Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!

Today is one of the most amazing days, HE HAS RISEN!! YES HE HAS!!! I hope you are all celebrating the wonderful gift God has given us!!
Unfortunately we are not able to celebrate it with our church family due to me being sick, I would so love to be there today worshiping with them all!! We are also not able to celebrate with our family because they live 100s of miles away and hubby is working, but this is just part of working on the railroad life that we live. Miss those big family get togethers with all the yummy food! We are celebrating today at home. We finished our resurrection eggs and shared the story of Jesus rising. Both the kiddos received gifts from family and us to celebrate Easter! I am so thankful for our Lord and the greatest gift ever given from Him! I love what Sherri writes in her blog here http://sherriohler.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/its-epic-for-the-whole-wide-world/ So true, Your belief or unbelief doesn’t make it any less EPIC or TRUE or SIGNIFICANT, your UNBELIEF only keeps you from being part of the greatest story ever written. 

So this morning we watched church on TV. Abigail really gets into the singing. Here are some pictures of our morning celebration at home.



 Yes our son has a big like for Spiderman! Along with tractors and John Deere, oh my!!

Wish my hubby could be here today with us, he was home for a short time last night to help feed us supper and give the kiddos baths, so this mama could rest. He worked all night and day and then came home to take care of us, he is an awesome hubby and daddy, so blessed!! 
 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Celebrations

We have been busy celebrating this week!! So far we have celebrated my Birthday and Easter at Abigail's preschool. Easter is Sunday, and a few days later is Aidan's birthday. It will be spring break here next week, so we are hoping for some nice warm sunny weather so we can get out and do some outside family fun, maybe head to the zoo!
 Enjoying some of their Easter gifts they have received in the mail from family! Aidan, likes his eggs and Abigail of course loving her princess crown.

Our Easter peeps in a nest we had fun making and yummy too!!

Sunny chilly day at preschool egg hunt!

 Enjoying the ice cream sundae she made at her party and yes cheetos!

Celebrating my Birthday!! This Birthday has been one of my favorites!! 
Thanks to my family and friends!! I am blessed!

Aidan went with his daddy to throw some rocks in the creek.

Earlier this week was silly hat week, cowgirl hat was her choice! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Living in JOY

Some days run smoothly other days not so much, but even in those days that don't go well, so important to remember where our JOY comes from.

I have always believed in God and even grew up praying to Him many times, but I realize I really didn't know Him. I wasn't having a true relationship with Him, I wasn't spending time with him, like I would a family member. These last few years God has been working in me and my relationship with Him. It is so amazing to feel His presence on a much closer level now and to also seem Him work in my life and those around me. Such a blessing! So when I have bad days now, I can get through them so much easier because of God's love for me and the gift He has given me.

This blog post spoke to me deeply about JOY!!  http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/03/daring-greatly-to-fully-live-right-where-you-are/  " dare to realize joy isn’t a function of what happens, but of what you think. Joy is a function of how you thank"

Reflecting on Palm Sunday. Let's never forget the sacrifice of our Lord and what it means.
Matthew 21:9 says, “The crowds that went ahead of Jesus and those that followed shouted, 
Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review & Give-Away for WHAT I WISH I KNEW AT 18

What I Wish I Knew at 18, Life Lessons for the Road Ahead by Dennis Trittin

From the books web-site:
"What I Wish I Knew at 18 is an engaging, comprehensive, and conversational book written to help young adults achieve success in life. It provides practical, road-tested wisdom in essential life arenas as life perspective, character, relationships and communication, spiritual life, handling adversity, personal productivity, college academics, career selection and advancement, love and marriage, and managing finances. Through illustration, instruction, and reflective questions, the book reveals 109 success pointers that auger a soaring launch into adulthood. Unique in scope, universal in its message, and timely in its wisdom, What I Wish I Knew at 18 is designed to serve as an invaluable life coach."

