If you don't mind going back in time with me for a minute, the week before Thanksgiving was quite eventful for us. Josh traveled across the US to Louisiana to the Evangelical Theological Society meeting to attend and also present a paper. While Hallel and I traveled to Medford, Oregon to visit my family. We both had memorable moments and unfortunately Josh's are still on his phone camera. Possibly they will show up on another blog. So for now, here are some Medford highlights.
The Mathews family is so thankful for this time of year! What a wonderful time to focus on the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord. Today we were at Target and a sweet girl came up to Hallel and was talking to her. Her mom asked how old Hallel was and I told them she was born on Christmas. The little girls eyes lit up and said, "Christmas! That is when Jesus was born." Her mom apologized for what they were teaching her in school. And I said "Oh, we are celebrating Jesus being born too!" It is so special to see a child's tender heart this season!
Josh has said for the last three days that is feels like Saturday and it is so nice to be so relaxed! Thanksgiving afternoon we went to the square and brought Hallel's little scooter car and let her just walk around pushing it. She is getting so fast and was the envy of several other children so we worked on sharing skills.
Then we had a HUGE feast with about 5 other families on campus. Those Southern girls know how to cook! It was great fellowship and fun, and of course pumkin pie!
The day after we found the perfect Christmas tree and put up the decorations. Hallel just loves to look at the tree and talk to the ornaments. She "sings" to the Christmas music and "dances" to her favorite songs! What a fun stage. In the evening we went to San Rafael for a Winter Wonderland. They had a huge sledding hill of snow for the kids to slide down, an outdoor market, and a parade at dusk. It was a great start to the Christmas season. We came home and had some more pumkin pie!
And today, we did some Christmas shopping and Josh is baking another Turkey so that we can have left overs and of course pumpkin pie!
I am so glad that you got to hear a blog post from Josh last week and see some of what he is up to in this program! It is exciting to be on our third year here at Seminary. Josh is doing an amazing job in the Lord with a crazy load on his plate. I am amazed at what he does each day!
His blogs are also written much more eloquent and well written so now your stuck with me again:)
Hallel and our pastors daughter at the pumpkin patch. Her mom takes awesome pictures!
Some things in life are free? I don't know if it is because of the economy or because I am just a huge sucker for a good deal but we have been so blessed last week with some very fun freebies!
On Wednesday Hallel and I went with two other mom's and kiddoes to the free day at the Bay Area Discovery Musuem. We spent most of our time in a tunnel with rain coming down over some rocks. Hallel was in there mostly because there was another little girl with a sparkly pink bow in her hair.
On Thursday they opened a new Chipotle (a place where burritos are tasty, huge and cheap) near us and were giving them away for free! So we had dinner and left overs.
Friday night the Seminary put on a Parents night out with free babysitting so Josh and I grabbed some scrumptious dessert while Hallel played with about 25 other kids!
And to top it off on Saturday morning Hallel and I headed down to Safeway to do our grocery shopping and we used our coupons for free breakfast! This included a dozen eggs, package of bacon, a loaf of raisin bread, and a carton of oj, yummo!
My advisor Dr. John Sailhamer's book on the theology of the first five books of the Bible, has just recently hit the shelves. Putting into practice what he believes is preached at the core of the Pentateuch's (and the whole Bible's) message, he has studied and meditated on Scripture for many decades, and this book is the result of much of that study and meditation. I'm excited about it not only to read it myself, but also because I think it has potential to be significantly impacting for the scholarly world and for all Bible readers. He has already been instrumental in opening the Bible to people's eyes and many people's eyes to the depths of what Scripture, particularly the Old Testament, means for us today.
I think maybe the most exciting thing about his approach to the OT is that he ends up understanding it very much in line with the message of the New Testament. Jesus and his anticipated Messianic work are everywhere at the forefront. In this book Sailhamer shows that Moses' message and theology are very similar in a lot of ways to Paul's and the other NT writers'. This kind of approach is not a new one but one that has lost some of its popularity in recent centuries, especially in a Christian world where the OT is often thought of as communicating a message that is not meant for us, about a god who is quite different from the gracious God who sent his Son Jesus.
It's a big book but readable, engaging, and I think even exciting. Anyway, that's my plug. It's published by IVP but I got it through Amazon for quite a bit less. Check out these links:
This October 31st started off with a trip to Kaiser to stand in line for a H1N1 shot. We got there a half hour early and still the line was wrapping around the bulding and out to the street when we left. We then enjoyed a beautiful day of sunshine as it has been gorgeous here lately! And ended the day with some neighbors who invited people over for food and games.
