Welcome to Created to Learn!
We were created to learn through circumstances, through the Word of God, through books, through marriage and children. The love of learning is a God-given desire I hope to teach my two young girls along with a love of books. Travel along with us, a new-to-homeschooling family, as we explore the world around us through books. If you have suggestions on books or tools that would benefit my family, please contact me. I would be glad to review them.
Today, we got off to a bit of a rough start. Beef bought me a mix of Solitaire games for his Xbox 360 last night, and I was intent on trying out several of the impossible-to-beat card games. But, I didn't realize how late it was and ended up staying up until midnight. I usually like to be in be around 11 pm or so.
Needless to say, I was a little peeved that Scamp woke up bright in early before 7 am when her foot got caught in the slats of her crib. Beef brought her down into the bed with us, but she wouldn't be having any more sleep. "Bite, bites," and "watch show" she kept saying as we tried to convince her to give us a few more precious minutes of sleep. I'm a grump in the mornings anyway but with less sleep than I would like (my preference being 9 hours:), I'm an evil scowling bear. Beef would testify to that.
He finally stationed Scamp in the living room watching PBS with a toasted waffle while we slept a few more minutes. I sluggishly heaved my aching bones out of bed around 8 am -- doesn't sound too bad does it -- but I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Scamp didn't even want the waffle. "Bite, bites" is her ploy to get us up!
I managed to dress Scamp and myself and throw on a little make-up before heading out the door to the library. This is my new (I don't know about Scamp) favorite trek. She always gets restless even though we pick her books and a movie out first. Then, I have to pacify her with a sheet of stickers while I hurriedly look for a book of my own.
After that excursion, we made it to the children's consignment shop by 10:30 am. I found the cutest striped winter outfit by Gap for Scamp and a pair of black dress shoes all for under ten bucks. I was exhausted by the time we got home. You would think going two places with a toddler wouldn't be that tiring but always having to be on high alert really takes the wind out of your sails.
I don't typically thank Beef for working at home, but I did today. I was so grateful that he fed her lunch so I could scramble me up a bite to eat before putting her to bed for a nap. She went right out about 12:30 pm. I should be out right now, too. But, I love you guys too much not to post today.
I found Camy's blog through another blogger. She writes Christian chick lit with Asian American characters and her newest book is Sushi for One?
"She is giving away THREE huge baskets of books AND an 8 GB iPod Nano!
1st place winner will receive a copy of her novel, Sushi for One?, a basket of books by other Christian authors, and an 8 GB iPod Nano. (The winner can also elect to receive a 4 GB colored Nano instead of the 8 GB Nano, which is only available in black or red.)
2nd place winner will receive a copy of her novel, Sushi for One?, a basket of books by other Christian authors, and a 1 GB iPod Shuffle.
3rd place winner will receive a copy of her novel, Sushi for One?, a basket of books by other Christian authors, and a 1 GB iPod Shuffle (silver).
20 Honorable Mentions will each receive a copy of her novel, Sushi for One? and a $10 Amazon gift certificate.
You read that right! 23 winners in all!"
****Please go to her site and read the contest rules. And if you sign up, please name me (it has to say nutritionshawna) for your referral.****
How did you find out you were pregnant, how did you share the news with your hubbie... how did you tell your family?
Come travel back to the day you found out you were pregnant and share it with the group!
I found out through a home pregnancy test that I was pregnant after 3 months of "trying." The day was even more special because Beef's younger sister, Beth, who is my age, gave birth to her second son that same day. I had worked all day then went home and took the test, then drove to see her and new baby G in the hospital. Beef had taken the earlier part of the day off to be there at the birth, but I couldn't. Therefore, I didn't see Beef before leaving to visit his sister.
Beth, Shan (Beef's older sister) and I were the only one's in her room. They, of course, got on the conversation of it being my turn to have a baby, and I couldn't resist telling them I had just taken the test. Keep in mind I hadn't even told Beef. We agreed I should tell him in a special way. On the way home, I stopped off at Wal Mart, bought a "Welcome Baby" balloon and an "I Love Daddy" bib. I tied the positive pregnancy test to the bib then to the balloon. Beef arrived shortly after I had gotten home but went upstairs to finish a couple of things on the computer. I set the balloon up in the living room, grabbed the video camera, and asked him to come down to check out the baby gift -- the idea being he would assume it was for his sister.
He took another ten minutes to come down before I yelled up again. This time, he raced down the steps, and I asked him what he thought of the "gift."
"It's a little small. Don't you think?" he said.
