Coming Soon: A Phone App to Help Your Marriage

a wife jumps on her phone for some marriage-building support, so she can be a better wife to her husband.

Wouldn’t a Marriage Building App be Awesome?

What if you could download a phone app that would actually help you be a better wife/spouse? Would you download it? I can’t get too into the details, because I don’t have a patent or copyright on the app yet, but my great friend and fellow blogger at http://themomiwanttobe.com, Nikki Marie have just finished creating the content for a very exciting application that would do just this. As a matter of fact, we created one specifically for husbands and another specifically for wives.

Happy Marriages make happy families and society

We will be working diligently in making sure this app is exactly what you need because we both are strong believers that a strong marriage makes a strong family, and a strong society. We will be putting out a free version when we launch it as we gather reviews and work on making it even better, so please stay posted!

But before we begin hiring the developers and programmers to bring this exciting support to you through your phone, I want to fine tune it. What would you appreciate in a marriage-builder app? What types of books have you read on building strong marriages that you think would be awesome to draw from in a phone application?

Would love your input, so please share!

shared on http://www.christianmommyblogger.com

One month with Jameson

Jameson in his new swing showing off his receding hairline!

I know this is cliché, but boy is it hard to believe that a month has already passed since Jameson was born. The last two weeks since my last post have been fun-filled to say the least. We dared to drive to Utah with Jameson and Kanan in tow. Jameson was great! He just slept, woke up to eat, hung out in the back and looked around during his wake periods, and that was basically it. Kanan had a bit more of a challenge by dealing with boredom, but we split the trip into two 6-hour drives with a hotel stay in Mesquite, Nevada as the break. So—audio books, music, and toys filled his time on the drives as well as potty and leg-stretching breaks.

Owen, Uncle Logan, Grandma Susie, and Jameson at the fair in South Jordan, Utah

Our trip to Utah was great! We went to the Dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point, the park, the movies to see Kung Fu Panda 2, and spent a lot to time just hanging with Owen’s family at his dad’s house. They had a big trampoline in the backyard which Kanan loved! Kanan spent a lot of time playing with his cousins Belle, Spencer, and Gavin and of course with his Aunt Raynee and Uncle Arza. Jameson was spoiled with love as well from his Grandma Susie and Aunt Holly. He got really fussy around 9 pm every night, but we think it was because he grew tired and couldn’t sleep with all the noise. Yes, the Hemsath’s are night owls! 9 pm every night looked more like 5 pm in every other family! The house was filled, the kids were running around, the tv was blaring, the family was yapping and laughing. But the house was very quiet until noon! Since we have returned, I’ve been working on getting Jameson on a schedule. We wake for the day around 8 A.M. Jameson eats every 2.5-3 hours. He is sleepy in the mornings, very active and awake in the afternoons, and then sleepy again around 830 pm and for the rest of the night. We give him a dream feed around 1030/11 pm and then he wakes around 230 AM and 530 AM for a night feeding.

Kanan, Grandma-Great, and Jameson

Jameson is such an easy baby!!! He cries when he is hungry, needs a diaper change, is bored, or is too hot, or having a hard time falling asleep. That’s it. Pretty easy. 🙂

Earlier this week, he started smiling. And not just a gassy smile—but real ones! When he is fed and happy, and we get close and talk to him—he rewards us with coo’s, big smiles, and bright eyes. Oh what a joy!!! Haven’t been able to capture it on camera or video yet because my camera was full. But I am ready today to get it done!

Please enjoy the photos I’ve uploaded in Flickr via this link—OUR PHOTOS.  I’m not sure why they are not showing up on my side bar anymore. I changed my template so maybe that has something to do with it. If I fix it and you now see them on the side then if you click on one of the photos, it will take you to the website and then you can scroll through the rest from there. Enjoy!

We Have a Name!!!

Drum roll please…..

Jameson Maddox Hemsath

JamesonHebrew. Variation of James, brother of Jesus Christ and a descendent of Jacob–the son of Abraham and father of the Hebrews. His name means “supplanter”—not the sweetest meaning in the world right? Yes, but when it is combined with his middle name— it spells the gospel. 🙂 Let me explain.

MaddoxWelsh. Means “Good” or “Generous”—-a bit ironic, when combined with the first, right?

How can you be good and a supplanter?