The author offers helpful tips on the many issues we deal with once we turn adults. This book would be helpful for a senior in high school or young adult entering college or the work world. I have already lived through many of the situations he writes about, so I can see how this book would be great to have read before I ventured out. This a book you don't have to read from front to back, you could pick out the subject you are needing guidance and encouragement from. He also offers throughout the book, what he calls take five, offering you questions to help you reflect upon. This would make a perfect gift to give to a graduating high school student or college student. If you would like to receive a free copy of this book, comment by telling me what you wish you would have known at 18 or share this post and let me know by indicating in the comment section that you shared by March 26, I will select a winner randomly.

For more information about the author or the book be sure to check out these links:

About Dennis Trittin
Dennis Trittin is a successful investment manager, educator and mentor committed to helping young adults reach their full potential. Now retired from managing over $30 billion in assets, he devotes his life to promoting leadership and life management on a global basis. Trittin serves as an advisor to several charitable groups and as a speaker with national and local educational and community organizations. Dennis and his wife Jeanne are parents of two young adults and reside in the Seattle area.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thankfullness

Yesterday was what I consider a bad day for me, dealing with a mouse who is too smart to get caught, dentist appointment that was suppose to be a checkup has now turned into me going to see an oral surgeon, and then dealing with the change in our eye insurance which went from ok coverage to bad coverage, which I am sure is due to cut-backs and to save the company money. Plus I been missing my hubby, he has been away working more then I am use too lately. So what's a girl to do? Spend some-time in God's Word and that is exactly what I did last night after all was quiet in my house. Remember where our joy comes from and our blessings. Once I started writing my blessings of the day, those bad things turned into not such bad things, but more inconveniences. Yes I still have to deal with those things. It also helped to talk with my hubby via cell, which I am thankful for!

Many of you have heard me say this before, if you haven't read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I highly recommend it. When you start counting your blessings, you will realize how so blessed you are and those bad/unexpected things that happen, which we all deal with will seem minor in comparison of the big picture.
 http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/03/daring-greatly-to-fully-live-right-where-you-are/   "dare to realize joy isn’t a function of what happens, but of what you think. Joy is a function of how you thank."

Yes, today was a joyful day, and everyday can be when we thank and praise the Lord!! Happy children, won some free DVDs, yummy church meal and time with church family this evening! Plus I ended the night with a great laugh with a friend from church!! :)

Easter Countdown

First day of Spring and also twelve days until Easter! So today we began our countdown to Easter! We are using resurrection eggs. It comes with a book the includes a Bible story and scripture for each egg. Inside each egg is a figurine that represents the lesson for the day. Today was a donkey. We picked these up on-sale at Lifeway for less then $15 a month ago.








We also started making Easter treats. A few days ago Abigail helped put eggs aka M&Ms in the chocolate birds nests. These little things are cute and delicious!!


Abigail is having fun at school this week with green day, backwards day and rainbow day! Forgot to take pics, opps. But today she is wearing her clothes backwards and thinks it is the coolest thing!

Monday, March 18, 2013

HOME RUN Book Review & A Give Away


HOME RUN is a book written by Travis Thrasher about a baseball star named Corey Brand. Corey knows the role of a big hitter, but off the field his life is spinning out of control.  Fighting addiction and a battered upbringing, Corey is faced with many out of control turns. Until one day Corey accepts faith, and makes a turn towards redemption and transformation.
I thought the book was very well written and very easy to relate with. Even though the story was centered around a professional baseball player it read just as though it could be any everyday Joe going through the same struggle. I thought the author did a great job of keeping the reader interested and leading them into the story. The only area I felt this story fell short on was when the character accepted his addiction and took the hand of faith. I was kind of left feeling there was so much more that could have been told and more of a story to develop. The reader reads 350 pages of struggle with the character which was great, but then the author winds the character’s recovery down in 50 pages. While I enjoyed the book I will say I was left wanting more of a story on the recovery, faith, and redemption side. 
This story will especially be very inspiring for someone that has dealt with addition either first hand or with someone close to them.  Celebrate Recovery© is a wonderful ministry and have helped many people change lives. 
I am looking forward to seeing the movie for this book, which releases April 12. So get your hands on this book and experience the written story first before it hits theaters. Exciting news, I do have one copy of the book to give-away, all you have to do is comment by Friday, March 22. A winner will be selected randomly.

