Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I think I had a bit of postpartum depression after having her. I don't normally talk about it, but I came out of it with more appreciation for my little girl. For about six to eight months or so, I didn't feel like she was mine. I questioned why God gave me another child. I thought that since I was nursing that I was supposed to have this automatic connection with her. What kind of mother doesn't instantly love their child? But there I was. A mother of two who didn't feel like I was supposed to have two. That then brought about guilt. Yes, I was in a dark place for a long time, but thankfully I had a girlfriend who was in the exact same place I was and we were able to talk about it and console each other. God is good.
So, as I mentioned, when I finally came out of that place in my life, I grew to love Sarah so very much. I love her giggle. I love her determination. I love her independence (must be a second born thing...Caleb is NOT like that)!
When Caleb started preschool, I finally had some time with just the two of us. Mommy and Sarah time grew to be some of my most favorite times! It was then that she finally started talking a lot, using new words, speaking in complete sentences. I guess without big brother around, she learned to speak for herself! :o) "Mommy, I need more juice...pweeeeze!"
It took about 18 months for her to have any hair at all. By the time she was two, I was finally able to put a tiny little pony tail on top of her head. Then in late November of last year, a couple months after she turned two, I was able to get her hair in pigtails! It's pretty much the only way I can fix her hair. But it's now just the way everyone knows Sarah! There are days when I wish she wore pigtails forever...
And while she can be a bit over dramatic at times (her new phrase now when she's upset is "I'M GOING TO CRY!") she is still so precious to me.
I hadn't written about her much...so here the post just about Sarah!
The gift of discernment consists of the spiritual quality or skill of being able to see or understand, especially that which is hidden or obscure. This ability is shared in a general way by all of God's children, but "discerning of spirits" is one of the gifts of the spirit that comes, under certain circumstances, specially from God (1 Cor. 12:10). The fuller gift of discerning in all spiritual matters—to know whether their occurrence is of God or not—is given by the Lord. To possess this gift is to receive divinely revealed understanding of opposing spirits—the spirit of God and the spirit of the devil. Persons possessing such a gift also correctly perceive the right course of action.
Not only can the power of discernment distinguish good from evil, the righteous from the wicked, and false spirits from divine, but its more sensitive operation can also make known even "the thoughts and intents of the heart" of other persons (Heb. 4:12).If you were quick enough to read the rest of this post before I deleted it, lucky you! I've decided to remove it and I'll try to repost something sometime soon. I just decided I didn't want phone calls about it...not yet...
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Sonja...I'm so proud of your hard work and diligence. The girls looked beautiful. You took the wonderful talent they had and pushed them to achieve, even on days when they didn't necessarily want to! :o) I know this will just be the first of many successful shows you will have written, designed, and directed.
Love you! :o)
Friday, March 27, 2009
Yesterday, he was playing on PBS Kids - specifically Word Girl! When I watch that show I often think that the words that are being introduced are too big for a 4-year-old (I think the target age might be for elementary kids). But I always think that it's great that Caleb is being introduced to a wide vocabulary at an early age. I was listening to the game, and the word she used was cumbersome.
A short while after playing on the computer, Caleb came into the kitchen and wanted me to make some orange juice, and he wanted to help me. He brought his stool over to the sink, and I let him hold the container while I scooped the frozen concentrate into it. He was sort of holding it at an odd and awkward angle, and he said, "Mom, this is a bit cumbersome!" I'm sure he didn't understand why I laughed a bit, and then I said, "That's right, Caleb! World Girl taught you that, didn't she?"
Later, he asked if he could hold Gabriel. I told him to sit over on the couch, and he did. I put Gabriel on his lap, and Gabriel was a bit wiggly. Caleb said, "Holding Gabriel can be cumbersome!"
So never underestimate a 4-year-old and their ability to understand vocabulary! :o)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I stayed much later than I normally would, but it was just so nice to be there for a while. Josh sent me a text and said, "Please text me when you leave." So I did. I gave everyone hugs, and headed on my way.
