Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn Along {2}


hosted by Ginny at Small Things

This is quickly becoming my favorite weekly meme. I like the accountability that comes with linking up each week. I don't want my posts to repeat themselves, so it gives me that little push I need at times to get to work and get things done!

That being said, I am still working right along on Emma's sweater. I was hoping to either have it finished by now, or being a little closer to the neckline, but I am a few rows farther along than I was last week, so some accomplishment was made! I'm happy with that!


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I am wanting to have it completely finished by her birthday, which is March 16, so I think I will be safe in saying that it should definitely be wrapped way before then!

I did, however, finish The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. To say I really enjoyed it would be an understatement. It was wonderful and exactly what the title states - bitter and sweet! Highly recommend it! I am now reading The Weird Sisters. So far it is holding my interest, so we shall see!

Want to see what others are knitting/reading? Then head on over to Small Things and check them out!


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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Lesson on Faith from my Four-Year Old Daughter

"And Jesus, please give me a baby sister. I love you! Amen."

That was her prayer on a nightly basis. Before I was ever pregnant with our third blessing. She had been asking myself, as well as my husband, for a baby sister for many, many, months. Her prayers always ended this way. And my prayers were no different.

When the day came that I found out I would be expecting another bundle of joy, she was so excited to find out that mama was having a baby. {she was actually the first person I told...even before my husband!}

"I'm going to have a baby sister!"  she started to say.

We kept explaining to her that Jesus decided whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. Mommy and Daddy had no control over it.

"It's ok. I know it's a girl because I asked Jesus for a baby sister"

The ultrasound appointment was scheduled and I asked her if she wanted to go and see the baby on the "big tv". Her excitement grew as I began to explain what she would see on that tv.

"You'll get to see the baby's hands and feet, eyes and nose and mouth, as well as the little heart beating on the screen."

"Will we get to take the baby home?"

"No, honey. The baby has to stay in mommy's tummy to grow and get big and strong and healthy. Then in a few more months the baby will come and join our family!"

As the day got closer to my appointment, I kept reminding her that the baby just might be a boy and not a girl. And that we are going to be happy either way and pray for a healthy, happy, baby. {i, of course, didn't care either way what the baby's gender was. as long as the baby was healthy!} I explained that the baby's health was more imporant that anything else.

"Yes, mama! But I just know that I am going to have a baby sister!"

Her faith was ever so strong and I sat, worried, that her little heart might be broken on that day!

Where was my faith?

The morning of my appointment I was awoken by her excitement! She crawled into bed next to me, asking me if I was ready to see the baby! I was so ready! So excited to get to see my newest blessing! I couldn't tell if she was just as excited or more than I was!

Ultrasounds always amaze me - and this one was no different. Seeing the curve of the bones in the spine as well as the ones that make up the arms and legs. Watching the heart beat on the screen. I've gotten teary-eyed with each and every ultrasound I have ever had.

The tech was informed the moment we walked into the room that Emma was here to see her baby sister! All along I kept thinking and whispering prayers that she wouldn't be too heartbroken if she wound up seeing pictures of her baby brother.

After the tech checked the anatomy of the baby, making sure everything looked just as it should, {which,thankfully, it did}, she gave the news each of us had been waiting for!

Emma's many, many, months of prayers had been answered!

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We left the doctors office and headed out for the rest of the day, just her and I! She picked out an outift, the first of many, I'm sure, for her baby sister!

And as we headed home after our wonderful time spent out together, I heard the sweetest sound coming from the back seat, "thank you Jesus for my baby sister!".

Her faith in Jesus, whom she loves so much, had won that day! She had known all along. She asked, in faith, and received, in faith!

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7

How much I can learn from my sweet, little, daughter!

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1000 Gifts of Joy!
February 20 - February 26
2012
{#106-#126}
#106 Laundry - having clothes to wash
#107 Falling asleep cuddled next to my kids
#108 Surviving temper tantrums
#109 Stuffed peppers for dinner
#110 A fully stocked fridge
#111 Prayers answered
#112 A healthy ultrasound
#113 Another baby girl
#114 Mommy - daughter days
#115 The zoo
#116 The beauty of different animals
#117 Smiles
#118 Faith of a child
#119 Cousins playing
#120 Fish Fry
#121 Surprise snowfall
#122 Afternoon naps
#123 A night chatting with a friend
#124 A great book to get me out of a reading rut
#125 Going to church as a family
#126 Spaghetti

 
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We live by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Choose Virtues {virtue clue cards review and giveaway!}


Today I bring you another fun review/giveaway from We Choose Virtues! I have really enjoyed getting to know the products provided by this company and I am sure you will be pleased as well.

Their main goal is to Inspire Character that Lasts. We Choose Virtues does this in such a fun and colorful way, making it easy for kids of all ages to remember each important character trait.

I was pleased to receive the Virtue Clue Cards. Compact cards in their own carrying case. Easy to slip into my purse to practice character no matter where we are.

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On the one side of each card is a fun and colorful cartoon character representing a specific trait. It includes the trait being discussed as well as the definition of that trait and how it is used, or applied, in our day-to-day lives.

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On the opposite side of each card is a challenge. A way to apply the discussed virtue from the front of the card throughout the day.

