Monday, November 21, 2011

Resting in his arms

Watching Summer sleep in her papa's arms, I'm struck by something.  She's so calm and peaceful in his arms.  Always.  Bruce has always been able to calm our babies when they're crying, upset, not content.... and when I'm beyond frustrated.  He's like that everyone... not just with out children, not just with me.  He's that strong, stable, peaceful presence.  He doesn't frazzle easily and handles stress with ease (reasons why he made such a good firefighter).  I am so proud, so thankful to have him as my husband.  He's a great example of how our Heavenly Father is always there for us... unconditionally... to hold us so we can rest...and be at peace.


I considered writing a post for Thanksgiving (even the slacker sometimes-bloggers like myself try to recognize the holidays!).  Instead, I'm posting what Carlie wrote for her second grade assignment.

"I'm thankful for my family so I have people to snugle and love.  I'm thankful for books so I can read and bekum a better reader.  I'm thankful for music so I can practice songs.  I'm thankful for my church so I can larn learn about God.  I'm thankful for Summer my baby sister Summer so I have a baby sister to play with.  I'm thankful for Jesus so I can worship and prays praise him.  I'm thankful for my house so I have protection."

I couldn't have said it better.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

1 month of Summer

Sweet Miss Summer Grace made her entry into the world on October 8th just minutes after midnight.  Over 40 weeks of pregnancy, 3 hours of labor, and she was here.  Finally.   

It's been an eventfully month... Jack had his first 2 field trips (which I had to miss, but his dad had the opportunity to go with him!)... the Fall Festival (walk-a-thon) at the elementary...her first days at church and youth group...the children's church trip to the zoo... Halloween... whew.  

Discovering her skin is too sensitive for disposable wipes and diapers so we started using the cloth diapers much earlier than expected.  (lots of laundry!)  Breastfeeding.  Rediscovering my love for our babyhawk baby carrier.  Remembering why I hate the infant carseats.  

The joy in watching the interaction between the older children and teeny one.  Amazing.  So much love there.  

Her name suits her personality: sweet, warm, content, easy going, sunny.  
Completely in love...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pantry Prep

I'm part of a group on facebook called, "Riot for Austerity".  It's about using less resources, being frugal, buying new, going without and doing this differently.  (not that I'm very good at this!)  One of the recent questions posed by the group moderator was "how is your winter pantry shaping up?"  Normally, I try to grow a lot of our food, find things we don't grow or raise at our local markets or through individual farmers.  I can, dehydrate, freeze, etc.  Cook my own instead of buying processed junk.  I enjoy it.  I feel like I'm providing quality for my family.  Our children are learning where their food comes from, how it grows, what the meat we eat looks like when it's still in a pasture!  They're learning to cook at a young age (instead of their late 20s, like me).  They think I make the best bread, pizza crust, and tortillas in the world!  (only because they're fresh, I'm sure)

I've been trying to inventory our pantry and freezer and it's not as good as I had hoped.  Not to make excuses, but this pregnancy has been kinda tough.  I've been put on a modified bedrest a few times, instructed not to go out in the heat and humidity (too many contractions), etc.  It made getting out in the garden nearly impossible when temps were in the 90s and bedrest meant no canning the tomatoes when it was time.  (I asked the OB, I was told 'absolutely not') 

So, this how things are shaping up for us.  Good things:  our freezer is packed full of local meat (lamb and chicken), local berries (strawberries and blueberries), sweet corn, and peppers.  (the freezer sits on our outside porch and takes nearly no energy to run during the winter... we make up for it during warm summer months) 

Okay things:  I canned crushed tomatoes, peaches, jam, and pickled hot peppers... but not enough.   (I would have been closer if I hadn't been put on bedrest during this pregnancy) 

Better Luck next year:  Our potato crop was a bust... and our popcorn didn't do so hot, either.  Luckily, we still have a lot of leftover popcorn (it's a big source of snacks and lunches for us). 

In progress:  I found a local source for oats I need to call on and we have some wheat berries stored.  I'm sure we need more local honey and maple syrup.  (trying to phase out processed white sugar)  I'll have to pick those up at the market when I stock up on apples (to dry, store, and sauce), carrots, potatoes and butternut squash (which I can't grow to save my life!). 

