Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Sermon I listened to today..

If you have 20 minutes (and you probably do if you are reading this) take the time to listen to this message by Alistair Begg. Very challenging truth..

Just click on the link below...
Remorse or Repentance, Part One, B - Broadcasts - Truth For Life

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mommy Monday: Picture Comparisons...

The past few days I have finally organized the bazillion all the pictures of Evelyn I have on the computer. I am glad to have it done, and it was so crazy to look back on all of them. It is absolutely amazing how much a baby develops in the first year. I thought it was neat looking at Ev at different ages with some of the same objects :-)

Kick N'Crawl Gym @ 6 weeks

Kick N'Crawl Gym @ 9 months


Bath time @ 5 weeks

Bath time @ 9 months


Hanging with Sydney @ 8 weeks

Hanging with Sydney  @ 8 months


Laying the crib @ 5 weeks

laying in the crib @ 8 months
standing in crib @ 9 months :-)


Picture with mommy @ 13 days old

Picture with mommy @ 8 months


@ 9 months inside...(YIKES!)
@ 9 months outside :-)

SO blessed by this sweet baby girl!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mommy Monday: Perspective

Sometimes a fresh perspective can work wonders :-) It is kind of funny that my good friend Robyn posted what she did today (read it here!) , because I had a similar thought just this morning! I took Evelyn to the doctor's office this morning because Evelyn has had a cold for several days and its not really getting better and she osunds miserable and has been having trouble sleeping. Any seasoned moms reading this are thinking "Why did you take your baby to the doctor for a mere cold?!".  And I would say, "Cut me a little slack, first-time mom's are supposed to be naive and overreactive!", right :-) haha...I did feel kind of silly because the doctor can't really do anything for her, she just has to let it run it's course. First time mommyhood is basically trial and error, lol. But anyway, while we were waiting in the room I was looking at Evelyn sitting on the table in just her diaper checking out her new surroundings..and for whatever reason my mind was brought to think about those who have children that have/had any type of serious health issues and being in a doctor's office or hospital would be rouine for them (and for MUCH more serious things than the common cold!). I couldn't help but think about how hard it would be to see my child laying there with cords and moniters, in pain- and not be able to help them. Yet I know there are so many who are in or have been in that situation.... And I just thanked God right them and there for Evelyn and her health thus far! Why God has chosen to bless us with such a sweet gift is beyond me, and His loving-care for Evelyn is beyond anything I could ever have for her. And that is simply amazing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Repentance and Hope

Read this: Psalm 51. Really, do it!

I love this passage. I go to it very often in my quiet time with the Lord. King David's cry to the Lord in the account is such a beautiful and tangible example of  a repentant heart. It also beautifully shows us the hope of restoration following repentance. I was listening to a sermon once and the speaker (I think it was James MacDonald?)  said something like this: "Regret always dwells on he past; always looks back. True repentance always looks ahead; looks forward and breaks through to hope." I don't remember the exact quote, but the concept has stuck with me since. When I am in a place where I need to repent, my attitude and heart-focus shows if I just regret and feel guilty about it, or if I am truly repentant. It is easy to remain in a place focused on self and the sin, instead of moving from there to action and focusing on the Lord's holiness and power over that sin!  Then breaks forth HOPE of forgiveness. HOPE of restoration. HOPE of change! We can have hope because if we are in Christ, we are free from the bondage of sin (looking forward). Repentance is an amazing thing the Lord gives us because it brings forth true joy and a truly restored relationship with the Father! I would say that is an AMAZING thing! We should desire it, and humble ourselves and do it when we have broken that relationship with our deliberate choice to sin. I am so thankful that He is able and willing to thoroughly wash (vs.2) me from my iniquity, and create in me a clean heart (vs 10)!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Video of Evelyn Laughing!

