Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And so completes October

October 31.
Tomorrow we'll flip the pages on our calendars and day planners and prep for another month. I think October has been one of our busiest for the year - and, while I'm always sad to see days fade away... I'm thinking I'm pretty excited to see some things slow down. {and dare I mention that my TWO favorite holidays are now just... weeks away...eek!}

My precious babes were kept very busy this past month with lots of play dates, bible study nursery times, costume parties, youth events, etc. They are rock stars and I'm so thankful for my go-with-the-flow, littlest. :) Here's a peek at their cuteness from the last few weeks:

Earlier this month we were invited to our first ever family costume party. It was a blast for all 4 of us to dress up and head out the door! Daddy was a psych ward escapee/convice {because we already owned it!}, Mommy was a farmer, Ava a fairy, and Augs was a puppy. We had a blast and the girls even got to ride a miniature horse. :)

Last night we joined our bazillion cousins for beggars night. This is something I'm still getting used to, as we never did this when I was growing up. But the girls loved it! Ava was a snow queen and Augs... the same puppy. :)

Even daddy got in on the fun, again. It cracks me up that August isn't afraid of this costume - she even kisses him through the mask. Silly girl. He was a snow Yetti. Don't ask. ;)

Goodbye October! Thank you, Lord, for another month of precious life. :) And now we welcome NOVEMBER! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SO many things. So, thank you!

I've found that in my lifetime journaling has always been a way of tracking. Life experiences. Emotions. Discoveries. Deep, confusing thoughts and questions. Journaling is a safe place to lay them all down. It seems this day in age with the popularity of things like Facebook, Twitter, email, and the like... nothing is sacred. Thoughts can be spewed, opinions thrown around {whether fact or blatant falsehood} and even used as "prayer concerns". As a blog writer I feel like I'm checking myself all the time. Is this good? Is this worthy of a post? Is this important? Does it build up? Does it honor God?
There have been times when I've thought about shutting the whole thing down...
Who really cares about Pausleyland anyway...? And isn't there something more important out there? And, can't I just keep my little journal near by and stick with that? Safe. Judgement free. Private.

Obviously, the answer is YES. There are more important things. I can still track in my private journal, for the deep and confusing. And, I honestly can say that I do try to write uplifting, encouraging and truthful posts. I love to share life and there may be little better then hearing someone say, "That post really encouraged me and helped me think".

While I haven't done well at heading towards it - my entire point for this post was to say... There is SO much to talk about, learn about, pray about, mourn over, delight in, live in. So many things I want to say and battle over holding back. I just want to say a thank you to those of you who over the years have been a blessing and encouragement to me - allowing me to share my heart and dreams with you via this blog. I love my "in real life" community of church family, real family, and friends. But I count it an extra blessing, too, to have a little community in this bloggy-sphere. :)

I'd like to share my heart again today - on the behalf of a little girl named Taylor. She is in the process of a 12 hour cancer surgery. I don't know the family, or even the baby girl, but I know she needs our prayers and she needs our Great GOD to work in her little body. I sat down this afternoon and read a post from her Momma and was brought to tears. The dr's have told them this surgery is very risky. They now sit and wait. I cannot fathom this in my mom-heart. Sitting. Waiting. Wondering. Time just passing.
Will you please take a few minutes to pour your heart out to God on Taylors behalf? I'm asking God to give the Doctors great wisdom and direction while working on her tiny body. I'm praying for comfort and encouragement for her parents and siblings. I'm praying for a miracle. Will you join?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday - END of OCT.

Seriously?! It's the last week of October?! Yikes. Time is flyin'!
The combination of a gray morning, kids up in the night, and a sick baby who slept on me from 6-7:30am has left me feeling a little DRAB this morning. My wonderful husband made us egg sandwiches as I rested on the couch here for a bit. {Love him!} It's a very full and busy week ahead... so let's get started. :)


The Weather:::
Gray. Chilly. wonderful. Fall-bugs like us just so enjoy this kind of weather. It'll be in the high 50's this week and we will ENJOY! 

Right now I am:::
Sipping my homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, watching my girls dance and spin to music, checking fb for family updates on how they are doing during this hurricane. 

How very blessed I am. Beautiful children. Loving husband. Also... random... my 17 month old has gone on her potty chair TWICE in two days. Thinking that's a little early - but, she's asking to go. Self training perhaps?! 

On my reading pile:::
"The Wisdom of God" by Nancy Guthrie. Right now we are learning about the suffering of the messiah in the psalms. SUCH good stuff! 
I need to charge up my Nook so I can finish some of the other things I have going, too. {The Furious longing of God - Brennan Manning, and two Tsh Oxenreider books}

On my TV:::
Right now I have the Today show on - watching the updates on Hurricane Sandy. 

