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, October 31, 2010

Monday Meanderings - NOV. 1

Welcome, November!  Anyone else find that hard to believe it's here already??  Just a couple weeks 'til Thanksgiving and then we roll right into Christmas and birthdays one after the next!  And my SIL's baby coming in all of that mix!  Fun fun fun!!  Oh, do you do anything to adjust the kids for the time change??  Cuz we'll set our clocks back an hour, but the kids will wake up at their same times.  For several weeks, an hour early!  Please tell me there's a way to avoid this??!  Well, then on with the week...

Bible Study... Review verses on self-control.

Memory Verse... Psalm 90:14
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."

Husband Encouragement... 
♥ Get house in order.
♥ Tidy up our bedroom.
♥ Go to bed at the same time.

{Wanna know how to type hearts like that??  Type  & hearts ;  all together.  When you publish your post it'll turn to hearts. Magic! LOL}

Train Them Up... 
* Quality time with each of them, especially Eli.  I made him a Cars lapbook I can't wait to present  it to him.  And then I have to put together something for Hannah too because she'll probably be asking where hers is if Eli gets something.  =)
* Eliminate distractions.  Which will be hard since I'll have a lot of MOPS stuff to do this week.
* Library day.
* Patience, patience, patience.  And when I screw up, ask for forgiveness.

Personal Goals...  Hmm, I dunno.  Any ideas??

New Habit of the Month {NOVEMBER}
Sweep the dining room after meals.  I hate doing it again and again and again... and again in the same day. But Carter will find and eat anything that's been dropped.  LOVE the crawling stage.  Not.

MUST Do...
* Mail out.
* MOPS stuff-- postcards out, finish lesson plans, prepare crafts
* Clean out the van.
* Clean out the fridge.

Everything.  I hate how out of control the house can get if you're out of your game for even a day or two.  And it's been at least three here.

Menu -

M -beirochs
T -chicken kiev, curried rice, fruit cocktail
W - crockpot something?
Th - out of town

* Eli has preschool pictures Monday.
* MOPS planning meeting.
* Car shopping on Thursday maybe!!

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. We're all feeling better!
2. I'm super excited for the next 4 days!  Just glad to have Kevin home!
3. My new dishwasher.  Lovin' it.  I should name her.   =)

Wanna join in on the meandering fun??  Click HERE for guidelines, then come back and link up!  Have a great week!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I live in the middle of it.  So if you're around my blog long enough, you'll see a lot of pictures of it.  And our barn.  You're probably wondering by now how many pictures I'm going to take of our stinkin' barn!  LOL But it's on the west side of our property and that's where the sun sets, SO it gets to be in lots of my pictures.  And that's that.

I'm done talking about puke this week.  We're feeling better.  Kevin got it as well, so it should be done now with our family.  And hopefully soon full appetites will follow.

We finally got our lazy butts outside today.  And I was having an itch to be creative, so I got my camera out for some pictures.  It's amazing how fast the sun changes and before you know it the sun is gone.  But man, they don't call it "golden hour" for nothing!  It's so beautiful!  Every time.  And who knew combines could be pretty??  Well, I think so anyway.  Enjoy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fast and Furious (Updated)

The stomach bug hit us at our house! Carter had a tummy bug Monday night and has been slowly getting over it, but then last night it hit us hard and suddenly right after AWANA.  Eli, Hannah, and I got it at almost the same time!  Nothing like simultaneous puking!  UGH!  Kevin was staying up all night anyway in transition for his working nights tonight, so he took care of EVERYTHING.  I would hear the kids but every time I tried to get up out of bed I would start to feel nauseous all over again.  So I stayed put the best I could.  About every 30 minutes someone was throwing up!  Lots of sheets, lots of towels, lots of laundry.  Is there some sort of pillow protector, like a crib pad??  If not, there should be.  

Today's going much better, thank God.  We're all still in our jammies and have been laying around watching TV ALL day, but only Eli's thrown up again and that was this morning.  We've had lots to drink and long afternoon naps and hopefully it will be a good night and this bug go away soon!  Although now Kevin's starting to feel icky but is headed into work anyway.  Praying for him tonight!

