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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another box project.

Remember a couple months ago I made the kids a cardboard kitchen? It's still holding up, by the way, and Eli and Hannah both love playing with it. Well, last week I made Eli a boxcar train, literally! This was definitely MUCH easier to make than the kitchen, since it's basically just four diaper boxes connected with rope and a little creativity to make something that resembles an engine. Watch out for the strangle dangle with the pull cord though! He's loving it though, and we've found a good route to take it through the house so it doesn't have to make tight turns or get stuck on rugs and floor boards. Take a look...

here she is in all its glory! haha
tugging the train through the house
helping the train through a tight turn
our beary friendly passengersEli likes to pretend that the train is stopping to get more corn. Then he pulls out his toy corn cob, and he must remember shucking corn last summer because he picks at the corn like he's pulling off those tiny strings that corn cobs have.
Hannah's helping too!We found it works best to load the "engine" box with heavy things so it doesn't pull up or tip so much as you pull it along. It's pretty big and it definitely requires some parental help as he plays, but we sure do have fun, and that's the important part!

You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband, Part 2

This is continuation from yesterday, so if you didn't read that already, click HERE to read my notes from the first three chapters.

Now this chapter was so significant to me, it gets a post of its own, along with my thoughts at the end...

CHAPTER 4: Accepting Your Husband As He Is
"Unconditional love and acceptance, then, should be the foundation of your marriage, and it is vital that you give your husband these gifts." (48)

"When you accept your husband the way he is, you will give him the freedom to be the man he wants (or needs) to be." (48)

"You and your husband will be contented and free only when you quit setting unrealistic goals and stop expecting him to be who he is not. Allow God to conform your mate into his image rather than trying to conform into the image you have for his life." (49)

"If...you are disappointed in your husband, you may be trying to make him meet certain needs in your life that only Christ can meet." (50)

"Your intentions to change him may be sincere, but they can lead to disaster." (50)

"God did not give you the job of convicting him of sin or error. That is the work of the Holy Spirit." (50)

"Make it a habit, when you have the desire to change something about your husband, to ask Christ to show you your faults." (52)

"Accepting your husband as he is will not always mean that you like how he acts...Acceptance is required, but enjoyment is a blessing from God." (54)

"If negative traits can be modified or channeled in the right direction, they can become strengths." (56)

My own thoughts... You see, there were certain areas of life that I wanted Kevin to change. And I thought I could "encourage him" to be the way I wanted. I got a marriage book for him that paralleled one that really helped me. I bought it with the intention that I wouldn't push him; it would just be something available to him. But I couldn't help myself. Every few weeks I'd remind him that it was on the shelf and he hadn't read it yet and how much I had loved my book. I'd try to get him to join me with a Bible reading plan, set up an accountability partner for him, and would continue to bring up "the issue" time and time again, getting nowhere and just discouraging him even more. Even though I really was just trying to help and encourage, it was simply too much. I had to "let go and let God" do the work.

When I read this chapter in the book, it finally came to my understanding that this was not my job. A quote from chapter three that made all the difference in the world to me: "Do not assume responsibilities that are your husband's alone. Realize that there are needs in his life that you cannot meet..." (44) I can and need to allow God to do the work HE wants to do not what I WANT him to do. And boy, was this a relief to me! A burden lifted! I can pray, but I need to be accepting of who my husband is now. And that's exactly what I've been trying to do.

More to come...

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband, Part 1

After working on this book off and on for over a year now I FINALLY finished this book! I LOVED it, and it really truly changed how I treated my marriage, so I just have to share my favorite passages. It'll probably take a couple posts, so stay tuned!

CHAPTER 1: The Perfect Plan
"A strong marriage does not just happen accidentally. It is deliberately built through the years, through the work of both spouses. A wise woman will focus only on her role not her husband's. She will trust God to work in her husband's life. however, she will not be surprised should God work differently than she expected." (25)

CHAPTER 2: Your Relationship with the Designer
"Worry, jealousy, discouragement, a critical attitude, and bitterness are symptoms that you are controlling your own life." (32)

"You can have control and peace through such times by drawing on Jesus' strength instead of your own. He promises to be sufficient." (34)

CHAPTER 3: Helping Your Husband Love Himself
"You can only truly love yourself when your identity is 'in Him'...When I love by the truth of what God says about me, my identity is secure." (35)

"As you learn to love yourself as he made you, you can genuinely love your husband and meet the needs of his life that God desires for you to meet." (37)

"Your husband's need for admiration is fulfilled through your genuine praise. His love and strength, in turn, should meet your need for tenderness and protection. Your intuition complements his wisdom. Your loyal support undergirds his initiative." (38)

"Don't push him; just believe in him, and you will begin to experience a deeper, closer relationship with your man." (39)

"When you follow God's plan for your life, you will be rewarded fourfold:
1. As you trust Jesus Christ to help you understand your husband, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover what a wonderful man you married.
2. As your husband begins to respond to your loving admiration, he will express appreciation and love for you.
Do not assume responsibilities that are your husband's alone. Realize that there are needs in his life that you cannot meet, such as his need to make Christ the Lord of life or his need for acceptance and approval by others in business and society. Your main job is to comfort, encourage, and support your man when he is with you. As you plant and water your mate's life with praise, it is God's job to make it grow and bring an increase. (44)

3. God will give you inner peace and stability when you live to please and obey Him and not yourself.
4. You will receive rewards in eternity as you faithfully trust and obey Christ." (43,44)

More to come tomorrow...

