Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Stuff Blogs Are Made Of/Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #32

Hey there,

So I've been MIA recently.  Frankly its been a hard few weeks and I haven't felt like being honest about it and everything else felt pretty fake.  Nothing really serious (honestly!) - just a lot of little things that all seemed to happen at once.  But it is what it is and now we continue.


1) I am thankful for family time putting up our Christmas tree.  I am thankful for my little girls' handprints on ornaments that I can treasure for years to come, ornaments Grace got with her daddy, and ornaments that bring back memories.

2) I am thankful for low pressure Christmas shopping.  I now enjoy buying presents at great prices that make eyes light up...or making presents, or doing something thoughtful.  It makes Christmas more fun.

3) I am thankful for getting almost caught up on work.  I say that because I don't think I'll be truly caught up until my kids go to school everyday (if that ever happens!) but here's hoping! :) really, I've had a productive few days.

4) I'm thankful I can text my Doctor on a Sunday morning about a problem I have with the girls AND that she takes the time to pray about her answer before replying.

5) I am thankful my girls were troopers when they got their shots.  Also thankful Grace did a great job when she got blood drawn to check for allergies.  I know that was hard on her...and me.  But she did get two suckers in one day and A LOT of stickers!

6) I am thankful for a Grace-sized picnic table that sits in my office so she can color while I work...and maybe one day paint when she is trustworthy :)

7) I am thankful for awkward situations that bring much needed bonding at Bible study!

8) I am thankful for the song "How He Loves"...the lyrics just play in my head constantly.  Gracie-bug sings the Ohhhhh part with me (Ohhh He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves us, Ohhhh how He loves).

9) I am thankful that when asked "what song do you want to sing" the top three are ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle and Jesus Loves Me.  So sweet.

10) I am thankful for my dear friend's TWO babies due in April.

11) I am thankful for friends who let me cry.

12) I am thankful for the heater in my van that has settings other than on/off like my old truck.

13) I am thankful for my amazing little girls.

Ok, now I'm just getting sappy. 

I'm reminded that it isn't really about the things we accomplish or the great things we set out to do...but it is how we handle the little things, the small moments.  What is our response when the choice is to trust or be afraid?  What do we do when the option is to be crippled by fear or turn it over to the Lord?  Do we dwell on the things that we are thankful for or the things we wish we could change? 

Today, I'm choosing to dwell in Him and to be thankful for what is...and when I forget to be thankful, to go find my babies and give them a hug to remember again.

**My goal for December is to write about some family traditions we have surrounding the holidays!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Update

Hey there!

So this is a nutty weekend at the Teen Center so my Hubs is gone pretty much all weekend.  Last night I went to my parent's house to hang out with them and my cousins and Grace ended up spending the night.  This is the quietest Saturday morning I've had in awhile! 

It is now Saturday night and I figured I should finish writing my post :)   I... my office pretty clean.

...figured out a coupon system that would make me feel productive but not make me crazy.

...made sugar cookies and let my two year old help me decorate.  She did really good not eating all the cookies...not so good not licking her fingers.  We'll probably only give those to close family and friends ;)

...let my kid run around in underwear.  It was cute.

...made two batches of chocolate chip cookies (which feels pretty lame because I usually make six at a time)

...admired the 34 quarts of applesauce I made last weekend and never posted about.

...went to Meijer and used a new carrier that my kid apparently loved.

...remembered that I forgot to sign up to bring food for church and am now considering what is left in my kitchen that would be appropriate.  (Cookies?  Applesauce?)

...emailed some people.

...deposited a check. (You know you care!)

...danced with my babies.

...continued to contemplate if I should say "I have a 12 week old baby" on my jury duty notice.

...put the right plates on my new van. (ROCK ON)

...sent a picture of my daughter dancing in her underpants to my mom.

...gave the baby a bath.

...picked out clothes for them for tomorrow...which reminds me I need to move laundry.

...prayed a lot.

...found episodes of Covert Affairs on my tv that I haven't seen yet.

...talked to a friend.

...ate too many cookies.

...picked up lunch for Hubs and dropped it off which just makes me feel like a good wife.

