Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Bringing them up"

Ephesians 6:4
" Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

This week has been a challenging week for us with parenting. We are learning everyday that we are inadequate on our own to do this job in the way the Lord has called us to , but thankfully if we ask for help in our times of need God is so faithful to answer our prayers! Everyday brings new blessings and challenges, almost like every day is my first day at a new job. You know what that feels like- excited, hopeful yet a little lost and unsure until you learn how things are done and the job becomes routine. Well with parenting I feel the same way but the job does not become comfortable or routine because the job description changes daily as our kids grow and change daily! Without the Lord I think I would be a ball of anxiety and hide under the covers from my responsibilities :) BUT God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit so that we have EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. 

A few weeks ago, our pastor preached a great message about parenting from this verse that was so helpful! I thought I would share it. The passage addresses fathers, as the head of the house, but also includes moms as the chapter is for parents and children. It's a short verse but contains so much! Pastor John gave two "lists" that helped unpack this verse in a practical way, which I always need. First he addressed provoking our children to anger, so these are ways that could happen and that we should never do:

ways to provoke your children:
1. Overprotection- encourage them to make their own age appropriate decisions and sometimes learning by failure is ok!
2. Favoritism- favoring one sibling over another by saying things like "why can't you be like your older brother?" this can be very damaging and anger provoking
3.Pushing unrealistic achievement- too much pressure to excel will cause bitterness
4. Discouragement- not expressing approval, honor or acceptance. look for ways to honor your kids!
5. Failing to sacrifice for them - they will be convinced they are nothing but an intrusion, never make them 2nd class citizens in your home
6. Failing to allow for growing up
7. Neglect- never withhold love, sacrifice and discipline
8. Bitter words and physical cruelty

and then a list that addresses ways that we as parents can bring them up/ raise them in Lord

1. Recognize God as supreme
2. Love God
3. Obey His word
4. Teach by example
5. Use life as a classroom
6. Leave reminders of the Lord all around
7. Warn them about the evil in the world

I love that the first 3 on the list above must come before we can implement the last 4...We as the parents must believe that God is God and supreme over all, love Him sincerely and obey Him ourselves before we can teach our children to do the same!

I am encouraged and challenged to love and " bring up" my sweet boys in the Lord! Please pray for us :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

One down one to go!

My big boy ditched the diapers almost 2 weeks ago & we are so proud of him! If it wasn't for Elbow the elephant going along for the ride, it wouldn't have been as easy. As long Elbow did it, Weston wanted to do it too :)

One baby out of diapers and one to go! Woohoo!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


These cookies come from a region in Spain where flour is scarce and almonds are plentiful. They are delicious, GF, and they taste very European :) not too sweet and go great with espresso!


2 cups whole blanched almonds
2/3 cup sugar ( honey or maple syrup)
4 tsp grated lemon rind
dash of salt
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
24 whole almonds

preheat oven to 350

Grind 2 cups almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add sugar or honey/syrup, lemon rind,salt and egg. Pulse 10 times or until dough forms a ball. Shape dough into 24 balls, about 1 T each. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and gently press 1 almond into the top of each cookie. Bake about 15 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 5 minutes on the pan then remove to wire racks. The cookies firm up as they cool.

( Adapted from Cooking Light)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Remembering My Aunt

2 Corinthians 5:8
"Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord"

Today at 3am my dear Aunt Helga went to be with the Lord. We are shocked and sad yet we have hope, because she had hope in the one true God, Jesus Christ! She died very suddenly from a rare brain disease with no cure. I still can't believe I am typing these words...
She was a super fun lady with a great laugh and sense of humor. She was a loving and caring aunt who took great interest in our lives and always made us feel special and appreciated since my sister and I were little.
The last time I saw her was for Weston's first Christmas in AZ. It was such a special time with their family and ours. These pics are from that trip.

I love you Aunt Helga, Uncle Ronnie, Anna, Erich and Marta~

Christmas Carols with Erich

Anna and Marta lovin on little Weston

Life is shorter than we think! I am reminded to care less about the things aren't eternal and to kiss those I love a little bit more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life's a beach

Psalm 95:5 " The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land."

Well, we SO enjoyed our time together away for an entire week. A first for the Gutierrez family! I can't begin to describe how wonderful and refreshing it was for us to do this. The Lord really used this time to deepen our love and affection for one another as a family. We now see the benefit of taking time to pause and just be together. To have time to laugh and talk ( and SLEEP!) and enjoy God's creation. We got a taste of sunshine, rain and wind! The boys loved watching the skies and God's majesty displayed.

Gabe had a love/hate relationship with the sand. One minute he was having a blast and the next he was crying.

