Monday, June 30, 2008

Ready...Set...Go!!

Today is the start of a very busy week leading up to my brothers wedding on Saturday! Yay...he's getting married and we'll have another sister!!!!!

During this week I will be doing a lot of final prep work for the coming weekend. All 5 of us are in the wedding so that means 3 dresses, 1 tux, 1 little boy suit (so cute!), 5 pairs of dress shoes (*gasp* I forgot Caleb's dress shoes!!!!! Oh my goodness, see what happens?! Ok...I have to add that to my to do list for this week!..back to my list), 3 hairstyles, my makeup, extra clothes for all, 12 pudding pies (for our churches 4th of July bash...didn't realize my brother would pick the day after to get married!!!), Afton swim lessons on Monday and Wednesday, home group for us on Tuesday, Thursday is the rehearsal, Friday I drop off the pies on my way to Concord for the bridesmaid luncheon, Friday night is at the hotel with Carrie and the bridesmaids, and Saturday is the BIG DAY!

So, that's just a brief rundown of the week. Not to mention the normal stuff that has to be done...like laundry, dishes, work...you know, those things.

Anway, I will need your prayers...a lot of prayers! Please pray that I am able to remember the little things, the big things, the food things, and the clothes things. I have to go finish my list for this week because I'll be lost without it.

With all that being said, I may not be posting books for your enjoyment. They may be more like panicked "help me" posts, or post telling you that if you don't pray for me know I'll cry and then rip up my list in protest, then cry some more when I have to make a new one.

Ok....so it won't be that bad! In fact, I know that everything will work out beautifully. Crazy, but beautifully. Hopefully, when it's all said and done, I will have a few amazing, fun, funny pictures to share with you.

Speaking of fun, you know the game where you have a baseball bat and you put your forehead on it and then go around in a circle with your head on the bat and the bat on the ground? Well, me and my sisters, Kelsey and Kaileah, did that last night! We were inspired by the show Wipeout so we went out to try it. Good thing we didn't have our cameras because it was embarrassing and hilarious!!!!! I think I have the "will always fall down" gene. My sisters have the "I don't fall down,but I look cool being dizzy" gene. How fair is that? Needless to say, I ended up in the trees and on the ground twice! You should try it...it's fun!

Well, I'm done procrastinating and entertaining you all. I have to go make a list and start attacking it!

Happy Monday :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wipeout

Who likes to laugh? Can I see a show of hands?

One, two, three...c'mon...there has to be more of you out there!


Well, for the few of you who enjoy laughing your hiney off please do yourself a favor and
watch Wipeout on ABC!!


I saw the previews and the first show was on Tuesday night! I missed it, but thank goodness for ABC online! That's pretty much how I watch any TV at all! (If it's not online I don't watch it, pretty much)

So, tonight, after the kids were in bed, I grabbed my laptop, plopped down on the couch and went to ABC.com. Best decision of the night!

I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my cheeks and my stomach still hurts!

I think I have a 6 pack by now...ok, maybe a 4 pack...hmmm...nope, still soft and squishy! (Good thing I love my kids because they're the ones that gave it to me!)


Anyway, I'm ordering you to go watch it right now!

I mean it!

Stop reading already...

I'm waiting...

Hello?

Anyone there?

Finally, they're gone....

and I hear laughter...

uh-oh...

Ok, don't you know you should use the bathroom first?!?!

Seriously?!

My guilty pleasure


These may look like an innocent bowl of M & M's, but don't let them fool you!

In reality they are the best little colorful pieces of chocolate ever!

Why? I'm so glad you asked.

These are not the standard, run of the mill, pour-them-out-of-the-bag-and-eat-them
M & M's...oohhhhh, no way, jose!

These are straight from the bag, into the bowl, into the microwave M & M's.

Yup, you heard me right!

