Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great Finger Paint...

We love to craft and make messes around here!  Recently I found a recipe for finger paint from Easie Peasie and we gave it a try!  It turned out faboulously finger painty!

Homemade Finger Paints
3T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 cups water

Combine ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until mixture thickens... I stood there contemplating whether it was done or not, but you'll know it when it's done for sure, all of a sudden it turns into the perfect consistency.  Put into containers and mix in food coloring!  Wah-lah! 

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trying not to hold her too tightly...

1st Day of Kindergarten

The August 23rd entry in my Jesus Calling book by Sarah Young really resonated yesterday....
Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.  If you let your loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one - as well as yourself. 

When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you as you relax and place your trust in Me.  Watch and see what I will do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This was timely

Tomorrow is our big day!  Sadie starts Kindergarten... I know everyone says it, but it's true - I can hardly believe this day is here.  Tonight I was reading from my Jesus Calling book and today's passage came at a good moment...
Accept each day just as it comes to you.  Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances.  Instead, trust Me enough to yield to My design and purposes.  Remember that nothing can separate you (or Sadie) from  My loving Presence; you (and Sadie) are Mine.  (italics mine... but wouldn't that have been over the top cool if Sadie's name had been in my book tonight!?)
Part of this excerpt is from Isaiah 43:1... I'm going to work on memorizing this week!
Isaiah 43:1
"But now, this is what the Lord says - he who created you, he who formed you: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Count Down!

We count down events around here based on how many sleeps we have until the big day.  School is just 8 sleeps away!  Today I made a count down chain to help us get ready for the 1st day of School!  
Count Down!
Every night we will tear off a piece of the chain.  I have put a verse on the back of each one for us to read and talk about how it relates to school.  Here are the verses I am using, if you'd like to do the same!
  • 8 - Psalm 56:3 - When I'm afraid I will trust in God.
  • 7 - Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times.
  • 6 - Romans 15:13a - May God fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him.
  • 5 - Psalm 73:22 - I am always with you.  You hold me by your right hand.
  • 4 - Philippians 2:14 - Do everything without complaining or grumbling.
  • 3 - Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything.  Pray about everything and the peace of God will guard your hearts.
  • 2 - Philippians 4:8 - Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.
  • 1 - Psalm 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God.
Note: Many of theses verses are NIV or ESV... If you see one that doesn't line up with that, it's a KF (Kristen Franklin) summary to better help our little ones with some of the wordiness or terminology.  :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stop and take it all in...

On the way home from church the other day, Sadie spotted a group of ants working together to carry something... I never could figure out what it was.  They both stopped for awhile to watch them.  I love how kids can spot the simplest things and enjoy their wonder... makes me want to do the same!
Ant watching!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 8, 2011

Romans 15:13a

I've still been working on memorizing two verses of scripture every month.  I think so far I have memorized 12 since January, which means I've missed a couple here and there... but I'm rejoicing over the words I've memorized and am so excited when they come to mind in different circumstances.

I recently shared that I've been teaching Sadie Psalm 56:3 as she prepares for school - "When I'm afraid I will trust in God."

Truth be told, as I've been teaching her those words and reviewing them with her, I have been desperately praying that God would help me to trust Him with her.  It's so hard for me to start new seasons of life in parenting (really anything new freaks me out), but I'm constantly reminded that He knows our children's deepest needs before we ever get a glimpse of them.  The last few days I have been working on memorizing Romans 15:13a - "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."

God has proven faithful time and time again and more than trustworthy.  It is my prayer that in this new season, called Kindergarten, that He would indeed fill me with joy and  peace as I trust in Him with Sadie.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on going back to school....

Every year about this time I start getting the jitters... the back to school jitters.  There's just something about the smell of a 24 pack of Crayolas that gets me all nervous and excited at the same time.  This year the feeling is more intense as we are getting ready to send our oldest to Kindergarten.
Sadie's 1st day of Preschool
 I've been asked by multiple people over the last few months, "You mean, you're not homeschooling?"  Apparently I look to fit the mold of a homeschooler... and I will take that as a compliment because it takes a lot of motivation, enthusiasm and discipline to take on that role!  ;)

I am not opposed to homeschooling, especially if it is done well... and there may be a season of life God calls us to that, but for now, our family feels extremely called to and passionate about the Public School.  It's been a passion Eric and I have shared for a long time.  There are so many needs in our local schools.  Right now, our schedules allow us to be at the school, be a part of what is going on, and a help to meet the unique needs that are there.  I am so excited to see how God is going to use our whole family as we begin this adventure.

With anything new, there are adjustments that need made and things to think on before sending your kiddo to school.  I am no expert on this, but there have been things I have noted as a mom and a teacher that are helpful in getting your little ones (and you) ready for their first week at school. 
  • Take time during the summer to go up to the school and play on the playground.  Give them a chance to try out all the equipment and teach them how to use it correctly.  While you are there peek in the window to their classroom so they can get an idea of what it looks like.  It also gives them a chance to see that their teacher is getting ready for them!
  • Have your child draw a picture of how they will get to school.  Will they walk, ride their bike, ride the bus or will you take them?  Use this as an opportunity to talk about safety and appropriate behavior while walking, biking, bus riding etc.
  • Model what it looks like to be a good friend.  Teach them how to talk to kids they have never met before... for some kids this is very natural, for others it is very nerve racking.  Teach them how to introduce themselves to someone and ask them to play or be their partner for an activity.  While this seems very simple, we cannot assume that they already know how to do this.
  • Sadie recently shared that she is feeling a little nervous about going to school.  Instead of telling them not to be (which can tend to be our default because we don't want them to have uneasy feelings), let kids know that it's okay to feel nervous!   Sometimes it's good to know that it's okay to feel that way and once they are used to going, they will become more comfortable.  
  • Replace anxious thoughts with the truth.  When Sadie shared about being nervous, we found a Bible verse that would help her with that feeling.  We chose Psalm 56:3 - "When I'm afraid I will trust in God."  We have spent a lot of time over the last couple weeks reciting that and talking about what it means.  I'm trusting that God will bring that verse to her memory when she is away from me and is feeling anxious.  As the school year progresses, teach them verses that will deal more with their character - being a good friend (Proverbs 17:17) or doing all things without complaining or grumbling (Philippians 2:14).  We constantly need to be looking at our kids and thinking about what the deepest need of their heart may be and how we can help develop them and nurture them into what God desires them to be.
  • Buy and label school supplies together.  Talk about what they might do with each one.  Also talk about the supplies they are taking that will be for their personal use and what will be for the class to share.
  • Pray together for their new teacher and friends!
  • Share some of your favorite school memories with them.  We want our kids to love learning... they are going to be in school for at least 13 years (and will hopefully have the desire to be lifelong learners after that!)... talk positively about going to school and learning.
What other things can you think of to help get your kiddos ready for school?  We have about 3 more weeks to prep them!  The big day is coming soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feelin's get hurt

