Guess who turned 7 months old...18 days ago ?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Guess who turned 7 months old...18 days ago ?
Monday, December 3, 2012
and shopping, baking, giving, reading, wrapping, watching, traveling, stressing...and maybe guilt.
I was talking to a friend last night and shared that even though it is only the first few days of December, I feel like I am already behind on Christmas. My shopping is nearly done. My house is already decorated. Still, the month of December is filled with opportunity to make everyday a special tribute to the season. I LOVE tradition and all things seasonal. If there was a 25 Days of Christmas Meal Plan, I would probably do it. There is something about the Advent structure that draws me in. Although I would love to do all the Christmas things that start with "25 days" or "12 days," I do not want to drive my husband crazy or deny my children the joy of keeping it simple. Therefore, this is my plan for our family for Christmas.
David and I have a desire to have a large family. If the Lord leads us to adopt or participate in Foster Care, we will be excited to do that, however that doesn't change our desire to have a large family if the Lord so blesses us. With that in mind, we decided that we didn't want to start giving our kids "big" Christmas in regards to gifts if we don't plan to continue that as the Lord grows our family. We plan to give our children three gifts each symbolic of the three gifts mentioned in the Bible for Baby Jesus. I plan to use the idea that I heard from a friend. One gift will be a toy, another gift educational and the third clothes. Our kids receive gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles and other family members, so they will still have lots of things at Christmas. I have to admit that I have struggled with guilt over this issue. I had wonderful Christmas mornings as a child and David also had "big" Christmas mornings at his house. I want to give my kids things I know they will enjoy. However, I also want them to know the importance of good stewardship and put the focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
We also plan to give the boys a fourth gift. This gift will be very special. It may be something that they share. This gift will be from Santa. I know, I know Santa Claus takes away from the real meaning of Christmas. I don't think it has to. I didn't believe in Santa as a child. I was too smart for that :)
David believed in Santa. He REALLY believed in Santa. He SAW Santa. When we got married, we had this discussion and it is very important to him that our kids believe in Santa. I agreed that this would be something fun for our kids. However, I struggled with guilt over this issue. Should I lie to my kids? How can they believe in Santa and give due respect to Baby Jesus? Then, the Lord used Veggie Tales to give me some peace about this issue. I will teach my kids the true history of Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was raised by two devout Christian parents who were very wealthy. They died when Nicholas was young, but their generosity impacted his life. He followed in their footsteps and gave to the less fortunate in secret. The story is told how he threw money in window and it landed in a stocking. There are many stories told of how Saint Nicholas helped others and children would leave snacks for him and carrots for his horse. Saint Nick's Day is actually early in the month of December so that families could remember him by giving gifts and then focus on the birth of Christ and Christmas day. Santa Claus was a Christian, people. Even if you can change his name to spell something evil. I did my research on this issue. I didn't take Bob and Larry's word on this. I don't feel guilty about this anymore. Benjamin believes that trains can talk, vegetables sing and dance and his teddy bear is his best friend. Imagination is part of childhood and I don't think he will be scarred when he learns that we played along with him even though we knew the truth.
I do plan to be intentional about teaching my kids the true meaning, of Christmas. This year I will do things that are appropriate for Benjamin. What about little brother?
Jeremiah's thoughts on Christmas are "Ooh, Bright lights to stare at." and "I could do some major teething on that nativity set. Give me those angel wings."
Benjamin loves to sing. I am trying to teach him Away in a Manger and Silent Night. He hasn't caught on yet, but he will sing Noel and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. We have a Charlie Brown Christmas book with buttons to push. He pushes the button to hear the children sing at the end over and over and over ... I plan to do 12-days of Christmas coloring pages that teach about the Nativity Scene. He has a nativity set that he plays with at Christmas time. We will make a birthday cake for Jesus to eat on Christmas day.
We are also doing 24 Christmas books. I wrapped all of my Christmas books in one type of wrapping paper and wrapped the library books in another so I could tell the difference. He is allowed to open one book each night before bed. This is our favorite thing to do. He tries to open one every morning but I make him wait until bedtime so we have something to anticipate. We are also doing elf on the shelf. David really enjoys putting out the elf and helping Benjamin to find it.
Personally, I am doing a special 25 days of Christmas Bible reading plan. There are many different things to do to prepare your heart for Christmas, but I will have to spread them out over the years. In this season of my life, I don't have time to read several devotionals a day. I am hoping to be faithful to one.
