Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Motivation on a Wednesday

It's pretty difficult to not have some sort of motivation when THIS is happening in your front room! I almost got hot while having my bible reading time this morning. The sun! Welcome back to Iowa! 

Every room in the house seems to need some work done, the girls are busy doing their own thing, and I'm almost done with my cup of coffee. It may be a slow moving morning... but, I'm feeling some motivation, something I haven't had in weeks. Bust out the dust rags and laundry baskets - this momma is getting to work! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy {sleepy} homemaker Monday!

It's Monday again! My girls are down for their afternoon nap, I have my space heater blowing directly on my freezing feet, and I'm planning a nap as soon as I'm doing sharing with you, my fellow homemakers :) It's a good day!

As I look outside my window:::
Bright blue sky, bright sun... and bitter cold. Winter in Iowa continues on as we experience a "blizzard" sans snow. A first in my life, I'm sure. 

Right now I am::: 
Taking a bloggy break here at the ol' desktop. Waiting to see if the UPS man is coming today - we have a few things we are waiting on!  

Thinking and pondering::: 
Why I left the Tigger movie on when my children are asleep? Ah, the mom life. Also wondering if my biggest girl really just has a cold... fingers crossed.

On my bedside table:::
"Letters to Pastors Wives" still, my One Year bible as I read through chronologically. 
On my tv tonight:::

Listening to:::
Tigger and Piglet jabbering in the background. Ugh.  

On the menu for this week:::
Skipping this part this week. I have a LOT of catch up grocery shopping to do. 

On my to do list:::
Figure out why dishwasher is leaking... a lot.
Replace electrical box in the laundry room, after a small fire in it this weekend. (scary)
Fix or replace a toilet in our bathroom, annoying.
Unload dishwasher
Put clean clothes away

Plans for this week:::
Monday - Ballet class for the 5 year old, grocery trip?
Tuesday - cell group #1
Wednesday - Worship night with the teens
Thursday - cell group #2      
Friday - Taking a friend a new baby meal, GIRLS NITE with some friends.                                  

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Hoping to sit down and plan out valentines stuff this week. 
My simple pleasure:::

Leftover fettuccine alfredo for lunch, trying a new fruit (Pummelo), and running the steam vaporizer.  

Lesson learned the past week:::  
The weeks that my husband is on to preach for Sunday morning, I feel literally attacked from all sides. Physically, I don't feel well. I'm grumpier. My kids annoy me. My husband appears to need more and our house really falls apart... I shared this with my pastors wife lastnight and she assured me I'm not insane. So thankful that the Lord cares and sends people into my life to encourage and remind me of truth. Ready to pray and be on guard next time! 

Looking around the house:::
Oh the mess of young children and a sleepy, prego momma. This morning my girls had a cotton ball fight. That's allll I'm sayin'. 

From the camera:::

It's not fancy or well decorated or even big. But THIS kitchen is full of love and nothing warms my heart more than having friends, teens, and people over as often as possible.

Prayer List:::
New believers in our church who are making BIG decisions for God. So exciting.
This baby I'm carrying. Going into 22 weeks and really feeling some movement. :) 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Wow, just so loving my read through the bible. I'm in Genesis and the story of Lot fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah right now. Our God HATES sin - great reminder. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Found on the Web

Friday afternoon the mail lady dropped off our stack of mail into our mailbox. I hadn't checked it in two days because it's been so cold, and I knew it would be bills... so why rush, right?  But upon sorting through the mail I came across a stack of coupons from our local paper. Admittedly, I've been pitching them right away as they just become clutter {that I might use later...} and I'm kicking myself 3 months later when they are all expired, wasted, trash. I used to be quite the coupon-lady, had a whole system down, deal shopped, etc. Now a-days I can score such low prices with just my Aldi visit and supplementing with our local store. So, unless its a coupon for something FREE - it's trash.
Anyway, while leafing through the coupons I came upon this blessedness....

These, folks, are called Cardigan Slipper Socks. And they can be purchased for $12.99. By way of the coupon offer of course. The description goes on to talk about how they are not only a slipper but a house shoe AND an outdoor shoe. Not to mention the cardigan top can remain up or be rolled down per your fashion needs. Obviously, I'm sold. 1) I hate having cold fee  2) I hate feeling crumbs on my floor  3) I love slippers.

