Thursday, May 31, 2012

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

I read an article, more of a blog post, recently about one woman's opinion on a book that has become very popular lately. I myself haven't read it, but I have heard of it. Her words were kind but certain as she explained why she was not going to read it and why those professing to be Christians should avoid it as well. Several times she referenced the Bible and the words she typed that weren't direct quotes lined up perfectly with the message of the Scriptures. After reading her blog post, I was sure that I had no need or desire to read the offensive book she warned against. Then I read the replies to her blog. At first, it was post after post of  thankfulness for truth spoken in love. Women praised her for shedding light on a subject that was often a "live and let live" type of scenario. I agreed with these women.
  Then I started reading responses that confused and saddened me. Women who were professing to be Christians were defending the book. They rationalized this aspect and reason with that aspect until, in their opinion, the book wasn't bad at all. Several of these women referenced the verse in which Jesus commands us Christians to "judge not, lest ye be judged" (Matt 7:1). On a side note, it often seems to me that many people who use that verse to defend sinful actions don't know the true meaning of Jesus' statement. He's not saying never judge anybody, because if you read the rest of Matthew He does indeed tell his disciples to hold each other accountable and  confront them on account of their sin in order to restore them (Matt 18:15-17).
   It made me sad because these women who were claiming with their written words to love God and have a real, meaningful relationship with Him were choosing to believe their own spin on what they think Jesus wants from them over what Jesus actually says He wants from the in the Bible. This kind of rationalization is so very prevalent in our modern age of feel-good, tolerant Christianity. It's no where near new thinking, however. I am referring to the conversation between Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden:
        "He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?'" You can find that whole conversation and how it panned out for all of mankind in Genesis 3.
   The purpose of my blog about another blog is, ironically, not to judge those women's thinking. In truth, my response to reading such inaccuracies was to pray for them. I only wanted to add my two cents to the pile and, hopefully, encourage any of my 17 or so readers to check your sources before accepting something as truth. (By sources, I mean the Bible). And to any of you who do not accept the Bible to be the inherent and perfect Word of God, well, that's a topic for another discussion that I would love to have at a later date. For now, I have to go shower. I'm pretty sure I haven't showered in three days.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Have I mentioned before how much I loathe mosquitoes?

I wish that hate of mosquitoes could kill mosquitoes. There would be no mosquitoes anymore.
 Friends, I have some cute pictures for you today. Pictures from my weekend that tell the story of said weekend. Here ya go:
 Firstly, I was a bridesmaid for the first time! My sweet friend from back in the ole days married Mr. Totally-right-for-her and looked beautiful doing it. I got to try my hand at bridesmaid-ing. I like it. Somebody else I know needs to hurry up and get married!
You shoulda seen her in her dress. Bee-utyfull.
 Here's an adorable picture of Witten just peekin' at me from his daddy's lap.
"What?"
 Noah got his very own set of real (albeit small) tools! He won't be able to handle them unsupervised or on his own for a while (as a saw and several other very dangerous mini-tools were included in this set), but he was stoked to be like daddy. He set to measuring everything with the little measuring tape you see in his left hand.
 And then, probably the highlight of Noah's Sunday; seeing his pal Grayson. We were unable to make it to Grayson's 2nd birthday party due to the wedding I was in, but we sure were happy to see him on Sunday. The evening went a little something like this.
Hey, Mom, look who's here!

Grayson's here! I'm so happy!

Wrestle!

More wrestling!

Wrestle-mania!

