Tuesday, October 23, 2012

on being truly thankful

The timer buzzes and I call everyone in to gather around the table. I hear giggles and feet scampering to sit down and little voices asking what we are having to eat. 

I pour the hot soup into bowls and begin to butter some bread, placing them each in front of my waiting family. 

We gather 'round and speak words of thanksgiving, just like we have hundreds of times before. But on this night, it was different. 

As I sat there speaking my words of grace, I was thanking God not only for the food in front of me, but the food that filled my fridge to capacity. The variety of healthy options in the fruits and vegetables that filled those shelves and the counter space in my kitchen. I thanked Him for not ever having to worry about where the next meal for my children was going to come from. I thanked Him for the shelter in which we sit comfortably in day in and day out and enjoy these healthy meals from. And while I am thanking Him for these things, I can't help but think of a little boy, many miles from here, whose life is so very different. 

::

It's been 13 months since I took that step of faith and finally did something I knew I was meant to do for years! My eyes scanned that table at the many faces of children needing someone to show them love. How could I choose just one? 

My gaze finally settled on the sad eyes of a little boy, the same age as my Emma. I picked up his card, read a little about him, and committed to sponsoring this beautiful child.

For months my monies went to him and I never heard anything of how he was doing or how God was blessing him or his family.

For months we prayed for him {and still do} without ever really knowing if our prayers were being answered. 

We gave in faith.
We prayed in faith.

And in faith, we received.

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Uploaded with Snapbucket

Uploaded with Snapbucket

Uploaded with Snapbucket

Last month we received our first letter of exactly how our little boy has been doing. A humbling letter. A letter that touched me more than I think he or his translator, or even I, ever thought would! 

In this simple, but powerful, note, he tells us that his favorite meal is rice with beans and vegetables. His house is made of mud and grass. He loves Pigs and the color green. And he prays for us. For me

I am, through Christ and only through Christ, helping to make a difference in a little boys life hundreds of miles from here. And he, in turn, is helping to make a difference in mine as well. 

I can honestly say that since receiving that letter, I look at a lot of things differently. I am more thankful for this small home than I was a year ago. I am more thankful for the food we have available on a regular basis and in a variety of choices. I am more thankful for the clothes I wear and the car I drive. I do not worry about things that are insignificant, but more about people and how I can make a positive, lasting, impression on their lives, and a positive, encouraging, impression in the lives of my children.

It's amazing to me how I can do something so small for someone who has very little and in return be the one who is receiving so much! It is only God! He amazes me everyday. The closer I grow with Him and in Him, the more I realize how truly amazing He is and how much He is working in me and through me! He knew all along I needed to sponsor that child, not only for that child's sake, but for mine!

::

I kiss my little ones foreheads good night and we bow our heads in prayer. Each of us so very thankful for the life of a little boy living many miles away!



And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ~ Matthew 25:40



Thursday, October 18, 2012

tastes of the season

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Each season has their specialty. Winter we have apples, hot cocoa, soups, and stews. Spring it's berries and new growth. Summer there is watermelon, lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, all the gorgeous ripe fruits, ice cream, and popsicles. Fall we have pumpkin...everyhing! And I LOVE it! Seriously...cannot get enough! 

I was happily amazed when I went grocery shopping a few weeks ago and saw pumpkin coffee creamer,pumpkin coffee, pumpkin tea, bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, cookies, cakes, pies, pasta...you name it and it almost certainly came in pumpkin! 

And as if this wasn't enough, I bought three large cans of pumpkin at Costco the other day to make m o r e deliciousness of the pumpkin kind! 

Pumpkin pancakes were made and enjoyed last Saturday morning for breakfast! Next up is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, then homemade pumpkin pasta and I might venture into making and trying pumpkin soup. We shall see! 

As if fall wasn't already my favorite time of the year, throw in a little pumpkiny {yes, i know that is not a word} squash goodness and it just becomes all that more fantastic! 

What are your favorite fall treats?

::

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.~ Galatians 6:9




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along {18}

This time of year is by far my favorite. Life seems to slow down a bit as our days get cooler and shorter. This tends to lead to more time at home snuggled together as a family. Games are played. Stories are read. And crafting is going on all around the house! 

I finally finished knitting something for myself! This is the easy-to-knit, fantastically fun, Gap-tastic Cowl! I love it...and I finished it just in time for the cooler temps to settle in! 

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With the theme of this season being pumpkin...everything...how could I not knit up a little pumpkin hat for my wee little one?! This pattern was so cute and easy. With a few tweeks of my own, I made it a true original! 

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I think she likes it! :)

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As far as what is currently on my needles, well that needs to remain a surprise for a few more weeks as it is a gift for someone specials birthday! I can give you a sneak peek at the yarn color...but my lips are sealed to the other details!

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My reading is a little all over the place. We are reading, as part of our everyday read-aloud, The Tale of Desperaux. I have had this book on my children's shelf for far too long and after picking up a copy of the movie at Target for five dollars, I thought now was a good time to read it and once we are through, watch the movie. So far, we are enjoying it! 

My children love The Jesus Storybook Bible. We have read through it once already and are re-reading it again at bedtime! If you are in the market for a storybook Bible for your children, I cannot recommend this one highly enough! 

