Friday, July 27, 2007

Word on the Word?

What is your favorite passage in the Bible? It could be a source of encouragment, a life verse, some wisdom you live by, etc.

When I was younger it was Jeremiah 29:11 and later became Zephaniah 3:17. I now take delight in a lot of Scripture. For any of you who know me well that's nothing short of a miracle! God's Word was death to me after my sister died. It felt like mockery. I could read the Psalms but little else. God has carried me through to a different place, one where His Word brings refreshment and encouragement. I pray this is the place you're in. If you're not- hang in there. God is not afraid of your anger, hurt and honesty. He is the ONE who showed Himself to Job. It's when you meet God, be with Him, that's what changes things, not the words that everyone wants to give you or the verses they shove down your throat. For me I know truly that my boundaries have fallen in pleasant places! (Psalm 16:6) But do remember Psalm 147:3 He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds.

So bring it on people. If it's more than one passage or verse that's okay!

Before I leave.

We will be heading out later this morning to go to Virginia Beach. We are having a family reunion on Saturday down at Sandbridge. It should be a lot of fun.

This past week I have had the pleasure of having my friend Alexis come visit. I look forward to showing you some pictures later but for now I must pack up and go.

Look forward to updating you all soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

BOOK IT!!!


Okay, It wil be another hour and a half til it's technically Friday. I thought, heck, risk a little, get startled early. Better early than late, right?

So here's what I want to know. If you could recommend one book for me to read what would it be. The Bible is too obvious. I already am reading it :) I want book titles, please! It could be about anything: relational, finances, novel, biography, parenting, cooking, etc.

The only limit is this. You can't use a title that somebody has already listed. Okay, go!


And if you just CAN'T list one, then list more than one. Don't let the idea of just one book bog you down!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brothers.

John and David, Mike's brothers came for a visit. We had a great time with them. They have both been such a blessing to our lives and I am thankful that I got to grow up with them. I've known them since I was 13. David was just a boy of 8, John was my age and Mike was the older and intimidating 15 year old. I never knew that David and John would become my brothers but I am so grateful for the precious gift that God has given me in them. I love and respect them so much. Through the years I think our friendships have grown deeper and I rejoice that God has not only given me dear brother-in-laws but also great friends!




Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Please post below to encourage Mike (at How He loves Me). And you can also check out our 4th of July below (posted late).

The Thing about Target.


Okay the truth is that I'm putting off exercising at the moment. Looking for an excuse I guess... but I will keep this short so that I will exercise. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Anyway, I don't know if you have this problem but I have a problem when I see red little stickers. Specifically red little stickers while I'm in Target. It means that the item is on sale. That's a dangerous thing. Because the item could be ugly, it could serve me no purpose whatsoever but for some reason those stinkin' marketing people know that all they need to do is put a red sticker and I'm hooked. I look and re-look and evaluate the product. Lately my prayer has been when I walk in the store, "Lord, help me buy only what we truly need." I mean, I do have legitimate needs for my family, like diapers or toilet paper, etc. But those legitimate needs don't look like stationary or crafting supplies or that amazing new kitchen gadget. Aaaggghhhh. So, I'm trying to dismiss the little red stickers and when I see them I now try and say, "Get behind me Satan." as opposed to, "Get thee in my shopping cart." But sometimes it does happen that there is something I truly need or would really, really like (that we have the money for) and it just happens to have the little red sticker, then you gotta yell, "Praise Him!"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sleeping beauty.

After much obsession and talk we took Libby to ride on the carousel. I had made the innocent mistake one day of going to the mall and walking by the carousel. And she saw it. The horses. And she wanted to ride one so bad that for the next several days she hounded me about "ride the horse". So, after saying goodbye to Mike's dear brothers we packed up and moved on to the mall where Libby could have her first carousel experience. It was such a fun day. Breakfast with John and David. The mall- including the carousel, starbucks, and bath and body works.

Mike helped some friends move. I got to talk to my dear, dear friend Sara, my Swedish sister for a couple hours! And then our friends David and Tosha came over and brought us some yummy Chinese. I made strawberry shortcake for dessert... super yum.

But I had to show this picture of the day. It was after the mall and Libby wasn't really taking a nap. So I let her stay up while I was on the phone with Sara. After the phone conversation I let her watch Dumbo while eating her yogurt. She was in her high chair so I went off to do dishes. It must have been a busy day becaus this is how I found her.

Carousel.




