Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for March, 2006

Post spring break…

30th March 2006

We sure enjoyed having Brian home last week! Analise has been missing him during the sday, but we’re managing. I don’t know exactly where the week has gone, but here it is almost Friday already. My grandma Vivian and her husband Charlie are coming for a visit tomorrow until Monday. I’ve got an unbelieveable meal planned for tomorrow… if it turns out as I hope, I’ll post the recipes next week.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant already, but the aching is getting worse. My back is so painful these days, I think I need to make a physical therapy appointment. Thank goodness for swim class tomorrow. Have I mentioned it’s hard to pick up a 25lb toddler with back pain? Not to mention the bending over to pick up food/toys/clothes/etc. I can’t believe how much more active I am this pregnancy than I was with Analise – just out of necessity because I’ve got her!

One of Brian’s fellow professors at Samford emailed him this funny link about the Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome. Very interesting and mind boggling research!

I had one or two others, but they’re slipping my mind at the moment. I’ll post them when I think of them. Oh, and for those checking in for Analise tidbits, her new phrase this week is, “Oh boy!” She’s parroting nearly every 2 syllable word we say. It’s sweet and amazing to see her changing so fast!

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Mt. Cheaha Adventures

25th March 2006

Click on any of the pictures in this blog to zoom in to see a larger picture.


We are enjoying Spring Break here in Alabama! Woo-hoo! We drove to Alabama’s highest point, Cheaha Mountain,
on Wednesday. It was a cool, clear, beautiful early Spring day. We drove some nice back roads to get there
following the same route that I took when I biked to
Samford’s new faculty retreat in January.

Analise decided to carry on an interesting conversation about ducks, cows, mommy, and daddy for almost
the entire two hour drive. She’s been amazingly observant in the car, keeping her eyes
constantly open for ducks and doggies. The conversation went something like this:
“Ducks? Wheah ducks? Moah (more)! Mommy, Daddy ducks! Doggie? (doggie sound) Ahh gone.
Moah? Moah! Ducks! Mmmmmmmmoo! (constipated cow sound).” I wish we could have taped it.
Very entertaining. She’s such a chatterbox lately! The other amazing thing was that she didn’
t nap – as we thought she would – on the entire 2 hour trip in the early afternoon.
Too much to talk about, I guess!

We parked at a lovely boardwalk trail that takes you to a beautiful overlook. (See the pictures at the top of this page).
Alongside the trail, though, is a rocky path that takes you to the overlook as well. We decided to take the path and let
Analise try hiking on her own for the first time. She loved it! She’s like a little mountain goat! My dad would be so
proud to see his little granddaughter climbing all over the rocks. She wanted to stand on top of all the rocks she found.
When she’d get past a rocky section, she’d take off running. A bit precarious, but we didn’t have any spills, amazingly.
At the overlook, we spent some time climbing the rocks, and from a distance away, Analise hard a dog, and she was
determined to get to it. We visited with the sweet Australian sheep dog, while Analise alternatingly lunged at him to
kiss him and leaned away as he nuzzled up to her. She loved it – going between squeals of laughter, cries of “Doggie!”
and her little doggie sounds. The dog loved her enthusiasm, I think:) We took the boardwalk trail back, and we had to
practically run to keep up with Analise.

After a short rest, we drove to the highest point on the mountain so we could check out the amazing view. We had to
climb up an old observation deck (built in the 1940’s) to get above the trees. Analise was amazing. She climbed up all
62 stairs (we counted on the way back down). The view was great, but we were ready to go hiking again. Off we went, and
we found a waterfall next to the road. We parked above the waterfall, and found that there was a cool pond behind it.
I told Analise that we might see some “fish” in the pond. Analise responded by saying, “Pish, Pish, Iwanpish, Iwanpish”.
We actually didn’t see any fish, but there were hundred of tadpoles swimming around.

All of our adventuring left us pretty hungry, so we decided to have dinner at the restaurant located on a cliff next to
the edge of the mountain. Analise was so good even though she had not had a nap all day, and she had hiked, climbed, and
walked all over the mountain, too. During dinner though, Analise pulled over a cup of ice water and it spilt all over her.
The shock of the cold water led to some crying, but we exchanged her wet onesie for a sweat jacket and all was good.
Then we watched a beautiful “God-painted” sunset together. A biker (motorcycle) told us that the sunset was God-painted,
and we agreed. Finally, we left to drive home, and Analise was asleep within five minutes of leaving and didn’t
wake up until the next morning. We drove home on part of the Cheaha Challenge bicycle route. Whew! Can’t wait to do that
ride in May.

