Monday, November 30, 2009


I have more to say on a subject touched on below.

Sometimes tithing can be the hardest thing to work into a budget and it took my family quite a few years of church attendance to get to the full 10% of gross per paycheck every single month. In fact it was 2007 that my husband and I made this firm commitment to give unto God his due. I've been challenged by this from my boss who nosily asked if we tithed 10% and I said yes. He then brought in newspaper articles of Christians who had decided tithing was really not necessary. To this I quote scripture:

Leviticus 27:32
And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

Deuteronomy 12:17
Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:

Malachi 3:8
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Tithing is how the ministry does what it's called to do. In basis semantics, how would a church even keep it's lights on if the church refuses to tithe?

I'm fortunate that I grew up with parents who tithed without question every week and it was a great basis of understanding and acceptance.

Questions to answer - what ministries does Calvary chapel cover with tithe money? I understand we are commanded to tithe but what does obedience gain us as Christians?

Thanksgiving 2009

Wow I've been really absent to this blog. I'm not good at quiet time with the Lord and even worse at communicating my thoughts on Christianity. This morning I woke up at 6am and couldn't sleep anymore so this seemed like a perfect time to pick this back up.

I'm going to start by re-writing the points from last Sunday's sermon as a basis for the thoughts and meditation points for my week.

Nov. 22, 2009
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Paster Bob

Tis the Season to be:
1. Honest - Exodus 3:7 - And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

Moses says who shall I say has sent me? Verse 14 - And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Be available without excuse

Be honest about your ability to help and support others. This spoke to me because sometimes I want to give too much and I feel a responsibility to my families budget to maintain savings and pay down debt. I'm glad the pastor spoke these words, it helps me to maintain a conscientious effort to not over do it this year.

2. Strategic - II Cor. 9:6-7 let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

If you sew sparingly you will reap sparingly
  1. Tithe is 10% of your gross income and the money goes to the church of your main attendance and it's how the ministry does what it's called to do.
  2. Alms is the extra money given to help someone poor and in need.
  3. Offering is when God blesses you with an unexpected surplus and you decide to help others with it.
3. Thankful

I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

These two previous verses in I Thessalonians are favorites and worth mentioning:
5:16 Rejoice evermore.
5:17 Pray without ceasing.

4. Sacrificial
Luke 21 - is the story of a widow who gives an offering of 2 mites, she demonstrated a sacrificial attitude by giving everything she had and Jesus noticed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tropical Garden and Mini Zoo

The day after Black Friday we decided to take it easy, stay close to home, make sure all naps were maintained and bottles accounted for.

This mini zoo is 3 miles from our home and I've passed it for 4 years now; even stopped to buy a few plants. I had no idea what a cute little garden they had stashed in the back, complete with Parrots!

I loved the windy trails with little wooden bridges and chunky terrain! Perfect for our future geologist to explore.

The best part is there were no perfect rows of flowers with big tempting colorful petals to tug on. This was a natural Florida garden with bromeliads, cacti and tons of really cool statues.

But not without a bit of red neck utilitarian deco, we have this lovely potted toilet.

And a beer garden.

There were many lovely pots of water to dip hands into.

And this really cool toddler sized house.

I'm sure all parents will agree, it's wonderful to find a place where you can put a toddler down and not say "no don't touch that" every 5 seconds. The only no's were for cacti and prickly trees and even those she's getting cautious about touching.

Lovely day with tons of learning experiences.

Black Friday

We most certainly did not wake up today with the plan to deprive our daughter of sleep to the point of hysterical exhaustion but sometimes things just work out that way.

Not sure if I've mentioned it before but husband works every Saturday and Sunday while I work Monday - Friday so a day off together for us is a real treat.

Today's adventure began at Sugar Sand Park. We went around 10am, played throughout the Fort and rode the Carousel.

Charlotte got tired around noon so we headed off to the mall and ate sandwiches in the car as she slept. I've found myself eating in the car more frequently these days, it's just more efficient to eat while she sleeps.

In the mall we got pictures taken with Santa - not something I grew up doing but husband did so thought we'd try it out. We got lucky, there was no one in line and they spent a lot of time trying to get her to smile. I even got to take my own photos!

After the mall we stopped at Field of Flowers to get the Christmas Poinsettia and then had Gelato at a cute little Italian shop. At this point it was 3pm and really time to go home, baby had only napped for 20 minutes during our car lunch but we plowed onward to Michael's Arts & Crafts to get a frame for the Santa photo and Charlotte got to test drive rocking horses.

