Monday, April 23, 2012


As I continue to hash out the Grace-based parenting I am continually learning how to apply it to our family life.  It has always most affected our prayers.  We pray more.  We depend on God for more.  We know He answers and supplies all we need for life abundant.  Lately we are practicing 3 part prayers at bedtime.  We think about something we want to tell God that we love about Him.  We think of something to thank Him for.  We ask for help and/or healing for someone. These are 2 year old appropriate.  She gets it, she loves it, and she can do it nearly unassisted.  Tonight we prayed like this:

"God we think you are so awesome!  We love seeing our flowers in our yard grow.  It's pretty amazing because mommy can't make them grow, daddy can't make them grow, Charli can't make them grow either.  Only You can make the rain come down from the sky and only You can make the sun shine bright and cause the flowers to grow!  We also are thankful for our crayons and getting to color a fun picture today.  Tomorrow can you please help us be kind to each other? Please help Charli especially be kind to Claire tomorrow. "

Charli thought of all those topics!  I just help her with the big ideas and she inserts the details. (I bet you couldn't guess that with the crayon prayer haha)

More than anything I can teach my kids- I want their view of God to be true.  They can turn to Him with every joy and every sorrow.  He will carry them through their lives, never leave their side, and give them a purpose and hope that I cannot do.  One day they will leave me. One day (hopefully first) I will die.  I want their security, joy, comfort, peace, and hope to be found in Him first.  I hope these daily prayer times, by His grace, help them along His path.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wow Wednesday (1 day late)

This little girlie is sitting up all by herself now!  She's about 2 weeks earlier than Charli learning this skill.  Thus, she enters one of my favorite baby stages.  She can sit and play with toys but not get into anything. She perfectly happy with a couple rattles or spongy blocks and will happily accept any attention from anyone who looks her way.  She's such a "fat and happy" baby!
Don't you just love the "ponytail" ?! and drool.... hahaha
And this big girl fell right of my tree.  She loves to organize her toys.  Usually she's placing all like colors/shapes or finding things around the room that match.  She is constantly exclaiming, "mommy! this matches!"  She loves details and has an incredible memory.  She cracks me up with all her questions. Common themes including: what certain animals eat, where they live, what their name is
When we eat something new she wants to know where I got it, what it's called, etc.  
Here she is hard at work...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughts on Ecclesiastes

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? The majority of it is pretty negative and I got to thinking about it last night. Why is this something God wanted His people, the Church, to have? (All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ESV) Let me give you some examples of the negativity, the hopelessness, the discouragement...

Soloman, the wisest man to ever live, right? says the following:

  • All is vanity (ch 1)
  • I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. (ch 2)
  • And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (ch4)
The entire book goes on and on like this. The best we can hope for is to "eat, drink and be merry" to take joy in our lot, etc. And then I tried to put on the lens of Jesus. How does this point to Jesus? And I was struck at my blindness. Without Jesus, this was our lot! But God, in Jesus, gave us a purpose! A commission, to "go and make disciples" and then I was comforted. Life is not meaningless, it is not striving after the wind. Solomon was wise after all and I fell asleep comforted that this story that God has been writing since the beginning of time was always pointing toward the cross and everything after the cross is still pointing toward Jesus. He is the pinnacle of history.

Monday, April 9, 2012


We celebrated Easter in a new way this year. On Good Friday we attended Second Presbyterian Church with my Mom (Dad was out of town) and had a sitter for the girls. We thought the sermon and music were outstanding and have stuck distantly in our minds since. We were reminded of Jesus's great sacrifice. The points of the sermon were that Jesus's own sufferings (on earth) were conquered, the need for a continual sacrifice for sin was conquered through Jesus's "once for all" sacrifice, and that the sting of death was removed- and "already by not yet" death, sorrow, pain- were all conquered. Praise the Lord!

On Easter Sunday the Easter bunny visited and brought Charli and Claire some new puzzles, a DVD, and of course some "nim-nims" (m&ms). I had to hurry out the door very early but I thankfully got to see Charli see her basket of goodies. I played in the orchestra and Brandon did a great job not only getting the girls in their Easter dresses but also fixed their hair (a big task... have you seen Claire's wild mohawk?!) and took their picture!

After church the girls napped then we went to Mom and Dad's for an Easter egg hunt, gifts, dinner, and a surprise birthday party for Dad. What a wonderful time with our, now, family of 9! I made Dad some golf themed cupcakes. He was happily surprised with his birthday 'party'.
For a Christian, Easter is the happiest day of the year. We are reminded "from whence we came" and I always think of what my life would be like without what Jesus did on the cross. It would be a mess. I would be lost. I would be dead in my sins, unable to do good or save myself. I would be living in utter hopelessness. So, when I celebrate Easter I celebrate every blessing in my life- because they are only mine because of the perfect sacrifice God made in putting my sin on His own Son. I no longer bear the eternal consequence of my sin (hell) and I am able to "approach the throne of grace with confidence". Confidence in that what Jesus did was all sufficient for me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Corner Play

I read somewhere that putting an almost sitting (unassisted) baby in a corner with toys around helps them build muscles to sit up. Claire likes it a lot so far! (And I'm patting myself on the back for yet another reason why I love our faux leather storage ottoman- its on wheels!)

WOW Wednesday!

Lots of bloggers have a theme for a weekly blog. I'm jumping on the bandwagon but starting with my own idea. WOW Wednesday. (Vague, I know but that way it can be about anything WOW worthy) As I continue on my thrifty quests I have recently made a new milestone in coupon-ing. At Target the other day I spent $53, saved $58 and got $10 back in gift cards. Saving over 50% was a first for me, and I'm not gonna lie- I was on a coupon high for about 3 days. Definitely a WOW moment.

Last night I stumbled upon a thrifty gal's dream: a "manager's special" at the grocery. I talked to the Butcher about these and he said for meat it's related to the 'sell by' date. He said if you cook it within 2 days or freeze it, it's no problem. He said for other items in the store it can be related to sell by dates or just to clear space. Yesterday I found biscuits on the manager's special. 75 cents each. I got 5 cans. = $3.50. I had coupons, of course. Deduct $1.60 in coupons. That means I spent $1.90 for 5 cans. They can easily be cooked and frozen for quick breakfasts. (and I also have some sausage that I need to cook, so I think I'll make some sausage biscuits to freeze!) That's over 80% savings on the regular price. WOW!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Sunday

This epitomizes Charli and Claire's love for each other... I often say that they are obsessed with each other. This is Charli's face of, "am I about to get in trouble? but aren't I cute?"
It's actually harder to get Charli to give us a real smile than Claire. This is Charli's "cheeeeese" face and Claire was enjoying all the attention, as usual.