Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snickers! Our New Dog!

Steve is in love with her. Snickers is an almost 6 month old Mastiff/German puppy. She has the biggest paws, so we know she is going to be huge when she grows into them.
She is really mellow for a puppy. She lays around a lot and doesn't get too excited.
The little ones adore her and she is so good with them!
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Fire Bugs!

I just had to laugh and grabbed my camera. One of Steve's favorite lines in "Castaway" is when Tom Hanks finally makes his fire. He starts dancing around it and says "Look what I have created! Fire!!! I have created, fire!" The picture below shows Marcus and Him yelling it at the top of their lungs! The picture above is Steve showing Marcus how to get "low" to get away from the heat. You can't see it, but Steve has the garden hose in his hand. Hey, it's never too early to start training them to be firefighters! I love to see Steve play around with the kids. They will have such great memories of their crazy dad.


The Boy's Room (Before and After)

This is the boy's room. We had one boy on top and two on the bottom and Jessica in a toddler bed (which she was outgrowing fast!) The brown dresser was Josh's (right hand side and was full of who knows what!) We took out these beds and replaced them with two identical bunk beds (expect the color) that we got a screaming good deal on!
I only had to buy one new comforter (the camo one for Marcus), and three sets of sheets. I can't believe how much room is left when we put the brown dresser in the closet.
We took the doors off their closet and organized it as such. Josh's clothes are in the left three drawers, Marcus has the right three doors. They each have a plastic sock and underwear bin on top of the brown dresser. Andrew has the three plastic drawers on the floor and I was still able to put their suitcases stacked on the right hand side of the closet. My goal today is to go through hang up clothes. It's out of control and they rarely use them. I don't even know what fits them anymore. With the doors off the closet, again, they can't hide anything. I'm hoping this will help control the Lego messes that I find everywhere! Jacob keeps wanting to climb on top of all the bunk beds, though. I'm having to watch him like a hawk. He knows how to open doors now and turn lights on. Oh my, we are just getting started aren't we? LOL!
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Jessica's Room (Before and After)

BEFORE: T.V. was in the corner on a card table, the trundle bed was breaking apart. Andrew's clothes were in the drawers, so we had to get him some plastic bins to put them in. The bottom trundle bed was really uncomfortable for adults.
AFTER: We put the boys' old bunk beds in Jessica's room and put the toddler bed in there as well. Despite it being a full size bed on the bottom bunk, it still looks pretty roomy with her dresser being in the closet. Eventually, I'll get rid of the Strawberry shortcake theme and get something a little more boyish for Jacob when he is ready for the toddler bed. Right now this room serves as a guest room. After baby moves into the nursery, this will be Jacob's room. If we have a girl, this will be the girl's room.
Here is the closet. We took off the closet doors (it just made it easier to hide toys and junk in. We burned Jessica's dresser (the one that that was top heavy and fell on her) and gave her Marcus' old one. I hate the stickers, but oh well. We put the TV on top of it, but we will reinforce it somehow even though it feels very stable. We went through all Jess's clothes and got rid of a bunch of stuff she had outgrown or just didn't wear. It feels much more manageable now. Most of the kid's toys are in the playroom/nursery. That will be the next room I try to organize.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stacie's French Toast Casserole

Stacie's French Toast Casserole

You'll need enough whole wheat bread to fill up at 9x13 casserole pan. Maybe 8 cups? We use the heels of our loaves, since no one likes them much. I just have a bag in the freezer. When it fills up, then I make this casserole. So put bread in first, then add fruit if you like. I like chopped up apples, or blueberries or even dried cranberries.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mix together:
8 eggs
3 to 4 cups of milk or cream
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Pour over top. Bake at 350 (covered) until toothpick comes out clean. Do not OVER BAKE! Perhaps 45 minutes?

I usually let it sit overnight, so I can just pop it in in the morning.

We pour maple syrup over the top when serving, but we've done whipped cream, too. Sorry this is not very specific, but I just kind of made it up and I don't measure very often as you can see!

You Picked a Good Dad!



Jessica was so cute yesterday. She is going to be six in May and I think she is really starting to think things through. We were sitting on the couch reading yesterday when out of the blue she said, "Mom, you picked a good dad."

I said, "You mean husband?"

She said, "Yeah, he knows God."

