Friday, October 30, 2009

An almost free date night...

I have been waiting for this night all week long. The anticipation was almost more then I could bear... Date Night. Not just any date night - but, the first one since the summertime. Yea, it's been awhile. With all of the transitions and moving once and then again - life just got real crazy real fast. I've missed dating my hubby, a lot. Life can be so consuming sometimes and I was just looking forward to 2 hours of just Brad n' I time...no baby, no house, no routine tv shows before bed, etc.
So, at 7pm tonight I put the Ava girl to bed, welcomed our FREE babysitter (yea, she's awesome!) and headed out for a night on the town. Of course, that couldn't have been a smooth transition. And of course Ava didn't go down to sleep easily, as she does EVERY other "normal" night of her life. She cried, and cried, fussed and hissed until I had to go back in, pick her up to calm her down, then attempt the "bedtime routine" again. Followed by more crying, fussing, kicking the bed. She NEVER does that... So I whispered a quick prayer asking for patience and a miracle to lay this girl down quietly so I could go out with my hubby. As I was closing her door amidst her cries (heart wrenching) I heard her sigh as if she was giving in..."Thank you, Lord". After 23 minutes of trying to leave - out the door I went.

It almost felt weird to be in the car alone with just Brad. Strange not to have to reach behind me at awkard angles to replace pacifiers or hand stuffed animals or rattles to someone fussing. There was no "kids sing praise" music playing or me saying, "Mommy is going to the ______" (where ever we go I try to talk Ava through it...she likes car convos). It was just me and the love of my life - alone (sigh) at last. We had a plan - bowling and then starbucks on the way home. Here's where the free part comes in...




Here in IA there is a hair cutting place that gives out "1 free game" tickets to a local bowling alley per haircut. So, at Brad's last appointment he grabbed a few just in case we were ever able to go. So, we bowled three games! And two of those were free! Total cost = $10 for the shoes/bowling! We can do $10! It really was so much fun. I won a game, he won 2. It was great just to reconnect, doing something we used to do pre-marriage and pre-baby. I loved the high fives, fist bumps and clapping every time someone got a strike! Which, by the way... I think Brad got like 4 in a row at one point. Part of me (the strange part) kind of felt sad - I miss this about us. I kind of miss the "just us" every now and again. I love being a momma and wouldnt trade it for the world...but there is something so special about the husband/wife relationship, and in the mix of raising our 1st baby I'm afraid I've gotten caught up so much in babyhood...miss my Bradley.


(Ahem, mushy..... sorry)

After our last bowling game we headed over to Starbucks. This was the second part of our FREE date. You see, we buy whole beans to grind at home...and we are fairly particular about the brews we buy. Starbucks usually makes its appearance. When you buy the whole bean bags @ the grocery store you will see a little note at the top of the bag that says, "return this bag to any Starbucks for a free cup of coffee". Score! So, I had two empty bags ready to be redeemed and no better time then our "almost free date" to use them. :) Almost free again, because, well...they had those amazing pumpkin muffins. You know, the kind with the cream cheese center and baked pumpkin seeds on top... yea, those. So, $4 for muffins. But still - that brings our entire date to a whopping $14!!! In my opinion - you can't beat it! We settled in on the comphy velvet chairs and had some good conversation about ministry, family and our upcoming vacay to FL. It was then I had a chance to just watch Brad, uninterrupted. He's handsome...and intelligent, and passionate and wise. I missed him. And, now that I again had the taste of "date night" I want to make it a goal to do this as often as possible, whether "almost free" or not.




A very wise friend and mentor in my life once told me that in marriage you have to have the three "R's": Renew daily, Refresh monthly, Retreat yearly. What she meant by that was (and sorry, KP, if I botch this) - Renew daily: sit down, away from kids if possible, and connect with your spouse. Talk about life, encourage each other. Refresh monthly: date nights, even if that is putting the kids to bed and having a special dinner on "good dishes", or, renting a movie and cuddling (on the same couch) and lastly, Retreat Yearly: GET AWAY. Something Brad and I have yet to do... Find a weekend to get away just the two of you. Even if its a hotel in your own town - just to get away and focus on each other. Kids, jobs and life are distracting. Save those pennies and make it a priority to leave the kids and find your spouse. Personally, we are going to a marriage retreat in two weeks and I am so excited. It's exactly 5 minutes from our house - but its in a nice hotel and Ava will be with a babysitter overnight. It's not much, and certainly not fancy...but it's a retreat, just me and my love. Kids are important - spouses are #1 priority.

