Friday, February 26, 2010

Growing up too fast

Check out this link to a Focus on the Family article I got via email this afternoon. At first I was just gonna skim over it but I am glad I took the 2 minutes (literally) to read it through. Good stuff. While my girl is not in her teens or preteens YET {thank the Lord!} I can start taking measures now to prepare, teach and train her. What a challenge! As our culture continues to change and aim more and more at our little ones we need to be ready and on gaurd! Teaching our children to be IN the world but not OF it. If we don't teach them - someone else will, and it may not be how we would want it taught.

This topic has been on my heart the last few days and it seems that every day its impressed a little more. Yesterday I got a FREE book in the mail, "Passionate Housewives desperate for God", and while I haven't started reading it yet - just checking out the blog of one of the writers has got me thinking. Note: These ladies come from Reformed backgrounds and are on the more "conservative" side of life. So, it may not be for everyone. But, I do like their ideas and advice on many things mothering and homemaking. :)

Anyway, check out the article and tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm going nuts...wanna come along?

The sun is out...

The kitchen is 55% painted...

I had time to really sit and read the Word and meditate on it...

I had time to read my bible study chapter (in advance instead of Sunday nite prior)...

So I shouldn't feel so frazzled, right?

But, I do. I feel agitated and irritated and bothered.

The $10 worth of steak I bought for our "fancy" family night dinner went bad in the fridge...

Ava is cutting TWO molars at the same time...TWO!

It's freezing.

I'm exhausted from waking up almost every 2 hours with Ava lastnight...

And, I was cranky with my husband this morning during breakfast. {sigh}

So, now, I'll go and try to set my mind back on truth {AGAIN} ... but, I really do feel like I'm on a trip. I'm going nuts...wanna come along?!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

R.I.P Mary Kay

My 14 month old loves watching me put makeup on. She loves to sit right on my lap and pretend she is also "doing makeup". I've caught her on more then one occasion stealing one of my brushes or eyelash curler and pretending in front of the mirror. It's cute...and I can't help but giggle when I see her imitating me. It's actually totally endearing. ;)

But... you know what's NOT endearing? Finding this... your favorite MARY KAY color smashed into your furniture. And not just on your furniture....but, on your darling 14 month old.
Arriving upon the scene... I didn't even have to discipline - tho she did get a stern "talking to" - Ava was already hard on herself. (and I'm pretty sure the taste was not pleasant)
{sigh} RIP overpriced, fancy, Mary Kay makeup... you were so good to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the beginning...

In the beginning we had this lovely (ahem) white kitchen.

(Don't mind the mess... I am painting, afterall)

This is our back door and breakfast table to the right. Very, very, dull. And one of our most special places in the house because we share meals here daily.

This afternoon I started with my Antique Red paint.

At first, I had to take deep breaths.
I'm not so much afraid of color skill in painting it.

But, 2 hours later we have this.
One completed wall, one wall where I decided to clean off my brushes,
and... one very satisfied momma.
I love this color!

But as it goes for most moms of little ones...

nap time has ended, and so must the painting. So, the kitchen will wait and we'll be back with more hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whole lotta paintin' goin' on

I did it.
I bought the paint for our kitchen...and I will start tomorrow afternoon.
We are doing antique red and wild honey as our two colors... and I love them both!

I have visions and dreams of how this could turn out. We shall see.

In other news - INSIDE OUT BIBLE STUDY starts this week with our teens! Pray for me, my husband, Cody and Lisa who will all be leading this exciting experience. We'll be going through the book - "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan. We have 9 teens who have committed to going deeper with us in this study and I'm pumped to see some lives changed! Woot Woot! There's my "holy holler" for the night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Well, hello there officer"

So I'm singing "In Christ alone" crusing down the street on my way to good ol' Kohls... just like any other normal day. Ava is happily singing with me in the backseat all strapped in looking like an overstuffed yellow marshmallow, of course. What a good day. Good weather, good tunes, good destination.

