Friday, May 29, 2009

This little piggy....

This one goes out to the one I love...

This blog entry goes out to the one I love...

THANKS, Brian, for feeding/changing/playing with Chase for hours today while I was out of commission! I don't know what I would have done considering I was shaking from chills so much that I was having back spasms that made me hunch over. Thanks for doing your best to entertain Chase and keep him quiet so mommy could lay in bed and try to make up for the night of no sleep! Thanks for making me hot tea and bringing me pretzels and also for finding the thermometer in the middle of the night. Thanks for fixing the shade so my migraine would go away. Thanks for working extra hard to keep Chase awake so that he'd be sleeping during my awake time. Thanks for encouraging me to rest and to go to the doctor. It's days like these that remind me of what a perfect mate God has provided for me. I love you muchisimo.

(Sidenote: This photo was taken at a family outing to Kline's Dairy bar in Staunton. Looks like love for mint oreo is genetic.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Work of Art!

I try to encourage the liberal arts in our household. You know, reading the classics (like "Are You My Mother?"), dancing to International music (aka whatever Spanish music mommy is listening to at the moment), and even appreciation for culinary arts. (Chase must be Indian because he loves rice, yogurt and mango!)

Chase has always liked books though he goes through phases of what he does with them. At a very young age, he would love to stare at them and absorb all the details. Then he liked to touch and even crinkle the soft ones. Then came the chewing on books phase. Then he would sit and listen to me read. Chase now knows to go over and get his books when we sign the word "book". Sometimes when I read him The Tale of Peter Rabbit, he protests against my fake British accent. And often when I read in Spanish, he corrects me in his own foreign language. Lately, I've been encouraging him to create his own form of art.


Que horrible!


And if you thought it couldn't get any funnier than the last one...

Too scary for words!!

I can't tell if he's coming out with a suspense novel or a sequel to Zoolander?

We have to keep telling him to stop being so "ridiculously good-looking."

Maybe one day he'll grow up to be a writer. Or an actor. Or a Eugooglizer, like his daddy.


Boys are fun!

Who said you need to go to an amusement park to amuse your kids? Daddy invented this ride and I think it's Chase's favorite. And he just made the height limit. :)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Dodgeball Olympics here we come!

So here' s a hilarious video of Chase's new favorite sport : Dodgeball. Only he doesn't enjoy dodging the ball. He thinks it's quite hilarious to be hit in the head with the ball.

So this is what boys do when mommy is gone? We have more videos where that came from. Stay tuned for more "manly" fun...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Parenting: The Gospel's relevance to our kids

I (Krisha) keep finding myself in public situations where I see obvious examples of what happens when God's authority is undermined. It is apparent in the teenagers who speak disrespectfully to their parents, in the mom's who spend their energy yelling at their children after they've ignored the discipline issue for 12 years and expect their teens all of a sudden to catch onto the idea that they must submit to their parent's authority. I see it in the lazy dad's who are so fed up with their kids not listening that they close their ears and shut down completely to the bickering women and children in their households. I stop to think how did it get that bad? Where did it go wrong? God's grace is bigger than this and it's not too late! (Yeah... that's the Psych major in me.)

But seriously, the more I am reading on parenting and experiencing it day to day with Chase, the more I realize that each day is a choice to deal with these issues before they've had 13 years to grow "baggage." At that point, it's too late to convince a kid that submission benefits him/her; that parents give their kid more freedom when they know they can trust them and that others pay them more respect.

It hit me when I was reading from Tedd Tripp's Shepherding A Child's Heart:
"The gospel seems irrelevant to the smug child who isn't required to do anything he does not want to do. It seems irrelevant to the arrogant child who has been told all his life how wonderful he is. But the gospel has great relevance for the child who is persuaded that God calls him to do something that is not native to his sinful heart--to joyfully and willingly submit to the authority of someone else! Only the power of the gospel can give a willing heart and the strength to obey."

One of my fears daily is that I'm doing a poor job of making the gospel relevant to Chase. After all, he's 1, so it's not like we sit down and have deep theological conversations. (How I long for the day we can sit and enjoy Pilgrim's Progress (Bunyan) together. But at this age, just getting him to sit through a meal without throwing his sippy on the floor is a major achievement!)

Reading this made it click. That's where it went wrong. In the beginning, these kids I've witnessed have had no respect because they have not been shown their need for the gospel. They have not been given consequences to their disobedience and no one has loved them enough to show them that selfishness leads to a life of disgruntled, discontented, lonely, never-good-enough, "it's always someone else's fault" attitude. I think what is sad is that there are also kids walking around (with this same mentality) in adults' bodies.

Last night Brian and I watched Religulous and Bill was exactly that character-only he was playing himself. There was no sense of a need for ANYTHING. Not for the gospel, not for repentance or even admitting that he had any flaw, and certainly not for the need to respect other's differing religious views or traditions. He excused his blaspheming via his uncensored humor. It was quite bothersome. There was one point in the movie where someone gave their testimony of leaving a life of drugs/prostitution/alcohol/etc and finding true meaning and Bill's response was "and you left that because?" (seeing nothing wrong with any of that. Part of that was his cynicism but part of his response truly reflected that he has never submitted to any authority that has brought him to appreciating anything other than ....well....himself.)

Another quote that came up in Tripp's book was: "Don't waste time trying to sugarcoat submission to make it palatable. Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement." By the time we are adults or probably even in gradeschool, we have developed the ability to reason and to justify/defend our actions. At this point, it is our nature to feel like we should have a right to only "obey" rules we think are fair and just. But that's just it, obedience isn't submission to what you think is always just/right. It means trusting that there is good in following God-given authority despite not wanting to. If I gave Chase teddy grahams and strawberry cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I GUARANTEE I would have the most "obedient" kid in the world!! But that's not true obedience. He's just submitting b/c he agrees with me. His obedience shows when we tell him "no, you can't touch that" and he either plays with something else or shrieks and stiffens his legs as he contemplates going right back to do it again.

I get in the habit of sugarcoating obedience and then I realize that I am making it harder for Chase. Rather than teaching him self-control and that he can trust his mommy to know what is best, I am telling him I feel bad about him having to follow my rules and that he really shouldn't take me seriously. In fact, if he whines enough, I may just dumb down the rules for him to comply easily. Am I spending my time moving objects out of his way or am I spending time teaching him there is benefit to being able to control himself from touching while the objects are right in front of him? B/c we know that both take effort, right? But in the end, I'd rather be trusting in my kid's ability to depend on God for strength to refrain than on my efforts go build a strong fence!

Anyways, lots of thoughts all mixed in.. all I know is Bill is an extreme example of someone is absolutely no idea of his need for the gospel. Chase Alexander, you may not be smarter, but you may be more wise than a 50+ year old and your ripe age of one!