Menu Plan Monday - Dec. 29

Alright, folks, we're going really cheap this week. It just about makes me sick to see our savings just get lower and lower by the day. And it's still going to be a few weeks 'til we get a pay check again, ugh. So here it is. I got our groceries last night already, and it was sooo pleasant that the entire bill was only $22, including milk, juice, and all of Hannah's baby food!

We're never sure where we'll be each day, so here's the pickins...

Spaghetti--we already had noodles in the cupboard so it's just $1.42 for pasta sauce
Ramen--I told you we were going cheap!-- $0.48 total for 3 packages
Hot dogs--we have half a package to finish so it's just $1.17 for buns
Salads--topped with boiled egg, bacon, sesame seeds, and cheese--only $1.78 for bag salad
Potato soup--$1.87 for 3 BIG potatoes
Grilled cheese and tomato soup--soup in cupboard already so only $2.42 for cheese

Lunch meat sandwiches
Frozen pizzas--$1 each for 2

Fruits and veggies:
canned peas (trying to see if Hannah will eat these, they're softer than frozen)
frozen broccoli
fruit cocktail

Breakfasts (since we might be moving in two weeks, the 10th maybe, we need to start cleaning out what we've got, instead of fixing hot breakfasts):
cold cereal

More meal ideas HERE.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Highlights

my dad's church (he's a pastor), Christmas Eve
because they live right next door we got a sneak peak at the manger
symbolic ornaments on the church tree
at my parent's house. we stayed overnight Christmas Eve so I could go to the service and we'd be there to celebrate in the morning
Christmas morning, Grandpa's reading a Christmas book to EliChristmas stockings! We don't do Santa but we have fun with stockings anyway. :)Hannah's stockingI found a pair of little mittens for 99 cents so I couldn't help but get them since Hannah didn't really have any. And boy, she loved them!grandparents with the childrenHannah's discovering BELLS!Eli's opening the first present. He was sooo excited!
Bob the Builder DVD set.perfect sized present for little HannahHannah's first little hair bow! oh my goodness, break-my-heart-adorable!sitting in her new little chair. Eli got a blue one like this last Christmas so we're in our new house they'll have matching chairs.my favorite presents--a fire pit for our new house. I'm sooo excited to use this next summer!Eli helped open EVERYONE'S presents!my favorite toy that Hannah got. It's so cute and so her.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas poem.

I'm definitely no poet or writer but this is a little something I thought I'd share with you all...

Merry Christmas to you this day.
This is what my heart would pray.
That your life would be full of cheer
Because our Lord and Savior is here.

God came to earth as a baby boy
So he could fill the world with joy.
In a barn, so pure and small
He came for me. He came for all.

The shepherds left their sheep to see
The newborn king. Could it really be?
Under the sky and stars so bright
They gathered near to him that night
In the quiet the angel spoke.
It whispered to Joseph and he awoke.
In a hurry they must go
To hide from Herod. He mustn't know
For Herod wanted to kill the one
Who threatened his rule, God's own son.

Jesus grew from boy to man.
All along God had a plan.
He showed us how we are to live,
how to love and forgive.

Our pain and sadness he took away
upon the cross with blood he paid.
Then he rose again one morn,
as gloriously as he was born.

Messiah, Savior, Christ our King.
With grateful hearts we will sing.
We wait again for his return
For that we day we will yearn.

Then to Heaven we will go
If we believe and trust Him so.
Christmas, then, is a time to share
Our joy and peace, love and prayers.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, December 18, 2008

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Edition!

I saw this on my friend Amy's blog and liked it so much I thought I'd share it here too. (I think Amy said the same thing when she found it too!) Here it goes:

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family. I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, through harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust... but giving the gift of love will endure.

~Author Unknown~

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

I love you, honey!
Happy 28th!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A new favorite

Last week in my need to finish off some green chiles from previously making breakfast burritos, I found a recipe in my computer bookmarks for Chicken Chili. And mmm, Kevin and I both decided it was a new favorite. Even Eli gobbled it up with having to prod him along through his meal! Perfect for these cold winter days!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday goodness

Back in college my friend Angie introduced me to oreo balls. I loved 'em so much we made them for our wedding reception, but for whatever reason we haven't had them since! I remembered them this year and thought it would be fun to make these "snowball cookies" with Eli! The recipe is oh so easy and sooo yummy!

8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
package of Oreos, crushed
package of almond bark

Stir together Oreos and cream cheese. Form them into ~1 inch balls. Put them in the freezer for a few minutes while you melt the almond bark. Then dip the balls into almond bark and return to freezer until set. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Since it's holiday season I thought it might be fun to try mint Oreos instead of just regular, and it definitely was a yummy variation!

The ingredients
Oreos in a bag
Kevin's smashing the Oreoscrushed cookiessoftened cream cheesestir together cream cheese and cookies
Eli's helping put balls on the panballs made and set in freezernow we can "clean" the spoon!chocolate face!melting the almond barkcoating the oreo balls with almond barkwe had some troubles with the almond bark overcooking and getting way too thick instantly, so you'll see most of them are chunky. done and ready to go back into the freezer for a few minutes.Snow balls!ready to eat!mmm....a little someone enjoying his treat