Let's never stop wrestling!
 And then, friends, we get to this night. A night for quiet and gentle play.
My eyes adore you.
 I tell you what, readers, when Witten  looks at me with his sweet, blue eyes, eyes that speak of complete trust and uninhibited love, I melt. He needs me. That's what I think tugs at my heartstrings the hardest. That little boy needs his mommy. Of course he loves his daddy. Daddy can make him laugh with one silly look. But for right now, at this tender, tiny age, he needs his mommy. He's so wonderfully sweet and loveable! Blessed! Blessed! I am blessed!
Playing's tough work.
    Someday, that little sweetheart you see in the foreground of the above picture will be that funny tot in the background. He won't need me per say, but he'll still love me. And I will most certainly love him. As long as I'm living, my baby they will both be.
   Goodnight, readers. May your evenings be blessed!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So very clean

We're showing our house today. We're doing that thing where you stick you toe in the water to see if it's good for swimming, except our "toe" is our house and the "pool" is the housing market and "to see if it's good for swimming" actually means to see if anyone would even be interested in looking at our house. We've had several calls since Stephan stomped that sign in our front yard last week and today someone is coming to look at it who sounds very interested.
  That being said, I am taking a minor break in a cleaning spree of herculean proportions to let my feet rest and tell you readers how incredibly clean and good smelling my house is right now. To give you an idea of how deep and intense my cleaning is today: I spent the morning inhaling Clorox bleach on my knees as I scrubbed every porcelain tile in both our bathrooms. (Still not much of an improvement for our sad master shower, but the black mold is gone at least). Now all I have left to do is rotate the laundry one more time and empty out the dishwasher and vacuum then put away the clean laundry. Crap. That's still a lot.  At least I'm not doing small scale, last minute construction like Stephan is. Poor husband.
  I must go. Suck it up, feet. Consider yourselves lucky you aren't Stephan's feet. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alright, Sports fans!

When I was growing up, my Grandma Jean would clap her hands together loudly and proclaim, "Alright, Sports fans!" She used it as a very good method of claiming attention. I don't know why that spontaneous childhood memory sprang up from the recesses of my mind just now, but I'm glad it did. It's unplugged a whole slew of memories from visiting Overton as a kid and I am swimming in gleeful nostalgia.
 Speaking of childhood memories, Noah was creating a few yesterday that I was determined to capture on film in case he forgot them. It's been one of those goofy mom-dreams that I have for Noah to "mow the lawn" with daddy. What I mean by that is...well, here, just see for yourself, silly readers!
   Noah was given a toy mower for his second birthday. The instant he opened it, visions of Stephan and Noah toiling away at yard work in adorable synchronization danced in my head. The first time Stephan dragged out the mower to have at the front lawn, I sent Noah after him with his own bubble-blowing mower. It didn't go so well. The roar of Daddy's machine sent Noah right back to me. I was afraid that my dream for an adorable photo opportunity would never come true.
  Then, cut to yesterday. Stephan had to mow the back jungle yard, so Noah and I went outside to cheer him on. As Stephan was bravely attacking the grass with his big-boy mower, I remembered Noah's mower and ran inside to grab it and the camera. Soon as he saw his mower, Noah snatched it from my hands and set to helping Daddy tame his wild play grounds. (Besides the picture, I got three or so videos of Noah "mowing", but after reviewing them, I decided to leave them off of the blog, as they were the kind of videos that mommy thinks are adorable and to be treasured but everyone else knows they're pretty boring.) Anyways, after successfully returning our back yard to playing order, the boys parked their mighty machines and called it an evening.
Daddy's doesn't blow bubbles. lame!

In Witten news; Mommy was horrible and completely forgot to let anyone in the family know that Witten was to be dedicated to the church this past Sunday. I only remembered because the church was kind enough to call Stephan the Saturday before and remind him of the upcoming baby dedication. So, yesterday, Witten was dedicated publicly to God and to His church. He was his usual adorable self until right when I carried him into the sanctuary. Then he seemed to realize that he was tired and decided to be cranky. (Ain't that always the way?)
  Today, after a happy, cheerful Witten morning, baby boy was inconsolable for some reason. I just happened to take a peek at his gums and saw two widdle biddy white dots where two widdle biddy teefers are trying to poke through. NO! My baby is already sprouting TEETH! What?? When?? How?? Where the heck has time run off to? My little boy, whom I often times still think of as being born last week or so, is rolling over, eating baby cereal, trying to sit up, and teething! I really might start crying If I ponder this amazing and tragically unstoppable progression of time for too long, so I refuse to allow myself to ride that train of thought any longer.
I'm to adorable to grow up!
   Well, readers, to wrap up (as I am hungry and wish to eat), I will say this: it's a darn good thing I know so many pregnant people right. I'll just get my newborn fix from their babies for the next two years or so until it's time for Stephan and I to have another one of our own. For now, I'll continue to thank God everyday for the life and the two precious sons He has blessed me with. Thank You, God! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I've always wanted to do this

