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!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Oct. 1

I've been at our church's women's retreat over the weekend so today I am exhausted and having a hard time coming up with meals. But let's just get 'er done....

Monday - friend visiting-- steak, mashed potatoes, corn
Tuesday - Chicken Broccoli Lo Mein
Wednesday- Creamy Potatoes 'n Kielbasa, baked apples
Thursday - appetizer nite-- TBD
Friday - hamburgers, potato salad, oranges
Saturday - taco salad, pineapple
Sunday - Bible study-- Crispy Parmesan Chicken Breasts, cheesy broccoli rice,

Breakfasts: triple berry muffins (Betty Crocker packet), Raspberry Yogurt Oatmeal in the crock pot

Dessert of the week: Pumpkin Bars

Whew! Okay, that's done! Took forever but in the end, it looks like a delicious plan with several new recipes to try! For more yummy menu ideas visit Laura at OrgJunkie. Have a great week, ladies!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Celebratory Shopping!

Now that we know the gender of the baby, I got to go pick out one outfit for the new baby. We did the same thing after our ultrasound with Eli and I picked baby booties. Just a fun little tradition. Here's what I picked out for my our baby girl...

Family Focus Friday: Your Neighbors

This week's family focus isn't all about your own family; it's about how you can serve together as a family. The last chapter in A Woman After God's Own Heart is about reaching out to others, one of the people groups being your neighbors. Here's what Elizabeth George says about reaching out to your neighbors. I love what she says, so even though it's kind of long, I'll just put it all here...
They [your neighbors] may not be as close to you emotionally as your family members are, but you live near them day-in, day-out. That means you probably see your neighbors more often than you see your own extended family. And, as a wise proverb reminds us, 'Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away' (Proverbs 27:10). In other words, when you have a need or an emergency, your neighbor is there to turn to for help--not your relatives!
Jesus has something to say about neighbors. Quoting from the Old Testament Law of Moses, He said that as a woman after God's own heart, you are to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind' and 'love your neighbor as yourself' (Matt. 22:37,39)
So, as a wise woman who wants to reach out to your neighbors, you must first have a heart full of love for them. And I've always found that prayer is how such a heart and such a love is cultivated. That's how Jim and I approached our neighbors and neighborhood. We picked one day each week to pray specifically for our neighbors. We listed each family on a special prayer page, along with their children's names. Then, as we spent time in the yard or passed one another getting in and out of the car, we would take a minute (no matter how busy or rushed we were!) to greet our neighbors by name, to be friendly, and to find out something else about their lives... which was noted on their personal prayer pages. Amazingly, as we prayed regularly for our neighbors, they came to have a place in our hearts...and in our lives! Prayer entwined our lives with theirs. Prayer turned strangers into loved ones! (p.204)
A situation arose this week when Kevin needed a ride home from work (since we'd dropped him off that day due to limited parking), and I had just put Eli down for a nap and he was sleeping already. I didn't want to get him back up, but I obviously couldn't just leave the house. Eli could nap for an hour an half and I didn't want Kevin to have to wait around that long. And I also knew he was in Navy uniform and wasn't allowed to go into anyplace to just hang out for awhile. So I wracked my brain trying to think of options. I thought of friends I could call to come stay at the house for a few minutes, but that seemed like a hassle to them. And then I remembered this section of the book and our neighbor who lives three doors down whom we've come to know and trust and is usually home during the day. So I was bold and knocked on her door to see if she could stay at the house for just a few minutes while I ran to pick Kevin up. It all worked out just beautifully, I was back in about 7 minutes, and the situation was taken care of.

I've been working this year to encourage the opportunities when we can ask neighbors for help. Asking others for help shows that we trust them and value their opinions. Even if we could surely figure things out or do things on our own, it makes others feel good when we ask on them for help. When Kevin was building our deck just a few months after our neighbor built his deck, I encouraged Kevin to ask Chad about his work process. And now as we see he's doing more work to his house, we occasionally ask if he needs a hand. And this week when we were stuck in a situation, I knocked on Teresa's door, and she was more than willing to be of help to us. We're just making baby steps in getting to know our neighbors. We've been living here for a year and half and we're finally learning people's actual names instead of just calling them "Cat Lady," "Landrover guy," and "piano man"! Hopefully during our last year here we can really make effort to get to know our neighbors better and serve them as God calls us to.

