An Update in Pictures.....2

{Beautiful snow today!!  I've got lots of pictures to go through, so hopefully some fun ones soon!}

Susan and Andrew's wedding.....which also ended up being a St. Pete K-Life reunion!

3 Little Pregnant Ladies!!!

Old K-Life staff, leaders and Susan's old small group....
{Joby's gotta learn how to stand on his toes! This is a usual thing in our pics! :) }

Susan and me!

Susan, me, and Rylin...

Susan's small group and Christine from my small group!

Finally, a recent picture of Matt and I....taken by none other than the groom himself.  How nice of him to take out time from his own wedding to snap a pic! :)  There was no one else around and we were all just standing there chatting, so why not!?

So, I have pictures of the cake and not the bride and groom.  I loved the whole feel of their wedding....very vintage and quaint.
It was in a little community where Huck Finn was filmed. :)

Visit to the coast....
Only good pictures (although somewhat blurry) from our visit to Jennifer's!  
It was too dark to take good pics...

This makes me laugh with the bows in their hats.  Ava's is tiny and Anna Jaymes is a little overdramatic, it seems!  Needs a happy medium!
I like this pic because Jennifer and I have been best friends since 5th grade, and it's so fun to see our little girls playing together....especially since they look like mini me's of both of us!!

2 new kittens in our family....to keep away the mice....I was tired of doing it myself. :)
After Bailey realized he couldn't eat them, they all became good friends.

Pictures with Bully from one of the football games...Adolyn screamed her head off when Matt put her
on his lap, so she didn't make the final cut!

The most electricity at this basketball game was in these girls' hair!

~ Someone gave us court side seats!  Score!!~ 

Ok, on to book two!!

So, the other book.....To Train Up a Child is actually by Debi's husband, Michael Pearl.  She mentioned it in her book and I realized that I had it sitting on our bookshelf!  I think my brother had given it to us a few years ago, and I never read it (sorry, Matt and Dana! That's the story of many books in my life!)

I haven't read the whole thing yet (Matt has), but speaking of Life Changing books, 
this book is, too!!

I think most parents probably know consistency is key, but this just made us stop and see how inconsistent we were actually being.  It gives good practical applications, but it IS challenging!!
Michael Pearl (actually written along with Debi) just breaks this all down really well and discusses many different biblical angles on parenting.  Like I explained about her book before, they are not perfect people, of course and I do not know it all either myself, but there are some general comments/outlooks and such I wouldn't agree with.  I realize no book is perfect, but once again, it is still a worthy read!!
{I just have to put that disclaimer in there if I'm recommending it!}

Nevertheless, I MUST tell you, this book has changed the dynamics in our family!!  Our children are happier and more obedient.  I can't believe it, but they are!!  As bad as it may sound, I really do enjoy them more and feel less stressed out! No, they are NOT perfect, but they ARE better!! :)
I'm sure after writing this post, I will really be tested...especially at church or in public!

The funny thing is, is that I had been praying for more self control and patience.  I see in the Bible how we can pray for God to not lead us into temptation.  But, how in the world can I avoid my children??!  And they are what was "revealing" all my impatience....being my greatest temptation. :)

So, a few months ago I was praying about this....trying to figure it out.  Well, I kept remembering what 
 our last pastor's wife, Michele had pointed out to me about a year ago!  Most parents would never get to a point of exasperation and impatience if we would just learn to 
TRULY DEAL with something the first time a child disobeys...without multiple warnings.  I think this is what I've learned the most from this book, too.  I can avoid those situations if I learn to deal with issues immediately....which take me out of the temptation to lose my patience.  Talk about answered prayers!!  
This totally makes sense, of course... I just think 
I didn't realize how many "warnings" I was actually giving.

I know many of us parents "know" these things....but how much do we actually follow through with them??  Maybe it's just me who hasn't been?!?! :)
And, I'm sure this all sounds like common sense things....consistency, immediate discipline, patience....
but it has really been more than that, and that can all get away from you really fast if you aren't careful!!  Sadly, I know from personal experience.

I think the other point that has helped, (combined with things learned from the other book) is truly realizing my purpose in parenting them, truly focusing on their needs and why I'm here for them, allowing them to "be my little helpers," doing things together around the house and not just sending them off to play when I need to do something, being selfless with them.  Now, don't get me wrong, once again, I don't have it all down yet!  Probably won't ever, but it's already 
changing things in our home as I'm trying!

As I like to say, it's amazing the power of perspective!!  I feel like I have been so blind to things for so long in my marriage and family or just focusing on the wrong things...uh...that would be myself, without even realizing it.  But once you start getting a true biblical perspective, it's amazing!!  I just don't think I saw the "wrong things" I was focused on, and I think God is teaching me a whole new idea/standard of selflessness.  I don't know how to explain it!  I'll shut up now. :)


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