Well, we all fall short of the Glory of God because of our sin. But through our faith in Christ, we are made righteous in His eyes. Our son will be a sinner, like us all. Yet by the Grace of God, he will inherit the Kingdom of God, appearing to take it without merit or deserving it at all, just like Jacob took his brother’s birth right—But Jameson will inherit everlasting life not because he deserves it, but because he is made “good” or “righteous” by his faith in our Lord and Savior.

James of Nazareth had a hard time at first believing that his brother Jesus, was the promised Messiah, as did some of Jesus’s other family members (Jesus had a few siblings although it is uncertain how many he had). But when James saw his miracles, his sinless life, his brutal death prophesied in Psalms 22 and the book of Isaiah, and his resurrection from the dead and assension into heaven–promising to return again to rule and reign, James changed his mind. And when he heard the testimonies of hundreds of other witnesses who saw the same things he did—proving that what he witnessed was real, James became one of the most passionate apostles for God, wrote the book of James, and was stoned to death for his belief, never once taking it back, even in the face of death. Because how can you deny the truth you witnessed with your own eyes? It is one thing to die for something you think is real, but it is another to die for something you know is a lie. No–James knew God was real and that he sent his son Jesus to pay the price for our sins so that those who trusted and followed Him could be saved from the eternal separation from God they chose every time they sinned. And to know that kind of truth, who would dare tell a lie and say they didn’t really believe, so they wouldn’t have to die?

We are so humbled and amazed by the love of God. And we pray that our son Jameson Maddox loves Jesus and follows Him the way James did. Sold out. On fire. Never turning back, no matter what.

The 8th Grade Lip Sync Contest—a tale and reflection of growing into a woman

Going through middle school in Alta Loma was a destined failure from the first day I arrived—as a scared and semi- ethnic 6th grader. I had grown up in Fontana and Rialto, went to elementary school dancing at recess with all the black and Mexican girls. I had a wiggle in my neck and high bangs. I had wild hair and that was cool. I dressed uniquely, but all the ethnic girls did…so I was accepted, loved, and respected. But Alta Loma was the complete opposite. A rich white town, with rich white kids, all with enough money to follow the rich white trends the stores and magazines told them was cool. Anything varying from those rules would cast a teenage girl into a world of teasing, judgment, and ridicule. And by the time I stood a 13-year-old girl in 8th grade I had already suffered a little over a year of this ridicule and wanted desperately to get out. Little did I know that the decision I made would send me further into that dark world than I ever realized, but also taught me how to endure my further growth into womanhood with a little more grace.

 At Alta Loma Jr. High , the annual lip sync contest was the ultimate expression of beauty and popularity. Mostly girls performed and those who did either made an amazing performance that earned them instant approval and acceptance by the popular kids who controlled the dynamics of social acceptance on campus. Those who made fools of themselves were most likely already fools and so no one expected any less of them and in effect, no one seemed to get hurt.

 I was one of those “fool” teenagers who truly believed in my own beauty and personality. I believed so deeply that if I could just prove it to others, I would finally get the respect I deserved. So I talked with my girlfriends Melissa, Bekah, and Melanie and we all agreed that we should try out. We were all very similar. Smart, potentially pretty, under developed, unappreciated by the popular kids, and all wanting to be cool. With that, we made this lip sync contest our mission impossible. We were going to win—not only the 100 dollar prize, but the ultimate prize–popularity.

 We practiced every day after school at my house. We chose En Vogue’s “Givin’ him something he can feel” and Bekah and Melanie, who were allowed to watch MTV took meticulous notes and paid close attention to the way the girls danced in the video. We were all in dance PE as it was and so had the basic skills necessary to give a dazzling portrayal of these beautiful Oakland black females. Melanie, the shy one of the group, surprisingly took the lead singing position. Perhaps, she too, felt as strongly as I in amazing the crowd. Bekah, Melissa, and I would play back up with the dance moves. Each practice, we added more moves, kicks, circle eight hip rotations, all the while making up hypothetical fantasies of our successful effect on our unattainable crushes like Jeff Goldman, Nick Howard, Kyle Sussex, or our competition girls like Jessica Richards and Shelly Bowman. We were certain they would fully accept us. That is until as we were trying on our red spandex tank dresses with the ruffled hem and shelf bra and I looked at my profile of my face and body—I had frizzy, curly hair I tried to tame with mouse, a small chin, lips pushed out by big silver braces, a flat chest, no bottom, and scrawny legs. I realized I had nothing any one could feel as the song suggested. I knew I couldn’t get the acceptance and approval I deserved with this body. I had to do something. I knew I couldn’t stuff my bra without my teammates noticing and so I settled on manipulating them to do it with me. They were as flat chested as I was and I knew I could use that to hold back their popularity. And I did—well at least Bekah and Melissa. We decided shoulder pads would work best since they already had a smooth surface and fit easily into our Double A cup bras. We placed them in to make sure, and instantly, we transformed ourselves into something closer to what we thought beauty meant. And beauty in Alta Loma was everything.