A few seconds in the microwave (25, to be exact) turn these babies into deliciously warm comfort food! So delicious that once you eat them warm you will never feel the same about eating them "the other way" again. Now you probably will eat them "cold". No sense in letting them go to waste. And that's ok. But I guarantee you'll dream about the nuked M & M's in your sleep.


I do.

So, do yourself a favor. Go buy a bag of M & M's.
Pour them into a microwave safe bowl and put them in for 25 seconds.
Stir them around after they come out.
Pop one (or more) in your mouth, close your eyes and let them literally melt in your mouth.

Then come back and tell me just how divine they are.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is why it pays to shop at the library

Wednesday morning the kids and I went to the library to drop off some movies we borrowed
and also so they could play with the choo choo trains!

I love to go because they have this bookshelf in the back and everything on it is for sale...for $.25 cents. Sometimes there are good books and other times they don't have much.

Let me tell you...Wednesday I made out like a bandit!!!!!!

Seriously. I'm totally not joking.


Check out all the cool things I found.


All of this would have cost me $109 if I purchased them separately, but at
the library it cost me a grand total of

...drum roll please...

$3.00

That's it!

The dictionary/thesaurus alone was $39.95.

So, the moral of the story is:

"Don't pay full price when you can shop at the library"

and

"Donate your books to the library so someone else can find these great deals (and go
home as happy as I did)"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Random observation

Did you know that if you eat an apple chunk and a green olive together it tastes like bug spray?

Neither did I...until today. It was pretty interesting.

You should try it sometime.

How quickly time flies by....

...when you're so busy!

I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post! That's horrible!

We have something going on all the time right now (or so it seems!).

So, enough of my excuses...I have to get back on track so I'm not leaving you all hanging and un-entertained!

Yesterday was Afton's first swimming lessons. She absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back! This time Mike will be with us so I'll be the one in the water with her. Apparently that's how it's supposed to work, but I never read that when I signed her up online. Maybe I missed it, but you would think they would say it pretty plainly. Or maybe I should have realized it. Either way, Mike will be there to reign in Caleb and I'll be able to help Afton. It will be good for all of us.

We're off to do more strawberry picking this morning. Last week we picked about 4 1/2 pounds and went through those in 3 days! Yeah...that's crazy! Today I want to get about 8 pounds and hopefully I'll have enough to make jelly, freeze some for smoothies, and then have some to just eat. There is nothing like eating fresh strawberries!

Then tonight we're going to the farmers market that our town has on Thursday nights! Last week I picked up some raw milk (straight from the cow) and Mike said it was really good! I don't drink milk (except cream in my coffee) so I couldn't tell the difference. I took his word for it. So, we're all gonna go see what we can find. Some weeks are great and others aren't but we're still in the middle of the good growing season so there should be lots to look at.

Last week I also picked up some really yummy chai tea. It's the loose tea that you add to boiling water. Then you add the milk and some sweetener. When you're done you strain it and drink it hot or pour it over ice! It was so good! I'm used to the commercial, pre-packaged, wicked sweet chai tea, but this was so not like that. I'm almost out already so I may pick up more if we have enough money with us.

Anyway, that's just a quick blurb to keep you busy for 3 minutes!

I'll chat at you later!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My apologies

I was planning on posting another picture of a delicious dessert I made with my fresh picked strawberries.

Unfortunately, my camera wasn't ready in time and the food disappeared before I knew it.

I guess it never had a chance.

Instead I will tell you that it was angel food cake with strawberries and cool whip, and boy was it yummy!

I'm supposed to making jam or jelly with these strawberries, but they look
so darn tasty how am I supposed to do that?

I may have to go picking again! Isn't that a bummer!

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!

(It'll be busy for us so I'm not sure how much I'll be back to entertain you)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's that time of year

Can you guess it?

Nope. Not mosquito season.

Nope. Not summer vacation.

Nope. Not allergy season (aahhhhchoooo *sniffle*)

It's time for STRAWBERRY PICKING!!

Guess what we did this morning?

Yup, we picked strawberries!

