Monday, July 30, 2012

My Heart is Full...

It is in those insane moments,

(say for example when you are laid-over at a busy airport with a double stroller the size of a small house, two babies under age two, and four carry on bags!) :)

that the love and privilege of family transcends all of the meltdowns, tiredness and chaos of life and reminds me just how blessed I am.

As I watch my husband lovingly soothe our toddler or feel him kiss my head and remind me that he loves me, just after we the ones who are supposed to be the grown-ups  have both just melted down ourselves, my heart wells up.  I look at my two little girls and my husband and think, about how much I love my little family.

We don't have a perfect life, or a glamorous one, but we have each other.  We have a love that transcends failure and we are a team.  I look at the three of them, ponder the miracle that they are, and my heart swells with joy and gratitude.

In a quiet second I take it all in.

I let out a sigh,

 and thank God

for the unexpected gift

of my precious little family.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spoiled with Encouragement?

Can you over encourage a child?

Can you give them too much praise?

 Have you ever heard the statement that if you give a kid too much positive affirmation then they will become dependent on, or that you can spoil a baby with too much love? 

I am not psychologist and do not claim to be.  I have no PHD, and have not spent countless hours pouring through literature on the psyche of a child.  I am simply a mom.  A mom with limited experience, but who watches her children's signals and pays attention to the promptings in her spirit.  I am a mom who prays for and seeks parenting wisdom daily.  I don't claim to know much on the subjects of children and parenting, except for that which life has taught me. With that disclaimer in-tact, I would like to share with you some of my own humble thoughts on the topic of encouraging our children...

See my thoughts over at Come and break bread where I am contributing today.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hi friends,

Sadly I am having some computer troubles, so blogging has been a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated it would be during this time.  Please hang in there with me and know that you are on my heart.

Little did I know it that this summer vacation would turn out to be a "blog-vacation" as well.  This really is a blessing in disguise because I think that I needed to take a step back from blogging in order to gain some refreshment and perspective.  It has also has allowed me to simmer in some uninterrupted time with family, and catch up on sleep - two things I was desperately needing!

So with that said, stay tuned...I have lots brewing in this little mama heart of mine, I just need to find the time, and the computer availability to share it with you.  I love all of you, my faithful readers and am so thankful that you have come to visit my quiet little corner of the blogosphere.  If you are new here, please stay awhile and visit some of my older posts.  If you are an old friend, know that I am having a marvelous and relaxing vacation and will soon come back to you rested and rebooted.  Also, keep your eyes open for my first post as a contributor at Come and break bread coming up on July 25th!!! - So excited!

Praying for and Missing you.

"I thank my God every time I remember you" 
Philippians 1:3

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

 "Well I've packed my bags, I'm ready to go....

I don't know how the rest of the song goes....
( still singing in the tune of the song)

de dum de dum de dum de dum dum du-um....

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

Don't know when I'll be back again..."

Except I do know when I will be back again,

My bags are not packed and I am not even close to ready to go!

Just 2 more days until our fam heads off to hubby's home town
for 16 marvelous days of R&R and summer fun!

I am so excited!!!!

 It's just the days leading up to it that are making me feel like I am caught up in a tornado.

My to do list is a MILE long.

My laundry pile is the size of mount Everest.

and there are a million things going on around here!

I am so distracted, 

and I have NO idea how I am going to get it all done!

The ache of mommy guilt is eating at me.

I need to spend
 some delicious quality time with my babes.

I'll catch you on the flip side, 
when the frenzie is over 
and I have some glorious, vacationtastic 
down time to share with you some of the things that are on my heart.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Honest Look At Family Life and Motherhood

Hey friends!

I am super excited to tell you that today,

 I am guest posting over at Life of a Pint-Sized Mama!

Wanna know what the "Pint-Sized Mama" and I are chatting about?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Southwest Style Chili

Hey good lookin!' What's cookin'?

Today I am sharing with you some yum delish chili that is a favorite in our house.

I even took a picture of it, aren't you proud of me! :)

The original recipe for this chili is vegetarian, but I add ground beef to it.  You can do it whichever way your little heart desires.


1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce

2 medium bell peppers
 ( for looks, I use two different colored peppers)

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained

1 can (15 0z) red kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained

1 can (14 1/2 oz )  Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tbsp chili powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tsp ground cumin

1/2 Tsp salt

optional: up to 1 LB ground beef 

Slow Cooker Directions
put all the ingredients (except beef) into slow cooker

stir until well blended

cover and cook on low 6-61/2 hours 
or high 3-3/12 hours 
or until vegetables are tender

while the chili is slow cooking, cook the hamburger on a skillet

drain fat

  add cooked hamburger to slow cooker towards the end of desired cooking time

This chili is seriously SO good and makes for great leftovers!  We will make a batch for dinner and then eat it for lunches a couple of days following. 