But, our 3rd child is due any day now so some things are going to have to wait!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am still pregnant.  The doctor didn't think I would make it past Friday.  It's Tuesday and I'm still pregnant.  I'm 38 weeks... only 2 weeks til my due date.  Jack was born right at 38 weeks and he was a big guy (8 1/2 pounds).  I don't think I want our girl to get much bigger than that!  She seems to be a patient baby... calm and gentle so far (not a hyper baby in-utero)... we'll see if that continues once she truly arrives.  Because seriously, I cannot be pregnant forever.  Right?!?!?!  (although it feels that way right now)  I have another check up tomorrow, let's see how that goes.

I know how hard life will be... no sleep, constant feedings, the big kids waking the baby.  I know how great it'll be...sweet baby smell... snuggles...a precious new life.  I'm eager to stop gaining weight.  My yoga mat misses me.  It's getting chilly, my feet are cold... I need shoes (real shoes!) to fit again...and jackets that do up!  I won't miss the heartburn.  I long for the day I can keep my emotions and hormones in check!  (no more crying, less yelling.  Irritable??  Who, me!?)

Soon.  Deep breath and repeat:  I will not be pregnant forever.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Not long now...

36 weeks... not long to go now.  The doctors hope I can last another week (they don't think I'll make it anywhere near my due date, but that's no surprise.).

Although the picture is relatively flattering... here are a few things I will not miss:
*My ginormous belly.  I'd much rather hold my baby in my arms than have her sit on my bladder.
*My ginormous rear-end that matches the belly.  Because, you know, it's all about balance.
*Peeing 87 times a day.  It's a little much.
*Pregnancy insomnia.  Can't fall asleep, wake up all night long, can't fall back asleep, get up at 4 am because, hey!  Why not. 
*Having my very big, very low belly hang out of every shirt I own (maternity, or otherwise).
*Only wearing flipflips.  It's getting chilly and my feet are cold.  And a girl likes more options when it comes to footwear.  Something other that dirty green flipflops.
*Having everyone ask how I feel.  Because clearly, I don't feel that great.  I have daily contractions, I've already visited the hospital, I've been dilated (to some degree) for weeks, I pee 87 times a day, I can't reach my own feet, I can't bend over, I can't sleep... do I need to continue?
*Waddling.  I hate waddling.  It's embarrassing.
*Having everyone (friends and strangers alike) say either: "You're so big!  Are you sure it isn't twins?" or "Are you still pregnant?  It's been forever!"  Yes, obviously I'm still pregnant.  (notice the waddling?) and I know how long it has been.  Trust me.  But it's still a month early.
*Not being able to do anything by myself.  I don't like asking for help, but I can no longer push mow the yard, clean out the chicken coop, or lift a 25 lb bag of dog food.

I'm ready to be done.  The very end of pregnancy is hard.  It's exhausting.  It makes you tired and emotional and cranky.  I'm looking forward to holding our new daughter and learning her personality.  Seeing what color eyes she has.  And if she has her dad's mouth, or mine.  I want to start working out again... and wear normal clothes.  I want Jack to feel like a big brother.  And for Carlie to know what it's like to have a sister.  *sigh*  Not much longer...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Day 5...

From a Low Angle...

(photo:  my brother's shoes... he (along with my hubby and my dad) acted as ushers at my brother-in-law's wedding this weekend.)

We spent Saturday at my brother-in-law's wedding.  It was an honor and a blessing to be part of their day.  I am constantly reminded of how blessed and truly fortunate my husband and I are... not only do we live fairly close to our families... but our families get along.  Holidays, weddings, birthdays, births, are events for our entire family.  My parents and my little brother...Bruce's parents and his 3 sisters and his brother, plus our niece and nephew.  Now, we have a new sister-in-law. 

Our families (those we are born into and those we choose) can serve as reminders of the Lord's unconditional, forever Love for His children. 

The 'Jesus Storybook Bible' puts it this way: 'You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children - with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.'

Friday, August 05, 2011

Day 5 From a High Angle


The kids and I took a trip to the large farmers market in the city on Thursday.  We came home with all this!  10 lbs of blueberries, a dozen ears of corn, 2 lbs of raw honey, a few carrots and zucchini.  Wowzers, what a haul.  The Lord sure is good to us (His children, not just our family in particular).  I bought most everything from these beautiful Mennonite women.  I love their simple, kind, and hardworking spirits.  I always try to buy from them (it helps that they have the best produce!). 

