Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CSUN Ladies with Melissa

I love this group of CSUN gals! This past Saturday we went over to my sweet friend, Melissa Nesheim's, for our monthly ladies event. Melissa talked with us about being women who, "...love their husbands and children, how to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind..." (Titus 2:4). It was a morning filled with practical advise on how to have a life that is prepared, disciplined, and full of peace and joy. No one really wants to live a life of chaos, but we tend to do that if we don't make plans to be organized. All of us have priorities (ones we say we have, and ones we ACTUALLY have). In order to ACTUALLY make your priorities happen, we have to plan for them, and then carry them out. My main priority is to be in the Word of God, and fill my mind with it so that I'll be able to glorify God with my life. This only happens when I get up early enough, and have a plan of what to do.
Melissa also touched on priorities like going to church, having a budget, serving in the church, and exercise. We also looked at things that take away from our ability to accomplish these good things. One main way is all the technology in our lives today. Melissa encouraged us to not waste time on Facebook, blogging, texting, etc. But to set time aside (a certain amount) to do these things. A few ways to help accomplish our tasks is keeping lists and a calendar where life can be organized.
Melissa gave us some practical hints on meal-planning, scheduling your day, and ways to keep a family structured; and yet having fun while doing it.
The Nesheim family is big on traditions, which I love! It makes a home a fun place everyone wants to be. Some of the traditions I loved were...
  • "Special Days"- this is celebrated every month on the date of your birthday (for instance, Madison's special day would be the 16th of every month). Not a whole lot is done other than being extra thankful for that person on that day. Maybe a little sticky note on the mirror for them, or joke in the lunch box.
  • Having a special game or activity with each child that becomes "yours"(so maybe one child always plays hangman with dad, while another one plays the game Sorry).
  • Carnivals- they set up card tables in the living room and buy tickets with fake money to play games. Their family (and friends) rotate through the games. This is done on holidays or any random day, just for fun.
  • Making cards- instead of buying cards, they make them for each other for any holiday.
  • Friday night is ice cream and family movie night. Then the kids can have a sleep over in each other's room! (They have four kids- so they have fun sleeping altogether).
  • Saturday mornings are usually a family bike ride.
  • Christmas Eve- same meal every year, get new PJ's, watch a Christmas movie, and sleep under the tree altogether.
  • For Valentine's Day they gave each other coupons with ways they promised to give a gift of love or serve the other person (one of the little ones gave her mom a coupon to help her mom brush her teeth- so adorable!)
The point of having these traditions is to be different from the world- they actually enjoy being together, and love each other. When a family loves one another, it's a picture of the Heavenly Father's love toward the church. (Noel Piper has a great book about traditions, if you'd like to think about it more).
Hope these give you all some fun ideas!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Fun Being a Girl

Like any normal girl, Maddie loves shoes! She especially enjoys trying on high heels. As you can see, they can be a bit tricky to get on :)
And along with loving shoes, she loves helping Mama clean! I just die laughing watching her face when she cleans- it's so serious.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Compassion and the Christian

I love listening to Jesse preach! I actually became interested in him the first time I heard him preach (that's a long story for another time :)!! I have the privilege of listening to him teach every Thursday at Bible study, and this semester we are going through 2 Kings. But last week he had the opportunity to fill the pulpit at Grace Community Church. (Our pastor was still recovering from back surgery). Jesse was asked to preach 3 days before Sunday, so not a lot of time to prepare. He titled his message, "Mandate for Ministry: Compassion and the Christian" from James 2:14-17. He had just spent the last semester specifically thinking through this subject as he wrote his thesis. Click here if you care to listen to this thought-provoking message. It's amazing to think that God designed the church to care for one another in such a way that we are an example to the world of Christ's love. What a blessing it is to be a part of the body of Christ, and what a joy to serve others within that body. I am now more motivated to show compassion on fellow believers not only to bless them, but also to show Christ's love to the unbelieving world.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Christmas in February

Jesse surprised me with a trip to New York for Christmas- what a gift!!! He planned for us to go in February, so for the last 2 months I've been looking forward to this trip. We took a red eye last Monday night, and arrived in NY at 6am (3am our time- whew!) I had another surprise as we were boarding the plane, Jesse informed me that we were flying first class!!! I've never been so fortunate :) And these tickets were FREE because we've saved our earned miles up. Once we arrived we checked our bags at the hotel and hit the streets. We walked all over seeing the Empire State Building, the Library, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, and so on until we hit Battery Park and saw...

