Monday, March 30

Works of God Monday

This weekend we had a great youth activity with the junior high - mini golf at a local indoor place and then snacks at our house. We had 12 teens and 6 sponsors and 2 kids plus us in our house which is pretty amazing - we had so much fun. I'm so glad God allows us to be a part of these kids' lives. I pray that He will use us continually to share God's love, His Word, and make a differece.

Our WHOLE FAMILY is healthy! Hurray! We went to church together yesterday, to all the services. YAY! I was so encouraged/convicted by my friends who sang special music, and just singing with the congregation was a huge blessing. We sang "Nearer, Still Nearer" and just in case you haven't heard that one in awhile - here ya go.

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior, so precious Thou art;
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest,"
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest."

Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an offering to Jesus, my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord, crucified,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord, crucified.

Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
'Til safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages, ever to be,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee.

Those words have been bouncing around in my head all yesterday and this morning. Hope they encourage you as well.

So, how has God provided for your family this week? What has He been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch God work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

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.

Wednesday, March 25

oh, my laughing head

Ok, I was browsing Etsy after I listed my first ever little creation, and found this shop. You have to read the descriptions, people. I am totally laughing. I was thinking of all the places I could wear my very own. The price is prohibitive for me, but take a look. You'll see. It's worth the visit.

Tuesday, March 24

Need a Name

OK, so back a loooooong time ago when I started blogging, I didn't really care to name it anything too fancy, plus I was fresh out of creativity. I never expected to go this long with no official name.

Can you help me? Got any great ideas for a name for the blog? What do you think I write most about? I'd love something that is short and easy to remember, clever but not cutesy, if you know what I mean. I'm not so into ruffles.

Help! I'll narrow it down to a few and then hold a vote. I just love voting. Live long, democracy.

Formula Coupon Offer

I just got back from Meijer, where a $5 off Nestle Good Start printed out. If anyone uses this formula and lives near Meijer, I'd be happy to put the coupon in the mail. Just leave a comment with your email address or email me.

Hope I can send this to someone who can use this!

Monday, March 23

Works of God Monday

We did the happy dance. We are still singing hallelujah. Our siding is done. As in complete, finished, finito. WOO HOO! God is so good to us to provide in a variety of ways and for a variety of needs. We are praising HIM for all HE has allowed us to do on our house. We pray that we use it to serve others in God's name.

So, how has God provided for your family this week? What has He been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch God work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

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, March 22

makeshift beds
















Eventually, we will be adding a brick or stone facade to these raised beds. For now, we are on a plywood budget. Here are some photos of our weekend's main project. The main reason for these beds is that this is the only area in our back yard that has enough sun to grow veggies. The previous owner had built up huge hills of dirt that rested against the house. It wasn't that big of a deal until we re-did the siding. Then the dirt hills had to go. I really wanted a place to grow a small garden, so this is the solution we came up with. We are hoping to landscape the back yard soon, and are looking for used bricks and stone to cut down on costs and as a bonus to save landfill space. Michael says the plywood won't last long, and I know he's right. I'm praying that God will provide stone or brick this summer.

We also planted our peas - a first for me. I always forget that I want peas until I'm planting the other things. This year, I remembered. Aaron is the perfect age for helping. He was SO happy to plant the peas. He actually wanted to plant everything - but of course it's not time for that. It's pretty much impossible to explain the concept of six weeks passing first. He is still working on waiting in general, so 6 weeks seems like next year, I'm sure.

I can't wait until the grass in the above pictures turns from nasty to green, and our back yard won't look so forlorn. The hastas are peeking their tips up out front, as well as the tulips and daffodils. The mini irisis donated by the neighbors are so close to blooming. Another week of sun and I'm sure they will show their purple selves.

What are you working on at your house this weekend?

Friday, March 20

what would you do? the answer

Well, our yard is not immaculate, but it IS $35 worth of clean. I am a happy, happy lady. It was a good call.

what would you do?

Yesterday, I was in clean-out mode and grabbed a bunch of things to take them to the van. On my way, I was stopped by a man going door-to-door telling people about his yard work services. He offered to clean up our front and back yards, bagging the leaves, for $35. He said he'd be back this weekend.

What would you have said?

