Tuesday, December 30, 2008

one of my favorite weeks...

i always love this week between Christmas and New Years. for us it's a time to rest and catch up and organize.

Christmas was good. busy, crazy, exhausting, but very good. we loved visiting with our families and laughing and all the yummy foods and watching the girls open their gifts. (i took lots of pictures, but have yet to download them. i will soon!) we were all so very blessed and now we're going through old toys and stuff and trying to get things is (much) better order. grace is cutting some major teeth and sophie is testing the boundaries over and over and over again. (:0), but i have enjoyed spending time with them too. we've spent lots of time playing in the playroom. tomorrow we are headed to tulsa to celebrate Christmas with my mom & mike and and to enjoy some New Year's day sales! woo hoo! i'm hoping for a peaceful, relaxing trip.

my parents blessed me with a cricut for Christmas and i am SUPER excited about getting it going and making some fun stuff in the new year.

but, for now, i'm going to keep on resting and reading and playing and organizing and planning and hugging and snuggling and savoring these last few days of the holiday season.

blessings to YOU!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lord, help me to remember this tomorrow...

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family - It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

-A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 by Sharon Jaynes

Sunday, December 21, 2008

3 days until Christmas!

it's 11:30 pm on Sunday night. the weekend is almost over. sigh. i just finished picking up all the rooms (minus the play room. i can't tackle it tonight!) and now i'm ready to start making lists, lists, lists for this week and to finish up some airport work. hopefully sleep will come soon! the girls are sleeping away and dan is busy working on some Christmas gifts. i'm so thankful for his help. i love working with him.

we have a full week ahead and i seriously need to make every hour count until Christmas. i do have a lot to do. but, i am determined to enjoy it. i realize that most of my expectations are self-imposed and that in the end it will all be ok. my family will still love me even if I didn't get the perfect thing for them this year! Jesus is the perfect Gift. He gave Himself for me and i want to give myself to Him and to others. the other gifts of Christmas are secondary.

today on the way to Church (we visited my Dad's little country Church today) I was thinking about all that was left to do... the cleaning, shopping, wrapping, cooking/baking, crafting and wondering how in the world i was going to get it all done with the girls at home? (they have been especially demanding lately!) it hit me that they only have one childhood. this will be the only Christmas we will have with Sophie as a three year old. this will be Grace's only 1st Christmas. time goes by too fast and I want to enjoy them right now and not regret it in the future. honestly, things have been super difficult lately with Sophie so this is me asking for God's grace to help me! tonight I talked to her about all the things we are doing this week and she seems really excited. i told that I am going to need her help and that the most important thing was to LISTEN and OBEY. we'll keep going over that one and hopefully those words will get down in her heart!

i am looking forward to this week! one more week to wear those Christmas sweaters! :)

We just gotta Keep Calm & Carry On!
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I love glitter!

This is party week in the blogosphere! Boo Mama's party was HUGE! I thought I'd visit Kimba's too! : ) I love Kimba's blog and the sweet spirit that she exudes. I love crafty people who see something and know they'd rather try and make it than buy it. She has helped me see spray paint with new eyes! :)

So, WELCOME to my home. Here is my little contribution...



This year I am all about the glitter. The new Martha Stewart line at Wal-Mart is so pretty! I just can't bring myself to spend over $20 on glitter though. (Especially since little hands could get a hold of it!)

So, this year I have made a few glass candle holders that are super inexpensive, cute and full of Christmas cheer! You just apply a thin coating of modge podge to the inside of a glass votive holder (or a bigger glass object) and then pour the glitter in and let it coat the entire inside surface. The modge podge will dry clear and in a few minutes you'll have a beautiful new candle holder! More holiday decor here.


I used white glitter on these for my sister's baby shower last week. I added some ribbon and a scrapbook charm and I think they turned out pretty cute.



So, now I want to add glitter to everything! This will come in handy as I decorate for my baby girl's Winter One-derland Birthday party in January. Fun, Fun!





Here's a little glitter bird I made out of foam board, spray paint, GLITTER, feathers and pipe cleaner. I've thought about making a garland of these or maybe some ornaments. Maybe one day. :)

Glitter makes everything prettier.

I pray that you and yours have a sparkly holiday season, full of love, compassion, togetherness, tenderness, peace and hope for the new year. I'm so thankful for Jesus, our Emmanuel, the ONE that we can put our hope in... Merry CHRISTmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour





Welcome to our humble little home. If you were here in person I'd offer you some yummy peppermint hot chocolate and some white chocolate pretzels and we could chat as we watch the beautiful tree. It won't be too quiet with the pitter patter of little feet nearby. :) Enjoy!