Wow! She is really hearing me when I talk about what kind of husband she should be seeking when she is older. I also love the fact that she recognizes her dad's relationship with God. Steve talks about God so much more now. She sees him reading his One Year Bible every day that he is home. He is more comfortable using examples out of the Bible because he knows the stories so much better. He is using God's Word to teach and admonish our children. I see him doing it with Andrew now, too. Andrew seems to be the child less interested in spiritual things then the rest.

On that note, I was surprised when my friend, Toni, said that during AWANA, Andrew knew the answers several times to the questions asked during Bible time. I was shocked! I really didn't think he paid much attention when I talk and read about the Lord. So I am pleased that God's Word is not returning void and that it is getting into his little head!

As for life in general...

Steve and I were able to go on another "date" yesterday! Thanks to Candy (my old neighbor and friend). We dropped the kiddos off with her and went to look for sales on bunk beds and mattresses. We found two metal, matching bunk beds for only $174 a piece and then we had to buy four twin mattresses. We found two for $98 a piece and then we got some better quality ones for the older kids to take them into their teen years for $150 a piece. We were just looking, but for that price, we didn't want to lose it because it was on clearance. We are getting our tax return probably within 2 weeks, so we put it on our Mastercard. Then we'll pay it off as soon as the returns comes. It felt so good to have that done! We had so much fun running around trying out couches and dreaming about which ones we liked. Then we went to KMart to see if we could organize their dressers a little differently. We ended deciding that we could take off all the closet doors in the kid's rooms and utilize that space better with the dressers we have. I was pleased! The kids are so excited to get their own bed, but still be in the same room. I think we will have to run to KMart and let them pick out their own twin sheet set. It will be fun to see what kind of theme they pick out. I remember when I was a little girl and Mom got us a set of new flannel sheets. I felt like a queen in that bed!

So today, we are going to pick up all of the bunk beds and mattresses and my job will be to keep the kids out of Steve's hair while he puts three bunk beds together! We are moving the boy's bunk bed into Jessica's room and we are going to have to burn the broken trundle bed. The boy's bunk is a twin on top and a double on the bottom, so there is NO WAY it will fit without breaking it down. Poor Steve. I can't do much to help either. Andrew is going to want to help Steve so bad. Steve was talking about letting Andrew help as long as he obeys. I think Andrew would just love being around all those tools!

We will have four kids in the big bedroom, and then Jessica's room will sleep three, plus we will have Jacob's toddler bed in there ready for him when he is ready. The baby will still have it's own room in the nursery. I am hoping for a girl, so that Jessica will have a sister to share her room, and then Jacob and her can trade eventually. I would love to get Jessica back into her adorable PINK room that I so lovingly painted for her. She hates being away from her brothers and does not want to be by herself.

I got sleep last night and it was so nice. God totally got me through yesterday (I had had about 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before). I never lost it once on the kids and I didn't feel exhausted all day. Only God could do that!

I made a French Toast casserole for breakfast last night, so I was able to pop it into the oven this morning. It smells so good baking! It's so easy and a great way to use the heels of your WW bread. None of us really like the heels that much, so this has been a good alternative.

I think we are going to have leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole for dinner tonight and then tomorrow we will have a yummy ham dinner. I got a spiral cut ham for half off after Christmas. I use the leftovers for soups, pizzas and casseroles.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

31 Weeks and Counting!



Since I'm up with insomnia, I thought I would give you a little update on the pregnancy and who knows where I might go from there (after all it is 2:30 in the morning).

I am doing pretty well. These last 10 weeks are the hardest weeks for me. I tend to question God a lot and ask Him why He had to call me to do this and if I truly am capable. I have to go back to my Bible a lot and look at my journal to be reminded of the promises that He has given me through the years as I've sought His Will for my life. Many promises jump out at me, "Lean on me", "My Grace is Sufficient for you", and "I am training you" come to mind. I have had these things prophesied over me by people who never even knew me or my situation.

I am reminded that sometimes God asks us to do things that are not easy. They are hard and they are physically painful at times. My pubic bone feels like it is splitting in two. It is starting to affect my walking and the amount I can sit. I know it is a temporary thing, though. As soon as I have the baby my goal will be to take Motrin and rest as much as possible. When I'm nursing full time I get an excuse to sit down and put my feet up!

The impending labor starts to freak me out a little. I KNOW how painful it can be and I'm going to try to do it naturally again. I've had three natural births, one epidural that worked, and one that did not. I know I can't get out of it now! LOL! I just have to remember how much I'm looking forward to seeing and holding this little one.

