Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Monday, February 27, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - Feb. 27

#1208 - 1223
            Daddies playing with their children
          3 gifts white – the flowers on my desktop background
            Towels at the gym that I didn’t have to bring and
            Copy paper
             (4) The white carnations on my kitchen counter
           Bright sunshine
           Chilly mornings and warm afternoons
            The way the hall smells of bath gel when the boys finish their showers
           Bed made, laundry started and Jesus calling before 7:30 am
            A day off
            Starting something that is beyond me
Breakfast with a new friend
            2 great date nights with Hubby
            Airplane hangars
            Corporate worship

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On The Home Front - February 25

A peek through my window…. Dark now.  That happened way too quickly.

What’s going on this week… Subbing, usual practices and such, pick up cookie dough and a day off.

What “the boys” are doing… they are at a concert with Aunt. M. continues after school track practice. L. has a skit performance Sun. night.  I’m glad I figured that out on Wed. because I wasn’t planning for it.  At all.

On my mind…  A few things – I put our family calendar in Google docs!  I’m also thinking of how badly my shins are hurting.  A friend from high school convinced me to do the Couch to 5k and “run” a 5k Mayish.  Hubby and I are going to go out in a little while looking for running shoes.  He and I have already been out to dinner and hung out together at the hangar.

On my bedside table… Jesus Calling.  I finished Delivered with Love on my Kindle.

I am richly blessed… I really enjoyed having breakfast with a friend from Bible Study this morning.

I’m praying for… family.

Our home… I got the master bathroom completely cleaned – a rarity.  The boys cleaned their rooms a little more thoroughly today and changed the sheets on their beds – took off some of the heavy winter covers.  I reworked their weekly chores to be more “fair”.

Menu planning… Mexican Roast, hmm…and leftover Mexican Roast (for tacos).

A photo or two…

Photos From Our Trip to Texas Last Weekend

Friday, February 24, 2012

Going Out in Joy

Everyday joy, now I like the sound of that!!  Dayspring has some great themed collections out right now that would make great gifts for upcoming birthdays, Mother's Day, and just because.  The one I had the privilege to review was this one "Everyday Joy"

The white dots and colors of red and turquoise just radiate the words "fun, bold and enjoyment".  When the Dayspring box came to the door of course I opened it right away.  My son L was getting ready to have hot chocolate and he was quick to claim the mug to use.  It has a design in the bottom - I just love that about Dayspring mugs and am always excited to find out which surprise design or Scripture is on the inside!

You can always shop Dayspring online, find products at your local Christian retailer and a few weeks ago I found Dayspring at Hobby Lobby while we were browsing!  To help you out with some shopping, I'd like to offer a $20 coupon code (You have to pay shipping).  To enter to win the code, please leave me a comment about what you love about Dayspring.  I will use to pick a winner on Leap Day!

The memo cube became a gift for a friend.  Here it is waiting to be packed.

She took it to her work office and when I talked to her earlier this week she told me how much she enjoyed looking at it there.

I still have the journal, but wanted to show you the inside pages.  (BTW, this journal is wire bound - I love those kind so you can bend the cover completely back.)

The clothes I was packing are in the background.  I didn't even notice until I reviewed the photos for this post, but I think the verse was fitting for me getting ready to take a trip!

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace.  Isaiah 55:12a

Disclosure:  I received an Everyday Joy Assortment Set free from Dayspring in return for my blog review.  All opinions are completely mine and true.

Flashback Friday - February 24

Once we got into our new townhouse complex in Sedona, we had to get ready for baby L's arrival.  Aunt bought M his "big boy" bed (aka known as we needed the crib for baby).  It was a blue Little Tykes race car bed and perfect for M's fascination with cars.  It wasn't too tricky to put together (well if Hubby hadn't been doing it would have been!)

I know it's shocking that I would actually post a picture of me at nine months pregnant, but this blog is real and sometimes it gets ugly. 

M was quite helpful and though I don't remember exactly, he likely had his tools out also.  The tricky part of this ensemble was toddler bedding.  Who would have thought it would be so difficult to find?  Of course we weren't exactly in a metropolis, but we did find a Sesame Street comforter and sheets with vehicles on them at Kmart in Flagstaff. (Usually shopping trips to Flagstaff included Hubby and trips without him were to Cottonwood.)