So how well do you know your neighbors? What conscious efforts do you make to get to know them better? How can you get your children involved? Are there other children for them to play with? Do you welcome others into your home? When new neighbors come in, how do you welcome them?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Baby Gender!!!

That's right, we're having a girl! I can't even tell you excited I am to have a daughter--to do her hair, dress her in purple and pink, give her my old dolls I loved sooo much, teach her about womanhood and how to be a good wife and mom and how to take care of the home, cook with her in the kitchen, talk with her on the phone all the time even once she's moved out of the house, become friends.... So many great dreams all because of the wonderful relationship I have with my own mom! There's just something special about the relationship between a mother and daughter, just as there is between a father and son. And I just can't wait! She's looking great and everything measured right on track! And all throughout the ultrasound I kept confirming with the tech that it was still a girl and definitely we got a good view and it was quite clear! Thanks, everyone who's been praying!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

The week has yet again been full of blessings...

1. Date night. Last weekend Kevin and I were able to go out on a date for the first time in several months. And we're so thankful for that time and for Shawn and Lisa who babysat Eli for us.

2. Baby. I can feel the baby move now, and it's so reassuring and such a joy. Today we have our 20-week ultrasound, and I'm so excited to take a peek inside and to also, hopefully, find out baby gender!! Pray that all goes well and everything checks out okay!!

3. Good attitudes. Eli's been doing sooo good at listening to me lately when I tell him No to something! I just hope he keeps it up! AND he's make great progress at learning to sit in my lap for "church time" at home every day. We still have quite a ways to go before attempting it at our actual church, but it's still exciting and fun for me to have him sit in my lap contently for 15 whole minutes every day while playing with a baby book.

4. Stroller group. The fall session has started and it's fun as I'm meeting other moms and making new friends. Plus I really need the exercise! It was a very fun surprise when a woman who was in my childbirth class and ended up delivering the same day as me showed up at the stroller class 14 months later with our "grown" babies! =)

5. Time in the Word. My friend Julie at According to HIS Power is leading a read-through/study of Philippians. I never know quite where to start or what to read for quiet time and then I never really end up reading anything (besides what I read to Eli), so this is very good for me. Thanks, Julie!

6. Kevin. For being such an easy guy to get along with. For being silly and making us smile all the time. For being such a supportive and involved dad. For understanding my needs. For calling me over his lunch break just to say Hi. For putting coffee on in the morning. For just being there. I love him.

Take a moment... what are you thankful for this week? Don't let the tiny blessings pass you by! They are the moments that make life great! Join us at Lynn's to share your thankful heart.

Crockpot Breakfast Recipes

I have never tried any of these recipes, but they all look so wonderful and the thought of having a warm breakfast already prepared and waiting for me in the morning sounds delicious! Maybe an easy way to get breakfast in bed? Most of these recipes are for oatmeal or fruit type dishes instead of meat dishes, because if I use the handy dandy delayed-start option on my crockpot so I don't have to get up at 5:00 am to eat the stuff, then I can't have meat sitting out for two hours prior to actual cooking. Anyway, thought I'd share, and let me know if you already have any favorites of your own!

Crock Pot Fruited Oatmeal
Crock Pot Baked Apples
Crock Pot Breakfast Apple Cobbler
Crock Pot Morning Casserole

Fruity Oatmeal
3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes by Suzanne Bonet p. 41

2 3/4 cup water
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped mixed dried fruit
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the water, rolled oats, dried fruit, and cinnamon in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to9 hours. Before serving stir the oatmeal, adding more water (or milk) if a thinner consistency is desired.