A little bathroom sparkle





This is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. My grandma gave it to me and Dan the first year we were married. It lit up and we displayed it above our bed. Little snow couple in love! :)




I got a great deal on these simple stocking from Pottery Barn this year. $6 each with free embroidery & free shipping! Woo hoo!!:)
The dining room... I love these green ornaments. I bought them last year for $1 each.
happy little figurines in our retro kitchen. :)
The star! I poke lights in this woven twig star every year. This year my three year old, Sophie placed the star on the tree and she loved it! :)
I love to spend evenings staring at the twinkling lights on the tree. So far we have always had a real tree. I love the Frasier Fir tree...it smells great, but isn't so prickly! :)
Here is the tree with flash and you can get a glimpse of our Willow Tree nativity. My parents have given Daniel & I piece every year. We love it!
A quick peek at the girl's room tree. I love the warm glow that it gives their room.

One of the sweet ornaments on the little tree in our bedroom. :)
This is one of my favorite pieces. This is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Emmanuel, God with us!

Merry Christmas from The Brewer Family!

Check out (LOTS) more decked out homes at Boo Mama's Tour of Homes & at Hooked on Houses tour. Beautiful!

a little maintenance

i've tried to clean up my blogs a bit. i finally hopped on the bandwagon with the "blog list." i know it isn't completely done and i probably need to categorize it some so it isn't so overwhelming! you can see why i never have time to write... i'm always reading! :)

well, i've also been to other places around the world wide web lately. i thought i'd leave a little link love in case anyone else is interested...

1- scrapblog.com- SO cool! i can't wait to try out more of this!
2- fontspace.com- TONS of cool fonts, some of which I am using for Christmas projects
3- facebook.com- I gotta say, facebook is fun. i finally posted some pics this last week and i love getting comments on them. very sweet! it's a good way for me to communicate with family and friends too. i have lots of family on there. HI!
4- thatsmyhome.com- great recipes, specifically "Jar" recipes. more Christmas gifts!
5- amazon.com- the fluctuating prices bug me a bit (well, only when they go up) but the overall great prices, free shipping and selection are great. LOTS of toys to choose from. lately I am especially drawn to Melissa & Doug toys. Solid, wooden, hands on, educational, colorful toys. Good stuff. :)

also, since this is all about maintenance... i have a couple confessions to make. no really, i blogged about stuff that i was planning on doing and haven't done yet and i want to be honest. :)
1-i did not attempt the garage sale last week. just TOO much going on. however, we (as in my fam) are having one this coming week. prayerfully, it will go really well and we'll make some money and bless some people.
2- the jesse tree has not been happening in our home this year. :( i thought that december 1 was the first day of advent and by the time i finally got the ornaments printed and stuff it was dec 3rd and i learned that advent had started right after thanksgiving. :( so, we were pretty behind and i just never got it together. again, :(! hopefully we can do this next year and the girls will understand it more too!
3- a couple of saturdays ago when i wrote about being "deliriously in love with" my kids and hubby I was being honest, but by late afternoon and all day the next day, i was REALLY struggling with my kids and my life. my hormones were crazy and i was very sad. we even cancelled LIFEgroup because i just couldn't get it together. i got better and by the GRACE of God all is well. I just want to keep it real though!

well, i think confession time is over. i bet you're glad! (if anyone is still hanging with me!)

this is why i shouldn't always blog about things to come, but rather about things that have already happened and i am so far behind on this! BUT, i have all my pics in the computer so it should be pretty easy for me to do this week. hopefully i can get caught up soon!

oh my gosh, it is 1 AM and officially sunday. i must get to bed! daniel and i have a big day tomorrow and i better get myself to bed. :)

Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

i'vejustgottosay...

that these kids are pretty darn cute! :)
a few of sophie's funny faces

miss pouty lips with her daddy. it was too cold outside! :)


*kori did such a great job capturing my kiddos. more evidence will come soon!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

stuck in my heart


tonight sophie and i had a little heart to heart. we were laying in her bed reading, praying and talking. i started talking to her about her recent behavior, disobeying mommy, having frequent accidents etc and how that made my heart sad and angry sometimes. we talked about me working some and she said that she wants me to stay here, "at her home." :( i asked her if everything was ok in her heart and she said, "yea, just God and Jesus are in there. they're just stuck in there... God and Jesus." how sweet! my heart melted and i tried to hold back my giggles. i know i want God and Jesus stuck in my heart too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Motherhood


Raising young children can be a challenging endeavor, but through it all, Jennifer somehow managed to keep a smile on her face.

*photo by the super-talented, Kori Hudson

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st

This afternoon I have been planning and filling up my Google Calendar. I love the Holiday season! I love to read Cosmic Christmas and to ponder Emmanuel, God WITH us!

