Category Archives: Baby Pictures

If I’m Absent in Body for Awhile…

Well, joy of joys, another baby has been born into this world, and happily this one is mine…or at least the daughter of my son and his wife!       Elanor has come to stay with Dan, Brianna, and Sameul. She looks a lot like Daniel did when he was a newborn; dark hair and C.U.T.E.! She’s our sixteenth grandbaby! If I don’t post as regularly for the next few weeks, know that even though I may be absent in body, I will continue to pray for you, as I hope you do for me.

Also, I’ve not really gone to heaven (may feel a little like it…), but I’m probably smiling broadly, rocking a baby or humming in the kitchen whilst preparing a meal (or snack). It’s a great joy to be a grandma…and so much easier than being the mama!  Now that Brianna’s back home, if Sammy needs a little firm love, I’ll have a backup! (Takes all the pain out of parenting. 🙂  )A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16:21).

 

Chocolate-on-the-Face Mousse…Guaranteed to Please

chocolate-on-the-faceWhen our kids were little, we had a secret password. Whenever someone knocked on our bedroom door, Alan would call out, “What’s the password?” If the child answered, “Chocolate on the face,” Alan would tell them they could come in, on the theory that any kid with chocolate on his (or her) face probably belonged to us.enjoying-chocolate-mousse                     Now we’re on to our next generation of chocolate lovers! baby-eating-chocolate-mousseI know I should be passing along healthy recipes for  things that are super nutritious, but given that last Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and today is Alan and my 44th anniversary, I thought it might not be too off side to share my favorite recipe for chocolate mousse, which is actually fairly healthy as far as desserts go, not to mention so elegant that people think it’s difficult to make (although it’s not, at least not the way I do it), and so delicious that kids will definitely end up with chocolate on their faces!

creamy-chocolate-mousseChocolate-on-the-Face Mousse

Boil 1/4 cup white sugar in 1/2 cup water until sugar has dissolved into syrup

Add 18 oz. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate, but dark works well too),
1 stick of butter
, and a pinch of salt. Heat and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Beat 4 eggs (yes, I use the whites and the yolks) with an electric mixer until frothy, then add  1 cup heavy whipping cream and whip until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the hot chocolate syrup in a small stream to the whipped mixture, continuing to whip everything together until it’s of one gloriously frothy, consistent texture. Immediately spoon into individual serving dishes and chill thoroughly. You can garnish with more whipping cream and shaved chocolate or fruit, but it’s pretty yummy just by itself! Also, this can be divided into 6-8 servings, depending on how much room you think people will have for dessert.

Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
(Psalm 145:16, speaking of God)

Introducing our Newest Little Miracle from Heaven: Marie

Grandma holds MarieWednesday, I wrote about Miracles from Heaven, but I believe there are miracles happening around us every day if we just stop to think about it. One of those miracles is our fifteenth grandchild, who made her appearance early this month, and this morning I wanted to share just a little bit about her.

Riding the Merry-Go-Round in Spokane WAMarie made her appearance later than anticipated, so I’d already arrived at Jon and Linda’s home, giving me some very special bonding time with their two girls. Making peach pieWe’d taken a motor home trip with them last summer, so Biggest Sister was already excited to see me, but it took Almost Big Sister a bit of time to take me in. Choosing items from a menuFunny how positive you can feel about being accepted as an appropriate mother substitute when it comes time for bathroom toiletries, isn’t it?!  🙂Meeting Baby SisterAt any rate, we had a wonderful time anticipating the arrival,
and meeting little Marie was such a blessing and joy! Newborn sleepingShe’s as pretty as a picture and as sweet as sugar. In the parking lotJonathan brought us over for a first precious visit at the hospital,
and since it was the day before Mama and Marie could really come home, Choosing Donuts with Dadhe then sponsored a birth day party for us, complete with donuts,Birthday Donut one with a candle on top! Watching Doctor check babyWhat a miracle each new child is, don’t you think? Holding Baby sisterWe could never create a baby, and yet, without even knowing how,
babies grow within the womb and come to birth.Back to Sleep It never ceases to amaze me and fill my heart with joy. Life is such a gift! Daddy's girlsWith every child, I think God is saying, “I love you! I love this child.”Taking turns holding new baby“Love this child with me, will you?” Praise God for children!Mother and Newborn BabyLo, children are an heritage of the Lord:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward
” (Psalm 127:3).

Struggling with the Straps

Baby playing with Mother's apron stringsWe had big plans for a double date with Dan and Brianna
to go out for Chicago-style pizza at Crust 54 in Holland (Michigan)
and take Baby Samuel for his first trip to the beach this spring… Baby standing by MamaHowever, Baby Samuel was not on board with the plan!