Pictures, pictures, pictures! Click on any of the pictures in this blog to zoom in to see a larger picture.









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Birmingham is Blooming!

24th March 2006

Sorry we haven’t posted a blog this week! Brian’s on spring break, and we’ve really just been enjoying ourselves hanging out together, resting, getting things done, doing fun stuff. We’re in the middle of writing a lengthy blog with pictures from an adventure we took to Mount Cheaha this Wednesday. Today we visited Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve here in Birmingham and saw some fun animals.

Monday was exciting, as Brian’s parents arrived back from South Carolina with furniture for us! His grandmother has moved into a smaller apartment, so we inherited some nice furniture to fill our empty front, formal living room, along with some REAL dining room furniture. I’ll post a pic of that later too. I’ve been busy trying to put all the clutter away and get the house back in order. Kind of hard not to overdo it with all the back pain I’m having lately, but Brian’s been a huge help. Speaking of his help, he’s conquered the child-lock project that haunted him from 2 months ago. The magnetic Tot Lok’s are installed in the kitchen, and they work really well. Brian proudly showed it to everyone who came for our home church gathering last night. He’s even ready to get them installed in the 2 bathrooms. My domestic hero!

Analise has been sweet all week, and she’s loving having her daddy around. She’s a chatterbox, full of at least 20 new words that she’s using ALL THE TIME.

As I said in the title, Birmingham is in bloom. I have decided, I love Wisconsin in the fall because of the beautiful colors and the changing season. But I also love spring in the south. The cherry trees are full of poofy white blossoms, the redbud trees splash a bright pink in the midst of all the white, tulips and azaleas are in full color, the Bradford pear trees have turned a bright, spring-green color, and the occassional hardwood is budding in red or orange. Love it. It’s just beautiful to drive around and see all the color.

Ok, another exciting Friday evening at the Toones wraps up. Off to hopefully finish the blog and get some good rest. I’m still battling a cough, but thankfully, I’m much improved over last week. We’re having a picnic in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens tomorrow. Check back later!

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Alabama Springtime

20th March 2006

Today is the first day of Spring, and I just found these great pictures that Kristine took last week of the beautiful Springtime in Alabama. Many of the smaller trees are blooming, and some of the larger ones are growing light green leaves that stand out on a hillside that still has a large number of “winter” trees. In the left picture above, you can see Analise running through our front yard with one of our red bud trees blooming behind her. In the right picture, you can see Analise holding onto the dogwood tree that we planted for her shortly after moving to Alabama. Kristine told me that Analise had been running circles around the tree.

Here is our neighbor’s beautiful “snow” tree. There are many trees like this in Alabama that bloom full of white blossoms that look like snow. You can also see the many pink blossoms on the bush growing next to our house.

Finally, I took this last picture of Analise as we were getting ready for church on Sunday. We started out by telling Analise she could take her baby and a book. The next thing we know, Analise has grabbed her toy grocery basket and was loading it up with as many things as she could possibly fit in it! Food, toys, books, and more!

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A tea party

17th March 2006

I had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning and came home to find Analise and my friend Lauren having a tea party in the guest bedroom. I snagged this picture later in the day – after her nap, which is why her hair is fuzzy – and the table was not so neatly set, but it was still an enjoyable tea time, just the same. If you come visit us, I’m sure Analise will serve you tea, as well!

I’ve been fighting a sinus infection all week, and maybe – fingers crossed – today’s the day I start feeling better. I’m more than ready… it’s exhausting to be sick and have to be mommy. Poor Brian hadn’t had anything decent for dinner since last Thursday, so he was excited that we had our home church over last night. Mmmm… good food – Paula Deen’s (from the Food Network) Barbecue Meatloaf. I have never really enjoyed meatloaf, but this was GOOD and very easy. I made dessert, something nearly identical to this recipe – Paula Deen’s Gooey Toffee Butter Cake. Instead of toffee bits, I used 1 cup of chocolate chips, melted with 1 cup of the cream cheese batter, poured on top and marbled. It was delicious!

Thank goodness today’s Friday. I’ve missed my swim class all week, and I can definitely feel that my body is missing stretching and moving in the water. But my regular babysitters – Grandma Beverly and Grandpa Tom – are in South Carolina for the week, and I’ve been coughing so much, I’d probably cough through the whole class. Besides being Friday, spring break starts today for Brian. Woohoo! We don’t have much planned except to hopefully get out and enjoy the beautiful spring blooms and catch up on a few household projects. Hope everyone’s doing well!

