Friday, November 28, 2008

Better late...

You know what I realized the other day? I realized I forgot to post the trick or treat pictures. Seriously! How rude of me. Please forgive me on that.

So, here are a bunch of really good pictures. In case you didn't know we have the princess (Afton), Superman (Caleb) and a go-go dancer (Miya).

The kiddos had a blast even though it was really chilly that night. The girls lasted the whole time out while Caleb gave up a bit early. It was great though because mama got to go back to a warm house. I wasn't complaining!

Enjoy the photos!




The funny glasses were my "costume", but Caleb wouldn't let me wear them. Every time I put them on he would get scared. Then he would tell me I couldn't put them on anymore. Oh well! The kids got a kick out of using them.




Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I pray you have safe travels if you are visiting family. If you are hosting I pray for peace and sense of calm amidst all the preparations.

Most of all I pray you will thank God for all the blessings (and trials) you have in your life!



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I.AM.DONE

6 1/2 hours

6 pies

LOTS of ingredients

and

3 loads of laundry later....

I am finally sitting down!

My feet hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurts, my tummy hurts (I forgot to eat!), and my eyes hurt (the apple pies bubbled over and I forgot to put a drip catcher underneath them).

All I can say is that the pies look yummy, my kitchen is finally clean, my laundry is all folded and ready to go into kids rooms, and I'm in PJ's.

Here are the final shots of the night. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!


Me. From Caleb's perspective. Hi.


Caleb taking a shot of my coffee in the microwave


The photographer taking a shot of himself *cheese*


"The Pies"


ahhhhh...my clean kitchen. Love it.
(It's a little on the "smokey" side. Thanks to the spillage. It's
clearing out nicely though.)


The End.

In the middle of it all

Here are some pictures of my pie making endeavor taken about 5 minutes ago!

2 pies in the oven...4 to go...and the house smells so yummy!

More pictures to come a bit later!

Don't worry...I'll take pictures of the final products!

Fun, fun, fun

By now you're all probably scurrying about prepping for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Baking pies, cleaning house, thawing the turkey, putting out your ingredients and most of all....looking forward to spending quality time with family!!!!! That is always the best part!!!!

Hopefully you're not too busy to enjoy the season and find lots of things to be thankful for!

(On a side note)
As I was going through some of my favorite websites I came across a few I thought I would share with you. I hope you have fun with them.

Typoglycemia Translator - like piglatin, but for your eyes!

Birthday Calculator - This one was pretty cool. It gives some interesting facts about the day you were born. It even tells you approximately when you were conceived (which I could have done without!!!)

Smartorstoopid - this one requires some fast thinking, but it was fun! BTW...no one is stupid...lol

So, those are my little gems for today. Don't forget to enjoy the Thanksgiving preparation and not get too stressed! I'll be telling myself that later on as I work with 5 homemade butter pie crusts!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Parenting...a delicate balance

I was looking through a stack of recipes that I had cut out, set aside, ripped out, or saved. As I went through each recipe I put them into a pile: have tried, have to try, don't want to try, household cleaning recipes and fun recipes.

While I was sorting I picked up an oddly shaped, pink piece of paper. As I read the two blurbs on it I realized this was definitely something I needed to hear today. Once again, I was thankful that God has a way of putting things right in front of us when we least expect it. Sorting recipes...who would have thought I would have had my inspiration for the day doing that?! Pretty cool.

So, here is what was written on the oddly shaped piece of magazine paper I had picked up:

Stop and Reflect - Nicole Maki (Draper, Utah)

The best advice I received from another mom was to imagine that each of my boys has a mirror on his forehead so that I'll always be mindful of what he is seeing. Times that I'm frustrated by the thousandth request for fight, I remind myself of that little morror and check to make sure that my sons are seeing a face of patience and love.

Let Your Home Be a Haven - Julie Kreuscher (Kansasville, Wisconsin)

My children always seem well behaved when they are anywhere but home. My mother reminded me that everyone needs a place to fall apart, even adults, and if that place isn't your own home, where would it be? As always, she was right - we all need a place where we're comfortable enough to have a bad day and know that the people around us will love us no matter what.