I told him to take a good look at it all the while filming him. He smiled a questioning smile, and I asked him what he thought he was looking at. He still wasn't getting the idea! I pointed to the test and after a couple of minutes he finally figured it out.
"You're going to be the daddy!" I said. He was so ecstatic. He thought the pregnancy stick was a security tag!! I confessed I told his sister's first who were bound to secrecy. We decided it would be best for me to take the confirming test at the doctor's office before we told our parent's. I went the next day, then called Beef with the news. We decided to each call our mothers at work to share the news. Both were so thrilled and got on the phone themselves to tell everyone else.
Beef has been wanting our on backyard pool. I, myself, prefer the public pool where others are in charge of the upkeep and cleaning of the water. But, Beef found an 8-foot round 2 1/2 feet deep pool with it's own filter on clearance at Target. I was opposed to the idea at first but became excited once we had it home. It comes with it's own cover and is just big enough for me to sit in as well as for Scamp to play and splash all she wants. We "swam" last night and this morning, too. And the temperature of the water is perfect to cool off in the 100 degree weather. Actually, it's only supposed to be in the 90s this week, which is such a relief. We've gotten two rain showers in the past few days, which has helped some. Hopefully, it won't get back over 100 this year. Now, I'm dreaming of a hot tub. Too bad those aren't as cheap as the pool!
"The Visitation" by Frank Peretti is a new genre for me -- a spiritual/supernatural thriller. I chose this particular book because Peretti has long been named as one of the great writers in the genre and the fact this book didn't seem as scary as some of his others.
Synopsis: Travis Jordan is an ex-pastor for the local Missionary Pentecostal Church trying to keep a low profile among the town folk of Antioch, a rural farming community. News travels fast in the town as individuals begin witnessing signs of the Messiah's return by seeing prophetic angels as others are being healed miraculously from a crying crucifix. Travis along with a couple of other religious leaders feel something else is a work besides God when a local ranch hand starts healing people and proclaiming to be Jesus. As the town becomes a mecca for religious zealots and those seeking healing from across the country, Travis must expose the truth before everything ends in disaster.
I enjoyed the story immensely, and the characters were very fascinating. However, at times I became lost as to who was who since so many characters played a part in the story. A lot of story and character building took place for the first third if not half of the book, which made for a bit of a slow start. But, hang on because the pace picks up, and you won't be able to put the book down. It did have some horrific scenes, mostly toward the end of the book. It scared me somewhat but not enough to keep from recommending the book. I will not be seeing the movie, however. Peretti has a gift of telling a good story.
You're 21. What's going on in your life? Who are you spending most of your time with? What's favorite things to do? eat? hobby?
My 21st year began as I started my senior year of college. My cousin Jenn and I plus another girlfriend decided it was time to end our commutes to school and rent our own apartment. It was a 3-bedroom townhouse and actually one of the older complexes in the city. It had been built in the 1970s as far as I remember but still had a new feel about it with the spacious rooms and newly replaced tan carpet. The bathroom tub was another story. We lived there for almost 2 years, and I never once took a bath due to the permanent ring of filth lining the bottom and rims of the tub. Every time I cleaned it, I used three different types of chemicals to disinfect, but it never seemed to help.
This year was a time of new beginnings and me getting my feet wet being (somewhat) on my own. It was the first time I had to get a job. I did work previously at an afterschool childcare program a few hours a week, but this job would entail more hours to pay some real bills. I was hired as a sales clerk at Goody's, my then favorite clothing store.
This was also the time I had come to full realization that I was in love with Matt (Beef), my now husband. Our story (in 8 parts, yes 8) is detailed here. He hadn't a clue and wouldn't for another year and a half. He was one of my best friends along with Joseph, my high school classmate. Joseph decided to warrant the help of Matt to make a movie for my birhtday. His idea was to remake a section of the Blaire Witch Project and to film it in the woods near Matt's home. Josh, Matt's brother, was coereced into wielding the camara.
The film took place beginning at dusk and ending a couple of hours later. They set on a path heading toward a rundown, secluded house in the forest all the while spinning supposedly true tales about a various murders and/or hauntings that took place in the area. Of course, the movie ended with all the guys disappearing. It didn't reach the scariness they had hoped, but they never knew I showed the movie to anyone willing to watch. And I replayed it numerous times to see my beloved in action. I still have the movie somewhere.
All in all, I have some wonderful memories of that particular year, especially of our apartment -- mostly because I shared it with Jennifer. We had grown up together, were saved around the same time, and both endured depression. She became my confidant during my time of despair as she had come out of hers with God's help. I felt I couldn't have left the safety of my parent's home with anyone else. She comforted me during the many months of my broken heart as I waited on Matt's eyes to open. We spent hours talking and laughing. It was a year to remember.