I wanted to go pick blueberries this year, but with the heat and my progressing pregnancy - it just wasn't an option.  I was filled with joy to find this giant box of blueberries for the same price as the you-pick-it.  The berries and corn were promptly processed and froze to be enjoyed over the winter.  God is good, all the time.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Photo Challenge Days 3 & 4



Clouds... after spending the day working the small town farmers market, we (me and my mom) went back to my mom and dad's house.  We shared dinner... the kids played in the yard...I got to spend time with their adorable puppy.  Bruce came by after a long day at work to start cutting up a tree that fell in a spring storm.  We'll use the wood for heat this winter.  It was a long, but beautiful summer day.

Green.  We found this great big snapping turtle just down the road from my parents' house. Let's call him Earl.  Earl was huge... and a bit angry.  The kids wouldn't come within 10 feet of him.  :)  (they love turtles, frogs, and such... but they had never been around a snapper and they were warned how dangerous and aggressive they can be)  My dad carried Earl across the road to the wetlands where he (the turtle, not my dad) swamp away to live happily ever after.  Well, happier than if we left him in the road to be hit by a car... turtle populations continue to shrink (due to polluted habitats, car/turtle collisions, and other mishaps with humans and predators)... at the current rate of decline, my grandchildren may never see a live turtle in the wild.  (these are old facts... hopefully they change for the better)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Day 2 - What I'm Wearing

photo taken by Carlie (age 7)  Me - 31 weeks pregnant standing in front of our mulberry bush.

Okay, I feel a little silly about doing this item of the 30 Day Photo Challenge.  Sadly, it falls on laundry day... and I have a total of 3 shirts that actually cover my entire pregnant belly.  This is shirt #3.  :)  The other 2 are in the wash.  Monday is my big cleaning day, so I don't really dress up for the occasion.  If you were to show up at my house any day of the week, this is probably how you would find me.  Or I might have a ponytail or an apron...

From the top down:
Purple and green paisley scarf on my head (from the resale shop across the road)
Giant Sunglasses my husband can't stand (from Target last year)
Purple Maternity Tank Top (Target... and the stain on the front is just water.... I had just finished washing dishes)
Gray Comfy Pants with Pockets (again, from Target... but not maternity)
Brown Teva Sandals (my favorite shoes... from
Basket... I think it belonged to my mom.  I honestly don't remember.  Sometimes I use the basket the farmers market in my display.  I used it today to fill with cut herbs from the garden. Oregano, sage, and calendula... all hanging to dry in my kitchen.
Baltic Amber Necklace (etsy)  This is the coolest thing I'm wearing.  I wear it  No matter what.  Baltic Amber has been used for centuries throughout Europe in infant jewelry, commonly called teething necklaces.  The amber is a resin, not a stone.  It warms with your body heat and releases a compound called succinic acid which acts as an analgesic.  It's certainly not as strong as taking tylenol or another drug, but it's a natural remedy that can bring some mild pain relief.  I wear it because I have chronic neck pain and neck muscle spasms.  Before I was pregnant I was taking muscle relaxers  (along with doing yoga and other stretching) to help get things under control.  Now I wear my amber necklace.  Is it a miracle cure?  Of course not.  I was quite skeptical when I purchased it (but I thought it was cute anyway).  I bought my mom a bracelet to wear to help with her arthritis.  Since she started wearing it, the swelling/pain/heat in her wrist is much improved. 

taken by Jack age 4 - because he had to use the camera and take a picture of mom, too

Sunday, July 31, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

This looks like lots of fun.   I found it over at Abigail's wonderful and inspiring blog, Shine On Child.  (I can't remember the 'official sponsor, but she has the link) I'm going to give it a go (against my better judgment)... and see if I can manage to keep up with it.  With only 2 months to go in my pregnancy and school starting up in just over a month, this feels like a big commitment.  (I know, I'm making excuses already...)  So, here goes Day 1:

Flattering?  Nope.  :)  Not even a little.  But it's realistic.  It's after 9 pm...I'm on the couch...I'm exhausted, tired of fighting to get the kids in bed.  The morning started very early so we could get to church for my husband to make it to Praise Team practice (we were late, as usual).  It was 90 degrees and humid today so my asthma was bothering me and I had a migraine...add that to the fact I'm feeling very pregnant (i.e.: achy, tired, grumpy, huge, etc).  By 9:00, I'm lucky if my eyes are still open.  This third trimester is kicking my butt.   :)  I'll be thankful to go to bed.  Thankful to sleep (at least a little).  And very thankful for the beginning of new week. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dash Away...