Baby not happy in car seatIn fact, he’s at that stage where being confined to his baby seat in the car just about tops out his list of least favorite ways to spend a minute, and he spent much of his time during the half-hour trip pulling at his straps, despite Brianna and I trying our best to distract him with songs and games. Baby trying to get straps off in car seatI will say, though, I admire his style! I’ve been with many a toddler who expresses his displeasure by screaming inconsolably at the top of his lungs from onset to offset of any automobile adventure. Samuel never cried at all…just kept pulling at his straps trying to figure out how to get them off. I wondered if his patience was the result of his 97-day stay in the NICU when he was a micro-preemie, or if he’s just blessed with a gentle disposition.

Chicago-style PizzaIn either case, he was eventually rewarded for his longsuffering
with some yummy tastes of pizza Mother with Baby at Holland State Parkand expansive views of more water
than he can probably ever remember seeing before. Baby sleeping in car seatOn the way home, he seemed more content
and let Brianna and me jolly him up much of the time before drifting off to sleep.

Father and Son at Holland State ParkWhat a good boy he is, and I dare say he conserved a lot of energy, since fussing and fuming wouldn’t have gotten him anything but exhausted on the way over to Holland State Park (which is along Lake Michigan; Southwest Michigan was settled largely by devout Dutch, and we are blessed by their faith-based, clean-living, industrious culture), and then he might have slept through all the fun. Baby riding quietly in car seat I would like to be like Samuel…patient in trials. Next time I’m subjected to something that stops my action and forces me to be still for awhile, I will try to remember the example of my grandson, who did everything he knew how to do but was quiet and largely uncomplaining. I’ll try to be content and wait to see what the surprising end of the journey will be.  First trip to Lake Michigan in the spring“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:5-8).

A Tale of Three Marathoners…from Chicago to Boston…and Back to Home!

Jess and Sam after the Boston MarathonDo you like running? Did you catch any of this week’s Boston Marathon? Boston MarathonI knew someone who was running this year, so I had a keen interest in the race, Baby Cheering her Daddy for the Boston Marathonbut it made me think about three other marathoners whom I admire
even though they weren’t running in the Boston Marathon. Baby with a Hat 1The first one is Jess, whose daughter’s cuteness (Sadie)
has adorned some of my Bless Your Baby entries. Marathon running coupleJess is totally delightful! She’s also a marathoner, and the story goes
that she and her husband, Sam, ran a marathon togetherBride and Bridegroom running a Marathon the morning before they got married. Doesn’t that put a big grin on your face? Baby with a Hat 2 Jess has set aside many of her personal ambitions in order to love her family, Baby on a jet planeand this past week she went with her husband and their little girl to Boston, Ready for the Boston Marathonwhere they cheered Sam on in the Boston Marathon. Way to go, Sam and Jess!! Baby with a Hat 3Life is a marathon, and you’re doing great! Luncheon TableLast week while Alan was at a conference in Chicago, Mom and Baby eatingI spent a blissful afternoon with Jess and Sadie, Sistersalong with two other women who are running a great race in life’s marathon.Green Rice with SaffronThe hostess, Marlene, is an Iranian Christian and always makes the most delectable, exotic meals. Baby with a Hat 4I won’t go into details, Iranean Soupbut the transition from Iran (many years ago) was at great cost to her family, and she still cares for an older brother who was never able to recover emotionally. Baby with Great AuntDespite the trials in her life, Marlene radiates a gentle kindness which makes me (and I suspect everybody else in her life space) feel dearly loved. Baby with her Great AuntShe’s the kind of woman I wish lived next door to me, and I envy her neighbors! Definitely one of those blessed, virtuous woman whose worth is far above rubies.

Lunch PartyMarlene’s sister-in-law is another rare gem. Lillian and her husband are caring for both her brother and her mother…and have been for years (in addition to rearing their own brood, a very demanding medical practice, and being very involved in their Messianic Jewish community, etc!). Baby with a Hat 5Their example of working tirelessly and extending grace to others is mind-boggling to me. I don’t think I had the metal to have lived such a rigorous, unselfish life of putting the needs of others ahead of my own. I know God certainly didn’t test me in that way. Baby with a Hat 6 At any rate, I was deeply touched by the experience of sharing an afternoon of life and love with these precious spiritual kin (same Father and all mothered by my spiritual mentor, Mommu). It was super fun, refreshing, and so encouraging!