I thought those were pretty good reminders, at least for me. I think about the first one more often though. When I'm speaking firmly to one of the love bugs I try to remember that I look kind of "large" to them. They are shorter, and if I am talking over them in a louder voice that is very intimidating and can see mean. It's always better to get down on their level, speak in a calmer (but firm) tone of voice and deal with the issue that way.

Obviously everyone has their own method of teaching, training and discipline, but I pray I am showing my children that I love them no matter what. Even when they are in trouble.




Monday, November 24, 2008

It's all about learning

Wanna see how well you know parts of the world?

Yes?

Cool...go here and give this a try. It'll make you want to break out a map and brush up on your geography.

Or it could be a great tool to use with your kiddos in learning parts of our world...and it's fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Titled: The best prank ever...

I thought it was a pretty novel idea! So, I thought I would share.










I was trying to imagine what I would be thinking if I saw this!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When you think you know...

Have you ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you know something to be true you just don't have "proof"? You just have that intuition...that instinct. I've felt that one too many times. It's not really a relief when you find out, but it's just confirmation of what you already knew.

I must admit I haven't handled "the truth" too well in the past, but I've really been praying for a peace and an understanding in those types of situations. God has been faithful and He prepares my heart by giving me that intuition.

I know that the reason I didn't handle it well was because I was trying to be the one in control. Instead of letting God do the work I was trying to make sure everything was "right". I was the one in the way of what God was trying to do. That is a hard thing to realize, but once I did I was able to take myself out of the pilot's seat and let God do His job. It had to start with me giving up my will and trusting in His perfect plan.

How many times do we try to control a situation so the outcome is one we desire? How many times do we plan things so perfectly for us that we forget it isn't about us? We could be hindering God's work in our lives or someone else's life because we want the control that belongs to God.

I've realized that I cannot control a situation or a person. My responsibility is to trust that God has a plan in every situation and PRAY! I have learned (and am still learning!) to go to God with my feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment, fear, hurt, and betrayal. Who better to turn to than the One who has been through it all and has felt every emotion I will ever feel?

So, today, if you're struggling with control or the feeling of being let down by those you love the most I urge you to get on your knees and seek God's will in this situation. Pray for wisdom, peace and understanding. Ask Him to help you let it go and relax.

Philipians 4: 6 & 7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let
your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."


I can honestly say that I've never felt so at peace after finding something out that I "knew". However, just be careful not to believe everything you hear unless it comes from that person or you have spoken with them directly.

Those are my words of wisdom for today. Born from personal experience & jotted down really quickly because it was heavy on my heart and felt God was leading me to share it with you.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

All purpose "green" cleaner

I found this in a recent issue of Good Housekeeping. I already have one that I make myself, but I like the added ingredients in this one. I just have to pick up castile soap because I ran out. If you try it, let me know what you think and if you did anything different than what the "recipe" says.


Gorgeously Green All-Purpose Spray

Fill a 32-ouce plastic spray bottle with the following:

2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure castile soap (such as peppermint)
3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender or lemongrass essential oil
(In summer months, add 10 drops citronella essential oil as an insect repellent.)

This cleaner is suitable for acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble, and granite.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Funny Friday

Happy Friday everyone!



I think this describes every families yard!


I remember watching the 3 Stooges when I was younger!
We loved them!


If this hasn't happned to you yet...it will!


I saw this picture ealier in the week and I think some of us can relate to this poor creature.



and finally...



Amen? You bet...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our new favorite show

We found a new show on the Disney channel recently called Imagination Movers.

The kids absolutely love it and I have to admit it captures my attention too! They're funny, colorful, musical, imaginative (of course)... and Afton loves Scott!

After reading who they are and how they started I like them even more. I'm thinking I'll have to go pick up some of their DVD's or CD's.

Go check them out on ABC...here is the link...you can watch the videos of their interview and the songs they perform.

Do you know what I am so excited for?

The Christmas season!!

I love celebrating Jesus' birth, telling my children about the meaning of Christmas, decorating, being with family...everything!!

I just started listening to some of the Christmas music and boy does that get me ready for the season!

So, I thought I would share a few with you! I love the classic, Christmas music by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Nat King Cole along with newer songs by Harry Connick Jr. I'm also completely in love with Manheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra! Love them....

Enjoy








My absolute favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night" and I love the way Celine Dion sings it!




