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, November 29, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Nov. 29

I'm so excited about so many things this week I can hardly focus to write a complete sentence!!  
1. My sister-in-law is having her baby this week, one way or another, making me a first-time auntie!!  Holly will be induced Wednesday if baby doesn't come on her own before then, which we are praying she does!
2. With Claire's birth comes me doing newborn pics soon after!  I'm super nervous!   I usually do pictures paparazzi style but this time I'll be directing the show--yikes!
3. The winners of my giveaway will be announced on Friday!  If you haven't checked it out already, go participate!
4.  It's officially Christmas season!  I can hardly wait to get out all the decorations, Christmas books, music, etc!!

So I've basically just spilled all the beans for my "FUN Things" section already, but whatever, doesn't matter!  Here's the week...

Memory Verse... Romans 13:14
"Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

Husband Encouragement... 
♥ Be his helper.
♥ Bake something yummy.
♥ Keep the house in order (going to be hard, we kind of have a lot of things going on right now)
♥ Be careful not to nag on him.

Train Them Up... 
* Love on Eli.  Spend some one on one time with him.
* Work on potty training with Hannah.
* Schedule shifting with Carter??
* Say Yes more.  Work on being a fun mom this week.
* Create Jesse Tree Christmas Countdown.  I've got a new idea brewing  for this year but I've got to get it going NOW already, seeing as it was supposed to start yesterday!

Personal Goals... 
* Look through a bunch of newborn photography for pose ideas.

New Habit of the Month... {DECEMBER}
Off the computer during kids' awake times.

MUST Do...
* Get family picture or something for Christmas cards ready, maybe after we get the tree up?
* Start thinking about MOPS lesson plans for our December meeting.
* Help Kevin any way I can so we can get our heat on, some of our doors sealed up, the AC units out, and any outdoor stuff put away.  True winter could strike at any moment now!
* Second-coat the upstairs bathroom.
* Mail out.

Zone... all over.  especially if we're getting Christmas decs out, the house will get flipped upside down temporarily.

Menu - TBD

FUN Things
* Christmas decorations up today and tomorrow.
* Holly's having her baby this week!!!
* Play date Thursday morning.  =)

3 things I'm thankful for today... 
1. A really great weekend with the family and some extra time to spend with Carri and Lucas (Kevin's sister and her husband) on Saturday night.
2. The house didn't burn down while we were gone.  Kevin hooked up a new propane heater in the basement, and then we left, so I was a little worried about how the thing works.  So relieved it appears to be A-ok!
3.  Kevin's days off until Thursday!

Alrighty, there we have it!  Want to join in with your weekly plans??  Read the guidelines (aka, copy and paste the format) then come back and link up below!  Blessings on your week!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yummy Fresh Taco Salad


This was good! Took me all afternoon it seems to cut up all the produce, grate the lime peel, rinse the beans, etc but ohhh I liked it!  Made for a fresh kind of salad and definitely one to add to the recipe book!  For the kids I saved a separate bowl of salad and left off the dressing, using Ranch for them instead.  Worked great!  AND I bet you could use some of that leftover turkey in replace of the chicken... just an idea!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My very first giveaway!

My friend Katie and her family are beginning to raise money in order to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  Katie and her mom are sewing beautiful, super cute bibs, burp cloths, changing mats, nursing covers, and aprons and selling them on Etsy.  Really, they look fantastic!  And 100% of the proceeds go directly to their adoption fund.  

So... here are the instructions for this giveaway...

1. Check out Katie's Etsy shop Already Love You--Katie's children make adorable models-- THEN come back and tell me what your favorite item is. Personally, the nursing covers are my favorite but I already have one and I'm almost done with that gig.  But the aprons are super cute too! 
2. To get another entry make a blog post about this giveaway.

Then on Friday, Dec. 3 I will randomly select TWO winners for the item of your choice!  Happy browsing!!

Note: Even if you don't need baby gear, perhaps you know of someone with little ones or soon to have little ones you could gift with something like this for FREE.  Remember it's all about helping a good cause!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Heads Up! A GIVEAWAY!!

My very first giveaway is coming TOMORROW!!  Consider it part of Black Friday, even though it's really not!  =)

Happy Thanksgiving!

