Freebie of the Day- Curel Life Stages Moisturizer

Get a free sample of Curel's new Life Stages lotion from Wal-Mart.

Batman and Robin Do the Dishes

Until Tuesday, my little guys had never washed the dishes. I thought they might be ready to tackle some dishes after we made bread, and they did a great job! They had a great time too, although their conservationist daddy might just have a cow if he knew how long the water was running. (It was on very low, honey! :)

I am seeing dish duty in their future! Wohoo!



Freebie of the Day- Pledge Multi-Surface Wipes

Get a free sample of Pledge Multi-Surface Wipes here.

Isabella is Six Months Old!

Time flies by so fast these days. Before we turn around we will be celebrating her first birthday! She has started sitting up and can do it for a while before falling to the side. She is just so cute- her brothers love her even more these days. They just can't get enough of her and are excited to hold her or give her a sippy cup or a toy. I can't believe it's already been six months!




Freebie of the Day- Parents Choice Gentle Baby Formula

Get a sample of Parent's Choice Gentle Baby Formula here. Elijah was the only one of my children who would drink formula as a back up. We tried with the other two kiddos so we could have a backup method if we ran out of milk but they just wouldn't drink it! These samples are nice to have on hand though. :)

Lots of Tolerance and Little Truth in the Modern Church

As I read Kelly's post at Families Against Feminism this afternoon, I felt compelled to share it with you in case you'd never seen it.

This topic she writes about has been heavy on my heart for some time now. I have personally seen it so much lately that it has really been on my mind. It's the topic of "tolerance" in church. The idea that everything goes, each to his own, that being a Christian is simply being like the world but with lots more love and a general belief in Jesus and salvation. Nothing is wrong, you are good just as you are, and God wants you to be "you."

It's the idea that everything is tolerated but intolerance. Believing in and speaking of a specific moral standard is just no longer tolerated in the modern church. If you believe that divorce is wrong in any case but what the Bible says of adultery, you are legalistic. If you believe that women were created to be a helpmeet for a man and to be a keeper of the home, you are written off as a traditionalist.

Kelly addresses this issue so well in her two posts, you have to read them!

She says,

The most devastating and terrifying trend has crept into the body of Christ.

It is the war on truth, and the distortion of God's grace.



There is a new message sweeping the church...a message that says, "Come as you are, and stay as you are"...and it is idolatry.


And if you argue against it, you're called a legalist, or "self-righteous", or a Pharisee.

It is so subtle, and it is deadly.

It is a gospel being "harmlessly" disguised in wolves' clothing.

It is heresy.



She continues in her next post:

The message of the modern church is:

Don't offend, at any cost; make everyone comfortable, at any cost; draw the lost in, at any cost--even if we must disguise the truth.

One of the prevalent notions in many modern churches, like that of Joel Osteen's, (more on him later!) is that "we just want everyone to feel God's love". And that is true. But it's not ALL of the truth....


She goes on to say more about Joel Osteen:

Another time, Osteen, [in a Larry King interview] with his big, warm smile said, "I just don't use the word 'sinner'...I just don't want to alienate any that God has died to save."

In his desire to demonstrate the love of Christ, he, and others like him, are doing the most unloving thing possible: failing to tell the lost of their deep need for a Savior. Because until I know how completely worthless I am in myself, until I know how depraved I am, until I know that I am nothing apart from Christ, I can't fully surrender my life to Him. If I'm OK just the way I am, why do I need a Savior?

"For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13

Read more here and here.

Amen, Kelly! It's so refreshing to hear the truth!

My Men at Work

I love how my husband is such a great dad. He always wants the boys to work alongside him. It's such a precious sight! Here my husband is working on part of his chess board.

Being Quiverfull

Kim, mother of 8 and one on the way over at Life in a Shoe posted this great article about being quiverfull (giving our childbearing over to God's will- whether we have 2 children or 12). She does a great job of explaining the "why" of being quiverfull. Here's just a little piece of the article:
If we believe that children are a blessing from God and that large families should be the norm, we need to act upon that belief regardless of whether we really think we’re ready for the job. No excuses. Who among us is really ready and fully equipped to raise even one child? Can any of us really expect to succeed in this monumental task by our own strength and virtue?

Can you guarantee that you are patient enough to raise even one child? Do you think I was equipped to be the mother of this crowd when I was a newlywed? Do you think I’m the perfect model of saintly patience now?