We pass a State Patrol car, so I turn to smile at him - that is what good citizens do, am I right? Then I look in the rear view mirror... "oh, the patrol car pulled into my lane", interesting. In my mind I'm thinking, "oh I bet that guy behind me was speeding, ouch!". I notice as the patrol car passes "that guy" and then speeds up behind me - lights turn on... {gulp}. In my mind I'm thinking something is hanging off of my car - its super snowy and chunks everywhere...maybe my headlight is out (er...its daytime...can't be that) or perhaps a tire is in bad shape and I don't know it. I was 5 under the speed limit and have no idea why I'm getting pulled over.

The officer approaches my car and of course my window is broken so I have to open the door. HUMILIATING! "Ma'am, today is safety (something er other) day and I noticed you didn't have your seat belt on, {note: at this point in time I DID have it on... seeing the officer reminded me those few minutes prior} are you in the habit of not wearing your seat belt?" And so we chatted back and forth, me being honest and even confessing that as soon as I saw him I buckled up because he reminded me. (yes, I do confess things when I'm nervous) He took my info and walked back to his car. Lovely. And on pay day too... I've never gotten a ticket.

5 Minutes later he returned and let me know it was going to be a warning, but... "wear your seatbelt". I thanked him profusely and drove away. Inside my head I'm thinking, "Oh thank you Lord that I buckled Ava in FULLY today". Her seat has a ton of clips and buckles and sometimes we skimp on one of them... I know, I know... horrible mother award. But, I've learned my lesson and I'm pretty sure I would be sitting in Jail had I not taken the time to do that this morning!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Don't hate me cuz I'm ugly

Obviously my blog is having issues...

to say the very least... technology is winning.

Please bear with me as I test the waters on a few things...

hopefully a day will come when I have time to sit down and get it right.

until then...

don't hate me cuz I'm ugly.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sphere of Influence

Last week after a play group at church, I made my way into the church library. Our church has a pretty organized, well laid out, nice sized library with a wonderful variety. Usually I would make my way to the "Elizabeth George-esque" section or something historical/fictional with a little Christian romance in there. But, this tiny little book with a red flame for some reason caught my attention...I picked it for inspection - "hmmmm, a story about a missionary and her hubby". Ok, I've read books like this before. So I put it back down and went about looking onto other shelves. But, and this sounds so silly and weirdo/mystical-ish, I just felt like I was supposed to read that book. So I back tracked, picked it up, stamped it with the check out stamp, stashed it in my bag and left. Not a second thought about it... until this afternoon. I started on the foreward (by Ruth Bell Graham) this afternoon and kept on reading - it's difficult to put down! And, even in chapter one I see why I needed to read this book. I'd like to share a few paragraphs and challenge you on something. Who are you influencing? or... rather, who is in your sphere of influence? Rosalind Goforth credits two people below - and totally blew my mind today.
"One of the most precious memories of those early years was when mother permitted me to accompany her to Montreal, some four miles west of our home. The first place visited was the old and interesting Bonsecours Market. In close proximity to the market was the great Notre Dame Cathedral. When finished with her marketing, mother would say, "Now, child, we will go into the cathedral; I need quiet." Mother was not roman catholic, nor had she any tendency that way. She was the mother of a very large family, and upon her rested the responsibility of making - or trying to make - both ends meet on an artists uncertain income. Her problems were many. Can we wonder, therefore, that she craved for just such a haven as was to be found within the quiet, restful cathedral! ... Never can I forget the hour, sometimes longer, when mother knelt in perfect stillness with face covered. Close beside her I sat, gazing in wonder at what to my childs fancy was all marvelous beauty and grandeur. ...Not only on those visits to the cathedral but in other ways and at other times I came to see mothers source of strength was in prayer and in definitely claiming some promise in the Word."

"There were other blessed, molding influences besides mother. One that stands out most clearly will be mentioned - that of a sunday school teacher. No special word or lesson can I recall of this teacher; even her name is forgotten; but all down the years has remained the memory of the sweet fragrance of her Christlike presence. was the longing just to watch this teacher's face and feel her tender, loving spirit; this was sufficient. I saw in her what I longed even then desperately to be. (O sunday school teachers, take courage!)

Wow. I closed the book after finishing the chapter and just swallowed. And of course a specific 50 some teens came to mind... and not just teens, but, people I see every day, cashiers and postal workers, my husband daughter. Isn't it neat how God knows what we NEED to read? He cares even about the little things like that.