Tonight Cole was throwing a huge fit about getting in the bathtub.  That boy is particular.  He likes to do stuff how he wants, when he wants.  If it is not on his schedule, it turns into a super whine-fest.

As I was talking him through his wailing and coaching him on getting undressed to get into the tub he belts out, "Owwwwwwww!"

Thinking he had somehow hurt himself, I begin to sympathize, "Oh, Cole... are you okay?  What happened?"

He replied, "YOU hurt my feelin's."

Yes.  Feelings do sometimes hurt, little buddy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Back in May we planted these guys....
Garden in May.
 When you plant it's so difficult to envision those little plants growing into monsters.  But they do....
Garden in July.
More happy garden... last year's compost rocked the garden this year!
I think I need more space next year!  We have had so much fun this year keeping our eye out for new fruits.
Cole checking on the pumpkin.
I may or may not go out to check on my garden 2-3 times a day.  I mean, you never know what can pop up in a few hours... and it's to find something new!  And this guy....

I sleep outside at night protecting him from any melon thieves that may be in the area.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Memorizing James 3:17

I was getting ready to post my scripture memory for the next couple weeks and came across this post from the Girl Talk Blog on spending time with Jesus.  Good stuff... He, indeed, is our portion.  His Word will never come back void and will penetrate to our deepest parts.

James 3:17 ESV
"But wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Go figure

For five years I have been getting up between 7:00 and 7:30 with Sadie.

Recently she began sleeping in until 9:00.

She starts kindergarten in 53 days (yes... I just counted and it made me feel sick.).

School starts at 8:15.

Go figure.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan - Lovin' Summer

Happy Monday, Everyone!!!  It's a beautifully hot June day... love!  There are about three months out of the year where I am not cold, and this is one of them!   I also like that Iced Tea and Water sound better than soda (or at least that's what I'm telling myself)... and this blue polish makes me want to spin cartwheels across the lawn.

Feet are funny, BUT June really is wonderful!

Here is what we'll be eating this week!

Pizza Noodle Bake, Salad, Fruit

Baked Chimichangas, Carrots/Dip, Fruit

Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit

Shrimp Skewers over rice, Fruit

Taco Squares, Chips/Guac, Fruit

Pasta Salad, Fruit

Biscuit Pizza, Salad, Fruit

Hope you're having a lovely day!  Off to blow up a whale pool and then spending the afternoon tanning this white girl up!  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A beautiful day...

Today was more than lovely.  I turned 30.  Spent time with great friends.  Was spoiled by my husband and kids.  AND was reminded for the gazillionth time how truly blessed I am. 

If the next 30 years go as quickly as the first, I'm going to be sixty before I know it!  :)

**For those of you wondering about my 30 B4 30 list, I have a few things left to check off, most that require reading and quiet... I'll try to update soon!**

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

14 summers...

Earlier today I was thinking about how much I'm enjoying the summer routine... or lack-there-of.  The kids have been getting along particularly well this week.  We've had fun outside.  We've painted.  Been to the park.  The library.  I really love summer break. 

As I was pondering all this, I suddenly had one of my weird mom moments.  I try not to be the weird mom, but let's be honest - sometimes, I just am.  Anyway... in my weird mom moment, I realized that I only have 14 summers left with Sadie.  14.  Seriously.  I kinda wanted to cry.  More like I really wanted to cry.  So, I quickly had a discussion with myself and decided to get a grip. 

Fast forward to tonight.  I've been clicking around checking in on the blogs I love to read and came across this. Really?!  What are the odds that The Nester would actually count up how many summers she has left with her kids and blog about it today???  So now, I want to cry again.  I would like to personally thank The Nester for thinking like me.  You may be my long lost sister.  AND, as The Nester so eloquently put it, "May this summer be slow and full of wonder."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I think my break is over...

Wow!  It's been 21 days since I last posted... May always does me in.  Life in May seems to overtake me... and just when I think it is getting back to normal... we.go.several.unplanned. days.without.any.internet.  Insane.  It's been crazy for me to be without internet... but a good lesson that many days I need to turn this thing off for a bit and tune into life...

Anyway... hopefully I can establish a healthy routine again and get back on here...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In 29 days...

I will be 30!!!  I have been working on my 30 B4 30 Project for the last few months.  I want so badly to finish strong!  HOWEVER, I am one of those people that makes a list every day thinking that I can accomplish everything on the list, when in reality, it is only humanly possible to finish 6 of the 9.  I am coming to my senses that everything may not be finished by the 8th... but I'm going to work to make a significant dent in it.