To be honest, I've been in a little bit of a funk lately.  I didn't want to post daily thankfuls this month, because I think last year I did that and then it abruptly stops, and I hate that.  It's something we should do ALL the time.  Anyone want to challenge yourself to 365 days Thankful??  Anyway, the kids have been driving me nuts--just one of those weeks-- so I'm crabby with a capital C when Kevin gets home from work and then he gets crabby too.  I hate that too.  How I alone affect everyone's mood.  Who's there to help me and just hold me when I'm having an off day??  Kevin's working today, so today is just another day for us, except the stores are all closed and everyone else has stuff going on.  But it's been good too.  I bathed the big kids for once, independently this time, while Carter was napping.  One child did room time while I did bath with the other and folded laundry.  That alone makes me feel very accomplished.  LOL  Then we all had hot chocolate and watched The Velveteen Rabbit on Netflix while eating Ranch seasoned oyster crackers.  {Trying to get rid of all the stuff in our cupboards.}  Twas a good movie--made me cry.  And soon it'll be naptime.  So today is just a day, but tomorrow... tomorrow the excitement starts.  We're headed to Paul and Holly's for Thanksgiving meal and festivities (games n such), then on to my parents house after that so we can celebrate Thanksgiving with Kevin's family on Saturday.  We'll stay around for Sunday too and head back to Nebraska Sunday night. And then next week we can put up the Christmas tree-- JOY.

But anyway, while I'm here, I'm going to post 25 random things I'm thankful for....

{in no particular order}

1. space heaters.  we're without heat for the time being so space heaters have been saving us from completely freezing!
2. hot chocolate.  same reason as #1
3. family.
4. lazy movie kind of days.
5. freshly bathed babies.
6. snuggly soft, fuzzy blankets.
7. delicious food.
8. 1:30-3:30 in the afternoon.
9. sweet text messages.
10. emails from my hubby.
11. evenings with hubby.
12. evenings alone.
13. random acts of kindness and the joy it brings to do them.
14. Kevin's good job.
15. security.
16. dishwasher.
17. you.
18. forgiveness.
19. music.
20. church family.
21. baby smiles.
22. reading with children.
23. kisses.
24. friends.
25. togetherness.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom 
that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful"  
Hebrews 12:28-29

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Nov. 22

Thanksgiving week!  Busy, busy, busy!

Bible Study... Read daily devotions at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Memory Verse... Hebrews 12:28-29
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"

Husband Encouragement... 
* Do laundry and get all his work shirts ready.
* Clean up house.
* Stop nagging about him playing his ipod games all the time, and instead invite him to  doing something specific.

Train Them Up... 
* Get off the computer and stop being so distracted.
* Stop yelling at Eli.
* Consistent potty training with Hannah.
* Settle into a new feeding routine with Carter.
* Think of creative ways to get the kids to do toy clean-up??

Personal Goals... 
Read a chapter in my book.

New Habit of the Month...
Sweep after meals.

MUST Do...
* Start working on Christmas letter.
* Take a family picture for Christmas cards.
* Go to the store for all our Thanksgiving food stuff.

Zone... Laundry.

Menu -

M -  ham, green beans, fruit
T - taco
W - baked ziti
Th - (Kevin works) clean out fridge before being gone for the weekend
F - Thanksgiving at Paul and Holly's
S - Thanksgiving with the in-laws
Su - Iowa

* Watching Jaesi's kiddos for the afternoon today.
* MOPS potluck and playdate Tuesday.
* Thanksgiving with my family on Friday
* Thanksgiving with Kevin's family on Saturday
* Will be at my parents still on Sunday, driving back Sunday night

3 things I'm thankful for today... Today I'm not feeling very thankful at all.  I've been yelling at my kids all morning, and so far it's just not a good start to the week.  I'm cold, the house is a mess, and I'm just grumpy.  But here we go...
1. I am thankful for a house.  A place to be during these cold months.
2. I am thankful for computers and such an easy way to connect with other friends and moms.
3. I am thankful for Kevin's job and all that it provides for our family.

Join in with your weekly plans!  Read the guidelines, then come back and leave your link below!  Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Shoe Verdict

Thank you so much for your input on the shoe decision!  You were fun to "shop" with--I love you, ladies!

