Thursday, June 28, 2012

With Needle & Thread

I decided a few weeks ago to dust off the sewing machine and get to work on finishing Emma's Quilt that I started, oh, over a year ago! I was determined to get it done this time and not stop until it was indeed finished. Over the course of 2 nights and the help of my wonderful mother-in-law, Emma has been cuddling with it every night for over a week!

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{my sewing buddy!}

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The reason it took me so long to finish was the fact that I lost my motivation and gave up! My sewing machine could not handle the thickness of all the fabrics and I kept making many, many, mistakes. So, I tucked it away...thinking I would never finish it! This is a quality of mine that I do not like...at all. I give up way too easily! Thankfully, I was reminded by a sweet friend that the qualities I want my children to posses are qualities I need to also have myself. I do not want my children to give up so easily when situations get tough. I want them to persevere and figure it out!

All this led me to asking my mother-in-law if I could use her fancy-smancy sewing machine and getting this quilt sewn once and for all. And I am so glad I did! Emma loves it and it helped me get my motivation back to sew again!

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It's amazing how successfully finishing one project fuels oneself to take on and tackle some more! In the week since finishing the quilt, I also made Emma a dress for the 4th of July as well as Caleb a little bow-tie t-shirt.

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The dress is a Simplicity pattern that I picked up at Joann's when they were on sale for $1.99! LOVE when they have their pattern sales! The little tie was made by simply cutting out a tie from my chosen fabric, adding fusible interfacing to the back, and then ironing it on and stitching around the outsides. Simple and oh so cute!

Next up in the sewing que are the Cute-as-a-Button Booties and Quick-Change Trousers from the book Handmade Beginnings. I have seen the Trousers featured on many, many, blogs and have been wanting to make a pair ever since! And the fabirc I chose I think will be perfect! I plan on making the trousers and booties in the same fabric and if I have any left over, I am hoping to also make this little dress out of the same fabric!

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Oh so cute for a baby girl! Plus, the nice thing about the trousers are they are a bit bigger in the bum area...perfect for a clothed tushie! I'm sure I will be making more than one pair for the littlest of my girls!

Now, I know that it is a lot easier to just go to the store and buy dresses, shirts, booties, and pants for my children, but what fun is that? I love creating things for them...mama handmade! Items that will be kept and treasured to be worn on their own children someday...grandma handmade! Hey, I may even attempt another quilt here real soon!

What have you been creating lately?

 
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 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. ~ Matthew 11:29-30

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along {13}

I apologize for my un-excused absence the past week or so. Summer is here...and we have been out enjoying it pretty much every day. Long days at grandma's pool have meant early nights...for all of us. With Baby Girl's arrival only 3 weeks and 4 days away :), I am doing my best to get as much checked off our Summer Bucket List as possible. I have a feeling things might slow down just a bit when she arrives. {i'll save the update for all that we have checked off for another post!}

Although I haven't made much time for blogging, I have, however, been knitting in my "spare" time! Actually, it is extremely easy to sit and knit while sitting poolside. And very relaxing too!

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I finished the Watermelon Dress for the baby. Now she has a complete matching set, booties, hat, and dress! I cannot wait to see her in it all!

Still working on the Chevron Baby Blanket! Such a wonderfully, easy, pattern! I think I may knit one up in a larger size for myself. The yarn is so soft and comfy...would make the perfect cold, weather, blanket, to snuggle up in!

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I have been reading Into the Wilderness! This has been on my shelf for far too long and I, for some reason, kept putting it off. I think the length of the book {912 pgs} might have frightened me a bit. I do wish, though, that I hadn't waited so long to start it. It is proving to be a fantastic read. It may take me the whole summer to get through it, but as long as it stays as interesting as it has, that is fine by me!


Linking up with Ginny!


I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Phil. 4:13

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Learning from Each Other

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"Mama, mama! Look! My boo-boos are all gone!"

I go running out to the porch to see what it is he is excited about. With outstretched hands and feet and the biggest grin on his face, he looks at me and says,

"Jesus made me better!"


I give him a hug and tell him how right he is; that Jesus did heal him because He loves him so much!

