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!  :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Plan - Back in the groove

Last week was a weird week... we deviated from the Meal Plan quite a bit.  We ended up using a gift card and free kid's meal coupons to Chili's one night AND THEN we had a 24 hour period where the city was working on our water lines, which colored our water yellow.  I just wasn't that into drinking and cooking with yellow water, so we ate out a couple more meals.  My kids probably think this was the most exciting week of their lives.  :)  I'm not a big eater outer (is that a term?), but everyone else in my family thinks it's the bee's knees.  This week, we've gotta get back into the routine. 

Potato & Ham Soup, Crescent Rolls, Fruit

Not sure yet... have some scheduling issues...

Mexicali Meatloaf, Corn, Salad, Fruit

Salmon, Sweet Potato Fries, Salad, Fruit

Orange Chicken & Rice, Snap Peas, Fruit

Popcorn, Cheese & Apples

Angel Crock Pot Chicken, Green Beans, Fruit

Friday, January 28, 2011

My future fashion consultant...

I love Sadie's style... and honestly I wish I could look as cute as she does even in a mismatched concoction, such as this.

This girl's got soul when it comes to clothes and that makes me smile.

PS... Don't you love the boots on the wrong feet???  How do children tolerate that?!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soul Candy

The past couple weeks I've been participating in our churches B90X reading plan... it's a read through the New Testament in 90 days.  As I was reading along last week, something stood out to me that I had never noticed before (Eric had never noticed it either... and I love teaching him a thing or two about Scripture!  ;)  Usually it's the other way around.)

Anyway, I was reading through Matthew 27:15-26... these verses lead up to Jesus' crucifixion -
15 Now it was the governor's custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was  Barabbas.17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor.
"Barabbas," they answered.

22 "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" Pilate asked.
They all answered, "Crucify him!"

23 "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"
25 All the people answered, "His blood is on us and on our children!"
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Intense.  I can't begin to imagine being in that moment.  Because of the crowds uproar, Jesus took the place of Barabbas who was guilty of the crime which Jesus was accused. 

Here's the part that got me all excited... in my commentary it explained that the name "Barabbas" means "son of the father," which was exactly who Jesus was to God... the "son of the Father."  I don't think it was by accident that Barabbas' mother chose that name for him... it was divine... God knew where Barabbas would be all those years later.  He knew that the true "son of the Father" would take Barabbas' place on the cross... along with yours and mine. 

So thankful for the "son of the Father," Jesus, and His deep love for each of us... His willingness to go to the cross so that we might know of His redeeming love.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Cole: (holding up a sock) Whose sock this, Daddy?

Eric: That's Sadie's sock.

Cole:  Where my socks?

Eric:  I don't know, what color are they?

Cole:  White, white, daddy.

Eric: White?

Cole: They have witing (writing) on them.

Eric:  Really, what do they say?

Cole:  They don't talk.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Book List

Oh, how I love a  stack of books!  I've officially borrowed and collected everything I'm planning to read over the next few weeks until the groundhog decides that spring is here (Oh, Lord, may it come quickly!).  :)

Here's the run down:
Yesterday's Embers by Deborah Raney
So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore
Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
Do You Know Who I am? by Angela Thomas
Each New Day by Corrie Ten Boom

Monday, January 24, 2011

How do you like your chocolate???

Those that know me well, know that I love me some chocolate... with a Dr. Pepper on the side, of course.  It is truly my guilty pleasure. Chocolate may even be my love language.  Maybe Gary Chapman needs to add an extra chapter to his book for me.  :)  Anyway... I used to be a lover of all things milk chocolate... I especially loved Milk Chocolate Bliss Squares.  Heaven in a wrapper.

Something weird has been happening to me lately, though... maybe it has to do with me becoming more grown up... I mean, I am just a few months shy of 30... maybe my taste buds are just maturing a few weeks before the big day.... for-whatever-reason I recently made the switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate (something I never thought I would do).  My chocolate change of heart happened overnight (imagine that, a girl changing her mind overnight... we'll leave that for another post).    Come to find out, Dark Chocolate Bliss Squares are my new heaven in a wrapper.  Who knew???