Do you really have the financial stability to commit to providing for a child for 18 or more years? How do you know where your job or bank account will stand at this time next year? Are you sure you’ll even be alive next week?

Do you think pregnancy is always fun or easy for moms of many? Our hips and backs hurt too. Labor hurts, every time. We have gestational diabetes, ligament pain, fatigue, anemia, c-sections, morning sickness, children with handicaps, stillbirths and miscarriages. We do this joyfully because it is our service to the Lord, not because it sounds like fun.

Read more...

I think it comes down to the same thing- if we believe the Bible is true, and that children are a blessing and a heritage like it says, why would I presume to tell God I don't want anymore blessings? Would I be saying, no thanks Lord, I am really good on the "blessings"- don't worry, God, I am going to make sure you aren't going to hand any more of those to me. If I say that, I am effectively telling God I know more than He does. If I can't rely on His judgment to give me the number of children He wants me to have, then how can I trust Him to provide for my safety, my food, or even my life?

I agree with Kim, it's a choice that we make, not because it's easy or fun, but because we believe what God says is true and that He is faithful to His Word.

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

Bedtime Song Written by a Dad

This was just too cute. I guess we aren't the only ones who have kids that keep getting up at bedtime! The ending is good too!




(YouTube video)

The Pantry is Stocked

Whew- the grocery shopping is done for a couple of weeks!

Shopping is getting interesting as our family grows. The boys eat more at 4 and 2 than I ever thought possible! I can't even imagine their appetites as teenagers! :)

The canned goods overfloweth....

Last night our cart was so full- I probably looked silly trying to turn and push the thing! I almost took a picture of it, but the kids were in the car with my husband so I didn't want to waste any time.

If it takes a cart full of groceries to feed four of us (only two small children who eat), I wonder what will we do when we have five kids? Maybe by that point Elijah will be able to push a heavy buggy too!
The Pantry is full again!

This is What Happens When You Become a Parent

The little things become so very amusing when you have kids. You end up laughing as much as your four year old over little things like this:


It's so fun to have kids- you laugh a lot more, and it gives you a great excuse to play with Spiderman! :)

Freebie of the Day- Green Pet Treats

Get a free sample of Bell Rock Growers Green Pet Treats for dogs or cats.

Freebie of the Day- Purex Laundry Detergent

Get a free sample of Purex Laundry Detergent here. These are great to have when you are out of laundry detergent but haven't been to CVS in a while. :)

Tentative Routine in Place!

We generally stuck to this new routine today- I didn't get to everything but that's okay. I did get up earlier than I wanted to ;) and it was a good day. I made three loaves of bread- one regular loaf and two loaves of banana bread and cooked two different lunches. Bread making was even more fun than usual since I got a stand mixer for Valentine's Day- just in time as my breadmaker started chirping very loudly on Friday! I've made the three loaves of bread and a batch of Ghiradelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies since Saturday. Very fun!

Get up at 7:20
Nurse Isabella
Bible time
Get dressed
Gym, errands back by 10
Boys Snack, Feed Isabella
Start bread
Start laundry
Shower
Children Play
Start Lunch/Dinner Preparation
Cleaning time- dishes, sweep, counters
Check Email
Eat lunch
Change load over
Clean up
Feed Isabella
Naptime- everyone ☺
School time – Elijah/Noah- Isabella highchair time
Blog/Write/ Web design
Start dinner
Do quick pick-up
Fold clothes
Hubby home
Eat dinner
Play/ work out/ computer/ games/ rest/ fold clothes/errands

Menu Plan Monday 2/18/08

We have to do some serious grocery shopping tonight. Fun, fun. :) Grocery shopping is kind of like working out. It's a lot of work and sometimes you dread it but it feels really good to get it done with and out of the way!

Tuesday- Tacos, rice, refried beans
Wednesday- Taco Salad with beans and queso
Thursday- Corn Chowder, homemade bread
Friday- homemade pizza
Saturday- Burrito casserole, rice, beans (make extra one for freezer)
Sunday- Taco Soup and cornbread

Lunches-
Turkey sandwiches
Tuna/Rice
Mac and Cheese
Baked Potatoes
Quesadillas
Chicken wraps

Freebie of the Day- Corazonas Chips

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Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

We are back from traveling to the funeral. It was sad but happy at the same time as my Papa talked all of his life about meeting Jesus. He loved the Lord. I can't help but hope that my funeral sounds the same as his did.