I told him yes, and am optimistic. But I've always been a bit of an idealist. I also know it would take me at LEAST a whole day without any interruptions (and I know how UN likely that would be) to clean up the yard and bag the yard waste. Not to mention the soreness of back that would definitely follow. Michael has projects too numerous to list, so my reasoning was this could check a massive one right off the list. He agreed, thankfully.

So, I'll let you know how it goes.

photo genetics

Tub time after outside play time - mud on the tub in handprint shapes and - when did my two year old's legs grow so long? My baby loves to suck his lip. I think it is hilarious.




My handsome sons.

Thursday, March 19

all's I'm sayin'

This is a random post full of unrelated topics. Be forewarned.

1. I hate the way companies think they can get away with incorrect grammar in their commercials. I especially hate it when they are national companies. What is up with G2 "Less calories for more athletes" GRRRR. Calories can be counted, people!! It's FEWER. (I don't pull a Mrs. M during "Amazing Grace" and sing "there's no fewer days to sing God's praise" but I will admit that bugs me too)

2. My hilarious 7 month old had a chest x-ray this week to rule out pneumonia, which we did. He doesn't have it. So that is good. And even better is how the x-ray went. During the test he had to be strapped in like this (except Evan's hands barely reached the top of the contraption) and the tech and I were both expecting him to cry. The tech had been doing infant x-rays for over two years and said that only 2 infants had ever not cried. Evan giggled and made faces at me. He was infant #3.

3. We have fun at our house. It was awesome weather this week. My husband is crazy, in a good way, and makes me laugh. Here's proof. (He got a haircut soon after this photo)









4. I started seeds this week, the peppers I am growing are from seeds out of a pepper we ate - I don't know why I haven't saved seeds like this before. They are already sprouting. And I hope to plant some snow peas this weekend, in some new raised beds that are going to be constructed this weekend. Phase 1 of landscaping has begun. If you know how to make raised beds and have a special trick or hint, let me know (Shelley) :-)

5. Here is a video to make you laugh. It is one reason I go crazy; the reason this song gets stuck in my head.

video

6. and finally, I tried Starbucks new instant coffee this morning - I got some samples in the mail - and you would never, never guess that it was instant. And I'm not getting paid to say that. I'm glad it came, 'cause I needed caffeine this morning and all I have is decaf in the house.

That's all!

Tuesday, March 17

when I grow up...

I like to ask Aaron questions that I am certain he does not understand just for kicks. His answers can be quite entertaining. Today, I asked Aaron if he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said "Yes!" so enthusiastically that I was surprised - maybe he did understand what I was asking after all. I asked, "Well, what do you want to be?" His answer - "Bigger," after a long pause, "and roll down the hill."

Sounds fun to me!

A great sale from MSM!

Have you heard about the great offer from LivingOnADime.com and MoneySavingMom.com? If you've been reading this blog for long, you are definitely familiar with Crystal and her money saving tips. She has partnered with Tawra and Jill to offer a great package of ebooks covering the topics of money saving, get-out-of-debt, frugal living and homemaking.

Today, they are offering this Savin' O The Green 17 e-book package to you for $17, a substantial discount off of the regular price of $75 for these e-books.

This is what you get:

Supermarket Savings 101 eCourse with audio downloads
Grocery Shopping On A Budget eCourse
Money Saving Meats e-book
Saving On Cleaning Supplies e-book
Eating Healthy On A Budget e-booklet
Is Eating Out Eating You Up? e-book
224 Meals In A Hurry e-book
Grocery Savings e-book
Menus That Make Cents e-book
Plan Ahead Leftovers e-book
Quick Dinners e-book
Menu Planning Made Easy
Simply Centsible Breakfasts
Simply Centsible Suppers
Kids Recipes
Menus On A Dime
470 Crockpot Recipes

This offer includes a special deeply discounted price only good until midnight March 23, so go get it now! Learn more here

I have purchased several of these ebooks separately and they have been of help to me in reducing the cost of our grocery bill and giving me some ideas for quick meals. I heartily recommend them!

Monday, March 16

Works of God Monday


I don't like it when Scripture is taken out of context, so I want to be very careful in sharing this Work of God in my heart this weekend.

