Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Busy Times

My husband works in technology. This means that he's incredibly intelligent! Not where I'm going with this post though. It means that there are times he is incredibly busy! And summer, especially the end of summer, is one of those times. August is one of his office's busiest months and it's been even more so this year because they are finishing up some extra summer projects. So Micah and I have been on our own a lot. Now this is not our preference; we miss that man! But when there's nothing to be done about it, we make the best of it.

Some ideas I've gathered this summer:
- Plan fun things to do. Micah and I go to the park, go to McDonald's for fries, watch movies, go to the playground around the corner, meet friends for playdates, finish extra projects, etc.
- Make home cheerful and pleasant for when Justin is here. I want him to enjoy every minute he's home.
- Don't make plans for when Justin will be here. Let him determine what he wants to do. I try to finish all our work while Justin is gone.
- Focus on others. Don't whine about not seeing him more; he can't help that he has to work! And since we're the reason he's working it's a little ungrateful too.
- Express appreciation. Who doesn't like a heartfelt "thank you"? My husband does so much for us!
- Be interested in his work. Ask a lot of questions and follow up with a "How did ________ go today?"
- Pray for him and let him know about it! All that work can be stressful and he has a lot of decisions to make.
- Be cheerful. I want him to know that we are here having a good time! He doesn't need to worry about us here by ourselves on top of everything else he has to do. We always go out on the steps to wave (and smile!) when he leaves and when he calls we drop what we are doing and talk to him!
- Involve him. I send him funny pictures of Micah, take him cookies or lunch, buy his favorite drink, etc.
- Make the most of the time we have. This might mean popcorn and a show before bed, laughing at Micah's antics before he leaves for work, etc.
-Find an appropriate time to discuss problems. I don't mention problems or difficulties when he calls or arrives home unless something needs to be dealt with immediately.
- Practice mind control. Don't even think that I never see him, never get a break, etc. For one thing, none of those are true and they are crippling thoughts for my attitude!

I read in a book that Jesus is always enough. When Justin can't be here, Jesus is! (And obviously He's still here when Justin is too!) I don't have a husband so he can make me happy. That is an impossible task for any person. I have a husband so that I can help him reach God's will for his life. I can only do that as I forget myself and focus on what he needs. These tips help me encourage my husband and model the right attitude for our children.

Although someone did suggest that I fake labor to get to spend some extra time with him! Think it would work?? :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Freezer Cooking: Last Update

This will be the last update because, well, my freezer is full! As in, if I put something else in there I would have to sit in on the ice :) And I'm glad about this because if there were more room I would feel compelled to make more to go in there! Now I'm just done with it! 

So for the countdown:

2 bags shepherd's pie filling
2 bags chicken pot pie filling
6 bags of pancakes (3 apiece)
3 bags mashed potatoes
4 bags of Micah's mashed potatoes (1 serving apiece)
1 lasagna
1 pizza casserole
1 broccoli chicken casserole
7 hamburger patties
5 sausage patties
8 pounds browned and seasoned hamburger
4 bags cooked cubed chicken
8 individual sized pizza crusts
3 balls of pizza dough (1 large pizza apiece)
1 pound meatballs

And then, of course, there's hamburger, chicken, fish, and vegetables in there too. I'm so glad to be finished with that!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favorites

I love this picture of Justin and Micah! Don't you? :)  A beautiful evening playing at the local playground around the corner. I love where we live! And this amazing weather we've been having!

"Grandma and the Pirates" is now Micah's favorite book. I think we average reading it three times a day. Occasionally more because he will read it over and over! My brother and I had this as children (actually it's our same copy!). I'm glad my mom passed it along to us! Justin says the moral of this story is to not like your pet parrot so much. I say it's to not set food to cool on the windowsill! Totally adorable story!
There were a couple of blog posts I read this week that I wanted to share. 
Love her perspective on being a mom!
And I love this. It reiterates a quote I put up a few weeks ago. Don't worry about what everybody else is doing; just do what you are supposed to!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Choose Joy

Did you know that I'm supposed to be miserable? I am! Want to know why? I have a two year old. Take a poll at Walmart. Having a two year old automatically qualifies you for being one of the most miserable people ever. Need another reason? I'm pregnant. And 37 weeks pregnant at that. You are most miserable when in your last month of pregnancy so I've been told.  You still need another reason? I'm a stay-at-home mom with a busy husband. Did you know that all I do is change diapers, clean toilets, and want to go do something exciting? You still need another reason? Wow! You people are hard to convince! Ok, I'm actively involved in church. Did you know that God is out to ruin my life and my fun?

