30 March 2012

to etsy or not to etsy...


That, my friend, is the question!

So, I make these bags...I like to give them away as diaper bags to my friends when they have babies, but they are really like giant, sturdy, pretty tote bags.  I don't have many pictures, but here are a few:






O, you noticed my cute littel model?  She is the sweetest!  She makes everything look good!  But, my dilemma is that these bags are "pricey" as far as crafts go, and pretty time consuming, which I totally don't mind.  (It makes watching Netflix seem profitable.)  So...what do you think?  The only reason I ask, is that I love making them, and so many people have said at different showers that I should sell them.  Do you think people might buy one?  How much would someone be willing to pay?  Is there a better way to sell, than etsy?  I'd appreciate any thoughts :)

26 March 2012

2) The Blessing of Loving My Children

To me, one of the weirdest things in the world is that I'm a mom. CRAZY! I have been a mom for almost 5 months - i guess for much longer if I count my pregnancy! This has definitely been the most difficult and amazingly awesome and very sanctifying time of my life! I'm tired and busy and ridiculously happy; I'm in love with my little family - big time! Robert and I are always saying to each other, "Can you believe we're parents? We have a baby!"

This was a great chapter! So again, looking to God's Word and Titus 2, women are instructed to love their children. Just like with our husbands, this is phileo: it is not just my job as a mother to fulfill my responsibilities, but to take great pleasure in my children. I so want to be one of those super fun moms, not who talk incessantly about their kids as if the earth was lucky to have them, but who thoroughly LOVES mommyhood and little laughs and crafts and carpools and game night and forts and feels the immense blessing of children every day! Thankfully, that is all part of my role as a godly mom, and I am excited to try and fulfill it with God's help and to His glory.

There is nothing in my life that has required greater sacrifice than being Maggie's mom. I say that with the utmost humility and the great realization that I fail so often. And she is just a baby; I just have one baby! I hear the actual hard stuff is yet to come, plus adding future kids into the mix (exciting and terrifying!). Carolyn Mahaney writes, "Because mothering requires constant sacrifice, the temptations to resentment, complaining, and self-pity are always close at hand. But such selfishness will quickly sap the strength of our love for our children." I've seen this be true in my life multiple times throughout these last few months. When Maggie doesn't nap all day and I have no idea what I'm doing; is she eating enough, did I do the right thing by going in to her or letting her cry it out, and I haven't slept...and it gets really easy to fall into sin. These are the times that I need to remember that fighting my own sin is the key to loving my children and serving my family! Remember, "Our speech and actions are shaped by our thoughts." On hard days, the motivation behind loving Maggie needs to be the promotion of the gospel. Which is why it is so awesome that "we can draw from God's grace and receive His help to cheerfully lay down our lives for our children," because I am definitely inept on my own.

As I read this chapter I was overwhelmed and convicted. I suddenly knew Maggie was going to grow up - soon - before I was ready for her to... and the next few nights of waking up to feed her in the wee morning hours were a joy. Then I got over it and fell back into my sin. No, I'm just kidding, but seriously - sin, selfishness, self-pity, these things will be a constant temptation that I must be fleeing and actively fighting against as a mommy/as a human being. My life is Christ's, and He has called me to be a wife and a mother - so now, more than ever, my body is not my own, my time, my talents, my everything is about serving this amazing family with which the Lord has blessed me. And I'm so excited to do so!

