Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back from Thanksgiving!

Our family enjoyed a delightful visit with my husband's family this past week in Illinois. With all the food we ate, I'm suprised you didn't have to roll us home! Bubs enjoyed visiting with his grandparents that he doesn't get to visit with that much.

And my husband definately enjoyed getting to visit with his family members and friends who don't live so close to us.

We were able to enjoy not only a delightful Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day, but we were also kindly invited to an after-Thanksgiving dinner at my husband's aunts house. There was so much food we couldn't handle it all!

We also enjoyed an eventful day taking in the city of Chicago. There is so much to do there! Though I would not enjoy living there myself, it sure is a fun place to visit.

Oh, and did I mention the food??

Hope everyone else enjoyed their holiday as well! We'll be back tomorrow with regular posts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Baby Love

My sweet boy has just learned to blow raspberries on people. He now loves to capture your arm or belly, and blow away! It delights him to no end.

This morning, as I lay on the floor playing with him, he whipped up my shirt and blew hard. A loud brrrrrrp sound happened, and he was having the time of his life. He proceeded to do it over and over and over again. Laughing delightedly the whole time. Dimples in full view.

A thought occured to me.

He doesn't care if my belly isn't exactly tight.

It isn't.

He doesn't care if those few little stretch marks from carrying my big boy are showing.

They were.

He doesn't care if my hair was a mess.

It was.

Or if I had a shower or not yet that morning.

I hadn't.

All he cared about was him and his mommy. In that moment. Laughing our heads off at his baby antics.

Children are such a sweet blessing. Gifts. Only a gift would make you so happy. And it was in that moment, and others just like it, when I realize why we have given my womb over to God. He knows best anyway. And why wouldn't I accept many more sweet gifts just like this one? Who would turn away a gift?

I sure won't.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! We hope you are filled to the brim with all of the turkey and stuffing you can handle.

Psalm 100:4 - Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Celebration of Children

I love the Duggar family! They are an amazing family with 19 children. Their son Josh just announced he is expecting his second child with wife Anna.

What a blessing to have a family so willing to withstand terrible public scrutinty to stand up for children. To say that children are a blessing. Something that you never hear mentioned anymore.

Children are considered a liability. A nuisance. A problem. But never a blessing.

And blessings they should rightly be. That's how God referred to them.

You can watch the video of Josh and Anna announcing their new little blessing here.

Congratulations Josh and Anna!

Psalm 127:3-5

 3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
 4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
 5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lemon Bundt Cake- Great for Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving only a few short days away, I have been thinking about baking! Since we will be visiting out of town family for Thanksgiving this year, I won't get to be the chief chef this year. However, I will be baking my "famous" lemon cake for my family I am leaving behind. I call it famous as my Daddy is a huge fan. It's quite easy to make, and tastes just delicious to lemon lovers.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to share this special recipe with you all. ( It's not that special, I just like to think it is. )

Lemon Bundt Cake

Mix together:

Lemon Cake Mix
Lemon Instant Pudding
5 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cold milk
1/2 cup oil

Place in bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the icing, mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice. You will need quite a bit more powdered sugar than lemon juice. You want this to have an icing consistency. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.

And that's it! A simple and delicious cake your family will love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Earning Money at Home - MyPoints

MyPoints is another great money earning website! This website is packed full of money earning opportunities. The easiest way is the paid e-mails. Like Send Earnings and InboxDollars, you receive a few e-mails a day. By just clicking on the ad, you are rewarded with 5 points. It is a few more points than the others, however, you do not receive as many e-mails daily. So it really works itself out to be about even in the long run.

MyPoints also offers points back for shopping, printing and redeeming coupons, surveys and so much more! Some of the best surveys I have ever taken have come from MyPoints. MyPoints definately rewards you quite fairly for your time.

You can redeem points for gift cards or donations.

Don't take my word for it, try it yourself! Go and join MyPoints now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Family Walk

This week, our family started something a little new. With the seasons changing, and the sun going down much sooner than before, we were missing our evening walks together.