I love to decorate and bake and sit in the living room and gaze at the beautiful tree with all the lights. The past couple of years I have been the Christmas Decorating business and have worked my little fingers to the bone (even last year at 8 months pregnant)! This year I don't have that many trees lined up, but I know there will be a few. :)

This week we have lots going on with family & friends. Lots of extended family will be here this weekend for Jaclyn & Ike's shower and we are busy bees getting ready for that. We also have The McPherson Christmas Ball on Friday night, which is always lots of fun. I am excited about making Brie Kisses as an appetizer and getting all gussied up!

Add in work, regular cleaning and taking care of the kiddos and getting our house decorated for Christmas and that makes for a full week.

In my craziness I am also going to attempt a small garage sale on Thursday. Am I insane? I don't think so? I am just trying to earn a few extra Christmas dollars. We'll see how it goes.

But, tomorrow at 4 pm I am going to R-E-L-A-X as I breath deep and enjoy a wonderful hour long massage with a very gifted massage therapist and I'm not going to worry about a thing! Thank you SO MUCH Aunt B, I am SO looking forward to it.

XOXOXOXO!

For now, I must make dinner and get this little family ready for a Birthday party.

PS- Happy 1st Day of Advent. This year we are celebrating with a Jesse Tree. Find out more info here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

{give thanks with a grateful heart
give thanks to the Holy One
give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

and now let the weak say i am strong
let the poor say i am rich
because of what the Lord has done for us}

{give thanks}
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
With Love,
Daniel, Jennifer, Sophie and Grace

Sunday, November 23, 2008

greetings from t-town

well, dan , grace and i made it to tulsa just in time for a delicious home cooked meal from mom... ham, mashed taters, sweet potato, green beans, corn, rolls and apple pie. it was yummy and it was great to see our sweet sophie girl. she has had a good visit here at neena and grandpa michaels. she got a cool "hello kitty" electric toothbrush with her goodies from neena. she has been brushing those toothers non-stop! last night was a little hairy since all four of us where in one room. three in the king sized bed and grace in her pack-in-play, well some of the time. that little love bug woke up 3-4 times last night to eat. SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE! i think i am going to try and find a baby sleep book today so we can maybe figure out a plan to help her sleep through the night better. dan and i are pretty exhausted.

but, we are SO thankful for pur awesome parents that help us so much and give us opportunities to SLEEP when then keep our little ones. THANKS, YA'LL!!

now we're up and ready for some more HAM. i love me some ham! we are going to hit a few stores on the way home including Bass Pro Shop. they have a very neat "winter wonderland" set up in there store that i think the girls will really like. and i know dan will be so happy to have his favorite people with him in one of his favorite places... the outdoor store! but, first he has to humor me by going to target, jo-anns, and/or michaels... the craft store... my home away from home. :)

happy sunday to you all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A FULL NIGHTS REST



is coming my way.

HAAAALLELUJAH! HAAALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

HALLLLEEEEELLLLUUUUJAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sophie and grace (the one who wakes up at least twice every night to eat) are with their grandparents tonight.

it has been a super long day and i am so ready to crawl in bed and sleep ALL night!

{this is how happy i am! oh yeah and i got a hair cut a couple of weeks ago}

{{*photo by sophie... our budding photographer :)*}}

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

the Quiche-miester

this morning dan and i feasted on some yummy green chili quiche and coffee with some new chai spice creamer. yummy. i've become quite the quiche connoisseur lately (ha ha ha). two weeks ago i tried this broccoli & cheese one and grandma june loved it. i think it was my fave too. nothing like a yummy quiche and a fresh side salad with ranch dressing! {quick quiche tip- coat the top of the pie crust with cheese. it makes a barrier for the liquid so the crust doesn't get so soggy!}

sometimes i'm hit with a dose of delirious love for my husband and children. this morning is one such time. sure they woke us at 7 am on a saturday morning. sure i was up at least twice in the night feeding grace. sure it is difficult to keep the house clean for very long at a time and sure two little girls make for lots of laundry...

BUT, they sure are sweet and smooshy and SO kissable and sweet and loving and smart and HILARIOUS!

so, i'm just enjoying this saturday at home with the fam cleaning, reading, laughing, watching interesting hunter safety videos, nursing grace, do laundry, dreaming with dan, planning times together with friends and family.

later on i get to go out alone with the laptop and my Christmas planner and make some workable lists. (i'll post some great planning and gift ideas soon. seriously the info is too good not to pass on!) dan will also get some time to go put out his new deer stand. please pray that this boy gets a deer this year! i really believe he has one coming! :)

we might also get to meet a certain young man named william sundance... "sunny d" for short who has his eyes on a certain younger sister of mine. *wink *wink!

better go tackle the play room first. sigh. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The state of Sophie

Some older, very common Sophie phrases... Some are sweet and some are sassy!