Saturday, July 14, 2007

How He Loves Me, Let Me Count The Ways.


I was thinking in light of last week's question of how I could romance and bless my honey and a thought occurred to me. I could praise him publicly. Well, I can put it out on my blog and you "the public" can read it. And to you dear public, would you please post a comment for Mike. It could just be an encouraging comment or something you appreciate or are thankful for about him. My hope is for him to feel loved and know how special he is to me and others.


Mike has always been an amazing man. When we were courting he would write me romantic notes. We would study at IHOP together. He would call me daily while I was in China teaching English... and when I came home (from China) he had gift certificates for a massage and pedicure at a luxurious spa. Mike would always do things big and small for no reason in particular and would make special days extra special. My first birthday when we were a couple I turned 22 and he had 22 little presents for me. The best present of the day was that he gave me his first kiss. It was a precious gift. My lips are the only ones he's kissed...with exception to his mom and grandmothers... :) Mike has always been thoughtful and quick to put my needs above his. He's willing to watch girlie movies like Pride & Prejudice with me, and I'm not talking about the new one, although we saw that together 3 times in theaters, I'm talking the whole 5 1/2 hour A&E rendition with Colin Firth. He's watched You've Got Mail with me more times than I can think of.

Mike is always willing to rub my back even if he's had a long hard day. On days that he knows are difficult or I'm just extra tired he will wake me up by bringing me up a cup of hot tea and will make me oatmeal just the way I like it with raisins and walnuts and brown sugar and a splash of milk. Mike makes a mean cup of "Oh Boy" (Swedish hot chocolate) and a delicious grilled cheese.

I remember being pregnant with Libby and it was just after my sister died. Mike was always willing to get me food or prepare something for me to eat.. I never felt like cooking and was nauseous and depressed almost all the time. Mike never complained or was resentful. He never told me to snap out of it or to pull myself together. He didn't complain that I was being such a picky eater. He would hold me as I cried myself to sleep night after night.

He's always looking out for my best. Always encouraging me to grow, to try new things, to help me in anyway I can. He is for me. He wants me to do things that I enjoy doing. He wants me to continue getting more education. He wants me to have fun with hobbies I enjoy. He spoils me.

And even though it's been a hard several years, he has made them the sweetest. he has helped me find beauty from pain. He has helped me walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He has helped me to see that God is loving and does have my best in mind, because Mike is that way.

Mike isn't perfect. He's human. He has flaws. BUT he is the greatest means of grace I have ever known. He has been my best friend. he has loved me when I have been ugly, in spite of the weight I've gained since we've been married, in spite of the stretch marks and other imperfections I have from my two beautiful children. He has always made me feel lovely even when I wasn't. He knows my deepest fears and has walked with me out of the pit of despair. His kindness and generosity melt my heart. He gives of his time, money, resources and himself. He is quick to lay down his life for others and is a great friend. He loves his children and is gentle and tender with them. He disciplines them because he loves them.

He is passionate and adventurous and sensitive in Spirit. He loves the Lord and desires to please Him with His life. He seeks new ways to love and romance me. He has bought me beautiful jewelry, delicious perfumes, fragrant flowers, and I can't tell you how many arts and crafts supplies. He encourages me in my endeavors as a cook, mom, wife, friend, daughter, gardener, card-maker, scrapbooker, writer, reader, and nutritionist.

We have walked through some hard times. Many deaths, births, heartbreaks, financial difficulties and struggles, 4 different moves, a Bachelors degree, working on a Master's degree and dreaming of attempting a PhD in the UK. We have cried, laughed, screamed, danced, played, and worked together. We have traveled together to D.C.,NYC, Sweden, France, Iceland (well, flying through :) We have both been Starbucks baristas, students at Old Dominion University, been in Enland at separate times and taught the same Sunday school. All this and we have only been married 4 years this September. Wow, 4 moves and 2 children later... and we're here in Philadelphia, working on his Masters, doing summer Hebrew and praying for the next step. By the way, he made straight A's this past semester!

My husband as my birthday present this year is giving me a trip to CA. I'm flying to visit my dear friend and adopted little sister Kelsey. 5 DAYS of sun, fun, Starbucks and one of my dearest friends to share it with.

I'm probably making Mike out to seem unreal but he is real. I love him with all of my heart and long to love him better and more deeply. So Honey, if you're reading this please know that I am more in love with you than ever. I am so proud of you. The way you care for us as your family, the way you're doing school, and juggling the weight of so many responsibilities and a crazy wife and two monkey children---- you're AMAZING! I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Savings anyone?

