Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thinking About Christmas Yet? (Plus Giveaway!)

I love, love, love, love giving gifts!  If I could do a giveaway everyday here I would.  Christmas time gets me especially excited as it gives me the opportunity to give gifts to my nearest and dearest.  As much as I love giving gifts, I'm usually scrambling at the last minute to come up with that perfect gift.  This year however, I am remarkably ahead of the game. 

It struck me that maybe some of you were thinking of Christmas already too and I wanted to throw out just a couple of fun ideas from our website.  (I'll be giving a list of stocking stuffers here before too long!)

Today I'm just sticking with jewelry.....

These sets are all from $11.00- $18.00, 

But this week I am giving away $6 towards any set of jewelry. 

To enter simply.....

1. Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite jewelry set is on

2. Like gracenotes on facebook (or let me know that you already do)

3.  Blog about this giveaway (3 extra entries!)

Please leave separate comments for each thing you do!

Next Saturday a winner will be drawn, and a new giveaway will be revealed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ Let Them In!

It's time to confess.  Contrary to everything I say, everything I encourage and everything I strive to be, deep, deep down I am really just a Kitchen Snob.  While I really want my daughters to learn to be in the kitchen, preparing food, cooking, baking, learning from me, most of the time I just want to do "my thing". 

The other night I was making biscuits for our dinner and was feeling a little rushed.  Bethany (my most likely girl to be found in the kitchen) climbed up on her stool and asked if she could put the cut out biscuits on the tray for me.  "Not this time." I answered quickly.  All I could see was squished biscuits.  You know, those biscuits that were pinched a little too much on their way to the tray. Horror of horrors!  I couldn't let that happen. 

Thankfully, a small bit of sanity got a hold of me quickly.  WHO CARES ABOUT SQUISHED BISCUITS?!?  Bethany did the job beautifully without any mistakes.  But even if she hadn't, it wouldn't have mattered. 

This scenario happens way more than I care to admit.  But it robs all of us from learning and growing from one another.  My girls actually know how to do many things in the kitchen very well.  For the most part they really are helpful now.  But they never would have gotten here had I not let them try when they were not helpful! 

Yesterday I was feeling convicted and decided to take the plunge.  We had all afternoon so I got out our blueberry muffin recipe and told them to make it.  On their own.  All I did was work the oven.  I made applesauce on the other counter while they worked away.  I didn't have high hopes that all would go smoothly, but the only times I had to step in were to help with some fractions and to encourage closer reading when the pulled out baking soda instead of baking powder.


Teaching children to cook is so rewarding in sooo many ways.  I know this to my toes.  But as much as we my "believe" it, we can't forget to actually let them in!  They'll surprise you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rejoice With Me

I started my blog in June of 2008.  Some of you have been here from the beginning.  Sometimes I cringe to think of the things I shared with you, what you might think of me or how crazy you must think I am.  But I have to say, you have always been so supportive and full of encouragement.

In light of that,  I knew that you would love to rejoice with me as this past weekend made me weep and dance with joy! 

First, there is something you may not know about me.  ( Though if you've spent too much time around me in the real world, you probably do!)  While I always had a childlike desire, when I was pregnant with Ella Joy the Lord placed a load like ten tons of bricks on my heart.  This load was called ADOPTION.

The reason I've put off this post for sooooo long, is because I could go on about it  f o r e v e r.  (If you have specific questions for me, please ask.  For now I'll try and keep this "short"!)  Just wrangle me into a conversation about adoption (which wont be too hard!) and I'll probably be weeping in no time!  But here is what made my weekend so incredible.

Two stories~ 

1. You may remember me writing last year around this time about my friend Susanna and her beautiful daughter Verity who was born with Down Syndrome.  Verity was their tenth child and I'm sure "more than they could handle" in the eyes of some.  But these people LOVE the Lord, and trust in His strength and not their own.  As a result, when they felt the Lord calling them towards a special needs adoption, they were obedient.  Beautiful Katerina in nine years old and has down syndrome, but if you get a chance, just look.  It will break you heart.  Katerina with her Mama.  Susanna has gone to see her, and their family has been waiting and waiting to bring her home.