He then asks me where Jesus is. The wheels start turning as I sit and try to think of the best way to explain to my 3-year-old son where Jesus lives.

"He lives in your heart."  I say as I pat his little chest.

"Here?"  He asks while pointing to the area of his chest where his heart lays beneath.

"Yes, buddy, that is right. Right there inside your heart. He lives there to protect you and heal you and guide you to always be good. He lives in your heart because your heart means love...and Jesus loves you."

I look into his little face with a grin on mine as I see a quizzical look appear. He doesn't understand and once again I start thinking of how better to explain this. Before I can go on, he says to me,

"But mama, I do not want Jesus to live in my heart. I want Him to live in my tummy!"

I immediately grab him in my arms and hug him ever so tightly, both of us giggling. My son, the one who melts my heart and drives me a bit nutty at the same time.  In this moment, so much joy resonates from within. I love being here for these moments. These teachable moments that happen each and everyday without us sometimes ever realizing. What a rare and beautiful gift!

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After a stressful day, I sat down to read from this book and came across a few quotes that I knew, instantly, were for me to read. Seeing Him work in these ways makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with my Heavenly Father.

When I feel like I have no more to give, when I  feel like I am not giving enough, or when I feel like I just might not be giving it in the right way, I am going to remember these words that I read last night,

"God will take what you have to give and multiply it to spiritually feed your children." ~ Clay Clarkson

Again, a reminder that I am not in this on my own. In my turning to and trusting in Him, all will work out! He will see to it!

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As I teach my children, they, in turn, are teaching me! Sometimes I think I am learning more from them, but through it all, the lessons abound and I am thankful for each teachable moment!


If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:11





Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Allowing Stress to Steal my Joy

He has already smacked, scratched, kicked, and punched his sister, and it is not even noon yet!

Standing up in the backseat for the third time today, still not used to being in his "big boy seat", has me yelling at the top of my lungs! My patience is already gone and I am stressing over the fact that I have had to pull over, once again, to buckle him back up!

Yogurt gets spilled on the living room carpet. Cheese smeared, yes smeared, on the top of their bookcase and I've stepped on one too many little dump trucks to count!

Dark clouds fill the sky this afternoon and I think to myself how fitting it is for how I am feeling today. How can everything go so bad so fast? Our wonderful, relaxing, weekend, of nothing but family fun, has been ruined in the matter of a few hours. And I find myself blaming him. The youngest one of the bunch, for only a few more weeks. I say things like, "terrible threes", and "he is so bad" out of anger and I realize that, even though I am talking to someone else when I say them, he is in earshot and can hear me, his mama, speaking of him this way.

I sit on the couch and try to catch my breath for five minutes, but immediately feel it hit my shoulders, the weight of the stress of it all. The worry and fears that are hidden deep down. How am I going to do this? How am I going to spend enough time growing and bonding with my beautiful daughter, who is already too old for my liking? How am I going to homeschool and tend to a newborn and a toddler? How am I to discipline while being patient and loving? How am I to love and spend the right amount of time with all three of my children?

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Right now it feels like so much of my day is being spent with Caleb. Correcting him, picking up after him, tending to his wants and needs. How this will all change when our little girl arrives. I am already fearing the exhaustion that I hope does not come...or stay...for too long!

But, in moments of complete and utter stress and feeling of failure, when I sit, relax, and allow God to help me, I am reminded of how real and true His words are. How I am so thankful for hiding them in my heart for moments when I need their gentle reminder. I am not to have a spirit of fear. I am not meant to feel that I am doing this all on my own and allow the stress of my day to steal away the joy in it! I have a loving, heavenly, Father, that wants me to come, kneel before Him, and place it all at His feet. He wants to take care of me. He wants to restore the joy that has one too many times been stolen from me. He wants me to enjoy this life the way He intended for me. He wants me to talk to Him, all day, about everything. He wants to be my friend!

I know I am meant to discipline and lead my children to be good stewards of God's word. I know there are going to be times in each one of their lives that they might need me more that the others...but only for a season. And just like I do not want the toxic thoughts to reside in my mind and heart, I also do not want to be the one speaking toxicity to my kids. I want to speak life into them!