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The kids and I have turned it into a game. I read the challenge or clue from the back of the card and they have to guess which virtue it is. This is obviously a game for older children, Caleb doesn't usually participate, but Emma has a fun time trying to figure out the Virtue from the "clues".

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I appreciate the mission behind We Choose Virtues and am proud to be a fan of their products!

As always, you can hop on over to their site and check out all the wonderful products available to help aid in the teaching of good character traits to your children. If you happen to find something you like, you can enter either VIRTUE15 for 15% off your order or SHIPFREE for free shipping. {one code per order!} And, as an added bonus, March is Homeschool Appreciation Month at We Choose Virtues! Enter code HOMESCHOOL25 to receive 25% off their Homeschool Kits!

And now for the giveaway! We Choose Virtues would like to offer one of you, my readers, the chance to win a pack of Virtue Clue Cards for yourself!

To Enter:

**Giveaway now closed! The winner was Kala! Thanks to all who entered!**

** Please leave a comment below stating you would like to win, with a valid email address so I may contact you if you were to win!
**For an extra entry, go and "like" We Choose Virtues on Facebook and come back telling me you did so!
Giveaway ends Wednesday, February 29! Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced on Thursday, March 1!

Thank you to the wonderful staff at We Choose Virtues for sending the Virtue Clue Cards our way to review. We have really enjoyed using them and find them to be a truly, useful, source!

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 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. ~ Romans 1:16

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Birthday Gifts

When thinking of what to give as birthday gifts for family and friends, I always like to at least try and make one gift homemade. I like receiving homemade gifts which is why I like giving them as well.

We had a very special little girls first birthday party last weekend, so it was important to me to make her something really fun! Here is what I came up with...

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I found the idea for the little wooden peg people on Pinterest. When I saw them, I knew immediately that I had to make them for someone. This little girl seemed like the perfect fit! I painted six different wooden pegs a color of the rainbow and matched a little wooden bowl to their color. I made it into a matching game for the cute little one year old. I had such a fun time painting these little dolls that with the two I had as extras, well I couldn't resist making something fun for my little kiddos!

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For Emma, a princess equipped with her own castle and Caleb, well I found this little green alien just too cute! He even flies around the room in his silvery spaceship!

The fabric bucket that I used to place her gifts in was made from this fabulous tutorial. I filled the little bucket with some books, the peg dolls matching color game, and a cute rag doll. The handles are just long enough for her little hands to grasp and carry around with her, placing any treasures she may find inside!

The bucket was so easy to make that I couldn't stop at just one! I ended up making one for myself!

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I decided to make mine a little taller, instead of long and wide like the tutorial suggests. It is the perfect knitting bag. I also use it to tote my book and/or kindle in as well. I like having a fabric tote to carry my current knitting and book in wherever I go!

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Emma is also getting a little bucket for her birthday and I am sure somewhere down the line Caleb will end up with one as well!

Do you enjoy making/receiving homemade gifts?


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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along {1}

When I read this post last week on Lydia's blog, well let's just say it surprised me that it has taken me this long to find a link-up centered around books and knitting - two of my favorite things!


~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny from Small Things

I have been working on a sweet, little, sweater vest for Emma. It is in her favorite color, purple. Such a lovely pattern to work with and it's coming together rather quickly. The pattern is from Pickles and the yarn is Knitpicks Comfy Bulky in Lilac! If we find out {today actually!} that the baby is a girl, well I will be casting on for a matching one as soon as I bind off on this one!

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I've been reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I am a little over half-way through it and enjoying it a whole lot. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I think this is one you may enjoy reading as well!

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What a great day! Two of my favorite hobbies all in one little post! Now if I can only figure out a way to enjoy them at the same time!**

What have you been knitting/crocheting/reading lately?

**I tried audiobooks, but, sadly, it just isn't my thing!

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Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things! ~ Joel 2:21

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Beauty in my Days

God's love for me-for my family-is all around me. It is what makes up the beautiful in my everyday! For only God can give me exactly what I need, when I least expect it. He takes the smallest of things-of situations-and makes them beautiful!

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I especially see it when I am at my lowest low on the roughest of days! His love shines through in the most unique ways. He is always there, but the ways He shows up reminding me of that fact is simply amazing! Amazing how He has never given up on us-on me-the sinners! He came and died for us!

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He gives and gives, expecting nothing in return! There is no greater love! No deeper love, than the love of Jesus Christ! And His love surrounds me! It is everywhere I look!

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It is in the arms of His love that I find the most beautiful of moments. And then I realize how much I am loved! It's a beautiful thing!

Linking up with Just Write!

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So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Power in Words

"I'm the worstest daughter in the whole world!" she says from the backseat, tears streaming down her face, as we drive home from the party. Hearing those words hit me hard. They are words I never expected to hear. Words I never expected her to even think.

I swallowed hard and held back the warm tears that were filling my eyes. "You are the best daughter in the whole world. You are funny and smart and a wonderful big sister. All you need to learn to do is listen to me. That's it!"

"But mommy, that is so hard. And now you don't love me anymore!" How do I continue to discipline and teach her when I hear words like that!?

"Emma, I could never stop loving you. Nothing you could ever do would make me not love you! You are my daughter and mommy loves you very much." was my reply as I struggled, even harder, to hold back the tears that were now working their way down my cheeks.