Baby with a Hat 7Life is a long, hard marathon, isn’t it?  But, like Sadie, let’s just keep trying,
and in the end, everything will turn out right!    🙂   Baby with a Hat 8“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

P.S.—All the pictures of Jess, Sam, and Sadie (except for the pictures taken on the day of our visit last week) were taken and used by permission of Jess, who is very generous besides being so cool! Thank you!

Bless Your Baby: How to Use this Resource

Bless Your Baby is a resource developed over the years with the hopes of encouraging parents and caregivers to actively seek to bless their children, helping them grow strong physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have written a prayer, a thought, and a suggestion for interactive play appropriate for each day during an infant’s first year. These ideas were based on my own studies and from keeping diaries during the first year of life for each of my seven children. After my own kids started to grow up and have children of their own, I printed off copies of Bless Your Baby for them, but this past year I updated the thoughts and added pictures, mostly of my grandson Samuel, but including hundreds of pictures from many young friends and family members.

If you’re a new parent—or a caregiver who loves working with infants—I hope you are inspired by perusing Bless Your Baby. If you want ideas for a particular week or month, you can find them by clicking on the following links:

Week 1 (Month 1): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/bless-your-baby-first-week-first-month/

Week 2: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/bless-your-baby-second-week/

Week 3: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/bless-your-baby-third-week/

Week 4: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/bless-your-baby-fourth-week/

Week 5 (Month 2): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/bless-your-baby-fifth-week-second-month/

Week 6: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/bless-your-baby-sixth-week/

Week 7: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/bless-your-baby-seventh-week/

Week 8: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/bless-your-baby-eighth-week/

Week 9: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-their-ninth-week/

Week 10 (Month 3): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-10th-week/

Week 11: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-11th-week/

Week 12: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-their-twelfth-week/

Week 13: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-thirteenth-week/

Week 14 (Month 4): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fourteenth-week/

Week 15: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fifteenth-week/

Week 16: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-sixteenth-week/

Week 17: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-seventeenth-week/

Week 18 (Month 5): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eighteenth-week/

Week 19: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-nineteenth-week/

Week 20: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twentieth-week/

Week 21: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fifth-month-21st-week/

Week 22 (Month 6): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-22nd-week-sixth-month/

Week 23: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-23/

Week 24: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-24/

Week 25: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-25/

Week 26: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-26/

Week 27 (Month 7): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-7-week-27/

Week 28: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-28/

Week 29: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-29/

Week 30: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-30-rolling-grabbing-standing/

Week 31: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-31/

Week 32 (Month 8): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-eighth-month-week-32/

Week 33: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-33/

Week 34: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-34/

Week 35: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-35/

Week 36 (Month 9): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-nine-week-36/

Week 37: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-37/

Week 38: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ninth-month-week-38/

Week 39: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ninth-month-week-39/

Week 40 (Month 10): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-40/

Week 41: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-41/

Week 42: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-42/

Week 43 (Month 11): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-a-ten-month-old-week-43/

Week 44: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ten-month-old-week-44/

Week 45 (Month 11): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-45/

Week 46: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-46/

Week 47: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-47/

Week 48: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-48/

Week 49 (Month 12): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-49/

Week 50: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-50/

Week 51: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-51/

Week 52: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-52/

P.S.—If you enjoy this book and end up taking some cute photographs of yourself and your baby trying out some of the suggested activities, please let me know! If you’d like to have your pictures included in this book, send me copies, and I’ll try to add them in where appropriate.

May God bless you as you bless your baby!

Bless Your Baby: Celebrating the End of Baby’s First Year…And Photo Credits

Mother and Baby365. Celebrating Baby’s Specialness

“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge.”
Psalm 62:7

PRAYER: Oh, Lord, thank you for being my salvation, my glory, my strength, and my refuge. Truly you are all I need and want…and more than I can even imagine! I love you!

THOUGHT: As you end this year, I want to share something I learned from Jim Turner’s wonderful seminar on Creating Intimacy in Marriage. It’s the AWE principle: keep a spirit of awe in your home. In all you do, may you shower your spouse and children with Affection, Warmth, and Encouragement. Isn’t this just what our precious Lord does for us? He is our haven of salvation, our glory, strength, and refuge. Try to be like him. Try it…you’ll like it. Try it, and your family will love it!