Luke 6: 44
"Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oatmeal Quick Bread

I haven't posted a recipe in a while and had one today that I think some of you will like.
The description on this recipe is, "This is a particularly easy bread to mix and bake. Stirred up in one bowl, with no sifting, creaming or folding, it's a good choice for a novice bread baker." There you have it!

My family loves this bread. It's not over the top sweet - but does have the slight hint of the brown sugar. {I sprinkle it with pumpkin pie spice for added YUM} I, especially, love the oatmeal sprinkled on top. This bread is good with pot roast - as we had last night - or for breakfast on the run! :) Enjoy and happy baking!

Oatmeal Quick Bread - (Good Housekeeping Great Baking Cook Book)

1 c. milk
1 c. plus 1 T. quick-cook oats, uncooked
2 lg. eggs
6 T. melted butter or margarine
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt ( I use sea salt)

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 or 9x5 metal loaf pan. In large bowl, combine milk and 1 c oats, let stand 5 minutes.
2) Stir eggs, melted butter, and brown sugar into the oat mixture and combine well, making sure there are no lumps of brown sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt just until blended.
3) Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with remaining oatmeal. Bake 55-60 minutes for the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 pan, 35-40 minutes for the 9x5 pan, until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool loaf in a pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely. Makes 1 loaf of 12 slices.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Loving people to Christ

This Valentines weekend we spent with 20-some of our youth groups finest teens and leaders in MN, at Ironwood Spring Christian Ranch. While we wished everyone could come... God knew who HE wanted there, and I am so filled with hope after watching Him change lives! We had a fantastic time and the above picture shows just how much beautiful snow we had. Perfect for a snow tubing!
I'm still kind of in a state of awe at how God allows us this ministry opportunity. How I'm allowed to be married to Brad and serve at this church with him. The fact that I get to witness these kinds of events blows my mind... like Levii, who is learning how to read her bible. She bought tons of mini-post it notes to make a mark on every page of stuff she's learning. Did I mention she's in 6th grade?! And while she is still very much in the beginning stages of growth - she's eager for it and it challenges my socks off!

I'm overwhelmed with the responsibility of praying for these teens and loving them and teaching them. It's a GOOD overwhelming.

Saturday was filled with games and activities and tons of opportunity to build relationships. There's something about getting away from the "norm" and getting to know people...
like, these guys -->
They may look like a bunch of normal teen guys ;) - but let me tell you... GOD IS AT WORK! (even if they don't know it yet...)

And these precious to me. I loved hanging out with them on the freezing cold tubing hill. They are sweet and thoughtful and encouraging. My junior high girls who will soon enough be our leaders... I just want to trap them forever at this age. Tender and open to what God is doing.

But not all teens are open to God. The deeper we get into this ministry life...the more I see it. It's painful to watch. I've seen rejection of salvation plenty of times before from working at youth camps, being a public school student and even just being a human...but, seeing it now, on this side of life - rips me apart. Much of my Saturday night was spent in tears as I wept for our youth. Our speaker, EJ Swanson, challenged them about "The 3 chairs" - the first being one where you know about God but you just don't care. The second is the "lukewarm" chair... you know the facts, you love God, but... you are usually just really good at putting on the "sunday act" and then being someone else after that. And third was the chair of those soaring... growing and seeking God continually. My heart was so challenged and so were many others. I found myself frustrated at the 1st and 2nd chairs. It's easy to understand the lukewarm, comphy chair - as it seems to be a place where I end up resting more often then not (sigh). But, the first chair is a mystery to me. And as we ended our session and EJ encouraged the kids to evaluate their lives something interesting happened...

GOD MOVED. HE MOVED LOUDLY. I watched some of them squirm... some of them cried, some tried to hide their faces, others didn't care who saw. A few hearts hardened even more and some broke. Hands raised to acknowledge what "chair" they were in and then there was an opportunity to pray with leaders. GOD MOVED. I stood in the back and just cried out to God to keep moving... I felt warm tears start to fall as hands went up. Thank you Jesus!
But, as it has to happen, the session ended...and it was time to move on to the next thing on the schedule. God, of course, isn't bound by our routines and He continued to work throughout the weekend - and moved me on, too. There were more opportunities to talk and interact with the teens. But something I learned this weekend - above any other lesson - was, we LOVE these teens to Christ. We can preach and pray and talk till our heads pop off...but what they SEE is our love for them and our love for Christ.