This picture is M. on the stairs.  At the top was a hallway landing with a laundry closet and large bedrooms with bathrooms on each side.  It kind of seems silly to describe, but I want my boys to have this for memories.  Their room was on the right at the back of the house.  Our landlord installed a safety mechanism on the outside of the window when she knew we had small children (I don't exactly remember what kind it was).  We thought that was so considerate of her considering our previous landlord didn't seem to think it was a problem that our front glass door didn't latch properly i.e. M. could easily escape. 

The closet in the boys' room was so large that I put the changing table for L. lengthwise in the width of the closet.  The dresser was there too lengthwise with plenty room in front to open drawers.  There was even space on top to use - Little kid clothes don't hang down too far! The boys' room had plenty of place to play even with the crib and race car bed in it.  Little Tykes and Little People toys were the coolest back then - they had the workbench and "zoo" and many Little People sets and videos.  Anway back to the "big boy bed".  The evening we Hubby put it together we were visited by the police.  It seemed that the neighbors in the 55 plus community behind us didn't like hearing our dog howl.  He eventually went to live with my parents.

Next week I have pictures to post that actually include L. in Sedona!  M. read last week's post and he wants to hear about Albuquerque.  He'll have to wait through Kentucky stories, but at least I have digital photos from ABQ.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

L's Favorite Book Character

I totally forgot that Tuesday was the State writing test until after I got to work myself.  I was thankful that L had a good breakfast and spent time praying for him.  When I picked him up after school he informed me that he got in bed too late and didn't have a good breakfast.  What??!!!  Problem corrected for day two of writing.

Now L, hasn't been one to always bring papers home from school in a timely manner.  This morning I saw L's practice writing response and the booklet giving details about the test.  Maybe if I had seen that last week.....

Anyway, I read his writing and it was quite the "proud Mother moment".  I'm including his essay here.  I left most of the misspellings because I wanted it be real (5th grade real) except that I only spelled Moses and Israel the way he did once.

             My favorite book character would be Mosses.  Moses is in the Bible in the OLD Testimate.  He was a follower of God.

            When Moses was a baby he was about to be killed (because all male babies were to be killed) and his mother wrapped him in cloth and put him in a basket.  She put him in the Nile river and let him off because she didn’t want him to be killed.  He was found in a river crying, right in front of a palace, and was taken care of.

            The Bible doesn’t really describe Moses, but he is in a few Bible stories.  In one he is a baby in another he is a lot older.  I imagine him as having a white beard and bald.  I also think of him as having a walking stick and being a good leader.

            He is in a lot more Bible stories but my favorite story is when he went and free the people of Isreal. God told him to go to Israel and talk to the king and make him free God’s people.  When Moses first went the Bible says he was scared but God helped him.  Moses talked to the king but the king didn’t let the people go.  The king repeatly said no on letting the people go.  God grew angry each time and sent plagues.  On the last plague God sent a plague that the Wholy Ghost would kill the first born son of that family if you didn’t put blood on your door frame.  The king’s son died that night because he didn’t obey God’s commands.  The king let Moses take the people, but he regretted it and went after Moses.  Moses made sure that every body was saved.

            I like Moses because he is a follower of God and a good leader.  He is my favorite Bible character because he is very courageous and fun to learn about.

Monday, February 20, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - February 20

 #1184 - 1204 (Really)

708 My sister

709 Help filling out Valentines

710 A continued welcome

711 Discovering new blogs

712 In-depth small group discussion

713 Lunch after church with a new family

714 God is my provider

715 A quick trip to the store for saltines

716 17 years ago he proposed to me at a Valentine banquet

717 I love my new part-time job

718 Mosaic

719 Playing skee ball with my sidekick

720 A tight hug and an “I love you Mom.”

721 J. waiting in the same spot we left her 20 min. earlier

722 A student coming in to Arby’s to say hello.

723 Homemade Valentines

724 Late walk with Hubby and J.

725 M got a spot on the NJHS Relay for Life team (33 of 45)

726 Love of family

727 Safe travels

728 White carnations

729 Lots of conversation

730 Worship with 800 women

731 Heart change

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flashback Friday - February 17

Flashback to this yard.  This eh, pile of rocks.  I mentioned last week that our yards in Sedona were perfect for toy backhoes and dumptrucks and they were.  I hardly ever left M (or the dog for that matter) alone in the yard more than five minutes because of coyotes.  You can see just beyond the back gate.  It opened to a small ravine and then directly beyond that was an over 55 community.  I was told there were coyotes in the back sometimes.  Although we heard them at night some and I would see them in town, I never saw them around the townhouse.  I was paranoid though if I didn't always have an eye on M or the dog that they'd get carried away.

