Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Riddle for You

Can you figure it out?

Four little eyes to look to God;
Four little ears to hear His word;
Four little feet to walk in His ways;
Four little lips to sing His praise;
Four little hands to do His will;
And two little hearts to love Him still.*

Hint:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Psalm 127:4-5a, ESV

Okay...If you are still in the dark, I'll just tell you. We're expecting again!!! By my calculations, the estimated due date will be May 5, 2009. We're excited though of course struggling with a little anxiety after losing our last child to miscarriage. Please pray for our little one but more importantly, that we trust in the Lord's sovereignty over our lives. We'll keep you posted!!!

*adapted from Baby's First Prayers by Muff Singer

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cutest Video Ever

Okay... maybe not EVER but I think this is a really cute video of Hannah. I was trying to catch her answering the question "What does a cow say?" I wasn't very successful though I got a tiny "moo." Then I decided to ask her if she wanted to watch Elmo (her favorite) and she went nuts. Watch the excitment and cuteness!

video

Take care,

Terra

Cutest Video Ever

Okay... maybe not EVER but I think this is a really cute video of Hannah. I was trying to catch her answering the question "What does a cow say?" I wasn't very successful though I got a tiny "moo." Then I decided to ask her if she wanted to watch Elmo (her favorite) and she went nuts. Watch the excitment and cuteness!

Take care,

Terra

Friday, August 15, 2008

She's NOT Adopted!

**Note: a few people have taken this in a negative tone thanks to the lack of tone in a blog. For the record, this was meant to make a specific point but in a humerous way, not a mean one. That being said, take the following lightly!** ;)

"How long have you had her?" ....ummmm... since conception.

"When did you get her?" .... nearly 9 months later.

"Is she yours or is she adopted?" ....either way, she'd still be mine but no - she's NOT adopted.

These are all questions I've heard verbatim when I'm out and about with Hannah Mai. Personally, they drive me nuts! Given, Hannah's Asian characteristics (from Daddy) are dominant, I can't argue that much. It's the way people comment that kills me.

That being said, I've been trying to think of a polite way for someone to ask the question. Maybe...

"Does she look more like her Daddy or Mommy?" - sneaky, but would be nicer.

"She's beautiful! Has she always been so pretty?" - then I could respond - "yep, pretty much since I had her."

"She's so sweet! Was labor as sweet?" Ha! Don't expect anyone to actually say that but at least they are assuming I DID have her and if she was adopted, THEN I could clarify.

I know it's more likely that a white woman with dark blond hair and blue eyes adopted this beautiful child but it's just not the case. Nope. I carried her for nine months, went through 18 hours of labor and dealt with months of food allergy-related colic. Give me the benefit of a doubt - please! After all, there is a great movement in this country of interracial marriages producing bi-racial children, I'm not the first.

Just a few thoughts... Next time you see a child that looks adopted - please don't assume they are. If in doubt, don't even ask. That's my two cents. ;)

Until next time,
Terra

P.S. I'm totally FOR adoption... James and I would love to do that some day. Just making a point.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chapter 17: Childhood: Training Procedures

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

For those of you unfamiliar with this post, I've been working through the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Dr. Tedd Tripp on my other site. Now that I'm combining the sites, I'm bringing the weekly post to this blog. After much delay, I'm now posting chapter 17. I pray it's a blessing.

Dr. Tripp begins the chapter in the familiar scene of two children fighting over the same toy. He then mentions how all families have a response to the argument but most of these responses will not produce lasting fruit because they do not address the heart. This brings us into a section dealing with focusing on behavior versus addressing the heart.

Tripp reminds us of the principles in chapters 8-10. We can't leave a situation only dealing with the "when" and "what". We must deal with the "why" for this deals with the heart. Tripp uses an analogy that resonates with our family. We struggle with weeds in our yard. It seems as it there is a giant magnetic force that pulls them into our yard! For a while, we only addressed the weeds by mowing them down. Yet this does not solve the problem. They will only come back. We must kill the root to kill the weed. Tripp compares a behavioral response to our children to mowing over weeds.

First, Tripp suggests we appeal to our children's conscience. His model for this is the ministry of Jesus. On numerous occasions, Jesus appeals to the conscience of the sinner. Tripp mentions Luke 10, Matt. 18:21, and Luke 7 to name a few. By appealing to the conscience, we deal with the heart. According to Romans 2:14-15, our consciences either excuse or accuse us. When our children have seen and acknowledged their sin, we must point them to Christ, the only Savior.

Next, Tripp explains the need to develop character in our children. He says, "Character could be defined as living consistently with who God is and who I am." We must teach our children the attributes and personality of God as holy, righteous, forgiving, etc. while we remind them of their personal sinfulness and inability to do good apart from Christ. Please don't read that wrongly. We're not beating our children down. We are to encourage them in that they are children of God, created for His glory, etc. but if they begin to think they are good apart from God, they become smug and legalistic. Tripp gives examples of dependability and moral purity.

To end, we are reminded to interpret the character issues. We are then encouraged to have a long-term vision in our children's needs for shepherding. Remember, these procedures are specific to school-aged children, though some may be applicable to other ages.

In Christ,
Terra

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slacking on my posts

I know...I know... I'm slacking.

I'll try to post again as soon as I have a little time and energy. I have energy during the day (at least some) but Hannah's awake and active, so no time. Then after she goes to bed around 7-8, I have time and zero energy... Oh the cycle!

Soon enough, I pray!