Update: Kevin got it.  Got sick at work last night and came home early.  He slept well though and wasn't up any, so that's good.  It was a quiet night from the kids.  Hannah seems to have bounced back the quickest.  She says her belly hurts but she's acting just fine and is up and playing, so I think she's probably just saying that.  Eli's not looking so great this morning and is just laying on the couch again, same as yesterday's picture.  But I'm hoping once he gets hydrated he'll perk up a little.  So far today I'm feeling well, no nausea, praise God!  So I can take care of my honey!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Check out my new kitchen!

HERE!  And be sure to click the first link to see the before pictures!  Oh I love it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh yes.

Kevin spent a long afternoon and evening in the city finding her, but she's in our home now.  And I welcome her with open arms.  You guys are good.  You know me well.  It is indeed... a dishwasher.  {though I would LOVE a treadmill someday and the vehicle is still in the works for sometime in the next month or so and we did have two dogs eating out of cat food dishes this very afternoon} We are shuffling around our kitchen a bit--you'll here more about that as it comes about--nothing too dramatic, we're redoing our kitchen one baby step at a time.  But for now. I am happy.  

P.S. Praying that the removal of the cupboard section and installation goes smoothly for sweet Hubby!!

Monday Meanderings - Oct. 25

Bible Study... Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse... Isaiah 26:3
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

Husband Encouragement... 
♥ Tidiness.
♥ Positive attitude.
♥ Be a helper to projects he's working on.

Train Them Up... 
+ Room time. It's so good for them.  And me. 
+ Really spend time with them. Funny to say because I'm with them all day long but am I really WITH them? Or is my mind somewhere else? Am I busy doing busywork?
+ Gentleness and patience with them. Lord, help me!

Personal Goals... 
* Start arranging a ladies night out with my church ladies.  It's been soo long!!

New Habit of the Month...
"One load a day, washed and away." I would really like to make it my goal to get completely caught up by the end of this week.  It's going to be hard because Kevin's going on nights and I always drag when he's on nights because I don't want to disturb him while putting I'm away clothes. Anyway, it's definitely going to take more than one load a day to accomplish this, but we'll try.

MUST Do...
* Schedule Carter's weight-check appointment for next week.
* Important mail out.

Zone... Laundry.

Menu -

M - meatballs, potatoes, veggies
T - we might be out of town?
W - chicken divan, peaches
Th - TBD

* Some projects we're getting ready to work on!  I'm feeling motivated again!
* Pumpkin patch with our MOPS friends on Tuesday.  Kevin's off so instead of messing with Carter's schedule I'm going to leave him and enjoy some time out with just Eli and Hannah.
* Kevin's off 'til Thursday night!

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. It's been a good couple of weeks.  A new attitude makes all the difference.
2. We got to see family this past weekend who we haven't seen in so very long!  They got to meet our kids and see our home, it really was great.

3.  Dark mornings and tricking the kids to staying in bed later.  hehe  =)  Might as well enjoy it for now because when we hit the "fall-back" time change they'll still be waking at their same times, an hour earlier! 

Alrighty, want to to join in??  Click HERE for some guidelines, then come back and leave your link below!  Have a great week!


I'm getting excited.  I mean really REALLY excited.  Something new is coming to our house soon.  Later today in fact.  I try not to dwell on material things, but this is so wonderful it really is going to change. my. life!  Any guesses??

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

A few new ideas

Just some things the kids have been loving lately that I thought we'd share.  It's always fun to get some new play ideas, so if you have any, do share!

1. Give your kids gift bags.  I won a small present at my SIL's baby shower a couple weeks ago and when Hannah saw the bag (which was purple, pink, and white, all her FAVORITE colors) she asked immediately if it was hers!  So I said sure and she enjoyed carrying it around and filling it with things.  So I went to the basement where we keep dozens of old gift bags and found a shiny blue one for Eli cuz I knew he'd want to do the same.  They loved carrying them around, and giving "presents" and all sorts of things!  Something so simple brought so much delight.

