So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: April 30th

I had a hard time coming up with ideas for this week, especially since Hubby is working nights this week and we have to eat dinner at 4:00 in the afternoon before he leaves! But here is the final list; I'm trying FOUR new recipes this week!

Monday: polish sausage, cabbage

Tuesday: Dad's Spaghetti, garlic bread

Wednesday: chicken divan, peaches

Thursday: Appetizer Nite--chili cheese fries

Friday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Saturday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn

Sunday: Apricot Glazed Pork Roast, steamed carrots

Visit Laura at Org Junkie for more great menu ideas! Have a great week, friends!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights--
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
with a mighty hand and outstreched arm;
His love endures forever.
to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.
to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.
who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings--
His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
and Og king of Bashan--
His love endures forever.
and give their land as inheritance,
His love endures forever.
an inheritance to his servant Israel;
His love endures forever.
to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.
and who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Last week I decided I need to start memorizing a Bible verse every week, strengthening my knowledge so I can better raise up my son in the Lord. My first "power verse" as I also like to call it was Luke 10:27 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."

This week's verse: Colossians 2:6-7
So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

If you'd like to join me this week in putting this verse to memory, just sign your name below. I may even drop in on you to see how you're doing sometime during the week! And don't forget to come back next week for a new verse!

Thankful Thursday

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
Colossians 3:16

I am thankful for the quiet nights at home this week while Hubby is working night shift.

I am thankful for the beautiful weather!!

I am thankful for my new "Stroller Stride" group that just started up this week and getting to meet other mommies WHILE getting exercise!

I am thankful for a friend's baby news!

I am thankful for all our easy meals this week.

I am thankful for my Hubby and that he was able to fix our washing machine so we didn't have to pay for a mechanic.

I am thankful for my son and the joy he brings to my life!!

I am thankful for the sun rising earlier, helping me to get up earlier, so I can have quiet time before I start my day.

I am thankful that it's warm enough we can shut off our air and open the doors and windows.

I am thankful that Baby has actually slept past 6:30 the last two mornings...

To read more blessings, visit other Thankful Thursday participants at Sting My Heart.

If you'd like to join me in this week's memory verse, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday: The Fridge

If there were actually a perfect day for cleaning the fridge, I suppose today would be it. I haven't gotten groceries for the week yet and usually I would have, so the fridge is relatively empty and today is my tackle day. And our fridge is in desperate need of a wipe-down. There's spilled strawberry juice, spilled soda, and a pile of mysterious white crumbles that definitely need cleaned! So that's today's tackle, one shelf at a time. Yay, huh?

Go to 5 Minutes for Mom to see other tackles. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I tried to be really simple and cheap with my menu, but this week I'm going SUPER SIMPLE! I'm digging through our freezer and using up all the meats we have in there. And I'm so excited that I only have 5 things on my grocery list for the entire week. 5 things! So here's my menu...

Monday: hot dogs, potato salad, oranges
Tuesday: pork chops, applesauce, tator tots
Wednesday: salads deluxe, carrot cake for dessert of the week
Thursday: Appetizer Nite-- pizza bagel bites (didn't get to these last week)
Friday: Chicken Italiano, mixed veggies, apples
Saturday: ham steaks, cheesy rolls, corn
Sunday: biscuits 'n gravy

To get recipes for my top 5 all-time favorite recipes see Friday's post.

For more menu ideas visit Laura! Have a good week, friends!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Psalm


O Lord, our God
how majestic is your name
in all the earth!

You have set your glory
above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower
than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name
in all the earth!

Fun Photos

I'm no great photographer, but here are some of my favorite pictures I've snapped this past week...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Five: Favorite Recipes

Today is my 5 all-time FAVORITE recipes, recipes that I recommend anyone and everyone to try!! These aren't recipes I've made up, but they're recipes I've come across one way or another and I just LOVE them!! And they're way easy to make which makes 'em even better!

  1. Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
  2. Dad's Spaghetti (recipe below)
  3. Chicken Kiev (recipe below)
  4. Broccoli Cheese Soup
  5. Strawberry Angel Food Delight (recipe below)

Dad's Spaghetti aka Spaghetti Sauce w. Ripe Olives

1 lb ground beef
1/4 c. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 green pepper, chopped
1 can (3 1/2 c.) tomatoes (pureed in blender)
1/2 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 c. pitted sliced ripe olives

1. Brown meat in olive oil.
2. Add onion, garlic, and green pepper to meat and cook until lightly browned.
3. Stir in tomatoes and seasons and simmer 1 hr.
4. Add olives to sauce a few minutes before serving, heating thoroughly.