I use our walks for not only excercise, but to enjoy my family and nature. I was going to miss both of those.

Then I had an idea. What if Hubby went into work late, and we got up just a bit earlier? Could it possibly work?

This week it certainly has. With a few kinds mind you. We are still getting used to getting up so early, of course. But we are loving it!

The mornings here are still cool enough to be refreshing, but a jacket is not really required yet. Bubs gets into his stroller, and we go!

Me and Hubby have our most intimate talks on our walks. Maybe it's because Bubs in pre-occupied during this time with the scenery. Or, maybe it's just the refreshing excercise works all the talkin' right out of us! Either way, it's been very helpful for our marriage as well.

If you don't already, I do encourage everyone to take a walk each and every day with their families. The excercise value is amazing, and seeing God's creation is priceless. Even if it's just in your own neighborhood.

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Attitude No Mommy Should Have

Yesterday was another one of those days. Bubs was sick, which left me sitting in the lobby instead of in the church service for both morning and evening service. Hubby was also feeling under the weather, which left me with all of the housecleaning yesterday. We don't really do much work on Sunday's, but after the dinner party on Saturday night, I did have somethings that needed straightening.

I felt kind of mad and put out in a way. I am definately being challenged by the Lord lately on proper responses.

It wasn't Bubs or Hubby's fault that they weren't feeling well. And it wasn't mine either. But, I should be more understanding when these trials do come along. Life doesn't always go our way. And being Mommies, we do have a lot more responsiblity for the home and it's inhabitants than anyone else does or will.

Our responses set the tone for the whole household.

When we put forth bad attitudes, we should not be suprised when our children respond in like manner. When we put on a smiling face and try to be positive in all situations, then our children will also respond in like manner. Being children, they will not always respond exactly how we would like them to. But, I do believe a positive Mommy helps the household a great deal!

Ma we all strive today to put smiles on our faces even when we don't exactly feel like it. Say a quick prayer for a heart change when the wrong attitude does slip forth. And ask for forgiveness from both the Lord and the offended party.

You never know just how much your home could change by your simple actions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Adventures in Mommyhood

This impish face is so sweet. So super sweet. But sometimes, I'm driven to the very brink of insanity. I'm sure I"m not the only one who has been there. 

You see, this morning started out like any other morning. Then, things just started going downhill.

He pooped all over the place. Somehow, I was scrubbing poop off of my washing machine, his arm, his shirt, my self. Everywhere. And it was just so disgusting. 

Then, I'm trying to get some housework done while Daddy is working. That just wasn't happening. Because of a stuffy nose, my little boy just wanted to be held all morning instead of having independent play. Then, he pooped again. The poor little guy just isn't feeling good. 

But this Mommy had things she needed done! ( I'm very type A I have learned recently. ) So, instead of just accepting this curve ball to my morning, I was beginning to feel the inklings of frustration come on. I mean, my things to do are so important to me. I have a dinner party tonight for about 15 people, and I have to have a pretty house and perfect food. ( I am also learning I don't have to have these things either. Yes, I should strive to present a nice place for people to come. But no one is perfect. )

But I was missing the point.

1 Thessalonians 5:18: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Notice that one word in this verse that always get us. Everything. Not every good thing. Not every nice thing, or fun thing, or exciting thing. Everything. 

In poop; give thanks. In baby sickness; give thanks. In interruptions; give thanks.

It's not going to be the easiest thing you do. It's not the easiest for me to do. It's a constant struggle for me to not complain or have complaining thoughts when things don't go my way. It takes a lot of prayer. A lot. But I just want to encourage everyone to go to Him with your complaining spirit, and ask Him to turn it into one of gratefulness. 

We should be grateful we are blessed with little ones in the first place. Grateful we can spend our time at home with them. Grateful our husbands are out making the money in order for us to do so. Grateful for everything. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review- Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot is just another one of her amazing works. This book spoke to me on so many things. It's a very "meaty" read, and I honestly would recommend reading it possibly in a daily devotional format. I would read it while exercising, and find myself closing the book just to meditate on what I had just read.

