Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Therapy

What Ryland and I do every week now :-)
I shared earlier that Ryland was assessed after his second birthday because he was not speaking very much. It was determined that he had a severe speech and social delay. The speech made sense and I was not shocked to hear because my two year old said about 8 to 10 words and not very consistently.
Every week Ryland, London and I get a visit from Tori, our developmental specialist and Cara our speech therapist. We have had three weeks of appointments now and Ryland has added about 8-10 more words and now says two words together. He started saying "no da" when dad is not around and today he actually said "dump truck." Socially, Ryland has started to interact with me a lot more. There is a lot of smiling and eye contact in our play and we spend much more time in our day playing interactive games together where we both have to be involved. With other children it still takes him awhile to warm up and want to be involved with other children. He is still very content playing by himself which also might be a sign just how our little guy likes to play. He does not ignore the other children like they don't exist. He sees them, smiles at them, sometimes babbles but just loves to do his own thing.
We are also being more consistent with play dates with children closer to his age who can talk....so let me know if you want to play!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Over

Well technically there are two hours left but I am off to bed so I do not think I will have any spending money issues. So who wants to bet that I blow all of Matt's paycheck tomorrow in one day? Naaaaaaaa..... :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There is a Light

Kinda weird that there are only five days left to our 90 day spending fast. Of course I cheated to go see New Moon this last Friday (and so did my husband...hee hee). The past 85 days started out sooooo slow....it seemed like I would never be able to spend money again. Now I don't even think about it. The other day I walked into Target, picked up my prescription and walked out. It wasn't till I was back in the car that I realized how my shopping mentality has thankfully changed. I have learned what to do with two little kids that does not mean going out and spending money. I have learned that I should go pick up dinner when it has been a tired, exhausting, hard day. Not just because I am craving something different and want to get out of the house. I have missed getting out with my friends and meeting up to eat or get coffee but also found that it was easy to get around the money issue. Matt and I's date nights are about spending time together and seeing friends...not about eating out.
These last 85 days have been some of the best and hardest of my life....seriously...and it had NOTHING to do with money but God knew I was waiting on Him and listening to Him so He worked in me since He had my undivided attention. I was approached with the opportunity to open my own business!!!! Thats AMAZING and still the whole process in which it happened blows me away...Ryland was evaluated and was diagnosed with a severe speech and social delay and is now receiving services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Three letters I have used in my line of work that I never wanted to hear in my own home. God held my hand and helped me cry out to safe, loving, strong people who have just listened and come along side me through this. These have been some of the best and worst 85 days. Thanks for coming on this journey with us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Special Needs



My heart is sad but hopeful

-and thankfully-

My God is huge, powerful, aware, and strong just for me

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"But As For You, Pursue Gentleness"

1 Timothy 6:11
"but as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness."

This morning an old friend texted me and asked if I had an email in my sent files from like two and half years ago and if I could send it to him. As I pulled up my yahoo account and sent him the email, I was so caught off guard as I read some of my sent emails for years past. My heart sank and I began to tear up because of the lack of gentleness in my responses and posture with friends, family, and fellow believers.

After awhile, I stopped reading, and feeling utterly defeated, I opened my bible, started to read and I thanked God for all of the painful and broken moments over the last few years He has taken me through, in order to break me. He has birthed in me a more gentle spirit, a more Christ-centered approach to how I interact and serve others.

It was a catch 22. I hated reading a few of those old emails, but I love seeing God's faithfulness in my life over time. It's hard to see sometimes, but today I had a glimpse into my old self...

Lord, let me continue to pursue living a life of a servant and help me tomorrow to put on the new self.

grace and peace,
matt

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Matt and I's first Trick-or-Treating experience as parents. We got Ryland all decked out with some stuff from one of his favorite movies right now - Cars! We went out in my parent's neighborhood. We made it to about 4 or 5 houses then Ryland decided to lay down on the sidewalk. It was obvious at this point Trick-or-Treating was over but we had a lot of fun for our first adventure. Next year we will definitely have both children in costumes :-)


Checking Out the candy at grammie and papa's house...contemplating this Halloween thing!


