WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

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, August 31, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
what it means to be a help meet

Verse of the week
Colossians 3:12-15 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Husband Encouragement
I think I'm going to order a game that Kevin and I can play together for fun.

Train Them Up
* really work on obedience training with Hannah
* find time for daily Bible story

Personal Goal
I'm working on painting a desk that will be my scrap booking table. ONE more coat of paint and I think it will be done, so it's my goal to finish it this week so I get my station set up and our guest room back together.

MUST Do
* email pastor's wife
* finish plans for MOPS!

Zone
Bedroom. I pulled out my big bag suitcase of old maternity clothes and in the process of digging through to find what things I might be able to wear I've created quite a mess in our room! And it's time to reclaim that space and have order again!

Menu - short week because of plans for Labor Day weekend! yay!

Monday - chicken alfredo, corn on the cob, peaches
Tuesday - hot dogs, potato salad, apples
Wednesday - Italian subs
Thursday - something with a remaining 1/2 lb of ground beef?

Fun Things
* park play date on Wednesday with new friends
* Friday we're heading home for Labor Day weekend for Kevin's 10-yr high school reunion Sat night. While we're home we're doing a morning play date with friends there.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

In my reading of Created to Be His Help Meet (amazing book!!), yesterday I learned what I kind of man God created Kevin to be and through that my eyes have been opened to a greater understanding and appreciation of my husband. The qualities God has given him are ones that can easily be taken for granted, and I am guilty too like so many other wives. But no longer! Today I am filled with great praise, so today to my husband...

* Thank you for being a rock for our family--for being so steady, dependable, and faithful that we know we can put trust in you.
* Thank you for being wise and cautious and protective, for making careful decisions.
* Thank you for being such a hard worker and wonderful provider for our family.
* Thank you for being my friend and companion and allowing me to walk beside you through life's journeys.
* Thank you for your peace and safety and steady assurance that you will love and care for us.

You are a wonderful man, and I am so thankful for the man God has created you to be!

Zucchini Everything!

We had a pleasant surprise in our garden the other day--we have zucchini! We planted them so late (end of July!) that we didn't really expect to get anything but just gave it a shot anyway. I didn't even know they had started to grow let alone turned into ginormous ones! So now that we all of a sudden we have lots of zucchini to use, I've been pretty creative about what we can make!

So far this week we've had these Zucchini Grinders (turned out good!) and last night I made lasagna using zucchini, and it also turned out really good and was our lunch for today! I just followed a regular lasagna recipe but used less meat and added in sliced n diced zucchini with it and since I was halving the recipe I could use extra sauce than originally called for and extra mozzarella cheese on top of the cheese layers. Now this weekend I'll be making these zucchini brownies (I'll let you know how they turn out) and maybe tomorrow I'll bake some good ol' zucchini bread. And though it's not in the menu for us this week, I do love Mediterranean pasta: simmer a can (or 2) of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, diced zucchini, and sliced olives until the zucchini is tender. serve over noodles of your choice. The original recipe I got this from also used garbanzo beans, but since I don't care for them I leave them out, but for those of you who like them, they'd add protein to the meal!


Hannah's is the store-bought zucchini I'd just got before I knew we had our own in the garden. And Eli's zucchini is from our garden. BIG!
So there you have it, everything zucchini! What are your favorite zucchini recipes??

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I want to know!

So when we found out we were pregnant with our third child we thought we'd let this baby's gender remain a surprise until delivery. But as that 20-week ultrasound gets closer I'm changing my mind! I want to know what we're having! Last week when I was shopping for Hannah and Eli's fall/winter wardrobes I kept wishing I could pick out a little something for the baby too. And it reminded me that it's those little things I enjoy so much when preparing for a baby's arrival. We found out gender with both Eli and Hannah, mostly for planning purposes so we'd know we had the right clothes, but even this time when that doesn't matter as much, I still want to know. I guess I just feel more bonded with the baby when I do little things for him/her that includes it as part of the family even now, even if it's a small something. I would maybe like to make a special blanket for it, but I know afterwards I really won't have so much time. I usually buy everything used for the kids but for each one I've gone and picked out one special new outfit, just for fun. And it will be fun to know which child the baby will be sharing a room with so we can start figuring out dresser storage stuff. And like I said, after Baby arrives we won't have as much free time. So what do you think? If you've found out gender with your babies, what were your reasons? And if you've left it a surprise, how did you do it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
gentleness word study.

Memory Verse
Doing last week's verse again. Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."

Husband Encouragement
One of Kevin's shoes needed new laces since he's been using a temporary pair of black laces for his brown shoes. It looks pretty ugly (in my opinion) and now that I have the new laces I'm going to go ahead and get them laced up for him before he gets home from work.

Train Them Up
John 3:16 See my verse tune here.