Since my parents live "out in the sticks" I've always been keenly aware of the fact that I need to look for little creatures of the night when driving in the dark. A handful of times, I have even seen a cow in the middle of the road that made it's way out of the fence (Hwy CC out of Bland). I made it off of CC and turned onto Hwy B to get to St. James. I was listening to Spirit FM, and I remember praying, "Lord, please keep me safe on the way home and help me to see anything in the road."
Then I heard Him. It was so clear. Slow down, Chrissy.
I wasn't really even going that fast (55 mph or so), but since I felt that God was speaking to me, I did slow down quite a bit. I crested a hill, and then I saw it. Within 100 yards of slowing down, there was a deer standing in the middle of the road. It didn't move. It wasn't bothered by the fact that a van was driving toward it! I'm so glad that I was going so much slower than I was before, because there is no way I would have avoided this deer going 55 mph.
My heart was beating rather quickly after I drove past the deer (which, by the way, SLOWLY trotted off of the road as I went around him in the other lane...what an arrogant deer)! I thanked the Lord for speaking to me, in that still, small voice. I know that He does speak to us if we just listen.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
One day, Sarah put Woody's hat (from Toy Story) on Gabriel's head. I'm not so sure he was too excited about the idea! The look on his face just cracks me up!
Then one day, Caleb decided to play with Gabriel using Sarah's Barbie's. I just laughed!
That afternoon, after showing Josh the Barbie pictures, Caleb and Josh went outside to play football...lol!
And sometimes, I have all three of them with me on the couch!
It's certainly never dull around here!
Monday, March 23, 2009
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
When I was 14, I started taking pitching lessons in St. Louis from a girl named Tammy Duffin. Eventually, her college schedule must have taken her away, and then I was her dad's student. His name is Roger Duffin. I know these names won't really mean anything to my readers, but they do mean a lot to me.
Roger's sister, Becky Duffin, was a pitcher for Team USA in 1990. Amazingly, my Aunt Tina played on the same high school team! I have a picture of Becky and my aunt holding a state softball trophy together...I used to keep it in my room in college. Becky's high school jersey used to hang in the Maries County Bank in Vienna. There is a new building now, so I'm not sure if it's still displayed. I remember walking into that bank one day...visiting with my dad since my uncle works there...and I saw that jersey. There it was...number 11. I knew I wanted that number from then on...
I remember picking up our jerseys my freshman year of high school. Upperclassmen always got first choice, of course, but to my surprise, number 11 was still there when I went to pick out one! I was #11 on every team I played on (even competitive softball in St. Louis each summer). As the years went on, "Eleven" pretty much became my name when I pitched. My dad always called me that, even when we were just throwing in the back yard! My teammates called me "Eleven" when I was on the mound. It's just who I was.
I only pitched two years in college. Even though number 11 was already taken by a junior, my dad still called me by my old number! :o) It always made me smile.
On my wedding day, for some odd reason, I thought that playing catch with my dad would make the day eaiser. I wanted him to know that I still loved playing catch and pitching to my favorite catcher! If you could see the picture my mom took after we were done, you'd know that it did not make that day any easier for him! I remember him saying, "Good job, Eleven," as we walked up to the door to take our gloves back inside. I even broke a nail in the process of playing catch, but I didn't care. I knew it was something I'd hold dear as a memory...
When we were getting ready to walk down the aisle, the main doors closed, and it was just the two of us standing there, waiting for the music to change. With his eyes full of tears, and his voice so quiet because of emotion of the day, he said, "Let's go do this, Eleven."
So...Sarah C...that's why I always pick pager 11. I can't help it. The number means a lot.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"Be careful little eyes what you see..."
Today, we went to Wal-Mart to pick up some things since we were already in Rolla to meet someone for something else. Since we weren't in a hurry, and the kids were being good, we let them look at the toy aisle. Caleb likes the boy stuff, and Sarah is starting to notice the girly stuff.