Chicken Kiev

2/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
1/4 c. white whine

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Melt butter in saucepan.
3. In bowl combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic salt, and salt.
4. Cut chicken breasts in half (the short way so it's two chunks, not two long strips), dip in butter, the roll in crumbs.
5. Place in 9x13 pan and bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
6. While that's baking, add wine to remaining melted butter and warm on simmer.
7. When chicken is done, pour spoonfuls of butter mixture over chicken and bake another 5 minutes.

Strawberry Angel Food Delight
(I don't really know what it's actually called and I don't actually have this written out in a recipe so I'll just do my best to explain how to make it. Everyone loves it, and it's perfect for a fun, easy summer treat!!!)

1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 tub whipped cream
fresh strawberries (or bananas), sliced
1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes

1. Make pudding as directed on box. Fold in the entire tub of whipped cream. Swipe finger through it and give it a good taste.
2. In a large bowl, start layering using half at a time: cut-up angel food cake, strawberries/bananas, spread pudding mix, angel food cake, strawberries/bananas, spread pudding mix. OR you can layer it so your fruit is on top: angel food cake, pudding mix, strawberries, angel food cake, pudding mix, strawberries. (if I use bananas, I do it the first way. But if it's strawberries, I like the colorful strawberries on top arranged nice and perty! haha)
3. Store in refrigerator.
4. Lick clean the bowl with any remaining pudding mix, and enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thankful Thursday

“Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I am thankful for the great response to Heather's love offering yesterday! See the total HERE.

I am thankful for this baby shower I'm helping to plan and the opportunity it gives me to get to know others more personally.

I am thankful for these 9 wonderful months we've been blessed by our son! (he turns 9 months old today)

I am thankful for our church.

I am thankful for a letter I received from a friend in the mail yesterday.

I am thankful that my aunt and uncle are safe, as they work both work at Virginia Tech.

I am thankful for good Bible time last night and getting to dig through my Bible picking out "power verses" that I'm going to start memorizing. Click to HERE to read about it.

I am thankful for the new book that I've started reading and all that I will learn from it.

I am thankful for my husband and all that he does for our family.

Go to Sting My Heart to visit other Thankful Thursday participants! Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Verse a Week

A couple weeks ago I finished reading the book A Wife After God's Own Heart (loved it! you can read my book notes here) and now I'm starting A Mom After God's Own Heart and studying the 10 ways to love my children (well, I only have a 9-month old so far, but I'm learning and preparing for the future). I only had time to read the intro today but already I've set a new goal for myself. (read on to find out what it is) At the end of every chapter the author has a list of "Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings," and I just love these lists because they're real ways to apply God's teaching to my daily life.

One of the suggestions (just in the intro, remember) is to analyze your TV time and consider how you could "use that time to grow in your knowledge of God, to put better things into your heart and mind, to pray for your family to follow God." I already try not to watch too much TV. My husband and I have specific shows we always watch during the week, and that's pretty much it. I HATE channel surfing because to me, it's like you're settling on something to waste your time. But TV time is still definitely an area that could be better managed.

But the real thing I'm going to start doing is to memorize a Bible verse every week so that I will know God's word in the same way that Hannah knew God's word, and Mary and Daniel, and David, and so many others knew God's word. I need to strengthen my own knowledge so I can help teach my children. So that's my goal, to memorize one Bible verse every week. I did this in college with my roommates and I thought it was great, but I haven't done it since. And when Eli gets a little older I'll choose age-appropriate Bible verses to help him memorize too!

I'm going to start simple, since many verses I could recite but I don't actually know where they're from. So I'll work on that. If anyone would like to join me, I would love that! Keep each other accountable to actually doing it. I'll leave a Mr. Linky and if you'd like to do this with me just sign your name below! A new verse will be posted next Thursday, so be sure to come back!

This week's verse: Luke 10:27 NIV
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."

WFMW: Umm, (tampons)

I store 2 or 3 tampons inside a hard glasses case so a) so when I go in my purse to get my wallet or something out, they're disguised and b) it protects them from getting all smooshed in my purse if they're in there for awhile! Works for me!

