Home Stretch

Today I went in for my 38 week appointment and was surprised to hear that I am 3cm dilated and 70% effaced. I was mostly surprised because I haven’t experienced any of the symptoms that the books talk about. I thought by now I would have at least experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, but none so far. It’s funny when you finally get pregnant you realize how every pregnancy is truly unique and no matter how many books you read it’s never going to exactly the way you experience it.

I am so happy to be in the home stretch. I’m excited to meet my little man and see what he looks like….

Shark Shoes

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We aren’t obsessed with sharks, but my husband is fond of sharks and he is also fond of cleaver things.

The other day a friend of ours told us that Nordstrom’s had some Vans (a brand of shoe) on sale that had sharks on them. We were curious, so we took a trip over to Fashion Valley mall after church on Sunday, but couldn’t find them. Today, my husband forwarded me a link to the Vans website where he found them. They are so cute and come in two colorways, blue and white or black and blue. They are also $25.00 for toddler shoes, so I’m not sure if we will actually splurge on them, but I can still admire them.

2/16/10-I recently checked the Vans link to find that they no longer carry the shark shoe. So sad! I did however find that Converse has a great line of kids shoes. They have the Chuck Taylor All Star Animal collection which consists of the shark, clown fish, alligator and lady bug shoes. Go to: Converse to check them out. Let me know what you think.

Perseverance

Perseverance — the steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work. The New Testament makes it clear that faith alone can save. But it makes it equally clear that perseverance in doing good works is the greatest indication that an individual’s faith is genuine (James 2:14-26). In deed, perseverance springs from a faithful trust that God has been steadfast toward His people. Through persevering in God’s work, the Christian proves his deep appreciation for God’s saving grace (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

As a result of perseverance, the Christian can expect not only to enhance the strength of the church, but also to build up the strength of his own character (Romans 5:3-4). In short, he can expect to become closer to God. He learns that he can persevere primarily because God is intimately related to him (Romans 8:25-27) and especially because he has the assurance of a final reward in heaven (1 John 5:13).

From Illustrated Dictionary of The Bible by Herbert Lockyer, SR., Editor with F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison

Happy Birthday Archshrk!

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Happy Birthday Archshrk!

What a wonderful year we have had together. We took a wonderful trip to Kauai, attended the grand opening of the Skywalk in Las Vegas, found out we were pregnant, celebrated our third year anniversary, as well as enjoying our daily lives by spending quality time with each other, family and friends. Thank you so much for making my life so fulfilling. You are a wonderful husband and I appreciate you so much. God was so gracious to bring you into my life and I hope to never take you for granted. I look forward to spending this next year with you and our new son. I love you! Happy Birthday!

Creating a Loving Environment for Godly Relationships

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By Peter Garich

Plumbing the depths of how to create an environment of godly love in our relationships is more than we can accomplish in these few paragraphs. It is, however, possible to explore some of the most important passages and principles that, I believe, are primary to the process. I call it a process because, as humans, we are engaged in its ongoing practice for the rest of our lives. And since God cares so deeply about seeing us have godly relationships, He has been quite specific in His word as to how we accomplish this undertaking. Marriage counseling often reminds me of the importance of what can be created between two people. Recently I watched a couple, while sitting in counseling, go from a state of kindness and peace to boiling tempers in a matter of seconds. The initial, enjoyable atmosphere of guarded peace and love quickly turned into an out-and-out war of words with anger, hurt and resentment on both sides. The problem was not merely their fighting, but that they had no idea how they got there so quickly, or how they could change things for the better. Upon reflection, though, how we get to that point of anger and rage should not be strange to us. The truth is, it’s our natural fallen bent to go there—in our flesh we are inclined to fight with each other because our motives are selfish. Recall what Moses writes in Genesis 3:16 concerning our fallen proclivity to fight for personal dominance and control. When God curses the woman after the fall, we’re told that, “your [the woman’s] desire shall be for your husband [to rule over and dominate him] and he shall rule over you [to fight back; ruling over and controlling you in his position of divine headship].” John MacArthur, commenting on this very state of affairs, writes, “Just as the woman and her seed will engage in a war with the serpent (i.e., Satan and his seed – v. 15) because of sin and the curse, the man and the woman will face struggles in their own relationship. Sin has turned the harmonious system of God-ordained roles into distasteful struggles of self-will. Lifelong companions—husbands and wives—will need God’s help in getting along as a result.” Sin seeks to rule us, and the breeding ground for such a struggle is found in the context of our interpersonal relationships. This is a primary reason the couple meeting in my office could go from a caring husband and wife, with some real problems, to warring factions within a matter of seconds. Some have referred to this primal struggle as the war between the sexes. War is an appropriate term to use when describing this struggle, for it conveys the dangerous posture that two people take when vying for individual positions of power and control. Two people in the throes of such a struggle are at war.