: 5 generous servings
Add it! Sprinkle the cooked oatmeal with brown sugar or drizzle it with maple syrup for added flavor.

Banana-Nut Oatmeal
3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes by Suzanne Bonet p. 42

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium bananas, sliced just before serving
1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

Put the water, rolled oats, and salt in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. To serve, stir the oatmeal and divide it among 4 cereal bowls. Top each serving with one-fourth of the banana slices and 2 Tbl nuts.

Yield: 4 servings
Tip: If the banana slices don't make the oatmeal sweet enough, add some maple syrup.

Raspberry Yogurt Oatmeal
3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes by Suzanne Bonet p. 43

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
One to two 8-oz cartons raspberry yogurt
1 cup fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Put the water, rolled oats, and salt in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. To serve, stir the oatmeal and divide it among 4 cereal bowls. Fold one-fourth of the yogurt into each serving and top each serving with 1/2 cup of the fresh raspberries.

Yield: 4 servings

Weekly Memory Verse

New Verse

Matthew 12:34
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

Previous Verses
Colossians 2:6-7
Psalm 119:9-11
Romans 15:13
Hebrews 10:24-25
Psalm 86:11
Joshua 1:8
Luke 10:27
2 Corinthians 3:5
Colossians 4:6
Colossians 3:16
Romans 12:2
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
1 John 3:18
Psalm 19:14
Proverbs 3:5
Proverbs 4:23
Proverbs 22:6
Philippians 4:8

What's in your heart? What words are coming out of your mouth? How are you reacting to situations throughout your day? Join me in meditating on and memorizing Matthew 12:34 this week, and sign your name below! (you don't have to have a blog to sign your name; just leave the website tab blank) May this verse be a blessing to your life!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 24

As we get to the end of the month, it's time for some super cheap meals! We have lots of things going on this week (the most exciting being our 20-week ultrasound on Thursday and hopefully finding out baby gender), so quick and easy meals are especially good anyway!

Monday - hamburgers, apples, macaroni salad
Tuesday - soccer- Hamburger Mac
Wednesday - soccer- loaded potatoes
Thursday - appointment- chili nachos
Friday - pizza
Saturday - women's retreat, boys are on their own!
Sunday - Chicken Broccoli Lo Mein

We already have many of the ingredients so I should only have to pick up a few things at the store today! Gotta love weeks like this!

Head over to OrgJunkie for more menu ideas. Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation--
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life--
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beautify of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the days of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with
shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, O Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, O Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Family Worship

This week's topic is Family Worship, and I don't really mean devotions or family church you may do every day at home. That topic may be another week. This week I want to hear your take on the whole family being in Sunday church service together. So far, we've always just put Eli in the nursery. He's one of the most active babies ever and doesn't, even for 30 seconds, EVER sit in my lap. So the idea of getting quietly through a church service seems completely unrealistic....for now.

Now Eli's switched from the nursery to the toddler room, and I look forward to him actually getting to play with other children since he has nearly nothing of that during the week. Then I realized my thoughts--that I'm excited for Eli to go to church so he can play with others--and how my thoughts really have no focus on God. And it just occurred to me (just now as I'm writing this post) that if having social play time for Eli is something important to me, then I need to find something besides church for him to have that. Then church can just be worship and play can be play.

I would love for us to someday worship together as a whole family. Yet I also understand the value of children's church where kids have their separate classes to go to and they have lessons taught to them at a level they understand. However, it would also be a good opportunity for family to discuss the sermon afterwards to help the children better understand.

These are two websites with great ideas on getting helping children sit in church: Kerux Noemata and Raising Godly Tomatoes. I really liked the idea of "practicing" church at home, so just yesterday I started what I like to call "obedience training" with Eli. I picked a time I can do most every day (for us it's 1:30) and every day at that time I will play a sermon MP3 on the computer, pick one small toy, put Eli in my lap, and start the kitchen timer for 15 minutes with the goal of teaching him how to sit in my lap quietly for the duration of this time. (as he gets better I'll increase the time) So far we still have a loooong way to go, and it's a quite miserable process right now, but this will hopefully teach him the obedience he needs to get through all of life, and maybe just maybe we can smoothly get through or altogether avoid typical toddler tantrums. And maybe one day Eli will be able to sit quietly in church with us, listening for key words in the sermon, looking up the Bible passages, writing down key points in his own little journal... what a vision.

