Sunday, December 02, 2012

A Letter to My Blog

Dear Blog,

Hello! Long time no see! Actually I wanted to apologize for not talking to you in so long. You see, I've been a little busy. My husband got a new job so June 1st we moved across the country from CA to IL to a small town (as in there's a gas station, an antique store/coffee shop, and a bank, a post-office and library that are all open part time hours). It's actually very nice to have a slower paced life right now. In addition to the move, the adjusting to the new job and getting settled in a new place, I have a toddler in my care! I recently saw a quote about how having a toddler is like running the blender with the lid off!  : ) Abby is now 2 and fully in the swing of saying no and exploring all manner of things including her independence! She loves to read and sing and listen to the Gaithers and bagpipes and kid songs! She keeps me hopping! In addition to all that I'm due with our second child in only 2 weeks! I have officially reached the "I'm done now, thank you very much!" stage of pregnancy. My husband has been incredibly loving and supportive especially this week when I was sobbing and/or extremely uncomfortable. 2 more weeks....and I can meet our little Caleb Robert! Very excited and ready to experience a different kind of tired.

So there you go, Blog. All of that is why I've been neglecting you. I do hope to speak to you more often now that I've gotten this update of the past 5 months or so done! Ha!  ; )

Your creator,


Sunday, June 17, 2012

7 Days of Praying for My Husband

I follow Kathi Lipp's blog and this week she did a special series on praying for our husbands for 7 days. It was a really neat way to prepare my heart for Father's Day. I copied and pasted and tweaked a little bit so that the following is a list of 7 prayers adapted slightly from Kathi Lipp. I especially
loved days 1 and 2. I sent my husband a copy of this so he would know how I prayed for him this week. If you are married I would encourage you to try praying through this this week. (If you're not married you could pray for your future husband, father, or other special men in your life!) Oh, and check out Kathi's blog!

7 Days of Praying for My Husband
Day 1: Praying For Him When He Feels Inadequate
Isaiah 26:3  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Lord, help my husband to keep his mind totally focused on you today. May he trust in your steadfast love and in your ability to solve the problems that face him today. Keep him in your perfect peace. Settle his mind and heart. Give him courage because he trusts in you.
Day 2: Praying for His Emotional Health
Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Heavenly Father, I pray that you would reign over every area of my husband’s mind. I pray that whoever he is without you is dead, and who he is in you is alive. I pray that his habits and hang-ups that he wants to be free from would be replaced by a hope only you can give. Show him every day who he was designed to be, in you. I am so grateful for the love you lavish over my husband. Thank you for giving yourself for him.
Day 3: Praying for His Relationship with God
1 Corinthians 13:7  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Almighty God, I approach your throne with Jesus at my side, bringing my husband before you. Lord, I ask your favor upon him this day. In some way reveal yourself to him. Let my husband catch a glimpse of the astonishing. Lord, allow your word to seep into his mind and continue to be relentless in your pursuit of his soul. Father, I ask you to protect him from evil people and evil spirits. Grant him favor and a strong work ethic. Urge him to always be fair and honest and be a man of character. Bless him richly and Father, and continue to reveal your son Jesus to my husband. Open his eyes to see and his heart to more fully know the life-change that is freely his. Lavish your love upon him as I know love always protects, always trust, always hopes and always perseveres.
Day 4: Praying for Our Marriage
Heb. 12:14–15  Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Dear God, Sanctify our relationship with your holy presence, that we might be for each other a blessed oasis in a dry and desert land. Help us to resolve disagreements and hurts gently, with love, patience, and abiding respect, so that neither bitterness nor resentment will ever take root in our hearts. Let the divine light of your love so shine through our marriage that we present a holy example to others and lead them to your truth.
Day 5: Praying for God’s Plan for His Life
Ephesians 3:1 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Lord, Help my husband to fully understand your amazing and passionate love for us. Fill him with this fullness and revelation of you and help him to firmly establish his identity in you. I pray that your love will be the guiding force in his life.
Day 6: Praying for His Work
Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
Father, I pray that every decision my husband makes about his work is influenced by you. Lord, I pray that he would sense your presence at every turn – that he wouldn’t be weary of doing good, being honorable, and working with all his strength as if he were working for you.
Day 7: Praying for His Parenting
Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Heavenly Father, I pray that your words, your love, your direction would flow through my husband’s heart. I pray that my husband would find time in each day to pass on your wisdom to our kids. Lord, let every moment they spend together be something to grow both my husband’s heart and my child’s heart toward you. And Father, show me ways every single day to call out those things in my husband that are your way – your good and perfect way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Celebrating Easter

In the weeks leading up to Easter, I had been pondering how to share the true meaning of Easter with our 17 month old daughter, Abby. At Christmas time we bought her a Fisher Price Nativity set. While I know she didn't understand the whole Christmas story (or even close!) she knew which figurine was Jesus and which one was His mommy Mary! I didn't think playing with a cross was quite what I had in mind for Easter but I wanted something more than having a fun Easter egg hunt. Then the Thursday before Easter Sunday I attended my MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) meeting and got some ideas! Our speaker for that day was a mom who had experienced similar feelings when her kids were little and had gotten ideas from another speaker at MOPS. That day each of us also put together a set of Resurrection Eggs for our families. I came away from MOPS energized and excited about how to make Easter special for my young family!