Personal Goal
Last week was so busy I didn't walk at all last week! So this week it's my goal to walk once! how sad is that?!

Must Do
* MOPS activity
* Monday appointment
* Paint desk drawers

Zone
Dining room. This time instead of it being project-like, it's going to be overall. This week I'm really going to work to clean up the table area after every meal. We usually get the dishes picked up but don't give it a good wipe down until after dinner at night. It can get really disgusting so I'm going to try to do better about it.

Menu - we've got a couple types of buns to use up and lots of produce from the garden, so that's where this menu is headed this week...

Monday - cheese ravioli, garlic bread, corn, pears
Tuesday - cucumber sandwiches, carrots, apples
Wednesday - lasagna with zucchini inside (sshh!)
Thursday - hot dogs, potato wedges, corn
Friday - church
Saturday - zucchini grinders, peaches, chips
Sunday - TBD

dessert: zucchini brownies

Fun Things
* MOPS meeting on Tuesday. I agreed to be the MOPetts coordinator this year which I'm still a little nervous about, but I'm excited to start getting more involved and in the process get to know other ladies better!
* games night at church on Friday

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bible verse songs.

A few weeks ago I started doing Bible memory verses with Eli, and as time has gone on I've been adding tunes to them to make them easier to learn and more fun to practice at random times and places. (you read everywhere that that helps children) So here are the four verses we now have tunes for! Feel free to steal them if you'd like!

*note: I was going to add a breakdown of how the words lined up with the original text (or how exactly the new words fit with the tune) but blogger took out my extra spaces I had added in between words. Soo... there just MIGHT be a short video coming with a demonstration of each song. So stay tuned! (haha! get it?) Anyhoo...

John 3:16
(tune: "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow")
the simpler version

For God so loved the world
For God so loved the world
For God so loved the world
He sent his son to die

He sent his son to die
to free us from our sins

For God so loved the world
He sent his son to die
so we could live with him always
John three sixteen

OR

(the more wordy version)

For God so loved the world
He sent his son to die
So we could live with him always
If only we believe

He sent his son to die
to free us from our sins

For God so loved the world
He sent his son to die
so we could live with him always
John three sixteen

********************************

Ephesians 6:1
(tune: "Joy to the World")

E-phe-sians, six verse one
Children, obey your parents
In the Lord
For it is right.
Children, obey your parents
It is how you serve the Lord.
Obey, obey, obey the Lord!

*********************************

Ephesians 5:2 (even though it's actually verses 1 and 2)
(tune: "Happy Birthday to You")

Ephesians five two
Ephesians five two
Imitate God.
Live a life of love.

********************************

Ecclesiastes 3:1
(tune: "Are you Sleeping" or "Brother John" whatever it's called)

Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes
three verse one, three verse one
There is a time for everything
There is a time for everything
three verse one, three verse one.

UPDATE: Okay, as much I totally do NOT want to expose my singing to the public, I do actually think it would be beneficial in order for you to get any use out of the above tunes and know how they actually go. So here we go with a minute of public humiliation, and please remember, I am not a singer! Oh and sorry about the out-of-focus view of the Bible. I sure wasn't going to show my FACE for the video and in order to hold the camera far enough away for the Bible to be in focus I couldn't hold it still at all in the air, so I just went with it anyway where it was comfortable for me to hold. So this is for you, folks!

video

More to come as we go along with this! Are there any tunes that you do with your kids? Please share, so I don't have to keep making a fool out of myself!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Meanderings


Bible Study
finish word study on thankfulness

Memory Verse
Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."

Husband Encouragement
make a dessert. I don't do this very often, and I think it's about time!

Train Them Up
Ephesians 5:2 "Imitate God. Live a life of love." This is simplified, but I think it would be good for the kids to learn. We can do a lot of activities throughout the week to help learn the meaning of this verse. What does it mean to imitate? We can do a game in which the kids copy what I'm doing. And we canread and talk a lot about what God is like. God is love. What things are loving and what things are not loving...

Personal Goal
I try to get to town 3x a week to go walking with the kids, but that's been hard to commit to when the weather's hot or we have things going on. So when I can't do that, I'd like to do my in-home walking video with Leslie Sansone. Hmm, quite a switch from doing P90X, but at least it's something!

Must Do
* keep looking for the kids' shot record booklet
* send a letter
* emails
* budget

Zone
Basement room. Right now it's piled full with all our storage bins and boxes, but we would like to clean it up and make it a usable room for something, laying out the carpet we just pulled up from the office.