Knowing that Maggie's exposure to the gospel and most everything else in life starts with me, during the in and outs of daily life is a huge responsibility! I am grateful and humbled by this, God's calling for my life. J.C. Ryle urges mothers to ask this question before everything they do, "How will this affect their souls?" No one will have a greater influence in Maggie's life, most likely. Carolyn Mahaney shares some thoughts from another mother:
"I seldom feel like much of an adventurere - standing in this kitchen, pouring cereal into bowls, refilling them, handing out paper towels when the inevitable cry comes: 'Uh oh, I spilled.' But sometimes at night the thought will strike me: There are three small people here, breathing sweetly in their beds, whose lives are for the moment in our hands. I might as well be at the controls of a moon shot, the mission is so grave and vast." (emphasis mine)

So, as I get a little emotional and close out this rather lengthy post...Carolyn Mahaney writes, "What greater privilege could we possibly have in all the world than to lead our children to the Lord? ... Though the mission is grave and vast, God's grace is greater (2 Cor 12:9)." Can I get an Amen?! I love you, Maggie Grace, and cannot wait to love you for the rest of your precious life!

23 March 2012

Patch the Pirate


I love music!  And I'm pretty sure Maggie does, too!  I know that Seeds is really great music for kids, and I'm excited to get into that and start memorizing Scripture with Maggie through song in year or two...  But, I am also all about playing Patch the Pirate!  



I don't know if anyone even still knows who he is, but my brothers and I grew up with Patch the Pirate and he was our favorite.  Think Adventures in, Odessy, but WAY cooler!  He might be a little fundamentalist, but I promise I learned so much actually good stuff from him.  We had a bunch of Patch the Pirate on cassette tape; I actually need to see if my mom still has any of those...  But, long story short, you can listen to Patch and the crew on-line for free (just the songs, not the stories)!  So, if you have little ones, you will LOVE these!  Some of our (my) favorite songs are "Family Fun," "Wiggle Worm," "Poochie- Lip Disease," "Obedience," "The Lord's Army," "I Do My Part," "The Gratitude Attitude" and basically all of them (most of these can be found on page 2 under the last 5 albums)!  And my favorite stories as a kid were "The Custard's Last Stand," "The Evolution Revolution," "Patch the Pirate Goes to the Jungle," and "Camp Kookawacka Woods."  I mean honestly, don't those all just sound AMAZING!  haha.  Well, I do hope that you take a listen.  I think you're going to like it!

20 March 2012

1) The Delight of Loving My Husband


“If ever two were one, then surely we;
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.” – Anne Bradstreet, 1678


If you know me well at all, you know that I am crazy about Robert!  I was crazy about him while we were dating, and I’ve only fallen more deeply in love with him over these past few years.  He is my very best friend – there is no one I’d rather do anything with.  Robert makes me laugh every day.  He is a godly man and loving leader.  And, he’s pretty fine!  As Pastor Rick Holland says, I totally trust the Lord and His plan for no marriage in Heaven…but, I do think that Robert and I might be able to sneak in a kiss or two, and maybe be neighbors or something for eternity!  But, despite all of my wonderful feelings towards my fabulous husband, we are still two married sinners.  Honestly, we’ve probably had maybe two married “fights…” but we do sin; I sin, daily.  And, that affects the way that we live together.  


In Titus 2, the younger women are admonished to love their husbands.  In Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney says that many women are able to sacrificially love their husband, all the while thinking they are a jerk; but the love we are called to here, is phileo – to enjoy and delight in them, to passionately and tenderly care for them.  In my young marriage this has not become a hardship (see aforementioned craziness about my man!), and I pray it never does.  But, also, as previously mentioned, I am a sinner.  Carolyn gives a personal example of how her sin affected her marriage, and I saw so much similarity in my own life at times.  She writes, “Sin destroyed my tender love…Anger, bitterness, criticism, pride, selfishness, fear, laziness-all vigorously opposes tender love.”    I identified with that in thinking back to a few weeks ago when I was extremely selfish…

