Friday, September 28, 2007

some new kid pics

Haven't posted any cute kid pics in a while...

Here are a few:
http://picasaweb.google.com/ng.mangine/TheBoysAreGettingBig

Let the headaches begin

Aargh. Okay, so the hardest part about this fast so far has been the headaches from the lack of caffeine! Yikes. I expected the food part of it to be much harder, but so far actually it's not so bad. I actually like this kind of food... (Nick, well, that's another story...)

However, I have decided to wean off of coffee and started pretty dramatically yesterday. I am usually a 3-4 cup per day kind of girl... so I switched to half-caf yesterday and just had one cup (BLACK-- none of my usual cream and sugar.) By the afternoon I had a pretty kickin' headache and by bedtime I could hardly see straight. I actually wanted to go to bed FAR earlier than I did, but the season premier of 'The Office' was on and I wasn't missing that. BTW- it was fine... kind of funny, but not as funny as it has been... ALso, not digging Jim and Pam being together... it's a weird unfunny dynamic. Nick's prediction is that Pam will end up with Toby. Hmmm... (Wow, I am a LOSER... discussing TV characters as if they are real people... thank goodness it's the only show I watch.)

YEsterday some people were asking me what we planned on eating... for an example here's what we had yesterday:

Breakfast:
steel cut oats cooked in water with a dash of cinnamon and a small handful of walnuts + fruit

Lunch:
Salad made from chick peas, cucumbers, red onion, red pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Dinner:
Black beans cooked with onions and tomatoes over brown rice

For snacks we had fruit (yesterday was peaches and bananas), nuts (peanuts or almonds), and veggies (carrot sticks)

It was actually all pretty tasty... today I want to focus more on actually letting myself get hungry and bypassing that hunger from time to time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our Daniel Fast

Hey all-

Nick and I have decided to embark upon a "Daniel Fast" starting tomorrow for the next 21 days. You may be asking, "What is a Daniel fast?" or "Why would they do this?" or "Why should I care?" Let me answer those questions...

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. There are many different kinds of fasts and many different reasons (religious reasons, health reasons, etc.) why people fast. A "Daniel Fast" is not withholding food and drink entirely, rather is loosely based on the foods Daniel chose to eat in the first chapter of the book of Daniel in the Bible. It's totally vegan-- basically just fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and some whole grains. (Some Daniel fast sources do not allow for nuts, seeds and grains, however, others do and we chose to be liberal with this.)

So why are we doing this? Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, for me, I feel like this issue of food and eating is something that I have struggled with for a while. I've been in places where I have had it under control and was living a healthy lifestyle, but lately, as the craziness of life and the busy-ness of childrearing has taken up so much of my time, I have not been making very good choices on a consistent basis. Now, I primarily think this is a spiritual thing-- (which, might sound silly to someone who is not a believer or someone who doesn't struggle with food issues) and so I wanted to set some time aside to really focus on eating healthy foods with my family and work on praying that I could be a better steward of the body God has given me. It's been quite the journey for me lately, and I believe this is something that will help. This really isn't about weight loss. (in fact, I am SO stinkin' sick and tired of the scale that I have put it up in the attic-- I am tired to feeling like a success or a failure based on a number!)This is about trusting God with this area of my life.

Nick's reasoning is different. Nick doesn't really struggle with food issues, though he does have quite the sweet tooth-- he's just a naturally thin person. (the big jerk... just kidding.) This is something he's doing to help me with this fast and also to seek God's direction on where he'd like us to be heading in the future.

So why 21 days? Well, it's actually a pretty random number. We knew we wanted to do it for an extended period of time, so we considered a 40 day fast. However, we leave for Haiti in 29 days-- and we love Haitian food. So it made sense to us to stop before then... besides, this is the first time we've attempted an extended fast, and so we felt like 21 days was long enough.

Finally, why am I sharing all of this? Well, I have a few reasons. I hesitated to share as the Bible talks about fasting being done in secret. However, I feel like I needed the accountability of others knowing that this is something we were doing, so if I was tempted to quit (which I am sure I will be) knowing that others know what I am doing will hopefully be an incentive to keep on course. Also, we wanted others to know so that we could have the freedom to turn down meal invitations, etc. Lastly, I wanted to be able to use this as a forum to share the things that God is showing me in my life through this time. I would appreciate your prayers as I undertake something that I believe will be too difficult for me to do on my own... something for which I truly need to rely on God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

With all that is within me...

...I am begging for your prayers for my cousin's family. My cousin Jesse's wife Lisa is very, very sick. Right now I am not even sure what to ask you to pray for, but I guess please just pray for God's grace and mercy upon them.

Thank you.

okay-- THAT was funny

So today Nia had a friend over for a playdate. They were playing in her pretend kitchen and she came up to me and asked me to tie a cloth diaper around her waist. I said that was fine and then what I heard her say was, "Yeah because I want to look like a "hooker lady.""

I totally freaked out and said-- "Who told you that word? That is not a nice thing to say. Where did you hear that word?" (In my mind I am writing the letter I am going to send to her "Baptist" preschool...) when she says. "Mom, a "cooker lady" is a lady who cooks the food for everyone."

Oh. A cooker lady.

My bad.

More pics (and two videos)here: http://picasaweb.google.com/ng.mangine/ACookerLady

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I love my husband.

I really do. He's so great. That's all I wanted to say.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the fabric of my life...



