Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolving

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it usually has me contemplative and thoughtful...about the past and future. I suppose it is the thought of new beginnings, old habits, life's blessings over the past year, the trials and hurts that need to be overcome...so much so it can be overwhelming.

I was at church this past Sunday and they asked for any prayer requests you might have to be written on a little form that people could pray over on New Year's. Our church does a several hour praying in the new year where people can stop in at any time, pick up a card and pray for whomever is on that card. I picked up a card for myself and started writing. And writing. And writing a little more. Before I knew it the whole card was full. Is it sad that the entire card was just for my own issues? Apparently I must have A LOT!!

Normally at this time of year I make a resolution to lose some weight (which I still need to do), be kinder (um, yeah!) or stay on a budget (still working on that one), and normally by about January 3rd they are all shot and I go back to my old ways. Old habits definitely die hard.

This year I want to make a little different resolution, if you can even call it that. See, I don't like making promises or resolutions or pledges. I wind up feeling bound and obligated to meet them. I am way too stubborn to do that, get annoyed that I feel bound and give up knowing it won't be accomplished. Like last year my husband thought it would be a good idea to have a competition of who could read the Bible in the shortest time. The Bible. Seriously, the Bible. This is not a sprint, I said to him. So clearly, that did not happen and I gave up nearly instantaneously.

So this year, I want to just say, I want to be Godly. I want to grow closer to Him. I want to know about Him. I want to love Him more. Less me, more Him.

That sounds good to me. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It was merry

Christmas was filled
with all kinds of cheer,
The kind that comes
Only this time of year,

There was whole lot of laughter
And joy,
All to celebrate
A little bitty boy.

We made gingerbread houses
And left sugar cookies
Hoping the man in red
Wouldn't just leave us book-ies.

The day came and went
Oh so awful quick
Before we knew it
It was such a kick!

Lots of family and friends
Whom with we spent all our time
It was worth it, it's true
What a joy sublime!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time

I love Christmastime. There is just something about this time of year that is so fun, and brings me back to being a small child, full of wonder and awe. I love the lights, the baked goods, the flashes of red all about. It honestly just makes me feel all warm inside thinking about the goodness that this season brings.Ultimately though, it really isn't about the parties that we attend, the friends that we see or how much egg nog we can sip at a go. This time of year is truly about the celebration of a King. A King that came down in earthly form as a little baby. In a manger. Probably some donkeys and sheep for bedmates.

I am so thankful for that baby tonight. And, every night.

Merry Christmas to you, my sweet reader! May your days be merry and bright.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shawl Giveaway

Leslie Loves Veggies, at http://www.leslielovesveggies.net is having a giveaway for a shawl from The Shawl Shop. There are some super cute shawls, which I just happen to be really into lately, so, of course I entered. And, you get five free entries just for blogging. Definitely makes the odds a little better in my favor!

Have you entered any giveaways lately?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beloved

Today, on the way to the children's museum, I was having a conversation with Lilla. It went something like this...

Lilla, "Look, there's the big dragon (dinosaur) coming out of the building!"

Me, "Yep, there's the dinosaur."

Lilla, "The people built him and put him there."

Me, "They sure did."

Lilla, "But they didn't make everything."

Me, "No, they really didn't. Do you know who did?"

Lilla, "God did. And he made people too. And he made their hair too."

Me, "Yes, he did make people, and their hair too."

Lilla, "God even knows how many hairs we have."

Take. My. Breath. Away!!!

And with that, I sat in worship to a God who loves me that much, that He would remind me through my 3 year old that He even has the hairs on my head counted. Thank you Jesus.

Song of Solomon 6:3, "I am my beloved's and He is mine."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There was...

There was candles...
There was yummy food...

There was a craft...There were kisses...
There were presents...
There was a cute outfit...

There was laughter...There was cake smearing...
There was a change of clothes...

There was cake...
There were cuddles...


There was definitely a bath...

There was family...
There was the paparazzi...