"let me alone"
"i see you to-mor-ee-o" or " i see you saturday" or "i see you thursday"
"you come back see me soon" or "you come back and see me nother time!"
"i busy right now"
"i so happy to see you!"
"i got to get back to work" ("on what?," i ask. "bills.")
"i pray for you" :)

Some new ones...

1- Really good ole ______________.
"But mom, I need my really good ole....... bear or lipstick or apple or whatever!" This phrase cracks me up! It was esp. funny when she used it during the middle of a crying fit one night and she needed her "really good ole" bear!

2- Actually
"Actually, I... " It's so funny, but she always uses it the correct way!

3- Appreciate it.
Recently in addition to saying thanks or "hanks" she says "appreciate it" So cute!

4- My personbality
But mom, I need my "personbality!"

5- Imagination
Anytime she uses shapes or pretends she lets me know that she is using her "imagination!"

6-Arron's House?
A couple months ago, I told her we were going to run an "errand" and when we left the public building she called it Arron's house. I told her it was an errand and today we were at the same building and she remembered it was Arron's house. :)

Recently, Sophie was in the car with Mammy, Pappy and Sarah Jo. Apparently there was a discussion between Sophie and Sarah. Sophie said "You're not the boss! I not the boss! They're (pointing to mom & dad) the boss!" Right on, Soph!

Lately she is stuck on LIPSTICK (well, she has been for the last two years, but now she has her own and she always wants it near by!) Her purse and it's contents are very important to her! She has a great memory. She still loves gum! She has also learned about the traffic lights and she tells me from a distance.... "Red light. STOP!" or Green means GO!" or Yellow light means SLOW DOWN!"

Her favorite songs are Take Me Out the Ball Game, Jesus Loves Me and Happy Birthday. She always says "blow out the candles" and then blows hard three times! She still loves to watch the Waltons, "John Boy" and her latest fav movie is "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." She sings Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Truly Scrumptious and Toot Sweet often.

I love listening to her talk to her friends and play. She loves learning, crafts, baking, sweets, reading. Lately she asks me to "forgive her" a lot and "oh, sorry" too much! (I need to not say this so much too!)

Her expressions are hilarious and life would be so dull (and quiet) without our Sophie girl! She is precious!

Here is a video of her singing Happy Birthday to Dad last month.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Perfect Melancholy

Perfect Melancholy: Quieter, deeper, more thoughtful. You strive for perfection in your life and are often disappointed and tend toward depression because perfection in life is rarely if ever attained. Your catchphrase: "If it is worth doing it is worth doing right."

This is SO me. I guess this would be my main temperament?

Powerful Choleric: Can be bossy and short tempered. But on the positive side, you are goal oriented, highly organized, a high achiever and very outgoing. You're catchphrase: "Just do it!"

My minor temperament?

What a combo!

This week I am feeling the "tendency toward depression" I guess because I am so tired and have realized that I can't do it all. I love going and doing and planning and events, but I have had one right after the other the last month and half and I am t.i.r.e.d! Last weekend we went to Branson and Grace did not do well. My sweet, mild mannered, easy going little baby girl turned into a screaming, hurting, mad and very difficult young lady. She had another tooth break though and a severely runny nose. (The kind that cakes on to your nose and won't come off no matter how many time you wipe it!) I guess when you add that to a severe disdain of her car seat, stroller, car ride and outlet mall shopping, it's a recipe for disaster. (I really thought going into it that it would be better or I honestly wouldn't have tried to go.) She still isn't totally herself, but it is amazing how much better she is since we have been home. I can safely say that shopping isn't her thang! :)

SOO, this week I have moped around. So tired, sore (from lugging her so much), and sad. Things are beginning to look up and will continue to CHOOSE to have joy and to take delight in my life, my husband and my children.

I have been fortunate to have some time off from work to take care of my runny-nosed girl. Today I got out and about and it felt good! Then we came home and both of the girls napped at the same time and that felt REAL good!

Tonight, Dan had a Church Council meeting and I am home with the girls. They crack me up! Grace is in to everything (just like her big sister)! Heaven help me!! Today Grace destroyed my bathroom by pulling everything out of my toiletry bag, dumping the trash can, and smooshing muffins all over the place (it's a long story!) and tonight Sophie covered the front bathroom with Dan's shaving creme. Lovely! (I can't find my camera or I would have definitely photographed these whopper messes!)

I guess I better get off here and get to cleaning before Dan gets home!

Anybody else out there a Melancholy gal?

Friday, November 7, 2008

and we're off!

to Branson! for a girls weekend to laugh, eat, talk, shop, laugh, eat and shop some more!!

woo hoo!!!

