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Retraining Takes Time
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Last weekend we granted Emma her year long dream of having a parakeet.  As a family we headed to the pet store to pick out two parakeets (they are social animals you know) a cage and all the extras.  Everyone in the family was very into this activity, to say the least!

The first night of our little ones being in our home was perfect.  Emma spent the evening right next to the cage, informing us of their every move.  They did not move much, probably due to getting over the drastic change they had just gone through.  They also made only a few little tweets.

Then morning came!

As our new friends became comfortable with their new home they began to tweet and move about, and that is when Ranger (our Weimaraner) discovered what was in the house!

With out going into all the details we will summarize the next several days with these words “Ranger the birds are our friends, not your food!”  Just imagine with me as Ranger lunges for the cage and sends all four children into a fit of yelling and crying, and he does so repeatedly!

Yesterday, I called the vet to see if they had any advice.  I am really a little worried we may not be able to change Ranger’s thoughts about these birds.  I would HATE to crush my little girls heart by telling her we have to give the birds away!!

Here was the advice:

“Get a spray water bottle.  Every time he gets excited about the birds spray him in the face and say no.  He has to be retrained to learn the birds are OK to be there.  He is a smart dog I think he will get it in a few days.”

Only time is going to tell if Ranger is able to be retrained!  Somehow I had forgotten all the birds he has killed in the back yard.  I am not kidding, he usually kills two or three a year.  I am a little embarrassed to say this did not cross my mind.  I am not too positive that a spray water bottle is going to do the trick…we shall see.

This retraining thing got stuck in my head!  I am currently in a new phase of life.  The ministry that sits before me is not familiar.  I keep longing for things of the past.  The Lord is retraining me.  I think He does that in our lives.  Sometimes it is gentle and calm, a simple redirection.  Sometimes it is in-your-face like a splash of water, a forceful redirection.  When it is done, what is the result?  Peace, peace in the Lord’s will and in His character.  Retraining takes time, and I am thankful the Lord is not finished with me yet!

1. Are you feeling the gentle hand of the Lord to retrain you in an area of life?  Instead of a gentle hand is He choosing an in-your-face method?

2. Do you long for the retraining to be done that you might reflect Him in a greater way?  In what way will you reflect Him differently than you do now, once you have been retrained?

Currently, Ranger is whining at the cage he needs me to stop typing and go be in-his-face!

 

Mandy’s Monday – Resolutions Review
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In 2010 we set a goal as a family to each read 20 books. I learned a great deal from the books I read as well as the process of trying to reach this goal. I will reveal right up from that I did not accomplish 20 books 🙁 I love to read, I have said that many times, and I loved reaching for this goal but just fell short. I read more books than I would have with out the goal. It pushed me to continue reading and therefore it is a goal I am going to set once again in 2011!

Below is a listing of the books I read in 2010. I will not be listing them in order for one main reason, I lost my list two different times this year and had to recreate it both times. There is a good chance I forgot a few books and I know I did not remember them in order!

1. Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson
2. Stomping Out The Darkness by Neil T. Anderson
3. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
4. When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch
5. Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
6. Emma by Jane Austin
7. Mansfield Park by Jane Austin
8. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin
9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin (why not throw it in there one more time!)
10. Jesus, 90 Days With the One and Only by Beth Moore
11. The Poor Will Be Glad by Peter Greer & Phil Smith
12. Helping Your Kids Deal with Anger, Fear, and Sadness by H. Norman Wright
13. Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton & Tim Keown
14. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (still finishing this one with the kids)

I really believe there are a few books I forgot about, that I read in the beginning months of 2010 and were lost from memory when I lost my list. It is amazing how long ago January 2010 feels from today!

This coming year as I set a 20 book goal once again I decided to add a layer to the resolution. I desire to read at least one book from each of the following categories: marriage, parenting, classics (Jane Austin does not count…I have now read all of hers), NY current best seller list, spiritual walk, and theology. I look forward to reading and blogging in response!

Now to reveal a few of my new resolutions:
1. I have fallen in love with my slow cooker! Therefore, this year I will use my slow cooker at least once a week, with the exception of the summer time. During the summer I use the grill all the time…and love it completely!! I found a blog with great slow cooker recipes, A Year of Slow Cooking. Be sure to check it out if you do not already know about it.
2. Run a second marathon with a new PR! I can not say enough about how much I loved running the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon in November. It was such an encouragement to me in many ways.
3. Attack the basement…AARRGGG!! For years I have wanted to do something drastic down there, just too many things are down there that need to be given away or thrown out…too much clutter.
4. Do a Bible Study with Addie and Emma. They are at a wonderful age and I want to take full advantage of the opportunity to disciple my daughters!
5. In 2010 I started a twitter journal of sorts for God’s love. I began in Genesis and as I read through the Bible I noted where I saw God’s love. I tweet each of these and am currently in I Samuel. In 2011 I plan to continue with this #God’sLove twitter journal.
6. In a restatement: I will work to read 20 books this year with at least one from each of the above stated categories.
and lastly:
7. I want to be faithful to post a blog for each of the Monday’s in 2011! (I missed one last week, but I am OK with that.) Hopefully, there will be 51 Mandy’s Mondays at the close of 2011. Writing is enjoyable for me, so this goal is for me to force myself to take the time to do so!