There was...a very happy 1st birthday!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Trust

On the way to Awana on Wednesdays we usually try to go over the verse for the week with Lilla. We have her quote it over and over to make sure it is really there.

Last night, this is what we heard the whole way there:
video

I am in constant prayer that my girls will love Jesus and follow Him all of their days. To hear her quote this brings unspeakable joy. Oh, that it would be set on her heart!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Powerful

Tonight while we were at Wal-Mart for that black Friday shopping you just have to do, Lilla started playing with an etch a sketch. She thought it was the neatest thing she'd ever seen and was insisting that she needed it, and seriously right now is the best time to get it.

I told her, "Well, Christmas is coming up, maybe you could ask Santa."

She first said, "He's pretty far away. I don't think he's going to come here." (And by here, she meant she didn't think he would shop at Wal-Mart, which I found funny in itself.)

She then started saying something about being powerful and so I asked her, "What do you mean? Do you think Santa is powerful?" I had been trying to figure out what she meant as I thought she'd been saying he was powerful to get all the gifts to all the kids.

She looked at me, gave a knowing giggle and said, "Noooooo, God is powerful."

And she humbles me once again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving every year I like to write out some things that I am thankful for. I try to do 365, but I am sick right now with a spinning head so I'll so 100 for now!

1. Salvation

2. The cross

3. Jesus

4. My husband

5. Lilla

6. Anna

7. My sister, Erika

8. My sister, Melanie

9. My brother, David

10. My brother, Chris

11. My brother-in-law, Russ

12. My sister in law, Jody

13. My niece, Madison

14. My niece, Sydney

15. My mom

16. My dad

17. My stepdad, Richard

18. My former stepmom, Sandy. Although she is no longer married to my dad, she still has a place in our hearts!

19. My new stepmom, Nel.

20. My bestie, Carrie

21. Her children, Jenna

22. Buddy

23. My other bestie, Shelley

24. Her hubbie, Tom

25. Her children, Taylor

26. Makie

27. Gracie

28. My dog, Ellie

29. My mother in law, Mary Lynn

30. My father in law, Norbert

31. My BIL, Alan

32. His Wife, Steph

33. Their children, Justin

34. Sean

35. Olivia

36. Emily

37. My BIL, Mark

38. His wife, Melissa

39. Their daughter, Tiffany

40. My SIL, Terri

41. Her husband, Brent

42. Nephew, Alex

43. BIL, Dan

44. His wife, Amy

45. Children, Danny

46. Jeff

47. Matthew

48. Amanda

49. Jackie

50. Billy

51. My BIL, Jim

52. SIL, Tammy

53. Nephew, Grayson

54. Niece, Jasmine

55. My house

56. My car

57. My bed, which I’m laying in now since I’m sick

58. My husband’s job

59. Being able to stay home with the girls

60. The library

61. Wal-Mart, the evil empire, but when you live here, it’s all you got!

62. MOPS

63. MOPS Steering Team

64. My fridge is full of food

65. Our family has clothes

66. We are able to pay our bills

67. My church

68. Worship Music

69. Clean, hot running water

70. Hope

71. Peace

72. Joy

73. Faith

74. My Bible

75. Living in the USA

76. My camera, I’m such a photo taker!

77. Photoshop, it’s amazing what that thing does for pictures!

78. My laptop, all my friends live inside it. J

79. Facebook for all that it’s connected me with this last year.

80. Prayer

81. Real, honest to goodness love

82. Pizza, my very favorite food

83. The special family who helped us financially this last year. Just incredible!

84. God blessing us financially when we really needed it

85. Lilla accepting Christ this year

86. Lilla choosing to be baptized when we never even talked to her about it.

87. Awana

88. Kid’s church

89. My pastor

90. My pastor’s wife

91. Heat, I don’t respond well to cold

92. The Children’s Museum

93. The Zoo

94. The trail near our house

95. The park

96. The change of season, so I can appreciate what I have!

97. Anna becoming well after a very rough start in life last Christmas

98. So many meals and prayers provided to us last year after Anna was born

99. Sleep

100. Life

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Wordless Wednesday


For other entries or to join in, go to http://www.5minutesformom.com/12378/wordless-wednesday-sweet-sophia/

Monday, November 23, 2009

Let Rest

This weekend my sister and I met up with a childhood friend of ours. We went shopping, laughed, and of course, told stories of when we were kids. Isn't that a requirement for when you are with old friends?