My favorites were the sporty Mary Janes (Keen 'Midori MJ' Mary Jane Flats), but I could not find them in my color in my size online.  Plus they were a tad more expensive than what I really wanted to pay and I couldn't have tried them on first.

BUT this weekend I looked briefly while I was running errands in Omaha and I found these Sketcher Step Up Mary Janes at Kohls.  I had seen them online, after my shoe post, but wasn't sure about them.  Once I tried them on, though, I thought yeah, these could work.  I got some new socks to go with them, since all I usually have is white and white would not do for these, and so far I'm very pleased.  They're comfortable, they're flat, and I've already worn them a few times in just the last two days.

And as for these adorable flats we all thought were super cute... I might keep them in mind for spring! I did see them at Target but not in the beautiful purple color--I suppose I could've tried them on just for size but didn't really have the time.

So thanks again for your help!  Just might do this again sometime, cuz it was fun!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's the rush??

It seems the world is encouraging people/kids to learn the ABC's earlier, read sooner, learn to ride a bike earlier.  But I can't help but wonder, what's the rush? Is there a huge benefit of learning ABCs at 2 instead of 3, or riding a bike without training wheels at 4 instead of 6?  Am I missing something? Or can I just let my kids be kids for just a little while longer?

Friday, November 19, 2010

On a high

Well, lately I've been feeling good. Especially compared to when I wrote this.  God has {for now} taken away a lot of the bitterness I was carrying around.  It's one of those "nothing's changed yet everything's changed" type of things.  Meaning nothing's different really, but my attitude has been better, and that has made everything else better by the millions.  For now.  So while it lasts I'm enjoying this good feeling.  

Good night.

Answer Me This: Wordpress

I know most of you use Blogger, but does anyone know how to Log In to Wordpress?? I used to have a blog there when I first started but shortly after switched over to Blogger.  When I leave comments on certain people's blogs, it has a really old profile pic (Eli was 4 months old or something) and I'm wondering if that's linked to my Wordpress account and would like to change it or something but can't find where to log in anymore.  Anyone know??

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fashion Help! {Shoes}

I originally had this as part of my previous post, but then I decided it needed more attention than that.  So the deal is this: I really hate wearing boots or heals anymore when I dress nice.  But my everyday casual shoes just seem a little too... not feminine. In fact, they are a men's shoe and super comfy and still good for casual days.  But most of the time I try to dress nice, nice-shirt-and-jeans sort of nice.  So I'm looking into a nice pair of flats that can go with pretty much anything like that.  And for church too.  My hands are too full with children, I really need 100% stability when I'm on the go.  I want something cute, but when it comes to fashion I don't know how to be cute.  I'm pretty plain.   

These are pretty but I dunno, I've never worn anything so tiny or delicate or whatever you'd call it.  And what kind of sock do you wear with that??  Hose? Nylon sock?  Bare feet?
 These (Rocket Dogs) look super comfy and aren't too bulky, but they might be too casual for what I'm seeking.  {the site is overloaded so I can't get there for a picture}

Or maybe something like this?? But do they look too plasticky. (sp??)

Or these Eco Mary Janes?

*sigh*  I dunno...I'm a one-shoe-for-everything kind of a girl.  Thoughts??  Now remember, this is where I live.  I don't get out much.  So ladies, let's pretend we're going on a shopping day together, okay?  Help a girl out!

Link Love

1.  Little Miss Momma -- Super cute home crafts, headbands, etc

2. Doll house made out of a drawer {from Nice Girl Notes}

3. Recipes: Gifts in a jar  -- Don't these sound yummy??
Almond Pancake Mix
Triple Chocolate-Mint Cocoa Mix
Spiced Cranberry Cider Mix

4.  And on a more serious note, this is something I need to get back to reading more often.  Much more often.

Monday, November 15, 2010


1. I enjoyed me some hot chocolate time with Hannah this morning right after Eli left for school.

2. Eli peed outside on the fresh bowl of cat food.  {WHY???}

3. I finally uploaded pics from my camera so I've been posting a lot over at our family blog.

4. Carter took an amazing long nap this afternoon (3 hrs, which is long for him)!

5. My friend Jaesi's baby "Bertha" is on her way, being induced tonight, so I'm super super excited!

Tell me 5 things about your day today!