How they've grown!ACTIVITY: Almost one year old! Are you planning a special outing or birthday party for Baby? How about a special event called “Queen (or King) for a Day”? This can be done either by yourself, with your husband too, or with a good friend. Over the course of a relaxed day, try videotaping a minute of each of Baby’s normal activities (or snapping pictures). Ideally, you could include such things sleeping, waking from sleep, being rocked back to sleep, nursing, eating, playing alone or various games with a parent, bathing, walking, swinging, exercising, reading, or whatever routines are part of Baby’s normal day. Be sure to include shots of all family members, favorite toys, views of your home, yard, and car (if you own one), what it looks like out in your neighborhood, your church or other places where you go each week, etc. If you own your own video camera, and Daddy is game, you could take a free day and work on it as a couple. That would be ideal, because then both Mom and Dad could be featured with Baby in your keepsake.

Judah eating cake366. Happy Birthday to Baby!

“Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” Isaiah 44:24

PRAYER: Dear Father, after an entire year of cherishing my new baby, I have such a deeper appreciation for what it means to be able to call you “Father.” Having a child of my own to love and care for makes me understand your perfection…your love, your patience, your protection, your unending desire for my growth and goodness. Thank you for being my father! Thank you for loving me and my family. May each member of our family experience Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, so that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height… and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God! (Ephesians 3:17-19)

THOUGHT: I see that as the book ends, I’m wanting to stuff in all the last minutes bits of wisdom I can think of! When I edited this last piece, my husband and I were attending the Internal Medicine Review and Update at Harvard, and in one of the lectures, the point was made that “Happy moms make for happy children.” This is so simple, but so profound, and I can’t emphasis enough the importance of the mother’s happiness in providing for a stable home environment and being a blessing to your Baby! Marriage is tremendously hard work, and relationships are extremely challenging, but always remember that God created us as social beings and the “messes are worth making!” Never give up working on your marriage and home.

ACTIVITY: Wondering what to get Baby for a birthday present? What about a bird feeder? There are few things any more exciting to babies than little creatures that move and make interesting noises, and birds are among the most graceful and melodious of creatures, so of course they are thrilling to watch! Also, birds outside are relatively carefree…almost “pets without problems.” Consider buying a book with pictures of birds or setting up a bird feeder outside your favorite picture window. Learn about birds yourself, and share Baby’s excitement over these delicate marvels of God’s creativity!

Birthday balloon and Baby367. Now He is One

“O magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together!” Psalm. 34:3

PRAYER: Oh, Father, what can we say? Thank you for this amazing, crazy, impossibly hard and impossibly wonderful year! Life will never be the same. Thank you for all we’ve learned, for all the times you’ve rescued us, for everything…both the pains and the joys. Thank you for your faithfulness. Truly, you are the beginning and the ending. Thank you that with every ending, there is a new beginning. Baby will never be an infant again, but now he will enter the Wonderful World of One and a new chapter in our family’s life. Thank you for giving us this incredible privilege. Truly, you are good. We worship you because you are the great “Amen.” Amen, and amen!

THOUGHT: Have you had a wonderful year? One of the best and hardest in your life? May you be blessed as you go on in your adventure of “training up your child in the way he should go,” and may you find that as a result, when your baby grows up he will not depart from God’s way of truth and goodness! May he be a blessed child and a blessing to all those around him! Amen.

ACTIVITY: Have you given Baby a punch ball yet? A punch ball attached by a sturdy rubber band to Baby’s arm (not too tightly…recheck every little bit) can make a great toy that can’t escape during outdoor play. A helium balloon serves much of the same purpose, but a punch ball is sturdier and can withstand hitting the ground or being rolled upon. But…say…I’m getting ahead of myself. Are you ready for the next book, or are you ready for a break?                                                                        Love to you from me!

Baby Feet“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

Suggested Reading and Resource List:

Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love, by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D., and Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D.

Baby Play:100 Fun-Filled Activities to Maximize Your Baby’s Potential, by Dr. Wendy S. Masi and Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman

EnchantedLearning.com

How to Have a Smarter Baby, by Dr. Susan Ludington-Hoe

Teach Your Baby, by Dr. Genevieve Painter

What’s Going on in There?, by Lise Eliot, Ph.D.

What to Expect the First Year, by Arlene Eisenbery, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway

 

Babies starring in these daily devotional are from the hearts of:
Daniel and Brianna
Seth and Bethany
Daniel and Melissa
Paul and Andrea
Gene and Andrea
Aaron and Carleen
Michael and Grace
Jonathan and Gerlinde
Jessica and Samuel
Jonathan and Juli
Lara and Andrew
Chris and Phil
Lydia and Zack
Marissa Rose and

Thank you, thank you, to each of you for your help and contributions, especially Daniel and Brianna, who never grew impatient and were always ready to help!