Also, it has many various topics that it covers. Child training, missions, femininity, relationships, etc. Anything and everything you can imagine, she pretty much covers it. And it's written in true Elisabeth Elliot style: simplistic and to the point ( which I love! ). This is definitely one to not only purchase, but to keep on the bookshelf for future readings. It will surely stay on mine.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cooking for a large family on a budget?

As some may know, we have decided to let God choose the amount of children me and Hubby will have. That being said, there are times when the thoughts of how much will this cost or how will we afford everything creep in. 

There's already a family who has most of these figured out (I think!). The Jeub Family! They are a very sweet family from Colorado who first came to my attention on a TLC special. Since then, I have been keeping up with them via their website, JeubFamily.com

Right now, they are giving away 100 of their cookbooks for absolutely FREE. I don't think you can get much cheaper than that! 

If you are interested in this great deal, go here to find our how to score your freebie! Only the first 100 though, so I'm sure these will go fast!

Santa Claus - Good or Bad?

This morning, I had the privilege hearing an amazing sermon on Santa Claus. My husband heard this the other day, and said that I had to listen to it. He said it changed his whole opinion of Santa Claus.

And it changed mine too.

It is kinda long ( about an hour ) but it will be time well spent. It just might change your families opinion on how you celebrate Christmas.

How do we address the Santa Claus issue? He is not real. We will tell our children that he is a fake man made up by our society and societies past. He will not be real to us. He will not leave our children presents. He will also not be celebrated by our families around our children either.

This sermon will really help you make our own Biblical opinions about the issue. If nothing else, it does give you a lot to think about.

You can find the link here.

Merry (early) Christmas!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christmas Presents for Children

Tis' the season for consumerism.

We got the Sunday paper this morning, and the Christmas inserts have officially started. From WalMart to Target to Toys R Us, the inserts were thicker than ever! Not just the usual 8 or so pages, this time, they are small books!

How do we at this time of year keep our children's focus off of the toys, and more on the Savior?

These are just a few ways our family tries to do that:

First, we do not have cable TV. Without cable, our children are not and will not be bombarded with the endless commercials telling them what they NEED for Christmas. What they can't live without! And if they don't have it, they won't be like everyone else. TV imagery is a very powerful thing. Especially for children. We don't have cable for a list of other reasons as well, but it certainly helps at this time of year to not have it as well.

Second, we try to do atleast one "good deed" every Christmas. Be it the Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child. We feel this helps children see that others do not have it as good as they do. And to be thankful for everything they are blessed with.

And last, our children and babies only receive ( and will only receive ) 3 presents each. If 3 gifts were good enough for Jesus, they are good enough for our children. That way, they will all receive the same amount of gifts, and not have the fighting over "She got 5 and I only got 4!". This evens everything out. It also helps them to think about what they really want, not just how much can I get?

They do receive gifts from other family members, but they only receive 3 things from Mommy and Daddy.

This year, may we remember the real reason for the Season!

Isaiah 9:6
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.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Homemaking Inspiration

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. 
~Helen Keller

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cell phone etiquette

This morning, I went to the Post Office. The lady in front of me was talking on her cell phone while standing in line. When it was her turn, she walked right up to the desk, still talking on her cell phone.

The lady greeted her very cordially. She said nothing, just slid her pick-up slip across the desk at the postal service worker. No greeting. No acknowledgement.

Where has our common courtesy gone? Is a simple "Hello" too hard to say anymore?

She should also not have been on her cell phone in a business in that way. Please understand, I think cell phones were a great invention. However, they are great for emergency use or casual use when you are alone. Not for use in a place where you are being waited on.

I am sure this kind of behavior makes the worker feel more like a servant. She was not there to be her servant, but her helper. Therefore, the customer should have greeted her accordingly. If the phone call was so important, she should have waited until she was finished before entering the building. These kinds of simple acts show just how truly ladylike we are. May we all strive to show just a little more courtesy when out and about.