My memories are much more vague, as I've realized more and more lately. Very little from childhood is concrete in my mind. The reason for that is not quite clear, although it is possible that it has been a defense mechanism to block out a particularly difficult time in my life.

As my sister and friend reminisced, and I listened with intrigue at the narratives that had occurred over the those years, the stories surrounding me, I barely knew. Like it was a different person they were speaking of. Somewhat like watching a movie you saw once many, many years ago and were not that familiar with.

My sister was particularly troubled over a childhood prank that my friend and I had pulled on her. Again, a very vague memory, if one at all. As I sit and listen to her get progressively more upset as the story went on, my hope was something I had read from CS Lewis many years ago, "Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ."

I love my sister and don't want to see her distressed, so, I sincerely hope she can.

And, if you dear friend, are equally troubled over something that may have happened a decade ago, or maybe an hour ago, my hope for you is rest in Jesus too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday

As the days whip by in a rapid pace closer and closer to the Thanksgiving holiday next weekend, my thoughts are drawn on all that I have to truly be thankful for. We found out today that a fellow we know from church lost his job, we are thankful for income. When I bought some canned vegetables this week I couldn't help but think of the local food pantry that needs to be stocked, and we are thankful for food on our table. Then I hear about a blogger who is struggling to survive, and I am thankful for my health. When I hear of all the desperate ways people I know are grasping at happiness, which just seems to be out of their reach, I am thankful for the cross.

And...here are two more beautiful little things I am thankful for this week...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black and white.

Lilla is black and white. That is how she sees the world. It makes her a rule follower, sometimes to a fault, but it's also very positive. For instance, when she was very little I told her the fireplace is dangerous. She's never, not once, touched it. She's almost four. Her 11 month old sister won't stop touching it.

Tonight I was putting her to bed and she was discussing with me why we need to help poor children. "They sleep on the street," she said. I said, "Yes, some do." She then asked who was going to help them get a home. I told her that maybe the government or churches or strangers, like us. She replied, "Well, you can't talk to a stranger."

She's black and white.

So months ago when I told her that we shouldn't be watching Spongebob because he says some not nice things (i.e. idiot, stupid...) she has really taken it to heart. To a point of, if she sees it come on tv she puts her head down in the couch and tells me I need to change the channel. Yeah, she might be a little extreme, but it's part of her black and white nature.

I started thinking about this though and how I told her he says unkind things and also how she is trying to protect herself from that. Even to the extent of burying her head into a couch so she can't see it. That, my friends, is dedication to the cause.

Of course I had to then think of myself and how I should be doing that too. I should be turning my head at the slightest hint of unrighteousness. Even to the extent of what Lilla does to turn and run from what I know is wrong. How often do I watch a program even though I know it has a history of using God's name in vain, making sexual references like it's just one big joke or just altogether being unGodly? How often do I listen to gossip, although I know I shouldn't? How often do I read articles that often should make my face turn 4 shades of red? ALL. THE. TIME.


I couldn't help but think of the childhood song, "O Be Careful little eyes what you see, o be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down with love, O be careful little eyes what you see."

I think I'm going to practice a little more of that caution today.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

10 Smile Tuesday

I'm just about to head out to the library with a friend, but, I wanted to squeeze in a few smiles to open the window to our past week and some of the fun we've had.

1. Celebrating my good friend's son's first birthday. I actually don't have any pictures from the party, as I was rushing and forgot my camera, but this was taken later in the day. Such a handsome birthday boy he made!