For other fabulous tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

And remember TODAY is the day to help Heather by donating to her love offering over at BooMama's. As she said there, "BLESS HEATHER'S SOCKS OFF!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My world is a brighter place now

Do you ever have moments when you make some small change and it just makes you go "Ahhh" because it just looks so much better. And I'm not just talking about little things like wiping off a counter or picking up clutter. I'm talking about the type of change that stays and actually lasts for more than just the moment. Well, this has happened with three things this past year. #1 was when hubby and I set up a "guest room" in our unfinished basement about a year ago.

This isn't the best picture as my scrapbook stuff is everywhere and you can't see the handy dandy sheets we used to make "walls" that separate this guest room from the storage area of our basement. The blue curtain behind the bed is just a shower curtain we had but didn't need at this house, so that and the gold curtains cover up the cement wall behind it. And the table lamp was like $5 from Goodwill, the floor lamp $8 from Walmart, and the chest is what I got for my birthday to store my fabrics. I love this room, and I love the fact that it brings order and function to a normal mess of a basement. Soo... every time I walk downstairs to do laundry, instead of seeing STUFF scattered about, I see this nice little "room" and say "Ahhh."

#2 "Ahh" moment was when hubby made me a simple pantry shelf. We have little cupboard space in our kitchen, so my wonderful hubby made this for me for additional storage, and instead of a pile of boxes that were tossed to the bottom of the stairs, I see this. "Ahhh."
#3 "Ahhh" moment is from something even simpler and for this one there are no pictures. The story is this: A light burned out in the kitchen and it was replaced with a slightly brighter one. And this, my friends, is what makes my world a brighter place now. I just love it! The kitchen now seems bigger, happier, and even cleaner! All because it's brighter, and really truly every time I walk in there, I just say "Ahhh."

Okay, now you can officially call me crazy. Have a good day!

Tackle It Tuesday: Filing Cabinet

Today's tackle is a pretty simple one, yet without this declared "get your project DONE" day, it would continue to remain (is that redundant?) untackled. The tabs on our files all fell off awhile ago, so I have a new baggie of folder tabs and am ready to re-categorize so I don't have to dig through the entire cabinet when I want to file something away anymore. And while I'm at it, I might as well file everything in our mail basket.

To see other tackle participants, visit 5 Minutes for Mom. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

God is good!!

My uncle works in the same building where the shootings at Virginia Tech took place BUT Praise the Lord Almighty he is SAFE!!!! Very shaken up, I'm sure, and I don't know the story. All I know is he is alive, and for that, today I am very VERY grateful!!! Pray for everyone affected by this tragedy!

Monday, April 16, 2007

For Heather

Since I joined the blogging community, I've come to "meet" Heather, a very wonderful, amazingly strong Christian woman. She's been through a LOT in her life, just facing all the health problems with her daughter Emma, and now Heather just found out she has a brain tumor! She and her family will soon be heading off to Mayo Clinic, so to help them out, her friend BooMama has organized a love offering for April 18th, THIS WEDNESDAY, where you can donate some money (minimum of $1) through Paypal to help cover the cost of their trip. So PRAY, please PRAY!! And if God leads you to, join in on the rally for Heather!

(follow the links above to read the stories about Heather and her daughter Emma. You WILL be touched and your heart WILL be moved!)

Weekly Challenge

I've been feeling so unmotivated the last couple weeks. It's been cold and rainy and definitely NOT spring weather!!! Grr... I did do FOUR days of my walk video but all week long I was only drinking half of my water. Seems I get one thing or the other but not both. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult. But we're back to it this week. The goal: walk video PLUS 10 minutes of abs workout AND 64 oz water/day. The scale has continued to be good though and I may have actually lost 2 or so lbs the past couple of months! I FEEL better at least!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Especially trying to go easy and cheap this week! Just cuz.

Monday-- Pork chops, seasoned potatoes, fresh peaches (didn't get to this meal last week)
Tuesday-- Broccoli Cheese Soup (recipe below)
Wednesday-- Easy Chicken Parmesan, garlic bread, corn
Thursday-- Appetizer Nite-- Pizza bagel bites
Friday-- loaded potatoes, pears
Saturday-- mac n cheese w. hot dogs (my hubby's FAVORITE)
Sunday-- Shrimp Scampi, lettuce salad

RECIPE: Broccoli Cheese Soup (My mom passed this recipe on to me, and I think it's absolutely FABULOUS!!)

