Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Troy!

Happy Birthday Troy!

Wow, I really cannot believe you are a year old!

When Ella turned a year old, I commented that I had become a better person because of having her in our lives. I can say the same thing about you being in my life. I am so thankful  for the blessing that you have been and continue to be in my life.



I love how you are a snuggly baby when you are sleepy. I love how the song “Jesus Loves Me” calms you unlike any other song. I love how you like the company of others, and hate when anyone leaves your sight. I love  your face and laugh when your dad gets a “Troy snack” and cuddles and tickles you at the same time. I love how when you are really sleepy and I am in the process of laying you down, you stick your thumb in your mouth before you even hit the crib. I also love how you immediately roll over and tuck your legs under you when you hit the crib.  I love how you can get your point across without even knowing many real words. I love how you smile and laugh at your sister. And, I could go on, and on, and on.







This month you have really seemed like you’ve grown up quite a bit. About a  week before you turned one, you finally learned to crawl properly (rather than just bellyflop/inchworm). You are getting better and better at pulling up and cruising along the furniture. You attempted to take one step without holding onto anything, and you fell flat on your face, but you didn’t seem to care. You’ve figured out how to push my barriers out of your way. You sit on your knees a lot, and I think it is funny. You’ve started throwing things out of your crib.   Although we haven’t transitioned you off the bottle yet, I think you are ready for it. You don’t seem that attached to it, and you often throw it aside (Ella would carry it around with her everywhere). You learned how to do “touchdown” and you also put your arms up to “grow” when we sing “Read your Bible and pray everyday.”

Sign you do: more

Words you say: Dada, Mama, and something that sounds kinda like Ella : )

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

Favorite Activities: crawling and exploring everything, especially following after your sister; trying to get any electronics or drinks you can spot : )

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Promises in the Book of Genesis (Chapters 11-15)

Genesis 11

The promise that God would confuse the language of the people (tower of Babel):

11:6-7 “ 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Genesis 12

The promises that God would make Abram a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless those who bless him, curse them who curse him, and that all the families on earth would be blessed through him:

12:1-3: “1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The promise that God will give Abram’s descendants the land of Canaan:

12:7: “7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”

Genesis 13

The promise that God will give the land to Abram’s descendants forever and the promise that God would make Abram’s descendants as the dust of the earth (unable to be numbered):

13:14-17: “14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”

Genesis 14

The promise of a biological heir to Abram, and the promise that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky (unable to be numbered):

14:4-5: “4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

The promise that Abram’s descendants would be strangers in a land that is not theirs, will serve them, and will be afflicted for four hundred years.; the promise that God will judge that nation and that Abram’s descendants will come away with great possessions; the promise that Abram will die at an old age; and the promise that Abram’s descendants will return in the 4th generation:

14:13-16: “13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

The promise that the land will be given to Abram’s descendants:

14:18: “18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Genesis 15

The promise that Hagar would bear a son and call his name Ishmael; the promise that Ishmael would be a wild man, that his hand will be against every man, and that every man’s hand will be against him; the promise that Ishmael will dwell in the presence of all his brethren:

15:10-12: “10Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “ Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

Chapters 1-5

Chapters 6-10

If you are writing about this on your blog, feel free to leave the link to your posts in the comments!

*All Scripture references are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Heart Faces: Favorite Summer Face



Menu Planning Monday

What are your favorite slow-cooker meals? I usually end up making at least one meal a week in my crock-pot, and I haven’t found a ton of slow-cooker recipes that I love.

I’ve made baked egg cups a couple of times now. They are delicious! I added some diced jalapeño at the bottom of the cup, and it was a nice addition. I also think they would be great with some salsa on top. (Can you tell I love spice (at least some!) and Mexican food?)


Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photo Challenge Edits

Night EDIT for Shoot and Edit:

(See my SOOC shot)


Edit Me for My Reflection of Something:

First off, let me just say, I loved the SOOC shot on this one, and those kinds of shots are the hardest for me to edit sometimes!

Here's the SOOC shot:

 edit me week 18

Here are my three edits (black and white for judging):

For the first one, I cropped, brightened a bit, and played with the tone curve to give it a bit more pop. For the second one, I cropped, converted to black and white, did a few other minor adjustments, and added a slight split tone. For the third one, I cropped, brightened a bit, desaturated the color a tiny bit, and then added a split tone (all in Lightroom 3).

 edit me week 18.jpgedit me week 18.jpgedit me week 18-3.jpg

Promises in the Book of Genesis (Chapters 6-10)

Genesis 6

The promise that the days of man will be 120 years:

6:3 “3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

The promise that God would destroy man, beast, creeping thing, and birds because of evil:

6:5-7; 13: ”5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”; “13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

The promise that God would destroy the earth with a flood; the promise that God would save Noah, Noah’s wife, Noah’s three sons, and their wives; and the promise that God would save some of every living thing of all flesh:

6:17-20: “17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

Genesis 8

The promise that as long as the earth remains, God would not curse the ground for man’s sake; that God would not destroy every living thing; and that the seasons and day and night will not cease:

8:21-22: “21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

Genesis 9

The promise that all living creatures will be given into man’s hand:

9:1-4: “1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”

The promise that the earth would not be destroyed by a flood again:

9:8-17: “ 8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants fter you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”


Chapters 1-5

If you are writing about this on your blog, feel free to leave the link to your posts in the comments!

*All Scripture references are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photo Challenges

Things have been, well, a little crazy (in a great way!) over the past couple of weeks, but because of that, I’ve really been slacking on photography challenges lately. I’m excited to jump back in this week.