I've been praying a lot lately about the health of this child. I am praying that all will be well this time. That I will be able to hold my baby right away and bond with him or her by nursing it. I do not want to have to have the baby away from me at all this time.

I am praying that my doctor will be on duty when I do go into labor. He has delivered 4 out of 5 of our children and we have a real bond with him. He doesn't question me and knows I know my own body. I appreciate that so much. He is also very good about helping you not tear and is very patient with me when I start to fall apart during labor.

So a little more about life in general...

Tae Kwan Do is now in the middle of the day instead of during dinner hour which has been a huge blessing! They will get fitted for their uniforms on Saturday. We found out they are around$25 a piece, which is cheaper then I guessed so I was pleased about that. Steve took them this Monday for the first time and enjoyed watching them. Apparently, Jeremy (the instructor) thinks Jessica is just the cutest thing when she yells her TKD (Tae Kwan Do) yells. Steve works with the kids almost every day on their stretching and their moves. I'm so glad, because I haven't the slightest interest in it!

Josh's ACTS (Acclaiming Christ Through Sports) is giving him the MVP award on Saturday. He is a faithful attender and has done a great job winning the games they play. He really looks forward to going on Saturdays and it has been great for him. He is going to attend the HUGE Superbowl Bash on Sunday at the church. There is tons of food, games, bounce house, ect. and then they present a message during half time. They also cut out all the commercials so they don't get exposed to anything inappropriate. He is old enough to where I can just drop him off. It's so nice!

Marcus has come down with a cold. He went to his little job at Grandma Regina's and came back sniffling. I'm making him take it easy.

Steve took half the day off today, so he'll only work from eight at night until eight in the morning on Thursday. We got a Survivorman DVD from Netflix and he is really excited about teaching the kids how to use their heads and think outside the box. I watched one episode last night and was really impressed at the guy. It is really clean as well and VERY educational.

Homeschooling is going fairly well. I've been more consistent this year then any other year and I think it is paying off. We work on holidays and such, so that I can be able to take off a month when the baby comes in April. Josh is still working with Trudy, but it will not be as much. Our benefactor was unable to continue to pay for it, so we are cutting back to 3 hours a week. Trudy will really start concentrating on math. I also had some good news! I don't have to get him tested every year. I just have to have a note from Trudy that says he's improving. This has taken a load of stress off of me as I thought test time was approaching fast. It will also save us $45 as that is what the testing costs. I don't have to get Marcus tested until next year seeing as he is supposed to be in 2nd Grade.

Jessica is doing well. She is being challenged now that she is in First Grade. I will keep moving forward with her as long as she is able to do so. She is pretty proud of the fact that she isn't in Kindergarten anymore!

Andrew let me know the other day that he wanted to homeschool, too. So I'm taking time to help him with letters and numbers. I am also reading his favorite books over and over. He has never been one to ask me to read to him much. I'm glad he showing more of an interest now.

I don't think I can sit much longer, so I'm going to try to go lay down again and get some sleep. If that doesn't work, I'll read my "Catherine Booth Biography". Steve is reading the biography of William and Catherine's life and is finding it fascinating. We have had some great discussions! I love that my husband loves to learn about new things!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Andrewisms

The other day, Andrew got out of the bathtub and said, "My teeth are wiggling!" I said, "What?", He said, "My teeth are wiggling!" I said, "You mean your teeth are chattering?" He said, "Yes!"
Yesterday, out of the blue Andrew says, "I like my privacy."
Mom says: "What do you think privacy is?"
He says, "It means you have to go poop!"
Steve and I just died laughing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Discipline is Not Pleasant


I found this in my files today. I was having a really hard morning with Joshua over homeschooling and I just prayed and prayed and cried and prayed that God would give me encouragement. He answered me by reading this over again. This happened about a year or two ago. I can't quite remember.

Victorious Conversation

Josh and I had a very good discussion yesterday. He was upset because he had been talking back and I popped him in the mouth. He wanted to know why discipline has to be so painful. I told him “because it is the only way that I can get him to remember not to do something.” I said that the Bible says it is supposed to be painful.

He didn’t believe me so I went to Hebrews. I showed him where it said that “although discipline is unpleasant and even painful for awhile it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.” He said he didn’t know what that meant. I explained that “it means that you will grow up to be good and to do good things for God and that you would be at peace because of undergoing discipline.”
He seemed angry still but got up and finished doing the dishes like I had asked him to do. He must have thought about it for awhile because he came back into the dining room where I was sitting and said, “Mom, I’m sorry.” I said, “For what, Josh?”

