Saturday, December 24, 2005
(if this post is confusing to read it's because it is late and I have 1000 thoughts in my head right now but I wanted to make sure I said Merry Christmas before we leave for Iowa)
Friday, December 23, 2005
Those of you who are tech people know how hard it can be to let God touch you in a service. We are easily caught up in the details behind the service that we often miss the big picture. But this service has moved me and brought me tears every time I've seen it. ( which was more then once) It is a masterpiece!! It couldn't have been done any better. Even watching it an overflow I was in awe of what God has done through this team of incredibly blessed people I have the honor to work with. I feel as if the "tech" was as big a "communicator" in this service as any person on stage (if not more). The lights were so beautiful that they brought you into a feeling of unearthly radiance where all things really were possible with God. The sound was vibrant and dynamic it did justice to the awe inspiring vocals and compositions!! And video...Wow!!! What an incredible tool we have found and really used to the best of our ability!! The video team really did an unbelievable job! Their creativity and skill is really inspirational. Every thing they put on those LED screens captured me and stirred emotions with in me. I could relate to the videos and I felt like they were speaking into my heart! Well done!
I know this all sounds very sappy and such but when something is right it's right and you just have to acknowledge it and give Glory to God.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Took the little guy to the doctor today and Malachy has Roseola. Which doesn't seem to be a big deal at this point other then the unsightly red spots covering his entire body! We have been told he is no longer contagious...The 3 days of 104 fever was the contagious stage. Unfortunately the rash will move onto his face and leave us special Christmas memories in all my photos!! I bought him the cutest outfit for Christmas from Gymboree! (and an additional Santa outfit from Target!)
Just an FYI the ABC world news tonight piece about churches being closed on Christmas looks like it will air tomorrow night (Thursday) at 5:30...However this is the 3rd night in a row it was suppose to air so we will see!! It is up on their website as a teaser for tomorrow so I'm feeling pretty confident.
My very special friend Crystal has had a challenging week. Her mother has had some health scares so please keep Crystal and her family in your prayers! Crystal and her entire family are very close to me and have been a blessing to my entire family we love them deeply!!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The "Closed for Christmas Day" issue continues to capture media attention. If you saw cameras here on Saturday, that was ABC World News Tonight. On Sunday we hosted NBC Nightly News. Here's what's happening:
ABC World News Tonight -- Willow Creek and a Gene Appel interview will be featured in a segment, probably tonight. The producer just called me and said right now we're on the schedule, but he'll bump us to Tuesday if there's so much news they would have to edit the segment. So probably tonight -- if not, tomorrow.
NBC Nightly News -- barring big "breaking" news, Willow Creek and a Gene Appel interview will be featured on the Tuesday news program, along with Fellowship Church and Pastor Ed Young.
Fox News "Hannity and Colmes" -- this is a national news discussion program that draws a large secular audience. Mark Ashton will be interviewed for 6-7 minutes on the Tuesday program @ 8PM.
CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) -- Mark Ashton will be interviewed for 3-4 minutes by Lee Webb on the CBN Newswatch show Tuesday @ 2:30 our time.
If something else major comes up, I'll let you know. Hopefully a week from now, this issue will be behind us -- and God will use all the uproar to inspire great kingdom gains!
Monday, December 12, 2005
They were here well after his bed time and I was feeling judged and akward...So in an act of desperation I left Malachy all alone in his crib! =( and he cried for over an hour!!! Not a little whining cry but full out screaming, snot running down his face, chocking on his tears cried!! When he finally fell asleep it was only out of sheer exhaution from the screaming and he woke up every hour and cried some more. I felt like the saddest Mommy ever! I couldn't sleep a wink, I just wanted to go hug him and tell him, "I'm still here...I still love you!" Soooo sad! Night 2, was alittle better...it was not 1 hours of consistent crying just 2 hours of on and off crying ( I think he had learned to save his energy and pro-long my suffering!) However I did feel somewhat better because he had survived night one. Last night was night 3. He only cried on and off for about 45 mins and although I was alittle sad I was too tired to care too much. Tonight, night 4 I put him down with a bottle and havent heard a peep out of him yet!!