Are your juices going... ready set, answer.

What are some practical ways to save money, spend less, etc? In other words, what is your best money tip?

go for it.

How we spent our 4th.





the 4th of July was a great day for our family. We started it off right with blueberry pancakes and 4th of July outfits. Libby's shirt said "All American Sweetie" and Samuel's said something about, "Rockets are red, firecracers are blue, the 4th is fun, cuz I'm with you." I need to look at the outfit itself... hmmm, what is blue? We went to the Andrews' home that afternoon with some friends of our ours from Westminster. There were several couples from Westminster and it was enjoyable to see familiar and new faces. We grilled out and the weather was beautiful. Libby and Samuel were loving it. Libby especially loved coming in and out of the house, banging their porch door. The Andrews live on a "cottage" off of a mansion. I am not lying when I say it as a mansion. The home (worth 5 million) is massive and is surrounded by the most beautiful grounds thanks to the devotion and hard work of Joel Andrews. Joel oversees the grounds and the place is breathtaking.

In my enjoyment of the day I took few pictures... sad, but true, but I was enjoying the day and my time there instead of thinking, "hey, I need to capture this for my blog". I think I chose what is better, but I do hope in the future to show you the home and the cottage and the gardens and extensive grounds because it truly is breathtaking.

The kids loved the back yard where there is a duck pond fully stocked with ducks, geese, etc. The Andrews have two bunnies which Libby obsessed about for days on end.

We spent the later part of the afternoon playing or watching a game of Bocce Ball (an italian game played with small balls). I really enjoyed watching Mike play and Libby loved chasing the groups around playing the game. One dear couple was there, our friends David and Tosha Smith, and Libby loves Tosha and just enjoys saying her name. David and Tosha were on one team, and Mike and I were on another and throughout the game you would hear Libby yelling, "Tooossshhha!"

We took two tired babies home and put them to bed. Needless to say, it was a very fun day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lifestyles of the Wretch and Frantic.


Hello dear friends. Do you ever have one of those days where you find yourself never finishing anything you started and walking into rooms of unfinished tasks. That was my day. The kids and I were so SLEEPY today. It was like somebody slipped us something. We didn't get out of bed until 9 a.m. and were back in bed just after 11. Crazy, huh? I think maybe we were worn out from yesterday's gallavanting.

So I woke up from my nap. I had fallen asleep around noon and woke up at 1:45. I came downstairs and realized I had missed a half dozen calls from my honey. I needed to e-mail his parents about a favor they were doing for us. So in the midst of this Libby wakes up. I walk into the kitchen and start laughing. I had left the dishwasher door open intending to put detergent in it and had forgotten. and I needed to get Libby milk. Samuel was crying in his crib... he had just waken up. I'm trying to type this e-mail and Libby is begging me to watch "Kipper" which she pronounces it as "Cuppah" (it's a British show about a dog-very toddler friendly). The way Libby says Kipper is so darn cute.

Today felt like a lot of nothings. Didn't get anything done per se but the kids were fed and diapers were changed but they remained in their PJ's all day. The house is vaccumed and the downstairs straightened but a lot of good intentions such as exercising went out the door. I kept finding things I had started but hadn't finished... such as breakfast dishes on the kitchen table at 2 p.m. Scissors I had used to cut with and had forgotten to put away. things of that sort. And I did put the dishes away and I did make yummy fajitas for dinner but it was just haphazard and crazy.

Why does it seem on days when I do a lot that I tend to do "everything": groceries, errands, exercising, cleaning, mail, etc. And on the days when I could do "whatever" and have leisure time nothing happens.

It rained today. Let me correct that. It stormed today. Libby pulled up her little bench to the window and stared at the rain. When it started thundering she didn't look frightened but asked me what the noise was. She spent a lot of the day playing with her baby and wanting me to give the baby a "hair cut"... hair cut is when you fix hair, not actually cut it (according to Libby Anne Hope's new and abridged dictionary). E.g. when Libby gets a haircut I put her hair in clips and a pony tail. So the baby doll has a hair band that perpetually falls off and she wants me to keep fixing it-hence hair cut.. Samuel is cutting teeth like a crazy man which means lots of drool and unusual agitation and fussiness.

Okay, truth be told I did do something today. I read a whole book and finished it today. Guilty as charged.

