Saturday, March 29, 2008

Biggest Loser Winner

This is my third post on the blog!

I want to brag on Elijah for a minute. He participated in the "Biggest Looser" weight loss competition in our neighborhood. He has worked very hard at exercising and eating healthy and has lost 27 pounds over the last three months. He has also lowered his cholesterol.

We are so proud of the hard work he's done. Not only does he get the benefits of a healthy body, but he also won first place overall and first place in the men's.

He got $300, a $50 gift card to a sports store, a free one hour massage (which he's kindly offered to me), and the biggest surprise of all was a free two night stay in a beautiful cabin near Center Hill Lake in TN!

Congratulations, Elijah!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Alligator Mouth

We enjoyed another "Family Fun Night" together yesterday. Abby and I had a rough afternoon together, I'd kept her out too late when she needed a nap and she was having trouble using kind words with her friends.

We decided to do a little devotional before we played our game (the alligator game where you push the teeth down and try not to get "bitten" by the alligator). Elijah read us a few scripture about the tongue (Proverbs and James). One of the scriptures talks about putting a guard over your mouth. So I got out "Mouthy Mouth," the mouth puppet I used to use in speech therapy, and asked Abby what do we use our mouths for? She said, "To eat." I said, "Yes, what else do we use them for?" I was thinking to talk, she stood up and said, "To stand up and PRAISE the Lord!" with her little hands lifted high. I almost cried, it was so precious! That is after all why God gave us our mouths isn't it?

Anyway, so we talked about how are mouths can either give blessings (Kind words) or curses (unkind or mean words). Mouthy Mouth gave us some examples of kind words and unkind words and she had to tell which was which. When Mouthy Mouth used unkind words, we put a guard over our mouth-literally putting our hands over our mouth. I think she got it, later that night she told her Daddy, "NO!" in an unkind way, she immediately covered up her mouth!

After this, we played the alligator game and dominoes. Then we made popcorn together. It was great! We hope you'll have time to have a "Family Night" at your house soon, remember to share your ideas with us! For more Family Night ideas see the Girl Talk blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Boy's Name

Before Abby was born Andrea and I both agreed on her name, but with our son we never did fully agree on a name. I was pleased the other day when Andrea honored me by letting me select our son's name.

After much study, prayer, and consideration, I have come up with a name that I think will bring honor to God and give our son a name to be proud of and to live up to.

Enoch Joel Manor

Enoch \e-no-ch\ is pronounced EE-nuk. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "trained and vowed, dedicated; profound". Once Enoch is born, we intend to dedicate him to God, His plans, and His purposes.

Like Elijah, Enoch was the only other person in the Bible that didn't die and was taken directly into Heaven. As in the following reference, Enoch was mentioned to "having pleased God".

Hebrews 11:5 reads...
"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God."

I chose Enoch's middle name, Joel, because like my name it proclaims the name of God. Elijah means "My God is Jehovah", and Joel means "Yah(weh) is God".

I have enjoyed the name Elijah and I hope our son will enjoy his name too.

March Preschool

Abby and I had a great time in Preschool this month. We didn't get to all of our planned activities, but some of the biggest hits were making our picture of Humpty Dumpty, sorting pom poms into egg cartons, and the cross craft activities.

We used "Ressurrection Eggs" to teach about the days leading up to Christ's death, his burial and resurrection. We also watched the "Miss Patty Cake DVD that explains the resurrection eggs more at a preschool level. Abby loved these videos and it was so precious to see her singing the songs along with the video. She could explain all about the donkey, who rode on it, the city where Jesus was going, what the people said, "Hosanna!" and that they waved palm branches as he passed. During our night time devotions, we pretended that daddy was a donkey and Abby was Jesus, she rode on his back and I was one of the people in the crowd yelling, "Hosanna!" and waving paper palm branches. One evening the three of us took a walk down by the river in our neighborhood and we saw a thorn tree, I've never seen anything like it before. This was the perfect opportunity to show her what the crown of thorns was made out of. She was able to touch it and see how sharp it was and she would say that the crown hurt Jesus. The cross craft activities done this month were real eye opening to her, every where we went she was seeing things in the shape of a cross, she'd say, "Look, Mama, a cross!" with a big smile on her face. She could tell me who died on the cross and answer questions about why (for our sins) and if Jesus did anything wrong? (No). She liked to pick out her baby and toddler Bibles to read before nap time, she wanted to read the stories about Jesus on the donkey, the cross and the resurrection. We explained that Jesus was buried in a tomb, sort of like a cave, and she could tell us that the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty and that Jesus is alive!

We also had the opportunity to participate in an Easter egg hunt at "The Meadows" nursing home. It was so sweet to see Abby interact with the elderly residents. We also had Easter lunch here, the food was provided by my grandfather Pawi (from Kroger). Thanks, Pawi!

I am so thankful for the teachable moments we had this month and for the wonderful resources we have available to us to teach Abby about Jesus at such a young age. On Easter Sunday we had our family over for lunch. Abby passed a "resurrection egg" to each person and we all took turns opening the eggs and reading a description of how it related to the story of Christ. This was a wonderful preschool month! I love watching her grow and learning new things.

For those of you who are interested, you can view the details of Abby's Daily Preschool Program for the month of March.

For more pictures go to my March Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Baby #2's Gender

The day has finally come for Andrea's 20 week ultrasound.

Abby is going to be the proud big sister of a healthy baby boy (the above pictures make that fact real obvious)!

Everything checked out fine with the ultrasound and things seem to be on track.

It will take us a bit longer to figure out his name. We wanted to wait until we knew the gender before we thought about it too seriously :)

Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.... Andrea, myself, Abby, and our baby boy.

Backyard Picnic

It was a beautiful day outside today in Nashville. I worked from home today and during lunch we decided to have a picnic in our backyard.

We ate from plates and cups that Abby passed out from her little picnic basket.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Game Night

We decided to have another special family night, but we don't want to make movie nights a common experience. So, we tried a game night.

Andrea and Abby made popcorn again and we played Leap Frog Dominoes. The first level of dominoes is to match the color ends of the pieces. We had a great time playing together.

If any of you have any good ideas for family nights together, please share them. We would love to try them.