1 c. chicken bouillon (1 cube + 1 c. water)
1/2-2/3 pkg. frozen broccoli florets, cooked and smashed into small pieces
2 c. half and half
2 Tbl cornstarch (mixed w. small amount of milk to dissolve)
1 8oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese
dash of pepper

Mix everything together and let simmer. Do not boil.

For more menu ideas, visit Laura at Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28-29

I am thankful for our dear Lord and Savior, for dying for us, and saving us from our Sin so that we can live forever in God's Kingdom of Glory.

I am thankful for my son's new storybook Bible we just got in the mail the other day and for all the great stories God has given us to help us understand all that He is and all that He has done for us.

I am thankful for the opportunity to help plan a baby shower and get more involved with some new friends.

I am thankful for tax refunds!

I am thankful for the joy of getting to fly home and see friends and family next month.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband and the hard work he’s been putting into our car this week.

I am thankful for cameras and the Internet so we can send pictures and videos to our family and friends far away.

I am thankful that spring WILL eventually come!

To read more Thankful Thursday posts, go to
Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Works for Me: Kitchen Scissors

Okay, this is a REALLY basic one and I'm sure everyone does it, but just in case you don't, here's my tip: Instead of cutting with a knife onto a cutting board, use kitchen scissors to cut green onions right into whatever you're cooking (guessing on the amount). And cut the whole bunch at the same time. This is so fast and easy! I was excited when I figured this out for myself!

What else do YOU use kitchen scissors for??

For more fabulous tips from the women that know, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday: Baby Clothes

Today's tackle at my house is packing away Eli's 3-6 months clothes, since he's now almost 9 months and a BIG 9-month-old at that (somewhere around 24 lbs and 29.5 inches long). Throughout each month I keep a box tucked behind the door in his room, and as he outgrows each outfit, one by one I toss them in the box. Well, now the clothes are piled high above the box and there are probably still some outfits hanging in the closet or sitting in his dresser that needed sorted out. So I've found a more-appropriately sized box and today is the day to make it official and pack away anything that's 3-6 months and store them in the basement. I just can't believe how fast these months have gone!!

The rest of my to-do list:
  • clean the bathrooms! (seriously, I've been so bad about keeping up!)
  • clean off kitchen counter
  • fold and put away laundry
  • vacuum
  • babyproofing cords and outlets in living room--baby is quite mobile now!

To see what everyone else is busy doing and help you feel motivated, go to 5MinutesforMom and send a prayer Janice's way too as she goes through her pregnancy! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekly Challenge

So last week I didn't do my challenge. AT. ALL. I just didn't. I drank my water but didn't exercise more than one day. No excuses. Just sheer laziness and lack of motivation. And to tell you the truth, I don't feel any more motivated at the start of this week either. The scale has been kind to me though so I am happy about that. And I'm also proud to say that I haven't been completely lazy and here's what I WAS busy doing (besides the usual household duties)... After one a half years of hard work, I finally finished our wedding scrapbook!!! I'm no fancy scrapper at all, I just do super simple pages and they still look nice, but it takes me days just to get one page done. Oh and we had a really simple wedding too and didn't have a ton of pictures, but still, that was a big project and I'm SO HAPPY that I've completed it! And now I'm working on making wall hangings for Eli's room using leftover fabric from making his curtains. Here's my start... This is just the top piece. There will be a layer of quilting, a backing, and then binding around the edge. I'll post another picture when I get them done!

So what's my goal for this week? Hmm, well, I should really get back on track. It's too cold to go out strolling with Eli and since I'm not feeling very motivated for this week, maybe I'll just shoot to do the walking video 5 times this week. And if I actually do a hard workout, then that's even better!

Menu Plan Monday

I've just started the art of making some of my baby's foods from whatever we're having for dinner. So that's starting to affect my meal planning. When we would maybe choose to have corn, I've decided on mixed veggies instead because I had ZERO success trying to make corn cream up into baby food. I'm definitely new at this, so if anyone has any tips, bring 'em on! So far I HAVE been successful with sweet potatoes, ham, mixed veggies, carrots, apples, and bananas. While I might not be able to make ALL of Eli's foods for awhile, I try to at least plan a few things each week that I can make for him out of our dinner. So here's the menu...