He said, “I’m sorry for talking back to you and being rude.”

I could tell he was trying so hard not to cry. I started to tear up (it had been a long and hard day of disciplining and imploring God for wisdom). I told him that I wouldn't discipline him if I didn’t love him. I wanted him to grow up to be a wonderful person and not just some mean bratty kid.

He then grabbed something to wipe the tear running down my cheek and asked me not to cry. I asked him why he didn’t want me to cry, and his answer was so precious. He said, “Because it’s so cute.”

I just hugged him and told him, sometimes it’s OK to cry. I told him that I am his parent and not his friend. But that the goal for when he is not longer living with us is to be friends. I told him that I wanted him to come visit me and that I wanted him to have the relationship that I have with my parents.

The cool thing is, I think he got it! I told him that we might fight but it is so important that we talk and work it out.

It was a good evening! I felt that God accomplished something in the heart of my oldest son.
I'm so glad I write this stuff down. I would have forgotten all about that incident in the busyness of life. Thank you, Lord, for once again answering my prayers and bringing me encouragement when I needed it. I am reminded once again, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Surrender





I just finished reading a book called "William and Catherine Booth: Founders of The Salvation Army". It was put out by Heroes of the Faith. At the very end there was a quote by William Booth that just struck me. I just wanted to share it with you.

Dr. Wilbur Chapman had an interview will General William Booth on one of his last visits to the United States and asked him a profound question.

He said, "General Booth, tell me what has been the secret of your success all the way through."

The General hesitated a second and with tears running down his cheeks he replied, "I will tell you the secret. God has had all of me...I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was."

The man later quoted, "I learned from William Booth that the greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender. It is not a question of who you are or of what you are, but of whether God controls you."

May it be so in my life, God! May You be in control of everything in my life, from my marriage, my parenting, my homeschooling, the size of our family, our outside ministries, my writing, and my singing. O God, take it all! Be the center of it all, lead and guide Steve and I in the way You would have us go. Give us the strength to follow You, wherever You might lead us.

"I surrender all,
I surrender all,
Unto You my blessed, Savior;
I surrender all."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feeling Full

Here is a picture of our friend/free babysitter, Candy. Jacob fell asleep on her while she was watching him. Isn't this sweet? Candy is such a dear friend and has rescued me so many times when it comes to watching the kids!
Ahhh, it is a time of reflection. I am so thankful for my friends. It worked out yesterday that my friend, Margaret was able to come over and talk for most of the afternoon. It was so great to be able to sit there and just chat and listen to her tell about her adventures of traveling with her family and about her dad's funeral. The kids did really well and we were interrupted very little.

Today has been another day full of friends. Paul and Rachel invited us over for lunch and the kids got to play as we talked for hours. It was such a pleasure. Lunch was delicious and the kids played really well. She even gave me enough to give to Steve for his dinner, so we took it afterwards to the firestation. He will be home tomorrow. It's been a long 48 hours! Jessica is especially missing him.

It has been snowing all day long and now looks again like a winter wonderland. It is beautiful!

The older boys begged to make dinner tonight, so I told them they could make Top Ramen and apples with honey for everyone. They were so happy and sweet about it. Marcus even taught Josh how to make a loaf of bread while I layed down.

We are not watching TV or playing any kind of video games today. I've been reading to the kids more and more and they are loving it. We are working on getting through "Little Town on the Prairie", "Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and I want to start working on "Summer of the Monkeys" again.

Tomorrow will be a full day as well. Church, then Kerripaula's (my cousin) invited us to her girl's birthday party at a pizza place at 1:00. The kids are really looking forward to seeing their cousins. It's been awhile. We sure miss them since they moved out of town. For those of you who know Kerripaula, she is doing really well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jacob Praying and I Began!

Jacob has recently started folding his hands and closing his eyes while we pray. It is the most precious thing to watch. I just had to share this picture with you.
After Nancy Campbell's "convicting devotion" on beginning something and finishing it, I decided that my project was going to be my pantry. I was so excited after it was finished. I had no idea how much stuff I had crammed in there and didn't know where half of anything was. It's all nice and neat and it feels so good to look and see how God has provided for us. We are so blessed. BTW, I have never had a pantry before, so the just having this space is such a blessing. I know what it is like to do without, so I appreciate it even more now that I have it.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Will I Fear or Will I Trust?


This is an older devotion that I wrote about 2 1/2 years ago. I hope that you will be free from fear today!
Will I Fear, or Will I Trust?

