Monday, March 31, 2008

Updates on Sarah Beth

Well, I wanted to give you all a quick update on how our little one is fairing these days. She has now been with us for 3 months and about 11 days. She is 16 months and 11 days old. And she is the cutest thing you've ever seen. This precious child has breathed a new life into our sometimes weary family. She is always laughing and smiling, jabbering on about God only knows what (literally), and so on.

Here are some significant milestones we've reached with her in regards to her development and attachment/bonding with us:
*) She will not go indiscriminately to just anyone. Believe me plenty of people have tested this one out to see if she'd let them hold her. :O) The fact that she isn't interested (or even willing) is a really good sign. She happily goes with me, her daddy, her big sister, and her Nana, all people who are very involved in her day to day routine.
*) She has begun showing signs of affection. Laying her head on us, saying "OH" which is what we say when we hug her. She does this with our little Shih-tzu too, and I don't think she much cares for it, but - we think it's really cute! She will also put her mouth on our check, or leg, or arm, or whatever's handy and say, "UMM-A" which is her way of trying to give a kiss.
*) She is finally saying "Mama" on a regular basis after torchering me with Dada, for the longest time. The funny thing was when I would say, "Can you say Mama?" She'd say, "Da Da Da Da!" We decided she was doing it just to spite me. *grin* She now says Mama, Daddy (She says this one real slow and drawn out so it sounds REALLY Southern - I'm not kidding. It's more like DAAAA - DY). She says, "HEY!" when anyone comes in the room, and when she can get her hands on a phone, remote control or anything else that looks like a phone.
*) She is also walking all over the place, sometimes it looks like she's trying to get up some speed and run. She is totally annoyed by the new locks we've added to the cabinets under the kitchen sink.
*) She will play peek-a-boo with us. She does patty cake, and today she blew a kiss for the first time to her daddy!

Oh, there's so much more I could tell you, but I won't go on gushing. And just in case any of you think I've already gone on too much, she also had her first bite of dog food today, right out of the dogs bowl, a little leftover from her breakfast. (Dry thank goodness!) Leave it to kids to help you stay humble!

Christ's richest blessings to you and your families,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What I learned Today...

Well, this will be a post unlike any other I've made on this blog so far. Let me first set the ground work. I am on a yahoo-group for Christian homeschoolers, particularly those using a specific curricula. Yesterday, I was floored to receive a post to the group by an obviously distraught woman who was frustrated by how someone else is choosing to parent their child (which is quite poorly as I understand it from what little I've read from her). She apparently decided that she would try to get custody of this child or something, I'm not really sure of the details, and she has become very angry because she isn't able to have her way in this situation (she is not related to this child at all, in fact she is the neighbor). She seems to have been caring for this child days on end while the parents drift in and out as whenever they "feel like it".

But, the post that led to my response (below) said that she'd learned that there is NO GOD, basically she went on to say, that is because she hasn't gotten what she prayed for. So, she was dropping from this list, and other Christian sites, etc..., etc... This, all from a woman who's been a "professing believer" for about 10 years. I think it's important that we know what to do, when we are faced with situations like this. First and foremost, we must remember the parable of the sower and the types of soil, and how some of the seed ends up (Matthew 13). Below is my response to this dear woman, whom I pray is my Sister in Christ. Be encouraged when you find yourself faced with others who are having a hard time believing, but the Word says this life will not be easy. If you are faced with someone in your life who needs a firm, yet loving rebuke, I hope that you will be willing to give it.

I beseech you, on behalf of this lady and the precious child she has been caring for that you interceed in prayer on behalf of this woman during the next few days.
For the cross of Christ, Lori
Dear Tammy:
I hope you are still on this board long enough to read this.
I weep as I write to you because I understand your fears, your frustrations, your pain.

We lost our first child when she was 13 months and 15 days old to heart disease. I was 24 years old. That's been almost 13 years ago next month. During the days following her death, I was afraid, confused, bewildered, mad, you name it. But I determined in my heart before my God, that no matter what seeming injustice took place in my life, and the life of my precious daughter that I would stand like Job, and shout at the top of my lungs the words of Job 2:9-10. "Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he (Job) said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips." and Job, 1:21-22, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Before Peter denied his Lord, Christ told him (Luke 22:31-32), "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail: and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." I fear that Satan has asked permission to try you Tammy and you are failing, just as Peter did. But, I pray that once you have turned again, you will strengthen your Sisters.

Peter himself then tells us in his epistle (1 Peter 5:6-11) "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen."