Back in January, I signed up for the Warrior Dash race along with my husband, dad, and brother.  2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant.  That put an end to my Warrior training (but was the beginning of morning sickness, back ache, weight gain, and growing a whole new person).  So, I traded my registration for a whole load of baby stuff and my brother-in-law got to compete in my place. 

Today was the dash...and it must of have been 90 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  (ugh!  too hot!)  We were able to cheer on the guys (everyone finished, completed all the obstacles and didn't get hurt!  Success!!) and take a few photos.  I ended up with my my first (and hopefully last) sunburn of the season.  And a chance to wear my husband's Warrior Dash Viking Helmet (all competitors get one). 

And yeah, I wore it to go pick up pizza and movies.  I was a big hit.   :)

Friday, July 22, 2011


Yesterday, my little boy turned 4.  I cannot believe it's been 4 years since God blessed us with this charming, amazing, funny little boy.  He has the *best* sense of humor.  He is all BOY (think, GI JOES, swords and helmets, mud, bugs, and cars).  He picks me flowers every time he goes out to play.  He's quick with a hug and a smile.  Forgives easily and has a generous heart (a heart that, sometimes, seems far too big for his little body).

Jack is the best little boy our family could ever hope for.  He brings us so much joy.

It was nearly 100 degrees out, so we celebrated indoors.  Birthday pancakes with chocolate chips for breakfast, a few gifts (his very own trash can, just like he wanted), wii bowling, cheesecake, and the last evening of VBS at church. 

I took lots of pictures of Jack... but turned out blurry.  The boy is never still!  :)


Monday, July 18, 2011


Okay, deep breath.  Yesterday, I started on a new adventure.  At this point, you probably think I'm crazy because expecting a third child, getting ready for one to start pre-school, 2nd grade for another just wasn't enough.  Not to mention attempting to run an at home business.  But this adventure isn't about spending time doing something... it's about letting go.  Letting go of control, of preconceived notions.  Letting go of unimportant things that steal away our time from what (who) matters most. 

Best pics I can do at the moment.
I dreaded my hair.  Well, actually Bruce did it for me.  I've admired dreadlocks for a number of years now.  So carefree, a beautiful evolving mess.  The absence of pretense and polish.  I've never been one to spend time on my hair.  I always found it frustrating.  Time consuming.  The products, styling tools, expense.  Just to try to look like everyone else.  Or how folks expect you to look. 

I had straight, oily hair most of my life.  After Jack was born (almost) 4 years ago it really changed.  My hair became wavy and dry.  At times it would be so crazy curly it couldn't be tamed.  I switched shampoos.  I used natural shampoo bars.  I tried no-poo (baking soda with a vinegar rinse).  Herbal hair teas.  *sigh*  Nothing helped.  I wash my hair 2-3 times a week in the summer.  More frequent washing just dries it out.  All the hair products I've tried for curly hair just makes it feel gunky.  After 4 years of fighting the craziness and mess... I'm done. 

It's been tamed by hours (and hours) of back-combing.  (and confined by a scarf... wouldn't want to scare the children)

My darling husband knew he married a hippie over 9 years ago.  :)  Over the past year I would show him pictures...."Hey, don't you think these dreads are cute?  Isn't her hair so pretty?".  He knew it was only a matter of time.  He's not the biggest fan of dreads, but he's supportive.  In the end, he decided it was best to help me so they turned out neat (as neatly as new baby dreads can be) so he could still be seen with me out in public.  :)

We have VBS (vacation bible school) at church this week and Bruce has a number of vacation days this week, too.  Church, movies, dinner out... not to mention doctor appointment check ups, and farmers market dates in the near future.  My new hair is going to get a lot of public viewing.  I was brave enough to put my hair in dreads... now I'm just hoping I'm brave enough to leave them, regardless of what others think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today may be the first official day of summer, but Carlie has been out of school for a few weeks now.  Some of your favorite memories so far:

*Trip to the local historical reenactment town - Crossroads Village - getting to ride on the old train.  (kids were thrilled to finally ride, as it comes thru our town a few times a day and we hear it all summer long)

*Sitting in the shade under our maple trees making garden stepping stones on a hot day.  We'll be doing this again soon.