Having rocks for the yard was perfect for this time in our life and not so perfect too.  Since M was constantly digging in them and this was the dog's "litter box" we were constantly hosing them down with water and cleaner.

I miss little kid clothes - I don't think we had to buy the boys clothes hardly at all though while we were in Sedona.  We were blessed with a friend at church who had boys slightly older than ours.  We often had an overabundance and kept some and passed the others along.  In this picture you can see our infamous duck boots.  They came from the mentioned family, M wore them everywhere - even when they were too small.  Eventually L. wore them (even when they were way too big).  We passed them on when L. outgrew them and now I can't even remember to who!

Anyway, one of my favorite memories of my parents visiting was in this yard.  The ladies I worked with at the Christian school (I did after school care) hosted a baby shower for L. and instead of individual gifts they bought an outdoor swing for the backyard.  Mom and Dad came to visit us in Sedona when L. was about a month old.  In the mornings they would sit in the swing.  I woke up early one morning and saw them drinking coffee and talking out there so they wouldn't wake us.  I remember being so happy that they were enjoying the swing/yard.  Thinking back, I think I was so happy knowing they were in my yard and not 18 hours away.

Monday, February 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - February 13

1167 - 1183.  I still don't know why the numbers change when I copy and paste from Word!

708 God speaking in His Word

709 Part time jobs

710 Smiles

711 Learning curves

712 Lawn treated

713 Free stuff

714 Dog sneezes

715 3 gifts outside: The dog following Hubby who is all bundled up

716 A school bus that stops right in front of the house

717 Daffodils coming up

718 Finally taking that pile of pants that are too big to a local church’s clothing closet

719 Pants that are too big

720 Waking up without an alarm clock

721 Time

722 Scanning old photos

723 Peanut butter brownies

724 Dirt – making the yard ready for spring

Sunday, February 12, 2012

12 on the 12th

When I was going through my reader I saw a friend post 10 on the 10th (she actually posted on the 11th though - I love it!  I usually posted Multitudes on Mondays Wednesday or Wordless Wednesday Thursday.)  I follwed a link from  to and totally stole her list of 11 random things.  It's actually the 12th so I included my own 12th at the end.

1. Favorite Book

Currently it is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Growing up, I loved (and still do) Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright. It is a beautiful story of forgiveness set in the Ozark Mts.

2. Would you make a good celebrity? Why or why not?

Absolutely Not. The glitz and fakeness of it all would irritate me.

3. One thing on your To Do list

I’d really like to get my desk cleaned off! (My husband would too since we share an office at home!)

4. The last time you treated yourself to something special

I think since my children are older now that it’s much easier to treat myself…Saturday morning I ate lunch by myself at Chick Fil A and sat there an hour and worked on my Bible Study.

5. What is your perfect meal?

One shared with my family.

6. One thing you should do more often


7. Most underrated band

If they are underrated, it’s probably because of me – I’m not much into bands (or any of the reality contest music/dance shows on TV).

8. Your plans for Valentine’s Day

Soccer practice. Hubby and I took a trip last month.

9. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Time and money are not a factor.

Hubby and I would love to take our boys to Israel. He and I went there together over a dozen years ago. I think once you go, your heart always longs to go back.

10. A good prank you pulled or that someone did to you

I detest pranks. (Do not take that as an invitation to pull one on me).

11. Rain or snow?

Rain, but I do hope we have a snow day tomorrow!

12.  What I had for dinner last night.

A very eclectic meal - leftover rice soup, bbq chicken on toast, lime tortilla chips and guacamole.

Cooper and Me and the Military

I blogged a few months ago about a wonderful series of books called Cooper and Me (See side bar).  Most children love stories about dogs and this one stars a loveable black lab.  The newest book in the series is Cooper and Me and the Military where Cooper's best friend's family is deployed.  The family stays close even though they are separated by thousands of miles.