Here's what's left...
1. Learn to make homemade lemonade.
2. Teach Sadie to tie her shoes. Still practicing!!! 
3. Complete reading through the Bible. Continued progress... This is one that is not going to be completely done by then.  I will be really close, though!
4. Hike a new park we've discovered and Coronado Heights.
5. Take the kids fishing. 
6. Take Eric on a surprise date.
7. Get photo albums updated - this could take an eternity. (I have almost updated the past year... this is another one that won't be completely done by June!)
8. Bake cinnamon rolls like Cooke. (I'm not sure it's the exact recipe, but it's pretty darn close, and I could eat the entire pan.)
9. Save for my 30th Birthday cruise getaway with Eric. - We are officially completely saved... however, we are thinking about something other than a cruise now... we might be doing a spontaneous getaway.  I'll keep you up to date.
10. Get pictures secured in Cole's baby book.
11. Invite 30 people to CrossPoint.
13. Get 6 hours of college credit to renew my teaching certificate. I'm in my last class session now and am filling out my paperwork today!
14. Read 5 books every season. I need to post my spring book list!!!
15. Plant annuals at our new home - Lord let us be in our new home by the time I'm 30! Praise the Lord we are here!!!
16. Get a good picture of a Kansas sunset.
17. Participate in Beth Moore Scripture Memory Challenge.  Doing good here!
18. Make plans to travel to CO to be with Brady, Janelle and Katelyn in December or January.
19. Take 20 minutes every month to just be still. (This is probably going to be the hardest thing on my list.) - I stink at this... I told you so!
20. Learn to make homemade bread without using the bread machine.
21. Take cookies to our neighbors.
22. Play a board game I've never played before.
23. Search Goodwill for a glass cake cover for my cake plate. My friend, Shauna, actually gifted me with one from a garage sale!!!
24. Find the address of where my grandpa grew up and then find the house.
25. Take treats to the fire station and police station.
26. Research photography and picture editing.
27. Build a snowman with the kids (normally I make Eric do this because I HATE the cold).
28. Have family pictures taken.
29. Get a good photo of a church I've been wanting to take pictures of off of the highway.
30. Send two packages to our World Vision child, Vilma, this year. (Sent one off for Christmas!)

The purpose of all this isn't to say, "Hey!  Look at everything I've done in the last year."  It's more for me to be more intentional in living.  It's easy for me to just get in the routine of caring for my family, cooking, cleaning etc. and forgetting to take time to add other stuff I enjoy.  I'm not planning to make a list for the next year, but I am thinking I will choose one thing a month to accomplish... whether it be a new recipe, extra time with a friend, finish the photo albums or just relax.  It's good to live intentionally.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Menu Plan - Time to chill...

What a week...

After a couple days of this...

a weekend of school events, birthday's and services...

it's time to start a new week!

Here's what we'll be eating...

Spaghetti, Corn and Fruit

Small Group... What to bring, what to bring???

Hamburgers, Ranch Fries, Fruit

Burrito Bowls, Chips/Guac, Fruit

Pizza Bake, Salad, Fruit

Mexi Mac, Green Beans, Fruit

Angel Chicken (bumped from last week), sauteed zucchini and mushrooms, fruit

AND... one last thing... check out what I found on Mother's Day... is this not crazy beautiful.  I have never seen such huge blooms in my life... LOVE.


 Our roses are fixin' to do their thing, also!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Still memorizing....

I love when I am working on memorizing a certain segment of scripture and then all of a sudden you hear someone quote a portion of it as your visiting with them.  It's like a little nudge from the Lord that this is where your supposed to be... this is what He wants you to know.  That happened to me this week!

For the beginning of May, I am working on, Jeremiah 6:16 (ESV):
Thus says the Lord: stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it; and find rest for your souls.
Rest for your souls.... I love that.  How many of us are looking for that today!?  It's found in following the Lord... it's not the easy-nothing-bad-will-ever-happen-to-me-life... but a life of rest and peace in the midst of our days of greatest joy and our days of chaos.  Praise Him!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu Plan - Garage Sale Week

Garage sale week is upon us!!!  We try to have a garage sale about this time every year... to get rid of excess and make a little $$$... after all, it is tags and taxes month!  ;)  With garage sale prep going on, my goal is to try to keep life mostly in order around here and keep up with making meals for the week.  I think I can, I think I can...

Here's what we'll be eating this week...
Alice Springs Chicken, Salad, & Fruit (we are craving some Outback around here... busting out the copy cat)

Sandwiches, Chips & Fruit

Beef with Snow Peas, Rice, & Fruit

Angel Crockpot Chicken, Noodels, Green Beans, & Fruit

B-day party celebration for my nephew

Pizza or something super easy

Mexican Flatbread Pizza, Chips/Guac

So there you have it.  A happy week planned... now to go do the grocery shopping! 

I really am hoping to see you back here this week... I have a list of stuff to unload... and a few pics.  Have a great week! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Menu Plan - and other ramblings

Hey everyone!  With the exception of what I'm memorizing for the last part of April and maybe a new recipe, this will probably be all you hear from me this week!  Can we say CRAZY???  This is a very busy week at CrossPoint as we prepare for the weekend and I decided that a quick out of town trip for the kids and I would somehow fit nicely into the end of week schedule.  :)  To keep myself in line and on task lately I have been brain dumping (doesn't that sound lovely) everything I need to do in a notebook... instead of having 10 million lists laying all around, I keep everything in one place.  See how dirty and wrinkled it is... that is a sign of production.  Glorious.

Here's what we are eating this week -

Burrito Bowls, Chips/Guac, Fruit

Small Group - I'm bringing cheese, meat and crackers

WEDNESDAY (eating together at lunch)
Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Carrots, Pineapple

Eat Whatever, Whenever!

Salad Bar -  lettuce, cheese, boiled eggs, grilled chicken, carrot, cucumber, tomato

BLT's, chips, fruit

Easter with the Family

One last thing before I go, have you tried these???