Then my husband wanted to stop at Borders books and music and tired as I was, the stop was justified in that baby needed a diaper change and a chance to run around. So against all parental logic that it was now 3:30pm and she still hadn't much of a nap we went in and she played in the kids section.

We then went on for an early dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant around 4:30pm during which Charlotte began to get a bit nasty despite our attempts to feed her yogurt snacks and bits of the yummiest garlic rolls in the entire world.

Finally on the way home all hell broke loose and she cried the entire 30 minutes home, stopping only to fall dead asleep as we pulled into our driveway. She stayed asleep during diaper change and pajama change so that by 6pm she was in bed 2 hours early!

On with Christmas decorations, always easier to put up without "help".

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'd like to give thanks that Thanksgiving is almost over! Not used to marathon cooking and truth be told was feeling a bit tired about the whole thing. I love the end result and not willing to eat out so I do this to myself every year but need to find a way to scale back. For example, it is not necessary to bake enough Sausage Cornbread Stuffing to last for 4 giant meals following Thanksgiving. Pie could have been cooked in advance, sigh!

Did I mention the vivacious 17 month old running us ragged? No wonder young parents run off to their parents to obtain the yummy goodness of Thanksgiving!

In between each cooking spurt, we played outside with our little darling. For our first walk she's decided to push her stroller rather then get inside.

And later in the day we practiced saying "no, don't run out into the street" with the following result of laying on the sidewalk.

We played with the water pipes

And finally at 8pm I can say I'm thankful babies go to sleep for 12 hours! I sound a bit haggard don't I? Tomorrow will be fun, no cooking AT ALL!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Best laid plans

I've owned a Pontiac Grand Am for 5 years this month and how does it repay me - with battery dying overnight; discovered by husband this morning as he attempted to move car in order to get his truck out from the front of driveway. Fortunately it's a Saturday so we have nothing important to do but tackle this new found emergency.

He gives me 2 choices, drive him to work or wait a bit while he jump starts it, grab the kid and her stuff and drive directly to Sears to get a new battery.

I choose B, he works one hour away and do not desire to be in vehicle with baby for 2 hours of the day BUT freak out about not walking the dog yet, changing baby out of her Halloween Skeleton pajamas, feeding the cats, eating breakfast, gathering water and supplies! He gives me an extra 30 minutes to pull everything together and then we are off, forgetting to drink coffee and unable to find car mobile phone charger for phone that has 20% remaining battery.

First stop is drive through Starbucks, second stop is drive through Chick Fil A and consume both in car while feeding baby bits of breakfast burrito. I have become a huge fan of the drive through since I don't have to turn the car off or remove baby from her car seat throne. The drive through was invented for moms!

Third stop is Sears where they must be expecting me because there is an open garage to pull the car directly into. Fortunately they are located at the mall so we have something to do for 2 hours.

I'm not a mall person, in fact I can't remember a single Saturday where I deliberately went to the mall to entertain my child but the toddler playground is really cool. It's a nice spongy place with cute little cars for small kids to climb into and a house with toddler slide! Finally a place where I don't fear she will be trampled by wild monster children over 3.

I recall a time when I didn't have kids that I'd have been bored out of my mind to spend 2 hours at the mall - well it's one thing when you have money to spend and it's a cool mall but this is the dumpy Coral Springs mall where shops are blah and the guy called to say there's more wrong with the car, something about dirty fuel injection and air conditioner coolent so cost is double to $300, but I digress. The thought occurred to me that it was a fun excursion because I had a little buddy to hang out with. I remembered something a friend said while I was pregnant, "you will never be alone again". I now understand what she meant by that and it's pretty cool!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sugar Sand Park

Today Charlotte and I tried a new park called “Sugar Sand Park” in Boca Raton, a wealthy district of South Florida. It’s a bit of a drive, 45 minutes but I thought the description would be worth it.

The Science Playground is a tri–level hands–on experience that features many interactive components demonstrating a variety of scientific principles for all ages.

It also has a Carousel.

Apparently hundreds of parents with wild offspring had the same plan, it was like summer at Disney. I carefully maneuvered Charlotte into the Toddler section where she played for 45 minutes as I panicked every five minutes from seeing 10ish age boys run full speed through the toddler section. Shouldn’t there be a playground monitor? Something called their parents? A referee to say – okay now you can run through the entire fort but the toddler section is off limits!

