Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brick Planter Progress and Painted Bookshelf!

Our family lately has been really into projects. I had my own that I did all myself which was painting a bookshelf for the boys. I found this dresser on craigslist for 20 bucks, bought some paint for 15 and tah-dah!!! I used a power sander to get the dresser rough, spray painted some primer and then over the course of 4 or 5 days, painted the dresser. I was really impressed with how it turned out and may be painting some more pieces of furniture to spruce it all up!

Since we are not selling the house within the next year, we decided to improve our lawn and landscape a little. Mike is so skillful at so many things he just took on this project like it was nothing:-) I am always so amazed at how talented he is at SO MANY things. Here are some pictures of the progress. I also enjoy how much Mike includes his boys in these projects; such a good Daddy! Most of the time Logan looked for bugs and tried to steal the tools we were working with (yes I helped a lot even though there are no pics of me) and Austin just walked around and ate dirt.

Our yard before! Not too bad, but EVERY time it rains it floods and becomes a pool of water.

Logan starting to dig.

Pushing the tree down. It was already tilted to one side after a nasty storm this winter. We tried to fix it but it wasn't going to go straight again.

Austin running around.

The trench that the concrete will go in. I helped!

I thought this was so cute, he had the tape measure clipped to his belt when I got outside and had his toolbox out. He looks so old!

Getting ready for a long day's work!

Pounding in the forms. Too cute to watch!

Our buddy and his wife came over to help. Thank you so much! Couldn't have done it without you!


The concrete poured and done!

Logan in the wheelbarrow.

All done for now!

Think again...

This is a short 4 minute film, but I think it is really cool. You have to watch it all the way through though...tell me what you think!??!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Great way of cooking!

I have recently found this new way of cooking meats and I am sooooo stoke about it! I first tried it with Tilapia and last night I did it with boneless Pork Chops. I LOVE my reynolds wrap and that is how I baked these delicious meals! I made a pouch, added ingredients (even liquid) and squeezed it shut on all sides, baked the fish for 15 minutes tops and the pork 20 minutes! The clean up was so easy and I just made rice for the side for both! I even put potatoes in with the pork and roasted them in the sauce. SSOOOOOO good! Another neat thing about the pouches is that you can personalize the food. For example, with the fish I made Mike's spicy and the rest of ours a little more bland (but still so tasty!). I was hesitant to bake the fish since last time I did the fishy taste was so awful, but I chowed down on the fish as did the rest of the family! So if you would like to try some just go to the Reynolds website and they have quite a few recipes! Here is the one for the pork I used and I just happened to have all the ingredients which makes it so much better!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fun Family Time

In the past month, Mike has surprised the family with some fun dates! We went miniature golfing one night and this weekend we went and watched the sunrise! Here are some pictures and stories about our surprises with Daddy!

First off...I love this picture of Austin. He is looking at Mike and he always gets a cheesy smile on his face...

Miniature golfing was an experience. It was the first real nice evening as far as weather goes and everyone wanted to golf. Unsure of how Logan would do, we were excited to see his reaction. We hurried through the course as Logan would hit the ball straight on and then run to put it next to the hole so he could hit it right in. Austin was happy just holding the balls and walking around. I am trying to post a video so you can see how Logan golfed. Austin was sure mad at the end when he had to give up the balls and Logan was done with golfing around hole 10...it was a good family time though!

Logan knocking the ball in!

Posing for a picture!

This past Sunday, Mike got us all up around 530 and we took off for the Sunrise. Unfortunately it was a very VERY chilly morning. He grabbed just about every blanket possible, which really helped. Logan very much enjoys to have the sunlight in the house and asks for me to "let the son out" in his room, which means to open his shades:-) Just like his momma! It was neat to show Logan where the sun came up from and also moving for me to see the sun as the "first" person in the morning. There barely anyone else on the beach and the only sound was the waves. The Lord is so beautiful that He paints the sky before the sun comes up. I tried to get some pictures, but I was unsure how to get good sunrise shots with the camera.

Just as the sun started peaking through

Austin all bundled up and waiting

Coming up over the horizon fast!

It was cold which was so unfortunate, so the boys' faces weren't that happy some times.

Tried to get some pics of the boys once the sun came up, but Austin was crying because he wanted to be warm...

The reflection of the sun on the wet sand...so beautiful!