Lots of red, ripe, sweet, tasty strawberries!




So, to celebrate strawberry picking season I made myself this.


I tried to make it look professional, but apparently I need more practice.
No worries! I have more strawberries, more cake, and more chocolate sauce.
I'll practice until the cows come home if I have to!
(or until my kids get up from their quiet time)

Well, I'm about to devour this so go wipe the drool off of your screen
and go pick some strawberries!


Ciao for now!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Conversation with a 4 1/2 year old

This is one conversation I didn't anticipate having with my daughter.

Let's start with a history lesson, shall we?

A few days ago we were chatting with the kids as they were playing outside. Now, you should know that my kids love bugs. Ants, worms, slugs, butterflies, moths, bees, spiders (ewwww!). Basically, anything creepy crawly. On this particular day we were talking about ants. More specifically, eating ants.

As a mom, we tend to tell our kids "no" when they ask if they can eat ants. Technically they answer would be yes, but I really don't want to go there. My hubby decides to give that answer though. So, my kids decided to push it a bit further to where we end up having to discuss why someone can/would eat ants and how they definitely should not! (He also mentioned chocolate covered ants...bad move...it made them sound even more delicious)

Anyway, that conversation went fine and there were no ant-eating-incidents that day.

Fast forward to today...

I was folding laundry when Afton comes up and stands in the doorway.

"Mom, can I eat an ant?"

"No, honey. People don't need to eat ants."

"But I won't eat a red one." (because the red ones "sting" you, of course)

"It's not really a good idea. Sometimes it's OK to eat ants, but not where we live."

"but Dad said..."

(I interrupt this "but" fest)

"yes, honey, I know what daddy said, but...." (my own "but" fest)

...and then, I momentarily lost all sense of reason, and decided that, instead of explaining the "why's" and "how's" I would just.....

"OK, honey. If you find a black ant you may eat it."

??????????????????????

Not really sure what took over my mind at that moment. It just came out! You know what she said then?

"Well, I found one and I had to take it back out of my mouth quickly! It was gross! It tasted like throw up!"

Apparently, she had already tried to eat an ant then she asked permission.

At least we won't be having that conversation again. Until Caleb. And I'll tell him the same thing.

ahhhhahahahahaha

Seriously.

Too funny.

I'm watching this again after I post it!



Kisses make it all better

I treasure the moments that a mama's kiss makes her children's boo boo all better.

I will miss those moments when they are no more! I know they are coming.

When Caleb and Afton (although, not so much with her) run up to me and say, "Kiss", then run away because all is better, I have to smile. How simple the world is at that very moment!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Afton in the kitchen

Afton is the sweetest and most thoughtful little girl. Lately, she has been into making "special treats" for people. These "treats" are made with lots of love and creativity...and many different varieties of foods she finds...everywhere! It could be a banana, some grapes, bread, water, yogurt, ranch dressing, ketchup...you name it, she adds it!

This is all well and good until she wants us to try it! You can see the excitement on her face, the anticipation, the delight she takes in making this just for us. How could we say anything other than, "Thank you so much!" "What a wonderful job you did!" and "I will definitely try a bite!".

The most recent "victim" was my sister, Megan, and what better way to tell a story then with pictures?



See how Afton is watching to make sure she actually eats it?
This was after Meg took the bite.



Close up of the masterpiece.



When Afton ran to the living room, the creation made it's way
to the trash (don't worry, Afton never even knew)
See, all gone!




Afton saw that it was all gone and said, "Wow, you were really hungry!"
Then we had to convince her that Megan was really full too!



My sweet, thoughtful, wonderful, creative little girl! What would we do without her? We definitely wouldn't be laughing this much. She brings joy, innocence, wonder, activity, laughter, and happiness to our wonderful little family.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Personal reflection & a letter to my husband

If someone had told me 6 years ago that I would be where I am today, I never would have believed them. I would have listened politely, thanked them, maybe chatted a few more minutes and that would have been it. See, I was not living in a manner worthy and pleasing to God. I was living my life the way I wanted to. I wasn't being sensitive to God's leading. I knew what was right and what was wrong, but I chose to do the wrong things. Even in those moments I still felt the Holy Spirit nudging me in the right direction. Why did I choose to ignore it?