Sometimes I wonder if I was cut out for the job of being a mother. Sure, the playing and laughing and storytelling are great. It is the disciplining that is the hardest. It is the disciplining that I struggle with the most. However, it is the disciplining that is the most important.

I am instructed to love my children. To nurture my children. To teach my children.  And to also discipline my children. It is all part of the job description.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24       

But it pains me when they do not listen. When I need to repeat myself over and over again to not do something. When I then have to discipline them by taking something away from them, or placing them in a corner. Seeing those tears fall and hearing the "Mama, I'm sorry!" over and over again, it breaks my heart. But I know it is right and I know it is what needs to be done.I do not expect perfection, for there is noone here on earth who is perfect, but I do, however, expect respect!

We had a rough day yesterday, which brought all this on. But at the end of the day, when I sat down to type this out, I looked over and saw the face of an angel, sound asleep on the couch. I thought to myself how so very blessed I am to be her mama. And in that moment, God brought it to my attention how much my disrespect pains Him. The very same way Emma's disrespect pains me. And how, just like I have said before, and how I told Emma that same afternoon, there is nothing that I could ever do that would make Him stop loving me. Ever! I believe a mother's love for her children is the closest representation of Jesus' love! It is so hard to fathom how a sinless Man could love someone so full of sin. But He does! And if that very same Man can forgive me without giving it a second thought, who better am I that I cannot do the same with my children? With my husband?

As we teach our children, I believe they are also teaching us! And I love how in those moments, God always shows up and brings to our attention exactly what we need to see or hear!

I kissed her forehead goodnight as I layed her in her bed and whispered a gentle reminder that I had forgiven her and that I still loved her more than ever! This mothering stuff is hard, but I couldn't picture myself doing anything else. I know how blessed I am!

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1000 Gifts of Joy!
February 6 ~ February 19, 2012
{#51-#105}

#51 A fresh, new week
#52 Encouragement from friends
#53 Homemade burritos
#54 Watching Emma and Caleb learn together
#55 Chubby baby-almost big boy-hands
#56 Library fun
#57 Another warm, sunny day in February
#58 Laughing with my husband
#59 This C.S. Lewis Quote:
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
#60 Waking up to snow falling
#61 Hearing the baby's heartbeat
#62 Conversations with Emma
#63 A yummy, new recipe
#64 Little boy hugs
#65 Hearing "I love you" from Emma all day
#66 Getting bit by the crafty bug!
#67 Great dinner conversations
#68 Homemade Pierogies
#69 Watching movies with my mom
#70 My dad-the greatest grandpa
#71 Birthday parties
#72 Conversations with my husband on long car rides home
#73 Driving in the snow
#74 Spending the day with a great friend
#75 A knitting festival
#76 Soft alpaca
#77 A new project
#78 The protection from God above
#79 Lasagna
#80 Lunch at Olive Garden
#81 Some time to myself to read....at the library!
#82 A husband who loves me selflessly everyday of the year
#83 God's provisions
#84 Another day to be their mama
#85 A new book for the little man and seeing his excitement over it
#86 A great deal on a book for the big guys b-day
#87 Reading to my kids
#88 A new gadget
#89 Seeing a knitting project come to life
#90 Another bright and sunny day
#91 Dusting off the sewing machine
#92 Fabric buckets
#93 Painting with my kids
#94 Finding a fun, new craft
#95 Rainboots on my children's feet
#96 York Peppermint Patty Coffee Creamer!
#97 A glimpse of summer in the foods we eat
#98 Flowers blooming on my windowsill
#99 Continually laughing with my husband
#100 The kind hearts that make up my church
#101 Birthday celebrations
#102 Chatting with friends I haven't seen in far too long
#103 Being called "mama"
#104 Forgiveness
#105 Emma and all that I have learned and am learning through her!

also linking up at The Better Mom

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Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Love of Knitting

{a re-post from the archives of my excitement over attending my first knitting festival last year! I am heading there again this weekend with my lovely friend Teresa and am just as excited, if not more than, I was last year!!}

Handmade items mean the world to me. When someone gifts me something that I know they put time and love into, making it themselves, I cherish it forever. I personally believe that nothing says you care about or love a person more than making them something. Anyone can go to the store and buy something. But, putting the time and effort into creating something...wow!

I was always curious about learning to knit. Seeing someone sit and use their hands to weave together beautiful pieces always put me in awe and inspired me.


I did research about yarn, needles, and techniques. Like any new trade, it is a learning process from beginning to end. I wanted to learn everything I could about knitting.  I was soaking it all up and enjoying every second of it. My research and hard work finally paid off and I eventually learned and became a knitter!

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My love continued to grow the more I leanerd. I looked for local yarn shops so I could see and touch the different fibers and textures. Talk about a knitters dream. Walking into a shop dedicated strictly to selling yarn. *swoon* I could literally spend hours just looking and dreaming about what each strand could become. All the colors becoming beautifully intertwined. Talking to the sales ladies about projects and soaking in some of their years of wisdom. {little independent yarn shops are great for that!} And I have yet to meet a knitter who doesn't love to talk about knitting-who doesn't share that same passion and love for the craft.

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Sounds great, right? A little, cozy, yarn shop. Nothing could be better.

But, it does get better. Take that little shop full of yarn and triple it's size. What do you end up with?

A festival!