On my menu this week:::
Monday: Pumpkin Black bean chili
Tuesday: Left overs
Thursday: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches & cabbage salad
Friday: chicken and potato hand pies w/roasted brussel sprouts
Saturday: Raspberry balsamic glazed meatballs over noodles
Sunday: Baked Cavatelli & spinach salad

On my to-do list:::
Some light tidying. Clean house from having company over lastnight! 
Put alllllll the clothes away so our bedroom no longer looks like a walk in closet.

What I am creating:::
Nothing. However, soon my biggest girl and I will start making Thanksgiving placemats. :) 

Homemaking Tips:::
I have several friends who give their kids "jurisdictions" or specific places they are responsible to keep tidy. Cuts down on mom doing everything and teaches responsibility. :) Need to do that!

Looking around the house:::
Toys. Purged all the kids toys out and rotated, so they are acting like it's Christmas with all these "new" toys. 

From the camera:::

 Hubs. On his way to the JR high retreat - I love his enthusiasm, creativity... and love for the students.

On my prayer list:::
Hurricane Sandy

Have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Life is fast. Rewind. Fast forward.

Our family has been incredibly blessed to be surrounded by talented people. One of whom is the gal who takes our family pics, let's call her... Kate. ;) This weekend I'm looking through picture frames and decor and what not trying to figure out what pics to replace and what to keep out. We had family pictures taken for 2012 a few weeks ago and we now have the pics back - and, wow. What a difference a year makes! I love comparing last years to this years and seeing how my babies have changed, how hubs and look the same {or, lighter!}. The length of life has been on my mind so much this week - and it's been a heart warming blessing today to compare pics and think back on how blessed I am. Handsome husband. Beautiful children. Healthy self. Blessed.

Let's rewind to my fam this time last year...

Little ol' Augs, almost 3 year old Ave's. {sigh} Seems like just yesterday!

And this, fast forward to this month, 2012.

Isn't that just crazy! God is so good to give us another year on this earth to enjoy each other. Taking the rest of the day to slow down and just enjoy. Because life is just too fast.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pinterest Shares

I know most everyone does the whole Pinterest thing now. But in case you don't or you haven't stumbled upon these yet... I wanted to share. And by the way, thank you to all of you who have been praying and loving on me! So thankful for you! 

Stuffed Animal Storage Idea. Simple bean bag cover (Bed Bath Beyond) and fill with stuffed animals.
Yes, a real, creative way to keep those annoying adorable stuffed animals everyone gets your kid! 

Pumpkin Bowl Hat :-)
The EASIEST to make - and will be adorned by my sweet noodles next week :) 

Vintage cheese graters make a great table display with the illumination of votive candles twinkling through.  Would look nice on a kitchen table or buffet.
And if Salval hasn't been totally swamped with women looking for these already... trying to get my hands on a few for my Thanksgiving table look next month! 

cat life
because I think this is hilarious. :) 

Happy Pinning. But, not too much pinning, of course :) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

For Generations.

There are some things happening in my personal life involving my sweet family that I am, for lack of a better word, just aching over. I'm 12 hours from them - my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents {all of whom I still have}. 12 hours, 3 states away. Most of the time I'm ok with this - and knowing that when pennies are saved up, etc, I can swing in for a trip or they can come see me makes it easier. I'm content and happy here in our Iowa home and have found Iowa family and friends to warm the voided spots... Praise the Lord. But in these moments - when - I wish I was just a quick drive away, or next door, or in the next town... those are the hard times. And this week I'm having one of those times. It's a physical, sickening, ache. Feeling helpless and far away is miserable.

Life keeps on going. People are getting older. Health fades. And we see in real time the effects of sin and flesh on this earth, in our flesh. For maybe the first time in my life I realize how much older I am now. How my parents are older {and wiser} and now my grandparents are getting older. And maybe that sounds silly, of course even the word GRAND-parents implies age. But I've never thought of them or viewed them as old. They are just my grandparents. And I love them, have always loved them, treasured them, and now I miss them. I miss my family and this rainy, dreary day seems to feel my emotions with me as it drizzles and the trees creek beneath the wind. Seasons. Life has them. And it looks like we now enter a new one in our family... and I can't even put into words what that means, because, I don't want to see the words. But my father has.