Menu

Monday - chow mein, oranges
Tuesday - taco skillet, pineapple
Wednesday - breakfast casserole
Thursday - Mommy night out!
Friday - French dip sandwiches, ranch potato wedges, waldorf salad
Saturday - brats, green beans, apples
Sunday - Mediterranean pasta, garlic bread, peaches

Dessert: carrot cake

Fun Things
* Tuesday, shopping with Mom in Omaha!
* Thursday is a mommy's night out with some ladies from church!
* Friday, family coming visit whom we haven't seen in a looong time, well before the kids' days!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Activity: A time for everything.

This week's Bible verse for the kids has been Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything."
We sing it to the "Brother John" tune:
"Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes,
Three verse one, three verse one
There is a time for everything
There is a time for everything
Three verse one, three verse one.

I chose this verse because we've been having trouble getting Eli to *stop talking enough at dinner in order to eat his meal in a somewhat timely fashion with the rest of us. I thought I could come up with a fun activity to help teach this verse, and this is what I came up with.

a chart of our common places: church, meal time, park,
talking on the phone
Match the appropriate action/behavior for each place.
sweet boy working hard
this was a trick question. I had a picture of a girl crying. Crying isn't a good behavior for any of those places, so it didn't go on the chart. I did explain though that it's okay to cry when we get hurt or someone dies, etc but it's not appropriate for most places. (or however I said it)first part is done!
next we added describing words. I read the words and Eli decided which picture it should go with.all done!and of course proudly displayed on the fridge
* I realized the other day that this is probably because dinner time is one of the only times during the day when Eli really has our undivided attention (sort of, Kevin and I are usually trying to talk with each other) instead of us being busy working on something at the same time. But STILL...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:7


* I am thankful for a good week with the kiddos, housekeeping, and marriage!

* I am reading the book Created to Be His Help Meet and I am learning sooo much! I am thankful for God's perfect timing and this new source of encouragement!

* I am thankful for projects completed. It feels great to get another thing crossed off our SPRING cleaning list!

* I am thankful for friends!

* I am thankful for hubby who works so hard. I probably get almost double the amount of sleep as him, but he never complains and comes home every day to even more more busyness with the family.

* I am thankful for time together with my husband. This week we've been watching Fringe episodes that we missed, and it's fun to enjoy something together.

* I am thankful for continued progress on the potty! (with Eli, that is!) Yesterday while we were at Walmart I let him help pick out a stool, hoping it would help get him excited about sitting on the BIG potty (with his potty seat on top). And he did it! He still can't quite get up there on his own, but at least the willingness is there! That's a big deal for this little guy!

Okay, and I'm off to go get dressed so we can go walking this morning! What are you thankful for this week??


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
continue Created to Be His Help Meet

Memory Verse
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

Husband Encouragement
Just do the dishes. The last thing I feel like doing after cooking a meal and getting through actual dinner is washing all the dishes. Lately I've gotten in the bad habit of letting them sit at the table, hoping that someone will do them instead. Then we get busy with the kids and their bedtime, and it's 10pm when realize the dishes are still at the table! Yikes! And that's even worse than if I just sucked it up and did them in the first place. So that's exactly what I'm going to do. Enough with the expectations. I'll just do them myself and making us all happier!

Train Them Up
"There is a time for everything." Ecclesiastes 3:1 I might try to come up with a silly game/lesson to practice this idea.

Personal Goal
Figure out a mission statement for my homemaking. That's Day 3 of this housekeeping challenge. I'm not really following the days, just moving through it slowly. I've been working on keeping a daily "Six List" and now I'm ready to keep going with it. So stay tuned for my personal mission statement!

Must Do
* Put important documents away.
* Make Dr. appointments for Hannah (18 months already!) and me.
* Try to find shot records. Hmm???

Zone
THE VAN. Ick! I totally have not left a full bottle of sweet tea in the van since our vacation July 4th weekend! Time for a major clean-out!

Menu - another short week, yay!

Monday - sausage and bacon pizza, pineapple
Tuesday - cheeseburgers, oven roasted potatoes, oranges
Wednesday - sausage and rice casserole, cooked carrots, peaches
Thursday - lil' smokies, green beans, applesauce

Fun Things
* I've arranged a get-together to see several college friends (and their babies) this weekend. Yay!! It's only about once a year that we all see each other, and I just love it! So we'll be traveling about 5 hours to go stay with friends up in Northeastern Iowa.


Praise you in this storm.

Literally. We returned from a nice weekend back home only to find a great deal of storm damage that appeared to have happened just earlier that day. But in the midst of it I am very thankful...

* I am thankful there was no real damage to the house. Just a couple of small window leaks that can hopefully be fixed. No broken windows or anything.

* I thankful that none of the things that were damaged really matter all that much. We have lots of branches down (but not huge limbs), smashed garden and flowers, and the baby pool that covered the sand box totally blew away to who knows where! But it doesn't really matter. None of those things provide source of income or anything for us.

