Wednesday, April 30

just a little word...

For those of you who have children who use sippy cups:

If, hypothetically, you were to take your children to the store for a quick trip and they were to say, throw their sippy cup overboard from the cart, you might want to check to make sure the valve (the one inside to prevent leaks) is still intact and in the proper position before putting it in your purse.

Otherwise, you run the risk of foreign substances invading your purse. Like apple juice. It might even leak out of the purse and run down your leg. Apple juice is sticky.

And you might be very thankful that you have a cloth, washable purse. And that you decided to put your cell phone in a place out of the way of the torrential leakage.

Exciting News! (for all you rebate shoppers)

I just found out that Walgreens is now accepting online rebate submissions in all 50 states! I have to admit that I have been slacking off with Walgreens since I knew that I'd have to do the work of getting together and marking receipts, marking the rebate form, and sending it the correct day. (which is by far the hardest part for me)

I feel like another window has opened, and more rebates are mine! Bring on the free stuff!

Tuesday, April 29

Ladies Retreat

This past weekend about 75 ladies from our church went up to Camp Co Be Ac for a retreat, and we had a great time. Previously we have gone to a hotel in West Branch, and although there were some things about being at a camp that were not as comfy or convenient as a hotel, it was really nice to be in an environment where we could all be still and enjoy the camp and just be all to ourselves for 24 hours. I left my camera home, so this is going to be a photo-free post. So sorry!

I missed Michael and Aaron dreadfully, but I do have to admit that I definitely underestimate how much brain power it takes to be thinking of the care of a child. It was so nice to be only responsible for myself, and be able to fully soak up the weekend. But I was THRILLED to come home to my boys.

Debbie Pryde was the main speaker, and Mrs. Marla Hanna, missionary to Taiwan, shared some things that God had taught her in regard to her thinking. Mrs. Hanna's testimony was amazing, as she transparently shared how her wrong thinking patterns had built up until the family had to come home from the field temporarily in order to get some biblical counsel. She reminded us from Phil. 4 about the things we should be thinking about, the things we know to be true and real. (by the way, if you haven't read this book on the topic, you NEED to get a copy!!)

During her testimony, she mentioned that God is going to accomplish His work whether or not we are participants, but that He chooses to use us. I'm not sure why, but that truth that I've had in my brain for a long while hit my heart in a different way this weekend. And it hit with a big "WHY?" Why would God choose to use me? He wants me to see Him working in an up close, front row kind of way, in order that I can know that it is HIM doing the work, in order that I may give Him glory. He lets me help Him so that I can know Him, so that I can praise Him for His works. Amazing.

During the weekend, I was very convicted that I need to be putting 100% into the ministry God has given me here at home and be content with His will for my life in this season, and not be looking back or forward to what I've been able to do in the past or what I might be able to do in the future. Or as Dr. Olilla used to remind us in the words of Jim Elliot, "Wherever you are, be all there." This is something I've been struggling with a lot since Aaron was born, and God is gracious and merciful to continue to lovingly and patiently guide me along, reminding me of His Word.

I know that the ministry of home is VERY important, it is just my wrong thinking that convinces me that it is not so very "full of action" or "exciting" especially in the results category. As you moms know, we can be easily tempted to think that our job is thankless and tedious at times (especially during the 49th disciplinary session of the day).

So, God showed me that I need to be relying on the Holy Spirit and the Word to retrain my thoughts, to rejoice in the ministry at home, to give it my all 100% of the time. It was a GREAT weekend and I was thankful for the opportunity to attend.

Sunday, April 27

Works of God Monday

This weekend at ladies' retreat I was reminded of the importance of being purposeful at seeing God at work in every day. I was thinking back to my own childhood and made sure to thank mom for starting the pattern of identifying God's hand in the little and the big things that happened, and praising Him for them. Mom was great about reminding us that it was God who helped us obey, it was God who gave us a sunny day, etc. I am sure dad did the same thing, but since he was at work a lot of the time, most of my memories are of mom's reminders. This was a great beginning for me to form a habit of praising God for His work.

Then, of course, I remembered Works of God Monday during Monday chapels for each of my years at Northland, and the testimonies we would hear of how God was working in fellow students' lives. Sometimes it would be $3 in the mail right when someone needed laundry money, or an opportunity to share the gospel, or some other way that God had shown that He was alive and working in our lives.