My dad put up a facebook status the other day that read:

"An open note to my friends: There are FEW things in this world more important than what I am about to tell you, please listen.
To those of you who are less than 40, spend time getting to know your parents if you can. See them as not only your parents, but also as adults who are working their way through this life, too. (They had/have NO obligation to be your friend, for they are your parents 

that is sacred. However, no greater friendship can be forged in the fires of trust and respect than the one between senior parent and adult child. You will need to remember this as you grow old.) Look in the mirror, truly LOOK in that mirror, what do you see? Youth? Strength? Independence? Not so many years ago they did the same and saw the same things: "As you are now they once were, as they are now you will someday be."
I apologize for being wordy, but something are worthy of the time and effort."

With age comes wisdom...
So why then do I have the strong urge to curl up in a ball on my moms lap and cry like a baby?

Today I'm thinking about and praying for my family "back home" as they weather a new season and make decisions. I will rest in the Lords control and even though tears will fall I will have faith that God will carry us through this time. He has in generations past, and He will today. Great is His faithfulness. In the meantime, might I share a prayer request? Please pray for my grandpa - as far as we know he needs Jesus. And maybe that's what my heart aches about the most right now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You are the sunshine

This girl...

She is a joy to my heart.
A breath of fresh air on the difficult days.
A giggle.
A sigh.
A reminder of just how very blessed I am to live THIS life. To have THESE children. To be alive.

My heart and mind have been occupied by heaviness the last few days. Maybe not heaviness... but, feelings of defeat, failure, confusion, desperation. It's a phase and a learning period where I just can't wrap my brain around what it is I'm supposed to be "getting". Ministry is wonderful. Ministry is difficult. And if I'm being honest with you... sometimes I feel like a broken record saying the same things over and over and over and over and then wanting to shout, "Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?". I'm just so stinkin' burdened for people to LOVE THE CHURCH. LOVE JESUS. LOVE YOUR COMMUNITY. BE THE COMMUNITY. And way more often then I like to admit... I get frustrated. I feel like I'm failing and that its MY job to change hearts and minds and behaviors. Newsflash: it's not. :) Praise God, literally. Praise Him...I'm terrible at changing hearts.

And even in my frustration and defeat and realization of my own very real failures and shortcomings - I'm so thankful to rest in truth. My heavenly Father has got this. HE'S GOT THIS. Sit down, sister. I am not in charge. When students seem to care less... He loves me. When I get the rolled eyes, blank stares, questioning of every-thing...He loves me. When I wonder week after week how on earth the Lord can reach this person or that person... He loves me. He comforts. He proves me wrong. He strengthens my faithless heart. He reminds me and pursues me and puts the wonder back in me {I heard that in a song once}. We have an amazing church family. Such amazing support of friends and parents and beyond - I know we are so blessed by this. Sometimes in my small mind all I can see is the one bad moment. But I'm learning - see BEYOND. Love beyond. Hold on to truth and live for Jesus. He is the heart changer. He is the motivator. I am just a tool in His perfect, nail scarred, hand.

All this to say...
Even in the weeks where life is difficult and the heart is being wrung out, and the emotions high, and the temptation to be a drama queen rises - there is still JOY. We choose it. We yearn for it. We find it in Christ alone, and in the precious gifts He gives. {James 1:17}

This week I am so thankful for my August Hope and the ray of sunshine and joy she has been to my Momma heart. Thank you Lord for bed times in the rocking chair, humming with my baby girl, telling her of Jesus. Thank you for sloppy, wet, peanut butter faced, kisses, smashed lip gloss, and a too-full diaper pail. Her sweet baby smile has been the balm to my soul this week as I remember just how much I am loved by my Savior and how the things that hurt my heart... hurt His too. And just as I hold my August, He holds me. Only, perfectly.

That song I mentioned above. It was from 1999 - maybe you remember someone named, Geoff Moore? I'll share it here - about reminding ourselves of truth! If you have a few mins, enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday


Another busy autumn weekend has come and gone. We enjoyed a costume party with friends, a bonfire with our youth, and a busy Sunday of hubby preaching.  Time for Monday and a full week :) 

The Weather::: 
I cannot believe we are going to have a few days back in the 80's this week! Right now I have the windows open, and we are just enjoying a warm morning. :) 

Right now I am::: 
Watching my 1 year old try to put on her own shirt. Priceless :) Enjoying a semi-clean home as we had company over last night. Just finished a mug of Pumpkin Spice coffee - with pumpkin spice creamer. Yum.

I need to make a trip to the grocery... 
My bedroom needs some serious attention...
I still haven't got anything ready for Ava to begin preschool in January...
Daniel Tiger might be my new favorite kids show. 
Why is it SO difficult to teach people to value and LOVE their church?! 