As for myself, I am reading The Story of Beautiful Girl. I am about half-way through and am enjoying it, a lot. More than I thought I would! 


Linking up with Ginny!




They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea. ~ Isaiah 11:9


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{a r o u n d here}

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It's been a month since I lasted posted here. A month has come and gone and I hadn't even realized it's been that long until I sat down to write this post. Seriously, where does time go?




So much has gone on in this little house of mine. So much that I won't bore you with all the details of every, little, thing. But, I will say that it has been a wonderful month. 

We celebrated seven years of marriage; had a wonderful family vacation; have been homeschooling, non-stop, for 6 weeks now -  and still enjoying every minute. 

We've fallen more and more in love with our newest bundle of joy. Went on our first homeschool field trip - with other homeschoolers! We've visited the zoo, the science center, and have gone on a few nature hikes. This time of year makes for some lovely hikes. And oh the treasures that can be found. Emma is in her glory!

Our contract with our Realtor expired and we are back at square  one. Not knowing exactly what our next step should be, but trusting God in the meantime to lead us in the right direction and that we will be obedient to follow. 


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I've been knitting more and reading more - more kid books than books of my liking -  but it's reading none-the-less and it's all good! 


I've been growing closer to my Heavenly Father and my understanding and love for the written Word has grown immensely since I started reading along with She Reads Truth. So graciously blessed to have found this community of wonderful, God-fearing, women!

All this leads me to today...this week...and the fact that we paid off our car and are one step closer to being debt free! Such a relief swept over me as I sent in that last payment! God is so good and always provides! 

We have entered into the fall season - my favorite one of them all. Life seems to slow a bit and I love it!Hoping this slower pace leaves me more time to spend here - in this little space! I've missed it and I've missed all your warm, encouraging, comments as well! 

What have you been up to?


Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 
2 Samuel 7:22

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Sons Love

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"Mama, I sit on your lap?"
"Buddy, you have to wait a minute until I am finished feeding Heidi and then you can sit on my lap."

His tantrum begins. 
My frustration at trying to please all three of them at the same time is getting the best of me and I let anger and stress come out as I yell at him to go to his room if he is going to cry. 

My own hot tears roll down my cheeks. My little man. Still getting used to the transition of being the youngest and having all my attention, to being a big brother and having to share my attention even more. 

He's not used to not being able to crawl into my lap and cuddle there whenever he wants.
To having to wait for a drink or a snack.
His cuddle space in mamas bed has now been taken over by his little sister and I know this has upset him the most. 

As I have sat holding Heidi and getting used to meeting the needs of one more child, I have thought about how I can have to make time for those same special moments that Caleb and I shared. For those moments are just as precious to me as they are to him. 

I need to take time during the day to just sit and cuddle him on the couch like we used to do. 

I need to place Heidi back into her crib on some mornings so Caleb can cuddle in next to me for those few short minutes after daddy has left for the gym. 

These are moments that we have shared since birth and I do not want to loose that closeness with him. We formed a bond, different than the one I have with Emma, from the day he was born and this bond, that has only strengthened over the years, is not something that I want to lose. There is just something about a mama and son bond that is so very sweet. And this little man of mine is a big hugger and a cuddler. I want to continue to nurture these precious attributes of his sweet personality. I never want him to change this about himself. For his daddy is much of the same - and I want some little girl to be as blessed as I am some day! 



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Linking up with Lydia 


Linking up with:
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“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” Titus 2:2 



Friday, September 7, 2012

Our First Week {9/4/2012 - 9/7/2012}

Today finishes out our first week back to homeschool. Here is how it went for us: 

In my life this week… i've realized just how much i really enjoy routine and a schedule to stick to. i have gotten so much more done this week and have gone to bed not feeling stressed or overwhelmed whatsoever.

In our homeschool this week… 
this was our first week and we are loving it. so far we are enjoying most of the curriculum i purchased and emma is requesting more each day once we are finished. that is always a good sign!


Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… something that has been told to me over and over again, have fun!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… today we are having our first "field trip"! 

My favorite thing this week was… hearing emma read a list of words on the second day and caleb praying over the start of our third day!

What’s working/not working for us… the Bible curriculum i chose just is not working for us and this is very important to me. the curriculum is wonderful, i just feel that it may be a bit too advanced for emma and i see her getting bored and not paying attention and i do not want that, so back to the drawing board we go! anyone have any recommendations? 

Questions/thoughts I have… homeschooling rocks!

Things I’m working on… being more creative and getting more organized with themed projects and crafts for emma to do at least twice a week.

I’m reading… killing lincoln by bill o'reilly

I’m cooking… yummy dishes from pinterest - avocado chicken parmesan, vegetarian zucchini boats, quinoa + chicken + sweet potato stir fry

I’m grateful for… the support of my husband, the willingness and eagerness of my daughter to learn, the wonderful support of homeschool friends, and the faithfulness of God.

I’m praying for… friends and family

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… my favorite photo this week of caleb praying over our day!

Caleb Praying

How was your week?


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And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18



Thursday, September 6, 2012

The First Time

She looks around, searching with her eyes the comforting voice she has grown used to hearing. Once found, a look of peace replaces the tears in her eyes. I smile at her and in my mama voice tell her "hi" reassuring her that she is ok and safe now that mama is here, something she already knew once her eyes settled on mine. It amazes me how quickly a baby learns to trust and how much I still struggle! 