The boys aren't back to speed yet. They don't have fever or anything but they have a noticeable lack of energy. I think this is the hardest a flu bug has ever hit them. Whatever it is, apparently everyone has it around here! Luckily my hubby and I haven't gotten it yet.

We don't have any Valentine's date plans tonight- we are planning on going out another day instead of tonight. Our plans were to cook some turkey burgers on the grill, but with the boys feeling bad we might just make a heart shaped pizza instead.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Praise and Adore by Wavorly

I LOVE this song. It's the song I turn up and sing as loud as I can in the car (when I'm all alone of course- I can't sing at all~ ;) and it still gives me chill bumps!




(Youtube video)

Waiting on the Lord's Timing

Freedom felt so close- I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We thought we were going to be completely debt free last week, as someone wanted to buy the property we own- even told us several times they wanted our land. Then on Friday they decided to buy a lot right down the road instead. It was very disheartening and sad. We have had the property for sale for almost one year now and it's priced low. I have a feeling that God is teaching us to wait on Him. It's sometimes so hard to wait patiently, even though we have seen His faithfulness time and again.

About three years ago we were trying to sell our house- we weren't making much money at all, we had just switched to one income and were paying some bills with credit cards (which is the main cause of the debt we are still trying to pay off now). We really, really needed to sell our house, and we couldn't. It didn't sell in "our" time, but we made it to the month it did sell, which just happened to be days after it crossed the capital gains tax limitation, so we didn't have to pay taxes on the equity. It wasn't in our time, but all in God's plan.

That's happened to us a few times now- things that wouldn't work out how or when we thought they should- but when they did, it was more perfect than we could have ever planned.

It reminds me of these verses in Jeremiah 29- this passage always comes to mind when things don't work out like I think they should.

11'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

12'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.


And I love these too- there are so many verses in the Bible that are focused on waiting. It's amazing really. Wait, wait, wait on Him. Waiting requires our faith. We live in the day where we hate waiting- we like instant gratification and quick decisions. It's against our nature to wait. But, if we do wait and seek the Lord's will for us, we are less likely to do what we decide is the "best" plan and we are more likely to see God's faithful hand in our life.

Lamentations 3-
22The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.

I want to wait on Him- I know He is faithful. I am so thankful we have such a wonderful God, aren't you?

Please pray for us to remember His faithfulness and continue to wait- patiently, fully trusting in Him. :)

Sad Weekend Mixed with Good News

It's been a sad weekend for us. My Papa died Thursday night. He was 90 years old. He was the sweetest grandpa a girl could ever ask for. My brother and I used to go fishing and stay with him and my Granny when we were little, and every year they would come and stay at our house on Christmas. I love my Papa. I now have one more person in Heaven that I can't wait to see again. The funeral is Tuesday, and we will be traveling quite a bit in the next two days.

My little boys were sick this weekend too. I hate seeing them sick, and I don't like being unable to make it better. I think Isabella is getting it now too. :(

On the brighter side, we did get the test results back from my thyroid scan, and it looks clear. We decided to forego the extra biopsy, just because I've had one before and they are not really definitive. The doctor said that the only way to know for sure I am cancer free would be to cut it out completely. He is a great doctor, and very straightforward, which I was so thankful for. Since we decided against the biopsy, I am just to have my thyroid levels checked every year and watch for any lymph node swelling. Thank you, Lord! :)

Freebie of the Day- Family Pack of Photos at Walgreen's

This freebie is far too good to pass up! I've already ordered mine!

From SlickDeals:

Walgreens Photo Center offers a Free Family Pack which includes One 8x10, Two 5x7s, and Four 4x6s which may be uploaded from your computer and picked up at your local Walgreen's Store [Store Locator]. This offer may be redeemed Feb 7,8,9th. Thanks MikeNice and eaglepilot.

Steps to take to get your Free Family Pack:
  • Login or Register if new to the site.
  • Upload your photo or choose it from your library.
  • Choose your set (1-8x10 2-5x7 4-4x6's)
  • Click "check out".
  • Enter code VALENTINE.
  • Complete checkout

Isabella Likes to Talk

Here is cute little video of Isabella. She has become quite a talker! Between her and the boys, there is rarely a silent moment at our house! :)

Freebie of the Day- Jergen's Natural Glow Express

Get a free sample of Jergen's Natural Glow Express from Walmart. I am very excited about this sample! I have red hair and very fair skin, and I love these lotions in the summer time. Jergen's is one of my favorites for the most natural skin color too!