They are so yummy... Coconut M&Ms.  Eric would totally tell you they taste like suntan lotion... since he's tried it and all.... but I must say they are a little piece of heaven here on earth.  Plus, they make me feel like I'm on the beach somewhere instead of 40 degree weather.  Have a wonderful week!  AND Happy Easter....

He is risen, indeed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Plan - 5 days only

Happy Monday, everyone!  :)  I am only going to share my next 5 days worth of menu plan.  I haven't yet planned the last part of the month food wise... plus, I just got the Taste of Home mag and want to flip through there before I get too carried away with plans.  Who knows, maybe there'll be something there that I can't live without trying in the next couple weeks!

So, here goes...

Cheeseburger Macaroni, Green Beans, Apples

Small Group - I think I'll either take Fruit/Dip or a Fruit Pizza

Steak, Grilled Veggies, Fruit

Tacos, Chips/Guac., Fruit

Chicken Tetrazzini, Honey Carrots, Fruit

Friday, April 8, 2011

Five 4 Friday

  1. Who knew Coronado Heights was in the middle of Kansas???  Pretty amazing... we went on a family outing there last weekend before some crazy winds picked up.

There were ladybugs all over this place... Sadie loved having them crawl all over her... are we related??!!
  1. Eric is outside putting together a play set for the kids (the kids are "helping").  They are so excited!  It's good to be in a place where I feel God is going to plant us for a while!  
  2. Tonight is pizza and movie night... wonderful wonderment... I so enjoy having us all together and snuggled up.  I am truly blessed.
  3. I've been working with 8th graders at a local school for the past couple weeks presenting the Abstinence Program... it's been so much fun just being with them and sharing about making healthy life choices.  Wish I could be part of their support system more regularly.
  4. I really need to get on my Spring Book List.  My 30 B4 30 is fixing to wrap up and I still need to finish 2 winter books (along with multiple other things on my list). Thirty's a comin'!
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

By special request...

After my post about putting your Crock Pot on a timer, someone requested the recipe for Crock Pot Enchiladas that was pictured in the CP.  This is a recipe that I got from my friend Julie... it is very yummy and approved by my not-so-in-love-with-the-crock-pot husband!

Slow Cooker Enchiladas
1 lb ground beef (I used 1/2 lb that was leftover from tacos... it still was beefy enough for us)
1 cup chopped onion (we aren't big fans of chopped onion, so I used onion powder)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I did both green and red pepper)
1 can pinto or kidney or chili beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 ounces) Rotel
1/3 cup water
1 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
6 flour tortillas

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper until beef is browned and veggies are tender; drain.  Add the next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Combine cheeses.

In a slow cooker, layer about 3/4 cup beef mixture, one tortilla and about 1/3 cup cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through. Slice like a pie and enjoy!

This is a lot of food for my family right now, so I freeze half of it after it's cooked and then warm it in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes... tastes just as good the second time around!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Still memorizing...

I must say that this is the easiest season of memorizing I've had in awhile.  The verses seem to be coming easily to me and I seem to be retaining them... that's important, because I know there will be moments when I need that recall for encouragement. 

For the next couple weeks I will be working on Lamentations 3:22-24...
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait on him.'"

I love that we can find peace in whatever we are up against because it does not have the power to consume us and through it God will be our portion.  He, indeed, is enough!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Menu Plan - So long soups... it's grillin' time! :)

It's officially that time of year when soups are no longer an option at supper time... I mean, who really wants to eat a bowl of chili on an 80 degree day???  I'm happy to say hello to my grill again!

Here's what's on the menu for the week...

BBQ Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Fruit

Spaghetti with Meatballs, Corn, Fruit

Southwestern Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit

Tilapia, Roasted Asparagus, Fruit

Baked Chicken Parm. with Zucchini, Fruit


Hamburgers, Grilled Potatoes, Fruit

I hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful day!  We are going to find sometime ridiculously fun to do later this afternoon!  Have a great week!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our week

I haven't been around this last week!  Sorry to those of you who check back daily for all kinds of fun and excitement... I just didn't have it in me!

Last weekend I got to have a quick visit with my sister-in-law and my niece, Katelyn.  My brother is one lucky guy to have these precious girls in his life.  I love them and I love time with them... rich conversation and sweet cuddles (with the baby girl, of course)... doesn't get much better.  Here are Sadie and Cole with their cousin...
Two of the greatest jobs in the world are getting to be a Mommy and an Aunt... love, love love.
After our visit this weekend, we launched Operation Potty Training. We trudged through the first day and a half and then finally started making progress.  Let's just say I've had ALL my laundry caught up ALL week trying to keep 9 pairs of undies clean.  :)  He is getting there... even woke up in the night to go potty.
 Potty training a cowboy is hard work!  :)
Thursday night Eric and I went to a fund-raising banquet for a place we volunteer... we had our friend, Lauren, come over to watch Sadie and Cole.  I found several pics of them on my camera this morning... so fun!  I'm not sure what they were up to, but the kids look happy!  :)  We are blessed to have such great friendships in this city. 
I hope you had a good week!  I'm going to try to jump back on the bandwagon this next week... if it's not moving too fast, that is!  Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shamrock Plant

I like plants.  One of the places where I volunteer gave me this Shamrock Plant last week (the sassy red vase was a Wedding Shower gift... still love it, Melinda).  Isn't that shamrock cute... in a plant sort of way???
 This is how she looks at night...

she folds her leaves of three in for a nice sleep.  Smart plant.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Something that makes life easier... Crock Pot on a Timer Edition

Every now and then I post a picture of something that makes life a little easier around here. It's no rocket science, just some things that I've picked up along the way. :)

A few years ago I was at my friends house and noticed her crock pot.  It was really fancy.  It had low heat, high heat, keep warm options AND it had a timer.  I thought that was incredible and would have loved to have had one, but couldn't see a reason to spend the money when my 2 function (3 if you include - OFF) pot worked just fine.  The timer on that crock pot was what really got me excited.  I loved the thought of leaving the house in the morning and having my supper turn itself on and/or off, if needed.  