Yeah, I know- reeeeal original post title. I just figured if I titled it as such, it would get more people to come to my blog. Mwahahaha! No one can resist a laughing baby. No one with a heart, that is.  Ha! If I ever come and sit down in the room Evelyn is in, it is almost guaranteed she'll crawl her little self over to me, pull up, and just stand there and bounce and talk or continue climbing. Or lately- whine, whine, whine, because she wants up! This time she thought the faces I was making were pretty funny. She is the cutest! And the last video is of her current favorite noise to make...(P.S. Don't mind the laundry on the floor in the pictures..she likes to pull them out of the basket :D)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfect Love

"The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk." 
~C.S. Lewis

I am such a quote person and I have so many woven throughout my head that have just stuck , and this one came to mind tonight. Reading though the account of the fall in the garden of Eden is so huge; so intense. Created perfection, crowned with man and woman- beautifully and completely in communion with God. Their relationship was pure, unspoiled, unhindered. Then came deception. Through the serpent, Eve doubted God's word, and His very character. Her doubt of God's truth and goodness led to her choice to disobey. And just as God said it would happen, sin and death entered the once perfect world. Enter shame, blame, and broken relationships. And that is where the human race finds itself- in a broken relationship with the Father and in slavery to sin, by nature and by choice. But PRAISE GOD makes broken things beautiful again! I am so thankful that because of Jesus' work on the cross He has made a way to reconcile us to Himself. The relationship that was broken because of my sin is now made whole and alive through Christ and His love for me! But getting back to the quote... in conversation with my Youth Group girls tonight, the question was brought up "Well, if God knew they were going to sin then WHY did he give them the choice at all?". Go back up and read the quote again.Powerful, huh?! How deep, sweet, and fulfilling it is to have someone choose to love you. The fact that He gave us free will just shows how much our God LOVES us and DESIRES a deep intimacy with each of us. That is amazing! The quote is saying, think of the most passionate, fairy-tale, rapturous love between a man and a woman on earth.....that love is DULL compared to the love our God has for us, and the depth of it HE desires! What a humbling thought. Do you know the love of Christ?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mommy (forgot to post on) Monday: Fall!

I love fall! Evelyn & I are taking full advantage of every nice day we have left before it gets too cold and we are cooped up in the house all winter. Here are some pictures from the nice day today -)

Happy Fall :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mommy Monday: Favorite Baby Items

There have been several things that have made my list of favorite baby items over the past months of being mom! When Ev was first born (in the freezing cold winter) the top ones on the list were the Halo Sleep Sack and the Bundle Me fleece car seat cover. They were so perfect to keep a newborn warm in the winter! As she got older it was her Kick & Crawl Gym. And for the beautiful summer days it was the Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Swing. And recently started using and loving my Shopping Cart Cover. I am just naming a few of the bigger ones I can think of on the top of my head, but I want to share my current favorite item!

It is the V-tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker! We just got it a month or so ago and I am so glad we did.
I knew we wanted one of these because Evelyn LOVES to stand and loves to walk around holding our fingers. So I thought this would be perfect! It took her a while to get the hang of walking behind it but she now has it down and loves cruising around the house on her own :-) 

But before she used the walker part, and still now, she loves the activities on the front! It's neat, also, that the front electronic part can come off and I can stick it in the pack n' play with her to play with.

 There are so many fun things for a baby's curious mind and keeps her entertained forever! Her favorite is the "peek-a-boo" barn door she will just open and shut and open and shut it until the lady's voice drives me up the wall! And she loves taking the phone off the hook!

But I think it's the cutest thing ever when she crawls over to it and pulls herself up to her knees and plays.

 . Overall, a GREAT investment! :-) What are some of the baby items you love?!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mommy Monday: Baby Teeth!

Evelyn now has 4 teeth (currently working on at least one more, I think!) and I still am amazed whenever I look at a picture of her and see a big toothy grin! I mean, babies don't have teeth, right?! That must mean she is not a baby baby anymore... *tear!* So I thought I would post some of my favorite toothy pictures :-) (Plus this is just an excuse to show off  my cute baby)

And here we are chewing on our finger where our next one is coming in :-) 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mommy Monday: You know you're a mommy if...

You know you're a mommy if...

...you don't feel right without a spit up stain on at least one article of clothing you are wearing.

... you've reached into your purse for something and pulled out a diaper.

...you've gone to church with a baby poop stain on your dress pants. Yup. Yesterday.