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Almost Died Today - No Joke

You read the title right. This afternoon I had one of the scariest moments of my life! I was driving home from my yearly OB appointment. En route, I noticed dark clouds looming ahead. The weather forecast had called for thunderstorms and here they were. As I exited I-264 and merged onto I-71, the rain began. Hard, hard rain. In almost an instant, every window in my car was fogged up so badly I literally could not see out of ANY of them. There was a ton of traffic and I was completely blinded by my own windows! I frantically turned up my defroster to no avail. Out of desperation, I rolled down my window and hung my head out of it to see where I was going. Keep in mind that it was raining incredibly hard. My heart was racing as it probably never has. Semi's were honking at me as I'm sure I was swerving - I couldn't see where I was going!!! I tried to find the right shoulder (that's the lane I was in) to pull over but was having a hard time finding it and driving with no vision. I noticed a bridge ahead and prepared to stop under it. However, at the last minute, I noticed tiny flashers already under it. A motorcyclist had pulled over already. I was able to wait another one hundred feet or so and find the shoulder after him. As I put the car in park, I nearly lost it (emotionally) as I could not believe I was still alive! Even as I waited on the shoulder for my windows to defog, I prayed and prayed for safety. The shoulder at that part of I-71 is not large and cars/trucks/semis where passing me very quickly only inches to my left - in the pouring rain. Oh did I ever pray with boldness today!

Obviously, I survived the ordeal or I would not be writing about it. Here's something I learned about science today. Your windows fog because of differences in the temperature of the inside of your car and the temperature on the outside. In my case today, I had a nice air conditioned car and then I was smacked with humid, warm rain. At first, I thought I needed to turn the defogger on cold to be the opposite of the outside temp. Little did I know - that was the problem in the first place! Only later did I figure out I needed warm air to defog my windows. Learn from my near-death experience...match the temperature of your car to that of the outside and you'll likely not have to tell this same tale.

By God's grace I'm alive and posting,
Terra

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Great Vacation

Okay.. so I finally have time to catch up. It's been incredibly busy around the Santos home over the last few days. Vacations are nice but the week after is not! I've already posted our pictures so here's a little about the actual vacation.

We arrived at the airport in Montgomery, Alabama around 10pm Eastern time. With a fussy little girl and another 2 crying hours in the Honda Ridgeway, I was ready to crash by the time we got to my in-law's home in Crestview, Florida.

Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to recuperate, rest and relax - it was nice! We all went on a dolphin cruise Tuesday night. We saw a few in the distance but nothing close. The boat was named Hannah Marie - which was pretty cool considering our daughter's name is Hannah Mai.


Hannah and Papa Ben on the "Hannah Marie"


Mama Tess, Hannah, me and James before parasailing

Wednesday, James and I went parasailing (my first time!) in Destin. Mama Tess paid the way and watched Hannah for us while we were gone. Quite the blessing! I was expecting it to be a little more like a roller coaster so I was surprised with it's peacefulness.



Before Take Off.



Preparing to Land.

Thursday, we drove about four and a half hours south to visit our friends, the Redmonds, in Gainesville. We enjoyed their great company, parenting wisdom and friendship over night. That was a sweet time. They have five wonderful children and just found out they are expecting again! Yay! Too bad we didn't think to get a group picture!

Friday, before we headed home, we got to visit with my old high school best friend Rachel (Rehberg) Toldoya and her kiddos. That was cool! I haven't seen her in about 8 years so it was a treat. She is currently living in Tampa and made the 2 hr drive up to see us while we were in Gainesville. We both ended up marrying Filipinos (how ironic). ;)

L to R: Hannah, Me, Rebecca, Rachel, Gabriel.

After another four and a half hour drive, we rested back in Crestview Friday evening. Saturday was busy with preparations as Mama Tess (my mother-in-law), was having a jewelry party for me. We did a little shopping, came home and prepared for the event. She amazingly set a new record show for me with over $1000 in sales! In addition to that, she earned nearly $600 in free jewelry and insisted that I use it all to increase my samples and grow my business! What a wonderful treat!

Sunday morning was bright and early as we left around 3:45am to head back to the airport. The flights home were much more smooth than the way down and Hannah did beautifully!

Overall, though it sounds busy, it was a really smooth, restfilled, peaceful, blessed week! We could not have asked for more. We are so thankful for Mama Tess and Papa Ben's generosity in everything. The trip would not have happened without their help.

Now that we're back to the "real world," things have picked back up. May God keep reminding us of the important things.

In Christ,
Terra

Closing Thoughts

Hello to all my dear readers! This will be my final post - well, kind of. I've been trying to evaluate the way I spend my time lately. Basically, I've been thinking about being more efficient and intentional in all that I do. I don't feel like I've taken adequate time to make this blog what I would want it to be. As a result, I'm going to cease posting on this site.

HOWEVER... :) I'm not leaving the blogging world all together. Many of you already know that I have a family blog as well. I will continue to write there (occasionally on some of the same topics as I have here). I will continue the "Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart" on that blog, starting again this Saturday, Lord-willing. In addition to theological topics, you'll be able to stay up to date on family happenings.

As a side note, if any of you are interested in an excellent blog on all issues pertaining to biblical woman-hood, check out: girltalk.blogs.com. You won't be disappointed!

Looking forward to seeing you on my other site (jamesandterra.blogspot.com)!

Take care,
Terra Santos

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pictures from Vacation!

I've finally taken the time to upload pictures but I don't have the chance to type up a summary of our trip right now (it was great by the way). In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=43347&l=afbc8&id=607147099

Take care,
Terra