Through all of my disobedience God still chose to bless me! How awesome He is to forgive and cast my sins as far as the East is from the West! How loving He is to welcome me back into the fold! How holy and just He would have been to take my life, in my moments of sin and disobedience. I am here by His mercy and divine plan alone! I certainly didn't earn it or deserve it! I still don't, but I've committed my life to serving Him 100%. I pray every day that He use my strengths and weakness to His glory. I am not here to live comfortably. I am here to bring honor to God in everything I do.

He has taught me to trust Him during the good times, the bad times, the sad times and the difficult times. He has given me strength on days I didn't think I could keep going. He has given me hope when I didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. He has blessed my children and my marriage because I have remained faithful to His calling for me as a wife and mother. Through daily prayer and quiet times I have learned how I am to be a helper to my husband who is the head of the household. He has taught me (and I am still learning) how to be submissive and respectful to Mike because God said that is how a wife should be. God has taught me to work on and change myself and let Him do the rest. I only need to be obedient to His calling.

6 years ago I would not have been writing this. 6 years ago I would have read these very words and probably wished that I would have the family and marriage that "this woman" had. I am proud to be "that woman" writing these words today.

It hasn't been the easiest road. There have been many bumps and holes. Some so deep and so rough that it seemed impossible, but we know from Luke 1:37, when the angel was speaking to Mary, "For nothing will be impossible with God." That still holds true today!

I am so thankful that God saw fit to bless our marriage. He allowed us to be together for a purpose. I am so thankful that he took the bad and used it for good. I don't ever want to take any of this for granted. I want to savor every moment and treasure every memory.

~~~ * ~~~

Dear Mike,

Happy 5 year anniversary! As I said above, I am so thankful that you are my husband. Thank you for loving me and our family! I am blessed beyond words and I praise God that we have come this far! Thank you for your sensitivity to God's leading and the desire to see your family walk in a manner that pleases Him.

I am honored to be your wife and a mother to your children! I pray that we are blessed with many more years of love and happiness.

With all my love,
Steph

Song of Solomon 1:16a "You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words..."

Our anniversary!

Today is our 5th anniversary!

So, as a gift to my wonderful hubby, I made a "movie" out of our pictures. It took a week of digging through old pictures, scanning them, transferring them, adding, deleting, editing, song choosing and final touches. It's finally done!

This was my first "movie" so I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. I can't wait for the next 5 years! That movie will be awesome!!

Anyway, I thought I would share it with you!


Friday, June 13, 2008

My children, my joy

Tonight the kids and I went to pick up Miya for the weekend. On the way home I put in a CD and the first song was "The Stand" by Michael W. Smith.

What a joy it was to look in the rear-view mirror and see each one of our children singing along. Even Caleb. He didn't know all the words, but he sure tried! Miya belted it out beautifully and Afton sang along in her sweet little voice.

Psalm 127:3 "Children are a gift from the Lord: they are a reward from him."

My top 10

I've been inspired by Jen and Apple to make a list of my "Top 10".

So, here are 10 things that I definitely could live without, but please don't make me! Not unless you want to see me cry...a lot!

~~~ * ~~~

I definitely couldn't make it through my day without my trusty lip gloss.
The summer flavor is Raspberry mentha Lip Shine...mmm-mmm good!


If I have to write something, please don't make me do it without the G2 Gel pens - fine point. Writing is so much nicer with this pen!



My feet smile when I put these on. So light and comfy!
I'm happy anytime I get to where flip flops, which is pretty much anytime snow won't touch my toes. Yes, I even where them in winter!