And I do feel guilty about it. That's the not good thing. I'm not advocating spending everyday reading books to the neglect of things that need to be done. But the children weren't neglected and it was a rainy sleep sort of day. There I go again basing my worth on my productivity. Do you do that? Judge yourself based on what you've accomplished?

There is a stamp I purchased at Michael's Arts and Crafts that I'm going to use for stationary but I want to read you what it says. It's a quote from Mother Teresa stating, "God doesn't look at how much we do, but with how much love we do it." I think in America efficiency is one of our gods. We don't value people for being themselves but how much we can get out of them and what they do. We're so caught up in our doing and not in our being. It's funny how much I base things on the appearance of things... like if my house is clean and orderly and I look good externally then everything is well. But the truth of my wellness really lies in my heart.

I remember one night in particular Mike told me I looked beautiful. I was in a crappy mood and felt like poo-poo doo-dos. But I bothered to look in the mirror and realized I did look pretty. It was internally that I was really messed up... and things weren't right. Because I knew how I was doing on the inside I thought surely it refelcted on the outside. But appearances are deceiving. I've also had moments where I do look like I've been run over by a freight train but I'm at peace in my heart and how I look doesn't faze me.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to write this super long post. I guess it evolved into more than I thought it would. Gotta be careful when I write when I'm tired... I tend to ramble.

Libby is super psyched because Uncle John and D (David-she calls him "Dee") are coming up tomorrow. I also told her that we'll take them to Starbucks... where she's been begging for a Rainbow cookie. Rainbow cookies are the ones with the colorful m&m's in them. So tomorrow is pretty special.

Well, to wrap things up. I find myself so often a frantic wretch. Trying to hurry. Trying to get things done. Running around like a chicken wth my head cut off. Never really focused on where I am but on the next thing. Thank God for grace. For Him loving wretches like me.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I am found, was blind but now I see.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's all Greek to Me.



Um, I mean Hebrew. It's all Hebrew. Right now Mike is in the midst of Hebrew. He's got pages spread all over the kitchen table and I hear him mumbling under his breath. No he's not swearing. He's speaking Hebrew. Mike is an AMAZING student. He's diligent and hard-working and I am so PROUD of him. You should see the focused look on his face. A couple more months and I might have part of my honey back... we'll see. Right now though this is where it's at... and where it should be.

He still will take time to restle and snuggle the kids. He still takes care of us and meets our needs in addition to making straight A's. For example, tonight he let me have a night out... where I went to Target, Michael's Arts and Crafts and Barnes and Noble sans les infant (without the kiddos). I worked on my writing, an article about fear of man. Also I found the cutest little mini-album of Tinkerbell. I'm going to use it to put pictures of my Libby Anne Hope and write about what I love about her. She's hooked on Tinkerbell. Mike and I aren't too sure the influence we want Tinkerbell to have on our lives (or Libby's). Tink has a lot of envy, vanity, etc. issues to work through.... but in the end (of Peter Pan that is), there is some redemption, right? Anyway, I reallly am looking forward to making this album about Libby.

Samuel is loving plastics. he gets in the kitchen, opens the cupboard and wreaks havoc on my Gladware. It's fun to watch the first dozen times. Now I'm almost always keeping the gate up, blocking the kitchen.

So anyway, I got to go out tonight and Mike bathed the kids and put them to bed. He's really a gem.

Off to bed.

P.S.~ The picture I used of Mike was in March studying for mid-terms. It probably was Greek at the time. So don't get confused.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Potty Talk.

The Ring of Power.





I'm not trying to talk dirty. I'm just talking about life right now in the Napier household. The hot word on the street right now is "potty". Libby has been talking a lot about the potty. She talks about what you do on the potty... and how she wants to be on the potty... and the ultimate... of what happens when you "go" on the potty. It means a dark chocolate M&M and big girl underpants. I haven't tried to push this on her. It's her interest at the moment. The problem seems to be is I don't know if she knows when she needs to go on the potty. So right now we have a potty ring she sits on morning and night... and some fabulous hello kitty underwear.

Stay tuned... there might be more potty talk to come!

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's Friday...

You know what that means. Get your creative juices flowing. Here is my question I pose to you...

What creative, inexpensive ways can I romance my honey?

You don't need to be married or even have a boyfriend. And if you're a guy then think of what you think would be nice for Mike. I'll take any ideas you have. Next week is extra stressful for him and I'd like to doing something loving and romantic everyday next week and I'm looking for some ideas.