Dear Mothers,

Have you battled fear lately? Maybe you are seeing a serious character flaw in your child, or maybe you can’t pay the bills. Maybe you long to have another child, but your husband does not want another one. Has your husband lost his job? Fear not, ladies! God is bigger then all of these!

I shared last month about our finding a bigger house and selling our current one. Well, a lot has happened since then. I have felt the fear rising so strongly in my mind and my heart that I have literally had to hold the Word up, shout Scripture while waving an imaginary sword in my hand

Here’s the story…The first buyer pulled out of the deal, so we had to scramble quickly to get the house back on the market. After 4 ½ days we accepted another offer (which was $5,000 more, isn’t that amazing?). The next week everything was going smoothly until we got a phone call that told us we might lose our house that we wished to buy. Ahhhhh! Talk about scary, but I knew that God was in control. Later that day we found out that we were safe and that we weren’t going to lose the new house. The next week after that, the buyer got an inspection done on our house. The inspector said we had termites and a bad roof! Another road block that we were not expecting. I was so fearful, but my eyes kept being drawn to the verse that I had posted in my kitchen, “Trust in the Lord with your WHOLE heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. Whenever the fear started to rise, I would open my Bible and claim promise after promise. It was hard because the situation felt like it was getting worse by the minute!

The next day I got a pest control guy out and he said that we definitely did not have termites! Whew, what a relief! We ended up splitting the cost of a new roof with the buyer. All that worry for nothing.

Why, why, why, do we worry when we can pray? Why do we worry when we know all the good things He has done in the past. He is God and we are not! He wants the glory of what is going on in your life. He wants to show off what He can do, if we would just get out of the way and let Him! Our job is to pray and to continually release our problems to Him.

We are still moving forward, God is still in control, and He is giving me peace abundantly! May He give you peace in whatever situation you find yourself in. He is so trustworthy! Take Him at His Word and DO NOT FEAR!!!!!!!

From one mom to another,

Stacie

I Am To Begin

Nancy Campbell just sent an e-devotion on "To Begin". It was wonderful and I had an opportunity to ask God what He would like me to begin. Earlier in my devotions the morning I was convicted about the "Law of Kindness" not being on my tongue. I need to BEGIN today. I need to break the habit of that "mothering" tone that I have adopted that drives my kids crazy. I seriously think they tune me out when I use it!

I've prayed and ask God to convict me and to show me when I am using this tone and not speaking kindly to my children. This is so hard when you are disciplining, but I know it can be done better. I am praying for wisdom in this and am looking forward to seeing the difference that it will make in creating a more peaceful existence in my home. Steve has even mentioned my tone of voice to me several times in the past few days.

So pray with me today as I "BEGIN" to make some much needed to changes around here. I know why my children sound snotty, because they sound like me! Yikes!

I want to be a good example to my children and show them the better way of dealing with their frustrations. I want them to stop talking so mean to their siblings.

Steve and I have really been working on the way we've been speaking to each other and it has made a remarkable difference in our communication.

On a lighter note, I am thrilled that today I get to go have a massage by John Combe. After scrapbook camp my hips and back are all bound up. It will be nice to have a little release.

Also, for those who want more info on Pastor Steve, he is home recovering from colon surgery. He has more masses that they were unable to take out either on his liver or kidneys (I've heard both, so I'm not sure which it is). They will attack those with chemo starting in two weeks. They are asking for meals, so the kids and I are thrilled to be able to do something practical to help them. As far as leadership for the church, elders and deacons are stepping up to the plate and helping where there are needs. It's going to be a long haul, but I do know God has a plan and His purposes will be fulfilled.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Turning a Corner/Amazed!

Yesterday I recognized that my prayers are being answered in a HUGE way. I have had trouble with Joshua trying to rush through his schoolwork so that he can play. I call it "Hurry up so I can play". He rushes through, doesn't read the directions and gets about 85% of his work wrong. Then he gets mad at me because I make him redo it and he views it as I am the one holding him back from playtime. It's gotten worse and worse this year. I started praying that God would change his heart. That God would help him with this and that He would help Josh turn a corner and become more productive and stop hating any kind of "work" so much.

He rushed through again yesterday, and started getting mad when I started correcting. In the afternoon he apologized and ADMITTED that he was trying to get it over with because he wanted to play. He also APOLOGIZED and said he would do better! Wow!

