The crazy journey of our family living this beautiful life for our awesome God!
"...Whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of GOD." 1 Cor. 10:31

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our Week in Pictures

It's been a busy but fun week around here.  Luke and I just got back from a weekend away while Grahm stayed at Grandma's house.  We had such a nice time together and just "lazed" around Boise.  You know you're a parent when your night away consists of just hanging out in the hotel, watching tv and going to bed at 10pm! ha! And our highlight was sleeping in! But it was sooo nice!  We strolled downtown this morning and checked out the 8th street market.  If you have a chance and are in the area, I definitely recommend making a visit...it's such a fun market with sooo many vendors..and lots of fun people watching as well!  We ate yummy food and found some unique gifts.  So, I haven't had time to write a full "thinker" post...but I thought I might post some pictures from our week as a recap.  Enjoy!


Gotta love that smile! :)


This is what happens when I leave things next to his crib on the changing table....he climbs up and grabs them all!  I found him like this after his nap...he'd been eating the diapers and chewing on his pajamas...crazy kid.  Gotta love the "who, me?" face, like he didn't do anything. :)


How sweet is this?  Dad and Grahm reading books together.  I just love this...melts my heart. :)


Isn't that lovely...apparently my kid likes eating his crib. He's a little animal.


Yay!  Visiting the pumpkin farm for family night.  He thought it was pretty cool to sit with all the pumpkins.


Getting ready to do some carving.


Who knew the top of the pumpkin would be the coolest toy/snack ever?  He played with it for like 30 minutes! (That's a long time in Grahm's world, where his normal attention span is like 30 seconds)


Is that not the cutest kid ever?


Hahahaha...check out the monkey lips. 


Yay!  A playdate with my friend. :)

It was a good week with lots of fun memories.  Time goes so fast so make sure you take the time to slow down and enjoy the little, special moments we are blessed with.  Have a blessed Sunday!




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Hey there~
      Hope your week is going well and you're enjoying the beauty of fall!  There's lots to be thankful for...so here it goes....

   1.  My new niece.....Kaila Kate Walker entered the world last Friday and she is just such a sweet, beautiful gift from God.  Babies are such a reminder of God's awesome creation and no matter who you are, it seems babies can make anyone soft and bring a smile to anyone's face...especially this beautiful little girl.

   2.  My mom....I am so thankful for the relationship she and I have.  She isn't just my mom, but she's my friend too.  I love the talks we have...she always challenges me and we can talk about anything and they are such inspiring, challenging, thought-provoking conversations.  And I know she is always there for me, no matter what.  I am blessed to have my mom in my life.

   3.  My husband's hunting skills! Ok, so I don't love the fact that he leaves every fall to chase the animals around...but he scored this last weekend and shot a deer! yay!  So we've got meat and he's done chasing animals...that makes for a happy family. ;)

   4.  My washing machine.  I was being tempted to grumble about doing laundry again, but then I remembered how they used to have to do laundry...no machines, no dryers...ugh!  I'm so thankful for the technology we have to wash our clothes easily...it really does make life easier.

   5.  My niece Kennedy....if you haven't met this little fire cracker...you need to.  She's only 3, but this kid cracks me up!  She sent me some funny messages this week and no matter how bad my day is, she can make me laugh.  She's just got such a silly, wild personality and I love her to pieces.
   6.  The Old Testament...we started studying it in Youth Group last night and I was just refreshed to remember the wonderful, age-old stories contained in these books.  If you look for the theme of how God is working to redeem His people and show Himself true, strong, faithful, holy and good you will see an incredible storyline that plays out through all of the books in the Old Testament.  It's not just a bunch of "history" books....it really is part of God's love story and plan of redemption.

   7.  My friend Nikki....this gal is very special to me and I'm very thankful for her friendship.  She was such an encouragement to me this week on a day when things were going rough.  She is an incredibly self-less, sweet and loving person and I'm thankful God has put her in my life.


My goofy niece, Kennedy...being a cheeseball as usual. :)

Alright...there's mine!  I hope you've got some to share...please do! :)

Enjoy your Thursday...hug the ones you love and thank God for His blessings.