This book will help any child make connections with our military, but it would be a wonderful gift to help a child with a parent being deployed to work through his/her feelings.  Even if a child doesn't have experience with someone in the military though, the bridge could be made to any loved one who lives far away.

One of the best things about Cooper and Me books are their interactive features:
• Life Lesson

• Connections

• Learning Together

They are written in a way to guide adults to help children talk about the book (questions directly from the book - such as "Who are the little girl's friends?"), talk about the life lesson (Staying connected with loved ones for this new one) and connecting to their personal experiences ("Have you ever missed someone?  How does that feel?")  

Cooper and Me and the Military also contains a sample letter for writing our service men and women and a website to help in sending those messages.  All of these interactive features would be perfect for home and/or school.

For More Information:



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of Cooper & Me and the Winter Adventure for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

On The Homefront - February 11

A peek through my window…. The sky is blue and it’s sunny, but it’s misleading. I can see that it is quite breezy and I’m sure the windchill isn’t above freezing.

What’s going on this week… Valentine’s Day, my sub position ends and my new tutor position starts, I leave Friday morning for a conference and to visit family.

What “the boys” are doing… L is on his bed reading Courageous. We can officially call him “headache free” now and start counting our week in order for him to start having contact in soccer. His scrimmage was cancelled today because of temperature/wind chill and we will be away for two scrimmages next weekend. I bet he (and his coach) are itching to be back! M. is out with Hubby. His first NJHS meeting is this week.

On my mind… local attempted abduction yesterday morning and an Amber alert last night (unrelated). The safety of my children (and all children) is always on my mind. Also, since Bible study Wed. night, not showing favoritism (James 1) has been on my mind.

On my bedside tableJesus Calling.

I am richly blessed… to have another part-time job to go into and to have a six-week work at home opportunity.

I’m praying for… mission team that is away right now.

Our home… Hubby and M moved lots of dirt filling in holes and getting flower beds ready for spring. Hubby has plans for a backyard fountain (hopefully we’ll get the front one fixed) and has ordered new bulbs.

Menu planning… Leftovers and asparagus tonight for dinner. I bought more asparagus to have another night this week – I was so excited to find it good in the store. I won’t buy it if it’s too expensive or yucky. I only plan out meals a couple weeks at a time and it’s about time to do it again…

A photo or two… From Hubby's phone again. We absolutely have to get a new camera before summer vacation this year!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flashback Friday - Feb. 10

Last night we went to M’s induction to the National Junior Honor Society. Of course it got me thinking of all the things that led him there, especially his school experiences. Then I pondered why I have loved being in kindergarten so much the past six weeks. All this water coloring, singing, and such was all the things I did at home with my boys before they went to school and I love seeing other kids growing.

I don’t scrapbook or keep a journal other than here and when I did start blogging my boys were already in school. So, that got me thinking that I needed to record some of those every day “ordinary” experiences from when M & L were little. I will record them here, so one day when childhood is gone there will be record of what fun we had at home. I decided to start “Flashback Friday” where (almost) every Friday, I’ll reminisce.

We lived in Sedona, Arizona from when M was one until he was three and a year after L was born. While there we lived in three different townhouses. We left the first one for a better ‘deal”, but it turned out to be not so great and we were there only one month. Even though we were there a short time and I was extremely pregnant with L, I remember having so much fun playing. Most of M’s toys were downstairs underneath the stairs and since he had lots of wheeled toys, it was almost like a garage. We spent lots of time watching Thomas the Tank Engine and lots of time right outside the sliding glass doors playing ball on the grass or playing in the rocks. Sedona was a great place for toy dump trucks and backhoes. We also spent a lot of time walking in the neighborhood. To M’s delight this included a ride in the stroller by the fire station and to the grocery store. He loved when we went in for donuts! I was almost nine months pregnant, so I loved it to!

The end to that residence was quite traumatic. Hubby had to take the youth at church on a college visit and he had said if we got the townhouse packed first that I could go along. That was definitely incentive! After that visit and an 18 hour ride home I skipped church to sleep in (Hubby got two hours of sleep). Then M and I drove the rental van up the mountain to return it to the “big” city. I fastened M. into his car seat securely and took a nap before driving our own van back home. I know that’s terrible, but I almost fell asleep twice on the way up. God was watching out for us. By the time I made it home, Hubby and some men from church had already moved absolutely everything to our new place and had even started unpacking.