So I was thinking - there are bunches of "theme" days out there on the web, why not start our own virtual bloggy Works of God Monday? I hope this will be a blessing and encouragement to you as you read of how God has been at work in your life and in others' lives this past week! I will be posting on each Monday, but feel free to add posts throughout the week or save it until the next Monday. If you want to link a post that you've written this past week, that would be great!! God is definitely at work - let's encourage one another!

If you've never used Mister Linky before, 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 (or someone can volunteer to make a much nicer one!) Just right click the image and choose "save image as" then upload it into your post. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and spread the word to your blogging friends!

Friday, April 25

and another happy Friday

So, in the last couple days I've had several requests via different blog readers for my whole wheat waffle recipe. It made me howl with laughter and wish to goodness that I had a really great waffle recipe. Hang on to your hats, kids, 'cause this is a doozy.

Whole Wheat Waffles

Buy Eggo Nutrigrain Whole Wheat Waffles
Buy them on sale
Use a coupon
Get a great deal
Pat self on back at good fortune
Take them home
Put them in the toaster
Feed them to your unsuspecting children
Read the box
Realize how many preservatives are in there
Kick self for stupidity
Breathe a sigh of relief that at least there is no high fructose corn syrup
Pat self on back at good fortune
Put "waffle iron" on the garage sale wish list
Keep feeding them to unsuspecting children until they are gone.

Repeat as necessary.


And now that I've worked up such a sweat "making" these waffles, I think what I need is to attend the annual Ladies Retreat with other ladies from church...24 hours away from my family really stinks, but I'm looking forward to learning more about my God and spending time with some friends (and my mommy!) Have a great weekend, and make yourself some waffles! (try Alicia's recipe, perhaps?)

Thursday, April 24


I've been doing a little reading, a little news-watching, and a little research to see what I can learn about the Serious Things taking place in Texas in regard to sects, and the history of these sects. I'm not going to get more specific because I don't want to cause a major onslaught of G*ogle searches to land here for similar reasons.

I have questions - lots - that will probably never be uttered here, about this specific sect and about general church history. My heart is so heavy for the darkness that is in so many hearts. My arms ache to hold the precious children who are hurting and who are so, so lost.

And I must say, in my reading, I have become even more concerned about the label so many churches in our circles attach to their names. It's the same word that was intended to focus our doctrine on the "basics" of the faith, a word that many different religi*ns use to describe radical offshoots, a word that some independent churches in my particular circle of reference cling a little tightly to. Is this label worth the confusion it creates in the general populous? I would think not.

I can't help but wonder what these highly published recent happenings will mean for my family, my church, my community in the near future, or what impact the events will have on religi*s freedom in years to come. And I can't help but think "that word" is a blurry one, one for which we should try to substitute something clearer.

I am very thankful, beyond words for a fellowship of believers whose foundation is the unchanging, complete, revealed Word of God, and not the words and rulings of its leaders. I am even more thankful for the fact that because of Christ's death on the cross, I am able to approach Him boldly, that I have an advocate in Jesus. When my brain is spinning, when questions go unanswered, my soul can arise. My foundation is sure.

Crafty Wafty

OK, I admit it. Sometimes, I link things here just so that I'll be able to find them later, when they are more appropriate for the ages of my kiddo(s). Maybe it will, in the process, be helpful to some of you all.

I'm not really that into crafts. I don't sit around and scrapbook, or paint wooden shapes to sell at craft shows. But this is pretty cool, and looks like a great project for kids. I know that someday I'll probably have a houseful of little crafters. So check this out - make your own stamps. I can only imagine the possibilities here with all those pre cut craft foam shapes. Sounds like an absolutely fabulous rainy day activity or even a semi educational experience. (using letters, animal shapes, etc)

Wednesday, April 23

thanks giving (spring version)

I am thankful that I can still sleep somewhat face down. I know it won't last long, as I am well into my second trimester, but I love being a tummy sleeper, and I am thankful it is still possible. Especially since congestion has found me, once again.

I am thankful for tissues, with lotion.

I am thankful for a happy napper and and independent playtime expert.