The Statue of Liberty! I'd never seen it surrounded by floating ice in the water. It was a beautiful clear day, just very cold.
Then we walked over to Ground Zero, and Trinity Church where there is a 9/11 memorial. These grave stones have been at the church since the 1800's. In the background you can see the rebuilding of the Twin Towers.
After all that walking, we ate a slice of NY pizza, and headed to check in at our hotel. Here's the view from our room on the 49th floor!!! (that's 7th Ave below)
That evening we went to Solute for dinner- amazing Italian food.
Isn't Jesse's coat amazing??!! It was my dad's when he lived in NY and was Jesse's age. Pretty cool!
Then we walked to Starbucks on our way to...
Lion King!!!! What a breath-taking show. The music and costumes were so creative.
Even though we were exhausted, we couldn't just head back to the hotel after the show, so we walked around some more. Here is Rockefeller Center.
Here is the view from our room the next morning...it had snowed all night long! It continued to dump the rest of the day. They were calling it "The Blizzard of 2010"!
We ventured out to Central Park. My personal favorite place we visited!
It was a winter wonderland!
Jesse took an artsy picture of me crossing a bridge.
Lots of sledding in the park.
We were thankful for our water proof Merrel shoes.
Then we headed back into the city to see if we could win the Wicked lottery....and we did!!
So we grabbed pizza again for lunch, quickly changed, and ran back to the theatre.
We were in the first row looking down at the orchestra- so amazing!!!!
After seeing Wicked, we decided to take the subway all the way to the top of Central Park, and walked the whole way down. The length of the park is 2.5 miles. We saw waterfalls, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, runners, dogs frolicking, and everything was perfectly dusted with snow!
We were pretty bundled up, but were still soaked after our adventure in the Big Apple.
Here's a mom pulling her son on a sled back home after a day of fun. School was even canceled due to the weather.
I had a wonderful two days with you in NY, Jesse! Thank you for being such a fun husband.
In case you were wondering, Madison had a delightful stay with Papa, Mimi, and Aunt Dottie while we were gone.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Missing Aunt Dottie

Our three week visit with Aunt Dottie was so much fun.
We really just played the whole time!
The adult ladies went to an English tea at The Rose Tree Cottage.
We had such a fun time talking about Aunt Dottie's adventuresome years, eating all the delicious tea treats, and being served by an Englishman wearing a black tux with tails!
Madison helped Aunt Dottie set the table for dinner.
(she really did!)
My little kitchen helper with her apron.
One day we went to the Americana. Here's my adorable aunt.
Maddie loved the playground.
Here's my mom and Aunt Dottie.

We enjoyed watching the fountain during lunch.
Here's my mom's birthday cake! It took several meals for us to polish this off.
Four generations of the oldest siblings.
We miss you Aunt Dottie! Thank you for the wonderful times together. One of my favorite memories was when Madison would just stop what she was doing, and run over to give Aunt Dottie a hug and kiss- so sweet! We love you!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Arizona for the Weekend

Here's all the girls! As you can see our family has so many ladies! Since Aunt Dottie is here, we wanted her to visit with Melissa and her family, too. So we did the 7 hour drive starting Friday morning at 4am, and did the return drive Sunday evening at 4:30pm. What a fun weekend!
Aunt Dottie was such a trooper!
Emma did a great job feeding Madison.
Here are the three cousins in their matching outfits from Mimi- too cute!
Can you see the hot air balloon in the sky? We had such a fun time watching it on our walk.
The bath time pictures can't be posted, but this one is pretty adorable!
Chloe took a liking to Jesse this weekend.
They needed their shades for the walk.
Some park time.
My baby girl
My cupcake, Emma
My big girl, Charis
On the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel. Maddie loved the rocking chairs, Aunt Dottie enjoyed the store, and the rest of us just liked eating dinner.
Melissa and Ben, thank you for hosting all of us- it was such a memorable weekend. We love you and miss you!