I plan to do a little holiday baking. I will make peanut butter fudge for David, and some Christmas cookies for Benjamin. If I get ambitious I may try reindeer-shaped treats.
We are still praying about our giving this year. It is only the 3rd of December and so far we have been asked to give to 5 really worthy causes. I really struggle with guilt over this issue. We save a little bit of money to give at Christmas but I feel guilty because we aren't able to give to all. Sometimes I feel like we are alone in this. Maybe everyone else gets an extra check the first of December, but we missed out. In fact, we are able to give more after Christmas than before. Anyway, God is working on my heart on this issue. I hope to give through Samaritan's purse because my heart is drawn to those who are fighting hunger and disease. We also plan to give to a needy family through our Lifegroup. As we are blessed, we will give where God leads.
So this is my plan for Christmas. Looking forward to a great Christmas season with many special memories.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Please pray with me that I will get through this valley and these circumstances will bring Glory to God.
'God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him' - John Piper
I heard John Piper's message on this several years ago and I still find myself pondering this statement. At first glance I really thought this was inappropriate. Our satisfaction should have nothing to do with God's glory. We should seek His will and forsake our desires.
Then I think of "Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
And I remember truths I learned in Bible studies, God created us for His good pleasure, He sings over us, He loves me with a protective, hand-stretching, arm-reaching kind of love.
I guess I would have understood the statement better if it had sounded like this.
When we are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in us.
I want that. I want my face to shine with God's glory.
Dear Lord, Help me to be Satisfied in You, Content in You, Confident in You and You alone.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Jeremiah turned 6 months on Thursday!
He is growing so fast! At 6 months, Jeremiah weighs 20.3 pounds (only 10 lb less than brother.)
Jeremiah is 27 inches long.
He is eating everything from last month plus zucchini, pears, white potatoes, and carrots.
He rolls everywhere. He can prop himself up on his fore arms. He likes to do the skydiver and swim.
He laughs all the time. He flirts.
He still has no teeth but he is drooling and gnawing on everything he can get his hands on.
He enjoys being carried in the carrier strapped to mama. He doesn't sit still unless he is asleep.
He takes three naps a day and sleeps all night.
I love this baby stage!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
This is our precious boy at 5 months old.
Monday, October 15, 2012
This week should be better. At least I hope it gets better than today.
This morning I put David's contacts in. His vision is much worse than mine so I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why I couldn't see. I thought that I put the contacts in the wrong eyes so I switched them and still walked around the house thinking it was allergy related. Finally I realized my mistake and corrected it before I tried to drive to the grocery store.
At the grocery store my children did really well until we got to the checkout. I unloaded the cart and proceeded to pay for my groceries when Benjamin started screaming. I couldn't tell if he was saying "stop" or "that, " but anyway he had a candy bar in his hand. I grabbed it to put "that" back on the shelf and realized that he had already chewed through the wrapper to the chocolate. We bought our nibbled candy bar and came home.
After the boys had their lunch, David came home and we had a chance to eat our lunch together. I sat down and started pouring my drink when the lid came off and I poured it all over David. Unfortunately today is laundry day and I had not started yet, so he had no other clean pants.
He went back to work with towel dried pants and I put the boys down for a nap.
I decide to sit down and drink a cup of coffee and pour too fast and splash hot coffee all over my hands. The odds are good that I will probably burn our supper.
Meal Plan 10/15 -10/21
Monday- Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday- Chicken Alfredo and Salad
Wednesday-Pork and Potato Bake, Broccoli, Apples
Thursday- Chicken Soup, Salad
Saturday- Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole, Green Beans
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Anyway, I realize that I need to make some changes because my current routine just isn't working anymore. This week I am working on changing my schedule to better meet the needs of my family, which probably means earlier mornings...and I am more of a night owl. Please pray for me that I can be disciplined in this area!