I am thankful for sunshine, and for my daffodils that finally bloomed.

I am thankful for this brief period of picnics with no bugs. Specifically, no mosquitoes.

I am thankful for a hard working husband who came home and did the majority of the work stuffing yard refuse bags until 9pm, after a full day's work. And then he studied for the Wed. night youth group lesson. He's amazing.

I am thankful that chicken soup fixin's are in our house and thankful for this "easy stage" of having two children.

Thank you, Lord, for your all sufficient grace.

Tuesday, April 22

upon waking...

Aaron is waking up from his nap. He usually talks for awhile and I let him just happily play. Today, he is cracking me up (again). This is what he is saying:

"Money? Money? Muuuuuhhhhhney?" silence. "Mmmmmmuuuuhney? MONEY!?"

Uh, huh. We are definitely in T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

Off to get my hilarious, adorable little greed monster.

Monday, April 21

eggs, of the goose variety

Obedience brings blessing, disobedience does not. It's true. I knew it before, and I've felt its sting personally, but to see it illustrated in my child is painful at a completely different level.

"Aaron, come here" was met by complete disregard for his mother's instructions and left this unsightly, and I'm sure uncomfortable, consequence:

Head, meet concrete. Concrete, head.

In that moment, I wanted to take the pain away, to rewind time, to somehow make it so that my precious child would not have to go through the circumstances. And then it dawned on me. How many times have I gotten these on my own spiritual head? How many times must I fall? God, grant me a swift memory and an obedient spirit. And wisdom to teach this boy the truth about You. I disobey, I fall, I get hurt. You always, always pick me up. And Your Love never changes, never fails.

Happy Happy Monday Morning

Aaron's been waking up around 6:30 since daylight started arriving shortly before then. It's a shock to my system, but I think I've finally begun to get used to it.

This morning he chewed his whole wheat waffle into a heart shape. I will take that as a personal I love you note from Aaron, thank you very much.

What a way to start the week!

Oh, and as if that were not enough, the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival starts today. Goody, goody gumdrops!

Friday, April 18


There are lots of curious people around this house, but Aaron is by far the winner of the label "most curious" and I suppose that is appropriate, given his age and development. I'd probably be quite concerned if he did not have the desire to explore and touch and smell and learn.

My parents did a great job teaching me how to learn, and as Aaron grows, I want to make sure he continues to have a healthy sense of curiosity - one that drives him to find the answers to his questions. Any of you experienced people have any great suggestions? How do you teach a child to be inquisitive??

And speaking of inquisitive, we've got a new poll going on our sidebar. Be sure to vote!!

another timely reminder

Richelle has some great things to say today. Be sure to check it out - it's definitely worth the read!!

Wednesday, April 16

OB Update

Success on one front: no one asked me for any blood or made me submit to any invasive procedures. Hallelujah!

Joy on another: We had a wonderful ultrasound! All the main parts are there and in beautiful working order, and we are still unaware of our baby's gender, much to our satisfaction and delight. Praise the Lord for his mercies!!

Delay on another: the hospital records weren't sent over, so Dr. L. won't be able to give me any substantial yes or no answers on The Issues That Matter Most to Us. May 12 is the next opportunity we have to talk to him. We've decided to do some co-care prenatals with the midwife from church, just to keep our options open and so she will have a general idea of how the pregnancy is going in the event that Something Major would change as far as our plans go.

And finally, I miss my family doc. I know a lot of ladies have done OB care but our visit in its entirety, including the ultrasound, took less time than the drive to Saginaw and back. My family doc took probably a half hour every appointment, asking me how things were going and taking his time. *sigh* I guess it's not so much the process, but the end result.

I did feel much more relaxed at this appointment, especially after seeing our precious child wiggling and moving and just generally having a grand time. Thanks so much for your prayers for us!!

"out for delivery"

Those are glorious words, when attached to my Boca Java tracking numbers.

I'm almost completely out of decaf. Perfect timing.

Tuesday, April 15


Aaron is playing in the hallway with a ball and the extension wand to the vacuum. He keeps saying "set....go!" "set...GO" and hitting the ball with the wand. I am dying of laughter. Why buy toys again?


Aaron's newest pastime...