  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY Paper Wreath

I finally finished it!!!! The project I mentioned last week that I've been working on for a few weeks now and that I've been wanting to do for a while now is actually done!  And it's actually hanging on my wall.  Happiness! :)

It's a book wreath that I made out of an old book's pages and I love how it turned out.  Here's the pics and the how-tos.....

The supplies: Hot glue gun, book pages (I painted the edges of the book black first, to give it an antique look, then tore them all out of the book) styrofoam wreath form and a good book on tape (that's just for your listening pleasure :) ).


I rolled up the book pages however I felt and hot glued them to secure the roll.  Then I folded the ends and glued them to the wreath, in no particular fashion. 


As I was working on the wreath I realized it would help cover the styrofoam better if I wrapped it in the book pages.  So I glued book pages all over the wreath.  I would do this first next time.  Then keep gluing the rolled pages all around the wreath until it suits your fancy and looks the way you want. 


Here's the goober...hanging out while mom works on her project. Cute kid. :)


And...ta da! The finished project!


Hanging in its place in our living room.  I really feel like the wall behind it needs painted so the wreath pops more, but I'm having a hard time convincing the hubs.  We'll see. ;)

Hope your Tuesday is going well! 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

His Hands and Feet

I guess I'm in the mood for stepping on toes today.  It's not that I want to step on toes, I don't at all....but I know what I have to say isn't "easy, comfortable" stuff either.  But I've got something heavy on my heart that has been coming to mind a lot lately, so I feel the need to share.  I mentioned in another post (Pieces of My Heart) that the hubs and I have really been feeling a tug in our hearts for something big.  God has been at work inside of our beings, laying burdens on our hearts that we can't toss away.  I have been so frustrated lately with a Christianity that is internal only and so surface and petty.  We are to be Christ's hands and feet to this world...but where are His hands and feet going?  So often they are plopping right down on our couch and kicking up on the coffee table while they flip the remote buttons, staying safely inside our perfect little bubble.  I really don't believe that is what it means to be His hands and feet to a world that is hurting.  We have been graciously, wonderously and clearly called to bear His name and show His image to a world that so deeply needs a Savior. 

The problem is, we get caught up in the "do-good" type of Christianity that is concerned with the typical kinds of things that we "think" make us good.  We go to church, we serve in nursery, we go to a Bible Study, we play the piano or sing in choir, we dress modestly, we may even bake cookies for the neighbor...we have this unspoken list of "to-dos" that make us a good Christian and we stay busy checking off as many boxes as possible on the list...'cause the more we check off the better we are doing, right?!

I'm not saying those things are bad or that we shouldn't serve in those ways.  They are necessary things that someone has to do.  And done with the right heart and motives, to the glory of God, and not to add one more thing to our "Good Christian To-Do List", they are very worthy deeds.  But I'm ok with stepping on some toes in saying that I think a lot of times, perhaps our hearts aren't quite in the right place, so it becomes a shallow Christianity.

But what I really want to know, is how have we touched another person's life in a real way for the sake of Christ?  How have we really, I mean REALLY, reached out to a world that is hurting?  So often in the Gospels, when Christ was telling a person about the eternal life he had to offer, he would meet their physical needs as well.  He provided food, healed crippled bodies, ministered to the sick and so much more.  He meet their physical needs and then showed them their spiritual needs and told them how He could also meet their spiritual needs.  He met people where they were and showed them that He genuinely cared for them as a person, He cared about their hurts, their losses, their needs.  You see, I have a hard time seeing how a hungry widow in Africa would listen to what we have to say when her belly is aching for food and her body longs for shelter.  Our witness and the message of salvation that we share loses a lot of credibility when we aren't showing that we genuinely care about the needs and hurts that people are experiencing.

We aren't all called to go overseas and take part in a mission or start a mission to care for the hurting, I know that.  But I think we tend to use that as an excuse to do nothing and stay comfortable.  How about opening our hearts to really hurt for those who suffer, opening our wallets to give to help feed hungry mouths, opening our homes to hearts that need love, opening our arms to comfort those who weap, opening our time to pray fervently for this broken world?  We may not be called to pack up and head to a foreign land but we are called to be Christ's hands and feet so we should be looking for and praying for ways that we can do that right where we are.  Let's show the love of Christ in a tangible way and be open, truly open, to whatever the Lord wants us to do to reach this world for Him. 

