Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tree Lighting Fun

It is so fun to live a few blocks from downtown Silverton. We are able to walk to festivities and not worry about parking. The first Friday in December we were able to walk down to the tree lighting and enjoyed hot cocoa, snacks, carols, and watching the tree light up. Here are a few photos of the evening.
Hot Cocoa.

Marissa and I enjoying the cold night.

Whoa!!! Lights on the tree.

Dan and Marissa.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Tree Hunting
This year (like many others) we went to Reinhart Tree Farm with our good friends the Bennetts to find the perfect Christmas Tree. Dan and I promised eachother that this year we would cut down the first good tree that we saw. Well we did and it proved to be a good one. Here are a few pictures of the "tree progression".

Marissa picking out a tree (not quite sure why she wouldn't walk up to it).

Marissa cutting down the tree (ok, she really didn't cut it).

Marissa carrying the tree.

Marissa got tired, so Dan had to help her carry the tree.

Marissa putting the lights on the tree.

Marissa putting the star on the tree.

The final product!

Enjoying hot cocoa (lukewarm and watered down), the Christmas tree, slippers, and talking about Jesus...what could be better!

This year I bought a nativity Advent calendar (Fisher Price). Each day in December (most days) we have put a new character on the Nativity calendar, played the song Silent Night (from the calendar), made hot cocoa, sat on the couch in the living room, waited for the Christmas lights to turn on, and talked about what we learned that day from the Advent Calendar. It has been so fun to hear Marissa respond to "who was born on Christmas", "who was Jesus mommy", and "who was Jesus daddy". I can't wait for Christmas' to come when she will truely understand the meaning of all this hustle and bustle.

Here are a few more pictures to enjoy:

Family Photo in the warmth.

Spencer and mom staying warm.

Schacher and Bennett Families. It is hard to get all of them to look at once.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cousin Photos

Here are a couple pictures that we took for my mom's Christmas letters. It is incredibly hard to get 4 children 3 and under to smile (let alone look) at the camera.

Marissa and Spencer with Gracie and Aiden.

Aiden with the girls :0).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Ramblings

Andrea's Insights
I have been excited about what God has been teaching me lately. After I stepped out of doing Young Life ministry, I had a hard time putting a finger on the Lord's purpose for this time in my life. Recently, I have been seeking and searching and have a slight clue to what He has for me right now. Dan and I were talking about our present purpose on this earth and like to correlate it to a rodeo bull. Before the bull goes out into the arena it is poked and prodded to make sure that it gives one of the wildest performances for the rider. We feel we are in that bull pen, waiting...being poked and prodded by the Lord to learn and grow closer to Him so that when he opens the gate for us, we can make sure to give the wildest ride we possibly can for Jesus. I am SO excited and can't wait to gain wisdom, passion, and compassion for our mission and life's ministry no matter what that turns out to be. Here are just a few pieces of insight I have been gaining lately.

Crazy Love Book by Francis Chan
God created me for Him...for His glory, His honor, for me to show Him in all that I do (Colossians 1:16). In Chan's book he says "Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones?" (pg. 33). How often to I take for granted that I am here to please God...not for Him to please me.

Life is all about God...when I stress and worry, I am showing Him and everyone around me that my circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. Me, my finances, my relationships, my children, my family, or what I am making for dinner are not more important than the work God created for me...stop stressing.
As Chan said: "Both worry and stress reek of arrogance." (pg. 42) OUCH!!
"I am still dumb enough to forget that life is all about God and not about me at all." (pg. 42)

I want to desire Him...not just have a daily devotional, but desire Him in all that I do. Matthew 22:37-38 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind". What a commandment!!!!!!!
Francis Chan's thoughts:
"Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him-frequently and zealously." (pg. 57)

God had great plans for me...He knew me before I was born...knew what I was going to say and do...WOW!!! (Jerimiah 1:5). I can't wait to do what He has planned for me...daily...what is it tomorrow? :0).
Chan's interpretation of this:
"My existence was not random, nor was it an accident. God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work." (pg. 59)

Bible Study Fellowship
I am just amazed at Jesus life here on earth. The example He left for us to follow is astonishing!! I have gone through the book of John a few times since I have become a Christian and pointed many Young Life kids to read the book of John, but I can truly say this time it is showing me how amazing the life of Christ really was.