Last year I was planning a lunch where I needed my crock pot to come on at 3 or 4 or in the morning.  I am not a big fan of getting up in the night so I was trying to figure a way out of that... then I thought of our lamp timer.... you know, the thing you plug into your lamp when your on vacation so it gives the illusion that you are home when you're really not???!!  I got it out to test it with my crock pot and sure enough, it worked.

Here's what it looks like (It's actually plugged in upside down in this outlet.  Go ahead, tilt your head so you can get a good look.)...

All you have to do is set the approximate time on the turn dial in the middle.  Set your blue peg to what time you want your crock pot to turn on and the red one to when you want it to turn off (I didn't set the red one here for the right time because I was going to be home to turn it off).  Then load your crock pot (Crock Pot Enchilada's pictured here)...

And turn the crock pot dial to your desired setting...

Works like a charm!  :)  Give it a try!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Plan - Spring Break Week!

It feels like spring out there!!!  Just in time for spring break week!  :)  We are looking forward to a break from our schedule.  Here's what we'll be eating...

Meatloaf, Green Beans, Grilled Potatoes, Fruit

Small Group Night - Bring BBQ Meatballs

Chicken Salad on Deli Thins, Chips, Fruit

Dillon's Salad Bar Night

Grilled Pizza (with chicken, bacon, tomato & basil)

Chicken Fried Steak, Roasted Carrots & Potatoes, Fruit

Angel Chicken with Noodles, Green Beans, Fruit

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five 4 Friday

1. TP Update... In regards to my Facebook status earlier in the week...
Aldi's TP (had to get some in a pinch today) is no substitute for Cottonelle ... but one step up from the Walgreens Big Roll that I grew up with.
After using the same roll for 3 days and still having at least another 3 days left on the roll, I must say I'm quite impressed with its longevity despite the raw buns around here.  Eric would die if he knew I were considering such a change... better get back to Cottonelle for our marriage!  :)

2.  When you think something positive about your spouse, say it!

3.  My favorite water cup right now.

Do you all have a favorite drinking cup???  I switch between this one and a glass green one.

4.  I really want to get Cole potty trained soon.  I need motivation... maybe I should reward myself with a prize for completing such a daunting task.  After all, I should have a few bucks from not buying diapers every couple weeks.  Yep, I think a prize is in order.

5.  It's about time for the great seasonal drawer/closet shift for the kiddos.  Bring it, Spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ease Up Ladies...

I do life with a journal in one hand and a black pen in the other.  My pen of choice right now is one my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas... the green uni JETSREAM 1.0.... doesn't it just sound amazing???

I love to write.

Most of what I write is for myself.  It's how I process through whatever my thoughts and my circumstances may be.  I have stacks of journals that I'm sure someday, after I'm long gone my children will have a desire to flip through... because of that, I find myself scribbling little notes to them along the way.  For instance, this past January I was having an "intense" season of parenting.  Those of you with children know what I'm talking about... I was journaling about it like crazy when I got to thinking that Sadie and Cole might someday read those words... so I quickly penned...
Sadie & Cole
Just in case you are reading this someday, these difficult days of training and raising you are worth it!  I love you both deeply and am so thankful that God has entrusted you to my care for these years.  I'm proud of you.  Love you forever -
Recently I journaled on a topic that I've been considering for several years (one I want Sadie to grasp long before she gets where I'm at today), but haven't managed to get from my head and my heart onto paper.  It's something I feel deeply about for women and something I didn't notice until I became a mother, but I know the issue was a reality even in my teen years, just on a different "level."  I'm just going to throw my journal entry on here... it's far from perfect or organized, but it's raw... and I think that's what God sometimes uses the most.
I started noticing something about women shortly after I began staying home with Sadie.  I'm not sure if I was too naive to notice it before or if the season of motherhood thrust me into this realization.  Women are hard on each other.  Really hard.  We should totally be in the same corner with each other, but all too often we are entertaining judgmental thoughts about each other.  It has to stem back to our own insecurities.  We all fight the urge to be better at something than someone else.  We can't stand the competition... and if we can't be better, we get bitter and bad mouth...

On ridiculous issues....
- how their children behave
- how their money is spent
- to cloth diaper or use Pampers
- what foods they feed their families
- how she treats her husband/how her husband treats her
- her appearance - Can you believe she is wearing that???
Etc. Etc. Etc... I could make other lists on women in the career world, for girls in middle school/high school.  It's a real issue for women/girls everywhere you turn.

We've gotta get over ourselves and our own insecurities and onto what Jesus has called us to!  It's high time we find ourselves in the same corner as one another genuinely encouraging, supporting and praying for each other.

It's time we dealt with our junk... lay it down in it's entirety at the feet of Jesus.
It's time we found contentment in who God made us to be... in our own uniqueness.
It's time for our measuring stick to only be measuring ourselves.

Galatians 5:26 says - We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.  Each of us is an original.

We are robbing ourselves of some of the deepest relationships that God wants to give us because of our rotten, judgmental attitudes toward one another.  It's time to let it go and really live.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Got it memorized - onto the next... Galatians 5:26

I have really been struggling with memorizing the March 1st verse I chose... even in it's shortness.  Finally I made some motions for it this morning (I am such an early childhood teacher)... usually if I can get motions for the first couple words, I'm golden.  Here it is from memory....
Job 42:2
I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted.  :) (emphasis mine)
I'm going to be working on Galatians 5:26 for the next couple weeks.  Normally I memorize from NIV... no particular reason other than that's what I'm used to, but I'm going to memorize this from The Message.  I really like the wording and I'll probably refer back to this verse in a future post.  Galatians 5:26 says...
We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.  Each of us in an original.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan - My Kitchen's a Mess

I may try to keep up on my Menu Plan, but I sure don't have it all together!  This is what happens when you ignore your dishes for nearly 24 hours.

