6 Months – Foundations of Parenting

It’s official Charlie is half a year old!  We have a six month old. Thursday was her half birthday.  I really can’t comprehend how this happened.  These 6 months have been smiley, exhausting, teaching, grace-filled, and an absolute memory making jackpot.

Over these last 6 months we have been learning and growing and coming together as a family.  The fact is WAY too much has happened for me to scratch the surface, so instead I want to focus on the best parenting advice that we have been given.

We have the great examples of our own parents, the support of our peers, and the Bible to guide us as we learn to parent and raise Charlie.  She is not terrible two-year-old, a threenager, or even an actual teenager yet (it will be sooner than we know!); however, now is when we start laying the foundation for the road we are headed down as parents.

As we lay this foundation here are the four key tid bits that float around in my head and guide my daily decisions with Charlie:

“A lot of things can wait while you’re holding your kids.”

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“Just be kind to one another.” (That one is actually some marriage advice that we were given, but I think that it definitely applies to parenting).

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23

What this all boils down to is priorities.  These last 6 months Charlie doesn’t know it, but she has been transforming our priorities.  Our aim is to have God first followed by family and then everything else.  That means when Charlie is napping, I do my devotions before I do the laundry.  When she’s awake, I play with her, focus on making her day great before I focus on making mine great.  If she and I get the house all clean and Izzy’s fur tumbleweeds vacuumed up that’s an A++ for us, but if all we do is snuggle because she’s having an off day, well that’s an A++ too.

No matter my mood or her mood God gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace every day to help me be the best mom I can be that day.  Good day or bad day – I try my best to treasure them because the days can be long but the years are short.  When none of us got much sleep and when we are all well rested, we focus on being kind to each other and to Charlie.  Kindness makes the good days sweeter and redeems the hard days.  Just remember – it’s easier to clean up spilled milk than repair hurt feelings.

I do not follow these pillars perfectly.  Some days I see chores undone and feel I failed.  Other days I sit back and think it doesn’t matter if the dish washer was unloaded, if dinner was only 2 stars, and the laundry wasn’t folded because I focused on my family and on loving them like Jesus would.

I love watching Charlie learn and grow, and I am learning and growing right beside her.

Lessons from the First 10 Weeks with Charlie

These last ten weeks have been so full of wonderful moments, lessons learned, laughs laughed, frustrating moments, and lots of learning to do things one-handed.

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I don’t know how Charlie was ever inside of me, but she was.  The weirdest part is how not weird it is for her to be here.  It’s just natural, like she was always supposed to be here with us.  Things are different, but the change has been natural.  We are still learning how to go out for dinner, how to help each other with her, and how to get places on time (why is that such a struggle?!).

But if I had to say how we are doing overall, I would say that as a family we are doing great!  As a married couple, Will and I are finding an even deeper love and appreciation for each other. It’s  heart melting to watch each other parent and nurture our daughter.  As far as babies go, Charlie is pretty awesome!  She sleeps through the night most nights and makes hilarious faces.  She rocked the baby acne for a while and now has outgrown that and moved onto cradle cap.  Charlie plays in the bath tub now, has a favorite spot on the couch, has a favorite toy (Mr. Monkey), likes to suck on frozen pacifiers, and she enjoys running with me!

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When I look at Charlie, play with her, put her down for the night – I see all of the ways she’s growing and changing. Then I wash her laundry and think to myself  “surely she can’t fit these tiny clothes anymore.”  But you know what; she does!  Somehow she still does.

The Lesson

Above all the ways to sooth her, all the things I can now do one handed, the best thing I have learned is being in the moment.  When Charlie is awake the rest of my to do list becomes shockingly insignificant.  When Charlie is crying, figuring out how to make everything better is top priority.  When Charlie is smiling and playing everything else just fades away, and a perfect hour passes in the blink of an eye.

So in the end, I guess all of the lessons learned from the first 10 weeks with Charlie boil down to one thing. It’s like my mom always says – So many things can wait while you hold your children.

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Prayer Requests for Going to Haiti

Going to Haiti

As many of you know, Devra and I will be leaving for Haiti this weekend.  We have so many things left to do before we go!  We are excited about this trip, and are praying that God will use us while we are there.