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I pick her up and carry her down the steps, whispering in her ear many "I love you's" and telling her how pretty Jesus made her, all the while her little hand gripping the collar of my shirt and holding on ever so tightly. We find our spot on the couch, settle in and get comfortable. I do what comes natural and so does she, the suckling bringing nourishment and comfort. She is getting old enough to look up into my eyes, a moment I always treasured while nursing both Emma and Caleb as well. It is as if she is making sure I am still there, never wanting to lose sight of me - her comfort and safe place. 

I place her over my shoulder, patting her back ever so lightly and hum whichever song comes to mind. She nestles into the nape of my neck and I hear the gentle rhythm of her breathing, her heart still feels as if it is beating in tune with mine. Sleep overcomes her and I rise to place her back into her bed, savoring the sleepy cuddles as long as I can. 

She is 6 weeks and 5 days old today. Too old for me already. I want to go back to that room in the hospital on the day she was born. I want to hold her again for the first time. I want to look into her eyes and kiss her soft skin and breathe her in all over again! This sweet baby is truly living up to her middle name of Joy. For she has been such a Joy from the moment I knew God was knitting her together inside my womb. She continues to fill my life with Joy when she smiles up at me and giggles. When she grabs my thumb and wraps her little fist around it. When noone seems to be able to bring her the comfort and peace she needs quite like I do. There is just something so beautiful about being a mama! 

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“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis



Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. ~ 1 Peter 1:8



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yarn Along {17} + a giveaway

Summer is officially over. Grandma and Grandpa closed up their swimming pool until next year. The leaves are already starting to change from bright green to golds and reds, and {home}School started back for us yesterday. With all these changes, I am finding it easier to slow down a bit and get back into our routine. The last few weeks found us trying to fit in all the things we wanted to do before the end of summer - which resulted in long, fun, days and not much time at home to relax. 
 
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Books and knitting are finding their way back into my daily routine. How I've missed them both.Something about the coziness of Falls coming has made me even more desperate to be holding the needles and soft fiber in my fingers again. I decided to start back again with something for myself! Something easy and that would knit up quickly. I decided on a chunky cowl. I chose to knit it in my favorite color, for clothing, grey! This will be nice and snuggly to throw on and go and add a little style to my mommy wardrobe! 

I decided to borrow from the library Killing Lincoln after some homeschool friends of mine recommended it! I haven't started it yet, but from what I have read from others reviews and from the cover itself, it sounds like it is going to be an enjoyable read! 

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And speaking of enjoyable reads, I have a wonderful giveaway going on for one of my latest good reads! Details on how to win are found here! Hurry though...this giveaway ends tonight!! 



Linking up with Ginny




Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5


Friday, August 31, 2012

Read any Good Books lately?

I have a bit of a book fetish. I can't seem to walk by any bookstore without stepping inside! More often than not, I end up leaving holding in my hands pages and pages of thought-provoking, entertaining, allow myself to escape to another place for awhile, book! Do you know the feeling?

A good book takes you places. It has you thinking things you may have never considered before. It introduces you to amazing characters - some whom we may be able to relate too; some we may not. It is often the result of many late nights of nail-biting, page-turning, suspense. A good book is all this and a whole lot more.

For me, an amazing book leaves me wanting to start it all over again the second I read that last sentence on the very last page. It makes it very hard to start another book directly afterwards because nothing seems to quite compare to it!

Ladies, and the occasional gent, I give to you that exact book that I just described above!

Redeeming Love
 
 
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of those books that will have you crying, laughing, falling in love with the characters, as well as gaining a deeper appreciation and affection for your spouse! Written as a fictional re-telling of the story of Hosea from the Bible, you will find yourself hugging it to your chest, crying and saying "Wow!" over and over again once you have finished it - or maybe thats just me. In any case, it is an amazing book that I feel everyone should read!! In todays society where our choices of good literature, particularly good romance/love story literature, is getting harder and harder to come by, it is nice to read a wholesome, true, God blessed love story!
 
While I sat reading this book, I kept thinking to myself how everyone I know should own a copy and read this book for themselves! Right away! The wheels continued to turn and I thought to myself, "Hey! I have a blog. Why don't I offer a copy up for one of my amazing readers to win? Then at least one person I know will own this amazing book for themselves!"
 
Would you like to win? Here's how:
 
Simply leave me a comment telling me of an awesome book that you have read!
 
Additinal Entries: {leave a seperate comment for each}
 
** Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter
** Become a follower via email
 
{Please make sure to leave a valid email address where I can contact you if you were to win! US residents only please! Giveaway opened until Wednesday, Sept. 5 at midnight. Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced here within this post on Thursday, Sept. 6!}
 
Good books should be shared! And I hope that even if you do not win, you will still consider reading this book, whether by purchasing a copy for yourself or borrowing it from your local libray! You will be so very happy you did!
 