2. Give your children a kids shoe box.  They're just their size.  Like the gift bags, they loved to fill them with "treasures", "presents", and it made a great pink "lunchbox" for our picnic yesterday!

3. A stick with string tied to it makes a great "fishing pole"!  A few weeks ago the kids played forever on our porch with their "fishing poles" dangling over the edge.  It was so cute!  But of course, no pictures.  =(

What have your kids been into lately??

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Randoms.

I really shouldn't be on here.  But the kids are playing quietly, separately in their rooms and Carter's napping, so I'll take 5.  And GO!

We're beginning to prepare for winter here.  Ick.  I really don't even want to think about it.  But it will be here before we know and this year we want to be prepared.  REALLY prepared.  Cuz last year sucked.  No better word for it.  We have a tractor {which we still have to do some work to make sure it will start in the dead of winter}, Kevin and his dad are going to be putting up a/some snow fence(s) this year so hopefully we won't get a 4-ft drift over our entire sidewalk this year, and now we're looking into trading our van (sad, because I love it. so easy to drive, so much room and storage, and not a complaint about it) for something with 4-wheel drive.  Now that I have to get out almost every day for Eli's school and my errands, I would really feel more comfortable with something that has a little more ground clearance and something with 4-wheel drive.  There's just something about having kids and protecting their precious lives that changes everything.  If I were to get stuck, I can't walk anywhere for help because I can't leave the kids nor can I drag them through the snow and cold with me.  It gets treacherous out there! And sure I have a cell phone but who would I call?  So yeah, that's what we're thinking about.  Maybe a Ford Expedition, maybe a Ford Explorer, maybe something else entirely? Just something big enough for all three car seats to fit side-by-side in the same row with also (preferably) a third row so we could occasionally move the kids around or put the seats down for extra storage.  The car seats thing alone is a big deal.  Enough in fact we're considering just getting all new car seats, like these (?), because if they would fit in a smaller vehicle, like an Explorer, that would still be cheaper than buying the bigger vehicle.  Plus did you see how small they fold up? Almost makes me think we could fly again! Who knows.  We'll see.  A lot to think about.  Not to mention we can NOT go car shopping with the kids {Way too much hassle for a rather lengthy and thoughtful process} and we have ZERO more Saturdays {when family could watch them} free for the entire rest of the year.  How can that be??!

Alrighty, well, my 5 minutes is up, so that's all for now!  Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The things we SHOULD have learned.

There's a lot of brain work involved in managing home and family but nothing we ever learned about in school.  So just for fun I came up with some "test questions" that include some of the skills we use today!  Feel free to add some more in the comments!

1. If you have approximately 6 loads of laundry to do and you keep adding 2/3 of a load every day, how many loads of laundry should you do each day in order to be completely caught up by the end of the week, assuming today is Monday?

2. Choose a recipe of your liking. Now triple all the ingredients.

3. Your errands require stops at Store A, Store B, Store C, and Store D.  Based on the items being purchased and the location of the stores all over the city, create a logical route for the driver.

4. Given this list of regular monthly expenses, create an appropriate budget for a family of four.

5. What regular household products can you use to get stains out of clothes? Do an experiment to find out which solution works best, for whites and for darks.

Home Ec
6. Plan and prepare a week of meals, making sure to use up any ingredients currently in the fridge or on sale at your local store, and time your meals carefully so everything is done all at the same time Husband returns home from work at 6:15pm.

That's a start of practical things we could have learned in school to prepare us for real life.  What else could we add to our list??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting to Know YOU!

Today's question, and I probably know many of your answers, but some of you I don't so where are you from?? What states have you lived in, do you live near family??  I'll go first... I was born in North Carolina but grew up in small-town (pop. 1500) Iowa.  Did college in a small-ish town, spending one semester living in downtown Denver.  Then I got married and lived in Virginia and Connecticut while Kevin was in the Navy.  And now we're back "home" (2.5hrs from both sets of parents) in small-town/rural Nebraska where we plan to stay for quite awhile. It's so great being pretty close to family.  My brother and his wife just moved to from Denver to Nebraska this past year so now they're close too!  Although Kevin's sister and her husband are in Minnesota and much of my extended family is in North Carolina and my dad's side of the family are in Colorado and Texas, so we really don't see them much with the kids so little and it being hard to travel such a distance.  So how 'bout you?? (note: you do NOT have to give your specific town, but just the state is good)

