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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My baby boy sitting up

Oh how time flies. First, my brother Jason's baby boy was born; then we find out my brother Nathan is going to be a daddy for the second time. Woo hoo! And here is my sweet baby boy sitting up. He loves being a big boy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't let this moment pass you by

Not so long ago, my daughter told me she had a hard time getting into the word of God. She said she needed something that taught it in a way that she could apply it to her life. This is one of those times as a parent, I dare not wait or hesitate. SHe asked for something to help her learn more about the Lord - that is something that needs to be fed and nurtered in any and all ways possible.

While at the Homeschooling Works convention, I found a book called, The Quest for Good Character put out by The Courtship Connection. They also sell The Princess and the Kiss book and workbook among many other wonderful books. The Quest for Good Character looked like something Allysha might like; so I picked that up along with Life Lessons from The Princess and the Kiss, Stay in the Castle and Seven Royal Laws of Courtship. As I sit here typing, Allysha has just finished up her first lesson in her character book and loves it! Here's what she had to say

Allysha 10 years old:
"I think this is pretty neat and I like it a lot. The scrapbook area is a lot of fun. I also like the questions it asks after you read the verse for the day. It makes me think more about what I'm reading."

I'll have to update once we've gone through a few more lessons and see if she still loves it. I honestly think she will. Each lessons starts out with taking a closer look in God's word. You read the given verses in the bible. It then asks you questions about what you have just read and gives you a space to write down the answers. Next there is a "try this" area. It will ask you to try something. For instance, "Who has been available to you? Have you thanked that person? Who will you be available to this week? What will it cost and what will you gain?". Next there's a journaling section. A place where the child is encouraged to write out their thoughts on what they read. The next page there is a scrapbook section. Here, the child can draw pictures, tape in cartoons, quotes, clippings from magazines, etc... At the very bottom of that page it has "bubble talk", ponder points and related verses.

To find more out about Courtship Connections products, pricing and more, visit or visit this site. This may or may not be for your child. I would encourage you to do whatever your child needs to learn more about the Lord in a way that they not only understand, but can have fun with. The more fun we have, the easier it is to learn.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The funny faces of Jon

Here's some silly Jon pictures. We had so much fun together. These were of course taken on his birthday :)

"Children are a gift from the Lord: they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands. How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates."

Psalm 127:3-5

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Homeschooling Works Convention and Hotel

What a fun day! Today started out with Joshua, Matthew and I gathering up our suitcases and heading out the door.

We started out getting some breakfast - but alas, were given the wrong food. I think we're a magnet for that. Back to get the right breakfast.

"On the road again"...can't you just hear that song playing?

Matt counted down the last couple minutes as we got ready to pull in the parking lot. I always get so excited this time of year!

Next, on to some fun shopping!

Last but not least, we stayed in a wonderful hotel! In fact, that's where I am right now as I sit here typing this.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring but I know that for today, it has been great! It's so nice to be able to get away - even if it is only once per year. What a huge blessing!

Jon's 4th birthday - his first party...

Wearing the hat Lyshie made him.

He had just gotten his chef's hat and started "cooking".

Kisses for mommy :)

Buzz Lightyear. He's wanted one of these for so long. Lyshie found it at a resale shop and got it for him . He hasn't stopped playing with it since. He even takes it to bed with him!

The cookbook Lyshie made for him since he loves cooking.

My sweet Jon.

Jon had so much fun on the actual day of his birthday. He still has one party to go!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Passing along a good deal.

I went to the Goodwill recently and found some lovely organic products, new in the package. I bought up several of them because of the great price! I would like to pass some on to you today. I will send 2 Yes To Carrots Coral Sunshine Lip Tints to one lucky winner. One for you and one for you to share with someone else. Shipping is on me :)

Here's what you need to do to be entered.
1. Post a comment here stating either why you use organic products or would like to. If you do not use organic already but would like to - why?

2. Post my giveaway on your blog.

3. Do a random act of kindness for someone else the day you read about this and post it here:)

This drawing will be held on March 31st at noon eastern time.

Update!!! Winner is Jamie! Great job Jamie! Just send along your address and I'll get these out in the mail to you :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

4 years ago today my amazing son, Jonathan was born!

Just a couple weeks before I had my Jon. Yes, I got lower!!!