...you sing and clap all day long.

...you are very interested and in tune with every digestive move another person makes.

...the term "blow-out" is now more closely associated with the state of someone's pants than an awesome sale at your favorite store. And it makes you want to cry.

...you cannot pass up the baby section of any store even though you know you don't NEED anything!

...you have developed this sixth sense as to when your child will spit up, resulting in the uncanny ability to catch it all as it's coming out most of the time. Now, that's a surefire way to impress your friends.

...you have a mental list of all the strange places you have fed your little one.

...you will do the craziest, most ridiculous things EVER- just to get a giggle!

...it feels weird to go ANYWHERE without your child. Even a quick trip to the store. (I definitely appreciate times like this, but you know what I mean :))

...you go in to check on them while they are sleeping every night before you go to bed because they are just so stinkin' cute!

...you have been in that awkward situation when you are at someone else's house and are not sure what to do with that horrifically smelly diaper. I know you know what I'm talking about!

 ...your whole life is planned around naps and bedtime!

...you can interpret all of your baby's cries and sounds.

...you have kid CD's in your CD player instead of your music. (But actually I love The Go Fish Guys. and really enjoy them even if Ev isn't listening with me! Highly recommended...)

...you are so excited to see their smiling face in the morning because you've missed them while they were
sleeping. (It's easier to say this once you're past the waking in the middle of the night stage :-P)

...you have a totally different outlook on everything.

...you cannot even describe the amount of love you have for this tiny person that God has given you.

Just a silly fun way to celebrate being a mom on this Mommy Monday! PLEASE feel free to add yours. I would love to hear the wonderful things that mark us as mommies! :-P

Can you find my Evelyn in this heap of toys?! 

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Heart of It All

Just wanting to share what my heart has been wrestling through the past week or so.

The root of every action, thought, word, and attitude is in the heart. The things that frustrate, annoy, & upset me- reveal where my heart is. My worries, fears, & anxieties- reveal my heart. What brings me joy, how I spend my time, how I view God, how I view other people, how I view myself- reveals my heart. This is no ground-breaking revelation, nor am I trying to "spiritualize everything". But it is reality, and I think a lot of times we fail to go as deep as our hearts. We try to clean up our behavior, which is only a symptom of our true problem. We define and judge people based on their outward actions, which is very inconsistent with what Jesus did. This is demonstrated in the standard that Jesus brought in the New Testament (Matthew 5:28Matthew 15:18-19)While, yes, He saw their sinful actions- He loved and saw the sinful heart beneath it in need of His cleansing. And He loves us enough to desire the removal of sin from our hearts and lives; not a false love by ignoring it or overlooking it...as sometimes we wish He would (when we're loving our sin more than Him). Instead of us trying to change ourselves by "not doing this" anymore or to "start doing that more", we ought to recognize that change only occurs when we are transformed by His Holy Spirit. It is possible to take on a form of godliness (proper actions, proper activities, proper words, proper abstentions, etc...) and deny it's power by not allowing Him to totally transform us from the INSIDE out. Why do we so often resist that? Because we are not willing to give Him full control. There is something that we are not letting go of; something we do not think we can trust Him with.  Instead of rationalizing my sin and coming up with reasons that justify it, I need to call it what it is- SIN, which is committed in the heart, manifested in our behavior, and an offense to the Most High God. It is me-in my heart of hearts- desiring something more than I desire God and His will. God is calling us repentance, which IS true change! God wants our hearts first & fully. I love that this is a message of hope, not failure. That when we look on our hearts and we DO see sin, we do not need to be discouraged, for He has made a way. Go to Him right now! Where is your heart?

Once he loses his heart for "self" the believer can be wholly God's.
 -Watchman Nee

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mommy Monday

Well in honor of my very first Mommy Monday, I will post something that I thought would be kind of fun for a while now! A while back my friend, Robyn White did a post called "A Day in the Life of Us". It was basically just an outline of what a normal day in her life looked like with her famly! So I will give you all sneak peek into a "normal" day in my life......