Monday-- Taco Soup, Grapes
Tuesday-- French Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday-- Lasagna, Garlic Bread, mixed veggies
Thursday-- Appetizer Nite-- Cheesy Chili Dip, apples slices with sour cream dip
Friday-- Dominos Pizza!
Saturday-- Sweet and Spicy Shrimp over rice
Sunday-- Grilled Pork Chops, seasoned potatoes, fresh peaches

For more menu ideas head on over to Laura's. Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live,even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
John 11: 25,26

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
2 Corinthians 5:21

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:8-11

Friday, April 6, 2007

Another Contest--Presto printing machine thingy

So I lost out on the Dyson vacuum, and I'm trying again with this cool Presto printing mailbox, hoping this time I just might win! I'd never heard of this thing before, but I guess you can send pictures and emails to family who don't have a computer at their house. And I just so happen to have family that would be perfect for! But I'm supposed to tell you about the contest and then you're going to join in too cuz this Presto is pretty nifty, and then I'm not going to win. So here goes nothing...!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that even though Hubby had to work last night, he was able to be home with us during the day AND that I got to then enjoy a quiet evening at home while he was gone.

I am thankful for the quiet time to finish reading my book A Wife After God's Own Heart and post my notes about it on my blog.

I am thankful that Baby was good for the babysitter this week even though it was getting late and he was undoubtedly tired.

I am thankful for the woman who has offered to babysit FOR FREE so that Hubby and I can go to Bible study.

I am thankful for our married couple's Bible study and the things we learned this week about communication.

I am thankful for long conversation with my good friend Angie over the weekend.

I am thankful for another friend who just found out she's pregnant, after trying for 2 years!!

I am thankful for our home. (just watched the movie The Pursuit of Happyness yesterday)

I am thankful for Kevin's job and positive work environment.

I am thankful for the joy of Easter.

I am thankful that God sent his only Son to die for us, so that we might be freed from our sin and live eternally with God our Holy and precious Father.

To read more Thankful Thursday posts, click HERE.

Book Notes: A Wife After God's Own Heart

I just finished reading the book A Wife After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and as much as I'd love to show you ALL of my book notes, I don't think it would be fair to the copyright of the book. So please, if you're interested in more, go buy it! I've learned quite a bit and it's been of great help to me!

At the end of each chapter is the author's list of concrete ways to apply the lesson to your daily life. I would love to list all of those here, but again, you'll just have to read the whole book to get those great tips. I will share some of my favorite sections though and I hope you can take something from it...

CHAPTER 1: Growing in the Lord
* Ask yourself, How's your heart? "God desires that we develop spiritual muscle so we are strong enough to be HIS kind of wife."
* The most important thing you must decide to do each and every day as a wife is to put the LORD FIRST.

CHAPTER 2: Working as a Team

* 4 God-given roles of a wife:
  • A wife is to help her husband. (Gen 2:18)
  • A wife is to submit to her husband. (Col 3:18)
  • A wife is to respect her husband. (Eph 5:33)
  • A wife is to love her husband. (Titus 2:4)
A simple acronymn to help us remember these roles:

W arm up his life with your love.
I mprove his life as a helper.
F ollow his leadership with a willing heart.
E steem him highly with utmost respect.

CHAPTER 3: Learning to Communicate

* Communicate God's way by...
  • learning to PRAY at the first hint of frustration or self-pity
  • learning to SAY NOTHING when my emotions approach a danger point
  • learning to WAIT for the right time to communicate
  • learning to "TAKE THE BLAME"-- use phrases like "I'm having a problem understanding this... or seeing how this can work... or accepting this change" "Can you help me out...or help me with my thinking" --Much better than accusing language.
* Take the time to prepare your heart and your words. Pray about timing, tone, and topics.

CHAPTER 4: Enjoying Intimacy
* Go to bed at the same time!
* Tackle the excuse of "I'm too tired."

CHAPTER 5: Managing Your Money

* Be sure you are...
  • Praying
  • Giving
  • Saving-- for a home or home furnishings, for retirement, for a special trip, vacation or missions trip, to fund someone's ministry, etc.
  • Budgeting
  • Doing without
  • Bewaring-- of greed, lust, bitterness, and envy
  • Growing-- in contentment
My husband and I have had a savings goal in mind but we didn't seem like we were actually making progress. Every time we put money in, for some reason it would get transferred right back out. But after I read this chapter we decided to think of specific things we want to save for (house, computer, trip, car, and Christmas, all on top of our normal building of our savings account) and set a dollar amount to each thing so we know specifically what we're working towards. Even if we don't have ALL the money saved before we need it, at least it won't be a wammy when it does come time. Having these specific goals has helped so much for us!