This, then, is the first step to both understanding how we got to the point of battling and finding our way out. We must recognize our personal battle within the greater war for establishing selfish domination over others. Each person is fighting for what they desire and want, and will do whatever they believe necessary to win. The end game for each participant is to get their desires met—no matter what. This is the sad state of affairs that all relationships go through—and Christians are not exempt. Jesus’ brother James wrote of such fights in his epistle to the early Church. He stated that all such wars come from our desires that battle within us. “Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.” (James 4:1–3) In his commentary on the book of James, Douglas Webster explains, “James’ counsel for the church goes beyond superficialities and guides the church into holiness in its internal relationships. True spiritual direction not only challenges; it comforts, and this section of the epistle is a fine example. James is faithful to confront sinful motives and evil practices, and he is equally clear about the promise of God’s grace.” Webster tells us that James identifies how we get into our messes, as well as how we get out of them. Let’s look a bit deeper into James’ blueprint for overcoming our self-centered driving desires.

Read more on the core problem and the grace to change by clicking on: Kaleo

Women’s Retreat

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Last weekend I went to a women’s retreat at the Calvary Bible College in Temecula, California. This was Kaleo’s first retreat in three years and long overdue. I arrived at 2pm on Friday to help setup and take pictures as women arrived to the retreat. I was so looking forward to going. I knew I’d be 35 weeks pregnant, but I knew if I didn’t take the opportunity to go, I’d regret it. I actually almost didn’t end up not going toward the end because of some unexpected financial issues that came into play, but Luke encouraged me to go and trust in God’s provision. Thank you God for giving my husband insight and the encouragement. God knew I needed the spiritual nourishment and this was the perfect opportunity to be filled.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Susan Trout was our speaker for the retreat and I was extremely blessed by her ability to honestly and humbly share the Word of God as well as some of her life. It was refreshing to hear her speak so powerfully and yet so vulnerably at the same time. That is very rare to find. Through the weekend we discussed the book of Ruth. Ruth is a beautiful picture of Jesus redeeming us to himself even through much tragedy and unfortunate circumstances such as Ruth and Naomi. Jesus used Susan Trout to open our eyes to a deeper meaning to this story. We discussed the characters in the story and dove into the meanings of their names. We also had group time where we went over specific questions which allowed us to open up to each other. Overall this was an awesome weekend filled with fellowship, growth, spiritual nourishment, rest and relaxation as well as good food.

Thank you Jesus for the time away to focus on you!

Interested in Digital Photography?

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A couple years ago I became interested in photography, but didn’t know exactly what to do about it. I received a catalog in the mail for adult school education and saw they offered quite a variety of classes. The one that caught my eye was a class that focused only on learning how to use a digital camera. If you haven’t looked into taking a class through adult school education, you should reconsider. They are inexpensive and focus on specific hobbies and interests such as Italian cooking, digital photography, art, sewing, yoga, etc. Plus, every county has them, so you can always find something close by.

I enrolled and attended a one evening a week, six week course at a local high school. The instructor, Rod Deutschmann, was awesome. I remember the first thing he told us to do was change our setting to the manual setting. We were no longer allowed to use preset settings. He then told us that for a good while many of us will have blurry photos. This made many people uneasy because they were so used to using the pre-programed settings (you know the ones on the top dial with the pretty pictures) and every shot coming out crystal clear. But, after some practice and demonstrations, most of us started feeling more comfortable and more in control of our cameras. Having the ability to play with the lighting and shutter speed was all new to many of us. We were so pre-programmed just like our camera settings to click a button and be satisfied with the outcome.

If digital photography is something you are interested in and are located in southern california, Ron and his wife Robin Deutschmann can teach you how to become a more confident photographer. They have specialized classes that can help you in whatever area you are interested or need improvement in(see the list below). There is a cost for each session, but they are well worth it because they are hands on and teach you specifically what you need to know. You can check out their website by going to: www.iflcsandiego.com.

MULTIPLE-SESSION COURSES

IN FOCUS I: MASTERING THE MECHANICS

IN FOCUS III: THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

(NEW) MACRO: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

LIGHTING IN A FLASH

ONE-DAY WORKSHOPS

PORTRAITS: A NEW VIEW

DESIGNING A PHOTO

THE AT HOME STUDIO: CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

9 Months

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I’m 9 months pregnant! I have 27 days and counting till my son is born. If I had it my way it would be sooner than later, but God’s timing is always best.

My husband and I were talking and I was telling him how amazed I continue to be at how fast the time is flying by. Not too long ago we were scheduling our 32 week ultrasound, our six week childbirth class as well as our hospital tour and our baby showers. We are now able to check all those off on our “to do” list. The only things left to do is to put my hospital bag together which is somewhat done already and wait for the birth of our son. That just trips me out! Thinking about it though, I’d rather be busy than bored, so I guess this is a tremendous blessing after all. Plus, both Luke and my birthdays are at the end of the month and Thanksgiving is next week…so we will have lots to keep us occupied while we wait.

How your baby’s growing:
Your baby is still packing on the pounds at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18-1/2 inches long. He’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered he body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected he skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of he first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely he’s in a head-down position. But if he isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying he’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating him from the outside of your belly.

To read more go to BabyCenter.com

Helpful Tips

I haven’t presonally tried these, but my mom sent this list to me. Try some of them out and let me know if they worked.

1. Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove , set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal , mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients , reseal , keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly , cut the tip of the baggy , squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store , whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with th e same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits , pancakes , or muffins that were refrigerated , place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

6 Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

8. Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and — ta da! — static is gone.

11. Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

12. Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside , just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily

14. Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair…

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies , take a small glass fill it 1/2″ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid , mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it , take it “home”, can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains , but it works & you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!