The 5 year old boys were also obnoxious. I was sitting on a fence taking photos of Charlotte when one rude little boy clamors up beside me and sandwiches one foot between my butt and the wall. “Move” he says; I ignore him, pretend to be foreign. More forcefully he says “Move, I want to climb the fence”, more ignoring, finally in the background I hear a parent say “Damien, say excuse me”. To which I almost turned and said, “no excuse me, I was here first” but I moved. The child then proceeded to swing around the fence wildly.
I believe the science aspect was limited to pictures of animals, a small sign discussing the virtues of solar energy and perhaps the various materials on the ground such as sand pits, mulch and other various earth bits and well the entire fort was made of wood so I guess a parent could teach materials. Anyway, if you want to learn about earth and fields I suggest you go to Grit's blog.

Our final stop was the Carousel and here's a photo of my cherub
Not being one to boast that my child's perfect, here are a list of atrocities from the remainder of the day:

* Kicked and screamed as mom removed child from toddler playground
* Kicked and screamed during 2pm bottle so was put in crib to "chill"
* As fridge door swung open, child reached with lightning speed to grab a glass bottle which she then made eye contact with parent and dropped it straight on the tile, smashing bottle to smithereens. Was then placed in crib to cry and scream as debris was cleaned up.
* Was taken outside to visit with neighbors Chihuahua as consolation but around 6pm it got dark, was time for 6pm bottle so was taken back inside to the tune of kicking and screaming.
* Insisted on mom holding her during the entire assembly of Lasagna and upon completion sat quietly on floor with Pet catalog (couldn't possibly have reversed those two???)

I will never say MY child is perfect but will do best to make sure she has good playground manners as soon as possible. Regardless, our next trip to playground she might be wearing this:

Which can be found here:

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Poop and Adult Braces

I got adult braces on Tuesday and I've felt cranky ever since. The right side of my mouth has been slowly and painfully scraping the inner cheek and is driving me insane until I finally figured out how to sculpt wax over the metal parts (supplied by the orthodontist). I got 8-9 months left of this, no wonder I've put it off so long!

Eating has been difficult with the braces so I made a pumpkin pie to comfort myself with. Also, made Tortilla soup with cornbread. Some have suggested I might lose weight through eating less but all I've wanted is pasta (soft foods) lately so that's not likely to happen!

Enough with me, just putting this here to document a moment in time. Sorry to bother you with my crankiness.

Today was one of those days where I waited for a nap to happen, then for poop to happen. I probably should have take us to a new park, gone on an adventure but instead I stayed home with Charlotte. She took a two hour nap on my lap while I got caught up with unwatched Glee episodes online and relived the glory days of my high school time in show choir.

Poop did happen, with lots of tears - fiber is definitely needed and was added to the rest of the day's diet. I hate it when this creeps up without warning. We have days and days of easy poops and out of no where a rock hard painful one happens and I haven't changed her diet, she probably just needs more liquid or as my friend and nurse CeCe says, she's playing more now, give her karo syrup and prune juice. I love how friends can bring us back to earth with simple logic.

Enough about poop.

After the above, we went outside and repotted plants. Ever tried this with a one year old? I'm astonished to say we didn't break any terra cotta pots and only spilled a small amount of dirt, oh and a few leaves were pruned from the plant with fat leaves (husband, when your read this please supply the name of plant, mind's a bit foggy).

She get's cranky when things don't fit.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


One of the things I've most looked forward to as a mom is costumes. This weekend she made my dream come true with her own imagination (ie. no prompting from me).

Husband is originally from Texas and during our recent visit bought a new cowboy hat and wore it for the trip home. In our first day back, baby girl disappeared into our bedroom and came out wearing his new cowboy hat. We both did heart flips and chased her around the house with a camera.

Today she dragged my straw hat out of it's box and pranced around the house in it while holding a purse made of crushed velvet with brass closure (a gift from a friend in Hong Kong).

I'm so excited that I want to bring out all the hats and hang them on hooks in her room at a baby's height so she can try on hats whenever she wants.

I've got a small collection of pretty things that I've saved for a little girl. This has got to be one of the happiest days yet!

Finally a nap! God bless her!!!

I'm sitting in my car with the air conditioner on in November and baby asleep in her car seat. We've arrived at the park 30 minutes ago but I'm not leaving the car until she wakes up. Earlier today all attempts to encourage a nap were soundly defeated so I'm happy to wait.