Yea! Mission accomplished! I do feel much better and I will say you were all right!! I had already known that you were...I read all the books too! But it's alot easier said then done...especially with your first little baby and when you suffer from sever anxiety like I do! But I'm glad that part of the parenting adventure is over. Just pray for me that I don't have to start all over after our trip to Iowa later this month.
In reference to my previous post about parenting...I just want to say that I appreciate the various encouragement, apologies and explanations I had received from many of you. You are ALL my dear friends and I know everything that was said was said with the best of intentions. I honestly wasn't angry with any one person. I was just angry with the situation and was feeling judged by the people who's opinons matter most too me. Wether it be friends, family, or fellow Mommys...I value your friendships a great deal and encourage you to challange me when you feel so called. Just be warned I may freak out occasionaly! Thanks for your love and support =)
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington may be closed on Dec. 25, but the megachurch's pastor has decided to preach on Christmas morning anyway.Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek, the largest predominantly white church in the Chicago area, will share preaching duties with the Rev. James Meeks in the pulpit of his Salem Baptist Church, the area's largest predominantly black congregation...
For several years now, Meeks and Hybels have been getting to know each other as colleagues and friends. But they would like their congregations to know one another better as well, to build a bridge between the often segregated white and black evangelical Christian communities. Toward that end, in June, 50 church members -- half from Willow, half from Salem -- spent a week riding a bus through the Deep South visiting historical civil rights-era sites. They called it a "Justice Journey."This Christmas morning, as Meeks and Hybels share a pulpit for the first time, will be another step on that journey toward racial reconciliation in the evangelical church, Meeks said."To see us come together," Meeks said, "I think it speaks volumes...
On Friday afternoon, Hybels, who was at O'Hare Airport waiting for a flight bound for Zambia in Africa, where he will spend this week at an AIDS clinic filming a pre-holiday sermon that will be beamed back to Willow next weekend -- they call it "Christmas on Location" -- e-mailed Meeks at the airport in Washington to say he'd be at Salem Christmas morning, with bells on, as it were.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Christian blogs are full of unseasonably vitriolic postings, full of Scriptural references, theological arguments and appeals to common sense. Evangelicals are attacking other Evangelicals in the media. And the debate within the Evangelical community is giving the rest of America a rare look at the divisions that do exist, usually quietly and below the surface, of the 65-million-strong Evangelical community. It is a reminder that this group, so often labeled the "religious right", is diverse both in theology and methodology. The church is in fact many churches, this bloc is no monolith, and this argument, says Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, "shows we're still all very human."...
Others worry that the fight may be more damaging than any impact from what they're fighting about. ""The central point is not what hour of what day the congregation gathers corporately to celebrate the birth of Christ," says Willow Creek's Hybels, "but rather that in our hearts and lives we allow the coming of Christ to transform us." On his blog, Louie Marsh, pastor of a small church in rural Arizona, quoted the Apostle Paul from the Book of Romans, who wrote, "Who are you to judge someone else's servant?" "I do know [that] this isn't something we should be fighting about," Marsh blogged. "Let's just focus on serving God the best we can."
I have only posted the parts that I agreed with the most so feel free to check out the full story if you are curious.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
"At first glance it does sound contrarian," said Rev. Gene Appel, senior pastor of Willow Creek. "We don't see it as not having church on Christmas. We see it as decentralizing the church on Christmas--hundreds of thousands of experiences going on around Christmas trees. The best way to honor the birth of Jesus is for families to have a more personal experience on that day."It's not that the church does not value Christmas, the day set aside to commemorate the incarnation of God on Earth. Willow Creek is organizing almost a week of worship ending Christmas Eve, and total attendance at the services is expected to top 50,000. The church has also produced a short DVD designed to reinforce the theme of the Christmas services and help viewers process spiritual questions that may cross their minds during the holidays.And Appel argues that family has always been at the heart of the Christmas story: the tale of a mother and father celebrating the birth of a babe in a manger.
I have seen the video and I think it will be a very powerfull tool!! I'm really excited about the opportunity it will present for familys close and far from God to focus on Christ Christmas morning.
