Let's Play The Name Game

You may recall that the moment those two pink lines showed up on the stick, with Anderson, I became a total freak. Sometimes I'm amazed I could still function. But somehow I pulled through. I did many a first-time-psycho-mom things one of which was to go through my Facebook friends list & remove 400+ friends who I thought had the potential of being or one day being a predator. Most of these friends were male (sorry guys, it's just reality) & most I did not know or really care to keep up with anymore. 

Another thing I requested was that Anderson's full name not be posted anywhere. I also asked that family & friends not put all of his birth stats on social media. (1.) Because, who cares? (2.) Because that's a lot of deets on a person just to be floating out there for all the world to know.

But now, I'm more laid back, you know, it being our second time around & all. I'm practically a pro at all of this (HA!).

I love knowing what people will name their children & how they decided on those names so I'll share how we picked the names we picked but first up is Anderson because I never did this for him when I was pregnant.

I just assumed that if we had a boy he would be named after Andrew & we'd call him Drew. In fact, I thought that was his name when we did find out he was a boy but sitting in the waiting room Andrew said he wanted his son to have his own name & he wanted to decide the name RIGHT NOW! Ok, ummm...no pressure.

We did have a list we'd been referencing but I just couldn't imagine he wouldn't want to use his own name when it came down to it. I was wrong. We decided to go with JOHN ANDERSON.

The gospel of John means a lot to both of us. John & Romans are my two favorite books of the Bible and my life verse is in John:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

Andrew & I had studied the book of John with our small group & learned so much. Also, there are lots of wonderful Christian men named John: John Piper, John Owen, John Calvin & you know, the Apostle John. 

Also, John means "God is gracious". We both love the name.

Next up was Anderson. It has been on my list since high school. I found out it is my uncle's middle name & I loved it. I thought it sounded so strong & manly & was unique but not weird. Andrew also liked it. When I looked up the meaning we KNEW this had to be his name. Anderson means "son of Andrew". It also has the same meaning as the name Andrew, which is "manly, warrior".

Our sweet John Anderson:

Next up is our coming son, JAMES CALVIN.

James is a family name. It is my grandfather's name as well as my youngest brother's middle name. A fun fact, this baby's EDD is on Stephen's birthday! Also, I have 2 cousins that had babies last year that used James/Jaymes as the middle names. 

Our pastor has also been teaching on the book of James & it has meant a great deal to Andrew. Especially James 1:2-4 which says,

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Calvin is for John Calvin who has influenced our faith & beliefs so much. His ideas have helped me to better understand The Gospel & grow to love theology. I consider it such an honor to name a son after him.

Our precious James Calvin:

We're keeping with the theme of a "J' first name & calling him by his middle name. Stephen said we're turning into the Duggars. Of course, I love it! But really, I have no idea if we'll continue on with this "theme" or not in the future. I will say if it had been a girl she would've had a "J" first name but just because that's the name we both liked but we would've called her by her first name, not middle so it's not something that is set in stone for us & who knows what names we'll like next time around; Lord willing there will be more!

What I want to know is how did you decided on your children's names? Familial? Meaning? Sound?


Lesson #1

For now our plan is to homeschool. Yeah, I know, easy to say & plan & dream when we only have one child & he's just 2 but for now that is our plan. We know plans change & we're open to that. Also, we don't think that there's only one right way to do school. Every family is different & what works for one family may not work for another. We also don't think homeschooling is a more spiritual form of school. In fact, we both graduated from public high schools & so far neither one of us has tried crack. With all of that said we've decided to test the homeschooling waters.

I've known for a while that I wanted to use Before Five In A Row {BFIAR} with Anderson. It uses lots of classic children's literature to form a strong foundation of loving to read & loving to learn. I was debating whether I should start it with him this month or if I should wait until the fall. Well, when we found out I was pregnant I decided to start it in the new year as something fun for us to do until Baby arrives this summer. We probably won't do much, if anything, in the fall so I figured this would be a great time.

Anderson LOVES books. LOVES LOVES LOVES them. He wants us to read him books all night long. We eventually have to tell him no more books, it's time for bed. He then cries & pitches a little fit for "mo' bookths" & sometimes we even have to spank him. I'm like, "What kind of mother spanks her child for wanting to read more?!" Not that that's what I'm actually spanking him for. More like for having a disrespectful attitude but you get my point.

Lambert even says in the intro that this is not a cirriculum that is going to help your pre-schooler do math work sheets & accounting & physics at an early age so that they can be a star student & wow The Masses. No, it's a cirriculum that is designed to instill a love of reading & learning but ALSO to teach parents how to teach.

Well, I certainly learned the first lesson this week!

We already have 6 of the books on the list. I spent a long, embarassing, undisclosed amount of time creating mini lesson plans. Basically just to make sure I was prepared & had the supplies on hand that I would need. Also, I loved the planning. The chart making, the list making, the whole thing. It was fun.