When I wake up (most days! :-/) in order to have my quiet time with the Lord before   
                Evelyn wakes up and the day gets away from me :-)
8:00 am
Wake up time for Evelyn! Quickly followed by breakfast.

 Playtime! She is usually in her excersaucer or just playing on the floor with her toys
                      independantly for a little while as I get a couple things done around the house. But most
                      of the morning is spent playing together. Her favorite activity as of right now is 
                      walking around and around and around the house (while holding my fingers of
                       course :)). But she also spends time on her tummy pushing up on her hands and knees
                      figuring out this whole crawling thing!

 Morning Nap! And I finally get to take a shower, get ready, and get things done around
 the house. Or spend some refreshing time chatting with a friend!

Lunchtime. Evelyn loooves her baby food. We are also very blessed to have Daddy home for
   lunch most days!
(She doesnt make this face anymore, but come on this is a great picture!)

This is when we would usually go out if we needed (or wanted!) to. If not, more 
                      playtime. Reading books, playing with toys, & all kinds of fun stuff. Oh, and we have to play outside at some point!

Afternoon Nap! I usually either work on a project I'm doing (like how I am wanting to do some serious organizing this winter!), do some baking, reading, or just whatever needs done :-)

Evelyn's Dinnertime. With more baby food.. then usually time to play in her Pack n' Play while
           Mommy makes dinner! Evelyn sits in her high chair with some finger food to keep her
           occupied while we eat 
4:00- 7:30
This time usually varies depending on what we have planned for the evening. We either go out and do something together, visit someone, or we just get to all hang out as a family! If Evelyn didn't nap well during the day I may lay her down for a short evening
         nap to get her through til bedtime. Oh and of course there is bath time.

And, playtime with daddy!

 Evelyn gets a bottle and we get ready for bed! She is usually in bed fast asleep by 8:00.

The rest of the evening is spent enjoying time with my hubby! Then it's off to bed for us, and wake up and do it all again the next day :-) I do realize this may seem too boring, too structured, too predictable to some people. But each day is marked with it's own character of laughter, fun, joy, and love...and at times also struggle, tears, and frustration. God is so good and I am in awe of how He chooses to bless us. On top of the love and salvation He extends to us, He blesses us even further each day.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

My life as a blogger

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, I have been on vacation! Oh, it's been TWO MONTHS, you say? I was only on vacation for a week..... I guess I have no valid excuse for the rest of the time :-) About a month ago I was talking with a friend (shout to Carmen in I-OW-A!) about blogs and about how they say the most important thing about a starting a blog is that it has a specific purpose/focus. Ehhhh... Well the focus of my bog has kind of been: "Random-ramblings-of-my-brain-sweet-things-God-has-taught-me-good-recipes-to-try-oh-and-here-is-a-picture-of-my-cute-baby". Sooo if anyone googles that- no doubt, my blog will be the first result on the list :-) So I decided I wanted my blog to be better identified with one thing! Something that is pertinent to everyone: Matters of the heart! Not only it's relevance, but it's immense importance. I want this blog to be filled with truth and hope; to be exposed and vulnerable, as we focus on our hearts, which are the very things that Christ desires and is in the pursuit of. But I still would like to post about recipes, and mommy things, because I enjoy writing about those things! But I want to majority of the overflow of my head and heart to be concerning eternal things! So maybe I will do like "Mommy Mondays" and "Wifey Wednesdays" and post about those things on the specific days. No, that's cheesy. And doing that would mean I need to post like 4-5 times a week. Which is a far cry from my usual schedule. ha! So basically it's all up in the air right now :-) Surprisingly enough this is NOT what I intended to blog about this morning. Maybe the focus of my blog really should be "how-to-write-lengthy-disclaimers-before-you-actually-get-to-the-point".  Maybe if I blogged more regularly, I wouldnt feel the need to explain myself every time :-) That being said, I will post in the next couple days what I wanted to actually post about and we will go from there. Thank you, oh patient souls, for listening!