The icing on the cake was after dinner. I was starting to clean up and he walked past me and unloaded the dishwasher (this was Marcus' job), then he swept the floor, wiped the table down and started to load the dishwasher. I couldn't believe it! I asked him why he was doing some extra thing and his reply was, "Mom, I just want to help you because you are pregnant." This is the kid that would never go beyond the call of duty because it would interrupt his playtime. I could physically feel the burden lift off of my shoulders. I thanked God that night over and over for answering my prayers.

I pray that this new change will stick and that he really is "getting" it. If I had this kind of help, mentally I would be doing so much better. I wouldn't be spending my energy fighting the kids to do their chores all the time.

Oh, BTW, I only changed one diaper yesterday! The boys took turns and never once complained.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sleeping In/Thoughts

OK, so this isn't the most flattering picture of me, but it's hard to get a flattering angle when you have a 3 foot child taking the picture! I wanted to kind of show you how big I'm getting.
Ever since I got back from Scrapbook camp, my kids have been sleeping in. It's like Steve put some kind of spell on them! This is a miracle! It is now almost 7:30 a.m. and they are still sleeping! I have never been able to get them to stay in bed past 6:30.

I have taken a shower, prayed, done my "Daniel" Bible study, and blogged! Thank you, Lord!

My study today was on false-humility and self-loathing. I don't really think I have a problem with the self-loathing part, but I know that I can have a sense of false-humility about me, especially when it comes to singing or writing.

It is such a fine balance, isn't it? To have self-esteem, but to be completely humble at the same time. You have to constantly keep yourself in check and recognize the motivations behind certain thoughts that might pop up in your mind that there would be no way that you would share with other people. Remembering your worth is in Christ. He is the one that gave you a talent to be used for His glory, not for your own makes a huge difference.

Oh, my little Jaker's Man is waking up, so I need to go snuggle with him and then make a nice breakfast of eggs, sausage, apples and toast. Yummy! Steve will be home this morning, so he might help entertain the little ones while I homeschool the older ones. It is so nice when he does that if he hasn't been running calls all night.

Life is so very good at the moment and I praise God for His provision, friends, family and for blogging so that I can tell you about all of it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Andrew "Box" Brown

This kid is naturally learning history! Andrew took an interest in a library book I got the boys called "Henry's Freedom Box: A Story About the Underground Railroad". Well, Nana got it for Marcus for Christmas, so we've been reading it almost daily. I saw him in this box and he said he was "Henry Box Brown" and he was mailing himself to Dr. Smith in Philadelphia! Wow, I couldn't believe he picked up on all that!
Here he is "arriving" in Philadelphia!
Here he is with his favorite book. Isn't he precious? I'm so glad he is starting to show an interest in history. He'll fit right in with the rest of us!
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An Organized Moment!


I just had to share with you my new laundry shelves! I have a tiny laundry room, which has been a huge challenge to me. We got smart and thought up a better way to design it. I now have room for one more baby basket! It is so easy to use and has given us even more room to manuver. Thank you, Steve!
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Same Favorite Pages

Here is my Idaho Layout.

Josiah turns five.

Hailey turns one.

This weekend at my Mom's I was able to do 58 scrapbook pages! I had three pictures left that I didn't feel inspired to scrap. I was thrilled with my productiveness! I had a wonderful time with my family and even got to shop a bit for some post-pregnancy shirts.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Surprise Date!



Today has been full of surprises! Steve asked if I wanted to draw up a plan for the laundry room shelves. I figured out a plan, but he wanted to check out Home Depot before he built the shelves. I'm so glad he did! He asked if we could get a babysitter for a bit and just go look. We went and found the perfect shelving system to hold all the laundry baskets.

Candy came and watched the kiddos. We were able to go look at dogs at the shelter and then he offered to stop and get me a coffee at Holsteins. It was so thoughtful! We had a wonderful time together.

He even put them up for me today! I'll get a picture of it up as soon as I get home from my scrapbooking weekend. I have so much more room and it looks so much nicer organized. I have room to put another basket in for the next baby, too!

I have the car half packed and am ready to go bright and early tomorrow morning.

Right now, I'm snuggling with my little blondie boy, Jaker's Man. He loves to sit on my lap and watch me type. I just keep kissing his little blonde curls. I am one blessed mama!

Steve even spoiled me and offered to take the kids to and from AWANA tonight. I think someone is stirring the pot! Wink...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Praying, Insomnia, and Blessings


Last night was strange. I just kept waking up and praying for people. Finally about 4:30 a.m., I gave up. I prayed and prayed and then did my Bible study. I was done by 5:30 and the Lord graciously gave me another half hour of sleep.