Name this photo??

I love watching kids gaze out windows.  Watching, waiting, wondering...

My friend Emily always has great quotes to go with her fabulous photos.  I'd love for this one to have something, but I got nothin'.  Any ideas??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Nov. 15

Bible Study... This week in order to really holding myself accountable, I want to write one thing in my journal every day from something I read for the day.  One verse (or more) or a thought.  Anything.

Memory Verse... Ephesians 6:4
"Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

Husband Encouragement... 
* Bake something yummy.
* Keep the home quiet so he can sleep during the day.
* The house is tidy and the laundry is almost completely caught up on--keep it that way!

Train Them Up... 
* We posted a list of "family rules" yesterday.  And now that they're posted and we've had some time to sit down with the kids and really explain our expectations of them, I'm hoping it will help us be calmer in our disciplines.
* Complete 2 more crafts for our wall of art in the playroom.

Personal Goals... 
* Carter's 10-month pictures!

New Habit of the Month...
Sweep the dining room after meals.

MUST Do...
* Mail thank-you notes out.
* Figure out pirate costumes for the kids??

Ceiling fans badly need vacuumed and dusted!  I did the living room last week and it looks sooo much better, I'm feeling more motivated to do the office and our bedroom.

Menu - TBD.  Kevin's working nights til Saturday so it'll be easy meals here this week.

M -
T -
W -
Th -
F -
S -
Su - Thanksgiving meal at the church

* MOPS event Tuesday
* Women's fellowship at church Thursday night
* It's getting really close for a few babies to be born!!  I'm getting really anxious!!

3 things I'm thankful for today... In the midst of it all, we can ALWAYS choose to be thankful!
1. Kevin's dad came this weekend to help work on the tractor and put up snow fences.
2. We got to spend an afternoon/evening with Paul and Holly!
3. A tidy home.

Want to join in with your weekly plans??  Click here for guidelines, then come back and leave your link below!  Have a great week!

God deserves more.

Prayer is the opposite of multitasking.  I saw that quote as I was quickly flipping, flipping, flipping through old magazines, pulling out random things for the kids to cut apart and paste on whatever someday, and it still has me thinking about the next day.

I know you can pray while doing everything.  The Bible does say, Pray continuously (1 Thess. 5:17).  You can pray while driving, pray while you're cooking, pray while you're cleaning, doing laundry, showering, getting dressed, etc and I think that's great.  So I don't exactly agree with the quote.


Spending time with God,  REALLY spending time with God, getting into His Word requires stillness.  Focus.  Quiet.

And I don't know about you, but these days years I'm having a really hard time doing that.  Most of the day is such a whirlwind that it's hard to STOP.  It's not even that I don't have time, because I do.  I could get up before the kids or use my time in the evening for Bible reading or send the kids to "room time" in the middle of the day while the baby naps.  What I struggle with is getting my mind to stop.  You know what I mean??  I don't read blog posts that are really long and in depth because I can't focus.  I give up on sewing projects that require studying the pattern, because I can't focus.  I can barely watch a movie without doing something else at the same time.  It's not that I'm UP constantly busying myself--nope I'm good at being lazy and relaxing--but I'm not good at sitting down and really digging into something, kneeling at the feet of God and resting in His presence.

So my prayer today/this week is this...

Father, forgive me for my distance.  In this midst of our crazy days, help me to take a slow, deep breath, close my eyes for just a moment and open them to the truths you have for me.  Clear my mind and help me to rest in Your presence.  Stir in me a desire to read Your Word that I might gain the strength to make the most of the next moment. 

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 143:8-10

Let the 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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Golden Hour" at our house

This time I'm not referring to photography and the last hour of daylight.  I'm using the term "Golden Hour" to describe one of the most important hour(s) of our day.  What part of our day do you think that is??  You guys have been great at my guessing games, so let's see if you can figure out this one!  Then I'll come back and tell you more about what "Golden Hour" entails at this house!


Geez, I hope I didn't build this up too much!  It's really not that exciting, you guys!  LOL You had some great guesses though--naptime is definitely one of the most important hours of the day!!  But it just IS.  Just like getting dressed or eating meals, we have nap.  The kids are really good about it.  They occasionally have phases where they test me every day for a couple weeks or so, but most of the time they're good.  So anyway, Golden Hour is not naptime.  And though family time is oh so wonderful and precious, on work days we don't even have an hour together, so that's not Golden Hour either.  And here I'm going to finally reveal what it is, as boring as it actually is...

