Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heart For Home Thursday~ A Borrowed Idea

The newest change in our family was borrowed directly from my friend, Ginger.  She blogged here about their Hymn Study time.  Not only was her daughter sooooooo adorable, I loved the idea of easily teaching beautiful hymns to my children.

My girls LOVE to sing, so I didn't have to twist their arms to get them to be excited about our new plan.  We picked our first hymn on Monday.  Victory In Jesus was what we chose.  We found a video on youtube that had lyrics so every morning before we start school we gather around the computer and sing our hearts out!

Today was just day three and already my girls have been walking all over the house singing most of the song.  I'm so excited to see how this will take off!

By the way, even my non-readers are catching on super quick!  Give it a try!  Those old hymns are so beautiful and packed full of spiritual truths.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Beautiful Two Year Old

Dear Ella,
        Last week was your second birthday.  We had the first snow of the year the weekend before so with all that excitement, your birthday sort of crept up on us.  You said you wanted berry coffee cake so that's what we had.  It took you most of the morning for it to sink in that this was YOUR birthday!  When I put you down for your nap you starting calling me and telling me over and over "Birt-day!  Birt-day!".  I then had to convince you that even birthday girls needed to take naps which changed your cries of joy to sobbing, "Birt-dayyyyyy.  Birt-dayyyyyy."

After your nap you got to help Mommy make your pink birthday cake.

And of course, I let you lick the beater!

You were one popular girl that day!  You got calls from great-grandparents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and even your sweet cousin Talia who all by herself said, "Happy. Birt. Day. Ella.".  You were so excited to talk to her!

That night you opened your presents that Daddy had gone in the snow to get for you.  You have played endlessly with your "Big Ball".

And you adore you OWN baby doll that you promptly named "Ellie" after your baby cousin.

Then it was finally time for birthday cake!  You loved having us sing to you and you were a pro at blowing out your candles.  Of course your sisters were as excited as you were!

Everyone who came to our house that whole week heard all about how it was your "Birt-day"  and how you were "fee".  It took days of practicing, but now you usually remember that you are really two.

On Sunday we had a party for you at Grandma and Boppa's house.  Sadly, you woke up from your nap with a pretty high fever.  You were still so excited to go to your party!

You thanked everyone for you presents so sweetly and were very free with your hugs and kisses (let's hope no one else gets sick!).

You had such a good attitude all day, even though it was so obvious that you just didn't feel good.

Another cake, another song, more candles and more candle licking!  Now that got you excited!

Mommy and your sisters had made a "surprise" cake that we thought you would enjoy.  Your sisters were dying to tell people about it, but they all kept their secret very well!

Surprise!!!  A rainbow cake!  You loved the colors, especially the orange.

It's hard to imagine a sweeter or more adorable two year old!

Some people call the two's "terrible", but Daddy and Mommy think it's one of the most wonderful ages ever.  You are so full of wonder and your bright mind is exploding with discoveries.  We love to hear you talking more and more every day.  Every word you say delights us.

You are such a treasure to us, sweet Ella Joy.  A true treasure from God.  We thank Him for you every day!  I love you!!!
      Love, Mommy

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Where I've Been....

It's just been one of those weeks.  My life is usually pretty low key.  I stay home with my girls.  I home school, blog and everything else that happens in a day.  I do my best to maintain relationships with the incredible people God has placed in my life.

This week it seems that everything has happen at once though.  Friends are starting relationships, friends are grieving and one of my dearest friends in the whole world is moving away.

(Theresa and I at her wedding four years ago)

Theresa and I have been friends since the 4th grade and while life has taken us in two different directions so far, never has it separated the bond we have with each other.  She is so precious to me and even though her move across the states hopefully wont be long term, it breaks my heart to be parted from her.  I'm so thankful however, that this will be just another journey that proves that our love for each other will never fade.

I'm so blessed by the precious relationships God has blessed me with.  There are some weeks however, that they take my TIME.  And therefore, my blog doesn't receive my time.  Thanks to those of you who are still stop by here.  You are such an encouragement to me!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Seven Months

As hard as it is to believe, our sweet Esther is growing up right in front of our eyes.   Her gorgeous smile and bright eyes already communicate such love for those around her.

This has been a big month for Esther as she is now rolling all over the place and almost sitting on her own.  She also has now cut through her first two teeth.  She is still not sleeping well at night, but I am hoping that that will change soon!

She's our little doll.  And we ADORE her!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I know.  I know.  Another snow post.  But this is our first snow of the year and we all LOVE snow!!!!!!!  When the girls woke up this morning and saw the snow, it was as if it was Christmas morning all over again.  I have to admit, I was right there with them!

 Ready to go!!!!!!!

 Baby's first snow!