So, what do you prefer, milk or dark???

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hey! It's what's for dinner...

Happy Sunday to everyone!  :)  It is super cloudy and cold here today... I'm thinking a great day for a nap!  Let's hope everyone is supportive of that idea and we can get a few moments of peace quiet around here!

Here's what's for supper this week...
Beef Stew, Homemade bread, Fruit

Small Group Appetizer Night... I'm bringing a fruit pizza

Cheese It Chicken, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Green Beans, Fruit

Quesadilla Burgers, French Fries, Fruit

California Club Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit

Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Waffles, Bacon & Eggs

Our lunches this week are the usual, but I am going to try something all wild and crazy... thinking about making grilled peanut better and jelly sandwiches... for some reason the warm melted peanut butter sounds too yummy for words.  I'll let you know if it's any good.  :)  Have a wonderful week... last week of January!  Can you believe it!?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Something that makes life easier... while painting

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. :)

We do a lot of painting and crafting around here.  Originally we started off with the Crayola paint set with 10 colors and screw tops... the idea was to put a brush right into the paint and then pop the lid back on when you were done.  But, we were wasting so.much.paint.... it was gloppy and always super messy.  And then there was the mixing of colors... well, let's just say that the teacher in me knows this is a good process for a preschooler but this OCD mama couldn't handle multiple colors in each paint cup.   

We needed a change... so at Christmas, I purchased squeezable tubes of Crayola's Washable Poster Paint in 5 colors and painter pallets for Sadie and Cole.  I set them up with a cup of about 20 brushes (collected from old water color sets) a cup of water (for dirty brushes), paper and their pallets.  

We fill five holes up with color and then they can mix new colors in the empty spots.  It works beautifully and clean up is a snap... everything goes right to the dishwasher... the dishwasher is my BFF.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Middle names are funny...

Tonight at supper Eric had this great idea for all of us to call each other by our middle names... so, we had a Marie, a Noel and two William's.  Having two people with the same name became difficult, so we decided to shorten Cole's name to Bill... I couldn't help but laugh myself silly calling my two year old son, Bill.  I mean, seriously, does this little face look like a Bill to you???

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Proof that I indeed DID play in the snow...

Cold weather makes me miserable.... but I had to stay true to my 30 B4 30 plan to build a snowman with the kids. We had a beautiful snow (if those two words can be written together) last week and when we went outside to play.

The snow was too fluffy to build an upright snowman, so we constructed a snow angel.

We also celebrated because this is the first snow that Cole was able to walk in!!! He enjoyed it very much... and was thankful that it wasn't too cold because he's as wimpy as I am when it comes to unpleasant weather.

Our morning was finished off with a ride on the sleigh through the neighborhood. Good times... hopefully memories that they will remember!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scripture Memory

I am a little slow at getting here on this Monday (and didn't have the chance to blog yesterday)... I was able to spend today with my friends again. This is a rarity... twice in one month... lately we've been on the 3-4 times a year plan. Super blessed.

Anyway, in my last post I said that I would post the scripture that I am memorizing or have memorized this month and I also wanted to show you how I keep track of what I memorize. Sometimes if you can see what others are doing, it's just inspiring to get out there and do the same thing!

A few years ago I began using spiral notepads for memory.
I like that everything stays together in one place instead of having notes here and there with random verses... but sometimes you just need a change... so this time around, Eric shared one of his Moleskines with me. Isn't that a weird name for a little black notebook?
Anyway... I like it, and it makes me happy and motivated to pull it out and review my verses. Here's what I memorized at the top of the month...

James 1:17NIV
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
(I actually chose this verse to memorize around Christmas... doesn't it sound all festive with gifts and lights?! ;)

And the new one I'm working on...
Psalm 90:17NIV
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands.
(God's favor upon our family and ministry has been something I've been praying over us for the last 6-8 months... I also like that this verse adds for the Lord to establish our work - to show us what to do!!!)