My children kept coming to mind. I felt like I didn't have their hearts, and I prayed that God would remedy that.

Also, Pastor and Steve and his wife are supposed to find out what his diagnosis and prognosis is today. I can't imagine how they must be feeling.

My sister called last night and was having a VERY hard time. Her husband found out some very disappointing news concerning his job situation after he gets out of school. It seems that when he finally does hopefully get a permanent position in the Forest Service, he will be just months away from being sent back to war for a year. She realized that she was going to be a single mom for the majority of two years. Michael's work is in Enterprise and he wouldn't be able to come home until the weekends. She was really grieving and I don't blame her. There is a very good thing about this, though. We have been praying for sometime that she would not have to move away from her support system while Michael is off to war. God has answered that prayer. There will be no point in selling their house and moving if it is just for several months. By the time he gets back, they might be able to sock away enough to pay their house off, which would give them more wiggle room of what they can actually do with the house when they do move.

I have to tell you. I am sooooo thankful on my own selfish end that my sister is not moving farther away from me, especially when Michael goes to war. I will be able to visit her and her me. I do feel bad that she is going to be on her own for so long.

I have some good news about our Laundry Center. My friend, Catherine said that her DIL, Melissa needed a new dryer desperately. We called her and we are so thankful that we can just give this really nice machine to her. God blessed us with a fridge and we are so grateful that we are not in a position of having to sell it, but to just give it to her. Again, God is amazing! He takes care of us and we take care of the Body of Christ. I think He delights in it! This gal's husband is in the Army and their was a glitch in his paycheck, so she wasn't able to get a loan through Home Depot. I'm so glad she wasn't able to get it!

Steve was gone yesterday at work and will be gone most of the day today. Josh was having a hard time with disrespect when we were homeschooling. I had to address it several times. He kept raising his voice at me. After much discussion and many time outs, he came to me and apologized. He said that he was sorry for rushing through his work so that he could just go play. It was HUGE! I'm praying today will go differently.

The kids did their Tae Kwan Do last night and I was able to take the little ones to Bi-Mart to get some much needed scrapbook supplies. I've scrapped 8 pages in two days! It felt sooooo good! I usually hate bringing the little ones to the store. When I was about to put Andrew in the cart, he begged to be a big boy and be on the outside. I told him OK, as long as he didn't touch anything or run off. Guess what? He did great! I told him this morning when he woke up and he just beamed! It is so nice to know that he isn't running off so much anymore. It was so scary for awhile.

The kids LOVE their trampoline. We've had a few issues though that we have had to deal with.

1. Don't pee off the trampoline!

2. Don't get under the trampoline or put things under the trampoline when people are bouncing!

3. Don't hang things or yank on the netting that goes around it!

Other than that, they are having a ball and have actually complained about soreness. They played off and on all day yesterday. I think this was a good move. Marcus is actually going outside now.

I was asked to do my devotion early for Mom's Morning Out yesterday because the speaker had canceled. I have to be honest, I had completely forgotten about my devotion I was supposed to be writing about. I didn't have that one ready, but I did have an old one called "Steve's Dirty Socks". It's a devotion on being a servant in your home. Ann said "great", so I will be giving my talk on it this morning. I pray it goes well.

In the meantime I have to be thinking about condensing Nancy Lee Demoss's "Power of Words" two week sessions into an hour long devotion. I went through it yesterday and got all my material, but I think I still might have to make it into a two-parter. There is too much good stuff to take out!

Steve surprised me and said he was going to take Wednesday off. That means I will have help with getting the kids to AWANA and then I will be able to pack the car with all my scrapbook stuff and be ready to hit the road by 8:00 a.m. on Thursday. I can't wait to spend some time with my sis and mom. Also, Paulette is going to be dropping by and we are going to teach her to scrapbook, so it will be great to see her again. I'm totally getting in the mood to be creative. Sometimes when you are doing the same things over and over again, it is important to do something that gives you pleasure and let's your creative juices flow. That is what scrapbooking is for me.

Pray that God blesses Steve with a great four days with the kids. He is an awesome dad and I'm not worried about it in the least. It's just hard to be patient when you aren't used to being by yourself with them for so long. He is great at getting the older kids to help with the littler ones. The fireman efficiency and officer delegation takes over! It's kind of cute!