Going to Haiti

I doubt that we will have access to the internet while we are in country, so we would like to leave prayer requests here for anyone that would pray for our trip.

  1. Keep the stress level low, as we pack and get ready to leave.  Will works until the wee hours of the morning the day that we leave, so time is short.  Devra has a lot of homework to finish that is due while we are on the trip.
  2. Safe travel for the team.  We are flying into Miami Saturday afternoon, sleeping there, and then departing to Haiti (Cap Haitien) Sunday morning.
  3. That the team would keep in good health! And not be bitten by very many mosquitos.
  4. That we would be stripped of our own expectations of the trip, and be open to whatever it is that is needed when we arrive.  It sounds like we will be spending the majority of our time with the students (K-12) – whether that be playing with them or teaching English.
  5. Servants’ hearts.
  6. That we would be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Haiti.
  7. Good stories to encourage you all with once we return.
Going to Haiti
Our friends had a prayer night to send us off all covered in God’s love and protection.

As you read scripture, you see snapshots of the global church – Paul writing to his church plants.  We would love to be able to feel connected to the global church again, and we think this is our opportunity to do so.  Please be praying for our hearts and minds to be open as we follow through on this call to Haiti!

And for all of you who have helped us get here and are helping send us off – Thank you! We wouldn’t be here without your support.

Going to Haiti (3)

Year 3 – Leather Anniversary

Year 3 Wedding Anniversary

Year 3 - Colorado
These are the Leather Luggage tags we got for our Colorado adventure to celebrate our leather anniversary.

I remember writing last year for our anniversary, that not a lot that had changed on the outside part of our lives… the part that everyone gets to see.  Year 3 was different.  In fact, the majority of the landmark happenings of year 3 were the type that everyone gets to see – at least those that keep up with us regularly.

We made the largest purchase of our life this year – we bought a house!  Home ownership is awesome – even if your furnace goes out in the middle of winter (right after you buy the house).

Sold  (2)

We bought a new car for Will (Robert Red-ford) after his car Eddie, may he rest in peace, died.

We opened our home to a couple of roommates, which has enriched our lives in a way that is difficult to express.  Let’s just say that life is best lived in community – even it means late nights sometimes.

#thePomeroyDen
#thePomeroyDen

We got to go on a mini vacation to Colorado, which was a major goal for us to do last year, and we signed up for a short-term mission trip to Haiti, another goal we had set. Travel and missions are two of our passions/values that’s we don’t want to lose touch with.

Year 3 - Colorado Year 3 - Colorado

mission trip to Haiti
This is where we will be going. Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

I know it may sound repetitive, but possibly the biggest obstacle of our relationship in year 3 was communication.   Buying a home changed our lives, but the learning how to communicate our wants and needs to each other during that process will last us much longer than the house will.  Having roommates has given us another avenue to better our communication – especially about who parks where in the driveway every night!  It also has helped us to cherish our time together and communicate more effectively in those moments.

Year 3 - Colorado marriage Year 3 - Colorado

We learned a lot about how to be on each other’s side in year 2, but in year 3 we got to live it out.   We have encouraged each other in our personal goals (like Devra’s marathon and school), supported each other professionally (as Will was promoted to department head at Home Depot and starting a business together), learned how to be a shoulder for each other to lean on in the midst of adversity,and perhaps most valuably we’ve learned how to be loyal and supportive of each other even when we don’t agree. We are each other’s best friend and biggest ally.

Year 3 - Colorado Year 3 - Colorado

In summary, Year 3 has been a year of action; a year of putting into action all of the values and passions we spent years 1 & 2 formulating.  It’s not standing for it if you don’t live it out.

All things considered… we love each other very much.  Love is still a choice, and we continue to learn how to best show that love to each other.  We’ve made great strides in not going to sleep angry and being kind to one another… just like my grandpa taught us.

Year 3 - Colorado Wedding

(more on our 3 year wedding anniversary trip to come in a later post)

The Pomeroys are Heading South – Mission Trip to Haiti

mission trip to Haiti

The Pomeroy’s have some exciting news!

We are going on a mission trip to Haiti with a team from our home church, Southland Christian Church in September!

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20).  We want to live out this command.  You may or may not know that we met while serving in China. We have had the opportunity to minister here locally, but we have not been able to reach out beyond our borders since before we were married.