So, those are a few of my favorite Christmas songs. I'm thinking I'll add a few more favorites as I come up with stuff.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Aware

God has blessed me with an amazing opportunity to be a mother to the most beautiful children (I may be slightly partial). I am humbled and awed at the responsibility I've been given. I do not take it lightly nor do I go into it blindly. I am always striving to know more, learn more, be a better mom and wife, and study His word on all of these things.

Part of my responsibility, I feel, is to know what is going on in the world. I may not be up to date on the latest oil prices, know what the stock market is doing or have an idea of what the latest fashions are, but I do try my hardest to know what is happening to influence families. I feel this is my area to know because I've been entrusted with raising children and teaching them about God and how to love and serve Him with their whole hearts.

Lately I've been reminded of the need to be prepared. With a new president there will be many changes in our country and we need to be well informed and equipped to handle the changes. We know that God puts leaders into power and He removes them. I know my responsibility as a Christian is to support my president through prayer and respect the authority God has bestowed upon him/her. However, I know that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything or support the decisions that directly go against what God says.

I also know that being prepared (and at times concerned) doesn't mean we need to live in fear of what's to come.

II Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline."


See, we know what is to come. We know the end of the story. We know what to expect and what will happen. None of this should take us by surprise. Read what Paul said to Timothy in the following verses:

II Timothy 3:1-9

1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.

2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.

4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.

5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires.

7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.)

8 These teachers oppose the trugh just as jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and counterfeit faith.

9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

Does any of that sound familiar? I know I see this every day. All I have to do is turn on the evening news. Which, by the way, is why I don't watch the news.

I received this article in my inbox several days ago and it was a reminder to me of my need to be praying for our my children and teaching them to live a holy and upright life. I pray they will grow up and be blessed enough to have a husband/wife and children of their own. If they do have children they will be raising them in times that could be more difficult spiritually than these times right now. I only pray that God gives me the wisdom to teach them those things He wants them to know in order that they would be prepared for the trials they may face as parents.

(for more research on the above link I went to here, here and here)

So my prayer(s) for today are as follows:

To be watchful & aware
1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a
roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Protected

Ephesians 6:10-20
"10
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all
strategies of the devil.

12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers
and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15
For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
20
I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should."

Filled with the fruits of the Spirit

Galations 5:22-23a"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control."

Live wisely

Ephesians 5:15-16 "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Teach our children wisely

Deuteronomy 4:9 "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11 ~ Veterans Day

They Did Their Share

On Veteran’s Day we honor
Soldiers who protect our nation.
For their service as our warriors,
They deserve our admiration.

Some of them were drafted;
Some were volunteers;
For some it was just yesterday;
For some it’s been many years;

In the jungle or the desert,
On land or on the sea,
They did whatever was assigned
To produce a victory.

Some came back; some didn’t.
They defended us everywhere.
Some saw combat; some rode a desk;
All of them did their share.

No matter what the duty,
For low pay and little glory,
These soldiers gave up normal lives,
For duties mundane and gory.

Let every veteran be honored;
Don’t let politics get in the way.
Without them, freedom would have died;
What they did, we can’t repay.

We owe so much to them,
Who kept us safe from terror,
So when we see a uniform,
Let’s say "thank you" to every wearer.

By Joanna Fuchs
www.poemsource.com






Anyone need a good laugh?

Yes?

Good.

Check out a few pictures according to Afton.


You never know what you'll find on the camera after she's used it.


She provides hours of comic relief.


I'm thinking theater or comedy is in her future.


With her, even a foot is funny...up close and personal, of course.


Are you laughing yet?



I can't stop laughing!!


The End.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Commited to prayer

"Never stop praying" 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

I have been asking God to help me be more diligent in my prayer life. Sounds kind of funny when I say that because asking God for help in talking to Him is actually doing what I'm asking His help for. Does that make sense?

So, as part of my commitment I've been keeping a prayer journal. I try to write in it daily. In my journal I write a list of the people I need to pray for, the struggles I need God's help with, the trials I need strength to get through, wisdom to teach and train our children, and patience. As I pray I go through my list and add as I felt lead to pray. I can't tell you how amazing this has been. Just as a reminder of what I prayed for the day before and I can see how God has answered those prayers.

While reading this blog I read about her commitment to pray for her children. So, I added the button to my blog and will be writing out my commitment (hopefully today).

