Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mark 13:2

I often see the ugliness of my own sin when I read Jesus' words about the destruction of the temple.  I see the destruction my sin causes in me.  But y'all, Easter is coming.  Jesus rebuilds me each time I come to Him just like He's going to rebuild His temple.

Momma, I See You-Guest Post at Cheers Y'all!

Precious Elise at Cheers Y'all is having me guest post today.  I'm talking about mommas in all stages and how we all need all need each other so much.  Oh, mommas, be encouraged from what God has laid on my heart.  Show Elise (and me!) some love and go visit her!

Cheers Y'all

Monday, March 30, 2015

Give Me Jesus

Oh, Holy Week.   I love this song.  I sing it to Man Cub as a reminder for me and a pray that he will always want Jesus more than anything else.  Take all the things of this world from me; I'll still have Jesus. 

Eggs, Ponies, and Birthdays: Weekend Wrap Up

There wasn't any rain all weekend, and for Houston, this hasn't happened in weeks and weeks!  We took full advantage of the warm sun and amazing breeze.

Saturday early we met up with our incredible photographer Lindsey for Man Cub's 8 month photo shoot.  We decided to do what my parents did and have his picture made at birth, 4 months, 8 months, and a year.  I'm glad we're doing this!  Our munchkin is growing so much!  We took the photos at a local park, and I can't wait to get them back.  The little guy hammed it up pretty good for Mrs. Lindsey, so I know she had some great material to work with.  Yay for happy babies!

We let the baby sleep in the car and drove around town until time to head for church for the annual Easter Egg Hunt and little carnival for preschoolers.  I realized after the hunt started that my sweet boy had never been in the grass before.  Eek!  It's been so rainy and muddy that playing in the yard just hasn't been an option for months, certainly not since he started crawling 2 months ago.  The poor kid was so distracted by the new sensation of the grass that he totally let all the other babies pass him by on their way to the eggs.  We got a good laugh over his reaction to the grass.  There were still plenty of eggs for Man Cub to 'hunt' once he decided he could crawl in the grass.

Then it was off to the petting zoo.  Man Cub was thrilled to be around the goats, pigs, and chickens.  I think he thought he was back at the rodeo-smart baby.  Thankfully, this petting zoo was much less crowded!  The baby bunnies and little chicks were soft and precious.  They didn't *seem* to mind being passed from one waiting parent to the next, so we'll just stick with that story.  The little guy loved sinking his hands into the soft fur and downy of these little babies.  I can't blame him.  Animal therapy at its finest!

Then it was off to the pony ride.  This child and 'horses'!  The squeals and excitement know no match!  I thought he'd need me to really hold him up on the saddle, but he didn't.  He looks like he just needs a lasso and some chaps to be ready to ride the range.  I have no idea if horses will be in this boy's future, but I'm excited to find out!  

Isaac took Man Cub and one of his little friend's on the train ride.  We love this particular friend, and they've been around each other enough to recognize each other now.  It's precious! 

Our last stop was to get a balloon-what a hit!  I've got to remember to pack some packages of balloons for Zambia.  The preschoolers loved them last trip, and they make for hours of fun (supervised) entertainment.

Saturday was also my granddad's birthday.  The whole family gathered at my parents house for dinner and baby/puppy play time.  It never gets boring watching dogs and kids play together.  The 4 of them were too quick for us to snap any pictures this time, but they had a blast.  Man Cub enjoyed gobbling down some spaghetti-hence the baby with just a diaper.  Is there anything better than a food covered, happy baby?!  It was a relaxing, special way to celebrate our incredible Dede.  I know he was excited to have a first for this birthday: a great-grand that wasn't just a dog! 

Saturday night I forced my way through the UK basketball game.  I despise stressful games, especially when the guys aren't playing like they should.  Andrew Harrison save the game for us with his free throws with 6 seconds left.  Thankfully my little man slept through all of his mommy's rants.  2. More. Games.

Sunday was a beautiful day of worship as Isaac and I were in the orchestra and choir to usher in Palm Sunday.  Oh, the music we have that marks the entry of the triumphant King into Jerusalem.  There's more about that here.

We also had our 2nd team training for our trip to Zambia. 4 months from right now we'll be there.  I can't wait! Please be praying for us as we plan and prepare.

Here's to Holy Week-a time of remembrance, fellowship, mourning, and the constant reminder that Easter is coming!  Blessings this week as you seek the King!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday begins my favorite week on the Christan calendar.  Holy Week is a bittersweet reminder of the faithfulness of Jesus, the grossness of my sin, the pain of the cross, and the beauty and hope of the resurrection. 