See, we're not doing rocket science over here.

So Monday arrived along with some tummy troubles. I wrote the day off to couch-laying & TV-watching & napping. Lots of napping. I didn't really worry about not doing that day's activities. Afterall, this is a perk of homeschooling right? Flexibility. 

So Tuesday morning was met with a much happier pregnant tummy & hormones more in check. Except all of my previous planning had not gone into action & we didn't have some of the supplies we needed. After a while I got us both decent enough to get to the store to gather some of the supplies and while I was there I picked up some things for dinner too because hey, I was feeling ambitious.

After Anderson's nap we immediately read the book for the week. He seemed to enjoy it enough so I told him all about a fun craft we were going to do while I got all of our supplies laid out. He was giddy with excitement.
 "Oooo! A cwaft!"
"That's right, buddy! A fun craft!"
"Pate! Pate! Pate!"
"Ok, just a minute. Mommy has to open the paper plates & then I'll show you what we're going to do."
"Pate! Pate! Pate!"
"Here just hold this plate for a minute while I finish getting everything else ready."
Satisfactorily, "Paaaaaaate"

The book of the week was Ezra Jack Keats' Snowy Day. The craft was to make a mixed media piece of artwork that resembled the ideas of the mixed media used in Keats' book. First we were going to cut up bits of tissue paper, glue them to a paper plate & then use water color paints over the paper & see the effect.

Well, I couldn't find the daggum watercolors. Maybe I threw them away in a cleaning frenzy. He had mixed up most of the colors anyway but stil I thought I had them! Maddening!

Ok, forget the water colors. We'll just practice cutting & gluing & talk about how the paper bits were like snowflakes. All unique & different.

Scissors are apparently not as easy a tool to use as I thought they would be. He was just frustrated with not being able to cut and quickly became bored. So I handed him the purple glue stick.
"That's right. Can you rub the purple glue on the plate?"

I showed him how to use the glue stick & it was an instant hit. I then showed him how we were going to put our paper "snowflakes" on the purple glue on the plate to make some pretty artwork.

"Look, can you put the snowflakes on the glue?"
"Yes, put this piece of paper on the purple."

I set the glue stick to the side which was a big mistake.

"Puuuh-ple! Puuuuh-ple!! Puhhhh-ple!!!!"

So I decided he could just be the glue-sticker & I would put the paper on the plate. Soon he discovered the pile of tiny pieces of tissue paper just sitting in front of him on the table. It obviously looked appealing as he picked up a big handful & threw it into the air. Uncontrollable laughter followed.

I tried to re-direct his attention to the task at hand. But he would not be diverted. He continued to gather up the paper & throw it into the air laughing hysterically & saying, "I make a mess! I make a mess!"

I, thankfully, quickly abandoned our craft plans & joined in the laughter. 

Lesson Learned: go with the flow. Sometimes "the student" has more fun with a pretend snowpile than a snowy craft. And remember, he's 2. So there's no pressure.

Andrew arrived home & asked Anderson where his craft was. Yeah, about that....

The few bits we had glued to the plate he had ripped off to add to the pile that he was throwing all over the kitchen. In the end, he enjoyed the book & had a great laugh. And even though my plan wasn't accomplished we still had fun together.


This Time Around

We are so excited, thrilled, joyful, grateful, lots-of-good emotions about this new baby!

I will say, this pregnancy has been different than the last time, for sure.

Last time I was a total freak and quite frankly I just don't have the brain capacity to keep up with all of the "rules" and guidelines I followed when I was pregnant with Anderson. We're pretty much in survival mode.

I need a nap. << this sums up my thoughts & feelings right now.



Anderson is TWO!

Didn't I just write the One post? Here I am writing Two. What a blessing!

I'm amazed at how much he has changed, grown, learned this year. It is truly astounding to watch God's design for the human body literally take shape. He has gotten so much taller & has become so much more verbal.

Some highlights from the year:

He took swimming lessons this spring & absolutely hated it but thankfully this summer he LOVED swimming in the pool. I give all the credit to the puddle jumper!

We went on a long road trip & saw some new states he hadn't been to yet!

I weaned him this fall which was bittersweet for sure. And NOT easy.

He moved off of the baby hall at the church nursery to the sunday school hall. *tear*

He got some new cousins this year (Noah, Ava Jaymes, and Millie)!

Some of my favorite Anderson words/pharses are:

"Crackees" - crackers
"Oh cold me!" - I'm cold
"Pocko" - cup (sadly, he's learned the word cup now)
"Moush, Noshe, Cheen" - mouth, nose, chin
"Nice" - he says this after he makes a good football throw, after we do "cheers" at the table, pretty much anytime he's pleased with what's just happened. It's hilarious!
"Oh Waining?" - due to the yucky weather lately everytime I open the door he asks if it's raining.
"I dub oo" - just this week he's starting saying I love you! It's been breaking my heart that he wouldn't say it & it's still few & far between but when he does I melt on the inside!