Anyway, just thanking God for my James 1:17 guy and excited to see what the future holds for us. And, who doesn't love an "almost free" date night :) Yay for being frugal!




Thursday, October 29, 2009

Words

"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back."
"Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
Proverbs 29:11 & 20




Do I believe Gods word is truth?


Well, of course I do. I've been traveling this road of my salvation and sanctification these last 14 years. For over a decade I've been attending church services, youth groups, Christian camps, purity conferences, marriage get-a-ways (ok, maybe not so much that one), girls retreats, winter retreats, you name it I've done it... including 4 years of BIBLE college with the intent and purpose of learning everything I possibly could about the Bible, how to read it, how to study it, how to live it.

So then, why O why are words still a "thing" for me? Correction... "unwise, ill -timed, hurtful, disrespectful, words". WHY? You would think that after 14 years on this road I'd be one the wiser. But I have a confession... my tongue gets the best of me most days. Now, Praise be to God that every now and again I have amazing victory over it - like a good wrestling match, it doesn't come without pain... trust me, those times of physically biting down to keep quiet hurt. Or, swallowing my pride...that hurts. I know what scripture teaches about our tongues - the power it has and how can rule a life if allowed. I also know that we (as believers) have been given the power to overcome that...should we choose. So with all of this wonderful knowledge and know how, you'd think at 27 years old I'd have a better grip. But, I think my tongue is my proverbial "thorn in the flesh".

It's a daily battle. It's a daily choice, really. It seems so easy, especially as a woman, to be guided by my feelings/emotions rather then truth. And, it seems to me that I HAVE to be hasty with words in this world to get my point across....right?


Wrong.
Gods word is clear. People who are quick to "vent" or hasty to speak are called FOOLS. ouch. How many times will I deal with this issue? ugh. But, there is hope and correction for people like me...who, have a tongue. There was hope for mouthy Peter, bossy Martha and... me.


"And whatever you do in WORD or in deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Col. 3:17

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I have a mortgage payment

The over abundance of our lives has washed over me the last few months...

We went from barely making bill payments on time, wondering what our next meal might be (with a new baby in mind) and not using the heat so we could make other ends meet - to a totally new and different life style. Not saying at all that we are millionaires or really even above normal income families...things are just...different. (wow, weird topic tonight, sorry)

Tonight as I was gathering paperwork, checkbook, bill stubs, etc to get everything in order for tomorrow, "Bill day", it hit me that...WE HAVE A MORTGAGE PAYMENT. (pause) And I don't mean that in an "oops, I forgot...gee whiz its gonna be late now!" way, but a "wow, look at what God has done for us and how overly abundant He has been in providing for us" way.

I am still in complete shock that we own a home, that we have been given a car...a dresser...a tv stand... baby clothes... 2 kitchen tables... etc. I'm amazed at how when I made our prayer list last spring of things we needed and couldn't afford that God knew ALL ALONG the plans He had for us. And while I busily scribbled away, half fretting about not having what we needed, I was being carried along by a God so much BIGGER then my plans or fears or lacking.

It's humbling to open up my green cased checkbook and write this check to the bank. It's humbling to know that my dreams of owning a place where I can welcome people, feed them, love them, warm them... has come true. It's humbling to know that despite my sinful worry or the times I find reason to complain about something broken in this house - that God lets me be here, right now, right here. Always in His love. Always in His will.

I have a mortgage payment tomorrow. Our first one....
Praise be to God!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Muse




My Muse today is actually a collection, er, a theme I suppose... FALL.



This past weekend we (Brad, Ava and I) took a journey downtown to take in the sights at the Sculpture Garden. It was a nice time and a perfect fall day. While the art was lovely (confusing at times) and it was neat to read the plaques about what each sculpture really was I couldn't keep myself from finding other little "treasures" along the way. Fall is at its PEAK right now and I loved catching a few peeks at what it had to offer. There were still a few rose bushes clinging for dear life as we rounded one section of the garden... I think the contrast of dead leaves with one brillant red rose is just gorgeous.