The full Lighting McQueen Pit Crew Outfit


Ryland at his first house wanting to take more candy!!!

P.S. We were excited that Ryland still does not know what candy is...so when my parents ran out of candy, we started handing out Rylands. Maybe he will actually get to try some next year.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Perfection

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

This challenge has reminded me that I am not perfect. Also that the goal of this challenge was to not be perfect. There is a side of me, a deep, dark, ugly side I try not to show that wanted to be perfect in this. I wanted to get done with this 90 day challenge and say...Look at me! Look at how good I did. I was able to not spend any discretionary money for 90 days. God is moving me and changing me to realize that was not the true intent. I have seen God, felt God, been blessed by God, been challenged in life more in these 90 days than I ever would have thought. And I now realize I would have probably missed it all. I would not have been focusing on God's hand in my life as much as I am right now because of this "silly" money challenge. This has made me focus my life completely around my God. I am very grateful to be able to witness Gods hand in my life, my husbands life, my children's lives as it happens instead of always looking back on things and later realizing God was at work. This has been one of those hidden blessings that I am happy to have experienced.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Beginnings

I resigned last Thursday from Phoenix Christian Counseling Associates. My big news is that around January 2010 I will be opening my own counseling business. I am going into private practice. I am so stoked and so unbelievably amazed that I even have this opportunity. A woman I work with at PCCA, her husband is a Dr. who has his own practice in the Arcadia area, off of 48th Street and Indian School. He has vacant offices right now and heard that I was thinking of leaving PCCA. This space has been offered to me and his wife so we have decided to go into business together. I am so excited to be working closer to home and to be able to see more clients without having to drive across town to do that. I have worked a total of 3 and a half years at PCCA so leaving is not easy but Matt and I have been praying about me going out on my own for months now and cannot ignore that God is moving me in this direction....YEAH!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

???? Down and way too many days to go :-)

I have made a few more poor decisions in the last two weeks. First I got sick, then I got both of my kids sick....so the last two weeks have been pretty unbearable. I found that to make things easier or to brighten up my day I got some fast food. I think in the last two weeks I grabbed food three times. Oh...and with my "new" dairy allergy, that was added to the mix in the last two weeks. Life has just been hard and I felt like quite a bit had been thrown at me. I am definitely not trying to justify anything, it has just been a few hard weeks :-)
It is strange to me that I keep cheating with food. I have been so tempted to go to the store and go shopping....shopping for ANYTHING and yet I resist that. The hardest thing to follow is not adding to our grocery bill. I have to constantly remind myself there is no need to grab food when there is plenty of food at home.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Taste of Fellowship


Last night a few of us gathered to eat, fellowship, laugh, play catan, and most importantly hold Keane for the first time. I watched as each of his kingdom aunts and uncles held him and stared into his eyes. It was a worshipful evening....

I continue to learn everyday what true fellowship looks like. God, thank you for your deep love for us, so that we might know how to give love to all who need it. Let us be moving closer to your heart.


grace and peace,
matt

Monday, September 28, 2009

Food Allergies??

This post is a shout out to all of you out there who have already had to brave the world of a food allergy. I personally do not have a food allergy and have never had to think much about what I eat and how it might affect me. That was until I started nursing. For the past three months I have been off dairy. I have been avoiding "obvious" dairy. Like milk and all cheeses. London has been doing better because of this but this past weekend was a nightmare. Her tummy seems to hurt all the time. So I was advised to take the next step and actually eliminate all dairy. After doing my homework I realized that dairy is in almost everything we eat. They hide it in words like whey, casein, lactose, recaldent. Did you know that even lunch meat has dairy in it? I went food shopping last night so I could start stocking my shelves with dairy free friendly food so I would not cheat because of lack of options. It is overwhelming to read all the labels...it was a very long food shopping trip for four bags of food. The other thing I realized, because I have a friend with a legume (soy) allergy....THERE IS SOY IN EVERYTHING ALSO. I also found it interesting that you would find a food not containing milk or soy or gluten, but then at the bottom of the container they advise you that the food you are about to eat was packaged at a plant that also packages food that contains soy, or nuts, or gluten...so it would be in your food. Very challenging!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

27 down, 63 to go

We're 27 days into our 90 day spending fast. It has been filled with challenging moments...Some we've failed in and some we've met head on. We have spent money 3 times. One time it was my slip up and the other two were both of us convincing each other it was ok.