So, as we tubed down the 90 degree angled "hill" and ate the cafeteria food and sang songs and jousted with Nerf swords... we loved them. As we chatted in our bunk beds, played telephone and got ready in the morning... we loved them. When we Dodge-balled, hockey sticked and smored with them...we loved them. And though we may not see the fruit of the seeds planted for YEARS {gulp}...we've loved them.

I'm totally biased to this ministry, I know that. But, PRAY FOR TEENS! PRAY FOR CHANGE! PRAY FOR WISDOM AND BRAVERY. And if you can think of nothing else to pray for... pray for that man and his wife and those strange, volunteer leaders who are loving your teen to Christ and choosing a weekend of snow tubing with 7th graders over a valentines date at a fancy restaurant. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wanna go with?

This afternoon I was catching 30 minutes of "Design on a Dime" on HGTV, half watching, half dozing, half wanting to eat chocolate but too lazy to get up and find some... when, all of the sudden a commerical came on. Not your normal house cleaning products, car salesman or diaper commericals...but one that mentioned God and then showed pictures of people I really do enjoy.
(Aka: Nicole C. Mullen, Lisa Whelchel and Nicole Johnson)

The more attention I paid to it - I realized it said this conference was coming to our very own Des Moines, IA. Wait! I live here now... I could actually GO to this!

So, who wants to go with? No, really... anyone remotely interested?
{click the pic for info}

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If you can't beat 'em...

While most of the North East and East Coast look like this...
We seem to be enjoying a gorgeous blue-sky day, similar to this...
only...hold the mountains. ;)
I gotta admit...NOT missing PA today. Because according to the news this morning, they are right in that "additional 10-16in" zone for the afternoon forecast.

My daughter thinks the snow is awesome.
She loves walking on it, staring at it, eating it, smelling it, yelling at it...
And every time I am attempting to load her into the car she attempts to squirm away and run to the nearest snow bank.
And, let me remind those of you not living near....
there are more then enough snow banks to choose from.
I don't cave and let her wriggle free.
It's cold, she's usually snotty faced anyway, and... just, ugh, messy.
However - today, I let her go.
The church parking lot was empty and mounds of snow were abounding...
just waiting for a little girl in a puffy, yellow, marshmallow coat to climb them.
I put her down and she tried to run as fast as she could.
She just wanted a look.
A peek for herself.
So, I trotted after her and scooped her up and we pointed to the sun -
then we pointed to the snow and talked about it.

If you can't beat 'em....
Join 'em. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Thoughts

Life has been heavy the last few days. And, I know and accept that life won't always be peaches n' cream (did I really just say that?), but, emotionally... life has been draining lately. We celebrated the heaven-going of a brother in the Lord, have had some heavy hearts for teens making dumb choices, and just... ya know, life things. Freezing cold and snow also weigh us down a bit, I'm afraid. We are such conditional people, aren't we? Thanks be to God that in these "Valley Days" of life we grow and are shaped to be more like our Father! Even bad weather can shape us, as I'm reminded everytime I check my attitude at the door...literally.
I've taken a few days away from the blogger world 1) because I was literally an emotional basket case over this whole death situation... 2) I've been battling with negativity and had nothing positive or helpful to share... 3) well, I can't remember what was three was. Anyway, NUFF of that - {and please don't think I only read positive, sugar sweet blog posts... if you've read any of my blog you know that!} today I would like to share a few "Happy Thoughts" with you. Things that have brought joy to my days during some hard times.
Here is my girl and her new obsession - taking care of "babies". Because she is soooo grown up now. {wink, wink} When I worked in the nursery two weeks ago, she came with me and helped take care of some adorable twin brothers. She read to them for quite a while... nevermind that they weren't paying attention for the most part. She melts me. Times like these remind me just how much she IS watching me. Where else did she learn to "Share" her book like this?!

