Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sowing & Reaping

Isabelle has hit the stage where she is going all the time. She hates to be still. Even if you hug her for too long she cries out and begins to try to squirm out of your arms. She bull dozes everywhere, as you can tell from the video’s below. She hilariously stomps around with her tummy leading the way and her elbows out behind her to balance the whole thing out.

And, she has started a new nasty habit…fighting sleep. Now, I need to preface this by saying that Isabelle has never been a good sleeper, but now it’s a whole new level. For the last three nights she won’t even lay down. She stands up and rolls around and cries bloody murder at the top of her voice! Finally last night, we just gave up and left her in her crib to cry it out (we have done this before…but she always beat us at the game, and we gave up after 20 or 30 minutes of crying). Last night tho, was a breakthrough…she went to sleep after only 10 minutes of crying! That is considerably less than she has ever done! And, on a happy note, this fit seems to tire her out and she only gets up once, briefly, and goes back to sleep. Those ARE happy times!
Interestingly enough, I was telling my dad about this on the phone yesterday and he said, “Funny thing is that YOU did the same thing about the SAME age. You hated going to sleep.” So I ask you….is it REALLY sowing and reaping if you were too young to even remember it??

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

For Love of Water

I am wondering if all children have the same fascination that Isabelle has. Namely: water. But, wait. Not just any water! In particular, toilet water and bath water. If given any small window of opportunity, she will make her way to the bathroom and lift the toilet lid. Before I can follow her in, she has her hands swishing through toilet water!!! I cannot tell you how many little confrontations we have had over this! But her love of the toilet gets the best of her everytime. I am convinced that if she could get her head in there, she would drink it…just like a puppy…..too much information?

Which leads me to our next issue: Bath water. Isabelle is bathing nicely in a warm sudsy tub and I turn my head to get the soap and I hear a slurping sound. She has her head bent and is sipping bathwater! Seriously. Today she even had a nice suds mustache. Seriously!! For this, I couldn’t help but laugh…and grab my camera.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dirty Little Secrets

A few weekends ago, during Isabelle’s birthday party, I was visiting with a few cousins of mine. They are regular visitors to The Michael Chronicles. They said, “Danielle, in your blog pictures, your house always looks immaculate! Is Conrad an unusually helpful husband??” So, in light of that, I have a few confessions to make, followed by some rather discriminating pictures to share.
1. Yes, Conrad is helpful. Much more so than any other male (who shall remain un named) whose home I grew up in.
2. I have a dirty little secret (that I’ve shared with you before). Her name is Carol. She visits twice a month. I love her.
3. I am a cleany. When my house is a mess, I get stressed!! I love order. It’s almost like a sickness. When I was a kid, my idea of fun was to clean my sister’s room and put my books in alphabetical order. I couldn’t sleep with my closet door open. I had to get out of bed and close it neatly, before I could drift off!

Now with my soul lightened by confession, I now give you, “The impossibly white kitchen floor.”:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Sorry for the delay in updating my blog (OMA!). Life has been busy busy busy this last couple of weeks. I thought I would share with you a bright spot in my weekend last weekend. I know I know, a new study came out that basically said TV watching makes your kids stupid (shocking, I know). But we really have to watch the Wiggles…because…well….you’ll see:

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

12 month check up

Sorry I haven't been online much lately. It has been a crazy week, and I haven't been much in the mood to blog.

But I did want to let you know about Isabelle's one year check up we had on monday!Isabelle is growing right on track and has hit or exceeded most of her developmental milestones. But she is still small. She’s 18 pounds 13 ounces. We thought for sure she was over 20, and now we had to go BACK to the rear facing car seat…oh sad disappointment!

But we also had to go get her blood drawn since her little heal prick revealed that she had low iron! Then we had to venture over to the children's hospital lab in town to have her blood drawn. And ohhh the blood drawing was sooo painful…on both of us. Very tramatic. My only consolation is that she won’t remember it!