Auntie Anna was here, and that always makes everything better!

 Daddy and his work crew with "Frosty".  (Where they get their creative name ideas I'll never know!)

With my beloved husband.  Makes my heart skip a beat!

Have a beautiful and blessed winter day, wherever you may be!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Heart For Home Thursday~ Be sure to clean the hoses!!!

I admit, this may seem a bit random.  But it struck a chord with me so maybe it will encourage one of you too!

I have a reoccurring problem around here.  Over and over I find myself coming to my husband and saying, "The vacuum just doesn't work as well as it used to.  I can't get the hose to have good suction."  And he always responds with, "Is it full?  Did you clean out the hose?".

I always feel like I have.  I've always looked down it a few times, poking my fingers down to see if I can reach any trapped junk.  But every. single. time.  He pulls it apart.  Actually cleans it and it works like a charm.

Lately my dear oldest daughter has been experimenting with some less than wonderful attitudes.  I don't like it.  But instead of dealing with the problem, I tend to just let it bother me.  I nag her about being joyful.  Being respectful.  Being thoughtful.  Being diligent.  Instead of really working on the issue, I try a quick fix just to get on with the day.

As I was cleaning out my vacuum hose, feeling so good about actually fixing the problem, it struck me that same thing was needed in my relationship with my daughter as well.  Not a quick fix.  A heart to heart.  An actually "cleaning out" of the garbage that was clogging up her attitude and our relationship.

Now, I'm not implying that working on a relationship is as simple as cleaning out a vacuum hose.  But it was a reminder to me, to not half-heartily try and train my child.  Or build our relationship.  Often it takes taking the the time.

There are so many areas I need to apply this principle to.  And hopefully the Lord will continue to challenge me in this area.  Take the time.  Do the work that is needed to make things run the way they are supposed to!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Don't be afraid to try something new!  This was my experiment for the night and Mmmmmmmmmm!  Home run!!!

I tend to be very narrow minded in my cooking ventures, but sometimes an experiment pays off!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

There's a new kid on the block......

..... And we think she's pretty FANTASTIC!!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heart For Home Thursday~ My Man

I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to write about this morning.  I had a few ideas swirling around.  But as I did my regular "morning reads" one thing kept pounding me from every side.  How am I doing in helping my husband be everything he can be?

And yes, this has everything to do with a heart for home.  Everything.  God made marriage the absolute center of the home.

Once again, the success or failure of our position as the wife begins in the heart.  But it CANNOT stay there!  I have never had trouble respecting my husband.  In fact I can say without flinching that I respect him more than any one I know.  It's what I love the most about him.  And we all know (and if you don't know, learn it!!!) that men need respect.  I thought I had that one in the bag!  It came as quite a surprise to me several years into our marriage that my husband didn't always feel respected!  OOFH!  That felt like a punch in the gut.  How could I feel such amazing respect for him and yet he didn't feel it, in fact sometimes he felt disrespected by me!

After I emerged from my self-pity party, I started to actually look at the problem.  I asked questions, respectfully and not defensively and little by little began to understand better what communicates respect to MY husband.  I still have a long ways to go!  But it felt good to know I was gaining a better understanding of my man and was learning how to better serve him.

So number one, respecting your man starts in the heart.  Focus on the good, have a thankful heart, forgive always, appreciate the amazing gifts the Lord has blessed him with.  Number two, communicate your respect TO HIM, not just with words but in ways that he knows you absolutely respect him.

Number three, and perhaps the most difficult one to do consistently, share your heart with those around you.  Stand up for your man.  And not only your man, but husbands in general.  That may sound goofy, but men are truly under attack.  This world NEEDS real women who are willing to stand up to the worldview which makes a mockery manhood and believe what God says.

I read an article this morning by Fawn from The Happy Wives Club.  In it she wrote,

"What if, in every corner of the world, there were women like me? Women who were proud of their marriage and didn't boast or brag about it to others but simply didn't hide it. In conversations when other women were male bashing, rather than shrinking back and remaining silent, spoke up about the beauty of men and the blessings of our differences.

What if one million women, around the world, decided they were going to change the conversation within their inner circles? They wouldn't disregard the challenges many of their girlfriends are having but would simply take the time to show the other side."

So that's my challenge to myself.  And to you.  Let's speak up more.  Let's refrain from jumping in or stirring up disrespectful attitudes towards our men.  Let's do all that we can to build them up (Do I really need to address the difference between "building up" and "puffing up"?  I will if I have to!).   Let's make sure our hearts, our actions and our words are honoring to the Lord and honoring to our husband's!

Monday, January 2, 2012

One More Reason You're Not Seeing Me Much........

I've been pretty busy playing.

With my new toy.

Yes, my husband blows my mind!!!!!!