When my sister and I were young, our mother would sometimes dress us in similar or matching outfits. At the time, I thought it was dumb because I was sure nobody would believe that Melissa and I were twins. We looked nothing alike! I don't recall if I actually voiced my opinion out loud then, but I'm pretty sure that was one of those things I promised myself I would never do to my children. Silly, ignorant, young me.
  As soon as Stephan and I started planning for a little sibling for Noah, I started planning matching outfits. Easter outfits, Christmas outfits, outfits for everyday wear, I had dreams of color-coordinated children dancing in my head. (I understand now, Mom. Sorry for ever doubting you). Then, when I finally had two little boys who already looked quite similar in appearance, I realized, to my dismay, that stores don't support dressing one's toddler and one's infant in matching outfits. It's true. Once you pass the 24month size in most stores you get into a whole knew variety of clothing options, none of which match the infant sizes. Please allow me a moment to pout.

Well, friends, I may be laid back, easy going and sometimes downright lazy, but when I set my mind to something I will stop at very little to get what I want. I continued to search every store I went to for matching outfits until, one happy day, I found what I'd been looking for in the form of twinkie p.j.s!
 Observe:
Thank you, Walmart. You made a young mother very happy.
Both sets of jammies are a size up than what the boys are currently fitting in, but that gives them plenty of time to wear them. And believe you me, these jammies are going to get a good deal of wear-time. 
  This picture was taken yesterday. After the picture session that was completely necessary for the occasion, I felt that the only right thing to do with matching boys is read them a bedtime story.
   And while we're on the topic of bedtime and jammies, here's Noah first thing in the morning:

















Mug shots. It was a heinous crime. Lorax and Teddy bear were accomplices. He was too ashamed to even open his eyes.

 Now, friends, my house is in a sore needing for cleaning and I really don't have the drive or energy to get the task done. As playgroup is at my house tomorrow, it will get done, but more likely than not it will happen really early tomorrow morning. (I mentioned I was laid back, right? Did I also say procrastinator? That another rather accurate description of me.) Now, I must away. God bless you, readers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You know when your sneezes hurt?

Short post.
Noah whines.
Witten rolls to his stomach and gets stuck.
I have apparently contracted Noah's cold.
This is one of the most faith-building and busy times in the life of Mr. Stephan Du Toit.
            And yet;
This morning, Noah snuggled to my chest as Witten laughed in his bumbo while their Daddy's life-long dream is coming true.
  So I really can't complain.
Thank You, God.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rrrrrrromance!