So what do you think? What's your take on families worshiping together in church vs. separate children/adult church? What do you do? Share your vision.... (it doesn't matter if Friday has already passed or even a week has passed; I'd love to hear from you!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.

I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

This week I am thankful for...

A lunch date with a friend last Saturday. The birth of a new baby. My bloggy friends (y'all are soo sweet and encouraging and I love it here in our cyber world!). Our new video baby monitor--it has relieved much stress and anxiety for me. Possibly finding a FREE piano for friends of ours who were wanting something inexpensive. Having our garage door fixed so I can now open it on my own. Walks with the wagon. Cool mornings. Being able to get up early and enjoy quiet time and a cup of coffee (this is new for me, I'm not a morning person). Maybe buying plane tickets today for our trip home in December. A date with hubby this coming weekend--it's been a long time and I found a Christian coffeehouse I'm excited to try. Stroller walking group--it starts today and I'm excited to meet the mommas of this fall group. The ladies who do the weekly memory verse with me, it's fun to see how it blesses their lives too (I just posted the new verse yesterday, so join in if you'd like!). Different opportunities I've had to share/use my Spiritual gifts--helping Angie get a blog set up for their youth group and offering ideas to my mom's who's a leader for a new KIDS Club at their church. Kevin--he's so good at getting things taken care of around the house when I'm remind him to, watching Eli every night while I'm cooking dinner, and spending time with me in the evenings. God is good and faithful.

What are you thankful for this week?? To more thankful posts, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Previous verses

Colossians 2:6-7
Psalm 119:9-11
Romans 15:13
Hebrews 10:24-25
Psalm 86:11
Joshua 1:8
Luke 10:27
2 Corinthians 3:5
Colossians 4:6
Colossians 3:16
Romans 12:2
1 Thessalonians 5:16
1 John 3:18
Psalm 19:14
Proverbs 3:5
Proverbs 4:23
Proverbs 22:6

If you'd like to join me this week in memorizing Philippians 4:8, sign your name below. Let us think about that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy! May this verse be a blessing to your week!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Husband Encouragement

My love language is Quality Time. If Kevin and I don't have quality time together, I feel like our marriage is getting weak and it's time for some TLC. There are and will be those moments all throughout life. But it's up to us to recognize that and take care of it, instead of just grumble about it and give up on marriage itself. It takes work! Quality time, to me, doesn't mean running errands together, going out to eat, being home at the same time, playing with Eli, watching TV, etc. It means just Kevin and me having an actual conversation about something real, talking about life, just sitting together without distraction, working on something fun together, looking at real estate and dreaming about the future, playing a game, etc. This week my husband encouragement goals are going to focus on the things I alone can do to encourage more of that much-needed quality time...

1. Go to bed at the same time no matter what. I like to take a shower at night, and since I know Kevin needs to be in bed by 10 in order to get up at 5:00am for work, I'm going to make sure I'm done with my shower by 10pm. And if he feels like going to bed at 9:00, then I go to bed at 9pm. Period. I want to show him that I really value that, and I value him, by doing this instead of always expecting him to stay up until I'm ready for bed. (since I'm more of a night owl)

2. Plan a date night. It's been sooo long since Kevin and I have been on a date just the two of us. I just realized this week why I've been putting it off. I feel like since we only go out once in a blue moon that when we do go out, it has to be something great, something different than just dinner or a movie. But this time, I'll arrange for a babysitter and it'll force me to actually look around and find something fun for us to enjoy. And sure enough, I did some browsing this morning for a Christian coffee house, and I found one 45 minutes aways with a little concert this weekend. So if all works out, we'll be go to that!