Dishes, anyone???
I don't want to ever paint a picture around here that everything is perfect.!  :)  We have messes that we are constantly after - toy messes - kitchen messes - table messes - relationship messes.  Life is always about picking up (get it... picking up... heehee:) where you are, living in grace, adjusting life and moving ahead.

Speaking of grace... do you know that I managed to go a whole week without a menu plan.  I'm not sure what we ate - we didn't eat out but a couple times - and we all seemed to live!  Miracles never cease.  With that being said, here's this week's menu (I'm gonna try to do better.... really.).

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup, Corn Bread, Fruit

Small Group - I'm making Bean & Cheese Quesadillas

Tacos, Chips with Guac, Fruit

Tomato Bisque Soup, Grilled Cheese on Homemade Bread, Fruit

Grilled Pizza, Fruit

Pasta Salad with Chicken

Slow Cooker Enchiladas, Chips with Salsa

I did manage to plan my menu for the next couple weeks so I can do my BIG grocery shopping on Tuesday.  I haven't managed to plan two weeks at a time since before Christmas and I think I need to get back in that habit.  I seem to do better keeping to the grocery budget when I do big shopping twice a month instead of weekly.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  And if you have a mess to deal with... take it moment by moment!  :)  Jesus bless you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where's Waldo... or Sadie

Sadie loves stuffed animals.  Every now and then I go through and ask her to pick a couple of them that could go to a new kiddo... this is painful for her.  She has names for most of them and attachments to them... there are a few that I seem to be attached to also.  Weird how we get attached to things like that even as adults (or maybe I have more issues than I thought).

Usually these critters are stored in her baby cradle, but a couple days this week she insisted on lining them up on her bed after making it.  :)  She wanted me to take a picture of them... and of course, it wouldn't complete without her in the mix!
Where's Sadie?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emotion Results & Reflections

Thought it would be fun to share the colors Sadie and I chose for the emotions from this post

Here are my colors (you may need to click on the picture to read the emotion).... I colored them when she wasn't near me so that she wouldn't be swayed by what I chose.

Kristen's colors.
Sadie and I only had a couple colors that matched, but many of the shades were similar.  Here are her colors...

Sadie's colors.

This was a good exercise for us... the scared, sad and nervous colors gave us a chance to talk a little bit about school.  We talked about how it's normal to feel that way when you are away from mommy and daddy sometimes, and reinforced that she is safe and we will be back to get her!

I like how she colored happy, sleepy and peaceful all the same color... that made sense to me.  :)

My favorite quote as she was painting peaceful blue... "I feel peaceful right now."  Paintbrush in hand.  One on one time with momma... peace.  :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Job 42:2

Could someone please tell me how March happened???  I am dumbfounded.  Tomorrow is my husband's 32nd Birthday and I am not nearly as prepared as I should be!  Must get myself together!

Since I'm realizing that it is March, I better post what I'm working to memorize right now.

I thought I was going to be working on Ephesians 3:20, but I think I'm going to memorize Job 42:2, instead.  Pastor Andy shared this verse this past weekend as we kicked off our series on the Trinity, specifically focusing on God the Father.  The point was that God is omnipotent, or all powerful.  Job 42:2 reads...
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
I love knowing that on my best and worst of days I can trust the heart of God.  He sees.  He knows.  He can.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do your pants hang low???

This is what happens when your buns aren't big enough for your britches...

One would think he would at least try to pull them up every now and then, BUT he doesn't seem to care... why pull up your pants when you can be playing outside???

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dirt and stuff...

Today is the first day in 2011 that I have dirt under my fingernails... and it won't be the last!!!  I am so excited!!!

I spent the afternoon digging in the dirt and cleaning off mulch looking to see what kind of perennials we have inherited.  I found some green hiding under there!!! One of my 30 B4 30 goals was to plant perennials at our new house, but I'm not sure that I will need to plant much, if any.  The woman who lived here before did a lot of landscaping and I'm excited to see what grows in the next few months.

Last fall (before we moved) I made a list of vegetables I wanted to grow this year and a plan for a sunflower hut for the kids to play in... doesn't that sound wonderfully fun???  Earlier in the week I drew my picture of where everything would go.  I also checked my compost for the first time since fall... it's ready!  I'm ready.  Bring it spring.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan - Sun & Warm Weather Ahead!

There is SUNSHINE today!!!    The weather in the last week has put me in a funky mood... I like a rainy day every now and then, but I love warmth and sunshine!  We'll get Sadie from school in a little bit (she wanted me to make sure you all knew that she and Eric were going on a field trip to the Police Station today!) and then I think we will enjoy some time outside!