So, with the Lords grace, I will show grace to my kids. With His patience, I will be more patient with my kids. Through His forgivesness,  I will forgive. And by His love, I will love...with all that I have and all that I am!

I am truly blessed to be mama to these 2...almost 3...little ones! And I want my actions to reflect that each and everyday!

"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!" ~ John 15:5-7 {emphasis mine}

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love." ~ John 15:9 {emphasis mine}

"I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" ~ John 15:11 {emphasis mine}

"You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name." ~ John 15:14-16 {emphasis mine}

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baby Talk {my list of must-haves}

It can only be expected that I've got baby on the brain! With only 6 weeks and 4 days...not that I am keeping count or anything...until my due date, it is hard to think of anything else! Thankfully, not much has been needed in preparation for this little one! I saved pretty much everything of Emma's, clothing wise, so no need for a whole new wardrobe. However, little girl clothing is so very hard to resist, and all little girls deserve a new outfit every once in awhile, so a few new items have found their way into her closet!

As I have been going through all of the baby items that have been packed away, I made sure to pull out and put aside the items I know are essential...to me at least! The ones that I could not have lived without! Some things you realize, baby after baby, are simply a waste of money! Others are worth their weight in gold!

Here is a small list of items that I feel should be on every new mama's list of must haves!

Boppy Pillow...if you are a breastfeeding mama, this is a wonderful, little, gem. Sure, you could just use a regular pillow, but I have found nothing to work as comfortable as the Boppy when nursing. It allows for me to be hands-free, while sitting, and nurse.

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Bravado Nursing Bras...I have tried my share of uncomfortable nursing bras. Some women refuse to wear them and I actually banned them for a short time as well, until I found Bravado. They are so comfortable and fit so wonderfully...like a regular bra...not like a nursing bra!

Medela Breast Pump...I have not tried anything other than Medela, but have no complaints whatsoever about this pump. A bit pricey, but so worth it!

Swaddle Me...these blankets allowed for me to get many good night sleeps with a newborn. Plus, they reassured me against SIDS. They snuggle around the baby, velcroing on the side, allowing them to feel safe and warm, like they are cuddled in mama's arms! I bought all the sizes available and used them until my baby was able to start kicking their way out! Highly recommend!

Stretchy Baby Wrap...I am a HUGE fan of babywearing! I,unfortunately, didn't get to experience all the joy of babywearing with Emma, but I took full advantage with Caleb and am really looking forward to it with this new babe as well! It grows such a deep bond and allows baby to be close to you at all times...giving you a hands-free advantage. For Newborn babywearing, a stretchy wrap is best!! It is most comfortable until baby reaches about 15-20lbs. You can purchase a stretchy wrap...Moby is a highly recommended brand...or you can make your own, which is what I did!

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Woven Baby Wrap...When your baby gets to be about 20 lbs, you are going to want to advance to a more sturdier wrap. This is where a woven wrap comes in handy! They are a bit more pricey than a stretchy wrap and cannot be made on your own, but are very worth the money. A few brands that I have come to really like are Didymos, Girasol, and Ellevill. You can certainly purchase these full price from a number of reputable retailers online, however, I have found mine at half-off, or more, through a wonderful website called The Babywearer!

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ERGOBaby...We LOVED our Ergo! I didn't discover it's comfort and ease until Caleb was much older, but am thrilled to hear that it can be worn from infancy through toddlerhood. I immediately ordered the infant insert to use with this babe and am hoping to still be able to enjoy it just as much with her!

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Cloth Diapers...Now I know and understand that this is not for everyone...I certainly did not think it was for me...but I enjoyed it, as funny as that may sound, for the short time that I was able to do it with Caleb. Unfortunately, he has extremely sensitive skin and his little bum could not deal with the moisture of a cloth diaper. However, in the short time that I was able to experiment with it, I found a few brands that I really liked! Happy Heinys were wonderful...both as a cover and a All-In-One pocket diaper. Never experienced a leak! Thirsties Covers were also very good at preventing leaks! A company that I just learned about, and had not known existed when I was purchasing diapers for Caleb, is The Little Bee Co. For every diaper purchased, one is donated to an orphan in need. I think I will be making a purchase from them, soon!