Ok, I haven't bought them... yet. But, I'm hanging on to this coupon mail in order. :) And, for those more web inclined - you can find them at

While web surfing this weekend I also checked out this site full of yumminess. Azure Standard.

A gal at playgroup this weekend mentioned how she was able to get 20lbs of organic apples for $20! That's a fantastic deal and knew I wanted to check it out. It's an easy to search site and I'm hoping to make a list of true needs and maybe jump on board. Anyone else heard of it?

And while not nearly as healthy or necessary... maybe you didn't know that Yankee Candle is having a last chance 60% sale on some of their candles. I have burnt right through my autumn and Christmas candles - so it's a great time. I chose two and cannot wait for the UPS man to show up with them!

Doesn't that make you want Spring RIGHT NOW?! 

Happy weekend to all! Happy web findings, too!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What is with this Kindergarten / growing up thing?

I've known since the day she was born that the time would come that I would have to say some sort of little "goodbye". Maybe that sounds a wee bit dramatic to some of you, but it's exactly where my heart is today and has been for some years now. Raising children is the best job in the entire world... but letting them go is just about enough to rip a mom's heart out. I should now, I feel the slow rip beginning already. 

This morning my 5 year old had her "Kindergarten physical" with her new pediatrician. It was really all I could do to keep my heart calm during that visit. First of all, she's tall. As in, well over 4 foot and showing up in the 99% for height. So she just climbs up onto the table all by herself. She answers the nurses questions by herself. I sat there feeling totally out of place. Who is this big girl and where is that newborn I had... just the other day?! It was a mean cross between moments of sheer pride in watching her grow up to this horrible ache in the pit of my gut where it took every ounce I could muster to keep it together. I may have secretly cried when the nurse left the room {briefly}. Thankfully the nurse was also pregnant and I think she understood my pink cheeks when she walked back in. 

Just this morning I read this blog post by Club 31 women, and I thought that encouragement would prepare me for our day. If you have a few minutes - check it out. "Why this pain of letting my children grow up?". It's fantastic. 

But anyway... after a great appointment and a moment of personal victory for me of not sobbing when she had to get shots done, the blessing washed over. She cried for a minute, wanted to hold my hand, and then she was fine. While I've heard horror stories of friends children going bizerk, kicking doctors, screaming at decibals unheard before - my girl shed a minute of tears and then was done. She' so so so tough. And my heart was so so proud {and sad}of how she has grown up into this little girl. It's a confusing mix for mom's - this growing up thing. We rejoice at the achievements and milestones, but it actually hurts sometimes to watch them be independant. At least it does for me. 

My husband and I have decided that in August we will send her off to kindergarten to a school just a few quick miles down the road. All day kindergarten. I try not to think about it too much really, it is several months away and there are days when it even sounds nice to have a "break", then I feel bad thinking that. Again, it's confusing. But today my heart is aching and I feel wrung out watching this girl grow up and just wondering where did the time go? Is she ready? Will she be ok? What if something happens to her? Will she have a friend? Will kids like her? Will her teacher be kind? Will she understand what she needs? Are we making the right decision? Oh my word... how in the world am I going to let my daughter go? And maybe the most nagging question... have I made these 5 years count?! 

The reminder that - she isn't really mine, is where I have to leave those questions. No amount of fussing, worrying, crying or hyperventilating is going to help me. I have to willingly and daily place my daughter in the hands of Almighty God who loves her far more then I do. I have to trust His plan for her life, His goodness in mine, His purpose. And another truth, I believe, is that she will LOVE going. That's just her personality. She is so much like me in that way. 

But do we ever see our kids as anything but our babies? Ava Edyn, I love you. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some things...