I always find myself looking at Barbies because I'm usually pretty critical of them - specifically, the outfits that they are dressed in are too revealing. One that I saw today, the top showed the mid-drift, and I just shook my head in disbelief (and in disapproval). I won't let my daughter dress that way...why would I let her play with a doll that looks like that?
And then there's my issue with naked Barbies! I know...maybe it sounds silly...but I really just hate naked Barbies! Especially since I have boys in the house, and since Barbie has distinct...umm...assets about her. Ha!
So today, I was thrilled to see this one particular Barbie. She was called "Barbie Ballerina" and her leotard was painted on her. SHE WILL NEVER BE NAKED! :o) Sarah is still just a bit young to play with them, but I almost picked one up just in case they quit making them. I was so excited I even called a friend and told her about it.
Again, I realize this may seem a bit weird. I'm ok with that. I'm still thrilled I saw this doll!
Friday, March 20, 2009
It all sort of came to a head today. I'd been barking orders at the kids and getting mad at the littlest things. I even sent a text message to Josh saying, "I'm going to snap today." Some how, I recognized that I'm out of the norm this afternoon...so I sat down on the couch and asked Caleb to come over to me.
He climbed up on my lap, and I gave him a big hug. I said to him gently, "Mommy is so sorry for being not-so-nice today."
And his response...
"Oh, it's ok, mom! I forgive you! Do you want to go play in my room with me?!"
It was about enough to bring me to tears. Who else in my life (here on earth) is so forgiving, so willing to forget when I'm not being nice? Children are so resilient, but I don't want to have to say I'm sorry to them because I can't keep my cool.
So I pray a lot more during the day as these late arriving "baby blues" have hit me. I'd appreciate your prayers, too.
Now I'm off to play with a Batman cave...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Up to this point, Caleb's friends have been from church. He sees the same kids each Sunday and Wednesday, and their parents are my friends, too. I know these kids and the mommies and daddies. I know their belief system. I know what they are like on a day-to-day basis. I know what they do and don't allow their kids to do (as far as behavior, what's on tv, etc). For the most part, when my kids play with their kids, I am there, too. But I would feel very comfortable leaving them with these "grown ups" because I know them very well.
Now that I've met a new mom, I almost feel like I need a play date application! :o) I know it seems ridiculous, and I don't mean it literally! But I'm certainly not the type to just drop my son off at Joey's house without knowing Joey's family at all. They might be wonderful people, strong Christians who hold the same values as me. Maybe someday you'll see a blog about how I've gotten to know Joey's mom and now we have lunch together on occasion!
For now, my game plan is to invite her and Joey to my house or to head over to their house and watch the boys play. I'm looking forward knowing her because Caleb does talk about this new friend of his frequently.
So here's to a new endeavor for me as a mommy!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Our trees in the front yard began to bloom this week, and they are just the prettiest! :o)
We bought our home in July of 2005 - the summer - so I had no idea how much I'd LOVE the trees in our front yard in the spring! They are the first to bloom and the last to lose their leaves in the fall.
Seeing this picture makes me smile; I took it this morning. I'm thankful for the warmer weather, the budding trees, and the singing birds!
Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful days!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Josh got home about an hour later than normal yesterday afternoon. Normally he arrives in the driveway at 3:30 sharp, but he had a meeting with some teachers, so he didn't get home until 4:30. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I'm always ready to head out the door to work out in Rolla. When he saw me, he said, "You know, I really feel like Mandarin Garden for dinner...would that be ok?" Well, I can't think of anything worse for someone who is trying to lose weight (me)! :o) But I could tell he must have had a rough day (or rough meeting to be exact) so I said, "Sure...let me go work out and why don't you meet me there with the kiddos."
We all arrived at Mandarin Garden around 6:00 or so. We walked in together, sat down, the waitress took our drink orders, and then Caleb and Josh headed up to the buffet. I sat there with Sarah and Gabriel, and I noticed a man sitting a few tables up from us. He was a nice looking gentleman, professionally dressed, sitting alone...I'd guess his age to be late 30's. When Josh and Caleb came back, I took my turn at the buffet, smiling at the gentleman as I walked by him.