We had a beautiful service of worship this morning, remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.  He is the King triumphant, then and now.  I'm excited to dig back into the events of this week as I wrap up my Sacred Holidays study of Matthew.  I pray you find reflection and renewed faith and you follow Jesus' journey from Jerusalem to the cross to the empty tomb this week.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rodeo Houston 2015

No March is complete for us without at least 1 trip to NRG Center for some Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show action.  With a baby in tow, we decided to split it into two days, and that was such a smart decision.  Rodeo Houston was the one fun thing we got to do over Spring Break between my sprained neck and Man Cub's stomach bug, and I'm so glad we squeezed it in!

On Tuesday, we just went to the livestock show.  We saw lots of baby animals in the birthing center.

Then we  walked through the 'farm' where we got to climb into a huge John Deere combine.  Yes, I was totally geeking out.  I so miss my ranch days.  Sigh.  Country girl is stuck in the big city forever-thanks NASA.  

We had some fun in the petting zoo.  The deer kept eating my hair-why did that make me so happy?!

The best part of the whole day was our visit into Horse Central, as we call it.  We managed to get to NRG Arena between competitions so we didn't get to see any action, but we did spend quite a bit of time walking up and down the stalls.  Man Cub would just squeal and bounce up and down each time he came close to one of his mommy's favorite gentle giants.  We passed one stall where a little girl was about to start hanging up her horse's tack.  She took a liking to our little guy, especially after hearing his babbles of delight, and asked us to come in to meet her horse.  I noticed her dad was wearing a shirt for one of our local schools, so we struck up a conversation while Man Cub inspected Snickers the Horse.  The little girl is in 4th grade and had just finished competing in time trials for the day.  She had earned a new personal record and was going on to the finals the next day.  I'm super impressed and a tad jealous that I never get the horse back riding lessons I so longed for as a kid.  Time on horses-tons.  Actual lessons to do any kind of competition-zilch.  Anyway, she asked if Man Cub could sit on Snickers saddle, so of course he did!!  And he sat, and sat, and ate the saddle horn, and sat some more.  Snickers took a few steps around her stall, and Man Cub just jabbered away with glee.  Future cowboy?  Maybe!  Eventually we needed to move on our way, but I am so grateful for such a sweet girl who stepped out to ask us in to a piece of her world.  Man Cub won't ever remember it, but he truly enjoyed his first 'Velvet' encounter, and Isaac and I will always enjoy the memories.  I sat on my first horse at age 2 at the Kentucky Horse Farm.  My kid has me beat!

Then on Saturday we went for the actual rodeo.  Oh, I love that whole thing!! This was the baby's first time on a bus.  He was pretty happy to be in Daddy's lap instead of a carseat.  Can't say I blame him!
Man Cub rocked out these awesome Baby Banz head phones during the rodeo and concert.  Y'all, they really do cancel out the noise!  He sat on our laps and was mesmerized by the cowboys and cowgirls during each event.  A nap, dinner, and a few nursing session happened, but he stayed happy all afternoon and evening. 

We only were able to stay for about 3 of Brad's songs before deciding we'd better head home for bedtime.  Man Cub did so incredibly well the entire afternoon and evening, and going to bed an hour later didn't mess him up.   Isaac and I do want to get a babysitter and go to the next Brad Paisley concert that comes to town-and stay the whole time!

Next year's rodeo will be even more exciting because Man Cub will understand even more about what's happening.  I think we may try to head to some smaller, local rodeos over the next year since he enjoyed this one so much. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Man Cub: 8 Months

Man Cub!

Dear boy, we love you so much!  I don't know how 8 months with you has flown by so quickly.  It seems like yesterday you were nestled up in our arms, sleeping away.  Now you are constantly on the go, exploring and learning.  You just stay happy!  Very little upsets you, and we love the joy you show over every day tasks and events.  You have a smile and a cuddle for everyone, and you've yet to meet a stranger.  I hope you always want to love on others with such genuine openness.  We love our time spent with you.  Lazy morning cuddles, walks with the pups, playing in the floor...none of it gets old with you.  We are so grateful God decided to have us be your parents.  We pray daily you always choose to seek Him in all you do.