2. Going to Zoo Boo. Our zoo's annual Halloween event. We've gone every year since getting the annual pass and had so much fun. Pumpkin bowling, bounce house, trick or treating...what's not to love?!?!

3. Pumpkin Gospel. Our friend's invited us over to carve pumpkins while we related it all to the way sin has gunked up our insides, how Jesus carves it out and how His light shines from within. If you've never heard of it before, you should google it, pretty great way to talk about the gospel at this time of year. Lilla was so cute, when we were talking about the sins inside us she belted out, "I got baptized!" How wonderful to know she really understands why she was baptized!

4. I love you! Lilla has never been an I love you kind of girl. She just doesn't say it a lot, she is more of a huggy than verbally telling us. Well, the last month or so this has changed. I'm pretty sure she is making up for lost time! The I love you's are flying and this mama loves it!

5. Friends. A long time friend of mine came over the other day to get a few things and it was so fun to hang out with her again. We go so long without seeing each other and it's just like it was yesterday. Don't you just love friends like that?
6. Trick or treating. We went with some friends (same pumpkin gospel friends) and had such a great time going around with the kids, laughing and although it was chilly, it was just a great time!

7. I made this pumpkin cake for one of Mikey's co-workers birthdays. How cute is that? I'm just smiling because the way it looks. It was super yummy too, which is a whole other smile!

8. Sunshine. The last couple of days the sun has been brightly letting us know we are not completely into winter yet. It's really chilly out, but the sun just seems to make everything better!

9. Sisters. Lately Anna and Lilla have been playing more and more together. It gives me such a joy to see them getting along and to see Anna's personality coming more and more to life. She loves Lilla so much, you should just see her face light up when Lilla comes in the room!
10. Confession. Lately at night when Lilla and I do our songs and prayers she has been confessing her sins to me. I am so blown away at this three year old and how she really gets "it" when it comes to Christianity. I am learning more from her than she is from me, that is for sure!

Couple extra:
God blessed us in a way that we certainly would not have guessed, and we are thankful!

Seriously silly, but we found minature Reese pumpkins and holy cow, those things are addictive. I can't help but put a smile on that!

Oh, and lastly, I hope this doesn't sound vain, but I am finally able to put my size 8's on again!! I honestly did not think they were ever going back on me. But this last week the size 10's were actually falling off...which was not pretty, let me tell you. So, I tried them on and ...who knew? I do have a saying though that just because you can get them on does not mean you should wear them. This is true for me right now, still got some toning to do, but yahoo, for it being within reach!!

Oh...just one more...Oprah had a 50% off your entire order at Payless last week, so you know I had to go! We got over $100 worth of shoes (including cold weather boots for Lilla and I so we can play in the snow!) for $50!! I'm not an Oprah fan, but I'll definitely say thank you on this one!!

What are you smiling about today?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween




Just because my bug and my monkey are too cute for words, I had to prove it to you!

Hope your Halloween was sweet too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Photo Hunt - Tied





These days, my 10 month old needs to be TIED down! :)

To join the photohunt or see others who are participating, go to http://tnchick.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

Too

Since becoming a mom 3 1/2 years ago, I have to admit, I am a little selfish with my love. I often feel like there are not enough hours in the day to love on both of my girls, to give them the attention and focus they deserve. Then, of course, there is my wonderful husband, who also needs much attention and focus, and whom I want to give that attention and focus too. Which, I admit, is often difficult in the middle of bathtimes and stories and sweeping the floor after dinner and wiping noses...you get what I'm saying.

I also have to factor in my family and friends and my responsabilities as a MOPS co-coordinator, and ultimately with quiet times, which I will admit have been all too few lately. To say the least, I often feel like I'm pulled in a million directions and there just isn't space to love on one more being. And then...
...well, then the big browns come out. SHE looks at me as if to say, "Love me, love me, love me..." And what can I do but love her too?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things I love Thursday


I must say that recently I have found a new addiction in a cookie. I can't help myself, they are so buttery, soft and flakey...really they are just the perfect cookie. A little more expensive than I would like to pay as a frugal momma, so I have to ration them out, but oh my goodness, they are worth the cost for sure!