What better way to protect and cover our children, but through prayer? Even better for our children to see their mom & dad constantly praying for them. This is an amazing example of going to God in prayer for everything. Nothing is too small or too silly. This is what God desires. He may not answer when we want Him to or in the way we want Him to. He is faithful to answer though.

My prayer over the past month is for my will to be God's will. To be content in His timing. To rest in the assurance that God will make everything perfect in His time. I can tell you I have see the blessing already.

I'll leave you with a wonderful quote from Elizabeth George's book, A Woman After God's Own Heart, which I have adopted and written on the inside of my prayer journal. She says,

"Make no decision without prayer."


Friday, November 7, 2008

In the news...and note worthy

This will be short and sweet. I just wanted to highlight a few big moments in our nations history. Several of them happened this week. Here is my recap in links. Enjoy!

Obama is the president elect

California voters pass ban on gay marriage
(a side note to this: I heard it said that trends start in California then sweep across the US. I can only pray that this "trend" will sweep across the US and marriage will be defined as one woman and one man.)

Obama around the world
(credit to We Are Blessed...for the link to this. Obama-mania is spreading through out the world. I can't help but think of the book of Revelation and all the signs of what is to come. We need to be on our guard so as not to be deceived by a mans words no matter how appealing. Pray, be in the Word daily, seek God's guidance daily...be on guard!)

See, I told you this would be short and sweet.

I have pictures to post, but that will have to come at a later time. Life and family is calling. I can't ignore it..lol...plus, my coffee is getting cold and I need a reheat.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts on this history making week!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time waster

Are you bored? Tired? Unmotivated? Feeling a bit lazy?

Want to do something fun, but don't want to move to do it? Well, I have just the thing for you!

All that is required of you are your fingers to play this arcade-like game of Pac Man.

If you grew up in the 80's like me then you'll be in heaven...then you'll try to beat as many levels as you can!

Have fun!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

P.S.

Vote and get a free coffee from Starbucks.

Not that coffee should be the reason you vote. However, if you're standing out in the cold this evening because the line to the voting booth is long you'll be very happy to march into Starbucks with your "I voted" sticker. You vote = free coffee.

A piece of my day

Today is an unusually mild day in New England. Especially for November. It so beautiful out and the sun is shining. I haven't raked my yard yet because I love the way the leaves look as they cover the grass. It's almost like natures confetti.

So, this is what we've accomplished so far today:


* Left at 8:30 to bring Gracie (our cat) to the vet to get "fixed".
* Went to a local market to pick up some of Mike's favorite meat. Our home group is doing a dinner tonight and he mentioned he wanted to pick something up to grill. I picked up some sushi (packaged, but that's ok...Philadelphia rolls...mmmmm!)
* Voted and I have my sticker to prove it *big smile*
* Filled the van with gas at $2.19/gallon. I was excited!!!
* Went for a walk with the kiddos when we got back.
* Had lunch (mmmm...sushi...even the kids had a bite and liked it)
* Kids into quiet time
* Now I'm working

Later on we have to pick up Gracie and then come back home. I'm hoping to get the last two loads of laundry folded before Mike comes home and we have to go to our dinner. We shall see!

I'll leave you with this last bit of encouragement...DON'T FORGET TO VOTE...see you at the polls!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Today's inspiration

Make God's will the focus of your life day by day.
If you seek to please Him and Him alone, you will find yourself satisfied with life.
Kay Arthur

Satisfaction does not come with more money, more toys, bigger houses, better cars, the best lawn,
nice clothes, the best electronics, having a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend, or even a full cupboard.

Satisfaction comes when you are content and happy with what God has blessed you with. Knowing that He will provide for our every need (not want).

Pray for God's will in your life. Pray that He will make His will your will. Pray for joy in the midst of trying times.

Remember Job? He had it all. A wife, many children, land, cattle, wealth....

God allowed it all to be taken away. You would think, after losing everything he held dear, including his children, he would have cursed God. You would think he would have been bitter and angry with God. Instead, Job 1:20 & 21 says " Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, 'I came naked from my mothers womb, and I will be naked with I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!'"