Luckily, we got the results back that same day that she was fine. No problems at all. Of course, we knew she was perfect already :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Birthday Fun

Wow, did we have a good weekend! For those of you who weren’t there! It started off kind of dodgy, with me spending the morning in Urgent Care. Yes, I have Strep AGAIN! Urggg. Luckily, my mom pretty much took care of the whole party, except for a few details that we handled…or I would have probably moved the whole shindig to McDonalds! THANKS OMA & OPA!

It was great to see my cousins (shout out to Michelle, Wendy, and Shawna), who we rarely get to see and all of their kiddos. Luckily, we borrowed a big inflatable water slide from my church and the older kids had a blast on it for hours. Later we quarantined it for the smaller kids, who also enjoyed it.

Isabelle was sleepy from the very beginning, but being the social butterfly that she is, stayed strong to the very last piece of cake was served. And that was a lot of cake. We grilled out, opened presents (of which she got 21…yes 21 new little outfits!! Thank you everyone who contributed to her new toddler wardrobe..she looks darling in what we’ve tried on so far!) and great new toys and other spoils. My parents got her a little oak table, just her size, that she had been eating at the whole weekend at my parents. Mommy and Daddy got her a little pink tea set to go with the table…but she’s not allowed to play with that till she’s older 

But the cake the by far the most entertaining part of the day. We got Isabelle a little cake of her own and she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it at first…then she dug right in! Little finger in it. Then another little finger. Then a chunk…and another chunk. She wasn’t getting much actually IN her mouth..but the pictures were priceless! I think she was trying to shove it in as quickly as possible, sure that this fun was going to stop any minute!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Front Facer

It seems like life is full of first times here! Well, yesterday, to celebrate Isabelle’s first birthday, we went and bought her a front facing car seat! I know the experts tell you to keep them in the rear facing seat as long as possible, but I’m pretty sure the kid gets carsick. She HATES riding in the car longer than the 7 minutes it takes to get to daycare and back…and she even starts to freak out at the end of that ride, usually.

She looks so small in it, but it’s nice to have her facing us! She can see us and we can see her in the rear view mirror! Here is a picture of her this morning in her new car seat.

And a video of her perfecting the art of walking!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday To You

The time now is 1:33pm on August 8, 2007. At 12:57pm August 8, 2006 Isabelle Agnes Michael made her appearance. One year ago, this very minute, I was still in the delivery room, and just got to hold my darling baby for the first time. She was sooo small, at only 4 ½ pounds, that they quickly put her in a warmer and brought in a panel of neonatal “experts” to check her out. This delayed my holding her for a bit.

For the last couple of days Conrad and I have been reminiscing about what we were doing this time last year. Packing our bags, wrapping up things at home, our last meal the night before with just us. And how wonderfully our lives have changed since Isabelle was born!

There truly is no way to prepare enough for the birth of a child, and I still laugh when I think about people giving me advice before hand: “Your lives are going to change.” Really? Well THAT I didn’t expect (or I should so, No duh!!) I guess we decided to have kids because we wanted change. I, personally, like change.
And change it did. It has been a lot of work. I used to have hobbies. Now I have a child  I used to have free time. Now I’m a mom. I used to have friends (who I got to see every once in a while) Now I have a baby. Small sacrifices in the face of such great investment and reward. We love you Baby Girl! You are truly God’s greatest gift to us!

(This picture is Isabelle this morning enjoying her birthday blueberry muffin!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why Do You Serve?

Okay, continuing on in my deep thoughts about ministry, I thought I would tell you some fun stuff: next semester, myself and a friend will be running the children’s ministry at our church. It’s exciting to be shaping young hearts and souls. What a privilege! But my experience over the last couple of weeks has had me contemplating exactly HOW to staff this new venture.

Volunteers are a very unique group, as they are not paid, nor can they (we) be coerced into serving. I once had a leader in church tell me “You WILL do this and you WILL do that.” On the outside, I complied (however unwillingly). On the inside, I thought, “You know, I volunteer. You don’t pay me. You are in no position to be demanding anything.” So I guess my thoughts are, really you have to inspire people to serve. You have to convince them of your vision and then “get them on your bus.” Convince them that this ministry will change people’s life, and that their time and sacrifice will be well invested.