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election Links from Randy Alcorn & John Piper

From Randy Alcorn... He answers the question, "As a Christian, should we vote for who we think should lead our country solely based on their stance on abortion?"
I'm not Voting for a Man, I'm Voting for Generations of Children and their Right to Live
Why I’m Voting for 98% Pro-life John McCain rather than 100% Pro-legal-abortion Barack Obama

From John Piper
Vote As Though They Are Not Voting

Also, check out Sarah Mae's blog Like a Warm Cup of Coffee. She has some great things to say about the election, finances, home keeping, being a Godly woman as well as some great links.

God bless!

I'm still alive!

whoa nelly... it has been a while since i have posted.



part time working girl + full time momma and wife and house keeper + church + LAUNDRY + not feeling good + extremely full month of family birthdays = one busy gal with very little time to post on her beloved blog!



hopefully i can get back in the swing of things soon! i stayed home today with the girls and we did a whole lot of nothing which was really nice. i've been cooking lots lately which has also been nice. i'm looking forward to my weekend- my sis, jac's 25th b-day so my mom & grandma are coming in to town, we will take the girls on their first hay ride friday night. next weekend i am going with the women in my family to branson for a girl's weekend/shopping trip. i am SO looking forward to that!

lots to report on soon! i'll leave you with a recent picture of the sisters!


have a blessed day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Message - Luke 6:17-49

This passage of scripture has been rocking my world the last few days.

You're Blessed
17-21Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a plain surrounded by disciples, and was soon joined by a huge congregation from all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon. They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much energy surging from him, so many people healed! Then he spoke:

You're blessed when you've lost it all.
God's kingdom is there for the finding.

You're blessed when you're ravenously hungry.
Then you're ready for the Messianic meal.

You're blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.

22-23"Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don't like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.

Give Away Your Life
24 But it's trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you'll ever get.

25 And it's trouble ahead if you're satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.

And it's trouble ahead if you think life's all fun and games.
There's suffering to be met, and you're going to meet it.

26"There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

27-30"To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

31-34"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

35-36"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

37-38"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

39-40He quoted a proverb: "'Can a blind man guide a blind man?' Wouldn't they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn't lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.

41-42"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Work the Words into Your Life
43-45"You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.

46-47"Why are you so polite with me, always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's right, sir,' but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.

48-49"If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss."

**********************************************
God, I want to build my life on these Truths.

*Emphasis is mine.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birthday!

Check out my dad, Keith's 50th Birthday Tribute Blog!

I love you, Dad!

Also, Happy Birthday, Aunt Debi!

It is the funniest thing... My Dad & Aunt Debi share the same birthday and my Mom (Lisa) and my Uncle Bruce (Debi's husband) share the same birthday. Too cool!

Hope you all have a happy October 14th!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Information Overload

I feel like I'm on information overload lately. I love the internet, but goodness all the stuff... all the craftiness out there, the tutorials, the recipes, the preschool activities, the parenting wisdom, sermons, the political info... TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!

Sometimes I feel like my head is just spinning around. I am still trying to get my life back in balance since I have started back to work. Yesterday, Dan & I finally got some stuff accomplished at home. We cleaned house, made A TON of baby food for Grace... seriously a lot of yummy food for her... veggies, fruit and chicken. Then Dan detailed the van (have I said that he's my HERO, lately??) and I got to work hanging up clothes in the girls room. I went through all of Sophie's 12 mo. clothes and pulled out tons for Grace two weeks ago, but they weren't sorted, organized and hung up. I finally got that done and the girls room cleaned. I was amazed at the stuff I found under the bed and changing table. Grace tosses stuff off when I am getting her ready and I reclaimed all sorts of treasures. We finished off the night with enchiladas and then I cleaned my bedroom and bathroom. SOOOOO glad it is clean. My toilet was ICKY! :)

Dan and I finally crawled into bed at about 12:30. It's been a good Sunday. Not much going on here.... which is good, even though there are still lots of stuff I'd like to be doing. I have a full couple of days ahead, but I am looking forward to this week. My Dad will turn FIFTY this week, my sis Britt is in and we are going to get to spend some time together and with my aunts as we start planning Jac & Ike's shower.

Soon I'm going to try and post on...
*Bearcat (Or Catbear to Sophie) Football - HOMECOMING
*Painting Pumpkins
*Decorating for Fall
*Pumpkin Muffins & Autumn Smoothies... YUMMY!
*Some more Birthday stuff
*A few political thoughts
*Recent Bargains i have found
*Hair Bow goodness... SO FUN! :)
*Grace's new milestones... saying DA DA & Crawling!!

Right now, I am going to go and try to rouse Sophie from her nap. Then, I am going to work in the girl's room a little more. I really wanted to get some pics up for Kelly's Nursery Tour before the weekend is over. We'll see. Dan's out bow hunting. I pray that he has some success soon!