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Do you have any "must haves" that you would add to this list?



Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:5

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dive into His Word this Summer

I have to start off by saying how truly amazing God is! He is constantly working and moving in our lives...and we do not even know it at times! I am in constant awe of just how much He loves me and how much He has everything all figured out for me. Things I never knew I needed, He gives me - shows me - and now I do not know how I ever went without!

About a week ago, after dinner one evening, we were sitting outside relaxing while the kids played in the yard. I was browsing the posts in my Twitter feed on my phone when I kept seeing the hashtag #SheReadsTruth popping up. Being the curious one that I am, I clicked on it wondering what it was all about. Through my clicking and reading and clicking some more, I was led to this lovely ladies blog and the reason behind the hashtag!

Immediately I contacted her on Twitter asking her if I could be a part of this fabulous sounding community and read His word along with all of them! One tweet led to another and although I was jumping in on Day 8, I was in and excited about it!

I quickly read and caught up and am now following right along each and everyday. Reading His word. His truth. And slowly being changed!

The study is called Soul Detox. You can find it on the You Version app on your smart phone or read it straight from your computer. The choice is up to you! Once you download the plan and start reading, join in the discussion either on Twitter using the hashtag #SheReadsTruth, on Instagram, using the same hashtag, or now through the wonderful #SheReadsTruth website! I would love to have you join in!
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This study has been just what I have needed! But He knew that! He led me to it...and I am just thankful to have followed!

The study is all about the fear and the negativity we are allowing in our life, stealing from the joy that God has for us! And oh man have I been struggling with fear lately! {see here and here!}

Once this study wraps up, the wonderful ladies behind #SheReadsTruth are planning on picking another study to read, together!

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If the #SheReadsTruth study doesn't suit you, well I have another one that just might! {one I am also looking forward to learning from this summer!}

My beautiful friend, Jessica, from Our Family for His Glory, is going to be Diving into Philippians all summer long! And...she even has some wonderful Famliy Times set up, designed to allow our Children to Dive into His Word with us!



This study through Philippians will take place over 13 weeks...the course of the Summer! She has divided Philippians into 13 sections - 1 section to be read, reviewed, and discussed, each week! Like she stated, we are going to "stay a while and be saturated in the incredible words God has for us there!"
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Will you prayerfully consider joining in on one or the other, or both, of these studies with me? I would love to be reading along in His Word together with you this Summer!!



Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. ~ Matthew 5:9




Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Bucket List

I have seen mention of it a lot lately on Twitter and other blogs about making a Summer Bucket List. What a fun idea! So, I sat down and got to thinking about all the places and things I would like to see and do with my children this summer.

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I pulled out some index cards and allowed the kids to decorate each one with stickers and drawings. {i *might* have decorated a few cards myself!} Then I proceeded to write down on each card one activity that we would like to do before summer's end. Here is what we came up with:

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* Picnic at the lake
* Rent a boat one Saturday afternoon
* Camp-out in the backyard
* Visit the library at least every other week
* Memorize 6 Bible verses
* Catch lightning bugs
* See a movie at the Drive-In
* Swim...as much as possible
* Attend VBS
* Bike riding
* Pick Strawberries
* Fishing
* S'mores over a campfire
* Zoo
* Visit the Wave Pool
* Read lots of good books
* Use lots and lots of sidewalk chalk
* Visit as many famer's markets as we possibly can
* Visit Kennywood and Idlewild
* A whole lotta baby snuggles!

We are going to try and get as many in as possible before baby girl arrives, since some of the activities the kids suggested may be a bit harder to accomplish with a newborn, however, some she may enjoy herself once she graces us with her presence!

I am sure some activities will change as new ones appear, but as of right now, it looks like it is shaping up to be a wonderful summer!

Have you ever made a Summer Bucket List with your kids? Did you make one this year? If so, I would love to hear what is on it!