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. "— 1 John 3:17-18

It's funny, I had a completely different intention when I started writing this post.  I was going to talk about something quite a bit differently, but the Lord guided my fingers and my thoughts in a completely different direction.  I guess He knew some of us needed these words today because I hadn't planned on writing what you just read at all.  I love how He works! 

(I know of one real way you can touch the life of one who is hurting.  Read Here to find out more.)

Happy Saturday...enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Hey everyone...I hope your Thursday is going well!  It's almost the weekend...yay!  The mighty hunter is headed back out again this weekend to try and get that elusive deer...hopefully he has some success so he can be done!  so he can be excited about his big kill. :)
   The little tiger and I are gonna slum it around the house and hopefully I can finish my sweet DIY I'm working on. 
   I've got lots to be thankful for...as I'm sure you do as well...here's my list for this week...

1. Dates...my sanity saver each week (if we get one that week).  I absolutely LOVE going on dates with the hubs.  It makes a big difference to get out of the house and have focused one-on-one time. If you don't already have a date night...I highly suggest implementing one.  It is one of the best things we do for our marriage.  It can be as simple as a coffee date and a walk along the canyon to something bigger like a nice sit-down dinner.  (And hey, if cost is an issue..you can get a meal for 2 at Costco's food court for only $3!  That includes drinks and a dessert!) Either way...they are food for my soul. 

2. My sister, Tiffany.  She is one of my best friends and she is one of the most patient, sweet-hearted people I know.  She is such an awesome big sis and always there to give me advice or encouragement.

3.  My sister, Annalise....she has such a good heart for the Lord and I love seeing that in my little sister.  I love the friendship we've developed as she's gotten older and I have fun just chatting with her or goofing around.  Plus, she is one of my resident babysitters for Grahm and I appreciate it sooooo much!  She is so sweet to him and loves on him in such a special way.

4.  My sister, Lainey....she is such a fun, free spirit.  She has a thoughtful heart for others and I love how she does sweet things like making cards or special home-made gifts for others.  And she always lets me use her room to put Grahm down, she's a sweet kid.  I love being her big sister.

5.  Seeing the world through a baby's eyes...they have such wonder about everything and it helps me to appreciate the beauty of life more.  Even simple things like enjoying the beauty of colorful leaves...they notice details that we tend to overlook.

6.  Fall weather....it has been such a beautiful week here and I love seeing the colors of fall all around.  God's creation is awesome and beautiful.

7.  Alone time at Barnes and Noble.  My husband was sweet to give me a couple hours of "away time" this week and I love sitting at the coffee shop at barnes and noble and reading a good book, while sipping on a cup of chai  (I've already mentioned my love of a good chai latte, right? mmmmm!).  It gives me a renewed attitude to come back home and face the world again. 


Grahm and his Auntie Annie having a date together.


I hope you've all had a good week and I hope you've found things to be thankful for.  Our God is good, we have much to give thanks for. 

Happy Thursday!



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY Framed Silver

So I've been given some special pieces of real silver silverware from grandparents on both sides.  I absolutely love having mementos like this.  It's such a piece of history and I feel like it ties me to the story of our heritage.  But....it tends to get stuck in a drawer and doesn't really do anyone any good there.  I don't want to use it cause it's special, but I just didn't know where to put it.  It's pointless to have it stuffed away in a drawer where it does no one any good.  Enter DIY project. :)  I wanted a way to display these so I decided to frame them with some old frames I had laying around.  I'm all about cheap..and this project maybe cost a couple bucks, if that.  I used scrapbook paper that I had and ribbon that I already had.  I had to buy the pushpins and that was about it.  So maybe even just $1.  I hung them in our dining room and I LOVE it!  Here they are.............




I used a ribbed card stock for the background....

Then I put the red printed scrapbook paper on top of that and trimmed it with orange ribbon.

I used push pins and double-sided tape to secure the forks to the paper.  (There is no glass on top of the forks.)  I love how they look in my dining room!