Then there was this guy... a late bloomer. It was the teeniest plant I had ever seen, hiding under the rest of the plants. Dying...but, the color was just so pretty. I know - you are probably thinking- wow, she is weird..admiring DEAD or dying plants... it's ok, I am. There's just something about finding beauty in things that intrigues me - always has.

So my muse today is just the beauty of nature in this season. There is SO much of it... everywhere. Hiding in the smallest places, or maybe just right outside your front door. God is good to allow us eyes to see and noses to smell his seasons. :) I am thankful and grateful for two senses that so many people go without. How spoiled I feel today -even now as I look out my window and see the little yellow leaves falling off of our tree... God is good to me in so many little ways.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughts from Elisabeth...


As I mentioned awhile back I am reading through a pretty neat book by Elisabeth Elliot titled: "A lamp for my feet". It's her thoughts, prayers and reactions to scripture and lifes events... I always enjoy reading how other people view life. Anyway, as promised - here is one snippet that I just wanted to share as its something I'm working on, personally, and know that others can benefit from hearing, as well.


Volunteer Slaves


"Slave" is not a word most of us nowadays "feel comfortable" with. It is significant that most modern Bible translations use "servant" instead. For a slave is not his own, has no rights whatsoever, is not in charge of what happens to him, makes no choices about what he will do or how he is to serve, is not recognized, appreciated, thanked or even (except by his absence) noticed at all.

Once we give up our slavery to the world, which is a cruel master indeed, to become Christ's bondslave, we live out our servitude to Him by glad service to others. This volunteer slavery cannot be taken advantage of - we have chosen to surrender everything for love. It is a wholly different thing from forced labor. It is in fact the purest joy when it is most unobserved, most unself-conscious, most simple, most freely offered.

Lord, break the chains that hold me to myself; free me to be your happy slave - that is, to be the happy foot-washer of anyone today who needs his feet washed, his supper cooked, his faults overlooked, his work commended, his failure forgiven, his griefs consoled, or his button sewed on. Let me not imagine that my love for YOU is very great if I am unwilling to do for a human being something very small."

Elisabeth Elliot - "A lamp for my Feet" (1985)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sewing Project


I did it! This was my first sewing project from "sewing school". We each chose our material and made pj bottoms! I loved this material as soon as I saw it - we call Ava our "Monkey" so its just perfect for her!!!
While I did not totally understand the "casing" or "selveges" language of this project...it was a lot of fun and now I'm looking forward to working on and finishing the shirt to match!
This class has been so good for me and has given me inspiration and motivation to get going and be creative. What a blessing it was to spend time with ladies from the family, too. :)

Decorating: Fall style

As some of you know, and have read, I do NOT consider myself to be a great home decorator. To be perfectly honest... I don't have a clue. What I think might look good ends up looking like a college dorm room (not that thats bad...if you are IN college) rather then a home. (sigh) I recently purchased a subscription to BHG (http://www.bhg.com/) in hopes of building my notebook of decor ideas - afterall, those people get PAID to think of those genius ways to decorate. And I figure I have enough on my plate right now, so no use in getting all stressed out about the fact that I did not inherit any kind of interior design brain cell. :)



Anyway, I have come across a few things in my home recently that I set out for Autumn decor that, although probably misplaced or poorly set up, make me smile and remind me that it really is the simple things in life that count :) While I'm no amazing designer - I like these little things and they do make my home "seasonal" and happy during this great time of year.

And, another thought came to my mind recently that gave me extra encouragement about this topic... my love for people, the way I welcome them into my home and care for them speaks so much louder then any fancy decor and nicely set table. While those things DO have a place, they are no substitute for kind words and warm welcomes. Those things can be the best decorations of all! So, I blog about this now so whenever I get down on myself in the future (I know its coming) about how my home is just "so so", I can reference back - and possibly encourage one of you, too.
By the way... I'm always open for decorating ideas. Especially if you've found something cheap and easy. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buttered Orange Cider


Ah, another fabulous fall recipe to share :) I realize this is my second post of the day... I do have a life, really. I made this tonight for MNF @ our house (for the teens) and it was delish! At first I didn't think it would be so great - but it really is so good and as my obsession goes, makes your house smell amazing! :)