Obviously that whole paragraph was rather tongue-in-cheek. The truth is that I am blissfully happy as the 37 week pregnant, stay-at-home mom of a two year old. Even with the busy husband and the church involvement. But there really are people who pity me and believe I must truly be miserable. And nothing will make them believe I'm happy. I guess since they are miserable I must be too?  

Circumstances do not make you or me happy or joyful. I know people who have gotten exactly what they want and are miserable. And I know people in very difficult circumstances who exude joy and cheer. You want to know what gives me (and them) joy? Jesus. And not Jesus on my terms. Not Jesus, You do what I want or I won't be happy. Or Jesus the magic lamp. Or Jesus the God I imagine Him to be. No, Jesus, the God that the Bible declares Him to be. Joy comes on God's terms, not mine. 

Joy comes from my daily walk with Jesus. Psalm 16:11 says "in thy presence is fullness of joy..." Joy comes from spending time with Jesus and obeying Him. Proverbs 8:32, " for blessed are they that keep my ways." "Blessed" means "happy." as I spend more time with Jesus and strive to obey Him my happiness increases. As I neglect my daily walk with God and do my own thing I grow more miserable and discontent. I decide everyday if I am going to be joyful. Joy doesn't mean everything in life is perfect. Or that things work out the way I want them to when I want them to. "It might not be right with your surroundings, but it can be well with your soul." Joy is between me and Jesus. 

Joy means walking with Jesus. Joy means forgetting myself and serving others.  Perhaps that's why people seem genuinely perplexed that I'm so happy. Complaining misery is the normal for our society. I'm so glad I don't feel an overwhelming desire to fit in.

I want to be joyful so there are a few things I strive to do daily. 
1. Nurture my walk with God and obey His commands. 
2. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Thank God all day long. 
3. Don't dwell on problems. Have a set time to take them to Jesus and purposefully shift my mind when they pop up after that. 
4. Focus on others and not myself. 
I must choose joy every morning when I get out of bed. Every night when I'm up with my babies. Every time my husband calls and says he'll be home late. But I can choose joy. 
Joy, like love, is a verb. It means "to rejoice, to be glad." Even the noun means "gladness, exhilaration of spirits." My spirit consists of what I tell myself. I do choose joy literally with my thoughts. I choose joy with what I focus on. Decide to choose joy just as you decide to love. Don't wait on the feelings. Feelings are to be the caboose, not the engine; I don't want my feelings to drive me. This is not a popular thought but I don't HAVE to do what I feel. And that is so freeing! 
So choose to joy in Jesus. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Freezer Cooking Update

No feeling behind here! I got off to a good start with the freezer cooking and I'm so glad!

Let's see, we've frozen:
8 pounds of browned and seasoned hamburger meat
1 pound of meatballs
4 bags of cooked, cubed chicken (roughly 1 1/2 cups apiece)
7 hamburger patties
3 balls of pizza dough (1 large crust apiece)
8 individual sized pizza crusts
3 packs of pancakes, 3 apiece

Not bad for one week's work, I don't think. I would still like to make a few casseroles this week and freeze them and maybe work on the mashed potatoes. But even if this was all I got done, I'd be happy. This was very helpful after Micah was born and I've already done a lot more this time! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Freezer Cooking

So it's officially time to start cooking for my freezer for after this baby gets here! And by officially time I mean I'm going to feel really behind if I don't get a good start this week. And I'll stock some extra staples too for quick meals.

At some point I had a nice list of things I wanted to make for the freezer. However that was pre-iPad and, of course, I have no idea where that list is now. But I can think of a few things...I'll have to brain storm later.

1. Pizza Dough. Super easy. Mix up and let rise. Then punch down and  freeze.
2. Pizza Crust. Same as above, except roll out and fry before freezing.
3. Casseroles- pizza casserole, lasagna, shepherd's pie
4. Mashed potaotes? I've never done this but my mother-in-law has and they are always really good.
5. Soup.
6. Browned and seasoned hamburger meat. That could come in really handy!
7. Cooked, chopped chicken. That could save a few steps in any meal!
8. Cookie Dough

I think I'm most excited about the hamburger and chicken. And I think that's a nice starting list! Any other ideas that could help? And not take up a lot of room in the freezer :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Saturday Favorite....