Monday- Chili Beans, cornbread
Tuesday- Roast Beef and Vegetables
Wednesday- Garlic Parmesan Chicken, Rice, Peas and Corn
Thursday- Roast Beef Sandwiches, Potatoes and Onions, Apples
Friday- Barbecue Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Broccoli
Sunday- Pizza Casserole, Salad
Baby Food- Chicken and Rice, Peas
Breakfast- Apple Crisp
Desert- Baked Smores
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Anyway, we went to the doctor Wednesday and Benjamin got the Flumist which may have played a part in all this sickness. Benjamin started with a runny nose that turned into a cold which he is still fighting. David came home Thursday night with the cold and after several nights of Nyquil began to feel better, until yesterday when everything got worse. He visited his doctor today and found out that he is suffering from bronchitis and a sinus infection.
Fortunately Jeremiah and I have been spared so far. I have had mild headaches and a sore throat off and on that could probably be attributed to seasonal allergies. Jeremiah has been a little stopped up, but it has not seemed to bother him.
Benjamin has no appetite so meal time is a struggle. David has an increased appetite and could eat a whole loaf of bread if I made it into grilled cheese sandwiches. I am trying to keep David from touching anything to stop the spread of this thing, but I really miss having one person in this house that could fix their own plate and pour their own drink.
Last night was the first night that Benjamin slept through the night without waking up for medicine. David was prescribed hydrocodone, so he could probably sleep until Monday. Hopefully with a few more nights of rest, everyone will feel better.
I have already gone over the house with Lysol earlier in the week. I think the next step would be to clear the house of all people and set off a bomb. Do they sell Lysol bombs? I should make one. I am going stir crazy waiting for everyone to get well so we can get out of the house!
In fact, we will probably break out tomorrow and head to the park. We need fresh air to maintain sanity!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
After we read that book, we had some serious talks about how we wanted to manage our money. We worked really hard and paid off all of our debt before our one year anniversary.
Since then we have been stuck on baby step three. The 3-6 month emergency fund.
Here's the short story.
We had it. We got an expensive apartment. We lost it. We moved to a cheaper place. We got it!
We thank the Lord for his provision and trust that He will take care of us. Lately, we have been praying for a house and that God will lead us to the house he wants us to have. Sometimes our wants get in the way of that. Like this past weekend.
We found this house. We loved it. The neighborhood was nice. It was a good distance from work and church. There was a big deck and a nice back yard that was flat. Benjamin loved running through the house. I could really picture our family there, until we went back for a second look.
We took a friend who was more knowledgeable about houses and structural aspects so he could give us a good idea of what would need to be repaired. We also took David's parents to give us their advice as well. It was a foreclosure, so we knew that there would be work involved. After walking through the house with them, we had a good idea of the repairs necessary to get the house in good condition.
I knew when we left that night that this was not a good idea for us, but I really wanted it so in my brain I was trying to make it work. We prayed about it and talked about making an offer and then David said, "I feel like Dave Ramsey is screaming at me." We want to be wise stewards of our finances and this would not have been a wise decision. Although the realtor was disappointed in our decision, we walked away.
I am thankful for my friend who told me to read the book. I am thankful for Dave Ramsey for yelling about managing money the right way. I am thankful for a husband who is willing to put his wants aside and make the right decision. I am thankful for the promise that God will provide.
On the first of the month, Jeremiah turned 4 months old.
At four months old, Jeremiah is eating cereal twice a day with his bottles.
He loves to swing, laugh and suck his thumb.
He loves to watch brother play.
He takes three naps a day and sleeps 11 hours at night.
He weighs 18 pounds.
On the fourth of the month, Benjamin turned two!
At two years old,
Benjamin can drink from a cup (with supervision) and tries to eat with utensils .
He is starting to say two word sentences.
He is picking up new words everyday.
He can usually put on one shoe by himself.
He loves trains, animals, books and fans!
His favorite animal is the zebra.
He painstakingly lines his toys up in a particular way. (David thinks we have another perfectionist on our hands.)
He wants to have socks or shoes on most of the time.
He likes to push brother in the swing or stroller.
He naps in the afternoon for 2-3 hours and sleeps 10-11 hours at night.
He weighs 30 pounds.
He will typically eat everything except vegetable soup :)
We are so thankful for our growing boys!
Saturday, September 1, 2012
For my new recipe this week I am trying a Pinterest experiment. The picture looked so good that I was ready to get a fork and dig in! You can find the link to the picture and the recipe on my Pinterest board.
I love easy meal planning weeks!