Robert got home from class and Maggie was sleeping.  I had been wanting/needing to get my hair cut for quite some time and the salon down the street from us was having a special for new clients.  So, Robert said he would stay home with Maggie while I walked down to get my hair cut!  So, I get there, and I’m all excited with a picture of a style I’d like on my phone from Pintrest, and wouldn’t you know it, the lady told me that they were going to close early and so they weren’t taking any more customers that day!  Ah!  I was way more disappointed than I should have been.  The stylist said, “Why don’t you come back tomorrow, or this weekend?”  And I replied, “I have a three month old and home, and my husband has class all day tomorrow and he is going camping this weekend with his friends…”  What a sad story, haha.  So, I’m walking home and the discontent, selfish Ashley emerges in full force.  I started letting my mind run wild with so many things I didn’t have that I deserved or didn’t get when I was told I would – o my, even now writing about it I’m so embarrassed! But, it’s true, and maybe you’ve been there?  So, I get home, and I pull one of those quiet mood things, you know, that “I’m fine” deal.  And of course my attitude affected our whole evening until I decided to ask for forgiveness and repent of my selfishness and greed!  (Yikes, I hope you’re not judging me now.)

So, all of that to say, “Keep your heart with all vigilance” Proverbs 4:23.  She writes, “In order to cultivate and maintain a tender love for our husbands, we must guard our hearts against sin.  Our emotions are a warning system God graciously gave us to attract attention to the sin in our hearts…The more we understand the sin in our hearts, the more we appreciate the patience and mercy of God; and this, in turn, produces an attitude of humility and mercy…” (p38-9)

It’s when I sin that my relationship with Robert is most affected, not when he sins!  And, when he sins, a quote from Charles Spurgeon is helpful:

      “He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to  be anything more.  He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case.  He does not expect perfection in the creature, and therefore, he is not disappointed  when he does not find it.”


So, in closing, I LOVE ROBERT WAUHOP and am so thankful for the gift of marriage, the grace of life, and life’s greatest earthly blessing!

18 March 2012

My Girl Maggie - 4 months!


I can't believe my SWEET baby is now a whole 4 months old!  Wow!  Yikes!

Her stats, unfortunately, are unknown.  Her 4 month appointment isn't until the end of the month, but I'd guess she is about 13lbs and 25.5in.  But, we shall see on the 29th!  

Maggie's Favorites:
 BATH TIME! 
Singing songs! 
Rainforest Jumperoo
Mrs. Giraffe
Her Playmat   
Goodnight Moon, Green Eggs and Ham, The Grouchy Lady Bug, 
Moo, Baa, La La La, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

A little article we read on babycenter.com confirmed what we already knew...that Maggie has "Advanced Skills" for her age!  She can roll over, both way! (Back to belly was quite the accomplishment!)  She is getting closer to sitting up, but I think that will take a few more weeks.  She started rice cereal (last week, though, so technically that was past her 4 month mark).  She can't get enough of her hands in her mouth and she drools like it's her job...I hope she's not teething : /

Nicknames:
Mags (or Baby Mags)
Mags-a-million
The Magster
Maggie G

I think the most fitting word for my Maggie, is SWEET!  She just has the sweetest smile, 
and the brightest eyes...  Her daddy said beautiful; she loves her daddy!  And she will share a smile with almost anyone.  I LOVE this little girl!  I'm so excited to get to know her more and 
more as she grows up, but I at the same time I so hope it doesn't come too quickly.  I 
know it will, though.  But, she is such a blessing and I am forever thankful to the Lord 
for this gift of stewardship!

Coming Soon: A 7 Part Blog-Series

I'm reading a new book!  In fact, I'm already half way done with it.  It's been so refreshing and I want to highly recommend it if you have not yet read it.  The book is Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney.  She is so easy to read - so encouraging and edifying, yet equally convicting! She writes with such a good balance and is so personable.  