And if you missed my other questions I've asked you can click to see them here:
* What does your man do for a living and what's the schedule like for him and your family?
* What did you do after high school?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Oct. 18

Good morning, friends!  How was your weekend??  Ours was a busy one--drove to my parents house Friday afternoon, Saturday Kevin and I spent the day out of town (3+ hrs away) for a wedding {at my college} and got to see some dear friends and reminisce while lots of family got to hang out with our kiddos.  It was a LAAATE night {a whopping 11:30pm} and we were beyond exhausted!  Sunday was church at my dad's church, lunch, and then the annual church fundraiser dinner, then we drove the 2.5 hrs back home.  Great weekend, but tiring.  And now we're heading into another fairly busy week!  Sheesh! SO here we go, gotta collect my thoughts and get my lists ready to check off!

Bible Study... Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse... Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Clean our room.
♥ Find him a jacket.  {his is misplaced, can't find it anywhere, and he really should have SOMETHING these days}
♥ Limit my computer time. That's been good.
♥ Positive attitude.
♥ Keep Friday open.  It really wears Kevin out when we constantly have things on the calendar. There's nothing for Friday when he has a day off, so I need to keep it that way.
♥ Mow for him if I have any time at all.
♥ Early bedtime.

Train Them Up...
* Room time.  We haven't been doing much of this for quite awhile and the kids REALLY need some regular time apart from each other.
* "Cup monster." {takes their cups for the day when they leave them out}
* Reinstate some morning routine that coordinates with Eli's school schedule.
* Play date Thursday??

Personal Goals...
* Hmm... I don't know??

New Habit of the Month... 
"One load a day, washed and away."

MUST Do... 
* Prayer note card.
* Sort through boy clothes.
* Whole house cleaned, top to bottom.
* Catch up on laundry.
* Call electrician. 
* Buy hangers.
* Check smoke detector batteries.  I think one is chirping this morning.

Zone... Since I really need to seriously do the whole house this week {you'll find out why in a minute}, I'm breaking it up
M - laundry, living room, dining room
T - laundry, bedrooms
W - laundry, playroom
Th - laundry, hutch, office
F - laundry, anything that hasn't gotten done yet

Menu - I actually don't care much about our menu this week.  If I'm going to focus on the house this week, then I need to go easy on the meals.  Crockpot maybe?

* Tuesday Carter has a 9-month checkup.
* Wednesday/Thursday are parent/teacher conferences at Eli's preschool. I'm excited to hear what his teachers have to say about it.
* Thursday night is Godly Girlfriends (women's fellowship) at church.
* Friday is Kevin's day off and Eli doesn't have school.  Keeping this day open.  Though we'll probably have to mow if I can't do it myself sometime during the week.
* Saturday I have grandparents coming to visit who we've only seen a few times in my whole lifetime.  Excited for them to meet the kids and see our place (though I need to clean hard!)

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. Emily and Randon who got married this past weekend.  Wishing them the very best life together!
2. The friends we got to see while we were there.  LOVE them!
3. Home.  Even if it's a complete DISASTER at the moment.  I love our home.  I love our family.
*4. Life has been great this week!

Join me??  Click HERE for guidelines, then link to your post below!  Have a blessed week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Painting

Just a peek at what the kids did this week...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm gonna miss this

I'm starting a new series of random posts of random little things I know I'm going to miss someday when the kids are older or simply not even kids at all.  

And this is one of them, I'm gonna miss this...

Pretending that jets in the evening sky are rockets.

Just something new the kids and I have been doing lately.  So fun. We usually see them in the evening as the sun is starting to set.  So look up next evening.  Do you see any "rockets"?  Where are they going?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Oct. 11

Just trying to get this up so others can link up but really I have a VERY busy couple of days getting ready for our next MOPS meeting!  Anyone want to help me cut out a million little circles and triangles and squares?  Just kidding, it shouldn't be TOO bad.  But seriously, my to-do list is quite hefty at the moment.  Plus I still have a cold and feel yucky and tired but can't nap because I have so many things I know I have to get done that I can't get my mind to rest.  Just a couple days though.  One thing at a time.  Starting with this...