This is no time for a pity party, or a fit pitching before the throne of God. He knows what He's doing, and He will use you to meet out His purposes on this earth, if you will be obedient and willing. And, I'm afraid, according to scripture, His purposes will standwhether you stand with Him or against Him in the process. You have currently postured yourself against the Almighty God of the Universe. Not a safe place to be.

In Mark 9 (starting around verse 14) it is recorded that a man went to Christ on behalf of his son who was ill with seizures. The father was distraught as he told Christ of what he was experiencing. Christ tells him in verses 23-24 "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Apparently he didn't believe completely because he asked for help in the areas where he was unbelieving. Cry out to God now Tammy, and ask for His help in believing that ALL things do work together for the good of those who love him and are the called according to His purpose. Later on in verse 29, the disciples have asked him why they were unable to heal the child, and Jesus responds, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." I encourage you to do both of these things on behalf of this precious child.

Now, for the warnings, Dear Sister, and I address you as such in hopes that you are truly a follower of Christ in Spirit and not word only. I rebuke you in love for your behavior and your post to this group. Do not blaspheme or malign your God in your time of need. I fear, precious woman, that just like Job's wife, you have spoken as one of the foolish women. I know that some will think I am being harsh, but James 5:19-20 warns us (as believers) that "... if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."

We live in a fallen world where sin abounds, death occurs, and things don't go OUR way, that's life. I learned that at the tender age of 24. But I have NEVER forsaken my God, and HE has never forsaken me. I pray that you will be strengthened and that your faith will be made perfect. Your God has assured you (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) "My grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore (Paul says) most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in reporaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."Take heart, bear up under this burden for the sake of your relationship with your God, and for this precious child you say you love.

Praying for your strength,
Lori McGuire; Alabama

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Aldridge Gardens Field Trip

This past week, I took the girls to the Aldridge Gardens in Hoover. A beautiful place to spend a spring-like day. We set out to complete the Birmingham News - "Itty Bitty Magic City Scavenger Hunt" which was no easy feat I must tell you!

But, it was a lot of fun, counted as a day of school - their gardens are amazing (!) - and I got some great photos of my girls. We saw several other homeschool families enjoying the same thing, along with a few older couples, and one small school group. If you haven't taken your family there, GO! Admission is free.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

2008 Heart Ball

Hello Everyone:

Well, we all attended the 2008 Heart Ball this weekend. It was definately an event to behold! They auctioned off a Mercedes sports car, too rich for my blood!

I'm posting pics of all of us in our fancy duds. :O) You won't see that again for quite sometime.

There's also a new picture of the baby with Anna and our puppy dog. Big Sister was taking time out to watch a little "baby" t.v. with Sarah Beth while Mommy got some work done. I had to have a picture. Too sweet!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Latest McGuire News!

Hi Everyone:

Well, here's the latest news for those "inquiring minds" who want to know. And, a couple new photos for you "stalkers" out there.

Sarah Beth is walking! She just took off last weekend and hasn't stopped since. She is still very unsteady, and has lots of falls and topples, but she's doing just great. It's funny to watch her go, if she wants to get there in a hurry she just drops to her knees and takes off crawling, but if she's got a little time, she walks.

Anna is still adjusting to having a new family member but really seems to enjoy her company most of the time. I'm sure the adjustment has been hardest on her, having been an only child for almost 11 years! She is very sweet with her and likes to play with her and try to teach her new things.

The past week, we have been preparing feverishly for the upcoming "Heart Ball". As most of you know, Anna is a heart patient (as am I, my brother, my niece, etc...). Anyway, she was invited to attend the annual Heart Ball put on by the American Heart Association and participate in the "Special Appeal" portion of the program. They want the contributors to see that heart disease affects more than just the elderly. She and my niece and another boy have been asked to attend. So, that means that her daddy and I got FREE tickets to escort her to the Ball! This is a full blown black tie event, with tickets costing $250 a piece. So, we'll all be going "up town" next weekend!

I honestly wasn't sure I'd be able to convince my dear husband to participate. But, he said, "anything for his baby", so this will be her first formal event. She and I spent one full day looking for dresses for the two of us, and of course shawls, shoes and jewelry :O)! Amazingly, Todd spent about 20 minutes getting fitted for his tux, and it ended up being more than our stuff put together! She and I were able to find some great dresses at a couple of local consignment stores! I love consignment shopping, it is definately the only way to go! Anyway, it should be a great event, and of course it is all to raise funds to help fight cardiovascular disease, which is very dear to our hearts.

I'll be sure to post some pictures of us in our "Ball" attire.
Hope you all are doing well,