*Adoring my daughter missing her 2 front teeth up top!  Precious.

*Scavenger hunt!  The kids were up early last week and wanted to play... we came up with a hunt for them to do around the yard.  Hunted for feathers, flowers, bugs, and sticks taller than they are!  I'm planning another scavenger hunt morning already.  :)

*Realizing the bushy tree-thing in the middle of the yard is a mulberry bush!  We've been here 3 years and it was just a scrawny little stick when we moved in.  I think this is the first year it had much fruit.  Yum!

*Watching our dog, Truman, herd the chickens.  He's always been good with the girls, but we didn't know he had this particularly useful skill.  If he thinks they're wandering too far, he'll round them up and chase them to the coop.  So fun to watch!

*Having Bruce home for a few extra days.  He had a long weekend at home for Father's Day and it couldn't have been nicer.  He knocked some items off his list of house and yard work, played lots of games with the kiddos, we had some quiet time, cooked out, had s'mores, and went to a Ren Faire.  It was a full 4 days!

*Canning several batches of strawberry jam.  I love the rhythm of canning... and (bonus!) I have some Christmas gifts finished.  :)

*Watching my garden grow.

...Least favorite things of the summer...lots of migraines...Jack's horrendous allergies, doctor's orders that I am unable to go outside if it is very hot (90ish) because the heat and dehydration cause me to have contractions and lots of swelling (hoping for a cool summer!).

And just think, June isn't even over!  *sigh*  LOVE THIS.


*I started the green rug last night and finished it today. 

I started on a new rag rug last night (and it would probably be finished now if I wasn't blogging).  :)  I love love love taking old fabrics and giving them new life.  I can never bring myself to throw away clothes with holes or stains...I know we won't wear them, no one will love them again if I give them to Goodwill or Salvation Army, but I cannot let them got to the dump and fill up a landfill.  Ick!  So, I save them.  Um... this sort of fabric stash starts to take over your closet, room, life... and your hubby starts to wonder why the closet is overflowing with bags of junky clothes nobody can wear and no longer believes you when you say, "I'm going to make something out of them... really!".  Yeah.  Until you throw everything in a spare corner in a barely used upstairs room and start making rag rugs.  :)

I made one for our kitchen first, then the bathroom.  Then I started making a few more.  Jack started asking why we needed more rugs.  :)  We don't.  I took them to a craft show (but it was 90 degrees out and nobody came) and put up pictures on facebook.  Two rugs sold in a 2 days on facebook!  Holy cow, I couldn't believe it.

I'm going to create things regardless.  I can't just sit here...I need to have my hands busy, to be making things.  I might be knitting a scarf (current obsession is cowls!), making a rug (to sell to support my crafting addiction), or sewing (because I recently fell in love with my sewing maching again).

We're creative beings...we're made in the image of the great Creator.  I like to repurpose old items and give them new life, purpose, and make them lovely again... that's not to far off what God does with us.  Through His amazing grace and mercy, He forgives us makes us new... getting rid of the old life and making us into something new.  And lovely.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spring time love

What a productive Thursday!  I cleaned off the inside porch and scrubbed the floor.  It's enclosed and holds the washer/dryer, dog (when we aren't home), chest freezer and an assortment of junk.  After pitching the junk (bonus- it was garbage day!) and sweeping/vacuuming and scrubbing the floor with a combo of water, vinegar, and mint and eucalyptus oils the porch no longer smelled like dog!  Yay!  

