Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy First Birthday Sweet Grant!

You've changed so much in a year...


You were my first all natural birth.  No medication, just lots of movement and prayer throughout the day.  You were also our largest baby weighing in at a beautiful nine pounds one ounce.  You came with chub and I loved every roll and crevice.  More to kiss.  More to love.  Your Daddy and I looked at you after they said your gender and size and both agreed your name would be Grant Douglas.  Such a strong name for such a big boy.  You were also born on your due date:  August 31st, 2011!


You went right into your crib straight from the hospital.  Daddy was a little worried about it and I thought you might end up in our room, but you didn't.  God has a sense of humor because I thought that this would automatically make you a stellar sleeper.  Not so much... you still don't sleep through the night.


  
You love to snuggle and your grin lights up any room.  Your strong willed nature cracks me up and your determination is fierce already.  You were an early crawler and you will walk when you good and well feel like it (smirk).


You adore your Daddy and do the book-it-crawl to his feet when he walks through the door after a long day at work.  Your face lights up and so does his.  You cross your little feet at your ankles and grab onto your toes.  I adore you.




You are loved and cherished, our dear third child!  We can't believe a year has come and gone so quickly.  Happy Birthday sweet boy!



Change: Five Minute Friday

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Have A Messy Floor




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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You Don't Have To Be The You You've Always Been

Do you think you are stuck being defined by the "you" you've defined yourself as in your mind?  Because our minds can preach lies and the deception can suffocate and drown us.  The condemnation of our past can whisper loudly into our ears; but not nearly as loud as the guilt of the present day.  Before you even step out of bed, you have claimed your defeat.  You have waved your white flag of surrender and imagined your endless failures.

What if you started thinking differently today?  What if you have a little bonfire in that mind of yours, write down all those negative thoughts, crumple them in tight fist, and send them ablaze, never to be found again.

I believe God wants you to have a fresh start.  Maybe the thing that is holding you back from the change in your life is YOU.  Are you your own worst enemy?

Let's realize something... God's grace is free and it is free today!  Don't waste another day preaching condemnation to yourself.

*Romans 8:1-8

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh,could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.



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Monday, August 27, 2012

Here's My Plan For Losing 20 Pounds



As I said in THIS POST, you can lose 20 pounds by November 4th if you lose 2 pounds a week.  Realistically that sounds easy.  2 pounds a week.  No biggy.  Well, it's kind of a big deal for people like me who gain the 2 pounds back they lost during the week, on the weekend.  So that is why you need to write out a plan for yourself!

Here's mine:

1) Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.  I do love water but sometimes I forget to drink it.
2) Try to eat 6 small meals a day.  This keeps my metabolism revving.  Well, not revving, but moving at some sort of pace.  
3) Eat a lot more protein, fruits, and veggies.  Whole foods is what my body responds to.
4) Just say no to refined sugar and grains.  Refined sugars and grains leaves me sluggish, depressed, and miserable.  Not to mention it packs on the flab.
5) Limit the caffeine.  I have come to find that caffeine tends to make me angry and unsettled.  It alters my blood sugar in a way that is no good for this gal.    
6) No eating after 8 pm.  Not eating after 8 gives me structure and keeps me from mindless eating after the kids go to bed.
7) Walk 3-4 times a week.  I will find time to walk outside or do Leslie Sansone's walking DVDs.
8) Stay focused on the weekends.  Like many of you have said, weekends are a downfall.  I will not let myself get lax on the weekends.
9) Weigh in on Sundays.  Weigh in once a week.
10) Track your pounds lost (and gained)!  This will keep me accountable.

Feel free to blog about your plan and link up below in the comments.  Or just comment with your plan :-)

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Important Of Creating Vivid Memories For Our Children


Vivid.  Having the appearance of vigorous life or freshness.  Producing a strong or clear impression on the senses: producing distinct mental images.



The smell of country apple body spray.  Breathing in the freshness of pine cones; the kind that leave the tips of  your fingers sticky, and take you to a childhood fire, wrapped up in blanket on the eve of Christmas.  The feel of soft cotton robe pulled up above lips, caressing cheeks back and forth.



There are smells, touches, sounds... evoking memories, buried deep within, that come rising to the surface.  Some, I sit and day dream about, never wanting to wake up.  Others, I rip the blinds closed, blacking out any remembrance.  



I want my little babes to remember sweet, special memories of our home.  I want each smell, each touch, each sound to give them an abundance of a precious storehouse of memories.  I want the grace of God to dance upon their minds, and recall His faithfulness and mercy.



And so, with each day, lifted to God as an offering of sweet-smelling praise, I will seek to create an atmosphere of peace in our home.  No loud voices that damage little souls.  No harsh tones that breakdown and crush spirits.  Arms wrapped around with love, Christ's unconditional love spilled forth.


VIVID MEMORIES that will last a lifetime.  May they always look back, and never want to wake up.