3. Read together. Last week we started reading together Shepherding a Child's Heart, and last night we finished chapter two. I'd like to continue reading one chapter together a week, but it takes my initiation, so I will work to remember that.

Your love language is the way of receiving love that you respond most to. The 5 love languages are quality time, physical touch, gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service. Author Gary Chapman says, "We must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love." I know, I should be focusing on my husband's love language instead of my own, which I do. But in hopes of being fed in the way that I need, I'm going to try to do what I can on my end, instead of just expecting my husband to do what I want him to. Does that make sense?

Do you know what your love language is? Do you know your husband's love language? What can you do this week to show him love and appreciation in that way?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 17

Notes from last week: The Pepperoni and Cheese Bread was really good, hardly took any ingredients, and was fast to make. I'm sure you could modify it to whatever your favorite pizza toppings are. Just a fun something different from the norm!

I feel like I've been eating a ton of junk lately, and since I need to watch my weight throughout pregnancy, this week I'm really going to concentrate on decently healthy meals with veggies and maybe fruit as "dessert". Yet I'm really in the mood to bake, too, so that probably cancels out all efforts!

*already have main ingredients*

Monday - soccer - hot pizza subs (modified slightly), apple slices
Tuesday - crock pot barbecue pork chops, corn on the cob, oranges
Wednesday - glazed ham, sweet potatoes, pineapple
Thursday - soccer- sandwiches
Friday - ground beef gravy over mashed potatoes, green beans, apple slices
Saturday - chicken divan, peaches
Sunday - breakfast: Sour Cream Coffee Cake, dinner: enchilada bake

dessert of the week: Cream Cheese Pound Cake with strawberries

For more great menu ideas visit Laura at Organizing Junkie. Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Memory Verse: Train up your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 92

It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be forever destroyed.

But you, O Lord, are exalted forever.
For surely your enemies, O Lord,
surely your enemies will perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;
fine oils have been poured upon me.
My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
they flourish in the counts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock,
and there is no wickedness in him."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Family Focus Friday: TV Time

TV season is coming up. In less than 2 weeks most shows start back up, and I'm actually quite excited. Kevin and I have certain shows we watch together, and I enjoy that time "together"; however, watching TV still doesn't count as quality time in my book, as much as I do enjoy those shows.

I'm greatly influenced and inspired by Elizabeth George and in her book A Mom After God's Own Heart, she challenges us to analyze our TV time: How much are you watching? How much could you 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? And so... this year before the season even starts, I've been thinking about the shows we usually watch and the new shows that I was considering: Heroes (Mondays), House (Tuesdays), Private Practice (Wednesday), Smallville and Grey's Anatomy (Thursdays). When I realized that this covers almost every night of the week, I decided I needed to pick three nights and cut the rest. Three nights, just because it covers the all-time favorite shows Kevin and I watch together and eliminates the shows I just sort-of like.

I always like to say, "You don't miss what you don't know about." If I don't get even myself started on a show, then I don't even miss it. It's the same as how you don't get addicted to tobacco if you don't even try it. Yeah, TV is that powerful. It really can invade your life in more ways that we recognize. So for this year the final decision is: Heroes, House (or maybe switch out for Grey's), and Smallville.

And when it comes to TV watching for Eli... well, he doesn't usually watch regular TV shows, just his baby videos that are 20 minutes long and we didn't start that until he turned a year old. We try to limit it to one video every couple days, and when he does watch them, we usually sit with him and interact with him throughout. I say this now but I never want the TV to be a babysitter--for me to pop in a video and walk away to do my own thing for an hour. So that's my goal to start now.

What rules do you have for you and your family when it comes to TV time? And how do you use the time otherwise (free play, reading, Bible study, family time, etc)??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

This has been a great week full of big blessings!!

1. Best friends. I had a really good phone conversation with a friend last weekend. During this time I realized a lot of things, decided on some changes, and am now excited for what God can do through this!