For more information about the author, book, and movie be sure to check out these links:

About the Author
Travis Thrasher is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, including The Solitary Tales series, Isolation, and Ghostwriter. His writing is known for its honesty, depth, and surprising twists. Thrasher lives with his wife and daughters in Chicago.


"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our family week!

The hubby and I went out for lunch date and some fun on the range! It was nice enough out, yes spring is here, and he got out on the golf course! Tonight I am excited to get together with a few gals for movie night, been a long time since I have gone to a girls night out! We gals are a group that love the Lord and encourage one another, which is one of my favorite things about these ladies! It has been a fun week for Abigail at preschool this week with them talking about Dr. Seuss, and he is one of my fav children's authors! I have also been busy reading a couple different books, which I will share more later and did a little crafting! Also preparing to teach a little yoga to one of our Sunday church classes. The book they are reading and studying is Body By God. Even though I am not in the class, I had to get the book after hearing some of things in this book, so far this book is by far one of the best written books I have read on food and exercise.

Abigail had crazy sock day and crazy hair day! There will be some more crazy days coming up in the following week, that will share here. The funny thing is she loves wearing her hair all funky, to her the more hair accessories more beautiful, I tried to talk to her about it, but she is so determined to wear her hair her way. So she really enjoyed crazy hair day! I don't mind, she is an individual and I will let her express her fashion sense, Lord knows I don't have much, really never been my thing.







What does Aidan do while Abigail is in school? Well he takes a short nap, snack, and on this particular day chose to read a book. He won't let me read them to him, he has to do it himself. He is in that stage already and hasn't even turned two yet, but will in a couple weeks, growing up way too fast!




While he napped, I put together a blanket for his toddler bed this week, which he is still not ready for yet. He helped pick out the material, he has an obsession with tractors and John Deere. We are not sure where he gets that from, as we have no farmers in the family, but maybe he will be our first. His room is already green, and I have some leftover material to put up a curtain for him and make some pillows too.

March is one of my favorite months, lots of birthday celebrations, St. Patty's day, spring time, and Easter!! Here are to many sunny days, flowers and leaves on the trees!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

What can I do?



One of my prayers I started at the beginning of the New Year was to listen to God more and give me ears to hear Him and eyes to see His perspective. Something has been wrestling my heart that should be doing more to bring glory to God in things I do, but sometimes I think am I doing enough? I am a mom to two little one's, a wife to a railroader (which has challenges), and I have a heart to reach out and encourage other mom's through being apart of MOPS and Bible study.

Earlier this year I switched Sunday school classes, there were many reasons I had in my mind, but I now see it was God's plan for me. Isn't it always! :) One thing our leader asks, what has God done in your life and how we bless others. Hearing the stories being shared is inspiring. One person bought someone's drive through meal one day and later that day found that exact cost in another jacket. Someone bought a cup of coffee for a stranger and again found that exact change later, so you see it God provding. That is exactly what it says in the Bible and sometimes I have a hard time trusting. Philippians 4:1And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Recently I started reading Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker, it is a book I have been wanting to read, because I enjoy reading her blog and will be seeing her in the live next month. The book is not what I thought it was going to be, but it is what God wanted me to read. Anyhow, her husband in the book shares a similar story of ministry to a homeless man. He added up how much it cost him to serve this stranger and it totaled $195. There he was driving back to his office so concerned about how much money he had spent. There on his desk was a reimbursement he had forgotten about in the total of $195. What he learned and felt God saying to him was "the provision was not from you; it was from Me. What you have is not yours. You have a lot to learn. The first is this: You can trust Me when I call."
There again, I am asking myself what more should I be doing God? I know I can be self-fish, and lately I have been teaching my children how not to be, but maybe I need more teaching myself. As I read more in this book, my heart is wresting more and more and I am only half-way through this book. Here are two pages from the book that have really spoke to me. Maybe you too will feel what I am feeling after reading these two pages. (click on to enlarge)


