Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Fun

"Be seen, Not scared" is the theme of the zoo's halloween celebration. I've always wanted to go, but until we had Hudson there was really no reason for us to go. So we bundled H up (it was quite cold) and headed to the zoo for fun and candy.

Hudson being unimpressed.
Side note - my baby should have been dressed as Santa with that frothy drool beard he's rocking.

The carved pumpkins - this Elvis is for Rachel

Just to prove that I am, indeed, taller than a dwarf.

Most of the animals had already went to bed (smart animals) except this fast-paced peacock.

Our friend N went with us.  I made him take a picture with me and my favorite childhood snack.

About 7:30 Hudson decided it was nap time.

How can he sleep in such an uncomfortable position?

But he did wake up in time to meet Dorothy and the gang.
  The Friday before Halloween we had some friends over for chili and pumpkin carving.  Much fun ensued.

Miss M and H

The fun was too much for Mr. A

Miss S and H, who is almost as big as her.

Mrs. B has a thing for putting H right to sleep

Pumpkins galor

With 2/3 of the sweet McD girls

Halloween night we all stayed home to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids.  We normally average about 80 trick-or-treaters so we expected a busy night but sadly there weren't that many.  Perhaps the coldness?  Oh well - more candy for us!

Farmer-Mama and her little Pumpkin. 
Daddy refused to dress up - party pooper!
Best part about Hudson's sweet pumpkin costume is that we got it on sale last year after Halloween (having just found out we were pregnant a few weeks before) for $2.50 - normal price was $14.99.  Yahoo for savings!  Thank you Hudson for not growing too quickly as we took a risk buying it not knowing if it would fit or not. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Face Time

One of Hudson's new favorite things is to stare at himself in a mirror.  I don't think he actually realizes it's him, but he definitely likes to smile and coo at the little baby he sees.  It's adorable, trust me.

Hey there, Baby!

Hey Mama, what are you doing?

Such a handsome guy, even when blurry.

Where'd my mirror-thing go?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

He is not Silent

No, I'm not talking about the book - though it's good and you should read it!  I'm talking about how sweetly the Lord has encouraged us this week after the disappointment of last Sunday.

1) Monday was a holiday so James was home from work which allowed us to just rest and be together as a family.

2) We're in a CJ Mahaney mood of late and listened to this sermon this week.  I picked it because the title was "The Sustaining Power of the Gospel" and it turned out to be about how not to be disheartened and so appropriate right now.

3) As we began studying the Sunday School lesson for this week, we discovered it was titled "From Failure to Direction."  It details how the Lord brought Abram and Sarai from failure (their disobedience in conceiving Ishmael with Hagar) to the fulfillment of his promise (in the birth of Isaac).  While our situation, I don't think, is a product of our disobedience this served as a reminder of God's calling on our life and that it is up to him, not us, to see that it comes to fruition.  Again, how appropriate.

4)  I won a free ESV Study Bible!  In true Bible-hoarder fashion (I'm only partially kidding, we have like 20 Bibles around here) I entered to win an ESV Study Bible via a friend's ministry's facebook page and won.  This is something we simply couldn't afford but is a nice blessing right now and will come in handy both now for personal study and in the future when Lord willing James does get called to a church.

5)  The fellowship of sweet friends this week has reminded us of just how much the Lord cares for each of his own. 

6) We've had the opportunity this week to bless others: to share the gospel with a stranger, to encourage a man I overheard sharing the gospel with a lady at the grocery store to persevere in his walk with Christ, to talk to and love on a few lonely grandmas who stopped me to check out Hudson while out running errands, and to pray with/for dear friends.  This has been especially helpful to our hearts as it reminds us that life isn't about us, but about worshiping the Lord and serving him. 

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore exalts himself to show mercy to you...
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:18 and 21

My sous-chef for the evening.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Not Abandoned

I've written this blog post several times in my mind over the past few weeks and it's always been a celebratory "We're moving ..." post.  Sadly this is not the case today.

As most of you know, James has been in the process with a church in northern Kentucky in view of a call to the pastorate.  After almost 2 months, 7 sermons, and many afternoons spent talking (and bonding) with various church members the vote on Sunday was not the unanimous vote for which we were hoping.  We are disappointed, to put it mildly.

The pulpit committee is equally disappointed.  Mr. Dave, who called James with the news said, "This beats all I've ever seen.  We're in a mess here."  So it would appear on both sides that we're left wondering what in the world God is up to in this situation.

We have no idea what God is trying to teach us through this. Patience? Discernment? Perseverance? Who knows right now ... we may never know this side of heaven. 