Monday, December 05, 2005
I feel really frustrated! There are many things adding to my frustration...lack of sleep, depression, not enough big macs but I think the biggest thing freaking me out right now is the judgemental nature of people regarding my parenting! I just want to scream back off! This past week alone I have been told that I'm afraid of my own child, I don't spend enough time with my own child, I should apply to be on Super Nanny, Mothers were intended to stay at home and not work, I'm not feeding him right, putting him to bed right, I'm spoiling him...you name it...I have done it. Apparently I'm the WORST mother in the universe!! And the worst part is...it's not strangers saying this to me...it's my family, friends, and co-workers..all of you who know me best...so it must be true.
I was watching Desperate Housewives last night (more evidence of my flawed character I'm sure) and I could totally relate to Lynette. She was trying to get Day Care started at the office so she could see her children more. The problem was they needed 15 children to be enrolled. The boss's wife was a stay at home mom but if she would bring her child in occasionaly it would be enough for them to get the day care. Lynette called this woman to ask her if she woud bring her child in to the day care. The women responded with an obscene amount of judgement and ridicule towards Lynette for working. She even said to Lynette I don't know why women bother having children if they are going to work. In which Lynette responded;"I'm a good mother." and the woman said;" you see that's the difference between you and I ...I want to be a great mother." I could have screamed because that is sooo real. That is totally how people treat you! Even if they don't say it that boldly they imply it. I have heard several times from Stay at Home mothers something like;" I would rather live in a card board box with my children then get a job. Mom's who work do so to support a lifestyle they choose." Give me a freaking break! For one thing you would NOT want your children living in poverty if you had the power to change it, so that is just insulting. And we are not just talking about the lifestyle of an occasional dinner out and clothe from Old Navy instead of the thrift store, we are talking about health insurance, dance or music lessons, proper meals, the list goes on. So please, if your husband is making more then 40k and you can afford to stay at home,while owning a home, 2 cars, nice clothe and so on do not presume to judge the rest of us who need to work for our ever so lush lifestyles we are "choosing".
People are way to judgemental and they often excuse theur judgement as some holy calling or righteousness. Especially in the Christian community. I remember being at Mark's fathers funeral and this man from their home church. (who I have never met before) Starts asking me what my plans are for Malachy's education. (I was only like 6 months pregnant!) Then he goes on to tell me the only correct way to do it is to home school Malachy and be home with him and he doesn't understand these women who...blah blah blah...I was like I don't even know you (or my son at this point) so how in the world can we know what's best for him yet!? I remember last year watching Dr. Phil and it was stay at home moms and working moms just tearing eachother apart and I couldn't believe it!
I always hear the TRUE statement: being a stay at home mom is like having 2 full time jobs with no days off...but let's remember working Moms STILL come home to their children! It's not like I come home and put my feet up. There are diapers to change, dinners to make, baths to give, tears to wipe the whole spectrum and we don't get vacation days from our children either. We also have 2 full time jobs. It's not a competition why can't we all just help eachother out!?!
I'm aware of my failings as a parent. My child won't listen to me, he hits me, he doesn't sleep...the list goes on. He does behave better for Kim and he is only a child. So yes, I'm aware that his behavior is a direct result of my failure to train him better and NOT beause he is a bad child. However I must say I do try. I try to be consistent. I try to discipline him and I do love him very much. So please cut me some slack it's hard enough without feeling like the whole world is against me.
DISCLAIMER: This "rant" is in NO way directed at my best friend in the whole world Crystal, she is an amazing Mom who I respect greatly and has been an encouragement and inspiration to me. Also this "rant" is not directed at Jami. Although I'm aware some of the things I'm adressing are opinions she holds and recently wrote about in her blog. Jami is another great Mom and her recent blogginig isn't what got me upset. I have been hearing stuff from people all week and I'm frustrated, upset, tierd and looking for a place to vent. I respect that most Moms are just doing what they think is best for their children.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Here is Malaachy with the Jolly fellow now...I'm not sure if he even noticed whos lap he was on!
We had to put some Christmas lights up for our first Christmas in a "real" house!
It has been snowing all afternoon...and I hear there is more to come in the next few days!
This is my (indoor) garland I bought...I hope the snow doesn't ruin it!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Here our some of our Thanks Giving Day photos!