I made 2 batches of jam, cleaned the kitchen and washed dishes approximately 7 times. I had time to sell 2 rag rugs to a friend and ooo-and-ahhhh over my new cloth diapers that arrived in the mail.  (seriously, they are the cutest things... one more reason I cannot wait for our darling little girl to be born)

The kids spent the day playing dress up...Carlie came up to me and said, "For Halloween, we should all dress up as princesses and princes and stuff."  She was wearing her green velvet renaissance princess dress (score!  $1 at Goodwill last year!).  And then she added, "But don't worry, you can just wear your hippie stuff and be a hippie queen."  hahaha... nice.... she knows me too well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baking, Creating

Yesterday was a day for making, baking, and creating.  Chicken noodle soup in the crockpot (to get rid of the allergy sickies we have), banana bread and chocolate chip cookies (yum!).  Painting shelves for the youth room (finally!).  Working on a few sewing projects with Carlie (yay!).  Beautiful, wonderful, blissful.  *sigh*

I seem to get so much accomplished on Mondays.  Even a bit of laundry!  We won't talk about dishes or clutter... maybe those will be tasks for Tuesday!  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

* 9 years *

Today we are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary.  I can hardly believe it.  The time is flying by...  it has been busy and amazing.  To remind us of some of the events over our 9 years, my mom posted this on my facebook page:

"One burned out apartment, 2 houses, 1 broken wrist, a few surgeries, several stitches, too many rabies shots, 1 cut off wedding ring, 1 replacement wedding ring, quite a few cars, 1 motorcycle, 2 dogs, 5 chickens, 3 fish, 1 pregnancy with bed rest, 1 without, many great 4th of July games, a lot a tears, even more laughter, 2 and 1/2 kids, yes, it has been a full 9 years.. We love you guys, Happy Anniversary."

To be married to a man you love, who loves you back... who is faith-filled, devoted, kind...attractive (oh yeah!), has a great sense of humor... is FAR more patient than I deserve... an amazing father to our growing brood of children... Man.  I feel so incredibly blessed.  Beyond-words-kind-of-blessed.  And thankful.  :)

Us back in January of this year... chaperoning a youth retreat (no sleep).  I'll have to find a better picture!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Wet...dreary...gray...blustery...weepy...icky sorta day.  It's spring, but I don't much the like the kind of spring we're having.  I'm moody, emotional, hormonal, upset easily... (I'm feeling quite pregnant, obviously).  I've been yelling at the children all too frequently and then breaking down and being all weepy because I feel like a bad mom.  Perhaps if the weather would change, my mood might follow. Perhaps.  I struggled with some postpartum depression after Jack was born.  (not that I told anyone but Bruce)  I desperately want to avoid that this time around.

Migraines, back ache, and other pregnancy troubles abound.  At my last appointment was told to rest and take it easy... not exactly bed rest... but seriously limited if I wanted the pregnancy to go okay.  I'm bored so I constantly over do it and then feel worse.  I am no longer allow to pick up the kids (at 40 lbs apiece I can see why) but it's difficult to not want to scoop up a teary 3 yr old.  :(  With all the physical troubles (and I know it could be worse) I feel betrayed by my body...physical, emotional... everything. Unable to do 'normal' things.

My ultrasound is in less than a week.  Praying all is well with the baby and she/he is cooperative so we can find out if we're having another boy or another girl.  Then we just have to come up with a name.  We haven't come up with anything... at this point I'm hoping for some divine inspiration.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hello Again!

I actually think about this blog all the time.  Most days I even think of something wonderful I want to blog about. And then something will come along and distract me.  Laundry, helping with homework, making dinner, a migraine, sitting and reading someone else's blog...   You see what I mean.  I have the best of intentions, really.  :)

The last post was shortly after I found out I am pregnant.  Sheesh.  I'm 16 weeks pregnant now!  It certainly is going by quickly.  I had a lot of morning sickness (and the flu, which really didn't help) in the beginning.  I was lucky if I could make it through a day without being sick or taking a nap.  I didn't have any morning sickness - at all!- with Carlie or Jack.  This took me completely by surprise!  I've been having near-daily migraines or headaches, too.  Not fun.  It can get pretty difficult to function and lead a normal life.  I'm trying not to complain and just cope with the pain.