We must obey God rather than men! ~ Acts 5:29

Thursday, June 28, 2012

With Needle & Thread

I decided a few weeks ago to dust off the sewing machine and get to work on finishing Emma's Quilt that I started, oh, over a year ago! I was determined to get it done this time and not stop until it was indeed finished. Over the course of 2 nights and the help of my wonderful mother-in-law, Emma has been cuddling with it every night for over a week!

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{my sewing buddy!}

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The reason it took me so long to finish was the fact that I lost my motivation and gave up! My sewing machine could not handle the thickness of all the fabrics and I kept making many, many, mistakes. So, I tucked it away...thinking I would never finish it! This is a quality of mine that I do not like...at all. I give up way too easily! Thankfully, I was reminded by a sweet friend that the qualities I want my children to posses are qualities I need to also have myself. I do not want my children to give up so easily when situations get tough. I want them to persevere and figure it out!

All this led me to asking my mother-in-law if I could use her fancy-smancy sewing machine and getting this quilt sewn once and for all. And I am so glad I did! Emma loves it and it helped me get my motivation back to sew again!

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It's amazing how successfully finishing one project fuels oneself to take on and tackle some more! In the week since finishing the quilt, I also made Emma a dress for the 4th of July as well as Caleb a little bow-tie t-shirt.

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The dress is a Simplicity pattern that I picked up at Joann's when they were on sale for $1.99! LOVE when they have their pattern sales! The little tie was made by simply cutting out a tie from my chosen fabric, adding fusible interfacing to the back, and then ironing it on and stitching around the outsides. Simple and oh so cute!

Next up in the sewing que are the Cute-as-a-Button Booties and Quick-Change Trousers from the book Handmade Beginnings. I have seen the Trousers featured on many, many, blogs and have been wanting to make a pair ever since! And the fabirc I chose I think will be perfect! I plan on making the trousers and booties in the same fabric and if I have any left over, I am hoping to also make this little dress out of the same fabric!

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Oh so cute for a baby girl! Plus, the nice thing about the trousers are they are a bit bigger in the bum area...perfect for a clothed tushie! I'm sure I will be making more than one pair for the littlest of my girls!

Now, I know that it is a lot easier to just go to the store and buy dresses, shirts, booties, and pants for my children, but what fun is that? I love creating things for them...mama handmade! Items that will be kept and treasured to be worn on their own children someday...grandma handmade! Hey, I may even attempt another quilt here real soon!

What have you been creating lately?

 
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 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. ~ Matthew 11:29-30

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along {13}

I apologize for my un-excused absence the past week or so. Summer is here...and we have been out enjoying it pretty much every day. Long days at grandma's pool have meant early nights...for all of us. With Baby Girl's arrival only 3 weeks and 4 days away :), I am doing my best to get as much checked off our Summer Bucket List as possible. I have a feeling things might slow down just a bit when she arrives. {i'll save the update for all that we have checked off for another post!}

Although I haven't made much time for blogging, I have, however, been knitting in my "spare" time! Actually, it is extremely easy to sit and knit while sitting poolside. And very relaxing too!

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I finished the Watermelon Dress for the baby. Now she has a complete matching set, booties, hat, and dress! I cannot wait to see her in it all!

Still working on the Chevron Baby Blanket! Such a wonderfully, easy, pattern! I think I may knit one up in a larger size for myself. The yarn is so soft and comfy...would make the perfect cold, weather, blanket, to snuggle up in!

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I have been reading Into the Wilderness! This has been on my shelf for far too long and I, for some reason, kept putting it off. I think the length of the book {912 pgs} might have frightened me a bit. I do wish, though, that I hadn't waited so long to start it. It is proving to be a fantastic read. It may take me the whole summer to get through it, but as long as it stays as interesting as it has, that is fine by me!


Linking up with Ginny!


I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Phil. 4:13

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Learning from Each Other

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"Mama, mama! Look! My boo-boos are all gone!"

I go running out to the porch to see what it is he is excited about. With outstretched hands and feet and the biggest grin on his face, he looks at me and says,

"Jesus made me better!"


I give him a hug and tell him how right he is; that Jesus did heal him because He loves him so much!