A missionary wife shared this on facebook and I loved the reminder!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Church Link: Justin's Message

Our Pastor is in Mexico for a conference this week (yes, he's fluent in Spanish!) so my beloved husband delivered the message tonight. And in my totally unprejudiced opinion, he did a great job!

nzbcky on Broadcast Live Free

The True Talents

A friend of mine emailed me and was feeling a little down about herself so I proceeded to tell her lots of wonderful things about herself. (People are always so willing to criticize and say negative things; why  not speak the positive?) And you know what was included in this list? She's caring, kind, reliable, hard-working, and loving. She is truly a wonderful lady and I love to be around her. People enjoy being in her presence. She cares about what you care about. Are those not the true talents in life?

We tend to value talents like being a great soloist, having great management abilities, being musically/athletically gifted, etc.  But those aren't the truly great things in life. Sure, if you have them they are great. Use them to the best of your ability to serve God but don't waste time feeling bad if you don't have those talents. There are talents we can all work on developing! Here are a few that I'm working on!

Be a good listener. One way of being well-liked is to be interested, not interesting. Interested people are focused on others and what they are saying. Interesting people are usually talking about themselves. (I've even started saying this to myself when someone is talking to me and I keep thinking of things to say about my life...'be interested, not interesting.' It reminds me to keep my mouth shut and let them talk!)

Be a discreet talker. Don't tell things about other people. Or for that matter too much about yourself. I read that a discreet lady is a praying lady. She can keep her mouth shut because she tells everything to Jesus. (Told you that reading program was a good idea!)

Be hard-working. Do a Bible study on work; God has a lot to say about it. And God's lady is not excluded. Pro. 31:13b says, "and worketh willingly with her hands." Work with the right attitude. Willing working has gone out of style; be different!

Be kind. Consider other people. Kindness has fallen by the wayside as people justify rudeness with "That's just the way I am." or "Well, it's true!" or "Just sayin'." None of those are a good excuse for hurting someone else's feelings or cutting them down behind their backs. God has a lot to say about our words too!

Be cheerful. Now seriously, how many cheerful people do you know? Most people are doom and gloom, or angry, or frustrated, or discontent, get the idea! The Bible even says that mothers are joyful! (Ps. 113:9)

There are many well-loved people who have a great impact for Christ that have no great apparent talent. But they do have all the other character qualities that draw people to them and allow Christ to shine through their lives. And we can all work on these things. We can't all be great ball players, or pianists, or soloists, or public speakers, or writers. But we can all be kind, joyful, enthusiastic, caring, hard-working, etc. I want to focus on the right things that God can use my entire life!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Web Recipes

My mom gets me subscriptions to Taste of Home (Thanks, Mom!) I love getting the magazines and the extra cookbooks she always find. We've been trying several new things! I can't find the recipe for the french toast casserole that I talked about in my last post but here's that pesto pasta that we loved! Definitely a repeat!

Who even knew you could buy those little packs of pesto sauce I certainly didn't!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

35 Weeks!

35 Weeks! I can't believe it! And don't you like the little hand sticking up in the picture? :)

Wise Quotes

My reading program has been fantastic for me! I am really enjoying some of the things I'm learning and wanted to share another quote.

Rather than basing our behavior on others' responses, it is wisest to act on the principles of the Word of God. We are not responsible for the actions and responses of others, but we are accountable for our own actions and words.   Marlene Evans
 Forget what others are doing or going to do and be concerned with what God wants ME to do! I can't do anything about what anybody else does!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Favorites?

I know! I'm a day late! But we had a belated birthday "party" for a friend last night that involved chicken pasta with pesto (delicious!), a trip to the playground with the little boy, and a movie after the little boy was in bed.

So here's a few pictures from the past week for you! 

Micah put on Justin's t-shirt after his nap. He might have had a little help with that. But he was running around and being his crazy self! It was too cute!

Chocolate chip pancakes! Yum! They have been a pregnancy favorite. And popcorn. But not together. Or even in the same part of the day, don't worry!