So what kind of cookie am I raving about?
When I'm telling you these cookies are seriously one of the best cookies I've ever eaten, I'm so not exaggerating. They are perfect and taste like they just came out of the oven. I just can't believe they are in a package, these cookies are so fantastic. I buy them for 2.99 at Wal-Mart, not sure how much they are anywhere else, but really that is not a high price for something that could make me this happy. Yummo!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10 Smile Tuesday

Oh the joys that another week brings. Little things have worked their way into our lives to bring us more smiles and more happiness. We feel blessed to have these special moments and I'm thankful for this time every Tuesday that I can look back and see that God has given us reason to smile. Thanks again, Amanda, for coming up with the idea of 10 Smile Tuesday!

1. Games. Lilla has really been into games lately so we've been playing Candyland and Chutes and Ladders and she is having a ball at it! Of course there are the stubborn 3 year old, "I want the gumdrop card!" moments, but really, it's neat to see her "getting it". And it's fun too to be able to play a game with her now. My she is growing up!

2. Goofiness. I must tell you that I am an organizer. Even though I have some piles of papers or whatever in my house, I do like to know where things are and have all the pieces to things in one confined area. For instance, all the pieces to the particular Little People sets I want with that particular set, the pirates don't belong in Noah's ark. Yeah...just a little anal. :) Anyway, I was cooking dinner last week and I cam out to find my couch looking like this
So apparently Lilla has become like me. The whole couch was lined with cards. Yep, I've trained her well. LOL

3. King Kong. Lilla has a doll set. Anna has figured out that she can stand in it. Anna looks like King Kong when she does it, Lilla gets upset. I still must laugh because, well...

4. Storytime. I love that Lilla is always bringing me books to read. She loves to just cuddle up with me and go through every book on the shelf. It's hard when Anna is awake as I am usually chasing her down, but when we get the chance, it is so great to spend that time with her!5. Letters. Lately Lilla has really been in to letters. She can recognize all but a couple now. She has trouble with N and V as they are similiar to M and Y. Everywhere we go she is pointing out letters and asking me what the words say. It's constant. Which, although can feel a little overwhelming, makes me smile as I know she wants to read! I am so excited for the day when she does and hope it will be a lifelong love!

6. Getting better. We have all been so sick for so long so it has been so nice this past week for the kids and I to finally be on the mend. I'm so happy to not be spending my entire day cleaning snotty noses and doling out the drugs. I am also happy to not hear the coughing coming from their rooms at night, I am just not a fan of that. Who is?

7. Deals. This past weekend we found some cute yoga pants for the girls on clearance at Target. All the matching shirts were gone but I had a feeling I could pair it with some things they already had. Sure enough, I came home and did. Yoga pants are so comfy and perfect for playing in so that was happy!

8. Herself. Anna has just been becoming more and more her own person lately. She is so stinkin' cute it's ridiculous. She gives these humongous smiles for no reason whatsoever, she laughs wholeheartedly, she gets in to everything, she crawls so super fast you can barely catch her, she chases me around from room to room, she pulls up and walks around on the furniture, and boy, there is nothing stopping this kid! And, she loves this fish. I mean this seriously, it is a bath fish that she just adores and carries everywhere with her. It cracks me up. Oh, and when she needs a break, doesn't matter where she's at, she just poops out on the floor, lays there, catches her breath and she's off again!

9. Bible study. As I said in my previous post, we are in a bible study doing the 40 days of love. It's been nearly 3 years since we were in a bible study so it's so good to be in a small group again, there is just nothing like fellowship with believers about God. Fabulous!

10. Last, but not least, yesterday was one of the few gorgeous days we've had recently, so you know I had to drag the kiddos to the trail for a photo shoot...and then a stop for some cookies at the cookie shop, of course! Here are some of my faves

What are you smiling about today?