{I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions expressed are solely my own. The giveaway copy was purchased by me!}
 
 
 
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ~ Galatians 3:28
 
 
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

{anxiety = fear}

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When I wrote it there a few weeks ago, I was still filled with excited anticipation! My mind had been reeling of all the exciting things I was thinking up for us to do throughout the year. Field trips, groups to join, classes to take - I felt like I was in control and ready to begin this journey! That day, I believed I could do it. We prayed about it - for months. I researched and asked questions, and researched some more. I ordered books, bought the crayons, pencils, and glue. I had everything cleaned out and re-organized from last year and all the crisp, new, items put in their place. I was full of joy. Now all that fills me is anxiety - fear!
 
anxiety - distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
 
 
Here I am, five days away from that much anticipated day, and my planner still remains blank. The books are stacked nicely on their respective shelves, still waiting for me to really open them and take a look inside! I honestly have no idea what we will be doing come Tuesday. So, the panic sets in. How am I going to find just a minute to sit and get organized to begin next week? The baby requires so much of my time already - am I crazy to think I can actually do this? I wonder if it is too late to sign her up for public school - or cyber school? What were we thinking?
 
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ~ Philippians 4:6
 
How quickly I can be led astray! But reading these words reminded me once again of why I am doing this and how we got to this point. He directed our path! He led us here! He placed it in our hearts and on our minds to have the desire and excitement of teaching our children at home! I need to paint these verses on every room of my home! I need to read them every morning when I wake up - reminding me of how I got here. When the days are tough and I want to give up - I need to remember these words! His Words! And I know, then, that we will be ok!
 
Worrying over failing has got to go and instead be replaced by concentrating more on succeeding! Whether my planner is filled, front to back, by Tuesday or not, I need to believe in my heart that we are going to have a successful year and that I will find the time to plan and prepare - even if it has to be on a weekly, or sometimes daily, basis! I want that flame of excitement over learning together with my children to be re-ignited and I want to do it all with joy in my heart at wanting to succeed at what He has called me to do!
 
 
Not Back to School Blog Hop
 
 
 
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them. ~ Proverbs 16:7
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

On Why I Love Babywearing

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While at the zoo recently with my little crew, I saw many mamas, and papas, carrying around wee little babes. Sure, they had strollers with them, but their babes were in their arms - not in the strollers. I was hands free, able to navigate myself through the crowds of people, sans stroller, and enjoy the zoo with my two older children while the littlest of the three was snuggled safely and comfortably against my chest. Yes, I have been to the zoo before and pushed a stroller or pulled a wagon behind me, but I have to admit, this way was far more ideal!  
 
It got me to thinking about why I do this. Why I wrap a wonderfully, comfy, piece of cloth around me and snuggle my baby inside. Why I endure the stares and whispers while also enjoying the questions from mamas wanting to know more and obtain a wonderfully, comfy, piece of cloth for themselves.
 
So I came up with a list!
 
Here are my top 10 reasons why I babywear:
 
10.  Keeps me hands free
  9.  Allows my little one to feel safe and comfortable
  8.  Provides a wonderful bonding experience between me and my little babe
  7.   Keeping her close and being able to kiss her little head so easily
  6.   The constant snuggles
  5.   Peace of mind
  4.   Nursing on the go
  3.   Babies like to be held and I am providing a natural environment to be able to do so
        and tend to my other daily duties
  2.  It instantly calms a fussy baby
  1.   Watching her fall asleep and feeling her heart beating against mine
 
Do you babywear? Want to follow our babywearing journey through the lens of my iphone? Then follow me on instagram here. But beware - I post a lot of photos!
 
 

Linking up with Lydia
 
 

 
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”  ~ Psalm 94:18-19
 

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Smiling Faces {photo hop}

On deciding to homeschool, I knew my children would never get to enjoy the pleasures of an official school picture day. And in a way, that can be a good thing. I always disliked a whole lot the way my school pictures turned out. For some reason, I would leave the house in the morning with my hair looking just the way I wanted it to and by the time it was my turn for pictures, it looked a completely different way - usually a mess! Except for my eleventh grade year...that was a good picture!  Anyways, my mom, like most moms, saved all of my pictures from my thirteen years in school and it is fun to look back over each picture from my years in school and laugh hysterically!  How much I changed, what seemed like drastically, from year to year. I wanted to be able to look back and see those same transformations with my children.
 
Ealier this week I got them dressed up, decided they could go barefoot, and snapped some "school pictures". Here are our "not-back-to-school" photos for the 2012-2013 year! {to see our photos from last year, click here}

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Thanks to Pinterest, I saw the idea to add each of their names, ages, current grade, and current interests to their photos, which will also be fun to see change from year to year.
 
All of our books are stacked on the shelf, although I still have planning to do! New packages of pens, pencils, crayons, and glue are all waiting to be used. We are ready and looking forward to a fun, new, year!
 
 
 
Not Back to School Blog Hop



I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  ~ Psalm 16:8



 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On Wanting to Stop the Hands of Time

She's one month old today! 

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As cliche' as this sounds, I am wanting to stop the hands of time. Freeze these moments, these days, with her this little. Keep her this cuddly and squishy for a lot longer than time allows! 

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But since I am dreaming the impossible, I will instead embrace and hold onto each memory made, cherishing them all and thanking the One who gave me such a beautiful blessing! 