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A battle of wills

13th March 2006

I’m amazed at how strong the will of a 20-month old can be. Honestly. Analise is very sweet and good-natured 98% of the time, but in the moments that she wants something her way, watch out. It’s hard to know how to handle it. I’m doing my best to be firm, give options, distract her, etc. But when was the last time you tried to reason with a toddler? I’m not sure she understands reason. The most recent example was at dinner. She needed some fruit or veggie with dinner. She didn’t want the broccoli and cheese, so I gave her a choice between applesauce and peaches. Well, she didn’t really look interested in either, but told me to “op” the peaches. She dabbled in them for a minute, but never ate any, and told me she was all done and wanted “dow”. I gave her about 10 minutes of trying to sit there, just explaining to her that she needed to eat the peaches, just one bite, even. I’m not sure she understood the “just 1 bite, and then you can be all done” concept. She was quite upset, crying, etc. I tried to be firm, and finally she calmed down and tried to hand me her water – “deah-go” (her version of “there you go”) – and the peaches. (This was a good thing, in a way, because sometimes she’ll just push things off the high chair. So I guess I should be celebrating how reasonable she was.) Finally, I gave in a little, and gave her a choice of banana or apple, and she wanted some apple. That was the end of it. *SIGH*

This parenting thing is hard. Honestly, very few things have driven me closer to God than this. I come back to my knees again and again, just asking God to show me how to do it, not by my strength, but by His. Particularly today, I have to make sure it’s not a battle for me to be right and have the upper-hand. It’s surprisingly easy to find yourself determined that a toddler is not going to “win” against you, when I really want to keep this about her learning patience and obedience.

Ok, sorry to unload. I know there are a few out there who are learning the same lessons I am. Bless you all… I’m praying for you as I’m praying for myself!

It’s about 9pm, and I’m ready for bed. I’m still fighting some sort of bug. My throat is killing me, and I’m just aching and tired. Before I go, though, just a couple pictures tonight that I found on the camera. These were from last week when I brought home the changing table from the consignment sale. I also bought some bows:) I love my little girl with bows in her hair!

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A little rest and relaxation goes a long way!

11th March 2006

I mentioned in an earlier post that Brian and I would be going away to a bed & breakfast this weekend for a church retreat. I started coming down with a cold or something on Thursday night with a terrible sore throat and miserable aching body all night and woke up feeling like I should stay in my own bed all day. I thought quite possibly of sending Brian on his way, letting his parents keep Analise as planned and being sick by myself at home. My Friday morning swim class eased some of the aching and gave me enough energy to get us all ready to go. Boy, am I glad I did!

This retreat was for the church leadership group that Brian is the head of called the Administrative Ministry Team. All we knew was that our pastor and his wife had gone to this bed & breakfast last month and returned raving about what an awesome experience it was. They were excited to take a group back… lucky us:) In a meeting withour pastor, Chris, on Tuesday, Brian told me that Chris had been going over plans for the weekend and mentioned something about room assignments and roommates. I FREAKED out, telling him there was no way I was going away for a relaxing weekend only to have roommates other than my husband. Besides, isn’t that one of the reasons you get married – so you don’t have to worry about other roommates??? Brian tried to assure me that it was a bed & breakfast, and we could probably assume that we’d be in a room together, though we might be with another couple. I could live with that thought, though as Friday rolled around and I was feeling bad, that was one big reason I thought I’d rather not go.

We arrived at The Summit in Fort Payne, Alabama a bit later than everyone else just as dinner was starting. It’s a beautiful home situated on top of a ridge over looking the town of Fort Payne and Lookout Mountain. It was so elegant and in such a beautiful location!

The home was originally built by the bassist for the band Alabama. Eventually, it was bought by the founder of Chick-Fil-A (a christian, who lives in Birmingham, actually!) and it’s now run as a place of respite and retreat for those in christian leadership. The staff and directors strive to make it as relaxing as possible, serving you in anyway you need. What a sweet ministry they have created!

The rest of our group of 20 had already been shown to their rooms, but we sat down immediately to dinner. Chris mentioned showing us our room while we were eating, and I told him how worried I had been about the “roommate” situation. He had a good laugh, explaining that we did have a room to ourselves, and he had been talking about which couples would get which rooms, since they all had different amenities. Well. Little did I know that I think we had one of most – if not the most – luxurious suites in the house. Chris and his wife, Kathy, were so excited to see our reaction as they took us to our room after dinner. It was stunning!