Hope this is encouragement for you to grab your Bible and begin the journey... or continue the journey of hiding God's Word in your heart... His Word is living and active and will never come back void.

30 B4 30 Update Edition 2 + a change

I didn't really make any New Year's Resolutions this year because I've been working hard at completing my 30 B4 30 list... it has really been A LOT of fun and caused me to be more focused in different areas than normal (apart from cleaning, cooking and keeping kids alive). I'm considering making a similar list at every Birthday in the years to come. Here is the list of some simple things (and not so simple things) I want to accomplish before my 30th Birthday. In case you're wondering... what I have done so far is in gray scale!!!

1. Learn to make homemade lemonade.
2. Teach Sadie to tie her shoes. (We have been working on this... slow going, though... her kindergarten teacher will be so happy next year when she can do this!)
3. Complete reading through the Bible. Continued progress... changing my reading schedule up a bit since our Church is doing B90X (a 90 day read through the New Testament.
4. Hike a new park we've discovered and Coronado Heights.
5. Take the kids fishing. I did find a fishing pole on sale for Cole this week at Target... won't be doing any fishing in the Midwest for a while, though!
6. Take Eric on a surprise date.
7. Get photo albums updated - this could take an eternity.
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. On our way and getting passports this week! Woot!
10. Get pictures secured in Cole's baby book.
11. Invite 30 people to CrossPoint. Making progress, but I'm afraid I've lost count on where I'm at!
12. Take a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge.
13. Get 6 hours of college credit to renew my teaching certificate. 3 are complete!
14. Read 5 books every season. (Summer season DONE and Fall season with 20 more pages to go! Will post new books this next week!)
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. Meditate/Memorize 5 segments of scripture: This is the one I'm editing! :)
Daniel 2:20-23
Psalm 131
Deuteronomy 10:12-13
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Isaiah 30:18
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!)


Okay... so about #17... I have issues with changing things up. For some reason I feel like every little thing must be set in stone... but I think I need to get over that. I am loosing motivation on the verses here for a couple reasons - I feel defeated by their length AND while at one point these were verses I was passionate over, I have now moved into a new season of life with new scripture that is meaningful. I feel the more meaningful a certain verse is, the more apt you are to take it to heart through memory... so, maybe it's better to choose a verse right before you are ready to memorize??!!

Anyway, all that to say... I love reading Beth Moore's blog and this year she is doing a Scripture Memory Challenge, so I've decided to take part. Basically it's memorizing 2 verses every month... they are sharing them on the Living Proof Ministry Blog on the 1st and 15th every month, but it's better accountability for me to post them here every month. I have already memorized one and have selected my second for January... I will share them with you on Monday!

So... #17 will now read: Participate in Beth Moore's Scripture Memory Challenge! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Soul Candy

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
Deuteronomy 6:7-8

Praying today I that would have a heart that loves the Lord deeply, that I would walk in His ways and that I would look to Him in all things as I spend my days with my children. So thankful to serve a God who directs our path (and some days the path requires mud boots instead of your fancy ones)... this parenting thing isn't for the weak!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

My brain is in somewhat of a fog today... maybe the cheers from a giveaway will clear things up! :)


List Randomizer

There were 7 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Andrea
Yay, Andrea! :) I'll be getting with you to grab your address and will send you some hair clips in the next week! :) Thanks for you comments, everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Something that makes life easier... during game time.

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. :)

Sadie loves playing card games right now... actually games of any sort are on her radar these days. The problem... it's difficult for her to hold several cards in her little hand at a time... here's our solution... Egg Carton Card Holder...

To make your own Egg Carton Card Holder...
  • Turn an empty egg carton upside down.
  • Using a knife, cut small 1 inch slits on the top of each compartment.
  • Pass out the game cards, insert cards into slits and play away!
  • We store our carton up in the game closet so it's out of the way. :)
Simple and fun...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Worth Sharing...

I read these two blogs this week and thought they were worth sharing with those who are in the midst of raising children and those raising children in ministry...