...was reminded how quick my kids grow and how much I love them.

...made a mental note to get this DC trip planned.

...enjoyed finding peace in the moments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blogs I Read

Thought I'd do a quick list of blogs I read regularly...along with some quick notes.  That way when I don't keep you entertained enough you can check in with one of them!

1. Curious Georgi - we became friends during her family's stay in Dayton.  I still regularly ask for mom wisdom, tips for beating things like thrush and breastfeeding.  She does more than "mom" posts and keeps it real about life!

2. Moments With Love - I think she is awesome about sharing her mom moments, adoption stories and more.  I feel like a stalker because I don't know her but find her fascinating!

3. Life In A Shoe - she has 10 kids and has a lot of fun things to say!  I love reading about big families and how they do it all!  You will probably notice the big family thing tends to be a trend.

4. I'm A Lazy Mom - tips, recipes and tricks to help keep life simple!

5. Raising Olives - Another big family blog.  I don't always agree...although the disagreement tends to be more with the delivery then with the statements.

6. Parent Hacks - a fun blog with helpful tips!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #32

1. I am thankful that I can say to my husband "You're right and I'm wrong."  (He was totally right about how to use a word - a category I usually win but he totally got me on that one!)

2. I am thankful I finally figured out how to set up my blog for easy reading on my phone!

3. I am thankful that ya'll haven't left me (and by ya'll I mainly mean Morgan...if anyone else reads this feel free to leave a comment) even though right now I'm posting once, maybe twice a week.

4. I am thankful for some time last Sunday to take pictures of my baby girl.

5. I am thankful for yet another new medicine for Grace.  We have GOT to get this infection beat.  (Also thankful that God is showing me another area I could use some work in - PRAYER!)

6. I am thankful Hub watched the girls for a bit today so I could get some work done!

7. I am thankful for my new van!  Can I tell you, I am SO glad I joined the mom-van club.  It is driving my couch.  As I said last week, some people call it in the right place at the right time, I call it in His hands.

8. I am thankful for God's protection.  We have a couple crazy shows at our teen center this weekend and I am being thankful in advance that God is in control.

9. I am thankful for some sweet time with Miss Grace.  Now that there are two of them I LOVE taking her to the store or out to do something by herself.  We waited quite patiently for our turn on the horse at Meijer tonight and didn't fuss at all when it was time to leave!

10. I am thankful for some new prayer time.  I think acknowledging that I didn't pray enough led to more prayer.  Which led to wanting to pray more.  I love it.  I didn't end up reading Beth Moore's book again just yet but hope to do that one day too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How He Loves Us

They did this song at church today.  Makes me happy.

I am a terrible pray-er.  I just have a hard time focusing and every time I try so hard to not do a "to-do" list for God it still comes out that way.  Even the good things like "Show me your will." come out like commands.  I hate it.

Lately I have been trying to really pray during night time feedings or the early morning ones.  I need HIM.  I need Him to saturate my heart and mind.  My days and nights.  My conversations and my inner thoughts.  On my own I fall so short of what He desires from me.  It is SO easy to get caught up in myself when I am not caught up in Him.

Awhile ago I did the Whispers of Hope book by Beth Moore that has sections to write out daily prayer.  Off the top of my head I don't remember what her acronym stands for but it is something like

But I think she does PRAYER instead of PRAY. I need to pray.  I need Him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #31

1. I am thankful for a 3 hour nap for both my little girls AT THE SAME TIME!  That makes for one super productive me.  Of course, while I'm typing this Grace is waking up so I'm going to have to finish my list with her on my lap.

2. Super cuddly little girls who still like to be in their momma's lap! ;)

3. I'm thankful for time with my big kids, phone calls with friends who live far away and the encouragement of those around me.

4. I am thankful that because of leading our new Bible study (with two other awesome ladies) I am seeing lies in our society VERY plainly.  I love the new awareness of the message of music, tv and more that I have now.  It also makes me sad that I can't hear or watch anything anymore :)

5. I am thankful for two young ladies that want to come watch my kids on Saturday so I can make applesauce.  They are possibly the answer to my prayers for some new "big kids" for our family but we shall see, time will tell!