Monday, November 1, 2010

At the foot of the cross...

Here recently, I have been begging, wanting and needing God! I need to feel Him. To know He is near. But here lately, there has been a block. This huge block that feels like I can never scale it, so why try? So, I had gotten to that place.

The place of being just completely stale.


Sitting and not even wanting to feel anything anymore.

Hating time because I felt it was flying away from me, and being taken from me. And here I was, not doing anything with it. Just watching it go by. Hating every blessed hour because I knew I wasn't right.

And here's the hard truth: I didn't care.

Ever get there?

It's an easier place to come to than you may think. Life has a way of hardening you. And once you have those "layers" of life attached to you, it's hard to peel them off. In essence, I see myself as a marble block. And one by one, the layers are being pounded off. Pounded and pounded and poked and scraped. One by one. Painful.


In the book of John, Jesus talks of the pruning of His people.

John 15:1-2: 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

One thing you should know about me: I am not a gardner. I one day would like to be. With all of the land at our new house, I see rows and rows of our own fruits and veggies. But I am not there yet. At this season of life, I have planted nothing. Zip. Nada. Which is why this verse did not strike me as it did today.

Suprisingly, in this season of barrenness, I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart. Seriously amazing and inspiring book. But, the thing  I gleaned from her today was that pruning HURTS. Sometimes very badly. It's cutting and tearing, and I personally think if a plant had blood, it would involve a little bleeding too. 

So, here I sit obviously in a season where the layers are being scraped off at an amazingly rapid rate. And I sometimes think to myself, "Haven't I given up enough?!?! Atleast for right now! Just let me keep that. Just that one thing. I will let it go eventually. But right now, just let it be mine. PLEEEEEEESEEEEEE!"

And you know what I'm fighting for??? Junk. Worldly junk. When we are fighting with God, usually ( and I say usually ), it's over something ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. 

Maybe it's music. Or dress. Or a movie. Or two. 

Maybe it's something stronger like fornication. Or infidelity. Or drinking. Or drugs.

Either way, take a good look at that whole list I just made. All of it. All of it is pure ridiculousness.

Galatians 5:16- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Are we walking by the Spirit? Really? Really seeking and praying to follow God? Now please, don't for one second think that I am speaking of this from some sort of high place telling you how to act. If you do feel this is what I'm saying, please go back to the beginning and re-read everything up to this point. I am currently being pruned myself. Painfully. 

But are we really seeking Him? I wasn't. Sure, I wanted Him. But did I want to seek Him? Seeking Him involves more than a quick prayer before a meal to "please bless it" and half-hearted Bible reading once a day ( if you happen to get to it. )

Seeking Him involves total heart commitment. It involves blocking out anything that could take His place in your life. It involves being totally sold out to Jesus. Letting nothing or no one coming between you two. And then, when you're in that place, sitting there at His feet. Learning. Listening. Drawing strength from Him. Giving Him your burdens. Giving Him everything.

The music. Books. Clothes. Wishes. Dreams. Desires. Feelings. 

The alcohol. Drugs. Promiscuity.

Giving it all up. 

And laying it down. At the foot of the cross. Where Jesus died so we can all do those things above I said, yet still receive forgiveness. We don't deserve forgiveness. Not a one of us. NOT ONE. 

But, God sent his Son to die for us. His SON. Being a mother now myself, I finally understand what that had to have cost Him. Your own son. Given for the sins of the world. For some sins some will commit who will never even acknowledge what He did for them. For people who don't even care!

I couldn't give my son for a best friend, let alone someone who could care less about me. That is sacrifice in it's purest form. Something I don't honestly think we can ever grasp.

So, I will now seek Him. Laying, one by one, my problems at His feet. Not because I deserve it, but because He asked me to. 

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received

And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me 

I'm laying every burden down
I'm laying every burden down 

- Kathryn Scott