God's beautiful morning...why don't we try and see it every day! Do you think your day would be different (besides being tired) if you started it off with a sunrise painting!?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My moment of the Day

There was a point today that I just wanted to crawl back in bed, ask the sun to go behind the clouds, and sleep the day away. My days lately haven't been filled with a true Joy, more of frustration and trying to understand this change going on around me. Many things have been happening such as Logan hitting the "terrible threes" (the terrible twos are NOTHING compared to this), finding out the city won't buy back our house (long story-but now we will have to sell it on the market), new budgets, long work hours for Mike, and just an inevitable feeling of change going on inside of me. Sorry for being very transparent here. I have too much going on inside me right now that all it does is spill out.
Anyways...today was PDO or Parent's Day Out and Logan and Austin go to "school" for 4 hours. Between lack of motivation and a sunny day out, I managed to get a few things done and even convince myself to NOT get a chocolate shake from McDonalds. I get to the church at 2:00 to pick up my boys, where the PDO is held and I grab my Beco (the carrier I decided to get from that post a while back) and slowly walk through the parking lot to enjoy the sunshine. I first to go Austin's room and pack him on the front of me popping his paci in so he rests his head on my chest. I walk over to Logan's room and he is one of three kids left. Miss Dottie is there and tells me I am the one with a sleeping child...."WHAT?!?!?!" Since when does my son ever fall asleep with so much around him, let alone in another place than his bed!? I looked over at him and my heart melted as I saw him curled up on the floor with someone else's fuzzy blanket under his head. He wouldn't even wake up when the other kids were talking to him and running around playing! I just stood there in amazement and love for this little guy who must have had one heck of a day!!! So...here comes my moment of the day...I swing Austin around so he is attached to my back, go and bend down to get Logan, who looks at me with bewilderment and then comfort. He lays his head down on my shoulder and tucks his hands under himself between my chest and his. My 3 year old... yet also my baby. I grab Austin's diaper bag, two lunch pails, and Logan's little bag.
So Austin strapped to my back, Logan in front half asleep, carrying more than enough, I proudly walk out of the church in full mommy-hood. I couldn't have been more happy and my load couldn't have been any lighter. These moments get me through the rest of my day and hopefully carry me on through the week.

These pics are just to make me smile and for you to see Austin in his carrier (sorry about the picture from behind)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Purposeful Effort

I am sitting here drinking cold coffee, not understanding why it is cold since I have had no children interrupting me this morning. I realize it is because I have been deep in my thoughts and in God's Word for over an hour. As I realized the time I thought, "wow, that is awesome that I have spent that much time reading, well, that's it for the day!". But oh, so ignorant am I! I will be the first to admit that I am an inconstant bible reader. Some weeks I will be very diligent and read every day, however some of those days might be just reading and not taking it in. And I will also have weeks were I may not remember where I put my bible. I'm just trying to be transparent.
My point here is, is that Jesus wants to have an intimate relationship with us. That may sound weird to some, but how perfect and fulfilling that relationship can be! Prayer and spending time in the Bible is the best way to know God more and pursue that relationship. One huge aspect of knowing God is how can I teach my children about Jesus and doing what is right if I don't know God and His commands myself? Unfortunately, it has taken having kids to put a strong desire in my heart to know and abide in the Lord. It is a good thing and also too bad -because think of all the relational time I have wasted!
We are all so busy though! How do we get to know God with all that needs to get done! There are days where I have no obligations but somehow I go to bed without spending time in the Word, or just skimming it over the day. Just think...compare getting to know God, having an intimate relationship with Him, like your relationship with your husband! How do we get to know and love our husbands? Some ways are spending time together, listening, talking, sharing our thoughts, desires, fears, etc. God is a relational God and we can get to know Him the same way! Oh how He longs for a deep relationship full of love and trust!

So...by using a verse a day approach, a flip calendar, or little verse cards....is that enough?! Sure it is a great way to hear God speak to you that day, but what if we only got one line out of our husbands a day, or were able to share only one sentence with them. Would that create a thriving relationship?

How about a daily devotional? I use those! They can be great and very good tools to keep on hand! However, it is like having someone else talk to your husband, writing it down, and then giving it to you so you can get to know your spouse. Is that truly beneficial? And you don't get that intimate one on one time spent with your husband.

Bible studies? I LOVE those, I am a big fan of Beth Moore and truly feel that bible studies have been a big part of my walk and desire for the Lord. I am in the bible almost every day with the studies and it may feel like enough. However, it is like going to your husband with a clipboard and an agenda and only discovering bits and parts. Going on a mission to discover certain things can be a good thing when it comes to pursuing God and your spouse and we need to do that, but it won't be enough.