Buttered Orange Cider
6c. apple cider or juice
8 whole allspice
8 whole cloves
1 orange peel strip (about 3 in)
1/4 c. soft butter
1/2 of medium unpeeled navel orange, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2c. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

1) In lg saucepan combine cider and orange slices.
2) Place allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks on double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring corners up and tie or secure with piece of string to form a bag. (spice bag) Add the spice bag to pan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 15-20 mins.
3) In small bowl combine sugar, butter and cinnamon. Discard spice bag. Ladle cider into mugs - dot one spoon full of sugar mix into cider and stir.
*I doubled it and have plenty left over now in the fridge, which I plan on throwing in the crockpot for a tasty treat, again, tomorrow :)

Monday Muse


Oh Werthers... you've done it again. You've made my life more delicious. :)

My Monday Muse is these amazing "new" chocolates that are put out by Werthers, you know...those delicious hard caramel candies people. They are caramel and chocolate swirled together, and although NOT cheap (almost $3 for like 12 or something...) they are worth every penny. Especially if you hide them and make them last a long, long time. They are amazingly good dipped in hot coffee.

My simple Monday Muse. Anyone else try these?!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn : one of the joys of my heart

Have I mentioned that I love Autumn? I can't say it enough, and I really do mean LOVE, not just a word that everyone overuses... I honestly love it. I feel more alive - which is bizarre, considering Autumn/harvest/fall is the time of year when things are "dying", plants and what not.
I think I love Autumn for two specific reasons: the food and the weather. I love baking and cooking and creating in my kitchen. Fall just seems to amplify that for me. Who doesn't love walking into a home that smells of savory fall stew or caramel apple cider simmering on the stove top? Fall afternoons (especially today) is perfect for football, baking and enjoying time together as a family. Fall seems to bring people together. It's time to ditch the grill and swimming pool and head inside for warmth and a new kind of togetherness - literally, together, especially if you live in a small home. :) I love it. The weather is ideal. I'm not a fan of shorts or tank tops (not that they are wrong, I just hate wearing them) and look forward to busting out the hoodies and sweat pants! Oh, and the sweaters :) I think its good to delight in this time of the year - God allows us SO many bountiful sights and smells and emotions as the world changes its view from green to orange and red.
This afternoon I made a new FALL muffin recipe. Thought I'd share. They make your entire house smell amazing and that warm, fuzzy feeling creeps over you. Do you know what I mean?!


Apple-Corn Muffins (taken from Family Circle, about 6 yrs ago)
2 (8.5oz) box corn muffin mix ( I used Jiffy)
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 small, sweet apples (peel, core, grate)
3 T. sugar
1 t. pumpkin pie spice (or apple pie spice)
1/2 c. chopped pecans

1) Heat oven to 400. Coat cups of 6 jumbo muffin pan or 12 regular sized. (I did the 12)
2) In large bowl combine muffin mix, eggs, milk, grated apple, 2 T. sugar and pie spice. Stir until moistened, then divide evenly between prepared cups. (1/2 c. per muffin cup if making 6 jumbos, 1/3 c. per muffin cup if making 12. )
3) sprinkle tops with remaining 1 T. sugar and pecans.
4) Bake 400 for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Cool and serve.

Enjoy the recipe.



Today while I was making these I kept thinking what it must have been like to be a pioneer woman back in the day preparing meals for your family. I'm still and always have been intrigued thinking about their methods and recipes. If you've never done it - I encourage you to read through some pioneer cook books...you will find some very interesting things. Note that I grew up in Ohio and for some reason the state was obsessed with Ohio History - my entire 4th grade year we studied Ohio pioneers...thus my slight obsession. You can think I'm odd, it's ok. WOW- RABBIT TRAIL.




Now....back to enjoying Autumn, one of the joys of my heart :)




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yours Alone

"Lord You are the anchor
Refuge in the storm
Your words are wisdom
Shining in the dark

I hear Your voice on the water I feel Your touch in the wind
Your above and beneath me
Surround my heart again

And I know that You are good
God I know that all You do is good

So I put my life in Your hands
I'm Yours alone, I'm Yours alone
Surrender, Lord I raise my hands
To You alone, to You alone


Lord Your voice guides me
So Tell me what to do
Your heart it drives me
To follow after You"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a7_Ng0-JuE

(written by Phil Wickham © 2006 Seems Like Music (BMI) / Wickham Music (BMI) All rights administered by Simpleville Music, Inc.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What to do with this room...