This poor ol' desktop computer is on it's last leg (again) I believe. Let's see if we can make it through this little post... a technological miracle :) Happy Midweek to you wherever you are! Here in Iowa it's snowing and sunshiney at the same time. Bizarre. The weather here is not only unpredictable, but, just strange.
poor christmas tree.. one day we will burn you. :) 

But we can't and won't complain today as we snuggle in for a warm day with the fireplace on. I have been missing this whole blogging thing lately, but the busy days and tired nights haven't lended any extra time. And all the busy moms say amen. :) Things are going well here in our home as we prep for the end of January {already?!}and gear up for a VERY busy Spring time. Not to mention the last few months before this new baby arrives. {gulp}

Some bullet point updates will work best, shall we?

- Appliances. Who needs them!? Ok, maybe us. I think we are just a few short months away from needing to replace our above the stove microwave and our gas oven. They look to be the original pieces that came with this house. Blah. Homeownership. Let's also tag on mattresses... who knew they went bad?! I read somewhere that after 7 to 8 years a mattress is officially "no good". Well, that seems to be a fitting category for our hunk o' springs. I'm dreaming of a new mattress... or a new back and set of hips. Perhaps the mattress would be easier to replace. :) Especially were it THIS mattress. The camp we stay at a few times during the year has these mattress on their guest beds and I LOVE THEM. Cushy, soft, surrounds you, type of deal. It's a wee bit out of our range, but, I can pretend!
Speaking of hips.
- I'm in my 21st week of pregnancy already. Had an appointment yesterday and the heartrate was right at 157, the lowest we've ever heard. Any guesses on gender? My husband is CONVINCED its a third girl. I haven't a clue. Our ultrasound is in two weeks and we are still deciding if we'll find out or not. The pregnancy is going smoothly and besides being tired alllll the time and some weird ligament pain, all is well. My 5 year old has caught onto some of my pregnancy eating habits and is now using them against me. Just today she said, "Mommy, we should go to Jimmy Johns for lunch, I know how much you like it there." BUSTED. And yes we did go and the Vito & cherry coke is always, always, worth it :) Aside from the much desired Vito, I'm all about avocados, oranges and eggs {with the yolks warm and runny}. SALT SALT SALT sounds good to me all the time. This is strange. I still don't have much to show in the way of a baby belly, but I do feel kicks finally and the other night one kick was hard enough to see on the outside. I am so thankful to be carrying this baby and can't believe we are half way done.

-We have another potty trained girl! I got tired of changing poopy 2 1/2 year old diapers so I threw her in big girl panties and we went with it. She caught on immediately and I'm amazed. Why didn't I do this sooner?! She's pretty proud of herself and we are thankful for another "easy" potty training scenario. Tho... any advice on getting her to do  #2 is welcome. She is still scared on that one. Bah!

- The house post-Christmas decor is looking a little sad. As I walked through our sitting room this morning I realized, we have got to pull this place together. It's a mad mix of laundry, misc toys, and remaining "christmas" items that need put away. So many plans, so little time...and energy.

- I'm reading some pretty great books right now and love the variety of them.
One of our cell groups is going through this book by Sinclair Ferguson & I'm into it already.
Amazon says this about it:
"'Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.' This is 'one of the most important growth points of the Christian life', writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. 'Chrisitan doctrines are life-shaping', explains the author, because 'they show us the God we worship'."
I love the depth, but while making it easy to understand. We have some new believers in our group and it's so awesome to hear their take aways and moments of learning. So good!

I also just purchased this little book as it was recommended in another book, "Letters to Pastors Wives" that I'm loving every day!
My heart is more and more sensitive and eager and to show hospitality and the description along with the recommendation sold me! Having new neighbors and being involved as a staff wife at church affords me a lot of opportunities. :) 
"Hospitality may well be the best means we have to promote close, brotherly love--especially in churches where people don't know each other beyond Sunday-morning-only greetings.
Hospitality is also an effective tool for evangelism. Showing Christ's love to others in a home environment may be the only means Christians have to reach their neighbors for Christ."
Last, THIS bible. I've always wanted to read through chronologically but never have. Found this super cheap on Amazon and have been so enjoying the break up of readings each morning. :)

It's Wednesday, which means it's student ministries night. Every week I love to see what the Lord is doing with our middle school and high school students - we have seen some incredible things happen and tonight should be no different. Hoping things in your world are going well and you continue to see the Lord working on your heart and changing your life. Have a good one! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid week Happenings.