Also, I was struck by John the Baptist. When he was ministering the people asked him over and over who he was. John conitnued to point toward Jesus. He could have easily taken the credit and brought confidence, glory, honor, and fame to himself at that moment, but he chose to make Jesus name known in whatever he was doing. What an example for us!!!!! (John 3:22-36)

Songs Touch the Heart
I LOVE music. I always have to be listening to something and really listening. It inspires my thinking, my ministry opportunities, and my life. Lately I have been listening to kids music with Marissa. At first I was disappointed that "my music" had been replaced, however, God can inspire anything...and He does. He has been "awe-ing" me lately with the fact that He is so personal, cares so much, and desires us with such passion. Here is a children's song that talks about Jesus passing through the city of Jericho...with no intention to stop until he noticed a broken, searching, humbled man. In the end, because of His heart for this searching man, Jesus saved Zacchaeus' life. How amazing that God cares for a sinful, unliked, morally wrong, person...and took the time to seek and save him!

Who Am I (Faith Kids--Blue Album)
Who am I? Lost in a crowd smaller than me.
Who am I? A sinner with greed, that's all they see.
So I run ahead, to higher ground, but I did not know I was going to be found.
When you came to the place, looked up and saw me, on a branch of a sycamore tree.
Today, salvation came to my house, because I am the son of Abraham.
The Son of Man came into my house to seek and save me.
Who am I, am I riches and fame, abusing my name?
No, no, no I am a good man, I give to the poor, over 4-fold.
Now there's something about the way you speak,
oh its not just your words that give strength to the weak.
It's the way that you say "come down from that tree",
it's the way that you say "come follow me, today".
Today, salvation came to my house, because I am the son of Abraham.The Son of Man came and into my house to seek and save me.

How often do I stop and seek out those that are truly broken and lost, but deep down want to be saved and want to see Jesus? And how much does God love his broken people...that's me? WOW!

Perfection for an inspirational, perfect, Holy God!
Lately, I have been convicted to take a deep look at what I am intentionally doing for the Lord. God has called me here on earth for a greater purpose than to get by daily and just survive. He wants me to thrive and make Him known through everything I do. What a calling!!!! So, in that I showing others, my daughter, husband, friends, and family a half-hearted, "only on 'my' time" kind of a God. I hope not. When people think of God they think of perfection, and Holiness. So why don't I show others the perfection and Holiness of God. In all I do daily and in the ministries that He has called me to be a part of, I strongly desire to show that perfection. That means taking every opportunity I can to show matter the cost (time, money, whatever it takes). I know God calls us to more than mediocrity, so why would I not show others who God really everything I do?

A thought on a Holy God from Crazy Love by Francis Chan
"Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him. Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?" (pg. 31)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The GREAT Update

What We've Been Up To At Home
Well, since it has been such a long time since I have updated my blog, here is a short overview of the normal, everyday things we have been up to. Hope you enjoy!
Just doing some laundry.

Saturday mornings with Daddy = breakfast in bed...thanks Daddy!!

Dressing Our Boy in Pink
Now, laundry hasn't been my favorite thing to do...and especially not now with ALL the kids clothes that are added to the mix. Well, one night I realized I didn't have any more PJ's for Spencer and rather than trying to do a load "quick" (it's never quick), I just dug out a pair of Marissa's old PJ's. Dan got a little mad at me when he saw I was taking a picture of my little boy in a blue bed and pink PJ's. I thought it was pretty funny.

(No caption needed.)

"It's Potty Time For Me"
That is Marissa's favorite quote from a "potty book" that she has. Back in June-ish, I began our journey into the "potty world" by introducing Marissa to her very own potty. It took her a little while to decide to sit on it herself, but I think we are just starting to reap the rewards from our months of talking potty (and many more to come I am sure). She has been telling us AFTER she goes pee or poo in her diaper and wants to sit on the toilet. Not to mention she has gone poo 2x's (one was on the floor more than the potty...but a good try indeed) and pee 2x's on the potty. We haven't really gotten serious about potty training because she is only 20 months and we have the holiday's to get through (I am sure it would be embarrassing having accidents because she doesn't want to miss opening presents), so I will officially start training my daughter in January. I think she will be even more ready then and for now we will continue to go through the process of changing her diaper and then sitting on the toilet for at least 10 minutes after she has already gone (not to mention reading numerous books and watching Bear and Dolly go potty too)...oh too fun.