I didn't even notice that the man had gotten up to leave a few minutes later. Josh had gone up to the buffet again, and I think I was talking with Caleb...when the man walked up to me from the other side and said, "I hope you don't mind...I'm out of town on business...and I have three kids of my own. I wanted to pay for your dinner."
Ok, so I'm getting tears typing this.
I wish I could have said more than thank you. But in that moment, those were the only words that came to mind. I just smiled and was able to say: "Thank you very much! Caleb...tell this nice man thank you for dinner!" And Caleb did.
I told Josh about it. I kept thinking to myself, "I hope I can pay it forward sometime!"
Wait folks...this gets better.
We then decided to go to Wal-Mart just to walk around. We didn't need anything, for some reason we just like going there! As we headed towards the baby section, Caleb paused and exclaimed, "Daddy...look! Money!" Josh bent down and picked up three, nicely folded $20 bills. I seriously thought to myself, "What are you doing to me, God???" I'm not sure why I thought that, I just did.
Josh said, "We need to take this up front," and I agreed. For a second I remember pondering, "I hope the person at the customer service desk is trustworthy." I wondered if I'd feel comfortable handing over $60 to someone. I don't mean any disrespect to Wal-Mart employees or anything, but $60 is a lot of money to most people! I just had to do what was right and have faith that God would take care of the rest!
A sweet-looking, blonde haired girl was at the desk. I handed her the money and said, "We found this over in the baby section...it's $60."
She looked at me in amazement. She said, "A lady just called about this! Thank you so much!"
"ARE YOU SERIOUS?" I said. I'm sure my mouth was hanging open. "Wow! That's wonderful!"
I still can't believe all that happened to us within an hour. I'm thankful for all of it. God blessed us at the restaurant, and He blessed someone else when Caleb found their money for them.
I'm thankful that kindness still exists in this world, and that God is ever present.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Since my dad was the band director and my mom was the color guard instructor, I traveled on every bus ride for marching band competitions that ever took place during my dad's career. Even as a little girl, I can remember taking my pillows on buses, packing a doll or two, or whatever would make the ride more pleasant for a kid! And the one cardinal rule...Vogt's rule if you will...
NO STOPPING THE BUS...NOT NOBODY...NOT NO HOW!
Then there was my senior year...
I always rode the same bus as my parents. I'm not sure why, I just really liked being with them on trips (you'd think all the years prior to my high school days would have been enough to make me sign up for another bus...but I didn't). That was Bus 1. There were two other buses that followed. On our way to Flat River/Park Hills, as we approached Potosi, everyone on our bus could hear the driver of another bus radio to ours. "Mr. Vogt...it's Bus 3...we have someone who needs to stop."
Oh, my...I just rolled my eyes. Probably some freshmen who doesn't understand that my dad REALLY means that we don't stop. I looked at him...then looked at my mom. I think we were all puzzled that the driver even said anything because even the drivers knew we wouldn't stop.
"Who is it?" my dad asked.
Megan was one of my close friends, a senior, and lead trumpet player. I could see my dads eyes sort of open wide in shock. I could tell he was thinking...this must be bad if it was Megan. So, to everyone's surprise, he radioed back, "Stop up here at this Hardee's. This is only for Megan, no one else is to get off the bus."
All three buses pulled into the Hardee's parking lot. From my bus we could see Megan RUN off the bus, and even though he said no one else was supposed to get off of the bus with her, someone did (one of our friends...I'm not exactly sure which one...Becky maybe). Evidently she was sick and puked A LOT! Poor girl.
And still to this day, I cannot believe that he stopped the bus. It was the only time in his career that he ever stopped. All for Megan. And all because he must have had an instinct that it was serious...it was!
Every time we drive down to Josh's family holidays, we drive by that Hardee's. I think of Megan every time I see it. It makes me smile to have that memory. Even though she was sick, I'm sure she laughs about it now!