Compared to most weeks I'm feeling a little more laid back today. A glance at my planner this morning reminded me why - it's a "Slow" week and for that I am thankful! I so enjoy every little and big thing we are a part of, but it makes the slow weeks even more appreciated. And since my pregnant body seems to need more sleep then ever... it's all good to slow down and rest.

I have had time this week to really sit back and ENJOY my children. They are hilarious. My two year old is all about dress up there days. She takes it so seriously and it's all I can do to convince her to put real clothes on to leave the house. I love this pic of her from earlier this week - dress up dress, legos & a pretzel rod. Being 2 is so much fun!
Yesterday we headed downtown, which the girls enjoy. I had to make the sad visit to say goodbye to my OB office {change of insurance}to sign medical records release forms and just about the only thing that could cheer me was a VITO. Oh you know what I'm talking about... The Vito, from Jimmy Johns. My girls agree - it's our favorite "fast" food. :)
What is it about that place? I could seriously have the exact same thing, from there, every day of the week. I had my first pregnancy induced "second lunch" the other day, and it was JJ's. :) Guess I'll add that to my weird pregnancy facts sheet for this babe - craving meat and italian dressing. Who knew?! But anyway, we had such a nice lunch together and they were dolls. August, always working the crowd, even stood up to dance along with the song on the radio at one point. Those downtown business men didn't know what was going on and I just had to laugh. :) 

After lunch we spent some time at the library and, if I let them, my girls would stay there for hours. They love looking at all the books, puzzles, computer games, and movie selections. I let them choose a Shirley Temple movie (their fave right now) and we've now watched "A little Princess" 3 times. {sigh} Nevermind all those books we checked out about snow....

We spent this morning at our church working on childrens church crafts - a new(er) thing I've picked up to do every week this month. I enjoy it and the kids always look forward to playing with other toys while there. What a nice few days we've had.

This afternoon I've been working on this shelving unit for the new BIG GIRLS room. It's almost done! While not nearly as nice {or sturdy} as the Ikea shelves I wanted... it was in the budget, easily accessible and will do the job. Now that the girls are getting old we are starting to have more "sets" of toys - Minnie's Bowtique alone takes up an entire cloth bin! And don't even get me started on the Our Generation doll clothes/shoes/accessories. :)  And I have a feeling Lego's will be more in our vocab once big girl hits kindergarten this fall. Eek!
A friend mentioned she has FREE bunk beds we can have, that will just need some paint, and then all we'll need is a full mattress. I'm excited to put their new room together...and yet, a little weepy about moving my baby out of the crib in time for the next one. Especially because my baby sleeps 4 hours in the afternoon! I know that won't happen anymore, boo!

Wednesday. Our last calm day before a busy weekend.
I'm enjoying every minute! What does your mid week look like? Got any fun plans or to do's?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

It's another Monday and despite staying up a bit too late and then sleeping in too late, I've actually gotten a good chunk of things done today! But we all know for homemakers that it's never really done :) Happy Monday to you! 

As I look outside my window:::
It is so amazingly SUNNY this afternoon. My neighbor is busy cleaning her windows and I'm feeling like...should I be doing that too?! Who knows when we'll have this much sunshine again. 

Right now I am::: 
Drinking my tall glass of ice water, enjoying the quiet while my children sleep.  

Thinking and pondering:::
I have so much to do before June when our new baby arrives. Working on laundry earlier down in our basement reminded me... another purge is necessary. Bah! Where does this all come from?  

On my bedside table:::
Good news! I set up a bedside table this weekend :) Ha! On it I have a New Testament and a year of devotions book by Colin Smith. Great reading, one for each day (or night in my case). 
Cover art

On my tv tonight:::
Nothing planned. 