(it is sporadic, but this was a Particularly Exciting Trip, the details of which I will spare you)

This book is great, BTW. I just love the illustrations. (If Elephants Wore Pants)

Aaron is quite happy for a chance at a playtime friend. (although he fools you with his expression in this photo) He's quite a social child.

And his favorite hat - from Grandpa Muth! He just loves wearing a hat like daddy!

More photos here

And he's developing QUITE an independent streak. Fun. At least he comes by it honestly. I seem to remember that his mother also shares the independent streak. Another chance for God's mercy and grace to be shown!!! I've never been burdened quite as much for any soul as I am for the souls of my child(ren). I suppose every lost person should cause me such concern. Lord, give me a heart for those who do not know YOU!!

Monday, April 14


How on earth can I already be at 20 weeks!?!! I'm halfway through this second pregnancy already, and time is FLYING by. We have our second OB appointment tomorrow, complete with scheduled ultrasound, so hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow we will be that much closer to coming to a conclusion about the birth process for this baby.

I had a friend tell me yesterday at church that we don't have control over birth, and to some extent I do agree - God is sovereign over all, including how our birth stories progress and end. But there are some things that we DO have control over, and in those situations, knowledge is power!! It surprises me how little people research and study and plan when it comes to birth.

I know that since Aaron joined us, I have done a lot of research in general, and I wish I'd known half of what I do now then. I wish I'd done more reading on c-sections instead of just assuming that it wouldn't happen to me and avoiding the topic altogether.

So here is my question - what things, looking back on your birthing experiences, did you WISH you had known before you went into birth? What things would you advise a brand new mom-to-be to be cautious of?

Oh, and it goes without saying, but please remember to keep your comments non abrasive, as there are tons of differing opinions in this particular arena. I'm just wondering what your experience has taught you in regard to birth.

Wednesday, April 9

amen, amen.

I don't know about you, but I needed this reminder today.

an excerpt:

Tons of people want to do “great things for God.” Instead, we ought to do small things for God, everyday, right now, not tomorrow. He has already given us instructions: love God and our neighbor, act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. In the smallness, there is greatness. In the ordinary, there is extraordinary. Paul Tripp once wrote, “Remember, it is not your weakness that will get in the way of God’s working through you, but your delusions of strength.”

Spending to Save

Sometimes, it's coffee beans that make me happy. Boca Java made me happy when they sent me a great email offer for 4 bags of freshly roasted coffee beans at a great price. Michael said I could take them up on the offer, which made me even happier. I love Boca Java. You order, they roast and mail. Unless I roasted my own beans, I wouldn't find anything fresher. And how can I go wrong with Tropical Kiss or Surfin' Safari in decaf?

Some people think it's ridiculous to spend "that kind of money" on a bag of freshly roasted beans. Some of those same people would spend $4 without blinking on the occasional specialty coffee drink. So, I ask you, is it easier to keep driving past the coffee drink place when you have quality beans waiting for you at home? I assure you that for me, this is the case. (PS if you want a referral code for $10 off your order so you can try it yourself, send an email to me: twomuths at gmail dot com)

I get happy when I can find good coffee for a good price. But coffee is one thing I don't mind spending a little money on, as it usually ends up saving me in the long run. And as I am not ready to give up coffee in the interest of saving money, well. Bring on the Boca Java.

Are there items you splurge on now in order to save later, or just in the interest of your taste buds?

Tuesday, April 8

More Free Money

Revolution Money Exchange is a relatively new alternative to Paypal - the great news is that there are no fees to send money, no fees to receive money, and you can use the service to transfer or request money to anyone who also has a Revolution Money Exchange account. The website has some suggestions of how to use the service.

"Pay a friend back for dinner without hitting the ATM. Give a roommate your half of the rent without writing a check. Send a sibling cash to cover your half of mom’s present" and all of these sound pretty practical to me. In addition, you can add the button to your site if you sell things online, and collect your money with NO PAYPAL FEES. This is very very exciting for anyone doing business online!!

The REAL bonus is, until April 15 they are giving you $25 just for signing up! Talk about easy money!! I signed up for an account, and so did Michael, so we've got $50 for about 3 minutes of our time. Click on the button in my sidebar to find out more! (I get $10 when you create an account, just like anyone you refer will add an additional $10 to your account!)

