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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Adventures in Parenting – Part Deux (Precious Parenting Moments)

Potty school (as we’re calling it) went much better today. Only 1 accident and several successful trips to the potty. Although, he’s learned to ask for chocolate after he goes. We need to work on weaning off the treats. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if this is a trend that will continue. But all in all, Mike and I are very much encouraged.

Our first successful potty trip this morning was really cute. He sat down, and went immediately and was so proud. He runs into our room (after the chocolate, of course) to find daddy and tell him. Each time, he came out to tell everyone that he went tee-tee on the potty. To see him be so proud in his accomplishment after being so discouraged the day before was a precious parenting moment.

Sarah had a good day today also. She played Amazing Grace for the offertory in church. Our church, if you weren’t aware, has 2 services and probably had 400 people in each service today (which is low with the holidays). Needless to say, it was a pretty big deal for a 6 year old. And she did great. She bobbled a few times, but moved on and it didn’t phase her.

It was so sweet when she finished, our pastor came and took her by the hand and took her to the center of the platform (mostly since she’s so little, nobody could see anything of her but her feet dangling down from the piano bench) and had her give him a high five while the congregation in both services stood clapping. I was in tears the first service. To witness my child using her God given talents to praise Him and bless others in the process... it was truly a precious parenting moment.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Adventures in Parenting (aka Dear God, help us, we’re potty training!)

So yesterday was the day. We took away the diapers and went to training pants. Right now, I wish we were still in diapers.

I have been thinking that he’s been ready for weeks now. In fact, it was about the time that I was starting work at the beginning of October that He really began to indicate that he was ready. He was telling us when he was “stinky” and he would tee-tee on the little potty sometimes – not every time he sat on it, but I would have him sit on it when I thought he would go, and usually he did. I also thought that I would remember enough little things from the book I read with Sarah and what I did with her that I would know what I was doing. I see now that I may be wrong on both accounts.

NCAA Football aside… Gig ‘em! Ags 14, Penn St 0… okay – just kidding Ags 14, Penn St 7. And did you see that about Florida State? 36 players suspended from their bowl game! Holy Moly!

We had very little success yesterday. And most of the little successes that we had felt like they were coincidental. We talked about it and he seemed to understand the idea of going in the potty and keeping his “big boy underpants” dry. But there was a connection between his bladder and his brain that wasn’t, well, connecting.

Today, I was so beat after an entire morning of taking him to sit on the potty every 5-15 minutes only to end in accidents, that I just had to step away from it all this afternoon. And as of dinner time, we (parents) were o-fer. 2 year old 10 – parents 0. We were feeling very defeated. However, he had a big success after dinner so we weren’t shut out completely. It gave us a glimmer of hope.

So, now, after two days, I’m waffling on whether or not I think he’s ready for all this. One part of me says, “If he’s old enough to come out of the play room and tell you his underpants are wet, then he’s old enough to go in the potty.” Another part says, “If he won’t go when I take him and yet has an accident 2 minutes later, then maybe he’s not ready.” Then, the other part says, “Is there some bit of training or teaching that he needs that I haven’t given him to enable him to achieve success?”

Dear God, help us, we’re potty training!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It’s the day after Christmas
And throughout the house of Cornell,
All the children are sleeping
So, for mom, all is well.

Well, I hope everyone who reads this can look back at the last couple of days and think, “Yeah, we had a great Christmas.” I know we did. As of today, we have participated in many Christmas festivities and spent time with pretty much all our family and had a good time with all of it.

We saw Santa land at our church in a helicopter 2 Sundays ago. As we watched him be fixated on the helpicopters, we asked Nathan if he was going to fly helicopters in the army. He replied an emphatic, "Yes!"

On her last day of school before Christmas break, Sarah's class did their Luke 2 play for the parents. I was able to break away from work for a few minutes to watch the play, but could not stay for the rest of their class party. It was incredibly cute and Sarah was an angel along with 3 other friends from her class.

We spent Saturday at my sister's house with my parents and all the cousins. The cousins all exchanged books and we had a good afternoon of baking and decorating gingerbread cookies and just hanging out together.