 The day of the performance came more quickly then expected. I had practiced my “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” exercises with no success and so knew for certain, my shoulder pads would have to be the rescuer. I was giddy with anticipation as we dressed in the back stage area with all the other girls. Slowly putting my frizzy hair into a smooth French twist, applying my dark red lipstick, and already having my pads in place so no one would see me put them in, I felt beautiful. The dressing room was a swarm of competitive, fakely nice, teenage girls—ready to manipulate and attack any one who might one up her in the competition. Full breasted, long-legged, longhaired popular girls with permed hair. Chubby, pimply faced girls and scrawny ugly ducklings like myself and team. So many young girls of varied shapes and sizes, all so eager to be women. All so competitive, none of us realizing or accepting that regardless of where we were in the evolution of beauty and womanhood, we were all the same.

 Jessica Richards, the most popular girl in school. She was beautiful with tan skin, dimples, long brown permed hair that she toppled wildly in a careless bun above her head or let down full and sexy—she was a natural beauty and knew it very well with long, lean legs that she stretched in crazy directions because of her years of dance classes and Pop Warner cheerleading. She walked by us girls as we were putting on our dresses and looked right at my body up and down, smiled and said—”I wish I were as skinny as you.” I glowed in excitement. Jessica Richards wishes she had something I had? Wow!! I was almost one of them. So close to popularity and it was only a matter of an hour or two before all the boys would have crushes on me and Jessica Richards and I could be friends.

 The popular girls had just finished performing Madonna’s “Vogue.” They did a spectacular job of dancing and singing. The Greece Lightening girls would follow us and after seeing them during try outs, we knew they would also be tough competition. Our turn was up. We walked out on the stage and the song turned on loudly, crisply, and very much real. Everything seemed so to be going well. We were in unison in our dance moves, our dresses looked fabulous and we were getting really into it. I did my best to really exaggerate my mouth movements as I had learned through drama practice. But a problem happened. During the part where we were supposed to pull off our left glove and throw it onto the floor, my hands, sweaty from nervousness made the glove stick and I couldn’t pull it off. We had practiced this a hundred times. It sounded funny but it looked fabulous, extenuating the attitude and the confidence in En Vogue’s story. Taking the glove off should have taken two seconds, but as we were walking over to pick the glove back up, I was still tugging on its finger tips to get it off my left hand. No use, now the crowd could see that something was out of unison. And it was me.

 This mistake only increased my nervousness and so, it also turned up the sweat. I got so sweaty that my strapless bra, having nothing to hold on to, started sliding down my chest. All my upper body movements were not helping the strapless bra stay put. I was too young and a novice to bras to have known that no matter what size you are, strapless bras don’t stay put during exercise, especially if you sweat. If I had not stuffed my bra, no one would have probably noticed. But when there are one-inch thick shoulder pads filling out the bra and that bra slides down—it turns a 13-year-old teenager into an old lady with breasts around her belly button. Oh no” I thought—“Do I pull it up here? No, I’ll mess up the dance if my hands do something out of unison. Maybe no one will notice?” And so I let it fall, further and further down until the lumps were around my lower rib cage. Drawing more eyes toward me and more people noticing that it was more than my glove not in the correct place. I wanted the opposite. I wanted to run and hide, but I couldn’t let anyone know I was embarrassed. I had to stay strong, confident—how else could I be accepted?

 All the popular kids who were in the contest and standing backstage watching us, got an even closer view of the two lumps migrating toward my waist. And Kimmy Rios—class president was eye-balling my chest and her eyes widened and then her thin lips curved up into a disgusted smirk. It didn’t take long before all I could hear were the snickers.