On my reading pile:::
Going through, "The Wisdom of God" by Nancy Guthrie for ladies bible study. Awesome. Also, got a stack of Whole Living and Living magazines in the mail this weekend - want to look through them {again}. 

On my TV:::
Right now biggest girl is watching "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" - cute, cute! Monday we usually don't watch much TV. That said... my parents bought us a new flat screen while we were on vacation - so, we might need to check out a movie tonight after the kids go to bed. So nice! 

On the menu for this week:::
Monday: City chicken, mashed potatoes & cinnamon applesauce
Tuesday: Sausage bean soup
Thursday: Chicken veggie casserole {and chocolate cake!}
Friday: Home made pizza night. {thinking of making some mini ones shaped like pumpkins for the kidlets}
Saturday: German pancake & raisins/apples
Sunday: Greek ravioli

On my to do list:::
Bedroom - put away all the clothes.
Vacuum all rooms.
Winterize girls windows.
Clean the antique buffet in the garage and get it ready to move indoors! 

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I have half a yard of burlap I'm hoping to create something with. Have been pinning things all weekend on pinterest. Also, hoping to redo our front enclosed porch - moving an antique buffet in, repainting, redecorating... we'll see. Also, creating another batch of Pumpkin Spiced gingersnap truffles!

Homemaking Tip:::
Rotate kids toys. My girls really like when I move their toys around - it's like they all of the sudden have NEW things to play with. I keep a garbage bag on hand and if anything isn't getting played with - I toss it in the bag, and keep it in the basement for a few weeks. Then, I empty it back out into their toys bins and pack away other toys. Also helps cut down on toy clutter!

Looking around the house:::
Kids books in a pile in front of the shelf - proof of my kiddos love for books. :) 
Princess castle on the dining room table with all the polly pockets. Magazines stacked nicely on the coffee table. New kitchen lights are on - because I like to look at them. {Thank you Dad!}

From the camera:::
This weekend at a friends costume party - My white fairy and "Convict" husband :)

On my prayer list:::
Our youth leaders
Preggo friends

Bible verse, devotional:::
Still so encouraged by 2 peter 1 this weekend! 

 "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It bit me.

The HOLIDAY bug. Got me good this morning as I was tidying up, had my yummy candle burning White Pumpkin and my Scentsy melting Oatmeal cookie... One thing led to another and I had the crazy idea of getting out my "sweets" recipe box and looking through recipes to try out for another wonderful Holiday season. For the record - that starts now. Today. Because honestly, if you don't at least start to prep and plan and enjoy by now... don't you feel like it just flew by and you missed it altogether?! No longer will I live that way. The last few years I have started celebrating in October {for Autumn, prep for T-giving, and even some trick or treat for the Ave's}and feel like the autumn months are such a joy. :) We have our pumpkins and leaf garland decorating the front porch and our lawn is a lovely yellow as the leaves continue to fall on this rainy, gray, very wonderfully fall afternoon. {love} Thank you Lord for showing me these beauties.

Back to the recipe box. Two years ago I went from having one very dependable recipe box - to needing two. You see, I had enough sweet recipes to fill it's own space. So, one box for savory meats, pastas,  side dishes, etc. and one Vera Bradley recipe box for all thing sugary, sweet. :) Wanna know what I have picked out for our cell group tomorrow night? Glazed Cinnamon apples and Pumpkin Spiced Gingersnap Truffles! And I'd love to share the recipes with you now.

Pumpkin Spiced Gingersnap Truffles
1 1/4c semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4t vanilla
3/4c gingersnap cookies chopped (about 10 cookies)
1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4t pumpkin pie spice {CRUCIAL TO USE THE REAL DEAL}
1/2c whipping cream
1/3c finely crushed gingersnaps (about 7 cookies)

1) In medium bowl combine chocolate, pie spice and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl {Micro safe} place whipping cream. Microwave cream for 70 seconds or until begins to boil. Pour cream over chocolate mix. Let stand 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Stir in chopped gingersnaps. Cover; chill 1 1/2-2 hours or until firm but soft enough to form into balls.
2) Place crushed gingersnaps and cocoa in two separate small bowls. Using a small spoon or scoop, scoop 1T portions of truffle mix and shape into a ball. Roll in crushed gingersnaps or cocoa powder to coat. Chill additional hour or until firm. 