Menu Plan for the Week:
Steak, Mixed Veggies, Peaches

Small group - Bring Veggie Pizza

Pizza Noodle Bake, Corn, Pineapple

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole, Carrots/Dip, Fruit

Ranch Tilapia, Salad, Fruit

Baked Potato Bar

Marinated Grilled Chicken, Grilled Potatoes, Salad and Fruit

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five 4 Friday

I've been on the quiet side around here this week.... trying to get back in routine after being away for a few days is difficult for me.  Even now I'm still sitting in my workout clothes needing to take my first shower of the day.  Here's 5 random thoughts for you on this Friday!
  1. I was at Target this morning getting a gift for my nephews 1st Birthday and saw that the Reese's Easter Eggs are out... I also spotted the Cadbury Chocolate Eggs with the hard candy coating.  My two favorite Easter Candies.  I didn't buy them today mainly because I can't believe what they want to charge for holiday candy, but next pay check, I'm on it.
  2. Sadie has had a much better week going to school!  The first thing out of her mouth in the morning is always, "Is it a school day???" and if it is, she frets until time to go (which unfortunately isn't until 12:30), but drop off is much better!  I'm not sure what's changed other than a lot of prayer... I also told her on her way Wednesday that she isn't going to be afraid to go to school forever, which seemed to calm her... sometimes you just need to know that some of your struggles are only for a season.
  3. I was looking at Cole's head this last week, enjoying how perfectly round it is and the nice ridge he has.  So thankful yet again for his helmet therapy and for the people who so graciously gave to help meet that need for our family
  4. I recently read that on average, a stay-at-home mom only spends 15 extra intentional minutes  a day with their child than a working mom.  That stat stopped me dead in my tracks.  It's easy to just let the kids play, watch a show, whatever... while you clean, do dishes, check Facebook, do laundry, check Facebook, blog etc.  Sure thinking about how I spend my time and working to be more intentional to just sit and play with my kids.
  5. We got another snow here yesterday.  Can I just say I am so over the snow???  I should have known it would happen because yesterday morning I mopped all the wood floors, getting the grit off from the last snow.  No more mopping until I see green on the trees.  Just kidding... kinda.

Monday, February 21, 2011


When we moved into our house we inherited an extremely large mirror on our bedroom door.  I really kind of like it, but it can scare to poo out of you if you catch your reflection in it at the wrong time.  The kids also like it.  The other day we were sitting on the floor making faces at each other in the mirror... one thing led to another and then we decided to turn it into a game.  I would tell them an emotion and then they would have to make the face to match.  Then we would talk about what things made us feel that way.  They thought the face making was hil-ar-i-ous... and some of their faces were too!  My favorite was their surprised face.  Cole's was especially oh-so-cute.  There's something about being two that makes you that way... as long as you aren't throwing a fit.

Anyway, a couple days after that I found this painting activity dealing with emotions.  It sounds really awesome.  I am hoping to do it with the kids later this week... you know how we love painting.  Excited to see what colors they choose for each emotion.  Just wanted to pass it along to my parent/teacher readers!  Hope it makes you HAPPY! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Menu Plan - ANOTHER crazy week

Last week, Eric and I were able to go to the C3 Conference at Fellowship Church in Texas.  We went with 40 other CrossPoint leaders from all of our campuses.  It was a great week... refreshing, motivating, challenging... one of those weeks that plants the desire in you to bring your ministry to a whole new level.  Excited to see how God is going to move through CP in the next few months! 

This week is another crazy week filled will all sorts of stuff... some day travel events, some just crazy in town stuff.   It stresses me out to be busy, so I'm trying to take deep breaths just to get through the next few days!  Here's what we will be eating this week...

Mini Pigs in a Blanket, Mac & Cheese, Salad, Fruit

Dinner with Small Group - Fresh Fruit & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Eric & Sadie are going to a WSU game with Eric's Dad - Cole and I will probably just have a snacky supper

Turkey Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

Sack Lunch Supper in the car

Grilled Stuffed Burritos, Chips & Guac, Fruit

Turkey Joes, Mixed Veggies, Fruit

Thursday, February 17, 2011

For those of us that struggle with change...

"The truth is, God uses change to change us.  He doesn't use it to destroy us, but to coax us to the next level of character, experience, compassion, and destiny."
-Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You'll never believe this...

but... I played in the snow again this winter!  Sadie and I spent some time outside this last week making this Mr. Potato Head snowman.  Accessorizing her snow people may be one of her favorite things.  Meet Smiley.  I think he's cute.

Sadie with Smiley.
We can now bring on spring.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Psalm 40:5

Well, it would appear that I am breaking the verse 17 pattern... over the next couple weeks, I will be working to memorize Psalm 40:5 which says...
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
Our God is good!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Last week I mentioned that Sadie is struggling with separation anxiety.  This is new territory for us.  Neither one of our children did the "normal" separation anxiety around the age of 18 months.  As long as they were with someone they loved and trusted, they were always happy to go wherever without Eric or me.

I did the separation anxiety bit at about the same time in my development.  It lasted into the 9th week of Kindergarten.  My teacher gave me an award for coming to school for the first time without crying and needing to be peeled off of whomever was delivering me for the day.  I remember those days vividly.  They may be some of my first memories, actually.  Exhausting.  For everyone.

This is probably one of the most difficult times I've had in my 4 years of parenting (I sound so seasoned, don't I??!!).  I can't fix it.  There seems to be nothing I can do to ease the pain...  I've tried.  It's one of those seasons, when you have to sit back, do the hard things and pray - pray - pray.

I'm learning that there are times in your children's lives when you will have no other choice but to pray them through.  Yes... you can encourage them and support them... but you have to release them to let the ONE who is more capable handle them, love them and strengthen them.  I know that God is going to use this in Sadie's life for His good.  I think it may even be part of her journey that draws her to Himself.   Praying for Sadie and sitting back to do the hard stuff - wait & trust.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cole, I'm gonna keep you....

When we move, it takes me awhile to sort through stuff and figure out where I'm going to put everything.  Sometimes I like to switch things up from our last place... sometimes I like it the same... and sometimes I pull things out of storage that have been there for 5 years and use them in some new way.

Since our last house was a rental and we knew it would be temporary, I didn't hang much on the walls... just enough to make it feel homey.  As I've been unpacking in our new place, I've realized that this is the first time that Cole has really taken time to look at a lot of pictures.  Today as I was hanging things on our bedroom wall I unwrapped our wedding picture.

Don't we look so young???  Eric and I got a good laugh out of this!

