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!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GOD is our peace.

Hot off the press... the January postcard:

Monday, December 27, 2010

The view from here.

Or at least it was around 10:00 this morning.  We still don't have any snow (CRAZY! This was last year at this time) But we did get a beautiful thick coat of frost in the night.
was trying to capture the country church in the distance. 

across the road from our house

we can see town from our house

Monday Meanderings - Dec. 27

Hello friends!    I hope you've had a fabulous Christmas and are perhaps enjoying some time off from school! Though Kevin's back to work today, I know we're enjoying a relaxing schedule.  We had a pretty quiet Christmas here, having done Kevin's family the week before and doing my family next weekend.  We watched The Nativity Story movie as a family Christmas Eve.  I wasn't sure if the kids would stay interested, but I summarized along the whole way through and the kids followed the story very well.  That movie makes me cry, every time.  Christmas Day we woke up, unloaded stockings, had breakfast, then opened presents, dealt with the aftermath and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon playing with all our new things. I cooked a nice but simple dinner for us (ham, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, jello salad, with dutch apple pie for dessert) And then, the day was over.  And now, we're back to another week...

Bible Study... Word study on words and nagging.

Memory Verse... 1 Peter 3:1-4
"Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Husband Encouragement... 
* Change of attitude (again) >> stop nagging!
* Keep a tidy home.

Train Them Up... 
* Quality time with the kids.
* Do some winter crafts for our craft wall.
* READ with them!

Personal Goals... 
* Prayer

New Habit of the Month...
Rise early to exercise.

MUST Do...
* Start thank-you notes early!!  I used to be so good at this but the couple years I've really been failing at this!
* Start thinking about MOPS lessons.
* Schedule Carter's 1 YEAR appointment.  (really?!)

* Schedule a play date for this week.

Zone... Bathrooms.

Menu -

M - ham and white sauce over rice
T - loaded salads
W - ham and cheese quiche
Th - lasagna

* Short visit from Paul and Holly and Claire today! The kids still haven't seen the new baby!
* A weekend getaway with Kevin this weekend while the kids go to grandma and grandpa's.
* Then when we return we'll celebrate Christmas with my family.

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. No snow so far.
2. A good, quiet Christmas with just our little family.  I was kind of sad about it leading up to it, but it ended up being nice and relaxing.
3. Playing piano again lately.  It's kind of like therapy to me, but because my fingers have such deep cracks lately it hurts to play.

Join me!  Read the guidelines HERE and then come back and leave your link below!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random Thought

As I was reading one of the kids children's books telling the Christmas story, I had this random thought... Jesus was just a baby.  He had no clue that the wise men brought him gifts.  Or since it took quite awhile for them to get there, maybe Jesus was actually old enough by then to know and perhaps even remember?  But he otherwise had no clue about any of this miraculous story!  Imagine Mary and Joseph retelling the events to JESUS himself as he grew up!  What a birth story!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Activity Cards

'Suppose I could post this idea over at our school blog, but since I haven't posted anything there in ages, I'll post here.  I came across this idea a few weeks ago at the No Time for Flashcards blog... Cut out cute images from wrapping paper to practice patterns.  When I was shopping for wrapping paper last week I looked for something that would work specifically for this and found just the perfect thing!  Check it out!  The pictures on the wrapping paper were all so cute I cut out lots and lots and lots of them!  Yes, kind of took a lot of time.  Then I laminated them and cut them all again!  But there are so many fun things to do with them, and they're durable, I'm going to put keep them in a baggie and store them with the rest of our Christmas things for next year!  

Okay, so some things you can do with these cards...

1. Make patterns.  Start some patterns and see if your child can finish it.  We did ABA, ABBA, ABC, AABB, etc  Then I had Eli make up some patterns on his own.

 2.  Practice Counting.  One row at a time, we laid out the cards and counted how many there were of that kind of picture. 
 3. Practice simple math.  Which row has the most? Which row has the least? Which rows have the same amount? How many more red reindeer are there than yellow reindeer?  How many more monsters than Santas? etc
4. Practice colors.  Which pictures are red? Which pictures are green? Which pictures are blue?
 look how cute they are!

this little guy is my favorite :0)

 5. Addition.  Stacked up the spread of pieces so I could use just a few. 2 red reindeer + 3 green reindeer = how many altogether?
  1 Santa + 4 elves = how many altogether?
 1 Santa + 6 reindeer = how many?
 6. Subtraction.  I put one of each picture out and they had a "party".  But one at a time they "had to leave" so we practiced counting backward.
7. Memory Game.  I knew this would be a little easy because the cutout shape of each picture is a little different, but I was impressed that Eli caught onto that right away and had no troubles finding all the matches.
8. Story telling. I put one of each picture in a bag and we started a story with whatever picture we pulled out.  Then we'd pull out another "character" and add it into the story and pull out another and add it into the story, etc. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random thoughts on this Monday.