Night SOOC for Good to Wow:


Remember for The Paper Mama:

(Ella hugging Troy for the first time at the hospital)


 The Paper Mama

Sweet Shot Tuesday:


 Sweet Shot Day

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

  • Beef fajitas
  • Pasta with meat sauce and salad
  • Paula Deen’s Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie
  • Grilled pork tendorloin with grilled vegetables

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years

Ten years ago I was adjusting to life as a freshman in college. College was still very new and exciting to me: I’d only been in school for a few weeks.  I was still beaming over the fact that I finally got my first cell phone (wow, isn’t that crazy?). I was trying to adjust to my odd randomly-assigned college roommate. I was working hard to do well in school and get off on the right foot. I was hoping to make lots of new friends. At the time, I had no real understanding of the types of evil that exist in our world. I had no idea for the level of hatred that some have against our Country.

I came back to my dorm room from my morning classes, only to find my college roommate telling me that we were at war (or something along those lines). I really didn’t have much confidence in her word – she’d been nothing but strange (although nice) to me, and I really didn’t believe she could have any idea about what she was talking about. The fact is, that at the time she told me that we were at war, I’m not sure anyone really knew what was happening. I started watching the news coverage intently in disbelief. I heard  the newscasters wonder how such an awful “accident” could happen, only to realize a few minutes later that this certainly wasn’t an accident. I was glued to the television, anxious to hear what was happening. I felt scared, utter sadness, empty, and lost. I also felt pride and honor when I thought about my Country, and the brave men and women who were handling the situations that were taking place.

A lot can change in ten years. I’ve graduated from college, gotten married, moved twice, bought my first house, acquired two dogs, and had two children. When I think about all those things, it makes ten years seem like a long time. Yet, when I think about what happened ten years ago, in many ways it feels like yesterday. We are still battling the enemy. American forces only recently killed Bin Laden. We are still working hard to protect our Country from those trying to infiltrate it to attack us.

I will never look at the world as I did before 9/11. My children have spent their entire lives in a post 9/11 world. I will never forget what happened that day, and I will work to teach my children the importance of that day in history along with so many other days. As awful as these things were, my children need to know about them. I am so thankful and blessed by living in America, and my children need to know that too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Promises in the Book of Genesis (Chapters 1-5)

Throughout our time at the spiritual workshop (Polishing the Pulpit) we attended a few weeks ago, I was challenged to become a better student of God’s Word. I needed that challenge, and I’m thankful for the blessing of the challenge to dig deep into God’s Word.  A ladies Bible study Facebook group has grown from the challenge of digging deeper into God’s Word, and I’m excited to be a participant (by the way, feel free to join in!). During the month of September we are digging into the book of Genesis with a few goals in mind: 1) read through the entire book of Genesis and note every promise God makes; 2) be able to tell the story of Genesis in sequence; 3) memorize Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 12:2; and 4) understand that the theme of the Bible from Genesis 3:15 forth is “redemption.”

I’ve decided that I will document my notes about the promises on my blog. Documenting these promises here will not only keep me accountable to myself, but hopefully be beneficial to others as well. I’m sure that I won’t get every promise, but I am trying to do my best to consider the book of Genesis with the perspective of “promises” in mind.

Genesis 2

The promise that there are consequences to trespassing God’s Law:

2:16-17: ”16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”'

Genesis 3

The promise of the serpent’s punishment; the promise (prophecy) of enmity between the serpent and woman; the promise (prophecy) that Satan will bruise the heel of woman’s Seed (Christ), but that Christ will bruise his head (ultimately the promise of redemption through Christ); the promise of difficulty in childbirth for the woman; the promise of hard/difficult work for the man; the promise of man returning to the dust of the earth:

3:14-19: “ 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “ Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust  All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” 16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “ Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 4

The promise of Cain’s punishment:

4:10-12: “10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.””

The promise of Cain’s protection:

4:15 “15 And the LORD said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”


*All Scripture references are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shouldn’t I do that everyday?

My husband celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Leading up to his birthday I kept trying to think about what things I could do to make his day special; what things I could do to make his day easier; what things I could do to show him that I love him.

Many of the things I thought that I should do were things that I should do for him everyday (but don’t always). I was thinking about making him breakfast'; letting him choose where we ate for lunch; getting up first with the children in the morning so he could sleep a bit more; changing dirty diapers without trying to *pawn* it off on him; etc.

In several ways, I actually felt like I failed on his birthday in doing all the things I wanted to do. I was very tired (thanks to my children who have been waking up way too earlier these past couple of weeks), and I think I let my tiredness get in the way of how I had planned to treat him throughout the day. But, the truth is that I should as his wife, I should treat him like he is special everyday regardless of whether or not it is his birthday. He is special. He is deserving of me treating him as such. I should support him in all that he does. I should do my best to make his life easier. I should go about my daily business without complaining. I should seek to please him. I should I should seek to his best interests because I love him, not just in a *feel good* way, but because I should love him with an agape love; a self-sacrificing love. I know I don’t always do as I should as his wife, but I hope that I am growing more and more into the type of wife that always seeks out the best in and for my husband.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Books of the New Testament

Ella can almost say all of the books of the New Testament. I’m amazed at how well she seems to be able to memorize things, and I can’t wait to dive into teaching her more Scripture  - she can already quote Mark 16:16 (challenging myself to memorize more as well!).

One of her favorite Bible characters right now is Peter. We taught her that Peter wrote two books of the Bible, 1st and 2nd Peter. Because of that, every time she gets to a “1st and 2nd” in the list of the books of the New Testament she wants to say “1st and 2nd Peter!” She’ll get it before too long, though, I’m sure.

Please excuse the poor phone quality video and the crumbs on the table (can you tell where Ella ate?).