2. Momma's day out. Last Saturday morning two other mama friends and I went out for breakfast and a little shopping. It was soooo good to get out together, to be able chat about mom stuff without any other distractions, and just enjoy some relaxing time.

3. Surprises. Almost two years ago when we found out we were having a boy (Eli), our friends Michael and Jennifer sent us several boxes of clothes their son had already outgrown. I went through it all , or so I thought, and now what was left was mostly just toddler stuff. BUT as I was tidying up Eli's closet two nights ago and digging through those boxes I realized that one of them I must not have ever gone through because there were various sizes in there, not just toddler stuff! In that box I found LOTS of 18 months clothes that Eli can wear now, AND I realized that several of the 2T and even 3T shirts will probably fit him. So just when I thought he didn't have many clothes for this coming fall season, down showered the blessing of this "hidden box" FULL of stuff!!! He's all set!

4. Sales. Yesterday I ordered some pictures to be sent to my in-laws (since they don't have a computer to keep up with Eli) and I found a coupon code online for free shipping, cutting the price almost in half since it was just a few pictures! AND Walgreens had a sale where I could get our ink cartridge refilled for FREE!

5. Renting. Last week I mentioned that our dishwasher was going down hill but I was still thankful for it anyway. Since then it really went bazook and started leaking all over the floor. The repair man came yesterday and we were really hoping he'd say it just needed replaced, and sure enough, we get a new dishwasher, and since we're renting it's FREE! We picked one out today and it'll be delivered tomorrow. Yay!!

6. Hubby. He's working long days for a couple months doing a job he's really not enjoying. But he doesn't complain and is still wonderfully involved when he gets home.

God has really been taking care of us all along, and this week it was in big ways! For more thankful posts, visit Iris at Sting My Heart. Have a great week!

Save money TODAY!

Milehimama was so nice to share this for her "Works for Me Wednesday" tip, and I'm so excited about it I thought I'd pass it along to all of you!

Walgreens is doing FREE refills on printer ink cartridges TODAY ONLY! I'm definitely planning on taking advantage of this deal, so go check it out at the website or print the coupon here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

New verse:
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Last week's verse:
Proverb 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

I'd love to have you join me in memorizing Proverbs 22:6! So if you'd like, sign your name below!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Husband Encouragement

Over the weekend I was blessed with a good, long conversation with my friend Angie over the phone. We talked about some areas in which I've been struggling and how I can be more submissive to my husband. Since I can't control my husband, I need to focus on how I can control me. Just like many other couples, finances are the biggest stresser between Kevin and me. And while we were talking I came to the realization that handing the budget over to Kevin would be one of the greatest acts of submission and respect since it's such an area I like to have so much control over. If you've been to my blog at all, it doesn't long to see that I LOVE organizing and planning. I love creating and keeping track of budgets, making schedules and iteneraries, organizing lists, taking notes, and setting goals. It makes me feel in control. BUT....

I am not called to be in control. I am called to be a follower and supporter by submitting to my husband's lead.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Ephesians 5:21-23

I am to follow my husband, even when I don't feel like it, even when I don't necessarily agree with his decisions....even if it means a setback. God will provide. And I trust Kevin. So here in the area where I desire so much control over our family, I will let go and submit to Kevin's authority. I respect him, and this is one of the greatest, most challenging things I can do, to show him that I love, respect, and support him through all of life.

And to be honest, it's only been a couple days now since this change, but I feel a weight lifted off me. To be relieved from the stress of the budget. We have our automatic transfers to savings each month and as long as we don't go in the red and have to transfer it back (which I no longer have to watch), we're fine. God is going to use this experience and challenge to bless and enrich our marriage.