Monday, April 7

weekend antics

Michael had Friday off, and so of course I was rooting for the "do nothing" kind of weekend where we could catch up on sleep and laziness and just being a family. But I got something far more interesting.

We decided to finally lay the carpet in our bedroom and in the office. We had the carpet, we reasoned, and more than enough time to clear the furniture (with dad's help) and get everything installed by the end of the weekend. Of course, we hit a few roadblocks, and might I just say here for the benefit of anyone living in a home with a concrete slab foundation and radiant, pipes-in-the-floor heat, that concrete gets harder the longer it bakes and it will be impossible to use nails to secure the tack strips. Especially if your house happens to have been built in, say, 1958.

So the project isn't finished quite yet, and this is what my living room looks like. This is everything but the mattress from our bedroom and the contents of the entire office. I'm amazed.

Thankfully, our bedroom looks like this right now, as we wait to stretch the carpet until the tack strip adhesive dries. This is gonna come in handy when entertaining a toddler.

And this is where we are sleeping - the office. This room was carpeted first, hence the bed and computer set up. Let me tell you, I could get used to this minimal furniture situation. I love it.

But then, of course, there would be no room to store anything.

We also painted a dresser that we've been meaning to paint, started the second coat on the nursery dot border, and made a paper model of both recarpeted rooms and all our furniture to scale so that we could play with what to do with all our furniture items. We are toying with the option of moving Aaron's room to the office now, to get one transition out of the way before the new sibling is added to the family, and to finally be able to get his toys out of the living room.

During the gruntwork of carpet laying, Aaron and I took a walk to the park with grandma, and stopped at a yard sale on the way. Mom cleaned up! We found a set of really cute stencils for her classroom, a clip on the table booster seat, a few clothing items, and a Riccar sewing machine, which mom bought for me at a steal of a deal. I'm pretty excited, as my old machine has tension issues, and frankly, was not built to last.

Which caused me tension. But no longer, thanks to mom and the great yard sale deals.

Maybe by next weekend our house will be normal, we'll be rid of a few tons of excess stuff, and I can post pictures of the final project. All in all, I feel much better at the close of this busy and productive weekend than I would have if we had planned a lazy weekend. There is really too much for us to do to let the weekends slip away. At least at this point. Maybe I'll wait until I'm hugely pregnant, and re-assess.

Thursday, April 3


P.I.R. = Pregnancy Induced Retardation, term courtesy of my dear youth pastor, Mike VerWay. I'm not sure if it is original with him, but when he first used it to describe the actions of his wife Brenda in my presence, and they both laughed, I was puzzled and slightly indignant that he would use such terminology to describe his wife's behavior.

Then, years later, I was pregnant with Aaron and found that the forgetfulness, amnesia, and just generally stupid things I was doing were indeed aptly labeled "PIR." To my great chagrin, I have not escaped this malady during this pregnancy. I find that PIR has made a comeback, causing me to do and say the craziest things.

You know, things like putting the milk in the cupboard. Or almost shaking chili powder on my oatmeal when I really wanted cinnamon. You know, things like that. (TOTALLY hypothetical, of course)

Anybody else have any good PIR stories? Please tell me I'm not alone.

Tuesday, April 1

laughing, shaking my head, whatever...

So I got a call not 5 minutes ago from someone raising money for a very worthy cause. The way they are doing this is by having a show. They asked if they could count on me for my support and attendance. I asked what date the show would be held.

Uh, what?

So that is why I'm laughing, shaking my head, whatever.

the little things.

You might have picked up on the fact that I really need to go shopping. This morning, I was checking out my Google Reader before getting Aaron up for the day, and happened upon this post over at Money Saving Mom.

Could there POSSIBLY be a better week for me to run out of pantry staples? I am shouting Glory, breaking out the happy dance and the holy hallelujah hands all at the same time. Could it possibly be that God orchestrates the sales, too? I assert that YES, He can and He DOES!!!

I had scheduled "menu planning and grocery list making" on my list of things to do for TODAY. This, friends, has to be more than a mere circumstance, does it not?

My God cares about the little things, and about providing for little ol' me and my family in the middle of Michigan. YET ANOTHER reminder from my all sufficient God that I am loved beyond measure, and blessed beyond words.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19