Freebie of the Day- Gardener's Idea Book

This is an exciting freebie- a gardening idea book. It has lots of beautiful pictures of borders and porches and potted plants! I love to plant flowers every spring but when I see all these seeds and plants at Lowe's I have no idea what should go where. I can't wait to study up on this one!

Goals for 2008- February Update

Last month I set a "few" goals for myself to accomplish in 2008. I thought I would give an update on my progress in January. Some I did accomplish this month, others I barely touched! Here they are:

-Create a new schedule and routine system by next week and stick to it, changing it if necessary (rather than abandoning it) by reevaluating it monthly.
I did create a routine and cleaning schedule on paper by that next week. I did not manage to stick to it though. The poor schedule was abandoned before it got a chance to start...! :) We did get into more of a routine with cleaning everyday, but it wasn't structured like we used to have or like I want it to be. I have to keep working on this. Maybe if I can find a way to use my computer to do this...

-Continue breastfeeding exclusively until Isabella reaches 6 months (we usually add cereal at 4-5 months but I want to extend the time before we start baby foods)
This goal was accomplished! At least one more month before we start solids. I am thinking we might stretch it out as long as we can. The doctor told me that starting solids is important for getting practice of eating solids but not necessary yet. It seems strange to think a human needs "practice" eating solids. So if I waited til she's 11 months she wouldn't know how to swallow?

-Run a 5k in under 30 minutes (I've run only one before in 39 min)
Didn't touch this one, although I did try to find an upcoming 5k in my city- does that count? ;)

-Add in 1-2 hours per day to my schedule for web/design work (this will be much easier when I get my routine in place)
I did do this- I worked on freelance projects for several hours this month, usually when the kids were napping or in bed for the night.

-Start Elijah's homeschooling, with him reading by his 5th birthday in October
Hmmm...We got one "real" lesson in this month. He has improved so much on reading letters and connecting them to words. Maybe I should set short-term goals like this month I will sit down and do at least two lessons each week.

-Exercise 5-6 times per week including classes at the gym and home
I did accomplish this one for the most part. I am quite happy about it. Last week I was fighting a cold and my husband didn't want me to work out, so I made it only 4 times last week. I think because I've slowly been working up to this frequency, I had a much easier time adding a couple of sessions each week. I look forward to working out these days.

-Eat more fresh and natural foods- whole grain, preservative-free, locally grown foods
Happily I can report I did eat more natural and whole grain foods this month. Most of my meals consist of fish or chicken with veggies and/or a starch. I wonder if all my effort to eat naturally is negated by the fact that I drink a diet coke every day? :)

-Drink at least 3 liters of water per day
Didn't get this one done this month. I did drink more water per day than I have in the previous months, but it was more like 1 1/2 liters of water and 24 ounces of diet or regular Dr. Peppers or sugar-free raspberry lemonade. I have to keep working on this one.

-Potty train my 2 1/2 year old (he'll be three in May)
We did try to start potty training. Noah just cries when we sit him on the toilet, and wetting his pants doesn't actually seem to bother him. We will keep testing the waters but he just doesn't seem ready yet. I would really like to have it done by May but it might not be possible.

-Increase household purging of clutter and excess, including selling furniture, shredding papers and giving away or selling toys
I did accomplish this goal this month! I sold over $50 worth of extra stuff on Craigslist we had around the house. Very exciting, and motivating to get more stuff out of our house! We tried to sell an extra piece of furniture to a few people we know but didn't post it anywhere else. It's got emotional value so I don't want to sell it. I am in the process of trying to let go.... ;)

-Slowly change my body clock to go to bed earlier and rise earlier (I am so not a morning person!)
There was improvement in this area but no real progress yet. Somehow I just end up taking a nap if I get up too early, and being so tired makes me pretty grumpy. I end up being wide awake well after midnight. Leo over at ZenHabits has some great stuff on rising early and how to do it. I just need to discipline myself to get in bed earlier so I am more rested.

I hope to have more progress to report next month! I think posting my goals definitely made me feel more responsible to complete them. On to the rest of February!

Freebie of the Day- Tide 2x with Dawn

Get a free sample of Tide 2x with Dawn. Is this the new detergent for moms of preschool boys? :) I might need to buy stock in Tide!

*Edited- Looks like this freebie has expired!