Also... I love coming downstairs and seeing these two playing so well together. She adores daddy, and apparently, the laundry basket. These two make me very happy. I love learning life with them. I love having just the three of us home together at night. I love snowy nights where everything is cancelled and we end up playing with a laundry-basket-filled with-baby for an hour :) (and it doesn't get old)

Remember that $3 vase I found at TJ MAXX last week? Well, I found something to put in it that I already owned (from our wedding...I knew those would come in handy)! After a few minutes of scavenging through the basement... I came up with these cheerful lil' things! It brightens up the dining room and just makes me happy and hopeful that soon enough Spring will come! And, if you see that little polka dotted package behind it...that's Brad's V-day gift. It was under $4 and something he will LOVE. ('s french press coffee...specially made for the french press....that I found on sale at Target. This will accompany a home made coupon valid for 1 new french press as soon as we find a good one. Did I mention this was Starbucks, too?! )

I'm also LOVING this Scentsy, from my Sister in Law, that I got for Christmas. It came with three scent packs: Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie Spice and Mochadoodle. Yep, you heard right...Mochadoodle. The thing plugs in and is warmed by a bulb rather then a flame - so it can burn all day and keep our home smelling wonderful. And, you remember my obsession with scents, right?! Today I'm melting Apple Pie Spice and loving it. I'm also a huge fan of the design.... and so thankful for a super thoughtful sis-in-law!

Before you think I'm totally materialistic and I only find my joy in stuff (which, let's admit, there is joy in those things...just not lasting joy)...let me share my last two "springs" of joy lately. They come in the form of God's word/bible study books. My friend, Jessie, has been working through "Idols of The Heart" with me, by Elyse Fitzpatrick. The subtitle is "learning to long for God alone" We are only on chapter 3 - but the first two chapters have already been super convicting and just really good, deep, thoughts. I know in my life I seem to long for everything else - even service to my God - rather then my God. Does that make sense?! That's what we worked on this morning... something I've heard called, "the Martha syndrome", getting so caught up in the actions of serving/worship and not stopping to actually BE WITH God. We also talked about things that can "split" our, hubby, home, etc. I have so much to learn and am so thankful for a friend who is walking through this book with me. Although only on Ch. 3 - I totally recommend it. And, would def say...go through it with a friend. I'm learning even more from hearing another "Sisters" point of view, that I would not have gotten by just reading it alone.

Book #2 is - "Redefining Beautiful" by Jenna Lucado. This book is written for teen girls and comes from the angle of viewing God the way you do due to how you view your earthly daddy. It's a cute read so far. She's not super deep, but, I'm thinking its okay and maybe even aimed at jr high age - rather then her target of older girls. ??? I'm considering it as a bible study for our girls at church. She goes through lots of topics about beauty, fashion, how we treat people, family, etc. It all circles back to our walk with the Lord...or lack thereof. I'm enjoying it - and it's taking me back, let me tell you! Right now I'm on the chapter about character qualities...something I feel SO STRONGLY about for teen girls! Our culture is so anti-character, at least, Godly character. Jenna is a smooth, easy to read, author and her dad (Max) has several inserts which are enjoyable, as well. Anyone else read this?! I'd love your thoughts.
Happy thoughts on this Tuesday. We have so much to be thankful for! Little, everyday, mundane, exciting things! And maybe most of all, this...
Hebrews 10-
"11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cheap stuff

Yesterday was a good day for bargains. I wasn't intending on finding them, or even looking for them, but there they were... Home Depot and TJ Maxx. Home Depot has brightly colored storage bins for $3.98 - which I am in GREAT need of, as I still attempt to sort and pack and store things in our basement. And, though cardboard boxes are great, I don't trust them in our 1914 basement. Another bonus... labels will stick to these! {yes, I am one of those people}

I also noticed that tons of drawer handles, knobs, etc were at super low prices yesterday. I didn't pick any up - because we aren't quite there yet, but some were priced under a dollar and most around $1.19 or so - nice ones. So...just an FYI if you are in the market for drawers, handles or knobs.

TJ MAXX was another suprising trip for me. I can almost always walk out with some kind of good deal - and yesterday was no exception. Look what I found! This vase was only $3! And it goes with my color scheme perfectly! I can already picture the types of things I will put in it... love it.

Another fun find was Christmas cards. I know, GASP, not already...but, I'm always looking for ways to find the cutest card for the cheapest price. We decided that we probably won't be doing picture cards anymore because of how expensive they are and how we really like writing personal messages in our cards. So you can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon these adorable cards for a whopping .70!!!