"Golden Hour" is the hour before Husband gets home from work.  I've always tried to tidy up before he got home.  But it occurred to me lately that rushing around for 15 minutes is not enough.  So exactly one hour before he gets home, we start cleaning up.  REALLY cleaning up.  Make sure all the folded laundry is put away and the couch is cleaned off, living room vacuumed, dining room ready to dine, kitchen cleaned up as much as possible, bedroom tidy, playroom somewhat together, and makeup freshened.  If I do too much earlier in the day then it's already undone before Kevin gets home! So having this defined hour has helped us, and giving it a fancy title motivates me (and the kids) to get to business when the clock hits 5:30pm!  And I think Kevin's been noticing it's been a little cleaner lately!

So that's it.  That's what Golden Hour is.  Exciting Huh??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I Stay Home...

A friend of mine emailed me today and said she was debating about whether to stay home full time with her daughter (who is something like 15 months old??), and she was asking me what my top reasons are for staying home with my kids.  In the midst of all these crazy, exhausting, challenging, demanding days, it was refreshing to remind myself why I DO stay home.  And when I really think about it, I remember how much I love it.  So I wanted to share here today, so you could also remember why YOU choose to stay home...

I stay home because I would be SO SAD to miss out on all the little things they do, and I enjoy  having all this precious time together! Now with Eli in preschool I feel like I really have no idea what he does for those 2.5 hours! 

I stay home because there's nothing else in the world I'd rather do. 

I stay home because it would have to be a darn good job to pay MORE than what daycare would cost AND make up for the time lost with my children. 

I stay home because we can live comfortably with just Kevin's salary alone. We can't go on big vacations or eat out every day or go shopping a lot, but we can do most day-to-day things without worrying about finances. 

I stay home because I want to spend these early years training them MY way, spending every moment teaching them about who Jesus is and how to live a life of faith. 

I stay home because there's nothing better than doing crafts, playing Legos, reading books, watching movies, and teaching your children things YOURSELF because through all of it you're building a wonderful relationship with your children. 

I stay home because it's SO nice to have relaxed lifestyle these early years instead of constantly rushing here and there. Now that Eli's in preschool it already feels like we're following a schedule quite a bit, and it's just 3 mornings a week. I know in just a few years life will be CRAZY with everyone's activities, so for now, I just want to enjoy this time home. 

I stay home because I want to give to my kids AND my husband and not feel stretched in a million other different directions! 

As HARD as it is some days, I wouldn't have it ANY other way! For now. I may go to part-time  work once the kids are in school (if we do choose to public school), but for now, this is perfect for us.  And THAT is why I stay home.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 62:1-2

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!!

What's the weekend mean for you this week??  Just relaxing with the fam or got plans??  I love hearing what you have going on!

For us Kevin's had the week off and now he's headed back to work today and for the weekend.  We spent a looong day yesterday doing car shopping.  Didn't find a match for us.  Bummer.  The first Expedition was really dirty, 2nd one we really liked but it didn't end up having 4-wheel drive, and the 3rd one they said they were driving over from Lincoln didn't come to be.  But since we spent a good amount of money to get our van "professionally" cleaned in prep for trade and we're trying really hard to KEEP it clean, we took up an offer to test drive a Suburban for the weekend.  Kevin loved it (it's got a LOT of gadgets in it which he loves but I hate, I feel like I'm driving an airplane!), so this is me trying to give it a shot and keep it as a consideration in order to support my husband.  Gives me a chance to see how it works for car seat arrangements and buckles, in and outs at preschool, and parking for errands.  Then Monday when Kevin's off again, we'll take it back and make a decision, one way or another.  In the meantime, we're praying for wisdom!!  This is stressful!!

Well, I have a lot to catch up on today.  Tons of laundry, clutter, and still need to get things planned for MOPS next week!!  Have a great weekend, friends!  And bundle up if it's cold where you're at!  It was 20-something degrees here this morning, so we're ccccooold here in Nebraska!!