He then asks me where Jesus is. The wheels start turning as I sit and try to think of the best way to explain to my 3-year-old son where Jesus lives.

"He lives in your heart."  I say as I pat his little chest.

"Here?"  He asks while pointing to the area of his chest where his heart lays beneath.

"Yes, buddy, that is right. Right there inside your heart. He lives there to protect you and heal you and guide you to always be good. He lives in your heart because your heart means love...and Jesus loves you."

I look into his little face with a grin on mine as I see a quizzical look appear. He doesn't understand and once again I start thinking of how better to explain this. Before I can go on, he says to me,

"But mama, I do not want Jesus to live in my heart. I want Him to live in my tummy!"

I immediately grab him in my arms and hug him ever so tightly, both of us giggling. My son, the one who melts my heart and drives me a bit nutty at the same time.  In this moment, so much joy resonates from within. I love being here for these moments. These teachable moments that happen each and everyday without us sometimes ever realizing. What a rare and beautiful gift!

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After a stressful day, I sat down to read from this book and came across a few quotes that I knew, instantly, were for me to read. Seeing Him work in these ways makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with my Heavenly Father.

When I feel like I have no more to give, when I  feel like I am not giving enough, or when I feel like I just might not be giving it in the right way, I am going to remember these words that I read last night,

"God will take what you have to give and multiply it to spiritually feed your children." ~ Clay Clarkson

Again, a reminder that I am not in this on my own. In my turning to and trusting in Him, all will work out! He will see to it!

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As I teach my children, they, in turn, are teaching me! Sometimes I think I am learning more from them, but through it all, the lessons abound and I am thankful for each teachable moment!


If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:11





Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Allowing Stress to Steal my Joy

He has already smacked, scratched, kicked, and punched his sister, and it is not even noon yet!

Standing up in the backseat for the third time today, still not used to being in his "big boy seat", has me yelling at the top of my lungs! My patience is already gone and I am stressing over the fact that I have had to pull over, once again, to buckle him back up!

Yogurt gets spilled on the living room carpet. Cheese smeared, yes smeared, on the top of their bookcase and I've stepped on one too many little dump trucks to count!

Dark clouds fill the sky this afternoon and I think to myself how fitting it is for how I am feeling today. How can everything go so bad so fast? Our wonderful, relaxing, weekend, of nothing but family fun, has been ruined in the matter of a few hours. And I find myself blaming him. The youngest one of the bunch, for only a few more weeks. I say things like, "terrible threes", and "he is so bad" out of anger and I realize that, even though I am talking to someone else when I say them, he is in earshot and can hear me, his mama, speaking of him this way.

I sit on the couch and try to catch my breath for five minutes, but immediately feel it hit my shoulders, the weight of the stress of it all. The worry and fears that are hidden deep down. How am I going to do this? How am I going to spend enough time growing and bonding with my beautiful daughter, who is already too old for my liking? How am I going to homeschool and tend to a newborn and a toddler? How am I to discipline while being patient and loving? How am I to love and spend the right amount of time with all three of my children?

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Right now it feels like so much of my day is being spent with Caleb. Correcting him, picking up after him, tending to his wants and needs. How this will all change when our little girl arrives. I am already fearing the exhaustion that I hope does not come...or stay...for too long!

But, in moments of complete and utter stress and feeling of failure, when I sit, relax, and allow God to help me, I am reminded of how real and true His words are. How I am so thankful for hiding them in my heart for moments when I need their gentle reminder. I am not to have a spirit of fear. I am not meant to feel that I am doing this all on my own and allow the stress of my day to steal away the joy in it! I have a loving, heavenly, Father, that wants me to come, kneel before Him, and place it all at His feet. He wants to take care of me. He wants to restore the joy that has one too many times been stolen from me. He wants me to enjoy this life the way He intended for me. He wants me to talk to Him, all day, about everything. He wants to be my friend!

I know I am meant to discipline and lead my children to be good stewards of God's word. I know there are going to be times in each one of their lives that they might need me more that the others...but only for a season. And just like I do not want the toxic thoughts to reside in my mind and heart, I also do not want to be the one speaking toxicity to my kids. I want to speak life into them!