Sorry, I really didn't mean to NOT do Monday Meanderings for two weeks in a row.  Life's just been a little busy.  Or something.  Kind of hard to explain.  Mostly just feeling unmotivated.  Tonight Kevin's working, I'm trying to cut out some activities for the kids to do this week.  But also need to make cookies (cookie exchange with the church ladies tomorrow!) and maybe wrap some presents (debating on that one because perhaps I should show Kevin what "we" got the kids before I wrap them??)  This year has just been so weird.  I got our Jesse tree/countdown all assembled but then we have not been doing the readings.  At all.  It's pretty disappointing.  We started it, but it just seemed like it didn't mean a darn thing to anyone except me, so I kind of quit on it.  Seems to be a theme around here.  Our house is a mess.  Things here and there I just don't know what to do with so they continue to sit.  The kitchen cupboards are stuffed full, I can't find anything.  Hoping to get a day out with Kevin this week.  We need that.  Feeling a little sad about friends who are moving and wondering if we'll ever feel really settled here.  I struggle with being surrounded by people but feeling alone.  Seems everyone is just too busy for friendship.  I spend all day on Facebook because I'm just wanting fellowship and that's the closest I can get {most days}.  And that, is my life right now.  For other happenings, check out our family blog--I've updated a lot there.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My kind of Christmas sweets

This used to be my sugar bowl.  But then I was gifted a pottery sugar bowl with a spoon slot, just like what I'd been looking for forever!  This glass one, however, will be great for all kinds of things!  Especially this...

Friday, December 17, 2010

I didn't want to see it.

The "For Sale" sign staked in front of her house.  Making it all too official.  She's moving.  My best friend here.  To a really far away place.  For forever.  She's my hang-out friend.  The friend with cute kids close to the same ages as mine. The friend I can call up spontaneously to meet us at the park.  The friend who carpools to preschool with me.  The friend I call to watch the kids for the couple of hours.  The friend whose laid-back personality helps balance me out.  The friend who has adorable style that inspires me.   The friend I can borrow sugar from.  The friend who is an awesome cook and always has goodies to share.  The friend with a super generous heart who is always there, always understands, always willing to help.  And now... she's moving. 

And I... am a sad mess.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The theology of the star.

After I posted my Christmas version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star I got an anonymous comment saying the following:

...I thought you may be interested to know, though, that the wise men (astrologers actually) did not visit Jesus when he was a baby. By the time they reached him he was a young child. (Matthew 2:1-12) Also, the star that lead them to Jesus was not sent by God. If you read the account closely you will find that the star lead them first to King Herod who wanted Jesus killed. It would not be logical to think that God would use astrology, something the Bible warns against and that God abhors to announce the birth of Jesus. (Isaiah 47:13-15; Deuteronomy 18:10-12) It was only because God intervened by means of a divine dream that stopped them from returning to Herod. These facts point to the star coming from an evil source, most likely Satan. The Bible describes him as using “lying signs and portents.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). It is also noteworthy that God did announce Jesus' birth by miraculous means by sending an angel to appear to a group of shepherds and announce the birth and provide directions so they could go and see Jesus. Then a multitude of angels appeared and praised God. (Luke 2:8-4)...

I knew that  the wise men didn't finally arrive until much later, certainly not appearing in the manger scene as often depicted, but the idea that the star is of the devil is far from what I've ever heard!  I dug in my Bible today, reading all these verses, but just didn't pick up the same idea.  I'm no good when it comes to theology so I wanted to put this out there to see what YOU know/believe about the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem.  I don't want this to be an attack or debate really of any sorts, just trying to get some information because I'm curious!

Photoshoot with Claire!

I got to take newborn pictures of my niece Claire yesterday!  I gotta admit, I was sooo nervous!  I've never done pictures on "assignment" before, besides someone telling me to take pictures at a baby shower, but that wasn't anything posed!  Posing had me nervous.  I didn't know if Claire would stay sleeping as I moved her around or if she'd not even fall asleep without clothes on.  And when I left in the morning and it was cloudy I was worried about not having enough light.  I pretty much only use natural light all the time and find the most-lit room and pay attention to what time of day is best according to the sun's position. But along the drive the sun came out and

In the end...