Not just a store dedicated to the love of knitting, but a whole festival! There will be yarn and needles. Patterns and people providing inspiration and wisdom. Did I mention there would be yarn? All kinds of yarn, from one square foot to the other! *insert angelic harmony*

That is where you will find me this weekend. My lovely friend Teresa and I are spending the day being inspired. Dreaming and creating in our minds what we see and touch with our hands.


She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. ~ Proverbs 31:13 {the message}

Stay tuned for a lovely little post that I am sure is to come from this day...

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"I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love." ~ Colossians 2:2

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A letter for her {future} husband

To Her {future} Husband,

You have fallen in love with our little girl.
And we can see why. She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
So much like her daddy, at the brink of turning five. A daddy's girl no doubt!
Rough and tumbling - loves to wrestle and jump and climb. The perfect match of a sister for her little brother Caleb.
Her personality and humor are contagious. She turns any frown into a smile. A warmth about her that everyone loves. She makes friends so easily, making them feel so comfortable in her presence.
And, boy oh boy, does she love Jesus. Talks to him all the time. Warms her mamas heart! I pray you are talking to him as well and that Jesus is a big part of your life right now!
For my prayer - a prayer I have said over and over and over again since I held her in my arms for the very first time - is that she would first and foremost love Jesus first and find a husband that loves Jesus more than her!
I am praying for you already. Praying for your parents, too, that they are doing their very best, just like we are, to raise you to be a godly man that loves and serves Christ.
I pray you remain pure and faithful - saving yourself for our daughter! For I am also praying the same for her!
This is such a hard letter to write and think about at such an early age, but I also know it is an important letter to write and think about. For my little girl is growing at a rate faster than I like. And one day she is going to meet you, face-to-face, and fall head over heels in love. And I know on that day when she comes to tell me she met "the one" I will be so happy for her, but at the same time my heart will be breaking. For my little girl will no longer be little. Her daddy will no longer be the only man she will ever hug and kiss. For her heart will belong to someone else. And that is why I want you to know how her mama felt on this day - one month shy of her fifth birthday. Because I know I will wake soon and it will be her graduation from high school day; then college; and soon after her wedding day!
And through all of it, I will be praying, for you!

With love in my heart,
Your {future} Mother-in-Law

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{you can read the letter I wrote to Caleb's future wife here!}

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Safety and Peace

It occurs around the same time everynight. Little feet heard shuffling across the floor making their way to my side of the bed. He quietly pulls himself up and in and snuggles right up next to me. Once he makes himself comfortable, he begins his search. Feeling around for the one thing that has brought him comfort and security since the day he was born. My hand. Once found, he places it over his little hand and begins caressing my fingers until he once again falls into a peaceful slumber.

This is something that I expect-everynight. It is the one thing that I am not yet willing to give up. So much changes as children grow and I like knowing that he still finds peace and comfort and safety in my hands!

And on these nights when he is searching for safety in my hands, I cannot help but think of the many times I have come to the hands and arms of Jesus looking for safety, comfort, and peace!

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Our Master Jesus has his arms wide open for you. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:23

Linking up at:
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Counting it all Joy

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Because sometimes you just need to let your guard down and have some fun!
Heading to the park on the first day of February and finding out we are the only ones there! Slides and swings all to ourselves! What a treat!
Letting them slide on the slides knowing their bottoms are going to get wet, due to the previous nights rain!
Ice cream for lunch? Why not!
Because one day, this is all going to come to an end. This wanting to play endlessly for hours on the swings and slide.
Begging mama to play hide and seek behind the trees and freeze tag!
Finding the clues to solving the most perfect of mysteries!
Telling secrets and laughing so hard, together, as brother and sister!
Being little kids!
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I am determined to keep them little for as long as I can. No rushing through these little years for us! For these blessings of mine are growing up faster than I care to admit. And I am going to be selfish and greedy and wish for time to slow down, knowing that it can't, but still hoping anyway!
I have been given this amazing opportunity to be their mama and I am going to do my best to enjoy as much of it as I can! Counting it all as joy!

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Counting 1000 Gifts of Joy!
January 30 ~ February 5
2012
{#22-#50}

#22 Waking up to a flat tire and thankful I had nowhere to go
#23 A handy husband who knows how to change said flat
#24 Cucumber Salad
#25 Watching my kids follow daddy everywhere the second he walks in the door after work
#26 60 degree weather on the last day of January
#27 Sunglasses on...windows down
#28 Whole Foods BBQ Chicken Pizza...Mmm!
#29 A good cup of coffee
#30 Waking up early to sit with Him
#31 The book of Psalms
#32 Spending the day at the park...on the first day of February
#33 Ice cream for lunch
#34 Breakfast for dinner
#35 Red Ruby Grapefruit
#36 Family who is there in an instant when you need them
#37 Yarn and the sound of clicking needles
#38 A friend who loves knitting...more than I do!
#39 A night to knit with said friend
#40 That same friends willingness to help when I discover a new stitch
#41 Breakfast with my mama
#42 A day out with my mama
#43 Finding a great deal on a book I have been wanting {$1.00}
#44 Bedtime stories and snuggles
#45 Spending the day with my sister
#46 Watching Emma make friends
#47 Shamrock Shakes
#48 A Sunny Sunday
#49 Worshipping in Church
#50 Knitting on a lazy Sunday afternoon

also linking up at The Better Mom

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~ Colossians 2:6-7

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn Along {2}


hosted by Ginny at Small Things

This is quickly becoming my favorite weekly meme. I like the accountability that comes with linking up each week. I don't want my posts to repeat themselves, so it gives me that little push I need at times to get to work and get things done!