We had the Williamsburg Suite, with a fire place, a door onto the deck, and a huge bathroom with a step in whirlpool tub. WOW!

The tub was a sweet treat for me, and I enjoyed it both last night and this morning. It’s probaby 3.5 feet deep, and my tired body thorougly enjoyed soaking in the jetted water. I slept really well, too, thankfully, though on my ONE morning without Analise to awaken me early, Brian got up at 5:15 to go biking, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I lounged in bed, enjoyed some worship music and a quiet devotional time in the comfy chair and soaked before going to breakfast. (Yes, you will note that I look quite largely pregnant in the picture below. That’s how pregnancy looks on me… even at 28 weeks! I’ll post more about that another time.)

MMMMmmm… the food was great. Breakfast was homemade waffles, topped with whatever you wanted – chocolate chips, pecans, strawberries, blueberries, syrup, whipped cream. Dinner last night was great, too, followed by italian cream cake (something I’ve only had in the South – it’s wonderful!). Last night, we enjoyed some praise and worship as a group, and then just hung out together in the beautiful house. Brian was busy with a meeting this morning, and since I’m still not feeling well, I took a nap, read and just enjoyed not being needed by anyone:) It was lovely!

We had lunch with the group at Cracker Barrel before we went our separate ways, and then Brian took me on a driving tour of his bike adventure up Lookout Mountain to DeSoto State Park.

Honestly, 24 hours away was such a blessing to me. I hadn’t realized how very draining it is to be “on call” 24 hours a day/7 days a week as a mom. Chris had hoped the weekend would be more of a rest and relaxation for us to just enjoy some quiet time with God, rather than to complete a busy agenda of meetings, and it certainly served its purpose for me.

Analise had a wonderful weekend with her Grandma Beverly and Grandpa Tom. They played outside lots yesterday… and she was so worn out she slept well for them during the night, thankfully. She was happy to see us when she came home, but quite upset to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa when the left for home after dinner. She cried harder saying goodbye to them than she had at all while we were gone! (I’d like to think it was because she was tired…) Anyway, it was a blessing to us to be able to get away and enjoy some down time and be together just for a bit. I had lots more I wanted to write about earlier in the day, but I’m thorougly exhausted and feeling pretty lousy tonight, so I’ll wrap it up with the fact that I’m thankful for God’s provision of this luxurious weekend to Brian and I. I love that He knows exactly what we need and provides in unexpected ways. I know Brian’s anxious to post some pictures of his bike adventure tomorrow, so look for that!

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Honey Mustard Skillet Chicken and my mooching daughter

8th March 2006

First, I’ll share a funny quote from something I read daily, Blogging Baby. It’s a parenting site that highlights news and blogs from all over the internet. This one was just too applicable not to share, as it describes Analise perfectly right now (the mooch, not the double-dipper, at least not yet!).

I know we’ve all been there. You feed your kids a nice, healthy breakfast and they eat it all. Then you pack some snacks and head off to park to play. Things are going nicely until your child hears the tell-tale rustling of a Zip-Loc bag being opened. Why is it that no matter what kind of snacks you’ve packed, your child will always try to seek out something better? No, not better. Different.

You could have a sack full of chocolate cupcakes in your hand, and your child will run off to bother the person holding the Cheerios. With that look on their faces. That look that says, “Please! Give me a Cheerio! My parents don’t feed me!”
Bunny, my preschooler went through this phase, and Wallie, my toddler, is just hitting it now. I know it’s normal, and I laugh as I dole out our snacks to other kids (with parent permission first, of course), but still… It’s embarrassing!

Equally embarrassing is what Bunny now does whenever she encounters a bowl or hummus, salsa, or dip. She double-dips. Cringe. I’ve tried to explain to her that that’s not polite. No one wants to eat saliva-laden foods, right? She doesn’t get it. The chip, pita, or celery stick is just the vehicle to get the dip, dip and more dip into her mouth. You’ve been forewarned: the hummus at our house is tainted, and you might not want to let Wallie see you eating that.

Honestly, this perfectly describes Analise. At church in her classroom, she is ALWAYS trying to eat the other kids’ food. And thankfully, she’s at the age, where the other kids are still pretty nice about it, even giving her things. But every now and then, she’ll snag a cracker or goldfish that someone was planning to eat and it causes quite a ruckus. I wonder how long this phase will last??