The book is subtitled, "Seven virtues of a godly wife and mother," making it extremely applicable for my life right now.  There is nothing that I desire more than to be a godly wife and mother.  So, I was excited to jump into the book, and it has not disappointed.  The book is an exposition of the Titus 2 woman, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." The book is broken down into nine chapters, the first and last being an introduction and conclusion.  This middle chapters are centered around seven virtues: the delight of loving my husband, the blessing of loving my children, the safety of self-control, the pleasure of purity, the honor of working at home, the rewards of kindness, and the beauty of submission.  These seven things are referred to by Paul as "what are good" for us to know as younger women who want to honor God's Word.  "Consider the loveliness of a woman who passionately adores her husband, who tenderly cherishes her children, who creates a warm and peaceful home, who exemplifies purity, self-control, and kindness in her character and who gladly submits to her husband's leadership - for all the days God grants her life.  I dare say there are few things that display the gospel jewel with greater elegance"(Carolyn Mahaney, p29). What an awesome and ambitious goal! 

So, starting this week and into the future I want to do a 7-part blog series, one on each of the chapters. I'm so excited to share what the Lord has been teaching me for both the accountability on my part to be not just a hearer, but also a doer; and hopefully, maybe to even encourage another wife or mom or friend!        

16 March 2012

Seminary Banquet 2012

Last year was the 25th anniversary of TMS and the banquet was a big to-do at the Ronald Reagan Library underneath of Air Force 1!  That day, March 5th, was also the day that Robert and I found out that our little Maggie was on her way!!  This year, with a new baby and the hour long drive, the banquet didn't seem like something that we had to go to...but it was going to be our last one, and we do like dressing up on occasion, so we did!  And we are so glad!  

Some highlights - I took my spanx off before we even got to the banquet, haha.  It was Maggie's first time with a babysitter and she did great!  She was even sleeping when we got home!  We got to sit with our good friends the Dexters, and see many other friends!  The food was delicious!  And the hubs and I got to enjoy each others company!  Not too shabby.

At the banquet overlooking Simi...

After we got home...

"The Future"

So, Robert is about to graduate from The Master's Seminary this May! In 58 days to be exact! That fact literally blows my mind! For our entire marriage (almost 3 years) we have lived out here in LA while Robert was pursuing - and dominating, I might add - his MDiv. Now that this chapter is coming to a close, what's next for us??

Answer: We have NO idea! Well, we have a few ideas...

It's a little bit awesome and a whole lot of scary to have no idea what 3 months from now might look like for us?! Especially as parents, now, we can't just "fly by the seat of our pants" as easily as we could before. Robert has already started taking classes for another degree, the ThM. With this degree it would open up doors for teaching at a college level, both now and for the future. If he decides to stay and do the ThM, we would probably be ready to leave TMS this coming December or January. At the same time, however, "we" are actively interested and looking for churches that we could go to and begin implementing all of this training he's received! And while this option, and a more permanent zip code is higher on my list of preferences I am praying for and growing in contentment for what the Lord has for us - whatever that might be!

Honestly, it seems like every other week we could go one way or the other. After a fabulous class or chat with an esteemed professor Robert is excited and driven to stay for the ThM. Then, he talks to an already graduated friend in ministry or someone further along in the candidating process and he can't wait to get his own ministry and just preach! All the while, I'm thinking about the timing of our next baby, when we will live somewhere that has a real oven (and maybe even a dishwasher?!), where will that be, will it be close to our families, I wonder if there's really good food there, there's really good food here, maybe it would be nice to stay in CA with Dr. Frields for a while, warm weather year round...you know, real spiritual stuff, haha. But, my main ministry stays the same, here or there - Robert and Maggie! So, who knows what 3 months from now will hold. Who really even knows what 3 minutes from now will hold - I mean, I have a sleeping 4 month old in the other room! BUT, what I'm saying is that God is good and He knows exactly what each moment for the rest of eternity holds, and even better, He has planned it for my good (becoming more like Christ and then that we would be presented to Him) and ultimately His glory!!

And this is not where I was planning at all on going with this post. I mostly wanted to share Jesse Johnson's blog about candidating...candiDATING. So, check out his interesting and true perspective on candidating at the Cripplegate!

13 March 2012

This Morning with the Mags!

Ah! I love this girl!  She is way too cute! I'm so thankful for this happy girl!!