Kim and Mom prepared our Turkey diner with all the fixings! While Mark, Malachy and Dad watched what ever game they could find on TV. I took pictures and played with Malachy when he got bored of the TV! It was a real fun day! It felt like home to ALL of us, which made it extra special. Mom and I even got to do some scrap booking! Mom was really good at it.
This is our newly painted (and carpeted) living room and dinning room! Thanks giving reminded me of all I'm thankful for! Of course God's amazing grace and goodness was at the top of the list...not to sound all churchy...but God has been soo Good to me this year!
I'm thankful for:
Family and Friends!
Mark and I having jobs we really enjoy
Kim watching Malachy
Our new home
Our new Ipod
Our new computer
and so much more!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
1. I over think EVERYTHING!
2. I only like red meat if it is cooked at a restraunt.
3. I still bite off my toe nails.
4. It is REALLY important to me to feel close to people.
5. I want to know God better
6. My baby's first word was eye.
7. I worship mediocrity.
8. I don't think I would survive in this world without my family.
9. Including my pregnancy in the past 2 years I gained 60lbs lost 85 and then gained 25 back and no I'm NOT pregnant so stop asking!
10. I LOVE the Office...I laugh the whole time! (favorite shows: Gilmore Girls, Lost, and 24!)
11. At work I feel like I talk more then I work, but the talking usually includes something or someone work related. =)
12. I use to drink the dill pickle juice
13. I find myself praying for Noah more then anything else...like ALL the stinking time!
14. The friends I feel the most close to are all people I have know since highschool.
15. My favorite foods are Spaghetti and Pumpkin Pie!
16. People give me crap about naming my son Malachy. His birthday cards had about 10 dif. spellings. =)
17. My Husband I just got an Ipod to share....we love it!
18. My dads 5th grade photo looks like me with a buzz cut!
19. I'm STILL scared of the dark.
20. I think my kid is the cutest!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Some of the long awaited House pictures!! This is the kitchen. With one of Kim's Kittys! We haven't started any work on the kitchen yet and will wait a while before we tackle the wall paper in here! When we do eventually get to it the goal is to paint it a earthy red and have a coffee house cozy feel! Below is the house from the front with little Malachy! Malachy is wearing his coat from Meghan!!
Above is the bedroom and too the left is more of the kitchen. The livng roon/dinning room is finaly done!! I will get pictures of those up soon!! Along with Malachys room.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
We had a great time in Iowa, especially Malachy, who had a 3rd Birthday party and got to play with his cousins! Now I'm home, beat, and ready for some TV! Next week I seriously have to do whatever it takes to get my living room DONE, it sucks having no comfy place to watch my shows and let the kid play! I have no trips next weekend so I can pull an all nighter and do what I gots to do! I'm soooo looking forward to having my house done and being able to invite people over!
I have missed being able to post pictures and keep up on everyones blogs!! I hope to have more time for blogging this week!
Friday, November 04, 2005
There is a lot of work we need to do in the living/dinning room area as well as some other repairs outside on the steps and such. So those are our next projects to tackle! Luckley we had and continue to have some amazing help from our co-workers and the Kunzes!
I will post some fun pictures later but I'm currently at work and need to get some stuff done I just thought I should update you all!
Friday, October 28, 2005
As I said we were going to close today. Originally at 8 am and then last night it got moved to 5 pm. Well, today one hour before our closing at 5, we get a call from our mortgage guy, lloyd, that there was some problems with our old Wikes account. Mark and I were over 90 days late on the account because when we moved we had stoped receiving the bill and when we finally realized what had happened we paid off and closed the account. Well on our credit record it looks bad and is apparently a problem with the loan people! Soooo...why did this come up an hour before our closing and not a month ago when we applied, were approved, and had our credit checked...you got me!!
So our closing didn't happen today, now, the new plan is we are going to try to close on Monday afternoon. Lloyd has said he's trying to get an exception made on our account and if he can't then he will have to re-write our loan and we won't close until tues or wed. So you might think post poning the close a few days is no biggie....wrong!!