Honey Mustard Skillet Chicken
I adapted this recipe from one I found on, and it was a huge hit with Brian tonight. I rarely do chicken in a skillet, but this was so juicy, and the sauce had a nice zip to it. I’ve also never cooked with white wine, and I was leery as to whether I’d like the flavor, but I never would have guessed it was in there, had I not known. It was excellent, and I’ll be using white wine to cook more often:)

  • 1/2 c. honey mustard sauce (either from mixing 3 T of Dijon mustard and 2 T of honey or I used the prepared style dipping sauce)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese

Mix honey mustard and herbs together. Heat oil and garlic in pan just until hot and garlic is golden, add chicken breasts. Spoon half of honey mustard mixture over chicken, turn and cover the other side of the chicken with the rest of the mixture. Pour 1/4 c. of white wine around chicken. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes. Turn chicken over to brown the other side. Pour another 1/4 c of white wine around chicken, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add remaining wine to skillet, cover and reduce heat to lowest setting for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, top chicken with swiss cheese, cover to let cheese melt. Enjoy!

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A week worth of chit chat!

7th March 2006

Name Game!
Brian realized last night that Analise is saying her name! I, personally, only heard a garbled mumbo-jumbo word, but after much chatter today involving her name, I, too have determined that she can say “A-sheesh” very distinctly when we prompt her. Yeah! In more name news (no, sorry! not revealing our little Toone-to-be’s name yet!), Grandpa is the only person who Analise calls by name, and guess what it is? “Boppa”. How odd is that? But it’s definitely her word for grandpa.

Consignment Sale Season!
Last wekeend kicked off the first couple consignment sales around here. I found a couple small things and a few maternity pieces of clothing. But yesterday was the BIG sale, called Kids Market. It’s held in an old grocery store, and the place is packed with racks of clothes, shelves and shelves of toys and games, more strollers/carseats/swings/etc than you could imagine (think larger than the produce section of a grocery store!), and furniture. I had a couple things in mind to look for, but didn’t find the *exact* fit (ie, a new crib for the little one and/or a toddler bed for Analise). But we did find 2 great deals. Analise has always enjoyed playing with Weebleville at friends’ houses, and there was one in excellent shape with a bag full of Weebles for only $8. But the best find for my little mothering girl was a plastic changing table/bath/high chair station. Analise is always putting her baby up on her changing table – which, she then can’t reach. This is a perfect fit, and it’s already gotten great use out of it. Only $6! She’s going to be a well-practiced big sister when the real baby arrives. Now she just needs to learn to swaddle her baby (which I do on average 10 times per day).

Other Chit-Chat
Brian’s just started reading again. He goes through phases where he’ll read voraciously, but then not read for quite a while. His only reading choices in the more than 2.5 years we’ve been married: C.S. Lewis (currently just starting the Space Trilogy, reading Out of the Silent Planet) or J.R.R. Tolkein (read the Lord of the Rings series back to back at least once during the first year of our marriage.) He definitely knows what he likes and sticks with it!

We’ve had 2 full nights of sleep… dare I hope for another tonight? More good news, Brian’s finally over his sinus infection/bronchitis woes. Also, this coming weekend we’ve got the opportunity to go to a bed & breakfast with a group from church Friday to Saturday. This will be our FIRST night away from Analise in 20 months. Wow – that is hard to believe but true! My thinking is, better do it now, because in about 3 months, there will be another little one arriving to take over our nights for a good long while! My fingers are crossed for Grandma Beverly and Grandpa Tom as she stays with them. Analise enjoys her time with them so much, and as long as they take her outside and wear her out in the fresh air for an hour or so in the afternoon, she should be good and tired for a full night’s sleep.

Living Proof Live in Birmingham
I’m just now getting the chance to put my thoughts into blog-form from the Beth Moore conference a couple weekends ago. It was a GREAT experience. She is a dynamic speaker, with a powerful testimony. I love her Bible studies, but to see her in person was a great privilege. She’s very down to earth, full of comical stories, yet very humble and practical in her teaching. It was amazing – there were over 18,000 people (mostly women) at the event. It was just great to see so many people coming together to draw nearer to God and be filled up with His word. If you ever get a chance to see Beth Moore teach live, jump at it! You won’t be disappointed! (You can learn more about her and her ministry, Living Proof Live, at their website.)
Our church was one of 50 “host” churches, that provided volunteers for the event. I tell ya, being a volunteer was the WAY TO GO. We had teriffic seats right down front, and our work was easy. It was fun to be involved in the weekend!