CHAPTER 6: Keeping Up the Home
* You are to build your home. (Prov. 14:1)
* You are to watch over your home. (Prov. 31:27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.) "In other words, she is not content to go through life eating and sleeping..and is never lazy." That's the key verse that has really helped motivate me since I read that!
* You are to manage your home.
* You are to keep your home.

Six things are requisite to create a "happy home."
Integrity must be the architect, and
Tidiness the upholsterer. It must be warmed by
Affection, lighted up with
Cheerfulness; and
Industry must be the ventilator, renewing the atmosphere and bringing in fresh [vitality] day by day; while over all, as a protecting canopy and glory, nothing will suffice except
The blessing of God.

CHAPTER 7: Raising Your Children

2 of my favorite things from this chapter--

* Get up before the children do... have time to officially wake up, sit quietly alone, read from the Bible, make your to-do list, and pray for the day and your dear family. This is something I've really been struggling with. Every day I set my alarm for 6:00 so I can do this very thing and have this quiet time before the day starts. But I can SO not get up when that alarm goes off, and every day I lay in bed until baby wakes up at 7:00. This is going to be another weekly challenge for myself--just getting up earlier so I can have this sacred time.

This quote about a woman's role: "Perhaps a prayer is her first and finest role in life. She is the one who is always praying...and her children know it." Ah, this is the kind of woman I want to be!

CHAPTER 8: Extending Love to Family
Read the story of Ruth and Naomi. Enough said.

CHAPTER 9: Tending Your Career

God-Given Priorities...
  1. Love God. "not only the first priority but my ultimate priority and consuming passion. This passionate and passionately-tended relationship with the Lord creates a rich, deep reservoir she can draw from in order to whole-heartedly tend to her other God-given roles and relationships."
  2. Love her husband.
  3. Love her children.
  4. Love her home--"where the successful nurturing of her marriage and family can take place"
  5. Love and serve God's people.
For working women, the author provides a whole series of questions to ask yourself. They're all really great but I won't list them here.

And finally for this chapter, another favorite quote I included on a blog awhile ago...

I have to say that I am a homebody. Why? Because that's where my husband is, my children were in days gone by, where my home is, and where the preparations required to teach God's word to the women in my church took place for so many years. Because that's where my heart is, was, and ever will be.

CHAPTER 10: Making Time for Fun
* Realize that joy must begin in your heart.
* Realize the ultimate source of joy is the Lord!
  • Purposefully rejoice each day. Ps. 118:24
  • Purposefully play music--"music lifts the soul and turns a persons thoughts and emotions toward God. Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs will cause you to sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord."
  • Purposefully put on a smile.
CHAPTER 11: Serving the Lord

3 Lifetime Goals written by the author that I just LOVE and am adopting as my own:
  1. To be a growing woman of God.
  2. To be a supportive and encouraging wife and mother.
  3. To teach the Bible so that women's lives are changed.
3 Principles for a Wife's Ministry:
  1. Serve those at home first.
  2. Serve with your husband's blessing and support.
  3. Serve however you can.
CHAPTER 12: Reaching Out to Others
Somewhere a long time ago I heard the quote "Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words." Something like that anyway. Well, Elizabeth George provides another great quote with the same message: "Living a lovely life preaches a louder and lovelier message than your lips could ever proclaim."

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

WFMW: Car Edition

So today Shannon is hosting a "Works for Me" Car Edition, but since my babe is only 8 months and is only child so far, car trips aren't a hassle yet. BUT we've already taken two trips on an airplane with baby in tow, one of those times just being baby and me, so I'll share some tips for getting through the airport without chaos....

#1 As long as baby is still small enough to hold in your lap fairly comfortably, check the car seat so you don't have to lug it around.

#2 Only bring diaper bag and a small toy bag. Pack your purse in your suitcase and just find a place for your wallet and keys in the diaper bag. Less baggage = so much less stress!

#3 Get an umbrella stroller!! a) You can collapse it and set it back up with one hand while baby is on your other arm. b) It easily fits through the X-ray machine. c) It's so much easier to quickly weave through the crowds. d) Easier to navigate through bathroom when it's tight quarters. As long as baby is in the stroller, just hang the diaper bag off the back of it (it won't tip over), so you don't have to carry the bags while you're walking. Then check the stroller plane side. Sometimes they'll even have it set up for you when you go to retrieve it after your flight. People are VERY helpful and kind to you when they know you have a baby, especially if you're traveling by yourself and don't have Hubby's help.