2.  One day as I was reading Susanna's blog, she directed us to which lists children with special needs who are up for adoption.  I was looking through the children, praying, when a little girl's face stopped me in my tracks.  It made me weep instantly.  She looked like my baby.  Not only did she look like my baby and have the same pajamas, her birthday was only two months apart from her's.  Her name was Elvira.  That was one of the toughest weeks of my life.  I cried morning, noon and night.  I just wanted her in my arms.  I wanted to wipe those tears from her eyes.  Every time I looked at my Ella, I felt like she was missing a twin.  As time passed however, it became unmistakeably clear that the answer was a resounding NO.  My heart slowly began to change to longing for God to bring Elvira's right mommy to her SOON!

All of my girls and I prayed for Katie and Elvira. every. single. prayer time. 

Then came Saturday.  I hadn't really been on the computer much for awhile, so first I decided to check up on Susanna and Katie.  The first thing I saw when I arrived at her blog were the words,  "She is not  an orphan, she is our daughter."  Their adoption is finalized and they are picking her up the middle of next month.

After clearing those tears, I decided to check up on Elvira on the waiting children's list.  I couldn't find her.  My heart leapt as I searched frantically and then I burst into tears again when I found her here;  Elvira for the Ochs Family.

My heart is simply overflowing with joy and praise to the Lord!  Thank you for rejoicing with me and please continue to keep these families and these precious little girls in your prayers!

John 14:18~ "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

Susanna's Blog
Elvira's Family's Blog

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ It's Their Home Too!

Every now and then I try and do a "check up" on my family.  By "Now and then" I mean "Not as often as I would like".  My check up consists of just asking some simple questions to my girls or my husband or both.  It's important for me to remember that they live here too!  This is their home. 

Today the question was simply, "What do you love about our home?".  It was fun and interesting to hear their little minds working as coming up with things they like about it.  For example, Lydia thinks it's good that we don't have too many sweets or candy in our house, just "some".  Bethany likes how Daddy and Mommy love each other.  Havilah likes working with Mommy.
It'd easy to get into a groove and it's refreshing to look with a new perspective.  Take a little time this week to pick the brain of your family.  What needs changing?  What needs done more often?  What does your family LOVE about your home?

  (Here's a few things I love about my home!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eight Years Ago......

Eight years ago today.  He was twenty.  I was seventeen.  He told me we were going hunting.  We weren't.  But I believed him.  We drove.  We hiked.  We found a beautiful waterfall.  We found a set picnic lunch with flowers.  I thought we were crashing someone else's beautiful lunch.  Then he got down on one knee and asked  me to marry him.  I cried.  I said yes.  He put a ring on my finger.

Today, I'm more in love than I can say.  Eight years ago feels like eighty years ago.  But it also feels like yesterday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ On Friday

Yes, I know it's Friday.  Our Internet was turned off for most of yesterday and by the time it came back on I was getting ready for a special aunt and uncle to come visit.  So here is a big "I'M SORRY" from me!!!!  Since I had several requests for the Sour Cream Pear Pie recipe that was on the agenda for this week.  Unfortunately, I lost the recipe.  Again.  I've already called my mom twice this week for it, but she is out of town this morning, so willing as she may be to give it to me for the third time in one week, she is unable to do so at this time.  It will be coming soon so hold on to those last few pears sitting around!

While we're waiting, I thought I would point you over to Like a Warm Cup of Coffee.  They are doing a "Get Dressed" challenge.  I love Sarah Mae!  She is the author of the 31 Days to Clean e-book and just a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and her family. 

To some people this might sound funny.  A "get dressed" challenge?  But hey, it speaks to me!  You may not know this about me, but deep down I'm a genuine frump.  I try to hide it.  But in reality, most days I'm dashing to the bathroom to put on my make-up and brush my hair right before my husband steps in the door. 

Obviously, our outward appearance should not take center stage in our priorities, but at the same time, we want to honor the Lord and our husbands in ALL that we do, including how we dress and how we take care of our bodies.

I'm excited about this challenge!  If you want to join just jump over here!

The Get Dressed Challenge!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Four Months!!!

Esther is four months old now. 

  We COULD NOT get the fingers out of her mouth!  I think she's teething.  She is also d r o o l i n g everywhere!  I've never really had a drooler before so it's kind of funny!  This girl breaks all the molds.  Chubby cheeks.  Hair, but no dimples. Drool.  Terrible sleeper.  But at the same time she is just the same as the others.  Adores Daddy more than anyone in the world.  Ticklish.  Very ticklish.  Bright blue eyes.  Smells sweetly of sour milk.  And has mommy COMPLETELY smitten.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

September's Winner!