During this whole experience, I have really sensed the Lord, continuing to whisper to me. Thoughts and questions that have really come to the surface:

Is that really a need or is it a want?
Can you live without it?
Why is this so hard?

I have been blessed in some incredible ways this last 4 weeks. Not so much financially, but in much more spiritual ways. I'm finding my times with the Lord throughout my day are much sweeter, much more intimate....Not sure why not spending money on needless things has done this, but I'm sure it has something to do with God saying, "I am your portion, and I am ALL you need."

We will continue to share our journey through this and hope it calls us deeper into His story and encourages the body of Christ.

grace and peace,
matt

p.s. on a side note, one of the times we cheated and ate out for 15 dollars happen to be the worst chinese food we've ever had...go figure. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Girls


Our friend Tobi took this....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

15 down, 75 to go

I am at day 15 of our 90 day spending fast. So what has it been like so far? For me, it has been quite a challenge. I had a friend ask me the first weekend, if I have always enjoyed spending money and if I have always found pleasure in it? The question caught me completely off guard because I am so FRUGAL!!! I have used that word to describe myself so many times in my life. So her next questions was, when did it change for you? I am so glad God used her to ask me that question because I dont know if I would have realized there had been a drastic change, I started enjoying spending money and going out and buying useful stuff two to three times a week.....WHEN I BECAME A STAY-AT-HOME-MOM. I think it is because I am bored. So I decide to take the kids to the mall or run an errand at Target, or go grab lunch just to get out of the house. These first two weeks have been very introspective for me.

Struggles:
Not being able to get lunch when I am bored
Staying away from Target
My brothers birthday was last week, so I made him cookies instead of buying a gift

New Things:
I went to the Library and got a Library card. I can now read new books without having to buy them at the bookstore. I am also going to go and check out free children's activities they have to offer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday Surprise


Adrienne and I were letting Ryland play on the stage Sunday like usual and all of the sudden we both look over and this is what we saw.... 

We both starting laughing hysterically. He was singing right into the microphone just like his daddy. As we talked it was so funny to us because we've never showed him that.....He just had seen me lead worship and picked it up. It was a fun moment for our family.

grace and peace,
Matt

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reminder To You And Me


I have friends both near and far going nuts over the health reform debate. It's a serious topic, so I understand why....Over the years, I've learned on these kinds of sensitive topics to try and not debate until both parties have researched....but even then when the research is cnn or fox only, it gets kinda funny and sad debating. This is a reminder to me and to my friends as I did during the elections back in 08...Check your facts before you speak with such passion and your ready to call the other person an idiot. This stuff is splitting friendships and even families......

Let's also remember Jesus has called us to love one another. Speak truth, but make sure it's truth before your willing to die on a hill for it. 

Hear my heart. Both conservatives and liberals are literally nuts right now. This is a pursuit of gathering the best information possible and then forming a passionate response, not the other way around.

Below is a post from the AARP, debunking many rumors about the actual reform trying to be passed and below that are some non-partisan websites that pursue the accurate story debunking both Republicans and Democrats...



grace and peace,
Matt

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Next 90 Days

Technically, this post should have been written on September 1st.... :)

Matt and I are embarking on a 90 day spending fast. I'm not quite sure if that is the right term for it, but let me explain what we are doing. We've both realized that it gets so easy to spend money without even giving it much thought and we both sense the Lord challenging us to live with a more Kingdom perspective especially with our money. In the past few months there have been a few moments of need in our friends around us where we wished/hoped we could have helped more with that need. God placed this desire in us to bless others but because of our lack of stewardship with our money we weren't able to bless those around us fully. Money will only be spent on:

1. monthly bills
2. giving/tithing 
3. groceries
4. gas

In essence, we've taken away our ability for discretionary spending. Our hope is to listen more closely to what God wants for us in ALL areas of our life, so that we might be more Kingdom minded.

Please pray for us. We say this with a smile because at times this will be a challenge for us....We will be blogging once a week about our journey through this.

grace and peace,
Matt and Adrienne (written together)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BIG GUY

Ryland's Second Birthday - "Cars Themed"
August 21, 2009







Friday, August 21, 2009

Keane Malachi Bergmen


Welcome Keane. You will be loved.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul


An innovator in the music and recording world died today at 94. Les Paul was an incredible guitar player and inventor. He developed and introduced multi track recording, delay effects, and overdubbing to the recording world in the 1940's and 50's and changed how we record and listen to music forever. He was also a pioneer in the development of the solid body electric guitar, changing rock music forever. Even at 94 years of age he played guitar with his jazz trio every monday night in New York city at the famed Iridium Jazz club on broadway. He was an incredible example of a man who worked hard his entire life. He will be missed.

Jesus, may I pursue you and my life with that much passion and intensity. 

grace and peace,
Matt

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top Ten of 2009


William Fitzsimmons is one of my favorite new artists. His record, "The Sparrow and The Crow," has been on constant rotation since I picked it up earlier this year. He tackles some really heavy issues on this record. Divorce and the death of his dad.

Even with the weight of these topics, there is an underlining hope in the record. I suggest you pick it up here.

grace and peace,
Matt

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

10 Years


Adrienne and I celebrated 10 years of marriage last week and 14 years of dating. True love, true work, true commitment. 

to my lovely bride and my best friend, oh, how I love thee.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CJ and Renee' Bergmen


Our dear friends C.J. and Renee' Bergmen have a recent blog post I would like you to read here. If you feel led to join in the story He is telling through their lives, please do. If you cannot give financially, please join us in prayer and tell their story to a friend.

grace and peace,
Matt

Friday, July 17, 2009

Date Night


I had another great date night with my wife this week. Dinner and then The Fray, Jacks Mannequin, and Meese show at Dodge. I love being married to my best friend and am blessed to celebrate 10 years of marriage with her this month. Love you babe!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My summer so far :-)

Here are some pictures of the kids and what they have been up to this last month.

Ryland and one of his many many towers


I tried to get creative and made a water area for Ryland on our patio




Sitting in his water bucket


Ryland wanting to play with London's Toys


Matt and London

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacation


We're actually on a vacation. We're in Austin for a week, eating, laughing, and loving on my family. Adrienne, Ryland, London, and I are spending some much needed time away with my brother, sister, mom, and all of their families. I love them all and I LOVE Austin.

grace and peace,
Matt

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Week, Not Bad.



Kings of Leon, Paramore, and No Doubt all in one week. Man, I have been on cloud 9.

grace and peace,
Matt

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friends that Bless



Yesterday our good friends Sean and Cate Johnson, and their 3 adorable daughters stopped by the house to bring us dinner. Sean and I have been friends for over a decade and have been through plenty together. He's a man who challenges me to always look deeper and Adrienne and I have known Cate since high school. Cate is an incredible women who loves the Lord and her family. She also has a great eye for photography (she took the above photos.) 

Sean and Cate are friends who bless. They go out of their way to serve people in need. Yesterday, we we're bless by a simple gesture of making us dinner and spending sometime laughing and living life together. For years we prayed for their girls to come home and now each time we get to spend with the Johnson's is a reminder of God's faithfulness and His provision. 

To the Johnson's. Thank you for being friends who bless. 

grace and peace,
Matt

Thursday, May 7, 2009

London Ellyn Gibson

                 Adrienne meeting London

    Daddy and his baby girl!

    So much love


Ryland and London meeting for the first time

     My Family

London is here. She arrived Tuesday, May 5th at 9:55am. My baby girl was 6lbs 6oz and she was 17 and 3/4 inches in length. Adrienne did end up having a V-BAC (Vaginal Birth After Ceserian) and did incredible. Thank you everybody for your prayers. They were felt. 

grace and peace,
matt