Listening to:::
The quiet...but really the obnoxiously LOUD hum of this desktop computer. I'm dreaming of a lap top someday. :)

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Mac n' 7 cheeses & sauteed sweet peppers. 
Tuesday - Mexican Lasagna (never got to make it last week)
Wednesday - left over night :) 
Thursday - Green Pepper Steak
Friday - Chicken Burritos
Saturday - Mini Meatloaves & mashed potatoes
Sunday - Hamburger Noodle Bake
*all my menu this month is from the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks :) 

On my to do list:::
Two-ish more loads of laundry & a quilt
Clean the microwave out
Put away allllll the clean clothes
Find ONE MORE dr on our new insurance plan

Plans for this week:::
Ballet kicks back up tonight for my 5 year old! 
Cell group tomorrow, youth on Weds, New Peds appointment on Fri. 
Working on a picture wall in our family room. 

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Well... We have this HUGE family room (formerly a garage) that we are daunted by how to decorate. Hubs has the idea of putting up a big picture wall, so I'm on a mission to order, print pics, find frames, etc. 
NEED to start Valentines decor asap! 
My simple pleasure:::

A quiet conversation with my husband in our front room, both with a mug of hot coffee, first thing in the morning.   

Lesson learned the past week:::
Flexibility is key. Ongoing lesson... 
We were able to host our cell group last week and it was such a joy to just be go with the flow... let kids play...people munch on easy snacks... and a good time in the word. If I were uptight about my unclean master bathroom upstairs, my heart would have been out line.   

Looking around the house:::
Doing good today! Piles of clean laundry ready to be put away, dishwasher done and ready to unload. Kids were pretending today using my pots/pans and every available blanket - but I might let those go today :) 

From the camera:::
Youth Ministry! A pic of hubs and I... and some of our amazing teens last weekend at winter retreat! Love them. (I'm in the red...barely able to button my coat now :) ) 

Prayer List:::
Making decisions on new dr's with our new insurance. Stresses me out.
Friends with new babies! 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Loved this little quip from a book I'm reading, about hospitality...
"God's gracious leading has taught me that having people in our home does not require serving up perfection on all fronts. It is simply providing a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere of kindness without expecting anything in return." -Shirley Rankin, Letters to Pastors Wives

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Playroom. {Aka: Where all the bad toys go.}

As I'm writing this post I keep thinking of the scene in Toy Story 3 where the characters find out for the first time just what classroom they are really in. Hint if you haven't seen it: It's NOT the one with the "nice" children. :) Poor Mr. Potato head. Ah, toys... great for kids, slightly irritating to this feeling-chaotic momma.
So anyway, the Lord has given us this great home and we so enjoy being here. I've shared before my home-body-ness, but it goes beyond that really. I love opening our home to people: teens and youth leaders, friends for dinner, bible studies, babysitting, etc. Having a home is a gift to be used and I mean that! We are by no means the nicest decorated or organized, but we are rooms full of love and I think that's really all people need anyway. And maybe some coffee. Yea, def some coffee. 

One of the biggest blessings of this particular home is the extra finished space in our basement. We've never had a place we could even label "the toy room", nonetheless a place that could also pass as a guest landing space. It's awesome! My goal before this baby comes is to transform the drab ol' boring space into something lovely for my children and any potential guests we could have. Pinterest (of course) has several good ideas out there for a combo room like I'm thinking. 
stuffed animal zoo idea we so need this
If this doesn't end up in the playroom... it WILL be a feature somewhere in this home. The stuffed animal situation is out of control. Hmph. But in all seriousness - containing the toys is the main point. 
I loved this room for several reasons: the colors, the play options, the organization.
EveryDay Blessings: DIY Colorful Bunting Banner and other Playroom Decor
It seems like it should be so simple right? Organize the toys, throw up some paint, make it cozy. But see... I get to our space and it's plain and drab and I lose the vision so we settle for dress up clothes on the hanger and call it a day. Ha! 

Here's what we have to work with - 3 views.
looking in from the door

looking on from the closet

looking towards the door from the back wall
Isn't this such a great space potential? So I'm on a mission to make it extra special! 
And the space outside of this room would even be great with some love. Right now it's a make-shift craft station. I'd love to throw my desk down there and use the space to work near the children while they play.
I was thinking it might be cute to display some of our fun family pics down here. Loved this idea of using the "out takes" of photo shoots. We never seem to have a shortage on those. 
For the "gallery" or "photo cluster" above the couch... The bright vivid realistic pictures are the inspiration..instead of the routine sit and pose pics.
And I loved the diy cornice idea for our two small slider windows. I have a friend who made these once by wrapping up shaped pieces of styrofoam. Seems easy, right?
playroom windows - two. Valance underneath?
The challenge has begun and I guess it really just starts with PICKING a paint color and then running with it. I'm all ears if you have suggestions or before/afters of what you've done. Hoping to have a before and after to share with you... before June! :) Happy Homemaking today, whatever your task! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

That's Bananas!