What's the area that's hardest for you when it comes to submitting to your husband?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 10

Trying five new recipes* this week, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

Monday - soccer game - turkey panini* (recipe below)
Tuesday - soccer game - taco bake (recipe from Betty Crocker cookbook)
Wednesday - bean and cheese burritos* (carry-over meal from last week)
Thursday - appetizer nite - pepperoni and cheese bread*
Friday - baked ziti*, garlic bread, salad
Saturday - grilled chicken, corn on the cob
Sunday - pizza

Dessert of the week: Peach cobbler*

So I see it's not much variety this week. Two days of Mexican and two days of pizza type, but that's okay. We'll like it anyway!


(from my friend Angie)

1. Butter bread for grilling in pan
2. Put on it generous amount of deli turkey and cheddar cheese
3. Then spread on bread some of this mixture:

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbl bacon bits
1/2 Tbl finely sliced green onion
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp pepper

4. Grill in pan.

For more great menu ideas, head over to Org Junkie! Have a great week!

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the
richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help.
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for the jackals.

But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Focus on the Family Friday

I'm not sure yet where I want to go with this new meme. Something about what I hope to offer to my family during the weekend. There's a really great quote from The Power of a Prayer Wife that I continue to pray about on a regular basis: "You will still be expected to see that the heart of your home is a peaceful sanctuary--a source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurtering, rest, and love for your family." And of course part of our job as a mom is also to plan fun. So what do I hope to accomplish this weekend?? Fun, rest, family time, and spiritual rejuvenation.

FUN: Almost every day this week Kevin's been asking what we're having for dinner, and somehow from his tone, I'm picking up the idea that he may want to go out one night instead. We just received a gift card to Olive Garden (thanks, Carri!), and even before that, he's had a hankerin (sp??) for their soup, salad, and bread sticks. So as a little surprise and part of our fun for the weekend, I'm going to post-pone our dinner plans since it didn't use any meat, and we'll just have it next week instead! I know it's Friday and will probably be busy at Olive Garden, but whatever. It's a nice day and a great night to go out! So that's what we're going to do.

REST/REJUVENATION: Tomorrow morning is mama's morning out with two other friends of mine. Not sure what we're going to do yet, but I'm very excited!! And while I'm out, Kevin can have some computer game time (or whatever he wants to do) while Eli should be napping. (Eli's schedule seems to be changing, but for some of the morning he'll at least be in his crib attempting a nap)

FUN: Then tomorrow afternoon is a festival in the next town over where you can sample different restaurant's signature dishes, so I'd like to take us to that to check out.

REST: Saturday night is nothing. Hopefully Kevin and I can have some quality time together, either reading a book together, watching a movie, or playing a game.

SPIRITUAL REJUVENATION: Sunday of course is church. But we all know we need more than just an hour of church. So I'd like to sit down sometime this weekend (maybe tonight, maybe Sunday evening?) to listen to one of Pastor Dave's messages, per request of Kevin. And I'd like to also sit down with hubby and hear his prayer requests.

I know, seems overly organized, but that's just how I function. I love managing time and schedules. Now whether we actually follow it, that's a whole other story! I'll leave a Mr. Linky in case you want to share what you're planning for your family this weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It's been a pretty good week and today my heart is feeling thankful for...

1. Eli. He cut another tooth and has been back to sleeping until 7:00ish. Starts our day sooo much nicer. We're also almost completely done with binky. He can sleep without it now just fine and hardly uses it during the day even though we weren't intentional about that. Now we just need help getting through 5:00p.m. grumpy hour.

2. Hubby. Two days ago I was really maxed out and just needed a break when Kevin swept Eli up and took him off to the store so I could have quiet time to recharge. He's an amazing man and knows just when to step in and save the day. The Lord knew just what kind of person I needed as my life partner, and I am so thankful for the wonderful man to whom I am married.

3. A friend. I had not heard much from her at all for an entire year after normally talking to her weekly, but this week I got a really sweet letter in the mail at just the right time when I was in my "maxed out" moment. God has all our days planned and He knows when to drop these little blessings into our lives.

4. Day off. It was very nice enjoying a 3-day weekend last weekend. We didn't do much but it was nice having an extra day of family time.