This is the best invention ever! I use mine every day, several times a day.
It's so amazing especially when you have children.
You know those little crumbs they seem to drop
everywhere they go? Gone. In 2 seconds. With the push of a button.
Love it!


This one goes without saying!

My hubby bought this for me and I love it so much! I do tons
of fun stuff on it. I can sit on the couch and blog 'til the cows come home
(or the family, whichever comes first!)


I don't have this...yet...but, this is my dream camera! I have to save lots of money for it
because I want the lenses and everything. One day I won't have to dream.
Until then I will be content with the one I have.



I love reading magazines. I actually have a stack to read.
Then I cut out the fun pictures for my kids to glue, tape, cut, paste and
play with. They're entertaining and educational!


Can I get an "amen", ladies? I'm pretty sure this goes
without saying! Right now I'm into the York
Peppermint Patties. Yummy!


So, there is my "top 10" list.

Feel free to share a few of your favorite things.

Now I feel like watching "The Sound of Music".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just another sign...

...that Afton is growing up!

She learned how to ride a bike today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I am so excited for her I am also sad because that is just another step away from the baby I held in my arms almost 5 years ago!

We've been practicing off and on for the past month or so, but I guess it was enough. Her first attempts were wobbly and cute, but she is very persistent. I would watch her practice and she came up with very ingenious ways to keep herself balanced while trying to get her feet on the peddles.

I'm very proud of her and I told he so tonight...my (not so little) lovebug!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cardboard

I'm borrowing this from a blog friend of mine, Apple.

There are no words to introduce this video...it speaks for itself! All I can say is "God is awesome"!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday afternoon reflections

It's so easy to get caught up in the things we have to do, the commitments we need to fulfill, and the people we need to see that we forget to stop and just....be still. I was reminded of that today as I went from one thing to another. Today is the first day that I looked at my calendar, saw what was written on it and said, "No, I am not going anywhere!" For the past several days me and the kids have been busier than normal. I can tell it's getting to us because of how not smooth things are going!

So, today, after a rough start I decided to just be still.

I've been reflecting on how amazing God is. How awesome and all powerful He is. How He deserves so much more than just a prayer on Sunday morning or in times of hardship. How He deserves and, dare I say, requires a life of humble servant-hood. I am honored to serve Him! I am honored to serve Him in my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, my work, my words, my thoughts, my deeds, and my life! He deserves that much and more! How could I not serve Him with every fiber of my being especially with all that He has done for me!

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world."

So, with that being said, watch this video and give praise to the One and only God, maker of heaven and earth, our creator and Lord.


In Pictures

As promised...at least a million times...here are some pictures to make you smile!


A few pictures on the Parkway...






My dirty boy
Afton did her "makeup" while I was working!
She's very proud of it...can you tell?

Mike with Miya after her dance recital


Miya opening her gift!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Update...and a bit of rambling too

Thank you so much for all of your prayers yesterday!

Without going into a lot of detail, Mike and I are in the process of seeking legal counsel. I found a Christian lawyer who is pretty local and we went to see him yesterday. (and, no, we're not in any type of trouble...lol)

The meeting went very well and we left excited (if meeting with a lawyer is exciting)..either way, things look very positive moving forward!

Now comes the financial part...

We don't have the finances to continue with this, so God needs to provide the money for us! I have complete faith and trust that if He wants us to continue then the money will be provided. I also trust in His timing! I know I am the type of person to want to get things done, and so is Mike. However, God's timing is perfect and we need to be patient and wait for His leading.

Proverbs 16:9 " The mind of man plans his way, the the Lord directs his steps."

So, I guess a continuation to this would be to pray for the finances to move forward, faith in God's will to be done (because it will no matter what), trust in God to provide the finances, patience, and the wisdom to make the right decisions. Also, please pray that we would plan our way, but that our way would be God's way.