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Then God promises to love me all day, 
      sing songs all through the night! 
      My life is God's prayer. ~ Psalm 42:8 {the MSG}







Tuesday, October 23, 2012

on being truly thankful

The timer buzzes and I call everyone in to gather around the table. I hear giggles and feet scampering to sit down and little voices asking what we are having to eat. 

I pour the hot soup into bowls and begin to butter some bread, placing them each in front of my waiting family. 

We gather 'round and speak words of thanksgiving, just like we have hundreds of times before. But on this night, it was different. 

As I sat there speaking my words of grace, I was thanking God not only for the food in front of me, but the food that filled my fridge to capacity. The variety of healthy options in the fruits and vegetables that filled those shelves and the counter space in my kitchen. I thanked Him for not ever having to worry about where the next meal for my children was going to come from. I thanked Him for the shelter in which we sit comfortably in day in and day out and enjoy these healthy meals from. And while I am thanking Him for these things, I can't help but think of a little boy, many miles from here, whose life is so very different. 

::

It's been 13 months since I took that step of faith and finally did something I knew I was meant to do for years! My eyes scanned that table at the many faces of children needing someone to show them love. How could I choose just one? 

My gaze finally settled on the sad eyes of a little boy, the same age as my Emma. I picked up his card, read a little about him, and committed to sponsoring this beautiful child.

For months my monies went to him and I never heard anything of how he was doing or how God was blessing him or his family.

For months we prayed for him {and still do} without ever really knowing if our prayers were being answered. 

We gave in faith.
We prayed in faith.

And in faith, we received.

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Last month we received our first letter of exactly how our little boy has been doing. A humbling letter. A letter that touched me more than I think he or his translator, or even I, ever thought would! 

In this simple, but powerful, note, he tells us that his favorite meal is rice with beans and vegetables. His house is made of mud and grass. He loves Pigs and the color green. And he prays for us. For me

I am, through Christ and only through Christ, helping to make a difference in a little boys life hundreds of miles from here. And he, in turn, is helping to make a difference in mine as well. 

I can honestly say that since receiving that letter, I look at a lot of things differently. I am more thankful for this small home than I was a year ago. I am more thankful for the food we have available on a regular basis and in a variety of choices. I am more thankful for the clothes I wear and the car I drive. I do not worry about things that are insignificant, but more about people and how I can make a positive, lasting, impression on their lives, and a positive, encouraging, impression in the lives of my children.

It's amazing to me how I can do something so small for someone who has very little and in return be the one who is receiving so much! It is only God! He amazes me everyday. The closer I grow with Him and in Him, the more I realize how truly amazing He is and how much He is working in me and through me! He knew all along I needed to sponsor that child, not only for that child's sake, but for mine!

::

I kiss my little ones foreheads good night and we bow our heads in prayer. Each of us so very thankful for the life of a little boy living many miles away!



And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ~ Matthew 25:40



Thursday, October 18, 2012

tastes of the season

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Each season has their specialty. Winter we have apples, hot cocoa, soups, and stews. Spring it's berries and new growth. Summer there is watermelon, lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, all the gorgeous ripe fruits, ice cream, and popsicles. Fall we have pumpkin...everyhing! And I LOVE it! Seriously...cannot get enough! 

I was happily amazed when I went grocery shopping a few weeks ago and saw pumpkin coffee creamer,pumpkin coffee, pumpkin tea, bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, cookies, cakes, pies, pasta...you name it and it almost certainly came in pumpkin! 

And as if this wasn't enough, I bought three large cans of pumpkin at Costco the other day to make m o r e deliciousness of the pumpkin kind! 

Pumpkin pancakes were made and enjoyed last Saturday morning for breakfast! Next up is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, then homemade pumpkin pasta and I might venture into making and trying pumpkin soup. We shall see! 

As if fall wasn't already my favorite time of the year, throw in a little pumpkiny {yes, i know that is not a word} squash goodness and it just becomes all that more fantastic! 

What are your favorite fall treats?

::

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.~ Galatians 6:9




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along {18}

This time of year is by far my favorite. Life seems to slow down a bit as our days get cooler and shorter. This tends to lead to more time at home snuggled together as a family. Games are played. Stories are read. And crafting is going on all around the house! 

I finally finished knitting something for myself! This is the easy-to-knit, fantastically fun, Gap-tastic Cowl! I love it...and I finished it just in time for the cooler temps to settle in! 

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With the theme of this season being pumpkin...everything...how could I not knit up a little pumpkin hat for my wee little one?! This pattern was so cute and easy. With a few tweeks of my own, I made it a true original! 

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I think she likes it! :)

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As far as what is currently on my needles, well that needs to remain a surprise for a few more weeks as it is a gift for someone specials birthday! I can give you a sneak peek at the yarn color...but my lips are sealed to the other details!

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My reading is a little all over the place. We are reading, as part of our everyday read-aloud, The Tale of Desperaux. I have had this book on my children's shelf for far too long and after picking up a copy of the movie at Target for five dollars, I thought now was a good time to read it and once we are through, watch the movie. So far, we are enjoying it! 

My children love The Jesus Storybook Bible. We have read through it once already and are re-reading it again at bedtime! If you are in the market for a storybook Bible for your children, I cannot recommend this one highly enough! 

