heart as I will continue to wait and hope expectantly for the Lord to keep doing great great things for you and your family!!
(lara721's comment brought me to tears as it touched my heart to hear how a young girl is looking to other Christian women as a model of how to live with Jesus in this world...I will pray for her also!! God has great plans for her too!)
I love the new room!!
Keep keeping on with your memorization...I remember memorizing James, a few years back, all of it! It was so hard, but His word NEVER returns void, and He blesses us when we rely on His words to live our daily lives!!

God Bless You Steph, I've missed "talking" with you!!!
Kelly in California

Pam, mom, honey, said...

I just found your blog in the last week, i do not remember how. but I wanted to say thank you, it is a blessing to see what you write. I almost feel like I get a Bible study and a new blog to read. I do have a question, how big is your boys room. not like 300 square feet but how long is it. i love the way the bunk beds are arranged.

Stephanie said...

lara721- Would love to connect with you through email-tsblackiston@comcast.net. AND, I LOVE THE NAMES you suggested.

Pam- the length of the boy's room where the beds are is 21 feet. You don't need that much space though. We just used all we had and made the space in the middle larger. Thanks!

Misty said...

I am in love with their room? Can me and my boys move in with you? lol It looks amazing!