6. I am thankful that God uses the strangest of situations to prove Himself faithful.  Some people call it "in the right place at the right time", I call it in His hands.

7. I am thankful for a kids' room that rearranges well.  I once again moved furniture around so Grace was not by any windows.  Ugh.  That kid :)  She has been going to bed so well lately, I'm VERY proud of her!

8. I am thankful for medicines and therapies for my kiddos when they are sick.  We are still trying to beat Grace's infection and she has a cold now too but she is getting better and getting the help she needs.

9.  I am thankful for friends who ask what I'm doing (either right now or at a time in the future) because they want to come visit me!

10. I am thankful for a plan for my momma's birthday that includes breaking and entering, surprises and lots of sugar.

11.  I am thankful for "alone time" in my car last night where I got to rock out to "I Will Survive" and "Man I Feel Like A Woman"...really really loud. :D  I miss the 90s.

12.  I am thankful that I am only called to be me, I don't have to try to be everyone else too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Bigs and Littles

Grace and Amanda

Picture this - one of my big kids calls and wants to come over. We're past nap time (and focused work time) so I say sure, come on over! Through the day she runs errands with us, shares treats, watches the littles so I can vote and eats dinner with us (that Hubs surprised us with!). My littles were all smiles and giggles, I got to talk to my other big kid on the phone and made plans with two of my new big kids.  Super fun!

I love not only getting to work with teens at the events and Bible studies but to really allow them in and live my life in front of them.  It makes my heart happy to know that they get to see mommy love toward the kiddos and love between Aaron and I.  A lot of them don't have positive role models and while we are not perfect it is a joy to give them a glimpse of what could be!

Pray for my family if you will as we live in front of them.  It is a great chance to influence their lives but also a spotlight on flaws and shortcomings.  I am also contemplating a new blog (or an additional blog) that I feel like I can make public for them to be a part of and read...but still praying that one out.

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And then I sit down to write...

Throughout my day my kids do funny things or I have a God moment or I read something that catches my attention and I think "BLOG POST".  I start writing in my head, the words are flowing.  It is eloquent and catchy.  Then I sit down to write.  All the thoughts go out the window and I'm left thinking, hmmm, I know I had something to say.  Ah well.

I've been thinking a lot this week about emotions.  We talked last night at Bible study about how if we put too much worth into other people and their opinions of us we are sinning by making someone else's opinion more important that God's.  I agree with that - what God thinks of me is more important and I shouldn't be hindered by what other people say about me or how they act toward me.

Then I got my feelings hurt.  Twice.  In one day.  Bad.  I was so ready to quit.  To give up.  I'm one of those people where if I'm offended I don't even want to look at the person who offended me.  If someone thinks lowly of me I do not want to see them, talk to them or have anything to do with them.  It is so "easy" to just cut them out of my life rather than deal with it.  I almost think it is a twisted form of self preservation...I just don't want to be hurt more.

One of those situations I just have to let go.  I have to allow myself to heal and move on.  I can't keep holding onto it, replaying the conversation and stirring up the hurt.  The other situation I talked to the person about...but can I tell you? it still hurts. 

Why do we care so much about our value in other people's eyes?  I am amazed by the insecurity I find in myself still and maybe one day I will overcome it.  Until then, I will rest in this truth:

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

And this one:

Luke 12:25
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #30

Here are my QUICK thankfuls - I have a babysitter so gotta get some work done!!

1. I'm thankful for a phone that let's me email myself so I can write thankfuls while holding a sleeping baby and "watching" Blue's Clues.

2. A babysitter tomorrow morning so I can catch up!  (And she brought Starbucks!)

3. A doctor appointment for Grace tomorrow...gotta get rid of this diaper rash.

4. Baby smiles.

5. Christmas shopping!  So excited this year - have I mentioned that? (Still NEED to make applesauce!)

6. An end in sight to the crazy hours.

7. Showing teens how the Bible really does apply to their lives in specific ways.

8. A lovely comment left on a facebook picture that totally made my day (week?).

9. A good nights rest last night (relatively speaking :)

10. Going to sleep listening to the quiet breathing of my two little girls.