 

Oops...how'd that get in here? ;) 

And that?! Ok...he's just too cute not to put his pics up.  :)

It was a pretty easy project...the trickiest part was perfecting the art of getting the forks to hang straight and not fall off.  I was just using the push pins to support them but they kept falling off whenever the front door shut! So I put double sided tape behind them and they haven't fallen off since.  Hope you like!

(Ps..I've got a sweet DIY I'm working on right now that I can't wait to post....but I've got to finish it first...which is tricky when I only get a few minutes at a time to work on it! But..it's coming! Stay tuned!)

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, October 14, 2011

It Matters

I've already mentioned that I've been doing a lot of "single-parenting" for the past several weeks since the hubs has been so busy with a variety of commitments.  I am a full-time stay at home mom so pretty much all my time has been spent chasing a little one around, cleaning up messes, getting messes made on me (I have so many mystery spots on my sweats right now that consist of everything from spit up to snot to cottage cheese! And yes, I said sweats....I'm one of those moms who would get reprimanded by "What Not to Wear" cause I wear sweats around the house.  They're comfy, what can I say...I don't go to the store in them, usually ;) ) cooking, cleaning and hauling around the 25 pound weight also known as my son!  Since I haven't had my side-kick helping me out as much as normal I've been consumed by these tasks.  It's got me thinking a lot about something I think some of you other moms, and even non-moms, deal with.

Although I've only been doing this mom-thing for 10 1/2 months I have already been visited by the "how in the world does putting a babe down for a nap or cleaning up lunch messes have any significance or make any difference in this world? What I'm doing doesn't matter....it's insignificant, menial stuff."  I'm sure a lot of you have felt this way before, even if you aren't a mom.  It can happen no matter what season of life we are in.  We get stuck in a rut and start to think that what we are doing doesn't matter...it isn't a big deal...we aren't moving mountains...we're not a missionary in the heart of Africa so we're not doing something big...we're not in the "big picture" stuff.  Can I get a show of hands...haven't you felt this way? 

Well...here's the deal...IT DOES MATTER.  You see, it's not about whether we are in the heart of the African jungle (although I'd love to be there) working with the native tribes or if we're picking up cheerios for the upm-teenth time.  It's about where our heart is and what's pushing our heart to do what we're doing.  How does it matter?  When you're doing it to the glory of the One who made you to live for Him...that's how it matters.  Because here's the thing...you could be in the heart of the jungle working with natives and it could matter less than the mom across the world picking up cheerios.  How? Why?  Well, if you aren't doing whatever it is that's in front of you to the glory of God, then it doesn't matter.  The Word says, "In whatever you do, do it ALL to the glory of God."  Pretty cut and dry. 

And how many times does it feel like whatever we're doing is invisible?  No one else sees so it's not significant.  The life of a mom is a very invisible life.  Most of the time, the ones we're serving don't acknowledge what we're doing and we clean up messes and take care of tasks that no one else even realized needed taking care of.  But the beauty of the fact that what we're doing matters if we do it for God's glory is that it's irrelevant whether or not anyone else sees what we're doing.  God sees us wiping down the counters, AGAIN, and he sees us rocking a little one in the middle of the night, he sees us changing diapers and doing laundry.  He sees it all...and He knows where our heart is and what is motivating our heart.  Remember, He says in his Word that He doesn't look on the outside, He sees the inside, the "heart" of the matter. 

So it can matter when I wipe spit-up off the floor for the 5th time today, because if I do it with a servant's heart, grateful for what God has placed in my path for today and striving to love Him and others, then I'm doing it to His glory, and that's what it all boils down to.  It's important when I'm chasing a crazy little one around the house because this is what God has placed in my life for this moment and it's what He wants me to do.  So take heart if you feel like what you're doing doesn't matter or isn't important....if you do it with a heart for God because it's the work He's given you, you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. 

So I look over at my little guy and wipe the boogies off his nose and let him climb all over me and mess up the humble attempt I made at doing my hair today and I know....THIS is kingdom work...and THIS is what God wants me to be doing. 



My kingdom work. :)



Growling like a lion in his sweet new hat from Grandma.  Yep, this is exactly where God wants me.

