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.

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

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.

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,

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!