On my way home I stopped at the grocery store and Christian bookstore to pick up a couple of things and during lunch Jeshua, Abby, and I celebrated a very simple Passover meal together. We used paper plates to represent the haste in which the Israelites ate their meal. The menu consisted of roasted chicken instead of roasted lamb, pita bread for the unleavened bread and pesto pasta salad for the bitter herbs! As strange as that may sound, I love that as my family grows and we continue this tradition it's simple enough that we can engage them in conversation about Passover and Easter. While we ate we read Abby a little board book called "The Story of Passover" by Rabbi Francis Barry Silberg. (It's a little long for a 17 month old so we paraphrased.) Another book I ordered but not in time for Easter this year is "The Story of Easter" by Patricia A. Pingry. (This one is just about perfect for a 17 month old!)

 After lunch we each ate a little piece of pita bread and drank a little cup of grape juice and celebrated communion together. I grew up feeling that you really should fully understand communion before you took part in it. But somehow as Jeshua explained to Abby about communion in very simple words, I felt it was a very holy and special moment we were sharing with our daughter. I know she doesn't get it all right now but maybe next year she'll remember that we did this same thing and understand in her little heart that what we're doing is really important. And someday she'll understand that it's a choice she can make, to honor Jesus by taking communion and remembering what He has done for us.

On Sunday we ate Easter dinner with my in-laws and our two oldest nieces. We opened dinner singing a hymn and closed it by passing around the carton of Resurrection Eggs I'd made on Thursday. There are 12 eggs each with some symbol of Jesus' trial, death, and resurrection! Each person took a turn opening an egg and sharing what significance it has in Jesus' story.

So that was the more serious part of our Easter weekend! Before I go on though I will say that there were more suggestions from the MOPS speaker and I'd be happy to pass them on to anyone interested! On a more silly note, Abby got to see the Easter Bunny at the farmer's market Saturday and was absolutely thrilled! We also did a small Easter egg hunt in the backyard Sunday afternoon which she loved once she caught on to the game!
Enjoy some pictures from our weekend!







Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Just Chillin'

I went to the bathroom yesterday and when I came out Abby had climbed up in her chair with Binky and Giraffe-Cow and was just lounging! So sweet!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Smoked Sausage & Oven-Roasted Veggies with Pasta

The other night I made this wonderful oven-roasted veggie dish with smoked turkey sausage! It was so yummy I thought I should share it! I found a recipe on Johnsonville's website and changed it a bit to suit my own tastes! Hope you enjoy!

Smoked Sausage & Oven-Roasted Veggies with Pasta
Adapted from a recipe by The Kitchen at Johnsonville Sausage
Servings: 6                      Prep Time: 30 min                      Cook Time: 35 min
What you need:
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced                            
1-2 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 large red onion, sliced                                 
3 medium bell peppers, sliced (I used 3 different colors!)
2-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced                          
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered (opt.)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (opt.)              
olive oil
½  tsp. sea salt                                             
¼  tsp. pepper
¾  tsp basil 
*1 pkg. (12 oz.) brats or smoked sausage, sliced
12 oz. uncooked pasta                                   
grated Parmesan cheese
marinara sauce (opt.)
What you do:
1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 In a large bowl, combine the veggies and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until lightly coated. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste. (The above measurements are estimates and will depend on the amount of veggies you use and how much seasoning you like!) Stir.
3 Transfer to a greased cookie sheet with edge. Spread the veggie mixture out as thin as you can. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. (I used a lot of veggies so mine took a little longer.)
4 Sprinkle sausage over vegetables. Bake 5 minutes longer or until sausage is heated through.
5 Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl.
6 Add sausage mixture to the pasta and toss or serve separately.
7 Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Some of my family members enjoyed this with marinara sauce on top.

*I recommend Johnsonville Turkey with Cheddar Sausage!


So, since last time I wrote, I was laid off at the church for financial reasons, Abby turned 1, and we decided to move to CA to live with my in-laws for a few months while Jesh works on his topics and dissertation and looks for a full-time job! Wow, right? It's been a crazy ride but God is good and faithful. We started going to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's church and got plugged into a community group. Some of the ladies from that invited me to their MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group! If you've never heard of MOPS, it is a Christian-led organization that ministers to groups of moms with young children. We meet twice a month for food, fellowship, speakers, games, and giveaways. Child-care is included! I've only been to two official meetings so far and two outings with my table friends and it's been pretty great so far! Abby & I keep busy by going to Wiggleworms Story Time at the library and visiting playgrounds! She particularly loves the slides. I have also done some tutoring for Jesh's teenage cousins and I cook for us plus my in-laws at least twice a week. Abby takes steps here and there and likes to walk holding onto our fingers. Her daily jobs are walking out to the mailbox, key in hand, and emptying the silverware container from the dishwasher. Lately she's desperate to empty the plates and glasses as well. Makes Mama's heart a little anxious but no broken dishes yet! Jesh, in addition to working on his topics, is teaching part-time at the junior college in town and directing the music for a high school musical production this spring!

The future looks pretty uncertain but the Lord has always been faithful in provision and guidance so we will continue to trust in Him and praise Him!!!!