I am looking forward to a new year, the old has gone the new has come!

Mandy’s Monday – A New Reason to LOVE Pride & Prejudice
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I was first introduced to Jane Austin’s novel Pride & Prejudice as a senior in high school. It was one of the senior research papers that were pages and pages long that I was to write. With this assignment I had to compare two novels by one author. I chose Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice (now referred to as P&P for the remainder of this blog) and Emma. I must admit I completed maybe 80% of P&P and just enough Emma to get the paper written. It was in college where I picked up P&P again and read it completely just for the fun of it. I had enjoyed the first “reading”, but it was most definitely the second complete reading where I feel in love with this story!

Elizabeth Bennete is such an amazing character! I love her strength, determination, witty comments and resolve to only marry for love. Her disregard for money is refreshing. I think it was she that first drew me to the book. Mr. Darcy is so consumed with appearance and control of his own life, that it rocks his world to discover he is falling in love with someone beneath him in society. She has such “fine eyes!” I love reading his transformation to become worthy of Elizabeth, his decision to abandon all that is “proper” to serve her and rescue her family name. “You must know, it was all for you!” And then there is the humbling transformation that Elizabeth herself goes through. Since college I have read the book three times or so. I reread it every few years just because I enjoy it and always find something new to appreciate. Brian loves to tease me “What are you reading? Are you really reading P&P again?” I compare it to watching a good movie over and over. “How many times have you seen Gladiator or Brave Heart Brian?”

Over the Christmas break Melinda, a senior in high school and Calvary Student Ministry member, and I decided to watch the A&E five and a half hour version of P&P. I own this movie as well as the more recent 2006 version. I love them both, each for different reasons. The five plus hour version is the closest to the book that I have seen, hence the five hours! It is a bit of a commitment to decide to watch it, especially if you decide to do so in one sitting. Melinda and I decided we were up for the hours of watching enjoyment while comfortably seated on my living room couch. What I did not expect was that my two oldest daughters, Addie and Emma, were also up for the challenge! I assumed the girls would get board and give up on the movie, but they did not.
Through Addie and Emma’s eyes I discovered a new reason to love P&P!

As the story unfolded I was bombarded with questions from my 9 and 8 year olds, but most of the questions had to do with Lydia Bennete. Lydia, the youngest of the Bennete’s five daughters, is a foolish flirt who abandons all reason and falls prey to the self seeking Wickham. I have always loathed her character, and the shame she so uncaringly brought on her family! “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted!”

I watched my girls as confusion came to their minds and faces:
“What is wrong with that girl, Mom?”
“Well girls, she is foolish! She is a flirt and is chasing after boys, any boy.”

And to my delight as the story unfolded Addie and Emma were disgusted in deed! How wonderful! Tucked in this story that I have loved for years was a painful picture my girls could grab hold of – being a foolish girl brings ruin in the end! We talked the movie over and over as the girls had questions and I was thankful they had decided to hang out with Melinda and I while we watched. Hopefully, it placed in their minds and hearts the desire to seek wisdom in life, especially in the area of finding that perfect someone to spend their lives with!
I just love P&P, and now so do Addie and Emma 🙂

(By the way my Emma was not specifically named after Jane Austin’s Emma, but it was the first introduction I had to the beautiful name!)

Hello 2010!
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moore familyA new year calls for new and renewed goals.  If you are not purposeful in life, you will get swept up in whatever is around you and before you know it years will have passed by, patterns will be set, and unwanted results will be occurring.  We find this can be true in our lives so we are challenged to be purposeful and want to challenge others to do the same.

As a family we have purposed to step up to the challenge of learning to love one another better in 2010.  Now, that would be a nice traditional resolution, but to make it effective, we have given it more specifics. (read fellow blogger, Michael Hyatt, about making resolutions “stick”)

So we have chosen 1 Peter 4.8-9 to guide us through this year.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

In a family of 6, love, hospitality, and not grumbling are great necessities for a well functioning team.  So our goals all carry this focus with them.

We will memorize 1 Peter 4.8-9 as a family, and use it as a springboard for prayer throughout the year.  Mandy will be dedicating time throughout the year studying the ways God loves.