If you aren't from 'round here you may not know that the entire state of Iowa is in a panic as we endure this ARCTIC VORTEX that's hovering over the midwest. We had a high of -34 (windchill) yesterday, so today's 11 feels almost balmy. And all the Minnesota-ians are rolling their eyes, Ha!

I'm kind of a cold weather gal, myself, and don't mind the cozy days "stuck" at home. Recently I almost wonder if I'm becoming some kind of introvert... then I remember I'm really not. I just adore being home, always have, probably always will. So, yesterday I fired up the oven and set to work on making all things delicous with the mound of blackening bananas I had acquired. It was a win-win really. Win because the warm oven lended to a warmer home, and another win because YAY banana brownies, banana bread and (today) cinnamon swirl banana bread. Plus, triple win...smells amazing. I'm thrilled with how each item is turning out, especially the bread - I shouldn't be surprised as it's Martha's recipe :) Today I'm sharing links with you so you can try it yourself.

First up, banana brownies. These are great for you choco-banana lovers like me :)
Banana Brownies Recipe
I love that they were simple and it's a smaller recipe (think 8x8 pan) so I'm not tempted to eat an entire 9x13. Hey, it's happened. You can find the link to this recipe here. You won't be disappointed! 

Then there's THE ultimate over all banana breads in my opinion. Martha's. :) 
MArtha Stewart Banana Bread - Just Plain old Banana Bread - This is hands down the best banana bread I have ever made and one of the easiest!  Thumbs up!
It has a semi-crusty outside and amazing, soft and chewy inside. I don't how that's possible, but I love eating it. It has sour cream in it which can be subbed in with greek yogurt or something I'm sure. It took about an hour and some minutes to bake but was well worth the wait! This gal featured it on her blog and it was a happy find for me. Find the recipe here

Today I'm working on this beauty...cinnamon swirl banana bread. what?! And yes I am really that excited and yes it appears my appetite has resurfaced. :) 
"Lovin' from the Oven" is where you'll find this jewel. Anything with a cinnamon-ey topping like this is a gold star in my book :) Click here to drool... I mean, find it. 

And last on this banana's day (hehe) I feature my afternoon snack. It's simple, yummy, and quick. It's really another one of those win-win-win things I'm all about right now. And, it uses up even more of the banana mound. PLUS, it was featured in Fitness magazine, so....there. Check it here
Blend a banana, milk and peanut butter for a healthy #breakfast you can take with you.

I think I'm down to 5 or 6 bananas left over now (oy!). What do you make with your going-bad bananas? Any tips or tricks? Have a great day and praise the Lord for our warm homes and yummy treats! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday {freezing-ness edition}

Greetings from the state of Iowa, or, Alaska... they are feeling basically the same today as we register -34 windchill. Tho, I'm not complaining. Life in our home is warm. The oven is baking some bread, kiddos are napping, and the sun that we do have is streaming in my dining room kitchen. Happy Monday from where I sit to where you are!

As I look outside my window:::
It's the coldest day I can remember in awhile. Everything just looks cold! Even the neighbors flag is just barely moving in the wind. My sad, dead, Christmas tree was tossed onto the back deck this morning - pine needles are EV.RY.WHERE.

Right now I am:::
Baking Banana Brownies in the oven and sitting in my dining room enjoying some David Nevue music. Soothing to my frazzled self this afternoon.

Thinking and pondering:::
We had a busy weekend with our annual youth retreat. Today I just feel tired and cranky. Add to that, I'm taking down all the Christmas decor so the house looks boring and plain again.