That being said, I am still working right along on Emma's sweater. I was hoping to either have it finished by now, or being a little closer to the neckline, but I am a few rows farther along than I was last week, so some accomplishment was made! I'm happy with that!


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I am wanting to have it completely finished by her birthday, which is March 16, so I think I will be safe in saying that it should definitely be wrapped way before then!

I did, however, finish The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. To say I really enjoyed it would be an understatement. It was wonderful and exactly what the title states - bitter and sweet! Highly recommend it! I am now reading The Weird Sisters. So far it is holding my interest, so we shall see!

Want to see what others are knitting/reading? Then head on over to Small Things and check them out!


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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Lesson on Faith from my Four-Year Old Daughter

"And Jesus, please give me a baby sister. I love you! Amen."

That was her prayer on a nightly basis. Before I was ever pregnant with our third blessing. She had been asking myself, as well as my husband, for a baby sister for many, many, months. Her prayers always ended this way. And my prayers were no different.

When the day came that I found out I would be expecting another bundle of joy, she was so excited to find out that mama was having a baby. {she was actually the first person I told...even before my husband!}

"I'm going to have a baby sister!"  she started to say.

We kept explaining to her that Jesus decided whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. Mommy and Daddy had no control over it.

"It's ok. I know it's a girl because I asked Jesus for a baby sister"

The ultrasound appointment was scheduled and I asked her if she wanted to go and see the baby on the "big tv". Her excitement grew as I began to explain what she would see on that tv.

"You'll get to see the baby's hands and feet, eyes and nose and mouth, as well as the little heart beating on the screen."

"Will we get to take the baby home?"

"No, honey. The baby has to stay in mommy's tummy to grow and get big and strong and healthy. Then in a few more months the baby will come and join our family!"

As the day got closer to my appointment, I kept reminding her that the baby just might be a boy and not a girl. And that we are going to be happy either way and pray for a healthy, happy, baby. {i, of course, didn't care either way what the baby's gender was. as long as the baby was healthy!} I explained that the baby's health was more imporant that anything else.

"Yes, mama! But I just know that I am going to have a baby sister!"

Her faith was ever so strong and I sat, worried, that her little heart might be broken on that day!

Where was my faith?

The morning of my appointment I was awoken by her excitement! She crawled into bed next to me, asking me if I was ready to see the baby! I was so ready! So excited to get to see my newest blessing! I couldn't tell if she was just as excited or more than I was!

Ultrasounds always amaze me - and this one was no different. Seeing the curve of the bones in the spine as well as the ones that make up the arms and legs. Watching the heart beat on the screen. I've gotten teary-eyed with each and every ultrasound I have ever had.

The tech was informed the moment we walked into the room that Emma was here to see her baby sister! All along I kept thinking and whispering prayers that she wouldn't be too heartbroken if she wound up seeing pictures of her baby brother.

After the tech checked the anatomy of the baby, making sure everything looked just as it should, {which,thankfully, it did}, she gave the news each of us had been waiting for!

Emma's many, many, months of prayers had been answered!

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We left the doctors office and headed out for the rest of the day, just her and I! She picked out an outift, the first of many, I'm sure, for her baby sister!

And as we headed home after our wonderful time spent out together, I heard the sweetest sound coming from the back seat, "thank you Jesus for my baby sister!".

Her faith in Jesus, whom she loves so much, had won that day! She had known all along. She asked, in faith, and received, in faith!

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7

How much I can learn from my sweet, little, daughter!

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1000 Gifts of Joy!
February 20 - February 26
2012
{#106-#126}
#106 Laundry - having clothes to wash
#107 Falling asleep cuddled next to my kids
#108 Surviving temper tantrums
#109 Stuffed peppers for dinner
#110 A fully stocked fridge
#111 Prayers answered
#112 A healthy ultrasound
#113 Another baby girl
#114 Mommy - daughter days
#115 The zoo
#116 The beauty of different animals
#117 Smiles
#118 Faith of a child
#119 Cousins playing
#120 Fish Fry
#121 Surprise snowfall
#122 Afternoon naps
#123 A night chatting with a friend
#124 A great book to get me out of a reading rut
#125 Going to church as a family
#126 Spaghetti

 
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We live by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Choose Virtues {virtue clue cards review and giveaway!}


Today I bring you another fun review/giveaway from We Choose Virtues! I have really enjoyed getting to know the products provided by this company and I am sure you will be pleased as well.

Their main goal is to Inspire Character that Lasts. We Choose Virtues does this in such a fun and colorful way, making it easy for kids of all ages to remember each important character trait.

I was pleased to receive the Virtue Clue Cards. Compact cards in their own carrying case. Easy to slip into my purse to practice character no matter where we are.

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On the one side of each card is a fun and colorful cartoon character representing a specific trait. It includes the trait being discussed as well as the definition of that trait and how it is used, or applied, in our day-to-day lives.

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On the opposite side of each card is a challenge. A way to apply the discussed virtue from the front of the card throughout the day.