How was your 21st year? Join in and share at Annie's.
Thanks so much to Vail and Stacy for nominating me for this award. Now it's my turn.
"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"
Belinda at Whatever He Says: She is an excellent writer, and her blogs are always an inspiration to me. She sends me words of encouragment through emails and has a wonderful daughter, Brenda, who is an encouragement to me as well.
Lauren at Baseballs and Bows: She is such a caring person and always has the best posts about her children and husband. She really loves God and is always willing to share His love through her posts.
Sonya at Mo Mhile Gra: We have become great friends, and she is always there to encourage me through her sweet comments and emails. She is committed to pray for me, which means so much. She's just an all-around caring person and loves God, her husband and children.
Stacy at Vader's Mom: She is such an encourager by not only leaving me sweet comments and emails, she also sends me cards and gifts and books that make my day. I really think being thoughtful is her gift.
I think some of my other blogging friends have already been nominated, so I won't tag them again. I am so appreciative to everyone who stops by my blog!!
I saw this over at Thoughts of a Wannabe. We can all nominate our favorite books! It's a great way to share what Christian books we've been reading. I nominated both Christian fiction and non-fiction books. So get on over there and vote for your favorites!! And pass this bit of info along!
This week's Hunt theme is two. This is a picture of me on the left and my cousin Jenn on the right about a week after we had our babies. Two gals, with two new babies who are two days apart. And by the way, we are also "double" cousins, meaning our dad's are cousins and our mom's are cousins (no inbreeding though, I promise:).
My latest read was "A Window to the World" by Susan Meissner. It's classified as a young adult Christian fiction novel and was a very quick read.
Synopsis:Megan Diamond is an unbearably shy 6 year old whose unable to come out of her shell until her new classmate, Jen Lovett, befriends her. The two become inseparable until one unforgettable tragic day.
Megan must learn how to cope on her own even though the details of the devastating event haunt her life. Along the way, Megan searches for who God really is to her and who he wants her to be.
I would recommend this book to teenagers. It's a clean coming-of-age story and has some great lessons on learning how to believe in the same God your parent's taught you about.
Up next is "The Visitation" by Frank Peretti, a new type of genre for me. I used to read thrillers back in high school, but lost my taste for the crude language and disturbing images detailed in those types of books since then. Peretti, a Christian fiction author, is one of my best girlfriends favorite authors. I've read one other book of his years ago called "This Present Darkness." I only remember tidbits of it though. It was recommended to me to read for a book report by one of my teachers and mentors in my public high school. Hopefully, I'll finish it up soon. I just discovered there's also a movie out. I'll have to see that, too. Has anyone else saw the movie or read the book "Hangman's Curse" by Peretti? I saw it when it first came out and enjoyed it pretty well.
I've been dealing with some major issues for several years now, some of which I am not ready to disclose over the web. But as of recent, these huge burdens have been lifted. My situation seemed so impossible. At times, I would literally lay down and cry and beg God for His mercy, of course not always believing He could (no, would) help me. For many years I let myself wallow in a pit of self-loathing and self-pity. I still battle with issues of low self-esteem on occasion, but God is teaching me that His love of me matters above all else. These feelings complicated my already difficult situation, but God is powerful enough to work on all angles.
Once I truly started to believe God's wisdom and not man's was what I needed, I began to see some real changes. First, God worked on my attitude. When you have a bleak and negative view of difficult situations, everything seems to worsen. When I began thanking God for the minute changes, I felt the hope that could only come from Him. With renewed hope, I increased my prayers, praying for specific areas in my life that needed to be restored. I began seeking out friends/prayer warriors who aided me through difficult situations with encouragement. All the while, I started believing that God really does want to change my predicament and that nothing is impossible through Him. This is only a small glimpse of what God has done and is doing in my life at present.
Although there are more areas that God is continuing to work on with me, I am a living example of the power of His mercy and hope. God is good!
My husband's niece Em was baptized on Sunday by her pastor and grandfather (aka Papa, Beef's dad). We are all so proud of her and honored to be able to share in this experience with her. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior during a VBS this summer.
Her baptism brings back memories of mine as I was baptized in the cool waters of a creek near my home when I was eleven. I had never even heard of an indoor, heated baptismal pool a lot of other churches are able to have. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and on back further were all baptized in the same creek although in different sections depending on the amount of rain.
A baptism signifies leaving our old ways behind and becoming a new creature in Christ who has been washed clean from all sin. Simply put, it's an outward sign of an inner change. At the time, I didn't fully understand the meaning as I do today, hence me tearing up every time I witness a baptism.