By the way, I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Beth Moore’s newest bible study,
The Patriarchs, is EXCELLENT. We’re doing it as a small group on Tuesday mornings, and I’m learning so much about the history of Judaism, which is our history as christians. Man, Genesis 1-50 reads like a soap opera! It’s crazy! Even more interesting is how much God foreshadows His plan of salvation for us throughout the different stories! Great stuff!

The main topic of the teaching from the Beth Moore weekend was about generations.

  • God calls forth every generation.
    Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD -with the first of them and with the last—I am he.” (Isa. 41:4)
  • God characterizes generations.
    Over and over He gives adjectives to describe generations: “warped and crooked”, “unbelieving”, “seeking”, “chosen”. Overwhelmingly, God is referring to the generation of HIS people. What will our generation be know as? We could be known as the “believing” generation! It’s up to us!
  • God is faithful to every generation; He never withholds His love from us.
    For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
    No matter what has happened in perversity and unbelief, we have NOT outlived or outsinned God’s faithfulness to our generation.
  • Generations are altered when collective individuals are altered.
    This one struck closest to home for me, as I feel it’s very true of what’s happening in our home church ministry at Clearwater. People are coming together weekly to open up, talk about God’s word, pray for each other, and step out of our comfort zones together, and lives are being changed. In turn, we’re becoming more and more motivated to reach out and impact our generation with the love God has shown us. It’s up to us as individuals – whether or not we’re in a home church! – to allow ourselves to be changed by God. That is the starting ground for His work in our generation.
  • Acts 13:36 – David served God’s purpose in his own generation.
    Psalm 24:6 – a generation of those who seek Him – face to face!
  • God holds each generation responsible for the next generation. A faithful generation will always leave a legacy of faith.
    I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6)
    I really liked this, as it shows how applicable my life as a parent is to building up the legacy of faith that my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on will walk in. He’ll mark them for a thousand generations when we teach them to love Him and keep His commands!

The Indescribable Tour
On Thursday before the Beth Moore conference, Brian and I went to a praise and worship concert by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Louie Giglio. It was AWESOME! Great music, powerful message, and just a sweet way to start out the fun, full weekend I had before me. They are top-notch worship leaders, and its an amazing difference to go to a “concert” that isn’t about the performers but about bringing people into a worship experience with God. Definitely see them if you get the chance!

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Ask and you shall receive… photos and chit-chat

1st March 2006

Someone posted a comment in the last blog asking for pictures, so here you go! (Brian’s had a nagging cough for a few weeks and finally went to the doctor yesterday. He’s got a sinus infection and bronchitis, poor guy. I hope these make him smile, too!!)

It’s been a week of lovely weather – in the 70’s today! – so Analise and I have been enjoying being outside a bit (above). Brian snagged this photo (below) of Analise in the kitchen putting her zoo animals down her overalls last night. She managed to put about 8 animals in there… until they started coming out her pants leg!

I caught this photo yesterday of Analise and Grandpa (now called “Poppa”) snacking together on the kitchen floor. I tell ya, she’s such a mover, it’s hard to get her still enough to smile, but when you get one, it’s as sweet as ever! By the way, note the bow in her hair. We’re working on keeping a bow or a barrette in her hair, but as you can tell in 2 of 4 photos here, it’s only working some of the time!

I wish you all could see Analise with the newborn babies in our church. She’s just enamored with them, rocking them in their infant car seat carriers, covering them with blankets, making little crying noises when she hears them crying. This past weekend, two of the moms were standing and rocking their babies, swaying back and forth, and Analise, holding her baby, started swaying back and whispering little sing-songs to her baby. It was the sweetest thing. Have I said she’s going to be a great big sister?:)

This last photo (below) was during our time outside time yesterday. We’d been strolling Analise’s baby around, and she decided the baby needed a bit of rocking.

Tonight is our last home church gathering of 19 people. We’ve decided to “multiply” our group into 3 new smaller groups starting next week. I’m going to miss the weekly chaos, the lovely smorgasboard of food, seeing all our dear friends on such a regular basis. But we’re excited to be starting a new home church on Thursday nights with a few of the same people, and hopefully bringing some new people into the awesome ministry we’ve got going. It’s really exciting to see how the home churches are really impacting people on an individual level. We’ve had quite a few people visit church for a Sunday or two, visit a home church, continue coming, and before we know it, become members of our new blossoming church. It’s the best way to get connected and feel like a part of the Clearwater family!

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