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The kids and I have turned it into a game. I read the challenge or clue from the back of the card and they have to guess which virtue it is. This is obviously a game for older children, Caleb doesn't usually participate, but Emma has a fun time trying to figure out the Virtue from the "clues".

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I appreciate the mission behind We Choose Virtues and am proud to be a fan of their products!

As always, you can hop on over to their site and check out all the wonderful products available to help aid in the teaching of good character traits to your children. If you happen to find something you like, you can enter either VIRTUE15 for 15% off your order or SHIPFREE for free shipping. {one code per order!} And, as an added bonus, March is Homeschool Appreciation Month at We Choose Virtues! Enter code HOMESCHOOL25 to receive 25% off their Homeschool Kits!

And now for the giveaway! We Choose Virtues would like to offer one of you, my readers, the chance to win a pack of Virtue Clue Cards for yourself!

To Enter:

**Giveaway now closed! The winner was Kala! Thanks to all who entered!**

** Please leave a comment below stating you would like to win, with a valid email address so I may contact you if you were to win!
**For an extra entry, go and "like" We Choose Virtues on Facebook and come back telling me you did so!
Giveaway ends Wednesday, February 29! Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced on Thursday, March 1!

Thank you to the wonderful staff at We Choose Virtues for sending the Virtue Clue Cards our way to review. We have really enjoyed using them and find them to be a truly, useful, source!

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 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. ~ Romans 1:16

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Birthday Gifts

When thinking of what to give as birthday gifts for family and friends, I always like to at least try and make one gift homemade. I like receiving homemade gifts which is why I like giving them as well.

We had a very special little girls first birthday party last weekend, so it was important to me to make her something really fun! Here is what I came up with...

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I found the idea for the little wooden peg people on Pinterest. When I saw them, I knew immediately that I had to make them for someone. This little girl seemed like the perfect fit! I painted six different wooden pegs a color of the rainbow and matched a little wooden bowl to their color. I made it into a matching game for the cute little one year old. I had such a fun time painting these little dolls that with the two I had as extras, well I couldn't resist making something fun for my little kiddos!

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For Emma, a princess equipped with her own castle and Caleb, well I found this little green alien just too cute! He even flies around the room in his silvery spaceship!

The fabric bucket that I used to place her gifts in was made from this fabulous tutorial. I filled the little bucket with some books, the peg dolls matching color game, and a cute rag doll. The handles are just long enough for her little hands to grasp and carry around with her, placing any treasures she may find inside!

The bucket was so easy to make that I couldn't stop at just one! I ended up making one for myself!

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I decided to make mine a little taller, instead of long and wide like the tutorial suggests. It is the perfect knitting bag. I also use it to tote my book and/or kindle in as well. I like having a fabric tote to carry my current knitting and book in wherever I go!

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Emma is also getting a little bucket for her birthday and I am sure somewhere down the line Caleb will end up with one as well!

Do you enjoy making/receiving homemade gifts?


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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along {1}

When I read this post last week on Lydia's blog, well let's just say it surprised me that it has taken me this long to find a link-up centered around books and knitting - two of my favorite things!


~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny from Small Things

I have been working on a sweet, little, sweater vest for Emma. It is in her favorite color, purple. Such a lovely pattern to work with and it's coming together rather quickly. The pattern is from Pickles and the yarn is Knitpicks Comfy Bulky in Lilac! If we find out {today actually!} that the baby is a girl, well I will be casting on for a matching one as soon as I bind off on this one!

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I've been reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I am a little over half-way through it and enjoying it a whole lot. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I think this is one you may enjoy reading as well!

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What a great day! Two of my favorite hobbies all in one little post! Now if I can only figure out a way to enjoy them at the same time!**

What have you been knitting/crocheting/reading lately?

**I tried audiobooks, but, sadly, it just isn't my thing!

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Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things! ~ Joel 2:21

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Beauty in my Days

God's love for me-for my family-is all around me. It is what makes up the beautiful in my everyday! For only God can give me exactly what I need, when I least expect it. He takes the smallest of things-of situations-and makes them beautiful!

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I especially see it when I am at my lowest low on the roughest of days! His love shines through in the most unique ways. He is always there, but the ways He shows up reminding me of that fact is simply amazing! Amazing how He has never given up on us-on me-the sinners! He came and died for us!

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He gives and gives, expecting nothing in return! There is no greater love! No deeper love, than the love of Jesus Christ! And His love surrounds me! It is everywhere I look!

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It is in the arms of His love that I find the most beautiful of moments. And then I realize how much I am loved! It's a beautiful thing!

Linking up with Just Write!

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So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Power in Words

"I'm the worstest daughter in the whole world!" she says from the backseat, tears streaming down her face, as we drive home from the party. Hearing those words hit me hard. They are words I never expected to hear. Words I never expected her to even think.

I swallowed hard and held back the warm tears that were filling my eyes. "You are the best daughter in the whole world. You are funny and smart and a wonderful big sister. All you need to learn to do is listen to me. That's it!"

"But mommy, that is so hard. And now you don't love me anymore!" How do I continue to discipline and teach her when I hear words like that!?

"Emma, I could never stop loving you. Nothing you could ever do would make me not love you! You are my daughter and mommy loves you very much." was my reply as I struggled, even harder, to hold back the tears that were now working their way down my cheeks.