Senior Band Members, Class of 1998
(I'm front left...and Megan is the next row, blonde, second from right!) :o)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
You envision her home always being clean, put together, tidy. The dishes are done, the clothes are folded and put away, there is no dust on top of the entertainment center.
You know she is a giving person, she monetarily gives to different ministries and donates to the Caring Center among other things (like giving me tons of clothes for my kids).
Oh, to be more like her!
And then...one day I see the inside of her mini-van. It looks NORMAL! A few kids things here and there. A few crumbs on the floor mixed with the tiny rocks that get stuck on the bottom of shoes. It didn't look perfect, it looked like a family who actually used their mini-van!
This means she doesn't vacuum her van daily? Oh, my! ;o) Does that also mean that sometimes she gets frustrated, too? Sometimes she has to discipline her children? Sometimes she may not agree with her husband?
I then realized that this sweet friend who I do admire very much for her Proverbs 31 qualities is normal like me. She inspires me to be a better Christian woman, but I'm also reminded that being a good Christian wife and mom does not mean my house (or mini-van) will always look perfect, or that my kids will be perfect. It means that I spend time in prayer on my own, with my children, and with my husband. It means I serve the Lord in ministries where I feel He leads me. It means I respect my husband and he respects me. It means that I will discipline my children with love, not out of anger. It means I give to ministries and to those in need.
Thanks, my sweet friend, for being a great example. But thanks for being normal, too! :o)
Read Proverbs 31:10-31
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"A Curves 30-minute fitness center is a woman’s gym that provides a total body workout. With both aerobic exercise for weight loss and strength training for toned muscles, a Curves workout provides an exercise plan that can burn up to 500 calories in just 30 minutes."
I've been to Curves before and seen results. When we lived in Bolivar and were newlyweds, I started working out. It was great, and that was back when I didn't have the added responsibility of children! :o) Now, I go so I can lose the baby fat, but also it gives me time for myself.
I love Curves because it's women only. I think I would be ok at a regular gym with guys, but it certainly makes me more comfortable to see other women who look like me and need to lose weight. Often when I've been to gyms, it seems like it's all people who are already fit...where are the beginners? ;o)
I love Curves because it's women of all ages and sizes. I've seen girls in their early twenties workout there, and I've seen women in their 60's workout there. I've seen thin women and heavy women. I'm probably somewhere in the middle.
I love Curves because it's a set workout plan, a combination of cardio and strength training. I love it that it's set to music, and the automated CD that says "change stations now" allows me to just stay on a station without really thinking "have I been on this long enough?"
This photo is obviously posed, and the Curves I've been to are spread out much more than this and have more machines. But it gives the basic idea of what it looks like.
I know that I have more energy during the day when I'm consistently working out. My mood is better, and I'm just an overall happier person! :o) I'm thankful that my husband has given me this time to myself, and he's willing to watch the kiddos! Thanks, Joshy!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
To which Josh replied, "Yep! And I hope you have a great day at preschool, too!"
Caleb paused. "Yeah! You go to school and I go to school! School and school rhyme!"
Josh smiled and said, "Well, buddy...school and school are the same word." :o)
But it was still cute!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
As with most "new" movies in our house, the kids wanted to watch it time and time again. So I allowed them to watch it every morning when they woke up during their TV time instead of their normal PBS or Playhouse Disney shows. I really thought nothing of it.
The days went on, and I started to notice that Caleb was having a bad week as far as behavior. He was starting to make "unkind" faces at me (that's what I call them when I explain it to him...they were just flat out rude, smug, mean faces). He also seemed to just have an overall different demeanor about him. I tried to think if there was anything environmental that was different, and then it dawned on me...he had been watching Peter Pan every day! Finally, I did something I should have done from the start: I sat down and watched the movie with mommy vision! What I realized was that Tink is hateful and Captain Hook is very mean to Mr. Smead.
The above picture pretty much sums up what Caleb looked like to me during that week. What's funny is I just randomly searched for a picture to include with this blog, and it was one of the first pictures on the page.