As for myself, I am reading The Story of Beautiful Girl. I am about half-way through and am enjoying it, a lot. More than I thought I would! 


Linking up with Ginny!




They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea. ~ Isaiah 11:9


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{a r o u n d here}

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It's been a month since I lasted posted here. A month has come and gone and I hadn't even realized it's been that long until I sat down to write this post. Seriously, where does time go?




So much has gone on in this little house of mine. So much that I won't bore you with all the details of every, little, thing. But, I will say that it has been a wonderful month. 

We celebrated seven years of marriage; had a wonderful family vacation; have been homeschooling, non-stop, for 6 weeks now -  and still enjoying every minute. 

We've fallen more and more in love with our newest bundle of joy. Went on our first homeschool field trip - with other homeschoolers! We've visited the zoo, the science center, and have gone on a few nature hikes. This time of year makes for some lovely hikes. And oh the treasures that can be found. Emma is in her glory!

Our contract with our Realtor expired and we are back at square  one. Not knowing exactly what our next step should be, but trusting God in the meantime to lead us in the right direction and that we will be obedient to follow. 


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I've been knitting more and reading more - more kid books than books of my liking -  but it's reading none-the-less and it's all good! 


I've been growing closer to my Heavenly Father and my understanding and love for the written Word has grown immensely since I started reading along with She Reads Truth. So graciously blessed to have found this community of wonderful, God-fearing, women!

All this leads me to today...this week...and the fact that we paid off our car and are one step closer to being debt free! Such a relief swept over me as I sent in that last payment! God is so good and always provides! 

We have entered into the fall season - my favorite one of them all. Life seems to slow a bit and I love it!Hoping this slower pace leaves me more time to spend here - in this little space! I've missed it and I've missed all your warm, encouraging, comments as well! 

What have you been up to?


Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 
2 Samuel 7:22

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Sons Love

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"Mama, I sit on your lap?"
"Buddy, you have to wait a minute until I am finished feeding Heidi and then you can sit on my lap."

His tantrum begins. 
My frustration at trying to please all three of them at the same time is getting the best of me and I let anger and stress come out as I yell at him to go to his room if he is going to cry. 

My own hot tears roll down my cheeks. My little man. Still getting used to the transition of being the youngest and having all my attention, to being a big brother and having to share my attention even more. 

He's not used to not being able to crawl into my lap and cuddle there whenever he wants.
To having to wait for a drink or a snack.
His cuddle space in mamas bed has now been taken over by his little sister and I know this has upset him the most. 

As I have sat holding Heidi and getting used to meeting the needs of one more child, I have thought about how I can have to make time for those same special moments that Caleb and I shared. For those moments are just as precious to me as they are to him. 

I need to take time during the day to just sit and cuddle him on the couch like we used to do. 

I need to place Heidi back into her crib on some mornings so Caleb can cuddle in next to me for those few short minutes after daddy has left for the gym. 

These are moments that we have shared since birth and I do not want to loose that closeness with him. We formed a bond, different than the one I have with Emma, from the day he was born and this bond, that has only strengthened over the years, is not something that I want to lose. There is just something about a mama and son bond that is so very sweet. And this little man of mine is a big hugger and a cuddler. I want to continue to nurture these precious attributes of his sweet personality. I never want him to change this about himself. For his daddy is much of the same - and I want some little girl to be as blessed as I am some day! 



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Linking up with Lydia 


Linking up with:
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“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” Titus 2:2 



Friday, September 7, 2012

Our First Week {9/4/2012 - 9/7/2012}

Today finishes out our first week back to homeschool. Here is how it went for us: 

In my life this week… i've realized just how much i really enjoy routine and a schedule to stick to. i have gotten so much more done this week and have gone to bed not feeling stressed or overwhelmed whatsoever.

In our homeschool this week… 
this was our first week and we are loving it. so far we are enjoying most of the curriculum i purchased and emma is requesting more each day once we are finished. that is always a good sign!


Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… something that has been told to me over and over again, have fun!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… today we are having our first "field trip"! 

My favorite thing this week was… hearing emma read a list of words on the second day and caleb praying over the start of our third day!

What’s working/not working for us… the Bible curriculum i chose just is not working for us and this is very important to me. the curriculum is wonderful, i just feel that it may be a bit too advanced for emma and i see her getting bored and not paying attention and i do not want that, so back to the drawing board we go! anyone have any recommendations? 

Questions/thoughts I have… homeschooling rocks!

Things I’m working on… being more creative and getting more organized with themed projects and crafts for emma to do at least twice a week.

I’m reading… killing lincoln by bill o'reilly

I’m cooking… yummy dishes from pinterest - avocado chicken parmesan, vegetarian zucchini boats, quinoa + chicken + sweet potato stir fry

I’m grateful for… the support of my husband, the willingness and eagerness of my daughter to learn, the wonderful support of homeschool friends, and the faithfulness of God.

I’m praying for… friends and family

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… my favorite photo this week of caleb praying over our day!

Caleb Praying

How was your week?


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And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18



Thursday, September 6, 2012

The First Time

She looks around, searching with her eyes the comforting voice she has grown used to hearing. Once found, a look of peace replaces the tears in her eyes. I smile at her and in my mama voice tell her "hi" reassuring her that she is ok and safe now that mama is here, something she already knew once her eyes settled on mine. It amazes me how quickly a baby learns to trust and how much I still struggle! 

