Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Birthday Party

My personal trainer stood me up this morning (he is not a morning person) so I am up bright and early having a BIG piece of banana bread. I made it yesterday. It is called Aloha bread and has pineapple and nuts in it. Instead of burning 1,000 calories, I am eating them. Yummy! I wasn't too sad he overslept. I am getting big and uncomfortable so working out is challenging. I have started having Braxton Hicks contractions. This is week 32! My other 3 were born at 38 weeks. Not long now! We got to see her on a 4D ultrasound. I have pictures on a disc but it won't pull them up for some reason. She was sucking her thumb and playing with her toes. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I still can't comprehend God's goodness to give me this sweet LIFE. Her nursery isn't ready yet. I plan to finish that project in January. We have been full-speed with Christmas parties and the busyness that comes with the season. We had a lot of parties at our house this year. I love opening our home to people and ministry but cleaning my house was getting old. It is hard to bend over and pick up the boys little tiny army men and cars and it is hard to mop my hardwood floors. But, we had so much fun with friends that it was worth it.
I have been getting emails from the girls who came to the college weekend telling me all that God did in their hearts while they were here and I am just amazed by how God worked that weekend! These girls are on fire for Jesus! Breaking up with boyfriends they have had for years because they know it isn't God's best for them and finally have the courage to do it. They are writing letters to their friends telling them how Christ has changed their lives. I am so proud of them. God is doing mighty things in their hearts!! I feel like I am a momma to 30 more now that I worry about them and think about them so much. I can't wait to see how God uses their lives for His glory!
I just love Christmas. I love the lights, the smells, beautifully wrapped packages, manger scenes, being with family, & thinking about the incarnation- Jesus put on human flesh to rescue us from our sins and left His throne to live among us because of His great love.
I am planning a party for Jesus with the boys tomorrow night. I am really trying to keep their little hearts and minds focused on Christ instead of "stuff". That is not an easy job. Before we leave to spend time with family, I am setting aside a night to spend focusing on the Lord. There will be a cake for Jesus. I use Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake and use the recipe for the Strawberry Refrigerator Cake on the side. It is really yummy. But, I use it for symbolism. The white icing representing how our sins have been made white as snow...
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18
The red cake representing the blood of Christ. That He willingly died in order to save us. There was no other way.
"the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
On top of the cake, I put candles in the shape of a cross. We talk about the gospel. We talk about God's love. We talk about sin. We talk about forgiveness. Last year, Reece understood the gospel and said he wanted to give Jesus his heart for a present. He surrendered his little life to Christ the next morning. Click here to see pics and read my post about it.
This year, the boys will be reciting all of the passages of Scripture they have learned in homeschool in front of the tree- as their gift to the Lord. We will be dressed up and giving Jesus our very best. We are going to sing songs and dance. We are going to celebrate our Savior. I can't wait! I want to find some cute blazers for the boys to wear to the party. :)
Then, after the party, we will exchange gifts as a family. We bought the boys a Wii. I have not wanted one because it seems like one more thing to monitor and it is hard enough to get boys to concentrate in school without one. But, all my friends have told me how much they enjoy theirs as a family and that you can use it as a reward. My cousin only lets her children use theirs on the weekend. She tells them it is called the wii for the wiikend. We will be home more after the baby gets here, so I caved. They are going to be SO excited. They only have 2 presents. That is one of them.
I finished shopping and wrapping and mailing all of Tim's family's gifts. That was a chore because of my belly but so fun. I love giving gifts. It is so funny how different guys and girls are. Tim was helping me wrap and said, "I don't know of anything that is more of a waste of time and effort than wrapping packages. Who cares?". I said, "Me! One of my favorite things in this whole world is a beautifully wrapped package". He just doesn't get it. I told him to have the ladies at the mall wrap my packages this year. :)
I am excited to give Tim his presents from me. I usually like his presents more than he does and sometimes they wind up in our garage sales a couple years later but I still love to shop for him. He says I accessorize him like Mr. Potato Head. It's true. This year I got some great accessories for my eye candy/Mr. Potato Head.
After our party, it is off to be with family! My birthday is December 28. Our 8 yr anniversary is coming up too. Then, baby girl will be born! We have so much to look forward to. God is so good.
We are trusting Him with my health as my pregnancy comes to an end. We have a plan for if I get sick again and I really can't even "go there" in my mind because it makes me want to panic. I would much rather think about the gorgeous blanket I bought my daughter the other day that I am going to get monogrammed for her...
and will be swaddling her in soon.
Just as Mary swaddled her baby that glorious night in a stable.
Have a beautiful Christmas!
Thank you, Jesus, that you came for us!
Let's party.
"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world."
1 John 4:14


Mama Fish said...

Steph- You do such fun stuff with kids. I love it! They will love the wii and definitely use it as a reward... we all love ours and it is so much fun to play as a family and when we have friends over. Some of the best times we have had have been laughing with friends over the wii! :-)

Jill said...

Oh, one of my fondest memories of being pregnant at Christmas with Stephanie was my connection to Mary. You are gonna get that sweet neck to sniff and snuggle into very soon...and I can't wait to see the pics of those boys in their jackets in front of the tree...Have a splendid wonderful holiday celebration(s).

Carrie said...

Sounds like such an awesome party and time with family! What great memories you are all creating together and keeping the Lord at the center! It really isn't long now! Glad to hear things are well, although uncomfortable, but sounds like you are doing great! We got a Wii last Christmas and have lots of fun with it! Wii Music and MarioKart are what we play the most ;) Enjoy the holidays!

Meghan said...

You are such an awesome Christian mama and your children are lucky to have you! Have a Merry Christmas!

AG said...

Great Post Steph!!

We Love you Guys!! :)

Merry Christmas!

bonnie said...

the picture at the top of your blog is the cutest thing ever ~ was the pink gift your idea? utterly adorable.

have been keeping up with and enjoying your posts ~ selfishly sorry not to have known someone like you when I was in college; the girls you recently hosted are richly blessed to have found you at a critical time in their lives. my prayer is that every one of them maintains the conviction with which she left your home.

Monica said...

The pic at the top is by far one of the BEST pictures I have seen in a long time! Everyone's expression is priceless, and no explanation is needed! Thanks for the smile :)

Jenny said...

Stephanie~ I love & enjoy your blog! You met April that day in the park for many reasons. One of the reasons was "ME". I am sure of it.....Your family has blessed me, touched my heart & given me HOPE! I feel like your family is part of April's family. They Love you guys SO Much & that makes US All Love you guys too! On Thanksgiving even OUR DAD was like, "so how is Stephanie doing being pregnant?!?" Sounds crazy, but that was special at Our House! Best Wishes for a Happy New Year & thanks again for sharing pix of your gorgeous family & including OUR Kids TOO!