Well, that's my book for today! Just thought I would give you a little update on what is really going on in my life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"She Works Willingly With Her Hands" Devotion



“She Works Willingly With Her Hands”

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Proverbs 31:13

The Proverbs 31 woman worked willingly even though she had a full and busy life. Willingly means “having the mind favorably disposed to do something specified, ready, consenting, complying without reluctance, cheerfully ready, eager, enthusiastic”. As wives, mothers and homemakers we need to maintain a “willingness of heart and mind” as we go about our daily chores.

Ephesians 6:6b, 7a says “…to do the will of God from the heart. Serving wholeheartedly, as if you are serving the Lord, not men….

Imagine what it would be like for this Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible days. The meals had to be made from scratch. The clothing and bedding were made by hand.
The washing was done by hand, and the gardens needed to be tended to. Yes, it does state that she had servant girls, but it still sounds like she was awfully busy!

We have it much easier today, don’t we? I don’t know about you but I am sure thankful for my “servants” (dishwasher and laundry appliances)! Yet, even with all of these modern gadgets, it seems like there is still plenty of work to be done. Are you doing it cheerfully, or are you complaining the whole time? Ask your husband. He’ll tell you!

We need to maintain a cheerful willingness of heart and mind as we use our hands to bless and serve the members of our household. Remember, if we want cheerful, willing children, then we need to set an example of being that kind of a wife and mother.

When you feel your task is insignificant, take a look at your hands, and think of how God has used them to minister to the people he has placed within your care. You are keeping your home and raising your children to the Glory of God! You have the highest calling in the universe!

From One Mom to another,

Stacie

*Some portions taken from a Bible study called “Your Price is Far Above Rubies” By Delwyn. M. McAllister

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our Pastor is Gravely Ill

When we got the fridge on Friday from Pastor Steve, he mentioned that he hadn't been feeling well for about four months and had got some tests done that morning. You could tell he was trying not to worry, but he mentioned that it could be lymphoma. We told him we would pray for him and did.

This morning at church, Steve and I both noticed that Pastor Steve wasn't in church. We both thought that wasn't a good sign. When the head of the deacons who is also Pastor Steve's surgeon got up and started getting choked up, we knew the news was not good. The results are not officially in, but I'm pretty sure that they think it is cancer. He said he was "gravely ill" and that he and his wife and taken the weekend off so that they could process the information. He said by Tuesday they will hopefully have an official diagnosis and that he would immediately have surgery and then extensive long-term treatment (I'm sure that is code for chemo).

The congregation was in shock. They skipped all formalities and just went into prayer. It was a beautiful thing to see the body do what we are supposed to do, pray and read scripture over the family.

Our kids LOVE Pastor Steve. Josh was very quiet and I could tell upset.

Please pray for Pastor Steve and Marilyn. This is so tough. We are trusting God no matter what the outcome might be. But in the meantime, they need a special measure of God's comfort as they process this kind of information.

I will keep you updated as soon as I get more information.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This Makes Me Gag!

I just have to share with you of how strange some of my kids are. These kids beg for the giblets when I make a turkey or a chicken! Andrew and Jessica fight for the heart, liver and gizzards. Just the smell of the giblets make Steve and I want to gag!
I just had to get pictures of them devouring them with relish!
More power to them! Just don't ask me to eat them. They would make my Grandma Mary so proud! She loves this kind of thing.
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Trampoline is Up!

All of our little "helpers" trying to make things easier for us. Jacob kept taking off with poles!
Jacob just couldn't figure out what in the world we were doing.
Marcus gives it a try. I need to buy an egg timer that they can set on the porch and set themselves. These things are sure safer than they used to be. What a great way to get some energy out!
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Friday, January 9, 2009

God Provides Once Again!

Whoever says prayer doesn't work is crazy! I prayed last week that God would provide an extra refrigerator for us. We have so much stuff crammed in our fridge that we desperately needed another one. I checked out prices of new ones and knew we didn't have that kind of money. So I prayed and asked God's provision. I was in the church office yesterday, when I put up an advertisement to sell our laundry center. I mentioned to Pastor Steve that if we could sell the laundry center then I could possibly buy a new fridge. He said, "Oh, I have one sitting in my garage that I could just give to you!" I looked at him dumb-founded and realized my prayers had just been answered BIG time! Tears welled up in my eyes and I just said thank you. Steve and I went and picked it up this morning and here is a photo of another one of God's miracles! God says that He will provide when we trust Him with our finances and give Him our first-fruits. This is the proof, people!
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