My baby just seconds old, holding him for the first time. The nurses kept saying, "keep rubbing him mama!" There is nothing better than having a brand new baby (not even cleaned yet), put on your chest for that mama warmth. What an amazing feeling. I was in heaven!

Matthew holding his first baby boy. IT was a pretty overwhelming first time experience for him.

My Jonny's massive chest! Holy cow!

Sister Allysha, practically still a baby herself at almost 7 years old.

Almost 5 years ago I found out I was pregnant with my Jonathan. The day they told me he was a boy, I had a hard time. I wanted another girl so badly. I was very upset to tell you the truth - yes me, the lover of children! My husband said something to me that I'll never forget. He said "honey, maybe God made him a boy so this can be something we can experience for the first time together". You see, I was a single mom for 4 years and my dear Matt is not our daughter's biological father. NO matter that, he's like a daddy to her in every way. Anyway, from that point on I started to get excited about my little Jonathan. To this very day, I would NEVER trade my Jonathan for a girl any day. Here's a bit about my Jonathan that makes him special and unique.

He's all boy and that's no joke! He's a rough and tumble, hard core, "I do my own stunts" kind of boy.
He's tender to his mama, helping anyway he can.
He loves Star Wars!
He loves to dress up as a super hero.
He loves to kiss and hug on his baby brother.
His best friend is his sister, Lysha.
He loves wrestling time with daddy.
He loves cooking with mama - even gets upset when he can't.

There's just a bit about our wonderful Jon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not a Monday Meal Plan

Ok, so I couldn't wait till Monday to post this since I"ve had it done. Here's the list of dinners we'll be having the next couple of weeks.

Oven fried chicken, collard greens and sweet potato pie.

Fish, baked potatoes and coleslae

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Broccoli soup and salad.

Tuna noodle casserole and Lyshie's garlic bread.


Baked Alfredo and salad

Baked potatoes and a main dish salad with chicken.

Fish, baked potatoes and coleslaw

Taters and sausage - one dish meal with applesauce

Spaghetti bake.

Burgers and homemade potato salad.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Class and Corned Beef and Cabbage

I signed Lyshie up last night to take a live class on St. Patrick - the real story ;) It's so neat finding resources like this so we can learn together. Dina DeYoung did a great job with the class. One of the things I didn't know was how the Celtic Cross originated. Very neat indeed! You can tell she loves children - I love that! I didn't plan on having corned beef and cabbage tonight because of the class, it just happened that way. Isn't it neat when things come together like that? Yes, yes, I'm a foodie. I can remember most anything if you tie in food with what you're doing ;) You want to know the best thing about St. Patrick's Day? It's my son's day of birth! What a joy Jonathan has been and will be in our lives. Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day next week and keep in mind why it is we celebrate it - because of the lives he brought to Christ!

Here is the recipe I used for the Corned Beef and Cabbage. I tossed the spice packet that comes with it. :) Tomorrow with some of the leftovers I'm hoping to make Corned Beef and Potato Bake for dinner. I'm definitely hoping to have Rueben's for lunch!

1 (5 1/2 pound) corned beef brisket
2 large onions
15 small white (Irish) potatoes
10 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 heads cabbage, cored and cut into wedges

1. Rinse the beef brisket under cold water, and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the roast by 6 inches.
2. Peel the onions, and place them in the pot with the roast. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 30 minutes at a rolling boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low so that the water is at a gentle boil, cover, and cook for 3 1/2 hours.
4. Remove the lid from the brisket. Remove onions, and cut into wedges. Return them to the pot. Add carrots to the pot, then place the cabbage over the roast. Place the potatoes on top of the cabbage. Place the lid back on the pot, and cook for another 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. The potatoes should be immersed in the water by now, but if not, keep the lid on so they can steam.
5. Remove the vegetables from the pot, and place in a separate serving bowl. Keep the corned beef in the pot until ready to slice and serve because it dries out quickly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Years Resolutions?

How often do we will ourselves to not do this ever again, or do this more often? Lose weight, gain weight, stop drinking, quit smoking, stop cheating, start loving more, spending more time, doing this and not doing that. How many people get to the next year and find they have not only failed at what they attempted the year before; but they now have another problem entirely. God help us - and yes, He will!

Romans 7:15
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

Regardless of popular belief, the human will is not a super powerful, almighty thing that can change the course of history solely on it's own for the good. While at some point at some time our will has gotten us a bit further; however, it will not forever sustain us. We do however serve an almighty God who at the very command, can change things drastically.