* Our big trash bin had blown over and away from the shed, so I am very thankful that it was empty (trash day was Friday) or animals might have strewn it all over the yard. I meant to take the trash out one more time before we left, and now I'm glad I forgot!

* I am thankful that we arrived home right in between storms. The rain had just stopped and we barely had time enough to get our bags and stuff inside before the next big storm rolled in.

Thank you, God, for your mighty protection!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Answer me this!

Okay, so I have some random questions I'd love you to answer for me, and instead of continuing to add them to the end of my already-long Meanderings, I thought I'd start a new series. Nothing regular, but just whenever I have a question. Sometimes it's about parenting, like last week. Sometimes it's about homekeeping, like this week. And sometimes it's just completely random, like what's so special about dairy cows, if all cows make milk? I told you, random.

So here we go, this week's question:

Do you clean the inside side of your shower curtain? Do you spray it with cleaner or wipe it down? And if so, how often?

I was just looking at ours the other day, thinking it could use a clean. I usually do nothing to it, we just occasionally buy a new one when it's reeeeaally bad. So here I'm wondering what you do?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday: The Closet

The playroom closet is the ONE closet in the house for any type of extra storage, besides the entire basement. But for day-to-day things, like coats for guests or whatever. I guess it's our pile zone. We have no real purpose for it and don't intend to make one since we're planning on taking out the closet and expanding our bathroom so it has room enough for a sink. Ya know, just covering the basics! Anyway, after having the family here for Eli's birthday and then having another birthday party the very same day a lot of the bedding got shoved into this closet, and then we shut the door. You know how that goes. And once it got started it's hard to break out of the habit of just throwing stuff in there. So it was definitely needing tackled, and I'm so proud to see it clean again! Take a look... just MAYBE it'll motivate you to finish one of those projects you've been putting off!

BEFORE
AFTER

By the way, in case you were wondering, those white storage drawers are the kids' craft storage. Papers in the top. Craft type things like glue, fuzzy balls, cotton balls, magazine cutouts, letter cards, etc in drawer 2. All kinds of markers and crayons in drawer 3. And play dough everything in the bottom. We originally got this organizer as Hannah's mini dresser when the kids shared a room back in Connecticut. But after the move it needed repurposed, and so far I've been loving it for craft supplies!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A moment for praise.

Just have to dote on my husband here. During this part of his school/training he has tests every Monday which means he has to put in extra hours over the weekend studying. Yesterday he even drove into work (so much better studying environment than here at home, can't imagine why?! haha) so today I just wanted to say how proud I am of him! This morning the kids and I made chocolate chip cookies for him when he gets home from work in just a few minutes, just a nice way to say thank you and we sure are proud of your hard work!
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
As a side note, his Monday tests mean it's only a half day, which means Mommy gets to go shopping by herself every week for awhile!!


Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
I'm reading through the book Created to Be His Help Meet (thanks, Julie!) and a lot of that is like a Bible Study

Memory Verse
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:11

Husband Encouragement
For several weeks now I've been trying to not show exhaustion or frustration towards kids especially when Kevin gets home from work. (Because then it tends to make him feel exhausted and frustrated toward the kids) So I've been working to maintain a joyful attitude even though by that point in the day and especially nearing time for dinner prep I do feel quite tired. Anyhoo, this week I'm especially going to work to be nice to the cat. I'm sorry, but I hate the thing and am always showing irritation towards it. How unlovely of me! So I'm going to work on that!

Train Them Up
Finish the verse "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 I put it on the refrigerator and every time we open the door we have to practice the verse!

Personal Goal
to have a content and joyful attitude in all I do

Must Do
* go to courthouse for notarized signature on a document
* clean out the van
* get birthday cards ready to mail out

Zone
playroom closet (you'll be seeing pics of this one, uck!)

Menu - short menu for us this week, yay! you'll see why in a minute

Monday - sloppy joes, oven roasted potatoes, applesauce
Tuesday - *oriental chicken salad, mandarin oranges, green beans for kids
Wednesday - ground beef gravy over mashed potatoes, corn, peaches
Thursday - spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

* I only make the dressing from this recipe and then buy frozen chicken strips and bag salads. It's still sooo good!

Fun Things
* hopefully getting together with a new friend I met last week
* morning walks, I've been doing this with the kids and even Eli gets excited about it! It feels so great to get out!
* Good friends are coming to stay with us on Thursday night!
* Friday afternoon we're going home for Nannie's birthday
* Saturday even though we're at Kevin's parent's house, Kevin's letting me escape for a few hours to go hang out with a friend (no kids! just girl time!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Psalm


Psalm 143:7-12

Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me

or I will be like those who go down
to the pit.

Let he morning bring me word of your

unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord,

for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;

may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
For your name's sake, O Lord,

preserve my life;

in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

In your unfailing love,
silence my enemies;

destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.