Love is in the air, my dear readers.
This past Saturday was my five-year anniversary with my super handsome husband. Our plans for a romantic evening were nearly waylaid by Noah's continued sickness, but my parents graciously watched both the boys so that our dinner plans could happen. So, after pancake breakfast, family time during the day to commemorate what five years of holy matrimony has blessed us with, and an afternoon nap for all, Stephan and I got all dolled up, dropped off the kiddos at Bebe and Papa's, and then made our way to an evening of romance and fuzzy warm feelings.
  First, we wanted to try dinner at a restaurant we've never tried before. That led us to Jake's on the Square.
The table was quite large. It was hard to look cuddly for the picture.
   The food was delicious. From this moment forth, when I speak of tasty shrimp, I shall reference the astonishingly good shrimp I ate at Jake's. All other shrimp I have tasted thus far in my life has been put to embarrassing shame in the light of that glorious, grilled shrimp. I could eat that shrimp every day. Stephan had their crab cakes. For dessert, in honor of our five years of married-ness, Jake's honored us with a luscious slice chocolate cheesecake. All-in-all, it was an impressive meal and a real treat.
   After dinner, Stephan and I wanted to watch a movie. Though the Avengers was awesome when we saw it, we didn't want to watch the same movie twice. That's way too much money for a movie we've already seen. Instead, we both decided to try Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp. Here is my official review: do not waste your money to see it. Not in theaters, not even when it comes out to rent for a dollar. I could go into detail as to how disappointed Stephan and I were with our movie selection ( we only stayed through the whole thing because we kept thinking it would get better), but I want to remember the evening with only fond memories, so I'm currently working on blocking out that memory.
   The night (minus the movie) was a joy. It served as a good reminder as to why I'm so happy to be Mrs. Stephan Du Toit. That good-looking guy made me laugh and feel beautiful. We talked about our past and our plans for the future. We prayed for our children and their future. Then we picked up the kids and took our family home.
   And because I love thinking about it, here is a list of what God, in his goodness and mercy, has blessed Stephan and I with in the past five years:
  *His love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. With these gifts, we have been able to rough stormy weather and enjoy days of calm and still love each other deeply.
  *A lovely, sturdy house.
  *loving, supportive family.
  *Dear, wonderful friends.
  *food.
 And two of our most favorite-est blessings of all thus far:
  *these guys-

    Ooooooooh, the cuteness. And because babies be cuter in diapers, Here's another good one:
 Kinda emphasizes the size difference, don't it?
  Tonight is BSF for mommy. Daddy is back to working like a champ. Noah is faring a little bit better, but is still coughing like it's what all the cool kids are doing. Witten is growing far to fast. I thank God so much that He has, for some mysterious reason, withheld from me what I deserve and instead given me everything I do not deserve.  Thank You, God!
 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So happy

Witten loves Butterfly like Noah loves his trucks and cars. It's adorable.
My poor snuggle-head (Noah) was sick sick sick yesterday. He had the highest fever he'd ever had and he was miserable for it. This morning, he woke up warm and sweaty, but was peachy-keen by the time we got to the doctor for his 2 year check up. According to the doctor, Noah's healthy, intelligent, adorable, cute, funny, great with words, smells good, has beautiful eyes... (He didn't exactly say all of those adjectives, but I inferred as much from his otherwise brief appraisal of my son). Now, Noah's partying hard in his sandbox as though he was not ghastly sick just hours ago. I think I remember a time I had that kind of vigor for life.
  Witten is begging me to take him outside to watch his big bro sling some sand around with hot wheels and tonka trucks. I can't resist his cuteness, so I must oblige. God Bless ye, merry gentle-readers. May nothing you dismay!  

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Sit, Therefore, I Blog.

Having finally found a moment in my hustle to get my house back to some semblance of normalcy, I think It's time I bless you readers with a breakdown of what my weekend was like. And it goes a little somethin' like-a 'dis:
 On Friday, Stephan and I finished the final preparations for Noah's birthday bash in our back yard. I have no qualms in admitting that I got the lightest share of that load, as my idea of prepping for a birthday party is cleaning and decorating and setting out food, whereas Stephan's idea of preparing for a party is minor construction and renovations to the back yard. As you saw in my former post, Stephan built a new area for lounging in the back yard that included shade. What you didn't see, as I didn't show you, is that Stephan made that area into a massive, awesome sandbox! It's like a have a beach in my own back yard! And boy, does Noah love it!
  
 Anyways, we had the house and yard set, prepped, and ready to go by the party on Saturday. Almost all of Noah's friends made it to the festivities. Besides the toddler-attracting sandbox, there was a slip-n-slide and watermelon.
Watermelon, get in mah belleh!
Noah's artistically decorated cake
Witten got in on the fun

It's not a party without hats

  Noah got plenty of super-neat presents from his considerate friends. He's been so excited about all of his presents that he skipped checking in on his parents in our bed this morning in favor of hauling out some of his new toys to play with in the living room.