I don't think I'll talk about good sleeping habits on the blog ever again.  Each time I do, you revert back to bad nights.   Lately you've decided it's fun to wake up not once but twice a night.  We now simply lie you back down and let you cry it out the first time you wake up.  It's very obvious you've simply gotten into the habit of waking up even though there isn't a reason.  If you wake up a 2nd time, usually between 3-5, I will nurse you and then put you back down.  I don't want to starve you; you're still incredibly small for your age.  Still, Mommy and Daddy have to sleep!  Once we break the habit of the first wake up, we'll start working on the 2nd one.  You still take two good naps a day.

Oh, you love to eat!  You nurse when you wake up, eat mango, banana, or unsweetened applesauce with some diced blueberries for breakfast, have a bottle or nurse mid-morning, then eat avocado with a slice of organic turkey, sweet potato, or carrots for lunch, have another bottle or nurse mid-afternoon, eat zucchini/squash, black beans,or scrambled eggs for dinner.  You still love your Happy Baby Organic Puffs for snacks.  You aren't a fan of the zucchini/squash puree yet, so I have to mix it with something else, but you're learning!  I'm still making all of your food because it's just so easy.  Last this week I plan to have you try asparagus.  Then before bed, you have some Happy Baby Oatmeal and then nurse.

You are a speed demon crawler!  About 3 weeks ago, you started pulling up on your push toys and walking them around the house.  That's loads of fun!!  You can climb the stairs all the way to the top, though you can't get down them.  Ha.  In no time, I'm sure you'll be a master stair conqueror.  You can stand unassisted for a few seconds by yourself.  You love playing in the mirror.  Splashing in the dog bowls still brings you squeals of delight, so I see a water table in your future now that warm weather is here.  You let us brush your teeth/gums/tongue, and then you like to take the toothbrush and gnaw on it.  You like to 'sing' and tell us stories.  You also sat on your first horse at the rodeo this month, and you are now in love with horses.  They don't quite rank as high as giraffes in your mind, but they are close. 

Riding in the Pognae Baby Carrier, eating, playing in the bath, buggy rides at church, crawling, pushing your toys, petting the dogs, your family, singing, talking, playing under Chikondi's belly, being outside, horses, giraffes, climbing on us, books

Green Peas, having your face cleaned/nose wiped, getting your nails clipped, when you're hungry or sleepy

Eight Month Stats:
Weight: 16 pounds even
Length:  26 3/4 inches
Eating: nursing/breast milk bottles 7:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:30 pm, and, 7:00 pm; breakfast around 8:00, lunch around noon, and dinner around 5:30, oatmeal about 6:45, and nursing directly after.
Bedtime: between 7:00 and 7:30
Awake: sometime between 6:00-7:00
Naps: usually 9:30 and 2:00. 
Diapers: Size 3
Clothes: 6, 6-9, and a few 9 months onesies; size 3-6 months and 6 months pants; 6, 6-9, and a few 9 months rompers; 6, 6-9, and 9 months pjs.  I've decided I DESPISE overalls and won't put you in them.  I really don't like 2 piece outfits either.  They are too much trouble with diapers, and you are so skinny and long that pants don't fit you right.  Rompers are just perfect!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monsters Inc. Baby Shower

Mom and I hosted a 'sprinkle' for her best friend's daughter on Saturday.  It's so special that three generations get to know each other.  The baby's nursery is all themed around Monster's Inc, so Mom came up with great ideas for the sprinkle.

Isaac made this cake.  He completely outdid himself, but it was adorable and tasted divine.  It was lemon flavored...yum!

Here's to baby #4 in this 3rd generation.  I love that we have pictures of us girls together as babies and now pictures of our babies together as babies!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend Happenings

Phew....this Spring Break wasn't exactly my favorite.  I sprained my neck to start it (that's a thing...didn't know it til it happened), and then Man Cub ended up with a stomach bug for 2 1/2 days.  We had some great times too, but for now I just need to catch up on laundry and get back in the swing of work tomorrow.  I am so, so, so glad I had a whole week home with my kid, especially since Isaac decided to take 2 days off to hang out with us too. I'm going to miss our lazy morning cuddles though! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

All In A Name

Kiki's monthly linkup called The Circle has a new topic each month, and for March she asked everyone to share the meaning behind the names of our blogs.  What a great idea, and it's something I've never shared here before.

When I started blogging, Isaac and I were engaged, and I wanted to write to keep up with friends from college and family that doesn't live nearby.  I think the blog was named "What a Wonderful World" or something cheesy like that.  As I wrote more and more and realized blogging was something I wanted to continue doing, I wanted the blog to better reflect my family.