Group studies or reading the Bible with other people at church or home group? What kind of relationship would that be with your spouse...only talking when in a group of people? No one on one time, would you share your inmost secrets in a group of people to your husband? It can be good so others hold you accountable and you learn from others, but that too is not enough.

So you ask what is enough? This is something I am still discovering and learning. But the word Abide comes to heart. We need to spend intimate time with God, directly in His Word, listening, talking, and finding out what HE wants for and has for us. Not just what we have or what we can offer, because it is not about us! Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak through the scriptures and open your heart to verses. I know I can read one passage in Jan and read it again in June and it will speak to me in completely different ways! (works of the Holy Spirit!) Connecting with God can be a challenge because sometimes He isn't tangible, doesn't speak back to us right away, sometimes not for months or years! He can't have coffee with us, or go on playdates (although he has plenty of children to do that with!). Once we start pursuing God and getting to know Him, we will WANT to and look forward to spending time with Him! Drawing close to God will be the highlight of our day and we won't want to stop! That means stopping your busy day and reading the Bible, reading a book that emphasizes the Lord, praying by yourself or with your children. Sometimes praying can be done while doing dishes or laundry, driving in the car, etc. If the Lord is so important to us yet we don't find time to spend with Him daily, how can we expect to see His presence in our lives daily? Just like if we don't spend time with our spouses, how can we expect to know them and enjoy their presence every day? This is a challenge to have purposeful effort, something that I am guilty of not having most days. However, the days that I do purposefully spend time with God are the days that I don't forget, that don't wash on by, but that I cling to. Do you notice a difference in your days when God is more present and you pursue Him more? What are ways that you make sure you get that time spent with Him? Is is important to you?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lots and lots of Easter type pictures!!!

Well, I hope this post doesn't bore you because there will be many pictures! I have been having lots of fun with my camera lately and I love most of the pictures it takes! Also, this is one of the easiest ways to get pictures to the long distance family! This Easter Season was especially fun for us since Mike was gone last year. One of the many Holidays gone during his deployment and without him, it just isn't the same when celebrated. So this year we had low-key easter baskets, a huge feast with some "family", egg hunt and lots of bible reading! Hope you enjoy all the pics!!

Daddy helping Austin color his eggs...

Logan and I dipping our eggs in the colors!

Austin looked like such a big boy sitting in Logan's chair at the table...I might put him in one sooner than later!


Logan coloring his eggs...he like the pink color

We gave Austin an egg to see what he would do and mostly just banged it on the table and tried to eat it:-)

Austin helping mom pull his egg out of the dye

The boys after coloring eggs

It was very fun this year to dress the boys in matching outfits, I might have to be that annoying mom and do that for the next couple of years I can get away with it! I do think it is adorable when siblings match! We spiked Logan's hair and just patted down Austins...


The boys together...at least this year Austin wasn't screaming his head off in the Easter pictures!

My little stud...it can be hard to catch a smile on him for some reason!

Playing after church...beautiful day!

We invited over our community group from Church because most of us don't have close family nearby. I provided the Ham and everyone else brought the delicious sides! These little rice crispy treats I made a few weeks ago for our MOPS group and thought I would try again and use some marshmallows also! They are DELICIOUS and soooo easy to make!

Yummy snacks!

These are a collage of pictures during the night...there was an Egg Hunt that the kids had a blast with! It turns out that mike is very competitive when it comes the egg hunts! Guess it was a childhood thing he is bringing to the family now! The other kids in the pictures are the wonderful kids from our group...so much fun!!!!

This last bit of pictures are a fun tradition that I would like to keep around. These are called Resurrection Rolls and I know there are many many different version of them and other food, but it is so neat! It basically represents Jesus and the empty tomb.You can just google the recipe and it is so easy! Basically you take a large marshmallow (Jesus) and roll it in melted butter, cinnamon and sugar (the spices he was anointed in) wrap the marshmallows up in the flaky crescent rolls (the tomb) and make sure all the sides are sealed and pinched shut, otherwise the marshmallow will leak out. Then put it in the oven for the time on the package, take them out and open them up after cooling and the marshmallow is gone (the empty tomb!!!) It was such a neat word picture for the kids to actually help, and see it all done! Plus they tasted GREAT!