We gave the DVD back to the neighbor. It's been about a week now since Peter Pan left our house, and I haven't seen those "unkind" faces in about that long.
I'm so particular about what my kids watch, and I was upset with myself that I assumed that a Disney movie would hold my same values. I know better, and this experience highlighted the fact that I need to 1. Always watch shows/movies with my kids at least the first time they see it, and 2. Have heightened mommy vision to see traits/phrases/actions that my kids might pick up that are not acceptable.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Then I heard little footsteps coming towards me. Caleb walked into the living room and asked, "Mommy, will you read to me?"
To be honest, I didn't want to. I was tired. I was holding a baby. And we had already gone through their bedtime routine (usually a bedtime story included as well)...they were supposed to be in bed! But every now and then, I try to remind myself that these years go by way too fast, and he certainly won't be asking me to read him another bedtime story forever!
Of course, Sarah was soon to follow. She came up on the couch with me, too. Caleb brought me a Clifford book, and I read to all three of my kids.
When we were done, Caleb and Sarah went back to bed. I laid Gabriel in his crib, then went to my room. I realized that I was glad I didn't tell Caleb no! And every now and then, if he comes out of his room with a book, I will continue to remind myself that these times are precious!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Caleb (for some reason) wanted me to drive, so I handed the letter to Josh and asked him to read it to me. I figured it was just a flyer about signing up (which it was) but he read me the details which included: Necessary Documention to bring - proof of income, proof of birth, and immunization record.
He paused...and then said, "Proof of birth? Isn't the fact that the kid is standing there proof that he was born?"
I laughed! :o) I love my husband. He's always good at making me smile!
Monday, March 2, 2009
In the fall of 2006, I realized that I needed to start serving in a local church here in St. James. Up until then, Josh and I had been driving back to Owensville to my "home" church. I loved the people and the ministries there, and I wasn't sure how I was going to leave it. But I knew God had something in store for us, though I didn't realize how many Godly people He would introduce to me!
We had visited a handful of churches, but we kept coming back to FBC (I tell people it's because I must be too baptist)! :o) We attended on and off, still driving to Owensville on the Sundays I wanted to go there. It was actually March 19, 2006 when we went to Sunday school at FBC for the very first time (I remember because it was Josh's birthday). I was pregnant with Sarah, and there were two other girls pregnant in that class and two others who just had babies (quite a baby boom). It took another few months before we'd go to FBC again...and I remember this sweet girl who came up to me to greet me during the service. "Nice to see you again! Do you remember me? We were both pregnant at the same time! When did you have your's? What's her name? My little girl has that same cute outfit!" After we talked for a brief moment, I remember thinking that I liked that girl! :o)
What I didn't know is that God sent her into my life at just the right time.
Since then, we have become such wonderful friends. I really feel like her home is a second home to me and my family. When Josh is away with basketball, I can go there. When he was swamped with his masters classes, I could go there. When all of us want to hang out and watch American Idol...we go there! We confide in each other about so many things. And even though I'm not as good at calling as she is, I have introduced her to the world of texting...and that helps our communication! She likes to shop, and I don't...so guess what...I just go with her and watch her shop...ha!
So what did God say so clearly to me last night?
As I was standing right next to her...and as we were singing, I could hear her belt out those super high notes! :o) And then...I could hear Him asking me, "Why aren't you praying for her and coming to Me about what she's told you? Why do you try and give her advice without asking Me first?" Umm...wow...I don't know. I felt a sense of shame to be honest. Why on earth haven't I been praying for her the way I should? Isn't that what friends are for?
Yes, this is what was going through my mind towards the end of the musical. Even though I kept singing to Him, He kept talking to me. It's been a long time since I could hear Him so clearly, and it's interesting that this is what He wanted to say.
So I will pray for her and the specific things she has told me recently. I will also pray that I can hear Him this clearly more often. I think last night is the first time in a very long time that I was so sincere when I worshiped Him. I know this is what He deserves and desires...