Isaac actually threw ideas back and forth with me for awhile, and I'm grateful he wanted to have a say in it.  This blog is his story too.  We know that we see things differently from much of the world.  We try to see the life and current events through the lens of Christ.  It's not easy, and we mess it up every day, but we are grateful that Jesus gives us new mercy each morning to try again.  I also like alliteration, so The Ozinga Outlook was finally born a few months into our marriage.  It fits.  I don't just blog about one topic or have one specific style.  These posts truly are our outlook on all sorts of things.  Perhaps that keeps my readership down, but again, I'm not doing this for others.  I'm really doing it for our family, to help us focus on what matters, tune out what doesn't, and keep those dear to us up-to-date about family happenings.  Always though, I want my writing to reflect Jesus because without Him, it's all for naught. I want others who stumble into my corner of the Web to be encouraged and motivated in their walk with Christ because of what they find here.  There is so much junk on the Web, and I personally love finding inspiration and joy.  That's the outlook I want to express as I write.

How did you name your blog?  Link up with Kiki or leave a comment below because I'd love to hear!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Old Hollywood Birthday Party-Mom Turns 60!

My gorgeous, selfless mom turned 60 back on February 1st.  There was no way we were going to let Mom go without a big celebration.  We talked back and forth for weeks about how exactly we wanted to ring in 60, and we finally settled on something that made my childhood fabulous: the movies of the 60s.  Mom and my grandparents made sure I grew up with a very healthy dose of classic Hollywood (so really '40s-'60s), and Mom agreed that no one quite says grace, timelessness, and style like Audrey Hepburn.  We took Audrey and her beloved Paris and wove together an evening of Old Hollywood glamor and pizazz. 

The invitations were printed on Tiffany Blue paper and mailed to all the guests:

Then my sister-in-law (also Laura for those of you new around here) and I got to work planning and decorating!   Laura is a genius party organizer, and she did not let me down when it came to ideas for Mom's celebration.  Between the two of us, I think we could go into a party planning business.  We had so much fun coming up with the decor and putting it all together. 

See this huge Audrey painting?  I found it for $9 at the baby resale shop while looking for shoes for Man Cub.  How could I pass it up?!  It made for a great backdrop in my parents' dining room.

I put Audrey quotes around the house with pearls and bouquets of flowers to tie the theme together in each room.  "Paris is always a good idea." "Elegance in the only beauty that never fades." "Nothing is impossible.  The word itself says, 'I'm possible'!"

Laura arranged all of the flowers.  We put my dad and granddad in charge of folding all 30 of those little Tiffany boxes that held Dove chocolates.  The guys (with a little help from my grandma) even tied all of the ribbons!  We added 'diamonds' in various sizes and rose petals to center of each table as well.  Robinette Caterers, a delicious local establishment, catered the tastiest pork loin, new potatoes, strawberry spinach salad, and green beans almondine. 

Of course no party of mine would be complete without one of Isaac's amazing cake creations.  He made this one chocolate with Bailey's Irish Cream and strawberry mousse.  The leftovers may or may not have been eaten in bed the next morning for breakfast by some very content party guests....

No celebration of my mom would be right without her two best friends of 40-ish years.  Donna and Patti both flew in from Kentucky for a long weekend.  Time with the YaYas is never wasted!  Patti's daughter Bethany (my 'cousin') even joined them.  Stayed tuned for more of our shenanigans!  They made amazing Audreys, seen here channeling Holly Golightly.

There were 29 of us who came to celebrate Mom.  Her dearest friends, mostly from church, all came to visit, play in the photo booth, and love on Mom as we chatted about the amazing things she's done in 60 years.  She is so loved and cherished, and we had a great time honoring her influence in our lives. 
And then there's the crazy family.  I'd say we had too much fun in the photo booth, but I don't think there's such a thing!  We enjoyed ourselves with food, and family, and friends, and awesome 60s music.  And kudos to Dad and Isaac for rockin' the Dean Martin hats and skinny ties.  They did that all on their own!

Mom, we adore you.  Thank you for being who you are, and please keep at it for many, many more years!

Your hostesses with the most-estes.  Ha.

Seriously, Laura and I need to plan more parties. Except next time, I'll iron photo booth backdrops (oops), and I'll pay a couple of teens from church to keep the buffet full and wash up so that I can socialize with the guests.  Other than that, the night was perfect.

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