Glazed Cinnamon Apples
6 lg Granny Smith apples {peel, core, cut into 8 wedges}
1/2c light brown sugar
1/4t nutmeg
1T lemon juice
1/2c sugar
2T flour
1t cinnamon
6T butter, melted

1) Place apples in a slow cooker; drizzle with lemon juice.
2) Mix sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl. Sprinkle mix over apples - stir gently to coat. Drizzle with butter.
3) Cook on low 3 hours or high 2 hours. 
*serve with ice cream, pound cake, or... my fave - cream. :) 

Have a sweet day ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

..because you can't vacay forever..

And, we are home.

We had an excellent trip to the WEST and now it's good to be back with our children. :) I'm hoping to unload a fury of CA pics here in a few days... but, today, at least I could share a pic of the amazing beach we visited - right? And you are correct... NO ONE THERE! Like the Lord had a reservation for us. 

I am truly thankful for where we are in life. God has placed us just exactly where we need to be - and, we are so thankful for a church that sends us out to grow, learn, recoup, and then bring it all back. 

Goodbye California.
Hello Iowa. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

In Just 2 Days

In two days I'm leaving my babies, boarding a plane, and flying the rest of the way across this country to the West Coast. TWO DAYS. I've had a few moments this week where the throat tightened, heart sped up, and I felt like I would have a panic attack - just thinking about it. You see... I've never been away for my babies with just the hubs and I, longer then a night or two. And even then that's for a youth event or something nearby. {My hospital stay is not being counted}

I'm absolutely PUMPED about some good, quality, bonding time with my husband. I'm crazy excited about going to California, attending an amazing conference {Resurgence!}, staying in nice hotels, eating meals with just my love...

But that Momma heart pain is strong right now. I literally need to do some deep breathing. ;)
I'm eager to see how the Lord uses this week in our marriage - and I'm already eager to kiss some baby faces when we get off of our airplane! I cannot bear that my girls will be another week older when I get home. Time just goes way too quickly.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A shout out

 As everyone knows and can clearly see, the cost of food has exploded.
This can be especially overwhelming to those of us who are already on a tight budget. I know I mention Aldi frequently, and I acknowledge that even Aldi has had some prices that have blown up...but, this morning I need to give a shout out to the peeps for the quality, quantity and options they are offering during these economically tough times.

Just yesterday I came across a few fun surprises during my shopping trip - and even after picking up a few "extras", I couldn't believe that my total bill still came to only $70! {That's for a week of meals} Last month I was able to grab 2 weeks worth of food for around $60, and they were simple but great meals! Now, keep in mind. I have just two small children who eat the equivalent of food for 1 person per meal, and a hubby who usually doesn't go for seconds on anything. So we use leftover dinners for lunch the next day, often.

Here's why I so enjoy Aldi. For the love of Autumn flavors and all things pumpkiny delicious!
Pumpkin Pie yogurt!
Pumpkin Spice creamer! 
Cornbread Crackers... um, a new fave and def the BEST cracker I've ever had. 


How about this delish Butternut Squash pasta sauce?!


All of these are in my home and so far I am beyond impressed with the taste and quality! The best part is the price - WAY under the other stores costs! And, did I mention HUGE pumpkins at Aldi are only $2.99 right now!? Compare that to the $6 or $8 at other stores. No contest! 

And it's not just the seasonal things - tho, I am pumped about the .99 pumpkin ravioli I found in the freezer section, assorted bread mixes, pumpkin pancakes and sparkling apple cider. Aldi is now almost a one-stop-shop for me. They have a great variety of meats, produce, frozen and boxed foods. Their variety of artisan lettuce and cheeses is wonderful, too! 

My shout out ends with a note about the Aldi workers. Polite. Helpful. Personal. The people know who I am, who my children are, and what might help me out during my trips. My biggest girl has been allowed to choose a bouquet of fresh flowers to take home, been given treats, and even instructed by the cashiers when I was overwhelmed. {which, I appreciate!} 

A wonderful store. Great variety. Friendly workers. Completely in our budget! If you haven't taken the Aldi plunge yet - what are you waiting for?! Oh, and... remember to take your own bags :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Autumn in here in Iowa and we are loving every minute. 
Our days are shorter as the sun is rising late and going back down early. 
Leaves are yellow, orange, red and brown.
My children are another season older - and as I pack up the summer shorts and tanks in exchange for sweaters and jeans...
I'm reminded again at just how blessed we are in this life. 

We have seen firsthand {again} how the Lord provides for our every need and for that I am thankful. Sometimes it helps my heart to see these tangible blessings. 
- a "new to us" car for my husband
- hand me downs for my children
- Gift cards for my birthday {back in June}
- friendships, deep
- a home. a beautiful, all-we-need home
- meeting new neighbors who seem normal :)

Ah, these too quick, autumn days. 
What a treasure!