Just one of the many times a day we sit on the would sure be nice to have her actually go on it while she's sitting.

Smiling Baby Boy
It is sooo fun to re-live the baby moments we enjoyed with Marissa. I find myself cherishing those small things so much more this time, realizing that in only a few short months they will be gone and I won't be able to sit and cuddle and smile at my little boy. Here are some pictures to can you not smile looking at these, ahhhh baby laughs?

First documented smile.

Cutest little boy smile around.

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. NO, It's Children.
In celebration of my mom's birthday the Schmidgall family went to Roadhouse. While there is just not enough time to chat and catch up with family in the resturant we found ourselves chatting outside for a bit, while our children were getting antsy. So the men had a solution to the problem...throw them. We got some cute pictures of Marissa and Aiden being thrown in the air by their fathers. One is a little more risky as you can tell by the picture :).

Dan and Marissa with Lucas and Aiden.

A Quick Trip for Rogue Food
The story of my life...a "quick" trip turned leisure stroll. Luckily for Marissa it was around a pet store. Dan loves taking Marissa to see all the animals. They have such a great time talking about the animals, the sounds they make, and what they do.

Checking out the reptiles.

My Husbands Secret Ambition
Dan has talked on occasion about wanting to get turn-tables and how he would love to do some DJ-ing someday...even if it is just in his garage. I have always thought it was a far off dream...until the DJ Hero game came out. We "happened" upon it on a visit to Best Buy for some computer stuff and he hasn't forgot about it since. We went Saturday and bought the package and he has been playing it...and loving it ever since. I guess he is living his dream. Marissa loves dancing to the music...oh dear what a little "daddy's girl".

Dan testing out DJ Hero. Marissa on the drums.

Don't Forget Bear
Marissa has recently taken an interest in her stuffed animals and dolls. She likes to treat them like babies, feeding, burping, and putting them in the stroller (hmmm, I wonder why). It is so cute to see her nurture and care for them...I know they are only stuffed animals, but it is so precious to see that loving heart.

Marissa eating snack with her dolls.

Cousins and Costumes

Bauman Farms
This year we made it to Bauman Farms a little later in the season that usual. We packed up and headed to the crazy farm a week before Halloween and met my sister, Toran (sister-in-law), Aiden (nephew), and Gracie (neice) for the afternoon. We all had a great time and enjoyed the animals, bouncing "pillow", swings, pedal carts, apple cider slushies, and lunch.

Fun family picture. It is quite a bit harder to get a picture these days.

Stopping to smell the flowers...I promise this isn't staged (Dan has taught her to smell...not touch flowers).

Aiden and Marissa getting ready to experience some fall fun.

Standing on pumpkins.

Looking at the animals.

Dan and Marissa having fun bouncing on the pillow.

Halloween-Butterfly and Pea in a Pod
Again this year, we didn't manage to do much on Halloween. I had Dan grab some candy from Wal-mart in the afternoon (check out picture below to see how that went) and then we geared up to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters that might come by our house. Unfortuantely, we had very few of them (I guess our street looks pretty dark). After feeding the kids and dressing them, we decided to head to downtown Silverton. Marissa had fun dancing in the streets with the group of "Thriller" dancers and we chatted with some Silverton friends. After realizing how late it became, we ran over to my parents to show off costumes then headed to bed. It was a pretty uneventful night.
My two kids :).
Marissa is a butterfly (she was a caterpillar last year).

My pea in a pod.

My dancing girl. Never misses an opportunity to dance...even with the best of them.

Dan stocked us up on candy. I had to give most of it away after Halloween or I would have eaten it (don't worry it went to a worthy cause...high school kids :).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Brother-Sister Bond

Something About Siblings
Marissa has fallen in love with her baby brother. Here is the proof:
-Wakes up each morning saying "baby, baby" and demands to see her little brother.
-MUST give Spencer a kiss each night before bedtime. That was added to her regular routine the day Spencer came home at Marissa's request.