On my bedside table:::
Still have no bedside tables up, but we do have an incredibly great industrial metal basket by our front room couch. In that basket I have: "Letters to Pastors Wives" edited by Catherine Stewart, my various bibles, and a Billy Graham biography I plan to start this month.
On my tv tonight:::
Monday. Hmmmm... we've been catching up on past seasons of Parenthood (I cry every episode), but nothing really set on the schedule.

Listening to:::
David Nevue - Adoration. It's THE best piano music for the days when you just neeeed calm. I first found him on Ann Voskamps blog. 

On the menu for this week:::
The freezing cold makes me want all things comforty :)
Monday - Honeymoon chicken & Biscuits
Tuesday - Pork Roast & mashed potatoes
Wednesday - Left overs
Thursday - Baked Spaghetti
Friday -
Saturday - Mexican Lasagna
Sunday - Mac n' 7 cheeses

On my to do list:::
General tidy of the downstairs
Run the dishwasher
Sweep up all the pine needles
Put away all the clean clothes

Plans for this week:::
Back to the grind this week - Starting back up our church mom's playgroup tomorrow, creating children's church craft, cell groups, taking a meal to a new momma, paying bills, figuring out our new insurance and finding new Dr's.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I have about 10 old and blackening bananas, so today I'm baking and creating all good things banana style. After the brownies are done I'm trying Martha Stewarts basic banana bread and then a cinnamon swirl banana bread. It smells amazing up in here!

My simple pleasure:::
Watching my children play together. They are 2 and 5 and just getting into that good phase of pretend and all things dress up/fun. 
Even in the dead of'll find these two in their summer time dresses. They can't help themselves!

Lesson learned the past week:::
My husband functions SO much better when I go the extra mile to show love to him. During a stressful week, it's the little moments and conversations that mean the most to him and encourage his heart.

Looking around the house:::
Oh dear. Pine needles, laundry piles, toys, dishes, etc. It's a Monday for sure. :)

From the camera:::

Just love a new planner, filling up with GOOD things. 
Prayer List::: 
-Raising my children with purpose. Lately, I'm feeling worn and tired and it's SO easy to flip on a show for them - rather then pour in. I want to be diligent in this! I only get them once!
-Our retreat speaker is STILL suck here in IA as fights keep getting cancelled. Praying that Joe can get a flight back to Northern Michigan! 
Bible verse, Devotional:::
Nothing today.

Friday, January 3, 2014

WINNER of the giveaway and...let's talk weather.

on winning the giveaway this week with this comment : (chosen by

Blogger becky said...
Letters to Pastors Wives. Because, well...I'm a pastors wife and can use all the help, guidance and wisdom I can get. Aside from that, this other very godly mother/pastors wife whom I admire recommended it to me. It woould be fun to win...thanks Mandi, and Happy New Year! Looks like God has some exciting things in store for you and your family this year! Thanks for being a blessing to me...even over all the miles! <3 i="">
Becky, your book will be shipped out next week, congrats again! Thank you to everyone for joining in the 2014 fun! Hoping to do more giveaways in the future :) 

Now, I don't know what it feels like where you live, but here in Iowa it is bitter, bitter, cold. I think last night it was -6 and I can hear our heater run and run. Wow, what a blessing when you stop to think about how important a warm home is. And beds, clothes, coats, etc. Trying to hard to teach my children to be thankful even for those things! 
We have been sticking close to home as its really too cold to go anywhere, but lastnight we ventured out as a family to the mall. The girls had some cabin fever and I had some Christmas money to spend :) I think several families must have had the same idea because even at 7pm the playplace still had several kids in it! 
I learned a lesson about myself - I'm not stylish. I purchased some of those tall boots that you see everyone wearing... you know, cute, tall, sleek. Only, I got home to realize in order to wear cute boots you have to have cute clothes to wear with them. I'm not a leggings, long sweaters, etc. kinda girl - more, jeans and cardigans. At first I was discouraged but came to realize that this is OK. It's ok to not dress and look like everyone else. I tell ya, even at 31 years old I still go through these "high school" phases of thought. Perhaps a life long battle? So, back to the mall we will go today to make another return. It was fun to pretend...but this momma needs something much more practical. :)
Stay warm out there today! And have a wonderful weekend!