Claire was FANTASTIC!!  When she first fell asleep I left her a bit to make sure she got into a good, deep sleep before messing with her, and in the meantime Holly and I were chatting.  I think we left her a little too long, because she did wake all up when we tried moving her.  It was almost feeding time again so they gave her a bottle and she fell right back to sleep and was set to go!  I moved her all over the place and she never woke up!  She'd stir every once in a while but I'd hold a blanket to her for just a second and then she was fine.  Perfect!  

I'd read up on several tips beforehand.  Newborn pics are easiest in the first 8-10 days (2 weeks for sure) when baby is most sleepy all the time.  If you want to undress baby make sure it's really warm in the room.  And maybe even have white noise running.  So I tried all that.  And we came out with some really great pictures.  I took a TON but here are some of my faves from the day...

I caught a dreamy smile!

On my way to Paul and Holly's house I stopped at Hobby Lobby for 2 yds of black fabric ($3!) and I'm sooo glad I did!  Then I could keep the baby's flesh colors in the picture and I, personally, love how this next set looks!!
I love the bubbles in this one!
and a last favorite!!

Okay, so that turned out to be a million favorites--it's sooo hard to choose!  But you know me, I'm sure you're used to that by now.  =)  ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Christmas Version)

I made this up this morning.  Please excuse my voice, it's really embarrassing to hear myself sing, but there's no other way for you to hear how the words fit with the music.  So here it is...

Twinkle twinkle little star
Wise men trav'ling from afar
Following the star so bright
Walking 'cross the land all night
Baby Jesus there you are
What a wonder that You are.

The headless horseman wisemen

These poor guys only lasted 2 days in our house.  It's really a bummer because it's such a CUTE set! Maybe they'll glue back together??

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Have you made room??

* Note: I make and send postcards to my Moppet workers to remind them of our upcoming meeting, so when I post things like this one or this, that's what they are.  It's just fun to share here too.  =)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Dec. 6

Alrighty, peeps, I don't really feel like doing Monday Meanderings today!  I just want to get off the computer and get to work!  I was lazy with the house last week (seems to be a trend when Kevin's on nights) so this week I need to get a LOT done, from catching up on laundry to putting clothes bins away to mailing out Christmas letters to preparing for next week's MOPS meeting.  But I WILL tell you what fun things are coming up this week!!

* Tuesday is our MOPS planning meeting.
* Tuesday night is a ladies night out for dinner!  It's been sooo long, I can't wait!
* Thursday I'm headed up to Omaha to take Claire's baby pictures/family pictures and maybe run a few quick errands while I'm there.
* Friday evening is Eli's preschool Christmas program, and at some point my mom/parents(?) are coming for Saturday's event...
* Saturday the MOPS mommas are getting together and heading to the city for Christmas shopping together!  We had a blast last year, so I'm super excited for this year!!

So that's my great week!  But for now I need to get to business around here!!!  Kevin's coming off of nights today (only sleeping a half-sleep) so I would love if things were in order again before he gets up for the day!!

Have a great week!  And if you want to join in, leave your link below!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm an aunt!!

Yesterday morning my SIL Holly was officially induced (though she'd gone in Wednesday night for the starter stuff, or whatever) and around 3:30pm Claire Katherine was born!!  She was taken via urgent C-section but in the end all was well, and for that we are very thankful!!!  I got to visit briefly (I could've stayed forever!) this afternoon and she's such a darling!  See???

I actually didn't get very many pictures this first visit.  I was too busy enjoying holding her!  =)  But next week I'll be taking her official baby pics, so I'm excited for that!  I can't believe I have to wait a whole week to see her again though!!!!!

Giveaway winners!

Thanks so much, you guys, for participating in my first-ever giveaway for adorable items from the Etsy shop Already Love You.  I'm so excited to support my friend Katie and her family in their funds toward adopting a child from Ethiopia! (or wherever God leads them to)

And NOW.... I present to you the winners of Sarah's very first giveaway ever, to the wonderful shop called Already Love You....
shaking the basket...
 and the winners are...



Congratulations!!  Please email me sometime in the next week with your address information where I can send your gift!  If I don't hear from you by next Friday then I will draw another winner.

If you didn't win this giveaway, I do encourage you to head back to the shop {I see there are a few new holiday items!} and pick out something for your children or someone else to support this dear family in their mission!  Thanks so much!  What a fun way to kick off this holiday season!