1Peter 5:8-11 says, "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (ESV)

Now I realize that this was originally written to Christians suffering serious persecution - they DIED for their faith. BUT this passage was a particular blessing to me as I battle discouragement. I know that Satan wants me to be crippled by my feelings. I know that I'm definitely not the only mom to feel, at times, alone and trapped inside her house with sick germs and then feel guilty for not being thankful for the gift of being at home with precious children. I know that staying home with my children is NOT persecution and suffering in a literal sense, meaning that my only persecution is from Satan, who wants me to quit the struggle and fail. It can be hard. Very hard. And I know that God's grace is sufficient. Only by His grace will I realize any measure of success.

So this weekend was one of reflection on the gifts God has given, the sometimes hard days, and His Grace. I have some changes to make, because I DO want God to be glorified in all my days, especially in the tedious ones. I am learning to submit to what He wants for my life, and learning to rest in the promises.

I am ALSO thrilled that God allowed us to do so much this weekend. Michael worked on our house - we still had some unseen-from-the-road walls to side - siding in the winter is no fun! He's probably got one more day's worth of work until the whole project is finished, upon which time we will all sing HALLELUJAH and perhaps do a happy dance. You can come, if you want.

I was able to begin the immense task of yard cleanup, take a bike ride with Aaron (which I couldn't do last summer because I was vvvvvvvvery pregnant and I didn't trust my balance with the child seat in back and the belly in the front) and even help with the siding. It was gorgeous yesterday, and we all went to church for the Missions Conference kickoff. Brett Habing was there with the Northern Lights, and seeing him was a happy blast from the past.

So you've heard my praises. How has God provided for your family this week? What has He been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch God work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

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.

Thursday, March 12

at least I have a nice, clean floor.

Aaron was playing in the bathroom sink, something he's done for months now. I sat in there talking to him for awhile, and then thought "I could go switch the laundry now" and went the 25 feet to the laundry room, switched the wet clothes to the dryer, and all of a sudden I heard a yelp from Aaron. I went quickly to see what the trouble was, and found him running totally nude down the hall toward me.

Somehow he had figured out how to pull the drain closed, and the overflow valve couldn't take the deluge. Water was spilling over the sink, down the vanity, and onto the floor. Thankfully the baseboards are up in the bathroom, otherwise Aaron's carpet would have been flooded. Water was pooling on the bathroom floor, and had made it's way into the drawers of the vanity, which contained many absorbent items like a box of Qtips and some feminine care products. I'm thankful the Q-tips were almost empty - there was quite a bit of water accumulating in the box.

I'd been meaning to wash the bathroom floor and clean out those drawers - just not this way! We had a nice firm chat about not filling up the sink with water. Poor kid was pretty scared by the uncontrollable water.

Thank you all for your prayers, I really feel them. Evan's sleeping off a bad cold (I hope) and I'm on the waiting list at the doctor. If an appointment opens up, I'll know I'm supposed to take him! Wishing you all an incident-free Thursday!

Wednesday, March 11

two more doses

Aaron slept through the night last night (hallelujah!!) and woke up chipper this morning, which is good...for him. Two more doses of the azithromycin and we'll be done. Evan doesn't have a fever, and his cough seems to be from congestion, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

My body is fighting the pending illness, and fighting hard. The only thing to do is cling to God's promises and nap when I can. Thanks, all, for your prayers.

And I suppose I spoke too hastily. We will all be glad for Spring's arrival. Cue the pastel confetti and come on over. I'm hoping to make some coconut cupcakes later this week (but decorated in coconut, not all that candy). And I certainly can't eat 24 of them all by myself.

Just because I am curious, and I have sugar on the brain, what is your favorite spring/Easter candy? Mine is the mini cadbury eggs, the little solid chocolate ones. The creme eggs make me gag, but they can be your favorites and I won't mind one bit.

Tuesday, March 10

p-new-moan-ya

Yes, pneumonia has struck. Aaron has it, warranting his first ever antibiotic, and even as I pray that Evan will not succumb, I find myself jumping with furrowed brow at every tiny cough, and wondering why on EARTH I didn't have the doctor take a quick listen to Evan's little lungs yesterday. I am waiting on Michael to come home and listen to see if a trip to Urgent Care is necessary. I don't even want to think about antibiotics and my tiny baby.

And I? I am grumpy with that "sickness is coming" feeling and am begging God to let this be the last sickness in our family for a long, long time. I am discouraged even as I recite Scripture and sing Scripture songs. Please pray for my attitude to be sweet.

No one will be happier to welcome Spring than I. No one.