 Back in September we added a fun little something to our gracenotes store.  My mom has come up with these adorably cute little note card sets that I'm completely in love with.  They are just the right size to write a quick word of encouragement or affection.  Stick them in a lunch box, under a pillow, in some one's book or Bible or just laying on a desk.

There are all different styles.  Each set comes with nine mini cards.

Remember, everyone who comments on any of my "Heart For Home Thursday" posts are automatically entered into a monthly drawing.  This month's winner is...... AMBER!!!  She will have her choice of any mini note card set.  Please e-mail me at

If you didn't win, dash over to  to get your own set!

Kitchen Day (Part2)

Well, the Kitchen Day wasn't quite as productive as I would have hoped. I got the bread baked.....

Made the sour cream pear pie.....  YUM!!!

Made corn chowder.....

And got a beautiful sister to make the biscuits.......

They were super yummy too!

I tried to make pear butter, but it was a total flop.  Anyone have a good Pear Butter recipe?  The gravy was made and enjoyed the next morning.  The chicken didn't get cooked because we decided to go on a date last night and the dry ingredients didn't get mixed.   

Some kitchen days don't go exactly as planned, but it still feels good to get in there and focus on providing food for my family.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ Kitchen Day (Part 1)

Today is "Kitchen Day".  Usually my Kitchen Day is Friday, but because of unusual circumstances that I wont take the time for, this week it is on Thursday.  Kitchen Day is the day I focus on getting ahead in my baking and meal planning for the next week.  I know some amazing moms who do Kitchen Days once a month and get ALL of their month's baking done on that one day.  I'm nowhere near that yet. 

I simply look at my weeks menu (or make one first so I can look at it) and make a list of everything I can get done ahead of time.  Today we're not tackling too much.  Our list for the day looks like this~

Bake bread
Make corn chowder and put it in the crock pot for dinner
Make Sour Cream Pear Pie
Make pear butter
Bake biscuits for dinner and for breakfast tomorrow
Make gravy for breakfast tomorrow
Cook chicken for soup tomorrow night
Mix dry ingredients for pancakes
Mix dry ingredients for coffee cake

But before I start, I have a hard fast rule that I stick too.  The kitchen MUST be clean before I start ANYTHING!!!  It is too easy to start a batch of bread, make more mess and then I'm too swamped to keep going.

Last night I made the poor decision to not clean the kitchen.  Bad idea. As a result, this is what greeted me this morning.  (Look! It's dark outside!  I'm really getting up earlier!)

As much as I wanted to dive right into my baking projects, I buckled down and did the work.  It felt good too!

Tomorrow,  I'll update and see how much I actually got done.

If you do a kitchen day today or tomorrow and let me know what you accomplished, I'll enter you three times into my monthly giveaway!

Monday, October 3, 2011

King Family Update~ Bethany

Bethany is just two months away from turning five.  She is still our bright bubbly and hilarious little girl with a strong emotional side.  You will usually find her laughing out loud at her sisters, her aunts or uncles or herself.  She makes friends everywhere we go and loves to meet new people.

Bethany is very good at figuring things out and loves to learn how things work.  She also taught herself to read this last Spring and reads almost anything now.  Her mind is a mystery to me.  She is so much like her daddy that I often just sit back and marvel.

Bethany adds great spice to the middle of our family. When asked what her favorite things are she said, "Zebras, princesses and candy.". 

We are so thankful for our precious Bethany and can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for this amazing girl!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

King Family Update~ Havilah

 Havilah Kathryn is three and a half and grows sweeter and more beautiful daily.  It is so hard to believe that this is the little girl that put us through the ringer when she was younger.  Today, she is simply delightful.

Right now she is in that special place as "the middle child".  She carries it off gracefully too!  She is excellent at loving and getting along with her older sisters while caring for her little sisters with a tender heart.

Havilah has a beautiful love for life.  She is gradually warming up to people and is not only good at making friends, but at keeping them too.  When asked what her favorite things in the world are she said, " My books.  And my crayons.  Because then I can draw!".

Our sweet baby girl is blossoming into such a beautiful little girl and she takes our breath away every day!