Monday- Date Night
Tuesday- BIRTHDAY MEAL- Pizza, Salad
Wednesday- Barbecue Chicken, Green Beans, Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday- Birthday Party Family Cookout
Friday- Pinterest Experiment "Better-than-takeout Chicken Fried Rice" with salad
Saturday- Sunday School Picnic
Cookies for the Birthday Boy
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Day 1 - We arrived at Ocean Lakes Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and got the keys to our house. The girls and Benjamin went to Walmart to stock up for the week and waited in line for over an hour to get checked out! Apparently everyone else had the same idea.
Benjamin played in the water for a little bit, but he loved to play in the sand.
Jeremiah followed his usual routine.
Day 3- We went to the beach early and soaked up some sunshine!
We went out to eat at Drunken Jack's Seafood at Murrels Inlet. The hushpuppies were fabulous. They were served warm with honey butter and I could have eaten them for a meal.
We went back to the campground and played BINGO. Barry won a game that night and then we took a victory cruise on the strip. There is nothing more fun than riding golfcarts down the strip and slapping hands at Ocean Lakes Campground.
Day 4- It was rainy so the girls went shopping with Jeremiah at the outlets and the men and Benjamin went to Bass Pro Shops. The girls enjoyed Steak-N-Shake burgers for lunch and milkshakes after a long day of shopping. Later that evening, we enjoyed watching fireworks on the beach.
Day 5- It was cloudy, but we still headed to the beach.
It rained most of the afternoon, but we did take the boys on a golfcart cruise after naptime. Benjamin enjoyed watching the ducks and pointing out the fans on everyone's porches.
That night we went for our second round of BINGO and I won the first game and Shanna won the last game! We enjoyed another night of victory golf cart cruising.
Day 6 - The men left the house really early to go to on some fishing trip in the ocean. David put in the wrong address in the GPS and they ended up in Georgetown, SC at a traveling agency that hosted One Day Marsh Cruises with some guy named Cap'n Rod. They rushed back, but unfortunately they missed their fishing boat. We spent the morning at the pool and the playground.
He started getting really hungry later in the week so we started cereal. He was so excited!
David and I played volleyball and jumped waves with Kevin and Shanna while the boys had naptime with Granny Franny. We all enjoyed burgers from River City Cafe for dinner, which is my favorite place to eat at the beach!
Day 7 - The men headed out early to try the fishing trip again.They made it this time and they caught one sea bass each. The girls went to the beach in the drizzling rain, because we were dedicated!
It started raining harder and the men were still out in the middle of the ocean somewhere, so the girls went out to eat at Chili's for lunch. We all gathered for some family pictures in the afternoon when the rain cleared.
Peepaw and Granny Franny with the boys.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I had enough leftovers from the beach trip to get me through the weekend, and yesterday morning I took both boys to the grocery store.
Thank you Kroger for the awesome Car Carts. Benjamin can drive the car and Jeremiah's car seat can fit in the top and I still have room for groceries. Those awkward buggies may aggravate other shoppers, but we got the job done. I accidentally ran into a stocking cart and the Kroger stocker just smiled and complimented Benjamin on his driving. I think we probably could get through the store easier if those steering wheels actually did work.
Here is the meal plan for this week:
Monday- Cheesy Ham Strata, Sweet Potatoes
FINALLY After 3 weeks of being on the meal plan, we had it last night. Delicious!
Gooseberry Patch Recipe
Tuesday- Meatloaf, Green Beans, Rice
Thursday- Soup and Sandwiches
Friday- Taco Salads
Saturday-Cheesy Beef Casserole, Corn
Friday, August 10, 2012
We are getting ready to go on vacation and I think my brain has already checked out. I had contemplated going to the grocery store without a meal plan, but I talked myself out of it. Even though I do not dedicate as much time to couponing as I have in the past, I still go to the grocery store with a plan. I will not be victim to marketing strategists! Meal planning keeps me on track and within budget.
I really want to keep things simple this week because I have several things I have to make for our trip.
Monday- Eat Out
Tuesday- Chicken Parmesan and Salad
Wednesday- Ham and Cheese Strata (Take 2), sweet potatoes
Thursday- Pepperoni Roll, Raw Vegetables
Friday- Fish sticks, green beans and corn.
Chocolate Cake with White Icing
Barbecue Sauce for Barbecue Chicken
Hot Dog Chili
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Proverbs 3: 5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. When the kids are napping and the house is quiet, I can curl up with a book for hours. My favorite books are historical fiction. Getting lost in a western prairie romance is my happy place. Every once in a while I find a book that pulls me in so much, that even when I am finished I continually think about it. This week I read one of those books.