Sometimes I wonder if I was cut out for the job of being a mother. Sure, the playing and laughing and storytelling are great. It is the disciplining that is the hardest. It is the disciplining that I struggle with the most. However, it is the disciplining that is the most important.

I am instructed to love my children. To nurture my children. To teach my children.  And to also discipline my children. It is all part of the job description.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24       

But it pains me when they do not listen. When I need to repeat myself over and over again to not do something. When I then have to discipline them by taking something away from them, or placing them in a corner. Seeing those tears fall and hearing the "Mama, I'm sorry!" over and over again, it breaks my heart. But I know it is right and I know it is what needs to be done.I do not expect perfection, for there is noone here on earth who is perfect, but I do, however, expect respect!

We had a rough day yesterday, which brought all this on. But at the end of the day, when I sat down to type this out, I looked over and saw the face of an angel, sound asleep on the couch. I thought to myself how so very blessed I am to be her mama. And in that moment, God brought it to my attention how much my disrespect pains Him. The very same way Emma's disrespect pains me. And how, just like I have said before, and how I told Emma that same afternoon, there is nothing that I could ever do that would make Him stop loving me. Ever! I believe a mother's love for her children is the closest representation of Jesus' love! It is so hard to fathom how a sinless Man could love someone so full of sin. But He does! And if that very same Man can forgive me without giving it a second thought, who better am I that I cannot do the same with my children? With my husband?

As we teach our children, I believe they are also teaching us! And I love how in those moments, God always shows up and brings to our attention exactly what we need to see or hear!

I kissed her forehead goodnight as I layed her in her bed and whispered a gentle reminder that I had forgiven her and that I still loved her more than ever! This mothering stuff is hard, but I couldn't picture myself doing anything else. I know how blessed I am!

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1000 Gifts of Joy!
February 6 ~ February 19, 2012
{#51-#105}

#51 A fresh, new week
#52 Encouragement from friends
#53 Homemade burritos
#54 Watching Emma and Caleb learn together
#55 Chubby baby-almost big boy-hands
#56 Library fun
#57 Another warm, sunny day in February
#58 Laughing with my husband
#59 This C.S. Lewis Quote:
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
#60 Waking up to snow falling
#61 Hearing the baby's heartbeat
#62 Conversations with Emma
#63 A yummy, new recipe
#64 Little boy hugs
#65 Hearing "I love you" from Emma all day
#66 Getting bit by the crafty bug!
#67 Great dinner conversations
#68 Homemade Pierogies
#69 Watching movies with my mom
#70 My dad-the greatest grandpa
#71 Birthday parties
#72 Conversations with my husband on long car rides home
#73 Driving in the snow
#74 Spending the day with a great friend
#75 A knitting festival
#76 Soft alpaca
#77 A new project
#78 The protection from God above
#79 Lasagna
#80 Lunch at Olive Garden
#81 Some time to myself to read....at the library!
#82 A husband who loves me selflessly everyday of the year
#83 God's provisions
#84 Another day to be their mama
#85 A new book for the little man and seeing his excitement over it
#86 A great deal on a book for the big guys b-day
#87 Reading to my kids
#88 A new gadget
#89 Seeing a knitting project come to life
#90 Another bright and sunny day
#91 Dusting off the sewing machine
#92 Fabric buckets
#93 Painting with my kids
#94 Finding a fun, new craft
#95 Rainboots on my children's feet
#96 York Peppermint Patty Coffee Creamer!
#97 A glimpse of summer in the foods we eat
#98 Flowers blooming on my windowsill
#99 Continually laughing with my husband
#100 The kind hearts that make up my church
#101 Birthday celebrations
#102 Chatting with friends I haven't seen in far too long
#103 Being called "mama"
#104 Forgiveness
#105 Emma and all that I have learned and am learning through her!

also linking up at The Better Mom

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Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Love of Knitting

{a re-post from the archives of my excitement over attending my first knitting festival last year! I am heading there again this weekend with my lovely friend Teresa and am just as excited, if not more than, I was last year!!}

Handmade items mean the world to me. When someone gifts me something that I know they put time and love into, making it themselves, I cherish it forever. I personally believe that nothing says you care about or love a person more than making them something. Anyone can go to the store and buy something. But, putting the time and effort into creating something...wow!

I was always curious about learning to knit. Seeing someone sit and use their hands to weave together beautiful pieces always put me in awe and inspired me.


I did research about yarn, needles, and techniques. Like any new trade, it is a learning process from beginning to end. I wanted to learn everything I could about knitting.  I was soaking it all up and enjoying every second of it. My research and hard work finally paid off and I eventually learned and became a knitter!

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My love continued to grow the more I leanerd. I looked for local yarn shops so I could see and touch the different fibers and textures. Talk about a knitters dream. Walking into a shop dedicated strictly to selling yarn. *swoon* I could literally spend hours just looking and dreaming about what each strand could become. All the colors becoming beautifully intertwined. Talking to the sales ladies about projects and soaking in some of their years of wisdom. {little independent yarn shops are great for that!} And I have yet to meet a knitter who doesn't love to talk about knitting-who doesn't share that same passion and love for the craft.

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Sounds great, right? A little, cozy, yarn shop. Nothing could be better.

But, it does get better. Take that little shop full of yarn and triple it's size. What do you end up with?

A festival!

