Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Incredible Thought for Today

In his book Heartfelt Discipline, Clay Clarkson says:

“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak to children as though they were Pharisees. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that their hearts are hard and resistant...

But this attitude is not justified by Scripture.

...There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness.
Our children are not our adversaries.

...Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need love and compassion, not harshness and guilt.”
 {emphasis mine}

This quote has blessed me beyond measure as I begin the journey of parenting. I pray that does for you too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{16 Months}

There's a little boy in this house who turned 16 months old today. While that may seem like just another month gone by to some, it was a day of fun for him. Why? You ask. Well, because we had our first craft today.

Now don't freak out. No, Jack did not handle scissors today. But he did sit while I traced his hands. And let me tell you, having this little whipper snapper SIT STILL for more than a minute is celebration.

He was quite silly during the tracing. I think it tickled his fingers. While I cut out each hand, he colored happily. After I finished cutting out each handprint, he "helped" me place each hand on the wreath and glue it. {Dear Elmers (& Crayola), Thank you for being "non-toxic".} After the tying of the ribbon I asked him where he wanted to hang it. The pantry door was chosen.

When I reflect on this first project, I am filled with anticipation. Not only is this the first of many projects, but the first of many handprint wreaths. I intend to keep them and pull them out each year as we make a new one. It will be special ten years from now to compare his hands to this first wreath.

I would love to hear what Christmas projects you and your children do.

Enjoy this time of year - and remember...it's ALL about Christ.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cinematic Debut

Each week Jack has a playdate with his buddy Elijah. Elijah's mama, Julia, is one of my dearest friends. Today she captured the boys playing with her video camera and then made it into a movie preview. Enjoy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

From Griffin, GA to Columbus, OH

Well, it's been a "few" days since I have had a moment to sit down at the computer. Thanksgiving was a week of activity that had us traveling from the warm south to the chilly north.

Our first Thanksgiving celebration was with our dear friends, the Harwells. They are more than friends, they are adopted family. Jeremy & Karrie have three of the coolest kids. Big Jack, Katherine, and Sam delight Jackson each time we visit. And he is stuffed full of love by the time we leave.

Uncle Jeremy with "Baby" Jack.
Big Jack serenading Uncle Trip.
In addition to the friendships we have with these dear friends, we love going to their house for a visit. They have a charming farmhouse on ACRES of land. So, rather than having to walk sideways in our backyard, Jack can run like a crazy man as far as his little legs will let him. And he did. He played on the swingset, he jumped on the trampoline, he climbed a bale of hay and he even got Sam and Katherine to push him in a cool car around the property. He played so hard. And that night, he slept...HARD.

Sam and Katherine pushing {shoving} Jack all around the yard.
Jack Radtke aka Tom Sawyer
A sweet moment with Katherine. Jack kept reaching his arms up to her to be held.

Tuesday, Jack and I boarded a plane for Columbus. Trip had driven up on Monday. Anybody want to guess who got the better end of that deal? {Ahem.} Ever tried to wrestle a cat? No? Well, imagine traveling with an active 15mo boy on an airplane, seated in a center seat...picturing it? Yeah. Let's just say, by the time we landed I was EXHAUSTED.

But then we were with family and the drama of a flight was a distant memory. Our visit to the Radtke Compound was filled with more playing on ACRES of land.

Ok Mom! Let's go this way!
Guys, did you know that Oma & Opa have a barn?
I'm freezing, but I don't care! This "yard" is awesome!
Friday, while the rest of the world was in a frenzy to find a "Black Friday" deal, Jackson headed to the barber shop. And not just any barber shop. The barber shop where Mr. Tom works. Mr. Tom is a very special person to Trip's family. He has cut the hair and whiskers of Great Grandpa Miller, Great Grandpa Radtke, Opa Radtke, Trip, Uncle Brendan and Uncle Nels. And now, a fourth generation has had the privilege of sitting in Mr. Tom's chair.
The first snips.
Mr. Tom! I don't think you're supposed to spray me. Just my hair!
I'll just have to hold that bottle to make sure I don't get wet again.