This is our front windowed-in porch. This is the left view of it. It's as wide as the width of the house - and has about 8 or 9 of those windows, then a HUGE window at the other end. I call it my "decorator" window because it doesnt open, its just this massive window that can only be good for putting decorations in it - and lighting it up at Christmas.




This room has new very shiny linoleum.




This room is drafty, so I need to cover the windows I think. This room leads to our front porch/steps (aka: front hill) where my very cute (or will be) mailbox sits. So, yea... important.




This room is the precursor to the livingroom and my GORGEOUS front door. This room does NOT have a heat vent in it...at all. Literally, as cold as it is outside.

Why on earth am I telling you all of this? Well, thank you for asking.
I need ideas, and i need them quick! I just don't know what to do with this room. So, all of you amazing home decorators and creative people... scroll back up, take a few more looks and tell me what you think. What can I do to turn this WHITE boring space into something beautiful? Remember, my mailman sees it everyday - so do the teens when they come in for Monday night football...well, and anyone who comes in at all, actually.




I'm open to ALL suggestions, colors and ideas. :) Please help me. :)

Here are a few more pics of the space.









Monday, October 12, 2009

Time for a challenge - Sewing School

Well, let me be honest with you for a minute. See if anyone relates.

As little girls (or boys...however, I don't think I have any male readers...if so, great!) didn't we all aspire to be good at something? And, if you come from a background similar to mine...doesn't it seem like Mom was good at everything?!

My mom sews, crochets, does beadwork, leather work, cooks amazing meals from scratch, paints, makes things from metal, refinishes furniture... etc. She is the master of all things crafty and beautiful. I remember year after year watching her create gorgeous things for Christmas gifts, holiday decor or even just birthday events. She makes snowmen out of socks, Christmas light hanger things out of clear plastic cups, hangers and christmas lights...and my fave - wind chimes out of old cds and thread. Seriously....amazing talent. I've watched her put together HUGE crocheted blankets in just a few hours (one sitting!) and then wrap them up and give them away only to start on the next one.... just blows my mind.

My entire life I've wanted to be good at something. Something crafty or creative or just...something. And the honest truth is - I'm not. I can crochet, kinda. But the blanket I started to make for Ava ended up looking more like a batman cape gone horribly wrong. I attempted hand sewn curtains for the window in our 3rd apartment... only ended up using the fabric as cleaning rags. Yea, that bad. Year after year I attempt something new thinking that somewhere deep inside I have to have a thread of that creative gene my momma has. And every year I end up basically flushing money down the toilet on unused or horribly mangled supplies. This last year as we had a baby girl on the way I assumed scrapbooking would not only be EASY, but something I could really get into and be good at. I mean, scrapbooks are personal and can look good no matter what because its YOUR book, right? Wrong. Let's just say... All of the precious preggo pics and ones we have from birth to almost 10 months of Ava are resting nicely on CD's.

All this to say...
It's time for a challenge. Brad's Aunt Becky has taken upon herself the task of teaching me, as well as a few other cousins and Aunts how to use our machines. Mine (bless its little mechanical heart) has been sitting in its box unloved and unused for almost 3 years! Ahem - anyway, so tomorrow I begin my sewing class. I'm SO pumped for it. #1) It's a momma break. I have from 6:30-8:30pm to do nothing but fellowship and focus on my new event. #2) It's out of the house #3) It's a huge challenge for me. Since I was very young I've always wanted to be magical on a sewing machine. I've always wanted to make curtains and baby clothes and whatever else... and now here's my chance, at last! I remember watching my mom use hers and she just made it look so easy and so glamorous. At one point in our lives I can recall her making these gorgeous victorian gowns for a local town play - stuck with me all these years. I want to make gowns! ok, maybe not...but, I do have dreams that big!
While I worked for BBC (PA) I was allowed take 1 free class, as an employee perk. I decided to take "Ministry of Marriage and Motherhood" with an amazing, godly lady, Peggy Walker. Peggy taught us how to basically run a home, love our spouses (or future ones), raise children, etc. But the section of the class that sticks out in my mind the most was the one based on creating a home environment. Not the emotional stuff - the actual STUFF, the decor, the look of the place. She had us take a test on what our style would be. We looked at magazines to get a feel for what we liked and didn't. We researched different terms of things, Chintz, Lace, Gingham.... MY KIND OF CLASS! Anyway, Peggy said something on the last night that really stuck in my mind, and I'm totally going to botch what she actually said, but it was along the lines of, "it's our responsibility to set the look and tone of our homes. it's our job to be creative spouses and make our homes our castles..." and she went on to talk about this from a ministry stand point as she was a pastors wife for years and is now in a new ministry of sorts... So I'm just super convicted to get on the ball, learn a "talent" and get on with it. I want to be a blessing to my family by making our home look nice...and I think it can start with learning to sew. It will be challenging. It will be good.