Not just a store dedicated to the love of knitting, but a whole festival! There will be yarn and needles. Patterns and people providing inspiration and wisdom. Did I mention there would be yarn? All kinds of yarn, from one square foot to the other! *insert angelic harmony*

That is where you will find me this weekend. My lovely friend Teresa and I are spending the day being inspired. Dreaming and creating in our minds what we see and touch with our hands.


She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. ~ Proverbs 31:13 {the message}

Stay tuned for a lovely little post that I am sure is to come from this day...

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"I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love." ~ Colossians 2:2

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A letter for her {future} husband

To Her {future} Husband,

You have fallen in love with our little girl.
And we can see why. She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
So much like her daddy, at the brink of turning five. A daddy's girl no doubt!
Rough and tumbling - loves to wrestle and jump and climb. The perfect match of a sister for her little brother Caleb.
Her personality and humor are contagious. She turns any frown into a smile. A warmth about her that everyone loves. She makes friends so easily, making them feel so comfortable in her presence.
And, boy oh boy, does she love Jesus. Talks to him all the time. Warms her mamas heart! I pray you are talking to him as well and that Jesus is a big part of your life right now!
For my prayer - a prayer I have said over and over and over again since I held her in my arms for the very first time - is that she would first and foremost love Jesus first and find a husband that loves Jesus more than her!
I am praying for you already. Praying for your parents, too, that they are doing their very best, just like we are, to raise you to be a godly man that loves and serves Christ.
I pray you remain pure and faithful - saving yourself for our daughter! For I am also praying the same for her!
This is such a hard letter to write and think about at such an early age, but I also know it is an important letter to write and think about. For my little girl is growing at a rate faster than I like. And one day she is going to meet you, face-to-face, and fall head over heels in love. And I know on that day when she comes to tell me she met "the one" I will be so happy for her, but at the same time my heart will be breaking. For my little girl will no longer be little. Her daddy will no longer be the only man she will ever hug and kiss. For her heart will belong to someone else. And that is why I want you to know how her mama felt on this day - one month shy of her fifth birthday. Because I know I will wake soon and it will be her graduation from high school day; then college; and soon after her wedding day!
And through all of it, I will be praying, for you!

With love in my heart,
Your {future} Mother-in-Law

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{you can read the letter I wrote to Caleb's future wife here!}

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Safety and Peace

It occurs around the same time everynight. Little feet heard shuffling across the floor making their way to my side of the bed. He quietly pulls himself up and in and snuggles right up next to me. Once he makes himself comfortable, he begins his search. Feeling around for the one thing that has brought him comfort and security since the day he was born. My hand. Once found, he places it over his little hand and begins caressing my fingers until he once again falls into a peaceful slumber.

This is something that I expect-everynight. It is the one thing that I am not yet willing to give up. So much changes as children grow and I like knowing that he still finds peace and comfort and safety in my hands!

And on these nights when he is searching for safety in my hands, I cannot help but think of the many times I have come to the hands and arms of Jesus looking for safety, comfort, and peace!

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Our Master Jesus has his arms wide open for you. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:23

Linking up at:
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Counting it all Joy

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Because sometimes you just need to let your guard down and have some fun!
Heading to the park on the first day of February and finding out we are the only ones there! Slides and swings all to ourselves! What a treat!
Letting them slide on the slides knowing their bottoms are going to get wet, due to the previous nights rain!
Ice cream for lunch? Why not!
Because one day, this is all going to come to an end. This wanting to play endlessly for hours on the swings and slide.
Begging mama to play hide and seek behind the trees and freeze tag!
Finding the clues to solving the most perfect of mysteries!
Telling secrets and laughing so hard, together, as brother and sister!
Being little kids!
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I am determined to keep them little for as long as I can. No rushing through these little years for us! For these blessings of mine are growing up faster than I care to admit. And I am going to be selfish and greedy and wish for time to slow down, knowing that it can't, but still hoping anyway!
I have been given this amazing opportunity to be their mama and I am going to do my best to enjoy as much of it as I can! Counting it all as joy!

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Counting 1000 Gifts of Joy!
January 30 ~ February 5
2012
{#22-#50}

#22 Waking up to a flat tire and thankful I had nowhere to go
#23 A handy husband who knows how to change said flat
#24 Cucumber Salad
#25 Watching my kids follow daddy everywhere the second he walks in the door after work
#26 60 degree weather on the last day of January
#27 Sunglasses on...windows down
#28 Whole Foods BBQ Chicken Pizza...Mmm!
#29 A good cup of coffee
#30 Waking up early to sit with Him
#31 The book of Psalms
#32 Spending the day at the park...on the first day of February
#33 Ice cream for lunch
#34 Breakfast for dinner
#35 Red Ruby Grapefruit
#36 Family who is there in an instant when you need them
#37 Yarn and the sound of clicking needles
#38 A friend who loves knitting...more than I do!
#39 A night to knit with said friend
#40 That same friends willingness to help when I discover a new stitch
#41 Breakfast with my mama
#42 A day out with my mama
#43 Finding a great deal on a book I have been wanting {$1.00}
#44 Bedtime stories and snuggles
#45 Spending the day with my sister
#46 Watching Emma make friends
#47 Shamrock Shakes
#48 A Sunny Sunday
#49 Worshipping in Church
#50 Knitting on a lazy Sunday afternoon

also linking up at The Better Mom

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~ Colossians 2:6-7
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