Some have tried to encourage us with the thought that God has something better in store.  Possibly.  God definitely can use discouraging situations to bring about good for his people; think - Joseph, Ruth, etc...  However God may not intend for there to be something "better."  The Bible is also full of accounts of his beloveds who live (their entire lives basically) in discouraging, depressing situations; think - Jeremiah, Leah, etc...  So while we do hope God has something else in store for us, we must be honest and say that may not be his plan.  We know so many godly single friends who earnestly desire a spouse yet the Lord does not see fit to bless in that way - or our married friends who struggle with infertility and despite the begging of saints on their behalf the Lord has yet to open the womb. 

So to be realistic, we must confess that the Lord's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts and the Lord may be trying to teach us to be content and obedient where we are, even if it's not where want to be.

But hope is not lost ...

As James and I have tried to process this over the past 24 hours, we're left with only one comforting thought.

- God has not abandoned us.

How do we know this?  I can tell you that it's not because we have felt an overwhelming sense of God's presence these past few days because we haven't.  It's simply because God's word says he won't abandon us - we're forced to trust even though we don't "feel like it."

The Lord in his kindness, led us to this video last week of CJ Mahaney preaching on Psalm 42 entitled "The Troubled Soul."  At that time it was simply a good word; but now it is applicable to our situation of discouragement and we are thankful that though we didn't know it - the Lord was apparently preparing us.

So please pray for the Lackeys:

- Encouragement.  We are so needy of the Lord's grace right now.
- Renewed Motivation.  James is not looking forward to starting the process again.  It's so discouraging to send out resume after resume and either hear nothing (often the case) or get a "thanks, but no thanks" over and over again.
- Praise.  While this didn't turn out the way we were hoping, the Lord is still worthy of our praise.  We did make some great friends, though mostly likely short-term.  James has seven good sermons ready to go at a moment's notice.  God is still good, regardless.

And because I don't want to be a "Debbie Downer,"  here's a cute picture to get you through until the next time ...

Who needs a pacifier when you have toes :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Four Months

Click for larger view
Hudson has really, really grown this month - both physically and cognitively.

He gained 1.25 pounds and grew an inch and a half!  It seemed like overnight he was suddenly able to grab toys with accuracy.  Before he'd bat at stuff and sometimes grab it, but usually by accident.  He also recognizes his name and will look at you (if he wants to - haha) when you call his name.  I am convinced he knows the word "look" because I can say, "Hudson, look" while pointing and he will look.  Perhaps it's just coincidence but I'm thinking he's a genius!

Last week, he decided to stop sleeping through the night.  Heavy sigh.  Rather than sleeping a consistent 9 hours he began awaking every 3 hours.  It coincided with weaning him from swaddling so the first night I just figured he didn't know how to sleep with his hands free (haha).  When it occured again (while swaddled) I knew it was something else.  Then it happened again and again.  Dr. B thinks it's what they refer to as Wonder Weeks which is basically a growth spurt in his brain.  Suddenly more aware of his environment, my baby was thinking important thoughts - keeping him awake and in his thoughtfulness he thought I'd like to be awake as well.  Praise the Lord he has begun sleeping 7-8 hours again this week.  Dr. B says it will probably occur again at 9 months and again at 18 months.  Something to look forward to, I guess. 

Stranger Danger is beginning.  He cried upon seeing our friend Rachel the other day and wailed like a banshee when Dr. B started talking to him at his check-up.  Apparently this is a good sign that we've bonded well and "strangers" shouldn't be offended.  Consider yourself warned :)

Can't believe he's already a third of a year old!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photo Dump #3

Hudson has suddenly become much more aware of his environment, which has been so nice because it means he's actually "playing." Enjoy these pictures of his recent adventures, in no particular order.

In the church nursery, chilling in the walker for the first time.

Poor kid, his feet didn't touch the ground.

Since the church walker was a moderate success, we tried out the Exersaucer at home - he loves it (for about 5-10 minutes).

First time with solid foods was however, not a success :(

Picture with Mama now that that bad cereal has been put away

And all these pics are from today, apparently I was in a picture-taking mood!

Fun in the Exersaucer.  Hudson's so long and lean (60% in height but only 25% in weight) that I have to put blankets in to help him fit better - haha!

He is so much more aware - here he is actually grabbing his hanging toys. 
Before he'd swat at them and sometimes hit them if he got lucky.

He simply ADORES this ball - seriously, I think it's his favorite probably because he can hold on to it really well.

Hey Mr. Blue-eyes :)

When Daddy got home from work, he tried impressing Hudson with his guitar playing.
Hudson would rather make eyes at Mama - hee hee :)

Other than James' crazy face (who knew he makes such weird faces when playing?)
I think this photo is cool because you can see Hudson's face in the mirror of his play-thing.