Weston loved the sand, but wasn't a huge fan of the water :)

One day we decided to try this was a hit! We worked up quite an appetite and treated ourselves to fish-n-chips afterwards

We were right by the pier and had some fun exploring that too

This is the view from our balcony. Not bad right?!

We took a little day trip to Santa Barbara, rode the carousel and played at a really nice park. And I stole a smooch

Weston would swing all day if he could

I got to put my feet up a few times during the trip which was so nice! One day I even took two naps. Crazy

On the rainy day we checked out a little kids museum. It seemed to have lots of germs, but I cringed on the inside while the boys had fun running around with all the other sweaty dirty kiddos :)

Gabe was so sweet with this little chair, he loved to climb in and out of it and watched the rain in it one morning.
Thank you to the Brenner's and their family for sharing their piece of heaven with us! We will always remember our time together at the beach house in Port Hueneme!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Having a blast!

What a blessing our trip has been so far. The beach is directly across the street & fairly empty all day long! Nothing like a private beach. The weather has been great despite the forecast & we have made so many fun memories all ready! Can't wait to post all the pics.
Highlights for today were having popcorn & a movie in bed for BREAKFAST...the boys loved that! & playing catch with Daddy on the beach.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

It was a gorgeous, warm day today! A perfect day to celebrate the perfect Savior.
We had a blessed morning at church and then we headed home for a quick egg hunt by some sleepy boys. They loved slowly wandering around the yard, munching as they went. After that we went over to the Hamiltons who graciously open their home to those without family in the area! So kind, and we had such a nice day.

Tonight we have been busy packing for a week trip to the beach! Can't wait to spend an entire week with my handsome crew...

Found his basket!

everything gets a kiss from sweet Gabe, even the bubbles :)

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

2nd year

Our second year was filled with highs and lows and lots of growing spiritually and closer together in our marriage. Shortly after our first anniversary we found out that I was pregnant! We went in for our appointment to see that there was a placenta, yolk sack and a healthy blood supply to it all, but we couldn't find a baby... I had a blighted ovum. It occurs when the egg is fertilized, implants into the uterine wall but fails to mature past that point due to too many chromosome problems. When the egg implants it starts the whole pregnancy process and my body was moving full steam ahead even though the baby had stopped growing very early on. I was told that I would miscarry within a week or two...well 3 1/2 weeks went by and nothing happened. This was a very hard time for me as I was experiencing morning sickness and all the other pregnancy symptoms and I knew that the baby was not there. The waiting was so hard. I finally called the doctor and he was shocked I didn't miscarry and had to come in right away to have the placenta removed before it ruptured and caused alot of damage.
This was also very hard and very scary...not what we expected my first pregnancy being like!

But the Lord's timing in it all was perfect. The day of the procedure was the day before we were leaving to go to Palm Springs for the Resolved Conference...that year's theme being heaven and hell and living life with an eternal perspective! For 4 days I heard teaching from God's word on how not to live life focused solely on this life's trials and successes but on what is truly lasting and eternal, the gospel and who I am as a child of God. Being a child of God is what should define us first and foremost...not being a wife, MOTHER, girfriend, employee whatever~ WOW! I was so encouraged and refreshed and turned my sorrow into joy in light of who I am before Christ and not what I felt I had lost. AMAZING.

This is us at the conference.
That Thanksgiving we had the joy of traveling to Michigan for some sweet time with my extended family and for some snow!
Here is my Dad and Andrew shooting targets in my grandparents back yard.

My sweet Opa. He gives the best smooches :)
Here are all the cousins after our Thanksgiving meal, during which my cousin announced he was engaged! ...and we announced that we were Pregnant again!!! Such a special day to celebrate and thank God for his goodness to our family.

That Christmas we spent with Andrew's family and though I felt sick most of the time, I didn't mind at all :)

We had a special evening in San Francisco celebrating Papa's birthday
The peanut

In march, We both were a part of the Shepherd's Conference at our Church and our dear friend Suzie threw us a surprise baby shower during the conference!

Right after that the Lord provided a different place for us to live to suit our growing family. Here we are moving from our 1 bedroom apartment along a busy busy street with CRAZY neighbors :)

Our dear friend Hohn told us when we found out the sex of the baby he would take us out to Italian if it was a girl and to steak if it was a boy. Boy it was and we went to Ruth's Chris!! Perfect, since I was craving red meat my entire pregnancy! It was such a special night

In April Andrew's family threw us a wonderful shower- Baseball theme!

From the shower weekend we went straight to Carmel, where we were engaged, to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. We had a relaxing time and loved reliving our engagement memories

Thank you love for all the love, care and support you showed me during our 2nd year. You are such a kind man and I have always felt safe and loved with you. Thank you for continuing to pursue me and know my heart. You love me so well and I love you so much!