My God has said in Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you". What a promise! I encourage you to start your day of with prayer and belief that the God of the universe will hear your prayer and belief that He will answer. Not always in our time, but in His perfect timing.

What better resolution to make than asking God to control our lives. To take charge and lead us down the path that He has for us and not veer to the right or left of that path.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A visit from my mom and dad:)

Panera, here we come! I did a custom sandwich. Antibiotic free chicken, roasted tomatoes, roasted red pepper pesto, mayo, salad greens, red onion on semolina bread. yum!!!

Lyshie got broccoli soup with a sierra turkey sandwich. She LOVES the chipotle mayo. We got a blondie to share.

Mom got a tomato basil sandwich that looked oober yummy along with a cobblestone muffin.

Me and my mommy :)

Grandma Sandi and Joshua;) She kept talking about how cute his little ears were.

March 10th is my mom's birthday. Lucky for her she came up just a few days before so we decided to celebrate. We made yummy cupcakes, the kids made her gifts and oh the other food. Yum! We had such a good time together. I wish I had pictures of my dad, Matt and Jon. Such is life.

Matt got his new projector in the mail from a side job he recently took on. He's been wanting one since we got married, so I'm glad he has been able to now get one. He said dad, Jon and himself all walked into Joanne Fabrics to get some blackout cloth for the screen. Jon said "dad, I don't want to go there". I guess my dad and husband both chuckled together. lol!

All in all everyone had tons of fun. It's so nice when family comes up to visit. Jon cried for quite awhile after Grandma and Grandpa left :( We hope to see them much more often in the next year than we have been able to in the past.

Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Using distraction and humor for bad moods...

I've found over the years more often than not it's easier to get a little one out of a bad mood not by hammering to stop, but by adding a bit of humor or distraction. As you can see from the pix, it works like a charm most of the time

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Blessing of Helping Others and Being Blessed

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

How many times do we get excited about a raise, tax returns, etc... and think only of our family and what we'd like to do for them - or worse yet, of ourselves. Don't get me wrong, God wants us to be debt free. But, do we let that stand in the way of helping others? When we give or help others, do we do so by the prompting of the holy spirit, or with our own flesh. I can attest that if you do something out of your own selfish gain - even the gain of satisfaction in seeing others "happy", it will not be the blessing it could have been if the Lord had been in it.

The first couple years we were married, we didn't have much money at all to work with. You wouldn't believe it if I told you! lol! Yet time after time, you would not believe what God worked out for us. He used family, strangers and our church to bless us. I remember at one time saying to the Lord "God, this is too much. I can't handle anymore blessings". I was so overwhelmed by HIs love for us not only taking care of our needs but also supplying some of our wants as well. What an amazing God we serve!

I encourage you to be in prayer about your finances. Not just when things are looking bad but when they are good as well. Pray before you go to the grocery store, the mall or wherever you shop that God will allow something to be there you need and help you resist those things you do not. Pray for those you can help and that God will show you how to be compassionate to them as well as a help. God will make things clear to us if we quiet down and listen:)

Lacing Activities - Make Your Own!

Thanks again to Mandi from I went to Aldi and purchased the laminator she recommended. We came home right away, printed out a couple word world pictures for Jon and let him color them. Next, I laminated them both. After they had cooled a bit, I used a hole punch to punch holes all around it. We then got the package of shoelaces we got nip from Goodwill at 19 cents and put a knot on one end of each one. Now we have fun and educational lacing activities for our kids :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Wrap Came For Me Today!

Ok, it did not come today but last week. I needed something with a bit less stretch as Joshua gets bigger. I found money I had hidden away rainy day money and decided to get this with it. Isn't the packaging just lovely! You can find out more about Lil' Peeper Keepers at Not only did I get a sling in lovely packaging, each sling also comes with a dvd showing you how to use your sling in different positions. This is very easy to understand which is nice for someone like me. So, a big thank you to Lil' Peepers Keepers and her lovely/functional work of art!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bumps and Bruises

This is what happens when there's a rambunctious almost 4 year old and a baby. Red cheeks from Jon running too much (and a tear falling down his face from getting himself in trouble) and a red mark on Joshua's head. Oh the bumps and bruises to come with these two. rofl!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mom Meet-Up 2/2010

What more could a mama ask for in homeschooling support? WHat a fun time we had a Badawest in Flint. Great food and great company. No more needs to be said other than, I love you ladies!