On Christmas Eve we spent the day cleaning and finishing up some last minute shopping, then went to worship service at our church and had dinner at our house with Mike's mom and sister. Nathan was such a big boy and sat (or squirmed as the case may be) with us during the entire service. We had fajitas for dinner and they opened gifts with Nanny and Brooke.

Christmas Day was busy. Mike and I woke up and got our showers early. The kids didn't get up until around 8-8:30. They got to see their Santa gifts (Sarah got a big bike and Nathan got a train table) and then we did our Happy Birthday Jesus cake before stockings and the rest of the gifts. My parents arrived and then a couple of hours later the rest of my family arrived for a late lunch. In the evening, my aunt and her kids + families came over and we were all together for the evening. It was wonderful having everyone there.

Oh, and let the record reflect that I baked a crackless cheesecake for yesterday.

So now, it's the day after Christmas. December 26th. Nathan has been coughing the last few days and we were out of albuterol for the nebulizer so I got him in to see a nurse practitioner today. Almost 2 hours later, we left without the albuterol perscription, but we had one for amoxicillin for his strep throat. Ugh! And we were around 9 other children yesterday.

As I look back over the last month (while sitting here and cleaning out all my email I haven't checked all month) I realize I didn’t do as well as I had hoped I would this year about all the things I wanted to do with my kids around the Advent season. We started out good… reading a prophesy about Christ from the Old Testament and it’s fulfillment in the New Testament each day. But in the busyness of work, musicals, preparing to spend time with family and just life, we were not as good about it as I would have liked. Goodness… in our house, baby Jesus was late to Christmas. We forgot to add baby Jesus to the Advent calendar yesterday, but he made his appearance there today. Whew!

Good thing he was on time that first Christmas when He came over 2000 years ago. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”

Did you get that? The “time had fully come.” He wasn’t early. He wasn’t late. He was right on time. Something that I haven't been in a long time. Thank you Jesus! Thank you that You do not let busyness get in the way of your business. Forgive us, Lord, when we do.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Some of you may be visiting this site for the first time since receiving our Christmas card. If so, welcome. I guess I will consider this my Christmas letter to you.

Our 2007 was pretty ho-hum most of the year. However, early in the year, both Mike and I began to sense that it was time for me to step out and begin working outside of our home again. It was a long journey of searching for where God wanted me, but once He showed us where it was, it was absolutely clear.

I began working part-time in October for a couple of financial advisers with Ameriprise Financial which has been great. If you haven’t been reading here, you should really read my post from my first day of work – it was interesting to say the least. We finally settled into a pretty good routine after about a month. Nathan loves his day-care and Sarah enjoys her after school playtime with friends.

We have finally been able to begin making some updates on our house. We did a slight remodel of our living room this fall by taking down the top half of the paneling and texturing and painting as well as replacing light fixtures to give it a much needed updated look. And, yes, we are completely finished. We’re not sure what to do with all our free time now. Maybe I’ll be able to start scrapbooking again.

Sarah is in first grade if you can believe it. She is still playing piano and loving it. She played "A Whole New World" from the movie Aladin for her recital in December. She also played soccer this fall and her team won the 1st-2nd grade championship and she learned a lot in the process.


Nathan is, well, he’s Nathan. He’s 2 and into everything. He also definitely has his own mind about things as he showed when he didn't like the red nose he had to wear during his day-care Christmas program. We’re hoping to head down the potty training road very soon. We are very much looking forward to a house without diapers.


Mike is still with RSM McGladrey and is traveling a lot real recently, which is about to drive me insane. However, work is good and he is staying very busy. He is also the president of our homeowners association, which is proving to be very interesting and a little stressful as of late.

We have just completed our Christmas musical production at church this weekend. It was a lot of fun, but a challenge considering the magnitude of the production itself and everything else going on in life right now. However, God blessed our efforts and I do believe that the story touched lives.

It was the story of one man and his journey through life and all the people and circumstances that God placed in his path that finally led to saving faith in Christ. I played his granddaughter and the mother of his great-granddaughter who both reaped the benefits of a foundation of faith that his decision to follow Christ brought to the family.