There are 15 of them and they come with shimmery, silver envelopes! Now, we usually like to go with a more "religious" card, but at .70 cents... we can insert that inside!

(sorry for those really fuzzy, bad pics... I'm NOT a photographer)

My last find was this super cute "Old Glory" plaque thing. It, too, was only $3! And it goes with the era of our home. Brad isn't real keen on antiques or antique-looking things, but, he didn't mind this one. And I'm excited to display it this summer for 4th of July!

On top of my good finds - I had a fantastic time out at a play date and a McDonalds date lunch with my daughter. :) Just a very good day.
I know I've been writing a lot about Ava lately and I hope you don't tire of hearing about that little gal... my heart is very full with her!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Passing on to life

We got a text late lastnight to let us know one of our Brothers in the Lord went to be with his Jesus. Why does it seem that if he were older it wouldn't be as painful?

We hardly knew this man. But, from what we witnessed just in these last few months... He loved his God, he loved his wife and loved his two kids. His story of battling cancer with grace and God's strength is admirable. Even up to the end he found reason to praise....

Josiah Johnson - enjoy your Jesus.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What do you mean, "you can't get anything done"...?

Lately, this has been one of Ava's favorite spots on the house. She pulls (or asks me to) out the oven's bottom drawer where I keep my 9x13 metal pans, cupcake tins, bread pans and corresponding lids. This is only after she's raided my utensils drawer and picked out her choice of wooden spoons, salad forks, egg separaters and tea balls. {sigh} And that is only after she's chosen a box of cereal out of another cabinet, spilled a lot of it onto the floor...started eating it until I was quick enough to scoop it get the picture.
All this to say - we are at a point where I feel like I can't get anything done (at least in the kitchen). Progress that I make on the house lasts about 10 minutes until Hurricane Ava whips through! She loves to sit directly in front of the sink or stove - obviously two of the most used places during the dinner prep hour, which is when the stress kicks in. Daddy's dinners have been late the last few nights because if Ava isn't allowed to sit here...she screams. I'm not one for caving in...but, then trying to distract a 13 month old while making dinner has not been going well. Any suggestions? She loves to pretend she's helping (which is GREAT!) and cooking with me - so I've given her small ingredients and let her pretend. That lasts about 4 minutes until she see's me using something else that she wants.

I know this is only a stage. And, I'm not complaining. I love watching her learn and grow and discover new things. I love that she enjoys being in the kitchen just like her momma and I most love the fact that she just wants to be with me...

It's just...

I can't get anything done!

It's a good thing she's cute. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: very cold, still icy and more snow on the radar

One of my simple pleasures: hot coffee with flavored creamer 1st thing in the morning.

On my bedside table: well, on the floor by my bed is still "A lamp to my feet" by E.Elliot

On my TV: OFF!

On the menu for tonight:Cheesy rice, broccoli and ham casserole and maybe some pumpkin spice pudding

On my "to do" list: laundry, tidying the entire house and mopping the kitchen floor
New Recipe I tried last week: Sausage Lasagna

In the craft basket: well, er... I still have a few terra cotta pots waiting to become snowmen

Looking forward to: bible study tonight with Jessie!

Homemaking Tip for this week: be consistent with "laundry day". Opens up the rest of your week and if nothing else causes you to feel super accomplished - even if all that got done was the laundry!

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other): Really appreciating Tiffany's heart during her family's transition over at A Moment Cherished. (link on your left somewhere) Most all of us have gone through transitions...she speaks what all of our hearts think, at some point.

Favorite photo from last week: Well, obviously not from this past week - but, still one of my faves. Ava was so little and this feels like forever ago. The paci looks so big!
Lesson learned the past few days: We are called to be GOD PLEASERS not man pleasers. Even in ministry it seems people are only happy when you are pleasing them - I must stand firm in doing what the Lord leads me to do.

On my Prayer List: "Aunt" Jean and her unexplainable pain, Jessica Johnson as she helps her husband during what appears to be the end days of his cancer, and our teens.
Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I'm still reading through "Surrender" and being reminded of the over arching idea of - we are bondslaves to Christ. Nothing of ourselves and deserving of nothing. Serving because that is our expectation - looking for no reward or applause afterward.