DON'T YOU WISH YOU WOKE UP THIS HAPPY THIS MORNING...
video

KICK, KICK, KICK!
video

11 March 2012

Chicken Broccoli Supreme

YUM!  This is cheesy and delicious and not too hard and it's a lot of food.  It's probably not that good for you...but there is a lot of yummy broccoli in it!  Enjoy, if you'd like!

Ingredients:

 1 – lb. fresh broccoli Break in pieces, and steam for 2 minutes.

3 cups cooked chicken breasts  – Break up in small pieces (I used the pre-made chicken from the previous "on the menu" post...)
3 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese divided (I used sharp cheddar)
2 tubes Ritz Crackers
1  stick melted butter
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (I didn't find these at TJ's, so I didn't use any)

  SAUCE: 
1/3 cup Butter- melted
1/4 cups Cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup COLD Water
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 Cups Milk
1 1/2 cups of the above Cheddar Cheese

 Directions:

In greased 13×9 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken, then set aside. In saucepan over medium heat, combine the melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

Melt the butter, and add the poppy seeds, and stir well. Crush Ritz crackers in large zip-lock bag with a rolling pin. Don’t crush too small. Add crumbs to the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.

Eat and enjoy!

08 March 2012

Watch This!!

If you want your heart to MELT completely please watch the most ADORABLE little girl play peek-a-boo!! I mean seriously - she is too precious and so funny! It's a little small and garbley...but that little laugh is to die for!! I love this girl! Please watch and fall in love!

05 March 2012

Introducing...My Girl Maggie (after the fact)

So, about four months ago the sweetest and most beautiful little girl entered into this world, on November 10, 2011 my precious Maggie Grace was born!

Labor: I was induced at midnight on Wednesday the 9th.  My nurses were amazing, the hospital was freezing, and the day was long.  Around noon (after 12 hours) I got an epidural - and in my case that actually sped things up; plus, it was pretty amazing!!  Then, at 6:30ish I began to push.  At 8:27 my new love was born!




Eating, Sleeping, and Diapers: That pretty much sums up a new babies life, haha.  At first I felt like all she did was eat because she would always fall asleep while eating and it would take practically an hour for her to eat, and then in about another hour it'd be time for her to eat again! So, I a lot of Netflix...  Maggie and I spent many nights on the couch; it was so sweet and easy - there is nothing like cuddling your sweet baby, holding her in your arms for hours while you sleep.  So precious!  (I did miss my bed and my husband, though, so after a couple weeks we really started to work on sleep training.)  And, Robert was a champ and changed most of the first week diapers.  


Schedules: We did/do Babywise, and I would highly recommend checking it out.  It's basically a three hour schedule of eating, playing, and sleeping.  So, she eats - now at 8:30 or 9, 12, 3, 6, and 8).   Then plays, at first there isn't much playing, there's hardly any awake time.  But now it's so much fun.  Maggie and I read stories and play in her bouncy chair and go on walks...she's such a joy!  Then there is napping!  Praise the Lord that napping is no longer a great mystery or daily challenge for us over here!   Lastly, it's bed time - and I do love our bedtime routine.  When she eats around 6 she stays up to play until around 7:45 and then she has a bath, which she LOVES!  Then it is time for jammies with daddy, and one last feeding to send her off to sweet sleep!




Now, Maggie will be four whole months this weekend!  I seriously cannot believe it.  I love my girl SO much!  I don't know how I imagined motherhood to be...not exactly like this, I'm sure, but I am so glad that it is this way!  Maggie is beautiful and fun and joyful and amazing!!  I can't wait to see how she grows and learns and changes.  She loves reading stories and singing and she rolled over at 6 weeks - what an Einstein!  Before I know it she will be sitting up and crawling and getting more hair and sleeping 12 hours and holy cow I'm so excited, but at the same time I can't believe how much she is already growing up so quickly!!  Thank you, Lord, for the great gift of Maggie Grace Wauhop.  Robert and I are so blessed!  We love you baby girl!