Or so we thought. Mr. Tom pulled a fast one on Mommy and whipped out the mousse. And have mercy, he gelled my baby's front hairs. My heart did a flip flop, but Jack thought that was the funniest thing...EVER.
Jack's thinkin..."Ok! Now's it's my turn!"

Amidst all the activity and fun, Trip and I stopped to thank God for this past year. We are blessed by our Heavenly Father and are truly thankful each day for what He has entrusted to us. May we never take a day for granted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This past weekend my sister, Kylene, came for a visit. 
She brought Jackson a wonderful addition to his playroom.

So, today we had a special "first"...
I purchased the fattest crayons I could find since 
Jackson is still in the "ohhh, I can fit this in my mouth!" stage.

After a few "tips", he got to work.
"Mom, is this line straight?"
Ta-Da! My masterpiece!
My little artist loved his first day sitting at this desk coloring.
I look forward to many more days of coloring 
and seeing what his mind creates.
Thanks again, Aunt Kylene!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do you trust Me? Do you believe Me?

At 4:30am this morning I was awakened by the sounds of a little boy coughing and went into to comfort him. Jackson has been struggling with a cold these past few days and he needed his Mama to get back to sleep.

As I sat in that rocking chair rocking him holding him in my arms, I reflected on the significance of this particular day two years ago.

Many of you may know the struggle that Trip and I had on our journey to become parents.   
However, November 15, 2008 became a turning point in that journey. 

Earlier that month, following my surgery, it was revealed that I had Stage 3 (of 4) endometriosis. To counteract the endometriosis, I was scheduled to begin an aggressive drug to shut down my body. The point was to let my body rest before beginning the treatments leading to IVF. As I turned into the parking lot, I got a call from the doctor that the medicine was not on the shelf and I would have to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday to begin treatment.

After I hung up the phone, I just sat there in the parking lot for a while. Then “I saw the Lord seated on His throne, high and exalted, the train of his robe filled the temple” and I heard him whisper to me [I] “will fight for you, you need only be still.” {Isaiah 6.1, Exodus 14.14}

Today, as I sat in that rocking chair holding my child, I realized that two years ago, God asked me to let go. He asked me to trust Him and believe Him.

In my first year as a mother, I have been under some incredible teaching and biblical counsel. Through this God has given me great reflection and the chance to share with people my story.

Looking back on that day in my car, the Lord not only asked me to let go, but he asked me to walk through every fear that had clouded my mind and, up until that moment, prevented me from trusting and believing Him.

My fears were once:
If I never conceive a child, I’ll be heartbroken.
If I never conceive a child, I’ll die, never having experienced "true" motherhood.
If I never conceive a child, I’ll be worthless.
If I never conceive a child, my husband will leave me for someone who can.

But that day those thoughts changed to:
If there's a delay in conception, THEN GOD.
If in vitro turns out to be the only option, THEN GOD.
If it takes longer than I planned,  THEN GOD.

And most importantly... 
If I am never able to conceive a child, THEN GOD.

The Lord did fight for me. And I came to the place where I was able to TRUST Him...even if His answer had been, "No. This is not my plan for you."

I pray that I never lose this lesson. I thank God each day for my son. When I look into Jackson's eyes, I hear the voice of the Lord saying, "I am who I say I am" and I respond... 
3 months
13 months

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Since having Jackson, I have become more sensitive to the importance of scripture memorization. Not to simply be familiar, but to have it memorized. I speak God's Word over him and I pray for him daily, but very soon I will begin to teach it to him for comprehension. In this pursuit, I have come across so many verses that I have deemed "firsts" that I'll have to put them in a hat and just draw them out one-by-one and trust that God's timing is perfect.

But, of all the scripture that I have studied, these two verses are where I will begin to teach God's word to Jackson...

~ Proverbs 27.12 ~
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

~ Zephaniah 3.17 ~
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

There is a great little company, Wild Olive, that does t-shirts with scripture and amazing designs. They are doing a giveaway and I had to share it with you. Who doesn't like a cool t-shirt that proclaims God's truth? And believe me, these are no cheesy Lifeway $5 tees. {Sorry, Lifeway, but it's true.} As for me, I'm particularly excited because they have a beautiful tee that has Zephaniah 3.17 on it!! Be sure to check it out!