Micah LOVES shoes right now! He went to the laundry room closet to put a towel in the laundry basket and came back with these. Cutest kid in the world. I know, I'm prejudiced.

French toast casserole anyone? It's delicious! I need to remember this for a church breakfast in a few months.....anybody want to remind me?

Yeah, dinner tonight! It was amazing!

Oh, and I had my hair cut this week! It's above my shoulders now! I don't have a good picture of it but hopefully we'll take a belly picture tomorrow so you'll see it then! And did I mention we're only five weeks out from this due date?? Hurrray!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Sweet Blog Award

Newlyweds in New Jersey Sara gave my blog an award! How kind! We've been following each other's blogs for almost a year now and I enjoy reading about their life! She also has another blog that predates her married life.

Liebster is a German word and it means, sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. The award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers.

1. What is your favorite Bible verse? This one definitely changes! Right now it's Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
2. How long have you been married? Four and a half years! We'll hit five in December; I can hardly believe it! It's flown by.
3. Where do you like to shop? For clothes? Penney's and Cato's for the most part
4. What is your favorite restaurant? Outback! Bloomin' Onion, anyone??
5. What state were you born in? Do you still live there? I was born in Tennessee and live in Kentucky now (barely!) Apparently, I have a thing about living near state lines :)
6. What are your hobbies? I love to read, play sports (especially volleyball!), cook, and do art stuff. Yes, I call it stuff.
7. List three words that best describe you. Maybe I should ask my husband? haha I would say "enthusiastic,. I really did get stuck here and my husband said "caring," and "intelligent." I'm glad he has such a high opinion of me!
8. What is your favorite book? Outside the Bible? "Just Above a Whisper" by Lori Wick. I can't tell you how many times I've read that book.
9. What advice would you give a first time mom? Find a wiser, older mom and ask her advice frequently. Start training your children early; they are exceptionally intelligent little beings! Oh, and enjoy it all! It goes by so insanely fast!
10. Why do you blog? I love having my recipes where I can find them! And it helps me remember what I'm learning if I write about it!
11. Where do you see yourself in ten years? By the grace of God doing the same thing I am now. Loving my husband, raising my children, and serving in our local church.

I'm giving this award to Laurie at Everyday Grace!

Here are my 11 questions.
1. What is your best marriage advice?
2. Who is your favorite author?
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible?
4. Best tip for scheduling your home?
5. What is your favorite place to vacation?
6. What is your favorite childhood memory?
7. What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
8. What are your hobbies?
9. What is one of your family's favorite meals?
10. How long have you been  married?
11. How long have you served at your church?

Rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:

(1) Post 11 things about yourself, (2) Answer the questions that your nominating blogger has set for you and then create 11 questions for your nominees, (3) choose up to 11 blogs to nominate and link them in your post, (4) go to their respective blogs and let them know, and (5) no tag backs!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


"Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe. Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily. Action is the key; do it immediately. Joy you will receive! Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe."

Remember that song from when you were a kid? I sing it to Micah all the time. And you spell it out in the chorus. It's fabulous! Obedience is tied into so many things from the Bible. The other day I went to read a promise from the Bible and instead got a lesson in obedience.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that though mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:7-9
Obedience requires courage and strength. Twice God tell us to be strong and of a good courage. He even tells us it's a command! It requires courage to obey God when it means being different from everyone else. It takes courage to obey God when people make fun of you. That's about all we face in America. But it requires courages to obey God when it means your life in many parts of the world today! It also takes strength to obey God when it goes against your flesh. Anybody can disobey. Anybody can give into their own wants and wishes. But to deny yourself takes strength.

Where do we find this strength and courage? In God's presence. Verse 9 tells us that God is always with us, no matter where He sends us.

Strength and courage (and the accompanying obedience) keep us from fear and mental/emotional despair and discouragement. We are to "be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed." Why? Because we are obeying God. Proverbs 14:26 states, "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence..." In obedience is confidence. It's no longer our own ideas or opinions we are following but God's eternal Word.

Oh, and by the way, verse 8 states that we are to
speak the truth (not depart out of thy mouth),
think the truth (meditate therein day and night),
and live the truth (observe to do according to all that is written therein).

It seems important that we know the Truth. And obey that Truth.