5. House. My parents just bought a new house! They're a pastor and pastor's wife who have lived in church-provided house for forever, so this is actually their first house to buy together, and it's exciting! Closing is the end of this month.

6. Our townhouse. I've been grumpy about our place lately because everything seems to be breaking all at once, and I'm getting anxious to buy our own home in a year. So it's time to think of things I'm thankful for about it... it's much more affordable than the expensive apartment we were in before this. And it feels much more like a home because we have a front and back door instead of apartment building. We've come to really like our neighbors, and Eli loves the cats three doors down. Kevin has a garage and a place to work on his Jeep. We have air conditioning to cool us through the hot summer days and heat to keep us warm through winter. We're renting so we don't have to pay for these said repairs. And even though we have the oldest dishwasher ever that seems to have had better days, we have a dishwasher that we very greatly appreciate.

Alright, I better close for today and get breakfast on the table for little one and me. Enjoy your day, and take a moment to think about what your thankful for. To visit more Thankful Thursday folks, go to Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Last night Kevin and I finally started reading the book Shepherding a Child's Heart. For this week I've decided to memorize the key verse of the entire book:

Proverb 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.


Previous verses:

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.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us consider how may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together--as some are in the habit of doing--but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let the Word of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do everything in it; then you will be prosperous and successful.

Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in your 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.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not own your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

If you'd like to join me this week writing on your heart Proverbs 4:23, sign your name below. It's very encouraging to share this practice with fellow believers!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday: Kitchen Counter

The Project: The kitchen counter.
Objective: To clean up area where cookbooks are so it doesn't waste so much of my counter area.


1. Empty fruit basket, remove wire handles, paint it white, put in bathroom.

basket beforebasket afternew bathroom look

2. Organize printed-out recipes, flip through cooking magazines pulling out recipes to keep and tossing magazine.

3. Hang pot holders (or whatever those mittens are called) on wall.

4. Put food items away.

Finished Project:

Need some motivation?? Check out some other Tackle it Tuesday participants at 5MinutesforMom.

Husband Encouragement

In my prayer journal I like to write a list of husband encouragement goals for the week (sometimes just for the day). And this week I thought I'd share...

* Honor/encourage Kevin's 45 minutes of down time when he gets from work--take Eli somewhere or use that time to do my chores so he can enjoy some quiet.

* Suggest listening to Pastor Dave sermons. Kevin's mentioned how likes Pastor Dave the best and even though there are other sites I'd rather listen from, I'm going to support Kevin at that the best I can.

* Order the book A Husband After God's Own Heart for Kevin. Even if he doesn't ever want to read it, I at least want to look through it, and then it will be available to him if he wants it.

* Ask Kevin how I can pray for him each day.

* Pray for him daily.

* Plan an evening of something fun.

* Wake up before Eli so I have a better attitude when taking care of Eli.

* Keep up with cleaning schedule. It helps me feel better when things are organized and I don't have to ask Kevin's help with things at the end of the day because it's already taken care of.

For those of you who did the Husband Encouragement Challenge with me, and for those of you who didn't, what have you been doing to encourage your husbands at home??

Monday, September 3, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 3

Okay, I'm really trying to work on reducing the weekly grocery bill. So this week I've included 5-ingredient or less recipes, a night of using beans instead of meat, and using meat from the freezer (pork chops, ground turkey) If you have any tips on how you cook cheap meals, I'd love to hear your ideas!

Monday - Labor Day cookout at church
Tuesday - pork chops, applesauce, tator tots
Wednesday - Old Fashioned Goulash, garlic bread, salad
Thursday - appetizer nite-- BBQ chicken drummies
Friday - Bean and Cheese Burrito
Saturday - Turkey Cabbage Stew
Sunday - dinner out

DID YOU KNOW that Bisquick is supposed to be refrigerated after opening?? Check the top of your box. I just learned this at a friend's house yesterday! Who knew?!

Head over to OrgJunkie for more great menu ideas! Have a blessed week!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the paths of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.