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I pick her up and carry her down the steps, whispering in her ear many "I love you's" and telling her how pretty Jesus made her, all the while her little hand gripping the collar of my shirt and holding on ever so tightly. We find our spot on the couch, settle in and get comfortable. I do what comes natural and so does she, the suckling bringing nourishment and comfort. She is getting old enough to look up into my eyes, a moment I always treasured while nursing both Emma and Caleb as well. It is as if she is making sure I am still there, never wanting to lose sight of me - her comfort and safe place. 

I place her over my shoulder, patting her back ever so lightly and hum whichever song comes to mind. She nestles into the nape of my neck and I hear the gentle rhythm of her breathing, her heart still feels as if it is beating in tune with mine. Sleep overcomes her and I rise to place her back into her bed, savoring the sleepy cuddles as long as I can. 

She is 6 weeks and 5 days old today. Too old for me already. I want to go back to that room in the hospital on the day she was born. I want to hold her again for the first time. I want to look into her eyes and kiss her soft skin and breathe her in all over again! This sweet baby is truly living up to her middle name of Joy. For she has been such a Joy from the moment I knew God was knitting her together inside my womb. She continues to fill my life with Joy when she smiles up at me and giggles. When she grabs my thumb and wraps her little fist around it. When noone seems to be able to bring her the comfort and peace she needs quite like I do. There is just something so beautiful about being a mama! 

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“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis



Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. ~ 1 Peter 1:8



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yarn Along {17} + a giveaway

Summer is officially over. Grandma and Grandpa closed up their swimming pool until next year. The leaves are already starting to change from bright green to golds and reds, and {home}School started back for us yesterday. With all these changes, I am finding it easier to slow down a bit and get back into our routine. The last few weeks found us trying to fit in all the things we wanted to do before the end of summer - which resulted in long, fun, days and not much time at home to relax. 
 
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Books and knitting are finding their way back into my daily routine. How I've missed them both.Something about the coziness of Falls coming has made me even more desperate to be holding the needles and soft fiber in my fingers again. I decided to start back again with something for myself! Something easy and that would knit up quickly. I decided on a chunky cowl. I chose to knit it in my favorite color, for clothing, grey! This will be nice and snuggly to throw on and go and add a little style to my mommy wardrobe! 

I decided to borrow from the library Killing Lincoln after some homeschool friends of mine recommended it! I haven't started it yet, but from what I have read from others reviews and from the cover itself, it sounds like it is going to be an enjoyable read! 

**********

And speaking of enjoyable reads, I have a wonderful giveaway going on for one of my latest good reads! Details on how to win are found here! Hurry though...this giveaway ends tonight!! 



Linking up with Ginny




Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5


Friday, August 31, 2012

Read any Good Books lately?

I have a bit of a book fetish. I can't seem to walk by any bookstore without stepping inside! More often than not, I end up leaving holding in my hands pages and pages of thought-provoking, entertaining, allow myself to escape to another place for awhile, book! Do you know the feeling?

A good book takes you places. It has you thinking things you may have never considered before. It introduces you to amazing characters - some whom we may be able to relate too; some we may not. It is often the result of many late nights of nail-biting, page-turning, suspense. A good book is all this and a whole lot more.

For me, an amazing book leaves me wanting to start it all over again the second I read that last sentence on the very last page. It makes it very hard to start another book directly afterwards because nothing seems to quite compare to it!

Ladies, and the occasional gent, I give to you that exact book that I just described above!

Redeeming Love
 
 
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of those books that will have you crying, laughing, falling in love with the characters, as well as gaining a deeper appreciation and affection for your spouse! Written as a fictional re-telling of the story of Hosea from the Bible, you will find yourself hugging it to your chest, crying and saying "Wow!" over and over again once you have finished it - or maybe thats just me. In any case, it is an amazing book that I feel everyone should read!! In todays society where our choices of good literature, particularly good romance/love story literature, is getting harder and harder to come by, it is nice to read a wholesome, true, God blessed love story!
 
While I sat reading this book, I kept thinking to myself how everyone I know should own a copy and read this book for themselves! Right away! The wheels continued to turn and I thought to myself, "Hey! I have a blog. Why don't I offer a copy up for one of my amazing readers to win? Then at least one person I know will own this amazing book for themselves!"
 
Would you like to win? Here's how:
 
Simply leave me a comment telling me of an awesome book that you have read!
 
Additinal Entries: {leave a seperate comment for each}
 
** Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter
** Become a follower via email
 
{Please make sure to leave a valid email address where I can contact you if you were to win! US residents only please! Giveaway opened until Wednesday, Sept. 5 at midnight. Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced here within this post on Thursday, Sept. 6!}
 
Good books should be shared! And I hope that even if you do not win, you will still consider reading this book, whether by purchasing a copy for yourself or borrowing it from your local libray! You will be so very happy you did!
 