  After Noah's friends and their parents went home to take  a nap (and I'm pretty sure several parents at least wanted to nap if they didn't actually get to), Stephan's family came over for birthday party, part 2. Once they left, Stephan and I took the boys to Bebe and Papa's so that Noah could see the neat-o pool that was set up for his enjoyment. Then, after a long day of partying hard, we all went home to sleep. And it was good.
  On Sunday, the actual date of Noah's birth two years ago, we enjoyed a refreshingly normal morning at church, save for the fact that I sang with the worship team again for the first time since I was about 5 or 6 months pregnant with Witten. Right after church, we changed quickly and scuttled to Jacksonville for more Du Toit family fun, this time with Paul and Erin and their two. Ashton, Noah and Julia had a blast helping Ouma feed a baby goat and Great Ouma water the baby cows. Then they held a few foot races. Ashton won every time, but he's got almost two years on Noah and Julia, so it wasn't a fair race.
Who doesn't like a ride in a golf cart?
Sweet snuggle time with great Ouma
  We were back in Tyler by 4:45 for another speedy clothes change before we booked it to Double Daves for the grand finale to Noah's birthday weekend. The Tracys, Killians, Smiths, Floreys, and Varnells came out to celebrate Noah and his Great Papa's 2nd and 70th birthdays respectively. ( that's my mom's dad, not mine). By 7:00, Noah was rubbing his eyes and snuggling with everybody who held him. He was officially party-pooped out.
   As a treat for Mommy and Daddy, Bebe and Papa took Noah and Witten home with them to watch them while we went to the theater right down the way to watch the Avengers. It. Was. AWESOME! Probably one of the best movies I've seen in a while. There was action galore with fresh comedy sprinkle liberally throughout. My sister and I agree that it would have been a smidge better if there had been a bit of romance snuck in there. Stephan disagreed. Either way, it was a great movie to see and I highly recommend it to all. What I don't recommend you do is take your toddler to see it. (Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, inconsiderate parent who sat right behind us.) Thankfully, they removed the loud, fussy, underage movie-goer right after the preview for the new Batman movie freaked him out. (Seriously, what did they expect?)
  Now, I clean. My house is slowly but surely returning to it's pre-party state, and I am glad. Also, now is a good time for a moment of silent introspection as I sit in amazement over the fact that I have a two-year-old son. Oh God, You have been so good to me! Thank You for this amazing young boy. Be with him as he continues to grow and amaze his father and I with all that he is, all that You made him to be. Most important of all, save him, loving Father. Save him from himself and his sins. Cause him to love You, just as You love him. Thank You, thank You, thank You!  

  To end; a video of Noah attempting to hit a ball off of a tee and then failing and doing a little hulk smash instead:
video

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prepare to lose it to Cuteness

We had a massive collision of cuteness in the Du Toit household yesterday. Don't believe me? See for yourselves!
 Noah helped Daddy build yesterday. he carefully stacked blocks Daddy cut from boards on top of the boards Daddy was cutting.
 And then my mother brought over this:
 If your eyes haven't imploded form the sheer cuteness of a puppy the size of my hand whose eyes-to-head size ratio is dramatically adorable, then prepare for cuteness and then some:
 Noah didn't want to let the puppy out of his lap. He was very gentle with her.
Still not enough cute? Alright, you soulless zombie, I didn't want to have to make you look bad in front of your friends, but you left me no choice. I'm bustin' out the big guns:
SEE?! There's so much cuteness my mom couldn't look directly at it.
On a related note, Witten found his voice today. He's been making cute little gurgly-coos fro a while now, but as of this morning, he has started straight-up chatting. Now Noah's pouring his chocolate milk into his spaghetti. I've got to go stop this madness.
   Be blessed, readers!