It's a  party in you mouth ;-)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemaker's Confessional: Confession # 2

Occasionally I have those glorious, wonderful, heavenly, angels singing in the background kind of days where all of our laundry is washed, folded and put away.

And then, there is the rest of the time...

which leads me to my second homemaking confession.

Let me put it this way, Bennet isn't sleeping in her crib yet but that doesn't mean that the crib is not getting plenty of use in our house.

This is where our clean laundry has been ending up...

I know it is terrible and so embarrassing!

But I have gotten to a point where I am learning to relax about it and am trying to stop apologizing for it every time someone walks through my door.

Not because I have given up on my attempt at staying ahead of the laundry game,

but because I refuse to allow my utter laundry failure to be a petree dish that cultivates condemnation in my home.

I have done it for too long and I am stopping!
(or at least trying to stop anyway)

I read a blog post from Sarah Mae a while back where she asked the question "what are you doing to guard your children from shame?"

That question really stuck with me, and I have been pondering it ever since.

What am I doing to guard my children from shame?

A lot of personal conviction has come along with the answers to this question.

Mostly because I realized that the easiest way to let shame into my home isn't necessarily by shaming my children, I try to be very conscious of protecting them in that regard.

But what about letting shame into my home, by shaming myself?
Or worse, shaming my husband?

Now these are two areas where those little shame foxes can creep right on into my home
and no one notices because we are too busy guarding the opposite fence.

I have greater influence on my children than probably any other person on this planet will.  How I view myself and my sin in relation to God will most likely influence how they view themselves and their own sin in relation to him as well.

My children learn from my example. They learn how to love God, others, and themselves from me before anyone else.  Am I viewing myself and my circumstances correctly?

Do I let the things that are out of my control
or areas where I am lacking cause me forget to that God is in control and that he loves me regardless of my imperfections?

If I want to teach my children that God's love and atonement for sin are unconditional, then I have to live that truth out in my own life; in every area of my life.

How can I guard my children from shame if I am not guarding myself from it?

If a mom always pretends she is perfect, and never deals with her sin, then her kids will probably always feel shame because they will not know how to handle it when their own inadequacy inevitably slaps them in the face. They will have a difficult time understanding that imperfection is a normal part of life that must confronted and left at the cross.

Contrarily, if  I am constantly allowing my shortcomings to consume me, then I am also welcoming shame to consume me as well.  If I am doing this, then I am definitely not guarding my home from shame and not giving my children an accurate view of who God is and what he did for me and them on the cross. 

I am a sinner! 
My kids will see that no doubt!
 I have a responsibility to acknowledge and carry that sin to the cross before the eyes of my children; to acknowledge in front of them that God is greater than my sin and theirs!

This is living out the gospel before them, and if I am not living it, then all the bible teaching and testimony in the world is not going to hold any weight in their eyes. 

I have a responsibility to find my identity in my creator and not in the lie that my imperfections are too great for me to be who God says I am. 

He thought me up.

He created me.

He died for every sin I have and will commit.

He took my shame and my children's shame.

Therefore He and He alone has the last word about who I am!

If I want to keep the doors of my children's hearts barred against shame,
I must first keep my own heart guarded against it.

 (I also have to refrain from letting my insecurities drive me to inadvertently shame my husband, but that is a whole nother post)

I totally have a huge laundry problem!

But that doesn't change the fact that God sees in me a women who is trying her darndest at this whole wife/mother/ homemaker thing.

For that, He is proud of me.

I am still in process, and have a long way to go with all of this,
but the next time someone comes over and the laundry has accumulated in the crib, or some other strange place...

I can try to simply shrug my shoulders,

sigh at the laundry pile,

and acknowledge it in a way that says, "hey, it doesn't make or break me."

Then, I will do my best to serve that guest with some dynamite hospitality.

What will they remember more?

The pile of laundry in my baby's crib

or the hot cup of tea and refreshing conversation that took place in the next room?

So, You

 wonderful beloved of God lady,

know that no one has it all together!

That is a myth we have created in our minds.

Whether you are a laundry diva, or laundry challenged like myself,

You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you 
are not alone in your struggles!

And You know what?

Laundry or not,

I'll bet your kids,

your hubby,

and the other people in your life who love you,

Think you're the greatest!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bennet & the Wedding Weekend

If  Bennet could talk she would say,

"Excuse me Mom, why isn't there a picture of me from the wedding, in your Wedding Weekend post?"

Sorry Bennet, here it is...
Her job at the wedding?

...Being cute.

Great work baby girl!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wedding Weekend

Here is what I've been up to this weekend...

Doing makeup for this beautiful lady on her big day

Helping my sweet Ella and her adorable little friends Jack, Chloe & Lucy as flower girls & ring bearer

My handsome hubby standing up with the groom

And celebrating with this amazing couple as they joined their lives in matrimony

We felt so priviledged to be a part of their special day

It was a BUSY weekend but worth every second!

Congratulations Erin & Jeridan!

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