Favorite Colors:

Green {with the exception of pink all colors are "Geen or "Not Geen" but he is quickly improving his color-recognizing skills, many thanks to Play-Doh!}

Favorite Things:

Balls {especially footballs}

His tennis shoes - seriously, he's slept in them. He LOVES them!

Kitty-Kitty - he's so obsessed with the cat. If he knows the cat is inside he'll yell, "Kitty-Kitty! Kitty-Kitty!" Also, I've recently told him, "Don't put money on the cat" {I have no idea why but he loves putting coins all over him}, "You can't sit on the cat", "Be sweet to the cat", "Don't throw the ball at the cat", "No no touch the cat food" {he loves to pick up one tiny piece of cat food & try to feed it to him}. Surprisingly, the cat has become more tolerant of him recently, maybe it's just because he's tired of running so much ;-)

Trains - anytime he sees a train or we talk about a train he says, "All Aboud {no "r" sound}" while he does his arm up & down "Choo-Choo"! It's so adorable!


2 of anything {especially 2 hats}

Mickey Mouse - he LOVES to watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse! "Watch Mickin, Mama!" He knows almost all of the characters: "Geefy" {Goofy}, "Donal" {Donald}, "Meenee", "Mickin" {Mickey}. He dances to the songs & says, "Hotdog!" I love watching him watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

Cheers - this is a fairly new favorite thing & I'm not sure how long it will last but right now he loves to do "cheers" with our cups when we are sitting at the table. I'm not sure where he learned this or if he has just seen us do it with wine glasses before & is just now able to express that he knows what it is but he really loves to do cheers. We eventually have to say, "Ok, no more cheers, it's time to eat."

Praying - this one is the most meaningful & the sweetest. He loves to pray & whenever I say, "Anderson, we need to pray." He immediately runs over, bows his head, closes his eyes & puts his little hands together. Sometimes he evens prays out loud with me & it usually goes something like this, "Nonnie, Poppa, Ganma, Anna, Uncle Aimee. AMEEN!" Also, when he lays down for a nap we pray and when he lays down for bedtime we pray & it's just a very sweet time. We kept him in the church service with us last week & when we would whisper, "It's time to pray" he would bow his head, close his eyes & put his hands together. I could feel his little eyes watch me after a few moments since he wasn't sure if we were still praying & I would show him that we were & he would assume the position again. It was so sweet & I nearly cried. The Lord shows me, through my sweet son, His faithfulness & how little moments of discipline (easy & hard) are fruitful! What a blessing!

Anderson, we couldn't love you more. You bring joy, fun & laughter to our family. Everyday is something new and learning right along with you is the best adventure! I love you, son and I'm grateful for every moment we share with you! 


In All Circumstances

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 
 I Thessalonians 5:18

It's Thanksgiving day. My brother is deployed. My toddler & I have the flu. We're missing out on family traditions and togetherness.


My mother-in-law fell down all 12 of her basement stairs and landed on her concrete floor. She's been in the TBICU at UAB.

BROKENESS...Give Thanks?

Dear family friends lost their only son in a hunting accident.

LOSS...Give Thanks?

A dear friend has a young son not much older than my son. He was just diagnosed with leukemia.

SICKNESS...Give Thanks?

The first time I read The Hiding Place I was about 9 years old. I don't remember everything I thought about the story, I just remember being impacted by it.

A few years ago I bought my own copy and re-read it. I got to the chapter where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, are leading a secret Bible study in their barracks but their barracks become infested with fleas. Corrie is so frustrated and Betsie reminds her what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says. As Betsie is praying, giving thanks to God for the fleas Corrie says, "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea." Betsie replied, " 'Give thanks in all circumstances. It doesn't say, 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are part of this place where God has put us."

Come to find out the fleas were Divine Protection. Because the barracks were flea-infested the guards did not want to go in, therefore allowing their Bible study to continue. Corrie writes, "My mind rushed back to our fist hour in this place. I remembered Betsie's bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for."

Am I to give thanks for these things, God?! It's not easy. It doesn't feel right. Words of thanks feel like sand filling my cheeks. It feels like my heart is being ripped out. 

But maybe that's just it. Maybe my heart of stone is being ripped out and a heart of flesh is going in.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:25-26


Ann Voskamp recently tweeted: "We will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is."

Who is He?
-"God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." (Westminster Larger Catechism Q.7)

"...unchangeable in His goodness."
This doesn't feel good. But we don't give thanks because of how we feel...

God is good.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

For the Lord is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:5

Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good , for those who are called according to his purpose."

What is "good"? These things don't feel good.
What is their purpose?
What is my purpose?
-"To glorify God and enjoy him forever." (WLC Q.1)

If these things bring glory to God then dare I classify them as anything less than good?

So, despite how I feel, I give thanks. 
In all circumstances.