It was a typical love story in the most traditional sense with "love at first sight." The preacher was traveling west to escape problems beyond his control (a Joseph and Pharoah's wife situation). He runs into an injured lawman with a lady outlaw. The lawman dies and the preacher has to take the outlaw to jail. You can guess who falls in love.
Anyway, along the way they uncover a deserted baby in a wagon train. The baby is crying hungrily and they have nothing to offer the child. The preacher is trying to keep the baby comfortable, knowing the child will probably not make it. The outlaw runs off mad at God for allowing a baby to die. In her despair she begs God to spare the baby and God answers her prayer with a lost goat who had run away from the deserted wagon train. She calls the goat "Mira" short for miracle.
I know this story is fiction. I know the characters are made up and the events never actually happened, but I also know that God is not made up.
There are many instances in the Bible when God made a way, when everything looked like it was over. Here are just a few
....God provided a ram in the thicket so that Abraham would not sacrifice Isaac
....God provided food for the widow and her son when they were going to starve
....God multiplied another widow's oil so she could pay her debts and save her sons
...God spared the lives of three Hebrew boys when they were thrown in the fire
...God spared the life of His prophet Daniel when he was thrown into the lions den
The biggest miracle in my life is how Jesus Christ paid my debt on the cross and saved me from eternal damnation.
When situations in my life look bleak, I need to be reminded that not only should I trust God, but I shouldn't rely on my own understanding. He can still work miracles for me like He did in the Western Prairie :)
Sunday, August 5, 2012
I think Sundays are the worst day to be sick. I really look forward to going to church. Some weeks it is the only social interaction I get, and I really miss seeing everybody. I like putting my children in the nursery for a little while so I can be fed on the Word of God. I can relax in knowing that my babies are in good hands and I can focus on worshiping God. I did watch David Jeremiah on TV this morning, but its just not the same.
Friday, August 3, 2012
David is off the first part of next week so I will be taking advantage of his grilling capabilities :)
Here is next week's meal plan:
Monday- Steaks, Baked Potatoes
Tuesday- Cheeseburgers, chips and Cucumbers
Wednesday- Cheesy Ham Strata, Green Beans
Thursday- Spaghetti, Salad
Friday- Veggie Beef Pie, Sweet Potatoes
Saturday- Chicken and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Baked Oatmeal Cups
At three months, Jeremiah is drinking four 8-oz bottles a day.
He sleeps 10-11 hours at night. He takes 3 naps a day for 2-2/12 hours.
He weighs a whopping 16 pounds! He is 24 3/4 inches long.
He has found his hands. He likes to suck his thumb.
He laughs all the time. His favorite thing to do is sit in his swing and watch his brother play.
He will talk to anyone who will listen. He is all smiles!
We love you Jeremiah! You have brought so much joy to our family.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I started meal planning right after we got married to coupon more effectively. Although I still use coupons for some things, most of the time I can't find coupons for the food we eat. I have been trying to eat more whole wheat, homemade, less processed food for the past 2 years, but my husband wants to eat stuff that tastes good. Imagine that?!
So planning meals for my family can be somewhat difficult. I feel like we eat the same thing all the time. I am going to challenge myself to try to make one new thing every week so we can have some variety on the table.
Here is next week's menu plan:
Monday- Dinner with Extended Family
Tuesday- Homemade Sloppy Joes, Potatoes and Onions
Wednesday- Chicken Dumplins, Apples, Corn
Thursday- Sour Cream-Beef Casserole, Broccoli
Friday- Taco Salads
Saturday- Chicken and squash skillet
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I came to know the Lord at a young age and I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I not given my heart to Jesus. I am so thankful for His sustaining grace and His many blessings in my life. I am thankful for a family who prayed for me and taught me things of God at an early age. I want to be faithful in teaching my children to know God and His love for them.
On Wednesday nights we have been studying the promises of God and it has been very encouraging to me. I am hoping that through this blog, I will be able to document how God is fulfilling these promises in my life and be an encouragement to others.
God is with me. I will not fear.
God is in control. I will not doubt.
God is good. I will not despair.
God is watching. I will not falter.
God is victorious. I will not fail.
His promises are always true. He will not let me down.