And I sign off with this picture of my pumpkin - a year ago...

Sunday, October 31, 2010


A few photos of Jackson to start your week off right...

This is the extent of my Halloween "costume".
But that's ok. I'm too young to care about candy.
Mom got me this cool pumpkin.
Uh, Mom. Did you realize this puppy is fake? You did? Oh. Hmm...
Dad! Are you sneaking candy, again?
Ok. That's it for now. Bye!

High Chair Comparison

Today I took a picture of Jack in his high chair. When I uploaded it to iPhoto I was shocked to compare it to another high chair photo from January. My "little" boy is growing up way too fast.

January 2010
October 2010
In January, when Jack first began sitting in the high chair, I began to teach him sign language. He has signed "all done" and "more" for quite some time. Recently, I added "please" and "thank you". He is doing so well with both of these new signs and even uses them in situations when he's not eating. {Although, at times he gets confused and Trip swears he's telling someone to "steal second".} :) I am so thankful for the wisdom of experienced mothers who encouraged me to use sign language with Jack. I am confident that it has helped with his transition to toddler-hood and his language development.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Swing Fairy

The Swing Fairy visited our house yesterday.

What? You've never heard of the Swing Fairy?

Huh. That's odd.

Well, "She" exists. Or maybe it's a "He".  Either way, the Fairy learned about a perfectly wonderful swing laying useless on a basement floor.

So, much to my child's delight, the swing was hung and he spent the afternoon doing this:

His smile says it all. "Wheeeeeee!"

Thanks Swing Fairy...whoever you are!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Place

Until this year, I had always considered myself a "beach person". Surf, sand, an umbrella, a selection of books and I was good to go. You could leave me out there for hours and I was completely content.

Then, this happened...

Yeah. My thoughts, exactly.

That's Camp Bountiful. The home of my dear friend Julia's parents, Susan and David. Her parents are affectionately known as, "Moosky & Poosky". (Don't ask. It's a good thing, I promise.)


Last May I was invited to visit Camp Bountiful for the first time. That visit was such a respite for this Mama. And Jackson, well he simply could not get enough of the mountain fun. Here's what he thought of the trip,

 "I love this place!"
"I'll never leave!"
Since that first visit, we've returned three times. And this last visit was the one that began to chip away at my singular love for the beach.

Here's why...

Seriously breathtaking.

Fall in the mountains is spectacular. The change of color in every tree, the crispness in the air and the tastes and smells are simply intoxicating.

And did I mention that my child simply loves to be there?

Even if he has to be bundled up for a walk...

I blame Julia, Moosky & Poosky.

It's their fault. Without the invitation to this incredible place, I would never have cheated on my first love. And not only have I cheated once, I've cheated a total of four (4!) times. 

So, while the beach will forever be my first love, the mountains have gained a solid spot on my "happy place" list.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Seven Years Ago...

I thought that today would be an appropriate day to commence my entrance into the world of blogging. {Heaven, help me.} The contents of this blog will allow a glimpse into the lives of the "Atlanta Radtkes". Without that providential meeting, seven years ago today, there would be nothing to blog about.

What providential meeting, you ask?

The day that Schrade FRED Radtke III had the pleasure of being set up with me. ME!

Oh THAT day.

Yes. Without the sneaky efforts of one Julie Neff Sacco and one Angela Phelps, there would be no Mr. and Mrs. Schrade FRED Radtke III.

 And more to the point, there would be no Jackson Lane...

I have realized in the past 14 months that my memory is not what it used to be. A dear friend prepared me for this phenomenon when I was pregnant with Jack, "Sister, your memory is attached to the placenta, so when you deliver, well, there it goes..."

Mama Brain. Can I get an Amen?

So, here I am in hopes to not only remember both the happenings of our growing family but the endless ways God has been growing me up, thirsting to reflect HIs righteousness.