I've still got a full head... info (although it feels good to at least jot some of it down) and s-n-o-t. (sorry if that was TMI!) I pray that my sinus' get under control this SOON!

Lots of love and blessings to you! Anything fun floating around in your noggin today??

PS- My bloglines has not been working well lately... as in not posting new feeds from certain people. I don't know if there is anything new unless I suspect it and manually go look. Maybe I need to switch to Google Reader??

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My First Quiche

I love quiche. I guess it just makes me feel grown-up and refined to eat a beautiful quiche. Quiche is why I love MiMi's Cafe so very, very, very much! The men in my family aren't so fond of MiMi's, but I could eat there any day. Give me some sweet tea, delicious bread & butter, salad with creamy ranch dressing, a warm quiche, a huge fresh baked muffin, and a few pieces of fruit and I'll be a friend for life.

This past January we spent two weeks in Little Rock while Gracie was in NICU at AR Children's Hospital. I had just had a c-section (on Thursday) and we drove to LR on Friday. It was bitterly cold in LR and I had left Mena without my coat. (The last thing on my mind.) Saturday was probably the hardest day Daniel and I had. Grace had been intubated and given a chest tube during the night and we were really scared and hurting. We had lots of family surrounding us and my Aunt Reba and cousin, Curt had driven in from Oklahoma to be with us for the day. We left the hospital that evening during the time when we couldn't see Grace anyway and headed to dinner at my favorite, MiMi's Cafe. It was so, so cold outside and like I said, I had no coat. I was still struggling to walk and I used a wheel-chair much of the time for the long hospital and hotel walks. When I got out to the vehicle that night at MiMi's the cold air hit me and I could barely stand it. I started shivering so hard that I could not walk with my fresh incision. My mom threw her leather coat on me and they helped me inside. That was such a surreal night. We were all seated and were enjoying the delicious bread and conversation. There was laughter and stories and catching up and then the reality would hit me and the tears would come... I had a daughter on a ventilator in NICU. She was not at home with me in our warm house. We were so unsure of the future and I guess I just felt guilty for being at a nice restaurant when she was in a huge hospital without me.

That night my family and my faith in a Loving and Gracious God got me through. The quiche was an added blessing and a well-heated get away car kept me warm.

Last Friday night I stumbled upon this Spinach Quiche recipe and amazingly enough I had all the ingredients so I made it the next morning.



{my first quiche! little hands got to the crust before i got a picture. :)}

It was a little too spinach-y. Next time I'll make sure I drain the spinach very well and maybe add some extra cheese. I will definitely make it again and I can't wait to try some of Martha's variations. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dan's 31st!



{Dan & Mom}

Daniel's sweet Mom & Step-Dad blessed him with a great birthday party to celebrate his 31st year! They served smoked pulled pork sandwiches and served all the fixins. YUMMY!



{click on the collage to enlarge}



our little family... sun glistened faces and all. :)


Thanks Mom & Don for a sweet party!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I like Ike

A few weeks ago I met two "Ike's."

One was big, huge, powerful and ferocious and had the potential to destroy all who were in his way.


One was tiny, soft, innocent and defenseless and has the potential to bring blessings and joy to all who he will know.


One was expected. He was forcasted and watched with a keen eye as he grew and developed far out at sea.


One was unexpected. He was not planned by our human, limited minds, but He was carefully formed and wonderfully made by the Hand of God before the beginning of time.


One brought torrential rains, hail, destruction, a death to dreams to many people.


One will bring newness of life, growth, purpose, joy and so many blessings to his Mommy and to his hopeful family.


I met these two Ike's the same week. One has passed me by, the rains are gone. The other I anxiously await his arrival. My precious nephew.


We don't always understand God's ways. But, one thing I do know... He is the Author of Life and He does not mistakes. His ways are not our ways and His thought are not our thoughts. They are so much higher. What a joy to be in His Hands.


So, just a few more months and I will be able to hold a sweet baby boy. I'll hold him close and whisper in his ears how much I love him.... how i can't wait for him to meet his wild girl cousins (who i am sure will boss him around to no end) and I will tell him how very blessed he is to have Jaclyn as a Mommy.
I really do like Ike.

Jac, Jen & Ike






Ike's first outfit from Aunt Jen & Uncle Dan. Oh how I love minky material! SO soft and warm. Perfect for a January baby.

Monday, October 6, 2008

CRUNCH Cake!!!

