Monday, November 28, 2011

I Heart Faces: Bust a Gut

Ella LOVES this jack-in-the-box sock monkey toy. She was dying laughing at it each time it popped up!




Menu Planning Monday

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful During Thanksgiving

I’m sad to say that the first Thursday I’ve missed in writing “Thankful Thursday” posts was Thanksgiving, the day our nation takes time off to be thankful. BUT, I’m thankful that throughout this past Thanksgiving week that I really haven’t spent much time at all on the computer, and that a large portion of the time that I have spent on the computer has been spent looking up recipes for family meals or looking at family photos.

Every year I’m more appreciative of the blessings that I have in my life. I’m blessed with a beautiful family. I’m thankful that my husband is leading our home to be centered on God. I’m blessed spiritually (Ephesians 1:3) because I’ve been baptized into Christ Jesus. I’m blessed by my spiritual family (the church), and I’m blessed to be able to labor with them in the Lord.  I’m blessed physically with a house (much more than we need), a warm bed on cool nights, clothing, and plenty to eat. And, even with some of the awful things that we see in our nation, I am blessed to be living in this Great Nation.

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Just one thought for today, but lots of photos.

I’m thankful for kiddos that, at least at this point in their lives, enjoy playing with each other.







Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful for my little boy who is turning into a toddler before my eyes.




I’m thankful that my husband has endured all the really bad meals I’ve cooked during our marriage. I’m also thankful that there are a lot less bad meals these days . . . I’ve learned a bit over the years!



And, I’m thankful for our house, and for all the hard work we put into making the house our own.

(kitchen before – excuse the facebook quality photos)

(kitchen after – well, close to after)

The Ugliness of Sin


As a mother, I often think about the world in which my children are growing up and are forming who they will become. I’m a news junkie (and my fairly recent conversion to Twitter has not helped me in that area), and I see story after story of the effects of sin in the world today. One such incidence that would be hard to miss if you keep up with any news at all is the scandal that is currently rocking the sports world within the Penn State football program. There are so many things about the situation that are sickening to me: the alleged molestation of children; the alleged mishandling of reporting of the incidents; and, the protestors who seem to care more about football than young children who may have been assaulted. The actions of many within or near the entire situation are clearly revolting.

I hurt when I think about the day when my children are old enough to ask questions about such situations as the one mentioned above. I want to keep them protected from such sad and evil examples; I want to keep their minds pure. However, I know that I cannot protect them from the world forever, and eventually they will (and must) learn about sin and the consequences of sin. I’m thankful, though, that as they learn about the ugliness of sin, that I can teach them about Someone who can take away sin if we obey Him; Someone who sacrificed His life that we might live – Jesus Christ. As Romans 6:23 states: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 John 4: 7-11: “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I need to take a before picture

Ugh, this has to be about the 500th (ok, maybe 1000th) time in my life I’ve decided to start a diet. Except this time I’m planning for it to be different. I don’t need a diet. I need a lifestyle change. And, I need to take a before picture, because I’m determined that there will be an after worth seeing.

I started this new life on Monday, and so far have managed to stay focused. I started Monday morning off bright and early by doing the Couch to 5K workout. (If you aren’t familiar with the Couch to 5K program, it is a program that you follow three days a week to slowly build yourself up to running a 5K in 9 weeks). I’m not going to sugarcoat it – I felt absolutely awful after completing the workout. I complained to my husband that I thought exercising was supposed to make you feel good, but I felt anything but good. But, I did it. I made it through the first workout. And, then I made it through a day of counting calories and staying below my calorie target. And then Tuesday came around, and I made it through a second day of counting calories. And then today, even though I absolutely didn’t want to get up, I completed the second day of the Couch to 5K workout.