Please any little or big ideas are welcome!

Thanks!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Early Intervention.


An answer to prayers. Yesterday we had a team from early intervention come over and do an assessment on Samuel. He did a great job by the way and they were amazed at his sweetness and joy and his curiosity. He was quick to do everything that they wanted him to do. Play with certain toys. Pull himself up to standing. Etc. Etc.

He is going to be receiving speech therapy weekly and physical therapy monthly! I am so excited. This means they'll teach me different exercises to do with him, to help him get stronger and walk. He'll also be working on more verbal skills as well as eating. Apparently he still has very "babyish" ways of eating. This gives me hope that it's not just me having a hard time with certain foods.

Thank you Jesus!

Monday, July 02, 2007







Some wedding pictures. My cousin Sharon and her husband Marc. My cousin and I. Mike looked totally hot! Samuel and I are dancing. He was my first dance for the evening. I'll post some more when I'm at home. Libby danced the whole evening and yelled everytime we took her off the floor. Thankfully I had some pretty gracious relatives willing to swing her around!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

On the Road Again.

Actually we just got back from being on the road again! We went up to Boston this week-end. Left Friday came back today (Sunday). We had traveled up to Boston, MA for my cousin Sharon's (Owcarski-from MA) wedding. It was a great trip. Well, the traveling wasn't so fun but being there was GREAT! Friday we had an appointment with the geneticist (for Samuel). It was an early start. I had to get the car packed for the trip, the house in order, the kids fed and dressed, drop Mike off at Hebrew class and drive to CHOP (the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). We get there pack the car and take the 4th floor to Genetics. Well, it was the wrong genetics dept. He needed Nephrology (still don't know what that means). So, after a long wait we meet with the doctor. The kids have been doing great and have been cheerful and it wasn't until Samuel started getting examined that he started screaming. Libby is singing and talking her head off. Samuel is screaming like he's being tortured instead of just having his head measured and his feet looked at, etc. Special times. Then there is lab work ups.... that's where the "trouble" begins.

We have to wait for 20 min. to check out because the lady in front of me is yelling at the lady helping her about her insurance. Finally another woman at the counter turns to me and says, "oh, are you checking out?" I smile and nod. Another 20 min. later we bring the paperwork to the lab desk. We wait for 40 min. Finally we are seen. I literally had to hold Samuel down for 45 minutes as it takes three tries to draw blood from him. The average IV usually takes an hour and a half so this wasn't too bad. I'm near tears at this point. We had been at CHOP for 4 hours. I'm tired, hungry, and crazy. The kids are starved (did I mention they posted a "no eating" sign in every room we were in! We drive and pick up Mike, drive-through for lunch and then head to MA.

Well, our 5 and a half hours became 8 hours. I thought we would leave around noon when Mike was out of class but it wasn't until 2:30 due to my extended pleasurable stay at CHOP. Disappointment set in quick. My visions of eating a relaxed dinner and taking a dip in the pool was replaced with horrible traffic, screaming children and bad attitudes. And who had the worst attitude you may wonder? Yours truly. I was rotten. It wasn't until the end of the trip that I realized I had been repeatedly hurting my husband with my unkind comments and was just being an overall self-centered brat. I was saddened when I looked at my behavior during the trip... I had made it all about me. I was putting myself first above my husband and my kids. I didn't care about their needs or frustrations or concerns just that I wasn't already there yet.

The rest of the trip really did go well though. I asked for forgiveness and when we arrived at the hotel my parents, my aunts and uncle and cousins were waiting in the lobby. Yep, 10:30 at night and they were there to greet us and help us with the kids and getting stuff from the car, etc.

Mike was my hero for the week-end though! He held Samuel during the wedding and took him to the lobby when he got fussy. He made sure the kids were doing well and that I was well taken care of. He was sweet and obliging and had such a good attitude about meeting people he didn't know and that were not really "his family." We did have fun at the pool at the hotel. We had a great time dancing at the reception...and I just have to continue to say, my husband was amazing. I often have a bad attitude when it comes to doing something I don't want to do, but he instead layed down his life for me and really did this week-end for me. I am a very blessed woman.


We just got in less than an hour ago and now it's time to unwind and hit the sack. Samuel screamed a good portion of the trip back. It's nice to have some solitude right now and peace and quiet... and to sleep in my own bedroom with no little chickadees in the room.

Can't wait to post some pics!