By no means am I perfect in this parenting journey.  There are sometimes loud voices, harsh tones, and will you forgive Mommy moments.  I'm a work in progress... and the Lord is so very gracious.




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For Your Sunday


Linking with:
Jumping Tandem
Scripture & A Snapshot
Fresh Brewed Sundays

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Twenty Pounds




Twenty pounds.  
That's how much I want to lose by November 4th.
That's 2 pounds a week.

It always sounds easy on paper but when you are surfing pinterest late at night while your hubby is away at a live football draft and all the yummy food is all up in your face, sometimes you just have to go upstairs and fill your bowl with cookie dough ice cream and pour some Hershey's sauce all over it.

Yeah... sometimes.

I think I'm going to write a big 20 on the palm of my hand, on my bathroom mirror, on my fridge, and maybe I'll even stick a post it note on my computer while I'm surfing pinterest.

Here's my plan:

Sunday, Sept. 2nd- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, Sept. 9th- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, Sept. 16th- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, Sept 23rd- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, Sept. 30th- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, October 7th- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, October 14th- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, October 21st- lose 2 pounds
Sunday, October 28th- lose 2 pounds
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4th- REACH GOAL OF 20 POUNDS LOST!

I know I can do it.  It will take a lot of hard work.  Determination.  God's strength!  I need to learn to forgo what I want in the moment for what I really want... to be comfortable in the skin God gave me.

Until then, I'll learn to be content.  And smile a lot.  And be thankful for where I'm at now.

What about you?  Do you have a goal?  Writing out your plan may help you.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Home Education vs. A School Building... How do you know?


*This post has been updated with bible verses at the bottom.

There is a war going on as strong as any political debate.  Points are made.  Words are spoken as if set in stone by our Creator.  Believe me, I totally understand why you Home Educate.  I love fact that you can be with your little ones as they grow into maturity... equipping, training, and teaching them.  But where it becomes a war is when we say that it is the way it should be for everyone.

There's a part of me that is exited for the school year to begin.  I thrive on routine.  I'm looking forward to a break... shhh.  But a bigger part of my heart aches for my daughter to be away from me all day.  Last year she was in half day Kindergarten, and this year she is going to be in full day first grade.  Man, where did the time go...

So how do you know whether to home educate or send your children to school?  

1) Prayer.  Lots of it.  Where do you find peace and rest in Him?
2) What Does Your Husband Think?  As the leader of your home, he should ultimately make the final decision after you have both prayed and considered all options.
3) Don't Listen To The Crowd.  Do what is best for your own family.  
4) Always Stay Current With Your Child.  Whether they are away from you in school, or within your own home, there are opportunities for gaps in communication and heart exchange.  Be the one to keep your heart conversations current and alive.  
5) Take A Hearty Evaluation Yearly.  Just because you send your kids to school this year, does not mean that you may do it next year.  You may home educate and vice versa. 

*I was challenged to support my decision with biblical proof, as I do believe that God's Holy Word is inerrant and sufficient to answer any decision that we have in life.  While every area is not black and white, the whole of scripture is consistent and does not contradict.  While searching out the scripture this morning, at first, I was going to make points for either side (home education verses and school verses).  But then, God showed me in His Word that these verses apply to both sides!  See for yourself:

1) Romans 14. FREEDOM
Read the whole chapter.  This is such a good section of the bible that talks about liberty we have in Christ.  It makes the point that we aren't to quarrel over personal decisions.  We are NOT to pass judgement upon another believer.  It says, "each one should be fully convinced in their own mind".  I know this chapter is specifically addressing food and drink and not causing your brother to stumble, but it also addresses more as a whole.  There is freedom in the area of schooling our children.  

2) John 16:7-15. PERSONAL CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In this passage God makes it very clear that Jesus went away and left to the believer (those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ) the Holy Spirit.  This person of the trinity lives within every Christian convicts each person of personal sin, of what is righteous, and what areas to judge ourselves before the Lord.  This is where people speak of "I feel that this is what we should do".  We should not go by our feelings, but maybe we could phrase it better to say:  "the Spirit has confirmed this in my life based upon His Word."  The Holy Spirit will never tell you something in addition to God's Word.  His job is to glorify the Father, so all will agree.  So, each family after prayer and bible reading and conviction of the Holy Spirit should make their own decision upon what to do for schooling.

3) 2 Timothy 3:14-17.  PARENTS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY SPIRITUAL ROLE
No matter if you send your child to school or keep them home to teach them "education", the first and foremost thing that will change any heart is the Holy Scriptures.  We need to be the ones as parents to instill these truths into their lives.  To memorize scripture with them.  To sing songs of praise.  To bring them to church.  To model before them biblical discernment in the way we interact as parents.  Just as church should not take the primary spiritual role in our children's lives, school should not either.  Take every opportunity to minister to your children.  Every experience can be a life lesson of God's goodness and grace!