So, here we go. Sewing School - see you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

(ugh) ...and, other things.

Sometimes I can't come up with titles - just because I'm strange like that. But, "Ugh" seems to be fitting right now. Ava is STILL battling this viral cold thing. Runny nose, whining, not sleeping, whining, clinging, not eating a ton, whining, tantrums galore...did I mention whining? So yes, Momma Bear is feeling a little discouraged tonight and just praying that this time will be over soon. And that in the meantime I can be loving, patient and gentle with my precious girl. That's the hard part. I can handle the waking up 14 times a night to a baby crying in her sleep & I can handle the endless changing of shirts as I have more snot streaks then a box of kleenex... its being calm, gentle and patient with her. Who would've thought I would ever battle like this?! But, it's true. And in the words of my very wise mother, I need to just "get over it" and "Get used to it". So, I am.
I started a new book this week and at the perfect time. It's an old copy of Elisabeth Elliots, "A Lamp unto my feet". Literally, old copy - the paper cover is falling apart. But, I love old books. I couldn't find a picture of its old cover - but, here's what it looks like today I guess. (Thanks Bing images!) This book is just page after page of this Godly womans thoughts, prayers and perspectives on life, ministry, marriage, scripture...you name it. It's perfect for quiet mornings with a cup of coffee snuggled under a blanket. I love hearing her point of view and I love how her conservative background plays into it. I think I'm a lot more conservative then I know. Most of all - I love how God has worked in her life in such a way that she can point EVERYTHING back to him in reverence. Good and bad. And, goodness...if you've never read about her life - you need to. She's had some bad, for sure. I also really appreciate her, I think , because she was a ministry wife. She knows first hand what it was like to be on the mission field, in a church, etc. Lately I'm learning that we are totally in over our heads without full dependence on God in this youth ministry. Wow. I love how she just puts her thoughts (wise thoughts) out there...and they make sense. So, anyone else read it?! I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Hopefully I'll have some good stuff to blog about in a few days. Looking forward to the next few pages. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No More Stairs

video

Aw, my poor little monkey. What a mean momma to take away her most favorite past time...stair climbing. She does this whisper-whisper thing when she's figuring things out. I believe she's a genius and just plotting when she does this whis

pering... hey, you never know! Anyway, she's my super cute, stair - blocked girl and I just wanted to share my joy with you. And, yes, I do realize the gate is up on the 2nd step... the best I could do with that bannister. :)

And this gate couldn't come at a better time. The girl is quick - she can get almost to the middle of this section of stairs in seconds. We love it...only, just a little too risky right now.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ava Edyn