We were at that next place for a little over a year. I wonder if M remembers any of it.  (I had fully intended to post a picture from the "Wild Turkey" townhouse, but it's going to require a bit more digging.  I know there's at least one because I remember having pictures of M playing in the boxes we were using when we moved!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - February 6

1150 Learning about night vision

1151 Umbrella

1152 God fills lack

1153 M made National Junior Honor Society

1154 A surprise day home

1155 Making the time to read

1156 Extra cuddles

1157 3 gifts found in writing: re-reading blog posts - our history

1158 Seeing Mom’s writing in her old Bible Study books

1159 Texts that say thank you or you’re invited

1160 But for the grace of God go I

1161 Familiar faces

1162 Anticipation

1163 Sharing our home

1164 Quilt on the couch

1165 Doorbells

1166 My son’s school rocks!

Time Well Spent

Concussions are yucky. We did the whole thing (twice) with M. last fall. When L. got hit in a soccer scrimmage we were more aware of what was going on. One of the yucky things is that symptoms can come and go. For example, L. was doing great yesterday morning and I really thought it was going to be his first headache free day. By the evening he said his head hurt worse than it had all week. I tried for about an hour to comfort him and finally ended up laying down beside him so he’d fall asleep.

This morning when I woke L. up for school he was crying. I tried to give him medicine for his headache, but he said that his Dad had before he left. I let him sleep for another hour telling him I’d take him to school before I went to work. When I woke him up the second time, same thing, but this time I told him that he’d be fine, he had to go. When he actually got out of bed he said that he was dizzy. So this time, I called in for a sub. I am actually the sub so I feel terrible for doing this.

However, my friend at Our Breathtaking Life, has been encouraging me to treasure time with my children. I wish this were time another way, but I am happy to give L. more rest and to love on him. All to soon “time with my children” is going to be “time with my teens”.

On another “time” note, while Hubby and I were in Florida, we talked about getting back to something we used to do. On Saturday evenings, we turn off media around 6 o’clock to prepare our hearts for Sunday worship. We’ve done that for three weeks now and I’ve also seen other fruit come from it – great conversation about sharing your faith at school, finishing a puzzle, making brownies, the boys getting interested in putting models together. Who could have imagined what tuning out could accomplish? I think no video games is easier on the boys (they already have limits) – Sat. evening is about the time I would like to be blogging! But, yes, time actually spent with them is way better than time writing about them!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

On the Home Front - February 4

A peek through my window…. Very cloudy and gray. I can’t complain though, our winter temperatures still are not very wintery.

What’s going on this week… Wed. night is a parent meeting for track. I think Hubby will go so I can still go to Bible study. Thursday night is the National Junior Honor Society induction. I was so happy for M. to have made it!

What “the boys” are doing… one is vacuuming right now! On another note, we think L. got a mild concussion in the scrimmage last weekend. Since we’ve done this rodeo before we were planning on waiting and watching, but his soccer coach urged us to go ahead and see the dr. So that’s where we are headed this afternoon.

On my mind… My kindergarten sub job ends two days earlier than the teacher had thought and my next long term job may start later (depending on when the teacher’s baby comes) so I am thinking of that “in between time”. I have enjoyed the consistency of knowing where I am going each day and being able to feel settled somewhere. I guess that will be ending shortly.

On my bedside table… I’ve read two fiction books and that must be a record for me of late! That must be why I haven’t blogged as much lately.

I am richly blessed… with another wonderful family evening last night. Since Hubby and I came back from Florida we have had family night each Friday (and Saturday really) night. Last night we sent almost two hours at a National Guard Armory and looking at Black Hawk helicopters. We especially enjoyed learning about and experiencing night vision. After our tour, the four of us went to a local place for dinner. I love local establishments.

I’m praying for… family.

Our home… will have a new picture hanging on the wall soon. When we go out this afternoon I am going to get a frame for the painting that Winter (the dolphin) did. We have a print of course.

Menu planning… I actually did this when I stayed home Tuesday with L! Tonight I am making wild rice soup and grilled ham and cheese. Friends are bringing pizza tomorrow night for the Super Bowl. One night this week we will have roast, potatoes and carrots and another night we’ll have spaghetti.

A photo or two