 While we did actually win 4th place and 25 dollars to split with the team by the merciful judgment of the teachers on the panel, my peers were very unhappy about our place and very unforgiving for the embarrassing bra fall. We beat the other popular girls who did “Grease Lightening”  and they had put a lot of work into the costumes and stage props. Perhaps this fueled the ridicule and snickering between classes but by the time lunch came, everyone on campus heard about the “costume malfunction” and everyone wanted to know if I stuffed my bra regularly. I kept insisting that it was part of the idea for the costume and that I wasn’t the only one who did it. Such a friend—selling out my friends to share the burden of embarrassment with me. Cool, tough girls like Valerie Pright asked me if I could touch my elbows behind my back and in my attempt to see if I could, the snickers  proved quickly to me that they really didn’t want to know that as much as make fun of my proud and loud flat chest.

 And so began my ever falling decline of possible popularity that plummeted into a dark pit of absolute dork. But it was also the beginning of a journey through womanhood and ideology that I would continue to toy with through high school, experiment and discovering my role in its wide spectrum—the facets of which I would excel in and the facets in which I failed. As was the same for everyone else. Some of the popular kids continued to be popular. And some fell behind into the world of the little people. Some dropped out, some got into drugs, some got fat, some just got strange. And slowly, I blossomed into a decent looking teenager and made friends and survived high school. I was never the popular girl at school, but I wasn’t always the dork. In high school, I was very social and  made some quality friends who liked me because of me, not because of what I looked like.

 Looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that I was severely embarrassed at that time in my life. How I would have rather died that moment than endure the teasing, but eventually that teasing passed. And the people whom I admired and who I wanted to be so much like, eventually proved to be normal people just like myself. Those people are also those who I never talk to. They mean nothing to me. Even out of my team, I still only talk to Bekah. Things change. I’ve heard through the grape vine that some went to college and grew successful, others got married and had kids, some died, some became alcoholics, and others like Rebecca Richards, who I thought was perfect just the way she was, got breast implants and became a stripper. All of us have taken different paths that never depended on who was who in Jr. High or High School. And apparently, many of us who seemed to have it all during that time have very little now or hurt themselves to compensated for what they themselves felt they lacked.

 We were all the same and I know the experience built in me character as well as taught me that the ideology of womanhood and what we consider beauty is set at a ridiculously high and unattainable level—a level that only a handful in the world could ever possibly come close to, and that handful were discovered and put into Victoria’s Secret magazine and Sports Illustrated and continue fueling this vicious cycle that makes girls like I once was do silly things to reach. Now I am well aware of how the media can control my perception and try my best to stay above it. I have come to take pride in my strengths and accept my weaknesses. I do not pretend to be anything I am not because I know I would only be failing myself if I did otherwise. I am happy to be just me now and I think that had I had it all as a jr high girl, I would be a lot different now. Girls need to grow into womanhood—that way they slowly learn about its power, its beauty, and its danger. Girls who are children one day and women the next go into womanhood still as children and do not learn how to handle a woman’s power until often times it is too late—they are dating older boys, doing drugs, having sex, and getting pregnant or STD’s—and in so many cases, suffer incredibly from depression and lack of self-worth. Not all of course, but as a teacher I have seen this.  As for my personal experience with growing up—-the entire time I thought God was cursing me with such a slow development; I look back now and think that instead, he blessed me.

Pregnancy Don’ts

1. Don’t believe the old wives’ tale that because you are super sick past your first trimester, that you are having a girl. Or the fact that you are carrying out. Or the fact that you tried the 99 percent accurate chinese number chart. I’ve heard it all. And I know at least one person who still had a child opposite of the gender they were supposed to have. Including that fool-proof ultrasound diagnosis.

2. Don’t assume that because you wear a size 8 in prematernity clothes that you will fit in size 8 maternity clothes throughout your pregnancy. If you are like most women, it won’t be just your belly that grows. Just wait until month 8, you’ll understand then.

3. Don’t even bother buying your spouse a pregnancy or baby book. No, not even the ones called A Father’s Guide to….or A Dad’s… or anything supposedly catered to a man and involving pregnancy or fatherhood. Only women buy those books for their men and most of them just get their feelings hurt when their men don’t read them. Face it ladies, they are men not women and that is why we love them. Just verbally give them the Cliff’s Notes version of what you are reading and save yourself the tissue-paper and money.