Here is one statistic in the photo. If you make $35,000 annually you are in the top 4%, $50,000 top 1%. There are some very sobering statics in this list. So maybe you are like me, what can I do and will it make a difference? YES, read the second page! Made me think of quote by Mother Teresa “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Little Obie CN Train

Today was the hubby's birthday and much to our surprise he was actually home, had to sleep some of it due to running a train all night. But we were blessed with a nice family outing this afternoon in the beautiful weather. First stop was to take the kids to see Little Obie!!

I was so impressed by this little train and what a great treat for the kids to experience, since their daddy works for the CN Railroad.

 Old steam engine and the Little Obie 

 Riding the train, the kids loved it!

After our Little Obie adventure we did a little shopping and tried out Tokoya Hibachi (a recommendation from friends). It was very yummy and entertaining. Aidan especially enjoyed watching the chef grill our food! The restaurant even sang Happy Birthday to Ryan and he got a free dessert, though he had to share it! :) It was a perfect family day and birthday celebration!! 
Thank you Lord for all the wonderful blessings today!! 



Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Hubby!!

Happy Birthday to an amazing husband and daddy!! 
I am the luckiest gal in the world to be married to you!!
The kiddos and I had a wonderful time celebrating your special day with you!! 
We love you!! xoxo

 He requested carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, it was delish!! 
See the happy faces!!

He liked his birthday present from me, yay!! How could I go wrong with a Glock?
Abigail made a cute card and kids helped picked out an outfit for him to golf in this summer.

His birthday isn't actually till tomorrow, but we knew the railroad would be calling him out.
My birthday is next, then Easter, and Aidan's birthday, little man will turn two!! 
This all happens in less then a months time!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Books and Books...


So a couple things, first off what are you all reading? I love to read, it has become a hobby. I read mostly non-fiction, parenting, Christian, and yes of course children's books with my kiddos. I also enjoy doing bible studies. I love the feel of books, I write and mark my books, but also have a kindle which is great way to get free books and also easy to take along a lot of books.

Recently I have been blessed with the opportunity to review some books. I think my readers will enjoy these:
http://kaysepratt.com/getting-it-together-the-ebook Getting It Together written by Kayse Pratt, so far I have only skimmed through it and I am loving her style and all the free printables at the end of this book that will help you make your very own Home Management Notebook. I am excited about this! I love organization and cute printables!!

Second is, HOME RUN written by Travis Thrasher and the movie is coming out in April for this book! I don't normally read fiction books, but this one spoke to me. Here is a description from the book: Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he’s spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past. Until one moment — one mistake — changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local Little League team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can’t escape . . . and the love he left behind. Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation, and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: no one is beyond the healing of God. Based on the motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod, Home Run is an inspirational story of the hope God offers each of us.

Third is,  What I Wish I Knew at 18 written by Dennis Trittin http://www.dennistrittin.com/thebook.aspx I don't know much about the book except what it says on his web-site. I do find it intriguing, so I will let you know.

Oh and did I mention, there will be some give-aways of these products? Yes there will be, so watch for the individual reviews and for give-away information over the next month or so.





 "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."








Love and Grace

This week we dealt with some sickness and discipline issues, but who doesn't deal with those from time to time. But these things can give you a different perspective, a good perspective, and that is when I know that God always brings something good from something bad. I am thinking it is just what I needed, or the Lord wanted to teach me.