I just want to add that I am so thankful that God brought Mike and I together! We've been through some pretty tough stuff, both individually and as a couple! I praise God every day that He was merciful during the times we fell away, but even more so that He forgave us and brought us back into the fold! I'm so thankful that God made Himself known to Mike in a way that was real and life changing several years ago. God is awesome!

I am so thankful that God created us to be a team...one person...one flesh!

Ephesians 5:31 "As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."

I am reminded of that every day as a wife. Mike and I are a team. It is so easy to forget that sometimes, especially when you disagree about something. As long as we are both striving to be the husband and/or wife that God wants us to be, and we are keeping Him #1 in our lives then He will bless our marriage. We cannot do this without Him!

Anyway, that is my update and a little more than you bargained for. Sometimes when I feel these things I just type and see what comes out!

We have another busy day ahead of us so I'm off to get us ready to go.

Enjoy your Saturday!

(Don't remind me...pictures...I know...lol)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In need of prayer

I can't give a lot of details (I know, I'm sorry!) but I would like to ask for prayer for me and my hubby tomorrow. We have a big day ahead of us and I would really like prayer for wisdom, peace, discernment, and trust in God's grace and timing! This is a pretty big deal and I've been praying really hard about this.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and I'll update on the outcome. Again, it will only be vague details, but I'll let you know if it was positive or negative.




(I know I promised pictures, but I'm having trouble with them being transferred. So, I've been playing with the camera since that is where the problem is. Soon...I'll have pictures soon...promise...and they'll be so cute you won't be able to stand it!!!)

Look at the numbers when you shop

No, not the price numbers...the numbers on the fruit stickers!

I was reading this blog and I learned something new this morning. I guess getting up at 4:30am does have it's advantages!

My shopping trip may take me a bit longer next time. I'll be fascinated by the numbers!

Past vs. Future

I was checking out a few posts on the forum I frequent and someone had this in there signature line:

When Satan reminds you of your past, simply remind him of his future.

I couldn't have put it better myself. What a great reminder!



On another note, I think I have bloggers block. I have a million things to say, but can't seem to get them on "paper". Could be God's way of telling me that I have other things to attend to, but watch out when I do sit down. The blogs will be endless! Not that that is a bad thing :)

I have pictures from Miya's recital last weekend! She was beautiful and did an amazing job! We are so proud of her!

I have a picture or two of Afton's "adventure" in the bathroom. It involves make up and her face.

I have a few random thoughts floating around in my head too! Shocking, I know! Maybe I'll share one of these days...maybe!

I have a pretty busy month ahead of me so maybe my mind is already maxed out! I found that if I don't write down what I have to do, need to do, schedule to do...blah, blah, blah...then I will forget things.

All 5 of us are in a wedding on July 5th so we have 2 tux's and 3 dresses to have fitted and buy. Plus, there are the showers and parties that go along with that, which are amazing, by the way. It just adds to my calendar! Another thing (not bad) is the money we'll be spending. So, it takes a lot of time and coordination.

Whew, I'm tired just reading that back to myself!

I'm just trying to take things day by day, minute by minute. Enjoying our children and each other. Not getting stressed out about things, but trusting God to work all the little details out as I do my part. Plus, not letting other peoples agendas or plans become priority it our lives. We just have to remember...we can't do everything. We have commitments and plans of our own. So, we do what we can. If we need a day to chill out and relax, or if we have to bow out of something that is ok!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Maybe one day you'll get to see my pictures too!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Confessions Of A CF Husband: Back on the OBX!!!

Another answer to prayer! Our God is so amazingly awesome!

Nate, Tricia and Gwyneth are finally home where they belong!

Read their story here and celebrate with them!


Confessions Of A CF Husband: Back on the OBX!!!

Bad, bad blogger

That's me....

I have a million things that run through my mind daily and I always say I have sit down and blog about them! Do you think I ever do?

So, I'm going to try really hard to post more than I have in the past week. I may have pictures or something funny, but I'll try to post something!

I have to go right now, but I'll be back (fingers crossed).