4. Don’t allow all  your”you are at risk for____________” post-blood test-result talks with your doctor take away your joy of having a baby. Half of these doctors are just covering their you know whats so they don’t get sued in the small, unlikely chance, your baby, labor, or delivery is not all you hoped it would be. If you are really care free, just skip all those precautionary fetal-disease blood tests and save yourself the stress. That baby will be a beautiful gift from God and exactly what he had planned for you.

5. Don’t believe that if you put enough lotion on that you can stop stretch marks from appearing on your belly (or anywhere else that grows 😉 ) . It may help the amount,  but if you have the genetics to get stretch marks, there is no miracle cream that will stop it.

6. Don’t be surprised if people are nicer and conversational with you during your pregnancy and you even make more friends. It’s amazing how much pregnancy talk provides an icebreaker amongst strangers or work acquaintances. And once the ice breaks, most of those conversations will continue after the baby comes.

7. Don’t make the mistake of hoping or relying on your baby shower to get everything you will need for the baby. Consider the baby shower to be a bonus. In the meantime begin saving money for purchases you will need for the baby. Buy a  few “must have now”‘s if you insist, then see what you get at the shower, and have fun afterward with the shopping.  

8. Don’t “buy” into the lie that you need to buy items for your baby brand-new. Baby products, clothes, toys, and decor are expensive and after it’s all said and done, you can find yourself thousands of dollars deep in plastic and cloth that are quickly soiled or grown out of and of which your child will not even remember or care about anyway. Consignment stores, hand-me-downs from friends and family, and online sources like Craigslist can provide with you with perfectly clean, well-taken care of baby items of all categories at a fraction of the price. Even if you want your decor to match in the nursery, a little sandpaper and paint can make it all fit together beautifully.

9. Don’t indulge yourself in the saying that you are “eating for two” or all the food that follows. All you actually need to provide the extra energy and nutrition for pregnancy is about 350 calories a day in the first two semesters. Ladies, that is the equivalent of pretty much an apple and a thick slice of cheese. The last semester, you can have an extra 100 calories on top of that. Don’t follow this advice, and find yourself like me with my last pregnancy—50 pounds of weight gain that took 9 months to wear off. Instead, eat lots of healthy mini-meals or snacks throughout the day and treat yourself at the end of the day with a petite sweet treat. Most women need to only gain 25-35 pounds.

10. Don’t neglect your husband’s needs and use your pregnancy as an excuse or justification. Between the selfish demands of pregnancy and the baby it produces, fathers can often feel neglected and marriages can have struggles. They are part of the pregnancy too. And they need their love languages met. Do this, and they may even shower you with all the love and help they can offer. And this pregnancy and baby can bring you even closer together. Tired? stressed?  Head aches? Heart burn? Hungry? Feeling just fat and unattractive? If we expect them to be selfless toward us, then we should do the same. And hopefully when we slip and don’t, they can show us some grace and we can try again.

Interview with Kanan Webb

I had the chance to interview the energetic young 3-year-old, Kanan Webb during our mom and son dinner-date two nights ago, just for fun. His answers were, well….interesting.

T: What is your name?

K: Kanan Christopher Webb

T: How old are you?

K: I’m this many  (holding up three fingers) but when the baby comes then I’ll be this many (holding up 4 fingers).

T: Why is the sky blue?

K: Cuz it is.

T: What color is love?

K: red

T: Where do babies come from?

K: tummies

T: Why do we wear shoes?

K: Cuz we don’t want  them to get hurt.

T: Where do kitty’s come from?

K: from their moms.

T: What is your favorite flower?

K: Green

T: What is your favorite movie?

K: Iron Man and Lightning McQueen.

T: Why do we get sick?

K: Cuz I don’t know

T: Why do we eat vegetables?

K: We want to be big and strong

T: What do you want to be when you grow up?

K: Iron Man

T: What do frogs eat?

K: flies

T: Where does pee come from?

K: from our brains

T: Why do we have cars?

K: Cuz guys drive trucks.

T: Say something in Spanish.

K: Isa sale (with the accent over the e)

T: Why do we take baths?

K: Cuz we’re dirty

T: What is your favorite food?

K: creme cheese

T: What is your favorite drink?

K: milk and dinner

T: Who do you want to marry when you grow up?

K: Papa