Sweet little Cole looked at it, pointed to Eric and said, "Daddy," and pointed to me and said, "Mommy."  He looked at it a little longer as I was unwrapping other pictures and said, "Mommy, you were a princess."  Melt my heart.  I needed that after this week!  ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Teacher Face

Yesterday I had to put on my teacher face.  I am a pretty patient person... but there are times when the teacher face is necessary.  Eric says he's glad he's not a child anymore because my teacher face scares him.  I am pretty intimidating, you know.

I needed to jump in the shower yesterday morning.  Before I hopped in I did my famous, "Does anyone need anything before I get in the shower," speech.  There were no takers, so I went ahead and gathered my things and went to clean up.

About 5 minutes in, Sadie comes to me telling me she wants a hot dog.  Where was she when I did the speech???  I told her she would need to wait... it was not safe for her to try to warm a hot dog herself (she's tried the microwave by herself before... not.good!).

She moseyed off to do who-knows-what... what really takes place when mom's in the shower, anyway???  Apparently all things exciting because next thing I know she's back telling me I need to come quick.  With conditioner in my hair I jump out of the shower, grab a towel and run through the dining room into the kitchen to find the dog snarfing down hot dogs as quickly as he can... expensive all-beef Hebrew National dogs... they are not hot dogs suited for a canine.  Dripping wet, I quickly start snatching hot dogs (did I mention I bought the family size pack of 24???) off the floor in attempt to rescue them. 

Apparently Sadie went ahead with her hot dog warming (after all, she only needed to press 2-0-start... so she says) and in the process Cole decided to help.  He was the poor soul who ended up dumping the dogs on the floor and Boston-the-Wonder-Dog was just an innocent bystander willing to help clean up the mess.

Insert teacher face.  Mama wasn't happy.  Wanna come over for a hot dog???

Monday, February 7, 2011

Keeping it real

Guess what!!??

Things aren't always sunshine and roses around here.  Today has been one of THOSE days.

Between Sadie going through a stage of separation anxiety and Cole going through a super-whiny-and-whimpering stage I am exhausted...this is why we only have two children.  I spent a majority of my morning trying to get a very weepy Sadie excited about a 2 hour afternoon at preschool and redirecting Cole for the 500 kazillionth to "tell me again using his big boy voice."  At 4 o'clock this evening I finally got to folding my 3 loads of laundry that had been dumped on the bed, the dishwasher loaded and the bills paid.

Some days I just want to sit in the corner, cry and pray that Dr. Pepper would come and rescue me.  I would just like to say that I am so thankful that tomorrow is a new day...

Friday, February 4, 2011

My favorite pics from the last week...

Snow days bring out the best in people... creativity tends to blossom when you are stuck in the same space for multiple days.  Here's what happened around here this week besides movie watching, tent building and jammie snuggling...

Cole found my glasses and decided to wear them.  He thought this was h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s.

Sadie is starting to really be interested in writing all sorts of things.  I love this message she wrote next her plate of freshly baked cookies.

This is what happens when two children are left unattended.  Incidentally, Sadie looked the same.

Balloons are just all around fun...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I love to watch Sadie and Cole play together these days.  I know it must be similar to how my brother and I played as children.  I am 2 years and 5 days older than my brother... Sadie is 2 years and 18 days older than Cole.  Because of her age, Sadie is the ring leader of a lot of their play, but Cole is just happy to be with her.  Don't get me wrong, they have their tiffs, but for the most part, they enjoy each other.

In the last few months they have begun...
  • playing house together
  • playing school together
  • building blocks and legos together
  • chasing each other like crazy all through the house
  • building tents
  • crafting together
They fetch each other books, snacks and Bandaids and sometimes they even do this....

Sadie and Cole chillin' in front of the TV.

and eventually there will be a day when they do this...

Me with my Brother last July celebrating the birth of his baby girl, Kate.
And that's good stuff.  I'm glad they're friends... because being friends with your siblings is one of the best gifts in the world.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Zephaniah 3:17

I have finally decided what Scripture I want to memorize during the 1st couple weeks of February.  Normally I will read something and immediately know... that's it... I gotta memorize it.   This month, not so much... but today I found a verse in Zephaniah that I love.  As I wrote it in my notebook, I realized that all the verses I've learned this year are verse 17... James 1:17, Psalm 90:17... and now Zephaniah 3:17.  Isn't that crazy weird???

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
"The Lord your God is with you,
He is might to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Is that not beautiful??!!  These words take me right to my happy place.  We've just got to know and believe that the God of the Universe cares so deeply for each of us... He delights over us... He quiets us... He sings over us...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So Thankful

Sadie was was having trouble resting today, so in attempt to get her to sit still a little bit longer, I went in on the couch and cuddled her up.  As we watched the blizzard outside and the bare trees sway in the breeze, I listened to her thoughts on heaven, heater vents and snowflakes.  Yes, we are that deep.  ;) Eventually she snuggled into my arms a little more and fell asleep.

I couldn't help but be thankful for the moments that I get to spend just talking and loving on my kids. A lot of times I take that for granted... I get so wrapped up in the day to day nitty gritty that I forget. I've mentioned here before that I can't hold them forever, but I'm so glad that God has entrusted them to my care for these days.  I pray that Eric and I would make this time count as we raise them to love Jesus with all of their heart, soul and strength.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Deck the Halls with a Valentine!

The month of February seems to bring out my inner teacher... we've been tracing, cutting and crafting around here to get ready for a month filled with X's, O's & chocolate!

Our heart garland made out of old, bent up gift bags (we seem to have an abundance of recycled gift bags around here)... the lacing string is made out of the gift bag handles... just tied together.  :)

Heart streamers hung from the chandelier...

And our hutch on Valentine steroids... there's a little bit of everything hanging out here!  :)

Bringing the valentine spirit around here!  :)