So in the Bible study I am doing (Beth Moore's "a woman's heart") we've been encouraged to think about our lives as a fabric. Might sound kind of a weird thought, but if your life was represented as a fabric, what would it be? I've thought about that a lot over the past week and I think I've finally settled on an answer-- it'd be a very long piece of wildly colorful, natural dyed, handmade batik. For those of you who do not know what batik is, check out this info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batik Batik is a beautiful art form where you use melted wax on plain fabric to make designs, and then dye it. Where the wax was stays plain and thus the design is able to be seen. I see that in my life a lot. There were all these times of waiting where I would start to doubt God truly had a plan for me. I am learning that it is in those times God was painting the design... I just couldn't see it yet because it wasn't time to be dyed. And then all of a sudden-- there it is! It's so vivid and beautiful.

I also chose batik because there can be so many natural colors and shades mixing in and out of each other. Some light, some dark, some creating beautiful mixtures, some not looking so hot at all up close, but upon standing back you see this beautiful rainbow of shades that's just a delight to behold. So it is with times in our life-- sometimes it's bright and cheerful, and sometimes it's blue and brown and even black. But without all those colors, it wouldn't be as beautiful, would it?

I think about that "disclaimer" that is usually attached in some way to a newly purchased item that has been naturally pigment dyed. It says something like this-- "This is a naturally-dyed fabric. There may be normal slight blemishes, imperfections, and variations in the color that is considered normal and should not be seen as a defect." How like my life is that?! We area all created hand-made by God. It's totally normal that we all have some slight blemishes (apparently that does NOT go away in your 30's I'm learning!). We all have imperfections-- I think it was John Ortberg who said that we should all come with an "as is" tag on us. How true! In a natural fabric this is part of the beauty. So it is also when it comes to people. It's just easier sometimes to see someone else's "variations" and think they are beautiful.

When a batik fabric is made into clothes it's usually some flowing kind of of tribal hippie dress, skirt or top. (Which I LOVE!) I'm into flowing clothes as it best works with the "blemishes, imperfections and variations(see above)" of my body. :)

Anyway-- I am going to keep ruminating on this idea, but I just wanted to get it all down while I was thinking of it...

Friday, September 14, 2007

a long overdue family update...



Hey friends--

We've had a busy few weeks! SOrry I haven't been checking in more often-- I am going to make a concerted effort to blog at least once a week from now on.

So yeah, where to I begin?

Well, two weeks ago we went up to NY for a wedding. Our really good friend Scott got married to a wonderfully sweet woman named Stephanie. The wedding was really, really fun-- they had a great band and a whole lot of unique touches that made their special day their own... it was great. One of the neatest things about the wedding was that Scott and Stephanie had never kissed until they were pronounced man and wife-- pretty cool, huh? In this crazy society of ours it's pretty cool to see people who are so committed to purity.

Nia got to be the flowergirl and Nick was the best man-- here are some pics. We had hoped to get a good family pic with us all dressed up, but apparently when you have 3 small kids, that's an impossible task. I feel certain photoshop will have a large role in our Christmas card this year. :)

Okay-- let me just give you the rundown on each family member...

Nick is doing great-- not much new with him. He had a blast at the wedding and it was really fun for him to see his old buddies... they stayed out far too late the night of the bachelor party and he came home hoarse from smoking cigars (we brought them from Haiti for that specific purpose) and yelling with his friends over politics.

I am pretty much the same too... I FINALLY have gotten back into the swing of things with getting back to exercising, having quiet times, etc. I just started a new Bible Study yesterday-- Beth Moore's "A Woman's Heart" with a bunch of new people. I am indebted to my husband for Thursday mornings off so I can spend some MUCH needed time with other ladies AWAY FROM THE KIDS! I love them all like crazycakes, but boy oh boy...

Which brings me to the kids!

Nia started preschool. She loves it at takes it very seriously. It's pretty cute. It has been nice to have a little time just with the boys while she's at school. SHe's starting to really bicker with Nico-- and blows have been exchanged.

Nico is doing well. We grow to love him more and more everyday, but some of the challenges we are going to face are starting to become more apparent. For one, his speech is very unclear. (In case you are wondering... Yes, we are aware that he doesn't really speak English, but even just trying to mimic words we say is a big challenge for him.) He's going to be evaluated for speech soon so we can start working on that. Healthwise he's been doing great-- though I am beginning to suspect he has allergies... we'll have to keep an eye on that. He's been enjoying his class at church, but I have always been in it with him. This weekend I have to teach another class, so we will have to see how he does when his parents aren't there. I think he will be fine.

We are starting to really have bedtime struggles with Nico-- he wakes up A LOT crying and scared. I slept in his room again last night and finally had to go get NIck for him to come to as I couldn't calm him myself. PLease pray that he will have peace in his soul as he sleeps.

Speaking of sleep-- Josiah. The frustrating thing is that he'd been sleeping through the night (usually 10 hours +) before we left for NY the first time. HOwever, since we've been traveling so much, he's not sleeping through the night anymore. He's wanting to get up to eat. aargh. It's so frustrating because he used to sleep through regularly, now he doesn't do it EVER! I keep telling myself it's just a growth spurt, but I am becoming less convinced of that every day. Oh well. I am usually up 3-4 times a night with Nico, what's one more for Josiah? (In all fairness, usually Nick gives him the nighttime feeding... I just have to wake Nick up to do it-- why can men never hear a baby crying on a monitor???)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am working on weaning. It's actually been a pretty emotional thing for me... I did expect that, but I have had a lot more clarity of mind now that I am not pumping for 3 hours of my day.

OKay, I have to upload some pics before the kids wake up. Check them out here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/ng.mangine/UpdatePics