Satisfaction does not come from worldly possessions, wealth, or great gain. It doesn't come from doing all the "right" things. It doesn't come from approval or praise. It comes from fixing your gaze on Him. Blessing him in the good times and the difficult times. Being thankful for the things you've been blessed with and being good stewards with what you've been entrusted with.

This was a great reminder for me today. Especially with the holidays coming up. It's easy to get caught up in the commercialism of it all. In truth, I would be happy if we never exchanged gifts. A family dinner is the best gift I could ever ask for.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

For the undecided among us.

You have 2 days left. That's it. Have you decided who you will vote for?

I have already decided. For a while I was undecided. Not that I was choosing between Obama and McCain. Instead I was trying to decide if I should go with McCain because I do not agree with Obama on several huge issues, or if I should vote for a third party. I ended up making my decision tonight.

I was truly torn over this vote because I wanted to be sure that the vote I cast will be for the person God wants me to vote for. I know God is in 100% complete control over this election. The person that is voted in to be the next president will be the person God chooses. He is the decider. However, I still need to do my part.

As Christians, we have an obligation to vote for someone who, as much as possible, upholds those things that are holy, righteous, moral and Godly. For me, the biggest issue I am faced with in this election is the issue of abortion. Why have we lessened the severity of what it really is by calling it a "womans choice"? A "mistake"? A "punishment"? This is a baby! From the moment of conception it is a living, created being. A life. A life God created. To call it anything else such as the above, is to say God made a mistake and that He is not sovereign and holy.

So, please. Prayfully consider who you wish to be next president of the United States. Please cast your vote for a person who knows that life begins at conception and that a baby is not a punishment as one candidate stated.

Also remember this. No matter who wins this election we have a responsibility to pray for our leaders. That is a command from God. We are to respect and obey the leaders in authority over us so long as it does not go against what God as said.

Please take a minute and watch this video before making a decision on your candidate of choice.




In Him,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Treasure the gift of children

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


Tonight, as I write this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the children God has blessed us with. They are happy, healthy, smart, beautiful, and so filled with energy and love. I love being able to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight.

However, today, we almost lost Caleb. While at a family gathering he and another cousin wandered off and found a door that led to the outside. Away from us. My sweet, smart Afton came upstairs and told us that the two boys were missing. They were downstairs and then they were not.

As a mom my heart dropped. Instantly I try to be calm and think they must be hiding. As I walk downstairs I realized they had found a set of stairs. Knowing where it leads I take the steps two at a time and burst through it.

I am staring at the tennis courts. Nothing. No Caleb. No sound of my son laughing. I run around the side of the building calling his name. Nothing. I run to the front and towards the playground. I try not to think of the worst. I see people walking around outside and try not to imagine them with my son.

He's not on the playground. I run back around. My cousin says she can't see them. I call his name. Trying not to panic. Still nothing. Where is my son?

All of a sudden my cousin says she sees them. They had crossed the parking lot and were under the carport. They had opened a car door and climbed in.

Relief flooded over me. As well as fear...of what could have happened. The "what if's?" started flooding my mind as I brought Caleb back inside. Safe. Within my sight.

He had no idea what was going on. To him he was just walkin' around. To me it was my worst nightmare. My biggest fear.

Once I was inside it took a minute and I was doing ok until my cousin looked at me. I must have looked panic stricken because she said, "Are you alright?". That was all it took. My emotions came out in a flood of tears. The adrenaline that pumped through my body just moments before was leaving my body tired while the raw fear stayed.

I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness. God protected my son. He didn't let anything happen to him. Both boys were safe.

The "what if's" still play through my mind. I still feel the helpless, lost feeling. Not knowing where to look. Not knowing what direction he would have taken.

I cannot imagine how parents (mothers) feel when they lose a child due to "natural" reasons or other reasons. I cannot imagine the pain, heartache and emptiness they must feel after such a tremendous, heart wrenching loss.

I can understand (now) how it takes tremendous faith to stand up, trust God, and worship Him in spite of such a loss. I admire the many women who's blogs I found and read faithfully. To get up each day, be a wife, a mother, a daughter, sister, friend....and I only lost my son for several minutes.

So, please treasure your children. Hug them. Love them. Squeeze them. Smile and laugh with them and tell them many times each day how happy you are that God blessed you with them. They truly are a blessing from Him. You never know if that moment will be your last.

Thanking God for allowing me to be a mom,