    Brian will increase daddy-dates with each child to happen 1 time per month on the date of their birthday.  So Emma, who has a birthday on November 5th, rejoiced that she gets to be the first one under the new goal…she is already making plans for what we will do on Tuesday, January 5th. (Owen doesn’t start yet because we start them on their 3rd birthday)
    All the family will each read at least 20 books this year (Isabelle and Owen will have to be read to).  Our blog readers will for sure be kept up to date on what books we are reading and how this goal is progressing through the year
    Mandy and Brian will run a half-marathon this year (Kuddos to Greg & Allison for the marathon/half-marathon they will be running in a few weeks!)
    Brian will submit 3 articles this year to a magazine for publication consideration

As we listen to the direction of God and walk with him through this year of loving, there will be more goals that we commit to and ways that we will change what we have set out to do.  We look forward to how this year will unfold as we strive to live out this journey of faith, family, and ministry.  May the Lord bless you and your goals in the year 2010…share your goals in the comments!!

Moore Memorable Moments of 2009
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Today is the last day of 2009 and with that comes the desire to take a moment to reflect back on the treasured events of this past year.  We are thankful for the Lord’s many blessings!  He is always so faithful to provide for our needs and bless us with delights along the way.  Even the difficult times are a blessing from Him, since they cause us to draw even closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are a few of our memory highlights of 2009:

Brian

  • Bed & Breakfast weekend getaway gift given to Mandy and I from students in the ministry
  • Summer vacationing in the Adirondacks for the first time…being blessed with an incredible campsite
  • Speaking the full message from 2 Peter for the Calvary Church main service the day after my birthday
  • 24 hour Junior & Senior guys wilderness retreat this past November.  The outdoors is a great place for getting to know others and growing deeper with God.
  • Getting a bow and arrows, something that I have wanted to get for years…now to keep practicing and learn hunting to get my first deer (hopefully a 2010 highlight!)

Mandy

  • Watching Addie play soccer!  That girl just headed the ball 🙂  GOAL!!!
  • Hearing Emma tell all about her day at school.  She is so animated in her stories and just loves her teacher Mr. Gillis who is SOOOO funny 🙂
  • LISTENING to Isabelle bloom!  This last year has brought more and more words from our sweet Isabelle.  It has been a delight to hear her sing her first songs and begin to make jokes and tease.  She is changing so much right before our eyes.  As the Lord gives her the gift of speech we are getting to see more of her personality and the special way God has made her.
  • Learning what a backhoe is and how cool trash trucks are!  Having a two year old boy is wonderful!
  • Teaching at Study & Share, the woman’s Bible Study @ Calvary Church, in the spring.  Leading a Bible study in my home with four other mom’s.

Addie

  • Family vacation in the Adirondacks!  Bike riding and Kayaking
  • Going to High Point Summer Camp
  • Starting fourth grade!
  • Playing U10 girls soccer and winning 2nd place trophy.
  • Nancy Drew Mystery Books
  • Playing softball for the first time & pitching

Emma

  • Going to Woodcrest Summer Camp
  • Fishing on vacation
  • Having Uncle Mike and Aunt Kristi here for Thanksgiving
  • Starting the second grade!

Isabelle

  • Fancy Nancy books and horses!
  • Being in Mrs. Long and Mrs. Hiatt’s five day preschool class.
  • SINGING!

Owen

  • Watching fire works on the Fourth @ Long’s Park
  • Riding with Daddy and Andy in the Trash Truck!
  • making friends! Morgyn, Judd, Jake, Thomas…

You can check out our 2009 photo highlights in our gallery.  (click here to go straight to the slide show)

We look forward to the new year and all the wonderful blessing the Lord will bring along the way!  In a few days we will be writing about what God has directed us to focus on in 2010 and what some of our goals are.

Emma’s Christmas Story
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Today I went to the school for two different things.  First I was the secret reader in Addie’s class.  We had a great time talking about pretending and dress up before reading Skippyjon Jones – the crazy Siamese cat who pretends to be a Chihuahua – by Judy Schachner.  If you have not read this you should.  Skippyjon has a bit of trouble obeying his Mama, so a little commentary is needed to round out the story.  But his imagination is awesome, and reading it is fun due to the spanish accent you must read it with.  “Holy Frejolies”

Secondly, I was at the school to help Emma’s class in the library.  While there I got to see Emma’s teacher Mrs. Norton.  Mrs. Norton took the opportunity to tell me that Emma recently wrote about a Christmas memory and the story was so dear that Mrs. Norton decided to share it with another teacher.  Emma brought her writing home today.  Here is her writing:

“My memory about Christmas is when Jesus was born on Christmas Day.  I love Jesus so much.  Jesus is the real meaning of Christmas not presents and tress. I believe in the true Christmas meaning.”

Merry Christmas!

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