Happy Friday everyone...enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Oh man, it has been one of those days!  You know, those "horrible, no good, very bad days?"  Ok, it hasn't been that awful, but it's been bad enough that I definitely need to focus on gratitude...so it's a good thing it's Thursday! 
It started of with Grahm waking lots in the night crying...who knows why? He was hysterical by 6 am so I finally just got up bright and early and went in to him and was able to rock him back to sleep but I was definitely awake by that point so I started my day baking some muffins.  Why not bake muffins at 6 am? :) Well, it was already destined to be a bad day because Luke left today for a 3 day soccer tournament out of state...boo hoo. :(  Things kept taking a turn for the worse when I found a pile of dog throw-up in our bedroom!  Yuck!  Ick..I'm gagging in my throat just thinking about it!  Then I did one of those completely clumsy, totally dumb moves and dumped half a container of "Texas Caviar" (a yummy bean, veggie, cilantro chip dip) all over the fridge and floor!  Literally...ALL. OVER. Ahh...this required a deep breath, and then a chuckle because really, the day was just headed WAAAY down south.  Grahm topped it off by deciding not to take an afternoon nap, and instead having a party in his crib.  Apparently it's the happening place to be at 3 in the afternoon.  Well, I definitely wasn't doing the whole evening by myself with a baby who didn't nap. So, we packed up and headed to Target.  When all else fails...go to Target.  That's my motto! :) 

So...my day definitely shaped my gratitude list today...here it goes....

     1. Tiny toes in the backseat...I will never get tired of turning around and seeing little piggly toes wiggling in the backseat.  So sweet.
     2.  Electricity and running water...having spent time in Africa with no electricity or running water I can definitely appreciate these 2 wonderful things.  I know they seem simple to be thankful for...but today I was grateful I had running water to clean up all the messes I created...it would have been a lot more of a pain without it!
     3.  Babies taking naps...a lifesaver for both baby and mama!
     4.  My car...can you imagine what it was like when they didn't have modern transportation?  It's so nice to be able to just hop in the car and run errands like it's no big deal!
     5.  Grandmas...mine, and Grahms!  My mom and mom-in-law are both so sweet to Grahm and both got him some much needed outfits this week since the seasons are changing...that was so thoughtful of them!
     6.  Rain...It's been a really rainy, stormy week but I kinda like those days once in a while.  They draw us inside and force us to just be warm and cozy in our homes.
     7.  The internet...what in the world did we do without it!  I really can't imagine life without Google. :)

Alright...as always, I'd love to hear yours...please share!  Have a great weekend!

Happy Thursday everyone!



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A tip on reading

It's been a LOOOOONG week...no wait, a LOOOOOONG month/month and a half!  And I'm pretty much "single-mom-ing" it right now so I don't have a lot of time to make a long post.  The hubs is coaching high school soccer right now and he does that everyday after work so he doesn't get home til close to Grahm's bedtime.  Plus, he's swamped with work so we spend about 1 hr together and then he heads back to his office to work til the wee hours of the morning.  Plus...it's that glorious time of year called hunting season.  So that takes him away just about every weekend as well.  Anyways...needless to say, I'm ready for this "season" to be over and I'm just about dead on my feet.  But, it's just a season and "this too shall pass."  :)  I'm grateful Luke gets to have an opportunity to spend time with the teenage guys and also that he's so busy with work because the Lord is providing.

Anyways, I still wanted to post something this week and I had been thinking about something practical this week so I will share.  I don't know if you all read much, but I love reading.  I usually have a large stack of books on my nightstand and I'm usually trying to read 4-5 books at a time!  (I'm too impatient to finish one before starting the next...I just want to get them all done at once!)  I mostly read Christian non-fiction books and if I have some extra time I'll squeeze in the treat of a novel once in a while.  (Granted, since having had a baby I've yet to find that extra time to squeeze in a novel! ha!)



    Well, I love what I learn from reading and I feel like at the time that I'm absorbed in the book it is on the front of my mind and I find it a lot easier to remember and apply whatever I'm learning.  But then once the book is over and I move on, I often get frustrated because I know I learned a lot but I tend to forget a lot of it in the hustle and bustle of life.  So...I was trying to think of a way to make the books impact my life more and more permanently. 