Dan's Mom asked me to make a cake for Dan's birthday. I looked around on the internet (Bakerella... YUMMY!) and found some great looking deserts, but in the end I went with a family classic... Crunch Cake. YOU need to make this! Delicious & Rich. A little goes a long way!
Crunch Cake
You'll Need
*1 Box Devils's Food Cake
*1 can Eagle Brand (Need I say more?)
*1 tub of Cool-whip
*Chocolate Syrup
*Caramel Syrup
*Sliced Almonds
*Heath Bar Toffee Bits
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Make the cake as directed on the box. Poke holes in the cake and pour the entire can of Eagle Brand in the the cake. Allow to cool. Smooth Cool-Whip over cake and then drizzle the syrups. Then sprinkle a generous amount of almonds and toffee bits on top.
Easy, Pretty & Yummy!
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And I must give credit where credit is due. This recipe was originated (at least in our family) by my Uncle Jason & Aunt Jennifer. They served it daily in their local restaurant. Let me just say that it rocks to have so many good (male & female) cooks in the fam! :)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!

rainy monday reports...

*i have the last book in the "Baxter Family Drama- SUNSET" by K. Kingsbury in my possession. oh the joy that fills my heart! except that this is the end of an amazing 14 book series! :(

**i have some serious sinus junk in my head. we all have runny noses here. yuck.

***dan went bow hunting for the first time this season. he got up before five and sat/stood out in the rain for hours. sounds like fun to you? :)

****we had a great LIFEgroup last night. the message on parenting was so good. the main thing i took away was that our kids (no matter the age) need 1- acceptance (not a hint of rejection) and 2- time (quantitative quality time). and that our influence on them when it really matters will be based out of our relationship with them not our position (not because, i'm the mom or i'm the dad!) good stuff. :)

*****mom (lisa) and i took soph to the dentist last week. she did good and we got a great report. strong, healthy teeth! woo hoo!!

******gracie b. is on the verge of a major crawling break-through! our lives are about to change!

*******i get my first pay check this week. thank You, LORD!

********we got some MAJOR good news today!! my mom (cheryl) and step-dad, mike (he is in Iraq right now) bought a house in mena today! they have been trying to move here for a while now and they sold their home in tulsa and today the Lord provided the most precious little home today! it is small, but it is SO CUTE! an endearing rock cottage. it is 80-90 yrs old, but it has been completely gutted and remodeled. i am so excited to see how it is all going to turn out! they should be moved in by the end of november if all goes on schedule. please pray that the details will be smoothed out according to God's plan.

(back to the sinus stuff... any one have any tips on sinus drainage??)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

where do i start?

so, right now i'm sitting in my porch swing in my lovely (FENCED IN! Go DAN!) back yard. i'm listening to the birds, fighting mosquitos and just generally enjoying my afternoon. every now and then i look up and see a fake deer in the yard and i smile to myself. my sweet husband is becoming a deer hunter and my dad thought he really needed something to practice with. dan says that it would make a great reindeer at Christmas time. (i'm not so sure... considering the bulls-eye with all the holes in it on it's side. poor thing. )

{my bow-hunting husband! i'm so proud. seriously! and check out that fence!}

the rest of my sweet family is inside sleeping. good ole sunday naps. we just got home from my grandma's house a few minutes ago. we had hamburgers with the fixins, a great selection of desserts and good conversation. that place is so peaceful. like a little taste of heaven.



{sophie loves to wear her hate like this. }

my life changed quite a bit this week. i went back to work. "working 9-5... " well, more like 9-1 about 4 days a week. my dad called me on monday because our family's business had lost their receptionist and needed some fill in work. it turns out we had a new one by the next day, but there is still quite a bit of extra work to be done. so... it all happened pretty fast, but i feel good about it. daniel and i have praying for an opportunity to make some extra money and this is a near perfect set-up. my mom (lisa) has GENEROUSLY decided to keep the girls for the 4 hrs that i work for at least 3 of the days and then the other day is split between mom (jackie) and ma ma ma. the girls and i still have to work out a few kinks in our schedule, but over all we are doing pretty good at getting up and around in the morning. i'm hoping i can find my groove at the airport soon and be a help there. my parents live about 100 ft. from there so i can be there in a minute if grace needs her momma. i will definitely continue to nurse her. needless to say, i have been a tired girl this weekend.



i feel like i'm rambling... i guess i just feel like i have so much to post about and i'm so behind on reporting on pictures, events, family news, recipes, etc... and i'm wondering why i feel so drained in the -bloggy-world. i love blogging and i have for years. i crave comments like i crave dr. pepper (and ya'll know that can get pretty intense). i guess when they don't come i feel a hint of rejection. silly, i know. but this thing is powerful. i read a really great post last night about blogging and computer use in general for women and it really convicted me. i want blogging to be a hobby, a creative outlet, and opportunity to meet other women in balance. i certainly don't want it to pull me from my Savior, my husband, my children, or my home. (here is another very thought-provoking post that i read months ago. the last full paragraph really stuck with me.)

************************************

(here is where my computer died for no reason and i got back to this post 5 hrs. later...