We have some very creative friends that did a great job with their costumes! Some of the kiddos dressed up the night before and played, they were so cute.
Hallel was an aerobics girl.
Pumkin Spice Latte John and girlfriend plus 8
Hallel playing with her costume on. What a ham! She was playing peek a boo with herself in the mirror after I turned the video off.
Our friends Ryan and Rachel and new addition Brady Blackwell were visiting friends a few weeks ago all the way from Arkansas.
Rachel brought some headband bows/flowers that she had made for our friend Aubrey, who is expecting baby Ella, a week before I am due. We tried one of the flower bands on Hallel and this was the result. (Rachel also is a professional photographer)
In all the baby stores here there are cute tiny little bands but I guess they really bring out the bling in the South!!!!:) I just still can't get over those big eyes!
Well, it's official that we are having a BOY! We are all super excited, especially Josh:) It certainly makes it more real and exciting to know who we are anticipating. I will be at the half way mark at the end of this week already! Hallel is becoming more and more into my growing belly button and seems to sense that something is up.
Last week we had a few star sightings at the President's Cup which took place in San Fransisco. My husband found a deal to get into the practice round and Hallel and I saw for the first time up close Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Michael Jordan. And we have proof:) Over the weekend my good friend Bri came and stayed with us on a layover on her way to Colombia where she is working with street kids for a month. It was a fun time and Hallel loved the extra attention!
I am continually amazed and overwhelmed with God's provisions for us we are so thankful to be here for this season of life. A hummbling reminder that we don't fit into this culture came the other night when Josh and I went to get Starbucks at the closest mall. We saw a maternity store with a sale going on so I asked Josh to guess how much a pair of jeans was and niether of us guessed $210 so then we looked in a baby store and came a little closer to baby jeans at $50. I am so glad that we don't have to live under these social pressures!
One very sleepy fan by the end of the game! I didn't realize that when I married Josh Mathews I would marry into being a Cubs fan. It is kind of fun actually since the Cubs have not won a series in over 100 years the fans are pretty loyal. They understand the agony of defeat and yet continue to hope. Growing up in an all girl family this whole sports thing has been kind of foreign to me. But I am learning a lot about the "love of the game". It is becoming a fun tradition to go to our yearly Cubs vs Giants game since we can't really fly to Wrigley. And this year we inititated in our dear little Hallel in person (she was in the womb last year as Jr is this year) to two games. We are still working on the fan part of things since she likes taking off her hat more than wearing it. She did awesome!!! And the fun part was that half way through the night game a man came up and gave Josh his behind home plate tickets as he was leaving. We had more room and it was an exciting game with the Cubbies winning in the 9th inning! We went back on Saturday for a day game and the Cubs did it again just for us. It was a special time as a family and hopefully our tradition continues as our family grows!
Today Hallel turns 9 months. She has one and a half teeth on the bottom. She is constantly pulling herself up and down on things and roaming the room from one piece of furniture to the next. She is starting to understand the word "no" and sometimes stops what she is doing when she hears it. Dad works with her all of the time to stand without holding on to anything. She is trying to master formula in a sippy cup (we have a ways to go) and is starting to eat thicker baby food with chunkies in it. She is simply a delight and a happy girl, most all of the time!
Hallel's brother or sister will soon be found out, October 5th!!! And we will be sure to spill the news. Today marks the 17th week (or about that) of this little tiger's life. According to Baby Center.com "Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop. " We are again in awe at the miracle taking place inside of my body as a life is being formed. It is fun to see our Dr. (whom we really appreciate) not ask us about possible termination and tests and just get excited with us. We hope our children are always a witness of God's infinite wisdom and love!
Well how many times in your life do you have a friend who is a professional photographer who wants to take pictures of your family just because? I have to put a picture of my beautiful friend and her cutie pie on too.
Some of my favorite pictures capture Hallel's personality. Her scrunchy nose face is one of her favorite faces when she laughs. And I love the embarrased kissing picture. And of course Hallel and her daddy tops the charts. It was a beautiful day in Sausalito, a small fishing town, nearby. Thanks Shannon!!!!!
PS if you ever need pictures done go to shancunninghamphotography.com