Ah, it's Wednesday... halfway through the week already! Is time going faster or...is it just me?!
Here's our Ava Edyn - this was after her first "Spaghetti" dinner. I buckled and bought some of the jarred kind...too nervous to make my own. Anyway, she LOVED it! And for some reason - be it the mini pieces of pasta or that yummy sauce made of tomatoes AND apples (ick) she just got extra ornery afterwards. This face says it all! The rest of this day was spent chasing her up stairs, away from trash and recycling bins, off of window ledges and walkers. You see...Ava is very mobile.
Right now she has a cold and shes just about as miserable as could be. She wants to be held constantly, which is alright with me... especially on these chilly fall mornings where I can't feel my feet. I have no problem snuggling under a down blankey on the couch. :)
The last few days I've just been observing Ava and her mannerisms, attitudes and personality. She's a very funny little girl. I could be wrong but I don't think she has any rhythm. When music is on she def dances to her OWN beat. She talks to herself and her toys, then looks at me and repeats the gargles/blabbers/grunts as if she doesn't want to leave me out of the convo. She loves cheerios and anything that takes use of her very fine motor skills - which amazes me. She points at things she likes, then turns to me and lets me know. Just very smart. I love her. I'm also feeling little heart tears as I watch her grow older and older... somedays I wish she was still that 2 week old laying in my arms staring at me. I guess we all go through that. Overall, despite my mush and gush- I am truly so thankful for this child. She makes me want to be a better momma.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Monday Muse

I'm a scent fanatic. I've always been that strange woman in the grocery store who smells every product and bases her purchase on the one that smells best. I've been known to smell every single pack of dryer sheets or dishwashing liquid on the shelf to make a decision. Ask my hubs! I'm a fanatic about good smelling laundry and have no problem paying a little extra for top quality, amazing smelling softener. I have a bazillion body sprays and lotions and I love using a different every day. Variety is the spice of life. My daughter is always coated in some kind of sweet smelling baby lotion...etc. I think how you smell says things about you.

In my home I'm obsessed with smells - candles and heated oil things are in every room. I read somewhere that each home has a unique smell - I can only hope mine is a good one. My dish towels smell like that great softener I mentioned earlier. I'm also a huge fan of Febreeze and and those old school "Stick ups" in the linen closet, scented with apple or clean linen, of course. I adore the scent of Murphys wood oil soap - and seeing how I have ALL this woodwork now, I'm eager to get scrubbing so my home can carry that scent as well.

I'm sure that more then once my over abundance of scents has offended some sensitive nose. So I do try to tone it down when company is over. But when its just us - I'm obsessed. I love smells and love filling my home with them! Is this a weird post, or what? Ok, I'll get to the point...

My Monday Muse is the "newer" Febreeze Noticeables. They have tons of different "flavors" but I just came across one that is PERFECT for this season and is now sharing its joy in our dining room. It's the Moroccan Bazaar: Ginger and Nutmeg. Ah, DELISH! It seriously just makes me happy...and it IS about the little things in life, right? So, thats my MUSE of the day - I love it and totally recommend it...if you are a scent fanatic like me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Lull

Ever had a lull in your life?
I feel like mine is now. We went from transition to transition, move to move, house to house, work world to ministry world... and now things are starting to settle. Routine is fairly in place. And of all mornings - I feel a lull, on this gorgeous Sunday morning.

Sometimes I dispise this sneaky streak of melancholy that I own. When for no appearent reason I feel down or lonely or sad. And those down times always come during "lulls" for me. So today I'm feeling a little lost...

This morning, despite my sad heart...for no appearent reason... I'm also thankful for the "FRIEND who sticks closer then a brother", My God. Who would have known that the life of a pastors wife could be plagued by random bouts of loneliness? Ugh, the lull. What a TRUE comfort that the infinite God of the universe lives in my heart today.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

For anyone who loves a good deal...or something free

Good morning blogger friends! Isn't this cooler autumn weather just divine?! I don't know about you, but theres just something about having your morning coffee where you can see the steam rolling around your mug that warms your insides. I'm especially "IN LOVE" with the tiny yellow leaves taking over our yard...they look like mini-leaves. Anyone know what kind of tree that might be?
Anyway, about my title - a good deal or something free. Sound good to anyone? Especially in this economy where we absolutley want to scrimp and save every penny. Well, my friend Emily introduced me to an amazing website...some of you probably already know about it. It's http://www.wickedcooldeals.com/ and I encourage you to check it out. Today she is advertising the FREE starbucks coffee deal that is going on until Monday. In the past she has given links for: free walgreens photo books, coupons off grocerys, free samples of things on line...etc. Give 'er a try and let me know what you think. :) If you look under the "blogs I follow" column she is on there - in case the link doesn't work.

Now for me - I literally have an entire house to clean. I took 2 days off to just "lounge" and now thats coming back to bite me in the... well, you get it. Enjoy your October day!