************************************

balance. being Spirit-led and not Jennifer- led. i guess that's what i'm after. how that plays out in my life is what i've got to figure out. the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. i want this fruit growing in my life! not laziness, apathy, self-centeredness, self-consciousness, self-righteousness, pride, fear, rejection, ect. ick!
****************

i just finished nursing gracie to sleep. i watched her sweet little face for a long time. she had her chubby little les folded in a cute way and her little fingers where just so soft and cute. her face is beautiful... long eyelashes, perfect, round features. her baby hair was wet from her sweat and it curled up so cute. i just wanted to take it all in. i don't ever want to forget how she looks and feels in my arms right now. i want to embrace this season of my life because one day very soon it will be over and she won't be a baby any more. i just don't want to lose the wonder.

{grace right after a nap munching on some zwieback toast. such a sweet heart!}


so, i guess that's where i am. i'm sure none of this has made any sense to anyone other than myself, but i'm still glad i wrote it. i will definitely continue to blog. i just need to hear from Him on how to go about it. as i do with everything in my life. sometimes it's easy to take the reins of imy life back and ride for a while.... a rocky and bumpy road. He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that i would find rest for my soul. i definitely want Him to hold the reins of my life as I move under His yoke.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay any-thing heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly. " - Jesus (Matthew 11 from The Message)

good stuff. don't you think? i am loving reading from The Message lately. so refreshing.

i guess i better get myself to bed. i am a working girl now. :)

{me and the girls before church this morning. we were running ahead of schedule for once! :)}



Friday, September 26, 2008

And the Winner Is.....

Thank you all so much for the great Fall Scents comments. I enjoyed reading all of them. The first scents are definitely in the air and I am looking forward to the yummy smells of Fall to come!

Today I entered each of your names (some twice) into an Excel spreadsheet and then I cut them out. I folded the names and put them in a mug and my sweet hubby drew out the winner. Probably not the most scientific way... but fair all the same.

And the Winner IS......

......duh.....duh......duh.....

ALICIA TERRELL!!!

Here's Alicia's comment...

"Jen this is the funnest thing EVER!!! I too love fall. Man, there are just so many smells I love, if I have to choose I would say the smell of the air (you know that smell) and the smell of anything being baked but especially apple pie or apple crisp. "

Woo! Hoo! Good for you, Alicia! I will get your new candle and room spray to you asap! :)

Thank you guys for playing! And if you are still looking for some yummy fall candles check out Home Interiors and let me know. Check out our September Candle Sale that will go through next Friday, Oct 3. I can order you some and have shipped directly to your home.

Have a great weekend and Happy Fall!!


Jennifer

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sophie's 3rd Birthday Party!

Ok, I'm going to try this again... :)

The Invitation

Sophie's "garden" party shifted to an inside party as Hurricane Ike headed our way. It was a little bit tight, but we still had a great time. Thank you to all who came and loved on our girl!

Here are a few highlights...


Food & Decor



The theme was set around the paper ware that I found at Oops in Springdale. I had fun making the felt birthday banner. (Two weeks later... it's still up! HA!) We added some more butterflies, tulle, some flowers, balloons and ta-da, a party! We served some yummy peanut butter bees, butterfly pb & j's, cha cha chicken salad for the adults, dirt cake, ice cream and amazing strawberry punch to drink. Yum!

Party Games & Fun

{Click on the collage to enlarge}

After snacking we got busy with some "buggy" games. Dan led the games- "Pin the Stinger on the Bee" and a Bug Toss (a throwback to the wildly popular Bozo show we watched as children.:). The kids did great! After that we all sang to Sophie and she proudly blew out her three candles. She was definitely anxious to look inside all those pretty gift bags. She was so blessed with sweet new fall clothes, fun toys, sweet cards and some super cool bigger gifts... a new scooter and a swing set... YAY!!

Each friend was sent home with a little flower pot and a cute little pansie to plant and an artwork fridge magnet and suckers, of course!

A BIG thank you to my moms (Cheryl, Lisa and Jackie), Jaclyn and Dan who helped me (the sometimes a little overbearing party gal... :) so, so much. She is one super blessed little girl. She is definitely our little "love bug" and we are so thankful to have her in our lives. These past three years have flown by and we have cherished every day of her little life. May the Lord show Himself strong and near to her each and every day. We love you Sophie! PS- Aunt Jac embellished a really cute shirt for Sophie's party. I wanted a personalized shirt for Sophie that would match her new skirt from Junie. Jac did a great job embroidering Sophie Bug.

You can tell Sophie had some fun with the strawberries & grape jelly, huh?! :)


PSS- Aunt Suzy posted a sweet birthday message to Sophie and a few more pics from her party on her blog. Sophie is so blessed in the Aunt department. :)