Bible Study... ???

Memory Verse...  Psalm 73:26
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Husband Encouragement... 
* Clean house.
* Quiet during the day while he's sleeping.
* Let him get as much rest as possible.
* Joyful attitude.

Train Them Up... 
* Trying something new with their sippy cups.  We'll see how it works out.
* More potty time for Hannah.

Personal Goals... PRAY.

New Habit of the Month...
"One load a day, washed and away"  Ugh, did a lot of laundry done last week but I got hung up on getting it put away.  Need to buy more hangers.

MUST Do...
* Everything MOPS.
* Bills out.
* Guest room ready

Zone... All of the upstairs.

Menu - TBD

* Hanging out with friends Monday morning
* MOPS on Tuesday
* My SIL Holly is coming to visit with me Wednesday night and Thursday morning
* Thursday afternoon our family is going to the pumpkin patch
* Friday Eli has a little field trip with his preschool class, then in the afternoon we're headed to my parents for the weekend
* Saturday Kevin and I are headed off for a wedding while the kids stay with my parents

* Sunday is my dad's birthday and his church's annual Smorgasboard/fundraiser, then we'll drive back home

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. Holly's baby shower this past Saturday.  We're counting down these last weeks!
2. I ran into an old friend at the restaurant we were at Saturday night.
3. This beautiful weather we've been having!

Link up if you want to join in! You can read the guidelines HERE.  Have a blessed week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Clinging to this.

These words. So sweet. So powerful. From my Father himself...

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:18-20

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." Romans 8:28

"I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray for joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

"Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26


Outfly is a tradition at my college where campus is given a you-know-it's-coming-soon-but-you-don't-know-when surprise day off, usually in the fall.  The cross-country team runs through the dorm hallways at 6am banging on everyone's doors and yelling "OUTFLY!" to wake everyone up.  Students then drag themselves out of bed and head to the campus bell, in their jammies mind you or dressed in costumes, where the pep band is playing and the college president gives a little speech. At this point it's still quite dark and cold out and the sun is just beginning to rise.  Then everyone continues to the cafeteria for breakfast served by the teachers. I think. Gosh, it's so hard to remember the exact details of the day, it's been 6 years.  Then you get to do with the day whatever you want.  Some students use the day to participate in planned events, some students take an extra day to study for a test they had scheduled, some students work on a big assignment that is due soon, and some students venture off campus for just a day of fun.  I spent one Outfly going to an apple orchard with some of my best girl friends {who are STILL my best girl friends}. It's an exciting day waited for with great anticipation.  TODAY IS OUTFLY.  Not sure what we'll do with the day.  But I seriously encourage you to make your own Outfly.  Maybe not today.  Maybe another day, any day. Cancel your plans and go do something great.  Make memories.  This would be especially fun if you had a job--just call in and take the day off to do something fun with the family. So what do you think? If you took a free day--what would you go do??

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The truth is...

I'm struggling.  Hurting so bad.  Growling at my kids all day.  And going to bed at night feeling... empty.  I need the Lord to fill the holes in my heart. To satisfy me in ways that no human can.  But honestly. I don't know how. I'm tired and weary and seeking change. But what? I'm a goal-maker, list-checker, realist, practical person who doesn't know how to let go. How to let God handle this mess I call my life. How to answer when I'm hurt once again.  How to pray from my heart and not just my mouth.  The cursor is blinking, but I don't know what to write next. So. I guess I'm done.

NOTE: Thank you so much for your encouraging words and prayers!  I'm so thankful for each of you, so very thankful.  But I have now closed the comments to this post.  I don't want to continue sulking, or keep a record of wrongs, I want to move on and let God continue to mold me and shape me into His image, slowly and completely, according to His perfect plan.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The view from here.