Mom and Dad have already moved into their apartment and were needing the money from the close to do some things there...like pay the movers. Mark and I still have to be out of our apartment by monday!!! We have Empire carpet coming tomorrow to lay carpet and we were planning on paying them with money from the close. (now we have to put it on credit....yuck!!) And we are all feeling extremely stressed out and on edge!! Especially poor Mom, who has been busy taking care of her 2 best friends this week!! One of them lost their husband this week and the other one has been in the ICU all week!! Mom has been really brave and strong and a huge support to her friends!! I just wish this wasn't as stressfull! Please remember her and all of us in your prayers while we try and figure this out!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
After weeks of trying to get the financing settled, the title search, and all the rest...we are finaly set to have the closing on Friday morning! Mark and I couldn't be more excited...especially because we had told our Landlord we would be out of here by the 1st!
Whats next...we have a crazy week ahead of us. We need to finish packing, help my parents pack and move, clean the new place, remove wall paper, spackle, sand, and paint before they lay the new carpet and have all our stuff moved in by monday night! This will be one busy weekend! And of course I have to work this weekend...yikes!
Next weekend will be just exciting! Mark and I are attending a co-workers wedding and then going to Iowa so Marks family can celebrate Mark and Malachys birthdays!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Malachy has never been sure what to make of Aunt Lauren! Just Kidding!! He adores his cool Aunt Lauren she spoils him to death! She got him his Dance and Shout Elmo and he loves it!!
This is the little people car Mommo got Malachy. You can see Elmo has fallen in the back ground...to much dancing! Malachy loved all his gifts! I got him a cute outfit and Eore! He even got an "out of state" gift from Meghan!! What a lucky boy!
Here he is making a mess of himself eating cake!! He really enjoyed himself and we got to make a mess of Mama and Papa Gerc's kitchen while they were away!
I always forget to flip my pictures!! But here is Malach being the 1 year old king. All though he is not 1 until tomorrow!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Here's Emily opening our present the Movie Ella Enchanted! She wantedto know how I knew she wanted it....hello... Crystal is only my bestest bud!
Here is Crystal and Madison. Madison is doing her favorite "I won't look at the camera" pose.
Emily and Frank! Emily cracked us up because she had to wear her cool sunglasses even though the sun was almost gone!
It was a fun day!! I hope you all enjoyed the photos!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Here is the little guy being crazy. He gets that look on his face when he is proud of himself for crawling (or walking) super fast!
Here are me and Malachy enjoying our time at the Pumpkin farm! Malachy loved crawling around the Pumpkins and we did bring one home for Haloween pictures!
Here is the family at Emily, Frank, andMadisons b-day party.
Monday, October 10, 2005
(poor Mark...he's tring to put Malachy to sleep and the little guy is putting up a big fight!!)
We had a ton of fun this weekend and took a lot of pictures! Hopefully I will get some time to post those on Wednesday! I'm working all day tomorrow!
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Soooo....Mark and I both have to work!! There is no getting out of it for me today (unlike every other day this week)! So looks like a very poopy and grumpy baby Malachy will be accompanying us to work! Won't our teams be thrilled!? Mark normaly would be able to take Saturday off if he needed but he agreed to do some training in Elevate this weekend. When I asked him to take Malachy with him or call in sick he said in a condesending tone,"think about your job and think about my job"...hmmm...I don't know if I like that attitude! Poor Mark still so much to learn as a young married man!
Will make it through the weekend...we always do! After this year we are going to be champion spouses as well as parents!
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Thank God for Crystal who is watching Malachy for me today. Mark dosen't want me to be near Malachy but Mark said he couldn't call into work to take care of him. So I was like OK how is this suppose to work...Crystal to the rescue. I have been sleeping from 10-2...nice!
We still have a LOT to do on the selling/buying of the house deal. The appraisor is coming to Mom and Dads tonight and I wish I could have been there to clean and get ready but it just wasn't possible. I haven't even started packing! I don't know how we are going to do it all. I do still have a full time job and a baby. We will figure it out I'm sure, there really isn't an option not to!
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I did make time for Gilmore Girls and will be watching Lost tonight! Crystal finaly rented LOST...woo hoo...do you love it? Believe it or not this season is even stranger! Now we just have to get Noah and Lauren on board!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Here is the super cute and sweet baby malachy all snuggled up with his favorite blanket that KC's Mom made him!