-Loves holding Spencer and will say "hold, hold, hold" until I let her hold her baby brother.

-When asked if she is done holding Spencer she replies with a very definite "NO".

-Enjoys laying next to Spencer while he is under his "gym".

-Always wants to push him while he is in the swing and is concerned if the music turns off.

-If Spencer is crying, she is quick to come and let me know..."baby cry, baby cry" until I answer her or go to Spencer.

-Depending on the new word Marissa learns, she must insert "baby" in front of it. Example: New word "elbow"...Marissa's interpretation "baby, elbow"...and on and on.
Marissa insisting on pushing Spencer in his stroller.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings, and More

5 Weddings, 4 Wedding Showers, 2 Friends Having Babies, 1-1st Birthday...All in 8 Weekends

So, this was a picture of our August and September (minus us having Spencer 4 weeks early). I had tried to do the best I could to prepare in advance with all the presents and RSVP's required for these events, but was thrown off when Spencer arrived at the beginning of all this craziness. We ended up missing a wedding, 3 showers, and the 1st birthday party because of his arrival (and the fact that he had to be under a light blanket at home for a few days). Once we got in the groove of all of it, we had a blast and were able to show off our new addition. There was lots of dancing, laughing, and family time involved. Here are just a few pictures.

Marissa enjoying a glass of water at Brad and Stacey's wedding.

Marissa and Dan dancing at Tony and Kelley's wedding.

Marissa made a friend at Tony and Kelley's wedding. Ella helped Marissa all evening.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mother-Father-Daughter Bonding Time

Fun at the State Fair-Just the Three of Us
After we had Spencer, toward the end of August, Marissa, Dan, and I went to the fair and were able to spend some quality time together. My mom and dad (along with Matt and Derek) watched Spencer and we were able to enjoy the animals, food, ice-cream, and booths with Marissa. She LOVES the animals and went crazy when she saw the cows. It was a good time and reminded us that we love Marissa so much...if not more now that Spencer has joined our family. What a special girl she is!!!!

What would a trip to the fair be like without stopping by "Oregon Dairy Women's" booth for some ice-cream.

Marissa got so excited to see the cows. She pretty much yelled "cow" everywhere we went.

Mother of Two

I LOVE having 2 children (even though it has only been 3 1/2 weeks). It is definitely different, esspecially with an 18 month old that has started exploring and becoming more independant. I have said that it is more like a job with 2, where with one child it was like I had a little "buddy" tagging along with me (don't get me wrong it is still ALOT of work, it was more mentally challenging for me).

I hope and pray that I will be the best mom to both Spencer and Marissa as they grow up and explore life together. I pray that they realize that I love them both equally, but each in their own special way. I pray that I will be patient and loving while disciplining and teaching them to be respectful and loving to others. I pray that they will grow up knowing that their mom and dad desire them to know Jesus and live their lives for Him.

Since we had Spencer, I haven't been able to spend much quality time with Marissa. I desire and hope that she feels like she is still special to us. I have grown to love my little girl even more than I could have imagined the day she was born. Now this doesn't mean I don't love Spencer just as much, I have just realized how much Marissa has grown and how much I don't want her to get any bigger. I LOVE her little laugh, dimpled smile, quirky attitude, courage to try anything, caution to be careful trying anything, love for cleaning, dancing, animals, people, her brother, and the way she cuddles before bedtime (I could go on and on and on). We have such a great time together...she is such a unique, loving, crazy, funny little girl. I LOVE YOU MARISSA JOY!!!

Announcing Spencer

Here is the birth announcement I made for Spencer Timothy...enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photo Session

Family Action Shot.

Spencer Timothy Schacher. This captures his true nature...chill.

Marissa LOVES her daddy.

What a sweet baby boy.

Marissa is a good big sister to Spencer. She LOVES giving him kisses. It quickly became a MUST to her nightly routine.

Kisses for Daddy.

Marissa looking adoringly at her younger brother.

What a sweet baby boy.

Precious look.

Little toes, littler toes.