My immersion per se took place in the muddy waters of a local creek during the hot, muggy August summer of 1990. I, along with my sister, my on-again, off-again childhood boyfriend and a small collection of a few other new believers, stood in knee-deep water waiting our turns to be dipped.
My sister went first. Then, I, clothed in a hot pink button-up dress (popular color back then), stood within the outstretched arms of my then pastor and great-great-uncle, Brother Austin. My dress barely skimmed the surface of the water causing it the rush up as he lowered me into the creek, my nose-pinched with a soft, white handkerchief. As I raised up out of the water, I realized my beau as well as the rest of the church body got a sneak peek of me skivvies.
We all trudged our way out of the creek as our friends and relatives handed us dry towels. I noticed my well-worn white creek shoes were being stained pink as the water dripping from me was the same color as my dress. We then joined in a chorus of "Amazing Grace," shaking hands and hugging to celebrate what God had accomplished. Thankfully, no one mentioned my mishap, not even my mother.
I would love to hear your baptismal/christening/conversion experiences. Please leave me a comment.
Recently, I won the book "The Midwife of St. Petersburg" by Linda Lee Chaikin from another blog. Since I have found so many other generous bloggers, I would like to do the same and pass the book along. But, up first is my review.
Synopsis: Karena Peshkova grew up under the direction of her midwife mother, Yeva, and desperately wants to follow in her footsteps. But due to her mother's Jewish heritage, Karena's dream is far from attainable. She and her family live in Czarist Russia, where the poor and Jewish peasants are often persecuted.
Karena's brother, Sergei, becomes involved with the Bolsheviks, a fascist political sect willing to do anything to overthrow the Czarist government. Karena unwittingly becomes suspected as a traitor and must flee from the Okhrana, the secret Russian police. The plot thickens as the man she is falling in love with, Aleksandr Kronstadt, whom she meets through her father's high society side of the family, becomes the lead investigator for the same police wanting to convict her.
Alex realizes his deep feelings for Karena and must decide what is most important, clearing the name of the women he loves or advancing his military career under the direction of the Czar. Along the way, both seek answers to their many questions on faith.
"The Midwife of St. Petersburg" borders on historical fiction along with being classified as Christian fiction. At first, I was taken aback by the authors writing style but eventually fell at peace with her wording and descriptions. The story was rather winding and lengthy. The author continued to add more and more plot without any remorse for my desperate want of answered questions.
Although the novel was very well researched, I feel that she could have been a little more in depth with Karena discovering the answers to her faith. I thought the building romance between Karena and Alex was also too unreal at times. All in all, I was left wanting more at the end.
Who would like to take a turn with the book next? Leave me a comment. If there's anyone interested, I'll choose a winner on Wednesday.
Annie at My Life As Annie hosts a weekly post called Time Travel Tuesday. This is a way for all who participate to tell a little more about their pasts. This is my first time participating, but I know several other blogging buddies who do regularly. So here's this week's question:
Join in to share your birth story! What did you think when you first saw your bundle of joy? How was the birthing experience for you? hubby?
Scamp is our only child so far, but we do hope to have more. From all the birth stories I've read and been told, mine seemed to be extremely easy, especially for a first birth. Two days before Scamp was born I went to visit my cousin Jenn in the hospital who had just delivered her newborn. We grew up together and were ecstatic when we found out our babies were due only a week apart. Scamp was due first, but due to some complications, Jenn had to deliver Baby B early.
My due date was three weeks away, so I was quite surprised when I awoke on Saturday morning at 6 am to use the restroom and found my water had broke while I was sitting there. How convenient, huh? I thought I would be in hysterics, but I calmly woke Beef up and told him it was time.
He loaded the car up with our overnight bags, and we started the 40 minute drive to the hospital, mind you I had not had a single contraction. We arrived shortly after 7 am and as soon as we entered the room, I was given a hospital gown and was immediately strapped to an IV. Less then half an hour later, they plugged in my epidural and told me the baby would be born after lunch since the IV was laden with pitocin as well to speed up delivery.
Still contraction free, I welcomed our families within the next hour or so as the epidural took effect. The nurses told me I was supposed to only be numb from the belly button down. If the numbness climbed any higher, it would make it difficult for me to breath. Shortly after I did notice the numbness had reached my chest and began to feel lightheaded. The nurses rushed back in, turning down the epidural and fanning my to help me not pass out.