So, with the Lords grace, I will show grace to my kids. With His patience, I will be more patient with my kids. Through His forgivesness,  I will forgive. And by His love, I will love...with all that I have and all that I am!

I am truly blessed to be mama to these 2...almost 3...little ones! And I want my actions to reflect that each and everyday!

"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!" ~ John 15:5-7 {emphasis mine}

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love." ~ John 15:9 {emphasis mine}

"I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" ~ John 15:11 {emphasis mine}

"You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name." ~ John 15:14-16 {emphasis mine}

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baby Talk {my list of must-haves}

It can only be expected that I've got baby on the brain! With only 6 weeks and 4 days...not that I am keeping count or anything...until my due date, it is hard to think of anything else! Thankfully, not much has been needed in preparation for this little one! I saved pretty much everything of Emma's, clothing wise, so no need for a whole new wardrobe. However, little girl clothing is so very hard to resist, and all little girls deserve a new outfit every once in awhile, so a few new items have found their way into her closet!

As I have been going through all of the baby items that have been packed away, I made sure to pull out and put aside the items I know are essential...to me at least! The ones that I could not have lived without! Some things you realize, baby after baby, are simply a waste of money! Others are worth their weight in gold!

Here is a small list of items that I feel should be on every new mama's list of must haves!

Boppy Pillow...if you are a breastfeeding mama, this is a wonderful, little, gem. Sure, you could just use a regular pillow, but I have found nothing to work as comfortable as the Boppy when nursing. It allows for me to be hands-free, while sitting, and nurse.

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Bravado Nursing Bras...I have tried my share of uncomfortable nursing bras. Some women refuse to wear them and I actually banned them for a short time as well, until I found Bravado. They are so comfortable and fit so wonderfully...like a regular bra...not like a nursing bra!

Medela Breast Pump...I have not tried anything other than Medela, but have no complaints whatsoever about this pump. A bit pricey, but so worth it!

Swaddle Me...these blankets allowed for me to get many good night sleeps with a newborn. Plus, they reassured me against SIDS. They snuggle around the baby, velcroing on the side, allowing them to feel safe and warm, like they are cuddled in mama's arms! I bought all the sizes available and used them until my baby was able to start kicking their way out! Highly recommend!

Stretchy Baby Wrap...I am a HUGE fan of babywearing! I,unfortunately, didn't get to experience all the joy of babywearing with Emma, but I took full advantage with Caleb and am really looking forward to it with this new babe as well! It grows such a deep bond and allows baby to be close to you at all times...giving you a hands-free advantage. For Newborn babywearing, a stretchy wrap is best!! It is most comfortable until baby reaches about 15-20lbs. You can purchase a stretchy wrap...Moby is a highly recommended brand...or you can make your own, which is what I did!

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Woven Baby Wrap...When your baby gets to be about 20 lbs, you are going to want to advance to a more sturdier wrap. This is where a woven wrap comes in handy! They are a bit more pricey than a stretchy wrap and cannot be made on your own, but are very worth the money. A few brands that I have come to really like are Didymos, Girasol, and Ellevill. You can certainly purchase these full price from a number of reputable retailers online, however, I have found mine at half-off, or more, through a wonderful website called The Babywearer!

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ERGOBaby...We LOVED our Ergo! I didn't discover it's comfort and ease until Caleb was much older, but am thrilled to hear that it can be worn from infancy through toddlerhood. I immediately ordered the infant insert to use with this babe and am hoping to still be able to enjoy it just as much with her!

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Cloth Diapers...Now I know and understand that this is not for everyone...I certainly did not think it was for me...but I enjoyed it, as funny as that may sound, for the short time that I was able to do it with Caleb. Unfortunately, he has extremely sensitive skin and his little bum could not deal with the moisture of a cloth diaper. However, in the short time that I was able to experiment with it, I found a few brands that I really liked! Happy Heinys were wonderful...both as a cover and a All-In-One pocket diaper. Never experienced a leak! Thirsties Covers were also very good at preventing leaks! A company that I just learned about, and had not known existed when I was purchasing diapers for Caleb, is The Little Bee Co. For every diaper purchased, one is donated to an orphan in need. I think I will be making a purchase from them, soon!