{I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions expressed are solely my own. The giveaway copy was purchased by me!}
 
 
 
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ~ Galatians 3:28
 
 
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

{anxiety = fear}

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When I wrote it there a few weeks ago, I was still filled with excited anticipation! My mind had been reeling of all the exciting things I was thinking up for us to do throughout the year. Field trips, groups to join, classes to take - I felt like I was in control and ready to begin this journey! That day, I believed I could do it. We prayed about it - for months. I researched and asked questions, and researched some more. I ordered books, bought the crayons, pencils, and glue. I had everything cleaned out and re-organized from last year and all the crisp, new, items put in their place. I was full of joy. Now all that fills me is anxiety - fear!
 
anxiety - distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
 
 
Here I am, five days away from that much anticipated day, and my planner still remains blank. The books are stacked nicely on their respective shelves, still waiting for me to really open them and take a look inside! I honestly have no idea what we will be doing come Tuesday. So, the panic sets in. How am I going to find just a minute to sit and get organized to begin next week? The baby requires so much of my time already - am I crazy to think I can actually do this? I wonder if it is too late to sign her up for public school - or cyber school? What were we thinking?
 
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ~ Philippians 4:6
 
How quickly I can be led astray! But reading these words reminded me once again of why I am doing this and how we got to this point. He directed our path! He led us here! He placed it in our hearts and on our minds to have the desire and excitement of teaching our children at home! I need to paint these verses on every room of my home! I need to read them every morning when I wake up - reminding me of how I got here. When the days are tough and I want to give up - I need to remember these words! His Words! And I know, then, that we will be ok!
 
Worrying over failing has got to go and instead be replaced by concentrating more on succeeding! Whether my planner is filled, front to back, by Tuesday or not, I need to believe in my heart that we are going to have a successful year and that I will find the time to plan and prepare - even if it has to be on a weekly, or sometimes daily, basis! I want that flame of excitement over learning together with my children to be re-ignited and I want to do it all with joy in my heart at wanting to succeed at what He has called me to do!
 
 
Not Back to School Blog Hop
 
 
 
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them. ~ Proverbs 16:7
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

On Why I Love Babywearing

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While at the zoo recently with my little crew, I saw many mamas, and papas, carrying around wee little babes. Sure, they had strollers with them, but their babes were in their arms - not in the strollers. I was hands free, able to navigate myself through the crowds of people, sans stroller, and enjoy the zoo with my two older children while the littlest of the three was snuggled safely and comfortably against my chest. Yes, I have been to the zoo before and pushed a stroller or pulled a wagon behind me, but I have to admit, this way was far more ideal!  
 
It got me to thinking about why I do this. Why I wrap a wonderfully, comfy, piece of cloth around me and snuggle my baby inside. Why I endure the stares and whispers while also enjoying the questions from mamas wanting to know more and obtain a wonderfully, comfy, piece of cloth for themselves.
 
So I came up with a list!
 
Here are my top 10 reasons why I babywear:
 
10.  Keeps me hands free
  9.  Allows my little one to feel safe and comfortable
  8.  Provides a wonderful bonding experience between me and my little babe
  7.   Keeping her close and being able to kiss her little head so easily
  6.   The constant snuggles
  5.   Peace of mind
  4.   Nursing on the go
  3.   Babies like to be held and I am providing a natural environment to be able to do so
        and tend to my other daily duties
  2.  It instantly calms a fussy baby
  1.   Watching her fall asleep and feeling her heart beating against mine
 
Do you babywear? Want to follow our babywearing journey through the lens of my iphone? Then follow me on instagram here. But beware - I post a lot of photos!
 
 

Linking up with Lydia
 
 

 
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”  ~ Psalm 94:18-19
 

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Smiling Faces {photo hop}

On deciding to homeschool, I knew my children would never get to enjoy the pleasures of an official school picture day. And in a way, that can be a good thing. I always disliked a whole lot the way my school pictures turned out. For some reason, I would leave the house in the morning with my hair looking just the way I wanted it to and by the time it was my turn for pictures, it looked a completely different way - usually a mess! Except for my eleventh grade year...that was a good picture!  Anyways, my mom, like most moms, saved all of my pictures from my thirteen years in school and it is fun to look back over each picture from my years in school and laugh hysterically!  How much I changed, what seemed like drastically, from year to year. I wanted to be able to look back and see those same transformations with my children.
 
Ealier this week I got them dressed up, decided they could go barefoot, and snapped some "school pictures". Here are our "not-back-to-school" photos for the 2012-2013 year! {to see our photos from last year, click here}

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Thanks to Pinterest, I saw the idea to add each of their names, ages, current grade, and current interests to their photos, which will also be fun to see change from year to year.
 
All of our books are stacked on the shelf, although I still have planning to do! New packages of pens, pencils, crayons, and glue are all waiting to be used. We are ready and looking forward to a fun, new, year!
 
 
 
Not Back to School Blog Hop



I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  ~ Psalm 16:8



 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On Wanting to Stop the Hands of Time

She's one month old today! 

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As cliche' as this sounds, I am wanting to stop the hands of time. Freeze these moments, these days, with her this little. Keep her this cuddly and squishy for a lot longer than time allows! 

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But since I am dreaming the impossible, I will instead embrace and hold onto each memory made, cherishing them all and thanking the One who gave me such a beautiful blessing! 

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Then God promises to love me all day, 
      sing songs all through the night! 
      My life is God's prayer. ~ Psalm 42:8 {the MSG}







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