I started feeling contractions in my buttocks and upper thighs then. The worst pain I experienced was from a catheter and the fetal monitor the doctor strapped to Scamps' head while she was still inside me. Around 1 pm, I was dilated to 10 cm and was ready to push. I was surprised that the doctor didn't come in until Scamp's head crowned. It only took 45 minutes of pushing due to the help of an episiotome. The pain wasn't too bad, but the gross sounds coming from below was sufficiently embarrassing. But, I guess the nurse and doctor are used to that.
Beef did a remarkable job, staying on his feet while holding my hand and watching the birth. He was so proud and so excited. It's hard to say how I felt immediately after I saw Scamp. It was so surreal. I knew a baby was growing inside me, but the awesomeness of seeing the real thing, the baby that is, is hard to explain in words.
I had been told that you literally fall in love with your child. A couple of days after we had gotten home, I felt the surge of those feelings, just like when I knew I was in love with Beef.
My birthing experience was emotionally and physically challenging, especially during the healing process afterwards. Not that my birth story was worse than anyone else's because by far it wasn't. There's so many miraculous things going on in and around you. Your hormones are running haywire. You're in pain, and you have this new little person to love not to mention keep alive! In a way the pain was healing to me, but that's another story. I would go through it all again for my little Scamp. And isn't God the most magnificent Creator!
I'm a little bit behind on Weekend Reflection, but hey, that's been pretty typical lately. First of all, I would like to say how much I love my Scamp. She was sick with a virus last week and was pretty puny. I had to show the two pictures below. First up is Sassy Scamp with her "do rag." She asks to put it on her head. This was right before she got sick.
The photo below is Sick Scamp. She loved to snuggle up in the soft fluffy blanket on our bed and watch her "show."
Scamp is back to herself now. We were actually able to go swimming on Saturday since she was feeling better.
My first PC party at my mom's was a success. I really appreciated everyone suppoting me, especially my mom who went way out of her way to host the party. The pizza I made was really good along with all the other goodies my mom made.
Beef was a trooper. He watched Sick Scamp the night of the party even though he had to be online working.
I was able to get the house somewhat clean even though today it's looking like a mad house again!!
My church's Child Dedication was Sunday of last week. Basically, we as parents along with the church members devoted ourselves to raise Scamp (and the other children) under the direction of God's word. My family and Beef's family drove up to attend the service. Then, we were able to eat lunch with his family afterward.
God has made some very impossible circumstances in my life change for the better. I am so thankful for His love and His promises.
Have you ever felt God's calling? He doesn't always speak the same to me each time, but I know it's Him. When I was 11 years old, God called me to Him, wanting me to believe in the saving power of His son Jesus' death. I understood the message the preacher was giving, "Come and believe Jesus died for you." I realized the sins in my life. I understood that I had done wrong and needed a Savior to pull me out of my sin. As I sat in the church pew next to my mother, I knew God was calling me forward during the invitation. He wanted me to step out into the aisle, walk down to the carpet covered pew before the pulpit, kneel down and pray for forgiveness. Tears flooded my eyes as soon as I stepped out. He called me to Him that day, and I went.
I sit in this hot, air-conditionerless room, typing these words, and I feel a different kind of calling. Not one to kneel down, but one to stand up and use the talents He's given me. As believers we are all called to serve God in some way, whether to preach, to teach, to pray, or to clean the church kitchen after Sunday afternoon potlucks. He has given us all gifts. It says so in his word. We don't all have the same gifts. That is why we are called a body of believers. Some function as the hands, some as the feet, some as the mouth. Together, not alone, God has given us the abilities to accomplish His will.
God has called me to write in some fashion or another, maybe through this blog, maybe through a church newsletter, or maybe through writing books. But, I've been having a hard time believing this calling. Why? Because I have a tendency to seek other's approval. And why would God use someone who has a tendency to seek her own glory through others? Maybe that's what God is working on now. He's showing me He will ultimately accomplish His will, and He will change me to become more like Jesus. He will help me to put this selfish need aside and show me that the only approval I need is His. He created me, and He will be glorified.
God, if this is truly my calling then help me to prepare. I'm waiting on You.
I haven't had much chance to blog the past couple of weeks because I've taken on a new part-time job as a cooking show consultant. I have been so busy preparing for my first party that I have less time for other things. I'm the type to like to be overly prepared!! Have you ever been to a party? I've been to a lot, and I really love the products. I wouldn't sell them if I didn't. I really wanted something that I could make some extra money. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something fun -- I do cooking and product demos -- and use my nutrition background. My mom is hosting my first show, and it's tomorrow night. So say a quick prayer that everything goes well. I don't want to burn anything!!