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Do you have any "must haves" that you would add to this list?



Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:5

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dive into His Word this Summer

I have to start off by saying how truly amazing God is! He is constantly working and moving in our lives...and we do not even know it at times! I am in constant awe of just how much He loves me and how much He has everything all figured out for me. Things I never knew I needed, He gives me - shows me - and now I do not know how I ever went without!

About a week ago, after dinner one evening, we were sitting outside relaxing while the kids played in the yard. I was browsing the posts in my Twitter feed on my phone when I kept seeing the hashtag #SheReadsTruth popping up. Being the curious one that I am, I clicked on it wondering what it was all about. Through my clicking and reading and clicking some more, I was led to this lovely ladies blog and the reason behind the hashtag!

Immediately I contacted her on Twitter asking her if I could be a part of this fabulous sounding community and read His word along with all of them! One tweet led to another and although I was jumping in on Day 8, I was in and excited about it!

I quickly read and caught up and am now following right along each and everyday. Reading His word. His truth. And slowly being changed!

The study is called Soul Detox. You can find it on the You Version app on your smart phone or read it straight from your computer. The choice is up to you! Once you download the plan and start reading, join in the discussion either on Twitter using the hashtag #SheReadsTruth, on Instagram, using the same hashtag, or now through the wonderful #SheReadsTruth website! I would love to have you join in!
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This study has been just what I have needed! But He knew that! He led me to it...and I am just thankful to have followed!

The study is all about the fear and the negativity we are allowing in our life, stealing from the joy that God has for us! And oh man have I been struggling with fear lately! {see here and here!}

Once this study wraps up, the wonderful ladies behind #SheReadsTruth are planning on picking another study to read, together!

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If the #SheReadsTruth study doesn't suit you, well I have another one that just might! {one I am also looking forward to learning from this summer!}

My beautiful friend, Jessica, from Our Family for His Glory, is going to be Diving into Philippians all summer long! And...she even has some wonderful Famliy Times set up, designed to allow our Children to Dive into His Word with us!



This study through Philippians will take place over 13 weeks...the course of the Summer! She has divided Philippians into 13 sections - 1 section to be read, reviewed, and discussed, each week! Like she stated, we are going to "stay a while and be saturated in the incredible words God has for us there!"
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Will you prayerfully consider joining in on one or the other, or both, of these studies with me? I would love to be reading along in His Word together with you this Summer!!



Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. ~ Matthew 5:9




Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Bucket List

I have seen mention of it a lot lately on Twitter and other blogs about making a Summer Bucket List. What a fun idea! So, I sat down and got to thinking about all the places and things I would like to see and do with my children this summer.

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I pulled out some index cards and allowed the kids to decorate each one with stickers and drawings. {i *might* have decorated a few cards myself!} Then I proceeded to write down on each card one activity that we would like to do before summer's end. Here is what we came up with:

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* Picnic at the lake
* Rent a boat one Saturday afternoon
* Camp-out in the backyard
* Visit the library at least every other week
* Memorize 6 Bible verses
* Catch lightning bugs
* See a movie at the Drive-In
* Swim...as much as possible
* Attend VBS
* Bike riding
* Pick Strawberries
* Fishing
* S'mores over a campfire
* Zoo
* Visit the Wave Pool
* Read lots of good books
* Use lots and lots of sidewalk chalk
* Visit as many famer's markets as we possibly can
* Visit Kennywood and Idlewild
* A whole lotta baby snuggles!

We are going to try and get as many in as possible before baby girl arrives, since some of the activities the kids suggested may be a bit harder to accomplish with a newborn, however, some she may enjoy herself once she graces us with her presence!

I am sure some activities will change as new ones appear, but as of right now, it looks like it is shaping up to be a wonderful summer!

Have you ever made a Summer Bucket List with your kids? Did you make one this year? If so, I would love to hear what is on it!


We must obey God rather than men! ~ Acts 5:29

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