    Here's what I came up with.....I got a small, book-sized notebook with 3 different sections in it.  I tend to "dog-ear" and underline while I'm reading so I thought I would write down in the notebook whatever I've dog-eared or underlined as something that is pertinent or something that I can practically apply to my life.  I labelled the 3 section in the notebook as "Parenting/Marriage", "General Christian Living" and "Misc."  My misc. right now is adoption but it could be anything that doesn't fit under the other two.  You could pick any "categories", those are just the ones that are big in my life right now. 

   Another note...I included the title of the book and the page numbers with each note so that if I do want to refer back to where I got the quote I know where it came from.

   So my goal is to keep the notebook with any book/books that I'm reading at the time and then just right things down as I go.  That way it's just an easy step to journaling what I've learned and hopefully a more practical way to apply what I've learned. 

So, if you like to read maybe this idea will be helpful to you.  If not, oh well...thanks for reading today anyways! :)

Happy Tuesday!



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just a lil DIY-ing...new life for lamps

I promised I would get some DIY projects up on here....so here they finally are! 

We recently moved and they way we had things in the old house just doesn't fit in the new house.  Plus, I've wanted to change things up a bit and do some new colors and decor.  I've found a LOT of things I would like to add to the house and several of them I've figured I could just try making myself....and today I've got one of them posted on here.  I think lamps can add a LOT to a room, but they are soo expensive!  I will not buy lamps because it can cost anywhere from 40-80 bucks!  So I decided to find some old lamps at a thrift store and re-vamp them for our living room. 

I already had a couple of stands I liked at home, so I just found some used lampshades at the thrift store and recovered them to my liking.  I needed a floor lamp so I found a floor lampstand at a thrift store after lots of searching! It was gold...not to my liking, so I just spray painted it (I love spray paint!  I will spray paint pretty much anything!) black and it looks awesome!  Sorry I don't have any "before" pics.  I forgot to take them until after I got them finished.  But just picture ugly, stained old shades and you'll get the idea. :)  Here's the "after" pics....
This is the floor lamp...just covered it with burlap, using a hot glue gun (another one of my favorite tools!) And then added a rosette with mustard and navy fabric

Covered this one with Burlap as well and added three different rosettes with mustard, navy and mustard/cream fabric.  I secured the rosettes with hot glue

Found this awesome fabric for a sweet deal and I LOVE it!  It matches my living room perfectly and so I slapped it on the shade with some hot glue and it's a perfect addition!

I wish that the camera showed the colors better...the yellow looks kinda bright in these pictures but it's actually more of a deep mustard-y color.  Anyways...it was a super easy project and I love how they turned out! 

(For a tip on how to cover a lamp shade, place the shade on a piece of newspaper and start with the seam down and trace the bottom and top of the shade along the newspaper as you roll the shade across the paper until you reach the seam again.  Then add about 3-4 inches on the top and bottom and then ends and cut it out...it will fit perfectly, with enough leftover to wrap around and glue inside.  I hope that makes sense....if not, ask me and I'll try and explain more.)

Happy Saturday everyone!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday again!  Sorry it's taken me clear til the end of the day to get this posted....but better late than never, right?!  So take that and apply it to being thankful in your life....you may have forgotten to be grateful for something or someone, but it's never too late to say thank you.  At least I don't think so.  So here it goes for me....

1. The Bible..."Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." So thankful for God's love letter to His creation

2. Pint sized giggles....man, nothing reaches down into the center of my heart like hearing my son laugh.

3. The smell of cookies baking in the oven...mmm..just makes it feel like home

4. A vanilla chai latte on a rainy afternoon...gotta love cuddling up on the couch and watching the rain with a yummy drink in hand

5. My church...I'm so blessed to have such an awesome place to worship each week...I've learned and grown so much in this community of believers

6. Books...I LOVE reading and I've learned soo much valuable information and changed so much as a person because of the great books I've read

7. Music...I love what it does for my soul

And some pics for today........

He's learned to "fake" laugh...and this is his "fake"laugh face...this kid cracks me up.

Just stinkin' adorable

Ok...now it's your turn...please share!

Happy Thursday everyone! (Almost Friday :) )

There was an error in this gadget