This one on patience in mothering....
Be patient... from Making Home

And the other on raising "pastor's kids" aka PK's...
The PK Life: The Teen Perspective from Leading and Loving It

Both of them challenged me and made me think! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Plan - Clean Out the Freezer Week

We have done quite a bit of traveling over the past couple weeks, so I thought saving a little money on groceries this week would counter some of our traveling expenses. I am in the habit of throwing odds and ends in the freezer... here's what I found today as I cleaned out... it's difficult to take a good picture of baggies of miscellaneous food, but you'll get the idea. :)

In this picture: crushed tomatoes, extra ricotta/spinach filling for shells, extra spaghetti sauce, 2 ripe bananas, potato puffs - aka tater tots, Italian bread loaf (hiding in the back)
4 whole wheat rolls, leftover roast beef, berry smoothie in the jar, apple pie ready for a crust, chicken breasts, ground turkey, shredded cabbage

There was quite a bit in there! I was able to incorporate this stuff into 6 meals for the next week, making my grocery list

Here's what we're having this week:
Lunches include: leftovers, egg sandwiches, muffin tin lunches, PBJ tortillas, and tostadas, hot dogs

Bierocks, Honey Carrots, Fruit (we had some yummy blueberries this week... and I've been hungry for raspberries... maybe I can find some this week!?)

Supper/Snack night @ small group - don't know what I'm bringing yet!

BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob, Fruit, Rolls

Laughing Cow Chicken, Snap Peas, Fruit

Spaghetti & Stuffed Shells, Italian Bread, Green Beans, Fruit

Tater Tot Casserole, Salad, Raw Carrots, Fruit

Beef Stroganoff, Green Beans, Fruit

For snacks this week, I'm going to make an apple pie and some banana chip muffins... maybe some PB Kiss Cookies because I've been hungry for those! :)

I hope you had a relaxing weekend! Looking forward to a great week together!

Don't forget that there's a giveaway opportunity this week! :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A couple things...

It's the weekend! Can I get an Yippee!? I've got a couple things in the works for this next week and wanted to invite you to join me if you are interested!!!
  • Menu Plan - This week I'm doing a freezer clean out! My goal is to see how many meals I can create with what's in my freezer! Tomorrow I'll be back with pictures of what I've found and share how many meals I can make with my freezer finds... doesn't that just sound invigorating??? The life of a homemaker... it really is the little things that are

    So... if you want to partake in the excitement, get your little buns to your freezer and see what you can find... then comment tomorrow on the Menu Plan post sharing what you found and how many meals you can make! :)

  • GIVEAWAY DAY! I am busy making some of these.... to give to you!!!

I became addicted to making these cute little snap hair clips before Christmas. Since Sadie can only wear so many barrettes in a day, I thought I'd make some to share with you! To enter the drawing for the hair clips, leave a comment on this post. Comments will close on Wednesday at 9AM Central Time.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Little boys and their toys...

This is one of my favorite pictures from Christmas this year... our nephew, Corban, and Cole playing on the iPad... for a long time we wondered if these little boys would every play together, let alone snuggle together. Technology brings us together on multiple levels! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back in the saddle...

Ahhhhhhh... the tree is down, the laundry's nearly caught up and the dishwasher is doin' it's thing... I'm home. And it's good.

We were able to get away and spend some time with both sides of our family. It's always fun to get away from the normal every day routine. One of the highlights of the trip... squeezing in some baby therapy with my brother's little one...

Vacations can't last forever... so here we are!!! I have so much to share in the next week or so... I made a list so I don't forget. I love me a good list. :)

Speaking of lists, here's my menu plan for the rest of this week!

Lunch: Hot Dogs, Blueberries, Yogurt
Supper: Pancakes with Strawberries and Scrambled Eggs

Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Carrots, Fruit
Supper: Something quick...

Lunch: Mini Pizzas on English Muffins
Supper: White Chicken Chili

Lunch: Ranch Tilapia, Salad and Fruit
Supper: Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Make sure to check back later this week because we are going to have a giveaway!!! I've never done that before, but it's going to be so fun... especially if you have a little girl or know one that you can spoil! :)

Thanks for reading! Happy Thursday!