Okay, no more complaints or excuses... on to the real blog post!  :)

 Mom-daughter Day!
Carlie and I had a wonderful weekend.  We set aside a few hours Saturday just for us girls.  We spent all our time here in town.  Lunch across the road at a sweet little family-style restaurant where we laughed and took pictures of each other.  Then we went to the resale boutique in the same plaza to search out some treasures.  We found a cute sundress for Carlie, a maternity tank top for me (in a beautiful blue!) and dress for her babydoll.  We spent $6.  Not bad!  At home we painted our fingernails (I think I do this 2 times a year...maybe).  Carlie picked out blue for me to cover up the nasty bruise under my thumbnail from when I slammed by thumb in the car door last week.  After a batch of our from-scratch brownies, our day was complete!
My Carlie-girl!  I cannot believe she's 7 and so grown up.  (she turned 7 last month.  I didn't blog about that either...)
Me - 4 months pregnant and looking tired.  I'm wearing a dress because she insisted we dress up for our afternoon.

We made these adorable little birds Sunday.  Carlie had a lot of fun learning to sew!

You can find the tutorial for the little birdies here.  While you are there, check out Em's classes and etsy page (if it's not open right now, it will be soon).

I'm pretty sure I'll actually blog again soon because my ultrasound is in 2 weeks!  Hoping the baby cooperates so we can find out if we're having another boy or girl!!!  :)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Me - a momma to be.  Again!
Hmmm, I look peaceful.  Content.  Sleepy?  Really, I was just wasting time while waiting for my 3 yr old to finish up in the bathroom.  :)

At home and in Wednesday night youth group we've been talking a lot about how people respond to Christ.  As a Christian, you can (and should) fully surrender.  Trust completely in Him.  Let go, lift your hands, and enjoy the ride.  Twists, turns and all; because you know the Lord is in control.  Or you can be the Christian who shuts your eyes and holds on tight, trying to be in control of your lift and never quite surrendering to Him.  Never fully trusting.  Always fighting to do things your way or questioning God's will.

We've been overwhelmed this past month.  Deaths in the family.  Illnesses.  Medical bills from the past year we thought the insurance company had covered.  Our one year old niece had some blood work completely and returned with troublesome results.  (and has more testing this week)  Bruce was in a car accident and nearly totaled his car (and praise God he was unhurt.). Although he's driving the car, we continue to invest money in repairs to make it safe and truly drivable.  Then he got a ticket for the very loud and very broken exhaust.  *sigh*  We had a blizzard last week and the weather continues to be bitterly cold and dreary.

We expect to be healthy.
We expect finances and expenses to work out.
We expect to make it to work and back safely, day in and day out.
We expect the weather to break, sooner or later.

And now I'm expecting our third child.  We are excited and trusting the Lord in the timing of it all.  Praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy.  Our children, families, and friends are thrilled.  :)  Trying so hard to be the believer who lets go, leans back and lift her hands to the Lord.  Trusting completely in His care.  Finding joy in the twists and turns that come our way.

Monday, January 31, 2011

What I'm Reading

Top to bottom:
"Daily Strength for Daily Needs" by Mary Wilder Tileston.  The copyright date on this is 1928  (first published in 1884!).  A gentleman at church had brought in boxes of old books that once belonged to a friend.  They were spread out in the fellowship center (a fancy name for the gym in our building) for folks to take if they wish.  I found this gem.  It's a daily devotional book full of wisdom.  I'm enjoying it immensely and having a difficult time not reading ahead!

"Holy Bible - NLT" - I love the New Living Translation.  I have a few others, but this is my favorite.  I call it the easy-reader version.  :)  I'm working on reading thru the Bible again this year and this is definitely the version the help me through it!  (I'm still in Exodus, but hey - it's the last day of January!)

"Brisingr" by Christopher Paolini - The third book in the Inheritance Cycle.  I'm a nerd.  I like fantasy books.  Good vs evil, swords and men in armor, yeah.  I'm in.  (and fyi - I like movies with a good sword fighting scene, too!)  My favorite books are historical fiction.  (ahem - nerd.  I say it again.)  Hmm.  And another thing, I don't like stand-alone books.  I usually only read book series.  Weird, I know.  (oh, and this isn't my first time through this book.  It's my 3rd.  My hubby bought it for me for Christmas.)

"The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning - Man, oh man.  I'm taking my time with this one, taking it in and meditating on the wisdom of the gospel of grace.  Being impressed over and over again by the Lord's ferocious love for us.

"Serving Like Jesus" by Fields and Eastman - This is the book we're studying in youth group with our students.  (It's the 4th in a series)  Truly learning what it is like to have a servant's heart.