It's harvest time here in Huskerville {Nebraska}.  I just love the golden hues as the sun streams across the fields.  And the clouds of dust as farmers are busy at work.  And the bursts of sun cutting through the tree branches.  And the cool evenings and chilly mornings where you want to snuggle up in a soft blanket with a mug of warm tea.  I love fall.


Monday Meanderings - Oct. 4

Okay, okay, here I am.  I didn't forget, nor was I just lazy like last week.  Blogger wasn't working for me this morning during preschool time and then I had to wait until naptime to try again.  So here we go... How's your week starting so far??  Me? I'm feeling really tired today.  Carter was up pretty upset last night from 10:30-11:45 for no apparent reason.  I'd even just FINALLY gotten warm in bed and was just falling asleep when he started to cry.  Gotta love that.  He hasn't woken up at that time for a LONG time.  Took a lot of tries before finally settling with some Tylenol, rocking chair action, and moving into Eli's room for him to finally go down and stay quiet.  Until 5:55 am, which if it's even 1 minute before 6am is just way WAY too early for me.  But it's quiet now, Kevin's off work today and just headed out for errands, one of which includes going to the grocery store FOR ME.  Amazing.  I checked the weather for this week, and though it's quite chilly today, it's supposed to be a fabulous week, sunny with temps in the mid to upper 70s.  Perfect.  So, on with the week, shall we?

Bible Study... 1 Corinthians.

Memory Verse... Psalm130:5
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Clean and dust our room.
♥ Manage the home well.
♥ Serve him wholeheartedly.
♥ Limit computer time.  I actually surprised him last week when we watched a movie and I wasn't fiddling around on the computer at the same time.

Train Them Up...
* Chore chart.
* Fall lapbook.
* Resume special time with Hannah on preschool mornings.

Personal Goals... Blog about Eli's new room.

New Habit of the Month... 
"One load a day, washed and away. One load a day, washed and away. One load a day, washed and away...."

MUST Do... 
* mail out postcards to Moppet workers
* finish preparing lessons
* buy snacks
* purchase craft materials at Hobby Lobby
* set Carter's 9-month checkup

Zone... laundry

Menu - 
M - salads
T - chili
W - (crockpot) teriyaki BBQ sandwich
Th - creamy chicken and wild rice soup
S - Omaha
Su- leftovers

* MOPS planning meeting on Tuesday
* My SIL Holly's baby shower on Saturday
* Dinner with family after the shower

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. Kevin. Today he made the bed, prepared breakfast, washed the dishes, and now he's out running errands.
2. Jaesi's baby shower this past Saturday.  It's always so fun and refreshing to be out with the ladies.
3. Eli's on the upswing of a yucky cold.

Care to join in??  Read the guidelines HERE and link up below!  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


As I was browsing kids lesson ideas for our upcoming MOPS meeting, I came across this great gospel demonstration using a pumpkin:
A pumpkin is round and shiny on the outside, and its skin is tough and hard to puncture. It looks perfect and wonderful. Sometimes we like to pretend we're all wonderful and perfect. (Read aloud Isaiah 66:2.)

The slimy stuff inside the pumpkin reminds me of our sins -- the things we need to confess and say, "I'm sorry, God, for..." When we ask God to forgive us for all the wrong things we've said, done, or thought, he forgives our sins. (Read aloud Isaiah 43:25.)

As we scrape all the slimy stringy stuff away, the pumpkin becomes clean inside. Jesus cleans our hearts, too, when we confess our sins. (Read aloud Psalm 103:12.)

Next we can begin to carve our designs in the pumpkins. Let's carve designs that can remind us of God, such as a heart, cross, fish, or butterfly. As we carve, the pumpkin slowly transforms into something new. We change too when God works in our lives. (Read aloud 2 Corinthians 3:18.)

Finally, we can put the candle inside the pumpkin. When we light the candle, what happens? (Read aloud 2 Corinthians 4:6.)

When we have Jesus in our lives, it's like having his candle inside us. We shine the light of Jesus so others can see and know him. (Read aloud Matthew 5:16 and John 12:46.)

We don't have the means to do this at the church, but it would be a great one to do with our kids here at home after we make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch!