Tuesday, December 30

loving on

Five years ago, (plus a few weeks) Michael and I got married. I had heard stories of the stressful first year of marriage, I'd taken Christian Family with Dr. Kimbrough, and I was prepared for this marriage thing to be a lot of work. (Anybody else remember his "call me" line?) I was also prepared to keep loving my husband, to keep falling in love with him. We waited, with a little trepidation, for the "hard" part of that first year to kick in. And, thankfully, we are still waiting.

I'm not saying that each day brings big romantic dates and flowers, but I've never been much for all of that, anyway. And, Michael is still my very favorite. If I could, I would spend all day with him, every day. I simply do not understand people who take separate vacations from their spouses or become irritated with "too much" time together. We are still scouring the planet for a job we could do together. Often, we are frustrated because we don't get enough time with one another.

Maybe we are weird, maybe we don't have enough years under our belts, but this marriage thing is a whole lot of fun. We really like each other.

I imagine that the same people who rolled their eyes at us as newlyweds on our first (and only) couples retreat and said "just wait five years" are still rolling their eyes at us and saying "wait five more" but I will take my chances. And I will praise our God for pouring His grace on us, for bringing us together, and for helping us love on.

Here's to fifty more (at least) years, Michael. I am so thankful for you, for your leadership, patience, loyalty, and love.

Monday, December 29

Works of God Monday


I did it again! I forgot about Works of God Monday! Having Michael home throws off our schedule (in a very, very good way!) Michael does not have to go back to work until the 5th, so he is working on completing several projects around the house and just playing with the boys. I am praising the Lord that we had a wonderful Christmas, that God granted us safety as we traveled, and that He continues to provide for every single need.

This past month, we were able to save about $70 (that would be per month) by switching insurance providers on our house and cars. This is better coverage, and with an agent we know personally, so even better. We switched to the carrier that holds our life insurance policies and got the multiple policy discount. Hallelujah!

So how is God showing Himself at work in and around you? Please share!!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Sunday, December 28

what a Christmas!














This year was our family's best so far! (you may think I should pick the year we were on our honeymoon, but we both had the stomach flu, so that doesn't really top the charts) I'm sure all of you who have kiddos in this 2 year old range (or have had, in previous years) are nodding right along with me.

Aaron LOVED every aspect of Christmas - he was loving opening his presents and was equally thrilled with all gifts, small and great. We got off "cheaply" this year. Two summers ago Michael found a Home Depot tool bench, complete with a kiddie power drill, for $5 at a sale. We've been saving it for the Christmas or birthday when he seemed ready. This was the year! I'm mystified, however, at how boys turn every.thing. into a weapon. "Don't point the drill at people" has been a reminder that echoes in our halls.

Our favorite gift for Aaron was a collaboration of mine and Michael's talents - a superhero cape. One side has the Superman logo on it, and the other side a logo that Michael designed - for SuperAaron. We hope to be able to do a logo for each of the kids - and were pretty happy with how Aaron's turned out. The only other homemade by sewing gift was a pillowcase for Aaron made of Curious George flannel - a WalMart remnant. (you can catch a glimpse in the photo of Aaron asleep above)

I made a game of Memory for Aaron - simple clip art printed on card stock and cut into card shapes. He's doing great with that, and boy am I glad that he is just as happy with that as he would be a game I actually spent money on.

Evan is 4 months, so he got one present from us - a fleecy taggie ball I picked up from a local crafter. As much as he can, he enjoys it.

Christmas afternoon, we headed to mom & dad's, where we were showered with more gifts than any one family needs!

The day after Christmas, we packed up and headed to Ohio to visit some family there. It's northern Ohio - only a 3 hour trip, thankfully! We ended up staying in a hotel this year - kind of a belated and drawn out anniversary celebration. The photo of Aaron talking to George had us laughing - he was telling George about the fun he had with Michael in the swimming pool. What a little comic he is becoming. We were also spoiled by the aunts, uncles, and cousins with even more gifts! I think the boys' toy supply has tripled in the past week.

This week, I'm sending the Christmas cards. Hopefully. And the Christmas box to Colorado. We are such slackers.

Wednesday, December 24

Works of God!!

Well, it's not Monday, but let's call this the Christmas Edition! We have been blessed that Michael gets to stay home for an entire week of paid vacation - what a blessing to have him here with us, especially with me feeling so sick. God is good, all the time, and He is doing more that I simply don't have time to share right now.

What is God doing in your life and for your family? Link your post here! And have a very Merry Christmas - I might not be blogging again until next year - we will see!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Snow and the Sniffles

Does your church make you sick? I'm convinced that is where we pick up our continual illnesses in the winter time - since we rarely go anywhere else! Ah, well, I guess maybe our immune systems will rally and be the stronger for it.

SO MUCH snow. Unless it turns into California here, we will be having a white Christmas. Michael was thrilled to get the snow blower running in tip top shape Sunday afternoon. Here he is pictured, snow blowing the patio in front of the grill. I think he is hoping for cheeseburgers today. Not sure, but you can probably tell that the snowfall has been over a foot in the last week or so. We got another 3 inches last night.

Monday, a doctor visit for Evan! He had a curious little red bump in his eye. And I take eye issues seriously. I hoped it was just a normal irritation, and it was. The PA noticed that his ear was inflamed and was going to prescribe an antibiotic, but thankfully our doctor was there and I asked him - he said I could come back Tuesday and they could re-check it. And so we did. It was looking normal, and was I ever glad! 4 months is a little young for antibiotics.

Did you know that most kids' ear infections go away on their own in 24-48 hours? It's true. I praise the Lord for my doc, who encourages us to be cautious with our childrens' health. Now if only I could get him to see things my way on some other important issues. *grin*

Not sure why, but I can't get this photo to rotate. It is just too cute to leave out. Aren't they adorable???

I think I may have/had the real, for goodness, flu. I've been out of it in a respiratory sense for several days. Oh well - live first, blog later, right?

Hence, today will bring a works of God post. Please forgive me. I didn't mean to take a vacation from praising the Lord. Get those posts ready, people!!

Saturday, December 20

to the love of my life.

Dear Michael,
Happy Anniversary! I think you are swell. And no, that is not a fat joke. I can't believe we have been married for FIVE YEARS. You make my life so much more fun and so much better than I ever could have imagined. You are an amazing husband and daddy - praise God for His grace and the wisdom that He has given you!

I look forward to MANY more years. And, for the record, your real card is waaaay mushier.

I love you.
Jenny

Friday, December 19

in which I braved the roads and lived to tell








This morning dawned with a fresh 6 inches on the ground, and a blanket of white in the air. I was slated to deliver a couple of meals to new moms from church, so I quickly changed my plan to delivering them ASAP, since the snow was not showing any signs of slowdown.

I haven't driven on roads like this since Northland - our Dodge Caravan was in 3rd gear the whole time and did a fantastic job. The main roads here are good, it's just getting TO the main roads that proves interesting!

I think there is a LOT of snow - more for Midland than I remember in a very long time, anyway. I got to be in snow up & over my boots today. What an adventure. I love it.

Here are some of our photos. Our attempts at photos. The boys are both getting colds, Aaron was hungry and just wanted to suck his thumb, and basically, we don't have enough megapixels for clear photos. However, we managed to get a few decent ones. The final has yet to be decided. Yes, we are behind. Very much.

Thanks, mom & dad, for doing the honors.

aaron's program debut

video

For Aaron's grandparents, and great grandparents. And other people who like to watch the "I'm supposed to be singing" two year old bounce up and down to the music. This, folks, is entertainment at it's finest.


video

catching up








Can you tell I've not posted in awhile? These are for your viewing pleasure. Hope they make you laugh as only these two can!!

Thursday, December 18

with relief, I am sighing

AHHH. I have my computer back. AHHH.

1. The mouse is dead. It had the good graces to leave evidence of it's existence in the bait tray, of all places. So I knew it lived, and lived on. Then, it had the good sense to die in the middle of my laundry room floor. So I could find it. Thank you, mouse. For the record: I do not like D-con. But I like mice in my pantry even less. The D-con is still there, in case mousie had friends.

2. The virus has been vanquished. And, should you ever find yourself in a similar situation and you live in the area, I have a referral for you. Thank you, a million thank yous, to the technological mastermind who saved the life of our computer. And my sanity. For, if I cannot write, or use allrecipes, or check the weather, well, I might as well kiss my last remaining (and fragile) brain cells goodbye.

On the bright side, my cookbooks got a fair chance this past week. :-)

Save up for Works of God Monday this next week! I thought about posting a catch-up today, but decided against it. Good to know that someone missed it. It's one of the highlights of my week, too.

Tonight we attempted family photos. I'll post some of those gems later. Thanks for all the prayers. and the love.

Friday, December 12

this might be it.

For the computer, that is. The virus I thought I'd gotten rid of does not seem to have been gotten rid of. It's gotten worse. I can't download any virus killing software. This is a tricky one.

I might have to call in the reinforcements. Yikes. Reinforcements are expensive.

So, pray for us. My level of tolerance is on a "low threshold" setting. Mice and computer viruses all in one week? That vacation sounds even better now. And if you don't hear much from our house, well, we are most likely still here and still doing fine.

I'm so glad that in the face of frustrating days and little problems that all add together to make big issues, I can rest in my God. He knows about my little frustrations, He never makes mistakes, and He is using all things to work toward His glory and my growth.

So, in case I don't write for awhile, Merry Christmas and have a great season of celebration!

Thursday, December 11

Holiday Shopping and Happy Skin

Some years, all my Christmas shopping has been done on Black Friday. This year, not so much. I don't think I bought more than 2 gifts that day. And taking the kiddos out - both of them - for a long enough stretch to visit more than one store is a laughable matter.

Today, I remembered Etsy. And within 10 minutes, found 2 gifts. And as a bonus, used my PayPal balance to buy them. In essence, I turned my junk (Ebay-sold) into Christmas gifts. And buying them on Etsy makes me feel so happy, since the gifts are hand crafted.

I still have quite the list to finish, but I can cross two more off my list. Just wanted to mention this, in case anyone else is in the same boat. Hurray for Etsy!

And now for the really fabulous news. I am THRILLED with Gold Bond Medicated Lotion, Aloe. No lie. It has cured Evan's eczema. In 2 days. For once, the commercials are entirely correct. This stuff really works.

And you know me, when I find something I like...I try it on everything. Poor Michael - his feet are downright satiny. My cuticles rejoice, my dry skin sings (well, at least it breathes a sigh of relief), and I am one happy camper.

Wednesday, December 10

we shall be overrun

Yesterday, as I was blissfully doing laundry, I caught a glimpse of a mouse-shaped blur down by the lower pantry shelves. Upon further inspection of the surrounding floor, I was horrified by the obvious remaining evidence that a mouse had been there, indeed he had.

Out comes the D-Con, although I much prefer those little round traps that provide a quicker, less cruel death to the rodents who dare to invade my home. And eat our food. That my husband worked hard to pay for, and I to get for a good price.

Then the mouse actually emerged - only to spot me and quickly return to his hiding spot. Yes, I will be cleaning out the laundry room, pantry, and mudroom. It's the most neglected area of the home. I will be doing that now. There are piles and stacks and I must needs hasten.

Or, my friends, we shall be overrun.

Monday, December 8

Works of God Monday

This week I feel that I need to catch up on my praise of God and His works on my behalf for the last few weeks - life has gotten pretty interesting at our house! The holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's, is a big rush of activity from family and doing traditional activities to extra church and youth group events and special parties to plan - WHEW! When you add in that annual sickness, passed around & around, it really takes a toll. I am so glad that in these times of busy-ness, God teaches us more about Himself.

So, my major work of God testimony this morning is - HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!!! The fact that I am still standing upright, and by God's Grace, have been able to accomplish the majority of the tasks assigned to me or signed up for by me, is an amazing blessing! Isn't it "funny" that we can know something to be true in our heads, but once we experience it, it is as if the lights are finally on? I'm definitely a slow learner, and God is so good and so patient toward me, His thick-headed child.

What has God been teaching you or showing you lately? How has he provided for your family? How have you seen Him at work?

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to post just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share! And if you don't have a blog, leave your work of God in the comment section!

Thursday, December 4

Aaron test drives mommy's makeup bag


Aside from the eyeliner on the forehead, I have to give the kid props. He knows where the mascara and, most importantly, the concealer goes!!!!

Evan test drives the Bumbo







Can't you almost see the running commentary of his thoughts??

3 blissful nights

For three nights in a row, Evan (3 1/2 months) has decided to sleep from 10 until sometime after 7 AM.

ahhh, the early morning silence is music to my ears.

Wednesday, December 3

letter to my eldest

Dear Son,
I know, you are learning things. Lots of things, at an alarming rate. Sometimes you might think you know what is best. And someday, you will. But for now, it is your mommy who knows best. And so, when you are crying and carrying on about having to take a nap, instead of making mommy see that you are right, and that you want to stay awake and play with me (I can hardly blame you, dear heart, for I am loads of fun) what you are really doing is saying to me with every whimper and cry, “MOM, YOU ARE RIGHT!” I think it might be magical, for when you cry out “No night-night, please!” I somehow hear it as “Keep making me stay here, mommy! I’ll fall asleep eventually!”

So, darling child of my heart, cry on. You are underlining what I know to be true. Someday, you will probably be wiser than your mommy. In fact, I hope that you will be. But you won’t be without sleep, son. Not without sleep.

I love you,
Mommy.

giving away...

I have five *very* mini-prizes. I got a stack of coupons in the mail from Vocalpoint, each with a scratch-off-and-get-a-code for the possibility of winning a year's supply of Dole Fruit Naturals. The coupons are for save $1 on 2 Fruit Naturals. Leave a comment here with your feelings about canned fruit in general and I'll hold a drawing. The coupons expire on 1/11, but the codes have to be entered by midnight on 12/16, and only one code can be entered per person. I can scratch yours off and email it, or I can just drop the whole thing in the mail.

Drawing will be held tomorrow around noon, so enter now!!

happy surprises

I'm amazed at how easy it is to get out of the habit of blogging. I've almost been on a computer strike, napping when I have opportunity. I think I'm on the upward trend here for sickness, and since it is Wednesday and I have 2 healthy kiddos, I count that as a successful visit to the church nurseries this past Sunday. Break out the vitamin C and tough it out, right?

Lately, no matter how much or how little TV Aaron watches, he wants to imitate it or talk about it. "Like on TV, Mom" is a phrase I've been hearing entirely too much of around here. However, when you're sick, and if the kids decide to not nap on the same day, well...sometimes you need 30 minutes, know what I mean?

So, I broke out the Hide Em in Your Heart DVD (and our Vol. 1 which happens to be VHS). And the funniest thing happened. Aaron is singing Bible verses. I don't think I could be happier. If you haven't checked these out yet, Steve Green did a great job of setting Scripture to music. (I'm not necessarily an across-the-board Steve Green fan, BTW)

I'm memorizing James with the junior high youth group this year. Well, thus far we are only to verse 10 of chapter one, so it's not been that difficult. It had been entirely too long since I set out to memorize a passage, or even a couple of verses. I have found, happily, that it is much easier to memorize Scripture now that I'm not memorizing a multitude of other things for classes. That is one major bonus to not being in school, I suppose.

What are your favorite Scripture memory tools for kids and/or adults?

Monday, December 1

Works of God Monday

We're trying to learn Kung Fu Virus Fighting around here. Over the weekend we were computer-less due to our internet provider suddenly having "glitches" with their security software and our computer contracting a virus as well. So, I've been down for a few days, and when friends start calling wondering if I'm ok because I haven't been blogging, well, it's time to update. Link your Works Of God here! I'll be reading...who knows how long I'll be out of it.

Just a random FYI - I haven't been doing much blog reading, either. Seriously - 363 posts in my Google Reader? I think I'm going to hit that "Mark all as Read" button sometime SOON.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to post just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share! And if you don't have a blog, leave your work of God in the comment section!

Wednesday, November 26

rights.

So a Biblical discussion of "rights" is always welcome, but first I'd love it if you would check out the new link on my sidebar, and see for yourself if you feel that you should sign this electronic petition. I can't say enough about the importance of our job as parents, and doing everything possible to preserve our ability to perform our God given task is definitely appropriate.

Please, check it out, and sign the petition to amend the constitution to include parental rights as a God given and constitutional right, if you feel so led.

Just a note - Life on this earth is fleeting, God is always in charge and there is no room for fear, doubt or worry on these issues. When humans govern humans, unfortunate situations will take place and unfortunate precedents will be set. But God is always good, and always ALWAYS in control.

I'm thankful that I have permanent citizenship in Heaven.

Tuesday, November 25

there is always hope

video

Sometimes you don't know if it's really sinking in.
And you just don't want to keep on doing what you have to.
Or you think maybe you really can't keep on teaching.
And discipling. And doing the dirty work.
There are days when you lie on the couch and try not to cough up a lung,
read "Let's Play Peek-a-boo" seventy nine times and wonder if this is
why you're feeling brain dead.

But then, God sends moments like this.

Monday, November 24

Works of God Monday















Well, it was exactly three years ago this weekend that our friends Aaron & Julia (as of then, unmarried) went for a tour in our nasty prospective house. I think we'd made an offer on it, or we were about to, and I'm still not quite sure what Aaron thought. Julia, I am certain, was right on board with the possibilities. (but she still thought we were crazy, of course!) So the above photos were taken almost exactly three years apart. What a difference! Broughtons, we are signing you up NOW for a visit next Thanksgiving!!

You wouldn't recognize it if you hadn't watched it happen! I wish I'd been able to take a "before" photo of the outside in the spring. Then the crazy gardening techniques in the front yard would be even more visible. I'm almost as happy with the smooth yard as I am with the siding. Almost. The siding project is well over halfway done, and from the road, you almost can't tell that there is any construction at all going on here at the Muth house! All that remains is one end of the house and the back and side of the garage. Praise the Lord for His provision!

This is the house that God is building. We are so blessed to be part of the process. May we use what He has given us for His glory!!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to post just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share! And if you don't have a blog, leave your work of God in the comment section!

Friday, November 21

Aaron is very excited.



We finally got the growth record going! Mom gave us this
bulletin board border, and it's gonna be good for 4 feet.
Then we will have to add another piece. I can't believe
my firstborn baby is 35 inches tall!!!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 19

it's Wednesday






Photos: Evan, sleeping. Evan, smiling. Aaron, grumpy. Aaron, self-taken. A husband's true expression of love.

Today, I said YES when my friend Michelle asked me to accompany her and her two children to Midland's "Tunes for Tots." I'm so glad I did! Tunes for Tots is put on by Midland Center for the Arts, and is an informal gathering of moms and kids under the age of 4. It's also one of the FEW free events they host!! They meet once every other month and feature an instrument or family of instruments. Today's event featured the bassoon. It was great, and the kids had tons of fun. We skipped the cookie and juice in the lobby and came back to our house for some lunch. It was great to watch Aaron & Jonah (both two) interact. They are finally starting to play WITH each other instead of next to each other, and that is neat.

So, despite the fact that it is Wednesday, and our weekly crazy day, I'm glad we did this!

Tuesday, November 18

getting duller

I used to be articulate. I used to be able to keep a to do list in my head, and not forget. I used to be well read and up on current events. I used to polish my shoes on a weekly basis, and never, ever missed a shower. I used to be able to remember the names of the authors of great literary works. I used to read more than the nutrition panels on boxes of breakfast cereal. And I used to know right and left without looking down to see which hand my wedding band is on.

Then, I had children. And I realize how much sleep is worth. It's value is pure gold. Platinum. More. And I'm realizing that I wasn't really ever that creative or clever. It was simply that I was gluttonously imbibing in hours upon hours of uninterrupted sleep.

When Aaron was about 18 months, I got the hang of our new normal, finally, and was almost back to my rested self...only to get pregnant again. Now, with two children, I wonder what I was fussing about with one. And I'm sure mothers of three and five and seven look at me and my crazy hair and wrinkled pants and sigh disparagingly.

Well, I reason, today is different. It must be this sinus pressure that is causing all the confusion, all the sleepiness. Ha. ha. ha. Who am I kidding?

I don't really mind this loss of mental acuity. But I would be in denial to not confess that I do hope my articulate self will one day return. I definitely wouldn't trade my kids for anything, and I would rather be here with them than anywhere else.

And, I'm still trying to learn things, even though I'm not so good at remembering. Today, as it has been for weeks, my prayer is simply this:

"Lord, help me to seek You as diligently as I seek sleep!"

Monday, November 17

Works of God Monday

I need to hear - what has God been doing for you this week? I will post later, I promise. There's a whole lotta hallelujah-ing going on at our house, but it's also just a little bit crazy. We are sick and the house has been falling in around our ears. SO that's what I'm doing today. But link, and link away...

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to post just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share! And if you don't have a blog, leave your work of God in the comment section!

Friday, November 14

my poor deprived children

Lest you think Aaron is a poor soul who doesn't get any sweets, here he is demonstrating how creative he can be once he's done with his favorite "peshial treat" which is Tim Horton's old fashioned plain timbits. (which is probably the least sweet of all the donuts, but still.)

I get coffee, he gets sweets...we are all happy campers. Even Evan, who gets some later. About 4 hours later. He likes donut and coffee flavored milk. Incidentally, it's fall, which means I'm having a grand time eating all manners of pumpkin flavored everything. I need to bake some pumpkin muffins now that I've visited Kara's blog and seen her scrumptious looking photos. I am also very disappointed that the Schwan man sold out of pumpkin ice cream before I got around to ordering any.

What's your favorite treat this time of year?

Thursday, November 13

3 months ago...

1. I was getting ready for the yard sale that changed our lives forever
2. I wasn't even thinking about potty training
3. We were paying $3.84 for a gallon of gas

Today
1. I have a delightful and healthy three month old who weighs 12 lbs and is across the board in the 25th percentile.
2. Aaron is asking to "go pee in potty" and doing it!
3. $1.92 (!?!?!!!)

What are you paying these days??

Tuesday, November 11

provisions, provisions - again and again

Last week Kroger had a mega sale. And of course, last week I was too busy to print out the coupons and go through my stash of collected coupons.

Good news: the sale is repeated this week. I went to Kroger last night and got $74.77 worth of grocery items for $18.77. Sometime I am totally taking a photo of my cereal shelves for you to see the provisions of God for our family. Yes, I said "shelves." Every single box on my shelf was purchased for less than 75cents or was free - the good majority was free with sales & coupons. God is so good, so generous to us. And cereal is a non perishable. So I'm stocking up. If there is a food shortage crisis, we'll just eat cereal.

need a laugh and a swift kick?

So I'm telling you, you have got to add Amy to your Google Reader. Today, again, I get a good guffaw and a reminder of what I'm called to do.

Monday, November 10

Works of God Monday

Is it seeming to anyone ELSE that these days are flying by? I think it is crazy how fast the weeks just float away like a vapor. I've been amazed at what God has been teaching me about making every minute count. I'm thankful for His patience with me, as I am a vvvvvvvvery slow learner.

This week, God blessed by showing us an area of our budget that we can use for other things - now we still need to sit down and rework things, but hopefully this will help us quite a bit. We are so grateful!

So, how is God at work in you? It could be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Blog about it - then follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to post just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share! And if you don't have a blog, leave your work of God in the comment section!

Sunday, November 9

photos.

There are some pretty cute pictures over here of the kiddos, if you are interested.

Wednesday, November 5

We have a winnah!

I used Random.org for my selection of our election day giveaway winner, and the winner is Christina! Since you said you need a razor, well, perhaps your gift will include one.

Congratulations to the winner of our drawing!

About the ACTUAL election, wasn't it a privilege to be voting in something so historical? Record numbers of voters - how exciting! And, either way it would have gone, our country would have had a "first" We are so blessed to live in a country in which we are free to choose our leader. It is going to be interesting (as it always is) to see how our new president governs our land. I'm praising God for His Sovereignty, and for being able to be a part of this moment in history!

So how late were you up watching election returns?

Tuesday, November 4

sometimes free means clutter

It's just like the mail you get offering a steal of a credit card deal, or the pizza coupons, or the sales ads...if you don't get rid of them immediately, soon you are swimming in stuff you don't need.

We have a missionary closet at our church where I can donate our freebies like toothbrushes, razors, shampoo, etc. if we find that our stockpile is overrunning our storage space. But lately, I've been saying "forget it" to the free candles, air fresheners, etc. simply because I don't need it and can't store it. I've come to realize that just because it's free does not mean it is for me!! I may have taken this a bit too far, as we are down to our last tube of toothpaste! ;-)

What do you do with your extras?

And because I'm curious about my readers, who are you voting for today?? Vote in the poll on my sidebar! Comment on this post that you voted in the poll and I'll add you to the drawing for a surprise election day gift (it will be something useful from my own stockpile)! Poll ends at 11:59pm, giveaway open to US residents only. If you comment that you voted in the ACTUAL election, you get two entries.

Monday, November 3

Works of God Monday

Some friends from church got a new washer and dryer, and instead of selling their "old" Maytag Atlantis set, they decided to bless our socks off. Here is our new, free, washer and dryer.

So I have some new friends to help me wash the clothes. Praise the Lord for this answer to prayer! Our old washing machine was doing all right, but I knew it was just a matter of time, as we'd bought it third hand and it's companion dryer had already bit the dust.

Aaron is giving it two thumbs up, as he's been doing a lot lately. So many blessings!

Incidentally, you don't have to post YOUR blessing just on Monday! You can link a post from a previous week, or come and link on Thursday if that is when God works and you want to share!

So, how IS God proving Himself to be faithful to you? It could be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Blog about it - then follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. PLEASE make sure the link is to a specific post on your blog that is a personal testimony of how God has been at work in your life in the past week. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like. Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!


Saturday, November 1

before & after














one of our blessings today.

it's just sided on the front so far, but OH what a difference two years makes.

thank you, Lord!!!

more photos here.

Friday, October 31

Some interesting news.

This story made me smile. And this one made me glad I had a home birth. And this one?That one just made me laugh out loud. Riiiiiight.

I just blinked

Feels like I only blinked once, and it's Friday. (HALLELUJAH for weekends, however!) Seems like the same thing is happening to my second born son - I blinked and he's gigantic. Seriously, in two weeks he will be 3 months old. The changes are more obvious when they are tiny, I suppose.

Happy Reformation Day, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28

and it's a hair puller

Just when you have a day you think you can get caught up, well...it doesn't happen. Today is one of those days. Every once in awhile Aaron refuses to nap. I can use up all my disciplinary tactics and none of them result in a sleeping toddler. I know he's tired, he knows he's tired, and the only thing left to do is wait it out.

So I'm waiting. And, from his room, I hear this...

"My gog is...BIG, so srong an so mighty...nossing my gog tannot DOOOOO"

Name that song. Claim that truth.

"nossing" means "nossing" and that includes naptime.

Monday, October 27

Works of God Monday

This week, last week - God is at work! Our family has been a flurry of activity-driven, hold-on-tight days and nights. I feel like 2 weeks have gone by without my noticing. God has continued to provide for us - a half bushel of apples are waiting to be processed and I did not have to pay for them, Michael has work in abundance and a side job and still keeps on plugging away at our siding project. This weekend he actually started putting up the colored siding. I will post pictures, trust me.

Our days will soon get shorter, which will make after work progress on our house a little more challenging, but it would definitely be worse if Michael had "enough time" to get it all done because of a lack of work. I cannot say how thankful I am that Michael still has plenty of work! God is faithful.

So, how is He proving Himself to be faithful to you? It could be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Blog about it - then follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. PLEASE make sure the link is to a specific post on your blog that is a personal testimony of how God has been at work in your life in the past week. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like. Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!


just quit it.

OK I have to get this off my chest. Everyone seems to be over reacting to this very heated political race. I'm sick of the ads, I'm sick of the back and forth, of the negativity, the panic, the cheap shots, I'm sick of it all, and I just want to get the election over with already. I think it should be a law that a week or two before the election all political ads must stop so that we can have a second and breathe already before we vote.

Don't get me wrong, I like to have good discussions about politics as much as the next person, and I have Opinions and Thoughts that I share, too. But there are several things we need to think about here.

1. GOD is in charge. If the person you want to be elected does not get elected, this truth does not change: GOD IS IN CHARGE, and if you are His, you will be okay. He promises.

2. Part of the beauty of the American system is the balance of power. Just because someone is elected does not mean all of their promises and schemes and plans will become law. This is not a dictatorship. This is a democracy in a republic, and your senators and representatives check and balance the elected official. So before you get all up in arms about something that seems off the wall (and in my opinion, BOTH parties' candidates have some pretty wacko plans) remember this. This election IS important, but it's not the end or the beginning in and of itself.

3. You can't complain if you don't vote. (and really, should we complain anyway? Another discussion, perhaps)

4. You need to vote. When you vote, you are showing gratitude for our freedom and respect for those who fought for it, among other reasons. Vote.

5. You need to be informed about the issues. Don't vote for (or against!) someone based on things you've heard on TV or listened to on the radio - at least, not without checking out the facts for yourself. Decide what issues are the most important to you, find out where the candidates stand, and vote accordingly. For goodness sake, don't vote the way you always have just because you always have. Don't be lazy - do the research.

6. Read number one again. Take a deep breath. Repeat as necessary.

Sunday, October 26

ooh, ooh, I can hardly wait!

The Fall Bloggy Giveaway Carnival starts tomorrow. Now all I need to do is figure out how to find time to enter...

and *sigh* I think that my 500th post giveaway will suffer another postponement. I don't really want 52 kajillion people entering to win something meant for you.

On a side note, I DO have something to give away that I might actually link in the carnival if none of you want them. I have 2 or 3 coupons for $3 off Enfamil Lipil formula - they are the catalina type coupons and I think they were all printed from Kroger, as soon as I scanned my frequent shopper card. Somehow they know I've got a newborn, and they're trying to tempt me away from my free method of feeding with coupons. I shall shun them!! They shall not get my hard earned (uh, er, Michael's hard earned) dollars!!

However, if someone out there needs some formula coupons, let me know! The first person to comment or email me can have them. I think they expire in December. I also have some coupons (2 $1 off) for Pampers EasyUps.

Friday, October 24

postponed

The 500th post giveaway has been postponed until next week. I'm still trying to think up something fun, appropriate to the occasion, and you know, that doesn't cost me more than our grocery budget.

Here's a reallycute photo to tide you over. Uncle Kris & Aunt Andrea sent Aaron a Curious George toy. Up until now, he's shunned all stuffed toys.

Up until now.

Aaron & George are inseparable. George has to sleep in a separate bed, though. Otherwise the two of them would be up all night, discussing Matters of Great Importance. It's so cute to finally begin to catch a glimpse of what Aaron is thinking. So thanks for that, Stephens'. We wish you could see it...

Wednesday, October 22

drool

And I'm hoping I win this giveaway, but if I can't, I want YOU to. Check it out - you can win $5,000 in Williams Sonoma stuff, AND you can enter every day.

Provisions. Can I get an AMEN?

You've heard how you can get Omaha Steaks to deliver quality ground beef for less than you can buy it in the store, right? Well, if not, be sure to check it out. I ended up getting 9 pounds of meat for 11.98. (I chose the 22.99 option) That is what I call a good deal. Last week I found boneless skinless chicken breasts at our local meat market for $1.49 and bought 20 pounds, so after my burger shipment, we will be eating VERY well for a very very long time.

Praise the LORD for His provisions!!

And while I'm praising the Lord for providing, I called Charter yesterday to see what we could do in order to get our internet/phone bill down. We've opted to get only the most basic cable package (it costs $4/month and saves us in the long run since we have "all three services" according to Charter)

Anyway, my call ended up reducing our bill by a little over $20/month! (the key is to choose "change or add to existing service" to get an English-as-a-first-language customer service rep) The nice rep I got transferred me to the "retention department" - who knew that even existed?! Sometimes it pays to call and ask!! (now I'm trying to figure out what OTHER BILLS I can get reduced around here...)

Tuesday, October 21

discounts!

You know I recently wrote about my friend Holley's magazine, Bella Scraps? Well, check it out - you can get yourself a little discount on this month's issue!

Monday, October 20

Works of God Monday

Works of God Monday is being held simultaneously with Migraine Monday in my head. I'll post later what God is doing, but until then...

What has God been doing in your life? First, blog about how God has been at work in your life this past week - it can be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Then, follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. PLEASE make sure the link is to a specific post on your blog that is a personal testimony of how God has been at work in your life in the past week. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like. Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!

Friday, October 17

I'm It.

Lindsay tagged me for "sixth of sixth" where I'm supposed to post the sixth photo from my sixth album. We have photo boxes instead of albums. But we "only" have four. I have my own baby book, two photo guest books from our wedding, a photo book I made on MyPublisher.com and a half-started "insert photos here" baby scrapbook for Aaron. That's only five, and that does not count. However, I do have 20 (!!!!) albums on Facebook. How in the world did I get that many? Hmm.

So here it is, the sixth of the sixth, starting with the earliest album. I was trying to figure out how old Aaron is in this picture, and the best estimate is somewhere between 8-10 months. He's wearing only a onesie, so that's my major clue. He has ALWAYS been thrilled with playing ball, any type, anywhere, anytime. He's very coordinated, and I'm not saying that just because I'm his mother. He's seriously quite talented with throwing, catching, kicking, etc. He must have gotten his father's sports talent, as I have none.

This morning I went to the mall for a few things and of course, a free cappuccino, thanks to Holley's heads up. On my way through the mall, with a baby in the sling and a two year old in the stroller, I was apprehended by a kiosk-running hair guru not once but TWICE. Do I look like a lady of leisure who has time to sit and let you show me how fantastic your products are? I guess I need to try harder to look harried (that's for you, dad).

Happy Friday!

PS - look for a special giveaway next week in honor of my having passed the 500 post mark without ceremony or notice. *hitting self on forehead*

Thursday, October 16

favorites?

We are always on the lookout for fun games to play as a couple (a nice switch from TV for stay at home date night) or when we get together with other couples (on the rare occasion THAT happens!)

We found Cranium Hoopla at a garage sale a year ago, but we tried to play with some friends awhile back, before they moved away and we cried, and there was a little bit of complaining that there was not a specific winner. We also like standards like Dutch Blitz and Scrabble.

So, what is your favorite 2-player game? Family game? Or do you have a closetful of games that you never use?

Wednesday, October 15

wherein I ask the benefit of city living

Last night, I went to church with Evan. The 3-in-a-row 9:30 bedtimes combined with his case of the sniffles had proved to be too much for Aaron to handle - at least, with a cheerful spirit, poor thing!

When I arrived home, I pulled into the driveway to see a SKUNK waddle across our driveway away from our trash cans into our fenced in backyard, crossing in front of the back door.

Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive about getting out of the van. My heart raced, and thoughts of fumigation and therapy caused perhaps more panic than was warranted. I was talking to Michael on the cell phone, and I'm sure my voice went up a few decibels.

"OPEN-THE-FRONT-DOOR-AND-I'LL-RUN-AROUND-THE-VAN-GET-EVAN-AND-COME-IN-THAT-WAY."

I made it. whew.

If we lived in the country, I wouldn't be concerned. But I knew the only way OUT of our fenced in backyard was the way he'd gone in, and let's not forget about our neighbors' German Shepherd. I didn't want to meet a spooked skunk, that is for sure.

This morning, I had a mess out front, trash from the garbage strewn about. That thing even had a lid on it. Sneaky skunk.

Boy am I glad he didn't feel the urge to defend himself. And I'll be really glad if the Lord allows our long term plan to move out of the city to come to fruition. Until then...anyone have any ideas to keep the skunk away?

Tuesday, October 14

if he did need a costume for anything...

Aaron's not going trick or treating this year. He's two, for crying out loud. He doesn't eat a lot of sweets, and hasn't ever had candy. I can only imagine what that would do to his veggie eating ways. Not to mention, I had a huge problem when I was growing up with uh, hugeness. AND I want to keep those baby teeth healthy!

Michael used to trade his sweets for chips at school. And so we all know who would end up with the bulk of the candy. (please notice the double meaning of that) The "I-just-had-a-baby-and-the-last-thing-I-need-is-candy" lady. Me.

But doesn't this adorable little outfit remind you of the McDonald's uniforms of our childhood? All he would need is a red visor and a nametag with the golden arches stamped on it. And of course, we'd have to teach him to ask about wanting fries with that.

So, this year we are staying home. We will probably tell Aaron about Martin Luther (a simplified version) and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. Maybe they will actually come to our house this year since it won't look so scary. We will probably give them little booklets from church, too, that give the plan of salvation.

We have some friends who have some pretty interesting stories about growing up in a family that avoided any celebration at all on October 31 - and others who look back with fond memories on costumed days of candy collection.

So I'm curious. I know there are a lot of opinions out there, and I'd like to hear them! (of course, I'd love it if we could all discuss this in a civil tone) What does your family do on October 31?

Monday, October 13

Works of God Monday

The Will Galkin Evangelistic team is here this week, and I am really looking forward to what is in store for the week. It's fun to see my friend Stephanie again - we traveled together for a year and a summer while we were students at Northland, and now she and her husband are traveling with the team.

Yesterday morning was a great message on discouragement. I needed that one, for sure! It's so easy to know things intellectually - mainly, that life is about God and His glory - and then forget about that truth in a practical sense and become discouraged or distressed when our expectations are not met or our plans fall through. It was a big encouragement to me, just the kick in the pants (er, skirt?) reminder I needed. Also, I was thankful for the speakers in the nursery yesterday - I could catch the end of the message while I fed Evan!

Another blessing of the weekend is that we were able to sell off a lot of our junk and surpassed our "goal" for earnings at the garage sale. The proceeds will buy a double stroller! Hurray!

So, what has God been doing in your life? Will you share it?? First, blog about how God has been at work in your life this past week - it can be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Then, follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. PLEASE make sure the link is to a specific post on your blog that is a personal testimony of how God has been at work in your life in the past week. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like. Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!


Thursday, October 9

I am officially off my rocker.

Garage sale again this weekend! I didn't get everything out (ehem!!) at our last sale and so it's time to haul out the tables of stuff and the change jar and make some cash! It's Midland's annual Fall Citywide Sale, so if you live in the area, be sure to scope out the local sales! It's supposed to be 74 and sunny, so it'd be a great weekend to catch the last of the summertime deals. This time, our leftover stuff is going immediately and without delay to the Salvation Army. I like the way our garage looks sans the extras.

(and if you're out and about and want to, stop on by and say hello! I guarantee that I won't be giving birth this time.)

Wednesday, October 8

more quotable George

"Any day that starts out just smelling, and ends up with a cookie, is a pretty good day after all."

- Curious George

Tuesday, October 7

indignant

Clever marketing, I suppose you could call it, but I remember the first time I realized that a cap full was not necessarily the recommended amount of detergent per load. I felt a little bit ripped off. It's kinda like finding out that half a bagel is a whole serving. Or half a bottle of Snapple.

Here's the proof. In my case, the 51 load bottle would have been more like a 21 load bottle. Check it out.

Here are the instructions







And here is the line for the "small to medium" loads
I drew it on with a Sharpie to help me retain my eyesight -
the bar is not exactly obvious, for some reason.





So, whether you're doing the laundry, or trying to figure out who to vote for, I suppose it's better to read up on the facts rather than just doing as you've always done or making assumptions. In the laundry department, the soap goes twice or three times as far.

Monday, October 6

Works of God Monday

Is there anything better than watching God work? I don't think so! A few of you might remember that a year or so ago, I asked for prayer about a single mom and her two sons. We have gotten to work with both boys in our youth group and God has allowed us to be a part of what He is doing in that family. Watching them grow spiritually has been absolutely a joy, and this got even better on Wednesday night.

The mom stopped me after church and told me about a situation where God had put her in the right place at the right time to encourage someone in the Lord. She was glowing with happiness and delight that God had used her. And let me tell you, it was awesome to watch. I am praising the Lord for reminding us that He will use us as we are simply where we are supposed to be and when we are supposed to be there.

So what evidences have you seen of God's working? Share it here! First, blog about how God has been at work in your life this past week - it can be a physical provision, a spiritual lesson learned, an opportunity to share with others, anything that was an evidence of God at work in you. Then, follow these directions:

In the Mister Linky widget below,
simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. PLEASE make sure the link is to a specific post on your blog that is a personal testimony of how God has been at work in your life in the past week. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like. Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!