We feel like God has called us to be involved in what He is doing globally and we are really excited to walk obediently through this opportunity to serve in Haiti.

mission trip to Haiti
This is where we will be going. Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

We are going to work with a Haitian man named Hughes, who after going to school in America felt the call of God to go back to his people.  Hughes has a vision to reach the people of Haiti with the love of God by teaching them to be sustainable. He has an orchard, an elementary school, a vocational school, and a bakery.  His vision is to educate and equip the people of Haiti while guiding them with Christian principles and sharing the Gospel with them.

We will be going to serve Hughes and his ministry in any way possible.  Will is really excited to use his passion for agriculture and self-sustainability to help Hughes and the people of Haiti, and Devra is hoping to get into the bakery.  No matter where they put us to work, we know it will be a blessing to that ministry.

The dates for the trip are September 12th – September 19th, and will cost $4,000.  As we step out in faith by committing to go on this trip, we need prayer and financial partners to turn this trip into a reality.

If you would like to partner with us financially, please make checks payable to Southland Christian Church and do not write our names in the memo line.  You can mail checks back to us or to Southland (with a note saying the check is for Will & Devra Pomeroy’s Haiti Mission Trip) at Attn: Mark Perraut PO BOX 23338, Lexington, KY 40523.

Thank you so much for being a part of our lives, and for partnering with us to see the Good News spread.  If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at (thepomeroylife@gmail.com).

We will be very busy getting shots, malaria medicine, meeting with our team, praying, and fundraising over the next few weeks leading up to this trip. Stay tuned  for updates!  And for those of you who feel called to partner with us in prayer and/or finances – thank you!

Will and Devra Pomeroy

2014 in Review

2014 has been whirlwind of a year, and it was a year of beginnings for many of our friends, filled with weddings and children!  We are so very blessed to have a community to share our lives with.  2014 was also a year of beginnings for us.  

From our Christmas Card Photo Shoot with some good and precious friends.
From our Christmas Card Photo Shoot with some good and precious friends.

 

As many of you know, Will took a part-time job at Home Depot last February while finishing up his thesis.  He has received two promotions since then and is now a full-time supervisor in the flooring department.  While not in his field of study, he is able to help people every day… and there is something to be said for that.  He seems to be a great fit for the business, and we are hopeful/excited about the possibility of building a career of sorts there.

Throwback to Valentines Day when   Will got a job at Home Depot.  It's on the Wall of Gratefulness in our house =)
Throwback to Valentines Day when Will got a job at Home Depot. It’s on the Wall of Gratefulness in our house =)

Devra is still working at Summit Engineering as the administrative assistant; she enjoys her job.  What’s new for her, though, is that she has started going back to school working towards a Dietetics degree.  Her love for cooking combined with her dietary restrictions are what spurred her interest, and she hopes to use the degree to help people get/remain healthy… starting with William!

We had the opportunity to travel some this year, albeit mostly for friend’s weddings.  VA Beach, NYC, Nashville, Knoxville and of course Kansas.  We love to travel, but did not have much opportunity to do so outside of weekend trips this year.  We hope to head out west for a vacation in 2015 and/or go on a short term mission trip with our church.

I have never been happier at a wedding (other than my own).
I have never been happier at a wedding (other than my own).
Will's Best friend Jared's wedding in VA Beach with an added day long layover in NYC!
Will’s Best friend Jared’s wedding in VA Beach with an added day long layover in NYC!

We are heavily considering putting down roots in Lexington, it is a great town that has the perfect mix of city and countryside.  We’ve started looking at houses, but none of them seem to be a perfect fit yet.  We are patiently waiting for the right one.

The major theme we have seen for 2014 is that God has provided for us time and time again.  He always seems to send us what we need, just in time.  Sometimes that’s a letter from family, a promotion at work, or even a text from a friend.  God is good.

God is so good that He sent us His Son.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”    ~Isaiah 9:6-7

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s to you and yours!

Love & Prayers,

William & Devra

our Christmas card this year.
our Christmas card this year.

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An Achievable Advent Calendar

Growing up my mom had this wall hanging of the Nativity with 25 little rings on it.  We had several little pieces of paper with our favorite holiday activities on them, and we tie one piece of paper to each ring.  It was our advent calendar.

Advent

Unfortunately, as I got older we got busier, and keeping up with the advent calendar was hard to do…. unfortunately it was usually the “make fudge” day that was let go by the wayside. Dang.  I am making up for it with the fudge in our fridge now!

I thought it would be fun to test out the idea of an Advent Calendar in our family this year, but I know that Will and I would never be able to achieve such a lofty goal of 1 thing everyday leading up to Christmas. That would be more of a stress of the season than a savoring of the season.  So I made this little calendar for us.  It has two things for each week; that’s much more practical. The other thing I did was try to relate each holiday activity to an attribute of Jesus; after all, He is the “Reason for the Season.”

This is our little calendar:

Advent 3

You can download it for yourself, or download a blank one and make your own.

 

Catching Snowflakes on Thanksgiving!
Catching Snowflakes on Thanksgiving!

What are some of your favorite holiday activities?

Munchie Monday >> Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie

For as long as I can remember I have either helped make or been completely responsible for making the pumpkin pie in my family for the holidays, especially on Christmas.   For the last several years my mom and I have been using this recipe that she found in a holiday Sam’s Club catalog.  It makes a delicious, deep, custardy pie, and the best part is that it’s all from scratch!

last year's pie at Christmas
last year’s pie at Christmas

This weekend some of our friends organized a Friendsgiving potluck meal.  I am so grateful for our community, and what better way to cherish and celebrate good community than with a ton of good food?!  Our friends are an extension of our family, and I was so excited to have a chance to make my family’s pumpkin pie for them.

I have never made this recipe with canned pumpkin puree.  I always use homemade.  If you have never made homemade pumpkin puree before, don’t sweat it.  It really isn’t hard.  Takes some time and getting your hands dirty, but it’s not hard.  Here’s a good post from the Pioneer Woman on how to do it. (Oh I got to see her like at the Kentucky Proud IncrEDIBLE food show as part of my birthday! Thanks Dara!)

You can buy the Sugar Baby/Pie Pumpkins at he grocery store in the fall, but I like to pick them up at the orchard when Will and I go for Apple Fest. Here are some pictures from my pureeing experience:

pumpkin pie 3

oiled and ready to bake (the foil makes for easier cleanup)
oiled and ready to bake (the foil makes for easier cleanup)
a can has about 1 1/2 cups, so when I freeze my pumpkin puree I try to use the same amount as a can has for easy substituting in recipes.
a can has about 1 1/2 cups, so when I freeze my pumpkin puree I try to use the same amount as a can has for easy substituting in recipes.

From Scratch Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

Crust:

Follow the instructions in this recipe, but make the measurements a little larger:

  • 1 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cold Shortening (or use half shortening & half butter)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I like to add it to the crust for my Pumpkin Pie)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Cold Water

Filling: 

  • 2 Eggs + 1 Yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Homemade Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or about 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, & 1/4 teaspoon All Spice)
  • Topping: Candied Nuts and/or Whipped Cream

Instructions

Crust:
  1. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, until your mixture starts looking mealy.
  2. Sprinkle in the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until you have a moistened dough that is beginning to stick together (a tiny bit more water can be added if needed).
  3. Using your hands, gather the dough together into a ball, form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has chilled and hardened some, remove from fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. You will want it to be a couple inches bigger than your up-side down pie pan. If you want it flakier, roll it into a large rectangle, fold it like a letter width wise and length wise and then roll it out again.
  5. You want to use your biggest pie pan.  You need one that’s either deeper or wider than normal because this makes a lot of filling.
  6. Trim off the extra crust and flute the edges using your preferred method.
Filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, and extra egg yolk.
  3. Add the sugars and spices and whisk again.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix it in gently.  According to the Sam’s recipe, over mixing is a large cause of the cracks you sometimes see in pumpkin pie (that and over baking).
  5. Pour into prepared crust.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes (mine is almost never done at 50 minutes).  The center should still have a little jiggle to it.  Check the center with a knife; if it comes out clean then the pie is done. If it isn’t done keep baking and checking it about every 5 minutes.
  7. NOTE: At some point you may need to cover your crust with foil to minimize burning.
  8. Top with desired toppings.
Pie from Friendsgiving this weekend
Pie from Friendsgiving this weekend

This pie definitely serves 8 probably should be sliced into 10 because the pie is very tall.

If you give this pie a try, let me know what you think of it!

 

Do you have any holiday favorite recipes that you look forward to making every year?

Two Years

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Two years.    We use years to describe our past and future, but never the present, and anything that you describe with the unit of years is an accomplishment.  Two years of marriage is an accomplishment.

wedding day

How do you summarize a year?!  Devra and I decided to reminisce today, about the past year of our lives together, and to sum it up… this is what we came up with.  A lot has happened, a lot has stayed the same, and there is still a lot we wish to do.

That was a Rookie Move

Since our one year anniversary there has not been a lot that has changed on the outside of our lives… that is to say that for the most part, not much has changed from the perspective of those outside of thePomeroyLife.  But that’s not to say that much has not changed for Devra and me.  A lot of decisions were made this year, decisions that will likely define the next couple of years of our lives. So here are a few headlines from year two:

1)      Will finished all of his class work for his master’s degree

2)      Will started working at Home Depot

3)      We got plugged into a strong community of friends

4)      We got more involved in ministry… we serve together

5)      Devra started working towards a degree in Dietetics

6)      We decided against buying a home (a couple of times)

7)      Celebrated the life of Will’s Grandpa

8)      Embraced a more thankful lifestyle

9)      Adopted a healthier lifestyle (mostly our diets)

10)   Spent more time investing in our family

Through all of those items (and several others over the last 365 days) we grew.  We always knew that we are opposites, but through all those decisions, accomplishments, and memories we learned exactly how opposite we are.  But hey, opposites attract!  Still, this last year really required Devra and I to communicate, and to grow/challenge each other.  I (Will) am so thankful to have a partner in this life… someone who helps me become the “me I want to be.”   And I (Devra) am beyond grateful for a teammate who has the grace and patience necessary to help polish my rough spots and make my best spots shine.

Wedding Day 2

Our first year of marriage seemed like it was all sunshine and rainbows, but this year didn’t have quite as much of that feel.  We’re not saying that things were rocky; there was just less time to celebrate and slow down.  We did not get to vacation (just the two of us) this past year, something we really want and need to do in year 3.

All things considered… we love each other very much.  Love is still a choice, and we continue to learn how to best show that love to each other.  We’ve made great strides in not going to sleep angry and being kind to one another… just like my grandpa taught us.

Wedding Day 4

Love is a choice, Divorce is not an option, and our love is a reflection of Christ’s love for the church.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a post about how we celebrated our Cotton Anniversary!

Finding Balance in the Pomeroy Life

I have not blogged much lately. I have been busy trying out new recipes, helping Will with the Garden, trying out yoga, getting friend hitched, and cleaning the house because today my sister is coming to visit! balance

We’ll start with the yoga.  I have posted about fitness some on this blog, mostly about training for half marathons/failed attempts at training for a whole marathon.  I plan on writing a post about my current fitness habits soon, but the gist of it is that I have been trying to make a more balanced routine. Running and strength.  Rather than just be the cardio queen I want to work on the strength of the rest of my muscles and on my balance.

If you know me, you know that literal balance is not something that I inherently possess.  But while working on my physical balance, I am also trying to work on balance in the more metaphorical sense.

Balance of time with friends vs time for family vs time spent serving others vs. church vs time spent on things around the house vs homework vs exercise vs me time.

One of the items that has to be worked into the mix at the moment is the garden.  Tending, harvesting, and eating it!

veggies
part of our harvest the other day. We also have the world’s largest bag of broccoli in our fridge too.

Will was super proud of himself from the multi-colored beans and carrots.  Mostly because he knew how thrilled I would be by them! As far as Will is concerned I like color a little too much. Lol.  But this is one of the ways that he shows me how much he loves and appreciates me for me.  =)

veggies 2

Some of the recipes that we have tried out in the last couple weeks have been really great!

Stay tuned for stories, recipes, and who knows what from all the shenanigans my sister and I will get ourselves into over the next week!

 

balance 2
Spent some time with Will’s Mom and Gram up at the farm =) What an amazing place.