4) 1 Timothy 4:12.  DON'T DESPISE YOUTH
Don't ever underestimate what a child can do for the Lord.  The Lord can use a child in a person's life, just as much as He can use an adult.  Yes, they don't have a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom as of an adult, but if they know the Lord as Savior, He can use them mightily.

5) Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:7.  WE SHOULD BE TRAINING AND TEACHING OUR CHILDREN

We should be and can train and teach our children. Take and make every opportunity count.  Some people take these verses and use them as an argument of why you should only home educate.  I see that these verses apply to whatever decision you make.  Be creative!  Don't become apathetic and disengaged with your children if you send them to school.  Likewise, even if your child is home there is a spiritual discipline that needs to occur day after day the same way.  It may even be more of a challenge to not let bitterness get the upper hand.  

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Can Others Tell?



ACTS 4
13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 

I want to live in such a way that others can say, "I recognize she has been with Jesus."  There is a difference in our life when we have met with Jesus.  Communed with Him.  A fellowship that causes worship to occur as natural as breathing.

For being with friends or coworkers or family can never change us from the inside out the way Jesus will.  Have you met with Him today?  

Have your fingers been stained by the blood written words?

Has your heart been convicted by the One who can change?

Has your mind been purified from all that is untrue?

Have your words been filtered with sweetness instead of hardness?


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Ways To Enlarge Your Child's Heart



We have their hearts, but for a moment.  As my firstborn daughter found this little treasure on our nature walk the other day, I was reminded of this.  It's kind of special that there were  3 hearts, one for each babe of mine.

What will I do with these hearts?  Will I spend my days pushing them aside, speaking harsh words, crushing them with my apathy?  Because there is a temptation to be apathetic when raising children... to rush through our days and just grow bodies instead of hearts.  

Bodies grow with food and water, hearts grow with love and purpose.  

5 WAYS TO ENLARGE YOUR CHILD'S HEART




1) Don't rush through your days, look for moments to make your child's heart smile.  Each person wants to feel special.  You do.  I do... so does your child.  Find special ways to pull each child aside in your day and show them they are special.

2) Give lots of affection... hearts grow big and bright this way.  Find ways to hug and kiss and love on your child each day.  Their hearts grow big and bright in an instant... just watch their face light up first!

3) Speak the words... I love you, often.  Tell your kids you love them.  Maybe it's hard for you to do this.  Just start... and keep at it... even (and especially) in the frustrating parental moments.  Stop. Say it.  Let the grace calm the chaos.

4)  Give them gifts.  There will be moments for material gifts, but the gift of yourself... over and over, is what your child truly craves.

5)  Compliment them every day.  If you had to evaluate your words spoken to your children, they would most likely be things like don't do that, and why would you do such a thing?  Training is important, but compliments and praise go twice as far.

How do YOU enlarge your child's heart?

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

30 Day Photography Challenge! Join Me?

Over the next 30 days, find time to capture one of these things each day.  Check off your list as you are inspired... no need to go in order.  Start this Monday, August 20th and come back and share your photos September 18th!  I will pick my TOP 10 favorite photos - you could be featured here!


Day 1:    Self Portrait
Day 2:    Black & White
Day 3:    Childhood Memory
Day 4:    Clouds
Day 5:    A Child/Children
Day 6:    Fruit
Day 7:    Something Green
Day 8:    Something Red
Day 9:    Sunset
Day 10:  Hands
Day 11:  Close Up
Day 12:  From A High Angle
Day 13:  From A Low Angle
Day 14:  An Animal
Day 15:  Someone You Love
Day 16:  Something You Are Passionate About
Day 17:  An Action Shot
Day 18:  A Couple Who Is Engaged
Day 19:  A Stack Of Books
Day 20:  Something Old
Day 21:  A Newborn Baby
Day 22:  A Bride
Day 23:  A Picture Of Water
Day 24:  Shoes
Day 25:  From A Distance
Day 26:  Inspirational
Day 27:  Something Romantic
Day 28:  Laughter
Day 29:  Sepia Photo
Day 30:  A Reflection

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Got To Meet A Blogging Friend Today!

We are kindred spirits, her and I.  I met her through blogging (Becky from Daye By Daye) and found out through a common interest, Wegmans grocery store, that we actually live only 20 minutes apart!  She has three kids, {girl, boy, boy} and I have three kids, {girl, boy, boy}.  Her son Gibson and our son Carson are only a month apart!  They came over today for a play date.  I asked the kids, do you think it's weird that we've never met?  They told me no and how it's so awesome and neat that we have a common bond in Jesus.  His blood unites us and His grace danced over us today.

God's so good to bring special new friends into our lives just when we need it.  I needed it.  Our kiddos hit it off right away.  We had coffee, brunch, played at a local playground, and had ice cream on the back patio.  Becky even got to dance with our littlest, Grant.  Such a special day!  Thank you Jesus, you are so good to us.










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