#4 For formula-fed baby: Bring your normal can of formula. Bring a small thermos and as soon as you get through security, stop at the first coffee shop or restaurant and ask them to fill your thermos with hot water. (They'll do it, no questions asked.) And also buy a cold bottled water. When you need to make a bottle, make it with half (or less) of the boiling hot water and half with cold water (just so the temperature is right). I try to make sure baby is fed before going on plane but if I don't have time for that, I at least make sure that the bottle is made and ready to go because once you're on the plane, you don't have much space and baby is in your lap and stress and frustration is inevitable.

#5 For solid food meals: bring a couple Bibsters (disposable bibs) so you can just throw it away when you're done and not have to worry about somehow cleaning off baby's bib.

#6 While on the plane, make sure baby is sucking on something during take-off and landing to help his ears pop. My son didn't have any troubles at all with this and only once did he scream for a few minutes because he was overtired and resisting sleep. Yes, we were one of those people, but we got through. You have your small bag of toys to attempt entertaining baby, but the best option would be to get baby to sleep during flight. All I can really say is good luck during the flight!

I've been so wonderfully blessed with our positive travel experiences. Just be flexible, go with the flow, and stay calm. My son was an absolute trooper and did better than expected!

For other great travel tips, visit Shannon. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday: Dresser

When Hubby started taxes a few weeks ago, somehow the top of my dresser got COVERED in papers (since the filing cabinet is right next to it) and who knows what else! Those things definitely don't fit my vision for a warm, cozy, and relaxing bedroom, and since taxes are DONE, it's time to put things back away! I've been avoiding this but that's precisely why "Tackle It Tuesday" is here for us-- to motivate us to JUST GET IT DONE! And when it came to it, it only took me about 10 minutes! Here are my pictures...



To see what others are busy doing, visit Janice. Happy Tuesday, everyone!!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Weekly Challenge, update

Well last week my weekly challenge was to keep record of my workouts and daily water intake. The goal was 5 workouts, plus walking and daily 64 oz water. Well, here's how I did...

Mon- 48 oz water, no exercise (baby's A.M. doc appointment)
Tues- 64 oz water, walk video (short exercise, busy cleaning day for visitor!)
Wed- 48 oz water, cardio workout
Thurs- 64 oz water, no exercise
Fri- 64 oz water, strength training
Sat- 64 oz water, no exercise (errands to run in A.M.)
Sun- 64 oz water, no exercise

I did very well with the water intake but I only had 3 days of exercise and no walks really. So this week I'm going keep up with the water but focus on exercise, even if it's something simpler like the walking video or 20 minutes of pilates. 5 days this week I want to fit in at least some sort of exercise. I am excited to say that I might actually be noticing a slight difference on the scale! It's hard to tell because my weight fluctuates soo much just from day to day. Alright, well, enough blogging about it! Let's get to it!

Menu Plan Monday

I felt like super easy stuff this week, so here it is!

Monday-- salads deluxe (with deli meat, tomatoes, n stuff)
Tuesday-- hamburgers, potato salad, grapes
Wednesday-- Creamy Italian Chicken, mixed veggies, oranges
Thursday-- Appetizer Nite-- spinach dip and chips, apples w. sour cream dip

sour cream dip: mix sour cream (yes, sour cream not cream cheese) and brown sugar to taste, it's surprisingly good and easy to make on a whim!


1 lb sausage
1 can sauerkrat
splat of mustard
hot roll mix

1) Mix together hot roll mix and rollow rising directions. Form dough into squares size of CD case.
2) Cook sausage and drain. Add in sauerkrat and mustard.
3) Spoon onto dough and pull together into ball, spreading warm water on seams to hold together
4) Follow baking instructions on roll mix, until golden brown.

Saturday-- Veggie Burgers (already ready to go in freezer), cooked carrots, grapes

EASTER Sunday-- Since we don't have family within 1000 miles, it's just my husband, baby, and me celebrating together, but I still wanted to do something special. So our holiday menu is: glazed ham (precooked ham slices heated in skillet + mixed brown sugar, dijon mustard, water), sweet potato casserole, Overnight Fruit Salad, punch (sherbet + sprite) Apple Cream Pie

For more meal ideas and recipes click HERE.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday Psalm


How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young--
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and
my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimmage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Look upon our shield, O God:
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper
in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord is a sun and shield:
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.