Monday, March 9

Works of God Monday

This Monday, I am praising God for His faithfulness, His strength, His patience with me, and His compassion. I am thankful that HE knows what I need, what I can handle, and provides for me at every turn. It's been a rough week and weekend, but GOD is always GOOD.

I know He is at work in other places, even as He is working in our family. Can you share the works of God on YOUR behalf today? How has God provided for your family this week? What has He been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch God work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

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.

yummy. and cheap.


I bought two pounds of zucchini through my produce co-op. I had thought I might use it in a stir fry, but instead found this delicious recipe for Zucchini Fettuccine. The title of the recipe is so fun to say, and despite the fact that I lacked several ingredients (fresh mint and parsley and I do not have a lemon zester and therefore added a tablespoon of lemon juice at the end instead) it turned out to be a fantastic find. I served it by itself but Michael and I agreed it would be even better with some grilled shrimp. Next time...

There were tons of leftovers, and I'm pleased to discover the leftovers are quite delicious as well.

Saturday, March 7

Newspaper Boats










Aaron is dreadfully ill, and so we are reading even more than usual. Today, Michael and Aaron made a newspaper boat and floated it in the tub. Such fun!

Please pray for our little guy. He's struggling lots with this bout of illness - high fever and a cough that makes me feel his pain.

Friday, March 6

Open Windows

It's beautiful today in Michigan. We have our doors and windows open as we are trying to remove the vicious germ family that has decided once again to start making the rounds.

Aaron has a horrible cough, fever, and more congestion. We had to go to the doctor this morning and she gave us a prescription to fill if his fever does not go away by tomorrow. I am just PRAYING that the rest of us stay healthy.

The boys have had us up in the night for the past 3 nights, so we are hoping tonight will be one of peaceful slumber.

So for now we enjoy the sunshine and low 60* temperatures. It's enough to lift my spirits, and show me dust bunnies that until now have remained in the shadows. Time for Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 3

Aaron's "Violin" Concert

video

Here we have an impromptu concert. Aaron pretty much loves to sing, and is creative enough to turn a hairbrush and a drinking straw into an instrument. Ah, imagination. The WD-40 of childhood.

Yes, his bedroom is cluttered. He's two. And yes, he put on his own socks, and I think it's funny, so I let him. We stay home a lot.

Planning your Menu?

I'm sitting here at my computer, working on planning my menu for the next 2 weeks. I do this, every two weeks, and every time I sit and struggle with the chore of it. My menu is a loose guide - I menu plan and then shop for the ingredients to fill out what I already have in the pantry. After the menu is made, up it goes on the fridge and I know I have everything I need for each meal. Then I pick off the list each night, sometimes going by the proper dates, sometimes not.

Michael likes Mexican food, we have that at least twice a week. I am loving my produce co-op which allows me to get way more fresh veggies and fruit for my grocery dollars. And the taste of fresh steamed broccoli does not compare to any frozen broccoli I've ever had. Fresh green beans? Same story. Fresh brussel sprouts, roasted? OH YUM.

There are several things that go on every single menu. Tacos, bean burritos, fajitas, my crock pot standards, a breakfast meal, and some sort of pasta with tomato based sauce. And then, it seems like my creativity goes out the window.

I usually peruse the ads for deals on meat and then go from there, but I'm taking this 2-week time off of major shopping, because right now I have a full-of-meat freezer, and when I say that I mean that I have ground beef, ground turkey, chicken breasts, some fish, various cuts of venison, and deli-shaved style ham (I buy a whole ham and have it shaved, then freeze it in 1 lb packages).

So help me today, friends. What is YOUR menu standby, or a tasty dish you've tried lately? Can you give me some ideas? Some links to recipes? Or actual recipes?

Monday, March 2

Works of God Monday

We finally seem to be emerging from the February fog of sickness. I hope this trend continues! What a work of our gracious God to allow the whole family to attend church this weekend - together, and all of the services! It was great to be a part of the baptism/communion service on Sunday evening. One of my mom's students was baptized.

And, my mom's symptoms are greatly improved. She has a stress test scheduled for a couple weeks from now, and she plans to also talk to the doctor about gastric reflux, which can mimic heart attack symptoms and happens to run in our family. I am praising the Lord that my mommy is okay!

So, how has God provided for your family this week? What has He been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch God work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

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.