Looking back, all of my years with Teen Mania, the time that I volunteered and the time that I was paid to work for them, my intensity and my commitment didn’t change from one state to the other. And it’s interesting to note that TM always has a boatload of volunteers, in every capacity! I think it is definitely because we are inspired and excited to be involved in such a world changing and effective organization.

So, I know many (if not most) of you live lives of service. All my TM friends and my family who serve in local churches: WHAT makes you want to continually volunteer? WHY do you continue to serve? And do you have any suggestions on how to implement this in a children’s ministry environment? Your input will be much appreciated!!

Oh ya...while I'm in this you have any kids curriculum suggestions? We are leaning towards Kidstuf, but any thoughts??

Monday, August 06, 2007

Officially Bipedal

Okay, I might as well admit right up front that I looked up the word “Bipedal. ” It refers to one who walks with two legs. I thought I’d title this post appropriately since Isabelle is officially walking! She has been taking a couple of steps here and there for a while, but she took off last week! Of course, she did it while I was at Missions Camp. Write that one in the baby book: Mama missed walking milestone. (I wander if you get tax breaks on savings accounts for future therapy for your kids??)

Anyway, this picture, I managed to snap this morning on our way out the door to work/daycare. I thought I’d like an actual picture of her walking , although I realize it’s not the most in focus picture. More to come, I promise.

Missions Camp: Well, it was great. Seriously, it went really well. All together, we had 80 kids attend. The kids LOVED it and we had great times of worship and everything else. We have tried to strategically use Missions Camp to begin building the children’s ministry and kind of turn the congregations’ attention towards Kids Church and how important it is. That approach seemed to be somewhat successful and only time will tell as we get into the trenches of building a new children’s ministry team.

Unfortunately, I was pretty slammed and didn’t get too many pictures. I am going to try to get copies of pictures others got from Camp for you to see.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hello Isabelle, It’s me, Mommy.

As you know, from my previous post, we are in the trenches of children’s ministry this week. I have been looking forward to and dreading it, in equal portions. Looking forward to it, because I’ve been out of direct ministry for a while, at least since I was pregnant. And I LOVE serving in this capacity. Dreading it because it will be four days when I will not see my daughter or husband, virtually at all. I don’t feel so bad about not seeing Conrad, we can go to lunch together, and he can take care of himself. But I will very much miss my time with Isabelle.

Growing up in a ministry family, this kind of thing was just life. I think from the time I was born, I spent most of my evenings and weekends at church waiting for my parents, or cleaning bathrooms, or getting involved as I got older. So I guess it’s just usual for me to jump in like this. But it doesn’t change my constantly split desire to serve my family and serve my church…in the 3.5 free hours I have every day after work!

Don’t forget me, Baby Girl! I’ll be home Saturday!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Missions Camp Craziness

Tonight starts Missions Camp craziness. This is a missions focused vacation bible school type of ministry that I have done for several summers at my old church. A few weeks ago, I was asked if I could pull one together for the kids during one of our annual church conferences. In weeks. We usually plan for 8 or 9 months for Missions Camp. But, I said yes (what was I thinking??)

Camp has always been amazing and God meets us there. We have worship lead by kids and young adults, and it’s like choreographed dance. We use canned worship, and have movements that go along with it. It’s super high energy and the “teachings” are in drama format. We divide up times when the kids have to sit and be focused with games, crafts, snacks, and fun activities with light sticks and poprocks! It’s really fun and impactful.

The first night is challenging the kids that maybe God has called them to be missionaries. Consequently, the statistics say that most missionaries felt that calling BEFORE they were 8 years old. I hope one day, a few of them will look back at this time as a defining moment in their lives.

I am really excited about the upcoming events…BUT it has not been without it’s challenges. One big challenge was that most of the volunteers were picked through by the time I started organizing the camp. Another challenge was that I keep having key volunteers drop out on me…in the eleventh hour. So currently, I am short on several major characters in the drama…and camp starts tomorrow and I have virtually no leaders available to actually BE with the kids during camp. It will all be fine, just a matter of a little juggling. Such is life in the local church.

So pray for us over the next few days! We are looking forward to God meeting us there!!