Talking about perspective, maybe you are like me and from time to time become overwhelmed with all the choices and I today I was talking to a friend about the many school choices there are. Everyday is filled with making choices, from what to wear, eat, read, activies, etc... I love what Sally Clarkson wrote about here in her blog and I so can't wait to do this book as a study with mom's in the near future. I have the book in my stack, yes stack!
http://www.itakejoy.com/too-many-choices-too-many-voices-desperate-chapter-11/ 

Let's talk about courage, I lack that sometimes, because I let worry or fear get the better of me sometimes in my planning. I have this vision of a community Bible study for mom's of all ages, that meets during the school year. Learning about Christ, parenting, marriage, relationships, all those struggles that mom's may encounter. Bascially teaching the model of Titus 2 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 
This gal, she encourages me, God speaks to me through her blog:
http://holleygerth.com/what-courage-really-means-maybe-not-what-you-think/ Sometimes we are called to go before we fully see.
 http://holleygerth.com/35-a-letter-to-you-god-sized-dreamer/  A God-sized dream isn’t about what you do as much as how you do it. It’s about pursuing life with passion, purpose, and going with God wherever he leads.

Joy and Humility go hand in hand! This post spoke to me on some many levels. We has humans can be selfish, and I know I struggle with that. Since becoming a wife and a mother, God has shown me how selfish I was in the past and I am still a work in progress. 
 http://www.domestickingdom.com/2013/02/27/the-happy-humble-work-of-a-mother/

This is for the new mom's, something you won't read in those Everything You Need To Know books...
To seek God and rely on Him for the strength you need. To pray over each child regularly. To remember the impact you are having on these little ones, even when it seems you are doing the same thing every day…and nobody but GOD actually sees all the little things you are doing! http://www.themominitiative.com/2013/02/24/some-thoughts-for-young-moms/

Everyone needs love and grace!!  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all~2 Corinthians 13:14


Friday, March 1, 2013

This made me think...

We had parked next to this sign the other day, and it just struck me. You can google the history of it for more information.





Maybe hard to see, but it says United We Stand, Divided We Fall at the top. It isn't the first time I have read those words, but the timing was good for me as it had me thinking. Think what that means to you? Really how simple it is. This can be applied to so many things, family, work, church, and our government. It is even in the Bible: Mark 3:25, "A house divided against itself cannot stand". It seems to me the United States is becoming more and more divided, and yes it worries me, but so thankful I have a God who tells me not too and I am putting my faith and trust in that!

There is no way to 100% agree with anyone. That is about as political as I will get, but I felt the need to share the sign.


Preschool

Abigail had an exciting week at school. She really loves preschool and her teachers!

Monday she received a ticket at school for knowing all her letters and sounds. It is a movie ticket to watch a movie and eat some special treats! She came running out the doors with it when I picked her up from school, she was so excited!! We are so proud of her! She is such a smarty, really she has to get that from her dad! Because the stuff he knows amazes me and she catches on quickly and loves to learn!!  I love to read, which I know she gets from me!

Wednesday was dress up what you want to be when you grow up. This year she chose teacher, we think she makes a cute little teacher! Last year was doctor, and I know whatever she does when she grows up we will be proud. I pray that she follows her heart and uses the gifts God has given her.

Next year Aidan will be joining her at school and will get to do some of these fun things. He is all signed up to attend the two-year old program and Abigail will be in PreK. Next year we will be going in the morning, which will be a change for us, as we attend afternoons right now, which works great because we don't have to rush in the morning and Aidan takes a nap while Abigail is in school, so I can then get some things done. With Aidan still taking naps and I hope he still is next year, he can still get one when gets home from school. Plus gives us good practice at getting ready a few mornings a week for when Abigail will be in school 5 days a week, so not looking forward to that and that is another writing topic about where she will be going, because there are many choices where we live. A friend from church of ours recently went and to visit several of the schools and I am thinking that is a great idea, so we may do that too. We are talking elementary here, not college. Have any of you been faced with that decision? If yes, what made you choose and why? We were recently faced with when is the right time for Abigail go to kindergarten since she is a September baby? I know there is no right or wrong decision, and it will be different for each family. I had been praying about it most the year, also researching, and as family we were able to make that decision together and know that we made the right decision for us and her. We are blessed to have another year of preschool and Abigail is excited about who she will be going to school with next year!