I didn't throw our Sunday school book in the pile.  Or all the books I read with the kids.  Or the blogs I follow.  Or the news I keep up with.  Or facebook or email....

So, what are you reading?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


A great song from the worship during the youth retreat.  (written by Tommee Profitt)

I am under the weather.  Overwhelmed by daily migraines, head congestion and persistent cough.  Physically, I feel completely and totally beat.  Spiritually, I'm encouraged and uplifted!

Bruce and I took a handful (6) of our students on a retreat to northern Michigan over the weekend.  We had lots of crazy fun (like every year) enjoying the antics of our teens and the full joy of worshiping together.  Amazing.  The speaker was a phenomenal youth pastor out of Chattanooga, TN.  His message was right on the mark.  Hitting our kids hard, breaking their hearts and drawing them into a closer relationship with Jesus.  Amen.  Praying it'll be more than an emotional response to the evening and be a true life altering heart change!

We lovelovelove our students, our ministry, and the opportunity to disciple these teens.  I'm always in awe the Lord allows us the chance to be volunteer youth leaders.  Looking around the event, we saw friends (some youth pastors, some teens) and I began to doubt myself.  Doubt what God has called us to do.  Churches with full-time paid "real" youth pastors had soOoOo many students.  Of course they come from bigger churches.... but  I couldn't help but wonder if our students are missing out because my husband (or myself) aren't 'real' youth pastors.  So I pray.  I turn to the Lord and seek His face, thankful for His ferocious LOVE and GRACE.  Seeking Him, and praying in all we do with our students... knowing He can use us in our weakness.  And feeling blessed.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year

Well, I'm not much for resolutions but I love frivolous lists.  :)

  1. Sweet or Savoury?  Usually sweet.  But love spicy, too.
  2. Dresses or Jeans?  Actually, skirts or yoga pants.  Depends on the day and the weather.
  3. House or Apartment?  House.  I like a yard and the really of being rooted somewhere.  I crave soil to dig and plant, trees to fill up my view.  I am not a city girl.
  4. Shop Online or Offline?  Both.  Etsy, craiglist, Ebay, Amazon and itunes are some of my favorites.  I love handmade items and try to buy used where we can.  I haven't tried ordering any food online.  
  5. DVDs or Downloads?  Streaming netflix or DVDs.  We borrow from the library or netflix and we own a number of used movies.  We're movie people, not tv people.
  6. Cocktails or Juice?  Eh, neither.  Juice, on occassion.
  7. Chocolate or Strawberry?  Chocolate.  :)
  8. Laptop or PC?  Netbook.  And I love it.  It does the basics and I don't need anything fancy.  But it's more convenient and portable.
  9. Magazines or Newspapers?  I'll say magazines.  We like 'National Geographic', 'Mother Earth News', and such.  I read a lot of news online.
  10. Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook (and far too often).  Admittedly, I just don't get Twitter...
  11. CDs or MP3s?  mp3s.  I love not having stacks of cds sitting around or dealing with the packaging.  (does anyone else hate shrink wrap?
  12. Kids or Pets?  Both!  We have two lovely and spunky children, 1 gigantic dog, and 4 crazy chickens.  (this is where I tell you I dream of having goats!)
  13. Macaron or Cupcakes?  Cupcakes or brownies.  My SIL makes great cupcakes and dreams of having her own bakery.  I make brownies from scratch and we are never going back to boxed!  
  14. Walk or Run?  Walk.  I enjoy running, but with my scoliosis it isn't a great idea.  Last time I ran consistently, my back freaked out and I spent a week on the couch and a month on the sidelines.  I walk and do yoga...  
  15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out?  Out.  We rarely get the chance to sleep it and once I'm up, I'm up.
  16. Market or Supermarket?  In summer we grow a lot of our own and shop farmer's markets to buy local.  Otherwise, I go where I can get the best food prices.  And we live across the road from a grocery store.  :)
  17. Sourdough or Grainy?  Anything as long as it's homemade!
  18. Heels or Flats?  Flats. (I'd really rather not wear shoes at all.)
  19. Late nights or Not?  Hahaha.  Not.  It's a big joke in our house that I can barely stay up past 9pm.
  20. Coffee or Tea?  Herbal tea.  I like the smell of coffee but I can't drink it.