I know that I’m really going to have to do some serious training when it comes to food. I certainly have some internal struggles with food. For instance, yesterday we had a soup and salad luncheon. I counted calories, was barely able to eat anything {especially considering what I normally eat}, and left hungry and unsatisfied. I really thought eating at a soup and salad luncheon would be easy. But it wasn’t, not even close. I need to learn to exercise self control in my life. I know I can do it; after all, I had to follow strict food restrictions in both my pregnancies because I had gestational diabetes. My actions must reflect the importance of being healthy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful for blogging. I’m especially thankful for the opportunity it has allowed me to document precious moments in my children’s lives.

I’m thankful for a certain little girl who is anxious to help with everything.


I’m also thankful for the patience that a certain little girl is teaching me when she is anxious to help with everything.


And, I’m thankful for the wonderful cool weather we have today.

Happy 13 Months Troy!

Wow, I am really, really late writing this post, but hopefully I’ll be able to remember what things you were doing when you turned 13 months old (and not since then!).

Happy 13 months, my sweet baby boy!

You can do “touchdown,” and you are always so proud when you do it, looking to see if everyone is watching. You also do the movements for the song “Read your Bible, and pray everyday” as well as put your light up for “This Little Light of Mine.”


You are standing more and more these days (still holding on to something), but you seem to be getting more and more confident. I am starting to doubt that you’ll walk before Ella did (at 14 1/2 months), even though I had convinced myself of that a few months ago. I’m not worried about the fact that you aren’t walking yet though – you’ve gotten to be a really, really fast crawler (after belly-flopping for so long).


You really enjoy playing with Ella, and you and Ella have really taken to playing in your new(ish) playroom. I initially intended on it being a place for Ella to play since she is older and has some things that aren’t really age appropriate for you, but you two would rather play together most of the time!111020IMG_9849.jpg

You love being outside, and the weather has been really nice lately. We went to a pumpkin patch, and you had a great time. You wanted to crawl everywhere and even tried to eat the dirt (not surprising since you put everything in your mouth!).111021IMG_9981.jpg


You continue to be extremely vocal and animated, even though you still don’t use a lot of words we understand. You have also become a very frequent signer, and you are pretty good at letting us know what you want.

Signs you do: more, finished, milk

Words: mama, dada, Ella, ball, bottle, hi

Food: banana, pear, noodles, beans, whatever everyone else is eating (you always want what everyone has)

Favorite Activities: crawling and exploring everything, especially following after Ella; climbing things (which scares me!); reading books; watching Blue’s Clues; trying to get any electronics or drinks you can spot

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leap of Faith

I’m currently taking a class for my Masters degree about philosophy in education. In this class, I’m learning about all sorts of different philosophies (which is somewhat interesting to me – I never took anything like this as an undergrad) from idealism to realism to pragmatism, and on. (I’ll try not to bore you too much with the details of philosophy.) As I’ve been reading about the history of different philosophies, I’ve been saddened by the negative effect that some ideas have had on true Christianity. One particular idea especially that struck me was the origination of the idea of “leap of faith.”

Søren Kierkegaard was a philosopher who lived from 1813-1855. He proclaimed Christianity (although I have no idea what type), but yet falsely believed that there is no proof God exists. Kierkegaard proclaimed that people must take a “leap of faith” because there was no evidence for God, and thus there was no logical or rational way to know God. This “leap of faith” would allow one to truly follow Christianity.

So many in the world today wrestle with the idea of a Biblical faith. The word “faith” is misused in more ways than I’m going to express now, but one of those misuses is described by the idea of “leap of faith” – that faith is something you have to jump into without any real evidence. Biblical faith isn’t unfounded – quite the opposite. Consider Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

If you struggle with seeing the evidence for God, I encourage you to turn to the Scriptures. The Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1: 16-21) and provides great evidence for the existence of God. Additionally, sites by faithful Christian brethren, like Apologetics Press, provide great resources on topics ranging from the existence of God to the inspiration of the Bible (and much, much more!).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Fall Y’all!

Ella was not much in the mood for pictures at the fall festival (she’d been sick pretty much the whole week before, and was still very tired), but I loved her costume – it was perfect for her considering how much she loves her sock monkey. Troy went as a “mini-me” of my husband – do you think they look alike?






It is amazing how much changes in a year!