"Keep your heart with all diligence,  For out of it spring the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:23

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bread Machine Breadsticks

Thought I'd share my VERY FIRST EVER experience with a bread machine! I will be honest, I was quite intimidated, but it worked beautifully! I'd always been afraid of making any kind of bread dough because I didn't really know how to knead it AND using active dry yeast seems tricky! But my mom got a bread machine from a garage sale (for $5!) a while back and she let me have it! (Wow, I just  realized that within the first 4 sentences of this post I've used 5 exclamation points. See how excited I am?) Well, I wanted to try this yummy looking breadstick recipe and freeze our leftovers.... It was GREAT! They were SO easy, the machine does all the hard work! This is actually what they look like...


Throw all of these ingredients into your bread machine:

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
3 cups of bread flour
1 tsp. salt
3 TBS brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

~Once the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet.
~Using a pizza cutter, cut the bread sticks into 20-24 pieces (depending on the size you want) ((The dough rolled out on the pan was probably 10x12 inches.))
~Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

When breadsticks come out of oven, drizzle this mixture on top:
4 TBS melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Then, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and you have absolutely delicious buttery, garlicky, parmesan-y breadsticks to serve with dinner or just for a snack! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yummy, Cool, & Healthy Summer Treats!

Since we have had some seriosuly ridiculous heat & humidity lately, I have really enjoyed some fun snacks that are COOL and NO BAKE! I try not to use my oven very often in the summer because it just gets so hot in our house, so when I found these recipes I was excited to try them and am very pleased!

The first one was one-bowl no-bake energy bites! You had me at "one bowl" and "no bake".  I tweaked the recipe (basically guidelines!) from this blog (through one of my favorite blogs, www.moneysavingmom.com...check it out, she is great!) . What I like about these is that they are not only easy, but they can totally be tailored to your specific taste!

What you need:

  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 C old fashioned rolled oats( you could toast these for several minutes in a 350° oven for a nuttier flavor. BUT you would have to turn on the oven...so no toasting for me :D )
  • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut ( but you can substitute any dry ingredient for this! I didn't have any coconut so I added some chopped pecans, some flax seed, and some mini chocolate chips to equal one cup. Coconut would have been good though!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp your favorite spices or spice combinations(optional, I put in just a pinch of cinnamon, but I couldn't even really taste it)
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips ( or any other add-ins..nuts, seeds, dried fruit, whatever!) 
In a large bowl add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Stir to combine. Once this is combined add the remaining ingredients.
Once it’s all combined place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Then remove from the fridge, scoop out some dough and roll into a ball with your hands.  You can make these any size! Mine were probably a rounded tablespoon or just-smaller-than-ping-pong-ball-ish, and it made about 2 dozen.
If yours are too sticky you can consider adding more dry ingredients into them or rolling them in something like ground nuts, coconut, etc so they aren’t as sticky.  Place the balls in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy snacks! Ours is in the freezer, and we just grab one or two as a sweet but healthy snack when we desire! If they are too hard just out of the freezer, let it sit for just a couple minutes! De-lish!
Next up: Choco-Peanut butter Banana Ice cream!
It only takes 3 or 4 ingredients and it is great! I got this recipe from this blog! 
~Basically you freeze a banana. (It's easiest to freeze it in 1 inch chunks, rather than whole) 
~After it is firm, take the banana out of the freezer.
~Place it in your food processor. I tried it in my blender the first time because I cannot follow directions, and it was NOT as easy as the processor. So trust me on this one. 
~And process it until its smooth and creamy! It is good to even eat it like this!
~But it's BETTER if at the point you add about a tsp. of cocoa powder ( chocolate syrup would probably work, too) and also a spoon full of peanut butter! The amounts of cocoa powder and peanut butter can be altered depending on your preference)
~Process until well blended.
~ Place in your bowl! I then stirred  handful of mini-chocolate chips into it (for obvious reasons). 
photo credit:www.sophistimom.com

This is seriously really good, and you actually think you are splurging and eating a sweet not so healthy treat. Try it! The amounts I used makes one generous serving. So just multiply by how many servings you want, and you'll be good to go!

This post has been very peanut buttery and very mini-chocolate chippy, but thats good in my book! Let me know if you try either of these and how it turned out :-)