We could all probably see ourselves at some point in the story as we look back on our lives and see the people that God placed in our lives as He draws us to Himself. I can definitely see it in our lives; especially Mike's. I look at his life and see a little bit here and a little bit there that eventually led to him coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ several years ago; and how he now has become part of building foundations of faith in his own children. I challenge you to examine your life and thank God for the people that He placed in your life that brought you to where you are.

"Glory to God in the highest;
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14

We do pray that each of you finds the peace that Christ offers during this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It’s over, but it’s not

As I type this, I’m in the middle of rehearsal for our Christmas musical at church. I find myself incredibly thankful that my part is no bigger than it is. I’m watching all these people running around with multiple costume changes in a short amount of time. I have 1 costume change and I have several scenes in between my scenes. With starting work this year, I don’t know that I could have handled much more than what I’m doing.

Well, Sarah and I had the talk about Santa this evening. She is so okay with it all. Kind of like the tooth fairy. She still wants to do all of the seeing him and pictures and all of that like we did this evening at Chic-fil-a. So I think we’ll still have fun with it. However, after it first came up a week or so ago, I really began to think about it.

Not only did I not want to ever technically lie to her about it, but I also didn’t want her to hear words about something make-believe concerning Christmas coming out of the same mouth that is telling her the truth about Jesus birth at Christmas. I guess I became concerned that she might think that if I was telling her stories of a make-believe Santa Claus that the stories we tell of Jesus might also be make-believe.

So, she has this picture in her mind of Mike dressing up as Santa, kind of like me dressing in black to be the tooth fairy. It’s so funny what their little brains come up with. So, the wonder and amazement of Santa Claus is over for Sarah, but in a way, it’s not. And we continue to look forward to having a lot of fun for years to come with Santa.

Christmas is upon us...

5 December 2007

Christmas is upon us. It’s time. And I’m not at all ready. Well, I’m ready, but I’m not ready.

I’m not ready because I still have so many gifts to think about and buy. It’s stressing me out a little. I’m usually done with my shopping by Halloween, but with working this year, it’s just not done yet. It’ll be fine, but I’d be more comfortable if it was already all done.

I’m also not ready because we’re getting questions about Santa. We don’t want to perpetuate something that it is time to let go of, but I also don’t want to dash something she still may want to believe. It’s hard.

I don’t know if you knew this, but we never really had a tooth fairy. From the beginning she said, “I think it’s just you, mom.” Well, I can’t lie, so I confirmed that it was me (us) but it was a way for us to celebrate her getting older and losing her teeth. She’s great with it. In fact, she has in her mind that I dress up in a black dress and a black mask so that I blend in with the dark in her room. How funny is that?

We were at a birthday party the other day and a couple of other girls were talking about how Santa isn’t real. So, she asked and I put her off until later. I figured I would wait and see if she asked again. And she did, but not until the next day.

“Is Santa real?”
“Well, what do you think?”
“I think he is.”
“Hmm. Why is that?”
“Well, because we go and see him and tell him what we want for Christmas.”

So, now I can’t decide if I answered the right way. Did I lie? I don’t think so, but I’m sure others would disagree. We really are amazed that she hasn’t put it all together considering the tooth fairy thing, but apparently she wants to believe it for now. So, we’re going to go with that and have fun with it for as long as it lasts.

However, I am ready for Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. It is the one holiday each year that I specifically decorate for and I love it. This is the first year in several that I have been able to fully all-out decorate. In 2005 we were in temporary housing and didn’t have anything other than a tree. In 2006, we had a 1 year old and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with really thinking about it very much. But it was fun this year as he was old enough to help decorate the tree and begin to understand a lot more.

I have also been ready to do some more Christ related things with my kids at Christmas. I’m trying to really celebrate the season of Advent and not just the day. This year we are going through a different prophesy from the Old Testament each day about Jesus and how it was fulfilled in the New Testament. This is something that I am really looking forward to doing in some form each year going forward.

And as we approach this weekend, we have Christmas parties (btw, we are going to both our office parties Friday night), productions at church, recitals, school programs and parties… it’s going to be busy for the next couple of weeks, but I am so looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.

I pray that you are able to have fun over the next couple of weeks as we approach Christmas Day and celebrate the glorious incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ our Savior.